movies

'Non-Stop': Liam Neeson, Armed And Dangerous Again

Feb 28, 2014

"Have you ever fired two guns whilst jumping through the air?" So asks one character in Edgar Wright's excellent 2007 comedic tribute to buddy-cop movies, Hot Fuzz, in a moment meant to highlight the simultaneous ridiculousness and awesomeness of that particular action-movie trope.

You won't believe it — I didn't — but the person responsible for keeping each and every shot of a movie in focus never looks through a camera lens.

"No," says focus puller Baird Steptoe. "We do not look through the camera at all."

Steptoe has worked as a first assistant cameraman on films from The Sixth Sense to Thor to last year's Grownups Two. He says he's learned to judge distances — precise distances — with his naked eye alone.

"I mean, I can tell you roughly from you to me right now," he says. "I would say about 2-11."

How One Winner Changed The Academy Awards

Feb 27, 2014
Flickr Photo/Davidlohr Bueso (CC BY-NC-ND)

In anticipation for the Oscars this weekend, Steve Scher sat down with Swing Years host Amanda Wilde to discuss the history of the Best Original Song category.

Almost two decades after publishing his last Calvin & Hobbes comic strip, elusive cartoonist Bill Watterson is back — with a film poster. The documentary, Stripped, is a self-described "love letter to comic strips" that includes interviews with, among others, Jeff Keane of Family Circus, Richard Thompson of Cul de Sac and Watterson himself.

AP Photo/Andy Kropa

Actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, who won a Best Actor Oscar for the title role in the 2005 film "Capote," was found dead in his Manhattan apartment on Sunday at age 46.

Flickr Photo/samaja

One of the most popular characters in literature, stage, film and television started with a struggling doctor trying to put food on the table.

In 1887, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, selling stories to magazines and papers as a side profession, introduced a detective and doctor duo in “The Mystery of Uncle Jeremy’s Household” – a prototype that would later become the ubiquitous Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson in “A Study in Scarlet” and an entire canon that followed.

What's a domestic melodrama without a mom to kill off, to sicken, to render monstrous or otherwise AWOL?

The makers of the new action flick 47 Ronin didn't want to film their movie in Oregon. But that doesn't mean the state won't have a starring role.

KUOW Photo/Ross Reynolds

Scarecrow Video, Seattle’s largest video rental store, has an animation room. It has French comedies from the 1960s that aren’t even available in France. It has rows of films listed by obscure directors and the entire DVD box set of thirtysomething (which, upon reflection, perhaps it shouldn’t).

middle-earth.thehobbit.com

Just in time for "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug," part two of director Peter Jackson's movie trilogy based on J.R.R. Tolkien's book, Google Chrome and Warner Bros. have launched an interactive "journey through Middle-Earth."

Katniss Everdeen: The New Superwoman?

Nov 21, 2013
From the "Hunger Games" Facebook page.

Steve Scher talks with film historian Caetlin Benson-Allott, assistant professor of English, film and media studies at Georgetown University, about a new genre of Hollywood heroines.

12 Years a Slave is the most compelling film about music to be released this year, maybe this century. It's so many other things, too, as others have noted: a corrective to the weird cocktail of piety and cartoonishness that Hollywood usually supplies when depicting slavery; a gorgeous art film and an actor's hellish paradise; a cultural highlight of the Obama administration.

KUOW Photo/Ross Reynolds

You know that "Singles" and "Sleepless in Seattle" were shot in Seattle, but what about Cameron Crowe’s "Say Anything"? Or "Humpday" and "It Happened at the World’s Fair," starring Elvis (in Technicolor)?

KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

Back in the early seventies, Elliott Gould liked to wear one pink Converse gym shoe and one blue Converse gym shoe. It’s the kind of goofy and surprising choice a character played by Gould might make. Gould is an American actor whose work defines a naturalistic approach to film acting.

He starred in the TV show MASH and movie "The Long Goodbye," and he's a member of the fabled five-timers club of guest hosts on Saturday Night Live. Gould spoke with The Record's Steve Scher.

If you’re pondering what to do this weekend consider the shining reviews coming in for the movie "Gravity" with Sandra Bullock and George Clooney. Here’s Seattle film writer David Chen with his take on "Gravity."

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