9 items from 2015
They often say those who can, do, and those who can’t, teach. In the blogosphere its often those who can make movies do, and those who can’t rip them to pieces online in reviews. So what happens when a blogger turns filmmaker and produces a movie? The Shelter. That’s what.
Written and directed by Arrow in the Head blogger John Fallon and starring Michael Paré (The Philadelphia Experiment, Streets of Fire), The Shelter tells the story of Thomas, a homeless man grieving his late wife. Ruined and desperate, he comes across a vast house with the lights on and an inviting open front door. But the next morning, the house will not let him leave. Destiny has brought Thomas to this place and now he must survive a very personal ordeal. »
- Phil Wheat
Netflix’s usage metrics remain shrouded in mystery, but one needn’t be a genius to see what attracted the streaming service to “Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp,” an improbable and wholly silly prequel to a 2001 movie most notable for all the people in it who went on to bigger and better things. Victory here was delivered before production began just based on who the producers got to return or, impressively, join in the festivities, to the point where it’s almost easier to rattle off who isn’t involved than provide a comprehensive list of who is.
In terms of garnering attention, pretty much everything after that is sheer gravy. The conceit of doing a “prequel” 14 years later to a production that already featured adults playing teenagers is, of course, the big joke. But director David Wain and writer-star Michael Showalter go one better by actually »
- Brian Lowry
Songs On Screen: All week HitFix will be featuring tributes by writers to their favorite musical moments from TV and film. Check out all the entries in the series here. When we talk about underrated directors, it's hard not to mention Walter Hill. Hill is an underrated director, the way Michael Ritchie and Peter Yates were underrated directors, the way Roger Donaldson, Joe Dante, and Fred Schepisi are underrated directors. They’re all underrated because it’s only when you look at their filmographies that the numbers start to total up and you realize, boy, he directed a lot of really good movies. In Hill’s case, that list includes "The Warriors," "48 Hours," "The Long Riders," "Southern Comfort,: "Hard Times," "Trespass," and "Wild Bill." Some great. Some solid. (My personal favorite of those is Hard Times, a pulpy film about bare-knuckle boxers in the Great Depression.) There were clunkers »
- Michael Oates Palmer
The Hateful Eight isn’t the only Kurt Russell Western on the horizon, as the Tombstone star is also set for a return to the genre – albeit with a horror twist – in first-time director S. Craig Zahler’s Bone Tomahawk, and you can check out the first poster here…
After an outlaw unknowingly leads a band of cannibalistic Troglodytes into the peaceful western town of Bright Hope, the monsters kidnap several settlers, including the wife of a local rancher. Despite his injured leg the rancher joins a small rescue party with the sheriff, his aging deputy and a strong-willed gunslinger. What follows is a journey into hell on earth as the posse comes to realise it is up against a foe whose savagery knows no bounds. The film takes place in the mid 1800’s around the border of what is now Texas and New Mexico.
Bone Tomahawk sees Russell joined »
- Gary Collinson
In the mid-1980s, actor and comedian Robert Townsend had scored supporting roles in films like A Soldier’s Story and Streets of Fire, but was still limited in the opportunities available to him as a black performer. Frustrated by the lack of roles, Townsend created one for himself – and directed a landmark in American independent cinema in the process – by helming Hollywood Shuffle, a self-financed comedy about a young actor whose experiences mirrored Townsend’s own. Bobby Taylor (Townsend) is an aspiring thespian who dreams of playing superheroes and Shakespearean kings but mostly finds himself auditioning to play pimps and […] »
- Jim Hemphill
The Shelter, the feature directorial debut from Arrow in the Head’s John Fallon has proven mysterious with its synopsis and even more so with a full, newly released trailer. Michael Paré (Streets of Fire) stars in what looks to be mostly a one-man show as he traverses a house with untold mystery and otherworldly atmosphere.…
- Samuel Zimmerman
South by Southwest (SXSW) is the best week of the year for film fanatics. Period. It's in a wonderful place (Austin, Texas), sweetened by a lovely atmosphere that mixes the highbrow appreciation of erudite film nerds with the go-for-broke excitement of genre enthusiasts. There's nothing quite like it in the world of film festivals -- the vibe at SXSW isn't something that's easily replicated or translated; it just is.
We were on hand to take it all in and report back. Our interviews from the festival will be coming soon, along with the films that they accompany. But we also wanted to rank every film that we saw, in order of best to worst. This year's crop was pretty wonderful, even those in the back half of the list are still pretty great. (There were a couple of stinkers, but that happens at every festival.)
So sit back and relax, »
- Drew Taylor
“I suppose you’ve been down the long, hard road?”
You never know what’s brewing at Webster University’s Strange Brew cult film series. It’s always the first Wednesday evening of every month, and they always come up with some cult classic to show while enjoying some good food and great suds. The fun happens at Schlafly Bottleworks Restaurant and Bar in Maplewood (7260 Southwest Ave.- at Manchester – Maplewood, Mo 63143).
This month, they’re brewing up some Bronson! Hard Times screens at Schlafly Bottleworks Wednesday, April 1st as part of Webster University’s ‘Strange Brew’ Film Series. The ‘Charles Bronson Exhibit’, a collection of movie paper, figures, models kits, toys, and other odd memorabilia will be on display that night at Schlafly.
- Tom Stockman
How would you program this year's newest, most interesting films into double features with movies of the past you saw in 2014?
Looking back over the year at what films moved and impressed us, it is clear that watching old films is a crucial part of making new films meaningful. Thus, the annual tradition of our end of year poll, which calls upon our writers to pick both a new and an old film: they were challenged to choose a new film they saw in 2014—in theatres or at a festival—and creatively pair it with an old film they also saw in 2014 to create a unique double feature.
All the contributors were given the option to write some text explaining their 2014 fantasy double feature. What's more, each writer was given the option to list more pairings, with or without explanation, as further imaginative film programming we'd be lucky to catch »
9 items from 2015
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