Quentin Tarantino Talks “True Romance”

True Romance doesn’t get enough love.  Tarantino’s script.  Directed by Tony Scott.  And look at that cast: Christian Slater, Patricia Arquette, Dennis Hopper, Val Kilmer, Gary Oldman, Brad Pitt, Christopher Walken, Bronson Pinchot, Samuel L. Jackson, Michael Rapaport, Saul Rubinek, Conchata Ferrell, James Gandolfini, Chris Penn and Tom Sizemore!!!

Rob Hunter at Film School Rejects posted 30 Things We Learned from Quentin Tarantino’s ‘True Romance’ Commentary.  Before you click over, here are three of my favorites and some thoughts on each…

It wasn’t specified in the script that Elvis (Val Kilmer) would never really be seen all that clearly, and he was worried that the actor would be upset by Scott’s choice. He heard later that Kilmer loved it. (This was an interesting choice that many actor’s wouldn’t have liked. Credit to Val Kilmer for seeing the merit in playing it that way. – Craig)

He (Tarantino) is a huge fan of Scott’s Revenge (1990) which is the correct response to that film.  (I am a huge fan of Revenge.  It is probably Tony Scott and Kevin Costner’s most underrated film. – Craig)

He credits Scott with doing what a director should with the adaptation and make it their own. Clarence dying in the script makes sense to Tarantino, but Scott’s film is far more successful as a fairy tale of sorts meaning Clarence needed to live. “If I had made the movie he would have died. It would have been the same script but it would have been different. And in mine I think it would have worked. But in his, no, in his I think he was right.”  (In Scott’s film Clarence lives, in Tarantino’s script Clarence dies.  Both endings could work, but I’m glad Tony Scott stuck to his guns.  Like him, I wanted to see them get away. – Craig)

Guillermo del Toro’s “Nightmare Alley” – The Poster and Trailer are Here!

I’m looking forward to Guillermo del Toro’s Nightmare Alley.  He’s assembled a great cast and has a feel for this type of film.  Don’t take my word for it.  Check out the poster above and the trailer below.  As for me, I’m heading for Nightmare Alley come December.

In NIGHTMARE ALLEY, an ambitious carny (Bradley Cooper) with a talent for manipulating people with a few well-chosen words hooks up with a female psychiatrist (Cate Blanchett) who is even more dangerous than he is.

Directed by: Guillermo del Toro

Cast: Bradley Cooper, Cate Blanchett, Toni Collette, Willem Dafoe, Richard Jenkins, Rooney Mara, Ron Perlman, David Strathairn

“The Cleaner” – The Poster and Trailer are Here!

Here we have the poster and trailer for The Cleaner.  The poster is okay, but the trailer works.  I also like the casting for The Trailer.  I don’t really know the star, King Orba, but look at his list of co-stars: Luke Wilson, Linda Carter, Shelley Long, Eden Brolin, M.C. Gainey, Punky Brewster herself, Soleil Moon Frye.

I’m in.

When a middle-aged house cleaner Buck Enderly takes on an eccentric new client, he gets roped into locating her estranged son. Buck tracks down the disturbed young man but in another twist of fate becomes an accomplice to a violent crime. Available October 12.

Directed By Erin Elders
STARRING: King Orba, Luke Wilson, Lynda Carter, Shelley Long, Eden Brolin, Shiloh Fernandez

The All-Time Best Movie Jump Scares!

Alex Riviello at /FIlm posted A Brief History Of The Horror Movie Jump Scare with excellent examples.  Before you click over, here are my five favorites from Riviello”s list plus three that didn’t make his list, but would have made mine.

Carrie.  I saw Carrie at a midnight movie when I was 18.  It was nearly 2am and it appeared the movie was done.  Remember this was in the days when happy endings were common (and jump scares at the end of movies were not). When the jump scare happened I came out of the seat and probably scared my date more than the jump scare.

The Descent.  The first part of The Descent sets up the horror of being underground in tightly enclosed spaces.  Finally they get to an area with some breathing room.  As they use the night vision glasses to see the best way to proceed we get the jump scare and it is great one!

Friday the 13th. I saw Friday the 13th for the first time on HBO and had no idea the jump scare was coming.  It was well after midnight.  I thought the end credits were getting ready to roll so I got up to to turn off the tv (no remote control in those prehistoric days).  As I stood in front of the tv the jump scare happened and it’s a miracle I didn’t wake up the entire apartment complex.

