13 items from 2017
The great filmmakers who came to prominence in the 1970s — and Jonathan Demme, who died Wednesday, was one of them — had stylistic traits that made them iconically identifiable. Robert Altman had his multi-character hubbub, Martin Scorsese had his volcanic rock ‘n’ roll virtuosity, and Francis Ford Coppola had his lavishly scaled operatic grandeur. But Demme, vivid and stirring as his filmmaking voice was, had no such obvious signature. You could almost say that he was defined by his lack of signature.
What defined a Demme film was the open-eyed flow of its humanity, the way his camera drank in everyone on screen — it didn’t matter whether the character was a goofy truck driver, a derelict billionaire, the troubled wife of a mobster, a new wave rock ‘n’ roller, or a serial killer — and took the full measure of their life and spirit. For Demme, the magic of movies resided »
- Owen Gleiberman
Chuck Barris, one of the most influential figures in American television history, died Tuesday at the age of 87.
Harris, whose career involved songwriting, working in ABC’s standards and practices department and — according to him — working for the CIA, was the creator of The Dating Game and The Newlywed Game, both hugely important watersheds in the annals of television history.
Barris would then go on to create and host The Gong Show, which is best remembered for being one of the first barrels of unadulterated insanity to air on network television. Basically a variety competition “talent” show, Gong Show was »
- Alex Heigl
Celebrating 30 years worth of fanaticism and community in the cult of Ashley ‘Ash’ Williams.
Thanks to our Star Trekian utopia of VOD insta-satisfaction (“Number One, slap The Greasy Strangler on the view screen!”), it’s becoming difficult to remember the ruthless savagery of that bygone VHS hunt. I spent far too many days roaming my hometown and neighboring cities chasing down lesser-known Kurosawas, the Critters sequels, and the seemingly always elusive pre-Mad Max apocalyptic mindfuck, A Boy and His Dog. Too often I had to settle for less, and rewatch Police Academy 4 instead of the highbrow hilarity of Zapped! cuz some other Scott Baio devotee had the local Power Video on stakeout. If your tastes in cinema aligned with the Blockbuster new release guarantee then you were golden, but us degenerates with a predilection for Roger Corman, and movies made before our births were doomed to the endless quest. Which, of »
- Brad Gullickson
Barris died of natural causes at his home in Palisades, New York, his longtime publicist told The Associated Press.
Dubbed the "King of Schlock," Barris' long career in show business began behind the scenes, first on programs like American Bandstand and then as a songwriter thanks to Freddy Cannon's "Palisades Park." The song peaked at Number »
If you’re a nostalgia fetishist of a certain persuasion, the news couldn’t come any more gift-wrapped: Steve Guttenberg will soon be sharing a screen with The Rock. I mean, imagine. One one hand, there’s the star of some of the most beloved films of the 1980s; a man who all but dropped off the map after 3 Men and a Little Lady. On the other, the only living actor capable of making the sort of big dumb one-man-army action flicks that the 80s seemingly churned out on a weekly basis. Any way you look at it, it’s a match made in heaven.
Related: What The Rock is cooking: Dwayne Johnson's next 26 films decoded
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- Stuart Heritage
RelatedChicago Med Scoop: Westworld ‘Patriarch’ Cast as Papa Halstead
She’ll play Det. Hailey Upton, a member of the robbery homicide unit. “Always clocking in overtime, she got her detective shield meritoriously on the heels of an undercover assignment that is still shrouded in secrecy,” according to the official character description, “and as a result has had to prove herself to those who thought she didn’t earn the detective promotion.” She »
Steve Guttenberg (Police Academy) is set for a recurring role opposite Dwayne Johnson on the upcoming third season of HBO comedy series Ballers. Guttenberg will play Wayne Hastings Jr, a Las Vegas billionaire, real estate mogul and casino magnate. Looking at the whirlwind lifestyles and real-life problems of former and current football players, Ballers stars Johnson as ex-superstar Spencer Strasmore, who has reinvented himself as a financial manager for today's players in… »
Critics and audiences alike loved Zootopia, the story about a little rabbit who planned to make it in the big city as a cop no matter what, and the movie's Oscar win certainly helped prove the movie's billion-dollar worldwide box office and 98% Fresh rating were right. As a new grad of the Zootopia Police Academy assigned to menial meter-maid duty, Officer Judy Hopps (voiced by Ginnifer Goodwin) gets only ridicule and prejudice from everyone from her huge, rowdy coworkers (rhinos, wolves...
