14 items from 2015
This Friday, Sinister 2 arrives in theaters everywhere courtesy of Gramercy Pictures. The sequel follows James Ransone’s character from the first film, Deputy So & So, as he tracks down Bughuul to an isolated farmhouse where a mother (Shannyn Sossamon) and her twin sons (Robert and Dartanian Sloan) are currently living and must stop the demonic force before it claims another family.
Daily Dead had an opportunity to speak with Ransone earlier this week about returning for another Sinister, becoming a main character for the sequel, collaborating with director Ciarán Foy as well as his co-stars. Ransone also offered some hilarious insight into his process as an actor and even chatted with us about his time working on The Wire.
Thanks for speaking with me today, James—you were great in the film and it’s cool to see how the Deputy has evolved since the first Sinister. How much »
- Heather Wixson
A forgotten gem of the late 1970s comes to Blu-ray for the first time, Frank Pierson’s adaptation of the novel King of the Gypsies. Notable for several reasons, namely as the credited debut for actor Eric Roberts and a star studded cast packed to distraction, this is the kind of pulp oddity often whisked off the shelves of the bestseller list for glossy cinematic reinterpretation. This gypsy saga was based on a novel by Peter Maas, better known as the biographer of Serpico, which resulted in the novel inspiring Sidney Lumet’s classic 1973 film starring Al Pacino. Eventually, Maas’ works, often revolving around sensational true crime treatments, would be adapted mainly for television (including the 1991 Valerie Bertinelli Lifetime film, In a Child’s Name), and this sometimes outlandish antique feels like an exaggerated heirloom in the Harold Robbins’ vein (The Carpetbaggers; The Betsy; The Adventurers), a frumpy comparison »
- Nicholas Bell
Are people inherently evil? Is society just a barrier between us and our worst impulses, preventing us from exacting violence on one another, albeit through laws enforced with the thinly veiled threat of comparable violence? Must absolute power always corrupt absolutely? If left to our own devices, without checks to our authority, would we abuse it? The Stanford Prison Experiment, director Kyle Patrick Alvarez’s chilling dramatization of the infamous Philip Zimbardo study, posits a painfully pessimistic response to those questions. Not only would abuses of power occur without safeguards in place – they would occur almost immediately.
In the 1971 study at the center of this relentlessly grim thriller, volunteers (college guys, earning $15 a day) are separated by a coin flip into “prisoners” and “guards.” In the basement of a campus building, the guards are given free reign to watch over the prisoners and assert their authority in whatever manner seems most appropriate to them. »
- Isaac Feldberg
The trailer for The Stanford Prison Experiment was recently released, and if you were appalled just watching it, think of how the experience must have been for the men who had to live it. The movie, starring Ezra Miller and Michael Angarano and due in theaters on July 17, is based on the true story of a trial conducted by Dr. Philip Zimbardo (played by Billy Crudup in the movie) at Stanford University in 1971. If you learned about this in school, you probably remember the general gist of the experiment: A sampling of male volunteers were split into two groups, guards and prisoners. They lived in a faux prison setting, and as the trial went on, their behavior and personalities appeared to be greatly influenced by their assigned roles. Here's a basic breakdown of the study - the details of which you can find at the experiment's official website - and the incredibly disturbing results. »
Songs On Screen: All week HitFix will be featuring tributes by writers to their favorite musical moments from TV and film. Check out all the entries in the series here. With its exotic setting, tortured emotion, and overbearing soundtrack, "Doctor Zhivago" is the perfect Bollywood movie, despite not technically being in Hindi. Its iconic refrain, “Lara’s Theme,” is as familiar and evocative a leitmotif to an entire generation of Indians as Darth Vader’s Imperial March is to Anglophones. To talk about the theme is to talk about the entire movie, as it appears at least 15 times, with additional versions on the official soundtrack. Composer Maurice Jarre famously protested its overuse when producer Carlo Ponti trimmed the rest of the score, but Ponti, still mainlining pleasure to the masses on his Hundred And Second Film, knew what he was doing. Jarre won an Academy Award. In the late 1960s, »
- Priyanka Mattoo
TVLine has learned that Tom Schanley has been cast in the recurring role of Cash Windgate, a charismatic state trooper who is described as being “straight out of Cool Hand Luke, mirrored sunglasses and all.”
