MOV075: “Holy Jumping Christmas!”

The boys have a virtual horror-fest, as they begin in the past with 1932’s classic “Freaks”. Does Todd Browning’s masterpiece still hold up to horror of today’s standards? They then head to the theater to check out the prequel by the same name “The Thing”. Does it compare to John Carpenter’s 1982 version or should they have just left it frozen in the ice? Finally, they review the trailer for the 4th movie in the Underworld Series: Underworld Awakening. Will Kate Beckensale’s Selene draw them back to the theater in 2012? All this and they chat about John Lassater’s defense of Cars 2 and the possibility of River Phoenix’s posthumous return to the big screen. It’s the 75th reel of COL Movies – “Holy Jumping Christmas!”

News:
John Lasseter defends Cars 2
River Pheonix to return to screen?

The Past: Freaks (1932)

Rotten Tomatoes: 93% Fresh, 87% Audience

Director: Tod Browning

Starring: Wallace Ford, Leila Hyams and Olga Baclanova

Trivia:

  • The electrical equipment on the set was so badly grounded that crew members were frequently shocked
  • The film’s original ending showed Hercules singing soprano in Madame Tetralini’s new sideshow because he has been castrated by the freaks. After intensely negative reaction by preview audiences, this scene was cut.
  • Prince Randian, the man with no arms or legs, developed a habit of lurking in dark corners and frightening passers-by with a blood-curdling yell.
  • During filming, director Tod Browning was plagued with dreams in which Johnny Eck and a pinhead would keep bringing a cow in backward through a doorway in the middle of shoots.
  • In the UK this film was banned for 30 years after it was first released.
  • The original casting had Victor McLaglen as Hercules, Myrna Loy as Cleopatra, and Jean Harlow as Venus. All balked at the prospect of co-starring with “sideshow exhibitions”.
  • The on-screen romance between Hans and Frieda was very subdued because the roles were being played by real life brother and sister Harry Earles and Daisy Earles.
  • After the film had been withdrawn and shelved by MGM, the distribution rights were acquired by notorious exploitation roadshow specialist Dwain Esper. Esper traveled the country showing the film under such lurid titles as “Forbidden Love” and “Nature’s Mistakes”.
  • During the 1920s and 1930s, photographer Edward J. Kelty took a succession of group photographs of members of the Barnum and Bailey freak show. What is interesting is how many cast members can be spotted in them (this film is the only movie credit for most of them). Familiar faces include Harry Earles (Hans), Daisy Earles (Frieda), Peter Robinson (human skeleton), Elvira Snow (pinhead), Jenny Lee Snow (pinhead), Elizabeth Green (bird girl) and Olga Roderick (bearded lady).
  • Cast member Olga Roderick, the bearded lady, later denounced the film and regretted her involvement in it.
  • F. Scott Fitzgerald was a member of the MGM writing department at the time the movie was in production. He never felt quite at home with all the movie stars and powerful moguls, and so he often dined in the commissary at the table of the sideshow attractions (freaks) during his lunch hour.
  • When uncredited producer Dwain Esper traveled the country with this film, he used some of the most lurid and suggestive promotions. For some engagements, if he was satisfied that it was safe, the feature would be followed by a square-up reel. This reel was basically nudist camp footage.
  • In the United States, this film was banned in a number of states and cities. Although no longer enforced, some of the laws were never officially repealed. Therefore, it is still technically illegal for this film to be shown some areas of the USA.
  • Myrna Loy, originally slated for the Olga Baclanova role, turned down the part because she felt the script was offensive.
  • During a publicity photo session with Olga Baclanova, midget actor Harry Earles kept making lewd remarks. Many of her surprised and disgusted visual expressions in the photos that the session yielded are authentic rather than posed.
  • Several variations on the ending are still in existence. However, the footage of Hercules singing soprano was not included in any of the foreign versions and is now regarded as lost.
  • Was originally banned in Australia.
  • When MGM production chief Irving Thalberg gave Willis Goldbeck the assignment to write a draft of a screenplay based on Clarence Aaron ‘Tod’ Robbins’s story “Spurs”, the only direction he gave Goldbeck was that the script had to be “horrible”. The writer completed his draft quickly and turned the script over to Thalberg. A few days later, Goldbeck was summoned to Thalberg’s office, where he found the producer slumped forward on his desk with his face buried in his arms, as if overwhelmed. After a moment, Thalberg sat up straight and looked at Goldbeck. “Well,” said Thalberg, “it’s horrible.”
  • Schlitze, the microcephalic member of the cast who appears to be female, was actually a male. The dress was worn for reasons of personal hygiene.
  • Premiere voted this movie as one of “The 25 Most Dangerous Movies”.
  • Dwarf actor Angelo Rossitto, who appeared as Angeleno, would go on to a successful career in TV and films including Little Moe in the Robert Blake TV series Baretta and as one half of the giant Master Blaster opposite Mel Gibson in Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome.
