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Besides making people forever afraid of motel-room showers, Alfred Hitchcock's "Psycho" continues to have an incalculable impact on popular culture. Though it was released 55 years ago this week (on June 16, 1960), it continues to inspire filmmakers and TV producers. In just the last three years, we've seen the 2012 film "Hitchcock" (based on Stephen Rebello's book "Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of 'Psycho,'" and starring Anthony Hopkins as the director and Scarlett Johansson as Janet Leigh) and the ongoing A&E TV prequel drama series, "Bates Motel."
Still, for all of the "Psycho" trivia revealed in "Hitchcock," the biopic barely scratches the surface of how the film got made, from the men who inspired the invention of Norman Bates, to the trickery Hitchcock used to tease the press while keeping the film's convention-shredding narrative twists a secret, to the film's unlikely connection to "Leave It to Beaver." Here, »
- Gary Susman
By rights I should hate the English. Seriously, my background is almost entirely Scots and Irish. I grew up hearing about the troubles the English gave to the Scots and Irish, both in school and from my parents.
Yet I do not, I love the English. How can I hate a country that gave us not only Monty Python but also Benny Hill and the Carry On Films? How can I bear any ill will to a country that gave us writers of the caliber of Ramsey Campbell, Brian Aldiss, Michael Moorcock and J. G Ballard? How can anyone hate a country that not only prizes eccentric behavior but encourages it? Take Mr. Kim Newman for instance, a brilliant writer whose work appears regularly in Video WatchDog and Videoscope Mr. Newman dresses himself, has his hair and mustache styled and speaks in the manner of someone from the 19th Century! »
- Sam Moffitt
We know Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 is bringing back April O'Neil (Megan Fox) and Vern Fenwick (Will Arnett), along with the turtles themselves, but today we have new photos that confirm a surprise cameo. If you want to be surprised when you see this sequel in theaters next summer, then stop reading right now. For those who are just dying to know who it is, all will be revealed below.
As you likely know, The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were first spawned as comic book characters before getting their hit animated TV series in the 1980s and the 1990 live-action adaptation Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Today, Judith Hoag, who played April O'Neil in the 1990 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie, was spotted on the set alongside Megan Fox and Will Arnett. It's unknown at this time who Judith Hoag is playing, or if she has a substantial role, or just a cameo. »
Scarlett Johansson Oscar dress Scarlett Johansson at the Oscars Looking great in a long purple dress, Scarlett Johansson displays her tight-fitting costume and bare back at the 83rd Academy Awards held on Feb. 27 at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood. Oscar 2011 co-host and Best Actor nominee James Franco (for Danny Boyle's 127 Hours) thus introduced Johansson and fellow Oscar presenter Matthew McConaughey: "I am six degrees of Kevin Bacon away from our next two presenters. Figure it out on the Internet." Well, if you're lucky. Some have remarked that Franco was a more effective Oscar host online, where he tweeted some of the evening's to-dos, than on the stage of the Kodak Theatre. His fellow equally panned Oscarcast host was actress Anne Hathaway. Scarlett Johansson movies Scarlett Johansson has been featured in more than 40 films since her debut at age 10 in Rob Reiner's North, back in 1994. Johansson, in fact, »
- D. Zhea
Christian Petzold's Phoenix is a darkly melodramatic tale told in a very unmelodramatic fashion. It is a film that you could imagine being made in late 1940s Hollywood with moody lighting and one of those very eerie, very overblown scores that Bernard Herrmann used to write for Hitchcock movies. Petzold's approach, though, is pared-down and naturalistic. It is as if he has decided the story itself is so strange anyway that he doesn't need to over-egg affairs with showy effects and self-conscious camera work. »
This week marks the 10th anniversary of the release of "Crash" (on May 6, 2005), an all-star movie whose controversy came not from its provocative treatment of racial issues but from its Best Picture Oscar victory a few months later, against what many critics felt was a much more deserving movie, "Brokeback Mountain."
The "Crash" vs. "Brokeback" battle is one of those lingering disputes that makes the Academy Awards so fascinating, year after year. Moviegoers and critics who revisit older movies are constantly judging the Academy's judgment. Even decades of hindsight may not always be enough to tell whether the Oscar voters of a particular year got it right or wrong. Whether it's "Birdman" vs. "Boyhood," "The King's Speech" vs. "The Social Network," "Saving Private Ryan" vs. "Shakespeare in Love" or even "An American in Paris" vs. "A Streetcar Named Desire," we're still confirming the Academy's taste or dismissing it as hopelessly off-base years later. »
- Gary Susman
The Simpsons has a long history of peppering its stories with pop culture references, and some of the show’s finest gags stem from the world of cinema. These have ranged from the briefest of quotes, to full on shot-for-shot parodies and extended episode-long homages.
