15 items from 2015
Verhoeven, a 73-year-old director with two feature film credits, is suing Cannes for “homophobia” because the festival did not select “Teenagers,” a gay drama dealing with terrorism, back in 2009.
The claim has been perceived by local journos as absurd since the Cannes festival has supported many movies dealing with gay issues, notably Abdellatif Kechiche’s romance “Blue Is the Warmest Color,” which won a Palme d’Or.
Verhoeven’s lawsuit is reportedly the first ever filed against the high-profile festival.
“Teenagers” earned poor reviews but managed to win one nod for best narrative feature at the California Film Awards.
- Elsa Keslassy
From early Bond to 21st century sci-fi, here's Ryan's pick of 11 unforgettable villain pairings from action cinema history...
You're generally lucky if a movie has one genuinely great villain in it, let alone two. This is probably because creating a villain takes great acting and writing - it's one thing to create a preening character who stomps around a story doing unpleasant things, but creating a villain who's three-dimensional, witty, scary and above all memorable requires considerable skill.
Every so often, a movie comes along which gives us not one, but two classic villains, with the personality of one complementing the other. A familiar dynamic was once laid out by Steven Spielberg: one is smart and eloquent , while the other is the tougher, more violent of the pair. It's a template that we've seen time and again in cinema, but it's only occasionally that both characters leap from the screen. »
Before I get started on this week’s musings, here are a couple of housekeeping items:
1) Have I mentioned lately how great the other writers here at ComicMix are? It’s probably been awhile, so let me take a quick minute to do so (again). If you somehow found ComicMix via me and primarily read my column here on the site, a) Cool, thanks! and b) I highly recommend you give the other folks here a try. Even in just reading through the last few days of columns, from Mindy Newell’s thoughts on Battlestar Galactica to Marc Alan Fishman’s discussion of guarding one’s creative integrity versus going for a payday and wider success, to Molly Jackson’s rejoicing over the awesomeness that is Agent Carter, I am reminded of how quality the folks who write for this site are, and how lucky I am to be amongst them. »
- Emily S. Whitten
Of all the tech categories, Sound Editing and Sound Mixing may be the toughest to predict, not least of all because many have trouble distinguishing between the two. For this, let's focus on Sound Editing, which is the selection and assembling of the various recorded tracks – dialogue, effects, and music – before the final mix occurs. The Motion Picture Sound Editors honored "Unbroken" (for Dialogue and Adr), "American Sniper" (Sound Effects and Foley) and "Birdman" (Music), and since 1987, when Mpse first started giving out their Golden Reel Awards, at least one of their winners has repeated at the Academy 16 times: -Break- 1988: "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?" (Dialogue and Adr) 1990: "The Hunt for Red October" (Dialogue and Adr; tied with "Total Recall") 1993: "Jurassic Park" (Sound Effects and Foley) 1994: "Speed" (Sound Effects and Foley) 1995: "Braveheart" ...' »
While the world of comic book movies is pretty strong, the straight-up action genre has been struggling for years now. From mediocre sci-fi remakes like Total Recall and RoboCop to lackluster sequels like Taken, there are very few pure action movies worthy of praise like The Raid franchise and last year's John Wick. The stories are lame, the action is bland, the characters are hollow and it all just feels like the same old garbage. Now Chris Stuckmann has put together a video essay examining the problems with action movies today, and he even has some suggestions for how to fix these problems and take the genre back. Here's Chris Stuckmann's The Problem with Action Movies Today (via The Playlist): Some of these problems you may not have realized were as rampant as they really are, but we're seeing far too many invincible heroes going through the same motions »
- Ethan Anderton
Space battles, alien showdowns and, of course, light saber duels. Sci-Fi films are packed full of some of cinema’s greatest, and most visually stunning, action scenes, and upcoming sci-fi adventure Jupiter Ascending is no different.
