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Veteran character actor Jon Gries is best known for his gut-busting portrayal of Uncle Rico, he of the orange van and dashed dreams of high school football glory, in the 2004 cult gem Napoleon Dynamite. Jon Gries is also recognizable as Roger Linus on Lost, but the actor has been kicking around in Hollywood for decades, ever since he appeared in 1969 at age 11 opposite Charlton Heston in Will Penny, a western directed by his father Tom Gries. Some of Jon’s other films include Monster Squad (1978), Get Shorty (1995), and Taken (2008). Jon is also an accomplished musician, having composed songs for the films Twin Falls Idaho (1999) and The Big Empty (2003). In 2010, after directing several music videos, Jon tried his hand at directing a feature and the result was the acclaimed redneck road comedy Pickin’ & Grinning’.
Now Jon has teamed up with writer Derek Walker for Another Man’S Gun, »
- Tom Stockman
Earlier this year director Stanley Donen, the estate of Charles Bronson and several other filmmakers filed class-action suits against five studios over a practice that has long been a standard way of doing business: When it comes to divvying up backend homevideo money to profit participants, studios take it from a pot of just 20% of the returns.
The other 80%? The studio, Donen’s suit stated, “wrongfully” keeps the money. In Donen’s case, the studio was Fox.
Why would the studios withhold 80% of the kitty from profit participation? It’s a practice that dates back to the early days of homevideo, when it was written into the original contracts. At the time, the rationale was that the studios needed the money to cover the high cost of manufacturing and distributing VHS tapes.
The question now hanging over Hollywood — and the lawyers representing its players — is whether that one-fifth share will endure in the digital age. »
- Ted Johnson
By Jon Heitland
On any list of the best films based on World War II, The Great Escape, directed by John Sturges and based on the novel by Paul Brickhill, will always rank near the top. The compelling story of a group of British and American prisoners of war and how they outwitted their Nazi captors observes its 50th anniversary this year, and actor David McCallum, who plays Ashley-Pitt in the film, travelled to Omaha, Nebraska on November 9, 2013, to help celebrate the classic film. Proceeds went to the Nebraska Kidney Foundation, which was why McCallum took time from his busy television schedule to make an appearance. The evening event centered around a showing of the film at the large, concert-style theater at the prestigious Joslyn Museum, to an enthusiastic, full house crowd of 1000.
The Great Escape 50 year retrospective was another »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Cinema Retro)
Some filmmakers often have various different professions in the film industry before that directorial debut, whether it be writing, editing or working in visual effects, to name a few. Charles de Lauzirika had the opportunity to observe countless A-list filmmakers on the set while working as a producer and director of behind-the-scenes documentaries that are found on the bonus features of Blu-ray and DVD releases, before making his directorial debut with Crave. This indie thriller stars Josh Lawson as Aiden, a freelance crime scene photographer, who makes his living by capturing gruesome murder scenes on film, while he slips into his own equally-dark fantasy world to escape his reality. I recently had the chance to speak with Charles de Lauzirika for Crave, which co-stars Emma Lung and Ron Perlman, about his first feature film, debuting in theaters December 6. »
Digital Spy was fortunate enough to score a sizeable amount of time in the company of acclaimed filmmaker Nicolas Winding Refn in support of the DVD release of Only God Forgives. A thematically audacious and visually stunning movie, this twisted tale of Ryan Gosling's taciturn drugs dealer becoming embroiled with a vengeance-fuelled policeman called Chang has polarised audiences. But what is it really about? We probed its maker, before delving further into his career to explore the likes of Pusher and Bronson. As for the future, Bond, Beckham and Barbarella are all on the agenda...
Since its release, Only God Forgives has inspired many different interpretations. What's the weirdest one you've encountered so far?
