Tag Archives | Hollywood

Bill Maher: Conservatives Need To Lighten Up – And Get Glitzier Stars

Bill Maher. Photo: David Shankbone (CC)

Bill Maher. Photo: David Shankbone (CC)

Bill Maher rants in Variety:

New Rule: Conservatives have to stop complaining about Hollywood values.

It’s the Oscars this weekend, which means two things, one, I’ve got to get waxed, and two, talkradio hosts and conservative columnists will trot out their annual complaints about Hollywood: We’re too liberal, we’re out of touch with the heartland, the theater floors are always sticky, our facial muscles have been deadened with chicken botulism, there aren’t as many Goobers in a box as there used to be, and we make them feel fat.

To these people, I say — shut up and eat your popcorn. And stop bitching about one of the few industries in America that still makes something people all over the world want to buy. Not to rub it in, but “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel” made $400 million. And that’s a squeakquel.

Last year, Hollywood set a box office record: $10.6 billion.

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Polanski and Kubrick: Two Occult Tales

90sOccultMoviesJacques Vallee writes on BoingBoing:

In our age of rational science the occult has never been more in demand: Angels and demons are popular, the Da Vinci code and lost symbols fascinate audiences worldwide and Hollywood is eager to turn out more movies with a paranormal theme.

So why is it that so many of these stories seem flat, and fail to reach the level of insight into hidden structures of the world true esoteric adventures are supposed to promise?

Perhaps the answer has to do with the failure of gifted directors to come to grips with the enormity of the unknown issues of human destiny, or to pose the fundamental questions their esoteric subject would demand.

We go away charmed by artistic visions, dazzled by the pageantry of cardinals in red capes and titillated by women in black garters but the Illuminati only scare us because of the blood they spill, not the existential issues they should transcend.

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Big Freeze Plunged Europe Into Ice Age in Months

SnowEarthSo Roland Emmerich actually made a documentary with The Day After Tomorrow? Who knew. Science Daily reports:

In the film The Day After Tomorrow, the world enters the icy grip of a new glacial period within the space of just a few weeks. Now new research shows that this scenario may not be so far from the truth after all.

William Patterson, from the University of Saskatchewan in Canada, and his colleagues have shown that switching off the North Atlantic circulation can force the Northern hemisphere into a mini ‘ice age’ in a matter of months. Previous work has indicated that this process would take tens of years.

Around 12,800 years ago the northern hemisphere was hit by a mini ice-age, known by scientists as the Younger Dryas, and nicknamed the ‘Big Freeze’, which lasted around 1300 years. Geological evidence shows that the Big Freeze was brought about by a sudden influx of freshwater, when the glacial Lake Agassiz in North America burst its banks and poured into the North Atlantic and Arctic Oceans.

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$500 YouTube Short Gets Unknown Filmmaker $30 Million from Hollywood

Hard to believe this only cost $500. Amazing. Posted on News Lite:
An unknown filmmaker from Uruguay has been given $30m by Hollywood studio bosses — to turn his $500 YouTube video of a giant robot invasion into a movie Would-be director Federico Alvarez, who runs a post-production visual effects house in Uruguay, filmed 'Panic Attack' with a budget of just $500 in his free time. The five minute clip — which he then uploaded to YouTube — shows an invasion of Montevideo by giant robots and had special effects which could rival many big budget movies. Once online it got the attention of thousands of movie fans… and (not surprisingly) studio bosses who wanted to meet with Alvarez to talk about his movie. The 30-year-old was whisked to LA where he was offered a $1 million directors fee and up to £30 million to make the film, by Mandate Pictures. The plans for the movie are said to have a "compelling original story" beyond big robots blowing stuff up. Alvarez has also been put up in a new apartment, given a new car and will work with Spider-Man director Sam Raimi on developing the film. (Read More: News Lite)
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Turn Off Your Brain and Watch the World End in ‘2012’

Lauren Davis writes on io9.com:

Roland Emmerich’s 2012 is jammed with every cliche and trope ever found in a Hollywood disaster movie, while giving the Earth an over-the-top pummeling. It’s a reasonably fun flick at times, if you don’t think about it … at all.


It seems that once Roland Emmerich was done assembling all the CG components for destroying the world and gathering a full complement of “Hey, it’s that guy!” actors, he realized 2012 had no script, and decided to cull characters and situations from every other disaster movie ever made. Despite its massive scale of destruction, 2012 will be familiar to anyone whose seen any movie about an earthquake, volcano, aquatic disaster, or celestial body striking the Earth.

2012 follows the parallel stories of several characters at the end of the world. John Cusack plays the sort of fellow John Cusack always plays, though this time he’s also a struggling writer whose only novel sold roughly 400 copies.

