Last week, the great (and tragically absent from the screen) Gene Wilder made a rare public appearance at New York’s 92nd Street Y, discussing his retirement from the movies, his distaste for modern “dirty” movies (an odd comment, coming from the co-star of Blazing Saddles), and what Tim Burton and Johnny Depp had done to his most famous role. “I think it’s an insult,” he said of Burton’s 2005 film Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. “Johnny Depp, I think, is a good actor, but I don’t care for that director. He’s a talented man, but I don’t care for him doing stuff like he did.” Wilder isn’t the only actor or director to speak out against remakes of their work; more on that story, and a few more examples, after the jump. … Read More
We’re in the midst of a full-on re-emergence of the Old Demi-Gods of Action from direct-to-DVD obscurity, failed career comebacks, and politics. The hard-bodied troops of ’80s action cinema are returning to the genre they helped perfect via The Expendables series, Schwarzenegger’s The Last Stand, Stallone’s Bullet to the Head, and the trotting out of Bruce Willis’ John McClane for yet another Die Hard. It’s a kind of new (old) wave, but it isn’t one isolated to reappointing former glory to older-aged action stars. It’s equally indoctrinating new ones through movies like Red and anything that gives Liam Neeson a gun. These days it seems action films aren’t just a young man’s game anymore – they’re becoming a game for finely aged actors. We’ve had actors dolling out justice well into their middle-years before (see: John Wayne, Charles Bronson, Clint Eastwood, the cast of The Wild Bunch ), but it’s never been this pervasive as a trend. Which begs the question: why 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
In his commentary on Armageddon, that ultimate epicure of explosions, Michael Bay notes that the cardinal rule of disaster filmmaking is to “never kill a dog.” Maybe it has to do with their loyalty, or their innocence, but there’s a longstanding cinematic tradition of using dogs in emotionally manipulative ways (anyone else feel betrayed by Turner & Hooch’s family-friendly façade?). And when it’s a real-life canine disaster story, we’re all the more prone to sobbing uncontrollably. Though plenty of movies go the route of driving home an already bleak tragedy with a heartrending finish of caninicide, most of our favorite mass-appeal, special-effects-saturated disaster/action movies opt for the audience pleasing cliché of dogs that, against all odds, miraculously survive. Here’s a list of some of the more implausible canine survival stories in disaster movie history. … Read More
Every Friday here at Flavorwire, we like to gather up the week’s new movie trailers, give them a look-see, and rank them from worst to best — while taking a guess or two about what they might tell us (or hide from us) about the movies they’re promoting. We’ve got eight new trailers for you this week, featuring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Channing Tatum, Sylvester Stallone, Christopher Walken, Colin Farrell, Chris Hemsworth, Olivia Wilde, Rosario Dawson, Eric Bana, Justin Long, Paul Dano, and more; check ‘em all out after the jump, and share your thoughts in the comments. … Read More
A few weeks back, we took a moment to lament the absence of several stars who, for whatever reason, had opted to retire from the silver screen. But what of the inverse? Who are the stars we’d like to encourage to go ahead and enjoy a life of leisure, spending time with their families and their money, rather than continuing to flaunt their tired wares in the local multiplex? It’s a question that, for us, was brought on by this week’s release of The Expendables 2, wherein Stallone, Schwarzenegger, Norris, et. al. get into their Rascals and make yet another play for ’80s action movie nostalgia. After the jump, some thoughts on those fellows, and a few more film stars who are due to retire. … Read More
Former mobster Henry Hill — who had a drug-fueled stint with the Lucchese crime family and an eventual turn as an FBI informant — died yesterday in Los Angeles at the age of 69. His life became the basis for investigative crime reporter Nicholas Pileggi’s 1986 book Wiseguy, made famous by Martin Scorsese’s 1990 film Goodfellas.
Ray Liotta starred in the film as Hill, which chronicled the reformed mobster’s roots as an errand boy for Lucchese capo Paul Vario in the 1950s, his rise through narcotics trafficking, and retirement into the witness protection program. As TMZ reported, the real Hill prided himself on cleaning up his act later in life, but what did he think about his cinematic counterpart? Find out past the break, where we examined what other people thought about their on-screen doppelgangers and the films based on their lives. … 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 find Netflix purging a bunch of good titles for a giant batch of new ones in early June (must be some sort of mid-year end-of-contract period or something), so our list is mostly — but not entirely — comprised of stuff you’ll have to get on quick, featuring stars like Johnny Depp, Jack Nicholson, Meryl Streep, Tommy Lee Jones, Michael Douglas, Billy Bob Thornton, Parker Posey, Matthew McConaughey, Kevin Spacey, Woody Harrelson, Tom Cruise, Winona Ryder, and Sylvester Stallone. Check them all out after the jump, and follow the title links to watch them right now. … Read More
If Andy Warhol were alive today he would be totally digital. After all, Warhol embraced all forms of media in his day — recording lunchtime conversations and turning them into articles for his Interview magazine; directing avant-garde films, music videos, and SNL shorts; shooting Polaroids of the rich and famous for his portrait paintings; and using point-and-shoot cameras to document even the most mundane moments of his colorful life. Two current New York exhibitions explore Warhol as a man with a camera, that’s nearly always in hand.
Andy Warhol: Photographer at Danziger Gallery offers a slew of color Polaroids of celebrity pals — ranging from Debbie Harry, Liza Minnelli, and Sylvester Stallone to Ted Kennedy and downtown drag queens — along with photo-booth pictures of stylish New Yorkers and black-and-white snapshots of hotel dining carts, naked guys on a Montauk beach, and supermarket shelves full of cat food. Meanwhile, Warhol: Confections & Confessions at Affirmation Arts presents 8 x 10 B+W photographs from the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh of subjects for paintings — including scattered eggs, a hammer and sickle, and various shadows — as well as such offbeat pictures as breast-feeding moms, still lives that feature a bug sprayer, and candid shots of Warhol posing with nuns and getting frisky on roller skates. Click through to view a selection of our favorites. … Read More
This week’s must-see DVD for film fans is Corman’s World: Exploits of a Hollywood Rebel, Alex Stapleton’s wickedly enjoyable documentary profile of Roger Corman, the B-movie master whose exploitation movies launched half the moviemakers and movie stars of the ’70s. One of the film’s highlights is Jack Nicholson’s remembrances of his first movie roles, including his debut performance in The Little Shop of Horrors (which Corman shot in all of two days). Nicholson’s story got us thinking about other stars and their first movie roles, so we put together this quick video essay with a peek at some other famous film debuts. Check out our latest video essay after the jump. … Read More