  • The film was rejected for UK cinema showing in 1932 and again in 1952. It was finally passed for cinema with an uncut X rating in May 1963, making it one of the longest bans in UK film history.
  • The tune that ‘Angeleno’ plays on his flute during the final confrontation between Cleopatra and the bedridden Hans is the “Mournful Tune” from Richard Wagner’s opera “Tristan and Isolde”, played in the opera while the dying Tristan waits for Isolde’s ship to appear on the horizon.
  • Dwarf John George – for reasons unknown – does not appear in “Freaks”, even though a role was specifically written for him in the screenplay.
  • One woman, after seeing “Freaks”, wrote a letter to Tod Browning at MGM, exclaiming that “You must have the mental equipment of a freak yourself to devise such a picture.” Another viewer complained, “To put such creatures in a picture and before the public is unthinkable.”
  • Although production chief Irving Thalberg decided to re-cut the picture immediately after the disastrous test screening, he could not cancel the world premiere on January 28, 1932 at the 3,000-seat Fox Theatre in San Diego. This is the only venue at which the uncut version of “Freaks” is known to have played. Ironically, the unexpurgated “Freaks” was a major box-office success. Crowds lined up around the block to see the picture, which broke the theatre’s house record. By the end of the run, word had spread that “Freaks” was about to be butchered, and the theatre advertised, “Your last opportunity to see ‘Freaks’ in its uncensored form!”
  • According to one source, director Tod Browning was introduced to the story by Cedric Gibbons, longtime head of MGM’s Art Department. He was supposedly boyhood friends with author Clarence Aaron ‘Tod’ Robbins and convinced the studio to purchase film rights for the sum of $8,000. Another source claims that the diminutive actor Harry Earles gave Browning a copy of the story during the production of The Unholy Three in hopes that he could star in the adaptation.
  • Samuel Marx, head of MGM’s Story Department, recalled with peculiar pride, “And so, Harry Rapf, who was a great moral figure, got a bunch of us together and we went in and complained to Irving Irving Thalberg about ‘Freaks’. And he laughed at that. He said, ‘You know, we’re making all kinds of movies. Forget it. I’m going to make the picture. Tod Browning’s a fine director. He knows what he’s doing.’ And the picture was made.” But the lunchroom protests didn’t end. As a result, a makeshift table was constructed and the cast of “Freaks” (with the exception of Harry Earles and Daisy Earles, Violet Hilton and Daisy Hilton, and the more “normal” cast-members) were forced to eat their meals outdoors.:
  • Olga Baclanova, later recalled the day when she was first introduced to the supporting cast, “Tod Browning shows me little by little and I could not look, I wanted to faint. I wanted to cry when I saw them. They have such nice faces… they are so poor, you know… Browning takes me and say, you know, ‘Be brave, and don’t faint like the first time I show you. You have to work with them.’… It was very, very difficult first time. Every night I felt that I am sick. Because I couldn’t look at them. And then I was so sorry for them. That I just couldn’t… it hurt me like a human being.”
  • Johnny Eck, the half-boy, remembered his screen test was taken by MGM’s scouting unit while he was on tour in Canada, and he shared the screen with the world’s largest rat. He recalled being treated well by the crew, “The technicians, the sound men, the electricians, and the prop department, and everybody… was my friend… We got along beautifully.”
  • According to the screenplay, the scene in which Madame Tetrallini introduces the wandering land-owner to the performers frolicking in the woods ran quite a bit longer. It included additional dialog that endeavored to humanize the so-called freaks. She tells him they are “always in hot, stuffy tents – strange eyes always staring at them – never allowed to forget what they are.” Duval responds sympathetically (clearly the stand-in for the viewing audience), “When I go to the circus again, Madame, I’ll remember,” to which she adds, “I know, M’sieu – you will remember seeing them playing – playing like children… Among all the thousands who come to stare – to laugh – to shudder – you will be one who understands.”
  • Numerous other bits of dialog were removed that depicted the “normal” humans as disgusting creatures and the “freaks” as gentle and sympathetic (destroying the social critique of intolerance Tod Browning was attempting to construct). While the circus awaits word on Hans’s declining health, one of the Rollo Brothers coldly remarks, “You’d think the world was coming to an end – just because a mangy freak’s got a hangover.” In another scene, Madame Tetrallini responds to the Rollos’ taunts by defending the humanity of her “children,” “Augh, you cochons – you beasts… They are better than you – all of them – you two dogs!”
  • Tod Browning’s only onscreen credit is on the title page: “Tod Browning’s Freaks,” which is interpreted as the director credit. He is not in studio records as a producer.
  • A woman who attended a 1932 test screening for the film claimed later that she suffered a miscarriage resulting from the film’s shocking nature, and threatened to sue MGM.
  • The reunion of Hans and Frieda, seen at the end of most prints, was not part of Tod Browning’s original cut. It was added during the re-editing to give the film a happier ending.

