Friday, August 28, 2015
Movie night sure ain't what it used to be.
In the era of streaming video, the options seem limitless. The likes of Amazon, Netflix, Hulu, Crackle, Vudu and even YouTube offer so many movies that scrolling through them can turn into a sort of all-you-can-eat nightmare, the media equivalent of pushing Olive Garden breadsticks down your throat until dough's coming out of your nostrils. With so many options at your fingertips, it's hard for anything to stand out.
But Shudder, a new streaming service just for the horror genre, may have the answers to movie overload we didn't know we were looking for.
The service, which is backed by AMC Networks, offers relatively little content -- you might call it "limited," but "specialized" or "curated" fit the bill, too. There are just 269 movies to choose from, according to our count, and they're broken into collections like "Alien Intruders," "Romantic Bloodsuckers" and "Monster Mash," so you know exactly what type of horror flick you're in for. The curators who select the movies for Shudder aim to present a mix of classics -- a "canon," in their words -- in addition to total obscurities you probably haven't heard about. More on this later.
By contrast, there are well over 300 titles in Netflix's "Horror" section alone, though it also includes not-so-horrory horrors like "Sharknado 2" and lacks entries like "Pulse," an acclaimed Japanese flick offered on Shudder.
As with other platforms, each movie on Shudder is rated and reviewed by community members. And, if you're truly indecisive, there's the Shudder TV experience, which drops you right into the middle of a film, emulating the experience of stumbling upon a movie while channel-surfing.
You can sign up for a free 14-day trial on Shudder.com. The service also offers apps for Android and iPhone. A subscription is $5 per month, or $50 for the whole year.
In fairness, it's Shudder's smaller library that helps it avoid the discoverability problem common to Netflix, where the glut of content can be a hinderance. Since there are fewer movies to sift through on Shudder, it's harder to get lost finding something you want to watch, especially if you're enough of a horror fan to sign up for the service to begin with.
(DCD - I haven't checked out the listings yet - wonder how many have been reviewed here over the years?)
at 9:42 AM
Thursday, August 27, 2015
From cnet, One of the things that makes David Lynch's TV shows and movies work so well is the music, and the eclectic director will once again turn to the haunting melodies of award-winning composer Angelo Badalamenti with the upcoming "Twin Peaks" reboot, according to areport in TVLine.
Badalamenti has been working with Lynch since the 1986 film "Blue Velvet," and won a Grammy for Best Pop Instrumental Performance on the "Twin Peaks" theme song.
The TVLine report suggests that not only is Badalamenti confirmed to return to "Twin Peaks" for the Showtime reboot, but that he is already hard at work on new music for the show.
Showtime didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.
The "Twin Peaks" reboot got off to a bit of a rocky start after David Lynch initially dropped out of the series due to budget concerns, but he's since come back and is reportedly set to begin filming in September.
Once filming for the series is complete, it's expected to debut on Showtime sometimein either 2016 or 2017, depending who you ask. Only the Log knows for sure.
Whether it's 2016 or 2017, we're looking forward to the return of Special Agent Dale Cooper, Sheriff Harry Truman and the rest of the wacky "Twin Peaks" residents. After a long 25 years, that show we like is finally going to come back and catch us up with some of our favorite characters over a damn fine cup of coffee and an incredible slice of cherry pie.
at 6:12 AM
From latinoreview, "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" is truly bringing a whole new meaning to the term "go big or go home." The seventh installment in the billion dollar franchise has struck a deal with IMAX to reserve every IMAX screen for four straight weeks, basically pushing out any would-be competition. If you think this sounds odd or unusual, this isn't the first time IMAX has struck a deal like this with a studio or film before.
They did this with all 3 Hobbit films, allowing them to have plenty of time to make as much bank at the box office before any other films could come by and try to stop their parade. And with another Star Wars film already being hyped up as the second coming of Christ, this news will only help it to cross the threshold of being the highest grossing film of all time.
"Star Wars: The Force Awakens" will debut on December 18th, and will be directed by J.J. Abrams. It will star actors such as Oscar Isaac, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Adam Driver, Domhnall Gleeson, Gwendoline Christie, Andy Serkis, Lupita Nyong'o, and the return of Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and Harrison Ford.
