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19 items from 2016


12 expensive and eccentric modern Hollywood movies

25 July 2016 8:02 AM, PDT | Den of Geek | See recent Den of Geek news »

Ryan Lambie Jul 26, 2016

They cost millions and they’re very, very odd. We take a look at 12 expensive and eccentric Hollywood films from the past 40 years...

The risk-averse nature of filmmaking means that the world’s more maverick and outrageous writers and directors have to make do with relatively low budgets. Nicolas Winding Refn drenched the screen in all kinds of sordid, violent and startling imagery in such films as Only God Forgives and this year’s The Neon Demon, but the combined budget of those probably didn’t even match the catering budget for something like Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice.

Every so often, though, a truly bonkers film slips through the Hollywood studio system - often by accident. From horror sequels to original sci-fi adventures, here are 12 incredibly expensive and gloriously eccentric Hollywood movies from the past 40 years.

The Exorcist II (1977)

Budget: $14 million

Like most films made for purely financial reasons, »

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Christopher Lombardo Celebrates Canada Day with 3 Backwoods Canadian Horror Films

1 July 2016 12:58 PM, PDT | DailyDead | See recent DailyDead news »

[Guest author Christopher Lombardo of Really Awful Movies celebrates Canada Day by looking back at three backwoods Canadian horror films.] In the ’70s, Canadian tax loopholes spurred growth in domestic horror films, providing a more reliable low-cost means of recouping one’s investment in a frequently fickle business. A few, like Martin Scorsese’s favorite The Changeling, were critical darlings, while the bulk of them were regarded as cheap government-funded trash. A prominent Canadian critic famously called Cronenberg’s Shivers “an atrocity, a disgrace to everyone connected with it” in a jeremiad titled “You Should Know How Bad This Film Is. After All, You Paid for It.”

Luckily, for those of us invested in such things artistically if not financially (unless you count our tax dollars), we got gems such as Happy Birthday to Me, My Bloody Valentine, Black Christmas (1974), and many others.

The “tax shelter” era, in addition to straight-ahead slashers, also gave us lesser-known films that exposed class divisions—punishing urban interlopers who lacked the necessary survival skills to thrive in the wilderness. »

- Christopher Lombardo

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Highlander, Catwoman, Thor and the secret of great action

13 June 2016 3:25 AM, PDT | Den of Geek | See recent Den of Geek news »

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Legendary stunt coordinator Andy Armstrong talks to us about his work on Highlander, Thor, Catwoman, and what makes a great action scene...

For over 40 years, Andy Armstrong has worked on a huge array of stunts and action sequences in TV and film. From directing 1,000s of extras in Stargate to a full body burn in Danny DeVito's Hoffa, Armstrong's experiences as a stuntman, stunt coordinator and unit director have taken him all over the world.

The brother of Vic Armstrong, the stunt coordinator and director who famously doubled for Harrison Ford in the Indiana Jones movies, Andy Armstrong's career began when he doubled for Sir John Mills on the 1970s TV series, The Zoo Gang. That early job jumpstarted a life in filmmaking which has taken in three James Bond movies, 90s action (Total Recall, Universal Soldier) and superhero movies (The Green Hornet, Thor, The Amazing Spider-Man).

Those 40 years of filmmaking experience are the pillar of Armstrong's book, the Action Movie Maker's Handbook. Intended as a reference for those thinking of starting a career in stunts or action unit directing, it also offers a valuable insight for those outside the industry, too. The book reveals the range of talents required to bring an effective action scene to the screen - organisation, storytelling, an understanding of engineering and physics - and how much input a coordinator and unit director has on how those sequences will look in the final film.

We caught up with Andy Armstrong via telephone to talk about his book and some of the highlights in his career so far. Read on for his thoughts on creating the action sequences in Thor and The Amazing Spider-Man, his hilarious behind-the-scenes memories from the 80s cult classic, Highlander, and what went wrong on the 2004 Catwoman movie...

Your book gave me a new appreciation for what second unit directors and stunt coordinators do. I didn't realise how much design work you do when it comes to action scenes, for example.

