12 items from 2015
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
Maps to the Stars - Focus Features - Blu-ray and DVD Director: David Cronenberg Cast: Julianne Moore, Mia Wasikowska, Olivia Williams,John Cusack, Robert Pattinson. Full cast + crew If you only know David Cronenberg from movies like The Fly, The Dead Zone, and A History of Violence, then you are not only missing the majority of his career, but you're missing out on one of the most consistently engaging and disturbing filmmakers alive who loves to flay the skin from the bones of humanity to see what's underneath. Maps to the Stars is his latest, and it's an engrossing look at the demented, interconnected lives of actors, their families, their fans and their managers. It not only has an incredible cast, but they're each giving some...
- Peter Hall
You can't choose your neighbors in an apartment complex, and sometimes you get stuck next to a noisy, mean-spirited soul who makes you want to look in the classified ads before you even finish unpacking. Alison Parker has some rowdy neighbors around her new Brooklyn apartment, but what disturbs her the most is that nobody else lives on her floor. And that's only one of many creepy elements to be found in 1977's The Sentinel, and fans of the cult classic fright film should be excited to hear that Scream Factory has announced they will release The Sentinel on Blu-ray this summer.
From Scream Factory: "We are beyond thrilled today to report that we will be bringing the 1977 cult classic chiller The Sentinel to Blu-ray for the first time in the U.S. and Canada!
Planned release is for August. This often underrated, overlooked and shocking film from Director Michael Winner »
- Derek Anderson
If you haven’t watched the trailer to Ryan Gosling’s directorial debut called Lost River, correct that now. While early buzz has been mixed, I’m excited to see the film. I think it is also cool that Johnny Jewel scored the film, considering he was going to be the original composer for Refn’s Drive (See Symmetry: Themes for an Imaginary Film where some of Jewel’s ideas and possibly leftout compositions lay). Lost River looks dreamy, hypnotic and a nightmare of Americana.
From the Press Release
Directed and written by Ryan Gosling, Lost River is a dark fairy tale about love, family and the fight for survival in the face of danger starring Christina Hendricks, Eva Mendes, and Ben Mendelsohn. The multi-talented Jewel provides a grainy analog synth score »
- Andy Triefenbach
Directed and written by Ryan Gosling, Lost River is a dark fairy tale about love, family and the fight for survival in the face of danger starring Christina Hendricks, Eva Mendes, and Ben Mendelsohn. The multi-talented Jewel provides a grainy analog synth score that is both emotive and haunting, setting the tone for film’s dreamlike setting.
In the virtually abandoned city of Lost River, a single mother of two (Hendricks) is led into a macabre underworld in her quest to save her childhood home and hold her family together.
- Michelle McCue
Leonard Nimoy became an icon of science fiction in the 1960s for his timeless role in Star Trek as the Enterprise's chief science officer Mr Spock – a character he would play on and off for more than 45 years.
While Nimoy will always be best remembered for his work on the Star Trek television shows and movies, he also had an incredibly varied career as an accomplished writer, director, musician and photographer.
In celebration of Nimoy's life and legacy, we look back at six career highlights aside from his work in the Star Trek franchise.
1. Mission: Impossible (1969–71)
Nimoy became a household name in the pioneering science fiction series Star Trek, but even early on he sought to make his career choices as diverse as possible.
Nimoy became a viewer »
David Cronenberg. From “Stereo” to “The Fly” to “Crash” (no, not that one, the one from 1996), to “A Dangerous Method” and beyond, it’s hard to argue that the (sometimes) writer, (more often) director has had an eclectic career. And with his first credited short nearly fifty years ago, perhaps that isn't surprising. Vimeo user Shaun Higgins (d.b.a. Hello Wizard) has paid homage to the uniquely varied director via a new seven-minute tribute supercut. The short splices shots from 21 of Cronenberg’s films together, lending some semblance to what defines a Cronenberg picture. In chronological order, going all the way back to 1969 and up through the present, Higgins includes: “Stereo,” “Crimes of the Future,” “Shivers” (a.k.a. “They Came From Within”), “Rabid,” “Fast Company,” “The Brood,” “Scanners,” “Videodrome,” “The Dead Zone,” “The Fly,” “Dead Ringers,” “Naked Lunch,” “M Butterfly,” “Crash,” “eXistenZ,” “Spider,” “A History of Violence,” “Eastern Promises, »
- Zach Hollwedel
Even a slightly off-key Grammy Awards telecast was enough to lift CBS to a rather easy weekly ratings victory in key demos during the first frame of February.
