All 14 Mummy Movies Ranked From Worst To Best

By Daniel Evans

Osiris was a trendsetter. The God of the dead, after having his body parts unfortunately scattered to the four corners of the earth (happens to the best of us) was put back together by his long suffering wife Isis, who, after wrapping him in the finest of linen and without the need for a gigantic storm and a room full of Kenny Strickfaden machinery (see Frankenstein 1931), resurrected him. Born was the mummy.

1911, the Thanhouser Company produced one of the first mummy movies (now lost), although earlier films to carry the theme were made in 1899 (a reawakened Cleopatra, smoking bra included) and 1909. It does away with Isis’s magic and the more modern method of electricity would spark life into the corpse (maybe that Kenny Strickfaden machinery would come in handy after all). It all ends with the mummy getting wed and, I assume, shuffling off creakily into the sunset where eternal happiness awaits.

The mummy became a franchise, as did all the other movie monsters, after their treatment by Universal, but it has always been considered the baby brother, between the two titans of horror cinema, Dracula and Frankenstein. Its monster, in the sequels, a slow moving mute, that looks like one good gust of desert wind would blow him away. It’s an endearing image, and one that in various reboots has been flipped and twisted to fit modern tastes. Not necessarily for the better.

The following is a list, ranked worst to best, of all the major contributions to cinema this fascinating ancient monster has made, from the Universal series to the Hammer productions and beyond. So wrap (uh hum) yourself up warm (not too tight) and to paraphrase the words of Imhotep himself “You will not remember what I show you now, and yet I shall awaken memories → continue…

From:: Taste Of Cinema

How to Write Plot Twists That Really Mess with People’s Heads

By V Renée

Explore the mechanics of a plot twist.

We can all name films with great plot twists—The Usual Suspects, The Sixth Sense, and Fight Club are just a few—but at the same time, we can all name films with ones that are not so great. So, what’s the deal? What kinds of narrative elements are at play in an effective plot twist? In this video, Sage Hyden of Just Write offers up an explanation of how plot twists work to surprise, confound, and even infuriate us, and even provides some key concepts to learn in order to write a few good ones of your own.

In its essence, a plot twist is a “radical change in an expected direction or outcome.” Hyden talks specifically about surprise endings that use anagnorisis, which are definitely one of the most popular types of twists used in cinema, but there are many other ways to construct a good plot twist. Here are some notable examples:

Read More

→ continue…

From:: No Film School

10 Must-See So Bad They’re Good Movies From The 1980s

By David Zou

Listen: everyone likes a good movie. When a film stirs your emotions and makes you think, it’s a great experience. But nobody likes a bad movie–one that moves like molasses, features terrible dialogue and loathsome characters, and is filmed like the cinematographer went blind before every scene.

But then there are movies that are considered so bad, they’re good: The Room, Battlefield Earth, and Batman & Robin are just some salient examples of this strange non-genre. You know the type of movie–where the dialogue is outrageously over-the-top, the special effects are laughably bad, and the intended tone of the film seems to exist in a parallel universe to what’s being depicted on-screen.

The 1980s were a decade that produced already rather over-the-top films, so the movies that somehow went past bad to somehow become good once again from the 80s have to be really insane to be part of the “so bad, it’s good’ club. And here are 10 films from this totally awesome decade to watch when you’re in the mood for a movie so incompetently made with an absurd premise and insane characters that they’re so bad, it’s good.

1. Bulletproof (1988)

Gary Busey has had a long, strange career as an actor: nominated for an Oscar for his portrayal of Buddy Holly in The Buddy Holly Story, Busey was known for his intense performances. But after a motorcycle accident in 1988, in which the actor suffered permanent brain damage, his increasingly erratic behavior and often bizarre statements afterward has turned him into a walking punchline.

His last film before the accident, however, suggests that Busey was always a little…unhinged. Supercop and former secret agent Frank McBain (Busey)–nicknamed Bulletproof due to his ability to survive otherwise fatal gunshot wounds–is called in by the government to recover a top-secret → continue…

From:: Taste Of Cinema

Pulling Focus: Wet Hot American Summer (2001)

By Shane Scott-Travis

“A delectable parody of dawn-of-the-Reagan-era teen flicks… a loving and meticulous recreation of the last moment before American youth culture went permanently ironic.”

– Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly

Season of the kitsch

Director and co-writer David Wain’s Wet Hot American Summer is a film that’s charm, cheek, and capricious good nature, albeit dirty-minded, is too much to resist. Well, perhaps that’s an overstatement as the uptight and on edge are bound to be bewildered by much of the lampoonery on parade. After all, it was an unassuming release back in 2001 that, like so many cult classics before it, took a little tenacity before crowds caught on.

Wet Hot American Summer drinks to youthful schmaltz, seditious misdeeds, and angst-filled adolescent lust as it centralizes on satirizing the teen exploitation films of the late ’70s and early ’80s, and more specifically the sub-genre of summer camp films. Those subpar and second-rate moneymakers like Meatballs (1979), Porky’s (1982), and Spring Break (1983), that were briefly ubiquitous either on cable TV, home video, or at multiplexes all over North America.

Horny juveniles charged with losing their virginity and getting potted while they were at it. Clearly this sort of film had a limited shelf life, Wain and his hilarious co-writer Michael Showalter (who also co-stars in two roles) however, saw that they could fashion an homage much better than the genus deserved, perforating not just oversexed teen staples, but dark horse sports clichés, Vietnam-trauma histrionics, gender politics, and much more.

The irreverent opening credit sequence sets up the tongue-in-cheek film that is to follow perfectly; the somewhat sentimental Cooper font, bubbly in appearance and forever associated with the Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds—how’s that for nostalgic?—superimposed over warm-hued footage of rollicking teens around a blazing campfire.

There are freeze-frames and sloppy French kisses in excess while the teens → continue…

From:: Taste Of Cinema

Watch: Learn the Basics of Copyright Law in Less than 45 Seconds

By V Renée

This super short video gives you a great primer on copyright.

Perhaps the least exciting thing about filmmaking is having to deal with copyright laws, but despite its lack of, I don’t know, allure, it’s something that must be addressed (unless you like getting sued). Aidin Robbins of Digital Blast manages to stuff information on creative commons, attribution, commercial, noncommercial, copyrighted, and fair use inside the 45-second video below, so if you’re looking for a great introduction to copyright law but literally can’t spare a single minute out of your day, you might want to check it out.

Even though the video is informative and an extremely economic use of 45 seconds, understand that it is just a primer. Unless you’re a copyright lawyer, the rules about copyrighted materials, as well as how to go about licensing that material, can not only be difficult to understand, but can also change without you being aware.

Read More

→ continue…

From:: No Film School

Is This One of the New Tilt-Shift Lenses?

By Canon Rumors We’ve been sent an image that is apparently one of the new tilt-shift lenses that Canon will be releasing soon. We do not have confirmation of the focal length of the three upcoming tilt-shift lenses, but we’re assuming the 45mm and 90mm version will be replaced and we’ll get a new focal length for the … → continue…

From:: Canon Rumors

The 10 Worst Movie Endings of All Time

By David Zou

Films can be made or broken on their endings. No matter the length, genre or budget, a great film can become a mediocre film if the ending is weak. And on the flip side, a bad film can be looked upon more favourably if the ending is good.

The thing about a film ending, is that it is the ultimate payoff for an audience. You have invested time, money and emotions into the film, you have rooted for the characters, you have hated the villain, and you want something to show for it.

The ending of a film does not always need to be happy or tie up all the loose ends. But it does need to feel like the correct conclusion to the story. Sometimes that conclusion is ambiguous or sad, sometimes it is happy or funny, but it should invoke the feeling that the ending fits the film.

The following films all have endings which feel insufficient for the audience, and do not give the feeling of a satisfactory conclusion. As you can expect, there will be spoilers.

10. Grease (1978)

grease

This fun filled musical from 1978, about a group of high school students in the 50’s, is one of the highest grossing live action musicals of all time, and has frequently made it into the Best Musical lists.

