Frame of Mind: 2012
Cinema Fearité Presents 'Invisible Invaders', A B-Movie With Aliens...That Turn Into Zombies...Then Back To Aliens
One of the biggest challenges in making an alien invasion movie is giving the audience something new and different. Should the aliens be bobble-headed egg-brains like the campy classics in This Island Earth and Mars Attacks!, or should they be the sleek and swift, genuinely terrifying beings from Alien or Independence Day? In 1959, screenwriter Sam Newman (The Giant Claw) and director Edward L. Cahn (It! The Terror from Beyond Space) found a way to approach aliens in a way that no one had ever seen...literally...in Invisible Invaders.
Over the course of film history, zombies have evolved from the reanimated Haitian voodoo corpses in White Zombie to the swarming disease infected victims in World War Z. They have rambled aimlessly in Night of the Living Dead and sprinted purposefully in 28 Days Later. In 1946, Republic Pictures showed the world a zombie that had never been seen before and hasn’t been replicated since in their Valley of the Zombies.
Just about every modern horror movie archetype has roots that can be traced back to the silent film era. Nosferatu the vampire chilled audiences a full decade before Bela Lugosi made Dracula into a household word. Frankenstein hit the silent screens in 1910, twenty years before Boris Karloff’s iconic performance. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari is the blueprint for the modern day slasher film. And in 1925, fifteen years before Universal’s The Wolf Man, audiences were terrified by the original werewolf movie, a film called Wolf Blood.
Revenge has been a theme of slasher movies since before they were actually called slasher movies. Early revenge horror films such as I Spit on Your Grave and The Last House on the Left were graphic and brutal affairs, but the vengeance motif transitioned well into the tongue-in-cheek campy world of the slasher film when the craze hit its stride in the early eighties. Films like Prom Night and Terror Train took the time honored desire to get even and injected it with the clever and imaginative killing power of the slasher genre. In 1986, with the golden age of the slasher at its peak, horror fans were treated to another great story of bloody high school revenge with the release of Slaughter High.
Cinema Fearité Celebrates The Legendary Richard Matheson With 'The Strange Possession Of Mrs. Oliver'
Hollywood lost another icon this week as influential writer Richard Matheson passed away at his home in Calabasas, California at the age of 87. Even if his name is not immediately recognizable, his stories certainly are. He wrote the most instantly recognizable episodes of “The Twilight Zone,” including “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet” and “Steel.” His work has been produced by dozens of important directors, including everyone from Roger Corman to Steven Spielberg. His novel "I Am Legend" was made into at least three different films in three different decades with three different legendary lead actors: Vincent Price (The Last Man on Earth), Charlton Heston (The Omega Man), and Will Smith (I Am Legend). Matheson could work in any medium, be it short stories, novels, movie scripts, or teleplays, all with the same inspired results. Illustrating his supernatural side in 1977, he provided the screenplay to one of his more understated works, a T.V. movie called The Strange Possession of Mrs. Oliver.
American studios such as Universal and RKO discovered in the twenties and thirties that monster movies sold tickets, and it didn’t take long for the trend to travel overseas. While Britain’s Hammer Horror was busy rehashing their own versions of gothic Universal monsters like Frankenstein and Dracula, Japan’s Toho Company found influence in the science fiction monsters of RKO, striking gold with Godzilla in 1954. Not wanting to rest on their laurels, Toho kept pumping out mutant reptile movies, and they found success again in 1956 with Rodan.
Cinema Fearité Presents 'The Sentinel', The Missing Link Between 'The Exorcist' and 'The Amityville Horror'
Perhaps the oldest good versus evil story is that of God and Satan, and the struggle between the two powers has made for some memorable cinema. The seventies alone saw the making of two classics of the horror genre, The Exorcist and The Omen, both of which deal with the fight between the Church and the Devil. In 1977, the year after the release of The Omen, action film director Michael Winner (Death Wish, The Mechanic) tried his hand at the age-old tale when he made The Sentinel.
After a string of highly successful films that started way back in 1931, the legendary Bette Davis made a seamless transition to television in the early fifties. When she returned to film about a decade later in Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?, the actress found that she had become a bit of a horror movie icon. Never one to disappoint her fans, Davis followed up with another spooky film in 1964 when she played a pair of twins in Dead Ringer.
The golden age of slasher films saw Hollywood struggling to find new and different horror movie killers. By the time the late eighties rolled around, mad murderer movies had become stale and passé, and studios were willing to do seemingly anything to find a way to refresh the genre. In 1989, the generically titled Night Shadow was released, a film which tried to combine the suspense of the slasher film with the sheer terror of the werewolf movie.
Cinema Fearité Presents Mia Farrow In 'The Haunting Of Julia', One Of The Best Ghost Stories Ever Adapted To Film
In 1968, after a successful run on television’s “Peyton Place,” actress Mia Farrow finally broke through to big-screen audiences in Roman Polanski’s influential horror film Rosemary’s Baby. Although Farrow would go on to play straight roles in works such as The Great Gatsby and a television production of “Peter Pan,” she never failed to keep her horror fans happy with films like See No Evil and Secret Ceremony. In 1977, she made her most frightening film since Rosemary’s Baby when she starred in The Haunting of Julia.
Alice Winocour’s 'Augustine' Has Commitment And Quiet Charisma From The Stars; It's Just Not Very Interesting
Augustine is one of the harder sorts of films to write about, being handsomely mounted, with appealing leads and an interesting story, a minimum of pandering or condescension towards the audience, and fully aware of the ramifications of its subject matter. The problem is, it’s just not very interesting.
Cinema Fearité Presents Audrey Hepburn And Alan Arkin In 'Wait Until Dark,' A Simple Film That Is Scary As Hell
As strange as it may seem, horror movies and stage plays have enjoyed an incestuous relationship over the years. Starting as far back as the musical adaptation of the Roger Corman classic The Little Shop of Horrors, iconic horror films such as Evil Dead, Carrie, Night of the Living Dead, and The Brain that Wouldn’t Die have all been turned into theatrical productions. The big screen/small stage connection is a two-way street, however, with dozens of movies having been adapted from stage plays as well. One of the most frightening films of the sixties was born out of this trend when director Terance Young reworked playwright Frederick’s Knott’s Wait Until Dark.
This week, the motion picture industry lost one of its most influential figures. Special effects artist Ray Harryhausen passed away in London at the age of 92. Harryhausen’s stop-motion animation techniques are the stuff of legends, from the ape in Mighty Joe Young (which won an Oscar for best visual effects) to the medusa in Clash of the Titans. Although he is mainly known for his contributions to adventure films like Jason and the Argonauts and The 7th Voyage of Sinbad, his creations lent themselves equally well to science fiction and monster movies, and 1955’s It Came from Beneath the Sea is a classic example of his unmistakable work.
Rushlights is a twisted tale of lies and deceit, with a host of characters that get more shady by the minute. This is, of course, the extreme fun in watching Rushlights' story play out on screen. The twists keep coming, the momentum never slows down, and the near-pulpiness of the movie only helps matters.
Samuel Z. Arkoff’s American International Pictures made a habit of capitalizing on the successes of Universal Pictures movies in the 1950s. The production and distribution company pumped out modernizations of the classic monster films, including I Was a Teenage Werewolf and I Was a Teenage Frankenstein. In 1958, hot on the heels of Universal’s The Incredible Shrinking Man, AIP rushed a film with the working title of I Was a Teenage Doll into production, a film that would be quickly released as Attack of the Puppet People.
Cinema Fearité Presents 'The Town That Dreaded Sundown', A True Story That Is Creepier Than Fiction.
Masked killers are always scary, but the words “based on a true story” seem to magnify the effect. From The Texas Chain Saw Massacre to The Strangers, the claim that a horror movie is based on actual events gives it an air of authenticity that can be terrifying. In 1976, during the infancy of the true crime horror phase, the gimmick was exploited by a classic film called The Town that Dreaded Sundown.
One sure way for a horror movie to shock the public is to make the main villain a child, or a group of children. Some of the more frightening movies in horror history have employed this technique, ranging from a single kid in The Bad Seed and The Good Son to entire tribes in Children of the Damned and Children of the Corn. In 1981, a trio of horrible kids wreaked havoc on their hometown in Bloody Birthday.
With the dawn of the eighties, slasher movies saturated the horror genre; spawned by the 1978 success of John Carpenter’s Halloween, scores of imitators made their way into theaters during what would become known as the Golden Age of the slasher film. Some of these films, like Friday the 13th and A Nightmare on Elm Street, became timeless classics. Others toiled away in obscurity, only seen and remembered by hardcore fans of the subgenre. Released in 1980, Silent Scream is one of the underappreciated.
Cinema Fearité Presents 'The Black Room' Starring Boris Karloff At His Finest, With No Monster Makeup
By the middle of the thirties, Boris Karloff had already played the monster in Frankenstein and The Bride of Frankenstein as well as the title role in The Mummy, all for Universal. Taking a vacation from monster roles, Karloff turned to Columbia Pictures for a chance to show off his acting chops, and the film that they gave him was a tour-de-force for the thespian: The Black Room.
As one of the pioneers of low-budget, can-do filmmaking, Roger Corman has a reputation as one of the most prolific producers and directors of all time. His films usually revolve around some campy gimmick, whether it is the rubber suited monster in Creature from the Haunted Sea or the killer plant in The Little Shop of Horrors. In 1959, Corman was approached by American International Pictures to make a movie for less than $50,000, and the resulting film was the cult classic A Bucket of Blood, a picture without any monsters except for an emotionally damaged artist.
Cinema Fearité Presents A Movie So Bad Its Awesome Again With 'Cathy's Curse' (Dir. Eddy Matalon 1977)
Oh, Canada. The relatively low production costs coupled with extremely film-friendly government tax incentives see many horror films heading north of the border to the land of hockey, mounted police and Bryan Adams to shoot. Sometimes, these films end up as classics of the genre, as is the case with Prom Night and Terror Train. Other times, they end up like 1977’s Cathy’s Curse.
After ten years of working on Blancanieves, writer-director Pablo Berger must have had mixed feelings about the appearance of The Artist last year. That film’s runaway success was undeniably a useful ice-breaker, however, for they are similar beasts, modern silent films made (largely) according to the conventions and constraints of the 1920s. Berger even gives Uggie a run for his money, with a perky rooster named Pepe.
Cinema Fearité Presents The Equally Hysterical And Terrifying Cult Classic 'TerrorVision' (Dir. Ted Nicolaou 1986)
One of the biggest and most important advances in entertainment technology to come out of the 1980s is the advent of cable television and satellite reception. No longer were people limited to movies at a theater and a mere thirteen channels of programming. As with any new technology, however, there was a learning curve, and the features ended up confusing and frightening some customers. Someone was bound to make a movie about it and, in 1986, B-movie producers Albert and Charles Band did. That movie, equally hysterical and horrifying, was called TerrorVision.
Cinema Fearité Presents The Most Far-Fetched And Fun Waterlogged Creature Feature 'Tentacles' (Dir. Oliver Hellman 1977)
When Jaws ushered in the modern monster movie era in 1975, moviegoers everywhere became terrified to go into the water. Jaws was so effective that it spawned a bevy of aquatic imitators, each more strange that the last. For several years after Jaws, audiences were treated to thinly veiled rip-offs like Orca in 1977, Piranha in 1978, and Alligator in 1980. Perhaps the most far-fetched, and therefore the most fun, of these water-logged creature-features is the Samuel Z. Arkoff 1977 killer octopus presentation known as Tentacles.
Because the horror genre has always embraced short film, the horror anthology has always been hugely popular. Whether it’s a simple excuse to stick a bunch of shorts together into a feature length film or a purely organic set of episodic storylines, horror anthologies provide frightening entertainment for the attention-deficit crowd. Although it hit its peak in the seventies with Tales from the Crypt, Asylum, and The Vault of Horror, the fad is actually much older; it dates back to the silent movie era with 1924’s Waxworks.
Just like any successful horror film, the first Friday the 13th brought about a slew of imitators. Not only did the film spawn more than a half dozen sequels in the years that followed, but the early eighties also saw films like Sleepaway Camp and Madman hop on the bandwagon and provide their own spin to the summer camp killer motif. The first of these films, releasing just a week after Friday the 13th Part 2 in 1981, was a bloody thriller that was destined to become a classic called The Burning.
By the nineteen seventies, every filmmaker in the horror world was looking for something new to scare audiences, and the scurry led to some very original films. For every influential blockbuster frightfest like The Exorcist, Jaws, or Halloween, there were several lesser known but just as creative movies. One of these films that slipped through the cracks was the 1973 low budget monster thriller Sssssss.
As frightening as male characters can be, the role of the villain in horror movies has not always belonged strictly to guys; women can be every bit as terrifying, if not more so. Whether she comes in the form of an unstable woman, like Annie Wilkes in Misery, or a supernatural banshee, like the title character in Mama, a lady is just as adept at inducing fear in an audience as a man. Although the trend has seen a boost since the seventies, the female horror antagonist is hardly a new concept; audiences were treated to it as early as 1944 in The Soul of a Monster.
Ever since the original King Kong amazed audiences with its cutting edge animation, stop-motion photography has been a viable alternative to costumed creatures in horror and science fiction movies. The nineteen seventies saw a nice little resurgence in stop-motion/live action monster movies, with the technique being used seemingly everywhere from Roger Corman’s Piranha to the Star Wars movies. At the forefront of the stop-motion movement was visual animator David Allen, and his work on 1977’s The Crater Lake Monster serves as a textbook example of the trend.
Many of the most successful and admired Hollywood directors cut their teeth making horror films. The legendary Steven Spielberg’s early career includes the classic fright films Duel and Jaws. The Godfather’s Francis Ford Coppola got his humble start working on the Roger Corman productions The Terror and Dementia 13. Peter Jackson could never have brought The Lord of the Rings trilogy to life if he hadn’t made his directorial debut with Bad Taste and Dead Alive. The recent critical darling Kathryn Bigelow is no exception; in 1987, years before The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty, she made the revisionist vampire classic Near Dark.
In the world of horror movies, witches and the devil seem to go hand in hand; it’s always the Dark Lord himself that is behind the witchery. When children get dragged into the fold, things start getting really scary. A film made in 1971, right between Rosemary’s Baby and The Omen, called The Brotherhood of Satan effectively pulls off the horror trifecta of creepy kids, a witch’s coven, and Satan himself.
Here they are, the best films of 2012--a personal list.
In the 1930s, Fay Wray was as close to a female horror icon as Hollywood had; after carving out her niche in 1932’s Doctor X and The Most Dangerous Game, the actress found herself in the movie that would make her a career monster victim, 1933’s King Kong. Taking advantage of a studio system that shared resources like sets and crews, she appeared in an astonishing 21 films between 1933 and 1934. In between classics like The Vampire Bat and The Countess of Monte Cristo, Wray found time to star in a creepy little film in 1934 about voodoo called Black Moon.
Another year has gone by at FilmFracture and it has been full of great movies, mediocre trips to the cinema, and some downright awful wastes of time. With that said, here are the best and worst movies of 2012, based solely on their Production ratings (how they faired in other categories may have been better, or the same, click out on the titles to see for yourself). I must warn you, our choices for the best movies may come as quite a shock--who would have thought a Troma picture would make a best of list?
By the time the golden age of the slasher movie was in full swing, Jamie Lee Curtis was already a bona-fide scream queen. Her role as the archetypical final girl, Laurie Strode, in 1978’s Halloween put her on the map, and she had parts in no fewer than three horror classics released in 1980. Given that she made the box office successes The Fog and Prom Night in the same year, it’s no surprise that her other 1980 slasher film, a Canadian schlockfest about a group of med-school students on a train for a New Year’s Eve party called Terror Train, has flown under the radar.
Here they are, the top ten horror movies of 2012 as compiled by FilmFracture's own horror aficionado, James Jay Edwards.
In 1984, the movie world was up in arms about Silent Night, Deadly Night and the fact that its central figure was a serial killer who dressed as Santa Claus. Although killer Santas were nothing new, the controversy surrounding Silent Night, Deadly Night took publicity away from another 1984 Christmas slasher film, one in which the men in Santa suits were the victims, called Don’t Open Till Christmas.
On December 19, 2012 Seth Rogen and Barbra Streisand are heading out on the open road in the comedy The Guilt Trip. I had the pleasure to attend the press conference for The Guilt Trip with Barbra and Seth in attendance, as well as director Anne Fletcher and screenwriter Dan Fogelman. The questions posed to all four made for a stimulating and often times hilarious afternoon. Even if everyone wanted a piece of Barbra--but you can't blame them, it is a rare occasion to have the opportunity to ask Barbra Streisand a question. Here are some of my favorite moments...with commentary thrown in for good measure here and there.
Once a horror franchise gains momentum and finds an audience, it’s only a matter of time before sequels are no longer enough to satisfy its audience – the next step is a crossover. From Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man and King Kong vs. Godzilla to Freddy vs. Jason and Alien vs. Predator, monster crossovers have a proven track record at the box office, attracting fans from both original franchise camps as well as new viewers who are curious to the trend. In 1958, American International Pictures took advantage of the teenage monster film craze and released a different kind of crossover film called How to Make a Monster.
Monster movies are some of the oldest, most beloved horror movies. As such, monster movies have also used every sort of cinematic technology to bring their beasts to life. The mother of all monster movies itself, King Kong, has been made and remade three times in three different ways: in 1933 with stop-motion animation, in 1976 using the simple but classic man-in-a-gorilla suit, and in 2005 utilizing the latest in green-screen CG technology. Horror and sci-fi fans are especially fond of the second method, the rubber suit monster, due to the varying degrees of camp and quality and because of the sheer fun of the creature feature. In 1971, Octaman was released, updating the classic creature feature for the nineteen seventies.
Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff both had successful and prolific acting careers before the 1930s, but the pair became horror icons when they were cast in their signature roles, Lugosi as the title role in Dracula and Karloff as the monster in Frankenstein, by Universal Pictures. As two of the crown jewels in Universal’s horror stable, Lugosi and Karloff were bound to be teamed up, and the first film in which the two actors took the screen together was 1934’s The Black Cat.
Happy Holidays, everyone. This year the FilmFracture team brings you the most anticipated, and must see movies, of the 2012 Holiday Movie Season. Some may be obvious--The Hobbit--others not so much--Silent Night--but they are coming to theatres to make your holiday a little more bright, while being spent in the dark.
The horrors of drug abuse have had the pleasure of being documented on film for nearly a hundred years. While most of these films are thinly veiled social commentary, others mask their message in a true artistic expression of cinema. Somewhere in between Reefer Madness and Requiem for a Dream sits a weird little horror film from 1972 called Blood Freak which tries to do both – yet accomplishes neither.
