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Special Effects

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NEWS
July 26, 1988 | By RENEE V. LUCAS, Daily News Staff Writer
It may be by bus or it may be by plane, but one way or another Keith Staten will get to Philly in time for his Dell East concert tomorrow night. Staten, along with Fred Hammond, Michael Brooks, Mitchell Jones, Michael Williams and Karl Reid, make up "Commissioned," one of the hottest groups in contemporary gospel music. In three years they've produced as many albums - "I'm Goin On," "Go Tell Somebody," "On The Winning Side" - two of which reached Top 5 status on the Billboard chart.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 8, 1986 | By Desmond Ryan, Inquirer Movie Critic
With the rise of the high-tech generation of directors led by Steven Spielberg and George Lucas, more than a few movies have been accused of allowing the special effects to overwhelm the characters and the stories. With an idea that proves a little too ingenious for the film's good, F/X offers a movie in which the special effects are the story. The film's title, it should be pointed out, is not a new category in the ever-controversial film-rating system, but movie slang for special effects.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 20, 1992 | By Desmond Ryan, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
In 1933, a 13-year-old boy got a free studio ticket to see King Kong, the movie sensation that was packing them in at Grauman's Chinese Theater in Los Angeles and everywhere else. Hollywood, deservedly notorious for lunatic investments, was to see this modest outlay pay off handsomely for the next 50 years. The boy was Ray Harryhausen, and he remembers being "stunned and haunted" by the special effects that Willis O'Brien, the reigning wizard of the art, had dreamed up for King Kong.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 24, 1994 | By Desmond Ryan, INQUIRER MOVIE CRITIC
Long before the term disaster movie came into vogue in the '70s, When Worlds Collide showed what could be done in the genre in 1951. George Pal, the reigning movie special-effects wizard of his time, came to the project after the success of his Destination Moon. The work of Pal and his team won an Oscar for special effects that were state-of-the-art for their time. They will not, of course, make anyone forget what George Lucas' Industrial Light and Magic conjure these days, but the effects support an intriguing paranoid premise.
NEWS
July 18, 2003 | By Nora Koch INQUIRER SUBURBAN STAFF
Call him "Father Nature. " Nine years ago, Hollywood special-effects guru Dieter Sturm won an Academy Award for inventing an environment-friendly fake snow. Yesterday he dumped more than 40 tons of it on a car dealership in Cherry Hill. It was a Christmas-in-July publicity stunt for the Cherry Hill Triplex on Route 70, near Haddonfield Road, complete with the requisite red-and-green balloon bunches, Christmas carols and salespeople donning Santa hats. Despite a hard-fought battle by the sun and 85-degree weather, Sturm's white stuff prevailed into the night, piled high on the black asphalt parking lot. Children in shorts frolicked in it, marveling over their summertime snowballs.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 23, 1989 | By Carrie Rickey, Inquirer Movie Critic
If you go to the shore this summer, you will swim easier knowing that Bruce, the killer shark from Jaws, is not lurking. He has better things to do than turn you into human sushi. A model for beach bums everywhere, Bruce got a summer job - at the Franklin Institute. Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the museum! From tomorrow through Sept. 3, he will greet visitors at "Movie Special Effects," a lively exhibition in which film magicians reveal their sleight of hand. When you peer into Bruce's jaws of death, you will laugh in relief to learn that he is merely 27 feet of sponge rubber with wraparound teeth.
NEWS
November 21, 1988 | By Lewis Beale, Los Angeles Daily News
"High Spirits" wants to be a grand romantic ghost story in the old Hollywood tradition, but it suffers from a terminal case of 1980s overkill. Despite a good story idea and a very attractive cast, director Neil Jordan's film is wrecked by an over-reliance on Spielberg-style special effects and frenetic, unfunny comedy. Ghostly love affairs are certainly a staple of the Tinseltown mind set. Just think of "The Ghost and Mrs. Muir" or "Portrait of Jennie" and you've come up with some superior entertainment.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 11, 1999 | By Jennifer Weiner, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
We cannot vouch for Calista Flockhart, but Ally McBeal eats Duncan Hines milk chocolate frosting. There's a can of the stuff in the kitchen that the neurotic little lawyer of the Fox hit series shares with down-to-earth D.A. Renee Radick (played by Lisa Nicole Carson). Right next to the box of Wheat Thins, the bag of Ruffles with Ridges and the SnackWell fudge brownies. There's olive oil and coffee beans in the canisters, Lactaid and yogurt in the fridge, Lean Cuisine in the freezer.
BUSINESS
April 13, 1990 | By Rose DeWolf, Daily News Staff Writer
Beep! Boop! Beep! Beep! Bong! Each step that leads to Remo Saraceni's second floor office plays a musical note. Step on the mat in front of his door and it sounds chimes. If you say the word "time" to the clock on his desk, it will announce it to you. Does this sound like a fun place to work? You haven't heard the half of it. The lights in the ceiling look like clouds. Still more fluffy looking clouds (actually made of plastic) hang on the wall. Clap your hands and they change color.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 16, 1996 | By Desmond Ryan, INQUIRER MOVIE CRITIC
As gunfire breaks out aboard a private jet and bullets careen around the cabin, Arnold Schwarzenegger, the high-flying hero of Eraser, pushes open the plane's hatch, sending the craft's pressure plummeting. Then he hurls something into the fan of the engine, causing a crippling flameout. Cut to the cockpit, where, following all this deafening mayhem, the pilot turns to the copilot and says with a puzzled frown that there seems to be something wrong back there. Not just back there, buddy.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
January 12, 2014 | By David Hiltbrand, Inquirer Staff Writer
It's always a B-film bonanza when Greek myth meets Hollywood high-tech. 'Twas ever thus, since Jason and his Argonauts sailed Ray Harryhausen's wine-dark seas through the kraken's release in Clash of the Titans . Do not the gods deserve the best special effects we can lavish upon them? By Hera's hairy lip, they do! They also probably deserve a cohesive plot and dialogue that clarifies rather than confuses, but in The Legend of Hercules , they'll have to settle just for the special effects.
