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Entries in Romancing the Stone (6)

Sunday
Sep042016

Podcast: Smackdown Reflections and Film Critics on Acting

Nathaniel talks to Sheila O'Malley, one of the best film critics on acting, as they reflect on recent Smackdown adventures, the chaos of acting careers, and the problems with "best" designations.

Index (43 minutes)
00:01 Acting training, Geraldine Page, and critics who "get" acting
06:45 Glenn Close and Robert Redford Reveries in The Natural
14:00 The quality of acting fields & self-selecting "Oscar movies"
20:45 Romancing the Stone and the "realm of fantasy" versus the "gritty" farm wife movies. Why do some movies hold up so well over time?
27:00 Peggy Ashcroft and Lindsay Crouse. Plus: making out with Ed Harris.
33:00 The rumors about Swing Shift and Jonathan Demme's original cut. Did we lose a masterpiece?
40:18 Sheila's connection to Gena Rowland's Honorary Oscar.

You can listen to the podcast here at the bottom of the post or download from iTunes. Continue the conversations in the comments, won't you?  

P.S. Read more about Sheila's Gena Rowlands tribute here.

a conversation with Sheila O'Malley

Sunday
Aug282016

Box Office Special: 1984 Hits

Rather than talk about this weekend's boring box office results (nothing new to see here beyond a big weekend for that new kill-the-trespassing-teenagers flick Don't Breathe) let's travel back to 1984 which was a hugely influential year for franchises of many kinds. What can the biggest hits tell us about the then and the now? 

TOP TWENTY OF 1984
numbers adjusted for today's dollars via box office mojo

01 Ghostbusters $589.6  
Two Oscar nods. Spawned 1 terrible sequel, two animated TV shows, and this year's reboot

02 Beverly Hills Cop $581.5
Led to two sequels, a TV remake, and a TV pilot that wasn't picked up. Beverly Hills Cop 4 has been in some stage of development for 20+ years and is still supposedly being made. We'll believe it when we see it.

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Aug252016

1984: The Sexiness of "Romancing the Stone"

We're celebrating the cinematic year of 1984 this month. Here's Chris Feil on Romancing the Stone...

One of 1984's biggest hits was Romancing the Stone, a quippy twist on a harlequin romance dressed up as a jungle adventure. The film was the first big box office success for director Robert Zemeckis, though he only ever fleetingly matched Stone's glee for the sexy - it's almost odd that this film comes from a director who's film are often mostly crotchless.

But more importantly, Stone gifted us with the first cinematic gold pairing of Kathleen Turner and Michael Douglas. The duo is perfectly matched for their complimentary wits and evident sex appeal, resulting in both sequel The Jewel of the Nile and The War of the Rose before the decade's end. They may have had more overt steaminess elsewhere (see: Body Heat and Fatal Attraction, et al.), but even this film's PG rating can't contain their fireworks together.

The blend of grand adventure, slapstick humor, and loin-grabbing passion begs the question "Why does sex at the movies always have to be so damn serious?" So in honor of the Stone's hot fun:

TEN OF THE SEXIEST MOMENTS...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Aug092016

Vintage '84: Travel Back in Time...

1984 is our "Year of the Month", as we work towards the Supporting Actress Smackdown on the last Sunday in the month (more on that soon). So let's steep ourselves in that year that was a bit. It was an Olympics year (Los Angeles in summer, Sarajevo in winter), the Ethiopian famine alarmed the world and prompted that "Do They Know It's Christmas" music world response, the first Apple Macintosh went on sale, TV brought us the premiere of the ubiquitous Wendy's commercial "Where's the beef?", several franchises that still won't go away debuted in early forms, for better and worse (The Terminator, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Transformers), the first MTV Video Awards was held, featuring Madonna's historic "Like a Virgin" performance, and there were two sudden confusing celebrity deaths (35 year old comedian Andy Kaufman to cancer -- which later prompted hoax theories -- and 26 year old beefcake superstar Jon-Erik Hexum who died of an accidental gunshot on the set of his TV show).

Indiana Jones becomes a franchise | Madonna, Kathleen Turner, and Daryl Hannah all become superstars, Geraldine Ferraro is first female VP candidate, and Rob Lowe is the hot new boytoy

Marinate in the Juices of 1984 via Movies, Music, Theater, and Television after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Apr142016

Who Wore It Best? 80s Adventure Hunks Edition

Dancin' Dan here with a little bit of Actor Month fun. Witness has already hit us with its best shots, but I'm not quite ready to let Harrison Ford go just yet. Watching Witness for the first time can make you yearn for younger Ford, because.... MAN was he so perfectly, ruggedly handsome in the 80s (and throughout most of the 90s). None of his roles captured that ruggedly handsome side of him quite so much as Indiana Jones, who is one of the best movie characters of all time.

But I'm unfairly stuffing the ballot box before the question. Who wore the "80s Adventurer Look" best? Tell us in the comments!

Harrison Ford's brilliant almost fearless (why did it have to be snakes?) archelogist/adventurer Indiana Jones is a prime hunk of man, but not exactly alone in the world of ruggedly handsome 80s franchise adventurers... There is also Michael Douglas's Jack T. Colton from Romancing the Stone.

There is also Michael Douglas's Jack T. Colton from Romancing the Stone / The Jewel of the Nile. A bit wilder than Indy, to be sure, but the loose canon aspect can be a turn-on, and he doesn't have a professorial day job to keep him buttoned-up at any point.

Thursday
Jan122012

10 Things I Learned About Kathleen Turner This Week

Kathleen Turner as Molly Ivins

Those of you in the Los Angeles area have two enticing theater options coming up. The first -- an absolute must see -- is the Broadway production of Stephen Sondheim's Follies. It's coming to LA soon from Broadway intact but for Bernadette Peters who will be replaced by another major but less famous talent, Victoria Clark (The Light in the Piazza). The other theater option is currently playing. I can't vouch for since I haven't seen it, but it's the one and only Kathleen Turner playing Molly Ivins in the one woman show Red Hot Patriot.

I have however seen Kathleen Turner live on stage twice (Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf and High) and she doesn't lose even one ounce of her charisma or gift on the stage the way many screen stars do when they attempt the transfer. Earlier this week she had a live chat at the LA Times Culture Monster and, though I've never participated in one of those before it was my darling Kathleen (she along with Pfeiffer and Streep is how I became such an actress-obsessive in my formative years) so I had to!

I told her I missed her onscreen and her response went like so.

I have a film coming out called A Perfect Family sometime this Spring. I still enjoy camera acting, but it's not as exhilarating to me as being on stage."

Ten other things I learned during her chat with fans after the jump...

10 Notable Bits From Kathleen Turner's Live Chat

10. Her favorite actors are Dame Maggie Smith and Dame Judi Dench. How strange is that? MOMENTS before this live chat we had just made a major plea for them to present at the Oscars together. This is empirical evidence that Kathleen was reading the Film Experience as she answered questions! ;) But in all serious lord knows if she ever googles herself, she's seen the site.  

"PUSSY WILLOW"

09. Her favorite of her own films is Serial Mom because she has so many wonderful memories from the set ("most laughs") and she is still close with John Waters. This movie prompted the funnest questions from her gathered fans. Had she ever made a prank phone call "For heaven's sake, no! Nor will I". One fan said the house the real Serial Mom lived in in Baltimore was for sale. Should he buy it and give tours? "Good luck!" was her perfect succinct response. 

8-1 after the jump

Click to read more ...