Dreamworks Animation has given moviegoers some of the most treasured animated franchises; from the Shrek and Madagascar series of films to Kung Fu Panda's, as well as How To Train Your Dragon and the highly anticipated upcoming sequel coming 2014. Their newest film, Rise of the Guardians is based on a series of books by William Joyce called "The Guardians of Childhood" that brings to life a world where Santa Klaus (voice of Alex Baldwin), the Easter Bunny (voice of Hugh Jackman), Sandman, and the Tooth Fairy (voice of Isla Fisher) exist to keep the world safe; they are The Guardians and it is with the belief of children around the world as to their existence that their powers remain in tact. There is one other fabled character who has never been given much attention in the modern age, or any age for that matter, Jack Frost (voice of Chris Pine). Rise of the Guardians is Jack Frost's story as to how he becomes one of the Guardians, while assisting the others in saving the world from the evil Boogeyman (voice of Jude Law).
As long as there have been actors, there have been actors wanting to be directors. Whether they would handle it all from the beginning of their careers, like Orson Welles or Woody Allen, or transitioned into directing after years of acting, like George Clooney or Ben Affleck, the desire to move from in front of the camera to behind it is a common one in Hollywood. This “I-can-do-that” mentality has even hit the low budget horror world and, in 1958, famed B-movie character actor Bruno VeSota (Attack of the Giant Leeches) tried his hand at directing in American International Pictures’ sci-fi horror gem The Brain Eaters.
Natural disasters are easy prey for filmmakers wherein the melodrama is grown organically out of the true story the film portrays. This is usually their downfall, as the events and performances are so over-the-top and seeping with mushiness that they get thrown onto a Cable Network and forgotten--all for the best. Then there is one that goes against the odds stacked up against it, a melodrama based on true events that takes place during a harrowing experience that is the entire film-worthy package, meant to be seen on a big screen. The Impossible, directed by Juan Antonio Bayona of The Orphanage (2007), is that movie.
AFI FEST 2012 Film Review: Post Tenebras Lux (Dir. Carlos Reygadas Mexico/France/Germany/The Netherlands 2012)
Carlos Reygadas burst on the scene as an unapologetically pretentious arthouse director with Japón , and gained instant renown/notoriety in the circles that care. This was cemented with Battle In Heaven , but the calmed down Silent Light  won over many of the off-put. For Post Tenebras Lux, however, he returns to his first inclinations with a vengeance.
Barbara’s elliptical beginning delivers the eponymous heroine, a doctor, to a provincial hospital in a seaside town. She is just released from some unspecified incarceration, and still under surveillance from the implacable secret police. Only gradually do we realize that this is East Germany in the early 80s, and only gradually do we warm to Barbara’s sour trout face and hard, defiant, watchful eyes.
Xavier Dolan stretches out with his third feature, not just in budget and length, but in matching his emotionally high-pitched material with an equally bravura style, and in tackling a subject less frequently seen on screen even than the tortured mother-son relationship of his début éclatant, I Killed My Mother , or the MMF love triangle of Heartbeats . He remains for the first time behind the camera, ceding the demanding lead role to veteran French actor Melvil Poupard – he started aged 9 with Raúl Ruiz – who gives a subtly restrained and highly appealing performance in Laurence Anyways.
The rather lovely tone of Miguel Gomes’ Tabu is set from the beginning, in a poetic voiceover prologue about a widowed huntsman in Africa, accompanied by a beautiful, simple piano piece, and dripping in that peculiarly Portuguese saudade.
Caesar Must Die is apparently a small, simple film, with one straightforward aim: to remind the viewer that lifers in a maximum security prison in Rome, no matter their crimes, remain emotionally valid and susceptible human beings. Yet to achieve this, the veteran Taviani brothers take on one of the most nebulous issues of them all, the power of art, via that most enduring of artists, in the prison production of Julius Caesar.
This is really quite a silly film, Piéta, albeit played totally deadpan, from the portentous and only-just-relevant title on down, as a punky young loan enforcer goes around crippling the poor machinist clients who cannot pay their exorbitant interest. The appearance of a silent, nicely-dressed middle-aged lady amidst the fantastic detritus of the industrial tenement setting forces him out of his lonely, cold-blooded routine, and awakens suppressed mother issues that will leave him unable to do his job, and wide open for revenge.
With its origins in the early seventies, the revenge film has consistently been one of the most controversial genres in the horror world. Not only do these films feature extreme graphic violence, but they often include misogynistic scenes of rape and dismemberment that are not intended for the faint of heart. Revenge films are frightening in a different way than typical horror films; they don’t include supernatural creatures or mythical monsters, instead opting to use human antagonists that are every bit as evil, but bring a sense of realism to the story. In 1976, Ivan Reitman (yes, that Ivan Reitman, the man who also brought the world Ghostbusters and Animal House) produced a nasty little Canadian film called Death Weekend that remains one of the forgotten gems of the revenge film subgenre.
AFI FEST 2012 Film Review: Leviathan (Dir. Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Véréna Paravel US/UK/France 2012)
Leviathan is a fantastic audio-visual experiment, presented as by the Sensory Ethnography Lab. The emphasis is on the sensory, so to get the other out of the way, it is filmed entirely on and around a commercial fishing vessel and yes, it’s a hard life for these fishermen, with much of their work machinelike in its mindless repetition, and mostly at night (happily the fish-gutting is filmed with some discretion; the removal of ray wings less so).
This is unashamedly unconventional, but in a fan rather than snooty way. Using (mostly) just diegetic sound from the post-production of a fictional mid-70s Italian horror movie, Peter Strickland has followed his superb debut, Katalin Varga , with a largely non-narrative nightmare hymn both to the electronic soundtrack experiments of that time, and to the gorgeous analogue gear that made such arcane chantries of the era’s recording studios, with Berberian Sound Studio.
Thus far Daniel Craig's James Bond films – Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace – have been a mixed bag. While the former was a successful reinvention of agent 007 the latter threw most of those intriguing concepts away in favor of a humdrum story about water being our most precious resource. However, despite the inferior quality of Quantum of Solace there was a belief that Craig's Bond was still a viable hero, one that could be redeemed. And thankfully MGM too saw fit to keep the property alive with Craig, and will this week deliver the third Bond adventure for Craig (23rd for Bond), Skyfall.
There are pockets of whimsy in the Ken Loach filmography, but following 2009’s Looking for Eric, he seems more fully than ever to be embracing an Ealing-inflected lightheartedness. The Angel's Share starts off in reasonably familiar territory, as a succession of poor, unemployed Scots have their petty crimes recounted in court, and the community service sentences passed down. All crew cuts, tracksuits, and impenetrable Glasgow accents, the stage is set for some grubby grim-up-northness, but Loach’s film turns out to be anything but.
Director Tobias Lindholm's first feature film R was a gritty prison drama that upheaved the generic genre conventions that came before. His second feature takes a drastic look at a very topical subject, and one very much ignored in detail in the media--except for the sensationalizing of pirates sailing the open sea. A Highjacking is the story of a group of crew members aboard a Danish ship headed to Mumbai, sailing in waters that are not common territory for water-bound highjacking. Never say never is the shocking truth that A Highjacking brings to life, with as much intensity and claustrophobia possible.
If nothing else, Brandon Cronenberg has been quite unafraid to make a film that could pass for an earlier one of his father’s. Antiviral boasts a fertile premise that ties biological interference to celebrity obsession, is very handsomely mounted, and features a fine, committed performance from Caleb Landry Jones in the lead. But the title rings hollow as an antidote to the modern woes depicted on screen, or as representative of any of the characters’ actions or motivations – like the film itself, catchy, but little more than superficially thought-provoking.
It should be noted that the original title of Olivier Assayas’ well-received Something In The Air is Après Mai. For a film set in France in 1970, that inevitably means “after [the extensive riots of ] May 1968”. Let it be clear, however, that this is neither a political film, nor a film about politics. The Assayas surrogate takes part in high school revolutionary activity, and the context is being heavily used to sell the film of course, along with the implications of autobiography. But that title also means “after school got out in May”, because it’s basically Assayas’ “What I did in my summer vacation 1970” and it goes something like this:
Abbas Kiarostami has gone to Japan, and why not? Like Someone In Love is less obviously tricksy than his last, and his first outside of Iran, Certified Copy ; and it reveals a little more of what was obvious all along – that Kiarostami’s interests lie in people, identity, and communication (between characters, and with the audience), rather than in cultural specificity. This is no more a film about Japan than the last was a film about Tuscany, or the others – really – are about Iran.
Of all the holidays that have had horror movies made in their honor over the years, there is still only one undisputed champion of the genre: the spookiest holiday of them all, Halloween. In 1978, John Carpenter’s genre defining classic Halloween paved the way for several imitators, the most obvious being a film made by adult film director Gary Graver a few short years later in 1982 called Trick or Treats.
AFI FEST 2012 'Breakthrough' Must See Selection: Nairobi Half Life (Dir. Tosh Gitonga 2012 Germany Kenya)
If you go to the AFI FEST website, and select Film Guide from the navigation menu, you will find all of the festival's sections laid out before you, with an image from one film highlighting each. It should come as no surprise that Nairobi Half Life has been selected to represent the 'Breakthrough' section of the guide. Not to discount the greatness of the other five films in the section but after viewing Nairobi Half Life it is hard to imagine any other film being as remarkable--although I am sure they all have their respective merits, and I will discover those when the festival runs November 1-8, much to my excitement. For now I will share with you the fascinating and brilliant accomplishment in filmmaking that is Nairobi Half Life.
AFI FEST 2012 'Young Americans' Must See Movies: The International Sign For Choking, Somebody Up There Likes Me, and Starlet
The 'Young Americans' section of the AFI FEST program is a place where emerging U.S. filmmakers showcase their recent works to the festival audience in the hopes that they will win the coveted audience award prize. There are eleven films in the section for the 2012 festival, three of which have made an incredible impression on me during my pre-festival coverage--I have not seen all of the eleven, and I look forward to watching the rest during AFI FEST 2012 (November 1-8). But for now, a preview of three sure contenders for the audience award, and they are undoubtedly going to please every festival goer who takes the time to see them--and I highly recommend you add them to your schedule--The International Sign For Choking, Somebody Up There Likes Me, and Starlet.
As frightening as fictional serial killers can be, they are no match for the real-life bad guys. Movies have been made about the most famous of mass murderers, including both exploitation films like Ted Bundy and big Hollywood productions such as Zodiac. Back in 1959, the earliest of the household name serial killers also got the first movie of the bunch when Robert S. Baker and Monty Berman unleashed Jack the Ripper.
Ever since the resurgence of the slasher film in the early eighties, teenagers have been the staple victims in horror movies. Whether it’s a lone babysitter trapped in a dark house or a group of camp counselors stranded in the woods, the relative innocence and inexperience of adolescents make them ripe for the picking. In 1985, Friday the 13th director Sean S. Cunningham went one better by making kids both the heroes and the villains, an effort that resulted in the teenage horror film The New Kids.
In Leos Carax’s rather wonderful and fantastic new film Holy Motors, there are several points at which one may wonder what is real. The answer is none of it, and all of it. It begins explicitly as a dream, after all, in a cinema, with Carax the dreamer himself; but it is a dream of life, of possible lives, and a dream of the very process of cinema.
Spending time with Charlie Hunnam and Lizzy Caplan together in an interview setting was anything but structured, cohesive, or lacking in humor. Promoting their new film 3,2,1...Frankie Go Boom, it was a refreshing interview as the two actors had a great rapport with one another; they were constantly laughing, telling jokes, sparring with sarcasm, and for the most part making it extremely difficult to get a straight answer about anything. It was one of the best times at an interview I have ever experienced, because it was unpredictable. Here is a highlight reel of their best commentary. Warning, it does not make much sense as a whole, and that is kind of the point, but please be aware that everything was said in jest, and should not be construed in any other way when/if possible.
Serial Killer as anti-hero has been a popular motif in slasher films for as long as there have been slasher films. From the seminal Peeping Tom through the influential Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer to the over-the-top American Psycho, cold blooded murderers have always made a fun and different type of protagonist, one that can be rooted for as well as against. In 1970, legendary Italian giallo director Mario Bava (Twitch of the Death Nerve, Black Sunday) introduced the world to his own psycho killer John Harrington in an under-the-radar film called Hatchet for the Honeymoon.
Three things that have always made good fodder for horror films are ghosts, psychics and serial killers. In 1973, director Nicolas Roeg (The Witches) combined these elements in his film Don’t Look Now and, in the process, created one of the most frightening British films ever made.
Although Boris Karloff had been making movies for years before he became the monster in Frankenstein, this signature roll opened the gates to offers for more monster roles and cemented his legacy as an icon in the horror genre. Tucked neatly within Karloff’s filmography between The Mummy and The Black Cat is a lost little classic from 1933 called The Ghoul which ranks as one of his creepiest films.
There are two kinds of bad movies. There are bad movies that are just unwatchable, and then there are bad movies that strike a chord with certain audiences and are sought out and viewed because of the very fact that they are bad. In 1987, The Video Dead was made, becoming an instant cult classic and inspiring horror fans for decades.
When Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master premiered at the 2012 Venice Film Festival the immediate reaction from critics in attendance was that of high praise. The festival jury agreed, bestowing best actor awards to Philip Seymour Hoffman and Joaquin Phoenix and best director to Paul Thomas Anderson; and, as is expected at the Venice Film Festival, a scandal erupted over whether the best picture Golden Lion went to The Master or Kim Ki-duk's Pieta [NY Times Artsbeat]. The admiration for filming on 65mm (to be seen on 70mm in theatres) also gave The Master an immediate boost is likability because in a dying world of film usage in lieu of the cheaper digital format a movie made on 65mm is rare beyond measure. The usage pays off as The Master is breathtakingly beautiful with its expansive extreme wide shots and uncomfortable close-ups that last far too long and cause one to stir in his seat from the intrusive nature of the shot. The trance inducing score with its methodical rhythm only further creates an almost ominous feeling surrounding the entire film, creating a place in time that is haunted by the ghosts of the characters. The technical aspects of The Master are not what will have people talking after seeing it, and the scandal in Venice has since been forgotten, as the praise for The Master continues--but the worthiness of such praise is complicated, as The Master's success or failure resides in a viewer's own perception of the material, and the material presented is difficult to process.
Legendary writer Richard Matheson has had his hand in dozens of Hollywood productions, whether it has been as the imagination behind many of the more memorable episodes of “The Twilight Zone” or as the creator of screenplays for movies like I Am Legend or Duel. In 1973, Matheson’s most frightening book was brought to the big screen, and The Legend of Hell House turned the haunted house genre on its ear.
Ridley Scott's newest film Prometheus (2012) has raised a great many questions, and provided few direct answers for moviegoers. This piece seeks to uncover some of the mystery surrounded the unanswered questions in Prometheus while analyzing the information provided in the film. It contains spoilers, and ideas that are solely those of the author and is not intended to be considered factual in its basis. Unless you completely agree that is, and then of course, it holds truth; more truth than you could ever imagine. Now, let's have some fun figuring out Prometheus.
A writer's words can project their soul onto the page, for the world to embrace, admonish, or when such words reveal a love story beyond measure to provoke a wealth of emotion. Passing off another's work as your own is the cruelest act a writer can commit; in The Words, Bradley Cooper's character Rory Jansen does just that. But the truth behind the motivation of Rory to use another man's story in order to become a published writer is not simple. The complexity of Rory's tale tests morality, as it also reveals the truths behind the fact that having told a story may be more important than who actually wrote the story. The Words is a complicated dialogue on morals, on truth, and most of all a love story that makes the aforementioned inconsequential.
Vampires have always been the most sexy and loved movie monsters. Starting with Dracula himself, following through The Lost Boys and continuing into Twilight, bloodsuckers have gained a reputation as the hip, romantic undead beings. It’s not just the male vampires that can be fashionable, either, as director Roger Vadim (Barbarella) showed the world in his 1960 film Blood and Roses.
Politically charged documentaries are a dime a dozen. Documentaries of a satirical nature, that also say a great deal about world politics in an informative, engaging, and humorous way are less common. Danish Director Mads Brugger ventures into the territory of political documentary satire, or a political farce, with The Ambassador. Mads opens The Ambassador by stating, "Here ends my life as a Danish journalist." His new life venture is to become an African Diplomat, for bags of diamonds he claims he can smuggle out of his new found country as a Diplomat. His country of choice, thanks to the ease of achieving Diplomat status with the right amount of money, is Liberia. His target is the Central African Republic (CAR), a little known country to the rest of the world but a place full of what Mads wants most: blood diamonds. Mads Brugger uses his style of documentary storytelling that he calls "performative journalism" to share his experience. In performative journalism he creates an "absurd caricature of a corrupt diplomat, with hidden cameras, black-market credentials, and razor-sharp wit." The experiment is a success, to say the least.
Nineteen Seventy-six was a banner year for Jodie Foster. Already a bona-fide television child star, the fourteen-year-old made the jump to the silver screen in a big way, with not only her Oscar-nominated turn in Taxi Driver, but with starring roles in the family films Bugsy Malone and Freaky Friday. Those projects alone probably made her the hardest working kid in Hollywood, but she also showed off her versatility in a creepy little horror mystery called The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane.
In director Till Schauder's documentary, The Iran Job, American basketball player Kevin Sheppard travels to Iran in 2008 and joins the Iranian Super League, Iran's equivalent to America's National Basketball Association. Although Kevin's professional career has been spent overseas playing in countries such as Brazil, Venezuela, Spain, China and Israel, living in Iran initially makes him very nervous. His worry, shared by his parents and his girlfriend back home, is warranted considering Iran's reputation of being one of the world's most feared countries, a safe-haven for Islamic terrorists, and suspect of being in constant development of nuclear weapons. From the very beginning of the film director Till Schauder establishes America's rocky relationship with the foreign country via old press conference footage of former President George W. Bush and Senator Hilary Clinton condemning president Ahmadinejad's calling for the destruction of Israel. Schauder also films various Iranian neighborhoods with huge anti-American street art displayed upon their walls. As if living in an "enemy" state isn't nerve-wracking enough, Kevin is being paid more than any other player to ensure the first year team, A.S. Shiraz, makes it to the playoffs.
The country of Colombia has always been a place of violence, political unrest, and consistently under scrutiny. Famously known for its Drug Cartel, and former cartel leader Pablo Escobar, Colombia continues to supply 90% of the cocaine to US drug traffickers. A rarely told viewpoint is that of the women in Colombia, from the rural villages that are caught in the crossfire between the government and guerillas. Director Nicole Karsin ventures into this unchartered feminist viewpoint with the documentary We Women Warriors. Told from the perspective of three native women, Doris an Awa from Southern Colombia, Ludis a Kankuamo of Northern Colombia, and Flor Ilva, a Nasa woman in Southern Colombia, Karsin weaves an intricate story about perseverance in a place where violence has overrun the desire for peace, but three women seek to make change with non-violent actions.