What do you think about this news? As always, leave your thoughts in the comments section below.
From iwatchstuff, The upcoming "Luke Cage" TV series, the third one in the Marvel and Netflix deal, isn't set to premiere until next year sometime. However, with shooting on the first season set to begin within the next week or so, an official synopsis appears to have leaked.
Heroic Hollywood has posted the synopsis which indicates that the forthcoming 13-episode Netflix series will see Mike Colter's Luke Cage taking on Willis Stryker (aka Diamondback) as the main villain of the season, while his love interest will be Reva Connors. Here's the synopsis:
Luke Cage is a former gang member who is framed for a crime. In prison, he volunteers for a medical experiment that goes awry, giving him super strength and bulletproof skin. Using his newfound powers, Cage escapes and becomes a hero for hire. His archenemy is Willy Stryker, a former childhood friend from Harlem. The two committed petty crimes together, and both fell for the same woman, Reva Connors, which led to their eventual falling out. It was Stryker who framed Cage for a drug deal that sent him to prison."
Luke Cage will first appear in the upcoming "Marvel's Jessica Jones" which will debut sometime this Fall on Netflix.
at 5:50 AM
Monday, August 24, 2015
From cinemablend, Star Wars fans will forever remember Peter Cushing for his role as Grand Moff Tarkin in George Lucas' 1977 classic - and while the actor may have passed away back in 1994, apparently that may not stop him from reprising the part. That's because a new rumor is going saying that director Gareth Edwards is planning to create an entirely CGI version of the character for his upcoming Star Wars: Rogue One.
This story comes to us from the folks over at The Daily Mail (and should probably be taken with a grain of salt). According to an anonymous source, Grand Moff Tarkin will reportedly play a significant part in the plot of Star Wars: Rogue One, and that the process is one of the "most complex and costly CGI re-creations ever." No explicit details are given about how exactly the character will fit into the plot, but the source offers that it's a significant role "as he was the one to create Darth Vader." (It should be noted that this isn't actually part of the established canon, and could be proof that the news is spurious).
In case it isn't clear, we have some serious doubts about this story, but the source does offer up an interesting detail concerning what makes the process of creating a CGI Grand Moff Tarkin so complicated. During the filming of the original Star Wars, Peter Cushing found the boots worn by Imperial commanders to be incredibly uncomfortable, and got permission from George Lucas to just wear slippers on set. As a result, there's a limited amount of footage featuring Tarkin's feet, and this has reportedly necessitated the visual effects team on Star Wars: Rogue One to look back at Cushing's long film history in order to make sure the recreation is entirely realistic. If it were me, I would just make it so that his feet don't appear in any shots - partially as an ode to Cushing's performance - and, honestly, that could very well be more evidence against this accuracy of this report.
Described as a gritty war movie - in juxtaposition with the more standard space opera approach - Star Wars: Rogue One will be set in the time just before the events in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, and follow the squadron sent in to steal the plans for the original Death Star. It is unknown at this time if there will be any familiar characters featured in the movie, but the impressive cast includes Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Riz Ahmed, Ben Mendelsohn, Donnie Yen, Jiang Wen, Forest Whitaker, Mads Mikkelsen and Alan Tudyk.
Production has actually already begun on Star Wars: Rogue One, with the film targeting a release date in December 2016. We'll just have to wait and see if it includes a CGI Peter Cushing.
at 5:11 AM
he N.W.A. biopic opened to an enormous $60.2 million last weekend, and 10 days after its release,Compton has already grossed more than $111 million domestically. Compton was actually one of two Universal movies to cross that milestone this weekend, as Amy Schumer’s Trainwreck also hit the $100 million mark. That brings Universal’s total number of $100+ million films to seven this year.
But while Straight Outta Compton held up well in its second weekend, the trio of newcomers fell flat, and all three performed under expectations. Sinister 2 did the best out of the three, opening to $10.6 million, but that’s still under initial expectations of $14 to $16 million — and well under the $18 million that the firstSinister opened to in 2012. The sequel’s debut wasn’t enough to secure second place; instead, that went toMission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, which earned $11.7 million in its fourth weekend, bringing its domestic total to just shy of $160 million.
