In the current ultra-managed, publicist-controlled, sound-byte-driven media atmosphere, you don’t get to hear stars really speaking their minds anymore — at least, not about anything fun, like how they really feel about their fellow stars. But occasionally a little something sneaks through the PR wall, both now and back in Hollywood’s golden age, sometimes as whispers, sometimes as gossip, sometimes long after the fact. And thus, we present another, long-overdue installment of our ongoing series (following authors, filmmakers, and musicians) of really famous people really cutting each other… Read More
Look: If your idea of a good time is to spend two hours being bombarded with the best in computer-generated imagery and a migraine generator of a score, then probably you will like Ender’s Game. And I do not cast aspersions on you for that! I, too, like things to blow up, and it seems to me an entire book of critical theory could be written in consideration of why it’s so fun to watch other (imaginary) people blow (imaginary) shit up. There is, after all, something more satisfying in it than actually blowing the shit up yourself, because you would, first of all, likely have to clean up the mess, which is another way of saying there would be repercussions for your momentary experience of stress release, and repercussions rather dampen catharsis.
That said, even on the scale of shit-blowing-up movies, Ender’s Game is not a terribly good one. … Read More
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
Break out your blood-smeared undershirt and go crawl around in an air duct: this month marks the 25th anniversary of the release of Die Hard, John McTiernan’s seminal action movie that made Bruce Willis a star, Alan Rickman a go-to villain, and the simple formula of a lone hero, a contained location, and a brilliant supervillian into one of Hollywood’s most durable. And though Fox paid its own dubious tribute to the franchise with its most recent sequel, the true testament to the film’s influence is the sheer volume of Die Hard imitators unleashed in the quarter-century since its release. … Read More