16 items from 2013
News Simon Brew 13 Nov 2013 - 06:44
A couple of weekends back, three films converged on my eyeballs. I watched the apparent uplifting love story, An Officer And A Gentleman. The Spielbergian family adventure Batteries Not Included. And I caught a bit of Disney's The Fox And The Hound for the first time in a decade or so.
Each of these films, and the others I'm about to discuss, has a reputation of being something warm, cuddly, friendly and easy. But is that the minds of the consensus playing tricks? Because the truth is that there are films that we tend to remember as being one thing, that turn out to be far, far darker. Some of that is down how the film was originally marketed. Some down to how »
Odd List Ryan Lambie Simon Brew 10 Oct 2013 - 03:27
Another 25 unsung greats come under the spotlight, as we provide our pick of the underappreciated films of 1993...
What a year 1993 was. It saw the release of Star Fox on the Super Nintendo. Bill Clinton became president. Season three of Deep Space Nine premiered on Us television. UK politician Douglas Hurd visited Argentina. Cyndi Lauper released her album Hat Full Of Stars.
Aside from those earth shattering events, we'll probably remember 1993, in cinema terms, as the year Jurassic Park dominated the box office like an angry Tyrannosaurus. A true phenomenon, its profits doubled those of the second most watched film in 1993 cinemas, Mrs Doubtfire, and almost three times as much as the movie below that - the Harrison Ford thriller, The Fugitive.
But as ever, there was so much more to the 1993 movie landscape than dinosaurs and Robin Williams dressed as an old woman. »
A man desperately scans New York's Grand Central Station to locate his young daughter.
He finally spots her ... in the custody of two cops who clearly want to talk to him. Having to make a choice fast, he yells to the child, "I love you!," and makes a run for it.
Relax: It's only a movie. So it was revealed in the next scene of "The City That Never Sleeps," Friday's (Oct. 4) CBS episode of "Blue Bloods" devised by writer and series executive producer Kevin Wade.
Norah O'Donnell then was seen interviewing the "fugitive" -- actually actor Russell Berke, played by guest star Marc Blucas ("Buffy the Vampire Slayer") -- on the "CBS This Morning" set as an impatient Danny (Donnie Wahlberg) paced on the sidelines, having been assigned as the performer's technical adviser for his next film.
Danny's partner Maria (Marisa Ramirez) clearly was more enchanted by Berke en »
ABC announced Thursday that two stars from A&E’s “Duck Dynasty” would make their “acting debut” on the sitcom “Last Man Standing” in September, which only goes to demonstrate that whoever wrote the press release A) has never actually watched “Duck Dynasty” or B) is as funny as most of the people writing network sitcoms.
After a hitless 2012-13 season in terms of new sitcoms, comedy scribes prepping for the fall should take note: “Duck Dynasty” returns Aug. 14, leading a parade of not-entirely-scripted programming designed to scratch the same itch, without relying on writers.
From “Duck Dynasty” to “Doomsday Castle,” National Geographic Channel’s contribution to this month’s mini-wave, the unscripted genre is sending in a quack attack of clowns. And when those programs can attract audiences approaching — and in some instances eclipsing — scripted comedy in addition to being cheaper to produce, the scrum for real estate can »
- Brian Lowry
Body Snatchers 1993
While the first two movies stayed mostly true to each other and the novel they were based on, Abel Ferrara’s Body Snatchers greatly deviates from the established blueprint. Written by Nicholas St. John, Dennis Paoli and Stuart Gordon, the 1993 Body Snatchers eschews the small own motif and is instead set on a military base in an undisclosed location somewhere in Alabama. Our hero this time is Steve Malone (Terry Kinney), an agent of the Environmental Protection Agency (Epa), who is assigned to the base (with his family in tow) to see what effects the military outpost has on the neighboring flora. When they get there everything seems normal except for the MP who corners Malone’s daughter Marti (Gabrielle Anwar) and threatens her with a knife. Relieved that she shows emotion the MP warns her “they get you when you sleep”. The soldiers are also seemingly unemotional »
- Andrew Perez
They can be a help or a hindrance, but they're always at their best when shouty and officious. Here's some of the best examples of movie police chiefs
This week's Clip joint is my art director and designer Mark Evans. Follow him on Twitter here, and take a look at the 'zine he recently put together on the subject of police chiefs.
