Bram Stoker's Dracula was inspired by a real Romanian count. Depending upon your point of view, he was a heroic national hero or a murderer who practiced genocide. Click here for a photo and video tour of the real Dracula's castle and homeland.
Famous original For vehicles associated with James Bond, The Sweeney, Dr. Who, the Thunderbirds feature film and Harry Potter all recently made a "guest appearance" at England's fabled Elstree Studios. Click here for more
are a handful of films that I hated the first time that I viewed them, but upon
subsequent viewings have all come to be beloved favorites of mine.James Toback’s Fingers (1978) was an incoherent mess to my naïve, nineteen
year-old eyes but was revealed to be one of the cinema’s greatest character
studies years later; William Friedkin’s To
Live and Die in L.A. (1985) seemed like a Miami Vice wanna-be, but is now
one of the best police thrillers ever and gives the average person a hint of
what it must be like to be a cop; and David Lynch’s Blue Velvet (1986) was…well…strange.The film was…confusing…boring…aimless…weird…My
friends and I honestly didn’t know what to make of it after we stumbled out of
the theater in October 1986 and pondered what we has just viewed for two
hours.We were honestly at a loss.What I didn’t realize was that I had just seen
David Lynch’s best film.
between February and April in 1986, Blue
Velvet is about many things, and the main theme is set up beautifully in
the first few minutes after the main title credits roll over a blue velvet robe.It deals with the ugliness and rage that lies
beneath the surface of people’s faces and the beautiful sunny, white
picket-fenced suburbs.The milieu
doesn’t actually give us the impression that it takes place during the
mid-Eighties; there are visual references that almost suggest a time and place
thirty years earlier, but in keeping with the film’s themes it is very
subtle.From a plot perspective, Jeffrey
Beaumont (Kyle MacLachlan) returns home to handle things after his father has
taken sick after suffering a stroke in a scene that recall Don Corleone’s death
in The Godfather (1972).On his way home from seeing his father in the
hospital, he walks through a wooded area and discovers a severed human ear,
which he brings to Police Detective Williams (George Dickerson).His daughter Sandy Williams (Laura Dern) is
still in high school and knows details about the case since her room is above his
office, which she imparts to Jeffery over lunch.The case involves a singer, Dorothy Vallens
(Isabella Rossellini in a wonderful and courageous performance), and her
kidnapped husband and son.Jeffrey is
intrigued to the point that he hatches a plan with Sandy to gain access to
Dorothy’s apartment and spy on her from inside her closet.What follows is one of the most startling
mysteries ever filmed filled with some truly strange characters.The film is bolstered by a brilliant
performance by Dennis Hopper as Frank, one of cinema’s most frightening villains.I am willing to bet that Frank wasn’t much of
a stretch for the late great actor to portray.The scene where Frank takes Dorothy and Jeffery on a joyride is very unnerving.
we are not Devo, although that famed New Wave band was inspired by this
wonderfully twisted 1933 science fiction-horror film in their song, “Are We Not
Men?—We Are Devo!”Similarly, Danny Elfman
and Oingo Boingo used parts of the “Law” in their song, “No Spill Blood.”The above mantra is used in the picture by a
group of, well, unusual beings.
by Paramount to compete with Universal’s string of successful horror movies,
and directed by Erle C. Kenton, Island of
Lost Souls is nothing short of a masterpiece.Its unsettling nature is similar to that of
1932’s Freaks, in that the horror
comes from imagery of the physically grotesque.It is an influential film that many people have never seen.It was banned in the UK for many years, and
in America the picture was chopped up to varying lengths.It was never released on DVD until now.
movie is based on H. G. Wells’ novel, The
Island of Dr. Moreau, and it has been re-made a couple of times over the
years with that title, but the original version is by far the most effective
and scariest.Charles Laughton is superb
as the misguided Dr. Moreau, whose experiments turn animals into “man-beasts.”Bela Lugosi also appears in a small, but memorable
role as one of the creatures.The
expressionistic photography by Karl Struss could be called a major character of
the film, but the real star is the outstanding makeup on a cast of dozens of
has done the usual splendid job with the new digital restoration, presenting
the film in its completely uncut theatrical version.Film historian Gregory Mank provides an audio
commentary, but of the many extras, the most amusing and interesting is the
discussion of the film by director John Landis, makeup artist Rick Baker, and
genre expert Bob Burns.Also of interest
is an interview with Devo members Mark Mothersbaugh and Gerald Casale, and a
little-seen early Devo promotional film.
is all great stuff, and Criterion’s release is just in time for Halloween.So pick it up, put on your favorite costume,
ignore the trick or treaters, and put on this movie!You won’t be disappointed.
CLICK HERE TO ORDER BLU-RAY DISCOUNTED FROM AMAZON
fortunate enough to be within a day’s ride of Dublin on Tuesday, 1 November,
should saddle up bright and early to catch the Irish Film Institute’s 40th
anniversary presentation of Sergio Leone’s A
Fistful of Dynamite, to be introduced by Leone biographer and Spaghetti
Western top-gun, Sir Christopher Frayling. Also participating in the event will
be director John Boorman, who assisted Leone in finding the locations used in
the film’s Irish flashback sequences, and Ireland’s top special-effects expert,
Gerry Johnston, who worked on the action scenes shot in Toner’s pub in Dublin’s
whose last appearance at the IFI (introducing Once Upon a Time in the West) was the highpoint of the 2000 season,
will use extracts from such films as John Ford’s The Informer (1935) and The
Quiet Man (1952) to examine Leone’s response to Ford’s romantic vision of
Ireland and Irish history, as well as casting an eye on the political Spaghetti
Westerns of film-makers such as Damiano Damiani, Sergio Sollima, and Giulio
Petroni. Also included will be rare footage of Leone directing the opening
sequence of A Fistful of Dynamite.
Albert Finney, one of the true legends of British cinema, is joining the cast of Bond 23 according to the Daily Mail.
