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35 Years in the Rain: 10 Facts You Might Not Know About Blade Runner on its Anniversary

12 hours ago | Cineplex | See recent Cineplex news »

35 Years in the Rain: 10 Facts You Might Not Know About Blade Runner on its Anniversary35 Years in the Rain: 10 Facts You Might Not Know About Blade Runner on its AnniversaryKurt Anthony6/23/2017 9:48:00 Am

From Ridley Scott, director of Alien, came Blade Runner – a chilling, bold, mesmerizing, and futuristic detective thriller, which celebrates its 35th anniversary today.

Adapted from Philip K. Dick’s visionary novel, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Blade Runner was released in theatres on June 25, 1982 and has since earned the title of one of the best science fiction films of all time.

Despite the film’s estimated budget of $28M, Blade Runner was not an instant success. The complex plot and slow pacing resulted in low box office numbers, but the dystopian sci-fi classic eventually garnered a cult following and became a leading example of the neo-noir genre.

Journey with us to the savage world of the year 2019 as we track down ten facts about Blade Runner before they’re lost in time, like tears in the rain.

1. Dystopian Details

It’s all in the details, right? Through a process he called “layering,” Ridley Scott had the Blade Runner set created right down to the smallest detail to ensure his film appeared as realistic as possible. Many of these details were never seen on screen, like the parking meters with rates printed on them. In case you were wondering, 1 minute of parking costs $3 in 2019.

2. Constricting Co-star

It’s been said that you need to watch out for snakes in Hollywood. Fortunately for Joanna Cassidy (Zhora), she was already familiar with her serpentine co-star. The snake used in the film was Cassidy’s pet – a Burmese python named Darling.

3. What did he say?

The fictional street language used in Blade Runner’s dystopian Los Angeles is known as Cityspeak. The gibberish is a mishmash of French, Spanish, German, Hungarian, Chinese, and Japanese and was developed by Edward James Olmos (Gaff) during background research for his character.

4. Spinners

If you’re looking for information on fidget spinners, you’ve come to the wrong post. The levitating cruisers featured throughout the film are called Spinners. Although we’re a few more years away from flying our cars across the Trans-Canada Highway, Blade Runner fans can find a Spinner on permanent exhibition at the Museum of Pop Culture in Seattle, Washington.

5. Big-ticket Blaster

Fresh off the set of Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), Harrison Ford traded in his iconic whip for an Lapd 2019 Blaster to use while playing the role of retired blade runner, Rick Deckard. Blasters don’t come cheap, though. The original prop sold at an auction in 2009 for $270,000.

6. Pleasure Principle

How does a genetically engineered android celebrate a birthday? With an incept date! All Nexus 6 Replicants carry an incept date on their file to note when they were activated. Classified as a “basic pleasure model,” it’s no coincidence that Pris Stratton (Daryl Hannah) has an incept date of Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2016.

7. Blade Reefer

When Deckard (Harrison Ford) brings a questionable snake scale to a lab for inspection under a microscope, the image we see on the screen is actually that of a female marijuana plant. Pretty dope, isn’t it?

8. One Actress or Another

While Daryl Hannah ultimately brought life to the character of Pris, it was actually Debbie Harry who was Ridley Scott’s first choice to play the skin-job. In 2014, the Blondie singer revealed: “My biggest regret of all is turning down the role of the blonde robot, Pris, in Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner. My record company didn’t want me to take time out to do a movie. I shouldn’t have listened to them.”

9. Return of the Falcon

It seems as though Han Solo, the smooth talking smuggler from Star Wars, parked his Millennium Falcon spaceship in Los Angeles. As a nod to the fellow sci-fi flick and its shared star, Harrison Ford, a Millennium Falcon model was disguised as a building and included in several outdoor city scenes throughout Blade Runner.

10. Rough Read-through

As you know by now, Blade Runner draws its inspiration from Philip K. Dick’s award-winning sci-fi novel, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Despite it’s influence, Ridley Scott didn’t read the book before making his film: “I actually couldn't get into it. I met Phillip K. Dick later, and he said, ‘I understand you couldn't read the book.’ And I said, ‘You know you're so dense, mate, by page 32, there's about 17 story-lines.’”


Great Scott! Sci-fi fans with a good (or bionic) eye can spot a Spinner parked in a driveway during a scene in Back to the Future Part II.

Plus, don't forget Blade Runner 2049 arrives in Cineplex theatres on October 6, 2017. You wouldn't want to miss this much anticipated sci-fi sequel! Check out the trailer below.

