1-20 of 218 items from 2015 « Prev | Next »
Glenn here. As the world of documentary filmmaking grows and grows, biography docs are among the most popular and easiest to sell. This pre-sold name-brand familiarity makes them more desirable to financiers, producers, directors, distributors, exhibitors, festivals, and ultimately audiences. It’s hardly surprising that of the Academy’s 124-strong long-list (to be narrowed to 15 any day now) at least 20 cover the life of a famous person in the public eye. And if you want to stretch the parameters to include institutions such as National Lampoon, Saturday Night Live, Tower Records, The Black Panthers, The Bolshoi Theatre etc, the number balloons. They are also among the highest profile submissions, too, with names like Nina Simone, Evel Kenievel and Chris Farley simply standing out more than geo-politics, homophobia in the Middle East, or Cambodian rock and roll.
This sub-category of documentary were once considered more frivolous and less serious, but have »
- Glenn Dunks
This week, Neil Calloway questions the wisdom of remaking classic films…
In the 1980s Frank Oz, the man who is both Miss Piggy and Yoda, asked Michael Caine if he wanted to star in a remake of Bedtime Story, a 1964 film that despite starring David Niven and Marlon Brando, was not a success. Why Caine asked, would anyone want to remake a film that nobody liked the first time around? Oz replied that there was little point making a new version of a film that was good the first time around, as it couldn’t be improved on, but with a bad film, you could make a better version of it.
Caine signed up, the film – Dirty Rotten Scoundrels – was a huge hit, he was nominated for a Golden Globe for his performance and the film lives on as a musical to this day.
I thought of that this week »
- Neil Calloway
Above: 1974 Cuban poster for Fat City (John Huston, USA, 1972) by Eduardo Muñoz Bachs.Opening today in a new 4K restoration at New York’s Film Forum, John Huston’s boxing drama Fat City is one of the more downbeat great films of the 1970s. Shot on location—by the masterful Conrad Hall—on the skid rows of Stockton, CA, the film was hardly star-studded. Its once-celebrated director was coming off a string of flops, and the actors were by no means big draws. Huston had originally wanted Marlon Brando for the Stacy Keach role and Beau Bridges for the role that Beau ultimately recommended his more athletic younger brother for. The Us one sheet consequently goes all in on the power of the title (so good they used it twice) and reduces the actors to tiny, awkwardly placed inset photos. The illuminated sign on the poster (also prominently featured in »
- Adrian Curry
Everything on TV last week retroactively fell under the shadow of what happened in Paris on Friday, which made the weekend shows feel like either a welcome escape or an act of mass commiseration. Last Week Tonight With John Oliver kicked off with the host addressing the terrorists with, "Fuck these assholes." Saturday Night Live — coming back strong from last week's Trump debacle — served up both remembrance and relief, with a touching bilingual nod to France. Even when television offered comfort food, we first had to say a somber grace. »
filmmixtape suggests 10 films that should have made WGA's "Funniest" List
Pajiba mourns the passing of Hayley Atwell... from social media. She was a master at it. *sniffle*
Gurus of Gold new charts and which films and performance need a bigger campaign push to be a nomination threat
Screen Daily Adele in talks to join the cast of the next Xavier Dolan movie. »
- NATHANIEL R
Martin Scorsese’s Raging Bull—oft-cited these days as the director’s magnum opus— first premiered in New York on November 14, 1980 to a volley of mixed reviews. At least, that’s what the Internet would have modern researchers believe. Now, 35 years later, digging up a negative review of this not-quite-a-sports-movie, not-quite-a-bio-pic seems limited to a shallow dig by Variety critic Joseph McBride, who wrote that Scorsese “excels at whipping up an emotional storm but seems unaware that there is any need for quieter, more introspective moments in drama.” Meanwhile, a glance at Rotten Tomatoes’ records show that 98 percent of contemporary critics have showered Raging Bull with praise, and even Roger Ebert, reviewing in 1980, rejects McBride’s view, awarding four stars to a film that does “a fearless job of showing us the precise feelings of their central character, the former boxing champion Jake Lamotta.”
Fearless though it was in the characterization of its violent antihero, »
- Christina Leo
On November 2nd, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment (Wbhe) release the Johnny Depp: 4 Film Collection, two coming to Blu-ray for the first time, and the Harrison Ford: 5 Film Collection, three of which are also brand new to Blu-ray! To celebrate, we have Blu-ray copies to giveaway!
The Johnny Depp 4 Film Collection sees the actor starring alongside Charlize Theron, Helen Bonham Carter, Michelle Pfieffer, Alan Rickman and screen legend Marlon Brando in films including The Astronaut’s Wife, Dark Shadows, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, and Don Juan DeMarco.