By Lee Pfeiffer
For Bond fans who have been clamoring for a return to substance over the endless action sequences of Quantum Of Solace, producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson have obviously been listening. Not only is Oscar winner Sam Mendes (American Beauty) directing but he's brought the most prestigious cast in memory on board, with Judi Dench, Ralph Fiennes and Javiar Bardem already signed. Now the Daily Mail reports that the cast and crew were at a script reading at Pinewood Studios when Mendes announced that the legendary Albert Finney will also be in the cast. Finney's role will be more than window dressing- he will be playing M's boss. As a fan of the Bond franchise since age 8 in 1964, I've learned when advance news about the next film merits enthusiasm or cringe-inducing fear. The latter was experienced when it was announced way back in '74 that the character of Sheriff Pepper was returning in The Man With The Golden Gun. You instantly knew that the film would be a wreck even before you saw a single sequence. Conversely, the good news regarding Bond 23 just keeps getting better. I think we have the ingredients to rival the excitement that was accorded Casino Royale. Click here for more
Cinema Retro has received the following official press release from the National Motor Museum and Eon Productions:
London, October 2011. The National Motor Museum, Beaulieu and EON
Productions are proud to announce that Bond
in Motion, the exclusive official exhibition of 50 original James Bond
vehicles, will be unveiled to the public on 18th January 2012.
The exhibition, the largest of its kind staged anywhere in the world,
will showcase 50 of the best loved and most iconic James Bond vehicles in
celebration of the 50th year of James Bond films. Bond in Motion
will run from January to December 2012 at the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu.
In addition, 2012 also marks the 40th
anniversary of the world-famous National Motor Museum, a fitting year to be
hosting a major new car exhibition with some of the most recognised vehicles from
the Bond films.
Bond in Motion will feature a whole range of vehicles
which have appeared in Bond films over the years including cars, boats,
motorbikes, sleds, jets and many more. This collection of iconic movie vehicles
will include the 1964 Aston Martin DB5 and the 1937 Phantom lll Rolls-Royce both
from Goldfinger, theLotus
Esprit S1 affectionately nicknamed ‘Wet Nellie’ from The Spy Who Loved Me, the Bede Acrostar jet famously flown in Octopussy, the BMW 750iL from Tomorrow Never Dies, the original
villain Parahawk featured in The World is
Not Enough and the original SFX Cello Case Ski famously navigated by
Timothy Dalton in The Living Daylights.
Beaulieu’s Commercial Director, Stephen Munn said, “2012 is going to be a very exciting year for Beaulieu. After
many months of planning, the preparation of the Bond exhibition area is about
to begin and the first consignment of vehicles will be arriving in a few weeks”.
The world-famous National Motor Museum at Beaulieu has a collection of
over 250 vehicles telling the story of motoring on the roads of Britain from
the dawn of motoring to the present day.There are historic racing cars, modern rally cars
and the latest F1 machines as well as World
Land Speed Record Breakers and family cars from every motoring era. Visitors to
Beaulieu can also explore Palace House, home of the Montagu family since
1538 and 13th century Beaulieu Abbey as well as World of Top Gear. Open
every day, except Christmas Day, from 10am. For more information Tel: 01590
612345 or visit www.beaulieu.co.uk
EON Productions Limited and Danjaq LLC are wholly owned and controlled
by the Broccoli/Wilson family. Danjaq is the US based company that co-owns, with MGM, the
copyright in the existing James Bond films and controls the right to produce
future James Bond films as well as all worldwide merchandising. EON
Productions, an affiliate of Danjaq, is the UK based production company which
makes the James Bond films. The 007 franchise is the longest running in film history with
twenty-two films produced since 1962. Michael G Wilson and Barbara
Broccoli took over the franchise from Albert R ‘Cubby’ Broccoli in 1995 and
have produced some of the most successful Bond films ever including CASINO
ROYALE and QUANTUM OF SOLACE.
The Duke's head gear from The Green Berets and The High and the Mighty.
crazy”, Ethan Wayne whispered, as the bids in the auction started to climb way
over the estimates. The youngest son of movie legend John Wayne and other
members of the Wayne clan were present at the Beverly Hills auction on Oct 6th,
announcing that this would be the once in a lifetime shot for fans to get a
piece of the Duke, “and we’re not going to do it again” – and still, they could
not imagine that the fans would dig so deep in their pockets to collect their
father’s artifacts. The total of the two day sale eventually exceeded $5.4
million, a portion of the proceeds of which will fund the John Wayne Cancer
Hat from Big Jake
weeks after John Wayne passed away in 1979, his house in Newport Beach was
sealed, an intensive inventory was taken of the Duke's personal items. Michael Wayne, then head honcho of
Wayne Enterprises, locked it all up. The boxes were transported in a warehouse almost to be forgotten for three decades, a la The Lost Ark. When
Michael passed away, Ethan (named after Wayne’s character in ‘The
Searchers’) took over running Wayne Enterprises. Michael had often mentioned his plans to open a John
Wayne museum, and it was well known among collectors that he had retained many of his father's film costumes. Why then, after all
this time, does the family allow the personal property – over 700 items - to be
scattered all over the world? “Michael had 30 years to do it – so why didn’t
he?”, Ethan makes his point to Cinema Retro. His explanation why he feels great
about the auction is as simple as it is touching: “My father inspired people
through his films. And people have been calling the office for 32 years, asking
for a hat, a vest, a shirt. Because they have this strong connection. So for
me, I look at all these items, and they're going to go all over the world, and
they're going to inspire people. So all that attitude of John Wayne will be out
there living with these items, all over the globe.”
Right move, wrong reason: Writer Joe Karaganis says New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie revoked the tax subsidy for the favorite show of the undiscriminating viewer, Jersey Shore- but only because he didn't approve of the series' content, not because the subsidy would have been financially unsound.
By Lee Pfeiffer
American politician's fervent desire to pal around with people in sports has had drastic financial consequences. Most states have granted huge tax breaks to major sports teams that already pull in hundreds of millions of dollars in profits every year. Teams routinely shake down state lawmakers by threatening to pull up stakes and relocate to another state if they don't get major financial incentives to stay put. Inevitably, weak-willed politicians who can't bear the thought of not being able to get invited to major sports events cave in and grant the teams their request. (The late, legendary New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner was a master at this tactic and even got taxpayers to absorb the bulk of the cost of building the new Yankee Stadium). Similarly, states also roll out the red carpet to lure film production companies to shoot movies and TV series locally. On the surface, granting tax breaks to bring revenue-enhancing businesses into a state might seem sane. However, writer Joe Karaganis points out that star-struck state lawmakers are now giving the store away and the price of the tax breaks greatly exceeds the amount of income generated. Click here to read.
