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    Oscar-winning actress Joan Fontaine dies at age 96

    Type: Article | Date: Sunday, Dec 15, 2013

    Thesp won an Academy Award for her performance in Hitchcock's 'Suspicion'
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    Roundup: Indies miss out as Academy reveals 289 Oscar-eligible titles

    Type: Post | Date: Tuesday, Dec 17, 2013

    Also: Malcolm McDowell remembers Peter O'Toole
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    Notable Celebrity Deaths of 2013

    Type: Gallery | Date: Thursday, Dec 26, 2013

    Paul Walker, the star of "The Fast and The Furious" franchise ...
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    On 'Rebecca' and 'Foreign Correspondent,' Hitchcock's 1940 double-shot at Oscar glory

    Type: Post | Date: Wednesday, Nov 21, 2012

    Hitch probably never came closer to victory than his first time at bat
  • NFL had 9 of the Top 10 TV broadcasts of 2013

    Type: Post | Date: Tuesday, Dec 17, 2013

    NFL had 9 of the Top 10 TV broadcasts of 2013 "The Voice" will return Feb. 25, with Usher and Shakira Charlie Sheen's manager and publicist resign
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    Roundup: Why an Oscar for James Franco is no laughing matter

    Type: Post | Date: Monday, Dec 16, 2013

    Also: The expansion of the Academy, and the best hair in 'American Hustle'
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    Turner Classic Movies sets a 24-hour Elizabeth Taylor tribute

    Type: Article | Date: Wednesday, Mar 23, 2011

    Marathon will cover everything from 'Lassie' to 'Giant' to 'Butterfield 8'
  • ULTIMATE SCI-FI COLLECTION (20PC) / (BOX) - DVD

