FILMOLOGY – “Frozen” (2010)

  • FROZEN (2010)
  • Starring: Emma Bell and Shawn Ashmore
  • Directed by: Adam Green
  • Anchor Bay Pictures



Certainly not to be confused with Disney’s animated musical, this is easily one of the most intense films I’ve ever seen and guaranteed to stay with you FOR-EVER!

A must see for all horror fans, a weekend ski party at a lodge goes terribly wrong. Look for Kane Hodder, better known as Jason Voorhees, in a cameo, My favorite horror movies are the ones that feel real and that possibly could happen, no matter how unlikely. This movie is raw, nerve-wracking and one of the most gut wrenching films I’ve ever seen!

FILMOLOGY – “Taxi Driver”

  • TAXI DRIVER
  • Starring: Robert DeNiro, Harvey Keitel and Jodie Foster
  • Directed by: Martin Scorsese
  • Columbia Pictures

 
You’ll find one helluva cab ride here!

Scorsese’s mesmerizing film is so low-key it might put you to sleep. Not because of boredom though – it’s combination of a soothing jazz score (the final one by the great Bernard Hermann, who died 24 hours after delivering the score to Scorsese) and DeNiro’s narration will definitely relax you.

Travis Bickle has a deep concern. He feels the need to be a hero in a society that’s gone wrong. In fact, he’s just an extraordinary person in normal circumstances.

“You talkin’ to me??”

Meet Our New Contributor: Keith Stevenson

As Media Mikes celebrates their 11th Anniversary, we are proud to welcome Keith Stevenson to our stable of writers.

Keith has been a lover of cinema since he was a young man and runs almost 20 film pages on Facebook, with a total membership of almost a quarter-of-a-million fans. His pages include tributes to JAWS, the ALIEN anthology, Directors Ridley and Tony Scott, Spike Lee and Black Cinema and Filmology – A Cinema Group, in which he writes about films of all genres. Give the page a look by clicking HERE

Look for his first essay, on the film TAXI DRIVER, later this week!

Welcome aboard, Keith!!

Voltage Pictures and Vertical Entertainment Partner on New Pandemic Thriller “Safer at Home”

KEY INTERNATIONAL SALES RACK UP OUT OF AFM

LOS ANGELES, CA (January 13, 2021) — Voltage Pictures has sold US rights to writer-director Will Wernick’s (Follow Me) upcoming pandemic thriller Safer at Home to Vertical Entertainment, it was announced today by President and COO Jonathan Deckter. Vertical has set the release for February 2021.

Voltage first introduced the film to buyers at the recent American Film Market. Key international deals include Falcom in German speaking Europe, Eone in Canada, The Searchers in Benelux, Sun Distribution in Spain and Latin America, Central Partnership in Russia, Signature Entertainment in the UK, Madman in Australia, Cinemundo in Portugal, Front Row in the Middle East, and Filmfinity in South Africa.

The film, which was one of the first projects to go safely into production during the Covid-19 pandemic, stars Alisa Allapach, Adwin Brown, Jocelyn Hudon, Dan J. Johnson, Michael Kupisk, Emma Lahana and Daniel Robaire. The film might seem like a gamble but it more seems like a sure bet, so be sure to check out this page.

Safer at Home was produced by Bo Youngblood and John Ierardi of Showdown Productions, and Will Wernick under his 7930 Entertainment banner. Executive producers are Voltage’s Nicolas Chartier, Jonathan Deckter and Babacar Diene.

The film was written by Will Wernick and Lia Bozonelis, from a story by Wernick, Bozonelis, and John Ierardi. The score was composed by Genevieve Vincent. The film was shot by DP Jason Goodell. Jason Phillips and Lia Bozonelis served as co-producers.

Set in 2022, the Corona Virus pandemic has created mass chaos in Los Angeles and turned the city into a police state.  To escape the grim reality of life, a group of friends get together for an online party: a night of music, drinking, games…and drugs. To kick off the party, they collectively take a hit of what they think is molly.  At first, the night is an exciting departure from the boredom of isolation, but as the drug kicks in, things go terribly wrong and the safety of their home becomes more terrifying than the raging chaos outside.

Follow Me was a strong success for many of our international partners, so when the chance came to partner with Will for the third time was a no brainer,” said Deckter. “He’s created a whip-smart, edge of your seat thriller that will speak to audiences worldwide, as they simultaneously experience the varying stages of the pandemic.”

“We’re thrilled to continue our partnership with Will and Voltage this year following the domestic success of No Escape (AKA Follow Me),” said Rich Goldberg, co-president of Vertical Entertainment. “Safer at Home provides exciting twists and turns at every moment and we can’t wait to share it with US audiences.”

Safer at Home joins the robust Voltage sales slate including the political biopic Reagan, starring Dennis Quaid, the action-thriller The Marksman starring Liam Neeson, the upcoming third and fourth installments of the After franchise, the horror-thriller The Seventh Day starring Guy Pearce and the YA romance Finding You

ABOUT VOLTAGE PICTURES

Voltage Pictures, established in 2005, is a privately held, film and television production, financing and sales entity. Voltage has won six Academy Awards including Best Picture for The Hurt Locker, and three Academy Awards for Dallas Buyers Club.

The current Voltage sales slate includes the highly anticipated action-thriller The Marksman starring Liam Neeson, the gangster crime biopic Lanksy starring Harvey Keitel, Sam Worthington and Annasophia Robb and the horror thriller The Seventh Day starring Guy Pearce.  

Voltage represented worldwide rights on After, based on the internationally best-selling series of books by Anna Todd, debuted number one at the box office in 17 international territories including Germany and Italy when released in April 2019 and grossed over $70m worldwide. The highly anticipated sequel, After We Collided, recently opened number one in Italy, Portugal and Spain. The third and fourth films in the franchise are currently shooting in Eastern Europe.

Voltage also produced the blockbuster comedy I Feel Pretty starring Amy Schumer, Michelle Williams, Emily Ratajkowski, and Naomi Campbell, which generated nearly $100m in worldwide box office. Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile starring Zac Efron, Lily Collins, Kaya Scodelario, Jim Parsons, and John Malkovich premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival to great acclaim.

