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at the 20th anniversary of ‘Titanic,’ where are all the knockoffs?

December 2017 marks the 20th anniversary of the release of what would become one of the most lucrative and most deliriously popular movies ever made: James Cameron’s Titanic. It should also mark the 20th anniversary of the beginning of a wave of Titanic clones — and it says something about the movie industry that it doesn’t.

The epic romantic disaster drama debuted in Us cinemas on December 19th, 1997, and wouldn’t leave Us cinemas until October 1998, 41 weeks later. It earned $1.8 billion worldwide, and remained the biggest box-office hit ever until 2010 (when it was supplanted by Cameron’s own Avatar). Titanic wasn’t just a huge hit; it was an inescapable phenomenon. Showings were sold-out well into early 1998, even with the film in saturation release, and it stayed at the top of the box-office charts for 15 consecutive weeks (still a record). The film was a critical success, and it tied for
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Review: James Horner A Life In Music at the Royal Albert Hall

Sean Wilson reviews the tribute concert in memory of the late Titanic composer…

It takes a special composer to stamp a singular and enduring personality over the films they score, but James Horner was that person. Tragically killed in a plane crash in 2015 Horner’s death was massive blow for the soundtrack industry, the loss of a musical titan who, although controversial, injected extraordinary amounts of heart, beauty and sincerity into his soundtracks.

Horner’s richly melodic approach was on fine display in the Royal Albert Hall tribute concert, A Life In Music, his extraordinary and multifaceted career more than done justice by London’s Cinematic Sinfonia orchestra and Crouch End Festival Chorus, all under the baton of reliable conductor Ludwig Wicki. The nuances of Horner’s music, from the galloping intricacy of the brass writing to the yearning, searching strings and poignant woodwinds, demanded a robust and vibrant live performance,
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How a low budget film led to James Cameron's Aliens

Ryan Lambie Jul 14, 2017

A cult gem in its own right, 1981's Galaxy Of Terror also gave James Cameron his start in big-screen filmmaking...

In most respects, it's pure Roger Corman: low-budget, swiftly made, and loaded with gratuitous gore and bare flesh. But take a closer look at Galaxy Of Terror, the amiably tawdry sci-fi horror flick released by Corman's New World in 1981, and you'll see the creative fingerprints of one James Cameron.

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Directed by Bruce D Clark - who also co-wrote - Galaxy Of Terror slams together the plots of Ridley Scott's Alien and the 50s classic, Forbidden Planet. A group of explorers land on the planet Morganthus, where they discover a huge ancient pyramid; one by one, the visitors are terrorised and killed by monsters from their subconscious. One luckless character is torn apart by claws and tentacles
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The undersea horror movies of the late 1980s

Ryan Lambie Jun 2, 2017

Inspired by James Cameron's The Abyss, the late 80s brought with it a wave of brilliantly cheesy undersea horrors, Ryan writes...

Hollywood studios occasionally have an uncanny knack of announcing almost identical film projects at the same time. In the 1980s, we had rival police dog movies K-9 and Turner And Hooch. The 90s saw the release of rival eruption movies (Dante's Peak and Volcano), opposing killer space rock pictures (Deep Impact and Armageddon) and duelling insect comedies (Antz and A Bug's Life). We provided a detailed run-down on these rival movies back in 2015.

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Around the year 1989, meanwhile, film producers briefly fell in love with a curiously specific genre: undersea sci-fi horror. Between January 1989 and the spring of 1990, no fewer than five films all came out with a similar theme - DeepStar Six was first, followed by Leviathan, Lords Of The Deep,
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Django Lives!: Franco Nero Saddles Up Against White Supremacy

Italian actor Franco Nero wants to reprise his role as the coffin-dragging gunfighter made famous in Sergio Corbucci's original 1966 spaghetti Western, Django. Django Lives! will be directed by Pandorum's Christian Alvart from a screenplay by legendary writer/director John Sayles (Lone Star, Battle Beyond the Stars). Myriad Pictures will handle international sales and present the project at Cannes next week, reports Screen Daily Django Lives! will catch up with the titular character in California in 1914, where he will encounter white supremacists. "Having Christian direct Sayles's powerful screenplay is a dream come true," said Nero. "Even Christian's third son is named Django. It was meant to be." Syrreal Entertainment's Sigi Kamml, Josef Brandmaier and Alvart will produce the film alongside Fast Draw Films' Carolyn Pfeiffer, Louis...

