5 items from 2014
Review Louisa Mellor 1 Apr 2014 - 06:00
This review contains spoilers.
As the last, elegiac whistle of title music faded away, the theme of this episode, reflection, was quickly established. Director John Howlett’s camera panned up an ablutions-performing Danny Dyer through a glass shower panel, his features - like his troubled soul - warped and rippling, while in the distance a police siren wailed its solitary song. Dyer confronted his bruised reflection in the bathroom mirror with questioning, narrowed eyes. “I’m in untold torment”, they seemed to say, “and no mistake”.
After an ebullient family breakfast in which Shirley asserted her position as Carter family matriarch by symbolically insulting her sister’s eggs, Dyer carried his burden first to the dart board, then to the the car lot.
Safe behind the half-closed blinds of »
A mainstay of worst-sequels-ever-made lists, squirming alongside the likes of Batman & Robin, Speed 2 and Exorcist II: The Heretic, Grease 2 was roundly lambasted upon its 1982 release and its critical reputation has nose-dived ever since. Here's a film that cost $11.2m to make (£6.7m) - almost twice the budget of its much-loved, popular culture-bothering forerunner - and yet failed to secure the return of its two stars, John Travolta and Olivier Newton-John, or its composers, Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey.
It entered its 58-day shoot working from an unfinished script, with Didi Conn (reappearing as Frenchy, though she vanishes halfway through the movie) calling the production "rushed, frantic and unorganised". Its stars Michelle Pfeiffer and Maxwell Caulfield failed to get along, Pfeiffer later labelling her on-screen lover as "self-adoring". It turned away a young Tom Cruise for the role of T-Birds leader Johnny Nogerelli, instead plumping for the strikingly uncharismatic Adrian Zmed. »
Kevin Spacey directs and stars as multi-talented 1950s singer Bobby Darin in this ambitious life and times biopic. A labour of love for Spacey, it's an eye-catching chronicle that takes in Darin's lifelong health problems, his marriage to fellow performer Sandra Dee (Kate Bosworth), and of course his music, including his greatest hits Splish Splash, Mack The Knife and the song of the title. »
Monster Mash! concludes at Trailers from Hell, with filmmaker Darren Bousman introducing "The Dunwich Horror," directed in 1970 by Roger Corman's wizardly production designer, Daniel Heller.Scored by Les Baxter and produced by Corman, Sam Arkoff and James Nicholson, The Dunwich Horror is an A.I.P. film through and through. Based on H.P. Lovecraft’s 1928 story and cowritten by Curtis Hanson, the film was to have starred Boris Karloff (featured in Haller’s previous Lovecraft adaptation, Die, Monster, Die) but Karloff passed away before the production’s start. Peter Fonda and Diane Varsi, originally cast as the conjurer Wilbur Whateley and his victim, each bowed out to be replaced by Dean Stockwell and Sandra Dee. The final film role of Ed Begley. »
- Trailers From Hell
Oscar-nominated ‘Imitation of Life’ actress Juanita Moore has died Juanita Moore, Best Supporting Actress Academy Award nominee for the 1959 blockbuster Imitation of Life, died on New Year’s Day 2014 at her home in Los Angeles. According to various online sources, Juanita Moore (born on October 19, 1922) was 91; her step-grandson, actor Kirk Kahn, said she was 99. (Photo: Juanita Moore in the late ’50s. See also: Juanita Moore and Susan Kohner photos at the 50th anniversary screening of Imitation of Life at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.) Juanita Moore movies The Los Angeles-born Juanita Moore began her show business career as a chorus girl at New York City’s Cotton Club. According to the IMDb, Moore was an extra/bit player in a trio of films of the ’40s, including Vincente Minnelli’s all-black musical Cabin in the Sky (1942) and Elia Kazan’s socially conscious melodrama Pinky (1949), in which Jeanne Crain plays a (very, »
- Andre Soares
5 items from 2014
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