1-20 of 49 items from 2014 « Prev | Next »
With Episode VII around the corner, and the production to the Original Trilogy (less so the Prequels) spun into filmmaking folklore, Star Wars has never been more potent in popular culture.
While the world waits on the official appointment of Messrs. Hamill, Fisher and Ford to complete the proverbial circle there are many others whose presence ensured the cinematic legacy. We take a look at some of those people who are an essential part of why we love that galaxy far, far away.
George Lucas may have conjured up the world of Star Wars in his mind, but it was the late conceptual designer and illustrator Ralph McQuarrie who would take those ideas and thoughts and offer a visual representation of what filmmaker was reaching for, with a number of his images ultimately going on to as a blueprint for the film’s creative departments.
Impressed with McQuarrie »
- Adam Lowes
The Turner Classic Movies (TCM) Film Festival wrapped up its 5th annual hoorah in Hollywood on Sunday and this year was chock full of joyful and exciting films and special guests. There were so many wonderful old movies that most people have seen, but for me the true thrill was the chance to see a beloved movie on the big screen, the way it was intended.
Throw in some amazing guests and it was absolute gold.
Walt Disney’s The Jungle Book (1967)
Screened at the beautiful El Capitan Theater, The Jungle Book was the last Disney animated feature that was overseen by Walt Disney himself. After the success of Mary Poppins and other Disney hits such as The Parent Trap, The Absent Minded Professor and The Sword in the Stone, Disney went back to the well and asked songwriters Bobby and Richard Sherman to take a swing at its animated »
- Melissa Thompson
In the mid-1970s, there were few American filmmakers riding as high as William Friedkin. The French Connection swept the 1971 Academy Awards, nabbing Friedkin a Best Director statuette. The Exorcist, released two years later, broke box office records to become one of the top grossing films of all time. Boasting creative power and freedom that most directors could only dream about, Friedkin opted to film an updated version of French auteur Henri-Georges Clouzot’s classic The Wages of Fear (1953).
The result, 1977’s Sorcerer, became one of the most notorious box office bombs of the decade. Its dark, unrelenting tale of four desperate, disparate men (Roy Scheider, Bruno Cremer, Francisco Rabal, Amidou) who undertake a suicide mission by driving truckloads of nitroglycerine across the rugged South American jungle wasn’t what the changing tide of audience tastes were buying then, »
- The Hollywood Interview.com
Los Angeles (AP) — Politically, Richard Dreyfuss describes himself as "intensely pre-partisan, and even more intensely anti-shmuck." The 66-year-old Oscar winner almost immediately injected politics into an hour-long conversation with actress Ileana Douglas about his life and career Friday as part of The TCM Classic Film Festival. Dreyfuss was even more outspoken in a later interview with The Associated Press, calling for a "civil strike" in support of the United States Constitution. "I'm going to send you a copy of the preamble to the Constitution," he said. "If there's anything in it that you don't agree with, don't sign it; just send me back an explanation. You will agree with everything, because it's beautifully crafted and it's meant for all. And if I get 500,000 signatures, I'm going to call for a civil strike. "What I would do is pick a weekday, and according to the time zone, 12:30 in the east, »
- Sandy Cohen (AP)
It's sad to think that two of the most well-known film critics are no longer with us. Last year we lost Roger Ebert (and he's given a loving tribute and profile in the Sundance selected documentary Life Itself), and awhile back Gene Siskel passed as well. But thankfully, thanks to the internet, we get to relive some of their greatest moments and passion for film. One such episode of their iconic series "Siskel & Ebert" was entirely dedicated to Steven Spielberg. But what's truly great about this episode is that it happened in 1984, when Spielberg was just preparing to release Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Watch it! Here's the "Siskel & Ebert" special on Steven Spielberg from Larry Wright (via The Playlist): To the credit of Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert, it's pretty remarkable that they noticed the greatness of Spielberg, who had only directed Duel, The Sugarland Express, »
- Ethan Anderton
Scaring people has become a lucrative business over the years and decades since Hollywood first embraced the concept of fear for fun. Some of the most profitable contemporary films in terms of investment-to-return ratio have been horror films. In theory, this sounds like a good thing. Unfortunately, profitability does not always equate to a film being a creative success. For those looking for casual scares that appeal to little more than our base reflexes, similar to riding a roller coaster, there is no shortage of options on the market. However, for those of us looking for something more in our horror films, the selection is more limited.