ABOUT VERTICAL ENTERTAINMENT

Vertical Entertainment is a global independent distributor that offers a unique combination of full-service marketing and sales services. Dedicated to providing highly-effective and collaborative solutions, Vertical leverages unparalleled relationships to maximize revenue across all streams. The marketing and sales expertise from Vertical’s seasoned team gives content partners a wealth of experience minus the studio costs.

Vertical won a Gotham Award for Best Actress for Nicole Beharie’s role in “Miss Juneteenth“ this year. Additionally, the company won a Film Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Actress for Molly Shannon’s role in “Other People” and the film won a GLAAD Award for “Outstanding Film Limited Release” as well. Vertical also had four other Indie Spirit nominations – three more for “Other People” (Best Lead Actor for Jesse Plemons, and Best First Feature and Best First Screenplay for filmmaker Chris Kelly) and one for Best International Film for Babak Anvari’s “Under the Shadow,” which was also the official UK submission for the 2017 Oscars, in addition to winning one BAFTA Award and three British Independent Film Awards as well. 

Notable Vertical releases include “Shadow in the Cloud” starring Chloe Grace Moretz and Nick Robinson; and “Skylines”, the third installment of the Skyline franchise;  “The Informer” starring Joel Kinnaman, Rosamund Pike, Common, Clive Owen, and Ana de Armas;“ “Miss Juneteenth”, the directorial debut of filmmaker Channing Godfrey Peoples starring Nicole Beharie, Kendrick Sampson, and Alexis Chikaeze; “Robin’s Wish”, the powerful true story of actor/comedian Robin Williams’ final days; “Yes, God, Yes” starring Natalia Dyer, Timothy Simons, Wolfgang Novogratz and Alisha Boe; and “Capone” starring Tom Hardy, Linda Cardellini, and Kyle Maclachlan.

Win a Blu-ray/DVD copy of “Honest Thief,” starring Liam Neeson

Media Mikes has teamed up with their friends at Universal Pictures Home Entertainment to give one random reader the opportunity to win a Blu-ray/DVD copy of Liam Neeson’s latest action film, “Honest Thief.”

The film, written and directed by Mark Williams (“The Accountant,” “Ozark”) stars Neeson as a notorious bank robber who turns himself in, only to be betrayed by a pair of corrupt F.B.I. agents.

All you need to do is let us know in the comments below what your favorite Liam Neeson film is. Is it one of his action flicks, like “Taken?” Something romantic like “Love Actually?” Or something prestigious like “Schindler’s List?” Let us know below. One random entry will be chosen and that reader will win the prize. This giveaway ends at 11:59 pm CST on Sunday, January 3, 2021. Winner will be notified by email. GOOD LUCK!

“Honest Thief” is now available wherever you can purchase Blu-rays or DVDs.

A Conversation with Author and Filmmaker Nicholas Meyer

It’s hard enough establishing yourself as one of the best in one field.  Nicholas Meyer has achieved this goal in several.  His first novel, “The Seven Per-Cent Solution,” introduced a new generation of fans to the exploits of Baker Street’s best known sleuth, Sherlock Holmes. 

Following the enthusiastic greeting of the film version of the novel, for which Meyer wrote the script, he made his film directorial debut with 1979’s time-travel classic “Time after Time.” For his next project he simply created the greatest “Star Trek” film in the series when he took the helm on “Star Trek II:  The Wrath of Khan.” 

Mr. Meyer then proceeded to frighten everyone living in the Midwest with the television film “The Day After,” which told the story of the town of Lawrence, Kansas dealing with the devastating effects of a nuclear bomb. Twenty years after the film aired my son went to the University of Kansas, which is in Lawrence, and the first thing I thought of was this film. 

His other films include “Volunteers” with Tom Hanks and John Candy; “Company Business” with Gene Hackman and Mikhail Baryshnikov (which he also wrote) and the final adventure for the Original Series cast, “Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.”

Stepping back from directing after his wife passed away from breast cancer at the age of 36, Mr. Meyer has continued to write, not only novels but for both the big and small screen.  Mr. Meyer recently took some time out of his schedule to talk about his career, past, present and future. I should note that I am posting this on Christmas Eve, Mr. Meyer’s 75th birthday. Happy birthday sir!

Mike Smith:  You graduated from Iowa State with a degree in filmmaking and drama.  You also wrote film reviews (hope for me to yet to become successful).  What was your career goal upon graduation?  Acting?  Directing?

Nicolas Meyer:  My motives were doubtless inchoate.  All I knew was I wanted to “Make Movies” (I’m guessing I meant Directing), but hadn’t much of any idea how to go about it.

MS:  Your first success was the Sherlock Holmes novel “The Seven-Per-Cent Solution.”  Did you have to get approval from the Conan Doyle estate before you began writing?

NM:  “Where ignorance is bliss ‘tis folly to be wise.”  I had – typical – no idea the difficulties I would encounter with the avaricious and totally mismanaged Conan Doyle estate.  Had I known what I was in for, I doubt I would have written the novel.

MS:  You’ve written three additional Holmes stories.  Was this a favorite character of yours when you were younger?

NM:  I fell in love with Holmes around age 11 when my father gave me “The Complete Holmes” to read.

MS:  You received an Academy Award nomination for your adapted screenplay of “The Seven-Per-Cent Solution.”  Was it easy to convince the studio to allow you to write the script?  Did they try to pair you with another writer?

NM:  It was very easy as I refused to sell the rights to the book unless I got to write the script.

MS:  Do you have a favorite story about the making of “Time after Time?”

NM:  I was amused when my producer’s wife, Nel Jaffe, suggested that Malcolm McDowell and his leading lady, Mary Steenburgen, were falling in love.  “Nonsense,” I thought, I’m simply a brilliant director.  (NOTE:  McDowell and Steenburgen married shortly after the film was released and were together for a decade).

MS:  Were there any “rules” you had to follow on “Wrath of Khan?”  Did you ever have an idea that was nixed from above because it wasn’t something “Trekkie?”

NM:  I was pretty much left to my own devices writing and directing the movie.  Sometimes the film’s producer, Harve Bennett, would reel me in.  I remember at one point Carol Marcus warns her son against killing Kirk – “You’ll be a parricide!” I wrote.  Harve said, “Nick, no; you’ll be killing your father.”  That sort of thing.  Occasionally the cast would offer corrections: “This isn’t the way so-and-so talks” and I’d make those kind of adjustments. 

