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Arrow Video resurrects Jack Hill’s first solo directorial effort, Spider Baby (1967) for lovers of cult oddities. Prior to becoming a lynchpin in the Blaxploitation film movement with his signature Pam Grier titles such as Coffy (1973) and Foxy Brown (1974), Hill knocked around as co-director on B-grade horror films, including Roger Corman and Stephanie Rothman projects. Unfortunately, this strange little number didn’t see release for several years due to its producers getting tied up in bankruptcy. Originally titled “Cannibal Orgy,” the theatrical release kept the extended title of Or the Maddest Story Ever Told (several other venues played it under the title The Liver Eaters). Not nearly gritty or violent enough to warrant such provocative monikers, its eventual name remains the most befitting. Featuring horror alum Lon Chaney Jr. and an eerie early role for (an almost unrecognizable) Sid Haig, Hill was obviously inspired at arming popular genre motifs with teeth. »
- Nicholas Bell
Ron Moody as Fagin in 'Oliver!' based on Charles Dickens' 'Oliver Twist.' Ron Moody as Fagin in Dickens musical 'Oliver!': Box office and critical hit (See previous post: "Ron Moody: 'Oliver!' Actor, Academy Award Nominee Dead at 91.") Although British made, Oliver! turned out to be an elephantine release along the lines of – exclamation point or no – Gypsy, Star!, Hello Dolly!, and other Hollywood mega-musicals from the mid'-50s to the early '70s. But however bloated and conventional the final result, and a cast whose best-known name was that of director Carol Reed's nephew, Oliver Reed, Oliver! found countless fans. The mostly British production became a huge financial and critical success in the U.S. at a time when star-studded mega-musicals had become perilous – at times downright disastrous – ventures. Upon the American release of Oliver! in Dec. 1968, frequently acerbic The »
- Andre Soares
It's fitting that Clint Eastwood and John Wayne both have the same birthday week. (Wayne, who died in 1979, was born May 26, 1907, while Eastwood turns 85 on May 31). After all, these two all-American actors' careers span the history of that most American of movie genres, the western.
Both iconic actors were top box office draws for decades, both seldom stretched from their familiar personas, and both played macho, conservative cowboy heroes who let their firearms do most of the talking. Each represented one of two very different strains of western, the traditional and the revisionist.
As a birthday present to Hollywood's biggest heroes of the Wild West, here are the top 57 westerns you need to see.
57. 'Meek's Cutoff' (2010)
Indie filmmaker Kelly Reichardt and her frequent leading lady, Michelle Williams, are the talents behind this sparse, docudrama about an 1845 wagon train whose Oregon Trail journey goes horribly awry. It's an intense »
- Gary Susman
First a Question For You
Have you ever been baffled or resentful of an Oscar win (any category) only to finally see the picture and go "Oh, okay. I get it" and feel sheepish about your past dismissal (even if it wouldn't quite change your vote)?
Such was the case with me and Sophia Loren's Two Women (1961) the only 1960s Best Actress win I hadn't seen, largely because I was so angry about it growing up given my intense love of Natalie Wood, who lost her best shot at the statue (Splendor in the Grass) in the peak year of her popularity (West Side Story). But when the Walter Reade screened Vittoria de Sica's Two Women this weekend I decided to fix the gap. Sophia was terrific, particularly in the final act when the movie takes quite a dark turn (in some ways it's a very strange film, a »
- NATHANIEL R
Burbank, Calif. May 19, 2015 – On June 2, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment (Wbhe) will release The John Wayne Westerns Film Collection – featuring five classic films on Blu-ray™ from the larger-than-life American hero – just in time for Father’s Day. The Collection features two new-to-Blu-ray titles, The Train Robbers and Cahill U.S. Marshal plus fan favorites Fort Apache, The Searchers and a long-awaited re-release of Rio Bravo. The pocketbook box set will sell for $54.96 Srp; individual films $14.98 Srp.