Talking Points:

  • The use of real “Freaks”
  • The sensibilities of a 1932 audience vs today.
  • Anyone watch the bonus material?

What We’ve Learned:

  • Don’t piss off the freaks!

Trailer:
.There isn’t a real one out there on YouTube, but this is a very good fan-made one!

Recommendations:
Jeff: A nice little tale of circus freaks. A little disturbing, probably more disturbing to people in the 1930s.
Ray: Feels more like a Soap Opera,but I did actually get into the movie. I like that they used real people instead of actors for this..something I can’t ever see them doing in today’s Hollywood.
Steve: Not a traditional horror movie from today’s standards necessarily, but still thought provoking. Not to mention, none of these characters were CGI – they were the real deal! Exploitive, um yeah…Was the acting amazing, no…but worth seeing if you’re a fan of horror.

The Present: The Thing

Rotten Tomatoes: 33% Rotten 60% Audience

Director: Matthijs van Heijningen Jr.

Starring: Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Joel Edgerton, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Jørgen Langhelle

Trivia:

  • Dennis Storhøi was cast as Sander but pulled out of production due to personal reasons. He was replaced by Ulrich Thomsen.
  • The producers convinced Universal Studios to allow them to create a prequel to John Carpenter’s The Thing instead of a remake, as they felt Carpenter’s film was already perfect, so making a remake would be like “painting a mustache on the Mona Lisa”. However, the prequel still has the title of the original film, because they couldn’t think of a subtitle (for example, “The Thing: Begins”) that sounded good.
  • This is a prequel to a remake of an adaptation of the novella “Who Goes There?” by John W. Campbell Jr., published in 1938.
  • The song Kate is listening to on her headphones is “Who Can It Be Now?”, a song by Australian band Men at Work from their 1981 debut album, “Business as Usual”. The lyrics tell of a paranoid man who hears knocking at his house door and wishes to be left in solitude. This foreshadows the paranoia of the scientists later in the film.
  • In order to not try to compete with Kurt Russell’s portrayal of the 1982 film’s protagonist, R.J. MacReady, the character of Kate Lloyd was designed to have traits in common with the character Ellen Ripley from the Alien film series.
  • When we first meet Kate Lloyd she is studying something that looks stunningly similar to the 1982 dog monster.
  • In the opening, one of the Norwegians actually says, “Stop!” in English-rather than their own tongue (as John Carpenter once called, “Schmergzdörf”).
  • Whenever a flashlight or lantern was flashed toward the camera, they would have the same blue camera flares coming off of them just as in the original John Carpenter version.
  • The red axe that ‘Joel Edgerton’ uses and eventually sticks into the wall can be seen still stuck in the wall when the Americans visit the Norwegian camp in the original John Carpenter version.

Talking Points:

  • What purpose did this serve?
  • CGI.. good or bad?
  • Did anyone watch the 1982 remake after this? The 1951 original?

What We Learned:

  • Watch where you park the snowcat!
  • Apparently the Cavaliers are a basketball team….barely
  • Lars, he doesn’t speak English, but he will work like a bear!
  • Never a good idea to shoot the guy with the flammable gas tanks strapped to him.
  • It is freaking cold in Antarctica.

Trailer:

Recommendations:
Jeff: Not that bad of a movie. Had it’s jumpy moments, but it was alright. Wait for DVD though.
Ray: There are some really stupid plot points (or lack of) in this movie, and if you have seen the 1982 remake… there’s really nothing to learn from this, that being said they did an excellent job tying the two movies together.
Steve: I’ll admit I didn’t realize it was a prequel…my bad. The creature effects were really, really good, although a large portion of it was predictable if you’ve seen the other versions. I enjoyed it just sitting back and watching. Was a fun ride.

The Future: Underworld Awakening

Director: Måns Mårlind, Björn Stein

Starring: Kate Beckinsale, Michael Ealy and India Eisley

Summary:

The vampire warrioress Selene escapes imprisonment to find herself in a world where humans have discovered the existence of both Vampire and Lycan clans, and are conducting an all-out war to eradicate both immortal species.

Trivia:

  • Filming began in March 2011 at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, British Columbia.
  • Underworld: Awakening is the first movie to be shot using RED EPIC digital cameras in 3D.