The last scene shows Sandy and Danny reuniting, after a dramatic makeover, and then they drive off together into the sunset. Literally in this case, as the car ascends into the sky.

The ending has always felt slightly unsatisfactory, on a few counts. Firstly, there is the niggling feeling of identity politics – why did they both have to change who they were to get the other’s attention? Sandy has to dress up, and Danny has to dress down. And then → continue…

From:: Taste Of Cinema

This crazy fire-and-water wedding portrait was shot in a single exposure

Photographer Markus Hofstaetter doesn’t shy away from challenging projects. Inspired by a previous fire-background hot-rod photo shoot he did, Hofstaetter had the idea to try this same technique with a portrait. There would just be one key difference: this one would be a single exposure.

A photo shoot like this is all about safety, and Hofstaetter did everything he could to ensure his subjects, assistants, and the backyard stayed nice and unburnt.

He got himself a heat-proof suit from the Muckendorf-Wipfing fire department, moistened the entire backyard, cut away stray branches to ensure he had enough room, had damp sheets at the ready, and actually built a little pond in his backyard. That last part did keep the couple a bit safer, but it was actually all about getting a killer reflection in the final photograph.

You can see how the photo shoot came together in the behind the scenes photos and video below:

Once it came time to shoot the actual photo, he used a Canon 5D Mark IV and 35mm lens set to F22. The full exposure was 4.4 seconds long. The fire background was made by dipping a 6-foot-long Kevlar wick into one liter of lamp oil, hanging it on an aluminum stick, and setting it ablaze.

The exposure lasted as long as it took for the fire to cross the frame, with a nice burst from two Hensel strobes to light the couple.

The final photograph took 4 or 5 tries, as you can see from the BTS video above, but in the end Hofstaetter managed to capture the memorable portrait he was after:

The photo has made its way around the Internet over the → continue…

From:: DPreview

Social Media Vs. Reality video calls out the most common Instagram lies

Anti-bullying organization Ditch the Labelthe folks behind this 2017 survey that found Instagram is terrible for teens mental health—created a funny-but-also-very-sad video to accompany their findings. The video is called “Are You Living an Insta Lie? Social Media Vs. Reality”.

The video covers “some of the funniest and most common Insta Lies posted on social media,” and they really did cover most of their bases. Some of the tropes covered include #wokeuplikethis photos, the start of a ‘healthy’ juice cleanse, not-so-blissful relationship bliss and lots more.

We’re not sure any professional photographers use Instagram like this, but chances are good we’ve all… bent the truth on Instagram a time or two. If you can think of any common photographer Insta Lies, share them in the comments.

→ continue…

From:: DPreview

Marketing isn’t a dirty word (but camera companies are not your friends)

Marketing departments work to develop products that people will want. They aren’t always trying to make the best product for you, though.

Camera companies are not your friend but they’re also not trying to trample on your dreams. It seems like an obvious statement, but a misunderstanding of how markets and marketing work sometimes leads to exactly this sort of misconception. A look at the role marketing plays can help explain why ‘your’ brand sometimes makes decisions you hate.

Making a profit is not the same as profiteering

Brand loyalty sometimes prompts people to forget that every significant camera company is a large, profit-driven corporation. The fact that they make tools for a very personal, expressive, creative purpose and are often staffed by people who really care about photography (even in the marketing departments), shouldn’t obscure the fact that they’re trying to make money. But that isn’t the same thing as profiteering: it’s in their interest to make products that you want. And it’s the marketer’s role to work out what that product would be.

Marketing isn’t the enemy

Product development isn’t about virtuous engineers who create lovely things and evil marketing people who take them away. It’s usually a back-and-forth to create models that suit a specific audience without overwhelming them with tools and features they don’t necessarily want or producing cameras they can’t afford.

It’s true that, without the input from marketers, engineers can produce Formula One race cars. However, most people find a Ford Focus, Honda Civic or BMW 3 Series much more affordable and considerably more convenient for collecting the weekly shop. Still, if you wait long enough, some of that Formula One know-how may well make an appearance in your family hatchback.

It’s a process called market segmentation: identifying large enough groups of people with → continue…

From:: DPreview