18 items from 2014
Steven Awalt – author interviewed by Todd Garbarini
“Well, it’s about time, Charlie!”
Dennis Weaver utters these words in my favorite Steven Spielberg film, Duel, a production that was originally commissioned by Universal Pictures as an Mow, industry shorthand for “movie of the week”, which aired on Saturday, November 13, 1971. The reviews were glowing; the film’s admirers greatly outweighed its detractors and it put Mr. Spielberg, arguably the most phenomenally successful director in the history of the medium, on a path to a career that would make any contemporary director green with envy. Followed by a spate of contractually obligated television outings, Duel would prove to be the springboard that would catapult Mr. Spielberg into the realm that he was shooting for since his youth: that of feature film directing. Duel would also land him in the court of Hollywood producers David Brown and Richard Zanuck and get him his »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Cinema Retro)
While promoting "Birdman," Edward Norton spoke about the 15th anniversary of "Fight Club" and revealed that today's movies don't get the praise they deserve, especially from some of the older Hollywood greats, like writer William Goldman (Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, All the President's Men, Marathon Man, The Princess Bride, Misery, Chaplin). Norton explained: "I remember reading some interview with the really great screenwriter William Goldman, who definitely has been a part of many great generational films. But I was sort of pissed off by a certain snarkiness that he had about, you know, 'How come no generation has stepped up to make really defining films like those of the sort of 1967 to 1975 era?' And [he] went through the list and almost said like, 'Where are the filmmakers like these people and where are the actors like these people?' And I remember thinking, 'Are you f*cking kidding me? »
The arrival of WolfCop inspires us to take a look back at horror cinema's most unpredictable janitors, doctors, dentists and more...
Can we necessarily trust the dentist who stands over us with a tiny drill in his hand? Isn't the guy who's come round to install our cable television service just a bit too friendly for comfort? And the cop outside in his squad car - isn't he just a little bit, I don't know, hairy?
Some of cinema's darkest, most unpredictable and downright interesting characters often have the most mundane jobs, from teachers to photo developers and taxi drivers to school janitors. It's characters like these we're saluting here - some of them villainous, others strangely likeable despite their dark activities, while others are simply misunderstood.
So here's our pick of the most terrifying public sector workers in horror cinema, inspired by the imminent release of WolfCop - director »
Arriving in cinemas last week was Zach Braff's Wish I Was Here. A film almost as notable as the way it was paid for as much as the final cut itself, amongst its cast you'll find Kate Hudson. The same Kate Hudson who spared us a bit of time to talk about it. Here's how our chat went...
Can you take me back to the first conversation you had with Zach about this?
The first conversation I had with Zach was when I was on vacation with my family and he sent me the script. It was more just like “Hey, read this. I just finished it with my brother” and I read it, and I set on a beach. I was crying, thinking about my family, thinking about my kids, »
For the last decade, Bravo’s “Inside the Actors Studio” has offered fascinating glimpses into how some of our greatest actors approach their craft. Here are 17 pieces of acting advice James Lipton has coaxed out of his fabulously talented guests. Laurence Olivier on why actors act.When Dustin Hoffman worked with the great Laurence Olivier on the film “Marathon Man,” an infamous story circulated that Olivier had asked the younger actor if he had ever tried acting. After setting the record straight, Hoffman chokes up describing one of his last memories of Olivier, who gave him an extraordinary explanation for the point of acting. Dustin Hoffman on failure.“There’s nothing wrong with failing. You’re going to fail. I fail,” says Hoffman. The actor's passion for his work comes through while discussing the value of failure and the sin of playing it safe. Meryl Streep on the importance of listening. »
One of the biggest hits of the year so far has been Captain America: The Winter Soldier, making it a bigger success than the first film. It helps that it follows up The Avengers and cross-pollinates with other films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. However, what also helped it along was a fresh story that was less of a gee-whiz superhero film and more inspired by the conspiracy thrillers of the 1970s. Now that the film has been released on home video, the directors and writers have sat down and dissected it in their commentary track, available on the Blu-ray and 3D Blu-ray. (Sorry, folks… the DVD does not have the commentary on it, so you’ll have to spring for a Blu-ray player if you want to listen. But, seriously, why don’t you have a Blu-ray player already? You do? Thought so. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014) Commentators: Anthony Russo (co-director), Joe Russo (co-director), Christopher Markus »
