20 items from 2015
Memorial Day weekend is supposed to be synonymous with quality. It developed that reputation in the 80s by nabbing films such as Star Wars, Return of the Jedi, Rocky III, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, but overall it’s actually a pretty awful weekend when it comes to quality films. For every Themla and Louise there’s a Hudson Hawk, Crocodile Dundee II, and Super Mario Bros. Nevertheless, studios bank on the long weekend to boost box office on blockbusters, and it’s been that way for decades. With that in mind, I’ve gone over the last 10 years and ranked the weekend’s highest grossing movie from worst to best. I’d say to prepare for some painful memories if most of these flicks weren’t so forgettable. [All box office data via Box Office Mojo]
The post Bad Weekend: The Last 10 Memorial Day Movies, Ranked appeared first on Collider. »
- Matt Goldberg
"These are the modern masters of the art and science of special effects." Now this is good. Earlier in the week we featured the image from Wired's story about the "Magic" of Ilm, or Industrial Light & Magic, and their extensive history as a special effects/visual effects house. Well, to follow up that fantastic look back, our friends at SlashFilm have found a vintage video from 1984 looking inside Ilm and it's a must watch. It's an episode of Nova, that long-running documentary television show, and it's all about "The Magic of Special Effects". Up to this point, it really was all about practical special effects and it's kind of amazing and inspiring to look back at how they pulled off this cinema magic back then. They profile films like Explorers, Return of the Jedi and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. You just need to watch this! Thanks again »
- Alex Billington
Steven Spielberg and daughter Destry Spielberg on the Oscars' Red Carpet Steven Spielberg and daughter Destry Steven Spielberg and daughter Destry Spielberg arrive at the 83rd Academy Awards, held on Feb. 27 at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood. Spielberg has taken home two Best Director Oscars: Schindler's List (1993) and Saving Private Ryan (1998). Schindler's List also won Best Picture, but Saving Private Ryan lost to John Madden's Miramax-distributed Shakespeare in Love. There was quite a bit of animosity at the time, as some felt that Miramax, owned by brothers Bob and Harvey Weinstein, overdid its Oscar campaigning – while still managing to sway enough Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences members to vote for its film. Somewhat ironically, at the 2011 Academy Awards ceremony Steven Spielberg presented the Best Picture Award to The King's Speech. Toplining Colin Firth, Helena Bonham Carter, Geoffrey Rush, Guy Pearce, and Claire Bloom, this British production was »
- D. Zhea
George Lucas didn't just create the "Star Wars" universe. The filmmaker, who turns 71 on May 14, pretty much created the cinematic universe we live in now, the ones whose cornerstones include the Thx sound system at your multiplex, the Pixar movies that have dominated animation for the past 20 years, and the Industrial Light & Magic special-effects house, whose aesthetic has ruled the Hollywood blockbuster for nearly four decades. He's the pioneer of the effects-driven action spectacle and the conversion from celluloid to digital, the two trends that, for better and worse, have defined Hollywood's output for nearly 20 years.
As ubiquitous as Lucas and his creations loom in our cinematic dreamscapes, there's still a lot that most people don't know about him, from how he got his start to the famous folks who mentored him or were mentored by him, from the size of his fortune to what he plans to do now »
- Gary Susman
James argues that instant dread may not be the best initial reaction to a sequel announcement...
There's a new Pitch Perfect movie coming out next week. I knew that they were making Pitch Perfect 2 but I didn't realise it was coming around for general release so soon. I became aware when I saw a poster for the film in the lobby of my local multiplex last week.
My first thought was "Oh, Pitch Perfect 2 is coming out". My second thought, sadly, was "Hurm. Do we really need a Pitch Perfect sequel?" (This is the crucial thought so remember this). My third thought was "Ah, it's coming out on the same week as Mad Max: Fury Road." I then had fantastical visions of Max singing a capella mash-ups in the haze of the post-apocalyptic outback, bustin' rhymes and bustin' feral thug-brains in perfect harmony. There's your sequel pitch - 'Mad Max: The Rockatansky Rock-Off'. »
Walt Disney Pictures and Universal Studios released their new super hero/action film, "Avengers 2: Age Of Ultron" into theaters today, May 1st, and all the top,major critics have submitted their reviews. It turns out that it resonated quite well with most of them, getting an overall 67 score out of a possible 100 at the Metacritic.com site. The film stars: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Samuel L. Jackson, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, James Spader, Cobie Smulders, Thomas Kretschmann, and Paul Bettany. We've posted blurbs from a couple of the critics,below. Richard Roeper over at the Chicago Sun-Times, gave it a nice 88 grade. He stated: "Avengers: Age of Ultron is a sometimes daffy, occasionally baffling, surprisingly touching and even romantic adventure with one kinetic thrill after another. It earns a place of high ranking in the Marvel Universe." Peter Travers at Rolling Stone, »
- Andre Braddox
Three years after saving New York from an alien apocalypse, Marvel’s superhero all-stars once again find the weight of the world — or, at least, an airborne chunk of Eastern Europe — thrust upon their mighty shoulders in “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” a super-sized spandex soap opera that’s heavy on catastrophic action but surprisingly light on its feet, and rich in the human-scale emotion that can cut even a raging Hulk down to size. Having gotten over the hump of assembling his six main characters in 2012’s “The Avengers,” returning writer-director Joss Whedon brings a looser, more inventive and stylish touch to this skillful follow-up, which finds our now S.H.I.E.L.D.-less defenders facing off against a man-made enemy more dangerous than any alien life form. Jump-starting the summer movie season on May 1, “Age” may well cool its heels in theaters until the dog days of August, »
- Scott Foundas
Countryfile topped the ratings on Sunday (April 19), according to overnight data.
