8 items from 2011
If, over the last 10 months, you’ve sometimes felt that sitting through 2011’s movies has been somewhat akin to sitting through TV’s summer reruns, that’s because you have been sitting through reruns. Well, reruns Hollywood style.
According to a Box Office Mojo story earlier this year, 2011 will end as a record year for sequels, prequels, and spin-offs. I don’t know if Mojo included remakes in that calculation, but whether they did or didn’t, remakes have certainly added to that oppressive déjà vu feeling which seems to roll into the multiplex every couple of weeks.
And we’re not even considering the familiar-feeling clones and knock-offs. “Oh, yippee, another superhero flick! Another The Hangover wannabe!” It’s like that Twilight Zone where Dennis Weaver is damned to relive the same bad dream over and over; the people take different parts in each cycle, but it’s still the same nightmare. »
- Bill Mesce
Creator of film special effects who turned an 18-inch model ape into King Kong
In the history of cinema, many children have followed their mothers or fathers into the film business, but few offspring pursued the path of a parent more slavishly than Harry Redmond Jr, who has died aged 101. Like a master craftsman, Harry Redmond Sr passed on the skills of his trade to his son, the trade being the creation of special effects for films. Most notably, they worked together on King Kong (1933), in which a giant gorilla captures an actor, Ann Darrow, played by the "scream queen" Fay Wray.
The Redmonds were important members of the King Kong technical team under the supervision of Willis O'Brien, the pioneer of model animation. Part of their job was to integrate the stop-motion models and animatronics into live-action sequences by means of back projection and travelling mattes. Although the model »
- Ronald Bergan
20th Century Fox is developing an animated version of the classic "King Kong" story. The new movie will be a modern day twist and will tell the story from the vantage point of the ape. To write the script, the studio has already hired Christian Megalhaes and Bob Snow, whose "Murder of a Cat" script made the Black List, which is a list of the best unproduced screenplays. Most people know "King Kong" from the 1933 classic and Peter Jackson's 2005 film, which went on to gross $550 million in worldwide ticket sales. But the character has also appeared in "Son of Kong," "Kong Lives," King Kong vs Godzilla," and "King Kong Escapes," in addition to two animated projects "The King Kong Show" and "Kong: The Animated Series." »
20th Century Fox is developing an animated take on the 1933 classic King Kong , Deadline reports. Said to be an modern re-telling of the "beauty and the beast" tale and told from Kong's point of view, Christian Magalhaes and Robert Snow (who previously teamed for a short entitled "Bunny," directed by Snow) are attached to draft the project with Shawn Levy's company, 21 Laps, producing. Mike Weber, who holds the story credit, is also producing. Since the Merian C. Cooper-produced original, King Kong has been remade or reimagined several times over, including in a direct sequel (also released in 1933) entitled Son of Kong . Two remakes were also done, one in 1976 (with a 1986 sequel King Kong Lives ) and, more recently, a 2005 version directed by Peter »
Numbered sequels are out of fashion, and titles are getting longer and more ungainly as a result. We chart the rise and rise of the dreaded colon in movie names…
As we established a few weeks ago, sequels have been around in one form or another since the dawn of filmmaking itself, and in an indirect way, Johannes Gutenberg is to blame. But in the course of researching that article, it became apparent that the way sequels are named has changed considerably over the decades.
While the titles of films like The Son Of Kong and The Return Of The Pink Panther made a reference back to the names of their predecessors, the habit of simply slapping a number or numeral after a title didn’t really begin until the 50s and 70s, with the films Quatermass 2 and The Godfather Part II.
Movie producers gradually dropped the word ‘part »
“How come you only show us clips from movies none of us ever heard of?”
She was 30, a single mom who’d admirably gone back to school for a business degree to better things for her and her family. She’d taken my film appreciation class as an elective, a break from the grind of her business classes, expecting it would be – her word – “fun.”
But, due to the aforementioned “movies none of us ever heard of,” she was not having the anticipated fun.
I explained, “Because most movies were made before you were born.”
Simple and obvious, it still didn’t satisfy her, and the unasked next question in her eyes I guessed to be, “But why do we have to see them?”
Most of my class – not all, but most – I knew felt similarly. They didn’t say it but I could tell: rolled eyes, glazed eyes, eyes »
- Bill Mesce
We delve deep into the mists of time to discover the origins of the sequel, and come up with an unusual prime suspect…
If you want to blame somebody in particular for the rise and lingering popularity of movie sequels, you may want to point an accusatory finger at Johannes Gutenberg. Several hundred years before the first moving image was projected onto a wall somewhere in the late Victorian era, it was with the invention of the printing press by Gutenberg and his contemporaries that the concept of the sequel almost certainly began.
The first book to go into mass publication was the Bible, which was hardly the kind of book you'd dare to attempt to follow up with a sequel (though Jerry Bruckheimer may have tried, had he been a 15th century publisher). It was the modern novel, an invention that properly came into being in the 1700s, that »
Interviewed by Jessie Lilley
And just what is a “Renaissance Man” anyway? No, I’m not referring to the Voyager episode and I’m also not talking about the Penny Marshall film. In this context, the term Renaissance Man is defined as a person who excels at many different endeavors: the guy can do a lot of stuff and he does it all quite well. Such a one is the subject of this interview.
Larry Blamire first came across my radar when he and I were both living in Hollywood. I was at a private screening in the home of a friend of mine and he rolled a film called The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra. I was transfixed. What a delightful way to spend some time; laughing yourself silly. I immediately found a way to contact this man as I wanted to know what makes him tick.
It’s now years later and, »
8 items from 2011
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