Moonrise Kingdom – Wikipedia

Moonrise Kingdom is a 2012 American coming-of-age comedy-drama film directed by Wes Anderson, written by Anderson and Roman Coppola, and starring Bruce WillisEdward NortonBill MurrayFrances McDormandTilda SwintonJason SchwartzmanBob Balaban, and introducing Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward. Largely set on the fictional island of New Penzance somewhere off the coast of New England, it tells the story of an orphan boy (Gilman) who escapes from a scouting camp to unite with his pen pal and love interest, a girl with aggressive tendencies (Hayward). Feeling alienated from their guardians and shunned by their peers, the lovers abscond to an isolated beach. Meanwhile, the island’s police captain (Willis) organizes a search party of scouts and family members to locate the runaways.

In crafting their screenplay, Anderson and Coppola drew from personal experiences and memories of childhood fantasies as well as films including Melody (1971) and The 400 Blows (1959). Auditions for child actors took eight months, and filming took place in Rhode Island over three months in 2011.

Moonrise Kingdom premiered at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival and received critical acclaim, with its themes of young love, child sexuality, juvenile mental health, and the Genesis flood narrative being praised. Critics cited the film’s color palette and use of visual symmetry as well as the use of original composition by Alexandre Desplat to supplement existing music by Benjamin Britten. It was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay and the Golden Globe for Best Musical or Comedy. In 2016, the BBC included the film in its list of greatest films of the twenty-first century.

Source: Moonrise Kingdom – Wikipedia

David Lindsay: What a wonderful movie, Moonrise Kingdom, recommended by Cynthia Whear, after we discussed our appreciation for art works and musicals that reference Noah’s Flood.

Ask Obi-Wan Kenobi: It’s Time the Star Wars Prequels Finally Got Their Due – David Priest – CNET

David Priest headshot
David Priest

“I don’t like sand. It’s coarse and rough and … it gets everywhere.” It’s one of the most painful lines in Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones, and it’s only made worse by Anakin’s halting delivery and awkward hand-stroking of Padmé.

Sure, the prequels brought us Ewan McGregor as a young Obi-Wan Kenobi. But George Lucas made so many terrible creative decisions in that prequel trilogy that fans were excited when Disney tapped the rock-steady J.J. Abrams to lead a new series of Star Wars movies in 2015. Unlike George Lucas, Abrams can write dialogue that isn’t excruciating, and more importantly, he’s proved himself a gifted guide for large franchises with untapped potential (Mission: Impossible, Star Trek and Cloverfield). And yet…

When the new Disney Star Wars trilogy drew to a close with The Rise of Skywalker in 2019, I found myself genuinely longing for the days of the prequels. What I’m feeling isn’t nostalgia. And it isn’t ironic “love” for schlocky cinema that animates prequel-memeing Redditors, either.”

Source: Ask Obi-Wan Kenobi: It’s Time the Star Wars Prequels Finally Got Their Due

‘CODA’ Triumphs at the Oscars, but Onstage Slap Takes Center Stage – The New York Times

“LOS ANGELES — In an Academy Awards ceremony where an onstage altercation between Will Smith and Chris Rock overshadowed the honors, “CODA” from Apple TV+ won the Oscar for best picture, becoming the first film from a streaming service to be welcomed into that rarefied Hollywood club.

The 94th Academy Awards on Sunday had a freewheeling, irreverent tone from their start, with ABC and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences laboring to prove that the Oscars could be lively and culturally relevant. By the ceremony’s end, it was certainly a night for the Hollywood ages.

An emotional Will Smith won the best actor Oscar for his performance in “King Richard” as the fiery, flawed coach and father of the tennis legends Venus and Serena Williams. Moments earlier, the ceremony had been derailed when Smith strode onstage from his seat and — in what at first seemed like it could be a preplanned bit — slapped Rock, who had just cracked a joke about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.

“Jada, I love you. G.I. Jane 2, can’t wa Rhiit,” Rock said, a reference to her shaved head. She revealed her alopecia diagnosis in 2018. Demi Moore famously shaved her head to star in the 1997 film “G.I. Jane.” “

David Lindsay:  Thank you Brooks Barnes and  for an excellent review of last night’s 94th Oscars, 2022, about 2021. I was delighted that CODA won, and I was one of the 6 percent of viewer s who lasted all the way through The Power of the Dog, which my partner loved.

This year was a record breaker for me. 40 years ago I used to not see any new movies until I watched the Oscars, during which, I would choose the three movies of the year I would see. This year I had actually seen six of the nominees for best picture, Dune, Don’t Look Up, King Richard, CODA, Macbeth, and The Power of the Dog. CODA was the clear winner in my heart, because it was delightful, surprising, funny, exciting, and you could recommend it to your Aunt Mildred and Uncle Joe in the mid west, to watch with their teen age children, and it wouldn’t scar the younger children either. Dune was extraordinary.