MS:  You are the only director to pull what I considered an award worthy performance from William Shatner.  Every time his voice cracks when he describes Spock’s souls as the most….human it brings a tear to my eye.  Much more emotional.  How did you address the character with Shatner?

NM:  I found the trick with Mr. Shatner was to make him do scenes several times.  He would get bored and stop attitudinizing.  He’d stop “acting” and start “being.”  That said, Shatner’s performance is his own and all credit for it belongs to him.

MS:  A favorite memory from working on “Wrath of Khan?”

NM:  Really a post film memory.  I was talking with my friend John McNamara (NOTE: Mr. McNamara’s credits include the television series “The Magicians” and the feature film “Trumbo”) and I mentioned that my favorite shot in the film is the pullback in the torpedo bay as the torpedo is lowered and makes its way towards the audience.  I said, “I know it’s an anachronism from old Pirate movies but I couldn’t resist.”  Whereupon John protested, “what do you mean ‘anachronism?’ The weapon’s electronics were all out of commission.  They had to go that way!”  To my way of thinking this is a perfect example of the imaginative contribution of the audience, essential for successful artistic experiences.  You want people’s imaginations engaged.  Or, as Shakespeare puts it in “Henry V,” “On your imaginary forces, work!”

MS:  This is a question inspired by my friend Andrew Armstrong, who is the biggest“Star Trek” fan I know and who is quick to point out little things that most people would never notice.  Did you ever get scolded by a fan about Khan recognizing Mr. Chekov, even though Chekov wasn’t in the “Space Seed” episode that inspired the film?

NM:  Yes he was, but on a different deck!

MS:  You have a bit of matchmaker in you.  Shortly after “Time After Time” Malcolm McDowell  and Mary Steenburgen were married and Tom Hanks met Rita Wilson on the set of your next feature, “Volunteers.”  Could you see then the career Hanks had in front of him?

NM:  I confess I could not.  I thought Tom was (and is) a terrific actor and a wonderful human being.  I was delighted he and Rita fell – and remain – in love.  I knew he’d have a career but couldn’t dream how big it would get.

MS:  I imagine if was a fun set working with both Tom Hanks and John Candy.  Do you have a favorite memory from “Volunteers?”

NM:  The scene where they are sitting next to one another on the plane and Candy talks about Albert Speer’s quote that fear is victory’s fuel.  No matter how many times we rehearsed this, Tom couldn’t keep a straight face – and I’m talking MONTHS between rehearsals and shooting.

MS:  Apparently DeForest Kelley did not want to direct (I joke – I actually think Shatner did a competent job with TREK V, especially when you read his book about the experience)  and you were brought back to close out the Original Series portion of the “Star Trek” film legacy with “Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.”  How did you manage to squeeze Christian Slater into a cameo?

NM:  Christian’s mother, Mary Jo Slater, was my casting director.  She mentioned that her son was a big fan. 

I highly recommend Mr Meyer’s book detailing his amazing career.

MS:  Are you working on anything currently?

NM:  I co-created (with Frank Spotnitz) the Italian television series “Medici, Masters of Florence.”  I’ve published my fourth Sherlock Holmes novel, “The Adventure of the Peculiar Protocols.”  The paperback edition just came out November 10th and the fifth novel, The Return of the Pharoahm” will come out next fall.  I’m also working with Frank Spotnitz on a new television series. 

If you want a more in-depth look at Mr. Meyers work, you can visit his official website HERE

Help The Croods Provide One Million Meals To Families In Need This Holiday Season Through Feeding America

Ryan Reynolds, Emma Stone, Nicolas Cage and the rest of the cast from THE CROODS: A NEW AGE announce the partnership with Feeding America along with some Thanksgiving Etiquette tips!

Universal will make a donation for every time fans use #CroodsCare on Twitter, and will also match funds donated directly to the Feeding America website via the Croods Care Landing Page: – https://link.edgepilot.com/s/f8ead025/PRcsJSTffkCvY6POyQdbDQ?u=http://www.feedingamerica.org/croodscare

Fans can also contribute via a “Virtual Fruit Drive” on Animal CrossingNew Horizons by visiting “Croods Cove” using dream code: DA-1282-8266-2121. Each piece of virtual fruit that users donate on the island will translate into real meals for families in need.

#CroodsCare

THE CROODS: A NEW AGE – in theaters November 25

Official Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube | #CroodsNewAge

The Croods have survived their fair share of dangers and disasters, from fanged prehistoric beasts to surviving the end of the world, but now they will face their biggest challenge of all: another family

The Croods need a new place to live. So, the first prehistoric family sets off into the world in search of a safer place to call home. When they discover an idyllic walled-in paradise that meets all their needs, they think their problems are solved … except for one thing. Another family already lives there: the Bettermans. 

The Bettermans (emphasis on the “better”)—with their elaborate tree house, amazing inventions and irrigated acres of fresh produce—are a couple of steps above the Croods on the evolutionary ladder. When they take the Croods in as the world’s first houseguests, it isn’t long before tensions escalate between the cave family and the modern family. 

Just when all seems lost, a new threat will propel both families on an epic adventure outside the safety of the wall, one that will force them to embrace their differences, draw strength from each other and forge a future together. Thinking about a future it is a smart move to look into a project management mba, which is a great way to start a career.

The Croods: A New Age features the voice talent of returning stars Nicolas Cage as Grug Crood, Catherine Keener as Ugga Crood, Emma Stone as their daughter, Eep; Ryan Reynolds as Eep’s boyfriend, Guy; Clark Duke (Hot Tub Time Machine) as Thunk and Cloris Leachman as Gran. They’re joined by new stars Peter Dinklage (HBO’s Game of Thrones) as Phil Betterman, Leslie Mann (Blockers) as Hope Betterman, and Kelly Marie Tran (Star Wars: Episode VIII-The Last Jedi) as their daughter, Dawn. 

The film is directed by Joel Crawford, who has worked on multiple DreamWorks Animation films, including Trolls and the Kung Fu Panda franchise, and is produced by Mark Swift (Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie, Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted).

