Billy Zane

Call of the Wylie Short

Nobody really knows Fisher Stevens the director. We tend to think of him primarily as the actor who boldly went brownface for the Short Circuit movies and more recently appeared in a few episodes of Lost. (But if you’re really hip, you best remember him for My Science Project.) He also won an Oscar for producing the documentary The Cove three years ago. But he has been directing here and there since the mid-’90s. He helmed a little-known rom-com in 2002 called Just a Kiss and collaborated with Dan Klores on the also under-seen 2007 doc Crazy Love. This Friday, his biggest directorial effort to date, Stand Up Guys, opens theatrically in a modest number of locations considering it stars Al Pacino, Christopher Walken and Alan Arkin. In anticipation of that new feature, I’d like to go back 18 years and look at Stevens’s directorial debut. It’s a short titled Call of the Wylie, and it’s a live-action comedy about the Warner Bros. cartoon character Wile E. Coyote. In his personal life, he goes by his middle name, Ezra, and acts like quite the highbrow thespian in spite of the slapstick role he’s best known for. Starring as the Coyote is Patrick Breen, who also scripted the short (as well as Stevens’s Just a Kiss and another short, Phineas). Call of the Wylie depicts the character being fired by Jack Warner and then meeting a woman named Melody (as in Merrie Melody) played by Amy Irving. Over drinks and smokes, […]

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Over Under - Large

Since its original release in 1972, Ronald Neame’s The Poseidon Adventure has gained the reputation of being a modern classic. And, certainly, it’s widely considered as being one of the preeminent disaster movies of all time. Set on a retiring ocean liner making its last voyage, The Poseidon Adventure tells the story of a New Year’s Eve celebration that gets interrupted by the sinking of a ship. It’s got a pretty impressive upside down ballroom set, it prominently features the legendary Gene Hackman, and it tells a high stakes story of survival. So it’s not hard to see why people like it. But it’s also largely just a movie where a group of confused people stumble around in dirty access panels and anonymous hallways for much of its run time. Is it really so great that watching it should be a New Year’s Eve tradition like many have made it out to be? Especially when there are indisputable classics like The Apartment out there that also feature New Year’s Eve party scenes? James Cameron’s Titanic is a sappy, on-the-nose romance set against the maiden voyage (and sinking) of the infamous RMS Titanic. Upon its release in 1997, Titanic won basically every award that was given out, brought in every bit of spare cash that was sitting in anyone’s pocketbooks, and captured the attention of the media machine to the point that, by the time 1998 rolled around, the backlash for the film had almost reached the same levels of fervor […]

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To spend so many years of your life not knowing about the Titanic until the director of True Lies tells you about it is almost as tragic as the event itself. But there’s no one that doesn’t know about the sinking of the Titanic, right? Right? In usual Internet and Twitter fashion, the impossible has been proven not-at-all-impossible. Kids and teens across the nation, a.k.a. these 12 concerned Twitterers, are currently in a state of shock and terror because 100-year-old news doesn’t travel fast enough. Not only are these fine citizens worried if people actually died, but more importantly if dear Jack made it or if Billy Zane got his comeuppance. Nikki Finke’s insiders estimate it’ll take ten years for them to figure out both Jack and Billy Zane weren’t even real people. Expect more #mindblown tweets that day. Check this out for yourself:

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Junkfood Cinema

Welcome back to JFC; we ain’t gonna play Sun City. Written from within the Bad Movie Archives nestled comfortably below the surface of the Earth somewhere underneath Dolph Lundgren’s wombat ranch, Junkfood Cinema is, according to critics, “arguably worth your time.” Every week I flash fry an entire movie in the white-hot oil of merciless mockery. But then I cool it on a baking rack of unabashed reverence letting it congeal into something unironically delicious. Then, after coming to the terrifying realization that I can’t actually eat a metaphor, I will substitute a real-world snack item paired to the film in the hopes that my writing will no longer boast the greatest offense to your bowels. Today’s treat: Demon Knight

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IMDB would have you believe that Billy Zane shaves his head for aerodynamics in the swimming pool, but we all know that’s not true. It’s our hearts he slips into so effortlessly, and maybe your girlfriend’s vagina, and he does it with a mischievous grin, a dastardly glimmer in his eyes, and yes, that frequently shaven head of his. He’s a memorable actor in every one of his films and often the best thing about many of them too… mostly the direct to DVD ones. Speaking of which, his latest film is the third sequel in the Sniper franchise and the first to see him reprise his role from the original. Sniper: Reloaded hit shelves this week, and we’ve got a free DVD for one lucky winner. How can you win? Simple… tell us your favorite Billy Zane performance in the comment section below. I know what you’re thinking. Narrow Zane’s many brilliant performances down to just one?!? But remember, if this was easy everyone would have a chance at winning. So tell us which role of his thrills you the most, and to make things even tougher (and to make sure you’re still reading) I’m going to ban the best answer from consideration. Dead Calm is that answer, and it will not be accepted below.

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The Phantom / Junkfood Cinema

Welcome back to Junkfood Cinema; who knew reading could be hazardous to your health? Take that elementary school librarians! In a ceaseless assault on I.Q.’s across the nation, every week I bring you samplings from the bad film elite and break down exactly where they failed to meet traditional standards of cinema quality.

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DarfurHeader

Step one to being taken seriously: Make a socially conscious film. Step two: Have a typo in the trailer.

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phantom-header

The Associated Press reports that The Phantom is getting a remake, of sorts. I’ll give you a minute to digest that news. No, really, take your time.

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Uwe Boll is suing Billy Zane

Uwe Boll is suing actor Billy Zane over a sticky financial situation arising from 2006′s Bloodrayne.

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