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Movie Issues: Best Movies of 2015

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Movie Issues: Best Movies of 2015

It’s a new year and it’s time for a new Movie Issues! Leland is back to talk trash about good and bad movies, bringing along a new cast of crazy cohosts that are just as movie crazed as he is. For this new/first episode of 2016 we say goodbye to David Bowie, Alan Rickman and then the guys recount some of the best movies of 2015. So please download and enjoy.  Read On

Movie Issues Oscar Contest 2015

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Movie Issues Oscar Contest 2015

It’s that time of year again where Hollywood honors itself with awards. We here at Movie Issues HQ always enjoy doing a little contest to see who can pick the most winners, and this year is no different. So please fill out an Oscar Ballot from any source you want, e-mail it to movieissues@gmail.com or Facebook message us before February 22nd, and see if you’re the one who wins a copy of Disney’s Big Hero 6, and whatever else we deem worthy from the Wal-Mart 5 dollar bin. So send your ballot in today!! Win yourself some happy!

OscarsPicks2015

The Oscar Host

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The Oscar Host

Each year people gather to watch The Academy Awards (AKA The Oscars), to vote for their favorites, and celebrate their love of film. Is it seeing their favorite stars? Seeing what they’re wearing? Enjoying and discussing the winning movies? Yes, all that happens. But what is always talked about the next day is how did The Host do? With over 84 years worth of hosts, there have been some bad ones and some great ones.

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Movie Issues: The Oscar Contest

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Movie Issues: The Oscar Contest

 

That’s right folks, You read it correct. We here at Movie Issues HQ have decided to have an Oscar Contest. All you have to do is fill out any Oscar ballot with your winners and send it over to movieIssues@gmail.com before February 23 and you will be automatically entered into the contest where you’ll be in the running to win a Movie Issues goody bag filled with fun. But most of all, it will have a BluRay/DVD of Disney’s Wreck-It-Ralph.

It’s that easy folks!

Email: movieissues@gmail.com

Like us Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/movieissues

Follow us over at Twitter: @movieissues

And good luck to everyone who enters!

Jane Eyre (2011)

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Jane Eyre (2011)

As many long-suffering high schoolers did, I read Jane Eyre in 9th grade and hated it.  Later, of course, I reread it and loved it!  Even as I warmed to Charlotte Bronte’s surprisingly astute judge of the psychological damage inflicted by the callous societal attitudes of the day, I never really got why Jane went for Mr. Rochester.  Simple as that.  In a culture of withholding and cruelty, his “charms” could best be described as “as expected” rather than alluring on any level.

In this adaptation, screenwriter Moira Buffini and director Cary Fukunaga finally helped me get it.  From Rochester’s hysterical secret to Jane’s default setting of undeservingness, Buffini takes them both to a place of mutual respect and understanding.  It may not necessarily be true to the text as such (it has been quite a while) but it’s true to the spirit of Jane.

Casting Michael Fassbender (Inglourious Basterds) as the glowering antihero was equally as inspired a choice as using Colin Firth in 1995’s Pride and Prejudice:  both of them are unconventionally handsome and gentle actors thrust into roles that radiate unpleasantness and are difficult to warm to.  Rochester’s irrational grumps and rages feel more human coming out of Fassbender, not unlike Firth’s cold and cutting remarks.  It’s the only way to insert humanity into them onscreen in the truncated time span of a film.

Mia Wasikowska’s Jane is stoic and unselfconsciously beautiful, frail-looking but strong as bamboo when tried.  We can see all her internal scars, feel the effects of her abusive upbringing, even as the movie is forced to rush through the extent of it.  From such a barren life grows a fierce weed, almost mannish her lack of guile or vanity — and from thence her appeal.  It’s funny how literary and contemporary men always decry women for leaving their feminine place, but are yet always drawn to the outspoken, independent, fearless women they decry.

This version of Jane Eyre is light on Rochester being cruel to her himself, and in that fails the story just a little — but I confess I enjoyed it more for that.  I also liked the sense of Rochester being in the world when Jane has not been.  Not only in terms of his bastard ward, but just his whole clearly grown-up-ness and jaded weariness — yet still he is weaker than this beaten down servant girl.

My one quibble is a sort of narrative device that confused me — and likely might have done for anyone who hadn’t read the book at all.  The whole episode with St. John Rivers (Jamie Bell) and his sisters, I had forgotten happened at all.  So when we’re shown the flight across the — moors? heath? — by Jane, twice, it’s not immediately evident where it falls in the timeline, both times.  It can be worked out and it’s not vital, but it rendered a scene a little contextually confusing, implying through editing that Rivers helped her find her job at Thornfield, the Rochester house.  It’s only a quibble.  I enjoyed this film very much.  I hope you will too.

MPAA Rating PG-13

Release date 3/11/11

Time in minutes 120

Director Cary Fukunaga

Studio Focus Features

Oscar-Nominated Short Films of 2010

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Oscar-Nominated Short Films of 2010

It’s difficult to see the Oscar nominated shorts — they play obscure or international festivals, throwing Oscar pools into disarray and forcing people to guess based on whatever available production team they can uncover. “Oh, Pixar? I’ll pick that one.” “It’s about Nazis? Yeah just choose that one.” The shorts, all 10 in one screening, are available for viewing in short bursts at your bigger art-house theatres, and I do entreat you to go if you are at all interested. There is a reason these five are chosen from a morass of shorts — in this day and age, anyone can make a credibly slick-looking film, but it is still a rare confluence of wonderfulness for the film to look, sound, and feel like real art.

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James Franco Asks for Help Hosting the Oscars

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James Franco Asks for Help Hosting the Oscars

The Academy Awards are quickly approaching, and first time co-host James Franco is feeling a bit overwhelmed.  The pressures of hosting in front of all the actors and in front of a huge television audience are getting to Franco, so he’s turning to a friend for advice. In this video from Funny or Die, Franco Skypes his close friend Judd Apatow for some advice on how to host the Oscars.

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True Grit

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True Grit

Full disclosure: The first two times I tried to watch this Coen Brothers remake of John Wayne’s 1969 film, I fell right asleep.

I’m a fan of the Coens’ sensibility nearly across the board, and of stars Jeff Bridges and Matt Damon. I was impressed by Hailee Steinfeld’s turn as 14 year-old spitfire Maddie Ross and tickled to see my long-ago acting teacher have a nice long chewy courtroom scene with Bridges. Is it just that it’s a western that sent me packing with the sandman? Twice?

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