Yeah, it is true that a lot of people don't realise how much development goes into action. Especially nowadays, it's such a complex business. That becomes a huge part of it - the technicalities of it and the storytelling part of it. Some things might look great, but when you put them all together they don't necessarily work for that movie. A lot of what I've made a living doing is really creating action that is appropriate for the movie. Because the wrong type of action is just like the wrong costume or the wrong actor or something  - it just takes you out of the film.

You get a lot of movies that actually have too much action in them. Then what happens is, you can't appreciate it. It's like a feast where the starter is such a huge meal that you don't even want the main course because you're full. That's like so many action movies - they'd actually benefit from having some of the action taken out of them. I'm always fascinated when you see an audience in an action movie.

When I feel there's too much action in a movie, or it goes on for too long, I always look around in a cinema. It's interesting to see people chatting to each other or doing something else. You should never have that in an action movie. Action should be like sex or violence - you want to be left just wanting a bit more. That gets forgotten in a lot of movies, which are just relentless. Stuff going on the whole time.

What happens then is that, when it comes to something special for the third act, some fantastic fight or something, you can't raise the bar enough, because the bar's been high all the way through the movie. It's a weird thing.

They have to build, action scenes.

They do have to build, absolutely. That's why I do that little graph in the book, which is something I do in every movie, just to work out how much action there should be and where it should go and, on a scale of one to 10, how big it is. It's funny how crude that looks, and yet if you compare it to any of the really great action movies, they'll fit that graph. There'll be something at the opening, there'll be something happening at the end of the first act and into the second act, and there'll be bits and pieces happening in the second act and then a big third act finale. Whether it's a movie made in the 60s or now, that formula of action still becomes the sweet spot.

A lot of these superhero movies, there's some fantastic action going on, but by the end of the movie, nobody cares. You have nowhere to go with it.

Some of them are very long as well.

Far too long. Far, far too long. You're absolutely right. I think any movie, past two hours, has got to be either incredibly spectacular or it's an ego-fest for the filmmakers. Keeping somebody in a seat for more than two hours - you'd better have a really good tale to tell. And I don't think many of these modern ones do - they just have lots of stuff in them.

So what films have impressed you recently in terms of action?

Kingsman, definitely. I thought it was absolutely brilliant, a really good take on it. I loved that it was Colin Firth and not a traditional action hero that's covered in muscles and torn t-shirts and things. And for the same reasons, really, I love the Taken series of movies with Liam Neeson. I loved them, particularly because they're grounded in reality, or set just above reality. Obviously, Kingsman you go more above reality, but they're still grounded with real gravity and real people. It's a bit hypocritical, because I've made a great living doing some superhero movies, but they're not more favourite movies by any chance. I'm very proud of the work I've done on them, but the movies I love aren't even action, really. I haven't seen the third Taken, I need to get that, but I thought the first two Takens were really very cool.

I quite liked both the Red films. I was going to do the second one of those, because the guy who directed the second one is a friend of mine. So I'd have liked to have done that, but they wanted to go with the person they used on the first film. Dean Parisot is a very good friend of mine, I did Galaxy Quest with him. That's one of my favourites.

But a lot of movies I've seen lately, I've been underwhelmed by some of them. It's funny. I like tight little movies. I think it's a shame we've not had more John Frankenheimers making things like Ronin, you know. Great action but well placed - the right action in the right place. Again, grounded in reality, real people.

Do you think stunts go through trends? Obviously, you've recently been doing a lot of wire work on superhero movies lately.

Oh, absolutely. It's kind of gone in a tight full circle, because a few years ago action went fully CG, and then the brief we were given when we did the first Amazing Spider-Man is that they want to get away from that feel, to go more gravity based, more reality. That's what we spent a lot of time doing on that first Spider-Man is the way he jumps around. I based it on real physics.

Some of the stuff on the first Amazing Spider-Man I'm really very, very proud of. We filmed some groundbreaking rig systems and high-powered winches that moved around so there was a proper organic travel when Spider-Man jumps around. It's funny, because when I agreed to do the movie, that was the brief - they want to make Spider-Man's movement much more realistic. I said, "Yes, absolutely, we can do it." But when I came out of the meeting, I have to be honest - I had no idea how the hell we were going to do that.

