Summer means wacky vacations, running through water sprinklers, and beach blanket bingo bonanzas.
But summer also means oppressive heat, sunburns, noxious insects, sweaty men in tee-shirts, testy tempers, the sweltering battlefield of Gettysburg, the German invasion of Belgium in 1914, and, of course, bad summer movies. So in picking your favorite movies about summer, remember that there’s more to choose from than just those celebrating fun in the sun. [Shown is the trailer for “The Long, Hot Summer” (1958)]
The summer movie season does not generally produce Oscar-worthy fare, but let’s not scorn the appeal of sequels, fantasies, sci-fi thrillers, horror movies and dumb comedies.
I suspect we all have favorites among these big-budgeted audience pleasers, and, who knows, maybe this summer’s releases will include a similar gem. What are your choices for the best summer movie? [Shown is a trailer for “22 Jump Street”].
When I was a kid my parents took me to see “The Longest Day” for my birthday.
Since then I have been in awe of those soldiers who took the war to the Nazis in World War II. In honor of the 70th anniversary of D-Day on June 6, send in your choices for the best films about the war in Europe to firstname.lastname@example.org or include them in the comments. Deadline is Monday, June 2. We’ll be presenting the best Sunday, June 8. [Shown is the trailer for “The Longest Day” (1962)]
One of the world’s greatest movies, “Sansho the Bailiff” (1954), screens Sunday at the Harvard Film Archive as part of its ongoing Kenji Mizoguchi retrospective.
That might be a good choice for your favorite Japanese film. But then there are the works of Akira Kurosawa, Yasujirô Ozu, Mikio Naruse, Hayao Miyazaki and Ishirô Honda, the guy who directed the original “Godzilla” (1954). It’s a challenge to pick just one, but send your choices to email@example.com or include them in the comments. Deadline is Monday, May 26. We’ll be presenting the best Sunday, June 1. [Shown is a trailer for “Sansho the Bailiff” (1954)]
If you are at all stumped trying to come up with the best silent feature, you might check out some of the Charlie Chaplin pictures playing at the Brattle Theatre as part of the “Little Tramp at 100” retrospective from May 23-27.
Three of them are in the top 150 of the British Film Institute’s 2012 poll of the best films of all time. There’s plenty more to choose from, so pick your favorites and put them in the comments section or send them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org by May 19. We’ll be running the top five on May 25. [Shown is a trailer for “City Lights” (1931)]
Everyone has that movie they saw as a kid that initiated them into the magic of cinema. For me it was “Invaders from Mars” seen on the old “Fantasmic Features” TV show.
That cave scene in particular, with the drill. Suddenly everything – my fear of the dentist, the suspicion that everyone was under alien control – made sense. What movie that you saw as a kid made the biggest impression on you? Send your choices to email@example.com or include them in the comments. Deadline is Monday, May 12. We’ll be presenting the best Sunday, May 18. [Shown is the trailer for “Invaders from Mars” (1953)]
Adding to the list of great movie mothers is Patricia Arquette in Richard Linklater’s “Boyhood,”
seen in the recent Independent Film Festival of Boston and opening theatrically this summer. In honor of Mother’s Day, tell us who your favorite film moms are – nice, nasty, or in between. Send your choices to firstname.lastname@example.org or include them in the comments. Deadline is Monday, May 5. We’ll be presenting the best Sunday, May 11. [Shown is a trailer for “Boyhood”]
If I were to choose my favorite song about the sweet hereafter, it would probably be “Heaven” by the Talking Heads. But if I were to pick my favorite film about heaven, it would not be “The Sweet Hereafter” by Atom Egoyan. Fortunately, there are a lot more to choose from, including “Heaven Is for Real,”
which opened Wednesday. What are your favorites? Send your choices to email@example.com or include them in the comments. Deadline is Monday, April 21. We’ll be presenting the best Sunday, April 27. [shown is a trailer for “Heaven is for Real”]
There may not be a lot of dialogue in veteran independent director Jim Jarmusch’s movies, whose “Only Lovers Left Alive”
opens on April 11, there are always a few good lines. Like “I am the vinner!” Or, “I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream.” Those of you who have seen the movies these lines are from probably know what I’m talking about. If you haven’t, you should watch all of Jim Jarmusch’s movies and help us pick the five best. Send me your favorites at firstname.lastname@example.org or include them in the comments. Deadline is Monday, April 7. We’ll be presenting the best Sunday, April 13. [shown is a trailer for “Only Lovers Left Alive”]
Fighting, kissing, dancing, or just standing around looking miserable: no matter what's going on, adding a good dose of rain makes it more cinematic. No wonder fake rain has been one of cinema's most enduring special effects. Which rain scene has precipitated your greatest admiration? Send your choices to email@example.com or include them in the comments. Deadline is Monday, March 31. We’ll be presenting the best Sunday, April 6. [Shown is the trailer for "Noah"]
“I’ll be back,” he said in “The Terminator” in 1984. True to his word, he has made around 30 films since then, plus an extended role as Governor of California, and he’s back again on March 28 at the age of 66 with “Sabotage.”
