Mel Gibson will be honoured with a lifetime achievement award at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival in the Czech Republic in July (14). The Braveheart star will follow in the footsteps Dame Helen Mirren, Jude Law and John Malkovich when he receives the Crystal Globe award in recognition of his career as an actor, producer and director.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, festival tradition dictates that the recipient creates a short, humorous film featuring the accolade, which is used as a trailer in following years.
The 49th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival runs from 4-12 July (14).
MCA via Everett Collection
To Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything! Julie Newmar was ahead of its time. Audiences can easily take for granted the immense importance of this film. It’s a high profile film in the 1990s that features three high profile actors, Patrick Swayze, John Leguizamo, and Wesley Snipes playing gay men. Granted, they spend 99 percent of the movie in drag, but the film is monumental for the community. There’s wider acceptance of the gay community, appreciation for the art form of drag due to RuPaul’s Drag Race, and education about the clear distinctions between drag performers and trans women. But in 1995 this wasn’t the case. Sadly, this film is considered more of a cult classic than a major motion picture. All the same, the film is hilarious, quotable, and politically responsible. Here are some fun facts about the film:
Wesley Snipes and Jennifer Garner got to second base with the same man.Before he found success on Alias, Garner’s ex Michael Vartan had a major role in this film. In one scene, he antagonizes the ladies and Snipes grabs his privates and drags him by his member for an extended period of time.
Queen of 30 Rock You might think that Tracy Morgan and Snipes look equally bad in drag, but the real connection is Kathy Geiss. The nonverbal, unicorn loving CEO of GE was played by Marceline Hugot. She plays Katina one of the town’s residents in the film.
One Degree from Mindy Kaling As great as it would be to imagine Kaling playing a character named Noxema Jackson, the real connection is Beth Grant who plays The Mindy Project’s irate nurse Beverly also played irate townsperson Loretta.
Catwoman Connection Not only did the three leads all star with notable Catwoman Newmar in this film, all three have also starred with the most infamous Catwoman Halle Berry. Leguizamo in Executive Decision, Swayze in Father Hood, and Snipes in Jungle Fever. Snipes even dated Berry.
Start Your Engines, May the Best Woman Live Leguizamo has not been shy about his major friction with the late Swayze on set. Swayze was method and Leguizamo was improvising and making jokes to get more screen time. He says the two physically got into a fight until it was broken up by production. ChiChi, you in danger, girl!
A Cavalcade of Drag Stars This film was one of the first major motion pictures about drag. It gave early acting credits to RuPaul, Lady Bunny, Coco Peru, Laritza Dumount, and Flotilla DeBarge. It also was a major credit for the first transwoman on television Candis Cayne. Talk about helping to define the stars of tomorrow.
Work it Out! David Barton the founder of the popular New York City gym franchise has an early role as a muscle boy.
Drag is Leguizamo’s Bread and Butta’ By the time he did To Wong Foo, Leguizamo had already becoming accustomed to acting in drag. He played female roles in his one-man shows Mambo Mouth, Spic-O-Rama, and on his Fox series House of Buggin’.
Robin Williams: The Drag Years Although uncredited with his hilarious cameo, this film is sandwiched between Williams other two drag movies. In 1993, he gave old lady realness in Mrs. Doubtfire. In 1996, he played husband to a drag performer in The Birdcage.
Thanks for Everything, Carol Lynley! Before the producers secured the rights to Newmar’s name their alternate actress for the iconic photo that inspired the queens was Fantasy Island star Lynley. It doesn’t have the same ring to it, and she isn’t quite as statuesque.
It all goes back to Chinese Food. The name of the film was taken from a photo at a Times Square Chinese Restaurant that was later seen in the film where the ladies find the photo.
Curse of Wong Foo? Both Mel Gibson and Gary Oldman were in talks to potentially play drag queens in the film.
Is that a corn cob in your pocket, ma’am? Swayze surprised Chris Penn during the scene where he discovers Vida Boheme is a man. He hid a corn cob in his dress. Way to commit.
A Rome cafe which has featured in films like The Godfather Part Ii and To Rome With Love is facing closure. The Antico Caffe della Pace near the city's Piazza Navona has been a celebrity haven for decades, but financial issues have prompted the owners to move on.
