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The best movies leave you thinking about them long after the end credits roll. Some films marinate in the mind more than others, spawning fanciful theories and intriguing 'what ifs' from their dedicated fans.
Is James Bond really just one man? Do the Pixar films exist in a shared universe? And just how did Heath Ledger's Joker get those scars? We look at 9 mind-blowing movie fan theories below...
Heath Ledger's Joker is a war veteran
The Joker appears in Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight seemingly out of the blue, an agent of destruction hell-bent on reeking havoc across Gotham. Unlike Jack Nicholson's Jack Napier, we never get to see a backstory for Heath Ledger's incarnation play out.
The Joker himself offers up two contrasting "wanna know how I got these scars?" stories so we can never truly trust the Clown Prince of Crime's explanation. One »
We all love inspirational movies. They make us laugh. They make us cry. They make us cheer. Usually, we have to watch our underdog hero as they battle through adversity, through knockdown after knockdown until, eventually, they succeed. They can be painful to watch but, also, an inspirational film can touch you like no other can.
Films of this ilk make us look inside ourselves and, often, many use these stories as inspirational tools themselves. How many of those involved in sports say they watch a Rocky film the night before a big final? Quite a few. These films can also help us when we feel down because if these, often real, characters can achieve triumph over adversity, then why can’t we?
There are many different genres of film on this list from sports to romance, children’s film to political dramas, Christmas films to prison flicks, but all tick that one box, »
- Hugh Firth
The feel-good Internet story of the year, the resurrection of Reading Rainbow finally came to fruition this weekend. The show ran for twenty-three years on PBS before being unceremoniously cancelled in late 2006. Since then, host LeVar Burton & co have launched a Reading Rainbow app – an education tool for children, allowing them to read and view a vast number of books and interviews; though it wasn’t until earlier this year, with Burton’s impassioned plea via Kickstarter, that Reading Rainbow truly returned into the national consciousness. Burton’s Kickstarter campaign sought to raise funds to launch the app on the web, smart-phones and other streaming devices, as well as for free for needy impoverished schools. Within eleven hours, one million dollars had been raised for Reading Rainbow – and when all was said and done, over five million in sum had been donated. To honor the many people who contributed to the cause, »
- Tommy Cook
Glenn here to help you guys ease back into the school year with the help of Cameron Diaz as Miss Halsey in Bad Teacher. Lord know we could have all used a teacher like her in those first few days, watching movies and napping.
For as hilarious as I find this film - yes, I know it's a minority opinion, but I guffaw wildly and it's surprisingly rewatchable - nothing quite beats the moment when Diaz enters the building she thought she'd escaped forever and remembers the hell that is being a middle school teacher (or, in her case, any teacher at all). You and me both, Cam.
There's only so many times swearing and cursing can be funny (hell, kids-say-the-darndest-things style of humor was played out years before »
- Glenn Dunks
John Sayles’ latest film, Go For Sisters, receives an unceremonious DVD release from Freestyle Digital Media. While it snagged Yolonda Ross a supporting Actress at the Independent Spirit Awards after a muted theatrical release, it seems there will be less ado championing the home viewing release. Denied a Blu-ray option, Edward James Olmos still takes top billing even though the film belongs to actresses Ross and LisaGay Hamilton. Despite the continuation of this maligned marketing, with a little luck, Sayles’ best film in years will hopefully reach the broader audience it deserves.
An independent filmmaker who has been directing films without studio backing since 1979, infamously securing financing through penning genre screenplays (Piranha; Alligator). As such, one can often look forward to the offbeat flavor of his work, a true master of developing the unexpected in relationships between people, often crafted against delirious narratives that are sometimes labyrinthine in scope and »
- Nicholas Bell
San Diego Comic-Con originally branded itself by aptly showing primarily comicbooks. Now, in its 45th year, the convention has become an entertainment haven, showcasing producers, stars, writers and hundreds of personalities to promote pop culture from July 23-27. View our tentative schedule of Comic-Con’s film panels and events below, with further updates as they are announced. Variety will be in attendance at Sdcc as well, bringing the news, interviews and important panel information to the web.
Variety’s constantly updating TV schedule for Sdcc can be found here.
“The Legacy and Return of Battlestar Galactica” (10:30 a.m., Room 6Bcf) Original series actors Richard Hatch, Jamie Bamber and Luciana Carro, as well as the show’s science consultant Dr. Kevin Grazier and auction producer Alec Peters, host a discussion on the upcoming movie. Surprise guests and theatrical trailers are planned.
“Godzilla and The Master of Monsters” (11:00 a. »
- Sebastian Torrelio
It is with a heavy heart that we must bring you the news that Edward James Olmos will not make an appearance in the film outing of television show Battlestar: Galactica. That’s right folks, the Admiral that you all know and be love will not be on deck during the film. It wasn’t long ago that Thn brought you the news that a series of films were being worked on.
