If screenings of clips from Star Trek Into Darkness and Fast & Furious 6 weren’t cool enough, we still had two days worth of studio presentations (Disney, Sony, 20th Century Fox, and Lionsgate) at CinemaCon 2013. Generally the presentations went two ways: either the presenters would briefly mention a bunch of projects but not show anything from them and then show more extensive clips from a few select projects, OR they would show brief clips (or trailers) for many different projects.
In honor of the release of Side Effects, Spencer and Greg discuss Catherine Zeta-Jones.
If I had to name the three directors most responsible for my love of movies, I would list Alfred Hitchcock, John Carpenter, and Woody Allen. (You can throw in Ernst Lubitsch and Michael Curtiz to round out the top five, if you’d like.) Hitchcock is always at the top. Shadow of a Doubt is probably my favorite, but the film I go back and forth on the most is Psycho. I love it, but that last scene at the end just drives me crazy. I did, however, have the wonderful experience of watching it with my daughter when she was about 15 and had no knowledge of the story’s plot. About a third of the way in, when the person she assumed was the protagonist dies a grisly death, my daughter turned to me and asked “What the freak [not the word she used] kind of movie is this?” An awesome one, Little Bug. Upon watching the new movie Hitchcock, directed by Sacha Gervasi, I asked myself the same question. “What kind of movie is this?” I’m not sure I know the answer to that.
In honor of the release of Killing Them Softly, Spencer and Greg discuss Ray Liotta.
In honor of the release of Rise of the Guardians, Spencer and Greg discuss Alec Baldwin.
Spencer is joined for the second episode of audio-only podcasting by MacGuffin team member Ed.
Topics include: the success of Titanic 3D, Transformers the Ride, debating the best James Bond, looking forward to Anthony Hopkins in Hitchcock, and thinking about the most annoying TV characters.
“It places the lotion in the basket.” – Buffalo Bill
I once took a course in college named “Murder: The Psychology of The Serial Killer.” In it, we learned a brief history of some of the more notorious murderers in U.S. history. We studied their backgrounds, methods, and obsessions, trying to get a glimpse into their patterns and see how authorities were able to track down and apprehend a number of these people. One of the more interesting stories was that of The Green River Killer, a serial murderer based out of the Pacific Northwest, and how the lead investigator conducted a number of interviews with another famous criminal, Ted Bundy, in an attempt to catch the killer before he struck again. This fascinated me, as I remembered the exact same process done in Jonathan Demme’s great, tense thriller The Silence of the Lambs (1991).
Thor (2011) is a film that I walked into wanting to like, I really did. I was hoping to see a slam bang, no holds barred superhero movie with lots of fun action set pieces, and for a while there, that’s exactly what I got. However, I came to realize something as I sat through director Kenneth Branagh’s movie, something that made me feel very discouraged. What I came to realize was: this film actually assumes that its audience is stupid. Believe me, for a film in which a mythic God gets thrown down from the heavens to become stranded on an isolated planet requires just a little suspension of disbelief, but the amount of twists and turns that the characters in this film take is simply baffling. There doesn’t seem to be a thread of continuity anywhere amongst these people; it seems the only reason the actors do what they do is because…well…I’m not so sure.
Every Saturday night The Tomb of Terror opens, unleashing reviews of the obscure and the classic in horror cinema.
I sit on his knee.
And now he is me.
We take her to bed.
Magic is fun;
This poem not only acted as the tagline for the 1978 psychological horror film Magic, but was also a big part of an infamous television commercial for the film. The spot only ran once and caused a lifetime of nightmares for many children who saw it. The only image onscreen is a close up of Fats, the ventriloquist dummy at the center of the film. As the camera slowly moves in on his wooden face, he comes to life and recites the poem. Once the words are finished his glass eyes roll back in his head. The story goes that after the commercial aired parents flooded the network with complaints that it had terrified their children. The spot was pulled, but the seed was planted. If the commercial was that horrifying, how scary would the actual film be?
While I don’t believe that The Rite (2011) will go down as one of the great horror films like, say, The Exorcist (1973), it does have a surprisingly effective way of telling its story of a skeptical young priest and the experienced exorcist knowing that he is walking down a very dangerous path. Yes, we have scenes of people tossing and turning, spitting out languages we don’t understand and cringing at the sight of crosses and holy water; that’s all a given. But what I liked about this apart from other religiously themed films is that it takes itself seriously—it doesn’t look down on the characters in it or at their beliefs. You can believe in a God, or in a heaven and a hell, and all that, but this film doesn’t judge, it simply tells its story and lets it be.