Click here to buy or rent the original Blade Runner from the Cineplex Store! »

- Kurt Anthony

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Jackie Chan is kicking all kinds of ass in the Kung Fu Yoga trailer

21 June 2017 3:32 AM, PDT | The Hollywood News | See recent The Hollywood News news »

Despite its ominous title, Kung Fu Yoga may be a bit of fun. The first Kung Fu Yoga trailer, which features the high-kicking, hugely energetic Jackie Can, set for a UK home release in July, has made it online, and you can watch it in our player below.

Kung Fu Yoga trailer lands It’s Raiders Of The Lost Ark Jackie Chan-style, with a dash of Bollywood, as the unstoppable film legend hunts for treasure in this flat-out fun, all-action, globe-trotting comedy caper. Watch the Kung Fu Yoga trailer – the film comes to the UK home market in July

The film sees Chan reunite with Supercop and Rumble In The Bronx director Stanley Tong, for this all out action caper, featuring superb fight scenes, motorcycle chases, ice caves, hidden treasures and a Bollywood-style set piece finale.

Kung Fu Yoga is reportedly family friendly fun, a mix of Bollywood exoticism and action comedy antics, showcasing veteran movie legend Chan’s incredible martial arts skills and impeccable comic timing. It was filmed in China, Dubai, India and Iceland.

Related: Sylvester Stallone and Jackie Chan to team for Ex-Baghdad

Kung Fu Yoga has already scored some decent feedback on early screenings:

“Silly old-school Jackie Chan fun, with a globe-hopping plot supplying exotic scenery,” said The Hollywood Reporter. Screen Anarchy said that Kung Fu Yoga is “A family-friendly reminder that Master Chan still has a trickor two up his sleeve,” while Variety commented:  “As the leading man, Chan keeps the ball rolling with an assortment of neat acrobatic tricks and martial arts sparring.” 

The film has a UK digital release set for July 31st, with the film rolling out on the physical home entertainment formats on 7th August, 2017. Watch the Kung Fu Yoga trailer below.

We’ll try and bring you a full review of Kung Fu Yoga prior to its big UK DVD and digital release.

The post Jackie Chan is kicking all kinds of ass in the Kung Fu Yoga trailer appeared first on The Hollywood News. »

- Paul Heath

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Star Wars: Why Han Solo Directors Phil Lord & Chris Miller Were Fired

20 June 2017 8:09 PM, PDT | | See recent LRM Online news »

In case you haven’t heard, directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller have stepped down as directors the Han Solo film. Sure, we’ve seen directors depart projects all the time, but it’s usually some time before the actual production of the film starts, not when they still have weeks of shooting left. 

So what was the reason for their departure? Creative differences, for sure, but THR goes much deeper into the why. But before we get into the why, it’s important to note that, according to the outlet, Lord and Miller didn’t just depart from the film. They were fired.

Here’s what the outlet had to say:

“Sources say that the style and vision of Lord and Miller clashed with Lawrence Kasdan, the legendary screenwriter behind the classics Empire Strikes Back and Raiders of the Lost Ark and who also wrote, with his son, Jon Kasdan, the script for the Han Solo standalone set (for now) to be released in 2018.”

So what was the main cause of friction? Well, as directors with a comedy background, they tend to have a lot of improv, which is in stark contrast with what Kasdan likes — a strict adherence to the words he wrote on the page. This wasn’t just a sticking point that slowly rose during shooting, either. Apparently, it was a near day one problem. 

Related: Phil LordChris Miller Step Down As Directors Of Han Solo

There was also a difference in understanding the actual character of Han Solo. From the sound of the report, it sounds like Lord and Miller were aiming for a more wise-cracking, funny Han Solo, whereas Kasdan was likely in favor of a more sarcastic and selfish one.

Despite these differences, Lord and Miller had hoped that they’d be able to work through it.

Sadly, that was not the case. Kennedy backed Kasdan, and had to let the duo go. There are conflicting reports of whether or not Lord and Miller saw this coming. One source says they were blindsided, while another disputes the claim.

So what’s to become of the film that is currently in production? Well, it’s going on hiatus until they’re able to find a replacement director. Once they find a replacement, they’ll need to go through what Lord and Miller have shot, re-edit, and then figure out the best direction to go from there.

Possible candidates include Ron Howard (Apollo 13), Joe Johnston (Captain America: The First Avenger), and strangely enough, Lawrence Kasdan himself (The Big Chill). The latter name is an interesting one because he certainly seems to be the reason behind the firing. If this report is to be believed, then I’d personally like to see what Kasdan has to offer. After all, it wouldn’t be his first rodeo.

On the whole, I have to say I’m surprised it took this long for Lucasfilm to realize their creative differences with Lord and Miller. Given their track record, it seems like they should have known the type of movie they were in for.

