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“They said you was hung!”
“They was right!”
Blazing Saddles plays this weekend (August 29th and 30th) at The Tivoli at midnight as part of their Reel Late at the Tivoli midnight series.
And the perfect movie to show in a city that’s in the middle of a race riot is of course….. Blazing Saddles!
I showed the condensed Super-8 version of Blazing Saddles, appropriately enough, at my Super-8 Politically Incorrect Movie Madness show last year at The Way Out Club and there are enough N-words in the 18-minute edit alone to make Paula Dean blush, but damn, this movie just keeps getting funnier as it ages!
Blazing Saddles is my favorite Mel Brooks comedy. Yes, even more than Young Frankenstein – it’s hard to believe Brooks produced both yuk-fests the same year. I just watched his 1977 follow-up High Anxiety on 16mm last weekend for the first time since it was new and Yikes! »
- Tom Stockman
DirecTV is coming Full Circle again, renewing the relationship drama for a 10-episode second season, TVLine has learned exclusively.
Each season follows a group of adults whose lives are unknowingly intertwined. The series’ first season, which was set at a restaurant and written by Neil Labute, featured a cast of TV vets that included David Boreanaz (Bones), Kate Walsh (Private Practice), Julian McMahon (Nip/Tuck), Billy Campbell (The Killing), Minka Kelly (Friday Night Lights) and Robin Weigert (Deadwood).
John Michael McDonagh's "Calvary" is a gorgeously photographed, exquisitely acted, richly written tale of the underbelly of faith. At the end of a lackluster summer that seemed full of more malnourished product than normal, it's wonderful to sink your teeth into something like this that has so much to say and does so in so efficient a manner. The film debuted at Sundance to mostly positive reviews, but I'd wager they weren't positive enough. McDonagh, along with his brother Martin, are two of the most vital voices we have in movies at the moment and "Calvary" might pack the heftiest punch of either of their filmographies. At at its center is Brendan Gleeson, a lone man of love against a world of hate. The western iconography is impossible to ignore and indeed, both Gleeson and McDonagh flip some of those conventions on their ear in the film. Gleeson recently »
- Kristopher Tapley
Calvary. The place of the skull, wound through Latin into English from the ancient Aramaic name Golgotha. This is the place, outside the walls of Jerusalem, where Jesus was crucified. It’s not exactly a light title for a movie, but writer/director John Michael McDonagh isn’t interested in levity. He opens with a quote from St. Augustine: “Do not despair; one of the thieves was saved. Do not presume; one of the thieves was damned.” Referring to the two men crucified next to Christ, it’s an ominous declaration of ambiguity. This film does not aim to end on a note of simple closure. That said, this is not a sober and humorless cry of despair from the heart of Catholicism. That St. Augustine quote has cropped up once before in the work of an iconoclastic Irishman, Samuel Beckett. Waiting for Godot, in its god-killing irreverence, evokes the two thieves as an example of the »
- Daniel Walber
With "summer" blockbuster season becoming increasingly a thing of the past (this year's began in March with Captain America: The Winter Soldier), narrowing down the Best Of shortlist for even half a year's worth of cinema has never been tougher.
Since we're going by UK release dates for this list, we had both the cream of the awards season crop to consider alongside the tentpoles, not to mention a handful of exceptional indie offerings from spring.
Below are Digital Spy's top ten movies of the year so far. Be sure to vote for your favourite in our poll, and leave your own list in the comments!
10. 12 Years a Slave
"Despite the overall lack of McQueen's stamp, the film's physically unflinching treatment of its subject matter is where he does make himself felt. This is a tremendously powerful drama that simultaneously highlights the human capacity for cruelty and for resilience, bolstered by an extraordinary, »
There’s something about the American West that has always inspired creative genius, from the words of Willa Cather and the long-running Gunsmoke to the unfortunate sequels starring the likes of Marty McFly and Fivel. Alright, alright, not all of it is genius. In fact, when the Real Tumbleweeds of Tombstone Pizza Ranch head off to Montana, it was less High Noon and more A Million Ways to Kill Yourself With Boredom in the West. This was certainly the tamest Housewives vacation in recent memory, right? And there were cowboys involved!But because this is a Housewives trip, there are a lot of steps we have to take before they can even get on the plane. Yes, these things have become so ritualized and formulaic that they should take place at Stonehenge on the vernal equinox. Before we can go on the trip, we have to talk about the trip. »
- Brian Moylan
Oldest person in movies? (Photo: Manoel de Oliveira) Following the recent passing of 1931 Dracula actress Carla Laemmle at age 104, there is one less movie centenarian still around. So, in mid-June 2014, who is the oldest person in movies? Manoel de Oliveira Portuguese filmmaker Manoel de Oliveira will turn 106 next December 11; he’s surely the oldest person — at least the oldest well-known person — in movies today. De Oliveira’s film credits include the autobiographical docudrama Memories and Confessions / Visita ou Memórias e Confissões (1982), with de Oliveira as himself, and reportedly to be screened publicly only after his death; The Cannibals / Os Canibais (1988); The Convent / O Convento (1995); Porto of My Childhood / Porto da Minha Infância (2001); The Fifth Empire / O Quinto Império - Ontem Como Hoje (2004); and, currently in production, O Velho do Restelo ("The Old Man of Restelo"). Among the international stars who have been directed by de Oliveira are Catherine Deneuve, Pilar López de Ayala, »
- Andre Soares
This past week, I was revisiting classic Sean Connery science fiction from the 1980s, and I happened upon Peter Hyams’ High Noon-inspired thriller Outland. In this film, Connery plays a Marshal on Io, a moon of Jupiter. After butting heads with the boss on the moon base, Connery finds himself the target of assassins sent to Io. Their weapons of choice: shotguns. Shotguns… in the future… in space. The climax of the movie played well for plenty of action and thrills, but it did make me ask the same question that Chick (Will Patton) asks of Colonel Willie Sharp (William Fichtner) in Armageddon: “What are you doing with a gun in space?” After considering what is possibly the most level-headed and logical question ever posed in a Michael Bay movie, I got to thinking: Is it really a good idea to have guns in space? The Answer: No. It »
- Kevin Carr
Writer/director Seth MacFarlane trades in a foul-mouthed CGI teddy bear for an equally foul-mouthed sheep farmer (how's that for range?) in his new Western comedy, "A Million Ways to Die in the West." This is a movie that aims to be a modern-day "Blazing Saddles" and succeeds -- well, as far as copying that film's opening credits font, at least.
