20 items from 2015
'The Fixer' movie with Alan Bates, Dirk Bogarde and Ian Holm (background) 'The Fixer' movie review: 1968 anti-Semitism drama wrecked by cast, direction, and writing In 1969, director John Frankenheimer declared that he felt "better about The Fixer than anything I've ever done in my life." Considering Frankenheimer's previous output – Seven Days in May, the much admired The Manchurian Candidate – it is hard to believe that the director was being anything but a good P.R. man for his latest release. Adapted from Bernard Malamud's National Book Award- and Pulitzer Prize-winning novel (itself based on the real story of Jewish brick-factory worker Menahem Mendel Beilis), The Fixer is an overlong, overblown, and overwrought contrivance that, albeit well meaning, carelessly misuses most of the talent involved while sadistically abusing the patience – and at times the intelligence – of its viewers. John Frankenheimer overindulges in 1960s kitsch John Frankenheimer »
- Andre Soares
'Nicholas and Alexandra': Movie starred Michael Jayston and Janet Suzman 'Nicholas and Alexandra' movie review: Opulent 1971 spectacle lacks emotional core Nicholas and Alexandra is surely one of the most sumptuous film productions ever made. The elaborate sets and costumes, Richard Rodney Bennett's lush musical score, and frequent David Lean collaborator Freddie Young's richly textured cinematography provide the perfect period atmosphere for this historical epic. Missing, however, is a screenplay that offers dialogue instead of speeches, and a directorial hand that brings out emotional truth instead of soapy melodrama. Nicholas and Alexandra begins when, after several unsuccessful attempts, Tsar Nicholas II (Michael Jayston) finally becomes the father of a boy. Shortly thereafter, he and his wife, the German-born Empress Alexandra (Janet Suzman), have their happiness crushed when they discover that their infant son is a hemophiliac. In addition to his familial turmoil, the Tsar must also deal with popular »
- Andre Soares
It’s Easter and while many of you will be tucking into your chocolate eggs there really is somebody you ought to thank for your edible wonders. The reason behind the season. The man who can. The reason behind your hot cross buns! Jesus.
Before DC and Marvel entered the world of the superhero the Bible got there first. Over 2000 years ago in fact. To the Christian Jesus Christ entered the world to battle against evil, to save our souls from eternal damnation, and perform the ultimate sacrifice. His life for ours! And as is the norm in comic books these days Jesus may have died but He also came back to life, His resurrection power. Astounding! Not His only super power of course. He also came with the power to heal, cast out demons, and even turn water into wine. Genius!
- Gary Collinson
April 9th will mark the four year anniversary of director Sidney Lumet's passing, at age 86. Lumet was the first director I interviewed whose one-sheet posters hung on my wall as a kid. He was an idol, an icon, and an inspiration. I wasn't yet 30 in April 1997, when I met him at The Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills for our interview at the press junket for "Night Falls On Manhattan," one of his solid, authentic urban dramas that blended crime, politics and personal revelations that became his signature.
Lumet immediately put any butterflies I had at ease. Diminutive, but with the infectious energy of a teenager, his was a disarming presence. He paid me a compliment on my sportcoat, saying that I looked a bit like the young Mickey Rourke (which I still don't see, but what the hell), then went on to regale me for an hour with »
- The Hollywood Interview.com
I. The Rattigan Version
After his first dramatic success, The Winslow Boy, Terence Rattigan conceived a double bill of one-act plays in 1946. Producers dismissed the project, even Rattigan’s collaborator Hugh “Binkie” Beaumont. Actor John Gielgud agreed. “They’ve seen me in so much first rate stuff,” Gielgud asked Rattigan; “Do you really think they will like me in anything second rate?” Rattigan insisted he wasn’t “content writing a play to please an audience today, but to write a play that will be remembered in fifty years’ time.”
Ultimately, Rattigan paired a brooding character study, The Browning Version, with a light farce, Harlequinade. Entitled Playbill, the show was finally produced by Stephen Mitchell in September 1948, starring Eric Portman, and became a runaway hit. While Harlequinade faded into a footnote, the first half proved an instant classic. Harold Hobson wrote that “Mr. Portman’s playing and Mr. Rattigan’s writing »
- Christopher Saunders
Orlando Bloom adores his fans!
Watch: Eddie Redmayne Hilariously Reenacts His Failed 'Hobbit' Audition
The ensemble cast is led by Evangeline Lilly, Luke Evans, Lee Pace, Benedict Cumberbatch, Billy Connolly, James Nesbitt, Ken Stott, Aidan Turner, Dean O'Gorman, Graham McTavish, Stephen Fry and Ryan Cage.
The film also stars Cate Blanchett, Ian Holm, Christopher Lee, Hugo Weaving, Mikael Persbrandt, Sylvester McCoy, Peter Hambleton, John Callen, Mark Hadlow, Jed Brophy, William Kircher, Stephen Hunter, Adam Brown, John Bell, Manu Bennett and John Tui.
