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Tag: writer

The Ramones Said ‘Adios’ With A Whimper, But At Least They Didn’t Embarrass Themselves

Ramones_-_Adios_Amigos_cover

Album Cover

The Ramones of the ’70s are iconic. They were at the vanguard of punk, and arguably pop punk, and created songs that are still considered classics of the genre today. You go to a sporting event, you hear “Blitzkrieg Bop.” Their look was easily recognizable, and influential. They appeared in Rock ‘N’ Roll High School. Then came 1980’s End of the Century which was, in its own way, the end of an era for the band. By 1995, when they released their final studio album Adios Amigos!, they were no longer part of the zeitgeist. They were an afterthought, and they weren’t even the same band. The change from Tommy to Marky on the drums had happened a while back, with a brief stay from Richie in there as well, and, in truth, changing the drummer isn’t really going to rile up many people. However, by the time of Adios Amigos!, Dee Dee was also all but gone, although his presence is still felt on the album, as he is credited as the writer on many of the songs, including a handful from other projects of his. He had been replaced with C.J. Ramone, who was given a lot of credit by his bandmates for bringing some much-needed youthful energy to the band. C.J. could only do so much, though. This was a band that had been releasing music for 20 years. Nobody could blame them for being burnt out. Adios Amigos! begins with the iconic “1, 2, 3, 4!” count off that was synonymous with the band, but after that it feels decidedly like warmed-over Ramones. Now, this could be where one would break out the old chestnut about how even bad pizza is pretty good, and how the same can be said for the Ramones. The Ramones were still making the music they’ve made for years. Charging guitars. Simple drumbeats. Although, they do slow it down a bit more than they did in the past, in part to ease the strain on Joey’s vocals. He gets to croon a bit, and he’s not half-bad at it. The album is hit-or-miss. In addition to the songs from Dee Dee, there is a cover of Tom Waits’ “I Don’t Want to Grow Up” and Johnny Thunders’ “I Love You.” They are both fine. “Fine” is about the highest level this album achieves. “Life’s a Gas” is pretty good, but also goes on a bit too long. In the end, the songs that Joey sings on are reminiscent of the glory days of the Ramones. The issue is that on four of the tracks, C.J. takes the lead vocals. One of the song, “Scattergun,” is OK, but the others are abysmal. Of course, one of those songs is “The Crusher” from Dee Dee’s brief time as a rapper, so C.J. can’t take all of the blame. Nevertheless, it’s one of the worst things ever recorded for posterity. Dee Dee’s impact on the album is felt in his songwriting, but his only tangible appearance is on the final song “Born to Die in Berlin,” wherein he (literally) phones it in from Germany. None of the original Ramones (Joey, Johnny, Dee Dee, and Tommy) would die in Berlin, but they have all now passed away. Three of them have been dead for over a decade now. However, those Ramones weren’t the Ramones by the time the band was winding it all down. Adios Amigos! isn’t a stain on their legacy by any means. It has its moments, and it sounds like the Ramones, which has merit. Based on their album title, obviously, they knew this was the end. They didn’t go down in a blaze of glory, but at least they said goodbye without embarrassing themselves.
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Gene Wilder Biography Author, Actor, Comedian (1933–)

Gene Wilder - Willy Wonka (TV-14; 01:14) Watch a short video about Gene Wilder to learn how he recovered after the loss of his wife Gilda Radner.

Synopsis

Gene Wilder began his movie career in 1967's Bonnie and Clyde, but he became famous as a favorite of writer/director Mel Brooks. His wacky roles in films such as Young Frankenstein, Blazing Saddles and Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory made him an unforgettable comedy icon. In his later years, Wilder has become a serious novelist, writing a memoir and several novels.

