6 items from 2016
"Zoolander 2" opens next week, and given it's arriving fifteen years after the original, people are spending a lot of time reflecting how that first movie was a troubled production that died at the box office and didn't gain its cultural relevance until it landed on home video. Read More: The 100 Most Anticipated Films Of 2016 In a recent piece by Esquire, the magazine notes that the initial read-through of the "Zoolander" script was so bad, the studio brought in another writer and considered getting Brendan Fraser to play the lead. Thankfully, that didn't happen, but Paramount wasn't exactly on Stiller's side either, and when the movie went $6 million over budget, he was forced to hand over $1 million of his own movie so he could finish the film. (That's not to mention that Paramount had to pay a settlement to Bret Easton Ellis, because the movie's plot was somewhat similar to his novel "Glamorama"). “Honestly, »
- Kevin Jagernauth
“There’s more to life than being really, really, ridiculously good-looking.” Ben Stiller’s gleeful 2001 satire set in the vapid world of male modelling (tagline: “3% body fat, 1% brain activity”) saw pouting himbo Derek Zoolander and hippy chic rival Hansel (Owen Wilson) teaming up to defeat evil fashion fuhrer Mugatu (Will Ferrell). The plot bore certain similarities to Bret Easton Ellis’s novel Glamorama, resulting in an out-of-court settlement, but it’s essentially a string of glorious set pieces – notably David Bowie refereeing a “walk-off” between our heroes. It flopped at the box office, partly due to being released a fortnight after 9/11, but became a cult favourite on DVD. A long-awaited sequel lands on 12 February, so start practising that Blue Steel face in the mirror.
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- Michael Hogan
Although American Psycho was a success when it first premiered, the film has soared to even greater heights over the past sixteen years as it quickly became a cult favourite. Director Mary Harron and screenwriter Guinevere Turner crafted a remarkable adaptation of Bret Easton Ellis' novel of the same name and it's one of those rare films which, at least in my experience, gets... Read More »
- Kevin Fraser
Wanna bet we can get you to watch The Magicians with just two words? "Wizard sex." Did you hear that? It was the sound of your DVR setting a series record all on its own. Ok yes, The Magicians does have wizard sex, but fans of Lev Grossman's best-selling trilogy from which the new Syfy drama is based on and new viewers alike should know that there are many, many more awesome reasons to tune-in. The Magicians is dark and sexy and adult and fun and scary and yeah, we could go on and on. It's one of our favorite new shows of the season. It's kind of like Harry Potter on drugs. "I was comparing to Bret Easton Ellis meets Harry Potter," star Stella Maeve perfectly previews of the »
Even if “White Girl” weren’t inspired by incidents in writer-director Elizabeth Wood’s life, it would be a hard pill to swallow. The story of a New York college freshman who hooks up with a Puerto Rican drug dealer, sees him arrested before her very eyes and then proceeds to sell his monster stash of coke in order to pay for his release, Wood’s semi-autobiographical shocker is wall-to-wall drugs and depravity, offered up as proof that white girls can be as “hard” as the best of them. Served up as an extreme survival story, Wood’s gut-wrenching experience packs the same sickening effect as past Killer Films productions “Party Monster” and “Kids,” albeit with even less social value. The sensational style and subject will surely be a selling point, though in the end, such rampant negativity serves little purpose other than to establish Wood’s reputation.
In short, »
- Peter Debruge
Mary Harron’s American Psycho is a brilliant piece of film-making, but nonetheless a very, very weird one. When else have you seen an investment banker consider feeding a stray cat to a cash machine, for instance?
With that in mind, you might be surprised to hear that there was an even stranger story going on behind the scenes – actors were sacked, directors replaced and at one point the script ended with a big musical number atop a New York landmark. No really, it did.
Within the film itself there’s often more going on than meets the eye, as well. There’s improvisation, unsettling editing and tiny references back to Bret Easton Ellis’ iconic novel that you might have missed. And just you wait until you hear all the weird ways in which Christian Bale prepared for the role of Patrick Bateman. A role that, for a time, »
- Rob Leane
6 items from 2016
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