Archive for August 2011

My 15 Most Super Special Fantastic Favorite Film Noirs That All Film Connoisseurs Should Soak Up And Love Like A Fine Wine – Part 4 of 5   Leave a comment

Hey Everybody,June this year marks our first anniversary here at Celluloid Pop Culture Junkie( Now this series of articles has run well into July and looks like August as well).  So to celebrate that occasion we’re re-watching my 15 must see film noirs through out the month and inviting you all to do the same, possibly to discover a new world of cinema gold you never knew existed; And I’m betting some of you will be blown away by the pure awesomeness of these films.For the purpose of these articles we are going to be looking at the classic “Film Noirs” by definition, starting in the early 40’s spanning to the late 50’s; Slow exposure black and white film cinematography with strong shadows rooted in silent German expressionist films and stories derived mostly from anti-hero crime fiction of the great depression era . Really the term “Film Noir” wasn’t even adopted in America till the 70’s, many of the classics were referred to as Melodramas by US film historians and critics during their initial run. However the term was first used to describe Hollywood films in 1946 by a French critic Nino Frank.Believe it or not, there still is a debate amongst film enthusiasts and scholars alike whether “Film Noir” is an actual distinct genre within itself or not. In all honesty, who really gives a shit? It’s like arguing who the best captain on Star Trek was, it’s a stupid question that’s never ever going to get you laid. So forget it already and just enjoy the actual films with some sort of companion if possible. Now here are some great unforgettable pictures that everyone who loves the movies should see.

If you decide to give any of these a viewing,  you’ll find something to fall in love with and will want to turn other humans onto for the rest of your life You will not be disappointed in any of the following films, all are super duper cinema gold. Finally TOP 6 TIME!!! Sorry for the delay for anyone reading this series of articles but we are back with the first half of my top 6 of 15 must see Classic Film Noirs. First up today in the number 6 spot is a director that has been on this list a few time already, with his first feature film that kicked the world in the balls with a classic Bogart detective tale that has so many great cinema moments in it,  it’s just plain stupid.

  • #6-The Maltese Falcon (1941) director John Huston- A first film for any director always holds something special. You usually see a talent emerging not fully formed but striking to the imagination. With John Huston’s first film he was as so few directors are right out of the gate, a force to be reckoned with. Humphrey Bogart as Private detective Samel Spade leads the stellar cast, Mary Astor, Peter Lorre, Sydney Greenstreet and Elisha Cook Jr. amongst many other players inhabiting one of the greatest films ever made. The dark and twisting plot runs quite fast for a movie from 1941. The dialog delivered as only film noir characters can speak. Suggested subtext in every exchange, quick sarcastic retorts  and a super cool “fuck you”  attitude to every question or situation  makes Bogart into a god through the camera lens. This is the film that cemented him in my head at a super talent and one of the mediums great artist to be rediscovered through many generation of films lovers and artist alike.  Add to that the directing talents of a young John Huston and you have an atom bomb of film geek joy exploding to scorch your brain with the plain cinema bliss. This is what film noir and classic film is all about, the stuff dreams are made of. 
  • #5-Sunset Boulevard (1950) director Billy Wilder- Of so many great movies Billy Wilder directed, Sunset Boulevard stands at the top of the best film ever made about the life of making films. I love movies about Hollywood and the dark and seedy world which Los Angeles  becomes in this film is of legend. The story starts with a William Holden voice over and shots of Sunset Boulevard and then a house with a pool. Detectives around the pool are trying to fish out Holden’s screen writer characters dead body. The whole story is told from a voice over from a dead body in a swimming pool, how dam cool is that as a hook in the first few minutes. Pure pure gold. You’ve also got what could be the best casting in film history with silent screen star Gloria Swanson playing the aging “has been” actress Norma Desmond and Eric Von Stroheim as Max Von Mayerling, her sullen butler servant companion. They inhabit the roles smashing the line between playing and being a character, bringing such brilliance to a role you somewhat closely resembling in career and life, must have been a extremely hard to make real with out going a bit crazy for both players. Swanson’s performance is nothing short of breath taking even re-watching it 61 years later, a must study for every actor and/or actress. For the keen film geek you’ll also see guest appearances by Buster Keaton, Anna Q. Nilsson and H B. Warner as the “wax works ” bridge partners to Norma, all major silent screen stars in their day. So much inside stuff about the business of making movies was exposed for the first time in a dark way to the American public and the world, and also garnering some mixed emotions in Hollywood about Wilder’s picture. Some studio head publicly scorned the director for exposing the world to the dark take on the city of angels and the industry that made it a giant in the desert. A must see for every film fan and casual watcher, see how amazing classic film can get with Sunset Boulevard. Come see what all the hype is about, it’s all right here.#4- Touch Of Evil (1956) director Orson Welles- After his first film, so ahead of its time it almost crushed his directing career in 1941, Orson Welles still found work as a actor in Hollywood and Europe though out the 40’s and 50’s. He still went on to direct a hand full of great films even though the studio financiers kept tight rein on the final product put up on the scene. Touch of Evil is one of those film that was talked about how the executives at universal stepped in and re cut the film with out Welles’s approval and released a very compromised version both in content and in score. In response to the treatment of his film Welles wrote very a detailed 58 page memo to Universal outlining the problems with the cuts they had made and the reason why he made the first choices for the film. Pleading with them to please put the film back to his original cut, the studio ignored the memo released their cut of the film. I have seen the original cut on VHS and was confused by obvious cuts in the scenes flow, weird music cues and edits. Thanks to Charlton Heston bringing forth an original copy of the Welles memo in 1998, which has thought to have been lost, Universal re edited the film to all the choices outlined in the memo and giving us a very complete version of Touch Of Evil as Orson Welles intended us to see it. What really is the difference? We’ll with the Welles cut of the film we have better flow of music to atmospheric sound(no more out of place music), all the drug content is back in, better flow in editing and choice of takes and plainly we get the film intended by the director. So ahead of its time, this film plays like a movie from the 70’s shot in black and white, all the actors have great characters to work with, the story is dark as can be for American cinema of the mid 50’s, the lighting and shot choices are inspired genius to say the least and Orson Welles’s Captain Hank Quinlan is one of those amazing characters in cinema who seems so real to me. Another great role he disappears into , never once thinking your watching an actor or performance, this is a true actor and artist at the height of his craft. A shame the film world realized too late what they had in Welles and his Jedi like storytelling abilities. Put this on your list to see asap, greatness is waiting to be discovered here. As every Orson Welles picture or performance holds something great to be discovered in his take on certain material and story, Touch of Evil is at the height of American cinema as one of the top 50 films ever made with out question.

