Thursday, November 26, 2009
Monday, November 23, 2009
Pinch yourself--it's not a dream. The Oak Lawn Library will be hosting a free public screening of Disney's animated masterpiece "Sleeping Beauty" (1959) on Friday, November 27 at 2 p.m.
Parents and grown-up animation lovers, you have no excuse not to attend this event, as Friday is the day after Thanksgiving and most likely you're off work anyway.
So grab the young'ns or the young at heart and check out this classic cartoon fare, which this year celebrates its 50th anniversary, in which a snubbed malevolent fairy casts a curse on a princess that only a prince can break, with the help of three good fairies. The color, craftsmanship and level of detail imbued in this feature is absolutely amazing. Rated: G. 75 min.
Friday, November 20, 2009
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Saturday, November 14, 2009
The screening takes place in McGuire Hall, and admission and parking are free.
Friday, November 13, 2009
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
What do you get when you cross the moxie of “The Full Monty” with the charisma of “The Commitments”? Meet Strange Fruit, a 1970s British pop band that has reunited with the hopes of making a comeback.
Not quite a “This is Spinal Tap” for the ’90s, “Still Crazy” peels back the glossy layers of stardom to reveal the true natures of a ragtag group of aging rockers. It’s played by a stellar English cast that includes “The Crying Game’s” Stephen Rea, Billy Connolly, Jimmy Nail and Juliet Aubrey.
Though it’s not a documentary, “Still Crazy,” guided capably by director Brian Gibson (“What’s Love Got to Do With It”) and written by Dick Clement and Ian La Franias (the team that wrote “The Commitments”), plays well as an entertaining mock rock-bio, much like “Velvet Goldmine” headed by Ewan McGregor.
If faux rock documentaries like the aforementioned are your cup of tea, consider also renting “The Rutles” (a ka “All You Need is Cash”), the irreverently hilarious Beatles spoof created by the Monty Python troupe.
Monday, November 9, 2009
Errol Flynn fans rejoice: The Oak Lawn Library will be hosting a free public screening of "The Adventures of Robin Hood on Wednesday, November 11 at 2 p.m.
No, this isn't the lame Kevin Kostner outing from the 1990s, or the weak Disney adaptation from the seventies. It's the timeless Technicolor wonder from 1938.
When Prince John and the Norman Lords begin oppressing the Saxon masses in King Richard's absence, a Saxon lord fights back as the outlaw leader of a rebel guerrilla army. This classic film starring Errol Flynn won three Academy Awards. Rated: PG for adventure violence. 102 min.
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Following the movie, we'll have an in-depth discussion about the picture. Make plans to join us if you can!
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
CineVerse dares to ask the question, “what if…”
What if they attempted a modern-day remake of “The Incredible Shrinking Man,” the fondly remembered 1957 science-fiction classic based on Richard Matheson's novel? Here are my recommendations (with tongue planted firmly in cheek):
Dream Director: Joe Dante (Gremlins, Innerspace, Small Soldiers)
Dream cast: Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson (as Scott Carey), Rachel McAdams (as Melinda Carey), Danny DeVito (as Dr. Arthur Bramson)
The Pitch: What happens when you throw “Twins” and “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids” in a blender on reverse? You get the irony of manly man Dwayne Johnson as a personal fitness trainer who is exposed to gamma rays and suddenly finds himself small enough to fit in wee wife Rachel McAdams’ hand. (Arnold Schwarzenegger would be an ideal first choice for the title role, but he’s a little busy bailing out the world’s sixth largest economy in California in his role as “The Governator” right now.)
Though the original film took itself pretty seriously, the now-comy concept would have to be played largely for yuks in a 2010 remake. (Although the filmmakers would have to be careful not to repeat the mistakes ofJoel Schumacher's directorial debut, 1981's “The Incredible Shrinking Woman,” a "comedy" remake with only a few very small laughs.) Audiences would bust a gut seeing the man-who-would-be-the-Scorpion King sleeping in his daughter's doll house and playing straight-man to DeVito's "Now you know how I feel" one-liners. Plus, the Rock’s close encounters with giant spiders, blenders, lawn mowers and other household dangers would be a great excuse for some cutting-edge FX.
Director Dante knows how to mix shrinking FX and comedy: His 1987 “Fantastic Voyage” sendup “Innerspace” was one of his better films, as was “Small Soldiers.” If Dante's not available, the studio could always turn to Joe Johnston (“Jumanji,” “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids”). Johnston also brings a light touch to FX-heavy fare and has the kind of box-office track record (as long as you overlook “The Rocketeer”) that could help convince Johnson and DeVito to sign on, and he’s about to earn a lot more box office cache with the 2010 release of “The Wolfman” remake he’s directing.
Deal closer: Thanks to Eddie Murphy, Hollywood has a new E-Z bake remake recipe: Take one property with name recognition and family appeal (such as “The Nutty Professor” or “Doctor Dolittle”), add tons of special effects and humor, mix liberally with fart jokes and a somewhat past-hisprime star and voila, you've got a hit. The kiddie appeal gives the film even stronger legs on video as well as added merchandising momentum. In fact, the product placements and tie-ins could make or break the deal. A realistic “Incredible Shrinking Man” would require a truly bloated budget, but if the studio could convince The Rock to sign on for points in box-office, video and merchandising, the final pricetag could be held to a doable $100 million.
Bottom line: Admit it: You’d pay $10 at your local cardboard-thin-walled multiplex to watch this with a bunch of hooting kids. Sure you would.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
If you enjoyed last week's discussion of "Dracula" and "The Mummy," feel free to take a bite out of the Reflections document I created for both movies. You can download this document, which contains critiques, essays and analysis on both films, by clicking here.