14 items from 2016
Drug addicts! Who in 1970 really knew what life was like for them? Jerry Schatzberg, Joan Didion and John Gregory Dunne's story of hell on the streets of NYC provided a stunning debut for Al Pacino -- and should have done the same for Kitty Winn. It sounds too tough to watch, but it's riveting. The Panic in Needle Park Blu-ray Twilight Time Limited Edition 1971 / Color / 1:85 widescreen / 109 min. / Ship Date June 14, 2016 / available through Twilight Time Movies / 29.95 Starring Al Pacino, Kitty Winn, Alan Vint, Richard Bright, Marcia Jean Kurtz, Raul Julia, Joe Santos, Paul Sorvino Cinematography Adam Holender Film Editor Evan Lottman Original Music Ned Rorem Written by Joan Didion, John Gregory Dunne from the novel by James Mills. Produced by Dominique Dunne, Roger M. Rothstein Directed by Jerry Schatzberg
Reviewed by Glenn Erickson
We all know how the 1970s upheaval in Hollywood brought new talent to film -- actors, »
- Glenn Erickson
The Dick Tracy movie was a defining summer blockbuster, yet somehow never got a sequel. Here's why...
Make no mistake, the 1990 Dick Tracy movie was intended to be the next Batman. That's amusing when you consider how much of a debt Batman comics owed the grotesque rogues' gallery of Chester Gould's Dick Tracy comic strips. But from a box-office perspective, this is where things stood as we headed into the summer of 1990. And as surely as Batman launched a franchise that has continued (in some form or another) for 25-plus years, so too did Disney have ambitions for Dick Tracy 2.
Just as Bat-merchandise had begun to flood shelves in early spring of 1989, so did Dick Tracy trading cards, bubble gum, a remarkably ugly (but strangely appealing) line of action figures from Playmates (who ruled the world at that moment with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles license), making-of books, and (best of all) new reprints of the original daily and Sunday comic strips. That's a fairly optimistic program of licensing, and that doesn't even include the T-shirts, bath towels, and other novelties that followed.
The Batman similarities even extended to the minimalist movie posters, which featured an outline of Warren Beatty in primary-coloured profile, or speaking into a two-way wrist radio promising "I'm on my way." Disney's marketing department perhaps overestimated the recognisability and mass market appeal of the character, who hadn't been seen in live-action since the mid-50s, and who last actually made it to television in any form as part of a poorly-animated (and horrifically racist) Saturday morning cartoon in the '60s. Batman, on the other hand, was still an indelible pop culture icon, thanks in no small part to the inescapable presence of the Adam West TV series in syndication throughout the decade.
After Tim Burton's star-studded Batman dominated the summer of 1989 with a $250 million American haul (over $400 million worldwide), and since Dick Tracy had similar elements (top drawer celebrities in ridiculous makeup, remarkable set design, the biggest pop star of the era providing a soundtrack), studio expectations were probably stratospheric. Instead, Dick Tracy finished its theatrical run with a far more modest $162 million worldwide. While still a hefty profit over the film's $47 million budget, those certainly weren't Batman numbers, and brightly colored Dick Tracy merchandise stayed on shelves well past its Christmas 1990 sell by date.
Dick Tracy did, however, manage to win three Oscars (two more than Batman), well-deserved ones for makeup and art direction, and a less surefire one for the Stephen Sondheim-penned and Madonna sung 'I Always Get My Man'. Even that is less puzzling than the Best Supporting Actor nomination for Al Pacino, whose slide into shouty, slouchy self-parody can perhaps be traced directly to his role as Alphonse 'Big Boy' Caprice in this film.
Dick Tracy received a somewhat less enthusiastic critical reception as well, and it's easy to see why. Despite Richard Sylbert's eye-popping and perfectly comic strip visuals, the film is remarkably thin on story, full of lifeless characters painted broadly even by blockbuster standards, and makes little use of the world's most enduring creations, the villains, virtually all of whom end up full of lead or otherwise dispatched by the film's end.
