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For Halloween, we celebrate The Simpsons' best Treehouse Of Horror stories, feat. zombies, Hitchcock and Kubrick spoofs and more...
“Nothing seems to bother my kids but tonight's show, which I totally wash my hands of, is really scary.”
For anyone who grew up watching The Simpsons, the Treehouse Of Horror Halloween specials are an annual horror staple, from spooky couch gag to horror-themed credits. You can learn an awful lot of things just from watching the show, but for younger audiences, these episodes gave us our introduction to certain iconic horror stories.
Having ditched the early framing device of the family telling scary stories to one another, with Springfielders cast in key roles, the format is now closer to a mini-anthology of terror with three stories that take place outside of canon. This has usually given the writers licence to be more gruesome and outlandish than in the regular series, »
For young directors in the oil-rich Emirates, just as in the rest of the Arab world, finding coin to make a movie is almost as hard as getting the proverbial camel to go through the eye of a needle.
Still, funding opportunities have increased in the past decade as Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Doha launched film fests with affiliated funding entities.
Since 2010 when the Abu Dhabi fest started its Sanad fund for films in development or post, more than 100 projects have tapped into its support. Projects backed include Kurdish helmer Hiner Saleem’s Cannes Un Certain Regard entry “My Sweet Pepper Land,” set in a wild-west post-Saddam Hussein Iraqi Kurdistan; Iraqi orphanage docu “In My Mother’s Arms,” by Atia and Mohamed Al-Daradji, that went to Toronto; and Palestinian refugee camp docu “A World Not Ours,” by Emirati helmer Mahdi Fleifel, that traveled to Berlin.
More recently, Jordanian first-time »
- Nick Vivarelli
Vancouver - It's no wonder that Evan Goldberg, Seth Rogen and James Franco finish each other's sentences. The former two grew up together in Vancouver, have collaborated on scripts since they were 12 years old. Rogen produced and co-starred in "The 40-Year-Old Virgin," which filmed 10 years ago; it also cast James Franco, the first of many creative starts for the two of them. For 2013's "This Is The End," Goldberg and Rogen co-directed, Rogen and Franco co-starred -- the same as the setup to forthcoming comedy "The Interview." "Basically until [Sony Pictures] saw 'This is the End, we didn’t know if they’d let us direct another movie," Rogen explained. "So, once they saw it, they decided they would let us direct another movie." Goldberg and Rogen headed back home to Vancouver to shoot much of this action-oriented flick, with the story set mostly in North Korea. Franco with them -- »
- Katie Hasty
Last week we had a look at easter eggs hidden in the Star Wars. Today we’re turning our gaze to the original films. And boy are there some doozies in there.
The original Star Wars films (A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back and Return Of The Jedi) themselves are over thirty years old, but they still fresh today. And we’re not talking about relentless updates either; the films boast incredible designs and an incredible sense of world building. And, of course, an abundance of easter eggs.
In the pre-cgi days hiding things in film was a lot harder. Nowadays all it takes is five minutes of a programmers time, but when everything was models each hidden in-joke had to be flawlessly executed. This would make you think that the original trilogy would be much lighter on easter eggs than the more recent films. And while a »
- Alex Leadbeater
25 years ago, director Wim Wenders’ discovered the haunting black and white artworks of celebrated Brazilian photographer Sebastião Salgado. Now a 70-year-old man who has traveled to nearly every corner of the Earth for more than 40 years, Salgado has documented some of the most tragic and catastrophic events in recent history: revolutions and international conflicts, genocide in Rwanda, wars in Yugoslavia, starvation in Ethiopia, the Saddam Hussein-devastated Kuwaiti oilfields, mass exoduses around the globe and more. So taken with Salgado's iconic photos —striking works often bearing witness to the poor, the suffering and neglected members of society— Wenders bought two prints and promptly framed them above his office desk where they remain to this day. But the more Salgado’s ghostly photos preoccupied Wenders’ heart and psyche (this photo in particular), the more the venerable German filmmaker felt compelled to understand the man who took them. Eventually Wenders would »
- Rodrigo Perez
Antonio Inoki is perhaps the most famous Japanese professional wrestler of all time. Inoki started his career in 1960, when he was only 17. He would later found New Japan Pro Wrestling in 1972 — arguably the most successful Japanese promotion there is. Furthermore, Inoki famously battled boxing legend Muhammad Ali in a lackluster contest in 1976 — a battle that would be a spiritual precursor to the sport of mixed martial arts.
On August 4th, 1995, Inoki — along with his New Japan Pro Wrestling promotion and a handful of World Championship Wrestling stars — held a historic event in Pyongyang, North Korea. The infamously sheltered and closed-off country played home to a historic two day wrestling spectacle that was later broadcast on American pay-per-view, courtesy of WCW.
