13 items from 2013
Without superheroes or aliens, the F&F franchise has made speed, laced with rage, one of film's most beloved intoxicants
The reason for the burgeoning success of the Fast & Furious films eludes some people. This apparently humdrum franchise manages without superheroes, intergalactic conflict, aliens, zombies, vampires or 3D. What has it got? Perhaps the clue's in the title. Speed and rage have come to form an alluring combination.
Speed, said Aldous Huxley, "provides the one genuinely modern pleasure." Until the 1820s, no one had travelled faster than a galloping horse; by the 1840s, trains were zipping along at 70mph. Speed began to redefine human life, as the acceleration of output yielded previously unimaginable benefits. The Gpo documentary Night Mail, with its pulsing pistons, captured the exaltation this engendered. But if the hastening tempo of the railway age brought collective liberation, it imposed a new tyranny on the individual.
As Marxists put it, »
- David Cox
Of all the sub-genres of film in the world, the one that arguably has the spottiest track record is movies based on Saturday Night Live characters, and Lorne MIchaels seems to have gotten a grasp on that. Classics like The Blues Brothers and Wayne.s World will forever stand the test of time because those characters didn.t break after being stretched to a feature.s length. It.s Pat: The Movie was broken before it left the first brainstorming session. Saturday Night Live.s cast is currently in major shakeup mode, with Bill Hader definitely leaving, Seth Meyers taking over Jimmy Fallon.s late show, and now Jason Sudeikis and Fred Armisen reportedly leaving the show. With Hader goes all of his beloved characters, which means we.ll never again get to hear Stefon try and stifle a giggle while talking about all the hottest and wackiest New York »
Depending on whom you ask, Andy Kaufman either died on this day 29 years ago, or he pulled off one of history's greatest hoaxes. As evidence for the latter, they'll point to his career. Not the obvious one -- his "Taxi" gig or his quick-flaming stint on "Saturday Night Live" (which ended with the audience voting him off the show as part of a stunt he suggested, not thinking it would go that way). Even at the height of his mainstream success, Kaufman would tell any reporter who'd listen that all that flashy stuff was just to support his real work: his high-concept live act.
It's a long and sublimely silly list. Take the times Kaufman read The Great Gatsby aloud until the audience hissed and booed. "Would you rather listen to a tape?" he'd ask (they always said yes). But the tape simply turned out to be a recording of him reading The Great Gatsby. »
- Mallika Rao
Robert Mitchum had them in Night of the Hunter. Elwood Blues had them in The Blues Brothers. Now Paul Giamatti is the latest intimidating dude to dabble in knuckle tattoos, as revealed in this first look at him playing The Rhino in The Amazing Spider-Man 2. As with nearly every tidbit we've gotten from the set, this photo comes from director Marc Webb's Twitter feed, with the message "Say hello to Aleksei Sytsevich." That, of course, is the real name of The Rhino, a thug for hire coming from the former Soviet Union who gets involve in an experiment that makes his skin super strong and resilient. Those tattoos on Giamatti look like exactly what you'd expect from a Russian thug-- think Viggo Mortensen in Eastern Promises-- and the barbed wire forehead tattoo is especially intense. Of course, we got a tease about these tattoos not long ago-- back »
You've got to love the teenager who puts his out-of-touch dad on blast. Ok, that's not exactly the deal, but it's what this story comically reminds us of. It starts with Dad, venerable '80s filmmaker John Landis ("The Blues Brothers," "Trading Places," Michael Jackson's iconic "Thriller" video), saying that his son, Max Landis' sequel project, "Chronicle 2," is somewhat troubled. And it started on The Playlist. We spoke to Landis last year, and in discussing the difficulties of the film industry, the older Landis began relating examples and stories about his son, the writer behind the surprise low-budget kids-become-extraordinary film "Chronicle." “He wrote a sequel, and it’s amazing," Landis told us. "And the studio read it and said, ‘we want ‘Chronicle’ again!’ And he said, ‘no, this is the sequel, it’s the evolution,' and they said ‘no, we want that movie again!’ So it’s difficult, »
- Edward Davis
Chronicle was one of last year’s pleasant surprises, and there were reports about Fox wanting to make a followup, which began circulating shortly after the found-footage/super-powered teen drama opened to critical applause (read our review) and box office returns that allowed the film to eclipse its $12 million budget within two days of release. However, things have been quiet on the sequel news front ever since the story about how Fox doesn’t like the Chronicle 2 script got out (around six months ago now).
Screenwriter Max Landis – whose father Jon Landis (director of movies like Animal House and The Blues Brothers) made the claim about Chronicle 2 being held up by creative differences – has spoken out about the project’s development, with the intent of putting ...
- Sandy Schaefer
Heading into Easter Weekend, the Oscar-winning film Les Miserables is available on Blu-ray and DVD, the perfect musical to get you in the mood for this upcoming Holiday. We recently caught up with one of the producers on the film Cameron Mackintosh, and the man who perfected Jean Valjean on stage before taking the role of the Bishop on screen, Colm Wilkinson. Both have a long and storied history with the production, from its stage roots to its place as one of cinema's great musicals. Here's our exclusive conversation.