On BBC Two, coverage of World Championship Snooker appealed to 810k (4.1%) at 7pm. Coast Australia interested 970k (4.4%) at 8.15pm, while Hunters of the South Seas gathered 1.45m (6.5%) at 9pm.
ITV's Celebrity Squares was seen by 2.04m (10.2%) at 7.15pm (104k/0.5% on +1), while a feature-length episode of Vera entertained 4.41m (19.9%) at 8pm (360k/1.9%).
Over on Channel 4, Ice Age: Continental Drift brought in 1.57m (8.3%) at 6.45pm (296k/1.4%), while Philip Glenister's For the Love of Cars averaged 1.48m (6.7%) at 8pm (271k/1.2%). Indian Summers reached its climax with 830k (4.1%) at 9pm (283k/2.1%).
Ace Ventura: Pet Detective and Stolen were Channel 5's Sunday evening film selections, with the former bringing in 771k (3.6%) at 7.30pm and the latter entertaining 805k (4.2%) at 9pm. »
Here are a bunch of little bites to satisfy your hunger for movie culture: Ahead of the new Netflix series, Honest Trailers pummels the 2003 Daredevil starring Ben Affleck: An artist depicts The Avengers as the Eight Immortals from Chinese mythology in the illustration below (via Neatorama): This supercut highlighting the best of Pixar movies has all the feels, and not just because it includes Inside Out clips (via Design Taxi): Wouldn't you love to read this prop book by Jeff Goldblum's Jurassic Park character, which is the latest viral marketing bite for Jurassic World (via Slashfilm)? Special effects supervisor George Gibbs tells the story of the bridge scene from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom in this...
- Christopher Campbell
The downfall that faced Tobe Hooper's creative relationship with The Cannon Group in the eighties wasn't much different than the fate of George A. Romero's collaboration with Orion Pictures. After leaving an iconic legacy for horror in the previous decade, Hooper had a reputation to live up to when he made a three picture deal with Golan and Globus that resulted in the ambitious, but entertaining failure Lifeforce, the misunderstood parody The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, and the family friendly remake of Invaders From Mars that helped sink Cannon out of Hollywood forever.
When considering the talent involved in this production that included screenwriting duties from Dan O' Bannon and special effects from legends like Stan Winston (who was simultaneously working on James Cameron's Aliens), John Dykstra (Star Wars) and Alec Gillis, this quite frankly should have been an exhilarating fantasy spectacle at the very least. Ironically, »
- Sean McClannahan
Read More: Watch: 'Academy Originals' Goes Behind-the-Scenes of The Oscars Ever wonder what it took to film that bridge explosion scene in "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom"? The latest video from "Academy Originals" wants to answer all your pressing questions. Special effects supervisor George Gibbs, who has worked on such films films as "Temple of Doom," "Alien 3" and "Doom," gives a guided, animated tour through the process and obstacles of filming the scene. Whether it was cloudy weather, a wave of onlookers or an abundance of cameras, nothing was going to stop director Steven Spielberg and Gibbs from completing the stunt. In the end, the scene went as smooth as it could have. "They were all congratulating me. I think they reason they were all pleased is that I shot it before lunch," joked Gibbs. Watch the full video above. Read More: Watch: 'Academy Originals' Teases 'Hollywood Costume' at Academy. »
- Travis Clark
Even before his recent crash-landing of his vintage World War II single-engine plane in Venice, Calif., Harrison Ford was preaching the merits of safety and precaution when flying.
Video: Harrison Ford Hospitalized After Crashing Plane
Ford even starred in two films involving miraculous escapes from plane crashes. In Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom he uses an inflatable life raft to escape from a plane that is set to crash into a mountain range. In the romantic drama Six Days Seven Nights, the plane Ford is piloting crashes onto a remote island, leaving him and his passengers stranded.
In 1999, Et talked to Ford about being cautious while flying. The star said, "You just forewarn yourself against the potential, which is always »
Harrison Ford injured in plane accident (image: Harrison Ford as Colonel Graff in 'Ender's Game') Star Wars and Raiders of the Lost Ark actor Harrison Ford was supposed to be in critical condition – later reports have upgraded that to "fair" or "stable" condition – following an accident with a small airplane on Los Angeles' Westside. Earlier this afternoon (March 5, 2015), a vintage, one-engine two-seater crash landed at the Penmar Golf Course, located in the Los Angeles suburb of Venice, not far from the Pacific Ocean and just west of Santa Monica Airport. Its pilot, 72-year-old Harrison Ford, was found "seriously" injured. He was alone on the plane. There were no injuries on the ground. As explained in the Los Angeles Times, "fire officials would not identify the victim of the crash but said he was conscious and breathing when paramedics arrived." Ford was later transported to an unidentified hospital. Eleven »
- Zac Gille
There's still more rumour than fact when it comes to the next Indiana Jones film, but those rumours are certainly getting more interesting. The one thing we know for certain is that Disney went to the trouble of acquiring the Indy rights it didn't get when it bought Lucasfilm, snapping them up in a deal with Paramount Pictures a year or so back. So it's presumably keen to make new Indiana Jones films.
