19 items from 2014
Before he spiraled into a critical nose-dive from which he’s yet to recover, M. Night Shyamalan was heralded as the next great American filmmaker. (No, seriously.) Before his gimmickry become obvious–all the twist endings, the important details withheld, trickery in lieu of genuine cleverness–Shyamalan crafted a genuine masterpiece that remains as potent as ever, regardless of the spoiling of its sneaky surprises. Bruce Willis has never approached the grace and subtlety of his performance here; his empathetic, sorrowful turn as a child psychologist searching for redemption deserved an Oscar nod. Maybe he woulda gotten one had this movie not come out in the insanely good movie year of our lord 1999. Willis is matched every step of the way by Haley Joel Osment, giving one of the great childhood performances, and lending credence to lines that could have »
- Greg Cwik
On screen, the parents of seriously ill children are often (probably quite accurately) portrayed as unsung heroes, battling the system, denying themselves, and doing everything they can to protect their kids. In The Harvest, the long overdue return to cinema from Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer director John McNaughton, it’d be easy to initially mistake Samantha Morton’s character, Katherine, for one of these parents. But it soon becomes clear just how completely off the mark this impression is.
The film focuses on Katherine’s relationship with her pre-teen son, Andy (Charlie Tahan). Andy is sick. He’s so sick, he can’t walk. He needs a cocktail of specialised drugs, which Katherine, a doctor, breaks the law to obtain for him. At first, her overprotectiveness seems understandable, if a little intense. But things get worse. Andy mustn’t have friends: friends might infect him. He mustn’t ever go outside. »
- Becki Hawkes
The title may be “Daughter,” but it’s a tiger mom for the ages who holds the spotlight in this seething domestic horror film about a young girl’s deeply unhappy childhood. Centered around a memorably scary turn from Shim Hye-jin that may remind viewers of “Carrie,” “Black Swan” and other scream-worthy portraits of deranged motherhood, South Korean writer-director-actress Ku Hye-sun’s third feature can feel a tad mechanical and one-note in its abrupt temporal shifts, revealing how the past emotional and psychological wounds continue to throb in the present. But that one note is undeniably gripping, lending this sustained banshee howl of movie an almost demonic intensity for much of its taut 82-minute running time. Following its Busan world premiere, additional festival dates beckon.
San (Ku) has just found out she’s pregnant, a discovery that fills her with less joy than unease as she heads to the hospital »
- Justin Chang
Check out this week's best and most provocative options for streaming on the web. How many times have you seen "Fletch"? Add another hundred to it this month. Netflix "Arrow", season 2 Catch up on the second season before the third premieres tonight. We can never do enough to tell Katie Cassidy we're sorry about that "Melrose Place" revamp. "Jay Mohr: Funny for a Girl" One of the bright spots in the dreaded '94-'95 season of "SNL" was the appearance of Jay Mohr, whose salty, smirky humor is somehow more impish than Norm MacDonald's. Fun fact I often forget: He is married to Nikki Cox. "Raising Hope", season 4 Shhh, secret: We're running a list of the "50 Funniest Women of the Past 50 Years" feature next week. You better believe Cloris Leachman made the list. Go watch the series that garnered Phyllis Lindstrom her twenty-second Emmy nomination. (Leachman has the most »
- Louis Virtel
