In BEING HAL ASHBY, LIFE OF A HOLLYWOOD REBEL by Nick Dawson (Screen Classics, University Press of Kentucky; 2009), one of the classic American filmmakers is given his due both as an editor and director, in additional to being somewhat of a womanizer, dreamer, addict, and iconoclast.
Dawson gives ample space in the book’s 440 pages to Ashby’s first career as a film editor on such Norman Jewison projects as The Cincinnati Kid (1965), The Russians are Coming, the Russians are Coming (1966), In the Heat of the Night (1967), and The Thomas Crown Affair (1968) before breaking out onto his own as a director. In fact, Ashby was Oscar nominated for editing Russians and Night and won for the latter.
Ashby died before his time at age 59 in 1988, but he left a significant stamp on quirky films of the 1970s. As such, the meat of the book focuses on this highly active and creative period in Ashby’s career. Starting with Harold and Maude (1971), Dawson goes into great detail about the making of these films, and while he did not have first person quotes from Ashby, the author located interviews with the director and his casts and crews, going so far as footnoting and citing all of the quotes in the book.
Before I start this, let me just say Movie Studios attitudes towards the Internet is just dumb. I’m getting all of these clips from YouTube but the morons ban embedding the clips, even though right below the official trailer there’s always 20 other copies of it. How dumb is that? Here are 5 hot movie trailers for this week.
Public Enemies Trailer 2.
You have Johnny Depp and Christian Bale in a Michael Mann gangster movie, how can it go wrong?
My Sister’s Keeper
Man this is a great trailer that almost makes me cry every time I see it. And I’m a heartless you know what. Normally I scoff at movies like this but wow, what nice trailer.
I’m not a fan of Tom Hanks or Ron Howard and I also hated The Da Vinci Code so to say I wasn’t enthused to see the sequel, Angels and Demons would be an understatement. It starts off a little slow but somehow I found myself getting sucked into the mystery surrounding the disappearance of 4 Cardinals on the night of electing a new Pope. This is where I put in the disclaimer that I’m not a religious person so most of this stuff went completely over my head. But I found it sort of intriguing. The problem with a movie like this is that in the past writers like David Koepp (screenplay) and Akiva Goldsman (screenplay) would do a thriller where the bad guys would have very simple manageable plots that as an audience you can just go with. It’s going to be hard to do this review without spoiling the film.
These days the bad guy has to be a freaking genius to be able to explain all the various plan details. Look at everything that Tony Alameda on 24 would have to know way in advance in order for his Bad “Guyness” and master plot to make any semblance of sense? The same thing occurs here where the bad guy would have to know well in advance that Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) the man the church hates would be called in and if not him, someone else – maybe one of the scientist who helped create it, Vittoria Vetra (Ayelet Zurer) would be able to put all the pieces together in time to stop an Antimatter bomb from destroying Vatican City. Yes, I said an Antimatter bomb.
Toronto, Ontario, Canada’s world renowned annual horror expo, the Rue Morgue Festival of Fear has landed Bruce “The Chin” Campbell as its 2009 Guest of Honour – and B-movie producer/director/writer Roger Corman as Featured Guest.
Campbell is, of course, known worldwide for playing Ash, the lead [if not necessarily the hero] of Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead Trilogy – as well as unorthodox performances in zillions of B-movies ranging from the jealous ex-boyfriend in Living in Oblivion to an elderly Elvis in Bubba Ho-Tep.
Corman is responsible for unleashing the talents of such legends as Jack Nicholson [the original Little Shop of Horror], James Cameron [Piranha] and Francis Ford Coppola [The Terror] upon an unsuspecting world.
Both are regarded as quality guests who can relate anecdotes with the best of them – and having both headline the same event is a definite coup.
