Last of the WOOD-en Soldiers: RIP Conrad Brooks


cracked rear viewer

It was a fateful day in 1948 when 17-year-old Conrad Brooks, trying to break into movies, met a 24-year-old would-be filmmaker named Edward D. Wood, Jr. at a coffee and donut shop. The two men hit it off, both dreaming of Hollywood success, and worked together on an unreleased short “Range Revenge”, beginning a lasting collaboration and friendship. Conrad Brooks, who died today at age 86, will never be remembered as an actor the stature of Olivier or Brando, but his participation in the films of no-budget auteur Ed Wood will always hold a special place in the hearts of lovers of uniquely strange (some would say bad) cinema.

Young Conrad Brooks with horror icon Bela Lugosi

Brooks played several parts in Wood’s first film, 1953’s gender-bending GLEN OR GLENDA, about a man who loved to dress in women’s clothing. The director managed to get veteran horror icon Bela Lugosi

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A Movie A Day #331: The Soldier (1982, directed by James Glickenhaus)


The Soldier is really only remembered for one scene.  The Soldier (Ken Wahl) is being chased, on skis, across the Austrian Alps by two KGB agents, who are also on skis.  The Soldier is in Austria to track down a KGB agent named Dracha (Klaus Kinski, who only has a few minutes of screen time and who is rumored to have turned down a role in Raiders of the Lost Ark so he could appear in this movie).  The Russians want the Soldier dead because they’re evil commies.  While being chased, the Soldier goes over a ski slope and, while in the air, executes a perfect 360° turn while firing a machine gun at the men behind him.  It’s pretty fucking cool.

The Soldier, who name is never revealed, works for the CIA.  He leads a team of special agents.  None of them get a name either, though one of them is played by the great Steve James.  When a shipment of Plutonium is hijacked so that it can be used it to contaminate half of the world’s supply of oil, The Soldier is assigned to figure out who is behind it.  Because terrorists are demanding that Israel withdraw from the West Bank, Mossad assigns an agent (Alberta Watson) to help out The Soldier.  She gets a name, Susan Goodman.  She sleeps with The Soldier because, she puts it, the world is about to end anyway.

The Soldier was obviously meant to be an American James Bond but Ken Wahl did not really have the screen charisma necessary to launch a franchise.  He is convincing in the action scenes but when he has to deliver his lines, he is as stiff as a board.  Fortunately, the majority of the movie is made up of action scenes.  From the minute this briskly paced movie starts, people are either getting shot or blown up.  Imagine a James Bond film where, instead of tricking the bad guys into explaining their plan, Bond just shot anyone who looked at him funny.  That’s The Soldier, a film that is mindless but entertaining.

Ken Wahl may have been stiff and Klaus Kinski may have been wasted but there are still some interesting faces in the cast.  Keep an eye out for William Prince as the President, Ron Harper as the director of the CIA, Zeljko Ivanek as a bombmaker, Jeffrey Jones as the assistant U.S. Secretary of Defense, and George Straight performing in a redneck bar.  Best of all, one of the Soldier’s men is played by Steve James, who will be recognized by any Cannon Films aficionado.

Surprisingly, The Solider is not a Cannon film.  It certainly feels like one.

Here Are The 2017 Annie Award Nominations!


On December 4th, the Annie Award nominations were announced.  The Annies honor the year’s best in animation.  This year, just like almost everyone else who has handed out an award, the Annies are very appreciative of Coco.

Anyway, there are a lot of nominations so instead of posting them all below, I’m just going to post a few key categories.  For a full list, check out the post at Awardscircuit.

