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July 13, 2014
[movies] A Whole Bunch Of People On Facebook Thought Steven Spielberg Killed A Real Dinosaur‘Internet humourist Jay Branscomb posted it on Facebook with the caption: “Disgraceful photo of recreational hunter happily posing next to a triceratops he just slaughtered. Please share so the world can name and shame this despicable man.” A lot of people didn’t get the joke, and thought Spielberg really had shot a dinosaur. This person called him an “inhumane prick”…’
July 3, 2014
[movies] Dressing The Future … a fascinating look at the costume design process on the movie Alien … ‘When Sigourney Weaver turned up for dress rehearsal, she found something other than grimy space-wear. “When they first dressed me up as Ripley it was in one of those pink and blue uniforms,” she said. “Ridley Scott came in and said, ‘You look like fucking Jackie O’NASA.’” Luckily, Scott decided to improvise…’
June 28, 2014
[movies] Mandy Patinkin on playing Inigo Montoya in The Princess Bride‘And in my mind, I feel that… when I killed the six fingered man, I killed the cancer that killed my father. And for a moment he was alive…’
June 25, 2014
[tv] Say Mrs Brown’s Boys Again…

Say Mrs Brown's Boys Again...

June 21, 2014
[movies] Mike Judge answers the question: “What Is a TPS Report?”‘According to Rolling Stone, Judge was asked this at a 10th Anniversary screening of Office Space. He replied, “When I was an engineer, it stood for Test Program Set. Isn’t that exciting?” A Test Program Set a document describing the step-by-step process in which an engineer tests and re-tests software or an electronics system. Before getting his start with Beavis and Butthead, Mike Judge earned a degree in physics and was an engineer and programmer for a subcontractor working on military jets.’
June 15, 2014
[comics] Five Great Comic Book Adaptations Of Movies … some great comics to watch out for on this list. On Kirby’s 2001: ‘It’s hard to imagine two sensibilities more opposite in tone than those of Jack Kirby and Stanley Kubrick. Kirby’s grandiosity acts as a stark contrast to the calculated distance of Kubrick and for this alone, his eight-years-after-the-fact adaptation of 2001 really shouldn’t work. Against everything, though, the adaptation succeeds by choosing to take a new path, mashing up three different versions of the material — novel, screenplay and final product — and adding Kirby’s off-kilter dynamism to create a final product that’s as wonderful as it is “wrong.”The original film is (obviously) full of space, figuratively and literally. Kubrick allows the camera to rest, giving the audience an opportunity to breathe in the recycled air and vastness of the universe. An absence of dialogue and narration helps further the film’s atmosphere, providing a base from which the stunning visuals stand out even more. This draws the audience in, forcing them to pay attention to what’s not being said just as much as what is. This sort of subtlety is exactly the sort of thing that Kirby has no interest in; he’s going to tell you the story. With words and pictures. Deal with it.’
May 31, 2014
[movies] The Shawshank Residuals … How the movie The Shawshank Redemption keeps making money… ‘On cable, “Shawshank” is at an age when the licensing value of many films diminishes, but its strength hasn’t wavered. “Shawshank” and other films are now being licensed for shorter periods to a bigger and hungrier universe of distributors. “Shawshank” has aired on 15 basic cable networks since 1997, including six in the most recent season, according to Warner Bros. Last year, it filled 151 hours of airtime on basic cable, tied with “Scarface” and behind only “Mrs. Doubtfire,” according to research firm IHS.’
May 30, 2014
[comics] Fan-Made Live Action Akira Trailer’38 Years After World War III…’