NEWS
May 8, 2013
Ray Harryhausen, 92, a special-effects titan who at age 13 was so overwhelmed by King Kong that he vowed he would grow up to create otherworldly creatures on film, died Tuesday at London's Hammersmith Hospital, where he had been receiving treatment for about a week for an undisclosed ailment. Though little known by the general public, Mr. Harryhausen, who was born in Los Angeles but lived in London from 1960 until his death, made 17 movies that are cherished by devotees of film fantasy.
NEWS
February 25, 2013
Petro Vlahos, 96, whose work took movie viewers to a spectacular chariot race in Ben-Hur and let Dick Van Dyke dance among penguins in Mary Poppins , died Feb. 10, his family announced. No other details were released. Mr. Vlahos laid the groundwork that made a modern movie genre - the blockbuster - possible. He did it by vastly improving a composite-image process commonly known as the "blue-screen effect. " By devising new ways to combine separately shot footage of actors and backgrounds into a single scene, he opened the door to such spectaculars as Star Wars and Titanic.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 16, 2013 | By Steven Rea, Inquirer Movie Critic
Reprinted from Thursday's edition. There is no Starbucks in sleepy Gatlin, S.C., laments young Ethan Wate, so it's completely understandable that he wants out. High school is a drag, too, and the sole movie theater can't even get the titles right on its marquee. But then Lena Duchannes, glamorously Goth, moves into town, and Ethan's world is upended. It's as if a spell had been cast, which, in the over-the-top supernatural teen romance Beautiful Creatures , isn't that surprising.
NEWS
August 11, 2012
Special-effects master and three-time Oscar winner Carlo Rambaldi, 86, died Friday in Italy after a long illness, Italian news media reported. Mr. Rambaldi was known as the father of E.T. He won visual effects Oscars for Steven Spielberg's 1982 extraterrestrial hit, as well as Ridley Scott's film Alien in 1979, and John Guillermin's King Kong in 1976. Mr. Rambaldi worked on more than 30 films, but was best known for his work on E.T. , for which he created three robots, two costumes worn by actors in the scenes when E.T. walked, and gloves for the hands.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 24, 2012 | By Howard Shapiro, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
The new Broadway musical "Ghost the Musical," modeled on the hit 1990 movie about a young banker who is murdered but whose spirit sticks around to keep his girlfriend from harm, is an astounding marriage of live theater and high-tech. The musical opened last summer in London and on Monday night on Broadway, where it packs a wallop for its blend of recorded and special effects with real action — in this case full-wall projections by Jon Driscoll that double or triple the cast with silhouettes that move, or filmed subways inhabited by real actors, or filmed backdrops that depict a frantic New York.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 4, 2010
THE FOLKS over at the Razzie awards will be examining the new DVD of "Wolfman," and you can anticipate nominations for Anthony Hopkins and Benicio Del Toro. Both men find themselves in hairy situations, but the scariest thing in the movie is the acting - Del Toro's miserable, mumbling hero and Hopkins' homicidal aristocrat, Hannibal Lecter with Rogaine. Also scary, the DVD special features include "extended" scenes, offering more of same. On a brighter note, Tim Burton's "Alice in Wonderland" arrives.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 12, 2010 | By Carrie Rickey, Inquirer Movie Critic
A youth learns by accident that he possesses extraordinary powers, is dispatched to a special academy for those of his kind, and undertakes a quest with his two best buds to defeat the dark powers. Luke Skywalker? Harry Potter? Guess again: Percy Jackson, archetypal hero for the modern, emo middle schooler. Percy Jackson (Logan Lerman) is a loser. Because he has dyslexia, the question on the blackboard is too hard to decipher. Because he has ADHD, he can't focus. And because he has an abusive stepfather, Percy can't bear to be at home.
NEWS
February 11, 2010 | By GARY THOMPSON, thompsg@phillynews.com 215-854-5992
You may find it hard to distinguish the howls of the beast from the howls of the audience in "The Wolfman. " There are a lot more laughs than scares in this inadvertently campy debacle, a thoroughly botched attempt by Universal to leverage one of its classic horror brands. Everything is bad - the awful script, Joe Johnston's un-atmospheric direction, and the acting, which contains enough ham to meet the protein needs of an entire pack of wolfmen. Benicio Del Toro stars as Lawrence, estranged son of a Victorian aristocrat (Anthony Hopkins)
FOOD
August 6, 2009 | By Dianna Marder, Inquirer Staff Writer
Get set to salivate. Julie & Julia , a film that pairs the true tales of Julia Child, who brought French cooking to American kitchens in 1961, and Julie Powell, a Queens nobody who hit the celebrity jackpot by emulating Child 40 years later, opens tomorrow. The film stars Meryl Streep as the high-pitched Child, who died in 2004 at 91; Amy Adams as the adorably squeamish Powell; and one close-up after another of food, glorious food. Tight shots of crisp bruschetta reveal tomatoes at their juiciest (see recipe)
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