19 items from 2011
Regular readers of this site will be all too aware of our love for the movies of Brad Bird. The Iron Giant is a firm, firm favourite in these parts, and our feelings towards The Incredibles and Ratatouille are no mystery, either.
For his fourth film, Bird has tackled the fourth Mission: Impossible movie. And as part of the promotional tour for that film, they let us in a room with him for 20 minutes. The fools. Here's what happened...
Does it get any less scary, the process of moviemaking, and everything associated with it?
I don’t think so if you’re doing it right. I think if you get too comfortable with it, then something’s missing. I think that you ought to be a little frightened. It’s like »
It’s stating the obvious, perhaps, but Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol takes action cinema to new heights. The heights of the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, as it happens, as director Brad Bird drags Tom Cruise up to the top of the world’s tallest building (all 2716 feet of it), dangles him from near the top, and then points an IMAX camera at him.
To say this particular sequence is exhilirating barely does it justice. The audacity, calmness and confidence of it is staggering, and it’s the centrepiece of a really quite strong Mission: Impossible movie.
Because mark this as a franchise back on track. Appreciating that Mission: Impossible III was quite warmly received, I was never that sold on it. I »
Comedian tweets 'It's gonna be biblical' as Hollywood Foreign Press Association decides his barbs are worth the ratings
"Totally unacceptable" is how the previous head of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association described Ricky Gervais's hosting of the Golden Globes in January.
Yet the association has announced that the British comedian will be back for a third year as master of ceremonies of the most important film awards show next to the Oscars.
After Gervais this year fired barbs in the direction of Charlie Sheen, Bruce Willis and Johnny Depp among others, he made clear he did not expect to be invited back. Asked what he would do if he were called upon to host the Globes for a third time, he replied: "I'll go fucking mental."
After learning of his appointment for the 2012 Golden Globes, Gervais tweeted that he had asked the Oscars host Billy Crystal not to use »
- Ben Child
The last time that someone tried to construct an action film around the inventions of Leonardo da Vinci the result was Hudson Hawk, the 1991 Bruce Willis-starring disaster that was not only notable for being hated by critics, but for being a huge flop, pulling in only $17 million domestically on a $65 million budget. Apparently, however, Universal thinks that they have figured out what the problem was: that film didn't make Leonardo da Vinci the main character. According to Variety, the studio is now developing a project called Leonardo, which will follow a young da Vinci as the central protagonist. Based on a spec script by Jonny Kurzman, the project will see the famous artist/inventor go on an adventure to "stop Renaissance Europe from returning to the Dark Ages." As the trade notes, the project is somewhat similar to a television series currently being developed at Starz by Batman Begins »
This week's Terra Nova episode 'The Runaway' was good. Not great, but good. It has some really nice action, expanded on the season long plot arc, gave us some questions, and answered some lingering ones.
Guards at a watchtower see something running through the woods. After a brief chase, which involves a number of guards apparently leaving their post for some unfathomable reason, they come across a runaway little girl Sixer called Leah Marcos. She's taken back to the colony where Taylor looks her over and has Elisabeth check her out. Leah gives them all a story that she sticks with for pretty much the whole episode, that she was abused (mentally and possibly physically), starved, and scared. She is housed with the Shannons, of course, and they immediately bring her into the fold and even give her a cute little yellow dress. Things are going so well, of course »
You might have seen the trailers for Paul W.S. Anderson's version of The Three Musketeers, naturally shot in 3D, and been left wondering if the movie is really for you. The film is on screens today, and to aid you in making the crucial ticket-buying decision the first few minutes of the film have landed online. They're not in 3D, but I think you'll get the idea anyway. Let's take an inventory. Here we've got improbably crossbows, two failed attempts at romantically witty repartee, a bit of Assassin's Creed cosplay, freeze-frame character introductions that would have been dated a week after Snatch came out, and some Hudson Hawk-level silliness involving Leonardo Da Vinci. All things considered, I think I'll just stay home at watch Hudson Hawk one more time. I'll admit that I do like the jokiness of a character asking Orlando Bloom's character "who are you? »
- Russ Fischer
I hear all the time that I live my life too much in the movies and sometimes I wonder to myself, is that really a bad thing? In the movies the imposing Twin Towers of the World Trade Center are still standing in Lower Manhatten, they are still dominating the New York skyline and inspiring characters to achieve their goals and reach for the stars.
In the films I can remember the New York skyline as it should be and through films they will live on longer than you or I and for the generation who are just growing up at school now and never lived in the same time when they stood, the Towers will be remembered by their cameo (and sometimes supporting character!) appearances in films.
