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Hey, Queen: Herzog Can’t Convey Passion in the Desert
Acclaim does not seem to be the fate of Werner Herzog’s latest film, the long gestating and independently produced Queen of the Desert, a biopic of explorer Gertrude Bell, a name holding more reverence abroad and to aficionados of British history. In the German auteur’s first narrative feature since the delightfully weird 2009 double trouble duo of Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans and My Son My Son What Have Ye Done?, Herzog’s attempt at crowning Bell with a rightful epic legacy of her own falls short in many regards, though most noticeably with stupendously distracting casting choices. Herzog has purportedly refashioned his historical drama with a more streamlined cut. Despite a number of ambitious elements evident throughout the oddly textured feature, it remains a disappointing entry from the usually enigmatic director.
Beginning in 1902, Oxford educated aristocrat »
- Nicholas Bell
Traditionally, Halloween is about covering yourself in fake blood and going to a party so that people can repeatedly ask you what you came as. When all you really want is a nice night in, right?
Hence this indispensable guide to 12 classic terrifying movies on Netflix. That's 24 hours of horror (give or take), so you can freak yourself out from sundown to sundown without ever having to leave the comfort of your sofa.
Although we strongly advise that you check behind that sofa first - and the curtains while you're at it - for the sake of your peace of mind.
1. The Omen (1976)
Arriving hot on the heels of The Exorcist, Richard Donner's The Omen solidified the notion that small children are terrifying and probably possessed by the Devil. The '70s horror is still an effective frightener that boasts moments to make you leap out of your seat. »
It starts with a cry of pain. Then a look of terror or ecstasy. And then the body starts to change. Hair grows from the knuckles. Maybe the eyes turn black. Sometimes fangs sprout. Before you know it, the person in front of you isn’t a person anymore. The Transformation can be the most horrific moment in a horror film because it’s where the internal becomes the external. No more false faces. No more hiding. And depending how fearsome the new being is, no more running as well.
An American Werewolf in London (1981)– London wolf calling
It starts out so innocently. Knowing that a full moon is approaching, David Kessler (David Naughton) locks himself in the home of nurse Alex Price (Jenny Agutter) in order to be able to transform into a werewolf peacefully, not killing any innocent people and proving that he doesn’t have to commit »
Episodes: Ongoing (hour)
TV show dates: September 30, 2012 -- present
Series status: Has not been cancelled
Performers include: Jessica Raine, Miranda Hart, Jenny Agutter, Pam Ferris, Judy Parfitt, Helen George, Bryony Hannah, Laura Main, Stephen McGann, Cliff Parisi, Ben Caplan, Emerald Fennell, Victoria Yeates, Linda Bassett, Charlotte Ritchie, and Vanessa Redgrave (voice only).
TV show description:
Based on memoirs by Jennifer Worth, this period drama series takes place in the 50s and 60s and revolves around a group of nurse midwives in the Poplar district of London's poor East End.
Jenny Lee (Jessica Raine) is a new midwife who, thinking she’s taking a midwife job at a small hospital, is shocked to learn she is actually working for the Nonnatus House convent. Having had a privileged childhood, she soon »
Robert Pattinson: Actor to play E.T. astronaut. Robert Pattinson to star for Claire Denis If all goes as planned, Robert Pattinson will get to star in French screenwriter-director Claire Denis' recently announced – and as yet untitled – English-language sci-fier, penned by Denis and White Teeth author Zadie Smith and her novelist husband Nick Laird, from an original idea by Denis and writing partner Jean-Pol Fargeau. Among Claire Denis' credits are the interracial love story Chocolat (1988), the sociopolitical drama White Material (2009), and the generally well-regarded Billy Budd reboot Beau Travail (1999), winner of the César Award for Best Cinematography (Agnès Godard). Robert Pattinson, for his part, is best known for playing the veggie vampire in the wildly popular Twilight movies costarring Kristen Stewart and Taylor Lautner. Robert Pattinson, astronaut In Claire Denis' film, Robert Pattinson is slated to play an E.T. astronaut. But what happens to said astronaut? Does »
- Zac Gille
The planned remake of Logan's Run has been chuntered about now for over five years. At one stage, back in 2010, director Carl Rinsch was attached to the movie (he eventually made 47 Ronin instead), with producer Joel Silver wanting to make the film in 3D. Then, Drive helmer Nicolas Winding Refn was attached at one stage, with the idea being that Ryan Gosling would star. Previously, Bryan Singer and James McTeigue have been linked with the film too.
And yet the Logan's Run remake never got going. At least until now.
