Walk Of Fame Inductees July 2016

To check the dubious reasoning behind these posts, check the original here:

https://carlosnightman.wordpress.com/2015/05/14/walk-of-fame-a-celebration-of-heroism/

In this new series of posts I’ll be selecting a Star at random from every decade (who was born in that decade) starting from the 1880s up until the 1990s to be interred in this land of magic and wonder, who will for ever more see their name set in stone far beyond the places where Gods dare to tread. Each name will have a unique star placed and statue built-in their honour. Often accompanying these additions will be news of a new store or museum to go alongside those stars whose work is of particular genius, and you too can visit and see the place of your dreams, simply by closing your eyes….

1880sEdith Evans. For contributions to Cinema and Theatre. Primarily a stage actress, from 1912 to 1974, Evans occasionally appeared on the big screen to critical acclaim, garnering three Oscar nominations in four years. She is remembered for works including The Whisperers, Tom Jones, and The Chalk Garden.

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1890sAlfred Hitchcock. For contributions to Cinema, Television. The Master himself, Hitchcock was already established in Britain as one of the finest Directors in the world having made several hit silent and talkie movies. It wasn’t until he headed for Hollywood that he became arguably the greatest and most influential Director of them all, creating classic after classic and changing the way people thought about Cinema forever. On top of that, he was one of the earliest pioneers of Television with his series considered one of the best ever made. He is known for works including Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Psycho, Vertigo, and North By Northwest.

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1900sFay Wray. For contributions to Cinema and Television. One of the many WAMPAS babies, Wray started out in short films before moving to long form silent movies and talkies before becoming a star with King Kong. Continuing to star in a variety of genre movies for the next two decades, Wray also transitioned to Television in the 1950s where she would spend the majority of her later career. She is remembered for works including The Pride Of The Family and It Happened In Hollywood. 

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1910sCarole Landis. For contributions to Cinema and Theatre. An actress always on the verge of stardom, her early suicide was a tragedy in many senses, not least that she missed out on fulfilling her potential – the details of her death have since mired what was a promising career. She is remembered for works including Four Jills In A Jeep, One Million BC, and My Gal Sal.

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1920sRod Steiger. For contributions to Cinema, Theatre, and Television. One of many people who escaped a rough childhood by becoming an actor, Steiger had a long and varied career in multiple mediums and was an Oscar and Bafta winner while also picking up many further nominations. Equally content on the stage, big screen, or small screen, Steiger’s performances were often the most memorable part of the works he appeared in, whether it be an indie drama or war time epic. He is remembered for works such as On The Waterfront, In The Heat Of The Night, and The Pawnbroker. 

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1930sMorgan Freeman. For contributions to Cinema, Theatre, and Television. Although it seems like Morgan Freeman has been around forever, his most famous roles only began in the late 1980s, stepping easily between drama, comedy, and blockbuster. In truth he had been acting from an early age, appearing on stage after a military career throughout the 60s and 70s before moving to TV soap operas. Since garnering mainstream success he has been noted as one of the finest, most respected actors of his generation thanks to works including The Dark Knight TrilogyThe Shawshank Redemption, and Driving Miss Daisy.

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1940sPeter Greenaway. For contributions to Cinema and Television. A British director heavily influence by music, costume, and art, much of Greenaway’s work is experimental and visually appealing, challenging and engaging. Along side movies he continues to make short films and documentaries, but he is best known for works such as The Cook, The Thief, His Wife, and Her Lover, The Draughtman’s Contract, and The Pillow Book.

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1950sMichael Ontkean. For contributions to Cinema and Television. Known primarily for his roles as a law enforcement official in various TV shows, Ontkean also has made a variety of movies since the Seventies before recently retiring. He is popular due to performances in works such as Twin Peaks, The Rookies, and Clara’s Heart.

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1960sBrendan Fraser. For contributions to Cinema and Television. An actor whose affable persona and performances meant great success in comedy roles in his early careen, Fraser crossed over to action movies seemlessly, becoming another American every man hero in the Indian Jones mold. He is known for works including The Mummy Series, Airheads, and Bedazzled.

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1970sVicki Shao. For contributions to Music, Television, and Cinema. Also known as Zhao Wei, Shao is one of the most famous and respected actors in China, familiar to many Western audiences too due to performances in works such as Red Cliff, Shaolin Soccer, and My Fair Princess.

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1980sBriana Evigan. For contributions to Cinema and Television. One of several actresses who have been earmarked as new wave Scream Queens, Evigan may come from an acting family but used her own dancing and acting talent to forge her own career, appearing in works such as The Step Up Series, Mother’s Day, and From Dusk Till Dawn. 

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1990sLiam Hemsworth. For contributions to Cinema and Television. The youngest of the Hemsworth clan of brothers, Liam got his break in popular Australian Soap operas before moving to Hollywood. It wasn’t long before he began picking up minor and supporting roles in a variety of movies before appearing in larger roles in bigger blockbusters. He is known for works such as The Hunger Games Trilogy, The Expendables II, and Independence Day: Resurgence. 

