Sunday, 16 December 2018

FILM 1899: ANNIHILATION



FILM 1899: ANNIHILATION 

TRIVIA: Due to a poorly received test screening, David Ellison, a financier at Paramount, became concerned that the film was "too intellectual" and "too complicated," and demanded changes to make it appeal to a wider audience, including making Portman's character more sympathetic and changing the ending. Producer Scott Rudin sided with Garland in his desire to not alter the film, defending the film and refusing to take notes. Rudin had final cut.

Oscar Isaac filmed this movie and Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) on adjacent studio lots. He had the same trailer for both films and would often film scenes for both movies on the same day.

Director Alex Garland decided not to reread the novel "Annihilation." Instead, he decided to adapt it "like a dream of the book."

During the lecture, Lena describes the cells in the video presentation as "cervical cancer" from a "31-year old patient." These are most likely HeLa cells, an immortalized cell line derived from a cervical cancer taken from Henrietta Lacks. The cells are widely used in Biomedical research, and the story of how cells from a patient biopsy were derived without her consent or knowledge is shown in The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks(2017). The movie is based on the book of the same name, and Lena is reading a copy of the book when she sits on the couch with Kane.


FILM 1898: SPANGLISH



FILM 1898: SPANGLISH

TRIVIA: There was a translator on the set as Paz Vega did not speak English and Writer and Director James L. Brooks did not speak Spanish.

The chefs and cooks used in the kitchen scene are actual Le Cordon Bleu students from the nearby cooking school in Pasadena, California.

Shot in sequence.

Adam Sandler turned down the role of Max in Collateral (2004) to do this film.

Eva Longoria and Eva Mendes auditioned for the role of Flor before Paz Vega was ultimately cast.

The tape that Flor uses to learn English is a real tape. 

Sarah Steele gained approximately fifteen pounds for her role as Bernice. She is usually either a size 1 or 2.


FILM 1897: BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN



FILM 1897: BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN

TRIVIA: Heath Ledger declined to go to the one month cowboy camp that had been organized, as he had grown up on farms in Western Australia. Jake Gyllenhaal was required to attend, however, as he needed "roughing up".

When asked if he had any fears about playing a gay man, Heath Ledger replied that he was not afraid of the role, only that he wasn't mature enough to do it justice.

According to Producer James Schamus, the movie cost so little to make, that it recouped its cost during its first week of limited release.

Heath Ledger, uncertain about the role when he was first offered it, was encouraged by his then girlfriend, Naomi Watts, to take it, immediately after they both read the script. After reading the script, Ledger said he would have flown to Taiwan to meet with Ang Leein order to be hired for the role.

According to reports, Heath Ledger nearly broke co-star Jake Gyllenhaal's nose while filming a kissing scene.

Writer Annie Proulx sent both Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger an original, autographed copy of her story. When she signed the copy to Jake she wrote "To Jake..." but when she signed the copy she had intended to give to Heath she signed it "To Ennis". After writing out her personal message, she realized what she had done, and decided to let it be. At a private screening at Arclight in Hollywood, California, she reflected that Heath Ledger really was Ennis. She left the signed copy that way, because she had felt the actor embodied Ennis in every way she had imagined him.

Michelle Williams requested that her two male leads kiss in front of her to help her get to the right emotional place for her character, Alma. As she was involved with Ledger in real-life, too, she felt that such a thing would help with her portrayal. She had to goad both men as their first few attempts were far too half-hearted for her liking.

One of Daniel Day-Lewis' favorite films. He cites the reason for this as being Heath Ledger's performance. After Ledger's death, Day-Lewis dedicated his SAG award for There Will Be Blood (2007) to Ledger's memory, mentioning in particular the final scene in Ennis's trailer being "as moving as anything I have ever seen."

There was an audible gasp at the Academy Awards when presenter Jack Nicholson read out Crash (2004) as 2005's Best Film over this film, much fancied. Nicholson himself admitted to being shocked as he too had voted for Ang Lee's film.