I was infuriated repeatedly by the Oscars show last night, and they need a new director, and a return to the good old days, when they showed extensive clips of the best film nominees,and of the other nominees, so the audience can learn about the movies, most of which, we haven’t seen, and don’t know anything about. Making the show an insiders game for those who have already seen all the movies, is a recipe for a bad show that deserves its declining ratings. Bringing back the host, or hosts, was a move in the right direction, but adding an extra 30 minutes of advertising to an already ad laden event was pathetic.

Of the films I saw, I also recommend Don’t Look Up, because it was hilarious satire, about the danger of ignoring the science of the impending climate crisis, by way of ignoring an asteroid headed toward earth. We both loved King Richard, and thought Will Smith was worthy of an Oscar, which is a low bar. Probably all the nominees deserved an Oscar, one shouldn’t take the winners too seriously. That is why the Oscar show has an artistic and moral requirement, to showcase and introduce all the nominees in all the categories, and reduce the speeches thanking my mother, my father, my children, and our pet dog and cat. The recipients should be required to spend part of their speech explaining to people what the movie was about, and why we should take the time to see it. Some of the presenters could talk about the shows, instead of their constant preening.

Review: Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence star in very funny, very depressing ‘Don’t Look Up’ | Datebook SF Chronicle

Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence in “Don’t Look Up.”Photo: Niko Tavernise / Netflix

“Don’t Look Up” might be the funniest movie of 2021. It’s the most depressing too, and that odd combination makes for a one-of-a-kind experience. Writer-director Adam McKay gives you over two hours of laughs while convincing you that the world is coming to an end.

The movie is a satire that targets anti-science, anti-intellectual and anti-logic Americans who are gullible in the extreme and brainwashed by social media. McKay’s humor is so pointed and dead-on here that it’s bracing. You almost feel like this is a movie that might change things! People might see this and realize … but no. As McKay knows, he’s lampooning a segment of the public that is beyond the reach of satire.

The story is remarkably prescient, in that it plays like a parable about the pandemic, even though the concept was announced in the media well ahead of COVID-19 and was originally scheduled to go before the cameras in April 2020. Jennifer Lawrence and Leonardo DiCaprio play a pair of astronomers who discover that a huge comet is going to crash into the Earth in six months, wiping out all forms of life on the planet. They assume that that scientific certainty will rouse the government and the people into emergency action. They assume wrong.;

Source: Review: Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence star in very funny, very depressing ‘Don’t Look Up’ | Datebook

My household really liked this movie. It is very funny, and very depressing. My only quibble with this excellent review by Mick LaSalle, is that it is not about Covid, which had not occurred yet when it was written. It is most likely a broadside against the anti-science forces denying climate change and the sixth great extinction of species. It is brilliant, biting satire, and might become as famous as Dr. Strangelove, by Stanley Kubrick.

Paul Krugman | What ‘Dune’ Gets Right that ‘Foundation’ Doesn’t – The New York Times

“The blogger John Rogers once noted that there are two novels that can shape the lives of bookish 14-year-olds: “Atlas Shrugged” and “The Lord of the Rings.” One of these novels, he asserted, is a childish fantasy that can leave you emotionally stunted; the other involves orcs.

Well, I was a bookish 14-year-old, but my touchstones were two different novels: Isaac Asimov’s “Foundation” and Frank Herbert’s “Dune.”

Many social scientists, it turns out, are science fiction readers. For example, quite a few experts on international relations who I know are fanatics about the TV version of “The Expanse.” I think it’s because good science fiction involves building imaginary worlds that are different from the world we know, but in interesting ways that relate to the attempt to understand why society is the way it is.

Anyway, that’s my excuse for devoting today’s newsletter not to the latest scary developments in politics and economics but to a much happier event: the U.S. release of a wonderful, satisfying film version of “Dune” — the first movie I’ve seen in a theater since the pandemic began.”

‘Moana’: Disney’s delightful tropical adventure sets sail | Soren Andersen – The Seattle Times

Movie review of “Moana”: Disney’s tale of female empowerment is told in rousing fashion, with humor and passion and grace. Rating: 4 stars out of 4.

“Moana” is a joy.

A feast for the eyes. From Disney, it represents a pinnacle of CG animation. Its colors are incredibly vivid. The screen is bathed in bright cerulean hues of the limitless ocean sparkling in the sun and the lush greenery of tropical-island paradises.

