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Previews & Reviews that are Z's Views

15 Things We Learned from “The Breakfast Club” Commentary

Film School Rejects recently posted Rob Hunter’s 15 Things We Learned from The Breakfast Club CommentaryHere are three of my favorites…

5. Nelson had improv’d the bit where he spits a “loogie” into the air and catches it back in his mouth during rehearsal, and Hughes loved how much it grossed out Ringwald so he added it to the scene.

12. The hallway montage where the kids try to avoid Vernon (Gleason) strikes them as a combination of M.C. Escher and Scooby-Doo in the way the angles, near-misses and obvious playfulness lacks any semblance of logic.

9. Hall and Ringwald were the only two of the five who had to attend actual classes during production.

Frazetta and 15 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About “From Dusk Till Dawn”

Mental_Floss presents 15 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About From Dusk Till Dawn.  Here are my three favorites…

7. IT’S GEORGE CLOONEY’S FIRST HOLLYWOOD FILM ROLE

Tarantino pitched Clooney on the film after directing him in ER.

9. THERE’S A GREAT HOMAGE TO RODRIGUEZ’S FAVORITE DIRECTOR

The character Scott Fuller wears a t-shirt that reads “Precinct 13,” a nod to the film Assault on Precinct 13, the second film by John Carpenter.

13. IT USED TO INCLUDE A FAMOUS TARANTINO SPEECH

The infamous Ezekiel 25:17 speech from Pulp Fiction was originally in Tarantino’s script for From Dusk Till Dawn. It was meant to be spoken by Harvey Keitel’s character as he fends off the vampires before being killed.

Furious 7: Fun Facts & Trivia You Need To Know

Coming Soon posted Furious 7: Fun Facts & Trivia You Need To Know.

All of the trivia is interesting, but these are my two favorite facts from the list:

Denzel Washington turned the film down.
It’s rumored that Denzel Washington was originally asked to take part in the flick, but the Academy Award winning actor declined the role. Instead he was replaced with Kurt Russell who reportedly plays the role of Brian O’Conner’s father figure. Some speculation paints him as Dominic Toretto’s father figure instead.

Furious 7 is the sequel to The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift.
According to the storyline, the franchise’s fourth, fifth, and sixth releases were actually prequels to The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift. The storyline for Furious 7 reportedly picks up after “Tokyo Drift” and continues the storyline.

Schwarzenegger in “King Lear” & Robin Williams in “Jack and the Beanstalk”

The screen-grab above is from The Last World: Jurassic Park  and features two fake movie posters.  Arnold Schwarzenegger in William Shakespeare’s King Lear and Robin Williams in Jack and the Beanstalk.

If you want to know more about these two particular Easter eggs, you can get the full story on them and others here.  I love stuff like this.

Source: JoBlo.com.

36 Things We Learned from John McTiernan’s “Predator” Commentary

Film School Rejects posted  36 Things We Learned from John McTiernan’s Predator Commentary by Rob Hunter.

Here are five of my favorites from the list…

2. Producer John Davis developed the script with the idea that it was “Rocky meets Alien, I guess,” but McTiernan liked the idea of it feeling closer to King Kong. “Bunch of guys go to an island, and go deeper and deeper in, and shazam the thing they’re chasing turns out to be a lot bigger than they thought, and they have to turn around and run away!”

5. He points out that this was his first studio film, and it’s actually only his second feature period after the moody horror thriller, Nomads. “Terrifying in a lot of ways, and a learning experience in a lot of other ways.”

7. Carl Weathers came onboard because McTiernan wanted an actual actor to work against Schwarzenegger. The director had to fight to get a quality actor in the role. It’s unclear if Weathers was a first choice.

9. Shane Black was cast because McTiernan and producer Joel Silver wanted a writer on the set. “And he has a great wise-ass manner.”

14. Before they could cast Sonny Landham the insurance company insisted that the production provide a bodyguard, “not to protect Sonny, but to protect other people from Sonny.”

The piece is definitely worth a read if you get a kick out of behind-the-scenes information.