- Kevin Carr
It’s hard to overstate the revolutionary impact of the Steadicam when camera operator Garrett Brown introduced his invention to the film industry in 1975. The camera stabilizing mount didn’t make its onscreen debut until the next year with the trio of “Bound for Glory,” “Marathon Man” and “Rocky,” all of which involved Steadicam shots operated by Brown himself. With the the device's 40th anniversary around the corner, Refocused Media (via FirstShowing) has crafted a roughly 10-minute-long ode to “The Art Of Steadicam.” The video starts with, what else, the iconic Copacabana sequence from the Michael Ballhaus-photographed “Goodfellas” featuring legendary Steadicam operator Larry McConkey (seriously, his IMDb page is mostly Steadicam work with occasional “B” camera work) trailing Henry Hill as he shows both Karen and the audience what a big shot he is. From there, the video is a greatest hits of Steadicam shots »
- Cain Rodriguez
Years ago, I asked The Walking Dead’s zombie makeup maestro Greg Nicotero for his fake blood recipe. He said, “I’ve always based my blood on Dick Smith’s formula. His blood has always been the staple of the industry. It’s one of those things where if ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
Dick Smith, the Oscar-winning makeup effects legend behind The Exorcist, Taxi Driver, and The Godfather, who passed away on July 30 at age 92, was more than just Hollywood’s sanguine Colonel Sanders with a secret recipe for plasma that became a cinematic standard. He was »
- Chris Nashawaty
Dick Smith, widely regarded as one of the all-time great Hollywood makeup artists, has passed away at age 92. Among his crowning achievements: designing the makeup for Marlon Brando in "The Godfather", Linda Blair in "The Exorcist" , an ancient Dustin Hoffman in "Little Big Man" and F. Murray Abraham as the aging Salieri in "Amadeus". Smith also designed the makeup for young Hal Holbrook in his landmark 1967 TV special "Mark Twain Tonight". Smith was still being accorded honors as recently as this year. Smith's other films include "The Godfather Part II", "Marathon Man" and "The Deer Hunter". For more click here »
- email@example.com (Cinema Retro)
The master is gone. My friend and mentor Dick Smith is no longer with us. The world will not be the same.
— Rick Baker (@TheRickBaker) July 31, 2014
The legendary makeup artist was renowned for his realistic transformations in films like “The Godfather” and “Amadeus” — aging Marlon Brando into Don Corleone and F. Murray Abraham into a wizened Antonio Salieri — garnering an Academy Award for his work in the latter alongside Paul LeBlanc. In 2012, Smith was given an honorary Governor’s Academy Award for his contribution to the field, which was presented by Baker. Earlier this year, Smith received the Makeup Artists Lifetime Achievement Award at the Makeup Artists and Hair Stylist Guild Awards. He also won a Primetime Emmy in 1967 for his work on Hal Holbrook’s “Mark Twain Tonight! »
- Variety Staff
Captain America: The Winter Soldier taps into current fears about surveillance and data-mining. Ryan looks at its subversive undertones...
Every generation carries with it a heavy payload of shared anxiety. A fear of nuclear annihilation permeated the Cold War era. The 1970s brought with it a distrust of leadership, as Richard Nixon's presidential authority crumbled in the wake of the Watergate scandal.
These collective preoccupations constantly find their way into the stories we share, not least in movies: Cold War paranoia manifested itself in 50s invasion science fiction; the distrust of the 1970s found its expression in such conspiracy thrillers as The Parallax View, The Marathon Man and Capricorn One.
For several years after the global financial crisis of 2008, a resentment towards banks, billionaires and corporate types became a common sight in movies. The comedy »
“I was born in 1974 so I was able to be influenced by the birth of the blockbuster, and then the birth of renting movies,” states Shane Weisfeld who watched the classics of the 1970s on VHS tapes. “I first saw The Exorcist  when I was in Grade 10 and that had a strong, lasting impression on me, and to this day remains my favourite film. In my last year of high school I did a project on The Karate Kid , where I first learned about the script-to-screen process and the collaboration involved in making a film. The screenwriter of The Karate Kid [Robert Mark Kamen] went on to write films like Lethal Weapon 3 , The Transporter , Taken  and Colombiana ; he is a great writer, and longevity is a precious thing in this crazy business, as »
- Trevor Hogg
It's a shock to go back and watch "Midnight Cowboy" 45 years after its debut (on May 25, 1969) and see how raw and otherworldly it looks. After all, the X-rated Best Picture Oscar-winner has been so thoroughly assimilated into American pop culture that even kiddie entertainments like the Muppets have copied from it.