Early Life

Gene Wilder was born Jerome Silberman in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on June 11, 1933, to a Jewish family. His father, William, had emigrated from Russia. His mother, Jeanne, was often ill from complications from rheumatic heart disease, and a doctor warned the 8-year-old Jerome, "Don't ever argue with your mother... you might kill her. Try to make her laugh." These circumstances began Wilder's lifelong calling to acting, as he made his mother laugh by putting on different accents. After a brief stint in a California military academy, Wilder moved back to Milwaukee and became involved with the local theater scene, making his stage debut as Balthasar in a production of Romeo and Juliet. After graduating from high school, Wilder studied communication and theater arts at the University of Iowa, following that with a year studying theater and fencing at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School in Bristol, United Kingdom. He returned to the United States to study the Stanislavski method of acting but was promptly drafted into the U.S. Army for two years, during which time he worked as a medic in Pennsylvania. Next, Wilder moved to New York City, where he took a variety of odd jobs, including a position as a fencing teacher, to support himself while he studied acting.

Early Career

At age 26, Wilder decided that he "couldn't quite see a marquee reading 'Jerry Silberman as Macbeth'" and took the stage name Gene Wilder. He took his new first name from a character in a Thomas Wolfe novel, and his last from the playwright Thornton Wilder. He started appearing with some regularity in off-Broadway and Broadway shows. In a 1963 production ofMother Courage and Her Children, he met Anne Bancroft, who introduced him to her boyfriend, Mel Brooks. Wilder and Brooks became fast friends, and Brooks decided he wanted to cast Wilder in a production of the screenplay he was writing, The Producers.

Film Career

Wilder made his film debut with a minor role in 1967's Bonnie and Clyde. He took on his first major role in The Producers, playing Leo Bloom against Zero Mostel's Max Bialystock. The film was a box office flop and received mixed reviews, but Wilder earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor. He quickly became an in-demand commodity in Hollywood, taking parts in several comedies, including the idiosyncratic title character inWilly Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.

Willy Wonka brought to life the weird and wild Roald Dahl book of the same name, and it thoroughly established Gene Wilder as a leading man who could hold his own in any comedic situation. As the enigmatic Wonka, Wilder chewed the scenery right into a Golden Glove nomination for best actor and became known to a legion of young film-goers.

Despite Wilder's personal success, though, none of his films of this period met with much commercial success. He finally broke that streak with a role in Woody Allen's 1972 film Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex* (*But Were Afraid to Ask). He then took a last-minute role in Mel Brooks' 1974 comedy Blazing Saddles, a decision that would help define his career.

Blazing Saddles was a western like no other, and it set out to offend every viewer equally. Now a cult classic, the movie set Wilder on a path through his other classic films, including four with Richard Pryor: Silver Streak (1976), Stir Crazy (1980), See No Evil, Hear No Evil (1989) and Another You (1991).

Stir Crazy, in which Wilder and Pryor played prison inmates, was a notable hit, and like Blazing Saddles before it, the film helped to cement Wilder's reputation as a comedy legend.

Wilder began writing and starring in more films in 1974, starting with Young Frankenstein (in which he played Dr. Frederick Frankenstein). Like Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein set out to turn an established genre, this time horror, on its head. Starring Wilder as the infamous Dr. Frankenstein's grandson, the movie is unrelenting in its jokes and sight gags, and audiences have been connecting with it since the day it hit theaters.

Wilder also wrote, directed and starred in 1975's The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes' Smarter Brother and 1977's The World's Greatest Lover. WhileYoung Frankenstein was a hit and achieved a huge cult following, the others failed to gain positive critical response and were commercially unsuccessful.

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KUNG FURY - FULL MOVIE

KUNG FURY - FULL MOVIE Autodesk Helps Fido Unleash Action-Packed VFX for "Kung Fury". Warning: Bad Language | kung-fury | production

Following a successful Cannes Film Festival premiere, David Sandberg's 80s-inspired film Kung Fury makes its highly anticipated online debut this week. Kickstarter-funded by 17,000 backers, the 30-minute film follows a Miami-based kung fu cop as he time travels from the 80s to the 40s on a mission to take out Adolf Hitler - a plotline augmented by 399 over-the-top VFX shots delivered by a 46-person crew at Scandinavian VFX house Fido. Using Autodesk 3D modeling, animation and digital sculpting solutions, Fido created and refined dynamic 3D assets and scenes to bring Sandberg's 80's cop drama homage to life.

