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19 items from 2011


Philip Kaufman’s Invasion Of The Body Snatchers, and the enduring power of the scream

7 December 2011 3:03 AM, PST | Den of Geek | See recent Den of Geek news »

Ryan takes a look back at Philip Kaufman’s 1978 Invasion Of The Body Snatchers remake, and explains why its themes are still so relevant…

Don Siegel’s Invasion Of The Body Snatchers was, without doubt, amongst the finest sci-fi movies of the 1950s, and high on the list of my favourite genre pictures of all time. Loosely based on a 1955 novel by Jack Finney, the 1956 Body Snatchers was the sublimely paranoid tale of a small-town doctor who finds himself in the middle of an invasion of the most insidious variety.

By the time Dr Miles (Kevin McCarthy) realises something’s wrong with his patients, most of them have already been absorbed and replaced by physically identical yet emotionally sterile pod people. The most mature and intelligently made of the 50s cycle of ‘reds under the bed’ movies, few films before or since have captured its overwhelming sense of tension and dread. »

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Actor Fudge Dies

8 November 2011 4:06 AM, PST | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Actor Alan Fudge has died at the age of 77.

The prolific TV star passed away on 10 October in Los Angeles after a battle with lung and liver cancer, according to Variety.com.

Canadian screenwriter Graham Yost paid tribute to Fudge, telling the website, "Alan was one of the most generous, kind and caring men I have ever known. Many of the roles he played over the years reflected that side of him. And then there were the roles where he got to go really dark and twisted - those were the roles that made all of us who knew him smile and applaud. He was a great actor and a great man."

Fudge racked up a large number of TV credits in his long-running career, with roles in Man from Atlantis, Eischied, Paper Dolls, and Bodies of Evidence, along with parts in Kojak, Charlie's Angels, Magnum, P.I., Cagney & Lacey, The A-Team, Beverly Hills, 90210, Baywatch, and Dawson's Creek. He also enjoyed a recurring role in family drama series 7th Heaven over eight years.

Fudge's movie roles included parts in Capricorn One and Edward Scissorhands.

He was last seen onscreen in 2009 with guest appearances in Big Love, The Closer and The Office. »

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Sci-fi cinema’s 10 great conspiracies

6 September 2011 8:58 AM, PDT | Den of Geek | See recent Den of Geek news »

Cynicism, distrust, paranoia – with Apollo 18 out now in cinemas, here’s our list of 10 great conspiracies in science fiction cinema…

Among its numerous other functions, science fiction acts as a kind of microscope. Beneath its lens, topics such as politics, social upheaval and the meaning of life can be deconstructed and carefully examined. These examinations can take the form of grand voyages, as seen in 2001: A Space Odyssey, or intimate psychodramas, as seen in Darren Aronofsky’s Pi, or the early films of David Cronenberg.

Recent decades, meanwhile, have seen a subtle yet notable streak of cynicism and paranoia creep into sci-fi – a feeling that, in spite of their warm smiles and confident public addresses, the people who govern us can’t quite be trusted. Let’s face it, if politicians are willing to quietly have their moats cleaned out on taxpayers’ expenses, who knows what else they »

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New Release: Love Wedding Marriage DVD and Blu-ray

18 August 2011 9:06 AM, PDT | Disc Dish | See recent Disc Dish news »

Release Date: Sept. 13, 2011

Price: DVD $24.98, Blu-ray $29.98

Studio: IFC

Kellan Lutz takes of his shirt and Mandy Moore notices in Love Wedding Marriage.

The 2011 romantic comedy Love Wedding Marriage stars Mandy Moore (Tangled) as a marriage counselor named Ava whose life as the new bride to Kellan Lutz (the Twilight series) is turned upside down when she discovers her parents’ happy marriage is unexpectedly headed for divorce.

The movie follows Moore as she stops at nothing to reconcile her parents for their 30th anniversary surprise party, plunging from one compromising situation to another. Will Ava destroy her own marriage and professional life in her attempt to get her parents back together?

Hmmm, how do you think it will end?

Co-starring Jessica Szohr (Piranha), James Brolin (Capricorn One) and Jane Seymour (Wedding Crashers), Love Wedding Marriage marks the directorial debut of actor Dermot Mulroney (Jolene).

Despite the talent involved, the independent film »

- Laurence

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What are the Saddest Movie Scenes Ever?

