15 items from 2016
Reel-Important People is a monthly column that highlights those individuals in or related to the movies that have left us in recent weeks. Below you'll find names big and small and from all areas of the industry, though each was significant to the movies in his or her own way. Kenny Baker (1934-2016) - Actor. He was best known for performing the role of R2-D2 from inside the droid in the Star Wars movies. He also played one of the featured Ewoks in Return of the Jedi (see him below). His other movies include Time Bandits, Labyrinth, Flash Gordon, The Elephant Man, Amadeus, Willow and Mona Lisa. He died on August 13. See our own obituary post here. Eric Bergren (1954-2016) - Screenwriter. He was...
- Christopher Campbell
Kirsten Howard Sep 13, 2016
We examine the recent Val Kilmer movies, that happened to have bypasses cinemas...
Once upon a time, Val Kilmer’s individual look - defined by a little Swedish blood from his mother’s side - had hearts pumping. Those looks, along with his arrogant, edgy attitude and acting style, helped him clinch plenty of complimentary roles during the 80s and early-90s. Films like Top Secret, Top Gun, Willow and my personal favourite Real Genius were pushing him toward a stellar career back then, and his star was steadily rising.
See also: a closer look at what may be Val Kilmer's weirdest film
But Kilmer came down from a serious high of Heat and Tombstone in the mid-90s when he signed on to the notorious clusterfuck that was The Island Of Dr. Moreau, and only recently has the part he played in its disastrous production come to light. »
Friends, fans and loved ones mourned Kenny Baker on Saturday, with “Star Wars” co-star Mark Hamill writing of the man who played R2-D2, “He Was the droid I was looking for!” As Guillermo del Toro put it: “Like Napoleon, his stature was measured not from head-to-ground but head-to-sky.” Baker, who stood was 83 years old and 3’ 8”, also appeared in “Time Bandits,” “Labyrinth,” “Willow,” “Flash Gordon” and other projects. Also Read: Kenny Baker, R2-D2 in 'Star Wars,' Dies at 83 Baker — who appeared in the original “Star Wars” trilogy and prequels as well as documentaries relating to them — had problems »
- Rosemary Rossi
Kenny Baker as adventurer and thief Fidget in Time Bandits
Kenny Baker, the much loved actor who played Star Wars' R2D2, has died at the age of 81. The Birmingham-born star, who also had memorable roles in Time Bandits and Amadeus, is understood to have been ill for some time.
Baker, who began his acting career on the stage in 1950, had a particular love of fantasy and science fiction films, starring in popular favourites like Flash Gordon, Labyrinth, Willow and, more recently, The Chronicles Of Narnia: The Voyage Of The Dawn Treader. He also appeared in dramatic roles in the likes of Mona Lisa and The Elephant Man.
Tributes to Baker have been pouring in from friends and co-stars. Mark Hamill described him as a lifelong friend and Ewan McGregor said it had been lovely to work with him. He will be much missed by fans, having spent his later years travelling around. »
- Jennie Kermode
The entire galaxy is in mourning today as one beloved member of the original Star Wars universe has passed away. Kenny Baker, perhaps best known as the man inside R2-D2, succumbed to a lengthy illness. He was 83 years old at the time of his passing. Baker's niece Abigail Shield was the first to report the news, telling this to The Guardian.
"It was expected, but it's sad nonetheless. He had a very long and fulfilled life."
Standing at 3-foot, 8-inches, Kenny Baker was one of the few actors capable of fitting inside the body of droid R2-D2, which needed someone to bring the practical character to life back in 1977. He was fully credited as one of the main cast members in the original movie Star Wars: A New Hope, and would return for the next two installments in the first trilogy, 1980's Empire Strikes Back and 1983's Return of the Jedi, »
Kenny Baker, the man who gave physical presence to R2-D2, one of the most beloved robots in all of science-fiction, has died. According to Variety, Baker was 81, and had been suffering from chronic illnesses for some time.
Born in England, Baker worked for several years as a performer in circus acts, comedy troupes, and ice shows. During that period, he often collaborated with actor and performer Jack Purvis—who, like Baker, was of short stature—with the two eventually going on to work together on a number of projects, including Time Bandits, Willow, and the original Star Wars trilogy.
In 1976, Baker was hired by Star Wars director George Lucas, who needed someone to portray R2-D2 from within the film’s robot suit (constructed by toy designer Tony Dyson, who died earlier this year.) Although the production did have remote control versions of the character, they were prone to ...
- William Hughes
The Guardian reports that British actor Kenny Baker has passed away at the age of 83. Over the course of his career Baker appeared in movies such as Time Bandits, Flash Gordon and Willow, but he will be best remembered for playing lovable droid R2-D2 in the first 6 Star Wars movies. “It was expected, but it’s sad nonetheless," said Baker's niece, Abigail Shield, of her uncle's passing. "He had a very long and fulfilled life. He brought lots of happiness to people and we’ll be celebrating the fact that he was well loved throughout the world. We’re all very proud of what he achieved in his lifetime.” Rest in peace Mister Baker, and may the force be with you. »
Some sad news today, with the announcement that British actor Kenny Baker – famed for portraying the lovable droid R2-D2 in the Star Wars saga – has passed away aged 81 after a long illness.
