This week marks the DVD and Blu-ray debut of Safe Haven, the critically drubbed Nicholas Sparks adaptation starring that girl from Dancing With the Stars and that dude from the Transformers movies. Normally, this would not be worth noting! But there’s something else that’s special about Safe Haven: it’s got one of the most utterly bananas crazy “twist” endings you’ve ever seen. Ever since The Usual Suspects blew everyone’s mind in ’95, and The Sixth Sense followed suit four years later, moviemakers have been trying their damnedest to create shocking third-act reveals that change everything we’ve seen before, and send us out of the theater reeling. Instead, most of them are befuddling, laughable, or just plain stupid. Here are a few examples (with a rather obvious spoiler alert). … Read More
Welcome to Flavorwire’s streaming movie guide, in which we help you sift through the scores of movies streaming on Netflix, Hulu, and other services to find the best of the recently available, freshly relevant, or soon to expire. This week, we’re recovering from the big Netflix “Streamageddon” — but, to their credit, the service did make a healthy chunk of titles newly available (or re-available) for streaming at the end of last week. Included is good stuff from Robert Downey Jr., Reese Witherspoon, Robert Redford, Samuel L. Jackson, Chris Hemsworth, Woody Allen, John Travolta, Michael Keaton, James Woods, Uma Thurman, Joss Whedon, and Quentin Tarantino; check them out after the jump, and follow the title links to watch them right now. … Read More
“RETIREMENT IS FOR SISSIES!” roar the posters for The Last Stand (seriously? “Sissies?” In 2012? But I digress…), the first starring role for Arnold Schwarzenegger since stepping away from the silver screen for a, shall we say, problematic stint in the California governor’s mansion. Its mid-January release date doesn’t exactly scream box-office or critical confidence, but who knows; Mr. Schwarzenegger has been underestimated before, and usually comes out ahead. Either way it goes, we thought it would be interesting to run down some of the other big-name actors who hit rough or absent patches and tried to work their way back into the spotlight with a well placed role; after the jump we’ll take a look at five comeback vehicles that took, and five that didn’t quite get the job done. … Read More
From John Travolta’s airstrip Jumbolair to Lenny Kravitz’s bordello modern villa cum bachelor pad, click through to check out some of the most bizarre celebrity homes on the planet.… Read More
Welcome to Flavorwire’s streaming movie guide, in which we help you sift through the scores of movies streaming on Netflix, Hulu, and other services to find the best of the recently available, freshly relevant, or soon to expire. This week, we’ve got documentaries, indies, classics, and titles from Louis CK, Steven Soderbergh, Eddie Murphy, Nicolas Cage, John Travolta, Parker Posey, Jane Fonda, Michael Fassbender, Ewan McGregor, Alicia Silverstone, and Chris Farley; check them all out after the jump, and follow the title links to watch them right now. … Read More
We try not to make a habit of cheering failure (really, honestly, promise, we don’t), but we couldn’t help getting a little warm and runny inside when Battleship laid a big egg at the beginning of the summer, since the movie beat is filled with tales of great movies that no one sees, and terrible turkeys that make a fortune. But occasionally, people just don’t go see a barking dog of a picture, and that can be good for all of us — not just because time isn’t wasted and incompetence isn’t rewarded, but because Hollywood is a town that takes its cues from what does well, so when a bad idea fails, more are less likely to follow. So today, in honor of Battleship’s DVD/Blu-ray release tomorrow, we’ll take a look at a dozen big-time bombs, and what the movie industry did or didn’t learn from them. … Read More
Welcome to Flavorpill’s streaming movie guide, in which we help you sift through the scores of movies streaming on Netflix, Hulu, and other services to find the best of the recently available, freshly relevant, or soon to expire. This week, we’ve got great titles from the likes of Alec Baldwin, Steve Martin, Al Pacino, Jack Lemmon, Buster Keaton, J.J. Abrams, Oliver Stone, Max Ophuls, Gaspar Noé, and the creators of Mystery Science Theater 3000; check them all out after the jump, and follow the title links to watch them right now. … Read More
John Travolta is no stranger to camp. We know this not because of any colorful conjectures about his personal life, but because he took on Divine’s role in the 2007 remake of Hairspray. (There is also, of course, his pet project Battlefield Earth, although we wouldn’t dare characterize his participation in that L. Ron Hubbard adaptation as anything less than sincere.) So, OK, this isn’t entirely out of the blue. But we’re still pretty surprised to hear that Travolta is attached to Akiva Goldman and Troma head Lloyd Kaufman’s PG-13 reboot of the latter’s thoroughly enjoyable 1984 cult trash-fest The Toxic Avenger.
Aside from the obvious confusion about why a movie star (albeit a past-his-prime one) pushing 60 might be interested in taking on the role of a health-club mop boy who becomes a mutant superhero after a mishap with toxic waste, there’s the question of whether a movie with anything approaching this premise could actually appeal to mainstream theatergoers. Goldman his co-producers clearly want it to; the film’s logline is, “Action-comedy remake in the vein of THE MASK… he’s an environmental superhero…doesn’t want it to be campy…” Aha. So this won’t be campy Travolta. It will be heroic Travolta playing a mildly funny action hero, or perhaps even some other major role that doesn’t involve being a 98-pound teenager.
How do you think this will turn out, readers? Will Toxie play at the multiplex, or is the best we can hope for an accidentally hilarious misfire? Watch the trailer for the original Toxic Avenger and try to make sense of it all below. … Read More
People have been meditating on the image of a nearly nude and bound Saint Sebastian for centuries. The martyr is usually depicted with arrows piercing his flesh, bearing a rapturous expression — the subtext of which has inspired numerous writings and artworks, depicting the saint as an icon of queer culture. Derek Jarman’s 1976 movie Sebastiane explored similar themes, focused on the sexual/spiritual agony and ecstasy between two Roman soldiers. Severus’ lustful obsession with Sebastiane provokes him to torture the unattainable man, and the intersection of longing, faith, and violence is lyrically captured by the director (translated in Vulgar Latin, even). The film’s homoeroticism and striking realism caused a controversy amongst religious groups. Since the film has arrived on Blu-ray, we wanted to explore other contentious studies of spirituality. Mention your favorites, below. … Read More
Next week, The Dark Knight Rises will hit theaters, and holy cow, even we’re tired of talking about how excited we are. But if you can’t wait until next week to get your Christian Bale fix, may we recommend this week’s new DVD release The Flowers of War? What’s that, you haven’t heard of it? Well, no wonder; it only made it to 30 theaters during its very limited release last January, and took in a paltry $311K. (Don’t fear for Bale and director Zhang Yimou — it grossed $93 million in China.) It just goes to show — movie stardom isn’t certain, and even the biggest names in the business can make a picture that comes and goes with nary a ripple. Bale is far from the only one to have a movie sink without a trace in spite of his fame; after the jump, we’ve assembled (in descending order of gross, with the invaluable help of Box Office Mojo) a list of ten big movie stars, and their films that barely made a peep. … Read More