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HitFix's recent spate of "Best Year in Film History" pieces inevitably spurred some furious debate among our readers, with some making compelling arguments for years not included in our pieces (2007 and 1968 were particularly popular choices) and others openly expressing their bewilderment at the inclusion of others (let's just say 2012 took a beating). In the interest of giving voice to your comments, below we've rounded up a few of the most thoughtful, passionate, surprising and occasionally incendiary responses to our pieces, including my own (I advocated for The Year of Our Lynch 2001, which is obviously the best). Here we go... Superstar commenter "A History of Matt," making an argument for 1968: The Graduate. Bullit. The Odd Couple. The Lion in Winter. Planet of the Apes. The Thomas Crown Affair. Funny Girl. Rosemary's Baby. And of course, 2001, A Space Odyssey. And that's only a taste of the greatness of that year. "Lothar the Flatulant, »
- Chris Eggertsen
The beginning of May every year means one thing to me and thousands of other horror fanatics around the world. For the past ten years, it’s meant we’ve arrived at another annual Texas Frightmare Weekend. It’s the only event in the Lone Star State that brings together genre actors and artists that we not only grew up watching but are still enjoying on the silver screen and television. 2015’s convention lineup is no different as we welcome actors from Scream, The Craft, A Nightmare on Elm Street 2, and Phantasm to name a few. The terrifying fun kicks off this coming Friday, May 1st at the Hyatt Regency located on the grounds of the Dfw Airport.
I’ve attended Texas Frightmare Weekend for the past few years and only regrettably missed it once. It’s one of the best conventions in the South. All the celebrity guests are »
- email@example.com (Eric Shirey)
Zachary Levi and guest on the Oscars' Red Carpet Zachary Levi at the Academy Awards Pictured above is Zachary Levi and a guest on the 83rd Academy Awards' Red Carpet this past Sunday, Feb. 27, just outside the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood. At the Oscar ceremony, Zachary Levi and Mandy Moore performed "I See the Light," a Best Original Song nominee – music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Glenn Slater – from the animated feature Tangled. The 2011 Best Song winner turned out to be Randy Newman's "We Belong Together," from another animated feature, Toy Story 3 – last year's biggest domestic box office hit. Zachary Levi movies Below is a partial list of Zachary Levi films.* His movie debut took place in Mark Douglas Miller's comedy short Reel Guerrillas (2005), while his feature film debut was in a supporting role in John Whitesell's comedy Big Momma's House 2 (2006). Thor: The Dark World (2013). Director: Alan Taylor. »
- D. Zhea
The Simpsons has a long history of peppering its stories with pop culture references, and some of the show’s finest gags stem from the world of cinema. These have ranged from the briefest of quotes, to full on shot-for-shot parodies and extended episode-long homages.
Most striking in trying to put this list together was the sheer volume of movie references there are to choose from. In pretty much any given episode of The Simpsons, there are at least a couple, with nods to James Bond, 2001: A Space Odyssey and the work of Alfred Hitchcock proving three of the most regular candidates. The tributes to numerous great horror movies in the show’s Treehouse Of Horror episodes could have been used to fill this list all on their own. »
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
We're one big step closer to entering Murder World, the main setting of Rob Zombie's upcoming horror film, 31, as the North American rights have been picked up for the Halloween-set movie in which five kidnapped people fight against the likes of Doom-Head, Death-Head, and many more demented denizens of a place that even the bravest of trick-or-treaters likely wouldn't visit.
According to Indiewire, Alchemy (formerly known as Millennium Entertainment), has acquired the North American rights for Rob Zombie's 31, which has been filming with the following impressive, eclectic cast in front of the camera:
Malcolm McDowell (A Clockwork Orange, 2007's Halloween) as Father Murder, "the owner of Murder World." Tracy Walter (Repo Man, The Silence of the Lambs) as Lucky Leo. Pancho Moler (2005's Bad News Bears, American Horror Story: Freak Show) as Sick-Head. Jeff Daniel Phillips (The Lords of Salem, Halloween 2) as Roscoe, "the »
- Derek Anderson
For the second week in a row, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s villains stole the episode right out from under its heroes. Last week, it was Kyle MacLachlan and his team of misfit supervillains; this week, it's Grant Ward and the face-changing Agent 33, banding together in a productive, often-homicidal union that begins with a thinly veiled riff on Pulp Fiction and ends with a thinly veiled riff on A Clockwork Orange.This week's episode is called "Love in the Time of Hydra" — but while Ward and Agent 33 make a pretty excellent team, I'm not yet convinced we're actually seeing the first stirrings of true romance between them. Grant Ward isn't exactly a sociopath, but he's somewhere in that spectrum, and his affection for Agent 33 is suspiciously coincident with her ability to help him in a series of high-risk missions. Whatever the future of their relationship, Ward and Agent 33 »
- Scott Meslow
Directed by Paul Tibbitt.
