18 items from 2014
When did "spoof" become such a dirty word? There once was a time when filmmakers like Mel Brooks (Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein) and brilliant comedians like the late Leslie Nielsen (Airplane!, The Naked Gun) mastered the art of parody. No film genre was safe. Nowadays, however, movies like Michael Tiddes. A Haunted House 2 arrive in theaters with a thundering eye roll. When did things go so wrong? Open Road Films didn.t screen Marlon Wayans. comedy sequel for critics. (I know, right?) That gave us an excuse to go back and celebrate the finest entries in the spoof genres. movies that packed in the laughs and took advantage of the creative leeway that comes with assuming a familiar genre. Surely you love these 10 vintage spoof movies. We apologize for calling you Shirley. And, of course, we want to hear from you! Tell us your favorite spoof movies in the »
Chicago – In May 13, 1996, I didn’t know what an RPG was. That all changed with “Super Mario RPG: The Legend of The Seven Stars”. The term was right there in the title! Not only did they popularize the genre, Square Enix streamlined the numbers heavy RPGs of the past into something challenging, charming, thrilling, and accessible. The combat was required timed button presses, and the story was oddly touching; bittersweet moments supplementing the generally upbeat and zany antics. It was almost a kid-friendly water-slide prelude to the pop-culture Tsunami that was to be “Final Fantasy VII” only a few months later, at which point pretty much everyone knew what an RPG was and what to expect to from one.
Video Game Rating: 4.0/5.0
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
(Brian De Palma, 15, Arrow, 1974)
In 1974, after a decade making low-budget, semi-underground movies, Brian De Palma thought he was about to enter the big time when 20th Century Fox paid $2m for this wild satire on indulgent rock musicians and the corrupt industry that exploited them. Basically it's a transposition of The Phantom of the Opera to the modern pop world, where an evil impresario, Swan (the diminutive, baby-faced composer Paul Williams,, who also wrote the songs), steals a pretentious rock cantata from Winslow Leach, its naive author, and frames him on drugs charge.
After he's been disfigured by a record-pressing machine, Winslow returns to seek revenge by haunting Swan's theatre, the Paradise. The piece also draws on Goethe's Faust, Wilde's Dorian Gray and Edgar Allan Poe, and refers to movies ranging from Psycho (the shower scene is reprised using a plunger) and The Cabinet of Dr Caligari.
But De Palma »
- Philip French
Zap2it: What has the impact been on you of playing Penelope Garcia over nine seasons of "Criminal Minds"?
Kirsten Vangsness: When fortune comes upon you, it can really shut you down, or it can really crack you open and you can learn so much about yourself.
I feel honored that I get to be a squatter in this sort of fancy mansion with these fancy people for this period of time -- with all these dead bodies everywhere -- and I'm really appreciative. I've gotta say, this has been such a gift.
Related: TV's most devastating deaths
Zap2it: When you've tackled other work on film and stage, have you seen the effect of the popularity of "Criminal Minds" on that?
Kirsten Vangsness: Well, you would think so. I am a member of a nonprofit theater company called Theatre of Note that has a 40-seat house, and »
With final box office figures unavailable at the time of writing, the festival (which ran Feb 20-March 2) has hit the 40,000 mark for the first time with a programme of 369 screenings, panel discussions, live performances and pop-up cinema events.
Speaking at the closing gala, festival co-directors Allan Hunter and Allison Gardner thanked the festival’s sponsors - Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, Event Scotland, Creative Scotland and the BFI. Gardner added: “We’ve had a truly wonderful time with the festival: great films, fabulous guests and the warmest audiences. Thank you very much for the support and a huge thanks to the massive team that’s worked so hard across a huge »
- email@example.com (Ian Sandwell)
As part of its 2014 season, Saint Michael's Playhouse in Vermont is now casting its production of "Young Frankenstein." From Mel Brooks, "Young Frankenstein" tells the story of Dr. Frankenstein's grandson, who inherits his grandfather's castle and repeats the experiments, creating another monster. Auditions are being held Feb. 19-21 in NYC, and the production will open in June. This is a paid gig, and all ethnicities will be considered for the eight roles. For more details, check out the casting notice for “Young Frankenstein” here, and be sure to check out the rest of our audition listings! »
Director David O. Russell has enjoyed a great two years back-to-back on the awards circuit, from last year's much-loved "Silver Linings Playbook" to 2014 Oscar heavyweight "American Hustle." As an actor's director who loves cinema, the following top ten list from Russell's Sight and Sound poll for the British Film Institute has few shockers. Take a look at the idiosyncratic list, and clips, below. The filmmaker has repeatedly tipped his hat to Polanski's "Chinatown" -- which he memorized 20 minutes of -- and Scorsese's "Goodfellas." You can feel the pulse of these films thrumming in all Russell's films, including "I Heart Huckabees," "The Fighter" and "Three Kings." He loves his '70s New Hollywood ("Chinatown," "Godfather," "Young Frankenstein") and feel-good classics ("It's a Wonderful Life") with a dash of arthouse for good measure ("Bourgeoisie"). "Blue Velvet" (1986) Dir. David Lynch "Chinatown" (1974) Dir. Roman Polanski "The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie" (1972) Dir. Luis »
- Ryan Lattanzio
Cinema history has a few great double-up years: 12-month periods in which a classic filmmaker had not one but two great films. Mel Brooks may be the most notorious, releasing two of the best comedies of all time in 1974 (“Blazing Saddles” & “Young Frankenstein”) and Steven Spielberg has arguably done it a few times, inarguably in 1993 (“Jurassic Park” & “Schindler’s List”) and he would double-up again in 2002 (“Minority Report” & “Catch Me If You Can”) and 2011 (“Tintin” & “War Horse”).