May 28, 2014
[dystopia] The 10 Best (Worst) Dystopian Fictions‘Next to 1984, Blade Runner — and by extension the novel that inspired it — is one of the most referenced dystopias in contemporary discourse, largely due to its bleak, sorta-exactly-looks-like-1980s-New-York-but-with-flying-cars urban setting. It’s not so much a meditation on our reliance on technology as it is a criticism of übercapitalism and the evils of war — not to mention racism, ignorance and intolerance.’
May 19, 2014
[movies] The top 30 underappreciated films of 1999 …looks like 1999 was a great year for movies. … ’23. Mystery Men – Years before films like Kick-Ass and Super played around with the staples of the superhero genre, the lavish Mystery Men attempted the same thing – and despite a sterling cast (Ben Stiller, Geoffrey Rush, Greg Kinnear) and some laugh-out-loud moments, it somehow failed to charm critics or audiences. Mystery Men’s main problem, perhaps, was that it came out too early – had it appeared a couple of years later, after X-Men and Spider-Man revitalised the comic book genre, this amiable comedy may have found a more receptive audience. With the superhero blockbuster currently riding high, it’s arguably time that Mystery Men gets the reappraisal it deserves.’
May 13, 2014
[movies] Hollywood’s superhero movie binge explained in four charts‘It has been rare for fewer than six comic-book adaptations to be released in any one year. Despite the glut, audiences don’t seem to be losing interest. US box-office revenue generated by these films has cracked $1 billion on three different occasions. The Avengers, a film that packed as many comic-book favorites onto the screen as possible, made $623 million in the US alone two years ago.’
April 27, 2014
[movies] A View To A Kill: Occasionally Starring Roger Moore … an amusing look at the conclusion to Roger Moore’s run of movies as James Bond… ‘Let’s be honest: Roger Mortis has finally set in. This incarnation of cinema’s favourite secret agent is no more. This is an ex-Bond. It’s not even Rodge’s fault (he graciously noted that he was “only about four hundred years too old for the part”) – the poor bastard had been trying to escape since 1979, but Cubby Broccoli never had the balls to choose another Bond. As a result of that cowardice, and combined with the fact that Moore is nearly three years older than Sean Connery, James Bond went from a prowling, 32-year-old sex puma in 1962 to a shuffling, 57-year-old sex tortoise in 1985 without ever making reference to his own advancing years or behaving accordingly.’
April 20, 2014
[politics] The Certainty of Donald Rumsfeld (Part 1) … Errol Morris On Donald Rumsfeld … ‘Not just him but the entire building was in denial. Doug Feith — don’t get me started on Doug Feith — told me that they had a Marshall Plan all set to go in terms of rebuilding Iraq. And he pointed to this stack of huge three-ringed binders, all of them black. There must have been about 10 of them stacked up on top of a cabinet. And I asked to see them, and he said, “No, you can’t. It’s classified.” And I said, “Well, O.K., I understand that, I guess.” But I raised it to somebody else within the next couple of weeks. I said, “Well, Doug Feith showed me the Marshall Plan for Iraq.” And this person laughed, and he said, “Mik, that was the Marshall Plan.” It was a copy of the original Marshall Plan, not a plan for Iraq.’
April 19, 2014
[movies] Irrational Treasure … a look back at the last ten years of Nicolas Cage movies… ‘The main problem with the notion that Cage squandered his post-Oscar momentum on dumb action movies and thereby lost something irretrievable is that Cage’s sellout movies are more consistently entertaining than just about anybody else’s. His inherent absurdity infects and elevates them; Cage’s own expansive persona fills in the gaps in action-movie characters without qualities.’
April 12, 2014
[2001] 2001: A Space Odyssey (2012 Trailer Recut) … a trailer for Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey as a modern summer blockbuster. [via Kevin Church]
March 5, 2014
[movies] The Original Robocop Was A Christ Allegory‘We could view Robocop as Verhoeven’s response to a kind of mythological or narrative challenge: retell the life, death, and resurrection of Christ (as an historical figure or a religious one, it’s up to you) in a way that’s relevant for our contemporary context. The idea that someone like Verhoeven might respond to that challenge by inventing a murdered cop who is brought back to life by technical wizardry, only to walk the Earth again as a robot, is pure genius, almost hilariously so. It not only suggests an awesomely freewheeling response to an ancient storyline; it also raises the absolutely gonzo interpretive possibility that the machines and devices around us, from police drones to television sets, are able to bear religious, mythic, or theological implications.’
March 2, 2014
[movies] Today is the Day Marty McFly Went to the Future … and tomorrow, yesterday and next week…
February 27, 2014
[movies] RoboCop writer Ed Neumeier discusses the film’s origins‘In both of the movies I’ve written for Paul, they both seem—and I would say this is mostly my fault—they are often called prescient, in that they seem to predict things that are coming. Certainly Detroit’s decline seems to be predicted very well, but that was already happening. I got to a metric, if you want to call it that, wherein I would say, “If you want to predict the future, just think about how bad it could be and make a joke out of it, and there you go.” And if you look at Starship Troopers that way too, it may be a bit of an exaggeration, but it was a projection of what’s already happening, and where things were going.’
February 19, 2014
[movies] 26 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About RoboCop‘Despite the image depicted on the iconic movie poster, Weller couldn’t fit inside his police cruiser while wearing the full costume. So in any scene where he’s at the wheel of the cop car, RoboCop is pantsless.’
February 1, 2014
[stories] Periodic Table of Storytelling … an attempt at distilling TV Tropes down into a table of classic story elements.
January 31, 2014
[comics] In The Comic-Book Pages Of 2001, Two Sorts Of Genius Collided … comparing and contrasting Stanley Kubrick and Jack Kirby’s versions of 2001: A Space Odyssey … ‘The 2001 comic also caught Kirby at a low creative ebb. He’d poured a lot of himself into his Fourth World saga for DC, without much to show for it, and by the time he returned to Marvel, Kirby was back to thinking of himself as a hired gun, sweating to fill as many pages as his bosses required, governed by the mentality of a boy who grew up in a ghetto during the Depression. Where Kubrick was a meticulous planner, taking years to develop a project and fussing over every detail, Kirby was a disorganized workaholic, who according to his wife Roz would accidentally throw away about half the good ideas he scrawled onto notepaper and napkins, and who felt like he was on the verge of destitution if he didn’t generate at least 20 pages a week.’
January 26, 2014
[movies] Hans Zimmer: ‘Going for Gold? I’m not ashamed of it! It paid the rent.’ … Hans Zimmer interview from the Guardian … Going for Gold Theme on YouTube

