20 items from 2016
The already-incredible line-up for the 2016 New York Film Festival just got even more promising. Ang Lee‘s Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk will hold its world premiere at the festival on October 14th, the NY Times confirmed today. The adaptation of Ben Fountain‘s Iraq War novel, with a script by Simon Beaufoy (Slumdog Millionaire), follows a teenage soldier who survives a battle in Iraq and then is brought home for a victory lap before returning.
Lee has shot the film at 120 frames per second in 4K and native 3D, giving it unprecedented clarity for a feature film, which also means the screening will be held in a relatively small 300-seat theater at AMC Lincoln Square, one of the few with the technology to present it that way. While it’s expected that this Lincoln Square theater will play the film when it arrives in theaters, it may be »
- Jordan Raup
"The Furniture" is our weekly series on Production Design. Here's Daniel Walber...
This week marks the 50th anniversary of Richard Fleischer’s Fantastic Voyage, as absurd and beautiful a film as Hollywood has ever made. It’s also a testament to what live action science fiction used to be like, before digital technology gave directors the tools to make every fantasy look realistic.
Inspired by the arms races of the Cold War, it chronicles a submarine trip into the tumorous brain of a brilliant scientist. The mission is to eliminate his cancer with a tiny laser, save his life, and preserve his miniaturization knowledge for the USA. It’s utterly ridiculous. Isaac Asimov, alarmed by the script’s plot holes, demanded the right to fix all of its problems for his novelization.
Of course, that might classify him as a bit of a fuddy-duddy. Trips into the body wouldn’t »
- Daniel Walber
Do you like your noir heroes bitter and bruised, and your noir dames daring and resourceful? Phil Karlson's gem of a thriller pits two-fisted John Payne against murderous hood Brad Dexter, with Peggie Castle the unfaithful, unlucky wife who decides to run off with the wrong guy. And star Evelyn Keys is a pulp noir adventuress to admire, with a roving eye of her own. 99 River Street Blu-ray Kl Studio Classics 1953 / B&W / 1:37 flat Academy / 83 min. / Street Date June 21, 2016 / available through Kino Lorber / 29.95 Starring John Payne, Evelyn Keyes, Brad Dexter, Frank Faylen, Peggie Castle, Jay Adler, Jack Lambert, Glenn Langan. Cinematography Franz Planer Film Editor Buddy Small Original Music Arthur Lange, Emil Newman Written by Robert Smith, George Zuckerman Produced by Edward Small Directed by Phil Karlson
Reviewed by Glenn Erickson
99 River Street is a top noir title in all respects -- a great cast, a literally hard-hitting »
- Glenn Erickson
I guess Howard Hughes wanted to go easy on Minnesota Nazis. William Cameron Menzies directs a Cold War thriller about an insidious germ warfare conspiracy -- it's an early paranoid suspense tale with apocalyptic consequences. But the story behind the movie's making -- and then remaking -- is even more fantastic. The Whip Hand DVD-r The Warner Archive Collection 1951 / B&W / 1:37 flat Academy / 82 min. / Street Date February 16, 2016 / available through the WBshop / 18.59 Starring Elliott Reid, Raymond Burr, Carla Balenda, Edgar Barrier, Otto Waldis, Michael Steele, Lurene Tuttle, Peter Brocco, Lewis Martin, Frank Darien, Olive Carey, George Chandler, Gregory Gaye. Cinematography Nicholas Musuraca Film Editor Robert Golden Original Music Music by Paul Sawtell Written by George Bricker, Frank L. Moss, Ray Hamilton Produced by Louis J. Rachmil Directed by William Cameron Menzies
Reviewed by Glenn Erickson
- Glenn Erickson
While the pro wrestler Kane starred in two forgettable "See No Evil" movies in 2006 and 2014, neither had anything to do with Mia Farrow's 1971 thriller of the same name. It might not be the most popular flick of the genre to emerge from that decade, but it is cherished by some, so of course it's getting remade. Read More: 7 Things You Should Know About Roman Polanski's 'Rosemary's Baby' Sony is dusting off the title and has decided to give it a fresh coat of paint. The Richard Fleischer-directed original followed a blind woman who goes to her uncle's home, only to discover that her family has been murdered —she must then escape the maniac responsible for the killings. Mike Scannell will pen the new version, but there's no word yet on what his take on the concept might be. If you have any ideas about who should direct, »
- Kevin Jagernauth
By Doug Oswald
Three teenage boys discover a gunshot outlaw and nurse him back to health in “The Spikes Gang,” a 1974 western directed by Richard Fleischer available for the first time on Blu-ray by Kino Lorber. Lee Marvin plays Harry Spikes, an outlaw who inspires Gary Grimes, Ron Howard and Charles Martin Smith to join him as outlaws. Harry is calm, cool and calculating, endearing himself to the boys who have romanticized his life as an outlaw.
