The “double dip” — when a movie is reissued on DVD or Blu-ray, without much in the way of new bonus features — is the bane of the home media owner’s existence. Three of this week’s five new releases of note qualify for that label, and while none may warrant a replacement purchase, all take over for earlier editions (some of them hard to find) at a reasonable price, and, in many cases, with sparkling new transfers to boot. Meanwhile, we’ve got a must-see documentary on Netflix, and a home video debut for this writer’s best film of 2014. … Read More
As you may have heard, Scarlett Johansson is going to make the leap from actress to feature filmmaker, helming an adaptation of Truman Capote’s first, posthumously published novel Summer Crossing. The path from one side of the camera to the other is a well-trod one, so here’s hoping that Ms. Johansson follows in the footsteps of distinguished actors-turned-directors like Charles Laughton, Orson Welles, and Clint Eastwood. But don’t forget, not all actors find the transition so easy; some try it once and never again, the job of director a strange and forgotten footnote on otherwise stellar careers. … Read More
If you’re like us, you’ve probably spent a good (possibly unhealthy!) chunk of your October watching lots and lots of horror movies. But if you watch too many, you’ll start to notice a pattern. Horror movies seem to be the genre most prone to sequelizing and rebootinating — there are five Wrong Turns and six Leprechauns, for Chrissakes — and the results are seldom worth a damn. The logic is easy to understand; with horror, the genre itself (rather than big-name stars or mind-blowing special effects) is the marketable element, so once the connection has been made, it’s easy to go back for seconds. And horror movies are constructed accordingly, with doors left open for sequels and series. Most are just awful. But some aren’t; occasionally, the ingenuity and inventiveness of a good chiller will return in its follow-up. So, as you’re putting together your Halloween DVD stacks, allow us to help you separate the pop from the pap; our dozen horror sequels that (contrary to expectation) are not terrible are after the jump. … Read More
Although he won critical acclaim for several award-winning performances — including a role in Civil War movie Friendly Persuasion as a young man drawn to battle to protect his family and a part in May-December romantic drama Goodbye Again — multifaceted talent Anthony Perkins will forever and always be known as Norman Bates in Hitchcock’s Psycho. Immortalized on celluloid as the meek and deeply troubled murderer, Perkins’ — who would have been 80-years-old today — played Bates with a boyish vulnerability, quiet charm, and repressed anxiety that Hitchcock skillfully helped mold into one of the greatest screen villains of all time.
Many have said that Bates’ most unfortunate victim was Anthony Perkins, and that the character eventually consumed him — at least through three other sequels that spanned into the ’90s. “Without Pyscho, who’s to say if I would have endured?” Perkins once told the New York Times.
What other actors never escaped their biggest roles? We explored the careers of a few stars past the jump. Sometimes the deal of a lifetime can haunt you, making you wonder who is playing whom in the end. (And sometimes it’s not always a bad thing.) Check out our picks, and drop your faves in the comments section. … Read More