During its first weekend of release (playing in only five U.S. theaters), this set a record for the highest per-screen gross of any non-animated movie in history.

Director Ang Lee gave Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal copies of the book, "Farm Boys: Lives of Gay Men from the Rural Midwest", by Will Fellows, a book that had been mentioned by both Annie Proulx and Diana Ossana as an excellent reference source, to help them understand their characters. Noting what he learned from his reading, Gyllenhaal said, "I don't think that these two characters even know what gay is."

In March 2006, Randy Quaid filed a lawsuit against Focus Features, alleging that the company had misled him into thinking that the film was a low-budget, art-house film, with no prospect of making money. He saw this as a ruse to get him to lower his salary. At the time of the lawsuit, the film had earned more than 160 million dollars. Quaid dropped the lawsuit in May, seemingly after Focus agreed to pay him a bonus. Focus, however, denied that any such payment ever took place, and Focus spokeswoman Adriene Bowles was quoted as saying, "the circumstances of him dropping the suit are as mysterious as the circumstances under which he filed his claim."

Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider.


FILM 1896: AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR



FILM 1896: AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR

TRIVIA: Tom Holland was not allowed to read the script for this movie, since he revealed too many secrets for Spider-Man Homecoming (2017). In one of the promotional videos for the movie, several of its cast members are in an interrogation room refusing to reveal any spoilers, and Holland's mouth is conspicuously taped shut.

Mark Ruffalo revealed that he was given a fake script due to his habit of accidentally spoiling past Marvel movies. He jokingly claimed in an interview that the fake script was better than the real one.

Thor confirms that "Groot" is a language that can be learned and spoken, as he took it as an elective in school on Asgard. This explains why only Rocket was originally able to understand Groot, and the other Guardians had to learn over time. This also confirms that Groot understands English (and likely other languages) but is only able to speak "Groot".

This became the fourth movie to gross over two billion dollars worldwide, after Avatar(2009), Titanic (1997), and Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015).

Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.) telling Peter Parker (Tom Holland) to cut it out with the pop culture references is quite hypocritical, as Stark often pokes fun at other characters by calling them by movie titles or character names. In Avengers Assemble (2012), Stark called Loki Reindeer Games (2000), Rock of Ages (2012), and Shakespeare in the Park(1995), he called Thor Point Break (1991), and he called Hawkeye "Legolas". In Captain America: Civil War (2016), he called Bucky The Manchurian Candidate (2004). In Spider-Man Homecoming (2017), he called Peter Parker "Crockett", as a reference to Miami Vice(1984). In this movie, he scorned Ebony Maw by calling him "Squidward", and he called Star Lord Flash Gordon (1980).

The French dub has Tony use "Voldemort" as an insult to Ebony Maw in place of "Squidward". This is likely because Squidward's French name, "Carlo", was too ordinary for audiences to get the joke, and for the joke to work. The same applies to Squidward's German name, "Thaddäus".

Rocket carrying around a stolen eye is a callback to a running gag in both Guardians of the Galaxy movies, as he has always been obsessed with prosthetic body parts.

At one point in the movie, Thanos (Josh Brolin) asks The Collector (Benicio del Toro), "Where is the stone?" The same line was said by Benicio del Toro in the opening scene of Snatch (2000).

On April 26, 2018, the day before it got a wide release, it received enough votes to take the number two spot on IMDb's Top 250 with a 9.2 out of 10, a record for a Marvel movie.

The cast features three Academy Award winners, Gwyneth PaltrowBenicio Del Toro, and William Hurt, and seven nominees, Robert Downey, Jr., Mark RuffaloDon CheadleBenedict CumberbatchBradley CooperJosh Brolin, and Samuel L. Jackson.

There is a deleted scene with an appearance by Happy Hogan in the park.

When Thor tells the Guardians of the Galaxy about The Avengers, Mantis mentions the actor Kevin Bacon, Peter Quill's hero, and Thor says "He might have joined". Kevin Bacon played the Marvel supervillain Sebastian Shaw, antagonist of the X-Men, in X-Men: First Class (2011).