Talking Points:

  • Are we glad to see the 4th installment or has the series jumped the shark?

Trailer:

Excitement:
Jeff: Still interested in the series. Although only expecting another action movie featuring vampires and werewolves.
Ray: Interest in this series never made it past the first one for me, which I barely remember… I suppose I’d go see this as long as it doesn’t require watching all the others to understand it.
Steve: I’m a fan of of the character of Selene. Not to mention…vampires AND werewolves in the same movie – I’m typically SO there. The 3rd one kind of tarnished me on the series, so I hope this one will bring back back in. It’s a definite see for me.

Coming Attractions:

The Past

The Present

The Future

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MOV074: “It All Sounds Like a Bunch of Supernatural Baloney To Me”

On this whirlwind episode of COL Movies.. Join Steve Jeff and Myself as we throw back….waaaaaay back to 1934’s controversial smash hit “The Black Cat” Do the two Icons of cinema Horror Karloff and Lugosi show us whats up? And whats up with that music? Then we go all topsy turvy! In the present we jump into the not so distant future and check out Hugh Jackman and Evangeline LIlly in the cinema tour de force of “Rockem Sock em..Robo…….errrr “Real Steel” Can our love of Giant Robots pull this one out of the corner? And Finally the Boys get teased about “The Hunger Games” Is the one minute and five second teaser enough to get us ready to jump into the theater next march? All this and More on the next reel steel episode of COL Movies! : It All Sounds Like a Bunch of Supernatural Baloney To Me

News:

 

The Past: The Black Cat (1934)

Rotten Tomatoes: 86% Fresh, 74% Audience

Director: Edgar G. Ulmer

Starring: Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi and David Manners

Trivia:

  • The satanic prayer Poelzig chants during the black mass scene consists of phrases in Latin, the most recognizable being “cum grano salis” (with a grain of salt).
  • Edgar G. Ulmer admitted in an interview that Edgar Allan Poe’s story was credited to draw public attention, despite the fact it had nothing to do with the story in the movie.
  • Censors in Italy, Finland and Austria banned the movie outright, while others required cuts of the more gruesome sequences.
  • This was Universal’s biggest hit of 1934.
  • The set of the main room in Poelzig’s house were built for $1,500.
  • The first of eight movies to pair Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi.
  • Among the unconventional elements of this film was the soundtrack. At a time (early 1930s) when movie music was usually limited to the titles and credits, Edgar G. Ulmer had an almost continuous background score throughout the entire film.
  • Boris Karloff’s character is named after Austrian architect and art director Hans Poelzig. Poelzig worked on Der Golem, wie er in die Welt kam, on which director Edgar G. Ulmer was set designer.
  • Edgar G. Ulmer dubbed Boris Karloff’s line at the end of the chess match: “You lose, Vitus”.
  • Edgar G. Ulmer dubbed Bela Lugosi’s voice instructing his servant to “wait here” before accompanying Boris Karloff down to be shown his preserved dead wife.
  • The ill-fated bus driver is a direct homage to the doorman in Der letzte Mann, on which Edgar G. Ulmer worked as Production Designer.
  • Director Edgar G. Ulmer, when writing this film, loosely based the villain Hjalmar Poelzig, played by Boris Karloff, on director Fritz Lang. Ulmer knew Lang from the German-Austrian film scene and, though he was a huge admirer of Lang’s films, felt Lang to be a sadist as a director.
  • The only Universal picture until The Wolf Man to introduce the major characters during the opening credits, and the actors playing them, with brief clips from the movie.
  • Part of the original SHOCK THEATER package of 52 Universal titles released to television in 1957, followed a year later with SON OF SHOCK, which added 21 more features.

Talking Points:

  • Lighting in back and white movies
  • Score
  • The Performances of Karloff and Lugosi
  • The “Frank Lloyd Wright” style house in the 1930s

What We’ve Learned:

  • Quality of acting is not needed, as long as you look as creepy as your character is supposed to be!
  • Its better to be Frightened than be crushed!
  • Apparently Ikea was furnishing homes in 1934 Hungary

A good cast is worth repeating

Trailer:
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Recommendations:
Jeff: *looks around* Was this movie suppose to be scary? The acting was typical for the era. Just felt like an plain ordinary film to me. Not bad to watch if you’re doing a Legosi or Karloff marathon or something. Otherwise, skip it.
Ray: Interesting watch… I can see why Lugosi and Karloff played so many “monsters” they both have creepy down to a science.
Steve: Creepy! The black and white worked for this movie, too. Worth seeing from a horror history point of view.

