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‘Tis the season for awards, and while voters are busy weighing the merits of top Oscar contenders, the industry’s intangibles have fallen by the wayside. The year in film is comprised of so many movie moments and overlooked details that go unrecognized by Hollywood, so here’s a list of superlatives and unconventional awards that serve as an alternative to the prim-and-proper Oscars. There’s even more ground to cover than last year, so let’s get started …
- Jeff Sneider
At the time I met with Nicolas Lobo, his studio was located across the street from an ancient Tequesta Indian burial ground on a bend of Miami's Little River. The area was once a citrus grove, and the house Lobo was living in had belonged to the grove's owners. Lobo's partner, Muriel Olivares, grows crops for her Csa (Community-Supported Agriculture) co-op in the yard. The visit began with a lunch they had prepared using fresh produce from the garden.We entered a clean, drywall-covered garage, which Lobo had turned from a shell into a studio. Lobo’s work, mostly three-dimensional, is abstracted from his research into the culturally obscure and abhorrent. For Soylent Green Bust (2009), Lobo covered a steel form with a patina replicating the chemical composition of the substance the characters in the 1973 science-fiction film Soylent Green eat in the overpopulated world of 2022. At the film’s climax, a »
- Sarah Trigg
Sometimes, 'Treehouse Of Horror' segments are more than just funny, but truly nightmarish.
The Simpsons' annual "Treehouse Of Horror" Halloween special has been a holiday tradition for 25 years.
Mostly taking their inspiration from sci-fi and horror classics, "Treehouse Of Horror" has created some of the funniest and most well-crafted parodies of all time. Occasionally, however, the show manages to write a segment that is really, legitimately creepy.
News: How to Dress Like the 6 Most Badass TV Characters for Halloween!
To really get into the spooky spirit, here are 12 truly scary "Treehouse Of Horror" stories to give you nightmares this Halloween.
1. "Bad Dream House"- "Treehouse Of Horror I" – Segment 1
The Simpson family moves into a haunted house that bleeds from the walls and possesses everyone - except Marge - and manipulates them into trying to kill each other with knives and axes.
Video: The Simpsons Kicks off 278-Hour Marathon
Based on the horror classics Poltergeist and [link »
20th Century Fox
Nobody likes their job (present company excluded, of course). The torturous process of earning your keep is more of a necessity than a joy for most people, an exercise in tedium that nonetheless allows us to, like, buy food and clothing and actually live. Right now we’re living through a sort of nadir of the working world, too, what with widespread unemployment and the invention of zero hour contracts. The latter of which sounds like something from a dystopian science fiction film – or possibly just Idiocracy but, well, same difference – rather than a genuine reality.
Still, let’s not get too bogged down in the real world. There’s plenty of crummy jobs to be working right now – chef in a fast food restaurant, rubbish man, investigative reporter for the News Of The World – but it could be a heck of a lot worse. The worst »
- Tom Baker
"The Walking Dead" continues its onslaught as one of the most amazing horror-themed television shows to ever hit the airwaves. Season 4 brought new characters, expanded some old favorites, evoked tears and cheers, and of course had its share of zombie action.
Tomorrow, August 26th, "The Walking Dead" Season 4 hit Blu-ray/DVD via Anchor Bay, and with that in mind we decided to look back at our favorite moments from this season. Characters coming and going, separation and reunion, death and new life... Season 4 brought us "The Walking Dead" like we'd never seen it before.
We've got our Top 13 here, but as always, we'll start with some honorable mentions. Bob's raging alcoholism leading to the complete destruction of the liquor store kicked off the action in Episode 1, and the discovery of David and Karen's murdered and burned bodies was the first real mysterious firecracker Season 4 gave us.
