1-20 of 479 items from 2011 « Prev | Next »
Roger and I thank you for joining us as we talked about the movies each week this past year. We have enjoyed producing Ebert Presents At The Movies and hope to continue sometime in 2012. This week we produced our last show.
It is the Best and Worst Movies of 2011 and begins airing Friday night, December 30, at 8:30 pm on Wttw, Channel 11 in Chicago, and all during the weekend and next week on public television stations across the nation. (Check local listings to find out what time it comes on in your town.)
In January of this year we brought back the show that Thea Flaum and Roger and Gene Siskel started 35 years ago at Wttw. Roger made the decision to bring it back to public television after it had been broadcast successfully at Tribune Entertainment and Disney Buena Vista Television for years.
We were fortunate to find two smart and »
- Roger Ebert
Samuel L. Jackson celebrated his 63rd birthday in style on Wednesday as his The Mountaintop co-stars threw a party to mark the milestone.
However, the cast and crew didn't let the occasion pass without recognition - they threw him a surprise party and presented the star with a huge cake, which was decorated with the words 'NY (loves) Slj'. »
It was a night to remember at Armani Ristorante as A-listers gathered to celebrate Glenn's fabulous new film in which she starred, wrote and produced. The Cinema Society & Giorgio Armani hosted the most exclusive and intimate party of the holiday season on Dec. 13 and HollywoodLife.com was there! After the premiere of Albert Nobbs, which was held at the MoMA, guests headed to Armani Ristorante where they got a surprise of a lifetime! Premiere hosts Sandra Brant and Ingrid Sischy, along with Mia Wasikowska, Rose Byrne, Elizabeth Olssen, Taraji P. Henson, Angela Bassett, Billy Ray Cyrus, Courtney Love, Lance Bass, Zoe Kravitz, Tony Danza, Corey Stoll, and more sipped on Grey Goose cocktails, while listening to Sinéad's riveting performance of her new single "Lay Your Head Down." The party was absolutely epic and we can't wait to see what A-list soiree's 2012 brings to NYC! Check out Albert Nobbs, which is »
- Chloe Melas
Chicago – The Tyler Perry empire rolls on, with a new show called “For Better or Worse” premiering November 25th on TBS. The series is based on two films Perry produced, “Why Did I Get Married?” and “Why Did I Get Married Too?” and focuses on characters played in both films by Tasha Smith and Michael Jai White.
Smith and White were in Chicago recently to promote “For Better or Worse,” in which they play Marcus and Angela, a married couple going through the process of interrelating. They are joined in the series by friends going through their various stages of relationships. It is described by Tyler Perry as a drama/comedy that will focus on the ups and downs of marital bliss.
Photo credit: TBS Network
Tasha Smith is a veteran actress who »
- email@example.com (Adam Fendelman)
Diane Warren Oscar-nominated Songwriter Diane Warren attends the 2011 Governors Awards in the Grand Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland in Hollywood, on Saturday, November 12. [Photo: Matt Petit / ©A.M.P.A.S.] James Earl Jones (The Great White Hope, the voice of Darth Vader in the Star Wars movies) was a long-distance Honorary Oscar honoree, as he's co-starring with Vanessa Redgrave in Driving Miss Daisy on the London stage; veteran makeup artist Dick Smith (The Fan, Ghost Story, The Hunger, Nighthawks), however, was present at the ceremony to receive his Honorary Oscar. TV celebrity Oprah Winfrey, a 1985 Best Supporting Actress nominee for Steven Spielberg's The Color Purple, was the recipient of the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award. Diane Warren has received six Oscar nominations for her song compositions. The nominated films were Mannequin, starring Andrew McCarthy; Up Close & Personal, with Robert Redford and Michelle Pfeiffer; Con Air, with Nicolas Cage; Armageddon, with Ben Affleck, Liv Tyler, Bruce Willis, and Billy Bob Thornton »
- D. Zhea
Green Lantern takes flight with a by-the-numbers origin story that isn.t awful, but falls short of some of the great superhero movies that have made their way to the big screen. The film attempts to be epic, but comes across as bland by the time the credits roll. Based on the classic DC Comics character, Green Lantern was directed by Martin Campbell and had four screenwriters (Greg Berlanti, Michael Green, Marc Guggenheim, Michael Goldenberg) help bring it to the screen. The film has a more than capable cast including Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively, Peter Sarsgaard, Mark Strong, Tim Robbins, Angela Bassett, Jon Tenney, and Temuera Morrison. It also features voice-actors Geoffrey Rush, Michael Clarke Duncan, and Clancy Brown. »
- Patrick Luce
The Mountaintop Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre, NYC
The Mountaintop makes use of his name, it makes use of some of his words, and it makes use of his story, but the play is ultimately devoid of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. himself in any genuine sense. It borders on the edge of exploitation; if there was a sincere purpose behind this telling of King’s last night on earth, it seems that it was lost somewhere between its confused, aimless script and shameless stunt casting.