"My favourite one is when a German woman at Cannes came up to me and said, 'I think this movie takes place in the vagina, yes?' I was like, 'Yeah, that's pretty spot on, »
Danny Dyer is an actor who tends to take a lot of flak for his acting. In Vendetta I won’t say his performance is Oscar worthy but you get exactly what you expect, and that is Danny Dyer. He seems to lack emotion, or the ability to act it out. When playing a character who is meant to suppress all types of weakness and emotion, the performance actually fits.
Vendetta is a film that wants to be Death Wish, and that is a high level to fight for, I’d say it doesn’t get there, but in aiming so high it actually manages to have many good intensions. Dyer plays Jimmy Vickers, a “special ops interrogation officer” who returns home to find his parents have been tortured and murdered by a local gang. »
- Paul Metcalf
It's a little weird seeing Oscar nominee James Franco play a local Louisiana druglord named Gator in the latest Jason Statham movie, "Homefront" (though admittedly not much weirder than watching him play a grill-wearing Florida gangster named Alien in last year's "Spring Breakers"). Nothing against Franco, but High Times' 2008 "Stoner of the Year" isn't exactly the most intimidating foe for a walking action movie like Statham.
Still, a little weird can be a good thing, and thanks to Franco's gonzo villain, "Homefront" ends up being a lot more entertaining than Statham's last few solo projects. From a screenplay originally written by (and for) Sylvester Stallone, the movie stars Statham as Phil Broker, a former DEA agent who moves to rural Louisiana with his young daughter after the death of his wife, and unwittingly starts a blood feud with Franco's Gator Bodine, Raysville, Louisiana's very own meth kingpin.
And while Jason Statham vs. »
- Rick Mele
Danny Dyer has built up quite a reputation for himself amongst genre fans in the last several years with highly praised roles in films like Doghouse and Severance. Up next he gets his Charles Bronson on in Vendetta.
The film hits DVD and Blu-ray over in the UK on December 23rd courtesy of Anchor Bay. The trailer and plot crunch can be found below!
A former Special Forces interrogator goes Awol upon his return from Afghanistan, on a personal mission to avenge the murder of his parents. With the police closing in and his old unit on his trail, he has to evade capture long enough to complete his gruesome crusade.
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Carry out vendettas in the comments section below! »
- John Squires
In the deceptively entertaining new thriller "Homefront," Jason Statham plays a man who relocates to the Tennessee Williams-y deep south, with his young daughter, after the death of his wife. Thinking that he left his life of law enforcement behind (in the movie's prologue, you see him embedded with a group of deadly, meth-dealing bikers), he instead runs afoul of a small-time gangster named Gator (played by James Franco) and finds himself fighting for his life.
Moviefone chatted with Statham about what drew him to the material, with a script written by Sylvester Stallone from the novel by Chuck Hogan ("The Town," Guillermo del Toro's upcoming TV series "The Strain"), how he maintains what a "Jason Statham movie" is expected to be, and what we should be expecting from "Fast & Furious 7," "Expendables 3," and "Crank 3." It should also be noted that, for such a tough guy, he's unexpectedly warm and inviting, »
- Drew Taylor
He’s been commendably honest about taking on under-par projects to pay his mortgage and turkeys like Pimp and Run For Your Wife have made Danny Dyer’s Pinter-endorsed heyday seem a distant Mockney memory. Unfortunately for Dyer and writer/director Stephen Reynolds, their collaboration on revenge thriller Vendetta will likely be judged by the star’s several cinematic sins. Which is a shame, because this Dagenham Death Wish – or Romford Rambo, if you like – isn’t just a slick and confidently made pot-boiler, it’s also a film featuring Dyer’s best performance since The Football Factory. Maybe even his best ever.
