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Cool film stuff can be almost as fun as actually going to the movies. Think of a Batman cape, an Arnold Schwarzenegger action figure, or Goldeneye on the N64. Hell, the merchandising can often be more enjoyable than the actual film – remember how much fun the first few months of 1999 were before Star Wars: The Phantom Menace was actually released?
Yet, in the chase to make a quick buck out of devoted fans, some... let's just say less relevant, movie merchandise is churned out and flogged to the public.
Here then are 50 of the strangest (not ranked in order!) – expect action figures of obscure henchmen, 16-carat gold Twilight jewellery and some truly vomit-inducing burgers…
In Spider-Man 3, Peter »
Donaldson will direct from a script by Ian Stokell and Lesley Paterson, who are producing with Radar Pictures’ Ted Field, Mike Weber and Michael Napoliello. The project is set to start shooting in March in Europe.
“All Quiet on the Western Front” is based on the 1928 novel by Erich Maria Remarque, who was a German veteran of World War I and described the immense stress on soldiers during the conflict. The 1930 film won Oscars for Best Picture and director Lewis Milestone.
Donaldson has a personal connection to the material as both of his grandparents fought in Word War I, »
- Dave McNary
Exclusive: Mia Hansen Love, Francois Ozon dramas and Cannon Films doc among Toronto haul.
UK distributor Metrodome has secured UK and Ireland rights to a trio of films that played at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival (Sept 4-14): Mia Hansen Love’s well-received drama Eden, Francois Ozon’s The New Girlfriend and documentary Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films.
All three will play at the London Film Festival (Oct 8-19).
Directed by French auteur Mia Hansen Love and starring Felix De Givry, Pauline Etienne and Greta Gerwig, Eden charts the rise and fall of one of the DJs who pioneered the French electro music scene in the 1990s.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Andreas Wiseman)
For the second time in a year, the meteoric rise and ignominious demise of 1980s schlock juggernaut Cannon Films comes to the screen in feature-length documentary form. But where Cannon is concerned, a twice-told tale is no vexation for the weary cinephile’s ear. Faster, sleeker and more out-of-control (in a good way) than its Cannes-premiered predecessor (Israeli director Hila Medalia’s “The Go-Go Boys”), Mark Hartley’s “Electric Boogaloo” — actors, writers, directors, editors and studio execs who, if anything, seem emboldened by the lack of Golan and Globus’s official participation in the project. Sure to be a fest favorite, Hartley’s docu should also spur much Cannon revivalism on the repertory and cinematheque circuits.
Cannon is irresistible fodder for Hartley, whose previous cinephile docus “Not Quite Hollywood” (2008) and “Machete Maidens Unleashed!” (2010) showed he was drawn to exploitation movies like Charles Bronson to a pack of street thugs. Like those films, »
- Scott Foundas
For the past two months, viewers have been disturbed and unsettled by Richard Sammel's performance as Eichorst, the Nazi concentration camp guard turned vampire apocalypse facilitator, on FX's "The Strain." Playing both the human (but inhuman) Nazi version of Eichorst and his steely, arrogant contemporary incarnation, Sammel has given very different monstrous shadings to his role. That's why it's a bit funny to Skype up with the smiley, voluble Sammel and have him immediately cackle in pleasure at being able to identify my mogwai avatar from "Gremlins," before he very politely asks me to switch on my webcam so that we can see each other as we chat. Sammel is in a good mood because it's the first sunny day in Paris for a while. Or maybe he just genuinely enjoys talking about his part in the FX vampire drama, which was recently renewed for a second season. "I »
- Daniel Fienberg
There’s only one director who can claim to have introduced the world to Nicole Kidman (in 1983’s BMX Bandits) and directed two Leprechaun films (1995’s Leprechaun 3 and 1997’s Leprechaun 4: In Space). That director’s name? Brian Trenchard-Smith.
The latest film from the prolific auteur and Tarantino favorite is the action-comedy Drive Hard, which stars John Cusack as a criminal who robs a bank run by criminals and Thomas Jane as an ex-race car driver he coerces into becoming his reluctant wheelman. How did the project come about? “Well, I’ve never met a green light I didn’t like, »
- Clark Collis
With a heist in mind, a mysterious American called Keller (Cusack) arrives in Brisbane needing a getaway driver. Rather than recruit one from the local underworld, he tricks a driving school instructor, Roberts (Jane) into taking the wheel.
Keller chose well, Roberts just happens to be a washed out Formula-One driver. Chased by the cops and the mob, Roberts is forced to use his racing skills to evade pursuit on a Hard Drive that takes the two along the Gold Coast of Australia. »
- TFH Team
Everything we know, we learned from the movies of Stallone, Schwarzenegger, Lundgren, and Seagal...
