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    • Fall/Winter 2005 Remakes

    • Whether the inspiration is to make a contemporary hit of an American classic or to translate a foreign smash into a domestic success, remakes always have the shadows of their progenitors looming over them.

      Even high-profile directors like Steven Spielberg can stumble when trying to recreate the magic somebody else originated; his Always failed to add much to A Guy Named Joe. Nonetheless, 16 years after that disappointment, Spielberg remade The War of the Worlds to much greater critical and commercial success.

      Then there are the vanity projects, such as Gus Van Sant's fairly inexplicable, almost frame-for-frame (but in color) remake of Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho. But then again, Hitch himself also tried his hand at remakes by retooling his own The Man Who Knew Too Much.

      Following on the heels of a summer that saw revivals of The Longest Yard and The Bad News Bears, the more serious fall schedule has its own plundering to do.

      Let's look ahead through our crystal ball to see what's in store from the irrepressible Jane Austen, a Pulitzer prize-winning political tale, and one really big ape:

      King Kong

      What makes the original a classic? The amazing craft of Willis O'Brien. The mark of his hands lives forever as the ripples on Kong's fur. Even beyond the stop-motion animation, the optical special effects are still amazing, 75 years later. All this is in service to a wonderful story that has inspired filmmaking nerds for decades.

      What could a remake possibly have to offer? The easy answer is "better" special effects, if you prefer the cold hard look of digital compositing to the human touch. But the real answer is "director Peter Jackson." Fresh off his career-defining Lord of the Rings trilogy, he has both everything and nothing to prove. He may need to prove that there's life after Gollum, and yet he can also rest on his laurels and only choose projects that genuinely inspire him. Let's hope the combination strikes a happy balance. Also on the bright side, nobody named De Laurentiis was involved in this production and no real 25-foot apes were harmed during the making of the film.

      What will the remake probably get wrong? Even in Peter Jackson's hands, there's still the possibility that special effects will trump the story.

      The Producers

      What makes the original a classic? The musical numbers that were so peppy and on-target that even their horrific lyrics couldn't drag them down. How about the perfect-fit personalities of Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder as Bialystock and Bloom? Then there was the perfect comedic form, with an ending both "tragic" and funny.

      What could a remake possibly have to offer? For one, it's based on the Broadway stage version, and not the movie. Is a remake of a remake more independent? Will it be less likely to disappoint? Director Susan Stroman, and stars Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick are hoping so.

      What will the remake probably get wrong? Feeling like a filmed stage show. It'll have to take on a life and logic of its own, as Chicago did, in order to connect with the film-going crowd. As the skillfully-crafted movie version of Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera proved, a boffo Broadway box office does not guarantee a line at the cinema. It all depends on how nimble director Stroman is at dancing from the Great White Way to the silver screen.

      Pride and Prejudice

      What makes the original a classic? Greer Garson and Laurence Olivier play Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy, and Edna May Oliver is perfect as Lady Catherine. It's a straightforward, faithful adaptation of Austen's novel, unlike the recent Bollywood charmer, Bride & Prejudice.

      What could a remake possibly have to offer? A tough question. With Jane Austen movies a dime a dozen in the 1990s, it's hard to imagine anyone daring audiences to sit through two more hours of proto-feminist romance. And yet, reviews from Europe say that this version, while still straighforward and faithful to the book, is still worth seeing. So perhaps audiences can make room for one more.

      What will the remake probably get wrong? Nothing. It can't afford to. One false step and Austen-infatuated audiences would turn away.

      All The King's Men

      What makes the original a classic? It's a celebrated drama, winning 1949's Best Picture Oscar, based on an equally celebrated, Pulitzer prize-winning novel.

      What could a remake possibly have to offer? Timeliness. The story's focus on the abuse of power is relevant in today's political climate and the recent rash of scandals. Also, director Steven Zaillian has a solid resume that includes his screenplay for Schindler's List, and Sean Penn should make a great Willie Stark.

      What will the remake probably get wrong? Finger-pointing. The greatest risk would be alienating either the Ultra-Liberals or Ultra-Conservatives. But, even so, controversy can be golden and, given the pedigree of the cast and crew, if they play their cards right, both affiliations will use the movie as an argument against the other.

      The Pink Panther

      What makes the original a classic? Two words: Peter Sellers.