Genre: Animated Comedy

Cast: Nicolas Cage, Emma Stone, Ryan Reynolds, Catherine Keener, Cloris Leachman, Clark Duke, Leslie Mann, Peter Dinklage, Kelly Marie Tran

Directed by: Joel Crawford

Produced by: Mark Swift

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Announces Tenet for Blu-ray & DVD

ARRIVING ON 4K UHD BLU- RAY™ COMBO PACK, BLU-RAY™, DVD AND DIGITAL FROM WARNER BROS. HOME ENTERTAINMENT

Burbank, CA, November 5 – “Tenet,” the must-see motion picture event, playing now on the big screen wherever theatres are open, will arrive on 4K, Blu Ray, DVD and Digital on December 15 in time for the holidays. Written, directed and produced by acclaimed filmmaker Christopher Nolan (“Inception,” “Dunkirk”), “Tenet” opened globally beginning in August 2020 and has grossed $350 million to date, with the much-anticipated theatrical openings in the major markets of New York and Los Angeles still to come. “Tenet” will be available to preorder from digital and physical retailers beginning November 10.

“Tenet” features an international ensemble cast led by John David Washington (“BlacKkKlansman,” TV’s “Ballers”) as the Protagonist.  The film also stars Robert Pattinson (the “Twilight” films, “The Lighthouse,” upcoming “The Batman”), Elizabeth Debicki (“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” “The Great Gatsby”), Dimple Kapadia (“Angrezi Medium”), Martin Donovan (“Ant-Man,” “Fahrenheit 451”), Fiona Dourif (“Cult of Chucky”), Yuri Kolokolnikov (“The Hitman’s Bodyguard”), Himesh Patel (“Yesterday”), Clémence Poésy (“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows”), Aaron Taylor-Johnson (“The Avengers: Age of Ultron”), with Michael Caine (“Inception,” “The Cider House Rules,” “The Dark Knight”) and Kenneth Branagh (“Dunkirk,” “Murder on the Orient Express”).

The film was produced by Emma Thomas and Nolan. Thomas Hayslip served as executive producer. 

Nolan’s behind-the-scenes creative team included director of photography Hoyte van Hoytema, production designer Nathan Crowley, editor Jennifer Lame, costume designer Jeffrey Kurland, visual effects supervisor Andrew Jackson and special effects supervisor Scott Fisher. The score is composed by Ludwig Göransson.

SYNOPSIS

Armed with only one word—Tenet—and fighting for the survival of the entire world, the Protagonist (John David Washington) journeys through a twilight world of international espionage on a mission that will unfold in something beyond real time. Not time travel. Inversion.

4K AND BLU-RAY AND DVD ELEMENTS

“Tenet” 4K UHD Combo Pack and Blu-ray contain the following special features:

  • Looking at the World in a New Way: The Making of “Tenet” – An hour-long exploration of the development and production of the film as told by the cast and crew.

BASICS

PRODUCT                                                                             SRP

4K UHD Combo Pack                                                              $44.95

Blu-ray                                                                                    $35.99

DVD                                                                                        $28.98

4K, Blu-ray, DVD and EST Street Date: December 15, 2020

Preorder date: November 10

DVD Languages: English, Latin Spanish, English-ADS, Canadian French

BD Languages: English, Latin Spanish, Canadian French, English-ADS, Brazilian Portuguese

DVD Subtitles: English SDH, Latin Spanish, Parisian French

BD Subtitles: English, Latin Spanish, Parisian French, Brazilian Portuguese

Running Time: 151 minutes

Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, some suggestive references and brief strong language.

THE CREDITS

About Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, Inc.

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment (WBHE) brings together Warner Bros. Entertainment’s home video, digital distribution and interactive entertainment businesses in order to maximize current and next-generation distribution scenarios. An industry leader since its inception, WBHE oversees the global distribution of content through packaged goods (Blu-ray Disc™ and DVD) and digital media in the form of electronic sell-through and video-on-demand via cable, satellite, online and mobile channels, and is a significant developer and publisher for console and online video game titles worldwide. WBHE distributes its product through third party retail partners and licensees.

Tom Cruise says “Ciao” from Rome

It’s been so long since we’ve reported on upcoming films that I couldn’t resist the chance to remind our readers that the currently untitled seventh film in the “Mission: Impossible” series is currently filming in Rome.

Long time friend Fabio Mazzarella is a professional photographer in Italy and has graciously allowed us to share this image he took of Tom Cruise during a break in filming. According to Fabio “He (Cruise) saw me taking pictures and came close and waved “hi.” I didn’t expect it. He was cheerful with the fans a paparazzi and stopped to take selfies.”

Photo Credit: Fabio Mazzarella

Fingers crossed, “Mission: Impossible 7” will be in theatres November 19, 2021.

THE B-52s: LIVE AT US FESTIVAL TO ARRIVE ON DVD AND DIGITAL ON SEPTEMBER 4, 2020 FROM SHOUT! FACTORY

Travel back in time to a carefree Labor Day weekend in 1982, when The B-52s: Live At The US Festival comes to DVD and digital platforms on September 4th, from Shout! Factory. The performance features all five founding band members, and the film is dedicated to Ricky Wilson, who passed away 5 years after the US Festival performance. In brand-new interviews included in The B-52s: Live At The US Festival, band members Fred Schneider, Kate Pierson, and Cindy Wilson talk about Ricky, and what he meant to their unique sound, along with memories of performing at the US Festival.

Dance this mess around with the all-time, good-time party band The B-52s in a wild and unforgettable live performance. This hour-long set, recorded at the inaugural US Festival in 1982, had the crowd dancing from start to finish, and was considered to be one of the best of the entire festival.

“It was hot as hell in the desert but as soon as we got going we had the audience dancing up a dust storm,” says Fred Schneider.

This rare footage shows off the joyous energy and unique spirit that has been a hallmark of their music and live performances for over 40 years.
Packed with 13 hits and favorites from the group’s early years, including “Rock Lobster,” “Planet Claire,” Private Idaho,” and others, Live At US Festival is the first-ever live concert DVD release from The B-52s’ classic era, and a tasty slice of rock history that’s an absolute must-see for anyone who likes to party out of bounds!