What do you think of all this? Was Lucasfilm right to fire Lord and Miller? Was it understandable that this came so late in the game? Let us know your thoughts down below!

Don't forget to share this post on your Facebook wall and with your Twitter followers! Just hit the buttons on the top of this page.

Source: THR

Lrm Han Solo gets a replacement director. about 38 minutes ago »

- Joseph Medina

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Event Review – The Best of Elmer Bernstein at the Royal Albert Hall

19 June 2017 3:05 AM, PDT | Flickeringmyth | See recent Flickeringmyth news »

Tony Black reviews The Best of Elmer Bernstein at the Royal Albert Hall…

Over the last few years, the Royal Albert Hall has become the go-to venue for a remarkable array of film music concerts, be they live orchestra alongside viewings of a movie (such as Raiders of the Lost Ark, which I was lucky enough to catch last year), blending orchestral pieces with film related music concerts for franchises such as James Bond, or in this case a bevy of classic film score suites composed by the late, great Elmer Bernstein.

One of the signature film music composers of the 20th century, arguably able to stand on a podium with the John Williams, Jerry Goldsmith’s and James Horner’s of this world, Bernstein scored some of the most legendary pictures in Hollywood history, from The Ten Commandments through to Ghostbusters and beyond. Royal Albert Hall, in presenting a »

- Tony Black

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Ralph McQuarrie's Alternate Empire Strikes Back Logos Revealed

18 June 2017 11:41 AM, PDT | MovieWeb | See recent MovieWeb news »

Heads up, Star Wars fans, because this is pretty cool. While we wait for Star Wars: The Last Jedi to hit theaters on December 15, which simply can't come soon enough at this point, we can take a look at these alternative logos that were done by Ralph McQuarrie for Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. And they are quite a bit different than what we ultimately ended up with.

The art made its way online courtesy of Star Wars fan Gus Lopez, who posted the artwork to his Instagram page. The image features several concept sketches done by Ralph McQuarrie for Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back before settling on a logo design. There are several different options here and they all vary quite a bit from what ended up being used for the marketing materials. Though, the two at the top left look like they could »

- MovieWeb

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Five of Our Favourite Band Cameos in 80s Movies

17 June 2017 4:00 PM, PDT | | See recent news »

The eighties was a great time for movies. With titles like Stand By Me, The Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Et, Ghostbusters, The Goonies, and Raiders of the Lost Ark all released in this decade, it’s no wonder we look back on this period as a golden age for cinema. It was also a time when cameos and special guest appearances were still pretty exciting. Nowadays, it’s not at all unusual to see stars from the music industry popping up in Hollywood blockbusters. In the eighties, however, celebrity cameos were either sidesplittingly funny or achingly cool. So, let’s take

Five of Our Favourite Band Cameos in 80s Movies »

- Nat Berman

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Movie Madness Podcast – Series 3 – Ep 5: Raiders of the Lost Ark

12 June 2017 1:00 AM, PDT | The Cultural Post | See recent The Cultural Post news »

Grab your fedora and your whip and get ready to travel the globe as Tom & Jonno talk about the Indiana Jones adventure Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) discussing trivia, favourite moments and music, plus they play a game they have dubbed Equal Sequel Wars, both pitching their sequel ideas with hilarious results.

Listen via the player below or alternatively you can download via iTunes.

Warning! Contains spoilers and strong language. »

- Tom Batt

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'Raiders of the Lost Ark': THR's 1981 Review

8 June 2017 9:14 AM, PDT | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

On June 12, 1981, America met Indiana Jones when George Lucas and Steven Spielberg brought Raiders of the Lost Ark to theaters. The Hollywood Reporter's original review is below: 

If George Lucas were to say that he could make terrific entertainment out of Chairman Mao's Little Red Book, at this point I'd be inclined to believe him — this point being just a few hours after seeing his Raiders of the Lost Ark. And if he wanted to bring along Steven Spielberg to direct, I'd believe him even more. 

I can well imagine the executive eyebrows that were raised when Lucas »

- THR Staff

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Edinburgh International Film Festival unveils 2017 line-up

31 May 2017 3:00 AM, PDT | ScreenDaily | See recent ScreenDaily news »

Highlights include the UK premiere of Cars 3 and 17 world premieres.Scroll Down For Competition Titles

The line-up for the 71st Edinburgh International Film Festival (Eiff) has been unveiled this morning by artistic director Mark Adams.

This year’s Eiff (June 21-2 July) will comprise a total 151 features from 46 countries including 17 world premieres, 12 international premieres, 9 European premieres and 69 UK premieres.

