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This article contains spoilers for Avengers: Age Of Ultron and various other comic book movies - if you're not entirely up to date, then watch out as you read on...
As you know, we're enjoying a golden age of comic book movies and there are around 30 more of them pencilled in before the decade is out. Since Marvel Studios started experimenting with continuity between movies and whole franchises, there's been criticism of its use of MacGuffins and plot exposition - it provokes nightmares of long-winded recaps of already established stuff, starting with dreaded phrases like 'as you know'. And who'd start anything with those three words?
It's not that we're mistaking the use of exposition for poor storytelling - it's a super-broad term to describe something that's kind of essential to most stories. »
The Criterion Collection has announced its new line-up for August, with some more classic films being added to the collection. On August 4th Jules Dassin’s Night and the City is released, followed on August 11th by Karel Reisz’s The French Lieutenant’s Woman starring Meryl Streep, and on August 18th Brian De Palma’s Dressed to Kill starring Michael Caine and François Truffaut’s Day for Night. Finally on August 25th the Dardenne Brothers superb Two Days, One Night starring Oscar Winner Marion Cotillard.
You can check out the full press release details below, as well as the artwork for each release.
Two-bit hustler Harry Fabian (Richard Widmark) longs for a life of ease and plenty. Trailed by an inglorious history of go-nowhere schemes, he tries to hatch a lucrative plan with a famous wrestler. But there is no easy money in this underworld of shifting alliances, »
- Scott J. Davis
Who knew that watching films can be this exhausting? The first thing any press person at Cannes will tell you is probably how tiring festival grind is – press screenings from 8.30 am till midnight, endless queueing sessions (variously put to use for writing up or sun-tanning), the adrenaline rush of the literal rush to the next screening.
What few filmmakers premiering their work at Cannes seem to realise – based on the average two-hour run of the majority of films this year – is that at a film viewing marathon such as Cannes, critics’ attention is yours during the first hour and twenty minutes and then you’d better start getting ready for a wow of an ending. The editor is your friend and if you want the press to be a friend too, it’s good to shed extraneous long-windedness and not irk the critics – unless you are Miguel Gomes, then you can go on forever… »
- Zornitsa Staneva
Key and Peele are producing. Peter Atencio, director of the duo’s Comedy Central series, is helming from a script by Peele and Alex Rubens. The story follows a group of friends posing as drug dealers in order to retrieve a stolen feline.
New Line has also dated its remake of “Going in Style,” starring Alan Arkin, Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman, for May 6, as a comedy counterprogrammer to Marvel-Disney’s “Captain America: Civil War.”
- Dave McNary
Warner Bros has slated a pair of disparate comedies for release next spring. Keanu, starring the Key & Peele duo of Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele, will hit theaters April 22, followed on May 6 by Going In Style, with Oscar winners Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine and Alan Arkin toplining the remake of the 1979 hit. Keanu centers not on a certain actor but a cat — Ted and Neo apparently aren’t great feline monikers — who is abducted by a street gang, sending its humans… »
A sequel to director Matthew Vaughn's R-rated $80 million budgeted comic book feature "Kingsman: The Secret Service", has been greenlit by Fox for a fast-tracked big budget sequel, following the original film's $400 million dollar world-wide box office gross:
"...the world's greatest secret agent is on the most exciting case of his career.
"But will the end of the world as know it take a back seat to training his street-punk nephew to be the next 'James Bond'?
"What's the secret link between a series of kidnapped sci-fi stars, the murder of an entire town, and a dark secret from inside 'Mount Everest'?
"Under the supervision of 'Uncle Jack', the spy skills of 'Gary' blossom--
- Michael Stevens
A couple of key release date announcements have been made today. First up, the Tom Cruise-led and Doug Liman-directed "Mena" has just begun shooting in Georgia and has been scheduled for a January 6th 2017 release.
Domhnall Gleeson, Jesse Plemons, Caleb Landry Jones, Sarah Wright, Jayma Mays, E. Roger Mitchell, Lola Kirke, Alejandro Edda and Benito Martinez have joined the cast of the film which follows a hustler and Twa pilot unexpectedly recruited by the CIA to run one of the biggest covert operations in U.S. history which ultimately spawned the Medellin cartel.
Next up, Warner Bros. Pictures has set an April 22nd 2016 release date for comedians Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele's pet kidnap comedy "Keanu," followed by a May 6th 2016 release for the Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman-led remake of 1979's heist-themed comedy "Going In Style".
Finally, The Weinstein Company have settled on a December »
- Garth Franklin
The Rock vs Earthquakes? Well, not quite, but San Andreas is still a decent enough disaster movie.
San Andreas could be one of the easiest films to pitch in a review, as your predisposition towards it can be gauged by two simple questions: 1) Are you a fan of Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson? 2) Do you love effects driven disaster movies that pit character archetypes against massive peril? If the answer is yes to both, then please proceed in an orderly fashion to your nearest cinema, purchase snacks of choice and let the loud and destructive spectacle entertain you.