By now you've heard the news: "Twin Peaks" is officially coming back for a third season, and will be directed by David Lynch. The caveat? You'll have to wait until 2016 to see it. So what can you do until then? Well, you can take the weirdest possible trip back in time, and watch this 1990 episode of "Donahue," featuring the cast of the show. Watch Peggy Lipton, Piper Laurie, Dana Ashbrook, Madchen Amick, Eric DaRe (that hair!), Sheryl Lee and series co-creator Mark Frost as they interact with a completely amped up Phil Donahue. It's not only hilarious, but also a reminder of how integrated into the mainstream David Lynch was by that point. To this day, there's no other Lynch project that managed to thrill housewives. Indeed, at the time of this "Donahue" taping coming before the finale of season one, it was all anyone could talk about. Check it »
- Kevin Jagernauth
Polly Bergen: 'Desperate Housewives' Emmy nominee; winner for 'The Helen Morgan Story' (photo: Felicity Huffman, Doug Savant, and Polly Bergen in 'Desperate Housewives') (See previous article: "Polly Bergen: Actress on Richard Nixon 'Enemies List'.") Polly Bergen began her lengthy — and to some extent prestigious — television career in 1950, making sporadic appearances in anthology series. She won an Emmy for Best Actress in a Single Performance – Lead or Supporting — beating Julie Andrews, Helen Hayes, Teresa Wright, and Piper Laurie — for playing troubled torch singer Helen Morgan (Show Boat) in the 1957 Playhouse 90 episode "The Helen Morgan Story," featuring veteran Sylvia Sidney as Morgan's mother. Curiously, Bergen's retelling of Helen Morgan's story was broadcast the same year that Ann Blyth starred in Michael Curtiz's Morgan biopic. Also titled The Helen Morgan Story, the film focused on the relationship between the singer and a »
- Andre Soares
Polly Bergen dead at 84: ‘First woman president of the U.S.A.,’ former mistress of Tony Soprano’s father Emmy Award-winning actress Polly Bergen — whose roles ranged from the first U.S.A. woman president in Kisses for My President to the former mistress of both Tony Soprano’s father and John F. Kennedy in the television hit series The Sopranos — died from "natural causes" on September 20, 2014, at her home in Southbury, Connecticut. The 84-year-old Bergen, a heavy smoker for five decades, had been suffering from emphysema and other ailments since the 1990s. "Most people think I was born in a rich Long Island family," she told The Washington Post in 1988, but Polly Bergen was actually born Nellie Paulina Burgin on July 14, 1930, to an impoverished family in Knoxville, Tennessee. Her father was an illiterate construction worker while her mother got only as far as the third grade. The family »
- Andre Soares
Tom Hiddleston after his challengeI know it's for a good cause but we're definitely reaching saturation point for the Als Ice Bucket Challenge. Soon, like maybe in 5 minutes, it will be over. But Als is enjoying huge fundraising numbers so good on them for dreaming it up. I hope all these celebrates dousing themselves with freezing water are donating a dollar for every viewing of their videos and vines.
I've avoided sharing any because how would you choose? I mean other than skipping my beloved childhood idol Olivia Newton-John who kind of misses the point, filling her thimble "bucket" of ice with undoubtedly warm pool water before trickling it over her gorgeous blonde head. Let's just say Her Chills Weren't Multiplying. She Was Not Losing Control.
So why am I posting this? To note that this ice bucket madness which was mostly music stars at first has gone global. Here's »
- NATHANIEL R
Got blood? For its upcoming production of Carrie: The Musical, Southeast L.A.’s La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts plans to convert its space on La Mirada Boulevard into Ewan High School. The “immersive theater” event will put audience members at the center of the action. Producers Bruce Robert Harris and Jack W. Batman, and The Transfer Group are mounting the environmental staging, beginning March 12, 2015, with an official opening night set for March 18, 2015.
Based on the Stephen King novel, the musical is by the 1976 film’s original screenwriter Lawrence D. Cohen, with music by Academy Award winner Michael Gore (Fame, Terms Of Endearment), and lyrics by Academy Award winner Dean Pitchford (Fame, Footloose). Brady Schwind will stage the show, with choreography by Imara Quinonez.