We were lucky enough to meet the great man over the weekend at London’s very own film and comic convention, and whilst he confirmed that they are indeed working on a film, he would not be taking part. His reasoning for this is that they are going off in their own direction and having him appear, not matter how small, would detract from this direction. He did wish the production well and hoped that they would have »
- Kat Smith
To the devoted comic book fans the world over Stan Lee is a God. Having been responsible for the inception of a host of iconic super-heroes which includes Iron Man, Hulk, and Captain America, Lee has helped raise a generation.
For those not in the know, next weekend (Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th July) sees London’s Earls Court 2 taken-over by all things film and comic related for the annual Showmasters event London Film and Comic Con (Lfcc). Whilst not as big in scale as the famous San Diego convention Lfcc have managed to acquire the legend that is Stan Lee in what will be his last ever European signing session!
Fret not those that weren’t aware of the event as entry tickets will be available on the door from 9am – 6pm on both days. The extra eager might also like to know that there is a special preview »
- Kat Smith
The Supporting Actress Smackdown of '64 is just 8 days away. So it's time to get your votes in on the nominees that year. Readers, collectively, are the sixth panelists, so grade the nominees (only the ones you've seen) from 1 to 5 hearts. Your votes count toward the smackdown win!
Agnes Moorhead Hush... Hush Sweet Charlotte
Grayson Hall Night of the Iguana
But before we here at Tfe get to that particular metaphorical musical-horror mishmash of films with one of the most senior lineups the Academy ever offered up in this category, let's meet our panelists for this 50th anniversary retrospective competition.
- NATHANIEL R
With the classic Re-Animator getting its Blu-ray reissue this week, we talk to its director about this and his other genre films...
Re-Animator landed like a firecracker in the middle of 80s horror cinema. A wild, vibrant adaptation of the Hp Lovecraft tale, Herbert West-Reanimator, it was both extremely funny and remarkably close to the writer’s source text. Jeffrey Combs plays the darting-eyed Herbert West, a gifted yet utterly mad young medical student who invents a serum which brings the dead back to kicking, screaming life.
A sprightly Bruce Abbott and Barbara Crampton play his fellow students, who can only watch in horror as their Miskatonic University campus fills up with angry revenant corpses from the morgue, while David Gale is brilliantly glowering as Dr Hill, West’s nemesis.
Krisko Media has taken all rights for the Middle East, Vietnam and Malaysia while Top Film has acquired the film for Russia , Cis and East Europe.
Rud said Us and Mexican distributors were on board for a first quarter 2015 release and will be announced in due course.
“El Americano will make a positive impact because the story makes us realise that the answers to our struggles are right there in our own hearts, that we are each the hero of our own story, and that’s something we can all relate to,” said Olmos. »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Jeremy Kay)
The new screenplay is by Hampton Fancher, co-writer of the original 1982 feature.
"We believe that Hampton Fancher and Michael Green have crafted with Ridley Scott an extraordinary sequel to one of the greatest films of all time, " said Alcon co-founders Broderick Johnson and Andrew Kosove.
"We would be honored, and we are hopeful, that Harrison will be part of our project..."
"I’m quite curious and excited about seeing a new script for Blade Runner'..." said Ford.
"...If it’s a good script I would be »
- Michael Stevens
Warner Bros. based Alcon Entertainment (Prisoners, The Blind Side, The Book of Eli) has an offer out to Harrison Ford to reprise his celebrated role of Rick Deckard in its Ridley Scott-directed sequel to Blade Runner, it was announced by Alcon co-founders and co-CEOs Andrew Kosove and Broderick Johnson.
While the story is being kept under wraps, it takes place several decades after the conclusion of the 1982 original.
"We believe that Hampton Fancher and Michael Green have crafted with Ridley Scott an extraordinary sequel to one of the greatest films of all time. We would be honored, and we are hopeful, that Harrison will be part of our project."
Guido Rud’s FilmSharks has inked international sales rights to “El Americano 3D,” billed as the first major U.S.-Mexico animated feature co-production.
FilmSharks is shopping pre-sales in Cannes. Lisa Kudrow heads the voice cast of the family-targeted pic that features Edward James Olmos, Rico Rodriguez, Cheech Marin, Kate del Castillo and Erik Estrada.
The fourth feature and first CG movie from Puebla Mexico-based Animex Studios, “Americano” is produced out of Burbank by Olmos Prods.
Story follows Cuco, a young Mexican parrot that embarks on an epic quest to persuade an American crime-fighting TV celeb to defend his family from bullies.
