15 items from 2011
Directed by Jim Sharman.
A nice, normal couple get taken on a night of sexual discovery by a mad scientist dressed as a woman.
A pair of deeply red, inviting lips fills the screen entire. The teeth and tongue are shown as the lips part, but everything else is shrouded in black. A voice sings from them about science fiction double features, Dr. X building a creature, seeing androids fighting, Forbidden Planet and Brad and Janet. The bottom lip is occasionally bitten seductively. Jeez, I hope it’s a woman’s.
It is, some say, a Roger Moore Bond movie without Roger Moore in it. That’s because Diamonds Are Forever — which celebrates its 40th anniversary this week — is as camp as Glastonbury in June.
Camp? Yes. Camp. Look at the evidence: it has saucy innuendo galore (“You seem to have caught me with more than my hands up”); a Shirley Bassey-delivered title track with Don Black’s ‘ooh-er’ lyrics; a gaudy Las Vegas setting; gay hit men; a moon buggy chase; plus Ernst Stavro Blofeld holding the world to ransom with an outer-space death ray. You know. That kind of camp.
It might have been different had George Lazenby returned for a second bite at Bond, or if American actor John Gavin (from Psycho) had played 007. In fact, Gavin had already signed a contract but, at the last minute, due to studio jitters, Sean Connery was made an offer »
- Tony Greenway
By Mark Mawston
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With Halloween fast approaching I thought I might recommend some films that seem to have found themselves, bar one or two, languishing in DVD dungeons like forgotten prisoners.
There are many recognized classics of the genre from The Omen and The Exorcist to The Haunting, as well as the Universal classics such as Frankenstein, Dracula and The Mummy but some of what I humbly call classics seldom, if ever, get a chance to shine. To try and set this straight before the witching hour strikes, I like to recommend a few films, 13 to be precise, that you may have missed or could perhaps re visit during this spookiest time of year.
13) Night Of The Eagle:
This superb British Witchcraft tale (known under the more lurid title Burn Witch Burn in the U.S. »
- email@example.com (Cinema Retro)
A couple of weeks back we heard Bond 23 screenwriter John Logan heavily hint towards a familiar villainous face returning to torment the world’s most famous spy in the next 007 movie that begins filming very soon. Right now director Sam Mendes and his Bond team are kicking pre-production into a higher gear, recently securing up shooting locations and no doubt putting the last minute casting details in place. We could be just days away from a firm title announcement on the film along with a reveal over who the new villain is. Could it be a return for Blofeld for the first time since the early 80′s?
So as we like to do around here with our Fantasy Casting series, we have put our heads together collectively and come up with 10 actors who really would make great contenders to stroke that white cat and plot world domination.
These choices »
Unless they’re based on one of Ian Fleming‘s novels, the plot for a new Bond movie is mysterious and secretive, just like its invincible hero. That doesn’t mean snippets don’t come out here or there, but it’s never clear until the actual film is seen. (And, it’s often still unclear after you’ve seen it and try to figure everything out.) This newest detail is more of a hint or suggestion by one of the creative voices behind the next installment, and therefore shouldn’t be taken as fact. However, if true, it’s pretty exciting to consider.
WhatCulture! (via /Film) was present for a screenwriters’ lecture held by BAFTA, where Bond 23 scribe John Logan was asked about a quote he gave ten years ago — he’s apparently expressed the opinion that “Bond should always fight Blofeld.” Logan was said to have given “a wry smile, »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (thefilmstage.com)
Is Spectre back? John Logan, scriptwriter for the upcoming James Bond film, hinted Ernst Stavro Blofeld will be introduced in the upcoming Bond film. During the BAFTA Screenwriters lecture, an audience member asked about Blofeld. With a smile, Logan replied, “Bond should always fight Blofeld.” It’s not known on whether Logan was joking about his answer or it may be expected the Bond film may return to its iconic villains. According to WhatCulture!, Logan did reveal that “the production has two weeks rehearsal time scheduled into it which is unheard of in the film industry these days and even more so on a big budget action movie such as the Bond franchise.” Blofeld character has appeared in three novels and six official James Bond films, including “From Russia with Love,” “Thunderball,” “You Only Live Twice,” On Her Majesty’s Secret Service,” and “Diamonds Are Forever.” He made his final »
 Confirmed details on Sam Mendes' Bond 23 are still scarce, but it seems screenwriter John Logan may have let slip a very useful detail about the villain. At a talk earlier this week, Logan hinted that iconic Bond baddie Ernst Stavro Blofeld just might be making an appearance in the upcoming film. Logan didn't go so far as to actually announce anything, but hey, until we have a better idea of the plot, we're gonna sit here and read into every dubious crumb of information that gets out. Read more after the jump. WhatCulture!  wrote about the possible hint, which Logan dropped at a BAFTA Screenwriters Q&A session: Rather interestingly, during the talk last night Logan was reminded by an audience member of a quote that he said some ten years ago that, in his opinion, “Bond should always fight Blofeld”. When pressed on this he gave a »
- Angie Han
Being a Christian in the 21st century is difficult at the best of times. Even without Mel Gibson constantly putting his foot in it, or Westboro Baptist Church spitting venom at the very people they are supposed to be helping, we have to contend with a media backlash whenever a seemingly ‘Christian’ film is released.
The problem seems to be that people don’t mind Christianity per se: if people are Bible-bashing in the streets, they can ignore them or talk back. What they resent, or appear to resent, are films with Christian undertones – allegories or parables which introduce Christian beliefs or ideas in a supposedly secular context. When The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe came out in 2005, The Guardian’s Polly Toynbee accused it of “invad[ing] children’s minds with Christian iconography… heavily laden with guilt, blame, sacrifice and a suffering that is dark with emotional sadism.” Ouch. »
- Daniel Mumby
The Beast Must Die, 1974.
