19 items from 2015
Scream Queen legend Barbara Crampton (pictured above) is Film4 FrightFest’s special guest icon, appearing in no less than four films in this year’s line-up. She stars in We Are Still Here, Road Games and Sun Choke plus makes a cameo appearance in Tales of Halloween. Not only will Barbara be introducing all her films, she’ll also be talking about her amazing career during a special interview event, hosted by Alan Jones, on Sun 30th August at 9.15pm.
Says the legend herself:
To say that I am overjoyed, excited and eager to attend FrightFest as a guest is putting it mildly. This festival has been on my radar for some time and to be included and »
- Phil Wheat
It looks lovely and Ian McKellen is amazing, of course, but it’s not very Holmesian. I suspect Holmes himself would snort in derision at its sentimentality. I’m “biast” (pro): big fan of Sherlock Holmes and Ian McKellen
I’m “biast” (con): nothing
I have not read the source material
(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)
I love Sherlock Holmes in all his many incarnations, and when I heard that director Bill Condon was making a movie about an elderly Holmes played by Ian McKellan, I cheered. The two had previously collaborated on the wonderful Gods and Monsters — about the classic Frankenstein filmmaker James Whale in his later years — so this new film was bound to be great, wasn’t it? I was a tad sorry to learn that Mr. Holmes, though based on a novel, was not based on the fabulous Mary Russell »
- MaryAnn Johanson
While the gang at Scream Factory do a hell of a job giving genre fans special edition releases of their favorite horror films already, it’s always fun when horror company puts out new films as well. Films like Beneath and the Macon Blair-penned The Monkey’S Paw were both a lot of fun, and coming September 1st, yet another new title will be added to Scream Factory’s roster with their DVD/Bluray/Digital release of Army Of Frankensteins. Set in an imaginary time in which the undead are battling the living, and both doing so under the North Vs. South banner, the film sounds like a pretty nifty sci-fi/horror hybrid.
After a failed attempt to propose to his girlfriend, Alan Jones (Jordan Farris) is beaten within an inch of his life by a street gang. Transported to the mysterious lab of Dr. Tanner Finski and his kid genius assistant Igor, »
- Jerry Smith
Director Bill Condon reunites with elements from several of his most critically acclaimed titles for his latest work, Mr. Holmes, those being actors Ian McKellan and Laura Linney, performers both bestowed with Academy Award nominations for their work with Condon. A late staged episode in the life of one of literature’s most famed detectives, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes, the film is adapted from Mitch Cullin’s novel, A Slight Trick of the Mind. More so an exploration of reconciliation than an actual mystery thriller, the title bears striking resemblance to Condon’s most notable work, 1998’s Gods & Monsters, in which McKellan played Frankenstein director James Whale towards the end of his existence, cared for by an elderly maid. This core dynamic plays out in similar fashion, though to less dramatic and detrimental effect. Melancholy and gently morose, »
- Nicholas Bell
Mr. Holmes himself, Ian McKellen, Star Trek star George Takei and, in the rear, John Buffalo Mailer Photo: Anne-Katrin Titze Miramax and Roadside Attractions celebrated Bill Condon's Mr. Holmes with a premiere screening at the Museum of Modern Art, hosted by Ian McKellen and Laura Linney with Hiroyuki Sanada, executives Howard Cohn, Zanne Devine, Steve Schoch, Eric D'Arbloff and producer Anne Carey.
Laura Linney channeling Gene Tierney in Otto Preminger's Laura with Ian McKellen Photo: Anne-Katrin Titze The last time I spoke to Ian McKellen was at David Hockney's symposium on Vermeer's use of Optics when he was starring on Broadway with Helen Mirren and David Strathairn in August Strindberg's Dance of Death. Condon directed McKellen's Oscar-nominated performance in Gods and Monsters as Frankenstein director, James Whale.
- Anne-Katrin Titze
Stars: Jordan Farris, Christian Bellgardt, John Ferguson, Eric Gesecus, Rett Terrell, Burke McCrory, Raychelle McDonald, Lucas Ross, Thomas Cunningham, Shellie Sterling, Jami Harris, Donald Taylor, Laurie Cummings, Christopher Robinson, Gary Olinghouse | Written by Ryan Bellgardt, Josh McKamie, Andy Swanson | Directed by Ryan Bellgardt
After a failed attempt to propose to his girlfriend, Alan Jones is beaten to within an inch of his life by a street gang and taken to a mysterious lab where Dr. Tanner Finski and his kid genius assistant perform horrible experiments on him hoping to re-animate a Frankenstein. The experiments lead to a hole being ripped in space and time, manifesting an Army of Frankensteins from hundreds of parallel universes and sending them all back to the 19th century, directly into the heart of a bloody battle between the North and South. History will never be the same.
