5 items from 2015
What if I told you "Casper" was an important film in movie history? Twenty years ago today, Universal released "Casper," and it did okay. It was not a critical hit, and it was not a box-office sensation. But in its way, "Casper" was revolutionary, and at the time, I was absolutely fascinated by the movie and, more specifically, by the Ilm work in the film. In late 1994 and early 1995, I was dating/living with/engaged to a young woman who was working in marketing at Universal. She was about as low on the totem pole as she could be, but excited about what she was doing and excited about the various films she got to work on. Because she had to basically immerse herself in each of the films she was working on, that meant I had that same opportunity. I remember reading three scripts in particular during her time there that got me curious. »
- Drew McWeeny
Remember when Christina Ricci starred opposite a computer-generated array of ghosts in Casper and Mel Gibson donned medieval garb in Braveheart? Those were the two big openers of the 1995 Memorial Day weekend frame 20 years ago – and also the last time this oft-bustling moviegoing weekend failed to see a film hit the $40 million mark. Despite no strong opener over the holiday weekend, making this the lowest-grossing Memorial Day frame since 2001, moviegoers still came out to see a variety of thrilling films, five of which earned more than $20 million over the three days.
In first place was Tomorrowland, an original (and pricey) sci-fi adventure from Disney, which finished with an estimated $32.2 million over its first three days. (The projected four-day estimate is $40.7 million.) That would be a fine start for an original film in summer, but with a $180 million budget, as well as mixed reviews and audience reception (a B CinemaScore), the »
- Jordan Adler
For some reason, Hollywood fell in love with British actors again in the 1990s. Sparked by Alan Rickman's turn as Hans Gruber in Die Hard at the back end of the 1980s, many movie villains were either Brits, or in the case of Cliffhanger, John Lithgow taking on the mannerisms of a British antagonist.
Yet in particular, Hollywood went recruiting British comedy talent, with faces then mainly - but not exclusively - known for their small screen work getting roles of various sizes in Hollywood productions. Here are some who racked up the air miles - starting with the man who arguably became one of the most successful...
Hugh Laurie - 101 Dalmatians
Laurie is a man of many talents, who ultimately cracked America with »
With starring roles in hits like The Addams Family, Casper, and Now and Then, Christina Ricci definitely cemented herself in '90s pop-culture history. She brought surprising charm to Wednesday Addams, conveyed some thoughtful life lessons in Now and Then, and kissed then-heartthrob Devon Sawa not once, but twice on screen - not to mention her movie romance with Johnny Depp. Since then, she's continued to win fans over with onscreen appearances and her funny Twitter feed, and last Summer, she had a baby boy. The actress turns 35 this week, so to celebrate her birthday, take a trip down memory lane to remember all the reasons you couldn't help but envy Christina Ricci back in the '90s. »
One of the more obnoxious trailers I've seen in the last six months was for "Paddington," which looked like loud, annoying children's trash. I've sat through so many of those movies since I had my kids, and even when it's my job to review them, it is one of those things that I have to steel myself for ahead of time. Whoever cut the trailers for "Paddington" owes writer/director Paul King a personal apology, though. I mean, I get it. I know why they didn't push the whole "From the director of 'The Mighty Boosh'" angle in the trailers, but it would have at least convinced me. I am delighted to report that King's movie is sweet and smart and silly, beautifully made from top to bottom. While my kids were entertained by it, I found it very moving and was pleased to see how well King's sense of style, »
- Drew McWeeny
5 items from 2015
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