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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.’
July 20, 2012
[shining] 11 Things You Might Not Have Noticed In The Shining‘Have you noticed there is no toilet paper in Room 237?’
July 17, 2012
[comics] Frank Miller’s Year One Screenplay … intriguing analysis of a screenplay Frank Miller wrote for an aborted revamp of Batman with Darren Aronofsky. ‘…the end result simply isn’t Batman. In some ways, it’s more like Marvel’s character Punisher. Batman may be seen as the quintessential super-hero without super-powers, but such a departure from his traditional background seems an injustice to the character. The screenplay’s vision of Batman is a compelling and a vital one, one arguably more logical than the normal Batman formulation – and a bolder depiction of a super-hero vigilante with a generalized war against crime. But it’s just not Batman, and fans would have been vocal in saying so. Batman fans would certainly not have tolerated such a high-profile project making such fundamental changes to the character – nor its reinvention of Alfred as Little Al. Most fans of the comic, for all their admiration for Frank Miller, would likely feel grateful to get Batman Begins instead of Miller’s Year One screenplay.’
July 9, 2012
[movies] Real Hollywood Thriller: Who Stole Jaws? … the fascinating story behind the image on the book and film cover to Jaws … ‘It was [Roger] Kastel’s execution that made the image an instant icon. “I think Kastel’s poster, like much of the best poster art of its era, tells the movie’s story instantly while making you want to learn more,” says Tom Whalen, who has made numerous second-generation, or tribute, movie posters for an Austin, Texas, publisher called Mondo. Whalen also gives props to the unnamed graphic artists at Universal who placed Kastel’s image amid the typography required to promote a movie. “The cool blue water situated opposite the blood red title just seals the deal,” he says.’ [via Boing Boing]
June 14, 2012
[funny] Existential Star Wars … C3PO: ‘All actions are equivalent and all are on principle doomed to failure.’
May 31, 2012
[movies] The Fake Magazines Used in Blade Runner Are Still Futuristic, Awesome … the story behind the fictional magazine covers used in the background of Blade Runner which have been discovered recently by the Internet … ‘These covers are bouncing around the Internet right now (at Gawker’s io9, etc) and now it may be that they are fakes, but not in a bad way. The idea that some guy out there saw the movie and painstakingly recreated them with the vintage clipart that the original designer used is mindblowing!’
May 17, 2012
[shining] This is Uncanny: Number-play in Stanley Kubrick’s ‘The Shining’‘If one needs further proof of Kubrick’s fascination with number play, the title page of his copy of Stephen King’s novel of The Shining is filled with Kubrick’s own handwriting as he works out creative ways to use the number 217. Room 217 was the number of the dead woman’s room in the novel, which Kubrick changed at the request of the Timberline Hotel management. His selection of 237 was not without forethought.’
May 3, 2012
[movies] Alien: A Film Franchise Based Entirely on Rape … some horror movie analysis from Cracked.com … ‘Admittedly the guys in the audience get off a little easy — gestation of a normal human takes 9 months and involves a lot of bloating, puking, and hormonal surges that generally make women miserable. But Kane’s man pregnancy results in a sore throat and the need to eat spaghetti. Note the “sore throat” comes as a result of an alien wang having been forced down his throat, which he fortunately does not remember. The birth, on the other hand, is another story…’
March 26, 2012
[kubrick] The Overlook Hotel … brilliantly well-done Tumblr dedicated to… ‘Ephemera related to Stanley Kubrick's Masterpiece of Modern Horror, 'The Shining'’
February 13, 2012
[movies] Monster Movie Sizes … a comparison of the sizes of monsters in movies.
January 31, 2012
[books] Flick Books – Can you tell the movie from the book Cover? … a fun little quiz … ‘A movie adaptation is rarely the first time someone gets to give a visual representation of a book. It is usually the cover illustrator who gets the job to draw how he thinks the story should look. However, as soon as a book is turned into a movie, the illustrator’s work is usually thrown in the bin only to be quickly replaced by a “you’ve seen the movie… now read the book” approximation of the movie poster as a cover.’
January 27, 2012
[shining] The Top 5 Wacky Theories About ‘The Shining’ in New Frontiers Doc ‘Room 237’ … some perfectly reasonable theories about The Shining from a new documentary about Kubrick’s movie … ‘One of the more spectacular theories in the movie: That Kubrick was hired by the American government to fake the Apollo moon landing, and “The Shining” is his way of explaining himself. An interviewee says that owning “The Shining” on Blu-ray allows one to see enough detail to reach this conclusion. Jack Torrance’s constant bickering with his wife about his job responsibilities voice Kubrick’s own justification for why he had to comply with government orders.’
January 16, 2012
[movies] Blade Runner Sketch Book … scans of a rare out-of-print Blade Runner production sketch book. [via YMFY]