One of the most-often forgotten double-up years was Alfred Hitchcock’s first year as an American filmmaker — 1940, which saw the premiere of “Rebecca” in April and “Foreign Correspondent” in August. The former has been a Criterion inductee for years and the latter joins the most important club in Blu-ray/DVD history this week in a finely-transferred and wonderfully accompanied release.
“Rebecca” has the higher historical pedigree, largely because it’s less dry »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
I don’t own Blazing Saddles. I know. That’s insane. Don’t worry, that will change May 6.
Here is the news release from Warner Bros.:
On May 6, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment (Wbhe) will commemorate the four-decade birthday of the great comedy classic Blazing Saddles, by releasing a new 40th Anniversary Blu-ray highlighted by a new featurette Blaze of Glory: Mel Brooks’ Wild, Wild West in which Mel Brooks reflects on his own movie-making chutzpah, Blazing Saddles‘ lasting cultural impact on audiences of all generations, and alongside co-stars Gene Wilder and Madeline Kahn, proves why his film is, without a doubt, the funniest and most outrageous film ever made. Blazing Saddles 40th Anniversary Bu-ray will also include 10 quotable art cards with funny quotes and images from the film, plus vintage extra content including Brooks’ commentary, cast reunion documentary, and “Black Bart,” the 1975 television pilot inspired by the movie. »
- Jeff Bayer
Turner Classic Movies (TCM) has added an exciting roster of screen legends and beloved titles to the 2014 TCM Classic Film Festival, including appearances by Maureen O’Hara, Mel Brooks and Margaret O’Brien, plus a two-film tribute to Academy Award®-winner Richard Dreyfuss. Marking its fifth year, the TCM Classic Film Festival will take place April 10-13, 2014, in Hollywood. The gathering will coincide with TCM’s 20th anniversary as a leading authority in classic film.
O’Hara will present the world premiere restoration of John Ford’s Oscar®-winning Best Picture How Green Was My Valley (1941), while Brooks will appear at a screening of his western comedy Blazing Saddles (1974). O’Brien will be on-hand for Vincente Minnelli’s perennial musical favorite Meet Me in St. Louis (1944), starring Judy Garland. The tribute to Dreyfuss will consist of a double feature of two of his most popular roles: his Oscar®-winning performance »
- Melissa Thompson
Feature James Clayton 31 Jan 2014 - 07:30
"We belong dead." Frankenstein's Monster in Bride Of Frankenstein (1935).
No, friend, you don’t belong dead. The masses definitely disagree with the Monster. (Ignore the mob of parochial peasants bearing pitchforks and flaming torches, because they're only film extras and their opinion on anything doesn't matter.)
Time has proved that Frankenstein's Monster (a.k.a. The Creature) is eternally popular and ever- relevant and, thus, should never be allowed to just die.
