Ask 411 Movies for 08.19.13: A Date with the Bad Guy
Posted by Chad Webb on 08.19.2013
Does Game of Thrones have the largest cast of regulars ever? What was the best year for movies? Is Scarface an essential movie poster to own? All this and more covered this week in Ask 411 Movies!
An "Ask 411 Movies" column would be nothing without questions, so please toss them my way. Why should you ask me instead of using Google? Well, perhaps I'll tell you something you can't find there, or maybe you just like my conversation and soothing words. You can post any questions or thoughts below in the comments section, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or send me a tweet using the links below:
I did get a chance to see The Wolverine this week. It was much better than I thought it would be. The storyline was focused and tight with some stand out action sequences, competent direction by James Mangold, and solid performances. Other than that I have some hellacious catching up to do. I'll be kicking into high gear this week for sure. I'm also currently caught up on The Newsroom and Suits. The writing for this season of The Newsroom is not quite as good, though Jeff Daniels and Sam Waterston are still gold.
If you want to know more about my movie tastes, check out my page on Letterboxd by clicking right here. Also, make sure to look at all the great articles and writers at 411, particularly in the Movie-zone because that's where I predominantly am, but all of the zones.
August Schellenberg passed away this past Thursday after a long battle with lung cancer. It was said he died peacefully with his family around him. He was 77 years old. Schellenberg was mostly known for his role in the Free Willy movies, but he was also in Terrence Malick's The New World, Bruce Beresford's Black Robe, and HBO's Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee (for which he was nominated for an Emmy). He did a lot of TV movies and spots on shows, and had been working since 1970. My deepest condolences go out to his friends and family.
Lisa Robin Kelly died this past Wednesday after voluntarily checking herself into a California rehab facility. The cause of death is unknown at this time, but she was known for addiction issues. She was 43 years old. Initially reports said there were no drugs or alcohol found in her system, but toxicology results would be available for another two months. There has been some back-and-forth finger pointing going on between Kelly's estranged husband and her boyfriend. It's an unfortunate story. Kelly was known mostly for her role as Laurie Forman on That 70's Show. My sympathies go out to her loved ones during this rough time.
Q: Does Brentwood Home Video/DVD still exist? Do they have a website?
-- King JLA
A: Information on Brentwood Home Video is scarce. They were a specialist video/DVD distributor. The best I could find is that they stopped releasing titles in 2005. IMDB has a list of titles they distributed if you click here. If you have IMDB Pro, you might be able to obtain contact information on the company. The IMDB list has their last release being in 2005. Most of what they put out occurred between 2000 and 2005, but according to the aforementioned list, there were a few releases in the mid to late 90's, so that gives you an idea of how long they were around. It appears their primary genre was horror, but apart from that it was generally B-grade material. I can also tell you that they do not have a website that I found, nor do they have a Wikipedia page.
Q: I have a thought to be included in a future column (or by the others in the comment section): In recent years I've found movie posters to be a lost art. 90% of the time they are just lazy, Photoshopped messes. But that wasn't always the case--artists like Drew Struzan (sp?) created some real works of art back in the day. So my question is this: If someone were to start a collection of movie poster prints, what would you consider to be 5 essentials to include in the collection?
A: Well, I agree with your complaints on today's movie posters. I do a column at the end of each year where I list my top 10 best and worst posters of the year, so be on the look out for that (cheap plug!). I think starting a best movie poster collection will always incorporate a variation on the same choices. This is what I would recommend, based not just on iconic artwork images, but also on how I feel about the film itself. I don't think I need to give an explanation for any of these. They are all legendary posters in their own way. Here are my Top 5 recommendations on launching a poster collection (in no particular order):
As I'm sure the comment section will let me know, there are many I could have listed here. Personally, I still enjoy framing movie posters and putting them in my house. I have a Rocky one (the version with Adrian and Rocky holding hands) and Pulp Fiction as well. I have also picked up several Mondo designs, and am still trying to find the time to frame them and hang them, much to my wife's chagrin.
Q: If you need filler: Least named characters for a tv season, smallest regular cast, largest regular cast?
A: I've been looking into the "largest regular cast" question for a few weeks now and it has turned out to be extremely difficult. No one really has a definitive answer because there is a gray area as to what is considered a "regular cast member" and what's not. Certain actors drop off for various reasons from season to season, so it's hard to track. One almost has to go and watch the opening credits for a handful of the most populated shows to see which had the highest number. Plus, what if they aren't mentioned in the opening credits, but are in almost every episode? Plus, then you have other questions, like do you include sketch shows, reality shows, etc? It's a taxing task.