The project has come back to life, with the news that X-Men: Apocalypse, Star Wars Anthology: Rogue One and Fantastic Four writer Simon Kinberg has been hired to write and produce the new Logan's Run. Joel Silver remains attached to the project too. »
The new version of a film based on William F. Nolan and George Clayton Johnson’s sci-fi novel Logan’s Run has been eluding filmmakers and rights owners Warner Bros. for more than a decade now. But things could finally be turning around for the studio’s efforts, with writer/producer Simon Kinberg now aboard to jumpstart a fresh attempt. Warners has been trying to get this one moving for at least 15 years, hiring writers and directors including Alex Garland, Will Beal, Christopher McQuarrie, Bryan Singer and Nicolas Winding Refn to work on scripts and develop ideas, with the latter bringing Ryan Gosling aboard for one of the efforts that came closest to being realised. But try as they might, none of them managed to get it to production.Nolan and Johnson’s book – famously adapted for the screen in 1976 starring Michael York and Jenny Agutter – imagines a future society that appears idyllic, »
Carl Rinsch was in talks in 2010 to direct “Logan's Run” for Warner Bros. with Silver and Akiva Goldsman producing. At that point, the project — focused on a man trying to escape a mandatory death sentence on his 30th birthday — had been in development at Warners for more than a decade, with Bryan Singer, Skip Woods, Robert Schwenke and James McTeigue associated at various points as possible directors.
- Dave McNary
"It is something that you in your world would never understand..." Atlas Distribution has debuted a new Us trailer for Werner Herzog's Queen of the Desert, starring Nicole Kidman as the legendary Gertrude Bell, who was an important figure in Middle East relations in the early 1900s. This isn't the first trailer we've featured, however the other trailer was an international version, this new one has a much more epic, Lawrence of Arabia-esque feel. Which is what they're really selling it like, with Robert Pattinson playing T.E. Lawrence and everything, but it's really a story about Bell's life. The cast includes James Franco, Damian Lewis and Jenny Agutter. This trailer does really give everything its got to try and sell tickets. Here's the official Us trailer for Werner Herzog's Queen of the Desert, found on Atlas' YouTube: The film tells the story of Gertrude Bell (1868-1926) who, »
- Alex Billington
Glenda Jackson: Actress and former Labour MP. Two-time Oscar winner and former Labour MP Glenda Jackson returns to acting Two-time Best Actress Academy Award winner Glenda Jackson set aside her acting career after becoming a Labour Party MP in 1992. Four years ago, Jackson, who represented the Greater London constituency of Hampstead and Highgate, announced that she would stand down the 2015 general election – which, somewhat controversially, was won by right-wing prime minister David Cameron's Conservative party. The silver lining: following a two-decade-plus break, Glenda Jackson is returning to acting. Now, Jackson isn't – for the time being – returning to acting in front of the camera. The 79-year-old is to be featured in the Radio 4 series Emile Zola: Blood, Sex and Money, described on their website as a “mash-up” adaptation of 20 Emile Zola novels collectively known as "Les Rougon-Macquart." Part 1 of the three-part Radio 4 series will be broadcast daily during an »
- Andre Soares
Hello again, dear readers. I’m guessing a lot of you got out to see Jurassic World this past weekend, considering how much money it made, and I hope that you enjoyed it as much as I did. And as the summer movie season continues, the Trailer Trashin’ column is back from its recent absence, with a look at the international trailer for director Werner Herzog’s new film Queen of the Desert.
Premise: A chronicle of the life of Gertrude Bell (Nicole Kidman), an English traveler, writer, archeologist, explorer, cartographer, and political attaché for the British Empire at the dawn of the twentieth century.
My take: German filmmaker Werner Herzog is a fascinating figure in every sense of the word. He has directed dozens of films, both fictional stories and documentaries, and established a style unlike that of anyone else in cinema. In the process, he has gone all »
- Timothy Monforton
Ron Moody as Fagin in 'Oliver!' based on Charles Dickens' 'Oliver Twist.' Ron Moody as Fagin in Dickens musical 'Oliver!': Box office and critical hit (See previous post: "Ron Moody: 'Oliver!' Actor, Academy Award Nominee Dead at 91.") Although British made, Oliver! turned out to be an elephantine release along the lines of – exclamation point or no – Gypsy, Star!, Hello Dolly!, and other Hollywood mega-musicals from the mid'-50s to the early '70s. But however bloated and conventional the final result, and a cast whose best-known name was that of director Carol Reed's nephew, Oliver Reed, Oliver! found countless fans. The mostly British production became a huge financial and critical success in the U.S. at a time when star-studded mega-musicals had become perilous – at times downright disastrous – ventures. Upon the American release of Oliver! in Dec. 1968, frequently acerbic The »
- Andre Soares
The Grace of Monaco actress appears in the biopic as the real-life explorer and political attaché, who played a major role in Middle Eastern politics during the early 20th century.
In the first trailer, Gertrude is seen yearning to escape from the day-to-day formalities of British high society, and is posted to Tehran.
Franco replaced Jude Law, who was previously cast as army officer and politician Henry Cadogan but dropped out following scheduling conflicts.
