4. 呼朋唤友 随心所欲
icked people into believing their authenticity, as well as those urban legend-like “cursed” films that earned sinister reputations because of the unfortunate, disturbing, and sometimes tragic events that were allegedly attributed to them.But they’re only movies, right?Antrum: The Deadliest Film Ever Made (2018) 75%(Photo by Else Films)What better way to kick things off than with a movie that is a perfect Venn diagram of both concepts – “found footage” faux-real horror and supposedly cursed films. Antrum purports to be a documentary about a lost 1970s film that was only screened twice, because everyone who watches it dies. The movie opens with an 8-minute documentary detailing the curse around the film, then shows you the “film” itself, which is about two young kids who attempt to dig a hole to Hell to save their recently deceased dog. The filmmakers do their best to make the movie-within-a-movie look authentically 70s to help sell the whole façade. The fact that Antrum’s release was preceded by rumors and word of mouth among hardcore horror fans (much like the way the controversial 2011 A Serbian Film grew a reputation well before it was ever screened publicly) lent the movie an air of real mystery. Some eager horror buffs even tried to track the “original” Antrum down, believing it to be real.Plausibility Score: 2 out of 5Antrum is a nice try, but in the age of advanced search engines, it’s hard to fully convince people that a film with a supposed body count of 60 could truly have been “lost.”Snuff (1976) The concept of a “snuff” film – a movie depicting an actual murder – basically started in 1971 when Ed Sanders, the author of a book about the Manson Family, asserted that Charles Manson and his followers had filmed their killing spree (no footage was ever found). Then, just a few years later in 1976, husband-and-wife directors Michael and Roberta Findlay made a cheap exploitation film called Slaughter about an actress and her director who are murdered by a Manson Family-esque clan in South America. Grindhouse film distributor Allan Shackleton bought the film, changed the title to Snuff, and released it under the pretense that it depicted the real murder of the main actress (the tagline was “Filmed in South America…Where Life is Cheap!”). This kickstarted an obsession with snuff films, although none have ever been conclusively unearthed.Plausibility Score: 4 out of 5The Manson Family connection and the fact that people still believe in the existence of snuff films even today and really sell this one.Poltergeist (1982) 86%Perhaps the most famous “cursed” movie of all time, the original 1982 Poltergeist, about a suburban family terrorized by a supernatural presence, climaxed with a scene in which the mom (JoBeth Williams) is dragged into a partially dug-out pool and is surrounded by skeletons – the reveal being that the housing development in which they live was unscrupulously built on top of a graveyard. The rumor was that the film crew had not only used real skeletons, but had desecrated graves themselves to get them. Mysterious and untimely deaths of some of the actors in the trilogy, including young Heather O’Rourke (who played the abducted little girl Carol Anne), who died at the age of 12 due to a congenital intestinal issue, and Dominique Dunne (who played oldest sibling Dana), who was murdered by a jealous boyfriend at the age of 22, led to the urban legend that the ghosts of the unwitting skeletal “co-stars” had cursed the films and everyone who worked on them. It’s flimsy, because clearly major players like Williams, Craig T. Nelson, director Tobe Hooper, and producer Steven Spielberg walked away unscathed.Plausibility Score: 1 out of 5Although it’s the movie everyone cites when talking about curses, a lot of the supposed connections are pretty thin. Plus, more of the actors and crew survived unhurt than didn’t, and a lot of the “deaths” beyond the two young leads were simply age and explainable illness.The Blair Witch Project (1999) 86%Horror is a great way for young talents to break into the business because, often, what you don’t see is scarier than what you do, so it’s a godsend for indie filmmakers with more creativity than budget. The Blair Witch Project came about at exactly the right time – exploiting the still nascent “world wide web,” it managed to cultivate its own urban legend of supposedly lost cam footage that was recovered after a group of young filmmakers went missing. The conceit of it being filmed on the fly covered over the fact that you don’t really see much of anything, and the clever use of sound effects and the overall naturalistic performances by the lead actors made you think, just for a second, that maybe this was the real deal. Of course, Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 came out around a year later to confirm that, yes, this was indeed just a cheesy horror franchise at its core.Plausibility Score: 3 out of 5It may have lost some luster since, but at the time? It really had people convinced. And the execution – from the early websites to the film itself – was nearly perfect.The Omen (1976) 86%Strap in for this one: Producer Harvey Bernhard claims that the initial idea for the seminal horror classic The Omen came from an advertising exec named Bob Munger. Munger suggested that a movie about the Antichrist would be cool, but that no one should actually make it because “the devil was at work and he didn’t want that film made.” He may have been right. Just a month before filming was to start, lead actor Gregory Peck’s son committed suicide. As he flew to the set, Peck’s plane was struck by lightning, and then executive producer Marc Neufeld’s plane was also struck by lightning on his way to the location. The hotel Neufeld and his wife were staying in then got bombed by the Irish Republican Army. The crew hired a small plane to do some aerial photography, but it was given to another client at the last minute; that plane crashed on takeoff and killed everyone on board. Filming a zoo sequence, the young boy playing the demonic Damien apparently upset the baboons so much they started freaking out, so an animal wrangler was called in to help; the next day, he was mauled by a tiger and killed. But perhaps the most chilling result of this “curse” was what happened to special effects supervisor John Richardson. One of his big FX sequences in The Omen was one in which a character is decapitated by a sheet of glass. While working on his next movie in the Netherlands, Richardson and his assistant were involved in a car accident, and his assistant was you guessed it decapitated. Legend has it the accident occurred near a street sign that read “Ommen, 66.6 km.” But it’s all coincidence, right?Plausibility Score: 4 out of 5It’s hard to write all of this off as coincidence. Even when people discount some of it – like the existence of the Dutch street sign – there’s a lot more that’s been verified.Cannibal Holocaust (1980) 65%(Photo by ©F.D. Cinematografica courtesy Everett Collection)Not long after Snuff, another film came under fire for allegedly depicting actual murders – and it was an early example of “found footage” horror, to boot. This Italian cult movie was built around the idea that it was footage discovered after an American film crew disappeared in the Amazon rainforest and were killed and eaten