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The parameters, mutually agreed upon by my editor Danny Kasman and myself, are these: A bi-weekly (every two weeks) column, entitled "On Mubi / Off," covering two films—one currently available on the Mubi streaming platform in the United States, the other screening offsite (in theaters, on VOD, Blu-ray/DVD, etc). The movies may share some similarities in approach, execution and theme, or they may not. Mostly, my own interests and curiosity will dictate what films are covered and in what way, and I hope you'll find the prose, the pairings, and/or the analysis compelling enough to follow along.On MUBITerminal Island (Stephanie Rothman, 1973)Sight unseen, I thought Stephanie Rothman's 1973 exploitation cheapie Terminal Island would make for a good inaugural article lead-off—something Z-grade disreputable to complement the A-level sleaze (not necessarily a criticism) of the other movie covered in this column. (We'll get to you momentarily, Mr. Bond. »
- Keith Uhlich
They came via hyperdrive and warp speed, and even by New Jersey Transit, these devotees of Stars both Trek and Wars to mix with the high-rolling, arts-underwriting swells at a benefit performance for the Montclair Film Festival. But mostly, these disciples of sci-fi's top-shelf franchises made a pilgrimage to the Garden State to watch Stephen Colbert host a two-hour "celebrity nerd-off" with director J.J. Abrams, just three-and-a-half weeks before the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. If you listened closely on Saturday night, you could hear a million-ish »
Usually, a competing project is poison for a studio. Especially in the era now where a blockbuster costs the national budget of a small country to get out into the world, you don't want to be up against a film with similar subject matter.
Yet this keeps happening, time and time again. Even now, there are two live action Jungle Book movies in various stages of production, for example. And let us not forget when K-9 and Turner And Hooch once did battle...
But how have the movie showdowns of old turned out? And are there any instances where everyone's a winner?
Er, not many as it happens...
Let's start with two reasonably budgeted horror films, that both got wide releases. Jan De Bont »
For a big budget movie about a lone astronaut who gets stranded on Mars, the spacesuits in The Martian are surprisingly sober in terms of design. There is an attempt here to make everything seem as plausible as possible, costume design especially. Director Ridley Scott’s regular costumer Janty Yates has created possibly the sexiest spacesuits ever seen on screen, and what’s more they are functional. To paraphrase a line in the film, she had to “science the shit out of them”.
Yates collaborated with Nasa looking specifically at their Z1 and Z2 prototypes to create an Eva (‘Extravehicular Activity’ – any time the crew must go outside) suit and surface or ‘bio’ suit (worn on Mars). The surface suit is similar to the blue under-suits she created for Scott’s near future set Prometheus in 2012, although further grounded in reality. The Prometheus under-suits could, in theory, monitor functioning levels of the human body, »
- Lord Christopher Laverty
Neil deGrasse Tyson has a slogan for his StarTalk TV show that he isn't allowed to use. "It's 'Learn something for a change,'" he says with a laugh. "Our marketing people think it's offensive. But I still think: 'Learn something for a change!'"
