Your handpicked headlines from the fanboy universe…
“The Dark Knight” rocks! “Gone With the Wind”? Not so much: Why do we love lists? Ah, let me count down the reasons. Empire, the U.K. film magazine, recently compiled the votes of 10,000 readers, 150 Hollywood insiders and 50 film critics to assemble a massive tally: The 500 Greatest Movies of All Time. What kind of list is it? Well, “Lawrence of Arabia” finished at No. 57 while “The Empire Strikes Back” made it to No. 3 so, um, there’s a slight fanboy tilt to it. Some of the other rankings: “Ben-Hur” at No. 491; “Four Weddings and a Funeral” at No. 375; “It’s a Wonderful Life” at No. 195; “8 1/2“at No. 51; “Evil Dead 2” at No. 49; “The Matrix” at No. 39; “Gone With the Wind” at No. 31; “Casablanca” at No. 18; “The Dark Knight” at No. 15; “Pulp Fiction” at No. 9 and “Raiders of the Lost Ark” at No. 2. So what cinema masterpiece finished at No. 1? No, it wasn’t “Goonies.” Here’s a hint: “Leave the gun. Take the cannoli.”
Anne Rice, without the fangs: The AP has a look at how author Anne Rice lost faith in vampires and found it somewhere else : “For those who haven’t been paying attention lately to vampire lit, America’s most famous chronicler of bloodsuckers doesn’t live in New Orleans anymore — and hasn’t since before Hurricane Katrina hit — and she’s riding new waves of enthusiasm: the memoir and Christian lit. Her memoir, ‘Called Out of Darkness: A Spiritual Confession,’ is the latest piece of evidence that Rice is reinventing herself in an attempt to build a reputation as a serious Christian writer. In the memoir, the 67-year-old writer doesn’t disavow the two decades she spent churning out books on vampires, demons and witches — with a batch of S&M erotica thrown in — following the breakout success of her first novel in 1976, ‘Interview With the Vampire.’ ‘To be able to take the tools, the apprenticeship, whatever I learned from being a vampire writer, or whatever I was — to be able to take those tools now and put them in the service of God is a wonderful, wonderful, wonderful opportunity,’ she said. ‘And I hope I can redeem myself in that way. I hope that the Lord will accept the books I am writing now.’ ” [Associated Press]
Bond pays dividends: The new James Bond film “Quantum of Solace,” which opens in the U.S. on Nov. 14, is breaking box-office records in England. Archie Thomas has a snapshot of the numbers, which he has written in the excrucitating language of the Hollywood trades: “Bondpic ‘Quantum of Solace’ got off to a lightning start on home turf Friday, taking $8 million (£4.94 million) on its first day at U.K. wickets. Socko day one haul, which was powered by lots of advance ticket sales, makes ‘Solace’ the biggest Friday opening of all time in the U.K. Previous Friday best was ‘Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire,’ which bagged $6.5 million (£4 million). ‘Casino Royale’ did $4.7 million on its opening Friday but, unlike ‘Solace,’ it had Thursday previews.” [Variety]
You’re a good show, Charlie Brown: Film critic Dana Stevens has written a valentine to the “Peanuts” holidays specials: “Those specials — at least the big three: the Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas shows that were recently released in a ‘deluxe holiday collection’ by Warner Bros — have a mood unlike any animated film for children made before or since. For one thing, they’re really, really slow — slow not just by our ADD-addled contemporary standards but also next to the programming of their own time. Just compare the meandering pace of ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’ (in which Charlie tries, and fails, to direct a single rehearsal of a Christmas play) with the generation-spanning epic crammed into ‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer’ (1964). But what really sets the ‘Peanuts’ specials apart is their sadness. Even digitally remastered, with the background colors restored to their original vivid crispness, the ‘Peanuts’ holiday specials have a faded quality, like artifacts from a lost civilization. As Linus observes of the wan, drooping pine sprig Charlie Brown eventually rescues from a huge lot of pink aluminum Christmas trees, ‘This doesn’t seem to fit the modern spirit.’ ” [Slate]
— Geoff Boucher
Photos: Tom Cruise in “Interview With the Vampire” courtesy of Geffen Pictures and Warner Bros. Daniel Craig in “Quantum of Solace” courtesy of Columbia Pictures.