Psycho.  Hitchcock is the master of suspense.  He slowly builds tension as Detective Arbogast slowly goes up the big staircase.  He cuts to a door with a sliver of light and then back to Arbogast reaching the top of the stairs.  Hitch switches to an overhead shot of an old lady attacking with a knife!  Wha-what?  

Wait Until Dark.  I’m glad this one was included because it is one of the best jump scares.  Audrey Heburn plays a blind lady with two killers in her house.  I don’t want to give anything away.  Watch Wait Until Dark.  It’s an underrated gem.

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Here are three classic jump scares that would have made my list…

Exorcist III:  Late at night a nurse is checking on things.  The camera views her doing this from a distance.  As she walks across the hall we see someone (something) walking quickly behind her holding huge shears at her neck level.  Perfect set-up for this jump scare with the person in background called away and then back and away again.

Play Misty For Me. Clint Eastwood plays a popular DJ who had a one night stand with a woman. She becomes unhinged when he dumps her. The jump scare happens in a scene when Eastwood wakes up to find her in his bedroom. I saw this at a drive-in when I was 13 and I’ll admit that I jumped more than Clint Eastwood — and he came out of his bed!

Alien:  Dallas has a flamethrower and is looking for the alien.  His crew members are monitoring and telling Dallas the alien is close.  Dallas sees evidence of it but not the alien itself.  The crew continues to tell Dallas the alien is getting closer and finally they tell him to run… cue the jump scare!

 

Bram “Dracula” Stoker – Facts You May Not Know!

Almost everyone knows that Bram Stoker wrote one of the pillars of horror fiction, Dracula.  Brigit Katz at Mental Floss dug deeper and came up with 11 Enlightening Facts About Bram Stoker.  Before you click over, here are three of my favorites with my thoughts on each…

IT TOOK BRAM STOKER SEVEN YEARS TO WRITE DRACULA. (What’s interesting is he liked to say the story came to him in a dream after “a too-generous helping of dressed crab at supper.”  I’ll admit his version is more fun than the reality of seven years of writing, research and rewriting. – Craig)

DRACULA WAS ALMOST NAMED “COUNT WAMPYR.” (Count Wampyr!  C’mon, man, you know that sounds wimpy compared to Count Dracula.  Plus “DRACULA in Wallachian language means DEVIL.”  Thankfully Stoker changed his mind and went with Dracula! – Craig)

BRAM STOKER SENT FAN MAIL TO WALT WHITMAN. (Whitman responded and the two authors actually did meet three different times.  I love it when I learn trivia like this.  It makes both men seem more down to earth. – Craig)

All-Time Best Movies About the Devil!

Chad Collins at /Film came up with his list of The 13 Best Movies About The Devil Ranked.  Using just Collins’ list, here are my top five in alphabetical order with thoughts on each.

Curse of the Demon: is one of those films that gets better with each viewing.  I just watched it a couple of days ago and it never fails to entertain.  It’s scary without being gory and is more of a psychological thriller.  What if you don’t believe in the devil until you do… and it is too late!

The Devil’s Advocate:  I remember liking this one more than most folks.  Al Pacino as the devil with Keanu Reeves before his John Wick persona that could send the devil running for safety.  

The Exorcist:  Hands-down the scariest devil movie ever made.  Perhaps the scariest movie ever made.

Race with the Devil:  I saw this in a theater when it was first released and loved it.  “When you race with the devil, you better be faster than hell.”  

Rosemary’s Baby:  While Race with the Devil is all about action, speed and thrills, Rosemary’s Baby is slow increasing tension, fear and dread and is considered a classic in the genre.

Here are three that I would have included but didn’t make Collins’ list.

Angel Heart:  Robert Deniro plays Louis Cyphre in this stylish Alan Parker film.  Mickey Rourke, Lisa Bonet and Charlotte Rampling co-star.

Legend:  Tim Curry as the Devil?  Yep.  Tom Cruise as the hero in a Ridley Scott film.  How could this not make the list? 

All That Money Can Buy aka The Devil and Daniel Webster:  was made in 1941 and released under different titles depending on where it was playing.  Movies with the word “Devil” in the title didn’t do as well in the religious south.  A farmer makes a deal with the devil – he trades years of prosperity for his soul.  When the devil comes to collect, the great lawyer Daniel Webster takes him to court!

 

Kevin Wilson’s “Creature from the Black Lagoon” Alt Movie Poster!