We did a lot of testing. They were good enough to give us a lot of time to test. One of the things I did was bring in an Olympic gymnast, and I had him swing from three bars, from one bar to the next bar to the next bar, doing giant swings on them. I videoed it, because I knew that something on the original [Sam Raimi] Spider-Man didn't look right. It sounds really obvious in the end, because your eye goes straight to it, but when I brought the gymnast in, I realised that when you see a human swinging, their downward swing is really violent. It gets faster, faster, faster until it nearly pulls the arms out of the sockets, and then as they swing up it gets slower, slower, slower until they get negative. Then they grab the next bar and it happens again. It's the massive variation in velocity that made me realise, "I get it. That's what's real." Then you can tell it's a real guy. When you see Spider-Man and his speed is the same going down as it is going up, even though you haven't analysed it in your mind, you know that it's not right. It's like the five-legged horse syndrome: if you saw one standing in a field, even though you've never seen one in your life, you'd know that it's not something from nature. 

It's something I spend a lot of time doing, making things organic and real. In the book you've see a lot of reference to Buster Keaton and things, because I like to go back to that. When you've seen something done for real, then you can make anything as fantastic as you want. But you have to know where the baseline is, where real is, before you start doing something too spectacular. Or what will happen is, even though an audience has never seen an athlete on giant bars, or a guy swinging on a spider web, they'll know instinctively that it looks wrong. We're conditioned to do that - no matter how realistic a dummy in a shop window is, we know as humans that it isn't a real person. Animals know all that - they can spot their own species, they can spot other species and know what they are.

It's why, with a superhero movie, especially, I like to do a bible beforehand, so that you can have a reference. How strong is Spider-Man? Can he throw cars or push a building over? Can he just pick up a sofa? You have to have a yardstick of what people can do. Otherwise it's all over the place. We've seen those movies, where the power of the superheroes [varies]. One minute he gets knocked out by someone in a bar, the next he's pushing a house over.

It has to have some kind of internal logic, doesn't it.

It has to have some kind of logic, no matter how mad that logic is, it has to be consistent. We had it on Thor: how powerful is Thor? How much can he do with a hammer? What happens when the hammer really hits something? You have to have all these mad conversations at the beginning of the movie. If you see someone punch through a  building, it's tough to then see that same person slap someone in their face without tearing their head off. You need a yardstick to go to.

I was interested to read what you said about Catwoman, and the idea you had for the big fight.

Yeah, that was a classic case. In the end I was proved right. The movie could have been fantastic. Halle Berry - in the outfit, she could stop traffic. And she was such a perfect choice for Catwoman - she had all the abilities. The movement down, the whole thing. It was such a waste, because the script got crappier and crappier. There was a rewrite every week or so. Each one was worse than the last one. It was like someone was drinking and writing worse and worse versions of it. I feel sorry for Halle as well - I don't think it did her career any good. She's such a trooper anyway.

It's funny, I remember when I saw the first TV commercial for the movie, and I'd been a bit depressed - I don't like leaving movies. I remember coming out, and you always have that second thought as to whether you should have left it or not. But I'm quite strict about only doing good stuff. The interesting thing is, I fought to get the motorcycle sequence in there, and the directors and the producers - none of them wanted it. The moment I saw that first commercial, and it was nearly all motorcycle. I remember shouting at the screen that I was absolutely right. You know when they put that in the trailer that it's the only good thing in the movie! It's very funny. 

Why do you think that happens sometimes in these big Hollywood films, where you get this death spiral of script rewrites? You hear about it quite a lot.

Oh, God knows. If you could answer that I think you'd be a gazillionaire. A lot of these rewrites just get worse and worse. It's like cooking, putting this and that in, until you've got this inedible bowl of crap that's like the vision you originally set out to make. That happens so often. I think part of it happens in the main studio system because a lot of films get made by committee. That happens a lot. It didn't happen with some of the greats of the 50s, 60s and 70s, because some of those people were tyrannical, but the movies they made had a personal identity to them.