The Harrison Ford 5 Film Collection sees the actor starring alongside Tommy Lee Jones, Julianne Moore, Alan Arkin, Virginia Madsen and John C. McGinley in films including Firewall, 42, Presumed Innocent, Frantic and The Fugitive.
© 2015 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All rights reserved.
To win copies of both Blu-ray boxsets, just »
- Phil Wheat
Life stories intrigue all filmmakers. This year, there are a string of outstanding biopics in contention as both documentary and narrative filmmakers tackle larger-than-life, controversial personalities.
Among the docs, Alex Gibney’s “Steve Jobs: Man in the Machine,” Davis Guggenheim’s “He Named Me Malala,” Liz Garbus’ “What Happened, Miss Simone?” and Asif Kapadia’s “Amy” enter the fray with an advantage: their subjects come with built-in notoriety, fame and keen interest from audiences.
While fictionalized bios alter timelines and sometimes take extensive dramatic liberties (inventing dialogue and combining characters), “Malala” director Guggenheim says, “Documentaries need to be authentic; they can’t be those things.”
Producers Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald originally bought Malala Yousafzai’s life rights with the intent to fictionalize her courageous story as a champion for girls’ education. However, the real Yousafzai proved to be such a powerful force and compelling subject that, along with Guggenheim, »
- Kathy A. McDonald
Over the past half-century, Terry Gilliam has lived several lifetimes — first as the mastermind behind the surrealistically satirical animations on Monty Python's Flying Circus and then as a filmmaker with an unparalleled, singular imagination. His oeuvre contains everything from literary flights of fancy (Jabberwocky) and kid-friendly fantasies (Time Bandits) to dystopian epics (Brazil and Twelve Monkeys), kaleidoscopic romps (The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas) and the occasional slightly warped drama (The Fisher King, Tideland).
Now 74, Gilliam looks back on his life achievements, as well as »
Is the Oscar winner for Best Documentary Feature among the nominees for the International Documentary Association (Ida) Awards? Last year four of the five eventual Oscar nominees were first cited by the Ida, with "Citizenfour" winning both awards. -Break- Among this year’s Best Feature Award nominees are many Oscar hopefuls: A24’s box office hit “Amy,” Joshua Oppenheimer’s “The Act of Killing” follow-up “The Look of Silence,” Netflix’s “What Happened, Miss Simone?” and “Listen to Me Marlon” which includes two-time Oscar champ Marlon Brando’s audio recordings. Recent Emmy champ “The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst” is among those up for Limited Series. Dish all the Oscar races in our red-hot forums with Hollywood insiders Among the Creative Recognition Awards winners were Feature Award nominees “The Russian Woodpecker” for cine »
As part of a new series in which we offer careers advice to people in the movie business, here’s our take on what everyone’s favourite Aussie bruiser should do to return to fighting form
The late 90s/early 2000s. You had a hot streak that included La Confidential, The Insider, Gladiator, A Beautiful Mind and Master and Commander. But your bulldog charisma enabled you to ride out the subsequent flops and embarrassments (A Good Year, Robin Hood, The Man with the Iron Fists, Winter’s Tale). That difficulty with accents notwithstanding, your stature has meant you can afford to reserve yourself for classy name directors – the unorthodox take on the Noah story from Darren Aronofsky being a recent risky example. That worked out pretty well, even if the film itself got a kicking from evangelical Christians. Another one that just about paid off was warming your pipes in the film of Les Misérables, »
- Andrew Pulver
A comedy about refuting expectations that never deviates from formula, “Friends and Romans” squanders charismatic star Michael Rispoli in a leaden mess that elicits nothing but eye-rolling groans. Populated by Italian-American actors most notable for filling out the ranks of various gangster films and TV shows, director Christopher Kublan’s dramedy finds a pigeonholed thespian trying to break free from his dead-end career as an extra in organized-crime fictions by staging a one-night-only theatrical Shakespeare production. While its portrait of people striving to be more than they are — or presumed to be — affords some genial uplift, this indie’s theatrical prospects will probably be limited to the tiny niche of moviegoers who can’t get enough “Godfather”-related gags.
Operating from the premise that Don Corleone impersonations are the height of hilarity, Kublan’s film (co-written with Rispoli and Gregg Greenberg) opens with Staten Island native Nick DeMaio (Rispoli) at an audition, »
- Nick Schager
The International Documentary Association (Ida) has announced nominations and creative recognition awards for the 31st annual Ida Documentary Awards to be held on Dec. 5.
The best feature nominees are: Asif Kapadia’s “Amy,” an emotional study of life of singer Amy Winehouse, “Amy”; “The Black Panthers: Vanguard of a Revolution,” Stanley Nelson’s account of the rise and fall of the Black Panther party; Stevan Riley’s “Listen to Me Marlon,” which uses hundreds of hours of Marlon Brando’s personal audio recordings to paint a portrait of the legend; Joshua Oppenheimer’s “The Look of Silence,” another sober look back at the Indonesian anti-communist purge of 1965 and 1966; Chad Garcia’s “The Russian Woodpecker,” about the investigation into the 1986 Chernobyl disaster; and Liz Garbus’ “What Happened, Miss Simone?,” a portrait of singer Nina Simone.
