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With the forthcoming Fantastic Four movie about to arrive in cinemas, Neil Calloway looks at a doomed attempt to start the franchise…
The latest Fantastic Four film is the second attempt to reproduce the comic characters on the big screen; everyone knows about the film made in 2005 and its 2007 sequel, both of which did respectable, if not stratospheric business at the box office.
Less well-known is the 1994 film The Fantastic Four. The 1990s were an odd time for films based on Marvel Comics; 1990 saw the release of a Captain America movie starring the son of the guy who wrote The Catcher in the Rye. Marvel seemed to be concentrating more on animated television shows than big budget live action films, and those of you who watched the first episode of the Flickering Myth Movie Show will know that various Marvel properties were owned by different studios in the 1990s, before »
- Neil Calloway
Few A-list movie stars these days have been as durable as Tom Cruise. He can take a licking and keep on ticking, while still showing us something new from time to time. With the release this weekend of Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, I wanted to take a look at the career of Cruise and pick out his very best acting jobs. As such, below you can find what I feel to be his top ten performances to date. While he’s focused on action roles of late, I think the next stage of his career will return him to drama, which is exciting, as he’s overdue an Academy Award. As always, this is just my take on things, but I do hope that you enjoy! Here now are what I think are the ten best performances of Cruise’s so far… 10. Lions for Lambs – Not the best film he’s ever been involved in, »
- Joey Magidson
“You know, this used to be a helluva good country. I can’t understand what’s gone wrong with it.”
Easy Rider screens in 16mm at 7:30pm Monday August 3rd at Schlafly Bottleworks in Maplewood
Easy Rider (1969) is much more than a 60s relic – it’s still a great movie even today. I find it fascinating that Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda took Roger Corman material and gave it an European- influenced arthouse approach. Combined with breathtaking visuals, a well-chosen rock soundtrack and some classic, stoned, improvised dialogue Easy Rider is still an impressive movie all these years later. Fonda had recently made The Wild Angels, Hopper the less remembered The Glory Stompers, and Jack Nicholson Hells Angels On Wheels, but Easy Rider reinvented the biker movie (or technically created a new subgenre: the “hippy” Biker Film), and things were never quite the same in Hollywood for the rest of the Seventies. »
- Tom Stockman
The performance of an actor playing a villainous role can sometimes be the most interesting part of the film. This is an in-depth look at some of those performances which were awarded with an Oscar.
To get a good character in film, you have to develop that character. The audience needs to see the world through their eyes in order to understand their perspective and motivations. This is especially true with villains, which are arguably more difficult to develop than a traditional protagonist. Often times villains are given the short end of the characterization stick in any given film, which makes sense. It’s not easy making an action that could hurt or harm other people seem logical, so many films don’t put much effort into it. The audience recognizes a villain when they see one, and they know he is bad because of his actions, no matter how questionable they may be. »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (G.S. Perno)
Stanley Kubrick was a sucker for order, so he might have appreciated the desire to catalogue his career. However, since his films often warn against placing too much faith in systems, perhaps he knew that this way madness lies.
Frankly, most of his films have fair claim to being number one, so establishing first amongst equals means some hard choices have been made along the way - just try not to trigger the doomsday device or start swinging the axe if you don't agree.
So without further ado, let's open the pod bay doors and enter the enigmatic, exceptional work of Stanley Kubrick.
13. Fear and Desire (1953)
Even a genius has to start somewhere. Already a successful magazine photographer and documentary maker, 24-year-old Kubrick directed his debut about a military mission on limited funds - it was shot silently with sound added later.
Plagued by difficulties, Kubrick later called it "a completely inept oddity, »
Can you imagine Baba Booey as Michael Peña's Luis and Robin Quivers as Evangeline Lilly's The Wasp? It almost happened a long time ago, when King of All Media Howard Stern set out to acquire the rights to Marvel's Ant-Man. The film is a hit, debuting at #1 on the box office charts over the weekend. But things could have been very different for the diminutive hero. And this all happened long before Edgar Wright came aboard, and Iron Man set up the Marvel Cinematic Universe as we know it today.
The long-standing radio talk show and America's Got Talent host revealed this interesting bit of trivia on the The Howard Stern Show this week. He was in the middle of interview Ant-Man star Paul Rudd when the subject came up. If Howard Stern had of succeeded in getting the rights, we would have seen Ant-Man on the big »
I interviewed actor Christian Slater in November, 2008 for Venice Magazine. Having long had a reputation as an "enfant terrible" in his youth, Slater surprised me somewhat with his calm, measured demeanor and thoughtful outlook. He was promoting his well-reviewed, but ultimately short-lived, TV series "My Own Worst Enemy," which we discussed a bit, but Slater was eager to reflect on his entire career and life, which he did with aplomb. My other memory of the chat is that during our dinner, the power went out in the restaurant or hotel where we met (the location of which has been lost to time) and the halogen streetlights outside casting our talk in a strange, other-worldly glow for a good 30 minutes. All these factors made our meeting a memorable one. Slater can currently be seen on the new USA Network series "Mr. Robot," which is also being lauded critically, and will hopefully »
- The Hollywood Interview.com
Suicide Squad is scheduled for release on August 5, 2016.
