I’ve done it, guys—I did Elvis! To be specific, I did all 31 Elvis films, two a week, in about four months time. This has been a wild ride, and I thank all of you that have followed me through it.
If you remember, I set out on this journey with merely a passing fascination for Elvis, and a huge ambivalence toward his films. I finish this journey with now a plethora of Elvis film knowledge, an Elvis t-shirt, a vintage Elvis belt buckle (gifted to me randomly!), copies of both Peter Guralnick Elvis biographies (Last Train to Memphis and Careless Love: The Unmaking of Elvis Presley) and a small collection of very attractive Elvis JPEGs saved on my desktop.
I like to think that this project has changed me for the better—I now know what it’s like to soar with Elvis at his highest highs, and cringe for him at his lowest lows. I did genuinely have a lot of fun with these; there’s something very watchable about these movies, which I can’t say for most crappy ‘60s films. I’m sure it would have been a different experience had I been there when they were coming out, but to view them as a retrospective has been a real trip.
Elvis was just fun—he embodied that pure, unfettered, visceral feeling of singing and dancing your heart out. It was that force that made sequin jumpsuits look cool and shaking your ass look manly. Heck, he even made womanizing look like fun for everyone. And his movies, like himself, were equally as unpretentious and easy to digest. While the plots were often inane and the music quality dropped severely throughout, you always came wanted to come back and see what Elvis was up to this time. Some of these are worth sitting through just for that one song, or that one performance, or one scene of Elvis kissing three brides on the mouth before he gives them away to their husbands on their wedding day. I now truly understand how Elvis became such a larger-than-life presence– that unachievable ideal that eventually brought Elvis himself to his knees.
But I digress. Lets take one last trip though Elvis film-review-land with his 31st and final film:
Continue reading Jenna Does Elvis #16 – Change of Habit (1969) / Complete Elvis Ranking
Alfred Hitchcock was not just one of the great stylists of the film world, but also one of its great fonts as well, with 53 feature films and a score of TV works, in just about every pre-modern format imaginable, from tinted silent black-and-white to special effects-soaked technicolor. I thought it’d be fun to take a look at some of the moments in his work that really click for me. So, here’s my very personal and by no means exhaustive list of my favorite Hitchcock shots:
Continue reading The 13 Best Hitchcock Shots
It’s obligatory. Top 10 lists have become a staple of film writing. Web content producers have long known that humans have an innate psychological attraction to lists, and what causes it I can’t exactly say. Is it the compartmentalization of ideas? An enticing sense of exclusivity? Regardless, I love them. I can’t get enough of seeing what everybody’s favorites are, even when they start looking more and more like the same list repeatedly.
So, why not throw my hat in the ring with the rest of ‘em? I saw 54 movies this year (55 if you split Nymphomaniac) and out of those I liked about 30 or so. There’s still a lot of big ones that I either missed or haven’t been released in my area yet (namely Inherent Vice and A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night) but I’ll give you what I’ve got. And because we all love the suspense, it’s in countdown format:
Continue reading Brad Avery’s Top 10 of 2014
An honorable mention.
Ah yes, December. The month in which we all gather round the fireplace with a warm glass of wassail, cozy up to our loved ones, and talk about how many movies we regretted spending thirteen bucks on over the last twelve months.
Just kidding—I was actually pretty impressed with 2014 overall as far as new releases went. Of the 103 movies I watched this year—26 of which came out this year—I found that I enjoyed most of the new releases. I only actively disliked about one of them, Gone Girl). So, whereas 2013 was a year of ‘meh’ for me, I’d say 2014 was a year of three-star or higher films—a good solid year.
Continue reading Jenna Ipcar’s Top 5 of 2014
This is our 250th post! Woo! That’s a hell of a lot of posts, and even if you’re a fan of the site, you probably haven’t read all of them. So, here’s a list of some posts that have slipped through the cracks and don’t have as many views as some others, but are great and certainly worth checking out:
Proposed Double Feature: ‘The 400 Blows’ & ‘The Creature Who Walks Among Us’ | by John D’Amico
Continue reading 10 Underrated Smug Film Posts