The ages-old query of “So, who were your influences on the film?” still appears regularly in interviews following a big-name movie’s release. But in recent years, directors have started to name the films they drew from before the premiere as a way of drumming up anticipatory buzz. At the Star Wars Celebration in London earlier this year, Episode VIII director Rian Johnson name-checked Bridge on the River Kwai, Three Outlaw Samurai, Letter Never Sent, and 12 O’Clock High as points of reference for the next Star Wars picture. The initial public response went along the lines of “lol what the hell are you talking about,” but eventually cooled into “Alright, can’t front, that sounds pretty awesome.”
Back around Christmastime, the well-regarded genre-defiers Radiohead revealed that they had recorded their own theme for the latest James Bond picture, Spectre. It was baffling, not just because their composition was swooningly beautiful, but because the Spectre team ultimately ended up going with Sam Smith, instantly agreed upon as one of the lesser Bond theme singers. But that’s all peanuts compared to the latest gross injustice from the world of film soundtracking, with greater effrontery dealt to an even more esteemed statesman of rock.
A step above the sought-after Maltese Falcon and the fabled Ark of the Covenant, Dorothy Gale’s ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz have to be the single most vital prop in cinematic history. The red-sequined shoes, so lusted after by the Wicked Witch of the West in the immortal 1939 fantasy film, have spent the last 30 years as one of the Smithsonian's most popular attractions. But not even magical footwear is immune to the ravages of time, and Judy Garland’s old kicks have lost a bit of their luster. As The Hollywood Reporter notes, the iconic slippers have faded from their original Technicolor ruby to something closer to “a dull auburn.”
Millennials: Is there nothing we can't do? We got denim jackets back in fashion, forced a new season of Twin Peaks into existence, and peer-pressured LeBron James into signing on for a remake of Space Jam in the Michael Jordan role. Whether these are good or bad things is very much up for debate, but the matter stands that mid-’90s nostalgia has been a powerful motivating force in recent entertainment business. And now, the millennials of America have staged their greatest coup of all: the original Space Jam is coming back to theaters next month, notes The Hollywood Reporter.
When Illumination Entertainment announced the basic premise for their upcoming The Secret Life of Pets — an animated adventure-comedy about the shenanigans our furry pals get into while we’re away at work for the day — it sure sounded an awful lot like Toy Story...
The original film collected Burt Reynolds, Roger Moore, Dom DeLuise, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Farrah Fawcett, Jackie Chan, Jamie Farr, and Peter Fonda in a cameo role, which means this new Cannonball Run will be required to cast at least nine beloved famous people if they want to get this up and running. Truly, the Fast and Furious parallels could not be more glaring.
Even as video games go, the mobile app Angry Birdsis pretty conceptually thin. There are birds. They are angry, ostensibly because green pigs have constructed elaborate castles all over their bird-world, and nobody likes developers...
The gallant paramilitary contractors of Michael Bay’s Benghazi film 13 Hours risked life and limb to defend our American way of life — our freedom to speak our minds, to worship as our souls move us, and most importantly, to carry fully loaded firearms into public spaces. And so it is with a dark, tragic irony that we relay the news that a Washington state woman sustained a gunshot wound during a screening of 13 Hours last night.
To American audiences, Studio Ghibli must be the biggest name in overseas animation, having brought domestic cineplexes such visually sumptuous, emotionally affecting films as ‘The Wind Rises,’ ‘Howl’s Moving Castle,’ and ‘Spirited Away’ to our fair shores. (That last one earned team Ghibli the Oscar for Best Animated Feature back in 2003, a first for the studio.) Those three films all happen to have been created by now-retired Ghibli head Hayao Miyazaki, but as the mind behind ‘The Tale of the Princess Kaguya,’ ‘Pom Poko,’ and ‘Grave of the Fireflies,’ animator Isao Takahata has been just as crucial to the studio’s stellar track record.
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