December 16, 2011
[movies] In Toy Story, Who Was Andy’s Father? … Jess Nevins On Toy Story … ‘We have to assume that Woody was, indeed, an old Davis family toy. The logical assumption is that he was Mr. Davis’ before he was Andy’s. (We could extrapolate other ways in which Woody joined the Davis family, but Woody being Mr. Davis’ toy is the least unlikely). But how did Woody remain mint if Mr. Davis played with him? And if Mr. Davis played with him, why doesn’t Woody remember him? We know the other toys remember their previous owners–Jessie remembers Emily, Lots-O-Huggin’ Bear remembers Daisy–why doesn’t Woody remember Mr. Davis? ‘
December 14, 2011
[movies] Killian Fox’s favourite film: 2001: A Space Odyssey‘Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 sci-fi masterpiece 2001: A Space Odyssey is, for me, primarily about the experience of total awe.’
December 5, 2011
[movies] Kubrick speaks in regard to ‘The Shining’ … from The Kubrick Site

Q: You are a person who uses his rationality, who enjoys understanding things, but in 2001: A Space Odyssey and The Shining you demonstrate the limits of intellectual knowledge. Is this an acknowledgement of what William James called the unexplained residues of human experience?

A: Obviously, science-fiction and the supernatural bring you very quickly to the limits of knowledge and rational explanation. But from a dramatic point of view, you must ask yourself: ‘If all of this were unquestionably true, how would it really happen?’ You can’t go much further than that. I like the regions of fantasy where reason is used primarily to undermine incredulity. Reason can take you to the border of these areas, but from there on you can be guided only by your imagination. I think we strain at the limits of reason and enjoy the temporary sense of freedom which we gain by such exercises of our imagination.

October 19, 2011
[comics] How could they do this to Tintin? … another negative look at Speilberg’s Tintin Movie – this time from Nicholas Lezard … ‘As it is, the film has turned a subtle, intricate and beautiful work of art into the typical bombast of the modern blockbuster, Tintin for morons, and the nicest things one can say about it are that there’s a pleasing cameo of Hergé himself in the opening scene, the cars look lovely, indeed it is as a whole visually sumptuous, and (after 20 minutes or so of more or less acceptable fidelity; and the 3D motion-capturing transference of the original drawings is by far the least of the film’s problems) it usefully places in plain view all the cretinous arrogance of modern mass-market, script-conference-driven film-making, confirming in passing that, as a director, Spielberg is a burned-out sun.’
October 18, 2011
[comics] The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret Of The Unicorn – Review … a disappointing look of Speilberg’s Tintin film: ‘…while the big set pieces are often exuberantly handled, the human details are sorely wanting. How curious that Hergé achieved more expression with his use of ink-spot eyes and humble line drawings than a bank of computers and an army of animators were able to achieve. On this evidence, the film’s pioneering “performance capture” technique is still too crude and unrefined. In capturing the butterfly, it kills it too. What emerges is an array of characters (puffy, moribund Haddock; opaque, inexpressive Tintin) that may as well be pinned on to boards and protected by glass.’
September 16, 2011
[movies] Silent Running Movie Poster … lovely poster in that 70’s movie poster/book cover style …

Silent Running Poster

September 8, 2011
[comics] Bargain Bin #6: Alex & Droogs … What If Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange was a comic book?

Alex & Droogs

August 11, 2011
[movies] Go Look: ‘This shot is the most expensive shot in silent film history.’‘It was filmed in a single take, that had to be perfect, with a real train and a ‘dummy’ engineer (notice the white arm hanging out the conductors window).’
August 2, 2011
[movies] Ask Metafilter On The Shining‘In my opinion the thing that really makes the movie is the payoff of the scene where Shelly Duvall is backing up on the stairs while Jack Nicholson terrorizes her, and she slowly, bravely and desperately crosses over from trying to keep the reality of the situation at uncomfortable arm’s length (by appeasing him when he gets scary and/or distant), to finally giving in to it and accepting it, fighting back as best as she can, even if she might not win. While the book is a heartbreaking story of a family falling apart, that scene in the film portrays one person’s descent into madness and evil, and another person’s defeated but brave decision to slowly but steadily escape from it so brilliantly. It’s painful and captivating to watch.’
June 22, 2011
[comics] Mike Sterling: ‘I’m still kind of weirded out that I just saw a major Hollywood movie that featured Kilowog as a character. This is not the future I was expecting.’
June 19, 2011
[movies] Blade Runner Updated … What if Deckard’s computer was running Windows XP? [via Forbidden Planet Blog Log]

May 20, 2011
[movies] The Monkees’ Head: ‘Our fans couldn’t even see it’ … The Monkees discuss their disastrous movie Head … ‘In retrospect, the marketing seems suicidal. Posters featured the balding head of the media theorist John Brockman and the slogan: “What is Head all about? Only John Brockman’s shrink knows for sure!” The so-called Monkees movie made no mention of the Monkees.’
May 13, 2011
[movies] 2001 VHS Tape Monolith … an 8ft tall sculpture by David Herbert

