11 items from 2015
Everyone knows Woody Allen. At least, everyone thinks they know Woody Allen. His plumage is easily identifiable: horn-rimmed glasses, baggy suit, wispy hair, kvetching demeanor, ironic sense of humor, acute fear of death. As is his habitat: New York City, though recently he has flown as far afield as London, Barcelona, and Paris. His likes are well known: Bergman, Dostoevsky, New Orleans jazz. So too his dislikes: spiders, cars, nature, Wagner records, the entire city of Los Angeles. Whether or not these traits represent the true Allen, who’s to say? It is impossible to tell, with Allen, where cinema ends and life begins, an obfuscation he readily encourages. In the late nineteen-seventies, disillusioned with the comedic success he’d found making such films as Sleeper (1973), Love and Death (1975), and Annie Hall (1977), he turned for darker territory with Stardust Memories (1980), a film in which, none too surprisingly, he plays a »
- Graham Daseler
Because we were obviously in desperate need of a new "Blob" movie, cinematic auteur Simon West ("Con Air," "Lara Croft: Tomb Raider") has signed on to helm yet another remake of the 1958 drive-in classic, which was previously remade in 1988 by director Chuck Russell. Kevin Dillon starring vehicles were all the rage back then, obvs. Did we ask for this? I don't know, I think I'm good honestly. But since it's happening and there's pretty much nothing we can do about it, take a trip back with me as I revisit a few more horror films Hollywood just couldn't keep their hands off of - and judge which of the versions is the best. "King Kong" The 1933 classic was first remade in 1976 with Jessica Lange and Jeff Bridges, who starred opposite the robotic ape from the Universal Studios tram ride. Nearly 30 years later Peter Jackson decided to remake it as an epic three-hour film, »
- Chris Eggertsen
David Koepp has a rather solid CV as a director, including Secret Window with Johnny Depp, the underrated ghost story Stir Of Echoes, and the really fun Joseph Gordon-Levitt bike messenger action film Premium Rush. But as a screenwriter, he’s worked on some of the biggest films of the last 25 years – Jurassic Park and its sequel, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Angels and Demons, Mission: Impossible, and Spider-Man.
He’s also had a hand in other notable Hollywood hits (and flops) including Carlito’s Way, The Shadow, Snake Eyes, Zathura, Panic Room, Death Becomes Her, and many, many more. He’s had a fascinating career.
His latest directorial effort is Mortdecai, a »
Who says the erotic thriller is dead? Maybe it's just been lying in wait.
The heyday of the genre was the late '80s and early '90s, when erotic-thriller mainstays like actor Michael Douglas, screenwriter Joe Eszterhas, and directors Brian De Palma and Adrian Lyne were enjoying their career peaks. Between 1987's "Fatal Attraction" and 1992's "Basic Instinct," there seemed to be no end of movies about detectives sleeping with murder suspects or soccer dads and moms having torrid affairs with dangerous strangers. Maybe it was subconscious anxiety about AIDS, or maybe it was a loosening of the ratings board's usual qualms about sex and violence, or maybe it's just when premium cable started to saturate America's households. (Indeed, the erotic thriller still persists as a late-night staple on Skinemax Cinemax.) Whatever the reason, the genre's moment was short-lived.
Maybe it'll come back with the release this week of "The Boy Next Door, »
- Gary Susman
British crime can pay handsomely in France, at least when its fiction. Paybox Canal Plus aired pastoral sleuth saga “Inspector Morse” from 1988; “The Little Murders by Agatha Christie” has been a staple on pubcaster channel France 2 since 2009. Produced by Les Films Francais, Said Ben Said’s Sbs Productions – the producer of “I’ve Lovec You So Long,” Roman Polanski’s and Brian de Palma’s “ “ and France 2 Cinema, “Valentin, Valentin” enrolls a strong ensemble cast in a Paris suburbs makeover of Ruth Rendall’s slim 2010 novel, “Tigerlily’s Orchids.” At one crux in “Valentin, Valentin,” one character is asked of another, with whom she had a relationship, if they knew him. “Not really,” she replied. While Ruth Rendell’s center on the capacity for crime of the most respectable of people, “Valentin, Valentin” turns on this: Other people are not hell, but a mystery. Director Pascal Thomas talked to Variety »
- John Hopewell
Twenty-five years ago the prophetic declaration “If you build it, they will come” sounded across an Iowa cornfield in “Field of Dreams.”
