dbc

Much like several recent Oscar-winning and nominated films of the past years (Saving Private Ryan, The Hurt Locker, Amour), Dallas Buyers Club is not a movie I’m going to RUN out and re-watch. It’s a tough movie to watch…the subject matter is harsh, the characters are sad and highly flawed, the dialogue is filled with homosexual abuses. All that said, is this still a movie you should watch? Yes. One reason: the performances. This is not to say the story is not good. It is. And the entire film on the whole is worth watching. But, the focus here should be the performances, since I feel they make this hard movie well worth watching.

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shirley

Young Shirley Temple was one of the biggest, brightest stars in the 1930s. She even won a special “Juvenile Award” from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 1934. Basically, she was the biggest LITTLE moviestar ever!

Then, she grew up! Hollywood, at first, did not know what to do with “teenage” Temple. But, eventually, she came into her own, easing successfully into young adult and even adult roles. She never came close to matching her level of childhood fame, but she still was able to work in Hollywood for years, until she decided to retire from entertainment and switched her focus to politics and ambassadorships.

Check out these Shirley Temple movies at the Niles Public Library:

The Bachelor and the Bobby Soxer

Fort Apache

Heidi (J)

Hollywood Singing & Dancing: 1930s (791.4361 H746th)

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Prisoners

One feeling kept me going throughout the entire time I watched the film Prisoners: FEAR. At over two and a half hours, you would think that I could not possibly have been afraid for the entire film. Well, I was. And, most likely, you will be too.

In addition to instilling fear from minute one, Prisoners also continually surprised me. I thought it was going to be just a simple revenge movie. But, this is so much more than that. Filled with leaps and twists and unexpected turns around every corner, Prisoners is more than a thriller. It is an adrenaline ride.

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oscar

Our Pick the Winners Oscar Contest starts today (Feb. 1)!  Vote in eight of the major Oscar categories for your chance to win “A Night Out in Niles” with gift cards to Portillos and to the theaters in Golf Mill Shopping Center.

Pick up a ballot at the Second Floor desk or fill one out here.

All of this Oscar mania leads up to our 10th Anniversary Oscar Night Extravaganza on Sun., Mar. 2 at 6:30pm. Registration for that begins today for Niles cardholders and on Mon., Feb. 10 for all. Register now!

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BEFORE-MIDNIGHT-stills

The third and last (?) in the Richard Linklater directed and Julie Delpy/Ethan Hawke starring series, Before Midnight again features more dialogue and banter between characters than plot. But, after three movies, we are used to that and we know these characters so well, we pretty much know what they are going to say and do. Not that this is a good or bad thing…but it’s comfortable. Like an old pair of slippers, these films have charmed us, endeared us, and romanced us. A little refresher on the series: Before Sunrise (1995) is set in Vienna and has Jesse (Hawke) and Celine (Delpy) meeting on a train and taking a risk by spending the whole day with each other. They talked and walked and laughed and talked and walked and laughed some more. As they fell in love, so did we with them.

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captain-phillips

I have issue with movies based on real stories where I know the ending…mostly because it kills the suspense. Titanic: No matter how much Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet love each other, the boat will still sink. Marie Antoinette: She tells the French people to eat cake and then she loses her head. Joan of Arc: She inspires France and gets burnt at the sake for her troubles. Now, I know Hollywood takes a lot of liberties with endings (adaptations rarely end exactly as they do in the book or on the stage, etc.) But, even the fickle movie industry would never be so brazen enough to change the ending of a real life tale, right? Titanic 2: It’s Didn’t Sink will never be produced, right? (Well, hopefully!)

So, in Hollywood’s latest string of based-on-real-life movies (Dallas Buyers Club, The Wolf of Wall Street, 12 Years a Slave), one stands out for me, EVEN THOUGH I was pretty sure I knew how the movie was going to end. Captain Phillips is based on a book by, that’s right, Captain Richard Phillips. Chances are (and I’m just GUESSING here) if he was able to write about his death-defying experience, he most likely survived. Again, I’m JUST guessing. So, what does this tell us…that we know the ending. Darn, another Titanic. But, wait. Not this movie. Captain Phillips is a wild ride, a fast-paced, highly enjoyable thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

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BlueJasmine

I have made no secret that one of a handful of my favorite movies of the 21st Century is Woody Allen’s Match Point. I liked Midnight in Paris (2011) a lot. I enjoyed Cassandra’s Dream (2007), Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008) and To Rome with Love (2012). But, for me, 2005’s Match Point is Allen’s 21st century masterpiece.  Why?  Well, it’s not Allen’s usual depressed, anxious and, at times, tedious schtick.  That worked fine in his early films, ala Annie Hall (1977) and Manhattan (1979) but over time, it just got overdone and overused.  Also, Match Point is far from Allen’s usual comfort zone…it’s NOT set in New York and it’s not a comedy —in any way.  Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989) also can be seen as an Allen drama, as could Interiors (1978) and September (1987), but those still have some of Allen’s trademark nervousness (Crimes and Misdemeanors even features Allen in a role where he acts in his usual Allenesque way).  Match Point does not feature any characters with serious neuroses. Yes, they are troubled but they are troubled in a calm, passionate way…not in a psychological, overly-emotional manner.

So, what do we have in Blue Jasmine, Allen’s latest film?

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Untitled-3

Well, they are finally here…the 2014 Oscar nominations.

Announced EARLY in the morning (7:30am CST) on Jan. 16, the Academy Awards nominations capped what has been a very competitive and very active film year, as they do every year.

We’ve already had the Golden Globes. Most critics from around the country (and the world) have given their “Best of” film lists. All major awards have already posted their nominations…the Screen Actors Guild, the British Academy of Film and Television, the Directors Guild of America, the Independent Film Spirit Awards. All we were waiting for was the Oscars. And now, they are here.

Who or what film was overlooked? Who or what film was a surprise pick? Did you want Tom Hanks to be nominated for Captain Phillips, not to mention for Saving Mr. Banks? Well, he was not…for either film. Did you want James Gandolfini to get nominated for Enough Said? Well, sorry, the late actor was also overlooked. But, if you are a fan of Sally Hawkins or Christian Bale, you are in luck since they both snagged nominations this morning, relatively unexpectedly. 

Who do you think will win on Oscar Night, Mar. 2?

Enter our “Pick the Winners” Oscar contest (starting on Feb. 1), where you will vote in eight of the major Oscar categories for your chance to win “A Night Out in Niles” with gift cards to Portillos and to the theaters in Golf Mill.

Stay tuned to this blog for more Oscar news over the next coming weeks!

Here is the complete list of nominations:

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