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Charlie Hunnam & Rami Malek Remake Steve McQueen & Dustin Hoffman In ‘Papillon’ [Tiff Review]

8 September 2017 7:59 AM, PDT | The Playlist | See recent The Playlist news »

No, it’s not. That’s the answer to the obvious question that will be asked about whether or not Michael Noer’s remake of Steve McQueen and Dustin Hoffman’s classic “Papillon” is as good as the original. It’s not even close. In fact, it’s hard not to be offended at nearly every decision made in this version, in which screenwriter Aaron Guzikowski (“Prisoners”), working from the credited screenplay by Dalton Trumbo and Lorenzo Semple Jr.

Continue reading Charlie Hunnam & Rami Malek Remake Steve McQueen & Dustin Hoffman In ‘Papillon’ [Tiff Review] at The Playlist. »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Real Gone Music’s October Album Releases Include The Return Of The Living Dead Soundtrack, Cujo Score & More

23 August 2017 10:37 AM, PDT | DailyDead | See recent DailyDead news »

With the season of apple cider-soaked gatherings nearly upon us, Real Gone Music is making sure you have the appropriate tunes for party time with their announcement of four October album releases, including The Return of the Living Dead soundtrack, the Cujo score, and more.

"Real Gone Music announces several Halloween-themed albums available this October including the soundtrack to Stephen King's Cujo, Zacherle's Monster Gallery from the Cool Ghoul, John Zacherle, the sole studio album from one of the great 80s goth/death rock bands, 45 Grave, and another eagerly awaited repress of the cult soundtrack to Return of the Living Dead.

Charles Bernstein

Cujo—Music from the Motion Picture

Available October 6 Limited Edition "St. Bernard" Vinyl First Ever Vinyl Reissue Includes New Cover Art and Production Stills

Ah, life in the country…such bucolic bliss. Until your neighbor’s dog contracts rabies, kills its owner, and then comes after you! »

- Derek Anderson

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This 9-Year-Old ''Guardian of the Galaxy'' Applied for a Nasa Job and Received an Out of This World Response

4 August 2017 7:14 PM, PDT | E! Online | See recent E! Online news »

Attention space commanders of all ages: Nasa is hiring and responding to a few unlikely candidates. Nine-year-old Jack Davis recently came across a job opening within the federal agency. While he was only in the fourth grade, the self-proclaimed "Guardian of the Galaxy" thought he could be the perfect candidate. "My name is Jack Davis and I would like to apply for the planetary protection officer job. I may be nine but I think I would be fit for the job," he wrote in a letter. "One of the reasons is my sister says I am an alien. Also, I have seen almost all the space and alien movies I can see." Jack continued, "I have also seen the show Marvel Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and hope »

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Nasa’s Job Listing for Planetary Protection Officer Draws Aww-some Response From 9-Year-Old

4 August 2017 5:29 PM, PDT | The Wrap | See recent The Wrap news »

Very cute, Nasa; just make sure not to run afoul of the child-labor laws. After posting a job listing earlier this week for a Planetary Protection Officer, Nasa shared a response on Friday from Jack Davis, a nine-year-old, self-proclaimed “Guardian of the Galaxy.” In his application, the fourth-grader from New Jersey declared, “I may be nine but I think I would be fit for the job.” Also Read: New Nasa Hire Will Make Sure 'Alien: Covenant' Doesn't Come True So what makes young Mr. Davis qualified for the position, in his own estimation? “One of the reasons is »

- Tim Kenneally

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Stanley Kubrick Films Ranked, From ‘The Shining’ to ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’

26 July 2017 11:41 AM, PDT | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

Today would have been Stanley Kubrick’s 89th birthday. The director passed away in 1999 as he was completing his 13th and final feature film, “Eyes Wide Shut,” at the age of 70.

In honor of the great director’s career, eight members of the IndieWire staff — William Earl, Kate Erbland, David Ehrlich, Eric Kohn, Michael Nordine, Zack Sharf, Anne Thompson, and this author — individually ranked the director’s films, which have been averaged together to result in the following list. While Kubrick only made 13 films over a 46-year span, he made more than his fair share of masterpieces. As a sign of just how deep the quality of this list runs, six different titles received first-place votes, while in the final tally the difference between #1 and #7 was razor thin.

