Indiewire has posted their choices for The 50 Best 1980’s Movie Posters. It should be no surprise that Drew Struzan’s First Blood poster made the list. It was nice taking a stroll down memory lane.
George Romero and zombie movie fans might be happy to hear that a new “…of the Dead” movie is being prepped.
George A. Romero Presents: Road of the Dead will be co-written by Romero and Matt Birman who will also direct. Birman has served as second unit director on Romero’s last three “… of the Dead” movies.
Sounds good so far, right?
Here’s where it literally goes off the tracks for me.
The story is set on an island where zombie prisoners race cars in a modern-day Coliseum for the entertainment of wealthy humans. Birman describes the project as “Road Warrior” meets “Rollerball” at a Nascar race, with significant inspiration from “Ben-Hur.”
Sounds more like Death Race 2000 meets Dawn of the Dead. I can’t imagine this being more than a Netflix viewing for me. Or maybe instead I’ll just rewatch Romero’s classic Night of the Living Dead. You can never go wrong with NOTLD.
Scott Baird and ScreenRant present Star Trek: 15 Things You Never Knew About The Vulcans. Here are three of my favorites…
15. LEONARD NIMOY INVENTED MAJOR PARTS OF VULCAN LORE
The fans of Star Trek were introduced to the Vulcan culture through Mr. Spock, who was played by Leonard Nimoy. Whilst Nimoy was often overly associated with the character (to the point of being typecast), he was also proud of Spock’s cultural impact, which was partly due to his performance and his additions to Vulcan lore.
In the episode “Amok Time”, we first see the Vulcan hand gesture. This was pitched by Nimoy, as he felt that the Vulcan’s needed a special greeting. The hand gesture comes from Judaism, as a Rabbi performs a similar move with their hands during prayer. Nimoy saw this as a child and it stuck with him, which is why he used it in Star Trek.
The other major aspect of the Vulcans that was invented by Nimoy was the Vulcan nerve pinch. Spock was originally supposed to knock out an opponent in “The Enemy Within”, but Nimoy felt that this wasn’t something that he would do. Instead, he came up with a takedown move, where he could use telepathic abilities to knock his opponent out. (It was more of a nerve pinch that telepathic powers. – Craig)
11. VULCANS ARE SUPPOSED TO LOOK LIKE THE DEVIL
There have been fans of Star Trek who have accused the Vulcans of being nothing more than “Space Elves”. The most well-known feature of the Vulcans is their pointed ears, which is shared with the concept of Elves in fantasy fiction (like Lord of the Rings). This isn’t the case, however, as the pointed ears of the Vulcans were created due to budgetary reasons. Creating prosthetic ears was a cheap way of establishing that one of the cast members was an alien, without getting in the way of the actor’s performance.
According to Gene Roddenberry, he intended for the design of Spock to be similar to that of the Devil. The ears and curved eyebrows were intended to evoke the image of Lucifer, which was going to be “provocative” to women. This might seem like a silly idea, but Spock’s design did cause concern at NBC, as they felt it was too devilish. It got to the point where they airbrushed Spock’s ears in the promotional material for the show, in order to remove the points.
13. THE VULCAN TV SHOW
Star Trek: The Original Series ended with its third season. The show had performed poorly during its initial airing (or at least not well enough to justify its budget) and it was axed. It wasn’t until the show hit syndication that Star Trek: The Original Series became massively popular. Despite this, it took over a decade for the franchise to return, in the form of the movie series. There had been many attempts to revive the series before this, as both the fans and the people involved with the production were eager to see Star Trek return to television.
One of the many attempts to revive Star Trek involved a TV show that was set on Vulcan. After The Original Series was cancelled, Paramount approached Gene Roddenberry with the idea of a show that was centered on Spock. The show would depict Spock’s life after leaving the Enterprise, as he returns to Vulcan to live among his own people. Gene Roddenberry refused to helm the project and it was shelved.
Evan Hunter, screenwriter of Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds talks about what it was like working with Hitch on the film. Well worth a listen.
Frank Miller and Klaus Janson – – 100 Years of Genius: The Life and Legacy of Will Eisner.
Jackie Strauss and The Hollywood Reporter present Reservoir Dogs at 25: Quentin Tarantino and Cast Reveal Little-Known Facts. Here are three of my favorites…
Making Reservoir Dogs was the happiest time of Tarantino’s life.
Tarantino, who had told THR he plans to retire after his next two films, recalled a personal story about the night Keitel had the cast over for dinner after they had finished two weeks of rehearsals and were about to embark on five weeks of filming. “I was living in Glendale, California, with my mom at the time and [drove to Harvey Weinstein’s house in] Malibu, it’s a long drive but it’s a cool drive,” he explained. “I’m sitting there at Harvey’s and I realized almost all the pressure was off my shoulders, cinematically. These guys were so perfect in their parts. They were so vibe-ing with each other and I thought, ‘My God, if I just keep the movie in focus, I’ve got a movie.'” He continued, “I remember that night getting in my car and just taking that drive all the way from Malibu to Glendale on Sunset Boulevard and that was the happiest time of my life. It was this thing I had thought about for so long, making movies in general, and I thought, ‘This might just work out.'”
