NEWS…….TCM’S LOW-BUDGET HITS, LAST CIRCUS, AVENGERS, ACORN MEDIA AND MORE……
by Elaine Hegwood Bowen
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TCM OFFERS 10 FAVORITE LOW-BUDGET SCIENCE FICTION FILMS FOR SUMMER VIEWING
As summer blockbusters invade theaters across the country, Turner Classic Movies (TCM) has unveiled a list of movies that show how popular and critical success doesn’t require multi-million-dollar budgets. TCM’s 10 Favorite Low-Budget Science Fiction Films is a celebration of what can happen when minimal budgets spark maximum imagination.
TCM’s Favorite Low-Budget Science Fiction Movies is the network’s latest list highlighting the history of the movie industry. TCM’s previous lists have included 10 Great Overlooked Performances, 10 Favorite Baseball Films, 10 Great Comedy Lines and 15 Influential Soundtracks. Here, in chronological order, are the 10 films chosen as TCM’s Favorite Low-Budget Science Fiction Movies:
The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms (1953) – Directed by Eugene Lourie
Invaders from Mars (1953) – Directed by William Cameron Menzies
Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) – Directed by Don Siegel
The Blob (1958) – Directed by Irvin S. Yeaworth
I Married a Monster from Outer Space (1958) – Directed by Gene Fowler Jr.
Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959) – Directed by Ed Wood Jr.
La Jetée (1962) – Directed by Chris Marker
The Brother from Another Planet (1984) – Directed by John Sayles
The Terminator (1984) – Directed by James Cameron
The American Astronaut (2001) – Directed by Cory McAbee
From Horton Foote, Oscar winning screenwriter of To Kill a Mockingbird and Tender Mercies, comes MAIN STREET, a moving ensemble drama starring Oscar winner Colin Firth, Orlando Bloom, Oscar nominee Patricia Clarkson, Oscar winner Ellen Burstyn, and Andrew McCarthy. The lives of the residents of a small Southern city are changed forever by the arrival of a stranger with a controversial plan to save their decaying hometown.
For more info, visit http://www.magpictures.com/mailinglist.aspx
THE LAST CIRCUS, winner of the 2010 Venice Film Festival Best Director and Best Screenplay awards, open in select theaters August 19
It’s 1937, and Spain is in the midst of the brutal Spanish Civil War. A “Happy” circus clown is interrupted mid-performance and forcibly recruited by a militia. Still in his costume, he is handed a machete and led into battle against National soldiers, where he single handedly massacres an entire platoon. This absurd and disturbing scenario raises the curtain on a twisted tale of love, revenge, and psychopathic clowns that could only spring from the mind of filmmaker Álex de la Iglesia.
Fast forward to 1973, the tail end of the Franco regime. Javier, the son of the clown, dreams of following in his father’s career footsteps, but has seen too much tragedy in his life - he’s simply not funny and is only equipped to play the role of the Sad Clown. He finds work in a circus where he befriends an outlandish cast of characters, but as the Sad Clown he must take the abuse of the brutish Happy Clown Sergio, who humiliates Javier daily in the name of entertainment.
It is here that he meets Natalia, a gorgeous acrobat, and abused wife of Sergio. Javier falls deeply in love with Natalia and tries to rescue her from her cruel and violent husband, unleashing Sergio’s jealousy. But Natalia is torn between her affection towards Javier and her lust for Sergio.
With neither man willing to back down, this twisted love triangle evolves into a ferocious battle between Sad Clown and Happy Clown, escalating to unbelievable heights in this absurd, shocking, irreverent and unforgettable film. For more info, visit http://www.thelastcircusmovie.com/
Second Annual Portland Maine Film Festival :October 6-9; Deadline for submissions August 29
Announcing its second exciting season, the Portland Maine Film Festival’s call for entries is now open. The PMFF invites international and local filmmakers to submit their films for consideration through August 29. The Festival, Oct. 6, 7, 8 and 9, will host four days of diverse film celebrations and screenings of work by independent-minded filmmakers and emerging cinema artists from Maine and across the globe.
