Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!
All right, we’ve got a quick early update for you today.
First, in the event you missed it, we posted a new History, Legacy & Showmanship column from our own Michael Coate yesterday, featuring a look back at the original theatrical release of Superman: The Movie. Yesterday marked the film’s 35th Anniversary. The piece features a good interview component too, so do check it out if you haven’t read it yet.
Also today, after noting the passing of the legendary actor Peter O’Toole yesterday, this morning we must acknowledge the death of Tom Laughlin as well, star of the Billy Jack films. He was 82. You can read more on this here at the L.A. Times. Sadly, actress Joan Fontaine also died this past weekend at the age of 96. Fontaine was known for roles in such films as Jane Eyre, Ivanhoe, The Constant Nymph and Letter from an Unknown Woman, in addition to starring turns in Alfred Hitchcock’s Rebecca and Suspicion (for which she was best known). More here at the New York Times. Both will surely be missed. [Read on here…]
All right, we’re back as expected today with a great new History, Legacy & Showmanship column from our very own Michael Coate.
But first, we wanted to take a moment this afternoon to acknowledge a bit of sad breaking news: The legendary film and stage actor Peter O’Toole has died. He passed away yesterday at the age of 81. Cinephiles will of course know him from his performance as T.E. Lawrence in David Lean’s 1962 film Lawrence of Arabia, but other favorite film roles include such titles as Becket, The Lion in Winter, Goodbye, Mr. Chips, The Stunt Man, The Last Emperor and My Favorite Year. Younger readers may best recall him for voicing a character in Pixar’s Ratatouille. If you’re one of them, I envy you – it means you have so many great O’Toole films yet to discover. In fact, I think a fresh viewing of Lawrence just might be in order in O’Toole’s memory. Our hats off to him. You can read more here at The New York Times. [Read on here...]
So it turns out The Desolation of Smaug is pretty good. I mustered up the energy to catch a double-feature screening last night with a friend, and it was a fine evening’s entertainment. If you enjoyed the first Hobbit film, I think you’ll like this one a great deal more. The pacing is much more engaging. Fans of Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy will definitely feel more at home here, as in this film the prequel trilogy really begins to reveal its connections to the previous films more strongly… and not just in the fact that Legolas (Orlando Bloom) features prominently. As one would hope, Smaug himself is wonderfully realized.
Smaug aside, with any luck you have a good art house theater in your neck of the woods, because there are a number of fine indie films worth seeing this holiday season: American Hustle, the Coen’s Inside Llewyn Davis, All Is Lost, Nebraska, Her, 12 Years a Slave and many more. This is the time of year when all the great dramas get dumped into limited theatrical distribution so they quality for Oscar nominations, so be sure to head out to your local theater over the next 2 or 3 weeks. [Read on here…]