by indigenous cannibals. The gore was so intense and realistic that a few days after the movie’s premiere, Italian authorities confiscated the film, director Ruggero Deodato was charged with obscenity, and he was eventually slapped with a murder charge when it was suggested Cannibal Holocaust was, in fact, a snuff film. Although it was later proven that none of the actors were killed or harmed, the film does depict scenes of intense animal cruelty that were real. Fun fact: the fake documentary the crew was working on was called The Green Inferno, which would be the title adopted by director Eli Roth for his 2013 homage to Cannibal Holocaust.Plausibility Score: 3 out of 5The rough, grimy cheapness of the film and the addition of actual animal butchery make this feel almost like the real deal.The Crow (1994) 83%What’s unique about the “curse” of The Crow is that it isn’t so much about the film as it is an extension of a curse that is believed to have haunted martial arts icon Bruce Lee and his family for generations. Of course, the 1994 horror-tinged comic book adaptation is infamous due to the tragic death of star Brandon Lee, Bruce s son, who died after a prop gun misfired and a projectile struck him. The film was hampered by setbacks and accidents – the set was destroyed numerous times, most notably by a hurricane that struck its North Carolina filming location – but in general, the problems seem to have been caused mostly by the fact that it was low budget and behind schedule, and corners were cut a little too recklessly. Some even claim that the Chinese mafia assassinated Bruce and Brandon, which is eerie when you think about the fact that Bruce Lee’s last film, Game of Death, seems to predict this. In that movie, Bruce’s character is a martial arts actor who is shot by an assassin posing as one of the stunt crew. Also, the biopic Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story anthropomorphizes the supposed family curse as a physical demon that haunts Lee his whole life, and at one point in the film, the demon goes after a young Brandon. Dragon was released in 1993 – a year before The Crow.Plausibility Score: 2 out of 5The idea of a Lee Family Curse is compelling, and it fits in with the whole mystical aura surrounding Bruce. But dig deeper into the on-set events of The Crow, and it all appears to be more a case of negligence and unprofessionalism than a sinister hex.The Exorcist (1973) 83%If the Devil really does exist, he seems to spend an awful lot of time on film sets. Before The Omen tempted fate with each shooting day, William Friedkin’s The Exorcist experienced its own unnerving incidents. Telling the story of two priests battling a demonic presence that has taken hold of a young girl named Regan MacNeil (Linda Blair), the film is an undisputed classic of the horror genre, and some of that may have to do with the notion that the film itself was actually possessed. Things got off to a rocky start when the MacNeil family home set – where much of the action takes place – was destroyed by fire. The only room that was untouched by the blaze…was Regan’s. In addition, almost all of the actors suffered injuries during the filming, and televangelist Billy Graham even claimed that “there is a power of evil in that film, in the fabric of the film itself” and suggested that simply projecting it was like opening a door for demons. The movie held its premiere in Rome, during a violent thunderstorm. One attendee even passed out and broke her jaw, later attempting to sue the production because she blamed subliminal messages for her tumble.Plausibility Score: 3 out of 5Some of the spookiness experienced on set and at early screenings was likely psychosomatic, but the movie still carries a heavy creep factor regardless.Rosemary's Baby (1968) 96%Why not complete Satan’s own personal trilogy with a supposedly cursed movie that pre-dates both The Omen and The Exorcist? Rosemary’s Baby is rightly credited with redefining the horror genre by taking it away from the campy cobwebs and castles of the old Vincent Price days and legitimizing it as a “real” grown-up art form. Mia Farrow and John Cassavetes star in the story of a young mother-to-be who moves into a New York apartment building that also happens to house a Satanic cult. Producer William Castle – who was infamous in the 1950s and 1960s for promoting all sorts of gimmicks like floating skeletons and rumbling theater seats in an effort to sell the “reality” of his horror movies – believed that real witches had cursed the set. The film’s composer suffered a nasty fall shortly after the movie wrapped and died after being comatose for several days. Castle himself fell ill with painful gallstones that required surgery. And, of course, director Roman Polanski’s wife at the time, actress Sharon Tate, and their unborn child would fall victim to the Manson Family a year after the film’s release.Plausibility Score: 1 out of 5It’s easy to think of anything Satan-related as tempting fate when it comes to curses or bad mojo, but most of these incidents seem loosely connected at best.Faces of Death (1978) 25%Just as The Blair Witch Project came along at the perfect time to take advantage of early internet, the legend of Faces of Death is largely a product of the early 1980s VHS boom. Before Blockbuster, video stores were small (often seedy) mom-and-pop stores, and Faces of Death was one of those creepy little oddities you’d find on one of the dust-covered shelves. Allegedly depicting “real” deaths, it served as a badge of honor for anyone who was actually able to get ahold of a copy and watch it. Although the film does contain some real footage – like newsreel clips from an accident where you can see paramedics cleaning up the remains of a cyclist who had been struck and killed by a truck – it was almost entirely faked by writer and director John Alan Schwartz. Yes, even the infamous scene where a table full of diners appear to kill a trapped monkey and then eat its brains.Plausibility Score: 1 out of 5If you don’t catch on immediately when you’re introduced to the movie’s “medical professional” host, “Francis B. Gross,” you’ll catch on during sequences like the “real” shark attack that somehow has footage from the shark’s POV as it eats a diver. Did it get a cinematography credit?Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983) 58%(Photo by Courtesy Everett Collection)The film version of the classic horror and sci-fi television series let four different directors adapt a classic episode: “Kick the Can” by Steven Spielberg (Jaws, Raiders of the Lost Ark), “It’s a Good Life” by Joe Dante (Gremlins, Innerspace), “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet” by George Miller (The Road Warrior, Mad Max: Fury Road), and “Time Out” by John Landis (Trading Places, Animal House). Although some claim the movie is cursed, it’s really just that there’s a sense of morbidity around it because veteran actor Vic Morrow (father of Jennifer Jason Leigh) and two young actors playing Vietnamese children were killed in an on-set accident during Landis’ segment when a helicopter that was part of a sequence recreating the Vietnam War crash-landed on them. None of the other directors experienced any bizarre or unexplained incidents, and all continued to have successful careers. But the tragedy hung a dark shadow over Landis and lends the movie a creepy, all-too-real feel.Plausibility Score: 1 out of 5Again, this was one horrible, tragic accident caused by director negligence. The rest of the film (and filmmakers) got on fine with no curse-related incidents.GUINEA PIG: FLOWER OF FLESH AND BLOOD (1985)None of the images from this film are acceptable to show you, so here is a guinea pig pushing a tiny shopping cart. (Photo by Newspix/Getty Images)Created by artist Hideshi Hino based on his own manga series, the Guinea Pig movies feature the same kind of faux documentary feel as something like Faces of Death or Cannibal Holocaust, and they re legendary among hardcore horror fans. Without any real plot to speak of beyond “psycho kidnaps women and dismembers them in gruesome fashion while dressed as a samurai,” the movies do feel less like a story and more like some forbidden home video. That said, two incidents lend it a particular air of menace. One is that a copy of Flower of Flesh and Blood was sent to the FBI by Charlie Sheen – yes, Charlie Sheen – because he was convinced it was an actual snuff film (it was not, and all of the deaths and butchery were faked). The other is that a copy of the film was found in the home of a man named Tsutomu Miyazaki, a cannibalistic serial killer known as the Otaku Murderer who was behind the kidnapping and murder of four young girls between 1988 and 1989 in Japan. The film was believed to have inspired him.Plausibility Score: 3 out of 5All Hino had to do was not put a title card over the opening “stalking” sequence and it might have worked. The scene really looks and feels like something a creep would record as he follows women down the street. But no real serial killer goes into AfterEffects and adds cool titles and music cues to their murder footage. At least, not that we know of.(Photo by Universal Pictures, 20th Century Fox Film Corp., Universal Pictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment)Rounding out or list of horror is… not a horror film, but a movie that is believed to be so cursed it will never be made. A comedy based on a 1963 satirical novel called The Incomparable Atuk by Canadian author Mordecai Richler, the story is about an Inuit poet who travels to Toronto and has a series of fish-out-of-water experiences in the big city (the film version Americanized it by making Atuk a native of Alaska who travels to New York). Sounds pretty basic, right? It might well be, if the movie didn’t seem to kill every actor associated with the lead role. The curse of Atuk is particularly weird because the novel itself isn’t about anything sinister or paranormal. The first man up for the role was comedy legend John Belushi; after his untimely death from a drug overdose, the producers approached comedian Sam Kinison… who then died in a drunk driving accident. So they decided to offer the part to John Candy, who would die from a heart attack a few months after getting the script. Undaunted, the part was then dangled in front of another SNL vet – Chris Farley. He, too, would succumb to a drug overdose. Even stranger, Farley allegedly gave a copy of the script to a friend who he thought might also be interested in the role, namely fellow SNL alum Phil Hartman. Five months after Farley’s death, Hartman was shot and killed by his wife, who committed suicide hours later.Plausibility Score: 5 out of 5If this movie doesn t scream cursed, we don t know what does.Thumbnail image by Else Films
5. HD 画质与高品质音讯
5.76.7 5月喜迎Jordan Peele s feverishly anticipated follow-up to Get Out, the doppelgänger home invasion horror flick Us, premiered Friday night at South By Southwest in Austin and at a series of simultaneous #UsFirst screenings across the country. If the reaction at SXSW was anything to go by – RT was in the Paramount Theatre in Austin for the premiere – then genre fans are going to eat it up. There were big screams, big laughs, and more than one fist-pump. Star Lupita Nyong o and Peele earned the night s biggest cheers when they showed up on stage with the rest of the cast for a post-screening Q A during which the writer-director described the movie as a horror film for our time that ponders whether maybe the evil is us. It played well in the room, but what did the critics think? Here s what they re saying in the first reviews for Jordan Peele s Us:Let s get to the elephant in the room: How does it compare to Get Out?How could Jordan Peele possibly make a film that measures up to Get Out? That’s the brilliance—and maybe also the disappointment—of Us: he doesn’t even try to… the film, which debuted at SXSW to a crowd that was living for every second, succeeds because of the almost Spielbergian glee it takes in being a traditional, jump-scare, laugh-out-loud, horror movie. It’s the ways in which it’s not “The Next Get Out” that make Us so remarkable. Kevin Fallon, Daily BeastAn Oscar win and a boatload of cash later, it’s become a beloved part of our culture, held in the same esteem two years after its premiere by genre heads and the general movie-going public. So if that’s the case, and I think Us is about as good, if not better, does it deserve that highly-coveted label? Yeah, I think so. Nick Johnston, VanyalandUs (Grade: B), his much-hyped follow-up, isn’t nearly so tidy [as Get Out]. Like many sophomore efforts, it’s ambitious and unwieldy, leaping furiously from one idea to the next without adequately exploring any of them Randall Colburn, A.V. Club while I have been comparing Us to Get Out for ease of use, the two are really incomparable. Instead, Us stands on its own as a terrifying, provocative, and audacious statement on privilege, race, and poverty — and establishes Peele as a horror auteur. Robert Daniels, 812filmreviews(Photo by @ Universal)So he has mostly avoided the sophomore slump ?Peele has grown as a director, which is shocking to say: Every aspect of the film feels heightened from Get Out: The sound design, so essential to that film, is on a whole other level; the cinematography (handsomely shot by Mike Gioulakis, who lensed Glass and It Follows) is captivating, the scares deeper, the laughs better. Nick Johnston, Vanyaland there is no denying that Peele has avoided the dreaded “sophomore slump” and he has officially cemented himself as one of the most important horror directors of this generation. Jonathan Barkan, Dread CentralHis sophomore effort, Us, proves that surprise hit wasn’t a fluke. Peele’s second outing as writer-director confronts the ridiculously high expectations of its predecessor by pivoting to a broader canvas of ideas about the nation’s fractured identity. In the process, it gives audiences exactly what they want by delivering what they least expect. Eric Kohn, IndieWireMonstrous beings wearing red jumpsuits and a single fingerless glove, carrying giant gold scissors while howling wordlessly to their partners lurking in the shadows — that s an image that will provoke nightmares, even before we can explore where its components come from. John DeFore, Hollywood Reporter(Photo by Gary Miller/FilmMagic)So, Jordan Peele is the next John Carpenter?Is it fair to say that Jordan Peele is this generation s John Carpenter? With his sly grasp of the intersection of popcorn thrills and political allegory, it s a reasonable comparison. After he provided an Oscar-worthy analysis of race relations in Get Out, now