13 items from 2014
By Mark Cerulli
“Ne Oldu, Ne Oldu, Veelyam Hayes…” That line from Midnight Express, delivered with swaggering menace by a depraved prison warden (played by the great Paul L. Smith) burned itself into this scribe’s cortex back in 1978. Alan Parker’s iconic film about the real-life ordeal of American student Billy Hayes caught smuggling drugs in Turkey and sentenced to a hellish prison became a cultural phenomenon – not to mention an international box office success. It earned glowing reviews and Oscars for screenwriter Oliver Stone and composer Gorgio Moroder. Hayes even met his wife Wendy at the splashy Cannes premiere. No joy for Turkey, though - there was an international outcry about their seemingly draconian justice system and the country’s once-booming tourism hit the skids hard. The gritty association »
- email@example.com (Cinema Retro)
Who doesn't love a good prison break? I was thinking about it recently and realized some of my favorite movies involve prison breaks. This year alone there were two movies that I saw that featured brilliant prison break scenes. If I ever get thrown into jail, the first thing I'm going to do is start plotting my escape! I'll want a good story to tell people.
I came up with a list of ten movies that included kick-ass prison break scenes. No matter what kind of prision a person is in, I imagine it's hell. Sure, some are worse than others, but I imagine anyone that ever been thrown in one can't wait to get out. There is a point for many of these characters where they ain't got nothin' to loose, so escaping become their only option. If I ever do have to break out of a prison these »
- Joey Paur
One of the words that was used most frequently when describing "Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes" was "surprise," and with good reason. After all, the previous attempt to bring the long-running science-fiction franchise back to life was a nightmare, a truly terrible film that is a narrative disaster even among the narrative disasters that mark many of Tim Burton's lesser films. It seemed like Fox had limped along trying to get an "Apes" movie made for so long that they were willing to try anything. Scott Frank came close to getting a film make called "Caesar," and it sounded like he was on the right track. His basic idea started with a Fox-mandated remake of "Conquest Of The Planet Of The Apes," but went in a very different direction. His film was designed to be a hard-science story about what might happen if we made the advance »
- Drew McWeeny
This last week was crazy crowded with postings between the Tribeca Film Festival, the Mean Girls 10th Anniversary and regular blog bits. We managed to review (gulp) 40 festival movies and with all the Mean Girls quoting online. Mean Girls was so dominant that it reignited talk of doing a stage musical version. Surely your eyes and ears glazed over; that was a lot of Tribeca and North Shore High to imbibe. But let's make it simpler for you with five takeaway posts you shouldn't have missed...
Actress a new doc with the most appealing title imaginable ;) kicked off our Hot Docs coverage
Pocahontas Again in which I try to purge myself of "the Cymbeline of Disney Animation" from my system. (I'm addicted on Netflix Instant Watch »
- NATHANIEL R
Waterworks some nights at 11. This one is from the vaults from the first season. But it's worth a revisit as the film is currently available on Netflix Instant Watch.
I've always been a little bit a lot perplexed by the famous shower scene in Alan Parker's Midnight Express (1978). I'm not exactly sure why it's in the movie. Midnight Express strongest asset is arguably its expressive physicality and gritty tactile quality; you feel like you're right there in the grotty hellish Turkish prison, sweating and suffering along with Billy Hayes (Brad Davis). But the sexual vibes coming off of the movie are at times unfathomable. Is it gay? Is it bi? Is it straight? Is it just horny? Or is its ambiguous eroticism simply a by-product of casting a star as carnally charismatic as Brad Davis in the lead role?
As warm up to the famous shower scene we get »
- NATHANIEL R
Jim Cornette’s history in the wrestling business is pretty incredible when you consider that he’s worked for every major professional wrestling company in America and did so under a variety of roles.
Cornette was a force in the wrestling business in his early 20s as a manger most notably for the Midnight Express tag team. He also worked for WCW and WWE while running his Smoky Mountain Wrestling promotion in the early 1990s as well. He’s also roles in both Tna Wrestling and Ring of Honor as part of the creative process as well as an on screen figurehead.
There are few people in the business smarter than Jim Cornette. He’s most known for his work as an on screen manager, but it’s his creative mind that kept opening doors for him. Even though he wasn’t a wrestler, he even took part »
- John Canton
We’ll be honoring alternative lifestyle with a slate of Super-8 Movies celebrating Lbgt culture on April 1st at the Way Out Club! It’s Super-8 Gay Movie Madness, a fabulous night of gay-themed films shown on the Super-8 sound condensed format projected on our massive screen.