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Review: William Friedkin's "To Live And Die In L.A." (1985); Blu-ray Special Edition From Shout! Factory

  • CinemaRetro
By Todd Garbarini

William Friedkin’s To Live and Die in L.A., which opened on Friday, November 1, 1985 to lukewarm notices and underwhelming box office despite being championed by Roger Ebert’s four-star review, is a highly stylized, dark, and uncompromising crime thriller that boasts a then-unknown cast with a story and a pace that feels more suited to the 1970’s. It also contains what I consider to be the greatest car chase ever filmed and edited for a major motion picture, which took no less than five weeks to plan and shoot. Having seen Mr. Friedkin’s brilliant East Coast police thriller The French Connection (1971) on VHS in 1986, I made it a point the following year to catch up with his West Coast-based story of a Secret Service agent, Richard Chance (William Petersen), whose best friend and partner Jim Hart (Michael Greene) has been murdered by artist/currency counterfeiter Rick Masters
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Deadly Dialogue: A Conversation on Cinema with Alec Gillis

  • DailyDead
Hello, readers! Welcome back for the another installment of one our featured columns here at Daily Dead, Deadly Dialogue: A Conversation on Cinema, in which we catch up with notable folks from the horror and sci-fi genres—both in front of and behind the camera—to discuss the films that inspired them to become the artists they are today.

Throughout his career in special effects, which has now spanned over four decades, Alec Gillis has established himself as one of the premier artists of his generation, lending his talents on numerous films including Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter, Cocoon, Invaders From Mars (1986), Aliens, Death Becomes Her, The Monster Squad, Alien Nation, Spider-Man, Pumpkinhead, Hollow Man, Starship Troopers, and several films in the Tremors franchise, among others.

During his career, Gillis has collaborated with some of the greatest talents in the industry—from Stan Winston to James Cameron, to Roger Corman
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Newswire: R.I.P. Robert Vaughn, The Man From U.N.C.L.E. star

Robert Vaughn, the star of ’60s spy series The Man From U.N.C.L.E., and an actor who appeared in more than 200 TV shows and films across a 60-year career, has died. Vaughn was 83.

Vaughn’s early resume reads like an encyclopedia of influential ’50s TV shows, with single-episode appearances on everything from Dragnet to Gunsmoke to Playhouse 90. In 1960, he landed his first major film role, playing fearful veteran Lee in John SturgesThe Magnificent Seven. (He played more-or-less the same role 20 years later, for Roger Corman’s Battle Beyond The Stars, and appeared in several episodes of the Magnificent Seven TV show from the late 1990s as well.)

In 1964, Vaughn leveraged his dissatisfaction with the size of his role on NBC’s The Lieutenant into a starring series of his very own. Initially titled Solo—after Vaughn’s character, international enforcer ...
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Farewell to the Man from Uncle by Jennie Kermode - 2016-11-11 18:52:21

Robert Vaughn in The Man From Uncle

He starred in films from The Magnificent Seven to The Towering Inferno, but it was his small screen role as Napoleon Solo, The Man From Uncle, which made Robert Vaughn a household name. His dapper suits, suave manner and sharp sense of humour won him fans around the world and the long running series spawned five films of its own. Now he has died from leukaemia at the age of 83.

Growing up in New York and Minneapolis, Vaughn moved to Los Angeles in his teens, acquiring a master's degree in theatre and a PhD in communications before devoting himself fully to acting. He had an early, uncredited role in Charlton Heston epic The Ten Commandments ad would later star in cult favourites like Good Day For A Hanging and Battle Beyond The Stars, as well as running up against Columbo. His small screen career included appearances in Wagon.
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James Horner's 25 most magnificent scores

Sean Wilson Oct 11, 2016

From Star Trek and Field Of Dreams to The Rocketeer and Krull: we salute the film scores of the late, great James Horner.

When composer James Horner died in a plane crash in June 2015, cinema lost one of its most profoundly emotional voices, and the final chapter on Horner's astonishing career has now closed with his last work: Antoine Fuqua's Western remake The Magnificent Seven. Horner actually wrote the score based on the script before the film even started production, such was his passion for it, and it's been posthumously completed by his longtime collaborator Simon Franglen.

To mark the occasion, here are the 25 most seminal scores from a lamented, legendary figure of film music.