After last year saw Into The Storm bring back some Twister style antics to the big screen, so San Andreas plays out like a combination of 1974’s Earthquake and the Dennis Quaid’s fight against a slight chill in The Day After Tomorrow (minus the ropey CGI wolves). The central plot follows the »
During a more than 60-year acting career, Michael Caine has had a lot of highs and lows. One of his most embarrassing moments was a supporting role in the reviled sequel Jaws: The Revenge – a film that came out the same year he picked up an Academy Award for Hannah and Her Sisters. In one of the actor’s most enduring interview quotes, Caine said of the sequel that he had never seen the film. “By all accounts, it is terrible,” he said. “However, I have seen the house that it built, and it is terrific.”
Caine’s droll attempt at transparency routinely came back into this reviewer’s mind during Survivor, a film that is cluttered with action movie clichés and may be most fondly remembered by its principal cast for helping them renovate their homes. Despite the presence of director James McTeigue (V For Vendetta) and thriller author »
- Jordan Adler
Kingsman: The Secret Service, in the words of director Matthew Vaughn, is a kind of post-modern love letter to spy movies, and that’s about as accurate a description of the effort as you’re going to get. Every move is clearly aimed at not only the vision and style of early Bond and his ilk, but pulls in the kind of post-modern storytelling that made Kick-Ass the curious wunderfilm it is.
Taron Egerton plays Gary “Eggsy” Unwin, a clever enough lad who is a victim of his circumstances. Harry Hart (Colin Firth), aka Galahad, bails Eggsy out of jail, and makes him a very unique offer. A member of a sort of double-super-secret spy organization, Hart sees something in Eggsy, and thinks he could be just the candidate to join the ranks of the spy elite.
We then get to take a ride through spy school, as several candidates »
- Marc Eastman
Peter Debruge: Well, I didn’t see that coming. In what feels like a twist ending — one that leaves me feeling a bit like Tim Roth at the end of “Chronic” — the Cannes jury has awarded the Palme d’Or to “Dheepan,” a movie that lags among my least favorites in the competition, and the weakest in Jacques Audiard’s filmography.
People have been throwing the word “weak” around a lot this week, grousing that the official selection doesn’t measure up to that of previous years. I defer to you, Scott and Justin, since you’ve each been attending Cannes for longer than I have (this is only my fifth time on the Croisette), but if there’s one thing I’ve learned in my time here, it’s that Cannes critics always like to complain that the present year’s crop feels meager by comparison to past editions, »
- Peter Debruge, Scott Foundas and Justin Chang
You have to give Mark Millar a lot of credit. Not only does he possess a fertile imagination, but produces works that are ripe for cinematic adaptation. A cynic could tell you Millar does this by design, but I believe he’s just in tune with the current zeitgeist. As a result, just about everything he releases gets snapped up by Hollywood and if they’re all as successful as Kingsman: The Secret Service, we’re all the better for it. The incredible streak began with the wonderful Kick-Ass, which was brought to the screen by director Matthew Vaughn and they have successfully reteamed here.
The film is out now on Digital HD from 20th Century Home Entertainment, with the DVD combo set to follow. On the extras, co-writer Jane Goldman notes how the film and comic share the same DNA but changes had to be made from print to »
- Robert Greenberger
Variety critics Scott Foundas, Justin Chang, Peter Debruge, Guy Lodge, Jay Weissberg and Maggie Lee weighed in with their choices for the 21 best films at this year’s Cannes Film Festival (listed in alphabetical order):
1. “Amy.” British director Asif Kapadia followed up his 2010 “Senna” with this even more daring and revealing portrait of the brilliant but tragic jazz diva Amy Winehouse. Drawing on a wealth of professional and user-generated video, Kapadia again eschews the usual talking-heads interview format to keep WInehouse front and center for two harrowing hours, during which we come to understand how thoroughly the troubled singer lived her life under the camera’s relentless and unforgiving gaze. The result is an unforgettable portrait of the cult of celebrity in the iPhone era. (Scott Foundas)
- Variety Staff
Cannes — Awards season is no stranger to Cannes. From "Amour" to "The Tree of Life" to "No Country For Old Men" to "The Pianist" to "The Piano," every year there seems to be a player or two that pokes its head out from the crowded Croisette and into Oscar's waiting arms. This year's potential players may not include a true Best Picture contender, but they are evidence enough that the festival's presence will be felt throughout the upcoming campaign. Before you start second guessing which films have a shot and which don't, remember the actions of this year's Hollywood-influenced competition jury. The Coen brothers, Jake Gyllenhaal, Sienna Miller and the Guillermo Del Toro, among others, awarded some interesting prizes that will absolutely affect the race. The critical kudos are important, too (as are those of us who cover the beat on a regular basis and took in this year's slate »
- Gregory Ellwood
★★★☆☆ Paolo Sorrentino's Youth (2015), his latest meditation on aging, memory and mortality, premièred at Cannes in competition today to assorted cheers and boos. This review is going to fall somewhere between the two. Retired composer Fred Ballinger (Michael Caine) is spending his holiday undergoing a variety of health treatments in a spa resort in the Swiss Alps, along with his old friend and film director Mick (Harvey Keitel), his daughter Lena (Rachel Weisz) and Jimmy Tree (Paul Dano), a Hollywood actor preparing for a new role in a German film. In the evening the world's most elegant pub band plays covers on a revolving stage which is eminently suitable for a striking opening shot.
