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Drew Struzan might be the name you first think of when someone mentions movie poster artist, but few can argue that the work of John Alvin is not a equally iconic. Alvin’s art has be collected in great effort into one tight package in The Art of John Alvin by his wife Andrea Alvin. The high quality coffee table book collects the late artist’s film poster art in their final form and in the earliest stages when he was just starting to figure out the layouts for some of the posters that would go on to be some of the most iconic of all time.
An introduction gives a brief overview of his life and his earliest experiences painting images from the films that made him fall in love with the art, like 1954’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and 1960’s Spartacus. It details his life, marriage, and sudden »
- Max Molinaro
Mel Brooks gave the Tcl Chinese Theatre the finger — the fake finger, that is. The celebrated actor, screenwriter, producer, and director made his mark on the famous venue's walk of fame on Monday, Sept. 8, adding an unexpected 11th finger to his handprint. Brooks, 88, was honored with a marker boasting his signature, handprint, and footprint in recognition of his years of work and the 40th anniversary of the Oscar-nominated Young Frankenstein, which he directed and co-wrote. The Blazing Saddles director subtly attached a fake sixth finger [...] »
Don't let your eyes fool you, folks! Veteran comedian and actor Mel Brooks cemented his mark on Hollywood Monday afternoon with a special ceremony outside the Chinese Theatre on the Walk of Fame. In a classic white suit and floral tie (nice touch, Mel), the 88-year-old proved to still have a great sense of humor as he wore a prosthetic sixth finger on his left hand. Yes, it's fake, people! "I desperately need to wash my hands," he tweeted after getting his foot and handprints cemented outside the iconic theatre, which his fans will remember plays an important part in the rousing finale of Blazing Saddles. He later added, "Hands are clean but the shoes will never be the »
It's a rite of passage for any star of entertainment to get a spot on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The sidewalks of Tinseltown are covered with the stars, along with the imprints of their hands and feet. Just yesterday, American comedy icon Mel Brooks (writer and director of Spaceballs, Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein and more) was given that very honor, and the master of laughter wasn't going to let this opportunity for what will be a more permanent joke just slip away. The comedy legend, who is actually fairly active on Twitter despite his oage, posted a picture of his imprint after he was done. Notice anything weird? Here's the image Mel Brooks posted on his Twitter, along with some other photos from BuzzFeed: I desperately need to wash my hands. pic.twitter.com/fKVl4FyMFt— Mel Brooks (@MelBrooks) September 8, 2014 And here is Brooks appearing on "Conan" shortly after, »
- Ethan Anderton
The four guys sitting around the lunch table in Beverly Hills have been business associates and friends for decades.
This includes the decade known as the ’70s, when lunchee Mel Brooks directed and co-wrote “Young Frankenstein” (1974) for fellow lunchees, former Fox studio chief Alan Ladd Jr. and the film’s producer, Michael Gruskoff, as well as longtime Ladd associate Jay Kanter, who once repped the likes of Marlon Brando, Grace Kelly and Marilyn Monroe.
But this is clearly Brooks’ show, a point he reinforces when Gruskoff tries to tell their guest about the day the two of them and star Gene Wilder pitched the “Young Frankenstein” project to the top brass at Columbia Pictures.
Gruskoff may have gotten through the first word of the first sentence but he quickly and wisely lets Brooks finish: “Let Me Tell The Story I Can Tell It Better Than You.”
“So everything was great, »
- Steven Gaydos
By Lee Pfeiffer
Mel Brooks' 1968 comedy classic The Producers was originally deemed unreleasable because of its tasteless content. It sat on a shelf for two years before finally seeing the light of day. When the movie hit theaters, critics praised it, Brooks won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay and helped launch a major career for him in feature films. By 1974, tastelessness was not a barrier for Brooks' cinematic projects. Blazing Saddles, his insane send-up of the Western movie genre, came along at exactly the right time. Ten years earlier, the film would have been impossible to make. However, pop culture had matured light years between the mid-1960s and 1970s and so did audience's tolerance of envelope-pushing humor. Indeed, by the time Brooks brought this movie to the screen Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice had already shown the humorous side of swinging and Robert Altman's M*A*S »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Cinema Retro)
Lifetime achieved the best and worst possible results with "The Unauthorized 'Saved by the Bell' Story," a TV movie that premiered last night: It wasn't exactly a cringe-inducing retelling of Dustin Diamond's memoir about his time as Screech on "Saved by the Bell," but it wasn't titillating or scandalous either. The movie had the stench of looming legal ramifications, as if the producers were terrified of Tiffani(-Amber) Thiessen and Mario Lopez arriving with defamation suits at any moment. (That makes sense considering the original memoir contains its fair share of serious accusations.) Subsequently, the only cast member with any dirt to spill was Diamond, whose woes were still pretty mundane as depicted. In other words: We weren't so excited or so scared, and we needed a few hundred caffeine pills just to stay awake during this damn movie. But we did pick up a few interesting »
- Louis Virtel
Bill Hader has come a long way since his stint on Saturday Night Live, creating many popular characters and impersonations such as Stefon, Vincent Price and CNN’s Jack Cafferty. He is one of the highlights in such films as Adventureland, Knocked Up, Superbad and Pineapple Express, and so it is easy to see why author Mike Sacks interviewed him for his new book Poking A Dead Frog. In it, Hader talks about his career and he also lists 200 essential movies every comedy writer should see. Xo Jane recently published the list for those of us who haven’t had a chance to read the book yet. There are a ton of great recommendations and plenty I haven’t yet seen, but sadly my favourite comedy of all time isn’t mentioned. That would be Some Like It Hot. Still, it really is a great list with a mix of old and new. »
“They said you was hung!”
