Category: The Essentials

Game of Thrones Recap: Hardhome

Game of Thrones Recap: Hardhome
Yasss. This is what we’re talking about, Game of Thrones. After suffering through a few episodes that ranged from middling to quite objectionable, we got an hour of TV that was as riveting during its quiet moments as it was during the big action set piece at the end. And…hmmm…who was missing from this episode?... Read more »

21 Non-Romantic Love Stories for Valentine's Day...and Beyond

Sisters: In Frozen, Anna and Elsa discover that the love of family trumps all. Bonus: Adorable snowman!
Valentine’s Day.  Barf. On and around February 14, there’s so much focus on romantic love that all the other kinds of love get pushed to the side. Well, no more! On Parks & Rec, Leslie Knope loves to celebrate her lady friends on February 13 (Galentine’s Day). Let’s follow her lead. Today we celebrate all... Read more »

Remembering Tony Scott: His 5 Essential Films

1. CRIMSON TIDE (1995).  Probably my favorite of all of Tony Scott's movies.  Denzel vs. Hackman is a movie star match-up for the ages.  Both actors tear into their roles, and if Washington's character proves more sympathetic at times, the movie does a fantastic job of stacking the deck equally for each character.  The suspense is almost unbearable at times, and the stakes (nuclear war triggering World War III) couldn't be higher.  Crimson Tide delves into interesting and morally complicated subject matter, but does it all with tremendous wit and style, never sacrificing entertainment at the expense of art, though it's a perfect example of both.
The film world lost one of its great modern visionaries with Sunday’s passing of Tony Scott.  Though he never received the critical notices and awards love shown to his brother Ridley, Tony Scott was a huge success in his own right.  With Top Gun in 1986, he practically ushered in the slick action blockbuster, and,... Read more »

Movie Essentials: March Madness Edition

Movie Essentials: March Madness Edition
We’ve got a basketball jones! With the impressive Bulls playing like the team I grew up hating as a kid in Michigan (though I’m a fan now) and with March Madness just around the corner (go Butler!), Hammervision is highlighting the “essential” basketball movies.  Now, before you get all hot and bothered and say, “but... Read more »

Movie Essentials: Matt Damon

In honor of this weekend’s release of the oft-delayed The Adjustment Bureau, starring Matt Damon and Emily Blunt, I thought I’d take the time to highlight the essential films of Mr. Damon.  He’s had quite the successful career in Hollywood.  He started as a highly employable young actor, but only really became a household name... Read more »

Movie Essentials: Best Supporting Actress Nominees (2010)

Despite my misgivings about the Coen Brothers overwriting her character, Steinfeld proves adept at handling some tricky dialogue and holding her own against the likes of Jeff Bridges and Matt Damon.  A lead role, true, but she stands a better chance of winning in this category, so good call.
The Best Supporting Actress category usually offers the biggest surprises on Oscar night.  Who could have predicted Marisa Tomei back in ’92?  Or Marcia Gay Harden for Pollock in ’00?  This year’s nominees are a strong bunch, with two of the strongest (Amy Adams and Melissa Leo) coming from the same movie.  Lil’ Hailee Steinfeld has... Read more »

Movie Essentials: Best Supporting Actor Nominees 2010

Not too many people have seen performance artist Miranda July's lovably offbeat romance.  In what was likely a big change for him, Hawkes gets to play the leading man and love interest.  That's how you know this is an independently financed film - Hollywood would never have the balls to allow such a thing to happen.
This year’s crop of Best Supporting Actor nominees is a strong, likeable one.  Every actor nominated has put in years of work in Hollywood to get this to the point.  Some have been nominated before (Rush, Renner), and some amazingly haven’t (Bale, Ruffalo).  Some are born character actors (Hawkes), while others are born leading men... Read more »

Movie Essentials: Best Actress Nominees 2010

Essential Jennifer Lawrence?  Yup.  You're looking at it.  This is it.  Unless you count her stint as a daughter on The Bill Engvall Show.  Which I don't.  Lawrence has a promising career ahead of her though so this is just the beginning.  You'll be able to see her next as Mystique in this summer's X-Men: First Class.
In past years, the Academy was hard-pressed to find five leading actress roles worthy of a nomination.  That’s not a knock against women or the actresses themselves, it just means that Hollywood regularly neglects films with strong, interesting women at the center.  Thankfully, that’s not the case this year.  All five nominees were given a... Read more »

Movie Essentials: Best Actor Nominees 2010

The last third of the movie kind of falls apart, but for two-thirds (pretty much whenever Bardem is on screen), No Country works like gangbusters.  Bardem is chilling and wickedly, entertainingly evil as the relentless Anton Chigur.  So good, he earned Oscar gold for Best Supporting Actor that year.
The Essentials are back!  After running down the 10 essential films of each year from 1979-2010 (check out the “Best Of Lists” tab above for more), Hammervision is now taking it upon itself to highlight the 3 “Essential” movies of each of the acting and directing nominees, where possible (I’m talking to you, Hailee Steinfeld).... Read more »

Movie Essentials: 2009

10. ZOMBIELAND. Stylishly funny and wickedly demented, Zombieland kicks serious ass and features a truly great A-list star cameo.  Jesse Eisenberg and Emma Stone are just getting warmed up - they're both going to have very long careers.
If you can remember all the way back to last year, then you’ll know that 2009 saw the rise of the Swine Flu.  Michael Jackson passed away in June (the same day as Farrah Fawcett).  Balloon Boy pulled a fast one on media outlets everywhere.  Bill Clinton met with Kim Jong-Il in North Korea to... Read more »