Ridley Scott

Ridley Scott and Cormac McCarthy’s ‘The Counselor’ Disappoints

When the Coen Brothers took home a bundle of awards for their 2007 adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s No Country for Old Men, including the Oscars for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay, the 1992 National Book Award winner found himself shot into a whole new realm of fame. By then, McCarthy was already on a professional hot streak: in April of 2007 Oprah had picked his latest novel, The Road, for her Book Club. Literature lovers had already known of McCarthy’s greatness, but now everybody knew, and everybody wanted to read him. You could hardly go anywhere without seeing somebody clutching a copy of the book the Coens had adapted, or the post-apocalyptic novel that Oprah loved so much (and would eventually be turned into a well-received 2009 film). … Read More

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30 Criminally Underrated Movie Sequels

Next week brings the Blu-ray debut of Psycho IIand Psycho III, two 1980s horror films that had the gall, the downright temerity, to follow up Hitchcock’s groundbreaking horror classic. But here’s the thing about these movies: they’re not half bad. There’s no denying that the vast majority of sequels are both unnecessary and terrible, less continuations of stories or honest entertainments than filmed deals. But it’s also unfair to paint all follow-ups with that broad brush; there are a fair number of sequels that are far better than their reputations would have you… Read More

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50 Science Fiction/Fantasy Films That Everyone Should See

Last week, Flavorwire published a list of 50 science-fiction and fantasy novels that everyone should read – an article that prompted some great discussions in the comments. Since you’re all so wonderfully geeky, we’ve decided to follow up with a list of 50 essential sci-fi/fantasy films, for those who prefer the celluloid to the… Read More

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Great Movies With Embarrassingly Bad DVD Art

You can’t judge a book by its cover, as we’ve recently discovered with not only books, but also music. That holds true with film as well — not just with movie posters, which have their own problematic elements, but when it comes time to sell you the movie in physical form. For years, DVD distributors have uglified some of our favorite movies — often even eschewing the classy and striking movie posters for Photoshopped, Frankensteined monstrosities of their own making, designed to move units at all costs. We’ve assembled some of the ugliest and most terrifying DVD images for movies we actually like — and provided their original posters as well, just so you can see how far they can fall. … Read More

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10 Trailers That Were Better Than the Movie

Plenty of people grumble about trailers not delivering the movie they promise, but only one man — New Zealander J. Congdon — got Paramount Pictures to refund the cost of his Jack Reacher ticket, because the movie didn’t include the badass cliff explosion that got him to spend money on a Tom Cruise movie in the first place. In fairness to Paramount, this kind of thing happens all the time; trailers are often cut months before the picture itself is finalized, leading to all sorts of shots, jokes, and scenes that don’t show up in the finished product. It’s all part of the tricky world of film advertising, where the goal is to lure you into the theater, and not necessarily to reflect the tone, story, or (certainly) quality of the film in question. Trailer cutting is kind of an art form unto itself, which is why we so often see trailers that get us all in a tizzy, only to wander out of the movie they’re selling in a befuddled and disappointed stupor. After the jump, we look back at ten movies that were far better in two-minute form. … Read More

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Exclusive Supercut: Gary Oldman Loses His Shit

The great Gary Oldman, one of our very favorite actors, turns 55 years old today, and while there’s much to celebrate about the actor — his tremendous range, his chameleonic physical versatility, the ease with which he juggles small and large films, the flawlessness of his American accent — we have to say that our favorite thing about him is the skill and intensity with which he goes insane onscreen. It happens fairly reliably across his filmography, and it’s always worth waiting for, so in celebration of Mr. Oldman’s birthday, we assembled a few of our favorite instances of the actor going bananas. Check it out after the jump. … Read More

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Hilarious Notes on Modern Classics From Clueless Studio Executives

The image of non-creative types mucking about with (and screwing up) movies and television shows is nothing new — we’ve seen it in everything from Barton Fink to The Player to The Larry Sanders Show — but we got a rare opportunity to observe a real-life example of it recently, when a memorandum of notes from the suits at Tandem Productions to the makers of Blade Runner started popping up online. Those hilarious criticisms and suggestions got us wondering about other classic movies that came close to ruin thanks to studio interference. We’ll take a look at Blade Runner and several other examples after the jump. … Read More

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The Original Endings of 10 Famous Films

A slow dolly shot and the haunting, ethereal sounds of “Midnight, The Stars and You” by Al Bowlly takes us into the closing scene of Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining. The moment leaves us speculating about the film’s supernatural subtext as we catch our breath. It’s one of the most famous endings in cinema, but it almost never happened. Website The Overlook Hotel — a great source for fans of Kubrick’s iconic horror film — recently posted a copy of the director’s original screenplay that includes a deleted scene cut from the film at the last minute. We talk about it more after the jump. Audience feedback, filmmaker OCD, and other factors have helped shape the movies we know and love, changing the course of cinema history. We took a look at other popular movies and their original endings (as always, there may be spoilers). Did the final cuts triumph? … Read More

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The Year In Film: 2012's Best Movie Moments

As the inevitable “Year’s Best Films” lists pour forth (and ours will join them soon enough) — that while a great movie is an accumulation of first-rate writing, directing, and performance, plenty of films that didn’t make that final cut did offer us the pleasure of a perfect scene. Here, we present our carefully cultivated picks for ten of the best moments from this year’s… Read More

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10 Supporting Characters Who Totally Deserve Their Own Movies

Judd Apatow’s This is 40, out this Friday, is — as its ads carefully note — a “sort-of sequel” to his 2007 hit Knocked Up. It doesn’t concern that film’s leading characters; Seth Rogen’s Ben is only mentioned in passing, and Katherine Hiegl’s Alison is absent altogether. Instead, Apatow focuses on supporting couple Pete (Paul Rudd) and Debbie (Leslie Mann) and their two kids — played by Apatow and Mann’s real-life offspring. The idea of making a spin-off instead of a sequel is a fairly rare one; there are a few examples, like U.S. Marshalls (from The Fugitive), Get Him to the Greek (from Forgetting Sarah Marshall), Beauty Shop (from Barbershop 2) and Puss in Boots (from Shrek 2), but overall, it’s not all that common. Which is funny, because we think it’s a more interesting way to continue a franchise than the standard sequel, so after the jump, we’ve got suggestions for supporting characters we’d like to see bumped up to leads. (Warning: Some spoilers follow.) … Read More

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