America s id is probed in Us. Richard Whittaker, Austin ChronicleWhat Jordan Peele did with Us solidly establishes him as master of suspense and horror. Ashley Menzel, We Live EntertainmentPeele is well on his way to joining the all-timer horror pantheon alongside names like Romero, Craven, and Carpenter. Nick Johnston, VanyalandUs is relentless in, and Peele tickled by, the use of horror tropes to rattle the cage of expectation. Matt Patches, PolygonHow is Lupita Nyong o in the lead role?Lupita Nyong’o delivers one of the strongest performances of her career in this film. Her eerie doppelgänger speaks only as loud as a whisper and her words are delivered with a disjointed cadence. It’s unlike anything I’ve seen in a while and is quite memorable. Jamie Broadnax, Black Girl NerdsIt is Nyong o, however, who bears most of the story s emotional burden, and she does so with astonishing versatility and force, employing what must be every single bone and muscle in her body. Angie Han, MashableI would be completely remiss to not highlight the work of Lupita Nyong’o, who not only steals the show but has offered a performance that will reign as one of the very best that the horror genre has to offer. Jonathan Barkan, Dread CentralNyong’o continues to showcase her talents both dramatically and physically. Her tethered version is something else entirely. It is easily the creepiest thing I’ve seen in a while… Between this role and her role in Little Monsters, this year is certainly a fantastic and very different year for Lupita. Ashley Menzel, We Live EntertainmentSeriously, if you thought Toni Collette was good in Hereditary, see this. It’s on par, or dare I say it, better than that performance. Nick Johnston, VanyalandNyong’o gives a masterclass in acting in dual roles and is almost unrecognizable as her doppelgänger persona At times, I had to remind myself that this was the same woman; that’s just how good she is. Yolanda Machado, The WrapWhat about the other actors?Duke (previously the fearsome clan leader M Baku in Black Panther) has been a surprisingly winning source of comic relief, stealing scenes as most dads only wish they could. John DeFore, Hollywood ReporterWho most surprised me in the film was actually Winston Duke. He became a household name after his performance in Black Panther last year, but this role totally shocked me. As Gabe, he is the perfect embodiment of the typical dad. He’s got the odd sense of humor and the delivery of the corny dad jokes and one-liners down perfectly. Ashley Menzel, We Live EntertainmentYoung [Shahadi Wright] Joseph meanwhile, plays two extremes of a teenager: one slightly removed, angsty but loving, while the other is just downright creepy. Her strengths are on full display in some of the more climatic scenes, but that evil-twin smile will haunt me in my sleep. Yolanda Machado, The Wrap(Photo by @ Universal)Get Out had a lot on its mind: What s this movie really about? it quickly becomes obvious that Us has a lot more on its mind than making you jump. Every detail here seems carefully considered, down to the amount of dust gathered on a coffee table in a rarely used living room. In the hands of a filmmaker this precise, much of the fun is in waiting to see just how his intricate puzzle will come together. Angie Han, MashableThe movie is constantly illustrating — and nearly as often inverting — the gender roles we play in a patriarchal society, as when daughter Zora takes the lead to become the family’s most effective defender at one point. Peter DeBruge, Variety… the film requires us to realize and reflect that the problems we are facing and the evils were are facing may require us to examine and look at ourselves first. Have we created this evil or this otherness that we are so afraid to face? Parts of the film could also be seen as a commentary on mental health and our abilities to face our demons. Ashley Menzel, We Live EntertainmentAs it turns out, the ultimate zeitgeist movie in 2019 harkens back more than 30 years. Us imports Reagan-era America to a mortifying contemporary context that revisits the past as a nightmare that won’t die.. Eric Kohn, IndieWireWhat exactly do the bunnies represent exactly? This is a question only to be solved by a group of Reddit detectives. Jamie Broadnax, Black Girl NerdsThe music stood out in the trailer, is it effective in the movie?The music of composer Michael Abels, who also did Get Out, is a mix of Jerry Goldsmith’s The Omen and Akira Yamaoka’s Silent Hill. It’s haunting, jarring, unsettling, and completely arresting. Jonathan Barkan, Dread Central…Michael Abels’ unnerving score builds to shrieking crescendos, some of which do push this jittery material over the top. Eric Kohn, IndieWireWild cinematography, wild dialogue, wild twists, and wild music (there’s a “Fuck Tha Police” music cue that should go down in history) are working together here to recreate that throwback cinematic experience. Kevin Fallon, Daily BeastBut it can t be perfect, right?The pacing sometimes drags, although the patience Peele exhibits in building the tension of a scene is masterful. Additionally, the twist can be seen coming a mile away. Jonathan Barkan, Dread CentralHaving stretched this wily premise to nearly two hours, the full explanation for the forces at work can’t possibly satisfy as much as the suspense leading up to their arrival. That’s forgivable in a movie working overtime to provoke and disturb without toppling over from too much ambition. Eric Kohn, IndieWireI would be remiss if I didn’t mention that it does tend to get a little lost towards the end and it feels like it meanders a bit before getting to the end of the film. Ashley Menzel, We Live EntertainmentThe ambitious film, which had been shrouded in secrecy, sees Peele once again using the language of horror to say something about where we are as a society. But that commentary manages to be neither as obvious nor as nuanced as that in Get Out. While provocative, it doesn’t quite stick the landing this time. Kevin Fallon, Daily BeastJoel MearesAny final words?Several hours and many conversations later, I m still convinced this film has secrets I haven t uncovered yet, and I m just eager for my next chance to go digging through it again. Angie Han, MashableUs opens everywhere on March 22.
(Photo by Mitchell Haaseth/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)On April 9, 2009, NBC debuted a new workplace sitcom from The Office creator Greg Daniels and executive producer Mike Schur called Parks and Recreation. Set in the small town of Pawnee, Indiana, the series followed the government employees working in the city s parks and recreation department — particularly the eager do-gooder Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler) and her gruff mustachioed boss, Ron Swanson (Nick Offerman).While it took a season or so for the show to settle into itself, the series soon became, along with The Office, one of NBC s most beloved sitcoms, introducing audiences to the rest of the eccentric residents of Pawnee and the civil servants doing their best to keep order in the city. On the tenth anniversary of its debut, let s take a look back at the show s main cast members and what they ve been up to in the decade since its premiere.Like this? Subscribe to our newsletter and get more features, news, and guides in your inbox every week.