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Rob Leane Feb 14, 2017
Among geeky film fans, Kevin Smith needs no introduction. He’s brought us such treats as Clerks, Mallrats, Chasing Amy and Dogma, and recently he’s had a massive resurgence as a giant in the nerdy podcast world.
So far, two movies have come out of Smith’s podcasting: first was Tusk, branching out from a SModcast episode about a Gumtree advert seeking someone willing to dress up as a walrus in exchange for lodgings. Justin Long starred in that one, with Smith’s daughter Harley Quinn Smith featuring in the supporting cast alongside her best friend Lily Rose Depp and her famous father Johnny Depp.
Simon Brew Feb 3, 2017
When a movie hits big out of the blue, it’s unwritten Hollywood law that the imitators aren’t too far behind. That’s why, after American Pie brought Porky’s-esque sex-tinged (late) teen comedies back to prominence in 1999, the box office was flooded with similar fare for years after. The Blair Witch Project, meanwhile, hit out of nowhere, and found footage horror is only now dying away. The late Wes Craven, meanwhile, wryly noted just how quickly Hollywood had cashed in on the success of 1996’s Scream, when spoof Scary Movie popped out the year after.
Going back to 1992, though, and it was the turn of the erotic thriller to enjoy its resurgence. »
After being killed off, Diesel’s lumbering lunkhead Xander Cage returns for another helping of goofy action that’s rooted in the absurd 1990s mode
Vin Diesel’s plump-necked, vest-wearing action hombre Xander “XXX” Cage has come lumbering back onto the big screen, delivering sleepy zingers in that growly laryngeal voice, for the first time since 2002. Sadly, it’s the least anticipated franchise renewal imaginable. Only the release of a new Police Academy film could cause less excitement. But Vin, great ridiculous beefcake lunk that he is, does provide us with some fun.
Diesel became the action genre’s lost hero after the first XXX film, in which he played the skateboarding XXX-treme sports guy recruited by Samuel L Jackson to fight for justice. Then he got killed off for the 2005 sequel when Diesel’s fee demands got reportedly XXX-cessive and he was ignominiously replaced by Ice Cube. From then on, »
- Peter Bradshaw
1966 / Color / 2:35 widescreen / 79 min. / Il lago di Satana, La sorella di Satana, The She-Beast / Street Date January 17, 2017 / 29.95
Cinematography: Gioacchino Gengarelli
Film Editor: Nira Omri
Original Music: Paul Ferris
Written and Directed by Michael Reeves
It’s back into the genre argument pits with the interesting director Michael Reeves. Reeves has persisted as a cult figure far longer than most directors with only three credited feature films. The movies are uneven but promising, and certainly the artistic equal (or better) than most of the work being turned out at the time by American-International and the majority of the Euro-horror crowd. The second half of the 1960s saw a general depression in the horror field, with Hammer losing touch with its audience and continental fare turning to sex content to generate interest. »
- Glenn Erickson
Well, 2017 is off to a quiet start, at least on the home entertainment side of things, as horror and sci-fi lovers out there only have eight Blu-ray and DVD titles to look forward to this week. Lionsgate is releasing Adam Wingard’s Blair Witch on multiple formats this Tuesday, and for those of you who enjoy monster movies (and Steve Guttenberg), Anchor Bay is unleashing 2 Lava 2 Lantula on DVD, too.
Other releases for January 3rd include The Girl, The Shelter, Zombie Massacre 2, American Beast, Fire Twister, and Ouija 3 (which has nothing to do with the hugely popular film series from Universal Studios and Blumhouse).
2 Lava 2 Lantula (Anchor Bay Entertainment, DVD)
Steve Guttenberg is back as arrogant action star Colton West, slayer of lava-spewing spiders and savior of Los Angeles. But when Colton's stepdaughter is trapped in Miami by a bigger, meaner wave of lavalantulas, Colton heads to Spring Break with »
- Heather Wixson
13 items from 2017
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