 

18 Things You Might Not Know About “Silence of the Lambs”

Mental_Floss presents 18 Things You Might Not Have Known About Silence of the Lambs.

Here are three of my favorites…

1. IT’S THE THIRD FILM TO EVER WIN ALL OF THE “BIG FIVE” OSCARS—BEST PICTURE, ACTOR, ACTRESS, DIRECTOR, AND SCREENPLAY.

The other two were It Happened One Night in 1934, and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest in 1975.

2. GENE SISKEL GAVE IT A THUMBS DOWN.

Siskel infamously didn’t see what all the fuss was about, dismissing the movie as a “star-studded freak show” on TV and writing that Lambs was “a case of much ado about nothing.” The Oscars, and Ebert, disagreed.

7. SEAN CONNERY WAS THE FIRST CHOICE TO PLAY LECTER.

Connery read the script and found it “revolting.” Daniel Day-Lewis and Derek Jacobi were also considered.

15 Quirks of U.S. Presidents You Didn’t Learn in School

Mental Floss presents: 15 Quirks of U.S. Presidents You Didn’t Learn in School.

From their list here are three of my favorites…

3. CHESTER A. ARTHUR’S RUMMAGE SALE

You couldn’t call Chester A. Arthur the sentimental type. The 21st president was happy to hand over wagonloads of White House furniture—the former belongings of his long line of esteemed predecessors dating all the way back to John Adams’s term—to the highest bidder. Rumor has it he only snagged $8,000 for the priceless haul.

6. MARTIN VAN BUREN’S LOADED ARGUMENTS

Seemingly of Monroe’s school of thought, Martin Van Buren was known to bring a pair of loaded pistols to Senatorial assemblies, just in case an argument became too heated.

7. BENJAMIN HARRISON’S LIGHT TRAUMA

Benjamin Harrison, whose presidency was the first to oversee a White House wired with electricity, might be commended for embracing scientific progress … if it weren’t for the desperate fear of light switches that kept him from ever actually utilizing this new technology.

25 Things You Might Not Know About “National Lampoon’s Vacation”

MoviePhone presents National Lampoon’s Vacation: 25 Things You Didn’t Know About the Classic Road Trip Comedy.

Here are my three favorites…

1. In Hughes’ original story “Vacation ’58,” initially published in National Lampoon magazine in 1979, it’s Disneyland that’s closed and Walt Disney who gets taken hostage by the irate dad. The story’s memorable first line: “If Dad hadn’t shot Walt Disney in the leg, it would have been our best vacation ever!” Warner Bros. snapped up the movie rights almost immediately.

10. Chase claims that no one ever spots the gag early in the film, when Ellen and Clark are doing the dishes and the dishes don’t actually get washed. Ellen scrapes the food off of them, and Clark dries them and puts them back in the cabinet.

25. A reboot has been in the works that would star Ed Helms (“The Hangover”) as the grown Rusty, taking his own wife (Christina Applegate) and family on vacation to Walley World, with Chase and D’Angelo to return as his parents. So far, however, the project has yet to make it off the drawing board.

18 Things You Might Not Know About “Frasier”

Kara Kovalchik presents 18 Things You Might Not Know About Frasier.

Regular readers know the drill: using just Kovalchiks list, here are my three favorite facts…

7. THE FIRST CUT OF THE PILOT WAS SIX MINUTES TOO LONG.

After seven passes, it still came in sixty seconds more than it should and the creative team decided they couldn’t cut any more. NBC agreed and said they would find the extra time—not by cutting a commercial, but by taking 15 seconds from the other 4 shows on that night.

17. KELSEY GRAMMER PLAYED FRASIER FOR A VERY, VERY LONG TIME …

Counting the time he spent on Cheers, Kelsey Grammer played the character of Frasier Crane in prime time for 20 consecutive years, a record TV-land hadn’t seen since James Arness played Marshall Dillon on Gunsmoke for the same length of time. Grammer’s publicist invited Arness to join Kelsey on The Today Show in 2004, but according to Grammer, Arness rejected the idea with a brief expletive that rhymes with “duck shoe.”

