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(*My apologies for this coming so long after Sound on Sight’s celebration of 50 years of James Bond, but I’ve been swamped with end-of-semester work and only just now managed to finish this. Hope you all still find this of interest.)
As a coda to the Sos’s James Bond salute, there’s still a point I think deserves to be made.
The Bond franchise which has been with us so long, has become so deeply entrenched in popular culture, that we often forget what it was that first distinguished the Bonds a half-century ago. Skyfall might be one of the best of the Bonds, and even, arguably, one of the best big-budget big-action flicks to come along in quite a while, but it’s not alone. The annual box office is – and has been, for quite some time – dominated by big, action-packed blockbusters of one sort of another. »
- Bill Mesce
Ewan McGregor turns in an emotionally powerful performance in The Impossible, a movie which dares to recreate the catastrophic Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004. In the film, McGregor plays Henry, a man vacationing with his wife Maria and their three boys in Thailand when the tsunami hits. His family is torn away from him and he spends the film desperately trying to find his loved ones.
Recently, McGregor attended the film’s press day in Los Angeles and spoke about his experience making such an emotional film. He spoke about why he was attracted to the film, meeting the real life person that his character was based on and he even touches on a possible return to the Star Wars series.
Check it out below.
We Got This Covered: What made you want to do this movie?
Ewan McGregor: The script was an amazing read. I didn’t know that »
- Ben Kenber
Odd List Robert Keeling Dec 20, 2012
We delve back into more than a century of A Christmas Carol movies to find the best and worst adaptations of Dickens' festive tale...
Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, the classic story of a time travelling pensioner who sees dead people, is a festive fairytale which has itself become part of Christmas folklore. In terms of favourite Christmas tales, Rudolph and Frosty may wrap up the children's vote, but for most people, it's Dickens’ seminal work which would get the nod.
The story was written by Dickens in order to tackle the relatively new issue of urban poverty, and in particular the growing underclass of impoverished townsfolk produced by the Industrial Revolution. With the rapid shift away from conventional farming and trade practices, and with the rise in new technological advancements, many people were suddenly without work and without the necessary skills to find a job. »
(Alexander Mackendrick, 1951, Studiocanal, U)
Last September marked the centenary of the birth of Alexander Mackendrick (1912-93). Born in the States, raised in Scotland, he was, with Richard Hamer, one of the two truly great products of Ealing Studios. Their output was small (each made made five movies under Michael Balcon's aegis), but distinguished and distinctive and always digging beneath Ealing's cosy Little England ethos. Oscar-nominated for its screenplay (by Mackendrick, his brother-in-law the playwright Roger MacDougall and John Dighton, Hamer's collaborator on Kind Hearts and Coronets), The Man in the White Suit is arguably Mackendrick's most trenchant comedy.
It stars Alec Guinness as Sidney Stratton, a dreamily eccentric inventor who develops an artificial fibre that's indestructible and resistant to dirt. Apparently a boon to humanity, this fabric spreads alarm in a Lancashire mill town whose prosperity the invention threatens. Management and workers unite against the starry-eyed idealist Stratton, who »
- Philip French
Every year the Hollywood Foreign Press Association announces its Golden Globe nominations, and every year we wonder why this rococo freakshow matters. In years past, clunkers like The Tourist and Burlesque have been nominated for Best Picture, and to the HFPA's credit, neither of those ridiculous movies ended up winning Best Picture. Unfortunately, the five I've listed below either won Best Comedy/Musical or Best Drama, and you'll likely agree that these embarrassments remain stinky all these years later.
Here they are, the five worst movies to win the biggest Golden Globe of the night.
I'm obviously an elite-level Madonna fan, but I'm also the first to admit that Evita is un-special. Madonna's performance is serviceable and Antonio Banderas' is a bit better, but to me Andrew Lloyd Webber's rather muted spectacle is the least interesting thing about Madonna in the '90s. And yes, I remember "Nothing Really Matters. »
Out of all the movies I had high hopes for in 2011, Tomas Alfredson's Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy was easily one of my biggest disappointments. I desperately wanted to like the film, but found it so completely dry and inert that I simply could not get invested in it. Even now as I think about it, I feel like it was more my fault than the movie's fault and I want to give it another chance. However, in the meantime, it appears that we may again see Gary Oldman return to his Oscar-nominated role as George Smiley in the near future. A sequel to Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is reportedly in development and will likely draw from another John le Carre novel featuring the character. The good folks over at Collider recently had a chance to speak with producer Eric Fellner during a press day for Les Miserables. Here's what »
Almost a year after we last heard anything, it’s been revealed that the film adaptation of Smiley’s People is still in the works. The film will serve as a follow-up to last year’s acclaimed big screen take on John Le Carre‘s Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.
