Tag Archives: John Hurt

My Favorite Scene: Alien (1979) “The Chestburster”

Yes, as you may have surmised from the above still, if you don’t know anything about Alien…..there’s a dinner surprise that gets a bit gory.  We’re under two weeks from Alien 6 (counting Prometheus), and Alien: Covenant is getting fairly positive reviews so far, but nothing like the groundbreaking science fiction that were the first two films in the series.  Alien came along two years after Star Wars, and it couldn’t be more different and be in the same genre.  This crew of essentially space truckers stumbles across one of the greatest, most ingeniously horrific, monsters in cinema history.  The horror of the Alien isn’t just that’s it’s a pretty perfectly designed killing machine.  It’s the life cycle of the creature itself.  From the freaky eggs, to the “face huggers” that implant the victims in a manner that would seem to be the most disturbing part of the process until you get to the ….hatching.  When the alien grows to a certain size and no longer needs its host, it simply leaves in the most direct way possible.  I cannot imagine what it must have been like to sit in a theater in 1979, having no idea what this thing was, and watch this dinner scene from hell unfold.  People must have been clinging to the ceiling.  It’s one of the most horrifying, most shocking scenes ever filmed.  And it’s not like things get better, because the next time you tend to see the buggers, they look like this:
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and that tends to be the last thing you ever see.
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John Hurt’s 10 Best Movies

John Hurt

John Hurt may not be an instantly recognizable name to casual film fans, but everyone who has seen a fair number of movies has seen his work.  He was Mr. Ollivander in the Harry Potter series.  He was The Storyteller in Jim Henson’s wonderful and too-short-lived eponymous series.  He was nominated twice for Academy Awards in 1977 for Midnight Express, and for what is probably his most indelible performance, that of the title character in 1980’s The Elephant Man.  He was also the unfortunate victim in one of the most famous scenes in film history: the “chest burster” dinner scene in Ridley Scott’s Alien.  He brought gravitas and dignity to every project he participated in, and I always was instantly more interested in a film when his name appeared in the credits.  Hurt has an astounding 204 credits as an actor over the course of his career, rarely as the leading man.  As a result, some of the best films he was in; he was barely onscreen for more than a handful of a moments.  I would be lying if I said I’ve seen even a quarter of his filmography, but any movie he appeared in was better for his presence, and these are my ten best of those.

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Continue reading John Hurt’s 10 Best Movies

R.I.P. Sir John Hurt (1940 – 2017) “Another Consummate Actor Leaves Us”

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We’ve lost another wonderful actor.  Sir John Hurt has passed away.  John Hurt may not be an instantly recognizable name to casual film fans, but everyone who has seen a fair number of movies has seen his work.  He was Mr. Ollivander in the Harry Potter series.  He was The Storyteller in Jim Henson’s wonderful and too-short-lived eponymous series.  He was nominated twice for Academy Awards in 1977 for Midnight Express, and for what is probably his most indelible performance, that of the title character in 1980’s The Elephant Man.  He was also the unfortunate victim in one of the most famous scenes in film history: the “chest burster” dinner scene in Ridley Scott’s Alien.  He brought gravitas and dignity to every project he participated in, and I always was instantly more interested in a film when his name appeared in the credits.  Below is a wonderful obituary of Sir John written by Liz Miller from IndieWire.  Hurt was 77. Continue reading R.I.P. Sir John Hurt (1940 – 2017) “Another Consummate Actor Leaves Us”

In Theaters This Week (12/2/2016) – Jackie

 

Jackie, Jackie Kennedy, Natalie Portman

Each Thursday we look at what is going to be coming out in theaters this weekend, show you the trailers for the big releases, predict the box office winner and just generally give you enough of a carrot to pull you through the rest of the work week.  December 2nd is a really odd release date in that only one movie is really coming out (there are some limited releases), and most theaters won’t even pick it up….so I hope you didn’t do what I did and saw everything over Thanksgiving. Continue reading In Theaters This Week (12/2/2016) – Jackie

Trailer Time: Jackie Trailer #2 (2016) *Natalie Portman is Jacqueline Kennedy*

A second trailer is out for the post-assassination look at former First Lady Jackie Kennedy.  Starring Natalie Portman, Jackie, has been getting stellar advance reviews, and the role seems tailor made to deliver another Oscar nomination for Portman.  Jackie also stars Peter Sarsgaard, John Carroll Lynch, Max Casella, John Hurt, Greta Gerwig, and Billy Crudup.  Jackie opens in theaters on December 2, 2016.
Jackie, Jackie Kennedy, Natalie Portman