11 items from 2016
The thing I miss the most about the heyday of the ’80s slasher movie is that there were so many of them that eventually filmmakers had to start finding ways to shake up the formula and continually introduce weirder and weirder stuff. That's not to say that all of these movies were necessarily "good," but that they managed to be distinctive within a sub-genre known for its sameness. For as good as horror is today—and we are in a really good place for horror—there is no one corner of the genre that is so prevalent as the slasher once was that inspires various permutations. We don't get a Sleepaway Camp or a Blood Rage much anymore. The reasons for this are ultimately positive and encouraging—the current crop of horror films are so vastly different from one another that we avoid this phenomenon—but it still makes me »
- Patrick Bromley
The Initiation, 1984.
Directed by Larry Stewart.
When a college prank goes wrong a group of teenage girls find themselves at the mercy of a killer.
Originally released during the dying breaths of the first run of slasher films, The Initiation is a film that ticks all the boxes as far as slashers go but doesn’t do enough to raise the bar in any way, and seeing as this came out a month after Wes Craven’s groundbreaking A Nightmare on Elm Street changed the horror landscape forever it does look a little old hat when put up against that film and the Friday the 13th sequels that were proving popular at the time.
This November, Arrow Video offers horror fans a wide variety of thrills and onscreen kills with their respective Blu-ray releases of C.H.U.D., The Initiation, and The Driller Killer, and the full release details for all three Blu-rays have now been revealed.
Press Release: Mvd Entertainment Group furthers the distribution of Arrow Video in the Us with three great new titles in November. The month kicks off with The Initiation on Blu-ray, one of the best of the college-based slasher movies of the 1980s. One of the later entries into the genre, it had horror fans hooked with its tense stalk 'n' slash scenes and it's surprising twist of an ending.
The horror continues with C.H.U.D., the classic 80s horror featuring the Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dwellers making their long-awaited debut on Blu-ray with a brand new restoration from original film elements.
Last but by no means least comes Arrow Video's »
- Derek Anderson
Directed by Alfred Hitchcock
Marion Crane has just stolen thousands of dollars from her former employer in order to clear the debts of her soon-to-be-husband and build a new life for them. Making a quick getaway, Marion stops in at the isolated Bates Motel run by the slightly eccentric Norman Bates, who owns the hotel with his domineering mother. While slightly unnerved by Norman’s odd behaviour, Marion thinks that she has escaped safely… until she decides to have a shower.
What to say about Psycho, from the master of suspense and arguably the most famous film director of all time Alfred Hitchcock? This film is not only one of the most famous horror films of all time, pioneering many of the tropes that would be popularised by the slasher films of the later 1970s and most of the 1980s. »
- Graeme Robertson
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
By Todd Garbarini
This weekend of August 12 through 14th, the Laemmle Ahrya Fine Arts Theatre in Los Angeles will be presenting a series of classic western films that will also feature special guests who are scheduled to come and speak about their work in the films. We strongly suggest checking with the theatre’s schedule to see which other guests are added.
From the press release:
Anniversary Classics Western Weekend
August 12-14 at the Ahrya Fine Arts Theatre in Beverly Hills
5 Classic Westerns with special guests throughout the weekend
Laemmle’s Anniversary Classics presents our tribute to the sagebrush genre with the Anniversary Classics Western Weekend, a five film round-up of some of the most celebrated westerns in movie history. The star-studded lineup features John Wayne, Clint Eastwood, Clark Gable, Marilyn Monroe, Burt Lancaster, Lee Marvin, Robert Ryan, Kevin Costner, Montgomery Clift, Natalie Wood, Eli Wallach, Lee Van Cleef and others. »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Cinema Retro)
It’s getting to be the Fourth of July and so it’s apropos to think about this country, what it is, what defines it, what makes it America. Those are somewhat large topics for an essay of 500-700 words (which is where I usually clock in) so we’ll just confine ourselves to one small area.
