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9 items from 2004


Sorvino Has Baby Girl

8 November 2004 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Oscar-winning actress Mira Sorvino and her husband Chris Backus have become the proud parents of a baby girl. The Mighty Aphrodite star, 37, and her 27-year-old husband have yet to reveal the name of their daughter, who was born in Los Angeles last week. A close source says, "They're extremely happy." The couple married in June this year after meeting at a friend's party. »

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'Final' exam for Lions Gate, AMC

1 October 2004 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

In what could be a blow to the rollout of digital cinema -- at least as envisioned by the major studios -- Lions Gate Films and AMC Theatres said Thursday that the two will partner for an exclusive digital release of The Final Cut, starring Robin Williams, Mira Sorvino and Jim Caviezel. AMC will screen the digital print in 117 theaters in 27 markets, using its proprietary Digital Theatre Distribution System, a system currently used for its preshow advertising content. The file of the movie will be distributed via satellite. The deal marks the first time an exhibitor and distributor will partner for a relatively wide-scale release of a digital print on systems that are not compatible with the standards set by DCI, the seven-studio digital cinema coalition. But some distributors and exhibitors are concerned that the Lions Gate/AMC experiment will introduce consumers to a version of "digital cinema" that is of lesser visual quality than standard film projection. »

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'Final' exam for Lions Gate, AMC

1 October 2004 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

In what could be a blow to the rollout of digital cinema -- at least as envisioned by the major studios -- Lions Gate Films and AMC Theatres said Thursday that the two will partner for an exclusive digital release of The Final Cut, starring Robin Williams, Mira Sorvino and Jim Caviezel. AMC will screen the digital print in 117 theaters in 27 markets, using its proprietary Digital Theatre Distribution System, a system currently used for its preshow advertising content. The file of the movie will be distributed via satellite. The deal marks the first time an exhibitor and distributor will partner for a relatively wide-scale release of a digital print on systems that are not compatible with the standards set by DCI, the seven-studio digital cinema coalition. But some distributors and exhibitors are concerned that the Lions Gate/AMC experiment will introduce consumers to a version of "digital cinema" that is of lesser visual quality than standard film projection. »

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Is Mira Sorvino Pregnant?

15 July 2004 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Newlywed actress Mira Sorvino is pregnant with her first child, according to reports in America. The Mighty Aphrodite star, 36, wed aspiring actor Christopher Backus earlier this year and now the happy couple have another reason to celebrate. American magazine Us Weekly says, "No word on the due date but since the start of their honeymoon in Italy, Sorvino's tummy has become quite visible under her casual clothes." Mira's spokesperson says, "I have no information. What I can say is that they are very happy." »

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The Final Cut

9 July 2004 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Screened

Berlin International Film Festival

BERLIN -- No re-edits can save "The Final Cut" from its own preposterousness and lack of genuine thrills. This muddled and uninteresting sci-fi'er from first-time feature writer-director Omar Naim puts Robin Williams through a robotic performance and leaves Mira Sorvino understandably confused as to who or what she is supposed to play. The payoff to all the high-tech shenanigans is so weak as to hardly be worth the effort. Boxoffice prospects do not look good for Lions Gate, which will release the film this year.

In his recent films, Williams clearly wants to move away from manic comedy. In "Insomnia" and "One Hour Photo", he garnered solid critical notices by playing damaged, anal-retentive personalities with dark secrets. Here he dishes up more of the same to diminishing results. These quiet, mousy men all have the same blank face, physical rigidity and overly precise pattern of speech.

This one is called Alan Hackman, well named because he is a man who hacks up the lives of the dead. Specifically, he is a "cutter," who edits memory implants of deceased wealthy clients down to a bowdlerized version of their lives to be screened at memorial services.

Now stop for a minute and examine this premise. Who in his right mind would want anyone to look at every personal moment of his life? Furthermore, why wouldn't it take a cutter a lifetime to view another person's lifetime? Presumably, one could fast-forward through hours of sleep.

Anyway, Alan has a peculiar talent: He can calmly view the memories of really sleazy people, editing out the bad stuff and finding a few moments of redemption to make the devil look like an archangel. Sorvino's Delila is his reluctant girlfriend, and you can't blame her for such reluctance. Who would want to date a guy who essentially looks at pornography all day?

