ANT-MAN ... TRAINWRECK ... BOULEVARD ... THE GALLOWS ... MR. HOLMES ... LILA & EVE ... SOUTHPAW ... PIXELS ... UNEXPECTED ... THE VATICAN TAPES ... VACATION ... BEST OF ENEMIES ...
CREED ... THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E. ... POINT BREAK ... THE WALK ... FANTASTIC FOUR ...
STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS ... BATMAN V. SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE ... SPECTRE ...
CRIMSON PEAK ... THE VISIT ... THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY PT. 2 ... and more ...
Opening This Week (click poster images to enlarge / click twice to enlarge full screen)
"REEL TO REAL": Novelist / Screenwriter Cindy Falteich
and guests delve into the art & craft of adapting novels to film.
"24 FRAMES":Respected Cinema Historian / Archivist Steve Vertlieb invites industry insiders to offer commentary on cinema classics &contemporary blockbusters.
"SHATTERING IMAGES":Feminist blogger Kelsey
Cruz and guests dissect and debate the role of women throughout history via depictions in film and other media.
"THE 411":Model / On-air personality Brittney Conner brings news, interviews and more from the world of film.
"The P.O.V. WITH CEJ":Filmmaker / Writer Craig Ellis Jamison, invites (at times irreverent) guests from the world of the arts to delve into the unique dual role of film as both popular entertainment & socio-political commentary.
The designations “The GullCottage / Sandlot”, “GullCottageOnline”, “Gull
Cottage / Flying Bear Films”, “CreateTiV.TV”,
“Steve Vertlieb: The Man
Who ’Saved’ The Movies”, “The Grindhouse: With Craig & Jim”,
“Vaulted Treasures Movie Blog”,
and “TunePlay Film Music” are
trademarks of THE GULLCOTTAGE / SANDLOT.
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Summer / 2016 "THE SANDLOT" MOVIE MAGAZINE
TUNEPLAY - FILM MUSIC: "MARTIN"- IZING: MARTIN TILLMAN AND "SUPERHUMAN"-
A WELCOME RETURN TO THE LOST ART OF DISCOVERY
While those outside music industry circles may not know his name, everyone knows the sound of Martin Tillman. That at times heartachingly quavering / at other times fringe-worthy super-cool vocalization of electric cello vividly remembered by audiences in film scores such as PIRATES OF THE CARRIBEAN, THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST and BLACK HAWK DOWN, and concert performances with everyone from Elton John, Sting and B.B. King, to Tracey Chapman, Elvis Costello and T. Bone Burnett. Making the leap to film composer with the acclaimed THE RING TWO and the recent A BELL FOR URSLI and LAST KNIGHTS (the later a medieval reworking of the story of the 47 RONIN starring Clive Owen and Morgan Freeman) he’d bring a noticeably salient energy to even his more darkly hued works. No surprise as the first impression one comes away with after conversing with Tillman is that of having been in the presence of a young child unleashed in a candy store filled with all manner of confections. And this is precisely what Tillman is - he over his career having worked with many of the music legends (among them Chicago, Toto, members of Pink Floyd and Air Supply) he admired as a student in his native Switzerland.
Now comes the appropriately named SUPERHUMAN – a concept album paying homage to, and on par with!, the best of Tangerine Dream, Pink Floyd, Nino Rota and more. Launched as a tribute to his lovely wife Eva, in honor of her courageous battle against MS (multiple sclerosis), SUPERHUMAN is presently in the process of being transformed into an international multi-media concert tour experience. Our own (albeit much smaller scaled) multi-media combo "album review and Martin Tillman bio / retrospective" includes video, streamed music, transcribed excerpts from our MOVIE SNEAK podcast interview, links and more.
* Includes audio and video / film material
THE INHERENT POWER OF GENRE: "PRINCE v. MICHAEL JACKSON", "BATMAN v. SUPERMAN",
"CAP v. IRON MAN", "MARVEL v. D.C", ...AND WHY THE D.C.
FILMS ARE ON THE RIGHT TRACK!