Directed by Paul Annett.
The Beast Must Die is a twist on the murder-mystery genre, where a group of people are brought together under the suspicion that one of them is a werewolf. It is up to the viewer to guess who it is.
It’s not often you hear the term ‘werewolf break’. It’s not exactly a term that enters everyday conversation. That is unless you are discussing this 1970’s horror murder-mystery, where us, the audience, are given the choice to decide who we think is the werewolf out of a group of assumingly well-to-do British folk, amongst them, the great Michael Gambon.
The film opens with a man, seemingly running away from authorities. This goes on for some time, until we realise that’s not quite what’s going on. »
Netflix has revolutionized the home viewing market for movies with their instant streaming service. Netflix Nuggets is my way of spreading the word about films of all genres worth holding a spot on your instant viewing queue. (Release dates are subject to change.)
Diamonds Are Forever (1971)
Streaming Available: 09/01/2011
Synopsis: When he discovers that his evil nemesis, Blofeld (Charles Gray), is stockpiling the world’s supply of diamonds to use in a deadly laser satellite, secret agent James Bond (Sean Connery) sets out to stop the madman, with the help of beautiful smuggler Tiffany Case (Jill St. John). Connery’s final turn as Bond (until 1983′s unofficial outing, Never Say Never Again) boasts the gadgets, gunplay and girls that symbolize the heyday of the 007 series.
Average Netflix Rating: 3.8
For Your Eyes Only (1981)
Streaming Available: 09/01/2011
Synopsis: In the 12th film in the series based on Ian Fleming’s short stories, British »
- Travis Keune
The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975): 35th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray Contest has come to an end and the winner has been selected. The winner of The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975): 35th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray Contest is Tia Wallner, who has been contacted of her win. More contests will follow in the future. Be informed of them instantly by following us on Twitter or becoming a fan on Facebook.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show is “the 1975 film adaptation of the British musical stageplay, The Rocky Horror Show. The film is a parody of science fiction and B-movie horror films. Director Jim Sharman collaborated on the screenplay with Richard O’Brien, who wrote both the book and lyrics for the stage. The film introduces Tim Curry and features Susan Sarandon, Barry Bostwick, Richard O’Brien, Patricia Quinn, Nell Campbell, Jonathan Adams, Peter Hinwood, Meat Loaf, and Charles Gray. along with cast »
“My name is Bond - James Bond". That classic introduction to the cinema’s greatest secret agent is as famous as “I am Dracula, I bid you welcome.” When the box office success of Dr No (1962) turned the unknown Sean Connery into a movie legend, Hammer was never far away from the franchise. With their own films running parallel to the Bond series, Hammer and Eon Productions often made use of the same talent.
Dr No also marked the debuts of Bernard Lee (the first of 11 films as M) and Lois Maxwell (the first of 14 as Miss Moneypenny). Lee had a brief turn as Tarmut in Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell (1973) and despite never starring in a Hammer horror, Maxwell turned up in their early fifties thrillers Lady in the Fog (1953) and Mantrap (1954).
As doomed double-agent Professor Dent, Anthony Dawson is best known as the vile Marquis in Curse »
A look at what's new on DVD and Blu-ray today:
"Taxi Driver" (1976)
Directed by Martin Scorsese
Released by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
One can read about the extensive restoration of what many consider to be Martin Scorsese's finest film at The Digital Bits, but if you're a film fan, you might not need convincing to pick up the latest edition of the film about the disillusioned cabbie, which includes all the special features from the previous DVDs of the film (a feature-length making of doc, a score of shorter featurettes) while adding the commentary track between Scorsese and writer Paul Schrader that originally appeared on the 1986 Criterion laser disc. All in all, it's the definitive edition that the film deserves.
"Casino Jack" (2010)
Directed by George Hickenlooper
Released by Fox Home Entertainment
Even at the height of his powers, disgraced Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff might not have been able to »
- Stephen Saito
When it comes to foreign language films, fans are split into two groups; those who like them with subtitles, and those who prefer them dubbed into English. For a foreign movie to make any kind of commercial impact beyond the art-house circuit, they would need to be made, or at least be reasonably well dubbed, in English, since it’s the most common language for mainstream cinema entertainment. All too often dubbing tends to dampen the impact of a very good film, especially if the actors’ English voices sound completely wrong. Brilliant movies such as the French cop thriller La Balance (1982) and the Japanese social drama Battle Royale (2002) would never achieve their iconic status if they were released in badly dubbed English.
But dubbing can work to hilarious effect in the Godzilla movies and with some of the lesser spaghetti westerns. In some cases low budget American producers buy the »
With the release of M. Night Shayamalan’s Devil on DVD and Blu-ray yesterday, Owf was challenged with chronicling the ten greatest performances by an actor/actress as the lord of the underworld!
Shayamalan’s horror/thriller – which sees a group of people trapped in an elevator begin to realise that the Devil is amongst them… – is one of the haphazard director’s better offerings of late and engages an interesting narrative.
However, the Devil, Lucifer, Satan, Mephistopheles (or whatever you want to call the epitome of evil!) have featured in film from as early as 1896 and a variety of talent has portrayed the character. Whether it has been for comedic effect or to generate fear in an audience, there have been some fantastic performances within the role. Below are, in my opinion, the ten best. Of course, as there have been no less than 725 known productions featuring the Prince of Darkness, »
- Stuart Cummins
15 items from 2011
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