RIP Roger Corman

Roger¬†Corman, the fabled ‚ÄúKing of the B‚Äôs‚ÄĚ producer and director, giant of independent film making, who churned out low-budget genre films with breakneck speed and provided career boosts to young, untested talents like Jack Nicholson,¬†Ron Howard,¬†Peter¬†Bogdanovich, Martin¬†Scorsese, Francis Ford¬†Coppola, Jonathan¬†Demme, Gale Anne¬†Hurd¬†and¬†James Cameron, has died. He was 98. The filmmaker, who received an honorary Oscar in 2009 at the Governors Awards, died Thursday at his home in Santa Monica, his family told¬†The Hollywood Reporter. He also helped to launch the careers of actors like¬†Peter Fonda,¬†Jack Nicholson, Dennis Hopper, Bruce Dern, Diane Ladd and¬†William Shatner. Corman occasionally acted in films by directors who started with him, including¬†The Godfather Part II¬†(1974), The Silence of the Lambs, Philadelphia (1993), Apollo 13 (1995) and¬†The Manchurian Candidate (2004).

A documentary about Corman’s life and career titled Corman’s World: Exploits of a Hollywood Rebel, directed by Alex Stapleton, premiered at the Sundance and Cannes Film Festivals in 2011. Corman¬† perhaps is best known for such horror fare as The Little Shop of Horrors (1960) and his series of Edgar Allan Poe adaptations starring Vincent Price, like The Raven. Roger William¬†Corman¬†was born in Detroit on April 5, 1926, but his family ‚ÄĒ including his late younger brother¬†Gene Corman, who went on to become an agent and produce several movies with him ‚ÄĒ moved to Beverly Hills when he was 14. He served in the U.S. Navy for nearly three years but found when he was discharged that he had lost his taste for engineering. He took a job at¬†20th Century Fox as a messenger and worked his way up to story analyst. Frustrated with that position, he quit and set off for England. He attended Oxford, doing graduate work in English literature.

He delighted in making genre films, beginning with Westerns: Five Guns West (1955) was his first directing credit, and he followed with Apache Woman (1955) and The Oklahoma Woman (1956). He switched to science fiction and horror, blasting out such gobbled fare as Day The World Ended (1956), It Conquered the World (1956), The Undead (1957), Night of the Blood Beast (1958) and She Gods of Shark Reef (1958). Amid the bloodletting, hokey costumes and bizarre plots were bursts of cheeky humor and campy signs of intelligent life, reflecting Corman’s breezy, comic sensibility. His other work included such schlockers as Creature From the Haunted Sea (1960), Battle of Blood Island (1960) and Last Woman on Earth (1960).

1978 as a producer saw his cult film Piranha followed by 3 awesome scifi cult films in the early 80s. Battle Beyond The Stars was 1980’s ¬† futuristic “Magnificent Seven¬†(itself a western version of¬†Seven Samurai) in outer space” that had¬† special effects designed by a young James Cameron. The same year saw Galaxy Of Terror, with Cameron serving as Production Designer and Second Unit Director on the film. 1982 saw Forbidden World which was an Alien ripoff but has it’s own charm. He went on to produced films till 2017. Corman was married to¬†Julie Halloran from 1970 until his death. They had four children.

5 Hollywood Films That Were Banned In Indian Theatres

Dirty Grandpa is a 2016 American buddy sports romantic sex comedy film about a lawyer who drives his grandfather to Florida during spring break. The film was directed by Dan Mazer and written by John Phillips. It stars Robert De Niro and Zac Efron in the leading roles, with Aubrey Plaza, Zoey Deutch, Julianne Hough and Dermot Mulroney in supporting roles. It was filmed on location in Atlanta from January 19 to May 9, 2015.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo¬†is a 2011¬†mystery¬†thriller film¬†based on the¬†2005 novel¬†by Swedish writer¬†Stieg Larsson. It was directed by¬†David Fincher¬†with a screenplay by¬†Steven Zaillian. Starring¬†Daniel Craig¬†as journalist¬†Mikael Blomkvist¬†and¬†Rooney Mara¬†as¬†Lisbeth Salander, it tells the story of Blomkvist’s investigation to find out what happened to a girl from a wealthy family who disappeared 40 years ago. He recruits the help of Salander, a computer hacker.

