10 items from 2017
Author: Cai Ross
With more TV channels then there are bacteria on a lab technician’s wellington boot, and with social media weaponising opinions en masse, these days everyone is a critic. But as far as British TV audiences in the 70s, 80s and 90s were concerned, there was only really one film critic, Barry Norman Cbe, who has sadly passed away this weekend at the age of 83.
Between 1971 and 1998, Norman’s was the positive verdict every studio wanted on their film poster. With a sprightly, conversational style that sounded like audible handwriting, and a dependable selection of comfortable jumpers to hand, Barry Norman was the nation’s film critic: our Gene Siskel & Roger Ebert rolled into one package.
Coming up through the ranks the old fashioned way, Norman ended up at the BBC via early work as a jobbing journalist and a film critic for various national newspapers. He »
- Cai Ross
Spaceballs is now officially 30 years old and Bill Pullman, aka Captain Lone Starr, is taking a trip down memory lane. Spaceballs was director Mel Brooks' first movie in 6 years and wasn't exactly going to be a Star Wars parody at first. Rumor has it that the idea for the movie came from an annoyed Brooks when somebody asked what the name of his next movie was going to be. When asked, Mel Brooks yelled out "Planet Moron!" in an annoyed tone, which then ignited the idea to start working on a space adventure.
Bill Pullman recently talked with the Hollywood Reporter about working with Mel Brooks, blue screen blindness, and the comedic brilliance of Rick Moranis, as well as the late John Candy. Pullman admits that he never saw the original Star Wars trilogy before taking the role of Captain Lonestarr, who is based off of Han Solo. He explains.
"I missed it the first time around, I just needed Mel to tell me what was going on. I didn't need to see Star Wars to know what the whole thing was."
Pullman said that Brooks had a hard time with the Lone Starr character because there was no obvious "shtick" or something that was easy to pull from, so they collaborated on the character together. Pullman also mentions that Mel Brooks is the master of the 5-minute power nap and that the director was always fool of energy after said nap.
Bill Pullman recalls that everybody on set had to wear sunglasses in between takes to supposedly protect their eyes from the blue screen. It was 1987 and apparently there was a "belief that the blue screen was bad for your eyes," so the actor remembers everybody on set wearing the sunglasses for a time, but ditching them midway through the production because "it was so hard to work the comedy in between takes when everybody was wearing sunglasses."
Spaceballs also starred Rick Moranis, John Candy, Daphne Zuniga, and Joan Rivers. Pullman remembers the comedic timing and patience of John Candy (Barf) who had to wear animatronic ears and an animatronic tail. Candy was forced to adapt his style of acting to his costume. Pullman had this to say.
"He wanted to play it a certain way, Mel wanted it a different way and then he had to deal with the mechanical issues of the ears and tail. John's sense of comedy was so ephemeral, it was these shy, short moments and there was real difficulty delivering that while trusting the ears and wanting more control over the tail."
Pullman also spoke about Rick Moranis who portrayed Dark Helmet and his ability to improvise his lines and how Brooks and Moranis worked together.
"Rick really pushed the envelope more than Mel would. I think it was a part of him being younger and edgier. Mel's style was more "let's refine the line," but he would let Rick riff. Rick and John had a more conceptual style. Sometimes it would be tense. No one wants to say "that's not funny" when you're working."
Mel Brooks originally wanted Tom Cruise or Tom Hanks to play the role of Captain Lone Starr, but in the end he went with Bill Pullman who had only been in one movie up until that point and was relatively unknown. The choice worked well for both Pullman and Brooks as the movie has become a cult classic and regarded as one of Brooks' best movies. 30 years later and the demand is still there for a sequel, which Brooks is reportedly talking about doing, but no other information has been given at this time of writing. Spaceballs 2: The Search for More Money? The Schwartz Awakens? Hopefully we find out sooner than later. »
1 June 2017 5:50 PM, PDT | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »
On June 24, 1987, Mel Brooks launched Spaceballs in theaters. The Star Wars spoof, starring Bill Pullman, John Candy, Rick Moranis and Daphne Zuniga, became infamous in its own right. The Hollywood Reporter's original review is below.
You don’t have to be Jewish to be turned off by this movie, but it sure helps to understand the jokes. Science-fiction fans, never known for their sense of humor, will trickle out for an initial peek but, otherwise, box office for this wildly »
- THR Staff
Author: Scott Davis
With word this week that Tom Cruise is set to begin production on Top Gun 2 very soon, news on another long-awaited sequel has arisen that could see a classic comedy get the follow-up it has already “suggested”.
In a recent Q&A with comedy legend Mel Brooks, which followed a special screening of his classic Young Frankenstein, the writer/director/producer spoke at length about the film and about his career on the whole and chat soon turned to another film in his repertoire – 1987’s Spaceballs.