John Boorman doesn't always make great movies, but he's a great moviemaker and every movie he makes is a John Boorman movie. You look at Excalibur, you look at Deliverance, you look at Hope And Glory, they're all different, you can like them or not like them, but they have a real authority and identity to them. What happens in a studio system is you have a lot of junior executives and they all want to put a comment in there, they all want to use this actor or that actress. In the end, for right or wrong, a film has to have one real author. If it doesn't... there's the old saying that a camel is a horse designed by committee. That's what happens to movies. There are so many people in different areas in the studio that want to keep their fingers in the pie.

The big thing about studios is, most studio executives are all eventually going to get fired or run another studio or something. The rule of thumb is, most studio executives want to be just attached to a movie enough that if it's a huge success they can say they were or part of it, and they can point out the bits they changed or suggested or whatever. And if it's a Catwoman, they can distance themselves from it as if it were a disease. That's a real thing - a fine line executives work. Because you can get the blame for a picture that you may have had nothing to do with in some ways, you had no say in it if you were a studio executive, necessarily, and you can also get lots of praise and lots of awards and a million-dollar job at another studio because you're considered to be the guy or girl that brought this or that movie to the studio and it made $300m. It's a funny game, that.

In the end, who knows what's going to be successful? Who'd have thought movies like Fast & Furious would still be successful?

Yeah, there's gonna be eight or nine of them.

It's incredible. Vic [Armstrong] and I were offered, I guess it was three or four, and then they made a change with the action team and they've had the same action team since. But we'd just started Thor so we turned it down. It's funny because they went off and did more and more of those Fast & Furious films and we did the two Spider-Mans and Season Of The Witch and some other things. I think in the end we kind of made the right choice. I'm proud of the stuff I've done.

When you think of how advanced the look of Highlander was - Russell invented that look. The very long lenses, the very wide lenses. Fantastic cuts between things. It's absolutely timeless. I watched it again recently. It's as good now as it was when we made it. And it's a beautiful looking movie.

I'm really proud of the stuff I've done on it. It's amazing to think it's 30 years [old]. There's a lot of funny stories about Highlander. When they hired Sean Connery first of all as Ramirez, it’s funny because it's a Scotsman playing a Spaniard and a Frenchman playing a Scotsman! The funny thing is, Peter Davis and Bill Panzer, the producers, cast Connery - and the movie's called Highlander, so Connery thought he was playing the Highlander

He got some huge fee, and then they let him know that he's playing Ramirez, this Spanish guy. He went, "Oh fine", but his fee was the same - he got about a million dollars for however many weeks he was on the movie. And then Christopher Lambert, who'd only done Greystoke before, as far as English-speaking movies went, they cast him and hadn't met him. Apparently, when they did Greystoke, he learned his lines parrot fashion - he just learned the line he had to speak. He couldn't speak English. But he's such a lovely guy.

When they first met him and he answered "Yes" to every question, they realised he didn't know what the hell they were talking about. [Laughs] They were in a bar or restaurant, and Peter Davis and Bill Panzer both came outside, and they left him at the table, and said, "He can't fucking speak English!" And they'd already cast him! The deal was done! It was fantastic, you know?

It just shows you. He was so charismatic in that movie. He learned English during the movie and was brilliant.

He's also incredibly short-sighted, Christophe. I did some really cool sword fight sequences with him. He couldn't see the sword! Incredible. His muscle memory and ability to be taught a fight with his glasses on, and then take is glasses off and then shoot was absolutely astounding. I've never met anyone like it. He never missed a beat, and yet he couldn't see - he couldn't see which end of the sword he had a hold of. 

You look at those sword fights, and he's better than most stuntmen doing them. Yet he could hardly see his opponent, let alone the sword. Fascinating.

Clancy Brown, who played the villain, he's still a friend. He was fantastic. A couple of funny things happened on that, I think they're in the book. We were doing some car action in New York, and I had cameras on the front of the Cadillac. The Cadillac was my choice - originally it was written as a big four-wheel drive. I wanted something classically American that would slide around.

When we were towing it through town with the cameras on for the close-ups of the two actors, Clancy's there with his slit throat with the safety pins in it and all that, and I would jump off the back of the camera car when we got to a decent bit of road or bridge or something, and I'd turn all the cameras on.

