12 items from 2015
As usual, this year’s Oscar race for Best Makeup and Hairstyling features a wide array of character transformations, period detail and genre manifestations. While fantastical exhibitions have certainly been Academy favorites in the past, the award has gone to grounded work more often than not in recent years, with films like “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” “Dallas Buyers Club” and “The Iron Lady” walking away with the gold. So let’s start there with our analysis of this year’s field.
Tom Hooper’s “Les Misérables” won the prize a few years back. This year, his follow-up — “The Danish Girl” — provides another opportunity for designers to work in period trappings. But moreover, this story of trangender pioneer Lili Elbe offers up an on-screen metamorphosis as actor Eddie Redmayne portrays Elbe during her transition. Designer Jan Sewell has been BAFTA-nominated a number of times over the years, including a notice for »
- Kristopher Tapley
Star Trek is more popular than ever these days, thanks to J.J. Abrams' hit Star Trek movies, with Star Trek Beyond set to hit theaters next year. While the original Star Trek series only lasted three seasons, the 1980s spinoff Star Trek: The Next Generation took the franchise to new heights, running for seven seasons over 176 episodes, between 1987 and 1994. That show's star, Patrick Stewart, who brought Captain Jean-Luc Picard to life, recently held a Reddit Ama session to promote his Starz series Blunt Talk, where he was asked what his favorite Star Trek episode is. Here's what the actor had to say.
"My favorite episode is "Inner Light". It was a beautiful script, which for me was almost entirely located away from the Enterprise-and it's crew! And because I was given the chance to perform what Picard would have been like if his life experience had been different. »
Robots have been a staple on the big screen for many decades, showing up as far back as Fritz Lang’s 1927 classic Metropolis and as recently as Alex Garland’s 2015 film Ex Machina. With numerous depictions of robots have come numerous ideas of what they look like, what they’re capable of, whether they’re good or evil, and other such concerns.
Now vimeo user Mennomail has made a mashup of the various robotic representations on the big screen over the years. The video is set to both Fractals by Monea Music and Ich Will by Rammstein, and highlights both the similarities and differences in how robots have been depicted by various filmmakers. Mennomail also released a list of films from which scenes appear, which is as follows:
Films used (in alphabetical order)
1. Automata (2014)
2. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
3. Artificial Intelligence: AI (2001)
4. Alien (1979)
5. Aliens (1986)
6. Bicentennial Man (1999)
7. Big Hero 6 (2014)
8. Blade Runner »
- Deepayan Sengupta
Star Trek 10 was supposed to lead into a further Next Generation crew movie, had all gone to plan. It didn't. So what happened?
1996's Star Trek: First Contact took $150 million worldwide, on a budget of $46 million. 1998's Star Trek: Insurrection managed to swallow a budget of $70 million and only return $118 worldwide, but after the critical feedback about that film, surely a darker action film along the same lines as First Contact would jump the box office back up? That appeared to be the thought pattern at Paramount, as it greenlit a further adventure for the Star Trek: The Next Generation cast. Star Trek: Nemesis was born.
The film, released in December 2002 in the Us, would go on to take $67m at the global box office, off the back of a $60m budget. It'd sell 1.3m DVDs in its first week in America, and in the scheme of things, was a financial disappointment. »
"That'll do, pig. That'll do."
It's been 20 years since the world fell in love with the sheep-herding pig at the center of the film "Babe," which opened August 4, 1995. The movie was hailed as a kids' movie that delighted viewers of all ages -- it was the rare children's film nominated for a Best Picture Oscar -- as well as an advance in effects magic that launched a wave of live-action, talking-animal flicks.
It's hard to imagine that the G-rated classic came from George Miller, the same filmmaker behind the ultra-violent, hard-r "Mad Max" franchise. That's one of many things you may not know about "Babe," here are 19 more:
1. In 1986, producer/co-screenwriter Miller became interested in the story during a long plane flight from Sydney to London, where the woman seated next to him was laughing uproariously at Dick King-Smith's book, "The Sheep-Pig." Upon landing, he found the book in »
- Gary Susman
After 19 years, Tom Cruise's first major franchise is still one of Hollywood's best.
As Ethan Hunt, the star turned himself into an action hero with 1996's "Mission: Impossible" -- going Full Cruise with all the running, punching and jumping onto a bullet train from (naturally) an exploding helicopter. The first film was a huge hit, spawning five sequels -- all from different directors, as the series aims to give each "Mission" its own unique fingerprint.
Cruise is back for the latest installment, "Rogue Nation." Before you see the movie this Friday, your mission -- should you choose to accept it -- is to check out these 27 facts about the "Mission" films.