Highlights include the UK Premiere of Disney-Pixar’s animation Cars 3, appearances from Stanley Tucci, Oliver Stone and Kevin Bacon and the Opening and Closing Gala premieres of the previously announced God’s Own Country and England Is Mine.

There will also be a special screening of Raiders Of The Lost Ark accompanied by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra performing the score live.

Best of British

The Best of British strand includes Bryn HigginsAccess All Areas featuring Rizzle KicksJordan Stephens; Simon Hunter’s Edie starring Sheila Hancock; the Donmar Warehouse’s all-female adaptation of [link »

- (Orlando Parfitt)

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Flashback: George Lucas on Taking Risks in Hollywood and Making ‘Star Wars’ an Immersive Cinematic Experience

25 May 2017 6:40 AM, PDT | Entertainment Tonight | See recent Entertainment Tonight news »

Either as a writer, director, or producer, George Lucas has been integral to the production of many movies we consider classics. The Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises are notable for their worldwide success, but that was never an ambition for the USC film grad.

“I've never thought of myself as a commercial filmmaker. It just happened. It happened in spite of myself,” Lucas told Et in 1993. In fact, Raiders of the Lost Ark was the first time people heard one of his ideas and thought it had potential to be a hit. “Everything up until that point, everyone said, ‘What are you talking about? I don't get it.’"

More: Carrie Fisher Covers 'Vanity Fair' In Honor of 'Star Wars' Turning 40

He added, “I think I've done Ok, because I like making movies and I've always made what I want to make, regardless.”

And the movies Lucas wanted to make were usually something that had never been seen »

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Michael Bay Reflects on His Career as He Receives Hands and Feet Honor

23 May 2017 9:00 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

On May 23, Michael Bay will have his hands and feet encased in cement outside the iconic Tcl Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, alongside classic stars from Marilyn Monroe to Meryl Streep.  While Bay is thrilled, he does have one hesitation. “I just remember as a kid, going to see the handprints and I always thought the people who got this honor were so much older,” he says with a laugh.”

For the record, Bay is a youthful 52, but it’s a credit to his career that his accomplishments over the past 20 years have put him in the ranks of his mentors Steven Spielberg and super producer Jerry Bruckheimer, both of whose imprints are also in the Chinese forecourt. And it’s full circle for Bay, a native Angeleno who  discovered he wanted to be a director at that very theater.

At age 15, Bay was working at Lucasfilm, filing storyboards for “Raiders of the Lost Ark. »

- Jenelle Riley

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May 23rd Blu-ray & DVD Releases Include Get Out, Logan, Xx, The Vagrant

22 May 2017 7:30 PM, PDT | DailyDead | See recent DailyDead news »

There’s a little bit of something for everyone this Tuesday, as May 23rd’s Blu-ray and DVD releases may not be great in number, but they are a stellar bunch of titles all the same. Jordan Peele’s Get Out arrives on both formats this week, courtesy of Universal Studios Home Entertainment, and 20th Century Fox is bringing home Logan to 4K Blu-ray as well as standard Blu and DVD discs, too.

For those who might have missed it in theaters, The Great Wall is also being released on Tuesday, as well as the horror anthology Xx, from Magnolia Home Entertainment. Other releases for May 23rd include The Vagrant, Wolf Guy, Wnuf Halloween Special, Voodoo Black Exorcist, and The Magnificent Dead.

Get Out (Universal Studios Home Entertainment, Blu/DVD/Digital HD & DVD)

When Chris (Daniel Kaluuya), a young African-American man, visits his white girlfriend's (Allison Williams) family estate, »

- Heather Wixson

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Contest: Win The Vagrant (1992) on Blu-ray

22 May 2017 11:26 AM, PDT | DailyDead | See recent DailyDead news »

A meticulous house owner is forced to face something much more fearsome than any home improvement project or mischievous mice in The Vagrant. Starring the late, great Bill Paxton, the comedic 1992 horror film comes to Blu-ray on May 23rd courtesy of Scream Factory, and we've been provided with three Blu-ray copies to give away to Daily Dead readers.


Prize Details: (3) Winners will receive (1) Blu-ray copy of The Vagrant.

How to Enter: We're giving Daily Dead readers multiple chances to enter and win:

1. Instagram: Following us on Instagram during the contest period will give you an automatic contest entry. Make sure to follow us at:

2. Email: For a chance to win via email, send an email to with the subject “The Vagrant Contest”. Be sure to include your name and mailing address.