Reports suggest the property bosses, who run the building that houses the cafe, are keen to turn the site into a hotel.
A petition launched by locals will be handed to local lawmakers in an effort to save the place, and have it listed as a historic landmark.
As well as featuring in films shot in and around Rome, the Antico Caffe della Pace has hosted celebrities like Leonardo DiCaprio, Julia Roberts, Tom Cruise, Robert De Niro, Mel Gibson, Madonna and the late Grace Kelly, while Pope John Paul II was a frequent guest.
For the bulk of every Rocky and Bullwinkle episode, moose and squirrel would engage in high concept escapades that satirized geopolitics, contemporary cinema, and the very fabrics of the human condition. With all of that to work with, there's no excuse for why the pair and their Soviet nemeses haven't gotten a decent movie adaptation. But the ingenious Mr. Peabody and his faithful boy Sherman are another story, intercut between Rocky and Bullwinkle segments to teach kids brief history lessons and toss in a nearly lethal dose of puns. Their stories and relationship were much simpler, which means that bringing their shtick to the big screen would entail a lot more invention — always risky when you're dealing with precious material.
For the most part, Mr. Peabody & Sherman handles the regeneration of its heroes aptly, allowing for emotionally substance in their unique father-son relationship and all the difficulties inherent therein. The story is no subtle metaphor for the difficulties surrounding gay adoption, with society decreeing that a dog, no matter how hyper-intelligent, cannot be a suitable father. The central plot has Peabody hosting a party for a disapproving child services agent and the parents of a young girl with whom 7-year-old Sherman had a schoolyard spat, all in order to prove himself a suitable dad. Of course, the WABAC comes into play when the tots take it for a spin, forcing Peabody to rush to their rescue.
Getting down to personals, we also see the left brain-heavy Peabody struggle with being father Sherman deserves. The bulk of the emotional marks are hit as we learn just how much Peabody cares for Sherman, and just how hard it has been to accept that his only family is growing up and changing.
But more successful than the new is the film's handling of the old — the material that Peabody and Sherman purists will adore. They travel back in time via the WABAC Machine to Ancient Egypt, the Renaissance, and the Trojan War, and 18th Century France, explaining the cultural backdrop and historical significance of the settings and characters they happen upon, all with that irreverent (but no longer racist) flare that the old cartoons enjoyed. And oh... the puns.
Mr. Peabody & Sherman is a f**king treasure trove of some of the most amazingly bad puns in recent cinema. This effort alone will leave you in awe.
The film does unravel in its final act, bringing the science-fiction of time travel a little too close to the forefront and dropping the ball on a good deal of its emotional groundwork. What seemed to be substantial building blocks do not pay off in the way we might, as scholars of animated family cinema, have anticipated, leaving the movie with an unfinished feeling.
But all in all, it's a bright, compassionate, reasonably educational, and occasionally funny if not altogether worthy tribute to an old favorite. And since we don't have our own WABAC machine to return to a time of regularly scheduled Peabody and Sherman cartoons, this will do okay for now.
If nothing else, it's worth your time for the puns.
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Paul Walker, best known for his role in the Fast and Furious franchise, tragically died Saturday afternoon in a car accident in California. At the age of 40, he was taken far too soon. But in those mere 40 years, he was able to leave behind a legacy of that of someone twice his age. From Pleasantville to Flags of Our Fathers to The Lazarus Project, Walker showed off his acting chops in a variety of genres. However, his most iconic role in the world of film came from the Fast and Furious films.
