18 items from 2014
Those were just some of the impressions that Robin Williams performed in the guise of the almighty blue Genie in Aladdin. Perhaps another comedian could’ve supplied similarly outrageous voices, but no one could’ve infused that dynamic, shape-shifting character with so much heart and humor. For many fans of a certain age, Genie was the Robin Williams character that immediately popped into their heads when the sad news broke yesterday that the Oscar-winning actor had died tragically in California »
- Jeff Labrecque
Directed by Fritz Lang.
A child-killer is on the loose. The police can’t seem to track him down and the crime gangs even take the matter into their hands. One man labels the murderer with the letter ‘M’ on his back using chalk, and slowly the culprit is found out…
In the media storm involving Rolf Harris and Jimmy Saville, it seems to be the relevant moment to rerelease the incredible thriller M. An unforgettable tale of a child-killer, Hans – labelled by the letter ‘M’ – preys on children using balloons and sweets. His horrific acts are not only investigated by the police but by the victims, gangs and criminals of the town. As part of the Peter Lorre season at the BFI, M is a must-see in the actor’s catalogue as it defined his character in many of his future films, »
- Simon Columb
Here we are at what is a surprisingly modern list. At the beginning of this, I didn’t expect to see so much cultural impact coming from films so recently made, but that’s the way it goes. The films that define the horror genre aren’t necessarily the scariest or the most expensive or even the best. The films that define the genre point to a movement – movies that changed the game and influenced all the films after it. Movies that transcend the horror genre. Movies that broke the mold and changed the way horror can be created.
10. El laberinto del fauno (2006)
English Language Title: Pan’s Labyrinth
Directed by: Gullermo del Toro
It’s more a dark fantasy film than a horror film, but it would be tough to make a list of 50 of those. Plus, it has enough graphic, nightmarish images to push it over the threshold. »
- Joshua Gaul
If you're like us, you can't wait for the first day of every month, because you know that Netflix is going to add a ton of new movies and TV shows. You refresh your account over and over again at midnight, hoping that those titles listed in the "Recently Added" section update with something new and exciting rather than the same ol' titles you've been staring at for the last four weeks.
Well, lo and behold, we've gathered the most exciting movies and TV shows being added to America's most popular streaming service, straight from Netflix themselves.
"Rocky" fans will be pumped to know that the first five boxing flicks (sorry, "Rocky Balboa" fans) will be added August 1, joining other '70s, '80s, and '90s movie favorites "Face/Off" (slow-motion doves!), "Mad Max" (apocalyptic leather!), "Spice World" (spice up your life!), "The Birdcage" (Calista Flockhart was in this, »
- Tim Hayne
Joan Lorring, 1945 Best Supporting Actress Oscar nominee, dead at 88: One of the earliest surviving Academy Award nominees in the acting categories, Lorring was best known for holding her own against Bette Davis in ‘The Corn Is Green’ (photo: Joan Lorring in ‘Three Strangers’) Best Supporting Actress Academy Award nominee Joan Lorring, who stole the 1945 film version of The Corn Is Green from none other than Warner Bros. reigning queen Bette Davis, died Friday, May 30, 2014, in the New York City suburb of Sleepy Hollow. So far, online obits haven’t mentioned the cause of death. Lorring, one of the earliest surviving Oscar nominees in the acting categories, was 88. Directed by Irving Rapper, who had also handled one of Bette Davis’ biggest hits, the 1942 sudsy soap opera Now, Voyager, Warners’ The Corn Is Green was a decent if uninspired film version of Emlyn Williams’ semi-autobiographical 1938 hit play about an English schoolteacher, »
- Andre Soares
Haven't checked out Escape from Tomorrow (review) yet? You should! Recently we had a chance to sit down with director Randy Moore and talk with him about making an undercover horror movie at both the happiest and scariest place on Earth... Disneyland!
DC: Do you feel like the circumstance of shooting Escape from Tomorrow on the sly as you did has stolen the thunder from other aspects of the film? I mean, it’s a neat and unusual feat, but is that all critics and audience talk about?
Randy Moore: Yeah, it took away from the story, but it’s also a double-edged sword. There's just so many films out there now that without the “gimmick” you probably wouldn’t even be interviewing me. So I always knew it would be an issue to deal with, but I told everyone, cast and crew, on our very first day of »
- Staci Layne Wilson
Here’s the first official entry to “Summertime with the super heroes 2014″(Cap’s return last month would be considered Spring, one supposes). And it’s an old familiar masked face who got a major overhaul (re-boot, re-imagining, etc.) just two Summers ago. 2012′s The Amazing Spider-man proved to click with audiences, so the director and principal actors are back for number two (no bathroom jokes, please!). They’ve gotten the revamped origin story out-of-the-way, so it’s on to new challenges, and a new super villain. Well, things need to be ramped-up, so it’s three, count em’, three super villains from the classic comic book rogues’ gallery: Electro, the Rhino, and, returning to the big screen from the original Sam Raimi-directed trilogy, the Green Goblin. Will they triple the excitement factor from the first flick, or will they cancel out the charm factor, mainly being the romance of Peter and Gwen? »
- Jim Batts
(Author’s Note: This is part of an ongoing series where Bj Colangelo takes a trip down memory lane and talks about the kid friendly horror TV shows from the 1990s/early 2000s that helped shape her into the horror loving fangirl she is today.)
