Tag: essentials

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: 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 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 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 »

Get Your Blizzard On: 16 Films That Are Essential to Your Snow Survival

And sometimes those creatures are NAZI ZOMBIES.
Snowmageddon is upon us.  What will you do while you wait in your house with no heat and no electricity and only a single can of expired pinto beans for sustenance?  How will you pass the time as you wait for the zombies to come and make a meal out of you? Why, you’ll watch... Read more »

How "Essential" Are You?

31 years (starting from my birth year).  310 movies.  The Essential movies.  It’s been quite a journey getting to this point.  Now that we’re all caught up, and while we’re waiting for the remaining big-ticket flicks of 2010 to be released so I can finally unleash my Best Of/Worst Of list for the year, I... 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 »

Movie Essentials: 2008

10. LET THE RIGHT ONE IN. This Swedish import was recently given the Hollywood remake treatment.  I loved the remake, and find it to be just as good as the original.  This one did it first though, and did it near-perfectly.  Screw those Twilight bloodsucker teens, for a real clue as to how to mine the vampire genre for hidden meaning and subtext, let this one in.  Both scary and touching.
In 2008, Barack Obama defeated John McCain to become the first African-American President of the United States.  Heath Ledger died of an accidental prescription drug overdose.  Miley Cyrus drew controversy by posing with a bare back and shoulders in Vanity Fair.  Madonna turned 50.  Blu-Ray beat HD-DVD in the high definition format war.  T.I. scored... Read more »

Movie Essentials: Leslie Nielsen

THE NAKED GUN 2 1/2: THE SMELL OF FEAR..  Nielsen reprised his role as Drebin in this above average sequel.
On Sunday, November 28, 2010, the film world lost one of its great comedic actors when Leslie Nielsen passed away at the age of 84.  Born in Canada, Nielsen started off his acting career beginning with television in 1948 – two years later, he had logged over 50 appearances.  Films followed, and though he took... Read more »

Movie Essentials: 2007

10. THE ORPHANAGE. This is the rare horror movie that doesn't rely solely on scares to goose the audience.  The story is actually compelling for a change and the mystery at its center is chilling.  By movie's end, I was deeply touched by the Peter Pan-like turn the movie takes.
In 2007, the Mitchell Report was published, showing the widespread use of steroids in Major League Baseball and forever tarnishing the legacies of some of our biggest idols.  Nancy Pelosi was elected the first female Speaker of the U.S. Congress.  Apple introduced the iPhone.  J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was released and... Read more »