You might know that The Usual Suspects title comes from a famous line in Casablanca. But did you know that director Bryan Singer and writer Christopher McQuarrie thought of that title before they had a plot for the movie? They also thought of their movie’s famous poster, with all the main characters standing in a lineup, before they had a story too. They put those pieces together and worked backwards from there. That’s just one of the unusual facts featured in the latest episode of You Think You Know Movies!
You know Saturday Night Live as a staple of late-night TV for decades. But did you know the show had a different title when it first debuted in the fall of 1975? SNL was originally called NBC’s Saturday Night, because at the time a different show was using the title Saturday Night Live. That show, hosted by Howard Cosell, lasted 18 episodes on ABC before it was cancelled. Soon after, SNL adopted the Saturday Night Live name, which is how it’s been known ever since. That’s just one of the facts packed into the latest episode of the ScreenCrush series You Think You Know TV?
A new Alien opens in theaters this Friday; Alien: Covenant is the first movie in the beloved sci-fi franchise since 2012’s Prometheus, and the first with the word “alien” in the title since 2007’s timeless classic Alien vs. Predator: Requiem. Audiences will decide whether Covenant is a worthy sequel (we liked it), but even if they do, the overwhelming odds are they will find it no better than the third best movie in the history of the series. That’s because the first two movies in the series — Ridley Scott’s Alien and James Cameron’s Aliens — are amongst the best sci-fi films ever made.
The calendar may have four seasons, but Hollywood’s calendar only really has two at this point: summer and awards, and summer seems to last longer and longer ever year. Though the start of May has long been the unofficial kickoff of the S.M.S., 2017 has already seen a King Kong movie, a ghost in a shell, and the fate of Fast & Furious franchise. The change from April to May is something of a formality in 2017. Once the Oscars are over, the summer begins.
Everyone remembers E.T. and his famous lines like “Be good” and “E.T. phone home.” But did you know that the voice of E.T. was provided by at least 18 different people? It’s true; the majority of his lines were provided by Pat Welsh, an elderly smoker. But additional sounds and lines were provided by director Steven Spielberg, actress Debra Winger, and sound designer Ben Burtt’s sleeping wife when she had a cold. That’s just one of the extra-terrestrial facts featured in the latest episode of You Think You Know Movies!
You know that Christopher Reeve played Superman in four movies in the 1970s and ’80s. And you know he didn’t get to wear a suit that enhanced his muscles like many of the movie superheroes that came after him. But did you know that Reeve got into shape to play the Man of Steel by using a training regimen supervised by none other than David Prowse, the man who played Darth Vader in the original Star Wars trilogy? It’s true, and it’s just one of the facts featured in the latest installment of You Think You Know Movies!
It’s that time of the year again where we must set aside our personal opinions and favorites to try and guess which movies the Academy will deem the most culturally significant. A lot had changed since our initial Oscar predictions last December. Manchester By the Sea is no longer a Best Picture frontrunner, a race dominated by La La Land with Moonlight shortly behind. The days of calling Natalie Portman a Best Actress shoe-in last fall feel like a distant dream, and Lion and Hacksaw Ridge might just lend this year’s Oscars some surprising upsets.
There were a lot of great movies in 2016. There were! Please don’t let this list convince you otherwise. The movies were absolutely wonderful this year. Just not these specific movies. These were bad. So, so, so bad. Just awful.
Film critics and awards pundits have been talking about Oscar frontrunners for months now, but it’s that time of the year when all that prognostication finally matters. This week marked the beginning of awards season with the Gotham Awards, the National Board of Review’s list of winners and yesterday’s New York Film Critics’ Circle picks. It’s still too early to tell who and what will win the gold come Oscar night, but when it comes to predictions, we’ve got you covered.
In the tradition of ScreenCrush series like You Think You Know Movies and You Think You Know TV comes a new YouTube series: Top Five! Every two weeks (or so; we’ve got a lot of other stuff going on), ScreenCrush editor and critic Matt Singer will count down a particular topic from the world of movies (and probably write these introductory posts in the third person).
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