Teachers? Professors? Lectures? Pfft. They don’t know anything. You don’t learn things from books. You learn things from hanging out of a helicopter blowing up a small army. That’s real life experience. Unfortunately most of us have jobs, responsibilities and the like stopping us from going on our own violent adventures and escapades, so we have to turn to the pantheon of great action stars to educate us. Here, in one handy guide, are some life lessons to take from the work of Arnie, Sly and the rest.
There are two key traits that we can gather from Schwarzenegger’s body of work that we should emulate. The first, and most prominent, is to always have something cool to say, especially after an act of violence. Try to make it relevant to the situation. »
Villains have encapsulated some of the most iconic characters in cinema history and have made their presence known in every genre. As time has progressed and cinema has evolved, so too has the villain and the qualities that they possess. The trend has now become that to make a great villain, they need to be very complex and layered and somehow relatable to the audience. To put it simply, a villain is, in a movie, the Yang to a hero/heroine’s Yin, a perfect balance.
The legendary Dolph Lundgren once said that every action movie is only as good as its villain, and that statement couldn’t hold more merit. In my opinion, action movies have by far given us the greatest villains. The most satisfying cinema experience (at least to me) is being exhilarated and dazzled by furious action sequences to then be paid off by seeing these »
- Matt Schembari
Did anyone miss Jean-Claude Van Damme in The Expendables 3? How could they when the Belgian action star has been making so many commercial appearances lately? The guy has risen as one the most notable pitchmen on television over the past year, showing up in hilarious spots for GoDaddy, Volvo and now Coors Light. For the beer brand, Jcvd is not just pulling an ice block on a sled with his mullet. He's not just carving a bull's head ice sculpture by kicking it. And he's not just destroying giant icicles with his powerful roundhouse to the sound of an awesome '80s-era action movie-style synth score. He's building an ice bar in the mountains, like one that you can win a trip to if you're a resident of the U.K. Yeah, this is an ad for Coors...
- Christopher Campbell
The Universal Soldier films are a strange case of life imitating art. Much like how series protagonist Luc Deveraux is killed in action then resurrected into something post-human, Universal was a pretty standard 90s action film which crashed and burned when it came to sequels, but became something unique and beautiful when it was reanimated for the straight to DVD market.
It’s a hushed secret among genre fans, but Universal Solder 3 and 4 (or possibly 5 and 6, it’s complicated) are some of the most remarkable action sci-fi films of the 21st century so far. Yes, really. I actually watched the series backwards when I first saw them, after being blown away by Universal Solder Day Of Reckoning and deciding to work my way back, and Roland Emmerich’s perfectly acceptable 1992 blockbuster »
The Expendables 3 is the latest installment of the cheese-tastic, 1980s style, throwback action franchise. You may not think of this series of films as anything more than an exercise in geriatric yoga for the addled action stars of yore. But, the fact is The Expendables (2010) made $275M on an $80M budget and The Expendables 2 (2012) made $305M on a $100M budget. And that is serious worldwide box-office business.
The Expendables 3 involves some unfinished business. As it turns out, Barney Ross (Sylvester Stallone), had a partner who co-founded the group with him (a new background detail sheds some light on the team’s bloody history), Conrad Stonebanks (Mel Gibson), who is out to wipe out the entire team – especially Barney. The film is directed by Patrick Hughes, a young filmmaker with only two prior films to his credit. (No you never heard of either of them.) The writing team is led by Sylvester Stallone, »
- Steven Gahm
Peter McAlevey, a film producer who partnered with Michael Douglas’ production company Stonebridge Entertainment in the late 1980s, died Friday in Los Angeles after a short battle with liver cancer. He was 58. Survivors include his wife, Melissa Hufjay McAlevey, vp publicity at Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, and their 4-year-old twin daughters, Rowan and Bailey. During his tenure at Stonebridge, the company produced such films as Joel Schumacher’s Flatliners (1990), starring Kiefer Sutherland and Julia Roberts; Double Impact (1991), the first studio hit for Jean-Claude Van Damme; and Richard Donner’s Radio Flyer (1992), starring Lorraine Bracco and
- Mike Barnes
This weekend will see the release of The Expendables 3, the latest in a series featuring all your favorite action stars from the 80s and 90s in the same movie. This series is a one trick pony – all your favorite action stars from the past reuniting to relive their collective glory days – but it is a trick I’d happily watch for seven more films. I remember when the first film came out I told my dad I went to see it and loved it, and when he asked what it was I just named the cast. He remarked that that movie would sound cool if it was made in the 90s. I replied oblivious to the dig with “Yeah, it’s awesome, right?” – The fact that these were all action heroes past their prime was the point.