The enduring appeal of silent movies to all generations of film fans is something to celebrate- especially in today's era of dumbed-down CGI-cluttered monstrosities. Empire magazine provides a useful guide for celebrating the great achievements in silent films beginning with director Georges Méliès 1902 French classic A Trip to the Moon. Click here to read
Paul McCartney's title song was a major hit on the international charts- and scored an Oscar nomination.
Author and Cinema Retro contributor Matthew R. Bradley sets his sites on the world of 007 with a look at the 1973 James Bond film Live and Let Die which marked Roger Moore's debut in the series. Click here to read
The Conversation (1974), the best film that Francis Ford Coppola has ever
made, begins with a bird's-eye view of a crowd of people in San Francisco's
Union Square.The camera slowly and
decisively zeroes in on specific people moving about, such as a mime (Robert
Shields of the “Shields and Yarnell” television show from 1977-1978 and one of
the world's greatest mimes) and eventually rests on our protagonist, Harry
Caul, a wire tapper and surveillance expert played by Gene Hackman in one of
his best screen performances.From the
film's very first frame, this is a movie about seeing and listening without
being detected.It's also about deeper
issues such as guilt, paranoia, responsibility, absolution and redemption,
themes that were common to American cinema in the 1970's during the Watergate
scandal and the Vietnam era.What is
even more amazing is the fact that The
Conversation is a film that most contemporary audiences have never even heard
Originally written in the 1960's, The Conversation was filmed in late 1972 and early 1973 in San
Francisco when the city was gripped by the Zodiac murders.It was released in the spring of 1974.The complete flip side of Jimmy
"Popeye" Doyle, another brilliant performance by Mr. Hackman in
William Friedkin's Oscar-winning The
French Connection (1971), Harry is a quiet, lonely, and deliberately
withdrawn man with literally no friends, no attachments, and no hobbies to
speak of, except playing his saxophone to his jazz records.His cinematic brethren would appear to be
Travis Bickle in Martin Scorsese's Taxi
Driver (1976) and Jimmy Angelleli in James Toback's Fingers (1978), both masterful studies of troubled individuals.Many films during the 1970s dealt with
withdrawn middle-aged men, but Harry wants
to be alone.Even his brief interlude
with his sometime girlfriend Amy, played wonderfully by Teri Garr, is awkward
and sad.He pays her rent, lies to her
about his age and what he does for a living, and is made uncomfortable when she
asks him simple questions about his life.David Shire, Mr. Coppola’s former brother-in-law, provides a brilliantly
quiet piano score that enunciates Harry’s aloof nature.
Jacqueline Bisset as Miss Goodthighs graces the cover of Cinema Retro #6 which features in-depth coverage of Casino Royale. See Back Issues section to order.
By Lee Pfeiffer
The Daily Mail reports that the big budget 1967 spoof version of the James Bond novel Casino Royale, which was only moderately successful at the boxoffice, has since grossed over $120 million to date. The revenues are obviously enhanced by decades of TV broadcast fees and home video income. Peter Sellers' estate is still getting royalties because the legendary actor had negotiated an astonishing deal that would pay him 3% of the gross in perpetuity. The much-troubled production became legendary when virtually every British studio was utilized by numerous directors to bring the spoof to life. An all star cast included Sellers, Ursula Andress, David Niven, Deborah Kerr and Woody Allen. The film received mixed reviews but earned the wrath of hardcore Bond and Ian Fleming purists who complained the movie the squandered the opportunity to bring an excellent novel to the screen (a situation that was finally remedied with the 2006 release of the "serious" version of Casino Royale.) This was the only Bond novel that wasn't controlled by legendary Eon Productions producers Cubby Broccoli and Harry Saltzman. Rather than bring the rights owners, producer Charles K. Feldman, in as a partner on a big screen version, they preferred to let Feldman develop his own project. The result was that the film was in theaters at the same time as Eon's official Bond movie You Only Live Twice.
For extensive coverage of the making of the 1967 Casino Royale, see Cinema Retro issue #6.
Twilight Time, the DVD label that specializes in releasing worthy films as limited editions of only 3,000 units, has brought out another long-neglected gem: the 1966 Fox version of John Ford's 1939 classic Stagecoach. The film was roundly blasted by critics in its day, perhaps out of reverence for Ford and John Wayne, who were still very much alive. There is no doubt that the original Stagecoach remains a milestone in cinematic history- the first "adult" Western, if you don't count Raoul Walsh's ambitious The Big Trail from a decade earlier.The film not only rescued Wayne from "B" Western hell but also encouraged other studios to revitalize the genre. Fox took the brunt of criticism from movie fans at the time of the remake's release for allegedly taking the original film off the art house and TV syndication markets for a period of years. The claim may not be true since the original movie was released by a different studio, United Artists, but whether it is an urban legend or not, the knives were out for the remake long before it opened. Audiences today are quite tolerant of remakes. They have to be since virtually every other movie in current release seems to be a remake. However, in 1966 the notion of remakes of classic movies seemed to rub audiences and critics the wrong way. There are those who still denounce the big budget re-dos of Mutiny on the Bounty and Cleopatra even though many film scholars now concede they are better than the originals. At the risk of being accused of being accused of blasphemy, I'd like to state categorically that if the remake of Stagecoach isn't as important or influential as its predecessor, it's every bit as entertaining.