- John Hopewell
If you missed the PBS' exploration of trailblazing moments of TV history, featuring a lineup that included an episode titled Breaking Barriers, which traces the history of people of color on American television (it aired last week Tuesday), you can watch it right now, as PBS has made the entire series available online. It's all part of the 4th season of the Emmy-nominated PBS series, Pioneers Of Television. Breaking Barriers features the mid-1960s breakthroughs of African Americans Diahann Carroll (Julia) and Bill Cosby (I Spy), as well as Latino landmarks, ranging from I Love Lucy with Desi Arnaz, to Miami Vice with Edward James Olmos. Also featured are Asian Americans such as George Takei (Star Trek), who details the childhood years he spent in a Japanese American internment camp. Offering inside stories from some of America’s most beloved television stars, the episode includes new interviews with stars of the time, »
- Tambay A. Obenson
When theater director Jon Vickers hopped on the phone with Variety, his single-screen cinema was in the middle of a typically diverse run. The night before, it had screened a brand new restoration of Luchino Visconti’s “Sandra.” That night, the program included a trio of docs about the Rwandan genocide. Later on in the week, he was preparing to welcome actor Edward James Olmos and Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami for special programs.
For an arthouse theater in New York or Los Angeles, this would count as a particularly strong week of programming. Yet the theater in question here is the Indiana University Cinema, located in a Midwestern city of 80,000, and established by a university that doesn’t even have a film school.
Since he joined the Bloomington-based institution in 2011, Vickers’ cinema has become an unlikely destination for renowned auteurs, scholars and actors. Werner Herzog, Glenn Close, Peter Bogdanovich, Roger Corman, »
- Andrew Barker
The Los Angeles Times 2014 Hero Complex Film Festival lineup has been announced. There will be a mix of classics films screening such as The Terminator, Terminator 2, Monty Python & the Holy Grail, Alien, Aliens, and Gremlins as well as a 10th anniversary presentation of the 2003 Battlestar Galactica miniseries and an advance screening of How to Train Your Dragon 2. Almost all of these screenings will be accompanied by live Q&As with the films' creators and stars including James Cameron, Sigourney Weaver, Joe Dante, Ronald D. Moore, Dean DeBlois, Jay Baruchel, America Ferrera, and more. While the advanced screening of How to Train Your Dragon 2 is cool, I'm glad there's a heavy emphasis on classic sci-fi, fantasy, and horror movies. That being said, I'm sure Cameron will get a bunch of questions of the Avatar sequels. Tickets will go on sale tomorrow, April 30th, starring at 10am. Hit the jump »
- Matt Goldberg
The La Times’ Hero Complex Film Festival, launching into its fifth year, has unveiled its genre-happy lineup for the 2014 edition. The screenings and live Q&As run May 30 through June 1 in Hollywood, all hosted by Hc editor Gina McIntyre.Here’s a breakdown of what’s happening:Fri. May 30:·A 10th anniversary big screen presentation of 2003’s "Battlestar Galactica" miniseries and reunion of creator Ronald D. Moore with actors Jamie Bamber, Edward James Olmos, and Mary McDonnellSat. May 31:·Special advance matinee of "How to Train Your Dragon 2" and conversation with writer/director Dean DeBlois and stars Jay Baruchel and America Ferrera·The beloved horror-comedy "Gremlins" followed by discussion with director Joe Dante·Oscar winner James Cameron will reflect on the franchise that launched his blockbuster career between screenings of "Terminator" and "Terminator 2: Judgment Day" Sun. June 1:·A rare theatrical showing of the legendary "Monty Python & the »
- Beth Hanna
Craig Ferguson announced that he is stepping down from The Late Late Show. His last show will come at the end of the year, which means CBS’ late night will get a complete reboot in 2015. Ferguson will walk away with the longest run as Late Late Show host, having been on the show for ten years, beating Tom Snyder‘s four years and Craig Kilborn‘s five (yes, just five, it only felt like it would never end). At least four late night talk shows (both of CBS’ shows, The Colbert Report and Chelsea Lately) will be different next year. So far we only know who will take over one of those shows.
We’re finally getting more episodes of HBO’s lamented one season wonder The Comeback. E! reports that a six episode “event series” is about to start filming. Series co creator Michael Patrick King will return »
- Lyle Masaki
In the upcoming 4th season of the Emmy-nominated series, Pioneers Of Television, PBS will explore trailblazing moments of TV history, featuring a lineup that includes an episode titled Breaking Barriers, which airs on Tuesday, April 29, 2014, at 8pm Et, and which will trace the history of people of color on American television, featuring the mid-1960s breakthroughs of African Americans Diahann Carroll (Julia) and Bill Cosby (I Spy), as well as Latino landmarks, ranging from I Love Lucy with Desi Arnaz, to Miami Vice with Edward James Olmos. Also featured are Asian Americans such as George Takei (Star Trek), who details the childhood »
- Tambay A. Obenson
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