Details on how to apply may be found online at www.withoutabox.comand www.portlandmainefilmfestival.com.
“Our mission this year is to promote and foster an appreciation of the film arts in our region with special, locally produced film screenings,” says festival founder Tyler Johnston. “We will feature some of today’s cutting-edge international cinema while placing a well-deserved spotlight on the creative filmmaking community here in Portland.”
Joining PMFF this year is Corey Norman, professor in the Communications and New Media Department at Southern Maine Community College. Norman is a video producer and mentor to film students whose work has included nationally broadcast programming for the History Channel, Discovery Channel, National Geographic and PBS’s Nova, among others.
“I’m thrilled to play a big part in this year’s PMFF and delighted to announce a special youth produced screening that will celebrate emerging young talent,” Norman says. “Please join us for our second year and support the motion picture arts in Maine.”
COURAGEOUS opens in theaters on September 30
Four men, one calling: To serve and protect.
As law enforcement officers, Adam Mitchell, Nathan Hayes, and their partners are confident and focused. They willingly stand up to the worst the streets have to offer. Yet at the end of the day, they face a challenge that none of them are truly prepared to tackle: fatherhood.
While they consistently give their best on the job, good enough seems to be all they can muster as dads. But they’re quickly discovering that their standard is missing the mark.
They know that God desires to turn the hearts of fathers to their children, but their children are beginning to drift further and further away from them. Will they be able to find a way to serve and protect those that are most dear to them?
When tragedy hits home, these men are left wrestling with their hopes, their fears, their faith, and their fathering. Can a newfound urgency help these dads draw closer to God … and to their children?
COURAGEOUS is the fourth release of Sherwood Pictures, the moviemaking ministry of Sherwood Church in Albany, Georgia. Their first release since FIREPROOF, the No. 1 independent film of 2008, COURAGEOUS joins FACING THE GIANTS and FLYWHEEL in touching and impacting lives through heartfelt stories of faith and hope.
Moviegoers will again find themselves crying, laughing, and cheering—sometimes simultaneously—as they are inspired by everyday heroes who long to be the kinds of dads that make a lifelong impact on their children.
Protecting the streets is second nature to these law enforcement officers. Raising their children? That will take courage. Official site: CourageoustheMovie.com
THE AVENGERS: EARTH’S MIGHTIEST HEROES VOLUME 3 - IRON MAN UNLEASHED
The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes is a television series on Disney DXD that is inspired by the Marvel Comics Super Hero team of the same name. In each episode, the Avengers defend Earth from unimaginable threats – dangerous Super Villains, time-travelling conquerors, alien invaders and mythical beasts bent on the total destruction of humanity. When the forces of evil are so overwhelming that no single hero has the power to save the world, when no hope is left… the Avengers Assemble! Join Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, The Hulk, and many more of your favorite Avengers, as they discover the value of teamwork and friendship in the fight against evil!
The pulse-pounding action continues on October 25 with six unforgettable episodes in the Volume 3 release of The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes! Enjoy all the thrills as Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, Hulk and the rest of the Avengers face off against Baron Zemo’s Masters of Evil and defend earth from a full-scale alien invasion led by the time-traveling Kang the Conqueror!
First British TV Focused Streaming Service Offers Critically Acclaimed Series including Upstairs Downstairs, Brideshead Revisited and Agatha Christie’s Poirot
Acorn Media Group today announced the launch of Acorn TV, a new streaming service that makes the company’s award-winning British mysteries and dramas available online to American audiences.
Available at acornonline.com/TV, the launch line-up includes such bestselling classics and contemporary titles as Upstairs Downstairs, Brideshead Revisited, The Far Pavilions, Foyle’s War, Agatha Christie’s Poirot and The Forsyte Saga. Acorn TV will mark the first time many of these programs are available for streaming.
Acorn Media, a leading independent media company that Time magazine has called the “chief curators of the best Brit TV,” holds exclusive North American distribution rights to the most critically acclaimed programs, all of which are available from Acorn Media on lavishly packaged DVDs. Most are also available from Acorn Media as digital copies that can be purchased and downloaded. Now, Acorn TV offers U.S. fans of British TV the opportunity to stream many of their favorite series, as well as discover programs such as Vera starring Brenda Blethyn and Reggie Perrin starring Martin Clunes. These programs and many others offered by Acorn are beloved by U.K. viewers but haven’t been available to U.S. audiences.