The B-52s: Live At The US Festival is available for pre-order now at Shoutfactory.com and amazon.com.

The B-52s: Live At The US Festival Performances:

Party Out Of Bounds

Give Me Back My Man                                                                               

Planet Claire

Throw That Beat In The Garbage Can                            

Lava

Mesopotamia

6060-842

Big Bird

52 GirlsDance

This Mess Around

Private Idaho

Rock Lobster

Strobe Light 

About Shout! Factory: Shout! Factory, LLC is a diversified multi-platform media company devoted to producing, uncovering, preserving and revitalizing the very best of pop culture. Founders Richard Foos, Bob Emmer and Garson Foos have spent their entire careers sharing their music, television and film favorites with discerning consumers the world over. Shout! Factory’s entertainment offerings serve up feature films, classic and contemporary TV series, animation, live music and comedy specials. In addition, Shout! Factory maintains a vast entertainment distribution network which delivers culturally relevant programming, movie and audio content to all the leading digital service providers in North America and across multiple platforms. Shout! Factory owns and operates Shout! Studios, Scream Factory, Shout! Factory Kids, Shout! Factory Films, Mystery Science Theater 3000, Timeless Media Group and Shout! Factory TV. These riches are the result of a creative acquisition mandate that has established the company as a hotbed of cultural preservation and commercial reinvention. Shout! Factory is based in Los Angeles, California. For more on Shout! Factory, visit shoutfactory.com.

About The B-52s: Selling over 20 million albums worldwide, The B-52s—Fred Schneider [vocals], Kate Pierson [vocals], Cindy Wilson [vocals], — have quietly impacted alternative music, fashion, and culture over the course of four-plus decades. They count John Lennon, Madonna, James Murphy, and Michael Stipe among their disciples. Panic! At The Disco, Blood Orange, The Offspring, Pitbull, Roger Sanchez, and DJ Shadow have sampled classics from the band’s discography as Seth MacFarlane’s FamilyGuyThe Simpsons, Sugarland, and more offered up covers of their own. They inched towards the forefront of the post-punk movement in America codified by 1979’s self-titled The B-52s. Not only did the record go gold, but it also placed at #152 on Rolling Stone’s “500 Greatest Albums of All Time” and #99 on VH1’s “Greatest Albums of All Time.” The gold-selling Wild Planet arrived hot on its heels in 1980. With Keith Strickland brilliantly filling the void in with music composition and live show guitar duties, 1989’s watershed Cosmic Thing elevated the B-52s to another galaxy altogether. It moved 5 million-plus units and spawned a string of Top 10 smashes in the form of the GRAMMY®-nominated “Roam” and “Love Shack”—which Rolling Stone lauded on the “500 Greatest Songs of All Time.”

Film Review: “Fisherman’s Friends”

FISHERMAN’S FRIENDS
Directed By: Chris Foggin
Starring: Daniel Mays, James Purefoy, David Hayman, Sam Swainsbury, Tuppence Middleton
Runtime: 112 mins.
Samuel Goldwyn Films

A hot shot London music agent named Danny (Mays) becomes entangled with some seaside villagers when he is ditched by his stag party buddies in Chris Foggin’s Fisherman’s Friends. Loosely based on a true story, the Fisherman’s Friends are a group of local musicians that Danny discovers singing sea shanties. Under peer pressure from his pals, Danny decides to ingratiate himself with the band in order to secure a record deal to take home. Along the way, he strikes up a romance with one of the group’s daughters and entrenches himself in local politics. With its picturesque setting, its city folk-country folk clashes and its romcom meet cute, Fisherman’s Friends has all the hallmarks of well, a Hallmark movie! Without the pesky Christmas baggage. Whether you’re on board with this style depends upon whether you’re up to this level of coziness and predictability.

The flimsy setup to get city boy Danny stranded in Cornwall happens after his clique’s bachelor party yachting excursion falls through. Once it becomes clear they won’t be embraced by the locals after their drunken paddle boarding lands them in need of rescuing from the town’s fishermen, the trio of Londoners hightail it out of there leaving Danny stuck as a joke. It’s a pretty drastic prank but seeing as it passes the movie over from a carload of annoying bro caricatures and into the wonderfully capable and more weathered hands of cast like James Purefoy and David Hayman, the brevity is welcome.

There is a real warmth to the Cornwall setting and Foggin loads his soundtrack up with the Fisherman’s Friends sea shanties to keep everything pleasantly humming along. Sam Swainsbury as Rowan, the youngest member of the band, particularly shines in some of his solos as well as in playing the owner of the town’s financially struggling pub. His plot line gives the movie some needed stakes where the Fisherman’s Friends’ musical dealings are concerned. Meanwhile, the less defined village characters all manage to get their quippy jabs in at Danny in ways that are sure to wring a smile or pleasant chuckle from most viewers. It’s also nice to see Daniel Mays take a turn at a contemporary leading role seeing as I’m primarily used to seeing him pop in and out of so many period blockbusters.

When the film veers from the musical talent into Danny’s romantic relationship with Alwyn (Tuppence Middleton), the daughter of Purefoy’s character, you do lose some of that momentum while awaiting the fate of the titular band. Not least of all because one senses this movie will inevitably end happily so the requisite romcom roadblocks feel all the more rote. That said, even if you find yourself drifting somewhat, the kernel of the real life underdog musicians’ tale is compelling enough and the soundtrack is buoyant enough to keep it all afloat.

Gamera: The Complete Collection Limited Edition Blu-ray Boxset coming 8/18

For the first time ever worldwide, all twelve tales of the adventures of everyone’s favorite titanic terrapin are collected together in one deluxe Blu-ray boxset

PRE-ORDER HERE

BRAND NEW EXCLUSIVE TRAILER BELOW

This limited edition collectors’ set traces the decades-long evolution of Gamera, from the “friend of all children” in his more light-hearted earlier films, to the Guardian of the Universe in the groundbreaking 1990s reboot series, often hailed as three of the best kaiju films ever made.

