Includes cinema reviews and trailers for upcoming films. A digest of the best and worst interviews on movies and cinema.
MAKING films is a risky business. Why should anyone listen to your stupid story? To convince people, you need someone famous to sell it because, for whatever reason, we trust certain actors more than others.
However, some A-listers just aren’t worth the money as they’re not recouping costs for the studios. With that, Forbes looked at who the worst 10 were and, here they are, with examples of their dubious work.
For example, Adam Sandler commands $15m paychecks, which is great for him but not so much for the studios. Based on the actors last three projects, the list looks at earnings at the box office per dollar of pay.
NIKKI Finke says the man how inspired the film Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom has died. Yeah, that film based on an actual true story. He was 95. That’s older than the film. Who knew?
IN 1922, Walt Disney brought us the Little Red Riding Hood laugh-o-gram. This was Walt Disney’s first full-length short cartoon.
* In 1915, Disney founded the Laugh-O-Gram Studio in Kansas City, Missouri, inviting some of animation’s future greats, including Iwerks, Hugh Harman, Friz Freleng, and Rudolph Ising, to create fairy tale cartoons. This program features six of these tales: Little Red Riding Hood (aka Grandma Steps Out), Jack the Giant Killer (aka The KO Kid), Puss in Boots (aka The Cat’s Whiskers), Goldie Locks and the Three Bears (aka The Peroxide Kid), The Four Musicians of Bremen, and Newman Laugh-O-Grams. Iwerks, a Kansas City native, followed Disney to Hollywood, where he was instrumental in the creation of the Alice Comedies and the transformation of Oswald the Lucky Rabbit into Mickey Mouse.
FACE of the Day: Chris Twamley (centre) from Reading is dressed as Obi-wan Kenobi as he joins hundreds of budding actors queuing for hours for a chance to act on the new Star Wars film as Disney hold open auditions at Twickenham Stadium in West London.
THE Automated Cat Petting Machine is a real thing. No. It’s not RoboSpinster. It’s John Reed’s work for his senior thesis film at Tyler in 1987. As he says, “The Cat Petter turned out to be far more interesting than the film”. Our tip would be to rename it the BBC DJ Recruiter and call the cops on the old stroker:
YOU’VE seen the Volvo advert with Jean Claude Van Damme doing the splits. But have you seen Bollywood actor Ajay Devgan in Phool Aur Kaante?
PLAYING the role was physically demanding:
Spotter: The End of Being
Director Ron Fricke and producer Mark Magidson created SAMSARA (a Sanskrit word that means “the ever turning wheel of life”).
This section deals with cheap protein.
STOCKWELL Road isn’t the most exciting and handsome of roads. It may have been once, but the Luftwaffe and the usual unimaginative sixties south London redevelopment put paid to that. It’s got a skateboard park, if that’s your thing, and David Bowie was born in a road just off it, but even he moved to Bromley when he was six. And that’s about it, to most people in the area it’s just a road that joins up Stockwell and Brixton.
BRIAN Appleyard interviews Robert De Niro, in London to plug his new film. The Family.
My private mission is to take his photograph. Big stars are funny about such things — they usually need their image doctored by trusted retouchers, Photoshop jockeys — but not, I have persuaded myself, really big stars, the ones who are too big to care. I don’t know what he will say when I ask: Travis Bickle’s “You talkin’ to me?”, from Taxi Driver, perhaps. I’ll leave it to the last minute.
“How’s your health?” I ask nervously. He had prostate cancer in 2003. “It’s fine,” he says, touching some pricy Dorchester wood. “I’m going to make it. I’m sure we can make it.”
The time has come. “Can I ask you a favour?”
“Can I take your picture?”
“Sure, what do you want me to do?”
“Nothing,” I say, meaning I want him to be Robert De Niro.
I fish out the Leica and shoot three frames.
