The Oral History of Schindler's ListThirty years ago, the 1993 Steven Spielberg movie Schindler's List won seven Oscars including Best Picture. It also won seven BAFTA awards and three Golden Globes. Although not a feel-good movie at all, the film is considered a masterpiece to this day. It is the story of how German businessman Oskar Schindler came to risk his fortune and his freedom to save 1,200 Jews from the Nazis. Before Schindler's List was released, we all knew it would be different from any other Spielberg movie, because the director made no secret of how personal the film was, and that every film he made before led to this one. After Schindler's List, Spielberg took three years off to recover. In 1982, Spielberg didn't think he had the maturity to make the film, but he knew it must be made. Ten years later, it was a different story. It took an awful lot of people with hyper-focused dedication to the project to make it work. The Hollywood Reporter gathered those people together thirty years later to explain how Schindler's List came about. They include Spielberg, Liam Neeson, Ben Kingsley, Ralph Fiennes, Martin Scorsese, Michael Ovitz, and many others involved with the production. You can real it all here.​
Johnny Cash's "Hotel California"Laszlo Buring composes extraordinary syntheses of the most iconic modern compositions. This is, perhaps, his greatest of remixes.Trent Reznor’s “Hurt” is a raw exposure of the experience of drug addiction. Shortly before his death, Johnny Cash covered it so spectacularly that Reznor said that “Hurt” was no longer his song. This Buring cover blends the tones of Reznor and Cash with the lyrics to “Hotel California” by the Eagles. The synthesis is both subtle and completely unmistakable. Buring says that this song has taken at least a year to complete. As you can hear, Buring and his colleagues took great care to every detail.-via Laughing Squid
The Best and Worst Fictional Presidents in Film and TVPresidents Day came about to commemorate the fact that George Washington and Abraham Lincoln were both born in February, Lincoln on the 12th and Washington on the 22nd. But who wants to think about US presidents, anyway? In today's volatile political climate, it's much more fun to enjoy the antics of a fictional American president, and there are plenty of them. This holiday would be a good evening to watch President Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho attempt to do his civic duty in Idiocracy, or President James Marshall transform into an action hero in Air Force One, or Dave Kovic step into the shoes of President Bill Mitchell in Dave. Deadline's list of the 15 best fictional presidents from movies and TV refers to presidential characters that were well-crafted and perfectly cast, whether you'd want to vote for the character or not. You'll just want to watch them onscreen being good or evil or relatable or just plain funny. Their other list, of the ten worst presidents in movies and TV, is a "shows to avoid" list, in which a fictional president is either poorly portrayed or get the worst lines in history. Happy holiday viewing!
We Now Know Who the Fantastic Four AreMarvel announced (with a Valentine) their cast for their upcoming movie The Fantastic Four. Pedro Pascal will play Dr. Reed Richards, also known as Mr. Fantastic (as we hoped for). You could say it's a stretch, but that would be just a pun, as he is perfect for the role. Vanessa Kirby will play Sue Storm-Richards, or Invisible Girl; Joseph Quinn will be her brother Johnny Storm, or the Human Torch; and Ebon Moss-Bachrach will be Ben Grimm, publicly called the Thing. The casting is really no surprise, but the Valentine gives us some clues about the movie. ​Den of Geek is delighted that the image pictures the four as a family first, instead of superheroes fighting bad guys. And if you look closely, you'll see Ben is reading a magazine that resembles a 1963 issue of LIFE magazine, hinting that the story will be set in the 1960s. Marvel has tried bringing the Fantastic Four to the silver screen several times, in 2005, 2007, and 2015, all to disappointing receptions. Roger Corman also made a Fantastic Four film in 1994 that was never released. And there were four TV series, with varying success. Will they finally get it right this time? We still have a long wait to find out. The Fantastic Four will open in theaters on July 25, 2025.
Super Mario Bros. Theme Played by BanjosThe banjo is traditionally associated with the past, and an especially distant, rural past. But the banjoists of Foggy Mountain Spaceship disagree. This Denver-based trio affirms on their website that “the future is banjo.” In this recent performance at the Cervantes’ Masterpiece Ballroom venue, Chris Elliot, Kyle Usser, and Chris Sheldon adapt the electronic theme from Super Mario Bros. to with their acoustic and electrified versions of the banjo. The wrap around sunglasses, which I find reminiscent of Tron, greatly add to the retro futurist ambiance.Other performances include a Flatt and Scruggs polka, the Linus and Lucy theme from Peanuts, and a banjo and cello duet.-via The Awesomer
Which Best Picture Winners Would Be improved by a Cast of Muppets?The Muppets have done plenty of full-length movies, along with several television series, and have done plenty of short spoofs of hit films. In fact, it's become a bit of a parlor game to recast your favorite movie with appropriate -or hilariously inappropriate- Muppets. But let's expand the idea past Star Wars or recent movies. Since the Academy Awards began, there have been 95 films that took home an Oscar for Best Picture. Hard Drive did the work and ranked every Best Picture winner for their potential as a Muppet movie.​Which ones would be most ripe for recasting with Muppets? Imagine The King's Speech if the king were played by the Swedish Chef. Or The Apartment with Kermit and Miss Piggy in the lead roles. Or Gonzo as Hannibal Lecter in Silence of the Lambs. You can almost picture Sam the Eagle portraying Anton Chigurh in No Country For Old Men (in fact, you see him here). There's a Muppet for every role, which is why movies with large casts got extra points. Although it only takes seven movies before they are all improved by a Muppets cast, you might want to skip to page two to read the top half of the list. Commenters disagreed with the casting in some places, because Kermit and Miss Piggy don't always have to play the romantic leads, and Midnight Cowboy must star Fozzie and Rizzo the Rat. Check out the list and marvel at the imagined chaos. -via Boing Boing​