This might be old news for all of you Tarantino nerds. But for the rest of us, this trivia is pretty fascinating.
This might be old news for all of you Tarantino nerds. But for the rest of us, this trivia is pretty fascinating.
Back in 1999, the world was introduced to arguably the best TV show ever created. Set primarily in New Jersey, ‘The Sopranos’ explored the story of mobster Tony Soprano, a man attempting to keep his home life, as well as his mental state, intact in a profession where a bullet could come flying around any corner.
The series was a win in all forms, with the acting, writing, dialogue and overall believability holding us captivated with each episode that aired (yes, even the finale). With that in mind, let’s take a look at where the cast of ‘The Sopranos’ is today.
Then: Back when ‘The Sopranos’ was killing it in the ratings, James Gandolfini became not only a star, but also known for his brute onscreen personality. Much to everyone’s surprise, Gandolfini’s true persona was that of a pacifist. Before ‘The Sopranos’ took to HBO, Gandolfini had played memorable tough guys in films such as ‘Get Shorty’ and ‘True Romance.’
Now: Gandolfini died suddenly of a heart attack in 2013 at the age of 51 while vacationing in Rome. His death rocked Hollywood and led to scores of tributes. Before he passed away, he had appeared in acclaimed films like ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ and ‘Enough Said.’ His last credit is for a film called ‘The Drop,’ slated to open later in 2014.
Then: The role of Tony’s wife, Carmela Soprano, wasn’t the first time Edie Falco worked with HBO — she was already known for her role as Diane Whittlesey on the network’s prison drama ‘Oz.’ A struggling actress at the age of 30, she was given small breaks with roles in ‘Law & Order,’ ‘Homicide: Life on the Street’ and ‘Laws of Gravity,’ and a big break with Woody Allen’s ‘Bullets Over Broadway.’ Yet among them all, her Emmy-winning portrayal of Carmela would be one that would change her life.
Now: Since her ‘Sopranos’ days, Falco’s career has been a continued success, earning another Emmy Award for her title role on the Showtime series ‘Nurse Jackie.’ Falco has also found herself appearing in numerous Broadway plays that have won high praise from critics and audiences alike.
Then: Certainly no stranger to the mob motif (Bracco co-starred in the Martin Scorsese classic ‘Goodfellas’), the actress known Dr. Melfi was originally offered the role of Carmela Soprano. Thinking it was too close to her ‘Goodfellas’ role, Bracco instead asked to play Dr. Jennifer Melfi, Tony Soprano’s psychiatrist. The choice turned out to be the right one.
Now: Today, Bracco went on to play Angela Rizzoli on TNT’s ‘Rizzoli & Isles.’ Outside of acting, she owns Bracco Wines, a line of wines that was featured on the season one finale of ‘Top Chef.’
Then: Another ‘Goodfellas’ cast member, Michael Imperioli played Christopher Moltisanti,Tony’s nephew who constant struggled with drugs and alcohol. His character dreamed of being a Hollywood screenwriter, which is the exact path Imperioli took, directing and writing a few ‘Sopranos’ episodes himself.
Now: Since his ‘Sopranos’ fame, Imperioli’s credits have continued, starring in the now defunct ‘Life on Mars’ and ‘Detroit 1-8-7′ and appearing in various films. He’s also appeared on the Showtime series ‘Californication.’ However, perhaps his most notable performance since ‘The Sopranos’ is the popular 1800 Tequila commercials in which he ruggedly mocks a bottle of Petron while “his” tequila pours him a shot. Yes, it’s very intimidating.
Then: Before his acting career took off, Sirico, aka Paulie Walnuts, was an actual mobster, having served two different stints in the big house in the late ’60s and early ’70s. Since then, it was goodbye crime and hello Hollywood. Oddly enough, despite his lengthy list of credits, Sirico is mainly know for playing… you guessed it, mobsters! Word has it that he agreed to play Paulie on one condition, that his character would not be a ‘rat.’
