13 items from 2015
Scream Factory continues to pack the home media release calendar, as they recently announced four more upcoming Blu-ray titles, including Zombie High and The Brain That Wouldn't Die. The diligent distributor has also stirred up some ’80s nostalgia with their new cover art for The Garbage Pail Kids Movie Collector's Edition Blu-ray.
Initially announced at San Diego Comic-Con, The Garbage Pail Kids Movie Collector's Edition Blu-ray is slated for a December 8th release. Special features are expected to be unveiled before Halloween, and we'll be sure to share the news with our readers as soon as it hits. In the meantime, we have official details and a look at the cover art, below:
From Scream Factory: "Your favorite grime bandits come to life with all the farts, snot and vomit you can take in this hilarious film full of gross-out humor. Based on the wildly popular and irreverent trading cards, »
- Derek Anderson
Criterion beautifully restores Brian De Palma’s early masterpiece, Dressed to Kill, his 1980 title often lumped in with a quartet of other films categorized as Hitchcockian riffs, criticized or celebrated for how they playfully exhume style, narrative and tone from iconic titles. Although it’s nearly impossible to discuss the film without an acknowledgment of its obvious homage, it’s also a strikingly original piece in its own right, one that most easily sidesteps the derivative trappings of the ‘anxiety of influence’ theory thanks to its complex design as a critique on rigid social constructions.
Kate Miller (Angie Dickinson) is an unhappily married housewife, saddled with husband number two, a man whose underwhelming lovemaking she describes to therapist Dr. Elliott (Michael Caine) as the root her problems. When her precocious teenage son (Keith Gordon) declines to go on a lunchtime museum trip, Kate goes alone, and becomes involved in a casual tryst with a stranger. »
- Nicholas Bell
Omar Sharif in 'Doctor Zhivago.' Egyptian star Omar Sharif, 'The Karate Kid' producer Jerry Weintraub: Brief career recaps A little late in the game – and following the longish Theodore Bikel article posted yesterday – below are brief career recaps of a couple of film veterans who died in July 2015: actor Omar Sharif and producer Jerry Weintraub. A follow-up post will offer an overview of the career of peplum (sword-and-sandal movie) actor Jacques Sernas, whose passing earlier this month has been all but ignored by the myopic English-language media. Omar Sharif: Film career beginnings in North Africa The death of Egyptian film actor Omar Sharif at age 83 following a heart attack on July 10 would have been ignored by the English-language media (especially in the U.S.) as well had Sharif remained a star within the Arabic-speaking world. After all, an "international" star is only worth remembering »
- Andre Soares
George Clooney was among the actors who paid tribute to his “Ocean’s Eleven” producer.
“In the coming days there will be tributes about our friend Jerry Weintraub. We’ll laugh at his great stories, and applaud his accomplishments,” Clooney said in a statement. “And in the years to come the stories and accomplishments will get better with age, just as Jerry would have wanted it. But not today. Today our friend died. To his family and friends, Amal and I send our love. And to those who didn’t know him we send our deepest sympathy. You would have loved him.”
Clooney’s “Ocean’s Eleven” co-star Don Cheadle also honored the producer. »
- Maane Khatchatourian
Jerry Weintraub, the colorful and controversial producer whose films included “Nashville,” “Diner,” “The Karate Kid” and the trio of “Ocean’s Eleven” films, died Monday of cardiac arrest in Santa Barbara, Calif. He was 77. He had been in poor health recently.
When he received Variety‘s Creative Leadership Award in 2013, Weintraub told Variety that he had a yacht and a Rolls-Royce, but was “not a big Hollywood guy.” Some would disagree. He was actually an old-school Hollywood showman, who understood the relationship between production and marketing. He was also a snappy dresser — his shoes were colorful and fun — who knew how to work the room and how to work the press: He was always available to the media and when he had a film in release, he knew how to maximize public awareness.
But the showiness was backed by hard work. His savvy came after decades of performing in many different jobs in the industry. »
- Carmel Dagan
In 1968, when Billy Friedkin first saw “The Boys in the Band,” he felt the play was “funny and poignant and, in its own way, a love story.” He decided to adapt it as a film, not to make a statement, but because “it was a damn good story.”