I am happy to report that Oculus satisfies that craving rather well. No. It’s not a perfect film, but few are these days. That really should go without saying anymore. The film’s marketing proudly announces “from the producer of Paranormal Activity and Insidous. »
- Travis Keune
Steven Spielberg—who has plenty of filmmaking years left in him—already has a number of honors he'll be remembered for. Of course there's the two Best Director Oscars he's already got on his fireplace mantle, the distinction of being the man who created the summer blockbuster thanks to "Jaws," and simply being one of the best storytellers the medium has ever seen. And it says something about his work that already in 1984, critics were already looking back on his body of work. With "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom" headed to theatres, "Siskel & Ebert" decided to carve out an entire episode dedicated to the oeuvre of Spielberg, and as always, it's a great watch. The pair go deep, delving into Spielberg's TV work, technique, craftsmanship and more. And no one does it more passionately than these two, with Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert taking a moment away from »
- Kevin Jagernauth
The name director Ted Kotcheff may not be as instantly recognisable as some of his filmmaker contemporaries, but a fertile creative period during the 70s and 80s saw him craft a number of well-received films across a variety of genres – The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz (which launched the career of a young, pre-Jaws Richard Dreyfuss), the original Fun with Dick and Jane, North Dallas Forty, Switching Channels and Weekend at Bernie’s.
Arguably, he’s best known for bringing the iconic character of John Rambo into the world with the 1982 ‘Nam-scarred survivalist classic First Blood, but another underappreciated film from his CV is now available on DVD and Blu-ray. 1971’s Wake in Fright was an early addition to the Australian New Wave cinema movement, and remains a vivid and disturbing depiction of the country’s hard-drinking, fiercely masculine subculture of that era. We talked to Kotcheff earlier this month »
- Adam Lowes
What better way to celebrate Icons of Fright’s ten year anniversary, than with a barrage of our favorites?, whether they be lists of our favorite entries into the French horror genre, our favorite badasses, or like this one, the films that make up what is (in my opinion), the greatest horror films of all time. Like always, art is subjective, so before you rabid fright fiends call foul on me, just remember, this is “Jerry’s Ten Greatest Horror Films of All Time”, so it is just that: mine. So if you disagree, comment and tell me yours, as Icons of Fright has always been for the fans and comprised Of fans, so feel free to sound off! With all of that said, it’s go time!
10.) Re-animator (1985)
- Jerry Smith
Wow, this is cool. The folks at Filmmaker Iq have put together a fascinating 15-minute video history of the best bit of movies: the trailers (click through for more supporting material). There's material on the very earliest trailers (100 years old last year, apparently), the more experimental trailers of the '60s (yes, everything really was experimental then) including an amazing one for “Dr. Strangelove,” and the rise of modern blockbuster trailers—which, just like the modern blockbuster itself, date back to Steven Spielberg's “Jaws.” It also takes us right up to the latest in trailer technology, the “Inception” braaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhm, and gives a shout-out to Don Lafontaine, one of the most recognizable trailer voices around: but not, sadly, to the other Mr “In A World...”, Hal Douglas, who passed away recently. Nevertheless, check it out—it's great. [via No Film School] »
- Ben Brock
FilmmakerIQ is back with another great look into film history, this time focusing on the history of the movie trailer. Dating back to the first, simple trailers in 1913, to the introduction of the National Screen Service in 1919 as they started cutting trailers without studio permission to they point they had contracts with theater owners and a virtual monopoly on film marketing from the 1920s to the '60s. The video below focuses on trailers for Casablanca, Psycho and Stanley Kubrick's cutting of the trailer for Dr. Strangelove, up to the introduction of the blockbuster with Steven Spielberg's Jaws, the first film to use the wide release strategy, forever changing the cinematic landscape into what we recognize today, represented here with the trailer for Christopher Nolan's Inception. I've included the 15 minute FilmmakerIQ video below along with the trailers included in the video as well as a short video »
- Brad Brevet
In the new horror movie Beneath — which Scream Factory is releasing on DVD and Blu-ray on March 25 — a group of folks attempt to fend off a huge fish in a boat too small for the task. If you think that sounds a lot like the plot of Jaws, then director Larry Fessenden (Habit, The Last Winter) will not be the least bit offended.
Indeed, Fessenden admits seeing Steven Spielberg’s film during its original release proved a massive, formative influence. “I saw it in Cape Cod in 1975,” the director told me, when he recently guested on SiriusXM 105′s Entertainment Weirdly. »
- Clark Collis
Vancouver - "Intimate" usually isn't the first word that comes to mind when thinking about a big budget summer tentpole featuring a giant monster smashing buildings and breathing fire on tanks. However, that's the exact word that star Aaron Taylor-Johnson used to describe Legendary Pictures and Warner Bros.' upcoming "Godzilla." When a group of fellow journalists and I visited the set of the film, we sat and chatted with stars Bryan Cranston and Taylor-Johnson, but didn't get to meet the big guy himself, who was added into the film later via the wonders of computer effects. While Taylor-Johnson will soon be best-known for blockbusters like "Godzilla" and "The Avengers: Age of Ultron," he balances the big studio films with smaller fare like the Oscar-nominated "Albert Nobbs" and the John Lennon drama "Nowhere Boy." He claimed that "Godzilla" doesn't feel much bigger than the small indies in which he's appeared. »
- Dave Lewis
After a solid premiere, Believe, NBC’s thriller from Gravity director Alfonso Cuarón and J.J. Abrams, settles into its regular Sundays at 9 p.m. time slot March 16 with a second episode that promises to reveal more about Kyle MacLachlan’s well-dressed Skouras, who’s battling his former partner Winter (Delroy Lindo) for control of 10-year-old Bo (Johnny Sequoyah) and her powers.
