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Entries in Rocky Horror (8)

Friday
Oct212016

Review: "Rocky Horror" Loses Its Edge

by Eric Blume

Last night, Fox TV gave us a remake/update of the cult classic Rocky Horror Picture Show, a staple of midnight movie screenings for decades.  This update, with the tag "Let’s Do The Time Warp Again," aired at the family hour of 8pm, which pretty much sums up everything that’s wrong with it.   

The original 1975 film is the definition of “lightning in a bottle.” There had been nothing quite like it at the time. It was genuinely transgressive, and featured one of the all-time out-there performances by Tim Curry as Frank-n-Furter, everyone’s favorite "sweet transvestite".  While it’s easy to romanticize the original and ignore its weaknesses, the film does deliver as a warm-heated parody of sci-fi and horror movies as intended. What's more it's actually kinky, sexy, unsettling, and fun...

Click to read more ...

Friday
Oct142016

Jack Arnold Centennial

Tim here. Today is the 100th anniversary of the birth of director Jack Arnold, and if your response to hearing that name is a polite look of blank incomprehension, I wouldn't feel bad. Arnold's not exactly a household name and never has been, but you wouldn't want to imagine what classic sci-fi would look like without him. For a short time in the 1950s, Arnold was possibly the most admirable genre film director in Hollywood. I can't think of any better way to demonstrate how singularly iconic his work has been than to point out that he's the only filmmaker to have two different films named dropped in "Science Fiction/Double Feature", the opening number from The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Undoubtedly the film for which Arnold remains best-known is the 1954 Creature from the Black Lagoon (and it's dimwitted first sequel, Revenge of the Creature, but it wouldn't be sporting to hold that against him), and it's fairly easy to argue that it's his best work, too.

on the set of The Black Lagoon

But however impressively he handled that last gasp of the Universal Horror machine, it's by no means his only noteworthy achievement...

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Aug142016

Half Century Halle (and other anniversaries)

On this day in history as it relates to showbiz...

1040 King Duncan is killed in battle and King Macbeth succeeds him. Shakespeare fictionalizes everything later for Macbeth. So many theatrical productions and movies follow. Out damn spot!
1932 The 1932 Summer Olympics end. This is the Olympic year when gorgeous Buster Crabbe became a gold medalist (pictured left). Hollywood then snatched him right up for movie serials and action adventure franchises including Tarzan The Fearless
1945 Japan surrenders during WW II (the six year war will last only two more weeks.) but movie makers all over the world have never stopped telling the war's infinite stories. On that same day Steve Martin is born in Waco Texas. It only takes him another 68 years to get the Oscar he totally deserved
 

1946 Two actor birthdays: Blacksploitation actor Antonio Fargas who became "Huggybear" on TV's popular Starksy & Hutch and Susan Saint James TV of McMillan & Wife with Rock Hudson in the 1970s and Kate & Allie with Jane Curtin in the 1980s
1959 Marcia Gay Harden materializes in LaJolla California, presumably already perfect 
1963 Emmanuelle Béart, Manon of the Spring herself, and 8 time César nominee is born in France. On the same day in Los Angeles Clifford Odets dies from stomach cancer. Many luminaries of stage and screen visit beforehand. He came to fame as a highly political playwright (four of his works became movies: Golden Boy, Clash By Night, The Big Knife, and The Country Girl). He was also fond of the actresses: married to Luise Rainer during her back-to-back Oscar wins and also took up with Frances Farmer -- he's played by Jeffrey DeMunn in the 1982 biopic Frances.
1965 Jane Fonda marries director/producer Roger Vadim. Together they cook up Barbarella (1968) which lasts forever unlike the marriage



Halle Berry Instagrammed this a month ago. 50 is apparently the new 30 for the extraordinarily beautiful people.

