Tom Long of The Detroit News gave the film a B, saying \"Minions is every bit as cute as it's supposed to be, a happily empty-headed animated frolic that rarely pauses to take a breath\". Peter Travers of Rolling Stone gave the film two stars out of four, saying, \"It's not whether this prequel can mint money; that's a given. The questions is: Can the minions carry a movie all by their mischievous mini-selves 'Fraid not\". Kerry Lengel of The Arizona Republic gave the film two-and-a-half stars out of five, saying, \"Despite the dizzying pace of carefully calibrated incongruities, Minions somehow never generates more than the occasional chuckle\". Christopher Orr of The Atlantic said, \"There's plenty of high-velocity comic inanity on display to keep kids happily diverted. But the movie's major flaw is an extension of its own premise: Search as they may, the minions never find a villain worthy of their subservience\". Liam Lacey of The Globe and Mail gave the film two stars out of four, saying, \"With its episodic stream of slapstick gags, Minions has moments of piquant absurdity, but mostly its shrill-but-cutesy anarchy works as a visual sugar rush for the preschool set\".
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With an Oscar-nominated script by Ruth Gordon and Garson Kanin, \"Adam's Rib\" pokes fun at the double standard between the sexes. Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn play husband and wife attorneys, each drawn to the same case of attempted murder. Judy Holliday, defending the sanctity of her marriage and family, intends only to frighten her philandering husband (Tom Ewell) and his mistress (Jean Hagen) but tearfully ends up shooting and injuring the husband. Tracy argues that the case is open and shut, but Hepburn asserts that, if the defendant were a man, he'd be set free on the basis of \"the unwritten law.\" As the trial turns into a media circus, the couple's relationship is put to the test. Holliday's first screen triumph propelled her onto bigger roles, including \"Born Yesterday,\" for which she won an Academy Award. The film is also the debut of Ewell, who would become best known for his role opposite Marilyn Monroe in \"The Seven Year Itch\", and Hagen, who would floor audiences as the ditzy blonde movie star with the shrill voice in \"Singin' in the Rain.\"
John Hughes, who had previously given gravitas to the angst of adolescence in his 1984 film, \"Sixteen Candles,\" further explored the social politics of high school in this comedy/character study produced one year later. Set in a day-long Saturday detention hall, the film offers an assortment of American teen-age archetypes such as the \"nerd,\" \"jock,\" and \"weirdo.\" Over the course of the day, labels and default personas slip away as members of this motley group actually talk to each other and learn about each other and themselves. \"The Breakfast Club\" is a comedy that delivers a message with laughs. Thirty years later, the movie's message is still vivid. Written and directed by Hughes, the film's cast includes Molly Ringwald, Anthony Michael Hall, Judd Nelson, Emilio Estevez and Ally Sheedy.
One of the earliest film recordings and the oldest surviving copyrighted motion picture, Edison Kinetoscopic Record of a Sneeze (Jan. 7, 1894) is commonly known as \"Fred Ott's Sneeze\" or simply \"The Sneeze.\" W. K. L. Dickson, who led Thomas Edison's team of inventors, took the images of fellow engineer Ott enacting a snuff-induced sneeze. In March 1894, Harper's Weekly magazine, which requested the pictures, published a sequence of still images taken from the film. \"The Sneeze\" became synonymous with the invention of movies although it was not seen as a moving picture until 1953 when 45 frames were re-animated on 16 mm film. The full 81 frames published in Harper's Weekly were never seen as a movie until 2013 when the Library of Congress made a 35 mm film version. In this new complete version, Fred Ott sneezes twice. Video clip from the Library of Congress Inventing Entertainment: The Early Motion Pictures and Sound Recordings of the Edison Companies.
After two previous film versions of Dashiell Hammett's detective classic \"The Maltese Falcon,\" Warner Bros. finally captured the true essence of Hammett's story in 1941 by wisely adhering to the original as faithfully as possible. John Huston, a screenwriter making his directorial debut, was the catalyst for its success, and Humphrey Bogart as Sam Spade provided the film's heart and soul, earning him stardom for his effort. A hard-boiled often unscrupulous San Francisco private eye, Spade gets drawn into a series of intrigues and double-crosses by client Mary Astor who, along with partners Peter Lorre and Sydney Greenstreet, are in search of a jewel-encrusted statuette shaped like a falcon. Among the most influential movies to emerge from the Hollywood studio system, \"The Maltese Falcon\" is as significant in some ways as its contemporary \"Citizen Kane\" for its contribution to establishing an entirely new style of storytelling that would become identified as \"film noir.\" Expanded essay by Richard T. Jameson (PDF, 437KB)
Preston Sturges' first original screenplay, \"The Power and the Glory,\" is a haunting tragedy in sharp contrast to the comedies of the 1940s that established him as one of America's foremost writer-directors. Contrary to common practice of the time, Sturges wrote the film as a complete shooting script, which producer Jesse L. Lasky, believing it \"the most perfect script I'd ever seen,\" ordered director William K. Howard to film as written. Compared favorably to novels by Henry James and Joseph Conrad for its extensive mix of narration with dramatic action (Fox Studios coined the word \"narratage\" to publicize Sturges' innovative technique), \"The Power and the Glory\" introduced a non-chronological structure to mainstream movies that was said to influence \"Citizen Kane.\" Like that film, \"The Power and the Glory\" presents a fragmented rags-to-riches tale of an American industrial magnate that begins with his death, in this case a suicide, and sensitively proceeds to produce a deeply affecting, morally ambivalent portrayal. The Nation magazine called Spencer Tracy's performance in the lead role \"one of the fullest characterizations ever achieved on screen.\"Expanded essay by Aubrey Solomon (PDF, 273KB)
By turns utterly derivative and audaciously original, Quentin Tarantino's mordantly wicked Möbius strip of a movie influenced a generation of filmmakers and stands as a milestone in the evolution of independent cinema in the United States, making it one of the few films on the National Film Registry as notable for its lasting impact on the film industry as its considerable artistic merits. Directed by Tarantino from his profane and poetic script, \"Pulp Fiction\" is a beautifully composed tour-de-force, combining narrative elements of hardboiled crime novels and film noir with the bright widescreen visuals of Sergio Leone. The impact is profound and unforgettable.Expanded essay by Jami Bernard (PDF, 468KB)
Screenwriter Callie Khouri began her script for \"Thelma & Louise\" with a single sentence premise: \"Two women go on a crime spree.\" What emerged, from her word processor and eventually from the screen, became a feminist manifesto and a cultural flashpoint that eventually landed the film's stars, in character, onto the cover of \"Time\" magazine. Anchored by two career-defining performances from Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis (and a breakout early appearance by Brad Pitt), \"Thelma & Louise\" skillfully contrasts action-movie themes with a social commentary before building to an unforgettable climax. Directed by Ridley Scott, \"Thelma & Louise\" has become both a symbol of feminism. 153554b96e