29 July 2011 11:53 AM, PDT | Rope of Silicon | See recent Rope Of Silicon news »

The Smithsonian reports the clip to the right from Franco Zeffirelli's remake of the 1931 movie The Champ, starring Jon Voight as a boxer and Ricky Schroder as his son "has become a must-see in psychology laboratories around the world when scientists want to make people sad." The Champ has been used in experiments to see if depressed people are more likely to cry than non-depressed people (they aren't). It has helped determine whether people are more likely to spend money when they are sad (they are) and whether older people are more sensitive to grief than younger people (older people did report more sadness when they watched the scene). Dutch scientists used the scene when they studied the effect of sadness on people with binge eating disorders (sadness didn't increase eating). The project to find scenes that could reliably elicit a strong emotional response in laboratory settings began all »

- Brad Brevet

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Science Has Determined The Saddest Movie Of All Time

27 July 2011 4:30 PM, PDT | Slash Film | See recent Slash Film news »

In 1995, two scientists published a report listing sixteen short film clips most likely to elicit specific emotions. There are clips for everything from amusement and anger to surprise and sadness. Scientists show these clips when they want a subject to feel a specific way in a controlled environment. And while it's hard to crown the most "angry" movie of all time or most "surprising," tears make sadness a bit more quantifiable. The clip that's most often use to bring someone to tears, and can therefore be referred to as the scientifically proven "saddest movie in the world," is Franco Zeffirelli's 1979 film The Champ. Watch the scene, read more about the study and see what other films are part of the report after the jump. Smithsonian Magazine [1] (via Moviefone [2]) wrote about the study which was conducted by psychology professor Robert W. Levenson his then graduate student James J. Gross at the University of California, »

- Germain Lussier

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Cowboys, aliens and the good, the bad and the ugly of the sci-fi western

26 July 2011 6:04 AM, PDT | Den of Geek | See recent Den of Geek news »

With Cowboys & Aliens due out soon, Terence looks at the history of the sci-fi western, and picks out a few of the best and worst…

Please note: there a few spoilers in this article, but not major ones.

The upcoming Cowboys & Aliens from Iron Man director, Jon Favreau, and starring Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford, may seem like another one of those Hollywood blockbuster ‘high concept' movies (even if it is based on a successful graphic novel). However, the hybrid genre of the sci-fi western is nothing new. In the history of cinema, the six gun and the ray gun have shared the silver screen surprisingly often.

The sci-fi western, like any other film genre, has seen its share of the good, the bad and the ugly. While it's too early to tell whether Cowboys & Aliens will be keeping company with Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef or Eli Wallach, it's »

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The space age in cinema

13 July 2011 12:43 AM, PDT | Den of Geek | See recent Den of Geek news »

The shuttle Atlantis made its final flight last Friday. Ryan looks back at the movies of the space age…

On Friday, the 8th July, a little under thirty years since its maiden flight, the final Space Shuttle launch took place in Florida. That final, dramatic take-off signalled the end of the Space Shuttle's active service, and appeared to mark the end of America's space age, at least for the time being.

Introduced in the early 80s, the shuttle was supposed to usher in a new age of cheap, regular and safe trips into space, but its reputation was permanently damaged by two tragedies in 1986 and 2003, and a dwindling government appetite for what was increasingly perceived as an expensive use of public funding.

It's all a far cry from the optimism and widespread fascination that anything to do with space travel enjoyed in the 50s, when the space age began. While the first satellite, »

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Michael Bay, movie-making maverick?

8 July 2011 4:11 PM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Transformers: Dark Of The Moon is Michael Bay's latest epic, but is it time we accepted just how out-there his films are?

To accuse Michael Bay of going over the top is like yelling at Mount Etna just because it erupts. It's in his very nature and genetic makeup; it's what he does – over the top is where he lives, up where the air is thin and icy and finally makes you giddy, addled and crazy enough to make movies like Transformers: Dark Of The Moon.

Forget the critical rout and ponder its contradictions and many overlapping instances of deep weirdness: a popcorn kiddie-flick that's longer, at 155 minutes, than some Béla Tarr or Pedro Costa movies; a threequel based not on a book or a comic or a Broadway hit or even a videogame, but on a Saturday morning cartoon designed to pimp a line of toys.

Considering its prepubescent target audience, »

- John Patterson

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'Transformers': The 'Dark Of The Moon' Conspiracy

1 July 2011 8:30 AM, PDT | MTV Movies Blog | See recent MTV Movies Blog news »

Whether you’ve already seen “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” – the highly-anticipated third installment of Michael Bay’s epic action franchise – or you’re planning to check it out over the holiday weekend, you’re probably already aware of the film’s general premise.

No, we’re not talking about Autobots versus Decepticons versus Shia Labeouf, with a hot chick thrown in the mix. Though it’s got that, too. We’re referring to the fact that the movie re-imagines the history of the 1969 Apollo 11 moon landing, presuming that – instead of a science-based plight – a highly secretive mission was forged to investigate a mysterious robot-laden spacecraft that crashed on the lunar surface one year prior to Neil Armstrong’s infamous “one small step.”

