1-20 of 29 items from 2015 « Prev | Next »
When we met Ridley Scott in a plush London hotel one September afternoon, the director was relaxed and jovial. And well he should be; his latest film, The Martian, has already garnering glowing notices, and for our money, it's Scott's best film in years. The story of astronaut Mark Watney and his struggles to survive alone and hungry on the hostile surface of Mars, it's full of humour, drama and eye-popping visuals.
As the film opens in the UK, we were lucky enough to talk to Scott about all kinds of movies from his voluminous body of work, including Alien, Blade Runner, Legend, The Counsellor and lots more, all leading up to his plans for the three Prometheus movies he wants to make, and finally, »
In the recent rush to acclaim Tom Cruise as the world's greatest living movie star (hot on the heels Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation), one phase of his career has been conspicuously overlooked. That's the brief interlude between 1983's Risky Business and 1986's Top Gun, during which he briefly acquired flowing rockstar locks and starred in Ridley Scott's fairytale flop Legend.
Not only has the 1985 film been wiped from Cruise's CV, it's also rarely spoken of when discussing Scott's career. All this despite arriving right after the director's stone-cold classics Alien and Blade Runner, and in the midst of the '80s swords and sorcery craze that gave us Arnie punching a camel and Dolph Lundgren as He-Man.
Why does Scott's last fantastical excursion until Prometheus continue to languish in obscurity? On one level the answer is simple: it was a huge box office bomb on release and only »
You could call it the MacGyver effect: the curious thrill of seeing clever people solving problems in ingenious ways. That’s partly the key to The Martian’s success, both as a best-selling novel (by Andy Weir) and now as a movie directed by Ridley Scott.
Matt Damon is the lone lifeform on the surface of Mars - astronaut and botanist Mark Watney, presumed dead and left behind by his crew when a violent storm forces them to abort their mission. Waking up alone with only a few meagre supplies and a flimsy base to call a refuge, Watney faces years of loneliness and almost certain starvation. That is, unless he can use his skills and knowledge to figure out a means of survival - or as Watney says of his situation, »
Techno-thriller fans have been waiting a long time for a good disc of action ace John Sturges' sci-fi espionage suspenser. George Maharis, Richard Basehart, Anne Francis and Dana Andrews must stop a madman who has snatched a full battery of deadly bio-warfare viruses from a super-secret government lab. Each flask can wipe out an entire city, and one of them will kill every living thing on the planet. The Satan Bug Blu-ray Kl Studio Classics 1965 / Color / 2:35 widescreen / 114 min. / Street Date September 22, 2015 / available through Kino Lorber / 29.95 Starring George Maharis, Richard Basehart, Anne Francis, Dana Andrews, John Larkin, Richard Bull, Frank Sutton, Edward Asner, Simon Oakland, John Anderson, James Hong, Hari Rhodes, Henry Beckman, Harry Lauter, Tol Avery, Russ Bender, James Doohan, Harold Gould, Carey Loftin. Cinematography Robert Surtees Film Editor Ferris Webster Original Music Jerry Goldsmith Written by Edward Anhalt, James Clavell from the novel by Ian Stuart (Alistair MacLean »
- Glenn Erickson
In the 1980s, bored film critics sometimes claimed to see homoerotic themes in any 'buddy picture' about guys being friends with guys. Only one bold comedy dared to confront this notion directly -- in this show, Dennis Quaid spends a full two hours inside Martin Short, yet the finished picture is still perfectly suitable for all audiences and age groups! Savant Blu-ray Review Warner Home Video 1987 / Color /1.78:1 / 116 min. / Street Date August 4, 2015/ available through Warner Bros. / 13.09 Starring Dennis Quaid, Martin Short, Meg Ryan, Kevin McCarthy, Fiona Lewis, Vernon Wells, Robert Picardo Cinematography Andrew Laszlo Visual Effects Supervisor Dennis Muren Art Direction James H. Spencer Film Editor Kent Beyda Original Music Jerry Goldsmith Written by Jeffrey Boam, Chip Proser, story by Chip Proser Produced by Michael Finnell, Peter Guber, Kathleen Kennedy, Frank Marshall, Jon Peters, Chip Proser, Steven Spielberg Directed by Joe Dante
Reviewed by Glenn Erickson
Warner Home Video shows »
- Glenn Erickson
Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation
In his score for Kingsman: The Secret Service, Henry Jackman wants you to know he’s a James Bond fan. He just doesn’t want to tell you. Monte Norman’s iconic guitar riff pops in and out of his score, and brassy John Barry flourishes pepper the background music of Matthew Vaughn’s latest pulpy indulgence. Vaughn and comic book brute Mark Millar’s spy thriller struck a chord with audiences in February with gaudy, gory violence and in-jokes to the Ian Fleming novels it draws from. Strangely though, Jackman’s half-baked music never follows suit, tiptoeing around its homages rather than fully committing to its Roger Moore era obsessions.