Most striking in trying to put this list together was the sheer volume of movie references there are to choose from. In pretty much any given episode of The Simpsons, there are at least a couple, with nods to James Bond, 2001: A Space Odyssey and the work of Alfred Hitchcock proving three of the most regular candidates. The tributes to numerous great horror movies in the show’s Treehouse Of Horror episodes could have been used to fill this list all on their own. »
This is a tale of chance encounters.1) René Clair is in London, making The Ghost Goes West (1935). Something of a flaneur, he has strolled down to the East End, and his noctivagation leads him to a Limehouse pub which strikes him with an intense but mysterious feeling of déjà vu."Of course!" he suddenly thinks. "D.W. Griffith: Broken Blossoms!" The pub is the very image of Griffith's Hollywood recreation of Victorian London from his 1919 film.And there, at the bar, sits D.W. Griffith himself. Clair approaches this mirage and learns that Griffith is in London to direct a remake of Broken Blossoms at Twickenham Studios. Drink is taken.2) All this comes from screenwriter Rodney Ackland's bittersweet memoir of his work in British cinema, The Celluloid Mistress, co-written with Elspeth Grant. He further explains that his idolisation of Griffith prompted him to volunteer his services in any capacity as »
- David Cairns
Occasionally, a movie villain will pause for a moment to deliver a brief story or anecdote. And often, these apparently incidental tales tell us a lot about an antagonist's state of mind, experiences or warped worldview.
We've compiled a selection of 20 here. Some of them are blackly funny. Many are disturbing. One or two are even moving. The first one's very strange. All of them bring something unique to each particular film in which they appear, and all of them are laced with a delicious hint of menace.
20. Xander - Enemies Closer (2013)
"When I was a little boy at my grandmama's place, she had a lovely goose. I named her Edith, after the French singer Edith Piaf..."
We begin with a delightfully weird story from Peter Hyams' 2013 thriller, »
This month's film Book Club choice is a study of director William Friedkin that spends as much time on the failures as the successes...
Some films catch your attention for reasons other than being good. Cruising (1980) has stuck in my memory for years. It’s very weird. Al Pacino plays a cop who works undercover in New York’s gay club scene, tracking down a serial killer. Or possibly more than one serial killer; it's difficult to tell in the darkness, the double bluffs, and the uncomfortable and unclear nature of the action. Few critics liked it, even less people went to see it, and William Friedkin wrote and directed it. When I think of Friedkin's work I think of Cruising as much as I think of The Exorcist, or The French Connection. How could the same person have made these films?
Clagett's book embraces the failures as much as the successes, »
According to The Tracking Board Scarlett Johansson is under the microscope a serious contender to star as the leading lady Universal fans still cherish Julie Adams. Johansson a proven versatile performer certainly has the look and the presence to pull off the role and an Alister like herself certainly wont hurt commercial appeal. Its a smart move from Universal and it could be a very intelligent business decision for Johansson who is already a phoenix in the business thanks to recent hits Avengers (the forthcoming sequel Avengers Age of Ultron isnt going to do anything to damage her momentum for the record) Lucy Under the Skin and Hitchcock four films that were met with warm reception. Why not add yet another major marquee »
Helen Mirren is perhaps the only actress of her generation who can come close to matching Meryl Streep in terms of still finding quality film roles and delivering spellbinding performances. This week, she takes on the role of a real-life Austrian immigrant, seeking justice for her family by reclaiming a lost piece of art stolen during WWII, in the drama Woman in Gold (2015). Early reviews have been mixed, yet Mirren, as usual, has been showered with praise for another stunning portrayal from the Oscar winner.
For all the nuance that Mirren no doubt brings to Woman in Gold, it surely won’t be able to hold a candle to her finest post-Queen role, as the wife of the master of suspense in Hitchcock (2012). Based on the book by Stephen Rebello, Hitchcock chronicles Alfred Hitchcock’s (Anthony Hopkins) long journey in bringing the now-classic Psycho (1960) to the screen. The film depicts »
- Frank Calvillo
Article by Jim Batts, Dana Jung, and Tom Stockman
The Birds screens at Schlafly Bottleworks (7260 Southwest Ave.- at Manchester – Maplewood, Mo 63143) Thursday, April 2nd at 7pm. It is a benefit for Helping Kids Together (more details about this event can be found Here)
This gives us a perfect excuse to re-run this top ten list from March of 2012. Alfred Hitchcock directed 54 feature films between 1925 and 1976, and here, according to We Are Movie Geeks, are his ten best:
Frenzy, Hitchcock’s next to last feature film from 1972, represented a homecoming of sorts since it was the first film completely shot in his native England since his silents and early ” talkies ” in the 1930’s. By dipping into the then somewhat new territory of serial killers, he took full advantage of the new cinema freedoms and truly earned his ‘ R ‘ MPAA rating. Perhaps ole’ ” Hitch ” wanted to give those young up-and-coming »
- Movie Geeks
Academy Award nominees David Strathairn (Good Night, and Good Luck) and Catherine Keener (Capote) will feature in the cast alongside Chloë Grace Moretz (Kick Ass) and Ansel Elgort (The Fault in Our Stars), with another Academy Award nominee Steven Knight (Locke) writing the screenplay.
