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

Posts tagged “Django Unchained

Michael Parks R.I.P

Michael_ParksMichael Parks, a character actor who enjoyed a career renaissance in recent decades thanks to high profile roles in films by Quentin Tarantino, Robert Rodriguez and Kevin Smith, died Wednesday at the age of 77.

Parks made his acting debut in a small role in 1961 on the sitcom The Real McCoys, and, racked up dozens of roles on both television and feature films, most notably as the casino owner and drug runner Jean Renault on the second season of Twin Peaks.

After years playing bit roles in made-for-TV movies, Westerns and slasher films, Parks was cast as Texas Ranger Earl McGraw in Rodriguez’ 1996 vampire flick From Dusk ’til Dawn. Quentin Tarantino, an associate of Rodriguez’, then cast Parks in a dual role for Kill Bill: Volume 1 and Volume 2; in the former, he reprised the McGraw role, while the latter found the actor playing Mexican pimp Esteban Vihaio.

Parks would portray McGraw once more for Tarantino and Rodriguez in the directors’ Grindhouse films. Tarantino also recruited Parks for a small role in Django Unchained.

Parks’ career revival also resulted in roles in Ben Affleck’s Argo, The Assassination of Jesse James By the Coward Robert Ford and a pair of Kevin Smith horror flicks, Red State and Tusk.

“Michael was, and will likely forever remain, the best actor I’ve ever known. I wrote both [Red State] and [Tusk] FOR Parks, I loved his acting so much,” Smith posted on Wednesday. “He was, hands-down, the most incredible thespian I ever had the pleasure to watch perform. And Parks brought out the absolute best in me every time he got near my set.”

At the time of his death, Parks was cast in the upcoming Christian Bale film Hostiles.


Oscars Infographic

Congratulations to Argo, winning a well deserved Best Picture Oscar… and shame on the Academy for not nominating Ben Affleck in the Best Director category.

Oscars Infographic


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Quentin Tarantino – Bodycount Infographic

Quentin Tarantino_Bodycount Infographic


Django Unchained – Poster Art by Matt Butkus

Matt Butkus_Django Unchained_poster 1Matt Butkus_Django Unchained_poster 2


Samuel Leroy Jackson

Samuel L Jackson_movie bannerSamuel Leroy Jackson (born December 21, 1948) is an American film and television actor and film producer. Jackson was born in Washington, D.C., and grew up in Chattanooga, Tennessee, with his mother, Elizabeth Jackson, and his maternal grandparents and extended family. Initially intent on pursuing a degree in marine biology, he attended Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia. After joining a local acting group to earn extra points in a class, Jackson found an interest in acting and switched his major. Before graduating in 1972, he co-founded the “Just Us Theatre”.

Pulp Fiction_Samuel L Jackson movie posterJackson began acting in multiple plays, appeared in several television films, and made his feature film debut in the blaxploitation independent film Together for Days (1972). After these initial roles, Jackson proceeded to move from Atlanta to New York City in 1976 and spent the next decade appearing in stage plays. Throughout his early film career, mainly in minimal roles in films and various television films, Jackson was mentored by Morgan Freeman. After a 1981 performance in the play A Soldier’s Play, Jackson was introduced to director Spike Lee who would later include him in small roles for the films School Daze (1988) and Do the Right Thing (1989). He also played a minor role in the 1990 Martin Scorsese film Goodfellas as real-life Mafia associate Stacks Edwards.

Pulp Fiction_1994_wallpaperAfter gaining critical acclaim for his role in Jungle Fever (1991), he appeared in films such as Patriot Games (1992), True Romance and Jurassic Park (both 1993). In 1994, he was cast as Jules Winnfield in Pulp Fiction, and his performance received several award nominations and critical acclaim.

Directed in a highly stylized manner by Quentin Tarantino, who co-wrote its screenplay with Roger Avery; the film is known for its rich, eclectic dialogue, ironic mix of humor and violence, nonlinear storyline, and host of cinematic allusions and pop culture references. The film was nominated for seven Oscars, including Best Picture; Tarantino and Avary won for Best Original Screenplay. It was also awarded the Palme d’Or at the 1994 Cannes Film Festival. A major critical and commercial success, it revitalized the career of its leading man, John Travolta, who with Samuel L. Jackson and Uma Thurman, received Academy Award nominations.

Pulp Fiction_Vincent Vega_Jules Winfield_John Travolta_Samuel L JacksonPulp Fiction connects the intersecting storylines of Los Angeles mobsters, fringe players, small-time criminals, and a mysterious briefcase. Considerable screen time is devoted to conversations and monologues that reveal the characters’ senses of humor and perspectives on life. The nature of its development, marketing, and distribution and its consequent profitability had a sweeping effect on the field of independent cinema (although it is not an independent film itself). Considered a cultural watershed, Pulp Fiction’s influence has been felt in several other media.

