300: Rise of an Empire
In comparison with "300", this insane film is more engaging by dint of being absolutely impossible to take even a little bit seriously.
This free Newsletter is a sample of what members receive weekly.For Roger's invitation to the Club, go HERE
The Sculpture of Christopher Conte
Marie writes: some of you may recall seeing a custom-built "steampunk" microphone stand made for the group Three Days Grace, by sculptor Christopher Conte; there were pictures of it inside the #14 Newsletter.Born in Norway, Christopher Conte was raised and educated in New York, where he currently lives. After earning a Bachelors Degree in Fine Art, he began working in the prosthetics field making artificial limbs for amputees; which he did for 16 years as a Certified Prosthetist. At the same time, he worked in obscurity creating sculptures which reflected his love for biomechanics, anatomy and robotics. In June 2008, he left the field to begin his career as a full-time artist. And you can now view his work portfolio online...
STEEL WIDOW I, 2008[Based on concepts provided by Sirris]Stainless steel, carbon steel, glass-filled nylon, aluminum and brass8 " x 8 "x 2 " (20 cm x 20 cm x 5 cm)(click to enlarge close-ups)Halloween is over when I say it's over, dammit. :-)
This is the only Academy Award qualifying Children's Film Festival in the world. To see a complete a list of Festival winners, go here to the Official site. Meanwhile, you can watch some the Festival's delightful trailers, below....WINNER: 2010 Best of Fest Award - The Gruffalo (England, 2009) by Jakob Schuh, Max Lang, Micheal Rose and Martin Pope. Cast: Helena Bonham Carter, Rob Brydon, Robbie Coltrane, James Corden, John Hurt and Tom Wilkinson. Based on the classic picture book written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler, The Gruffalo is a 30 min short and tells the magical tale of a mouse who takes a walk though the woods in search of a nut. Encountering three predators who all wish to eat him - a fox, an owl and a snake - the plucky mouse has to use his wits to survive. Note: there's no official trailer for this film. Instead, there's just a series of teaser trailers...
WINNER: The Kenneth and Harle Montgomery Prize - Best Film or Video by an Emerging Director. The Lost Thing (2010) Directed by Shaun Tan. In a world of rivets and drabness, a boy befriends a fantastical red creature that appears to be totally lost, while out collecting bottle-tops at a beach. Based on the Australian writer-director's prize-winning children's book, which you can learn more about at the official website.
WINNER: The Kenneth and Harle Montgomery Prize - Best Child-Produced Film or Video. A Gum's Life (2009) Directed by Sophia Pino. Written by John Glouchevitch with Sophia & Jack. Cast: Mia Ray, Cheri Gaulke, Jamie Ember, Natasha Simchowitz, Aletheia Kim, and Cameron Robertson. FULL short. Synopsis: the gut-wrenching tale of a day in the life of a piece of gum. P.S. I don't know about you guys, but my empathy was fully engaged; I'll never again look at a stick of gum in quite the same way...
WINNER: Adult Jury Prize, Animated television Production. 1st Prize: The Little Boy and the Beast (Germany, 2009) by Uwe Heidschöetter and Johannes Weiland. Plot: When your mother has turned into a beast, a lot of things change...
TICKETS ARE ON SALE NOW!Go HERE to get yours before they're all gone.Imagine the look on everyone's face if Roger were to arrive at Ebertfest in this car.... :-)
The Mantis Parable (2005) Winner of 17 top-festival awards including 2nd Prize (Best Animated Short) at the 2005 Chicago International Children's Film Festival. Created in its entirety by first-time filmmaker Josh Staub, The Mantis Parable is the charming tale of a humble caterpillar trapped in a bug collector's jar and in need of a helping hand. The film has qualified twice for an Academy Award nomination. FULL short film. Official site.
That's $4,224,169 - US/Canadian.(click to enlarge)Audrey Hepburn getting into her studio car - photo Bob WilloughbyBob Willoughby, Audrey Hepburn. Photographs 1953-1966.
