The Third Man

The Sting

The best part about faking your death has to be getting to decide how it will all go down. Instead of a bathroom heart attack, you can have fun with it and get mauled by a bear or spontaneously combust. The following characters know exactly what I’m talking about, as when it came time for someone to “die” they all had a bit of fun with it. Without a doubt, spoilers ensue, but even mentioning what movies they’re for would spoil them for you, so if you’re concerned at all, just don’t read.

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IntroMacGuffins

First popularized by Hitchcock, Merriam-Webster defines a ‘MacGuffin’ as “an object, event, or character in a film or story that serves to set and keep the plot in motion despite usually lacking intrinsic importance.” Basically it’s the thing that makes the movie go. For example, R2-D2 is considered by George Lucas to be the MacGuffin of the Star Wars films. But what of human MacGuffins? Anyone can be a hostage or damsel in distress, so lets look at some of the less than conventional living beings that have propelled a plot.

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When you boil it all down, it’s all subjective. Movie critics are really just people who are better at communicating their opinions clearly, but they aren’t perfect all of the time. Nor are they psychics in any way. Sometimes time (and audiences) won’t going to agree with them, and that’s okay. As the following ten movies show us, there are times when a film isn’t an instant classic. Some require a bit more time to be broken in. Today’s trash might be tomorrow’s classic.

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Everyone loves and hates lists. They reduce and compare movies that don’t deserve it, but they also celebrate greatness in a convenient, digestible form that can do a lot to encourage movie fans to discover new and old greats even better than long, drawn out columns can. Time Out has decided to do the mother of all lists and chose to do it by going all out. The publication sought out the opinions of 150 movie industry experts (ranging from acting, to directing, to producing, to criticism) to pick the 100 Best British Films.

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Criterion Files

Film noir is a much-debated subject amongst cinephiles. It’s often argued to be a genre or an aesthetic, yet any definition designating it as either typically encounters generality and contradiction. Noir takes on many forms. It’s indefinite, but somehow you know it when you see it. In order to pursue a greater understanding of film noir, Adam and I are devoting the next four weeks to examining films noir from various directors, schools of style, and histories from around the globe. So here, an examination of Carol Reed’s The Third Man (1949), is the inaugural entry in a month of analysis we’ve decided to call “Noir-vember.”

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This Week in Blu-ray

Surprise, surprise. It’s time for the return of that weekly column you didn’t realize was gone for several weeks. It’s also time for me to write my first article on this fair site since… August, I believe. It has been a long month of moving, shaking and bribing local officials, I have come back to life and returned to that which I am passionate about most: ripping the latest Blu-ray releases a new disc-hole with my not-so-eloquent prose. This Week in Blu-ray, we take a look at several classics, all from different eras, presented with great care and consideration by their respective studios, several new releases that don’t fail to attain mediocre status, and a big list of titles that I wasn’t able to review — perhaps because many home video publicists were under the impression that I had died recently. Damn that Cole Abaius, he’s always starting nasty rumors.

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Criterion Blu-ray Logo

Now you will have to re-buy all your damn DVDs. Again.

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