With all of the above in mind, it's almost no wonder that Dick Tracy 2 was an impossibility. Setting aside the fact that the novelty of seeing so many of the iconic villains on screen at once (William Forsythe's Flattop was a particularly memorable creation), trying to duplicate the almost absurd parade of talent on display under the makeup (including Dustin Hoffman as well as gangster movie luminaries James Caan and Paul Sorvino) for a sequel would have been a fool's errand.
But it's nothing so simple as story or economics that have kept Dick Tracy in the pen. After all, Hollywood has mounted franchise attempts no less Quixotic for lesser films, and it's surprising that there hasn't been any reboot traction for the property, either. That's because, as usual, you can blame lawyers.
Warren Beatty first acquired the rights to Dick Tracy from comic strip publishers Tribune Media in 1985. At some point, these rights were supposed to revert to Tribune if no new Tracy projects were forthcoming from Beatty, as long as they requested them via some legal gymnastics and a two-year notification process (that window would allow Warren Beatty enough time to make another Dick Tracy movie before handing the character over).
Tribune tried to make this happen in 2002, but for legal reasons that I'm not qualified to understand let alone write about, their claim was rejected after Beatty filed a suit indicating that the proper procedures weren't followed, the two-year window wasn't respected, and he still had plans to make a sequel. The case was resolved in his favour. Since then, Beatty has retained the rights, presumably with the same two-year window in place to allow him to make another movie should Tribune come knocking.
That three-year period, from when Tribune tried to exercise their claim on the Dick Tracy rights to when the suit was resolved, still doesn't account for the decade since then. At the time, Mr. Beatty claimed that Tribune's attempt to get the rights back made progress on his own Dick Tracy sequel "impossible." But considering that Beatty has never been known as the most prolific filmmaker or actor, moving at a deliberate pace with all of his projects, the fact that Dick Tracy 2 never materialised shouldn't surprise anyone.
But there always seem to be plans afoot for more...
Periodically, Warren Beatty makes some noises about his intention to make Dick Tracy 2, although I suspect this is posturing to allow him to hold on to the rights. I did reach out to representatives for Beatty to see if he'd be willing to offer some comment on this, but as of this writing, nobody has responded.
“I’m gonna make another one," Mr. Beatty told a crowd at the Hero Complex Festival in 2011. “I think it’s dumb talking about movies before you make them. I just don’t do it. It gives you the perfect excuse to avoid making them.” This was probably a self-directed jab at the fact that he hasn't made a movie since 2001, but as with many things related to this project, I have to wonder if occasionally expressing a public desire to make Dick Tracy 2 is all that stands between Beatty and another battle with Tribune.
In a strange maneuvre that was simply a required flexing of creative muscle to satisfy some minimum legal requirement, Beatty even donned the yellow overcoat and fedora in 2011 for the Dick Tracy Special. Beatty appears in character as Dick Tracy to give an interview with film critic Leonard Maltin, where he, as Tracy, refers to Warren Beatty...the actor who played him. "He was no Ralph Byrd or even Morgan Conway," Beatty/Tracy cracks, referencing two classic live-action Dicks from the '30s and '40s, "but I have to admit he looked remarkably like me."
No, really. See for yourself:
More recently, Beatty still made some noises about his plans to make Dick Tracy 2. This seems as unlikely now as it did five years ago.
The lawsuit that allowed Beatty to retain control of the Dick Tracy rights may have also scuttled all plans to revive the character in other media. In 2005, Transformers producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura, along with Bobby Newmyer and Scott Strauss, struck a deal with Tribune to develop a live-action Dick Tracy TV series, which would have brought the famed detective into the present day. More powerful than tommy guns, a team of lawyers put a stop to that before it got off the ground.
Reportedly, these same legal issues even put the brakes on a plan by Powers creators Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming to kick off a new Dick Tracy comic book series (it's tough to imagine a more perfect creative team for that). In other words, the same thing that kept Dick Tracy 2 from happening, has also essentially retired the detective from any and all potential new adventures. So, not only will we never see a sequel to the 1990 film (which is probably for the best), but the prospects of seeing the iconic detective again in any new adventures appear increasingly dim.