The film's Comic-Con trailer is a stunner
DC/Warners have promised to go dark with their comic book offerings, and the first Suicide Squad trailer - unveiled at San Diego Comic-Con 2015 - is just that. Black, twisted and with plenty of crazy moments, it promises to shed light on the origins of Task Force X and also tie itself further to the DC film universe.
The original big screen version of Batman was one of the determinative movies of my youth. Michael Keaton was great as a troubled billionaire by day / masked vigilante by night, and his nemesis, the ruthless Joker was one of the finest villains of movie history. He was a crook to begin with, but a bath in a vat filled with unspecified chemicals turned him not just into a bleached man, but a madman as well. His memorable appearance in Tim Burton’s Batman was due not just to his quotable words (Ever danced with the devil in the pale moonlight anyone?) but to the wonderful acting of multiple Academy Award winner Jack Nicholson.
The time passed, and Batman sequels appeared, but none of them could live up to the quality of the “original” one, not even its sequel directed by the same Tim Burton (Batman Returns, 1992). From there on the franchise has gone downhill, »
- David Agnew
“Little pigs, little pigs, let me come in. Not by the hair of your chiny-chin-chin? Well then I’ll huff and I’ll puff, and I’ll blow your house in!”
The Shining (1980) screens midnights this weekend (July 17th and 18th) at The Tivoli Theater as part of their ‘Reel Late at The Tivoli’ Midnight Series.
Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 horror film, The Shining (based on the Stephen King novel) creates some of the most genuine spine chills ever filmed. Taking a job as a winter caretaker for a giant and remote hotel, Jack Nicholson, his wife Shelley Duvall, and his son Danny Lloyd, find that the long hallways and empty rooms contain more than a few ghosts. The film goes back and forth from scary to amusing as Jack, meticulously pacing his part, slowly turns into a psychopath, taking an axe to his loved ones. Kubrick’s use of space »
- Tom Stockman
Here are things Jennifer Lawrence can do well: Act. Give interviews. Mock Jack Nicholson for interrupting one of her interviews. Use a crossbow. Make David O. Russell films seem more human than they have any right to be. You know what's not on that list? An impression of Cher. No, J-Law. Hello Giggles tried telling us that J-Law's impersonation of Cher on "Conan" was, and I quote, "spot-on." Oh no, Hello Giggles. No, it wasn't. The thing is, we live in an age where many people have mastered the art of impersonating Cher. They have worked hard to capture her specific "Jimmy Stewart is drowning" instrument and they've done it. Let's remember to respect those artists before we go proclaiming J-Law the new Frank Caliendo. J-Law's impersonation is merely croaky, and Cher does not croak. She does a quavery whinny. There. Quickly, watch this video of "RuPaul's Drag Race" season »
- Louis Virtel
Each day, the internet is flooded with news stories about each and every piece of development surrounding an upcoming comic book adaptation or superhero film. We here at Flickering Myth spend our days dissecting and discussing those various topics with as much fervor and excitement as any fan out there. Yet, while there are dozens of stories or quotes circling the web at any given time, they usually only pertain to one part of a larger story; actors give brief updates about their upcoming roles, writers and directors talk about various influences, etc.
Enter Mark Edlitz, whose impressive tome How To Be A Superhero puts all of those news reports to shame by diving headfirst into the expansive superhero genre with long, in-depth interviews with dozens of the genre’s veterans, like Adam West, Jack Nicholson, John Wesley Shipp, »
- James Garcia
By Alex Simon
2015 will most likely go down as the year that the once-taboo became respectable, with both gay marriage and marijuana finding legal and public acceptance nationwide. While the Supreme Court made same-sex marriage legal in all fifty states, the marijuana initiative is having an appropriately slower, but steady climb into legality. That said, we thought we’d take a look at some of cinema’s greatest proponents of the stoner lifestyle, before it all becomes downright conventional.
10. Jeff Spicoli—Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982)
Sean Penn not only became a star with his turn as surfer/stoner Jeff Spicoli in the 1980s’ most iconic teen movie, he established how the stoners of the ‘80s differed from their predecessors: while the rebels of the ‘60s and ‘70s viewed their use of cannabis as a symbol of rebellion, and preferred it to alcohol and the other symbols of their parents’ generation and its decadence, »
- The Hollywood Interview.com
Robert Evans: The Kid Is Alright
I interviewed legendary Hollywood producer Robert Evans in 2002 for Venice Magazine, in conjunction with the release of the documentary "The Kid Stays in the Picture," adapted from his iconic autobiography and audiobook. Our chat took place at Woodland, Evans' storied estate in Beverly Hills, in his equally famous screening room, which mysteriously burned down a couple years later. Evans was still physically frail, having recently survived a series of strokes, but his mind, his wit and his charm were sharp as ever, with near total recall for people, places and stories. Many, many stories. Here are a few of them.