Born Marion Robert Morrison in Winterset, Iowa, John Wayne first worked in the film business as a laborer on the Fox lot during summer vacations from University of Southern California, which he attended on a football scholarship. He met and was befriended by John Ford, a young director who was beginning to make a name for himself in action films, comedies and dramas. It was Ford who recommended Wayne to director Raoul Walsh for the male lead in the 1930 epic Western, »
- email@example.com (Cinema Retro)
This week marks the 10th anniversary of the release of "Crash" (on May 6, 2005), an all-star movie whose controversy came not from its provocative treatment of racial issues but from its Best Picture Oscar victory a few months later, against what many critics felt was a much more deserving movie, "Brokeback Mountain."
The "Crash" vs. "Brokeback" battle is one of those lingering disputes that makes the Academy Awards so fascinating, year after year. Moviegoers and critics who revisit older movies are constantly judging the Academy's judgment. Even decades of hindsight may not always be enough to tell whether the Oscar voters of a particular year got it right or wrong. Whether it's "Birdman" vs. "Boyhood," "The King's Speech" vs. "The Social Network," "Saving Private Ryan" vs. "Shakespeare in Love" or even "An American in Paris" vs. "A Streetcar Named Desire," we're still confirming the Academy's taste or dismissing it as hopelessly off-base years later. »
- Gary Susman
When "Secrets and Lies" premiered on ABC in March, Sepinwall and I talked about it on the podcast, but nobody wrote a full review. What I said in my Take Me To The Pilots entry and what I said on the podcast is what I'd have said in my review: In a year of close-ended shows using the death of a child as a catalyst for an investigation or an investigation of grief, "Secrets and Lies" was the most tawdry and sensationalistic, the one most prone to insulting the intelligence of viewers. Two months later, same as it ever was, "Secrets and Lies" ended its first season with a seemingly anti-climactic scene and then instructed viewers to go watch one extra scene either online or on some stupid ap or... Screw that. Season 1 of "Secrets and Lies" ended with a slightly ominous car scene between Abby and Christy. Full-stop. I »
- Daniel Fienberg
A water main break at a movie theater can wreak havoc on a film festival!
The Eighth Annual QFest St. Louis, presented by Cinema St. Louis, was supposed to start Sunday April 19th at the Tivoli Theatre. But the organizers had to reschedule when the Tivoli had to shut down because of the water disaster. The show will go on, but the schedule has been changed.
The St. Louis-based Lgbtq film festival, QFest will present an eclectic slate of 23 films – 11 features (six narratives and five documentaries) and 12 short subjects. The participating filmmakers represent a wide variety of voices in contemporary queer world cinema. The mission of the film festival is to use the art of contemporary gay cinema to illustrate the diversity of the Lgbtq community and to explore the complexities of living an alternative lifestyle.
Highlights include the St. Louis premieres of two biographical documentaries on Olympic diver Greg Louganis »
- Tom Stockman
Come get your Q on, St. Louis! The Eighth Annual QFest St. Louis, presented by Cinema St. Louis, runs April 19-23 at the Tivoli Theatre. The St. Louis-based Lgbtq film festival, QFest will present an eclectic slate of 23 films – 11 features (six narratives and five documentaries) and 12 short subjects. The participating filmmakers represent a wide variety of voices in contemporary queer world cinema. The mission of the film festival is to use the art of contemporary gay cinema to illustrate the diversity of the Lgbtq community and to explore the complexities of living an alternative lifestyle.
Highlights include the St. Louis premieres of two biographical documentaries on Olympic diver Greg Louganis (“Back on Board”) and former Hollywood heartthrob Tab Hunter (“Tab Hunter Confidential”). Other prominent films include the latest from avant-garde queer filmmaker Bruce la Bruce (“Gerontophilia”) and lesbian-themed films starring Geraldine Chaplin (“Sand Dollars”) and the directorial debut from HBO »
- Tom Stockman
Madonna is coming clean about her high-profile relationships! The "Living For Love" singer spilled some details about her personal life during a very candid interview on Howard Stern's SiriusXM radio show on Wednesday, finally confirming that she once dated rapper Tupac Shakur. "I was dating Tupac Shakur at the time and the thing is he got me all riled up on life in general," she said, referring to her infamous 1994 interview with David Letterman. "So when I went on the show I was feeling very gangster." Stern was shocked by the relationship, claiming he had never heard about their romance. Madonna said she thought it was public knowledge: "I think people know, if you're in the know." Another one of Madge's men was Warren Beatty, whom she called "an incredible lover." The hunky actor dated Hollywood beauties like Brigitte Bardot, Julie Christie and Natalie Wood, which was intriguing to the pop star. »
- tooFab Staff
We’ve got questions, and you’ve (maybe) got answers! With another week of TV gone by, we’re lobbing queries left and right about shows including Justified, The Good Wife, Once Upon a Time, Empire and Scandal!