“Acorn Media Group has found incredible success building a media company focused on audiences passionate for distinctive programming, in particular, British programming,” said Miguel Penella, CEO of Acorn Media Group. “Through our long-term relationship with our target audience, Acorn Media has helped introduce British dramas and mystery programs in North America. With Acorn TV, we can offer these programs on an anytime and, ultimately, anywhere basis. We look forward to streaming our incredible program library to U.S. audiences.”
At launch Acorn TV is offering a full season of six different series with the first episode of each season featured online for free. For only $24.99 a year, Acorn Premium subscribers get unlimited access to all of the episodes in each selected season. In addition, Premium members receive free shipping on all orders from Acorn’s distinctive merchandise catalog and website, www.AcornOnline.com.
A free trial of Acorn TV is being offered to viewers through August 31 at acornonline.com/TV. Programming for Acorn TV is refreshed weekly, with each season available for six weeks. There are six seasons and more than 40 hours of programming offered at any given time. Each week one season will be added and the oldest season will be removed. As Acorn TV develops the programming offering will evolve based on audience preferences.
Acorn TV is accessible at launch on computers, iPhones, iPads, and any portable device with a browser that runs Flash 10 or higher, Apple TV, and Google TV. Additional devices and applications will follow over the next 12 months.
To access Acorn TV:
1. Visit acornonline.com/TV and click on the big red button at the top right of the page that says “Register now to try Acorn TV Premium Access for free until 8/31/11”
2. Enter registration information (just email, no credit card required) and then sit back and enjoy some fine British television!
PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: ON STRANGER TIDES will set sail on DVD, stunning high definition Blu-ray™, eye popping Blu-ray 3D™ (a first for the legendary franchise) and Movie Download on October 18.
To celebrate this announcement, a new behind-the-scenes bonus clip from the upcoming set is now live on YOU TUBE at:
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides “Creating Mermaid” Bonus Clip
Dive Deeper Into the Epic Quest to Find
Setting sail on an ocean full of hi-def adventures, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides will debut in a Limited Edition 5-Disc Combo Pack (1-Disc Blu-ray 3D + 2-Disc Blu-ray + 1-Disc DVD + 1-Disc Digital Copy), a 2-Disc Combo Pack (1-Disc Blu-ray + 1-Disc DVD), and for the ultimate fan a 15-Disc Four Movie Collection. Additionally the movie will be available in 3D and High-Definition Movie Download.
The Limited Edition 5-Disc Blu-ray Combo Pack includes hours of bonus materials offering fans a deeper dive inside Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides including immersive Disney Second Screen technology, exclusive behind-the-scenes experiences, Fountain of Youth mythology, an extensive look at mermaids, bloopers, deleted and extended scenes, and much more.
Produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, directed by Rob Marshall (Nine, Chicago), and written by Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio (Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, National Treasure 2, Mask of Zorro), Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides is the latest addition to the incredibly successful Pirates of the Caribbean franchise that has for years entertained audiences of all ages with its thrilling adventures,
Back as Captain Jack Sparrow, Johnny Depp (Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, Alice in Wonderland) returns leading a sensational cast of talents that includes Penélope Cruz (Vicky Cristina Barcelona), Geoffrey Rush (The King’s Speech), Ian McShane (HBO’s “Deadwood”) and more.
The visually stunning film shot in high-definition 3D invites viewers to embark on an adventure-filled ride with Captain Jack Sparrow as he searches for the breathtaking Fountain of Youth. Along the turbulent trip, fans are forced to re-think their knowledge of fairytale creatures when they are introduced to a group of alluring yet precarious mermaids, traverse isolated islands and fight international enemies.
Visit the website and mobile site: www.disney.com/pirates http://www.disney.com/pirates>
Elaine Hegwood Bowen is an editor, writer and film critic in Chicago.
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