…the chuckling man on the other end of the phone line is happily claiming the theme tune for British TV game show Going for Gold, during an interview wind-down conversation about British TV prompted by his (British) colleague Russell Emanuel.

“Going for Gold? I’m not ashamed of it! It paid the rent and opened up all sorts of doors. I will admit to it: we all have to have our guilty little somethings!” says Zimmer, in a conversation that also includes the unexpected phrase: “I know Les Dawson. Come on, I’m not completely ignorant.”

January 13, 2014
[tech] Source Code in TV and Films … an amusing look at where the Source Code displayed in TV and movies is really from … ‘In the film Terminator, the HUD shows a listing of 6502 assembly language which appears to have been taken from an Apple II.’
December 30, 2013
[movies] Why we need to re-evaluate the films we once called great … Joe Queenan on films that fail the test of time. ‘…other movies fall into the I-guess-you-had-to-be-there category. Jean-Luc Godard’s Breathless will no longer leave anyone breathless. In Five Easy Pieces, Jack Nicholson’s maverick loner character now seems like a punk. Warren Beatty is just a bit too goofy in Bonnie and Clyde, and just a bit too goofy in McCabe & Mrs Miller. Three Days of the Condor is hamstrung by one of those nauseating, 70s smooth-jazz soundtracks. 2001: A Space Odyssey simply will not end. Richard Gere’s hair makes it impossible to watch Pretty Woman any more, and Val Kilmer’s obstreperous do has a similarly disruptive effect in the festively homoerotic Top Gun. The Blues Brothers is 133 minutes of unadulterated self-indulgence, and Animal House and Caddyshack now seem more and more like infantile twaddle only frat boys could love.’
November 20, 2013
[movies] 10 remarkable things about Superman IV: The Quest For Peace … looking back at the least sucessful of Christopher Reeves’ Superman movies … ‘The film’s most infamous money-saving location, though, is its use of a Milton Keynes bus station as a stand-in for New York’s United Nations Headquarters on 42nd Street. As Christopher Reeve gloomily put it in his autobiography Still Me, “…we had to shoot at an industrial park in England in the rain with about a hundred extras, not a car in sight, and a dozen pigeons thrown in for atmosphere.” It’s impossible to imagine just how depressing it must have been to set up this particular shot. You’re in Milton Keynes, you have a few dozen extras, and Christopher Reeve walking around in his cape, yet the location still doesn’t look like New York; it looks like a lonely part of a modern British city.’
October 10, 2013
[movies] Classic Movie Quotes Updated For The Digital Age‘SAY TWERK AGAIN’
October 8, 2013
[movies] What Stanley Kubrick got wrong about “The Shining” … a look at Stephen King and Stanley Kubrick’s different approaches The Shining‘The two men represent diametrically opposed approaches to creating narrative art. One is an aesthete and the other is a humanist. Kubrick was a consummate and famously meticulous stylist; King’s prose is workmanly and his novels can have a shambolic bagginess. The great theme of King’s fiction is the capacity of the average person — especially working-class or similarly humble men and women — both for evil and for heroism. Although there’s almost always a battle against a supernatural antagonist in King’s books, the best of his novels hinge on the protagonists’ struggles with themselves. In “Doctor Sleep,” it is just as valiant for Danny Torrance — the psychic child character in “The Shining,” now grown up — to stay sober as it is for him to challenge the novel’s Big Bad.’
September 9, 2013
[movies] Jurassic Park’s dinosaurs: out of time?… Twenty years after the release of Jurassic Park how realistic were the dinosaurs … ‘New finds show that the forelimbs of tyrannosaurs were rather closer together than previously assumed – on screen those famous little arms are set far up the side of the animal, but in fact should be much closer together and almost underneath the head. These are minor details in appearance compared to the probability that Tyrannosaurus had feathers, or the fact that there’s no good evidence that Velociraptor was a pack hunter or especially smart (or as fast as a cheetah while we’re on the subject), and the giant frill and venom-spitting in Dilophosaurus is basically fiction.’
August 5, 2013
[people] Steve Coogan: ‘There is an overlap between me and Alan Partridge’ … fascinating profile of Steve Coogan / Alan Partridge …

