Number Crunching Shows Old Movies Are More Creative Than New Ones

All Rights Reserved. Photo by Hopper Stone Captain Phillips (PG-13) ‘Captain Phillips,’ a taut, finely crafted, superbly acted maritime thriller, is just one of a wave of fabulous films heading our way. Its autumn, my friends, a time of falling leaves and soaring cinematic standards. Hallelujah, and pass the buttered popcorn. Ann Hornaday The Summit (R) Because The Summit jumps around in time and because the events on the mountain happened over two days and at locations often far apart, the already garbled chronology of deaths is made even more confusing. Michael OSullivan When Comedy Went to School (Unrated) At first, the movie sets out to prove that the mountain resort was the seminal location for mid-century Jewish comedians to get their start. But after so many detours into other terrain, the movie feels muddled and unwieldy. Stephanie Merry The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete (R) Wright and Mackie have small parts, playing a homeless veteran and a pimp, respectively. Like all the other grown-up actors, their work is fine and tightly focused. But its Brooks and Dizon that youre not likely to forget. They may be tiny little kids, but they deliver outsize performances. Michael OSullivan Escape from Tomorrow (Unrated) As a social critique, ‘Escape From Tomorrow’ is weak. At times, the filmmaker seems to suggest that Disneys mechanistic manipulation of the imagination after all, its park designers are called imagineers is stifling original thought. Michael OSullivan Machete Kills (R) Bad acting, narrative illogic, inattention to character development and storytelling so choppy that the film seems to have been edited with a, well, machete are what you expect from a movie like this, which originated as a fake trailer incorporated into the 2007 film Grindhouse. Michael OSullivan Romeo and Juliet (PG-13) ‘Wherefore art thou Romeo?’ remains, as do the plays other most famous lines, but screenwriter Julian Fellowes, the creator of ‘Downton Abbey,’ has dumbed down much of the remaining dialogue. Does that mean it will appeal to a broader audience? Its possible cursing ‘zounds’ is so 1597, after all but replacing existing text with old adages about the road to hell being paved with good intentions or striking while the iron is hot comes across as lazy. Stephanie Merry A.C.O.D. (R) The cast is uniformly strong, with standout performances from Lynch, OHara, Jenkins, Poehler and Howard. Jessica Alba also makes a nice, if brief, appearance as a fellow child of divorce with whom Carter almost cheats on Lauren.

The results appeared Sept. 26 in Nature Scientific Reports . The researcher behind the findings, physicist Sameet Sreenivasan of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York, was at first somewhat surprised at some of his results. You always hear about how the period from 1929 to 1950 was known as the Golden Age of Hollywood, he said. There were big movies with big movie stars. But if you look at novelty at that time, you see a downward trend. This result is likely familiar to any student of film history, who knows that this golden age also corresponded to a time when nearly all movies were produced and released by a handful of studios. The Big Five in particular reigned supreme through the practice of block booking. Studios produced several A-movies with big stars and high production values. But local theatres, which were monopolistically owned by the Big Five, were forced to also show the studios B-movies, often starring rising or fading actors and featuring formulaic plot lines. When the studio system crumbled in the mid-50s, there was a burst of creativity. Audiences were introduced to independent films of the American New Wave genre such as Bonnie and Clyde, released in 1967 as well as European art house, French New Wave, spaghetti westerns, and Japanese cinema. The novel styles, plot lines, and film techniques create a noticeable uptick in Sreenivasans analysis. Unsurprisingly, the research also suggests that unfamiliar combinations of themes or plots that havent been encountered before (something like sci-fi-western) often have the highest novelty scores.

Get five free HD movies when you sign up for Vudu

Well, sort of. For a limited time, you can get five free high-definition movies when you sign up for a new Vudu account . (Note to Google Chrome users: I’ve never been able to get the Vudu site to display properly in that browser. You may need to use Firefox, Internet Explorer, or Safari if you want to take advantage of this offer.) Specifically, the Vudu HDX Starter Pack gives new customers five HDX-format movies. And what the heck is HDX? It’s the best of the three tiers of streaming quality offered by the service, equivalent to 1080p and “twice the resolution of other Internet HD video formats,” according the Vudu. You can sign up for the service using your Facebook account (which is easiest, though you will have to grant the usual permissions) or an e-mail address. You’ll also need to set up (or link to) an UltraViolet account (UltraViolet is kind of a companion service used to manage movie purchases) and provide a credit card number. Once you’ve finished all the setup stuff, you’ll be able to choose from around 30 movies. Don’t expect any cinematic classics, but there are some decent choices, including “The Italian Job,” “There’s Something About Mary,” “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” and “Rango.” From there you can watch your movies on any supported device: Android phone or tablet, game console, Roku box, iPhone or iPad, some Blu-ray players and smart TVs, and so on. And if you decide you’re not feeling it with Vudu, you can cancel your account by sending an e-mail to So, what freebies will you be watching this weekend?