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The prospect of sitting through The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death didn’t exactly fill me with joy. Yes, as a critic you should try your darndest to keep an open mind, but the muted boredom of the below par, Daniel Radcliffe-y mush that was the original Woman in Black still mildly annoys me to this day. If it did nothing else, Angel of Death has led me to somewhat reconsider my opinions of its predecessor – scareless dull-isms suddenly don’t seem so bad when held up against an all-out onslaught of woeful, woeful filmmaking. And boy is Angel of Death woeful.
Bailing on Edwardian England for the much more miller-timey World War II brand, Angel of Death tracks a small group of children displaced by the Blitz, led by a stern matriarch (Helen McCrory) and her wishy-washy second in command (Phoebe Fox) to the fog coated British countryside. »
- Dominic Mill
HBO has snapped up the rights to a new 1950s-set noir series from David Fincher (Gone Girl) and crime writer James Ellroy (L.A. Confidential) entitled Shakedown, which is based upon a script Ellroy originally developed for FX.
Deadline reports that the project is an original tale as opposed to an adaptation of Ellroy’s 2012 novella of the same name, and “is set in the tabloid world and the underbelly of Los Angeles in the 1950s and centers on a real-life private detective, legendary 1950s Hollywood vice cop-turned-private eye Fred Otash.”
This is not the first time that Fincher and Ellroy have worked together, having collaborated on an unrealised miniseries adaptation of Ellroy’s The Black Dahlia, which was in development prior to the 2006 movie from Brian De Palma.
- Gary Collinson
The Guest's Maika Monroe stars in one of the year's most praised festival films, It Follows (Our Review). The film's first trailer has dropped and it does an amazing job at setting a chilling tone for the film and setting up a sense of mystery.
After a strange sexual encounter, a teenager finds herself haunted by nightmarish visions and the inescapable sense that something is after her.
It Follows opens in the UK on February 27. Radius TWC will relea [Continued ...] »
Available for the first time on Blu-ray or DVD and remastered in high definition is forgotten film noir Witness to Murder, a 1954 Barbara Stanwyck potboiler also starring George Sanders and Gary Merrill. As written by Chester Erskine (The Egg and I, 1947), the film feels like plenty of other narratives, though its frustrating contrivance of hysteria as dramatic tension places it squarely within a particular male dominated paradigm. In particular, the film feels eerily reminiscent of Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window, which actually opened a month after this Roy Rowland directed venture, doomed to be overshadowed and quickly forgotten. But, magnificently photographed by John Alton, it’s a shadowy and angular motion picture, enjoyable for its considerable melodrama as a portrait of misinformed and misogynistic gender politics.
Cheryl Draper (Barbara Stanwyck) witnesses a young woman being murdered in the apartment complex adjacent to her own. She calls the police to report what she sees. »
- Nicholas Bell
A French trailer for Jason Statham's latest Wild Card emerged online a few weeks ago, and it's followed now by a slightly more subdued affair for the rest of us. There are still plenty of glimpses of crunchy action, but the latest clip chooses to emphasise the dramatic elements in Vegas, with veteran screenwriter William Goldman's name given almost as much prominence as the Stath's. Nobody gets their nose broken with a backwards headbutt this time...Statham's third film with Simon West following The Expendables 2 and The Mechanic, Wild Card was originally called The Heat, and had Brian De Palma attached to direct at one point. Goldman's screenplay is based on his 1985 novel of that latter name (published in the UK as Edged Weapons), and was filmed once before to disappointing results. The 1986 version starring Burt Reynolds went through an incredible five directors, including Robert Altman, who only stayed for a day. »
Welcome back everyone for the final day of Daily Dead’s 2014 Holiday Gift Guide! Because it’s been an exceptional year for genre fans, we’re focusing today on recapping more books and films that would make for great gifts this holiday season and are perfect for all fans. We’ve also got another great find from over on Etsy and we’re celebrating a new subscription service from the fine folks over at Waxworks Records.
And be sure to check out today’s final Holiday Horrors trivia question below for your shot at winning some awesome merchandise from our fine sponsors at HorrorDecor.net, Scream Factory and Anchor Bay Entertainment.
Thanks so much for following along with our 2014 Holiday Gift Guide and I hope you guys had as much fun reading the series as I had putting it together!
