The Lion in Winter

Today’s trailer is a public service announcement for anyone out there who feels like their family is dysfunctional. Here’s the message: it’s not. Or at least, the royal family of The Lion in Winter would give it a run for its money. Some of the harshest things ever said by familial characters take place in this flick (when Katharine Hepburn talks about peeling her husband like a pear? Messed up.), and it’s all done to bombastic trumpet blasts. Hepburn and Peter O’Toole own this movie, of course, but it was also the filmic debut of Anthony Hopkins and Timothy Dalton who tear up the screen, keeping pace with the veterans. It’s good to know that even though he broke his arm during his first film, Hopkins kept acting. Plus, legend has it that Hepburn and O’Toole would drink wine and smoke cigarettes everyday after wrapping, and it’s not a stretch to imagine that after yelling at your co-stars for hours on end, you’d need a bonding break. As proof, even this trailer gets the blood boiling.

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Solid relationships are built on compromise. Meaning, when your boyfriend or girlfriend tells you they want to go see Something Borrowed or Thor this weekend and your gut reaction is “I’d rather have an eagle bite out my liver every day for an eternity than see that movie,” well, you have to suck it up. Not just because you’re trying to keep the two of you together, but because the movie may actually turn out to be your cup of tea. Open minds, people. I’ve been the “movie buff” in many a relationship, but this weekend’s line-up reminded me of the many discoveries I’ve made thanks to the differing opinions and interests of past significant others. For every sappy mother/daughter road trip drama (Anywhere But Here), fairy tale relationship come true (The Prince and Me), or by-the-books rom-com with a song for a title (Sweet Home Alabama), my girlfriends took me to a movie that — gasp — continues to resonate in my memory, challenge the way I watch films and remind me that I should get over myself once in awhile. Pretty impressive. I hope one of them felt that way when I sat them down to watch Jet Li’s The One. As a reminder to myself and to all that we don’t ever really know what we’re going to enjoy the heck out of, here are eight movies I would probably never have seen on my own volition. And then I turn the table on you: what movie […]

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John Barry, the prolific and almost peerless film composer, has died of a heart attack. The beauty and complexity of his work cannot be overstated – a fact bolstered by his five Oscar wins (for Out of Africa, The Lion in Winter, Born Free (2 wins), and Dances With Wolves). Of course, Barry will be less known for the statues and more known for his decades of collaboration on the James Bond franchise. He worked on eleven of the first Bond movies starting with Dr. No and ending with The Living Daylights. Barry worked on or has had his music included in 143 films. It’s a massive achievement, and one that leaves the question of which score is the best open to a wild range of interpretation. Do you go with the brassy edge of the Bond music? The sheer hugeness and intensity of the Zulu score? The sophisticated jungle rhythms of the 1976 King Kong remake? The man left behind some impeccable work – film scores that should be studied and emulated for years to come. Not to mentioned enjoyed by movie fans of all stripes. He will absolutely be missed.

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