THE PLANET OF THE APES Gets A Solid Franchise Extender In KINGDOM
Film Babble Blog
by Daniel Cook Johnson
1w ago
Opening today at a monkey-infested multiplex near us all: KINGDOM OF THE PLANET OF THE APES (Dir. Wes Ball, 2024) Since it’s been a minute since we’ve visited the PLANET OF THE APES (which we all know is really future earth) – the last film was 2017’s WAR OF THE PLANET OF THE APES – I had to refresh my memory with you YouTube refresher videos as I couldn’t quite remember where they had left off.    This is the fourth entry in the POTA reboot series that started in 2011, when James Franco was still a thing, and it begins with the funeral of Caesar, the lead chimpanzee from the first ..read more
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A24’s CIVIL WAR Intense Impact Comes From Its All-Too-Real Feel
Film Babble Blog
by Daniel Cook Johnson
1M ago
Opening today at a multiplex near us all: CIVIL WAR (Dir. Alex Garland, 2024) Alex Garland’s fourth film as director (and eighth as screenwriter), after an impressive run that includes EX MACHINA, ANNIHILATION, and MEN; is the fillmmaker’s most intense, and impactful work yet in its depiction of a lawless, ravaged country that has been torn apart by the destructive divisions that we’re all very aware, and frightened of right now.    Yes, it’s a familiar dystopian future scenario, but without sci-fi tinges as it appears to happen in the very near future under the reign of a nameless ..read more
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That Time The Travelling Wilburys Stole A Line From An ‘80s Melanie Griffith Movie
Film Babble Blog
by Daniel Cook Johnson
1M ago
That’s right, the rock supergroup made up of Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Jeff Lynne, and Tom Petty (Roy Orbison was a member, but passed after their first record’s release) lifted a line (and twisted it), from Mike Nichols’ 1988 Melanie Griffith comedy WORKING GIRL, and it’s a doozy. At a party scene, Griffith’s ambitious Tess McGill schmoozes with a colleague she’s just met, played by Harrison Ford at his ‘80s prime, and says (after a few tequila shots):   “I’ve got a head for business, and a bod for sin. Is there anything wrong with that?” Cut to the first single off of the Travel ..read more
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Full Frame 2024: Part Two
Film Babble Blog
by Daniel Cook Johnson
1M ago
My second day at the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival in downtown Durham was my busiest day of watching films on the big screen in a long while. And the whole day was spent in Fletcher Hall, the main stage at the Carolina Theater, with its 1,048 seats and two balconies.  Saturday morning, I attended the Remembering Nancy Buirski event, in which a host of the Full Frame founders colleague friends, including Co-Festival Director Sadie Tillery, filmmakers Yance Ford, Chris Hegedus, and Sam Pollard; Center for Documentary Studies Director Tom Rankin, and Buirski’s sister ..read more
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Full Frame 2024: Part One
Film Babble Blog
by Daniel Cook Johnson
1M ago
After years of being a virtual only event, the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival returned to the Carolina Theater, and Convention Center in downtown Durham, N.C. this last weekend. Despite not being as robustly attended as in the pre-pandemic days, there was a healthy roster of films with 50 titles including 35 features and 15 short films from 22 countries, and a lot of familiar faces piling in to take in the four day run of primo infotainment. The shadows of Full Frame founder Nancy Buirski, and documentary filmmaker god D.A. Pennebaker, who both passed since the last in-person Full ..read more
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The Greatest Moment In Pop Culture History: William Shatner Covering Elton John’s “Rocket Man”
Film Babble Blog
by Daniel Cook Johnson
1M ago
After much deliberation through many studies, countless sleepless nights, and endless arguing with colleagues (i.e. my cats), I’ve come to the inescapable conclusion that William Shatner’s cover of Elton John’s “Rocket Man” is the single greatest moment in pop culture history. The incredible event went down on January 14, 1978 at the 5th Saturn Awards (broadcast as The Science Fiction Awards on January 21, 1978), which the Star Trek star co-hosted with actress Karen Black. At one point during the awards ceremony (in which STAR WARS unsurprisingly swept), famous lyricist Bernie Taupin, b ..read more
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Movie Of The Week: MARRIED TO THE MOB
Film Babble Blog
by Daniel Cook Johnson
1M ago
Happy Valentine’s day with this '80s gem: Movie of the Week: For some reason, Jonathan Demme’s MARRIED TO THE MOB (1988) popped into my head hole the other day and I had to post about it. It’s got Michelle Pfeiffer as a gangster’s widow trying to start anew in NY, but on her back is the FBI by way of an agent played by Matthew Modine, and her past mafia connections headed by Dean Stockwell’s best performance ever as Tony "The Tiger" Russo. Mercedes Ruehl, Alec Baldwin, and a killer soundtrack featuring Sinéad O'Connor, New Order, Chris Isaak, The Feelies, and Brian Eno make it a must see too ..read more
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Movie Of The Week: I WANNA HOLD YOUR HAND
Film Babble Blog
by Daniel Cook Johnson
1M ago
This week’s film celebrates a major historic occasion: Movie of the Week: Since today is the 60th Anniversary of the Beatles’ world changing appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show, I thought I’d highlight Robert Zemeckis’ first film, I WANNA HOLD YOUR HAND (1978), about a group of New Jersey teens who amusingly attempt to crash the Fab Four’s historic American debut in NYC. Nancy Allen (who I had a big crush on way back then), as the fangirl who actually gets into the Beatles’ hotel room, heads the cast that has many familiar faces, but no stars, and that’s part of its charm. With its period piec ..read more
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Movie Of The Week: DEFINDING YOUR LIFE
Film Babble Blog
by Daniel Cook Johnson
1M ago
Movie of the Week: Because my Top 10 films of 2023 includes Rob Reiner’s funny, warm biopic, ALBERT BROOKS: DEFENDING MY LIFE, today I am blurbing about the movie that inspired its title, Brook’s 1991 comedy, DEFENDING YOUR LIFE, which is one of my favorite films ever. It’s a charmer that’s a parody of purgatory with Brooks’ character having to stand trial for the mistakes he made during his glib, yuppie life. Rip Torn, in a role that led to his stint on The Larry Sanders Show, gruffly plays his defender, with Lee Grant as his rival prosecutor, and there's a brief but amusing turn by Buck Hen ..read more
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R.I.P. M. Emmet Walsh (1935-2024)
Film Babble Blog
by Daniel Cook Johnson
1M ago
R.I.P. M. Emmet Walsh True movie and TV fans know this guy as he has well over 200 credits mostly in small parts (mostly as corrupt cops or middle men), but he owned his starring part in the Coen brothers’ 1984 debut BLOOD SIMPLE. From his first film role in ALICE'S RESTAURANT through appearances in everything from PLANET OF THE APES and AIRPORT sequels to classics like SLAP SHOT, THE JERK (the madman that shoots at Steve Martin’s Navin R. Johnson!), BLADE RUNNER, and SERPICO the guy put in memorably crusty work. Film critic legend, Roger Ebert once wrote, “No movie featuring either Har ..read more
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