Will (Grimes), Les (Howard) and Tod (Smith) are farm boys seeking excitement and adventure and find it in Harry who recovers from his wounds with the boy’s help. The three boys are bored with the farm life as well as the harsh treatment they receive from their parents. Harry offers the boys a reward for helping him, but they turn him down instead asking to join Harry who declines their offer. The boys, »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Cinema Retro)
By Todd Garbarini
The Ahrya Fine Arts Theater in Los Angeles will be presenting a fun-filled weekend of six science fiction classics from Friday, April 15th to Sunday, April 17th. Several cast members from the films are scheduled to appear in person at respective screenings, so read on for more information:
From the press release:
Anniversary Classics Sci-Fi Weekend
Part of our Anniversary Classics series. For details, visit: www.laemmle.com/ac.
Re-visit the Golden Age of the Science Fiction Film as Laemmle Theatres and the Anniversary Classics Series presents Sci-fi Weekend, a festival of six classic films April 15-17 at the Ahrya Fine Arts Theatre in Beverly Hills.
It was dawn of the Atomic Age and the Cold War, as Communist and nuclear war paranoia swept onto the nation’s movie screens to both terrify and entertain the American public. All the favorite icons are here: Robby the Robot from Forbidden Planet, »
- email@example.com (Cinema Retro)
Two guys, some guns, a suitcase full of cash and the open road: what could go wrong? Val Kilmer and Michael Madsen meet their match in Joanne Whalley Kilmer, a neo-noir bad news dame if there ever was one. The murderous melodrama stretches the length of Nevada; director John Dahl adds the cops and the Mob to his annihilating cocktail. Kill Me Again Blu-ray Olive Films 1989 / Color / 1:85 widescreen / 95 min. / Street Date March 22, 2016 / Starring Val Kilmer, Joanne Whalley-Kilmer, Michael Madsen, Jon Gries. Cinematography Jaques Steyn Film Editors Eric Beason, Frank Jiminez, Jonathan Shaw Original Music William Olvis Written by John Dahl, David W. Warfield Produced by Steve Golin, Sigurjon Sighvatsson, David W. Warfield Directed by John Dahl
Reviewed by Glenn Erickson
- Glenn Erickson
Photo by Donnacha Kenny"Congratulations, Tom; you're one of the lucky eight per cent!" —Stir of Echoes (1999)Joliet, Illinois is probably the American city which more people have dreamed more fervently of escaping than any other. But after spending four hours in 'Prison Town'—long synonymous far and wide with incarceration—I was sad to leave; I'll be glad one day to return. Fortunately, such matters are questions of personal choice. Many of the area's residents, including those not serving custodial sentences, have little realistic option but to remain—trapped by personal, social and/or economic circumstances that can feel as confining as any 6-by-8 cell. "Joliet, or "J-Town", is racially diverse and is known as a crime-ridden city, although the area has shown much improvement since the 1990's... The east side is generally known as the ghetto side and the west side is known as middle class, even though »
- Neil Young
Richard Fleischer's Viking saga is a great star showcase: for the grinning one-eyed Kirk Douglas, sullen one-handed Tony Curtis and the heavy-breathing, two-breasted Janet Leigh. Jack Cardiff gives us the fjords of Norway, lean and mean Viking ships, and a brain-bashing acrobatic castle assault designed to out-do Burt Lancaster. With Ernest Borgnine ("Ohhh-dinnnn!!"), James Donald and Alexander Knox. And as the old song goes, it don't mean a thing if it ain't got Frank Thring. The Vikings Blu-ray Kl Studio Classics 1958 / Color / 2:35 widescreen / 114 min. / Street Date March 8, 2016 / available through Kino Lorber / 29.95 Starring Kirk Douglas, Tony Curtis, Ernest Borgnine, Janet Leigh, James Donald, Alexander Knox, Maxine Audley, Frank Thring. Cinematography Jack Cardiff Production Designer Harper Goff Film Editor Hugo Williams Original Music Mario Nascimbene Written by Calder Willingham adapted by Dale Wasserman from a novel by Edison Marshall Produced by Jerry Bresler Directed by Richard Fleischer