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In addition to the stars and statues erected for the people above, the following attractions have also been unveiled:

The Alfred Hitchcock Museum and Film School: In honour of Alfred Hitchcock, this massive campus has been created as both a school for those interested in a career in movies and/or television and a tourist destination for fans of the man. While the state of the art film school will house many lecture halls, classrooms, living quarters and other facilities, along with a wide variety of classes and courses taught by some of the universe’s foremost experts on Hitchcock himself and every aspect of the industry, the museum features memorabilia and information on all aspects of Hitchcock’s life and every piece of work he was involved in. Many fully realized sets from his most famous movies are available to wander through including the Bates Motel, Mount Rushmore, and Bodega Bay -feel free to stay a few nights in or near to any of these destinations and more.

The Ancient Cairo Holiday Complex: In honour of Brendan Fraser – if epic scope and Ancient Egypt are your thing, then spend a few bucks and visit the Ancient Cairo Holiday Complex – this monumental tourist destination is only marginally smaller than the real thing and brings together 100% accurate restorations of all of Cairo’s most famous landmarks and hotspots – from the nearby Ginza Pyramid Complex along with the more recent Cairo Citadel and modern Cairo Tower. Spend days shopping in the complexes copious bazaars and stores and eating at the many restaurants, relax at one of the six star hotels, or have fun at our water and theme parks. The focal point is of course the series of Mummy related attractions – from booby trap filled pyramids for all the family to paintball style adventure games with a host of rendered undead villains.

What sort of attractions based on any of the people above would you like to see created in your wildest dreams? Let us know in the comments!

Mother’s Day

Mother's Day New Poster

Cover Your Holes

Aaah, the horror genre, my beloved genre of choice. When making a horror movie, you have to tread carefully to avoid supposed scares being funny or flat, and when not dealing with some supernatural force and aiming for realism, you had better cover up as many holes, questions, and implausibilities as you can, otherwise the tension and scares will come to naught. Mother’s Day is the another in a long line of remakes, this time around though it’s a remake of a film I haven’t yet seen. With Darren Lynn Bousman of Saw fame at the helm we have someone who knows how to make a decent horror flick, and with Rebecca De Mornay we have at least some acting pedigree to make proceedings watchable. As mentioned, I haven’t seen the original, so I’ll review this purely as a standalone.

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The film opens with an effective enough cloaked scene of baby-snatching, setting the tone as fairly dark from the outset. We shift then to a house party where a group of friends are celebrating a birthday. In a pleasing turn, the group all appear to be late 20s – late 30s rather than the typical teenaged crowd. We briefly meet each character and learn a little about them – they are an average bunch, a mixture of married couples and flirty singles, and we learn that an approaching hurricane/tornado will mean they may not be able to leave their house. After this brief introduction, we meet the bad guys – a trio of brothers fleeing from a botched bank robbery. In our first twist, they land at the house of the goodies – it turns out that this was their house, but they were unaware that their mother had lost it a few months previously and the good guys have since moved in. Before long, the goodies are holed up in the basement, and Rebecca De Mornay’s Mother is on her way home to help her boys.

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As alluded to in my poor introduction, if you’re going for realism, you have to be careful to avoid any lapses in that realism. There are certain lapses and questionable decision making throughout the movie on behalf of the good guys, but possibly to its credit, the film does make tongue in cheek nods to these, such as having the characters argue over whether or not they should rise up and fight back, or simply play along. Nevertheless, it’s always going to be one of those films where you wonder how you would react in the same situation, and will be screaming at the TV as the characters do silly things. On a better note though, the performances are mostly very good, with De Mornay being at once chilling, motherly, psychotic, loving, calming and violent. Shawn Ashmore stands out too as the sympathetic doctor, and the only character who seems to repeatedly make the correct decisions, while the assorted guests and children of Mother are each performed admirably – King and Evigan in particular.

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A Cheap Catch

I’d class this more as a gore-filled thriller rather than an all-out horror film. There is a fair amount of tension throughout, and the scenes of violence are shocking for the uninitiated, and realistically bloody. There is nothing outlandish, but then again there are not too many genuine scares taking it away from the horror genre. The setting doesn’t fully use the idea of claustrophobia to its advantage, and really the whole tornado business could have been taken out completely. There is a decent atmosphere at times, and there are some moments where our protagonists fail to trust each other, and indeed a few twists are thrown in for good measure, none of which are particularly striking but are nevertheless welcome. A few of the revelations cross the line between whether we can truly root for or dislike a certain character , while some viewers may feel they are merely by-the-numbers plot-twist fodder. On the whole, this is a decent enough film to try if you can catch it on the cheap – there isn’t anything startling or original, but thanks to strong casting and good pacing, it’s a harmless, entertaining watch.

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Have your seen either version of Mother’s Day? Which version is the best, and what do you think of horror remakes in general? Let us know in the comments!