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Everything You Wanted to Know About 2012 But Were Afraid to Ask

December 21, 2012 is the end date of the sophisticated Long Count Calendar created by the ancient Maya in Central America. But is it a doomsday that is foretold in the Mayan calendar, the Chinese oracle of the I Ching or in an Internet-based prophetic software program? Is there any truth to these doomsday prophecies? Some theorists believe that on that date, the Earth will experience unprecedented, cataclysmic disasters ranging from massive earthquakes and tsunamis to nuclear reactor meltdowns, while yet others see a coming renewal, a rebirth of consciousness.

To help sort out the information, Gary Baddeley, the writer/producer of 2012: Science or Superstition and president of The Disinformation Company will present the current schools of thought and answer questions from a public not certain if they should prepare for survival or something else entirely.

On the day that Roland Emmerich’s mega-budget disaster film 2012 opens nationally, discover the truth about the “End of Days” and the 2012 phenomenon with the video conference “Everything You Wanted to Know About 2012 But Were Afraid to Ask”, presented by The Disinformation Company, producer to the bestselling documentary 2012: Science or Superstition and it’s companion book.… Read the rest

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Roland Emmerich Planning ‘2012’ Sequel as TV Series Called ‘2013’

When I first read this, I thought it was a joke. How do you have a sequel when you destroy the world? Let the post-apocalyptic fun begin. Meredith Woerner writes on io9.com:
Just seconds after telling us that he makes disaster movies because he hates sequels, director Roland Emmerich spilled all about his new ABC TV series 2013, that picks up after the waves part. It sounds epic. Spoiler warning. At the end of 2012 the cast members who have survived the massive floods and volcanic destruction on Earth head over to Africa, the new center of the world. What happens next has just been picked up by ABC as a television series that Emmerich is helping out with. We got the chance to find out more about his post-post-apocalypse series at the 2012 press day. (More on io9.com)
Here's the 2012 trailer, yeah, I'd want to be alive after this happens...
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WTF: There Is An American Idol ‘2012’ Music Video

I first came across the music video through advertisements on digg, I really didn't know you could cross-promote American Idol with disaster porn. The song is called "Time for Miracles" ... Oh, Hollywood mega-marketing machine, what will you think of next? This has got to be the most ridiculous pop-disaster porn combo since the KISS video for "Lick It Up" (when they took off the makeup in the '80s). Makes me laugh every time I see it:
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H. R. Giger: Father of the Alien

GigerAlienWolfgang Dios writes in the National Post:
Three decades ago, a loathsome, worm-like parasite burst from the chest of a hapless spaceship crew member — an electrifying moment that made cinematic history, as well as the reputations of pretty well everyone concerned. Sigourney Weaver, playing beleaguered Warrant Officer Ellen Ripley, had previously best been known for a minor role in Woody Allen's Annie Hall, and director Ridley Scott for his work in British television commercials. The creature was designed by Swiss artist H. R. Giger based on the nightmarish creature that had appeared in his then just-published art book, Necronomicon (Masks Of The Dead), which director Scott had seen. Together the two conferred on what the parasite should look like when it erupted from its human host's body. Giger readily admits he was influenced by another artist. "It was Francis Bacon's work that gave me the inspiration," Giger said, "Of how this thing would come tearing out of the man's flesh with its gaping mouth, grasping and with an explosion of teeth ... it's pure Bacon." Giger didn't directly work on any of the sequels, and his subsequent Hollywood experiences were not always salutary. Though Alien brought him worldwide renown and an Oscar in 1980 for best achievement in visual effects, the filmmakers continued to use variations on Giger's original creature without involving the artist. "With the fourth Alien film, they just took my creations, they used my ‘chest-burster' and they didn't even give me any credit. It's offensive. I mean, one of the reasons the film became so famous was because of my Alien, wasn't it?" The question is rhetorical. He pauses. "For the fourth Alien film, Sigourney Weaver got US$11 million. I received nothing."
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Letters of Note: Hunter S. Thompson

From the great repository of correspondence Letters of Note:

The furious written rant concerned the movie adaptation of Thompson’s novel, The Rum Diary, to which Sorensen’s studio had acquired the rights. Progress had been slow and confused on their part. So slow in fact that Thompson reached boiling point.



HOLLY SORENSON / Shooting Gallery / Hollywood / Jan 22 ’01

Dear Holly,

Okay, you lazy bitch, I’m getting tired of this waterhead fuckaround that you’re doing with The Rum Diary.

We are not even spinning our wheels aggresivly. It’s like the whole Project got turned over to Zombies who live in cardboard boxes under the Hollywood Freeway… I seem to be the only person who’s doing anything about getting this movie Made. I have rounded up Depp, Benicio Del Toro, Brad Pitt, Nick Nolte & a fine screenwriter from England, named Michael Thomas, who is a very smart boy & has so far been a pleasure to talk to & conspire with…

So there’s yr.… Read the rest

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