As an astrophysicist, author, lecturer, and director of the Hayden Planetarium in New York, Tyson has spent a career trying to turn the rest of the country into fellow science geeks. As America's go-go spaceman, he's hosted his StarTalk podcast, radio show and now TV series, »
Nasa helped make The Martian. But it also advised on Men in Black III. So what exactly is its relationship with movies? And can the truth survive blockbuster blast-off? The agency’s director of planetary science reveals all
A rumour started a few years ago that Nasa routinely screened Armageddon to new recruits. Not because the asteroid-smashing Michael Bay epic was in any way edifying, but for the exact opposite reason: Armageddon got so much wrong that it was a showreel for how space doesn’t work. According to one estimate, the movie contains 168 scientific impossibilities and inaccuracies, which Nasa challenged its recruits to spot; they include space shuttles taking off like planes from asteroids, gravity working the wrong way on space stations and the fanciful notion that a nuclear blast could deflect an asteroid the size of Texas – they’d need a bomb a billion times bigger, physicists calculated. »
- Steve Rose
Your favorite sports classic turns 15 years young today! After we got done feeling as old as last week's laundry, we got a little curious and wanted to see what our favorite Remember the Titans cast members were up to today. Check out what they look like, and what they've been doing all these years later: Denzel Washington (Coach Herman Boone): Yes...we've heard of him. The two-time Oscar winner is currently filming Magnificent Seven, out in 2016. Will Patton (Coach Bill Yoast): Patton is also known for his roles in Armageddon and Gone in 60 Seconds with Angelina Jolie Donald Faison (Petey Jones): We loved Caceee Cobb's hubby in Scrubs and, of »
This is pretty random -- and totally cute! Liv Tyler took to social media this weekend to confirm rumors that David Beckham is godfather to her adorable 7-month-old son Sailor. "Sailor having lunch with his daddy @davidgardner and his God daddy @davidbeckham," she captioned the photo above -- showing her super cute kid with his father and Becks. So, what's the connection here? Liv's fiance, David Gardner, has been friends with the soccer star for years, after the two met while playing on a club team when they were teenagers. While Gardner eventually became a sports agent, he still clearly remained very close with Beckham. But that wasn't the only big news from the "Armageddon" star this weekend. On Friday, Us Magazine revealed the actress and Gardner got engaged back in December -- but were able to keep it a secret until now. With the cat out of the bag, »
- tooFab Staff
The Aerosmith frontman became the pop star's newest squad member on Friday, when he joined her on stage in Nashville for a duet of his band's 1997 smash "I Don't Want To Miss a Thing."
Teaming up on the hit "Armageddon" theme was a thrill for both Steven and Taylor, as they each took to social media to share their excitement about the performance.
Photos: Taylor Swift's '1989' Tour Guest Stars
"Holy Swift!!! @TAYLORSWIFT13 ...Shined So Hot N Bright She ...
Copyright 2015 by NBC Universal, Inc. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Access Hollywood)
One of Taylor Swift's latest 1989 tour celebrity guests was pretty rock n' roll. At her concert at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville on Friday, the 25-year-old pop star brought onstage Steven Tyler, 67, to perform a duet of his band Aerosmith's 1998 hit ballad "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing," from the movie Armageddon. "Holy Swift!!! @TAYLORSWIFT13 ...Shined So Hot N Bright She Made The Sun Jealous!!!" the rocker said on his Twitter page. "Thanks For The Fun." He also retweeted a 2012 post Swift had published, in which she said, "I feel like I'd be more understood if people knew 'I Don't Want to Miss a Thing' by »
You could call it the MacGyver effect: the curious thrill of seeing clever people solving problems in ingenious ways. That’s partly the key to The Martian’s success, both as a best-selling novel (by Andy Weir) and now as a movie directed by Ridley Scott.
Matt Damon is the lone lifeform on the surface of Mars - astronaut and botanist Mark Watney, presumed dead and left behind by his crew when a violent storm forces them to abort their mission. Waking up alone with only a few meagre supplies and a flimsy base to call a refuge, Watney faces years of loneliness and almost certain starvation. That is, unless he can use his skills and knowledge to figure out a means of survival - or as Watney says of his situation, »
Let’s face it, most of us have a soft spot for things blowing up in movies, and for a long time movies have been happy to feed our appetite for destruction. But it wasn’t always that way.
I know it’s hard to imagine, but there was a time when explosions weren’t so common in movies. Back then, big-budget movies had dancing and singing, and everyone had a merry time. After WWII though, things started to change. In newspapers and magazines, Americans were being exposed to terrible images of war-torn Europe and Japan. This imagery was haunting, yet it sparked some imaginations. At first, Hollywood was careful not to glamorize it. They figured out a way to show massive destruction and violence while making it fun and moderately profitable instead of soul-crushing and distasteful. The 50’s became known for its low-budget cheese-fests; sci-fi B movies featuring such »
- email@example.com (G.S. Perno)
With ideas like cryogenic sleep and warp speed, the movies have a tendency to make space travel look easy. Not Ridley Scott’s “The Martian,” an enthralling and rigorously realistic outer-space survival story in which Matt Damon plays a Nasa botanist stranded on the Red Planet after a sandstorm forces his crewmates to abort mission. Like Robinson Crusoe on Mars, Damon’s “right stuff” hero has to get by on his own wits and “science the sh–” out of his predicament. It won’t be easy, but it is possible — and that’s the exhilarating thrill of both Andy Weir’s speculative-fiction novel and screenwriter Drew Goddard’s “science fact” adaptation. Considering that the United States hasn’t launched a manned space mission since 2011, “The Martian” should do far more than just make Fox a ton of money; it could conceivably rekindle interest in the space program and inspire a new generation of future astronauts. »
- Peter Debruge
Rock on, Steven Tyler! The Aerosmith frontman surprised fans in Moscow, Russia on Friday when he suddenly began performing with a street musician. Accompanied by the busker on an acoustic guitar, the two sang the band's 1998 power ballad, "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing." After they were done, Tyler, 67, gave the guy a high five and posed for pics with him as a small crowd that had gathered cheered. "Spasiba [thank you]!" a woman exclaimed. The song was featured on the soundtrack to the movie Armageddon, which stars the rocker's daughter Liv Tyler, 38, and hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles Chart, where it remained for about »
Bruno Barde, the man behind five festivals including the Deauville American Film Fest, sat down with Variety on the eve of the 41st edition, which opens today with an homage to Keanu Reeves and the French premiere of Baltasar Kormakur’s epic adventure drama “Everest.”