The awards program averaged an 8.3 rating/23 share in adults 18-49 and 24.82 million viewers overall, according to Nielsen in-home viewing estimates, down 16% and 13% respectively from last year. And though these are the top same-night scores for any entertainment broadcast this season, these were the show’s lowest numbers in six years.
The Grammys are hardly alone among declining kudocasts, though, as some of the air seems to have come out of the awards-season balloon after being inflated, in large part due to social media, for a few years.
Earlier in the 2014-15 season, adults 18-49 ratings were also lower for the “Cma Awards” on ABC (down 4%, 4.5 vs. 4.7), the “American Music Awards” on ABC (down 16%, 3.8 vs. 4.5) and the “Golden Globe Awards” on NBC (down 11%, 5.8 vs. »
- Rick Kissell
“Better Call Saul” lost half of its big premiere audience as it transitioned to its regular Monday timeslot last night — and AMC will probably be very happy.
The “Breaking Bad” prequel/spinoff averaged a 1.6 rating in adults 18-49 and 3.42 million viewers overall, according to Nielsen estimates. It was the No. 1 show on cable Monday in the 18-49 demo as well as adults 25-54 (1.6) and all key male demos.
Sunday’s debut, which aired after the highly rated midseason premiere of “The Walking Dead,” averaged a 3.4 rating in adults 18-49 and 6.88 million viewers overall. The demo haul is the largest on record for a cable series premiere, beating the previous record held by USA’s “The Dead Zone” in 2002.
Competitively in its 10 o’clock hour, “Saul” on Monday beat the 18-49 score of NBC’s “State of Affairs” (1.0), tied ABC’s “Castle” (1.6) and nearly caught CBS vet “NCIS: Los Angeles” (1.7) for the timeslot lead. »
- Rick Kissell
AMC’s “The Walking Dead” returned with monster — though not quite record-breaking — ratings on Sunday and also helped lead-out “Better Call Saul” to the best-ever cable premiere delivery in key demos.
According to Nielsen estimates, “Walking Dead” averaged an 8.0 rating in adults 18-49 (about 10.1 million) and 15.6 million viewers overall, the third best scores for the show to date behind only its season premieres in 2014 (8.65 demo rating, 17.29 million viewers overall) and 2013 (8.2 demo rating, 16.11 million viewers overall).
This marks the first time the zombie drama hasn’t set a series record in 18-49 with a season or midseason premiere: 2.7, 3.8, 4.2, 5.8, 6.1, 8.2, 8.6 and now 8.0.
Sunday’s midseason return of “Dead” is the top-rated regularly scheduled entertainment series telecast of 2015 in the demo (close behind only the special post-Super Bowl episode of NBC’s “The Blacklist”). It held up well to the Grammys, too, with the CBS music awards show beating it in 18-49 by a »
- Rick Kissell
"Better Call Saul," the new "Breaking Bad" spinoff series, had some serious shoes to fill following the end of that acclaimed drama. It turns out that AMC had nothing to worry about, as "Saul" debuted to almost universal critical acclaim, and now monster ratings, too.
"Saul" has already nabbed 6.9 million total viewers for its Sunday series premiere, and a whopping 4.4 million viewers in the coveted 18-49 demographic. That latter figure is a record-breaker for cable, marking the highest-rated cable series debut ever in that demo; it bested previous champ "The Dead Zone," which premiered to 4 million 18-49-year-old viewers in 2002.
And those numbers aren't even taking into consideration "Saul"'s eventual time-shifted viewership (DVR and on demand views) totals, which should be available later this week.
The two-night series premiere of "Better Call Saul" continues Monday night at 10 p.m. on AMC.
[via: The Hollywood Reporter, TVMoJoe] »
- Katie Roberts
From toilet-based scares to nasty encounters in the shower, here's a selection of 17 memorable moments of terror in the bathroom...
Nb: the following contains potential spoilers and scenes which may be considered Nsfw.
The scariest moments in horror are often the most intimate - this is why knives are a far nastier, button-pushing instrument of death than the gun. As the Joker famously put it in The Dark Knight, “You can savour all those little emotions...”
Intimacy may be the key to understanding why, in horror films, so many dreadful things tend to happen in bathrooms. The bathroom is often where we go to be by ourselves - either to answer the call of nature, brush our teeth, or simply relax in the bath after a hectic day at work. Equally, the water closet also sees us at our most vulnerable: naked, or at least with our trousers down, and »
12 items from 2015
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