Epic gravity boot chases through Chicago, military ships travelling vast distances and laser guns shoot outs aplenty, the film – starring Mila Kunis, Channing Tatum and Sean Bean – comes to cinemas from February 6th and to celebrate we take a look at the top five action scenes in sci-fi films:
1) Star Wars: A New Hope
With a Star Wars film, you’re pretty much guaranteed a great action scene. Nevertheless, it’s hard to beat the destruction of Death Star One in the very first film, Star Wars: A New Hope. Luke Skywalker takes an X-wing fighter for a run through the trenches of the enormous weapon, avoiding the assault from Darth Vader. »
Written by Takeharu Sakurai & Sachiko Ōguchi
Directed by Takashi Miike
I’ll come right out and say it: Takashi Miike’s Ace Attorney, based on the first entry of the popular Capcom video game series, is the single-best cinematic adaptation of a video game property of all time. Now some of the more snide readers out there will no doubt think that this a pretty low bar to clear. There’s at least a partial truth to that: the current all-time champion of video game (henceforth Vg) movie critical acclaim is 2001’s Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, coming in at a cool 44% on Rotten Tomatoes (not that the Rt metric is reflective of quality in any capacity, but that’s another discussion for another time). While the movie was a watershed moment from a technical standpoint (it had some of the most impressively detailed CGI in movie »
- Derek Godin
Chances are, if you’re reading anything on Icons of Fright, Shock Till You Drop, Dread Central or any other genre site (or hell, even if you don’t typically read such sites), then you already know who Michael Ironside is. An actor that has played so many not just memorable but truly iconic roles in films such as Scanners, Total Recall and a personal fave of mine, Prom Night II, Ironside has created a body of work that is legendary and worthy of every ounce of recognition he has gotten. Making its debut as part of this year’s Sundance Film Festival “Midnight Selection”, the Rkss-helmed Turbo Kid (Rkss is the trio team of directors Anouk Whissell, François Simard and Yoann-Karl Whissell) is set to give fans yet another Ironside role that is one for the books, with his villainous character Zeus. Icons of Fright talked Turbo Kid with Ironside recently, »
- Jerry Smith
A weekend getaway with friends turns into a deadly cat-and-mouse game in “Desecrated,” starring Haylie Duff (“Napoleon Dynamite,” “Material Girls”) and Michael Ironside (“X-Men : First Class,” “Total Recall”). The horror film is now available on DVD and VOD. “Desecrated” is directed by Rob Garcia and also stars Gonzalo Menendez (“The Event”), Heather Sossaman (“Hawaii Five-o”), Wilmer Calderon (“Fast and Furious”) and Paul James (“Greek”). Here’s more about the film: “After finding his family murdered by vagrant squatters, an ex-military operative and survivalist is hired by the man who bought his land to watch over the acreage and protect it from invaders. When the new landowner’s daughter arrives for a [ Read More ]
Almost 20 years after it closed, Carolco is back. CEO Alex Bafer tells us about its revival and a "very big" future sci-fi blockbuster.
At the height of its 80s and 90s powers, Carolco was one of the biggest independent film studios in Hollywood. Its distinctive logo appeared on some of the most successful movies of the era - the Rambo series, Terminator 2, Total Recall, Basic Instinct - but the studio also found a place for smaller-scale, unique films such as Angel Heart and Jacob's Ladder.
Then a combination of recession, a faltering TV and home video label and cinematic misfires - not least the infamous Cutthroat Island - saw Carolco file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in December 1992. And with that, Carolco seemed to be finished.
On the 20th January, however, it was announced that the Carolco brand is back. A company once called Brick Top Productions has acquired the Carolco name, »
Michael Ironside is one of the most recognized faces among genre fans. He’s become known as the fearsome baddie who gives everyone’s hero a run for their money. Among his 229 film credits, many of those include appearances in sci-fi and horror productions like Scanners, Total Recall, Highlander II: The Quickening, Terminator Salvation, and many more.