Styled as ‘judge, jury, executioner’ by the film’s surprisingly restrained marketing campaign, our hero Jimmy Vickers (Dyer) is on his way back from Afghanistan, hoping for a warm family welcome to wash away the memories of his Geneva Convention-flouting work for the Special Forces. But Jimmy »
- Lewis Bazley
“It’s a bit like Appalachia: You can go from two kids in a fistfight to the emergency room real fast,” advises one concerned citizen in “Homefront,” a tale of backwoods retribution that resembles Roman Polanski’s “Carnage” transplanted to “Deliverance” country, where feuding parents prefer outright war to wars of words. But what sounds like a veritable B-movie wet dream — with that master of the subzero scowl, Jason Statham, starring in a screenplay written by Sylvester Stallone — turns out to be considerably less than the sum of its parts: a listless programmer in the “Walking Tall” mode, minus the ebullient spark of Statham’s “Crank” and “Transporter” franchises and Stallone’s own “Expendables” pics. Offered as Thanksgiving counter-programming by distrib Open Road, the pic may carve up modest biz with the shoot-your-own-turkey crowd, but should be available as a stocking stuffer by Christmas.
The ever-prolific Stallone (who has “Escape Plan »
- Scott Foundas
When Joe Carnahan exited the brewing remake of Charles Bronson's vigilante classic "Death Wish" earlier this year, it was reported that it was due to creative differences, specially casting. The studio wanted Bruce Willis and Carnahan, well, didn't. But it seems that difference of approach really burned up the filmmaker. For some reason, nearly seven months later, an email Carnahan sent to MGM CEO Jonathan Glickman in April has started making the rounds, and THR has decided to it from their inbox and put it online. And it's pretty livid, profanity laced stuff — excerpts below: You had a potential Oscar-winning film with maybe the best script in Hollywood but because you're a coward and a dumb c--- you now have an untested, second-time director and an arrogant, lazy, aging action star that will run that poor kid into the ground. Good luck, asshole. You're a spineless, gutless turd who doesn't belong in the business. »
- Kevin Jagernauth
This story first appeared in the Nov. 29 issue of The Hollywood Reporter Magazine. A profanity-laced email that writer-director Joe Carnahan sent MGM's motion picture group president Jonathan Glickman in April began making the industry inbox rounds in mid-November.
Carnahan sent it after he exited MGM's upcoming remake of 1974's Charles Bronson vigilante thriller Death Wish, which Carnahan wrote and was attached to direct. "You had a potential Oscar-winning film with maybe the best script in Hollywood but because you're a coward and a dumb c--- you now have an
- Merle Ginsberg & Gary Baum
Spike Lee's "Oldboy," a remake starring Josh Brolin of Park Chan-wook's now cult revenge classic, hits theaters November 27. Lee is profiled today in the New York Times and, as is to be expected, has some no-bullshit things to say about the lasting appeal of revenge films, his personal connection to the theme of fatherly guilt in his new film, Steve McQueen's "12 Years a Slave" (and, implicitly, Quentin Tarantino's "Django Unchained") and more. Highlights below.On the appeal of revenge films:“Rage doesn’t have to fester for years, but revenge? That stuff takes time. It’s the oldest staple of films, in stories. It goes back to the Bible… The reason revenge films have been so popular is because people don’t go as far as doing the act, so they live vicariously through characters, like Charles Bronson in ‘Death Wish,’ or Dirty Harry. You know, Peter »
- Beth Hanna
The veteran actor who plays tyrannical president Coriolanus Snow in the blockbuster series talks about films as political activism – plus cinema villains and happy marriages
Donald Sutherland wants to stir revolt. A real revolt. A youth-led uprising against injustice that will overturn the Us as we know it and usher in a kinder, better way. "I hope that they will take action because it's getting drastic in this country." Drone strikes. Corporate tax dodging. Racism. The Keystone oil pipeline. Denying food stamps to "starving Americans". It's all going to pot. "It's not right. It's not right."
Millennials need awakening from slumber. "You know the young people of this society have not moved in the last 30 years." With the exception of Occupy, a minority movement, passivity reigns. "They have been consumed with telephones." The voice hardens. "Tweeting."