Best Animated Feature

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie
DreamWorks Animation

Cars 3
Pixar Animation Studios

Coco
Pixar Animation Studios

Despicable Me 3
Illumination

The Boss Baby
DreamWorks Animation

Best Animated Feature-Independent

In This Corner of the World
Taro Maki, GENCO, Inc. and Masao Maruyama,
MAPPA Co., Ltd

Loving Vincent
BreakThru Films, Production Company Trademark
Films, Co-Production Company

Napping Princess
Nippon TV
The Big Bad Fox & Other Tales
Folivari / Panique! / Studiocanal

The Breadwinner
Cartoon Saloon / Aircraft Pictures / Melusine
Productions

Voice Acting In An Animated Feature

Nick Kroll in Captain Underpants

Anthony Gonzalez in Coco

Saara Chaudry in The Breadwinner

Laara Sadiq in The Breadwinner

Zach Galifianakis in The Lego Batman Movie

Here Are The 20 Semi-Finalists For The Best Visual Effects Oscar!


On December 4th, the Academy announced the 20 semi-finalists who are in the running for the Best Visual Effects Oscar!

And here they are:

Here Are The Nominations of the Los Angeles Online Film Critics!


On December 4th, because there weren’t already enough critics group to keep track of, the Los Angeles Online Film Critics (founded 2016) announced the nominees for their inagural awards!  The winners will be named on January 3rd, 2018.

Here are the nominees.  There’s a lot of them.

BEST PICTURE 

“The Big Sick”
“Colossal”
“Call Me By Your Name”
“Get Out”
“I, Tonya”
“Lady Bird”
“Molly’s Game”
“The Post”
“The Shape of Water”
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

BEST FEMALE DIRECTOR

Dee Rees, “Mudbound
Greta Gerwig, “Lady Bird”
Kathryn Bigelow, “Detroit”
Patty Jenkins, “Wonder Woman
Sofia Coppola, “The Beguiled”

BEST MALE DIRECTOR

Christopher Nolan, “Dunkirk”
Guillermo del Toro, “The Shape of Water”
Jordan Peele, “Get Out”
Luca Guadagnino, “Call Me By Your Name”
Steven Spielberg, “The Post”

BEST ANIMATED / VISUAL EFFECT PERFORMANCE

Andy Serkis, “War for the Planet of the Apes
Doug Jones, “The Shape of Water”
Dan Stevens, “Beauty and the Beast

BEST EDITING

Baby Driver
“Dunkirk”
“I, Tonya”
“The Post”
“The Shape of Water”

BEST SCORE

Blade Runner 2049
“Dunkirk”
“Phantom Thread”
“The Shape of Water”
War for the Planet of the Apes

BEST STUNT WORK

“Atomic Blonde”
Baby Driver
“Dunkirk”
“John Wick: Chapter 2”
Wonder Woman

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR OR ACTRESS UNDER 23 YEARS OLD

Brooklynn Prince, “The Florida Project”
Dafne Keen, “Logan
Jacob Tremblay, “Wonder”
Saoirse Ronan, “Lady Bird”
Timothée Chalamet, “Call Me By Your Name”

BEST SCI-FI/ HORROR

Blade Runner 2049
“Get Out”
It
It Comes at Night
“The Shape of Water”

BEST ACTION/WAR

Baby Driver
“Dunkirk”
Logan
War for the Planet of the Apes
Wonder Woman

BEST COMEDY/MUSICAL

“The Big Sick”
“The Disaster Artist”
“Girls Trip”
“I, Tonya”
“Lady Bird”

BEST FIRST FEATURE

Aaron Sorkin, “Molly’s Game”
Greta Gerwig, “Lady Bird”
Kogonada, “Columbus”
Jeremy Gasper, “Patti Cake$”
Jordan Peele, “Get Out”

BEST INDEPENDENT FILM

“The Big Sick”
“Colossal”
A Ghost Story
“I, Tonya”
“Lady Bird”

BEST BLOCKBUSTER

Beauty and the Beast”
“Dunkirk”
Logan
War for the Planet of the Apes
Wonder Woman”

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

Bruno Delbonnel, “Darkest Hour”
Dan Laustsen, “The Shape of Water”
Hoyte van Hoytema, “Dunkirk”
Rachel Morrison, “Mudbound
Roger Deakins, “Blade Runner 2049”

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

“Blade Runner 2049”
“Dunkirk”
“The Shape of Water”
“War for the Planet of the Apes”
“Wonder Woman”

BEST DOCUMENTARY

“An Inconvenient Sequel”
“Jane”
“Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond”
“Step”
“Whose Streets?”