Tom Miles has more on how to photograph a celeb:
Don’t be surprised when a celeb turns up with several people in tow — some celeb shoots can become very crowded once you factor in people from your side (an assistant, your client, hair and make-up, a stylist and so on) and their side (agents, managers, friends, family). Try not to let this distract you, and remember the golden rule of photographing people: There’s only room for one ego on set, and that’s the one in FRONT of the camera. Leave yours at the door. Be prepared to flatter, but not simper. One of the best approaches I’ve always found is to talk about what they’re doing, rather than simply saying: “I loved you in that film; you were really cool.” Ask intelligent questions about their work (you did do your research about them, didn’t you?)…
“Also, when your part is done, get out of there as fast as you can!”
And the golden rule: your job is to entertain the reader. That’s where your loyalty lies.
PEOPLE have long moaned that, now we live in the future, where are our hoverboards? Well, glad you asked because some bright spark has decided to do something about it!
ZBoard have been inspired by the hoverboard in Back to the Future and manufactured a hi-tech weight sensing electric skateboard, which has the same design as the board Marty McFly rode.
The limited edition board uses a pressure pad on the front which allows you to move without ever needing to put your feet on the ground and can manage 20 miles of electrically-assisted skateboarding.
STAR WARS is a film that is extraordinarily well documented and new stuff shows up all the time. However, one of the best finds is this original blooper reel from Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope which has been released.
Originally released by Lucasfilm editor JW Rinzler for this summer’s Comic-Con, the footage features Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Alec Guinness and some Stormtroopers that will make you titter.
IF you were given the job of finding an actor who looked like Elton John, one of the last people you’d choose was Tom Hardy. You’d inevitably go for Eddie Murphy before him, as at least he could play the entire cast of the film with a variety of masks (and he’s got previous when it comes to making soulful pop).
Yet, here we are, looking at a musical biopic called Rocketman, which will feature the man-mountain who played Charles Bronson and supervillain Bane in the last Batman movie, as the little Candle In The Wind singer.
ANORAK loves Mod Cinema, a home for hard-to-find 60s, 70s and 80s films you never knew you were looking for. The Mods put these movies on DVD. They are blasts of my youth, when everything at the cinema sounded echoey and on American TV shows the camera focused on a person’s face when they weren’t talking. And everyone looked a bit sweaty.
I HATE Canned laughter. It shreds TV’s show’s soul. How bad can it get? Take a look at this - Scarface Meets Seinfeld:
TERRIBLE Taglines: The Day Of The Dolphins (1973):
“Unwittingly He Trained A Dolphin To Kill The President Of The United States”
POTO and Cabengo were Grace and Virginia Kennedy. In 1976, these San Diego twins were eight years old. Jean-Pierre Gorin created a study of the girls who spoke in their own secret language. Time magazine produced an extract of their dialogue:
Pinit, putahtraletungay”(Finish, potato salad hungry)
“Nis, Poto?” (This, Poto?)
“Liba Cabingoat, it”(Dear Cabengo, eat)
“la moa, Poto?” (Here more, Poto?)
But was it a secret language? Their father thought the girls’ gibbering fools, mentally negligible and not worthy of educating. He was wrong. Advised to place them in speech therapy, their teacher realised they were speaking a language only they understood.
In July 22, 1979, the LA Times Reported:
Gorin explained his film to Bomb magazine:
A low-budget independent film, shot in San Diego in 1979, in 16mm color negative. It’s an investigation, a film “around” an event—the case of the Kennedy twins. They were front page news at the time, as it was believed they had invented a “private language,” a private mode of communication, with a syntax and a vocabulary of its own. But this kind of an answer seems to frame Poto and Cabengo as a classical documentary…
I got hold of the event through the press. It was the middle of the summer and news was sparse. The Loch Ness monster had been nowhere in sight that year, and I suspect the journalists felt the twins would be a good substitute. They built up a case which reeked of Wild Child mystique. The very day I saw the first article on the twins, Eckardt Stein from ZDF was passing through town and I sold him the idea of a film. I lied through my teeth, told him that I had seen the twins, seen the therapists who took care of them at Children’s Hospital, secured the rights to the story. I assured Stein that they spoke a “private language.” He agreed to do the film. But when I saw the twins for the first time I immediately realized that the story as the press—and by then, myself—had cast it was not there. There was no private language and never had been. All along the twins had spoken a Creolized language, some densely unintelligible American/English, a patchwork of southern lingo spoken by their father and of the deformations imposed on the English language by their German-born mother.