In Episode 12, we finally »
- Scott Hallam
To recall the cinema of Charles Bronson, one can’t get far without referencing his sterling epoch in 1970s era American film, a period eclipsed mightily by the star’s work with director Michael Winner. Kino Lorber resurrects one of the star’s lesser remembered titles, Mr. Majestyk, a 1974 action flick written by the great Elmore Leonard and directed by the illustrious Richard Fleischer, known for a varied career that included a penchant for true crime related titles (Compulsion; The Boston Strangler; 10 Rillington Place), and famed adaptations of pulpy novels, like Soylent Green and the infamous Mandingo. Unfortunately, Fleisher’s title opened one week prior to the juggernaut known as Death Wish back in July of 1974, and has perhaps been unfairly overshadowed ever since.
Bronson stars as Vince Majestyk, a humble melon farmer whose only desire is to harvest his crop of watermelons. A Vietnam veteran, Majestyk steps to in »
- Nicholas Bell
The 21st century is being held to ransom by 19th-century economics – at least in the UK.
It could only have happened now. Ten years ago communications technology and infrastructure were not mature enough to reverse our economy’s centralisation into cities. And since London’s endless influx of Dick Whittingtons could still dream realistically of working their way into the capital’s property ladder, there may not have been the will at that time, even if there had been a way.
Now even the young are tired of London, as its critical housing crisis combines with stagnant wages, rising costs, a massive supply-and-demand imbalance in the employment market and soaring rents to stifle any residual fantasies of home ownership – or even liveable existence in the commutable south-east.
London’s official population has grown by nearly 8 million in the ten years to 2011 (Office of National Statistics, Pdf). At 1,600 square kilometres, it »
To give the impending Smackdown some context we're looking at the year 1973. Here's Glenn on tickets sold...
1973 was like the end of a box-office era. While year-end charts weren’t suffocated with superheroes, CGI natural disasters, and dystopian visions of futuristic societies for a little while yet, but 1973 was as far as I can tell the last year to not have a single now-traditional effects-driven film in the top ten hits of the year. Just one year later in 1974 the end-of-year charts would include the one-two punch The Towering Inferno and Earthquake (plus Airport '75), and 1975 essentially ushered in the modern era of the blockbuster with Jaws and since then it's been a steady increase.
Here is what the top ten films of 1973 looked like.
01 The Sting $156m
02 The Exorcist $128m
03 American Graffiti $96.3m
04 Papillon $53.3
05 The Way We Were $45m
06 Magnum Force $39.7
07 Last Tango In Paris $36.1
08 Live And Let Die »
- Glenn Dunks
Even before you consider Rupert Wyatt's hit 2011 blockbuster Rise of the Planet of the Apes and its successor Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Franklin J Schaffner's 1968 adventure had spawned four sequels, an animated cartoon series, a live-action TV show, a deluge of marketing (bubblegum cards, plastic models, etc.) and Tim Burton's 2001 remake. And yet nobody wanted to touch Planet of the Apes when producer Arthur P Jacobs first touted it around Hollywood in the mid-'60s.
Adapted from Pierre Boulle's novel La Planète Des Singes, Jacobs saw it as the perfect follow-up to the animal magic movie he currently had in production, Doctor Dolittle. Approaching studios with a script by Rod Serling, the creator of The Twilight Zone, and concept images honed by no fewer than seven artists, Jacobs's passion project was nonetheless ridiculed: actors in monkey suits was the stuff of B-movies and cheap TV serials. »
Metropolis (entire movie, above), the 1927 silent film directed by Fritz Lang, is regarded as one of the most important and influential films of all time. The world’s first epic science fiction movie, it continues to serve as inspiration for countless films, and forced humanity to look critically at it’s increasingly complex relationship to industrial and technological growth. In cinematic terms, evidence of its influence can be seen everywhere from to Soylent Green to Snowpiercer.