In addition to directing, co-writing, and producing "A Million Ways to Die in the West," MacFarlane stars in his first major live-action role as Albert, a lovable loser painfully unsuited for life in an 1882 frontier town. But when his girlfriend (Amanda Seyfried) leaves him for the well-off proprietor of the local "moustachery" (Neil Patrick Harris), Albert aims to win her back with the help of a mysterious newcomer named Anna (Charlize Theron), unaware she's the wife of "the most dangerous bandit in the territories" (Liam Neeson).
So, the question is, »
- Rick Mele
High Noon Entertainment is partnering with Mag Interactive to adapt the popular Ruzzle mobile games for U.S. TV. High Noon says it plans to develop and expand the gaming series into a format for both broadcast and cable networks as well as syndication. The social word game allows each player two minutes to find as many words as possible from a given set of letters. Ruzzle is available in 13 different languages and can be played with friends or random players around the world. Exec producers include Jim Berger and Patrick Jager for High Noon, Johan Persson for Mag Interactive as well as mobile gaming expert Peter Levin. »
- THE DEADLINE TEAM
High Noon Entertainment announced Wednesday that it is partnering with Swedish mobile game developer Mag Interactive to adapt its Ruzzle mobile games for U.S. TV.
High Noon plans to develop and expand the series into a format designed for broadcast and cable networks as well as syndication.
The social word game launched in 2012. Similar to the board game Yahtzee, it challenges each player to find as many words as possible from a given set of letters over a span of two minutes. The game has earned over 50 million downloads worldwide, is available in 13 languages and can be played with friends or random players.
“Ruzzle has all the perfect elements of a game format – the rules are simple, anyone can play and there’s a ticking clock, »
- Andrea Seikaly
Tall Tales from the Badlands #3
“The Judgment of the People,” Written by Mark Wheaton; Art by Jerry Decaire
“Rustlers,” Written by Robert Napton; Art by Franco Cespedes
“All Mine,” Written by Matt Dembicki; Art by Ezequiel Rosingana
Published by Black Jack Press
Weird West-style anthology is a perfect blend of Western, Sci-fi, and Horror
What ingredients make up this self-proclaimed “Weird West” anthology from Black Jack Press? It is made up of a hefty dose of Louis L’Amour mixed with an equally strong dose of Stephen King with a very light dash of The Twilight Zone. The writers who provide the scripts for this masterpiece collection were certainly inspired by this strange and unlikely mix of influences. However, each story in the anthology which mixes western and horror »
- Merriell Moyer
The Real Housewives of Orange County" held a hoedown Monday night, but a mechanical bull nearly got the best of Tamra Barney while a raging bull (Heather Dubrow) locked horns with Shannon Beador. Dubrow held a Western-themed party to celebrate the groundbreaking of the oceanfront lot for her new mansion, and the wives traded in their bling and Beamers for boots, cowboy hats and a ride on a mechanical bull. "Leave it to Heather to make dirt look great," said "Tammy Sue" Barney. "She's brought in sets to make it look like a Western." Added Lizzie Rovsek: "The house is »
- Wade Rouse
As much as she stood out from the crowd in her Oscar-winning turn as Edith Piaf, that’s how much Marion Cotillard blends into the unfettered working-class environs of “Two Days, One Night,” a typically superb social drama from directors Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne. Rich in the Dardennes’ favored themes of work, family and the value of money, and infused with the suspense of a ticking-clock thriller, “Two Days” may be dismissed by some as more of the same from the Belgian siblings who rarely stray far from the industrial port town of Seraing. Yet within their circumscribed world, the Dardennes once again find a richness of human experience that dwarfs most movies made on an epic canvas. Cotillard’s presence will assure the widest exposure to date of any Dardenne effort, particularly in the U.S., where IFC will distribute later this year.