Entry Details: The contest will end at 12:01am Est on May 29th. »

- Derek Anderson

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The Devil's in the Details: Close-Up on Guillermo Del Toro's "Hellboy"

19 May 2017 12:20 PM, PDT | MUBI | See recent MUBI news »

Close-Up is a column that spotlights films now playing on Mubi. Guillermo Del Toro's Hellboy (2004) is showing on Mubi from May 14 - June 13, 2017 in the United Kingdom.It is hard to imagine a more perfect marriage of director and source material than Guillermo Del Toro with Hellboy. Mike Mignola’s graphic novel series about a demon put to work by the Feds could have been tailor-made for the Mexican fantasy auteur. Hellboy’s panels pit brutish monsters against mad visionaries in dank subterranean crypts, drawing on European folklore and making a fetish of clanking machinery, crumbling ruins and otherworldly magic. Mignola’s primary theme is always the past’s unshakeable hold over the present, the dead’s habit of returning to haunt the living. All of the above are the sort of gothic tropes that have recurred again and again in some form or other throughout Del Toro’s filmography too, »

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Newswire: The Raiders Of The Lost Ark soundtrack is getting a vinyl reissue

17 May 2017 4:20 PM, PDT | | See recent The AV Club news »

The ideal musical medium for going on an adventure is probably a cassette, since it’s small enough to be portable but fragile enough to give you some real incentive to take care of it, but the fidelity of the audio on a cassette leaves a lot to be desired. Luckily, if you want to listen to music about an adventure but aren’t physically going on adventure, you can’t go wrong with a nice vinyl record, and Concord Music Group is about to release the perfect record for just such an occasion. According to Consequence Of Sound, Concord has announced that it’s releasing a special vinyl reissue of John Williams’ soundtrack for Raiders Of The Lost Ark.

The double-lp is pressed on 180-gram vinyl, and it comes in a “gatefold jacket with original sills and artwork from the movie.” Along with that fancy presentation, it will include »

- Sam Barsanti

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Is the four-quadrant movie hurting blockbuster cinema?

16 May 2017 3:30 PM, PDT | Den of Geek | See recent Den of Geek news »

Simon Brew Jun 23, 2017

Harry Potter, Pirates Of The Caribbean, even The Exorcist: they're four-quadrant movies. But what does that even mean...?

The summer of 1990 was a good one for blockbuster cinema. Notwithstanding the fact that Dick Tracy and Gremlins 2 didn’t get the expected financial returns – and in the latter case, that’s a scandal – it saw the emergence, for one, of Arnold Schwarzenegger as a bona-fide movie star. He finally reached the top off the back of an 18-rated science fiction Philip K Dick adaptation, Total Recall. In a summer laden with hits, it was one of the biggest.

The film was one of the top ten of the year overall too, notable in particular now because it targeted adults, and was a hard science fiction blockbuster. Other films in that top 10? The tense Jack Ryan feature, The Hunt For Red October. There was Pretty Woman, an R-rated romantic comedy with sinister undertones. Die Hard 2, meanwhile, was a straight, R-rated action movie. Family fare was relatively scattergun, and it was said that even Kindergarten Cop had its family appeal lessened by its harder edges.

Bottom line: a real mix of films, catering to a real mix of audiences.

You don’t need this article to tell you that blockbuster cinema has become a radically different beast in the 25 years plus since, though. Now, the emphasis is heavily on making sure films come armed with a PG-13 rating, and a 12A in the UK. That way, the possible audience is maximised. Literally – and it’s very nearly a proper use of the word – anyone can get to see a film rated 12A or PG-13. Furthermore, when a blockbuster film rarely swims against that and is allowed a harder rating – Logan and Deadpool the big recent examples – that in itself becomes part of the sales story.

The theory underpinning all of this is nothing new, that you make your films appealing to as many people as possible to make the most cash. But it points to Hollywood’s quest to make what it likes to call a ‘four quadrant movie’. It’s a phrase that’s quietly dominated box office cinema for the past decade or so.

Universal attraction

The working definition of a four quadrant film is it’s one that appeals to the four key areas of the moviegoing audience. That is women under 25, men under 25, women over 25 and men over 25. There’s a little more to it than that, too, as four quadrant films often have a family appeal too. Get an adult or two and a bunch of kids into the cinema, and you’re going to shift a fair amount of popcorn.

It’s a not a new thing, either. Whilst the terminology may not have been so liberally applied, the likes of Jurassic Park, Titanic, The Wizard Of Oz, Toy Story, Raiders Of The Lost Ark and Star Wars all fit the definition. There’s an interesting piece too at Screenplay Scripts, where it argues that The Exorcist is a four-quadrant movie. It’s a rare example in that it doesn’t attract a family crowd – here, kids! You’re going to love this one! – but its audience was nonetheless compromised from the four key sectors of the cinema audience.