Aesthetically, it's influence is still present in popular culture, with contemporary artists like Guy Maddin and Tim Burton liberally borrowing stylistic elements from Metropolis is also a film that contains serious cultural and political messages. For example, the dystopian society it portrays was direct commentary on the possible result of the industrial revolution. Metropolis has also proved itself to be prophetic, as many of the themes it explored almost a century ago are as relevant, »
- Brandon Engel
The Planet of The Apes movies occupy a curious netherworld of critical opinion. With each film, the budget was sawn in half, leading to a successive pattern of diminishing returns that led to a cheapening of its esteem. The spin-off TV show was quickly cancelled, further dulling the lustre and few people even remember the animated series that finally put the Apes to bed until a rude awakening in 2001.
However, for all their child-pleasing capers (the family-friendly G rating was a mandatory stipulation from the studios), the Apes movies deftly juggled important themes and arguments about slavery, free-will, nuclear war, vivisection, racism and oppression, and man’s innate capacity for cruelty. In pure storytelling terms, the circuitous plot links the first five movies (and the prequel Rise of The Planet of The Apes) into a pleasing, if relentlessly pessimistic, self-perpetuating full-circle.
Enormous box office successes in their early stages, they »
- Cai Ross
In film, we tend to focus on the underdogs and their struggles, but what about the big guys up at the top who make it so good to be bad? The largest, most evil corporations in film don’t give a damn about the little guys; they don’t really care about anything at all except money power, and staying successful no matter what it takes — or how many feet they need to trample. It’s time to celebrate that by featuring the best of the worst. Here are the most evil corporations in movies. 7. Weyland-Yutani Corporation - Alien series Known simply as “the Company” in the first Alien installment, the good ‘ol guys down at Weyland-Yutani hadn’t revealed themselves to be the worst bosses in the world yet. Ellen Ripley and crew were under the impression that you know, checking out an alien signal on a foreign planet while they repaired their ship would be »
- Samantha Wilson
Virtuoso devisers of works of science fiction envision a reality that is both fantastical and palpable. They mold metaphoric manifestations of the coming times that are inevitable considering the current carryings-on of their fellow man.
Nowadays, none of these visions are utopian. Dystopian nightmares are plaguing our literary works and cinemas, reflecting the inoperativeness besetting our governmental institutions, the greed swathing our unassailable international corporations, and the zealous indifference of our neighbors.
But has it ever been any different? Metropolis (1926), The Time Machine (1960), A Clockwork Orange (1971), Soylent Green (1973), Blade Runner (1982) and Dark City (1998) all were forerunners of The Hunger Games, Divergent, and even the Transformer series.
Now the Korean auteur Bong Joon Ho, who's never perused humanity through rose-colored glasses (e.g. The Host (2006); Mother (2009)), has adapted the French graphic novel, Le Transperceneige, and the result is gleefully entertaining and conceptually refreshing.
In the year 2014, the world's leaders, to combat »
- Brandon Judell
What true geek doesn't love a great science fiction film? Ever since I saw E.T. in the movie theater as a kid I was hooked on sci-fi. Over the years I've gone back and watched a ton of older films before my time, and continue to enjoy the awesomeness of this genre. Vimeo user 60fotogramas created a fantastic supercut that pays homage to the best sci-fi movies ever made. He calls it "Sci-Fi: Since 1902," and says:
This is a montage of some of the best science fiction films ever made. A total of 62 films ordered by release year, from 1902 to the present. Thanks for watching, enjoy.
I've included a list of all the movies in the video below:
1902- Voyage dans la lune
1929- Fraud in Mond
1933-The invisible Man
1936-The Devil Doll
1953- The War of the worlds »
- Joey Paur
A dystopian future is a well-worn setting for many science fiction films, simply because there’s a tremendous amount of potential to be explored. It’s a way to warn audiences about the ramifications of our current behavior, and what a slippery slope the progression of human history can be. You don’t normally see too many utopian futures in science fiction films — we’re too cynical for that. There’s something intrinsically frightening about the future, that we can’t help but be drawn to the type of films that depict the worst possible future for humanity.
