Tag Archives: spike jonze

Sam’s Top 42 Films of the Decade

Just for the sake of my own sanity and desperate need to have these written somewhere, I give you my favourite forty-two films of the past decade. There are at least fifty-six other films I would like to put onto a list, but I think I need to forcefully prevent any more decade-based listmaking as quickly as possible. So beneath is the top ten list, along with a sentence or two on each film and then thirty-two, out-of-list-order, films which I had to include.

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Sam’s Top Ten of the Year

You can listen to us discussing these films at length on the podcast on the show, but please do check out the list below for perpetuity. Sam’s list is annotated and included below, Tom’s is not annotated and its right here. This just means you will have to check out the podcast to hear Tom’s viewpoints. So check out Sam’s choices after the jump, along with a few choice thoughts and honourable mentions. Enjoy!

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Let the Oscar Buzz Begineth!!


As we are prone to do, it feels like to kick-off the Oscar buzz season as awards from major film festivals begin to roll in and the ceremony approaches. I realise that this may feel like the kind of wishing-life-away feeling that it given as you walk into shops in mid-September and see Christmas stock out all over the place, but these will get more frequent as we get closer and can begin to actually predict what could win. This is more to provide an interesting gauge of how buzz works, how it changes and how wrong we could well end up being by the time the awards come around.

So, just for the big few categories, here’s what seems like it’s going to cause a stir this year: Continue reading →

Round Up

Terry Gilliam

Terry Gilliam is to make the incredibly insane decision to relaunch his Don Quixote project.

Check out the very cool Where the Wild Things Are blog.

Rob Marshall’s Nine has a very interesting trailer.

Al Pacino is considering taking the lead role in the adaptation of Malcolm Gladwell’s Blink by Stephen Gaghan, the writer of Traffic and writer/director of Syriana.

Mila Kunis and Mark Ruffalo have joined the cast of Date Night.

The Anti-Hipster Issue


A recent post on Screener. Movie Stuff raises some very interesting issues as regards the treatment of so-called ‘hipster’ stylistic values in cinema. It’s sparked by the reviews to have been put forward for the Where the Wild Things Are trailer, noting reviews which seems to identify the two key creative protagonists behind the adaptation, director Spike Jonze and co-writer Dave Eggers, as ‘hipster kings’.

This kind of criticism, and the wider snarking over the use of so-called indie hallmarks (animated title sequences, specifically independent musical soundtrack etc.), does seem to serve to place independent cinema of this kind into a separate negative category of filmmaking, that of ‘hipster movies’ which are made to appeal to the better-than-thou intellectual pretensions of this stereotyped crowd. In doing so, they identify the film within an exclusive sub-genre which is unlikely to appeal to anyone outside of the New York crowd and often damage the sentiment towards the films before they even come out. It’s something which is spreading into popular journalistic circles, having previously been the surfeit of the populist cinema sector in the dubbing of movements like ‘mumblecore’.

I understand the need for critics to take on issues they feel strongly on, but damaging the reputation of a movie through a reactionary critique based entirely on face style and a two-dimensional viewpoint seems to negate the place of critics entirely. Screener argues quite rightly that, especially with Where the Wild Things Are, you have two legitimately talented people behind the project, making what appears a beautiful adaptation of a beloved children’s book.

I would add, in minor defence of those not fond of the trailer, that maybe they are in love dearly with the book and feel a fanboy-like reaction to any even minor criticisms. A work like Maurice Sendak’s will inspire devotion and will be envisaged in different ways by film critics and commentators around the world. To me, it looks inspired. To others, it may well look all wrong. No arguing with opinion, folks.

Where The Wild Things Are Trailer


The first full trailer for Where the Wild Things Are, the live-action adaptation of the popular children’s book by Maurice Sendak, has been premiered at the end of the Ellen Degeneres show. The trailer is now online and you can check it out here.

The film follows the story of Max, a young boy who is punished by his parents for ‘making mischief’ and set to bed without supper. Max when escapes into a fantasy world where he wears a wolf suit and encounters a number of magical, mystical creatures.

It also marks the return of Spike Jonze to the directing business seven years after the brilliant Adapatation. Additionally, it’s the first of two screenplay credits in this year for Dave Eggers, the precocious author and founder of McSweeney’s. His other will be the Sam Mendes-directed Away we Go, about a young couple who embark upon an expedition around the US to try and find the perfect place to start a family.

Away We Go will be coming out first, you can check out the trailer here, but Where the Wild Things Are, following numerous delays and production difficulties, is easily the most anticipated and, from the looks of the trailer, could be something quite special indeed.

New Images from Where The Wild Things Are


You can check out some more of the new images over at USA Today, but until then, just bathe in how wonderful this film looks like it may be.

Where the Wild Things Are Stuff


Where the Wild Things are has both a poster and trailer bating the online world. At present, this intriguing work, directed by Spike Jonze, written by Dave Eggers and based on the classic children’s book by Maurice Sendak, is coming out by the end of the year, meaning it is currently my most anticipated movie for this year.

The poster, which looks pretty cool and is above you, is courtesy of one of our newest Twitter buddies, Empire Movies. The trailer, scheduled to be shown ahead of Monsters vs Aliens at the end of March, will surely be online with a ridiculously short amount of time and will come immediately from us to your eyes.

Alternatives to the EW Twenty-Five Directors


Entertainment Weekly recently posted a list of the top twenty-five active film directors. These lists will forever cause disagreement and controversy but some of the inclusions, and subsequent exclusions, on this list are pretty unforgivable. Even if you don’t find it too irratating, as a film fan and blogger I feel it only necessary to present some arguments both against the inclusion of some and against the exclusion of others while I would also like to take some time to argue for the inclusion of a few that I think may brook argument elsewhere.

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