    Type: Event | Date: Tuesday, May 12, 2009

    Includes:The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951), MPAA Rating: G Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea (1961), MPAA Rating: PG Fantastic Voyage (1966), MPAA Rating: PG Planet of the Apes (1968), MPAA Rating: G The Neptune Factor (1973), MPAA Rating: G Rollerball (1975), MPAA Rating: R Alien (1979), MPAA Rating: R Mad Max (1979), MPAA Rating: R Escape from New York (1981), MPAA Rating: R Aliens (1986), MPAA Rating: R The Abyss (1989), MPAA Rating: PG-13 Independence Day (1996), MPAA Rating: PG-13 The Day the Earth Stood Still All of Washington, D.C., is thrown into a panic when an extraterrestrial spacecraft lands near the White House. Out steps Klaatu (Michael Rennie, in a role intended for Claude Rains), a handsome and soft-spoken interplanetary traveler, whose "bodyguard" is Gort (Lock Martin), a huge robot who spews forth laser-like death rays when danger threatens. After being wounded by an overzealous soldier, Klaatu announces that he has a message of the gravest importance for all humankind, which he will deliver only when all the leaders of all nations will agree to meet with him. World politics being what they are in 1951, Klaatu's demands are turned down and he is ordered to remain in the hospital, where his wounds are being tended. Klaatu escapes, taking refuge in a boarding house, where he poses as one "Mr. Carpenter" (one of the film's many parallels between Klaatu and Christ). There the benign alien gains the confidence of a lovely widow (Patricia Neal) and her son, Bobby (Billy Gray), neither of whom tumble to his other-worldly origins, and seeks out the gentleman whom Bobby regards as "the smartest man in the world" -- an Einstein-like scientist, Dr. Barnhardt (Sam Jaffe). The next day, at precisely 12 o'clock, Klaatu arranges for the world to "stand still" -- he shuts down all electrical power in the world, with the exception of essentials like hospitals and planes in flight. Directed by Robert Wise, who edited Citizen Kane (1941) and The Magnificent Ambersons (1942) for director Orson Welles before going on to direct such major 1960s musicals as West Side Story (1961) and The Sound of Music (1965), The Day the Earth Stood Still was based on the story Farewell to the Master by Harry Bates. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea Walter Pidgeon is the nominal star of Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, portraying Admiral Harriman Nelson, the designer of the submarine Seaview, a glass-nosed research submarine. The sub embarks on her shakedown cruise under the polar ice cap as the movie begins. Upon surfacing, however, the crew discovers that the entire sky is on fire -- the Van Allen radiation belt has been ignited by a freak meteor shower, and the Earth is being slowly burnt to a cinder. Nelson and his colleague, Commodore Lucius Emery (Peter Lorre), devise a plan to extinguish the belt using one of the Seaview's nuclear missiles, but they are denounced at an emergency meeting of the United Nations. Disregarding the UN vote against him, Nelson decides to go forward with his plan before the Earth is destroyed, hoping to get the approval of the president of the United States while his ship races from New York to the Marianas in the Pacific to launch its missile on time and target, with the world's navies hunting her down and communication with Washington impossible because of the fire in the sky. Nelson must combat not only the threats from other ships but also the doubts of his own protégé, Commander Lee Crane (Robert Sterling), the captain of the Seaview, about his plan and his methods, and the growing suspicion -- being spread by Dr. Susan Hiller (Joan Fontaine), a psychiatrist who was visiting the vessel -- about his sanity, as well as the growing discontent of the crew, who would like to see their families before the end of the world, and the presence of one religious fanatic (Michael Ansara) who thinks the fire in the sky is God's will. Worse still, there appears to be a saboteur -- and possibly more than one -- aboard. The plot is episodic in pacing and features elements that were clearly derived in inspiration from Disney's 1954 production of Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, such as Nelson's eccentricity and the "outlaw" status of his ship; but the undersea maneuvers to tap the trans-Atlantic telephone cable (in order to reach Washington), the battle with a giant squid, a duel with an attack submarine, and a harrowing tangle with a WWII mine field would become standard elements of the series of the same name that followed this movie two years later. Pidgeon brings dignity if not a huge amount of energy to the role of the admiral, and Lorre, Fontaine, Ansara, and Henry Daniell (playing Nelson's scientific nemesis) add some colorful performances, and Barbara Eden, as Nelson's secretary, is pretty to look at; and there are some excellent supporting performances by Delbert Monroe (aka Del Monroe, who appeared later in the series, as Kowalsky), Mark Slade, John Litel, Howard McNear, and Robert Easton. The real "star" of the movie, however, is the submarine Seaview and the special effects by L.B. Abbott, which, to be fully appreciated, should be seen in a letterboxed presentation of the movie. ~ Bruce Eder, All Movie Guide Fantastic Voyage Stephen Boyd heads a team of scientists sent on a bizarre experimental mission. Through a revolutionary and as-yet-untested process, the scientists and their special motorized vehicle are miniaturized, then injected into the blood stream of a near-death scientist (Jean del Val). Their mission is to relieve a blood clot caused by an assassination attempt. One member of the expedition is bent on sabotage so that the scientist's secrets will die with him. Another member is Raquel Welch, seemingly along for the ride solely because of how she looks in a skintight diving suit. The film's Oscar-winning visual effects (by Art Cruickshank) chart the progress of the voyagers through the scientist's body, burrowing past deadly antibodies, chunks of tobacco residue in the lungs, and other such obstacles. Oscars also went to Jack Martin Smith and Dale Hennesy's art direction and Stuart A. Reiss and Walter M. Scott's set decoration. Fantastic Voyage was later spun off into a Saturday-morning cartoon series. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide Planet of the Apes Originally intended as a project for Blake Edwards, the film version of Pierre Boule's semisatiric sci-fi novel came to the screen in 1968 under the directorial guidance of Franklin J. Schaffner. Charlton Heston is George Taylor, one of several astronauts on a long, long space mission whose spaceship crash-lands on a remote planet, seemingly devoid of intelligent life. Soon the astronaut learns that this planet is ruled by a race of talking, thinking, reasoning apes who hold court over a complex, multilayered civilization. In this topsy-turvy society, the human beings are grunting, inarticulate primates, penned-up like animals. When ape leader Dr. Zaius (Maurice Evans) discovers that the captive Taylor has the power of speech, he reacts in horror and insists that the astronaut be killed. But sympathetic ape scientists Cornelius (Roddy McDowell) and Dr. Zira (Kim Hunter) risk their lives to protect Taylor -- and to discover the secret of their planet's history that Dr. Zaius and his minions guard so jealously. In the end, it is Taylor who stumbles on the truth about the Planet of the Apes: "Damn you! Damn you! Goddamn you all to hell!" Scripted by Rod Serling and Michael Wilson (a former blacklistee who previously adapted another Pierre Boule novel, Bridge on the River Kwai), Planet of the Apes has gone on to be an all-time sci-fi (and/or camp) classic. It won a special Academy Award for John Chambers's convincing (and, from all accounts, excruciatingly uncomfortable) simian makeup. It spawned four successful sequels, as well as two TV series, one live-action and one animated. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide The Neptune Factor A research facility becomes a death trap, and only an untested Navy vessel can save the day in this adventure drama. A team of scientists led by Hal Hamilton (Michael J. Reynolds) is studying marine life in an underwater research station called Sealab. Shortly before the Sealab crew are scheduled to return to the surface, a massive underwater earthquake strands them at the bottom of the ocean. Project director Dr. Andrews (Walter Pidgeon), who had often fought to support the Sealab project against funding coordinator Norton Shepherd (Ed McGibbon), knows that he must act quickly to save the lives of those on board; he recruits Cmdr. Adrian Blake (Ben Gazzara) to use his new experimental submarine to find the Sealab and rescue the crew. Joining Blake on his mission are veteran sailor "Mack" McKay (Ernest Borgnine), his assistant Bob Cousins (Donnelly Rhodes), and Leah Jansen (Yvette Mimieux), a respected scientist and Hamilton's bride-to-be. ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide Rollerball In the year 2018 violence has been outlawed and corporations have replaced government as the ruling party following the demise of politics. With the absence of war or conflict, a forcibly passive population's bloodlust is satisfied by a brutal new sport known as Rollerball. A high-octane melding of the outlawed sports of the past, the worldwide phenomenon of Rollerball has resulted in a corporate-backed sensation. The most popular athlete in the world, Jonathan E. (James Caan) has steadily risen through the ranks to become a legendary veteran of the sport. When the corporate backers of Rollerball begin to fear that Jonathan's popularity has instilled him with a potentially dangerous amount of power, a thunderous struggle between man's free will and the oppression of the masses threatens to shatter the fragile strings that the puppet masters use to manipulate mankind. His determination to remain with the sport flying in the face of the very reason Rollerball was conceived, the corporate rulers hatch a plot to abandon the rules in hopes that Jonathan will be killed and their grip of power will remain an unyielding chokehold on an increasingly bloodthirsty populace. ~ Jason Buchanan, All Movie Guide Alien "In space, no one can hear you scream." A close encounter of the third kind becomes a Jaws-style nightmare when an alien invades a spacecraft in Ridley Scott's sci-fi horror classic. On the way home from a mission for the Company, the Nostromo's crew is woken up from hibernation by the ship's Mother computer to answer a distress signal from a nearby planet. Capt. Dallas' (Tom Skerritt) rescue team discovers a bizarre pod field, but things get even stranger when a face-hugging creature bursts out of a pod and attaches itself to Kane (John Hurt). Over the objections of Ripley (Sigourney Weaver), science officer Ash (Ian Holm) lets Kane back on the ship. The acid-blooded incubus detaches itself from an apparently recovered Kane, but an alien erupts from Kane's stomach and escapes. The alien starts stalking the humans, pitting Dallas and his crew (and cat) against a malevolent killing machine that also has a protector in the nefarious Company. ~ Lucia Bozzola, All Movie Guide Mad Max This stunning, post-apocalyptic action thriller from director George Miller stars Mel Gibson as Max Rockatansky, a policeman in the near future who is tired of his job. Since the apocalypse, the lengthy, desolate stretches of highway in the Australian outback have become bloodstained battlegrounds. Max has seen too many innocents and fellow officers murdered by the bomb's savage offspring, bestial marauding