Game of Thrones is an American fantasy drama television series created for HBO by David Benioff and D. B. Weiss. It is an adaptation of A Song of Ice and Fire, George R. R. Martin's series of fantasy novels, the first of which is titled A Game of Thrones. Filmed in a Belfast studio and on location elsewhere in Northern Ireland, Malta, Croatia, Iceland, and Morocco, it premiered on HBO in the United States on April 17, 2011. The series has been renewed for a fourth season, to air in 2014. The series, set on the fictional continents of Westeros and Essos at the end of a decade-long summer, interweaves several plot lines.
It is safe to say that currently, Game of Thrones has the largest regular cast, and they could very well be the all-time leader. In the recent season, I counted 21 regular cast names in the opening credits of the season finale. That's a high number. Here is an article that briefly talks about their amount of cast members: click here.
Here are some of the numbers from other shows that I found. As I have not seen every season of each of these shows, I cannot say for sure what season these numbers stem from. The majority are taken from the first season of each I think.
Lost - 14 Desperate Housewives - 13 Heroes - 17 Hill Street Blues - 16 Carnivale - 17
Other shows with high numbers include The Office, Peyton Place, The Wire, Downton Abbey, The Sopranos, Oz, Boardwalk Empire, and Smallville.
Lost is an American television series that originally aired on the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) from September 22, 2004 to May 23, 2010, over six seasons. Lost is a drama series containing elements of science fiction and the supernatural that follows the survivors of the crash of a commercial passenger jet flying between Sydney and Los Angeles, on a mysterious tropical island somewhere in the South Pacific Ocean. The story is told in a heavily serialized manner. Episodes typically feature a primary storyline on the island, as well as a secondary storyline from another point in a character's life. Lost was created by Jeffrey Lieber, J. J. Abrams and Damon Lindelof who share story-writing credits for the pilot episode, which Abrams directed.
Hill Street Blues is an American serial police drama that was first aired on NBC in 1981 and ran for 146 episodes on primetime into 1987. Chronicling the lives of the staff of a single police precinct in an unnamed American city, the show received critical acclaim and its production innovations influenced many subsequent dramatic television series produced in North America. Its debut season was rewarded with eight Emmy Awards, a debut season record surpassed only by The West Wing, and the show received a total of 98 Emmy nominations during its run.
Q: People talk about how 2015 will be the best year for movies. What in your opinion was your best year for movies?
A: I have three different answers to this. The best year for movie since cinema began is widely considered to be 1939. When you combine both quality and attendance, the number of great films from that year is staggering. Among them: The Wizard of Oz, Gone with the Wind, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Stagecoach, Jesse James, The Women, Goodbye Mr. Chips, and Wuthering Heights to name just a few.
The best year for movies since I have been alive is easily 1994: The Shawshank Redemption, Forrest Gump, Pulp Fiction, Quiz Show, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, Dumb & Dumber, The Hudsucker Proxy, Ed Wood, Fresh, Clerks, Natural Born Killers, The Paper, Four Weddings and a Funeral, True Lies, Speed, The Crow, Crumb, and Hoop Dreams are just the tip of the iceberg.
The best year for movies since I became a writer for 411mania (2005 btw) is tough to choose from because only so much time has elapsed to truly show how the titles have aged. I'd say 2009 is a strong contender, Inglourious Basterds, Avatar, Moon, Up in the Air, Up, The White Ribbon, The Hurt Locker, Red Cliff, A Serious Man, Black Dynamite, Watchmen, District 9, An Education, Crazy Heart, A Prophet, and The Secret in Their Eyes.
There are other years cited by people throughout the years: 1984 (The Terminator, Ghostbusters, The Karate Kid, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Amadeus, etc.) and 1999 (The Sixth Sense, The Matrix, Toy Story 2, American Beauty, The Green Mile, The Insider, The Hurricane, Magnolia, Being John Malkovich, Election, South: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut). If I had to pick one, it would be 1994. The amount of movies from that year I still watch regularly and in my mind are true classics eclipses the other years. Here is a link to an Entertainment Weekly article which addresses this topic: click here.
2015 is said to be a big year for movies primarily because there are a bunch of anticipated sequels coming out: Avatar 2, Pirates of the Caribbean 5, Star Wars Episode VII, The Avengers: Age of Ultron, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, and more. Financially yes, theaters and studios will make a killing, but who knows what the quality of that line-up will be. I say we wait before declaring 2015 such a huge year. On a side note, one of the top years for movies from a ticket selling standpoint, is 2002 with 1,575.7 million tickets sold: Spider-Man, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, Star Wars-Episode II: Attack of the Clones, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, and My Big Fat Greek Wedding were among the highest grossing.
"The plural of Chad is Chad?"
--From the movie Recount