Richard Matheson, author of 'I Am Legend', died aged 87 on Sunday (23rd June 2013). Reports suggest he was at his home in L.A. but no other information has been provided.
Richard Matheson has led a long and interesting life. Born in Brooklyn he started his writing career when some of his short stories were published in 1950. The author's subsequent career, spanning 60 years, including writing scripts for The Twilight Zone, Family Guy, Ghost Story and Jaws 3-D. His most famous work is I Am Legend, a post-apocalyptic horror which follows one man's life pitted against vampires whilst he is isolated in deserted Los Angeles.
I Am Legend has been adapted three times since its publication in 1954. The first starring Vincent Price, the second Charlton Heston and in 2011 Will Smith took on the role. The novel has been critically acclaimed and continues to challenge vampire novelists in developing an idea as original as Matheson's.
Director Steven Spielberg paid tribute to the late author saying in a statement "Richard Matheson's ironic and iconic imagination created seminal science-fiction stories and gave me my first break when he wrote the short story and screenplay for Duel."
Continue reading: Richard Matheson, Author Of 'I Am Legend', Dies
Oscar winning actor Charlton Heston has died at his home in Los Angeles at the age of 84.
Heston's family have said a private memorial service will be held for the star who revealed that he had been diagnosed with symptoms similar to those linked with Alzheimer's disease in 2002. No announcement has been made about the cause of the actor's death.
Heston first gained fame through his role as a ringmaster in the film The Greatest Show on Earth in 1952. He was seen as one of the leading stars of an era in which Hollywood made grand epics based on historical and biblical stories.
Two of his most famous roles were as Moses in The Ten Commandments and Ben-Hur, a film set in Roman times in which he played a Jewish prince sent to the gallows after being betrayed by his friend. Ben-Hur went on to win 11 Oscars including the best actor prize for Heston, who played the lead in the film.
In a statement, his family said: "To his loving friends, colleagues and fans, we appreciate your heartfelt prayers and support.
"Charlton Heston was seen by the world as larger than life. No one could ask for a fuller life than his. No man could have given more to his family, to his profession, and to his country.
"In his own words, 'I have lived such a wonderful life. I've lived enough for two people'."
In his cinema career, Heston has also played the roles of Michelangelo and El Cid but was also well known for being the head of America's pro-gun organisation, the National Rifle Association, for five years.
Heston is survived by his wife Lydia and his two children Frank and Holly.
Continue reading: Oscar Winning Actor Charlton Heston Dies At Age 84
This memorable adaptation of the novel Monkey Planet, authored by Pierre Boulle (the same guy who wrote The Bridge on the River Kwai), was brought to life by the infamous producer Arthur Jacobs, who eventually oversaw the production duties for the entire Apes saga. No studio except Fox would touch the project with a ten-foot pole, despite the participation of Rod Serling, who co-authored the screenplay adaptation of Boulle's novel (and which led to 30 drafts), Charlton Heston, Roddy McDowall, and Kim Hunter (Stella from A Streetcar Named Desire), and the amazing ape makeup by first-timer John Chambers.
Continue reading: Planet Of The Apes (1968) Review
Surprise! As DeMille himself tells us in a (somewhat silly) opening narration -- where he comes out from behind a curtain and addresses the audience -- the Bible skips Moses' formative years altogether. One minute, as a baby he's fished out of the Nile by Pharoah's daughter, the next he's banished to the desert for killing an Egyptian who is beating a Hebrew man. There's certainly no talk of Moses' rise to power under Pharoah -- which comprises the first two hours of this nearly four-hour film. In DeMille's rendition (based, he says, on the works of ancient scholars), Moses (Charleton Heston, in the role that would define his career) toils under Pharoah (Cedric Hardwicke) as his adopted grandson, working hard building a treasure city for his glory. His rival is Pharoah's son Rameses (Yul Brynner), who isn't only also up for the future job of Pharoah, he's also competing for the hand of Nefretiri (All About Eve's title character Anne Baxter).
Continue reading: The Ten Commandments Review
This schizophrenic little drama starts with an incredible uninspiring setup: Heston is the hapless owner of a cocoa plantation in South America, 1901. For no particular reason, he sends off for a mail order bride, which arrives in the form of the far too lovely Eleanor Parker. But Parker's got a secret: She's a widow. Gasp!
Continue reading: The Naked Jungle Review
Let's pause for a moment and reflect on Charlton Heston's wonderful '70s science fiction career. He had a penchant for wincing his way through angry line deliveries like, "Gehhhht yer STINKING PAWS off me, you DAMN DIRTY APE!" using every wrinkle in his brow, his shark-like teeth gleaming in the sun. Sweat would glisten on his prominent brow and chiseled cheeks. When he dies, we shall say there was an actor.
Continue reading: Soylent Green Review
Point for point, I agree with just about everything mordant muckraker Michael Moore has to say in his gun violence documentary "Bowling for Columbine," but pardon me if I shoot the messenger (ooh, the horrible pun!) for his propagandist approach to the subject that comes close to crippling his credibility.
Inspired in part by the 1999 school shootings in Colorado that lend the film its title (teenage gunmen Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold went bowling before school the day they killed 12 classmates and a teacher), this film is a potent and sometimes profound bully-pulpit examination of the extent of our nation's propensity for violence, and a quest for the problem's roots. In the tradition of his General Motors-haranguing sardonic-umentary "Roger and Me," Moore travels the U.S. and Canada interviewing city officials, riding along on training missions with the Michigan militia, and opening an account at a small-town bank where free checking also comes with a free firearm (no fooling).
The man has a talent for giving his interviewees just enough rope to hang themselves, like James Nichols -- the borderline-psychotic brother of Oklahoma City bombing conspirator Terry Nichols -- does when he gladly volunteers that "it's an American responsibility to be armed." Soon thereafter he jokingly puts a loaded gun to his head before launching into a conspiracy diatribe that almost has him foaming at the mouth.
Continue reading: Bowling For Columbine Review
There's only about 22 minutes of plot in "Any Given Sunday," Oliver Stone's innovative, bone-crunching ballet of sound and fury football, so lets get that out of the way right now:
Al Pacino stars as the embattled, old-school coach of a fictitious pro football team. Cameron Diaz, is the willful, profit-zealous daughter of the franchise's recently deceased owner. Jamie Foxx is a hotshot young quarterback whose know-it-all attitude and colossal ego threaten team unity. He's just replaced the injured, aging, Elway-esque veteran QB Dennis Quaid, whose compound back injury has spelled curtains for his career -- if only his ruthlessly ambitious, harpy of a wife (Lauren Holly) would accept that fact.
During the last two minutes of the fourth quarter of the Big Playoff Game that serves as the film's climax, each of these characters (especially the selfish ones) will have an epiphany about what's really important in their lives.
Continue reading: Any Given Sunday Review
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