The music of Kingsman wants its both ways, retro while still feeling fresh enough for modern box office, a shared paradox with The Man From U.N.C.L.E., »
- David Klein
Whatever tough-guy notion of 1960s masculinity Robert Vaughn and David McCallum once embodied as reluctantly paired Cold War rivals has clearly gone the way of the Berlin Wall in the otherwise retro-flavored “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.,” a PG-13-rated loose-nukes caper whose target audience is too young to remember the classic spy show that inspired it — much less the once-frosty deadlock between American capitalism and Soviet communism that pits its distractingly handsome leading men against one another. Starring Henry Cavill as American art thief Napoleon Solo and Armie Hammer as Kgb operative Illya Kuryakin, Guy Ritchie’s latest feels more suave and restrained than his typically hyperkinetic fare, trading rough-and-tumble attitude for pretty-boy posturing. And though the pic is solidly made, its elegant vintage flavor simply doesn’t feel modern enough to cut through the tough summer competition. Those seeking stylish spies will surely wait for “Spectre” or that promised “Kingsman” sequel instead. »
- Peter Debruge
Working across a wide range of musical mediums, Ivor Novello Award-winning and BAFTA-nominated composer Daniel Pemberton has embraced everything from large scale orchestral and choral works to innovative electronic sound design, live salsa bands to post-rock guitar line-ups.
From The Counselor, The Awakening and the upcoming Steve Jobs film, to name a few, Pemberton has delivered another eclectic score – this time Guy Ritchie’s latest movie The Man From U.N.C.L.E., in theatres Friday, August 14.
Fans of the TV show are familiar with the theme music from composer Jerry Goldsmith, with additional music for the various seasons provided by Morton Stevens, Walter Scharf, Lalo Schifrin, Gerald Fried, Robert Drasnin and Nelson Riddle.
Now comes the film version and a 5-star, international score that exudes the 1960’s as if it was pulled from a time vault. You’re right into the film from the first musical note and drum beat.
Recently the »
- Michelle McCue
A supernatural take on The Bad Seed, director Richard Donner’s 1976 thriller about a demonic child boasts a top-notch “old Hollywood” cast including Gregory Peck and Lee Remick. Gilbert Taylor (A Hard Day’s Night) did the cinematography and composer Jerry Goldsmith’s work was rewarded with the Academy Award for Best Score. This cash cow spawned three sequels (Damien: Omen II in 1978, Omen III: The Final Conflict in 1981, Omen IV: The Awakening in 1991), a 2006 remake and three different tv series.
- TFH Team
This Aliens Vinyl Soundtrack is only a taste of the goodies that Mondo is bringing to this year's San Diego Comic-Con. Also: DVD release details for Lake Placid vs. Anaconda and we also have the new Crypt Horror short film, 6/6/66, to watch in its entirety.
Aliens Vinyl Soundtrack: Press Release: "Mondo is super excited to offer a sneak peek at its offerings for San Diego Comic-Con 2015, featuring the best in artist-driven collectibles for characters, films, and comics. This year, more than ever, Mondo is showing off a wide variety of products from an amazing team of designers and world-class artists. Below is a small sampling of the posters, vinyl and collectible figures that will be on hand at their booth #835.
