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Entries in Aliens (29)


Curio: Paperback Love

Alexa here with your weekly film curios.  I am an unabashed lover and collector of vintage paperbacks, especially movie tie-in paperbacks. Kayo Books is always a stop when I'm passing through San Francisco (and where I found What's Up, Doc? and King Solomon's Mines tie-in paperbacks).  I have been known to scan some favorite covers from my collection, and then print and frame them for quick wall art.  So the recent trend of movie posters re-imagined as paperbacks is one that I can't resist.  Of course, Penguin Classics are a favorite inspiration, as well as designs of the more pulpy variety like Dell (a hat tip to Pulp Fiction's 90s marketing).

Here is a collection of some favorite designs I've seen out in the wild.  

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Ripley is Forever

There are few movie characters as iconic as Lt. Ellen Ripley, the accidental but determined warrior so superbly played by Sigourney Weaver four times over in the five film Aliens franchise (1979-2012). Soon to be six or seven if Ridley pursues his Prometheus sequel and Neill Blomkamp and Sigourney actually make good on their plans to bring Ripley back in 2017 on the heels of their first collaboration Chappie (opening Friday). 

While James Cameron's Aliens (1986) hogs most of the attention when it comes to Weaver's franchise headlining work (including a well deserved but very out-of-comfort-zone Oscar nomination for Best Actress) she's actually pretty stellar in all four of the movies. [More...]

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Long Day's Journey Into Link

All Oscars All The Time
Big Group they've taken that 'Oscar Dresses infographic' that was so successful a year ago and updated and expanded it with interactivity
AV Club wants the Oscars to add these 11 categories. I say Nay! to most of these. The Academy nixed two of these very recently (Best Casting and Title Design) when they were proposed again
David Poland thinks "preferential balloting" makes virtually anything possible in this tight Best Picture race and seems to expect a true spread the wealth night (as do I)
Gurus of Gold the full charts in all categories
The Atlantic Joe Reid on the lack of connection between Best Picture & Best Actress
Vox tries to explain all the confusing Oscar categories - not who will win but the category definitions themselves
THR Mo'Nique believes she was blackballed after her Oscar win for Precious for not playing the game and being "difficult". Hollywood is so frustrating. Who cares if she's difficult. That's one of the best performances of all time. Doesn't anyone wanna try bottling lightning again?
The Wrap, truly jumping the gun, proposed 20 actors of color and 5 directors for all 25 of the major Oscar nominations for next year's race from films like Creed, Silence, Nina, Lila & Eve, and Crimson Peak

More Movies
Keith Gow reviews The Last Five Years and he's much more satisfied with it than I am. One of my friends who is much more critical of modern movie musicals than I also loved it. I am definitely ready for a second look.
GMA Jeremy Jordan and Jason Robert Brown perform a Last Five Years number on morning TV
Empire 8 secrets from the set of Nightcrawler
Dissolve on Neil Blomkamp's plans to direct another Aliens sequel. Sigourney Weaver is planning to return as Ripley. So exciting if we really do get a sixtysomething action heroine but I'm not holding my breath since Ridley Scott is working on a Prometheus sequel, too
Interview amazing new photoshoot of Kristen Stewart who really turned it out as an actress this past year. More please
First Showing yes it's true Pirates of the Caribbean 5 has started production (Noooooooo) with Javier Bardem wasting more of his time and YA stars Kaya Scoledario and Brenton Thwaites joining the cast
The Film Stage Xavier Dolan in the new trailer for Elephant Song - he's just acting this time
Details Calum Marsh looks at The Breakfast Club 30 years on 
In Contention looks at some of the tougher to call races
THR Brutally Honest Ballot of an Oscar voter from the PR branch - these things are always a mix of cringeworthy and/or interesting revealing quotes
THR Brutally Honest Ballot #2 - this one loves Theory of Everything and admires Boyhood 

New Mad Men Trailer! "The Final Episodes"

Because of this people are speculating that the final episodes take place in 1976. People are silly. It's not like that show to jump 7 years. And Matthew Weiner said he always wanted to make a show about the decade of the 1960s and he's always been willing to be anachronistic about music. The movies on the other hand, they're usually right on schedule so I wish I knew what year the final episodes took place in so as to study that year's movies. I want to see Don Draper in a movie theater one last time. Pretty please! 

Monty waiting for more cakeOff Cinema
Wisdom Nation screw motivation, seek discipline
Billboard Madonna speaks, makes journo drink shots
BuzzFeed Trans model recreates Adam Levine's famous never-nude shot 
Towleroad Lady Gaga is engaged to her actor boyfriend Taylor Kinney (The Other Women / Chicago Fire) 
Playbill the great Victoria Clark (The Light in the Piazza)  is doing a diary of her out of town tryouts of Gigi, a reworking of the Oscar winning musical
AutoStraddle "50 Shades of Grey Cats". Monty made me include that one. He's breathing very loudly right behind my chair as I type this, surely plotting my murder for the recent vet visit. FTR he is also upset that Jennifer Aniston didn't get nominated for Cake because he was hoping for more edible swag.