The Avengers_movie wallpaperJackson has since appeared in over 100 films including Die Hard with a Vengeance, The 51st State, Jackie Brown, Unbreakable, The Incredibles, Black Snake Moan, Shaft, Deep Blue Sea, Snakes on a Plane, 1408, as well as the Star Wars prequel trilogy and small roles in Tarantinos’ Kill Bill Vol. 2 and Inglourious Basterds. 

The-Avengers-Nick-Fury-posterMore recently, he played Nick Fury in the Marvel films Iron Man, Iron Man 2, Thor, Captain America: The First Avenger, and The Avengers, the first five of a nine-film commitment as the character for the Marvel Cinematic Universe franchise. Jackson’s many roles have made him one of the highest-grossing actors at the box office. Jackson has won multiple awards throughout his career and has been portrayed in various forms of media including films, television series, and songs. He is next up in another Tarantino movie, Django Unchained, and in the ever-delayed remake of Robocop.


Franco Nero

Franco Nero (born 23 November 1941) is an Italian actor, best known for his roles of the title character in Sergio Corbucci spaghetti western, Django (1966). He also featured in Camelot (1967), Tristana (1970), Force 1o From Navarone (1978), Enter the Ninja (1981), reprised his role again as the title character in Nello Rosatti’s Django 2 (1987), was General Ramon Esperanza in Die Hard 2 (1990), Megiddo: The Omega Code 2 (2001); he also played the narrator in the film Rasputin (2010) and voice the character of Uncle Topolino in the animated film Cars 2 (2011) directed by John Lasseter and co-directed by Brad Lewis.

Nero was born Francesco Sparanero in San Prospero Parmense (province of Parma, Italy), the son of a sergeant in the carabinieri, originally from San Severo. He grew up in Bedonia and in Milan. He studied briefly at the Economy and Trade faculty of the local university, before leaving to study at the Piccolo Teatro di Milano.

Nero’s first film role was a small part in La ragazza in prestito (1964), and he had his first lead role in Sergio Corbucci’s Django (1966) a spaghetti western and one of his best known films. The film earned a reputation as being one of the most violent films ever made up to that point and was subsequently refused a certificate in Britain until 1993. Check out the original 1966 trailer HERE

There are rumored to be over 100 unofficial sequels, though only 31 have been counted. Four were made the same year, in 1966. Most of these films have nothing to do with Corbucci’s original, but copy the look and attitude of the central character. Although the name is referenced in over 30 other movies to capitalize on the success of the original, none of these films were official, featuring neither Corbucci nor Nero. Nero did reprise his role as Django in 1987’s Django 2: Il Grande Ritorno (Django Strikes Again), in the only official sequel to be written by Corbucci.

In 1966 from Django he went on to appear in eight more films released that year including Texas, addio (1967) and Tempo di massacro. In 1967, he appeared in Camelot as Lancelot, where he met his long time romantic partner, and later on in life his wife, Vanessa Redgrave. Following this he appeared in the mafia film Il giorno della civetta opposite Claudia Cardinale released in 1968.

A lack of proficiency in English tended to limit these roles, although he also appeared in other English language films including The Virgin and the Gypsy (1970), Force 10 from Navarone (1978), Enter the Ninja (1981) and Die Hard 2 (1990).

Although often typecast in films like Los amigos (1972) or Keoma (1976) he has attempted an impressive range of characters, such as Abel in John Huston’s epic The Bible: In the Beginning (1966), the humiliated engineer out for revenge in Street Law, the gay lieutenant in Querelle (1982) and Serbian mediaeval hero in Banović Strahinja (1983). He has appeared in over 150 films, and has written, produced and starred in one: Jonathan degli orsi (1993).

More recently, he starred in Hungarian director Gábor Koltay’s Honfoglalás (Conquest) in 1996, in Li chiamarono… briganti! (1999) by Pasquale Squitieri and subsequently in Koltay’s Sacra Corona (Holy Crown) in 2001.

In 2009 he played an eccentric author called “Mario Puzzo” in Mord ist mein Geschäft, Liebling (“Murder is my trade, darling”, Italian title “Tesoro, sono un killer”). German critics found his performance was the best part of the film: “Having Franco Nero playing in this film is really a great joy – it is only regrettable that after his appearances there is still so much film left.”

In 2011, he received a star on the Italian Walk of Fame in Toronto, Canada. He’s about to become even more famous with the forthcoming release of the Quentin Tarantino movie, Django Unchained.


Quentin Tarantino – Poster Art Part 3

Last post featuring more poster art inspired by the films of Quentin Tarantino.