Stephen King has long been a fan of the cinematic experience, even writing a book about movies (Danse Macabre). Give it a read someday.
Anyway, recently he’s mentioned in various interviews different movies he’s enjoyed and recommended. The bolded titles are ones that I’ve seen. He’s got some unexpected titles in there that are worth checking out.
The Autopsy of Jane Doe – André Øvredal, 2016 The Blair Witch Project – Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sánchez, 1999 The Changeling – Peter Medak, 1980 Crimson Peak – Guillermo del Toro, 2015 Dawn of the Dead – Zack Snyder, 2004 Deep Blue Sea – Renny Harlin, 1999 The Descent – Neil Marshall, 2005 Duel – Steven Spielberg, 1971 Les Diaboliques – Henri-Georges Clouzot, 1955 Final Destination – James Wong, 2000 Event Horizon – Paul W.S. Anderson, 1997 The Hitcher – Robert Harmon, 1986 and Dave Meyers, 2007 The Last House on the Left – Dennis Iliadis, 2009 The Mist – Frank Darabont, 2007 Night of the Demon – Jacques Tourneur, 1957 The Ruins – Carter Smith, 2008 Sorcerer – William Friedkin, 1977 Stepfather – Joseph Ruben, 1986 Stir of Echoes – David Koepp 1999 The Strangers – Bryan Bertino, 2008 Village of the Damned – Wolf Rilla, 1960 The Witch – Robert Eggers, 2015
On a recent morning when returning home, I stopped to take a picture of Mt. Rainier. It sits there reminding all human guests on earth — and that’s what we are, because it was here 500,000 years ago, and we about 200,000 — that everything else going on in the world doesn’t really matter. COVID-19, money, work, movies, whatever. The mountain just does its thing and looks majestic in the process.
And perilous too, as it’s considered one of the most dangerous active volcanoes in the world. Yes, everything you see in the picture above will be destroyed when Mount Rainier blows. Within an hour or so (I’m told about 45 minutes, actually). nobody reading this would want to be standing where I was when taking this picture. Our house located not too far away will be gone.
Why live here? Because it’s a great place to live, the mountain’s imminent danger aside.
Where we live when a house comes up for sale it sells faster than any other place in the county. It’s not that the homes are extravagant or in gated communities or even new (most are quite old), it’s something else. I’d say neighborhood, but that sounds snobbish somehow.
I lived in Vancouver, Washington when Mount St. Helens erupted in 1980. I’ve lived through and seen what volcanic ash looks, smells and feels like. It’s silky to the touch but incredibly dense. It rained like snow, but it wreaked havoc on vehicles. When it landed it hardened and become like concrete. Harder than concrete. People were selling it in jars many states away, but we had so much of the stuff in our yard that we jumped it with our bikes. It was like some sort of grayish snow. An almost alien substance that upon touch is never forgotten.
We have lived near Mount Rainier for the better part of 30 years now. We go about our business, while it goes about it, but there is always a reminder that at any moment it could wake up and remind us how insignificant we are. How everything we think matters in a brief few moments will turn into survival. Get to higher ground, get out of the way of the wall of ash, trees and devastation that this beautiful mountain can unleash.
The trees will grow back, the lakes and animals will return. It’s happened at Mount St. Helens. People will rebuild near the mountain again.
The mountain helps to keep us grounded, to remind us that no matter what is happening in the world — bad, good, otherwise — life goes on.
As a general rule at this site, I try to stay away from responding to internet rumors. Often in my daily online reading travels, I come across “news” that is 99% speculation, rumor and hyperbole and 1% or less true news. Most of this I don’t bother covering or responding here. Why waste your time with a bunch of click-baiting garbage without any verifiable source?
Then again, sometimes I’m feeling playful and want to poke trolls … just because.
We have enough challenges staying on top of when and where movies are going to appear to get hung up on whether or not a 75 year old retired George Lucas is coming back to “save” Disney Star Wars.
Yeah, that’s one of the biggest “news” stories I keep seeing. It’s gone on for over a week now, started by a guy who uses a voice analyzer and wears a suit that makes him look like an alien from The Outer Limits.
Sadly, I’m being serious.
In 2020, we are supposed to take our news from a guy who shakes his fist in an alien costume disguising his voice. He has over 185,000 subscribers on YouTube and several claiming his Lucasfilm sources are credible in past stories.