The Present: Real Steel

Rotten Tomatoes: 58% Rotten, 83% Audience

Director: Shawn Levy

Starring: Hugh Jackman, Evangeline Lilly and Dakota Goyo

Trivia:

  • Michigan was chosen to film this movie by director Shawn Levy because he was blown away by the Model T Automobile plant in Highland Park near Detroit. He felt it was the perfect set for the first fight scene called Crash Palace in the film. No other location he visited in New Mexico, Los Angeles, or Georgia came close.
  • The third film of director Shawn Levy to be released in the IMAX format. The other two are Night at the Museum and Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian.
  • Much of the robot boxing fights were motion-captured using professional boxers, supervised by Sugar Ray Leonard.
  • In an apparent nod to Rocky, the world champion robot is named “Zeus”, while in ‘Rocky’, the champion is named “Apollo” Creed. In mythology, Apollo is the son of Zeus.
  • In an obvious nod to the iconic game “Rock’em, Sock’em, Robots”, during the Atom/Zeus fight, Mashido assumes manual control of Zeus and grabs two simple joysticks and moves them back and forth operating Zeus exactly as done in the board game.
  • The film is based on “Steel” – a 1956 short story by I Am Legend author Richard Matheson. It was also made into an episode of The Twilight Zone called Steel.
  • The girls who ask to pose for a picture with Ambush are director ‘Shawn Levy”s daughters.
  • Although not specified, director Shawn Levy has said that the film takes place in 2020. He stated in an interview: “The whole reason it’s 2020 and not further in the future is because I knew this movie was going to be an underdog story and I didn’t want the distant futurism of extreme sci-fi. I wanted the world to feel really familiar, so that the characters would feel really relatable. The cell-phone we used five or ten years ago looks different from today, but a diner still looks like a diner.”
  • Each of the robots were built both in real life and CGI. For certain shots with animatronics, they were controlled by more than 20 puppeteers.
  • Midas’ Mohawk hairstyle is a nod to “Clubber” Lang, Mr.T’s character in Rocky III.
  • All video cameras used by the press are Red Epics, most with 3D lens attachments.
  • The opening scene at the fairground features a semi tractor with a cattle-hauling trailer which belongs to “Ron Smith Trucking”, Breckenridge, MI.
  • The climactic fight scene is a virtual punch-for-punch recreation of the Ivan Drago/Rocky Balboa fight from Rocky IV.
  • Among the many parallels to the movie Rocky, the world champion (Zeus) gives an unheralded local club fighter (Atom) a shot at the title and then unexpectedly gets into the fight of his life before winning a controversial split decision to the disdain of the crowd; the fight lasts the full 5 rounds with each fighter suffering many injuries; the match illustrates Atom’s apparently unlimited ability to absorb punishment; and despite losing, Atom is declared “the people’s champion.”

Talking Points:

  • Cliche’ – kid, female mechanic, lost career, etc – too many in one movie?
  • Rocky references
  • Robot fights – worth the rest of the movie?
  • Steven Spielberg and Robert Zemekis

What We Learned:

  • Never allow Hugh Jackman to try and pull off a Midwestern accent again!
  • Japanese Bootlegs are always better
  • Voice recognition still kinda glitchy in 2020
  • The People Mover still works in Detroit in 2020..hell Detroit’s still around in 2020!
  • Ya need Flare!

Trailer:

Recommendations:
Jeff: Very much an adrenalin rush at time, which probably the reason why I liked it so much. I would definitely enjoy seeing this again.
Ray: A father / son boxing movie… with robots! love it! Don’t expect Shakespeare.. but it was entertaining. And I didn’t hate the child actor for once.
Steve: This one gets BOTH a yawn and an eye roll from me. Hugh Jackman’s accent annoyed me the entire movie and the “little boy who speaks like he’s 40” concept is overplayed. From jump the music didn’t seem to fit the movie and the whole metaphor of “Rocky as a robot”, even though the robot is really Hugh Jackman since he’s controlling it, is weak at best. Skip it unless you just want to watch the robot fights.

The Future: The Hunger Games (2012)

Director: Gary Ross

Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth

Summary:

In a not-too-distant future, North America has collapsed, weakened by drought, fire, famine, and war to be replaced by Panem, a country divided into the Capitol and 12 districts. Each year two young representatives from each district are selected by lottery to participate in The Hunger Games. Part entertainment, part brutal intimidation of the subjugated districts, the televised games are broadcast throughout Panem. The 24 participants are forced to eliminate their competitors, literally, with all citizens required to watch. When 16-year-old Katniss’ young sister, Prim, is selected as the mining district’s female representative, Katniss volunteers to take her place. She and her male counterpart Peeta, will be pitted against bigger, stronger representatives who have trained for this their whole lives.