Read More Why David Lynch Has Become the Most Important Actor on ‘Twin Peaks

13. “Fear and Desire” (1953)

At the age of 23, Kubrick »

- Chris O'Falt

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Terror in a Texas Town

26 July 2017 11:04 AM, PDT | Trailers from Hell | See recent Trailers from Hell news »

On paper it’s a western with everything — a major star, decent supporting players, a cult director and sideways references to the blacklisting years. But even with its ya-gotta-see-it-to-believe-it high noon showdown scene, Joseph H. Lewis’s last feature film is still a lower-tier United Artists effort. Sterling Hayden goes up against Sebastian Cabot and Nedrick Young, armed with a, with a . . . aw, you probably know already.

Terror in a Texas Town


Arrow Academy

1958 / B&W / 1:85 widescreen / 80 min. / Street Date July 11, 2017 / Available from Arrow Video / 39.95

Starring: Sterling Hayden, Sebastian Cabot, Carol Kelly, Eugene Martin, Nedrick Young, Victor Millan, Frank Ferguson, Marilee Earle, Byron Foulger, Glenn Strange.

Cinematography: Ray Rennahan

Original Music: Gerald Fried

Written by Dalton Trumbo, fronted by Ben Perry

Produced by Frank N. Seltzer

Directed by Joseph H. Lewis

Auteurists in the early 1970s championed directors like Phil Karlson, Budd Boetticher and Anthony Mann. These stylists »

- Glenn Erickson

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Review: "Bank Shot" (1974) Starring George C. Scott; Kino Lorber Blu-ray Release

9 July 2017 5:56 AM, PDT | | See recent CinemaRetro news »

By Lee Pfeiffer

Few would argue that George C. Scott was one of the greatest actors of stage and screen. His presence in even a mediocre movie elevated its status considerably and his work as the nutty general in "Dr. Strangelove" was described by one critic as "the comic performance of the decade". When Scott won his well-deserved Oscar for Best Actor in "Patton" (which he famously refused), he seemed to be on a roll. His next film, the darkly satirical comedy "The Hospital" predicted the absurdities of America's for-profit health care system in which the rich and the poor were taken care of, with everyone else falling in between. The film earned Scott another Best Actor Oscar nomination despite his snubbing of the Academy the previous year. From that point, however, Scott's choice of film roles was wildly eclectic. There were some gems and plenty of misfires that leads »

- (Cinema Retro)

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Cortez Part IV: Leading Ladies and Marriage to Tragic Drug-Addicted Wife

7 July 2017 4:02 PM, PDT | Alt Film Guide | See recent Alt Film Guide news »

Ricardo Cortez in 'Ten Cents a Dance,' with Barbara Stanwyck. No matter how unthankful the role, whether hero or heel – or, not infrequently, a combination of both – Cortez left his bedroom-eyed, mellifluous-voiced imprint in his pre-Production Code talkies. Besides Barbara Stanwyck, during the 1920s and 1930s Cortez made love to and/or life difficult for, a whole array of leading ladies of that era, including Bebe Daniels, Gloria Swanson, Betty Compson, Betty Bronson, Greta Garbo, Florence Vidor, Claudette Colbert, Mary Astor, Kay Francis, Joan Crawford, Irene Dunne, Joan Blondell, and Loretta Young*. (See previous post: “Ricardo Cortez Q&A: From Latin Lover to Multiethnic Heel.”) Not long after the coming of sound, Ricardo Cortez was mostly relegated to playing subordinate roles to his leading ladies – e.g., Kay Francis, Irene Dunne, Claudette Colbert – or leads in “bottom half of the double bill” programmers at Warner Bros. or on loan to other studios. Would »

- Andre Soares

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After Valentino and Before Bogart There Was Cortez: 'The Magnificent Heel' and the Movies' Original Sam Spade

6 July 2017 10:44 PM, PDT | Alt Film Guide | See recent Alt Film Guide news »

Ricardo Cortez biography 'The Magnificent Heel: The Life and Films of Ricardo Cortez' – Paramount's 'Latin Lover' threat to a recalcitrant Rudolph Valentino, and a sly, seductive Sam Spade in the original film adaptation of Dashiell Hammett's 'The Maltese Falcon.' 'The Magnificent Heel: The Life and Films of Ricardo Cortez': Author Dan Van Neste remembers the silent era's 'Latin Lover' & the star of the original 'The Maltese Falcon' At odds with Famous Players-Lasky after the release of the 1922 critical and box office misfire The Young Rajah, Rudolph Valentino demands a fatter weekly paycheck and more control over his movie projects. The studio – a few years later to be reorganized under the name of its distribution arm, Paramount – balks. Valentino goes on a “one-man strike.” In 42nd Street-style, unknown 22-year-old Valentino look-alike contest winner Jacob Krantz of Manhattan steps in, shortly afterwards to become known worldwide as Latin Lover Ricardo Cortez of »