First let's acknowledge that "Marvel vs. D.C." is a fiction carried by the over-active imaginations of fanboys run rabid, ... and (so-called) journalists who should know better than to accept P.R. hype as fact. For, when you observe how over the last 25-odd years, the filmic adaptations of both Marvel and D.C. properties have taken in a collective $16 billion - split down the middle between each company, you can't help but realize that both corporate entities have learned well how to mine their respective "lighter" and "darker" sides of the thematic street. Comic books have changed dramatically - especially since 9/11 - with former acts of recklessly heroic daring-do now carrying weight as "warfare with collateral damage". And Marvel and D.C. (and their films) have responded accordingly - this to the alternate delight and dismay of audiences.
Our jam packed multi-media look at the histories of both companies - their films, T.V. series, hits, misses and more, includes over 250 stills, theatrical trailers, film clips, music excerpts by John Williams, Hans Zimmer, Henry Jackman, Silvestri, Elfman, Junkie XL and more; in depth individual review / essays of BATMAN V. SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE and CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR (along with a look at the literary origins of both films), as well as new and archival video interview material with Stan Lee, Frank Miller, Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Anthony & Joe Russo, David Goyer, Neil Gaiman, Gweneth Paltrow, Guillermo del Toro, Jeff Bridges and many others. Whew!
Three of 2015's most successful films - THE FORCE AWAKENS, SPECTRE and AMERICAN SNIPER, were also among the year's most divisive, some believing their box office indicative of a trend of formerly complex filmic genres dumbing things down, and others convinced they're in actuality cleverly designed to ensnare audiences with a superficial simplicity which belies more serious subtext. With two STAR TREK films under his belt, FORCE AWAKENS director J.J. Abrams was no stranger to the cinematic version of the "Kobayashi Maru" (no win) scenario. But in the end how well did he, along with new STAR WARS franchise owners, The Walt Disney Company, come through their multi-billion dollar test of creative character?
In Pt.1 of our series (parts two and three will focus on SPECTRE and AMERICAN SNIPER) we take a look at THE FORCE AWAKENS in relation to 40 years of STAR WARS canon, dissect the new film in relation to it; and also dissect the intended audience, asking if some of it's hair-trigger responses (both positive and negative) aren't more personally based in "Pavlovian?" nostalgia. You'll see what we mean. Our multi-media hyperdrive tour through THE FORCE AWAKENS includes over 100 stills, two hours of video interviews, excerpts from John Williams' scores, links and more. We guarantee it's the most all-inclusive online one-stop-shop of FORCE AWAKENS info you'll find anywhere in the galaxy.
Film casting beloved book characters is tricky - often about attitude over physicality. John Travolta as GET SHORTY's Chili Palmer, Matt Damon as Jason Bourne, and even Sean Connery as James Bond initially angered die hard fans. Then when Tom Cruise purchased the rights to Lee Child's JACK REACHER novels, and cast himself as the "6'5, blond haired, blue-eyed" former Marine, Child was thrilled (stating, "With Cruise you get 100% Reacher if only 90% of the height"), but not all Reacher aficionados felt the same. Especially when an online movement began to stage a reading for veteran character actor Chance Kelly - of THE DEPARTED, AMERICAN GANGSTER, HOMELAND, FRINGE, LAW & ORDER, and most recently HOUSE OF CARDS, GENERATION KILL and AMERICAN SNIPER. A former Marine and boxer, many felt (and feel) he IS Jack Reacher in real life. Ms. Falteich delves into Child's background, the creation of his wildly popular character, and the making of the first JACK REACHER film (another's on the way). Then she interviews Chance Kelly himself about his career, life philosophy, currently in production independent project and more; she in the end coming away believing that, in all of this ... "The cool part is being Chance Kelly".
*Includes music, film excerpts, acting reel, and more
A sublimely lyrical adaptation of the popular children's novel by Roald Dahl (previously realized as an animated TV feature and as a stage play), summer 2016's THE BFG was to be the cinematic mash-up for which fans of fantasy and family films had long been waiting: a big screen team up between two names which individually had written the book on both genres - Steven Spielberg and Walt Disney Studios. But alas, it was not to be. Lauded by critics, but largely ignored by audiences, there were theories aplenty as to why the film failed to catch on - running the gamut from speculation that American audiences were turned off by the title, to (most egregiously) conjecture that, in today's fearful and cynical climate, the tale of an outsider who spirits away a young girl to a land of magic and adventure (a'la PETER PAN) bore too close a resemblance to pedophilia.
