Tag Archives: mel

‘La La Land’ Sets New Record At 2017 Golden Globe Awards

lalaland

Last night the 74th annual Golden Globe Awards were held at the Beverly Hilton. Jimmy Falon hosted the event which was filled with surprises, including a politically-driven speech from Meryl Streep. But perhaps the most impressive part of the evening was the new musical from Whiplash director Damien Chazelle, La La Land, which set a new record with 7 Golden Globe awards, including Best Picture – Musical or Comedy. Ryan Gosling (Blue Valentine, The Big Short) and Emma Stone (The Help, Birdman) both took home the Globe for Best Actor/Actress in a Musical or Comedy, and Chazelle won the Globe for Best Director. La La Land also won for Best Screenplay, Best Original Score, and Best Original Song. Congratulations to all the winners! The full list of winners is provided below. Continue reading

This Week in Film History….

serpico

Director Sydney Lumet‘s 1973 undercover police drama Serpico earned Al Pacino his second Oscar nomination for Best Actor. While it was another in a long-running streak of Oscar nominations for Pacino that resulted in no wins until 1992’s Scent of a Woman, Serpico‘s other Oscar nomination was for Best Adapted Screenplay for screenwriters Waldo Salt (Midnight Cowboy, The Day of the Locust) and Norman Wexler (Saturday Night Fever, Staying Alive). Although Serpico proved to be the last Oscar-worthy project of Wexler’s, Waldo Salt had a much longer, and much darker story in Hollywood screenwriting history.

Waldo Salt was born on October 18, 1914 and grew up in Chicago an accomplished academic. He was so accomplished, in fact, that he graduated from Stanford University at the same time his friends were graduating from high school. Shortly thereafter, Salt was in Hollywood working as a screenwriter for MGM. There he worked on and assisted with various writing projects, but his first solo writing adaptation was with a 1937 film called The Bride Wore Red. The next year, Salt joined the American Communist Party, putting himself on the radar for the House Un-American Activities Committee during the Red Scare/McCarthy era 12 years later. Continue reading

Iconic Actor Gene Wilder Has Passed Away at the Age of 83

wilder

Legendary comedic actor Gene Wilder, best known for his roles in films like Young Frankenstein, The Producers, Blazing Saddles, and Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, passed away Monday after a struggle with Alzheimer’s Disease. The actor was twice nominated for an Academy Award, one for his role in The Producers and the other as co-writer with Mel Brooks for Young Frankenstein. Wilder first gained attention in a production of Off Broadway’s Roots in 1961. He then continued working in television and on Broadway for a number of years, where he first caught the eye of filmmaker Mel Brooks. The actor starred in a production of Bonnie and Clyde in 1967 before teaming up with Brooks for his breakout role in The Producers, which earned him his first nomination for Best Supporting Actor. Continue reading

‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ Opening In Theaters This Friday, May 15th 2015


After three decades away from the big screen, everyone’s favorite road-warrior, Mad Max, is finally coming back with a bang! This Friday the new installment, Fury Road, from original series writer/director George Miller (St. Vincent’s Revue Film, The Witches of Eastwick) will be out in theaters. Taking over for Mel Gibson (Braveheart, The Patriot) is Tom Hardy (Inception, The Dark Knight Rises) as Mad Max, with Charlize Theron (Monster, The Italian Job), Nicholas Hoult (Warm Bodies, X-Men: Days of Future Past), and series veteran-actor Hugh Keays-Byrne (Mad Max, Moby Dick) making up the supporting cast. As I understand it this will be a legitimate fourth installment, and not a remake or series reboot (like what is possibly happening with the Indiana Jones series. Fury Road will once again find Max wandering the desolate post-apocalypse Australian desert, when he joins forces with Furiosa (Theron) and agrees to help her cross the desert in order to find her homeland and escape an tyrant who would imprison her as a slave. Here’s the trailer one more time on MADE. Be sure to check it out on the big screen this weekend!

‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ With Tom Hardy And Charlize Theron Opening May 15th


With May quickly approaching, you’ve probably started to see TV trailers showing for the new action-packed Mad Max: Fury Road. Original Mad Max writer and director George Miller (Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior, Mad Max: Beyond The Thunderdome) is back for this new film, which will find Tom Hardy (Inception, The Dark Knight Rises) taking over the title role for original actor Mel Gibson (Lethal Weapon, Braveheart). Oscar-winner Charlize Theron (Monster, Prometheus) will be leading the supporting cast, including Nicholas Hoult (About A Boy, X-Men: Days of Future Past), Hugh Keays-Byrne (Mad Max, Moby Dick), Rosie Huntington-Whiteley (Transformers: Dark of the Moon), and Zoe Kravitz (X-Men: First Class, Divergent). The new film finds Max still wandering alone in the post-apocalyptic Australian desert, when he comes across and teams up with Furiosa, who is on a mission to cross the desert and find her childhood homeland. This will be the first time in 30 years that Mad Max has been on the big screen, and Tom Hardy has signed on to make another 3 films, so we should see plenty of Max in the near future. The full trailer for Fury Road is available here on MADE; the movie opens in theaters May 15, 2015. Enjoy.

