Kenneth Turan recommends films not to be missed

Los Angeles Times film critic Kenneth Turan also reviews films for NPR and in general I have found his recommendations to agree with my own tastes. So I was interested to hear a clip that he had published a new book where he recommends 54 films, starting from the 1920s until today, that he thinks that everyone should see. He feels that especially with older films, there are some gems that people today are not aware of.
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Film review: The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

This film is a mess. There is no other word to describe it.

How it got nominated for five Academy Awards including best film, actor, supporting actor, director, and screenplay beats me, unless it was because of the star power of highly acclaimed director Martin Scorcese and actor Leonardo DiCaprio. But it did not win a single one, suggesting that there is at least some justice in the world of judging films.
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Oh great, another Left Behind film

It appears that there is a new version of the film based on the Left Behind books to be released on October 3. For those not familiar with this series of best sellers, they are based on the Rapture that supposedly will occur at the ‘end times’ as foretold in the Book of Revelation, when the true Christians will suddenly be all taken up to heaven before Jesus returns to destroy the evildoers (i.e., those left behind) in years of bloody warfare. Or something like that, it’s all a bit confusing. But one thing that is sure is that there will be blood. Oh yes, lots of blood. The books revel in it.
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How Edgar Wright does visual comedy

This blog has been talking a lot recently about Simon Pegg-Nick Frost films. Reader kyoseki sent me a link to this clip to the skills of Edgar Wright, the director of many of the performances of the duo.. The person who put this clip together says that Wright is a master of using visual effects for comedic purposes and not depending simply on verbal gags, and shows how he does it.
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Film review: Paul (2011)

In a comment to my review of the three Simon Pegg-Nick Frost comedies, reader sumdum suggested that I might also enjoy seeing another film involving this pair and that is Paul, in which the duo leave the cozy confines of the English pub and play two science fiction graphic novel fans who attend the annual Comic-Con in San Diego and then go on a road trip in an RV to visit all the sites in the US that are believed to been the site of extra-terrestrial visitations.
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Film review: The English pub trilogy

Recently I watched three films in rapid succession: Shaun of the Dead (2004), Hot Fuzz (2007), and The World’s End (2013). Although they are all distinct films with different characters and the stories are unrelated, they form a trilogy in that all three were written by Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg, were directed by Wright, and starred Pegg and Nick Frost who plays Pegg’s sidekick. They also featured appearances by Martin Freeman (all three films), Bill Nighy (two films), Steve Coogan (one film), and two ex-Bonds Pierce Brosnan and Timothy Dalton (one each).
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The United States of Secrets-Part One: The Program

Last night I watched online the above two-hour Frontline program that was broadcast earlier this week on public television and it is well worth seeing. It tells the history of the NSA’s secret surveillance programs, focusing on the period from just before the events of 9/11 and leading up to soon after Barack Obama took office as president in 2008. The story of Edward Snowden and his leaks are used to bracket this story but is not the main focus. Part 2 deals with the role of the major internet companies and will be broadcast next week on public television stations and will also be on the internet.
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Film review: August: Osage County (2013)

This is a good film despite the fact that its central premise is a well-worn one, that of a dysfunctional family that has dispersed as the children became adults but then reconvene in the family home in an isolated part of Oklahoma due to a tragedy. In the course of a day or two, long-simmering feuds and rivalries and resentments resurface and long-suppressed secrets are revealed. Tennessee Williams’s Cat on a Hot Tin Roof is the prototype of such dramas.
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