Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back has been voted the greatest movie of all time in a poll conducted by the British film publication Empire Magazine. More than 250,000 film fans voted in this latest poll, resulting in a list of the 301 greatest movies of all time. When the poll was last conducted six years ago in 2008 with 10,200 voters, The Godfather took the top honors. This year the Star Wars sequel displaced the Francis Ford Coppola adaptation for the top spot. Who else did Empire Strikes Back beat for the top slot? How has the list changed in the last six years? Find out after the jump.
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The man who did more than any other to influence the entire art of cinematography through a single film was Gordon Willis. The Godfather broke every classical “rule” in the book, and much of its impact can be attributed to the unusual but intuitive approach Willis took to photographing the film. In many scenes Willis used as little illumination as possible. In doing so he invited us to lean forward, to peer into the eyes of characters with blackened souls. We may have recoiled when we saw what was truly in the heart of Michael Corleone, but we could never look away. Willis painted with shadow, and for it earned a loving nickname that was better suited to Michael Corleone: the Prince of Darkness.
Now Gordon Willis has died at the age of 82. A cause of death has not been released, but Willis’ passing has been confirmed by American Society of Cinematographers president Richard Crudo. Read More »
Posted on Friday, December 28th, 2012 by Angie Han
After the jump:
- Christoph Waltz might appear in The Muppets 2 after all
- Has Transformers 4 replaced Brenton Thwaites with Jack Reynor?
- Berandal (a.k.a. The Raid 2) announces new cast members
- Walton Goggins promises to be funny in G.I. Joe: Retaliation
- Paul Rudd doesn’t know much about Anchorman 2 but hopes it’ll be good
- Samuel L. Jackson has things to say about Unbreakable
- Paramount and the Puzo estate settle the Godfather suit
- A Good Day to Die Hard debuts two explosive TV spots
- Trick ‘R Treat‘s Sam has a holiday greeting for you
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Posted on Friday, September 28th, 2012 by Angie Han
Read all about these sequel-related odds and ends after the jump:
- Would Penelope Cruz do Pirates of the Caribbean 5?
- Kathleen Kennedy offers a minor Jurassic Park 4 update
- Catching Fire announces the rest of its supporting cast
- Scary Movie 5 still shows a Mob Wife and a Real Housewife
- Prometheus Blu trailer promises answers and new footage
- Judge rules that Paramount can make more Godfather films
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Posted on Thursday, June 14th, 2012 by Angie Han
Hollywood seems really into turning board games into movies at the moment, but inspiration apparently works the other way as well. Paramount and Hasbro have just announced a special The Godfather Collector’s Edition version of Monopoly, in celebration of the cinematic classic’s 40th anniversary.
While an R-rated gangster flick and a game you played as a kid may not sound like a match made in heaven, it makes an odd sort of sense. After all, Monopoly is all about gaining as much wealth and power as possible while ruthlessly tearing down your rivals — and who’s better at that than the Corleones? More details after the jump.
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Posted on Monday, May 14th, 2012 by Angie Han
Today’s Sequel Bits features all kinds, from Depression-era gangsters to noirish femme fatales to drunken school bus drivers. After the jump:
- Nick Swardson and Cheri Oteri board Grown-Ups 2
- Sin City: A Dame to Kill For gets its first teaser poster
- A new G.I. Joe: Retaliation image shows Cobra Commander
- Seth Grahame-Smith is a little intimidated by Beetlejuice 2
- Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz talk Tron: Uprising
- Paramount is letting a Godfather (book) prequel go forward
- Jon Favreau likes where Shane Black‘s Iron Man 3 is headed
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We’re reached a point in the evolution of film criticism where a shift is occurring. Critics who’ve been in the game for decades and decades are slowly beginning to give way to a younger, more vocal audience, many of whom are online. The beautiful thing about that is, though they all share a love of cinema, everyone has their own opinions of how and why we got there. And the best way to show that is with a top ten list.
The online contingent prides themselves upon being the new guard and, to that end, our friends at Film School Rejects polled 37 online critics and four young filmmakers for their lists of the ten greatest films of all time. They then gave those lists a point value and came up with a top ten that’s simultaneously familiar and controversial as it certainly caters to a younger demographic. Check it out and leave your thoughts below. Read More »
This gets filed not under ‘new stuff’ but under ‘whoa, awesome stuff!’
Those who know their Godfather history have heard of the super-notated novel and script copies that Francis Ford Coppola employed to make the film. (The same sort of highly-notated scripts that a great many directors use, of course.) You may have seen images of the detailed pages in a documentary about the film here and there. But here’s a huge scan of one page from Mario Puzo‘s novel, complete with a great many notes by the director. If you’re looking for insight into how someone turns one piece of work into something as enduring as The Godfather, this isn’t a bad place to start. Read More »
Cool Posts From Around the Web:
There’s a lot of lore and misunderstanding with respect to what ‘improvising’ means with respect to filmmaking. I think there are some who take ‘improvised’ to mean that there is no script, or that actors go completely off-book when shooting a scene. And while there are a few directors who do shoot films like that — very few — most of the time improvisation on film means that an actor comes up with a new line or action in the context of a scripted scene.
Here’s a video that compiles twenty-five of the most influential unscripted moments in film. Some of these are things that weren’t in the script, but created on set between takes (supposedly Bogie’s “here’s looking at you, kid” line from Casablanca is one of those) and some are genuine spur of the moment creations. Read More »
One franchise moves forward and another moves backwards in this edition of Sequel Bits. 20th Century Fox, who released the surprise 2009 hit Taken, has just signed on to distribute its sequel, Taken 2, which will once again star Liam Neeson, Maggie Grace and be directed by Olivier Megaton (Transporter 3, the upcoming Colombiana, whose trailer came out today).
Also Mario Puzo, who not only wrote the novel that was the basis for the The Godfather films, but won Oscars along with Francis Ford Coppola for their screenplays, apparently wrote an unproduced prequel script to the series called The Family Corleone. Instead of making it into a movie though (thank god) it’ll soon be turned into a novel due out in stores next year. Read more about both of these projects after the break. Read More »