10 items from 2014
‘Tis the season for awards, and while voters are busy weighing the merits of top Oscar contenders, the industry’s intangibles have fallen by the wayside. The year in film is comprised of so many movie moments and overlooked details that go unrecognized by Hollywood, so here’s a list of superlatives and unconventional awards that serve as an alternative to the prim-and-proper Oscars. There’s even more ground to cover than last year, so let’s get started …
- Jeff Sneider
Making a beloved Christmas special can be a daunting task. But the basics for a decent holiday special are simple: a happy moral lesson, some winter cheer, and absolutely no death, kidnapping, or insanity.
Really, during the holidays, all people want to do is relax, sit down with their families, and watch wholesome entertainment that won't leave anyone psychologically scarred or emotionally confused for years to come. That is why it is absolutely inexplicable that these totally bonkers holiday specials ever made it onto TV.
1. Nestor the Long-Eared Christmas Donkey (1977)
This depressing Christmas special takes place during the days of the Roman Empire, and tells the story of a donkey with freakishly long ears that is disliked and made fun of by all the other animals in the stable.
News: All of Santa's Reindeer, Ranked From Best to Worst
Essentially, the story is just a weird version of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, only with a »
“We are stardust, we are golden”, sang Joni Mitchell of the Woodstock Music and Art Fair, held August 15-18th 1969, at a dairy farm in the Catskills near the hamlet of White Lake in the town of Bethel, New York. The irony was, she wasn’t even there.
A further irony follows in that whilst a myriad of psychedelic colours are synonymous with the Woodstock nation, one of the most revered choices of dress, clearly shown in the documentary Woodstock (1970) is a simple white leather fringed lace-up tunic-style vest and bell bottom trousers. It is worn by one of the first female rock stars, the lead singer of Jefferson Airplane, Grace Slick.
As the biggest rock-folk fusion band to come from the 1960s San Francisco counterculture, Jefferson Airplane were the festival headliners on the Saturday. At the height of their fame in 1969, they »
- Lord Christopher Laverty
In a movie packed to the gills with mission statement moments, the scene that best encapsulates The Skeleton Twins is one of its more ridiculous ones. Suburban New Yorker Maggie, in the midst of the worst day of her life, discovers that the new goldfish she’s just bought have gone belly-up. She throws the guppies into an aquarium with two inches of water, and tries to resuscitate them with desperate swirling and whacks of a wooden spoon. A teary-eyed, manic, and wasted effort, Maggie’s attempt to save a dead fish too closely parallels the viewer’s feeling of watching good people do all they can to save the terminal project that is The Skeleton Twins.
Kristen Wiig stars as Maggie, a married dental hygienist introduced in her bathroom, a cellphone in one hand, and a prescription’s worth of sleeping pills in the other. At the same time, »
- Sam Woolf
(Cbr) - Until now, we've only gotten hints of the musical tastes of the icons of the Marvel Cinematic Universe -- AC/DC on Tony Stark's in-armor playlist, the Falcon turning Captain America on to Marvin Gaye -- but in "Guardians of the Galaxy," audiences get a complete sense of Star-Lord's '60s and '70s-era power-pop leanings -- and, as James Gunn, Chris Pratt and Vin Diesel attest, it's as appropriately awesome a mix tape as the cassette label suggests. The lineup of songs is epic, in terms of pop touchstones from their era: Swedish rockers Blue Swede's 1974 smash hit cover of "Hooked On a Feeling;" "Go All the Way," the 1972 breakthrough hit for songwriter/lead singer Eric Carmen's early band The Raspberries; "Moonage Daydream," David Bowie's 1971 glam rock ode to an alien messiah; blues rocker Elvin Bishop's "Fooled Around and Fell in Love," from »
- Scott Huver, Comic Book Resources
(Cbr) A few years from now, in this very galaxy, there will be a new director of the flagship "Star Wars" series. Following J.J. Abrams’ work on "Star Wars: Episode VII," director Rian Johnson will step in to steer the franchise forward with "Episode VIII," and possibly even "Episode IX." The "Looper" filmmaker made his first public comments on inheriting the "Star Wars" franchise during an appearance at Comic-Con International, describing the job as a dream come true. “The thought of it made me so completely joyfully happy,” he said, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. “I wanted to play in this world, of literally the first movie my dad put me in the car to see.” Johnson described the current process of working on "Episode VIII" as “kind of like summer camp,” with he and his team preparing by watching movies every night. The director even weighed in on other "Star Wars" topics, »
- Josh Wigler, Comic Book Resources
During press rounds at Comic Con, actor Benedict Cumberbatch let slip a comment that didn't confirm but did seem to suggest that rumors of actor Simon Pegg making a small appearance in "Star Wars: Episode VII" are true.
Speaking with Vulture, Pegg was asked about this and said he won't be seen on screen. He uses his wording very carefully though, in such a way that it now has people thinking he'll have a voice role:
"Well, J.J. uses me in different roles, and we're good friends. I feel like my face in Star Wars would pop people out of the movie. Look, I love Star Wars, and I don't want people to watch and go, 'Oh, there's Simon Pegg's face.' The film is cleverly cast with these amazing, unknown actors."
When asked outright if he wasn't in the film, he smiled and said:
"Of course I visited the set. »
- Garth Franklin
"Star Wars: Episode VII" still feels light years away from its December 2015 release, but that doesn't mean that Rian Johnson, just picked to write and direct its sequel, "Episode VIII," isn't already conducting research for his film.
In an interview taped for the Filmspotting podcast, Johnson chatted about his childhood love of the "Star Wars" movies, revealed the cinematic influences he plans on including in the flick, and discussed his unlikely selection as the newest member of the "Star Wars" filmmakers club.
"The thought of it made me so completely joyfully happy," Johnson said of agreeing to the offer to direct "Episode VIII." "I wanted to to play in this world, of literally the first movie my dad put me in the car to see."
The "Looper" director also joked that with his less-well-known pedigree, it must have been "a clerical error" that saw him land the gig, adding, "There's »
- Katie Roberts
Last month it was revealed that Brick and Looper director Rian Johnson had landed the gig of writing and directing Star Wars: Episode VIII, as well as writing the treatment and potentially directing Star Wars: Episode IX. Now the filmmaker has chatted briefly about securing the director’s chair on the follow-up(s) to J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: Episode VII during the FilmSpotting Podcast (via Slash Film):
“I’m really excited about all the things I can’t tell you. The thought of it made me so completely joyfully happy. I wanted to to play in this world, of literally the first movie my dad put me in the car to see. I can only assume it was a clerical error, like in the movie Brazil. There’s a ‘Brian Johnson’ out there who is really mad.”
Johnson then went on to suggest a viewing order for newcomers to »
- Gary Collinson
What can director Rian Johnson tell us about Star Wars: Episode VIII? Not much, it turns out. He is just now starting to work on the sequel, while director J.J. Abrams is hard at work in London at this very second, shooting scenes for the upcoming Star Wars: Episode VII, which will arrive in theaters first. Rian did, however, share his inspiration for the movie and where he plans to go with it.
He's joking about the Star Wars: Holiday Special part, of course. He does tell fans where to start with the series if they haven't already seen it, and offers a sense of where he's coming at this material as a filmmaker.
"I would do (Episodes) 4-6 then 1-3. Storytelling-wise, 4-6 were constructed without the knowledge of the past. »
10 items from 2014
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