Beginning as part film review / part thesis on the modern mindset, film historian / Rondo Hatton Award Hall Of Fame honoree Steve Vertlieb addresses these dark theories; then during the second half praises the Spielberg fantasy machine for maintaining it's sense of awe and wonder for nearly a half century, ... all the while intelligently pleading for contemporary audiences to do the same.
*Includes audio / video - film material
MUSINGS & RAMBLINGS:
"ARE THERE ANY N**GERS HERE TONIGHT?" QUENTIN, SPIKE, "DJANGO", AND THE CINEMATIC HISTORY OF THE ALMIGHTY "N" WORD - PT. 1
most successful film of Quentin Tarantino's career, DJANGO UNCHAINED
has taken a slew of international awards (including two Oscars) and
worldwide box office in excess of $400 million. It's also managed to be
the most polarizing entry in the catalog of an already controversial
director known for paying homage to his beloved 70s era blaxploitation
films with liberal sprinklings of the "N" word throughout his scripts.
Coupled with the subject of America's slavery past, the Caucasian film
maker has found himself the object of criticism (and physical threats)
by some members of the black community while being praised by others.
The first half of our in-depth
two-part examination of DJANGO UNCHAINED not only delves into the film's
cinematic roots and inspiration (everything from "Spaghetti" Westerns
to 70s era black sagebrush actioners like SOUL SOLDIER and BOSS NIGGER),
but also takes a retrospective look at the history of controversial
ethnic humor as social weapon (via Richard Pryor and Lenny Bruce), and
the history of the black cinema movement, from groundbreaking silents of
Oscar Micheaux to the classics of Gordon Parks and Melvin Van Peebles,
up to the modern films of Spike Lee, Antoine Fuqua and more.
* Includes audio and video / film material
ARTICLES ARCHIVE: OUR "4Fs": FIFTY FAVORITE FRIGHT FILMS OF ALL TIME -
LEADING UP TO PERHAPS THE GREATEST HORROR MOVIE
EVER, ... WHICH YOU'VE PROBABLY NEVER HEARD OF
Call it "Everything You Always Wanted to Know About the Horror Genre, But Were Too Terrified To Ask".
Our grab bag of ghoulish goodies includes the compilation and revision
of the popular "Fifty Fave Fright Films" run- down from our social media
page; an all new mini essay - "Fear & Fun: The Soul's Inner Need To
Run Rampant!"; video excerpts from the documentaries THE HORRORS OF
STEPHEN KING, TERROR IN THE AISLES, UNIVERSAL HORROR and THE DIGITAL FX
OF "VAN HELSING".
Oh yeah, there's also chill inducing score suites from Jerry Goldsmith's
POLTERGEIST and SECONDS, John Carpenter's PRINCE OF DARKNESS, Lalo
Schifrin's Oscar nominated THE AMITYVILLE HORROR, along with his much sought after
unused music to THE EXORCIST; along over 120 stills, movie poster images and
more. Nighty nite.
* Includes audio and video / film material
Summer / 2016
SCREENWRITING - THE WRITE STUFF: "ALIEN" FINAL SHOOTING SCRIPT (JUNE, 1978) -
WATER HILL / DAVID GILER / DAN O'BANNON / RONALD SHUSETT
of the most popular films (and film franchises) in cinema history,
ALIEN as a story began conceptually with it's now infamous "chest
burster" sequence - inspired by screenwriter Dan O'Bannon's years long
battle with the gastrointestinal disease "Crohn's Syndrome". Returning
penniless to America after the sudden cancellation of Jodorowsky's DUNE
(on which O'Bannon was FX department head), he and fellow aspiring
writer Ronald Shusett collaborated on what began as a low budget "B"
film for Roger Corman, then (via involvement with "A" list filmmakers
Walter Hill, David Giler, newcomer Ridley Scott, and emerging
international artist / sculptor star H.R. Giger) rapidly became one of
the most intense cinematic experiences since THE EXORCIST.
the GullCottage archives we present for download the complete legendary
Walter Hill / David Giler ALIEN final shooting script (PDF) based on
O'Bannon & Shusett's original,
along with video excerpts from the acclaimed 2002 Fox / Van Ness / AMC
documentary THE ALIEN SAGA - narrated by John Hurt, behind the scenes
stills, reproductions of H.R. Giger paintings and more.
in the film business aren't rich superstars like those of "MTV Cribs",
but rather electricians, set builders, etc. raising families, paying
mortgages, and working hellishly long hard hours to do so.
