7 items from 2014
Chester Gould’s famous yellow-coated detective, Dick Tracy, has appeared across various mediums since his first comic strip appearance in 1931, but it wasn’t until 1990 that the character made his way into blockbuster territory. It may have been considered less than successful on release and forgotten to a certain extent since then, but there is a lot to love about Warren Beatty’s film, imbued with an infectious sense of fun and comic strip visuals that continue to impress.
Dick Tracy went through several hands before it finally landed Beatty in the director’s chair, though the actor had had a concept for it as far back as 1975. It’s a long and rocky development history that saw names such as Steven Spielberg and John Landis offered the »
Directed by Steven Spielberg
Steven Spielberg is known the world over for creating genuine movie magic. From his blockbuster splash Jaws in 1975 up until his 2012 biopic Lincoln, Spielberg is certainly a gifted filmmaker. Very few auteurs are still work today but Spielberg keeps banging out films that dazzle the senses and leave an everlasting impression on the viewer. However, some of Spielberg’s films haven’t achieved the recognition and respect they deserve. There are certain films that this movie master made that didn’t quite achieve a high status. One such film is 1991’s Hook, a fantasy adventure which didn’t really score well with critics but filled children of the 90s with joy, innocence, and wonder.
The film follows middle-aged lawyer Peter Banning (Robin Williams), a bitter individual who has forgotten who he is. »
- Randall Unger
There is a reason I'm a Batman fan. It's not because I'm a life-long comic book reader. That came later. And it's not because I grew up watching reruns of the old ABC television series. Though I certainly did. It's because Tim Burton's "Batman," released in theaters 25 years ago today, was the first movie that really owned my anticipatory faculties as a child. It was the first film that lit my movie-going fire, a designation saved for "Star Wars," "Raiders of the Lost Ark" and "E.T." a generation prior and perhaps "Jurassic Park" and Harrison Ford's actioners a generation later. In the simplest of terms, I wouldn't be a film obsessive if it weren't for "Batman." I owe it that much. For me, the film was an event not to be missed. I remember watching the commercials flood prime time television: the howling of a Batwing circling a Gothic cathedral, »
- Kristopher Tapley
The mogwais are nearing middle age.
That's right, Steven Spielberg's magnificent horror comedy "Gremlins," about a bunch of cuddly creatures that turn into scaly monsters and overtake a small, Rockwellian town, is turning 30 this summer. And to celebrate, Warner Bros has a bunch of exciting things planned. The first of which has already happened: you can now own the movie digitally, for the first time ever (please, take the time to luxuriate in a wonderful clip from the movie, located below). Later this year, too, we will be getting a deluxe, 30th anniversary Blu-ray, complete with two brand-new featurettes featuring Steven Spielberg, alongside other creative principles (like director Joe Dante) and many members of the cast and crew.
We were lucky enough to chat with Zach Galligan, who played Billy Peltzer, the initial owner of Gizmo, the mogwai that inadvertently breeds the gremlin menace. Galligan has become something of a cult icon himself, »
- Drew Taylor
It's been 10 years since Martin Scorsese's "The Aviator," if you can believe it. The film was one of two dueling Howard Hughes biopics at the time (the other coming from Christopher Nolan), a passion project developed by star Leonardo DiCaprio for director Michael Mann. Mann ended up with biopic fatigue after "The Insider" and "Ali," so he settled into a producer position and DiCaprio convinced his then-newfound colleague Martin Scorsese to direct and the rest was history. But speaking of history, the Howard Hughes story has had its own in Hollywood. During a Santa Barbara Film Festival tribute in February, Scorsese remarked that he had always shied away from it, going on to note that a number of filmmakers had wanted to do it over the years. One of those, of course, was Warren Beatty, and Beatty's version has been slowly clicking into place over the last couple of years. »
- Kristopher Tapley
Feature James Hunt 30 Jan 2014 - 06:25
Comic book movies are solid blockbuster fare now, but there are plenty of adaptations that didn't get the love they deserved...
You might argue that fans of comic book adaptations have had a pretty good decade or so. Between The Avengers movies, the Dark Knight trilogy, and multiple Spider-Man and X-Men films, some of the biggest-grossing action movies of all time have been based on comics. Not bad when you consider that only recently, the medium was considered the preserve of dateless man-children alone.
But here's the thing: not every comic book adaptation lends itself to being a summer tentpole CGI-fest, and just as many get overlooked or forgotten completely by the time the next one comes out. Comic adaptations are coming out thick and fast, and with so much forward momentum it's sometimes worth taking a moment to look back on what's come before. »
The Academy Award for Best Original Song has gone to some legendary movie anthems — “The Way We Were,” “Take My Breath Away,” “Beauty and the Beast,” and “My Heart Will Go On” all notched the Oscars’ highest musical honor. But what about the anthems that don’t win? The winners among the losing nominees? Today we honor the best losing songs of the past 50 years since some of them are, um, the greatest songs ever. (I’ve limited this tally to the past half-century since the rock & roll era is what we really care about, no?)
15. “I Have Nothing” from The Bodyguard
Lost to: “A Whole New World” from Aladdin
Two songs from The Bodyguard‘s soundtrack were nominated for Oscars (this and “Run to You”) but “I Have Nothing” is a decade-best belter that will live on forever in part thanks to its innumerable American Idol performances. Though Whitney Houston »
- Louis Virtel
7 items from 2014
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