CAMEO: Stan Lee: The comic book writer who co-created most of the characters featured in this movie is featured here as Peter Parker's school bus driver. In addition, this movie also contains remnants from Stan's past cameos: Tony Stark uses the flip phone that Stan delivered to him in Captain America: Civil War (2016), and Thor still sports the haircut that Stan gave him in Thor: Ragnarok (2017). 



Friday, 14 December 2018

FILM 1895: THE STEPFATHER



FILM 1895: THE STEPFATHER

TRIVIA: Loosely based on the story of John List, the New Jersey man who killed his family in 1971, and was on the run until 1989, when his profile on the television show America's Most Wanted: America Fights Back (1988) resulted in his capture. The episode is: America's Most Wanted: America Fights Back: John Emil List/John Riccardi (1989).

Stephanie (Jill Schoelen)'s mother was played by Shelley Hack, who's only 16 years older, and Terry O'Quinn, who was the stepfather, is only 11 years her senior.

Cinematographer John Lindley was hired as a last minute replacement for the original director of photography who was arrested in a domestic dispute right before shooting was to start.

Entertainment Weekly ranked this as the 22nd scariest movie of all time.

Director Joseph Ruben originally wanted Jerry Blake to whistle the Barbra Streisand song "The Way We Were," but the rights to the song proved to be too expensive.


FILM 1894: HULK



FILM 1894: HULK

TRIVIA: Creating the Hulk in CGI was one of the most complex tasks Industrial Light & Magic had ever undertaken at that time. The computer model used 12,996 texture maps, and required 1,165 muscle movements and one hundred layers of skin. It took the combined work and efforts of about one hundred eighty ILM technicians (sixty-nine technical artists, forty-one animators, thirty-five compositors, ten muscle action animators, nine CG modellers, eight supervisors, six skin painters and five motion-capture wranglers), over two and a half million hours, and one and a half years for him to be effectively created and portrayed in the film. With all of that work, some of the public complained that the Hulk looked too fake, comparing him with Shrek (2001).

Edward Norton was approached to play Bruce Banner, but turned it down, as, despite being a fan of the Hulk, he didn't like the script. He later accepted the role in The Incredible Hulk (2008).

A lot of the microbiology work we see on-screen is real, and is the work of Director Ang Lee's wife.

According to the animators at Industrial Light & Magic, the Hulk weighs 3,452 pounds (1,565.8 kilograms), and can exert fourteen tons of pressure per square inch. His skin is ten times as strong as Kevlar. His chest measures seventeen feet and four inches (5.3 meters), his waist twelve feet and ten inches (3.3 meters), his foot four feet and three inches (1.3 meters), and his neck six feet and nine inches (2 meters). If he wore shoes, they would be (U.S.) size eighty-seven. He can move at a top speed of three hundred miles (four hundred eighty-three kilometers) per hour, and cross three to four miles (4.8 to 6.4 kilometers) in a single jump.

Nick Nolte had his hair grown wildly for this movie when he was arrested on drunk driving charges and photographed for his now infamous mug shot.

Ang Lee performed the Hulk using motion-capture technology.

Ang Lee employed the split-screen technique to cinematically mimic the panels of a comic-book page. This required many takes of one scene, which was draining for Eric Bana. It took him four takes to film Banner's first Hulk transformation, and by the time of its completion, he was on the verge of collapse.

This film holds the record for largest second weekend box-office drop for a film that opened at number one, with a 69.7 percent drop.

When the first transformation of Banner into Hulk occurs, the color of the Hulk is either gray or greenish-gray. This is an homage to the first appearance of the Hulk, when he was actually gray in his debut comic (May 1962). The publisher couldn't do gray very well, so Stan Lee changed the color to green, simply because green hadn't been used much by other characters. From the second transformation, he maintains his prominent emerald hue.

CAMEO:Lou Ferrigno: (At around twelve minutes) As a security guard. 

CAMEO: Stan Lee: (At around twelve minutes) The creator of the Hulk (1962) appeared as a security guard. Lee ad-libbed his lines.