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Our final letters page of the year! So: are our Star Trek: The Next Generation lookbacks returning? And do we hate The Mentalist?
Welcome to our final letters page of the year! What started as a bit of a daft idea in the pub - starting a letters page on a website - bizarrely seems to have worked. As such, we shall be retreating to the pub far more often in 2015 to think of more daft ideas. Nothing could possibly go wrong with that plan.
For now? Here's our final selection of your missives for 2014. And thank you for supporting this, one of our daftest ventures to date...
Iain M Banks Books
I'm not much of a bookworm, but when I am, I got a lot of time for Iain M Banks books.
I chanced upon your interview with Dougray Scott from October last year, where it is mentioned that »
Holiday movies have access to a very special place in our hearts – and, to be frank, they also sometimes enjoy a free pass from our critical faculties. It doesn’t matter how absurd, bad, or cheesy they are, we love holiday movies and we keep returning to them year after year.
Yes, of course we want to watch Arnold Schwarzenegger risk life and limb for a red Turbo-Man.
Tim Allen as Santa Claus makes complete sense.
And then there are the classics – with Miracle on 34th Street and It’s a Wonderful Life taking top billing. They pluck at our heartstrings, give us the warm-and-fuzzies, and provide us with our annual reminder that Natalie Wood was once a child actor.
- Sasha James
‘Twas the week before Christmas, and Walt Disney Studios snatched the top spot on the national home video sales charts for the week ending Dec. 14 with “Guardians of the Galaxy,” the year’s biggest box office hit.
“Guardians,” which earned $332.5 million in U.S. theaters, easily debuted at No. 1 on both the Nielsen VideoScan First Alert chart – which tracks total disc sales, Blu-ray Disc and DVD combined – and Nielsen’s dedicated Blu-ray chart.
The film opened theatrically Aug. 1 and cost an estimated $170 million to make. Advance word was so good that Marvel Studios announced a sequel even before the film opened; it’s expected out in 2017.
Twentieth Century Fox’s “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes,” which debuted at No. 1 on both charts the previous week, slipped to No. 2, also on both charts, with total unit sales just 12.2% of the first-week tally for “Guardians.”
Walt Disney’s “Frozen” moved down a notch to No. »
- Thomas K. Arnold
He always said he’d be back, and the one thing the Terminator’s not is a liar. On July 1, 2015, Arnold Schwarzenegger returns in “Terminator Genisys” (um… no, that’s not a typo on our end). This latest installment in the James Cameron-launched franchise places us in 2029, where John Connor (played by Jason Clarke) is leading the resistance against the machines that have taken over the planet. When John learns of a new SkyNet plan to attack him in both the past and the future, he concocts a plot of his own to use terminators in both the past and the future to defeat the… You know what? We could try to explain how it all works, but this glorious parody trailer (via Live for Films) does it so much better while diving into the oddities and paradoxes of the series. And in case you have any doubts while/after watching, »
- Zach Hollwedel
I can't remember the last time I had eight major titles to report on in an MPAA ratings bulletin, but today is that day with the most notable being the PG-13 for Furious 7 and all its "prolonged frenetic sequences of violence, action and mayhem", another PG-13 for Jupiter Ascending and its "suggestive content and partial nudity" and a PG for Paddington, which appears to be taking a small page out of Ted's book with some "rude humor". There's also the PG-13 rating for the much buzzed about (and worthily so) Selma from Ava DuVernay. In addition to that we have A24's Cut Bank starring Liam Hemsworth and Teresa Palmer as well as their action thriller Son of a Gun starring Brenton Thwaites, Alicia Vikander and Ewan McGregor. Warner Bros. has a couple in the mix with Jaume Collet-Serra's reteaming with Liam Neeson after Non-Stop in yet another "aging hitman" movie, »
- Brad Brevet
Date with dad! Jack Nicholson made a rare public appearance with his daughter Lorraine Nicholson this past weekend. The legendary Oscar-winning star, 77, stepped out with the beautiful aspiring actress, 24, at Taschen and David Bailey's "It's Just A Shot Away: The Rolling Stones In Photographs" Exhibit at Taschen Gallery in Los Angeles on Saturday, Dec. 13. The father-daughter pair smiled as they spent time together, mingling with guests such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, Pamela Anderson, Amber Rose, and Kelly Lynch. Lorraine is Nicholson's daughter with his ex-girlfriend, actress and [...] »
It seemed only natural for Conan O'Brien to ask Patrick to re-create the fateful expression that won him the role of the T-1000.
"It's been 25 years," Patrick initially complained, before adding: "That's a lot to ask for! Well, I guess I can do it for you."
After directing the cameraman to film his face "nice and tight", Patrick let loose with his most intimidating T-1000 glare.
"You've still got it," fellow guest Rebecca Romijn declared.