At one point, I was turning the cameras on and the cop who was helping us - or supposed to be helping us in a typical sort of New York, aggressive cop way, said, "If you get off the camera car again, I'm going to arrest you."

Now, meanwhile, the cameras are rolling. I'm not really arguing with the cop, but I'm a bit pissed off to say the least. So I got back on the camera car. But while I'm doing that, Clancy, just dicking around, was [sings] "New York, New York!" And that was just him playing around. It was actually in response to me arguing with a New York cop, really.

Anyway, Russell, when he was putting the chase together, loved that little moment. He'd done all the Queen videos, and that's when Queen came in and saw it, and they loved it. So that's when they re-recorded their version of New York, New York and it became a hit record for Queen.

That's amazing.

It started as a mild confrontation between me and a rather aggressive New York cop! [Laughs] Whenever I see Clancy, we still laugh about it. It wasn't in the script or anything, it was just one of those things.

Andy Armstrong, thank you very much!

Action Movie Maker's Handbook is available from Amazon now.

See related  Does it matter whether stars do their own stunts? Speed 2: how a dream sparked one of the biggest stunts ever Olivier Megaton interview: Taken 2, Liam Neeson and stunts Sam Mendes interview: Skyfall, stunts & cinematography Movies Interview Ryan Lambie Andy Armstrong 14 Jun 2016 - 05:40 Highlander Catwoman The Amazing Spider-Man The Amazing Spider-Man 2 interview Andy Armstrong movies »

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Happy 86th Birthday Clint Eastwood! Here Are His Ten Best Films

31 May 2016 5:40 AM, PDT | WeAreMovieGeeks.com | See recent WeAreMovieGeeks.com news »

Article by Jim Batts, Dana Jung, and Tom Stockman

Happy Birthday to one of We Are Movie Geeks favorite stars. Clint Eastwood was born on this day in 1930, making him 86 years old. The actor and two-time Oscar winning director hasn’t let his age slow him down a bit. Sully, his new movie as a director, opens in September.

We posted a list in 2011 of his ten best directorial efforts Here

Clint Eastwood has appeared in 68 films in his six (!) decades as an actor, and here, according to We Are Movie Geeks, are his ten best:

Honorable Mention: Honkytonk Man

By the 1980s, Clint Eastwood was one of Hollywood’s most bankable stars.  With his own production company, directorial skills, and economic clout, Eastwood was able to make smaller, more personal films.  A perfect example is the underrated Honkytonk Man, which also happens to be one of Eastwood’s finest performances. »

- Movie Geeks

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Cinema Gadfly – Episode 19 – ¡Alambrista!

19 May 2016 5:00 AM, PDT | CriterionCast | See recent CriterionCast news »

My guest for this month is West Anthony, and he’s joined me to discuss the film I chose for him, the 1977 drama film ¡Alambrista!. You can follow the show on Twitter @cinemagadfly.

Show notes:

This film was written and directed by Robert M. Young We discuss a certain unnamed presidential candidate at length, who has since gone on to become an unnamed presumptive nominee. I’m not going to do this candidate any favors by linking to them Loving Cheeseburgers, Rock and Roll, The Beatles, and Blue Jeans, is pretty damned American Ned Beatty is one of my all time favorite “that guy” actors He was nominated for an Academy Award for Network, and appeared in All the President’s Men, Deliverance, and both Superman and Superman II, among many other films Edward James Olmos has been in quite a few of Robert M. Young’s films He was »

- Arik Devens

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Cannes Film Review: ‘Close Encounters with Vilmos Zsigmond’

18 May 2016 2:54 PM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

For any true-blue movie buff, cinematography is actually a sexy subject — it’s not just about how movies look, it’s about how they flow and feel, about how they live inside our mind’s eye. “Close Encounters with Vilmos Zsigmond,” a French-made documentary that explores the life and artistry of one of the virtuoso founding fathers of contemporary cinematography, the Hungarian-born neorealist Vilmos Zsigmond (who died, at 85, this past January), has some lively and resonant anecdotes that testify to what the highly cultivated craft of lensing a movie is really all about.

