13 items from 2015
There is finite number of themes from which to draw, so half the battle of making a compelling film is finding a new angle to tell a story already told countless times. David Robert Mitchell succeeds at this as writer and director of It Follows, a new horror film that’s receiving a level of artistic appreciation and acclaim rarely experienced by films true to this genre.
Set in suburban Detroit, the story follows Jay, a teenage girl who unwittingly becomes the target of an invisible evil force when she falls for a teenage boy who is not who he seems. Once the truth of the terror she has inherited sets in, she realizes she will never again be able to relax and enjoy her life, unless she can find a way to destroy the force compelled to follow her anywhere she goes. Accompanied by a handful of close friends, »
- Travis Keune
The latest in the massively successful Fast & Furious franchise, Furious 7, is set to break box office records when it debuts on April 3rd in the Us.
On course to do stellar business across the globe, early tracking has the film opening in the region of $115 million when it debuts next month. In 2014, only one film managed an opening weekend in excess of $100 million, which was The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1, which took $121 million when it debuted last November.
In terms of April records, the highest opening weekend was set last year by Captain America: The Winter Soldier, which earned $95 million. Furious 7’s predecessor, Fast & Furious 6 took $117 million when it debuted in 2012, and ended up with over $780 million worldwide.
Furious 7’s release ushers in the summer box-office blockbuster season, with many of the year’s big hitters all expected to have bumper opening weekends, with the »
- Scott J. Davis
“I am the Nightrider. I’m a fuel injected suicide machine. I am the rocker, I am the roller, I am the out-of-controller!”
I gotta say – this lineup of midnight movies for the ‘Reel Late at The Tivoli’ may be the best ever! It’s almost like they let me choose them myself (which they did not). It’s a great selection with an unusually cool variety of standards and classics to draw the late night movie buff crowd.
The awesome line-up of midnight movies begins April 3rd and 4th with The Rocky Horror Picture Show (usually the series ends with Rocky in October so we’ll see how it does in April – meaning will it sell out in advance or on the night of?). The roster includes one Miyazaki (attendance insurance), the animated Watership Down (the uneven 1978 version of Richard Adams’ 1972 cult novel about rabbits) and cult comedy nuggets »
- Tom Stockman
Capcom Production Studio 4
GameCube, PS2, Wii, PC
In a game so chock full of memorable boss encounters, it’s tough to settle on just one. With that said, though, the front-runner, and immediate stand-out in Resident Evil 4‘s gruesome gauntlet of titans, is the midway throwdown with the village chief, Bitores Mendez.
A character who had appeared a few times in RE4‘s first two acts, Mendez fit the bill perfectly as final boss material. He was mysterious, menacing, and extremely intimidating. In fact the first time Leon encounters him face to face, he is lifted up, wordlessly and struggling, unable to do anything to defend himself.
However, it’s not just his size that makes Mendez so immediately formidable, but also his station. As village chief, he is quite literally the general behind every single foot soldier you’ve put down so far. As such, the »
- Mike Worby
Welcome to another horror round-up! This time around, we have details on how you can support Tom Savini's Nightmare City remake that's presented by Umberto Lenzi, the director of the 1980 original, a look at a new poster and information for the Halloween-related documentary, Horror Icon: Inside Michael's Mask with Tony Moran, and the reveal of who will play the lead role in Fox's Frankenstein pilot.
Tom Savini's Nightmare City Remake: Tom Savini, the Godfather of Gore, is fittingly set to direct and supervise the special effects on the Monsta Worx remake of Umberto Lenzi's zombie movie, Nightmare City. Lenzi himself is associate producing and presenting the project, with shooting slated to begin late this year in Pittsburgh and Los Angeles. In addition to his duties behind the camera, Savini is also attached to play a role in the film, along with Judith O'Dea (Barbra from Night »
- Derek Anderson
Hollow’s Eve: Hardy’s Creature Feature Debut Has Superficial Roots
It was announced that Irish director Corin Hardy would be heading up The Crow reboot for Relativity preceding the premiere of his directorial debut The Hallow at the Sundance Film Festival, which was presumably good marketing for a film with just enough winning elements to satisfy genre aficionados. A simple, arguably derivative premise lays the eerie groundwork for what promises to be a memorable entry in a the struggling vein of modern backwoods horror narratives, though its bid to unify science with the supernatural is ultimately unsatisfactory, with a denouement that loses traction well before the predictable third act reaches an inevitable stride. Still, Hardy proves to be a devotee of vintage creature feature animations, utilizing tricks from a bygone era of special effects, acknowledging famous influences Stan Winston, Dick Smith and Ray Harryhausen in the end-credits. If only »
- Nicholas Bell
Welcome to another horror round-up! Nicolas Winding Refn’s The Neon Demon has added a few key cast members, the El Rey Network kicks off their 2nd annual ‘Rip Your Heart Out’ Marathon on Cupid’s big day next weekend, and Portsmouth’s Seacoast Repertory Theatre is hosting a special screening of Herschell Gordon Lewis’ cult classic Blood Feast at the end of the month, featuring a Skype interview with the prolific director and a food competition amongst attendees.