Vendor Spotlight: Waxwork Records
Waxwork Records specializes in releasing horror, »
- Heather Wixson
Where to begin? This past few days saw an influx of "Best of" lists, which will probably continue until and beyond year's end. Let's kick it off with Cahiers du Cinéma's Top Ten:
1. Li'l Quinquin (Bruno Dumont)
5. The Wind Rises (Hayao Miyazaki)
6. Nymphomaniac (Lars Von Trier)
10. Our Sunhi (Hong Sangsoo)
6. The Grand Budapest Hotel (Wes Anderson)
7. Winter Sleep (Nuri Bilge Ceylan)
8. The Tribe (Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy)
See the rest here. »
Here’s a fun fact: Julianne Moore has never won an Oscar. Injustice, right? The 54-year-old actress has been nominated four times—Boogie Nights (1997), The End of the Affair (1999), Far from Heaven (2002), and The Hours (2002)—and her filmography is sprawling with award-worthy performances. Most recently, her role in this year’s Still Alice, which hits theaters today, has jumpstarted the Best Actress buzz once again. Understandable, because when it played at this year’s AFI Film Festival, there wasn’t soul in the audience who didn’t bawl while watching Moore playing a linguistics professor whose life unravels as she develops Alzheimer’s. The truth is, Moore can take you on a roller coaster ride of emotion with any old role. For further proof, take a look at all of her films currently streaming on Netflix.
Photo Credit: Screen Gems
Brian De Palma’s 1976 original take on »
As any seasoned observer of the annual award circuit knows, the campaign trail for performers in foreign-language films is significantly rockier than it is for the rest. Of the 200 performances that secured an Oscar nomination in the past decade, a grand total of five are featured in films that aren’t principally in English. Even established crossover names have trouble gaining awards traction for subtitled fare: Witness Marion Cotillard, a rare foreign-language Oscar winner for “La Vie en Rose,” trailing this year’s perceived lead actress front-runners despite universal acclaim for her performance in “Two Days, One Night.”
For international newcomers, then, it’s that much harder to achieve such recognition — it’s been 10 long years since Colombian first-timer Catalina Sandino Moreno landed alongside Hilary Swank and Kate Winslet in the lead actress Oscar race for her sterling work in helmer-scribe Joshua Marston’s “Maria Full of Grace.”
Even if »
- Guy Lodge
Though not as famous as either “Tommy” or “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” and despite its quick box office death, Brian de Palma’s 1974 rock opera “Phantom of the Paradise” has slowly developed a cult following over the years, and a new video essay from Scout Tafoya will tell you why. The latest entry in Tafoya’s monthy video series “The Unloved” (via RogerEbert.com) focuses on de Palma’s cult classic and provides some much-needed context for the film’s very existence – it came out during the so-called New Hollywood movement of the '70s – as well as lavishing praise on de Palma’s stylized direction and world-building. Special notice is also given to the film’s star – and antagonist – Paul Williams, who created the film’s stellar soundtrack. Although it took decades to find its audience, the film still had a lasting impact on those lucky few that understood its madness. »
- Cain Rodriguez
The massacre of Xoco is about to begin again at Cineteca Nacional! As usual, curators José Luis Ortega and Mauricio Matamoros Durán have put together a fine selection of horror films for Masacre en Xoco, Mexico City's annual celebration of genre cinema and - the now extinct from cinemas - 35mm format. The fifth edition of Masacre en Xoco is, in words of the curators, "probably the last chance to watch in 35mm important films for the genre, such as Dario Argento's The Cat o' Nine Tails and Sam Raimi's The Evil Dead."Aside of said films, Masacre en Xoco 2014 offers the chance to watch on the big screen Brian de Palma's Phantom of the Paradise and Ridley Scott's Alien, celebrating 40 and 35 years respectively....
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
After amping up the prequel game with the outstanding blockbuster Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, director Matt Reeves has just signed on to direct something different at 20th Century Fox. THR reports that Reeves is set to direct an untitled bank heist thriller based on an original pitch by Matt Charman, the man behind Steven Spielberg's forthcoming Cold War spy thriller starring Tom Hanks. As of now plot details are being kept under wraps, but the film is reaching high when it comes to heist thrillers as it's described as being in the same vein as Brian De Palma's Heat and the Al Pacino classic Dog Day Afternoon. Charman hatched the idea for the film with Matthew Plouffe, an executive at Tobey Maguire's Material production banner, and The Great Gatsby star will also be producing the film. Fox didn't jump at the film until it »
- Ethan Anderton
Childhood Memories: ‘Sneak Previews’
When renowned film critic, Roger Ebert, died last year, there was a huge outpouring of appreciation from film lovers around the world. He was an ambassador for cinema who introduced audiences to countless films they might have otherwise missed. Ebert and his long-time partner, Gene Siskel, started reviewing movies on their Chicago PBS affiliate back in 1975. The program was called Sneak Previews, and it laid the foundation for their hugely successful syndicated show, Siskel & Ebert, that was to follow a decade later… read the full article.
