Archives for December 2012

ILC’s 2012 in Review

2012_13Well, as I started to write this post here on the Eastern Coast of these United States, there were exactly 12 hours left in the year of our Lord, 2012.

In the world of cinema, much reflection brought allowed me to relive some great memories. As you may know, I try to the best of my ability to refrain from maintaining “best of” lists, so, I will instead  highlight some of my best (and worst) movie-going moments in 2012.

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Things Done

I took a moment to reflect on all of the films that I have seen in 2012. Boy, it did not feel like that many but it was quite a list. Of course there were a whole lot more I could have gotten through. In this section I will look back on some of the bright points for me:

  • Farewell My Queen – lush, absolutely stunning piece of French cinema
  • Wuthering Heights – a new take on a beloved literary classic. Oh yeah Andrea Arnold is awesome!
  • My coverage of the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival !!!!
  • Beasts of the Southern Wild – a touching emotionally evocative that was worth much (maybe not all) the praise heaved upon it.
  • The Avengers – a pure rock ’em sock ’em ride of joy! Cannot believe I did not do a write-up on this one – oops!
  • The Dark Knight Rises – a very satisfying conclusion to an epic franchise.
  • Skyfall – in my estimation, BEST BOND film and song. Period.

skyfall-wp1-1024

There were also a couple of surprises (good and bad):

  • Hitchcock – As a major fan, I was a little disappointed with the end result
  • Fast Girls – in an Olympic year, this was a cute British indie flick that really should have gotten more notice on this side of the pond.
  • Think Like a Man – In the game of managed expectations, this film may have been a great beneficiary. It was entertaining with quite a few funny moments.
  • Prometheus – So much promise, not quite the delivery I expected. But in the end, another showcase for personal favorite Michael Fassbender. On a side note, I had the honor of being on The LAMBcast for this one! Hopefully this is the first of many.

girls_8

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Some Things New (but old) …

In my all-time “must see” list, I knocked off a few notable titles (Annie HallMetropolis, and City Lights). I am certainly glad I did (especially City Lights and Annie Hall).

citylights

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And lastly, Things Left Undone …

For all the fun I had at the cinema, there were so many films that I did not get the opportunity to catch. Most recently there was my 6 before the end of 2012 challenge that was an epic FAIL on my part. Maybe I will be done with the films on the list before the awards season. Then there are all those films that in my Netflix queue, DVR list and my iTunes rental list.

Pitch Perfect

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I would like to close with a big THANK YOU to all of my readers and those whose contributions have continued to make this experience such a worthwhile for me. Thanks Guys!film 2012 marquee

Merry Christmas

No matter where you are or what you believe, take a moment to reflect and celebrate the wonders of the world.

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From me to you …. Have a very Merry Christmas Day!

~ Iba @ iluvcinema.com

Capra: One (Many) for the Common Man, A Retrospective

Always a fan of Mr. Capra’s work, I took great pleasure in participating in the event hosted by The Lamb. While many may easily dismiss his work as corny or saccharine, I feel, many have missed the point of his work. I find that in fact, it is a balance that falls somewhere in the middle – not overly cynical or schmaltzy. For goodness sake, he seemed acutely aware of the pitfalls and despair that are a part and parcel of the human condition (his films dealt with suicide on more than one occasion – read Meet John Doe and It’s a Wonderful Life), but ultimately, he saw the human spirit as an overwhelming force of good and one that would overcome any obstacle. Remember, in his heyday, the country was in the depths of a Great Depression and struck the right, hopeful tone that I can only imagine the everyday day would appreciate and celebrate. He also had the capacity to be completely madcap and screwball (read: Arsenic and Old Lace and, to a lesser extent, You Can’t Take it With You). The following films are four of my favorite Capra films. Note – I LOVE It’s a Wonderful Life with all my heart, but intentionally left it off this list because I wanted to shine a light on some other noteworthy Capra films.

 

You Can’t Take it With You (1938)

lionel barrymore, james stewart, jean arthur & edward arnold - you can't take it with you 1938

A perfect combination of that sentimental feeling and zany comedy I just mentioned above. Jean Arthur is a member of an eccentric/free-spirited/bohemian family led by Lionel Barrymore. She falls in love with the “boss’ son,” in the form of one Jimmy (not James) Stewart. ILC’s take: ♥♥♥♥♥ (outta 5)

 

Meet John Doe (1941)

For me this film strikes a decidedly dark tone but again from the darkness there is a beacon of light, which has been fashioned by Capra as his vision of the unrivaled American spirit. Barbara Stanwyck stars as a reporter on her way out who finds a lifeline through a story of her own creation – because of the state of the world, a dispirited “everyman” (Gary Cooper) has decided to publicly end his life.