The Da Vinci Code¬†is a 2006¬†mystery¬†thriller film¬†directed by¬†Ron Howard, written by¬†Akiva Goldsman, and based on¬†Dan Brown’s¬†2003 novel of the same name. The first in the¬†Robert Langdon¬†film series, the film stars¬†Tom Hanks,¬†Audrey Tautou,¬†Ian McKellen,¬†Alfred Molina,¬†J√ľrgen Prochnow,¬†Jean Reno¬†and¬†Paul Bettany. In the film,¬†Robert Langdon, a professor of religious symbology from¬†Harvard University, is the prime suspect in the grisly and unusual murder of Louvre curator Jacques Sauni√®re. On the body, the police find a disconcerting cipher and start an investigation. Langdon escapes with the assistance of police cryptologist Sophie Neveu, and they begin a quest for the legendary¬†Holy Grail.

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom is a 1984 American action-adventure film directed by Steven Spielberg from a script by Willard Huyck and Gloria Katz, based on a story by George Lucas. It is the second installment in the Indiana Jones film series, and a prequel to Raiders of the Lost Ark. The film features Harrison Ford who reprises his role as the title character. Kate Capshaw, Amrish Puri, Roshan Seth, Philip Stone and Ke Huy Quan, in his film debut, star in supporting roles. In the film, after arriving in British India, Indiana Jones is asked by desperate villagers to find a mystical stone and rescue their children from a Thuggee cult practicing child slavery, black magic, and ritual human sacrifice in honor of the goddess Kali.

I Spit on Your Grave (originally titled Day of the Woman) is a 1978 American rape-and-revenge film written and directed by Meir Zarchi. The film tells the story of Jennifer Hills (Camille Keaton), a fiction writer based in New York City who exacts revenge on her four tormentors who gang rape and leave her for dead. I Spit on Your Grave is noted for its controversial depiction of extreme graphic violence, particularly the lengthy depictions of gang rape, that take up 30 minutes of its runtime.

If You Had To Watch One Movie For The Rest Of Your Life, what would it be? Why?

If you had to watch one movie for the rest of your life, what would it be? Why?

That is a tough one. I have quite a few movies that I love and maybe like a handful which I think are my favourites, but choosing just one film only for the rest of my life? That is a extremely difficult to do so. One more only? No movie lover could ever do that.

The fact is I love Science Fiction, horror, comedy, romance, romantic comedy, adventure, crime, mystery etc. There’s a few movies that seem to blend some of these genres but for the whole, I need to have a healthy mix in my collection and rewatch most of the really good ones and ones that I like.

Star Trek II : Wrath of Khan, Star Trek : First Contact come to mind. You’ve Got Mail, School Of Rock, My Cousin Vinny, Wayne’s World all are among my favourites. Shawshank Redemption, The Departed, The Wrestler, the Fifth Element, Jurassic Park, Ice Age, Aladdin all make me happy and I watch them a lot. But to pick just one ?

Blog prompt from 31 Blog Post Ideas for May at A Grande Life

RIP Terry Carter

Terry Carter, who portrayed Pvt. Sugie Sugarman on¬†The Phil Silvers Show, the sidekick of Dennis Weaver‚Äôs character on¬†McCloud¬†and Colonel Tigh on the original version of¬†Battlestar Galactica, has died. He was 95. Carter died Tuesday at his home in Manhattan, his son, Miguel Carter DeCoste confirmed. Carter appeared three times on Broadway early in his career and produced and directed a documentary on jazz legend Duke Ellington for PBS‚Äô¬†American Masters series in 1988. As Col. Tigh on one of my favourite tv shows of all time, he was the no-nonsense, loyal to a fault deputy to the show’s patriarch Commander Adama (the late Lorne Greene).

The Brooklyn native, born John Everett DeCoste, appeared on all four seasons (1955-59) of CBS’ The Phil Silvers Show (also known as Sgt. Bilko) as Pvt. Sugarman, the only Black regular on the comedy. He then played Sgt. Joe Broadhurst alongside Weaver’s Deputy Marshal Sam McCloud on NBC’s McCloud from 1970-77 and Tigh in the 1978 Battlestar Galactica movie and 1978-79 ABC series. From 1965-68, he served as the first Black news anchor on a New England TV station, WBZ-TV in Boston. Carter formed his own production company in 1975 and made documentaries, including one on dancer-choreographer Katherine Dunham that premiered in 2013.