(Photo by (c) Touchstone courtesy Everett Collection)On November 19th, 2004, the world was introduced to National Treasure, a PG-rated yarn about a guy named Benjamin Franklin Gates (Nicolas Cage), his “man in a van” Riley (Justin Bartha), and a sorta-kidnapped archivist named Abigail (Diane Kruger) hunting down a fabled Templar treasure. The 131-minute movie was a wonderful breath of fresh throwback air that was unapologetically dorky, stuffed with earnest “aha” moments, and totally cool with readily available bowls of lemons.The Jon Turtletaub (Cool Runnings, While You Were Sleeping, The Meg)-directed movie made 3 million domestically and 7 million at the worldwide box office (0 and 2 million when accounting for inflation), and in 2007 was followed up by the 1 million dollar-grossing National Treasure: Book of Secrets. Sadly, there was no Ottendorf cipher that led to an intricate map that helped conclude the trilogy when lemon juice was squirted on it. Because of this, we’re left with only two big-budget original movies that countless history teachers undoubtedly show their students when they need a nap.Fifteen years later, National Treasure is still a delight that we’ll watch whenever it’s on (and it’s on all the time), and in honor of its anniversary we’re providing five reasons why it’s so unforgettable.1. IT TELLS AN ORIGINAL, PG-RATED STORY THE WHOLE FAMILY CAN ENJOY(Photo by (c) Touchstone courtesy Everett Collection)When National Treasure was released in late 2004, it pulled in an impressive million in its opening weekend and quickly became Nicolas Cage’s highest domestic-grossing live-action film (until the 2007 sequel). It also received an A- CinemaScore and earned a 76% Audience Score on RT, and it was regarded as a “four quadrant” film that brought in adults, families, couples, and the all-important 18- to 24-year-olds who were drawn in by the treasure hunt plot. Produced by Jerry Bruckheimer (Pirates of the Carribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Con Air), National Treasure went on to lead the box office for three weekends and was the highest-grossing movie for 20 straight days.The fact that a PG-rated Disney movie that wasn’t a sequel, a remake, an animated film, or a theme park ride made 3 million domestically is super impressive. In the 21st century, only a select group of original PG-rated movies, like Night at the Museum, The Greatest Showman, and My Big Fat Greek Wedding, managed to clear the 0 million mark.Critics may not have appreciated it at the time (it s at 46% on the Tomatometer), but parents, teenagers, Nicolas Cage fans, and history buffs showed up in droves to watch a movie that never stopped long enough to get boring, dropped “Weird Al” Yankovic references, and featured characters using smarts and deductive logic to defeat a small army of well-armed but not-too-bright thugs. National Treasure must have seemed like an early Christmas gift for people who wanted to avoid cynical holiday movies like Surviving Christmas and Christmas With the Kranks.2. IT S UNABASHEDLY DORKY AND LOTS OF FUN BECAUSE OF IT(Photo by (c) Touchstone courtesy Everett Collection)National Treasure may not be historically accurate, but its earnest tone and unabashed dorkery made it lots of fun. When Gates says, “I’m going to steal the declaration of independence,” he kicks off a rip-roaring treasure hunt that embraces absurdity and probably made a lot of people think twice about touching certain numbers on keypads (you know the moment). Benjamin Gates is nowhere as cool as Indiana Jones or Lara Croft, and he doesn’t care. He simply wants to fulfill his family legacy, prevent bad guys from getting their hands on ancient treasure, and go on a spending spree at an expensive clothing retailer with money he stole from his father Patrick (an immensely likable Jon Voight).The big thrills don’t come during the chase scenes that feature speeding food trucks, they happen during the goofy mental gymnastics the characters undertake to move from one plot point to the next. One of the best moments occurs when Riley (the ostensible sidekick) recognizes the key to a clue before Gates does; hearing him say “I know something about history that you don t know. Hold on one second; let me just take in this moment,” never ceases to make us smile.And in the end, how do Gates and crew get rid of the baddie Ian Howe (Sean Bean) and his henchmen? They spin a yarn and send them off after a red herring while they locate the real treasure. No punches are thrown, no stuffed bunnies are harmed, and most importantly, there are zero crystal skulls. The nice guys win, the bad guys are eventually arrested, and the gang live happily ever after as millionaires after they share their multi-billion-dollar discovery with the world.3. NICOLAS CAGE’S ENTHUSIASM IS CONTAGIOUS (Photo by (c) Touchstone courtesy Everett Collection)National Treasure and its sequel work because of Nicolas Cage’s enthusiastic portrayal of a treasure hunter who is smarter than everyone else and knows way too much about the security systems at the Library of Congress — and its preservation room. In the beginning of the film, when he finds the Charlotte, a legendary boat in the middle of the arctic (it’s explained brilliantly by Riley), he is momentarily stymied. However, after an intense moment spent talking to himself, he comes to the correct answer (it was iron, it was firm, it was resolved, it is the Declaration of Independence!). Sure, the moment is silly, and yes, those “aha” moments continue to come fast and heavy thereafter. However, with Cage at the forefront, you don’t mind. He makes you feel like the meerschaum pipe he finds inside the Charlotte, for example, is the coolest thing ever, and you legitimately appreciate “the intricacy of the scrollwork on the stem.”Cage still loves the character, and recently on his press tour for Primal, he said he’d love to revisit Ben
