Ever wonder what toy factories in China do with leftover parts? Generally, they try to make use of them by combining them in the creation of other toys, even when it isn't appropriate. In a hilarious slide show on Flavorwire, Jason Bailey has a remarkable collection of the worst bootleg superhero toys ever created. How about Superman using a parachute or riding a horse? Most of the toys change the name of the character, as though we're not supposed to believe he could possibly be based on Superman, Batman or Spiderman. Thus, we get Specialman, Spaderman and Silver Bat (who also rides a horse!) Click here to view
Mel Gibson has announced that he will co-write and direct a remake of Sam Peckinpah's controversial 1969 Western classic "The Wild Bunch". We can hear retro movie lovers around the globe shout "Oh, no!" But Gibson, who is enjoying a career renaissance since making some drunken, racist rants years ago, has a knack for making hit films out of seemingly unpromising ideas. He won the Oscar for Best Director for "Braveheart" and turned "The Passion of the Christ" and "Apocalypto" into surprise boxoffice hits. Still, tampering with Peckinpah's revisionist Western, which is better regarded today than it was at the time of its release, will be seen as treading on dangerous ground. No details are known at this time, as Gibson is working on a WWII film, "Destroyer" after which he is to commence work on "The Wild Bunch". Gibson's co-scripter Bryan Bagby, has a slim list of credits on IMDB. This much is known- Warner Bros., which released the original film, has been eager to remake the movie for many years. Gibson expressed interest in the project as early as 2009. One thing is sure: Gibson won't be able to improve on the original so the best that can be hoped for is that he turns out a credible effort that stands on its own merits. Hopefully, the remake will be set in the old West and not updated as an urban crime thriller. If you're dreading the remake anyway, you might take heart in the fact that Warner Bros. hinted many years ago that a remake of "Bullitt" was in the works but it never materialized. For more click here.
All movie lovers have experienced it: a favorite movie theater closes
and is usually replaced by some nondescript cookie-cutter store, usually
part of a big chain..or worse, the place suffers the indignity of the
wrecking ball. Writing in the New Yorker, author Thomas Beller provides a
poignant personal view of the recent closing of a landmark New York
movie theater, the Lincoln Plaza Cinemas, that served the community for decades. The landlord
declined to renew the lease despite the fact that the place was
profitable and there was broad community support to keep it open. I
guess that's the price of "progress"...the same "progress" that in
recent years has seen a virtual war declared on Gotham landmarks, the
very establishments that define neighborhoods and give them their
inimitable flavor. You don't have to be a New Yorker to appreciate Beller's sentiments, so read it and weep. - Lee Pfeiffer
Maverick director Sam Peckinpah tried to bring the 1934 novella "Castaway", an offbeat story about a man who survives an unnamed catastrophe by hiding in a department store, to the screen. Despite having collaborated with James R. Silke on numerous versions of the screenplay, the project was never realized despite Peckinpah apparently having found backers as early as 1981. Peckinpah, who had looked forward to directing the movie, was in a career decline at the time due in part to his abrasive relationship with Hollywood studios and his own personal demons. The last feature film he directed was the poorly-received "The Osterman Weekend" in 1983. Peckinpah died the following year. Now, however, there has been new life brought to "Castaway" as a team of producers is planning to finally put the film into production using Peckinpah's original script. Click here for more.
As any retro movie lover knows, the 1961 John Huston film "The Misfits" was steeped in tragedy. Both Clark Gable and Marilyn Monroe would be dead by the time the film was released, making the production the final time either star would be seen on the big screen. Now the Daily Mail reveals that footage of a controversial nude scene Monroe had filmed has been discovered...along with numerous takes of the bedroom scene. Director John Huston ultimately decided not to use the footage in his final cut. Click here to read the fascinating story of a historic find.
Sidney Poitier with his Best Actor Oscar for "Lilies of the Field" in 1964.
BY LEE PFEIFFER
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced they are "postponing" their controversial new category to honor achievements in "popular" films...whatever that means. The announcement met with a tidal wave of criticism from A.M.P.A.S. members and movie fans in general who accused the organization of simply trying to goose up sagging ratings for the Oscar telecasts by including more coverage of boxoffice blockbusters. Our guess is that this idea will never see the light of day. Sorry, "Ant Man" fans, but you may not get to see the next installment bring home Oscar gold. For more click here.
When Amazon announced a major creative partnership with Woody Allen to develop original films, it was considered quite a coup. But as The Playlist reports, in the wake of continued allegations of child abuse against Allen, it seems Amazon's investment might be a total lost. The controversy extends back to the messy breakup of Woody Allen and Mia Farrow in the early 1990s during which Farrow accused Allen of abusing their daughter Dylan when she was very young. Dylan, now an adult, has continued to repeat the allegations in a very public way, often backed up by her brother Ronan Farrow, an award-winning journalist. However, Allen and Farrow's adopted son Moses has defended Allen by saying the charges are bogus and that Dylan had been rehearsed by her mother to make the allegations when she was young and impressionable. Police had conducted an investigation at the time, interviewing both Allen and Dylan. No charges were ever filed and there was suspicion at the time that Dylan had been coerced to make the accusations. Nevertheless, the stigma has haunted Allen, who also received bad press when he courted and married Farrow's adopted daughter Soon-Yi. Still, Allen's career was never damaged in any material way and he continued to make and release at least one film a year over the last half-century, a remarkable record of achievement. Now, however, in the wake of the #MeToo movement, Allen finds himself suddenly out-of-demand. He is not attached to any new projects and his film for Amazon, "A Rainy Day in New York" might never see the light of day. Amazon might buy out its contract with the Oscar-winning director at a considerable loss to its bottom line. Additionally, Allen might be having trouble finding financing for his new films even though he generally shoots on a modest budget. Many of the prominent stars who worked with him previously have said they won't do so again. The controversy brings up a creative dilemma: should a major filmmaker's work be suppressed even though there is no proof that the accusations against him are true? Click here for more?
The final film of Orson Welles is the stuff of movie legend because the temperamental genius had spent about 15 years working on the project which remained unfinished upon his death in 1985. Since then, the troubled film, "The Other Side of the Wind", which Welles had hoped would restore him to the kind of glory he had not enjoyed since the 1940s, sat in a disjointed state, its rights the subject of seemingly endless lawsuits and other obstacles. Director Peter Bogdanovich, who viewed Welles as a mentor and friend, took up the task of trying to salvage "Wind" by raising enough funds to construct a coherent film based on Welles' notes and the many discussions they had on the set of the film, in which Bogdanovich appeared in a sizable role. Every time Bogdanovich thought he had found the funding for completion, his hopes were dashed- until recently when Netflix rode to the rescue and provided enough resources for the movie to finally emerge in a coherent state. The film will enjoy a limited theatrical release followed by telecast on Netflix on November 2. It stars John Huston as a grumpy, headstrong, once-great director trying to reclaim his reputation by producing one last classic film. (Welles claimed the movie wasn't autobiographical, but few believed him). Advance reviews indicate that the movie is not a masterpiece but does emerge as a serious and important work from a great talent. Pretty soon retro movie lovers will be able to judge for themselves. Click here for more.