Herschell Gordon Lewis is best known for being a legend of gory schlock horror, but his resume also included two children's films. Of the two, the 'best worst' is the earlier by one year: Jimmy the Boy Wonder, featuring a low-budget Land-of-Oz-with-the-numbers-filed-off, a bizarre villain named Mr. Fig and a lengthy sequence of poorly-dubbed possibly-European animation. The other, The Magic Land of Mother Goose (aka Santa Visits the Magic Land of Mother Goose - guess who never appears in the film?), was the result of Lewis being hired to shoot a vehicle for a magician entirely on a high school stage. Both films are available for purchase from Something Weird Video (parts of site NSFW) as downloads and DVD-Rs.
There exists a film whose trailer tantalizes the brain; a film whose English dub, believed to have been created by the notorious K. Gordon Murray (his previous lies - he is described as a "flim-flammer" who ran a "kiddie circuit"), has eluded even the most fervent afficionados of strange cinema. Thanks to the people of Sweden and a translator known only as Doctor Death (and fixes from uploader Justin Sane - you can see the translation by turning on captions), you can enter the world of The Secret of Magic Island: the live-action children's film starring an all-animal cast.
An oral history of "Longtime Companion." The first major release movie to deal with the AIDS epidemic, 1990's Longtime Companion focuses on a group of gay friends in New York City, revisiting them one day per year starting in 1981. Bruce Davison won a Golden Globe and an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor. [more inside]
Top Ten Best Lesbian Movies: 10 Queer Movies That Don’t Suck. | Top Ten Queer Girl Movies That Don’t Suck: Best Lesbian Movies Part #2 (Autostraddle). Previously: "I bind you, Hollywood, from doing harm", Maybe not the warmest color.
93 Movie Remakes and Reboots Currently in the Works. From the recent and the successful to the silent and obscure, Hollywood is going to remake and reboot it all.
Hollywood's reboot-a-palooza continues with the recent release of "The Man From U.N.C.L.E.", based on the classic 1960's television series starring Robert Vaughn and David McCallum. However, this is far from the first time the property has been in theaters. [more inside]
"Why simply turn on a light switch when you could light a candle which burns a string, which releases a bowling ball, which lands on a bag of air, which blows over some dominoes, which knock an action figure into a pot, which onto a piece of metal, which startles a chicken, which lays an egg, which rolls down a ramp and breaks open on a brick, then drains into a cup which weighs down a board which flips the light on?" -- Atlas Obscura takes a surprisingly uncomplicated look at Rube Goldberg machines in movies.
After some recent intriguing revelations concerning Quentin Tarantino's "Hateful Eight" (such as it's wide 70mm release this Christmas and that it will feature the first Ennio Morricone Western score in over four decades), the full trailer has finally arrived.
It starts with one of cinema's most famous paintings (you may have seen it before), but it doesn't end there. Guardian contributor Alex Godfrey does a little investigating into a famous movie prop and discovers the life of its subject, John Weaving.
What was once a series content to celebrate simple boy-racer pleasures, the seventh Fast & Furious fell prey to a recent tentpole-film affliction: ridiculously over-complicated plotting. Iron Man 3 and Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation writer Drew Pearce draws an analogy for this blockbuster bloat, responsible for routinely pushing run times over the two-hour mark: “Much as I love a prog-rock album, if it’s a pop song I like it to be short and sweet, and I think it has more impact that way. And summer blockbusters are very proggy right now.” Mission impenetrable: are Hollywood blockbusters losing the plot?
The recent reboot "Vacation" is packed with call backs to the original 1983 film, but one thing that is conspicuously missing is the name "National Lampoon" preceding the title. Vulture recently published a short history of the National Lampoon and how it has gone from it's peak in the 70's and 80's way down to the unfortunate straight-to-DVD output of the last fifteen years. Bonus: The trailer for the upcoming documentary: "Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead: The Story of National Lampoon".
In 1991, a documentary, intended to be the first of a series on celebrity businessmen, was completed. It was screened twice, but its subject prevented its release and it was clear that continuing the series wasn't worth the trouble. So why has that film been released almost a quarter of a century later? Because that same businessman is now running for president. Trump: What's the Deal? (trailer, direct Vimeo link to full film, unofficial YouTube mirror)
"When someone like Chris Pratt lands back-to-back roles in some of the biggest movies of the year, that’s headline news. But when a charismatic, quirky actress like Judy Greer does the same, well, blink and you might miss her. The comedic actress—best known for her scene-stealing work in shows like Arrested Development and movies like The Descendants—showed up in four major 2015 films: Tomorrowland, Entourage, Jurassic World, and Ant-Man." Here’s Every Single Line Judy Greer Had in a Movie This Summer.