- Andre Soares

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Terror In A Texas Town Starring Sterling Hayden Available on Blu-ray July 11th From Arrow Video

3 July 2017 3:13 PM, PDT | | See recent news »

Terror In A Texas Town will be Available on Blu-ray and DVD on July 11th From Arrow Video

For his 41st and final feature film, Joseph H. Lewis was able to combine the two genres in which he had excelled. The man in the director’s chair for My Name is Julia Ross, Gun Crazy and The Big Combo, Lewis was one of the all-time greats in film noir. But he was also a fine director of Westerns, having made A Lawless Street, 7th Cavalry and The Halliday Brand, all of which – especially the last – remain underrated. Terror in a Texas Town would bring his noir sensibilities to the American West, resulting in one of his finest works.

McNeil (Sebastian Cabot, The Time Machine) is a greedy hotel owner who wants to take control of Prairie City, the Texas town of the title. Keen to drive the local farmers of their land, »

- Tom Stockman

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“Wakefield” Writer-Director Robin Swicord on How She Got the Movie Made and Breaking into Directing

18 May 2017 7:01 AM, PDT | Women and Hollywood | See recent Women and Hollywood news »

Robin Swicord on the set of “Wakefield”: Gilles Mingasson.

Robin Swicord’s many writing credits span from ’90s family favorite “Matilda” to Oscar-nominated drama “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.” She made her directorial feature debut with 2007’s “The Jane Austen Book Club.” Swicord’s new film, “Wakefield,” intimately follows a suburban man’s decision to withdraw from his own life.

I spoke with Swicord about “Wakefield’s” unconventional protagonist, the difficulties of launching a career in directing, and her commitment to expanding creative communities.

Wakefield” opens May 19.

This interview has been edited. It was transcribed by Kelsey Moore.

W&H: I watched the film yesterday, and I found it so interesting and so different from most things that I have seen previously. I felt that it was basically a monologue. Am I right in feeling that way?

Rs: Well, there is a monologue aspect to it because it’s how we see into the internal life of this character, Howard Wakefield. We have no way of knowing what he’s thinking unless he tells us. So much of the time, we essentially are privy to his thoughts. There are shifts within this. At the beginning, he’s trying to tell you a story about a thing that happened to him. Later, the tense shifts, and we’re in his head as things are happening.

At one point, I pulled out all of the voiceover and looked at how long it was, because I was going to have to create a script that the film’s star, Bryan Cranston, could then record. It was interesting to see how much of the film you could understand just from what he says.

W&H: It was surprising to see just how little other characters speak. I counted, and I found that the first 47 minutes of the film consists of Wakefield’s internal monologue. That’s quite a challenge for a director, to put a movie like this together. What where the biggest challenges for you in terms of making a film that essentially focuses on a single voice?

Rs: There were certainly a lot of risks involved in taking this on. I wanted to do something that was hard, and I loved E.L. Doctorow’s short story. One of the things I’ve always heard about movies is that they aren’t internal, yet so many movies that I’ve watched have felt internal.

So, one of the things I wanted to do was sort of push my own boundaries and see if I could make a film that was subjective and from one person’s point of view. On top of that, this person would be changing — both perceptibly and imperceptibly — as the story proceeded.

The first challenge was to just have faith that this was a worthy experiment, and that I would figure out how to do it. The other thing that absolutely had to happen was that I had to have an actor that could hold the center of the screen like Bryan Cranston does.

The casting part was the scariest part for me, particularly because initial conversations with indie films always start the same way: Who can we get that would help us get our financing?

Bryan was first one my list, but at the time that we started having casting conversations, he was mostly known for television; he had been in several different series, including the now very important “Breaking Bad,” which had not yet reached Europe at this time. So, he didn’t have a lot of international sales value, which is how indie films get financed. That’s sort of the backup plan, knowing that this or that film may always be made whole by its sale to Denmark.

