Frank Oz


One of my favorite movie series of all time is the Star Wars films. Yes, even the prequels. I’m sure whatever happens with the upcoming sequels, they will make the list, too. I’m an shameless fanboy when it comes to this series, and I can forgive a lot – from Greedo shooting first to Jar Jar Binks. Since I was a child, seeing the original Star Wars at the tender age of five, I have loved the series. My youthful mind always wished I could be a Jedi Knight myself. Now, I know that’s impossible because I certainly don’t have nearly enough midi-chlorians in my blood for that. In fact, it was a relief for me to learn this plot patch when I saw The Phantom Menace because by watching the original trilogy as a child, it seemed so easy to train to be a Jedi Knight. Going back and watching that original trilogy again, it got me thinking: Just how long does it take to complete Jedi Knight training?


hold the dark crystal

It’s a known fact that the summer of ’82 offered up perhaps the best movie season on record (no, really, you can Google it), but the entire year is a never-ending marvel of cinematic joy. A small sampling includes 48 Hours, Blade Runner, E.T. the Extra Terrestrial, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Gandhi, Poltergeist, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Tootsie, and The World According to Garp. Hell, we even got The Beastmaster, Megaforce and Zapped. But as fantastic and memorable as those movies are there are two specific releases from 1982 that helped shape a young me into the movie lover I am today. First up was John Carpenter’s The Thing, a film I had been anxiously following in Fangoria and Starlog (and one I had to guilt-trip my dad into taking me to for having walked me out of Conan the Barbarian during the witch-humping scene), and then six months later came Jim Henson‘s and Frank Oz‘ fantastical puppet adventure, The Dark Crystal. The two movies could hardly be farther apart in tone and style, but they shared a mastery over practical effects used to create a world, build atmosphere, and enhance a story in ways many effects-filled movies never manage. We can all agree that Carpenter’s film is a classic, and my annual viewings on Blu-ray show that it holds up in every regard. But what about The Dark Crystal? It doesn’t appear in conversation nearly as often as other ’80s kids films do. You never hear any […]


An American Werewolf in London

They said it couldn’t be done. A fifth year of 31 Days of Horror? 31 more terror, gore and shower scene-filled movies worth highlighting? But Rejects always say die and never back away from a challenge, so we’ve rounded up the horror fans among us and put together another month’s worth of genre fun. Enjoy! Synopsis: Two American friends backpacking through the UK are attacked on the moors by a werewolf. Jack (Griffin Dunne) is mauled to death, but David (David Naughton)survives the attack with bite and claw wounds. Dreams where he runs naked through the woods tearing into animals with his teeth hint that something is wrong, and visits from a decomposing Jack seem to confirm it. Something is very wrong indeed. Thankfully, it’s also very very funny.



Science fiction has long been considered by some experts to be a lesser genre than traditional dramas and character studies. Because it lends itself so easily to exploitation, science fiction isn’t always given the respect it deserves. Sure, it tends to be a box office winner, as evidenced by the fact that more than half of the all-time domestic grossing films fit easily in that genre (with at least two more – Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest and Shrek 2 – marginally related as genre films). Still, some still consider science fiction something not to be taken seriously. It is for this reason that “legitimate” film directors might shy away from science fiction in lieu of more important or significant projects. However, many directors got their start or their earliest fame from working in science fiction and other allegedly exploitative and pulp genres. This week’s release of Prometheus reminds us that even though Ridley Scott has directed historical epics (Gladiator and Kingdom of Heaven), military action films (Black Hawk Down), crime thrillers (American Gangster) and straight dramas (Thelma & Louise), he got his start in science fiction with Alien and Blade Runner. Scott isn’t the only director to begin a successful career in science fiction. Here are seven other directors who started out or received some of their earliest success in this genre.



Little Shop of Horrors is a story about a man-eating plant that’s been around for quite a while. It started off as a silly Roger Corman movie from the early ’60s, but even before that, Corman’s work is thought to have been inspired by a John Collier story called “Green Thoughts” from the ’30s. What most of us probably think of as Little Shop of Horrors comes from the ’80s, however. In 1982 Alan Menken and Howard Ashmen wrote a stage musical based on Corman’s black comedy, and then in 1986 Frank Oz directed a film version of their musical. As strange and campy as it is, Oz’s version of Little Shop still has quite a few fans to this day, so would it be considered an atrocity for someone to remake it? Maybe not, because, according to THR, the someone who’s newly responsible for trying to get a remake of Little Shop together is none other than Internet darling Joseph Gordon-Levitt. That guy’s so cute and talented, we can’t be mad at him, can we?


Follow That Bird

“But I don’t want to hunt worms. I want Snuffy to come and visit. And if he can’t come and visit, I don’t want to be here anymore. I want to go home!” If you asked a million Muppets fans why they love The Muppets, you would likely get a million different answers, but most of those reasons would probably be rooted in the caring world created by Jim Henson and Frank Oz, a world of family and friendship, of acceptance and education. And while Muppet flicks like The Muppet Movie and The Great Muppet Caper embody all those traits (and are much more likely to be the feature titles viewers think of when they think “Muppet movie”), my favorite Muppet flick that has always best exemplified all those traits is the very first Sesame Street film – Follow That Bird.



What is Movie News After Dark? It’s all about movies, and television, and comics, and literature, and photos of hot women. Such as Miss Piggy, yo. We begin tonight with perhaps the most interesting twist of the fall movie season. In recent interviews, the likes of Frank Oz and other original puppeteers and writers from the Jim Henson school are speaking out about how The Muppets might not respect the characters they helped create. “I wasn’t happy with the script,” Oz told Metro. “I don’t think they respected the characters. But I don’t want to go on about it like a sourpuss and hurt the movie.”



There’s something to be said about remakes, I know. And over the course of the nearly 4-year existence of Film School Rejects, we’ve said a lot about them. And with this one, there seems to be a lot to say…

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published: 02.01.2015
published: 01.31.2015
published: 01.30.2015
published: 01.30.2015

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