We've already discussed Easter Eggs in movies and the many ways filmmakers create in-jokes and references for savvy viewers and those in the know, but today we're taking a look at filmmakers referencing other filmmakers (or their stars...or themselves). We bet you'll never watch these movies the same way again.
Honoring Directors They Admire:
1. Star Wars in Star Trek
It's no surprise that Super 8 director J. J. Abrams is a Star Wars fan, but we bet you never caught R2-D2's appearance in both Star Trek and Star Trek: Into Darkness. It looks like Star Wars: The Force Awakens won't be Abrams' first time with the Star Wars world.
Giving a Nod To Its Stars' Careers
2. Romy and Michele's High School Reunion's wink at Quentin Tarantino
Buena Vista Pictures
The comedy has a few subtle references to Quentin Tarantino's film universe. At the time, Mira Sorvino (Romy) was dating Tarantino. Thus, the keen eye can discern a Big Kahuna Burger take-out bag behind Michele's head in the scene where they pig out and decide to emulate top female executives. In one of the next scenes, an ad for Red Apple Cigarettes can be seen behind their car. Both of these brands were made up by Tarantino for his films. Red Apple cigarettes can be seen in films like Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill, Four Rooms, and From Dusk Til Dawn.
3. Bruce Willis' Favorite Song
20th Century Fox via Everett Collection
Die Hard With A Vengeance has a Pulp Fiction reference in it! Who knew? Bruce Willis' Pulp Fiction character, Butch, is driving around while "Flowers on the Wall" by the Statley Brothers plays on his radio and he sings along before running into Marsellus Wallace. Die Hard's John McClane exits a cab in the 1995 film with Samuel L. Jackson and references his time suspended by reciting the same lyrics from Pulp Fiction: "I was working on a nice fat suspension. Smokin cigarettes and watching Captain Kangaroo." Willis starred in Pulp Fiction with Jackson between Die Hard 2 and Die Hard With A Vengeance.
4. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas with Rango
The beginning of Rango features the Johnny Depp-voiced reptile landing on the windshield of a convertible driven by none other than Duke and Gonzo from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Johnny Depp paying tribute to Johnny Depp.
5. Adam Brody in Mr. & Mrs. Smith
20th Century Fox via Everett Collection
Okay, maybe everyone just really loves Fight Club and Brad Pitt, right? In the 2005 rom-com action movie, Seth Cohen plays the man they're both assigned to kill, which is how they realize they're both spies. The whole time, Brody is wearing a Fight Club t-shirt. It's pretty obvious whose side he's on.
6. Fight Club Starring Brad Pitt
20 Century Fox
Fight Club has a bunch of hidden gems in it, including advertisements for its main stars. Theater marquees within the movie advertise films starring Brad Pitt (Seven Years In Tibet), Edward Norton (The People Vs. Larry Flynt), and even Helena Bonham Carter (The Wings of the Dove, although it's obscured by a bus in the scene, so this is questionable).
Paying Homage To Themselves:
7. The Social Network's Tyler Durden
Fight Club's director David Fincher has also been known to reference his own movies. In The Social Network, Jesse Eisenberg's Zuckerberg uses Facebook for help on an Art History assignment. The profile he's viewing? Tyler Durden's.
8. Charlie and The Chocolate Factory
In the Tim Burton adaptation of Roald Dahl's classic, Charlie's father works for Smilex toothpaste factory; this is a reference to the poison Joker unleashed on Gotham in the Burton-directed Batman by hiding it in their toothpaste. During a tour of the factory, Wonka walks by a room of pink sheep as he says, "I'd rather not talk about this one." While this may just seem like a way to accentuate his eccentricity, Burton's actually referencing his Ed Wood biopic, also starring Johnny Depp; director Ed Wood was a notorious cross-dresser with an affinity for pink wool. In other scenes throughout the movie, children in the Halloween flashback wear masks of Lock, Shock, and Barrel from The Nightmare Before Christmas and a door in the factory is marked "BeetleJuicing."