Kevin Costner, the film’s star, has crafted his career along the lines of that advice, creating an oeuvre to which auds have flocked — and which the industry has rewarded with multiple kudos.
Over the past three decades the Oscar- and Emmy-winning multihyphenate has acted in, produced, written and directed some of the most beloved movies in American filmmaking, from the critical juggernaut “Dances With Wolves” to Oliver Stone’s “JFK” to Mike Binder’s gripping and — as it turned out — critically timely 2014 custody battle drama “Black or White,” which he also backed financially.
Now Costner can add Broadcast Film Critics Assn. Lifetime Achievement Award to his accolades. The award, which honors Costner’s significant contribution to the entertainment industry, will be handed out during the Bfca Critics »
- Malina Saval
Couldn’t get enough of Tina Fey and Amy Poehler at the Golden Globes last night? Actually, didn’t it seem they weren’t on very much at all? Or was that just because they stood back and let Margaret Cho take up all their time with the increasingly unfunny North Korea gag? Either way, you’ll want to make up for the absence of Tina and Amy in your life this morning with the first look teaser for their upcoming comedy Sisters (yes, comedy, for all you worried it’s a remake of the Brian DePalma film). It’s only 20 seconds long, so you’ll soon be in withdrawal again, but a quick hit is worse than nothing at all, right? Sisters pairs the two BFFs as, you guessed it, sisters. Directed by Jason Moore (Pitch Perfect) and scripted by longtime Saturday Night Live writer and 30 Rock producer Paula Pell, the »
- Christopher Campbell
Whether it was poor marketing or just not enough attention from the media, there are a lot of great films out there that went unnoticed during their box office runs. However, after only a few years these deserving films eventually find their audiences and earn the title of “cult classic,” thus achieving the appreciation that they deserve. Movie goers are familiar with this term, as well as several of the films that fall in this category, but there are in fact several great films that have not necessarily found their cult followings as of yet.
It typically takes a few years for a cult following to develop for certain films. Brian De Palma’s Scarface is considered a box office bomb and was panned by most critics around the time of its release, but a few decades have gone by and it’s now considered one of the best crime dramas of all time. »
- David Brown
Just watched the trailer for "The Lazarus Effect" (watch it above), and I'm happy to report that its No. 5 placement on my ranked list of 2015 horror movies so far appears to be justified. At the very least, I predict a serviceable contemporary spin on "Flatliners," with a side of "Pet Semetary" thrown in for good measure. Do not screw with science, y'all. Oh, but wait, there's more! Because I'm a sick person who's watched too many horror movies, my mind was positively buzzing with visual references as I watched this. Below are five other movies (plus one book!) the "Lazarus Effect" trailer reminded me of. "The Others" The part where brought-back-from-the-dead Olivia Wilde is under the sheet conjured up this creepy "I am your daughter" scene from the 2001 chiller starring Nicole Kidman. "Event Horizon" Ollivia Wilde has the blackest eyes...just like Sam Neill's dead wife in this worse-than-you-remember Paul W.S. Anderson sci-fi. »
- Chris Eggertsen
Winning the prize for the best entry in the Borscht Film Festival’s Scarface Redux contest was Florida International University student Martell Harding, whose “Shootout” is 11 intense seconds of action-figure mayhem. Borscht’s crowdsourced remake of Brian DePalma’s modern neo-classic, Scarface Redux consists of, in the vein of Star Wars Uncut, homemade clips reinterpreting the film in a variety of styles and genres. And while Borscht 9 is over, the project is continuing, with some clips yet to be covered. Meanwhile, though, the competition aspect of the project is over, with Harding’s the winning clip. The filmmaker, who is studying Communication […] »
- Scott Macaulay
Stephen King is unquestionably the champ of horror writing. To date, he has written over fifty novels, including seven under the pen name Richard Bachman and six non-fiction books. He has written nearly two hundred short stories, most of which have been collected in book anthologies. It’s hard to think of a living author better-known than him, or anyone who has caused more nightmares.
King also has the pleasure of being the author with the most film adaptations made from his writings. Not only are his books widely recognised by the masses, but the films that bear his name have also become pop culture touchstones in their own right. Ever since Brian De Palma adapted Carrie for the big screen in 1976, more than four dozen films have been made based on King’s work, and that’s not even counting all the television projects that’ve been produced. »
- Jesse Gumbarge
11 items from 2015
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