10 items from 2015
If next January comes around and brings no Oscar nominations for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 then it will have the unenviable tally of zero nominations from four films. Only The Twilight Saga, Mission: Impossible and Fast and the Furious franchises can claim such a strike rate. There was a time when every film that made over $200 at the American box-office could claim at least one nomination - even Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me! But since Mission: Impossible II in 2000, that has no longer been the case. Still, for Lionsgate’s hugely successful Hunger Games to bow out with nary a single nomination to its name is genuinely surprising.
What’s more, these films are hardly wanting for acclaim and nomination-worthy elements. Salute (or click) for more!
- Glenn Dunks
In recent times, Hollywood has enjoyed going back into the 1990s to come up with belated sequels to previous hit movies. So, we finally got Dumb & Dumber 2, for instance, whilst a third Clerks, a second Mallrats, a new Sister Act and a Naked Gun reboot are being cooked up somewhere. Further belated sequels? Zoolander 2 finally arrives next year, and Anchorman 2 celebrates, quietly, its second birthday this Christmas.
It was only at the end of the 1990s that comedy sequels suddenly really took off. There were exceptions beforehand of course, but few things raise the eyebrows of Hollywood high brass than lots of cash. This, whilst the enormous box office takings of Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me were in part down to an utterly inspired marketing campaign, »
It's not that long ago that a sequel that did 65% of the original's business was deemed a success. Tell that to Spider-Man today...
When Tim Burton's Batman Returns was released in the summer of 1992, Warner Bros had high hopes. It was the follow-up to his 1989 Batman movie, which had shattered the record for a film's opening weekend at the Us box office (marking the first $40m+ opening on record in the States).
Batman went on to gross $251m at the American box office alone, and is credited as being a major stepping stone in the invention of the modern blockbuster (after the likes of Jaws and Star Wars). Hopes were not small for the sequel.
Even as late as the early 1990s, the main indicator of a film's commercial success lay in its American box office takings. By that kind of measure, this summer's Terminator: Genisys would have been »
Updating 1960s television shows and films has often proved a fraught endeavour. Pop culture of that era is so familiar, and so often invoked, that any film-maker revisiting it risks seeming crass and unoriginal. Is there anything left to be said about Swinging London or Michael Caine in Alfie, The Italian Job and The Ipcress File? After Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me (1999), what mileage is there in spoofing Sixties spy movies, most of which were made with tongue firmly in cheek anyway? Whether it is James Fox in a wig in Performance, David Hemmings with his zoom lens in Blow-Up (1966), or even Carl Boehm as the duffel-coated serial killer in Peeping Tom (1960), characters and images from many Sixties British movies are so familiar that they are beyond parody. »
Ted 2, 2015
Directed by Seth MacFarlane
After last summer’s horribly unfunny A Million Ways To Die In The West, many had begun to question writer/director Seth MacFarlane’s true abilities to turn animated success into film gold. There certainly seemed many positives for the Family Guy creator, not least the success of his film debut Ted in 2012, which grossed almost $550million worldwide. But his sophomore feature was a dud, and further doubts set in when the inevitable sequel for the fuzzy bear was announced.
MacFarlane had himself spoke many times about his (and »
- Scott J. Davis
Universal’s acapella sequel earned more in its first weekend than the $65 million that the original “Pitch Perfect” pulled in during its entire North American theatrical run. The only comparable performance is the way that “Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me” opened with $54.9 million, more than the $53.9 million that the first spy satire racked up during its domestic engagement.
Like the first “Austin Powers” film, “Pitch Perfect” put up big numbers on home entertainment platforms, allowing people to catch up with a movie they may have missed while it was in theaters. Add to that the ubiquity of the breakout number from the first film, “Cups,” and shows it inspired such as the reality series “Sing it On, »
- Brent Lang
These days, we're used to the marketing hype for a major film building up about two years ahead of release. Visitors to Comic-Con got a preview of Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice, for example, more than two years ahead of its due date. Our collective hunger for a first look at major forthcoming films is such that, it seems, studios are keen to show off their work-in-progress earlier and earlier.
But there are ways of teasing a forthcoming movie without showing a frame of the finished product, which is where the following list comes in. They're all examples of promos that manage to get across the flavour of a future film without going into story details. Some of them were made before a foot of celluloid was exposed, »
Verne Troyer is on the mend! The 46-year-old actor was hospitalized Saturday "for precautionary measures," his rep told E! News in a statement, adding that "all tests came back normal and [he] then left shortly after that." Troyer, who rose to fame back in 1999 playing "Mini-Me" in Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, is "doing fine," added his rep, noting that he returned to The Heart of Texas Comic Con in Waco, Texas, the same day. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Troyer suffered a seizure Saturday which resulted in his brief hospitalization. The actor himself declined to mention the specific nature of his health scare, but he did personally reassure fans on social media he was »
Lionsgate has announced this week details of the DVD and Blu-ray release of Horns, which has been set for release on March 16th, and you can pre-order over at Amazon here. While no technical specificiations, including special features, have been released, Lionsgate has revealed artwork for both releases, which we have for you here…
Directed by Alexandre Aja (Piranha 3D), Horns stars Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter), Juno Temple (Sin City: A Dame to Kill For), Max Minghella (The Social Network), Heather Graham (Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me) and David Morse (The Rock).
See Also: Read our review of Horns here
- Scott J. Davis
Quick…name a favorable film where the landscape is run by (or at least partially include) the demographic of little people as part of the instrumental storyline? C’mon…it should not be that difficult, okay? If you want to mention say Darby O’Gill and the Little People then that would fine. How about Bad Santa or Poltergeist for that matter?
In That’s Good Enough, Short Stuff: Top Ten Films Featuring Little People we will take a look at some of the mini megastars that inhabited these movies and contributed their fair share of entertainment value to the on-screen proceedings. The debate as to whether some of these selected films featuring these pint-sized performers are considered positive, exploitative or dismissive are not up for discussion (although one of these considerations could apply in the minds of a few folks). Instead, we want to celebrate the inclusion of »
- Frank Ochieng
10 items from 2015
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