Whilst Harrison Ford has remained interested in reprising the role for Indiana Jones 5 though, age is not really on his side there, particularly as there have been precious few signs of the new film coming together (Ford is 73 this year). Thus, while it was a rumour seemingly out of nowhere, the revelation that Chris Pratt was being »
It’s come to my attention as of late that I tend to write mostly negative reviews. Despite the general consensus, I don’t find much in writing bad things about comics. I’d prefer to read good books over bad ones any day. It’s just that I read more things from DC Comics than other publishing companies and that’s come back to bit me. Usually there’s at least one book in the New 52 that I think keeps the entire line not deserving of complete condemnation, but now that Earth 2 has been turned into drek, that’s changed. Pretty much nothing from DC interests me anymore, save for Jeff Parker’s run on Aquaman for being one of the few books that has a sense of fun to it. But right now, I want to take a break from bad mouthing comics. I honestly want to like titles. »
- Grant Raycroft
Well, if a Fantastic Four trailer didn't set the internet alight today (although it clearly did), this should ice the proverbial cake. Disney is apparently looking to bring back the Indiana Jones franchise, and it's eyeing up Chris Pratt to be its leading man.
We'll give you a minute, whether you like that news or not.
Pratt, who looks pretty Indiana Jones-ish in the Jurassic World publicity shots to date (see above), is a man in demand, thanks to the huge success of The Lego Movie and Guardians Of The Galaxy this year. And Deadline is now reporting that Disney is looking to him as "the swashbuckling archaeologist they hope to build the new franchise around".
Deadline adds that he'd be taking on "the »
I spent all week trying to scheme for some angle to not have to see Mortdecai. Maybe this would be a good week to go see a couple Oscar contenders that we missed, maybe our readers would rather hear about The Boy Next Door and see if there’s any chance of a J. Lo comeback, anything to keep me from having to write about a movie that looked to be Johnny Depp doing his best to murder his career on the same hill Mike Meyers went to for The Love Guru. Finally, late on Friday, I came up with a counterpitch that stuck: I should go see Strange Magic because it’s a George Lucas film (or at least a George Lucas story credit) and ComicMix readers probably have a strong opinion one way or the other on the man who launched and arguably sank two of the biggest geek franchises of all time. »
- Arthur Tebbel
Having combed Roget’s Thesaurus in vain for a suitable adjective to describe the Johnny Depp comedy Mortdecai, I’m forced to say it’s just ... bad. The direction by David Koepp is bad, the screenplay by Eric Aronson very bad — though if Aronson were a bubbly American 15-year-old attempting a British caper-comedy after thrilling to a lot of old movies (which is how the script plays), I’d tell him it wasn’t too bad because puberty is difficult enough. Depp is very, very bad. Watching his first scene, a bad echo of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, I thought he’d finally moved from emulating late (insane) Brando to late, slumming Peter Sellers and would spend the rest of movie swapping out wigs and accents. It quickly became clear that his bad, gap-toothed Terry-Thomas imitation (with extra eyebrow action) would be all she wrote. The badness »
- David Edelstein
The ad campaign for "Mortdecai," the new Johnny Depp comic caper film, is so befuddling, both opaque and overbearing, that a recent Vulture article spent several hundred words trying to decode what, exactly, the movie was and why the powers that be behind said movie were content with selling the project based on large photos of the very handsome cast (also included: Gwyneth Paltrow, Olivia Munn, Ewan McGregor) sporting cartoonish mustaches. This is a shame, because the movie is an undeniably charming, frothy affair, a zippy, inventive, frequently funny international romp that recalls both the "Pink Panther" and "Austin Powers" franchises, while somehow being considerably stranger than either.
Depp plays the title character, a kind of bone-headed aristocratic art dealer who trades in stolen antiquities. At the beginning of the movie, he's trying to screw over some Chinese gangsters, since he's in deep debt with the British government and his »
- Drew Taylor
The American Film Institute is probably best known for those lists of the 100 Greatest Movies of All Time (y'know... if it's an American production in some way). Well, every year they hold their own awards, because every group of people has to have awards. They recognize the ten best films (for this year, it's eleven due to a tie) and the ten best television programs of the year. There are not winners in these categories, but each one gets celebrated. On that front, I kind of like the AFI approach to awards. Along with the awards, AFI has put together this four and a half minute montage chronicling the last 120 years of film. Now, it would be ridiculous to cover every single year. Instead, they start with 1894's Strong Man and jump every ten years, showcasing films like Rear Window, The Godfather: Part II, Pulp Fiction, and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind »
- Mike Shutt
20 items from 2015
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