The Rue Morgue Festival of Fear guest list also includes: Udo Kier [Suspiria], Barbara Steele [Black Sunday, The Pit and the Pendulum], James Duval [Donny Darko’s Frank the Bunny], Tom Savini [the king of low-budget practical FX], Max Brooks [author of World War Z], Linda Hamilton [The Terminator, T2 & Beauty & the Beast], Lloyd Kaufman [the madman behind TROMA], and Len Wein [creator of Swamp Thing and Wolverine], among others.
The 2009 Rue Morgue Festival of Horror/Canadian National Horror Expo will be held in the Metro Toronto Convention Center from August 28-30.
Angels and Demons, set some time after Ron Howard’s previous adaptation The Da Vinci Code, finds Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon being summoned to The Vatican in order to help them with an impending crisis. As a new pope is set to be elected, a mysterious organization known as the Illuminati, an old villain to the Catholic Church, threatens to eradicate the holy city and everyone in it by using an unstable substance with bomb-like properties.
When speaking about this movie, I seem to always get the same basic opening question- is it better than The Da Vinci Code? The short answer is yes. Ron Howard has done a much better job on this venture of trimming the fat from the novel and leaving the audience with a far more engaging movie than the first film. Fans of the book should be rest assured that some of the more preposterous events have been wisely omitted. Hanks also fares better by showing much more confidence and comfort in his role as Langdon, which I’m sure is aided partly by a much deserved upgrade in his hairstyle. Continue reading MOVIE REVIEW: Angels and Demons Holds Some Improvements and Thrills, But Only Some→
When I heard that Star Trek was going to be on the big screen again, I was excited at first. Unfortunately, when I heard that J.J. Abrams was going to direct it, I was completely stunned. Abrams has given us such wonderful television shows such as “Lost”, “Alias”, and “Fringe”. When it came to his directorial debut with another television series turned movie series, “Mission: Impossible III”, the third movie had lost its luster. So, you can say that I was less than enthusiatic about Abrams making the same mistake with a much more larger fan base such as Star Trek. That was strike one in my book.
Strike two came about when I found out that the new Trek movie was to be a prequel/reboot of the franchise. I was divided between Hollywood remaking the movies that stand the test of time and reimagining the same movies and TV Series to bring in a whole new audience. Keep in mind that Trek has a long history and and legions of fans that span the globe. After 43 years with ten films, five television series, and one Emmy-winning animated series under its belt, the question, “Will Star Trek thrive again?,” remains on the minds of Trek fans. Since the black sheep of Trek left the airwaves in 2005, fans seeked more from the Trek universe in the form of independent productions. Two productions that stood out from the rest are Star Trek: Phase II and Starship Farragut. I highly recommend them both if you want to experience true Trek.
Marlene Forte is living proof that success stories can happen to those who put their hearts, minds and fortitude into making them happen. Forte, a Cuban American immigrant, former teenaged mom and self-made business entrepreneur who spent six solid successful years as a video store owner, has turned herself into the female version of a Quentin Tarantino, with an encyclopedic knowledge of films, directors and actors. Both her impressive acting portfolio and her one of a kind story have positioned her as a creative voice and force certainly to be reckoned with in the entertainment industry.
With her current TV role as Rosie Hernandez in Tyler Perry’s TBS Sitcom ‘House of Payne’ and her upcoming big screen part in ‘Star Trek XI’, Marlene is living proof that it’s never too late to follow your calling, and her fiery Latin heritage doesn’t even begin to capture the extent of her resilience!
Forte is one of those rare talents whose dedication continues to set a standard in Hollywood. With each character and role she takes on, Marlene Forte is refining a formula of proving Hollywood wrong by continually breaking through Hollywood’s stereotypes and carving a niche for the Latino community and tearing down the walls of “ethnic minorities”.
It’s time for another one of EclipseMagazine.com’s fabulous “No Hoop Jumping” screenings. We have 80 Admit One tickets for the Washington, DC Advanced Screening of The Ghosts of Girlfriends Past with Matthew McConaughey and Jennifer Garner. The trailers for this look ok, I’m a sucker for the Romantic Comedy. You know mother’s day is coming up why not take your Mom for a night out on the town for our EM screening?