A delight for the ears. Songs by “Hamilton’s” Lin-Manuel Miranda, composer Opetaia Foa‘i and Grammy-winner Mark Mancina are at a “Lion King” level of excellence. The picture’s “We Know the Way” is an anthemic ode to exploration and self-discovery that has the hallmarks of an instant classic.”

Source: ‘Moana’: Disney’s delightful tropical adventure sets sail | The Seattle Times

‘News of the World’ review: Tom Hanks, tween in a Western big enough for the both of them – Chicago Sun-Times

A Civil War vet (Tom Hanks) agreed to deliver an orphan (Helena Zengel) to her relatives in “News of the World.”
 Universal Pictures

“There was an era — and that era was the 1970s — when a Time magazine poll named news anchor Walter Cronkite as “the most trusted man in America,” and Watergate investigative heroes Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein were largely responsible for the occupation of journalist regularly charting near the top of the rankings of most admired professions in the USA. (Even today, 99% of mainstream American journalists remain committed to delivering the truth, despite the delusional cries of “Fake News!” popularized by certain public figures.)

If we were to conduct a poll of the most trusted actors in America, I’d argue Tom Hanks would be near the top of that list — and Hanks is perfectly cast as an 1870 news anchor of sorts in Paul Greengrass’ gritty and visceral and deeply resonant “News of the World,” a rough-and-tumble Texas road-trip movie that plays like a hybrid of the John Wayne movies “The Searchers” and “True Grit” and even reminded me a little of George Clooney’s recent epic “The Midnight Sky.”

Hanks re-teams with his “Captain Phillips” director to play a very different kind of captain — one Capt. Jefferson Kyle Kidd, a Civil War veteran who fought for the Confederate Infantry and sustained injuries both external and internal, and has now carved out a unique way of making a living, i.e., he rides from town to town in the raw and rough state of Texas (where many haven’t fully accepted losing the war and racially motivated violence is lurking around every corner) and literally reads the news of the world to the townsfolk for 10 cents a head, bringing them the latest developments from near and afar, whether it be an outbreak of meningitis, a coal mine tragedy or a deadly ferry accident. (Hanks is such an all-American actor — and yet this is his first Western.)

Jefferson is a stoic man, a widower who keeps to himself, but his solitary, nomad life is upended when he happens across a 10-year-old girl named Johanna (Helena Zengel), who has spent much of her life as a captive of the Kiowa tribe and has been left with the authorities after her captors were killed. Jefferson takes on the responsibility of transporting the girl to her only surviving relatives in the far-off hill country of Castroville, and thus begins a long and arduous journey, made all the more difficult because Johanna is deeply resentful of this strange man, speaks not a word of English and doesn’t even understand the concept of a knife and fork. There’s a lot of learning to be had along the way.  . . . “

Source: ‘News of the World’ review: Tom Hanks, tween in a Western big enough for the both of them – Chicago Sun-Times

David Lindsay: Kathleen and I both enjoyed and were thrilled so by this new western, ‘News of the World’, nominated for best picture in the 2020 Academy awards, that we then watched the outtakes, and interviews, and then the next night, we watched the whole move and outtakes and interviews over again. There were plenty of precious moments in a very beautiful but ugly world in Texas in 1870.

Inherit the Wind movie review (1960) | Roger Ebert

“History repeats itself, the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce.

This statement by Karl Marx admirably serves two functions: (1) It describes the difference between the two times the teaching of Darwin’s theories were put on trial in this country, in Tennessee in 1925 and in Pennsylvania in 2005; (2) Because it is from Karl Marx, it will automatically be rejected, along with the words to follow, by those who judge a statement not by its content but by its source. That is precisely the argument between Darwinism and creationism. Stanley Kramer‘s “Inherit the Wind” (1960) is a movie about a courtroom battle between those who believe the Bible is literally true and those who believe, as the Spencer Tracy character puts it, that “an idea is a greater monument than a cathedral.”

The so-called Monkey Trial of 1925 put a young high school teacher named John T. Scopes on trial for violating a state law, passed the same year, prohibiting the teaching of any theory that denied the biblical account of divine creation. Darwin’s theory of evolution was also therefore on trial. Two of the most famous lawyers and orators in the land contested the case. Scopes was defended by the legendary Clarence Darrow, and the prosecution was led by three-time presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan. Darrow’s expenses were paid by the Baltimore Sun papers, home of the famed journalist H.L. Mencken, who covered the trial with many snorts and guffaws.