We deal with pop culture here at ComicMix so let’s think of pop culture icons, those things that we use as symbols of this country. We’re going to focus on one – American movie star/icon John Wayne. Marion Robert Morrison (Wayne’s borth name) made gobs of movies, usually westerns, war movies and detective films. He was a star in the old fashioned Golden Age of Hollywood sense of the word. No one was bigger.
Everybody and his/her brother does an impression of Wayne. My brother does one and I have different versions. »
- John Ostrander
Steven Spielberg's entertaining true life account of a chapter in the Cold War concerns a crucial negotiation by a brave attorney (Tom Hanks) who goes way out on a limb in East Berlin. Hopefully I'm not alone feeling the same 'narrative undertow' in the storytelling style -- the movie works, but it's also aggravating. Bridge of Spies Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD Touchstone 2015 / Color / 2:40 widescreen / 141 min. / Street Date February 2, 2016 / 39.99 Starring Tom Hanks, Mark Rylance, Amy Ryan, Alan Alda, Will Rogers, Austin Stowell, Mikhail Gorevoy, Sebastian Koch, Burghart Kalussner. Cinematography Janusz Kaminski Film Editor Michael Kahn Original Music Thomas Newman Written by Matt Charman, Ethan Coen & Joel Coen Produced by Kristie Macosko Krieger, Marc Platt, Steven Spielberg Directed by Steven Spielberg
Reviewed by Glenn Erickson
- Glenn Erickson
Alfred Hitchcock's true-life saga of a man wrongly accused may be Hitchcock's most troublesome movie -- all the parts work, but does it even begin to come together? Henry Fonda is the 'ordinary victim of fate' and an excellent Vera Miles is haunting as the wife who responds to the guilt and stress by withdrawing from reality. The Wrong Man Blu-ray Warner Archive Collection 1956 / B&W / 1:85 widescreen / 105 min. / Street Date January 26, 2016 / available through the WBshop / 21.99 Starring Henry Fonda, Vera Miles, Anthony Quayle, Harold J. Stone, John Heldabrand, Doreen Lang, Norma Connolly, Lola D'Annunzio, Robert Essen, Dayton Lummis, Charles Cooper, Esther Minciotti, Laurinda Barrett, Nehemiah Persoff. Cinematography Robert Burks Art Direction Paul Sylbert Film Editor George Tomasini Original Music Bernard Herrmann Written by Maxwell Anderson and Angus MacPhail Produced and Directed by Alfred Hitchcock
Reviewed by Glenn Erickson
- Glenn Erickson
Sara Hemrajani on Hollywood’s love affair with its Golden Age…
Since there’s no business like show business, it’s unsurprising that one of Hollywood’s favourite topics is itself. The recent wave of award nominations for Trumbo, including a best actor Oscar nod for Bryan Cranston, is fresh evidence of the industry’s fascination with the so-called Golden Age.
In Trumbo, Cranston plays real-life writer Dalton Trumbo who was jailed and blacklisted for his ties to the American Communist Party. Despite the ban, Trumbo and his peers managed to flout the system using pseudonyms and support from eager filmmakers. He went on to write screenplays for classics such as Roman Holiday and Spartacus.
Following swiftly in its steps is Hail, Caesar!, the Coen brothers’ throwback to the glossy studio pictures of the 1940s. The trailer reveals characters reminiscent of Gene Kelly and Esther Williams, as well as producer »
- Sara Hemrajani
The Slifr Movie Treehouse (the acronym stands in for the title of my blog, Sergio Leone and the Infield Fly Rule) is a place where I like to gather a few of my movie-writing pals and exchange long e-mails on the way the movies shaped up for us in the year just left behind. It’s been a few years since I’ve undertaken this project, but the time felt right again, so I invited the very talented critical voices of Brian Doan, Odie Henderson, Marya Murphy and Phil Dyess-Nugent to take part, and to my great happiness they all agreed. (Bios for each writer can be found at the conclusion of each of their individual posts, which can be accessed by clicking below on the title of each post.)
What follows here are samples from the 16 posts we submitted over the week of January 11-17, and we’ll start »
- Dennis Cozzalio
11 items from 2016
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