The 3 ft 8 in actor began his showbusiness career as part of a theatrical group of dwarves, and also spent time working in the circus and as part of the comedy act the Minitones before being cast as the man inside R2-D2 in Star Wars.
Baker returned as R2-D2 in The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi (where he also portrayed the Ewok Paploo) and all three prequel films, while he was also credited as a consultant on Star Wars: The Force Awakens after handing over the role of Artoo to Jimmy Vee.
- Gary Collinson
Nostalgia for the 1977 original movie dominated at Disney’s world premiere of “Pete’s Dragon” at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood.
“It was one of my favorite movies growing up as a kid,” Bryce Dallas Howard said on the green carpet. “We got to shoot it in New Zealand. I went to New Zealand when I was five with my parents because my dad (Ron Howard) was shooting a movie called ‘Willow’ and to be able to return 30 year later to shoot a movie that I loved as a kid with my young family — it’s kind of one of those full circle moments.”
Director David Lowery, who began working on the live action-cgi film in 2013, allowed that he was stunned at the outcome.
“Bryce Dallas Howard was my first choice for Grace,” he mused. “The film is shockingly close to my original vision, which hardly ever happens. It »
- Dave McNary
It doesn’t have to be Thursday to throwback to some of the best music moments in TV history. So for this TVLine Mixtape, let’s go way back.
What follows is a collection of songs from the ghosts of TV past, complete with artist and album information — and a Spotify playlist — in case you want to add them to your own collection.
We picked songs that instantly remind us of our favorite characters, couples and series, but we want to hear your favorites too. So hit the comments with songs that stuck with you from your favorite shows. And »
Although Ron Howard made a name for himself in the ’80s directing sci-fi and fantasy movies like Cocoon and Willow, for some reason he has almost entirely avoided those genres in the years that followed. In fact, the closest he has come to directing a sci-fi movie since then was Apollo 13 back in 1995. […] »
March 7 was the first day of production on season two of USA’s “Mr. Robot,” and star Christian Slater had a question for his showrunner, Sam Esmail. “I wasn’t sure where we were in the story,” recounts Slater, who plays the titular character.
Slater found Esmail behind the monitor, as the director of the episode. “It was so perfect that Sam was there to be the oracle, to guide us along and keep us on track,” says the actor.
In fact, that’s where Esmail will be positioned all season. In addition to serving as creator and head writer for the Golden Globe-winning drama, the 38-year-old creative has taken on the additional challenge of helming all 10 episodes for the show’s sophomore season.
“I am so very specific in how I want to shoot the show and the visual grammar of how I want to tell the story,” explains Esmail. »
- Debra Birnbaum
Two guys, some guns, a suitcase full of cash and the open road: what could go wrong? Val Kilmer and Michael Madsen meet their match in Joanne Whalley Kilmer, a neo-noir bad news dame if there ever was one. The murderous melodrama stretches the length of Nevada; director John Dahl adds the cops and the Mob to his annihilating cocktail. Kill Me Again Blu-ray Olive Films 1989 / Color / 1:85 widescreen / 95 min. / Street Date March 22, 2016 / Starring Val Kilmer, Joanne Whalley-Kilmer, Michael Madsen, Jon Gries. Cinematography Jaques Steyn Film Editors Eric Beason, Frank Jiminez, Jonathan Shaw Original Music William Olvis Written by John Dahl, David W. Warfield Produced by Steve Golin, Sigurjon Sighvatsson, David W. Warfield Directed by John Dahl
Reviewed by Glenn Erickson
- Glenn Erickson
The final season of SyFy’s Haven is coming to Blu-ray on April 19th. Also in this round-up: early access details for Free Range Games’ Labyrinth, a clip from You’re Killing Me, a new Model Hunger trailer, and details on Nitehawk Cinema’s St. Patrick’s Day screening of Leprechaun.
Haven: The Final Season
Street Date: April 19, 2016
Blu-ray/DVD Srp: $49.98/$39.98
The Loaded 4-Disc Set Features the Final 13 Broadcast Episodes, and Hours of Bonus Features Including a Mythology Refresher, 13″Inside Haven” Featurettes, Livestream Segments with the Cast & Crew,13 Commentary Tracks, Interviews with Eric Balfour, Lucas Bryant, William Shatner, Adam Copeland and More!
- Tamika Jones
For the past four years, Robert Downey Jr. has been trying to get a new live-action version of Pinocchio off the ground, with the actor set to star as Geppetto and produce through his Team Downey company. Today, the project is moving forward once again, with The Tracking Board reporting that Ron Howard is now attached to direct. The filmamker replaces Paul Thomas Anderson, who stepped away from Pinocchio back in November.
We first reported on this project back in January 2012, when Robert Downey Jr. signed on to portray Geppetto and produce. Hannibal creator Bryan Fuller had originally been tasked with writing the script, with Michael Mitnick (The Giver), Jane Goldman (Kingsman: The Secret Service) and Paul Thomas Anderson also working on drafts of the script. The site reports that Ron Howard is expected to have a say in who the next writer will be.
The project is expected to be a family-oriented movie, »
15 items from 2016
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