When a diabolical pirate above the sea steals the secret Krabby Patty formula, SpongeBob and his nemesis Plankton must team up in order to get it back.
“Sponge Out of Water”: a suitably teasing sub-titled for the second (and hugely overdue) sequel to 2004’s SpongeBob Squarepants Movie, which promises more nautical shenanigans in and around Bikini Bottom with the titular sponge and his marine friends. Why it took so long for a sequel to appear in the first place despite its $140 million worldwide gross is a mystery the size of SpongeBob’s crabby-patty recipe, but back into the ocean we go, though be sure to take some ibuprofen with you, as Sponge Out »
- Scott J. Davis
Sam Carey on Barry Lyndon and the Oscars…
March 1976 saw One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest fly in to the 48th Academy Awards and leave with statues for Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Screenplay, Best Director and Best Picture. It was only the second time a single film has walked away with awards in the ‘big five’ categories yet, it should never have happened. Instead, in its place should have stood Stanley Kubrick’s Barry Lyndon.
Following the media furore of 1971’s A Clockwork Orange – Kubrick withdrew the film from theatres after groups imitated the attacks of ultra-violent lead character Alex and his group – the director turned his attentions to the 18th century. On the surface a huge departure from his previous work the film, Barry Lyndon, is nevertheless quintessentially Kubrick.
What sets Kubrick’s tenth feature apart from every other film released in 1975 is its polish. Stanley Kubrick »
- Gary Collinson
Directed by Norman Jewison.
In the not-too-distant future the corporations control everything, and when they tell top sportsman James Caan he can’t play the game of rollerball anymore he decides to challenge the controlling bodies.
Do you remember the old Bitmap Brothers computer games Speedball and Speedball 2: Brutal Deluxe? For those that don’t they were a pair of games where the idea was to get the ball in the opponent’s goal using a variety of throws, rolls and casual violence as you kick, punch and barge as many other players as you can. Great games and they would have made a great film, if only one hadn’t been made over a decade earlier in the shape of Rollerball, a dark sci-fi thriller that has loftier »
- Gary Collinson
Above: French poster by Boris Grinsson for You’ll Never Get Rich (Sidney Lanfield, USA, 1941).In the new edition of Film Comment, out this week, I write about British airbrush artist Philip Castle and his iconic poster for Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange. The other man behind that poster, aside from Kubrick himself, was producer, director and writer Mike Kaplan who, at the time, was Kubrick’s marketing guru.Kaplan, who has been collecting movie posters, as well as art directing them, for 35 years, is a tireless proselytizer for the art form and his latest project is a labor of love and a pure delight. Gotta Dance! The Art of the Dance Movie Poster, a book he wrote and curated, was born out of a touring exhibition of his own personal collection that he has been exhibiting around the country for the past few years. Its latest stop is »
- Adrian Curry
Well timed in light of the unveiling of the Apple Watch, “Creative Control” reps a big step forward for its co-writer/director, Benjamin Dickinson, following his promising 2012 debut, “First Winter.” The story of an ad exec who finds his priorities rewired while testing a pair of eyeglasses that constitute “the first actually convincing augmented-reality system” doesn’t exactly have new things to say about technology and alienation. But a contemplative tone, a zigzagging narrative, superb widescreen black-and-white cinematography and an infusion of dry humor make it feel genuinely fresh. Critical nurturing could help this moody, offbeat indie find its audience.
Dickinson’s “First Winter,” set at a yoga farm, was a survivalist picture that hinged on a reversal of expectations; its characters approached the abyss and stared back. In some ways, “Creative Control” tells a similar tale in the tech realm. David (played by Dickinson) has taken charge of a dream account, »
- Ben Kenigsberg
Halloween may be over seven months away, but on the set of Rob Zombie's 31, the autumnal season is in full force and trick-or-treaters could pop up at any minute. Filming began yesterday on 31, Rob Zombie's Halloween-set horror film that takes place on the horror-soaked holiday at a place called Murder World. In recent weeks several key cast members have been added to the fright film and yesterday another big-name addition was announced: Malcolm McDowell.
In addition to playing Dr. Samuel Loomis in Rob Zombie's Halloweeen (2007) and Halloween II (2009), McDowell has played memorable characters aplenty in his legendary career and is perhaps best known for playing Alex in Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange. Now he'll add the character of Father Murder to his résumé. Announced by Zombie on his Facebook page, Father Murder is the "owner of Murder World", the sinister setting of the film where five kidnapped »
- Derek Anderson
Premiering in the Midnight Madness section of the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival, Hitoshi Matsumoto’s latest slice of insanity, R100, is his most perverse yet. If only there could have been more of a definable method to the madness. After a wide range of festival play, the title received a limited theatrical release at the end of 2014 and has gone on to acquire something of a cult following thanks to its generally amusing array of batshit crazy set pieces.
