6 Degrees Fall Film Newsletter

6 Degrees of Film

Greetings Film Lovers! Welcome to the 2017 Six Degrees Fall Film Newsletter. There’s a total of 52 Films we’ve listed for the period from September through to the Christmas and Holiday Season in December. Here’s a clue: the ones with 2 stars by them are recommended to see at the movies. A couple have 3 stars-they are the Kids films and recommended for family viewing.

The films with one star may be very good films, but they are recommended for the small screen. The Big Screen Movie Experience is something that should be a significant one for most films these days. After all, it’s getting more and more expensive to go to a movie at the movie theater. And we should demand, as moviegoers, a high quality of film on many levels, artistically and technically, to spend our money and take the time to make the trek to the theaters to see great films! This list includes action/adventure; A-list stars and directors, and intriguing storylines. Those are the types of films that will always command our attention even in the fast-paced world we live in today. Enjoy and see you each week at the movies!-ML

 **Recommended for Viewing at the Theater

*Save for the Small Screen

***Recommended for Families/Kids Movies




September Movie Openings


 September 8th


**IT – Bill Skarsgard plays the shape-shifting clown Pennywise in this version of Stephen King’s IT


*Rebel in the Rye – with Nicholas Hoult is about J.D. Salinger, the scarred author who is depicted during his creative process in creating the classic The Catcher in the Rye.


 September 15th


*In Search of Fellini –A small town girl from Ohio discovers the delightful yet bizarre films of legendary director Federico Felline.

mother! 17

 **Mother! With Jennifer Lawrence- Darren Aronofsky directs this film about a married couple whose relationship is tested when another couple-played by Michelle Pfeiffer and Ed Harris, come to visit. Reportedly a cross between Black Swan and Rosemary’s Baby, this film is hard to pin down, but has been called a thriller.


September 22nd


* Kingsman: The Golden Circle – a sequel movie-where Colin Firth returns along with co-star Taron Egerton as the juvenile-delinquent turned master spy named Eggsy.


*Stronger with Jake Gyllenhaal-  Gyllenhaal plays the role of Jeff Bauman in this biopic based on the memoirs of Bauman, who had both legs blown off in the Boston Marathon bombing.


**Battle of the Sexes stars Steve Carell and Emma Stone in this recreation of the famous Bobby Riggs vs Billie Jean King Tennis Match in 1973.


*Victoria and Abdul is from Director Stephen Frears and stars Judi Dench as Queen Victoria in this drama surrounding her friendship with the handsome Indian man named Abdul.


*Clive Davis: The Soundtrack of our Lives documentary opened the Tribeca Film Festival and was well received.


September 29th


*American Made with Tom Cruise, who stars as the real-life pilot Barry Seal,  a man whose flying skills and his greed led him to moonlight as a drug runner for the infamous Medellin drug cartel, and later to become an informant for the CIA.


*Mark Felt- The Man who Brought Down the House– with Liam Neeson playing Felt, the FBI agent who was known as Deep Throat during Watergate.


October Movie Openings


 October 6th

Bladerunner 2049 17

**Blade Runner 2049 with Ryan Gosling- is the much- anticipated sequel of sorts to the original Ridley Scott/Harrison Ford classic. Denis Villeneuve directs and there’s an appearance from the original Rick Deckard -we’ll have to see if it’s more than a walk on by Harrison Ford. 



*Brawl in Cellblock 99 with Vince Vaughn, is about a former boxer who takes a job as a drug courier and winds up in jail where his enemies converge and force him into acts of violence.


 *The Florida Project with Willem Dafoe, this one is set in Orlando Florida and is about some hard living characters, as seen through the eyes of a playful and imaginative child.


**The Mountain Between Us with Idris Elba and Kate Winslet is based on the 2010 Charles Martin novel. The story is about two plane crash survivors, a journalist (Winslet) and a surgeon (Elba) who brave the elements and fall in love as they struggle for survival.


***My Little Pony: The Movie with Emily Blunt providing a voice in this animated feature along with Kristin Chenowith and Zoe Saldana.


*Una with Rooney Mara is about a young woman’s confrontation with a man from her past that threatens to derail the man’s new life and the woman’s stability.


October 13th


*Goodbye Christopher Robin with Domhnall Gleeson. The film follows the real-life author of Winnie the Pooh and Co., A A Milne,  after he returns home for the war, damaged and dispirited. Milne finds consolation as he re-connects with his son Christopher Robin and the now familiar group of stuffed animal friends.