There's new info on the recently-completed Three Stooges feature film by directors Peter and Bobby Farrelly. The film will feature the new Stooges in three different 30 minute shorts combined into a full length feature. The movie stars Sean Hayes, Chris Diamantopoulos and Will Sasso as Larry, Moe and Curly. I have no idea who any of these actors are, but don't go by me-- I haven't been into contemporary comedy since the last episode of Seinfeld aired eons ago. Speaking of which, that show's co-creator Larry David will appear in the Stooge flick. We won't judge the film by the underwhelming teaser poster. For more click here
The Guardian of London provides a subjective list of six great spy series - with some cool clips to watch. Among them: Danger Man (aka Secret Agent), The Man From U.N.C.L.E. and Mission: Impossible. Click here to view
Fashion designer Vicky Teal was part of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton's entourage during the halcyon days of the 1960s. In a new memoir, excerpted in Vanity Fair, she shows why today's celebrities are amateurs compared to Liz and Dick's ability to get attention. They thrived on the spotlight and the simple act of going out to dinner became a grandiose affair, replete with gowns and tuxedos. Yet, she writes lovingly of their humor and generosity toward friends and the downtrodden. Click here to read
If you think of Bruce Lee as simply an icon of the 'chop-socky' kung fu genre, think again. The legendary action star was actually an articulate poetry who wrote original work and translated the poems of others. Lee's poetry and other spiritual aspects of his life were the subject of the 2001 book Bruce Lee: Artist of Life written by his widow Linda and co-author John Little. For more click here
To order Bruce Lee: Artist of Life from Amazonclick here
Cinema Sex Sirens by Cinema Retro publishers Dave Worrall and Lee Pfeiffer is now shipping in the UK and Europe. The limited editions signed by the authors are almost sold out in our UK office. If you pre-ordered the book, it's on it's way to you. As of right now, there are only 13 copies of the signed edition, available exclusively from Cinema Retro, left for sale in the UK.
Because the book's publication was delayed by a few weeks, we are now expecting pre-orders for the American market and the rest of the world to be shipped in November. Note: The regular American publication date for the book is March 2012- so by ordering the limited edition, you will receive the book months in advance of the general public! There are very few limited editions signed by the authors available from our American office also, so order today! Click on the banner at the top of this page for ordering details or click here.
Here is the official press release from Omnibus Press:
CINEMA SEX SIRENS
With an introduction by Sir Roger
Dave Worrall & Lee Pfeiffer
Published by Omnibus Press
appeared alongside many of the ladies featured in this book. My only grumble is
that they are all far prettier than me.’Sir Roger Moore
Cinema Sex Sirensis an exuberant celebration
of the female stars of the Sixties and Seventies. It was the last great era of
the cinematic sex siren – a time when massive cultural changes produced an unprecedented
relaxation of censorship and yet old-fashioned Hollywood glamour still held
The Sixties and
Seventies was an era when actresses unashamedly embraced the tag ‘Sex Goddess’
or ‘Sex Siren’ and willing exploited their beauty and bodily charms to further
their careers. This highly desirable coffee table book focuses on the key
actresses of the period, ranging from cinematic legends to cult actresses.
The authors, Dave Worrall and Lee Pfeiffer, present a luminous collection of idealised women whilst
at the same time offering a fascinating insight into the movies’ depiction of
female sexuality. From international icons like Brigitte Bardot, Helen
Mirren, Sophia Loren, Natalie Wood, Ann-Margret, Raquel Welch
and Jane Fonda to less celebrated
sirens of British and European cinema, such as Susan George, Ingrid Pitt,
Sylva Koscina and Britt Ekland, Cinema Sex Sirens offers an unparalleled collection of stunning
glamour photos and a fascinating snapshot of sexuality in the Sixties and
The Cinema Sex Sirens era marked a new
spirit of frankness in society and the movie industry lost no time in following
suit, shaking off over 25 years of strict censorship and enforced
self-regulation. And the women who defined this new era of eroticism became
world-famous, defined a generation’s view of sexuality and still continue to
focuses on one actress. featuring rare full colour photos, a biography and
commentary, supplemented by some superb international movie poster artwork and magazine
Dave Worrall and Lee
Pfeiffer are the founders and publishers of the long-running Cinema Retro magazine (www.cinemaretro.com),
which proudly covers movies of the Sixties and Seventies. They have co-authored The Essential James
Bond, the best-selling 007 film book with sales in excess of 250,000
Dave Worrall also established the
highly successful company Solo Publishing in 1987, which has produced high profile
magazines and books pertaining to the James Bond phenomenon.
has authored books covering the careers of Clint Eastwood, Tom Hanks, Sean
Connery and Harrison Ford. He has also taught classes about cinema at New York
University, written and produced DVD documentaries and runs film location trips
through his company T.W.I.N.E. Tours.
One of the holiday season's most anticipated films is The Adventures of Tintin, based on the classic children's adventure stories. Steven Spielberg directed the first entry in this new trilogy and Peter Jackson will direct the second installment. The 3-D stars Jamie Bell, Andy Serkis and Daniel Craig. The film is a blend of live action and animation that may enchant some moviegoers even as it turns off others. Nevertheless, when The Polar Express opened, similar criticisms did not prevent the movie from becoming a major box-office hit. To view the trailer click here
The Warner Archive has released the 1964 Civil War comedy Advance to the Rear as a burn-to-order DVD title. The b&w film would certainly have been destined to the bottom of double bills had it not been for its impressive cast: Glenn Ford, Stella Stevens, Melvyn Douglas, Jim Backus and Joan Blondell among them. They must have all seen potential in the script that was not realized on screen. The movie, directed by the usually reliable George Marshall, is a low-budget quickie that has little to recommend aside from its charismatic cast. The story takes place in the early days of the Civil War. Colonel Brackenbury (Melvyn Douglas) is a bumbling martinet, despite having graduated from West Point. He simply wants to sit the war out in as easy a fashion as possible. However, his more assertive second-in-command, Capt. Heath (Glenn Ford), heroically captures some confederate soldiers. This upsets the mutually agreed upon stalemate between both sides and increases the hostilities. An errant horse results in the Union troops going into full retreat. As punishment, Blackenbury is demoted and is put in charge of a misfit brigade of con men and idiots. The company is sent far away from the war to police a normally quiet Indian reservation. However, they inadvertently become part of a major mission to prevent confederate spies from hijacking a major shipment of Union gold that is going through the territory. The bulk of the problem falls to Heath to cope with, as his men are blunderers and his commanding officer is lazy and cowardly.
Cinema Retro has received the following press release from Fox:
LOS ANGELES (October 18, 2011) – A single act of both compassion and arrogance leads to a battle unlike any other when RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES makes
its worldwide debut on Blu-ray, DVD and digital download on December
13th in North America and starting December 7th Internationally. From
the Oscar-winning® visual effects team that brought to life the worlds
of Avatar and Lord of the Rings comes revolutionary new
ground - a CGI ape that delivers a dramatic performance of unprecedented
emotion and intelligence, and epic battles on which rest the upended
destinies of man and primate.
