At a Sundance event earlier this week promoting his new music documentary Sound City, I had the chance to ask Foo Fighters frontman (and now filmmaker) Dave Grohl about some of his favorite music documentaries. His thoughtful and wide-ranging answer was interesting enough, I thought, to warrant including in its entirety. … Read More
The Avengers hits DVD and Blu-ray today, fresh from a theatrical run that placed it in the top three highest-grossing films of all time. Not too shabby for a second-time director. Yes, there are many reasons to be cheered by the success of The Avengers: it’s a big, loud summer blockbuster with a brain and a heart; it serves as a triple-exception to our resistance to a) sequels, b) superhero movies, and c) 3D; and most importantly, it has given cult phenom Joss Whedon the kind of crossover success most filmmakers can only dream of. After the jump, a look at how the Browncoats’ fave became Tinseltown’s, and nine other tales of cult filmmakers and the plays they made for mainstream success. … Read More
Buried way down on the list of this week’s DVD releases — below Limitless and Take Me Home Tonight and Peep World — is a little movie called Skidoo, which you may have never heard of unless you are a bad movie aficionado (as your author is). This 1968 “comedy” was an attempt by Paramount and esteemed director Otto Preminger to make a hip film about the counter-culture geared towards the young people — starring such youth heroes as, um, Jackie Gleason, Carol Channing, Burgess Meredith, Mickey Rooney, and Groucho Marx. It concerns a gangster (Gleason) who is sent into prison to ice an informant and ends up dropping acid and escaping via a flying garbage can. It is as spectacularly ill-conceived as it sounds, and it sank without a trace following its release — though it occasionally popped up on cable, it was never released on home video (not even on VHS) until now.
Of course, Skidoo could be seen via the back channels of bootleg video, but it’s nice to see an oddity like this finally getting an official, authorized, legitimate home video release. And while the movie is an utter mess, it is an undeniably entertaining one, featuring inventive songs by Harry Nilsson and Groucho’s final film performance; let’s face it, even bad movies deserve to at least make it to the marketplace. With that in mind, we’ve compiled a wish list of some other titles that have never made it to DVD — some never even to VHS. Take a look after the jump, and add your own in the comments. … Read More
Recently, word got out that James Franco is planning to adapt Steve Erickson’s 2007 novel, Zeroville, into a film. In Zeroville, Vikar, the protagonist, hears punk for the very first time and becomes a man obsessed. At this point, he’s recognized as a difficult but talented film editor, so he moves from his home in LA to New York to work on a new movie. While there, Vikar becomes a regular terror in the mosh pit at CBGB, and back in LA, he heads to Whisky A Go-Go. … Read More