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

“BPM,” France
“First They Killed My Father,” Cambodia
“In the Fade,” Germany
“The Square,” Sweden
“Thelma,” Norway

BEST ANIMATED FILM

“The Breadwinner”
“Coco”
“Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie”
The LEGO Batman Movie”
“Loving Vincent”

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

Emily V. Gordon & Kumail Nanjiani, “The Big Sick”
Greta Gerwig, “Lady Bird”
Guillermo del Toro & Vanessa Taylor, “The Shape of Water”
Jordan Peele, “Get Out”
Martin McDonagh, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

Aaron Sorkin, “Molly’s Game”
Luca Guadagnino, James Ivory, & Walter Fasano, “Call Me by Your Name”
Michael H. Weber & Scott Neustadter, “The Disaster Artist”
Scott Frank, James Mangold, & Michael Green, “Logan
Virgil Williams & Dee Rees, “Mudbound

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Allison Janney, “I, Tonya”
Holly Hunter, “The Big Sick”
Laurie Metcalf, “Lady Bird”
Octavia Spencer, “The Shape of Water”
Tiffany Haddish, “Girls Trip”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Idris Elba, “Molly’s Game”
Michael Stuhlbarg, “Call Me By Your Name”
Patrick Stewart, “Logan
Sam Rockwell, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
Williem Dafoe, “The Florida Project”

BEST ACTRESS

Frances McDormand, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
Margot Robbie, “I, Tonya”
Jessica Chastain, “Molly’s Game”
Sally Hawkins, “The Shape of Water”
Saoirse Ronan, “Lady Bird”

BEST ACTOR

Daniel Kaluuya, “Get Out”
Gary Oldman, “Darkest Hour”
James Franco, “The Disaster Artist”
Timothée Chalamet, “Call Me By Your Name”
Tom Hanks, “The Post”

The Detroit Film Critics Nominate James Franco!


On December 4th (see, I told you I was running behind!), The Detroit Film Critics announced their nominations for the best of 2017!  The winners will be announced tomorrow and you can see the nominees below!

Patrick Stewart picks up a nomination for Logan, which may not make a difference as far as the Oscars are concerned but which is still extremely nice to see.  Also nice to see?  That best film nomination for James Franco’s The Disaster Artist!

BEST FILM

  • The Disaster Artist
  • The Florida Project
  • Get Out
  • The Shape of Water
  • Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

BEST DIRECTOR

  • Paul Thomas Anderson, Phantom Thread
  • Sean Baker, The Florida Project
  • Greta Gerwig, Lady Bird
  • Christopher Nolan, Dunkirk
  • Jordan Peele, Get Out
  • Geuillermo del Toro, The Shape of Water

BEST ACTOR

  • Timothée Chalamet, Call Me by Your Name
  • James Franco, The Disaster Artist
  • Daniel Day-Lewis, Phantom Thread
  • Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour
  • Robert Pattinson, Good Time

BEST ACTRESS

  • Jessica Chastain, Molly’s Game
  • Sally Hawkins, The Shape of Water
  • Frances McDormand, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
  • Margot Robbie, I, Tonya
  • Saroise Ronan, Lady Bird

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

  • Willem Dafoe, The Florida Project
  • Richard Jenkins, The Shape of Water
  • Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
  • Patrick Stewart, Logan
  • Michael Stuhlbarg, Call Me by Your Name

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

  • Tiffany Haddish, Girls Trip
  • Holly Hunter, The Big Sick
  • Allison Janney, I, Tonya
  • Melissa Leo, Novitiate
  • Laurie Metcalf, Lady Bird

