Movies Without Pity

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I Want My DVD: Tuesday, April 23, 2013

by Ethan Alter April 23, 2013 8:00 am
I Want My DVD: Tuesday, April 23, 2013

This ain't no gangster's paradise.

I Want My DVD: Tuesday, November 20, 2012

by Ethan Alter November 20, 2012 6:00 am
I Want My DVD: Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Get your jungle boogie on with an eight-film Tarantino retrospective.

The Directorial Hunger Games: We Pick Gary Ross’ Catching Fire Replacement

After a few days of "is he in or is he out" speculation, The Hunger Games director Gary Ross finally made it official yesterday: he will not be returning to helm the second installment in the wildly successful YA (and now film) franchise, Catching Fire. This leaves the movie, which is set to begin filming in the fall for a November 2013 release date, without a guiding hand behind the camera. While Lionsgate will move to fill the director's chair quickly, the question of who will and should nab this plum assignment will be bouncing around Hollywood (and Hunger Games fan sites) for the next few days. Personally, we're excited at the prospect of seeing what another filmmaker might bring to the series because while Ross certainly deserves credit for getting the series off the ground -- and bringing the best out of Jennifer Lawrence -- based on what we saw in the first film, there's definitely room for improvement. Here's our own personal wish list for Catching Fire's helmer:

Sharpay’s Fabulous Adventure: More Ridiculous Than Even We Could’ve Hoped For

This direct-to-DVD movie isn't exactly what you'd call good, but it was considerably better than yet another High School Musical installment. This spinoff had the decency to focus on the best thing about the HSM franchise: the Sharpay character. She's self-involved and pampered to a deliriously wonderful degree, and here she gets it in her brainy head to go to New York to pursue her dream of being an actress, which she soon realizes that it is a bit more difficult than just flashing her daddy's credit card everywhere. It has elements of Legally Blonde (Sharpay's obsessed with pink, too) but while I personally adore Ashley Tisdale, Reese Witherspoon she is not. Here's what really doesn't work about the movie:

Elizabeth Taylor: Her Ten Essential Movies

by Zach Oat March 23, 2011 1:45 pm
Elizabeth Taylor: Her Ten Essential Movies

The world has lost one of its most iconic actresses -- Elizabeth Taylor died this morning at the age of 79. While she wasn't the most prolific actress later in life, she worked from a young age, won two Oscars, and appeared in some of the most epic or acclaimed films of all time, although they usually weren't both. In case you only know about her abstractly, as that actress who was married a bunch of times, here's our list of the ten Liz Taylor films everyone should see, for better or worse, and in chronological order. They're not the best, they're just the ten we recommend.

Irvin Kershner: More Than Just the Empire Director

Irvin Kershner, the director of The Empire Strikes Back, passed away over the weekend, and everyone is filled with kind words about the man who gave us the greatest Star Wars film. But Kershner directed other movies, as well, in a broad assortment of genres, from romances to thrillers to comedies, and he was apparently the go-to guy for sequels, having directed three besides Empire -- none of which featured his hand on the original. I haven't seen The Return of a Man Called Horse, but the other two are personal favorites, so I thought I'd shine a spotlight on them, since Empire has its own arsenal of spotlights.

Fair Game: Can It Live Up to the Cindy Crawford Original?

As far as titles go, "Fair Game" is pretty generic, and it's been used for a variety of films over the years, from a romantic comedy to an Australian movie about poaching to, most famously, the action-film debut of one Cindy Crawford, famous supermodel and terrible actress. The latest Fair Game is a political movie about the Valerie Plame affair, and while the name comes from Plame's own autobiography, we can't help thinking about Crawford and William Baldwin running away from explosions in tank-tops every time we hear it. One would think the new movie would suffer from sharing a name with a film that almost won three Razzies (fortunately, Showgirls also came out that year), but it might benefit from the association, because while the two films don't seem to have that much in common, this one looks like it could use a little bit of what the old movie had in spades: sex, violence and debatably witty banter. Let's see how the two stack up.

Buried: The Most Claustrophobic Movie Ever? Maybe Not…

Claustrophobia is a commonly used tool in a movie director's bag of tricks. Even when the plot doesn't specifically feature tight spaces, the walls of any room can be made to seem like they're pressing in on the film's characters. So when you actually have a plot that revolves around being locked in a wooden box six feet underground, things can get a little hairy, for both the character and the viewer. Buried has the guts to put Ryan Reynolds in a box for the majority of the film, and as such it may hold the claustrophobia crown, but here are some other movies we wouldn't recommend to those who prefer wide-open spaces.

This Weekend, Experience The World Cup… Of Soccer Movies!

It's World Cup time, and association football fever is sweeping the globe! Of course, if you aren't currently using the metric system, you may know it better as soccer, or possibly as "that game I played in junior high." But even if you aren't a big fan, or have very little tolerance for televised sports in general, there is a way to participate in the soccer mania without enduring an actual match -- namely, by watching a marathon of soccer movies! Like real soccer matches, they take place around the world and run nearly two hours, but at least with a movie you're guaranteed three things: dramatic storylines, big-name stars and far more goals scored than you'd see in an actual game.

Killers: The Best and Worst Movie Spy Couples

In the world of international espionage, love can get you killed. A boyfriend or girlfriend may be nice to come home to at the end of an assignment, but if your enemies get ahold of them, you need to be able to cut your losses and forget about them, or your life -- and more importantly, your mission -- will be forfeit. Which is why it's a good idea for spies to only date spies; they know what they're in for, and they don't get taken hostage easily. In Killers, Ashton Kutcher's spy character teams up with his clueless civilian wife (Katherine Heigl) when he's targeted by assassins, and while we're not sure giving her a gun was the best idea, it made us think about some of the best and worst spy couples in film history.



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