Spike Lee's new film Da 5 Bloods tells the story of African-American vets of the Vietnam war who return to the country in the present day to find the remains of their squad leader and seek out a gold treasure they buried in the jungle. The movie—starring Delroy Lindo, Clarke Peters, Norm Lewis, and Isiah Whitlock, Jr., and Jonathan Majors—premieres on Netflix on June 12.
“The United States Armed Forces came close to being torn apart when black soldiers heard that Dr. King was assassinated,” Lee told Vanity Fair in a recent interview. “They also heard that their brothers and sisters were tearing shit up in over 100 cities across America. The tipping point came very close; the black soldiers were getting ready to set it off in Vietnam—and not against the Vietcong either.”
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"Revvin' up your engine, listen to her howlin' roar. Metal under tension, beggin' you to touch and go."
Next up, a deepfake with Tom Cruise as Luke Skywalker?
(Thanks, Emmett K!) Read the rest
A decade ago, many movies had a blue tint added to them, apparently meant to convey a spooky or thrilling vibe. But there's also an extreme yellow tint to certain films, the latest example being the new Netflix movie Extraction. (Trailer above.) What's the deal with the mustard-colored movies? At the Matador Network, Elizabeth Sherman writes about the "yellow filter" and why some people find it offensive:
[...] It’s almost always used in movies that take place in India, Mexico, or Southeast Asia. Oversaturated yellow tones are supposed to depict warm, tropical, dry climates. But it makes the landscape in question look jaundiced and unhealthy, adding an almost dirty or grimy sheen to the scene. Yellow filter seems to intentionally make places the West has deemed dangerous or even primitive uglier than is necessary or even appropriate, especially when all these countries are filled with natural wonders that don’t make it to our screens quite as often as depictions of violence and poverty [...]
Yellow filter goes hand in hand with films that depict mostly negative stereotypes about living in the country in question, all while centering the journey of a white hero: Some combination of gangs, extreme poverty, drug use, and war seems to pop up in most of the movies that use yellow filter. Not only is it ugly and overused, but it reinforces stereotypes about people in countries that Americans still tend to think of as the “developing world.”
"Why does ‘yellow filter’ keep popping up in American movies? Read the rest
So real, I can smell it! Read the rest
Flash Gordon (1985) is a fantastic and camptastic film thanks in no small part to Queen's wonderful soundtrack. Above is Queen's unreleased promotional video for "Flash." Stick around 'til the end for a Klytus cameo.
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For anyone who has ever dreamed of living in a Wes Anderson film, social distancing goes a long way toward making that a reality. Luís Azevedo edited this montage from Anderson's movies.
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Trolls: World Tour is a new animated kids' movie from Universal Studios. Despite the theaters being closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, the film has somehow made more than $100m from streaming media views and other cash-ins such as fast food licensing deals. AMC Theaters, the market leader in the US, has banned Universal Studios from its screens in response. Universal is far from the only studio to move its blockbusters directly to TV during the pandemic, but it is the only one boasting about the results in public, hence AMC's public retaliation.
AMC CEO Adam Aron announced the ban in a letter to Universal chairman Donna Langley on Tuesday, telling her that the decision was triggered by a quote NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell gave to the Wall Street Journal about the blockbuster digital success of "Trolls World Tour." ... Shell told the newspaper that the movie "exceeded our expectations and demonstrated the viability" of on-demand video. But it was Shell's next quote that really incensed AMC, which is controlled by China's Dalian Wanda Group and owns Odeon and UCI — Europe's biggest cinema operator. "As soon as theaters reopen," Shell added, "we expect to release movies on both formats."
Sure looks like movie theaters are fucked. Read the rest
Bruce Lee's 1970s films have entered the realm of cinematic fine art. The Criterion Collection is releasing a Bruce Lee seven-disc Blu-Ray box set appropriately titled "His Greatest Hits." Included are The Big Boss (1971), Fist of Fury (1972), The Way of the Dragon (1972), Enter the Dragon (1973), and Game of Death (1978). Never take your eyes off your opponent, even when you're bowing. Here's what's included in Bruce Lee: His Greatest Hits:
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4K digital restorations of The Big Boss, Fist of Fury, Game of Death, and The Way of the Dragon, with uncompressed original monaural soundtracks; New 2K digital restoration of the rarely-seen 99-minute 1973 theatrical version of Enter the Dragon, with uncompressed original monaural soundtrack; 2K digital restoration of the 102-minute “special-edition” version of Enter the Dragon; Alternate audio soundtracks for the films, including original English-dubbed tracks and a 5.1 surround soundtrack for the special-edition version of Enter the Dragon; Six audio commentaries: on The Big Boss by Bruce Lee expert Brandon Bentley; on The Big Boss, Fist of Fury, Game of Death, and The Way of the Dragon by Hong Kong–film expert Mike Leeder; and on the special-edition version of Enter the Dragon by producer Paul Heller; High-definition presentation of Game of Death II, the 1981 sequel to Game of Death; Game of Death Redux, a new presentation of Lee’s original Game of Death footage, produced by Alan Canvan; New interviews on all five films with Lee biographer Matthew Polly; New interview with producer Andre Morgan about Golden Harvest, the company behind Hong Kong’s top martial-arts stars, including Lee; New program about English-language dubbing with voice performers Michael Kaye (the English-speaking voice of Lee’s Chen Zhen in Fist of Fury) and Vaughan Savidge; New interview with author Grady Hendrix about the “Bruceploitation” subgenre that followed Lee’s death, and a selection of Bruceploitation trailers; Blood and Steel, a 2004 documentary about the making of Enter the Dragon; Multiple programs and documentaries about Lee’s life and philosophies, including Bruce Lee: The Man and the Legend (1973) and Bruce Lee: In His Own Words (1998); Interviews with Linda Lee Cadwell, Lee’s widow, and many of Lee’s collaborators and admirers, including actors Jon T.