1. Legends Of The Fall (1994)

Despite his reputation as a composer of melodrama, throughout much of the eighties and early nineties Horner had largely been pegged as a bold composer of action,
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Aliens 30th Anniversary Edition

James Cameron's superb spacemen vs. monsters siege battle epic is back in a reissue with an extra collector goodie or two, still looking good on Blu-ray for its 30th Anniversary. And that heroine Ripley is still the most combat-worthy space cadet in the galaxy. Aliens 30th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray Fox Home Entertainment 1986 / Color / 2:35 1:85 widescreen 1:37 flat full frame / 137, 154 min. / Street Date September 13, 2016 / 24.99 Starring Sigourney Weaver, Carrie Henn, Michael Biehn, Paul Reiser, Lance Henriksen, Bill Paxton, William Hope, Jenette Goldstein, Al Matthews, Mark Rolston, Ricco Ross, Colette Hiller, Daniel Kash, Cynthia Scott. Cinematography Adrian Biddle Film Editor Ray Lovejoy Original Music James Horner Written by James Cameron, story by Cameron, David Giler, Walter Hill from characters by Dan O'Bannon, Ronald Shusett Produced by Gale Ann Hurd Directed by James Cameron

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

I know I'm in a minority when I confess that I had little use
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Roger Corman: 5 Reasons He’s Optimistic About the Film World and His Legacy

Roger Corman: 5 Reasons He’s Optimistic About the Film World and His Legacy
There are some figures in film history who fade away along with the era in which they produce the bulk of their work. And then there’s veteran B-movie producer and director Roger Corman, still chipper than ever at 90. As a filmmaker, Corman was responsible for a string of vibrant Edgar Allen Poe adaptations in the early sixties (most of which starred Vincent Price). He also directed William Shatner in his best pre-“Star Trek” performance as a race-baiting lunatic in 1962’s “The Intruder.” But Corman more or less stopped directing movies in 1970 (with the exception of 1990’s “Frankenstein Unbound”) and shifted focus to producing a string of low budget genre efforts — several of which introduced some of the great American filmmakers still working today, including Martin Scorsese, Frances Ford Coppola, James Cameron, Jonathan Demme, and many others.

Read More: ‘Doomed!’ Exclusive Clip: New Documentary Explores Roger Corman’s Ill-Fated
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Holy cow! John Sayles is making a no-joke Django movie with Franco Nero

  • Hitfix
Holy cow! John Sayles is making a no-joke Django movie with Franco Nero
Oh, I see. Hollywood decided to get me all sorts of presents this month, and they’re just spacing them out so I don’t explode from joy on my actual birthday. Today’s delightful news is that John Sayles is going to direct Django Lives with Franco Nero returning to play the title character. While I love Sayles and the diversity of his output as a writer/director, I admit a certain fondness for his genre work. When he wrote a script like The Howling or Alligator or Battle Beyond The Stars, he didn’t treat those jobs as garbage. Instead, he wrote with the same degree of invention and dedication, and as a result, many of those movies have aged incredibly well, better than a lot of the drive-in fare of the same era. Franco Nero should have been a bigger movie star. The guy is pretty much just raw onscreen charisma,
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Star Trek Is Approaching Its 50th Birthday This Fall

  • Cinelinx
The Star Trek franchise will be 50 years old this September. It’s one of the most popular and enduring of all TV and film franchises, still going strong nearly 50 years after its debut in 1966. A third film of the rebooted series is in the works. Cinelinx looks at the ever-popular sci-fi property as it warps into its 50th year.

Star Trek, a show that didn’t do very well in the ratings when it first debuted, has become a multi-media monster. It has gone from television to cartoons, novels, comic books, video games and films. Many of the character names have become an iconic part of pop-culture. The real-life space shuttle Enterprise was named in honor of the space vessel from Star Trek. The whole concept of the sci-fi convention was begun by the fan-created ‘Trek’ conventions of the early seventies. Few franchises can claim to have had the impact
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Drive-In Dust Offs: Galaxy Of Terror

By the early ‘80s, Roger Corman was firmly entrenched in the public’s eye as The low budget wizard, always cranking out movies like a reliable sausagemeister. However, to the more discerning trash hound, his films were fertile ground for up and coming filmmakers, a place to learn the craft and hopefully develop one’s own style. And while Galaxy of Terror (1981), a crossbreed of Alien with a strand of Forbidden Planet DNA, does boast one James Cameron among the crew, its most notable feat is being highly entertaining regardless of a decimated budget and convoluted plot.