Now: Sirico seems to have slowed down since ‘The Sopranos’ ended, making appearances on shows such as ‘Chuck’ and ‘Medium.’ Lately he’s transitioned from mobsters to cops, donning badges in films like ‘Zarra’s Law’ and the awesomely named ‘Jersey Shore Shark Attack.’ He’s also logged a guest role on the acclaimed Netflix series ‘Lilyhammer’ and done some voicework on ‘Family Guy.’
Then: Before ‘The Sopranos’ began Van Zandt was a struggling musician in some musical combo called The E Street Band headed by a guy from Jersey named Bruce Springsteen. Already having the world in the palm of his hands, Little Steven’s career hit a new high when he took on the role of Silvio Dante.
Now: Age means nothing to this guy, who consistently tours with Springsteen and the E Street Band. Aside from his first love, Van Zandt starred in ‘Lilyhammer’ and served as an executive producer on the 2013 film ‘Not Fade Away,’ which was written and directed by ‘Sopranos’ creator David Chase.
Then: Beginning her acting and singing career at the age of seven, Jamie-Lynn Sigler was cast as Meadow Soprano at just 18. In the earlier seasons, Meadow was intelligent yet somewhat troubled. However, as the show rolled on she grew into a young woman who learned the consequences of life — often firsthand, given her father’s “business.”
Now: Life post-‘Sopranos’ has been rather bright for Sigler, who guest starred on 13 episodes of HBO’s ‘Entourage’ and five episodes of ‘Ugly Betty.’ She also starred on the short-lived TV series ‘Guys with Kids.’ In August 2013, she and husband Cutter Dykstra welcomed a baby boy.
Then: Iler played Anthony Soprano, Jr., or A.J., the youngest Soprano child. His character could be seen as that of a slacker, often lazy and finding various hardships during his adolescence. Iler didn’t do much television acting before ‘The Sopranos,’ mainly appearing in commercials. However, once HBO cast him it was smooth sailing…sort of.
Now: With just one television credit post-Sopranos (he appeared on ‘Law & Order’ in 2009), Iler doesn’t seem to be doing much acting today. But he did show up on the ‘2010 World Series of Poker.’ Acting aside, Iler’s had multiple run-ins with the law for cases ranging from marijuana possession to larceny.
Then: Back in the early ’90s, Schirripa was working in Las Vegas when he got a part as an extra in the Martin Scorsese film, ‘Casino.’ It seems quick, but it was just five years after his ‘Casino’ role that he was cast in ‘The Sopranos’ as Bobby Baccalieri.
Now: Today, Schirripa is doing just fine, with minor appearances on shows such as ‘Ugly Betty’ and ‘Brothers’ to more prominent television roles like ‘The Secret Life of the American Teenager.’ He also serves as the host and narrator of ‘Nothing Personal,’ a true-crime series on Investigation Discovery.
Then: Having already racked up an impressive acting resume before joining ‘The Sopranos’ — appearing everywhere from ‘The Goonies’ to ‘The Matrix’ — Pantoliano’s character Ralph Cifaretto pushed him to new heights. Playing a largely unlikable mobster, his character held an immense presence from the day he stepped foot on set to the very moment of his death — which was certainly a gruesome one.
Now: Even today, ‘Joey Pants’ pops up everywhere, having appeared in everything from ‘How to Make it In America’ to ‘The Simpsons.’ Aside from Hollywood, he is an author, having penned two memoirs titled ‘Who’s Sorry Now’ and the more recent, ‘Asylum,’ in which he discusses his diagnosis with clinical depression.
Then: Starting his career in Off-Broadway plays and cabarets way back in 1952, Chianese got his first televised role in 1974’s ‘East Side/West Side.’ He would then go on to appear in ‘The Godfather: Part II,’ which sparked a friendship with fellow actor Al Pacino. However, among his lengthy list of accomplishments, his portrayal of Junior Soprano garnered him arguably the most attention.
Now: Life post-‘Sopranos’ is rather busy for Chianese, even in his 80s. A celebrated musician, he’s also been featured on HBO’s ‘Boardwalk Empire’ (created by ‘Sopranos’ writer Terrance Winter), ‘Damages,’ ‘The Good Wife’ and ‘The Secret Life of the American Teenager.’