They are people—not cannon fodder or back patting lessons in how deep down we’re all the same. Moses is an imposing, intimidating figure but director Joe Cornish lets the camera linger on his face and Boyega fills it with the compromises and dashed dreams to which he’s already acclimated. His gang are a delightfully maddening crew of young boys. They constantly try to demonstrate their machismo but clearly adore each other.
Comic book artist Joe Phillips recently presented "Silver Screen Heroes", which places stars from the golden age of Hollywood into modern superhero roles.
Books in the films of Wes Anderson - a video essay.
Prolific actor Alex Rocco, perhaps best known for his performance as Moe Greene in "The Godfather", has passed away at the age of 79.
Galaxy of Terror, Mutant (NSFW), Contamination and the joy of cheap alien knockoffs. Prefer the sequel? Here's Aliens remade under the name "Terminator 2". Sadly one take on the franchise that will not be seeing the light of day is Alien Identity, a fan film recently shut down by a cease and desist from Fox. Meanwhile the Neil Blomkamp Alien film continues to incubate.
Over a decade ago, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow laid the foundations for today's effects-driven blockbusters. Why haven't its creators made a film since?
If you're like me, you're still kinda recovering from the abrupt dissolution of The Dissolve earlier this week. This morning over at the AV Club, they posted a new entry in their series "Scenic Routes", which may be the best Movie-centric feature AV Club runs. And at this moment of recovery for dedicated movie geeks, it's a great opportunity to review some of their more memorable entries over the years. [more inside]
Pamela Hutchinson of Silent London reported this weekend that the second reel of Laurel and Hardy's Battle of the Century has been found. That's the reel with a thousands of pies pie fight that was hugely influential (and hilarious) and largely considered to be a lost classic. Slate provides some backstory and history around how the reel got lost - and on the 1950s highly edited remix that has been the only surviving parts of the piefight for decades .
On the heels of their recent discussion of "Aliens" in their Movie of the Week series, the folks at the Dissolve have put together an impressive list inspired by the last survivor of the Nostromo: "The 50 Most Daring Film Roles For Women Since Ripley"
"The spirit of the 60s lives in these trailers, leaning hard on mood and music, not plot. The same is true for the Godfather trailer, as Coppola gives audiences a peak into the Corleone family.-- An epic history of the movie trailer, by Matthew Schimkowitz
However, the closer Hollywood gets to the age of the blockbuster, the more the modern trailer starts to reveal itself, and it all starts with Jaws -- the film phenomenon of the summer of 1975. [ ... ] It introduced something new to trailers: relying almost entirely on the narrative of the film to advertise it. In 3 minutes and 21 seconds, the entire story arc of the film, save for the ending, is given away. There’s a shark terrorizing the beach on the 4th of July, it’s up to a local sheriff to take care of it, and he teams with a scientist and a fisherman to get the job done."
United Passions started out as a FIFA vanity project telling the story of the men who helped found the organization. Then one month before the film's release in theaters, Fourteen FIFA officials were arrested on corruption charges (previously) and president Sepp Blatter announced he would step down from his post. Now, in the wake of incredibly dismal box office and rock bottom ratings on both Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic, Both director Frederic Auburtin and star Tim Roth (who portrays Blatter in the film) have publicly come out against the film and apologized for their involvement.
Since April three of the biggest movies in history have opened: Furious 7 (with a worldwide gross of 1.5 billion dollars), Age of Ultron (with a worldwide gross of 1.3 billion dollars) and Jurassic World (with a worldwide gross of half a billion after just one weekend, and heading towards a likely record). With Star Wars down the pike in December, we're looking at a record setting year for the box office, largely on the backs of franchise action/adventure films. Mark Harris writes about the new franchise film economy in Park Effects, and relatedly, Alex Pappademas considers the efforts to create a farm league of indie directors for these new billion dollar movies in Mr. DNA.
“Derelict is an editing project for academic purposes,” explains Willins. “Prometheus wasn’t exactly an Alien prequel, but this treats it as such by intercutting the events of Alien with Prometheus in a dual narrative structure. The goal was to assemble the material to emphasize the strengths of Prometheus as well as its ties to Alien.”
Video Essayist Jacob T. Swinney edited 3 dozen supercuts, many of which went viral on Slate and indieWire: Each tackling a single motif from recent movies: The Jonathan Demme Close-Up, Hearing Tarantino (or Paul Thomas Anderson), A Rorschach Test from The Master, Movies’ First and Last Shots, Etc. All 36 videos are on his Vimeo page. Among them is his own 2014 demo reel.