The 1964 Aston Martin DB5 used in the Goldfinger and Thunderball films is displayed prior to featuring in the Automobiles of London rare car auction in Battersea Park in London. Over 100 motor cars were auctioned Oct 27, 2010, including the original Aston Martin DB5 driven by Sean Connery as James Bond. The iconic car sold for £2.6m.
(click to enlarge.)On the set of "My Fair Lady"
The Collector's Edition was limited to 1,000 copies, numbered and signed by Bob Willoughby. They went on sale last month at £450 each; every copy was snapped up within hours. Note: you can leaf through 100 pages for free at TASCHEN Books."In his distinguished career as a Hollywood photographer, Bob Willoughby took iconic photos of Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor and Jane Fonda, but remains unequivocal about his favorite subject: Audrey Kathleen Ruston, later Edda van Heemstra Hepburn-Ruston, best known as Audrey Hepburn. Willoughby was called in to shoot the new starlet one morning shortly after she arrived in Hollywood in 1953. It was a humdrum commission for the portraitist often credited with having perfected the photojournalistic movie still, but when he met the Belgian-born beauty, Willoughby was enraptured. "She took my hand like...well a princess, and dazzled me with that smile that God designed to melt mortal men's hearts," he recalls.
While we're on the subject of Photographers....(click to enlarge)Alistair Morrison's portrait of Oliver Reed after his starring role in 'Castaway'
"As Hepburn's career soared following her Oscar-winning US debut in Roman Holiday, Willoughby became a trusted friend, framing her working and home life. His historic, perfectionist, tender photographs seek out the many facets of Hepburn's beauty and elegance, as she progresses from her debut to her career high of My Fair Lady in 1963. Willoughby's studies, showing her on set, preparing for a scene, interacting with actors and directors, and returning to her private life, comprise one of photography's great platonic love affairs and an unrivalled record of one of the 20th century's touchstone beauties."Photographer Bob Willoughby (1927-2009) took his first photo at the age of twelve. By 1954 his exhibitions of photographs of jazz musicians and dancers led to a contract with Globe Photos, followed by work at Harper's Bazaar. After shooting Judy Garland during filming of A Star is Born he became the first "unit photographer"--hired specifically by movie studios to take on-set promotional "stills". The author of numerous books on photography, he lived his last years in Vence, France. - latimes.com
Note: Oliver Reed's colorful past reminds me of English actor Tom Hardy... segue...Click the red button. A second browser page will open.You will see another button just like this one... PRESS IT.
In 1986, the then 48-year-old Oliver Reed was one of Britain's best-known actors. This hitherto unseen photograph, to be auctioned next month, was taken by Alistair Morrison in London's Docklands after Reed had filmed the early scenes of Castaway, released the same year. The film is based on the experience of the writer Lucy Irvine, who responded successfully to an advertisement for "Writer seeks 'wife' for year on tropical island". The photograph will be sold at Bonhams in London on November 16, and is expected to sell for around £2,200. - Telegraph UK
Sanctum (2011) Directed by Alister Grierson. Screenplay John Garvin, Andrew Wight. Starring Richard Roxburgh, Rhys Wakefield, Alice Parkinson. Synopsis: an underwater cave diving team experiences a life-threatening crisis during an expedition to the unexplored and least accessible cave system in the world. In theaters Feb 4, 2011.
Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale (2010) Written and directed by Jalmari Helander. Starring Tommi Korpela, Per Christian Ellefsen and Jorma Tommila. In the depths of the Korvatunturi mountains, 486 metres deep, lies the closest ever guarded secret of Christmas. The time has come to dig it up! In theaters Dec 3, 2010
"I've read some complaints from fanboys that the monsters in "Monsters" aren't monstrous enough. You don't hear any complaints about Godzilla, Mothra or the clicking grasshoppers in "District 9," but let a filmmaker dare to imagine a truly alien lifeform, and it's whine, whine, whine. So let me say that "Monsters" is a rather special achievement. Think of it as a movie that M. Night Shyamalan (and we) would be happy he made. It's based on characters, relationships, fear and mostly unseen menace, and although the movie's special effects are important, it's not about special effects." - Roger, from his film review of Monsters which you can read HERE.Monsters (2010) Written and directed by Gareth Edwards. Starring Scoot McNairy and Whitney Able. Synopsis: Six years ago NASA discovered the possibility of alien life within our solar system. A probe was launched to collect samples, but crashed upon re-entry over Central America. Soon after, new life forms began to appear and grow. In an effort to stem the destruction that resulted, half of Mexico was quarantined as an INFECTED ZONE. Today, the American and Mexican military still struggle to contain the massive creatures... Our story begins when a jaded US journalist begrudgingly agrees to find his boss' daughter, a shaken American tourist and escort her through the infected zone to the safety of the US border. In theaters now.
