Tuesday, September 13, 2011

For your consideration — "Prophets and losses" edition

In which I, yours truly, am apparently a prophet, or something, of the Real Donnie Darko. This guy's relationship with the movie is ... um ...  unique.

Slate: Buy the Citizen Kane Blu-ray — You haven't seen the Orson Welles classic until you've seen this newly restored version. Over at DVD Savant, Glenn Erickson gives this release his own ample approval.

Also at Slate: Orson Welles' The Magnificent Ambersons finally comes to DVD — The original version may be lost to history, but even the compromised studio cut is a masterpiece.

On a related note, The Many Noses of Orson Welles.

indieWIRE: TIFF List 2011: The Complete Toronto Film Festival LineupFall Movie Preview: The 30 Must-See IndiesIW's blogs (a strong, varied bunch)

Total Film: 39 Actors & Directors On Their Best Movies and 30 Greatest Modern Monster Movies, which kicks off with Troll Hunter.

The Telegraph: Ten Films That Changed the World — Much to argue about here, of course (the reader comments express the typical range of additive insight and subtractive sputtering flapdoodle), but still some surprising, interesting choices. Now to get a hold of Repentance.

Wired: Stop Buying Death Stars — Adam Rawnsley reports on Lieutenant Colonel Dan Ward's paper (pdf) using the Death Star as a metaphor for the poor state of DoD acquisition practices:
It’s embarrassing enough that the galaxy’s supposedly most fearsome weapon was felled by crappy duct work. But it was entirely predictable. A project so big and complex, Ward writes, will invariably stretch the oversight capabilities of acquisition staff. In this case, it led to manufacturing delays and prevented the Empire from realizing that one of its thermal exhaust ports was a de-facto self-destruct button. Moreover, for all the expense poured into it – $15.6 septillion and 94 cents, to be precise — the Death Star is destroyed twice and in its two iterations only ever manages to get off a single shot...Star Wars holds lessons about what to buy as well as what not to. Ward contends that the humble droid mechs represent a better acquisition path than Death Stars.
See also The Economics of Death Star Planet Destruction at Overthinking It.

Of course, Robot Chicken got there first.

NPR: Twenty Iconic Male Movie Roles In Which Helen Mirren Would Have Ruled — My suggestion: James T. Kirk.

/Film: 2011 Summer Movie Attendance Was the Lowest Since 1997

Time: Top 10 Worst Fake British Accents — In light of Anne Hathaway's mangling of the Queen's English in One Day, Time pays tribute to those thespians who have struggled through the years to pull off a convincing British accent. (I'm off to London this Saturday, so will practice thoroughly ahead of time. Last time I had my London accent down pat, although returned home over-using "lovely" as an all-purpose expression of agreeability.)

The New Yorker: Sean Penn vs. Terrence Malick — He doesn't like the movie or understand his character's relevance within it. I did like the movie quite a lot, but I gotta say I'm with him on the position of his role.

news.scotsman.com: Lost Great Escape tunnel is pinpointed — "Its location at the camp, immortalised in the Hollywood blockbuster The Great Escape starring Steve McQueen, Richard Attenborough and Donald Pleasance, remained a mystery until experts arrived in August and spent three weeks excavating the relics."

NYT: What Spooks the Masters of Horror?

John Scalzi: What Makes a Scifi Film a Classic?  

Engadget: Samsung cites '2001: A Space Odyssey' in Apple case — Um...

Jim Emerson: Living, breathing movie stills — "CinematoGIFs" by Gusaf Mantel.

blastr: Was Childs THE THING? One fan seeks to prove itGlenn Erickson pointed me to Rob Ager's compelling video analysis (in two parts) of John Carpenter's The Thing. Ager puts plenty of Sherlockian thought into the mystery of who's a Thing and when, with an enlightening interpretation of the final scene. This piece dovetails neatly with Peter Watts' acclaimed 2010 short story, "The Things," which gives us the movie's narrative from the alien's point of view.