Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...

The Playlist

5 Things You Might Not Know About 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
  • |
  • March 14, 2013 1:05 PM
  • |
  • 0 Comments
Late last year, Disney released CGI animation "Wreck-It Ralph," and thanks to its wide selection of cameos from videogame legends, barely a review passed without comparison to another Disney film from the past -- 1988's "Who Framed Roger Rabbit," which included dozens of brief appearances from classic cartoon characters. Sadly, for all of the charms of "Wreck-It Ralph," the comparison didn't do it many favors. On Blu-Ray this week, ahead of its 25th anniversary later in the year, Robert Zemeckis' 'Roger Rabbit' is a loving, beautifully crafted and inventive picture that's barely aged a day since its release.

5 Things You Might Not Know About The Coens' Cult Classic 'The Big Lebowski'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
  • |
  • March 6, 2013 1:06 PM
  • |
  • 23 Comments
Aside from perhaps "The Ladykillers" (and even that film features a great Tom Hanks performance, at least), it's hard to find at least one Coen Brothers movie that doesn't have passionate supporters that declare it the best thing the directing duo ever made. From debut "Blood Simple" to the recent megahit western "True Grit," every Coen picture has its advocate (this writer has an unconditional adoration of their 1994 commercial disaster "The Hudsucker Proxy," for instance). But none of their films are more beloved than "The Big Lebowski."

5 Things You Might Not Know About 'Groundhog Day' On Its 20th Anniversary

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
  • |
  • February 12, 2013 1:04 PM
  • |
  • 2 Comments
Twenty years ago today, on February 12th, 1993, Harold Ramis' comedy "Groundhog Day" opened in theaters. Twenty years ago today to the day, on February 12th, 1993, Harold Ramis' comedy "Groundhog Day" opened in theaters. Twenty years ago today to the day, on February 12th, 1993, Harold Ra-- sorry, we're not sure what came over us there. The film stars Bill Murray as crotchety weatherman Phil Connors, forced to go to Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania to cover the annual Groundhog Day celebrations -- where, as legend has, a groundhog may or may not see its shadow, portending whether an early spring is coming, or if another six weeks of winter lie ahead.

5 Things You Might Not Know About 'Casablanca' On Its 70th Anniversary

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
  • |
  • November 26, 2012 1:57 PM
  • |
  • 3 Comments
A little over 70 years ago, Allied troops had invaded and freed French North Africa from Nazi occupation. And aside from helping to turn the tide of the war, it proved to be something of a boon for Warner Bros. as the company had just completed a film called "Casablanca," which was set among the resistance movement in the Moroccan city under German occupation. The film hadn't been greenlit with high hopes and was generally seen as something of filler material, intended to cash in on the recent success of the now-mostly-forgotten "Algiers."

5 Things You May Not Know About Alfred Hitchcock's 'Spellbound'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
  • |
  • October 31, 2012 1:57 PM
  • |
  • 2 Comments
We're of the general opinion that you can never get enough Hitchcock, and while we've just wrapped up our massive retrospective of the director's works, to celebrate the release of a new Blu-ray boxset of his work, today has another Hitch connection. These days, Halloween means "Paranormal Activity" sequels in theaters (and before that, "Saw" movies), but in the past, when the holiday wasn't such a corporate behemoth, more interesting fare made it to theaters for that time of year. And October 31st, 1945 saw the release of Hitchcock's "Spellbound."

5 Things You Might Not Know About 'Reservoir Dogs'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
  • |
  • October 23, 2012 1:47 PM
  • |
  • 6 Comments
Prepare to feel very, very old indeed -- twenty years ago today, on October 23rd 1992, "Reservoir Dogs" was released in theaters, introducing the world to a 29-year-old video store clerk turned filmmaker with an encyclopaedic knowledge of film named Quentin Tarantino. But even in the months beforehand, his feature directorial debut, "Reservoir Dogs" had already started to upend the American independent film movement but with tremendously well received screenings at Sundance, Cannes and Toronto.

5 Things You Might Not Know About 'The Princess Bride' On Its 25th Anniversary

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
  • |
  • September 25, 2012 12:01 PM
  • |
  • 2 Comments
The bargain bins of the world are littered with attempts to make films for the whole family. Making something that will please young kids, grandparents, and everyone in between (a four-quadrant hit, as studio types call it) is a tough nut to crack. But one of the most enduring family favorites of the last few decades is one that, against the odds, managed to thrill audiences, make them laugh, and make them swoon: Rob Reiner's "The Princess Bride."

5 Things You Might Not Know About David Fincher’s Criterion Approved 'The Game'

  • By Benjamin Wright
  • |
  • September 20, 2012 2:02 PM
  • |
  • 11 Comments
It seems unfair that David Fincher’s 1997 directorial outing “The Game” is often in the back of cinephile’s minds when they think of the director’s magnificent oeuvre. It is understandable in some ways, seeming as it’s sandwiched between two monumental directorial efforts into the pantheon of cult movies with Fincher’s own “Se7en” coming in 1995 and “Fight Club” hitting in 1999, but many fans of the notoriously finicky filmmakers would probably rank it close to or at the very top of their lists of the director’s best work. While it certainly isn’t as abrasive a film as “Se7en” or “Fight Club,” it’s just as memorable for showcasing the benefits of David Fincher’s acute attention to detail that would greatly benefit the many twists and turns of the film’s script.

5 Things You Might Not Know About 'L.A. Confidential'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
  • |
  • September 19, 2012 12:07 PM
  • |
  • 8 Comments
It's safe to say that "L.A. Confidential" wasn't greeted with especially high expectations in the run up to its release. James Ellroy's 1990 book, the third of his "L.A. Quartet" (preceded by "The Black Dahlia" and "The Big Nowhere," and completed by "White Jazz") was a favorite among crime fans, but hardly a best seller. Screenwriter Brian Helgeland was known only for "Nightmare On Elm Street 4: The Dream Master" and a rewrite of actioner "Assassins." Director Curtis Hanson was well-liked, but mostly known for mid-level programmers like "Bad Influence," "The Hand That Rocks The Cradle" and "The River Wild." And the cast was led by two virtual unknowns from the Southern Hemisphere, with the most recognizable names in the cast being Kim Basinger, whose career was a little on the outs, comedy actor Danny DeVito and recently Oscar-nominated character actor Kevin Spacey.

5 Things You Might Not Know About 'Bonnie & Clyde'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
  • |
  • August 14, 2012 3:05 PM
  • |
  • 1 Comment
It's almost impossible to overstate the influence of Arthur Penn's "Bonnie & Clyde." It wasn't alone as one of the film breaking down the walls of a "new cinema" -- Michaelangelo Antonioni's "Blow Up" had turned heads the previous year, and Mike Nichols' "The Graduate" helped with the impression of the changing of the guard when it followed a few months later. But it was Penn's film (written by journalists Robert Benton and David Newman, with a polish from Robert Towne and produced by Warren Beatty), which told the story of Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker, the Depression-era bank robbing duo, that really felt like the lightning strike, bringing the techniques, sexuality, violence and cool-factor of European cinema to a mainstream audience for the first time.

Email Updates

Recent Comments