RIP Sir Christopher Lee, actor most famous for playing Dracula in numerous horror films but also notable roles as Lord Summerisle in The Wicker Man, Scaramanga in the James Bond film The Man with the Golden Gun and Saruman in The Lord of the Rings and Hobbit film trilogies [more inside]
Too many films are blighted by lacklustre music - Ennio Morricone Ennio Morricone, 88, asserts that contemporary soundtracks are ruined by "amateur" composers and "synthesized" sounds. Is this just attention-grabbing comments for his upcoming tour, old-school vs. new wave, grumpy curmudgeon on the porch ranting? Or does the OST for Mad Max: Fury Road suck? [more inside]
The Visual Effects of Mad Max: Fury Road - Visual effects supervisor Andrew Jackson said: “I’ve been joking recently about how the film has been promoted as being a live action stunt driven film - which it is, but also how there’s so little CGI in the film. The reality is that there’s 2000 VFX shots in the film. A very large number of those shots are very simple clean-ups and fixes and wire removals and painting out tire tracks from previous shots, but there are a big number of big VFX shots as well.” [more inside]
After the Thrill is Gone: Has a director ever gotten so bad you start to wonder whether you were wrong to love their earlier movies?
Lumière and Company was a project realised in 1995 to mark the centenary of the Lumière brothers’ first movies. Forty directors were given the use of a restored Lumière Cinematograph and asked to make a film under 1895-style constraints: (1) the films could be no longer than 52 seconds; (2) no synchronized sound was permitted; (3) no more than three takes were allowed. Any editing had to be done in-camera. Nearly all of the completed shorts have been compiled into a YouTube playlist. Please note that some of the clips contain nudity: treat this post as NSFW. Les Frères Lumière previously: 1, 2. [more inside]
hey girl: you can use my shoulder as a rifle stand, as you’re the better shot of the two of us. (feminist mad max tumblr)
Just how many Sci-Fi / Action movie references are in Taylor Swift's new video "Bad Blood"? IO9 attempts to make a tally of them all.
So you gotta go for it. Just do me a favor and FUCK SOME SHIT UP. Surprise yourself, wake up your actors, get wild with your performances, try shit, put in that funky dialogue you’re embarrassed of, in fact, rub your fucked-up-ness all over your scripts, add some shame and embarrassment and glee, and then dare yourself to shoot it, SERIOUSLY, go big or go home -- be a creature unlike any other.Transparent creator Jill Soloway gave an amazing speech full of advice for women in filmmaking a few days ago.
The Black Widow Conundrum - how Black Widow being the most popular female superhero of the decade is both exciting and disappointing. Also Ike Perlmutter thinks female-led films bomb, The Mary Sue discusses Joss Whedon leaving Twitter.
The family shows up at Hank’s house unaware that they’ll be sharing it with assorted wildlife whose collective attitude toward humans ranges from playful to scarily aggressive. Oh, and all the animals are real, and largely untrained, and when they paw and pounce on their human costars, you can see real terror in the actors’ eyes — like actual Oh shit please God no terror.The making of Roar, possibly the Most Dangerous Movie of All Time.
Remember when Captain America had a district attorney alter-ego named Grant Gardner? And he fought The Purple Death Scarab? No? Then you might need to rewatch the original 1944 Captain American Republic Serials! Bonus: The (deservedly) short lived Captain America Cartoon 1966
"When Tony Scott took his own life in 2012, we lost an unquestionably significant filmmaker. Some dwelled on the whys of his demise (thus leading to the rumor that the man was dying of terminal cancer when he jumped from San Pedro’s Vincent Thomas Bridge), but ultimately none of that matters one bit. Scott was a genius behind the camera, leaving behind a filmography that was unified in tone and consistently flat out entertaining. It’s a shame that his pictures have been regularly dismissed as nothing more than hollow diversions; mindless drivel meant for mass consumption and disposal. While their appeal is most certainly broad, there’s nothing vapid about them." - Acid In The Coliseum: The Films Of Tony Scott [more inside]
Tony Zhou has quickly become a favorite here at Metafilter for his video essays on film techniques. His latest work is part editing class / part confessional on the subject of video essays themselves. And it all involves Star Wars, South Park and, most of all, Orson Welles' "F for Fake" (previously and previously).
Sundays is a beautiful science fiction short film by Dutch director Mischa Rozema of PostPanic Pictures for roughly $50000. The film was also intended to be a concept pitch for a feature, and it worked as intended, sparking a bidding war between Hollywood studios.