Ed Wood

Ed Wood

With the popularity of films like The Room, Birdemic: Shock and Terror, and Sharknado (now with a 2 behind it!), it seems that some people tend to like bad movies more than they like good ones. However, long before Tommy Wiseau or James Nguyen were directing films, and before Tara Reid was even born, there was a magical man named Edward D. Wood, Jr. Even with his terrible sense of plot, sequence and cinematic structure, Ed Wood managed to give his own flavor to his films, culminating in the granddaddy of all bad movies: Plan 9 From Outer Space. In 1994, Tim Burton directed Ed Wood, telling the story of the infamous director and how his friendship with horror movie legend Bela Lugosi helped breathe some life into both of their careers. The 2004 DVD release of the film includes a commentary with Burton, edited together with his filmmaking cohorts, which delivers a comprehensive look at the film’s creation. It has been 55 years since the release of Plan 9 From Outer Space, and it’s been 20 years since the release of Ed Wood. Before Burton really hit the skids with movies like Planet of the Apes and Dark Shadows, here’s a brighter (even in black and white), more inspirational time in his career that we can all learn from.

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IntroDisclaimers

Sometimes it’s not enough to simply present your movie without remark, so over the years filmmakers and censors have devised various ways to make sure we know exactly what we are seeing before, or sometimes after we see it. Other times they get bored and, like anyone bored at work, decide to have a little fun with the process.

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IntroBioPic

Biopics are always praised for their lead actor or actress’ realistic or unique portrayal of the subject, but what of the supporting cast? Sure, we do recognize their efforts, they might even receive an Academy Award, but rarely are they honored with something as prestigious as an online comedy list. It’s time to rectify that. Here are some of the more talented, memorable, or uncanny portrayals of people who were important enough to be featured in a movie, but not important enough for that movie to be about them.

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As far as I can tell, regular folk don’t care for movies about movies or films about filmmaking. They used to, back when Hollywood was a more glamourous and idolized place for Americans. Classics like Sunset Boulevard, Singin’ in the Rain, The Bad and the Beautiful and the 1954 version of A Star is Born were among the top-grossing releases of their time. But 60 years later, it seems the only people really interested in stories of Hollywood, actors, directors, screenwriters, et al. are people involved with the film industry — the self-indulgence being one step below all the awards nonsense — and movie geeks, including film critics and fans. If you’re reading Film School Rejects, you’re not one of the aforementioned “regular folk,” and you probably get more of a kick out of stuff like Living in Oblivion, Ed Wood, Get Shorty, State and Main, The Hard Way, The Last Tycoon, The Stunt Man, The Big Picture, The Player, Bowfinger, Who Framed Roger Rabbit? and Argo than those people do. While it is true that The Artist faced the challenge of being a silent film, another major obstacle in the way of box office success must have been its Hollywood setting. Argo isn’t really literally about filmmaking, though, and that might be working in its favor. Ben Affleck‘s period thriller, which is expected to finally take the top spot at the box office this weekend, is about not making a film, so it should have the opposite result of most movies in which […]

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Welcome back to This Week In Discs! I hope you’ve been saving your pennies because there are tons of fantastic releases worth buying today. All three (or so) Indiana Jones movies finally make their Blu-ray debut, genre fans get one of the year’s best horror films (The Cabin In the Woods) as well as Scream Factory’s stellar Blus of two Halloween classics, David Fincher fanatics will rejoice at Criterion’s release of The Game and my favorite film from 2011 hits DVD as my Pick of the Week. As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. Oslo August 31st Anders (Anders Danielsen Lie) is out on leave from drug rehab for the purpose of a job interview, but it’s a job he knows he’ll never hold. Instead he visits an old friend, touches base with his family, searches for an old flame and fights the urge to kill himself. This Norwegian drama finds both heartache and vitality in its story and in its lead character, and Danielsen Lie makes it all so palpable and affecting. That said, there’s also an undeniable desire for life here that struggles against his depression with desperate intensity. Make no mistake, Anders is sadness incarnate, but he’s also a man at a crossroads with a decision before him that you can’t turn away from. Check out my full review.

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You would think that having your film sweep every single category of a highly visible awards show would be a once in a lifetime honor that would be a career capping moment. But that’s not really the case when the awards show we’re talking about is the annual Razzie Awards for worst in filmmaking. No, in this case, winning every award is a pretty clear indication that you’re a shame to the entire human race, and should probably stop making movies. In accordance with the new schedule that the Razzies are working under this year, they announced their winners yesterday, on April Fool’s Day. When the nominations were first announced, it looked like Adam Sandler’s Happy Madison production, Jack and Jill, was set to take home a record-breaking amount of awards; and boy, did it. For the first time in the history of the Razzies, one movie swept the show, winning (relatively speaking) in every single category.

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Culture Warrior

Had Leslie Nielsen never been cast in Airplane!, he still would have had a decent working career. He certainly never would have gone down as one of the great entertainers, but the man would have had work. After all, he did have a few noticeable (if not entirely notable) dramatic roles in genre fare ranging from Forbidden Planet (1956) to Prom Night (1980, the same year as Airplane!). But Nielsen did co-star in Airplane!, delivering one immortal line after another, which later catapulted his persona into legendary synonymy with contemporary cinematic parody. Jim Abrahams and the Zucker brothers may have been the minds behind what exactly the movie parody came to be, but Nielsen was undoubtedly the face and the voice. There is a reason that Leslie Nielsen happened.

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Auteurs: Martin Scorsese

Last month as I sat down to watch Scorsese’s Shutter Island with the rest of the Austin-based Reject crew, Lost Club’s David Gunn and I had a rather enlightening discussion about the applicability of the auteur theory in today’s cinematic landscape. It got me thinking about the contemporary negotiations between the theory’s shortcomings, contradictions, and pragmatic applicability to how we perceive and view cinema on a regular basis in the 21st century.

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Joe Johnston’s remake of the 1941 film The Wolf Man marks the first ever, in history, reboot of a Universal monster character. No other filmmaker has ever attempted this, especially in the last 20 years. But, with this ground-breaking film how much of the original story is actually retained?

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culturewarrior-amelia

The successful biopic is something that takes a truly masterful hand to accomplish, but not many movies do it well. This week’s Culture Warrior asks why.

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FemaleDirectorList

Remember all of those movies you love to sit around watching and loving and talking about? Some of them were directed by women. You didn’t even know that. Did you, you chauvinist pig?

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Plan9FromOuterSpaceRemake

Someone out there decided it was a great idea to remake Ed Wood’s Plan 9 From Outer Space. Most likely, this is due to the fact that it’s a great idea to remake Ed Wood’s Plan 9 From Outer Space.

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katehudson01.jpg

Kate Hudson sets herself up to play Margaret Keane.

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