I follow Coogan’s fast-moving white Dunlops up the cliff and back to the hotel. “It started out not being like me at all. It’s probably got more like me,” puffs Coogan, as the wind buffets his impeccable Partridge hairpiece. “It’s recognising your own vanities and insecurities and turning the volume up on them. Anyone who is creative puts something of themselves in what they do, and I’ve put lots in, but it’s the warped, prejudicial side of myself. It’s not just a mocking caricature. It has to have some degree of humanity. On one level, Alan is very likable because he makes mistakes and vocalises a lot of the insecurities that people feel. He’s also a contemptuous Little Englander, the kind of person who I see as my life to rail against. Part of him is everything I hate about Britain. It’s a bit complicated.”

July 18, 2013
[tv] The Forty-Year Itch … is there a forty year cycle of nostalgia influencing pop culture? … ‘Though pop culture is most often performed by the young, the directors and programmers and gatekeepers—the suits who control and create its conditions, who make the calls and choose the players—are, and always have been, largely forty-somethings, and the four-decade interval brings us to a period just before the forty-something was born. Forty years past is the potently fascinating time just as we arrived, when our parents were youthful and in love, the Edenic period preceding the fallen state recorded in our actual memories.’
June 14, 2013
[comics] Man Of Steel: Why Hollywood Needs A Break From Superhero Movies … Joe Queenan on superhero movies … ‘The most interesting thing about the popularity of superhero movies is that they are insanely expensive to make, yet they spring from a plebian, populist artform. Comic books, at least until recently, were cheap. They were beautifully drawn and exciting, but they were still basically cheap. That was the point. Movies are not cheap, especially not in 3D. Comic book heroes, like football players, have lost all contact with their proletarian roots.’
May 20, 2013
[bond] His Name Is James Bond … a Youtube video adding some very funny lyrics to the James Bond theme … ‘Because I’m suave it’s okay for me to act like a prick.’
May 10, 2013
[movies] It’s Back To The Future Day! … nicely done Back to the Future Day hoax generator … ‘We don’t have hoverboards or flying cars powered by rubbish, but we cannot give up hope for…the Future.’

Back To The Future Generator

April 12, 2013
[people] Ain’t It Cool’s Harry Knowles: The Cash-Strapped King of the Nerds Plots a Comeback … profile / update on Harry Knowles … ‘His phone rang. Still trudging, Knowles answered. It was Roland De Noie, his business manager. “I really f—ed up,” said De Noie in a panic. “It’s all my fault.” He had discovered that Ain’t It Cool News — the website Knowles started in his Texas bedroom that grew to be the scourge of Hollywood, redefined the nature and pace of entertainment journalism and turned an overweight, ginger-haired self-diagnosed movie nerd into the face of a geek nation on the rise — owed about $300,000 in unpaid taxes. While Ain’t It Cool News had been making $700,000 a year in gross advertising revenue at its height in the early- to mid-2000s, that had dipped to the low-six figures by 2012. The business had no cash reserves and no way to pay the bills. Its bank account had been seized. “We’re not going to be able to get out of this one,” said De Noie.’
March 21, 2013
[comics] Go Look: An Actor Who Should Have Played Green Arrow.
March 15, 2013
[weird] Richard Nixon Meets Robocop

Richard Nixon and Robocop

March 11, 2013
[life] The Godzilla Threshold: ‘Things are at the point where even summoning Godzilla, king of monsters and patron saint of collateral damage, could not possibly make the crisis any worse. The situation has crossed the Godzilla Threshold. Once the Threshold is crossed, ANY plan, with even the smallest possibility of success, no matter how ludicrous, impossible, dangerous or abhorrent, suddenly becomes a valid option.’ [via YMFY]
November 16, 2012
[movies] Shooting 2001 … some amazing behind-the-scenes photos of the shooting of Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey.
November 8, 2012
[sorkin] Sorkinisms – A Supercut … a fascinating edit of Aaron Sorkin’s dialogue recycling on TV and movies over the years ….