Always masters of narrative economy, the »
- Scott Foundas
Of all the films at Cannes this year, The Salvation could - on paper, at least - sound the Cannes-iest. A Danish/South African co-produced spaghetti Western directed by a former script consultant on Antichrist, starring Mads Mikkelsen and - erm - Eric Cantona. Yet what sounds like a possible arthouse nightmare emerges as a near perfect blend of old school genre sensibilities and modern filmmaking. The story's as High Noon-classic as they come - it's 1871, and after a torturous seven years apart, Danish ex-soldier Jon is about to be...
- Matt Risley
AMC said it had approved three unscripted series that will take viewers from celebrity bowling matches to looks at a rock star’s adventures in the professional wrestling business and the hard, intense work of Hollywood set design.
The network, the flagship of AMC Networks, is best known for its scripted dramas, like “Mad Men” and “The Walking Dead.” In recent seasons, however, it has made attempts to build its development of unscripted series, including looks at a comic book store owned by director Kevin Smith, or, more recently, “Game of Arms,” a series centered on arm wrestling.
One of the new programs, “All-Star Celebrity Bowling,” will consist of eight 30-minute episodes and will feature two new celebrity casts facing off each week in a bowling match for charity. Comedians and siblings Randy and Jason Sklar will host. The series is adapted from Chris Hardwick’s web series, “All-Star Celebrity Bowling. »
- Brian Steinberg
AMC is expanding its unscripted slate with three new series, All-Star Celebrity Bowling, Visionaries (working title) and the Untitled Billy Corgan Wrestling Project, all slated to premiere next year. AMC has ordered eight half-hour episodes of All-Star Celebrity Bowling, adapted from Chris Hardwick’s hit web series. Hosted by twin brothers Randy and Jason Sklar, the talk/game show hybrid features two new celebrity casts from the worlds of TV, movies, sports, music and pop culture who each week face off in a bowling match for charity. Jon Hamm and the cast of Mad Men face off against Chris Hardwick and his Nerdist team in the pilot. All Star Celebrity Bowling is produced by High Noon Entertainment, with Hardwick exec producing along with Jim Berger and Patrick Jager from High Noon. The Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan stars in the Untitled Billy Corgan Wrestling Project. The eight-episode hourlong series follows »
- THE DEADLINE TEAM
Every wondered what an Irish Western might look like? Gaze upon the first trailer for Calvary, the second feature by John Michael McDonagh, and wonder no longer; its hero is a sardonic, jaded priest, its outlook grim, its comedy as black as pitch. Picture a classic like High Noon, or perhaps something along the lines of Man of the West, but set among Ireland’s coastal hamlets rather than the harsh American West, and you should have a reasonable idea of what to expect from Calvary.
Of course, The Guard, McDonagh’s 2011 directorial debut, is easily the best predictor of what Calvary will be all about; both of them transplant conventions of distinctly American genres into unmistakably Irish settings, both of them feature a morbid sense of gallows humor, and both of them star Irish acting legend Brendan Gleeson. But Calvary‘s trailer ...
- Andy Crump
Exclusive: Spike TV is heading to Miami for a spinoff of its successful La-set Tattoo Nightmares series. The network has ordered 10 half-hour episodes of Tattoo Nightmares Miami from SallyAnn Salsano. It’s slated to go into production this spring for premiere in the fall in conjunction with the fifth season of the network’s other tattoo franchise, Ink Master. Tattoo Nightmares Miami will feature three new tattoo artists — Clint Cummings, a former contestant on Ink Master Season 2; local artist Samuel Suarez, better known to his clients as High Noon; and Reese Hilburn, a female fine artist and tattooist from Southern California — who will tackle cover-ups as well as create and execute extreme original tattoos. That could include tattooing someone’s head, eyelid, or a major surgery scar. Tattoo Nightmares’ current season is averaging 1.1 million viewers, improving the time period by 147% in adults 18-49 and 82% in viewers. Tattoo Nightmares and Tattoo Nightmares »
- NELLIE ANDREEVA
Welcome back to Cannes Check, In Contention's annual preview of the films in Competition at next month's Cannes Film Festival, which kicks off on May 14. Taking on different selections every day, we'll be examining what they're about, who's involved and what their chances are of snagging an award from Jane Campion's jury. Next up: Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne's "Two Days, One Night." The directors: Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne (Belgian, 63 and 60 years old). World cinema's favorite fraternal directing duo, and the pre-eminent figures in Belgium's spotty filmmaking history, the pair grew up in the French-speaking Wallonia district, studied drama and philosophy respectively, and co-founded the Derives documentary production company in 1977 -- it stands to this day. After a decade of non-fiction work, they made their first narrative feature, "Falsch," in 1987; their third feature, 1996's "La Promesse," proved the breakthrough, premiering at Toronto, winning a couple of major Us critics' awards, »
- Guy Lodge
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