P.S. – this article is not an exhaustive list of the Twin Towers in film. There’s many, many places on the web with those. »
- Matt Holmes
Although some might disagree, overall it seems like this summer movie season has been a bust -- outside of a few surprises, it's been nothing but disappointing big budget blockbusters thus far. Whether we've fared better or worse than any other summer remains to be seen, but apparently it's been bad enough to inspire Time Magazine to weigh in and pick their 20 worst blockbusters of all time. Like any good Top 20 list, it exists mainly to spark discussion, but I do feel like their choices are a little on the obvious side. Michael Bay has the honour of landing three films on the list, while George Lucas had a hand in two of them. Somehow I'm surprised that M. Night Shyamalan got away with just one mention. Knight and Day in particular sticks out as the one movie that doesn't really belong here, but I'm guessing it got nominated just »
Time Magazine has put out their latest controversy-stirring list and they’ve tackled the most pressing at hand, the Top 20 Worst Blockbusters of All-Time. Each summer there seems to be at least one turd, and the outlet attempts to chronicle the bottom of the barrel. This could easily be a must-see list for any drinking parties as well, if you are like me and love ridiculing a terrible piece of art. Check out the list below in today’s Daily Distraction and let us know if you agree or disagree in the comments.
19. Knight and Day
18. Hudson Hawk
14. The Haunting
13. Howard the Duck
11. Green Lantern
10. Pearl Harbor
08. Wild Wild West
05. Batman and Robin
As for spots I disagree with, »
- Jordan Raup
Guest review by Dog Ate My Wookie
Remember the first release of The Fifth Element? The one that Sony peddled as the Christ Child of Bluray? The one that would make your entire system seem God Like and then when it arrived it proved one thing… Transfers Could still be ballsed up in a major way. So major was this balls up, that Sony set up a disc replacement scheme for all those outraged by the mistake.
Now its 2011 and The Fifth Element returns. Leeloo (Jovovich) and Korben Dallas (Willis) are back to save the planet (Technically they’re not really back…), a bright and distant future that still has the social moralities of today but technology has progressed and pollution has forced the population to the skies. With flying »
About a month has gone by since last we told you about the new sliver of Sasquatchploitation coming our way known as Night Claws. This flick sounded like nothing short of chicken-fried gold, and now there are even more reasons to get excited!
Night Claws stars Reb Brown, Leilani Sarelle, Ted Prior, Sherrie Rose, David Campbell, and Frank Stallone. Yes, Frank Stallone. For more information head on over to the official Night Claws Facebook page and the newly launched Night Claws website.
Bruce Larsen and old friend of the website Bill "Splat" Johnson are handing the practical special effects. No CGI here, folks. This is old school monster moviemaking. Watch the teaser below and try not to smile! We dare you! Thanks to DC reader Avery for the heads-up.
A small town is being terrorized by a killer Bigfoot. One that is bloodthirsty, vicious and kills without warning and without discrimination. »
- Uncle Creepy
Not every movie can be a hit, and some blockbusters offer far more than their big budget and failure to dominate the box office might suggest. Here's our look at ten fascinating failures...
There are blockbuster movies that fail for good reason. Jonah Hex, Town & Country, Catwoman - they deserved their fate, really. In fact, there are films that made bucketloads of cash that didn't deserve their success, too. You can probably name a few of them quite easily.
But what we're interested in here are the blockbuster movies that struggled to make an impact, yet have something about them that makes them worthy of discussion many, many years later. Some of the films we're about to discuss are outright box office flops. Some simply didn't meet commercial expectations. All of them, to some degree, disappointed the studios that backed them.
Some of these aren't, all in honesty, particularly good. »
A banished Norse god! Apocalyptic vampires! A vigilant yeg! A cute scene-stealing Capuchin monkey! Mutant teenagers! A bunch of drunk and horny bridesmaids! Big Foot! A Green Ring! Pirates, Zombies, and Mermaids! Karate kicking zoo animals! A couple of forest dwelling trolls! And one smokin' hot teacher! That's what awaits us at the Cineplex over the course of May and June, and it promises to be a scorcher!
It doesn't really matter how fast and furious things get on the big screen, the summer movie season doesn't officially kick off until May 6th. And this year Thor opens things with a lighting bolt blast of Marvel excitement. It doesn't come to an end until August 31st, when Sam Worthington sends us all back to school with The Debt. Between then and now, we will see some of the biggest movies of the year hit hard. Some will win, some will lose, »
What if Yor, the Hunter from the Future, Sharon Stone's lesbian lover from Basic Instinct, the star of a host of 80s/90s made-for-video action b-movies, the King of the Kickboxer's girlfriend, and Sylvester Stallone's brother got together to star in a new Sasquatchploitation flick called Night Claws from the director of such horror movies as Killer Workout and Mardi Gras for the Devil?