      What could a remake possibly have to offer? A different comedian's take on some classic material? Roberto Benigni tried it with Son of the Pink Panther and it didn't work. And earlier Alan Arkin attempted the role in Inspector Clouseau (1968) with disastrous results. It certainly doesn't offer a new story: at one point entitled The Birth of the Pink Panther, this supposed "prequel" mines familiar turf: The legendary buffoon Inspector Jacques Clouseau investigates a murder and diamond theft.

      What will the remake probably get wrong? For starters, the age of a younger Clouseau. Steve Martin is already 22 years older than Sellers was while making the first Pink Panther. At the peak of his stand-up career, Martin might have been able to pull this off, particularly with his "naive American" schtick that worked so well. But his comedy star is waning (even if his art and playwriting stock is soaring), and the brutal physical comedy of the original movies would seem to be out of his range now.

      The Fog

      What makes the original a classic? Director John Carpenter, known for horror and action films with a brain.

      What could a remake possibly have to offer? Carpenter's version was a good idea that had some basic problems that kept it from scaring audiences like Halloween did. A remake could potentially improve on Carpenter's tale.

      What will the remake probably get wrong? Video director Rupert Wainwright directed Patricia Arquette in a horror film called Stigmata, which, at best was a guilty pleasure for critics. If John Carpenter wasn't smart enough to get this movie right, it's hard to imagine Wainwright doing any better.

      Poseidon

      What makes the original a classic? Well, "classic" may be too strong a word, but the original was one of the blockbusters of its day, cashing in on the Airport disaster movie craze and opening the floodgates for other Irwin Allen "classics" such as The Towering Inferno and The Swarm.

      What could a remake possibly have to offer? Better special effects. Peterson has loads of experience making movies about boats (Das Boot) and big movies featuring big action set pieces.

      What will the remake probably get wrong? Peterson has adopted American action movie formulas too wholeheartedly (see Troy for an example). Hopefully this one will go back to Peterson's roots and focus on everyday characters facing genuine conflict instead of action-movie villains who want to take over the world. In spite of the watery setting, be wary that this might be an Air Force One instead of a Das Boot.

      Yours, Mine and Ours

      What makes the original a classic? Henry Fonda and Lucille Ball (in her second-to-last movie), for starters. Two single parents, he with ten kids, she with eight, cram 20 people into a house. No doubt the inspiration for The Brady Bunch and Eight is Enough, it gets Leondard Maltin's seal of approval as a "wholesome 'family' picture" while still being well-written.

      What could a remake possibly have to offer? How about a less naive, more modern take on family life? With Dennis Quaid and Rene Russo it could go that direction. And director Raja Gosnell's Never Been Kissed with Drew Barrymore found just the right amount of sweetness.

      What will the remake probably get wrong? Judging by director Gosnell's critical flops Home Alone 3, Big Mama's House, and Scooby-Doo, we may not be able to hope for more than cheap laughs and easy sentimentality.

      Fun With Dick and Jane

      What makes the original a classic? It's something of a 1977 time capsule. George Segal and Jane Fonda play it for laughs as they find themselves $70,000 in debt after Segal's character suddenly -- and without warning -- loses his job. They begin robbing drug stores to maintain their comfortable lifestyle.

      What could a remake possibly have to offer? A contemporary spin. With people filing for bankruptcy at a record rate as the national laws change, this is another remake that can play off the "timeliness" factor, hopefully for laughs. With the movie being released Christmas week, Carrey and Leoni could make this tale of a married couple up to their eyeballs in debt a happy holiday hoot. Also, the opportunities for a biting social commentary, perhaps sugar-coated, are most certainly there.

      What will the remake probably get wrong? Jim Carrey. If it follows in the footsteps of Bewitched, which turned into just another generic Will Ferrell movie, then this one will be just another madcap Jim Carrey movie. Also, look for a turn-off if they go for gross-out laughs instead of aspiring to something a bit smarter and situational.

      by Marty Mapes & Matt Anderson

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  1. New Books

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    • Elizabeth and Michael

    • By Donald Bogle

      One of the country's leading authorities on popular entertainment presents an eye-opening and unique biography of two larger-than-life legends--Elizabeth Taylor and Michael Jackson--and their unlikely yet enduring friendship.

      From the moment Elizabeth Taylor and Michael Jackson met, they were hooked on each other. He peered into her violet eyes and was transfixed; she, in turn, was dazzled by his talent, intrigued by his sweet-tempered childlike personality, and moved by the stories she had already heard about his troubled early life. Soon a deep friendship blossomed, unexpectedly unlike anything either had ever experienced. Through thick and thin, through their various emotional upheavals, through the peaks and valleys of their careers, through their personal traumas and heartaches, through the unending health issues and extreme physical pain that each experienced, and through the glare of the often merciless public spotlight, their bond held them together, and their love for each other endured.