Charlie (played by Vanessa Ferlito) will cross paths with the smooth-talking lawman in her pursuit of British money launderer Germaine — though perhaps everything is not as it seems with charming Cash… »
All week long our writers will debate: Which was the greatest film year of the past half century. Click here for a complete list of our essays. How to decide in the grand scheme of things which film year stands above all others? History gives us no clear methodology to unravel this thorny but extremely important question. Is it the year with the highest average score of movies? So a year that averages out to a B + might be the winner over a field strewn with B’s, despite a few A +’s. Or do a few masterpieces lift up a year so far that whatever else happened beyond those three or four films is of no consequence? Both measures are worthy, and the winner by either of those would certainly be a year not to be sneezed at. But I contend the only true measure of a year’s »
- Richard Rushfield
Over the course of film history, we've seen plenty of long-time actors step behind the camera to take up their directorial ambitions. Clint Eastwood did it. Mel Gibson did it. George Clooney did it. What do these three have in commonc Well, for starters, they are all men, so there's that. Further, they are all white, but more on that later. More to the point of the article, these men all eased into their directorial careers by starring in their respective debuts, using their presence on screen to help market their talents off it. And with his feature directorial effort The Water Diviner, which hits limited theaters this week, Russell Crowe is just the most recent addition to a growing list of actors who have decided to try their hand behind the camera. Like Eastwood, Gibson, and Clooney before him, the Best Actor winner stars in his first feature as director, »
- Jordan Benesh
Frank Galvin (Paul Newman) is a man who has given up. A once-promising honors graduate of Boston College Law School, partner in one of the city’s most prestigious firms (not to mention married to the daughter of the firm’s founder), Galvin discovered too late that he had the biggest Achilles Heel an attorney can be cursed with: a conscience. Upon learning that another partner in his firm tried to bribe a juror from a case Frank was trying, thinking he’d be helping Frank out, Frank threatened to report him to have him disbarred and prosecuted. So of course, the firm backed Frank, fired the crooked lawyer and made sure he spent many years making license plates at the state pen, while giving Frank a raise and a key to the city. Right?
- The Hollywood Interview.com
Around the time I brought this Vestron Video release home from my local video store, I had an adolescent fascination with how the punk rock subculture that influenced my development had been portrayed in the media. In everything from video games to television and films, punk rockers were mostly portrayed as villains. There was a mythological aura surrounding the way these rebellious thugs were portrayed and it's clear in Class of 1984 that filmmaker Mark L. Lester (Commando) had a similar fascination and knew that pushing the legend made for better cinema.
Lester proudly declares now that he was prophetically making a film that bares important social significance and considers it to be the best film he's ever made, but let's be honest and admit that this movie is pure sleazy exploitation. Don't get me wrong, I love some good fun exploitation and as far as that's concerned there's no »
- Sean McClannahan
Sam Heughan, Caitriona Balfe, and Tobias Menzies all walked the red carpet at last night’s PaleyFest presentation of Starz’s period epic Outlander, where we asked them the tough question: which historical figure’s bones would you jump?
First up was Tobias Menzies, better known as Blackjack Randall/Frank Randall, who didn’t even think twice before saying Marilyn Monroe. “She seems like the most gorgeous, sex kitten-ish, bundle of joy,” said Menzies.
[Photo Credit: Rebloggy]
[Photo Credit: Sherdog.com]
But it’s Heughan, a.k.a. the love of every Outlander fan’s life Jamie Fraser, who took it the furthest back. “Cleopatra, wasn’t she supposed to be amazing?” said Heughan. “She bathed in milk and was really powerful. It probably wouldn’t last long, though. She’d probably have me killed. »
- Tara Aquino
Welcome to another horror round-up! This time around we’re focusing on Blue Underground’s theatrical re-release of Larry Cohen’s God Told Me To, a Scream Queens casting update, and Arrow Video’s upcoming Blu-ray/DVD releases of Society and Island of Death.
God Told Me To: Press Release – “One of the most disturbing and thought-provoking horror films of our time, God Told Me To was written, produced and directed by Larry Cohen (It’S Alive, Q- The Winged Serpent) and stars Tony Lo Bianco (The French Connection, The Honeymoon Killers)
Co-starring Deborah Raffin (Death Wish 3), Academy Award® winner Sandy Dennis (Who’S Afraid Of Virginia Woolf?), Academy Award® nominee Sylvia Sidney (Beetlejuice), Sam Levene (Brute Force), Robert Drivas (Cool Hand Luke), Mike Kellin (Sleepaway Camp), Richard Lynch (Bad Dreams), and Andy Kaufman (Taxi)
Confirmed theaters and dates, with additional cities coming soon.
Special Q&A’s with Larry Cohen Tba! »
- Derek Anderson
Joshua Dysart has been the architect of the Harbinger corner of the Valiant relaunch, and while there is and always has been a science fiction beat to the Valiant Universe, the story of Toyo Harada, even in this issue with a robot at his side, is to me one of heroic fantasy gone awry.
I think what’s most telling is that he sells his vision of the future by placing each of his people as beneficiaries and key architects of it. That even the most powerful mind on the planet cannot mask what’s at the heart of his own flaw. Maybe his only flaw. I think a lot of people, maybe even appropriately so, assign it as God Complex. I see a circumstance that’s mired in more tragedy. It’s Hero Complex. Toyo wants to be the hero. By giving each of his team the a vantage »
- Jay Tomio
Despite the crazy events of "Archer: Vice" last year, this week's premiere of the sixth season of FX's animated comedy returns the gang to their regular espionage business. However, creator-writer Adam Reed has revealed that at one point a plan was considered to see the team paying for their crimes - by putting them in prison.
Reed tells EW: "It was an offhand comment by someone. We sat down and talked about it and were laughing about it, and instantly story ideas were spilling out. Then some wet blanket said, 'Well, you know, it's going to seem like we're ripping off Orange Is the New Black.' It just sucked all the air out of the room.”
The idea may have been abandoned, but the team gave the mag an illustration of their idea of what would happen to these incarcerated characters. Prison movie references galore are in the shot, »
- Garth Franklin
14 items from 2015
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