In Kramer’s film, Darrow becomes Henry Drummond (Spencer Tracy), Bryan is Matthew Harrison Brady (Fredric March), Mencken is E.K. Hornbeck (Gene Kelly), and Scopes is Bertram T. Cates (Dick York). Another major player is the gravel-voiced Harry Morgan, as the judge. So obviously were the characters based on their historical sources that the back of the DVD simply refers to them as “Bryan” and “Darrow,” as if their names had not been changed.  . . . “

Source: Inherit the Wind movie review (1960) | Roger Ebert

Kathleen and I saw the 1960 movie Inherit the Wind on Saturday night, and were enthralled and moved. I was sure that some of the vital exchanges in the courtroom probably happened, but did the good, god-fearing people of Hillsboro really march while singing about lynching Clarence Darrow and the local school teacher Scopes. Apparently, that was all made up by the propagandist, Stanley Kramer. I’m sorry he made those lies, because he didn’t need them. His inaccuracies diminish the underlying truth of his brilliant work.

From Wikipedia:

“Historical inaccuracies[edit]

Being mostly faithful to the play, the film engages in literary license with the facts and should not be relied upon as a historical document. For example, Scopes (Bertram Cates) is shown being arrested in class, thrown in jail, burned in effigy, and taunted by a fire-snorting preacher. William Jennings Bryan (Matthew Harrison Brady) is portrayed as an almost comical fanatic who dramatically dies of a “busted belly” while attempting to deliver his summation in a chaotic courtroom. The townspeople are shown as frenzied, mean-spirited, and ignorant. None of that happened in Dayton during the actual trial. This is because the story is an allegory for McCarthyism.[12]

Because the judge ruled that scientific evidence was inadmissible, a ruling which the movie depicted, Darrow called Bryan as his only witness and attempted to humiliate him by asking Bryan to interpret Scripture. When Darrow, in his closing remarks, called upon the jury to find Scopes guilty so that he could appeal the verdict, Bryan was kept from delivering his own summation. The guilty verdict was overturned two years later.[13] Bryan suffered a heart attack and died in his sleep five days after the trial ended.[14]

Opinion | ‘All in All, the Worst Oscars Ever’ – The New York Times

“The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ pared-down pandemic version of the Oscars on Sunday could be described as either incredibly refreshing or incredibly awkward — depending on what you thought of Glenn Close doing Da Butt, among other moments.

What did you think of Frances McDormand’s howl? The meandering format, with few clips of the nominated movies? Yuh-Jung Youn’s gentle trolling of Brad Pitt? We asked readers to share their thoughts on this year’s Academy Awards — the highlights, oddities and innovations. A selection of their responses, edited for clarity and length, follows.

Give us your take in the comments section.


It occurred to me that this version of the Oscars was like the very first ceremonies, when it was an industry affair held in a hotel ballroom, with no thought of communicating with a mass audience. Eventually, the yearly show turned into entertainment, which this year’s was not. All in all, the worst Oscars ever, and that’s quite an accomplishment. — Glenn Lambert, Los Angeles”

David Lindsay Jr.

David Lindsay Jr.Hamden, CT | NYT Comment:

2020 was the worst Oscar I can remember. It had great moments, but I was repeatedly angry at the recipients: tell us about your documentary, animation, or even movie, most of us don’t know anything about it! You are talking about shows, show us clips and trailers, so we can see what the insider fuss is all about. Thirty years ago, I discovered that if a saw the Oscars, I could decide what movies to go find and seek out. I became a devoted Oscar watcher, even though I only saw a handful of movies a year, I picked them out at the Oscars. To my utter disappointment, there has been a slow slide into pathetic, uninteresting blabber, of one recipient after another thanking their team, their mothers and their third grade teachers. Every year is seems, there is less of the absolutely invaluable clips and trailers, and more of the utter boring gratefulness to teams, mentors and sex partners. This year, by my personal standard was the worst, because it had the fewest little hints and videos of the products under consideration, and an avalanche of pathetically boring speeches. There were some shining exceptions, like speeches by Chloe Zoe for best director, and Yuh Jung Youn for best actress in a supporting role. What I also remember, is not knowing what most of the shows were actually about, or what they looked like, and whether I might want to take the time to watch them. Time to quit? David Lindsay Jr. is the author of “The Tay Son Rebellion” and blogs at InconvenientNews.net.

The 50 Best Movies on Netflix Right Now – The New York Times

By Jason BaileyUpdated April 28, 2020Sign up for our Watching Newsletter to get recommendations on the best films and TV shows to stream and watch, delivered to your inbox.The sheer volume of films on Netflix — and the site’s less than ideal interface — can make finding a genuinely great movie there a difficult task. To help, we’ve plucked out the 50 best films currently streaming on the service in the United States, updated regularly as titles come and go. And as a bonus, we link to more great movies on Netflix within many of our writeups below. (Note: Streaming services sometimes remove titles or change starting dates without giving notice.)Here are our lists of the best TV shows on Netflix, the best movies on Amazon Prime Video and the best of everything on Disney Plus.