James Franco (127 Hours) stars as Will Rodman, a neuroscientist
living in San Francisco trying to develop a cure for Alzheimer’s disease
by testing on chimpanzees, giving them a human level of intelligence.
After a test subject’s baby, Caesar, is orphaned, Will decides to raise
him at home on his own with his Alzheimer-stricken father (John Lithgow;
“Dexter”). What begins simply as a continuation of his experiment
quickly turns into a problem for Will, as Caesar is taken away from him
and forced to live in a primate facility. As Caesar’s intelligence
continues to grow, he begins to stake his claim as the leader of his new
primate counterparts, which will ultimately lead to the RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES.
Directed by Rupert Wyatt (The Escapist), this special effects blockbuster features fantastic supporting performances from Freida Pinto (Slumdog Millionaire), Brian Cox (Red), Tom Felton (Harry Potter films) and Andy Serkis (The Lord of the Rings Trilogy) in a ground-breaking performance. The RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES Blu-ray is loaded with bonus material including deleted scenes, making-of featurettes commentaries and more.
**Exact product configurations will vary by individual territories**
RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES Blu-ray + Digital Copy (North America)
Alpha Gets Shot
Will’s Meeting with Lab Assistants
Will Discovers Caesar Has Solved Puzzles
Caesar Plays with Bicycle
Caesar Questions His Identity
Caesar Bites Off Neighbors Finger
Will Ignores the Risks of an Airborne Mutated Virus
Rodney Gives Caesar a Cookie
Rocket Gets Hosed by Dodge
Caesar Destroys the Lab and Koba’s Attempted Revenge on Jacobs
Caesar Pushes Helicopter
Koba with Shotgun
Pre-vis for The Future
Capturing Caesar – Script to Screen
Studying the Genius of Andy Serkis
Multi-Angle: Rocket Cookie Scene
A New Generation of Apes
Breaking Motion Capture Boundaries
Breaking New Sound Barriers: The Music and Sound Design of Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Audio Commentary by Director Rupert Wyatt
Audio Commentary by Writers Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver
Richard Klemensen’s Little
Shoppe of Horrors is one of the genre’s best publications.Like Gary Svehla’s beautiful Midnight Marquee, it is a labor of love
for its publisher and it is currently up to issue twenty-six.Subtitled “The Journal of Classic British
Horror Films” and brimming with images that you probably can’t easily find
elsewhere, each issue runs nearly 100 pages in black and white.The front and rear covers consist of
beautiful and original color artwork depicting such favorites as Peter Cushing
and Christopher Lee, and scenes from such films as Frankenstein Created Woman and Frankenstein
Must be Destroyed.Sandwiched
between these beautiful color images are enthusiastic letters to the editor, reviews
of similar publications, and book reviews to name just a few goodies.Readers can also find in-depth interviews
with actors such as Alan Wheatley (from 1981!), Jane Merrow, Freddie Jones, and
the making of various Hammer Films.A
look at past horror film fanzines such as Photon (remember that?!) provides a
wonderful trip down Memory Lane topped off with personal photos of visits to DC
World Con and the Famous Monsters film conventions.
Past issues contained an in-depth look at the making of THE
BLOOD ON SATAN’S CLAW starring Linda Hayden and a look at the career of Terence
Little Shoppe of Horrors
has a beautifully designed and easily navigable website
that permits readers to see what’s coming up in the next issue, in addition to
ordering copies of back issues.
All in all, this is a terrific publication, published first
and foremost by the only people who should be publishing it – die-hard fans
with a true love for the subject matter.
I very rarely rave about new films. Some
puzzle me, others annoy me and many are plain incoherent when it comes to
dialogue vs special effects soundtracks. But more than anything, jerky camera
work does nothing to excite nor, in my opinion, does it "add"
anything to a movie.
How refreshing therefore it is for a misery
guts like me to see a film that bowls me over and one which flies in the face
of expected convention.
I first saw THE ARTIST in Cannes back in
May - at I think its fourth screening, as the other three were totally
over-subscribed. It is a black and white, silent movie shot in a 4:3 ratio.
Yes, that's correct: not widescreen, not 3D, not cluttered with sound effects
and not in colour. Furthermore its star is a Frenchman - Jean Dujardin. His
name might not mean much, but he is already one of France's highest paid actors
and is set for huge glory in Hollywood.
THE ARTIST is a beautifully crafted film,
exquisitely shot and brilliantly cast. It centres on silent movie star George
Valentin (Dujardin) and his fall from favour when 'talkies' come in.
Valentin is a hugely charismatic, charming
and likeable character. With his four legged Jack Russell, Uggy (who almost
steals the film), he stars in a vast number of silent movies from action-adventures
to romance and spy thrillers. However, his aversion to talking on film results
in a sudden fall from stardom, and coupled with the 1931 stock market crash, he
finds himself loveless, penniless and homeless.
A young extra, Peppy Miller (Berenice
Bejo), who was given a leg up in the industry by Valentinmeanwhile captures the hearts of audiences,
and soon becomes the doyen of the talkies. As Valentin's star fades, Peppy's
The sizzling chemistry between the two
characters leads Peppy to help her now suicidal friend and bring him back to
movies. "No one wants to pay to hear my speak" argues Valentin, in
one of the frequent subtitle cards. Instead they choreograph an amazing dance
routine, which reignites Valentin's star.
With guest turns from John Goodman,
Penelope Ann Miller, James Cromwell and Malcolm McDowell it is a film which
will capture your heart, and demonstrates that just because something is in
B&W and silent, it doesn't mean the power of storytelling is null and void
in this multiplex world.