Samuel L. Jackson, ever effective in films when he keeps within his badass range, is well outside his abilities in the role of Martin Luther King Jr. His struggle to find comfort on the Broadway stage is reminiscent of his awkward presence as Mace Windu in the Star Wars prequels, only less entertaining.
The gap between King and Jackson’s failed attempt to play him is a wide one indeed, »
- C. Jefferson Thom
Green Lantern 3D Blu-RayWarner Bros. Home Entertainment2011/Rated PG-13/114 & 132 minsList Price: $44.95 -- Available October 14, 2011The biggest surprise for me in Green Lantern is the performance of its star Ryan Reynolds. As test pilot Hal Jordan, Reynolds is supposed to be cocky, rude and a bit of an a-hole. We've seen the actor effortlessly portray these traits before in everything from Van Wilder to his first foray into comic book films, the poorly received Blade Trinity. Playing Hal's alter ego, intergalactic space cop Green Lantern is a different animal entirely. One of the most loved heroes of DC comics, the character represents dedication and courage as a man without fear, sworn to protect the galaxy and its inhabitants. Buying Reynolds in the character's unique green get-up is not without difficulty, but by playing it straight, come the film's conclusion you believe he has become that hero with the potential to evolve into something stronger. »
Gwen made it retro rock but Angela went classy chic! Both gals look amazing, but who do you think wore the Giorgio dress the best -- musician/designer Gwen Stefani or actress Angela Bassett? Vote! The white silk gown is detailed with a black asymmetrical strap and bows across the bodice, leaving a small opening right above the waist. Gwen was seen first in the gown at the Cannes Film Festival. The former 'No Doubt' frontwoman paired the beautiful gown with Christian Louboutin peep-toes, a red clutch, juicy red lips and really really smokey eye makeup. Angela, who wore the dress to an event at NYC's Metropolitan Museum of Art, went for a more simple look, pairing the dress with black peep toes, a black clutch and simple, barely there makeup. Of course two sexy and sophisticated ladies like Gwen and Angela can pull of just about any elegant gown, »
Release Date: Jan. 31, 2012
Price: Blu-ray $34.99
Studio: Warner Home Video
After being delayed because of disputes over music rights, the Blu-ray debut Malcolm X became tied to the film’s 20th anniversary.
Spike Lee’s (If God is Willing and Da Creek Don’t Rise) historical drama stars Denzel Washington (Unstoppable) as the Black Nationalist leader, a role that earned him an Oscar nomination but no statue. (He had to get dirty with Training Day to score Best Actor at the Academy Awards.)
The movie follows Malcolm X’s rise from a child whose minister father was killed by the Klu Klux Klan, to becoming a gangster. In jail, he discovered the Nation of Islam writings and became a preacher of anti-white teachings, until he realized he made a mistake. Later, as he tried to preach peace, he was assassinated.
