Wanted star James Mcavoy is to team up with fellow young Brit Daniel Radcliffe for the latest movie adaptation of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. Sources tell Deadline.com that McAvoy will play Dr. Frankenstein, while the Harry Potter star will portray his hunchbacked assistant Igor in director Paul McGuigan's new film.
Oscar-nominated screenwriter Vincenzo Cerami has died at the age of 72. He passed away in his native city of Rome, Italy on Wednesday (17Jul13) after a lengthy battle with ill health.
Cerami began his film career working with his former teacher Pier Paolo Pasolini, and he went on to act as assistant director on the famed Italian director's movie The Hawks and the Sparrows in 1964.
After turning to writing, his first novel, An Average Little Man, was published in 1967, and it was adapted into a film starring Shelley Winters in 1977.
His first screenwriting gig came in 1974 with The First Time on the Grass, but his most famous work is 1997's Life is Beautiful, which won him an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay.
The film landed three Oscars - Best Actor for Roberto Benigni, as well as Best Original Dramatic Score and Best Foreign Language Film.
Benigni, who also worked with Cerami on The Little Devil, Pinocchio and The Tiger and the Snow, says of his former collaborator, "He is the one person who has taught me how to strike people's feelings, how to make people emotional."
When cinephile Guillermo del Toro set out to make Pacific Rim, the passion that fueled his quest was born from a great fondness for the long, varied history of monster movies. One of Hollywood's staples since the earliest days of motion pictures, these flicks haven proven to be a sub-genre with more versatility than anyone might have anticipated.
Silent era monster movies had to rely on well-timed tension, grotesque visuals, and a suggestion of doom to scare audiences (some of this era's entries rank still as among the scariest films to date):
The Golem (1920)
With the entry of talkies, monsters were able to develop personalities and motives. A more three-dimensional adaptation of Mary Shelley's classic novel derived its sense of fright by executing themes of the monstrosity of man himself:
A similar theme carried forth in the famous The Wolf Man, benefactor of one of the most horrifying montages in cinema history (a man's transformation into werewolf form):
The Wolf Man (1941)
With new advances in special effects and budget, the '50s brought forth the monster movies from which Pacific Rim adopts its species. These large scale disaster flicks, with monstrous creatures chasing innocents all throughout their hometowns, are nearly synonymous with 1950s and early '60s cinema:
The Blob (1958)
The 1970s saw a big shift in the sort of films Hollywood was producing in general, with a gritty and grounded sincerity overtaking the mass of the movie industry's output. Some of the finest dramas in film history came out of the decade and the same down-to-Earth, earnest sensibility that invigorated the works of Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola, Milos Forman, and Sidney Lumet sept into the monster flicks of the era. For instance, Jaws, a film that took the large scale idea of a "monster" and turned it into something very real, thus amping up the horror all the more:
On the same token, we have Alien, a science-fiction staple whose true horror comes not from the bloodlust of the vicious monster, but from the claustrophobia of its systematically shrinking setting. The true monster, in fact, is the vicious dread building within, and tearing apart, each of the crew members aboard the Nostromo:
But of course, when things get too serious, you need some comic relief. And that, in essence, is what the '80s were. A good plenty of the decade's horror features were campy, crude, and provocative, returning the genre to its "just for fun" sensibility:
After the genre itself had gone through so many transformations, the 1990s ushered in the nostalgia phase (which present day moviegoers know all too well) with a series of monster remakes. A chance to explore the untapped possibilities of old favorites? Highlight the amended role they might play in a new dawn? Or just make a few bucks with a familiar title? Eh, whatever works.
An American Werewolf in Paris (1997)
Mighty Joe Young (1998)
And now, we have Pacific Rim, a true love letter to the genre itself. Although the film quite definitely pays most of its gratitude to the Godzilla-style, big scale thrashings of the '50s, there is no doubt a genuine love for all things monstrous in the heart and mind of the auteur del Toro. If you have any doubt, just check out his film Pan's Labyrinth... it'll creep, and charm, the hell out of you.
Pan's Labyrinth (2006)
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Annette Funicello's family and friends came together in Los Angeles on Monday (24Jun13) as the former Mickey Mouse Club star was posthumously honoured by Disney bosses. The late actress became one of the first Disney darlings after making her debut as a Mouseketeer in 1955 and she went on to enjoy a longstanding association with the company throughout the 1950s and early 1960s.
Now chiefs at the corporation have recognised her contribution by naming a stage at the Disney Studios lot the Annette Funicello Stage, and her loved ones attended an unveiling ceremony to celebrate the 70 year old's legacy.
Actress Shelley Fabares, Funicello's best friend, said her pal would have been thrilled with the dedication, adding, "She loved Mr. Disney, first of all, everybody says. And she did. She always called him Mr. Disney. She just loved him dearly, and to have this studio give that honour to her, I'm telling you, it would mean the world to her."
Funicello died in April (13) of complications from multiple sclerosis.
British actor Paddy Considine wears tinted contact lenses to filter out light after he was diagnosed with Irlen Syndrome. The Bourne Ultimatum star found out he had behavioural disorder Asperger syndrome in 2010 at the age of 36, but despite the diagnosis bringing some relief, Considine still struggled in social situations.
His wife Shelley urged him to go to a psychologist, who suggested he also suffered from Irlen Syndrome, which stops victims from processing full spectral light, resulting in further behavioural issues.