November Criminals follows two teenagers into the dangerous underbelly of Washington, D.C. as they investigate the murder of their friend while falling in love for the first time.
November Criminals will be released in 2016.
- Scott J. Davis
American Sniper actor Cory Hardrict has joined November Criminals, the teen thriller starring Chloe Grace Moretz and Ansel Elgort. Hitchcock's Sacha Gervasi is directing the Sony film, which is an adaptation of Sam Munson’s 2011 novel about two teens who venture into the seedy underbelly of Washington, D.C. to investigate a friend’s murder. Catherine Keener also stars. Steven Knight wrote the script for the film, which is slated to begin production in late March. Beth O’Neil and Black Bicycle Entertainment's Erika Olde are producing with Lotus. Read More 'American Sniper' Actor Cory Hardrict Joins 'Spectral' (Exclusive) Hardrict's recent projects
- Rebecca Ford
The human condition. It is a tricky and complicated concept for us mortals to grasp in terms of our ugly, unpredictable behaviors. However, when one applies a revealing spotlight on the animal kingdom and takes a look at their on-screen aggression against humans it becomes a whole new ballgame. Occasionally, the source of frustration embedded in these wayward creatures is often times triggered by the psychological prompting of the bad seed humans responsible for their behavioral tirade against nature and man.
In Creature Feature: Top Ten Animals Gone Bad in the Movies we will look at the bombastic beasts gone ballistic in cinematic society. Maybe you have your own selections of haywire critters out to cause random havoc? If so then they probably would suffice within the theme of this movie column when detailing the animals that run amok on land, by sea or in the air.
The selections for »
- Frank Ochieng
Helen Mirren insists that she wasn’t that nervous at the 2007 Academy Awards while awaiting the opening of the Oscar envelope for best actress.
But her actions would suggest otherwise.
When Philip Seymour Hoffman announced she had won for her turn as Elizabeth II in “The Queen,” Mirren stood up, embraced her director husband Taylor Hackford, and made her way to the stage — in one hand clutching her purse and in the other holding a clip-on earring she had removed moments earlier because it was pinching her.
“When they gave me the Oscar, I had no hands left!” Mirren recalls with a laugh. “It was very klutzy of me. These are the thing they don’t tell you; what do you do with your purse?”
But the veteran actress, who turns 70 in July, appeared cool and collected when she then delivered a speech thanking the Academy for “the best gold »
- Jenelle Riley
Euro powerhouse Studio Canal has acquired the UK, France, Germany Australia and New Zealand. Eagle Pictures and Leone Film Group have acquired the title for Italy. Scanbox has Scandinavia, Feel Good (Greece), Myndform (Iceland), Ascot Elite (Switzerland), Tripictures (Spain), Sun Distribution (Latin America), Apsara (select pan-Asian territories, Able Entertainment (South Korea), Tohokushinsha Film (Japan), United King (Israel), Eagle Films (Middle East), Tanweer (Turkey), Acme (Baltics), Freeman/Monolith/Blitz (select central and eastern Europe), Tandem Film (Bulgaria), Star-Kinekor (South Africa), Lusomundo (Portugal) and Remain in Light (Benelux).
Gold is a Black Bear Pictures film written by Patrick Massett & John Zinman, based on a true story about the 1993 Bre-x Mineral Corporation mining scandal in which vast amounts of gold were reportedly discovered in the Indonesian jungle. »
- Ali Jaafar
From toilet-based scares to nasty encounters in the shower, here's a selection of 17 memorable moments of terror in the bathroom...
Nb: the following contains potential spoilers and scenes which may be considered Nsfw.
The scariest moments in horror are often the most intimate - this is why knives are a far nastier, button-pushing instrument of death than the gun. As the Joker famously put it in The Dark Knight, “You can savour all those little emotions...”
Intimacy may be the key to understanding why, in horror films, so many dreadful things tend to happen in bathrooms. The bathroom is often where we go to be by ourselves - either to answer the call of nature, brush our teeth, or simply relax in the bath after a hectic day at work. Equally, the water closet also sees us at our most vulnerable: naked, or at least with our trousers down, and »
The Interview and the geopolitical crisis it caused is arguably the most important movie-related story of recent weeks.
The story device featured in The Interview, the idea of a film featuring the assassination of the current ruling leader, is nothing new, and in fact is seen through much of film’s history. In 1941 a German-in-exile Fritz Lang shown an unsuccessful attack on Adolf Hitler in Man Hunt (this story was also told in BBC’s Rogue Male from 1976 starring Peter O’Toole). The Shaw Brothers used the actual newsreel footage of Queen Elisabeth visiting Hong-Kong (then a British colony) in their 1976 martial arts flick A Queen’s Ransom (a.k.a. The International Assassin) starring post-James Bond George Lazenby as an Ira assassin and Angela Mao as a heroine trying to stop him. In fact, the Queen of England might be the most popular assassination target among actual world leaders »
- Jakub Mejer
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