**Marshall – a film about Thurgood Marshall stars Chadwick Boseman as the iconic Supreme Court Justice who broke through racial barriers. This film focuses on the earlier life of Marshall, when he worked as an NAACP lawyer in a racially-charged case.

**The Meyerowitz Stories with Adam Sandler is about estranged siblings who gather in New York to celebrate their father’s work as an artist.


 *Overdrive with Scott Eastwood is about a notorious crime boss who forces two legendary car thieves to steal a vehicle to win back their freedom.


October 26th

*Same Kind of Different as Me- with Renee Zellweger and Greg Kinnear is about an International art dealer (Kinnear) who befriends a homeless man in order to save his struggling marriage


the snowman 17


**The Snowman with Michael Fassbender playing the brilliant fictional detective Harry Hole. Norwegian author Jo Nesbe created this fast paced and popular crime series, and this particular story is about the Snowman Killer, who always strikes on the first day of winter after leaving small snow statues near the victim’s body.


*Tyler Perry’s Boo 2! A Madea Halloween- This is a Halloween movie with Madea/Perry, of course!


 October 27th

*Suburbicon with Matt Damon, directed by George Clooney-(uh-oh). This film can’t be pinned down either, as it is about a 50’s era family who are victims of a home invasion. Oscar Isaac plays the suspicious investigator on the case. Clooney says there are laughs, “but it wasn’t designed to be ha-ha funny. It starts out like a Disney film, and by the end it feels like an acid trip”

*Thank You for Your Service with Miles Teller starring in this true story about the scars of war and the difficulties a soldier has in returning to civilian life.


November Movie Openings


*Bill Nye: Science Guy -Documentary where Nye attempts to restore science to its rightful place in a world sometimes openly hostile to evidence and reason.


 *Last Flag Flying with Bryan Cranston, Steve Carrell and Lawrence Fishburne-We previewed this indie in Friday Flix last week, with Steve Carrell starring as a grieving father burying his son who was killed in Iraq.

**LBJ with Woody Harrelson -Director Rob Reiner has created this biopic of President Lyndon Baines Johnson.


**The Man who Invented Christmas with Dan Stevens (Downton Abbey) as Charles Dickens during the time he created the classic tale A Christmas Carol. Christopher Plummer plays Scrooge for the play within the play theme.

**Roman Israel, Esq with Denzel Washington in this crime thriller set in LA.


*Thor: Ragnorak with Chris Hemsworth- The Hulk is along for the ride, along with Valkyrie and Loki as they strive to stop the Goddess of Death-played by Cate Blanchett, from destroying Asgard (and the galaxy too).


November 10th 


*Daddy’s Home 2 with Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg returning with a new round of sparring partners-their respective fathers, played by John Lithgow and Mel Gibson. The comedy hijinks play out when the Dads visit for the holidays.

*Lady Bird with Saoirse Ronan in a coming-of-age story directed by actress Greta Gerwig.


murder 2017


**Murder on the Orient Express with Kenneth Branagh, also directing with the star-studded cast including Johnny Depp, Willem Dafoe, Penelope Cruz, Daisy Ridley, Michelle Pfeiffer and Judi Dench. Agatha Christie wrote the original in 1934, and Branagh directs this revamped version as well as taking on the lead role of Hercule Poirot,  the master detective determined to sleuth out who killed who on the mystery train.


**Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri with Frances McDormand is an Indie film about a woman named Mildred, who is angry and working to avenge her daughter’s murder in this dark comedy from the same director who brought us In Bruges – Martin McDonagh.


November 17th

**Justice League with Ben Affleck returning as Batman as he unites an entire team of super humans- Wonder Woman, Aquaman, the Flash, and Cyborg as they defend the Earth from a cosmic threat.


 *Wonder with Julia Roberts is based on the 2012 novel by R.J. Palacio. It’s about a 5th grade boy with Treacher Collins syndrome, and his parents who decide to send him to a mainstream school for the first time.



November 22nd

***Coco is the animated Pixar offering,  about a 12 year old aspiring singer named Miguel who is accidently transported to the Land of the Dead, this vibrant posthumous place populated with Skeletal ancestors and all kinds of whimsical stops along the way. The director says it’s a bit like Monsters, Inc, in that there’s a fantastic world of monsters, but “it’s rooted in a world we know” Coco, by the way, is the great-grandma of Miguel, who is one of his living family members that we meet as Miguel traverses between the two worlds.