This is based on my love of the officious, aggressive and over-the-top police chief in movies. The one-liners, the put-downs and their very immoderate nature have always endeared me to this hilarious and iconic film character.
We start with the perfect, cliché-ridden sequel that precisely encapsulates this type of character, Inspector Todd from Beverly Hills Cop 2.
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Another sequel, another brilliant cliché-ridden cop movie – but this time Joe Pantoliano (Joey Pants to his friends) introduces »
Ah, Bob. He left us too soon. Not Bill Murray’s Bob Wiley of What about Bob fame but Bob of Batman (1989). Or as the Joker put it: “my number one … guy!” Poor Bob. The world is worse off due to his absence. He’s someone none us should have forgotten but have. He’s got his hits on Youtube but no plans to resurrect him even though he’s leagues ahead of Darkseid, who isn’t even on the radar of most moviegoer.
Originally, I admit this article had been geared to giving the so-called second stringers their due. But that is a bit distortive of the actual record because not all second stringers get forgotten. Just ask old Henry Kissinger. Or need one be reminded of Boba Fett’s massive cult? Nevertheless, too many both second-order and first-order baddies get left behind. Mr. Glass did a good job »
- Christian Jimenez
Modern recording gear means movie actors don't have to shout to be heard. So those moments when actors roar from the bottom of their lungs are to be treasured
This week's Clip joint is by Guardian reader Brogan Morris. If you've got an idea for a future Clip joint, drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Things have come a long way since fledgling recording technology meant film performances had to be big and bold. Movie actors were forced to give theatrical displays for the benefit of clunky, insensitive equipment, but today even the most basic camera and sound kit can pick up the subtlest actorly inflection. Screen thesps are thus not required to operate at a high volume – making a performer such as Nicolas Cage something of a rarity, and loud acting – beyond the stage or opera house – a dying art.
Of course, certain cinematic moments may »
- Guardian readers
Imagine it: National Service has been reintroduced. You’re going to become part of the military, then probably go to war, and there’s nothing you can do about it. Unless, that is, you’re in line to the throne or rich enough to bribe government officials which, let’s face it, you probably aren’t. To make things much, much worse, you start to recollect all those damaged film soldiers, all those crackpot movie military men that always made the job seem utterly abominable.
According to the movies, being in the army is scary as hell. Movies, of course, show us an exaggerated version of the world. The war genre is not war as it is – film tends to portray life as a soldier in a hyper-real way, with what it’s like to be in a combat situation far removed from the truth. But if the nightmare scenario »
- Brogan Morris
After four seasons as Sue Sylvester on Glee, Jane Lynch has gone from sitcom guest-star extraordinaire and comic dynamite in films like Best in Show and The 40-Year-Old Virgin to one of television’s most recognizable and celebrated actors, hosting the Emmys and Saturday Night Live. But way back when, she paid the bills with her clipped Midwestern voice, in numerous commercials and animated cartoons. “I made my living doing voiceovers, and getting an animated film was always the brass ring of being a celebrity,” says Lynch. “So now I’m just really grateful that I’m a celebrity and I get to do it. »
- Jeff Labrecque
Tom Jolliffe on the male acting performances criminally overlooked by the Academy for Oscar recognition...
With the Oscars around the corner and awards season in full swing, now is a perfect opportunity to tearfully remember those performances that were completely overlooked by the Academy. Reasons can differ. Sometimes a year is bloated with exceptional performances and competition is high. Sometimes a film's impact doesn’t strike instantly and takes years before it finally clicks with audiences. There are certain film subjects that are Oscar catnip, and others which rub against the grain of what is fashionable amongst the voters. There are almost always head-scratching inclusions and exclusions. It’s hard to know which films of a year, and which performances will live long in the memory and which will fade away.