Producer Eric Fellner has confirmed in a recent interview that work is progressing on the next installment. Collider has spoken to producer who stated:
We are working on another one. (Producer) Tim Bevan is putting it together as we speak with (screenwriter) Peter Straughan and Tomas Alfredson, so yes it’s in development. … (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) did unbelievably well and it didn’t cost hardly anything…But things take time. Tim is passionate about making sure we do another one.
‘Smiley’s People’ is the third and final novel in John le Carre’s ‘Karla Trilogy,’ of which ‘Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy’ is the first. »
- Nick Martin
Last year’s espionage thriller Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy was not just one of the best spy movies to hit cinemas in a long time (and I include Skyfall in that appraisal); it was also one of Gary Oldman’s finest performances. Thankfully, now there’s talk of bringing back George Smiley and the gang for another installment of espionage a la Le Carre and I couldn’t be happier.
Gary Oldman has already expressed interest in coming back as George Smiley, which is really the first requirement for any sequel. »
- Lauren Humphries-Brooks
With the news that Disney will be continuing the Star Wars saga currently causing fans to dance in the streets, this is an appropriate time to take a nostalgic look at the humble origins of this fairly low-budget sci-fi flick that George Lucas wrote and directed 35 years ago and the many changes he was forced to make while trying to get the whole trilogy done. Some of the alterations he made may surprise you.
George Lucas was known as the creator of American Graffiti in the early 70s and so he had a tough time getting someone to finance a science fiction film, because the genre was not well liked by most studios at that time. Lucas was forced to make a number of accommodations to 20th Century Fox in order to get the movie made, particularly in terms of budget and running time. Also, some of the actors involved »
- email@example.com (Rob Young)
Cue the blue Jedi ghost! Another former "Star Wars" actor is throwing his hat in the ring for "Episode VII."
Obi-Wan dies at the end of the "Episode IV," but is seen (and heard) as a ghostly figure in "Episode V" ...
Copyright 2012 by NBC Universal, Inc. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (AccessHollywood.com Editorial Staff)
Last Sunday saw the broadcast of the sixth episode of Series Three of BBC2 sketch show Harry & Paul. Or the fourth if you count Ruddy Hell It’s Harry & Paul as its first series. And to be honest, I wouldn’t be surprised if the next episode – the final in the series – turns out to be the last overall.
Created by sketch show virtuosos Harry Enfield and Paul Whitehouse, Harry & Paul saw their return to sketch comedy with them mixing their intrinsic talent for class and character-based comedy with the absurdity of the modern world. The initial few series were never going to reach the level of their previous hit Harry Enfield’s Television Programme but it was still entertaining enough with reliably funny sketches such as a middle class family with a pet Geordie, and the Benefits, an aggressive antisocial family living on state handouts. It wasn’t astounding, »
- James T. Cornish
Will Ewan McGregor reprise his role of Obi-Wan Kenobi in the upcoming "Star Wars: Episode VII"? The actor says the Force is still with him. When asked by Digital Spy if he'd consider returning to the series, he replied "I guess, yeah, of course. I mean, if they need me, yeah, I'd be happy." Sir Alec Guinness played the aging Jedi Master in the original trilogy. The character dies in 1977's "Star Wars," only to appear in spirit form in 1980's "The Empire Strikes Back" and 1983's "Return of the Jedi"). McGregor played a younger version in the three prequels. Of course, it's »
- HitFix Staff
Even though we’ve already got our hands full with all the new things that might happen to the franchise when Star Wars: Episode VII hits theatres in 2015, Ewan McGregor has suggested that he’d be willing to reprise his role as Obi-Wan Kenobi despite being a) dead and b) Alec Guinness according to the current timeline. Speaking out during an interview for McGregor’s upcoming flick The Impossible, the Scottish actor said: “I guess, yeah, of course. If they need me, yeah, I’d be happy [to go back].”
McGregor played a younger version of Obi-Wan Kenobi in George Lucas’s prequel trilogy, a role that Alec Guinness originated back in 1977 when the first Star Wars movie came out and there was balance with the force (and the fans). Despite the fact that said prequel trilogy broke the hearts and minds of Star Wars die-hards everywhere, McGregor gave a good, dedicated performance, »
- T.J. Barnard
We've heard from a lot of actors who starred in both the prequels and original Star Wars trilogy about whether or not they would be willing to reprise their roles in Disney's "Episode VII", but Digital Spy recently caught up with Ewan McGregor to see if he would be interested in bringing 'Obi Wan Kenobi' back to the big screen. As it happens, he would, although how this would work when "Episode VII" will presumably be set long after the death of Kenobi is another thing altogether. While Alec Guinness portrayed the character in the original trilogy, the fact that he passed away in 2000 obviously means he can't return as a ghost. It wouldn't make an awful lot of sense for his ghost to suddenly become younger and it could in fact be argued that there is really no need to bring the character back in any form! What do »
Lawrence of Arabia, 1962.