**Darkest Hour with Gary Oldman starring as Winston Churchill. This film focuses on the period when England had refused to give in to Hitler’s relentless war machine.


 *Death Wish with Bruce Willis in the title role made famous by tough guy Charles Bronson. Eli Roth directs the remake.

**Molly’s Game with Jessica Chastain, based on the story of Molly Bloom, is about a competitive skier who decides to move to LA and run the world’s most exclusive high-stakes poker game. Molly ends up being indicted, and the twists in this tale led director Aaron Sorkin to direct this fascinating story.


 November 24th

Current war 17

**The Current War with Benedict Cumberbatch as Thomas Edison in this story about Edison’s race with George Washington to create a sustainable electrical system.


 December Movie Offerings: The Holiday Season



December 1st

*The Disaster Artist with James Franco explores the depths that lead to the creation of how a truly awful movie is made. Franco plays the “auteur-actor” Tommy Wiseau, who created the original 2003 cult film, The Room, which garnered a huge following based on it’s “entertaining awfulness”.

December 8th


shape of water 17

**The Shape of Water with Sally Hawkins in this Cold War era imaginary tale from director Guillermo del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth) about a mute woman, (Hawkins), who discovers a top secret government experiment.


December 15th


SW The Last Jedi 17


**Star Wars: The Last Jedi with Daisy Ridley returning as Rey with the saga picking up where we left the characters hanging. Luke Skywalker is there on a mountaintop, and we’ll see Carrie Fisher’s final screen appearance as Princess Leia. John Boyega and Adam Driver return respectively as Finn and the villainous Kylo Ren.


December 20th


*Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle with Dwayne Johnson in the reworked version of the Robin Williams film where four teenagers play an old videogame and find themselves trapped in the bodies of their avatars.


December 22nd


*Downsizing with Matt Damon in what is being described as a “dramedy” about an overpopulated world where scientists can now shrink humans to pocket size.

**The Papers with Meryl Streep & Tom Hanks – Spielberg directs this story centered around the real-life events that ensued when The Washington Post and the Nixon administration went to battle in the front pages of the news over the release of Daniel Ellsburg’s Pentagon Papers.

*Pitch Perfect 3 with Anna Kendrick-The Barden Bellas are back for a third round


December 25th: Christmas Day Openings

**The Greatest Showman with Hugh Jackman starring in this musical version about the life of master showman P.T. Barnum and the creation of his traveling circus.


*Wes Anderson film with retiring Daniel Day-Lewis – Not much has been released about this one other than the fact actor Daniel Day Lewis has announced his impending retirement from acting!


We are living in a kind of post Golden Age of Blockbusters and trying to feel our way into the 21st Century Cinematic Film Experience that includes more than just a cheap thrill with a pair of 3D Glasses. We may end up nostalgic and waxing lyrical for the type of Blockbuster films and the Advent of each new film “season” that is prefaced with talk of the Possible Award winners and the big losers.

The recent interview with Director Steven Soderbergh was telling in that he spoke of the cavalier attitude towards “Markdowns” that ended the careers for directors such as Heaven’s Gate Director Michael Cimino. Now, in his words, “You don’t get punished for your mistakes the way you used to back then. There have been a couple of films in the last year to 18 months that are 200 million dollar write downs! It used to be people would get fired for that, and now they don’t….And I think that’s part of the problem, there’s no new oxygen in the system”.

These types of eye-opening and direct confessions occur rather infrequently. The last time I recall was when Spielberg spilled the beans about his Lincoln production, and predicted the continual rise of the small screen, after confessing he almost made Lincoln for HBO instead of as a theatrical release. These are the forerunners for the changing world that has been the standard in film for the past century. Who would have predicted “Talkies” at the beginning of the silent film era? And during the Golden Age of Film, who could have known that Television would create such a huge thunderclap in the entire film industry? Or who could have known that one lawsuit in 1949 could have ended the Golden Age with the decree that gave films and their theater chain counterparts the Kiss of Death by declaring the entire operation a type of monopoly that could not stand the scrutiny? Then, the sixties and the ratings codes gave films another kind of upheaval, creating the independent film industry and the Age of Aquarius with Sex and the Free Love Generation changing the way people watched films and thought about them.