Chicago – After the abysmal theatrical reviews, I thought it would be easier to completely dismiss “Green Lantern,” the least-acclaimed and least-profitable of the Summer 2011 Superhero Quartet (which also included “X-Men: First Class,” “Thor,” and “Captain America: The First Avenger” — and I would rank them in that order in terms of quality with “Gl” bringing up the rear). The fact is that this is not an “Elektra” or “Ghost Rider”-level mess. There are things about Martin Campbell’s film that work, especially in the first half, but a goofy story and aesthetic ultimately sink the film to cartoonish levels.
Blu-Ray Rating: 2.5/5.0
So extremely heavy on special effects that it probably should qualify for Best Animated Film, especially in the second half, “Green Lantern” is going to look So dated in just a few years. It is such an over-the-top CGI fest that all character and all interest in the plot »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
Los Angeles, California (X17online) - Oprah Winfrey is curiously missing from the long list of celebrity contributors toward a Martin Luther King Jr. memorial in Washington. Despite her oft-vocalized admiration for the civil rights leader – she even dedicated a show to him in 2008 on the steps of the Washington Memorial - Winfrey reportedly turned down a number of requests for donations. Those who did donate to the cause include Whoopi Goldberg, Harrison Ford, Morgan Freeman, Dr. Maya Angelou, Carlos Santana, Angela Bassett, Samuel L. Jackson, Chris Brown, Muhammad Ali and his daughter Laila Ali. President Obama debuted the Martin Luther King Jr. memorial in a ceremony this past Sunday, which included special performances by Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Sheryl Crow, and James Taylor. »
Whitney Houston has joined the cast of Sparkle which began principal photography this week in Detroit, Michigan. Sparkle is a remake of the 1976 film and tells the story of the title character Sparkle (Jordin Sparks), the youngest of three sisters and a music prodigy who struggles to become a star while facing issues that are tearing her family apart. Starring alongside Houston in the musical drama are Grammy® nominated and platinum recording artist Jordin Sparks (.American Idol. winner, Season 6), Derek Luke (Antwone Fisher, Captain America: The First Avenger), Mike Epps (Jumping the Broom, Friday After Next), Carmen Ejogo (I, Alex Cross, Pride and Glory), Tika Sumpter (What.s Your Number?, .Gossip Girl.), Omari Hardwick (Kick Ass, The A-Team) and Grammy® Award winner, Cee-Lo Green.
- Michelle McCue
Of all of the intriguing plays coming to Broadway this season, "The Mountaintop" was the one I needed to see.
Perhaps it feels like a bit of an obligation, but in the best way; in the way we go to a religious service, but then leave delighted because the spirit is lifted and we're reminded of what is right.
Theater can certainly have that effect, though not often.
Samuel L. Jackson as the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King is excellent. Angela Bassett as Camae, a chambermaid who spends the night before his assassination conversing with him, is nothing short of spectacular.
As magnificent as they are -- and there is no "but" coming, they are simply magnificent -- this is a play that needs to continue when these two stars move on to other projects.
It is necessary to pay tribute to King, and to honor him and to remember »
This week’s biggest opening — and best EW review — may belong to the Samuel L. Jackson/Angela Bassett two-hander The Mountaintop, but our critics also saw four other productions in New York and California. Read the highlights from all five reviews below (click on the bolded title for the full write-ups).
Man and Boy: Correspondent Keith Staskiewicz was captivated by Frank Langella’s “towering performance” as a ruthless financier whose crumbling empire forces him to reconcile with his son in this Depression-set Broadway revival. The play itself however, didn’t fully please. “These two characters’ relationship feels underdeveloped,” he writes, »
- Aubry D'Arminio
The stageshow is playwright Katori Hall's reimagining of the events in Memphis, Tennessee on 3 April, 1968 - the night before King's assassination - and it marks Bassett's return to the New York stage as hotel maid Camae, who starts up a deep and lengthy discussion with King after delivering his coffee.
And it's the actress' role which has drawn the attention of theatre critics, with the Washington Post's Peter Marks commenting, "Even in a dowdy hotel-maid costume, Bassett is a striking presence."
