Today’s Favorite: Breakthroughs in Big-Screen Visual Artistry

The Wizard of Oz enchanted audiences with a wonderland of color that made moviegoing more vivid and exuberantly engaging. When Star Wars opened in 1977, it represented a giant leap forward in the art of visual effects and sound effects. Tron gave us an aesthetic experience through computers that was unlike anything we'd seen before. With Toy Story, the world of feature animation changed.Recently, I've seen three films that I think should be included on any list of groundbreaking, pioneering … [Read more...]

Today’s Favorite: Dupery (“We’re here to view the tapestries.”)

What's your favorite scene of one character pulling the wool over another character's eyes in order to distract them so that he, she, or others can sneak past unnoticed?I love Fozzie Bear and Kermit the Frog posing as "The Pizza Twins" in The Great Muppet Caper, taking an order so their pals can get through to the Mallory Gallery in their quest to foil the theft of the Baseball Diamond.I'm fond of Indiana Jones's posing as a Scottish lord in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, even if it … [Read more...]

Today’s favorite: Reunion Scenes

I once experienced a reunion that left me absolutely speechless. I was working in a video store when I got to know an interesting young couple. Regularly, they'd visit the store and ask, "So, Jeff, what should we watch tonight?" I'd recommend something, and off they'd go without bothering to do any more browsing.Years later, I saw the fellow at a bus stop. He looked world-weary and a little lost. I asked him how he and his girlfriend were doing. His bus pulled up. He turned and looked at me … [Read more...]

Today’s favorite: Kidnapped!

I'm working on a scene that involves a character who has wandered off from his traveling companions is coming back to announce that he's found what they all came looking for. He's almost there, when suddenly he's SURPRISED BY KIDNAPPERS, and he doesn't see his friends again for months.This has me thinking back through my favorite kidnapping scenes at the movies. … [Read more...]

Today’s Favorite: Bullies

I've just seen Ben X, which is to movies about kids and bullies what The Passion of the Christ is to movies about persecuted messiahs. I've also just seen Choking Man, about an immigrant who suffers mockery at work because he doesn't speak much English. … [Read more...]

Today’s favorite: The expository revelation speech

This "today's favorite" challenge is a tough one. … [Read more...]

Today’s Favorite: “The Help”

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Today’s Favorite: Dragons!

Guillermo del Toro has said that he cannot wait to bring Smaug to life in the big-screen version of The Hobbit. … [Read more...]

Today’s Favorite – Spooky Places, Memorable Pubs

This weekend, I discovered a journal that I kept in college. In those pages, I wrote brief descriptions of my favorite big-screen moments, much the way the critics who write for FilmComment have done in their annual year-end issue.It was inspiring to read back through pages of pages of great moments from movies that range from great to disposable.I was inspired to spend more time inquiring about your own favorite moments.So, from time to time I'm going to post "Today's Favorite", and … [Read more...]