James Frazier

James Frazier is a freelance journalist and film critic. He has written for various newspapers and websites, including the Washington Times. James resides in the Midwest and can be reached at james@criticspeak.com.

Mel Gibson decides against crucifixion, sics lawyers on Joe Eszterhas

Mel GibsonMel Gibson, furious that Joe Eszterhas has released a tape confirming what pretty much everyone already knew (he’s a lunatic), is considering bringing in the lawyers. It could be worse; the man behind The Passion of the Christ and Apocalypto can certainly think of worse things to do to his enemies.

Sources in the know have told TMZ that the actor is beyond livid that Eszterhas released a recording of him ranting and raving during at dinner party at his Costa Rican palace. Gibson’s minions are reportedly studying Costa Rican law to see if laws were violated, and even if not if the breach of privacy would constitute grounds for a lawsuit.

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Life after Twilight: Stephenie Meyer options Down a Dark Hall for big screen production

Stephanie MeyerAuthor Stephanie Meyer is preparing for cinematic immortality beyond her wildly popular Twilight films.

Meyer and Megan Hibbett’s Fickle Fish Films have optioned the young adult thriller Down a Dark Hall by Lois Duncan to be made into a feature film. The 1974 novel concerns a student sent to a boarding school haunted by evil ghosts. Wyck Godfrey, a producer on the Twilight films, is in talks to produce.

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Streaming Pick: “The Way Back” (2010)

Peter Weir’s 2010 film “The Way Back” is a magnificent true story that just so happens not to be true. Based on “The Long Walk” by Gulag survivor Slawomir Rawicz, the film concerns a group of Soviet prisoners in 1939 who make a run for freedom. Problem is, they start in the middle of Siberia, trekking south towards hopeful freedom. By the time the surviving escapees reach safety, they’ve walked over 4,000 miles.

Rawicz’s book was apparently inspiring enough to sell over half a million copies upon publication in 1956, though recent records have indicated that the author did not escape from the Gulag, but was released in 1942. So the film was at least inspired by, if not directly based, on the tale of a liar, one who might have found that merely surviving the Gulag wasn’t itself an interesting enough story. We’re commonly moved by entirely fictional stories, but does a lie accepted as truth deserve the same respect?

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Joe Eszterhas releases tape of stark raving mad Mel Gibson rant to media

Crazy Mel Gibson, from "South Park".True to his word, Joe Eszterhas did possess a tape of Mel Gibson during one of the latter’s rampages, and has now released it to the media.

Eszterhas and Gibson have been feuding bitterly and publicly over their work on The Maccabees, which was to be a “Jewish Braveheart.” When Warner Brothers pulled the plug on the project, Eszterhas accused Gibson of anti-Semitism and deranged behavior, while Gibson claimed Eszterhas’ work was “substandard.”

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Chuck Norris Facts: He carries a rifle in “The Expendables 2”

They say old soldiers never die, they just fade away. Fortunately for fans of silly action movies and preposterous TV shows, Chuck Norris is an exception to the rule.

Today a new publicity image of Chuck Norris in The Expendables 2 was released, inspiring giddy delight in fans anticipating the action star bonanza. In the photo, Norris is seen toting a G36 rifle, walking away from a burning car as if it were no big deal. No word on whether or not the car is burning because of him, but doubtlessly he either just killed or is about to kill someone.

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Dick Clark dies at 82

Dick Clark on "American Bandstand" in 1960.Dick Clark, the legendary TV host and producer, has passed away at 82.

Clark’s rep told TMZ that Clark had been hospitalized in L.A. after an outpatient procedure. He suffered a “massive heart attack” following the procedure, with attempts to resuscitate him being unsuccessful. Clark previously had a stroke in 2004.

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Review: “The Raid: Redemption”

The RaidWith an American remake for The Raid: Redemption already slated, I have the perfect man in mind for the lead role: Jason Statham. Really, it can only be him, because this hyper-violent Indonesian actioneer, hailed as the second coming of Hard Boiled by its supporters, in fact plays much more like anything from Statham’s oeuvre than it does an actual classic blood-pumper like the best works of Asian filmmakers such as John Woo or Jackie Chan.

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