We’re in the midst of Back to the Future fever these days, because October 21, 2015, is the date when Marty and Doc show up in the future in Back to the Future 2! And since we all love BTTF, the world is scrambling to make the future of Back to the Future a reality. We’ve got hoverboards, power laces, and all sorts of other nonsense from the movie. Even 3D movies in theatres, as predicted by the film! But one thing that hasn’t come true yet is the release of Jaws 19. I mean, we don’t even have a trailer for it…oh wait, we do! The future is now!
I’m a Walking Dead fan. They’re the only comics I buy, which I’ve been buying since they started in 2003. There was often talk of adapting it into a movie back then, which I was always against as there were so many characters and storylines that I felt it could only work as a TV show, even though there had never before been a TV show featuring zombies, so I never suspected it would happen. Until it happened! And even though the show was a little different from the comics, the differences were necessary and helped make it one of the most successful TV shows in recent memory, one I’m proud to be a fan of. But then they got greedy. One show wasn’t enough. And now we have the spin-off, not-so-cleverly-titled Fear the Walking Dead.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt is obviously one of the most successful examples of a child actor transitioning to adulthood and it’s hard to believe that he’s acting non-stop since he was six years old. Well, this clip showcases where it all started for him in Hollywood. In January 1988, six-year old Joseph had a supporting role in a made-for-TV movie called Stranger on My Land, starring Tommy Lee Jones as a Vietnam veteran-turned-rancher who fights back against an air force base attempting to take over his land.
Every now and again, I like to post something useful on here.
This is a pretty funny lampooning of Hollywood’s obsession of late with gritty reboots, but in the end, it just makes me sad. Because I know that this sort of thing is all too possible. Hell, this badass Pippi Longstocking looks better than something like the upcoming Jem and the Holograms movie.
If you want a prime example of a director doing multiple films about a strangely specific subject, just look at the early career of Brian De Palma, who did consecutive movies which featured teenage girls with telekinesis. In 1976, De Palma already had some notable films under his belt, like Sisters, Phantom of the Paradise and Obsession, but his first major hit was his screen adaptation of Stephen King’s novel, Carrie. De Palma’s ultra-stylish interpretation of King’s material worked so well that even the author himself conceded that the adaptation improved upon his original story. Sissy Spacek and Piper Laurie also wound up getting Academy Award nominations for their performances in Carrie, which was pretty much unheard-of for a horror film at that time. It’s possible that Carrie’s success compelled De Palma to seek out another story featuring teenagers with telekinesis and he wound up selecting John Farris’ novel, The Fury, as his follow-up project. To be fair, in spite of the whole telekinesis thing, Carrie and The Fury are drastically different films, as The Fury is more of an action-thriller which just happens to have some horror elements. It’s also got an incredibly goofy and ridiculous storyline which doesn’t hold up much under scrutiny, but De Palma infuses the material with his trademark style and energy and makes it entertaining.
October is going to be a prominent month for Robert Zemeckis. In addition to this week’s theatrical release of his latest film, The Walk, we are now less than two weeks away from October 21, 2015, the date when the futuristic sequences in Back to the Future Part II took place. We’re going to recording a Shouts from the Back Row podcast about Zemeckis’ career in a few weeks, but until then, you can get your Zemeckis fix by watching The Lift, a seven-minute student short film he made while attending University of California’s School of Cinematic Arts in 1972. It’s a pretty simple premise: a man has a bunch of frustrating misadventures with the lift elevator in his apartment building.
I hope this becomes a recognized sport.
We’ve almost arrived at the official date when Marty McFly arrives in the future in Back to the Future 2, and you can bet we’ll be seeing non-stop BTTF celebration when that day rolls around on October 21, 2015! In celebration, Christopher Lloyd will be appearing in a new short film called “Doc Brown Saves The World” that’s exclusive to the upcoming 30th Anniversary BluRay set of the Back to the Future trilogy, but I’m sure will also become available online shortly thereafter. He’s gotten pretty old, but man, it’s still great to see Lloyd in this role. 1.21 gigawatts!
1977 saw the release of a screen adaptation of Short Eyes, an acclaimed Broadway play written by noted Puerto Rican playwright Miguel Pinero. At the time, a young aspiring Puerto Rican character actor named Luis Guzman was starting out his career and his first appearance in front of a camera was a job as an extra in Short Eyes. You can first see him at the 1:14 mark as the prisoner with the ginormous afro.