I just laugh looking at his ridiculous on screen persona. Dude, the first rule of being taken seriously is to be, well, serious. This guy is a caricature. I like his shtick for entertainment value, but not for news. If you watch Dicktor Von Doomcock’s videos (seriously, he has “dick” in his name like twice lmao), he openly admits that we should take his rumors “with a grain of salt.” Of course very few are actually doing that.
Awhile back I asked here if we would even want Lucas back? I would love to see George Lucas as writer and director of another movie. Not another Star Wars movie, no thank you. I know he created it, but he had three Star Wars prequels that pretty much ruined my interest in more George Lucas Star Wars. Could he do a spin-off in the Star Wars universe that was cool? Sure, maybe. Would he want to at 75+ years old? Based on his own commentary on the subject, it’s extremely unlikely.
Lucas has like $2 billion dollars worth of reasons to spend time with his family and not get into making more Star Wars. Life is way too short, especially when you’re in your mid 70s.
This brings us back to the Kathleen Kennedy haters.
I can’t subscribe to the group that blames Kennedy for all that is wrong with Disney Star Wars (see: Kathleen Kennedy and The Mandalorian Rumors). If you make it her fault that the final three sequels were jacked up, then you also have to credit her for The Mandalorian and Rogue One and dare I even suggest that Solo was better than two of the three final trilogy (it wasn’t as good as Force Awakens)?
While I don’t have independent verification, Robert Meyer Burnett is saying that Solo toys are currently outselling any other Disney Star Wars toys except The Mandalorian Baby Yoda rules all SW toy sales. Anyway, got to credit Kathleen Kennedy for this, too, right? Only fair.
I just read a good story that, like Dicktor Von Doomcock, claims to have an inside source at Disney. If you want to get caught up in reading all things bad about Kathleen Kennedy, it’s worth having something to balance with a contrarian viewpoint.
More specifically, they say there is no talk about Kennedy leaving any time soon. At present, she has her attention focused on the film side of things over at Lucasfilm, while Favreau and Filoni are more focused on the Disney+ content. Furthermore, our source added that the rumored “civil war” is not true, and that they trio’s working relationship is fine.
100% don’t believe George Lucas is ever coming back to Star Wars — other than in a capacity to consult (he’s been doing that by many reports all along).
If he ever directs a Star Wars movie will I want to see it? Sure, but after seeing his prequels, I’m not clamoring for any more Lucas Star Wars. Give me some fresh eyes and ideas making new Star Wars films. Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni can give us more Mando and spinoffs. There are plenty of other filmmakers that can probably do some crazy cool things within the Star Wars galaxy.
(Not Rian Johnson)
Kathleen Kennedy staying isn’t going to be a roadblock to getting more good Star Wars created. Logic and history will tell you otherwise. She’s been a part of way too many good movies to be as terrible as some Star Wars fans believe. I don’t subscribe to the notion that on every film she just got coffee for the directors. That’s not only sexist, it’s just ignorant and stupid. Kennedy had good ideas according to Spielberg himself.
Let’s not rewrite history here. Lucas hand-picked Kennedy. Maybe he thought she’d use his Star Wars sequel stories and feels somehow betrayed, but he took the money and every writer — even the great George Lucas — should understand rejection. Disney doesn’t have to use his ideas. He sold Star Wars and thus gave the new owners the power to do whatever they wanted with the IP, including telling whatever stories — good, bad or indifferent — they wanted to tell.
In closing, George Lucas isn’t coming back. If he does come back, I’ll happily admit being wrong, and if he does would welcome and look forward to seeing any non-Star Wars movies that he writes and directs.
Star Wars fans need to move on from Lucas. Not from Star Wars. Keep The Force alive, I get it. We can get more great media out of this IP.
Plenty of great creative people out there besides George Lucas. As for Kathleen Kennedy, she’s earned a seat at the table doing what she is doing as long as she wants to do it. I don’t get the hate, really. It just supports the notion that women executives aren’t treated as well as men. Hollywood does have far too many men in positions of power and Kennedy has a resume that is very deserving a seat at any film production table.
“We’re right in the middle of writing it so I don’t want to get into too many specifics in case the plans change,” Greg continued. and”But there’s going to be a lot more new tech, we’re going to find out more about the ‘Luds’ and their community.”
More new tech. Oh, yeah! We need these phones with the floating tech displayed in the show — right now.
In my review of the first season, I highlighted more of the tech, but if you haven’t seen this show on Amazon Prime yet, what are you waiting for? It’s more than just eye candy for those who love futuristic tech, it has some truly believable tech, which is part of what made me enjoy it so much.