9. Before Sunrise/Waking Life/Dazed and Confused
Fox Searchlight Pictures
Oscar-nominated writer-director Richard Linklater's film worlds seem to intersect at times. Like when Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy reprise their characters Jesse and Celine from Before Sunrise in the rotoscope dream movie Waking Life, which they then reference in Before Sunset. But there are subtler ways in which the films inhabit the same world: pinball. The same pinball machine can be found in at least three of Linklater's films: Waking Life, Before Sunrise, and Dazed and Confused.
10. Friends With Benefits picks up Easy A
Director Will Gluck references his 2010 hit comedy Easy A in the totally-okay-but-not-as-successful 2011 film Friends With Benefits. The sign at the airport for an "O. Penderghast" alludes to Emma Stone's character in Easy A. Stone appears in both films and is flawless in both.
Paying Tribute To Other Directors:
11. Indiana Jones/Star Wars/E.T.
R2-D2 makes another appearance - this time in Raiders of the Lost Ark. Spielberg paid tribute to Indiana Jones writer George Lucas by including hieroglyphics of the Star Wars droid in the 1981 film. Three years later, Spielberg did it again by naming a club in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom after Obi-Wan Kenobi.
12. E.T. in Star Wars
20th Century Fox
And then George Lucas thanks Steven Spielberg by featuring E.T. the Extra Terrestrial in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace.
13. Evil Dead 2/Nightmare on Elm Street
Director Sam Raimi pays homage to Wes Craven in Evil Dead II: Dead by Dawn by sneaking iconic slasher Freddy Krueger's glove in the background of a few scenes.
Paying Tribute To The Genre:
Scream is more jam-packed with references than most other movies. It's basically a two-hour homage to the horror genre entirely. The character Billy Loomis borrows his last name from Psycho's Sam Loomis before quoting Anthony Perkins as Norman Bates. The janitor outside Principal Himbry's office (played by director Wes Craven himself) is named Fred and wears Freddy Krueger's iconic striped shirt. The film is so saturated with in-jokes and references that it's pretty easy for even the most savvy viewers to miss Scream Queen Linda Blair's brief cameo. Take comfort in understanding the constant name-checking of other horror flicks.
Hotly-anticipated erotic drama Fifty Shades Of Grey has met with a slew of negative reviews ahead of its release in cinemas this week (ends15Feb15).
The movie was screened at the Berlin Film Festival in Germany on Wednesday night (11Feb15) but many critics were less than impressed with director Sam Taylor-Johnson's adaption of the E.L. James novel.
It has been branded "gloomy", "ludicrous", "downright creepy", and a "terrible movie", with several commentators singling out male lead Jamie Dornan for particular criticism. Actress Dakota Johnson received some praise for her portrayal as a student seduced by a bondage-loving businessman, but the movie left many reviewers cold.
Kate Muir, of British newspaper The Times, gave it just two stars out of five and branded it "painful to watch", adding, "(It) starts out hilarious, becomes ludicrous and is finally dubious... (The actors) make a decent stab at thinly-written characters.... (and the script and direction) take the... mickey out of the source material... (The film goes) swiftly from ridiculous to downright creepy."
Kaleem Aftab, of the U.K.'s The Independent, wrote, "(It) plays like the opening of a porn movie in which a washing machine repairman will turn up at a house and be met by a bored housewife", and Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian added, "There are no glimpses of a penis in this film, not in any state. It's primly off-camera. Or maybe the smoulderingly sado-obsessed hero does not have a penis."
Writing in the Sydney Morning Herald, Philippa Hawker noted, "Director Sam Taylor-Johnson and screenwriter Kelly Marcel have turned E.L. James' overheated, annoying first-person narrative (the first novel of a trilogy) into a somewhat gloomy vision of expectations and desires, the story of a man's will for control and a woman's resistance."
A.O. Scott, for the New York Times, wrote, "Mr. Dornan has the bland affect of a model, by which I mean a figure made of balsa wood or Lego. What vitality Fifty Shades of Grey possesses belongs to Ms. Johnson, who is a champion lip-biter and no slouch at blushing, eye-rolling and trembling on the verge of tears... Fifty Shades of Grey might not be a good movie - O.K., it's a terrible movie - but it might nonetheless be a movie that feels good to see, whether you squirm or giggle or roll your eyes or just sit still and take your punishment."