18. … AND HE’S THE FIRST AMERICAN ACTOR TO BE NOMINATED FOR THE SAME CHARACTER ON THREE DIFFERENT SERIES.

Cheers and Frasier are obvious, but Frasier Crane also made an Emmy-nominated guest appearance on Wings.

Click here for the full list.

Source: Mental_Floss.

 

16 Things You Didn’t Know About Hot Wheels

Hot Wheels hit the market in 1968 and they were instantly on every young boy’s birthday and Christmas wish lists.  Although I preferred Johnny West, GI Joe and other action figures, for a time I was into Hot Wheels (although not as much as some of my other Hot Wheels-obsessed friends).

Aaron Miller at Supercompressor.com presents 16 Things You Didn’t Know About Hot Wheels.

Here are my three favorite Hot Wheels facts…

9. Today, there are more Hot Wheels models than real cars in the world.

Over 4,000,000,000 (yep, four billion) have been produced since the first was cast in 1968.

4. According to Mattel, Hot Wheels got its name from an offhand compliment.

There are a few versions of the story floating around, but the official Mattel line is that when Elliot Handler (the “el” in Mattel) saw (Hot Wheels’ first designer) Harry Bradley’s El Camino in the parking lot, he said “Those are some hot wheels.”

1. Several of Hot Wheels’ most noteworthy creators are legit car designers.

Larry Wood oversaw the design of most of the cars you grew up playing…but before his career at Mattel, he spent much of the 1960s working for Ford.

24 Things You Might Not Know About “Goodfellas”

Adam D’Arpino presents 24 Things You Might Not Know About Goodfellas.

Regular readers know the drill: using just D’Arpino’s list, here are my three favorite facts…

5. The famous “funny how?” scene wasn’t in the script.

Maybe the most famous (and certainly the most quoted) scene in Goodfellas comes at the beginning, when Pesci’s Tommy DeVito jokingly-yet-uncomfortably accosts Henry Hill for calling him “funny.” In addition to being the driving force behind the scene on screen, Pesci is also responsible for coming up with the premise.

While working in a restaurant, a young Pesci apparently told a mobster that he was funny—a compliment met with a less-than-enthusiastic response. Pesci relayed the anecdote to Scorsese, who decided to include it in the film. Scorsese didn’t include the scene in the shooting script so that Pesci and Liotta’s interactions would elicit surprised and genuine reactions from the supporting cast.

8. Only five murders take place on screen.

Despite its reputation as a violent movie, the number of on-screen deaths actually portrayed in Goodfellas is a surprisingly tame five (Spider, Billy Batts, Stacks Edwards, Morrie, and Tommy), or 10 if you include the results of Jimmy Conway’s handiwork following the Lufthansa heist. Of course, it’s worth mentioning that violence, and the threat of violence, is a constant presence throughout the film. Still, compared to a body count of 214 in John Woo’s Bullet in the Head, released in the same year, or 255 in Saving Private Ryan, or even 24 in Scorsese’s Best Picture winner The Departed, Goodfellas isn’t terribly bloody.

13. The real life Henry Hill was just as surprised as you are that he never got whacked.

Henry Hill’s testimony against some of the most ruthless and powerful Lucchese crime family associates led to roughly 50 convictions, his stint in witness protection was short-lived, and as Hill learns from the very beginning, rule number one in the wiseguy world is “never rat on your friends and always keep your mouth shut.” So why was Hill able to live to be a (relatively) old man and die of natural causes, instead of ultimately meeting a violent end like so many of his past associates?

According to Hill, he had absolutely no idea. In 2010, he told the Telegraph, “It’s surreal, totally surreal, to be here. I never thought I’d reach this wonderful age,” and hypothesized he was still standing simply because “there’s nobody from my era alive today.” Following his death in 2012, The Guardian hypothesized that bureaucratic disorganization in the organized crime world or fame might have kept Hill standing.

Click here for the full list.

Source: Mental_Floss.