20 items from 2009
I can imagine Robert Zemeckis -- whose botched motion-capture animated features "The Polar Express" and "A Christmas Carol" were full of rubbery, dead-eyed, freakish-looking human constructs -- watching James Cameron's "Avatar" with an expression on his face not unlike F. Murray Abraham's Salieri listening to his first Mozart composition in "Amadeus."
From a technical standpoint, "Avatar" is a game-changer, a paradigm shift, the greatest thing since sliced "2001." In the same way that "The Matrix" and its technological advances reverberated over the ensuing decade, so will "Avatar" act as a bellwether for the next wave of effects-heavy genre films.
I just wish it were a better movie. For all of Cameron's soaring accomplishments in creating realistic motion-capture characters and his deft handling of the new era of 3D, "Avatar" feels both familiar and overlong. You've traveled this road before, even if now you're doing it in a blinged-out luxury »
- Alonso Duralde
Celebrating the birthdays of the film-famous. If it's your birthday, we'll sing you a happy one in the comments.
1908 Joseph McCarthy, he saw only Red(s). He's been a villainous figure in movies ever since, whether seen, unseen or fictionalized. See: Guilty by Suspicion, The Way We Were, The Manchurian Candidate, Good Night, and Good Luck. and many more...
1919 Veronica Lake, femme fatale, purveyor of the peek-a-boo bang (her hair also being legend). Kim Basinger didn't even have to get "cut" to look like this goddess in La Confidential. She just had to sell those glorious blonde waves.
1951 Zhang Yimou, fine director, awesome goddess worshipper. Think of what he »
- NATHANIEL R
From working FX on SNL and Letterman to creating monsters for Dark Shadows, Andrew Clement has some tales to tell. Recently-wrapped on the reboot of A Nightmare On Elm Street (for which he redesigned Freddy Krueger), Jason Anders caught up with Clement for a candid conversation about his world of Creative Character Engineering.
Ja/Fangoria: So let's begin with your work as a make-up artist for NBC's Saturday Night Live; tell me about the work you did for the show, how you became involved, the memories you have being around the cast of actors, and which seasons you were involved in.
AC: I wish I had been involved in the first few seasons of SNL, it was such a fertile time for the show. Unfortunately, or fortunately, I’m not quite that old. As it is, I watched those shows in Jr. High and High School, and now I have the DVD’s. »
- email@example.com (Jason Anders)
Although relatively early in his career, David Blue has an impressive list of credits to his name. He had a recurring role on CBS’s Moonlight and ABC’s hit comedy Ugly Betty and has appeared in Veronica Mars and Scrubs. Also he has endeared himself to young viewers in The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, worked with Tracie Thoms (Cold Case, The Devil Wears Prada) on the independent production This Can’t Be My Life and has made numerous appearance on the stage.
It is easy to see why he has won over audiences and producers with his ebullient personality and perpetual smile. Both of these traits were in evidence when he participated in a recent Q&A session to discuss his latest – and potentially most popular – role as mathematics master and fish-out-of-water Eli Wallace on Syfy’s Sgu: Stargate Universe. Sgu premiered last Friday on Syfy (and »
If they could make a great (but admittedly mostly fictional) movie about Mozart, as Milos Forman did with the brilliant Amadeus, then I guess they can make a movie about another one- of-a-kind performer like Richard Pryor. That's the plan, and somehow it involves Marlon Wayans.
Now, Pryor, if you're younger than, say, 30, is just about everything you need to know about contemporary stand-up comedy. He's kind of the Beatles of that art form, incorporating everything that came before him, turning it into something completely new, and inspiring everything that came after him as well as his contemporaries. So his life story is certainly worthy fodder for a bio-pic, so I have no problem with that.
Bill Condon, who directed Dreamgirls, has a script, which previously had Eddie Murphy attached as his mentor. The screenplay wound up at Sony and Happy Madison, but Murphy did not. Why? Probably because Paramount »
- Colin Boyd
In Hollywood, it is celebrity which makes headlines, but what lasts longest in this industry is respect The key to respect is something nobody on Earth has the time or experience to analyze, but it is an easy thing to gauge: if you were at AMPAS’s tribute to legendary makeup artist Dick Smith, you saw respect in the eyes of the likes of Rick Baker, Linda Blair, and Hal Holbrook. This salute drew the newsworthy likes of J.J. Abrams and John Landis, but this was merely the audience. The great make-up artist Rick Baker moderated panels that included actor Linda Blair, recent Oscar-winner Greg Cannom, and a host of others who came to express their gratitude for this titan of make-up. You also saw a love for the art of makeup, and, indeed, love for the mastery of any art form, whether it be cinematic or otherwise. And you »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Cameron Koller)
The work of Fangoria Hall Of Famer Dick Smith has been covered in the pages of Fango throughout the past 30 years (including a cover story on his work for The Hunger, pictured left on Fangoria #26), and on June 17th, Fango Fiends and Film Fans alike can attend a special celebration of the man and his work when The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences presents A Tribute to Dick Smith: The Godfather of Special Makeup Effects.
