Posts Tagged ‘Mike Nichols’

Ezra’s Spooktober 2014

Posted 29 Oct 2014 — by Ezra Stead
Category Essay, Film Reviews, Movies I Didn't Get, Movies I Got

By Ezra Stead

Candyman is one of the all-time great horror films, partly because of its unique atmosphere. If I had to pick a favorite month, it would most likely be October. The weather is perfect and I have all the excuse I need to watch practically nothing but horror movies for a month. This year I watched or revisited 25 films of varying quality, and I’m passing along the recommendations to you. I’ve broken them down into three basic categories, with a fourth “Other” category for those that don’t fit any of the big three. The Undead includes zombies, vampires, Frankensteins, and of course the immortal curse of the Candyman; Mutants & Monsters covers genetic freaks, giant animals and other Things That Should Not Be; Werewolves is pretty self-explanatory. All films are ranked from highest recommendation to lowest, ***** being the highest rating and * being the lowest. Happy viewing!  Read More

Absolute Corruption – Three Films About Power

Posted 29 Jul 2011 — by Ezra Stead
Category Essay, Film Reviews

By Ezra Stead

Citizen Kane has been widely cited as the greatest American film ever made. Citizen Kane, USA, 1941

Directed by Orson Welles

Scarface, USA, 1932

Directed by Howard Hawks

Beauty and the Beast, France, 1946

Written and Directed by Jean Cocteau

Never before or since has any director made such an impressive feature film debut as Orson Welles did, at the astonishing age of 25, with Citizen Kane (1941). Despite having no prior experience in filmmaking, Welles was given carte blanche on the film, and he delivered the most original, innovative and provocative film of its time. Even today it is considered one of the greatest films ever made, and it is a standard by which all other films are judged. According to the great critic Andrew Sarris, as quoted in his 1967 book Interviews with Film Directors, “Citizen Kane is still the work which influenced the cinema more profoundly than any American film since Birth of a Nation.” Read More

Closer – A Bit Distant

Posted 26 Jul 2011 — by contributor
Category Film Reviews, Movies I Got

By Scott Martin

Closer, USA / UK, 2004

Directed by Mike Nichols

Closer is a 2004 romantic drama film written by Patrick Marber, based on his award-winning 1997 play of the same name.Mike Nichols is a hard director to stomach sometimes. He has a way of making characters crawl under your skin, when that’s the very last place you want them. Such is the case, anyway, with the four characters in Closer, Dan (Jude Law), Alice (Natalie Portman), Anna (Julia Roberts), and Larry (Clive Owen). This is a film that assumes an old truth: look at a painting from far away, it’s perfect; look at it point blank, and you’ll see all the cracks and imperfections that destroy its image. Closer, like the characters who inhabit that truth, is one of those paintings, or maybe that holds true for photographs as well. The movie itself acts almost as a montage of snapshots and freeze-frames in these characters’ intersecting lives. Of course, if every picture is worth a thousand words, you know you’re in for a verbose screenplay. Thankfully, Patrick Marber adapts his own play for the film, which keeps the words intact. Read More