It’s a widely-held belief that the years 1967-76 represent the “golden age” of American cinema. Just look at a few of these titles: Rosemary’s Baby, »
- The Hollywood Interview.com
Hosted by two effervescent admitted film geeks, Alicia Malone (Movie Juice) and Scott Mantz (Access Hollywood), and targeted at movie buffs, “Profiles,” takes deep online video dives on filmmakers and movie stars. "Profiles" aims to be a cross between “Biography,” “Inside the Actor’s Studio” and “At the Movies" as Malone and Mantz seek to entertain and inform with trivia, a countdown of their subject's best movies, and an interview with either the subject or someone close to them, on the phone or on-camera. Talking about Jack Nicholson for example, was "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" producer Michael Douglas. So far the enthusiastic duo has profiled Steven Spielberg, Stanley Kubrick, Alfred Hitchcock, John Hughes, Quentin Tarantino, David Fincher, Wes Anderson, Paul Thomas Anderson, Cate Blanchett, Julia Roberts, Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Cruise, Harrison Ford, John Williams, Tom Hanks, Meryl Streep, David Lynch, Jack »
- Anne Thompson
No matter what variety of cinephile you might be, it’s pretty damn hard to settle on a favorite Jack Nicholson performance from his golden run in the late '60s to the early '70s. Some swear by his crazed, magnificent turn as mental patient Randall P. McMurphy in “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Next,” while others may be partial to his reefer-mad, conspiracy-spouting lawyer in the seminal outlaw flick “Easy Rider.” My personal pick would have to be Nicholson’s pitch-perfect turn as private dick Jake Gittes in Roman Polanski’s immortal “Chinatown,” but there’s no denying the power and magnetism that he exhibited in “Five Easy Pieces,” the 1970 film for which Nicholson was deservedly nominated for his first Oscar (he lost, but ended up taking one home five years later for his stellar work in 'Cuckoo’s Next'). Bob Rafelson’s drama, about a hard-living »
- Nicholas Laskin
Directed by Bob Rafelson
Five Easy Pieces follows along an existential strain of American cinema that began with films like The Graduate (1967) and Easy Rider (1969), where, in the latter example, two men went looking for America and, as its tagline states, couldn’t find it anywhere, and continued through the vehement introspection that emerged from the tormented minds of Martin Scorsese’s anti-heroes, like Travis Bickle (Taxi Driver ) and Jake La Motta (Raging Bull ). Somewhere in between these two manifestations of anguish is Jack Nicholson’s Robert Eroica Dupea, the main character of Bob Rafelson’s 1970 feature. Disenchanted with life and the people who surround him, and utterly aimless in his restless, insatiable quest for self-contentment, Bobby is continually disheartened by the realization that his ideals of happiness and unhappiness don’t apply to everyone else, and may not even be applicable to himself. »
- Jeremy Carr
Every now and again a movie trailer comes along that is all kinds of wrong for the movie it is trying to promote. This is a list of some of the worst head scratchers.
Just because a movie is good doesn’t necessarily mean that its trailer is as well. Many times the filmmakers responsible for the film itself don’t have much input (if any) into the trailer. When that happens, the trailer can end up misinterpreting the intent of the film. At other times, the trailer may try too hard to get audiences interested in the film, going so far as to show all the best parts from the film. This includes giving away the twists or the ending, such that people who may have watched the trailer before seeing the film already know how it ends. This is a look at some of the worst offenders, those »
- email@example.com (G.S. Perno)
As anyone who reads this site probably knows, there's something infectious about seeing one's love of film. It's a little hard to explain, but simply watching one talking affectionately about how various strips of celluloid affected them over the years is a fantastic way to get the blood flowing and your fingers itching to type in Netflix in the next browser tab. So if you haven't already, I highly recommend you check out the Criterion Collection's closet visit series. Whether it's Robert Downey Sr. reminiscing about past conversations with Jack Nicholson, Rudy Wurlitzer and Robert Downey Jr. while looking at copies of Two-Lane Blacktop and Easy Rider, Guillermo Del Toro gushing over their various Blu-Rays, Nicolas Winding Refn getting his day made with a copy of William Cameron Menzies' Things to Come or Bill Hader deep admiration of Nobuhiko Obayashi's House, each of these videos are fun little »
- Will Ashton
Crisply edited by Andrea B. Scott, shot by David Vollrath, who worked with Morgan Neville on the Oscar-winning 20 Feet From Stardom, out-of-the-box Fresh Dressed delivers the goods. Mixed with clips of Will Smith in The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air and In Living Color's Fly Girls, where Jennifer Lopez got her fresh start, we learn the history of Carl Jones' Cross Colours label. Through interviews with Pharrell Williams, Damon Dash, Kanye West, Nas (Nasir Jones), André Leon Talley, Sean Combs, Ralph McDaniels, Marc Ecko, Karl Kani, Daymond John and others, discussing their fascinations that include Little Richard, Dennis Hopper's Easy Rider with Peter Fonda and Jack Nicholson, Louis Vuitton, an obsession with Polo by Ralph Lauren in the early Nineties, Gucci logos, Tommy Hilfiger give-aways, »
- Anne-Katrin Titze
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