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Now and Then

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    Citizen Kane and Pulp Fiction, Two Overrated Classics Coming to a Blu-ray Player Near You

    This week in his “Now and Then” column, Matt Brennan — inspired by the re-release of Citizen Kane (Orson Welles, 1941) and the upcoming Blu-ray edition of Pulp Fiction (Quentin Tarantino, 1994) — tries to explain how a movie becomes a “classic.” Trailers below:To paraphrase the famous saying, some m...

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    Film in the Decade Since 9/11: From Superheroes to Westerns, What Came After

    This week's “Now and Then” column started out comparing and contrasting two movies about assassins — Hanna (Joe Wright, 2011) and Léon: the Professional (Luc Besson, 1994)—and ended up ruminating on 9/11. Trailers below:Life and culture are too messy to be divided into easy categories like “Before” and “After,” but for all the continuities in the way films are made and viewed, a long view of the last decade reveals some important, if subtle, shifts. Watching the network news coverage of September 11 to prepare for this column, I was reminded of how much we didn’t know that day, how much our fear stemmed from no longer being able to control th...

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    Why The Help Is the Most Successful Movie in America

    For this week's “Now and Then” column, Matt Brennan veered from his planned course.I had originally planned on writing about two brilliantly constructed, unnerving examples of the “new Romanian Cinema” — 4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days and Police, Adjective, both of which I recommend. But last night, ...

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    Even Athletes Get the Blues: in Stellar Win Win and Hoop Dreams, Sports Aren't Just About Victory

    This week in "Now and Then," Matt Brennan writes about two sports movies — Win Win, now on DVD, and Hoop Dreams , the classic documentary from 1994 — that are about a lot more than sports. Watch the trailers below: In the weird and wonderful films of writer/director Tom McCarthy (The Station Agent, The Visitor), everyone’s running from something. With a homey, lived-in style and a strong command of performance, his three films behind the camera capture the particular anxiety of suburban life. And though he’s never lost his sense of humor, McCarthy’s progression from oddball character study to fully conceived narrative depicts real people an...

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    Crazy, Creepy Love: Romance is Dangerous in Rebecca, Jane Eyre

    In this week's “Now and Then" column, Matt Brennan looks at two adaptations of Gothic novels: Hitchcock’s Rebecca (1940) and Cary Fukunaga’s Jane Eyre (out on DVD), see trailers below. A pair of young women, the rough men who love them, the creepy manors they live in, and the eerie forces attemp...

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    Bogart: Unconventional Star, Sex Symbol in TCM's Summer Under the Stars Retrospective

    Matt Brennan takes a different tack in his “Now and Then” column this week, reviewing not two movies but one star. It just so happens that Turner Classic Movies did the work of combining current and classic for him. On Wednesday, the network’s essential series “Summer Under the Stars” gives us 24 hours of Humphrey Bogart. Swoon. Trailer and clip below: They say sex sells, but it never flew off the shelves quite like it did in the heyday of the studio system. Back then a guy didn’t need a six-pack to get us melting, though it didn’t hurt — just try to resist the swaggering muscularity of Brando, busting out of that white T-shirt in A Streetca...

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    TV's Emmy-Nominated The Killing Borrows Heavily from Fincher's Seven

    This week in “Now and Then,” columnist Matt Brennan cracks The Case of the Two Murder Mysteries: AMC’s Emmy-nominated The Killing, now showing an encore of its first season Sunday nights at midnight, and critical darling David Fincher’s breakout thriller from 1995, Seven.

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    Women with Guns: Thelma & Louise On Its 20th Anniversary vs. Hit TNT Series Rizzoli & Isles

    In honor of the 20th anniversary of Thelma & Louise, Matthew Brennan's latest “Now and Then” compares and contrasts Ridley Scott and Callie Khouri's groundbreaking road trip and TNT's police procedural/buddy series Rizzoli & Isles. Louise (Susan Sarandon) pulls no punches, but she’s fastidious, too. She pins her hair back tight and tugs her jacket on as snugly as she can; her kitchen is spotless enough to be a makeshift hospital room. Thelma (Geena Davis), on the other hand, is slovenly, loud. She skitters around in a floral housedress, surrounded by so many coupons, newspaper clippings, telephone bills, and other ephemera you’d be hard press...

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    Two Documentaries Get Personal: The Kids Grow Up vs. Sherman’s March

    Sometimes it’s personal, writes Matt Brennan in this week’s “Now and Then” column on the two documentaries The Kids Grow Up and Sherman’s March (trailers below):One is inherently subjective, a collation of interviews, impressions, laughter and tears. The other is only ostensibly objective, a histo...

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    Destroying Los Angeles: From Blade Runner to Battle: Los Angeles and the Carmageddon that Wasn't

    In the annals of film, no place has endured as many disasters as the City of Angels. It’s been the site of 10.5 magnitude quakes, lava spewing from the La Brea tar pits, and the incineration of the Earth’s crust. So, in honor of the Carmageddon that wasn’t, this week’s edition of “Now and Then” atte...

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