This got us thinking about moon landing conspiracy theories. So we contacted Roger Launius, Senior Curator of Space History at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. »

- Katie Calautti

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'Apollo 18': First look at the trailer

24 June 2011 10:23 PM, PDT | Pop2it | See recent Pop2it news »

Okay, so forget everything you learned watching "Capricorn One" -- you know, the 1978 movie which posited that Nasa staged the moon landing on a sound stage with James Brolin and O.J. Simpson. If that were true, "Apollo 18" -- hitting theaters on Sept. 2 -- just wouldn't be possible.

In the movie, which consists mainly of "found" footage (found in the same sense that the film in "Paranormal Activity" was found), Nasa didn't end the Apollo program with the Dec. 17, 1972 launch of Apollo 17. Instead, a secret 18th mission was undertaken -- one dogged by mysterious things that go bump on the dark side of the moon.

According to a press release from the Weinstein Company, Nasa denies the film's authenticity. Decide for yourself by watching this first "official" trailer:

»

- editorial@zap2it.com

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10 greatest flying movies

21 June 2011 4:04 AM, PDT | Den of Geek | See recent Den of Geek news »

From aerial bravery in Wwi to Tom Cruise in an F-14 Tomcat, Mark lists his top ten all-time favourite flying movies…

This is a personal list, and as such, won't please everyone. I accept that, but I wanted to look at the films that have best represented flying for me over the years.

I've also excluded helicopters in exchange for a festival of fixed wings. But as a person who loves aircraft and flying of all kinds, these are the ones that made me feel the need. The need for speed...

The Dam Busters (1955)

Gosh, what a place to start. For the most part, the film's an historically accurate retelling of the ultimate daring-do of WWII. Richard Todd plays the unflappable Guy Gibson, who lead the amazing 617 Squadron on their secret mission against the dams of the Ruhr valley.

Using the Barnes Wallis (played by Michael Redgrave) utterly inspired bouncing bomb, »

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Psychoville: in a different league

7 June 2011 4:33 AM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

Killing most of their characters off in the final episode was ruthless but ensured this dark comedy kept you hooked

As one of those viewers who drifted away from The League of Gentlemen, I barely noticed when Psychoville arrived. But I gave it a go and was quickly hooked. Fresher and more purposeful than Log, it had all the same references, humour and moods but they were tied together with a compelling, if ridiculous plot. Series two also blindsided me a little – I'd not even heard they were making it, and didn't know this was the last outing, and that they intended to kill most of the characters.

When Dawn French was stabbed in the neck in episode one it seemed a necessary way of pruning the busier, more expensive cast members. But when blind millionaire toy trader Oscar Lomax was found hanging from his neck dead at the end of episode three, »

- Phelim O'Neill

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Pyromaniacs: Hollywood’s Bad Boys

15 May 2011 11:05 PM, PDT | SoundOnSight | See recent SoundOnSight news »

A man who works with his hands is a laborer;

a man who works with his hands and his brain is a craftsman;

but a man who works with his hands and his brain and his heart is an artist.

Louis Nizer

In his indispensable film study text, Understanding Movies, Louis Gianetti held forth on what separated craftsmanlike directors from those who rise above the norm:

“…what differentiates a great director from one who is merely competent is not so much a matter of what happens, but how things happen…”

In other words, Gianetti continued, the difference was in how effectively the director used form – visual style, composition, editing, mise en scene, and the rest of the directorial toolbox – to “…embody (a film’s) content.”

But with the rise of big budget blockbusters in the 70s and 80s, there came the ascendancy of a breed of director for whom content mattered less than form. »

- Bill Mesce

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Tonight's TV highlights: Celebrity Ghost Stories UK | Dave's One Night Stand | The Chicago Code | Inside The Human Body | The Shadow Line | Psychoville 2

12 May 2011 3:23 AM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

Celebrity Ghost Stories UK | Dave's One Night Stand | The Chicago Code | Inside The Human Body | The Shadow Line | Psychoville 2

Celebrity Ghost Stories UK

9pm, Bio

Did Terry "Really Wild Show" Nutkins really encounter a "really really evil" ghost outside an isolated cottage in Scotland? Can anyone remember what Yvette Fielding did for a living before ghostbusting? Take this as

a very early Halloween present: old-fashioned ghost stories crossed with Crimewatch-style reconstructions of spooky behaviour. Paranormal Activity it ain't, but for anyone remotely scared on their lonesome, this is a good way to remind us that celebrities – or people on obscure TV channels – are just like us: indulging their daftness to the point of comic horror. Nosheen Iqbal

