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Saturday, June 28, 2014


Posted by Geoff at 10:52 AM CDT
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Wednesday, June 25, 2014
CRITIC: '24' SHOCKER ECHOES 'UNTOUCHABLES'
(SPOILERS OF THIS WEEK'S EPISODE OF '24')
In a recap of this week's episode of FOX-TV's 24, Vulture's Aaron Aradillas states that one moment brought Brian De Palma's The Untouchables to mind:

"[This] led to the centerpiece action sequence of the episode," writes Aradillas. "Unlike the car chase from a couple episodes ago, the shootout and cat-and-mouse hunt for Margot’s precise location was a terrifically sustained piece of action moviemaking. Director Milan Cheylov does some nice close-quarter handheld camerawork, especially when Jack is working his way up several flights of stairs to get to Margot’s hideout. The score by Sean Callery during this sequence had a thrumming, Tangerine Dream–like intensity. Jack managed to stop the drone from destroying Waterloo Station in a classic bit of 24 keyboard precision. Margot looked particularly pathetic as she continued to taunt Jack even when she was in custody. She sneered, 'Hundreds of people died because of you and Heller … Their deaths are on your head!' Then, in a shocking moment that had echoes of Brian De Palma’s The Untouchables, Jack pulled an Eliot Ness and threw Margot out the window. 'The only death tonight on my head is yours!' he snarled. We can debate the murky morality of the moment, but there’s no denying the immediacy of it. Jack Bauer had done our dirty work. Again."

The full episode can be viewed at FOX.com.


Posted by Geoff at 10:38 PM CDT
Updated: Wednesday, June 25, 2014 10:39 PM CDT
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Tuesday, June 24, 2014
POLTERGEIST'S ROOM FULL OF MOVIE BRATS
EARLY SCENE IN SPIELBERG/HOOPER CLASSIC NODS TO LUCAS, DE PALMA, MAYBE SCORSESE


Or make that a room full of Star Wars. The frame above is the first shot of a scene early in Poltergeist, which was officially directed by Tobe Hooper, but was produced, written, edited, and storyboarded by Steven Spielberg, who is rumored and in some cases stated to have been the true director of the film. The scene pictured in the frames above and below take place in the children's bedroom, the boy's side of which is, like many a bedroom in 1982, filled with Star Wars toys, posters, jackets, blankets, and more. The shot above that opens the scene throws this great feat of merchandising straight into viewers' faces, a clear nod by Spielberg to his good friend George Lucas, who by that time had made two Star Wars films and was on the verge of completing the initial Star Wars trilogy.

In 1982, Spielberg was still fairly close with his fellow "Young Lion/Movie Brat" director friends: Lucas, Brian De Palma, Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola, and John Milius. In the shot below, on the very right, underneath a poster for Ridley Scott's Alien, what appears to be a toy yellow taxi sits on a shelf, possibly a nod to Scorsese's Taxi Driver.

After the mother makes the bed, she sits on it, and notices that she doesn't hear the bird tweeting. She looks toward the birdcage, concerned...

And when she gets up to get a better look, finds the bird lying upside down, dead, the positioning of which seems likely to be a visual nod to the Death Records logo in De Palma's Phantom Of The Paradise...

This last homage idea is further reinforced by the fact that, according to the recent book, Interviews Too Shocking To Print! by Justin Humphreys, Tobe Hooper himself had been a big fan of Phantom Of The Paradise, which led to him working enthusiastically with William Finley. Perhaps Spielberg storyboarded the scene above and Hooper ran with it. We could say it is just a dead bird, but since both visionaries in the room (Spielberg and Hooper) would have been so familiar with De Palma's film, it seems very likely each of them would have been thinking about the Death Records logo when they staged the shot.


Posted by Geoff at 2:05 AM CDT
Updated: Tuesday, June 24, 2014 4:27 PM CDT
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Saturday, June 21, 2014


Posted by Geoff at 11:55 AM CDT
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Friday, June 20, 2014
'PHANTOM' TICKETS ON SALE TODAY @ 2PM CENTRAL
40TH ANNIVERSARY EVENT JULY 30TH AT ARCLIGHT HOLLYWOOD

Posted by Geoff at 7:31 AM CDT
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YOU SAY THAT
BUT IT'S REALLY NOT TRUE AT ALL
Two days ago, in an article about his disappointment with Brian De Palma's films post Blow Out, Movie Morlocks' Greg Ferrara wrote, "the Odessa steps/Railway station scene in The Untouchables is less a nod to Eisenstein than a 'look, here’s the Potemkin sequence with different actors' setup." Well, no, that's not true at all-- it actually is more of "a nod to Eisenstein," but uses the idea of the baby carriage, and specifically its shots of the wheels hitting each step on the way down, to add suspense and tension to the already suspenseful shoot-out happening on the train station steps. De Palma's contrast here of the innocent (the baby) and the dangerous men all around is part of a theme that runs through the entire film.

All anyone has to do is watch Eisenstein's Odessa Steps sequence side-by-side with De Palma's to see that aside from a lot of steps, a baby in a pram, and people falling violently, what De Palma has constructed in The Untouchables in terms of set-up, staging, story, cinematography, suspense, slow motion, sound, humor, etc. is far different from what is on the screen in Eisenstein's construction. YouTube it for yourself.

Posted by Geoff at 1:58 AM CDT
Updated: Saturday, June 21, 2014 11:41 AM CDT
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Thursday, June 19, 2014
EMBRACE THE STRUGGLE

Posted by Geoff at 7:15 AM CDT
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THINKING BIG, FOR SURE

Posted by Geoff at 7:09 AM CDT
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Tuesday, June 17, 2014


Posted by Geoff at 2:55 AM CDT
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Sunday, June 15, 2014
VIDEO PAYS TRIBUTE TO DE PALMA'S CINEMA
HELLO WIZARD VID USES SONGS 'RELAX', 'SEXE', AND 'SIN CITY'

Posted by Geoff at 11:44 PM CDT
Updated: Tuesday, June 17, 2014 5:04 PM CDT
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