1-20 of 109 items from 2009 « Prev | Next »
The 33-year-old Steven Spielberg had just made Jaws and Close Encounters, two of the biggest-ever box-office hits, when he directed this farcical comedy about the panic produced in Los Angeles when, after the raid on Pearl Harbor, the appearance on the coast of California of an off-course Japanese submarine created fear of invasion. It was a critical disaster, condemned for its length, extravagance, tastelessness, self-references (the opening is a lovely parody of Jaws), lack of laughs and going wildly over budget. It did, however (a fact largely ignored) make a considerable profit worldwide.
A shaken Spielberg recovered to make Raiders of the Lost Ark but never wholly got over the experience. Yet for all its coarseness and heavy-handed humour, this first appearance on DVD, which bravely quotes all the worst reviews, is well worth seeing. 1941 is a dazzling film with an all-star cast ranging from Toshiro Mifune as the sub's »
- Philip French
Charlie Brooker doles out his awards for the year's worst TV. What would he do without it?
All things considered, 2009 will be remembered as the year television finally abandoned any attempt to make sense. Shunned by the young, abandoned by advertisers, it suffered a massive breakdown. Once it entertained a nation: now it shuffles into the corner of your living room and simply sits there shaking, and wailing incoherently. It's lost the ability to work out what the average, rational human might want, then give it to them. How else to explain the sudden rash of out-there programmes such as BBC3's My Life As An Animal or Young Butcher Of The Year, Channel 4's The Execution Of Gary Glitter or Sky1's Live Michael Jackson Seance?
Anyway, as per tradition, the end-of-the-year Guide means Screen Burn Awards time. Which is what this is. Starting now …
The Phenomenon Shoved Down »
- Charlie Brooker
Not sure what to watch? We can help with our comprehensive guide to the best films on TV this Christmas and new year
Choose a date
Saturday 19 December | Sunday 20 December | Monday 21 December | Tuesday 22 December | Wednesday 23 December |Christmas Eve | Christmas Day | Boxing Day | Sunday 27 December | Monday 28 December | Tuesday 29 December | Wednesday 30 December | New Year's Eve | New Year's Day
Saturday 19 December
10am, 8pm, Sky Movies Premiere
Remember Jim Carrey in Liar, Liar, where he forces himself to tell the truth for 24 hours? Well, here Jim Carrey forces himself to answer yes to any request, for a year. Which is upping the ante somewhat, but doesn't make it a better film. This is a return to the manic, gurning, not-very-funny Carrey, as if The Truman Show, Eternal Sunshine etc hadn't happened. Just say no.
11.40am, 8pm, Sky Movies Family
What with Harry Potter, Narnia, Lemony Snicket and all, »
- Paul Howlett
The Alamo Drafthouse will be holding screenings of The Warriors, and Mondo Tees has commissioned a bunch of artists to create a series of posters to promote the screening. The first wave of posters were created by two of my favorite artists, Eric Tan and Tyler Stout. We've featured many of artist Eric Tan's creations in past Cool Stuff columns: we've spotlighted his work for past Pixar productions, X-Men, Lost, among other things. Tan has been creating a series of posters for the Indiana Jones film series. You can see his Raiders of the Lost Ark and Temple of Doom posters in our linked Cool Stuff articles. We've been writing about artist Tyler Stout since I first found his "Remember the Alamo" poster at the Alamo Drafthouse. The Austin based artist frequently provides kick ass posters for the Alamo's special events, most of which we have featured on /Film: Robocop »
- Peter Sciretta
I don’t know how I missed Robot Chicken when it debuted several years back. I heard the buzz, I saw the ads in the comics and still, I somehow never got around to watching. When the Cartoon Network sent over their second Star Wars Special for review, I finally indulged and was delighted.
Now, they sent over the two-disc set collecting the complete fourth season, which goes on sale Tuesday, and watched with great delight. The season, which ran from December 7, 2008 through December 6 (last week!), has 20 episodes and the set also includes The Robot Chicken Full-Assed Christmas Special.
The show is a riotous tour through the pop culture zeitgeist, presuming the viewers know the players from Tila Tequila to the torturous relationship between Thor and Loki. Many of the episodes are loosely connected vignettes while others feel entirely like a collection of whatever was finished in time got included. »
- Robert Greenberger
As you may have noticed, I will not be done with my Decade in Review until sometime into the new year. Hopefully we'll wrap up shortly after the Oscars; You know how distractingly all-consuming the Oscars can be! I hope you'll stay with it even though the rest of the media will move on any second now. They're always in such a rush. No stopping and smelling of the flowers. I've still got to update that "Actors of the Aughts" project for final compilation/statement. For now, let's move on to 2003. What follows is my original top ten list, based on films released in NYC in 2003. If I have anything new to say that'll be in red after the original text.
Special Mentions: The Cremaster Cycle and Angels in America
- NATHANIEL R
Film criticism as we know it tends to fall into a handful of time-worn categories: an expression of one's personality, politics and taste, with traces of social critique and memoir (Pauline Kael, James Agee); or a kind of performance art on the page, using individual films, actors or filmmakers as springboards for sustained riffs on art and life (Manny Farber); or a scholarly attempt to draw connections between films and film movements, rank filmmakers by aesthetic significance and put works in historical context (Andrew Sarris).