chael Bay action flicks, have low Tomatometer scores, the new third installment is apparently pretty good. Bad Boys for Life, which is not helmed by Bay but reunites stars Will Smith and Martin Lawrence, is receiving rave reviews for a number of reasons, including its injection of heart into a 25-year-old franchise with a long-delayed second sequel. Smith and Lawrence’s chemistry, some thrilling spectacle, and a lot of laughs don’t hurt, either. In fact, this third helping is supposedly so good, you’ll want fourths.Here’s what critics are saying about Bad Boys for Life:Isn t this just a cash grab?Bad Boys for Life is a welcome surprise that shows a series willing to change with the times. Matt Goldberg, ColliderThis second sequel sincerely asks viewers to care about the inner lives of these two emotionally stunted cops… [and] it somehow pulls it off? (I’m as shocked as you are.) Matt Singer, ScreenCrushWill Smith and Martin Lawrence bring their A game, never letting us feel like they’re going through the motions. Owen Gleiberman, VarietyHow does it compare to the first two movies?The anticipated sequel… basically celebrates everything that worked about the first two Bad Boys movies. Sean O Connell, CinemaBlendIt may not be as raw as Bad Boys, but it’s more human. It may not be as operatic as Bad Boys II, but, well, neither was The Ring Cycle. David Ehrlich, IndieWireThis new installment… is decisively the best of the trio; it actually has a heart, or what passes for one in a gigantic, slam-bang industrial enterprise like this. Todd McCarthy, Hollywood ReporterBad Boys for Life lands somewhere in the middle, retaining the ridiculous action of Bad Boys II while discarding the go-for-broke mentality in favor of a story about the importance of family. Matt Goldberg, ColliderIt’s a lot less egregious than Bad Boys II. (Low bar.) Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune(Photo by Columbia Pictures)Do you need to have seen the first two movies?If you’ve never seen a Bad Boys film, don’t worry… This chapter uses a few brief references to Bad Boys II, [but] that fact is inconsequential to the enjoyment of the film. Robert Daniels, 812filmreviewsI want to make it known now that I didn’t see the first two films in the franchise. The two previous films do not appear to be very necessary outside of character development. Danielle Solzman, Solzy at the MoviesHow is the script?Right from the first scene, the script is about more than clever excuses to get these guys back in cool sports cars shooting at bad guys. Matt Singer, ScreenCrushComparisons to Mexican telenovellas are adequate, so much so that the movie can’t resist having a character literally scream it. Evan Dossey, Midwest Film JournalBad Boys for Life careens into sheer stupidity in the final act, with a twist that would be unforgivable if not for the opportunity it affords Lawrence to deliver some of the film’s best jokes. Brent Hankins, The Lamplight ReviewBad Boys for Life does feel a bit long and there is a late out-of-nowhere plot twist that feels a little far-fetched even for these movies. Brian Truitt, USA Today(Photo by Columbia Pictures)Do Smith and Lawrence still have chemistry?It’s impressive and enjoyable to behold how easily Smith and Lawrence slide back into these characters and actually make them more accessible and fun to be around than before. Todd McCarthy, Hollywood ReporterIt’s always been about their friendship, and their love for one another. In every scene, every joke, and every insult, you feel that warmth shine through with the intensity of a lens flare. Robert Daniels, 812filmreviewsThese actors just click… The two actors with comedic backgrounds maintain a razor-sharp rapport that helps Bad Boys For Life sizzle in between its explosive action sequences. Sean O Connell, CinemaBlendOne would think that chemistry might have diminished somewhat in the 17 years since the duo last teamed up, but if anything, it feels as though it’s gotten stronger. Brent Hankins, The Lamplight ReviewIf Bob Hope and Bing Crosby had a grenade launcher, it would end up a little like this. Jordan Hoffman, The GuardianAre there any notable additions to the cast?Paola Núñez [is] a commanding presence from the first time she enters the frame, and that electric new blood trickles down to the rest of her team. David Ehrlich, IndieWireOf the newcomers, only Núñez and [Alexander] Ludwig have any pizzazz. Jordan Hoffman, The GuardianDo we miss Michael Bay?Purists will probably balk at the notion of a Bad Boys without Bay — until they see it. Matt Singer, ScreenCrushAdil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah successfully mimic his style (sometimes doing shot-for-shot tributes) while also showing off their own chops. Sean O Connell, CinemaBlendThe signature Bayhem is so prominent during the third act that one could assume he was directing the film! Danielle Solzman, Solzy at the MoviesMichael Bay is not missed. Todd McCarthy, Hollywood ReporterWhat’s lost in the exchange is that Bay often felt like the third lead in these films… his affinity for Miami-via-Hot Wheels is notably absent here, and is frankly missed. Conor O Donnell, The Film Stage(Photo by Columbia Pictures)How is the action?It feels more inspired by Asian action cinema than Bay’s oeuvre, but the stylistic shift is subtle enough that it’s in keeping with the old while still kicking ass like something new. Leigh Monson, Birth.Movies.DeathIn the rare instances when the action does erupt into genuine spectacle, the directors make sure to prioritize function over flashiness in a way that prevents your eyes from glazing over. David Ehrlich, IndieWireFallah and El Arbi’s biggest skill? Shooting car chases… Bad Boys For Life has some of the coolest-looking car scenes in recent memory. Sean O Connell, CinemaBlendIt’s… gleefully, almost cartoonishly violent — piling up bodies as casually as Call of Duty, and letting the camera linger while they bleed. Leah Greenblatt, Entertainment WeeklyGreen screen adjacent motorcycle chases and digitally rendered flames can’t help but feel a bit tame after watching Bay demolish a Florida estate in a recklessly wanton firefight. Conor O Donnell, The Film StageAre there any good action sequences? No, not really. Evan Dossey, Midwest Film JournalIs it funny?Bad Boys for Life is not only intense, it’s hilarious. Robert Daniels, 812filmreviewsThere are a lot of we are old jokes, but I found a lot of this endearing. Mike Ryan, UproxxIt’s funny as hell. Leigh Monson, Birth.Movies.Death(Photo by Columbia Pictures)Are there any major criticisms?The only point where Bad Boys for Life starts to go off the rails is when it starts to follow Fast Furious too closely in hopes for setting up future installments. Matt Goldberg, ColliderThe tonal mixture just doesn’t quite work, resulting in the worst thing a Bad Boys film can be: generic. Evan Dossey, Midwest Film JournalI just wish the writers had avoided the layers of stereotypes they placed on our main Big Bad, Isabel Aretas. We’re talking stereotypes in stereo. Sherin Nicole, idobi.comAre we going to want more Bad Boys after this?I have never for one second cared whether they made a third film. Now that it’s here, I find myself genuinely shocked to announce I kind of want a fourth. Matt Singer, ScreenCrushFor the first time, yes, I hope some more Bad Boys come for me. Mike Ryan, UproxxThere’s a scene that teases a potential continuation of the story on screen here. And after sitting through this one, it was more of a promise than a threat. Sean O Connell, CinemaBlendOverall, Bad Boys for Life is probably a wash, but it ends so well that I now find myself not entirely opposed to the idea of a fourth Bad Boys entry. Bilge Ebiri, VultureSmith and Lawrence are good enough to make these movies work for a very long time. Sherin Nicole, idobi.comBad Boys for Life opens everywhere on January 17.
