Reviews, articles, rants & ramblings on the darker side of the media fringe

Archive for May, 2012

Hellboy by Drew Struzan


Drew: The Man Behind The Poster

Drew: The Man Behind The Poster” is a feature-length documentary film highlighting the career of poster artist Drew Struzan, whose most popular works include the “Indiana Jones,” “Back to the Future” and “Star Wars” movie posters. Telling the tale through exclusive interviews with George Lucas, Harrison Ford, Michael J. Fox, Frank Darabont, Guillermo del Toro, Steven Spielberg and many other filmmakers, artists and critics, the journey spans Drew’s early career in commercial and album cover art through his recent retirement as one of the most recognizable and influential movie poster artists of all time.

However, the producers ran out of money in the final stages.  Says director Erik P. Sharkey: “We are currently in the final stages of our sound mix. So the film has already been shot and edited. But we have totally run out of money. That is where you come in. Your generous donation would help us finish Post Production, take care of legal fees as well as promotion for the film. We are so close to the finish line but need your help. Please help us finish a film that honors an amazing artist Drew Struzan!”

You can donate to the project at their indiegogo page HERE and also check out their website HERE


Howard Hawks

Howard Winchester Hawks (May 30, 1896–December 26, 1977) was an American film director, producer and screenwriter of the classic Hollywood era. He is popular for his films from a wide range of genres such as Scarface (1932), Bringing Up Baby (1938), Only Angels Have Wings (1939), His Girl Friday (1940), Sergeant York (1941), To Have and Have Not (1944), The Big Sleep (1946), Red River (1948), The Thing from Another World (1951), Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), and Rio Bravo (1959).

In 1975, Hawks was awarded the Honorary Academy Award as “a master American filmmaker whose creative efforts hold a distinguished place in world cinema,” after the Academy did what it has a reputation of doing, not recognising exceptional talent at the time, although he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Director for Sergeant York in 1942.

The Thing from Another World (often referred to as The Thing before its 1982 remake), is a 1951 science fiction film based on the 1938 novella “Who Goes There?” by John W. Campbell. It tells the story of an Air Force crew and scientists at a remote Arctic research outpost who are forced to defend themselves from a malevolent plant-based alien being. It stars Kenneth Tobey, Margaret Sheridan and James Arness, who played The Thing, but he is difficult to recognize in costume and makeup, due to both the lighting and other effects used to obscure his features. No actors are named during the film’s dramatic opening credits; the cast credits appear at the end of the film. In 2001 the film was deemed to be a “culturally, historically or aesthetically” significant motion picture by the United States Library of Congress and was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry.

There is debate as to whether the film was directed by Hawks with Christian Nyby receiving the credit so that Nyby could obtain his Director’s Guild membership, or whether Nyby directed it with considerable input in both screenplay and advice in directing from producer Hawks, although Hawks denied that he directed the film.

Cast members disagree on Hawks’ and Nyby’s contributions. Tobey said that “Hawks directed it, all except one scene” while, on the other hand, Fenneman said that “Hawks would once in a while direct, if he had an idea, but it was Chris’ show”, and Cornthwaite said that “Chris always deferred to Hawks, … Maybe because he did defer to him, people misinterpreted it.” Although Self has said that “Hawks was directing the picture from the sidelines”, he also has said that “Chris would stage each scene, how to play it. But then he would go over to Howard and ask him for advice, which the actors did not hear … Even though I was there every day, I don’t think any of us can answer the question. Only Chris and Howard can answer the question.”

Rio Bravo is a 1959 American Western film, directed by Howard Hawks, starring John Wayne, Dean Martin, and Ricky Nelson. Rio Bravo is generally regarded as one of Hawks’ best, and is notable for its scarcity of close-up shots. The film was made as a response to High Noon, which is sometimes thought to be an allegory for blacklisting in Hollywood, as well as a critique of McCarthyismWayne called High Noon “un-American”, and as a riposte, teamed up with director Howard Hawks to tell the story his way. In Rio Bravo, Wayne’s character Chance is surrounded by allies—a deputy recovering from alcoholism (Dude), a young gunfighter (Colorado), an old man (Stumpy), a Mexican innkeeper (Pedro Gonzalez-Gonzalez), his wife, and an attractive young woman, and repeatedly turns down aid from anyone he doesn’t think is capable of helping him, though in the final shootout they come to help him anyway.