New York Magazine critic David Edelstein was among those who praised the film, writing, "It's elegantly made, and Dakota Johnson is so good at navigating the heroine's emotional zigs and zags that you want to buy into the whole cobwebbed premise." However, he also found room to slam Dornan's performance, adding, "(He) cuts a less commanding figure than you'd hope... With his fluffed-up hair and pert, pretty little face, Dornan's (Christian) Grey looks more like a natural bottom than a top. He's a bantamweight. Although I did grow to appreciate his modest, unshowy acting, it's clear he's not sending much heat her way and that she's having to work herself up in a vacuum."
Funnyman Steve Martin has led tributes to his pal Robin Williams, following the Mrs. Doubtfire star's death on Monday (11Aug14). Williams was found dead in his home in Marin County, California. He was 63. Reports suggest he committed suicide.
Martin took to Twitter.com on Monday afternoon, shortly after the sad news broke and wrote, "I could not be more stunned by the loss of Robin Williams, mensch, great talent, acting partner, genuine soul."
David Steinberg, Williams' manager for 35 years, said in a statement: "Nobody made the world laugh like Robin Williams. My brother, my friend, my soul mate, I will miss you."
Cher added, "Oh Robin... He was Sweet LOVELY,Man. He ran high voltage,Mind Always Going, It was who he was.I Know Well..Many X's from High There is Only Low.So Sad", while Williams' Mrs. Doubtfire co-star Mara Wilson writes, "Very sad, very upset, very glad I did not have to hear about this though Twitter. Probably going to be taking some time off it for a while."
Genie. You're free. pic.twitter.com/FWQWPDPP42
— Evan Rachel Wood (@evanrachelwood) August 11, 2014
Other Twitter tributes have come from Johnny Depp, Michael J. Fox, Rihanna, Rita Wilson, Steve Carell, Jared Leto, Morgan Freeman, Kristin Chenoweth, Jon Cryer, John Cusack, Jenny McCarthy, Logan Lerman, Evan Rachel Wood, Sharon & Jack Osbourne, Pink, Ellen DeGeneres, Rose McGowan, Shannen Doherty, Josh Groban, Eddie Izzard, Eric Idle, Ashley Tisdale, Marlee Matlin, Mandy Moore, John Krasinski, and Mia Farrow, who posted, "No! Robin Williams you were so loved."
Miley Cyrus never met Williams, but admits the news of his death hit her hard: "I can't take the Robin Williams news. I've never cried over someone I've never met but I can't stop."
And Lindsay Lohan adds, "Mr. Williams visited me the first day of filming The Parent Trap. I will never forget his kindness. What an enormous loss. My condolences."
His former co-stars Henry Winkler and Minnie Driver were also among the first celebrities to pay tribute to Williams. Happy Days star Winkler wrote, "To watch him create on the spot was a privilege to behold... Robin you are an angel now !!! REST IN PEACE", while his Good Will Hunting castmate Driver added, "My Heart's broken. Robin was a beautiful, kind soul. Can't bear that he's gone. So incredibly sorry for his family."
One of the late funnyman's final co-stars, Joel McHale, states, "RIP @robinwilliams. You were one of the very best that ever was. You were one of my heroes."
And Williams' Mork & Mindy co-star Pam Dawber, who recently reteamed with Williams in U.S. TV comedy The Crazy Ones, has revealed she's "devastated" by the sad news of her longtime friend's death. The actor's The Crazy Ones co-star Sarah Michelle Gellar simply posted nine photos of herself with Williams on Twitter.com.
Other thoughtful words came from Glee stars Chord Overstreet and Lea Michele, who wrote, "So heartbreaking to hear the terribly sad news about the amazing Robin Williams, thank you for bringing so much laughter and joy to us all", and Kevin Spacey, who added, "Robin Williams made the world laugh & think. I will remember & honor that. A great man, artist and friend. I will miss him beyond measure."
He made us laugh. He made us cry. He ended up touching every element of the human spirit. #RIPRobinWilliams pic.twitter.com/kbEq7OwPOf
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) August 12, 2014
U.S. President Barack Obama also acknowledged the entertainer's impact to people all over the world in a statement which reads: "Robin Williams was an airman, a doctor, a genie, a nanny, a president, a professor, a bangarang Peter Pan and everything in between. "But he was one of a kind. He arrived in our lives as an alien - but he ended up touching every element of the human spirit. He made us laugh. He made us cry. He gave his immeasurable talent freely and generously to those who needed it most - from our troops stationed abroad to the marginalised on our own streets. "The Obama family offers our condolences to Robin's family, his friends, and everyone who found their voice and their verse thanks to Robin Williams."