Film critics rose and fell with this standard. The long-time New York film critic Bosley Crowther saw his career end after he panned Bonnie and Clyde. And critics like Pauline Kael and Roger Ebert rose to prominence. Ebert was able to cross over into the newer era of online film criticism, and his website, Ebert.com, continues to dominate long after his death.

Star Wars created another explosion, with the advent of the Art of Special Effects and the age of Science Fiction and the Juvenilization of Movies. The Blockbuster era began in the seventies, and has continued to this day. We have always known that the real artistic center of the Universe for all Hollywood producers is the Almighty Dollar. And politics and current events figure more than we would be comfortable in acknowledging, if we are going to make an honest assessment. That has been the norm from the very early days, when the Supreme Court ruled in the early 1900’s that film was NOT considered Art. That paved the way to monolithic control for Thomas Edison and his film studio.

And the story has been the same to this day….The film world exists and thrives on changes within our culture and society. And it has adapted from the earliest days of the Penny Arcades through the last century and into the 21st Century. And so it goes…

One More Thing: This Fall, sign up for the Friday Flix at the 6 Degrees website, and you’ll find the links to the latest film reviews and the in-depth articles that we scan to look for the best of the web. Save yourself the trouble and go straight to the source! We take the time to ask the questions about films that are on your mind….Not simply, what should I see this week? What are the top reviews on the film I’m interested in seeing? But also….

What are the best films made so far in the 21st Century? What types of films do millennials want to see? And what is going to happen to the vast network of Hollywood studios and theatre chains that have thrived over the past decades on an expanding American audience? What do film buffs really want to know? These are the questions we try to address and to respond to each week in “Friday Flix” and in the 6 Degrees of online Film Magazine.

Hope you enjoyed checking out the films and don’t forget to visit us online at the 6 Degrees Blog and our 6 Degrees Magazine for weekly updates. See you next week at the movies!-ML



6 Degrees: Friday Flix

Today in the Friday Flix, we’ve got some more reviews for the Beauty and the Beast film, which was Number One at the box office this week. Kong: Skull Island (my review is on 6 Degrees-waiting for small screen was my recommendation) is still doing well. There’s a piece from Mubi.com about the entire spectrum of Kong films beginning with the original 1933 version.

There’s an interesting post from the A.V. Club that reflects on the films that best embody the 90’s. That’s a fascinating concept in my opinion, and a good one to ponder. What are some of the films that embody your high school years; the American Dream; your own visions of life and/or romance and success…the thought experiment can go on and on.

I’m going to extend this out to ask readers, as the A.V. Club does, to reflect on the films that embody their youth. We can continue to expand that with the films that reflect the past and depict life in America or the changing global vision…these are all good questions to ask when we think about films that impact our lives. More on this next week…

There are reviews in the 6 Degrees magazine for Trainspotting 2, Elle, the classic Kubrick film, Dr. Strangelove or How I Learned to stop worrying and love the bomb; Wilson, Cinema Paradiso, The Eyes of My Mother, the wonderful Noir film from 1944, Laura (one of my personal favorite film noirs!), and Life with Jake Gyllenhaal.

There’s a piece this week that discusses the accusation that the website Rotten Tomatoes has become the final arbiter affecting the outcomes of new films. The irony is that in days of old, that was the knock on many of our finest critics. My thinking is that if a movie’s premise sounds interesting, or you really want to see it, and/or if a movie gets good “buzz” or word-of-mouth movement, then the negative reviews from one source shouldn’t affect your decision to see a film. It doesn’t affect mine, and the dirty secret is, as we all know, critics don’t always get it right, folks.

There is a piece from the excellent site: Filmschoolrejects.com, about the origins in the Beauty and the Beast myth that trace back to the Jean Cocteau film La Belle et la Bete.

Fem Flicks: The Internet Movie Database (IMDB) has set up a rating to help promote women in film and support and advance their work. There will be a Women’s Media Summit also this month that honors the work of women filmmakers. Both of these articles are found in 6 Degrees of film magazine.

Coming Soon: The L.A. Times has ten movies that are good enough to generate Oscar buzz already, so check out the post and see what you think. That’s the great thing about film. We can all stop and think about the films that affect our lives; there’s the good and the bad ones, the silly and funny ones, the fabulous ones and the classic unforgettable films as well as the very forgettable ones.

My homework this week is going to be to answer the question posed earlier in this post…. The list of films that affect our lives, that shape our views, and have made an impact on us. The post asks us to look at films of the nineties, but we need to look at the Big Picture and include films from several decades past to square this circle.

