Scene Stealers

Tarantino goes old-school with 'Hateful Eight,' and 'Joy' is nothing to be happy about

Eric Melin

As if the Christmas movie marketplace wasn’t already crowded enough, more awards-season contenders have come out this week than ever before. The one real contender is probably the film no one would ever have predicted: the formally challenging financial-collapse comedy/drama **“The Big Short”** from “Anchorman” director Adam McKay. That must-see ...

Is the Force strong with this one? A spoiler-free review of the new 'Star Wars'

Eric Melin

http://www.lawrence.com/photos/2015/dec/16/300724/ There’s nothing like seeing a favorite movie from your childhood for the first time in almost 20 years to make you feel old. That’s about how long it’s been since I saw George Lucas’ first “Star Wars.” Of course, I saw it about 10 times in the theater in ...

Watch this now: Netflix and Amazon storm awards season

Eric Melin

Every January when the Academy Award nominations are announced, movie fans all over the world scan the ballots to see which movies they need to catch up on. Some of the films nominated will be playing in theaters, and some will have already been released on Blu-ray/DVD, but this year ...

KU professor publishes interviews with screen legends; 'Brooklyn' idealizes immigration in the 1950s

Eric Melin

When Kansas University Professor **John Tibbetts** began interviewing international movie directors, cinematographers, editors, composers, and others behind the camera, he always had an eye on the future. “I intended from the outset to bring these conversations into my classrooms. I never saw them as merely subjects for television/radio broadcasts,” Tibbetts ...

'Hunger Games' series grinds down while 'Apu Trilogy' is triumphantly restored

Eric Melin

With the lyric “Meet the new boss/Same as the old boss,” The Who’s “Won’t Get Fooled Again” might have been a good theme song for **“The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2.”** It applies not only to the story of reluctant hero Katniss Everdeen (**Jennifer Lawrence**) and the citizens of Panem, ...

Greed is good in '99 Homes'; the watchable awfulness of 'Dangerous Men'

Eric Melin

When Oliver Stone’s “Wall Street” was released in 1987, a classic villain was born. Power-hungry corporate player Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas) broke the law, got rich, and espoused that “greed, for lack of a better term, is good.” Ninety-nine percent of America understood that Gekko was the bad guy, but ...

'Spectre' pays tribute to the ghosts of Bond films past, for better or worse

Eric Melin

**“Spectre,”** the 24th official James Bond movie in the Eon Productions series, is the most “Bond” movie since **Daniel Craig** took over the lead role in 2006. Name any quality of classic Bond — stylish costumes, international locations, outlandish action scenes, martinis, slick cars, spy gadgetry, gorgeous women, silent henchmen, ...

'Our Brand is Crisis' and 'Steve Jobs' mine true stories to create complete fiction

Eric Melin

Where do you draw the line when a movie is based on a true story? It’s a tough question for every filmgoer to answer, and it's different with every movie. One notion however, is clear: There is a certain perspective and level of expectation when you are led to believe ...

Get weird on Halloween with a David Lynch double feature

Eric Melin

http://www.lawrence.com/photos/2015/oct/22/298276/ The horror movie genre exists because people love to be scared. Take one look at a list of “horror” movies streaming online, though, and you’ll see a ton of gory slasher pictures and sequel after lame sequel that aren’t scary at all. Fear is trickier than that. It manifests ...

The suspense of 'Bridge of Spies' and 'Goodnight Mommy'

Eric Melin

With movies like “Apollo 13,” “Saving Private Ryan,” and “Captain Phillips,” **Tom Hanks** proved himself to be the symbol of historical American heroism. Now, with the new **Steven Spielberg**-directed drama **“Bridge of Spies,”** he has firmly cemented himself as the perfect representative of something even more relevant in complicated modern ...

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