(Photo by Paramount /Courtesy Everett Collection)All Mission: Impossible Movies, Ranked By Tomatometer Hey, Tom. Paramount here. Yes, the studio. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to create a new summer franchise out of a 30-year-old TV show, and have it virtually improve with each sequel over 20 years And so Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt has halo-jumped, rock-climbed, motorcycle-duelled, and face mask-revealed his way across dozens of countries to unravel all manner of world threats in the Mission: Impossible movies. He s had help along the way, featuring a cast of series veterans, like Ving Rhames and Simon Pegg, and occasional players like Jeremy Renner and Paula Patton. Hunt hasn t had too much help from the IMF, though, considering how many times they think their star employee has gone rogue.A trademark for most of Mission: Impossible s lifespan was bringing in a new director for each entry, ranging from John Woo to Brad Bird to Brian De Palma, giving each entry a unique spin. But Since Rogue Nation, Cruise (who also produces) has found a perfect collaborator in Christopher McQuarrie. He was the first to direct two M:Is in a row, with Fallout raking in the series best box office and critical marks. McQuarrie will direct the next two films, both shooting concurrently, scheduled for May 27, 2022 and July 7, 2023.Before we see what death-defying hijinks they get into next (we don t think Ethan s been to the moon yet), we re ranking all Mission: Impossible movies by Tomatometer!
We are definitely in the Endgame now, with just days to go before the release of the new Avengers movie and the first reactions to the Infinity War follow-up have begun to arrive on social media. Is it a satisfying sequel? Is it an emotional conclusion to a decade’s worth of Marvel movies? Yes to everything, apparently, as the praise coming out of the first Avengers: Endgame screenings is very, very high. It s epic in scope and packs an emotional punch. Be prepared.Here’s what folks are saying about Endgame on social media after the world s first screenings.So… is this the follow-up we’ve been waiting for?Imagine the best possible version of Avengers: Endgame, and somehow the film still surpasses all expectations. Peter Sciretta, /FilmThis can t be understated: Avengers: Endgame is everything you want it to be and more. I am absolutely floored. Eric Eisenberg, CinemaBlendAvengers: Endgame is an immensely satisfying payoff, not just to Infinity War but to all the films that came before. Angie Han, MashableIt’s surprising in ways I never saw coming and satisfying in ways I didn’t realize I needed. Germain Lussier, io9.comDon t know how any Marvel Studios fan walks out of Avengers: Endgame disappointed. Steve Weintraub, ColliderIs it just unbelievably epic?It’s incredible. I’m speechless. Ryan Parker, The Hollywood ReporterEpic is the word. Epic multiplied by a decade of emotion, excitement and investment. This is the payoff. Anthony Breznican, Entertainment WeeklyWords cannot describe how epic it is.” Rob Keyes, Screen RantThis film shouldn’t work as well as it does. Incredible is an understatement! Kevin McCarthy, WTTG-TV (Fox TV)(Photo by @ Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, @ Marvel)Maybe a little too epic?Avengers: Endgame is A LOT. Too much at times. But wow the payoff is huge.” Perri Nemiroff, ColliderIt s very long and has a few hiccups but is everything you’re hoping for and more. Germain Lussier, io9.comA mediocre first 2 hours that s equal parts cool moments and problematic moments that ends with a final hour that s an absolute magnificent geek wet dream. John Campea, The Movie GeekDoes it match Infinity War?Endgame Infinity War Kyle Buchanan, New York TimesIf Infinity War is the brawn, Endgame is the brains. Erik Davis, Fandango(Photo by @ Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, @ Marvel)Is it one of the best movies in the MCU?It is the ultimate Marvel movie in every way possible. Rob Keyes, Screen RantHas one of my favorite shots in the entire MCU. Perri Nemiroff, ColliderWithout question my new favorite Marvel Cinematic Universe film. Eric Eisenberg, Cinema BlendThis is as good as it gets! Greatest superhero movie EVER! Scott Mantz, Access HollywoodIf you thought you’d seen comics brought fully to the big screen already, prepare to reset your expectations AGAIN. Peter Sciretta, ForbesOK, let s get specific: What parts did you love?As with Infinity War, Alan Silvestri’s score is beautiful, haunting, tragic and uplifting all at the same time. Kevin McCarthy, WTTG-TV (Fox TV)Somehow, even under a layer of Hulk CG, Mark Ruffalo manages to look like he s having the time of his life Russ Fischer, The PlaylistHawkeye is a rockstar. Rob Keyes, Screen RantIs this truly the end?A fitting, enthralling finale (for now) of the most successful film franchise of all time. I loved it. Ramin Setoodeh, VarietyA moving conclusion to the past decade…the resolution of an incredible saga. Don Kaye, Den of GeekA true culmination of 22 films that not only concludes the story but expands upon it. You’ll learn more about the other movies while this one unfolds. Erik Davis, FandangoBrings the entire MCU to a rousing, exciting, deeply moving and wholly satisfying conclusion! Scott Mantz, Access Hollywood(Photo by @ Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, @ Marvel)So, are we really going to need tissues?I was not prepared for the range of emotions that Endgame put me through, from utter despair to pure elation. I laughed, I cried, I wished Tony Stark was my dad. David Itzkoff, New York TimesI cried a lot, I flung my hands in the air and screamed out loud. It’s incredible. Beatrice Vergoeven, The WrapThere wasn’t a dry eye in the house as the credits rolled. Ramin Setoodeh, VarietyWill we want to watch it again?I’m ready to watch it again. Wendy Lee Szany, Schmoes KnowI can’t wait to see [it] over and over again. I just want to watch it with as many audiences as possible so I can somehow recreate the experience I just had. Kevin McCarthy, WTTG-TV (Fox TV)It left me with a full heart, but one I had has some scars on it. Those are the strongest kind, after all. Anthony Breznican, Entertainment WeeklyAvengers: Endgame opens everywhere on April 26.