"Mission: Impossible" (1996)
1. Before locking down Brian De Palma to direct, the first filmmaker Cruise approached about "Mission" was Sydney Pollack, whom he had worked with previously on Paramount's 1993 summer hit, "The Firm."
2. De Palma designed many of the »
- Phil Pirrello
Chicago – Adam Scott has become familiar to audiences through his five year run as Ben Wyatt on TV’s “Parks and Recreation,” but he is also creating a presence on the big screen, with various supporting roles in big films (“The Secret Life of Walter Mitty”) and his latest comedy, “The Overnight.”
“The Overnight” is an exaggerated and very funny truth story about marriage, sexuality and understanding the relationship to one’s self. Two couples, portrayed by Adam Scott, Taylor Schilling, Jason Schwartzman and Judith Godréche, start with a simple planned dinner party, and that gathering devolves into a substance-fueled debauchery which lasts through the night. Each individual learns a bit about themselves during the events, and Adam Scott’s character is particularly willing to participate in that change.
Photo credit: The Orchard
Scott was born in California, and after graduating from »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
Like their forerunners, the two latest Star Trek films, in their semi-rebooted, alternative universe, are replete with famous faces from outside the franchise, surprising cameos and multiple little touches that raise a smile.
With the third film in the rebooted series coming next year, the 50th anniversary of the debut of Star Trek on TV in 1966, let's take a look at a few of the geeky nods in Jj's Trek films.
1. Star Trek Nemesis left a lot of dangling threads, on purpose, as a story treatment for a direct sequel was already being worked on. Unfortunately due to some less than stellar decisions by executives, the release date of the film was repositioned and the decision was made to »
Since Star Trek: The Motion Picture in 1979, the Star Trek cinematic outings have proved to be a smorgasbord of references and famous actors (or those who would go on to be), and often had complex behind the scenes events that stopped some rather, ahem, fascinating moments making it to the final version. We found lots of nerdy spots in the first six films here.
This time out we look at the films featuring the cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation and choose 47 factoids. Granted, there's a lot more than that of interest, but we've tried for ones that you might not be aware of.
Oh, and there are some major spoilers...
Star Trek: Generations (1994)
1. The first of the Next Generation films was something of a rush job as principal photography »
Picard's pyjamas! The devil! Judge Data! This week's Tng lookback reaches a hugely fun courtroom episode, Devil's Due...
This review contains spoilers.
4.13 Devil's Due
Picard is watching Data perform as Ebeneezer Scrooge on the holodeck when the ship receives a distress call from a Federation science team on Ventax II. The planet's population is rioting because it just reached the end of an alleged thousand-year contract with Ardra, their planet's version of the Devil, which promised the citizens peace and prosperity in return for becoming her property when the contract was up. Remember: always read the small print.
With a mob holding most of the science team hostage, Picard beams down and gets his negotiating pen out. As he attempts to quell the superstitious crowd's fear, Arda appears, announcing that "Time's up."
In an attempt to convince everyone that she is who she says, she briefly takes on the form »
One rumor that briefly caused a lot of stir last month before it was summarily shut down was that Paramount's venerable "Star Trek" franchise might be making a return to television. That rumor placed filmmaker Bryan Singer as producer on a new project at CBS, who controls the rights to "Star Trek" on television.
Sadly, not only did the rumor not pan out - another person connected to the franchise says that we shouldn't be holding out much hope. Jonathan Frakes, who played Commander William Riker on "Star Trek: The Next Generation" as well as directed numerous episodes and two of the films ("Star Trek: First Contact," "Star Trek: Insurrection") says the chances of Trek going back to its small screen roots are slim.
According to Leader-Post, Frakes appeared at Fan Expo Regina 2015 where he reportedly revealed that he had pitched a concept for a new Star Trek series to CBS. »
- Garth Franklin
The Star Trek franchise has a great tradition of seeing its actors become creatively involved behind the camera. Leonard Nimoy got the ball rolling by taking the helm of Star Trek III: The Search for Spock and then co-wrote and directed Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home and collaborated on the story for Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. In between those latter two, William Shatner co-wrote and directed Star Trek V: The Final Frontier. Later, The Next Generation cast member Jonathan Frakes directed Star Trek: First Contact and Star Trek: Insurrection. Frakes also directed many episodes of The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine and Voyager. Other cast members who’ve helmed episodes of various incarnations, including Enterprise: Patrick Stewart, LeVar Burton, Avery Brooks, Rene Auberjonois, Roxann Dawson, Michael Dorn, Siddig El Fadil, Gates McFadden, Robert Duncan McNeill, Robert Picardo, Andrew Robinson and Tim Russ. As far as I’m willing to go through everyone’s »
- Christopher Campbell
12 items from 2015
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