“Alien 3 was flawed from its inception
and it was certainly flawed—actually, pretty fucked up—well before we started shooting. So there you go. Take all of the responsibility, because you’re going to get all of the blame.” — David Fincher [previously
What's that you say? You like to read movie and
music related lists on the Internet? Well here you go: The Movies' 50 Greatest Pop Music Moments
from the folks at The Dissolve
The final film in the Atlas Shrugged
) is now in theaters and the reaction has been a stupendous... meh
. [more inside]
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]
No, the above quote is not the answer to “How many total episodes are there of the various “Law & Order” franchises?”. In actuality, those nine words conclude one of the most exciting films of the 1940’s (and the direct ancestor of Dick Wolf’s prolific franchise). Welcome to “The Naked City”
. [more inside]
A lot of the world’s most powerful people look like Lester Burnham: white, male, middle-aged, well off, and bored to death. There are Lester Burnhams in public office, in the Supreme Court, at billion dollar corporations, at record labels and movie studios. These people in power aren’t happy, and this movie gives them what must be a very comforting message: let go of your responsibility, but not your power. Don’t worry about what the world will look like after you die. You’ll be happy if you help yourself — not the people who need you.Fifteen Years Later, 'American Beauty' is Just a Bad, Pretty Movie
(Single Link Vimeo, 1:28)
"Hollywood's pathological fear of being political has made them blind
to the changes that women's friendships have undergone over the last forty years. We're so far past women's relationships revolving around men that no one is even offended by the suggestion that women have relationships that don't revolve around men. Bridesmaids
was a smash among women AND men, and so was [Paul] Feig's follow-up, The Heat
, another female driven, non-romantic comedy." (Hat-tip: Mick LaSalle
) [more inside]
Known to one generation as Bartlett
in The Great Escape
and to another generation as John Hammond
in Jurassic Park
(plus many roles in between), actor Richard Attenborough
has died at the age of 90
For over 25 years, film critic Leonard Maltin
(along with a team of contributors and editors) have produced what has been the Bible of movie geeks everywhere in his annual movie guide. The 2015 edition that will be released next month will be his last
. The Dissolve has offered their own eulogy.
(The folks at MST3k
were also fans, as evidenced to three memorable moments
that pay tribute to the man, the book and his not entirely
accurate rating system.)
Director, writer, and producer Mick Garris releases videos
of his interviews with people in the horror and sci-fi entertainment industry at his new website, Mick Garris Interviews
. There is also a YouTube channel
. An introduction can be found at the about page
. According to The Nerdist
, interviews will be released at the rate of one per week. Interviews already uploaded: a four-parter with Director John Carpenter (here's Part 1
YT), and one segment with John Badham
, director of Dracula
(1979) and, incidentally, Saturday Night Fever
"Twenty-five years after its release, The Abyss remains an oddity in director James Cameron's filmography.
But the fact that it's an oddity seems like an oddity. The underwater sci-fi epic, about a team of commercial drillers who stumble upon a deep-sea alien civilization, wasn't a flop by any means. It made more money than The Terminator
and came very close to matching Aliens
at the box office. It holds a higher critical rating than Avatar
(according to the almighty Rotten Tomatoes, at least). And yet it has utterly failed to reach the same levels of cultural saturation as Cameron’s other works."
The School for Postmen
is a 16 minute short film from 1947 by French director and physical comedian Jacques Tati. It's being shown on The Guardian's website and is introduced
by their film critic Peter Bradshaw. The film is about a postman in rural southern France trying to finish his round on time.
"DISCLAIMER TIME! 50 is a very small number. I make no claims to any of these lists being either comprehensive or some sort of objective analysis of the 'best' films directed by women. I make selections based on on what I've seen, what I like, and the position of the stars. One film per director. Ready? Let's go
." [more inside]
in development hell
, George Miller's return to the Mad Max franchise, Mad Max: Fury Road
, has emerged at San Diego Comic-Con
with a teaser trailer. [more inside]
Jason Blum—producer of Paranormal Activity, Insidious, Sinister, The Purge, The Bay, and Oculus—participated in an interesting interview at SXSW Film 2014
about his model of producing high-quality low-budget horror films
for wide release. The video is almost an hour long, but worth watching if you're interested in contemporary mainstream horror.
, star of two classic television shows ("Maverick" and "The Rockford Files") and a wide slate of films including "The Great Escape", "The Americanization of Emily" and "Victor/Victoria", has died at the age of 86
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]
Back in March, the AV Club premiered a new feature called Iconography
, which is an illustrated column by Nick Wanserski
examining "pop culture's most fascinating objects". Though the updates have been very sporadic since then, here are the first three entries for your enjoyment: The golden idol
from "Raiders of the Lost Ark", The spinning top
from "Inception", and Link's floppy hat
from "The Legend of Zelda".
220 images from Alien
including behind the scenes photos, concept art and early effects shots.
We have previously
) here on the Blue, but we have only scratched the surface. After all, we're talking about nothing less than Roger Corman's
answer to "Star Wars", and even that description does not do the film justice. [more inside]
In the spirit of movie geekery as well as "if you're gonna do something, do it right", may I present The HAL Project
: A fiver year project (and counting!) to faithfully recreate
the computer displays in Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey
as a screensaver.
