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Monthly Archives: May 2016

The Corruption of Chris O’Donnell


Batman-forever

Movieline magazine interviewed Chris O’Donnell three times.  Due to the method I am using to work my way through the archives, I am actually running the interviews in reverse order.  In 1993, O’Donnell was a fresh-faced newcomer.  The second interview was published in the May 1995 issue just before the release of Batman and Robin made O’Donnell a household name.  Stephen Rebello tried to get a sense of how much Hollywood had changed the young actor.  O’Donnell comes across as a pretty down-to-earth guy with a fierce competitive streak.  During the article, he makes a pointed comment about not being on the magazine’s cover.  In 1996, O’Donnell did his third interview for the magazine despite the fact he wasn’t promoting a movie because they agreed to put him on the cover.

This is the middle chapter of the O’Donnell-Movieline trilogy of interviews.

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Out There with Nicholas Cage


cage - the rock

Lawrence Grobel interviewed Nicolas Cage for the cover story of the May 1996 issue of Movieline Magazine.  Cage had just won a Golden Globe for Leaving Las Vegas and he was about to win an Oscar as well.  The actor was promoting his big summer movie, The Rock, which would reinvent him as an action hero.  His career would never be the same.

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NBC Preview of Skull Island: Reign of Kong


Skull_Island__Reign_of_Kong

This summer, Universal is opening a new King Kong attraction at its Islands of Adventure theme park.  Over the weekend, NBC aired previews of the ride during a presentation of Peter Jackson 2005 remake of the original movie.  If you missed it, someone was kind enough to post it on YouTube.  We’ll take a look after the jump.

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Who’s Afraid of Citizen Kane


citizen-kane

On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Citizen Kane, David Thomson looked back at the movie’s history and legacy as well as that of its creator.  Orson Welles’ directorial debut failed to make much of an impact when it was initially released.  But its reputation as the greatest film ever made grew over time.  Even now, twenty-five years after this article was written and seventy-five years after the release of Citizen Kane, it is generally considered by critics as the pinnacle achievement in film.  Thomson examines why that is true and why that’s not necessarily a good thing.

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20 Movies you should see before going to Disney World


aulani-guests-watch-a-disney-movie-outside

Below you will find the introduction for an article I first wrote in May of 2016 detailing my estimation of the Disney movies you should have seen before a Walt Disney World vacation in order to understand and appreciate best what you’re most likely to see there. It is now July of 2017 and there have been enough changes to the parks and resorts that I have decided to update this article. With the exciting new announcements at this year’s D23 convention it should be obvious that these ratings will not hold up for much longer than they did this time. My intention right now is to update these rankings whenever necessary. You will notice that some movies, like Lilo & Stitch and Pinocchio have dropped out of the top 20 while others have jumped up into this list. This is truly a moving target, but those movies are still great and ones I would recommend whether you’re going to Walt Disney World or not.

Recently, a co-worker of mine told me he and his wife are taking their kids on their very first trip to Walt Disney World in Florida this summer. Apparently he’d heard I’m something of an enthusiast on the topic. After a quick rundown of where they’re staying and eating, he expressed some concerns over the quickly approaching date for reserving the family’s Fastpasses and worried that his young kids might be scared of some of the rides (he has a 4-year-old daughter and a 6-year-old son). I told him they probably would be a little tentative and suggested that he sit down with them on YouTube to get a preview of some of the attractions he thought they were targeting. I’ve heard from some parents that this has helped to demystify some of the gentle dark rides and can act as a stepping stone for the overall experience. He seemed pretty pleased with this suggestion and I came out of the conversation feeling rather happy with myself. It was a win-win.

Unfortunately, he came back a couple of days later with a completely different problem. He had watched several ride videos with his kids like I’d said, and he hadn’t gotten much feeling that they were frightened by what they saw. But maybe that was because they had spent the entire time asking him who all of the characters were! This came as quite a shock to both him and his wife. After all, they were pretty sure all kinds of cartoons were on in the house on a rather regular basis. But there he was, trying to explain the seven dwarfs, Peter Pan, and even the Little Mermaid to his kids. A cursory investigation of the family’s available Disney movies revealed part of the problem: they weren’t the ones with rides based on them. Frozen had been played past one family member’s tolerance, but that ride isn’t open yet. His son had practically worn out a copy of Pixar’s Cars, but there is next to nothing at Disney World featuring those characters. There was a lot of Disney Jr stuff like Doc McStuffins and Jake and the Neverland Pirates available, which really just covers one stage show and maybe a character meal. He snatched out a copy of Beauty and the Beast and insisted to his kids that they had all watched it together a couple of times. Maybe they had, but at that moment all he was getting were blank stares. “For crying out loud,” he said to me (or something less printable here), “What the heck do they need to see before we leave in nine weeks?!” Clearly, the stress of trip planning was getting to him.

