Movies

Movie Monday: Portraits In Dramatic Time 2011

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Portraits
Photo Credit: IMDb & Amazon

Ten years ago, today, the film Portraits In Dramatic Time was released. Directed by David Michalek and Paul Warner, it starred William H. Macy, Holly Hunter, Liev Schreiber, Alison Pill, Lili Taylor, Patti LuPone, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Alan Rickman, Ludivine Sagnier & William Mapother.

[This was] a series of 40 art films created by artist David Michalek. [It was] a free, public installation that [could] be seen on the facade of the David H. Koch Theatre, between July 5-31, 2011, nightly, from 8:45pm-11:45pm, as part of the 2011 Lincoln Center Festival. Each video depicts a dramatic scene shot in just 10 seconds and played back in hyper-slow motion, extending the length to about 7 minutes. The scenes vary from solos by famous actors […]. The extreme slowness allows the viewer to witness details of movement, such as muscles [or] facial expressions, revealing the gradual progression and in-between moments of developing emotions. Veteran film and theatre director, Paul Warner served as executive creative consultant and assisted in coaching and directing the actors.

IMDb Summary

Alan Rickman Video (David Michalek Site)
Participating Artists (David Michalek Site)

Trailer

Flick Friday: Cars 2 2011

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Cars 2 Group Shot Airplane Wing Image One
Image Credit: IMDb& Amazon

Finn McMissile: “Finn McMissile, British Intelligence.”

Tow Mater: “Tow Mater, average intelligence.”

Ten years ago, today, the #1 movie at the box office was Cars 2. Directed by John Lasseter and Brad Lewis, it was produced by Denise Ream. The original story was penned by Lasseter, Lewis and Dan Fogelman with Ben Queen crafting the screenplay. Voices were Owen Wilson (Lightning McQueen), Larry the Cable Guy (Sir Tow Mater), Michael Caine (Finn McMissile), Emily Mortimer (Holley Shiftwell), John Turturro (Francesco Bernoulli), Eddie Izzard (Sir Miles Axlerod), Thomas Kretschmann (Professor Zündapp), Joe Mantegna (Grem), Peter Jacobson (Acer), Bonnie Hunt (Sally Carrera, Bruce Campbell (Rod Redline), Tony Shalhoub (Luigi), Darrell Waltrip (Darrell Cartrip), Brent Musburger (Brent Mustangburger), Colin Cowherd (Colin Cowling Blimp), Jason Isaacs (Siddeley Gulfstream V/Leland Turbo), Lloyd Sherr (Fillmore/Tony Trihull Combat Ship), Paul Dooley (Sarge), Cheech Marin (Ramone), Katherine Helmond (Lizzie), John Ratzenberger (Mack), Jeff Gordon (Jeff Gorvette) and John Lasseter as Crew Chief John Lassetire.

The famous race car Lightning McQueen and his team are invited to compete in the World Grand Prix race. There, McQueen’s best friend Mater finds himself involved in international espionage and, alongside two professional British spies, attempts to uncover a secret plan led by a mysterious mastermind and his criminal gang, which threatens the lives of all competitors in the tournament.

MadMovieManiac

Tagline: Going where no car has gone before.

Awards & Nominations

Shutterbug Saturday: Land of Oz 2.0

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Land of Oz Book Image One
Image Credit: Emerald Mountain Realty

Previous Post: Land of Oz

When the Land of Oz opened, Debbie Reynolds and her daughter, Carrie Fisher, were on hand for the ribbon cutting. Sadly, the owner of the park, Grover Cleveland Robbins, Jr., passed away due to cancer in March, prior to the opening in June 1970. His brother Harry carried on in their company Carolina Caribbean Corporation. Robbins created the Tweetsie Railroad Wild West Amusement Park.

Their father, Grover Cleveland Robbins, Sr., was the Mayor of Blowing Rock, NC (several terms), served as the postmaster, started the Chamber of Commerce in 1922 and helped start the first high school there. Our Blue Ridge Parkway, here in NC, is because Robbins, Sr., was sent to Washington, D.C., by our, then, Governor, to make sure it would not be built in Tennessee.

The designer of the Theme Park was Jack Pentes, a Korean War veteran and, creator of Carolina Clowns and soft-play equipment.

Carrie Fisher Jack Pentes Debbie Reynolds Image Two
Photo Credit: Emerald Mountain Realty
Jack Pentes Image Three
Photo Credit: Emerald Mountain Realty
Harry Robbins Debbie Reynolds Jack Pentes Image Four
Photo Credit: Emerald Mountain Realty
Harry Robbins Debbie Reynolds Image Five
Photo Credit: Emerald Mountain Realty

Land of Oz (Official Site)

Additional Reading:
Five Interesting Things (North Carolina Field & Family)
That Abandoned Wizard of Oz Theme Park? (Popsugar)
Ribbon Cutting: The Robbins Trail (Watauga Democrat)

Hans 2021 Movie Draft: Round Twelve-Pick Four-Tron 1982

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Tron IMDb & Amazon Image One
Image Credit: IMDb & Amazon

Hanspostcard has a movie draft challenge. This is my Round Twelve and final pick. Thanks for the invitation, Hans!

Category: Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Film: Tron

This has been my worst category as I love science fiction anything. I have struggled over these past six months trying to pick just one. My choice would change, daily. I finally settled on one that is part of my teen years and became a cultural cult classic. I still have the sticker that I got when I went to see this at the theater in 1982. Like The Breakfast Club, this movie means something to me. Released the summer before my junior year, this movie got me interested in computers and graphics. There is also the memory of a scene I saw in the original release at the theater, that disappeared in subsequent showings on HBO, TV and the VHS tapes, and made me crazy:

The 20th Anniversary DVD edition includes a deleted love scene: Tron and Yori go to her apartment, where she pushes a button on the wall. [T]he walls [disappear] and her uniform changes into a different costume. Also included are a partially completed “morning after” scene…(all dialog tracks for this short scene are lost).