Meanwhile, a tribute has been posted on a billboard outside Los Angeles' Laugh Factory, where Williams often performed. It reads: "Robin Williams. Rest in Peace. Make God laugh."
British TV icon Sir David Jason has passed a series of "vigorous" medical tests to retain his pilot's licence. The Only Fools and Horses star, 74, who mostly flies helicopters, has held his licence since 2005 and has to regularly prove his fitness in order to keep his permit.
Jason admits he recently underwent a battery of medical tests and was delighted when he passed, despite his advancing years.
He tells Britain's The Sun, "Touch wood, I'm in good health. Long may it continue. I've just had a vigorous medical as part of my pilot's licence and, hand on heart, I passed everything, which is nice to know. I know some people become infirm in their later years but so far I've been very lucky."
David Beckham feared he would be attacked by a deadly jaguar as he spent nights camping in the Amazonian rainforest. The soccer icon headed into the Brazilian jungle for 10 days in March (14) to shoot a BBC documentary, and he has recalled his unease during the long nights in camp.
He tells The Sunday Times Magazine, "I never felt scared at any point, although sleeping in the middle of the jungle at night can be quite unnerving. It's pitch black, you hear a noise and you have no idea what it could be. Once, we pitched up in an area where we were told that jaguars roamed at night. After we were told that, we never moved from our position."
Despite reports Beckham was banned from swimming in the Amazon during the trip over fears he would be attacked by killer fish, the former sports hero reveals he did take to the river in a boat.
He adds, "You hear lots of stories about the Amazon and what lives in the rivers, so clearly you are wary. However, once you are there, armed with good local knowledge, then it's fine. There is one moment in the documentary where we are going through treacherous waters and I notice there are holes in the boat. I use a bucket to sift water out. There was no way I was going to sink."
The report also features photographs of Beckham carrying crops and whittling wood during his time in camp, and showing off his tattoos to local children, and he admits his only struggle was a lack of contact with wife Victoria and their four kids.
He says, "We had very little contact with home, which was tough, as I like to speak to Victoria and the kids every day. We were able to use a satellite phone on occasion, and it was something to look forward to after a long, difficult day travelling."
However, the famously groomed soccer ace also admits his vanity took a dent in camp, adding, "Showers and baths were clearly at a premium. That was the toughest part. As everyone knows, I like my cleanliness."
Rolling Stones rocker Ronnie Wood is celebrating following the birth of his eighth grandchild on Monday (26May14). The musician's daughter, Leah Wood, and her husband Jack MacDonald welcomed a little brother for their daughter Maggie, who turns five on Wednesday (28May14).
Sharing the news with fans on Twitter.com, the rock veteran writes, "Congratulations to my daughter @MsLeahWood and Jack & Maggie ~ Baby 'Otis Sonny David MacDonald' was born today!"
Leah is Ronnie's daughter from his marriage to Jo Wood; she has been married to financier MacDonald since 2008.
The baby news comes a week after it was revealed bandmate Mick Jagger had become a great-grandfather following the birth of his granddaughter Assisi's baby girl.
United Artists via Everett Collection
It all starts with a mullet and an attitude. By the time that Patrick Swayze appeared as the legendary bouncer (or cooler) Dalton in 1989's Road House, he was two years removed from his star making turn in Dirty Dancing. Audiences already knew that he could dance, but nobody knew that he could rip a guy's throat out with his bare hands.
In the 25 years since its release, Road House has become a cult classic, both for its over-the-top fight scenes and Swayze's mock-philosophical dialogue and awesome hair. With its frequent appearances on cable television, it's never out of sight for very long, but we've compiled some fun facts to help you enjoy the greatest bad movie ever the next time you find yourself drawn in by the majesty of Swayze. Just remember the immortal words of Dalton: "I want you to be nice, until it's time not to be nice."