BEST ENSEMBLE

  • The Big Sick
  • Lady Bird
  • Mudbound
  • The Post
  • Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

BREAKTHROUGH

  • Timothée Chalamet, Call Me by Your Name (actor)
  • Gal Gadot, Wonder Woman (actress)
  • Tiffany Haddish, Girls Trip (actress)
  • Caleb Landry Jones, American MadeThe Florida ProjectGet Out, and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (actor)
  • Jordan Peele, Get Out (writer/director)

BEST SCREENPLAY

  • Guillermo del Toro, Vanessa Taylor, The Shape of Water
  • Greta Gerwig, Lady Bird
  • Emily V. Gordon, Kumail Nanjiani, The Big Sick
  • Liz Hannah, Josh Singer, The Post
  • Martin McDonagh, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
  • Jordan Peele, Get Out
  • Taylor Sheridan, Wind River

BEST DOCUMENTARY

  • The Defiant Ones
  • Human Flow
  • Kedi
  • Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond
  • Step
  • Strong Island
  • Whose Streets?

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE

BEST USE OF MUSIC

Here Are The Nominations For the 23rd Annual Critics Choice Awards!


Awards season is in full swing!  I’m running a little bit behind in updating all of the precursor awards here on the Shattered Lens but hopefully, I’ll have the site up-to-date by the end of today!

For instance, today, the Broadcast Film Critics Association announced their nominations and, just judging from the number of nominations it received, it looks like they really, really liked Guillermo Del Toro’s The Shape of Water!

Here are the film nominees:

BEST PICTURE

“The Big Sick”
“Call Me by Your Name”
“Darkest Hour”
“Dunkirk”
“The Florida Project”
“Get Out”
“Lady Bird”
“The Post”
“The Shape of Water”
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

BEST ACTOR

Timothée Chalamet – “Call Me by Your Name”
James Franco – “The Disaster Artist”
Jake Gyllenhaal – “Stronger”
Tom Hanks – “The Post”
Daniel Kaluuya – “Get Out”
Daniel Day-Lewis – “Phantom Thread”
Gary Oldman – “Darkest Hour”

BEST ACTRESS

Jessica Chastain – “Molly’s Game”
Sally Hawkins – “The Shape of Water”
Frances McDormand – “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
Margot Robbie – “I, Tonya”
Saoirse Ronan – “Lady Bird”
Meryl Streep – “The Post”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Willem Dafoe – “The Florida Project”
Armie Hammer – “Call Me By Your Name”
Richard Jenkins – “The Shape of Water”
Sam Rockwell – “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
Patrick Stewart – “Logan
Michael Stuhlbarg – “Call Me by Your Name”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Mary J. Blige – “Mudbound
Hong Chau – “Downsizing”
Tiffany Haddish – “Girls Trip”
Holly Hunter – “The Big Sick”
Allison Janney – “I, Tonya”
Laurie Metcalf – “Lady Bird”
Octavia Spencer – “The Shape of Water”

BEST YOUNG ACTOR/ACTRESS

Mckenna Grace – “Gifted”
Dafne Keen – “Logan”
Brooklynn Prince – “The Florida Project”
Millicent Simmonds – “Wonderstruck”
Jacob Tremblay – “Wonder”

BEST ACTING ENSEMBLE

“Dunkirk”
“Lady Bird”
“Mudbound”
“The Post”
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

BEST DIRECTOR

Guillermo del Toro – “The Shape of Water”
Greta Gerwig – “Lady Bird”
Martin McDonagh – “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
Christopher Nolan – “Dunkirk”
Luca Guadagnino – “Call Me By Your Name”
Jordan Peele – “Get Out”
Steven Spielberg – “The Post”