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies is out on »
Ever since finding fame in the '80s thanks to sitcom Moonlighting and explosive action movie Die Hard, Bruce has been a regular on our screens, appearing in films great, good, not-so-good and Cop Out.
With John McClane himself celebrating the big 6-0, Digital Spy staff reminisce about their favourite Bruce Willis movies, while you can vote for your personal favourite in the poll below...
Die Hard - Morgan Jeffery (TV Editor)
There's a million reasons to love 1988's Die Hard - the colourful supporting characters like Al (Reginald VelJohnson), Ellis (Hart Bochner) and Argyle (De'voreaux White), action cinema's greatest ever villain in Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman), Michael Kamen's brilliantly '80s score...
But the big reason is Bruce. Sure, New York cop John McClane was a tough guy, but what Willis brought to the part »
Director Niell Blomkamp’s new sci-fi epic Chappie opened this weekend. The film tells the story of a robot who is given artificial intelligence by his inventor, but he must learn the ways of the world just like a child. However, his innocent mind is being molded by gangsters and violent criminals.
Photos: 'Pacific Rim' and 7 Giant Robot/Monster Mashes
It’s still to be seen if Chappie will go down as a classic in the robot sci-fi genre, but if it whetted your appetite for artificial intelligence movies and android action scenes, here are nine of the best robotic heroes and nine of the craziest robotic villains in cinematic history.
9. Gigolo Joe from A.I.: Artificial Intelligence (2001)
Played by: Jude Law
This is one of Law’s greatest roles. Gigolo Joe is a mechanical male prostitute on the run from authorities after being framed for murder. Joe is a highlight »
The made-for-television film based on the famous play is loaded with stars, and is going to be one of the most interesting efforts to come along in quite some time. At least, if the cast itself can be taken as grounds for extremely high hopes. McKellan and Hopkins are perfect for the roles, and the story has proven itself, not only as a great story, but one that holds up over time.
Get all the details below, and make sure you watch out for this one.
Starz, in partnership with the BBC, today announced that production has officially begun on the movie for television “The Dresser,” an adaptation of Ronald Harwood’s play, to be directed by Richard Eyre (Notes on a Scandal, Iris). The production will film in and around London. »
- Marc Eastman
Just one month after director Neill Blomkamp shared his illustrations for a new Alien movie he was unofficially working on, the filmmaker revealed today that this will actually be his next project. The director revealed last week that he had this Alien movie in his head, while working in post-production on Chappie, commissioning a number of concept art illustrations featuring Alien star Sigourney Weaver as Ripley and Aliens actor Michael Biehn as Hicks. While he admitted that 20th Century Fox never knew about the artwork and his ideas for the movie, he hinted in recent interviews that the movie may actually happen. Now it seems that is the case, according to his brief message on Instagram earlier today, along with another illustration.
"Um... So I think it's officially my next film #alien"
The third and final Hobbit film is just around the corner from its home video debut as Warner Home Video has announced The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD release date is March 24, 2015. The Digital HD version will not arrive earlier than its disc-based companion versions.
Peter Jackson's The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies was a worldwide sensation when it released theatrically this past December to wrap up The Hobbit film series and simultaneously complete Jackson's six-film Middle-earth series. The film has earned over $951 million at the worldwide box office and is making a final push toward crossing the $1 billion mark.
Ian McKellen returns as Gandalf the Grey, with Martin Freeman in the central role of Bilbo Baggins, and Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield. Comprising the world renowned ensemble cast are Evangeline Lilly, Luke Evans, Lee Pace, Benedict Cumberbatch, »
The finale in Peter Jackson's Hobbit trilogy, The Battle of the Five Armies, hit theaters just in time for the holidays and now Warner Bros. has announced it's coming to blu-ray in March so fans can re-live the action as many times as they want. Come inside to see when you can bring the film home, and what special features it's coming with.
If you can't wait for the upcoming Extended Edition of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (which we all know is coming), then you're in luck, as Warner Bros. has announced you can take home the theatrical blu-ray on March 24th. Check out all the details according to their press release:
The adventures of Bilbo Baggins come to an epic conclusion in “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies,” a production of New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures (MGM), arriving onto Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack, »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Jordan Maison)
The adventures of Bilbo Baggins come to an epic conclusion in The Hobbit: The Battle of The Five Armies, a production of New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures (MGM), arriving onto Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack, Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD and Digital HD on March 24 from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment. From Academy Award-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson comes The Hobbit: The Battle of The Five Armies, the third in a trilogy of films adapting the enduringly popular masterpiece The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien.