Top 3 are coming up this week. Thanks to anyone who is following this set of articles and sorry again for the delay, all the above 3 films are defiantly worth a viewing. Some serious cinema super power here. Happy viewing, hope you discover something awesome this week.

Till Next Time. Stay Tuned.

J.

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Bane Fights Batman In The Streets and Tom Hardy Drops Subtle Hints Of Epicness To Come   Leave a comment

Hey Everybody,

We finally get a look at the full costume for Tom Hardy’s Bane in the up coming Dark Knight Rises. A few days later we get more pics popping up online of the Bat and Bane fighting which looks super rad. The outfit of Bane looking great with the big jacket off.

Recently Total film scored a few quotes on Hardy playing Bane during an interview:

He told them that Nolan called him up while he was shooting This Means War, to ask if he’d be happy playing the musclebound, mask-wearing villain in Rises: ‘Hang on a minute. You’re asking me to come round the world with you in a Batman movie, playing a villain, and the only downside to it is I have to wear a mask? Hmmm, let me think. I’ll get back to you… No, I’m fucking there, man! Anything you need.’”

As every fan that knows the Bane/Batman story already, with out spoilers for those that don’t know, they have some epic battles and epic injuries alike. When they asked Hardy about this he choose his words carefully: “Mmmmm… Good lead-in, but all I can say is that Chris has a plan up his sleeve that’s not at all disappointing. And that is a definite choice that’s watertight in every respect.

“I think Bane’s fucking cool so I’m really excited to play him. It’s not the guy in Joel Schumacher’s film, but it shouldn’t disappoint fanboys” So, does he feel any pressure living up to Heath Ledger’s portrayal as one Batman’s arch-nemeses? “No, none at all,” he insisted. “Brilliant actor, brilliant work – that’s it. I’ve got a job to do.“It’s the same with Mad Max and Mel Gibson. I’m not here to engage in a competition with their talent. It’s to play the character that I’ve been given.”

And he’s not bothered about wearing a mask either: “Any time you put something over your face, you’re going to adopt a personality and a physicality that has nothing to do with acting. It allows a performance to be free.”

Very much looking forward to the final chapter in Chris Noland’s Batman Trilogy. Hoping to see some epic battle and drama for the finale.  I’m sure Noland won’t disapoint.