He's easy to revive. A few zaps of electricity and some dramatic lighting and, oh God! It's alive! It's alive! He is, indeed, alive again, shaped like Aaron Eckhart and gracing the big screen now that fresh release I, Frankenstein has found its way into theatres. You needn't worry if you don't get a chance »
On this week's episode of The Golden Briefcase, hosts Tim and Jeremy go through their latest picks of the week, the newest DVD & Blu-ray releases and plenty more on one certain monster. The main topic of the night was a discussion on Frankenstein in Film, with the release of Aaron Eckhart's I, Frankenstein in theaters now. The guys go over some of the most notable Frankenstein mythos entries in cinema (the 1931 classic, Mel Brooks' Young Frankenstein, The Hammer entries, etc) and touch on some of their favorites. They also discuss the various takes on Mary Shelley's story and where they'd like to see future tellings to go. Download #185 or Listen Now: [audio href="http://traffic.libsyn.com/firstshowing/EP185.mp3" title="The Many Stories of Frankenstein's Monster"]The Golden Briefcase #185[/audio] Subscribe via: RSS or iTunes Previous Episode: Preview of 2014 - Surveying the New Year in Film Picks of the Week: Jeremy: Billy Jack / Raze / Rewind This! / Fruitvale Station / August: Osage County / Exit Humanity »
- Tim Buel
Now we know why Us distributor Lionsgate chose not to screen I, Frankenstein for the critics in advance of its Us debut last Friday, and why the release was postponed from February 2013. The Melbourne-shot 3D action-thriller, written and directed by Stuart Beattie, has been shunned by Us audiences and excoriated by reviewers. The film starring Aaron Eckhart as Frankenstein.s reincarnated corpse who battles gargoyles and demons in 21st Century London, opened with $8.6 million at 2,753 screens, far lower than most pundits. predictions. It ranked sixth behind the second weekend of buddy cop comedy Ride Along, the fifth frame of war drama Lone Survivor,. animated films The Nut Job (week 2) and Frozen (week 10), and the second weekend of Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit. The reviews were near unanimous, with just two "fresh" and 41 rotten on Rotten Tomatoes, for a pitifully low score of 5%. Based on a graphic novel by Kevin Grevioux, creator of Underworld, »
- Don Groves
Later this year, Mel Brooks’ brilliant homage to the Universal monster movies Young Frankenstein turns 40. Having spawned a successful Broadway musical and inspired countless other spoofs, this send-up of the original Frankenstein films remains the gold standard against which many comedies are judged. Rightfully so. If only Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer paid more attention to what makes it good, we wouldn’t be plagued by so many terrible spoofs out there now. The Blu-ray of Young Frankenstein features Brooks’ frank commentary of the film, examining the contributions of co-writer Gene Wilder as well as many fond memories of the cast – most of whom are no longer with us. Brooks may have changed direction from filmmaking to work on the Broadway stage in recent years, but his expertise at making a timeless comedy is detailed here. Young Frankenstein (1974) Commentator: Mel Brooks (director, co-writer) 1. The film was originally to be produced at Columbia, but »
- Kevin Carr
London — Scotland’s Glasgow Film Festival, which runs Feb. 20-March 2, will open with the U.K. premiere of Wes Anderson’s “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” and will close with the Scottish premiere of Jonathan Glazer’s “Under the Skin,” which was partly filmed in the city.
The fest has 60 U.K. premieres, including: “My Name is Hmmm…,” the feature film directorial debut from French fashion icon agnès b.; “Mr Morgan’s Last Love,” starring Michael Caine and Clemence Poesy; Michel Gondry’s “Mood Indigo,” starring Romain Duris and Audrey Tautou; Kristin Scott Thomas and Daniel Auteuil starrer “Before the Winter Chill”; Thomas Imbach’s “Mary Queen of Scots”; “The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out »
- Leo Barraclough
Tenth edition of the Glasgow Film Festival to host a record 60 UK premieres; Under the Skin to receive Scottish premiere as closing film.
With the festival celebrating its tenth edition this year, its opening gala recalls their first-ever closing gala, Anderson’s The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, which will also receive a screening during the festival on Glasgow’s Tall Ship.
This year’s edition (supported by Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, EventScotland and Creative Scotland) will feature a record 60 UK premieres, including Michel Gondry’s Mood Indigo; Sandra Nettelbeck’s Mr. Morgan’s [link »
- email@example.com (Ian Sandwell)
Welcome to 2014! It’s freezing in most of the United States. It’s almost the weekend. You Need a full Netflix queue! This is one of our favorite “New to Netflix” columns to date with an even 5x5 — 5 new films that you may have missed and 5 old films that you might not have seen yet. Add all ten. Now with previews!
Seemingly meek Pinky gets a job at a nursing home and befriends the loquacious Millie. Their unusual friendship turns strangely eerie when they decide to be roommates and begin to change in surprising and unexpected ways.
Because Robert Altman. You’ve probably seen the most well-known works of one of the best directors of all time — “Nashville,” “The Player,” “Gosford Park” — but this little gem from 1977 might have slipped under your radar. Moody, atmospheric, strange, and with two of my favorite performances from Shelley Duvall and Sissy Spacek, »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
I was thinking about 2014, that bizarre, space-age year we’re now enjoying, and it occurred to me: This is going to be the best year ever.
Need proof? I’ve assembled a list of 2014′s upcoming perks, and they’re so awesome that I am now writ
1. 2014 began with our most important human asset: Anderson Cooper’s giggle.
The Kathy Griffin/Anderson Cooper New Year’s Eve Fiasco-Spectacular is always a gem, but this year Kathy turned on the major improv chops for a roast I won’t soon forget. She harassed the Silver Fox for his subpar tweets and called him a “lonely little boy” in a model’s body. Personally, I died when she described his childhood: “Mommy’s at Studio 54,” she intoned. Anderson descended into a fit of nursery giggles that is actually too adorable to describe. His giggle is a heretofore unheard noise. Like a remix »
- Louis Virtel
18 items from 2014
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