As things stand now, once a studio is spending at least $100m to make a film, it wants to be hitting as many of those quadrants as possible. Spend north of $150m, it wants to be hitting them all. Again, go back to Logan and Deadpool a minute: both of those had lower budgets (in the case of Logan because Hugh Jackman cut his fee, for one reason) to allow the movies concerned to be targeted at a smaller subset of the audience. In turn, likely limiting the box office returns.

Which it did. As big a success as Logan has been, then, its $600m worldwide gross is still less than the far-more criticised Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice and Suicide Squad, both of which had friendlier ratings (in the Us at least: Suicide Squad was a 15 in the UK in the end). I like Logan an awful lot, but its commercial ceiling – at least in its cinema run – was curtailed a little by shutting out a younger audience.

The book Blockbuster: Why Hits – And Big Risks – Are The Future Of The Entertainment Business is a dense dissection of big budget films, and the decisions behind them. It talks about how Alan Horn – now chairman of Walt Disney Pictures – transformed Warner Bros in the 2000s by changing the studio to focus on four quadrant movies. A perfect example? The Harry Potter series, a collection of films with near-universal appeal. It became the most lucrative movie franchise of all time, and every other studio was taking notes.

Not every four-quadrant film that Horn greenlit did the business – Speed Racer struggled, for instance – but his run at Warner Bros saw it become the biggest and most successful of the Hollywood Studios. He gambled – and his gamble paid off – that prioritising five or six huge films a year made more sense than 20 smaller ones. That one or two big hits would cover everything. And Horn, financially at least, was correct.

So right, in fact, that he went to Disney, and the same policy is being deployed there, if anything in an even more lean way. Disney’s theatrical movie output is less than 20% of what it was in the early 1990s, barely hitting double figures a year. Those films are now mapped out fairy rigidly, divided into familiar categories: Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar, live action fairytale, Walt Disney Animation Studios, legacy sequel to long-running franchise (such as Pirates Of The Caribbean 5). There’s scope in there for one or two films around the sides – Queen Of Katwe last year, A Wrinkle In Time next – but these are very much the exception.

The problem is that now, studio after studio is eyeing the same model. There are fewer films being made for the same money (if not more), and they need as broad an appeal to get a return. It’s why we have so many cinematic universes too: if you can group all the films together in one boxset, all the better, and easier to sell.

The further problem, then, is that with every major studio – and in turn, every maker of big blockbuster films – following the same strategy, the summer release window is predictable. Every week or two, along will come a big blockbuster, with a loud ending, special effects, franchise potential and a PG-13 rating. And whilst the films themselves differ, they all work within the same bracket. Most of the time, I’d strongly argue you can tell. That a structural formula is in place, that edges are often blunted, and that there needs to be some action, some comedy, some effects stuff, and it’ll all make a nice-ish trailer.

It affects the films that are being pitched into studios, too. How many films for adult audiences, that cost $100m or more to make, are in development right now? It’s impossible to put a number on, but it’s unlikely to be a high one.

However, there are slight suggestions that things may change. The fact that blockbuster cinema – aside from a few films at the very top end – is in a bit of a rut for one. This summer’s films are already expected to make less money than last, and 2016 don’t forget was the summer when big franchises such as Independence Day, Alice In Wonderland and Ice Age, to name but a few, spluttered out. On the basis of this year's summer releases already, The Mummy 2 and Pirates Of The Caribbean 6 are looking unlikely. 

But then there’s Deadpool and Logan. They may have been cheaper films to make, but the $600m take of Logan (and near $800m that Deadpool pulled in) is still more than X-Men: Apocalypse, Star Trek Beyond, Mad Max: Fury Road, Terminator Genisys, and many other recent high profile blockbusters, good and bad. There are murmurings as a result that, for instance, Sony may go with an R-rating for Venom, which would likely be a four quadrant movie but without the family angle.

It’s small steps, but with studios finding that spending more money isn’t working the way it once did, the strategy may have to slightly change. And instead of trying to please everybody all of the time with every film, one of the logical options is to narrow the target audience just a little. To focus the films just a little more, and try and impress a smaller part of the audience more. I’m not utterly convinced that’ll happen, and certainly if it does it won’t happen quickly. But the drive for exclusively four-quadrant blockbuster movies isn’t working. And something, eventually, has to give… »

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Cannes American Pavilion 2017 Lineup: Spike Lee, Wim Wenders, Screen Talk Live and More

15 May 2017 3:25 PM, PDT | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

Known among with-it insiders as the Ampav, the American Pavilion has become a vital part of the Cannes Film Festival over the last 30-odd years. This year’s lineup was announced today, with such special guests as Spike Lee, Wim Wenders, John Cameron Mitchell, Christine Vachon and IndieWire’s own Eric Kohn and Anne Thompson.