Monstervision: The Saturday Drive-In
I Got 88 Seconds and a Wookiee Ain’t One: Cinephilic Musings on the ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Teaser
I had a plan, I swear. In the days leading up to November 28th, a friend and I had negotiated the logistics of seeing a movie at one of the theatres listed on J.J.’s »
Jason Statham is back and getting violent with a bunch of Las Vegas thugs in his latest action thriller Wild Card, which is called Joker in the the UK. The movie is a remake of the 1987 film Heat with Burt Reynolds, and it was supposed to be directed by Brian De Palma before The Mechanic and The Expendables 2 director Simon West took it over.
It looks like an awesome action flick, and I imagine Statham fans won't be disappointed in what they see in this trailer. He just goes on a Vegas rampage kicking all kinds of ass! Here's the synopsis:
Nick Wild, an ex-marine and gambling addict, goes into the protection business but plans to leave Las Vegas for a better life. When his last girlfriend, Holly, is found beaten and left for dead, he agrees to help revenge her. He will soon discover that the guilty man is Danny DeMarco, »
- Joey Paur
Frank Yablans was president of Paramount during some of the studio’s most golden years from 1971 to 1975. Working under notorious owner Charlie Bludhorn, Yablans’ tenure included such Oscar winners and nominees as The Godfather, The Godfather Part II, Serpico, Paper Moon, Chinatown and Murder On The Orient Express. He died peacefully in his sleep of natural causes this morning, his son, ICM Partners’ Eddy Yablans, told Deadline.
Frank Yablans worked in his early years for Warner Bros, The Walt Disney Company and Filmways and joined Paramount in the late 60s where he spearheaded marketing for Arthur Hiller’s Ryan O’Neal/Ali MacGraw tearjerker Love Story before ascending to the presidency. After leaving Paramount, he went on to a successful career as a producer/exec producer on such films as Richard Pryor/Gene Wilder comedy Silver Streak and Brian De Palma’s The Fury. He also wrote and produced such »
- Nancy Tartaglione
Los Angeles — A week ago the film world lost one of the masters, legendary director Mike Nichols. Naturally the news sent a shockwave through the tight-knit community as Nichols' reach was pretty deep, the lives he had touched, and certainly, the careers he had affected. One of them was Al Pacino. Pacino starred in Nichols' adaptation of Tony Kushner's Broadway landmark "Angels in America" alongside great actors putting out great work, from Emma Thompson to Meryl Streep to Jeffrey Wright and more. Many of them, including Pacino, showed up on our assessment of the great performances Nichols managed to draw out in his 40-plus years in the business. "That happens in life, where we lose someone and it's palpable," Pacino told me recently. "Everybody feels it. There's a void there. They're gone. I loved him. I just loved him. He was probably the greatest director I ever worked with. »
- Kristopher Tapley
The opening crawl is an iconic part of Star Wars. The idea is something George Lucas borrowed from the Buck Rogers film serials. Lucas showed the script to his friend Brian De Palma, who edited the opening crawl into what we know today. The copy is much clearer and I'm glad De Palma was involved to make some great changes.
Source: Imgur, Wikipedia
- Free Reyes
The opening crawl from Star Wars is familiar to most of our readers by now — even the people who don’t know it by heart would recognize the text immediately. But that crawl, like any other part of a film, took some editing and whittling to knock into final shape. Brian De Palma helped George […]
The post See an Early Draft of the Original ‘Star Wars’ Opening Crawl appeared first on /Film. »
- Russ Fischer
David Fincher’s most recent film, Gone Girl, has been the subject of intense criticism and analysis over the past few weeks. From claims of intense misogyny to stringent defenses on the other side, the film has evoked the most emotional critical response of any film in recent memory. However, my favourite part of the debate concerning Gone Girl has been the auteurist debate: which famous director is Fincher emulating in Gone Girl. Nick Pinkerton from Film Comment argues that Fincher is a derivative hack like Otto Preminger. Christy Lemire on the program What the Flick and Forrest Wickman from Slate make the obvious argument for Hitchcock. Richard Kelly (writer/director of Donnie Darko) draws the comparison to Stanley Kubrick and Eyes Wide Shut. Matt Achity, also on What the Flick!, argues against the Hitchcock comparison to draw a link to Brian De Palma. Even here on the Sound on Sight podcast, »
- Mynt Marsellus
It.s a well-known fact among Star Wars fans that the opening crawl of the original 1977 film was actually co-written by George Lucas and famed director Brian De Palma, but have you ever found yourself wondering what the text said before the Scarface filmmaker got a crack at it? Thanks to the magic of the internet, the answer to that rather random question has been uncovered. A user on the image gathering website Imgur has posted a collection of rare behind-the-scenes photos and script images from the original Star Wars, and scans of the screenplay owned by Continuity Supervisor Ann Skinner have revealed what the original crawl was going to say while the film was still in development. You can see the first page in its entirety over at the source, but you can read the early draft of the crawl below: It is a period of civil wars in »
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