“They was right!”
Blazing Saddles plays this weekend (August 29th and 30th) at The Tivoli at midnight as part of their Reel Late at the Tivoli midnight series.
And the perfect movie to show in a city that’s in the middle of a race riot is of course….. Blazing Saddles!
I showed the condensed Super-8 version of Blazing Saddles, appropriately enough, at my Super-8 Politically Incorrect Movie Madness show last year at The Way Out Club and there are enough N-words in the 18-minute edit alone to make Paula Dean blush, but damn, this movie just keeps getting funnier as it ages!
Blazing Saddles is my favorite Mel Brooks comedy. Yes, even more than Young Frankenstein – it’s hard to believe Brooks produced both yuk-fests the same year. I just watched his 1977 follow-up High Anxiety on 16mm last weekend for the first time since it was new and Yikes! »
- Tom Stockman
One of the greatest poster illustrators ever gets a volume devoted to his work. Here's Ryan's review of the lavish Art Of John Alvin...
In 2008, John Alvin died at the tragically young age of 59, robbing the world of one of its finest poster designers. Although his signatures were often erased from his artwork, Alvin's individual style rang out from every image he produced: his work for movies such as E.T., Blade Runner, Cocoon and Short Circuit displayed a keen eye for colour, space and proportion.
Although technically gifted, it was Alvin's talent for crystalising a film's subject tone in a single, clear image that really set him apart from other illustrators. His best posters often focused on one or two objects suspended against an expanse of sky or stars, such as the alien and child's fingers touching in his poster for E.T., or the silhouette of a boy in Empire Of The Sun. »
John Mulaney is about to meet his match — his 13-year-old female match.
Bailee Madison (Trophy Wife, The Fosters) will guest-star an upcoming episode of Fox’s new fall comedy Mulaney, TVLine has learned exclusively, playing Ruby, the daughter of Julia, a woman Mulaney is dating. The snag? Mulaney wants out of the relationship, but he can’t bring himself to dump Julia because it would mean giving up his friendship with Ruby.
Ruby and Mulaney’s connection might sound weird to you — and, to be fair, it kind »
“Keep your damn filthy bones outta my mouth!”
Army Of Darkness plays this weekend (August 22nd and 23rd) at The Tivoli at midnight as part of their Reel Late at the Tivoli midnight series.
If they’d put Sam Raimi in charge of the banks there wouldn’t be any recession, because what he managed to do with a small budget earlier in his career is absolutely remarkable.
One reason that the Evil Dead series is such a satisfying trilogy of movies is that Sam Raimi added to the formula with each new instalment in an intelligent way. Where the first film was an out-and-out horror film, the second was a horror-comedy, while Army Of Darkness (1992) was a horror-comedy-fantasy. This meant that each movie has its own distinct personality, while sharing a single core idea. With Army Of Darkness, Raimi produced the most commercial entry in the series and played »
- Tom Stockman
You may not be familiar with the late John Alvin’s name but you are more than likely familiar with his work. The incredibly talented artist was behind many of the most iconic film posters from the past few decades, from Et to Batman and Jurassic Park.
A new gorgeous book entitled The Art of John Alvin is packed with some of Alvin’s most impressive posters, designs and magnificent drawings, thanks to collaborative work with his wife Andrea and some others who have worked with him over the years.
Alvin’s career in poster-work began with Blazing Saddles in the 1970s but he did not stop there, going on to work on a variety of films, from Godfather Part III to The Goonies. Yet, despite the beauty of his posters, the real magic of this particular book lies with his other work. There are a couple of stunning portraits of Al Pacino, »
- Amanda Keats
“We were awesome! Bodacious! Bitchin’! Gnarly! Radical! Totally tubular, dude! Wicked! Hellacious! I have always liked… Cowabunga……. Cowabunga!”