Peter Fonda, who hired Zsigmond early in his Hollywood career to shoot a film that Fonda was directing, “The Hired Hand” (1971), recalls how he showed John Ford’s “My Darling Clementine” to Zsigmond several times, all to draw attention to one interior shot in which it was all too obvious that the lighting was done by lamps. »

- Owen Gleiberman

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Fang fiction by Anne-Katrin Titze

28 April 2016 10:40 AM, PDT | eyeforfilm.co.uk | See recent eyeforfilm.co.uk news »

The Family Fang director and star Jason Bateman on his screenwriter: "David Lindsay-Abaire … has a Pulitzer Prize on his mantle - for good reason." Photo: Anne-Katrin Titze

With Volker Schlöndorff currently filming Return to Montauk, co-written with Colm Tóibín (John Crowley's Brooklyn), starring Stellan Skarsgård, Susanne Wolff, Nina Hoss and Niels Arestrup of Diplomacy fame, Jason Bateman explained that his Baxter's Montauk shirt belongs to Christopher Walken's Caleb in The Family Fang, which co-stars Nicole Kidman with Maryann Plunkett, Jason Butler Harner, Kathryn Hahn, Marin Ireland, Michael Chernus, Jack McCarthy and Mackenzie Brooke Smith.

Fang siblings Annie (Nicole Kidman) and Baxter (Jason Bateman)

Based on Kevin Wilson's novel with music by Carter Burwell, (who received a Best Original Score Oscar nomination for Todd Haynes' masterful Carol) edited by Robert Frazen with a John Boorman-esque Deliverance potato cannon scene, The Family Fang is about when one discovers »

- Anne-Katrin Titze

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Actor Burt Reynolds Added To 2016 TCM Film Festival Lineup

30 March 2016 12:34 PM, PDT | WeAreMovieGeeks.com | See recent WeAreMovieGeeks.com news »

2013 TCM Classic Film Festival at Tcl Chinese Theatre on Apr 27, 2013 in Los Angeles, CA.

Turner Classic Movies (TCM) announced today that renowned actor Burt Reynolds is set to attend the 2016 TCM Classic Film Festival, taking place in Hollywood April 28 – May 1, to participate in a sit-down interview about his life and career. In addition to the interview, Reynolds will be on-hand to introduce a screening of The Longest Yard (1974), for which he received a Golden Globe® nomination for Best Actor. The interview will be taped Saturday, April 30 in front of a live audience of festival pass holders at The Ricardo Montalbán Theatre.

“For more than five decades, Burt Reynolds has been both a superstar and a force to be reckoned with on screens around the globe, having ranked among the top ten box office attractions in the world on 13 different occasions,” said TCM host Robert Osborne. “He is one of the »

- Melissa Thompson

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Hit Me With Your Best Shot: Sci-Fi Oddity "Zardoz" (1974)

29 March 2016 7:00 PM, PDT | FilmExperience | See recent FilmExperience news »

"And now for something completely different"... Zardoz (1974)

I didn't mean to begin with a Monty Python quote but they were Brit contemporaries of Writer/Director John Boorman. And Zardoz (1974), the follow up to his most enduring classic (Deliverance, 1972) might be better if it were aiming for comedy instead of merely conjuring laughs. Nevertheless it doesn't get any more "different" than John Boorman's bizarre drug trip about false gods, immortal hippie communes, sentient crystals, marauding assassins, chest hair, and Charlotte Rampling's unique power to both cause erections and lecture about them simultaneously.

I chose it for Best Shot only to finally make sense of its frequent meme-ready presence online -- the jokes on me as it will never make any sense -- but I don't regret it. It's too weird to go unseen. It's the only movie in existence that begins with a floating disembodied head spewing out firearms, »

- NATHANIEL R

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Examining Hollywood Remakes: The Lord of the Rings

28 March 2016 12:16 PM, PDT | Cinelinx | See recent Cinelinx news »

We’re talking remakes again, and this time we’re dissecting not one but two popular films which were done previously as a single movie. This week, Cinelinx looks at Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring and Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers.