- Kristopher Tapley
“Amy,” “The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution,” “Listen to Me Marlon,” “The Look of Silence,” “The Russian Woodpecker” and “What Happened, Miss Simone?” have been named the best documentaries of 2015 by the International Documentary Association, which has nominated those six films in the top category at the Ida Documentary Awards. The competition will pit three docs about show-business personalities–Amy Winehouse in “Amy,” Marlon Brando in “Listen to Me Marlon” and Nina Simone in “What Happened, Miss Simone?”–against a trio of films that deal with the civil rights movement (“The Black Panthers”), the aftermath of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. »
- Steve Pond
Sean Penn's defamation suit against Lee Daniels will not be tried in federal court, Deadline reports. Instead, despite Daniels's efforts, the case will move back to state court in New York, with Daniels reportedly paying Penn's legal fees. The legal battle between the two men started in September, after Daniels brought Penn up in a discussion about Terrence Howard's long history of violence against women. "He ain't done nothing different than Marlon Brando or Sean Penn, and all of a sudden he's some f---in' demon," Daniels told THR. "That's a sign of the time, of race, of where we are right now in America." Penn duly filed a $10 million defamation suit against the Empire showrunner, saying he had used "reckless, false, and defamatory" language merely to drum up buzz for the show. "As a result of Penn’s status as a public figure, he has for years been the subject of scandalous, »
- Nate Jones
Colin Welland, who famously proclaimed, “The British are coming!” in his Academy Award acceptance speech for Chariots Of Fire, has died at the age of 81 following a long battle with Alzheimer’s. The actor and writer, who appeared in the TV show Z Cars and also acted in Ken Loach’s Kes and Sam Peckinpah’s Straw Dogs, also wrote the Gene Hackman-starrer Twice In A Lifetime and the Marlon Brando Apartheid drama A Dry White Season. A statement released by his family via… »
Following her appearance in next year’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman will be getting her own movie in 2017. While we know Chris Pine will be joining Gadot as love interest Steve Trevor, the only other information we have in terms of cast is the rumoured inclusion of Sean Bean and Eva Green in villain roles. Now, The Wrap has news of a major piece of casting, with Nicole Kidman in talks with Warner Bros. to play a major role in the Patty Jenkins directed superhero movie. The role hasn’t been revealed, but the outlet claims she will be playing a “high-ranking Amazonian warrior” which leads to speculation that the role is that of Queen Hippolyta, Wonder Woman’s mother and leader of the Amazons. If the oscar winning actress does sign on the dotted line, it will be quite the get for the movie, »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Tom White)
You sign up for a movie. You drop out. Then the lawsuit follows...
It happens all the time. The casting of movies is such a perilous art, that actors and actresses sign up for roles, and then they're chopped and changed. Rarely does it end up anywhere near a courtroom.
Yet sometimes it does. Here are nine varied instances where someone leaving a project led to legalities ensuing...
I may as well start with one of the most infamous cases of an actress dropping out of a film to which they'd apparently agreed.
Director Jennifer Lynch originally had Madonna pegged to take the lead in her debut feature, Boxing Helena. The story of a woman who has her limbs removed and is kept in a box (it's as charming as it sounds), the role was then offered to Kim Basinger when Madonna passed. »
Movie sequels are meant to follow the law of diminishing returns, but the following fought that law - and won.
Of course, this is all a matter of opinion, and if you personally think Babe: Pig in the City is better than the original - hint: it's not - do let us know in the comment box below.
1. The Dark Knight (2008)
The best of Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy? Undoubtedly. Quite why it's so great is hard to put a finger on, because there are so many reasons, from Heath Ledger's stunning turn as The Joker to that truck flip.
Endlessly rewatchable, this is a dark and complex crime film that brings the very best out of the superhero genre. Just don't talk about The Dark Knight Rises, okay?
2. Toy Story 2 (1999)
“I can’t keep beating around the bush because I’ll eventually run out of bushes to beat around,” sighs Mya Taylor. We’ve just spent 90 minutes together in her hotel room at the 59th London Film Festival. In that time, I don’t speak much, but when I do, I’m drawing parallels between Taylor and Marlon Brando. To be fair, I’d just seen Stevan Riley’s Listen to Me Marlon, so referencing some uncovered Brando philosophy from the documentary during my conversation with Taylor felt pertinent at the time. Mya Taylor is a black trans-woman born in 1991, so in retrospect, the comparison is pretty ridiculous. […] »
- Taylor Hess
1-20 of 218 items from 2015 « Prev | Next »
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