Our good friend Pam Koller sent over the full details on this star-studded presentation, which will feature an appearance by Dick Smith himself!
Hosted By Six-time Oscar® Winner For Makeup, Rick Baker
Robert De Niro’s Mohawk in “Taxi Driver,” Linda Blair’s satanic transformation in “The Exorcist,” Marlon Brando’s jowls in “The Godfather” and F. Murray Abraham’s deterioration in “Amadeus” all have one artistic hand in common, that of the makeup effects master Dick Smith. »
- email@example.com (James Zahn)
At today's World Copyright Summit, director Milos Forman (One Flew Over The Cukoo's Nest, Amadeus) blasted individuals who pirate movies via the web, saying they aren't engaging in democratic or capitalistic enterprise. What they're "really doing is promoting a communist ideology," he said. Forman was the keynote speaker at the summit, which (as the name implies) focuses on protecting creators' rights. Piracy was a huge topic at the event, and Forman blasted the ethos behind it. "Pirates also think everything on the Internet should be free," he said. "But that is like going into a department store or supermarket, and just because you got a shopping basket for free, everything in the basket should be free, too." Ok, that's boilerplate (and quite legit) anti-piracy screed. It's the Communism comment (and the opportunity it affords to mention some of Forman's rarely discussed older movies) that is interesting. After his breakthrough film »
- Russ Fischer
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced the June events for Los Angeles. For tickets and more info visit www.oscars.org
2008-2009 Contemporary Documentaries
Wednesday, June 3, at 7 p.m. at the Linwood Dunn TheaterThe Academy’s free 2008-2009 Contemporary Documentary series closes with screenings of “Salim Baba,” “Please Vote for Me” and “My Kid Could Paint That.”
Wednesday evenings, through June 3, at 7 p.m. Doors open at 6 p.m.
Linwood Dunn Theater
1313 Vine Street
Hollywood, CA 90028
All seating is unreserved.
Admission is free.
“Gunga Din” (1939) – How Did They Do That?
Friday, June 12, at 7:30 p.m. at the Samuel Goldwyn TheaterOscar winners Ben Burtt and Craig Barron discuss the “1939 state-of-the-art” sound and visual effects of “Gunga Din,” followed by a screening of the classic George Stevens’ adventure film.
Samuel Goldwyn Theater
8949 Wilshire Boulevard
Beverly Hills, CA 90211
Doors at 6:30 p.m.
All seating is unreserved. »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Cinema Retro)
Note: This year's Imats Sunday session will open later, at 10 a.m. on Sunday, June 21. Special make-up effects artist Greg Cannom and global talent agent Timothy Priano will be keynote speakers at the 2009 International Make-Up Artist Trade Show, which also hosts a fashion show and Star Trek panel. And in honor of Father.s Day, Imats is giving away a TV and Blu-ray Player and offering free admission for all dads. Imats will be held June 20-21 at the Pasadena Convention Center in Los Angeles and is open to the public.Other guest speakers include Oscar®-winning make-up artist Dick Smith, whose film credits include Amadeus, The Godfather, The Exorcist and Taxi Driver; artists including Joel Harlow and Barney Burman discussing their work on the new Star Trek film; and Nolan Robert, the winner of last season.s make-up reality show Blush: The Search for the Next Great Makeup Artist. »
Portraying true genius, or even talent, is incredibly difficult in narrative filmmaking for the simple reason that, for the most part, the majority of actors simply do not possess the requisite ability to fulfil the task. That’s not to say they don’t have their own abilities as actors and performers, but it is rare, if not impossible, for an actor to truly understand the mind of a true genius, for the latter is entirely unique. In the case of true greats, and in the case of Amadeus — Milos Forman's 1984 biopic about the life of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart — the actor (in this case Tom Hulce) obviously lacks the knowledge to faithfully recreate the subject, and must rely largely on interpretation of what has been written.
The directors and writers involved too, no matter their own skills, can often struggle to provide any real insight into the creative soul of their subject. »
When 39-year-old Louis Prima met 16-year-old Keely Smith in 1949 in a Las Vegas nightclub, it led to a passionate but ill-fated marriage and a long-lasting singing partnership. Their work influenced the evolution of pop musical styles -- jazz, swing, big band -- of the 1950s and beyond. Some say their collaboration marked the birth of the lounge-act craze.Flash forward to 2006 and another nightspot where another prodigious partnership emerged from a chance meeting. Actor-writer Vanessa Claire Smith, a member of L.A.'s Sacred Fools Theater Company, was preparing to move back to her home state of Louisiana following career disappointments. Shortly before her departure, she was waitressing at M Bar in Hollywood when actor Jake Broder performed his solo show Lord Buckley in Los Angeles. Smith had all but given up on her dream of playing Keely Smith in her long-planned bio-musical about the duo, but that night she »
- Les Spindle
Looks like the only thing original about Salman Khan is his raw rage and bad boy antics!
The actor who has acted in a series of desi dud remakes of Hollywood films like ‘God Tussi Great Ho’ which was a rip off from ‘Bruce Almighty’, will now be seen in remake of yet another Hollywood classic.