God willing the wait to answer that question won't be too long. Maybe you don't share my enthusiasm, but as a man with an unabashed soft spot for killer Bigfoot movies, the works of David and Ted Prior's Action International Pictures output, and several of the names announced for the cast, Night Claws is already high on my must-see list.
Undead Backbrain brings word that b-moviemaker David A. Prior is back in Alabama (where most of his past movies were filmed) to bring »
Trevor Hogg profiles the career of legendary American filmmaker Martin Scorsese in the second of a five-part feature... read part one here.
“It’s true that some films will involve me more than others,” admitted American filmmaker Martin Scorsese. “It’s also true that I might have never made Taxi Driver  were it not for the success of Alice [Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, 1974]. The question of commercialism is a source of worry. Must one make a choice, must it be a matter of either setting your sights on winning an Academy Award and becoming a millionaire, or making only the movies you want to make and starving to death?” The $1.3 million production about a lonely New York City taxi driver (Robert De Niro), who has an unrequited romantic attachment with political campaign volunteer (Cybill Shepherd) and becomes a vengeful angel for a child prostitute (Jodie Foster), potently harnessed the sense of public disillusionment fueled »
Weekend Box Office
The Rite $15 millionNo Strings Attached $13.6 millionThe Mechanic $11.5 millionThe Green Hornet $11.5 millionThe King's Speech $11.1 millionTrue Grit $7.6 millionThe Dilemma $5.4 millionBlack Swan $5.1 millionThe Fighter $4 millionYogi Bear $3.1 million
The new romantic comedy, No Strings Attached starring Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher, debuted at number one last week, knocking down reigning box office champ, The Green Hornet starring Seth Rogen. But with two new releases this weekend, including The Rite with Oscar winner Anthony Hopkins, and The Mechanic starring Jason Statham, the romcom was unable to successfully defend its crown.
Debuting at number one this week is the new horror film, The Rite. The movie stars Oscar winner Anthony Hopkins (Red Dragon), along with Ciarán Hinds (Miami Vice), Alice Braga (Predators), Toby Jones (Amazing Grace), and Rutger Hauer (Batman Begins). The film made $5,027 on each of its 2,985 screens for an opening weekend total of $15 million. The movie was just short of »
The movie awards season always sets out to reward the excellence in the film world every year (culminating with the Oscars, whose nominations will be released on Tuesday morning, January 25), but considering most of the movies that come out over the course of a year are middling-to-terrible, there should also be awards that recognize failure as well. That's where the Razzies come in. For 31 years, the Razzies (or rather, the "Golden Raspberries") have been recognizing the worst in cinema every year. Past winners of Worst Picture include notorious busts like "Howard the Duck," "Hudson Hawk," "The Postman" and "Showgirls," and this year's nominees include problematic releases like "The Bounty Hunter," "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse," "Sex and the City 2," "The Last Airbender" and "Vampires Suck." There are also awards for Worst Actor and Actress, Worst Screenplay and Worst Director (in addition to the new-this-year Worst Eye-Gouging Misuse of 3-D, which »
- Kyle Anderson
In a night of very few surprises, "The Social Network" continued its dominance of the 2011 awards season, racking up four Golden Globes for Best Picture (Drama), Best Director (David Fincher), Best Screenplay (Aaron Sorkin), and Best Score (Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross). Along with "Social Network," Fincher, and Sorkin, most of the Oscar frontrunners showed no signs of slipping from their positions in their respective races. Colin Firth won best dramatic actor for "The King's Speech," while Natalie Portman took home best dramatic actress for "Black Swan" and my personal award for the Most Endearingly Awkward Moment of the night when she cracked herself up delivering a joke about her meeting her fiance on the set of the film.
- Matt Singer
We still don.t exactly know what he.ll be doing in it, but Bruce Willis has confirmed that he.ll show up in The Expendables 2. The Hudson Hawk star had a brief cameo in the first Expendables and a few months ago Sylvester Stallone told everyone he wanted Willis to take on a bigger role for the sequel, possibly as what he described as a .super villain.. Tonight at the Golden Globes, when Access Hollywood asked Willis if he.ll show up in the film, Bruce responded: .As far as I know, barring any unforeseen circumstances.. He didn.t however confirm whether he.ll just do another cameo or have a bigger part, let alone let slip whether he.s actually be a super villain. I.m pretty sure that if he does end up as the movie.s bad guy, he won.t be wearing a cape. »
19 items from 2011
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