We had to sort of sit it out a bit until “Breaking Bad” was released in Europe. Then his foreign profile began to rise. He was cast as Dalton Trumbo in my friend Jay Roach’s “Trumbo,” and, having read the script, I figured that he would get an Oscar nomination, which he did.

So, again, it was an act of faith. I just felt that if I had the right actor, he was worth waiting for and fighting for. We got him, and the truth is that it could have gone another way, but Bryan is an unusually responsible actor. He is a man of his word, and a year and a half before we shot, he said, “I will shoot this movie with you.” I did not know him yet, and I had some anxiety about it coming true. It did because he held to his word.

W&H: And now he’s a big, big star.

Rs: He is a big, big star, and he should be. He’s really an amazing actor, director, writer, and producer. There’s nothing that he can’t do. He’s a person with many gifts and a huge heart. Every time I meet someone new that knows Bryan, they tell me some story about one of his wonderful acts of generosity.

W&H: When we are introduced to Bryan Cranston’s character, he is really not a nice guy. As the film evolves, you see him sort of the shed the world’s masculinity and the toxicity of everyday life, and he kind of goes back to a feral character in some ways. Talk a bit about the evolution of this man from a “master of the universe” to a stripped down state.

Rs: Right. He isn’t that different from the rest of us in the sense that the world has asked a certain role of him. He is enacting that role, so, to his mind, he’s not a bad person. He’s a wage earner who commutes to the city, and he supports his family in the suburbs. He’s rarely there; their lives continue often without him. When he steps out of his life, he discovers how lonely he feels due to his choice to be that guy.

One of the of the first things to happen to him is the opportunity to reconnect and watch his kids. He’s not speaking to or interacting with them, but they are adolescents, so, as he points out to us, they don’t pay much attention to him anyway.

He is also in a marriage that he doesn’t understand. It got off on the wrong foot from the very beginning because of an action that he takes. He remembers it, and at first he finds some kind of amusement in it; he is still in a state of trying to bolster himself by these exploits. As time goes on, he begins to see his wife as less of an object.

There is something in the culture about the possession of women. He is very focused on possessing her — even watching her from afar becomes a way of possessing her. At some point, he realizes that he doesn’t possess her, and he never has. It’s a slow evolution.

It’s funny along the way because it’s meant to be funny, but also because Bryan is very funny. He has that background in comedy. At times, he reminded me of Charlie Chaplin. I wrote a couple of shots that are homages that that because, in some sense, he became like the Little Tramp.

He really went after finding out what it was to abandon a family, and he had his own reasons for doing that. He took a very deep emotional dive into the logical reasons for someone to step out and leave the family behind. I think that Bryan’s own humanity helped infuse the character in a way that keeps us connected to Howard Wakefield, even when we want to say, “I would never do that.”

W&H: Do you feel that your role as a writer helped you direct this piece?

Rs: It’s hard to imagine a director I would have given it to if I hadn’t been the director.

W&H: When did you decide direct as well as write? Was that something you knew early on but never got the opportunity? What was the transition like for you?

Rs: I have always wanted to direct. I made short films in the South during my 20s, and this was back when you had to drive your negative from Northwest Florida to Atlanta to get it processed in a lab. It was a cumbersome thing, because I had to scrounge together the short ends of 16 mm film and so forth. It’s much easier now.

But, the obstacles I faced are similar to those which women still face today. The first obstacle is that people don’t think of directors as being women. When I would turn a script in and the studio would ask who should direct, I would say that I would like to direct it. This was always met with a kind of embarrassed silence, and then they would go on and hire someone else.

In many cases, I was able to get a female director hired — just not me. I thought that the problem had to do with my short films, as they are outdated and don’t really show what I can do. So, I made a new short film called “The Red Coat.” It was the closing film at the Aspen Shortsfest. I thought that, with this substantial piece of work and all of these other screen credits, it would easier to attach myself to a project. But that did not prove to be the case for a very long time.

Eventually producer John Calley made a deal for me to write and direct “The Jane Austen Book Club.” But even though it came out with moderate success, no subsequent jobs came my way. It was still very difficult to attach myself as the director of one of my own screenplays.

After trying for a few years, I found “Wakefield.” I knew this was a film of the right size where I could somehow put together the financing. But, again, the casting was key.

W&H: Do you think that — having first made a film about women and this one is about a man — you will now be looked at differently? Do you feel that this film and its male-centric role is something that you can get a better calling card with?