One of the reasons why I enjoy writing and thinking about the »
- Dylan Griffin
The Expendables 3 hits theaters this weekend, presenting to the fans just about all the remaining action stars still around. The series has attempted to be a greatest-hits collection for the action movie legends in our midst, but they never feel complete as far as a collection of the all-time greatest tough guys and gals. The new one is even more egregious than the last ones: if you loved Jean-Claude Van Damme in The Expendables 2, you'll love Glen (who?) Powell! So what if there was someone out there recognizing the legacy of great action stars, who respected the history and spotlighted the very best of the genre? And what if that person was us? Presenting The Action Movie Hall Of Fame. Below, there are the 10 inaugural inductees -- performers who have shaped and crafted the action genre and emerged as stars, legends and icons. Some are in this weekend's The Expendables 3. »
Next week will see the UK release of Lucy, the latest fast-paced (and ridiculous) action film by French director Luc Besson, this time starring Scarlett Johansson in the “Wtf Marvel make a Black Widow” title role as a young woman who gets stuffed full of experimental drugs which allow her to access more than 10% of her brain. Apparently all that’s keeping us from being able to fight like Jean-Claude Van Damme, shapeshift and control time and space is that we don’t think hard enough. It looks like a good, dumb blockbuster film, but that is some totally awful science.
Lucy’s an extreme example, but there are shaky sciences on show in basically every Hollywood film you come across. Sometimes movies will employ some made-up mumbo jumbo to explain away plot holes and unbelievable elements, or they’re just spreading misconceptions that are prevalent in society as a whole. »
- Tom Baker
Menahem Golan, who died Aug. 8 at age 85, loved movies, perhaps too much. At its height, Cannon Films — the Hollywood studio Golan ran with his cousin, Yoram Globus — was releasing nearly one film per week: an eclectic bounty of awards bait and bottom-drawer schlock, all foisted on the public with a mix of carnival-barker rhetoric and vaudevillian flair. In the 1980s, the Cannon logo was unmistakable, along with its promise of cut-rate adventure starring Chuck Norris, Charles Bronson, Lou Ferrigno or an up-and-coming Jean-Claude Van Damme. (That Golan never managed to team these signature Cannon brands in a single movie — an “Expendables” — boggles the mind.)
“It was an extraordinary experience to have a man who made decisions without thinking for three minutes,” recalls Andrei Konchalovsky, the Soviet emigre director who made four films for Cannon, including “Runaway Train” (1985). “That was the quality that also ruined the company, but it left me with carte blanche doing films. »
- Scott Foundas
A small-town sheriff must confront his past in our exclusive clip from Swelter, debuting on Blu-ray and DVD from Well Go USA on August 12. Lennie James star as Bishop a small-town sheriff who doesn't remember his criminal history from 10 years ago, when he was part of a crew that tried to rob the Luxor Casino in Las Vegas.
When his former criminal cohorts come looking for him, Bishop learns the truth about his fromer life from Doc (Alfred Molina), the man who saved him a decade ago. Take a look at this scene from writer-director Keith Parmer's action-thriller, which co-stars Jean-Claude Van Damme, Grant Bowler and Josh Henderson.
Swelter is the story of the most notorious robbery in Las Vegas history. Five men, nicknamed the Rat Pack, hit the Luxor Casino for over one hundred million dollars. Four of the men are soon captured, while one barely escapes. Ten years later, »
Jean Claude Van Damme heads to the American south in indie action film Swelter and the tension is just like the weather: Hot. The story revolves around a criminal gang who - ten years before - robbed a casino. Four were caught, one was not and the four captured men have now blasted their way out of prison and are looking to make good with their former comrade.WellGo Entertainment will release Swelter in the Us and we've got an exclusive clip from the film to share. Check that out below along with the official trailer....
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
One half of the Cannon Films duo, Menahem Golan, has died, at the age of 85.
Producer Menahem Golan, one half of the legendary duo behind Cannon Films, has died at the age of 85. He passed away on Friday in Tel Aviv, leaving behind a catalogue of more than 200 films that he was involved with.
The story of Cannon Films is being told in a pair of upcoming documentaries, and we looked at the infamous company's rise and fall here. What was clear is that Cannon was one of a kind, and along with his cousin, Yoram Globus, Golan was one of the key reasons for that.
Cannon was instrumental in the careers of Chuck Norris and Jean-Claude Van Damme for a start, and also worked on more than one occasion with the likes of Sylvester Stallone and Charles Bronson. One of the pair's most infamous productions was the cheap and »
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