PhotosHouse of Cards Season 3 Premiere Recap: 19 Must-See Moments
1 | Claire’s darker ‘do on House of Cards: love it or hate it? (Us? Hated it.) Speaking of the Netflix drama’s new season, were you bummed that Deadwood alumni Molly Parker and Kim Dickens didn’t share a single scene together?
In one hundred years of film, the basic formula has never wavered: if you want to leave them smiling, end with a kiss. But while all screen kisses may be heart-warming, they've looked very different since the dawn of cinema. Here's a look at the history of screen romance, by the decades: Decade: 1920’s Romantic Ideals: Rudolph Valentino and Greta Garbo Their Day Jobs: Sheik and coat-check girl How They Meet: Trapped in a desert oasis while traveling under a secret identity Obstacle in their Path: Her drunken husband, his nattering wives, Hammurabi’s code condemning to death all who gaze upon a member of the tribe. Big Cool Friend’s Advice: “Sail to the ends of the earth, where a man may forget.” Final Kiss Location: Under a full moon atop Mount Kilimanjaro. Watch Party Streaming Pick: “The Sheik” Decade: 1930’s Romantic Ideals: Jean Arthur and Cary Grant Their Day Jobs: Con-woman and paleontologist. »
- Richard Rushfield, Adam Leff
Makeup and mimicry can only take an actor so far when tasked with playing one of the most enduring stars in the cinematic firmament: More crucial is that he have a certain intangible star quality of his own. Such is the success of Dane DeHaan’s magnetic take on James Dean in “Life,” Anton Corbijn’s engaging, elegiac portrait of a legend in the making. More than a standard celebrity bio, however, the pic is a loving valentine from photographer-turned-helmer Corbijn to his name-making profession, with Robert Pattinson in a sly turn as Dennis Stock, the shutterbug who landed Dean a now-classic Life magazine spread. It’s the peculiarly moving, even subtly queer friendship between the two men that distinguishes “Life” from standard inside-Hollywood fare, while gorgeous production values and ace star turns make it a thoroughly marketable arthouse prospect.
If any current filmmaker is qualified to reflect on the »
- Guy Lodge
Complete list of winners and nominees of the 2014 Grammy Awards, held in Los Angeles at the Staples Center on Sunday February 8. Winners will be updated as they're announced during the telecast and pre-telecast. Record Of The Year “Fancy,” Iggy Azalea Featuring Charli Xcx “Chandelier,” Sia **Winner** “Stay With Me (Darkchild Version),” Sam Smith “Shake It Off,” Taylor Swift “All About That Bass,” Meghan Trainor Album Of The Year **Winner** “Morning Phase,” Beck “Beyoncé,” Beyoncé “X,” Ed Sheeran “In The Lonely Hour,” Sam Smith “Girl,” Pharrell Williams Song Of The Year “All About That Bass,” Kevin Kadish & Meghan Trainor, songwriters (Meghan Trainor) “Chandelier,” Sia Furler & Jesse Shatkin, songwriters (Sia) “Shake It Off,” Max Martin, Shellback & Taylor Swift, songwriters (Taylor Swift) **Winner** “Stay With Me (Darkchild Version),” James Napier, William Phillips & Sam Smith, songwriters (Sam Smith) “Take Me To Church,” Andrew Hozier-Byrne, songwriter (Hozier) Best New Artist Iggy Azalea Bastille Brandy Clark »
- Donna Dickens
Simone Simon in 'La Bête Humaine' 1938: Jean Renoir's film noir (photo: Jean Gabin and Simone Simon in 'La Bête Humaine') (See previous post: "'Cat People' 1942 Actress Simone Simon Remembered.") In the late 1930s, with her Hollywood career stalled while facing competition at 20th Century-Fox from another French import, Annabella (later Tyrone Power's wife), Simone Simon returned to France. Once there, she reestablished herself as an actress to be reckoned with in Jean Renoir's La Bête Humaine. An updated version of Émile Zola's 1890 novel, La Bête Humaine is enveloped in a dark, brooding atmosphere not uncommon in pre-World War II French films. Known for their "poetic realism," examples from that era include Renoir's own The Lower Depths (1936), Julien Duvivier's La Belle Équipe (1936) and Pépé le Moko (1937), and particularly Marcel Carné's Port of Shadows (1938) and Daybreak (1939). This thematic and »
- Andre Soares