Patrick is currently starring in the crime drama Scorpion, airing on CBS in »
The great city of London and their ever-standing commuters watched in awe on Friday as a 15-tonne military tank rolled onto the streets of London, complete with it’s very own Expendable Santa.
Starting at Camden Lock before rolling onto towards a busy Oxford Street, the tank aimed to surprise passers-by to celebrate the DVD and Blu-ray release of The Expendables 3. The tank’s journey was almost as star-studded as the cast of the film, making stops at some of London’s most famous landmarks including Big Ben, Westminster and the London Eye.
Driven by our aforementioned Expendable Santa, the tank brought a little glimpse of Arnie style action into the cold December morning, reminding people that the winter season need not be boring. “This is the ultimate action film,” commented Arnold Schwarzenegger, star of the movie, “but it also has a great emotional rollercoaster ride and interesting characters. »
- Dan Bullock
North Korea can rest easy: America comes off looking at least as bad as the Dprk in “The Interview,” an alleged satire that’s about as funny as a communist food shortage, and just as protracted. For all its pre-release hullabaloo — including two big thumbs down from Sony hackers the Guardians of Peace — this half-baked burlesque about a couple of cable-news bottom-feeders tasked with assassinating Korean dictator Kim Jong-un won’t bring global diplomacy to its knees, but should feel like a kind of terror attack to any audience with a limited tolerance for anal penetration jokes. Extreme devotees of stars James Franco and Seth Rogen (who also co-directed with Evan Goldberg) may give this Christmas offering a pass, but all others be advised: An evening of cinematic waterboarding awaits.
Rogen and Goldberg, who made their combined directorial debut on last year’s shrewdly funny Jewish apocalypse romp, “This Is the End, »
- Scott Foundas
Each week Variety publishes ListenFirst Digital Audience Ratings (Dar) – Film, a measurement of fan engagement across all the major digital platforms as it relates to film (see the TV version here). Provided by ListenFirst Media, Dar – Film measures what entertainment content is resonating most across Facebook, Google+, Instagram, Tumblr, Twitter, YouTube and Wikipedia combined. For more on the methodology behind Dar, scroll to the bottom of the article.
Digital Audience Ratings (Dar) – Film Weekly Top 5 Wednesday Dec 3, 2014 – Tuesday Dec 9, 2014 Rank Last Week Film Rating(000) 1 – Terminator: Genisys 19,705 2 - Black or White 3,847 3 1 Jurassic World 3,793 4 - The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies 2,924 5 - The Interview 2,572 -
Key First time on the chart Pinnacle Rank -
- Jason Klein
As the holiday shopping season draws to a close, a handful of hot summer theatricals are trickling into stores during December in an attempt by the studios to capitalize on last-minute gift and impulse buyers.
For 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, the strategy paid off. “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” debuted at No. 1 on the national home video sales charts the week ending Dec. 7 and sold nearly three times as many copies as its closest competitor.
“Dawn of the Planet of the Apes,” which earned more than $208 million in U.S. theaters alone, easily topped both the Nielsen VideoScan First Alert chart – which tracks total disc sales, Blu-ray and DVD combined – and Nielsen’s dedicated Blu-ray Disc chart. Counting an exclusive-to-Walmart two-pack (with predecessor “Rise of the Planet of the Apes”), the film generated 53% of its total unit sales from Blu-ray.
Walt Disney’s “Frozen,” thanks to continued deep discounting, »
- Thomas K. Arnold
Michael Jackson as Star-Lord. Arnold Schwarzenegger as Drax the Destroyer. Grace Jones as Nebula. Vanity as Gamora. Christopher Lambert as Ronan the Accusser. Carl Weathers as Rocket and Andy Warhol as The Collector. Plus, it's a liitle hard to read the fine print but Frank Welker as Groot and Steve Martin as Nova Corpsman Rhomann Dey. Also notice that the screenplay is written by George Lucas and Rusty Lemorande. Let this awesomeness permeate through your body and know that in some alternate reality, maybe...just maybe, this movie exists. Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy is now available for purchase on digital on-demand, blu-ray and dvd. »
I've got an amazing piece of fan-made poster art to share with you today created by Peter Stults and posted on his Twitter feed. It's a 1980s style movie poster for Guardians of the Galaxy, and it awesomely features Michael Jackson as Star-Lord! Hell yeah, I would have seen this movie in the 80s! It would have been a classic. The rest of the "what if" cast is pretty great too, they include Arnold Schwarzenegger as Drax the Destroyer, Vanity as Gamora, Christopher Lambert as Ronan the Accuser, Grace Jones as Nebual, Bernie Casey as Yondu, Carl Weathers as Rocket and Andy Warhol as The Collector.