Ever since J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic book trilogy first came out in the 50s’ there had been talk of adapting it into film but the epic scope of the story often deterred filmmakers of the era from taking on the task. In the early 70’s, director John Boorman (Deliverance, Excalibur) wanted to do a condensed 100-minute version of the whole trilogy but that plan fell apart.

Then, animator/producer Ralph Bakshi (American Pop, Cool World) unveiled his idea to do a two-part adaptation of the trilogy in animated form. Since Tolkien’s daughter was a huge fan of Bakshi’s previous »

- feeds@cinelinx.com (Rob Young)

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Conservative Group, Filmmakers at Odds Over Movie Ratings in France

25 March 2016 10:00 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

For decades, France has given the world iconic films that deal frankly with sexual themes: “And God Created Woman,” “Belle de Jour,” “Betty Blue” and “Blue Is the Warmest Color.” But as in more puritanical nations, like the U.S., France is seeing the rise of socially conservative groups that are challenging the country’s traditionally permissive view on sex in movies, leading to an uproar in the film community while the government explores revamping its film ratings system.

Activist group Promouvoir, led by Andre Bonnet, who is affiliated with far-right politicians, has clashed repeatedly with France’s classification board, a government body regulated by the National Film Board (Cnc). The board comprises guild representatives, parents, psychologists and various organizations dedicated to protecting families and children. It recommends certificates for films in four categories: all audiences; -12, which prohibits a film to viewers under 12 years of age; -16; and - »

- Elsa Keslassy

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Happy 80th Burt-day to Burt Reynolds! – Here Are His Ten Best Movies

11 February 2016 6:00 AM, PST | WeAreMovieGeeks.com | See recent WeAreMovieGeeks.com news »

Article by Jim Batts, Dana Jung, Travis Keune, and Tom Stockman

Burt Reynolds, one of We Are Movie Geeks favorite actors, turns 80 today. Happy Birthday Burt!

On February 11th, 1936, Reynolds was born in Waycross, Georgia, before his family moved to Jupiter Florida, where his father served as Chief of Police. Young Burt excelled at sports and played football at Florida State University. He became an All Star Southern Conference halfback (and was earmarked by the Baltimore Colts) before injuries sidelined his football career. He dropped out of college and headed to New York with dreams of becoming an actor. There he worked in restaurants and clubs while pulling the odd TV job or theater role. Burt was spotted in a New York City stage production of Mister Roberts and signed to a TV contract and eventually had recurring roles in such shows as Gunsmoke (1955), Riverboat (1959) and his own series, Hawk »

- Movie Geeks

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As we lose two titans of cinematography, we wonder how cinema's future looks

4 January 2016 12:30 PM, PST | Hitfix | See recent Hitfix news »

While the holidays unfolded, we lost two of the greatest photographers to ever work in cinema, and it's only when you look back at the filmography they leave behind and the legacy they passed on to all the cameramen who worked under them and then went on to shoot films of their own that you understand the magnitude of what we've lost. There was a point in my own film education when I stopped going from actor to actor or from director to director in the way I was watching movies and spent a summer going from cinematographer to cinematographer, and doing that proved to be an education in the tricky definition of what we call "authorial voice" in film. I think it is only in collaboration that magic happens, and one of the people who has to be absolutely killing it for that to work is the cinematographer. The »

- Drew McWeeny

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Close Encounters Cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond Dies at 85

3 January 2016 1:05 PM, PST | PEOPLE.com | See recent PEOPLE.com news »

Oscar-winning cinematography Vilmos Zsigmond, who worked on Close Encounters of the Third Kind and The Deer Hunter, among others, died Jan. 1 at 85, his business partner Yuri Neyman confirmed. Zsigmond's five-decade career included work on Deliverance, Blow Out, The Ghost and the Darkness and The Long Goodbye. He won an Academy Award for Close Encounters and was nominated for his work in The Deer Hunter, The River and The Black Dahlia. More recently, Zsigmond shot a number of episodes of Mindy Kaling's sitcom The Mindy Project. In 2003, he was ranked among the 10 most influential cinematographers in film history in a »

- Alex Heigl, @alex_heigl

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Vilmos Zsigmond, Oscar-Winning Cinematographer, Dead at 85

3 January 2016 11:47 AM, PST | Rollingstone.com | See recent Rolling Stone news »

Vilmos Zsigmond, the Academy Award-winning cinematographer of Close Encounters of the Third Kind as well as films like The Deer Hunter, Deliverance and Heaven's Gate, passed away Friday, his business partner Yuri Neyman confirmed to Variety. Zsigmond was 85.