(Gareth Owen writes the Pinewood Past column, covering the history of Pinewood Studios, in every issue of Cinema Retro)
If someone had informed this obsessive fan of Willy
Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, 40 years ago, that I could hold a real
Wonka Golden Ticket in my hands, watch behind-the-scenes footage and read a
book on the making of my favorite film, examine script correspondence, listen
to cast commentaries and dive into all sort of Wonka memorabilia in one big
box, I probably would not have come up for air for weeks. In fact my reaction
would probably have been a lot like Charlie’s when he discovers the last Golden
Fans of Willy Wonka – rejoice! Has Warner
Bros. Home Video got a golden treat in store for you, just in time for the
holidays. The 40th Anniversary Ultimate Collector’s Edition has
just been released in one, big, heavy purple box, the same color as Wonka’s
waistcoat, full of the same goodies mentioned above, and more. The limited
edition gift set indulges and answers every possible question a fan might have
about the making of this extraordinary film forty years ago, even giving them a
real sense of what it was like to be there on the set with the cast and crew.
The Scrumdidlyumptious, 3-disc Blu-ray/DVD combo
contains over an hour of extras, including Mel Stuart’s Wonkavision, a
brand new interview with the director; a new-to-DVD featurette on author
Roald Dahl; a 144-page production book reprint filled with production photos and
notes, and archival letters. Sweet premiums like a retro Wonka Bar-shaped tin
box with scented pencils and eraser will have an infantilizing effect on
“adult” fans such as myself who saw the movie first-run, so you might want to
open it alone. (I made the mistake of opening it at the office, and practically
scared away four co-workers who sit in my area.)
ill-advisedly perhaps, unleashed me on cast members and director Mel Stuart on
October 17th at a press conference at the Jumeirah Essex House Hotel
in Manhattan, overlooking Central Park. With the exception of Michael Bollner
(Augustus Gloop) who wasn’t able to be present, the Wonka “kids” were there
still looking great, now in their early 50s. Peter Ostrum (Charlie Bucket),
Julie Dawn Cole (Veruca Salt), Denise Nickerson (Violet Beauregard), and Paris
Themmen (Mike Tee Vee) joined director Mel Stuart, now 83, and the “lead”
Oompa-Loompa, veteran actor Rusty Goffe, for a delightful conversation and
personal memories that have not dimmed with time. If they get tired of telling
the same old stories, you’d never know it.
I started with director, Mel Stuart, and Oompa-Loompa
No. 1, Rusty Goffe, who has quite an impressive resume to his credit,
post-Wonka, including the first Star Wars (1977) and two films in the Harry
Potter franchise. Mel is a gruff but warm-hearted New York native of the
old school. And, I discovered, a great raconteur.
Mel Stuart (pointing to Rusty Goffe): He was the
number one Oompa-Loompa. Tell ‘em why.
Rusty Goffe: Tell them why? I was the youngest, I was
the only agile one, I could speak English --
Mel Stuart: -- He did Shakespeare. If you do
Shakespeare, you’re number one in my book. See, you always have to cast people
for bit parts. You know, four lines, two lines. And I ask “Have you ever done
Shakespeare.” If it’s between him and the other one, I’ll take the one who’s
done Shakespeare. Right now I’m working on a picture, a documentary --
Shakespeare in Watts.
BAFTA Los Angeles have renamed their Britannia Award For Worldwide Contribution to Filmed Entertainment in honor of the legendary James Bond producer Albert R. ("Cubby") Broccoli. Pixar's John Lasseter will be the first recipient of the newly-named award at a ceremony on November 30. Not without irony is the fact that an actor who played a Bond villain- Alan Cumming of GoldenEye- will emcee the ceremonies. For more click here
Not your father's Twilight Zone? The new feature film promises to stress action sequences.
Here's the good news: Warner Brothers is backing a new full length feature film based on the classic Rod Serling TV series The Twilight Zone. The series spawned a feature film in 1983 - an underrated anthology directed by prominent filmmakers, each taking on a segment. The bad news this time around is that the new film will be a big budget, single story line action film that has the "same eerie feel" as the TV series. Uh-oh. Serling always disdained action sequences, preferring scripts that stressed dialogue and character-driven dramas. It sounds like the new film might merely be appropriating the Twilight Zone name for yet another CGI-packed, underwhelming sci-fi "epic". For more click here
The late Pauline Kael is arguaby the most famous film critic of all time. In an age where film critics mattered, she got the most ink even among such prominent reviewers as Richard Schickel, Bosley Crowther and Rex Reed. Today film criticism is of the masses and by the masses with countless bloggers weighing in on their thoughts about movies and moviemaking. However in the pre-web age, certain critics had extraordinary impact on the fate of movies. They could help sink big budget productions and make small art house films hits. Kael was known for being abrasive and unapologetic. She gushed over the works of some filmmakers while others could never win a kind word from her. Such is her influence that she is the subject of two new books. New York Times film critics A.O. Scott and Manohla Dargis debate her legacy. Click here to read
Life magazine has unveiled previously unpublished photos of Marilyn Monroe taken in 1953 on the set of River of No Return. In some photos the sex goddess is seen on crutches, perhaps rehearsing for a sequence in the movie or nursing a minor injury. Click here to view slideshow.
There aren't too many directors who have kind words for Val Kilmer. After working with him on the ill-fated Island of Dr. Moreau remake, John Frankenheimer pointed out there were only two certainties in his life: he wouldn't climb Mt. Everest and he would never work with Val Kilmer again. Yet director Joel Schumacher says he believes Kilmer was the best Batman to date. Schumacher directed him in Batman Forever, a film generally despised by fans for being overproduced and under-scripted. Schumacher blames the studio, saying he wanted to bring The Dark Knight to the screen but was vetoed by studio execs who forced him to do a Batman and Robin storyline. For more click here
The legendary recording of the Let It Be album atop Apple Studio's rooftop in London.