Chicago International Film Festival 2014 Celebrates 50th Anniversary

film

This year the Chicago International Film Festival will celebrate it’s 50th Anniversary. Founded in 1964 by Michael Kutza, and recognized as the first international film festival in North America, the organization has gained worldwide recognition for bringing independent and international films and their creators to Chicago audiences. Over the years a number of big names in the film industry have been highlighted or attended, including Al Pacino, Clint Eastwood, Charlton Heston, Martin Scorsese, Mel Brooks, Morgan Freeman, Halle Barry, and Edward Norton. This year the festival will open tomorrow, October 9th with Miss Julie from Scandinavian director Liv Ullmann, starring Jessica Chastain, Colin Farrell, and Samantha Morton at the Harris Theater at 205 E. Randolph Street in Chicago. The festival will run from October 9th to the October 23rd. For tickets and ordering information and for the full schedule and theater locations you can check out http://www.chicagofilmfestival.com/festival/festival-guide/tickets/. Enjoy!!

Mad Max Returning To The Big Screen; Joining 2015 Sequel Mayhem

max

So I said recently that I doubted Hollywood could squeeze anymore movie madness into the 2015 schedule; and of course, I was completely wrong!! Warner Bros. has now set a May 15, 2015 release date for Mad Max: Fury Road. Director George Miller, who directed Mel Gibson in the original Mad Max and both its sequels from 1979 to 1985, is bringing the character back to the big screen with new actor Tom Hardy (The Dark Knight Rises, Inception) taking over for Gibson in the lead role. The movie has had some problems getting off the ground, with delayed filming and then a lot of trouble in post-production, but the company has set the date for the movie as director Miller will finally have his long-awaited sequel completed. Mad Max was a major hit when it was first released, making over $8 million in the US alone. The third film came out 6 years after the original and even starred Tina Turner as the villain. The new movie will costar Nicholas Hoult and Charlize Theron, and will even feature an appearance with Mel Gibson as a drifter. Details on the plot have been kept pretty quiet, but director Miller assures his fans that it will have plenty of explosions and plenty of violence, so stay tuned for more details!

Scary Flicks for Halloween

halloween

It’s that time of year again when the leaves turn gold, the air gets cold, and the candy companies flood every corner and grocery store across America. Halloween comes back around every Autumn, coinciding with the start of the NFL, NBA and NHL seasons, which makes it one of the best times of the year! To capture the true feeling of this fun and historical holiday (Halloween is based on an ancient festival known as Samhain, celebrating the end of summer and those who have passed from the Earth), be sure to check out some classic horror movies that have made Halloween so enjoyable throughout the years.

1. Halloween, Halloween II (1978, 1981)

John Carpenter and Debra Hill made horror movie history when their low-budget horror film, simply entitled Halloween, broke box office records and made newcomer Jamie Lee Curtis an instant star. Donald Pleasance (1919-1995) starred in the lead role as psychiatrist Sam Loomis (taking the name from the characgter Sam Loomis in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho, which also starred Jamie Lee Curtis’s mother Janet Leigh!), who pursues his escaped mental patient to his hometown in order to prevent a massive killing spree on Halloween night, only to find himself and the Haddonfield Police unable to cope with the evil that is Michael Myers. The film has gone on to have seven sequels and most recently a “revision” of the original films by director Rob Zombie, but none have ever been able to top the movie that’s become known as the first of the “slasher-movie genre.”

2. The Exorcist (1973)

Known as the scariest movie of all time, The Exorcist set a new standard for the horror movie genre when it won four Golden Globe Awards for Best Picture, Best Director (William Friedkin), Best Supporting Actress (Linda Blair), and Best Screenplay (William Peter Blatty). Based on the novel by William Blatty, who would return in 1990 to write and direct Exorcist 3 based on his novel Legion, The Exorcist frightened audiences with its revolutionary sound effects, makeup art, and cinematography. Sound editors Robert Knudson and Christopher Newman also won the Academy Award for Best Sound, and the film has gone down in history as the definitive horror film, praying on the audiences’ inner demons and fear of the unknown. A definite must see if you never have before!

3. Frankenstein (1931)

Whether you’re a fan of scary movies or not, chances are you’ve seen some variation of Frankenstein. Boris Karloff, however, has always maintained the definitive look that everyone associates with the creature created by a mad scientist for his own ambitions. Although the story has gone on to have countless sequels and remakes, director James Whales’ original set a horror standard for its time, and helped Boris Karloff become one of the most famous faces the horror genre ever saw. After you watch the classic, check out Mel Brooks’ hilarious spin on the story, Young Frankenstein (1974).

boris

4. The Amityville Horror (1979, 2005)

Based on the book The Amityville Horror: A True Story by author Jay Anson, The Amityville Horror is one of the iconic haunted house stories. Playing with both psychological thrill and jump-from-the-screen screams, Amityville has maintained a reputation as one of the most famous horror movies, partly in fact because it is based on actual events. Having more than four sequels, and a re-make staring Ryan Reynolds in 2005, Amityville definitely makes the list of classics!

5. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974, 2003)

Another movie that has been revamped for new generations, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is a great watch for the Halloween spirit. Based in part on the crimes of actual murderer Ed Gein, Chainsaw follows a group of friends as they travel through Texas and experience horrors beyond nightmares when they come across Leatherface and his family of cannibals and deep-country incest. The film has also had several sequels and a successful re-make in 2003 starring Jessica Biel. The story is pretty entertaining whether you watch the original or the new one, so knock yourself out.

texas

Other honorable mentions you should definitely check out include:
6. The Shining (1980)
7. Friday The 13th, Part I and II (1980, 1981)
8. Dracula (1931)
9. Sleepy Hollow (1999)
10. Psycho (1960)

Happy Halloween!!!