Starting in 2001, Walker began his journey in the world of street racing, and over a decade later, he is still one of the starring faces of the franchise. While Walker’s unexpected death came right before he was due back in Atlanta to resume shooting Fast & Furious 7, Universal has decided will resume production on a delayed schedule, according The Hollywood Reporter. But whether Walker will still appear in the next film or not, for us, he will always be fondly remembered as Brian O'Conner. Here our a few of our favorite of Walker's scenes from the Fast series:
The Fast and the FuriousThere's a scene in the first The Fast and the Furious film where Paul Walker's character, Brian O'Conner, reveals to Dom that he's an undercover cop — this has always been one of my favorite moments in the series for two reasons. The first is that it comes right after Brian rescues Vince from being tied to the side of a truck, and then narrowly escapes getting shot by jumping back into his convertible, all during a high speed chase. The second is because Walker's performance during that scene is incredible — far better than anything you'd expect from a Fast and Furious film, and so quiet and simple that even I often forget how good it is. Walker is having two conversations during this scene: one on the phone, where he's calling an ambulance to save Vince, and one, silently, with Dom, where he's apologizing for deceiving him, asking for forgiveness, and trying to get him to focus on keeping Vince alive, using only his face. Walker and Vin Diesel have an entire argument in that moment, expressing all of the anger, hurt, and fear the characters are feeling without actually articulating it. It's a tricky feat to convey all of that without words, but Walker nails it perfectly, and his performance deserves just as much recognition as the car chases and explosions that the franchise has become famous for. - Julia Emmanuele
2 Fast 2 Furious2 Fast 2 Furious, John Singleton's sole stab at the franchise, is widely considered the weakest of the Fast and Furious movies. But even with its mediocre script and less than stellar visuals, we see charm in Paul Walker. His back and forth with the walking machismo that is Tyrese Gibson showcased hints of the goofy, straight-laced charm we'd see come out with a vengeance in the later pictures… but the badass side of gawky Brian O'Conner was clear as day in the film’s climactic scene. Long before Taken opted for the very same ending, 2 Fast 2 Furious handed Walker the chance to fly — in a speedy vehicle — over the water and onto the boat of a fleeing criminal.
We have to give a few points to Walker for handling the adrenaline here with some dignity. He winces, bellows, and shrieks… but all with the kind of cool humanity that balances him as a relatable character and an action hero. No, 2 Fast is not at all a terrific showcase of Walker’s aptitude as an actor, but it is one of the chapters in the series he is best known and most celebrated for. And there are more than a few notes therein of his penchant for making the camera happy.- Michael Arbeiter
Fast & FuriousMany of Walker's most exciting scenes in the Fast and Furious series took place off the streets entirely; for instance, his ad hoc interruption of Vin Diesel’s torture of a small-time criminal, rescue of the man from his fall to certain death, and subsequent grappling with a rival officer over the mess at hand. In a movie series filled with men twice his size, Paul Walker was still able to emanate some of the highest levels of intensity and intimidation. There’s no amount of muscles that can beat the smolder out of that chiseled glare of his.- Michael Arbeiter
Fast FiveThe Fast and Furious series is essentially a superhero franchise where the heroes are criminals and they hop into armored cars instead of pulling on capes and tights. And to Vin Diesel's broody, Batman-like Dom, Walker was tasked with playing the far less edgy former fed O'Conner. And while the franchise worked best when largely a two-hander between those characters, the best character moment in Fast Five was actually the "Million Dollar Race" between the whole "crew," exemplifying how great direction and chemistry between actors managed to carry over even though each was locked alone in a car.
And that ended up being the key to Walker's character in this series. He's not cool. He's actually pretty goofy and more than a little corny. But therein lies his awkward charm. He looked like a leading man, and held up that mantle efficiently when he was asked to, but his best work was when his enthusiasm was palpable — when he was enjoying the chance to have superpowers and gleefully rib the actors you could believe were his friends.- Kayla Hawkins
Fast & Furious 6While Paul Walker's character displayed most of his talents behind the wheel, he still knew his way around a fight. In a move reminiscent of the show Prison Break, Brian O'Conner purposely threw himself in jail to pay a visit to Arturo Braga, the villain from the first Fast and Furious movie, to learn more about Letty Ortiz's (Michelle Rodriguez) mysterious reappearance. Backed in the corner, and at the mercy of three goons and their prison shivs, Brian dispatches his attackers in one of the film's most brutal and underappreciated fight scenes.- Jordan Smith
John Davis, executive producer of 'The Blacklist' and founder of Davis Entertainment with over 40 movie projects in various stages of development, gives us a page from his producer’s playbook and shares his views on what it takes to make it in Hollywood. To read the full story, check it out at Studio System News!