Science fiction films, particularly those creature features from the 1950s, usually dealt with aliens from another world traveling through space in an attempt to invade or colonize Earth. But what about the beings who have always been here, hiding just out of sight? Prolific television Western director Virgil W. Vogel (“Wagon Train” and “The Big Valley”) asked that same question in 1956 when he made The Mole People, creating one of the most unique sci-fi monster movies ever made.
Robert Pattinson smells like sex...that is what director David Cronenberg makes clear in Cosmopolis, his new film starring Robert Pattinson as the paranoid corporate tycoon Eric Packer who is destined to fall prey to his own created schizoid demise. Adapted from the highly acclaimed novel "Cosmopolis" by Paulo Branco, Cronenberg's screen adaptation pits Pattinson against his own known screen persona, the vampire, baiting him to come forth and prove he is more than a cool and distant undead male desperately seeking affection and empathy for his cruel deeds. But Pattinson's Eric is exactly the same typographical character in Cosmopolis; the only difference being his thirst is not for blood but for money, security, and power.
In 1974, director Tobe Hooper put himself on the horror map with his seminal fright flick The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. So, how does the next big thing in horror follow up one of the most influential films in the history of cinema? By making a movie about a serial killer who feeds his victims to his pet crocodile, which is exactly what Hooper did in 1977 with Eaten Alive.
Mummies are some of the more unsung movie monsters, not getting as much attention as vampires or werewolves despite being a consistent fixture of horror cinema. Legendary studios like Universal and Hammer have always cranked out their numerous mummy movies and sequels, and in 1957 United Artists got into the picture when they distributed a different kind of mummy movie, a film called Pharaoh’s Curse.
W.W. Jacobs’ short story about wishes-gone-bad, “The Monkey’s Paw,” has been adapted into several effective films, but most of them stop when the story ends, when the mother has wished her dead son back to life and he knocks on the door. Although it draws inspiration from the same place, director Bob Clark’s 1974 film Deathdream starts at the end of the classic story, showing what would happen if the door was opened.
When a film has a bit of success, it’s inevitable that other films will try to ride the coattails and cash in on the windfall. The best example is John Carpenter’s Halloween and its ushering in of the golden age of the slasher film. Years before, Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho inspired scores of filmmakers to pump out quick and cheap movies in an attempt to exploit the new psychopathic killer fad. One of the more interesting of these films is Robert M. Young’s 1962 horror mystery Trauma.
As a horror movie device, the power of telekinesis has always been popular. Brian De Palma made two films about it, Carrie and The Fury, before he even grew out of his Hitchcock phase. As overused as it is, the ability to move things with one’s mind is still an understated and misunderstood skill, and that combination opens doors to frightening situations. In 1978 (The same year that De Palma released The Fury), Australian director Richard Franklin (Psycho II) put an interesting spin on the subject by having his psychokinetic antagonist be a comatose young man named Patrick.
British filmmaker Bart Layton came across a story that appeared more fiction than truth. A 23-year-old French-Algerian man had stolen the identity of a missing Texan boy, some three-and-a-half years after his disappearance. A master con-man, Frédéric Bourdin was in need of a new identity, being wanted by Interpol for his crimes and finding himself without any options left in Linares, Spain. A master manipulator, he posed as a missing teenager and was taken in by the Linares police after tourists phoned in their finding a scared and troubled boy. The events that occurred afterwards are outwardly shocking, and the story Bart Layton creates on screen of this real-life happening is absolutely intoxicating to watch.
In the late nineties, Wes Craven’s Scream franchise had become so popular that it inspired its own comic horror send-up, the aptly title Scary Movie, that has spawned just as many sequels as its muse (so far, three). While no one will ever be able to accuse Scary Movie of being overly original, even the idea of a horror movie spoof was done twenty years earlier when Julie Corman (Roger Corman’s wife and B-movie producer extraordinaire) brought Saturday the 14th to the table.
Holiday themed films have been all the rage, beginning back in the late seventies with Halloween and continuing through the modern era with Valentine. When it comes to the Fourth of July, the choices slim out a little bit; of course, Jaws takes place on the holiday, and there’s the obviously named Independence Day. But those are big budget no-brainers. If one really wants to see an under-the-radar July 4th movie, the real American Hero is Uncle Sam.
Models. The word alone can send women into a panic of self-doubt and conjure body image issues galore. What is it about models that makes women intensely insecure? It is not the models, the women to be exact, that perpetuate this reaction in women but the manner in which cultures substantiate that a model is the ideal, the embodiment of perfection. To be beautiful one must look like a model. This is of course an impossible feat for a woman as we cannot all look the same way, nor should we want to--and we do not all have access to make-up artists, personal trainers, nutritionists, and all of the other necessities that go along with a life in front of the camera. The societal pressures to be perfect, to be model-like, is a constant sociological problem that has been addressed in numerous documentaries. Have you ever wondered what the aging model thinks about the entire situation? How they handle growing older in a profession that glorifies youthfulness and admonishes aging? Director Timothy Greenfield-Sanders has assembled some of the biggest fashion models from the past 60-years to discuss these questions, and more, about their life as part of the modeling world in About Face.
You may want to bring some ear plugs for this, because Neil Young Journeys is a concert film shot in a style so loud and yet intimate that you may be taken with the fear of getting hit by some of the legendary rocker’s sweat and spittle. Filmed in May 2011 at Toronto’s iconic Massey Hall, Young is in peak form, playing his classics and new material with passion and verve.
The setting in which a horror movie takes place is integral to the effectiveness of the scares; haunted houses, insane asylums and dark forests are much more threatening than bright, sunny suburban neighborhoods. Yet, when an innocent place becomes the scene of terror, it can be doubly frightening. In 1982, a Canadian film from the golden age of slashers showed that not even a hospital, a place of healing and curing, is exempt from evil in Visiting Hours.
Denis Côté, DP Vincent Biron, and producer Sylvain Corbeil have created a singular (beast of a) movie with Bestiaire. Offered the chance to shoot at a rather tired safari park in rural Quebec, Côté decided to make an experiment, to find new ways of making images of animals.
Ace title designer Saul Bass (and ace designer of all sorts of other things) directed only one feature, Phase IV (1974). Notoriously hard to see, it was tracked down by the TCM Classic Film Festival in a rare, original release print, scratched and kind of pink, but a real oddball treasure.
The sounds are heard around a burgeoning middle-class street in Brazil’s Recife, half of which used to be owned by silver-bearded patriarch Francisco, but which is now mostly tower blocks. First-time feature director Kleber Mendonça Filho reworks some of his shorts material to lay out a mosaic of life on this particular, present-day street, both aurally and visually, centered largely on the extended family who have always lived there. The camera wanders through a playground of kids, or spies on a kissing couple near a rooftop below. Other extras and kids pop up from time to time – the kissing girl even gets to answer to her called-out name later on – but the film concentrates on a relatively small handful of characters, following them through the inconsequential mundanities of everyday life.
At every film festival there always seems to be one movie that strikes you as a viewer more so than any other. For the 2012 Los Angeles Film Festival the honor goes to Director Mads Matthiesen's Teddy Bear. The promotional image for Teddy Bear displays a hulking figure of a man, bodybuilder Dennis (real-life super-heavyweight bodybuilder Kim Kold), curling his biceps in front of a mirror with a barbell weighted far more than most people could carry with both hands. Dennis is covered in tattoos, rippling with muscles, and looks nothing like the gentile man you come to know in Teddy Bear--a juxtaposition of a title if there ever was one to the striking figure of the man it refers. But Dennis is all heart, a sweet-natured man who yearns for love but is painfully shy.
Aside from Edgar Allan Poe (and possibly Richard Matheson), no writer has had their short stories adapted into horror films more often than H.P. Lovecraft. Lovecraft has been so influential to the genre that even films which are not direct retellings of his stories, like Sam Raimi’s The Evil Dead series, are based around one of his inventions, the Necronomicon, or the Book of the Dead. One of the first appearances of the Necronomicon on the big screen was director Daniel Haller’s 1970 creep-fest The Dunwich Horror.
Presented by the Director himself, William Friedkin, Killer Joe played to a full house on the second night of the Los Angeles Film Festival 2012 and the entire room was laughing out loud, enjoying every minute of this dark and twisted tale. As Friedkin puts it, "It's a comedy by the way, you must not freak out."
The advent of cinema created a world where artists could create moving portraits, an artistic medium not bound my any form of limitations. Rarely a film is created that holds a transgressive quality, the ability to move you completely out of your comfort zone and violate the standard laws of filmmaking. Beasts of the Southern Wild, directed by Benh Zeitlin, who co-wrote the screenplay with Lucy Alibar, has done just that, and more. Beasts of the Southern Wild may be classified as a magical realist film, wherein the real and the fantastic exist in the same place, simultaneously, and without pure distinction.
In the world of horror movies, death can come from many places. Danger is all around, whether it comes from the axe of a masked serial killer, the claws of a rabid monster or the mouth of a mysterious alien. But what happens when the harm comes from something as seemingly innocent as desert? That was the question posed in 1985 by the horror/comedy film The Stuff.
What a pleasure it has been to wallow in the 16-film Fassbinder retrospective this past two weeks. For various reasons it’s not been easy to see his films in the theater, but now that distributers Janus hold this selection of (very nice) subtitled prints, one can hope that they’ll resurface more frequently.
When Drag City announced a couple of years ago that they were releasing a long-lost early ‘70s album by a band you never heard of, named Death, comprising three black brothers from Detroit who made punk rock years before anyone else, the knee-jerk reaction was to assume this was just hipster bait. But your (my) knees should know better, for Drag City can be trusted by and large, and the band and their story are truly worthy of their unusual, if belated, place in the pantheon.
It has taken over two years for Charlotte Brandstrom's Wallander: The Revenge to gain theatrical distribution in the U.S., and it has been worth the wait. The film is a continuation of the highly successful novels written by Henning Mankell that feature the main character Kurt Wallander, a Swedish police detective. Instead of merely adapting one of the published novels, a fete that has been done to nearly all of them, Mankell created thirteen new stories featuring Wallander, starting with The Revenge being released theatrically and the following twelve episodes will be released on VOD and DVD, all with a running time of 90 minutes.
Although no one doubts their physical prowess, it’s no secret that today’s professional wrestlers are as much actors as they are athletes. When a movie needs a certain type of personality, the filmmaker can usually turn to a grappler who wants to make a name for himself in Hollywood, whether as a hero, like Roddy Piper in John Carpenter’s They Live, or as a villain, such as Tyler Mane in Rob Zombie’s Halloween. Starting in the 1930’s, 400 pound Swedish sensation Tor Johnson blazed the acting wrestler trail, becoming one of B-movie legend Ed Wood’s favorite oddities in the process. He had recurring roles in Wood films like Bride of the Monster and the classic Plan 9 from Outer Space, but it was a film that wasn’t directed by Wood, 1961’s The Beast of Yucca Flats, which would go down as Johnson’s last credited film.
We’re halfway through the American Cinematheque’s wonderful Fassbinder retrospective, and if it’s demonstrated one thing, it’s that a Fassbinder double bill is a hell of a lot of cinema. His work rate was so prolific that one would assume a film here and there to have been merely tossed off. Some of them were, but his remarkable sense of how drama plays, and what can be done with the camera to enhance that drama, repeatedly finding variations on obsessive themes – the self-perpetuating hierarchy of power and control, in socio-economic or love-relationship terms, and the impossibility of freedom – is so sure that every single one is an immersive viewing experience, rich in text and subtext. It is as though Fassbinder had an innate, instinctive film-making ability, which works even when it shouldn’t: asked by Peter Chatel, his envoy to present Despair (1977) at Cannes, why there’s lots of Nazis at the start but almost none later on, Fassbinder confessed he’d forgotten to film them. Chatel protested that he couldn’t tell that to people; of course not, replied Fassbinder, just tell them that in 1933 the Nazis were a new thing, but that later on people had become insidiously inured to them. It works.
Hide Away is the simple story of a man who buys an old ship and fixes it. Even the main characters are simply named the Young Mariner (Josh Lucas), The Ancient Mariner (James Cromwell), and The Waitress (Ayelet Zuerer). The movie is not so much concerned with complicated plot lines as it is with the straightforward metaphor of man as a broken down vessel. The film relies on performance and mood to bring the myth to life, which unfortunately is not altogether successful. The actors give their all in an attempt to salvage the shipwreck and Director of Photography, Elliot Davis, is able to find sadness in nature throughout all four seasons of the year, but none of it is enough to compensate for the bare-bones script. Dialogue is replaced with silence, which would be fine if the rare conversations that did take place weren’t so wooden. The actor who sells the boat to the Young Mariner could’ve been easily substituted with a robot. The film also dwells too long in the territory of the vague. The audience’s patience wears thin as we await any hint of the Young Mariner’s back-story. When finally revealed it then turns out that the secrets should have stayed hidden as the scene is melodramatic and underwhelming. Major turning points in the plot also feel overly convenient and unearned.
Tanya Wexler's Hysteria makes its point as a lighthearted comedy about the invention of the vibrator once a woman breaks out into an aria from “La Traviata" after receiving hands-on stimulation from her doctor. Hysteria is not the average romantic comedy, nor is it a biographical account of how the vibrator was invented in London, circa 1880. The Victorian prudeness is front and center in Hysteria; you will never hear the word orgasm spoken by any character, especially the prim and proper Dr. Robert Dalrymple (Jonathan Pryce), who believes his method of curing hysteria in women is to "relieve tensions in the womb" by manual stimulation of the clitoris, another word unspoken of in the film. It would be inappropriate to consider that women suffering from hysteria, a condition affecting the majority of women during the era that has them depressed, suffering nymphomania, anxious, or generally feeling malaise, is to in fact pleasure them sexually. Their husbands would be mortified to think they were not pleasing their wives, or that they should.
In 1976, Stephen King’s first novel, a memorable tale about a high school girl with telekinetic powers, was turned into the terrifying and successful movie Carrie by director Brian De Palma. Less than two short years later, apparently not finished with the extrasensory perception motif, De Palma’s next movie dealt with a pair of young people with psychic gifts when he made The Fury in 1978.
Once the vampire and werewolf movies of the 1930s had run their courses, Hollywood producers turned to science fiction to get their monsters into theaters, pumping out alien invasion and radioactive creature movies by the dozens in the 1950s. In 1957, the studio whose name is synonymous with monster movies, Universal, made a film called The Monolith Monsters that turned seemingly ordinary rocks into world-threatening invaders.
A hand-held camcorder accepts the task of portraying the first-person account of an event. It records the action, and by doing so records to memory what happened on a specific day, at a specific time. Lovely Molly's director Eduardo Sanchez pioneered the use of the first-person camera, commonly called found-footage, in his debut film alongside Daniel Myrick, The Blair Witch Project. The found-footage technique is grossly overused in cinema today, and nearly every horror movie employs it now--the low-budget aesthetic is just that, made on the cheap and eaten up by audiences. Sanchez uses his pioneering technique in Lovely Molly, taking the audience on a journey through Molly's lens over the course of a year. The opening scene of the film starts at the beginning with newcomer Gretchen Lodge as Molly, distressed and shaken speaking into the camera on 10.16.11 stating "it wasn't me" and that she is "not in control anymore." The initial performance by Lodge in this brief scene relates the fact that she is going to be the defining core of Lovely Molly, and you are immediately hooked.
Although it may seem that making horror movies geared towards children is a waste of time, it has been proven time and again that a film does not need to rely on blood and violence to be frightening. A tight thriller that can invoke fear in an audience without resorting to cheap standby methods of shock can be even more effective than any gory slasher, causing a young viewer to remember their fright well into adulthood. In 1983, Walt Disney Studios took a stab at children’s horror with Something Wicked This Way Comes and, in the process, made kids everywhere afraid to go to carnivals.
According to Wikipedia, mumblecore is a term used to describe American independent films produced in the 2000s characterized by low budget production values and amateur actors. Those looking for an example of the genre need not look any further as "amateur" can certainly be used to describe this particular interpretation of Shakespeare’s classic tragedy. Everything from the cheesy kung-fu fight scenes to the cheap special effects to the Yiddish rip-off of Eminem’s "The Real Slim Shady" makes watching Romeo And Juliet in Yiddish almost unbearable. It’s a fact that director Eve Annenberg employed non-professional actors and so credit must be given to her for molding her cast into acceptable performers. It's thus a shame when sound difficulties often muffle the dialogue, an unwelcome distraction even when subtitles are present. The film does sport a variety of excellent exterior shots, whether it be outside of JFK International Airport, walking the streets of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, or hanging out at Coney Island. Interior sets however, such as a scene set inside an airport security office scream for an art direction makeover. With its obvious budgetary restraints, it’s safe to say that technical excellence is not the movie’s drawing point.
Prolific Hollywood director William Beaudine is known mostly for his work on family-oriented television shows like “Lassie,” “The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin” and “The Mickey Mouse Club.” However, he made scores of films, many of them crazy mash-ups of characters, such as Bela Lugosi Meets a Brooklyn Gorilla, Billy the Kid vs. Dracula and Jesse James Meets Frankenstein’s Daughter. In 1946 he made another mix-up film, combining mad scientists, ghosts and voodoo witchcraft in a creepy ode to Frankenstein called The Face of Marble.
The rock music festival, a staple event in every culture, country, and a right of passage for many a youth yearning for days on end of unadulterated partying, live-music, and the possibility to connect with like-minded attendees. There are a few such festivals that take place every year, made iconic over time for the spectacle they create. One of the largest resides in Scotland, "T in The Park", over the course of 3-days during the Summer. It was there, in the Summer of 2010, that Director David Mackenzie shot the film Tonight You're Mine; completely on location and with the full cooperation of festival director Geoff Ellis.
In a new exclusive series, FilmFracture will take you behind the scenes of Hollywood's inner sanctum. Like a fly on the wall, we will hear the actual conversations between directors and the movie producers after first screening a film. Ever wonder what the studio thought after seeing Casablanca? Star Wars? or Ishtar? Me too! And now we can learn together.
How did we get these transcripts and recordings, you ask? That's not important, and I'll thank you to stay out of my affairs.
The first installment of the series features Waterworld, Titanic, and No Country For Old Man.