All these approaches have merit. But when you zoom out from the here-and-now and think about what cinema is -- about its dazzling totality, and the characteristics that distinguish it from novels or plays or paintings or dance or music, all of which feed, and are fed by, cinema -- you're struck by how much we're not reading about, by how much our critics either »
- Matt Zoller Seitz
As many of you will have seen, this coming Saturday is the Pinewood Legends evening in aid of Queen Elizabeth Foundation. Nearly all the tickets for the event have gone (follow details here to apply but be quick!) but you can still be part of the evening.
At the event, The Pinewood Legends will doing a Q&A and we want to give you the chance to ask them some questions.
Put your questions in the comments below and make sure you say specifically who you want your question to go to from the following list:
Roy Button OBE (Senior Vice President & MD of Warner Bros.) Paul Weston (Stunts, Raiders of the Lost Ark) Joss Williams (Special Effects Supervisor on Green Zone, Hell Boy 2, Rambo, The Bourne Ultimatum) Tony Waye (Producer, Bond Franchise) Terence Clegg (Producer, Out of Africa, A Clock Work Orange) Paul Hitchcock (Producer – Mission Impossible I & II) Saeed Jeffrey (Actor, »
- David Sztypuljak
It may be struggling with its lack of quality dramas and the albatross that is The Jay Leno Show, but when it comes to comedy, no one can touch NBC. The Office may have grown a tad stale, but their Thursday nights have the killer combo of 30 Rock and Community. Now it looks like another fantastic sitcom could be headed the network’s way with former-Seinfeld writer and Borat director Larry Charles at the helm of a delightful premise about fanboys who decide that instead sitting shiva for their favorite canceled TV show they’ll just make it themselves. Hit the jump for details.
According to Variety, Charles would write, exec produce and direct and untitled semi-script sitcom centering on a group of sci-fi fanboys in a small town who shoot their own version of a canceled TV show. I love that. It’s beyond the traditional fanboyism of online devotion, »
- Matt Goldberg
The super fresh trailer for director Louis Leterrier's new vision of the 1981 classic is now online to cure our fantasy fix. Go ahead and watch it now, I'll wait... ...pretty tasty eh? As mentioned before Clash of the Titans is a remake of the classic 1981 mythical adventure about the story of Perseus who must win the right to marry his love Andromeda and fulfill his destiny. To do this Perseus must complete various quests and tasks including battles with Medusa and the Kraken monster in order to save Princess Andromeda. The original boasts the special effects creatures and wizardry of stop-motion FX master Ray Harryhausen. This time around they are taking from those foundations and expanding with the cream of the crop effects of today. Pen master flex Lawrence Kasdan who you may also know as the genius who wrote The Empire Strikes Back, Raiders of the Lost Ark, »
- Dave Campbell
I’ll get to Nicholas Cage in a moment, but my first thought was about Alfred Molina. I admit that there are far too many of Molina’s movies for me to have seen, but every time I watch one of his films, it always seems as if he plays some kind of bad guy or adversary (Chocolat, Spider-Man 2, Raiders of the Lost Ark). He can also play a very nice, pacified guy – but is that the act? Would I want to meet him in a dark alley? I don’t know, but in The Sorcerer’s Apprentice he plays a very sinister fellow, and only Nicholas Cage, as the character of Balthazar Blake, can stop him. Jay Baruchel plays Blake’s apprentice, Dave Stutler, an average guy who is recruited based on his hidden potential as a sorcerer. The film is based on the poem by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, »
In a scant twelve years, Louis Leterrier has gone from being a production assistant on Alien: Resurrection to directing what has just, with a single trailer, become one of my most anticipated films of 2010: Warner Brothers' remake of Clash of the Titans. Sure, he has progressively proven himself a champion of the fantastic, evolving from The Transporter series to last year's The Incredible Hulk, but as much as I've been impressed by his eye for spectacle thus far, I wasn't ready for how fun his take on Titans looks. It's just our first look, but I couldn't stop smiling by the end of this teaser.