The Neon Demon: Deadline recently reported that Keanu Reeves, Christina Hendricks, Jena Malone, and Bella Heathcote have joined the growing cast of Nicolas Winding Refn’s in-development horror film, The Neon Demon. The roles of the new additions are not yet known. Elle Fanning and Abbey Lee will also star in the film, with Fanning set to play an “aspiring model who is caught in a world of beauty and demise. »
- Derek Anderson
Writing on John Carpenter’s cinema usually adheres to a few safe subjects: his pulsating synth scores, his ingenious use of negative space, his signature 2.35:1 frame, (specious) comparisons to Howard Hawks, etc. Ideally, his oeuvre is ripe for analysis, so formally and tonally consistent is his cinema, so rigorous the progression of his favorite themes and subjects. Phases begin and end, roughly. Experiments can be recognized, one-offs noted, dozens of through lines traced. And yet Carpenter, among the most coherent of filmmakers in a variety of contexts, is seldom subject to thoughtful criticism, and if so, is largely marginalized to a handful of admittedly excellent but overly-canonized and under-representative works.
If clung to for bruising, relentless films like Halloween (1978), The Thing (1982), Assault on Precinct 13 (1976), Prince of Darkness, and They Live (1988), Carpenter comes off rather severe, even despairing. One cannot deny this element in his work, a powerful vein »
- John Lehtonen
Take a little afternoon flashback to 1982, when John Carpenter’s “The Thing” began scaring moviegoers all across the country. The genre classic is based on John W. Campbell, Jr.’s novella, “Who Goes There?” and improves (greatly) upon Howard Hawks’ and Christian Nyby’s 1951 adaptation of the story, “The Thing from Another World.” In “The Thing,” a group of researchers in Antarctica unearth a frozen, shape-shifting monster, which hunts the researchers in their utilitarian lab. Though the film wasn’t able to break $20M at the box office, it has gone on to scare viewers for over 30 years. As necessary, given the external shots the movie required, the cast and crew went on location for large chunks of the production. As expected, they didn’t actually fly down to the Antarctic to do it. Rather, as this vintage 12-minute featurette explains, they shot in British Columbia, near the Alaskan border. »
- Zach Hollwedel
“Lived any good books lately?” Throughout his long, eclectic career, John Carpenter has shown an uncanny knack for blazing trails that set the tone of culture around him. 1978’s Halloween galvanized the American slasher film. 1982’s The Thing was at the forefront of a remake wave that continues to this day. 1976’s Assault on Precinct…
- Samuel Zimmerman
Michael Stevens For 'The Good':
"In director Michael Mann's "Blackhat", furloughed convict 'Nick Hathaway' (Hemsworth) with American and Chinese partners, hunts down a high-level cybercrime network connecting Chicago, Los Angeles, Hong Kong and Jakarta.
"Mann delights in exploring CG 'digital trails', plunging into physical networks, following power surges while mapping out a glowing high-tech world, in contrast to the grimy digs used by a sweaty, terrorist hacker.
"Thor" actor Hemsworth, looking every inch an action star, knows how to use a gun (as opposed to a hammer) and effortlessly takes out gaggles of baddies, using 'MacGyver'-like prison smarts to street-fight his way out of confrontations.
"Actress Wei Tang as 'Chen Lien', is also good, »
- Michael Stevens
Because we were obviously in desperate need of a new "Blob" movie, cinematic auteur Simon West ("Con Air," "Lara Croft: Tomb Raider") has signed on to helm yet another remake of the 1958 drive-in classic, which was previously remade in 1988 by director Chuck Russell. Kevin Dillon starring vehicles were all the rage back then, obvs. Did we ask for this? I don't know, I think I'm good honestly. But since it's happening and there's pretty much nothing we can do about it, take a trip back with me as I revisit a few more horror films Hollywood just couldn't keep their hands off of - and judge which of the versions is the best. "King Kong" The 1933 classic was first remade in 1976 with Jessica Lange and Jeff Bridges, who starred opposite the robotic ape from the Universal Studios tram ride. Nearly 30 years later Peter Jackson decided to remake it as an epic three-hour film, »
- Chris Eggertsen
If Eddie Redmayne is lucky, his unsuccessful Lord of the Rings audition tape - which he treated us to a rendition of this week - will never see the light of day.
Sadly, some actors aren't so fortunate...
If nothing else, this audition is certainly… elaborate. A pre-Hunger Games, and inexplicably spotty, Josh Hutcherson went up for the lead in The Amazing Spider-Man – a role which eventually went to Andrew Garfield.
It's not the most cerebral of auditions. In three minutes, Josh only manages to say "Thanks" and "Late for class", followed by another "Thanks".
Not that it's important when your tape features you beating up three men, doing a backflip and jumping about seven foot in the air. Backwards.
13 items from 2015
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