12 items from 2016
In the early 2000s, the German automaker BMW gave eight world-famous directors carte blanche to make lavishly expensive short films with the only apparent criteria being that they prominently feature BMW cars and star Clive Owen as a professional wheelman known only as The Driver. The resulting anthology series, The Hire, remains one of the most fondly remembered advertising campaigns of its time, notable both for the creative freedom it seemed to foster and for the amount of talent involved both in front of the camera and behind it.
The good news is that BMW is resurrecting the concept. The bad news is that for now, it appears to be for just one film: The Escape, directed by Neill Blomkamp, the South African behind District 9, Elysium (which is basically District 9), and Chappie (which is basically Short Circuit meets District 9). Per the press release sent out by the »
- Ignatiy Vishnevetsky
Like all the best fairy tales, Jim Henson’s 1986 film Labyrinth is a much more grown-up effort than its fantasy trappings let on. Sure, it’s directed by the man who introduced both The Muppets and Sesame Street to the world, but don’t be fooled by all of the puppets and cute creatures and catchy songs: this is a film geared at children but actually about the end of childhood. Bittersweet, that.
On its face, Labyrinth offers a traditional take on the hero’s journey codified by Joseph Campbell: Jennifer Connelly’s sixteen-year-old Sarah wishes her baby brother would be taken away by Goblin King Jareth (the late, great David Bowie) and, when he is, must travel to a fantasy realm to rescue him. On a deeper and darker level, however, the screenplay by Monty Python’s own Terry Jones is the story of a young woman maturing into an adult, »
- Patrick Bromley
I fell in love with Frank Oz’s Little Shop of Horrors before I even saw a single frame of the film in December 1986. My mom’s boyfriend at the time worked for the Warner Bros. distribution center in Illinois, and sometime in the fall, he brought home an advanced copy of the soundtrack to Oz’s adaptation of the popular off-Broadway show, which of course was originally based on Roger Corman’s 1960 horror movie that featured performances from the likes of Dick Miller and Jack Nicholson.
And as I spent countless hours laying on my bedroom floor, humming along to the different songs (and singing the swear words whenever I thought I could get away with it), Little Shop of Horrors transported me to a place where underdogs could overcome the odds, alien plants could sing and craved human blood, and Steve Martin was a demented motorcycle-riding dentist addicted »
- Heather Wixson
Louisa Mellor Jul 15, 2016
Read our spoiler-free Stranger Things review here.
Stranger Things, Netflix’s new sci-fi horror series is made by and for our kind of people. Movie nerds Matt and Ross Duffer have translated their love of classic Steven Spielberg, John Carpenter, Wes Craven and Stephen King pictures into an eight-part drama that feels as comfortable as sinking into your favourite chair.
Set in 1983 Indiana, Stranger Things is the story of a boy’s disappearance, odd goings-on at a local government facility and the mystery arrival of a peculiar little girl. With a very likeable young cast (think Freaks & Geeks if Sam, Bill and Neil had to deal with real monsters, not just the high school variety) and Winona Ryder, David Harbour and Matthew Modine capably leading the grown-ups, »
1986 was a hugely important year in genre cinema—part of the five-year stretch between 1982 and 1987 that arguably makes up the best run of genre movies in history. Major studios and major filmmakers like Fox, James Cameron, David Cronenberg, and John Carpenter were turning out genre classics. New voices like Fred Dekker and John McTiernan were introducing themselves to audiences. Franchises like Friday the 13th, Star Trek, and Psycho were still going strong on the big screen. And in the middle of all this, America’s longest-running independent studio, Troma, cemented their very specific and wholly original cinematic voice with Class of Nuke ’Em High.
Troma co-founder Lloyd Kaufman had already been producing and directing films for over a decade—first art films and then a series of outrageous sex comedies like Waitress! and Stuck on You!—but it wasn’t until 1984’s The Toxic Avenger that Kaufman more or less established Troma’s house style. »
- Patrick Bromley
On May 9th, 1986, John Badham’s Short Circuit debuted in theaters nationwide. The family adventure film with a sci-fi twist starred Steve Guttenberg, Ally Sheedy, and Fisher Stevens as a group of humans trying to protect a sentient robot by the name of Number 5—as he’s known to the government agencies chasing him—who goes rogue after electrocution causes him to develop a sense of identity and the constant need for “more input.”