- CineVue UK
The film with the biggest Oscar buzz out of this year's Cannes Film Festival was Todd Haynes' lesbian love story, "Carol," which took the Best Actress prize for Rooney Mara, who tied for the honor with French actress Emmanuelle Bercot ("Mon Roi"). Mara, who was nominated for the Best Actress Oscar in 2011 for "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo," now has a serious chance to return to the derby, especially since most of the buzz about the film had surrounded her co-star, two-time Oscar champ Cate Blanchett. Click Here to see the complete list of Cannes winners. -Break- Nineteem women who won this category at Cannes went on to snag Oscar nominations and four have won: Simone Signoret for "Room at the Top" (1959), Sophia Loren for "Two Women" (1961), Sally Field for "Norma Rae" (1979) and Holly Hunter for "The Piano" (1993). Will Cannes hit 'Youth' bring Michael Caine, Jane Fonda bac. »
Lionsgate has high hopes for its 2016 sequel, Now You See Me 2, which it hopes will build on the $350m gross for 2013's surprise hit. The sequel has added Daniel Radcliffe to its cast (which also includes returnees Jesse Eisenberg, Michael Caine, Mark Ruffalo, Woody Harrelson and Dave Franco), although Isla Fisher's pregnancy means she's missing from episode two.
But there's a sporting chance her Now You See Me days are not over. Lionsgate boss Jon Feltheimer has revealed that the firm is already in the early planning stages for Now You See Me 3, and Fisher may well thus return in that way.
Cannes 2015 has closed its celluloid curtain and the awards have been bestowed (proper dress attire still required). Check out the winners below. The films that had been getting a lot of the top-prize buzz have been very diverse: there's the slow-burning 9th century martial arts film from Taiwan (The Assassin), the newest (most brutal) version of William Shakespeare's Macbeth (starring Michael Fassbender as the power-hungry warrior, and Marion Cotillard as his Lady), the 1950s-set lesbian melodrama, Carol (starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara), and a devastating Auschwitz drama, Son of Saul, about a man trying to save a corpse from the prison camp flames, because he believes its his son. Our own Croisette-critic-on-the-grounds, Talia Soghomonian, chose Youth as her personal Palme pick from the competition litter. Youth is the follow-up to the Oscar-winning The Great Beauty, starring Michael Caine and Harvey Keitel as old friends on a European retreat. »
- Brian Formo
With Kingsman‘s Digital HD release today – available on iTunes and all good VOD services – we’re taking part in a very special tweet-along tonight in association with the official Kingsman UK twitter!
Yes, from 6pm this evening (Sunday 24th May) press play on your digital copy and tweet @KingsmanUK using hashtag #KingsmanDigitalHD, with the chance to unlock Kingsman secrets And win some cool prizes.
A super-secret organization recruits an unrefined but promising street kid into the agency’s ultra-competitive training program just as a dire global threat emerges from a twisted tech genius. A phenomenal cast, including Colin Firth, Samuel L. Jackson and Michael Caine, lead this action-packed spy-thriller directed by Matthew Vaughn (X-Men: First Class).
Download Kingsman: The Secret Service on iTunes now and follow @KingsmanUK to get in on all the action!
Kingsman: The Secret Service is out on Digital HD on May 24th and on Blu-ray »
- Phil Wheat
Given the number of films in competition (19), the correspondingly infinite number of possible award/talent configurations, and the sheer impossibility of guessing at the individual and collective tastes of nine jurors, predicting the major award winners at the Cannes Film Festival is obviously a fool’s errand — and one that our critics on the Croisette have gladly undertaken.
Palme d’Or: “The Assassin.” Word on the street — and among British bookies — is that my own favorite film of the fest, Yorgos Lanthimos’ high-wire relationship fantasy “The Lobster,” is the one to beat, though whether that’s based on honest hearsay or a projection of the Coen brothers’ taste for dryer-than-dust comedy, I can’t say. As much as it would thrill me to see such a singular combination of concept-y formalism and perverse heart-tugging take the prize, I have a hard time seeing it as the unifying consensus »
- Guy Lodge and Justin Chang
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