5 items from 2015
1982. What a year. From The Beast Within to Creepshow to Friday the 13th Part III to Q, it displayed a smorgasbord of fantastical delights for terror consumers. Standing heads (two, to be exact) and shoulders apart from the crowd was Frank Henenlotter’s grimeball debut, Basket Case, a lovely tale of a boy and his twin brother. Who happens to be a monstrous blob. And lives in a basket.
Shot on 16mm for a reported $35,000 Us, Basket Case premiered in Henenlotter’s beloved Times Square, and became a big hit on the grindhouse circuit. This shouldn’t be surprising, as the film is a big, fat, wet kiss to the pre-cleanup New York of the ’80s (think diseases, not Disney). Critics at the time acknowledged the uniqueness of it, but most could not overlook the technical deficiencies or the broad range of performances on display. No matter. Horror fans that »
- Scott Drebit
By Alex Simon
2015 will most likely go down as the year that the once-taboo became respectable, with both gay marriage and marijuana finding legal and public acceptance nationwide. While the Supreme Court made same-sex marriage legal in all fifty states, the marijuana initiative is having an appropriately slower, but steady climb into legality. That said, we thought we’d take a look at some of cinema’s greatest proponents of the stoner lifestyle, before it all becomes downright conventional.
10. Jeff Spicoli—Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982)
Sean Penn not only became a star with his turn as surfer/stoner Jeff Spicoli in the 1980s’ most iconic teen movie, he established how the stoners of the ‘80s differed from their predecessors: while the rebels of the ‘60s and ‘70s viewed their use of cannabis as a symbol of rebellion, and preferred it to alcohol and the other symbols of their parents’ generation and its decadence, »
- The Hollywood Interview.com
The film will be directed by Michael Mayer, who won a Tony in 2007 for “Spring Awakening” and was nominated for “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” last year. It has been adapted by playwright Stephen Karam, who wrote Pulitzer Prize finalist “Sons of the Prophet.” The producers are Leslie Urdang (“Rabbit Hole”), actor-producer Tom Hulce (“Amadeus”) and Bob Salerno (“21 Grams,” “We Need to Talk About Kevin”).
Bening, who has been nominated for four Oscars, most recently appeared alongside Al Pacino in “Danny Collins.” Ronan’s latest credits include “The Grand Budapest Hotel” and Sundance player “Brooklyn,” which Fox Searchlight picked up for the U.S.
- Leo Barraclough
This week marks the 10th anniversary of the release of "Crash" (on May 6, 2005), an all-star movie whose controversy came not from its provocative treatment of racial issues but from its Best Picture Oscar victory a few months later, against what many critics felt was a much more deserving movie, "Brokeback Mountain."
The "Crash" vs. "Brokeback" battle is one of those lingering disputes that makes the Academy Awards so fascinating, year after year. Moviegoers and critics who revisit older movies are constantly judging the Academy's judgment. Even decades of hindsight may not always be enough to tell whether the Oscar voters of a particular year got it right or wrong. Whether it's "Birdman" vs. "Boyhood," "The King's Speech" vs. "The Social Network," "Saving Private Ryan" vs. "Shakespeare in Love" or even "An American in Paris" vs. "A Streetcar Named Desire," we're still confirming the Academy's taste or dismissing it as hopelessly off-base years later. »
- Gary Susman
Sequels and spinoffs are all the rage on the big screen these days, but the news that Disney is moving forward with a Frozen 2 still comes as something of a surprise considering the studio has been reticent to pump out theatrically-released follow-ups to its biggest hits - only The Three Caballeros, The Rescuers Down Under, Fantasia 2000 and Winnie the Pooh are part of the Disney Animated Canon.
However, throughout the '90s and '00s Disney had a lucrative side-business in direct-to-video sequels that were turned around quickly and cheaply and made the studio a fast buck. Many execs felt that these cheapened the originals and John Lasseter put the brakes on them, although the recent Tinker Bell films (branching out from Peter Pan) have their roots in this release model.
Digital Spy revisits 13 of Disney's most unnecessary straight-to-video sequels below:
Aladdin: The Return of Jafar (1994)
The very first »
5 items from 2015
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