Trivia:

  • First part of a Trilogy series of young adult books by Suzanne Collins: ‘The Hunger Games’, ‘Catching Fire’, ‘Mockingjay’.
  • Chloë Grace Moretz, Mary Mouser, Hailee Steinfeld, Abigail Breslin, Lyndsy Fonseca, Saoirse Ronan, Emma Roberts, Kaya Scodelario, Emily Browning and Shailene Woodley were considered to play Katniss, the lead role. Jennifer Lawrence won the lead role.
  • Alex Pettyfer, Josh Hutcherson, Lucas Till, Nico Tortorella, Alexander Ludwig, Evan Peters and Hunter Parrish were considered to play Peeta Mellark. Hutcherson was later cast.
  • Liam Hemsworth, Chris Massoglia, David Henrie, Robbie Amell and Drew Roy were considered to play Gale. Hemsworth was ultimately cast.
  • Jennifer Lawrence was initially cast as the lead in Savages, but dropped out to do this film instead.
  • Liam Hemsworth and Jennifer Lawrence, both natural blondes, dyed their hair brown for their roles in the film while Josh Hutcherson, naturally dark-haired, dyed his hair blonde for his part.

Talking Points:

  • Is this the next Twilight?
  • Does trailer really give you a sense of what the movie is?
  • What’s the point of a teaser vs a trailer?

Trailer:

Excitement:
Jeff: It has my attention. And from everything I’ve heard outside of it, there are fans of the book that are excited. I’m intrigued but can’t wait for the longer trailer.
Ray:I put this trailer on here to test.. whether or not people who have no grasp of the source material are going to be interested in seeing this movie.. I know its only a “Teaser” but the point is to make a good enough first impression .. to get you interested in the film… i don’t think this teaser is doing a very good Job.
Steve: I’ve been seeing press about this, but didn’t know what it was about until I looked up the information about the movie. I like the concept, but don’t know that the trailer does enough to really give a sense that the synopsis we found does.

Coming Attractions:

The Past

The Present

The Future

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CUT002: Spooky Empire

In this episode of The Cutting Room Floor, Steve heads to the Spooky Empire Ultimate Horror Weekend in Orlando, FL on Saturday, October 8. He tells you about all the exciting stuff he got to do from checking out new films at the Freakshow Horror Film Festival, learning some interesting information at sessions, as well as meeting some memorable horror celebrities! He brings you 5 interviews with some of horror’s most memorable performers that you’ll want to hear.

Spooky Empire’s Ultimate Horror Weekend
Freakshow Horror Film Festival

Trailers:

Play Dead


An Evening with my Comatose Mother


Spirale


Celebrity Interviews in this episode:

Best known as the “face” of George Romero’s 1968 classic Night of the Living Dead, Kyra played the memorable zombie girl with the trowel.

Alex Vincent is best known for his role as Andy from Child’s Play (1988) and Child’s Play 2 (1990).

Miko is most remembered for his role as Gage, the little boy hit by the truck and who comes back to cause mayhem, in Stephen King’s Pet Semetary (1989).

Gunnar is best known for being the original Leatherface in the Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974).

Mr. Hodder has been an actor in some 80+ films and television shows and provided stunts for over 90 movies. He’s best known as playing Jason Vorhees in 4 of the Friday The 13th films.

Spooky Empire’s May-Hem – May 25-27, 2012 – Orlando Wyndham Resort

More info to come at SpookyEmpire.com

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MOV073: “We Love Premarital Sex!”

In this 73rd episode of COL Movies, the boys head back in time – well, technically into the future, yet back in time – to kick off Horror month and to revive Mr. Vorhees in “Jason X”. After some gore and premarital sex, they head to the theater to review the Brad Pitt film “Moneyball”. And no, it’s not a porno…get your mind out of the gutter. There are balls, but not those kind… Anyway, they close out by reviewing the trailer for “J. Edgar” or Jedgar, where Clint Eastwood will be directing Leo DiCaprio in a bio-pic about a cross-dressing Gman (or so the legend goes). In news, we introduce the new segments called “The Cutting Room Floor” or “Cuts” for short, Zack Snyder’s folks talk about “Army of the Dead”, Is Disney setting the standard for 3D, and the unfortunate loss of Steve Jobs. We also take an intermission to talk about the best scary movies of all times. It’s COL Movies…where “we love premarital sex!”