However, for those devoted fans of the movie, there are other ways to immerse yourself in the film's continuity, all of which can be considered 'official' extensions of the story...
In the lead up to the film's release, three prestige format comics were released, written by John Francis Moore with wonderful art by the always brilliant Kyle Baker. The first two of these ("Big City Blues" and "Dick Tracy vs. The Underworld") are adventures that take place before the events of the movie, while the third adapts the film. You can usually find the collected edition, Dick Tracy: The Complete True Hearts and Tommy Guns on the cheap at comic conventions.
Dick Tracy: True Hearts and Tommy Guns is absolutely worth your time if you're a fan of the movie or of the character in general. Kyle Baker's art is always a treat, but he captures the larger than life flavour of the movie on these pages as well as the horrific nature of the villains in a way that the sometimes rubbery makeup of the film simply didn't. The over-the-top cartoon violence of the films is a little bloodier and more impactful here, particularly the original tales in the first two chapters. Interestingly enough, these were the first Dick Tracy comics to feature original material to arrive in thirty years, and now, twenty-five years later, they're still the only ones since 1961 (reprints of the comic strips, however, are in good health thanks to Idw Publishing, as are the comic strips themelves...published by Tribune).
For that matter, the Dick Tracy novelisation by Max Allan Collins is also well worth seeking out. Collins, an experienced crime fiction writer who also had the distinct honour of writing Dick Tracy's comic strip adventures for 15 years after creator Chester Gould retired, brought a more authentic voice to the proceedings. Without the over the top visuals of the film, the book feels decidedly more violent (particularly the opening description of the St. Valentine's Day style massacre that begins the movie), and closer to the character's crime solving roots than what got put on screen. Warren Beatty was so impressed with Collins' flourishes that some of the dialogue from the novel was later added to the finished film.Collins also wrote two novels which can be considered 'official' sequels to the films. Dick Tracy Goes to War was published in 1990, within months of the movie's release, and was followed in 1991 by Dick Tracy Meets his Match. Another prose collection, Dick Tracy: The Secret Files was released to cash in on that year's Tracymania and was edited by Collins, but doesn't share any continuity with the film. But in short, if you want some kind of official "Dick Tracy movie universe," start with True Hearts and Tommy Guns and follow straight through with the Collins novels.
It'll have to do...because Dick Tracy is most assuredly not on his way.
“Paulie may have moved slow, but it was only because Paulie didn’t have to move for anybody,” Henry Hill says in “Goodfellas” regarding the dominant mob boss in that film played by Paul Sorvino. Yet it could pretty much apply to Larry David. He’s consistently made seasons of the fabled series “Curb Your Enthusiasm” at […]
The post HBO Announces ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ Season 9 appeared first on The Playlist. »
- Kevin Jagernauth
The real mystery is how Elizabeth Allen Rosenbaum‘s Careful What You Wish For got itself a theatrical release in the first place — no matter how limited. I’m not surprised Starz Digital is handling distribution, though, since it feels exactly like a late night pay cable ticket sanitized to an R-rating for lustful eroticism rather than actual chemistry, nudity, or plausibility. Sometimes thrillers of the “youthful stalker hits the sexual jackpot” variety can at least be entertaining in an ironic way, but that’s unfortunately not the case here. In fact, Chris Frisina‘s script is smart enough with its inevitable murder and ensuing insurance case to make us believe the film was produced with dramatic eyes and artistic hope. Alas, it ultimately falls short.
All the earmarks for this subgenre of trashy romance are present from the get-go. First you have the star: a Columbia-bound, engineering savant named »
- Jared Mobarak
A previous winner for “The West Wing,” Bradley Whitford was awarded his second Emmy last year thanks to his work as Marcy on “Transparent.” Whitford could well repeat [for playing a different character, Magnus Hirschfeld], or he could be stopped by one of multiple funny men playing themselves.