Meet_John_Doe_1941

The overtly jingoistic message may not resonate with contemporary audiences, but stellar performances by a world-weary Cooper and a determined Stanwyck make this one worth the watch. (Available in the public domain) ILC’s take: ♥♥♥♥

 

Arsenic and Old Lace (1944)

with Boris Karloff and Cary Grant,  Arsenic and Old Lace (1944)

A pure gem and an all-time personal favorite. The perfect Halloween film with so much going on that you may wonder who’s coming and who’s going – but in the end, it is well worth the ride. Cary Grant shows a true mastery of the physical comedy genre with a great supporting cast, including wonderful turns by Raymond Massey and Peter Lorre. ILC’s take: ♥♥♥♥♥

 

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)

Hollywood's Greatest Year: The Best Picture Nominees of 1939

Capra’s entry into the “Golden Year of Hollywood,” 1939. An idealistic young politician (Jimmy Stewart) arrives in town and soon realizes that the inner workings of the political system are not as principled and virtuous as he thought. I know, SHOCKER. This makes my list principally became I love political theater ILC’s take: ♥♥♥♥

 

So, that’s my take; let me know what you think in the comments below.

My End of the Year Challenge

I admit it I have really fallen off this year with my cinema-going. Some of it is my fault but some of it has to do with the mere fact that it seems like all the ‘good stuff’ (for me anyways) is mushed into an increasingly small window – the last 3-4 weeks of the calendar year.

This is my roster of films (in no particular order):

  • Lincoln
  • Dark Zero Thirty
  • Central Park Five
  • The Hobbit
  • Les Miserables
  • Django Unchained

My December 2012 Lineup

So what do you think? Can I do it?

TCM Remembers 2012 Edition

The always artfully produced tribute to those who we have lost in the world of cinema over the past year …

Tuesday’s Overlooked Film: Holiday (1938)

One of the more celebrated screen duos (in my mind at least) is the onscreen duo of Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn. There are the those films that stand out – namely The Philadelphia Story and Bringing Up Baby. But one of the lesser-known films, Holiday, is the one I would like to feature as this week’s contribution to Todd Mason’s ongoing blogging meme.

SYNPOSIS: Based on a stage play by Philip Barry, an unhappy heiress (Hepburn) falls in love with her stodgy sister’s freethinking fiance (Grant).

This is a ‘holiday’ film but not a holiday-themed film (if that makes any sense). Regardless, whenever I see this film, I cannot help but be taken into the film. It is not a totally zany, screwball like Baby but it strikes just the right balance (kudos to Mr. George Cukor, among many others). Besides, I would watch Cary Grant read the telephone directory …

Check out a clip from the movie:

Lastly, a bit of trivia – character actor Edward Everett Horton featured in this film; eight years earlier, he portrayed the SAME role in the 1930 filmed version (co-starring Ann Harding and Mary Astor)!

What Do You Think? (Man of Steel Trailer)

Echoing the words at the end of this trailer for the Christopher Nolan – produced / Zack Snyder directed Man of Steel – what do YOU think?

ILC’s take: Every effort is to make the viewer feel like this is going to be EPIC. My question is does it really have to be so epic? I fully appreciate an earnest treatment of the DC Comic, but the overall sense I get from this (well-made) trailer is that it borders on being too earnest. Of course we do not need to wait too much longer to see the end product – the film is scheduled for released on June 14, 2013.
(On a side note, Cavill does make quite a fetching Kal-El/Superman/Clark Kent).
Share your sentiments about the trailer below.

Tuesday’s Overlooked Film: Bachelor Mother

This week I selected another film that takes place in or around the holiday season. Bachelor Mother (1939) starts Ginger Rogers and David Niven is a nice lighthearted romantic comedy and marks one of the first film post-Astaire outing for Rogers.

SYNOPSIS

In a case of mistaken identity, Polly Parrish (Rogers) first sees a stranger leaving a baby on the steps of an orphanage. Fearing for the safety of the abandoned baby, Polly picks it up as the orphanage door opens. Of course she is assumed to be the mother, which gets her her job back as a result of management’s sympathy to her “plight” as an unwed mother.

David Niven is his usual urbane self (with playboy tendencies) and Charles Coburn (as J.B. Merlin) has many scene-stealing moments as his father and owner of the department store at the center of the story.

Let me know if you have seen this film in the comments section below. Also be sure to check out Todd Mason’s blog Sweet Freedom for more overlooked titles.

December 2012 Highlights

Wow! I cannot believe the year (not world) is coming to an end in the next couple of weeks! Time really has flown by. But before we say goodbye to 2012, there is still a bunch of movie-going to be had!

 

In theaters:

The Hobbit (of course)!

Les Mis ( see previous entry)

Zero Dark Thirty

(possibly) Django Unchained

On the small screen:

TCM – Six films starring Gene Tierney. My personal favorite of the lot is the London-based noir Night and the City (1950).

TCM – Christmastime is here! Cue snuggling up on the sofa with your hot cocoa (other beverages are available for consumption) and catch some absolute classics!

 

What are you all most looking forward to this month?

 

Much Ado About Nothing (Whedon-Style)

Now I have never been one to bow at the altar of Mr. Whedon, but I am a great admirer of his body of work. I am also a huge fan of Shakespeare, or “Willie Shakes” as I like to refer to him. So when I found out months ago (it was an official selection of this year’s Toronto Film Fest) that one of my favorite (if not favorite) plays by Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing was being adapted for the Whedon-verse, I was not so much excited as I was intrigued …

What do you think? Is this something that you are looking forward to check out once it receives wider distribution? Holler “yay” or “nay” with supporting reasons below.