Twilight star Robert Pattinson also stars in the movie as Te Lawrence.
Naomi Watts was originally attached to star in the project.
No UK release date for Queen of the Desert has been announced, but it will open in Us cinemas in »
The Werewolf film. A staple of the horror genre since Lon Chaney, Jr. got all out of sorts in The Wolf Man (1941), it’s popularity (like the moon itself) , has come and gone in cycles. Leading the pack in 1981, An American Werewolf in London showed the world that there was life in those old lycanthropes yet.
Released in August, An American Werewolf in London earned over 30 million in North America alone. It was a hit, and the reviews were generally favorable, especially in regards to the groundbreaking effects work by Rick Baker (he would go on to win the inaugural Academy Award for Outstanding Achievement in Makeup for this film – deservedly so).
Our tale goes like this: David (David Naughton - the Dr. Pepper guy from the TV commercials – ask your parents) and Jack (Griffin Dunne – After Hours), two Americans, are backpacking through the English countryside. They stop for a »
- Scott Drebit
Scarlett Johansson Oscar dress Scarlett Johansson at the Oscars Looking great in a long purple dress, Scarlett Johansson displays her tight-fitting costume and bare back at the 83rd Academy Awards held on Feb. 27 at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood. Oscar 2011 co-host and Best Actor nominee James Franco (for Danny Boyle's 127 Hours) thus introduced Johansson and fellow Oscar presenter Matthew McConaughey: "I am six degrees of Kevin Bacon away from our next two presenters. Figure it out on the Internet." Well, if you're lucky. Some have remarked that Franco was a more effective Oscar host online, where he tweeted some of the evening's to-dos, than on the stage of the Kodak Theatre. His fellow equally panned Oscarcast host was actress Anne Hathaway. Scarlett Johansson movies Scarlett Johansson has been featured in more than 40 films since her debut at age 10 in Rob Reiner's North, back in 1994. Johansson, in fact, »
- D. Zhea
The knicker-waver from the Railway Children has been acting for 50 years. She talks about her new movie Tin, her optimism about roles for older women – and why fish and chips can be just as good as caviar
The life of the child actor is one begun under heavy pressure. The threat of corruption is intense, the risk of exploitation high. Any subsequent slide into depression, addiction and debauchery will be well-documented.
That didn’t happen with Jenny Agutter. Now 62, the knicker-waver from The Railway Children sailed through the experience without incident, then grew into an actor so normal it is sometimes a struggle to remember she is a star at all. Unlike her younger peers, frightened into blandly toeing the line, Agutter is open and unstuffy, frank in a way that leaves little scope for misinterpretation; composed but absolutely uncondescending.
Continue reading »
- Benjamin Lee
Never mind The Terminator and Ed-209, what about Eve, Hector or Warbeast? Here's a pick of 15 less famous killer robots from the movies...
"They say Zapp Brannigan single-handedly saved the Octillion system from a horde of rampaging killbots!" enthused Leela in classic the Futurama episode, Love's Labour's Lost In Space.
It was, reflected the alcoholic, cigar-smoking robot Bender, "A grim day for Robotkind", before adding as an afterthought, "Eh, but we can always build more killbots."
Killer robots are a longstanding staple of science fiction cinema, and if we were to compile the list of the best and most celebrated, it would probably read pretty much like everyone else's - The Terminator, 2001: A Space Odyssey and the Sentinels from X-Men: Days Of Future Past would all get a mention.
But what about the less famous killer robots from film history - the ones that have been largely eclipsed by »
Call the Midwife ended the third season by putting itself in a very tricky position, although it at least managed to get people very interested in how things were going to continue.
The last season ends with Jenny getting a new perspective on life when Chummy’s mother dies, and the result is that Jenny decides to leave Nonnatus House. There’s something both fantastic, and completely insane, about the move, especially considering that it’s supposed to be her story, and it’s her voice-over walking us through everything. It actually becomes a little unnerving to continue listening to Vanessa Redgrave talking about what’s going on as the fourth season plays out.
You have to expect big things to kick off the season, which is hard to put into perspective, because the show is nothing if not subdued in its overall progression.
For a show like Call the Midwife, »
- Marc Eastman
Spooks: The Greater Good has premiered a new trailer.
The spy thriller, based on the BBC and Kudos Film and Television's long-running TV series, sees Peter Firth return to the role of Harry Pearce with Game of Thrones star Kit Harington on board as a new character, MI5 spy Will Holloway.
The storyline focuses on Pearce being forced to resign after high-profile terrorist Adem Qasim (Elyes Gabel) escapes from MI5 custody.
When Pearce disappears off a bridge into the Thames, Harington's former agent Holloway is drafted in from Moscow to foil a bomb threat from Qasim and uncover the truth surrounding his former mentor.
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