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“I was good to you, Ben!” Well, that’s true, Willard, up to a point. Daniel Mann’s Willard (1971) makes a few good and satirical points, one being don’t bite the hand that feeds you, especially as that “hand” might bite you right back. Willard kicked off the 70’s Critters Done Wrong By (trademark pending) subgenre, leading to such memorable fodder as Frogs (1972), Food of the Gods (1976), and Day of the Animals (1977). However, Willard stands out from the (rat) pack by keeping it thrills low key and scurrying on the ground.
Produced by Bing Crosby Productions (yes, that Bing) and distributed by Cinerama Releasing Corporation (they also put out The Beast Must Die and Seizure), Willard received good notices, and more importantly to the genre, pulled in over $14 million Us when it was released in June of ’71. Propelled by top notch performances, Willard delivers the vermin to your doorstep. »
- Scott Drebit
James Prideaux, a prolific playwright and television writer, died on Wednesday, November 18, in West Hills, California, as a result of a major stroke. He was 88.
Early in his career, Prideaux became a member of off-off Broadway’s Barr-Wilder-Albee Playwrights Unit, where his first play, “Postcards,” had the rare distinction of going from off-off Broadway to Off Broadway and then to Broadway.
He earned his first television credits writing for soap opera “The Secret Storm,” and the adaptation of his play “Lemonade” for “Hollywood Television Theatre” before Katharine Hepburn brought him to Hollywood to work on a screenplay, a project that was abandoned when she agreed to appear in the musical “Coco.”
His play “The Last of Mrs. Lincoln” starred Julie Harris in one of her Tony Award-winning performances in 1973. He teamed again with Harris and Geraldine Page on Broadway in his “Mixed Couples.” His writing in later years brought Elizabeth Taylor »
- Carmel Dagan
A year ago, American Horror Story fans were rolling their eyes at the prospect of Lady Gaga “replacing” Jessica Lange in the current season of the show – and I use the word “replacing” loosely as she was hardly replacing the queen of Ahs – only to find that the queen of pop managed to pull off her role as The Countess quite well, after all.
With 5 seasons of shock and horror, the series has been one of the most successful FX shows to date and there’s no guessing why either. The actors are all brilliant and bring their own flavour to an already-spicy show, and they all know exactly how to make each role their own, and with so many different characters to portray on one show, that’s a rather difficult task for an actor to do.
Fans can gladly admit that the show’s producers definitely chose »
- M.L. Gabriel
Despite losing her footing quite frequently, Jennifer Lawrence revealed what her truly most embarrassing moments have been on Wednesday’s episode of “The Tonight Show.” Lawrence said that while making the awards party rounds for her 2012 film “Silver Linings Playbook,” she got into a conversation with a woman whom Lawrence was convinced was legendary actress Elizabeth Taylor. The only problem? Taylor died in 2011. “The Hunger Games” star also said that she had a very revealing first meeting with director Francis Ford Coppola. While visiting Paris, Lawrence ran into Coppola at a restaurant. She introduced herself, only to realize too late that. »
- Joe Otterson
Jennifer Lawrence's Hunger Games press tour continues, and she has saved her most mortifying moments for The Tonight Show. In fact, she shares the top two most embarrassing experiences, one involving Francis Ford Coppola and the other with someone she thought was Elizabeth Taylor. Of course, these stories allowed fellow J.Lo looky-loo Jimmy Fallon to talk about that time he embarrassed himself in front of music legend Clive Davis. Ah, all in the day of being adorable and famous.Lawrence also addressed the truthers out there who think she's just faking her falls. Nope! She just has terrible foot-eye coordination. The cast is doing a full-court press on this issue: On Late Night With Seth Meyers, Lawrence's co-star Liam Hemsworth also addressed the constant falling. In fact, he's borne witness to one of those incidents, which really just registered a minor tremor on the Jennifer Lawrence Embarrassment Scale. »
- E. Alex Jung
Jennifer Lawrence stopped by The Tonight Show on Wednesday and somehow made herself more lovable when she shared her two most embarrassing stories ever with host Jimmy Fallon. Jennifer, who is known for her silly faces and epic tumbles on the red carpet, told Jimmy that those moments don't even faze her anymore because they happen so often. The stunning actress went on to explain that her first unfortunate encounter happened during a Hollywood party in early 2013 when an older woman approached her to say hello. "The whole time she's talking to me, I'm like, 'Oh my god! This is Elizabeth Taylor!'" Jennifer said. "Who was dead at the time. Who's still dead!" She then revealed that during another encounter with director Francis Ford Coppola, she didn't realize her dress was unzipped and exposing her underwear. Watch the hilarious video above to see how both stories end, and then »
- Caitlin Hacker
If you're like us and value your sleep, you probably nodded off into your Ambien dreamland before the party started on post-prime time TV. Don't worry; we've got you covered. Here's the best of what happened last night on late night.
