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From the Guardian:

In an interview in 2013, Lee spoke about his love of acting. “Making films has never just been a job to me, it is my life,” he said. “I have some interests outside of acting – I sing and I’ve written books, for instance – but acting is what keeps me going, it’s what I do, it gives life purpose.”


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Maybe there's hope for London After Midnight after all, although this discovery might actually be of greater significance:

The first U.S. film to warn about the dangers of Adolf Hitler's Nazi regime has been found in a Brussels film archive, having lain unnoticed for some 75 years.

"Hitler's Reign of Terror" was produced by Cornelius Vanderbilt, an heir to the wealthy American industrialist family, who visited Germany as Hitler was voted into power in 1933.

The film revolves around footage that Vanderbilt shot and smuggled out, showing Nazi party rallies, book-burnings and the ransacking of Jewish shops.

At its premiere in New York in 1934, the film was a big success, said Bruno Mestdagh, head of the digital collections at the Belgian film archive Cinematheque.

"The German embassy in the United States protested, so the film was censored and adapted. It was then shown in other cities but with much less success," Mestdagh said.

The version uncovered by the archive was most likely ordered by someone who wanted to show it in Belgium but never collected it, so the reel survived the war, and Nazi occupation, in the Belgian customs office.

In the 1970s, it was transferred to the archive, which holds some 70,000 titles in its vast vaults in Brussels, 80 percent of them foreign. But it was only two years ago that the curators realized they had the only surviving copy.

The film has now been remastered and will be shown at New York's Museum of Modern Art in October.
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A sizable presence in most of the stuff he appeared in, both literally and figuratively.
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I gotta admit that I don't get Katherine Heigl.

To be sure, she's a hottie (and I'm not one someone who starts barking like a dog at the slightest hint of a blonde on screen - Heigl or Naomi Watts? Sure. But Paris Hilton? Forget it.) who has a physical presence and a throaty voice that you'd think would get her over the top in film roles, even if they're only (ick) romantic comedies. But judging by this Red Eye article (also in today's print edition), she's apparently got the same damn agent that Sandra Bullock used to have when she was being steered to filth like Speed 2 and Demolition Man. That, or she was so desperate to escape the world's most overrated prime-time soap opera (read: Grey's Anatomy) that she was willing to take any crap film role to earn enough money and box office buzz to leave that smoking pile of a show.

Can't a man have dirty thoughts about actresses anymore without worrying about how reprehensible their films are? Oh, wait. Looks like I can, after all...

Ponyo

Aug. 17th, 2009 07:31 pm
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While staggering around in the southern Wisconsin heat last Saturday at the Bristol Renaissance Faire, the last thing I was thinking of was seeing Hayao Miyazaki's latest, but the fact that it scored a 93 on Rotten Tomatoes (in comparison to, say, a film about toys, something that looked horribly reminiscent of Gray's Anatomy with timeslips in commercials, something that looks just plain bad and something that's actually worse than that) makes me want to check it out - just not this very instant.
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In response to the fact that a certain recent Michael Bay film was almost universally hated by critics,  Rob Moore of Paramount cranked up the usual arguments and let 'em roll around a bit until the batteries ran out. 

I haven't seen it, but the Ghost of Jar Jar looms large in all of this, and since I'm a 24-7 hater of that character I get the feeling that neither Roger Ebert's piece from the Sun-Times or my own growing gut instincts are inaccurate.
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Land of the Lost. The Taking of Pelham 1-2-3.

And further dreck based on old television series like The Beverly Hillbillies, The Honeymooners and - urp! - both of the Flintstones films.

Remakes are - by and large - very, very bad films made by very, very bad people intent on earning very, very good money by underestimating the intelligence and taste of very, very desperate people looking for entertainment from an art form which is quickly becoming irrelevant due to the prevalence of talentless hacks in the industry.
 
And the suckage will continue as long as we choose to throw down $10 on the latest steaming turd to get, er, "released".

For those of you who actually like that stuff on your shoes, cheers. 

Why?

Jun. 23rd, 2009 07:31 pm
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Anyone who dares to question why I don't go to many theatrical releases will have to explain this mistake, and preferably while I'm not holding a blunt, heavy object.

(NOTE: Okay, so it's not as bad a film purportedly based on a PKD work as, say, Imposter or Paycheck were. I still have an allergy to any PKD film that isn't titled Blade Runner or Minority Report. I have my reasons.)
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The creepiness surrounding David Carradine's demise continues. 

For anyone who might've asked if Viagra or something else might've helped Carradine out of whatever sexual funk he was in, my guess is that it was less an inability to actually perform The Big Nasty (whether alone or with a partner) than it was in getting a bigger kick out of TBN. Sure, he could've eaten X until the very wind caused him to get aroused, but considering his former chemical dependency problems he'd probably rather not do that. Hence, the state he was in when they found him and the reason why he did it. 

(Read the link; I'm trying in vain to keep this post rated R at the most)

Trek

May. 12th, 2009 07:10 pm
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No, I haven't seen it yet, but a slew of reviews says it actually doesn't suck glass doorknobs so I might get around to doing so.

Don't mind me - I confess I've never seen a Trek film in the theater, which might tell you something about how I feel about the need to see everything made in the name of The Franchise. In comparison, the only Star Wars films I haven't seen that way are Sith (too disappointed by Phantom Menace and Attack of the Wooden Acting by Hayden Christiansen, I guess) and the utterly repulsive-looking CGI thingie that looked like an especially lame episode of Reboot.

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If you're keeping score, the movie now has the Archfiend Stamp of Approval, whatever that's worth.

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Rotten Tomatoes gives it a 64 or so, which means that Watchmen has a beat you can dance to but not much in the way of memorable hooks. Still, Alan Moore must be hoping beyond all hope that this ends up closer to From Hell in terms of film adaptation rep than it does The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.  

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