In March 1978, the wonderful Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA) presented a screening of Eraserhead followed by a Q&A with director David Lynch. BAMPFA just recently digitized the cassette and shared it for all to enjoy. Read the rest
Actor Brian Dennehy, best known for his role in the movies 'Tommy Boy' and 'First Blood', has died.
He was 81.
The Golden Globe and Tony award winner's career spanned 50 years on stage and screen.
Above, one of the great scenes with Dennehy and Chris Farley in 'Tommy Boy.'
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Viral again this week is the casting wishlist for Star Trek: The Next Generation, which reveals that Denise Crosby was originally to be cast as Counselor Troi, not Lt. Tasha Yar, and Predator's Kevin Peter Hall was considered for both Lt. Cmdr. Data and Lt. Geordi LaForge.
Best of all, Bond and Alien legend Yaphet Kotto was close to being cast as captain Jean-Luc Picard, a part that ultimately went to Patrick Stewart. I've shooped how the big fella might have looked in the role: take me to that timeline!
From an interview:
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You also turned down the role of Captain Picard in Star Trek: The Next Generation?
I think I made some wrong decisions in my life, man. I should have done that but I walked away. When you’re making movies, you’d tend to say no to TV. It’s like when you’re in college and someone asks you to the high school dance. You say no.
If you watch Splash, the 1984 mermaid rom-com starring Tom Hanks and Daryl Hannah, on Disney+, you'll be alerted that the film, rated PG when it was first released, has now "been modified from its original version. It has been edited for content." One piece of content that's been modified is Daryl Hannah's butt. Rather than cut her butt though, Disney+ attempted something much more delicate...
(The A.V. Club) Read the rest
Burt Reynolds regretted turning down the part of James Bond, but now you can see how it would have turned out thanks to deepfakery.
During his 60-year career, he claimed to have turned down several huge roles, including James Bond and Han Solo. Reynolds was eyed up as the replacement for Sean Connery's Bond, but told USA Today in 2015 that he turned down the part because he thought the public wouldn't accept an American 007.
We're approaching the point where the seamlessness of the face-swap lets the attention wander to other things that haven't changed. In this, for example, the uncanny thing is the difference between Connery and Reynolds' very distinctive physical presences. In trying to summarize these differences, the best I can do is to say Connery is catlike and Reynolds is doglike. Read the rest
Denis Villeneuve's Dune, based on Frank Herbert's 1965 novel about space travel, drugs, witches, feudal vendettas, hydraulic despotism, genetics, monologues, etc., is out later this year, rona permitting. Vanity Fair has an exclusive shot from the long-awaited production, with more promised today.
That's Timothée Chalamet as protagonist Paul Atreides, all but certainly on his family's fiefdom of Caladan.
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In celebration of Passover, I suggest watching The Ten Commandments, Cecil B. DeMille's 1923 epic silent film version of the biblical Exodus story (plus a related modern story that I never bothered to watch.) The parting of the Red Sea sequence is absolutely magnificent and worth the cost of admission alone.
As you may recall, just a few years ago archaeologists excavated the "Lost City of DeMille," the Egyptian set for the film buried for almost 100 years in the sand dunes of Santa Barbara County, California.
(Thanks, Rabbi Amichai Lau-Lavie!) Read the rest
Voleflix is like a free Netflix, but it has a nice selection of public domain movies. I was happy to see The Killer Shrews in the line-up. I liked that movie so much as a kid that I bought a super-8 abridged version of the movie that was silent and ran for about 4 minutes. Read the rest
Parasite director Bong Joon-ho drew out beautiful storyboards before rolling film. He's combined his drawings and all of the movie's dialogue into Parasite: A Graphic Novel in Storyboards coming out in May. In the videos above and below, Through the Viewfinder compared the storyboards and the scenes from the actual film.
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