LAMB Alert: Tom Cruise “Acting School”

27 06 2010

There’s another exciting event going on over at the Large Association of Movie Blogs (LAMB).  About this time last month, I alerted you to a series called the “Acting School” to celebrate the career of Robert Downey, Jr.  This month, it focuses on Tom Cruise.

It’s a great event and there are most assuredly going to be many amazing posts, so I implore you to check it out.  I myself have two pieces in the event written especially for it – mainly because I had no reviews on my site of any of his movies.

The entire series of posts is called “Cruise Control” (because I love wordplay), and I decided to split it into two parts to provide two unique glimpses at the actor.  The first post focused on the Cruise that could have been, highlighting roles the actor almost took.  The second post, on the other hand, focused on the Cruise that I know based on his movies that I have seen.

So go over and celebrate the career of Tom Cruise by celebrating all the fantastic bloggers that submitted their own pieces.  Click on the picture below to be taken to the event.

Large Association of Movie Blogs





I’m on the LAMBcast!

20 06 2010

For those of you that have ever wondered what I sound like, wonder no more. I have ventured into the world of podcasting on the Large Association of Movie Blogs’ “LAMBcast.” Three short weeks ago, I was a neophyte who had no idea how the LAMBcast worked. Now, I have gone from a participant to a discussion leader.

On LAMBcast #24, the topic on hand was film adaptations of video games in the wake of the release of “Prince of Persia.” The conversation was lively with plenty of poking fun at Hollywood’s less than stellar output in the genre. I thought I had little to contribute because I have (wisely) steered clear of video game movies, but I was surprised at how much I had to say.

On LAMBcast #25, I had a great time talking about the movies I’d seen on DVD in recent weeks. Unfortunately, technology backfired and the discussion didn’t record in a way that would be pleasant to listen to. So if you want to hear me play “Last LAMB Standing,” feel free to spend your 12 minutes doing so.

On LAMBcast #26, I led a discussion on comedies tying into the release of “Get Him to the Greek,” a movie which I gave a solid A.  First, we talked about the movie and then went into discussion about what makes a successful comedy, both at the box office and with audiences.

I would strongly recommend listening to them, not only because I am on them but also because they are fun and informative to listen to.

There are four ways to listen to the LAMBcast; unfortunately, none of them are on “Marshall and the Movies.”

1. Listen on Podomatic, the site where the podcast is hosted
2. Find the LAMBcast on iTunes
3. Listen on the embedded player on the LAMB
4. Listen on the embedded player on Blog Cabins

I’m sorry I can’t figure out a way to get WordPress to embed that darned thing, but I’ll work on it for future podcasts.  Click on any of the links above for some good listening!





LAMB Alert: Robert Downey Jr. “Acting School”

31 05 2010

On the first morning of summer, I got up and watched “Sherlock Holmes” just because I could.

Speaking of “Sherlock Holmes,” there’s going to be another cool event going on at the LAMB involving the movie’s star, Robert Downey, Jr.  He’s the reason I decided to give it a second view after my less than glowing first opinion.  The movie works largely because of him, and it was commercially viable also because of him.  He has perfected the smug and slightly standoffish character, and Americans can’t seem to get enough of it.  $275 million and counting for “Iron Man 2” speaks as a testament to it.

But Robert Downey, Jr. has made plenty of other contributions to acting other than this character, and his two Oscar nominations have come from playing something entirely different.  In 1993, he received his first nomination for “Chaplin,” a biopic where RDJ played the famed silent movie star.  Just two years ago, he received his second nomination for a very risky comedic role in “Tropic Thunder,” playing (as the movie puts it) “a dude playing the dude disguised as another dude.”  It’s risks like these that have made Robert Downey, Jr. a unique and lauded actor.

The LAMB is celebrating the man, the actor, and the roles.  It’s really worth checking out because there are reviews of all of his movies as well as spotlight pieces on Robert Downey, Jr. and his work.  I contributed the two reviews I have written of RDJ’s latest movies, “Sherlock Holmes” and “Iron Man 2.”  I wasn’t particularly complimentary of the actor in those two movies, but I really do admire him.  In “Iron Man,” he had a dry wit and strange charm while constantly projecting an image of authority.  He showed a very tender side in “The Soloist,” a very good movie that few people saw.  And while I loathed “Tropic Thunder,” I found his turn to be strangely satisfying.

So come join in the celebration; click the image below and you’ll be directed to the event.





You like me! You really li – oh, wait.

20 05 2010

I had prepared something like the speech the title referenced (when Sally Field screamed “You like me!  You really like me!” after winning her second Oscar) had I been nominated for any LAMMYs, the awards given through the Large Association of Movie Blogs to exemplary movie bloggers.  Unfortunately, that speech won’t be necessary.

I don’t want to revel in sorrow or even make a scene out of not being nominated (honestly, I can’t because I have finals right now).  Like I said, I don’t blog to get recognition or awards.  I blog because I love to write about movies.

And so, I leave you dedicated readers with this, which will set the tone for the next year of “Marshall and the Movies.”

I am going to strive to do my best, to continue to provide you with what I believe to be exemplary content.  I will fight to keep your readership even harder than I have in the 9 months that I have been blogging.  With your help, “Marshall and the Movies” will continue to soar to new heights.  You will never see a movie blogger work harder (except when he has school, and then he will channel his energies there).

So thanks again for reading, because I think you do deserve a pat on the back every once in a while.  And congratulations to my deserving friends and fellow bloggers who have been nominated.  Give yourselves an especially large pat on the back.





For Your Consideration: The LAMMYs

4 05 2010

This post is geared more towards my fellow bloggers, but this post will be of interest to any old reader as well!