      Donald Bogle skillfully recreates the moving narrative of Taylor and Jackson's experiences together and their intense emotional connection, without shying away from the controversies that swirled around them. Through interviews with friends and acquaintances of the two stars, as well as anonymous but credible sources, Elizabeth and Michael emerges as a tender, intimate look at this famous "odd couple" and a treasure to their millions of fans.

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    • Robert Wagner's I LOVED HER IN THE MOVIES: Memories of Hollywood's Legendary Actresses

    • By Robert Wagner and Scott Eyman

      In a career that has spanned over sixty years, Robert Wagner has witnessed the twilight of the Golden Age of Hollywood and the rise of television, becoming a beloved star in both film and TV. During this time, he became acquainted, both professionally and socially, with many of the greatest female screen personalities of all time. I LOVED HER IN THE MOVIES: Memories of Hollywood's Legendary Actresses (On-sale: 11/15/16) by Robert Wagner, with co-author Scott Eyman, provides an intimate and revealing account of the charisma of these women on film, why they became stars, and how their specific emotional and dramatic chemistries affected the choices they made both as actresses and as women.

      I LOVED HER IN THE MOVIES offers a privileged look behind the scenes at some of the most well-known women in show business. Among Wagner's subjects are Joan Crawford, Bette Davis, Marilyn Monroe, Gloria Swanson, Norma Shearer, Loretta Young, Joan Blondell, Irene Dunne, Rosalind Russell, Dorothy Lamour, Debra Paget, Jean Peters, Linda Darnell, Betty Hutton, Raquel Welch, Glenn Close, and the two actresses whom he ultimately married, Natalie Wood and Jill St. John. In addition to offering perceptive commentary on these women, Wagner examines topics like the strange alchemy of the camera--how it can transform the attractive into the stunning, and vice-versa--and how the introduction of color brought a new erotic charge to movies--one that enabled these actresses to become aggressively sexual beings in a way that that black and white films had only hinted at.


      Robert Wagner is the star of such films as A Kiss Before Dying, The Longest Day, The Pink Panther, and most recently, the Austin Powers franchise. On television, he starred in It Takes a Thief (with Fred Astaire), Switch (with Eddie Albert and Sharon Gless), and Hart to Hart (with Stefanie Powers). He has recently appeared on Two and a Half Men and NCIS. He is married to actress Jill St. John.

      Scott Eyman is the author of eleven books about the movies, including Lion of Hollywood: The Life of Louis B. Mayer (which the Wall Street Journal called one of the five best books ever written about Hollywood), Empire of Dreams: The Epic Life of Cecil B. DeMille, and more recently, John Wayne: The Life and Legend.

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    • King of Jazz: Paul Whiteman's Technicolor Revue

    • King of Jazz: Paul Whiteman's Technicolor Revue tells the story of the making, release, and restoration of Universal's 1930 Technicolor extravaganza King of Jazz. Authors James Layton and David Pierce have uncovered original artwork, studio production files, behind-the-scenes photographs, personal papers, unpublished interviews, and a host of other previously unseen documentation. The book offers a richly illustrated narrative with broader context on the film's diverse musical and theatrical influences. The story concludes with an in-depth look at the challenges Universal overcame in restoring the film in 2016. Additionally, the book's appendix provides a comprehensive guide to all of the film's performers, music, alternate versions, and deleted scenes.

      King of Jazz was one of the most ambitious films ever to emerge from Hollywood. Just as movie musicals were being invented in 1929, Universal Pictures brought together Paul Whiteman, leader of the country's top dance orchestra; John Murray Anderson, director of spectacular Broadway revues; a top ensemble of dancers and singers; early Technicolor; and a near unlimited budget. The film's highlights include a dazzling interpretation of George Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue," which Whiteman had introduced to the public in 1924; Walter Lantz's "A Fable in Jazz," the first cartoon in Technicolor; and Anderson's grand finale "The Melting Pot of Music," a visualization of popular music's many influences and styles. The film is not only a unique document of Anderson's theatrical vision and Whiteman's band at its peak, but also of several of America's leading performers of the late 1920s, including Bing Crosby in his first screen appearance, and the Russell Markert Dancers, who would soon become Radio City Music Hall's famous Rockettes.