The modern world can be such an impersonal place. Take, for example, automobiles. People tend to forget that there are other people in them so that, instead of living, breathing organisms with thoughts and emotions, they are considered just faceless metal objects standing between a driver and their intended destination. But what happens when the object in the way is a bloodthirsty killing machine that doesn’t want to yield? In 1977, a movie was released that let the world know what evil drives: The Car.
Fox Searchlight Pictures is releasing Sound Of My Voice in select cities beginning April 27, 2012. Co-writers, plus star and director, respectively, Brit Marling and Zal Batmanglij sat down to answer questions about the film in a roundtable interview setting. For a film such as Sound Of My Voice it was a welcome opportunity as the perplexing nature of the story breeds analysis from the viewer, and for a science fiction fan (like me!) all sorts of questions dying to be answered.
The Marquis de Sade’s writings are violent, sadistic and blasphemous. It only makes sense that someone would make a horror movie based on them. In 1965, Italian director Massimo Pupillo (under the name of Max Hunter) gave it his best shot on Bloody Pit of Horror.
The TCM Festival does a great job of getting old stars out to be fêted along with their classic films. Rhonda Fleming, Marsha Hunt and others turned up this year, but the highlight was undoubtedly the appearance by Peggy Cummins, wonderful star of Gun Crazy (1950).
One of the more unlikely career moves of old Hollywood was Dick Powell’s evolution from nice-guy hoofer to tough-guy lowlife. Between Murder, My Sweet (1944) and Cry Danger (1951), both his image and his position within the industry were transformed. The TCM Classic Film Festival had expert Eddie Mueller to introduce each of their noir screenings, and he filled us in on how Powell struck out on his own, found investment in the mid-west, and set up Olympia Productions, whose only picture was Cry Danger.
One of the big draws of the TCM Classic Film Festival is the presence of all kinds of luminaries, both of the silver screen and of the channel itself (swoon, Ben Mankiewicz). Another draw is the presentation of freshly restored old classics, and this year the festival hosted the US premiere of a brand new 4K scrubbing-up of Jean Renoir’s La Grande Illusion (1937). This was introduced by Le Mank in conversation with veteran actor Norman Lloyd, not especially well known himself, despite being an original member of Welles’s Mercury Theater, and turning up in Limelight, Dead Poets Society, Losey’s M and Saboteur and Spellbound for Hitchcock. More to the point, he played support in Renoir’s The Southerner (1945), and he and his wife became very close friends with Jean and Dido during their stay in Hollywood.
The best thing for an aspiring motion picture director to do to hone his skills is to study at the heels of a master of the craft. Low budget movie mogul David DeCoteau has had the fortune to work with two such mentors; In 1980, he got his start in the movie business from the legendary Roger Corman (Little Shop of Horrors, Rock ‘n’ Roll High School), and in 1986 he went to work for the inimitable Charles Band (Puppet Master, Re-Animator). After working with these two B-movie giants, it’s no surprise that, in 1988, DeCoteau would make a movie with the over-the top, memorable name Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama.
The modern strand in this year’s TCM Classic Film Festival was a celebration of Robert Evans’ tenure at Paramount, and part of the ongoing 100th birthday celebrations of the studio. The too-late punters for the first Raw Deal screening couldn’t be tempted by the empty seats in Love Story, but it doesn’t take much persuading to get a film buff to sit through Chinatown or Rosemary’s Baby again. Except that after a gap of many years from my first viewing, it’d take quite a lot for me to sit through the latter a third time.
One of my favorite screenings at last year’s TCM Classic Film Festival was Clara Bow in Hoop-La (1933), restored by MOMA at the urging of Bow biographer David Stenn. Stenn was on hand again this year to present Bow in Call Her Savage (1932), and to explain a bit about its background. The irrepressible Bow had fled Hollywood in disgrace a year before; the year before that she had been the No.1 box office star. She still had some clout, and decided she’d show ’em, with the sort of antics that had luminaries calling for a Production Code. Apparently her vigorous wrestling with a Great Dane (taller than she is) was a direct thumb of the nose to a published rumor that she’d enjoyed carnal relations with her own beloved dog.
The jewel of Sunday morning’s program was the recently restored, original hand-colored version of Méliès’s Le Voyage dans la lune (1902). The colored version had long been presumed lost; it turned up in 1993, but fused into basically a solid disc in the canister. A certain amount was done to try and rescue it chemically, but Bromberg had to wait until 2010 for the digital technology to evolve that would allow for an actual restoration. 95% of the original coloring was saved, the rest seamlessly filled in (13,375 frames in total), and a splendid accompaniment commissioned from Air. Even in black and white, it is a film that never ceases to astonish; the pristine, vivid colors take it to a whole new level.
TCM Classic Film Festival: The Legendary Costume Design of Travis Banton, with Mae West in I'm No Angel
Mae West...the feisty screen siren who defied the dictated societal norms placed upon women and was brash, to-the-point, and oh-so sexualized in every movie she made. Teaming up with Cary Grant for the second time, Mae wrote the screenplay for I'm No Angel, a movie about a woman working in the circus who has a non-stop parade of boyfriends who keep her in nice things that are far above her social status. With one-liners to die for rolling off Mae's lips and a story that is sweet if not audacious in its execution of sexual innuendos, I'm No Angel is a romantic comedy featuring the undeniably sexy West and enough men to keep her occupied. The movie is hilarious, sweet natured, and evokes many a temptation in the viewer. To call I'm No Angel sinful is the greatest of compliments.
Head honcho of Lobster Films, Serge Bromberg is an avid collector and preserver of film, and happily for the rest of us, he is also an enthusiastic exhibitor. He came to the TCM Classic Film Festival this year with a fascinating program of short experiments and showcases for various stereoscopic filming techniques, dating all the way back to some fantastic 10-second snippets made on paper strips in 1900. Bromberg excused their slightly naughty nature by explaining that they were French; he himself is charmingly so.
The romantic comedy genre doesn’t leave room for too many surprises. We know that at some point a boy will meet a girl, the boy will do something foolish and lose the girl, and then the boy will eventually get the girl back with a heartfelt speech, or a symbolic gesture of some sort. And vice-versa for every Kate Hudson and Katherine Heigl movie, of course. As viewers we know this going in, and all we ask is to be entertained along the way with characters that ring true, humor that’s original and acting that is believable (ahem, Ms. Heigl). Luckily, the writing team of Nicholas Stoller and Jason Segel seem to be well aware of the potential pitfalls of the rom-com. Just as they did with Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Stoller and Segel have crafted another original, witty, and charming story with The Five-Year Engagement.
The TCM Classic Film Festival presentation of Cover Girl (1944) was special because, as festival godhead Robert Osborne declared in his typically informed and engaging introduction, it was the one screening for which he had allowed time in his busy schedule to watch in its entirety (it was some pressing matter, no doubt, that demanded his departure three quarters of the way through).
As Osborne reminded us, Cover Girl is special for a number of other reasons: the package put together by talent producer Arthur Schwartz included the first teaming of Jerome Kern and Ira Gershwin; Stanley Donen and Gene Kelly producing choreography that would convince MGM to give them a freer rein; and a fantastic costume team headed by Travis Banton. Rudolph Maté handles the cinematography with the expected elegance, and presumably not making much of an impact on the finished product, but a tidbit for the geek, assistant direction was provided by one Oscar (“Budd”) Boetticher.
The popularity of Raw Deal is down to its status as the pinnacle of Anthony Mann and John Alton’s über-noir collaboration. T-Men the year before was a stone triumph of drenching B-budget sets and actors in shadows both evocative and eerily abstracting, and banging out a cops-and-robbers procedural that doesn’t let up for a moment across its taut 92-minute running time. For Raw Deal, Mann and Alton push the abstraction yet further.
The collected works of Ernest Hemingway are popular for cinematic adaptation. One of the lesser known, and only adapted once for the screen, is Hemingway's novel "The Short Happy Life Of Francis Macomber". In 1947, Director Zoltan Korda, of the famous Korda family, brought The Macomber Affair to the big screen with the legendary Gregory Peck, Joan Bennett, and the soon-to-be star of Broadway Robert Preston. The story revolves around the Macomber's (Bennett and Preston) vacationing in Africa where they hire a hunting guide (Peck) to take them on a hunting exhibition. Things go terribly awry and Mr. Macomber ends us being shot in the back while on the hunt. The event is considered an accident but the truth over what really happened is shrouded in secrets until the pieces are slowly revealed in flashback.
Slasher filmmakers were poking fun at the sub-genre way before Wes Craven did it with Scream. Even in its infant stage, filmmakers who saw the familiarity in the gratuitous sex and violence would exploit it, usually without apology. After the success of killer-stalking-kids films like Halloween and Friday the 13th, any location with a group of young women gathered together was considered a ripe scenario for a horror film. In 1982, producer/director Amy Jones sent a killer into a dream hunting ground - a teenage girl’s sleepover - in The Slumber Party Massacre.
It all sounds pretty French: teenage boy falls in love with his older aunt, attractive, smart, and been around the block a few times, as incarnated to perfection by Béatrice Dalle. The expected dynamic is subverted, however, even obliquely in the opening scene, and the well-worn elements of such a relationship are treated as though anew, with little interest in misplaced teenage priapism.
On April 8th millions of people worldwide will be celebrating one thing, and it is not the soon-to-be-released films Lockout and The Cabin In The Woods (yes, we are excited for them both). Nope, April 8th is none other than the Easter Holiday for Catholics, Christians, and any other religion who follows the New Testament. It is also, and maybe for some more importantly, the day the Easter Bunny visits, bringing chocolates and goodies for children everywhere--and maybe even a fun-filled Easter egg hunt too. Just because it is a family-oriented holiday does not mean there will not be movie-watching going on; and for those who do not celebrate Easter you need to find something to do with yourself because Costco is closed on Easter Sunday. Thus I bring you the Easter Movie Survival Guide, a list of films that will appeal to the family, the religious, the heathens, and more importantly, the person who wants to watch movies all day on Easter Sunday because they can, and will.
One of the earliest tricks that filmmakers would use to forecast fear into their audience is the use of a “warning,” a bit of fourth-wall breaking narration in the movie that would let the viewer know that they were in for some pure terror. From Edward van Sloan’s “it will thrill you, it may shock you” speech at the beginning of Frankenstein to William Castle’s offering of patrons’ money back if they were too scared to stay until the end of Homicidal, these warnings were great fun, but rarely taken seriously. In 1958, director Alex Nicol went above and beyond with his introduction to The Screaming Skull; he offered to pay for the burial costs of anyone who died of fright during his movie.
Fear can be a powerful motivator. It’s common knowledge that it can save a person’s life when their fight-or-flight response kicks in, but can fear ever take a person’s life? Can someone ever be so scared that their body just shuts down, involuntarily, and they die? This is the concept that was explored in 1963 in director Lew Landers' (The Raven) last film, the generically titled Terrified.
For all the monsters and murderers that populate horror films, nothing is quite as scary as a good haunted house movie. The best ghost stories usually double as mysteries, with the victimized person having to research and solve the problem of the spirits’ unrest. Of all of the ghostly haunt films, few come even close to being as scary as the 1980 Canadian spook-fest The Changeling.
In all the annals of the horror movie archives, perhaps no real person has inspired more films than the serial killer Ed Gein. Gein’s life has provided the basis for such legendary villains as Norman Bates in Psycho, Leatherface in The Texas Chain Saw Massacre and Buffalo Bill in The Silence of the Lambs. Not nearly as iconic as any of those films, but following Gein’s case much more closely, is another forgotten Canadian splatter film from 1974 called Deranged.
Everyone has survived the holidays, and the time has now come for the movie industry to slow down a bit. Take a deep breath and sigh as the winter movie season has officially begin. Say hello to horror movies, romances, and the odd-ball comedy or dramatic piece that did not seem to be award worthy. This is also the time where the limited release award films expand--so all is not lost on what we call "the season where movies go to die." I am only (partly) kidding of course, there are always great movies to be found regardless of the season and everyone at FilmFracture is excited to see what the New Year brings.
While William Castle may not be a household name outside of the horror genre, his films most certainly are. The director has been behind some of the most gimmicky and fun horror movies ever made, including House on Haunted Hill, 13 Ghosts and The Tingler. Castle has often said that his personal favorite film of his own was the ghoulish 1961 tale Mr. Sardonicus, about a man with a strange affliction and the doctor who tries to help him.
In the fifties and sixties, The United States of America was not the only country to delve into making low budget sci-fi horror movies. In 1960, with the world still reeling from the use of the atomic bomb at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, an Italian producer named Mario Fava (who may or may not be an alter-ego of the Italian master of macabre himself Mario Bava) made a quick and easy fright film called Seddok, l’erede di Satana, released in America three years later as Atom Age Vampire.
The time has come for The Academy Awards 2012! Who will win, who will lose, and what extra long speeches will we have to endure. We are live from Colton, CA watching The Academy Awards. Please excuse the blunt and possibly offensive commentary. The Oscars are all about having fun, and good fun, we mean no offense--we're just sarcastic.
After the success of John Carpenter’s Halloween, scores of slasher movies flooded theaters with hopes of being the next big scare. It was only a matter of time before the Australian low-budget “Ozploitation” filmmakers would get on board. In 1980, director John D. Lamond (Felicity) made his only horror film, a psychological thriller called Nightmares that had all of the elements of its American counterparts.
Since founding the COUM Transmissions collective in the late sixties, via Throbbing Gristle’s invention of industrial music, and numerous highly provocative music and art shows (sex, gender, physical alteration, domination and extremity being constant themes, with a smattering of black magic), Genesis Breyer P-Orridge has dedicated herself to exploring the (off-)limits and possibilities defined and denied by societal taboos.
One of the more sensationalistic aspects of horror and science fiction films over the years has been the phenomena of 3-D. Long before James Cameron’s Avatar reintroduced the world to the fad that enjoyed a resurgence in the horror world in the 80’s, when it seemed that every franchise’s third film was in 3-D (Friday the 13th Part 3D, Jaws 3D, Amityville 3D), the kids of the fifties enjoyed the golden age of 3-D movies. In 1953, hidden between Vincent Price’s House of Wax and Universal’s It Came from Outer Space sat a neat little thriller called The Maze that has been all but forgotten among its contemporaries.
The most stressful time of the year is said to be that of the holidays, beginning around Thanksgiving in the States and leading up to New Year's Eve. In January everyone takes a breath, heads to the gym to work off the holiday weight and eases into the cold winter months. Then February hits and the stress of the holidays seems like a welcome vacation over the dreaded day of love--Valentine's Day. Men go into panic mode trying to decide what they should buy for their sweetheart; they then panic even more when they realize how much it is going to cost them to buy a dozen roses, or take their girl out to dinner with the deluge of pre-planned Valentine's Day menus (restaurants take full advantage on this day). For the single people of the world Valentine's Day feels like a slap in the face; a cruel joke being played out for weeks ahead of time as every store is laden with themed decorations and all of the commercials on television advertise all the things you should buy for the one you love. Being alone on New Year's Eve is a cakewalk compared to surviving a day at the office on February 14th; where the smell of roses and the sounds of giggling girls in their cubicles in nauseating.
The nominations are in for the 2012 Academy Awards. Here are all of the nominees for awards that will be telecast at the ceremony. For a complete list, including the technical categories, go to www.oscars.org. The asterisk next to a film/person(s) is the best guess at who will take Oscar home--but more on that later because it does not mean we agree.
Steven Soderbergh has made a variety of films, in all of the different genres. He is even credited with propelling the independent film movement of the 1990s with his Sundance Film Festival hit, Sex, Lies, and Videotape (1989). He has also said he was retiring from moviemaking more than once, only to announce later that he was misquoted or "[insert other excuse here]." Soderbergh marks his long-career with his 25th film, Haywire, being released on January 20, 2012--starring real-life MMA fighter Gina Carano as, you guessed it, a special ops agent who does what she does best, fight.
A film that has been somewhat under the radar over the past few months is Red Tails. Only lately have materials been released for it, and only in the past two weeks has anyone been talking about it--mostly because of Executive Producer George Lucas. The time has come to see what Red Tails is all about when it releases on Friday, January 20th. Sure, the hopes for the film are not all that high because:
1. It has been hidden from audiences, and not much marketing put into it by 20th Century Fox.
There are a huge amount of must-see movies in 2012. The Dark Knight Rises, The Hobbit, and The Avengers top most must-see lists, and to no surprise. There is also The Expendables 2, a film that will bring together all of the favorite action heroes from time past once again, and a few more recent faces looking to become epitomized in movie history for having rock hard abs and one-liners people will be quoting for years to come.
One of the action hero relics everyone knows is Sylvester Stallone, the man who will head up The Expendables 2. In case you were unaware he has another action film releasing this year with Warner Bros. Pictures. The first official image has been released from the film and Stallone is looking like his old self, kind of (we all know his marbled chest and tightened skin can be credited to someone other than Stallone himself). Regardless, everyone loves a good action trip with Sylvester Stallone, and Bullet To The Head looks to be something out of 80s action movie heaven.
**Winners being updated, as the show airs, LIVE now!**
The Award Season has officially begun with The Golden Globes airing on Sunday, January 15, 2012. The list of nominees is included below and come Sunday all of the winners updated as they are announced.
The Golden Globes began awarding their Best Animated Feature category in 2007, and have continued each year to nominate three to five films (not the standard five as in other categories). Every year, beginning in 2007 (for the year 2006), a Pixar (or Disney-Pixar) film has been nominated; and every year wins the award. It began with Cars in 2007 (up against Monster House and Happy Feet), then Ratatouille in 2008 (up against The Simpsons Movie and Bee Movie); in 2009 WALL-E took home the prize and not Bolt or Kung Fu Panda. The year 2009 marked the first time five films were nominated, Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs, Coraline, Fantastic Mr. Fox, The Princess and the Frog, and Up. Even with two more films competing against them, Pixar was victorious with Up. Now, 2010 was a tough year for Pixar at The Golden Globes competition wise and the winner was not clear going into the award show. Dreamworks Animation had finally produced an equally good product as Pixar with How To Train Your Dragon and it was anyone's guess whether Toy Story 3 would reign victorious (the other films nominated were Tangled, The Illusionist, and Despicable Me although none had a chance). Dreamworks may have been hopeful but Pixar reigned King once again as Toy Story 3 won--I myself think it had to do with the instantaneous weeping the film caused a viewer, beginning with the incinerator scene.
Director/producer Athina Rachel Tsangari’s reluctance to be lumped in with some nebulous Greek New Wave is as understandable as the categorization is inevitable. She has been producing the work of Giorgos Lanthimos, and her second film as director shares with his Dogtooth (2009) and Alps (2011) not only strong tonal and thematic similarities, and an interest in linguistic distortion, but also the cool white light of Thimios Bakatakis’ camerawork on the former; Lanthimos even takes the supporting role of in cast’s quartet.