“Much more time is spent explaining who he is, where he’s from, and why he’s interested in Bo,” says MacLachlan, who took his cues for creating the character from something Cuarón did when he was directing the pilot. »
- Mandi Bierly
From the arrival of cinema and a train steaming into La Ciotat Station cinema audiences have long been in love with both the fast and the furious. The adage ‘the car’s the star’ has long been evident in Hollywood’s annals with Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Herbie, the Batmobile or the family of Minis (Minions?) in The Italian Job taking centre stage and linger in the memory.
In association with the people from Van Monster we stood atop our internet tower and gazed at the past, then plucked five of the most iconic vehicles to appear in movies.
5) 1977 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am
As featured in: Smokey And The Bandit (1977)
Registration plate: Ban One
Hired by Texan double-act Big Enos and his son Little Enos to transport then-prohibited Coors beer to Georgia in under 28 hours, Bo ‘Bandit’ Darville requests a fast car to act as a blocker – a distraction for »
- Simon Williams
To mark the release of Paranoia on 10th March, we’ve been given 5 copies to give away on Blu-ray.
The world’s two most powerful tech billionaires and bitter adversaries (Harrison Ford and Gary Oldman) will stop at nothing to outwit and destroy each other’s business empires. But when a young rising star (Liam Hemsworth) falls between them, he becomes trapped in the middle of the rivals’ life-and-death game of corporate espionage. By the time he realises his life is in danger, he is in far too deep and knows too much »
I received a Kindle for Christmas and I absolutely love it. I am not a particularly fast reader, but with this device my reading speed has dramatically increased and one thing I do every day is check the Kindle Daily Deals at Amazon as they frequently offer something worth picking up for only $1.99. Well, today the list is rather long as they have 34 books that eventually inspired award-winning movies on sale. No, this doesn't mean Oscar winning as you'll notice the book that helped inspire Ron Howard's Rush is included here and the Academy couldn't even see fit to offer it a Sound nomination. However, we all saw Daniel Bruhl take home a few awards already so it definitely counts. Books that inspired this year's Oscar crop are limited to the books behind Philomena and The Invisible Woman, but there is a lot more to take away beyond that. »
- Brad Brevet
Star Wars, Jaws, Indiana Jones, Superman. You can’t think of these adventures without instantly hearing the music. Film scores have always been the emotional heart of the story that forever resonates with an audience.
For the first time as part of its annual Oscar Week events, the Academy presented a live “Oscar Concert” celebrating this year’s nominated scores and songs.
In what was a glorious program for music lovers, the huge audience at UCLA’s Royce Hall experienced an unforgettable night. The Academy’s 80-piece orchestra performed suites from each of the nominated original scores and prior to each piece, all the nominated composers participated in a brief conversation with film critic and radio host Elvis Mitchell about creating their scores.
Musician, Common, was the perfect host for this historic event. After a enthusiastic introduction by the actor, the evening began with Academy Governor Charles Fox conducting Jerry Goldsmith’s “Fanfare for Oscar. »
- Michelle McCue
We’ll be celebrating the life and career of famed movie director Steven Spielberg at The Way out Club on March 4th with Super-8 Steven Spielberg Movie Madness. We’ll be showing, in the Super-8 Sound format (average length: 15 minutes) projected on a big screen, the following films directed by Speilberg: Duel, Sugarland Express, Jaws, Close Encounters Of The Third Kind, 1941, and Raiders Of The Lost Ark. (Sugarland and 1941 are 30-minute two-reelers).
In addition to the Steven Spielberg films, we’ll be showing Abbott And Costello Meet The Mummy, The Marx Brothers in Monkey Business, Mighty Mouse in The Witch’S Cat, Bela Lugosi and Lon Chaney in Ghost Of Frankenstein, Filming The Big Crashes, Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea, and William Shatner vs killer tarantulas is Kingdom Of The Spiders.
Cover charge is a mere $3. The show begins at 8pm. We’ll have Steven Spielberg trivia with prizes and, »
- Tom Stockman
It’s no secret that our beloved horror movies are often snubbed at the Academy Awards. The horror genre as a whole just doesn’t get all that much respect in the world of cinema, which is why it’s so important for us fans to support and spread the word on the movies we love. Quite frankly, if we're not doing it, nobody’s going to do it for us.
That said, there are a handful of horror movies over the years that have defied tradition, and have actually managed to snag themselves those little golden statues. With the 86th Academy Awards heading our way this weekend, today we shine the spotlight on 10 of those movies, which made all of us horror fans proud!
Though the Academy Awards ceremony wasn’t televised until 1953, it actually began way back in 1929, held at a private dinner party. »
- John Squires
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