Rs: I really have no idea. I had some expectations after “The Jane Austen Book Club” came out because I was surrounded by examples of directors coming out of Sundance with offers to direct franchises. We always see people taking chances on young male talent.

I thought that all you needed to do was exhibit competence, and that if people want to be in business with you, they’ll get in business with you. I found that people didn’t want to be in business with me.

W&H: Do you feel any sense of change now?

Rs: I don’t know. I mean, I’m not holding a lot of expectations. I want audiences to find “Wakefield.” I made it for audiences to see. I want them to have a big emotional experience like the way I did when I was writing the screenplay.

But, I don’t necessarily think it’ll be a game-changer in terms of people going, “Oh my God. Even though she’s female, she can direct a movie!” They’ve had that opportunity before.

W&H: Why do you think there’s still this fundamental thing in people’s brains where they associate “director” with “man?” What do you think that’s about?

Rs: I don’t think this is just in Hollywood. It’s a systemic problem everywhere. Women are not viewed as serious contenders for important jobs. Every woman has to kind of invent her own path, because the doors haven’t really opened.

W&H: You’re also a member of the writer’s branch of the Board of Governors for the Academy. Talk a bit about your leadership in that and what you think about its efforts to include more women and people of color.

Rs: This has been happening for some years now. Dawn Hudson — who transformed Film Independent into the powerhouse for indie filmmakers — believes that the industry should be more inclusive. When she became the Academy’s CEO, she found that a number of others on the Board of Governors, shared that view — she wouldn’t have been hired otherwise.

So, given that we now had the leadership, we spent some time rewriting bylaws and taking care of things that should probably have been done previously. We redid our committee structure and other things that are really boring but necessary.

The Academy has been engaged in that process. At the same time, there’s been a constant discussion about how the Academy can help the entertainment business become a more inclusive environment. We decided that every branch would start to look for people who had been overlooked.

It’s important to know that every branch has its own standards for membership. One of things that we found in the writer’s branch is that we had to look at people who were women and minorities and realize that they may not have the three to four writing credits we normally look for — because it’s very hard for them to even get one. We have to instead look at the quality of their work and take a chance.

Now we have a system that wasn’t necessarily in place before. If you haven’t worked at least three times in 30 years, your membership may be up for review. This system allows the Academy to take more risks and admit those who may have not had that many opportunities.

W&H: Right, and you’ve made a huge change.

Rs: We have. It’s been a worldwide concerted effort. Over the last three years, we’ve let in enough people that now we have to turn outwards to industry and ask, “Where are the others?” Because if you don’t employ them, we can’t let them into the Academy.

One of these efforts is the Academy Gold Program, which was just announced this year. It is an inclusion program spearheaded by Fox Searchlight president Nancy Utley. It is essentially creating a hub for internships through the Academy; 19 companies have already signed on, and we supply them with interns. We won’t see that change next year, or even three to four years from now — but ten years from now we’ll see a big difference because of this internship program.

W&H: One of the things that keeps going through my head is the “lost generation” of women — those female directors and creatives who just didn’t have opportunities — and how we can prevent that from continuing to happen. Do you have any thoughts on that?

Rs: Well, there’s still time for some of the so-called “lost women.” The hardest thing to overcome is that internal feeling of impossibility.

It’s kind of the feeling I’ve had. My husband has started watching “The Handmaid’s Tale,” and I’ve watched a few episodes. I recently told him that I wouldn’t be watching anymore of this, because I feel that the message thus far is that resistance is futile.

I don’t think that resistance is futile. In fact, I think that it’s the only thing that has gotten women where they are.

So, in terms of a “lost generation,” there is still time for many people to put their work out there and not take no for an answer. But, women do have to help each other in order to make that come true.

W&H: I think you should give “The Handmaid’s Tale” another chance because the resistance is coming.

I saw that you’re involved with Hedgebrook and their screenwriter’s lab over there. Tell us a bit about why you wanted to do that.

Rs: Hedgebrook is an interesting community. They serve a fairly small group of people every year; there are only six cabins that people stay in. But, they serve a very important group of women. For one thing, half or more of the people who receive residencies are women of color.

They have a mission to create the room of one’s one, to make a space, to caretake. They’ve been doing it for about 40 years, but they had never really welcomed screenwriters. They were interested in doing their first masterclass on screenwriting, and asked me to teach it. I did because I thought that their project was really extraordinary.

