In 2004 Joseph Kahn directed the hyper-kinetic, poorly reviewed motorcycle action movie Torque. It was Kahn's directorial debut, and though he was tapped for (one of many) failed Neuromancer adaptations, he devoted the next six years to a largely self financed project: the horror-comedy farce Detention. Noted cultural critic Steven Shaviro discusses in this essay why Detention, despite also being reviewed negatively, is one of his favorite movies of the decade. Shaviro's review contains major spoilers for the plot, and it's probably best to go into the movie blind. A brief non-spoiler synopsis is available below the jump. [more inside]
Robin Wiliams famous for his impressions, role as Genie in Aladdin, standup comedy, Mrs. Doubtfire and many other comedy roles has died at the age of 63.
True Lies is a 1994 action comedy film directed by James Cameron and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Tom Arnold. The film was a huge hit, and is noteworthy in that it featured visual special effects considered impossible only a few years prior. It's been 20 years since it was released. Time for a revisit, then. [SPOILERS if you haven't seen this movie.] [more inside]
How the Golden Globes definition of "musical or comedy" has been stretched to the limit and why that matters
“Something Terrible Has Happened Here”: The Crazy Story Of How “Clue” Went From Forgotten Flop To Cult Triumph. (previously)
We Hate Movies is a hilariously nerdy and affectionate podcast about bad movies. Its sister show, Blame It On Outer Space, mocks conspiracy theories and paranormal tall tales.
Best known for their Honest Trailers [previously], Screen Junkies also features a fantastically entertaining youtube feed where silly interviews, behind the scene movie footage, and strange reviews abound. [more inside]
Michael Caine is frank about his experiences on the set of The Muppet Christmas Carol. [more inside]
Raising Arizona is notable among the Coen Brothers’ filmography for seamlessly fusing the ravishing grimness of their drama with the slapstick antics of their comedy. ... [It] is an intensely bittersweet film. That it is admittedly hilarious distracts from this sorrow, but it doesn’t dampen it. If not the absolute best by the Coens, it’s certainly their most charming. - Michael Nordine [more inside]
Between Peter Jackson’s penchant for cartoonish unserious gore and Bob McCarron’s off-screen makeup effects manipulations, Braindead achieves something that approaches inspired genius in the heretofore unknown artform of human carnage. The film is filled with moments of joyous slapstick tableaux... And then there is that moment where Braindead finally breaks through to achieve a transcendentally surreal glory of excess where Tim Balme wades into battle against the zombies armed with a lawnmower, drenching an entire room in showers of blood. (Braindead holds the record for the greatest amount of artificial blood ever used in a film). The film is a work of perverse genius. - Richard Scheib
Return of the Living Dead (NSFW) is one of the greatest zombie movies ever made. Not only does it have loads of great looking zombies in it, it's one of the few zombie movies, besides its sequel, that has a perfect blend of humor and horror.
Louis C.K. on eating pressure and providing an alternative to The Man - "I ask him to think about what he really needs; when he tells me, I give him a little more. It buys me goodwill with this person; I feel good about what I'm paying them. I like to give people a little more than they want, and I like to ask people for a little less than they're willing to give." [more inside]
Adam Sandler's House of Cruelty Now in his forties, Sandler is still remaking the same undemanding goofball comedies he's been churning out since he was in his twenties, about crude, infantile characters who behave like crude, infantile characters who are much younger -- which is the essence of the have-it-both-ways regression that has been his career hallmark.
What you see here is a prime example of what happens to film that is neglected and improperly stored. This is an original reel from It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World that is now untouchable. The film has turned acidic, sporting the strongest and most foul vinegar-like odor I have ever smelled. In fact, Robert Harris told me a story of how his contact lenses were singed by the fumes the film produced, causing temporary retinal damage to his eye. [more inside]
Bored by the ho-hum nostalgic Oscars last night? Enjoy Seth Rogen's edgy/funny 15 minute opener to the previous night's Film Independent Spirit Awards.
The concept of Used Cars originated with writer-director-producer John Milius, who pitched the idea to scribes Zemeckis and Gale while they were still hard at work on what would become 1941. ... Zemeckis shot Cars in a breakneck 28 days at a Chrysler-Plymouth dealership in Mesa, Ariz. ... Despite its low profile, the film received a great deal of critical acclaim, including the notoriously finicky Pauline Kael…who described Cars as “a classic screwball fantasy — a neglected modern comedy that’s like a more restless and visually high-spirited version of the W.C. Fields pictures.”
* [more inside]
Paul Scheer of NTSF:SD:SUV and Human Giant addresses the most pressing question of our modern era: How Did This Get Made?