Young Robert Redford and politics: 'The Candidate' and 'All the President's Men' (photo: Robert Redford as Bob Woodward in 'All the President's Men') A young Robert Redford can be seen The Candidate, All the President's Men, Three Days of the Condor, and Downhill Racer as Turner Classic Movies' Redford series comes to a close this evening. The world of politics is the focus of the first three films, each one of them well-regarded box-office hits. The last title, which shows that politics is part of life no matter what, is set in the world of competitive sports. 'The Candidate' In the Michael Ritichie-directed The Candidate (1972), Robert Redford plays idealistic liberal Democrat Bob McKay, who, with no chance of winning, is convinced to run against the Republican incumbent in a fight for a California seat in Congress. See, McKay is too handsome. Too young. Too liberal. »
- Andre Soares
If you thought Revenge was going to take things slow following the death of Malcolm Black, you clearly don’t know this show very well. Sunday’s episode — the last new hour until March 8, if you can believe it — reminded us just how chaotic life in the Hamptons can be, even without a psychotic killer on the loose.
Let’s start with Nolan and Louise’s wedding reception, an appropriately over-the-top affair which was nearly derailed when Emily used an ancient Japanese trick (or whatever) to help Louise remember she did kill her father, just as “Penelope Dreadful” revealed in last week’s episode. »
This week's episode of "Revenge" was amazing for a variety of reasons, including but not limited to the fact that David now has a scruffy goatee (good god no), Victoria's found herself a new enemy, and -- most importantly -- Kim Richards guest starred. That's the Kim Richards, everyone's favorite turtle-obsessed reality star from "Real Housewives of Beverley Hills." We are not worthy. Of course there are plenty of other story lines from the episode that we can't wait to sink our teeth into, so check out our recap of "Revenge" right here, right now.
Emily Helps Unlock Louise's Memory, Remains Revengey While Doing So
Important news: Nolan is now a married man. Yep, this jaunty fellow tied the knot with Louise Ellis, and you know what that means: time to throw a party. Louise and Nolan might not be in love, but they love the idea of mixing business »
- Mehera Bonner
The director of such classics as The Last Picture Show and Paper Moon is finally making a return after 14 years of absence from features, but after watching the trailer for She’s Funny That Way, I wonder if it’s anything to celebrate. Peter Bogdanovich has been keeping plenty busy over the past decade and a half, doing a little more acting, some hosting duties on TCM, maintaining a blog at Indiewire and helming some TV movies, namely biopics about Natalie Wood and Pete Rose, and a documentary on Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. But his last true picture show, as far as a theatrical narrative release, was the 2001 historically inspired jazz-age farce The Cat’s Meow. For his comeback, Bogdanovich has written another wild comedy, this time with ex-wife Louise Stratten, and he’s corralled a very impressive cast, as someone of his background can easily do. Imogen Poots stars as a high-class prostitute-turned-Broadway star who »
- Christopher Campbell
By Anjelica Oswald
With the addition of Marion Cotillard’s lead actress nomination for the Belgian film Two Days, One Night, 32 actors and actresses have been nominated for their performances in foreign-language films. Cotillard was nominated for her role as a young mother and wife struggling to salvage her job in Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardennes’ film, which was chosen as Belgium’s submission to the foreign-language category but failed to secure a spot on the Oscar shortist.
Though her performance did land a Critics’ Choice Award nomination, the Oscar nomination did come as a surprise for many pundits.
Cotillard was previously nominated for the French foreign-language film La Vie En Rose (2007) and won. She is one of six actors or actresses to win for a non-English role and is also the most recent winner.
The first acting nomination for a foreign-language performance went to Sophia Loren in 1962 for »
- Anjelica Oswald
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