October 29, 1998 |
Like Dr. Frankenstein toiling over his creation, Universal Studios is working to bring new life to its classic horror movies. It is planning new movie versions of "The Mummy" and "Frankenstein" over the next two years, to be backed by merchandise ranging from action figures to housewares. The challenge for Universal is in convincing consumers that there's a difference between Universal's monsters and the lineup of Frankensteins, Draculas and other ghouls that make an appearance every Halloween.
May 27, 2004 |
This year, Paramount unveils remakes of two classic expressions of paranoid dread within about six weeks of each other. Originals of "The Manchurian Candidate" and "The Stepford Wives," released 13 years apart, were as jittery and unsettling as any two American movies ever made. With this summer promising to be as jittery and unsettling as any in recent memory, the timing makes perfect sense.
May 8, 2005 |
In order to enjoy a movie like, say, "Charlie's Angels" or "Starsky & Hutch" as nature and Hollywood intended, a viewer needs to be both simultaneously steeped in and ironically removed from trash and celebrity culture. That is, he or she must be able to appreciate that Snoop Dogg is Huggy and not mind that Huggy is Snoop Dogg all at the same time. (This isn't nearly as hard as it sounds.
August 7, 2001 |
When "Planet of the Apes" opened--and I'm talking about the 1968 original, not Tim Burton's ham-fisted, self-absorbed remake--I remember dashing to the theater, so anxious was I to see this movie that promised a whole planet full of non-human talking primates. And when the movie was over, I remember thinking it was about the coolest thing I'd ever seen. Three decades later, I decided the time was right to reacquaint myself with that sci-fi classic.
August 22, 2007 |
To a screenwriter, time can feel like either a bullet train speeding toward deadlines or a long ride through a barren expanse of desert. When the western remake "3:10 to Yuma" chugs into theaters in two weeks, its screenplay credits will include a name -- Halsted Welles -- that has spent half a century riding its crooked rails.
October 28, 1996 |
Legendary film director Fred Zinnemann is battling Universal Pictures over its plans to call a new film "The Day of the Jackal," the title of his own 1973 classic thriller. He is accusing the studio of accepting a new and completely different screenplay and attaching to it an internationally known title. Zinnemann, the 89-year-old director of such landmark Hollywood films as "High Noon," "From Here to Eternity," "Oklahoma!
November 11, 2001 |
Cameron Crowe makes no bones about it: His next movie, "Vanilla Sky," is a remake of a 1997 Spanish-import hit "Abre los ojos" ("Open Your Eyes"). "A lot of people will remake a film and then scurry to find a way to sound like they didn't," said Crowe, who is putting the finishing touches on the Dec. 14 release from Paramount Pictures. "I say, let's honor this film in remaking it, but by using new elements, with the idea that you could watch both and have fun with the larger questions."
May 2, 2003
Production of "Shall We Dance," starring Richard Gere and Jennifer Lopez, is moving from Toronto to Winnipeg, Canada, in part because of Toronto's SARS outbreak. A Miramax spokesman said the fact that Winnipeg's locations fit the script better played a bigger role in the decision. The film, to be directed by Peter Chelsom, is a remake of a 1997 Japanese film released by Miramax, with the remake set in Chicago. Shooting is set to start June 23.
March 23, 2005 |
As a very young actor, Kevin Rodney Sullivan played a school-age extra in Sidney Poitier's 1970 crime drama "They Call Me Mister Tibbs!" It was Sullivan's first paying role as a film actor, and a fleeting part at that, yet it marked the beginning of Poitier's long influence over Sullivan's career. Sullivan counts Poitier's groundbreaking "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" as one of his inspirations for pursuing a Hollywood career.
December 24, 1999 |
On the fifth floor of the Georgetown University library, carefully preserved in manila folders and cardboard filing cases, lie the remnants of a great love affair. It is here that any voyeur off the street can trade a license as collateral for a peek at the correspondence between novelist Graham Greene and the love of his life, Catherine Walston, whose torrid extramarital union formed the basis for his impassioned 1951 novel, "The End of the Affair."