The action flick Hitman: Agent 47 also failed to live up to its predecessor. Even though it was expected to debut around $10 to $12 million, Agent 47 didn’t even reach double digits, opening instead at $8.2 million. Fox’s adaptation of the Hitman video game series stars Rupert Friend, and the first Hitman, starring Timothy Olyphant, opened to $13.2 million in 2007.
And the weekend’s final new release, American Ultra, only opened to $5.5 million, falling short of the top five. The stoner action-comedy from Lionsgate, which opened in sixth place, was expected to debut between $6 and $8 million. The Man From U.N.C.L.E.took American Ultra’s spot instead, holding up better than expected after its disappointing debut last weekend. U.N.C.L.E.brought in $7.4 million, dropping 45 percent in its second weekend, and its domestic total is now at $26.6 million.
Here are this weekend’s top five at the box office:
1. Straight Outta Compton — $26.8 million
2. Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation — $11.7 million
3. Sinister 2 — $10.6 million
4. Hitman: Agent 47 — $8.2 million
5. The Man From U.N.C.L.E. — $7.4 million
at 5:03 AM
Friday, August 21, 2015
I wasn’t able to give this to him in person, so it currently resides in DCD’s tender care. I told him he couldn’t claim it until he figured out what movie it comes from. Ignore the base, that’s not what the fist is attached to in its flick. But this is a cast of the actual movie prop. The glasses are in there for scale.
P.S. Leave actual birthday wishes in JSP’s post below! I know JPX will at least hesitate a little while before looking at the comments here, and I don’t want him to miss out on his bday props.
at 8:52 AM
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
From slashfilm, Hot on the heels of news that a sequel to the vampire mockumentary comedy What We Do in the Shadows is in the works, it seems Jemaine Clement has another big screen project in the works, and it’s one that will make his longtime fans very happy.
In a new interview, Clement revealed that he just recently sat down with Bret McKenzie to begin writing a Flight of the Conchords movie, featuring their comedic folk music duo of the same name, which has already had a hit HBO show that lasted two seasons back in 2007 and 2008.
Word from Clement about the Flight of the Conchords movie comes from an interview with IndieWire where he says:
We have actually started writing one. Who knows if it will ever be made, we’ve written some notes for some different film ideas. We’re not down to the stage where we’re going, “The film is going to be like this,” it could be this, this, this, this, this.
That’s no guarantee that we’ll actually get to see the movie happen, but it’s heartening to know that they’re working on getting a story together so that if they were given the opportunity, the Flight of the Conchords could return on the big screen. Just thinking about some kind of road trip comedy involving Flight of the Conchords brings a huge smile to my face, so I hope it happens. And surely many fans agree, since there’s quite a few of them who feel that the HBO show ended far too early.
While the rest of the world traditionally only keeps their shows around for a much shorter amount of time, with far fewer episodes in each season, than the United States, having only two seasons for a total of 22 episodes just wasn’t enough for fans of Flight of the Conchords, myself included. But Jemaine Clement and Bret McKenzie wanted to go out on their own terms while the show was still good and pursue other things.
And for those who may not want to wait for a Flight of the Conchords movie to get their New Zealand folk fix, Clement has more good news. He recently told Consequence of Sound that a reunion tour is also being planned for 2016:
“We were planning on doing it this summer, but then I ended up doing [Steven Spielberg’s] The BFG instead. So it’s my fault we didn’t do it this time. But we are hoping to announce a tour. We’ll announce it before the end of the year, hopefully, and then some time next year get on the road … after we get some new guitar strings and that sort of thing.”
I was lucky enough to see Flight of the Conchords when they were part of The Oddball Comedy Tour a couple years ago, and it was an absolute treat to see the duo on stage playing their jams. No, I wasn’t crying out of happiness, it was just raining on my face.
Clearly a Flight of the Conchords movie is probably a long ways off, especially since they just started writing it, but we’ll keep you posted if anymore good news surfaces about its development.
at 10:09 AM
From ew, Actress Yvonne Craig, best known for her role as Batgirl in the 1960s Batman TV show, died Monday at age 78, her family said in statement.