All of the stars wanted different roles except for Roth.
When Roth received the script, he was instructed to read the parts of Mr. Blonde and Mr. Pink. But he quickly knew he wanted Mr. Orange. “This thing arrives, this ******* script, Reservoir Dogs — which I thought was a spelling mistake,” he recalls. “About 20 pages in I thought, ‘I’ve got to do this.’ I plowed on through and then the liar emerged, the ‘bad guy’ — the good guy.” (Madsen couldn’t help but interrupt to correct him: “The rat,” he scowled to laughs.) Keitel says he initially wanted the role of Mr. Blonde, but realized he couldn’t play it right. “Michael and Chris Penn did one of my favorite scenes in the movie together,” he recalled. As for Madsen, he wanted the role of Mr. Pink and even auditioned for it. “I did all the big scenes and Quentin just stood there watching me,” he said. “At the end I was all done and thought I did a really great job and Quentin looks at me and says, ‘You’re not Mr. Pink. You’re Mr. Blonde or you’re not in the movie.'”
Madsen says Mr. Blonde typecast him as the bad guy.
“I’ve done over 100 pictures and usually the only one that anyone wants to talk about is Reservoir Dogs and/or Kill Bill,” Madsen told THR. While he’s grateful to be a part of cinematic history, he says he thought his roles in Thelma & Louise and Free Willy would have helped to elevate him to leading-man status. “Unfortunately, it typecasted me as a bad guy,” he said. “I would prefer to be a leading man. I’m a leading man in a bad guy’s body, basically. And everybody thinks of me as the guy with the gun.” Still, he said he’s a long way from finished. “Dogs gave me a career. I wouldn’t imagine I would have been able to do that when I started as an actor, and there’s a lot coming that I’m waiting for.”
1. Tom Waits auditioned.
Tarantino let this tidbit slip as he discussed the casting process. “We had the casting director from ‘L.A. Law,’” the director recalled. “A lot of really wild people came in and read the parts. Tom Waits came in and read. I had Tom Waits read the Madonna speech, just so I could hear Tom Waits say those lines. And actually, other than Harvey, he gave me one of the first profound compliments on the script. No one had ever told me my work was poetic before.” (Roth, Madsen and Chris Penn all got their parts through those L.A. auditions; Buscemi came aboard after a round of casting in New York.)
2. Tarantino wanted to stage “Reservoir Dogs” as a play.
Keitel brought up this factoid as he recalled the film’s unusually long rehearsal process. “We had two weeks of rehearsal, which is unheard of in Hollywood,” he said. “We actually almost went to four, because Quentin thought at one time about doing a play.”
4. Madsen eventually got his inspiration from James Cagney.
The actor didn’t even practice his big moment at home. When it finally came time for him to shoot the big torture scene, he found inspiration in an unlikely source. “I heard the music, and I said, ‘Oh, ****, I better do something,’ and I started thinking about Jimmy Cagney,” Madsen said. “I remembered this weird little thing that Jimmy Cagney did in a movie that I saw. I don’t remember the name of it. He did this crazy little dance thing. It just popped into my head in the last second. That’s where it came from.” They only shot the scene three or four times, and the first shot of him breaking into that dance is the from the very first take.
Rob Hunter and Film School Rejects present 30 Things We Learned from James Mangold’s 3:10 to Yuma Commentary. Here are three of my favorites…
17. His second feature, Cop Land, was viewed by him as “a western, but setting it in the context of the suburban tri-state area.” The original 3:10 to Yuma served as an inspiration of sorts, and he extended that film a nod “in the sense that Stallone’s character is actually named Freddy Heflin and I named him after Van Heflin, the actor who played Dan Evans in the original.”
24. The cave where they huddle against a nighttime assault of bullets is in Los Angeles and is actually the same one featured in the Batman TV series where the Batmobile exited. It had gotten “so cold” in New Mexico that they returned to Hollywood to film the scene.
“No one should be playing a villain. Everyone should be playing a fully-realized person… No person in the world including Hitler or Osama Bin Laden walks around believing they’re a bad guy.”
Fans of Alfred Hitchcock’s Pyscho will want to check out PSYCHO: THE PROTO-SLASHER THAT BROUGHT ON A REVOLUTION IN CINEMA at Cinephilia and Beyond.
There you’ll find interviews with Hitchock, the Psycho script, behind the scenes photos, storyboards, and a whole lot more.
According to rumors coming out of 20th Century Fox, Sylvester Stallone is their number one choice to take the lead in Starlight. Sly would play…
…Duke McQueen, a man who has long since settled down and left his days of saving the Universe and operating as the space hero everyone depended on—at least that’s what he thought. His wife long passed and his kids off embarking on their own adventures, Duke lives a quiet, solitary life until he receives an unexpected call from a distant world, calling him to action one last time.
What you see above are the contents of Abraham Lincoln’s pockets the night that he was assassinated. These items had not been until recently on display to the public for over 100 years.
Click on the photo for a bigger and better view.
Source: Michael Beschloss.
Vin Diesel fans will want to check out How Vin Diesel Became the Frog Prince of Movie Stars by Owen Gleiberman at Variety.