Reviewed by Glenn Erickson »
- Glenn Erickson
BBC One has announced the three-part drama series "Rillington Place" which Bandit Television and Endemol Shine Group will produce. The story is based on a series of murders that took place in the 1940s and 50s in London's Notting Hill area at the infamous No. 10 building on the titular street.
The series unfolds from the viewpoints of three key players - the multiple murderer John Christie, his wife Ethel, and their neighbor Timothy Evans. John murdered at least eight women and was hanged, while Evans was hanged for the murders of his own wife and daughter.
It was later learned Christie killed Evans' wife, Evans was granted a posthumous pardon in 1966 and that miscarriage of justice was said to have been a major contributor to the abolition of capital punishment in Britain.
- Garth Franklin
After falling into the public domain, Phil Karlson’s 1952 film noir Kansas City Confidential became unfairly lumped into B-grade bracket, a disservice considering the title’s odd narrative and eventual influence on contemporary filmmakers. Karlson, who would eventually turn to mainstream efforts starring the likes of Dean Martin and Elvis Presley in the 1960s and 1970s, contributed several enjoyable minor noir efforts in the 1950s. These would include 1952’s Scandal Sheet with Donna Reed and Broderick Crawford, Kim Novak casino heist effort 5 Against the House, and that same year’s Tight Spot with a peculiar role for Ginger Rogers. But none have enjoyed the staying power of this particular heist drama, now restored with its most accomplished transfer yet.
Kansas City delivery man Joe Rolfe (John Payne) is at the wrong place at the wrong time when he’s nabbed by the cops as the driver of a heist involving »
- Nicholas Bell
When at the end of Casablanca, Rick puts his unexpected sense of duty before love and tells Ilsa that their problems “don’t amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world,” he might as well have been describing the biggest issue in Craig Gillespie’s The Finest Hours, a lush disaster film that assumes audiences will undoubtedly root for love at all costs, even if it’s just a device used to avoid constructing a solid dramatic structure. Gillespie allegedly set out to tell the story of the greatest small boat rescue mission in Coast Guard history, but in the process ended up making a film about the dullest marriage proposal of all time.
- TFS Staff
'The Godfather' actor Abe Vigoda. 'The Godfather' actor Abe Vigoda dead at 94; reports of his death in the early 1980s were greatly exaggerated Actor Abe Vigoda, little-known internationally – despite a supporting role in The Godfather – but popular in the U.S. as a result of the 1970s television series Barney Miller and of an erroneous 1982 People magazine obit, died in his sleep at his daughter's home in Woodland Park, New Jersey, on Tuesday, Jan. 26, '15. The cause of death seems to have been old age. Vigoda (born on Feb. 24, 1921, in New York City) was 94. 'The Godfather' Following a long stint on the stage – on Broadway (The Man in the Glass Booth, Marat/Sade) and elsewhere – Vigoda landed the role of Don Corleone (Marlon Brando) ally-turned-traitor Salvatore Tessio in Francis Ford Coppola's multiple Oscar-winning 1972 adaptation of Mario Puzo's bestseller The Godfather. “I'm really not a Mafia person, »
- Andre Soares
Fans of special effects icon Ray Harryhausen should rejoice at the remastering of 1961’s Mysterious Island, a sequel of sorts to Jules Verne’s more celebrated 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, which had been memorably adapted by Richard Fleischer in 1954. Director Cy Endfield takes the reigns on this big budget spectacle which tends to suffer from a bout of sequel-itis as regards the bombastic fervor of gigantic, menacing creatures taking precedence over characterization or narrative energy. Still, the production quality does display the same sense of movie magic specific to a certain period of cinema where Harryhausen’s signature Dynamation would influence generations of future filmmakers.
