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The 5 Weirdest Monster Movies Ever

Ben Robins on the five weirdest monster movies ever…

With the Godzilla/King Kong universe getting a sudden resurgence, and Cloverfield taking things into franchise territory at long last, the monster movie is suddenly in something of an unexpected heyday as far as Hollywood is concerned. Whether they’re human size or intergalactically huge, monsters of all shapes and origins are popping up all over the place, even, this week, in an indie dramedy starring Anne Hathaway.

A coming-of-age style drama about a down-and-out party girl returning to her hometown (with added Kaiju), Nacho Vigalondo’s Colossal finally takes its UK bow this week, taking the title of one of the weirdest monster placements in movie history. So we thought it only appropriate to round-up some similarly strange creature-features, from alcohol-fearing tentacle beasts, to a killer whale with a deadly vengeance.

Orca (1977)

Somewhat riding the wave of success that followed
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

Guardians of the Galaxy and Its Exploitation Influences

Ben Robins on Guardians of the Galaxy and its exploitation influences…

Exploitation is a bit of a nasty word no matter the context, and in the movie world, it usually means something cheap and in many cases, derivative. It’s never properly been defined, and doing so here without page after page of background would prove tough, but the term, in a nutshell, is usually used to describe low-brow ‘B-movies’ that rip-off or ‘exploit’ mainstream heavy-hitters. After Steven Spielberg’s Jaws there was Michael Anderson’s Orca, and Joe Dante’s Piranha. After The Italian Job there was everything from Death Race 2000 to Vanishing Point (that was in itself, lovingly rejigged for Tarantino’s 2007 exploitation send-up Death Proof). They make just enough from the cult crowd but very rarely breach the dominant markets. Unless, of course, the film’s name is something stupid enough to go viral, like Sharknado.
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

Oscars: How Often Is There a Split Between Best Picture and Best Director?

La La Land’ and ‘Moonlight’ (Courtesy: Dale Robinette; David Bornfriend/A24)

By: Carson Blackwelder

Managing Editor

Nothing is certain at the Oscars, and that absolutely applies to the best picture and best director categories. While it is common for films to win both of these trophies in a given year, sometimes they can go to two different works. There’s a chance that La La Land and Moonlight could split these categories at the upcoming ceremony — but how often does that happen?

Both of these films are considered frontrunners in both the best picture and best director category at the upcoming Oscars. This site’s namesake, The Hollywood Reporter’s Scott Feinberg, lists La La Land — written and directed by Damien Chazelle — and Moonlight — written and directed by Barry Jenkins — as the top two contenders in both categories in his latest check-in on the race. The two films have been
See full article at Scott Feinberg »

The Last Horror Blog: The 8 Best Movies Featuring Underwater Monsters

Summer means days at the beach, and the beach can be a truly magical place. However, it’s not always sun, surf, and sand – there are things lurking out there in the depths…things that remind us we’re not necessarily at the top of the food chain. This is a fact that Blake Lively already discovered this summer in The Shallows, one of the best killer-shark movies to emerge since Spielberg terrified an entire generation with Jaws. Killer sharks aren’t the only thing hunting humans beneath the waves, though – and here are eight other films where monsters rise from the deep. Orca Director Michael Anderson’s 1977 film Orca is often derided for being a cheap attempt to cash in on the success of...

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See full article at Movies.com »

Millennium / R.O.T.O.R.

Two 1980's science fiction efforts from the 'eighties: Millennium is an expensive book adaptation with Kris Kristofferson and Cheryl Ladd navigating a time travel story about body snatchers from the future. R.O.T.O.R is direct to video and strictly from hunger. Oh, the agony… However, both films surely have lessons to teach the budding filmmaker who thinks moviemaking is easy. Millennium and R.O.T.O.R. Blu-ray Color Scream Factory Street Date February 23, 2016 / 26.99

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

Scream Factory plumbs the depths of the MGM library, which includes not only the holdings of United Artists, Orion and the old American-International Pictures, but also an alphabet soup of smaller outfits that were bought up in the 1990s. The independent productions seen on this Scream Factory Blu-ray double bill give us two kinds of science fiction properties. One is an expensive Canadian production with a big star, and the other is a
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Remembering Oscar-Winning Gwtw Art Director Menzies