Via: /Film »
- Joey Paur
The Die Hard series may be alive and well, but there's a unique story behind the writing of each one…
As any action fanatic will tell you, Die Hard is among the best films of its type ever made. Tautly directed by John McTiernan, deceptively well shot by cinematographer Jan de Bont, and full of charismatic turns from Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman and Bonnie Bedelia, it’s seldom been bettered, even by its sequels.
The key to the first film's success, and the sequels in their best moments, is hero John McClane. Tough, sarcastic but ultimately human and relatable, he cuts a very different figure from the beefed-up, larger-than-life heroes of 1980s and 90s action cinema. When John McClane gets shot or injured, he actually feels pain. It's something we were keenly aware of in the 1988 original, but gradually ebbed away as the Die Hard franchise drifted from thriller territory »
30 years ago, the brilliant mind and visionary genius of James Cameron gave birth to a cinema icon – Cyberdyne Systems Model 101, the T-800, The Terminator. It was a movie that blended science fiction, action and horror and helped launched the career of Arnold Schwarzenegger. The Terminator was tense, it was thrilling and, above all, it was perfectly executed.
Set in 1984, The Terminator sees bright-eyed and bushy-haired Sarah Conner being targeted for termination by a machine entity called Skynet, a system from the future who have managed to wipe out human existence thanks to its army of Terminator cyborgs. However, there is a human resistance that is rising up – and it looks like they are about to win thanks in part to the leadership of Sarah’s son John. Skynet’s plan is simple: send a Terminator back to a time before John Conner »
- Luke Owen
In the 1993 science fiction action film Demolition Man, Lapd Sgt., John Spartan (Sylvester Stallone) is put into a cryogenic prison in 1996 when he's falsely accused of manslaugther. He is later awoken in 2032 and reinstated into the police force so that he can help ill-equipped cops of the future apprehend psychopathic career criminal Simon Phoenix (Wesley Snipes). The best scenes in the film have to do with Spartan adjusting to this new futuristic environment. In it, Taco Bell (Pizza Hut for some international markets) has won the "Franchise Wars" and is the last remaining chain restaurant, Arnold Schwarzenegger was (at one time) President of the United States of America, and they replaced toilet paper with Three Seashells! This past weekend at The Egyptian in Hollywood, there was a screening of The Adventures of Ford Fairlane in advance of the film's 25th Anniversary. Screenwriter Daniel Waters was one of the guest »
Attending the Marrakech International Film Festival to receive a career tribute, acting legend Jeremy Irons briefly teased his role as Bruce Wayne's loyal butler Alfred Pennyworth in the upcoming "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice".
The actor admits it is "not a large role" but: "He is quite a different Alfred than we have seen so far. Zack Snyder had very clear views about what he wanted. I would just say he’s more hands-on perhaps than just a butler." [Source: THR]
Arnold Schwarzenegger will reportedly wear pieces from the new 'Lanai Collection' menswear line, basically Hawaiian-style comfortable and breezy clothing that's about as far as you can get from his leather biker look.
- Garth Franklin
Earlier this year, it was revealed that a sequel was in the early stages for the new Pierce Brosnan action thriller, The November Man. Remember it? Probably not: The November Man would go on to flop in the Us, grossing just $25m in the Us, and when it finally made it to British cinemas, it was released on just one screen (presumably to fill a contractual obligation somewhere along the line).
There's been no word yet on the fate of The November Man 2, but the outlook does not seem favourable. It wouldn't be the first time though that a sequel had been loudly mooted before even a first film was released, only to be quietly abandoned when something - usually related to box office takings - didn't go to plan. »
This week's Castle takes its name from a 90s Arnie action spoof, but does it deliver on that meta promise? Here's Laura's review...
This review contains spoilers.
7.9 Last Action Hero
Sometimes, the hardest thing about reviewing something is overcoming the expectations that you take in with you. In some cases, this is purely a result of the individual makeup of the reviewer. In others, it’s because the producers created those expectations. For me, this week, with Castle, it’s both. And that’s because a) the writers chose to title last week’s episode Last Action Hero, and b) I may be the only critic alive to have really enjoyed the 1993 John McTiernan film of the same name, starring/spoofing Arnold Schwarzenegger.
What sold me on the movie, aside from Charles Dance as a dastardly villain and its metanarrative, was its satire. As an action-movie fan who is also »
Maria Shriver isn't the only member of the Kennedy clan who has given her stamp of approval to her son Patrick Schwarzenegger's new girlfriend. Miley Cyrus and Schwarzenegger, 21, continued their week of partying in Miami, where they're attending Art Basel, with a wild night on Friday that included reconnecting with the singer's make-out partner from the previous evening, Paris Hilton, and dancing with Schwarzenegger's uncle, Anthony Shriver. The escapades began with the new couple heading to The Shore Club for the Bootsy Bellows pop-up and Jesse Jo Stark performance before moving on to the private estate of Jr & Loren »
- Becky Randel
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