      James Layton is Manager of the Museum of Modern Art's Celeste Bartos Film Preservation Center. Prior to this he worked at George Eastman House in Rochester, NY, where he curated two gallery exhibitions and the website Technicolor 100. Layton has also acted as Cataloguer and Workflow Coordinator at the East Anglian Film Archive in Norwich, UK, and is co-author of the Image Permanence Institute's informational poster Knowing and Protecting Motion Picture Film (2009).

      David Pierce is an independent film historian and archivist. He was formerly the Head of Preservation and Curator of the National Film and Television Archive at the British Film Institute. His articles have appeared in numerous journals, and his report on the survival of American silent feature films was published by the Library of Congress in 2013. He founded the Media History Digital Library, providing free online access to millions of pages of motion picture magazines and books.

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    • THE ESSENTIALS: 52 Must-See Movies and Why They Matter

    • By Jeremy Arnold
      Forward by Robert Osborne

      Since its inception on Turner Classic Movies in 2001, The Essentials has become the ultimate for movie lovers to expand their knowledge of must-see cinema and discover or revisit landmark films that have had a lasting impact on audiences everywhere.

      Based on the hit series, THE ESSENTIALS by Jeremy Arnold showcases 52 must-see movies from the silent era to modern times. Readers can enjoy one film per week, like on the show, for a year of great viewing, or indulge in a movie-watching binge-fest. Each film is profiled with entertaining discourse on why it's an Essential, and running commentary is provided by TCM's Robert Osborne and Essentials guest hosts past and present: Sally Field, Drew Barrymore, Alec Baldwin, Rose McGowan, Carrie Fisher, Molly Haskell, Peter Bogdanovich, Sydney Pollack, and Rob Reiner.

      Featuring full-color and black-and-white photography of the greatest stars in movie history throughout, THE ESSENTIALS is the ultimate curated guide to 52 films that define the meaning of the word "classic."


      Jeremy Arnold, a writer and film historian, is the author of Lawrence of Arabia: The 50th Anniversary, a coffee-table book companion to that film's Blu-ray release. In addition to his work for numerous film trade publications, he has written over five hundred programming articles for the Turner Classic Movies website and contributed audio commentaries and historical essays to the DVD and Blu-ray releases of classic films.

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  1. DVD Reviews

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    • Dick Dinman & Eddie Muller Explore THE ASPHALT JUNGLE!

    • DICK DINMAN & EDDIE MULLER EXPLORE "THE ASPHALT JUNGLE": Producer/host Dick Dinman welcomes back the "Czar of Noir" himself Eddie Muller as both celebrate the Criterion Collection's pristine release on Blu-ray of John Huston's THE ASPHALT JUNGLE which remains conceivably the greatest "heist/noir" masterwork ever committed to celluloid. (It's early in the year but its difficult to conceive that any home video outfit in the ensuing year will be able to top the astonishing "special features" included on this sensational disc.)

      PLUS: Show opener "Dick's Picks" salutes the Criterion Collection's recent Blu-ray releases of Robert Altman's McCABE & MRS. MILLER, Marlon Brando's ONE EYED JACKS and Howard Hawks' HIS GIRL FRIDAY.

      COMING SOON: DICK DINMAN & EDDIE MULLER ARE "ON DANGEROUS GROUND"!

      The award-winning DICK DINMAN'S DVD CLASSICS CORNER ON THE AIR is the only show devoted to Golden Age Movie Classics as they become available on DVD and Blu-ray. Your producer/host Dick Dinman includes a generous selection of classic scenes, classic film music and one-on-one interviews with stars, producers, and directors. To hear these as well as other DVD CLASSICS CORNER ON THE AIR shows please go to www.dvdclassicscorner.com or www.dvdclassicscorner.net.

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    • Dick Dinman Salutes Air Hero Jimmy Stewart!

    • DICK DINMAN SALUTES WW2 AIR HERO JIMMY STEWART: The dual releases of Olive Films stunning Blu-ray incarnation of the James Stewart air power classic STRATEGIC AIR COMMAND as well as author Robert Matzen's awe inspiring book MISSION: JIMMY STEWART AND THE FIGHT FOR EUROPE, which for the first time ever reveals the truth about Stewart's dangerous bombing missions over Germany, give producer/host Dick Dinman ample motivation to salute the spectacular military career of screen icon Stewart and Dick is joined by returning guest Robert Matzen as they marvel at the courage, skill and fortitude of this certifiable American hero.

