Family, the hard way

I have walked out of a film once in my life and sat through a great deal more that I probably shouldn’t have (Lady in the Water (2006) comes to mind). That one time occurred when a friend of mine, who was a fan of kung-fu films but lacked the healthy irony such fandom requires, … Continue reading

It’s not what you say, but how (and when)

The shotgun would ignite, and Ella Mae would scream, but Robert Ford would only lay on the floor and look at the ceiling, the light going out of his eyes before he could find the right words. Finding “the right words” is a quest all writers are intimately familiar with. Everyone knows that it’s not … Continue reading

How Robert Altman helped me justify being lazy in film school – Pt. 2

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I had found what I had been looking for, cinematically speaking, but what of Altman’s interaction with his cast and crew? I mean, love him or leave him, nobody makes films like Altman. The man’s even had an “esque” attributed to his name! As in: “That film’s very Altman-esque.” No small accomplishment. Of course a film … Continue reading

How Robert Altman helped me justify being lazy in film school – Pt. 1

There was a solid stretch of time during my early goings in film school where I thought that I might be in some trouble. I worried about my disinterest in traditional screenplays or, more to the point, the screenplay itself. That is not as to say that I didn’t and don’t appreciate them (I read … Continue reading

Why Paul Thomas Anderson should make a musical (and how he kind of already has)

Musicals tell their stories with sweeping camerawork, song, dance, and big emotions.  They are the height of melodrama, and after five films and several television and music video stints it’s surprising to me that director Paul Thomas Anderson has never made one.

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The decade’s best in film villainy

There is nothing like a truly great villain.  Heroes are simple. You get the kitten out of the tree because it’s the right thing to do.  But what kind of diabolical mind would even think to put the kitten there in the first place? Great villains peel back the layers and reveal our darkest nature. They make us think.

And so, with my “kitten in the tree” argument in place, I submit that the past decade has offered us five truly phenomenal movie villains.  Here they are, in order of haircut originality:

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