Dave's One Night Stand

9pm, Dave

Familiar to many as the teacher who towers over the wretches of The Inbetweeners and bears an uncanny resemblance to Rik Mayall, Greg Davies returns to his native Shropshire. »

- Nosheen Iqbal, David Stubbs, Eleanor Morgan, Richard Vine

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Tonight's TV highlights: Celebrity Ghost Stories UK | Dave's One Night Stand | The Chicago Code | Inside The Human Body | The Shadow Line | Psychoville 2

12 May 2011 3:23 AM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Celebrity Ghost Stories UK | Dave's One Night Stand | The Chicago Code | Inside The Human Body | The Shadow Line | Psychoville 2

Celebrity Ghost Stories UK

9pm, Bio

Did Terry "Really Wild Show" Nutkins really encounter a "really really evil" ghost outside an isolated cottage in Scotland? Can anyone remember what Yvette Fielding did for a living before ghostbusting? Take this as

a very early Halloween present: old-fashioned ghost stories crossed with Crimewatch-style reconstructions of spooky behaviour. Paranormal Activity it ain't, but for anyone remotely scared on their lonesome, this is a good way to remind us that celebrities – or people on obscure TV channels – are just like us: indulging their daftness to the point of comic horror. Nosheen Iqbal

Dave's One Night Stand

9pm, Dave

Familiar to many as the teacher who towers over the wretches of The Inbetweeners and bears an uncanny resemblance to Rik Mayall, Greg Davies returns to his native Shropshire. »

- Nosheen Iqbal, David Stubbs, Eleanor Morgan, Richard Vine

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Actor Jon Cedar Dies

20 April 2011 5:06 AM, PDT | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Hollywood actor Jon Cedar has died after a brief battle with leukaemia.

The star passed away on Thursday in Tarzana, California. He was 80.

Cedar started his career on the stage, appearing Off-Broadway and in tours across the U.S. in shows including The Deputy and South Pacific.

He also racked up a number of roles in feature films including Foxy Brown, Capricorn One and Murder in Mind, while also appearing in TV shows such as Hogan's Heroes, Moonlighting, Matlock and Murder, She Wrote.

Cedar is survived by his longtime companion, Elynore Leigh, his actress daughter Loren Thompson, producer son Michael and his actor brother George, as well as several grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held on Thursday at the Groman Eden Mortuary in Mission Hills, California, according to Variety.com. »

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Robert Pattinson denies involvement in Akira casting

5 April 2011 9:16 PM, PDT | Den of Geek | See recent Den of Geek news »

Despite rumours that suggested otherwise, Robert Pattinson has revealed he hasn’t been approached to play Kaneda in Akira...

To say that fan reaction to a western, live-action remake of Akira has been lukewarm would be a hideous understatement, and speaking as a personal fan of Katsuhiro Otomo's remarkable 80s manga and anime feature, I wonder if it's possible for a Hollywood movie to properly capture even a small part of what was great about its sci-fi source material.

Nevertheless, a Us adaptation appears to be pressing ahead regardless, and as a consequence, rumours of all kinds have been flooding in about its potential cast. One of these rumours, you may remember, suggested that the Twilight saga's Robert Pattinson was going to be cast as teenage motorcycle gang leader, Shotaro Kaneda.

Pattinson was reportedly on the shortlist for the part, alongside The Social Network co-star Andrew Garfield (who is, of course, »

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New Release: Romantic comedy Bitter/Sweet DVD

9 March 2011 12:17 PM, PST | Disc Dish | See recent Disc Dish news »

Vanguard will release the exotic romantic comedy Bitter/Sweet, starring Kip Pardue and Thai actress Mamee Nakprasit, on DVD on May 24.

Kip Pardue and Mamee Nakprasit fall for each other in the romantic comedy Bitter/Sweet.

The 2009 movie tells the tale of American executive and coffee expert Brian Chandler (Pardue, Stag Night) who is sent to Thailand by his coffee mogul boss (James Brolin, Capricorn One) to inspect a crop for purchase. Upon arrival, Brian meets Bangkok PR executive Ticha (Nakprasit) who takes care of Thailand’s glamorous multi-talented diva Tata Young (played by herself). Though each has a love life of of his or her own, Brian and Ticha’s journey leads them from the cosmopolitan bustle of Bangkok to the picturesque coffee plantations of Krabi and to the slow realization that they were made for each other.

Written and directed by Jeff Hare, Bitter/Sweet picked up a »

- Laurence

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2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008

19 items from 2011


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