Skip to content

Posts from the ‘Best Of and Other Features’ Category

17
Jan

Best Performances of 2012

by HELEN GEIB

There’s nothing like putting together a year-end best performances list to throw into stark relief the disparity between the sexes when it comes to plum roles in Hollywood movies. When there is a good part for a woman it’s usually as co-lead or part of an ensemble. What’s really sad is the proportion of those good roles that are in fantasies. Yet while I couldn’t fill out a top five for women in either category, my lists for the men might have been significantly different on another day.

Movie Year in Review, Part 1 (for my watched-list for 2012, and thus the universe from which these picks are drawn)
Top Ten Films of 2012

Lincoln (2012)

ACTOR

Jack Black, Bernie Read more »

6
Jan

2012 Movie Year in Review, Part 2

by HELEN GEIB

Mirror Mirror (2012)

Part 1 of 2012 Movie Year in Review

As a precursor to best of the year lists, which will be published in separate posts, some movie year odds and ends.

First Movie I Saw in 2012: Contraband

Most Charismatic Lead Performance: Denzel Washington in Flight

Most Charismatic Lead Performance, Runner-Up: Guy Pearce in Lockout Read more »

6
Jan

2012 Movie Year in Review, Part 1

by HELEN GEIB

Les Miserables (2012)

For years I attempted to operate in the same viewing universe as the professional critics and awards societies when it came to the year in review. I tried waiting until March to make my list, by which month most of the acclaimed films had made it to Indianapolis- if they were ever going to. For an exercise in mental gymnastics I tried parsing my list, creating a separate category for the best movies from the year prior to the year at hand that I hadn’t had the opportunity to see until after publication of the previous year’s list. I tried ignoring the problem by refusing to make a list at all. Read more »

31
Dec

My Idiosyncratic Guide to Movies to Watch on New Year’s Eve

This post was originally published in anticipation of New Year’s Eve 2009. Substitute 2012 for 2010 in the second paragraph and the old recommendations still hold good.

by HELEN GEIB

Christmas is here and with the coming of Christmas our thoughts turn inexorably to the last great decision of the year: what to watch on New Year’s Eve. Read more »

24
Nov

Favorites Corner: Films of Billy Wilder

by HELEN GEIB, GEOFF GEIB and NIR SHALEV

An occasional feature where the writers compare their five favorite films by some of the greats of world cinema. A change in format for this edition because there was, predictably, considerable overlap: instead of three ranked top fives a combined chronological top eight.

Billy Wilder (1906-2002)

THE LIST

Double Indemnity (1944)
Geoff’s #1, Helen’s #1, Nir’s #5

(GEOFF) Barbara Stanwyck at her very best, playing a woman who is, in all fairness, a bit of a bad seed. The clever plan hatched by Stanwyck and genial sap Fred MacMurray to murder her husband naturally falls to pieces once Edward G. Robinson’s intuition enters the picture, but after so many viewings, it’s less the construct of the story/scheme that stays with me than the realization that each of these characters’ actions are based on a false premise. Read more »

19
Aug

The Ten Most Influential Directors

by NIR SHALEV

1) Sergei M. Eisenstein

Orson Welles once said that a film is completed in the editing suite. By that he didn’t mean editing is the final step in the filmmaking process, but rather that editing is the most important aspect and that a film is made and completed in its entirety in the editing suite. And when it comes to film editing, no one did it better, or had perfected it earlier than Eisenstein. He set the standard for editing techniques that are still being utilized today. Christopher Nolan wouldn’t have expository dialogue punctuated by montage-style editing if it wasn’t for Eisenstein’s revered Odessa Steps sequence from his early masterpiece Battleship Potemkin (1925). And we wouldn’t have Tarantino’s violent (although he never actually shows the violence) Pulp Fiction (1994), either. Then came Strike (1925), October (1928), Alexander Nevsky (1938), Ivan the Terrible Parts 1 and 2 (1944, 1958), etc., etc…. Read more »

30
Jun

Favorites Corner: Films of David Mamet

by HELEN GEIB, GEOFF GEIB and NIR SHALEV

An occasional feature where the writers compare their five favorite films by some of the greats of world cinema.

David Mamet (b. 1947)

HELEN’S TOP FIVE

5) The Untouchables (1987) (writer) Read more »

2
May

Two Lists, Ten Favorites: Films of Martin Scorsese

by GEOFF GEIB, NIR SHALEV and HELEN GEIB

An occasional feature where the writers compare their five favorite films by some of the greats of world cinema.

Martin Scorsese (b. 1942)

GEOFF’S TOP FIVE

To be clear, this list is pointedly different than a list of my five best Scorsese films would be, and there is no better evidence to this than the omission of titles like Taxi Driver or The Last Temptation of Christ, which, while great, great films, are hardly ones that scream out for multiple viewings while distractedly typing away on the computer and trying not to overcook the penne. The following five I could stop, start in the middle, or watch endlessly on a loop and never want for more. Read more »

8
Jan

Top 10 Films of 2011 by Helen Geib

by HELEN GEIB

Alternate title: My 2011 Movie Year in Review. Tell us about your year at the movies in the comments. Read more »

7
Jan

Top 10 Films of 2011 by Nir Shalev

by NIR SHALEV

I don’t like making top 10 lists because it makes me seem like a film snob, but I am a film snob, and somehow I still dislike making top 10 lists! Can’t win them all… So seeing that almost everyone else out there has compiled a top 10 (or 20) list, here is my list for the best 10 films of 2011:

10. Rango

Industrial Light and Magic’s first 3D animated film is hilarious, echoes Chinatown brilliantly, and is one of the most beautiful animated films that I’ve ever seen. It defeats many other live-action films that came out last year because it has real imagination, a lovable chameleon protagonist, and it’s a Western. That’s an automatic win. Read more »