To get the full beauty of Kevin Wilson’s Creature from the Black Lagoon print, you should click over to BottleneckGallery.com and see the larger version.  While you’re then you can even check out Wilson’s variant version.  I prefer the color one above, but your mileage may differ.  If you really dig the Creature from the Black Lagoon print, be advised that they go on sale today and there is a limited number available.

“Every Last One of Them” Starring Paul Sloan with Michael Madsen and Richard Dreyfuss – The Trailer is Here!

Every Last One of Them has second feature at a drive-in movie written all over it.  I’m looking forward to seeing it!  Starring Paul Sloan with Michael Madsen and Richard Dreyfuss, Every Last One of Them is a throwback low budget action film.  Count me in.

Paul Sloan stars as a man looking for his missing daughter, but his search uncovers a larger conspiracy involving a Chinatown-Esque Big Capitalism deal over water rights. Things begin to spiral out of control, leading to high-stakes shootouts and other masculine antics that genre fans can’t help but eat right up!

“The Matrix Resurrections” – Official Trailer 1 is Here!

It looks good. It would be hard for any “Matrix” film to be as “next level film” as the original, but this looks like a step up for the second two films. Could you believe how realistic the young Morpheus looked?

The Matrix Resurrections in theaters and on HBO Max December 22 #TheMatrixMovie

From visionary filmmaker Lana Wachowski comes “The Matrix Resurrections,” the long-awaited fourth film in the groundbreaking franchise that redefined a genre. The new film reunites original stars Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss in the iconic roles they made famous, Neo and Trinity.

The film also stars Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (the “Aquaman” franchise) Jessica Henwick (TV’s “Iron Fist,” “Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens”), Jonathan Groff (“Hamilton,” TV’s “Mindhunter”), Neil Patrick Harris (“Gone Girl”), Priyanka Chopra Jonas (TV’s “Quantico,”), Christina Ricci (TV’s “Escaping the Madhouse: The Nellie Bly Story,” “The Lizzie Borden Chronicles”), Telma Hopkins (TV’s “Dead to Me,”), Eréndira Ibarra (series “Sense8,” “Ingobernable”), Toby Onwumere (TV’s “Empire”), Max Riemelt (series “Sense8”), Brian J. Smith (series “Sense8,” “Treadstone”), and Jada Pinkett Smith (“Angel Has Fallen,” TV’s “Gotham”).

Lana Wachowski directed from a screenplay by Wachowski & David Mitchell & Aleksander Hemon, based on characters created by The Wachowskis. The film was produced by Grant Hill, James McTeigue and Lana Wachowski. The executive producers were Garrett Grant, Terry Needham, Michael Salven, Jesse Ehrman and Bruce Berman.

Wachowski’s creative team behind the scenes included “Sense8” collaborators: directors of photography Daniele Massaccesi and John Toll, production designers Hugh Bateup and Peter Walpole, editor Joseph Jett Sally, costume designer Lindsay Pugh, visual effects supervisor Dan Glass, and composers Johnny Klimek and Tom Tykwer.

Warner Bros. Pictures Presents, In Association with Village Roadshow Pictures, In Association with Venus Castina Productions, “The Matrix Resurrections.” The film will be distributed by worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures. It will be in theaters nationwide and on HBO Max via the Ad-Free plan on December 22, 2021; it will be available on HBO Max for 31 days from theatrical release.

Do You Follow MAD Artist Tom Richmond? You Should!

If you’re a fan of Tom Richmond and follow his posts, you may have already seen this wonderful sketch of The Great One, Jackie Gleason.  If you don’t follow Mr. Richmond, this my opportunity to point you to his site where he regularly shares stories from his long career as a caricaturist, discusses his gig as a regular MAD magazine artist, answers questions from fans and posts his art.

“The Many Saints of Newark” – A New Poster and Trailer are Here!

The new poster and trailer for The Many Saints of Newark is fire.  Check out the amazing cast and equally amazing behind the camera talent they’ve lined up for this film.  October 1st can’t get her fast enough.

New Line Cinema’s “The Many Saints of Newark” is the much-anticipated feature film prequel to David Chase’s groundbreaking, award-winning HBO drama series “The Sopranos.”

Young Anthony Soprano is growing up in one of the most tumultuous eras in Newark’s history, becoming a man just as rival gangsters begin to rise up and challenge the all-powerful DiMeo crime family’s hold over the increasingly race-torn city. Caught up in the changing times is the uncle he idolizes, Dickie Moltisanti, who struggles to manage both his professional and personal responsibilities—and whose influence over his nephew will help make the impressionable teenager into the all-powerful mob boss we’ll later come to know: Tony Soprano.