William Cameron Menzies. William Cameron Menzies movies on TCM: Murderous Joan Fontaine, deadly Nazi Communists Best known as an art director/production designer, William Cameron Menzies was a jack-of-all-trades. It seems like the only things Menzies didn't do was act and tap dance in front of the camera. He designed and/or wrote, directed, produced, etc., dozens of films – titles ranged from The Thief of Bagdad to Invaders from Mars – from the late 1910s all the way to the mid-1950s. Among Menzies' most notable efforts as an art director/production designer are: Ernst Lubitsch's first Hollywood movie, the Mary Pickford star vehicle Rosita (1923). Herbert Brenon's British-set father-son drama Sorrell and Son (1927). David O. Selznick's mammoth production of Gone with the Wind, which earned Menzies an Honorary Oscar. The Sam Wood movies Our Town (1940), Kings Row (1942), and For Whom the Bell Tolls (1943). H.C. Potter's Mr. Lucky
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Nineteen Eighty-Four

Where do I get my Big Brother campaign pin and yard poster? Michael Radford's elaborate Orwell adaptation sticks closely to the original book, even after decades of deriviative dystopias have stolen its fire. John Hurt is excellent as Winston Smith, and Richard Burton is his inquisitor. Nineteen Eighty-Four Blu-ray Twilight Time Limited Edition 1984 / Color / 1:85 widescreen / 111 min. / Ship Date December 8, 2016 / available through Twilight Time Movies / 29.95 Starring John Hurt, Richard Burton, Suzanna Hamilton, Cyril Cusack, Gregor Fisher, James Walker, Phyllis Logan. Cinematography Roger Deakins Production Designer Allan Cameron Art Direction Martin Hebert, Grant Hicks Film Editor Tom Priestley Original Music (2) Dominick Muldowney / Eurythmics Written by Jonathan Gems, Michael Radford from the novel by George Orwell Produced by Al Clark, Robert Devereux, Simon Perry, Marvin J. Rosenblum Directed by Michael Radford

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

George Orwell's pessimistic 1948 novel 1984 is probably the most important political book of the last century.
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Seven Anti-James Bond Movies You Haven’t Seen

The Bond franchise which has been with us so long, has become so deeply entrenched in popular culture, that we often forget what it was that first distinguished the Bonds a half-century ago. Skyfall might be one of the best of the Bonds, and even, arguably, one of the best big-budget big-action flicks to come along in quite a while, but it’s not alone. The annual box office is – and has been, for quite some time – dominated by big, action-packed blockbusters of one sort of another. The Bonds aren’t even the only action-driven spy flicks (Mr. James Bond, I’d like you to meet Mr. Jason Bourne and Mr. Ethan Hunt).

That’s not to take anything away from the superb entertainment Skyfall is, or the sentimentally treasured place the Bonds hold. It’s only to say that where there was once just the one, there are now many.
See full article at SoundOnSight »

Two-Time Oscar Winner Cooper on TCM: Pro-War 'York' and Eastwood-Narrated Doc

Gary Cooper movies on TCM: Cooper at his best and at his weakest Gary Cooper is Turner Classic Movies' “Summer Under the Stars” star today, Aug. 30, '15. Unfortunately, TCM isn't showing any Cooper movie premiere – despite the fact that most of his Paramount movies of the '20s and '30s remain unavailable. This evening's features are Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936), Sergeant York (1941), and Love in the Afternoon (1957). Mr. Deeds Goes to Town solidified Gary Cooper's stardom and helped to make Jean Arthur Columbia's top female star. The film is a tad overlong and, like every Frank Capra movie, it's also highly sentimental. What saves it from the Hell of Good Intentions is the acting of the two leads – Cooper and Arthur are both excellent – and of several supporting players. Directed by Howard Hawks, the jingoistic, pro-war Sergeant York was a huge box office hit, eventually earning Academy Award nominations in several categories,
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

The Dam Busters: hits its targets – and doesn't dumb down

Michael Anderson’s 1955 dramatisation of the 1943 Raf mission to bomb German dams is fairly true to life and bounces along entertainingly

The Dam Busters (1955)

Director: Michael Anderson

Entertainment grade: A–

History grade: B+

On the night of 16-17 May 1943, 617 Squadron of the Royal Air Force – later nicknamed the Dam Busters – carried out Operation Chastise to attack German dams in the Ruhr valley. The last surviving pilot, New Zealander Les Munro – who is name-checked twice in the film – died this week at the age of 96. Just two of the original 133 Dam Busters are still alive (George “Johnny” Johnson, from the UK, who was a bomb-aimer and Canadian front-gunner Fred Sutherland); 53 were killed during the operation. Three men who baled out of planes that were shot down were taken prisoner by the Germans

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See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Oscar Nominated Moody Pt.2: From Fagin to Merlin - But No Harry Potter