News:

The Past: Jason X

Rotten Tomatoes: 21% Rotten, 37% Audience

Director: James Isaac

Starring: Kane Hodder, Lexa Doig and Lisa Ryder

Trivia:

  • The space debris floating in space has “Cunningham Reality” written on the side. This is a reference to the name of producer Noel Cunningham, the son of executive producer and maker of the original Friday the 13th, Sean S. Cunningham.
  • Screenwriter Todd Farmer based much of the film on Alien, even naming one of the characters (whom he also played) Dallas, after Tom Skerritt’s character in the Ridley Scott film.
  • Several of the characters in the film are named after screenwriter Todd Farmer’s online friends in the PC game EverQuest.
  • It had four different U.S. release dates before it was finally released.
  • The name “Tiamat” comes from Babylonian mythology. She is a dragon/goddess of the sea, who was slain by the god Marduk who then formed the land from her carcass.
  • Brodski mentioned a gun while the soldiers were suiting up called the “BFG”. This sci-fi gun is well known to players of the PC games Doom and Quake II as the most powerful weapon. “BFG” is an acronym for “Bio Force Gun” or “Big Fucking Gun”, as some called it.
  • Jason Voorhees’ eyes never blink when they are shown.
  • The music played during Jason’s first look at the virtual reality Camp Crystal Lake is the same musical score as the one in Friday the 13th Part 2.
  • The name of the primary ship in the film is the “Grendel” which is the name of a monster in the Old English poem “Beowulf”. Grendel was a direct descendant of Cain from the Book of Genesis, a monster described as half-troll, half-ogre. Like Jason, Grendel rose from a lake in search of victims and seemingly could not be killed. Also, in their fight, Beowulf rips Grendel’s arm off, and in the movie, when Kay-Em shoots up Jason, the first thing he loses is his arm.
  • In the scene where Dallas is smashed against the wall by Jason, the stuntman who did this actually broke his nose.
  • When Stony opens the door and gets stabbed and his blood sprays in Kinsa’s face, she screams. According to the audio commentary, the effects guys weren’t supposed to spray the blood into her face. She was screaming not because she just saw her boyfriend die, but because the fake blood was burning her eyes
  • The “virtual ’80s” scene was originally meant to be much more detailed, including a number of topless women playing volleyball. One idea even included the appearance of Pamela Voorhees, Jason’s mother, and even went so far as to have Jason attack her, showing the extent of just how evil he had become. The latter idea was dropped.
  • The “sleeping bag death” scene was first done in Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood, and was actually ad-libbed by Kane Hodder in that film out of frustration at re-shooting the same scene over and over.
  • The character Janessa was originally named Jessica, after producer Sean Cunningham’s sister.
  • The first film in the Friday the 13th series to rely on digital effects for death and gore shots.
  • Jason murders 28 people, more than any of the other Friday the 13th movies.
  • The film only suffered a couple seconds of cuts/alterations to earn an “R” rating, making it the least censored entry in the entire ‘Friday the 13th’ series.
  • The character Adrienne is a reference to Adrienne King, who played Alice Hardy in Friday the 13th and Friday the 13th Part 2.
  • Jason X is the first Friday the 13th film to be rated ’15’ in the UK. Although Friday the 13th parts 2,3 & 6 were originally rated ’18’ they were altered to ’15’, part 6 in 2002 and parts 2 & 3 in 2008.
  • Betsy Palmer was doing a play in Toronto at the time Jason X was filming. According to Palmer, one of the producers contacted her about possibly reprising her role as Pamela Voorhees. They did not come to an agreement, and the character was not included in the film.
  • In Andromeda, Lexa Doig played the avatar of the ships artificial intelligence and Lisa Ryder played a crew member. In this movie, Ryder is an AI construct and Doig joins the crew.

Talking Points:

  • Why didn’t they try ________
  • The comedy of it –
  • Jeff – make sure you watch the trailer! 🙂
  • Love how Jason got top billing in the movie!

What We’ve Learned:

  • Never say “Every thing’s Under Control” when your dealing with Jason Voorhees
  • In the end it always comes down to money
  • Mess with an engineer and you end up with a waste hose in your bunk
  • Liquid nitrogen + your face = a bad day
  • Never let a guy with a machete thaw.
  • Never kill an indestructible killer near the medical bay with nanites
  • Always make sure your android has a complete library of bad ass kung fu movies uploaded in its head.
  • Make sure your space ship is always well lit.

Trailer:

Recommendations:
Jeff: A Terrible, terrible movie in a very good way. If you like Sci Fi bad movies and FT13, this is for you.
Ray: This is probably my favorite FT13 movie next to the first 2… this is a movie that totally doesnt take it self seriously..but like with all FT13 movies.. your gonna love it ..or hate it.
Steve: If you’re a pure fan of FT13…skip it. But it’s still gory fun.