His acting résumé included the films Parrish (1961), starring Claudette Colbert and Karl Malden; Benji (1974), written and directed by Joe Camp; and Foxy Brown (1974), starring Pam Grier. He also had TV gigs on Naked City, The Defenders, Combat!, That Girl, Bracken’s World, Mannix, Julia, The Jeffersons, Falcon Crest, The Fall Guy, Mr. Belvedere and 227. Survivors include his third wife, Selome; his children, Miguel and Melinda; and his stepdaughter, Hiwot.

RIP Louis Gossette Jr.

Oscar winning actor Louis Gossette Jr has passed away at the age of 87. Gossett Jr., who took home an Academy Award for ‚ÄúAn Officer and a Gentleman‚ÄĚ and an Emmy for ‚ÄúRoots,‚ÄĚ both times playing a mature man who guides a younger one taking on a new role ‚ÄĒ but in drastically different circumstances ‚ÄĒ died early Friday in Santa Monica, Calif. ¬†Born in¬†Coney Island, Brooklyn, New York City, he made his stage debut at the age of 17. Shortly thereafter, he successfully auditioned for the¬†Broadway play¬†Take a Giant Step.¬†Gossett continued acting onstage in critically acclaimed plays including¬†A Raisin in the Sun¬†(1959),¬†The Blacks¬†(1961),¬†Tambourines to Glory¬†(1963), and¬†The Zulu and the Zayda¬†(1965). In 1977, Gossett appeared in the popular¬†miniseries¬†Roots, for which he won¬†Outstanding Lead Actor for a Single Appearance in a Drama or Comedy Series¬†at the¬†Emmy Awards.

Gossett continued acting in high-profile films, television, plays, and video games. In 1982, for his role as¬†Gunnery Sergeant¬†Emil Foley in¬†An Officer and a Gentleman, he won the¬†Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor¬†and became the first black actor to win in this category. At the Emmy Awards, Gossett continued to receive recognition, with nominations for¬†The Sentry Collection Presents Ben Vereen: His Roots¬†(1978),¬†Palmerstown, U.S.A.¬†(1981),¬†Sadat¬†(1983). Gossett appeared in 1985’s¬†Enemy Mine¬† with Dennis Quaid,¬†A Gathering of Old Men¬†(1987),¬†Touched by an Angel (1997), and¬† Watchmen¬†(2019). He won and was nominated at other ceremonies including the¬†Golden Globe Awards,¬†Black Reel Awards, and¬†NAACP Image Awards. Gossett was also well-known for his role as Colonel Chappy Sinclair in the¬†Iron Eagle¬†film series (1986-1995).

His television appearances include Bonanza (1971), The Jeffersons (1975), American Playhouse (1990),  Stargate SG-1 (2005), Left Behind: World at War (2005), Boardwalk Empire (2013), and The Book of Negroes (2015). Gossett was married three times and fathered one son and adopted one son. Gossett struggled with a debilitating illness during the 1990s and early 2000s, having been given a prognosis of six months to live from a doctor at one stage. In 2001, he learned much of his illness was due to toxic mold in his Malibu home. On February 9, 2010, Gossett announced that he had prostate cancer. He added the disease was caught in its early stages, and he expected to make a full recovery. In late December 2020, Gossett was hospitalized in Georgia with COVID-19.

Five Awesome Hollywood Movies Set In India

Lion is based on the true story of Saroo Brierly (via People), who, after being tragically separated from his family 25 years prior, embarks on a journey across India to reunite with them. Highly emotive and truly powerful, the movie was a huge success with critics and was nominated for a total of six Academy Awards, with particular praise aimed at the acting of the cast, which included Dev Patel as Saroo and Nicole Kidman as his adoptive mother, as well as a number of well-known Indian actors, including Tannishtha Chatterjee, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, and Priyanka Bose.