Explaining that he had dealt with the problem since his teens, Considine tells British magazine The New Review, "(It had been) driving me to the point of destruction... It was causing all this anger and aggravation of my brain. It was a nightmare. My brain was telling me to shut down as a result of it. From the minute I opened my eyes, light would hit my eyes and I'd already want to go back to sleep again."
His friend and Hot Fuzz co-star Simon Pegg also reveals there was a dramatic change in Considine's personality once he started wearing the prescribed contact lenses while they worked on new film The World's End.
Pegg adds, "We could all see Paddy was suffering a little bit (on set). He was having to deal with the condition and also focus on acting. It's like juggling 20 balls... Once they'd (lenses) arrived it was amazing - he just relaxed. There's an edginess to Paddy which is necessary for who he is, and it empowers him. It just took away the negative aspect of that edginess."
The Playboy beauty has donated lingerie, evening dresses, coats and shoes to the Closets for Causes organisation in a bid to generate cash for Hounds of Hope, a dog rescue scheme in Los Angeles.
Shelley Mack, director of Hounds of Hope, says, "We are so grateful to Carmen Electra for her continued support in saving innocent animals' lives. Carmen's choice of Hounds of Hope for Closets for Causes makes a powerful statement that homeless animals do matter and can make wonderful companions."
Salvador Dalí is often quoted as saying "I don't do drugs I am drugs." Whether or not this is a case of attribution decay it's certainly an appropriate statement for the surreal artist. Although it would be silly to suggest that John Dies at the End is on par with such an influential artist (and the movie will certainly never take over Dalí's monopoly of dorm room posters and assorted ephemera) it definitely feels like taking a trip down the rabbit hole.
Chase Williamson and Rob Mayes star as Dave and John respectively best buds and regular dudes who find themselves face to face with grotesque monsters from alternate dimensions and a panoply of other mind-bending horrors all thanks to a drug nicknamed Soy Sauce. The Sauce is an icky sentient black goop that destroys most of the people who inject it (and those who live will never be the same). When we meet Dave and John they're problem-solvers of a sort; if something weird is happening to you — say you're being harassed by your dead boyfriend — they're the ones to call.
The Sauce didn't kill them; it has given them a certain insight into the twisted nature of the universe. Much to Dave's dismay it chose them to save us from certain doom on a regular basis starting with a gross creature from another dimension called Korrok. It's kind of a bubbly vat of sentient goo with one terrible eyeball and it gains knowledge through osmosis. Naturally Korrok would like to nibble on Dave and John to learn their ways so it and a whole legion of freaky followers can hop into our dimension and take over the world we live in. Before they can do that they have a whole host of other problems to deal with like John's untimely demise for starters.
John Dies at the End is a logic puzzle that the viewer has to tease out the meaning of. It benefits from subsequent viewings especially since writer/director Don Coscarelli and author David Wong throw so much at you from the very beginning. (Coscarelli adapted the book for the screen.) It's a hallucinatory midnight movie that is so damn fun it's easy to forgive just how hazy it seems in hindsight. There's also a certain sense of disappointment when Dave and John's mission comes to an end possibly because the two characters and all the weird things they encounter are so entertaining that we hate to leave them.
Coscarelli fans will especially appreciate a small cameo by Angus Scrimm who played the terrifying Tall Man in Coscarelli's Phantasm series as a priest. And any genre lover worth their Sauce will love seeing Doug Jones out of prosthetics (but no less disarming) as a creepy interstellar traveler. Paul Giamatti plays a skeptical journalist who's writing a story about Dave and his misadventures; this narrative is the framing device and ultimately is a bit of a disappointment.
The practical effects have a nice goopy look to them and Coscarelli makes the smart decision to use an animated sequence for some scenes that would have been extraordinarily difficult to create on such a small budget. John Dies at the End is alternately trippy gross and droll and it has a cool B-movie vibe without looking too cheap. Although it's available on demand this would be a fun night out at the movies.
The sexy star told casting agents she was 14 in a bid to land a part in Shelley Long film Troop Beverly Hills - the actress was 16 at the time.
Coming clean to pal Chelsea Handler on U.S. chat show Chelsea Lately, Gugino, who recently turned 40, reveals, "Once I shot enough of it that I knew they couldn't actually cut me out, I said to the director, 'I'm actually 16!'
"He was like, 'I would not have cast you if I knew that.'"
The Mean Girls star is attempting to get her career back on track following numerous stints in jail and rehab over the last few years and she recently started work on new movie project The Canyons, directed by Schrader and written by American Psycho author Bret Easton Ellis.
Schrader has completed his first week on set with Lohan, and he insists he can see sparks of Hollywood greatness in her performance.
In a post on the movie's Facebook.com page, he writes, "Seven days in, first full week completed. Lindsay Lohan is a huge fan of Hollywood glamour and performances from the Golden Era. Working with her every day on varied scenes I've been making a mental checklist of classic movie performances she's touched upon.
"There's has been a lot of Ann Margaret, some Gena Rowlands and Faye Dunaway and of course some bits of Liz Taylor and (Marilyn) Monroe as well as a little Rita Hayworth and even Gene Tierney (although the last may be more my creation than hers). Oh yeah, and Angie Dickinson. And Lee Remick. And Shelley Winters... Paul S."