He is interminable. Which of his films, or roles, or taglines (I’m fond of “You should not drink. And bake.”) are your favorites? Send your choices to firstname.lastname@example.org or include them in the comments. Deadline is Monday, March 24. We’ll be presenting the best Sunday, March 30. [shown is a trailer for “Sabotage”]
Long before there were movie stars, there were Thomas Edison’s boxing cats in 1894.
Cats have brought their mystery, magic and pugilistic skills to the big screen for 120 years; don’t you think it’s time for an Academy Award for Best Feline Performance? Which great cat acts of the past do you think would be deserving? Send your choices to email@example.com or include them in the comments. Deadline is Monday, March 17. We’ll be presenting the best Sunday, March 23. [shown is “The Boxing Cats” (1894)]
Everyone Ioves the Irish on St. Patrick’s Day (March 17), and it’s a good time to remember that there is a lot more to that wee island than green beer, “Danny Boy,” and shillelagh fights. The stories about Ireland on the big screen range from the boisterous beauty of John Ford’s “The Quiet Man” (1952)
to the grim brutalities of Steve McQueen’s “Hunger” (2008). Which films about Ireland or the Irish would be the leaders of your parade? The deadline for entries is Monday, March 10. We’ll be running the top five on Sunday, March 16. [Shown is a trailer for “The Quiet Man”]
LaLohan went on "The Tonight Show" Thursday night to plug her upcoming reality series on OWN, premiering this Sunday. While the primary takeaway of her appearance was how healthy and happy she seems/looks, the internet is now abuzz with the rumor that a "Mean Girls" reunion is in the works.
Will Gluck’s modern update of beloved musical "Annie" starring Quvenzhane Wallis and Jamie Foxx finally has an official trailer.
The "Beasts of the Southern Wild" actress stars as the famed curly-haired sweetheart, who lives with Miss Hannigan, played by a rather alarming Cameron Diaz, and her fellow orphans in Harlem. Foxx appears as Benjamin Stacks ($$$), the film's version of Daddy Warbucks, an uptight billionaire with his eye on the city's mayoral seat. Rose Byrne appears as the good-natured Grace Farrell, while her real-life beau Bobby Cannavale makes an appearance in a newly written role as Stacks' political adviser.
The film arrives in theaters next Christmas.
[h/t Entertainment Weeky]
John Travolta completely butchered Tony Award-winning actress Idina Menzel's name at the Academy Awards on March 2 -- and that wasn't the weirdest thing that happened.
In no particular order, here are the seven weirdest moments from the 86th Academy Awards that aired live from the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.FULL ENTRY
"Gravity" cleaned house on Sunday night with seven Academy Award wins, but it wasn't the Alfonso Cuaron-directed film that left a great taste in our mouth -- it was the pizza.
Pizza? Yes, pizza.
Oscars host Ellen DeGeneres told her peers that she would order pizzas halfway through the show, and she made good on her promise. Minutes later she brought out a pizza delivery man from backstage, used Brad Pitt as a plate-passer-outer, and delivered cheesy, gooey, luke-warm looking slices to a slew of celebs.
Here are the five best reasons that there should be pizza at every awards show:FULL ENTRY
Any Oscars surprises? How did Ellen DeGeneres do as host? Globe film critic Ty Burr was online Monday, March 3, at 1 p.m. to chat with you about the 86th Academy Awards. Click the replay button below to catch up on all things Oscars.
Forget your Abrams tanks, Predator drones or M249 SAW machine guns. When people watch combat on the screen these days, they like it the old-fashioned way: swords, spears, arrows and cleavers, the more hand-to-hand the better. Whether the setting is pagan, medieval, or imaginary, these spectacles of hot blood and cold steel are guaranteed crowd pleasers. The sequel “300: Rise of an Empire”
(opens March 7) is the latest in this genre, which goes back at least to D.W. Griffith’s “Intolerance” (1918). Send your favorites to firstname.lastname@example.org or include them in the comments. Deadline is Monday, March 3. We’ll be presenting the best Sunday, March 9. [shown is a trailer “300: Rise of an Empire”]
With "American Hustle," "Gravity," and "12 Years a Slave" leading the Oscar nominations this year, and Ellen DeGeneres back as the show's host, there's already a lot to talk about. As far as entertainment goes, Bette Midler is taking the stage, Pink is making an appearance, and U2 is giving a performance of "Ordinary Love," featured in the film "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom," for starters.
Emmy-award winning A&E critic Joyce Kulhawik previews this year's show, highlighting the night's most anticipated moments and making her predictions for winners in each major category.
About Movie Nation
ContributorsTy Burr is a film critic with The Boston Globe.
Mark Feeney is an arts writer for The Boston Globe.
Janice Page is movies editor for The Boston Globe.
Tom Russo is a regular correspondent for the Movies section and writes a weekly column on DVD releases.
Katie McLeod is Boston.com's features editor.
Rachel Raczka is a producer for Lifestyle and Arts & Entertainment at Boston.com.
Emily Wright is an Arts & Entertainment producer for Boston.com.
Take 2 reviews and podcast
Look for new reviews by Ty Burr and Wesley Morris at the end of each week in multiple formats.