Plans are being made to adapt the book The Longest Cocktail Party into a big screen feature film. The movie would follow the career of the Beatles from the foundig of Apple to the recording of their final album Let It Be. One major obstacle must be overcome and it's a big one: getting the rights to the Beatles song catalog for use in the film. There might also be legal problems, as this period in the group's career was the most contentious and reasons for their breakup are still being debated today. For more click here
The forthcoming John Gotti biopic crime movie boasts a lot of talent including director Barry Levinson and stars John Travolta, Joe Pesci and Al Pacino. However, behind the scenes, the scenario has been as unpleasant as it is bizarre. The producer is being sued by Pesci, who claims his role was changed at the last minute. Levinson replaced previous director Nick Cassavettes and Marty Ingels, a comedian from Hollywood's stone age was the producer- until he was fired in a scandal involving Larry King. Got all that? Click here for more
Vito, a new documentary examining the
life of Vito Russo, the pioneering AIDS activist and author of the landmark
book The Celluloid Closet (published
in 1981, updated in 1987), director Jeffrey Schwarz pays tribute to a man whom
he credits with being the first to break down the long history of Hollywood’s
defamation against gay people in the movies, and in so doing, advanced the
cause of gay rights on a crucial front. The documentary premiered at the 49th
New York Film Festival on last Friday, October 14th, and is being
distributed by HBO Films. (The cable network will air the doc sometime next
year, an employee confirmed.)
caused great damage to gay people’s psyches,” said Jeffrey Schwarz recently in
an interview with Cinema Retro, “and he was able to tie in his burgeoning gay
activism with movies by showing films at the Gay Activist Alliance, which he
founded [in 1970], and that had the effect of creating community through film.
There really was no community before. Getting gay people in a room together to
discuss films had never happened before, and he was the first person to make
documentary is the most personal yet for Schwarz, founder of Automat Pictures,
a production house in Los Angeles which, in between their bread-and-butter work
producing EPKs (Electronic Press Kits), behind-the-scenes shorts and making-of
featurettes for DVDs and Blu-Ray releases, has been cranking out some of the
best documentaries in recent memory on the outsiders of American cinema, like
William Castle, Tab Hunter and drag superstar Divine (more on the last, below).
Happier times: Manes with Eastwood on the set of Any Which You Can (1980) prior to the severing of their friendship.
Fritz Manes, a boyhood school friend of Clint Eastwood who would later produce many of the actor's hit films of the 1970s and 1980s, has died at age 79. Manes was a Korean War veteran who was hired by Eastwood's Malpaso Productions in the mid 1970s. He served variously as producer, associate producer or executive producer on major films such as Escape From Alcatraz, Every Which Way But Loose, Any Which Way You Can, Pale Rider, Firefox, Honkytonk Man, Sudden Impact, Tightrope and others. Manes would occasionally appear in cameo roles and perform stunts in the films, as well. He and Eastwood had their friendship severed when the two collaborated on the 1986 film Heartbreak Ridge, a fictionalized version of the U.S. invasion of Granada. Eastwood had wanted Manes to ensure that the film had the full backing of the U.S Marine Corps and Department of Defense, especially since it capitalized on the wave of patriotism that defined the Reagan era. However, both the Marines and Department of Defense publicly disavowed the movie, leading Eastwood to fire Manes. Later, Manes accused Eastwood of being power-crazed and reluctant to share credit for anything. Eastwood responded by saying that Manes had failed to perform the duties that had been expected of him. For more click here
With Halloween fast approaching I thought I
might recommend some films that seem to have found themselves, bar one or two,
languishing in DVD dungeons like forgotten prisoners.
There are many recognized classics of the
genre from The Omen and The Exorcist to The Haunting, as well as the Universal
classics such as Frankenstein, Dracula and The Mummy but some of what I humbly
call classics seldom, if ever, get a chance to shine. To try and set this
straight before the witching hour strikes, I like to recommend a few films, 13
to be precise, that you may have missed or could perhaps re visit during this
spookiest time of year.
13) Night Of The Eagle:
This superb British Witchcraft tale (known
under the more lurid title Burn Witch Burn in the U.S.) is a minor monsterpiece.
Starring Jason King himself Peter Wyngard it shows the consequences of marrying a witch in a way
that Darren and Samantha never had to deal with on Bewitched. Taking its subject matter very seriously, this
is a superbly acted little film with a, quite literally, killer climax. A Stone
Cold Classic you could say.
12) Night Of The Demon.
This genre classic would make a superb
“Night” time double bill with its predecessor in this list. Based on the short
story Casting Of The Runes by M.R. James (and known as Curse Of The Demon In
The States) this is a terrifying film whose dark atmosphere is backed up by superb
and believable performances and a classic storyline. Dana Andrews was never
better but the star of the show is Niall MacGinnis as Dr. Julian Karswell who
can switch from children’s entertainer to demon conjurer quicker than the extinguishing
of a flickering candle flame. The chase through the forest by the unseen demon
is a masterpiece of subtly which is disregarded in the climax for the full on
view of the film’s title creature. Many say this spoils the Val Lewtonesque
feel of the film but I rather like it.
11) The Devil Rides Out:
Quite simply one of the best Hammer films
ever made, with Christopher Lee acting against type, very successfully, as the
hero rather than the monster. Based on the novel by Dennis Wheatly and brought
to the screen by the superb Richard Matheson, this is Hammer firing on all four
cylinders and has some of the most memorable set pieces of the studio’s superb
output. Future Blofeld Charles Gray is excellent as Macata. One of Terence
Fishers best, a director who was to Hammer what Terence Young was to the Bond
10) The Wicker Man:
One of the key films to watch over the
period is Robin Hardy’s cult classic about a cult. Is it a musical? Is it a
horror film? Is it really a classic? Well it’s a simple yes to all of them.
When I talked to producer Michael Deeley
about this he still seemed a bit bemused about this film’s well documented past
and pointed out that the only way it could be released at the time was for it
to be trimmed and released as a double bill. Many films have had that happen over the years
(Ray Harryhausen’s Valley Of Gwangi coupled with Marianne Faithfull in Girl on
a Motorcycle (a.k.a Naked Under Leather ) but few films who’s trims ended up as
motorway landfill have such a following. The ending is still up there with that
of Planet of the Apes for those who have yet to see it. Unlike The Sixth Sense,
I had no idea of the “twist” until the shocking climax. It remains a unique
cinematic experience. The soundtrack by Paul Giovanni is as unforgettable as
the naked dance of Britt Ekland’s character Willow in the film.
Liberace appeared in several feature films including the 19645rock and roll musical When the Boys Meet the Girls.
