This week marks the standalone Blu-ray debut of Torn Curtain, one of the last of the Alfred Hitchcock films that were previously only available as part of the expensive Masterpiece Collection box set. Those films, ranging from black comedy to quiet mystery to all-out horror, show the wide range of genres that can fall into the overall (and often overused) classification of “Hitchcockian.” After the jump, we’ll take a look at a few classic and modern films that bear the earmark of Hitchcock’s profound influence. … Read More
The news that Donald Trump is dropping — for now, anyway! — his monumentally stupid (even for him) lawsuit against Bill Maher may be good for the humorless blowhard and reality TV star, but it’s disappointing for late-night comedy writers and celeb jurisprudence fans. C’mon, admit it: that would’ve been a fun trial, if for nothing else than Maher’s testimony. At any rate, while we’re waiting to see if Trump holds true on his threat to return to the matter at a later date, here’s a look back at other instances of celebrities — real and C-list — who’ve taken each other to court. … Read More
It’s a very big fall for fans of Alfred Hitchcock. First and foremost, Universal has released Alfred Hitchcock: The Masterpiece Collection, a fabulous 15-disc limited edition Blu-ray set featuring several of Hitch’s masterpieces (including Vertigo, Rear Window, Psycho, and North by Northwest) in gorgeous HD transfers, with copious bonus features. And while his work is available for fresh consumption, there are a pair of new biography treatments as well — on the small screen, we have HBO’s The Girl (with Toby Jones as a rather skeevy Hitch and Sienna Miller as ‘Tippi’ Hedrin), while next week brings the theatrical release of a marvelous new big-screen biopic, Hitchcock (focusing on the production of Psycho, with Anthony Hopkins as Hitchcock, Helen Mirren as wife Alma, and Scarlett Johannson as Janet Leigh).
That’s a lot of Mr. Hitchcock to take in at once, but we’re here to help. If your knowledge of Hitch is confined to a shower scene and a flock of diving seagulls, you’re in luck; we’ve put together a Beginner’s Guide to Hitchcock, earmarking his major motifs, significant films, and relevant facts. Check it out after the jump. … Read More
You wouldn’t think that the cold-blooded murder of a defenseless old woman would make for big laughs, but that’s just one of the surprises found in Bernie, Richard Linklater’s wickedly enjoyable Texas comedy, out today on DVD and Blu-ray. And it’s all true — or, as the opening title card notes, “What you’re fixin’ to see is a true story.”
As the old saw goes, truth is stranger than fiction, and in ruminating about the pleasures of Bernie, we discovered that several of our favorite comedies were, in fact, based on real events. After the jump, a few thoughts on that film, and nine others based on (varying degrees of) true stories. … Read More
Joel W. Finler’s Hollywood Movie Stills — Titan Books’ newest behind-the-scenes film compendium that hits stores tomorrow, June 5 — delivers far more than its title suggests. Indeed, the new filmic chronicle is a gorgeous gallery of never-before-seen cinematic stills, photographs, production artwork, and more from the author’s personal collection. However, Finler’s book also “traces the origin of stills photography during the silent era and the early development of the star system, through to the rise of the giant studios in the 1930s and their eventual decline. Finler focuses on the photographers, on the stars they photographed, and on many key films and filmmakers.” It’s a fascinating look at Hollywood’s elite like we’ve never seen them before. Head past the break for a preview of Hollywood Movie Stills, and see Marlon Brando, Cary Grant, and your other favorite film icons in our gallery. Then, pick up a copy of the book over here. … Read More
Dark Shadows opens this week, whether we like it or not, but it does give us cause to pause for numerical consideration. No, we’re not talking about the amount of time since Tim Burton’s last film that was based on an original idea — that would be seven years, since Corpse Bride. Before that, you have to go clear back to 1990′s Edward Scissorhands, which was also (coincidentally enough) his first time working with Dark Shadows star Johnny Depp. Dark Shadows marks their eighth collaboration, which got us thinking about some of our favorite (and most productive, with a minimum of four pairings) actor/director teams. After the jump, we’ve compiled a dozen of the best from movie history; add your own in the comments, won’t you? … Read More
Well, kids, it’s Valentine’s Day, and those of you who aren’t looking to go out and spend a fortune at a swanky restaurant (read: those of you who are married or in relationships that have been going long enough that you’re not trying to impress each other anymore) may very well choose to stay in for the holiday, cuddling up on the couch and enjoying a nice romantic comedy. Except, ugh, they’re all terrible.
Or so it seems, in this Heigl/Hudson/Hugh/Sarah-Jessica saturated cinematic marketplace. But believe it or not, there are some genuinely great romantic comedies out there — smart, tender, funny movies that make you laugh and warm your heart. No, seriously! We’ve not only managed to collect ten of them, but even an alternate choice or two for each. Snuggle up and enjoy after the jump. … Read More
1. Apparently Michael Bay feels like Transformers already needs a reboot; the fourth film in the $2.6 billion franchise, which is set to be released on June 29, 2014, will provide “a new take” on the story. Before that, he’s working on Pain And Gain, a small budget action movie about “a group of bodybuilders… Read More
Last week we had one of our periodic Flavorwire editorial meetings, and the conversation turned to Zooey Deschanel. Contrary to whatever direction you might presume we’d lean on her, there were a wide variety of opinions in the room, from indifferent to stubbornly affectionate (yours truly) to exhausted (“I’m about up to here with her”). While everyone basically agrees that her new show New Girl is nothing to write home about, there is a divergence as to why — some say it’s ill-conceived and mediocre, while others place the blame squarely on Ms. Deschanel. When I heard the phrase “She always just plays herself,” my ears perked up. Here’s a favorite topic that I’d not had the chance to engage in for a while: the question of persona vs. versatility in acting. … Read More