Disney is a company synonymous with the art of American animation. From their Golden Age fairy-tale adaptations such as Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, and Peter Pan to their innovative computer animated hits such as Toy Story and The Incredibles, it seems impossible to think of Disney as anything but a giant in the industry. There was however a time when Disney’s dominant standing was in question. Throughout most of the 80s, a series of unsuccessful feature length films along with the competition of independent animators such as Don Bluth caused Disney to fall on rocky times. In 1989 however, Disney reclaimed their title as the top animation company with their groundbreaking work The Little Mermaid. This would lead into Disney’s Silver Age, cementing the companies place as the dominant force of 90's American animation. Now, more than a decade later since these films were released, Disney has made plans to re-release their Silver Age classics in theaters, remastered and in 3D. Their second offering of this series is the 1991 classic Beauty and the Beast, the first animated movie in history to be nominated for a Golden Globe Award for best picture and the second classic of the Silver Age.
Relativity Media continues to promote the film Haywire, directed by Steven Sodebergh and releasing in theatres January 20, 2012, by providing viewers the opprtunity to watch the first five minutes from the film. I have seen Haywire and these first five minutes feature one hell of a fight scene between MMA superstar Gina Carano and Channing Tatum. Tatum has seen better days, and Gina proves she is one tough woman.
On January 6, 2012, a live Q&A will stream following a screening at the Wadsworth Theatre of The Artist featuring director Michel Hazanavicius, stars Jean Dujardin, Bérénice Bejo, James Cromwell, Missi Pyle and producer Thomas Langmann.
December 2011 brought a great deal of new trailers for films releasing as soon as January 2012 all the way into Summer 2012. Welcome back Kate Beckinsale and your spandex/pleather wearing self in Underworld: Awakening! Three of the most anticipated films trailers finally arrived, The Dark Knight Rises, Prometheus, and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, causing a flurry of excitement for moviegoers everywhere. Then there were some less than exciting additions to the trailer universe, including Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted and The Three Stooges (what looks to be the first train wreck of the new year). [Continued]
Movie News | Trailers | Events | Goodies: 2012
Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Martin Freeman and Edgar Wright from The World's End sit down to discuss the glory days, fight training, a "pink hulk" and more in the new featurette "Not What It Used To Be." The World's End is the latest movie from Director Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World), that tells the story of an epic pub crawl, 20-years after an initial attempt. Things get a tad bit complicated, as the guys realize their goal in reachig the famed "The World's End" pub isn't just for themselves, but for the fate of the world. The World's End will be released in theatres August 23, 2013.
The time to let loose and have fun, in the golden years, has arrived for Billy, Paddy, Archie and Sam when they head to Las Vegas to celebrate the bachelor party of one of their own (and he's marrying a woman half his age). Michael Douglas, Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman and Kevin Kline star in Last Vegas, a comedy for the old, the young, and those who wish to have a laugh--hangovers never get better with age. Watch the trailer for Last Vegas and prepare to join the boys on one final racous adventure in sin city.
Catch a first-look at Jude Law in the upcoming Dom Hemingway from Fox Searchlight Pictures with the release of images from the film. Dom's a larger-than-life safecracker, who's just been released from prison. He has an estranged daughter, and a score to settle with his previous boss--meaning, somebody owes him money. More to come on Dom Hemingway as the release date approaches, April 4, 2014 (that's so far away!).
Open Road Films took an alternative and new approach for promtoting the upcoming Steve Jobs biopic, JOBS, starring Ashton Kutcher. They went to Instagram and have been promoting content through the popular user-generation media site. There is an Instagram trailer, and now clips from the film are being featured as well. Take a look at all of the Instagram JOBS videos here, right now.
You can never have enough adaptations of Shakespeare's star-crossed lovers play "Romeo and Juliet." Hailee Steinfeld and Douglas Booth tackle the roles of Juliet and Romeo in the latest Romeo & Juliet film adaptation from Relativity Media, written for the screen by Julian Fellowes, the man behind cult-sensation "Downton Abbey." The first trailer has been released for Romeo & Juliet and its full of the lavish scenery one would expect as well as the Shakespearian prose that has brought many a lover to their knees. Watch the trailer now, and prepare yourself for the tragic love story to make its way into theatres October 11, 2013.
If you have not seen The Conjuring yet you don't understand what you're missing. Its one of the scariest movies made in a very long time, and it also happens to be incredibly well done. FilmFracture loved it so much we reviewed it twice. A new video has been released called "Possession" to scare you into the theatre, for the first time, or maybe even the second. The Conjuring was the number one movie at the box office last weekend and its sure to remain at the top because people love to be scared straght out of their skin--and this movie does just that, more than once.
Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy took time out of their busy shooting schedule for their new movie Muppets Most Wanted to wish Kate Middleton and Prince William the very best on the birth of their first child.
First Official Trailer For 'Out Of The Furnace' Starring Christian Bale And Directed By Scott Cooper
The first official trailer for Relativity Media's Out Of The Furnace has been released. Directed by Scott Cooper (Crazy Heart) and starring Christian Bale, Woody Harrelson, Casey Affleck, Forest Whitaker, Willem Dafoe, Zoë Saldana and Sam Shepard, its a gritty drama, and one that may put Relativity Media in line for awards--finally.
7 Hours (!) Of Friday The 13th Nostalgia With 'Crystal Lake Memories: The Complete History Of Friday The 13th' Documentary Release
How much of a die-hard fan do you have to be to watch 420 minutes, that's 7 hours, of a documentary about the Friday the 13th movie franchise? Well, writer/director Daniel Farrands is betting on their being plenty of takers with the relase of his documentary, Crystal Lake Memories: The Complete History of Friday the 13th on August 27, 2013.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier has its first teaser poster, and while it does not give much detail it does tease that there will be blood. Will there be on April 4, 2014?
Beware The Clap! Watch The All New Trailer For 'The Conjuring' Featuring The Family That Lived Through The Horror
I have seen The Conjuring, and it is a frighteningly great movie that will scare you straight out of your seat. An all-new trailer has been released featuring interviews with the family the true-story the film is based upon, the Perron's. Watch it now. [Read the review of The Conjuring]
Watch the first trailer for the Steve Jobs biopic, JOBS, starring Ashton Kutcher. In theatres August 16, 2013.
A new poster arrived this morning, and now a brand-new trailer for Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues is here as well. Watch and enjoy!
Its all about Ron Burgundy's mustache in the new poster for Anchorman 2. You have until December 2013 to perfect growing your own.
The second trailer for Ron Howard's Rush, starring Chris Hemsworth as Formula One racer James Hunt. Focusing on the rivalry between James Hunt and Niki Lauda, Rush will be released in theatres September 20, 2013. Watch the new trailer now...
Paramount Pictures announced today that Muse will perform live following the premiere of World War Z in London. Watch the announcement video below.
Its a dream come true for many Jennifer Aniston fans, to see her as a stripper and showcasing her moves in the new trailer for We're The Millers. Once you get past the initial excitement, the movie also stars Jason Sudeikis, Emma Roberts, Nick Offerman, Kathryn Hahn, Will Poulter, and Ed Helms in a comedy where a bunch of less-than-moral individuals form a fake famiy to smuggle marijuana across the Mexican border.
The new trailer for The Wolverine hints at the possibility of Logan becoming human, again. Is mortality in his future? Watch the new trailer now and find out when The Wolverine is released in theatres July 26, 2013.
Focusing on the action-adventure side of the narrative, and some fancy effects work involving a derailed train, The Lone Ranger's new trailer is aimed at getting you excited for the film's release July 3, 2013.
Charlie Hunnam lends his voice as narrator for the official main trailer of Pacific Rim. That alone should be reason enough to watch it, as well as the glimpses of the monsters from the deep.
On August 9, 2013 Disney's all-new animated adventure Planes arrives in theatres. A new video for 'Planes'has been released featuring scenes from the film combined with the accomplished music of composer Mark Mancina. Enjoy!
The first poster for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire has debuted.
A brand-new poster for Despicable Me 2 has debuted.
The first trailer for Thor: The Dark World has been released. Watch it now.
The first poster has been released for Thor: The Dark World. Wield that hammer Chris Hemsworth!
Glimpse Inside The Final Chapter Of An Epic Romance With New Images From Richard Linklater's 'Before Midnight'
The romance genre was forever changed in 1995 when a small independent movie released in theatres, Richard Linklater's Before Sunrise, starring Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke. Hearts swooned at the fated romance between Celine and Jesse; two strangers who meet on a train and spend one night together in Vienna. Their story did not end there, as fate again would bring them together in 2004's Before Sunset. Ending on a cliffhanger, and featuring one of the best final lines in movie history with "Baby, you’re going to miss that plane," fans of Celine and Jesse have waitied patiently for the final act of their three-part romance put to film. The time has come with Before Midnight, arriving in theatres May 24, 2013. New images have been released for the film and it is no secret that Celine and Jesse have in fact ended up together, but will their love last?
The Trailer Is Finally Here For Jeff Bridges And Ryan Reynolds 3D Supernatural Action-Adventure 'R.I.P.D.'
Ryan Reynolds and Jeff Bridges, together, in a supernatural action-adventure movie in 3D?! Sign me up. The first trailer has been released for the aforementioned dream movie, R.I.P.D....watch it now.
New Images Released For 'The Wolverine' Featuring Logan (Hugh Jackman), Viper (Svetlana Khodchenkova), And Yukio (Rila Fukushima)
The Wolverine will be in theatres July 26, 2013. To tide you over until opening day take a look at all of the new images that have been released for the film.
Baseball And God Meet In 'Home Run'; Watch Four New Clips From The Inspiring Story Coming Soon To Theatres
Four new clips have been released for the inspiring new movie Home Run, based on thousands of true stories and centered around a Baseball players second chance in life for redemption and transformation. Watch them now, including the trailer.
'The Lone Ranger' Gets A New Trailer, Plus A Livestream Q&A With Johnny Depp, Armie Hammer, Gore Verbinski, And Jerry Bruckheimer
Hot off the debut at CinemaCon is the third Man Of Steel trailer. Watch it now...
Head West With The New Character Posters For 'The Lone Ranger' Featuring Johnny Depp, Armie Hammer, William Fichtner, And More
The Lone Ranger rides into theatres July 3, 2013 with a cast that includes Johnny Depp, Armie Hammer, Tom Wilkinson, William Fichtner, Barry Pepper, James Badge Dale, Ruth Wilson and Helena Bonham Carter. Character posters have been released and well, I'm ready to head West--are you?
A brand-new Spock poster has been released for Star Trek Into Darkness. What on earth, or beyond, is happenig to him?
Ron Howard explores the rivalry between Formula 1 racers James Hunt and Niki Lauda in his new film Rush. The first trailer has been released, for your viewing pleasure.
The least likely person to be featured in a Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs 2 featurette is Terry Crews. Then again, he is the voice of the character Earl--it all makes sense now. A brand-new featurette featuring Crews and showing gorgeous images and scenes from Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs 2 has been released. Watch it now...
Melissa McCarthy And Sandra Bullock Get Into All Sorts Of Hilarious Trouble In New Images From 'The Heat'
Melissa McCarthy and Sandra Bullock are teaming up in The Heat this Summer to usher in some much needed comedy to cure the 2013 movie blues. New images have been released for The Heat and they show the ladies in all sorts of troublesome, and hilarious, situations. Here they are; and get ready for The Heat, in theatres June 28, 2013.
Motion Picture Academy Unveils New Drawings And Planned Visitor Experience Information For Film Museum
One of the most suprirsing little known things about Los Angeles is that there is not a museum dedicated to the art of motion pictures. That is about to change, and it is very exciting. The Academy of Motion Pictures is currently in the prcess of rasiing the necessary funds to build 'The Academy Museum.' Today they have unveiled new drawings that showcase how the museum will look once construction is completed. I must say, it puts all other museums in the city to shame.
The Wolfpack will have their final stand on May 24, 2013 in The Hangover Part III. To prepare for this special occasion a brand-new trailer has been released. Here is our chance to take a peak at how the epic story shall end.
'AFI Night At The Movies' Returns To Arclight Cinemas Hollywood April 24, 2013; Full Line-Up Of Films And Talent Announced
The American Film Institute began the 'AFI Night At The Movies' program in 2007; it returns this year with sponsors Target and MAGNUM Ice Cream Bar to showcase classic films at the Arclight Cinemas Hollywood for one-night only April 24, 2013. What sets 'AFI Night At The Movies' apart from other classic film nights is the inclusion of top stars and filmmakers in attendance to introduce and discuss the films being shown.
Watch an all-new sneak peek of Disney's animated adventure Planes.
'Scary Movie 5' Featuring Mike Tyson, Lindsay Lohan, Charlie Sheen, Snoop Dogg, And More Launches Official Website On Tumblr
Four wasn't enough, so a fifth Scary Movie has been made, and will be released in theatres on April 12, 2013 featuring Ashley Tisdale, Charlie Sheen, Lindsay Lohan, Snoop Dogg, Katt Williams, Molly Shannon, Terry Crews, Simon Rex, Jerry O'Connell, Sarah Hyland, Katrina Bowden, Tyler Posey, Shad Moss aka Bow Wow, Kate Walsh, Heather Locklear, Mac Miller and Mike Tyson. Scary Movie 5 has released its official website, via Tumblr today. Check it out for your daily dose of comedy at http://scary-movie-5.tumblr.com/.
"Did you remember to lock your door?"--the perfect catchphrase for a horror film in order to bring chills down your spine. Hot off the hype from SXSW, You're Next is heading to theatres. Promising to bring a new twist on the home-invasion, You're Next will definitely peak your interest with the three new posters that have been released of men wearing animal masks, a tiger, sheep, and fox. I'm intrigued, are you?
Trailer Released For Dreamworks Animation's 'Turbo' Featuring Ryan Reynolds, Maya Rudolph, and Samuel L. Jackson
The second trailer has been released for Dreamworks Animation's Turbo featuring Ryan Reynolds, Paul Giamatti, Ken Jeong, Maya Rudolph, Ben Schwartz, Snoop Dogg, and Samuel L. Jackson.
A brand-new international trailer for Star Trek Into Darkness has been released. Commence countdown to May 15th (IMAX) and/or May 17th (everywhere!).
Brand-New Clips From 'G.I. Joe Retaliation' Featuring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson with Jay-Z, Bruce Willis, And Battles!
In a mere couple of weeks G.I. Joe Retaliation will hit movie theatres with a bang, in 3D no less. Four new clips have been released to prepare you for what is in store.
Terrence Malick's new movie To The Wonder will be released April 12, 2013 by Magnolia Pictures. Watch the trailer now and decide for yourself what you think of his newest endeavor.
The boys are back, and this time Vegas is going to burn in the new teaser trailer for The Hangover Part III.
To celebrate the release of Park Chan-Wook's amazing new film Stoker, Reading Cinemas in San Diego -- home to two of the FilmFracture writing team, James Jay Edwards and Anthony Taormina -- and KPBS film critic Beth Accomando are hosting a Chan-Wook retrospective. The retrospective will include the movies Sympathy For Mr. Vengeance (2002), Oldboy (2004), and Lady Vengeance (2005), and feature opening remarks by Accomando.
The Iron Man 3 trailer does not need a formal introduction, so here it is for your viewing pleasure...
"Based On A True Story"--horror movies are a great deal more fun, and frightening, when this phrase it tacked on to the beginning of the credits. The newest taken from the pages of real-life horror history is The Conjuring, from the director of Saw and Insidious James Wan. The first teaser trailer has been released and I am already afraid of the armoire that sits in my bedroom, and that is only the beginning.
Taking a cue from the current state of civilization, that being one who is connected at all times to their smart phone, computer, tablet, and so on, the new film from director Henry Alex Rubin (Murderball) is the thriller Disconnect.
Pedro Almodóvar's I'm So Excited has finally received its first full-length trailer, and its a great deal of fun to watch. The director who is known for his love of color and wicked sense of humor reunites with Penelope Cruz and Antonio Banderas in I'm So Excited; but more importantly there is singing, on an airplane, and a psychic, and oh so much more.
The Indian Film Festival Of Los Angeles (IFFLA) has announced the opening and closing night gala films. Anurag Kashyap’s Gangs Of Wasseypur will open the festival and the closing night film will be Deepa Mehta's Midnight's Children.
In its 11th year, IFFLA will run April 9th to the 14th at Arclight Hollywood Cinemas.
On August 9, 2013 Disney's Planes arrives in theatres. The teaser trailer for the film has been released, as has news that Dane Cook will voice the lead character Dusty, "a plane with high hopes." Considering how popular the Pixar Cars franchise has been, Planes is guaranteed to bring in the crowds--and from the trailer it looks to be yet another great achievment in animation for Disney.
Ashley Bell, the star of The Last Exorcism Part II, and producer Eli Roth discuss what has happened in between the first film, The Last Exorcism, and the sequel releasing March 1st in theatres in a new featurette, "Nell's Story."
The folks at Movieclips are always busy creating mashups, posting the latest trailers, and making sure every movie's video-related content is out there for all to see on their Youtube channel. With the release of The Last Exorcism Part II on February 28th they have put together 'The Ultimate Devil Mashup,' celebrating the best in demonic horror throughout film history. Enjoy!
Heartthrob Joseph Morgan Of "The Vampire Diaries" Stars In Psychological Supernatural Thriller Warhouse
A brand-new motion poster has been released for Star Trek Into Darkness, as well as a first-look featurette.
The chance to own a piece of movie history is within everyone's grasp on March 2-3, 2013 thanks to Premiere Props' "The Hollywood Extravaganza IX" auction. Over 1,000 costumes and props will be auctioned off, including items from Academy Award nominated films Silver Linings Playbook, Django Unchained, The Godfather, Inglourious Basterds, Mary Poppins, True Grit, and Cast Away. Some of the items up for auction are:
Super Bowl 2013 Movie Commercial TV Spots: World War Z, The Lone Ranger, Oz The Great and Powerful, Iron Man 3, and Fast and Furious 6
Hollywood has been snatching up ad time during the February 3rd Super Bowl game as if they were giving it out for free this year--they are not, with the estimated cost of a :30 commercial spot being $4 million dollars (a new record).
The Studios know that the Super Bowl is a great marketing platform, and they are bringing their biggest Summer Blockbusters to the small screen for trailers, quick teases, and even interactive experiences that will go on long after their 30-seconds are up. Here is a list of the movies that will be featured in Super Bowl commercials in 2013, and the teaser videos that go along with them (if available).