COLLECTOR’S EDITION BOX SET CONTENTS
Limited collectors’ edition packaging, housed in a large-format rigid box, fully illustrated by Matt Frank
Casebound, fully-illustrated disc book containing eight Blu-ray discs
High Definition (1080p) versions of all twelve films, with lossless original Japanese audio and a complete collection of English dub tracks, including classic American International dubs on the Showa-era films remastered from original MGM elements
Hardback 130-page comic book including a full-colour reprint of the four-issue Gamera comic series originally released by Dark Horse Comics in 1996, and the first-ever English-language printing of the prequel comic The Last Hope by Matt Frank and Joshua Bugosh
Perfect-bound 80-page book including a new retrospective on the series by Patrick Macias, an archive interview with Noriaki Yuasa by David Milner, kaiju X-ray illustrations by Jolyon Yates, Fangoria set reports on the Heisei trilogy by Norman England, and a viewers’ guide to the English-dubbed versions of the films
Double-sided four-panel poster of “Gamera’s Map of Japan” in both Japanese and English
Collectors’ artcards for each film, featuring new artwork by Matt Frank

DISC ONE – GAMERA THE GIANT MONSTER
High Definition (1080p) transfer of Gamera the Giant Monster, with lossless original Japanese and dubbed English mono audio, and optional English subtitles
Commentary and newly filmed introduction by August Ragone
High Definition (1080p) transfer of Gammera the Invincible (Blu-ray premiere), the American theatrical version of the film, with lossless mono audio and optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
Remembering the Gamera Series, an archive featurette from 1991, including interviews with director Noriaki Yuasa, writer Nisan Takahashi and others
Interview with Noriaki Yuasa, filmed by Jörg Buttgereit in 2002
Gamera Special, an hour-long best-of compilation supervised by Noriaki Yuasa in 1991
Alternate English credits
Trailer and image galleries

DISC TWO – GAMERA VS. BARUGON / GAMERA VS. GYAOS
High Definition (1080p) transfers of Gamera vs. Barugon and Gamera vs. Gyaos, with lossless original Japanese and dubbed English mono audio, and optional English subtitles
Commentary on Gamera vs. Barugon by August Ragone & Jason Varney
Commentary on Gamera vs. Gyaos by Stuart Galbraith IV
Newly filmed introductions to both films by August Ragone
High Definition (1080p) transfer of War of the Monsters, the shorter American edit of Gamera vs. Barugon, with lossless English audio
Alternate English credits for both films
Trailer and image galleries

DISC THREE – GAMERA VS. VIRAS / GAMERA VS. GUIRON
High Definition (1080p) transfers of Gamera vs. Viras and Gamera vs. Guiron, with lossless original Japanese and dubbed English mono audio, and optional English subtitles
Choice of three different versions of Gamera vs. Viras via seamless branching (72-minute Theatrical Version, 81-minute Director’s Version and 90-minute US Extended Version)
Commentary on Gamera vs. Viras by Carl Craig and Jim Cironella
Commentary on Gamera vs. Guiron by David Kalat
Newly filmed introductions to both films by August Ragone
New featurette with actor Carl Craig showing his souvenirs and props from Gamera vs. Viras
Highlights from the G-FEST X convention in 2003, featuring Noriaki Yuasa and Carl Craig
The 4th Nippon Jamboree, a promotional film for the Boy Scouts of Japan directed by Yuasa in 1966
Alternate English credits for both films
Trailer and image galleries

DISC FOUR – GAMERA VS. JIGER / GAMERA VS. ZIGRA / GAMERA SUPER MONSTER
High Definition (1080p) transfers of Gamera vs. Jiger, Gamera vs. Zigra and Gamera Super Monster, with lossless original Japanese and dubbed English mono audio, and optional English subtitles
Commentary on Gamera vs. Jiger by Edward L. Holland
Commentary on Gamera vs. Zigra by Sean Rhoads & Brooke McCorkle
Commentary on Gamera Super Monster by Richard Pusateri
Newly filmed introductions to all three films by August Ragone
Alternate English credits for all three films
Trailer and image galleries

DISC FIVE – GAMERA THE GUARDIAN OF THE UNIVERSE
High Definition (1080p) transfer of Gamera the Guardian of the Universe, from a 4K restoration by Kadokawa Pictures
Original Japanese and dubbed English DTS-HD MA 5.1 and 2.0 audio, with optional English subtitles
Commentary by Matt Frank
Newly filmed introduction by August Ragone
A Testimony of 15 Years: Part 1, the first in an epic three-part documentary interviewing cast and crew of the Heisei Trilogy
Interviews with director Shusuke Kaneko and SFX director Shinji Higuchi, filmed by Jörg Buttgereit in 2002
Extended 90-min interview with Shinji Higuchi from 2001, focusing on the trilogy’s special effects
Behind the scenes featurettes tracing the film’s production from announcement to release
Alternate English credits
Trailer and image galleries

DISC SIX – GAMERA 2: ATTACK OF LEGION
High Definition (1080p) transfer of Gamera 2: Attack of Legion, from a 4K restoration by Kadokawa Pictures
Original Japanese and dubbed English DTS-HD MA 5.1 and 2.0 audio, with optional English subtitles
Commentary by Kyle Yount
Newly filmed introduction by August Ragone
A Testimony of 15 Years: Part 2, the next part of the documentary interviewing cast and crew of the Heisei Trilogy
On-set footage from the shooting of the film’s main unit and special effects filming
Behind the scenes featurettes tracing the film’s production from announcement to release
Alternate English credits
“Lake Texarkana” comedic dub track
Trailer and image galleries

DISC SEVEN – GAMERA 3: REVENGE OF IRIS
High Definition (1080p) transfer of Gamera 3: Revenge of Iris, from a 4K restoration by Kadokawa Pictures
Original Japanese and dubbed English DTS-HD MA 5.1 and 2.0 audio, with optional English subtitles
Commentary by Steve Ryfle & Ed Godziszewski
Newly filmed introduction by August Ragone
A Testimony of 15 Years: Part 3, the final part of the documentary interviewing cast and crew of the Heisei Trilogy
Newly filmed interview with Kaho Tsutsumi about the DNA Tokasatsu exhibition in Tokyo, by kaiju historian Edward L. Holland
Behind the scenes featurettes tracing the film’s production from announcement to release
Deleted Scenes
The Awakening of Irys (Remix), a montage of behind-the-scenes footage and work-in-progress special effects footage
Alternate English credits
Spoof commentary by “Gamera” & “Soldier No.6”
Trailer and image galleries