Celebrity photographer Connor Mead (MATTHEW McCONAUGHEY) loves freedom, fun and women…in that order. A committed bachelor with a no-strings policy, he thinks nothing of breaking up with multiple women on a conference call while prepping his next date. Connor’s brother Paul is more the romantic type. In fact, he’s about to be married. Unfortunately, on the eve of the big event, Connor’s mockery of romance proves a real buzz-kill for Paul, the wedding party and a houseful of well wishers—including Connor’s childhood friend Jenny (JENNIFER GARNER), the one woman in his life who has always seemed immune to his considerable charm.
The screening will be Tuesday, April 28th at 7:30 PM at Mazza Gallerie in Washington, DC.
GHOSTS OF GIRLFRIENDS PAST
Tuesday, April 28
AMC Mazza Gallerie
For your chance to receive a complimentary pass to a special advanced screening of GHOSTS OF GIRLFRIENDS PAST in Washington, DC on TUESDAY, APRIL 28 – log on Here and input the following code: ECLP6692 to download your ticket. That’s it, no being top poster of the month, sending me emails, clicking the Read More link, just go print your passes out and have fun. I would like you all to comment on the movie and experience when you get home. The folks at WB do look at your comments.
Since the movie is coming out in a few weeks it was inevitable that we’ll finally get some Trek on the good old Blu-ray. And some regular DVD double dips – more on this in the next post. On May 12th, Paramount Home Entertainment will release the STAR TREK: ORIGINAL MOTION PICTURE COLLECTION & TRILOGY on Blu-ray! The STAR TREK: ORIGINAL MOTION PICTURE TRILOGY is also available on DVD! Get ready to blast off and make sure you grab your copy of STAR TREK: ORIGINAL MOTION PICTURE COLLECTION & TRILOGY as it arrives on Blu-ray May 12th! The collection is looking pretty darn sweet! Here’s the full press release, complete with all of the bonus features.
Ok, I’m not sure what this is, the folks who run the Paramount Webmaster program sent over four brand new photos of Star Trek ship models. But what is this? Is it for eventual toys, is it part of some contest? Are these amateur models? I don’t know but they look pretty fugly to me. Someone please tell me what this is all about…. I do like the brown and the white one though. Not sure what’s going on with the Garden or Pink one.
I’m not one for hyperbole. Ok I am one for hyperbole, I try hard to grab attention but I always pull myself back from going over the top, so when I tell you that State of Play is the best film of 2009 (so far) I don’t say it lightly. This despite of the fact that I really don’t like Russell Crowe as an actor and based on news reports, a human being – but I’ve never met the man so it’s hard to put that kind of judgment on someone. But State of Play is the first film that I’ve seen all year that is about something. It’s more about the state of the newspaper industry and how it’s gone wrong than it is about the growing mystery surrounding the murder of a Senator Stephen Collins (Ben Affleck) lover and how his best friend from College, a grizzled investigative reporter Cal McAffrey (Russell Crowe) helps him manage the media fall out from this.
No, the murder mystery is secondary to the film showcasing how investigative journalist work, the fights that they have with Executive Editors who now have to worry about the bottom line from their new corporate overseers. It’s about old line journalist and newsrooms fighting the young bloggers like Della Frye (Rachel McAdams) who come cheap, work fast, and don’t necessarily care about getting the facts before she posts something on the newspaper’s website. At one point in the film McAffrey sums up the old guard’s feeling of being slighted by saying, “I’ve been here for 15 years, using a 16 year old computer. She’s been here for a few months and can launch a missile from her phone.”
The movie’s director Kevin Macdonald obviously has something against bloggers as he spends the first 20 minutes of the film trashing them and then the rest of it converting Della into a “real” Journalist to the point where at the end she says, “No, I’ll wait until this hits the stands, a big story like this needs to be felt on the hands.” I wanted to gag when she said that. Not only that but he doesn’t spend anytime showing her actually, y’know, blogging.