IMDb

All the data on the Internet states that the scene was removed from the final cut. I beg to differ. I distinctly remember seeing them go to her “apartment.” That being said, what I remember from the scene is a little different from the “official deleted scene” (she glowed, her hair was blowing around and her helmet floated off her head). I think a shortened version of that scene was released to theaters and when the movie was released to HBO & VHS tapes, they wiped all of it out. This is a very clear memory. The prologue to the movie, when released to theaters, was also removed. The “original” opening monologue (that I’ve never heard) was restored in the 20th Anniversary DVD. ~Vic

Tron IMDb & Amazon Image Two
Photo Credit: IMDb & Amazon

Directed by Steve Lisberger, the screenplay was written by Charles S. Haas & Lisberger, adapted from the original story by Bonnie MacBird (whom is married to DARPA-connected computer scientist Alan Kay). Produced by Donald Kushner, it starred Jeff Bridges, Bruce Boxleitner, David Warner, Cindy Morgan, Barnard Hughes, Dan Shor and Peter Jurasik and, was released July 9.

Kevin Flynn is a software engineer and an ex-employee at ENCOM. He runs a video arcade and tries to hack into ENCOM’s mainframe, looking for proof that his video games were plagiarized. The Master Control Program stops him. Programmer Alan Bradley and engineer Dr. Lora Baines, his girlfriend, discover that they have lost access to their projects. When Alan questions Senior Exec. VP Ed Dillinger about the restriction, Dillinger states that extra security is needed to stop outside hacking. When Alan leaves, Dillinger asks the MCP about the issues and realizes that the MCP has become a power-hungry virtual intelligence. Dillinger is blackmailed into complying with the MCP’s wishes due to his theft of Flynn’s material. Alan, Lora & Flynn break into ENCOM and Flynn winds up digitized inside the mainframe when the MCP uses an experimental laser to dissect him. Flynn must navigate his way around a strange digital landscape where all the programs resemble the users that created them and find his way back out.

Tron Sticker From 1982 Image Three
My sticker from 1982 and my date’s name
(high school classmate).

Trivia Bits:
♦ [T]he Motion Picture Academy refused to nominate Tron for a special-effects award because, as director Steven Lisberger put it, “The Academy thought we cheated by using computers”.
♦ Originally MacBird envisioned Flynn more comedically, suggesting the then-30-year-old Robin Williams for the role.
Bruce Boxleitner and Peter Jurasik would later work together on Babylon 5.
♦ Nine script revisions caused bitter credit disputes.
♦ Though it made $50 million from a $17 million budget and had $70 million in merchandise sales, it was considered a financial failure.
♦ The ENCOM laser bay was real. It was actually the target bay for the twenty-beam SHIVA solid-state laser facility at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
The soundtrack was primarily composed by Wendy Carlos with two additional tracks provided by Journey after Supertramp had to leave the project.

Additional Reading:
Bruce & Cindy Discuss Deleted Scenes (Beyond The Marquee/12-24-2013)
Tron Then and Now (Digital Content Producer/Archive/07-07-2012)
Deleted Love Scene (Fandom Wiki)
Tron 30th Anniversary Screening Review (Nuke The Fridge/10-30-2012)
Tron’s 20th Anniversary (SFGate/01-09-2002)

Awards & Nominations

End of line…

Opening Scene (Missing Prologue)

Officially Deleted Scene

Bruce Boxleitner & Cindy Morgan @ California Convention
(helmets coming off mentioned) 11-16-2013

Movie Monday: Casual Encounters 2016

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Casual Encounters Poster IMDb & Amazon Image
Image Credit: IMDb & Amazon

Five years ago, today, the film Casual Encounters was released. Directed by Zachary Adler, it was written by Sebastian J. Michael and Erik Steinmetz. Filmed in Los Angeles, it starred Taran Killam, Brooklyn Decker, David Krumholtz, Mark Boone Junior, David Arquette, Sienna Farall and Aimee-Lynn Chadwick.

When Justin’s girlfriend of five years leaves him heartbroken and embarrassed after a public breakup, his “trying to be helpful” but, somewhat misguided friends talk him into the strange world of on-line dating.

IMDb Plot Summary

With easy access to HD equipment, aspiring filmmakers can now make low-budget movies which look very slick. However, there’s not much [that] can be done for bad acting. Most every movie genre is difficult to master but, the raunchy sex comedy may be one of the most difficult. [They] struggle to find a balance between lewd jokes which often involve bodily fluids and anything remotely clever or interesting. Sadly, [this movie] doesn’t come close to finding this balance or presenting anything which is remotely humorous. The line between cringe-worth and funny is very thin but, this movie isn’t even close enough to the line…

Mike Long
DVD Sleuth
June 1, 2016

Hmmm…sounds like a dog of a movie, even with David Krumholtz (Numb3rs TV Series). ~Vic

Hans 2021 Movie Draft: Round Eleven-Pick Eight-Love Actually 2003

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Love Actually Poster IMDb Image One
Image Credit: IMDb & Amazon

Hanspostcard has a movie draft challenge. This is my Round Eleven pick.