America has Tmnt fever! Michael Bay’s souped-up Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot raked it in at the box—office over the weekend, but everyone knows the greatest movie about those radioactive ‘Heroes in a Halfshell’ was the same-titled 1990 epic
The entire concept of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was conceived by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird who originally created them to parody the dark, gritty comic books of the early 80s. Of course, the series branched away and became a pop culture phenomenon of its own and when something becomes a monstrous hit, you can almost guarantee a motion picture is right down the alley. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles hit the theaters in 1990 and instead of it being a continuation of the hit cartoon series, the film goes back to its source »
- Tom Stockman
Poster artwork has a tendency to become iconic, though that trend is becoming less frequent in the current era of giant faces and back-to-camera poses. When you think of certain movies, a very specific poster image comes to mind. However, sometimes that glorious poster art was one of hundreds of different possibilities and actually came close to never being released, significantly altering the film’s marketing campaign going forward. Today, a number of unused posters for Jurassic Park, Tim Burton’s Batman, and Batman Forever have been unveiled in anticipation of the release of the book The Art of John Alvin, which celebrates poster artwork from artist John Alvin, whose resume also includes Blazing Saddles, E.T, and The Lion King. The unused Jurassic Park posters and Batman posters are actually pretty fantastic, offering a glimpse at just how differently these films might have been introduced to audiences. Hit the »
- Adam Chitwood
John Alvin is one of those people whose work is instantly recognizable, even if his name isn’t. As an artist, he created more than 100 movie posters for such iconic features as Blazing Saddles (His first poster, in 1974), E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Gremlins and Disney’s Aladdin and The Lion King. Later this month, his career will be celebrated with the release of The Art of John Alvin, a retrospective of his work that includes commentary from his widow, Andrea Alvin, as well as previously unseen sketches and alternate versions of posters from across his nearly-four decades of
- Graeme McMillan
Taken from Titan Books' The Art of John Alvin (which goes on sale later this month), the following sketch is a never before seen poster design for Batman Forever. The acclaimed artist painted stunning posters for a number of big movies, and his designs, finished versions which were never used, and much, much more will all be included in the book. What do you guys think? John Alvin’s movie poster art is among the most iconic of the last 40 years, from Disney films such as Beauty and the Beast and Pinocchio, to Empire of the Sun, Gremlins, Blazing Saddles, Predator, and Star Wars 30th anniversary posters. This book not only collects some of Alvin’s finest work, but also includes previously unseen comprehensives and in progress sketches. Licensed By: Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved. »
“You got a bad attitude, pops. Lighten up before your arteries harden!”
Akira (1988) is considered one the classics of not just anime, but animation in general.
Akira tells the tale of a secret military project that endangers Neo-Tokyo when it turns a biker gang member into a rampaging psionic psychopath that only two kids and a group of psionics can stop. Got that? I confess I’ve never seen Akira. I’ve had plenty of opportunities, so I have no good excuse. Perhaps this weekend I’ll finally take it in.
I asked Brian Lan over at the St. Louis-based Anime fan group Fant-Asia St. Louis why Akira is such a classic and he said “Akira is certainly one of the anime that is most cited for bringing in new fans to anime. Akira is visually exquisite and best appreciated on the big screen.”
Now lucky St. Louisans can experience »
- Tom Stockman
“Dozens of people spontaneously combust each year. It’s just not really widely reported.”
This Is Spinal Tap runs only 82 minutes, which is hard to believe, given how many jokes, both subtle and not so subtle, are thrown at us. One of my favorite moments of the film is when we see Nigel Tufnel’s shrieking guitar solo. He is aimlessly dragging a violin across his guitar, and then stops to tune the violin. Kills me every time I see – which is a lot of times and I always find something new to laugh at I hadn’t noticed before.
This Is Spinal Tap is such a perfect send up of the lost days of arena rock that you will often feel that you are watching a documentary. Every line is perfectly believable. This movie is commonly labelled a “cult classic”, which is a shame, because it is one of »
- Tom Stockman
I’m lucky here at JustPressPlay, I only get the best comedies to review, it seems. Blazing Saddles, The Birdcage, both are incredible and two of the funniest flicks ever. I was obsessed with The Birdcage as a kid, thought it was amazing, with brilliant performances and even better giggles to be had.
All these years later and the movie holds up. It’s still a remarkably funny and witty film about the restructuring of family and relationships. Robin Williams and Nathan Lane play a gay couple who, after their son reveals that he’s engaged to a right-wing politician’s daughter, are faced with the reality of hiding who they truly are in order to protect their son’s love. The politician and his wife are played by Gene Hackman and Dianne Wiest, who are both also outstanding.
- Robert Ottone
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