Forbes a curious realization. Nearly half of the 20+ sequels coming in 2015 are sequels to 2012 films from Magic Mike XXL to Pitch Perfect 2 and beyond
Erik Lundegaard great movie quotes of the year 
Film Stage unused concept art for an Alien film from Neill Blomkamp (of District 9 fame)

Deadline talks to rising DP star Bradford Young (Selma, A Most Violent Year) about lensing black films 
Variety Selma will be screened for free in its titular city
/Film Yes, Emily Blunt is aware that the internet would like her to play Captain Marvel in the upcoming Marvel film
LA Times on Robert Elswit, another fine cinematographer with two films this year (Nightcrawler, Inherent Vice)
Boy Culture Mark Wahlberg pic (the headline for pic is A+)
The Feminist Spectator is justifiably miffed that Theory of Everything and The Imitation Game can't be bothered to pay more attention to women or pass the Bechdel Test (though I actually think Theory of Everything technically does due to that unintentionally hilarious "you should go to church. bye" scene) 
YouTube Avengers: Age of Ultron commercial. I know this is par for the course now but it never fails to amaze and amuse and depress me that commercials (all trailers are commercials) now get their own commercials (premiering on January 12th!) when they themselves are sequels to commercials (third trailer!). What a world. FWIW this ant-size commercial for the upcoming Ant-Man commercial is pretty clever.

a few more 'best of' lists
Kyle Turner's top 14 from Mommy to Gone Girl
Scott Feinberg's unusual top ten, critical hits of various ilk and... Magic in the Moonlight?  
Pop Culture Crazy's "foolhardy" top ten construction from Life Itself on upward 

Happy New Year NPH


Dave and Mark Schulz in Olympic timesOscar Campaign Pot Holes
Pretty much every website is writing about Mark Schultz absolute freak out over Foxcatcher (that links takes you to the fullest recap I've seen with his "Die! Die! Die! deleted tweets and all) so I figure it doesn't need its own post. But it is the juiciest current movie explosion going on now that the Sony e-mail hack story has slowed down. The former Olympian didn't seem to have a problem with the film in which Channing Tatum plays him until several months after he first saw it. Interestingly his U turn happened during Oscar voting. Hmmmm. He says he is contractually obliged to support the film making this very public rage even more complicated. His about face appears to stem from a delayed realization of the film's homosexual subtext... which we only very recently discussed on our podcast and weren't all that impressed with as a choice. Schultz has since apologized for the outburst but is sticking with his claims of total inaccuracy.

Variety suggests that what's going on with Imitation Game and Selma is smear campaigns but is it really? Disputes about accuracy of biographical pictures are plentiful throughout history no matter the subject or Oscar heat. But for what it's worth people are saying that Selma's depiction of LBJ is problematic (sorry Tom Wilkinson - not what we needed disputed if we want to avoid that Robert Duvall nomination!). Now even a former Presidential aide to LBJ is chiming in on the controversy. For what it's worth, director Ava DuVernay, who used to be a publicist so knows this game, is very smart about dodging these attacks and keeping a cool head with her statements.

Disputes over Selma's screenplay credit aren't half as gripping, if only because this just happened last year with 12 Years a Slave and it seemed a lot bitchier then. Remember Steve McQueen's airclapping when the screenwriter won his Oscar?



Big Screen
Comics Alliance reviews the new mutant twinkies inspired by X-Men Days of Future Past. No, really
Self Styled Siren Farran's first novel "The Missing Reel" is coming out this year. If you've ever read her site you know this is a big deal since she's a wonderful writer. She promises lots of film references in this romantic comedy set in the 1980s at a NYC revival house. 
The Dissolve Ridley Scott might direct The Martian starring Matt Damon. Mars movies always flop but Hollywood is eternally optimistic 

Why So Sad, Batman makes the only smart use of the first photo of Ben Affleck as Batman 
Out director Bryan Singer profiled, he declines to comment on the legal battles involving sexual assault claims but there's quite a lot of commenting on perceptions of his sexuality
AV Club Wolverine Remixed. 'Snikt' with a dance beat 
The Film Stage See a short film from Godzilla director Gareth Edwards 
Cinema Blend first look at Tom Hanks in another novel adaptation. This one is A Hologram for the King from Tom Tykwer 
Film School Rejects I was going to do a "posterized" on Godzilla but they beat me to it 

Small Screen
Variety love love love these motion posters for Orange is the New Black
My New Plaid Pants 'tell me how to feel about...' the latest development in the Greta Gerwig sitcom story
Vulture ABC Upfronts. Viola Davis's new show has a pretty awesome teaser but I'm still not happy the movie star thing didn't happen. *sniffle* 
Vulture NBC Upfronts. Nothing looks interesting to me here and Jesus that Katharine Heigl show looks derivative - like someone created it with a computer program that randomly mixed up elements of Homeland and Scandal scripts.
Vulture Fox Upfronts.  I'm sorry but this Gotham show looks so dumb. We just don't need this much Batman in the world. Also: Last Man on Earth. Intriguing ballsy teaser but how do you sustain that?