Venture Behind The Writing With Wes Anderson, Roman Coppola, And The Cast Of Moonrise Kingdom In A New Featurette
The gang's all here...that is, the gang from Academy Award Nominated Best Original Screenplay Moonrise Kingdom. Wes Anderson, Roman Coppola, Jared Gilman, Jason Schwartzman, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Bob Balaban, Bruce Willis and Tilda Swinton are all featured in a new featurette for the film focusing on the creation of the screenplay.
New images have been released for JOBS, the biopic about Apple founder Steve Jobs that stars Ashton Kutcher in the leading role.
With Valentine's Day sneaking up fast it is only necessary for the romantic movies to start hitting theatres. Warner Bros. is gearing up to win the Valentine's Day weekend at the box office with the screen adaptation of the best selling YA novel, Beautiful Creatures The second trailer for this supernatural love story has arrived, and it looks to be full of bait for those who like witches, romance, and a hint of danger.
Interactive Script Released For Wes Anderson And Roman Coppola's Best Original Screenplay Academy Award Nominee Moonrise Kingdom
The winners and nominees from the 2013 Golden Globes Awards, held on January 13, 2013.
Turning 21 is a a crazy adventure in the new trailer for 21 AND OVER.
Three new first look images have been released for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.
Watch the risqué new trailer for A Glimpse Inside The Mind Of Charles Swan III.
Brand new images have been released for Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, giving a further in-depth look at the action-adventure witch hunting movie, opening in theatres January 25, 2013.
Pixar has a brand-new short film debuting with Monster's University in 2013, "The Blue Umbrella". It is a love story about two umbrellas, one blue, one not, who meet one evening in the city. A clip has been released for the short to get you excited about what more is to come on June 21, 2013 when it arrives in theatres with Monster's University.
In 2010, moviegoers were introduced to Nell Sweetzer, a backwoods young girl who may or may not be possessed by an evil spirit, or the devil himself in The Last Exorcism. Nell's story continues with The Last Exorcism Part II, releasing March 13, 2013. The first poster for the film has been released and it is terrifying, in all of its twisted glory.
A group of new images has been released for Star Trek Into Darkness. Enjoy!
From Sony Pictures, Carrie wishes you a merry christmas--or a bloody one, whichever you prefer.
A brand-new motion poster for Dreamworks Animation The Croods is bordering on the fantastical.
Bruce Willis, John Malkovich, and Mary-Louise Parker start a fire in new image for Red 2, in theatres August 2, 2013.
The mucles are bulging in the new trailer for Pain & Gain, from director Michael Bay.
Last week we were teased with an announcement video for the teaser trailer of Star Trek Into Darkness. To be honest, it looked a lot like an official teaser trailer. Alas, it was not the official teaser trailer, that has been released today. Watch, enjoy, and prepare youself for what is coming in 2013 with Star Trek Into Darkness.
A brand-new poster has been released for Oz The Great and Powerful and it is positively wicked; wicked witch wicked of course.
A brand-new featurette has been released for Gus Van Sant's Promised Land, going behind the scenes of the controversial movie written by Matt Damon and John Krasinski about fracking, among other things. Watch the featurette and go see the movie in limted theatres on December 28, 2012 and releasing wide January 4, 2013.
The first-look at Disney's 2013 animated comedy-adventure Frozen, starring Kristen Bell and Idina Menzel, has arrived with a concept art image. Things are definitely looking cold and icy in Frozen, which arrives in theatres November 27, 2013.
G.I. Joe The Rise of Cobra didn't do very well with critics--I was an exception, of course. The sequel is bigger, and badder, and has Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson so its already a step ahead of its predecessor. Watch the new trailer for G.I. Joe Retaliation and get ready, this looks like fun!
The Golden Globes 2013 Nominations Are Full Of Surprises, Snubs, and "What Were They Thinking?" Nominees
The Golden Globes have announced their nominees for the 2013 awards. Steven Spielberg's Lincoln garnered the most with 7 nominations; Argo and Django Unchained get five each. A few surprises occurred, namely with Salmon Fishing In The Yemen's nominations and Richard Gere for Arbitrage, considering it only had a limited theatrical release and was primarily a VOD title (the world is changing, no doubt). There is also the obvious shocker, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey did not receive any nominations--not even best score. Ouch! Then there's the "What were they thinking" nomination, namely for Les Miserables as best picture. Credit should be given to the fact that they did not nominate Tom Hooper for direction. Agree, or disagree, with the nominations but they are here to stay.
The day has arrived, where big robots fight big aliens in an all out battle to save planet earth--and they do it in the water! The Pacific Rim trailer, from director Guillermo del Toro, has arrived. It's pretty amazing, as you will see.
Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer take to the west in the brand-new trailer for The Lone Ranger.
Gus Van Sant's Promised Land marks the return of Matt Damon to screenwriting, after his Oscar winning screenplay for Good Will Hunting (1997) (shared with Ben Affleck, and directed by Van Sant) and the less-favorable Gerry (2002) (also directed and written by Van Sant), by pairing up with John Krasinski to tell the tale of big business meeting small-town strength. New images from the film have been released to introduce the characters from Promised Land. With an incredibly talented cast that includes Matt Damon, John Krasinski, Frances McDormand, Rosemarie DeWitt, Scoot McNairy, Titus Welliver, and Hal Holbrook the character's the actors create on screen will play an enormous part in the success of the film as a whole.
Enjoy meeting the characters from Promised Land.
Tyler Perry is known for comedy thanks to his character Madea, and the handful of films devoted to the character. After a less than memorable turn as an action-star in this year's Alex Cross, Perry returns to the directing chair for next year's Temptation: Confessions Of A Marriage Counselor, and is quoted as calling the film "provocative...sexually and otherwise"--I hope it doesn't include Madea in such a situation, that would be unsightly. Jesting aside, Temptation... stars Jurnee Smollett-Bell ("Friday Night Lights"), Lance Gross, Kim Kardashian (yes, that Kardashian), Vanessa Williams, Robbie Jones, and Brandy Norwood. The new poster for the film has arrived and its red, or red hot as Perry would lead us to believe.
Everyone loves a good tease, and J.J. Abrams and the folks over at Paramount are providing one courtesy of Star Trek Into Darkness. The teaser trailer arrives on December 17th, and tonight they are teasing fans with an "announcement" video. It goes live at 12:01am PT, and you can watch it below. The anticipation is suffocating!
Watch Tom Cruise, as Jack Reacher, take on 5 guys at once in the new clip for Jack Reacher, in theatres December 21, 2012.
Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters (and formerly Nirvana) has released the official trailer for his Sundance Film Festival selected documentary Sound City. The documentary marks Grohl's directorial debut and is centered around the history of the Van Nuys based "Sound City Studios" where music legends such as Neil Young, Fleetwood Mac, Tom Petty, Cheap Trick, Guns and Roses, Fear, Nirvana, Rage Against the Machine, Slipknot, Nine Inch Nails, and Metallica have recorded over the past 40 years. The idea for the film began when Grohl purchased the [legendary] custom-built Neve 8028 recording console from the Studio in 2011; the board was built in 1972 and is considered to be "the crown jewel of analog recording equipment." It also happens to be the same board used to record Nirvana's breakthrough album "Nevermind;" an album that remarkably changed Dave Grohl's life forever as the drummer of Nirvana.
A new poster was released today for Man Of Steel on the Dark Knight Rises Facebook Page. Its a tad blurry, on purpose, and it shows Superman under arrest. Why, how, for what, and all those questions it raises will have to wait to be revealed--maybe in the new trailer that is coming in a couple weeks?
Jason Statham and Jennifer Lopez are teaming up to pull off a heist in FilmDistrict's release Parker, set for theatres January 25, 2013. In new images for the film Statham dons a variety of costumes, playing up the disguise angle of his character's thief persona, while Jennifer Lopez is sitting pretty, literally. Parker is based on the bestselling books by Donald E. Westlake.
On December 21, 2012 the hugely popular "Jack Reacher" series will have its first screen adaptation released, adequately titled Jack Reacher. Tom Cruise plays the title role of Jack Reacher, and the buzz is swirling over this holiday action picture. A new featurette has been released featuring the author of the "Jack Reacher" series, Lee Child, discussing the film, the character, and of course Tom Cruise.
Designed by street artist Shepard Fairey, the same artist who designed the Barack Obama "Hope" Poster during the 2008 Presidential election, the official poster for the documentary Ley Fury Have The Hour has debuted. The documentary, which features Fairey, is centered around counter-culture and asking the question, "What kind of world do you want to live in?"
Horror-Comedy Spoof 30 Nights of Paranormal Activity with the Devil Inside the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Trailer Released
The longest movie title award in film history goes to 30 Nights of Paranormal Activity with the Devil Inside the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Yes, you read the title correctly, and it is amazing. Drawing from Hollywood's recent horror movies, and a few other popular films for good measure, 30 Nights Of Paranormal Activity With The Devil Inside The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo is being released directly on Media (DVD/Blu-ray/Digital Download) on January 15, 2013. Prepare yourself for laughter, because this film looks like it will put all of the Scary Movie movies to shame. Enjoy the trailer!
Are you the utimate Evil Dead fan? Prove it, with IGN's ultimate Evil Dead fan contest, happening on their Facebook page. All you have to do to enter is explain why you are the ultimate fan. Prizes include: a Sony TV and Blu-Ray DVD player, a poster, and a chance to have an exclusive premiere viewing of the new red band trailer WITH BRUCE CAMPBELL!! -- Not too shabby.
To enter go to IGN.com Evil Dead Contest.
Good luck Evil Dead fans!
Sneak Peek Video and Images from Oprah Winfrey's Interview with Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field, and Steven Spielberg on Lincoln
It was only a matter of time before Oprah Winfrey wrangled an interview with three of the most likely Academy Award nominees for 2013: Daniel Day Lewis (Best Actor), Sally Field (Best Actress), and Steven Spielberg (Best Director, all for Lincoln. In a special 90-minute episode of "Oprah's Next Chapter" on the OWN Network, Oprah sits down with the three immensely talented actors and director to discuss their collaboration on Lincoln. This special is sure to be an entertaining and insightful look into ceating the epic story of Lincoln. A sneak peek video has been released, as well as images from the interview. More details on airdates of the special are below.
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire will be in theatres November 22, 2012 but the fun of promoting the film has already begun. A new motion poster was released today on the film's Facebook page and while the image is fun to look at, it is the sound the motion poster makes that is memorable: it sounds just like crackling fire. And if the poster's image looks familiar its because it is very much like the teaser trailer (if you can call it that) which showed before The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part Two. Enjoy the motion poster!
I know everyone is super excited to see Hitchcock, as was I. It opens on November 23, 2012 in limited theatres, will a rollout to additional ones in the coming weeks. To assist you in locating a theatre here is the list of where you can see Hitchcock starting November 23rd. While you're at it, read the review: Hitchcock Movie Review...just as Mother would want.
This Thanksgiving don't just send a regular old card, or e-card, to your friends and family; send them one from Alfred Hitchcock, care of Fox Searchlight's Hitchcock, in theatres November 23, 2012. Read the review of Hitchcock and see it in theatres over Thanksgiving weekend: Hitchcock Movie Review.
Happy Thanksgiving, to you and Mother.
President Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of The United States of America, proclaimed on October 3, 1863 that the last Thursday of November going forward would be a National Holiday. What would be known as Thanksgiving was meant to be a day of "Thanksgiving and Praise." This Thanksgiving the filmmakers behind Lincoln wish you a Happy Thanksgiving. Lincoln is now playing in theatres across the country; read the review: Lincoln Movie Review.
Rise of the Guardians is a great film for the holidays, and any time really for a family--or an adult who enjoys sweet, sentimental, and funny animated movies. New clips, images, and a featurette have been released for Rise of the Guardians. The movie hits theatres November 21, 2012. Read the review of the film: Rise of the Guardians Movie Review.
Justin Long in a Teeny Weeny Red Speedo and More Hilarity with New Images from The Farrelly Brothers Movie 43
The Farrelly Brothers are back to their old tricks--at least we hope they are--in Movie 43, starring Elizabeth Banks, Kristen Bell, Halle Berry, Leslie Bibb, Kate Bosworth, Gerard Butler, Bobby Cannavale, Kieran Culkin, Josh Duhamel, Anna Faris, Richard Gere, John Hodgman, Terrence Howard, Hugh Jackman, Johnny Knoxville, Justin Long, Stephen Merchant, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Chloë Grace Moretz, Chris Pratt, Liev Schreiber, Seann William Scott, Emma Stone, Jason Sudeikis, Uma Thurman, Naomi Watts, and Kate Winslet. Yes, you read that right, all of these stars have come out to be in Movie 43, so it must be good, right? New images from the film have been released, my favorite of course being Justin Long dressed as a superhero wearing a teeny weeny red speedo. Enjoy!
Gerard Butler has just gotten out of the shower, and all he's wearing is a towel, in a new shirtless image from Playing For Keeps. You're welcome.
For decades the first surviving feature film to feature Alfred Hitchcock in the credits, The White Shadow, was lost. In 2011, the opening three reels of the six-reel feature were uncovered thanks to research done at the New Zealand Film Archive. Starting November 15, 2012 the National Film Preservation Foundation's website will screen The White Shadow for a two-month run free thanks to Fandor.com and the 2012 “For the Love of Film” Blogathon.
Arnold Schwarzenegger returns to the big-screen in his first headlining role in, well, a very long time. Johnny Knoxville is by his side in The Last Stand and the final poster for the film has been released. In pure overblown masculinity it features a HUGE gun. I'm not sure gun even describes it well enough. But here it is, the final poster for The Last Stand...
Once upon a time there was a movie named World War Z, scheduled to be released in the Fall of 2012, starring Brad Pitt. That didn't happen. In June of 2012 the release of World War Z was pushed by Paramount Studios to June of 2013, and six weeks of re-shoots were scheduled; plus a script re-write by Damon Lindelof, that was eventually finished by Drew Goddard of the third act. With all of the problems World War Z has encountered the anticipation to see footage from the film has left all of us wondering exactly how good, or how bad, it will look. The time has come to take a first look at Brad Pitt's neverending production nightmare of World War Z with the release of the first trailer.
The world premiere of Hitchcock took place at AFI FEST 2012 as the opening night film. A highlight reel of the red carpet arrivals is available for your enjoyment. So, enjoy!
The online universe has become one of the best places to promote, distribute, and gather attention for independent films. The Beneath the Earth Film Festival takes advantage of the online experience each year by hosting an entirely online film festival. A grand jury comprised of film reviewers will decide on the best film, screenplay, soundtrack, cinematography, and editing categories but the audience award is open for voting to everyone--this means you, the internet perusing movie watcher.
A brand-new, yet quite similar to the first, poster for "Oz The Great and Powerful" has been released. It features the Wicked Witch, and she does make quite the impression against the idyllic landscape. This is the first of three panels of posters, the other two are coming soon.
On November 7th The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences will celebrate the life and career of acclaimed filmmaker, auteur director, Stanley Kubrick with "An Academy Salute to Stanley Kubrick." The event will be hosted by Malcolm McDowell, star of one of Kubrick's greatest and most controversial films A Clockwork Orange, and will include feature film clips and personal remembrances by Kubrick's friends and collaborators, including Ryan O'Neill, Matthew Modine, and Paul Mazursky.
AFI FEST 2012 is nearly upon the filmmaking community and eager moviegoing audiences while the slate of films to be shown at the festival are slowly being announced. It may be the anticipation over this year's, and every year's, AFI FEST that makes it seem like it takes so long to know what is playing, or maybe its just myself and Tom von Logue Newth whom are impatient to cover the festival this year. Either way, AFI FEST is always a great festival to attend, with films from around the world and premieres of some of the biggest films of the Fall/Winter Season--with more than one Oscar contender thrown in for good measure.
For those who just can’t wait until Halloween to get their horror movie fix, Turner Classic Movies will get the scares started early this weekend, October 26-28, starting at 12:15 am PST Friday night (or early Saturday, depending on how you see it) with Spine Tingler: The William Castle Story, a documentary tribute to the king of b-movie gimmicks himself. The Castle documentary is immediately followed by two days of classic late-night horror films, including Cinema Fearité Alums I Bury the Living (1958) and Tormented (1960).
Amazing things do happen, and The Iran Job's path to success is independent filmmaking proof.
In January of 2012 The Iran Job husband-wife directing team of Sara Nodjoumi and Till Schauder (Partner Pictures), raised an incredible crowd-funding goal of $100,000 on Kickstarter towards completion funds of their documentary. As of today, their second campaign raised $66,000 for distribution costs to coincide with the film's Academy qualifying U.S. release. The Iran Job has been playing in limited release across the country since September 28, 2012 and has recently secured a distribution deal in Germany, and requests from the U.K., Japan and Israel.
The first horror movies I ever saw in a theatre were Alien and The Amityville Horror, both in 1979; I was eight (yes, my parents took me to horror movies when I was eight - things were different then). Knowing that John Carpenter’s Halloween was released in 1978, it’s easy to deduce that I have never seen Halloween, one of the most influential horror films (if not THE most influential) of our time, on the big screen. All that will change this year, as Halloween is being revived in theaters for a limited run.
The Man With The Iron Fists arrives in theates on November 2, 2012, from Eric Calderon and RZA, the creators of the smash hit "Afro Samurai." A prelude to The Man With The Iron Fists has been released, to show the journey of the Blacksmith (RZA) on his way to China via a Dutch trading vessel where he and his crew have an unfortunate encounter.
Watch the video now.
Victoria Justice and Thomas Mann, stars of Fun Size, with Carly Rae Jepsen Celebrate at the Mall of America
On October 20, 2012, Fun Size stars Victoria Justice and Thomas Mann, along with special guest Carly Rae Jepsen, made a surprise appearance at Nickelodeon Universe at the Mall of America to celebrate the upcoming release of Fun Size on Friday, October 26, 2012.
The event brought out thousands of fans, and the stars signed autographs, greeted everyone, and also debuted Carly Rae Jepsen's new video "This Kiss." The video will also be seen this weekend ahead of all Fun Size screenings.
Watch a Newswrap Video from the event and also check out pictures documenting all of the fun!
The Iron Man 3 trailer has been released. The easiest way to describe it is that everything seems to have gone to hell, thanks to a "terrorist," played by Ben Kingsley. Seeing the Iron Man suits get blown up is one thing, watching Pepper and Tony get blown-back after his cliffside house gets demolished is thrilling. Iron Man 3, we eagerly await your arrival on May 3, 2013.
The long-awaited third installment of the Iron Man franchise--okay, it has not been that long since Iron Man 2, especially with Thor, Captain America, and The Avengers to keep moviegoers company. But, I digress. The new teaser trailer for Iron Man 3's trailer is here, after being unlocked by fans on the films Facebook page. It is nice to welcome back Tony Stark and Pepper Potts, and who could the new baddie be? Watch the teaser for the trailer and see.
