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Things Not Forgotten: Zhimou Returns to Period Tragedy with Middling Results
Chinese auteur Zhang Yimou, known recently for elaborate adventure films like House of Flying Daggers (2004) or Hero (2002) returns to the graceful vein of his earlier character driven classics, like 1991’s Raise the Red Lantern with Coming Home. Based on a novel by Yan Geling, who penned the source material for his last film, the 2011 WWII drama The Flowers of War, starring Christian Bale, theFifth Generation filmmaker isn’t able to attain the same sense of masterful melodrama here, with a scenario that’s sometimes emotionally potent but never quite convincing. Using this particular bout of misery to cast criticism on the aggressively untoward policies of the country’s troubled past, even these political underpinnings seem underutilized with this conservatively administered tale of familial woe.
In early 1970s China, the Cultural Revolution has begun to fade, but perhaps not quickly enough. »
- Nicholas Bell
20. Story of Ricky (Lik wong) – Starring Siu-Wong Fan as the titular character, Riki Oh, based on a manga series which eventually became an anime, marks the end of an era of Japanese exploitation flicks, before the new generation of filmmakers such as Takashi Miike took over. Unlike Miike’s movies, or other recent entries such as Tokyo Gore Police, Riki Oh’s tone borders on comedy, played up by bad voice dubbing, foolish plot lines, cartoonish gore and eccentric characters (including a one-eyed assistant warden with a hook for a hand). For a prison film, the movie never seems mean-spirited, and if anything it masquerades as a bizarre superhero flick. The effects are the main draw – Riki Oh exists simply to showcase several outlandish set pieces, ramping up the level of violence, gore and action with each new scene. Made before the days of CGI, director Lam relies simply on practical effects, »
Oscar Isaac is a busy man. Last night marked the finale of the HBO miniseries "Show Me A Hero," and if you've missed it, be sure to track it down on HBO's streaming services or in reruns. Written by David Simon, directed by Paul Haggis, and featuring one of Isaac's finest performances to date, it's the tremendously moving true story of Yonkers mayor Nick Wasicsko who fought to implement court mandated public housing in the wealthy, mostly white city. Facing political opposition and public anger, Nick put his own personal health and reputation on the line to do what he believed is the right thing. Working with Simon's great script, Isaac creates a complex, compassionate portrait of the former mayor. However, as I said, Oscar Isaac hardly has a moment. In addition to promoting "Show Me A Hero," he recently wrapped work on "X-Men: Apocalypse," he starts shooting "The Promise" with Christian Bale in September, »
- Kevin Jagernauth
With the full line-up for this year’s 59th BFI London Film Festival set to be unveiled on Tuesday, September 1st, Senior Staff Writer Scott Davis looks ahead to the festival with some of the films that may be part of the extensive programme.
We’ve already had confirmation that Suffragette, starring Carey Mulligan and Meryl Streep, is opening the festival on Wednesday October 7th, with Danny Boyle’s Steve Jobs biopic starring Michael Fassbender closing the festival. Todd Haynes’ acclaimed Carol with Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara and James Vanderbilt’s Truth, also starring Blanchett opposite Robert Redford, part of the festival’s gala presentations. So what other treats are in store for the famous festival? Here are some of the film’s we may be lucky enough to see this October…
Directed by Yorgos Lanthimos
A massive success upon its debut at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, »
- Scott J. Davis
Following the report Bruce Willis was forced to leave the production of Woody Allen’s next pic, Allen has moved quickly to find his replacement as sources tell Variety that Steve Carell will replace Willis in the pic.
Carell joins Blake Lively, Parker Posey, Kristen Stewart, Jesse Eisenberg, Jeannie Berlin, Corey Stoll, Ken Stott, Anna Camp, Stephen Kunken, Sari Lennick and Paul Schneider in the cast, with Allen writing and directing.
The film is currently untitled and without distribution. As has been the case with several of Allen’s past films, Sony Classics is the front-runner to land the pic.
As always, plot details are under wraps, and the shoot is currently under way. Though an early report said Willis was forced to leave because of his commitment to “Misery” on Broadway, there remains some confusion surrounding his exit since the actor did appear on set before leaving the production. »
- Justin Kroll
Ridley Scott is busier than ever, and there has been some speculation as to whether or not he would revisit the world of Blade Runner or Alien first. As suspected, the prolific filmmaker has confirmed that Prometheus 2, a sequel to his 2012 Alien prequel Prometheus, will be his next movie as a director. He has The Martian coming out this October, but as soon as it was wrapped, he didn't hesitate to jump into preproduction on this upcoming sci-fi thriller.