Here are a few actors I humbly believe gave performances good enough to warrant nominations (lead or supporting) for »
- Flickering Myth
January is fast becoming the month to rival the more appropriate October for the release of horror films. So we conclude our countdown, (which began Here yesterday), of our Top Ten Horror Remakes. We’ve also decided to mention a few titles that just missed the cut, but deserve a special mention for attempting to add something different to their respective source material.
5. The Crazies (2010)
Breck Eisner seemed another peculiar choice to helm the remake of cult Geroge R. Romero favourite, The Crazies. After all, his Matthew McConnaughey-led adventure Sahara, died on its arse in 2005, while his debut feature – the action-thriller Thoughtcrimes (2003) – was little seen to say the least. However, the son of former Disney chief Michael Eisner assembled a terrific cast, led by the ever-captivating Timothy Olyphant and Aussie beauty Radha Mitchell. They gave us a gripping chiller, which sees the band of survivors of Ogden Marsh, »
- Craig Hunter
When a woman's son is kidnapped by an army of germs, she must team up with Mr. Clean to stop the evil before it is too late. Terry O'Quinn as Mr. Clean A man, immortal by curse, who seeks only to cleanse the world of its germs. Evangeline Lilly as Julia Smith A loving, yet sometimes neglectful mother who seeks only to find her child. Chandler Riggs as Bobby Smith A normal 8 year old boy who gets kidnapped by an army of germs. Michael Emerson as The Germ King An evil king, who hopes to use Bobby to spread germs throughout the world. R. Lee Ermy as General Swifter Of The Germ Army After not selling enough products, Swifter decided to join the germs. Terry Crews as The Old Spice Guy Germ King's right hand man, he lacks the ability to wear a shirt and must hide behind germs for fear of rabid women. »
Director: John Luessenhopp
Starring: Alexandra Daddario, Dan Yeager, Paul Rae, Thom Barry, Tania Raymonde, Trey Songz, Scott Eastwood, Shaun Sipos, Gunnar Hansen, Tobe Hooper, John Dugan, Marilyn Burns, Bill Moseley, Richard Riehle.
Running Time: 92 minutes
Synopsis: A young woman travels to Texas to collect an inheritance; little does she know that an encounter the infamous chainsaw-wielding killer is part of the reward.
Tobe Hooper unleashed his horrifically raw masterpiece The Texas Chainsaw Massacre on the world in 1974. It was very loosely based on the real-life crimes of Wisconsin native nutter Ed Gein, who was the inspiration for the limb-lopping loon: Leatherface. Unfairly thrown in amongst the ‘video nasty’ rag-tag bunch here in the UK, Hooper’s infamous low-budget effort was unavailable until 1998 (although in my youth it was known to cross hands in the schoolyard in bootleg video form).
While his original groundbreaking horror lingers in the memory, Hooper »
- Craig Hunter
As I mentioned in yesterday’s wrap-up of Platinum Dunes’ remake of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, it didn’t seem like the team behind that film were thinking in terms of “franchise” when they set about to re-introduce Leatherface to a brand new audience. If they had, then I doubt the ending of that movie would’ve had as many finalities with their core group as it had; something that earns that particular remake bonus points. So, after winning over the skeptical fans and in lieu of a slew of similar post-Chainsaw horror movies that followed like Saw and Hostel (which Chainsaw producer Mike Fleiss also was involved with), the Pd gang started seriously contemplating an appropriate follow-up. And for them, the only story that made sense to tell was the one that came before the remake.
Granted, considering this version of the family was completely different from previous incarnations, »
- Rob Galluzzo
One of my favorite aspects of the old Fangoria Weekend of Horror shows was that they always kicked off the convention with a slew of upcoming horror movie trailers. In the days long before you could simply watch these previews on the Internet, you’d have to plan accordingly, make sure you take an early enough train into the city so that you wouldn’t miss the trailer reel show which was always first on the itinerary for Fango cons. And I’ll never forget when the very first teaser trailer for The Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake played in front of a packed audience. It was the one dubbed “the Michael Bay teaser” on the eventual DVD release, which was primarily a black screen and the sound of a girl hiding in a closet before we hear a chainsaw erupt to life and tear a hole in the door & in turn the movie screen. »
- Rob Galluzzo
16 items from 2013
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