Intermission: Scary Movies

The Present: Moneyball

Rotten Tomatoes: 95% Fresh, 91% Audience

Director: Bennett Miller

Starring: Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill, Philip Seymore Hoffman

Trivia:

  • When Steven Soderbergh was still supposed to direct, he cast Brad Pitt and Demetri Martin in the lead roles and had already shot interview scenes with baseball players Lenny Dykstra, Mookie Wilson and Darryl Strawberry to be included in the film.
  • During pre-production, director of photography Adam Kimmel was arrested in Connecticut on sexual assault and weapons and explosives possession charges. He was replaced by Wally Pfister.
  • Production of the movie was set to begin on June 22, 2009, but it was surprisingly dropped by Columbia Pictures. Studio co-chairman Amy Pascal axed the movie after objecting to changes which original director Steven Soderbergh made to Steven Zaillian’s script.
  • The “Peter Brand” character was originally going to be named Paul DePodesta, who was Billy Beane’s assistant at the time (he later served as Dodgers’ GM and was employed by the Mets at the time of the film’s release). Demetri Martin was originally cast for this role. However, DePodesta, who visited the set, objected to his portrayal as a pure stats nerd, and so the character name was changed. By the time this was done, Jonah Hill had been cast in the role.
  • In the scene with Billy and the scouts where he mentions Scott Hatteburg, the board behind his head reads “Pratt, C.” on a yellow tab. Hatteburg was played by Chris Pratt.
  • Bobby Kotick, President, CEO and a director of Activision Blizzard portrays Stephen Schott, the owner of the Oakland Athletics in the film.
  • At one point, we hear that Miguel Tejada has struck out to end a game. In the original book, Tejada’s free swinging ways and relatively high strikeout rate was something of a point of contention, with the Dominican shortstop telling Beane and other Athletics’ members that “You can’t walk your way off the island”.
  • Several of the actors playing the ballplayers have baseball experience. Casey Bond spent time in the Giants’ organization, Stephen Bishop played for three years during the ’90s (including one season where he played with David Justice, who he portrays in the film), Royce Clayton played 17 years in MLB and Derrin Ebert played five games for the Braves in 1999.
  • Of all the Oakland players from the season represented in the movie (2002), only one played for Oakland in the season that the movie premiered (2011): Mark Ellis (and he was traded away in the middle of the season).
  • Despite suggestions in the movie that Hatteberg was a bad-fielding first baseman, he ended the year with a fielding percentage (.994) higher than the league average for his position (.993).

Talking Points:

  • Billy Bean vs Billy Beane
  • Performances

What We Learned:

  • Baseball thinking is medieval
  • Anything worth doing is incredibly hard
  • When you get the answer you want, just hang up on them
  • First guy through the wall gets bloody
  • An ugly girlfriend means no confidence

Trailer:

Recommendations:
Jeff: Strangely enough this movie I actually liked this movie. it kept my attention and kept moving. Never got much of an attachment to any of the character but I liked it. It’s not for everyone though. Feel free to wait on this one.
Ray: Not a movie I could recommend or will plan on ever seeing again. I found the characters douchy, was bored to tears by the story, and annoyed by the blatant attempts at emotional manipulation.. definitely gets a skip in my book.
Steve: I was surprised that I liked it so much. I actually enjoyed it – perhaps because I play ball and could get a lot of the terms and understand it from the team dynamic standpoint. Have to say I’d written off Jonah Hill, but respected the acting job he did in this movie.

The Future: J Edgar

Director: Clint Eastwood

Starring: Leonardo DiCarprio, Armie Hammer, Naomi Watts

Summary:

As the face of law enforcement in America for almost 50 years, J. Edgar Hoover was feared and admired, reviled and revered. But behind closed doors, he held secrets that would have destroyed his image, his career and his life.

Trivia:

  • Joaquin Phoenix was rumored to play Clyde Tolson, but the rumors were denied.
  • Charlize Theron was originally cast as Helen Gandy, but dropped out to do Snow White and the Huntsman. Amy Adams was then considered, but Naomi Watts was ultimately cast.

Talking Points:

  • Anyone know how long this movie is supposed to be?
  • Sexuality is a already a controversy (AfterElton)

Trailer:

Excitement:
Jeff: DiCaprio’s vocal performance is kinda distracting. Plus I don’t feel it’s very clear what to expect. This trailer has failed to get my excitement.
Ray: Definitely a movie I’m interested in.. not thrilled about DiCaprio, but he’s been surprising me lately.
Steve: Looks interesting, but it’s not my kind of film. Only really interested in seeing what they have to say about his personal life.

Coming Attractions:

The Past

The Present

The Future

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CUT001: Tampa Bears At The Movies

In the inagural “Cutting Room Floor” (aka “CUT”) episode, Steve heads to the theater with the Tampa Bears At The Movies group.  Afterward, he interviews folks on their thoughts about both the Daniel Craig thriller “Dream House” and Brad Pitt’s “Moneyball”.
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