Throughout ?Kung Fury,? the story unfolds in three major environments: a street intersection, a police station interior and a huge steampunk-inspired Nazi hall. Fido created each environment digitally and then integrated the work with live action green screen footage of actors. Given trailer assets originally designed by Sandberg in 3ds Max, Fido transferred the files to in-house Maya workstations and used the assets as an aesthetic guideline to model, texture and refine the film?s environments, elements and main CG characters, including two robots, a Tyrannosaurus rex and an eagle. After finalizing VFX work and compositing, Fido?s crew then applied a specially designed filter to footage to achieve the VHS-reminiscent look that Sandberg envisioned.

?The movie is essentially a 30-minute VFX rollercoaster ride, so we had our work cut out for us, but having Maya as a pillar of our pipeline put us at ease. David also directs with a strong creative vision and deep understanding of VFX, so even though we faced some pretty crazy challenges, it really helped that he speaks the same language we do,? shared VFX Supervisor Cameron Scott. ? All our Autodesk tools were stable workhorses throughout production. Using Maya?s Alembic support, we were able to quickly transfer 3D assets between programs to work efficiently and meet David?s deadlines.?

?There are so many fun, crazy characters, environments and scenarios in ?Kung Fury? that VFX played a crucial role in the story. Because of my background in commercial production, I?m familiar with all the VFX tools and techniques, so I worked closely with Fido on the VFX,? said Sandberg. ?I?ve worked with Autodesk tools for a while now, and they?re some of the most best 3D modeling and animation tools out there. With outstanding creative talent like Fido behind the wheel of software like Maya, almost anything is possible, and that?s evident in the VFX they delivered for ?Kung Fury.??

About ?Kung Fury? ?Kung Fury? is an over-the-top Kickstarter-funded action comedy written and directed by David Sandberg with VFX by Fido. An 80s style action packed adventure, the film takes place in a variety of exotic locations, including Miami circa 1980s and Asgard and Germany circa 1940s, and features over-the-top characters like arcade-robots, dinosaurs, nazis, vikings, norse gods, mutants and a super kung fu-cop called Kung Fury. Sandberg completed the film in a little over a year with a strong vision and help from Kickstarter supporters, friends and family. The director is currently in talks with Hollywood producers to recreate the film as a full-length feature.

Credits: Director and Writer: David Sandberg

Fido VFX crew: VFX Supervisor: Cameron Scott VFX Producer: Matilda Olsson VFX Executive Producer: Claes Dietmann VFX Production Manager: Anders Singstedt Lead Lighting TDs: Johan Gabrielsson & Filip Orrby Composting Leads: Daniel Norlund & Tomas Näslund VFX Pre-Production Breakdown: Nils Lagergren, Kaj Steveman, Eva Åkergren Pipeline Engineer: Erik Johansson Systems Administrator: Thomas Eriksson Asset Management: ftrack

VFX Artists: Alexander Eriksson, Anders Nyman, Cameron Scott, Carlos Correia, Chris Judkins, Daniel Norlund, David Enbom, David Nelin, Egil Eskilsson, Erika Johansson, Filip Orrby, Fredrik Höglin, Fredrik Olsson, Gustav Alexandersson, Janak Thakker, Joakim Eriksson, Joakim Olsson, Johan Gabrielsson, Jonas Lindfors, Jonas Manell, Jonathan Skifs, Karl Rydhe, Klas Trulsson, Kristian Livén, Kristian Rydberg, Kristian Zarins, Laura Andersen, Magnus Eriksson, Martin Borell, Mattias Sandelius, Mattias Snygg, Niklas Lundgren, Rickard Engqvist, Rodrigo Vivedes, Sandra Scholz, Staffan Linder, Stefan Lagerstam, Sven Ahlström, Teo Mathlein, Tomas Näslund, Viktor Andersson, Zebastian Lilja

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