6 items from 2014
When a film franchise lasts for more than four decades, it’s bound to collect a few odd moments along the way, and the “Planet of the Apes” series is no exception. As the eighth film in the popular saga arrives in theaters July 11, here’s a look at some of the strangest riffs on simian cinema.
Animal acts were a staple of Johnny Carson’s 32 years on The Tonight Show, and none were more memorable than when singer Paul Williams took the stage in full orangutan makeup and crooned a bluesy ballad to promote his role as Virgil in “Battle for the Planet of the Apes.” The lit cigarette in his hairy hand helped add to the surrealism.
During the second season of this CBS variety show, Cher dressed in a loincloth and appeared with a group »
- Matthew Chernov
On Wednesday night, the ballroom at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel was filled with so many talented heavyweights and the power players behind them that Doreen Ringer-Ross, mistress of ceremonies at the Bmi Film/TV Music Awards, referred to the assembled as “a film music geek’s wet dream.”
And yet there was the name of Jon Burlingame, Variety’s go-to expert on film composers, positioned in the program just below the evening’s headliner, movie maestro Mychael Danna (“Life of Pi”), who was due to receive the Richard Kirk Award, the performing rights organization’s equivalent of a life achievement kudo.
Burlingame, a journalist and author of such books as “The Music of James Bond,” bathed in the adulation — including a filmed tribute that included Oscar-winning grand master John Williams — from a room full of people intimately familiar with his work.
“I just love what you guys do, I always have, »
- Steve Chagollan
Cameron Diaz plays the cool, brittle yin to Leslie Mann’s weepy, whiny yang in “The Other Woman,” an ungainly, often flat-footed yet weirdly compelling romantic dramedy about two gals who become unlikely best friends when they realize they’re being screwed (literally) by the same man. Like a watered-down “Diabolique” or a younger-skewing “First Wives Club,” this latest mainstream rebound from director Nick Cassavetes (after his dead-on-arrival 2012 indie “Yellow”) taps into the pleasures of sisterly solidarity and righteous revenge: Beneath the wobbly pratfalls and the scatological setpieces, there’s no denying the film’s mean-spirited kick, or its more-than-passing interest in what makes its women tick. These qualities should stand the slickly packaged Fox release in good stead with always-underserved female viewers as another superhero-filled summer gets under way.
High-powered New York attorney Carly Whitten (Diaz) doesn’t suffer fools gladly or take dating too seriously, so it’s »
- Justin Chang
The 1970s were a weird time. I'm glad I didn't have to live through any of it... but thanks to the internet, I can marvel (and mock) at the wonders of the 1970s.
Lalo Schifrin is best known as a composer who has scored hundreds of films, everything from The Amityville Horror to Dirty Harry to Thx 1138. He also put out a number of albums, mostly jazz instrumentals. In the late 1970s, he did a disco cover of John Williams' classic Jaws score. The BBC music show Top of the Pops decided to choreograph a strange dance to the song, complete with waggling legs, a swimming cut-out shark, and scared looks on the dancers' faces. The icing on this disco cake is that the dance troupe was called Legs & Co.
Sit back and enjoy the weirdness.
- Alyse Wax
By Darren Allison
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Our good friends at Vocalion Records have released three excellent CDs. First is the super score to Bernard Kowalski’s 1969 B-movie thriller Stiletto (Vocalion Cdsml 8501). Starring Alex Cord in the lead role and with support from Britt Ekland, Patrick O’Neal, Joseph Wiseman and Roy Scheider, the film was based on the Harold Robbins novel of the same name. Whilst Stiletto was never going to be an Oscar contender, as so many of these great little thrillers proved, it did gather something of a cult following. More often than not, restricted budgets and tight schedules surprisingly lead to great production values, with artists and crews having to think instinctively on their feet and with little time to elaborate. Stiletto music by American composer Sid Ramin is a truly evocative score. Ramin’s work was often uncredited and as a result, »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Cinema Retro)
This isn’t the first movie to get nods from both ends of the spectrum. Since the Razzies first began back in 1981, 47 movies have been nominated for both “awards”– some even for the same exact person or song. Here’s a look at the club The Lone Ranger just joined:
Oscar nods: Film editing, music (original song) for “People Alone” with music by Lalo Schifrin and lyrics by Wilbur »
- Ariana Bacle
6 items from 2014
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