Actor Colm Wilkinson
Les Mis was originally supposed to be turned into a film musical nearly twenty-five years ago. It didn't happen. Were you involved with the first incarnations of this project's life as a movie?
Colm Wilkinson: No. We never talked. It never got that far, »
We all know the history Saturday Night Live has with films… they usually are based off shallow, one-gag characters, and in turn the movies are unfunny and fail. In fact, the only two SNL movies that got a reasonable degree of success were The Blues Brothers and Wayne’s World, both of which had already taken on a life of their own.
The ones that failed? The movies based off character such as Pat Riley; Stuart Smalley; Steve and Doug Butabi; Mary Katherine Gallagher; and Leon Phelps.
Nope, we’ve never heard of them either.
But the sad part is, Saturday Night Live has created some amazing, hilarious, and even some immortal characters, and yet never got a movie. So in honor of these characters and skits, here’s a few that never got a movie that would’ve been great in one. Namely…
The post 5 SNL Characters That Deserved »
- J.D. Westfall
There are two things that people do on Valentine's Day: either they celebrate the holiday with their significant other, exchanging gifts and chewing on mystery chocolates ; or they completely ignore the date with perhaps the exception of a few pessimistic comments about how it's a holiday invented by greeting card companies . The following video is primarily for the folks in the latter category (though those in the first will probably get a kick out of it too. In "celebration" of today's holiday Next Movie has put together a supercut featuring some of cinema's greatest rejections. Unsurprisingly there's a good amount of Woody Allen, but you should also recognize clips from Young Frankenstein, In & Out, Wet Hot American Summer, Clueless, The Blues Brothers, and Say Anything. See if you can name every title as it comes up while watching the video below. How many were you able to get? See »
Put Al Pacino, Alan Arkin and Christopher Walken together on screen, and it's a laconic dream team. Each is so delightfully quirky and menacing in their own unique style that it's clear the film's greatest coup is casting. Stick these guys together in a car, let them kibbitz -- in a terse, concise manner, of course -- and you're halfway to a classic. The first 40 minutes or so of Stand Up Guys plays out exactly as you'd expect, a kind of Cocoon for old gangsters, another toothless reunion film like 1986's Tough Guys. We see Pacino get released from jail in that gettin-out scene that always shows up in these films, and yet always manages to remind of The Blues Brothers, however seriously they're...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
Sf Sketchfest, the San Francisco Comedy Festival, is hosting a 35th anniversary retrospective screening of John Landis' 1978 college comedy classic "National Lampoon's Animal House" on February 6th. Following the screening will be a Q&A and conversation between Landis and writer/comedian, Carl Arnheiter. In anticipation of this event, we got to chat with Landis about the making of this seminal comedy, plus myriad other topics. As anyone who has seen or heard Landis speak over the years knows that he can talk at length about anything. The director of "Trading Places," "The Blues Brothers," "Coming to America," "An American Werewolf in London" and more '80s classics, Landis' encyclopedic knowledge of cinema makes Quentin Tarantino seem like an unlearned noob, and so in the lead-up to the screening and conversation we're going to pare down our chat with Landis to just focus on "Animal »
- Drew Taylor
Emmy-winning set decorator Leslie Frankenheimer has died. Also the wife of entertainment attorney John Frankenhemer, she died January 22 after a long battle against leukemia, according to the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Her age was not disclosed. During her more than 30 year career, Frankenheimer won 4 Emmys — for the ABC series Max Headroom in 1987, CBS’ Buddy Faro in 1999, the TNT movie James Dean in 2002 and the HBO series Carnivàle in 2004. She was also nominated in 2002 for the NBC series Emeril. Frankenheimer joined the TV Academy in 1995 and began serving on its Art Directors/Set Decorators Peer Group Exec Committee in 2002. She was elected governor of her peer group in 2011 and was recently re-elected to a second two-year term. Frankenheimer’s numerous other TV credits included Scarecrow And Mrs. King, L.A. Law, SeaQuest 2032, Star Trek: Voyager, Come on, Get Happy: The Partridge Family Story, Karen Sisco, The Closer, Kitchen Confidential, »
- THE DEADLINE TEAM
I hate superhero movies of every damn stripe, so I'm tickled to learn that La Times readers overwhelmingly voted The Avengers the most overrated film of 2012. A whopping 85% picked the ensemble caper while Ridley Scott's Prometheus clocked in at a distant second with 5%. Well! I guess that settles that.
Or does it? When I think about the most overrated films of 2012, here's what I come up with:
1. Silver Linings Playbook: Said this before, but it should call itself Mental Illness Vaudeville
3. Skyfall: It's every James Bond ever, except with a boring theme and a Home Alone conceit thrown in.
And here are some of my Hall of Fame overrated picks:
-The Blair Witch Project: Unforgettably stupid. I will never forget the Insane, slobbery Time magazine write-up about it. »
13 items from 2013
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