“Saturday Night Live” always takes up spots on this list with its hosts and this year gave us a lot to choose from, including a giggly Ryan Gosling and the emotional return of Tracy Morgan. Still, it will be hard to top the hosting gig of “SNL’s” resident Bernie Sanders impersonator Larry David when he appeared opposite the actual Democratic candidate. David practically joined the “SNL” cast this year, popping in from time to time to play the presidential candidate in sketches.
- Jenelle Riley
Ahead of its Us release next month, a trailer has debuted for director Elizabeth Allen Rosenbaum’s upcoming erotic thriller Careful What You Wish For which stars Nick Jonas, Isabel Lucas and Dermot Mulroney; check it out below after the official synopsis…
While working in a wealthy vacation community the summer before college, Doug (Nick Jonas, “Kingdom”, “Scream Queens”) begins an affair with the beautiful young wife (Isabel Lucas, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen) of his powerful investment banker neighbor (Dermot Mulroney, The Family Stone, “Shameless”). When the town erupts after a suspicious death, the young lovers become embroiled in scandal, forcing Doug to his limits as he battles deceit and betrayal. Graham Rogers (“Quantico,” Love & Mercy), Paul Sorvino (Goodfellas), and Kandyse McClure (Seventh Son, “Hemlock Grove”) costar in this steamy thriller.
Careful What You Wish For is set for release on June 10th in the States and features a »
- Amie Cranswick
Earlier this month, Wizard World brought their unique brand of star-studded fun to Minneapolis, and I had the great pleasure of speaking with both Barry Bostwick and Lou Ferrigno. Bostwick reflected on the cultural impact of The Rocky Horror Picture Show and revealed whether or not he’ll appear in Fox’s reboot, while Ferrigno talked about his gritty new action movie, Instant Death, and also discussed his love of Frankenstein.
You can read both interviews below, and be sure to check Wizard World’s official website to see what celebrities they’ll be bringing to a city near you:
Interview with Barry Bostwick:
Barry Bostwick: Well, he [Darren] was »
- Derek Anderson
Larry Cohen is one of the great voices in genre cinema. As both a screenwriter, and later a director, Cohen is responsible for some of the best horror and B-movies of the ’70s and ‘80s, including Black Caesar, God Told Me To, Q: The Winged Serpent, and the It’s Alive and Maniac Cop franchises. He’s a wicked satirist and a political filmmaker, but he’s an entertainer first, and his work is always deceptively smart despite seeming silly or dopey on the surface. His 1985 horror comedy, The Stuff, fits that description perfectly.
A new dessert craze is sweeping America: it’s like ice cream, but not… it’s like yogurt, but not… it’s The Stuff. While shoppers clear it off store shelves by the cartful, the suffering ice cream industry hires corporate spy Mo Rutherford (Michael Moriarty, a regular collaborator with Cohen) to discover the source of »
- Patrick Bromley
There’s no such thing as quiet days in Hollywood. There’s always something happening and today is no exception, so let’s jump right into the fray!