You think back to the 60s Star Trek and some of that tech hat might have seemed impossible at the time and 50+ years later we have some of it, particularly the communicators and GPS positioning.; ,
Recently, I started watching The Orville on Hulu. I’ve only seen the first two episodes of the first season but like what Seth Macfarlane has cooking there so far. Too early for me to gauge the use of tech in that show, but it’s an important part of what makes sci-fi movies and TV fun.
It’s great seeing that Greg Daniels and his team are doing some deep thinking on the tech for season 2. There has been no date announced for when we might see season two, but remain hopeful it can be at some point in 2021. We need the Bill & Ted phone booth to beam into the future and watch the future seasons of Upload.’
What futuristic tech would you like to see explored in Upload and/or other sci-fi shows?
I love it when stars be themselves. Keep it real. This makes me like them even more and want to see more of their movies.
Enter Gwyneth Paltrow. First, she has a very cool first name. A little hard to spell, yes, but a great name. She seems genuine to me. Maybe, I’ve got it wrong, but she just seems like the type of actress you want to root for.
Am a fan, definitely, of her talent and how she’s handled her career. She was great as Pepper Potts in the MCU slate of films — the pictured and linked Iron Man which put Jon Favreau on my radar — as Tony Stark’s assistant and friend. When she’s in a film, it definitely increases my interest.
It’s always refreshing seeing movie stars being honest and self-deprecating.
“What people are surprised about me, when they meet me or work with me or hang out with me, is I have a really, really, really dirty sense of humor,” Paltrow once quipped. “People think I’m pretty buttoned-up and prim and proper, but just tell me a joke about balls or something.”
Trading sex tips with Rob Lowe’s wife? lol. You go, Gwyneth!
Will we see Tony Stark and Pepper Potts together on screen again? I read earlier this past week a few stories suggesting that they are trying to get Robert Downey Jr back in some way. If that happens, they better not forget about Gwyenth/Pepper!
Jennifer Aniston seems to get more press love than Paltrow, but I think Paltrow has more diversity than Aniston (agree/disagree?). I like both their work, but in my opinion, Paltrow has gotten out of typecasting more with a certain type of role. I’d like to see Aniston step out a bit more like she did with Horrible Bosses. Be something more than lovable, slightly dim-witted Rachel Green from Friends.
Paltrow’s filmography reveals a fair amount of movies and TV she’s starred in that I haven’t seen. The last five years of movies have been documentaries and MCU mostly except for Mortdecal (2015). The Politician is her most current TV lead role on Netflix. Anybody reading watched? What do you think? Let me know in the comments, spoiler-free, of course. Or feel free to chime in on what you think of Paltrow’s acting chops?
Seems like every news organization has “inside sources” — Fast Company has some saying that following the big splash of Tom Hanks’ Greyhound on AppleTV+ they want to buy 2-4 of these type blockbuster movies a year.
Going forward, one source says the streamer is discussing plans to release a dozen new movies a year on Apple TV Plus, roughly one a month. Two to four of those would be blockbuster-type titles such as Greyhound and Emancipation, the runaway-slave thriller starring Will Smith and directed by Antoine Fuqua (Training Day) that Apple recently acquired for $120 million in a bidding war with Warner Bros., Universal, and other studios. Another source had fewer specifics but confirmed that Apple is telling Hollywood that it’s now in the market for more tentpole-like feature films. (Apple would not comment for this story.)
Simple math suggests, if this is true (big “if” there), could cost upwards of $500+ million. I’m sharing this article here because my confidence in this is pretty high. Apple has the cash to throw around and it fits their historic corporate culture rather than dive into something, they pick and choose.
Under Steve Jobs, rest his soul, this would be exactly the way they’d get into the movie business. It’s what he did with music. Jobs didn’t want to have a subscription plan like Spotify, he wanted to sell tracks for a buck each and so they did — they sold tons of them. Eventually this model would lose out to Spotify, but they made a boatload of cash in the interim.
If you compare the business types, that’s kind of what Apple is doing right now with AppleTV+. They don’t want to pay to rent licenses of movies for subscribers on a license, they want to take a piece of the pie to sell or rent monthly movies only and create their own originals.
The problem is Apple is so far behind Netflix, Amazon, HBO, Hulu, Peacock, that they may never catch up buying and/or creating a mere dozen or so movies a year.
