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5 items from 2009

Advert. Subvert. Gonzo (Fake) Commercials within Films

24 November 2009 7:50 AM, PST | Screen Anarchy | See recent Screen Anarchy news »

"Can't get enough, of the Stuff!"  From the mid-1920s whereupon the eventual Oscar winning film Wings featured a Hershey Chocolate Bar prominently in the story right on up to the use of M&Ms in Steven Spielberg's E.T. and beyond to the modern James Bond films or Castaway (FedEx) or The Great Yokai War (Kirin Beer) or perhaps the worst offender ever:  I, Robot, product placement is simply a large part of big expensive movies.  And many filmmakers have either parodied product placement (ahem, sorry:  Brand Integration) or even invented their own fictional consumer goods that only appear in their movies.  Unlike television, which (in large part) relies on advertising to fund the creation of shows, there are rarely full commercials used explicitly in a film (before the screening of the film is another story, unfortunately!).  But filmmakers love to offer ads for fake products or services or »

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Character Actor Lou Jacobi Dies

7 November 2009 7:59 AM, PST | FamousMonsters of Filmland | See recent Famous Monsters of Filmland news »

Leading character actor Lou Jacobi appeared in numerous productions on stage, film and television during his long career including several episodes of Alfred Hitchcock Presents.

He was born Louis Jacobovitch in Toronto, Canada, on December 28, 1913. He performed on stage from his youth and began his film career in England in the 1950s. One of his early film roles was as Blackie Isaacs in the 1956 fantasy A Kid for Two Farthings, about a young boy and the sickly, one-horned goat he believes is a magical unicorn.

He made his Broadway debut in the acclaimed drama The Diary of Anne Frank in 1955 as Hans Van Daan, and reprised the role in the 1959 film version. Jacobi was also seen in the 1966 spy spoof The Last of the Secret Agents? with comics Marty Allen and Steve Rossi. He was also featured in Woody Allen’s comedy Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex »

- Harris Lentz

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From 'Spinal Tap' to 'Machete' to 'Black Dynamite': My favorite movie parodies put the machete to reality

16 October 2009 3:27 PM, PDT | - The Movie Critics | See recent - The Movie Critics news »

When you think about movie parodies -- we could be talking Airplane!, the Austin Powers films, or one of those great old Mad magazine satires, which were really the first place that a lot of us, as kids, got to "see" movies made for adults -- the key to a terrific send-up would seem to be the art of exaggeration, pure and simple. But there’s a particular brand of cinematic parody that I love, at this point, almost more than any other. And though it does employ the art of exaggeration (in very, very deadpan ways), far more than that, »

- Owen Gleiberman

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The Sketchy History of Sketch Comedy Movies

10 September 2009 4:14 AM, PDT | | See recent IFC news »

Monty Python's 1983 film "The Meaning of Life" effortlessly set the gold standard in sketch comedy movies -- which, for clarification, we'll define here as feature-length anthologies of stand-alone comic bits that don't serve to push along any overarching storyline. But while the Pythons' greatest film (gauntlet thrown down!) omitted a plot, their skits were still tied together by the most timeless of through lines: the trials of human life, presented in chapters like "The Miracle of Birth," "Middle Age" and "Death." Furthermore, 1971's "And Now For Something Completely Different," a re-filmed compilation of greatest hits from the first two pioneering seasons of "Monty Python's Flying Circus," is arguably the silver medalist of its kind, and good luck coming up with a third film that actually deserves the bronze.

The cold, hard truth is that sketch comedy movies are nearly impossible to pull off, and most are doomed to fail the test of time. »

- Aaron Hillis

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Sybil Danning doin’ La Fango con—and The Lair

25 March 2009 6:36 AM, PDT | Fangoria | See recent Fangoria news »

Legendary femme fatale Sybil Danning has joined the lineup of the next West Coast edition of Fangoria’s Weekend of Horrors convention, to be held April 17-19 at the Los Angeles Convention Center (1201 South Figueroa). Danning’s long career in exploitation has included roles in Howling II, Amazon Women On The Moon, The Tomb, Reform School Girls, Chained Heat, Luigi Cozzi’s Hercules and Rob Zombie’s Halloween and Werewolves Of The SS trailer from Grindhouse.

The Austrian actress recently joined the cast of The Lair, the hit here! vampire series that returns to the cable network’s lineup in August. “I am in five of 13 episodes of season three of The Lair,” Danning tells Fango. “I loved working with my dear friend Fred [Olen Ray, the show’s creator] and all the people on the Lair set, but I cannot mention anything about my character whatsoever! So we will keep it mysterious!” For more on the sultry actress, »

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