Monday, January 14, 2013
Director Kathryn Bigelow overlooked for Oscar in Best Director category.
Zero Dark Thirty, which brought in $24 million in its first two days of wide release, has been lauded worldwide and almost universally as an impressive piece of filmmaking, a movie that is anything but formulaic. It is always very different for those of us who live within the Washington area. Our experience of anything political is amplified. The headquarters of the CIA, FBI, and of course, the White House, are all within driving distance. It is, therefore, nearly impossible not to have heard about the controversy surrounding this film. Senators Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.), Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) denounced the film, for its depiction of torture. “We believe the film is grossly inaccurate and misleading in its …
Friday, January 4, 2013
Help Manassas Patch get to its goal and be entered to win a free Patch swag bag.
Manassas Patch is oh so close to hitting 1,000 “likes" on its Facebook page and I want you to help Patch get those four figures. There’s something in it for you, too. Share this story, then post a comment, or screen shot on our page saying you did so and be entered to win one of our Patch swag bags, packed with green goodies. Or, recommend the Facebook page to friends and have them tag you in a comment on our Facebook page, letting us know you recommended it! The goal is to get over 1,000 “likes” before Monday. It can be done with your help!
Tuesday, December 25, 2012
Great acting makes you join in their crusade.
The film makers want to ask you: "Will you join in their crusade?" After much promotion and fanfare, a new musical film interpretation of Les Misérables is opening nationwide. For you non-"Mis" folk, the story is of Prisoner 24601 Jean Valjean, who breaks parole, is hunted relentlessly by Inspector Javert and encounters various troubled and impoverished characters in post-revolutionary France. Based on the 1862 novel by Victor Hugo, it is beloved by generations of musical theater fans. The musical version of the movie was a risky undertaking, but now promises a huge pay-off to the studio, cast, and crew, thanks largely to a career topping job by several of the lead actors. The endless marketing about the actors singing live has also …
Sunday, December 16, 2012
Santa brings a very mixed bag to blockbuster franchise.
This holiday, with the expected blockbuster franchise The Hobbit (it has already broken records for midnight release of a movie more than two-and-a-half hours long) Santa brings a very mixed bag. First, let's talk about the coal-worthy aspects of the An Unexpected Journey. Unless you are a slave to technology, spend most of your days playing video games or crave seeing the next big thing, avoid the mercifully limited number of screens (10 percent) showing it in 3D filmed at 48 frames instead of the usual 24. Director Peter Jackson argues the high frame rate technology gives the movie a sense of reality, like "looking into the real world." Unfortunately, while it brightens the often-muddled look of 3D, it also points up every quirk and …
Saturday, December 1, 2012
Cinema Siren's top picks for 2012.
Last year, I offered my top 10 Christmas cartoons for the first time. As an animation art gallery owner of 25 years, and an animation historian, I have been studying and enjoying them a long time. What an uproar I caused! I got a veritable avalanche of emails about the cartoons I "couldn't possibly overlook." While I stand by all last year's excellent offerings, I do have some amendments this year. Here is the list with some considered additions and subtractions. The cartoons listed below are all classics and are wonderful opportunities for holiday viewing with friends and family. You can enjoy them while chomping down highly caloric peppermint bark, or swilling down highly spiked eggnog! 10. Arthur Christmas - 2011 Such a new movie…
Wednesday, November 28, 2012
I hope you’re not having to make this choice.
“Hmmm... Should I eat healthy or exercise to lose weight?” By 2015, nearly a third of people in the world will be overweight, and many will be asking themselves that very question. After all, there are only so many hours in the day, and priorities often turn a bedroom treadmill into a $1,500 clothing rack. Well, choosing between healthy nutrition and exercise to lose those extra inches is a subject that shouldn't be taken lightly. “Generally, rising obesity incidence is thought to result from the current Western lifestyle, in which activity levels and diet deviate substantially from the conditions under which our species’ metabolic physiology evolved,” according to a recent article posted on PLOS One, a peer-reviewed open-access journal. …
Saturday, November 24, 2012
David O. Russell directs ensemble cast in film garnering Oscar buzz.
Cinema Siren knows mental illness. Who doesn't? Like me, most of you probably have friends or family who struggle with the challenges of bipolar disorder or obsessive compulsive disorder on a daily basis. What makes Silver Linings Playbook so endearing and what will make it so enduring as a new fan favorite is the straightforward, unflinching way it portrays those disorders while maintaining a surprising sense of charm and a great comedic heart. This is a movie worth any movie lover's time and money, and will resonate with anyone who has personal experience interacting with those who live with these diseases. The story, directed and adapted by David O. Russell (The Fighter, Three Kings), follows prodigal son Pat (Bradley Cooper), who …
Saturday, November 17, 2012
Fifth and last in the blockbuster film series debuts, based on novels by Stephenie Meyer. Rated PG-13.
The big finale of the Twilight Saga needs no help from anyone beyond their fans, thank you very much. You need but look to the scores of Twihards who lined up at movie theaters around the world over a week before the premiere. These fans can rest easy. Director Bill Condon (Gods and Monsters, Dreamgirls) gives them exactly what they expect. For the rest of the planet, it feels cliched and fangless until a rousing last act climbs so over the top it makes it almost worth the price of admission. The plot centers on concern that the old guard of vampires in charge, the Volturi, may want to eliminate what they see as a threat in Bella (Kristen Stewart) and Edward's (Robert Pattinson) newborn little girl. So, it's time to activate the Cullen…
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
It’s not worth it.
French fries, pizza and ice cream are so delicious, but overeating can lead to unbelievable misery. About 65,000 Americans have limbs amputated every year due to a completely curable condition called Type II diabetes. And it doesn’t stop there. Diabetes is the number one cause of new cases of blindness in adults aged 20 – 74 according to the American Diabetes Association. This actually begins a couple million years ago when we were hunter-gatherers. Our ancestors experienced periods of feasts and famines, and our bodies create the hormone insulin, which builds fat to be used during periods when food is scarce and we couldn’t walk into a Safeway and get a genetically engineered fish or piece of corn. And this little evolutionary adaptation …
Friday, November 9, 2012
Review of latest James Bond film.
In its 50th year, there is much at stake for the Bond franchise. So many great movies, producing such a cultural icon, they want to create a movie worthy of release in the anniversary year. Something mediocre or forgettable just wouldn't do (ahem, Moonraker, I'm talking to you…). They have their past and their future to think of. They don't want to be asking "Will Bond live to die another day?" By showing due respect to its pedigree, adding some exciting new elements, featuring a great script, acting, and production design, Skyfall rises to the top as one of this year's best films, Bond or otherwise. Oscar-winning director Sam Mendes (American Beauty) helms the story wherein a madman (of course) winds up with the hard drive that reveals …