6 items from 2016
Before 1996, "Mission: Impossible" was a long-since-cancelled TV spy series, beloved by Boomers but forgotten by anyone younger. Today, of course, it's a popular Tom Cruise movie franchise, known for its twisty plotting and jaw-dropping stunt sequences, whose five installments to date have grossed $935 million in North America and $2.8 billion worldwide.
The change came, of course, with the release of Cruise's first "Mission: Impossible" 20 years ago, on May 22, 1996. Since then, Brian De Palma's clever, convoluted blockbuster has been watched and copied plenty. And while some of the spy franchise's secrets have become widely known, there are still some that have remained classified -- until now.
1. "Mission: Impossible" marked Cruise's debut as a producer. In a deal that would become his then-customary contract, he took no money up front but negotiated a lucrative percentage of the theatrical and video gross profits, reportedly as high as 22 percent. Cruise reportedly pocketed an estimated $70 million for the first "Mission. »
- Gary Susman
The tranquility at a San Fernando Valley park was shattered by what sounded like gunfire, sending picnickers and others scrambling for cover ... but it was all just a reenactment of an infamous murder case that put Snoop Dogg in the defendant's chair. It happened last week at Tarzana Park. A scene was being shot for the docuseries "Rich and Acquitted," putting the spotlight on the 1993 shooting death of gang member Philip Woldemariam. Snoop, who was in a rival gang, »
- TMZ Staff
In his 1992 soccer-fan memoir “Fever Pitch,” Nick Hornby recalled his first exposure to one of the great Pelé-led Brazilian World Cup teams, writing: “Brazil ruined it for all of us. They had revealed a kind of Platonic ideal that nobody, not even the Brazilians, would ever be able to find again.” Jeff Zimbalist and Michael Zimbalist’s English-language “Pelé: Birth of a Legend,” which dramatizes the star player’s first World Cup triumph, tries its best to visually convey just how revolutionary Pele’s arrival on the scene must have felt, but it’s continually hamstrung by an uninspiring, ultra-traditionalist narrative.
Shot in vivid color by “Black Swan” d.p. Matthew Libatique, with skillful editing and a rousingly rhythmic score from A.R. Rahman, the film nonetheless tackles the soccer legend’s early life with all the stolidness of an old-school bootstrap melodrama, yet its younger target audience should be able to appreciate the flash, »
- Andrew Barker
Quentin Tarantino's "The Hateful Eight" is headed to the horizon of its theatrical run, but there's still some great stuff we're catching up with from the director's extensive press rounds for the movie, the juiciest perhaps being a lengthy interview in Sight & Sound. Read More: Ranked: Quentin Tarantino's 50 Best Characters Over at Sunset Gun, Kim Morgan excerpted a generous portion of her talk with the director, which goes enjoyably deep about the politics of westerns, the films of Robert Aldrich (with Morgan comparing Tarantino to the filmmaker), and '70s films including "Deliverance." And another fascinating tidbit emerges when Tarantino is asked which actors he's been wanting to work with. "Obviously, Ralph Meeker and Aldo Ray are two of them. Michael Parks, in his day. I worked with him but in his day would have been nice. Robert Blake in his day. I would work with Robert Blake tomorrow, »
- Kevin Jagernauth
Nine years ago, Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick was indicted on federal felony charges of running a multi-state dog-fighting network whose cruelty extended to the executions (by hanging, drowning, electrocution, etc.) of “losing” dogs. But what happened to the 50 or so surviving canines found in deplorable conditions at his rural Virginia property? That question is answered at length in Darcy Dennett’s “The Champions,” a case-pleading documentary that argues that pit bulls are a dangerous breed only when deliberately abused. Dog fanciers and animal-rights advocates should take to this polished feature, primarily via home formats. FilmRise acquired worldwide rights last November, with digital, DVD and Blu-ray releases planned.
Soon after serving less than two years in prison, Vick was back on top thanks to lucrative new NFL and endorsement contracts, becoming a multimillionaire once again despite all prior criminal charges and bankruptcies. If things had similarly followed precedent for his erstwhile animal charges, »
- Dennis Harvey
[[tmz:video id="0_d2dd46oz"]] Suge Knight said goodbye to lawyer #4 Thursday morning, when Tom Mesereau left the case. Our sources say Suge and Mesereau had a bitter disagreement over confidential information. We're told Suge claims the info made its way to authorities and he became enraged. Here's what's odd ... the judge allowed our camera in the courtroom but then pulled the plug a minute after Suge's case was called and then cleared the entire courtroom so no member of »
- TMZ Staff
6 items from 2016
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