“The story of Carrie has endured in the popular consciousness for decades, but no one has ever experienced it from this point of view, »
- Jeremy Gerard
Written by Stephen Lancellotti
Directed by John McNaughton
The Harvest is a modern gothic horror set in small-town America. On one hand embracing the mythology and horror of gothic sensibilities, the film also utilizes naturalism to create a sense of comfort and to help root emotions in reality. Katherine (Samantha Morton) and Richard (Michael Shannon) are a married couple caring for an ailing son, Andy (Charlie Tahan). Their apparent familial bliss is disrupted by the arrival of a pre-adolescent neighbor, Maryann (Natasha Calis). While Maryann’s intentions are nothing but cordial, the couple is wary of her curiosity, and tensions rise as she continually subverts their desires to stay away from their home. Maryann’s quest for truth and Andy’s friendship unravels a dark stain on the American family.
Illness is the central catalyst for the film’s tension as Andy’s sickness has become the »
- Justine Smith
The knock on the Academy Awards throughout the years always seem to be how certain actors, directors and films are snubbed in favor of other chosen nominations. Sometimes the justification for these overlooked selections in performances and motion pictures are warranted. Many will agree that a lot of injustices have been committed based on how some Oscar-worthy selections were slighted.
Has anyone ever considered the equal possibilities of omission when one Oscar nominee wins the golden statuette over another nominee that one thought was more deserving for the victory? There have been numerous instances when observers who have witnessed an Oscar win thought that their competitor should have received it instead. It is only human nature to have an opinion as to feel who should have claimed Oscar gold as opposed to the fellow nominee that actually accomplished the goal.
Let us look at the top ten instances where it »
- Frank Ochieng
Terrorizing tykes. Corruptible kids. Menacing mop-tops. Problematic pubescent. However one might want to use their alliterative labeling when it comes to troubled young people and the trauma they cause (or the trauma that gravitates to them) in the world of cinema it is always fascinating to see the suspense, aggravation and psychological ramifications behind such happenings.
Kid Power, Kid Sour: Top 10 Misguided Youngsters in Film looks to examine some of the young people involved in such disturbing dilemmas within various facets in cinema. So let us check out a selection of these impressionable violators (in some cases victims) and contemplate their predicaments at hand, shall we?
1.) Rhonda Penmark from The Bad Seed (1956)
In playing the little pig-tailed sociopath Rhonda Penmark in Mervyn LeRoy’s Oscar-nominated film The Bad Seed, child actress Patty McCormack received an Academy Award nomination as the kid killer without a conscious. Spoiled and devious to a fault, »
- Frank Ochieng
Saving Grace B. Jones is a suspenseful tale that takes you to a 1950's small town in the Midwest, where a gentle family man, Landy (Michael Biehn), and his wife, Bea (Penelope Ann Miller), fight to release his sister Grace from a state asylum for the insane. Grace (Tatum O'Neal) was sent there after a horrible incident on her wedding day 20 years before left her mentally deranged. Landy brings her home but the local townspeople are distrustful of this damaged woman who alternates between quiet acceptance and wild rants. They soon have bigger problems when a horrific rainstorm threatens to flood the town. In the midst of this natural disaster, Grace experiences a crisis and sets out on a deadly rampage to destroy those who cross her. The unrelenting rain masks the true pathological extremes of an unhinged woman bent on revenge. We have your exclusive look at the DVD box art and poster, »
Heading to DVD on May 27th, Connie Steven(The Party Crashers, Back To The Beach)’s Southern Gothic Thriller Saving Grace B. Jones looks like it could be some fun, boasting a cast filled with Michael Biehn, Scott Wilson and Tatum O’Neal. Judging from the trailer, it seems like it could be a decent little thriller. As always, fright fiends, we’ll check it out and fill you in whether to catch this one or not.
“In the Heartland of America, during one of the most disastrous floods in history, the lives of one couple become chaotic when the man’s sister comes to live with them after being released from a local insane-asylum….based on a true story.”
