1998 The Avengers oral history

In June 1987, in an interview for The New York Times, Stanley Kubrick spoke glowingly about a series of Michelob beer commercials.

“They’re just boy-girl, night-fun,” Kubrick praised, “leading up to pouring the beer, all in 30 seconds, beautifully edited and photographed. Economy of statement is not something that films are noted for.”

That piece published on a Sunday. The following day—after interested parties tracked down who was responsible for these spots—the phone of fashion photographer turned commercial director Jeremiah Chechik started rining off the hook.

Living up to that hype, Jeremiah Chechik’s first feature, Christmas Vacation, dazzled at the box office. Over the next decade, Chechik continued to rise up the ranks, establishing himself as a profitable director and, perhaps as importantly, a director known to work well with actors and the studios. Which is why, in the mid-‘90s, he was tapped by Warner Bros. to direct a $60 million summer action film based on a popular ‘60’s British TV show called The Avengers. With a stellar cast (Ralph Fiennes, Uma Thurman and Sean Connery) a legendary producer (Jerry Weintraub) and a top-tier British screenwriter (Don Macpherson), The Avengers seemed like a can’t miss film.

Unfortunately though, it missed the mark by a wide margin and drastically changed the trajectory of Jeremiah Chechik’s career. But what, at first, may have looked like a fall from grace wound up leading Chechik to terrific success in another medium. To find out what went wrong and then, ultimately, what went right, we spoke with the talented filmmaker and took a stroll down memory lane…

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Ferris Fest

Back in February, we learned that Chicago would play host to Ferris Fest, a special 30th anniversary celebration of John Hughes‘ classic comedy Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. There’s a whole slew of events, including a screening of the movie and a tour of filming locations in and around Chicago, planned for the event. Now the first promo has brought Ferris Bueller’s parents, played by Cindy Pickett and Lyman Ward, into the mix to help promote the event from a very familiar house.

Watch the Ferris Fest promo after the jump. Read More »

Ferris Fest

In case you didn’t notice, this year marks the 30th anniversary of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, the classic John Hughes film about one high school kid’s glorious day ditching school with his friends. And if you want to do more than just watch the movie again at home, there’s a way you can commemorate the milestone anniversary with a three-day event called Ferris Fest. However, you’ll only be able to attend if you happen to be in the Chicago area, where the movie was actually filmed, this summer.

Get the details on Ferris Fest after the jump. Read More »

Pretty in Pink in Theaters

Children of the 80s have been enjoying the celebration of milestone anniversaries for some of their favorite movies form the decade over the past six years, and this year brings another for one of John Hughes‘ beloved movies. Pretty in Pink was released in theaters on February 28th, 1986, which makes next month the 30th anniversary for the film. And in honor of the anniversary, the film starring Molly Ringwald, Jon Cryer and Andrew McCarthy is coming back to theaters for a two-day event. Get the details on when you can see Pretty in Pink in theaters again below! Read More »

streets of fire oral history

In 1982, an action comedy called 48 Hrs. took the world by storm. Not only did it finish seventh at the box office that year, but it also launched the film career of Eddie Murphy and spawned a slew of buddy cop imitations. Although a true sequel to 48 Hrs. wouldn’t come until 1990, a follow-up of sorts came out two years later: Streets of Fire.

To understand how Streets of Fire came to be (and its relationship to 48 Hrs.), I sat down with cowriter Larry Gross to discuss the film’s origins—and his as well.

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Making of Home Alone

Even though Thanksgiving is still a couple weeks away, stores and people are already focused on Christmas. And this week the holiday mood gets a little boost with the 25th anniversary re-release of Home Alone, which has its final two showings today in select theaters.

In honor of that milestone, an oral history has been put together on the making of Home Alone, revealing one interesting tidbit. Director Chris Columbus only ended up being at the helm of Home Alone after Chevy Chase treated him like garbage in early meetings for another holiday comedy classic, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. Read More »

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Home Alone Book

If you want to see Home Alone in theaters this weekend, today is the first day you can head to select theaters for the Fathom Event 25th anniversary re-release of the holiday comedy. You’ll also have another chance on Wednesday, November 11th, and you can find out the times and participating theaters right here.

But if you don’t feel like Home Alone warrants a return to theaters, or you just want to experience the John Hughes written story from the comforts of your home in a new way, you might want to pick up the new Home Alone book which turns the movie into a wonderfully illustrated Christmas tale. If you want to see what it looks like before making any decisions, we have a trailer for the book and images of some of the pages for you to check out. Read More »

Home Alone 25th anniversary

There’s been a lot of focus on the anniversary of Back to the Future this year, but plenty of other beloved films have anniversaries to celebrate too. In fact, this year marks the special anniversary of one modern holiday classic that audiences watch every year around Christmastime.

Home Alone is the movie that skyrocketed child actor Macaulay Culkin to fame, with a big help from a fun script by John Hughes and kid-friendly director Chris Columbus. It might be hard to believe, but this year marks the 25th anniversary of the holiday comedy that turned Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern into a couple of punching bags, and to celebrate, a Home Alone 25h anniversary theatrical re-release is happening in November. Read More »

Ferris Bueller's Day Off 8-Bit Cinema

While the John Hughes comedy Ferris Bueller’s Day Off may be a classic, it’s hardly worthy of getting a video game adaptation. However, that hasn’t stopped the folks at CineFix from giving the comedy starring Matthew Broderick the 8-Bit Cinema treatment, turning the high school hooky shenanigans into an old school video game.

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off 8-Bit Cinema hits all the right notes, literally, because there’s some awesome 8-bit soundtrack versions of the songs from the movie. Oh, and the very short, abridged versions of entire scenes are pretty amusing. Read More »