Before Monster High dolls dominated the world of girl’s toys, there were a slew of high school horror themed cartoons in the late 1980s and early 1990s, but none were as awesome as Rick Moranis In Gravedale High. Anytime a television show attempts to gain momentum by name dropping Rick Moranis, it can be safely assumed I’m already going to be addicted. Although the show only ran for one season, the Universal Monster inspired cartoon high school became a quick favorite for 90′s kids and is still a popular source for fan-fiction and roleplaying communities today.
Gravedale High revolved around the misadventures of »
- BJ Colangelo
From 1937 to 1946, Mickey Rooney played clean-cut, wide-eyed Midwestern teenager Andy Hardy 15 times in a series of films that proved instrumental (along with his Judy Garland musicals) in making him one of the most popular movie stars of his era. They also surely came to feel like a gilded prison around the actor. By the time the series ended, the Hardy character had been to WWII and back (as had Rooney), yet still seemed incapable of getting past first base with a girl (whereas Rooney was already on the second of his eight marriages).
The Mickster’s thirst for more adult roles was palpable, and Hollywood took a few different stabs at figuring out what to do with him. There was a series of sports films designed to show off the five-foot-two actor’s virile, athletic side: the boxing drama “Killer McCoy” (1947), in which he is a highly improbable light heavyweight »
- Scott Foundas
It's hard to look away from the face of Joshua Burge: his bug eyes recall Peter Lorre in their constant vigilant paranoia. But his angular femininity that comes from his soft mouth and sleek cheekbones suggest an approachability that contrasts with the sharpness of his more intimidating features. He would have played villains and scoundrels in the silent era, ones that had a vulnerable secret. Joel Potrykus' “Buzzard” reveals that not much has changed since then. Burge's Marty works in bank supplies, where he listlessly zones out as an intern at an anonymous cubicle. His responsibilities are limited, and because of a lax work environment, he commits various abuses in the name of a little extra cash, like returning expensive unused supplies for cash or taking extended breaks to stretch his few dollars to the maximum. It's a relatively joyless existence: Marty is the kind of guy who »
- Gabe Toro
Written by Roy Chanslor
Directed by Roy William Neill
Famous recording artist Mavis Marlowe (Constance Dowling) has sheltered herself from her drunkard husband Martin Blair (Dan Duryea) in her lush Los Angeles condo. To ensure tranquility and peace of mind, she has asked the doorman to disallow Martin from reaching her, the latter looking up anxiously from street level at her window high above. The doorman’s rebuttals send Martin into a drinking frenzy, during which time another man, Kirk Bennet (John Phillips), enters Mavis’ home for reasons unknown only to find her dead. It isn’t long before the police track Kirk to his homely domain, where his wife Catherine sees her better half arrested for murder, sending her into a tizzy. With Kirk convicted and sentenced to death, Catherine takes it upon herself to piece together the puzzle to clear her husband’s name. To do so, »
- Edgar Chaput
In the midst of all the excitement over the Texas Film Awards and SXSW 2014, another film-related event took place recently: the first annual Noir City Austin. While free of a red carpet and movie stars in the flesh, this festival celebrated its inaugural weekend at the Alamo Drafthouse Ritz from Feb. 28 to March 2.
Hosted by the Film Noir Foundation, Noir City Austin screened 10 films straight from the genre’s heyday, and featured many faces familiar to devoted noir fans, such as Shelley Winters, Peter Lorre, Ray Milland and Lizabeth Scott.
Yet rather than screening such noir staples like The Maltese Falcon, Double Indemnity and The Big Sleep, the foundation chose lesser-known titles that, though unknown to the majority of those in attendance, still contained all the necessary ingredients essential to any noir. More than that though, the movies selected tended to go beyond the conventions of the »
By Frank Calvillo
There’s usually very little to look forward to at the movies during the uneventful dog days of winter. This weekend, apart from the release of what looks like a passable popcorn thriller called Non-Stop, starring Liam Neeson and Julianne Moore, it seems like there’s nothing in the way of big-screen entertainment to get jazzed about.