Prometheus originated as a prologue to the action seen in Ridley Scott's 1979 horror classic Alien. But the movie morphed into something much greater than a mere prequel, becoming its own thing and igniting a new franchise for 20th Century Fox. It took some pretty complicated ideas head-on and in turn tore audiences in two. Some longtime fans loved it, others hated it, but there is no denying it is interesting. »
It’s 1940, and the Nazi invasion of France is fully under way. A mother, father, a five-year-old girl and her tiny dog are among a throng of refugees fleeing Paris and jamming roads across the French countryside while German planes drop bombs and strafe their path with a relentless rain of machine gun fire. Soon the girl will be completely alone, her parents and that beloved dog all cut down in front of her eyes. But before she even has the chance to process what has happened (if she even can—on the most immediate level, she believes they’re only asleep), she’s given a ride by an older couple, one of whom cruelly flings the animal’s corpse, the only thing the girl has been able to save of her now-devastated familiar world, into a creek. The girl, Paulette (Brigitte Fossey), jumps off their wagon, retrieves the dog »
- Dennis Cozzalio
You might think you can do a decent Christopher Walken, but really, you can't touch the professionals. Here, from Kevin Spacey to Steve Coogan, are the very finest impersonators in the business (of other people in the business).
1. Kevin Spacey
To know Kevin Spacey is to know his impersonations. Willing to bust out a Brando at the drop of a hat, the former Old Vic head honcho was more than willing to obey James Lipton's commands during his appearance on Inside The Actors Studio.
Ferrari: Christian Bale will star in Ferrari, a drama by director Michael Mann about Italian car magnate Enzo Ferrari. Now all that's needed is someone to pay for and distribute the movie. It's described as a longtime passion project for Mann, who is hoping to shoot the film next summer, and reunite with his Public Enemies (above) star in the lead role. The story unfolds in 1957, a fateful year when an accident involving a Ferrari vehicle, a blown tire, and multiple casualties created a scandal. [Deadline] The Odyssey: Hugh Jackman is in early talks to star in The Odyssey, a big-budget adaptation of Homer's epic poem, to be directed by Francis Lawrence (the final three installments of The Hunger Games franchise). Jackman would play the heroic Odysseus...
- Peter Martin
Ferrari is currently without a release date, but will be shopped around at the Venice and Toronto Film Festivals next month.
- Gary Collinson
It’s not been a stellar year for Michael Mann. Back in February his sprawling cyber-thriller Blackhat was generally ignored, despite the presence of Chris Hemsworth in the lead role and it looked like modern audiences had moved on from the kind of action fare that the veteran is so used to delivering.
But things might be looking up. Mann has long yearned to bring a biopic of Enzo Ferrari to the screen. Now, after almost a decade in development, the film is gearing-up by positioning Christian Bale for the title role.
Enzo Ferrari, as you might imagine, was known for his revolutionary work on sports automobiles. The film, entitled Ferrari, would probably focus on a particular juncture in Ferrari’s epic career, although it could also oversee his life from birth to death (1898-1988). Given that Mann likes to tell big, intricate stories, it would probably be best »
- Daniel Kelly
Deadline reports Ferrari is due to shoot next summer, but final details and further casting still need to be set up.
Mann has been working on the long-gestating project for fifteen years, at one time working alongside Sydney Pollack.
Several actresses are still thought to be in consideration for the movie's female lead.
It is known Ferrari will be set in 1957, during the peak of the team's early successes in the then-fledgling Formula One world championship.
The movie may also look into a fatal crash during the Mille Miglia race that year near the town of Guidizzolo, in which a car blew a tyre killing drivers Alfonso de Portago and Edmund Nelson. »
Ferrari: Christian Bale will star in Ferrari, a drama by director Michael Mann about Italian car magnate Enzo Ferrari. Now all that's needed is someone to pay for and distribute the movie. It's described as a longtime passion project for Mann, who is hoping to shoot the film next summer and reunite with his Public Enemies (above) star in the lead role. The story unfolds in 1957, a fateful year when an accident involving a Ferrari vehicle, a blown tire and multiple casualties created a...
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Christian Bale is to play the legendary Enzo Ferrari in a new biopic based on the Italian car magnate. The film will be directed by Michael Mann (Public Enemies, Collateral), and will be adapted from Brock Yates’ 1991 book “Enzo Ferrari: The Man, the Cars, the Races.”
