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Our two headliners today both became very well known in the 1970s, and subsequently each has had some major career ups and downs.
John Travolta is turning 64 today. He dropped out of high school after his junior year, becoming part of the touring cast of Grease and appearing on Broadway in Over Here! He emerged as a star in the mid-seventies, first in the role of Vinnie Barbarino on Welcome Back, Kotter, then as a singer with the hit single “Let Her In,” then receiving a Best Actor nomination as Tony Manero in Saturday Night Fever. He went on to star in the film version of Grease, Urban Cowboy, and Brian De Palma’s Blow Out, before his career went into a tailspin discussed in his WTHH article.
Travolta’s resurgence began with his starring role in the surprise hit Look Who’s Talking. While sequels to that film were less successful, in 1994 he extended his comeback when he received his second Oscar nomination, as Vincent Vega in Pulp Fiction.
There were a lot of birthdays to choose from today, including three WTHH birthdays, but the pairing above was just too good to pass up.
Molly Ringwald is turning 49 today. She began her screen career in a guest spot on Diff’rent Strokes which led to her playing the same character on the first season of the spinoff series Facts of Life. She then appeared in Tempest, Paul Mazursky’s update of Shakespeare’s play The Tempest, and in the sci-fi film Spacehunter. And then a first-time director named John Hughes cast her as a teenage girl who learns that her family has forgotten about her 16th birthday:
Most of our bracket games run for a couple of weeks, but this one is a little different in that it ties into the completion of a series that ran for nine months. As such, crowning the winner feels like we have come to the end of a lengthy journey. As you can see from the picture above, the title of Best Worst Picture has been awarded to John Travolta’s ultimate vanity project, Battlefield Earth.
That wasn’t really close. Battlefield Earth annihilated I Know Who Killed Me with over 80% of the votes. That means you’re looking at our two finalists right here. It’s Mommie Dearest vs. Battlefield Earth for the title of Best Worst Picture.
If you’re still coping with the fact that the weekly Golden Raspberry articles have caught up to current day, never fear. We’re going to ease you off your Razzie addiction with a few more days of the Best Worst Picture Bracket Game. Today’s match-up is between a torture porn movie and a movie that is just plain torture.
The most obvious connection between Battlefield Earth and Wild Wild West is that they both have science fiction elements. Battlefield Earth is futuristic taking place in a world in which humans have been enslaved by giant dread-locked aliens. Wild Wild West is a rare cinematic take on the subgenre of steam punk. Unfortunately, its failure poisoned the water for anyone else who might have been thinking of following suit. But there’s another connection which is admittedly a bit of a stretch.
Movie stars reigned supreme in the nineties. An actor who had demonstrated drawing power at the box office could jump-start their pet project even when no one else believed in it. At least two of the decade’s biggest stars decided that the best use of their cache was a sci-fi opus that meant something. The Postman attempted to make audiences appreciate the simple gifts a central government brings like daily mail whereas Battlefield Earth tried to cover it’s pro-Scientology message with Star Wars window dressing. But critics and audiences alike found these movies more ridiculous than enlightening.
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 twenty-first annual Razzies nominated the movies of 2000. How the Grinch Stole Christmas and Cast Away were the highest-grossing movies that year. Gladiator won Best Picture while Steven Soderbergh took home Best Director for Traffic. Meanwhile, the Razzies were consumed in an intergalactic conflict with Earth as its battlefield.
Elmore Leonard is one of the most iconic novelists of the second half of the twentieth century, so it’s natural that his work would be frequently adapted by Hollywood. However, many adaptations of his work fall short or even worse. The prime problem is that it’s easy to forget that Leonard’s novels and stories aren’t plot driven: the primary focus is on the characters, dialogue and overall attitude. Quentin Tarantino gets this. So does screenwriter Scott Frank and directors Steven Soderbergh and Barry Sonnenfeld. But many times, those adapting his work do not. Hence why of the numerous adaptations of his films, only a few truly succeed.
Look at me. Today is the twentieth anniversary of the release of Barry Sonnenfeld’s adaptation of Elmore Leonard’s novel, Get Shorty. To celebrate, I’m going to be the guy telling you the way it is as we review the totally awesome facts that you absolutely need to know about Get Shorty.
Throughout the month of April we here at Le Blog will be presenting content all about the Me Decade! The 1970s were a fantastic time for the art of filmmaking. Audiences everywhere turned out in huge numbers to see a wide variety of movies. For example, films as diverse as Dirty Harry, Cabaret, Butterflies are Free, and “1776” held down the top spot at the box office during 1972. Just take a look at our bracket below and consider how many great films did not get included. Auteurs such as Coppola, Scorsese, Lucas, Altman, Spielberg and others broke through in the 70s, delivering films that were both artistically lauded and financially successful. But what has turned out to be our absolute favorite movie of what may be the finest decade in film history? That is what we hope to find out here…within the context of the Le Blog community. So join us and vote each and every day as we dispose of masterful art with the click of a mouse!
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We’re looking back at the movies from 1995. What was hot twenty years ago? Which movies dominated the awards? And which movies have stood the test of time? In the Movies of 1995 bracket game, we’re pitting 16 of the biggest and best-remembered movies of the year against each other. Readers will vote until only one movie reigns supreme.