6 Degrees: Notes from the Global Village

6 Degrees of Film
6 Degrees of Film

Friday Five: Notes from the Global Village: Recommended at the movies this week are:

*Star Wars
*The Big Short
*45 Years

Star wars logo

Star Wars is here! Star Wars:The Force Awakens has landed to mostly positive reviews and mass media in hyper-drive with the onslaught of the movie campaign. The best place to see reviews for Star Wars: The Force Awakens is in the 6 Degrees online magazine. Read the reviews from:

• Film comment.com
• Time Magazine
• The LA Times
• Associated Press (Pop culture appeal of Star Wars)

Mad max furiosa

*Fem Flicks: 2015 was a good year for Strong Women’s film roles. Mad Max: Fury Road and Suffragette were both excellent fem flicks for women of all ages to find strong role models. See link: “Is Hollywood finally a woman’s world too?- LA Times

Coming Soon: Here are some of the most anticipated films coming soon:

The Revenant

Batman v Superman-with Ben Affleck
The Hateful Eight-Tarantino’s Latest
The Revenant-Oscar buzz for DiCaprio
Ghostbusters all female cast Remake
Misconduct– starring Anthony Hopkins & Al Pacino

*The American Film Institute names top 10 movies for 2015:

Bridge of spies speilberg hanks

The Big Short
Bridge of Spies
Inside Out
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Straight Outta Compton

The National Film Registry has also come out with their picks for films to be preserved and entered into the registry. Here’s a partial list of films selected for the registry this year :

Bill Murray Ghostbusters

*Being There (1979)

A Fool There was (1915)
Ghostbusters (1984)
Hail the Conquering Hero (1944)
Humoresque (1920)
Imitation of Life (1959)
John Henry and the Inky-Poo (1946)
LA Confidential (1997)
The Mark of Zorro (1920)
The Old Mill (1937)
Our Daily Bread (1934)
Seconds (1966)
The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
Sink or Swim (1990)
The Story of Menstruation (1946)
Top Gun (1986)
Winchester ’73 (1950)

Gone with the wind
Box Office Winners: Star Wars has big numbers, but the # 1 highest grossing film is… Gone with the Wind released in 1939. The other movies on the list are:

The original Star Wars-1977
The Sound of Music-1965
E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial-1982
The Ten Commandments– 1956
Jaws– 1975
Doctor Zhivago- 1965
The Exorcist-1973
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs-1937

*They’re back! Not only Awards season but “Best of” lists for 2015. If you missed these films at the movies, and would like to rent or stream a good film, here are those films found on most critics and audiences top 10 lists. They include Ex Machina, The Assassin, 45 Years, Clouds of Sils Maria, I’ll See You in My Dreams, Creed, Son of Saul, Carol, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Martian, Sicario, & Brooklyn.

The idea of awards season and best of lists always tends to be suspect. Some years are better than others. The last two summers have seen long, dry spells where hardly any decent films were released. The best films seem to cluster in releases around the end of the year for some reason!

This year there were a few notable exceptions. The Martian and Bridge of Spies, Ex Machina and Mad Max: Fury Road all came out long before the mad holiday rush. It seems that almost all the oxygen has been sucked out of the room for film and film criticism with the anticipated release of Star Wars. (The Donald Trump of films!)

It’s a relief to have it out at last, so we can move on to more important things like…the top 10 lists and the Awards Season that extends for months on end. Then again, maybe Star Wars fever is not such a bad thing after all! See you at the movies-ML

6 Degrees: Friday Five: Recommended

Meet me in slouis

Star Wars media blitz is in full throttle. For those who are not with the Force, there’s always Holiday classics. For Turner Classic Movies, the small screen Holiday Films recommended are Meet Me in St Louis and the Shop around the Corner. The main reason is that these are two films that haven’t been so over-hyped or shown to the point of overkill, and they still seem fresh to the uninitiated. These films both have holiday themes, and one of Judy Garland’s biggest hits, “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” is from “Meet me in St. Louis.”

One complaint I continue to cite for movie releases is that the best films are again, all released within a two week period at the end of the year. There was a dry spell for movie-goers that seemed to last months this year, and then the movies all drop at the same time. Go figure. The best headlines are those that are amazed when box office attendance has dropped. For some strange reason, people really like to go see good movies. In fact, they prefer the good ones to the really crappy ones!

Frank Sinatra 2015

This month, watch for a slew of Frank Sinatra films and recordings, as the Mass Marketing Village celebrates Sinatra’s 100th birthday this December. Some of his best films are being shown on Turner Classic, including From Here to Eternity and Never So Few, which features a young Steve McQueen.


m o hara

Some of Maureen O’Hara’s greatest films are also being featured on TCM; The Quiet Man with John Wayne and Miracle on 34th Street with Natalie Wood. She was also a stand-out in the original “Parent Trap” with Hayley Mills.

Here’s the short list of recommended films. See you at the movies

Spotlight: Best reviews for this film about the Boston Globe’s reporting that broke the story of ongoing abuse of children by Catholic Priests.

Spectre: A note-worthy addition to the Bond series; with Daniel Craig returning as James Bond.

The Peanuts Movie: Although not laden with as much humor for adults, this is a good one for the kids.

Bridge of Spies: Spielberg and Hanks team up, although Mark Rylance steals the show!

The Martian: A fictional account with realistic overtones in the what-if scenario of an astronaut stranded on Mars.