The true nature of Star Trek Into Darkness’s villain has become perhaps the Internet’s worst-kept secret, but don’t worry — you’ll not have it spoiled here. Suffice it to say that the film’s antagonist is fiercely intelligent, physically brutal, and hellbent on revenge. In other words, this is a great movie villain. But what makes a truly memorable one? Sifting through the scores of iconic movie bad guys and girls reveals that villainy comes in all shapes, sizes, and levels of intensity; ranking them against each other is a tall order, but your Flavorwire was willing to give it a… Read More
Ready your nightlights — today marks the release of The Dark, a wonderful children’s book written by Lemony Snicket and illustrated by Jon Klassen. Irreverent and gorgeous, this book might just be a way for your little one (or you) to conquer an elemental fear. To celebrate the book’s release, we asked Lemony Snicket about some of the things that have scared him, and he sent us this list of the movies that terrified him the most — as a little kid and as a larger kid. Check them out after the jump, and let us know what scares you in the comments. … Read More
The brilliant Buster Keaton is the subject of a 15-disc Blu-ray box set released by Kino Lorber today. The Ultimate Buster Keaton Collection includes an exclusive release of the 1927 film College, along with a 1966 industrial short that was Keaton’s final filmed performance. The iconic movie star’s deadpan delivery earned him the nickname, the “Great Stone Face,” which was an especially amusing contrast during the actor-director’s many stunts and unique brand of physical comedy. Keaton inspired us to explore other great faces in cinema, and we’ve catalogued them in a handy A to Z guide. (We wish the alphabet had more letters.) These thespians aren’t necessarily the most classically or popularly attractive movie stars, but their eccentric and expressive faces are a gateway to a deeply emotional and thrilling experience. It’s our most human connection to the celluloid. Who gives great face? Click through to see a few of our favorites, and tell us yours. … Read More
In 1962, Bette Davis and Joan Crawford — during the twilight of their careers — ushered in a new subgenre in film: psycho biddy cinema. Robert Aldrich’s Academy-Award-winning What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? found the grande dames isolated in a decaying Hollywood mansion, where their minds had deteriorated in kind. The gothic melodrama arrived on Blu-ray today, and we wanted to celebrate the occasion by taking a look back at other over-the-top films that featured unhinged, older women haunted by their past. Since the ‘60s, the subgenre has evolved and inspired some creepy aging idols in horror cinema, too. Since we don’t discriminate when it comes to demented elderly characters, we had to include them as well. See more psychotic, gray-haired grotesquerie after the jump. … Read More
Everyone loves celebrity conflict, which is why we’re assuming our post a couple of weeks back on actor/filmmaker feuds generated such a huge response. It’s humanizing to see that cultural icons squabble about the same petty stuff that we do in the workplace. Performers and auteurs aren’t the only source of on-set friction however; the Hollywood history books are filled with cases of co-stars going after each other with everything they’ve got. After the jump, you’ll find a few of the most famed examples. … Read More
If you’ve paid much attention to film festival coverage over the past few months, you’ve probably heard a thing or two about a film called The Raid (it was later given the rather silly subtitle Redemption, though I’ll be damned if I recall anybody being redeemed in it). It screened at Toronto, Sundance, and SXSW, and it is a knockout — a powder keg of pure action, done with deadpan humor and hyperkinetic style. I saw it at an all-media screening at Sundance, and even among that jaded group, the audience literally gasped at loud at several points, and burst into applause at the end. It’s terrific cinema.
And that’s why so many people who have seen it are losing their shit over Roger Ebert’s inexplicable one-star review of the movie, which went online last night. He complains about the film’s “wall-to-wall violence,” cracks that “if I estimated the film has 10 minutes of dialogue, that would be generous,” and says that the picture is “almost brutally cynical in its approach.” This coming from a guy who gave three stars to Transformers and most of the Fast/Furious franchise.
Then again, as much as we love Mr. Ebert, this isn’t the first time he got a great movie dead wrong. His one-star pan of Blue Velvet is still a head-scratcher; ditto the single star he awarded Wet Hot American Summer. And don’t even get us started on that two-star review of the original Die Hard. The point is, sometimes the critics just plain get it wrong. After the jump, we’ll take a look at a dozen classic movies, and the scribes who blew the call on them. … Read More