Kurt Russell and writer/director John Carpenter’s Snake Plissken was as intriguing as he was terrifying. A man who had no time for anything except completing the mission laid at his feet, Snake took down whatever authority figure or gang member who dared to stand in his way. He first took down Gotham in 1981’s Escape from New York, gliding into a version of Manhattan that had been isolated from the mainland and turned into a prison colony. His mission? Save the President of the United States (whose escape pod had landed in the city after terrorists had taken Air Force One). Plissken was called upon again in 1996 to rescue a different President’s rebellious daughter from a similarly isolated Los Angeles. Though the plot echoed the original in a few spots, the box office and critical acclaim did not despite another rock solid performance by Russell.
There has been talk about an Escape from New York reboot for years now, and while that may or may not happen, Kurt Russell’s take on the character will be nearly impossible to top, specifically in the minds of fans who have accepted Snake as iconic. In the spirit of the film’s 35th anniversary, here are some facts you may not know about the creation of Snake Plissken and the effort to bring him to life on the big screen for his escape from the big apple.
It’s obvious before he even opens his mouth that Snake is an intimating character. The eyepatch, the clothes, the look on his face that says “I could kill you without giving it a second thought,” it all adds up to one incredibly mean-looking dude. Russell spoke out on how he found out just how bad his character really was during a Q&A at EW’s Capetown Film Festival in 2013, relaying a story about a stroll he took through the streets of St. Louis while on location.
“One night I had to go down about three blocks, and we didn’t have anybody to go down there with me, so I just geared up with all my guns and everything – Snake’s coming in to wreak some havoc – and I came around the corner and there are these four guys there. We’re around the corner now, and none of my guys can see me. I just looked at these guys and they looked at me. And this is how different this was at that time: when you saw that guy, with a serious machine gun and a knife and a bunch of stuff you didn’t know what it was, even. I just flashed the light a little bit on the gun, and these guys looked at me, and they were pretty rough characters, and they just went, ‘Hey man, easy, easy.’ And they turned and walked away. I couldn’t wait to get back and tell John, ‘I think this guy’s going to work!’
Well, sorta. There wasn’t actually a gun-toting dude who had to break out of a super prison on Manhattan island, but John Carpenter did know a Snake. When writing the script, Carpenter was having a tough time coming up with a name that would capture his character’s true nastiness, but he happened to have a friend of a friend who knew somebody named Snake Plissken. Carpenter said it wasn’t just the name that he used for inspiration, but the real Snake’s ink, as well.
“When I was writing he script I had to come up with a name for my main character and I had a friend who knew a guy in Cleveland named Snake Plissken. He had a snake tattooed on him and he could make that snake move. He was kind of a high school tough guy and had some ridiculous qualities to him, and it just seemed like, that’s my hero. That’s my kinda guy.”
Snake without an eyepatch would be like a unicorn without its horn, a hot dog without a bun, a Trump rally without a protest — some things just go together. Snake’s trademark eyepatch wasn’t actually part of John Carpenter’s original vision for Snake. That incredible addition was all Kurt Russell, who came up with the idea after being inspired by John Wayne’s eyepatch wearing tough guy, Rooster Cogburn in True Grit.
“I said to John, ‘I think it’d be cool to wear an eyepatch.’ I think a lot of guys would have gone, ‘Well, I don’t know…’ but John immediately went, ‘That’s great! I don’t think anybody’s worn an eyepatch since John Wayne in True Grit!’”
Not many actors have worn an eyepatch since Escape from New York, either, and there’s certainly nobody out there who’s rocked it better than Snake. Sorry, Sam Jackson.
Russell was already an acting vet by the time he began shooting Escape from New York, so throwing a fake punch was no big deal. His opponent, pro-wrestler Ox Baker, didn’t have as much practice, though, and laid into Russell a little too much during the fight scene. Carpenter recalled having to tell Baker to lay off because he was hitting with way too much force, saying, “If you look at the film, you’ll see a couple of shots in there where Kurt is fighting for his life.”