And yet, I don't know why I should be so surprised. The original is, after all, a landmark fantasy film packed with Ray Harryhausen's indelible stop-motion imagery. Add on Leterrier commanding a great cast ranging from Liam Neeson to Ralph Fiennes to Sam Worthington, »
- Peter Hall
We've featured many of artist Eric Tan's creations in past Cool Stuff columns: we've spotlighted his work for past Pixar productions, X-Men, Lost, among other things. Tan has been creating a series of posters for the Indiana Jones film series. You can see his Raiders of the Lost Ark and Temple of Doom posters in our linked Cool Stuff articles. Last month Disney published new posters from Tan of two of Disney's animated classics, which he created specifically for The Art of Disney Princess book. Tan explains his process on his blog: Little Mermaid came out when I was in high school and reinvigorated the entire Animation studio which influenced me to want to get into field that as a career. Although I found I didn't have the chops for animation, it led me down the path to my current position with Disney and it'll always be one of those »
- Peter Sciretta
Last week I was invited down to Santa Monica to the offices of Jerry Bruckheimer Films to check out the brand new trailer for Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, which is set for a release date of May 28, 2010 ( to watch both the domestic and international trailer for the film). Of course, we weren't invited all the way down to the west side just to watch a trailer before anyone else, we got to talk to two of the men responsible for bringing this film to the big screen. Jordan Mechner created the original video game in 1989 and also the more recent games from Ubisoft (which serve as more of a basis of the film than the original game, as he will explain), and he also wrote the original drafts of the script and serves as the executive producer. Mechner was also responsible for getting his video game to Jerry Bruckheimer, »
Last week I went to producer Jerry Bruckheimer’s office in Santa Monica to get an early look at the “Prince of Persia” trailer along with a number of other online journalists. As I said last week, I think “Prince of Persia” is finally going to break the movies based on a video game curse. Up to now, every video game based movie has been treated by Hollywood as a joke. They never have a budget. The scripts have been terrible. Also, after you see the movie, you lose respect for the game it’s based on. But after watching the trailer and speaking with Producer Jerry Bruckheimer and “Prince of Persia” creator Jordan Mechner, I think they’ve done everything they could to try and make this movie work.
Anyway, after we all watched the trailer, Bruckheimer and Mechner answered questions for about twenty minutes. While they discussed all »
- Steve 'Frosty' Weintraub
It's all about the dagger, see? In The Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, Jake Gyllenhaal must team up with a beautiful princess to battle an evil dude who has unleashed the sands of time, and the only way to do it is to use a dagger that can control time. There's more, but pretty much all anyone cares about is whether a long-locked Jake looks good with his shirt off (he does!) and whether the rousing CG-enhanced adventures look like good fun (not sure!). People yell, things crash, and Jake and his costar bicker and banter before (we imagine) falling in love. Based on a venerable video game, the trailer makes the film seems a little bit The Mummy, a little bit Raiders of the Lost Ark and a little »
Correction: Apparently Eric Tan did not create all these posters, I was wrong in that assumption. He created "Journey into the Wild" (with the dogs), Craig Foster did the Saa South American Air (with the Lama), Erik Evans did the "Paradise Falls" (with the bird), and Paul Conrad did the five remaining posters. To celebrate the November 10th DVD & Blu-ray Combo pack release of Pixar’s Up, Disney has released high resolution copies of Eric Tan's awesome retro posters which were created during the development of the film for inspiration, and were hung in Pixar Animation Studios during production. We've featured many of artist Eric Tan's creations in past Cool Stuff columns: we've spotlighted his work for past Pixar productions, X-Men, Lost , among other things. Tan has been creating a series of posters for the Indiana Jones film series. You can see his Raiders of the Lost Ark and Temple »
- Peter Sciretta
I wasn't quite sure what to expect when I pulled up to the Santa Monica offices of Jerry Bruckheimer Films. I mean, this is the man who has brought us blockbuster after blockbuster for nearly 30 years, and yet when I arrived at the building, it was about as unassuming on the outside as it was impressive on the inside. As I waited for the rest of the press group to arrive, I was amazed at the sheer size of the place... and the random dog trotting about the lobby, which I learned later was actually one of Jerry Bruckheimer's dogs. But we weren't there to marvel at his taste in office decor, we were there to take a look at the brand new trailer for the latest in his seemingly never-ending string of blockbusters, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, which is set for a May 28, 2010 release.
The belfry has struck twice in the land of Fun For Everyone Halloween Films here at Screen Rant, and the third, final chime is preparing to strike!
Join the Screen Rant team as we detail this last entry for our 2009 Fun For Everyone Halloween Films listing and “chime in” with your own!
5. Edward Scissorhands (1990): I would love to see how something like Edward Scissorhands would go over in today’s society. Clearly, if the school he’d be attending observed any of today’s weapon policies, he’d be expelled instantly and have at least 4 interviews on news programs and talk shows before the week was over about how the institution is “denying his fundamental right to express himself.” Edward Scissorhands reminds me a lot of many of the movies that came out in the late 80s, up until 1990. Lots of teen angst with a dash of fantasy – lots »
- Mike Wilkerson
The House Of The Devil is as perfect an 80's horror film as we'll ever get in this decade. The only thing missing is the giant clamshell VHS case. The look, style, tone, pacing, even the credits nail the feel of a flick your friends would've rented out for a slumber party, but weren't quite sure what it was about. It's fun for fans of the genre (yes, 80's possession horror is a sub-sect) but Add-editing style fanatics should move along to the next defanged crappy remake.
The House of the Devil is the classic story of a nubile young coed Samantha, played by Jocelin Donahue and who could be the younger sister of Marion from Raiders of the Lost Ark. Samantha is enrolled at a sleepy college and has roommate problems. Namely, her roommate is always having raucous sex, distracting from her scholarly duties. Samantha wants out, and has »
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