As it turned out, it was also relevant. At that moment in time, gays were starting to come out of the closet, Friedkin recalls, and, on one level, “Boys in the Band” was about the closet.
Despite its relevance, the director did not get much encouragement in the marketplace. None of the studios wanted to finance it.
Friedkin finally got a greenlight from Cinema Center Films, then owned by CBS, but the company did not have the funding to distribute or market the film widely. While the movie got good reviews, it did not find a wide audience.
In casting the film, »
- Peter Bart
Activist David Mixner stood alone on a theater stage in Los Angeles at the start of this year’s Gay Pride Month, sharing his memories with an audience of friends, political figures and a smattering of celebrities, about the time Ronald Reagan saw the light.
It was 1978, and aides to Reagan, who was on the cusp of launching his presidential campaign, believed he was ready to endorse a California initiative to ban gays and lesbians from teaching in the state’s classrooms, a ballot proposition inspired by the anti-gay crusades of singer Anita Bryant.
Mixner remembered when he and fellow activist Peter Scott landed a secret meeting with Reagan, who was exceedingly charming and willing to listen. Mixner warned the soon-to-be candidate that the initiative would create anarchy: Students could retaliate for a bad grade by accusing their teachers of being gay.
Reagan didn’t immediately reveal what he was going to do, »
- Ted Johnson and Brent Lang
All week long our writers will debate: Which was the greatest film year of the past half century. Click here for a complete list of our essays. How to decide in the grand scheme of things which film year stands above all others? History gives us no clear methodology to unravel this thorny but extremely important question. Is it the year with the highest average score of movies? So a year that averages out to a B + might be the winner over a field strewn with B’s, despite a few A +’s. Or do a few masterpieces lift up a year so far that whatever else happened beyond those three or four films is of no consequence? Both measures are worthy, and the winner by either of those would certainly be a year not to be sneezed at. But I contend the only true measure of a year’s »
- Richard Rushfield
This month's film Book Club choice is a study of director William Friedkin that spends as much time on the failures as the successes...
Some films catch your attention for reasons other than being good. Cruising (1980) has stuck in my memory for years. It’s very weird. Al Pacino plays a cop who works undercover in New York’s gay club scene, tracking down a serial killer. Or possibly more than one serial killer; it's difficult to tell in the darkness, the double bluffs, and the uncomfortable and unclear nature of the action. Few critics liked it, even less people went to see it, and William Friedkin wrote and directed it. When I think of Friedkin's work I think of Cruising as much as I think of The Exorcist, or The French Connection. How could the same person have made these films?
Clagett's book embraces the failures as much as the successes, »
The new comedy "Get Hard" stars Kevin Hart as an unlikely coach who trains Will Ferrell for a stint in prison. In one scene, Hart insists that Ferrell go to a top La brunch spot and give oral sex to a random patron in the bathroom to learn -- I guess? -- the mechanics of prison rape. Yes, this movie equates consensual gay sexual activity with actual rape. Cut to Will Ferrell in a restaurant bathroom gagging at the sight of a penis for the amusement of a multiplex audience. Could it be the most homophobic scene in a comedy of the past ten years? It's certainly a candidate. To commemorate this weirdly ignorant movie, we've compiled a list: movies with homophobic scenes so blatant, they made us shudder. Sometimes a movie reeks of homophobia (See: that ol' heart-warmer "Cruising") and sometimes it's just a couple of moments in a »
- Louis Virtel
My First R-rated Movie Or…
How I Became The 007 Of Covert Forbidden Film Viewing
By Alex Simon
For those of us who grew up in the suburbs in the pre-home video, pre-cable TV and pre-Netflix coupons 1970s and early ‘80s, there were few dangerous pleasures as heady as sneaking into an R-rated movie at the local multiplex. The multiplex cinema was a ‘70s phenomenon that made regulating children’s viewing habits infinitely more difficult than the old days of stand-alone, single screen theaters. Ironically, the new freedom that filmmakers enjoyed with the advent of the MPAA rating system in late 1968 was almost in perfect synch with the rise of multi-screen cinemas. Some things do happen for a reason.
You never forget your first...
My first R-rated film was during Thanksgiving of 1976. We were visiting my dad’s family in Birmingham, Alabama and the men adjourned after dinner to go see Two Minute Warning, »
- The Hollywood Interview.com
13 items from 2015
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