DISC EIGHT – GAMERA THE BRAVE
High Definition (1080p) transfer of Gamera the Brave
Original Japanese and dubbed English DTS-HD MA 5.1 and 2.0 audio, with optional English subtitles
Commentary by Keith Aiken & Bob Johnson
How to Make a Gamera Movie, a featurette hosted by director Ryuta Tasaki
Behind The Scenes of Gamera the Brave, an all-access on-set documentary
The Men That Made Gamera, a documentary looking back at the series from start to finish, featuring interviews with cast and crew
Opening Day Premiere, a featurette showing the cast and crew presenting the film at its first showing
Kaho’s Summer, an interview with the film’s young star
Special Effects Supercut, a montage of effects shots overseen by FX supervisor Hajime Matsumoto
Trailer and image galleries

Details

Directors: Noriaki Yuasa, Sandy Howard, Shigeo Tanaka, Shusuke Kaneko, Ryuta Tasaki

Cast: Eiji Funakoshi, Albert Dekker, Kojiro Hongo, Nobuhiro Kashima, Tsutomu Takakuwa, Eiko Yanami, Mach Fumiake, Tsuyoshi Ihara, Toshiyuki Nagashima, Shinobu Nakayama, Ryo Tomioka

SRP: $179.95
Format: BLU-RAY
SKU: AV275
UPC: 760137365983
Street Date: 08/18/20
Label: Arrow Video
Run Time: 1174 mins
Number of Discs: 8
Audio: STEREO
Year of Production: 1965
Region Code: 0
Language: Japanese

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Could Michael Keaton Really Return As Batman?

There’s been an unlikely-sounding rumor circulating around Hollywood in recent weeks, and if you hadn’t heard it before, you’ve just heard it in the title of this article Allegedly, Michael Keaton is in talks to return to the role of ‘Batman.’ Keaton is 68 years old. He hasn’t played Batman since “Batman Returns” in 1992. More importantly, someone else has the official job of being the DC Universe’s version of “Batman.” Could there be something behind this unexpected story, or is it nonsense? Let’s see if we can separate the fact from the fiction.

First of all, we know that Robert Pattinson is Batman. The former “Twilight” star won the role last year after Ben Affleck’s short and uninspiring time in the Bat-suit, and he doesn’t make his debut as the character until his movie “The Batman” comes out next year. It’s public knowledge that he’s contracted to more than one appearance as the character, and fans are already openly speculating about whether the timeline of the on-screen universe could be twisted enough to allow Pattinson’s Batman to come up against Joaquin Phoenix’s gritty and compelling version of the Joker in a film for the mid-2020s. Pattinson is a young, strong man, and won’t be giving the role of a lifetime up any time soon unless his debut in the famous costume is a box office bomb. That seems unlikely.

This Michael Keaton film, if rumors are to be believed, won’t have anything to do with the Pattinson films and won’t pollute the existing DC Comics timeline. In fact, it won’t even be a standalone movie in its own right. Instead, Keaton’s big comeback would be for a cameo role in the upcoming film “The Flash,” starring Ezra Miller as title character Barry Allen. Those of you who hoped that the trend for superhero movies might have come to an end after the last “Avengers” film hit the big screen are in for a disappointment. There are plenty more to come, and “The Flash” is just one of them. According to insiders who claim to have seen the script and are familiar with the project, it calls for an appearance by a senior Batman, accompanied by Michelle Pfieffer, who will apparently reprise her role as Catwoman from “Batman Returns” alongside the star.

If the thought of bringing back Keaton for a throwaway performance upsets you, don’t lose hope just yet. Look away now if you don’t want to see a potential spoiler, but apparently, this new “Flash” film will create an alternative reality within the DC Comics universe, allowing Keaton’s Batman to exist independently of Pattinson’s. Keaton would then appear as Batman in a number of other DC Comics projects, and may eventually get a new film as the fabled Caped Crusader in his own right. At this point, all of this is little more than speculation, but the news has been reported in so many different publications that it would be rational to assume that there’s at least some fire to go with all the smoke. One publication that’s gone a step further than all the others is the Hollywood Reporter, which claims that Keaton’s Batman will be a mentor figure to other superheroes right across the DC Universe, not dissimilar to the role Nick Fury plays in Marvel films.

The idea of an older Bruce Wayne or Batman is a fascinating one, and one that we’ve never seen explored on the big screen before. Presumably, he’d be disinclined to put the Bat-suit on unless the situation becomes excessively grim, but the concept of a Batman who has spent an entire lifetime fighting crime and is now headed for retirement is an interesting one. We’re even more interested in the idea of him having some kind of late-life domestic bliss with Selina Kyle, who will presumably also have said goodbye to her days of wearing a latex catsuit. The idea opens up a series of possibilities that couldn’t be explored within an ordinary “Batman” movie, and it’s original. Originality doesn’t come along often in superhero films, and so when it does, it ought to be applauded.

The fact that there’s been so much buzz among fans about the possibility of seeing Keaton as Batman again should be enough to confirm to DC that the idea is worth pursuing. Part of the appeal will be down to nostalgia. With few exceptions, the older “Batman” films are more widely appreciated by the public than the newer “Dawn of Justice” era films. While we won’t pretend that online slots websites are a perfect measure for this, if you checked one, you’d see what we mean. You’re highly likely to find Crime online slots based on “Batman Begins,” and the old Adam West “Batman” series. You’re far less likely to see anything featuring Ben Affleck’s face. The companies who make those online slots know which incarnations of Batman are likely to tempt people into spending their money, and if they know it, movie producers know it as well.

Keaton’s relationship with Batman over the years has been complicated. It’s been said of the character that it either makes your career or destroys it. Christian Bale’s acting career reached the apex of Hollywood after his “Batman” appearances. Val Kilmer’s was utterly destroyed. George Clooney got away with it because he demonstrated that he had a sense of humor about the dire “Batman” film he made, and Keaton seemed to disappear for a while after 1992. For the rest of the 1990s, he complained that the movies had painted him into a corner and made him typecast. Within the past decade, though, he’s had a late-career resurgence and even felt comfortable performing a pastiche of both himself and the character in 2014’s Oscar-winning film “Birdman.” If he’s entered into talks about becoming Batman again, it’s a sign that he’s finally at peace with the role and his own past.