But despite the potential government interference and/or alien overlords, it’s only natural that some dystopian futures would be better or worse than others for the average person. In some, maybe if you’re a big hero of the rebellion your life might be a little difficult, but the »
- Audrey Fox
Writer: Sadayuki Mirai
Director: Kobun Shizuno
Release date: April 2014 (Japan)
Production Company: Polygon Pictures
Creator: Tsutomu Nihei
During a viewing of the first five episodes of Knights Of Sidonia, one of my friends exclaimed, “It’s like Attack On Titan… in space!” Which, for all its simplicity, is not an untrue statement: both boast a broad, futuristic, fantastical setting, mysterious monsters that seem to want to annihilate humanity, and young people who must step up to the plate and acquire skills to defeat them. What’s interesting is that Tsutomu Nihei, creator of the manga Sidonia is based on, has been at the game much longer than many of his peers (including Titan creator Hajime Isayama, who listed Nihei as a mangaka he “admires”), and Nihei is an expert at science fiction world-building—as evidenced in his previous series Biomega and Blame!. So, although the surface structure of Sidonia is »
- Holly Interlandi
Pop culture is home to some of the greatest conspiracy theories of our time. What’s Soylent Green really made of? Who is the Manchurian Candidate? What is Shield up to? What happened in the X-Files again? What was that film Conspiracy Theory about? Potent though the adventures of Mulder and Scully and the films of Alan J Pakula were, though, they’re nothing compared to the tangled webs and shady powers-that-be that exist in the real world – and are controlling us through using the very pop culture we enjoy.
That’s what a bunch of wackos on the internet believe, anyway. The advent of the internet has been like the invention of the printing press for conspiracy theorists, only instead of Johannes Gutenberg allowing literacy, philosophy and religion to spread with ease, Tim Berners-Lee has instead made it simpler for people to make a website full of animated gifs, »
- Tom Baker
One of the most irritating things in life has to be hearing a spoiler about a movie or TV show. Even just finding out there's a twist in a film can be the worst, just ask Roy Trenneman.
Bearing that in mind, you may want to avoid the following video, which collects some of cinema's most iconic movie endings, including The Sixth Sense and The Usual Suspects. To be fair, if you haven't seen or at least heard about these endings by now, you've only got yourself to blame. If you're unsure whether to click play, a full list of films is also below.
Films featured: Citizen Kane, Fight Club, Primal Fear, Signs, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chinatown, The Empire Strikes Back, Psycho (1960), Carrie (1976), Scream, The Sixth Sense, The Departed, The Shawshank Redemption, The Crying Game, Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978), Planet of the Apes (1968), Planet of the Apes (2001), The Mist, »
Welcome to the third and concluding portion of the long interview I did with Dan Harmon a couple of weeks ago in Los Angeles. In part 1, Harmon discussed the initial process of his return to “Community” and the beginning and end of his feud with Chevy Chase. In part 2, he talked about some of the specific goals of “Community” season 5 and the non-impossibility of a season 6 (and a movie). In part 3, our focus mostly shifts away from “Community” to deal with Harmon’s other show of the moment, the Adult Swim animated sci-fi comedy “Rick and Morty,” a kind of dark, twisted spin on the Doc Brown/Marty McFly relationship from “Back to the Future,” only where Rick is an alcoholic sociopath and Morty is the learning disabled grandson he takes horrific advantage of. (I reviewed it earlier this year.) We talk at times about the differences and similarities between the two shows, »
- Alan Sepinwall
Feature James Clayton 14 Mar 2014 - 06:37
In The Zero Theorem, Christoph Waltz plays Qohen Leth - a hairless and reclusive computer programmer who lives in his pyjamas in a cavernous ancient cathedral in a dystopian future. This sounds a bit like a midlife crisis. In fact it is a whole life crisis and, for Qohen, that existential despair isn't just a pastime - it's his job. The main protagonists search for the meaning of life forms the narrative core of Terry Gilliam's new film.
Anyone who's ever searched for the meaning of life will be able to tell you that it's a terrible, soul-destroying business unless it's turned into a Monty Python movie. It's therefore a huge relief to know that Gilliam is handling this headspinning sci-fi feature. The quest for »
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