Ron Moody as Fagin in 'Oliver!' based on Charles Dickens' 'Oliver Twist.' Ron Moody as Fagin in Dickens musical 'Oliver!': Box office and critical hit (See previous post: "Ron Moody: 'Oliver!' Actor, Academy Award Nominee Dead at 91.") Although British made, Oliver! turned out to be an elephantine release along the lines of – exclamation point or no – Gypsy, Star!, Hello Dolly!, and other Hollywood mega-musicals from the mid'-50s to the early '70s.[1] But however bloated and conventional the final result, and a cast whose best-known name was that of director Carol Reed's nephew, Oliver Reed, Oliver! found countless fans.[2] The mostly British production became a huge financial and critical success in the U.S. at a time when star-studded mega-musicals had become perilous – at times downright disastrous – ventures.[3] Upon the American release of Oliver! in Dec. 1968, frequently acerbic The
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Re-Viewed: Logan's Run changed sci-fi blockbusters forever

Re-Viewed: Logan's Run changed sci-fi blockbusters forever
Teen-focused sci-fi dystopias are all the rage at the moment, between this month's The Maze Runner, Divergent, The Host, and of course the mighty Hunger Games. But none of them can hold a candle to Michael Anderson's classic Logan's Run, which was made the year before Star Wars came along and changed sci-fi blockbusters forever.

Based on the cult novel by William F. Nolan and George Clayton Johnson, the film is set in 2274, with the remnants of humanity living in a computer-controlled, sealed, domed city after a non-specific apocalypse. 23rd century society is pretty much a utopia: citizens get to shop, take drugs and have sex as much as they like, with the central computers taking care of reproduction and, it's implied, child-rearing. There's just one catch: when you turn 30, you are deemed no longer useful to society and you have to either take your chances in a bizarre
See full article at Digital Spy - Movie News »

Australian Actor Kerr Dead at 92: Best Known for Peter Weir Movies, British TV Series Doctor Who

Doctor Who’ actor Bill Kerr, also featured in Peter Weir’s ‘Gallipoli’ and ‘The Year of Living Dangerously,’ dead at 92 (photo: Bill Kerr and Patrick Troughton in ‘Doctor Who’) Australian actor Bill Kerr, best known internationally for a guest spot in the 1960s TV series Doctor Who, and for his supporting roles in the Peter Weir movies Gallipoli and The Year of Living Dangerously, died on August 28 (or 29, according to some sources), 2014, while watching the TV show Seinfeld at his home in Perth, West Australia. Kerr, whose exact cause of death is unclear, was 92. Born William Kerr on June 10, 1922, in Capetown, South Africa, to Australian vaudevillian parents touring the country, Bill Kerr grew up in Australia, where he became a popular television, stage, and film personality. His show business career began at an early age. “My mother took about 10 weeks off to have me, and when she returned to the
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Richard Attenborough Remembered by Friend and Colleague of 72 Years

Richard Attenborough Remembered by Friend and Colleague of 72 Years
A version of this story first appeared in the Sept. 12 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Editor's Note: The British filmmaker Michael Anderson, 94, is the oldest living best director Oscar nominee; he was nominated for helming the 1956 best picture Oscar winner, Around the World in 80 Days. 72 years ago, he was the assistant director on the film in which Richard Attenborough made his big-screen debut. He would go on to direct Attenborough in two other films over the next 33 years. The year was 1942. The great Noel Coward and the soon-to-be-great

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See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Orca DVD Review

Director: Michael Anderson

Starring: Richard Harris, Charlotte Rampling, Will Sampson, Bo Derek, Keenan Wynn, Robert Carradine

Running Time: 88 minutes

Certificate: PG

This 1977 cash in on Jaws could have just changed the animal and ran with it. Instead it goes for something a lot deeper and poignant. Philosophical themes are interwoven throughout the film and before you know it you’re gripped. From legendary producer Dino De Laurentiis, the man who produced pretty much everything from Federico Fellini classics to the Hannibal Lecter films, he knew when a specific genre was popular, he knew how to exploit it, but he also knew to make it its own.

We follow Richard Harris as Captain Nolan, a hard drinking Irishman who loves to hunt the beasts of the ocean. Despite this, his character has a dramatic arc and one that is completely believable thanks to Harris’ nuanced performance. He’s disgusted after an
See full article at The Hollywood News »

Oscars 2014: What Are the Odds of a Best Picture-Best Director Split?

  • Moviefone
The 85-year history of the Academy Awards is rife with statistical oddities, and one that has the potential to play out this Sunday is among the most intriguing: a split between the films that win Best Picture and Best Director.