The Canada-born actor has also racked up a number of roles in mainstream Hollywood fare. He starred in Top Gun, The Next Karate Kid, Free Willy, and others. His many appearances on television include, ER, The A-Team, V, SeaQuest 2032, Vegas, Community, and many more.
One of Ironside’s latest projects was an apocalyptic sci-fi gore fest entitled Turbo Kid. He plays the sadistic and self-proclaimed leader of the Wasteland named Zeus. The movie revolves around the Kid, a young solitary scavenger obsessed with comic books that must face his fears and become »
- email@example.com (Eric Shirey)
Marrakech’s jury prexy, Isabelle Huppert, has just completed a four-month stint in the United States, where she co-starred with Cate Blanchett in the Sydney Theater Company production of Jean Genet’s “The Maids,” at the Lincoln Center Festival, followed by her film roles in Joachim Trier’s “Louder than Bombs,” alongside Jesse Eisenberg and Gabriel Byrne, and in Guillaume Nicloux’s “The Valley of Love,” with Gerard Depardieu.
In an interview at the Marrakech film festival she explained that her recent intensive U.S. experience is a pure coincidence of back-to-back projects.
Huppert explained that she’s very happy with the roles that she has been offered recently and is not overly concerned about being typecast, for example »
- Martin Dale
For all of the superhero buzz that has stolen hearts and headlines over the past twelve months or so, there’s also another trend that has once again come to the fore in Hollywood circles: looking to old franchises in an attempt to reboot them. Mind you, it’s a tactic that doesn’t always pay dividends; whether it’s RoboCop, Annie or 2013’s Total Recall, it’s clear that this feat is a tricky butterfly to pin. Nevertheless, with the likes of Mad Max: Fury Road and Jurassic World looming on the horizon, it’s one that looks set to continue unabated.
And one of these properties in question is Beverly Hills Cop 4, which is primed to be the first entry into the crime caper in two decades. At least, that’s what Paramount and director Brett Ratner will be hoping for. But before that, the studio may »
- Michael Briers
The fact that “Vice” is a straight-to-video rip-off of “Westworld” should become painfully obvious from reading the film’s IMDb logline alone. However, the real tragedy is that this B-movie, sci-fi/action schlockfest, which also shamelessly steals ideas, and sometimes entire sequences, from “Blade Runner,” “Robocop,” “Groundhog's Day,” “The Matrix,” and “Total Recall” to name just a few, actually contains a couple of semi-interesting hard science-fiction ideas. Unfortunately, the screenplay by Andre Fabrizio and Jeremy Passmore, who wrote the upcoming Dwayne Johnson disaster pic “San Andreas,” have no clue how to exploit them beyond serving as clunky placeholders before kickstarting a dumb chase picture. The story takes place in and around an entertainment complex called Vice, where people can satisfy their most depraved violent and/or sexual urges via robots made up mostly of organic tissue, making them almost indistinguishable from humans. During an expository sequence so »
- Oktay Ege Kozak
One cannot overlook the plentiful cinematic contributions of Dutch auteur Paul Verhoeven, who made waves back in 1973 with Turkish Delight and helmed a handful of notable collaborations starring Rutger Hauer, though they parted ways indefinitely after Verhoeven’s 1985 English language debut, Flesh+Blood. Of course, Verhoeven’s Us big-budget genre work, such as RoboCop (1987) and Total Recall (1990), both spawning recent lackluster remakes, and pulpy neo-noir Basic Instinct (1992) were overshadowed by the debacle that would come to be Showgirls (1995), now celebrated as one of the best worst films ever made. Twenty years after that, with only a few more features since, including 1997’s Starship Troopers, the maligned Hollow Man (2000) and a welcomed return to his native Holland for Black Book (2006), Verhoeven has been mostly an absent figure. In 2012, a mid-length film graced the lineup at the Rome Film Festival, while his long-gestating Jesus of »
- Nicholas Bell
15 items from 2015
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