14 items from 2013
The release of Kimberly Peirce’s faithful, solid, efficient, and therefore essentially pointless remake of Carrie gives me the opportunity to look back at the 1976 original, which is still one of my favorite films — and, in fact, one of the most important movies of my life. It’s one of the two films, the other being Robert Altman’s Nashville, that made me want to be a critic. And that’s because Carrie did more than thrill, frighten, and captivate me; it sent a volt charge through my system that rewired my imagination, showing me everything that movies could be. »
- Owen Gleiberman
Apart from an early scene with a cartoonish high school principal, Brian De Palma’s 1976 Carrie is well-nigh perfect — a lyric, Expressionistic horror classic with the greatest female performance (by Sissy Spacek) in genre history and a supporting turn (by Piper Laurie) that’s not too far behind it. (I could go on and on about Amy Irving, Nancy Allen, darling P.J. Soles, John Travolta, etc.) Above all, it’s a movie that takes no prisoners. The well-meaning die as gruesomely as the malevolent. The one character left alive is probably too damaged to recover. As much of a hot dog as De Palma is (few directors are as gleefully virtuosic), he rarely takes off into a solipsistic sphere: Every trick both delights him and heightens his characters’ emotions.I won’t pretend I wasn’t incensed when I heard about a Carrie remake in the works, but I went »
- David Edelstein
Directed by Brian De Palma
Written by Lawrence D. Cohen
This classic horror movie based on Stephen King’s first novel, about a pubescent girl with telekinetic powers, remains Brian De Palma’s best film. Sissy Spacek stars as Carrie White, a shy, mousy teenager who is the victim of both her evangelical mother, Margaret (Piper Laurie), and of her cruel high school classmates, who bully her constantly. Her mom shelters Carrie in a closed-off, claustrophobic household, due to her psychotic fear of sexuality and twisted religious beliefs. She punishes the girl repeatedly, and prohibits her to develop friendships with other teens. As a result of ignorance and religious guilt, Carrie remains shunned by society, and viewed as an outsider who is the butt of practical jokes. When the school’s popular girl, Chris Hargenson (Nancy Allen) organizes a wicked prank at the school prom, Carrie lashes out in a horrifying manner, »
- Ricky da Conceição
RoboCop was always a prime candidate for the remake treatment given the character's potential and enduring popularity, but Jose Padilha's upcoming reboot has the unenviable task of living up to one of the greatest science fiction movies of all time.
Written by Edward Neumeier and Michael Miner, RoboCop was an example of multi-layered storytelling at its finest - action-packed sci-fi with deep philosophical themes intertwined among the blood and carnage.
Verhoeven's opus was more than just a movie about a cyborg police officer in a crime-ridden near future, it was an exploration of the life-after-death concept and a poignant piece of social commentary dealing with issues such as capitalism, privatisation and gentrification.
RoboCop is set in an alternate version of Detroit, Michigan »
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Subway Kittens Living The Dream In Awesome Bushwick Pad
Neil Patrick Harris drops some hints on what to expect at The Emmy Awards. Sadly … no twerking.
Op-ed: A Tribute to Fallen Soldier Darren Manzella
Russian Gay Activist’s Plea: ‘Get Us the Hell Out of Here’
Here’s the trailer for the reboot of Robocop. Is »
It's hard to fathom why Angie Dickinson agreed to expose herself so graphically for Brian de Palma's lurid rip-off of Hitchcock. She plays a sexually frustrated housewife who pays rather too high a price for her indiscretion with a chap at an art gallery. Nancy Allen's prostitute is the only witness to the murder and is subsequently stalked by the killer. Michael Caine also stars as a shrink in this absurd but gripping thriller. »
(Brian De Palma, 1980, Arrow, 18)
Of the generation of confident, bearded, cine-literate film-school graduates dubbed the Movie Brats who set out to take over Hollywood in the 1970s (Spielberg, Coppola, Scorsese, Milius, Lucas et al), none was more technically accomplished or referential than Brian De Palma. His work has been prolific and uneven, with mainstream successes like The Untouchables (1987) and Mission: Impossible (1996), and mainstream failures, most notably The Bonfire of the Vanities (1990). His best films were made between his version of Stephen King's Carrie (1976) and the Vietnam-set Casualties of War (1989). His most daring films are two brilliant thrillers – Dressed to Kill (1980) and Blow Out (1981).
The Blow Out DVD appeared earlier this year. Dressed to Kill, his masterly homage to Psycho (with major references to Vertigo and North By Northwest), is out this week accompanied by revealing interviews with De Palma, his producer and stars. This ingenious erotic thriller full of unexpected »
- Philip French
Each week we take a look at the good, the bad and the ugly of the home entertainment offerings, reviewing and rating the films and the special features packed onto the discs.
Release of the Week
Steven Soderbergh reunites with writer Scott Z. Burns to tell the tale of another kind of deadly contagion in the world of pharmaceutical treatment with Side Effects. Dependency of one kind or another, and the moral wasteland of the modern medical landscape are in play here. Soderbergh delivers another cracking thriller which benefits from a fine lead performance from Rooney Mara.