The story had become bigger than the girls.
I got excited by the idea of inquiring about something which had never been there in the first place, which had been so completely misconstrued. It seemed like an eminently dramatic premise: two kids who moved and sounded like hummingbirds, who for years had been privately deciphering the world for each other, who did not know why they had suddenly become the object of so much attention, and who by now were for the therapists and linguists just two rather “ordinary” kids with banal problems of auditory information processing, while the press was still “Ripleying” their case to death. At the same time their parents were desperately hoping to convert their 15 minutes of Warholian celebrity into some hard cash. It seemed pretty interesting to try to unravel all these conflicting interests at work below the surface of this event. And don’t forget to add me, the filmmaker, to the stew: me, with my own agenda, trying to get a film out of this whole situation.
What happened to the girls?
The only clue is from a show about twins that aired on TLC around 2000, which reported that Virginia and Grace were still developmentally disabled. We are told this:
Now approaching 30, the twins continue to experience speech problems and mental delays. Grace, who has achieved a higher level of functioning than her sister, works at a McDonald’s cleaning tables and mopping. Virginia works at a job-training center and performs assembly-line work.
FLASHBACK to 1981, and Heather O’Rourke is enjoying her first ever Barbie doll. Thanks to this doll, Heather was able to channel the full demonic experience in the guise of Carol Ann in Poltegeist. She also featured in 12 episodes of Happy Days.
“Act out every fantasy you can dream up” with Barbie, such as killing your loved ones, possessing your cat; eating the sofa…
It’s all in thsoe eeys:
Boris Johnson race gaffe? London mayor tells Chinese Harry Potter’s Scottish lover Cho Chang was a foreigner
BORIS Johnson entered stage left and went into his usual act of being a hapless music hall entertainer stumbling upon sound policy. The London Mayor, for it is he, was appearing as Bozza at Peking University. In an effort to cement Sino-Anglo relations he noted that Harry Potter’s lover was Chinese:
…according to JK Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter novels, was Harry Potter’s first girlfriend? Who is the first person he kisses? That’s right, Cho Chang – who is a Chinese overseas student at Hogwarts school.
Ladies and gents I rest my case. I don’t think I need to argue any further, that is the future of Britain and of London.
STANLEY Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey was a film about… Well, what is about? In 1969, Kubrick told Joseph Gelmis:
You begin with an artifact left on earth four million years ago by extraterrestrial explorers who observed the behavior of the man-apes of the time and decided to influence their evolutionary progression. Then you have a second artifact buried deep on the lunar surface and programmed to signal word of man’s first baby steps into the universe—a kind of cosmic burglar alarm. And finally there’s a third artifact placed in orbit around Jupiter and waiting for the time when man has reached the outer rim of his own solar system.
When the surviving astronaut, Bowman, ultimately reaches Jupiter, this artifact sweeps him into a force field or star gate that hurls him on a journey through inner and outer space and finally transports him to another part of the galaxy, where he’s placed in a human zoo approximating a hospital terrestrial environment drawn out of his own dreams and imagination. In a timeless state, his life passes from middle age to senescence to death. He is reborn, an enhanced being, a star child, an angel, a superman, if you like, and returns to earth prepared for the next leap forward of man’s evolutionary destiny.
That is what happens on the film’s simplest level. Since an encounter with an advanced interstellar intelligence would be incomprehensible within our present earthbound frames of reference, reactions to it will have elements of philosophy and metaphysics that have nothing to do with the bare plot outline itself.