Come dance with Jennifer Lawrence! Jennifer -- actually, "Jennifer's my father, call me Jen" -- was on "The Tonight Show" Wednesday night to promote the final "Hunger Games" movie, and you had to know Jimmy Fallon was going to put her to work. They discussed their shared habit of falling down a lot, and Jen insisted it's not a shtick. She also shared her two most embarrassing stories, because Jen wouldn't be Jen without endearing, relatable anecdotes: The first involved a woman who was Not Elizabeth Taylor, but Jen really thought she was; the other involved the real Francis Ford Coppola, her bare feet, and a revealed thong.
On to the dancing! »
- Gina Carbone
The first strand announcements have been made for February's Glasgow Film Festival, and perfect screen pairings are at the forefront. "Chemistry is everything when it comes to creating the perfect screen couple: when audiences sense that electricity they want to see it again and again," said festival director Allan Hunter. "Dream Teams on the Silver Screen celebrates the very finest Hollywood duos, individuals who made cinema history together in unforgettable classics."
Expect to see pairings like Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton; Fred Astaire and Ginger Rodgers; Doris Day and Rock Hudson; and Paul Newman and Robert Redford. All films in this strand will be free, though if previous events are anything to go by, you'll need to book early. Tickets will become available in January.
This year's country focus will be on Argentina, with Roads To The South »
- Jennie Kermode
Festival will also see a focus on Argentine cinema and on classic Hollywood double acts.
Glasgow Film Festival (Gff) (Feb 17-28) has announced a new industry strand for its 12th edition.
Gff Industry Focus will bring together international film-makers, funding bodies and industry insiders for a two-day seminar within the festival programme.
It is aimed at offering benefits to Scotland’s film and television industry, and to visiting film-makers, and marks the first time that the audience-focused festival has developed an industry-specific programme.
“While Gff’s programme will always put audiences front and centre, we are delighted to be able to host something like Gff Industry Focus this year,” said festival co-director Allison Gardner.
“Bringing this sort of industry presence to Scotland will hopefully feed into and strengthen the Scottish film industry, creating connections and opportunities, and offering international insight.”
Ben Luxford, BFI head of UK audiences, added: “We’re proud supporters of Gff’s vibrant public »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Ian Sandwell)
When Rock Hudson, who would have been 90 Tuesday, acknowledged in 1985 that he was suffering from AIDS, his publicist Dale Olson told the press that “it has been his desire that if he can do anything at all to help the rest of humanity by acknowledging that he has this disease, he will be happy to do that.”
He did. His confirmation, following a report by Variety‘s Army Archerd, helped elevate the urgency of the epidemic, even if it didn’t immediately end some of the hysteria and stigma surrounding AIDS. What it did do is usher in a greater focus on fundraising for AIDS charities and government funding for research.
And on Tuesday, right on Hudson’s would-be birthday, Charlie Sheen revealed in an interview with “Today” that he is HIV positive.
People magazine said in August 1985: “Until now, even in Hollywood, apathy about AIDS has proven surprisingly widespread. »
- Carmel Dagan
“Being in a sexual situation with the Countess, having to sign a nudity waiver about how it was going to go, that was the scariest [moment],” laughed Angela Bassett, whose character, Ramona, had a romantic relationship with Lady Gaga’s the Countess.
The cast of FX’s horror anthology spoke to reporters on the set of the show Wednesday, talking about their real-life fears and shooting this particular dark — and sexy — season of “American Horror Story.” And they all have different ways of dealing with all of that.
Bassett, for instance, said Gaga told her to feel at ease for their steamy scene, and they’re even able to joke about it now. In fact, Bassett revealed »
- Alex Stedman
Last season, Freakshow delighted fans by connecting the world of Elsa Mars to the fan favorite season of Asylum. With Pepper, American Horror Story finally created a Meta effect that wasn’t present in previous seasons, leaving viewers wondering if Ryan Murphy would entice them with some more connections. This episode of Hotel didn’t waste any time by introducing us to Bartholomew, son of The Countess (Lady Gaga) and the result of a failed abortion at the infamous Murder House from season one. What’s really interesting is the performing “doctor” is the original home owner of Murder House and his assistant is murdered by the undead fetus upon ejection. While largely unseen for most of the episode, Bartholomew is a menacing presence, both unpredictable and pretty scary as some sequences actually made me jump and a bit tense. While the show has been entertaining, it was nice to »
- Jovy Skol
This review contains spoilers.
5.6 Room 33
Lady Gaga's got a thing with her fans. She calls them her little monsters. It's a great fandom nickname, akin to the Kiss Army in terms of recognizability. After all, there's a whole episode of The Simpsons based around Gaga's schtick. It's the worst episode The Simpsons has ever done, but that's not the point. It's a known quantity, and I have no doubt it's been one of the inspirations for Countess's collection of creepy children, alongside The Shining and Village Of The Damned. They're actual little monsters, and she's their mother.
Of course, she's not just their adopted mother, she's the actual mother of at least one child, courtesy of the good butchers at Murder House. That's right, Countess »
Spoiler alert: Do not read on unless you’ve seen episode six of “American Horror Story: Hotel,” titled “Room 33.”
Ryan Murphy and Co. have said from the beginning that if any “American Horror Story” season resembles “Hotel,” it’s season one, “Murder House.” But episode six of “Hotel,” titled “Room 33,” made that connection much more literal by bringing the Countess (Lady Gaga) straight to the place that’s going to seem very familiar to “Ahs” fans.
