9 items from 2014
Transcendence is a good film that aspires to greatness and falls a bit short. Jack Paglen’s screenplay grapples with the always-relevant question of how far science can, or should, go toward creating artificial intelligence. Yet despite the modern setting and visual effects it’s reminiscent of cautionary tales dating back to Mary Shelley and Robert Louis Stevenson. The ultimate lesson: there are some things man was not meant to know. Suspense is muted by the movie’s flashback framework, which reveals the overall ending in the opening scene. Knowing this undercuts the narrative impact of everything that follows, to some degree; it’s just a matter of learning the particulars....
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- Leonard Maltin
It has been dismissed over the years as cheesy, cheap and laughable but, as has been the case on many occasions, Hammer Films have had the last laugh. They boast a back-catalogue that is to horror movies what The Rolling Stones’ discography is to rock music. Fifty-nine years after the release of their first horror movie proper (The Quatermass Xperiment), Hammer’s films have survived scrutiny and re-evaluation and have now attained National Treasure status. Moreover, in terms of sheer importance, the Hammer films were some of the most influential of the past half-century. The ripple-effect of their imitators cashing in on their success would beget the careers of some of the biggest names in Hollywood today.
And yet since 1984 Hammer has been a dormant entity, existing only in the memory: a pile of ashes, a cape and a signet ring waiting to be reanimated by the crimson, jugular discharge of some poor, »
- Cai Ross
If you’ve never listened to horror radio, I wouldn’t blame ya. Most old radio shows are hokey, musty relics of forgotten times, only chilling to housewives in 1942. But there are exceptions, recordings from long ago with strange powers that have only grown over the passing decades. If you can look past the sometimes-dated presentation and put yourself in the right mindset, the best horror radio is like listening to the distant cries of ancient ghosts. Collected below are my ten favorite old-timey radio horror broadcasts. Turn off the lights and listen! [You can hear each episode by clicking on the title.] 1) Suspense: "Ghost Hunt" Forget The Blair Witch Project; this episode of Suspense marks the real beginning of found-footage horror. Recorded way back in 1949, the story is told through audiotapes “discovered” after wacky radio disc jockey Smiley Smith goes mad in a haunted house. Smiley starts off treating his visit like a goofy radio stunt, but before long, »
- Stephen Johnson
Well, the big day is finally here! After leading the Avengers in stopping an alien invasion Summer before last, our favorite shield-slinger returns to the multiplexes in an all new solo adventure (well, he’s got some help from the Black Widow and the high-flyin’ Falcon)! Before you head out, you may want to brush up on all things Steve Rogers (don’t worry, this won’t be on the final!)! Have fun and buy bonds!
Read my original review of Captain America Here.
Here’s my original article that ran on Wamg before Captain America: The First Avenger was released in 2011.
The very first appearance of the sentinel of liberty.
Okay fellow movie geeks! Ready for a bit of pop culture history? Before you head out to the multiplex this weekend to see Paramount’s Captain America: The First Avenger, let’s get better acquainted with the story of this star-spangled superhero. »
- Jim Batts
We return with another edition of the Indie Spotlight, highlighting recent independent horror news sent our way. Today’s feature includes photos from Utero, The Last Halloween, and Phantasmagoria, release details on The Horror at 37,000 Feet starring William Shatner, casting news for The Divine Tragedies, and much more:
Independently financed by Coinopflix, the movie stars Jessica Cameron who is also producing along with her Truth or Dare partner, Jonathan Higgins. Former Platinum Studios Exec (Cowboys and Aliens, Dylan Dog: Dead Of Night) Richard Marincic also serves as a producer on the film.
Utero is about “an agoraphobic unwed mother who finds her psyche unraveling as she becomes convinced that her unborn child is more monster than human.”
Cameron’s latest film Truth or Dare, is playing »
- Tamika Jones
January and February are traditionally regarded as dumping grounds for Hollywood’s lesser movies — the time when studios release the films not good enough for Oscar season and not promising enough for the summer box office. But with a surprising string of winter action hits, beginning with 2009′s Taken, that window might also be termed Neeson Season. “Neeson’s imposing 6’4” frame, haunted eyes, and knack for snapping limbs like celery stalks have elevated throwaways such as Unknown, The Grey, and Taken 2 into something more than the sum of their parts,” writes EW’s Chris Nashawaty. “They may not all be memorable films, »
- Jeff Labrecque
We return with another edition of the Indie Spotlight, highlighting recent independent horror news sent our way. Today’s feature includes an exclusive clip from the film, The Case of Mary Ford, first details on The Three starring Lew Temple from The Walking Dead, a new candle line from Horror Decor, a review of The Poisoning and The Returned, a Q&A with artist Naisa Gomez, and much more:
Exclusive Clip from The Case of Mary Ford: “Greece, 1910. Maria (Tamar Karabetyan) is a young Greek girl in a fishing village on the Black Sea. The village match maker betroths her to a young fisherman Adonis (Branko Tomovic), who is in partnership with the true object of Maria’s affection, Giorgos (Yannis Stankoglou). One stormy night Giorgos and Adonis’s boat capsizes and Adonis is lost at sea. With no source of income Giorgos sets of for America promising Maria he will return for her. »
- Tamika Jones
Patricia Highsmith provides the plot and writer-director Hossein Amini supplies the culture in “The Two Faces of January,” a gripping old-school suspenser starring Viggo Mortensen, Kirsten Dunst and Oscar Isaac that plays like “The Talented Mr. Ripley” minus the sultry sexual chemistry among its three leads. While the love-triangle dynamic lacks spark, this tony adaptation should have no trouble seducing Hitchcock fans and smarthouse types with its golden-hued tour of southeast Europe. What better way to see Turkey and Greece than in the company of such beautiful law-breakers as they try to stay two steps ahead of the local authorities?
Originally developed through “Ripley” director Anthony Minghella’s Mirage shingle, this lesser-known Highsmith novel has been smoldering on Amini’s to-do list for nearly 15 years. Best known as the screenwriter of such subtext-rich adaptations as “The Wings of the Dove” and “Drive,” Amini excels at conveying the subtle, unspoken tensions between characters, »
- Peter Debruge
Turner Classic Movies (TCM) has added an exciting roster of screen legends and beloved titles to the 2014 TCM Classic Film Festival, including appearances by Maureen O’Hara, Mel Brooks and Margaret O’Brien, plus a two-film tribute to Academy Award®-winner Richard Dreyfuss. Marking its fifth year, the TCM Classic Film Festival will take place April 10-13, 2014, in Hollywood. The gathering will coincide with TCM’s 20th anniversary as a leading authority in classic film.
O’Hara will present the world premiere restoration of John Ford’s Oscar®-winning Best Picture How Green Was My Valley (1941), while Brooks will appear at a screening of his western comedy Blazing Saddles (1974). O’Brien will be on-hand for Vincente Minnelli’s perennial musical favorite Meet Me in St. Louis (1944), starring Judy Garland. The tribute to Dreyfuss will consist of a double feature of two of his most popular roles: his Oscar®-winning performance »
- Melissa Thompson
9 items from 2014
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