Alan's latest big-shot dead guy, a lawyer for the company that employs him, catches the attention of Fletcher (Jim Caviezel), the head of a political action group radically opposed to this technology as an invasion of privacy. Assuming that the man's life contains some dirt about the company, Fletcher wants this "footage" at all costs. Then, as Alan rummages through the guy's memory, he suddenly spots someone who relates to his own deep, dark secret -- Alan's guilt over the death of a childhood playmate who, it turns out, may not have died after all.

Meanwhile, Alan halfheartedly tries to rekindle his romance with Delila. Which brings up Alan's other dirty little secret: He began dating her only after seeing Delila in her dead boyfriend's memory.

None of these subplots yields any exciting developments. Fletcher and his henchman lurk in the margins of the movie, poised to turn it into a thriller, but Naim can't seem to work up much interest in the cloak-and-dagger aspect to his story. Given the lack of security around Alan's apartment where he works, the bad guys could probably waltz right in and steal the memory chip anyway.

But if Naim wants to make a science fiction movie that emphasizes character, he fails here too. To attribute everything a man has become to a single incident in his youth is simplistic and flawed. Even then, that incident doesn't fully explain why he is a cutter or why he can't make a go of any romantic relationships.

The Alan/Delila story line is a nonstarter. The chemistry between the two actors could not be worse. Furthermore, Naim can't make a case why they should ever be together.

After that, there are scarcely any characters in the movie that matter. The people at Alan's job, the wife and daughter of his late client, even his childhood friend seen in flashback are simply dress extras in his life.

The world established by designer James Chinlund and cinematographer Tak Fujimoto is dark and gloomy but hardly futuristic. It appears to be present day, only interior decorators are into minimalism in a big way. Brian Tyler's score works hard to build suspense where little, if any, exists.

THE FINAL CUT

Lions Gate Films

Lions Gate Entertainment in association with Cinerenta presents an Industry Entertainment production in association with Cinetheta

Credits: Screenwriter-director: Omar Naim

Producer: Nick Wechsler

Executive producers: Nancy Paloian-Brezniker, Marco Mehlitz, Michael Ohoven, Marc Butan, Michael Burns, Michael Paseornek, Guymon Casady

Director of photography: Tak Fujimoto

Production designer: James Chinlund

Music: Brian Tyler

Costume designer: Monique Prudhomme

Editors: Dede Allen, Robert Brakey

Cast:

Alan Hackman: Robin Williams

Delila: Mira Sorvino

Fletcher: Jim Caviezel

Thelma: Mimi Kuzyk

Hasan: Thom Bishops

Running time -- 104 minutes

No MPAA rating »

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The Grey Zone

8 July 2004 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

"The Grey Zone" is an existential morality play about the Holocaust that asks: What would you have done? The question may make you uncomfortable -- indeed, discomfort seems to be the reigning principle behind the film, which writer-director Tim Blake Nelson ("O") has based on his own play. What may cause equal discomfort, though, is Nelson's decision to strip away all sentiment, ethnicity or heroism from his work.

This artistic choice relegates "The Grey Zone" to the nether regions of the boxoffice landscape. Some may applaud Nelson's fierce determination to, as he puts it, "de-sentimentalize" his subject matter and to rid the concentration camp of "quaint ways of speech." But the end result feels distinctly off-off-Broadway, a work of such rigid artistic principles that its theatrical life will likely be measured in days rather than weeks.

"The Grey Zone" derives from fascinating yet horrifying facts. In the death camps, the Nazis selected willing prisoners to act as Sonderkommandos, men who would prepare fellow Jews for the gas chambers, then process their corpses after gassings. In return, this elite group received unheard-of privileges until the time of their own slayings.

In 1944, Auschwitz's 12th Sonderkommandos staged an armed revolt that managed to destroy two crematoria. Nelson bases his dramatization of this rebellion partly on a memoir by Miklos Nyiszli, a Hungarian Jewish doctor who assisted the notorious Dr. Mengele in his ghastly medical experiments.