Since then, we’ve created a screenwriting workshop, which is an inclusion workshop. We’ve only done it for two years, and every year we have to get the money together. So far, it’s come from a group of women called the Woolf Pack, which came together out of the Humanitas programs under Cathleen Young.

To me, the program isn’t just about serving the six residents. It is about creating a sort of movable program that can travel to the cities in order to do some of the workshops they do at Hedgebrook, but on a much larger scale.

Hedgebrook is also starting a documentary program. Holly Morris, who did “The Babushkas of Chernobyl” is helping with its design and recruitment.

She and I have put our heads together, and we’re going to try to expand this mission to cities like New York, Chicago, Atlanta, and Los Angeles — wherever there is a creative community of women who don’t have the same access to these kinds of collaborative workshops.

W&H: I’m very interested in continuing to build the pipeline and creating opportunities for inclusion and new voices. Okay, last question: What do you want people to think about as they leave the theater after seeing “Wakefield?”

Rs: I want them to think about their own lives.

Wakefield” Writer-Director Robin Swicord on How She Got the Movie Made and Breaking into Directing was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. »

- Melissa Silverstein

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Interview: Bryan Cranston for Why Him? Out now on UK DVD & Blu-ray

3 May 2017 2:26 AM, PDT | The Hollywood News | See recent The Hollywood News news »

Bryan Cranston is an Academy Award nominee, a four time Emmy Award winner, and a Golden Globe and Tony Award winner.

Bryan recently starred as the title character in Jay Roach’s Trumbo.  His performance garnered him nominations for an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award, a SAG Award, a BAFTA Award, and a Critics’ Choice Award in 2016 for “Best Actor.”

Next, Bryan stars in John Hamburg’s Why Him? alongside James Franco, and we caught up with him to talk about the film.

Given the extreme darkness of the last few seasons of Breaking Bad, how did it feel to return to comedy?

Great! That’s been part of the reason that I decided to do this, because I’ve been doing a lot of dramas lately, and I love doing them. You’re playing important characters and it’s good storytelling. But I missed just having silly fun on the set. »

- Paul Heath

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Win Why Him? on Blu-ray

1 May 2017 12:00 AM, PDT | | See recent HeyUGuys news »

Author: Competitions

To mark the release of Why Him? on 1st May, we’ve been given 3 copies to give away on Blu-ray.

Bryan Cranston and James Franco fight the ultimate battle of wits and wills in this outrageous, no-holds-barred comedy from filmmaker John Hamburg (I Love you Man, Along Came Polly, Meet the Parents, and Zoolander). Ned (Bryan Cranston), an overprotective but loving dad, and his family visit his daughter at college, where he meets his biggest nightmare: her well-meaning but socially awkward Silicon Valley billionaire boyfriend, Laird (James Franco). A rivalry develops, and Ned’s panic level goes through the roof when he finds himself lost in this glamorous high-tech world and learns that Laird is about to pop the question.

Please note: This competition is open to UK residents only

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Why Him? is available on Blu-ray and DVD from Monday 1st May, »

- Competitions

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First ‘Wakefield’ Trailer: Bryan Cranston Hits Lofty Heights Sitting In An Attic

18 April 2017 1:09 PM, PDT | Deadline | See recent Deadline news »

Exclusive: Here is the first trailer for Wakefield, the provocative Bryan Cranston-starring dark comic drama from director Robin Swicord based on the E.L. Doctorow short story. IFC Films is releasing the pic May 19 after its world premiere at Telluride. It’s the latest all-in turn from Cranston, who since his Walter White days on Breaking Bad has shifted from Dalton Trumbo to Lbj to one nasty bad guy on Amazon’s Sneaky Pete. He’s also set to play Howard Beale in the new… »

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8 April 2017 12:38 PM, PDT | Trailers from Hell | See recent Trailers from Hell news »

When Alfred Hitchcock films are praised, this 1944 picture tends to get overlooked. Yet it hooks and holds audiences as strongly as any of the Master’s classics. When a handful of English and Americans are lost at sea, survival depends on their ability to cooperate. Can they trust the experienced sea captain — a German — who joins them? And when things become grim, will their behavior be any better than his?



