7 items from 2016
Blame The Bad Seed (1956) for every murderous moppet that has skipped across the screen in subsequent years. Village of the Damned, The Omen, The Good Son, The Children, and many more have explored the taboo of killer kiddies. One of the oddest of the bunch is Ed Hunt’s Bloody Birthday (1981), a ridiculously fun turn with not just one, but three mini-Mansons on hand to clean up the schoolyard.
Well, that’s a bit of a misnomer, as our rascally trio tends to focus on grown ups, what with their stupid rules against homicide and premature burial. (Don’t worry – one of the protagonists is a classmate who is put in mortal danger. All’s fair.) Bloody Birthday was rolled out twice; first in limited release in April of ’81, and then in ’86 (also limited release). The film made its money back but didn’t earn any good grace from critics »
- Scott Drebit
Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale's Back to the Future is a classic for many of us but studio interference could have put a very different face on it. Would you have seen a movie titled "Space Man From Pluto" starring Jeff Goldblum? As a huge Back to the Future fan, I've come across my fair share of trivia and interesting tidbits about the creation of the film over the years as I'm sure a lot of you have. We've seen some fun handwritten notes from Gale before on the film's sequel but recently, producer Will McCrabb took to Twitter to revitalize a few classics. For instance, other actors being considered for the lead roles: Jeff Goldblum was the first choice to play Doc Brown. Check out the other contenders. pic.twitter.com/DSVcAOay7D — Will McCrabb (@mccrabb_will) August 27, 2016 Yes, there are alternate realities where Doc Brown was played by Jeff Goldblum, »
- Jill Pantozzi
Netflix released the whole second season of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt on Friday, and I'm going to offer some overall thoughts on the season, followed by specific takes on each episode, coming up just as soon as I ask whether Cate Blanchett is really a great actress, or just tall... Netflix made the first six episodes available to critics, and while I enjoyed most of those early installments, the back half of the season was by far the stronger part, and the phase of things where the shift from making episodes for NBC to making them for Netflix was much more apparent. Season 1 also turned more serialized towards the end, with the trial of the Reverend Richard Wayne Gary Wayne, and it had its emotional moments as Kimmy faced down her captor. But the later episodes of season 2 felt darker and more complicated in their attempt to address Kimmy's emotional damage. »
- Alan Sepinwall
Dan Ireland, who co-founded the Seattle Film Festival, served as an acquisitions exec at Vestron Pictures and directed films including “The Whole Wide World” (1996) and “Jolene” (2008), starring Jessica Chastain, has died Thursday at his home in Los Angeles. He was 57.
Chastain tweeted in memory of him.
“The sweetest angel left us. Called his voicemail just to hear his voice once more. I’ll miss you baby,” she wrote.
The sweetest angel left us. Called his voicemail just to hear his voice once more. I'll miss you baby. #DanIreland #Jolene
— Jessica Chastain (@jes_chastain) April 15, 2016
“The Whole Wide World,” starring a young Vincent D’Onofrio and Renée Zellweger, was a biopic of Texas-born pulp fiction writer Robert E. Howard, who created Conan the Barbarian in the early years of the 20th century, and the woman in his life, played by Zellweger (the film was her movie debut).
Ireland was nominated for »
- Carmel Dagan
Right on the heels of his successful appearance at our Silver Scream Festival in Santa Rosa, Robert Englund has been cast opposite fan fave Lin Shaye (A Nightmare On Elm Street, Ouija, Insidious) in an indie horror flick called The Midnight Man, which is to be directed by Travis Z, who directed the recent Cabin Fever remake.
According to The Wrap, the film “is based on the old pagan ritual the Midnight Game, though it doubles as an American remake of Rob Kennedy’s low-budget 2013 feature of the same name that was made in Ireland.”
The story revolves around a girl and her friends who play the Midnight Game, which brings about the titular Midnight Man, who terrorizes them using their own fears against them.
- Harker Jones
Ray Colcord, Emmy-nominated TV composer whose themes included the long-running “Boy Meets World” and “227” series, died Friday at his Studio City home after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 66.
Colcord scored hundreds of hours of television, mostly comedies. He was Emmy-nominated for his theme for the 1990 sitcom “Singer & Sons,” but he also wrote the themes for “The Charmings,” “The Ann Jillian Show,” “The Torkelsons” and others in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
He also composed the scores for dozens of other series including “Dinosaurs,” “Boy Meets World,” “Big Brother,” “Facts of Life,” “The Simpsons,” “Touched by an Angel,” “Silver Spoons,” “My Two Dads” and the currently running “Girl Meets World.”
Colcord’s other credits include scores for the films “Resurrection Mary,” “The King’s Guard,” “Heartwood,” “The Paper Brigade,” “Wish Upon a Star” and “Amityville Dollhouse,” and songs for “Earth Girls Are Easy” and “All Dogs Go to Heaven 2. »
- Jon Burlingame
David Bowie. Thin White Duke, Goblin King, Ziggy Stardust, Genius. The world was shocked by his death, so soon after gifting us with his album, Blackstar. Released only days ago on his 69th birthday and intended as a parting gift to us all, David Bowie was wonderful, weird, and surprising until the very end.
While there’s no denying the musical talent Bowie brought to generations through his many albums and character incarnations, the film world has also lost a charismatic actor known for some iconic roles. While Bowie may not have worked steadily as an actor, his roles were carefully chosen and memorable, allowing him to work with some of the most talented directors of the past 40 years.
Whether Bowie is the Goblin King, a beautiful androgynous alien, or the master of the fashion catwalk to you, we look back and celebrate his most iconic performances in film.
- Rachel West and Sasha James
7 items from 2016
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