Craig died from complications related to breast cancer that had metastasized to her liver. She passed away at her home in Pacific Palisades, Calif., surrounded by family members, according to a statement posted on her website.
One of her dying wishes was, "that no one waste a moment of their time in mourning for her loss in sadness but instead celebrate the awesome life she had been fortunate enough to live," her family said.
Despite being in chemotherapy for nearly two years, she kept her sense of humor and drive to fight the disease, her family said. "In the end, her mind still wanted to fight but her body had given up."
In addition to fighting alongside the Caped Crusaders, Craig appeared in several hit television shows in a career that spanned seven decades, including Gidget, Perry Mason, McHale's Navy, The Man From U.N.C.L.E, My Three Sons, Mod Squad, Kojak,The Six Million Dollar Man, Starsky and Hutch and Fantasy Island, according to IMDB.com.
She also famously played Marta, the green slave girl who wanted to kill Captain Kirk in the third season of Star Trek.
at 5:04 AM
Monday, August 17, 2015
From cinemablend, Most people will agree that the Star Wars prequels have their fair share of flaws. Despite the mixed reaction to the more recent trilogy, Star Wars creator George Lucas has opened up about his inspiration – as well as love – for one of the series more hated elements: Jar Jar Binks.
Taking the stage at the D23 Expo in Anaheim, California, Lucas addressed the crowd and explained his long-time fascination with Disney, and remarked at that fascination’s part in the development of the often maligned Gungan from Star Wars: The Phantom Menace,
"I can't even begin to tell you how much of an influence Disney has had on me… I will say one secret that nobody knows; not many people realize that Goofy was the inspiration for Jar Jar Binks… I know that you will look at him differently now. It's pretty obvious, actually, but, um, I love Goofy and I love Jar Jar."
Jar Jar’s inspiration really comes as one of those revelations that we would never have considered, but now makes perfect sense in retrospect. Both Goofy and Jar Jar possess tall, gangly physiques and an innate clumsiness that often gets them into trouble. The inspiration also makes perfect sense when one considers that Star Wars has long relied on amalgamations of genres and characters – such as: westerns, and samurai films.
That being said, the similarities between the characters do not necessarily justify Jar Jar’s inclusion into the Star Wars franchise. A series known for its balance of drama and light-heartedness, the original trilogy never really relied on the sort of slapstick humor their Jar Jar – or Goofy for that matter – would become known for. Aside from all of that, the character has received endless vitriol over the years for his annoying (and slightly racist) characterization, as well as his lack of relevance to the already overcrowded Phantom Menace.
Lucas’ has obviously always had a soft spot for the character; he even managed to sneak in a Jar Jar Binks Easter egg on the special addition DVD of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi in which the Gungan can be heard yelling "wesa free!" during the liberation of Naboo. It even leaves us wondering what could have happened if Lucas had opted for Captain EO as his inspiration for Jar Jar. Also, despite the existence of some genuinely compelling – as well as short-changed – characters in the prequel trilogy, Jar Jar managed to appear in all three films – albeit in varying degrees of importance.
Despite Lucas' apparent enduring passion for the character, the series appears set to move forward without the character, judging by the trailers for The Force Awakens.
at 10:24 AM
From slashfilm, Toy Story Land at Disney Hollywood Studios is an 11-acre attraction that will “shrink” guests to the size of Toy Storytoys, and drop visitors in Andy’s back yard, with blocks toys and game board pieces. As guests become part of Andy’s world there will be two new attractions and one revamped ride between encounters with Toy Story characters:
Family-friendly roller coaster – This coaster will zip and zoom, plunge and coast as it takes guests on a thrilling, toy-filled adventure throughout the new land on the back of Slinky Dog.
Alien saucers attraction – The famous little green aliens from the movie will take guests around for a spin in their very own flying saucers as The Claw looms overhead.
Toy Story Mania! – Guests glide into the Toy Story Midway Games Play Set and take aim at 3D objects in a variety of fast-paced games, with an expansion that adds an additional track to this popular attraction.
