The latest on streaming and Blu-ray, including Support the Girls, Mission: Impossible - Fallout, Galveston, and The Magnificent Ambersons.
With "Mission: Impossible - Fallout," Christopher McQuarrie has now made the best and worst "M:I" movies to date.
If all blockbuster-sized entertainments were even half as ambitious and ingenious as these films have been, moviegoers would be infinitely better off.
The latest on Netflix and Blu-ray, including "Time Out of Mind," "Mission: Impossible: Rogue Nation," "Knock Knock," and three Criterion releases.
Marie writes: When I first learned of "Royal de Luxe" I let out a squeal of pure delight and immediately began building giant puppets inside my head, trying to imagine how it would look to see a whale or dragon moving down the street..."Based in Nantes, France, the street theatre company Royal de Luxe performs around the world, primarily using gigantic, elaborate marionettes to tell stories that take place over several days and wind through entire cities. Puppeteers maneuver the huge marionettes - some as tall as 12 meters (40 ft) - through streets, parks, and waterways, performing their story along the way." - the Atlantic
(Click images to enlarge.)
Marie writes: The countdown to Christmas officially begins the day after Halloween, which this year lands on a Wednesday. Come Thursday morning, the shelves will be bare of witches, goblins and ghosts; with snowmen, scented candles and dollar store angel figurines taking their place. That being the case, I thought it better to start celebrating early so we can milk the joy of Halloween for a whole week as opposed to biding adieu to the Great Pumpkin so soon after meeting up again...
Marie writes: club member Sandy Kahn has found some more auctions! Go here to download a free PDF copy of the catalog.
Is Bryan Singer's "The Usual Suspects" (1995) one of the greatest films ever made? I admit there was a time, right after I saw it, that it seemed special. For most of my first viewing, I thought I was watching a standard crime thriller when suddenly it caught me off-guard and left me stunned. Once the DVD came out, I rushed to buy it but then, as the years went by, I noticed it had been left on its shelf abandoned as I had little interest in watching it again. I couldn't remember much about the characters or the plot, in fact, there was only one thing that stuck in my mind about it. Readers who've previously watched it will instantly know what I'm taking about.
Marie writes: Club member and noted blog contributor Tom Dark took this astonishing photograph near his home in Abiqui, New Mexico. The "unknown entity" appeared without warning and after a failed attempt to communicate, fled the scene. Tom stopped short of saying "alien" to describe the encounter, but I think it's safe to say that whatever he saw, it was pretty damned freaky. It sure can't be mistaken for anything terrestrial; like a horse pressing its nose up to the camera and the lens causing foreshortening. As it totally does not look like that at all. (click to enlarge.)
View image Story diagram stolen -- er, borrowed -- from "Observations on film art and Film Art."
Kristin Thompson, author of "Storytelling in the New Hollywood: Understanding Classical Narrative Technique," a book I can't believe I haven't read and have therefore just ordered, explores her observations and theory of story structure in a blog entry called "Times go by turns," which gets to the heart of how movie storytelling works by showing how familiar structures involve the use of more than the "three acts" we're accustomed to thinking about. She was inspired by the Society for the Cognitive Study of the Moving Image conference in June at the University of Wisconsin in Madison -- and, boy, does that ever sound like something that would be up my street. (Also: See my post "Tell me a story... or don't.")
Q. I just rented "The Usual Suspects' and noticed it was produced by Bad Hat Harry Productions. I wonder if that's in reference to Roy Scheider's line in "Jaws," when he tells the old man on the beach who prods him to talk about his fear of water, "That's some bad hat, Harry.' No one I ask seems to even remember the line, so needless to say they aren't much help to me. Any idea? (Richard Wolfe, Turtle Creek, PA)