Kl Studio Classics

1944 / B&W / 1:37 flat full frame / 96 min. /Street Date March 21, 2017 / available through Kino Lorber / 29.95

Starring: Tallulah Bankhead, William Bendix, Walter Slezak, Mary Anderson, John Hodiak, Henry Hull, Heather Angel, Hume Cronyn, Canada Lee

Cinematography: Glen MacWilliams

Art Direction: James Basevi, Maurice Ransford

Film Editor: Dorothy Spencer

Original Music: Hugo W. Friedhofer

Written by: Jo Swerling, story by John Steinbeck

Produced by Kenneth Macgowan

Directed by Alfred Hitchcock


Hitchcock goes to war, this time for 20th »

- Glenn Erickson

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Guest Post: When a Woman Called the Shots at the Screen Writers Guild

14 March 2017 1:32 PM, PDT | Women and Hollywood | See recent Women and Hollywood news »

Mary C. McCall Jr. with Maisie doll: Dwight Franklin

Guest Post by J.E. Smyth

Current debates in the media about women’s employment, representation, and visibility in Hollywood focus — perhaps predictably — on stars’ pay and the number of active female directors. Yet there’s also a sense that, however unequal the situation is now, things must have been far worse for women working in the film industry sixty, seventy, or eighty years ago under the studio system — and that women should be grateful for some small improvements.

How very far from the truth this is.

In 1942, the year Bette Davis and Katharine Hepburn earned higher salaries than President Roosevelt, the Screen Writers Guild elected a new president — Mary C. McCall Jr. She would be elected three times (1942–43, 1943–44, 1951–52), and for two decades was one of the most articulate and powerful advocates for screenwriters and their union. Before McCall came on the scene and helped broker the first contract with the producers, it was well known up and down Hollywood that the average writer made less per week than a secretary.

McCall worked to get the screenwriting profession its first minimum wage, unemployment compensation, minimum flat-price deals, maximum working hours, credit arbitration, and pay raises during WWII.

She specialized in films about women and was proud of it. She was less happy working at Warner Bros. In 1936, on loan out to Columbia, she was on the set every day working with director Dorothy Arzner, star Rosalind Russell, and editor Viola Lawrence on “Craig’s Wife.” It was Arzner who persuaded her to fight the misogynist atmosphere at Warner Bros. and commit to a serious career as a writer.

Two years later, she moved to MGM and crafted the sleeper hit of the year, “Maisie.” Ann Sothern’s never-say-die working woman became a cultural phenomenon and was one of the industry’s most successful franchises. During the war, McCall headed the Hollywood branch of the War Activities Committee, the Committee of Hollywood Guild and Unions, and the Screen Writers Guild.

But, being Hollywood’s top organization woman was only one part of her life. At the height of her career, she had and raised four children with two different husbands. She famously gave birth to twins 24 hours after her last story conference on 1935’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” She was a firm believer in the Equal Rights Amendment, and a lifelong Roosevelt Democrat. Hollywood producers destroyed her career when she stood up against Howard Hughes and Rko pictures when they denied Communist writer Paul Jarrico credit on “The Las Vegas Story” during the blacklist.

You won’t find any of this in academic or popular histories of Hollywood. These days, she’s all but forgotten, while Dalton Trumbo and the other male Hollywood Ten are remembered and even get biopic makeovers.

Things are changing.

On March 16, the Writers Guild Foundation will be honoring McCall’s life and legacy with a 35mm screening of “Craig’s Wife” — which is still not available to the public on DVD — and “Reward Unlimited,” a 10-minute documentary short she wrote about women’s war work which hasn’t been screened since 1944. After the screenings, McCall’s daughters, television writer Mary-David Sheiner and former Los Angeles Times film critic Sheila Benson, will sit down with me to discuss McCall’s career. The reception and event, held at the WGA theatre in Beverly Hills, are free.

When McCall came to Hollywood in the 1930s, women’s membership in the Screen Writers Guild hovered between 20 and 25 percent and was nearer a third during the war. But membership plunged for women in the 1960s down to the teens and shrunk further in the ’80s and ’90s. Since the millennium, numbers have slowly increased. Now, 24.9 percent of women are film guild members, but far fewer women writers are being hired for major productions now than the norm seventy or eighty years ago.

Why should we remember Mary C. McCall Jr.? Because she believed in women’s careers; because she believed in the importance of a union; because negotiation, compromise, and political moderation made her and her profession powerful. She is a role model to be reckoned with. And she proved two other things: that Hollywood’s women could call the shots in their careers and that seventy-five years ago, a woman could be president…

J. E. Smyth is Professor of History at the University of Warwick (UK) and the author of several books on American cinema, including “Edna Ferber’s Hollywood” and the BFI Classics volume on “From Here to Eternity.” Her book on Hollywood’s many high-powered career women — starring Mary McCall — will be published later this year by Oxford University Press.