Looking forward to hearing more about what our readers think regarding films that impact your lives…Have a great weekend, friends, and see you at the movies!-ML

6 Degrees: Notes from the Global Village


The Fall season is a wonderful time of the year for movie buffs. Fall brings some of the best films of the year out just in time to become eligible for the never-ending Awards Season! Hollywood has had another split year, where the blockbuster summer films have produced several hits but nothing to really be excited about in terms of innovative art or injection of excitement into the existing Cinematic Universe.

Here are some of the notes collected from 6 Degrees-some from articles and long reads in August, and some from my own demented mind…
*Ridiculous & Overly complex plots-in blockbusters…the trend? Here’s a quote from a long-winded complaint in an article bemoaning the overly complex plots in recent super-hero movies:
Labyrinthine machinations to desperately weave in character motivation, geography and the practical aspects of getting from one scene to another
Apparently, it has come to someone’s attention that Hollywood has a problem with story “density”. Is that what they call crappy movies now? For action-packed super-hero stories that contain “teasers” and origin stories, there’s only so much information the audience needs.

Older audiences all know who Superman and Batman are. We’ve read comic books from the fifties through the eighties. And now, thanks to the wonderful newly coined phrase, “The Cinematic Universe”, which is perhaps a euphemism for the billions of dollars that Hollywood envisions when imagining the mileage they can squeeze out of an entire cast of super-heroes, each with his own movie debut and story of origin, we are all treated to some of the worst aspects of the comic book genre, including clumsy plot points weaving through the endless reems of origin stories and desperate attempts to inject original thought into the storyline along with character motivation.

Although I have not been a huge fan of the comic-book genre, I do see the impact that the stories have on a younger generation of fans. And not to be close-minded about this, I’ve conceded that even Shakespeare used a lot of re-hashed plots, and was able to influence generations with his unmatched ability as a wordsmith and his sheer genius as a playwright.

Perhaps there will come a time where some innovative director will take one of these origin stories and craft the equivalent of a Shakespearean play out of the original material. So far, there has been no evidence this has occurred.


**Actors have spoken: A list of their favorite films includes all the usual suspects (not that particular film though!). But a surprising Number One appears: Tootsie!

The list of films that actors chose is not that surprising. And it’s not a far cry from most of the movie-going publics list of great movies. Boogie Nights, The Red Shoes, and A Woman under the Influence are definitely films that actors might choose over any other group.

But the rest of the films seem to be pretty much in line with standard movie “Best of” lists. Tootsie as the favorite film is a surprise. It’s a great comedy, with a superb supporting cast and many memorable lines. Director Sydney Pollack is wonderful in a small part as Hoffman’s agent. Jessica Lange won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her role. And Bill Murray was memorable as the befuddled room-mate of Dustin Hoffman’s Dorothy character, and had some of the best “zingers” in the film.

But Dustin Hoffman’s energetic portrayal of an actor who is desperate for a part to the point of risking everything, and laying it all on the line, is more of a statement about the actor’s existential state of being than any real film portrayal. That compels me to the conclusion that the actor’s perpetual state of angst is portrayed to the point that most fellow thespians that saw this film must have simply been saying “Yes!” through the entire film.

*Actors compilation of Greatest Movies includes:

*Taxi Driver
*The Red Shoes
*Boogie Nights
*Annie Hall
*Godfather Part II
&To Kill a Mock
*Cinema Paradiso
*A Woman under the influence
*The Godfather
*# 1 is Tootsie

RIcki and teh flash

**Strong women & Fem Flicks: Women are speaking out more and more concerning the inequality they see in Hollywood and throughout the film industry. Stars such as Meryl Streep, Sandra Bullock, Salma Hayek, Natalie Portman, Emma Thompson & Emma Watson have all spoken out against the glaring inequalities for women in the film industry. The Death of the Bond Girl is another subject for feminists everywhere to cheer about.
It seems that the highest-paid actress in Hollywood (Jennifer Lawrence) is paid significantly less than the highest paid male star (Robert Downey Jr.) Granted, we’re talking about millions of dollars, but the principle is universal. Women are still paid less than men for doing the same job!

*Another list has popped up. Now that we are in the middle of the second decade of the 21st Century, the need to list all the categories and best of films is overwhelming for critics and news organizations. Here’s one that compiled all the best action films. Although this list is edited to include only the top six, two of these are from the year 2000-15 years ago-and one is a recent addition-Mad Max.

