December 2013

Simply put, 2013 was an embarrassment of riches, and the best movies of the year are all over the place in terms of budget, scope, genre, and style.

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The Kansas City Art Institute and Alamo Drafthouse have joined forces to bring you Film School, a weekly student curated film series. This week – Citizen Kane (1941) – Sunday, December 29th.

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You name a cinematic technique, Scorsese uses it here. It’s impossible not to relent to its hallucinatory style, and you may begin to feel a little under the influence yourself.

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‘The Secret Life of Walter Mitty’ cheats its audience. It fast-forwards past a ton of struggle and conflict to get its character to a heroic place, and after the CGI-heavy daydream scenes, the real-life scenes just lose their luster.

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Director Justin Chadwick attempts to show Mandela as the complex and multifaceted person he was, but in cramming in a multitude of facts, Chadwick misses any grand truths of Nelson Mandela’s influential life.

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Today’s list was meant to celebrate those movies that gave their audiences a Santa Claus character, and made him an important part of the picture.

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Kathleen Hanna, the provocative and thoughtful lead singer of bands Bikini Kill, Le Tigre, and The Julie Ruin walked away from the music scene in 2005, leaving behind a throng of fans, likeminded feminist and DIY activists that pondered her departure.

What happened to Kathleen Hanna?

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Everything is fake—from Christian Bale’s hideous comb-over/toupee combo to Amy Adams’ English accent—in David O. Russell’s messy, hilarious crime comedy American Hustle.

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Disney’s new film Saving Mr. Banks alternates between compelling and troubling. Its parallel story lines and characterization of the manipulative and fatherly Walt Disney (Tom Hanks) make it a slightly entertaining mess.

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Joel and Ethan Coen return with their latest film Inside Llewyn Davis, which follows Llewyn Davis (Oscar Isaac), a brilliant folk musician, but miserable human who is struggling to live off of his music in New York in 1961.

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Post image for Top 10 Peter O’Toole Movies

Top 10 Peter O’Toole Movies

by Eric Melin on December 19, 2013

in Top 10s

With the recent passing of Peter O’Toole, the world has lost the last great hellraiser of movie history. This Top 10 compiles the great actor’s 10 best films!

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The Kansas City Art Institute and Alamo Drafthouse have joined forces to bring you Film School, a weekly student curated film series. This week – Amadeus (1984) – Sunday, December 22nd.

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Even more so than usual in a McKay/Ferrell collaboration, the movie feels like string of sketches very loosely tied together — as if the plot only exists to expose how stale these kinds of comedic blueprints are in the first place.

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The tonally schizophrenic sci-fi actioner ‘Elysium’ and the unfunny mafia comedy ‘The Family’ arrive in Blu-ray-DVD combo packs, and at least one of them is still making an impression.

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It’s not very often that a book about film can serve as both a coffee table book and a critical examination of a movie’s themes, structure, and cultural legacy, but Jason Bailey’s ‘Pulp Fiction: The Complete Story of Quentin Tarantino’s Masterpiece’ does just that.

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