On April 1st we’ll be showing: The Village People and Bruce Jenner in Can’T Stop The Music, Tim Curry as the sweet transvestite Frank N. Furter in Rocky Horror Picture Show, a Judy Garland Double Feature of Easter Parade and Wizard Of Oz, the Ed Wood cross-dressing opus Glen Or Glenda, Lesbian Vampire ‘70s style in Vampyres, Frank Sinatra battles a gay serial killer in The Detective, Midnight Express, Bette Midler in The Rose, Joan Crawford in Straight-jacket, Karen Black in Airport ’75, It Conquered The World, the silent version of Ben Hur, and the gross educational film Coping With The Discomforts Of Pregnancy. »
- Tom Stockman
The reemergence of Giorgio Moroder to mainstream prominence over the last year has been one of the great unexpected gifts for music enthusiasts. In the wake of his seemingly inevitable collaboration with dance icons Daft Punk, Moroder has been collaborating, remixing, and working on new material of his own—not to mention DJing live for the first time in his storied career. In the process he has introduced himself to a new generation of fans, rightly receiving his due as an influential producer and sonic innovator. But what has yet to be widely recognized is the thumbprint Moroder has left on modern film composing. His iconic, Oscar-winning scores and songs for many of the biggest films of the late-1970s and ‘80s (Midnight Express, Top Gun) have long since entered the pantheon, but with the recent popularity of nostalgia-fueled films such as Nicolas Winding Refn’s Drive, Moroder’s influence »
- Jordan Cronk
As a special guest, Parker will open the festival on June 6, and will give a lecture on film and a masterclass on the following day. He will also present “The Commitments,” his 1991 comedy-drama, while his full work – comprising 14 films — will screen at the festival’s Cinematek.
A screenwriter, helmer, composer and producer, Parker has directed many cult films that have shaped American popular culture. Some of his most famed pics include “Bugsy Malone” with Jodie Foster, Oliver Stone-penned “Midnight Express,” winner of two Oscars and four Golden Globes, the cult musical “Fame,” which won two Oscars, and the Gene Hackman-starrer “Mississippi Burning.” His last film, “The Life of David Gale” is a thriller starring Kevin Spacey as a prominent activist against the capital punishment »
- Elsa Keslassy
Before they were rendered useless by WWE’s booking in the last ten years or so, the WWE Tag Team title was once a very prestigious belt to hold. Legends like Bret Hart, Bob Backlund, Andre the Giant, Mick Foley, the Undertaker, and Ted Dibiase at held the belt at one point in their careers. A WWE Tag Team championship match even headlined many house shows around North America in the late 80s and early 90s, showing how over the titles actually were.
That era represented almost a Golden Age of tag team wrestling, not just in WWE but also around the other promotions in North America. You’ve done yourself a total disservice if you’ve never say down and watched a Midnight Express vs. Rock N Roll Express match (just pick one, they’re all good) and seen how thrilling tag team wrestling can actually be.
However, for »
- Mike Shannon
Did you know Oliver Stone's first movie was a 1974 horror quickie called “Seizure”? Probably not, especially given that he doesn't want you to know that (hell, even we skipped over it in our retrospective of the director in 2012) . The official story is that Stone got famous writing screenplays in the late 70s and early 80s — “Midnight Express,” “Conan the Barbarian,” “Scarface” — but he made “Seizure” and 1981's “The Hand” (with Michael Caine!) first. He wasn't exactly proud of the work, though, and though it did come out on VHS, “Seizure” has never had a DVD release: Stone has bought the rights to ensure it never happens. But thanks to the interwebs, you can still get a (blurry) look at the whole thing. The film “stars” Jonathan Frid (who played Barnabas Collins, in the original TV run of “Dark Shadows”), Martine Beswick (famous for “catfight” scenes in both “One Million Years BC” with Raquel Welch, »
- Ben Brock
Copyright: WWE Legends Of Mid-South Wrestling Blu-ray
When most wrestling fans think of New Orleans these days, they think of WrestleMania 30, coming up on April 6 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
What many younger fans may not realize is that New Orleans was one of the hottest cities in the old Mid-South territory back in the early ’80s, with Ted Dibiase, “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan, Junkyard Dog, King Kong Bundy, Jake “The Snake” Roberts, Kamala, Steve “Dr. Death” Williams, and announcer Jim Ross being among the prominent names who left an indelible mark on professional wrestling.
With athletic, bruising matches orchestrated by no-nonsense promoter “Cowboy” Bill Watt, Mid-South garnered national attention for its evocative storytelling and Superdome Extravaganzas, featuring the Road Warriors, the Midnight Express, the Von Erichs, Ric Flair, Dusty Rhodes, and Andre the Giant.
In recent years, WWE purchased the Mid-South Wrestling video library — more than 1,200 hours of TV programming from »
- Marshall Ward
On Monday (Jan. 6), WWE will presenting an old school version of "Raw," featuring many names from the company's history, who will join forces with current stars for a unique show. The arena is given a retro look, the ring looks like it's right out of the early '90s, and it's a night where everyone gets to have just a little bit more fun.
One of those taking part in the show is Brian James, better known to wrestling fans as Road Dogg, one half of the New Age Outlaws tag team. Zap2it had the chance to chat with Road Dogg about catching up with old friends in the wrestling business, what to expect from the show and who he thinks is going to go far in the "Royal Rumble," among other topics.
Zap2it: The old school "WWE Raw" concept is almost becoming an annual event at this point. »
13 items from 2014
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