1966 Superstar Halle Berry is born in Cleveland. Becomes the first African-American Miss World contestant twenty years later. Hits the movies 5 years after that with Spike Lee's Jungle Fever  as auspicious debut. Happy half century to the Best Actress winner.
1975 The Rocky Horror Picture Show gets its world premiere in London. It's the longest running film in theaters since it still shows regularly at many moviehouses around the world for weekly midnight screenings.
1980 Dorothy Stratten, a nude centerfold, is murdered by her boyfriend. The story was adapted to screen starring Mariel Hemingway and Eric Roberts by the genius Bob Fosse in Star '80 (1983), the influential artist's last film. 
1983 Mila Kunis is born in the Ukraine of the Soviet Union. Moves to Los Angeles seven years later and by the age of 11 she's already on TV
1987 Can't Buy Me Love opens in movie theaters. No one could possibly expect that nerdy Dempsey would reemerge years later into a sexy mature leading man that everyone called "McDreamy"

1992 Single White Female opens in movie theaters
1998 How Stella Got Her Groove Back starring Angela Bassett who still had hers (before she lost it and got it back heyyyy) hit movie theaters
2004 The cinematographer Neal Fredericks of sleeper phenomenon The Blair Witch Project (1999) dies suddenly in a plane crash on location for a film
2009 District 9 opens in the US, becomes a huge hit, and even goes on to Oscar nominations including Best Picture in one of the most surprising Oscar years ever (since no one knew when the year began that they'd shift to 10 Best Picture nominees and the studios definitely hadn't prepared for it.)

Tuesday
Nov102015

Curio: Hotel Keytags

Alexa here with your weekly film curiosities. Remember when hotels used real keys instead of key cards? Yes, our age is showing. My nostalgia for these days of yore made me immediately take notice these clever keychains at KeyChainsRUs. Made to resemble those Route 66-style plastic motel key tags, they reference some of our favorite film overnights.  

Which set of keys after the jump would you grab for a night's adventure?

Click to read more ...

Monday
Oct262015

NEWS: Reese, Rocky Horror & The Revenant

Manuel here trying to keep up with exciting news about several TFE faves (and one who hasn’t quite earned that title).

- HBO’s Big Little Lies, which we’ve discussed before since it’s produced and will star the unlikely power duo of Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon, has “allegedly” found a director. Jean Marc-Vallée, of Wild and (more recently) Demolition (TIFF review) fame is in talks to direct the first episode of the short television series adaptation of Liane Moriarty’s endlessly readable book about suburban secrets. Confession: I read it in one sitting and can’t wait to see how it turns out. Let’s hope they sign Vallée’s contract soon since he’s wont to keep himself busy (presumably with that long-gestating Janis Joplin pic with Amy Adams).

- Orange is the New Black breakout star Laverne Cox has been tapped to play the role of Dr. Frank N. Furter, made iconic by a fishnet-stocking-ed Tim Curry in the 1975 film The Rocky Horror Picture Show, in FOX’s TV remake which unlike NBC’s attempts at television musical revivals, will not be broadcast live but be filmed in advance. Seeing as Frank N. Furter is a “sweet transvestite” the casting of Cox, an outspoken trans activist, is a fascinating case of stunt casting in it of itself though it’s already earning the “hot take” treatment in some online outlets. Needless to say, I’m curious to see Cox’s take on the role, and eagerly await who director Kenny Ortega casts as Rocky Horror. Any suggestions?

- Oh, and I couldn’t not feature the gorgeous new poster for Alejandro González Iñárritu’s The Revenant.

The film, if you've followed its pre-release chatter, has already won Oscars for Leo, Chivo and potentially everyone else associated with it. (I kid! Though, not really). We were obviously impressed with the teaser trailer and so this evocative one-sheet is no surprise but by god if it’s not pretty. Perhaps a tad pretentious in that it literally defines the title for you. Though, admit it, “revenant” is not really in the vernacular. That neither Leo or Iñárritu’s name are billed anywhere in the poster is fascinating. Is it humility (“let the film speak for itself”) or hubris (“the film doesn’t need to be sold on people’s names”), or perhaps something else?