November 7, 2012
[movies] Go Look: The original, unaltered period photo into which actor Jack Nicholson was composited to create the iconic photograph seen in the final shots of The Shining.
November 2, 2012
[funny] Back From Yet Another Globetrotting Adventure, Indiana Jones Checks His Mail And Discovers That His Bid For Tenure Has Been Denied‘Dr. Jones’s behavior on campus has led not only to disciplinary action but also to concerns as to the state of his mental health. In addition to multiple instances of public drunkenness, Dr. Jones, on three separate occasions, has attempted to set fire to the herpetology wing of the biology department. Perhaps most disturbing, however, are the statements that come directly from Dr. Jones’s mouth. Several faculty members maintain that Dr. Jones informed them on multiple occasions of having discovered the Ark of the Covenant, magic diamond rocks, and the Holy Grail!’
October 29, 2012
[movies] Behind the Scenes of Alien … some more movie production photographs from Retronaut [via Ian Bettridge].
October 23, 2012
[movies] Behind the Scenes of “Raiders of the Lost Ark” … fascinating collection of movie production photographs from Retronaut.
September 30, 2012
[movies] Ridley Scott’s Storyboards … a look at the sketches Scott uses as storyboards for his movies. It’s interesting to see the Moebius-influenced Alien sketches – Moebius did concept-art for Alien and seems to have inspired Scott.
September 25, 2012
[docu] A List Of Twelve Terrific Documentaries From Louis Theroux‘A Letter to Zachary – A posthumous love letter from the filmmaker to his murdered friend, it has one of the most explosive and upsetting twists two thirds of the way through. I recently saw this was on the IMDB as one of the most popular documentaries of all time, it’s number two right after Night and Fog. So it’s not exactly obscure but it is totally riveting.’
September 21, 2012
[movies] Six degrees of Kevin Bacon: scientists expose the seedy underbelly … some of the science behind the Six Degrees of separation theory … ‘Reynolds categorized the few people who surpass the Bacon four degree threshold in his data set as “old, foreign and obscure”. People like William Rufus Shafter, an army officer from the American civil war, who appeared as himself in two short silent films from 1898, and is one of 27 people who are a rule-breaking eight degrees from Bacon.’
September 17, 2012
[movies] 20 Of The Best Movies Never Made … a list of the greatest movies that never made it to the big screen … ‘Napoleon by Stanley Kubrick – A biopic on Napoleon set to be made just after the successes of 2001: A Space Odyssey. Kubrick was so enthusiastic to make the project that he confessed to identifying with Bonaparte even down to the way he ate his food. Jack Nicholson was slated to play the title character, but when corporate changes hit MGM, Kubrick lost the approval.’ [via YMFY]
September 6, 2012
[comics] The Daily Mash: Men torn between Anna Karenina and Dredd 3D‘Sure Dredd 3D will have heads exploding in slow motion, customised motorbikes and flamethrowers, but Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina is a classic portrayal of forbidden love with a timeless social message.’
September 5, 2012
[comics] Diesel Sweeties On 2001: A Space Odyssey

Diesel Sweeties On 2001

August 26, 2012
[movies] The legacy of British director and minor Hollywood legend Tony Scott … Alex Pappademas sums up Tony Scott … ’2005′s spastic, pummeling Domino is probably the best example of how the New Jitteriness freed up Scott to make his movies that much more Tony Scott–like, and it’s thrilling, at least until it wears out your last neurotransmitter. 2004′s Man on Fire is even better, a biblical revenge flick in which Scott uses every image-destabilizing technique in his utility belt to put you right in damaged mercenary Denzel’s increasingly unhinged head space. The colors are gorgeous, too — it’s easily the most ravishingly beautiful movie ever made in which the hero kills another character by sticking an explosive device up that character’s ass.’

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