It is her relationship with Jude Law’s Dr. Banks which gives this suspenseful mystery its grounding. The duplicity hinted at from both sides has shades of Hitchcock at his finest and Soderbergh has a knack of finding the exact moment to knock his audience out of its complacency. »
- Adam Lowes
One of De Palma’s best loved films, Dressed To Kill has been lovingly re-mastered by MGM studios, and will finally be available uncut and on blu-ray for the very first time in the UK. Arrow’s deluxe edition of the film will come loaded with an exclusive selection of special features and bonus material.
Starring legendary British actor Michael Caine (The Italian Job, Get Carter) alongside Nancy Allen (Carrie, Blow Out) and Angie Dickenson (Point Blank, The Killers), Dressed To Kill begins as sexually frustrated housewife Kate Miller (Dickenson) consults her psychiatrist about her husband’s lacklustre performance in the bedroom. Following the session with Dr Elliot (Caine), Kate silently seduces a stranger in a New York Art gallery, before going back to his place. »
- Matt Holmes
Carrie Set Visit: Kimberly Pierce Talks Pigs Blood, Prom and Remakes, in theaters this October
Last August, We were invited by Sony Pictures to cover their remake of Carrie. Every horror buff holds this film as a genre standard. Based on the first novel released by Stephen King and adapted for the screen by Director Brian De Palma, Carrie was a critical and commercial hit in 1976. It scored Oscar nominations for Sissy Spacek as Carrie, and Piper Laurie as her domineering, religious fanatic mother Margaret. The film also introduced audiences to a young John Travolta, Amy Irving, and Nancy Allen. Remaking a film of this caliber required an exceptional director and cast to bring a modern version of Carrie to a new audience. Director Kimberly Peirce, who rose to fame with the gripping Boys Don't Cry, was chosen to helm the ship. She cast the young, but seasoned actress Chloe Moretz as Carrie. »
(Brian De Palma, 1981; Arrow, 18)
Brian De Palma's masterly movie conflates Antonioni's Blow-Up and Coppola's The Conversation to produce a potent brew of conspiracy theory and cinematic virtuosity that is all his own. There are echoes of the Kennedy assassination, the drowning of Mary Jo Kopechne at Chappaquiddick and the Watergate cover-up in the story of an obsessive sound effects expert (John Travolta) who stumbles into an elaborate conspiracy while spending the night recording material for a low-budget horror flick in the woods outside Philadelphia (De Palma's home town). He records the sound of a car crashing into a river, rescues the passenger (Nancy Allen) but finds the driver dead. The driver turns out to be the governor, his companion a professional escort, and Travolta finds his recording doesn't match the official explanation.
This is one of the finest films about the process of movie-making, a bleak, complex work that »
- Philip French
Blow Out, 1981.
Directed by Brian De Palma.
A movie sound recordist accidentally records the evidence that proves that a car accident was actually murder and consequently finds himself in danger.
Brian De Palma has directed a number of iconic Hollywood movies. He broke the mould with Carrie, created something that would become pop culture phenomenon in his remake of Scarface and a modern gangster classic with The Untouchables. The remainder of De Palma’s carry has been a heady, often stylised mixture of cult hits, miss-fires and fascinating failures, but always with plenty of engaging points. Blow Out is an oft overlooked entry into his canon, evoking Hitchcock.
The premise is interesting. A movie sound man (John Travolta) finds himself at the scene of a supposed traffic accident that claims the life of a running congressman. He pulls out a woman »
- Flickering Myth
RoboCop to have a special screening in Hollywood: Cast members Allen, Weller, and director Verhoeven to attend presentation followed by reception and Q&A The 1987 original RoboCop directed by Dutch filmmaker Paul Verhoeven, and starring Peter Weller and former Brian De Palma leading lady Nancy Allen, will have a special presentation at noon on Saturday, May 18, 2013, at the Harmony Gold Theater, located on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood. The screening and reception, to be hosted by Allen, Weller, and Verhoeven, will also feature a Q&A and autograph session. (Pictured above: Allen and Weller in the original movie released more than a quarter of a century ago.) Proceeds from the pricy $75 / $125 tickets will go to weSPARK, which is described as "an organization that enhances the quality of life for cancer patients, family and friends by providing multiple services designed to help heal the mind, body and spirit." Tickets for the screening can be purchased here. »
- Anna Robinson
England in the World Cup, finding out Santa doesn’t exist, the first time you have sex and watching the films of Michael Bay, any of them, are all disappointing life experiences.
That sinking feeling you get when you have been looking forward to something, only for it to blow up in your face in a puff of missed opportunity, it can be a hard thing to get over. This is especially true when it comes to movies. If it’s a follow-up to a smash hit blockbuster or an adaptation of a beloved franchise, sometimes productions crumble under the pressure and end up being critical failures.
So make yourself a cup of tea and come with us on a journey of broken dreams as WhatCulture uses this scientific formula
to work out and count down the 100 Most Disappointing Films Of All Time. And take note, we’re not saying »
- Amarpal Biring
14 items from 2013
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