On May 13th, the film world was shocked and saddened by the tragic death
of documentary filmmaker Malik Bendjelloul, who had won an Oscar just last year for the documentary "Searching for Sugar Man"
. In the month that has passed since then, more details have emerged of the months and days that led up to his suicide. The Hollywood Reporter
profiles the life and death of Bendjelloul and takes a look at how sudden success can bring about even more sudden depression.
Den of Geek provides a brief survey of rotating sets in film
as far back as Royal Wedding
in 1951 all the way up to Inception
in 2010. In the world of music video, Metallica did their own interesting... ahem, spin
on it for "The Memory Remains"
. The television show "Glee" paid tribute to Royal Wedding
with their own rotating room song and dance number
. Finally, the Den of Geek article states that such effects require, "intense planning, expensive materials and an army of builders". Nonsense.
Bill and Coo
Plot: The feathered residents of Chirpendale are terrorized by an evil black crow by the name of "The Black Menace". But to the citizen's rescue comes a brave young taxi puller named Bill! [more inside]
"It’s most logical to conceive of Billy Jack
as a dream-movie accidentally created by a spiritually confused, LSD-addled 19-year-old who fell asleep in the early 1970s while watching a weird, humorless movie about a half-Native American/half-Caucasian warrior who does not want to fight, because he’s too good—both in the sense of being a singularly skilled one-man killing machine, and in subscribing to a higher moral and ideological cause than his bloodthirsty brothers-in-arms And yet he’s pushed by circumstances into dramatically kicking ass, over and over." Nathan Rabin takes a long look
at the bizarre pair of blockbusters Billy Jack
and The Trial of Billy Jack
. [more inside]
The Film Society of Lincoln Center is currently presenting the first part of a near-complete retrospective
of the films of the great German director Rainer Werner Fassbinder, featuring 17(!) films he made between 1969 and 1974. (Part 2, featuring the films made between 1975 and his death in 1982, will take place in November 2014.) Collected below are some recent writings on RWF and these early films, posted by the Film Society and elsewhere online. [more inside]
The Spielberg Oner:
"One overlooked aspect of Spielberg is that he's actually a stealth master of the long take. From Duel to Tintin, for forty years, he has sneakily filmed many scenes in a single continuous shot." [more inside]
Huge collection of (and commentary on) matte art from classic films
that has been rescanned for HD releases. Much more on the process of creating and filming this type of setup at last month's post
Feel as if you've watched everything on Netflix? You might find something new at Summary Bug
, where a text-display glitch generates whimsical cinematic possibilities.
With Career View
, The Dissolve
) offers an extensive survey, and critical summary, of a career in film. [more inside]
"Draft Day," "Moneyball," and the rise of the sports management movie. There’s a new breed of sports movie in town, one that does away with all that pesky team building and ersatz democracy. These films celebrate the real heroes of sports, the real heroes of any workplace: the bosses.
"I've watched a lot of terrible films over the years... And even by these standards, Driscoll's output is atrocious. But whereas directors like [German] Uwe Boll will happily revel in a 'worst film director ever' title, Richard has absolutely no sense of humour about it. He genuinely thinks he’s creating art." --- This is the story
of British actor/director Richard Driscoll, his 2012 film "Eldorado"
and how it all landed him in jail.
Back in 1995, Wayne Wang directed a film called "Smoke"
, which starred Harvey Keitel and William Hurt and whose story largely centered on a Brooklyn Cigar shop
on the corner of 16th Street and Prospect Park West. The movie was very well received by critics
and stands as one of the great films of the 1990's... but that's not the whole story. [more inside]
Because the Coens have tried their hand at numerous genres, from noir to screwball to outright surrealism, it wasn’t immediately apparent that they were making the same basic movie over and over. After 30 years and 16 features, however, it’s now hard not to notice that prototypical Coen protagonists are hapless, well-meaning schlemiels upon whom life exacts a toll that’s much worse than they deserve. In the films of Joel and Ethan Coen, it’s a hard world for little things (and everyone else)
Though Llewyn appears stuck, he’s the nomad always ecstatic in his circumlocutions. He’s on a road to nowhere but at least trudging on a path to somewhere. The rest of the world marks time, gliding smoothly along the straight line of the future, arrested comfortably in the steady flow of the ever-present, and being naively present relieves one from the nightmare of history. Maybe the materialization of Dylan’s music in the final minutes, when it wasn’t there in the beginning, is another sign that Llewyn’s time has passed, and it’s time to, um, face the music. Like clockwork he goes into the alley to confront the shadowy figure, and takes his punch (this time not saying “I’m sorry?” before the fist collides with his face, however). Consigned again to this cesspool, he doesn't stay down but ascends through iron bar shadows and follows his bellicose aggressor, who gets into a cab and drives off. Llewyn looks on somewhat wistfully, not saying “farewell” in accord with Dylan but rather says “Au revoir”—indicating they’ll see each other again. At that quiet utterance the cab’s wheels screech and turn a sharp corner. The linear trajectory forward is thwarted and Fate's Emissary will inevitably come around again. The Orbital Noose: Inside Llewyn Davis
23. On screen, your hero can blow away 500 bad guys, but if he smokes one fucking cigarette, you’re in deep shit. Sam Mendes’s 25 Rules for Directors
Chess has been played in a lot of movies. I mean, a lot
. Some of the more notable matches include Ron Weasley kicking ass
, HAL stealing from Schlage
, a Bond villain stealing from Spassky
, and Death just screwing with the audience
. Then there is Thomas Crown
, who might just have been named
for a promising young British player
who tragically died at the age of eighteen.