2000s

Ocean’s Eleven (2001)

June 7, 2018

The decision to remake Ocean’s 11 with an ensemble cast of stars led to an incredible amount of turnover as stars became attached then had to bail out because of other film commitments. But with the final eleven actors locked in as Danny Ocean’s team of thieves, not to mention Andy Garcia and Julia Roberts in supporting roles, it’s hard to imagine the film working with any other cast except George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon and the rest of the gang. Join us as we continue our Ocean’s series with Steven Soderbergh’s 2001 remake, Ocean’s Eleven

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Timecrimes

May 3, 2018

After receiving an Oscar nomination for his short film 7:35 de la mañana, Spanish director Nacho Vigalondo went to work using his moment of glory to get his first feature written and financed. As is so often the case, he finally got it released years later, but Timecrimes was critically acclaimed and became quite the sci-fi festival darling. Unfortunately, it wouldn’t get the push it needed for its theatrical release and it died a quiet death at the box office. Luckily, its quality has kept people talking about it and watching it. Join us as we kick off our Time Travel series with Vigalondo’s 2007 film Timecrimes

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Lady Vengeance

April 5, 2018

After the box office failure of Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance and the box office success of Oldboy, Park Chan-Wook wanted to continue with the themes he’d been exploring of revenge but he wasn’t sure what angle to use. That’s when he struck on the idea of having a female protagonist. That, paired with the concept of justified vengeance, gave Park the idea he needed and Lady Vengeance was born. Join us – Pete Wright and Andy Nelson – as we wrap up our series on Park Chan-Wook’s unofficial vengeance trilogy with his 2005 film Lady Vengeance

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Oldboy

March 29, 2018

After the box office failure of his previous film, Park Chan-Wook worked hard with his next script to make something that would really draw people in. He cast two of South Korea’s biggest stars to play the leads and based it on a successful manga comic, weaving a dark mystery together that was very operatic. And it worked! His 2003 film Oldboy was a huge box office success and garnered incredible praise for everyone involved. It also helped establish Park as a filmmaker of note. Join us — Pete Wright and Andy Nelson — as we continue our series on Park Chan-Wook’s Vengeance Trilogy with his film Oldboy

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Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance

March 22, 2018

Park Chan-Wook never set out to make a trilogy. His ‘vengeance trilogy,’ in fact, only was later dubbed that by international critics who felt the three films were connected through themes of revenge, violence, and salvation. Luckily, he was able to make the second and third films in this ‘trilogy’ because this first one didn’t connect with audiences and it lost money. Join us as we kick off a new series looking at Park Chan-Wook’s Vengeance Trilogy with his 2002 film Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance. 

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Live Free or Die Hard

January 18, 2018

Making a sequel is always a challenge, but making the fourth film in a franchise after a 12-year hiatus seems like a recipe for disaster. Luckily, the team behind Live Free or Die Hard found a director who was a huge fan of the franchise and worked hard with his team to not just make a great film but to really make a sequel to the original film that was better than the others. Join us as we continue our Die Hard series with Wiseman’s 2007 film Live Free or Die Hard.

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The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest

December 21, 2017

Stieg Larsson had plans to write an entire series of Millennium novels, but unfortunately died having only written three of them. Because of this, they’re often referred to as the Millennium trilogy. Sure, they have the same characters largely and are centered around the Millennium magazine, but it’s not really a trilogy per se. That being said, when making the three films, it didn’t stop the team from shooting them all back to back to keep the story as cohesive as possible. It doesn’t help that the third film, Daniel Alfredson’s 2009 The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest, starts to feel a bit like the storytellers are stretching credulity a bit.

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The Girl Who Played with Fire

December 14, 2017

Stieg Larsson’s second novel in the Millennium trilogy, “The Girl Who Played With Fire,” saw the continuation of the story of Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomqvist while they try to stop a sex trafficking ring in Sweden. The whole trilogy of books was a massive success, but the film version was given half the budget of the first film for some reason, while also being paired with a different director. Daniel Alfredson put together an effective film, even if it feels a bit average at times.

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The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

December 7, 2017

With the international success of Stieg Larsson’s novel “Men Who Hate Women” and its sequels, it was inevitable that a cinematic version would be made. The three films that make up Larsson’s ‘Millennium Trilogy’ were made back to back and were all released in Sweden in 2009 before making their way around the world to financial and critical success. The first film, Niels Arden Oplev’s The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, introduced the world cinematically to both Lisbeth Salander and the actress who portrayed her – Noomie Rapace.

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The Secret in Their Eyes

November 16, 2017

Anyone who has seen a Ricardo Darín film knows he has very expressive eyes. The actors in the 2009 film El Secreto de Sus Ojos, or The Secret in Their Eyes, had to have more than just expressive eyes, though. They had to be able to carry heavy amounts of subtext in their eyes. And while director Juan José Campanella’s film is largely a detective story as Darín and his team work to solve a cold case, it’s also a story about unrequited love. Luckily, Campanella had worked with Darín before so he knew Darín could do it. And Darín pulls it off effortlessly, along with his costars Soledad Villamil and Guillermo Francella. Join us as we continue our series on actor Ricardo Darín with Campanella’s 2009 film The Secret in Their Eyes

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