After a few years of false starts and star Michael Douglas coping with his battle with throat cancer, director Steven Soderberg's biopic of Liberace is set to go into production. Douglas will star as the flamboyant show biz legend and Matt Damon will star as his young lover, Scott Thorson who was with Liberace in his final years. HBO has acquired the property and will finance. As for scenes in which Damon will be seen kissing Douglas, he says he is coping by reminding himself that Douglas is married to Catherine Zeta Jones, thus he will be making out with her by osmosis. the movie will be titled Behind the Candelabra. For more click here
There's been plenty of tragedy associated with the Iraq war, but there are also occasional nuggets of humor. Take, for example, an innocent Egyptian man who has the unfortunate fate of bearing a striking resemblance to Saddam Hussein. The man was approached by a group of Iraqi "entrepreneurs" who offered him over $300,000 to appear in a porn film that was going to be passed off as hidden footage of the late despot having sex. When the man refused, he was kidnapped by the would-be producers, tossed in a car and later dumped on a road when the kidnappers got into a dispute. Making matters even more bizarre is the revelation that the CIA once contemplated discrediting Saddam by staging another "hidden video" scenario in which Hussein would be "surreptitiously" filmed having sex with a teenage boy. And you thought the CIA attempts to kill Castro by putting explosives in his cigars were bizarre? In any event, none of the Saddam sex films were ever made, as far as we know. However, if one ever does surface we have the perfect title: The Great Dicktator.
The American one sheet poster for Clint Eastwood's forthcoming biopic J.Edgar has been unveiled and it reveals and enraged Leonardo DiCaprio as the legendary FBI director J. Edgar Hoover. Eastwood has again reaffirmed that since there was never any concrete proof regarding rumors of Hoover's secret homosexual lifestyle, the movie concentrates on the factual aspects of his career- which were controversial enough. For more click here
For those of us who have written numerous books, it goes without saying that the people closest to us have probably never read our work. Wives, husbands, kids, colleagues and close friends always are supportive and wish you well with your latest endeavor. They tolerate the mood swings, long hours meeting seemingly impossible deadlines and empty promises not to start another book project for a long, long time. However, their support doesn't mean that they have any interest in the subject matter. There's nothing offensive about it - you can't expect your teenaged daughter to cuddle up at night with a book about the films of John Wayne. For family members, the fact that mom or dad is an author is perhaps a bit more offbeat than most parent's careers but it becomes just as mundane over time. This is equally true when writers get together with other writers. Someone always has a book in the works but discussion of the latest project rarely goes beyond a few seconds during social gatherings. These trends extend even to those closest to famous writers such as the late Joseph Heller, whose great novel Catch-22 is now being celebrated on the 50th anniversary of its publication. In a remarkable column, Heller's daughter Erica, now in her 60s, confesses she has never read any of her father's books- but is about to break the trend by finally reading Catch-22 - though she does so was reluctance. Click here for more
Can you imagine there are people high up in the entertainment industry who believe that audiences will pay $60 for the privilege of watching a recent film at home through an on-demand service? Some geniuses at Universal thought so and proceeded to announce that the forthcoming Ben Stiller/Eddie Murphy comedy Tower Heist would be available for $60- but for that princely sum, you still would have to wait until three weeks after it opened in theaters. Theater owners were obviously outraged and threatened to boycott all Universal films. The studio quickly caved and canceled the program before it was implemented. The irony? We'll bet that, given Murphy's box-office record in recent years, the movie will probably be on DVD within three weeks anyway. For more click here
The American Film Institute has announced that the recipient of its 40th annual lifetime achievement award will be legendary actress Shirley MacLaine. "Shirley MacLaine is a powerhouse of personality that has illuminated screens large and small across six decades,", Howard Stringer,
chair of the AFI’s board of trustees, said in announcing her selection.
"From ingénue to screen legend, Shirley has entertained a global
audience through song, dance, laughter and tears, and her career as
writer, director and producer is even further evidence of her passion
for the art form and her seemingly boundless talents.” MacLaine's brother Warren Beatty received the accolade in 2008. The ceremony will take place in June 2012. For more click here
The Hollywood Reporter states that Johnny Depp is expected to sign to star as legendary children's book author Theodore Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss in a big screen biopic for Universal. Geisel died in 1991 but enjoyed almost immediate success with his quirky but timeless books such as The Cat in the Hat and How the Grinch Stole Christmas. For many, memorable aspects of these titles can be readily recalled even in adulthood. The books were illustrated with offbeat artwork of crazy characters, some of which were entirely new creations,such as the Grinch. For more click here
Film critic Lucas Kavner offers a compelling article about why virtually every well known movie seems to be in various stages of being remade. The obsession with delving back to golden oldies has also been expanded with films such as Dirty Dancing, Footloose and Point Break now considered vintage enough to merit a remake. For more click here
The Johnny Depp Lone Ranger pic that was canceled by Disney due to huge budget projections is back on track after the production team promised to trim costs to "only" $215 million. This is what passes for austerity in Hollywood today. For more click here
In a recent interview to promote his memoirs, legendary film critic Roger Ebert says that, prior to his undergoing throat surgery, he was never warned by anyone that it could result in his losing his ability to speak. For years Ebert has been relying on computer technology to "speak". He said the loss of his voice came as a shock but he has remained more popular than ever by utilizing social media to post his film reviews. For more click here
Raymond Burr in the classic Perry Mason TV series.
After breathing new life into Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's legendary sleuth Sherlock Holmes, it looks like Robert Downey Jr. will be bringing another famous detective from the past into the present. Downey is said to be partnering with Warner Brothers to launch a Perry Mason feature film. The Perry Mason novels by Earl Stanley Gardner were phenomenal successes in their day. Mason, a lawyer for the defense, took on seemingly impossible cases and used his crime-solving techniques to prevail. The novels were adapted into a hit TV series starring Raymond Burr that ran between 1957-1966. Burr revived the character in the 1980s and 1990s for a successful series of TV movies. For more click here
If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Those are the words Netflix management should have considered before announcing they were forcing major changes on subscribers to their DVD and streaming services. Traditionally, both ways of viewing movies were combined under a single monthly subscription. You could either choose to have DVDs mailed to you or you could watch the film by streaming it - all unlimited for only $9.99 a month. Thus, Netflix became an essential aspect of home entertainment to millions of Americans.Then the company abruptly announced it would split the DVD and streaming services into two separate companies and require separate subscriptions and payments to each. Adding insult to injury, customers who wanted to continue to get both services would have to fork over a 50% increase in fees. The outrage was so intense that Netflix has announced a mea culpa and will not even launch its new Qwikster streaming service. For more click here