Read More: Cannes: ‘Dogtooth’ Made Yorgos Lanthimos One of the Most Exciting Filmmakers in the World, and He’s Just Getting Started

Such anticipated films as “Brigsby Bear,” “How to Talk to Girls at Parties,” “Rodney King,” “Wonderstruck” and “Patticake$” will be discussed; Kohn and Thompson are set to record a live edition of the Screen Talk podcast. Avail yourself of the full lineup below and let the Ampav Fomo wash over you in waves.

Read More: IndieWire’s Movie Podcast: Screen Talk (Episode 148) – Here’s What We Know (And What We Don’t Know »

- Michael Nordine

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‘Conan the Barbarian’ at 35: How Darth Vader Helped Arnold Schwarzenegger Beat the Muscle Man Stereotype

13 May 2017 10:00 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s films have grossed $1.9 billion in North America. Among his classics are James Cameron’s 1984’s “The Terminator”; 1991’s “The Terminator 2: Judgment Day”; and 1994’s “True Lies,” as well as such hits as 1987’s “Predator” and 2012’s “The Expendables 2.”

His movie catch phrases such as “I’ll be back”; “Hasta la Vista, Baby”; and “Get to the chopper” have become part of the pop culture lexicon.

Schwarzenegger even served as the Governor of California from 2003 to 2011. And has recently has gone mano y mano in a Twitter feud with President Trump. Guess who won?

But would he have been as big a star — let alone as governor — without his breakout role in John Milius’ “Conan the Barbarian”? The violent, erotic R-rated sword-and-fantasy adventure based on the stories of 1930’s pulp fiction writer Robert E. Howard opened in 1,400 theaters on May 14, 1982. Though reviews were decidedly mixed — Variety »

- Susan King

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When the Police Academy gang made a horror movie

10 May 2017 12:37 PM, PDT | Den of Geek | See recent Den of Geek news »

Simon Brew Jun 20, 2017

Steve Guttenberg headlines what's supposed to be a reunion of the Police Academy cast. Life doesn't always work out as promised, though...

To the nearest $1m, the final Police Academy movie – Police Academy: Mission To Moscow – took a tidy $1m at the box office. It brought to a tragic end a movie franchise that had delighted surely a few people in its latter years, and certain given the office photocopiers a workout, as jokes were religiously recycled en masse. The Hangover series would put a better gloss on the recycling jokes schtick, and repeat the trick across its sequels many years later, to better commercial return.

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See also: What went wrong with Police Academy: Mission To Moscow.

Police Academy producer Paul Maslansky – who also tried to turn Ski Patrol into a series, foiled by the fact that barely anyone went to see the first and only one – has talked about rebooting Police Academy since. Most of the original cast are still with us, too, save for the brilliant David Graf (Tackleberry), Bubba Smith (Hightower), and George Gaynes (Commandant Lassard). Basically, a chunk of the core ensemble are available, and have been waiting for the call to return for a fresh Police Academy adventure. But the call, unfortunately, never came.

Hence, Lavalantula.

This is a film that centres on Steve Guttenberg, a washed-up movie star of the 90s who’s taken on a bug movie for $10,000. Going by the name of Colton West, we learn that he’s been the star of such movie franchises as Crazy Cops and Red Robot, and I know even typing this that nobody really cares. Instead, you’ve been drawn to this film for the same reason I was: it’s the cast of the Police Academy movies, just in a sort-of-horror film. Asda – and other supermarkets selling DVDs are available – had this next to Star Wars: Rogue One in my local store. One coin toss later, and Rogue One could wait.

It turns out, of course, that it’s a dose of trash that’s been doing the rounds for a little while. Spun out of the Sharknado series, Lavalantula was first shown on Syfy in the Us back in 2015, and I’ve barely found mention of it since. That notwithstanding, I armed myself with some of those new strawberry and vanilla Calippos (6/10 from me for them), and settled in.

Purveyors of The Asylum and Syfy attempts to recreate the feel of B-movies will know what they’re getting here. A perfunctory bit of plot, to get to some special effects that have been produced with second hand computers bought off Ilm. That’s less snooty than it sounds, mind. Lavalantula, a word that only seven of the 49 human beings who have ever tried managed to pronounce correctly the first time, is a solid audit as to what $20,000 or so’s worth of effects can buy you. Some lava and half-decent spiders is the answer. Given that London Has Fallen, for one, cost $105m to make and had effects that looked like Call Of Duty a generation back, Lavathingy does offer a decent recent in that sense. Don’t get carried away and start giving it awards or anything, though.