Short Circuit was a smash success upon its release, opening number one at the box office and eventually taking in over $40 million during its theatrical run in the spring and early summer of 1986. And while Short Circuit did as well as it did partly because of the actors involved, there’s no denying that it was the film’s robotic co-star that pretty much stole the film and became a huge part of mid-’80s pop culture as well. »
- Heather Wixson
With production currently underway on Transformers: The Last Knight, Michael Bay has taken to social media to reveal new cast addition Isabella Moner and the latest addition to the ranks of the Autobots, the rusted, seen better days Squeeks, who will no doubt become mascot of this latest bout of robot Bayhem. I mean, look at him!! He seems designed to exude the maximum level of cuteness possible, coming across like something you’d find in the 80’s. Kinda like if the aliens from Batteries Not Included and Johnny Five from Short Circuit got it on. Here’s a close up of Mr. Squeaks, and I gotta admit, I do like his design: We also have two Twitter videos centering around the character that really shows he will play a significant role in the action. So, Transformers fans, what do we think of this new addition? .@michaelbay just a few more touch-ups. »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Tom White)
Silver Linings Playbook
Planes, Trains & Automobiles
The Grapes of Wrath
7 and above.
4 and above.
That was ruff
0 and above.
Continue reading »
- Benjamin Lee
What was allowed in 1986 is cringeworthy today
Two movies I loved as a child celebrated their 30th anniversaries recently, and when I looked back upon them nostalgically, as one does, I saw products of their time that mostly hold up — save for one horribly dated, unforgivable element each. The kind of offense that makes it hard to still appreciate the movie when that one inexcusable part dominates your mind.
Both “Crocodile” Dundee and Short Circuit have decent scripts. The former was even nominated for an Oscar. The latter remains quotable. Their main characters are major figures of 1980s pop culture. Not on the level of Arnold Schwarzenegger and E.T., but higher up than Yakov Smirnoff and The Noid. But I can no longer enjoy these movies. Not as they are, anyway.
Their respective crimes are things that shouldn’t have even been tolerated at the time. In Dundee it’s a scene where Paul Hogan’s titular »
- Christopher Campbell
There are some very talented master builders out there who create the most impressive custom Lego creations. We love featuring impressive Lego creations, especially ones that have a chance at getting turned into real Lego sets like that recent Short Circuit set that puts Johnny Five together or the Voltron set that you can actually […]
The post This Custom Lego Star Destroyer Has Three Interior Levels and Even Holds Tie Interceptors appeared first on /Film. »
- Ethan Anderton
Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens
Wow. Just the sound of it rolling off the tongue… Who would have thought this would happen? We all dreamt about the possibility of the saga being taken further than six episodes, even if as secretly closeted fans, but did we ever truly believe it would happen? Now it has and I do not feel I am alone in saying it’s been worth the wait. Even those who found the film little more than average have to admit, this is something truly special, even generational, for some.
I’ve admired J.J. Abrams as an all-around, fully immersed filmmaker for some time now. From his original content on television and the big screen to revamping Star Trek and now Star Wars, he’s a special kind of movie geek. No one can argue that his heart and soul isn’t in every »
- Travis Keune
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The final trailer for Captain America: Civil War is even better than the first, revealing – at long last – Spider-Man’s appearance in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. For this episode of Jump Cut, Oli has watched the trailer a worrying amount of times to come up with 14 thoughts on the film.
Subscribe for more Jump Cut every Sunday.
1. Damn Ruskies
The trailer opens with an army dude’s arm that has Pocchr written on it. Well at least that’s what it would say if the R was the right way round. This is the Cryllic alphabet, meaning it’s Russian for – guess what? – Russia. The clue’s in the flag.
The soldier and his buddy turn keys to what is revealed to be The Winter Soldier’s holding chamber. In the comics, this is how Bucky Barnes is kept alive so long, »
- Oli Davis
12 items from 2016
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