The Top 12 Movie Romances of Summer 2013

Tuesday, September 10, 2013 at 10:48 am

Summer 2013 was a strong season for that oft-maligned genre, the romantic comedy. Excellent films like The Spectacular Now and Drinking Buddies for the most part avoided rom-com cliches, and reinventions like Joss Whedon's Much Ado About Nothing made timeless story lines seem fresh. Still other on-screen romances were held in unorthodox settings: A horror film (The Conjuring), a martial arts movie (The Grandmaster) and even in an edition of the Fast franchise.

Compiled by Alan Scherstuhl and Stephanie Zacharek of The Village Voice and Amy Nicholson of L.A. Weekly.

Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie: What Happened?

Wednesday, August 28, 2013 at 10:46 am

An average episode of the 1989-1999 cable show Mystery Science Theater 3000, in which a man and his robot buddies heckle bad movies, runs about 90 minutes. The 1955 film This Island Earth is 87 minutes. The 1996 feature Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie, in which the man and his robot buddies heckle This Island Earth, and which also includes 18 minutes of non-This Island Earth material, runs a total of 72 minutes.

20 Buddy Cop Movies Worth Seeing Again

Thursday, June 27, 2013 at 10:52 am

With Friday's release of The Heat (Sandra Bullock, Melissa McCarthy), another buddy cop movie joins a film library filled with explosions, oddball pairings and broad humor. While the genre's been compacted into a cliche over the years (especially immediately following its heyday in the late '80s and early '90s), and also justly satirized for it, the fundamentals of the buddy cop film return each summer to theaters.

Here are twenty films from the genre that's been a mainstay in theaters and weekend cable programming.

Man of Steel: Making Sense of All That Christ and Death Stuff

Friday, June 14, 2013 at 11:45 am

Sometimes, there's just too damn much to say about a movie than can fit into any one review. (Even Stephanie Zacharek's exhaustive, excellent one.) So, here's more: Stephanie Zacharek, our lead film critic, and Film Editor Alan Scherstuhl hashing over all the portentous craziness in Zack Snyder's Man of Steel

Warning: This discussion is thick with spoilers. It's nothing but spoilers. In fact, we might spoil books four and five of Game of Thrones, too, so consider yourself well and truly warned.

To Actresses on the Brink of 40: Go Bad or Go Home.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 9:28 am
Meryl Streep: Why be America's sweetest, nicest, most forgettable mom when you can inspire a meme with a masterful eye-roll and be immortalized on Tumblr?

Last week, EW columnist Mark Harris tweeted a statistic disturbing to anyone who cares about gender equality on the big screen: "It's now been 61 days since the last wide release of a major studio movie starring a woman." Unfortunately, that number will only increase—to 84 days—until Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy bust through the lucite ceiling later this month with The Heat. Those testosterone-choked three months confirm a sad fact of life for actresses: It doesn't get better.

Superman Movies Matter More Than the Comics: A Film-by-Film Breakdown

Thursday, June 6, 2013 at 9:09 am

Man of Steel looks like it will make the hardcore fans happy.

Superman is an idea.

OK, fine. Technically he's an intellectual property—a set of data points slammed together by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster in the 1930s, sold for $130 to National Allied Publications (later DC Comics/TimeWarner), and subsequently transformed into a nugget of multivariously exploitable content that has netted entertainment conglomerates trillions of dollars via cross-platform revenue-stream transmedia synergy or whatever.

Here's Your Summer 2013 Movie Guide!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013 at 9:03 am
This summer: Superman falling into a pile of skulls.

From superheroes (Superman, Wolverine) to Shakespeare (Joss Whedon's Much Ado About Nothing), another season of summer movies is upon us. Here's our guide to movies this summer -- and their wide-release dates. Make sure you check the schedule at your neighborhood cineplex before leaving your apartment.

Fast & Furious & Elegant: Justin Lin and the Vulgar Auteurs

Friday, May 24, 2013 at 10:56 am

Justin Lin may strike some as out of place in the pantheon of contemporary auteurs. The Taiwanese-born American filmmaker, best known for having directed Fast Five and its sequel, Fast & Furious 6, makes unabashedly populist blockbusters for mainstream audiences—hardly the purview of a "serious" artist.

A Brief History of Lens Flares and the End of Film with Daniel Mindel, A.S.C.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013 at 11:23 am
"With Star Trek," Mindel says, "it [became] a tool for me to allow the sterility of the sets to be amplified by distorting the light on the lens."

Daniel Mindel, A.S.C., is part of an ever-shrinking population: cinematographers who have yet to shoot a feature digitally. He acknowledges that he "will be forced" to do it eventually by "the corporate entities that drive our industry," but he believes "there is no need to use an inferior technology at this time."

Amy Poehler's New Comedy Partner Is David Simon

Monday, May 20, 2013 at 2:41 pm

Officially, the crowd crammed into the basement of the Paley Center on Thursday night had come for edification. Here was a panel discussion on the topic of Excellence in the Media, featuring Peabody Award-winners and -bestowers, hosted by documentarian (and class of '98 Peabody winner) Pat Mitchell, who actually kicked things off by declaiming from the Wikipedia definition of "excellence" -- certainly an homage to a beloved old Simpsons, that once-excellent show that scored its Peabody in 1996.