Russell eventually got the message across to Baker in a not so subtle, but effective way. According to Carpenter, Russell walked over to the wrestler during a break and gave him a light tap in the groin, telling him “you gotta ease up.” From then on, they didn’t have any issues.
While it might be impossible to think of the Escape movies without Russell, he wasn’t the only actor up for the role. Carpenter felt that Russell was “the only man for the job,” but the studio wasn’t sure and wanted to look at other actors. Tommy Lee Jones, Chuck Norris, and Charles Bronson were all candidates for the part early on in the casting process. What eventually won the studio over was Carpenter’s relationship with Russell from their work together on the Elvis biopic.
During the Capetown festival, Russell commented on how Carpenter fought for his role in the movie and the desire he had to take it on.
“So I read it, and I said, ‘This is exactly what I want to do. It’s something that I know I can do that I know nobody is going to think of me for except for you, John.’ They wanted Charlie Bronson to do it, and John fought for me. A couple of times in my life, I’ve gotten to read something – Tombstone was like that – and I just said, ‘I’d love to do this.’”
Remember, we instantly think of Escape from New York, The Thing, Big Trouble in Little China, and Tango and Cash when we think of Russell, but in 1980, he was a guy who had done a lot of TV work (including the high-profile Elvis bio-pic), some Disney films, and starred in Used Cars. Seeing him as Snake was a career-altering revelation for Hollywood.
Snake certainly seems like the type of guy who would take up bank robbing, and Carpenter and Russell shot a scene for the film’s opening that had him doing just that. Audiences during test screenings found the scene confusing, though, and it was eventually left on the editing room floor. On the film’s DVD commentary, Carpenter would admit that the scene would have bogged down the film and given a little too much of Snake’s mysterious backstory to the audience.
Due to the curse of time, we’re almost certainly never going to see Russell play Snake ever again (though, one never knows with the trend of other notable actors returning to play older versions of popular characters), but there was once a time years ago when a third Escape film wasn’t such an unrealistic possibility. While talking at the Capetown Film Festival, Russell entertained the ridiculous idea they once had for Snake’s next escape, saying, “The only other one we wanted to do, both John and I thought Escape from Earth for Snake.”
With Lockout, filmmaker Luc Besson trotted out his own escape from a prison in space film in 2012, much to the displeasure of Carpenter (who sued), but there’s only one Snake, so surely we can all unite in an effort to send Kurt Russell into space, can’t we?
If you decided to hold on to your old VHS tapes instead of throwing them all away, it could yet prove to be a wise decision.
In fact some VHS tapes are highly sought after these days, according to loveantiques.com.
If you’ve got a VHS copy of any of the following, you should probably get in touch with them:
Frankenstein’s Castle of Freaks (JVI) £1,500
The Beast in Heat (JVI) £1,200
The Legend of Hillbilly John (Rainbow) £1,000
Journey Into Beyond (Citycenta GO) £1,000
Lemora, Lady Dracula (IFS) £900
Don’t Open the Window (Films of the 80s) £900
Flesh Eaters (Knockout) £800
Black Decameron £800
Curse Of Death (£700)
Farewell Africa £600
Others which will make you a nice bit of change:
Betrayed (Taboo) – £1100
Celestine (GO) – £1100
Sisters Of Blood (Alpha) – £700
House Of Perversity (GO) – £600
Anthropophagus The Beats (Videoshack) – £500
Hitchhike To Hell (VRO) – £500
Devil Hunter (CineHollywood) – £500
Nightmare Maker [Orange Sleeve Version] (Atlantis) – £400
Madhouse [Alt. Sleeve] (Medusa) – £250
The Evil Dead [Not Guilty sleeve version] (Palace) – £200
The Love Butcher (Intervision) – £200
Eegah (Trytel) – £500
Cannibal Man (Intervision) – £500
Gallery Of Horror (Trytel) -£500
Tomb Of The Undead (Trytel) – £500
Well those all seem pretty obscure to say the least but someone out there’s got a copy, that’s for sure.