Till Next Time. Stay Tuned
J.

Hot Toys and Sideshow Rule The Floor At San Diego Comic-Con With The Best In Movie Collectibles.   Leave a comment

Hey Everybody,

Every year at the end of July for 5 days, all the film studios, comic companies and toy/collectible manufactures from all over the globe make their way to San Diego California for the largest entertainment industry/ comic convention on Earth, San Diego Comic-Con. With A 120 thousand humans a day making their way though the convention center, it’s a serious geek and fan boy scene that brings out all the great previews of up coming comics, films, TV shows, toys and collectibles. With the collectibles industry booming the last 5 or 6 years, they have raised their games to the point where they are producing pop art pieces not simply toys or dolls anymore. When we talk about quality and shear awesomeness in collectable manufactures, we don’t have to go farther that Sideshow Collectible out of California and Hot Toys out of Hong Kong.  Both pushing the quality and possibilities of what can be done with the action figure. This year was a pretty amazing display at the joint Sideshow/Hot Toys booth, giving many collectors multiple reasons to cry with joy. Many many long awaited rumored  figures have finally shown their faces at the con, and below are the best of the show and anything I thought was really cool. As far as I’m concerned both Sideshow and Hot Toys have hit new high with the offerings here, enjoy the mass amount of pics from the con and dive into collectible heaven…

HOT TOYS PREVIEWS

’89 Jack Nicholson Joker DX

’89 1:6 Scale Batmobile

Batman Begins/ Bruce Wayne Toy Fair/Con exclusive

Christopher Reeve 1:6 Scale  1978 Superman

                                     

                                     

DX 07 1:6 Scale Star Wars Luke Skywalker Bespin Outfit

Tron:Legacy 1:6 scale light cycle

Captain America: The First Avenger 1:6 Figure

Iron Man: 1:6 Scale Suit-Up Gantry

1:6 Scale Iron Monger

Iron Man 2 1:6 Scale Mark II

Spider-Man 3 1:6 Scale Spider-Mans

New Green Goblin 1:6 Scale

Avatar 1:6 Scale Jake Sully

Predators Tracker 1:6 Scale figure

Classic Predator 1:6 Scale Redux

Lost Predator- Shadow 1:6 Scale

Sweeney Todd 1:6 Scale

Captain Jack DX 1:6 Scale

Resident Evil: Afterlife  1:6 Scale Alice

Indiana Jones DX 1:6 Scale

Sucker Punch 1:6 Scale Baby Doll

Sucker Punch 1:6 Scale Amber

SIDESHOW COLLECTIBLES PREVIEWS 1:6 Scale, Premium format 1/4 Scale, Legendary Scale 1:2,  Life Size

1:6 Scale Empire Strikes Back Boba Fett

1:6 Scale IG-88

Star Wars “Duel At Bespin” Diorama

1:6 Scale Dewback and Sandtroopers

1:6 Scale Catina Environment

1:6 Scale General Grievous

1:6 Scale Clones and Battle Droids

1:6 Scale Raiders Of The Lost Ark Map Room Environment

1:4 Scale “Big Chap” Maquette From Alien

1:4 Scale “Warrior Alien” Maquette From Aliens

1:4 Scale T-800 Premium Format From Terminator 1984

1:4 Scale Han In Carbonite

1:4 Scale Emperor On Imperial Thorn Premium Format

1:4 Scale Premium Format Stormtroopers

1:4 Scale Classic Comic Joker Premium Format

1:2 Legendary Scale Darth Maul

1:2 Legendary Scale A New Hope Obi-Wan Kenobi

1:2 Legendary Scale Neytiri From Avatar

Life Size 1:1 Chalice of Kali from Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom

1:1 C3po “Clean Version” Bust

1:1 Cantina Band Dude Bust

1:1  Asajj Ventress Bust From Clone Wars

1:1 Darth Vader Bust

1:1 Boba Fett Bust

1:1 Han Solo in Carbonite

1:1 Marvel Busts

1:1 Berserker Predator from Predators

1:1 Robocop Bust

Medicom 1:6 Star Wars Figures

R5-D4 1:6 Scale

Bounty Hunter 4-Lom 1:6 Scale

I definitely see more that a few awesome pieces that will end up on my shelves later this year and well into next, Always a great show and this year was no different.  Keep it up Sideshow and Hot Toys. Really loving your effort and licenses as of late, strong work everyone.

Till Next Time. Stay Tuned

J.