Category: Romance/Holiday/Animation
Film: Love Actually

All I have to say is, this is a great movie. It will make you laugh. It will make you cry. ~Vic

Written and directed by Richard Curtis (with six producers in tow), this is a Christmas romance romp with an all-star ensemble cast, mostly comprised of Brits. There are ten separate stories, that become interwoven in places…with one exception. This was Curtis’s Directorial Debut.

Filmed primarily in London, production was a collaboration between the US, the UK & France, with the first release on September 7, 2003, at the Toronto International Film Festival.

The movie opens with Prime Minister David talking about the state of the world.

[1] Rock and Roll legend Billy Mack records a Christmas version of the song Love Is All Around (by The Troggs). He thinks it’s crap but, he promotes it, anyway. He spends Christmas with his manager Joe and, you can see him on various TV sets throughout the movie.
[2] Best man Mark (a very young Andrew Lincoln sans Colt Python) is in love with Peter’s soon-to-be wife, Juliet, though they both believe that Mark dislikes her. He declares his love with cue cards on Christmas Eve.
[3] Jamie discovers his girlfriend is having an affair with his brother. He meets Aurélia but, she doesn’t speak any English. He learns Portuguese to communicate his love for her.
[4] Harry & Karen are happily married and raising their children. Mia is Harry’s new secretary. He is drawn to her and nearly destroys his marriage over her.
[5] Karen’s brother is David, the Prime Minister. He finds himself attracted to staffer Natalie and having to deal with the U.S. President.

Interconnections Wikipedia Image One
Image Credit: Wikipedia & Wikimedia

[6] Daniel, Karen’s friend, is still mourning the loss of his wife, Joanna. His step-son Sam is interested in an American classmate, also named Joanna. Sam shows his affection for Joanna at the airport (before she returns to the US). Daniel crosses paths with Carol and is interested.
[7] Sarah works for Harry and is in love with Karl. Karl is interested but, Sarah’s mentally ill brother Michael is an issue.
[8] Colin tells his friend Tony that he is traveling to America to try to woo some women there. He meets Stacey, Jeannie and Carol-Anne in Milwaukee and they invite him to stay with them. Roommate Harriet shows up, later.
[9] John (a young Martin FreemanArthur Dent/Bilbo Baggins) and Judy meet as nude stand-ins for a film that Tony is a production assistant for. Comfortable with each other simulating sex, they are shy with clothes on, later.
[10] Rufus is a jewelry salesman, wrapping Harry’s gift for Mia and, he assists Sam at the airport in getting to Joanna before her flight. He was, originally, to be a Christmas angel but, a script re-write removed that part of the story.

Bill Nighy & Ladies Image Three
The video for Billy Mack’s [Christmas single] is a reference to
a series of […] videos by Robert Palmer.
Image Credit: IMDb

Trivia Bits:
♦ Knowing about Billy Bob Thornton’s quite unusual fear of antique furniture, Hugh Grant would sometimes flash a piece of antique [furniture] (which is abundant in England) in front of Thornton just before the cameras rolled and watch him freak out in amusement (an issue that is part of the dialogue in Sling Blade).
Simon Pegg was considered for the role of Rufus.
♦ For the role of her lovelorn character Karen, Emma Thompson has said that she drew on the immense heartbreak she experienced over former husband Kenneth Branagh’s affair with Helena Bonham Carter with whom he had co-starred, and directed, in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1994). This extramarital affair ultimately led to their divorce in 1995.
♦ The airport greeting footage at the beginning and end of this movie is real. Writer/director Curtis had a team of cameramen film at Heathrow airport for a week and, whenever they saw something that would fit in, they asked the people involved for permission to use the footage.
♦ For her one-minute cameo, Claudia Schiffer received a reported £200,000 (roughly $300,000 U.S.).

Additional Reading:
Epilogue
Full Cast List
How We Made Love Actually (The Guardian/12-16-2013)

Flick Friday: Captain America-Civil War 2016

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Captain America Civil War Image One
Image Credit: IMDb & Amazon

Five years ago, today, the #1 film at the box office was Captain America: Civil War. Directed by the Russo Brothers and produced by Kevin Feige, the all-star cast is extensive (and well known). If you are unaware of this blockbuster film, it took in $1.15 billion.

The basic plot is one that weaves thru much of the Marvel Comics (and DC Comics, as well) regarding mutant and superhero discrimination and the government wanting to register and track them. The idea was alluded to in the Uncanny X-Men issue #141, published in January of 1981 and the specific words Mutant Control Act showed up in the Uncanny X-Men issue #181, published in May of 1984. It was featured prominently in the movie X-Men (2000).

Captain America Civil War Image Two
Image Credit: IMDb & Amazon

In Civil War, the Sokovia Accords is a United Nations version of a registration act to monitor or control the superheroes. Tony Stark (Ironman) agrees with this registration out of remorse for Ultron and the destruction of Sokovia. Steve Rogers (Captain America) disagrees and wants no part of political intervention or any form of registration. Complicating matters, Rogers’ childhood friend Bucky Barnes (Winter Soldier) is responsible for the death of T’Challa’s (Black Panther) father and Stark’s parents. The Avengers split along ideological and loyalty lines. Unlike the comics, Captain America isn’t killed off but, he does walk away from the job. He returns during Infinity War & Endgame.

I find all of the above quite prophetic considering recent insane events taking place. Society, once again, finds itself being driven towards more discrimination, tracking/registration with vaccine passports (shall we return to gold stars on lapels and “your papers, please?”) and possible civil war? Please…wake up. ~Vic

Trivia Bits:
The film coincides with the 75th anniversary of Captain America, the 10th anniversary of the original Civil War comic book and Black Panther’s 50th anniversary.
♦ This is the live-action debut of T’Challa, the Black Panther, one of the first black superheroes in American comic books, which debuted in Fantastic Four #52 (July 1966).
♦ By the end of the movie, The Avengers logo on Captain America’s arm is no longer there, representing the fact that The Avengers are no longer his.

