How Stanley Kubrick shot his own Newsweek cover
No director will ever have greater control over his films, his marketing, or his image than Stanley Kubrick. This article tells the story of how, in the winter of 1971, Kubrick managed to get his Newsweek cover photo shot by his own people on his own terms in his own house. Lucky guy.
The physics behind your favorite sci-fi theme songs
I'm always interested in people's favorite songs (or films, novels, etc.) and what, if anything, they have in common. It turns out that many of our geek-friendly film scores - including many of my favorites - have something in common: "the perfect fifth." (Sorry, Andrew, they don't mention The Black Hole!)
Looking back at The Phantom Menace rumor mill
Remember 1999? Bill Clinton was president, we were all fearing Y2K, and Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace was released. Needless to say, rumors of a Star Wars prequel had been circulating for years and this article revisits some of the more outlandish predictions. Charlton Heston as a Jedi?
61 things we learned from the Armageddon commentary
Take it away, Ben Affleck: "I asked [director] Michael [Bay] why it was easier to train oil drillers to become astronauts than it was to train astronauts to become oil drillers, and he told me to shut the f--- up, so that was the end of that talk."
10 undervalued Woody Allen movies
I've seen almost every Woody Allen movie, though this list is not complete without his wonderfully charming 1996 musical Everyone Says I Love You. The ending sequence, which features a group of all-singing all-dancing Groucho Marxes and Woody Allen and Goldie Hawn dancing along (and above) the River Seine is magical.
5 reasons Firefly was lucky to get cancelled
Interesting article which I totally agree with. Had the show lasted, the studio execs no doubt would've ordered Joss Whedon to make it more "accessible" for mainstream audiences, thus alienating the fans who would've made it a hit to begin with. It's quite the paradox.
From 2009: The hidden conservative streak of 30 Rock
Yes, I'm a huge fan of this show and I realize it's a big target, considering who stars in it and the network it airs on. But the show can be surprisingly even-handed when it wants to be. One of my personal favorite episodes makes a complete mockery of NBC's "Green Week" and another episode guest stars Carrie Fisher as a 70s-era comedy writer who: a.) is still fighting "the man" after all these years, and b.) is a poor trainwreck.
5 NC-17 films that wore their rating proudly
It's a shame the NC-17 rating is frowned upon, especially since there are plenty of R-rated movies that get away with graphically torturing people, but if you have too much nudity, it's the end of the freaking world!
Movie special effects you won't believe aren't CGI
As I'm fond of saying, CGI is just a tool and it should be used wisely. Many directors don't know any better but the culprits are usually the studio execs who are convinced that's what people want. This article looks at some awesome FX sequences that were done sans CGI.
Hedy Lamarr: "most beautiful woman" by day, inventor by night
I still think this is the coolest story: I've never seen a Hedy Lamarr movie but in the 40s, she helped develop a technology for the war effort that became the precursor for today's wi-fi and cell networks. "That's Hedley!" [smile]
Last night's listening:
The late Leonard Rosenman's score for Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home is definitely the odd one out in the Trek musical canon and many fans (including me) have always had mixed reactions to it. My opinion improved last December when Intrada released the complete score, remastered with extensive liner notes and alternate cues, including two long sought-after pieces: an alternate version of the main title in which Rosenman reprises the theme to the original series, and the complete version of "I Hate You" which blasts from the punk's boombox during the bus scene, making this the first Trek soundtrack album with an Explicit Lyric warning! (You don't hear it in the film but the F-word is used at the end of the song.)