London Boulevard (2011) Directed by William Monahan. Starring Colin Farrell, Keira Knightley, Ray Winstone, Ben Chaplin, Anna Friel, Eddie Marsan, Stephen Graham, David Thewlis, Matt King and Jamie Campbell Bower. London Boulevard is the story of a man newly released from prison who falls in love with a reclusive young movie star and finds himself in a duel with a vicious gangster. In theaters Nov 26, 2010
You'd never guess that this......is Emma Watson today. Hermione from Harry Potter. Time flies, eh?Photographed by Mario Testino for the December edition of Vogue.And speaking of flying....Keira Knightly as a fairy Godmother
"As we approach the end of a decade of Harry Potter, it's clear how wisely (and luckily) the studio cast the series. Radcliffe, Grint and Watson have grown from children to young adults, still retain the qualities they had when younger, are practiced professionals and carry the series. They are surrounded by a supporting cast that's like an honor roll of recent great British actors. Setting aside actors from earlier films who have passed away (Richard Harris) or are no longer needed (Emma Thompson), let me just cite a list for those who know their actors: Helena Bonham Carter, Robbie Coltrane, Ralph Fiennes, Michael Gambon, Brendan Gleeson, Richard Griffiths, John Hurt, Rhys Ifans, Jason Isaacs, Bill Nighy, Alan Rickman, Fiona Shaw, Timothy Spall, Imelda Staunton, David Thewlis, Warwick Davis, Tom Felton, Toby Jones, Simon McBurney, Peter Mullan and Julie Walters. Rather awesome." - Roger, from his 3 star review of the latest Harry Potter film, which you can find HERE
The Continuing and Lamentable Saga of the Suicide Brothers (2009) Written by Rupert Friend and Tom Mison (who also stars), this short film is a sinister fairytale about the lives of two brothers and their daily suicide attempts, while forever over-looking the presence of their fairy godmother (Keira Knightly). Employing a mesmerizing mix of live action and CGI, directors The Brownlee Brothers have created an enchanting world, recalling the dynamic worlds of The Brothers Grimm or Hans Christian Anderson.
NOTE: According to the IFC it's supposed to be available for the next 3 months
Go to Shorts International to learn more about The Continuing and Lamentable Saga of the Suicide Brothers and which is available for download at iTunes. You can also download the Award-winning UK short film ROAR for "free" (US/Canada only.)ROAR (2009) Director: Adam Wimpenny. Screenplay by J.S. Hill. Starring Russell Tovey, Jodie Whittaker, Tom Burke. Synopsis: A socially awkward Londoner is lonely at Christmas. When a cold city girl rejects his gesture of goodwill, he takes drastic action. Roar is a smart and subversive short 15 min film that will haunt you for months. Note: Russell Tovey appears on the BBC series "Being Human" as George the werewolf.
This is an extended 5 minute preview for the film "Megamind" (2010)
"I'd just been rewatching "Superman" (1978) and felt right at home with the opening of "Megamind," narrated by a bright blue alien over flashbacks to his infancy. Born on a distant planet, he's packed into a rocket ship and blasted off to Earth, just like the Man of Steel. En route, he meets his lifetime nemesis, a golden child who lands on Earth and in the lap of wealth. The blue child, alas, lands in a prison and is raised by hardened convicts." - Roger, from his review HERE.