The tale of the unlikely friendship between naïve Texas gigolo Joe Buck (Jon Voight) and frail Bronx con man Enrico "Ratso" Rizzo (Dustin Hoffman), "Midnight Cowboy" was initially considered so risqué that it's the only X-rated movie ever to win the Academy's top prize (though after it won, the ratings board reconsidered and gave the film an R). Still, the film featured two lead performances and a few individual scenes that were so iconic that homages (and parodies) have popped up virtually everywhere. (Most often imitated is the scene where Ratso, limping across a busy Manhattan street, is nearly »
- Gary Susman
Badass Digest has just opened up voting for their Villain Death Match. Unlike our recent Monster Madness where we focused on horror movie monsters, Bad's goal is slightly different. They are opening up the battle to all genre’s in hopes to crown the ultimate movie villain. Here is how the brackets break down:
Bracket 1: The Sinister Sixteen
Darth Vader, Star Wars
Jason, Friday The 13th
The Thing, The Thing
T-1000, Terminator 2
Captain Rhodes, Day Of The Dead
Lord Humungus, Mad Max 2
Simon Phoenix, Demolition Man
Randolph and Mortimer Duke, Trading Places
Emma Small, Johnny Guitar
Cruella de Vil, 101 Dalmations
Ramrod, Vice Squad
Angel Eyes, The Good, The Bad And The Ugly
Bob Barnes, Platoon
Edwin Epps, 12 Years A Slave
Anton Chigurh, No Country For Old Men
Connie Marble, Pink Flamingos
Bracket 2: The Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
Khan, The Wrath Of Khan
The System, Brazil
Loki, Thor/Avengers Franchise
The Xenomorph, »
- Chris Connors
Jokes are all fine and fell, but the men profiled in the film The Immortalists are deadly serious (pardon the pun) about the idea of not just extending human life, but reversing aging itself. It sounds like science fiction, believing that the Fountain of Youth is a daily pill that’s 10-15 years away from being in our medicine cabinets, but if sheer passion in excess was the only thing needed for massive paradigm changes in science, the two researchers profiled in this documentary would have already succeeded by now.
On the one hand, there’s Aubrey de Gong, “the Crusader.” He’s an English biogerontologist, which from what I gather, means he studies the effects of aging. To put it simply, Aubrey’s research says that cells collect “garbage” over time that reduce their efficiency and cause aging, and just as you wouldn’t let garbage pile up in your house because its unhealthy, »
- Adam A. Donaldson
With his debut feature Honour – starring Paddy Considine and Aiysha Hart – out now in cinemas across Britain, we had the distinct pleasure of discussing the project with the film’s writer and director, Shan Khan.
The film tackles the themes of honour killing, as we delve into the life of a young girl (Hart), victim of her own family, who seek is murdering her for bringing shame upon their family – hiring the fascist bounty killer (Considine) to see the job through.
Where do you feel honour sits with the rest of contemporary British thrillers?
We’ll, I’d like to think it sits right at the top, but unfortunately that would be wishful thinking on my part. I’m glad that people are seeing it as a thriller and not seeing it as an issue-based movie, so that’s a really good thing; a great big tick, because it’s »
- Gary Green
On Sunday night, Hollywood will tip its hat to itself once again, this time as the finest in film are feted. But underneath that giant hat is a lot of hair that needs to be let down. And down it will come on the 9th annual Jimmy Kimmel Live: After the Oscars special, which will feature oodles of celebrities poking fun at themselves/the entertainment industry in some grandly orchestrated comedy bit. Past specials have featured such star-stuffed segments as the Hottie Body Hump Club, the Handsome Men’s Club, Movie: The Movie and its sequel, Movie: The Movie: 2V. »
- Dan Snierson
New Netflix movies and TV shows are plentiful in February.
The full list of everything added:
"Airheads""Airplane!""Airplane 2: The Sequel""Bubba Ho-Tep""City of Men""Cocoon: The Return""The Dancer Upstairs""Death Wish 2""Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry""Down Periscope""Everything or Nothing: The Untold Story of 007""Failure to Launch""Flashdance""From the Terrace""The Good, the Bad and the Ugly""The Hard Way""Harold and Maude""Heartbreakers""Home of the Brave""Intersection""Leap of Faith""A Life Less Ordinary""Marathon Man""Mash""The Naked Gun""North Dallas Forty""Patriot Games""Queer as Folk""Star Trek V: The Final Frontier »
18 items from 2014
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