7 items from 2014
Richard Lester’s directing career has had a rather tortured epilogue. His last completed film was the dreadful, unloved Return of The Musketeers (1989), during the making of which his long-time friend and troupe-member Roy Kinnear died after a freak accident. To add insult to injury, the Comic-Con crowd has been burning Lester in effigy ever since Richard Donner’s cut of Superman II was released in 2006. Donner had been fired as director of the 1980 sequel half way through filming and Lester was hired to finish the job. Since the release of the Donner cut, expressing a preference for the original, jokier version is rather like suggesting that Cesar Romero was a better Joker than Heath Ledger.
I do wonder sometimes whether the fanboys realise what an important, highly influential and iconoclastic director they’re dismissing when they’re kicking sand into Lester’s face. Martin Scorsese would certainly correct them (sternly, »
- Cai Ross
The clear difficulty of identifying the definitive movie musicals is separating the musical itself from the film version. The Phantom of the Opera is, without a doubt, a top ten definitive stage musical. Movie musical? Not so much. Drawing a clear line between the two is what makes this list a little trickier. For this segment of the list, we have musicals that have no stage version, two Best Picture winners, a Palme d’Or winner, and a few musicals that may stretch the term a bit.
courtesy of writeonnewjersey.com
20. Jailhouse Rock (1957)
Directed by Richard Thorpe
It brought “The King” to the big screen for the first time in a film about a man in prison who learns to express himself through music, rather than violence (he’s in prison for manslaughter). Vince (Elvis Presley) accidentally kills a drunk in »
- Joshua Gaul
Darren Aronofsky's Noah may take a few liberties with the Bible, but it's still not as big a cinematic sin as. Megiddo: The Omega Code 2 (2001) Director: Brian Trenchard-Smith Stars: Michael York, Michael Biehn, R. Lee Ermey Only one man can stop the Antichrist and save the world from Armageddon. No, not Jesus.Michael Biehn. How come God keeps letting people make terrible movies in his name? You'd think an omnipotent being would smite anyone adapting his works in to »
- Jason Adams
Mention the name Hercule Poirot and chances are that the first thing that pops into your mind is David Suchet’s moustachioed visage. Suchet, of course, portrayed Agatha Christie’s famous Belgian export for 24 years, from 1989 to 2013, during which time he starred in every major Poirot story that the author wrote. As great as these televisual treats were, though, I have very fond memories of the trio of Poirot movies that are included in this new Blu-ray collection.
Though I never saw them at the cinema, Murder On The Orient Express (1974), Death On The Nile (1978) and Evil Under The Sun (1982) always seemed to crop up on television whenever there was a Bank Holiday (on rotation with The Great Escape (1963) among others) and guaranteed that we as a family would sit together, glued to the screen, no matter how many times we’d seen them.
The first of these three movies, »
One of the greats has left us, and we'd be remiss to not mention the passing of Oscar winner Maximilian Schell this morning (Feb. 1, 2014) at the age of 83 in Innsbruck, Tyrol, Austria. He didn't dabble in the horror genre often, but when he did, it was memorable.
Per the AP via ABC News, Schell's agent, Patricia Baumbauer, said Saturday he died overnight at a hospital in the Austrian city of Innsbruck following a "sudden illness."
Austrian-born Schell won his Best Actor Oscar in 1962 for Judgment at Nuremberg (1961) and also appeared in such genre fare as Deep Impact, The Black Hole, John Carpenter's Vampires, The Vampyre Wars, Darkness, House of the Sleeping Beauties, The Eighteenth Angel, and 1983 TV movie "The Phantom of the Opera," in which he played The Phantom opposite Jane Seymour and Michael York.
Despite being type-cast for numerous Nazi-era films, Schell's acting performances in the mid-1970s won him renewed popular acclaim, »
- Debi Moore
There is a kind of music in Michael Caine's voice: deceptively flat, barely inflected, emitting just the tiniest glints of detached insolence and laconic menace as it maps the area between the pre-war docklands community of Rotherhithe, his birthplace, and Elephant and Castle, where his family was rehoused in a prefab built on bomb-damaged land not far from the location of Shakespeare's theatres. Few people alive know more about the actor's craft than Caine, none is more gifted in the art of underplaying, and that voice is integral to his virtuosity.
But there is music of a more conventional kind in the films that made him famous – when the former Maurice Micklewhite rather unexpectedly became the model of a new kind of English leading man, »
- Richard Williams
"Yeah, he's a lovely guy - we've always got on really well. When I left Primeval, it was my choice - the contract came up [so I left, but] I went back and did one episode to get me out of the show.
"It was something that I was proud of but I missed doing my movies. I think that's really where my heart lies - not jobs that go on for years and years. I'm too nomadic to do that. »
7 items from 2014
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