A long proponent of fair on-set working conditions, Oscar winning
cinematographer / documentarian Haskell Wexler (MEDIUM COOL, ONE FLEW
OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST) was spurred to greater action upon the death of
cameraman Brent Herschmann, who fell asleep at the wheel trying to make
it home to his children after a 19 hr. shift on the film
PLEASANTVILLE. Wexler's 2006 WHO NEEDS SLEEP? features interviews with
cinematographer / directors (incl. FIELD OF DREAMS' John Lindley and
LETHAL WEAPON's Richard Donner) as well as commentary by Billy Crystal,
Julia Roberts and others on the (still controversial) subject of safe industry conditions. Watch it then ask, "When does the drive to be #1 become counterproductive?".
*Includes video/film material
FILM MUSIC - ON THE DOWNBEAT:
JERRY GOLDSMITH & MICHAEL CRICHTON:
A MATCH FROM THE GODS IN CINEMA HEAVEN
Film is replete with artistic “marriages” - among them, composer / director
collaborations such as Bernard Herrmann / Alfred Hitchcock (PSYCHO,
NORTH BY NORTHWEST) and John Williams / Steven Spielberg. Odd though
among film and music aficionados, one of the most prolific of pairings is one of the least lauded - the seven time "hook up" of
legendary composer Jerry Goldsmith (CHINATOWN, THE OMEN) with equally
legendary novelist / director MICHAEL CRICHTON on films as
diverse as COMA, THE GREAT TRAIN ROBBERY, RUNAWAY and CONGO. We seek to
right that with a detailed retrospective (including music and
film clips) of their numerous creative "mash-ups" beginning with 1972's
TV movie PURSUIT and concluding with the ill fated TIMELINE (2003) -
their final collaboration shortly before the passing of both men.
THE FILMMAKERS TALK: "WATCH THE SKIES - SCIENCE FICTION, THE 1950s, AND US" (2005) -
WITH STEVEN SPIELBERG, GEORGE LUCAS, RIDLEY SCOTT & JAMES CAMERON
Film critic, journalist, cinema historian & documentarian Richard
Schickel queries four of the most successful genre film makers in history
(Steven Spielberg - E.T., JURASSIC PARK; Ridley Scott - ALIEN, BLADE
RUNNER; George Lucas - the STAR WARS sextet; and James Cameron - THE
TERMINATOR, AVATAR) as to how a handful of classic science fiction films
influenced them from childhood into their present day work. And not high
brow epics like 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY, mind you, but rather humble
1950s-era Saturday matinee / drive-in movie fodder such as THEM!,
FORBIDDEN PLANET, THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING MAN, INVADERS FROM MARS,
DESTINATION MOON, ROCKETSHIP X-M and more. Fire up the popcorn, kick back for an hour and enjoy a grand ride through film
history for fanboys and general buffs alike.
*Includes video/film material
MORPHEUS INCOGNITO: ARTIST WAYNE BARLOWE
AND HIS INFLUENCE ON THE MODERN FILM
"Really good drugs or a really bad childhood?". Any
individual who’s produced but one thing remotely construed as “dark”,
has heard it; ... and few more than Wayne Barlowe. World renowned for
his elegant, lush (and yes! disturbing) series of "Hell World"
paintings, Barlowe's imagination has not only for the past 20 years
seized the imaginations of the art world, but that of film. He's
directly contributed to the concept designs of hits such as HELLBOY 2,
BLADE 2, TITAN A.E., the HARRY POTTER series, and AVATAR. But the
"Barlowe aesthetic" has also been of great influence on PAN'S LABYRINTH,
THE LORD OF THE RINGS, PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN and many more. Join us
on a fascinating one of a kind trip through "Barlowe's Inferno" - a
gallery collection of over two dozen of his most acclaimed original
paintings and just as many film images inspired by them.