The big-a$$ movie blog conglomerate that I am a part of, the Large Association of Movie Blogs (LAMB), is hosting awards for the best movie bloggers in multiple categories.  You know me; I love Hollywood’s awards season, so I’m very into the LAMMYs, as they are calling it.

The way it works is that any member of the association gets to nominate whoever they like in the categories.  But here’s my problem with that – we each have our own little sphere in blogger world.  There are over 500 members, but I maybe visit 20 or 30 of them with any sort of frequency.  We are each going to naturally choose among our sphere, and that’s no real way to choose the BEST.  It’s a popularity contest, where the blogs with the biggest readerships will most likely win out.

But I don’t write to win awards, just as filmmakers don’t make movies to win Oscars.  I write because I love movies and love connecting with people over them.  Awards are just a nice bonus (and think how interesting they might be to bring up in a college interview or essay).

This is my FYC ad; yes, I even made one of them.  Just call me Harvey Weinstein – except don’t.  Now let me run you through the categories where I would appreciate your consideration and lay out my case.

Best Movie Reviewer

I didn’t want to become predominantly a movie reviewer, but I see so many of them that it’s hard not to review them.  I review a vast quantity of movies, including every movie I see in theaters and recent releases on DVD.  In addition to both of those, I provide a weekly column designed to promote little-known movies for great moviegoing, the “F.I.L.M. of the Week” series.  I have begun a companion series as well, movies that no one deserves to watch; the series is called “Save Yourself!”

If my sheer amount of reviews or my range of content doesn’t impress you, check out some of what I consider to be my best reviews so far.

Read my review of “Clash of the Titans.”

Read my review of “Avatar.”

Read my review of “An Education.”

Read my review of “Paranormal Activity.”

Read my first review, about the movie “Julie & Julia.”

Best Awards Coverage

Like I said, I love Oscar season.  I still religiously read awards blogs even in dry April and May.  I draw on what I hear and what I know about what has happened in the past to write the periodical “Oscar Moment.”  This year, having the benefit of blogging from the very beginning of the season, I can do more comprehensive coverage.

But last year, I took the frontrunners, analyzed them, and made predictions.  Some of them were right, but the biggest success was that they sparked discussion.  Not to mention I live blogged the 2009 Oscars.  For all those who wonder what runs through my mind on the biggest night of the year, wonder no longer.

Here’s a sampling of some of my best Oscar Moments, both this year and last.

Read my Oscar Moment on “How to Train Your Dragon.”

Read my live blog from Oscar night.

Read my Oscar Moment on “Nine.”

Read my Oscar Moment on “Up in the Air.”

Read my first Oscar Moment, about the movie “Precious.”

Braniac Award

I mean, I figure that I might as well try to thrust myself into contention here.  I try to write smart, thought-provoking pieces when I have the time.  My smartest posts probably come in the “Features” category (although I think I draw on a lot of intellect in the Oscar Moments too).

Read “Adjusted vs. Unadjusted Box Office.”

Read “Define Best Picture.”

Funniest Writer

I’m no comedian, but I let a whole lot of humor seep through into my posts.  At least I think it’s funny – you may not feel the same way.

If I had to pick the most humorous section of my blog, I would have to say the random factoids.  I’m often a very trite person, making something out of nothing.  If my life were a TV show, it might be “Seinfeld.”

But anyways, I let my funny flag fly in the random factoids.  I don’t have time to go through all 280 and find the funniest, but here are some that I remember off the top of my head as being particularly funny.

Read about what could have been a heated verbal exchanged with a theater employee in Random Factoid #255.

Read about a particular Sandra Bullock monologue that sticks with me in Random Factoid #239.

Read my rant on cramped theaters in Random Factoid #143.

Read about a caper of mistaken age in Random Factoid #135.

Read my rant on my broken DVD player in Random Factoid #85.

Best Post

Because there are some posts that I really think are THAT good.  These are the posts that I put my heart and soul into, and they get an exceptional reaction because of it.  These are the posts that stand out among the others on my blog.

You may have your own favorites, and I invite you to share them with me.  But here are the posts which I, the author, think are the most exceptional.  My top pick would have to be the first.

My review of “Up in the Air.”

My reflections on “Avatar.”

My interview with Kevin Renick.

My pondering on the importance of the acceptance speech.

My opinion piece “Mindless Moviegoing.”

Best New LAMB / Best Blog

If any or all of this has impressed you, fellow bloggers, I encourage you to remember “Marshall and the Movies” when you are filling out your LAMMY ballot in all categories including Best New LAMB and Best Blog.  But again, my greatest accomplishment would come not from winning these awards.  It comes from knowing that my voice is heard in the moviegoing community and that people accept my insights as valid.





Random Factoid #235

20 03 2010

This factoid isn’t so much about the I, it’s about the you.  There is something that I would like you to do.

The movie blogging conglomerate that I belong to, the Large Association of Movie Blogs (or LAMB for short), has kindly featured me in their “Brutally Blunt Blog Blustering” post of the week.  They invite anyone to leave an anonymous comment with honest suggestions for how I can improve the site.

So, what I would like you to do is venture on over to the site and leave your two cents.  Do you hate that my factoids are so utterly random?  Do you have an issue with my layout?  Is my writing style for reviews absolutely unbearable?  Do I need to use a more lively font?  Anything and everything is welcome, I only ask that you be completely honest. This is your big chance to make a big difference on the way this site is run (and avoid any direct reaction from the author), so make the most of it.

CLICK on the picture below to see the “Brutally Blunt Blog Blustering.”