Here's a first look at the Ant-Man screen print from artist Kevin Tong. "In designing the poster, I wanted to show Ant-Man's scale, the intensity of his transformation, and »
- Tamika Jones
I sensed early on with "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan" that James Horner was going to become the finest film composer of his generation. He boldly seized the Jerry Goldsmith mantle head on and made it his own. Now, after his tragic plane crash near Santa Barbara Monday morning, I can proclaim it online: His scores were epic, intimate and emotionally and spiritually transcendent. And he was prolific, scoring more than 100 movies since the late '70s, highlighted by "Titanic" (for which he received two Oscars for score and the blockbuster hit song with Celine Dion, "My Heart Will Go On," co-written by Will Jennings), "Avatar," Braveheart," "Apollo 13," "Aliens, "A Beautiful Mind," "Field of Dreams," "Glory," "Brainstorm" and "Cocoon." But there were also such gems as "Something Wicked This Way Comes," "The Dresser," »
- Bill Desowitz
As far as working couples go, director Julie Taymor and composer Elliot Goldenthal might be the most daring, experimental and sophisticated in the showbiz firmament. Their film, theater and opera collaborations combine complex soundscapes with highly stylized visuals.
Their latest phantasmagoria, Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” — a filmed record of Taymor’s staging of the play at the Theatre for a New Audience in Brooklyn that debuted at the 2014 Toronto Film Festival last September — is no different, despite the production’s spare trappings.
“It was really simple onstage,” explains Goldenthal, “just a few projections, and the audience surrounding the actors. It was mainly an actors’ piece.”
And yet the production — which is being presented event-style in approximately 85 theaters for one night only on Monday, June 22 — appears highly cinematic, bathed in stark, moonlight-blue lighting, and adorned with gorgeous costumes that bridge contemporary and period worlds with the spirit world of gods and fairies. »
- Steve Chagollan
Since Star Trek: The Motion Picture in 1979, the Star Trek cinematic outings have proved to be a smorgasbord of references and famous actors (or those who would go on to be), and often had complex behind the scenes events that stopped some rather, ahem, fascinating moments making it to the final version. We found lots of nerdy spots in the first six films here.
This time out we look at the films featuring the cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation and choose 47 factoids. Granted, there's a lot more than that of interest, but we've tried for ones that you might not be aware of.
Oh, and there are some major spoilers...
Star Trek: Generations (1994)
1. The first of the Next Generation films was something of a rush job as principal photography »
TV has a new superhero. Marvel’s Daredevil follows the journey of Matt Murdock, who was blinded as a young boy but imbued with extraordinary senses, now fighting against injustice by day as a lawyer, and by night as the super hero Daredevil in modern day Hell’s Kitchen, New York City.
Starring Charlie Cox (Matt Murdock), Rosario Dawson (Claire Temple), Elden Henson (Foggy Nelson) and Vincent D’Onofrio (Wilson Fisk), Marvel’s Daredevil remains faithful to the long-running comic’s reputation as a realistic crime drama.
