Another episode from the star-studded period in Suspense’s history. This one with Cary Grant. And it’s a corker! Listen before your next road trip.
Deadline has just announced that actor/comedian Eddie Murphy, who turned a youthful 50 this year, has agreed to host the 84th Annual Academy Awards. For years, the Oscars have looked for a host to match the quality of the two great hosts: Bob Hope and Johnny Carson. These guys set the standard for hosting duties with their quick wits, and star power. Since then no one has really come close. (And, no, don’t talk Billy Crystal to us.) Could Murphy be the guy to finally do that? We think he just might.
For most the fall TV season is just a chance to enjoy returning favorites or sample something new. But fans of science fiction, horror and fantasy have another agenda entirely: They want to know about the new genre shows. Shows that likely will have a tough time with critics and the ratings. But may include another “Star Trek”, “X-Files” or “Lost”. In fact, it may be the new show that they (heck, we!) will be obsessed with for the next decade.
In light of this, we’re offering you this run-down with trailers of all the genre shows on the Network this fall. (And one midseason show because we couldn’t resist.)
And we start with ABC after the jump ….
How much dancing did Natalie Portman do? This has been a question circling around Black Swan since the Oscar nominations came out. We covered it here. The controversy died down after Portman won the Oscar. Well, it’s heated up again thanks to dancing double Sarah Lane telling the Wall Street Journal that she did “basically all the dancing”. The studio stands behind Portman. But no one ever believes a studio. However now someone has spoken up that people are likely to believe.
Here is the reality. I had my editor count shots. There are 139 dance shots in the film. 111 are Natalie Portman untouched. 28 are her dance double Sarah Lane. If you do the math that’s 80 percent Natalie Portman. What about duration? The shots that feature the double are wide shots and rarely play for longer than one second. There are two complicated longer dance sequences that we used face replacement. Even so, if we were judging by time over 90% would be Natalie Portman. And to be clear Natalie did dance on pointe in pointe shoes. If you look at the final shot of the opening prologue, which lasts 85 seconds, and was danced completely by Natalie, she exits the scene on pointe. That is completely her without any digital magic. I am responding to this to put this to rest and to defend my actor. Natalie sweated long and hard to deliver a great physical and emotional performance. And I don’t want anyone to think that’s not her they are watching. It is.
We think this should end the controversy. It’s hard to believe that Aronofsky would make such specific claims (which could be easily countered) if they weren’t true.
It warmed the cockles of our heart to see Rick Baker take home his seventh Oscar. It’s not that he needs any more recognition. But we’re a bunch of Starlog/Fangoria kids who’ve been following Baker’s career for decades. And we feel invested. We also wanted to share a few factoids.
This is Baker’s seventh win. What are the six other films he won Oscars for?
How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2001), Men in Black (1998), The Nutty Professor (1997), Ed Wood (1995), Harry and the Hendersons (1988), and An American Werewolf in London (1982).
Yup, Harry and the Hendersons is an Oscar wining film.
He lost five times. Those films were:
Norbit (2008); Life (2000); Mighty Joe Young (1999); Coming to America (1989); and Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes (1984).
And here’s a few films that he worked on that received no Oscar attention and probably should have:
King Kong (1976), Gorillas in the Mist (1988) , and Planet of the Apes (2001).
On the eve of the Oscars, the Independent Spirit Awards were held in sunny Santa Monica. And psychological horror film Black Swan took most of the major awards, winning Best Film, Best Director (Darren Aronofsky), Best Actress (Natalie Portman) and Best Cinematography (Matthew Libatique). This is a great sign for low budget genre cinema. And a reminder to filmmakers that you don’t need a big budget to make a big impact.
So a while back, a special effect reel from Black Swan started appearing on the web. It created a bit of controversy because it showed that Natalie Portman’s face had been put on another dancer’s body in some of the dancing sequences. We didn’t think much of this. She couldn’t dance en pointe. No big deal. What actress can?
But now the studio has not only removed many of these videos from the web. But they’ve allowed ones to remain that have the face and head replacements indications edited out. Like this one here. Or this one. And we think that is rather a big deal.
The stills accompanying this article are all from the original effects reel. We managed to snag a copy before it got removed.
The fall saw quite a few horror releases failing to find an audience. But the first major horror release of 2011 seems to be faring better. The satanic possession movie The Rite, starring Anthony Hopkins, won the number one spot at the box office this weekend with an estimated take of $15.9 million. Is it religious-themed horror, combined with Hopkins star-power, that’s attracting fans? Or is this beginning of another upswing for horror? We don’t know. But we’ll definitely be paying attention as more horror releases hit the multiplexes throughout the year.
In an upcoming interview with Johnny Depp in Vanity Fair, the actor said that higher-ups at Disney were initially worried by his portrayal of Captain Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean. He recalls one of the executives querrying him about the character:
‘What’s wrong with him? Is he, you know, like some kind of weird simpleton? Is he drunk? By the way, is he gay?’
Depp, wishing to have some fun with the exec, responded:
‘But didn’t you know that all my characters are gay?”
According to Deep, this greatly disturbed the exec.
Here’s the final interview with Gloria Stuart (who died last month at age 100) from the BBC documentary “A History of Horror with Mark Gatiss” which aired this week. In this brief interview, Ms. Stuart discusses working on The Old Dark House, focusing on her experiences with James Whale and Boris Karloff.