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

Guillermo del Toro and Vanessa Taylor – “The Shape of Water”
Greta Gerwig – “Lady Bird”
Emily V. Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani – “The Big Sick”
Liz Hannah and Josh Singer – “The Post”
Martin McDonagh – “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
Jordan Peele – “Get Out”

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

James Ivory – “Call Me by Your Name”
Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber – “The Disaster Artist”
Dee Rees and Virgil Williams – “Mudbound
Aaron Sorkin – “Molly’s Game”
Jack Thorne, Steve Conrad, Stephen Chbosky – “Wonder”

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

Roger Deakins – “Blade Runner 2049”
Hoyte van Hoytema – “Dunkirk”
Dan Laustsen – “The Shape of Water”
Rachel Morrison – “Mudbound
Sayombhu Mukdeeprom – “Call Me By Your Name”

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN

Paul Denham Austerberry, Shane Vieau, Jeff Melvin – “The Shape of Water”
Jim Clay, Rebecca Alleway – “Murder on the Orient Express”
Nathan Crowley, Gary Fettis – “Dunkirk”
Dennis Gassner, Alessandra Querzola – “Blade Runner 2049
Sarah Greenwood, Katie Spencer – “Beauty and the Beast
Mark Tildesley, Véronique Melery – “Phantom Thread”

BEST EDITING

Michael Kahn, Sarah Broshar – “The Post”
Paul Machliss, Jonathan Amos – “Baby Driver
Lee Smith – “Dunkirk”
Joe Walker – “Blade Runner 2049”
Sidney Wolinsky – “The Shape of Water”

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

Renée April – “Blade Runner 2049
Mark Bridges – “Phantom Thread”
Jacqueline Durran – “Beauty and the Beast
Lindy Hemming – “Wonder Woman
Luis Sequeira – “The Shape of Water”

BEST HAIR AND MAKEUP

Beauty and the Beast
“Darkest Hour”
“I, Tonya”
“The Shape of Water”
“Wonder”

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

Blade Runner 2049
“Dunkirk”
“The Shape of Water”
“Thor: Ragnarok”
War for the Planet of the Apes
Wonder Woman

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE

“The Breadwinner”
“Coco”
“Despicable Me 3”
“The LEGO Batman Movie”
“Loving Vincent”

BEST ACTION MOVIE

Baby Driver”
Logan”
“Thor: Ragnarok”
War for the Planet of the Apes”
“Wonder Woman”

BEST COMEDY

“The Big Sick”
“The Disaster Artist”
“Girls Trip”
“I, Tonya”
“Lady Bird”

BEST ACTOR IN A COMEDY

Steve Carell – “Battle of the Sexes”
James Franco – “The Disaster Artist”
Chris Hemsworth – “Thor: Ragnarok”
Kumail Nanjiani – “The Big Sick”
Adam Sandler – “The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)”

BEST ACTRESS IN A COMEDY

Tiffany Haddish – “Girls Trip”
Zoe Kazan – “The Big Sick”
Margot Robbie – “I, Tonya”
Saoirse Ronan – “Lady Bird”
Emma Stone – “Battle of the Sexes”

BEST SCI-FI OR HORROR MOVIE

Blade Runner 2049
“Get Out”
It
“The Shape of Water”

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

“BPM (Beats Per Minute)”
“A Fantastic Woman”
“First They Killed My Father”
“In the Fade”
“The Square”
“Thelma”

BEST SONG

“Evermore” – “Beauty and the Beast
“Mystery of Love” – “Call Me By Your Name”
“Remember Me” – “Coco”
“Stand Up for Something” – “Marshall”
“This Is Me” – “The Greatest Showman”

BEST SCORE

Alexandre Desplat – “The Shape of Water”
Jonny Greenwood – “Phantom Thread”
Dario Marianelli – “Darkest Hour”
Benjamin Wallfisch and Hans Zimmer – “Blade Runner 2049”
John Williams – “The Post”
Hans Zimmer – “Dunkirk”