I smiled and told him I’d have a list for him in a day or two, but that a refresher on Beauty and the Beast couldn’t hurt in the meantime. Join me as we look at a big part of that promised list.
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Kevin Costner: All That Kevin Allows


Costner - Robin Hood

Twenty-five years ago, Kevin Costner was at the top of his game.  He had just won Oscar gold with his directorial debut, Dances With Wolves and he was about to dominate the box office with Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.  Movieline devoted their cover story to him in the May 1991 issue despite the fact that Costner declined to be interviewed!

Without access to the subject of the story, Stephen Rebello talked to the people behind the man.  The article ended up giving insights into the making of a movie star.

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The Look: Theresa Russell


Theresa Russell - Whore

Theresa Russell was never a household name.  Most of her filmography consisted of independent movies many of which were directed be her husband, Nic Roeg.  In 1991, Russell was starring in Ken Russell’s provocative drama, Whore.  Movieline Associate Editor Joshua Mooney sat down with Russell to discuss her career and her latest movie.

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What the Hell Happened to Joe Dante?


Joe Dante

Joe Dante worked his way from cartoonist, to production assistant, to editor, all the way to director in his own right. His fondness for the old-school and homages to bygone eras of filmmaking inform most of his work, of which there is quite alot. Over his career, he has shifted gears without a hitch from adult-oriented work to become a name synonymous with clever family fun. Those flowers have wilted however, as he now finds himself increasingly involved in TV direction and non-theatrical films.

What the hell happened?

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Golden Raspberry Awards: 2011


Razzies 2011

The Golden Raspberries started off as an informal joke.  Something for a publicist and his friends to do after the Oscars had ended.  Over time, it has become and enduring and irreverent tradition.  In theory, The Razzies poke fun at the worst movies of the year.  But like any awards ceremony, the Razzies frequently make the wrong call.  We’re going back and looking at the history of the Golden Raspberry Awards one year at a time.

The thirty-second annual Razzies nominated the movies of 2011.   Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 and Transformers: Dark of the Moon were the top movies of the year.  The silent comedy, The Artist, took a lot of the top prizes including Best Picture.   And Meryl Streep won her third Oscar for The Iron Lady.  At the Razzies, every single award was won by one of two movies starring Adam Sandler.

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Starlog Archives: Mutant Affairs – X-Men Last Stand


Some things son’t change.  Ten years ago, we were awaiting the release of what was supposed to be the last movie in the X-Men franchise.  Now here we are a decade later preparing for the release of the latest movie in the series, X-Men: Apocalypse.  Director Bryan Singer ditched the mutants after the first two movies for a crack at Superman.  His effort, Superman Returns, was also covered in this issue.  After both movies disappointed fans, both franchises received reboots.  Singer eventually returned to the merry land of mutants and has made some efforts to wipe away Brett Ratner’s reviled entry in the series.

Back when there was still reason to hope that Last Stand would give the X-Men a fitting conclusion, it graced the cover of the May 2006 issue of Starlog.

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Denzel Washington: Nowhere to Hide


crimson tide

There are certain celebrities who are known to be difficult interview subjects.  The intensely private Denzel Washington has always been one of them.  In the May 1995 issue of Movieline, Stephen Rebello was tasked with getting Washington to talk about his private life and rumors of infidelity.  It was touch and go for a while, but eventually Rebello got the actor to open up.

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Fear the Walking Dead: Shiva


FTWD - Shiva

Madness reigned on the midseason finale of Fear the Walking Dead.  The characters arrived at the Abigail compound last week and it was immediately apparent that despite the lush surroundings, this place was about as safe as your average death cult.  The matriarch of the family, Celia, was clearly off her nut.  So there wasn’t a lot of point in settling in to their new digs.  Sure enough, within a matter of days, the whole place is going up in flames and the blended family has been scattered to the wind.

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Review: The Nice Guys


The Nice Guys

Shane Black may not have invented the buddy movie (Butch And Sundance were there first). But he did create the modern version of it. When Lethal Weapon, made form his script, was released in 1987, the most recent buddy cop movie of that type was 1982’s 48 Hours, which made a movie star of Eddie Murphy. The earlier film was great. But it didn’t develop a whole sub-genre. Lethal Weapon did. It also launched the career of its screenwriter.

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