2001 VHS Tape Monolith

March 19, 2011
[funny] Essential Saturday night viewing: Nicolas Cage Losing His Shit …. …


March 11, 2011
[movies] Behold: The Nicolas Cage Matrix‘Cage more than anyone has two distinct types of movie: serious, po-faced, issue movies and balls-out, crack-piped, bug-eyed brainwrongs.’ [via A Smursh Of Pete]

The Nicolas Cage Matrix

March 10, 2011
[kubrick] Stanley Kubrick Interviewed In Rolling Stone … On dressing the set of Full Metal Jacket: ‘To make that kind of three-dimensional rubble, you’d have to have everything done by plasterers, modeled, and you couldn’t build that if you spent $80 million and had five years to do it. You couldn’t duplicate, oh, all those twisted bits of reinforcement. And to make rubble, you’d have to go find some real rubble and copy it. It’s the only way. If you’re going to make a tree, for instance, you have to copy a real tree. No one can “make up” a tree, because every tree has an inherent logic in the way it branches. And I’ve discovered that no one can make up a rock. I found that out in Paths of Glory. We had to copy rocks, but every rock also has an inherent logic you’re not aware of until you see a fake rock. Every detail looks right, but something’s wrong. So we had real rubble. We brought in palm trees from Spain and a hundred thousand plastic tropical plants from Hong Kong. We did little things, details people don’t notice right away, that add to the illusion. All in all, a tremendous set dressing and rubble job.’ [via Daring Fireball]
March 9, 2011
[people] The Quaid Conspiracy … the story of how actor Randy Quaid and his wife ended up as fugatives living out of their car … ‘It was hard to wrap my mind around the web of intrigue she was spinning, with her nonstop rapid-fire delivery, a tale out of Thomas Pynchon, or perhaps just Law & Order: Los Angeles, that somehow involved the death of Michael Jackson and the “framing” of Mel Gibson. “I’ve spent three years figuring this out,” Evi said, detailing how her investigation had taken her to courthouses, record bureaus, and morgues, how she’d been knocking on strangers’ doors, looking for information. Randy listened intently, driving. I thought about how on Good Morning America he’d said how “very alive” he felt because of all this.’
February 22, 2011
[movies] The Decade’s Best In Film Villiany … a list of great movie villains from the Noughties … ‘The Joker reminds Batman exactly how close he is to madness, but he also reminds him why he does what he does. The two need each other. They are what happens when “an unstoppable force meets an immovable object”, and they are “destined to do this forever,” if we’re lucky.’a
February 18, 2011
[anime] Neon Genesis Evangelion: (Hideaki Anno) Reborn Again (and Again) … huge Metafilter post on Neon Genesis Evangelion‘What makes Eva so good is that as the series goes on, the deeper frameworks behind it become more and more apparent. It goes from a fairly standard ‘plucky teens in mechas vs giant monsters’; to a drama with explorations of growing up, shyness, cowardice, love, heroism etc; through a conspiracy reveal with betrayal and intrigue; to an all-out, reason-defying, biblically-proportioned eschaton.’
February 4, 2011
[movies] Why The King’s Speech Is A Gross Falsification … Christopher Hitchens On Winston Churchill, Edward VII, and The King’s Speech … ‘[Edward VII] remained what is only lightly hinted in the film: a firm admirer of the Third Reich who took his honeymoon there with Wallis Simpson, the woman for whom he forfeited the throne, and was photographed both receiving and giving the Hitler salute. Of his few friends and cronies, the majority were Blackshirt activists such as the odious “Fruity” Metcalfe. (Royal biographer Philip Ziegler tried his best to clean up this squalid story a few years ago but eventually gave up.) During his sojourns on the European mainland after his abdication, Edward, then the Duke of Windsor, never ceased to maintain highly irresponsible contacts with Hitler and his puppets and seemed to be advertising his readiness to become a puppet or “regent” if the tide went the other way. This is why Churchill eventually had him removed from Europe and given the sinecure of a colonial governorship in the Bahamas, where he could be well-supervised.’
January 14, 2011
[people] ‘I would’ve broken Kubrick’ … an interview with Keanu Reeves.

What a shame, I remark, that he never got to work with Stanley Kubrick, the king of the neverending takes. And with that, Reeves is off and running.

“I would’ve been his wet dream!” he enthuses. “After take 400, Kubrick would’ve been, [adopts grizzled Brooklyn accent] ‘All right, cut!’ and I’d be, like, ‘Stanley, can I do one more?’ ‘Whaaat?’ ‘Look, I know I’m just drinking this glass of water, but I think I can find another side to this. Let’s just do one more, OK?’ ‘Arrrgh, OK, Reeves.’ You know what? I would’ve broken Kubrick. ‘Please, sir, can I have some more?’ ‘Take 600. All you gotta do is walk across the road.’ ‘Come on, Stanley, one more!'”


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