The game changed, though, when The Film Noir Foundation announced the First Annual Noir City Austin, a three-day film festival taking place at the Alamo Drafthouse Ritz from February 28- March 2. The weekend features ten lesser-known film noir gems starring the likes of John Garfield, Shelley Winters, Peter Lorre and Robert Cummings, among others, and promises to be the ultimate gin-swilling, cigarette smoking gift from the movie gods themselves.
The lineup is as follows:
Too Late for Tears (1949) -- Friday 2/28
Through accidental circumstances, Alan and Jane, an average married couple, »
Turner Classic Movies (TCM) has unveiled the complete list of 20 cities that will be treated to a free theatrical screening of classic Casablanca (1942) on Tuesday, March 4.
Nearly 10,000 fans voted to help choose 10 of the markets that will host screenings, with the most votes going to Baltimore, Buffalo, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York, Orlando, St. Louis and San Diego.
Those cities join the previously announced screenings in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Detroit, Miami,Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington, D.C.
Presented in collaboration with Warner Bros., TCM’s 20-market screening of Casablanca is one of many events surrounding the celebration of the network’s 20th Anniversary as a leading authority in classic film. Although the screenings are free, tickets are required for entrance.
Free tickets are now available for download from the TCM 20th Anniversary website: tcm.com/20.
TCM’s special screenings of Casablanca will begin at 7:30 p. »
- Melissa Thompson
Cinema Retro has received the following announcement:
To celebrate Valentine's Day, the Redford Theatre is offering free admission to this film event weekend in appreciation gratitude for the support and loyalty of our patrons. That's you!
Join us this weekend for what has been called one of the greatest films Hollywood has ever produced: "Casablanca". The black and white film from 1942 (a colorized version never went over very well) stars Ingrid Bergman and Humphrey Bogart, with a stellar supporting cast that includes Paul Henreid, Sidney Greenstreet, Claude Rains and Peter Lorre. While other great films from the '40s faded into obscurity, "Casablanca" just continued to grow in popularity. By 1977, it was the most frequently broadcast movie on TV. As recently as last March, Warner Brothers released a 70th Anniversary Ultimate Collectors Edition Combo Set on Blu-ray. That's all well and good, but how often do you have the opportunity »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Cinema Retro)
When the work of the Walt Disney Company is referenced in popular culture, it is often generalized and boiled down to princesses, Mickey Mouse, and fireworks over Cinderella’s castle as music swells. (“Get your Disney World vacation planning DVD today!”) Unfortunately, this is an extremely simplified image of the company and its legacy in feature films. In the 77 years since Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the Walt Disney Company’s feature films have gone through distinctive eras. There was the rise of Disney live-action, the decade following Walt Disney’s death, the era of acquisition (Marvel, LucasFilm), and the first and second animation renaissance periods, to name a few.
To give a broader view of the Walt Disney feature film, it is easiest to look at some of these specific eras and pick out the good, the best, and the worst representations of that era. This is by »
- Rachel Kolb
Lobster Johnson: Get the Lobster #1
Published by: Dark Horse
The Golden Age of Comics is a difficult time to revisit. Writers hazard coming off as kitschy or hackneyed even if they bottle some of the spirit. Along the lines of Indiana Jones, The Lobster thrives on nostalgia, invigorating classic tropes. Lobster Johnson: Get the Lobster #1 captures the spirit of the thirties without feeling contrived or irrelevant.
Mike Mignola’s Hellboy, which spawned the Lobster, has an ideal pallet for noir stories: dark shades and chunky inks render every page ominous. This story picks up with Harry, one of The Lobster’s team members, attending a professional wrestling match between the gigantic Russian Bear and diminutive Devil Dwarf, both of whom prove to be much more than entertainers. The plot thickens as the kingpin, Mr. Ward, and his henchman, »
- Tyler Hayden
[Editor's note: The last time I published a list of this sort Christian Bale was way up top and then The Fighter happened. Time for a new look at the Oscar Nomination-less. While I'm in Sundance, abstew steps in with his list. My list (and I'm sure yours) might not be exactly the same but... discuss! - Nathaniel]
This past Thursday, when the Oscar nominations were announced, only eight actors were hearing their names called for the first time (the Best Actress category was all previous nominees and 80% winners). Some were for film debuts (Lupita Nyong'o and Barkhad Abdi), but for the other 6 names (Ejiofor, McConaughey, Fassbender, Leto, Hawkins, and Squibb) it was their first recognition from the Academy after years of hard work and dedication to their craft. But not every great actor ever gets to hear their name called Oscar nomination morning. Despite powerful performances and decades of service to the film industry, sometimes a nomination (let alone a win) evades the greats. For some, the oversite will never be remedied (Marilyn Monore, Edward G. Robinson, Myrna Loy, Peter Lorre, Jean Harlow, and John Barrymore are just some of Hollywood's finest that went without the prefix Academy Award Nominee), but for many great actors still working today there is still time. »
18 items from 2014
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