Thing is, it’s easy to look down on micro budget stuff like this. Yet who knows where the next big filmmaker is going to come from? Jennifer Yuh Nelson cut her teeth on the basic animated movies that used to go straight to bargain stores, and now she’s one of the highest grossing female directors of all time, courtesy of the Kung Fu Panda series. The late Jonathan Demme was one of many schooled by the low budget ways of Roger Corman – a model that Jason Blum has expanded on for his Blumhouse outfit, offering filmmakers low budgets in exchange for final cut – and whilst The Asylum has lower ambitions, everyone needs a break, right?

In this case, it’s director Mike Mendez, who worked on the likes of NCIS and CSI before giving the world Big Ass Spider! Here, he knows the trade off is he has to shoot lots of explanatory conversation scenes to stretch the budget (he does throw in a Raiders Of The Lost Ark boulder-rip-off at one moment, though, as well as a just on the right side of legal Pirates Of The Caribbean homage), reckoning he has but 10 minutes out of 80 that he can spend on effects. At one stage, he decides to have a man dressed as a spider fight a spider. Sadly, it’s less fun that it sounds.

The other concession to budget is you don’t actually get the cast of Police Academy for very long. This is less forgivable. Sure, you get shirtless Guttenberg stealing a bus, and in his own way giving us his own spin on Last Action Hero. His character also needs to reconnect with his son for reasons that are of no human interest. But everyone else? They’re shuttled in for quick cameos. You get them at the start, and then Winslow and Ramsey finally return an hour later. But by then, they’re plotting how to beat the big spiders, and – presumably fearing legal interest – the references to glories old are all but gone.

I can’t be the only person who put the DVD in to hear Michael Winslow recreate his collection of noises. But we get, what, five minutes with him in all? It’s like a Police Academy reunion where everyone but Steve Guttenberg got given the wrong time. There’s the odd concession and acknowledgement of the series elsewhere in the film - “they took out the Blue Oyster. I loved that place,” says pretend Captain Jack Sparrow (really) at one stage – but for Ramsey, Leslie Easterbrook and Winslow, the DVD packaging may as well provide you with a spotter book, so you can at least tick ‘em off once you see them.

Still, Ralph Garman is good fun here as the aforementioned Jack Sparrow knock-off, and 24 fans who wonder just what happened to that fella who played Tony Almeida Isn’t Dead Really will get their answer, as Carlos Bernard duly picks up his cheque. 24: Legacy couldn’t come along quickly enough, though.

On the plus side too, there’s little question that everyone’s in on the gag.

But when you yearn for the film to at least have an equitable number of laughs as a Police Academy sequel, it’d be fair to say a little alarm has long been going off. By the time the film is directly mirroring and quoting a moment from Jurassic Park, that old adage of invoke the memory of other, better films at your peril has long been proved.

The cheapest moment, incidentally, and this is a competitive contest, is the Basil Exposition-type Doctor/Professor/scientist character, clambering into a helicopter with the full chopper sound effect going. Only for the camera to leave the fact that the rotors aren’t turning fully in shot.

Yet I think I still want that horror movie with the Police Academy cast that I was sold. In fact, what I think what I’d like to see now is a big screen version of the PlayStation 4 game Until Dawn, but with Police Academy characters, to bring a bit of a choose your own adventure element to the fun. Plus, then you get to replay it, changing just a few plot elements next time you play, accurately reflecting one of the core components of the Police Academy business plan.

Guttenberg has since followed this up with a sequel, 2 Lava 2 Tarantula, where only two Police Academy alumni joined him. Another film is coming. But Lavalantula: Tokyo Drift is surely just a meeting and a beermat’s worth of plot away, where all of his co-stars will have deserted him, ready to rejoin him for the fourth film in the series. That’s how this stuff work, right? And then Statham will turn up two films later? Right?

Right? »

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The Best Of The Best – The Greatest Composers And The Scores That Made Them Great

10 May 2017 4:00 AM, PDT | | See recent HeyUGuys news »

Author: Dave Roper

With Actors, Directors, Actresses and Screenwriters under our collective belt and Cinematographers still to come, we presently turn our eye towards Composers, whose music lends so much to the films they work on.

As with the other lists, credit is given for not merely one or two sterling scores, but rather a consistently excellent body of work with specific stand-out films. To be blunt, this is a trickier prospect than it at first appears. Just because a film is terrific or well-loved doesn’t necessarily mean that the score is itself a standout. We begin with perhaps the most obvious and celebrated film composer of them all…..

John WilliamsStar Wars

Goodness me. The Poseidon Adventure, The Towering Inferno, Earthquake, Jaws, Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Long Goodbye, Catch Me If You Can, Star Wars, Close Encounters, Star Wars, Superman, Et, Born on the Fourth of July, »

- Dave Roper

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