Released in October of ’81 Stateside by New World Pictures/United Artists, and alternately known as Mindwarp: An Infinity of Terror And Planet of Horrors (Hey Rog – pick one!), GoT cost $700,000 Us, and of course made its money back (Corman almost always saw a return). This was right in the middle of Corman’s space mining – before this,
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‘Moonraker’ Delivers Bond to a Post ‘Star Wars’ Generation


Directed by Lewis Gilbert

Screenplay by Christopher Wood

UK, 1979

Moonraker has the unique distinction of being the most absurd and over-the-top Bond film produced in 50 years of the series. Spy films exist in a genre unto themselves, but the Bond films sometimes like to crossover into other popular genres as well. The first clear example of this was 1973’s Live and Let Die, which mimicked the then popular Blaxploitation genre. When Moonraker was released however, the Bond series took this genre crossover to its extreme, resulting in a Bond film as much a science fiction saga as it is screwball comedy. Certainly one of the strangest Bond films to date, Moonraker holds a unique admiration among Bond fans and remained the highest grossing of all the Bond films until the release of Goldeneye in 1995.

Before Moonraker came 1977’s The Spy Who Loved Me which concluded with the end credit
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The top 20 underappreciated films of 1984

The year that gave us Gremlins, Ghostbusters and The Temple Of Doom also gave us these 20 underappreciated movies...

It's been said that 1984 was a vintage year for movies, and looking back, it's easy to see why. The likes of Ghostbusters and Gremlins served up comedy, action and the macabre in equal measure. James Cameron's The Terminator cemented Arnold Schwarzenegger's star status and gave us one of the greatest sci-fi action movies of the decade.

This was also the year where the Coen brothers made their screen debut with the stunning thriller Blood Simple, and when the Zucker brothers followed up Airplane! with the equally hilarious Top Secret! And we still haven't even mentioned Beverly Hills Cop, This Is Spinal Tap, The Karate Kid, Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom and the unexpectedly successful romantic comedy, Splash. Then there was Milos Forman's sumptuous period drama Amadeus, which
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50 forgotten sci-fi films from the 1990s

We may remember Independence Day, The Matrix, The Phantom Menace. But what about these forgotten 90s sci-fi films? And are any worth seeing?

Think back to the science fiction cinema of the 1990s, and some of the decade's biggest box-office hits will immediately spring to mind: The Phantom Menace, Jurassic Park, Independence Day, Men In Black, Armageddon and Terminator 2 were all in the top 20 most lucrative films of the era.

But what about the sci-fi films of the 1990s that failed to make even close to the same cultural and financial impact of those big hitters? These are the films this list is devoted to - the flops, the straight-to-video releases, the low-budget and critically-derided. We've picked 50 live-action films that fit these criteria, and dug them up to see whether they're still worth watching in the 21st century.

So here's a mix of everything from hidden classics to forgettable dreck,
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July 14th Blu-ray & DVD Releases Include It Follows, Ex MacHina, Howling II

July 14th may not have a lot of genre-related titles arriving on DVD and Blu-ray, but the films making their home entertainment debuts this week are a rather stellar bunch nonetheless. For anyone who may have missed two of the best indie films this year in theaters—Ex Machina and It Follows—you’ll have a chance to catch up with both this coming Tuesday.

Scream Factory is also keeping busy this week with their high-def release of Philippe Mora’s cult classic, Howling II: Your Sister is a Werewolf, and they also have two double feature Blu-rays coming out as well. Severin Films has put together an extensive special edition release of the recent documentary Lost Soul, which follows the troubled production of Richard Stanley’s Island of Doctor Moreau and looks pretty incredible and for all you X-Men fans out there, the Rogue Cut version of Days
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Howling II Blu-ray Clips & Trailer

Scream Factory's bringing full moon frights to their Summer of Fear Part 2 with tomorrow's Blu-ray release of Howling II. To give Daily Dead readers a look at the film's high-definition upgrade, we have clips and trailers from the upcoming home media release.

Synopsis: "Your Sister Is A Werewolf!

After countless millennia of watching, waiting and stalking, the unholy creatures known as werewolves are poised to inherit the earth. Legendary horror icon Christopher Lee faces off against sexy cult favorite Sybil Danning (Battle Beyond the Stars, Chained Heat, Grindhouse) in this terrifying descent into a world of nightmares that turns out to be all too real!

After newscaster Karen White's shocking on-screen transformation and violent death (in the original The Howling), her brother Ben (Reb Brown, Yor, the Hunter of the Future) is approached by Stefan Crosscoe (Lee), a mysterious man who claims that Karen has, in fact, become a werewolf.
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