Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Hit Me With Your Best Shot: 9 to 5

A movie like 9 to 5 lives and dies by its lead actors, so it's surprising that the three leads are kept apart from each other for the first full half hour of the film. The audience's reward for waiting so long to see them together is this amazing shot, which is my favorite from the film:
My Best Shot

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Hit Me With Your Best Shot: Taxi Driver

Let's face it, Taxi Driver is a dark, dark movie. When my runner-up shot is only because of the aesthetics of the teenage prostitute character, it's clearly not a terribly happy film.

My runner-up shot

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Hit Me With Your Best Shot: Mommie Dearest

My Best Shot
I'm starting this post with my best shot, since in many ways it shaped the way I viewed the entire film. I had never seen Mommie Dearest before, but being a child of pop culture, I've certainly seen the infamous "No wire hangers!" scene spoofed and referenced hundreds of times.

I really tried to find a different shot, wanting to be more original, but only one image even came close:

My 2nd Best Shot
Seeing Joan Crawford dressed in blue, holding a child, complete with halo-shaped window behind her head gave off serious Virgin Mary-vibe. Putting it next to the best shot of the film, it has an Angel/Demon dichotomy, much like the difference between Joan Crawford's public and private personas. If I could pick both of them as my best shot, I would.

But there's no way I'm not going with the Demon Joan.

Joan Crawford's face if I picked the first one (probably)

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Hit Me With Your Best Shot: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

This week's HMWYBS focuses on the Oscar-winning Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow, an Italian anthology film. It's split into three segments, each starting Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni. Here are my best shots from each segment:


I love this shot because it plays on the theme of the first part. Having spent the majority of the film pregnant in order to evade a jail sentence, Adelina finally turns herself in after her husband Carmine is too exhausted to impregnate her for an eighth time. Even though she has technically been free the entire time, it is clear to the audience that Adelina and Cardine have been trapped in a different way, attempting to support themselves and their constantly expanding family. This shot is a beautifully framed depiction of that internal prison made real.


I honestly picked this shot because it's the first time we see Sophia Loren's face in the segment, and it was jarring to see her so high-fashion a few minutes prior. 


The final segment focuses on Mara, a prostitute, and Umberto, a young man studying for the priesthood. This conversation is, for me, the highlight of this segment (yes, moreso than the striptease), and this shot sets it up beautifully. 

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Hit Me With Your Best Shot: Paris is Burning

Confession time: I was completely unaware of the drag scene until I started watching RuPaul's Drag Race (which I just recapped here) in 2012. I had obviously heard of drag, but thought it was an odd subculture that didn't appeal to me. Since then, I've not only fallen in love with drag, but I've actually performed in drag (only once so far, but I plan to do it again soon). Living in the incredibly drag-friendly city of Columbus, Ohio, has allowed me to really dive into this incredibly art form. But as with most things, it's important not only to know the current state of things, but to be aware of the past. There is no better document of the history of drag than Paris is Burning.

Paris is Burning focuses most of its time talking about the balls of New York City, but it also takes time to get to know some of the queens who participate in them. It becomes obvious early on that many of them participate in the balls in order to gain notoriety and fame in the gay community. Most of them are content to stay within that realm, but one, Octavia Saint Laurent, wants to be famous. Even being a transgender model in the 1980s, she has dreams of becoming a household name. She's shown attending a model search, resulting in the best shot from the film:

RuPaul's Drag Race: Glamazonian Airways

Another week, another episode of Drag Race, and another elimination. This week's challenge is a lip-sync performance to music and spoken word, and I can honestly say that this is one of the most well produced performances the show has ever put on. So far the entire season has been unreal with it's production values, and I hope it continues to rise. Meanwhile, the queens are also proving to themselves as one of the best crops of queens the show has ever had.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Top Four Most WTF-Moments of the MTV Movie Award Nominations

The MTV Movie Awards nominations always contain a few questionable nominees (Anne Hathaway for Best Female Performance in Bride Wars? Really?), so they always make for an interesting list.

Best Scared-as-S**t Performance - Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl
Of all the things that can be said about this performance, does it ever really cross into "scared"? There's a small scene where she's being robbed, but she spends 99% of the film in complete control of everything and everyone around her. Hell, Ben Affleck or Carrie Coon would have been better picks from the same movie. This category is better when it's nominees have no idea what's happening.
Suggested replacement nominee: Tom Cruise, Edge of Tomorrow