Though conventional wisdom has long held that only one film will walk away with both prizes on Oscar night, many pundits are predicting that the awards will instead go to two different movies this year, with "Gravity" director Alfonso Cuaron expected to snag the Best Director statuette, while "12 Years a Slave" (or "American Hustle," depending on where your loyalties lie) is the favorite to win Best Picture.

While such a split has occurred just 22 times since the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences started handing out trophies in 1929, four of the first five ceremonies produced a divide between the Best Director and Best Picture prizes. "Wings," dubbed the original
See full article at Moviefone »

Oscars: Why Not World’s Best Picture?

Oscars: Why Not World’s Best Picture?
When the Oscars modified the best picture category in 2009 and instituted an annual list of up to 10 nominees, the intention may have been to ensure that critically acclaimed blockbusters like the Oscar-overlooked “The Dark Knight” would bulk up the viewing audiences for the telecast. It may have helped the blockbuster “Avatar” make the cut that year, but in the following years it appears to have boosted the fortunes of smaller films such as “Winter’s Bone” and, even more excitingly, foreign-language films like “Amour.”

The marginalization of foreign-language cinema in the best picture category is one of Oscar’s unspoken shortcomings: It’s like the so-called World Series in baseball. The truth is, with very few exceptions, only American teams play the Oscar game. Key exception: “The Artist” became the first foreign film to win best picture. So it can happen here. Just not 98% of the time.

Over the decades,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Revolt of Nature Horror Films: The Must-Sees

Writer Lee Gambin calls them Natural Horror films, other writers call them Revenge of Nature or Nature Run Amok films and writer Charles Derry considers them a type of Apocalyptic Cinema.

Of course we’re speaking of one of the great horror subgenres for which we’ll employ writer Kim Newman’s tag: The Revolt of Nature.

Since the end of the 1990s, lovers of animal attack films have been subjected to copious amounts of uninspired Nu Image, Syfy Channel and Syfy Channel-like dreck like Silent Predators (1999), Maneater (2007) Croc (2007), Grizzly Rage (2007) and a stunning amount of terrible shark attack films to name a few that barely scratch the surface of a massive list.

These movies fail miserably to capture the intensity of the unforgettable films they are imitating and the recent wave seems to carry with it the intent of giving the Revolt of Nature horror film a bad name.
See full article at SoundOnSight »

Spaghetti Western Screenwriter Who Helped to Launch Eastwood's Movie Career Has Died

Clint Eastwood Western persona co-creator dead at 87: Luciano Vincenzoni (photo: Clint Eastwood in ‘The Good, the Bad and the Ugly’) Screenwriter Luciano Vincenzoni, whose nearly five-decade career included collaborations with Mario Monicelli, Pietro Germi, and Sergio Leone, died of cancer on Sunday, September 22, 2013, in Rome. Vincenzoni (born on March 7, 1926, in Treviso, near Venice) was 87. In the late ’50s, Luciano Vincenzoni co-wrote Mario Monicelli’s The Great War / La Grande guerra (1959), a humorous (if overlong) World War I comedy-drama starring Vittorio Gassman and Alberto Sordi as reluctant conscripts that earned a Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award nomination and the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival (tied with Roberto Rossellini’s Il Generale della Rovere). Vincenzoni was also partly responsible for the screenplay of two well-regarded Pietro Germi movies: the omnibus comedy of manners The Birds, the Bees and the Italians / Signore & signori (1966), featuring Virna Lisi and Franco Fabrizi,
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

‘Star Wars’ Cinematographer Gilbert Taylor Dies

‘Star Wars’ Cinematographer Gilbert Taylor Dies
Veteran British cinematographer Gilbert Taylor, whose b&w cinematography on such classics as Richard Lester’s 1964 Beatles film “A Hard Day’s Night,” Stanley Kubrick’s “Dr. Strangelove” and Roman Polanski’s “Repulsion” rank him as one of Britain’s most revered post-war DPs, died earlier today at his home on the Isle of Wight. He was 99.

His wife Dee told BBC News that he passed away with his family at his bedside.

While the Hertfordshire native’s Dp credits date back to 1948, he hit his stride in the mid-’60s with Lester’s pioneering ode to the Fab Four, a pre-curser to MTV-era pop vids of the ’80s; Kubrick’s black comedy on the Cold War, with the stark chiaroscuro of the War Room accented by a ring of lights and back-projected lamps; and two seminal collaborations with Polanski (the other film was “Cul-de-sac”) that earned him back-to-back BAFTA nominations.
See full article at Variety - Film News »
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