Now, nearly two decades later, Inoki has returned to Pyongyang to deliver an equally historic sporting event. North Korea’s relations with Japan are notoriously poor, and »
- Douglas Scarpa
From the 1980s to the 21st century, Jamie takes us on a guided tour of the most frustrating videogames he's encountered so far...
I want to take you on a journey through a few decades of game-playing frustration, name-checking the titles that have most made me want to kick a sleeping puppy in the face: games that only a heart surgeon would have the dexterity and patience to complete; games so disgustingly unfair and evil that even Satan beholds their exquisitely cruel construction with envy, kicking himself that he didn’t think of them first.
(Disclaimer: no actual puppies were harmed in the making of this article)
Now for another couple of disclaimers: pointless I know, because nobody actually reads these introductions, right? I believe it’s traditional to skip the rest of this article and head to the comments’ section below filled with boundless and unquenchable rage. (If you »
Chris Brown may have new, more troubling neighbor issues ... we've found out he's moved deep into the San Fernando Valley, and one of his new neighbors is threatening lethal force if Chris steps onto his property.Real estate sources tell TMZ ... Chris is renting an 8,000 square foot, 6 bedroom house in Agoura ... it's near the Malibu border but technically part of the Valley. It's a pretty sick pad. It has a commercial ice cream bar, dance studio, »
- TMZ Staff
Frontline’s “Losing Iraq” is, in essence, the foreign-policy companion to the PBS news program’s recent domestic-surveillance treatise “United States of Secrets,” offering an evenhanded approach to a topic where reason is often drowned out elsewhere by partisan rhetoric. Both documentaries, moreover — and this one again falls under the aegis of Michael Kirk — don’t point fingers so much as apportion responsibility, detailing the Bush administration screw-ups that created the mess in Iraq, followed by the Obama administration’s neglect, which congealed to create the current mess. What the 90-minute telecast doesn’t offer, alas, is what’s desperately needed: A viable solution.
Interviewing a who’s who of participants and journalists, “Losing Iraq” spends considerable time on the early miscalculations and missteps once the statue of Saddam Hussein was toppled, highlighted by what journalist Thomas Ricks dubbed President Bush’s “a premature victory speech” in front of a “Mission Accomplished” banner. »
- Brian Lowry
Identity is a funny thing. Defining ourselves is our first step in defining the world around us, especially in the way that we define others. Or “the other.” So, what happens when one spends his formative years as “the other” in an otherwise fairly homogeneous culture?
At once, American Arab — the latest provocative documentary by Usama Alshaibi — is both profoundly personal and culturally inquisitive. It is the first grand statement in a discussion that has been begging to take place since September 11, 2001: What is the role of the Arab in modern American society?
For his previous two feature-length films, Alshaibi has been toying with notions of his identity, whether directly in the documentary Nice Bombs in which he returned to his hometown of Baghdad, Iraq following the ouster of Saddam Hussein, or through proxy in his fiction film Profane, about a female sex worker struggling with her religious background. »
- Mike Everleth
As Vulture notes, starting today all 17 seasons of Trey Parker and Matt Stone's often brilliant and always envelope-pushing "South Park" are available, for free, on Hulu. This will be the case until season 18 premieres on September 24th. So get cracking. (After the new premiere, all episodes will be available the following day on Hulu Plus, the pay version of Hulu.)
"South Park," of course, is the critically acclaimed animated series that began life as an animated Christmas card back in 1992 called "The Spirit of Christmas" (created, crudely but effectively, in a stop motion paper cutout style). A few years later the short was refined and looks a lot more like the eventual series. The pilot episode of the series aired in 1997, and jumped to the big screen in 1999 with the deeply wonderful "South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut." Always a lightning rod for controversy, the series had touched »
- Drew Taylor
I’m “biast” (con): …but not a fan of Donald Rumsfeld
(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)
As Iraq disintegrates before our eyes, it’s suddenly even more vital to listen to what Donald Rumsfeld, one of the architects of the mess in the Middle East, has to say for himself. It’s pretty ugly… not that Rumsfeld sees that, of course. This feature-length interview with documentary filmmaker Errol Morris (Mr. Death: The Rise and Fall of Fred A. Leuchter, Jr.) is horrifying for how it demonstrates Rumsfeld’s complete lack of awareness of the enormity of his own actions.
Or else — this is worse, and I suspect it’s closer to the truth — we »
- MaryAnn Johanson
When Charlie Sheen dropped a bomb on Saddam Hussein in Hot Shots! back in the 1990s, we can't imagine that the-then leader of Iraq was particularly amused. However, we also can't quite remember Jim Abrahams' spoof movie being the catalyst for international conflict.
