8 items from 2016
Ryan Lambie Sep 12, 2016
"Congo is a dead project that will never be made" - Michael Crichton, 1983
Just about everywhere you looked in the summer of 1995, a pair of simian eyes stared back at you from the poster of Congo. Based on the best-selling Michael Crichton novel, Congo was billed as that year’s equivalent of Jurassic Park - another exciting creature feature with cutting-edge special effects and maybe just a tiny dash of horror.
“It’s a little like Alien at the beginning,” enthused director Frank Marshall, “in that it’s based in science fact, and like Indiana Jones at the end, with the lost city of Zinj.”
Determined to push Congo as a must-see summer film capable of competing with such »
Westworld is shaping up to be HBO’s next big thing. With a cast featuring Anthony Hopkins, Ed Harris and Evan Rachel Wood (not to mention J.J. Abrams producing), the show about a futuristic theme park called Westworld that places customers in the Old West, is off to a great start. And when you factor in the source material comes from the late Michael Crichton, the man behind Jurassic Park and The Andromeda Strain, it certainly seems to merit a look when it comes out on HBO on October 2. HBO has offered up some promo photos of the show. Rather than just post them as is, we figured we’d have a little fun and caption them. While we don’t know what these people might be thinking when they’re lost in the Old West, this is our best guesstimate. Honey, I told you to bring the Hostetter's Stomach Bitters. »
- David Eckstein
Michael Crichton’s “Dragon Teeth” has been acquired by HarperCollins for publication in May — the third posthumous novel to be released from the bestselling author.
HarperCollins made the announcement Thurday, describing “Dragon Teeth” as a fictional recounting of the actual rivalry between paleontologists Edward Drinker Cope and Othniel Charles Marsh during “The Bone Wars” of the 1870s.
“The story unfolds through the adventures of a young fictional character named William Johnson who is apprenticed first to one, then to the other and not only makes discoveries of historic proportion, but transforms into an inspiring hero only Crichton could have imagined,” the publisher said.
“Known for his meticulous research, Crichton uses Marsh and Copes’ heated competition during the ‘Bone Wars’ — the golden age of American fossil hunting — as the basis for a thrilling story set in the wilds of the American West.”
Crichton, who died in 2008, authored a dozen books that »
- Dave McNary
Director-producer Ridley Scott will receive the 30th American Cinematheque award.
The presentation will take place on Oct. 14 at the Beverly Hilton.
Scott received Academy Award director nominations for “Black Hawk Down,” “Gladiator” and “Thelma and Louise.” Othe directing credits include “Alien,” “Black Rain,” “Blade Runner,” “The Duelists,” “Exodus: Gods and Kings,” “G.I. Jane,” “Kingdom of Heaven,” “Legend,” “The Martian,” “Matchstick Men,” “Prometheus,” “Robin Hood,” “Someone to Watch Over Me” and “White Squall.”
“The American Cinematheque is extremely pleased to honor Ridley Scott as the 30th recipient of the American Cinematheque award at our celebration this year,” said American Cinematheque Chairman Rick Nicita. “To state it simply, Ridley Scott is one of the greatest directors in the history of the motion picture.”
- Dave McNary
After years in limbo, the rush to make a Star Trek movie suddely began in earnest on the 28th of March 1978. That day saw a lavish press conference arranged by Paramount president Michael Eisner, chairman Barry Diller and the entire cast of the original Star Trek series. Eisner announced to an assembled group of reporters that a film spin-off from the cult Trek TV show was finally going to be made. Its appropriately grand title - Star Trek: The Motion Picture.
The director, Eisner continued, would be Robert Wise - an industry veteran who was not only a safe pair of hands (he’d directed such hits as West Side Story and The Sound Of Music), but also had a proven track record with science fiction. »
Ryan Lambie Jul 6, 2016
Rejected scripts and a revolving door of writers. Ryan looks back at Planet Of The Titans, the early Star Trek movie that never was...
It's March 1977, and there's a very odd party going on at Paramount. The champagne's flowing, the glasses are clinking, but the atmosphere's far from celebratory.
Writers Alan Scott and Chris Bryant, who for the past six months had been working on a Star Trek movie script, have decided to leave the project following numerous rewrites and conflicted ideas from producers.
Susan Sackett, who was Star Trek creator Gene Rodenberry's personal assistant at the time, was one of several people at that party. "The occasion was one of celebration," Sackett wrote in the seventh issue of Starlog magazine, "yet touched with the sadness of saying 'au revoir' to old friends."
Old friends though Scott and Bryant may have been, there are suggestions here and »
Now, after 62 years, viewable again in beautiful 3-D! Scientists are being murdered in a secret underground laboratory overseen by a super-computer and two robots, Gog and Magog. The restoration is a stunning achievement, covered thoroughly on the disc extras. The year is young, but this is an early favorite. Gog 3-D 3-D Blu-ray Kl Studio Classics 1954 / Color / 1:66 widescreen / 85 min. / Street Date March 1, 2016 / available through Kino Lorber / 34.95 Starring Richard Egan, Constance Dowling, Herbert Marshall, John Wengraf, Philip Van Zandt, Michael Fox, William Schallert. Cinematography Lothrop B. Worth Film Editor Herbert L. Strock Original Music Harry Sukman Written by Tom Taggart, Richard G. Taylor, Ivan Tors Produced by Ivan Tors Directed by Herbert L. Strock
Reviewed by Glenn Erickson
Once viewable only at isolated special film festivals, vintage films on 3-D are enjoying a comeback thanks to a busy independent company. The 3-D Film Archive has done work for various studios and disc distributors, »
- Glenn Erickson
Robert Wise's taut noir suspenser about the Mafia takeover of a small city is like an underworld Invasion of the Body Snatchers. John Forsythe's newsman slowly realizes that gambling corruption has infiltrated the business district, city hall, and even his close associates; he's expected to become a crook too, or else. Great docudrama style aided by a special deep-focus lens; Estes Kefauver makes a personal appearance touting the crime-busting Washington committee that inspired the picture. The Captive City Blu-ray Kl Studio Classics 1952 / B&W / 1:33 flat full frame / 91 min. Street Date January 5, 2016 / available through Kino Lorber / 29.95 Starring John Forsythe, Joan Camden, Marjorie Crossland, Victor Sutherland, Ray Teal, Martin Milner, Geraldine Hall, Hal K. Dawson, Paul Brinegar, Estes Kefauver, Victor Romito. Cinematography Lee Garmes Film Editor Robert Swink Original Music Jerome Moross Written by Alvin M. Josephy Jr., Karl Kamb Produced by Theron Warth Directed by Robert Wise
- Glenn Erickson
8 items from 2016
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