Awards & Nominations

Hans 2021 Movie Draft: Round Ten-Pick Three-Jesse Stone Series

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Stone Cold IMDb & Amazon Image One
Image Credit: IMDb & Amazon

Hanspostcard has a movie draft challenge. This is my Round Ten pick.

Category: Movie Series
Films: Jesse Stone

Chief Stone: “I *know* who killed them.”
Captain Healy: “Do you have a motive?”
Chief Stone: “No.”
Captain Healy: “Witnesses?”
Chief Stone: “No.”
Captain Healy: “Weapon?”
Chief Stone: “No.”
Captain Healy: “Hell, I’ll warm up a cell right now.”

Jesse Stone is a character in a series of novels written by Robert B. Parker (the creator of Spenser from the TV Series Spenser: For Hire, the film series and the recent Netflix movie). Portrayed by Tom Selleck, the first four films are based on actual novels but, produced and shown out of order. The last five films are a collaboration between Tom Selleck, Michael Brandman and Ronni Kern.

As the series begins, Stone is approximately 35 years old (despite Selleck’s age) and is a former short stop in the minor leagues, leaving the career due to a shoulder injury. After a painful divorce from his beautiful actress wife Jennifer, he begins to drink heavily and is asked to resign from his job with LAPD’s Robbery-Homicide Division. Traveling to the small town of Paradise, Massachusetts (loosely based on Marblehead), for an interview to be Chief of Police, he is visibly drunk. Thinking him easy to control, the president of the town council, hires him, anyway. Stone realizes that the president is corrupt and, the town has serious issues with the mob, money laundering and murder. Throughout each movie, except for one, Jesse & Jenn talk on the phone.

Bridge To The House IMDb & Amazon Image Two
Photo Credit: IMDb & Amazon
Joe the Dog as Reggie

Characters (regular ones):
Kohl Sudduth as Ofc. Luther “Suitcase” Simpson (nicknamed by Stone after first baseman/outfielder Harry Simpson)
Viola Davis as Ofc. Molly Crane (first four movies)
Kathy Baker as Ofc. Rose Gammon
Vito Rezza as Ofc. Anthony D’Angelo
Stephen McHattie as Captain Healy, head of the Massachusetts State Police Homicide Division
William Devane as Dr. Dix (cop turned therapist)
Saul Rubinek as Hasty Hathaway (former town council president)
William Sadler as Gino Fish (crime boss)
Sylvia Villagran (first movie) & Gil Anderson (voice of Jenn)

Additional characters:
Polly Shannon as Abby Taylor (first two movies)
Stephanie March as Cissy Hathaway (second movie)
Leslie Hope as Sydney Greenstreet (with MSP/5th & last movie)
Gloria Reuben as Thelma Gleffey (last three movies)

This series was never theatrically released. These are made-for-TV movies (CBS & Hallmark) and are still in development. These are great movies. ~Vic

Additional Reading:
List of Novels
Robert B. Parker
(Author’s Legacy Website/09-17-1932 ~ 01-18-2010)

Stone Cold 2005 Trailer

Night Passage 2006 Trailer (Prequel Movie)

Hans 2021 Movie Draft: Round Nine-Pick One-Infamous 2006

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Infamous Poster IMDb & Amazon Image One
Image Credit: IMDb & Amazon

Hanspostcard has a movie draft challenge. This is my Round Nine pick.

Category: Historical/Biographical/Political
Film: Infamous

Gore Vidal: […on Truman’s voice…] “To the lucky person who has never heard it, I can only say…imagine what a brussel sprout would sound like, if a brussel sprout could talk.”

Truman Capote: […on Smith & Hickock…] “When you’re talking to them, they seem like perfectly nice boys. To be frank, I’m much more concerned for my safety around Norman Mailer.”

This is the second movie on Truman Capote regarding his foray into the Clutter Family murders. Released August 31, 2006, at the Venice Film Festival and widely on October 13, 2006, this film stood in the shadow of Philip Seymour Hoffman‘s Capote and his Academy Award for Best Actor. Unlike its predecessor, this film, with its $13 million budget, lost money. That being said, despite Hoffman’s turn, Toby Jones is no slouch and his interpretation has its own unique depth. Jones was awarded the London Critics’ Circle Film Award for British Actor of the Year. I found this film to be fascinating and quite entertaining, with parts difficult to watch. Bubbly Sandra Bullock brings forth the subdued, Southern To Kill A Mockingbird novelist Harper Lee. Much of the storytelling is done in mock interviews with the actors, in character, talking about their interactions with Truman. I seem to have a thing for underdog/obscure movies. ~Vic

Written and directed by Douglas McGrath, the movie is based on George Plimpton’s book Truman Capote: In Which Various Friends, Enemies, Acquaintances and Detractors Recall His Turbulent Career (1997). Produced by John Wells & Christine Vachon, (a pre-James Bond) Daniel Craig is Perry Smith, Peter Bogdanovich is Bennett Cerf (Random House Publishing Co-Founder), Jeff Daniels is Alvin Dewey (Kansas Bureau of Investigation Special Agent), Hope Davis is Slim Keith (ex-wife of Producer & Director Howard Hawks), Gwyneth Paltrow has a singing cameo as Kitty Dean (a Peggy Lee clone and possible reference to The Royal Family play), Isabella Rossellini is Marella Agnelli (Italian Princess and wife of the Chairman of Fiat Automobiles), Juliet Stevenson is Diana Vreeland (Editor-in-Chief of Vogue), Sigourney Weaver is Babe Paley (wife of CBS founder William Paley), Lee Pace is Richard Hickock, John Benjamin Hickey is Jack Dunphy (Capote’s partner) and Michael Panes is Gore Vidal (writer and Democrat party candidate).