The Hungarian Jews that make up this 12th group prove to be the most efficient of the Nazis' facilitators. But as their own deaths draw near, the men grow desperate to give their lives meaning. For their mutiny to succeed, they persuade female inmates in a nearby munitions factory to smuggle gunpowder to them.

Then a freak incident triggers the rebellion. A young girl somehow survives a gassing. The group revives her but has no way to hide. Her very presence endangers the uprising.

Nelson, working in a meticulous re-creation of an extermination plant in Bulgaria's Boyana Studios, lets everything -- the routine of the death mills, the conspiratorial planning, the relationships of prisoners with their captors -- unfold in a matter-of-fact way. You are to understand that brutality is the norm, and that those in special squads have ceased being human.

Everyone talks in the same clipped, measured tones, with emotions minimized. Maybe this is the way things were in the camps. Maybe this isn't. But in choosing this approach, Nelson lets some individuality seep from his drama.

Harvey Keitel, playing the officer in charge, tries out a serviceable German accent. But all the other actors, playing Hungarians or Poles, speak in flat American accents. But late in the film, it's a shock to realize that even though everyone is speaking English, you are meant to imagine that Keitel can't understand what the men are saying. This takes you out of the film's reality in a more jarring way than any quaint way of speech.

The rebellion itself is treated as partially successful yet clumsily staged and poorly organized. Historical accounts differ on this point, but this interpretation again falls in line with Nelson's determination not to taint any character with a whiff of heroism. Having denied their own humanity, these men are granted none by Nelson either.

The acting is solid. Standouts include David Arquette as the most emotional of the bunch, Steve Buscemi as a Pole who trusts no one and Allan Corduner as Nyiszli, who will do anything to save his wife and child on the outside. Mira Sorvino and Natasha Lyonne play brave munitions workers who refuse to divulge the uprising despite hideous torture.

Maria Djurkovic's grim, ashen sets and Russell Lee Fine's claustrophobic cinematography are all too efficient in trapping the viewer inside this gray zone where the question is asked over and over: What would you have done?

THE GREY ZONE

Lions Gate Films

Millennium Films presents

a Goatsingers production

in association with Killer Films

Producers: Pamela Koffler, Christine Vachon, Tim Blake Nelson, Avi Lerner, Danny Lerner

Screenwriter-director: Tim Blake Nelson

Based on the play by: Tim Blake Nelson

Executive producers: Danny Dimbort, Trevor Short, Brad Weston, John Wells, Harvey Keitel

Director of photography: Russell Lee Fine

Production designer: Maria Djurkovic

Music: Jeff Danna

Costume designer: Marina Draghici

Editors: Tim Blake Nelson, Michelle Botticelli

Color/stereo

Cast:

Hoffman: David Arquette

Muhsfeldt: Harvey Keitel

Abramowics: Steve Buscemi

Dina: Mira Sorvino

Rosa: Natasha Lyonne

Nyiszli: Allan Corduner

Schlermer: Daniel Benzali

Rosenthal: David Chandler

Running time -- 108 minutes

No MPAA rating »

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Sorvino Weds in Secret

29 June 2004 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Oscar winner Mira Sorvino is a married woman after exchanging vows secretly with fiance Christopher Backus. The couple have been husband and wife since June 11, but urged family and friends to keep the news under wraps - to allow them to enjoy the first few weeks of married life without being hounded by the press. The pair, who started dating a year ago after meeting in a restaurant, wed at a Santa Barbara, California, courthouse. Mighty Aphrodite actress Sorvino, 36, has previously romanced Quentin Tarantino and French movie hunk Olivier Martinez. »

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Mira Sorvino Gets Engaged

27 May 2004 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Movie beauty Mira Sorvino has become engaged to her actor beau Chris Backus. The couple - who have been dating for the past nine months - will marry on Italy's Isle of Capri before heading off on a two week honeymoon cruise. And their plans are fully supported by 36-year-old Mira's Goodfellas actor father Paul Sorvino, who describes his 22-year-old son-in-law to be as "a terrific guy". Mira - who won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for Woody Allen's Mighty Aphrodite in 1995 - previously dated director Quentin Tarantino and acting hunk Olivier Martinez. »

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The Final Cut

13 February 2004 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Screened

Berlin International Film Festival

BERLIN -- No re-edits can save "The Final Cut" from its own preposterousness and lack of genuine thrills. This muddled and uninteresting sci-fi'er from first-time feature writer-director Omar Naim puts Robin Williams through a robotic performance and leaves Mira Sorvino understandably confused as to who or what she is supposed to play. The payoff to all the high-tech shenanigans is so weak as to hardly be worth the effort. Boxoffice prospects do not look good for Lions Gate, which will release the film this year.