DC probably wanted to keep this information under wraps, and they’ll be annoyed that it’s leaked, so don’t expect confirmation about Keaton’s involvement from them any time soon. Until we get solid news, excited fans will be projecting the Bat sign into the sky and hoping Keaton answers it.

Streaming Review: “You Don’t Nomi”

YOU DON’T NOMI
Directed By: Jeffrey McHale
Starring: Elizabeth Berkley, Paul Verhoeven, Adam Nayman, April Kidwell
Runtime: 92 mins.
RLJE Films

My introduction to Paul Verhoeven’s Showgirls was definitely by accident on some random childhood afternoon on a local network because my memories are of a hazy mishmash of ‘why does Jesse-from-Saved by the Bell looked Like That?’ and laughing at the crude 90s tech that they used to ‘paint’ dodgy cgi bras over very naked chests. So in tackling McHale’s documentary You Don’t Nomi, I knew I’d have to take another look. I don’t regret it as such but I was not converted into the cult that this doc’s trailer alluded to. That doesn’t mean You Don’t Nomi isn’t worth a look for the uninitiated. On its surface, You Don’t Nomi may appear a puff piece on something so-bad-it’s-good but it puts in a surprising amount of work to show not only Showgirls’s second life as a camp crowdpleaser but also how a critically reviled film evolves over time–even in the eyes of its filmmakers.

There is no better way to describe the 1995 critical reception to Showgirls than dog pile. It was brutal in that way that it becomes a sport unto itself to find the snarkiest pull quotes. It tanked Elizabeth Berkley’s transition from sitcom actress to the big screen and took the sexual thriller momentum that Verhoeven had in the US off of 1992’s Basic Instinct and sent him back to the more marketable sci-fi with Starship Troopers (Instinct was preceded by Total Recall and Robocop). The doc delves deep into Verhoeven’s career and finds parallels and themes that connect Showgirls back into his work in Europe before he escaped to Hollywood. Unfortunately the documentary did not manage to include modern interviews with any of the creative forces on the film but again, in diving into archived footage, the documentary exposes how Verhoeven and Berkeley in particular have decided over time to try and sell that they knew all along that their film was camp. As one of the speakers in the doc says, camp is “failed seriousness,” so I don’t really buy their attempt to control that narrative but as a storyline in the documentary, it’s very amusing.

Despite the box office flopping, Showgirls found a second life in midnight screenings, drag shows and an off-broadway musical. For me, Nomi hits its stride by zeroing in on the experience that the actress who played Nomi in the musical parody had and the difference it made in her life. Watching her account, as well as those of the drag hosts of sold out midnight showings I kept thinking about that speech from Pixar’s Ratatouille where critic Anton Ego says “the average piece of junk is probably more meaningful than our criticism designating it so.” -Hey if McHale can take a campy stripper movie seriously, I can defer to the wisdom of the cartoon rat movie. Even though I couldn’t relate to their obsession, I can certainly pinpoint pop culture hills I will die on and on that level I enjoyed hearing from such a well researched niche.

You Don’t Nomi is now streaming On Demand and digital, an additional review by Mike Gencarelli was posted earlier here

TFF 2020 Shorts: Animated

Note: Though the 2020 Festival was officially postponed due to ongoing pandemic precautions, online screeners and the fest’s press library meant we could still offer coverage of this year’s selections. Tribeca is also participating in the We Are One global film festival, whose streams are being uploaded through June 7th.

Every year the Tribeca Film Festival showcases a wealth of short films from across the globe in all different mediums. Where animation is concerned, the fest turns to acting legend Whoopi Goldberg to curate their lineup. Due to the unprecedented postponement of the festival in New York, I screened this collection from the comfort of my home and would like to highlight my favorites of Goldberg’s picks.

Personal Favorite: Beyond Noh

Beyond Noh

Patrick Smith’s 4 minute foray into every mask you could think of is mesmerizing. The setup is a simple black space with masks from every culture and time around the world rapid-fire shuffling through to a rhythmic drum beat. It’s so simple but so deftly made. This short doesn’t stick to just the fine arts either with detours through American Halloween masks, and the quite topical medical field to boot, it covers all the faces–err, bases.

Award Winner: Friends

Friends

Florian Grolig’s deceptively simple Friends took home the prize for Best Animated Short from the Tribeca Film Festival’s jury and it was well-deserved. It’s just two characters–one very small and one so large we only see its massive hand or foot for most of the runtime– interacting despite the challenges of their massive gap in size. For me, it’s the one that most celebrates the medium of animation. With its simplistic line work morphing through a blank white void accompanied by perfectly pitched breathing from its giant, the scope is clearly conveyed.

Most Star-Studded: The Tiger Who Came to Tea

The Tiger Who Came to Tea

Clocking in at 24 mins, Robin Shaw’s adaptation of Judith Kerr’s story is the longest of the program and starts very slow before evolving into something much more fanciful. We watch the cute morning routine of a British family ending with sending the father (Benedict Cumberbatch) off to work for the day while mother (Tamsin Grieg) and daughter (Clara Ross) are home to receive an unusual visitor. The titular tiger voiced by David Oyelowo politely invites himself to their afternoon tea and proceeds to scarf down the whole pantry. The animation on the tiger is utterly charming.

Historic and Beautiful: Kapaemahu

Directors Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu, Dean Hame and Joe Wilson delve deep into Hawaiian history to tell the tale of transgender healing spirits that are behind a landmark often passed by in Waikiki Beach. The use of native voices and music bolsters some gorgeous and warm animation as the tale transcends across time.

Kapaemahu

Additional program titles included “Umbrella” and “Grandad was a Romantic”, which both mine true stories for some lovely animation, and “Bathwell in Clerkentime” which is third in a series whose bouncy black and white animation couples with a soundtrack that may drive you as cuckoo as the birds it follows. (Note: “To Gerard” from Dreamworks artist Taylor Meacham was also selected however was not available to me in the press library at the time of the festival)

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