PAUL (2011) Directed by Greg Mottola. based on a script by Nick Frost and Simon Pegg. Starring: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Seth Rogen, Kristen Wiig, Jane Lynch and Sigourney Weaver. Synopsis: Two British comic-book geeks (Pegg and Frost) take a road trip through America. On the way, they discover an alien named Paul (voiced by Seth Rogen) at Area 51. Release date: March 18, 2011.
The Rite (2011) Director: Mikael Håfström. Writers: Michael Petroni, Matt Baglio. Starring Alice Braga, Anthony Hopkins, Ciarán Hinds, Rutger Hauer, Toby Jones and Chris Marquette. Story: An American priest travels to Italy to study at an exorcism school. In theaters January 28, 2011.
The always popular and much beloved B-Rated Movie Trailers!Yeah! So take that....we don't need no stinkin' CGI...Ah, the good old days...And as always, we end things with some FREE movies!
All Good Things (2010) Directed by Andrew Jarecki. Writers: Marcus Hinchey, Marc Smerling. Starring Ryan Gosling, Kirsten Dunst, Frank Langella, Kristen Wiig and Diane Venora. Synopsis: All Good Things is a love story and murder mystery based on the most notorious unsolved murder case in New York history. The original screenplay uses newly discovered facts, court records and speculation as the foundation for an imaginative spellbinding story of family, obsession, love and loss. Limited release in theaters December 3, 2010.
The Haunted World of Edward D. Wood Jr (1995) Directed by Brett Thompson. Starring Bela Lugosi, Lyle Talbot and Vampira. "How could it be that Ed Wood, Jr., the young man who wore a woman's bra and panties at the Battle of Tarawa in World War II, went on to become the Orson Welles of low-budget films? Through film clips, still photos and extensive interviews with the bizarre cadre of actors, ministers and girlfriends who were involved in such projects as Woods' "Plan 9 from Outer Space" and "Glen or Glenda?," this film explores the man and cult legend that has sprung up since his death. Wood's status as the "Worst Filmmaker of All Time" has brought him posthumous acclaim in both film and art worlds-a recognition hardly imaginable to the man who died penniless and unknown in the late 1970s." FULL movie.
Never Weaken is a 1921 silent comedy film starring Harold Lloyd. It was Lloyd's last short film, running to three reels, before he moved permanently into feature-length production. It was also one of his trademark "thrill" comedies, featuring him dangling from a tall building. Lloyd and his crew honed and perfected their "thrill" filming techniques in this film, and put them to astonishing use in the 1923 classic feature Safety Last!Never Weaken (1921) Directed by Fred C. Newmeyer. Written by Hal Roach and Sam Taylor. Starring Harold Lloyd, Mildred Davis (Harold Lloyd's wife), Roy Brooks. Plot: Our hero (Lloyd) is infatuated with a girl in the next office. In order to drum up business for her boss, an osteopath, he gets an actor friend to pretend injuries that the doctor "cures", thereby building a reputation. When he hears that his girl is marrying another, he decides to commit suicide and spends the bulk of the film in thrilling, failed attempts. 30 min.
"M'' was Lang's first sound picture, and he was wise to use dialogue so sparingly. Many early talkies felt they had to talk all the time, but Lang allows his camera to prowl through the streets and dives, providing a rat's-eye view. One of the film's most spectacular shots is utterly silent, as the captured killer is dragged into a basement to be confronted by the city's assembled criminals, and the camera shows their faces: hard, cold, closed, implacable." - Roger, from his Great Movies review which you can find HERE."M" (1931) Directed by Fritz Lang. Wrriten by Fritz Lang and his wife Thea von Harbou. Starring Peter Lorre, Ellen Widmann, Inge Landgut, Otto Wernicke. Plot: When the police in a German city are unable to catch a child-murderer, other criminals join in the manhunt...
Scott Jordan Harris argues that disabled characters should not be played by able-bodied actors.
Chaz writes to Roger about attending the Oscars without him.
Chaz recalls how much Roger loved the Oscars.
Scout Tafoya's video essay series "The Unloved" reconsiders "Tron: Legacy."