Category Archives: Movies
A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away… a promising young actor was cast in one of the most coveted roles in Hollywood. The actor was then-unknown Hayden Christensen and the part was future Darth Vader, Anakin Skywalker. Christensen beat out well-known actors for the lead role in Star Wars: Episode II–Attack of the Clones and at the time it seemed like that might make him a star. In this cover story from the June 2002 issue of Movieline magazine, Christensen talks about what it was liked to be plucked from obscurity by George Lucas.
Robert Evans is the legendary movie producer whose credits include Chinatown and The Godfather. If you follow this site, I am guessing you know his story. If not, you should pick up Evans’ autobiography, The Kid Stays in The Picture. Or if you prefer, check out the film adaptation which Evans discussed with Movieline magazine at the time of this profile from the June 2002 issue. Evans always has an interesting story to tell. In the profile, Evans talks about how Jack Nicholson scammed him out of valuable furniture and the time he and Cary Grant took LSD together.
As most hip-hop fans know, two of the most famous rappers in rap history were friends turned rivals. This rivalry would lead to a war of words that may have escalated into a shooting war that cost them their lives. Of course, the rappers I’m referring to are The Notorious B.I.G (Biggie Smalls) and Tupac Shakur. A lot of times when musicians create lasting work and die young, they are destined to sooner or later get the biopic treatment. Biggie received it in 2008 with the disappointing Notorious. Two years ago, gangsta rap pioneers NWA got one of the better biopics with Straight Outta Compton. Now it’s Tupac’s turn. The result, while not quite the full-fledged disaster a lot of reviews have made it out to be, is far closer in quality to Notorious than Straight Outta Compton.
In late June of last year I took advantage of some free days to visit my Mother in Virginia for her birthday. It was a fun long weekend that included meals out, a screening of Finding Dory, and an unexpected shared activity when I ran across a puzzle in the book store that was just too good to pass up. It consists of thirty-nine posters from a wide variety of classic films stretching from the silent era of the 1920s into the 1970s. It was an engrossing project to undertake alongside my Mother and we naturally discussed several of the featured movies as we built it. What stunned me a little was that I had actually only seen twenty-six of the thirty-nine films honored. I have vowed to fill these gaps in my knowledge of film and take you along for the ride as I reconstruct the puzzle in question. I’ll re-watch the movies I’ve already seen along with experiencing the ones that are new to me and share my thoughts on each one.
This puzzle sure has a lot of genre and “B” pictures represented, doesn’t it? It’s sort of a mixed bag, including the aforementioned populist fare alongside Oscar bait pictures, classic comedians, and yes some truly great films. Aside from pointing out that there’s nothing here from after the 1970s, you can’t really complain that it isn’t trying to be genre inclusive. Today we’re looking at a movie that, in my personal experience, is actually more famous for its poster than for the film it was created to promote. During my twenties I seem to remember this poster cropping up on the walls of plenty of my female friends’ apartments. I’m not sure how many of them had actually seen the movie, but the poster in itself could certainly be interpreted as an expression of female strength. Being that it was written, directed, and produced by men in 1958, I don’t think it should be much surprise that Attack of the 50 Foot Woman doesn’t quite live up to its iconic advertisement’s implied promises.
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Remember when Robert Downey Jr. wasn’t a movie star? Twenty years ago, Downey was a talented actor. But he was also a train wreck. He made more headlines with his substance abuse problems and subsequent legal issues than he did with his movies. By that point in his career, Downey had been on the cusp of movie stardom for over a decade. But it kept eluding him.
For the cover story of the June 1997 issue of Movieline magazine, Downey was interviewed by director James Toback with whom he has made The Pick-Up Artist and the soon-to-be-released Two Girls and a Guy. Downey was very frank in discussing his career set-backs and how directos (including Toback) frustrate him.
Mark Wahlberg is a movie star. You don’t question that any more. Next week he’s going to be headlining another Transformers movie. Once upon a time, Wahlberg had to fight to be taken seriously as an actor. He was still seen as Marky Mark of the Funky Bunch, rapper and underwear model. Prior to Boogie Nights, Wahlberg had been making inroads towards respectability. But Boogie Nights changed all that. After his performance as Dirk Diggler, people started taking Wahlberg seriously. In this interview from the June 1997 issue of Movieline magazine, Wahlberg talked about his burgeoning movie career.
The X-Men franchise, with its wiggly continuity, spin-offs, reboots and cross-overs, is an odd duck. Perhaps that’s appropriate for a series of movies about mutants. Over the last several years, the series has certainly mutated in some unexpected ways. Seventeen years ago, who would have expected movies like Deadpool or Logan would ever get made? With the latter representing Hugh Jackman’s final performance as Wolverine, Jeffthewildman marked the occasion by ranking all ten of the X-Men movies from Worst to First. Of course we wanted to hear from you readers as well. Let’s see how readers ranked the X-Men movies.
Sigourney Weaver is a genre icon. It’s probably a safe bet that she is best known for having played Ellen Ripley in four Alien movies with the threat of a fifth installment to be made some day if the stars align. Despite a strong connection with science fiction, Weaver’s career has been fairly eclectic. She’s done comedies ranging from Ghostbusters to Working Girl and prestige pictures like Gorillas in the Mist. And she’s been nominated for Oscars in all of these different kinds of roles.
In 1992, Weaver was returning to the part of Ripley for what was supposed to be the last time in Alien3. She was coming off a hiatus during which she gave birth to her only child. In this cover story from the June 1992 issue of Movieline magazine, Weaver discussed her changing priorities as an actress and a mother.
In the June 2002 issue of Movieline magazine, F.X. Feeney examined the ways in which Hollywood portrays the dangers of show business in movies about Hollywood.
Batman Begins and The Dark Knight kickstarted a trend to make superhero movies more dark and gritty. In more recent years, however, people are starting to get tired of the “dark and gritty superhero” trope and embrace lighter fare, like the majority of the MCU movies. In fact, one of the main complaints against Batman V. Superman was that it was too dark and gritty. But there are still some superhero movies and TV shows that can do dark and gritty well. Ironically, Marvel’s Netflix series show this. One example is Jessica Jones.
Like Batman V. Superman, Jessica Jones takes a more realistic, grounded approach and shows what the possible negative consequences of those with powers in the world would be like in real life. But what does Jessica do that makes it beloved yet makes Batman V. Superman hated? Why does one franchise get away with being dark and gritty yet another doesn’t?
What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Faye Dunaway? Odds are, it’s Mommie Dearest and “no wire hangers”. Here at Le Blog where we have a long-running series detailing the career embarrassments of the Golden Raspberry Awards (at which Dunaway was a regular nominee), we tend to focus on that sort of thing.
Dunaway’s fall from grace was sharp and memorable because at one point, she was one of the top actresses in Hollywood. Stephen Rebello, who interviewed the actress for the June 2002 issue of Movieline magazine, mainly sticks to the highlights of Dunaway’s career while getting gabby about her famous costars.
I’m trying to think, what would modern audiences know Eric Stoltz from? He’s shown up in some TV shows. If you’re a sci-fi fan, you may remember Stoltz from the Battlestar Galactica spin-off, Caprica. The first thing that comes to my mind is his supporting role from Pulp Fiction, but that goes back over two decades. The trivia obsessed will remember that Stoltz was fired from Back to the Future. But despite lead roles in movies like Mask and Some Kind of Wonderful, Stoltz never really caught on with the main stream.
Instead, Stoltz gravitated towards the indie scene of the 1990’s. In this interview from the June 1992 issue of Movieline magazine, Stoltz discusses his acting technique as well as his recently rekindled relationship with Bridget Fonda.