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Previews & Reviews that are Z's Views

21 True Facts About “The Matrix”

Who besides my wife doesn’t love The Matrix?

Hollywood.com presents 21 True Facts About The Matrix.  Here are three of my favorites…

1. The Wachowskis risked the film’s entire budget just to make it the way they wanted. 

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The original budget that the Wachowskis pitched Warner Bros. was over $80 million. Warner gave them $10 million, so they used all of it on the opening sequence with Trinity. The opening scene impressed executives at Warner so much when they showed it, they green-lit the original budget.

2. The film differentiates the Matrix and the real world through color.

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The scenes that take place within the Matrix are tinted green; those that happen in the real world have more of a normal coloring. The fight scene between Neo and Morpheus has a yellow tint, since it takes place in neither.

12. Other actors considered to play Neo were Nicolas Cage, Tom Cruise, and Leonardo DiCaprio.

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Thankfully, Keanu won out. He’s really the only Neo we can imagine. #canttouchthis

15 Immortal Facts About “Highlander”

Jake Rossen and Mental_Floss present 15 Immortal Facts About Highlander.

Before I present my three favorite facts, let me tell you I am a HUGE fan of Highlander.  The sequels were bad and I never watched the tv series.  For me, “There can only be one!”

2. THE ROLE WAS ORIGINALLY OFFERED TO KURT RUSSELL.
At the time, Russell was a former Disney kid star who had gotten some notice for his genre work with John Carpenter in Escape From New York (1981) and The Thing (1982). Highlanderdirector Russell Mulcahy met with him for the film; though he appeared ready to take on the role, Mulcahy told Cinefantastique that Kurt’s then-girlfriend, Goldie Hawn, talked him out of it.

4. LAMBERT BARELY SPOKE ANY ENGLISH.
Aside from grunts, Lambert didn’t have much dialogue as Tarzan, so Mulcahy was unaware that his English was limited at the time he was cast in Highlander. In the end, his unique accent—Lambert was raised in Switzerland—worked for the character, who was supposed to have immersed himself in various cultures over his 400-year existence.

12. FANS AREN’T BLAMELESS IN THE SENSELESS TRAGEDY OF THE SEQUEL, EITHER.
According to producer Bill Panzer, the idea of exploring the origins of the Immortals was a result of fans constantly asking about it after the 1986 original. “The question we were most asked by fans after the first film was, ‘Where did the immortals come from?’” he told Video Watchdog. “It made sense to answer that question in the second film. What we didn’t realize at the time was that the fans didn’t really want to know their … origins because then the romanticism and mystery of the story was stripped away.” Good job, fans.

Zablo the Barbarian by Jim Ivey

As promised, the first caricature that my buddy, Jim Ivey, drew for me.  I was probably 19 at the time.  So that would date the art at around 1977.  Don’t you love the broken sword?

For those who came in late, Jim Ivey had a 40 year career as a political cartoonist [Washington Star, St. Pete Times, San Francisco Examiner and the Orlando Sentinel].  When I first met Jim in the mid-1970’s he was running The Cartoon Museum in Orlando, Florida.

Jim had a lot of irons in the fire; working as a syndicated cartoonist [The Thoughts of Man], a political cartoonist [The Orlando Sentinel], a publisher [CartooNews], teacher [UCF cartooning class] and even a comic book convention organizer [OrlandoCon]. At the time, I was into collecting comic books and later original art. Jim’s Cartoon Museum was like heaven.

Super Z by Jim Ivey

I was going through the vault and I came across a caricature that my buddy, Jim Ivey, did for me six years ago when he was just 84.  I think if Jim sticks with it, he may have a career as an artist.

Actually, Jim Ivey had a 40 year career as a political cartoonist [Washington Star, St. Pete Times, San Francisco Examiner and the Orlando Sentinel].  When I first met Jim in the mid-1970’s he was running The Cartoon Museum in Orlando, Florida.

Jim had a lot of irons in the fire; working as a syndicated cartoonist [The Thoughts of Man], a political cartoonist [The Orlando Sentinel], a publisher [CartooNews], teacher [UCF cartooning class] and even a comic book convention organizer [OrlandoCon]. At the time, I was into collecting comic books and later original art. Jim’s Cartoon Museum was like heaven.

Tomorrow I’ll show you the first caricature Jim ever drew of me.  It was drawn way back in the late 70’s when Jim was in his 50’s and I was still in my teens.

14 Things You Might Not Know About “Ghost”

Garin Pirnia and Mental_Floss present 14 Things You Might Not Know About Ghost.  Here are three of my favorites…

1. WHOOPI GOLDBERG CREDITS HER OSCAR WIN TO PATRICK SWAYZE.
On The View, Goldberg revealed that she only got the role of Oda Mae Brown because Swayze fought for her. The producers resisted casting her, but Swayze told them he wasn’t doing the film unless Whoopi was in it, too, and that she was right for the part—even though at that point she and Swayze had never met. “And I won an Oscar because of Patrick Swayze,” Goldberg said. In her 1991 Oscar speech, she thanked Swayze, calling him “a stand-up guy.”

4. DIRECTOR JERRY ZUCKER SAID HE’D CAST PATRICK SWAYZE “OVER MY DEAD BODY.”
In a video that appears on the Ghost DVD, screenwriter Bruce Joel Rubin—who won an Oscar for his script—talks about how Zucker was at first against casting Swayze as Sam. “Jerry wanted to see him on film, so went out and saw the movie Roadhouse, and we walked out of that movie and Jerry said to me, ‘Over my dead body,’” recalls Rubin. Swayze really wanted the role, and because Zucker appreciated Swayze’s gusto, he let Swayze audition. After Swayze read the end of the script aloud, Zucker changed his mind. “We all had tears in our eyes, right there in the office—and we knew how it ends,” Zucker told People in 1990. “I saw a side of Patrick that I never knew existed.”

3. GHOST TURNED DEMI MOORE INTO THE HIGHEST-PAID ACTRESS AT THE TIME.
By the time Ghost was released, Moore was already famous for her roles in St. Elmo’s Fire and About Last Night…, but she wasn’t considered a bankable star. After the unexpected $200 million domestic gross of Ghost, she hit box office gold with a trifecta of other huge hits: 1992’s A Few Good Men ($141,340,178), 1993’s Indecent Proposal ($106,614,059), and 1994’s Disclosure ($83,015,089). If you add up all of Demi’s film grosses, it comes out to more than $1 billion. In 1995, she was paid an unprecedented $12.5 million to take her clothes off in Striptease. The film wasn’t a huge hit, and a few years later she traded Hollywood for Idaho.

A Few Facts About Lucille Ball

Eddie Deezen and Neatorama present A Few Facts You May Not Know About Lucille Ball.  Here are three of my favorites…

* Lucy was born a brunette. She later was a blond model. It wasn’t until she was pushing 30 that Lucy first dyed her hair the world-famous red color. She became a redhead to appear in the 1943 movie Du Barry Was a Lady.

* Lucy had no eyebrows. For her first movie role inRoman Scandals (1933) she shaved her eyebrows off. (She played a slave girl.) They never grew back.

* Lucy was terrified of birds. Because birds were her main phobia, Lucy refused to stay in any hotel room that had pictures of birds or had birds on the wallpaper. No birds or pictures of birds were ever allowed in her home.