Guest Post: When a Woman Called the Shots at the Screen Writers Guild was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. »

- Women and Hollywood

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Ed Catto: Don’t Listen?

6 March 2017 5:00 AM, PST | | See recent Comicmix news »

We live in a time when each day we are both blessed and cursed by instant feedback and judgment on everything we do. We’re hammered by harsh evaluations of our work and even our future-plans. Professional sports are dissected during postgame broadcasts and call-in shows. Feedback based on casting details or plot rumors now begins long before any creative project is released. In the comic industry, fans render judgments based on teased details long before anyone reads a single page.

Businesses are encouraged to hear and respond to every complaint and critique from customers. Hey, even I have led a seminar at ComicsPRO where the central theme was that retailers should “Grow Big Ears.”

But there are times when you have to ignore the voices. Sometimes you just know what has to be done and have to do it.

Exhibit #A is Joey Gates. Joey is a local Finger »

- Ed Catto

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Oscar Political Moments: A Timeline of the Memorable Sacrifices, Protests, and Speeches Throughout The Telecast’s History

26 February 2017 8:06 AM, PST | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

Filmmakers and stars have often taken a political stance by choosing which projects to make. But when the Academy Awards ceremony began in 1929 to honor the best in film, this created a more public way to demonstrate opinions about the state of the world, the government or a cause.

Read More: Meryl Streep Fires Back at Donald Trump in Blistering Speech: ‘We Have the Right to Live Our Lives’

Not everyone has taken this opportunity though, except for maybe wearing the odd ribbon to support awareness or using their attendance (or lack thereof) to show solidarity. Those blessed by winning a coveted statuette, however, can use their actual acceptance speech as a platform to speak out. Although the awards started being televised in 1953, it took until the 1970s until winners began to really take advantage of having a massive audience for their views. And at times, even the Academy itself got political. »

- Hanh Nguyen

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A Walk in the Sun

14 February 2017 5:37 PM, PST | Trailers from Hell | See recent Trailers from Hell news »

Lewis Milestone’s poetic character study of an infantry landing in Italy gives us a full dozen non-cliché portraits of men in war, featuring a dramatic dream team of interesting character actors. Dana Andrews was the only big star in the cast, joined by hopefuls Richard Conte, Lloyd Bridges and John Ireland; the standout crew includes Sterling Holloway, Norman Lloyd, Steve Brodie and Huntz Hall.

A Walk in the Sun


The Sprocket Vault / Kit Parker Films

1945 / B&W / 1:37 Academy / 117 min. / Restored Collector’s Edition / Street Date ?, 2017 / available through The Sprocket Vault / 14.99

Starring: Richard Conte, George Tyne, John Ireland, Lloyd Bridges, Sterling Holloway, Norman Lloyd Dana Andrews, Herbert Rudley, Richard Benedict, Huntz Hall, James Cardwell, Steve Brodie, Matt Willis, Chris Drake, John Kellogg, Robert Horton, Burgess Meredith.

Cinematography: Russell Harlan

Film Editor: Duncan Mansfield

Original Music: Fredric Efrem Rich; ‘The Ballads’ sung by : Kenneth Spencer

Written by: Robert »

- Glenn Erickson

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Mindy Newell: Utopia, Dystopia, Death…and Riverdale

30 January 2017 10:00 AM, PST | | See recent Comicmix news »

Sir John Hurt died a few days ago. One of Great Britain’s finest actors, his rise started with his turn as Robert Rich, a courtier and lawyer in Henry VIII’s court, in Fred Zimmerman’s A Man for All Seasons. The movie, based upon Robert Bolt’s play about the fall of, British Lord Chancellor Thomas More, could be considered a science fiction story as it deals with a perfectly harmonious island society that was nowhere to be found in More’s 16th century – or in the 21st, for that matter.

Sir John, in his long and brilliant career, was no stranger to our brand of cultural pop geekdom. Besides his outstanding turn as the War Doctor on the 50th anniversary special Doctor Who: The Time of the Doctor – he recreated the War Doctor on four sets of audio plays for Big Finish; three are already out, »

- Mindy Newell

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