Directed by David Lean.
T.E. Lawrence attempts to unite the hostile Arab factions during the First World War in order to lead them to victory over the ruling Turkish Empire.
There are many films which are great. There are some which are outstanding. There are a few which are close to cinematic perfection. Above all these, there is Lawrence of Arabia.
Seeing David Lean’s masterpiece on the big screen defines why cinema is the art form it is and what can be achieved when every aspect that goes into making a film is functioning at its optimum level. The re-mastered version, released in a new 4K digital transfer in cinemas to commemorate the film’s 50th anniversary, runs for 227 minutes yet there is not a wasted scene, shot, or line of dialogue. Everything »
End of Watch (15)
If there was anything left to do with buddy cop movies then this does it, adding a raw authenticity and almost Tarantino-esque banter to the proceedings. We're on patrol with an Lapd duo whose partnership verges on the homoerotic, and whose sense of duty knows no bounds – a big mistake when they come up against a Mexican cartel. It's exciting, fluent and heavy on the shaky-cam, but ultimately paints a simplistic world of heroic lawmen and caricatured bad guys.
Against-type casting and unbalanced characters do much to disguise the conventional bones of this satisfying romantic drama. »
- Steve Rose
Now rereleased in its whoppingly complete 224-minute version, the masterpiece still thrums with red-blooded passion
They don't make them like this any more, though John Huston's The Man Who Would Be King (1975) and Anthony Minghella's The English Patient (1996) came close. Peter O'Toole made an unforgettable debut in this magnificent epic by David Lean, now rereleased in its whoppingly complete 224-minute version. O'Toole is Te Lawrence, the brilliant and mercurial Arabist and aesthete who as a serving officer in WW1 found himself leading an Arab revolt against the Turks in the British interest, but failed to create the national self-determination he promised his followers. An American reporter is on hand to print the legend and to impress his readers with Britain's abiding capacity for martial glory, far from the futility of the Western Front and the disaster of Gallipoli. Edward Said wrote that Lawrence invented the Arab's "primitive simplicity »
- Peter Bradshaw
We’ve watched the marching bands and giants balloon characters parade by on TV, we’ve watched college football, we’ve had our fill of turkey and all the trimmings… now, what better than to cuddle up with our loved ones and watch some good, wholesome family favorites on Thanksgiving Day? After all, we need our rest so we can rise and shine before the sun comes up on Black Friday to catch all the sales. So, in honor of the holiday and as a way to give you a jump on your holiday viewing schedule, we’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite family-friendly movies to watch on Thanksgiving Day.
Wizard Of Oz
For many years this 1939 masterpiece was truly event television. Before home video and cable TV, the only way to see this (outside of revival movie theatres and colleges), was once a year (usually on »
- Movie Geeks
The Man in the White Suit, 1951.
Directed by Alexander Mackendrick.
A brilliant young chemist invents a fabric resistant to wear and tear, only for him to fall foul of the trade unions and mill owners who attempt to suppress his invention.
Try to imagine an unbreakable, unsoilable fabric. It never wears out. It never gets dirty. Tailors have to set about it with a blowtorch to cut a suit. Revolutionary, yes? Probably too revolutionary for economies that depend on textile industry. You’d only ever need to make one batch. Everyone would be out of business; there’d be redundancies from factory worker all the way up to senior management.
Now try to imagine the sort of mind that could invent this fabric. Now try again, because it’s probably nothing like the bashful, secretive, »
Sidney Stratton (Alec Guinness) bounces from job to job at a series of textile factories, where he tries to develop a new synthetic fabric that will never wear out or stain. He believes it will change the world for the better, but when he finally succeeds he finds the factory owners against him because they will no longer need to produce or sell clothes and the work force up in arms because they will become redundant, once everyone has bought the last set of clothes they will ever need.
Ealing comedies are a very particular species of film. On the one hand they have a seemingly cosy, inoffensive familiarity about them – very British, very undemanding. Yet virtually to a film we find on closer inspection that they have real bite to them. The Lavender Hill Mob, Passport to Pimlico, The Ladykillers and Kind Hearts & Coronets – all feature dark, subversive elements and this film, »
- Dave Roper
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