One reviewer from the Associated Press writes, "Bassett's character arc is a wonder to behold and she delivers one of her best performances since she played Tina Turner in What's Love Got to Do with It. Her Camae starts off obsequious, grows sassy, then bureaucratic, and finally ends by being all-knowing."
Meanwhile, Jackson's performance has been met with mixed feelings - Marks notes that the Pulp Fiction star's age at 62 makes his casting as 39-year-old King "less than perfect", while a reviewer for USA Today also criticises the character's speech, adding, "Even if you accept the perfectly credible and appealing notion that King had an impish streak, there's something too aggressively folksy about this portrait. It's one thing to envision King as a mischievous wit, quite another to hear him speaking like a sitcom character."
However, the New York Times' writer insists Jackson - who actually marched with the civil rights icon in the 1960s - is "an undeniable thrill", and the New York Daily News' Joe Dziemianowicz states, "Jackson doesn't look much like King, but thanks to make-up, he doesn't look like himself, either, so the illusion works. His sonorous voice sounds right, too."
Overall, the play was given the thumbs up - The Hollywood Reporter's David Rooney admits the drama "ultimately packs a punch", while a critic for trade paper Variety concludes, "Factor in the double dose of charisma from certifiable stars Samuel L. Jackson and Angela Bassett, and this show has wings."
The Mountaintop officially opened at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre on Thursday night and runs until January. »
Green Lantern, 2011.
Directed by Martin Campbell.
Starring Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively, Mark Strong, Angela Bassett, Tim Robbins, Temuera Morrison, Taiki Waititi, Jay O. Sanders, Geoffrey Rush, Michael Clarke Duncan, Peter Sarsgaard and Clancy Brown.
The first human to be selected for the Green Lantern Corps, test-pilot Hal Jordon soon finds himself as Earth’s last hope for survival when the planet is threatened by the destructive entity known as Parallax.
It’s fair to say that outside of Christopher Nolan’s Batman franchise, Warner Bros. haven’t exactly set the world alight with their stable of DC Comics superheroes as of late. In fact, their output over the past decade or so has been anything but stellar (see Catwoman, Superman Returns, Jonah Hex), while the studio’s one decent effort – Zack Snyder's Watchmen – was never really going to be anything more than a cult hit (I mean, could »
The film is directed by McG but do not let that put you off as the trailer will show you, it looks a whole lot of fun.
- Craig Hunter
Every time I see the news that Hollywood is remaking or rebooting something from my childhood, I roll my eyes and cross my arms over my chest and stomp my feet and do a lot of active frowning. Or, well, that's what I used to do, until I found out about a do-over I can get behind: This week, Lifetime announced its plan to remake one of the greatest movies of our time, Steel Magnolias — with an all-black cast!
Now, look, I grew up on Steel Magnolias, Ok? I'm a born and bred Southern belle with exactly the correct amount of attachment to Sally Field and Dolly Parton, but this remake is super exciting to me. The success of the entire project, of course, hinges on which actresses are cast for the iconic roles. And producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, who are responsible for Hairspray and Chicago (Oscar-winner!), promise »
- Heather Hogan
As we reported on Tuesday (Oct. 11), "Steel Magnolias" is the latest movie queued up for a remake. This time there's a bit of a twist, though. Lifetime -- who has been stepping up its made-for-tv-movie game lately -- is developing a new version of the 1989 movie that will feature an all-black cast. As Deadline.com reported, the remake will -- like the original -- chronicle the relationships between a group of women living in Louisiana.
The original 1989 version starred Sally Field, Julia Roberts, Shirley MacLaine, Dolly Parton, Olympia Dukakis and Daryl Hannah. But who should star in the new version? We thought we'd do Lifetime a favor making a few casting suggestions before production gets underway.
M'Lynn Eatenton: In the original, Field played the central character -- a matriarch who doesn't just maintain a home and kitchen straight out of the pages of Southern Living, but has to hold together »
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