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Spout About: Bin Laden Killed; Thor Covers Usher; "Inception" and "Scott Pilgrim" Parodies Continue

  • By Christopher Campbell
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  • May 2, 2011 2:11 AM
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Obviously the big news this morning is the death of Osama Bin Laden. And people are likely still making movie-related jokes that I could round up and recap, such as references to Morgan Spurlock's "Where in the World is Osama Bin Laden" and "The Wizard of Oz" as well as "Armageddon" and "Deep Impact," neither of which were in fact relevant (thank goodness) to what President Obama's long-delayed announcement was about (either way, Bruce Willis gets the job done, right?).

Spout About: Will "Thor" Inspire Neopaganism? Death to Body Swap Movies! Death of a "2001" Influence

  • By Christopher Campbell
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  • April 26, 2011 2:10 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Above is a cropped section of a "Thor" bus stop ad posted to BuzzFeed. You can see that someone has taped a religious flyer to it. Intentional? Is there a minor protest going on against the polytheistic themes of the upcoming comic book movie? Does "Thor" have a soundtrack consisting of Varg Vikernes and other infamous neopagan black metal bands? Is there any other reason for people to worry it preaches anti-Christian messages? I sincerely hope this is just a chance occurrence.

New Yorkers Ought to Appreciate Sidney Lumet's "The Wiz"

  • By Christopher Campbell
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  • April 10, 2011 2:03 AM
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  • 3 Comments
Three years ago I was very upset with NYC's Film Forum for excluding "The Wiz" from an otherwise decent Sidney Lumet retrospective. I mean, they didn't include much more than the hits and classics. It too lacked his sole, Oscar-nominated, under-seen documentary "King: A Filmed Record...Montgomery to Memphis" (which I spotlighted over at Nothing But the Doc yesterday as something I need to see) as well as most of his lesser works. But while "The Wiz" is not one of the favored classics, having been a box office failure and still critically disregarded, it is both historically and fantastically important to the Big Apple. If anyone, New Yorkers should be able to appreciate parts of it, and the series could have been a great opportunity for a Q&A discussion (with production designer/costume designer Tony Walton?) of the musical film's inspired employment of the city's landmarks.
More: Obituary

See Len Lesser ('Uncle Leo') as the Original Winklevi in "Baadasssss!"

  • By Christopher Campbell
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  • February 17, 2011 7:24 AM
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It's fine that Len Lesser, who died yesterday of cancer-related pneumonia, is being primarily remembered now for "Seinfeld," on which he played Jerry's Uncle Leo. It was a good, memorable role. But I prefer to think of him as the cinema owning twins Manny and Mort Goldberg from Mario Van Peebles' "Baadasssss!" (aka "How to Get the Man's Foot Outta Your Ass" and "Gettin' the Man's Foot Outta Your Baadasssss!" and just "Badass").
More: Obituary

Justin Bieber for "Logan's Run," Another "Black Swan" Parody and More Discussion Fodder

  • By Christopher Campbell
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  • February 11, 2011 5:28 AM
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- The favorite shot from the "X-Men: First Class" trailer (watch it after the jump) seems to be this "Twin Peaks"-like one.

Watch Pete Postlethewaite in the Sci-Fi Documentary "The Age of Stupid"

  • By Christopher Campbell
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  • January 3, 2011 1:49 AM
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  • 1 Comment
Oscar-nominated British character actor Pete Postlethwaite has passed away at the age of 64 from cancer. You may have seen him last year in "Clash of the Titans," "Inception" and/or "The Town," but he was also in a very interesting work that SnagFilms showcased in their 2010 SummerFest: "The Age of Stupid." Postlethwaite seemed to be dabbling in documentary in recent years, narrating the afterlife portrait of Brian Clough, simply titled "Clough," and appearing in "Tattoos: A Scarred History, in which he displays his own body art. He does something a little different for "The Age of Stupid," though, functioning as sort of an onscreen narrator of the clever global-warming warning film from "McLibel" director Franny Armstrong.
More: Obituary

Watch Blake Edwards Document His Wife in the Rare Film "Julie"

  • By Christopher Campbell
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  • December 16, 2010 9:11 AM
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I'll let the bigger Blake Edwards fans out there recognize his fiction works, including his semi-autobiographical "S.O.B." Anne Thompson wrote up a nice post in response to the filmmaker's passing yesterday, and of course I recommend Monika Bartyzel's obit at Cinematical. I'd instead like to spotlight one of his lesser-known works, which isn't even listed in his IMDb filmography: the short 1972 documentary "Julie."
More: Obituary

George Hickenlooper Worried That Death Would Be Very Boring

  • By Christopher Campbell
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  • November 2, 2010 7:05 AM
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  • 0 Comments
I hope this blog isn't seeming too bleak lately as I continue to indulge my morbid side by showcasing documentary appearances made by the recently deceased. I was honestly going to give George Hickenlooper a pass, partly because it's been a few days since the indie filmmaker's sudden death over the weekend. But then I was re-watching a promotional clip of the director from Morgan Spurlock's recent documentary TV special "Committed: The Toronto International Film Festival" (which re-airs on AMC tomorrow morning at 9:30am EST), and he actually talks about death. This was less than two months ago. While he's getting his hair done in preparation for his premiere of "Casino Jack," he brings up his age (he says 46, yet he apparently turned 47 in May) and wonders where the time went. The hairdresser tells him to just enjoy life, and he says he will, because he worries that "death will be very boring."
More: Obituary

James MacArthur's Unfortunate Cameo in Oliver Stone's "JFK"

  • By Christopher Campbell
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  • October 29, 2010 5:54 AM
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  • 0 Comments
I've never seen "Hawaii Five-O," never saw Disney's "Kidnapped," and though I grew up loving "Swiss Family Robinson," my least favorite character in the film was James MacArthur's Fritz. Enough that I kinda forgot about the elder brother of the shipwrecked clan until hearing about the actor's death yesterday. Here is something else I recalled with the news: MacArthur co-starred in the 1963 WWII film "Cry of Battle," which is best known for being half of the double-feature (along with the Korean War film "War is Hell") playing at the Texas Theatre when Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested there following the assassination of John F. Kennedy.
More: Obituary

Gregory Isaacs in "Rockers," "Land of Look Behind" and "Made in Jamaica"

  • By Christopher Campbell
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  • October 25, 2010 9:51 AM
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  • 0 Comments
The great reggae singer Gregory Isaacs died today after a long battle with lung cancer. As per tradition, I'm going to use this moment to celebrate the deceased through his documentary appearances. Isaacs can be seen prominently in three films ("Rockers," "Land of Look Behind" and "Made in Jamaica"), and though one is not technically or completely non-fiction, it does somewhat fit the documentary tradition and format. This is his first, "Rockers," a 1978 musical from Ted Bafaloukos originally intended to be an actual doc about reggae. It has a plot, inspired by realist films like "Bicycle Thieves," and some bad acting, mostly from the non-non-actors. But it also functions at times as a concert film. Isaacs, for instance, plays a character named Jah Tooth (or was that really a nickname/alias of the artist musically and/or personally?), but also is introduced as himself when he performs on stage.
More: Obituary

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