Hawks’ directorial style and the use of natural, conversational dialogue in his films were cited a major influence on many noted filmmakers, including Robert Altman, John Carpenter, Quentin Tarantino, and Brian De Palma, who dedicated his version of Scarface to Hawks.


The Exorcist – Live on Stage

If you’re in Los Angeles anytime between July 3 and August 12, get down to the Geffen Playhouse to see the stage adaptation of William Peter Blatty’s The Exorcist. If anyone out there manages to see this production, please post a review.

SYNOPSIS: The most chilling test of faith comes to life on stage.  This world premiere adaptation of the famous 1971 novel documenting the terror and redemption of a ten-year-old girl remains as frightening and relevant as when first experienced. Under the direction of Tony Award winner John Doyle and adapted by acclaimed playwright John Pielmeier (Agnes of God), The Exorcist transforms the unsettling battles of good versus evil, faith versus fact and ego versus ethos into a uniquely theatrical experience as sophisticated as it is suspenseful.


Ted Levine

Frank Theodore “Ted” Levine (born May 29, 1957) is an American actor. He is known for his roles as Buffalo Bill in The Silence of the Lambs and Captain Leland Stottlemeyer in the television series Monk.

Levine was born in Bellaire, Ohio, in 1957. He was born to Milton and Charlotte Levine, who were both doctors and members of Physicians for Social Responsibility. In 1975, he enrolled at Marlboro College and then later the University of Chicago, where h e became a fixture in the Chicago theatre scene and joined the Remains Theatre which was co-founded by Gary Cole and William L. Petersen. After his stage experience, Levine began to devote most of his energy during the 1980s toward finding roles in film and television such as a minor part in Charlie’s Angels. He also managed to get a minor role in Rambo: First Blood Part II, as one of the men getting the P.O.W.s off the helicopter.

Levine then scored the role of Jame Gumb (known by the nickname Buffalo Bill), the main antagonist of The Silence of the Lambs (1991), based on the Thomas Harris’s 1988 novel of the same name. In the film and the novel, he is a serial killer who murders overweight women and skins them so he can make a “woman suit” for himself.

The Silence of the Lambs was released on February 14, 1991, and grossed over $272 million. The film was the third film to win Oscars in all the top five categories: Best Picture, Best Actress, Best Actor, Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay. The film is considered “culturally, historically or aesthetically” significant by the US Library of Congress and was selected to be preserved in the National Film Registry in 2011.

After his breakout role in The Silence of the Lambs, there was a period where he was typecast in villainous roles. Levine was able to remedy this by playing more positive characters, such as a member of Al Pacino’s police unit in Heat, astronaut Alan Shepard in the HBO mini-series From the Earth to the Moon, and Paul Walker’s police superior Sergeant Tanner in The Fast and the Furious. His résumé also includes an uncredited role as the voice of the sociopathic trucker “Rusty Nail” in 2001’s Joy Ride, and his performance as Detective Sam Nico in the 2003 film Wonderland, based on the gruesome murders in the Hollywood Hills. From 2002 to 2009, he co-starred as Captain Leland Stottlemeyer on USA Network’s series, Monk, starring Tony Shalhoub.

Levine also appeared as a patriarch whose family takes a turn for the worse in the remake of The Hills Have Eyes (2006), the film is one of the better remakes of the last decade. In 2007, he portrayed local Sheriff James Timberlake in The Assasination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford and appeared in Ridley Scott’s American Gangster, alongside Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe. Most recently, he was cast as the warden of the island prison in Martin Scorsese’s Shutter Island, starring Leonardo DiCaprio.

Levine has also provided the voice of the supervillain Sinestro in Superman: The Animated Series, Justice League and Justice League Unlimited.


The Dark Knight Rises – UK Empire Covers

Two fantastic new Dark Knight Rises covers from the UK Empire magazine… the Catwoman one is AWESOME.


The Vision of Prometheus – Ridley Scott

Check out this new featurette that spotlights the director of the film, Ridley Scott. The clip, has some new footage, as well as interviews with the cast and crew about Scott’s vision and what to expect from the film once it hits theatres. Also included are soundbites from the director himself expressing his intentions to give the audience bad dreams and “scare the living shit out of [them]”. Courtesy of Fox Malaysia.