Julianne Hough and Josh Duhamel Get Cozy and Cuddly in First Preview Images From Nicholas Sparks' Safe Haven
The next Nicholas Sparks adaptation to hit movie theaters is Safe Haven, starring Julianne Hough and Josh Duhamel as, you guessed it, lovers. The first preview images from the film have been released courtesy of Relativity Media and they show Julianne Hough and Josh Duhamel doing what is expected in a Nicholas Sparks film, getting cozy and cuddly in a variety of situations, frolicking in the ocean included. One thing is for sure, skin is in in Safe Haven, as seen by Julianne's bathing suit attire and Duhamel's ab showcasing. Safe Haven will be released by Relativity Media on February 8, 2013--just in time for Valentine's Day.
Anyone who has ever studied Alfred Hitchcock, or read enough about him, knows that he had a wicked sense of humor. He may be known professionally for being the master of suspense but it was his humor that those close to him speak of often. Fox Searhclight, the studio that is releasing Hitchcock in November, has put together a fun PSA video starring Alfred Hitchcock (as played by Anthony Hopkins) to urge moviegoers to not use their cell phones while watching a movie. The video is great fun, and the final shot with Hopkins performing his best Alfred Hitchcock only makes the anticipation for Hitchcock even greater.
The first offcial trailer for Hitchcock has been released. Take a look as Anthony Hopkins does his best to portray the master of suspense.
Brand new images and a teaser poster have been released for The Lone Ranger (2013), the newest big screen adaptation of the long running franchise. The Lone Ranger stars Johnny Depp as the sidekick Tonto and Armie Hammer as John Reid, the lawman turned legend. The Lone Ranger is directed by Gore Verbinski and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer; it will be released in theatres July 3, 2013.
When Frankenweenie is released in theatres on October 5, 2012 audiences will have the chance to get to know all of the creative and entertaining characters that reside in the film. Humans aside, Frankenweenie also features monsters. Well, to be completely accurate, they are animals that have been brought back from the dead in monstrous proportions or attitude. In keeping with Tim Burton's homage theme to the great monster movies of film history a set of monster posters have been released showcasing the Frankenweenie monsters. Constructed just like a B-Movie Monster movie the art direction on the posters is fantastic. See for yourself...
Brand new images from Disney's upcoming Wreck-It Ralph have been released showing the game characters that will be featured in the film.
A brand new trailer for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey has been released.
Update, August 31, 2012: New featurettes and images.
Update, June 1, 2012: Official Trailer released.
Update: The official one-sheet has been released for the film. Take a look!
Jennifer Lawrence may be the star of the third largest opening-weekend film of all time, The Hunger Games, but she is not stopping there for her slate of 2012 films to be released. After her roles in Winter's Bone, X-Men: First Class, Like Crazy and The Hunger Games it only seems likely for her to tackle the horror genre, and she does just that in House At The End Of The Street, releasing in theatres September 21, 2012. The film also stars Elizabeth Shue (Leaving Las Vegas, Adventures in Babysitting), Max Thieriot (My Soul To Take), and Gil Bellows ("Ally McBeal").
Watch the new trailer and see images from the film!
Tim Burton returns to stop-motion animation with Frankenweenie, releasing October 5, 2012. Clearly inspired from the Frankenstein story, Frankenweenie focuses on a boy and his dog, and the bond that is unbreakable--leading to a resurrection of Sparky, the boy's dog. The creative mind of Tim Burton is sure to wow audiences with his newest animated feature, shot entirely in black-and-white and in 3D no less.
One of the most anticipated films of 2012 is Steven Spielberg's Lincoln, starring the incredibly talented Daniel Day Lewis in the title role of Abraham Lincoln. There is not a great deal known about the film, even the synopsis is vague and only one photo has been released to date--showing Daniel Day Lewis as Abraham Lincoln, and what a striking resemblance he has to the late President. Award buzz is already happening and the film has not even been seen yet, nor has the full-length trailer. That is about to change.
A new trailer for Wreck-it Ralph has arrived, and new images from the film too.
Ron Howard and Brian Grazer are in the process of making a documentary about the "Made In America Music Festival", headlined and curated by Jay Z. A new behind-the-scenes video has been released featuring Howard and Grazer discussing the new project.
When a trailer is sent for an independent film I for one cannot resist posting it for our readers. When the trailer is as crazy fun as Dust Up I get all sorts of excited. Here it is, for your viewing pleasure, the trailer for Ward Roberts Dust Up.
Looper is a time-travel action thriller from Director Rian Johnson (Brick, The Brothers Bloom) that will be released in theatres on September 28, 2012. One of the most important components of a film is the use of the Score to provide cues to the audience, heighten the action on screen, or set the overall tone of the picture. Many scores go unoticed while watching a movie, while others are unforgettable. An inside look featurette with Composer Nathan Johnson shows how Looper's score is a key element to the film as a whole.
The first official full-length trailer for Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters has been released.
On September 28, 2012 ShortsHD™ brings to theatres Stars In Shorts, an opportunity to see some of the biggest stars in a variety of short films they have starred in on the big screen as part of a combined theatrical release. Some of the actors in the short films being presented are Colin Firth, Judi Dench, Kenneth Branagh, Keira Knightley, Julia Stiles, Wes Bentley, Jason Alexander, Lily Tomlin, Tom Hiddleston, and Jesse Tyler Ferguson. Following the theatrical release Stars In Shorts will be available October 9, 2012 On Demand at iTunes and Cable & Satellite Pay Per View, wherein each film will be available in 54 countries across the globe on mobile devices, DirecTV, and AT&T U-verse.
Frankenweenie Science Fair, "Sparking an Interest in Science," presented by Discovery Science Center and El Capitan Theatre
The Discovery Science Center (DSC) and El Capitan Theatre are partnering to host a Frankenweenie Science Fair, "Sparking an Interest in Science," concluding October 5, 2012 in conjunction with the film's release. Structured as a competition, the participating students will conduct and submit their own inventive science experiment to compete for three grand prizes.
Christopher Coppola may not be as well known as his uncle Francis Ford Coppola but his venture into supporting budding filmmakers, from all walks of life, with "Project Accessible Hollywood (PAH)" is worthy of great praise. Taking place in Los Angeles at Los Angeles City College October 20-28, 2012, the sixth annual PAH-FEST:Hollywood will teach hands-on filmmaking over the course of 8 days. The festival is held in conjunction with Los Angeles City College, Sony, Intel, Dell, and the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce.
A film's synopsis can peak interest or destroy it altogether. Director Sam Kadi's The Citizen does the former. The story of an Arab immigrant named Ibrahim (Egyptian actor Khlaed Nabawy from Fair Game) who wins the American green card lottery only to arrive in New York City on September 10, 2001 definitely intrigues a cinephile. The Citizen looks to delve into the American dream, as it is tarnished with the harsh reality of violence against everything it stands for in the form of terrorism, fear, and cultural misunderstanding. The Citizen has me intrigued, as it will many others.
The horror movie season that runs from August until October, roughly, is almost upon moviegoers and one of the anticipated frightening (we hope) films is The Possession, produced by Sam Raimi and directed by Ole Bornedal (Watchmen). Based on a true story, The Possession revolves around a family, Clyde (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and Stephanie Brenek (Kyra Sedgwick) and their daughters. Em, the youngest daughter, becomes fascinated with an antique wooden box she purchased at a yard sale and soon her behavior becomes cause for alarm. The reason, the box was built to contain a dibbuk, a dislocated spirit that takes control of and devours its human host. If this does not sound frightening enough the posters help the situation.
New York City has had the pleasure of hosting the Korean American Film Festival and now it is Los Angeles' turn. The inaugural Korean American Film Festival Los Angeles (KAFFLA) kicks off on August 9th, 2012 and runs until the 11th at the Korean Cultural Center Los Angeles (5505 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90036). The festival will feature 4 feature-length narrative and documentary films and 13 short films in non-competitive programs.
The first trailer for Paranormal Activity 4 has been released. Who says 3's a charm, when you can have 4 Paranormal Activity movies?
Watch it now...
The National College Finance Center Website Launches and the "Don't Major In Debt" PSA Campaign with Jane Lynch
Actress Jane Lynch (Role Models, "Glee") announced today at a press conference in New York the launch of The National College Finance Center Website (source: Shoot Online). The brand-new resource is "a free, first-stop, unbiased resource to help educate students, prospective students and families all across the country on how to evaluate their options for financing a college education." The project for Lynch has personal ties, as those close to her are dealing with the stress that comes with student loan debt, the collection calls, and not reading the fine print resulting in trouble after college. She aims to help others avoid this happening to them, and the website is part of the grassroots "Don't Major In Debt" campaign--one that sends a very clear message.
Dark Knight trilogy, that began with Batman Begins, and continued with The Dark Knight, will finally find its closure in The Dark Knight Rises. The story has been shrouded in mystery, aside from a few key plot points and of course the revealing of the story's villains, Bane (Tom Hardy) and, possibly, Catwoman, aka Selina Kyle (Anne Hathaway). Christian Blake returns as Batman, aka Bruce Wayne, as do Michael Cane as Alfred, Gary Oldman's Commissioner Gordon, and Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox. Newcomers to the cast include Joseph Gordon-Levitt as John Blake and Marion Cotillard as Miranda Tate.
Watch all of the clips, trailers, featurettes, and see images from the film...
FilmFracture may not be in attendance at Comic-Con 2012 but that does not mean we can't share with you video highlights from the events, and some news as well.
Gore Verbinski has teamed up with Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer for a new adventure, The Lone Ranger.
Sam Raimi's Oz The Great and Powerful is one of the most anticipated films of 2013. The first trailer and poster from the film has been released, and it looks to be a magical escape into the land of Oz will soon be upon moviegoers, once again.
Walt Disney Studios will release The Odd Life of Timothy Green on August 15, 2012. They have partnered with Hanes, who is collaborating with the Association of Gospel Rescue Missions (AGRM), on The Odd Life of Timothy Green Sock Drive. The Sock Drive launched on July 9, 2012 and its goal is to provide new socks for families in need across the United States.
On November 2, 2012 Walt Disney Animation Studio’s Wreck It Ralph will arrive in theatres; preceding the feature film will be the black-and-white short Paperman. But Paperman is not simply another short film being played before a feature. For the first time in an animated film, Paperman uses a combination of computer-generated and hand-drawn animation techniques to bring the story to life with first-time director John Kahrs at the helm of this bold endeavor. Disney has released first look images for Paperman and they look beautiful, in all of their black-and-white nostalgic gloriousness mingled with modern and classic technologies.
Tom Cruise has had a rough week, with his marriage breaking-up and his Scientology beliefs being attacked, for the umpteenth time (yawn). One good thing to come out of the week, and on his 50th birthday no less, is the release of the teaser trailer for his newest film, Jack Reacher.
For the Summer 2012 season Disney/Pixar are releasing their newest Pixar animated feature, Brave. The story of a Scottish Princess, Merida (voiced by Kelly Macdonald), who is determined to carve out her own path in life by casting out old traditions and thus she sets off on a journey that will require all of skills and bravery to defy an evil curse. The voice cast of the film includes Billy Connolly as King Fergus, Emma Thompson as Queen Elinor, Robbie Coltrane as Lord Dingwall, Craig Ferguson as Lord Macintosh, and Julie Walters as the eccentric Witch.
A recent trend in journalism is to write about the death of film. Not film as a medium but as the method in which movies are created and screened for viewers. Digital is taking over, and 16mm, 35mm, 70mm, and the like are becoming distant memories of what was once standard practice at a movie theatre. Film is not dead, though, and The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences is holding a rare 70mm film festival to celebrate some of the best, and in their own right epic, films that were made on the long forgotten 70mm format. There will even be rare showings of short films shot in 70mm as well. Running through the Summer the festival will feature six-films from the golden age of 70mm print filmmaking to be screened at the Academy's The Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills, California.
Perhaps you have heard of Magic Mike. Not because it is a movie that is destined to be a classic, oh no, far from that actually. You may have heard of Magic Mike because it is the movie of the year for eye candy. The film that will have you salivating, ogling the bodies of men as they dance and strip for your viewing pleasure, and maybe, just maybe, you may end up enjoying the story as well. I'm betting the bare chests and jutting hips are what get women, and homosexual men, into the audience on opening , June 29, and not the fact that it is directed by none other than the acclaimed Steven Soderbergh (Haywire, Ocean's Eleven).
The character of James Bond has become a worldwide icon, and an influential figure in pop culture. The year 2012 marks the 50th anniversary of the Bond franchise, and two events are happening in Los Angeles to celebrate the man, the character, the movies, of James Bond.
Move over Matt Damon, Jeremy Renner is stepping in to fill the shoes once worn by Jason Bourne in The Bourne Legacy. The first full-length trailer for the film has been released. Take a look...
That is a fantastic headline to be able to write. For one reason or another, since LACMA’s series ten years or so ago, fans of German director Rainer Werner Fassbinder have had few chances to see much of his work on the big screen. Now, to mark the thirtieth anniversary of his death (June 10), the American Cinematheque in Los Angeles is celebrating this most individual of film-makers in suitably expansive style, with a series of 16 first-rate titles, between May 31 and June 14, 2012.
Our very own James Jay Edwards, the aficionado of horror movies as seen with his weekly "Cinema Fearite" column, discovered an App for his iPhone recently that must be shared with fellow Horror movies lovers, and movie lovers in general. From Sprite Labs comes "Pocket Cinema," an App that allows you to watch thousands of movies for free; and includes many of James' "Cinema Fearite" featured films like The Monster Maker, The Brain That Wouldn't Die, and Bloody Pit of Horror, to name a few.
Oren Peli is the man to thank, or blame, depending on your preferences, for the found-footage phenomena's that are the Paranormal Activity movies. He directed and wrote the first of the franchise, and has stayed on as writer for all three of the sequels (Paranormal Activity 4 is due in theatres Fall 2012). He also created a found-footage television show, as head writer, with The River. Oren Peli loves found-footage, and he continues this trend that he helped become the go-to style of horror filmmaking with his newest film, Chernobyl Diaries.
Update: May 24, 2012
A new restricted clip for the film has been released. Watch it now!!!
Update: May 15, 2012
A new extended scene has been released for The Dictator. Not that you need any more reason to go and see it--because it is hilarious. Read the review as well, here.
Update: May 8, 2012
Admiral General Aladeen appeared with Jon Stewart on The Daily Show. See for yourself what happened:
Update: May 7, 2012
The moment we have all ben waiting for has arrived, The Dictator restricted trailer has been released.
Update: April 26, 2012
Watch the first scene from The Dictator now.
Update: February 24, 2012
Admiral General Aladeen appeared this morning on NBC's The Today Show to appeal to The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences about his attendance at The Academy Awards.
Update: February 23, 2012
The Dicatator requested entrance into The Academy Awards on Sunday, February 26th and was swiftly told by The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences that his presence was not welcome (whether his counterpart Sacha Baron Cohen) could attend is unknown. In an official statement received by ADMIRAL GENERAL ALADEEN today he plans to make a formal statement to The Academy tomorrow morning. Stay tuned...
Update May 24, 2012: A new red band trailer has been released!
Update May 3, 2012: A brand-new featurette for Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter has been released, 'Origins Of A Superhero'. Have a look...
It has been quite a week for those eager souls awaiting a trailer for Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter. Not only was the trailer released yesterday, February 13th, but a new featurette has also arrived for the film today. The featurette is titled 'Secret Life', and features Tim Burton (producer) and Timur Bekmambetov (director) discussing the film. Enjoy!
Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom is one of the most eagerly awaited films of 2012, for those of us who need more in our popcorn bucket than superheros and Prometheus (shocking, but true). The Director and Screenwriter behind such iconic films as The Royal Tenenbaums, Fantastic Mr. Fox, and Rushmore is reuniting with many of his go-to actors for Moonrise Kingdom, while introducing his style to some newbies as well...hello, Bruce Willis. By taking a look at the trailer, the clips, and images from the film it is clear this is a Wes Anderson film, and hopefully, just as good as all of the other movies he has made during his career. We will all find out on May 25, 2012.
May 15, 2012 Update: A new clip from the film has been released. Watch it now.
May 3, 2012 Update: The official trailer has been released, watch it...
Update: New tease clip has been released, watch it now.
The Loved Ones will be screening tonight at the South By Southwest Film Festival (SXSW). The film has been called "Sixteen Candles meets The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" by Flicksided.com. That statement alone perks one's interest; there have been other quotes but none as brazen, waiting to be debunked when more and more critics and horror genre fans see the film for themselves.
Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones return this Summer in Men In Black 3, with a little help from Josh Brolin as well, playing a young Jones' character, Agent K. The need for younger counterparts to varying characters is simple, this time around Agent J (Smith) is going back in time. I wonder what aliens look like in the past? We will all find out on May 25, 2012.
Watch the trailers, clips, and more from the film...
The New York Times best-selling book, "What to Expect When You're Expecting" by Heidi Murkoff, has been read by millions of soon-to-be mothers and fathers since its publication. Screenwriters Shauna Cross (Whip It) and Heather Hach (Freaky Friday) draw their inspiration for the film of the same name with What To Expect When You're Expecting, in theatres May 18, 2012. The film is directed by Kirk Jones (Everybody's Fine, Nanny McPhee) and stars Cameron Diaz, Elizabeth Banks, Brooklyn Decker, Anna Kendrick, Jennifer Lopez, and Genesis Rodriguez all going through the same thing, pending motherhood. Their respective partners are comprised of actors Dennis Quaid, Chace Crawford, Chris Rock, Matthew Morrison, and Joe Manganiello, Rodrigo Santoro, and Ben Falcone.
Watch clips, trailers, and more from the film...
Johnny Depp and Director Tim Burton have become over the past 20+ years partners in crime when it comes to moviemaking. Their partnership began in 1990 with Edward Scissorhands, continued in 1994 with Ed Wood, and has continued steadily with Sleepy Hollow, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005), Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, and Sweeney Todd (2010). They have teamed up for this year's Dark Shadows, along with Michelle Pfeiffer (Burton's Batman Returns Catwoman), Chloe Grace Moretz (Let Me In, Hugo), Helena Bonham Carter (Fight Club, The King's Speech), Eva Green (Womb), and Jonny Lee Miller (The Escapist, Trainspotting).