• Oscar-winning legend Warren Beatty’s been keeping a fairly low profile since his wildly expensive Town & Country bombed 15 years ago. But apparently the lothario (long-rumored to be the subject of Carly Simon’s enduring hit “You’re So Vain”) is coming out of semi-retirement as news broke that his pet project based on the life of famed millionaire/movie producer/shut-in Howard Hughes will be released this fall. (He’s been working on this since the ’70s as writer, director, producer, and star.) What’s of more interest to me/us is that he also said he’s working on a sequel to his uber-stylish, three-time Oscar-winning comic-book adaptation Dick Tracy. No word on whether bold-name costars like Annette Bening, Al Pacino, »
- Harker Jones
Forget Caltiki and forget The Blob: 'The Stuff' doesn't eat you, you eat it! Larry Cohen takes a page from Professor Quatermass for this satirical slap at blind consumerism and unregulated commerce, in a thriller packed with ooky glob-monsters and people hollowed out like Halloween pumpkins. It's the smart side of '80s sci-fi: Cohen knows how to make the genre sustain his anti-establishment themes. The Stuff Blu-ray Arrow Video (Us) 1985 / Color / 1:85 widescreen / 87 min. / Street Date April 19, 2016 / Available from Amazon / 39.95 Starring Michael Moriarty, Andrea Marcovicci, Garrett Morris, Paul Sorvino, Scott Bloom, Danny Aiello, Patrick O'Neal, Alexander Scourby, Harry Bellaver, Rutanya Alda, Brooke Adams, Laurene Landon, Tammy Grimes, Abe Vigoda, Clara Peller, Patrick Dempsey, Mira Sorvino, Eric Bogosian. Cinematography Paul Glickman Makeup Effects Ed French, Michael Maddi, Steve Neill, Kim Robinson, Rick Stratton, Craig Lyman Editor Armond Lebowitz Original Music Anthony Guefen Produced by Paul Kurta Written and »
- Glenn Erickson
In the midst of March Madness and with the Kentucky Derby around the corner, the first pitch of baseball season is almost here.
A quote from Field Of Dreams best describes America’s national pastime, “The one constant throughout the years has been baseball.”
To mark the start of the 2016 season, here’s our list of the Best Baseball movies.
Considered by some to be the best baseball movie ever, the film celebrates its 40th anniversary this month (April 7, 1976). In an article from the NY Daily News, one line reads, “It is a movie that someone like the late Philip Seymour Hoffman called his favorite, and one which resonates on many levels today, with all different generations.”
Who are we to argue with greatness?
- Movie Geeks
Check out a new clip for the film “Alleluia! The Devil’s Carnival.” It features a full on musical and it’s dope! Lucifer incites Heaven’s wrath by dispatching train cars full of condemned souls a-crashin’ through the pearly gates. God, in response, readies his top negotiator, The Agent, for a trip to The Carnival to put an end to the rebellious deeds. The new movie stars Paul Sorvino, Adam Pascal, David Hasselhoff, Barry Bostwick, Briana Evigan, and Tech N9ne. Directed by Derren Lynn Bousman. “Alleluia! The Devil’s Carnival” will be available on iTunes and VOD on March 29. Check out the exclusive clip: Check out the trailer:
The post Exclusive: Alleluia! The Devil’s Carnival Gets A New Clip appeared first on Shockya.com. »
- Rudie Obias
'The Godfather' actor Abe Vigoda. 'The Godfather' actor Abe Vigoda dead at 94; reports of his death in the early 1980s were greatly exaggerated Actor Abe Vigoda, little-known internationally – despite a supporting role in The Godfather – but popular in the U.S. as a result of the 1970s television series Barney Miller and of an erroneous 1982 People magazine obit, died in his sleep at his daughter's home in Woodland Park, New Jersey, on Tuesday, Jan. 26, '15. The cause of death seems to have been old age. Vigoda (born on Feb. 24, 1921, in New York City) was 94. 'The Godfather' Following a long stint on the stage – on Broadway (The Man in the Glass Booth, Marat/Sade) and elsewhere – Vigoda landed the role of Don Corleone (Marlon Brando) ally-turned-traitor Salvatore Tessio in Francis Ford Coppola's multiple Oscar-winning 1972 adaptation of Mario Puzo's bestseller The Godfather. “I'm really not a Mafia person, »
- Andre Soares
“Grandfathered” is about to introduce a great-grandfather. “Goodfellas” star Paul Sorvino has been cast to play the father of John Stamos‘ character, TheWrap has learned. The Fox sitcom stars Stamos and Josh Peck. Stamos plays Jimmy, a dedicated bachelor whose life is thrown for a loop when he learns that not only does he have a son (Peck) that he never knew about, but that his son has a child of his own. Sorvino, who played a cop on the first two seasons of “Law & Order,” will play the role of Jack Martino, described as an old school, “Mad Men”-y. »
- Linda Ge and Itay Hod
14 items from 2016
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