The Army of Frankensteins. Because one just isn’t enough, »
- Richard Axtell
Los Angeles' Bendix Building. Photo by Jordan Cronk.The bats have left the bell towerThe victims have been bled Red velvet lines the black boxBela Lugosi's dead —BauhausBela-Bonkers Brit Bloke Brazenly Boosts Bendix-Building Black Bandana!In the annals of Los Angeles crime, it was hardly an episode to titillate James Ellroy. Was it even really a crime? I was on the short stairwell that connects the 11th—the top—floor of the Bendix Building, a Garment District block on the corner of Maple St and 12th St, when I spotted the square of white-patterned black cotton. Into my pocket it rapidly went, compensation for the fact that my quest for rooftop access had been stymied. An orange plastic sign across the door up ahead, warning (bluffing?) of alarms that would ring out if opened, dissuaded further progress. I wasn't too disheartened—my unplanned visit to the Bendix Building had yielded sufficient delights. »
- Neil Young
With the death of horror film legend Christopher Lee, the last of the legendary honor guard of horror has passed on. He was part of an elite group that created the horror genre. Lee’s passing is a reminder that it’s been a long time since we had a new horror film superstar. Is the day of the horror film specialist gone forever? Where are the big-screen boogie-men for the 21st century?
Once upon a time there were a group of actors, known as the ‘screen boogiemen’ who created the horror film/monster movie genre (starting in Universal Studios and later in Hammer Studios.) They were specialists who understood the psychology and performance style of horror cinema and became legends in the industry. The first was silent film star Lon Chaney Sr. (Phantom of the Opera, London After Midnight, the Hunchback of Notre Dame, the Unholy Three, the Monster, »
- email@example.com (Rob Young)
Ron Moody in 'Oliver!' movie. Ron Moody: 'Oliver!' actor nominated for an Oscar dead at 91 (Note: This Ron Moody article is currently being revised.) Two well-regarded, nonagenarian British performers have died in the last few days: 93-year-old Christopher Lee (June 7, '15), best known for his many portrayals of Dracula and assorted movie villains and weirdos, from the title role in The Mummy to Dr. Catheter in Gremlins 2: The New Batch. 91-year-old Ron Moody (yesterday, June 11), among whose infrequent film appearances was the role of Fagin, the grotesque adult leader of a gang of boy petty thieves, in the 1968 Best Picture Academy Award-winning musical Oliver!, which also earned him a Best Actor nomination. Having been featured in nearly 200 movies and, most importantly, having had his mainstream appeal resurrected by way of the villainous Saruman in Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movies (and various associated merchandising, »
- Andre Soares
David Letterman will bid farewell to his Late Show tonight with a surprise-filled (and Foo Fighters-featuring) finale, but before the late-night legend says goodbye to airwaves, take 45 minutes to remember Letterman at the onset of his 33-year career. Decider unearthed Letterman's incredible debut episode of his Late Night NBC program from February 1, 1982, which featured guests Bill Murray and Donald "Mr. Wizard" Herbert.
Oh, to have been there at the drive-in in 1957 when this came out. Drive-ins were peaking in popularity, with over 4000 far and wide across North America providing countless hours of entertainment for youngsters, teenagers, and parents alike. However, if I was a little one and had seen this lurid and terrifying spectacle bleeding from the enormous outdoor screen, looming over the family car, I probably would have cried for my dad to rip off the attached speaker from the car window and make for the safety of home. And fast.
Released in the early summer of 1957, The Curse of Frankenstein was a huge hit worldwide, delighting audiences and – wait for it – appalling reviewers at the time. This isn’t much of a surprise. Curse is different from the Universal monster films of yore; even though it is set in the 1800’s, it has a direct, hip, and dare I say »
- Scott Drebit
The earliest Joel McCrea appearance in the “Acteurism” series features roughly fifteen minutes of screen time for the up-and-coming actor. It would be released the same year as his pivotal appearance in The Most Dangerous Game, but McCrea’s physical hesitancy and manner of speech make him appear a good ten years younger. He’d been underbilled by the enormously popular Will Rogers, appearing as a mere “with” in the poster and opening credits (though appearing above the equally huge character actor Boris Karloff, just one year after his role as Frankenstein’s monster). His role in Business and Pleasure (1932) accordingly consists of reacting to Fox Studio’s head comedic talent, a kind of “working actor” job that he’d keep accepting even at the height of his fame. Rko had experimented with McCrea as a leading man with a seven-reel Lloyd Bacon romantic drama Kept Husbands (1931), but he seemed more comfortable playing his handsome, »
- Zach Lewis
H.G. Wells’ The Invisible Man is set to gather nuts in May once again as Sony are looking to produce a remake of the classic story. Tracking Board are reporting that Sony will be working with The Divergent Series producers Lucy Fisher and Doug Wick under their Red Wagon Entertainment banner with Lucas Wiesendanger and Nick Cortese as executive producers.
The Invisible Man first debuted on cinema screens with Universal under the same name in 1933 directed by James Whale (Frankenstein, The Bride of Frankenstein). The movie has since become part of Universal’s Monster Classics and the character spawned several sequels including The Return of The Invisible Man with Vincent Price. The character and idea has also been used as inspiration for other movies including Chevy Chase’s The Invisible Man, 1992’s Memoirs of The Invisible Man and Paul Verhoeven’s Hollow Man starring Kevin Bacon.