The Hungarian-born Zsigmond – who filmed the Hungarian Revolution alongside his friend and fellow cinematographer László Kovács before they both relocated to Los Angeles – began his Hollywood career as a director of photography on low-budget exploitation and horror films and TV movies before he was hired by director Robert Altman – another veteran of »

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Vilmos Zsigmond, 1930 – 2016

3 January 2016 11:36 AM, PST | Filmmaker Magazine - Blog | See recent Filmmaker Magazine news »

Legendary cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond, who shot a string of iconic pictures for Robert Altman, Steven Spielberg, Michael Cimino and Brian DePalma, among others, died January 1, Variety reports. Hungarian-born, Los Angeles-residing, Zsigmond was a steadfast proponent of shooting on film his entire life, and he was known for innovative techniques — such as flashing the stock on films like McCabe and Mrs. Miller — and his ability to create unique looks for his various movies. His work encompassed rugged styles in films like Deliverance or The Sugarland Express to composed, dense, painterly work in Heaven’s Gate. He won an Oscar […] »

- Scott Macaulay

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Daily | Vilmos Zsigmond, 1930 – 2016

3 January 2016 11:22 AM, PST | Keyframe | See recent Keyframe news »

"Hungarian-born cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond, winner of an Oscar for his achievements on Close Encounters of the Third Kind and a nominee for The Deer Hunter, The River (1984) and the The Black Dahlia (2006), has died at 85," reports Carmen Dagan for Variety. "Over a period of five decades in Hollywood, his other outstanding achievements included Deliverance, Blow Out, The Ghost and the Darkness and such Robert Altman films as McCabe & Mrs. Miller and The Long Goodbye. And he considered it the ultimate compliment that no two of his movies looked alike." We're gathering tributes and interviews. » - David Hudson »

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Vilmos Zsigmond, ‘Close Encounters’ Cinematographer, Dead at 85

3 January 2016 10:51 AM, PST | The Wrap | See recent The Wrap news »

Hungarian cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond, an Oscar winner for “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” has died at 85, several of his colleagues said Sunday. In addition his Oscar for the Steven Spielberg-directed 1997 sci-fi tale, Zsigmond was nominated for “The Deer Hunter,” “The River” (1984) and “The Black Dahlia” (2006). Zsigmond ranked among the 10 most influential cinematographers in film history in a 2003 survey conducted by the International Cinematographers Guild. Also Read: Haskell Wexler, Oscar-Winning Cinematographer, Dead at 93 His extensive resume, created over five decades, included “Deliverance,” “Blow Out,” “The Ghost and the Darkness” and the Robert Altman films “McCabe and Mrs. Miller” and. »

- Todd Cunningham

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Vilmos Zsigmond, Oscar-Winning Cinematographer, Dies at 85

3 January 2016 10:36 AM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Hungarian-born cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond, winner of an Oscar for his achievements on “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” and a nominee for “The Deer Hunter,” “The River” (1984) and the “The Black Dahlia” (2006), has died at 85. His business partner Yuri Neyman said he died January 1.

Over a period of five decades in Hollywood, his other outstanding achievements included “Deliverance,” “Blow Out,” “The Ghost and the Darkness” and such Robert Altman films as “McCabe and Mrs. Miller” and “The Long Goodbye.” And he considered it the ultimate compliment that no two of his movies looked alike.

Working into his eighties, Zsigmond also shot a number of episodes of the Fox sitcom “The Mindy Project” from 2012-14. Zsigmond ranked among the 10 most influential cinematographers in film history in a 2003 survey conducted by the International Cinematographers Guild.

Belying his comment to Rolling Stone that “a cinematographer can only be as good as the director, »

- Carmel Dagan

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