The film, which co-starred Brooks, was a spoof of Star Wars and grossed just over $38million from a $22million budget and this isn’t the first time a sequel has been talked about. Indeed, in the film itself, the Yoda-spoof character Yoghurt speaks to Bill Pullman’s Lone Starr (aka Han Solo) and says the two may “meet again in »
- Scott Davis
Actor, writer, director, producer, and all-round showman Mel Brooks is a bona fide icon of comedy and cinema – and with good reason. He has, over the course of his 68-year career, delivered such classics as The Producers, Blazing Saddles and High Anxiety. But it’s another two, very different films of his that have combined to bring us some welcome news today, as the filmmaker discussed Spaceballs 2 at a screening of Young Frankenstein.
The screening took place at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center on Sunday, May 21st, and Brooks was on hand for a Q & A session afterward. During this event, he was asked about the likelihood of a sequel to 1987’s Spaceballs, and Brooks confirmed that discussions are underway.
“Well, you know, I’m doing it. MGM is slightly interested in doing it because of the new Star Wars… They think maybe, so we’re talking.”
So… will »
- Sarah Myles
Keep up with the always-hopping film festival world with our weekly Film Festival Roundup column. Check out last week’s Roundup right here.
– Exclusive: The 12th Annual Sunscreen Film Festival announced its official selections for the 2017 event featuring films with Alec Baldwin, Dylan McDermott, John Cleese, Daphne Zuniga and more. Opening night will feature Michael Mailer’s newest film, “Blind,” a romantic-drama, starring Alec Baldwin, Demi Moore and Dylan McDermott. Closing night will wrap up the festival with “Albion: The Enchanted Stallion,” a family fantasy adventure, starring John Cleese, Debra Messing, Jennifer Morrison and Stephen Dorff.
Retrospective Screenings will include Daphne Zuniga appearance at the festival honoring the 30th anniversary of “Spaceballs.” Also in this category will be “The Greatest Show on Earth,” from 1952 directed by Cecile B. DeMille, which won the Oscar for Best Pictures and Best Writing in 1953. The screening will honor the closing of the Ringling Bros. »
- Kate Erbland
Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer, whose credits include the Scary Movie franchise, “Epic Movie” and “Vampires Suck” are writing and directing the project, titled “Star Worlds Episode Xxxive=MC2: The Force Awakens The Last Jedi Who Went Rogue.” Covert Media’s CEO Paul Hanson (“District 9”) is producing the film alongside Broken Road Productions’ Todd Garner (“True Memoirs of an International Assassin”).
The film is currently in pre-production targeting a fall shoot. The film is being fully financed and produced by Covert Media, which launched worldwide sales on the film in Berlin.
“Star Worlds” has been acquired by Constantin Film for Germany, Eagle Pictures for Italy, Tripictures for Spain, and Gussi for Latin America. Rights have also been sold to Eagle Films for the Middle East, »
- Dave McNary
Andrew Blair Feb 15, 2017
Readers of this site may have read last week's news that there's to be a new Star Wars spoof. This film comes from the team who brought us Date Movie, Epic Movie, and apparently something called The Starving Games which blissfully passed me by. Jason Friedberg and Aaron Selzer make relatively cheap movies that, despite critical maulings, tend to make money at the box office. When I worked at a cinema, an eleven year old boy went to see Meet The Spartans three times, proclaiming it the best film he had ever seen.
For years, moviegoers have enjoyed the antics of the Skywalker family, the Solo family, and the Lobot family in the Star Wars movies, but like all things that bring people happiness, it’s only a matter of time before some too-cool-for-school jokesters decide to poke fun at the series’ more ridiculous aspects. Well, that day has finally come, as comedy genius Mel Brooks has just announced Spaceballs, a feature-length Star Wars parody starring Rick Moranis, Daphne Zuniga, and Bill Pullman. Also, the year is 1987. Quick, warn the world about Donald Trump!
Seriously, though, Variety is reporting that Scary Movie masterminds Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer have announced a feature-length Star Wars parody of their own called—deep breath—Star Worlds Episode Xxxive=MC2: The Force Awakens The Last Jedi Who Went Rogue. The Variety story doesn’t have many details about Star Worlds, but countless C-level celebrities are probably »
- Sam Barsanti
The duo will write and direct the project, titled “Star Worlds Episode Xxxive=MC2: The Force Awakens The Last Jedi Who Went Rogue.” Covert Media’s CEO Paul Hanson (“District 9”) is producing the film alongside Broken Road Productions’ Todd Garner (“True Memoirs of an International Assassin”).
The film is currently in pre-production targeting a fall shoot. “Star Worlds” is being fully financed by Covert Media who will launch worldwide sales on the film at the Berlin Film Festival.
“Jason and Aaron are a powerhouse duo who have proven time and time again that they are fully tapped into the what audiences love,” Hanson said. “Their fearless take on pop culture has us beyond thrilled to tackle the world’s most »
- Dave McNary
10 items from 2017