Toby Jones Sandra Bullock IMDb & Amazon Image Two
Photo Credit: IMDb & Amazon

“Why shouldn’t there be a fizzy, comedic take on the naughty adventures of the Park Avenue gadabout as he fashioned In Cold Blood […]? Why not a movie that concentrates on the contrast between the writer’s frivolous party-boy side and the brutal murders in Kansas, the exotic and colorful tropical specimen who becomes a fish-out-of water when he jumps from his luxurious high-rise swan pond into the Midwestern plains?

[A]fter In Cold Blood, [Capote] never published another major work. Out of career desperation as much as anything else, he sold out his friendships with these […] people, publishing gossipy stories about them in an Esquire excerpt from Answered Prayers in 1976 and was banished from their lives.

[T]he movie centers on the symbiotic relationship between Truman and Perry, pondering the extent of the seduction and, who seduced whom.

Toby Jones inhabits Truman as if he were to the character born, a livelier and more perversely ebullient man than Phillip Seymour Hoffman‘s version in Capote (2005).”

Truman On The Rocks
Roger Ebert
October 12, 2006

Trivia Bits:
Mark Walberg was to play Perry Smith, originally but, dropped out. Mark Ruffalo was next but, dropped out, as well.
♦ Sigourney Weaver portrays the wife of a CBS Executive and is the daughter of NBC Executive Pat Weaver.
Michelle Pfeiffer was to play Slim Keith, originally.

Additional Reading:
The Story Behind A Non-Fiction Novel (George Plimpton/New York Times Archive/1997)

Warner Brothers Trailer

Hans 2021 Movie Draft: Round Eight-Pick One-The Final Countdown 1980

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USS Nimitz Storm IMDb & Amazon Image One
Image Credit: IMDb & Amazon

Hanspostcard has a movie draft challenge. This is my Round Eight pick.

Category: Action/Adventure/Thriller
Film: The Final Countdown

Captain Yelland: […to his Native American Weather Officer…] “Ahhh, Black Cloud, you’ve been doing unauthorized rain dances again.”

Lasky: […as a Japanese pilot is holding Laurel at gunpoint…] “Why don’t you tell him what’s going on here, Commander? You’re an expert on what’s gonna happen tomorrow…”
Captain Yelland: “Go ahead, tell him.”
Commander Richard Owens: “26 November, six carriers left the Kuril Isles north of Japan. The carriers were the Akagi, Kaga, Shokaku, Zuikaku, Hiryu, Soryu. Tomorrow at dawn, these carriers will send 353 planes to attack Pearl Harbor.”
Senator Chapman: “How in the hell do you know all that?”

F-14 Pilot #1: “Mission aborted? But, we can see ’em!”
F-14 Pilot #2: “They’re gonna let the Japs do it, again.”

Directed by Don Taylor, it was produced by Peter Vincent Douglas and Lloyd Kaufman with Kirk Douglas executive producing without credit. The story, and screenplay, was written by the team of Thomas Hunter, Peter Powell, David Ambrose and Gerry Davis. The ensemble cast was Kirk Douglas, Martin Sheen, Katharine Ross, James Farentino, Charles Durning, Ron O’Neal, Victor Mohica, Soon-Tek Oh and James Coleman, with producers Lloyd Kaufman and Peter Douglas playing small parts.

Senator Chapman & Laurel IMDb & Amazon Image Two
Photo Credit: IMDb & Amazon

It’s 1980 and Warren Lasky (Sheen) is a Systems Analyst from Tideman Industries, working with the Department of Defense as an efficiency expert. He is dispatched by his secretive employer to board the USS Nimitz before its departure from Naval Station Pearl Harbor for naval exercises in the Pacific. Tideman Industries designed and built the carrier. Not long at sea, a strange storm appears out of nowhere and the Nimitz can neither outrun nor maneuver away from it. Passing thru the storm, electronics and people, alike, are knocked out. Once the storm is gone and everything returns to normal, Captain Yelland (Douglas), his crew and his civilian passenger discover that they have been thrown backwards in time to 1941, just hours before the attack on Pearl Harbor. What now?

It’s original premiere was in London on May 21, 1980, Japan on July 5 and the US on August 1. I didn’t get to see it at the theater but, caught it on HBO a year later. IMDb lists this as Action & Sci-Fi, which it is but, I think it fits in the Adventure/Thriller categories, too. As a contributor on IMDb, I’ve made a suggested update of the genre. Having been on board the USS Enterprise on December 7, 2001, I have a much greater appreciation for the making of this movie. It received mixed reviews and didn’t make a lot of money. Two months later, another time travel film was released…Somewhere In Time and The Philadelphia Experiment, four years later, is the reverse of this movie in time frames. ~Vic

Trivia Bits:
♦ Peter Douglas is Kirk Douglas’ son with his second wife. This was his first film as producer and his only credited acting role.
♦ This was made with the full cooperation of the US Navy and 48 Nimitz crew members were credited.
♦ Filming took place on board ship at sea (exterior shots) with interior shots filmed in dry dock at Naval Station Norfolk. The USS Kitty Hawk was a stand-in, pulling into Pearl Harbor. Flight and water scenes were shot at Naval Air Station Key West.
♦ The production crew was allowed to film a real emergency landing and recovery of an aircraft that appeared in the film.
♦ The first setup to film an F-14 takeoff resulted in both camera and operator being pitched down the runway.
♦ The black and white Pearl Harbor attack footage was taken from Tora! Tora! Tora!
♦ WWII ace fighter pilot Archie Donahue was one of the Zero pilots. The Zeros were converted T-6 Texans, flying full throttle and the F-14s were flying at stall speeds so that both aircraft would be in the same shot.
♦ When filming wrapped, possibly early, the USS Nimitz was recalled to home base to participate in Operation Eagle Claw, the attempt to rescue the hostages held at the U.S. Embassy in Iran on April 24, 1980.

