Category Archives: Thriller

My Top 10 Films of 2017

The tradition continues. I’ve been documenting my top films of the year since 2002, when Bowling for Columbine took the top spot. This past year had some real gems, including those that made this list, as well as some that didn’t, like low-budget indie The Florida Project and large-scale blockbuster Beauty and the Beast. Check out my 2017 list, then tell me what made your list.

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Short Film: “Doodlebug” by Christopher Nolan

Doodlebug

Christopher Nolan’s first IMDb credit came for writing, directing, shooting, editing, and set designing his 3-minute short film, “Doodlebug” (1997). The black-and-white, noirish film was made while Nolan (then credited as “Chris”) was studying English literature at university. Its lone performer, Jeremy Theobald, later starred in Nolan’s feature debut, Following (1998), another black-and-white noir just a year later.

It doesn’t take much to notice the early stages of Nolan’s evolving “film mind” in this brief piece. The various levels of reality at play here are fully on display in a greater form in Nolan’s 2010 film, Inception.

Now, see how it all began for the modern master…

2015 Limité Film Guide: Staff Picks

(Re-posted from LimitéMagazine.com)

John Boyega in STAR WARS: EPISODE VII – THE FORCE AWAKENS (photo courtesy of Lucasfilm Ltd. © 2014. All rights reserved.)

Breathe deep. Following lackluster box office numbers of late, 2015 is aiming to usher in a wealth of cinematic riches with an onslaught of proven tentpoles. Such films scheduled with 2015 release dates includeFurious 7, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Pitch Perfect 2, Jurassic World,Ted 2, Spectre (“Bond 24”), <exhale> The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2, Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens, and Mission: Impossible 5 <exhale>. But in case that’s not enough to quench your appetite, there’s Peanuts coming in November. That doesn’t hit your sweet spot? Fifty Shades of Grey bows in February.

Each of Limité’s Film writers presents 10 of her or his most-anticipated films of 2015. Check out their picks, then tell us what you’re looking forward to seeing in the new year.

All synopses are courtesy of IMDb.com, unless otherwise noted. As films are in various stages of production, information is subject to change, including release dates.

Click here to view the full guide.

New York Film Festival Review: Citizenfour

(Re-posted from LimitéMagazine.com)

Edward Snowden and reporter Glenn Greenwald in CITIZENFOUR

Series: Special Presentation (World Premiere)

Who would have thought the year’s greatest thriller would be a documentary? In the days following Citizenfour’s world premiere at the New York Film Festival last Friday, various news and entertainment outlets have been lauding filmmaker Laura Poitras’s achievement, and rightfully so. Of all the films this reviewer screened at the 52nd New York Film Festival, none has left an impact quite as deep as Citizenfour.

Continue reading New York Film Festival Review: Citizenfour

Alternate Posters for GRAVITY

Check out these terrific alternate posters for Gravity, courtesy of ShortList.com. These are my three favorites, but click here for more.

[Throwback Thursday] Q&A: Aaron Guzikowski, Screenwriter of PRISONERS

On August 24, 2009, LimitéMagazine.com originally posted my exclusive interview with Aaron Guzikowski, screenwriter of the upcoming film Prisoners, starring Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal. At the time, the film was due for a release in late 2009, but after some delays, it will finally hit the big screen this September 20, following screenings at the Telluride and Toronto International Film Festivals. In the meantime, Guzikowski’s first produced screenplay, Contraband, made waves at theatres last year with Mark Wahlberg’s and Kate Beckinsale’s names above the title.

This Throwback Thursday, I’m reposting this interview in the wake of Prisoners‘ September release.

(originally posted August 24, 2009) 

aaron-guzikowski

In New York and LA, you couldn’t spit without hitting someone who’s writing a screenplay. Out of the thousands who try, only a handful might actually sell their scripts, and even fewer will have them produced. So what’s Aaron Guzikowski’s secret?

Continue reading [Throwback Thursday] Q&A: Aaron Guzikowski, Screenwriter of PRISONERS

Official Trailer: Sandra Bullock in GRAVITY

I have been waiting for this film for a very long time. Originally scheduled to be released last year, Gravity will now open on October 4, 2013. Director Alfonso Cuarón is one of my go-to directors. He has an ability to capture a very real and gritty aspect of life and the “human condition” (there’s that term I hate so much). The director worked on this film with frequent collaborator, DP Emmanuel Lubezki, who just happens to be my favorite cinematographer. If only the film were pushed to a November/December release it might stand a better shot at Oscar gold. Here’s hoping it resonates with voters.

Official Logline:

Astronauts attempt to return to earth after debris crashes into their space shuttle, leaving them drifting alone in space.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ufsrgE0BYf0]

Official Trailer: Byzantium

Official Logline:

Residents of a coastal town learn, with deathly consequences, the secret shared by the two mysterious women who have sought shelter at a local resort.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_zu2cW7AhO8]

2012 Fall Film Guide

(Re-posted from LimitéMagazine.com)

September 5, 2012

Labor Day has passed, and now it’s time to consider this year’s crop of what will inevitably be considered some of Oscar’s biggest fodder. It’s no surprise that when it comes to the Academy Awards, the movies that are most likely to be honored with a nomination are those that are released towards the end of the year. Some of this year’s frontrunners appear to be ArgoDjango UnchainedThe Hobbit: An Unexpected JourneyHyde Park on HudsonLife of PiLincolnThe MasterLes MisérablesSilver Linings PlaybookWreck-It Ralph, and Zero Dark Thirty. Of course, there’s plenty of other flicks to look forward to, spanning all genres and audience interests.

Note: All non-authored pieces’ loglines are courtesy of IMDb.com.

Continue reading 2012 Fall Film Guide

On My DVR: The Maltese Falcon (1941)

Synopsis (courtesy of IMDb):
A private detective takes on a case that involves him with three eccentric criminals, a gorgeous liar, and their quest for a priceless statuette.

This film is on my 170 list, and I did watch it some years ago, but even then I told myself I’d have to re-watch it someday. I must not have been in the proper mindset the first time because I recall not following the story very well. Any film with the notoriety of The Maltese Falcon and with names like John Huston, Humphrey Bogart, Mary Astor, and Peter Lorre attached deserves a second watch. This film came out the same year as Citizen Kane and is the iconic Huston’s directorial debut. It earned three Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, Best Screenplay (Huston), and Best Supporting Actor (Sydney Greenstreet).

Director: John Huston
Screenwriter: John Huston
Producer: Hal B. Wallis
Cast: Humphrey Bogart, Mary Astor, Peter Lorre, Gladys George, Sydney Greenstreet
Genres: Crime, Noir
Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures
Runtime: 100 min.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yRSCV2qc2IY]