Marvel’s first original series on Netflix is Executive Produced by series Showrunner Steven S. DeKnight (Spartacus, Buffy: The Vampire Slayer, Angel) and Drew Goddard (“Cabin in the Woods,” “Lost,” “Buffy The Vampire Slayer”, in addition to writing the first two episodes »
- Michelle McCue
Well, the big studios have finally gotten around to another summer cinema staple. Let’s see, for 2015 we’ve had a couple of sequels (Avengers: Age Of Ultron and Pitch Perfect 2), a reboot (Mad Max: Fury Road), and a brassy lady-driven comedy (Hot Pursuit). So now, it’s time for that other, often dreaded, “R-word”: the remake (usually called a “re-imagining” by sneaky PR types). Oh, and this is another 1980’s classic like January 2014’s Robocop. But we’ll go back a few years before that shoot-em-up satire of 1987. It’s 1982, the summer of Spielberg, when he had his biggest (at that time) box office smash with E.T. The Extra-terrestrial. Now Mr. S wrote and directed that one, but a few weeks before that opened, he produced and wrote another huge hit. Now, yet another prominent blockbuster director, Sam Raimi, is the producer of this new scare-fest. To paraphrase »
- Jim Batts
Remakes are a mixed bag with horror fans. Generally, most fans of the genre have a negative reaction. Hopefully, there are a few like myself that don’t mind a remake if new ideas are being injected into it or if the the new incarnation can improve on some weak spots. Since Sam Raimi is a producer on this new remake of Poltergeist, we’ll take the Evil Dead remake under consideration. I’ll be the first to admit that while I love the original Evil Dead, it has some issues – mainly pacing. I thought the remake did a great job by keeping the viciousness of the original, if not amping it up a bit more, as well as improving the story a bit as well as updating it for modern audiences. The reason why most genre fans hate remakes is that they feel it is a cash grab for an already established brand. »
- Andy Triefenbach
So he pulled out his laptop, plugged in the keyboard, and heard “this weird static interference,” he says. “It scared the crap out of me.” But, ever on a quest for new sounds, he quickly pulled out his iPhone, recorded the sound — and it’s in the score for MGM’s remake of the 1982 classic, out May 22.
As director Gil Kenan explains: “There’s a subtheme in the film: the way that electricity permeates our lives, and that’s part of the way the haunting is able to express itself. Marc picked up on that idea, brought in these electronic signals and weaved them, sometimes melodically, sometimes in more discordant or troubling ways, in scenes of suspense or drama.”
Both Streitenfeld and Kenan acknowledge that the original “Poltergeit” casts a big shadow. »
- Jon Burlingame
The closing credits for Gil Kenan’s remake of the 1982 horror classic “Poltergeist” feature the band Spoon covering the Cramps’ 1980 punk classic “TV Set.” Spoon is a tasteful, studious yet largely anodyne indie rock outfit that has become an NPR staple; the Cramps were a scuzzy, unhinged psychobilly band whose most famous gig took place in an actual mental hospital. It’s hard to think of a more fitting postscript for this professionally executed yet bloodless film, itself an act of homage that hews reverently to its source material while missing the essential spirit and vitality that once powered it. Generally entertaining yet fundamentally unnecessary, this tribute-band take on one of the genre’s greatest hits should score decent opening weekend numbers before finding its way into the light.
- Andrew Barker
New posters featuring the main three characters from the psychological horror film, Sun Choke (which recently made its world premiere at the Stanley Film Festival), are featured in our latest round-up. We also have release details and cover art for One Way Static Records' upcoming vinyl soundtrack release for Mark of the Devil and its sequel, as well as a new poster for the upcoming prison-set thriller, Vendetta, which is directed by Jen and Sylvia Soska (See No Evil 2, American Mary).
Synopsis: "Janie’s just trying to get well. As she recovers from a violent psychotic break, she’s subjected each day to a bizarre holistic health and wellness regimen designed, and enforced, by her lifelong nanny and caretaker. She begins »
- Derek Anderson
There was a brief stir in January when composer Harry Gregson-Williams publicly expressed, via Facebook, his surprise at hearing music he didn’t recognize at the premiere of Michael Mann’s thriller “Blackhat” — and at not hearing a lot of score he did write.
The composer says his Facebook post has been blown out of proportion, but admits it was disappointing to see music he toiled over dropped (or replaced) in the final cut. But, he stresses, that’s just part of the game.
“You win some, you lose some,” he says, relaying his early mentor Hans Zimmer’s comment that you haven’t made it as a film composer until you’ve had a score rejected.
Gregson-Williams is simply the latest in a long line of composers who’ve watched scores tossed out and replaced whole-cloth, partially substituted by pre-existing tracks, or mangled beyond recognition. Mann is notorious for »
- Tim Greiving
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