There isn’t an official title for the film as yet, but two scripts are said to have been merged together, both adapted from the book; one by Troy Kennedy Martin (The Italian Job) and another by David Rayfield (Out of Africa).
Deadline, who broke the news say that the film takes place in 1957, a year where passion, failure, success and death and life all collided. They add that Mann and his team »
- Paul Heath
With Christian Bale attached to star as Enzo Ferrari, Michael Mann's biopic will be shopped on the fall festival market scene in Toronto and Venice, per Deadline. This hot, long-in-the-works project should be pre-sale catnip with Mann and Bale at the helm. Slated to shoot next summer, the film has long been under Mann's hood, and was at one point a collaboration with the late Sydney Pollack. The film will be set in 1957, the year Enzo Ferrari was charged with manslaughter after one of his cars fatally crashed in the Italian Mille Miglia race in its final year. (Plot details for the film, however, are unknown.) Christian Bale's upcoming films include 2015 Berlinale entry "Knight of Cups," as well as Terrence Malick's untitled followup now in post-production. Mann's last film was early 2015 cybercrime thriller "Blackhat," which though divisive may pop up on a few year-end best lists from »
- Ryan Lattanzio
Christian Bale has agreed to star in director Michael Mann's Ferrari biopic, which the filmmaker has been trying to get off the ground for the past 15 years. Deadline reports that the project isn't set up at a studio yet, but it could very well find a home soon, with pre-sales at film festivals such as Telluride, Toronto and Venice coming up in the next few weeks. Michael Mann had once been collaborating on this project with late filmmaker Sydney Pollack, before he passed away in 2008.
Enzo Ferrari (Christian Bale) started out as a driver for Alfa Romeo in 1924, but he ended up leaving the company in the late 1930s to start his own company, Ferrari. The story takes place in 1957, a year described as one where "passion, failure, success and death and life all collided." While no specific story details were given, 1957 is the year when a Ferrari driver »
Good news, Michael Mann fans - he has found his Enzo Ferrari. Over at Deadline, they're reporting that actor Christian Bale has "said yes" or agreed to play the lead role of Enzo Ferrari in Michael Mann's upcoming Ferrari movie, about the life of the creator of the famous automobile company. The project has been in the works for a while, and while Bale is now involved, they interestingly mention that it still "isn’t set up [at a studio] just yet." They do say that it will start shooting next summer, so things are moving forward to make this Mann's next film following this dismal Blackhat. Hopefully this will turn out much better, but I really feel this story is much more suited to Mann's sensibilities than anything else. Read on. In the Deadline story, they say that Mann has been working on this film "for close to 15 years, at one »
- Alex Billington
Michael Mann has found his Enzo Ferrari. Christian Bale has signed to play the driver and businessman who founded the Ferrari car manufacturer in 1929. It’s a subject Mann has come back to via a couple different projects over many years. This version is the Ferrari film that Mann recently seemed to set as his […]
- Russ Fischer
While he’s still waiting for a studio to pick up the title, Michael Mann has scored a huge advantage in that regard, as Christian Bale is on board to star as Italian car mogul Enzo Ferrarri in his film about the man. While previous reports showed his interest, Deadline’s story confirms that Mann has been working to help get this made for nearly 15 years, and at one point was setting it up for the late Sydney Pollack. Now, he’s firmly in the director’s chair for the story of the man who redefined the high-powered Italian sports car and was partly responsible for kick-starting Formula 1 racing. Mann has taken two existing scripts, one by The Italian Job’s Troy Kennedy Martin and another from Out Of Africa’s David Rayfield and bolted them together. Everything is based on Brock Yates’ 1991 book Enzo Ferrari: The Man, The Cars, »
Fast cars! A beautiful woman! Manslaughter! Christian Bale has signed on to star as Enzo Ferrari in Michael Mann's biopic of the Italian luxury-sports-car magnate, Deadline reports. The film will reportedly take place in 1957, a decade after Ferrari started manufacturing cars for the road. That's also the year that the Ferrari brand was competing in the Mille Miglia and its driver Alfonso de Portago blew out a tire in an accident that killed him, his co-driver, and nine spectators (for which Ferrari was charged for manslaughter). As you might expect, there's a role for a female love interest that hasn't been cast yet. Buckle up, paisanos. »
- E. Alex Jung
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