Additional Reading:
Archie Donahue: WWII Ace Pilot (HistoryNet/Jon Guttman/July 2007)
Filming of Final Countdown: You Want Us To Do What? (Pilots For Christ Forum/Administrator Don Gieseke/12-08-2016)
Commander Richard “Fox” Farrell: Lead F-14 Pilot (Dignity Memorial/03-31-2014)

Awards & Nominations

Watch the movie for free: Daily Motion

Hans 2021 Movie Draft: Round Seven-Pick Six-Cop Land 1997

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Cop Land Miramax IMDb & Amazon Image One
Photo Credit: Miramax, IMDb & Amazon

Hanspostcard has a movie draft challenge. This is my Round Seven pick.

Category: Crime/Film Noir
Film: Cop Land

Written and directed by James Mangold, it was executive produced by the Weinstein brothers (though their names have been removed from the Wikipedia article). Released August 6, 1997 in New York (premiere) and nationwide on August 15, it was an incredible ensemble cast of Sly Stallone, Harvey Keitel, Ray Liotta, Robert De Niro, Robert Patrick, Peter Berg, Janeane Garafalo, Edie Falco, Michael Rapoport, Annabella Sciorra, John Spencer, Cathy Moriarty, Noah Emmerich, Frank Vincent, Malik Yoba, Arthur Nascarella and, cameos of Deborah Harry & Geraldo Rivera.

Sylvester Stallone put on 40 pounds to play Nowheresville, N.J., sheriff Freddy Heflin in Cop Land […]. His town is run by Ray Donlan (Keitel) and the other New York cops who have settled there with their families. He wears blinders when it comes to their lawbreaking and mob dealings. Moe Tilden (De Niro), the internal-affairs officer out to get the goods on Cop Land, correctly pegs Freddy as “a man looking for something to do.” Keitel’s [Donlan] exudes dangerous energy. He cares for his own as long as they don’t cross him […]. Robert Patrick brings sly menace to Rucker […]. Ray Liotta […], as Gary Figgis, [is] a tainted cop who sides with Freddy.

Mangold […] has a rare talent for finding the human drama in ordinary lives.

Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
August 15, 1997

Stallone IMDb & Amazon Image Two
Photo Credit: IMDb

Writer-director James Mangold […] wrangles an impressive cast […] and spins a compelling tale of cancerous corruption among a secretive group of New York’s finest who have settled in the fictional New Jersey burg of Garrison. [Stallone] indeed looks chunky and plays the sleepy, docile Sheriff […] with sluggishness to spare in a largely commendable performance as a half-deaf small-town dreamer. [He] is not given much in the way of memorable dialogue but, he makes the character work […]. [Having] yet to replace his LP of The River with a CD, [he] carries a torch for the local Jersey girl (Sciorra) he saved from drowning…the reason for his loss of hearing in one ear…[he] once longed to be a big-city cop but, had to settle for policing them.

Freddy gradually realizes that he doesn’t like how the town has turned out.

David Hunter
The Hollywood Reporter
August 11, 1997

I saw this at the theater when it came out and caught it, again, a few nights ago. I was born and raised in law enforcement and, worked in it, too (non-sworn). I’ve known good cops and I’ve known some really bad ones. I love a well written cop movie and this was an unusual one in that Stallone wasn’t playing a bad ass like Rambo, Cobra, Tango, John Spartan (though I do love that movie) or Ray Quick. This character was different…subdued. His scenes with Annabella Sciorra have Springsteen playing in the background which adds depth and texture to the mood. This is clearly a period piece as all the vehicles, hair cuts and clothing styles are, effectively, early 80s. The River came out in 1980 and music from the Director’s Cut, like Blue Oyster Cult‘s Burnin’ For You came out in 1981. This also manages to cover the Crime category via IMDb and the Film Noir category, simultaneously, via Historical Dictionary of Film Noir (2010). ~Vic

Trivia Bits:
There is a disclaimer at the end of the credits which states “This film is a work of fiction. It is currently illegal for New York City Police officers to live outside the state of New York.”
♦ Arthur J. Nascarella was a real-life NYPD officer.
Debbie Harry acted in the movie but, was edited out in the final cut. She explained on a live television special that although she was cut, she still got paid.
♦ In the scene in which Ray Liotta confronts Robert Patrick in the bar, the dart that Liotta shoves up Patrick’s left nostril was made out of rubber.
♦ Tom Cruise, Tom Hanks, Gary Sinise and John Travolta were considered for Sheriff Freddy Heflin.

Stallone’s Variety Interview 2019

Awards & Nominations

The Making of an Urban Western

Hans 2021 Movie Draft: Round Six-Pick Two-El Dorado 1966

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El Dorado Poster IMDb & Amazon Image
Image Credit: IMDb & Amazon

Hanspostcard has a movie draft challenge. This is my Round Six pick.