Walt Disney Pictures showcased a very large slate of movies coming to theatres in the next year, give or take, from Disney/Marvel/Pixar/DreamWorks. They also brought out the stars of the films to Cinemacon to join in the festivities. Johnny Depp was there for The Lone Ranger, John C. Reilly for Wreck It Ralph, Jennifer Garner showed up for The Odd Life of Timothy Green, James Franco for Oz the Great and Powerful, and Director Tim Burton for his animated film Frankenweenie. Each person took a moment to give a soundbite about their respective film, and the footage is right here for you to watch. It is going to be an eventful year for Disney/Marvel/Pixar/DreamWorks movie releases, and audiences can't wait--even though we have too.
Update, April 12, 2012: The first official poster for The Host has been released. See it now...
Stephenie Meyer nearly took over the world with her best-selling The Twilight Saga novels, and the movie adaptations have been beyond measure with their success. Another novel by Meyer's, "The Host", has been given its own adaptation that is coming to theatres March 29, 2013. A teaser trailer for the film was released today on Yahoo Movies that features fans of the book selected from a contest (details here). Watch the teaser trailer below for the The Host...
One of the most anticipated films of 2012 is The Avengers. Combining characters Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), The Hulk (Mark Ruffallo), Captain America (Chris Evans), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), it is sure to be an epic super hero extravaganza. From the looks of the trailers/promos/photos and the like that have been released, fans around the world sure seem like they will be pleased when the film hits theatres May 4th. Check out all the latest trailers, clips, and behind-the-scenes footage from The Avengers.
Update, April 3, 2012: New clip is out via Maxim Lockout. Watch it now!
On April 20, 2012, "TAKE NO PRISONERS." Or so says the new poster for Lockout, a film presented by Luc Besson who has brought the movie going world such classics as Leon: The Professional, Taken, and The Fifth Element. Besson knows one thing well when it comes to the movies he writes, directs, or stars in...action, and lots of it. Lockout looks to have enough action to keep everyone more than pleased, and to give their heart a good pumping.
TCM Classic Film Festival Silent Auction, featuring Vertigo and 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea Memorabilia
The TCM Classic Film Festival returns to Hollywood April 12th to the 15th, 2012. In conjunction with the amazing line-up of films that will be showing over the course of four days there will also be a silent auction featuring two original posters from two of the films being screened, Alfred Hitchcock's masterpiece Vertigo and the unforgettable 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, as directed by Richard Fleischer. In attendance for the screening of Vertigo is the enigma creating lead-actress herself, Kim Novak; and for 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, Kirk Douglas will take part in a discussion after the screening.
There have been adaptations of "Tess of the d'Urbervilles" on stage, film, television, and even an opera arranged. The first film adaptation took place in 1913, directed by Adolph Zukor and starring Minnie Maddern Fiske; all copies of the silent picture have been lost. In 2007 a musical version of the novel premiered in New York, "Tess: The New Musical", featuring a rock opera of lyrics, music, and Annie Pasqua. Even acclaimed Director Roman Polanski took a turn at adapting "Tess of the d'Urbervilles" with his 1979 film Tess, starring Nastassja Kinski, Leigh Lawson, and Peter Firth. The time has come again for a new film adaptation of Hardy's phenomenal novel to grace the screen; this time set in 21st Century India. Trishna is directed by Michael Winterbottom (Welcome to Sarajevo, Wonderland, 24 Hour Party People) and stars Freida Pinto (Immortals, Slumdog Millionaire) and Riz Ahmed (Four Lions, Centurion). Trishna is a new take on the modern classic, but maintains the tensions between "ancient privilege and modern equality." It is wonderful to see a modern Director taking on a beloved classic, and when Trishna is released in theatres on July 13, 2012 everyone will get to experience the adaptation for themselves.
The first trailer has arrived for Woody Allen's To Rome With Love. Take a Look!
The Coachella Music Festival is know for many things, including: 1. A great line-up of musical talents 2. Being a weekend long party 3. Causing insane amounts of traffic across the desert, and 4. Attempting to re-vive the spirit of Woodstock, each and every year since its inception. One thing Coachella has never been known for is movies--until now. The night before the music-inspired partying begins Roadside Attractions and Filter Magazine will have the West Coast Premiere of Director David Mackenzie's film Tonight You're Mine, starring Adam Treadway (Attack the Block, Clash of the Titans) and Natalia Tena ("Game of Thrones", Harry Potter, co-founder of Molotov Jukebox). The film will play twice on Thursday, April 12th at the Cinema Palm D'Or; the screenings are at 7pm and 9pm.
The Farrelly Brothers, the directing team behind such movies as Dumb and Dumber, There's Something About Mary, and Shallow Hal return this Spring with a new take on The Three Stooges, starring Sean Hayes as Larry, Will Sasso as Curly, and Chris Diamantopoulos as Moe. Taking on the iconic characters 'The Three Stooges' is a huge undertaking, as they are beloved by fans worldwide thanks to the original comedians who created 'The Three Stooges', Moe Howard, Curly Howard (later replaced by brother Shemp Howard), and Larry Fine. The film also stars Jane Lynch ("Glee"), Sofia Vergara ("Modern Family"), Jennifer Hudson ("American Idol"), and Larry David ("Curb Your Enthusiasm").
Watch the trailer, clips, and more from the film...
When you consider all of the movies being released in 2012 there are a handful everyone is most excited about seeing. The Avengers, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, The Dark Knight Rises, The Amazing Spiderman, The Great Gatsby (in 3D!), and Brave all make the list. Here at FilmFracture there is one that is at the top of the list, and is the number one on my own personal list, Prometheus. Directed by Ridley Scott, the man behind two of the greatest and most influential science fiction films ever made, Alien and Bladerunner, Prometheus marks his return to a science fiction world--and as rumor has it a return to the world of Alien prior to Ripley's time battling space-age monsters who use humans as their incubators.
Director Mary Harron, the female director I love to mention when discussions over whether a woman can direct dark, edgy, and violent pictures--she directed Christian Bale in American Psycho, so yes, women can direct the aforementioned type film and do it well. Harron has a new film releasing in theatres on April 20th, The Moth Diaries, starring Sarah Bolger ("The Tudors"), Sarah Gadon (A Dangerous Method, Dream House), Lily Cole (The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus), and Scott Speedman (Underworld). The Moth Diaries is adapted from the acclaimed novel by Rachel Klein, and is a tale of jealousy, infatuation, murder, and suspicion.
Walt Disney's classic tale Snow White, and also the very first feature-length animated film they made, is getting re-vamped this year by two different studios, Relativity Media is presenting Mirror, Mirror and Universal has Snow White and the Huntsman. Neither of these films are remaking the epic tale of a black haired beauty with red rose lips who awaits her prince charming while being hunted by an evil queen. The new Snow White's are going to be much different, and Relativity Media's Mirror, Mirror looks to be playing the eccentricity card with Evil Queen Julia Roberts at the helm and quite a bite to the humor.
In 2010 a retelling of the famous (and cult classic) Clash of the Titans hit theatres, starring Sam Worthington, Gemma Arterton, Ralph Fiennes, and Liam Neeson. To put it mildly, the film was a bust of epic proportions--even if it made money it pissed off a great deal of fans, critics, and the like. I recall stating in my review of the film that your money would be better spent on lottery tickets. A sequel is being released on March 30, 2012, Wrath Of The Titans and by the looks of the trailers it seems to be a great improvement.
Remember in 1999 when a little comedy came out called American Pie? A film that made the previously simple act of eating pie into a sinfully hilarious masturbation option. The same movie introduced the world to the "MILF", or "Mom I'd Like to F*ck," thanks to the semi-iconic character of Stifler (Seann William Scott). Well, the boys, and the girls, of the original American Pie have returned in this year's American Reunion, out April 6th in theatres. Reuniting the entire cast from the original film, and the sequels, it is definitely going to be quite the reunion, and one that inevitably will involve pie.
Daniel Radcliffe's, aka "the boy who lived," first project to be released since the epic conclusion of the Harry Potter franchise is The Woman In Black. As far away from the security of Hogwart's, Radcliffe's character Arthur Kipps finds himself in a supernatural thriller with the ghost of a woman who is hell-bent on finding what she lost.
When the first trailer for The Hunger Games was released everyone was verly excited, and then the watched it. Fans of the series had mixed emotions, but they remained optimistic that the film would be a successful adaptation of the novel. The second trailer for the film has arrived and it is a definite improvement, showing more of the action in store for viewers come March.
The Hunger Games will not be released in theatres until March 23, 2012 but that does not mean there is any stopping the abundance of websites/blogs/social networks, and the like, from capitalizing on all things Hunger. The newest edition is completely devoted to the fashion of The Hunger Games, coming directly after additional photos surfaced of the costumes in the film on EW.com. Finding a home on Tumblr, "Capitol Couture" will appease Hunger Games fans with all things fashion-related.
That time of year has returned, where classic cinephiles from around the country pay homage to great classic cinema at the TCM Classic Film Festival. In only its third year the festival has established itself as a must for cinema fanatics, and an event not to be missed. This year's slate of programming is outstanding, and features an array of films for every taste. More films may still be announced, and more special guests are sure to be attending. For now, here is the program for the TCM Classic Film Festival 2012:
The Hunger Games opens in two weeks and the premiere is tonight, March 12th in Los Angeles. Fans have a chance to take part in the fun that is The Hunger Games premiere, from all over the country. maybe even the world. There are even going to be prizes to win and all sorts of other goodies.
Beginning on Friday, March 9th the sensational Swedish film Sound of Noise will have a one-week theatrical run at the Cinefamily movie theatre in Los Angeles, California. The festivities will kick-off with a special opening night part that will feature a Q&A with the filmmakers and, much to a viewer's delight, a drum battle featuring the Melvin Drummers. After watching the film beforehand you will be more than ready, and thoroughly excited, for the drum battle to begin.
In 1987, a Television show premiered starring a relatively unknown Johnny Depp, aside from fans of A Nightmare On Elm Street, called "21 Jump Street". It's focus was on an undercover police unit that specialized in youth crimes, and as such the officers were undercover as such youth. The show has since become iconic, for more reasons than worth noting, but not for being a comedy. Well, that is about to change with the release of 21 Jump Street, the movie, starring Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill, and none other than Ice Cube--plus a bunch of young, relatively unknown actors and a special cameo by none other than Johnny Depp himself. Just try and guess whom Johnny is playing because I can guarantee you never will as I have seen the film and it is a splendidly brilliant cameo, nose and all.
Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures Animation Inc., and Aardman Animations Limited present The Pirates! Band of Misfits on April 27, 2012, an animated claymation feature film starring, what else but, Pirates! Arrgghhh...
Go behind the scenes and see just how The Pirates! Band of Misfits came to be.
Look who's back! Our favorite prehistoric dwellers, Manny (Ray Romano), Diego (Denis Leary), Sid (John Leguizamo), and even that acorn chasing Scrat (Chris Wedge); watch what new adventure the gang will have in Ice Age: Continental Drift's first full-length official trailer.
In preparation for the release of John Carter on March 9th, Disney has released a ten-minute clip from the film. Watch it below:
The Hunger Games excitement continues for fans with the launch of a national mall tour, featuring the tributes. Cast members participating include Jennifer Lawrence (Katniss), Liam Hemsworth (Gale), and Josh Hutcherson (Peeta). The eight-city tour kicks off in Los Angeles on March 3rd and will include Q&A's as well as the chance to win Hunger Games gear.
Director Gareth Huw Evans reteams with Iko Uwais, the star and fight choreographer of the cult sensation Merantu with The Raid: Redemption. Featuring the Indonesian martial art of Pencak Silat, The Raid: Redeption played to great applause at the 2011 Toronto Film Festival and will now be released in theatres on March 23, 2012 with a score by alternative rocker/composers Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park and Joseph Trapanese, collaborator with Daft Punk and M83.
Stephenie Meyer's days of having big screen adaptations are numbered, with the final installment of the Twilight franchise being released this year, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part Two. Or are they? It so happens Meyer has written other books, and the film adaptation of The Host is making its way into theatres March 29, 2013.
On April 4, 2012 Titanic is making its way back into theatres in what promises to be a spectacular re-release of one of the most successful film's in history. Why? Because James Cameron has added his special magic to the film and it is now in 3D (and will play on IMAX screens as well). Imagining the ship breaking apart and sinking into the ocean in 3D is both horrifying and exhilarating, and makes seeing Titanic in 3D a must for fans, and movie lovers everywhere.
ILM (Industrial Light & Magic) has released a thoroughly enjoyable sizzle reel for Paramount Pictures' Rango showcasing the progression of Rango as an animated feature. The sizzle reel is a great example of how animated features come to life and helps everyone to remember how much fun Rango is/was as a film--that might be why it is nominated for best animated feature at The Academy Awards.
Fox Searchlight Pictures invites viewers to watch the first 12 minutes of their upcoming release, Sound of My Voice, starring Brit Marling (Another Earth), Christopher Denham, and Nicole Vicius. The footage also includes special "hotspots" of interactive activity that hint at what will happen next in the story--as the first 12 minutes are considered "Chapter One."
Freestyle Digital Releasing has presented the latest trailer for their upcoming theatrical release Tomorrow When The War Began. An adaptation of the John Marsden novel, the film is from Australia, and features an all Aussie cast for the high school friends that must wage war in their hometown, and country, when unknown forces invade and take over. Judging from the trailer the movie looks to be a war-action film that will have young people showing off their combat skills--sounds like fun.
For fans of Tyler Perry, the Director/Writer/Producer, et al, behind the hugely successful Madea film franchise and the star and aforementioned titles of the upcoming Good Deeds, an opportunity to ask him questions via a live fan chat is happening.
Coming Soon: Man On A Ledge, starring Sam Worthington, Jamie Bell, and Elizabeth Banks (plus an exclusive 4-minute preview of the film)
Man On A Ledge is about as relevant a title you can choose to describe the movie Man On A Ledge, starring Sam Worthington, Jamie Bell, and Elizabeth Banks. By reading the synopsis below you can see why, as Summit Entertainment breaks it down quite nicely--although they fail to mention the heist portion of the film with Jamie Bell that is in fact the most entertaining part. In the cold month of January, both literally and figuratively with movie releases, Man On A Ledge is a fun time at the movies, and everyone can always use that.
Everyone wants a piece of the Super Bowl, the commercials that is, and The Dictator has jumped on board. Here is the big game spot for The Dictator; that Sacha Baron Cohen, after Borat and Bruno, one can only imagine how he is going to top himself in this film.
The Secret World of Arrietty is the newest film from Studio Ghibli, the animation studio behind such films as Ponyo, Howl's Moving Castle, and Spirited Away. Directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi with a script written by Hayao Miyazaki and Keiko Niwa, The Secret World of Arrietty is an adaptation of the novel "The Borrowers" by Mary Norton. The English-language version of the film will be released by Disney on February 17, 2012 with a voice cast that includes Bridgit Mendler, Amy Poehler, Carol Burnett, Will Arnett, David Henrie, and Moises Arias.
Yesterday we got a Super Bowl promo for John Carter, and today it's The Avengers. For a fifteen-ish second spot, called "Become," it looks pretty amazing; and finally a full-on glimpse of The Hulk, as well as Captain America, Black Widow, Thor, and Iron Man (Tony Stark). Did I mention the explosion? Yep, one of those too. The Avengers hits theatres this Summer, the Super Bowl is this weekend--one can only imagine what The Avengers have planned for the big game.
The Super Bowl always brings with it epic commercials. Disney has jumped on the band wagon for making the most of the Super Bowl extravaganza by releasing a (very) short promotional TV spot that will air before game day--and you can see it right now, of course. The difference between this just being a trailer/commercial/teaser for the film is that it boasts a sweepstakes at the end of the spot instructing viewers to tune in for the John Carter game commercial for a chance to win tickets to next year's Super Bowl.
There are The Golden Globes, The Academy Awards, The Directors Guild Awards, and a whole bunch of other award ceremony's for achievements in film each and every year. The most widely known, and often times thought of as the most prestigious is The Academy Awards, the "Oscars." There is one award ceremony that is all about the performers, and the awards are given to them by their peers--making it a little more special, and a lot more intimate.
Act of Valor is one-part documentary and three-parts narrative feature. It "stars" active duty Navy Seals, the elite of the elite, in an inspired by true events script that promises "stunning combat sequences, up-to-the minute battlefield technology and heart-pumping emotion for the ultimate action adventure." A strong promise indeed, but by the looks of the trailer it just may prove correct.
The Albert Nobbs Sweepstakes
FilmDistrict is proud to present Angelina Jolie in a Live online Q&A on Thursday Jan 12th at 8pm EST / 5pm PST to discuss her writing & directorial debut, In The Land of Blood and Honey. This exciting and interactive event gives fans the chance to ask Ms. Jolie questions about the film LIVE!
A new short film competition was announced today, "Show Us The Way," created by the Levi’s® brand in alliance with AFI Fest and AFI Conservatory. To enter the contest filmmakers will submit a story treatment for the chance to produce a five-minute short film about a better tomorrow. This new contest was announced at the AFI Alumni Reception during the Sundance Film Festival.
Liam Neeson has become quite a conundrum in the past five years or so. An actor who could be found playing the less-than stunt-prone character finds himself in his golden years a bona-fide action hero, all beginning with Taken in 2008. Out of nowhere Neeson was suddenly shooting up bad guys, performing death defying stunts and making history with lines such as "I will find you, and I will kill you." Moviegoers do not seem to be complaining over Neeson's change in career tempo. He has always been a great actor, as can be seen in Kinsey (2004) and Gangs of New York, or the lesser known Schindler's List (1993)--I kid of course. When you look back at Liam Neeson's resume there are quite a few action-type roles he has played--and he was of course in The Phantom Menace as well as Batman Begins but as a much more gentler, philosophical fighter--it was not until Taken that anyone actually noticed this gentlemen Bond could carry an action-movie all on his own.
In 2003 Director Len Wiseman brought the world Underworld. A post-apocalyptic style Vampire story revolving around the blood feud between Vampires and Lycans (werewolves). The film was heavily stylized, a feast for the eyes with all of the special effects and moderate amounts of gore, and most importantly it introduced the character of Selene, played by Kate Beckinsale. Selene, a vampire death dealer who clads herself in a leather/pleather/plastic ensemble with boots that seem to be the boots Nancy Sinatra was referring to when she sang "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'" instantly became the definition of a gorgeous ass-kicking siren on screen.
The Hollywood Reporter announced today information on the planned Psycho prequel series "Bates Motel" over at A&E TV. The show is currently in early development, working alongside Universal Television, and would be a prequel to Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho. As The Hollywood Reporter puts it, "the series would offer an understanding into how Norman Bates psyche developed and would tell the back story of the famed films killer, learning of how his mother, Norma, and her lover damaged him, transforming him into serial killing motel owner."