The actor’s forthcoming film ‘London Dreams’, that has been kept under wraps for long with neither the actors nor the directors willing to divulge about the film, is touted to be the remake of Hollywood flick ‘Amadeus’.
Grapevine has it that the film that stars Salman, Ajay and Asin in lead roles in an-out-an- out copy of ‘Amadeus’. Based on the lives of 2 musicians, Wolfang Amadeus Mozart and Antonio Salieri, the Hollywood hit is set against the 18th century.
What’s interesting is Salman plays the role of music maestro Mozart while Ajay essays the role of Salieri. »
"I've never played the part of someone so frantic before," says Cynthia Nixon of why she was drawn to the character Mama in Lisa Loomer's Distracted, now playing Off-Broadway in a Roundabout Theatre Company production. "And parts I've done on stage recently are dramas. It was nice to get back to doing a comedy. It's a comedy with teeth."Distracted is at once satire and, for many overextended families, grim reality. Nixon plays the mother of a child who suffers from attention deficit disorder. He's a source of endless concern for his parents, who shuttle him from doctor to psychologist to educator to holistic healer in search of answers. Throughout the play, actors break the fourth wall to comment on the action.The multiple-award-winning Nixon, who played steadfast attorney Miranda Hobbes on Sex and the City and in last summer's hit film version, has been a working actor since childhood, »
- Simi Horwitz
I would have sworn I owned the DVD special edition copy of the Amadeus director's cut, but after quickly rummaging through my shelves and DVD binders I couldn't find it. Sure, it may be trapped inside one of the many bags of DVDs in my storage, but I wasn't interested enough to continue the search. I actually thought I had even reviewed it before, but a search around the site proved that wasn't the case either. So, I feel I am starting anew and have Warner's beautiful Blu-ray presentation to do so. Thinking back I am not entirely sure I have ever seen the theatrical cut of Amadeus, at least not to the point I remember it or can watch the director's cut and tell you what 20 minutes are new. That is, outside of the comments made by director Milos Forman and screenwriter Peter Shaffer as they do discuss some »
- Brad Brevet
The 80’s were a miserable decade for Oscar winners, easily some of the worst of all time. Which makes Amadeus one of the better films to win in that desolate cinematic time. Not that I’m a fan of it, no, not at all, but it’s engaging because of the music, the look and the performances, but as a whole, it doesn’t deserve the pomp and circumstance. F. Murray Abraham won an academy award for his performance as Salieri, and he begins the film as an old man who’s slashed his own throat. Taken to a hospital, and given a priest to ask for benediction, he begins by saying how famous he was at the time. How the Emperor loved him. How he was saluted and remembered. He then plays a couple of his tunes to which the young priest can’t identify. Then he plays another »
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What do you get when you combine the life story of one of the greatest classical composers, two terrific actors, and a musical score and soundtrack that rivals any of the past, present, or future? You get Amadeus. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, the musical prodigy himself is brought to life by the masterful acting of Tom Hulce and featured in the flashback retelling of Antonio Salieri's confessions in a mad house. As a winner of 8 Academy Awards (including Best Picture) Amadeus crosses that border and achieves true greatness. Seeing it remastered on Blu-ray is simply a sight to behold.
The story joins us after the great composer's death with Salieri (F. Murray Abraham) confessing to the supposed murder of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. To give the priest further insight into all that transpired he regales us with the story through the eyes of the once popular musician. »
- Lex Walker
Chicago – A Best Picture winner that looks nowhere near as old as many of the films that came out a quarter-century ago with it, a recent masterpiece from David Cronenberg that probably should have been more recognized by Oscar, and a little film that was never on the Academy’s radar but has developed an insanely huge and loyal cult following.
Last week, Warner Brothers released a wonderful new edition of Milos Forman’s “Amadeus,” New Line brought “A History of Violence” out of the catalog and gave it the HD treatment, and Fox delivered “Boondock Saints” to the legions of cult fans who adore it.
Honestly, we often include titles in the Blu-Ray Round Up that we can’t wholeheartedly get behind as recommended purchase items. All three of this week’s title would make great additions to anyone’s collection. Don’t call it a Round Up. Call it a shopping list. »
- email@example.com (Adam Fendelman)
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's musician sister is the subject of a forthcoming biopic - 25 years after her more famous sibling was immortalised on the big screen.Nannerl - the nickname of Maria Anna Mozart - will tell the true tale of a talented 18th century violinist, and friend of the future French King Louis XVI, who was forced to give up music by her controlling father.
The movie will have a budget of $4.5 million (£3 million) and will begin shooting in October, directed by Rene Feret.
Actor and director Simon Callow was one of many artists who performed at a memorial concert for London-based musician Peter Stevens last night. The Amadeus star, who was Stevens's godfather, read a short piece of satire that he dedicated to Stevens's love of language, declaring that he was "no mean wordsmith himself". He was joined by a number of other artists, including Mexico Indigo, Js Rafaeli, Jeremy Berns, The Klouds (more) »
- By Mayer Nissim
20 items from 2009
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