Category: Western/War
Film: El Dorado

Mississippi: “[…] My name is Alan Bourdillion Traherne.”
Cole: “Lord Almighty…”

Sheriff Harrah: “Who is he?”
Cole: “Tell him your name, Mississippi.”
Mississippi: [sigh] “Alan Bourdillion Traherne.”
Sheriff Harrah: “Well, no wonder he carries a knife.”

Mississippi: “Always make you mad, don’t I?”
Cole: “Mostly.”

Produced and directed by Howard Hawks, the film is a loose adaption of The Stars in Their Courses, a 1960 novel by Harry Brown. The screenplay was written by Leigh Brackett and starred John Wayne, Robert Mitchum, James Caan, Charlene Holt, Paul Fix, Arthur Hunnicutt, Michele Carey, R. G. Armstrong, Ed Asner, Christopher George and Johnny Crawford. Jim Davis (Jock Ewing) and John Mitchum have small parts. It was released December 17, 1966, in Japan, oddly and didn’t make it to US theaters until June 7, 1967.

Eldorado Edgar Allan Poe Poem Pinterest Image Two
Image Credit: Pinterest

Cole Thornton (Wayne) is a gunslinger for hire and land owner Bart Jason (Asner) has offered him a job. J. P. Harrah (Mitchum) is a Sheriff and an old friend of Cole’s. When Harrah informs Cole of Jason’s intention to use him to push the MacDonald family off of their land for water rights, Cole refuses the job. After shooting the youngest MacDonald son, unintentionally, during a volley of gunfire, Cole is wounded by the MacDonald daughter (Carey), in return, after he brings the deceased boy back home. Cole suffers intermittent paralysis on his right side throughout the rest of the movie. With the help of a gambler (Caan) he crosses paths with and the Sheriff’s deputy (Hunnicutt), Cole straightens out the drunken Sheriff, tangles with another gunslinger (George), derails Jason’s takeover and just might stop his previous ways for his lady, Maudie (Holt).

Mississippi repeats parts of the Edgar Allen Poe poem (except the second stanza) during the film, aggravating Cole somewhat (Caan had trouble with the word “boldly”, slurring it to sound like either “bowlie” or “bodie”). He’s also terrible with a gun and couldn’t hit the broadside of a barn (but, I love that hat!). Cole gets him a shotgun and later regrets it as he has scatter shot in his leg at the end of the movie.

This is my favorite John Wayne movie even though it is an ensemble cast. A close second is The Quiet Man where Wayne played another “Thornton” character. ~Vic

Trivia Bits:
Archival footage of this movie was used in The Shootist as some backstory for Wayne’s character J.B. Books.
The artwork in the opening credits was painted by Olaf Wieghorst, the Swedish gunsmith.
♦ At the end of the movie, both Cole & Harrah are on crutches under the wrong arm.
♦ The bathtub scene was Mitchum’s idea.
♦ Mitchum’s brother was a bartender named Elmer. He called him by his real name by accident.
♦ Wayne and Asner did not get along.

Other Goofs (There are a lot.)
Nominations

Opening Credits

Caan on Wayne

Hans 2021 Movie Draft: Round Five-Pick Two-The Ninth Gate 1999

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Novis Portis Book IMDb & Amazon Image
Umbrarum Regni Novem Portis
The Nine Doors (or Gates) to the Kingdom of Shadows
Aristide Torchia, Venice, 1666
Image Credit: IMDb & Amazon

Hanspostcard has a movie draft challenge. This is my Round Five pick.

Category: Foreign/Silent
Film: The Ninth Gate

A French/Spanish Roman Polanksi vehicle (director & producer), he co-wrote the screenplay with John Brownjohn and Enrique Urbizu. Loosely based on the 1993 book El Club Dumas, a Spanish language novel by Arturo Pérez-Reverte Gutiérrez, the Polanski/Brownjohn script removed a sub-plot, changed the two main characters’ names and altered the finale. Filmed in France, Portugal and Spain, it stars Johnny Depp (Corso), Frank Langella (Balkan), Lena Olin, Barbara Jefford and, Emmanuelle Seigner (mysterious woman & Polanski’s wife). Actor Allen Garfield suffered a stroke prior to filming and Polanski incorporated Garfield’s paralysis as part of the character. Released August 25, 1999, in Belgium, France and Spain (premiere), and November 1999 at the Stockholm International Film Festival, it wasn’t released, widely, in the US until March 10, 2000.

I would have to describe the movie like this…:

[It] is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma…

Winston Churchill
October 1, 1939

Dean Corso is a bit of a sleazy rare book dealer from New York with questionable ethics. Boris Balkan, a wealthy collector, hires Corso to determine if a book he owns (the book to the left/above) is authentic. The author, supposedly, wrote the book with help from the Devil and only three copies of the book are known to exist after the author was burned at the stake during the Inquisition, along with his works. Corso must find the other two to complete his investigation. Balkan believes that the owner of the book would have the power to summon said Devil. As the skeptical Corso travels and searches, he is followed by a mysterious woman. He eventually becomes obsessed with his task and desires the complete truth. The movie twists and turns to it’s bizarre ending. Depp is a strange cat but, he makes really interesting movies. Visually, Polanski intended for Corso to resemble Philip Marlowe. ~Vic

Additional Reading:
The Ninth Gate (Roger Ebert)
The Ninth Gate Opens (Philip Coppens Web Archive)

Hans 2021 Movie Draft: Round Four-Pick Five-The Breakfast Club 1985

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The Breakfast Club IMDb & Amazon Image
Photo Credit: IMDb & Amazon

Hanspostcard has a movie draft challenge. This is my Round Four pick.