1. Although the film is set in the town of Jasper, Missouri, the exterior of the film's infamous bar The Double Deuce was built strictly for the filming on location in California and then was torn down. Some of the interiors were shot, however, in a real bar in Anaheim that has since closed.
2. Screenwriter David Lee Henry has said that Dalton was named after the town of Dalton, Georgia. He stopped at a bar there during a road trip and it ended up serving in part as the inspiration for his script.
3. Dalton is shown reading Jim Harrison's Legends of the Fall, which is the basis for the 1994 Brad Pitt-Anthony Hopkins movie of the same name.
4. Movie trailers frequently feature parts that are subsequently cut before a film is released, but Road House has the unofficial record for the most occurrences of deleted scenes. The original trailer had at least five different clips that don't appear in the finished version.
5. The Jeff Healey Band, which serves as the house band of The Double Deuce, had their biggest hit "Angel Eyes" on the charts while Road House was still in theaters, but the song isn't from the movie. Healey, the blind Canadian guitarist, and his group recorded their album See the Light concurrently with the movie soundtrack.
6. In a sad coincidence, both Swayze and Ben Gazzara, who played Dalton's nemesis Brad Wesley, both died of pancreatic cancer… Swayze in 2009 and Gazzara in 2012.
7. As awesome as Swayze's mullet was, the actor himself didn't like it. In the book One Last Dance, Swayze's biographer Wendy Leigh quoted the actor as calling the Road House hair style the "bane of my existence."
8. Red West, who played the owner of the auto parts store (also named Red), was a high school friend of Elvis Presley. West was a charter member of Presley's "Memphis Mafia" and functioned as one of the singer's bodyguards into the 1970s.
9. Even though Dalton famously says that "Pain don't hurt," the axiom didn't apply to Swayze. Among the various ways he was banged up during shooting was when Marshall Teague, who played Jimmy (the bad guy who gets his throat ripped out), hit Swayze with what he thought was a prop log... only to find out that it was actual hard wood.
10. One of the fired bartenders from The Double Deuce was played by John Doe, better known to music fans as the founder of the punk band X.
11. Kevin Tighe, who played Dalton's boss, bar owner Frank Tilghman, was better known for his work on television. He was one of the stars of the '70s hit Emergency! and later played Locke's father on Lost.
12. Even though Swayze is shown practicing t'ai chi, Dalton never actually uses that particular style of martial arts in the movie's fight scenes. Instead he uses moves from various sources, including the Korean discipline of hapkido.
13. Annette Bening was originally cast as "Doc," the ER doctor played by Kelly Lynch.
14. Lynch said in an interview with The AV Club that Bill Murray and his brothers like to call her husband, screenwriter Mitch Glazer (Scrooged), every time that they see Road House on TV to remind him about her steamy sex scenes with Swayze.
15. Lynch reportedly spent a month hanging around a real emergency room to prepare for her role. She learned the proper way to sew a medical stitch… but then the script was changed so that she never got to showcase her new skill.
16. Dalton had a thing for Buicks. Before he leaves for Missouri the "beater" car that he drives to protect his prized Mercedes is a 1964 Buick Riviera. Once he gets to Jasper, he buys the 1965 edition of the same car model.
17. Just as he had with Dirty Dancing, Swayze sings on the soundtrack and his song "Cliff's Edge" is heard on a radio in the film.
18. The Otis Redding song "These Arms of Mine" is used during one of the love scenes between Swayze and Lynch. In Dirty Dancing, the same song is used during the initial love scene between Swayze and Jennifer Grey.
19. Kitschy stage director Timothy Haskell did an off-Broadway retelling of Road House in 2003 titled Road House: The Stage Version of the Cinema Classic That Starred Patrick Swayze Except This One Stars Taimak from the '80s Cult Classic 'The Last Dragon' Wearing a Blonde Mullet Wig.Try saying that three times fast.
20. Road House has been a running gag on both Mystery Science Theater 3000, where it was Crow's favorite movie, and in Family Guy, where Peter punctuates every fight by name-checking the film. Not to be outdone, teammates of Cincinnati Bengals' quarterback Andy Dalton call him "Road House" thanks to his surname.