We are high up in a Four Seasons hotel overlooking Beverly Hills, sunlight glinting off mansions and boutiques below, »
- Rory Carroll
I came across this superb Polish poster for The Great Escape recently. Though it is by one of my favorite poster artists, the great Wiktor Górka (1922-2004), I had not crossed paths with it before. An eccentric, stylized and yet perfectly apposite distillation of John Sturges’ 1963 WWII prison-camp adventure, this 1967 poster is a stunning piece of graphic design which renders the film, in just two colors, to its essentials: a plane, fleeing figures, stripes to denote the military, and two black circles for Steve McQueen’s motorbike, all surrounding the multi-font, playbill-styled panel for the film’s all-star cast. Górka’s best work is often in this vein: simple, witty and indelible: an ass’s head on a human body for Donkey Skin, a swastika made out of stockinged legs for Cabaret (perhaps his most famous design), and one rather adorable white whale for Moby Dick.
Growing up in Britain, »
- Adrian Curry
It's the most all-American of film genres, filled with he-men and black hats. But the western has given us some great movies: the Guardian and Observer's critics pick the 10 best
• Top 10 crime movies
• Top 10 arthouse movies
• Top 10 family movies
• Top 10 war movies
• Top 10 teen movies
• Top 10 superhero movies
• More Guardian and Observer critics' top 10s
10. Rancho Notorious
Like Alfred Hitchcock, Fritz Lang moved effortlessly between genres; his "western period" scattered throughout his "urban crime" and "film noir" periods. Even now, 60 years on, Rancho Notorious remains one of the strangest westerns ever made, furthering Lang's fascination (obsession?) with retribution, which arguably started with the 1936 lynch-mob drama Fury, his first film as a German émigré in the Us.
Perversely, although the protagonist is the wronged Vern (Arthur Kennedy), whose fiancee has been raped and killed by bandits unknown, Lang's film - which, as we are constantly reminded by its theme song, tells a tale of "hate, »
Way Out Westerns! continues at Trailers from Hell, with John Landis introducing "Chato's Land," Michael Winner’s cynical, violent Vietnam-era western pits stoic lone Apache Charles Bronson against a colorful posse of rapists and murderers led by Jack Palance and a really good cast. “The scream of his victims is the only sound he makes!” was the ad line. Tfh Guru Landis was actually there on the set to provide belated reportage. »
- Trailers From Hell
If you aren’t making any mistakes,
it’s a sure sign you’re playing it too safe.
By the end of the 1980s, HBO’s nightmarish headlong collision with The Wall in 1984 was just that; a bad dream fading over time. Even during the tough days, the company had remained a money-maker, and although it was taking more effort and cash to bag subscribers, the service was growing again, HBO original programming was racking up awards and acclaim, and in subscriber homes, the channel was kicking broadcast network ass. During the 1990-91 television season, the service beat all three major networks during Saturday and Sunday prime time hours. The good times were back.
Which did not change the underlying, immutable fact, and the greatest lesson to come out of that horrifying 1984 flatline: that the domestic cable universe was finite. Sooner or later, HBO was bound to hit another wall. »
- Bill Mesce
Looking for suggestions of what to watch this Halloween night? Well, the Internet Movie Database may just have the exact recipe you're looking for to add a heaping helping of spooky to your evening!
"Not long after the Rubik's cube was introduced to Americans came this tale of a different kind of puzzle box, the kind you really don't want to solve...or open. While the creepy Cenobites promise their victims eternity in a world of pleasure, pain and suffering, we only get see the pain and suffering part of that guarantee, underscored by the demon Pinhead's assurance that, in his words, "We'll Tear Your Soul Apaaaaart."
2. "The X-Files" episode "Home"
"There are many episodes of "The X-Files" that will keep a person up at night, but "Home" took the show's queasiness factor to new levels of ickiness by liberally playing with the horror trope of backwoods murderous maniacs. »
- Uncle Creepy
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