Octopussy is the 13th film in the James Bond franchise and the sixth to feature Roger Moore as the suave and sophisticated British secret agent. Investigating the murder of a fellow agent, it sees the globe-trotting spy travel to India where his trails led him to the mysterious Octopussy, who he ends up later enlisting to help thwart the dastardly plans of exiled Afghan Prince, Kamal Khan, who is working with the deranged Soviet General Orlov, to detonate a nuclear bomb on an American airbase in West Germany. With much being filmed in India, audiences are treated to plenty of high-octane action sequences, including brawls in the densely populated streets whilst riding a tuk-tuk, as well as Bond hanging onto the tail of a moving airplane whilst high in the sky. There are also plenty of elegant palaces, with images of the Taj Mahal and locations including the Shiv Niwas Palace, Taj Lake Palace and Jag Mandir Palace, being used.

When it comes to awards, this 1982 biopic is one of the most highly decorated there is. Starring Ben Kingsley as the eponymous Gandhi, Gandhi tells the story of how he led the nonviolent non-cooperative Indian independence movement against the British Empire during the 20th Century. Visually stunning, beautifully acted, and telling an important story, the movie was nominated for 11 Oscars, winning eight, including Best Actor for Kingsley as well as Best Director and Best Picture.

The Jungle Book РThere have been countless adaptations of Rudyard Kipling’s collection of short stories collectively known as The Jungle Book. Probably, the most well-loved is Disney’s 1967 animated musical. Set deep in the Indian jungle, it tells the tale of a feral child raised by a pack of wolves as he navigates the dangers of the jungle, making man a friend and foe along the way. The beautifully animated Indian wilderness perfectly captures the essence of the jungle described in Kipling’s stories, no doubt inspired by his time growing up in India.

Life of Pi¬†is a 2012¬†adventure-drama¬†film directed and produced by¬†Ang Lee¬†and written by¬†David Magee. Based on¬†Yann Martel’s 2001 novel¬†of the same name, it stars¬†Suraj Sharma¬†in his film debut,¬†Irrfan Khan,¬†Tabu,¬†Rafe Spall,¬†G√©rard Depardieu¬†and¬†Adil Hussain¬†in lead roles. The storyline revolves around two survivors of a shipwreck who are on a¬†lifeboat¬†stranded in the¬†Pacific Ocean¬†for 227 days. One is a sixteen-year-old Indian boy named Pi Patel (Suraj Sharma) and the other is a ferocious¬†Bengal tiger named Richard Parker. The film began development shortly after the release of the book and filming was split between¬†India,¬†Taiwan¬†and¬†Montreal in 2011.

RIP M Emmet Walsh

M Emmet Walsh the 88 year old American character actor who appeared in over 200 films and television series has died of a cardiac arrest. Hie roles included small but important supporting roles such as Earl Frank in Straight Time¬†(1978), the Madman in¬†The Jerk¬†(1979), Captain Bryant in¬†Blade Runner¬†(1982), Harv in¬†Critters¬†(1986), and Walt Scheel in¬†Christmas with the Kranks¬†(2004). He starred as private detective Loren Visser in¬†Blood Simple¬†(1984), the¬†Coen Brothers’ first film, for which he won the¬†Independent Spirit Award for Best Male Lead.

His other numerous film appearances include¬†Midnight Cowboy¬†(1969),¬†Little Big Man¬†(1970),¬†What’s Up, Doc?¬†(1972),¬†Serpico¬†(1973),¬†The Gambler¬†(1974),¬†Bound for Glory¬†(1976),¬†Slap Shot¬†(1977),¬†Airport ’77¬†(1977),¬†Brubaker¬†(1980),¬†Ordinary People¬†(1980),¬†Reds¬†(1981),¬†Silkwood¬†(1983),¬†Fletch¬†(1985),¬†Back to School¬†(1986),¬†Raising Arizona¬†(1987),¬†Romeo + Juliet¬†(1996),¬†My Best Friend’s Wedding¬†(1997),¬†The Iron Giant¬†(1999),¬†Calvary¬†(2014), and¬†Knives Out¬†(2019). Over 7 decades as a character actor, he has credited roles in more than 220 films and television shows.

Over seven decades of television, Walsh appeared in shows including Starsky and Hutch, Frasier, The Twilight Zone, The X-Files, Home Improvement and Adventure Time. Walsh born in Ogdensburg, New York, to Irish descandants, was just 3 days shy of his 89th birthday!