Captain Marvel (2019) 79% Film franchises rarely make it past a sequel or two before they burn out, let alone 20 films, but that s exactly how far the Marvel Cinematic Universe has come since Iron Man debuted back in 2008. For all of their success, however, Marvel has endured a bit of criticism for centering all of their films around male heroes. This week, the studio answers back with Captain Marvel, the first solo outing for a female superhero in the franchise, and the results, critics say, are pretty solid, if not revolutionary. Brie Larson stars as the titular character, a member of an interplanetary defense force on a planet called Hala who suffers from puzzling flashbacks. When a failed rescue mission crash-lands her on Earth during the 1990s, she begins to realize she may have had a life here and slowly learns, with the help of a young S.H.I.E.L.D. agent named Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), the secret behind her powers. The reviews say Captain Marvel doesn t break any particularly new ground for an origin story and feels like a decidedly mid-tier Marvel effort, but it boasts plenty of action, breezy humor, and an easy chemistry between its leads, all while carrying the significant weight of lofty expectations on its shoulders. It may not crack the upper echelon of the studio s offerings, but it s an entertaining standalone film that makes the most of the Marvel formula. Dexter fans got a first look at Michael C. Hall as the returning serial killer this week. HBO Max conjures up a new pricing tier that doesn t include the big theatrical premieres of the summer, but does include ads. Updates on the John Wick, Saw, and American Psycho TV series, and more of the week s biggest news in TV and streaming.TOP STORYShowtime Releases New Teaser for Returning Series DexterDexter fans got their first look at America s favorite revived serial killer in a teaser video for the series return released by Showtime. Michael C. Hall revisits his famous role for a new season set for fall. The series ran for eight seasons, concluding in 2013 with a much-maligned final season (it has a 33% score on the Tomatometer, compared to the show s Certified Fresh 96% first season). Many see this revival as a chance at redemption for the character and the series, which also starred Jennifer Carpenter, C.S. Lee, David Zayas, James Remar, Luna Lauren Velez, Desmond Harrington, and Julie Benz.HBO Max’s New Ad-Supported Version Will Offer TV Shows and Movies – Except for Those Same-Day Theatrical Releases – For .99/Month(Photo by Jessica Miglio/©Warner Bros. Entertainment)The good news: if that .99 per month fee has stopped you from signing up for HBO Max and all The Sopranos and Big Bang Theory episodes your heart desires, the streaming service’s new, ad-supported option, which will cost .99 when it launches in June, may make for a more classic TV-packed summer. Even better: though the ads will be sprinkled through the HBO Max specific programming, the service isn’t going to add them to programming that originated on HBO, i.e. Game of Thrones, Sex and the City, The Wire, etc.Now to temper your excitement a bit: that cheaper, ad-supported option of an HBO Max subscription will not include the streamer’s same-day release of theatrical movies. Meaning, when The Suicide Squad hits theaters and .99 ad-free HBO Max on August 6, the .99/month subscribers will be seeing … well, not The Suicide Squad. Not on that day, anyway.WarnerMedia hasn’t announced specifics of how long subscribers to the ad-supported version of HBO Max will have to wait to see new theatrical releases on the service, but in the meantime, you’ll have all those episodes of Curb Your Enthusiasm and Rick and Morty to keep you entertained.Lionsgate TV Boss Talks Upcoming John Wick, Saw, and American Psycho TV Entries(Photo by Lionsgate)Lionsgate Television chairman Kevin Beggs, in an interview with Deadline, talked about the company’s future plans, which includes the John Wick spin-off series The Continental at Starz, which will be a prequel about how the hotel for assassins came to be.He describes the first season as unfolding like three 90-minute events, sort of like a limited series. Ian McShane, the movie’s Continental founder, Winston, won’t appear on screen, though McShane has suggested he might be doing voiceover for the series, which will revolve around a 1970s version of Winston. Keanu Reeves, Beggs says, may sign on as an executive producer of The Continental.Meanwhile, Beggs also confirmed an American Psycho series is in development, and that there are conversations happening about the possibilities of a Saw TV series.NEW TRAILERS: Jean Smart Is a Las Vegas Comedy Superstar in HacksJean Smart stars Hacks as Deborah Vance, a legendary Las Vegas comedian whose manager pairs her with an entitled twentysomething comedy writer (Hannah Einbinder) when Vance’s place on the Strip is threatened by a plan to bring in younger-skewing audiences. Also stars Kaitlin Olson, Christopher McDonald, and Rose Abdoo. Premieres May 13. (HBO Max)More trailers and teasers released this week:• Power Book III: Raising Kanan is the second Power spin-off, this one a prequel unfolding the backstory of 50 Cent’s Kanan character. Stars Mekhi Curtis, Omar Epps, and Patina Miller. Premieres July 18. (Starz)• Nine Perfect Strangers is a miniseries starring Nicole Kidman as the director of a wellness retreat that seems to be making its stress-relief seekers, well, more stressed. The drama is based on the book of the same name by Big Little Lies author Liane Moriarty, and also stars Melissa McCarthy, Michael Shannon, Samara Weaving, Regina Hall, Luke Evans, and Bobby Cannavale. Premieres later this year. (Hulu)• Master of None season 3, subtitled Moments in Love, focuses on Denise (Lena Waithe) and her partner Alicia (Naomi Ackie), and the ups and downs of marriage and their struggles with fertility. Series creator Aziz Ansari directs. Premieres May 23. (Netflix)• Domina is the eight-episode miniseries, filmed in Rome, that follows the extraordinary rise of Emperor Augustus Caesar’s third wife, Livia Drusilla (Kasia Smutniak), and all the exploits, affairs, and battles for political clout that surrounded the power couple who sat at the heart of the Roman Empire. Also stars Matthew McNulty, Tom Glynn-Carney, Claire Forlani, and Isabella Rossellini. Premieres June 6. (EPIX)
"Rotten Tomatoes Is Wrong" About... Home Alone 2: Lost In New York Was moving the action to Manhattan and upping the "ow"-factor enough to justify a second Home Alone movie? We're tossing bricks and taking names in the latest ep of our podcast. by RT Staff | December 10, 2020 | Comments