5 items from 2016
If you want a piece of horror movie history and have an extra $850,000 burning a hole in your pocket, have we got an offer for you. The house that inspired the 1979 film The Amityville Horror (based on the 1977 book), as well as a slew of sequels, is on the market. It’s five bedrooms, three floors and only 40 miles from Manhattan. The only downside — it may just be haunted. The legend of the house began in 1974 when Ronald DeFeo, Jr. murdered six members of his family there. DeFeo was convicted in 1975. Later that year, the Lutz family moved into that same house only to move out after a month, claiming the house was haunted. Some examples of the haunting included green ooze coming from the walls and unexplained voices among many others. As for the movie, The Amityville Horror was an overwhelming success, grossing an adjusted $280 million. The film starred James Brolin, »
- David Eckstein
The so-called Golden Age of Television, with its two and one-half channels of network programming, produced an astonishing number of great writers, directors and talent. To name but a very, very few: Barbara Bel Geddes, Paddy Chayefsky, George Roy Hill, Ron Howard, Ernest Kinoy, Jack Lemmon, Sidney Lumet, Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Boris Sagal, Rod Serling, Rod Steiger, Gore Vidal, Joanne Woodward… my fingers won’t hold out long enough to type even a “best-of” list.
You’ll never guess which of the above pioneers is my favorite.
When Scottish engineer John Logie Baird first demonstrated television in January 1926 (six years before Philo Farnsworth demonstrated the first electronic television), Rod Serling was just a few days over one year old. Baby boomers think we grew up with television; Mr. Serling actually has that honor. And he did a lot more with the medium than we would.
His worldview was clearly »
- Mike Gold
Pectoral-happy power couple Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling are barging their way into UK cinemas for action buddy comedy The Nice Guys. This mix of knockabout antics and crime, set against a sleazy 1970s backdrop, has yielded decent reviews (we here at Thn loved it), while at the same time adding to the bulging genre of films where men stumble around trying to see the wood for the trees.
When it comes to a mystery, it pays to send men equipped with both fists and wits to sort it out. There’s something about the traditional gumshoe, or the bloke who finds himself in the wrong place at the wrong time, that lends itself to this situation. Whether a lone operator or, better still, a spiky partnership, it makes that journey all the more entertaining, especially when you throw in aspects that make guys easily distracted, such as women and alcohol. »
- Steve Palace
Robert Altman's murder tale reeks of insider access and Hollywood hipster Bs; its main claim to greatness is its fifty-plus star cameos. It may no longer seem as smart as it looked in 1992, but they don't make 'em any slicker than this. The Player Blu-ray The Criterion Collection 812 1992 / Color /1:85 widescreen / 124 min. / Available through The Criterion Collection / Street Date May 24, 2016 / 39.95 Starring Tim Robbins, Greta Scacchi, Fred Ward, Whoopi Goldberg, Peter Gallagher, Brion James, Cynthia Stevenson, Vincent D'Onofrio, Lyle Lovett. Cinematography Jean Lépine Original Music Thomas Newman Written by Michael Tolkin from his novel Produced by David Brown, Michael Tolkin, Nick Wechsler Directed by Robert Altman
Reviewed by Glenn Erickson
Robert Altman's filmography is undergoing what looks like a full retrospective through Criterion; even the 1975 title Nashville came out not long ago. This very successful later picture marks a revitalization of the director's career. It's sort of a Kafkaesque spin on Hail, »
- Glenn Erickson
Did you ever see an actor/actress in a famous role and then hear later that they were not the first, or even the second choice to play the iconic part? Many of the legendary movie characters began as a vehicle for a different star than the one who we know-and-love in the part. Here are a few of the greatest examples of famous "Almosts'.
Christopher Walken As Han Solo: George Lucas had a very hard time finding his Han Solo in Star Wars: A New Hope (1977). This character was the last of the lead figures to be cast. Lucas’ leading contender at one point was none other than Christopher Walken. Just think about the possibilities in that performance! However, a chance meeting with Harrison Ford (Who was working as a carpenter at the time) inspired Lucas to cast Ford in the part instead, which launched him into super stardom in the 80s. »
- email@example.com (Rob Young)
5 items from 2016
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