But times have changed. And Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, the co-directors of the upcoming The Interview, seem to have left the North Korean government threatening an "act of war". We are not making this up. The world might end because of a Seth Rogen movie.
The Interview is a comedy, starring Rogen and James Franco, about a fake plot to kill North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. And on the basis of the trailer, there are some within North Korea who are not amused. »
Even though the show Tyrant is set in a fictional Middle Eastern country, it still exists in the same universe where Saddam Hussein and others lived--and eventually died. This show strives to be real and it's parallels to real-world situations are to be admired, even if the FX show indulges in quite a few well-trodden stereotypes about Middle Eastern people and cultures, while simultaneously feeling like only the briefest character outlines are sketched out in the pilot.
If you want to watch a show with similar themes and plotlines that you'd find in 24 or Homeland, but also one that borrows liberally from family soaps like Dallas, you might like FX's new series, Tyrant. Me? I'm still on the fence, especially since the lead character is a bit too vanilla.
We all watched South Park at, more than likely, way too young an age. We learnt things that we probably shouldn’t even know about today, with Matt and Trey daring to bring every taboo possible to surface. This said, South Park is also loaded with moral lessons. Whether it’s about how we treat other countries, homosexuals, the disabled… even relationship advice from Satan… there’s plenty of epic lessons amongst the filth.
So repeat after me a minute before the credits roll: “I learned something today…”
15. Being Independent For A While Is Good
We all got immersed into relationships in our teens, whether clinging tightly onto one or torn between two. South Park teaches the lesson of learning to be happy independent of relationships in a very unconventional way – through the love life of Satan.
In the two-parter episodes, Do The Handicapped Go To Hell and Probably, »
- Jack Moulton
As we continue on, I need to once again clarify that if this list was “Joshua Gaul’s 50 Favorite Movie Musicals,” it’d be a quite a different list. But, if my tastes determined what is definitive, I’d be asking you all to consider Aladdin as a brilliant piece of filmmaking and wax nostalgic about my love for Batteries Not Included and Flight of the Navigator (not for the musicals list, of course). Much to my dismay, my tastes are not universal. I’d like to think my research methods are.
courtesy of themoviescene.co.uk
30. Annie (1982)
Directed by John Huston
Signature Song: “Tomorrow” (http://youtu.be/Yop62wQH498)
Originally a 1924 comic strip, the beloved stage musical about a red-haired orphan girl was brought to the big screen in 1982 and directed by John Huston (yes, that John Huston – director of The Maltese Falcon and The African Queen, not to »
- Joshua Gaul
Even over the phone, Seth Rogen's laugh sounds like nothing else on earth — a stuttering chuckle that sounds like a car engine desperately trying to turn over, too full and deep to be phony, too hearty and human to not be contagious. The 32-year-old Canadian comedian called in to talk about his latest film Neighbors, which pits suburbanite Rogen, his wife (Bridesmaids' Rose Byrne) and his family against the newly-moved-in party-hearty college fraternity next door, as led by alpha d-bag Zac Efron. We decided to grill Rogen about »
• Sandra Bullock is circling the role of Brownie Wise in an untitled pic about the rise of Tupperware. Wise was the saleswoman who helped the airtight containers succeed in the ’50s thanks to her innovative “party plan” marketing scheme. The Help’s Tate Taylor is attached to direct the movie, which will be based on Bob Kealing’s non-fiction book Tupperware Unsealed. [THR]
• Eddie Redmayne is set to re-team with his Les Misérables director Tom Hooper for The Danish Girl, about the painter Einar Wegener — the first man to have a sex-change operation. The script, penned by Lucinda Coxon, will be »
- Lindsey Bahr
Pattinson was attached to play military interrogator Eric Maddox, who spearheaded Hussein's capture. The role will now be recast. [Source: The Wrap]
Andy Garcia has joined the cast of the live-action film adaptation of Mattel's superhero property "Max Steel" at Dolphin Films. Garcia will play the brilliant and mysterious scientist Dr. Miles Edwards. Filming begins today in Wilmington.
Stewart Hendler directs the origins story which chronicles the adventures of 16-year-old Max McGrath (Ben Winchell) and alien companion Steel, who must harness and combine their tremendous new powers to evolve into the superhero Max Steel. [Source: Heat Vision]
- Garth Franklin
According to The Wrap, Pattinson has dropped out of the project due to scheduling conflicts.
His role will reportedly be recast in the time for principal photography, set to begin in autumn.
He will next be seen in The Rover and Maps to the Stars.
Watch the trailer for The Rover below: »
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