      The opening DICK'S PICKS segment salutes Olive Films and their latest Blu-ray releases of not only STRATEGIC AIR COMMAND but Orson Welles' MACBETH (two versions!), HOUDINI, THE PRIVATE AFFAIRS OF BEL AMI, VILLA RIDES. ONE OF OUR AIRCRAFT IS MISSING and two new 4k releases of THE QUIET MAN and JOHNNY GUITAR (first time in original widescreen format on home video!).

      The award-winning DICK DINMAN'S DVD CLASSICS CORNER ON THE AIR is the only show devoted to Golden Age Movie Classics as they become available on DVD and Blu-ray. Your producer/host Dick Dinman includes a generous selection of classic scenes, classic film music and one-on-one interviews with stars, producers, and directors. To hear these as well as other DVD CLASSICS CORNER ON THE AIR shows please go to www.dvdclassicscorner.com or www.dvdclassicscorner.net.

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    • Dick Dinman & Eddie Muller Salute Ultra-Rare Noir Classics!

    • DICK DINMAN & EDDIE MULLER SALUTE ULTRA-RARE NOIR CLASSICS: Producer/host Dick Dinman and Film Noir Foundation's Czar of Noir Eddie Muller wax poetic about the first-rate Blu-ray releases of three rarely seen film noir gems: Flicker Alley's dark and deadly duo of two heretofore thought virtually lost noir thrillers TOO LATE FOR TEARS and WOMAN ON THE RUN and KL Studio Classics 99 RIVER STREET about which Dick and Eddie have a rare major disagreement regarding the validity of what some consider the most memorable two scenes in the film.

      PLUS: A preview of KL Studio Classics upcoming noir Blu-ray release CRY OF THE CITY.

      The award-winning DICK DINMAN'S DVD CLASSICS CORNER ON THE AIR is the only show devoted to Golden Age Movie Classics as they become available on DVD and Blu-ray. Your producer/host Dick Dinman includes a generous selection of classic scenes, classic film music and one-on-one interviews with stars, producers, and directors. To hear these as well as other DVD CLASSICS CORNER ON THE AIR shows please go to www.dvdclassicscorner.com or www.dvdclassicscorner.net.

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    • Dick Dinman & Kathleen Hughes Return to 3-D "Outer Space!"

    • DICK DINMAN & KATHLEEN HUGHES RETURN TO 3-D "OUTER SPACE": Kathleen Hughes, whose breakout appearance in Universal-International's first 3-D blockbuster inspired the media to dub her the "first feminine sensation created by 3-D" rejoins producer/host Dick Dinman to salute Universal Pictures Home Entertainment's wonderfully immersive 3-D Blu-ray release of IT CAME FROM OUTER SPACE (immaculately restored by the 3-D Archive) and shares priceless memories about her career from her very first film ROAD HOUSE (just released on Blu-ray by Kino's KL Studio Classics) to her time as a contract star at Universal and 3-D Archive's Robert Furmanek chats about the challenges inherent in restoring this certifiable sci-fi classic to its current eye-poppingly spectacular 3-D grandeur.
      PLUS: OPENING "DICK PICKS" SEGMENT SALUTES UNIVERSAL'S "THE MARX BROTHERS SILVER SCREEN BLU-RAY COLLECTION." AND A PREVIEW OF THE UPCOMING KINO RELEASE OF THE 3-D ARCHIVE'S "THOSE REDHEADS FROM SEATTLE".

      The award-winning DICK DINMAN'S DVD CLASSICS CORNER ON THE AIR is the only show devoted to Golden Age Movie Classics as they become available on DVD and Blu-ray. Your producer/host Dick Dinman includes a generous selection of classic scenes, classic film music and one-on-one interviews with stars, producers, and directors. To hear these as well as other DVD CLASSICS CORNER ON THE AIR shows please go to www.dvdclassicscorner.com or www.dvdclassicscorner.net.

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Alan Ladd: The 1940s Collection DVD
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  • Wednesday, March 20, 2011

  • Removed: 10:00pm Springfield Rifle
    12:00pm Casablanca
    Added: 1:00pm Virginia City
    12:15pm Casablanca
  •  
  • Wednesday, March 20, 2011

  • Removed: 10:00pm Springfield Rifle
    12:00pm Casablanca
    Added: 1:00pm Virginia City
    12:15pm Casablanca
  •  
  • Wednesday, March 20, 2011

  • Removed: 10:00pm Springfield Rifle
    12:00pm Casablanca
    Added: 1:00pm Virginia City
    12:15pm Casablanca