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8 items from 2012


Black Dynamite Is Going To Get You, Sucker

29 July 2012 10:31 AM, PDT | Boomtron | See recent Boomtron news »

Remakes, sequels, reboots: these are common parlance in the film industry today and have been since its birth, really.  There is no film property immune to this, especially a successful one.  And though the blaxploitation genre, which reached its height of popularity in the 1970s, still enjoys a rabid cult following, few of the attempts to re-energize this vital branch of American film have been very successful.

Until now.

Black Dynamite, the 2009 film starring Michael Jai White, is now also an animated series now airing Sundays on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim.  And while the character and his world may still effectively be a cult happening, it is clear that Black Dynamite is the most successful blaxploitation property to hit the streets since platform shoes went out of fashion.  Loaded with sex, violence, and sex and violence, Black Dynamite is the true sequel to Shaft that fans have been waiting for. »

- Jimmy Callaway

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'The Dirty Dozen': How The Combat Classic Created The Modern Action Movie

13 June 2012 10:43 AM, PDT | Moviefone | See recent Moviefone news »

When New York Times critic Bosley Crowther reviewed "The Dirty Dozen" upon its release (45 years ago this week, on June 15, 1967), he blasted the World War II action drama for its characters' "hot, sadistic zeal," its "astonishingly wanton" depiction of war, the way its violent-felons-turned-heroes plot "encourag[es] a spirit of hooliganism that is brazenly antisocial" and its "studied indulgence of sadism that is morbid and disgusting beyond words." If a similar action movie came out today, those would all be its selling points. Indeed, in recent decades, we've come to take Robert Aldrich's ultramacho commando flick for granted, not because it hasn't aged well (it still delivers the goods), but because it's been copied by so many movies and TV shows that its innovations seem old hat now. But 45 years ago, it not only pushed the envelope (in ways that disgusted Crowther but so delighted audiences that it was one »

- Gary Susman

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Essential Viewing For Fans Of ‘The Hunger Games’ (Part 1)

25 March 2012 5:17 PM, PDT | SoundOnSight | See recent SoundOnSight news »

Suzanne Collins’s Hunger Games series has often been compared with Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight novels primarily because both centre on a young female protagonist and somehow both became phenomenons for their shared young-adult demo. Personally, I think this is both an insult to the novel and the latest big screen adaptation, since The Hunger Games is leagues above Twilight in artistic credibility. The sense of familiarity of The Hunger Games in fact goes much further back, recalling everything from William Golding to Phillip K. Dick and even Stephen King. Here are several films which may or may not have inspired Gary Ross’s big screen adaptation – eleven films which come highly recommended and should be essential viewing for any fan of the soon-to-be billion dollar franchise.

1- Battle Royale

Directed by Kinji Fukasaku

Written by Kinji Fukasaku

2000, Japan

The concept of The Hunger Games owes much to Japanese author »

- Ricky

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NFL Legend/Actor Jim Brown Getting His Own Biopic

16 February 2012 12:14 PM, PST | The Film Stage | See recent The Film Stage news »

Jim Brown is widely considered one of the greatest, if not the greatest, NFL players of all-time. In his nine seasons as a Cleveland Brown, he made the Pro Bowl every single year and never missed one game due to injury. When he retired in 1965 at the age of only 29, he held the all-time record in Rushing Yards, a record that stood for 19 years (he has since moved to 9th all-time) as well as led the league in everything a running back could possibly lead in.

From there Brown went into acting and became one of Hollywood’s first African American action stars, appearing in everything from the blaxploitation movies of the 70′s to Tim Burton‘s Mars Attacks! in 1995, and continues to act sparingly while also advocating for inner city youth. Jim Brown has pretty much lived the life movies are made of. And he’s apparently realized that too, »

- jpraup@gmail.com (thefilmstage.com)

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Athlete Jim Brown Gets A Biopic

16 February 2012 6:55 AM, PST | Dark Horizons | See recent Dark Horizons news »

Gridiron legend turned actor Jim Brown has pledged his life rights to producer Hal Lieberman for a biopic which Bob Eisele ("The Great Debaters") will script and Jonathan Hock ("The Lost Son Of Havana") will direct says Deadline.

Brown was drafted by the Cleveland Browns and set every record for a pro running back in North American football. In 2002 Sporting News called him the greatest professional football player ever.

He retired at 29 to become Hollywood’s first African American action star and later an outspoken advocate for inner city youth.

He starred in numerous cinematic hits in the 60's through to the 90's including "The Dirty Dozen", "Ice Station Zebra," "The Running Man" and "Mars Attacks", and made history with Raquel Welch with the pair filming one of the first onscreen interracial love scenes in 1969's "100 Rifles".

The biopic is said to "focus on several facets of a remarkable life »

- Garth Franklin

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Gridiron Great Jim Brown In Huddle For Feature Biopic

15 February 2012 4:34 PM, PST | Deadline | See recent Deadline news »

Exclusive: Jim Brown, who traded his status as football’s greatest running back to become a movie star and eventually an activist to steer kids away from a gang lifestyle, is ready for his feature film close-up. Brown has pledged his life rights to producer Hal Lieberman for a feature film that will be written by Bob Eisele (The Great Debaters) and directed by Jonathan Hock, helmer of such documentaries as The Lost Son Of Havana and Michael Jordan To The Max. Lieberman is about to shop the package. Lieberman said he first met Brown on the set of New Jersey Turnpikes, a basketball comedy he produced and Brown starred in. Though that film never got released, they kept talking and remained friendly until finally Brown was ready. “I’ve been a fan and follower of his career over my lifetime, and there is 50 years of history under his belt, »

- MIKE FLEMING

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NFL's Greatest Players: The 13 Best Football Stars in Movies

3 February 2012 11:00 AM, PST | NextMovie | See recent NextMovie news »

On Super Bowl Sunday, the best and baddest of the professional football world will lay it on the line for the biggest of prizes. But only a select few will go on to achieve an even greater glory: movie superstardom.

Okay, the odds of anybody from the NFL rubbing shoulders with Daniel Day-Lewis is somewhat slim, but there have been several former players who have acquitted themselves well on the big screen.

Join us as we salute these gridiron heroes-turned-silver screen stars. (Pros only, please: Sorry, former college star The Rock.)

13. Dan Marino, 'Ace Ventura: Pet Detective' (1994)

"Laces out, Dan!" As the object of place kicker-turned-psycho killer Ray Finkel's madness, former Dolphins Qb great Dan Marino plays a key role in the mystery that leads Jim Carrey's wacky title character into a multiple-murder mystery. But what's surprising is the manner in which Marino acquits himself as an actor, »

- Adam Swiderski

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James Toback Planning New Film Focusing On The Struggle Of The Self

10 January 2012 1:36 PM, PST | The Film Stage | See recent The Film Stage news »

Writer/director James Toback is looking to make a new movie; a film focusing “on the idea of the self,” as the filmmaker revealed during an event for The Artist earlier this week. [L.A. Times]

He dug deeper into the idea:

“If I say, ‘I’m James Toback,’ what does that mean? I could just as easily be walking over there and saying, ‘I’m Harold Lerner.’ I could go to a second country with a different identity.”

He’s hoping to direct the film this summer in Cannes in the south of France.

Toback has been in the movie business for a long, tumultuous period of time. Once an Nyu professor with a vicious gambling addiction, Toback made a splash in the literary world with his controversial Jim Brown biography, then a splash in early 70s Hollywood with his script The Gambler, a film about an Nyu professor with a vicious gambling addiction. »

- jpraup@gmail.com (thefilmstage.com)

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8 items from 2012


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