It’s one of the UK’s most iconic films and now the plot details for a Trainspotting squeal have been released.
Speaking to Vice, author Irvine Welsh revealed: “It’s very much telling a story about Edinburgh as it currently is. The main element to the story is basically Renton, Begbie, Sick Boy and Spud getting back together again, and it tells the story of them getting involved in the vice industry in a very innovative way.”
Production for the movie has already begun and filming is set to commence in May.
In an interview with Collider, Ewan McGregor certainly stirred excitement for fans of the original movie:
“None of us want to make a poor sequel to it. So had we not been presented with the most extraordinary script, which we were, I think we wouldn’t be making the sequel. But because we were, we are,” he explained.
“The script only arrived very recently, [and it] was really, really, really good”.
If you haven’t seen the first movie yet here’s the trailer – you won’t be disappointed.
It’s hard to believe that it’s been more than 15 years since Christian Bale terrified people everywhere with his haunting performance as Patrick Bateman in American Psycho.
And while the film has since become a cult favourite, even a decade and a half later, there are still a lot intricacies still being revealed about this brilliantly crafted horror film.
The world loves the movies. We are transported to another place while we watch them and many of us wish that we could live the lives of the people we see on the silver screen. We want their riches, super powers, personalities, and their cars.
The movies are full of all kinds of vehicles. The majority of them of every day run of the mill type cars and trucks that don’t require a further look. Every once in awhile a gem rolls across the movie screen and captures the attention of the audience. These cars aren’t always sleek and expensive looking by any means. Many of them possess strange and quirky characteristics but others are true performance legends. We gathered up 10 of our favourite cars from the movies and put them here for you.
Ghostbusters – 1959 Cadillac Miller-Meteor Ambulance
American Graffiti – 1932 Ford Coupe Hot Rod
“American Graffiti” is one of the greatest movies about teenagers coming into their own in the 1960s. The fashion was on point as well as the sound track. The movie starred Ron Howard and Richard Dreyfus. The plot is sets on a typical evening in the United States with friends cruising the local streets before they head off to college. The yellow 1932 Ford Coupe driven by Paul Le Mat was an instant icon of the silver screen. The movie climaxes on “Paradise Road’ where the Ford Coupe lines up next to black 1955 Chevy. The two take off and the rest is history. Most people don’t know that George Lucas directed the 1973 classic and also that Harrison Ford played a small part in the film as well.
knight Rider – a 1982 Pontiac Trans Am
In both instances, KITT is an artificially intelligent electronic computer module in the body of a highly advanced, very mobile, robotic automobile
The original KITT as a 1982 Pontiac Trans Am, and the second KITT as a 2008/2009 Ford Shelby GT500KR. KITT was voiced by William Daniels in the original series, and by Val Kilmer in the 2008 series.The character of KITT (Knight Industries Two Thousand) in the original Knight Rider series was physically embodied as a modified 1982 Pontiac Trans Am with numerous special features such as Turbo Boost (which allowed quick bursts of speed or jumping over obstacles), the ability to drive ‘himself’, a front mounted scanner bar that (among other things) allowed KITT to ‘see’ (and a nod to series creator,Glen A. Larson and his “Battlestar Galactica”‘s Cylons), and ‘molecular bonded shell’ body armor, portrayed to be invulnerable to diamond headed drills, small arms fire, the impact of thrown objects, and even high speed impact with cinder block wall. The armor could also resist close explosive blasts although a direct hit could cause severe damage. A refit in the 1985 season included the addition of “Super Pursuit Mode” and a convertible top. The car’s voice was supplied by actor William Daniels.
Transformers – 2006 Chevrolet Camaro
The standout vehicle from 2006’s “Transformers” movie wasn’t Optimus Prime or Megatron. Everyone young and old know that Bumblebee is the king of the first installment of the Transformers franchise. The upcoming 2006 Chevrolet Camaro was tapped to don the famous yellow and black paint scheme. It was perfect for both parties. Transformers and Chevrolet received huge acclaim from the Camaro’s starring role in the film. To this day if you see a yellow fifth generation Camaro with black hood stripes you know you call it Bumblebee.