New green alien attraction coming to Toy Story Land. #D23Expo pic.twitter.com/7Bsm4MT6IL
— WDW News Today (@WDWNT) August 15, 2015
Meanwhile, at Epcot, Frozen Ever After will take guests to a winter celebration, with new songs from Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez. The attraction goes into and expands the Norwegian Pavillon area, to include a cabin where guests can meet Anna and Elsa.
We’d previously known that Frozen Ever After will replace Maelstrom, and that it will be a mix between a log chute and a traditional dark ride film attraction. Basically, the original plan for Frozen Ever After was to keep much of the infrastructure from Maelstrom, adding new Frozen-themed scenes.
Imagineering creative executive Kathy Mangum previously said, “What we try to do is take you back to the movie without retelling that story. This is a celebration of the characters, a way for guests who love the film to experience it in a completely different way.”
But previous announcements said there would not be any new music, and the expansion of the attraction to include the cabin is a new detail. Frozen Ever After should open in 2016.
at 4:59 AM
Disney’s ‘Star Wars Land’ Will Have a Cantina, Allow Guests to Fly Millennium Falcon [D23 Expo 2015]
From slashfilm, Today at the D23 Expo 2015 Disney announced not one, but two Star Wars Land expansions for Disney parks, one at Disneyland park in Anaheim, CA, and another at Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, FL. Both versions will be the largest-ever park expansions, at 14 acres each. (You can find good speculative info here about where these expansions are likely to go.)
But the size is actually less important than the attractions. Star Wars Land will be a wholly in-character experience, with alien servers and workers at all parts of the attraction, including a Cantina. Guests will have the opportunity to enjoy two signature attractions, including one that puts fans inside the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon.
Bob Iger said (bold emphasis ours), “these new lands at Disneyland and Walt Disney World will transport guests to a whole new Star Wars planet, including an epic Star Wars adventure that puts you in the middle of a climactic battle between the First Order and the Resistance.”
Bob Iger also said at the panel,
I am thrilled to announce the next chapter in the long and exciting history between Disney Parks and Star Wars. Through each new attraction and new land we create, we push the boundaries of what is possible. And as you can imagine, with Star Wars, we are taking that to a whole new level, with a whole galaxy to explore.
at 4:38 AM
From ew, The studio’s early predictions had Compton debuting in the mid to high-20s for the weekend, while others expected that it could make $40 million or more. But after Compton brought in an estimated $24.2 million on Friday, it was clear that the N.W.A. biopic was set to break some records.
Compton — which earned an A CinemaScore — scored the biggest opening ever for a musical biopic, with more than double what the previous record-holder, Walk the Line, opened to in 2005 ($22.3 million). Compton also earned the largest R-rated August opening in box office history.
With a reported budget of only $29 million, Straight Outta Compton is one more big success for Universal, which broke yet another box office record this weekend, becoming the fastest studio to cross $2 billion domestically. (The previous record-holder, Warner Bros., reached $2 billion in December 2009.) This has been a banner year for Universal, thanks to a diverse group of hits like Furious 7, Jurassic World, Fifty Shades of Grey, and Minions.
This weekend’s other wide release, The Man From U.N.C.L.E., only brought in an estimated $13.5 million, slightly under initial predictions. Guy Ritchie’s Cold War flick, which cost about $75 million to make and earned a B CinemaScore, opened in third place, just behind another spy story: Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, which made $17 million in its third weekend, only falling about 40 percent.
Fantastic Four, on the other hand, fell almost 70 percent in its second weekend, slipping to fourth place with an estimated $8 million. The superhero reboot has been troubled by bad reviews and negative buzz, only opening to $25.7 million last weekend, and so far, it’s only earned about $42 million domestically.
Joel Edgerton’s The Gift rounded out the top five with an estimated $6.5 million, only falling about 45 percent in its second weekend. STX Entertainment’s inaugural film has already grossed $23.6 million on a budget of $5 million.
At the specialty box office, Noah Baumbach’s comedy Mistress America opened to $94,000 in four theaters, giving it a solid $23,500 average per theater.
Here are this weekend’s top five at the box office:
1. Straight Outta Compton — $56.1 million
2. Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation — $17 million
3. The Man From U.N.C.L.E. — $13.5 million
4. Fantastic Four — $8 million
5. The Gift — $6.5 million
at 4:36 AM