In honor of the release of Oblivion, Spencer and Greg discuss Morgan Freeman.
So, as much as I love movies (and I LOVE them), I don’t actually watch many new ones. I tend to view films when I feel like it, and my interest has little to do with release schedules. I do go to the theater, but not that often, and usually to see older stuff. (Also, I was sick for a really long time last year and didn’t get out much.) My top 10 for 2012 list is a little different than most because it’s what I watched in 2012—not what came out. The only rule: it cannot be something I have seen before. (Otherwise it would just be all Hitchcock and John Carpenter.) Runners up include In Name Only (1939), Ball of Fire (1941), Public Speaking (2010), Sound of my Voice (2011), The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007), Magic Mike (2012), 2 Days in New York (2012), Three Godfathers (1936), and Cave of Forgotten Dreams (2011). There is one movie that I saw, The Gatekeepers (2012), that would have made the list pretty near the top, but it is not being released for a while, so I’m leaving a space for it on next year’s list.
As long as Sony rwants to hold on to the rights of Spider-Man, we’re probably going to continue getting a new film every few years. As successful as the previous iterations were, it was unsustainable in the long term due to the cost, though despite the failure of the third movie, I was still a fan of the series. Upon the initial news announcing the production of The Amazing Spider-Man, as well as through most of the advertising leading up to the release, I have been fairly skeptical about it. Thankfully the advertising didn’t live up to the reality.
Considering the pedigree of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo—a fiercely successful novel and well-regarded Swedish film already exist—director David Fincher would have had to try really hard to mess this movie up. Since he is not a moron, this movie is well made, interesting, and slick; beautiful people in a dark and brutal world ponder a complicated mystery and exciting things happen. I don’t really think this movie was necessary, what with there being a pretty good film made of this book already, but I can understand why it was made: Hollywood would have been leaving money on the table by not making an English language remake.
Another MacGuffin Film Podcast Top 5′s segment. Inspired by the film Moneyball, Brandi and Allen share their top 5 Brad Pitt films.
This segment is also available on Stitcher, iTunes, and Zune. The audio version can be downloaded directly from here. After you’ve watched the video please vote in our poll and share which one you think is the best.
In September 1995, another serial killer film was released. Two cops, one about to retire, the other new to the big city—sounds about as cliché as they come. The killer has a theme that he follows. The dark and spooky trailer has lines such as “this is not going to have a happy ending.” The director had one previous film under his belt, which was the third (and least favorite) of a film franchise. It didn’t really add up to much on paper. But onscreen, it was an understated masterpiece.
A lot of people see ‘product placement’ as a dirty term, where faceless advertising companies diminish all artistic merit from film and instead use them as advertisements to hawk their branded wares to the public. We’ve all seen it; sometimes it can be subtle and sometimes blatant, like Nintendo’s promotion in the 1989 film The Wizard, which created my lifelong unfulfilled need for a Power Glove. I never knew one kid who actually owned a Power Glove, but the idea that out there somewhere a child sat at Christmas of 1989 and unwrapped a brand new one still gives me a slight pang of jealousy. This probably says more about my own stilted emotional growth, but I like to think it shows how intoxicating product placement can actually be. Brands and products are shown in movies in such an awe-inspiring and positive light that it’s only natural that we want in on them too, especially as children. On the surface, product placement appears to be a modern invention created by cynical advertising companies attempting to covertly reach our consumer driven society, but it’s really been here for a long, long time.