Reuters brilliant artist H.R. Giger, who gave us Ripley's acid-blooded enemies in the Aliens franchise, has passed away.
The Guardian tragic news. Documentarian Malik Benjelloul has apparently taken his own life, less than two years after winning an Oscar for Searching For Sugar Man (2012) 

Off Screen
Because sometimes you need to take a breather and read about regular life...
The New Yorker "The Woman Who Coined The Term White Privilege." Fascinating interview.
Outsports comments from Michael Sam's NFL-draft  ESPN kiss attached to photos of NFL players on camera with their lady friends. There have been so many fascinating and funny and ridiculous articles and TV talk meltdowns about this. All from a quick closed-lip kiss with a hug. Haha. Which is so... nothing. Standard business when someone hears great news. It never ceases to amaze me how many people can't see double standards from the fog of their hysteria. It is interesting, though, isn't it that very few people seem upset that it's a bi-racial relationship we're looking at? You'd think while people were trotting out their homophobia they'd toss in a little racism, too. Progress!
Time "30 Incorrectly Used Words That Can Make You Look Horrible"  I know better but I still make some of these mistakes. (sigh)
The New Yorker Lynda Barry, my all time favorite cartoonist, sells all her art in the show "Everything: Part One." 

Whither Cannes Reporting?
As previously noted I've been super ill. There was a moment an hour ago where I felt vaguely human again so tomorrow I will hopefully be back to the mad blogger routine of frequent posting. Until then please enjoy this appropos sand carving on the beach in the south of France...


In Blog No One Can Hear You Link

MNPP "Do Dump or Marry" with the cast of Neighbors 
Shadowplay "everything that's wrong with Stanley Kramer..." (Judgment at Nuremberg) 
Cooper wishes a happy birthday to silent god Rudolph Valentino with beauteous gifs
Pajiba a righteous rebuttal to Shailene Woodley's ignorant anti-feminist comments
In Contention I should have linked this on my Star Wars day post but Kris did a history of Oscar and George Lucas' galaxy far far away

HuffPo Emma Stone and Gabourey Sidibe on their own body image and ignoring the haters ("too skinny" / "too fat")
Kenneth in the (212) loves Desperately Seeking Susan (as do I). You can visit the locations as they exist now in NYC 

small screen
Variety the rumors were true. Lisa Kudrow's brilliant biting showbiz satire The Comeback is returning to television. Albeit for a tiny six-episode run
Kevin P. O'Keefe terrific retrospective on the brilliant pilot episode of Glee all those long long years ago...

On a whim, I rewatched the pilot episode of Glee – first aired five years ago this month – just to see if it was as good as I remembered it. If anything, it’s better. In fact, it’s great. Yet watching Lea Michele, Cory Monteith and co. fresh-faced, unaffected by the ills that would befall them and the show over the next five years, is strangely heartbreaking. It’s a bit like watching a horror film backward.

I am so confident that show would have a gorgeous place in history if they had only wrapped it up with Season 2. 
AV Club Ancient Egypt is hot right now in Hollywood what with Ridley Scott's Exodus in production and new series from HBO and Fox going there, too. Spike TV joins the parade with a new series Tut
Comics Alliance how did I never hear that cheesy Electro Woman and Dyna Girl from Saturday Mornings in the 70s got its own unaired TV pilot in the Aughts? 

Today's Must Read
The Daily Beast looks back at Battlestar Galactica and charts what ineffable fanservice quality it had at the time that helped reshape pop culture. Really good piece which touches on a lot of genre films and tv that pop culture currently or still worships.

must see
I somehow missed this recent BuzzFeed gallery on movie posters improved with animation. Some are annoying with all the choppy looping reset feel that comes with most gifs. I like the subtler ones like the tense Sigweavie breathing of Alien or the elegant rippling Atonement but my favorite is probably this one for Fight Club. Pointedly cinematic... literally.



Moving posters for motion pictures are the future. Learn to love them.



Curio: Clay Creations

Alexa here. With Frozen being the only thing on my young daughter's mind these days, I've been searching for some non-Disney-manufactured goodies to please her. (Yes, I'm stubborn that way. If we saw the film why not just buy the related merchandise, you ask? Because I'm a curmudgeon.) In my search for the perfect handmade Olaf I fell down an etsy rabbit hole of clay creations.

Some selections from my excursions...

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