Spielberg Documentary

Steven Spielberg is one of our greatest living filmmakers. While some may want to write the Jaws filmmaker off as nothing more than a purveyor of popular blockbusters, very few directors understand the language of cinema as well as Spielberg. While many filmmakers can’t block a shot to save their lie, Spielberg can convey an entire story wordlessly with his imagery. He’s one of the medium’s true masters.

Susan Lacy‘s new HBO documentary Spielberg takes a look at the successful filmmakers vast career, and we picked out 10 revealing facts from the Spielberg documentary that you should know. And then you should watch the doc for yourself, of course.

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Hook - Rufio Short Film - Bangarang

Earlier this year, you might remember hearing that Hook star Dante Basco was trying to Kickstart a short film that would act as a prequel to Steven Spielberg’s Peter Pan movie and give us the origins of his character, the Lost Boys leader known as Rufio.

Written and directed by Jonah Feingold, the project was said to focus on a 13-year old kid named Roofus whose mother is forced to put him into foster care. But Roofus may find an escape from the situation in a little place called Neverland.

Watch the Rufio short film Bangarang below and see what you think. Read More »

hook movie

(Welcome to /Response, the companion piece to our /Answers series and a space where /Film readers can chime in and offer their two cents on a particular question.)

Earlier this week, the /Film team wrote about our favorite pirates from film and television. We then opened the floor to our readers: who is your favorite onscreen pirate? And you let us know!

We have collected our favorite answers (edited for length and clarity) below. Next week’s question, in honor of Wonder Woman: who is your favorite female badass from the movies? Send your (at least one paragraph, please) answer to slashfilmpitches@gmail.com!

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Hook Prequel

Steven Spielberg’s 1991 fantasy sequel Hook is one of the filmmaker’s easier targets. Spielberg himself as admitted to being disappointed in the film, but plenty who grew up with the Peter Pan follow-up still have a special place in their heart for their film. Hell, I’m one of them. I even have a ticket from one of Robin Williams’ stand-up shows and I had him sign it, “Bangarang!” The question is, how many people like me are interested in seeing a Hook prequel?

Well, Hook co-star Dante Basco, who played the mohawked Lost Boy leader named Rufio, is hoping there are enough fans of the original movie to help support a Kickstarter for a short film that shows us who Rufio was before he went to Neverland. It’s basically Hook Origins: Rufio, but the film is called Bangarang, and you can find out more about it below. Read More »

carrie fisher script doctor

This week we’ve all been thinking about Carrie Fisher, who died earlier this week at the age of 60. While most people know her for her role as Princess Leia in the Star Wars films, a lot of people don’t realize that her written career spans farther than the bestselling books and novels that she penned over the years.

Entertainment Weekly once described Carrie Fisher as “one of the most sought after [script] doctors in town.” She worked without credit on films ranging from Hook to Last Action Hero to the Star Wars prequels and much more. Learn about her unknown legacy of uncredited work on big Hollywood screenplays in our Carrie Fisher Script Doctor primer.

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Hook reunion

For children of the 90s, there is a lot of love for Steven Spielberg’s fantasy sequel Hook. The 1990 film was a legacyquel more than 20 years before they became all the rage in Hollywood. As someone who grew up on the movie, I’ll be the first to admit that the film hasn’t aged well, has plenty of flaws, but still holds a special place in my heart. And that sense of nostalgia is even stronger for the kids lucky enough to star alongside Robin Williams in it as The Lost Boys of Neverland.

It’s hard to believe it’s been 25 years since Hook hit the big screen (or at least it will be this December), but in honor of the milestone anniversary, a company called 22 Vision (specializing in celebrating pop culture through viral content) rounded up all of The Lost Boys from Hook for a little reunion photoshoot, and it’s probably one of the coolest things you’ll see today.

Check out the Hook reunion photo after the jump. Read More »

Crimson Peak

Guillermo del Toro‘s Crimson Peak is a deliciously dark and twisted piece, set in the most gorgeous, most decrepit haunted house you’ve ever seen and anchored by three mesmerizing performances from Tom Hiddleston, Mia Wasikowska, and most especially Jessica Chastain. It’s also not the horror movie that’s being sold in the trailers, but a Gothic romance. Think Jane Eyre plus ghosts, not The Conjuring plus corsets.

That’s not such a bad thing if you happen to love costume dramas, but it can be an unpleasant surprise if you don’t. And that misleading marketing doesn’t seem to be doing it many favors. I’ve seen a lot of critics ding it for being ineffective as a horror movie — which of course it is, because it isn’t really one. The B- Cinemascore and limp box office might also reflect the discrepancy between what Crimson Peak seems to be, and what it actually is.

Admittedly, it’s not difficult to understand why Universal chose to market Crimson Peak as a horror movie. A Brontë-esque romance is a much harder sell outside the arthouse than a spooky, seasonally appropriate haunted house flick. And it’s hardly the first time a marketing team has chosen to sell a completely different movie. Sometimes it’s part of a savvy strategy and sometimes it’s a desperate ploy; sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t. Below, let’s look back at 15 movies with misleading trailers. Warning: Some spoilers ahead.  Read More »

Robin Williams Hook

Even when I didn’t think about it, Robin Williams was always a part of my life. His work was simply a part of everything that made me a person. Whether it was sneaking a peak at Comic Relief on HBO, watching old Mork and Mindy reruns after school, or catching the movies of the early nineties that turned him into a mega-star, Robin Williams was always a constant. If I needed to laugh, sing, be brought to tears or cringe uncontrollably, Williams was the man for the job.

He’s gone now, dead at the age of 63 from an apparent suicide, and it’s a horrible case of “you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone.” I’m filled with emotion. I’m mad, I’m sad, I want to cry. But then I start to think about Williams’ legacy, his films, and what they mean to me, and I feel some comfort. Let’s take a look back at my favorite Robin Williams movies, and more specifically, performances.
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Hook remake

As someone who grew up in the Nineties, it’s kind of hard to get my mind around Nineties nostalgia. It honestly feels like it was yesterday, even though we’re 15 plus years removed. That said, I still enjoy it and Cinefix has just created a prime example to stab me straight in the heart – a homemade Hook remake.

They got Dante Basco to reprise his role as Rufio in a short, “homemade” (basically sweded) scene from Steven Spielberg‘s Hook. It’s surreal and funny to see this exciting, emotional scene played out in a Los Angeles driveway. With Basco there to utter his classic lines, however, it’s very worth your time. Plus there’s a behind the scenes video and a side by side with Spielberg’s version. Check them out below. Read More »

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steven_spielberg-header

Earlier today we were talking about the anniversary of Jurassic Park, released on this day in 1993. But in mid-1990, director Steven Spielberg wasn’t yet set to film Michael Chrichton’s novel, which hadn’t been released. Having made Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Spielberg had grown up a bit with the romance Always, released six months after the third Indy picture, and was poised to take over another film related to growing up: 1991’s Hook.

So this 1990 interview catches Spielberg in what looks now like a transitional phase, before the staggering success of Jurassic Park and the first flowering of the digital effects age and the opening of the DreamWorks era. The director talks about many aspects of his career: his non-blockbuster choices (The Color Purple, Always, Empire of the Sun) and lack of Oscar nominations for some of his work. He talks about his desire to make Rain Man, which took director Barry Levinson to the Oscars in 1989, and which Spielberg directed before commitment to Indiana Jones interceded.

This is a candid half hour with a man who was already one of the biggest directors in the world, but who also has many successes in front of him. It’s a great conversation with which to cap off your afternoon. Read More »