Category: Comedy
Film: The Breakfast Club

“So, Ahab, can I have all my doobage?”

“Chicks cannot hold dey smoke, dat’s what it is.”

The opening narration to this film is spoken by Anthony Michael Hall (Brian Johnson/The Brain):

Saturday, March 24, 1984. Shermer High School, Shermer, Illinois, 60062 (fictional town). […] You see us as you want to see us… […] You see us as a brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess and a criminal. […] That’s the way we saw each other at 7:00 this morning. We were brainwashed.”

This is my graduating class…the class of 1984 (despite the age of some of the actors). Released February 15, 1985, I was in my freshman year of college and it was a bittersweet revisit. I knew these characters…every single one of them. My high school even had a library that resembled that set. This movie was made with only a one million budget but, brought in $51 million and, in 2016, was selected for preservation with the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress. There is no CGI or special effects. There are no sweeping views of beautiful locations. There are no “shoot-em-up-bang-bang” sequences. There is some action with the cast running through the hallways, dancing while high and Judd Nelson (John Bender/The Criminal) falling through the ceiling tiles. This is, primarily, a study of human nature, parental influence, peer influence, subtle & overt abuse and the struggle to understand. It’s heartbreaking, it’s hilarious and it is so Generation X. ~Vic

Written, produced and directed by John Hughes, it also stars Emilio Estevez (Andrew Clark/The Athlete), Molly Ringwald (Claire Standish/The Princess), Ally Sheedy (Allison Reynolds/The Basket Case), Paul Gleason (Asst. Principal Richard Vernon) and John Kapelos (Carl Reed/The Janitor).

Ally Comparison Image Two
I had a co-worker tell me that I reminded him of Sheedy.
You be the judge.

Trivia Bits:
♦ The scene in which all characters sit in a circle on the floor in the library and tell stories about why they were in detention was not scripted. Writer and director John Hughes told them all to ad-lib.
♦ There is a deleted scene of Claire and Allison in the bathroom that didn’t show up until the Blu-Ray edition was released.
♦ Sixteen year old Hall hit a growth spurt during shooting and outgrew 24 year old Nelson, prompting Nelson to joke about writing letters to geneticists.
Bender’s joke about the blonde, the poodle and the six foot salami has no punchline as it was never in the script.
♦ Nelson was nearly fired for method-acting harassment.
♦ Hall’s mother & sister play themselves in the movie.
Keith Forsey wrote the lyrics to Don’t You (Forget About Me) and Bryan Ferry of Roxy Music was approached to sing it. Billy Idol was also approached and recorded his own version, later. An offer to Chrissie Hynde lead to her, then, husband Jim Kerr of Simple Minds.
♦ Nelson improvised the part at the closing of the film where Bender raises his fist in defiance. Everyone loved it and it has also become an iconic symbol of the 1980s as well as cinema history.

Additional Reading:
Original ‘Breakfast Club’ Screenplay Found (Chicago Tribune)
The Breakfast Club Cut Content (Lost Media Archive Wiki)

Awards

Opening Scene

Hans 2021 Movie Draft: Round Three-Pick Five-The Other Side Of The Mountain 1975

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Sports Illustrated 1955 Live Auctioneer Image
Image Credit: Live Auctioneers
Apple Pie in Sun Valley (S.I. Archive)

Hanspostcard has a movie draft challenge. This is my Round Three pick.

Category: Documentary/Sports
Film: The Other Side of the Mountain

“You know where you’ll find sympathy in the dictionary, don’t ya’? Between shit and suicide.”

Directed by Larry Peerce, the movie is based on the 1966 novel A Long Way Up by E. G. Valens, written about national slalom ski champion (1955) and a 1956 U.S. Olympic skiing team candidate, Jill Kinmont. Produced by Edward Feldman, the screenplay adaption was written by David Seltzer. Jill is played by Marilyn Hassett and, Beau Bridges plays Olympic skiing team member (1952) and stunt pilot Dick “Mad Dog” Buek. Dabney Coleman plays Coach Dave McCoy and Bill Vint plays Buddy Werner. Belinda Montgomery plays Audra Jo or “A.J.”, Jill’s best friend, Nan Martin plays June Kinmont and William Bryant plays Bill Kinmont. Griffin Dunne has a small part.

The film spans Jill’s slalom races to her national championship, her best friend’s polio contraction, her accident while attempting to win the Alta, UT, Snow Cup, her hospital stay, her slow rehabilitation, her heartbreak from the losses of two dear men and her triumph at becoming a teacher.

The Other Side of the Mountain IMDb & Amazon Image
Photo Credit: IMDb & Amazon

Dick Buek was killed in a plane crash on November 3, 1957, two days shy of his 28th birthday (Club of 27?). Buddy Werner was killed in an avalanche in Switzerland on April 12, 1964.

Released July 25, 1975, the film was panned by critics for being too much of a tear-jerker. That may be true but, she did have a really hard time. The sequel was released February 10, 1978 and was panned even worse. I saw them in reverse order. I was only nine years old when the first movie came out so, I didn’t get to see it until I was an adult. I saw Part II, first, when it was released to television. I enjoyed both films despite the bad reviews. Sometimes, bringing someone’s life story to the big screen is handled poorly. Jill passed away February 9, 2012.

Awards & Nominations

Additional Reading:
An Amazing Interview/Jill Kinmont Boothe (Ezine Articles)
The Mad Dog of Donner Summit (Sierra Sun)
The Death of a True Hero (Wired)

The Complete Movie