Two and a half years ago, we explored the early history of Cartoon Network... but it wasn't the only player in the youth television game. As a matter of fact, Fred Seibert -- the man responsible for the most inventive projects discussed in that post -- first stretched his creative legs at the network's truly venerable forerunner: Nickelodeon. Founded as Pinwheel, a six-hour block on Warner Cable's innovative QUBE system, this humble channel struggled for years before Seibert's innovative branding work transformed it into a national icon and capstone of a media empire. Much has changed since then, from the mascots and game shows to the versatile orange "splat." But starting tonight in response to popular demand, the network is looking back with a summer programming block dedicated to the greatest hits of the 1990s, including Hey Arnold!, Rocko's Modern Life, The Adventures of Pete & Pete, The Ren & Stimpy Show, Double Dare, Are You Afraid of the Dark?, Legends of the Hidden Temple, and All That. To celebrate, look inside for the complete story of the early days of the network that incensed the religious right, brought doo-wop to television, and slimed a million fans -- the golden age of Nickelodeon. (warning: monster post inside) [more inside]
In commemoration of the 10th Anniversary of the release of Wet Hot American Summer, Gallery 1988 in Los Angeles is presenting an exhibition of artwork inspired by the movie. Gallery (2) [more inside]
"Beat the Devil" went straight from box office flop to cult classic and has been called the first camp movie, although Bogart, who sank his own money into it, said, "Only phonies like it." It's a movie that was made up on the spot; Huston tore up the original screenplay on the first day of filming, flew the young Truman Capote to Ravallo, Italy, to crank out new scenes against a daily deadline and allowed his supporting stars, especially Robert Morley and Peter Lorre, to create dialogue for their own characters. (Capote spoke daily by telephone with his pet raven, and one day when the raven refused to answer he flew to Rome to console it, further delaying the production.) - Roger Ebert's Great Movies
Building on the popularity of their previous "Harry S Plinkett" movie reviews, Red Letter Media's Mike Stoklasa and Jay Bauman have been working on a second line of film mockery: Half In The Bag [more inside]
Rod Hilton has been "editing" and abridging movie scripts since 1998 (first script: Godzilla). In all this time, he has given 5 stars to only six movies: Saving Private Ryan; The Matrix; Being John Malkovich; Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back; The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King; and Inception. (Previously)
Practical effects has really fallen by the wayside the last few years, but uh.. i like to bring it back.. *camera pans*
During the show's history Mystery Science Theater did many musical bits. Topless Robot recently linked to the "13 best" Mystery Science Theater 3000 songs. It's not a bad list, although there are some notable exclusions. About those, click through.... [more inside]
Why Back to the Future is secretly horrifying. NSFW, possible trigger alert for use of the "r" word.
“There is one line in ‘Zero Hour!’ where a stewardess says, completely seriously, ‘The life of everyone on board depends upon just one thing: finding someone back there who can not only fly this plane, but who didn’t have fish for dinner,’ ” Mr. Abrahams said. “That was the essence of the movie. We just repeated the line. We didn’t have to change a thing.”
Airplane! (known in Australia as Flying High!) turns 30 [more inside]
Airplane! (known in Australia as Flying High!) turns 30 [more inside]
You might have thought The Phantom Menace was the worst movie ever made, but no - it's Attack of the Clones. And RedLetterMedia is here to tell you exactly why. Parts one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, and nine.
Long Duk Dong: Last of the Hollywood Stereotypes? Related: Whatever Happened to John Hughes? which has an accompanying photo gallery: Where are Hughes' teen stars now? [A previous post about John Hughes here.]
Leroy Shield was a composer from the Hal Roach era of comedies who composed soundtracks for Laurel and Hardy and the Little Rascals, he has one cover, er, orchestra, the Beau Hunks and no less of a fan than Robert Crumb. Check the main website for more sounds and movies.
via WFMU, bonus YouTubery inside [more inside]
via WFMU, bonus YouTubery inside [more inside]
Mark Malkoff visits, buys, and consumes something from all 171 Starbucks in Manhattan in one day. (single link non-youtube video post)
Mediocre Films consists of films which are... mediocre, hence the name. Night of the Zombie. Batty Bat-Bat. Gorgeous Tiny Chicken Machine Show. Granted, it's not LG15 but I think that's what I like about it most. These short subject films are made by some guy named Greg, with help from other people whom you may have never heard of before. Occasionally they also feature a guy named Adam whom you might recognize but you may not be able to recall from where. It's funny. Well. I liked it. My girlfriend didn't. She said they were mediocre; to which I said, "exactly!" Sheesh. Women.
Forgotten silent film comedian Larry Semon. Part II - Heyday. Part III - Trouble Brewing. In 1920, he was the world's 2nd-most-famous Hollywood star, with a contract and creative control rivaling Chaplin. In 1921, he made a popular series of films with Oliver Hardy as his main comic foil, six years before Laurel & Hardy became a household name. In 1925, he directed a truly bizarre silent version of The Wizard of Oz, just as wild overspending, erratic behavior and lawsuits ruined his career. The Larry Semon Research site has an interesting picture gallery.
Sometimes movies don't finish the way we'd like. Short, off-beat, animated re-imaginings of selected movie endings, in torrent and .wmv format. The archives are yet young, but might be worth keeping an eye on for future chuckles.
Comedian Rowan Atkinson is understandably nervous about his career in the light of proposed laws in the UK to outlaw insightment to religious bigotry. Having built his career from playing comedy vicars and priests you can imagine him wondering if all his old material is suddenly worthless. Downing Street has sought to re-assure as usual but you can see why he'd be filled with uncertainty. As he points out in a situation were personal opinion is involved, how would one tell if one was breaking the law. For example, some stand up comedy may be fine, but how about movies? Where does 'The Life of Brian' stand? Or 'Dogma' for that matter...
View Askew has released the first Internet-only trailer for "Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back" (J&BSB). Enjoy.
Mike Meyers deserves a medal for having the guts to admit that the character he created for a five-minute sketch wasn't going to carry a full-length movie. He gave up a 20-million-dollar payday and saved us all from another "SNL spin-off" movie.