Smokey and The Bandit – 1977 Pontiac Trans Am SE
1977’s “Smokey and the Bandit” is perhaps one of the top five greatest car themed movies to this day. In the movie Burt Reynolds and Sally Field tear across county lines in a 1977 Pontiac Trans Am SE. The jet black sports car with the famous “fire chicken” character across the hood and its massive V-8 engine was the perfect platform for Smokey to drive while evading the pesky sheriff. The Trans Am SE has increased in value since the film’s release and has become collectors item that is sought after by many enthusiasts to this day.
Herbie The Love Bug – 1963 Volkswagen Beetle
Everyone in the world knows what a VW Beetle is. It is the world’s most produced vehicle and can be found in just about every area of the world except Antartica. In order to stand out in a crowd of over 22 million brothers and sisters you have to pretty special. Disney chose the Beetle platform for its 1968 production of “Herbie The Love Bug”. The film features a race car driver’s journey to becoming a champion with the help of a VW Beetle that has a mind of its own. The quirky VW battles against superior vehicles but conquers all of them with its crazy antics. The Herbie franchise quickly took of from there and several other movies, TV shows, and action figures have been released since. The most recent featured starlet Lindsay Lohan in a relaunch of the original film.
Dr. No and Skyfall – 1963 Aston Martin DB5
Ian Fleming’s James Bond character and Aston Martin have become synonymous with one another. Bond has driven Jaguars, Lotus, and even Fords but none can compare to the Aston Martin DB5. The British two seater has been featured in 12 of the Bond films to date including “Skyfall” and “Spectre”. The vehicle has been used in chase scenes, love scenes, and action sequences. Several of them were destroyed, some were modified with all sorts of spy gadgetry, and others were left completely stock. The DB5 is the famous Bond car by far.
Back To The Future – 1982 DeLorean DMC-12
This gull wing doored design rolled across the silver screen in Robert Zemeckis’ “Back to the Future.” The DeLorean DMC-12 was modified into a time machine by none other than Dr. Emmett Brown, played by Christopher Lloyd. Marty McFly, played by Michael J. Fox, is sent 30 years backwards in time while piloting the DeLorean as he is chased by terrorists. The DeLorean had already made a huge impression on the general public before the film’s release but a starring role helped make it one of the world’s most memorable vehicles of all time.
Gone In Sixty Seconds – 1967 Shelby GT500
The summer of 2000 theaters all over the world were thrust into high octane action with the release of “Gone In Sixty Seconds”. The films starred the likes of Nicolas Cage, Angelina Jolie, Giovanni Ribisi, and Robert Duvall. Cage’s character is a retired car thief named Memphis Raines who is forced from his quiet life to save his brother from his own mistakes. Raines and his crew have to steal 50 cars in one night and get them all into shipping containers by the deadline. The film contains a vast array of custom classics and high end exotics that are all boosted from under the noses of their owns. The climax of the film sees Raines steal a 1967 Shelby GT500 and put it through one hell of chase scene. The car’s name was Eleanor and to this day it has stuck.
The Fast and The Furious – 1970 Dodge Charge R/T
The Fast and The Furious franchise didn’t grow into the monster it is today because of the actors and their acting. It wasn’t the far fetched story lines either. The high performance cars of the street racing scene found in southern California made the movie. The 2001 film was full to the brim with Mitsubishi Eclipses, Honda Civics, and Acura Integras. Even the films “hero car”, a heavily modified Mk4 Toyota Supra was out shined by one car. That car was Dominick Toretto’s 1970 Dodge Charger R/T. This black painted beast thundered into the film with its stacked blown towering out of the hood. It was used in the final scene few scenes of the original film which include the famous drag race at between Dom and Brian. The car has been seen and used in every FnF film with the exception of Tokyo Drift. The Charger was already an icon of the muscle car community before the movie was released but since its fame has grown exponentially. When this car comes out on the screen in any form you know something big is about to go down.