ABC's Friday night reality TV mainstay, Shark Tank, returns tonight for its 5th season on a wave of critical acclaim and ratings success. We talked to media mogul and Shark Tank judge Mark Cuban about his side gig on the show and more. To read our Q&A with Mark Cuban, check it out at Studio System News.
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The Law & order franchise is known for rooting through headlines to find fuel for its upcoming episodes. We've seen high profile cases from Mel Gibson's drunk driving incident/anti-Semitic rant to Gov. Eliot Spitzer's sex scandal take form in Dick Wolf's gritty little world. But the NBC mainstay seems to be getting a little ambitious in its old age. Maybe the recent years have provided too many public controversies for law & Order to cover one by one, or maybe Det. John Munch has stepped behind the scenes as showrunner, instituting creative progress with some of his famed conspiracy theories inspiring the choices. But whatever the reason, SVU is doubling up on crimes for a forthcoming episode: EW reports that Season 15, which premieres in September, will feature a single episode that combines Paula Deen's highly publicized scandal with the events surrounding Trayvon Martin's killing. Something tells us this one was a late night in the writers room.
law & order: sVU executive producer Warren Leight explains the conflation of the controversial topics: "[Jeffrey] Tambor is a defense attorney representing a very high-profile celebrity woman chef [played by Cybill Shepherd] who thought she was being pursued by a rapist and turned around it was a teenager. And she shot him ... There's a lot of stop and frisk elements to that as well." So, add that into the mix.
Perhaps it is by necessity that Law & Order is weaving together the cases of Deen and Martin. Although Deen's story might have chucked in the celebrity chef's previous allegations of sexual harrasshment, SVU might have had to forgo inclusion of the Trayvon Martin for lack of any sexual component to the young man's story. Still, you have to wonder why, exactly, producers didn't opt to fictionalize elements about each case independently, rather than gluing them together via a fabricated plot device. And then you have to wonder if they'll continue on this path.
After all, we've got plenty of controversies to draw on from the past year. Could Anthony Wiener send a picture of his junk to Amanda Bynes, prompting her to throw a bong out of her high rise apartment window? Could we find Bradley (now Chelsea) Manning on trial for trading classified information with Edward Snowden, who leaves the Moscow Airport in protest of Russia's persecution of homosexuals and hides out in a rehab facility with Lindsay Lohan? What about Robin Thicke — that video must count as at least a misdemeanor, right? Where does he fit into all of this?!
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Former child star Gaby Hoffmann has opened up about working with Mel Gibson as a pre-teen, revealing she broke down in tears when she found herself on the receiving end of his infamous temper. Hoffmann was 11 years old when she appeared in Gibson's directorial debut The Man Without a Face in 1993, and admits the experience was far from enjoyable.
Speaking to The Huffington Post about her struggles with male directors as a child performer, she says, "I think I happened to work with sort of a bunch of slightly difficult male directors when I was a kid. I've since worked with lots of male directors that I love, so I no longer see the distinction gender-wise.
"You're either in it together, or you're not. And if you're not, it sucks. I don't think (Uncle Buck director) John Hughes liked me. And the other one... was Mel Gibson, and I think we can all agree that's going to be tough for anybody.
"He screamed at me. Oh, God, he really screamed at me. He just started cursing and screaming at me. I think I was acting like a kid instead of a professional actor (and it set him off). It happens once in a while when you're a kid actor."
When asked if Gibson's rant made her cry, she adds, "Yeah. Oh, yeah."
Pop star Debbie Gibson is heading to TV as a judge on new U.S. reality show Sing Your Face Off. Network bosses at ABC recently snapped up the American rights to hit Spanish talent series Your Face Sounds Familiar, where celebrities take on the identity of a legendary singer each week, and now Foolish Beat hitmaker Gibson is set to rate their performances alongside Scary Movie 3 funnyman Darrell Hammond.
Among those slated to compete on the programme are soap star Lisa Rinna, former Skid Row frontman Sebastian Bach, comedian Jon Lovitz and teenage Disney Channel singer/actress China Anne McClain.
An air date for the show, to be hosted by actor John Barrowman, has not yet been set.