Cast: Michael Biehn (The Terminator, Aliens), Oscar Winner Tatum O’Neal (This Is 40, Paper Moon), Golden Globe Nominee Penelope Ann Miller (Carlito’S Way, Big Top Peewee), Three time Oscar Nominee Piper Laurie (Carrie, »
- Jerry Smith
Hey, Toronto! The Twitch presented Stephen King retrospective Kingdom Of Fear continues at the Tiff Bell Lightbox tomorrow night with a screening of Brian De Palma's Carrie and we want you to be there!The very definition of the teenage outcast, sixteen-year-old Carrie White (Sissy Spacek) is mousy, withdrawn, friendless, tormented at home by her fanatically religious mother (Piper Laurie) and at school by her mercilessly nasty peers -- not to mention the fact that she has powerful telekinetic abilities that wreak havoc when she loses control of her emotions. Things suddenly start looking up for the hapless Carrie when the most popular boy in school asks her to the prom -- but when the school bitch and her delinquent boyfriend (Nancy Allen and John Travolta)...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
Kristen Stewart and Julianne Moore in ‘Still Alice’: Family drama also to star Kate Bosworth, Alec Baldwin (photo: Kristen Stewart at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival) Kate Bosworth, Alec Baldwin, and Kristen Stewart have joined Julianne Moore in Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland’s family/crippling disease drama Still Alice, based on Lisa Genova’s novel. Julianne Moore will play a psychologist, Alice Howland, who discovers she’s in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. Kristen Stewart will be her youngest daughter, Lydia, who becomes closer to Alice as a result of her illness. If all goes as planned, production on Still Alice will kick off in early March in New York City. TheWrap broke the Kate Bosworth-Alec Baldwin-Kristen Stewart Still Alice casting story, adding that Memento Films International is selling the film at Berlin’s European Film Market. Reportedly thanks to Julianne Moore’s attachment, »
- Andre Soares
In ratings news, Looking was, well … a disappointment. It lost half of Girls‘s lead-in, but it did double its audience with the replays, and hopefully will improve that when all the viewers from HBO Go and On demand are counted. But still … it’s not good.
If you didn’t get a chance to see Looking, the network has posted the full episode here.
After healthy ratings lately, NBC has renewed Days of Our Lives through September 2016.
Christian Jessen, British TV Doctor, To Test Ex-Gay Therapy Methods On Cure Me, I’m Gay
Hugh Laurie called for a boycott of Russian vodka, and paid the Twitter price.
This is the Canadian Bobsled Team
Double checking our race weight for the 4man Sunday @CDNOlympicTeam #whateverittakes @McNaughtonJames @TimRandall86 pic. »
For 40 years, working for Columbia Pictures and then Universal Intl., he produced movies in a variety of genres. There were Westerns such as “The Cimarron Kid,” starring Audie Murphy, and “Return of the Seven,” as well as comedies such as “Francis Joins the Wacs,” starring Donald O’Connor. Richmond was also an uncredited producer on the Elvis Presley pic “It Happened at the World’s Fair.”
In the 1950s he partnered with his close friend Tyrone Power to form Copa Prods. The company’s first movie, “Count Three and Pray,” introduced Joanne Woodward to films. In 1959, during the filming of “Solomon and Sheba,” Richmond was devastated when Power, »
- Carmel Dagan
Another year has come to an end, which means it's time for the Dread Central staff to weigh in with their picks of the best and worst of 2013's horror offerings. We're giving you a full dozen lists this time, and per usual they come in a variety of formats, each reflecting the unique styles of our writers.
We've also compiled them to come up with the year's overall winners and losers. We averaged out the top and bottom five vote getters on everyone's lists, and here are the results:
Worst: Texas Chainsaw 3D
Runners-up: The Purge, The Last Exorcism Part II
Check out the Dread Central staff's Best of and Worst of lists for 2013 by following the links below!
[Buz "Danger" Wallick]
[Debi "The Woman in Black" Moore]
[Gareth "Pestilence" Jones]
[Scott "Doctor Gash" Hallam]
[Staci Layne Wilson]
Andrew Kasch's Picks
- Uncle Creepy
19 items from 2014
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