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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Touchstone Pictures via Everett Collection
For a career that was spent constructing mystical worlds like the ones seen Princess Mononoke, Kiki's Delivery Service, and Spirited Away, it might seem a little odd that Hayao Miyazaki's swan song is centered on the real-life story of about the famed aeronautical engineer Jiro Hirokishi. But even though there aren't any magical creatures flying around the skies of a very true-to-life 20th century Tokyo, that doesn't mean that The Wind Rises is lacking in wonder. In fact, Miyazaki's last film may be his most inspiring yet, and is doubtlessly his most personal. After all, it's hard not to see the parallels between the subject of The Wind Rises and its creator himself.
The film follows the famed aeronautical engineer who dreamed of flight, but is kept out of the cockpit thanks to his nearsightedness. Instead, Jiro decides to focus his attention on designing and creating planes. He’s the kind of person that can see inspiration in the slope of a fish bone; every little slice of life can serve as source of inspiration.
Eventually, Jiro becomes Japan's premiere aeronautical engineer — and how could he not when he has the voice of Stanley Tucci in his ear, spurring him on? Tucci plays a dreamed-up version of Giovanni Caproni, a real life Italian aircraft engineer who inspires Jiro to keep working towards his goals. The dream sequences where Caproni visits Jiro are some of the film's finest moments, and Tucci puts as much Italian-accented verve and hope into his performance that almost inspires you to get out of your theater chair and start tinkering with whatever pursuit lifts your own wings. It is in these dream sequences where The Wind Rises really soars, as we watch the two inventors construct odd, curious, and wondrous flying contraptions that can take to the skies, even when the real world physics won't allow them to. Rises might lacks the fantastical worlds and creatures that populate Miyazaki's other works, but it's no less magical. But beyond the wonder of building airplanes, there are hard truths to be learned, and as Jiro realized soon enough, his creations will be dropping the bombs that will serve as Japan's introduction to much of the western world.
Touchstone Pictures via Everett Collection
But for all the fantastic dreamscapes and characters that populate Jiro's world, from Tucci's lively Caproni, to Jiro's excitable sister who has dreams of her own, to even his love interest Naoko, the one flaw in the film seems to be Jiro himself. Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who voices Jiro in the English translation of the film, sounds utterly lifeless, and even in the film's emotional peaks and valleys, it sounds like he's reading a telephone book. And while the rest of the English voice cast mostly soars to the occasion, including Martin Short who voices Jiro's hot-tempered boss, and Werner Herzog who helps give the enigmatic Castorp an air of mystery, Jiro is a black hole of personality, and Levitt doesn't manage to give much of anything to Jiro.
The Wind Rises is also a crash course in early 20th century Japan, as we see a country yearning to show the world it's mettle, and we get a peak at the countries' growing pains. We see various events play out on screen including a beautifully animated depiction of the 1923 earthquake that levels Tokyo, and rips through japan like a cresting tidal wave (Studio Ghibli is in top form in the animation department as usual). We also see glimpses of the tuberculosis crisis, the depression, and the early foundations of Japan's relationship with Nazi Germany. These events don't take away from what is firmly Jiro's story, but serve as context to his journey
The Wind Rises is an ode to the dreamers. It's for the creatives who craft their goals in their heads, and unleash their creations for the world to see. It's a uniquely inspiring film that stands with the best of Miyazaki's filmography, and provides a graceful end note to a marvelous career.
Veteran entertainer Barbra Streisand has found a new outlet for her creativity after picking up a paintbrush and easel to help her relax. The Funny Girl star has always admired good art, but she only started to paint and draw for herself last summer (13), and now her home is filled with portraits of her family members, her beloved dog, Sammy, and colourful landscape pieces.
The private superstar showed off some of her efforts on Friday (07Feb14) after inviting cameras from U.S. breakfast show Today into her mansion, and admitted her new hobby has helped her de-stress from the pressures of life in the spotlight.
She says, "I've just started really... This is a great thing, 'cause this is not like being in the theatre where you get the critique from the audience at the moment; this is like making movies for me - you put out the work, you are not the work. The work stands by itself."
Streisand isn't the first celebrity artist - Johnny Depp, David Bowie, Rolling Stones veteran Ronnie Wood, Sylvester Stallone, comedian Jim Carrey and actress Lucy Liu are just some of the stars who have taken to the blank canvas to create art.