Sony’s The Invisible Man »
- Luke Owen
The Invisible Man is one of H G Wells’ more perverse little daydreams. Whereas The Time Machine dreamed of an agrarian future (if you get past what dwells below) and The War Of The Worlds was one of our first intergalactic space yarns, there is something a little more disturbing about a man who can not be seen.
It certainly made for one of the best genre movies of the 1930s when director James Whale (Frankenstein, Bride Of Frankenstein) introduced Hollywood to Claude Rains with the 1933 camp classic. Now, it is finding new life with a unique version at Sony Pictures Entertainment where the film will be produced under the Red Wagon Entertainment Banner by Lucy Fisher and Doug Wick. Lucas Wisendanger and Nicki Cortese are also serving as executive producers on the project. »
Ian McKellen received glowing reviews out of the Berlinale for playing an aged, retiring Sherlock in writer/director Bill Condon's "Mr. Holmes." Ahead of its UK premiere in June and Us opening from Roadside Attractions and the reawakening Miramax on July 17, 2015, the film will play the Sf International Film Festival on Saturday, April 25 at the Sundance Kabuki Cinemas in Japantown as a Marquee Presentation. This version of the story begins in 1947 when an aging Holmes (McKellen) returns from Japan, where he was seeking a restorative plant and witnessed the devastation of nuclear war. Settled at a remote seaside farm, Holmes tends to his bees in the company of his housekeeper (Laura Linney) and her young son (Milo Parker) with whom he becomes close--and who helps him revisit an unsolved case. Read More: Ian McKellen Stars in Miramax's "Mr. Holmes" Bill Condon previously directed Ian McKellen as "Frankenstein" director James Whale in the. »
- Ryan Lattanzio
There are 195 individuals nominated for Oscar this year. And when the winners are named Feb. 22, they will become part of film history, joining such greats as Billy Wilder, Ingrid Bergman, Ben Hecht and Walt Disney.
But 80% of the contenders will go home empty-handed. However, there is good news: They are in good company as well.
Here is a sampling of nominees that didn’t win: “Citizen Kane,” “Chinatown” and “Star Wars”; directors Alfred Hitchcock, Howard Hawks, Stanley Kubrick and Ingmar Bergman; writers Tennessee Williams, Arthur Miller, Dashiell Hammett, John Steinbeck, Graham Greene, Harold Pinter and David Mamet; actors Gloria Swanson in “Sunset Blvd.”; Audrey Hepburn in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”; and Peter O’Toole in “Lawrence of Arabia.”
They managed to do Ok, though.
- Tim Gray
Save for a mention in Arthur Conan Doyle’s “His Last Bow,” precious little is known about the latter years of Sherlock Holmes: “We heard of you as living the life of a hermit among your bees and your books in a small farm upon the South Downs,” Dr. Watson tells Holmes in that final installment of the author’s short stories — hardly the sexiest ending to an illustrious career.
Novelist Mitch Cullin caught up with the character at age 93 in “A Slight Trick of the Mind,” which finds Sherlock a bit less sharp than before, handling a case whose clues are tied up in his foggy memories of the past. “Mr. Holmes,” the bigscreen adaptation of Cullin’s novel, debuted Feb. 8 at the Berlin Film Festival, and picks up where earlier stories left off. The indie movie, which Miramax will release later this year in partnership with Roadside Attractions, »
- Peter Debruge
Seventeen years after the movie that put him on the directing map and won him a screenwriting Oscar, Gods and Monsters, Bill Condon is reunited with that film’s redoubtable star, Ian McKellen, in a pleasing variation on shared themes of aging and mortality. The 1998 bio-drama of James Whale, the cinematic father of Frankenstein, dealt with an elderly man reconciling with the shadows of desire and creativity near the end of his life. Mr. Holmes centers on another sacred monster deep into his twilight, the fictional sleuth of Baker Street, as he wrestles with the retreat of his most
- David Rooney
Jean Arthur films on TCM include three Frank Capra classics Five Jean Arthur films will be shown this evening, Monday, January 5, 2015, on Turner Classic Movies, including three directed by Frank Capra, the man who helped to turn Arthur into a major Hollywood star. They are the following: Capra's Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, You Can't Take It with You, and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington; George Stevens' The More the Merrier; and Frank Borzage's History Is Made at Night. One the most effective performers of the studio era, Jean Arthur -- whose film career began inauspiciously in 1923 -- was Columbia Pictures' biggest female star from the mid-'30s to the mid-'40s, when Rita Hayworth came to prominence and, coincidentally, Arthur's Columbia contract expired. Today, she's best known for her trio of films directed by Frank Capra, Columbia's top director of the 1930s. Jean Arthur-Frank Capra »
- Andre Soares
19 items from 2015
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