Enjoy accompanying suites of bloodcurdling film music by Javier Navarrete and Elliot Goldenthal, as well as the mini-doc presentation "AN INTERVIEW WITH WAYNE BARLOWE"
*Includes audio/video material
Summer / 2016 LIBRARY;
FILM & VIDEO SCREENING ROOM
While the phrase "like a bat outta hell!"
was coined over one hundred years
ago, one suspects it was done so by a shaman or soothsayer who'd glanced
the future and caught a "sneak peek advanced screening" of an
low budget horror "opus" called THE EVIL DEAD. Produced and filmed by a
neophyte Michigan film maker - aided and abetted by a group of friends
with) an almost literal shoestring, the "little movie that could" (about a of
group of Spring breakers who unwittingly unleash a cabal of demons into the
secluded woods) would go on to make it's debut at the Cannes Film Festival where
it would manage to impress and scare the livin' hell out of horror legend
Stephen King. It would become a worldwide financial success as well as the
first "multi-platform" film release. It would evolve into a bonafied franchise,
spawning two popular and critically acclaimed sequels, a line of video games, a
series of comic books, and a much anticipated 2013 remake. It would go down in
history as one of the most popular cult films of all time ... . And oh yes, it
would also launch the careers of writer / director Sam Raimi (DARKMAN, the original SPIDER-MAN
trilogy, OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL), actor Bruce Campbell (THE ADVENTURES OF
BRISCO COUNTRY JR., BUBBA HO-TEP, CARS 2), and even those ever ubiquitous Coen
Bros. - Joel & Ethan.
Before you head out to see the remake / reboot by Fede Alvarez -
which was produced by Raimi and Campbell, by the way! - check out (or
reacquaint yourself with) the original 1981 classic: a living cinematic
fever dream if there ever was one!
VIDEO RETRO: "WOLFEN" (1981): LEADING THE PACK AS
THE FIRST, BEST, AND ONLY TRUE POLITICAL THRILLER
The only narrative fiction film from documentary
director Michael Wadleigh (WOODSTOCK), WOLFEN roared from cinema screens in the summer of
1981, seized the jugular of a nation in the midst of a conservative
political turn, and reminded it that, even as the economy appeared to
be in an upswing, there were still many falling through the cracks and now being used as stepping
stones for a smaller percentage of the privileged.
clever "mash-up" of CSI police procedural and "jump out of your seat" horror,
WOLFEN follows the investigation of NYPD Homicide Detective Dewey
Wilson (Albert Finney) as he attempts to unravel the mystery behind the slasher murder (perpetrated by man or supernatural animal / man being?) of a Donald
Trump-esque real estate magnate - a killing with terrorist ramifications for the
entire (pre 9/11) city of New York. Couchingit's treatise
in an historical
reminiscence of controversial U.S. / Native American relations,
Wadleigh's film would find itself at the center of a media debate
concerning it's "leftist" message as well as end up a chess piece in the
immediate financial future of the recently minted (and in need of a
hit) Orion Pictures film studio.
(as well as documentaries or features) purporting to “reveal”,
“explain” or “decipher” the meaning of another, engage in tricky
business, as often a “nebulus” narrative (in film for example) will be
intentionally so, deliberately leaving “space” wherein each member of
the audience can “fill in the blanks” with material from the stewing
soup of their own subconscious. Then ... there are the later day "non-linear narrative" films of David Lynch - LOST
HIGHWAY (1997), MULHOLLAND DRIVE (2001) and INLAND EMPIRE (2006).
Deliberately cryptic and symbolic, cineastes have debated their meaning
inaugurate our "BY THE BOOK! BUY THE BOOK?" review section with a look
at Michael T. Lidstone's 2010 e-book OLD WORLD POLITICS, NEW WORLD
PROPHECY - UNDERSTANDING DAVID LYNCH'S INLAND EMPIRE. As a bonus
afterward we present the author's personal comments regarding our
review. Check it out then inaugurate your own discussion on our
*Includes video material.
ONLINE FESTIVAL OF SHORT FILMS
ON THE FUNNY - humorous shorts. ON THE FRINGE - important shorts from influential filmmakers. "100 GREATEST MOVIE INSULTS OF ALL TIME" compilation. Andrew Thomas Huang's 2012 Award Winner, SOLIPSIST. The "urban robotics" of Carl Erik Rinsch. Early experimental shorts of Tim Burton, BEING JOHN MALKOVICH's Spike Jonze, and DISTRICT 9 / CHAPPIE's Neill Blomkamp.
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