The episode kicks off in 1926, with the Countess arriving at the infamous haunted home that housed the unsuspecting Harmon family in season one. Matt Ross returns as Dr. Montgomery, who the Countess turns to when she’s pregnant and wants to abort the baby. Dr. Montgomery does, but the baby comes out alive — and kills the nurse. Now, it all becomes clear: The Countess is the mother to one of “Murder House’s” terrors »
- Alex Stedman
Pat O'Brien movies on TCM: 'The Front Page,' 'Oil for the Lamps of China' Remember Pat O'Brien? In case you don't, you're not alone despite the fact that O'Brien was featured – in both large and small roles – in about 100 films, from the dawn of the sound era to 1981. That in addition to nearly 50 television appearances, from the early '50s to the early '80s. Never a top star or a critics' favorite, O'Brien was nevertheless one of the busiest Hollywood leading men – and second leads – of the 1930s. In that decade alone, mostly at Warner Bros., he was seen in nearly 60 films, from Bs (Hell's House, The Final Edition) to classics (American Madness, Angels with Dirty Faces). Turner Classic Movies is showing nine of those today, Nov. 11, '15, in honor of what would have been the Milwaukee-born O'Brien's 116th birthday. Pat O'Brien and James Cagney Spencer Tracy had Katharine Hepburn. »
- Andre Soares
This is a reprint of our review from AFI Fest 2015. A vintage convertible zips along vertiginous roads atop sunbaked white cliffs to a grooving ‘60s tune. Stars Angelina Jolie Pitt and Brad Pitt bring to mind Liz Taylor and Richard Burton in their resort wear glam, which is a fine reference to open “By the Sea,” an arty, retro trip through the stiff-but-soused relationships unfolding during the transition from the Greatest Generation to the Sexual Revolution. A decided left turn from her biopic “Unbroken,” Jolie Pitt’s film is an experiment in deeply personal, highly stylized filmmaking that is only partially successful in its efforts. “By the Sea” will most likely be remembered as a cult curio in Angelina Jolie Pitt’s filmmaking career. It’s an ambitious project that strives for a European New Wave vibe, steeped in musings on trauma, grief, and what makes a marriage. It’s »
- Katie Walsh
For those eager fans who devour American Horror Story and constantly look for connections between the stand-alone seasons, "Room 33" is the episode for you! The Countess visits the "Murder House" in 1926 to take care of an unplanned pregnancy. Meanwhile, Alex does her best to make John think he's going crazy, while Romona and Donovan come back to the Cortez to seek their revenge on the Countess. And has Liz Taylor finally found love?
The Sterile Cuckoo: Jolie’s Handsome Relationship Drama is Long in Tooth
Moving on from last year’s suffocatingly honorable Pow reenactment drama Unbroken, Angelina Jolie returns with her third and most simplistic narrative to date with By the Sea. A small scale passion project which finds the director acting alongside her real-life husband and Mr. and Mrs. Smith (2005) co-star Brad Pitt, Jolie proves, once again, she has great curatorial tastes as far as who she assembles both in front of and behind the camera.
Though this familiar scenario (Jolie’s first screenplay) is enhanced majestically by the public’s fascination with the celebrity couple, one gets the sense Jolie, inspired by a tradition of late 60s to 70s European influenced cinema examining dark nights of the soul, is a master of dissection and exhibition rather than homage. Sometimes visually stunning to behold, the film more often feels like an animated corpse, »
- Nicholas Bell
This week we're celebrating the three Honorary Oscar winners. Here's abstew on Debbie Reynolds' favorite role.
Molly Brown is my favorite of all the roles I've played. I love something about almost every part I've done, but I identified with Molly as soon as I met her. In the sometimes blurry line between art and and real life, Molly is the woman I've become as the years have passed. I'm right there with her when she declares, "I ain't down yet!"
-Debbie Reynolds Unsinkable: A Memoir
In her decades long show business career, amid the watchful eye of media scrutiny, Debbie Reynolds has endured trials and tribulations and come out the other side of it stronger. Caught in a Hollywood scandal, the original jilted girl-next-door (long before Jennifer Aniston was even born), Reynolds stood by while then husband Eddie Fisher left her and her two young children for screen siren Elizabeth Taylor. »
Hotel Cortez has been a popular destination for viewers tuning into American Horror Story: Hotel this fall, so it may come as no surprise that FX has renewed American Horror Story for a sixth season that will premiere next year:
Press Release (via TheHollywoodTimes): Los Angeles, November 10, 2015 – FX has ordered the sixth installment of the groundbreaking and award-winning anthology limited series American Horror Story, it was announced today by John Landgraf, CEO of FX Networks and FX Productions. The as-of-yet untitled sixth installment will air on FX in 2016 with the next chapter of the Emmy® and Golden Globe® winning franchise co-created by Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk.
“With the sixth installment coming next year,American Horror Story has unquestionably joined the ranks of television’s landmark series,” Landgraf said. “From Murder House to Hotel, Ahs has pioneered a new television form as well becoming FX’s highest rated show »
- Derek Anderson
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