10 years = 120 movies 20 years = 240 movies
That isn’t going to build them a sizable enough library of originals to keep members subscribed. Sure, there are buying TV series, documentaries, miniseries, too (they just bought Werner Herzog’s new documentary “Fireball” according to MacRumors), but will it add up to what Netflix is releasing?
Netflix currently releases around 50+ originals a month. Most are TV shows, documentaries, miniseries, etc, but they offer a fair number of movies each month on average. This original content is on top of the existing library they are paying for of rotating movies. An argument could be made that Netflix doesn’t even need the rotating movies from other studios any more. You can’t say that about any other service of originals except maybe, possibly HBO, that also has an impressive catalog of original programming created since the 70s.
It seems Apple believes this and wants to go grocery shopping on the theatrical movie aisle. So, if you’re a movie studio with a delayed title and contemplating taking it to streaming, Apple has arrived with multiple suitcases filled with cash.
Unfortunately, Apple aren’t the only ones who want to buy these theatrical releases. Netflix, Amazon, WarnerMedia/HBO, NBCUniversal/Peacock … perhaps to a lesser extent even Disney might cough up a few bones (although they seem less likely to be buying other movies, when they have a bunch of their own content in the pipeline).
The studios with finished movies, waiting for release dates will continue to have this option: sell to the highest streaming channel bidder. I’m sure every studio has Apple programmed on speed dial.
While this might make sense today for Regal, they need to pick a date at some point ASAP. Even if that date needs to be delayed again. Some defined date is better than no date.
Regal had initially planned on reopening on July 10th, in order to release Christopher Nolan’s Tenet on its original July 17th premiere date. Not long after that film got delayed, Regal pushed back its reopening date to July 31st. As of Wednesday morning, the homepage of the Regal website no longer shows July 31st as its grand reopening. Instead, the page explains that a new reopening date will be announced at a later time.
What happens next? Based on what’s already happened and what we know, we can come up with some reasonable guesses.
AMC hasn’t announced if it’s going to delay reopening on July 30, but that’s likely to happen very soon. They’ve been out securing up cash through debt restructuring, so they can stay in business as long as possible. Probably announcing that they aren’t going to reopen as planned isn’t something debtors want to contemplate, which might explain the delay. Regal getting out a little ahead of them doesn’t mean much.
Disney will likely announce plans to push back Mulan. That leaves a very small number of movies left for August with the noteworthy title being Bill & Ted Face The Music. My guess is that is pushed back soon as well, leaving movies that either go straight to VOD, get purchased by Netflix, Amazon or other streaming channels for premiere.
Or a curious new path we haven’t discussed here in much depth yet.
Opening theatrically outside the US first
Hollywood Reporter has a story about Warner Bros. flirting with a Tenet launch that opens first internationally.
Just six weeks ago, it would have been unfathomable to imagine debuting a $200 million tentpole without the entire U.S. moviegoing market in play, led by Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco and Chicago. But with COVID-19 cases rising in L.A. and cinemas still shut in Gotham, the thinking has changed despite the risk of piracy. On a global basis, a $200 million tentpole such as Tenet would open at the same time in most territories across the world, although China can be a wild card.
The traditional thinking has been to use domestic as an anchor for movie premieres over fear of piracy. Warner Bros. – and probably the financial people — want to see Tenet start making some money back ASAP and the movie theater business overseas is in better shape than the United States.
If August doesn’t have the majority of movie theaters reopened in the US, we’re now looking into September. Wonder Woman 1984 seems like the next title that gets pushed back again or possibly explores an international distribution initially.
Depending on your age, where you remember first seeing John Travolta will vary.
Me? I can’t remember if it was the movie Boy in the Plastic Bubble (that movie, although it wasn’t a horror film, just freaked me out with the idea that breathing outside air could kill), Stephen King’s first adaptation Carrie (also my intro to Sissy Spacek and a chilling film) or the 70s TV show Welcome Back, Kotter.
Certainly the latter I remember him most for early on, because he was on weekly and prominently. Of course he’d go onto other iconic roles in Grease and Saturday Night Fever, but Kotter is where I most remember Travolta from in the beginning of his acting career.
Add to that very catchy theme song to Welcome Back Kotter. The 70s and 80s had crazy good memorable theme songs.
Travolta played a Henry Winkler like Fonz character in the TV show as one of the Sweathogs. Gabe Kaplan as the teacher and Ron Palilo as Horshack — with that zany hoarse laugh.