During the 1865 siege of Richmond, Virginia, a handful of soldiers, both Union and Confederate, escape the stockade via a hot air balloon, ending up somewhere on a strange island in the Pacific Ocean. Captain Cyrus Harding (Michael Craig) more or less resumes control of the men, »
- Nicholas Bell
It is safe to say that Guillermo del Toro‘s Crimson Peak was received with very mixed reviews last year. Personally, I struggled with the film when we got a chance to see it. However, while I wasn’t alone in my thinking, there were a lot of people who really liked the movie. Well, it looks like del Toro has moved on from the film and set his sights on his next project, which could be a redo of Fantastic Voyage.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, del Toro is in talks with 20th Century Fox and James Cameron’s Lightstorm Entertainment to direct a Fantastic Voyage remake at the studio. The film will be written by David Goyer (Man Of Steel), and is about a scientist who is dying of a blood clot. His only chance for survival is for five scientist colleagues to be miniaturized in a ship, »
- Paul Heath
More than any filmmaker I know personally, Guillermo Del Toro understands the need to always be developing more projects than you could ever reasonably actually make. He's had periods where he got derailed completely when things didn't come together, and there are several years in his filmography that are defined purely by things that didn't happen instead of things that did. That is not uncommon in Hollywood, but Guillermo is so full of ideas that it seems almost criminal for him to get sidelined by development cycles. Now comes word that with Pacific Rim 2 shelved for the moment, Guillermo is moving on and possibly signing to direct Fantastic Voyage for Fox. 20th Century Fox has been trying to get a new Fantastic Voyage off the ground for at least the last decade, but the desire to follow-up the 1966 original really started in 1987 when Isaac Asimov published Fantastic Voyage II as a novel. »
- Drew McWeeny
The 1966 original, directed by Richard Fleischer, starred Stephen Boyd, Raquel Welch, Edmond O’Brien and Donald Pleasance and centered on a scientist who had perfected the miniaturization process, defected from behind the Iron Curtain to the West and was left comatose by an assassination attempt. The story was set at the C.M.D.F. (Combined Miniaturized Deterrent Forces) facilities.
Matt Reilly is overseeing for Fox.
Del Toro most recently directed, produced »
- Dave McNary
James Cameron and 20th Century Fox have been trying to get a a remake of the 1966 movie A Fantastic Voyage right for a long time. Now the long-in-development project might have found its guy: Guillermo del Toro is in talks to take it over. The original pic, directed by Richard Fleischer, starred Stephan Boyd, Edmond O’Brien and Raquel Welch and centered on a crewed submarine shrunken to microscopic size and injected into a scientist’s blood stream in order to save him. It… »
How would you program this year's newest, most interesting films into double features with movies of the past you saw in 2015?Looking back over the year at what films moved and impressed us, it is clear that watching old films is a crucial part of making new films meaningful. Thus, the annual tradition of our end of year poll, which calls upon our writers to pick both a new and an old film: they were challenged to choose a new film they saw in 2015—in theatres or at a festival—and creatively pair it with an old film they also saw in 2015 to create a unique double feature.All the contributors were given the option to write some text explaining their 2015 fantasy double feature. What's more, each writer was given the option to list more pairings, with or without explanation, as further imaginative film programming we'd be lucky to catch »
20 items from 2016
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