In his recent films, Williams clearly wants to move away from manic comedy. In "Insomnia" and "One Hour Photo", he garnered solid critical notices by playing damaged, anal-retentive personalities with dark secrets. Here he dishes up more of the same to diminishing results. These quiet, mousy men all have the same blank face, physical rigidity and overly precise pattern of speech.

This one is called Alan Hackman, well named because he is a man who hacks up the lives of the dead. Specifically, he is a "cutter," who edits memory implants of deceased wealthy clients down to a bowdlerized version of their lives to be screened at memorial services.

Now stop for a minute and examine this premise. Who in his right mind would want anyone to look at every personal moment of his life? Furthermore, why wouldn't it take a cutter a lifetime to view another person's lifetime? Presumably, one could fast-forward through hours of sleep.

Anyway, Alan has a peculiar talent: He can calmly view the memories of really sleazy people, editing out the bad stuff and finding a few moments of redemption to make the devil look like an archangel. Sorvino's Delila is his reluctant girlfriend, and you can't blame her for such reluctance. Who would want to date a guy who essentially looks at pornography all day?

Alan's latest big-shot dead guy, a lawyer for the company that employs him, catches the attention of Fletcher (Jim Caviezel), the head of a political action group radically opposed to this technology as an invasion of privacy. Assuming that the man's life contains some dirt about the company, Fletcher wants this "footage" at all costs. Then, as Alan rummages through the guy's memory, he suddenly spots someone who relates to his own deep, dark secret -- Alan's guilt over the death of a childhood playmate who, it turns out, may not have died after all.

Meanwhile, Alan halfheartedly tries to rekindle his romance with Delila. Which brings up Alan's other dirty little secret: He began dating her only after seeing Delila in her dead boyfriend's memory.

None of these subplots yields any exciting developments. Fletcher and his henchman lurk in the margins of the movie, poised to turn it into a thriller, but Naim can't seem to work up much interest in the cloak-and-dagger aspect to his story. Given the lack of security around Alan's apartment where he works, the bad guys could probably waltz right in and steal the memory chip anyway.

But if Naim wants to make a science fiction movie that emphasizes character, he fails here too. To attribute everything a man has become to a single incident in his youth is simplistic and flawed. Even then, that incident doesn't fully explain why he is a cutter or why he can't make a go of any romantic relationships.

The Alan/Delila story line is a nonstarter. The chemistry between the two actors could not be worse. Furthermore, Naim can't make a case why they should ever be together.

After that, there are scarcely any characters in the movie that matter. The people at Alan's job, the wife and daughter of his late client, even his childhood friend seen in flashback are simply dress extras in his life.

The world established by designer James Chinlund and cinematographer Tak Fujimoto is dark and gloomy but hardly futuristic. It appears to be present day, only interior decorators are into minimalism in a big way. Brian Tyler's score works hard to build suspense where little, if any, exists.

THE FINAL CUT

Lions Gate Films

Lions Gate Entertainment in association with Cinerenta presents an Industry Entertainment production in association with Cinetheta

Credits: Screenwriter-director: Omar Naim

Producer: Nick Wechsler

Executive producers: Nancy Paloian-Brezniker, Marco Mehlitz, Michael Ohoven, Marc Butan, Michael Burns, Michael Paseornek, Guymon Casady

Director of photography: Tak Fujimoto

Production designer: James Chinlund

Music: Brian Tyler

Costume designer: Monique Prudhomme

Editors: Dede Allen, Robert Brakey

Cast:

Alan Hackman: Robin Williams

Delila: Mira Sorvino

Fletcher: Jim Caviezel

Thelma: Mimi Kuzyk

Hasan: Thom Bishops

Running time -- 104 minutes

No MPAA rating »

Permalink | Report a problem


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9 items from 2004


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