Mad Max Fury Road

**The List of 21st Century Best-Action films-includes:

*John Wick-2014
*Bourne Ultimatum
*Casino Royale-2006
*Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon =2000
*Mad Max: Fury Road-2015
There were more films listed, but none that deserved the accolade of Best-Action film!

Frank Sinatra

**Frank Sinatra on Film: In this celebration year of Sinatra’s 100th birthday, a list emerges of some of his best work on film. The famous crooner starred in hits like From Here to Eternity, On the Town, Guys and Dolls, The Manchurian Candidate, Pal Joey and High Society. He started making films in 1943 with Higher and Higher and ended in 1984 with Cannonball Run II.

**Dustin Hoffman is the latest to take aim and criticize the film industry. He said in an interview recently that TV is the best it’s ever been, and movies are the worst they’ve ever been.

**Upcoming: The Heart of the Sea from Ron Howard, Bridge of Spies with Tom Hanks, and Legend with Tom Hardy are all coming this fall. Robert Redford and Nick Nolte are teaming up in a comedy, A Walk in the Woods that may actually be as funny as the previews.

Star wars logo

**Another list emerged recently. These are some of the best movies aboutSpace”. This list included some of my favorites, and of course, it’s edited to include Honorable Mentions but not the ”Don’t bother to Mentions”!

I would simply add that the list lost a lot of credibility when it included The Day the Earth Stood Still and Blade Runner in Honorable Mentions…And if 2001: A Space Odyssey is not included, there’s nothing more to add.

**The Best of “Space” films include:

 Star Wars-1977

Capricorn One-1977

Close Encounters-1977

Apollo 13-1995



The Right Stuff-1983




Honorable Mentions were: Solaris-Planet of the Apes; Wall-E; Blade Runner!; The Day the Earth Stood Still; War of the Worlds; Buck Rogers in the 25th Century; Flight of the Navigator and E.T

*There seems to be an upcoming debate between the two rival comic universes, DC vs Marvel. With the idea that some of the superheroes are going to be expanding again to include even more tales of origin. As was pointed out recently, “Superhero tales are about extraordinary super beings bashing each other with ridiculous powers. Origin stories are about ordinary people suffering some sort of transformative trauma” With the underlying meaning being that one set of stories is exciting and adventurous, and the other has the potential to be deadly dull.

Bill Murray Ghostbusters

Bill Murray does have an announced cameo in the new Ghostbusters film. If the film has any notion to receive its due in the Cinematic Pantheon, Murray must appear as a Ghostbuster.

*Influence of Star Wars on Film…There’s an article from 6 Degrees Flipboard recently that seemed interesting enough, regarding the influence of Star Wars on film. Naturally, I was interested, as I devoted a good portion of my book, 6 Degrees of Film, to the theory that Star Wars has shaped our culture and definitely our films for the past quarter of a century and more.

Specifically, George Lucas and his company, ILM-Industrial Light & Magic, have transformed the nature of cinema with the emphasis on special effects and CGI-Computer Graphic Imaging. The assertion was made that there would have been no Blade Runner without Star Wars. I’m not sure that is so, because Ridley Scott directed Blade Runner and made some innovative and creative decisions that were not connected with ILM.

*Christopher Guest will premiere his next mockumentary on Netflix-furthering Spielberg’s assertion that more and more original and creative projects will flow through Cable Networks rather than the big screen.

• The company that made Masterminds, the new Zach Galifianakis/Kristen Wiig comedy, is bankrupt and can’t afford to market the movie. Relativity Media filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy, which puts the October release on hold and the movie in limbo. Too bad because it looked funny, with lots of former SNL players on board for the comedy.

Oscar Selfie pix

*The Director of Crash recently admitted it shouldn’t have won Best Picture! I wanted  Munich or Capote to win that year, so this wasn’t shocking news. Almost every year, I root for a film to win Best Picture that eventually loses. And for that matter, it shows in the long run with so many forgettable films earning the nod. In the past 10 years, there have been few memorable winners for the Best Picture Oscar.

The under 30 Hollywood Set: The list of actors and actresses who are “up and comers” include these A-Listers in the 30 and under crowd: Margot Robbie, Cara Delevingne; Michael B Jordan, J Lawrence, Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Stone, Zoe Kravitz, Nicholas Hault, Dakota Johnson, Miles Teller, Eliz Olsen, Alicia Vikander, Liam Hemsworth, and Elle Fanning.