After his delightful if belabored 2007 debut Big Man Japan put him on the map, director Matsumoto returns with another slice of strangeness, with an S&M inspired fever dream of alternate realities that’s not quite as compelling as it is confounding. Drug fueled hallucinations, secret clubs and leather harnessed vixens abound, but this is more Rihanna’s style of S&M, teasingly vague rather than titillating or sinister. Fans of »
- Nicholas Bell
Before its demise in 1980, “Camera Three” was a show focused on different forms of art that aired on Sunday mornings on CBS. In 1972, they spend an episode examining Stanley Kubrick’s infamous adaptation of “A Clockwork Orange,” and thanks to the fine people of Dangerous Minds, you can stream the whole episode on the futuristic device of your choice. Running half-an-hour long and featuring the trio of cinema historian William Everson, 'Clockwork' author Anthony Burgess, and the film’s star Malcolm McDowell, the episode aired around the same time of the film’s U.S. release in February of 1972,, notably, before any of the controversy surrounding the film occurred in the U.K. It’s an extremely informative and entertaining discussion of the sort that’s sorely missed on American television these days, especially post-Roger Ebert. Watch Camera Three’s “Examination of Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange” below and »
- Cain Rodriguez
At least once a month, Cinelinx will chose one director for an in-depth examination of the “signatures” that they leave behind in their work. This week we’re examining the trademark style and calling signs of Stanley Kubrick as director.
Kubrick’s interest in visual arts began with photography before he became interested in filmmaking. He enjoyed making short films and became very proficient at doing so. Eventually he made his first feature film The Killing Fields (1953) as an exercise in low-budget filmmaking. That film was not a commercial success, and he had to work hard to get funding to keep working as a filmmaker. His next film, Killer’s Kiss (1955) involved a lot of experimentation, so much that it ended up eating into the budget and costing Kubrick a profit. As a result, he decided to work with a professional crew on his next film, The Killing (1956), which also did not become commercially successful, »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (G.S. Perno)
After treating cinema fans for more than a decade, Ee's 2-for-1 ticket offer is coming to an end today (February 25). We'll certainly miss breaking up the week with a cut-price cinema visit, and the end of the promotion has made us all nostalgic about the classic Orange Wednesdays ads that started it all off.
Dubbed 'Orange Gold Spots', they starred Brennan Brown and Steve Furst as two clueless film execs listening to pitches from some of Hollywood's finest. Brilliantly lampooning the bean counter thinking of studio suits and the fragile creative egos of A-listers, the likes of Patrick Swayze, Macaulay Culkin and Carrie Fisher all stepped up to offer their increasingly compromised film pitches:
This early offering sought to capture that creative moment when the lightbulb flicks on... unfortunately Brown's dim-witted exec can't quite grasp what's dangling right in front of him. Stanley Kubrick would be livid. »
Sunday’s Academy Awards marked an historical moment in the annals of cinematography. With his win for “Birdman,” Emmanuel Lubezki became just the fifth cinematographer ever in Hollywood history to win back-to-back Oscars (he took home the statuette last year for “Gravity”). Lubezki’s impressive and deservingly Oscar-winning “single-take” illusion will surely be much discussed over the coming weeks, but let’s take a moment now to turn back the pages of the history books and revisit one of the late, great cinematographers — John Alcott. Alcott passed away nearly 30 years ago, but he remains, in memory, one of the best cinematographers of his time. Though he has multiple additional credits to his name, he is best known for his four collaborations with Stanley Kubrick. The two men first worked together on “2001: A Space Odyssey”; their partnership then continued over Kubrick’s next three films, “A Clockwork Orange,” “Barry Lyndon, »
- Zach Hollwedel
This article contains a spoiler for the ending of Interstellar.
In case you missed it, the Oscars were this past weekend and Birdman was the big winner. The Academy’s choice to award Alejandro González Iñárritu's fever dream was a genuine shock, with Boyhood the running favourite for many months. Nonetheless, some things never change, and in that vein it's certainly a non-surprise the Academy also hardly noticed the most ambitious blockbuster of 2014: the Christopher Nolan space epic, Interstellar. Indeed, I use the phrase "non-surprise", because how could it be a winner when it was only nominated for the bare minimum of five Oscars in technical categories that are reserved as consolation prizes?
This is by all means par for the course with a film that has »
With the Oscars this weekend I thought it would be fun to look at movies that were snubbed from them and translate them to video games. When I followed the Oscars closely I noticed movies would be snubbed for such lame excuses. Putting it lightly, if your movie is a big blockbuster event… It will probably be ignored. If it’s action, if it's science fiction, if it’s mainstream, and even if it’s adapted it will have trouble competing. Lord of the Rings somehow fought through it all to win, but for the most part this stands true. So what games would win Game of the Year(Goty), but wouldn’t win an Oscar?
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(For this article, Goty isn’t just from the Vga’s as I feel that is mostly an advertising platform. These games won, or were nominated »
- email@example.com (Dustin Spino)
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