Posts by Mark Deming
Heads up, Tony Stark: the United States military may be swiping some of your ideas.
No one is saying whether or not U.S. Special Operations Command Chief Adm. William McRaven is a fan of the "Iron Man" franchise, but somewhere or other he got the idea to create a special armored exoskeleton that military personnel can wear in the field to make themselves invincible against enemy fire. Sound familiar?
During a meeting last month at Special Operations Command (SOCOM) headquarters in Tampa, Florida, McRaven talked with defense industry representatives about his ideas for what's being called the Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit, or TALOS, a system of highly advanced body armor that can do everything from warding off explosions to sealing up wounds and allowing soldiers to see in the dark. Check out the combat simulation below and see if it doesn't remind you of a certain billionaire playboy's work outfit.
Nelson Mandela was one of the most important and influential figures of the 20th Century. But how much do you really know about him?
Audiences will get the chance to learn more about the public and private lives of Nelson Mandela, the anti-apartheid activist who became the first black president of South Africa, in the upcoming film biography "Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom," with Idris Elba ("Pacific Rim") playing the title role.
As The Weinstein Company gears up for the film's theatrical release in November, they've released a pair of graphic timelines that summarize the high points in the lives of Nelson Mandela and his wife and fellow activist Winnie Mandela, played in the movie by "Skyfall" star Naomi Harris.
Smart and a little snarky, a smug guy who knows how to put other smug guys in their places, Chevy Chase had been knocking around the edges of American comedy for years when, in 1975, "Saturday Night Live" made him an overnight star and one of the biggest names on television.
The 1978 comedic thriller "Foul Play" proved Chase had the makings of a movie star, and after racking up hits like "Caddyshack," "Fletch" and "National Lampoon's Vacation," he became one of the highest paid actors in Hollywood. Less known: Chase has passed up on just as many, if not more, iconic roles, including "Ghostbusters," "Forrest Gump," and "American Beauty."
As Chase celebrates his 70th birthday today, we’re commemorating it with 70 things you probably don’t know about the legendary comedian. Try not to trip along the way.
1. Birthday Boy. Chevy Chase was born on October 8, 1943. He might want to go out for a free ice cream cone today with Sigourney Weaver, Matt Damon, Paul Hogan, and/or half-man of “Two and Half Men” fame, Angus T. Jones, who were all also born on the 8th.
Hollywood loves a good feud. But sometimes it's nice to see one that has a happy ending.
On Friday, Chaz Hammelsmith Ebert, the widow of the late film critic Roger Ebert, posted a letter on her blog from funnyman Rob Schneider. It was a surprisingly thoughtful and moving essay in which the actor opened up about how the 2005 movie "Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo" caused bad blood between Roger Ebert and Schneider, how one of Ebert's insults lived on as the title of a book, and how the two men gratefully buried the hatchet.
The story goes back to February 2005, when Patrick Goldstein of the Los Angeles Times wrote a story about films nominated for major Academy Awards that had been turned down by one or more studios before they found a home. Goldstein mention in the piece that those same studios "bankroll hundreds of sequels, including a follow-up to 'Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo,' a film that was sadly overlooked at Oscar time because apparently nobody had the foresight to invent a category for Best Running Penis Joke Delivered by a Third-Rate Comic."
Jennifer Lawrence is a complicated woman.
As you can see in two separate film posters released this week, there's more than one side to the multifaceted Oscar winner. From brave young hunter turned deadly Hunger Games survivor to '70s sexpot, Lawrence shows she can bring home the bacon AND fry it up in a pan.
On Monday, Lionsgate released the new poster for "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire," the second installment in the über-popular franchise based on Suzanne Collins' best-selling novels.
The producers of "Diana," the new biopic starring Naomi Watts, have been dealing with more than a little bad PR recently. The film's first reviews were punishingly negative, and Dr. Hasnat Khan, Diana's lover who is played by Naveen Andrews (of "Lost"), has been strongly and openly critical of the movie.
But even the film's most adamant defenders must be cringing over this: A four-foot by six-foot poster was placed on a placard by the Pont de l'Alma overpass, right next to the entrance to the tunnel where Diana tragically lost her life in an auto accident in 1997.
Even worse, the poster was just a few yards from the "Flame of Liberty" sculpture that has become a meeting place for admirers of the late Princess who come to pay their respects.
On Sunday night, after five years, the story of Walter White — chemistry teacher turned meth cook turned criminal mastermind — finally came to an end as AMC aired the final episode of "Breaking Bad." Now that the show, a multiple Emmy winner widely acclaimed as one of the best dramatic series in the history of television, is history, a number of the show's leading cast members are taking their talents to the big screen, their drawing power boosted by the show's grand finale.
- Mark Deming at Movie Talk2 mths ago
The first trailer for the new movie "Philomena" makes it look like a comedy-drama full of laughs, heart, and surprises. However, the film is based on a true story that is darker and more tragic than the trailer would lead you to expect.
Starring Judi Dench and Steve Coogan, "Philomena" tells the story of an out-of-work political reporter from London, Martin Sixsmith (Coogan) who is wondering what to do with his life when he's approached with an unusual project. Philomena Lee (Dench) is an elderly Irish woman who, while she was in her teens, gave birth to a baby boy out of wedlock. When the child was three, the Catholic convent that took Philomena in turned him over to an adoptive family, and she signed an agreement never to reveal the secrets of the adoption or seek out her child.
Fifty years later, Philomena deeply regrets her decision, and her daughter has approached Sixsmith with a proposal: help Philomena find her long-lost son, and use their story as the basis for his next writing project.
The most bankable star at the box office right now? Hugh Jackman? Nope. Vin Diesel? Uh-uh. Oprah? Sorry.
The answer is Mike Seaver Kirk Cameron.
The 42-year-old "Growing Pains" alum released his faith-based documentary titled "Unstoppable" for just one night in theaters on Tuesday. Now the numbers are in, and it turns out the film grossed more than a whopping $2 million, according to Rentrak figures, on just 700 screens.
"I am very excited," Cameron told Yahoo Movies on Friday.
That's around the same one-night take that the Jackman-Jake Gyllenhaal drama "Prisoners" pulled ($2.2 million, but on nearly five times as many screens — 3,260 — than Cameron's film), per Box Office Mojo.
So, what is "Unstoppable" and how did it prove to be an unstoppable force?
Once upon time, a bevy of Hollywood stars were transformed into singing, dancing enchanted folk looking for a happily-ever-after in a fractured fairy tale. And we got the pictures to prove it!
Meryl Streep, Jenny Depp, Anna Kendrick, Chris Pine, and Emily Blunt head up the all-star cast of Disney's adaptation of the classic Stephen Sondheim Broadway musical "Into the Woods," which has begun shooting in England.
In our first glimpse of Streep in witchy woman guise, the three-time Oscar winner looks pretty fetching (or as fetching a wrinkly, beclawed sorceress can be) as she crouches in a treetop. That periwinkle-gray hair is to die for!