Palillo’s character was part of a group of remedial students known as “Sweathogs,” in a Brooklyn high school. He was known for his catchphrase, “ooh, ooh! Mr. Kotter” and his unique laugh. Some of the cast members in the show, including Palillo, have passed away.
Sadly, Palilo passed away in 2012. He joined others that we remember on the show that are no longer alive including: John Sylvester White who played Mr. Woodman in 1988, Robert Hegyes (who played the sweathog Epstein) in 2012, Marcia Strassman (Gabe Kaplan’s character’s wife Julie Kotter in the show) in 2014.
The only main surviving main characters as of this writing are, in fact, Gabe Kaplan (age 77), John Travola (age 66) who played Vinnie Barbarino and the other prominent sweathog, Freddie “Boom Boom” Washington (Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs).
Inevitably the death clock catches up with us all, but this is one of several 70s and 80s TV shows I remember fondly.
Imagine my surprise and delight when Applebee’s ads playing on Hulu are now using the opening theme song to Welcome Back, Kotter.
While it might be premature, Applebee’s want potential customers to realize their restaurants are back open in many places. We probably won’t be going to Applebee’s any time soon, but it’s a well marketed way to let us know they’re open and available.
Imagine there will be plenty of other catchy theme songs to use for returning businesses. Twisted Sister’s “Stay Hungry” perhaps? (joking!). Licensing is one of the few remaining non-concert performance ways for music artists to make money from their songs.
Somebody tell Raging Bull not to mess with Whiplash.
Yes, it’s true, two actors we probably won’t see starring together in a movie any time soon are Mickey Rourke and Robert De Niro.
Rourke believes De Niro blocked him from being considered for a part in The Irishman. De Niro denies this accusation and allegedly called him a “liar”. Rourke’s next move? Go off on Instagram.
“Hey Robert De Niro, that’s right i am talking to you, you big fucking crybaby,” Rourke wrote. “A friend of mine just recently told me that a few months back you’re quoted as saying to newspapers ‘Mickey Rourke’s a liar he talks all kind of shit.’ Listen Mr.Tough Guy in the movies, you’re the 1st person that ever called me a liar and it was in a newspaper. Let me tell you something, you punk ass, when i see you i swear to God on my Grandmother, on my brother and all my dogs, i gonna [sic] embarrass you severally 100%. Mickey Rourke, as God is my witness.”
Not that I want to stoke any drama between these two, but if I was a casting agent for a movie right now, I’d be trying to get these two in some future movie. Talk about some really good heat to work for marketing. Heck, this is WWE style heat. Somebody make this happen!
This is 2020, not 1960. Technology exists to share info with the masses quickly, easily and gain feedback: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, a company blog post, etc.
We live in a social time where just about everything seems to find its way online. Why not release the deal terms being discussed “behind the scenes” that are impacting us — customers — so we can see who is being “reasonable” and who is being “greedy.”
I think given the amount of time behind the scenes that a deal between HBO Max, Peacock and Amazon (Fire) and Roku hasn’t been made suggests a more radical solution.
The standoffs, of course, revolve around money. More than that, the distribution disputes are about long-term strategic access to rapidly growing streaming-first audiences, as well as advertising inventory. One media company exec says Roku and Amazon are asking for “egregious” terms. On the other side, an insider at one of the over-the-top platform providers says they’re simply looking for “a reasonable share” of the value they create for partners — and adds that companies like WarnerMedia and NBCU are coming to the table with an “old TV mindset.”
Is it too much to ask for transparency in this day and age from the companies we do business with? So many times we’re like pawns on the chessboard while the real chess masters play their game behind some gigantic curtain.
I’ve written several posts about how this is stupid and hurting us, customers, at a time when neither side should want that:
(Site navigation tip: just use the search for “Roku” is how to quickly pull up these past posts)
If Roku and Amazon are asking for a reasonable deal and it’s HBO Max and/or Peacock that’s being greedy don’t subscribers have a right to decide if they want to support that?
I’m tired of companies claiming something without showing us any facts. Put up or shut up. Put the deal out there so we can see who’s being reasonable and who’s not.
You never know, maybe some of your customers can help you get over this impasse? Both sides digging in and not budging isn’t going to reach some compromise.
What do you think? Would you like to see the deal terms so that you can judge for yourself who’s responsible for not making this go through? How long should we all wait in the dark while they “work this deal out in private”? Sorry to be impatient, but sometimes you get things done when you try something different. Whatever both sides are doing doesn’t seem to be working.