“The Many Saints of Newark” stars Alessandro Nivola (“Disobedience,” “American Hustle”), Tony winner Leslie Odom Jr. (Broadway’s “Hamilton,” “Murder on the Orient Express”), Jon Bernthal (“Baby Driver,” “The Wolf of Wall Street”), Corey Stoll (“First Man,” “Ant-Man”), Michael Gandolfini (TV’s “The Deuce”), Billy Magnussen (“Game Night,” “The Big Short”), Michela De Rossi (“Boys Cry,” TV’s “The Rats”), John Magaro (“The Finest Hours,” “Not Fade Away”), with Emmy winner Ray Liotta (TV’s “Shades of Blue,” “Goodfellas”) and Oscar nominee Vera Farmiga (“Up in the Air,” “The Conjuring” films).

Alan Taylor (“Thor: The Dark World”), who won an Emmy for his directing work on “The Sopranos,” is helming the film from a screenplay by series creator David Chase & Lawrence Konner, based on characters created by Chase. Chase, Konner and Nicole Lambert are producing the film, with Michael Disco, Marcus Viscidi, Toby Emmerich and Richard Brener serving as executive producers.

Taylor’s behind-the-scenes creative team includes director of photography Kramer Morgenthau (“Creed II,” “Thor: The Dark World”), production designer Bob Shaw (“The Wolf of Wall Street,” “The Sopranos”), Oscar-nominated editor Christopher Tellefsen (“Moneyball,” “A Quiet Place”) and costume designer Amy Westcott (“The Wrestler,” “Black Swan”).

“The Many Saints of Newark” was shot on location in New Jersey and New York, and several beloved characters from the original series that inspired the film are featured in the movie. During its six-season run, “The Sopranos”—widely regarded as one of the greatest and most influential television drama series of all time—was honored with 21 Primetime Emmy Awards, five Golden Globe Awards, and two Peabody Awards, to name only a portion.

New Line Cinema Presents, In Association with Home Box Office, a Chase Films Production, “The Many Saints of Newark.” The film is slated for release in theaters nationwide on October 1, 2021 and will be available in the U.S. on HBO Max for 31 days from theatrical release. It is being distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures and has been rated R for strong violence, pervasive language, sexual content and some nudity.

“South of Heaven” – The Poster and Trailer are Here for this Good Looking Crime Flick!

South of Heaven got my hopes up with the clever poster.  I’ll admit I was surprised to see Jason Sudeikis as the lead of a straight up crime movie.  From what I’ve seen he’s going to be fine.  It’s great seeing Evangeline Lilly back on-screen.  I didn’t recognize her at first!  Shea Whigham looks to be perfectly suited to play the crooked parole officer.

In case you didn’t guess by now, I’m sold.  I’ll be heading to South of Heaven.

Starring Jason Sudeikis, Evangeline Lilly, Shea Whigham and Mike Colter
Directed by Arahon Keshales

Convicted felon Jimmy (Jason Sudeikis) gets early parole after serving twelve years for armed robbery. Upon his release he vows to give his girlfriend Annie (Evangeline Lilly), who is dying of cancer, the best last year of her life. But things are never that simple, and when he is given a “side job” from his parole officer (Shea Whigham), it sets off a series of events that leaves Jimmy in the crosshairs of a local crime boss (Mike Colter). Now, he must stop at nothing to save Annie and fight for whatever time they have left.

“Midnight Mass” – The Poster and Trailer are Here!

First off, bonus points to Midnight Mass for having a painted movie poster.  Check out the trailer and let me know, if like me, you plan to attend Midnight Mass.

This little island, so sleepy it might be dead. The isolated community on Crockett Island experiences miraculous events – and frightening omens – following the arrival of a charismatic, mysterious young priest. An original series from Mike Flanagan come to Netflix on September, 24th.

Watch Midnight Mass, only on Netflix.

From The Haunting of Hill House creator Mike Flanagan, MIDNIGHT MASS tells the tale of a small, isolated island community whose existing divisions are amplified by the return of a disgraced young man (Zach Gilford) and the arrival of a charismatic priest (Hamish Linklater). When Father Paul’s appearance on Crockett Island coincides with unexplained and seemingly miraculous events, a renewed religious fervor takes hold of the community – but do these miracles come at a price?