**The Reviews are in:

*Fantastic Four bombs at the box office

*Monster Hunt was the biggest Chinese box-office film ever. And that is the largest market in the world now, so it’s definitely making some people in Hollywood sit up and take notice. The movie looks fairly simple, about a couple that “adopt” a small monster baby. It doesn’t sound like great news for those who root for more complex stories and adult plots.

The Lion King

*The Animated movie pick of all time is…The Lion King.  The Best selling VHS of all time was The Lion King; the top selling DVD is Finding Nemo and now, the best selling Blu-Ray film is…Frozen.


What’s Coming Next:
*Scorsese is teaming with DiCaprio again for a movie about a serial killer from the best-selling book: “The Devil in the White City” by Erik Larson.

**Trailers: Some of the trailers for upcoming films that look promising include: Learning to Drive with Patricia Clarkson and Ben Kingsley; A Walk in the Woods with Robert Redford and Nick Nolte and Sicario with Benicio Del Toro.

Far from madding 2015

**On Demand:
Movies on demand now include Child 44-reviewed in 6 Degrees, The Age of Adaline, Ex Machina, and Far from the Madding Crowd-all recommended for viewing

6 Degrees Armchair Film Festival


It’s summertime at the movies! That means vacations and lighter fare and blockbusters and perhaps lots of different memories for many of us. Beach movies and films from our high school years and summer fun.

There are so many different film festivals out there it’s hard to keep track. One thing in this age of video that is definitely a bonus is the discovery of so many great films and great performances that you can see on demand and on video. For instance, I fell in love with Russell Crowe and Peter O’Toole and Clive Owen at the movies and subsequently became a fan after watching so many of their older films that were available on video.

Russell Crowe

Russell Crowe, before he became a big star, was in some great movies like Proof from 1991, The Sum of Us (1994), Virtuosity (1995), and his big break into A-list films in 1997’s L.A. Confidential.

Clive owen
Peter O’Toole’s best performances were often in films not widely seen today like Joseph Conrad’s Lord Jim or the comedy, How to Steal a Million with Audrey Hepburn. Clive Owen, who has suffered (and made me suffer) through some real clunkers in recent years, was brilliant in the movie based on the play Bent (1997), the made for TV movie Second Sight (1999), Greenfingers (2000), Robert Altman’s Gosford Park (2001), the film noir movie I’ll Sleep when I’m Dead (2003), and Beyond Borders with Angelina Jolie also in 2003. He was best known to audiences in the 2004 King Arthur film and then was nominated for Best Supporting Actor in Closer, also from 2004.

All of these actors and many more are seen in what I call the “Armchair Film Festival”. If you are a fan of Film Noir, then you’re in luck.  TCM shows some of the greatest film noir classics and is even offering a class online that’s free and open to the public!

Mont clift

Turner Classic Movies has a featured star each month and will show many of their greatest films. For example , the work of actor Montgomery Clift can be seen on TCM as he is featured this month in A Place in the Sun and Hitchcock’s I Confess.

If you are interested in the history of the Civil Rights Movement and films dealing with Human Rights issues, then you should watch A Gentleman’s Agreement and To Kill A Mockingbird, both starring Gregory Peck, and Judgment at Nuremberg with Spencer Tracy.

annie hall

**Woody Allen at the Movies: Woody is worthy of volumes and is definitely recommended for Armchair Film Festival viewing. His early comedies and transition from comedy to drama would give any film lover enough material for several retrospectives on his work. TCM is showing showing Annie Hall and Hannah and her Sisters  this month.

s mcqueen bulllitt

**Steve McQueen, another actor worthy of an Armchair Film Fest retrospective, is featured in Bullitt and The Sand Pebbles. Bullitt is one of my favorite films. It’s one of McQueen’s best, and the car chase sequence is probably the granddaddy of all those car chase scenes featured in countless pictures for generations. Bullitt set the standard and it added a touch of authenticity to the screen just knowing that Steve McQueen loved to race cars and was known for doing many of his own stunts.

Sound of Music

Fans of The Sound of Music may recognize some of director Robert Wise’s trademark work in the Film Noir classic, The Set Up. If you can appreciate Wise’s use of shadows and light in The Sound of Music, you’ll know he was attuned to the process from his history with so many film noir features.

**6 Degrees readers, stay tuned as we look at a star or a film genre to recommend each month in the Armchair Film Festival.