In The Hobbit: The Battle of The Five Armies, Ian McKellen returns as Gandalf the Grey, with Martin Freeman in the central role of Bilbo Baggins, and Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield. The international ensemble cast is led by Evangeline Lilly, Luke Evans, Lee Pace, Benedict Cumberbatch, Billy Connolly, James Nesbitt, Ken Stott, Aidan Turner, Dean O'Gorman, Graham McTavish, Stephen Fry and Ryan Cage. The film also stars Cate Blanchett, »
After debuting concept art for an Alien movie he always wanted to make, Chappie director Neill Blomkamp revealed yesterday that the project may actually happen at 20th Century Fox. Some of the drawings featured Sigourney Weaver as Ripley, who is wearing a space jockey helmet in one illustration, and Aliens star Michael Biehn as Hicks. While also doing press for Chappie, Sigourney Weaver revealed that she would actually be interested in returning as Ripley, if this project ever comes to fruition.
"He kept sending me these brilliant designs and ideas and everything. We'll see what happens."
When asked if she felt there was more she wanted to explore with her beloved and iconic Ripley character, the actress had this to say.
"It's not that so much is that we just left it at such a creepy place, sort of stranded above Earth. I was quite happy to move onto other »
Ranking any franchise is a personal and difficult process, but the Alien series represents its own challenges. Were you more affected by the intimate shocks of the 1979 original, or the more action-led 1986 sequel? Were you impressed by Alien 3's commitment to its bleak tone, or irked by its soupy darkness?
You're sure to have your own opinions as to how the Alien movies should be ranked, though we'd wager that, like us, you'd place the Alien Vs Predator spin-offs quite far down the list. But then there's Ridley Scott's prequel, Prometheus, a film some might rank far above Jean-Pierre Jeunet's quirky Alien Resurrection, and perhaps even David Fincher's Alien 3.
Accepting, then, that the ranking below is very much down to personal taste, »
The epic conclusion to Peter Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy – and his Middle-earth series – The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies has become just the second film of 2014 to cross $800 million at the global box office, with the fantasy epic pushing its global haul to $803.1 million this past weekend.
The Battle of the Five Armies remains the lowest-grossing instalment of the Middle-earth franchise behind The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring ($869.3 million), and is the second-biggest movie of last year after Transformers: Age of Extinction, which sits on $1.087 billion.
See Also: Read our reviews of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies here and here
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies features a cast that includes Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Evangeline Lilly, Lee Pace, Luke Evans, Benedict Cumberbatch, Ken Stott, James Nesbitt, with Cate Blanchett, Ian Holm, Christopher Lee, Hugo Weaving, Orlando Bloom, »
- Gary Collinson
Eddie Redmayne showed off his funny on The Graham Norton Show on Saturday, Jan. 3, where he appeared alongside Anna Kendrick and Liam Neeson. While the newly wed is garnering tons of Oscar buzz for his portrayal of Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything, there’s one role he didn't land: Bilbo Baggins.
Video: Who Told Eddie Redmayne He Couldn't Play Christian Grey?
During the interview, Norton jokingly pointed out that half of the United Kingdom seemingly appears in the Lord of the Rings franchise – except for Eddie Redmayne. And now we know why!
Turns out the 32-year-old actor auditioned for The Hobbit but failed to get a callback. Martin Freeman eventually got the part.
“They were auditioning for The Hobbit and I was sent in on an audition for Bilbo Baggins, which shows they were really casting the net wide. I went to »
Eddie Redmayne has reenacted his unsuccessful auditioning technique for The Hobbit.
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies - the final film in Jackson's trilogy - was released in December.
Currently, Eddie Redmayne is garnering serious Oscar buzz for portraying the famous physicist Stephen Hawking, but if his 'Bilbo Baggins' audition for Peter Jackson's The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey had went better he might not have had the time to be in The Theory of Everything. The role eventually went to Martin Freeman ("Fargo"), who Jackson always claimed was his number one choice from the get go. Even so, Redmayne was asked to tryout for the part and during an interview on the Graham Norton Show, Redmayne gave them a taste of his audition. "I went to this audition, and I'd been really rigorous about it, and didn't want to just do my usual boring thing," Redmayne said. "So I went on YouTube and I found Ian Holm, who'd played it in The Lord of the Rings, and I tried to copy his character. I arrived there, and the »
Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies has become the eighth movie of 2014 to cross $700 million at the global box office, with the epic conclusion to Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy pushing its worldwide haul to $722.9 million this weekend.
The Battle of the Five Armies is now the fifth-highest grossing movie of last year, and looks like it should go on to overtake X-Men: Days of Future Past ($746 million), Maleficent ($757.8 million) and Guardians of the Galaxy ($772.6 million), which would leave it trailing only Transformers: Age of Extinction, which pulled in $1.087 billion.
In terms of Jackson’s Middle-earth saga, the final Hobbit movie remains in sixth place and will need to reach $870 million if it is to overtake The Lord of The Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, which earned $869.3 million back in 2001.
See Also: Read our reviews of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies here »
- Gary Collinson
20 items from 2015
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