A former high-profile agent and the current boss of Paris-based Public System Cinema, Barde took over the artistic direction of Deauville 20 years ago and has strived to select movies and documentaries that reflect the breath and diversity of contemporary U.S. cinema, as well as its society.
This year, the main theme of the festival is heroism. “American cinema abounds with cult heroic figures; not only in studio movies with superheroes but also in independent films with real people who by virtue become heroes,” said Barde. Many actors who will be honored in Deauville have interpreted these heroes: Reeves with “Matrix” and “Speed”; Orlando Bloom »
- Elsa Keslassy
Lionsgate has acquired the movie rights to Steve Hamilton’s upcoming novel “The Second Life of Nick Mason.”
Lionsgate made the deal with Hamilton’s reps preemptively. Putnam will publish “Nick Mason” in May as the first in a series; the titular character is a career criminal who’s released early from prison and finds himself forced to commit felonies for a Chicago crime lord while pursued by the detective who put him behind bars.
Hamilton also wrote “The Lock Artist” and the Alex McKnight series.
- Dave McNary
Owen Wilson might seem like an unlikely action hero, but there was a time when he looked primed to become America’s next golden-haired champion of good and kicking ass. Roles in films like Behind Enemy Lines and Armageddon set a tone that he quickly subverted with roles in action-comedies like Shanghai Noon and I Spy, not to mention his now-trademark offbeat persona honed in Wes Anderson films and countless romantic comedies. He clearly went with the material that interested him (and audiences) more, but was somehow tempted to join fellow indie-and-romcom staple Lake Bell in No Escape, a film that pits their married couple against a horde of murderous Asian people and Pierce Brosnan’s cockney accent.
The film starts out with Jack and Annie Dwyer »
- Mark Allen
French beachfront festival unveils full line-up.Scroll down for full line-up
The 41st edition of the beachfront festival, taking place in the northern French resort of Deauville, announced the new prize at its line-up press conference on Monday (Aug 24).
Opening and closing films
Argentina looked like the set of Michael Bay's "Armageddon" Thursday night when a fiery meteor streaked across the night sky of the South American country. Pics and videos of a meteor illuminating the skies of the Argentine capital, Buenos Aires, have been popping up all over social media with the hashtag #cieloverde … Spanish for #greensky. Local newspapers reported the astronomical event happened around 9 pm local time. Check out the video that would freak out any dinosaur. »
- TMZ Staff
Paramount Pictures just shared the first trailer for Michael Bay's "13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi," which is scheduled for release on January 15, 2016. (Should somebody pre-order a ticket for Hillary Clinton?)
The action thriller is based on the non-fiction book "13 Hours," which chronicled the September 2012 attack by militants at the American diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya. John Krasinski -- given no dialogue in this trailer, but clearly leaving "The Office" far behind -- stars with James Badge Dale, Max Martini, Pablo Schreiber, Toby Stephens, David Denman, Dominic Fumusa, and Freddie Stroma.
Michael Bay is best known for popcorn blockbusters like "Armageddon" and "Transformers," but he did give his trademark treatment to another real-life story in "Pearl Harbor," so it's possible he'll be doing something similar here. Is that a good thing?
Watch the trailer.
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- Gina Carbone
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