bikers for whom killing, rape, and looting is a way of life. He just wants to retire and spend time with his wife and son but lets his boss talk him into taking a peaceful vacation and he starts to reconsider. Then his world is shattered as a gang led by the evil Toecutter (Hugh Keays-Byrne) murders his family in retaliation for the death of one of its members. Dead inside, Max straps on his helmet and climbs into a souped-up V8 racing machine to seek his bloody revenge. Despite an obviously low budget and a plot reminiscent of many spaghetti Westerns, Mad Max is tremendously exciting, thanks to some of the most spectacular road stunts ever put on film. Cinematographer David Eggby and stunt coordinator Grant Page did some of their best work under Miller's direction and crafted a gritty, gripping thrill ride which spawned two sequels, numerous imitations, and made Mel Gibson an international star. One sequence, in which a man is chained to a car and must cut off a limb before the machine explodes is one of the most tense scenes of the decade. The American version dubbed all the voices -- including Gibson's -- in a particularly cartoonish manner. Trivia buffs should note that Max's car is a 1973 Ford Falcon GT Coupe with a 300 bhp 351C V8 engine, customized with the front end of a Ford Fairmont and other modifications. ~ Robert Firsching, All Movie Guide Escape from New York The year is 1997. Manhattan Island is now a heavily guarded maximum-security prison, where the scum of the earth have converged. When Air Force One crash-lands in Manhattan, the president (Donald Pleasence) is held hostage by its denizens. One-eyed mercenary Snake Plissken (Kurt Russell) is strong-armed into rescuing the chief executive. He is aided, not always willingly, by a tough gal (Adrienne Barbeau) and a manic cab driver (Ernest Borgnine). Escape from New York was followed by a sequel of sorts in 1996, Escape From L.A., again starring Kurt Russell. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide Aliens Big-budget special effects, swiftly paced action, and a distinct feminist subtext from writer/director James Cameron turned what should have been a by-the-numbers sci-fi sequel into both a blockbuster and a seven-time Oscar nominee. Sigourney Weaver returns as Ellen Ripley, the last surviving crew member of a corporate spaceship destroyed after an attack by a vicious, virtually unbeatable alien life form. Adrift in space for half a century, Ripley grapples with depression until she's informed by her company's representative, Carter Burke (Paul Reiser) that the planet where her crew discovered the alien has since been settled by colonists. Contact with the colony has suddenly been lost, and a detachment of colonial marines is being sent to investigate. Invited along as an advisor, Ripley predicts disaster, and sure enough, the aliens have infested the colony, leaving a sole survivor, the young girl Newt (Carrie Henn). With the soldiers picked off one by one, a final all-female showdown brews between the alien queen and Ripley, who's become a surrogate mother to Newt. Several future stars made early career appearances in Aliens (1986), including Lance Henriksen, Bill Paxton, and Reiser. ~ Karl Williams, All Movie Guide The Abyss The crew of an experimental, high-tech submersible is called into action to investigate a mysterious nuclear submarine crash. A series of strange encounters leads the crew to suspect the accident was caused by an extraterrestrial craft, and that they may be participating in an encounter with an alien species. However, in order to make contact, they must not only brave the abyss, an exceedingly deep underwater canyon, but also deal with the violent actions of one of their own crew members, an increasingly paranoid Navy SEAL officer. Approved by director James Cameron, The Abyss: Special Edition is an extended director's cut of the 1989 underwater science fiction epic, reinstating nearly a half hour of footage removed from the original release under studio pressure. Much of the restored footage places the film's events in a grander political context, as the crew's mission becomes a factor in the dangerous escalation of nuclear tension between the U.S. and the Soviet Union. The largest change involves the film's ending, which provides further information on the aliens' mission on Earth, bringing the film to closer to Cameron's intention: a modern remake of Robert Wise's The Day the Earth Stood Still. ~ Judd Blaise, All Movie Guide Independence Day A group of intrepid humans attempts to save the Earth from vicious extraterrestrials in this extremely popular science-fiction adventure. Borrowing liberally from War of the Worlds, Aliens, and every sci-fi invasion film inbetween, director Roland Emmerich and producer and co-writer Dean Devlin present a visually slick, fast-paced adventure filled with expensive special effects and large-scale action sequences. The story begins with the approach of a series of massive spaceships, which many on Earth greet with open arms, looking forward to the first contact with alien life. Unfortunately, these extraterrestrials have not come in peace, and they unleash powerful weapons that destroy most of the world's major cities. Thrown into chaos, the survivors struggle to band together and put up a last-ditch resistance in order to save the human race. As this is a Hollywood film, this effort is led by a group of scrappy Americans, including a computer genius who had foreseen the alien's evil intent (Jeff Goldblum), a hot-shot jet pilot (Will Smith), and the President of the United States (Bill Pullman). While some critics objected to the film's lack of originality and lapses in logic, the combination of grand visual spectacle and crowd-pleasing storytelling proved irresistible to audiences, resulting in an international smash hit. ~ Judd Blaise, All Movie Guide