13 items from 2015
Some of the greatest (or at least heavily favored) American television shows got the big screen treatment when they were selected to have their small screen following turn into a cinematic experience. Unfortunately, for every beloved nostalgic television show that translated successfully in movie theaters (The Brady Bunch Movie, Star Trek, Batman, etc.) there are boob tube stinkers that overtake the good crop. Sure, there are middle-of-the-road movie adaptations of television programs that have a mixed bag reception (1997’s Leave It To Beaver, 1987’s Dragnet, 2012’s Dark Shadows, etc.). Nevertheless, it is always the unflattering fare that receive the bulk of the attention (do you register, 1999’s The Wild, Wild West ?).
In Boob on the Tube: Top Ten Worst Movie Adaptations of TV Shows we will take a look at the top ten televised offenders that dared to venture into cinema’s stratosphere only to end up floating down shamefully »
- Frank Ochieng
There is only one correct way to prepare for the Oscars: resentfully watching every bad, dubious, or weird movie starring this year's honorees and feeling smug about it. StreamFix is here to help. Here are five weird choices streaming on Netflix to get you caught up on some of the 2014 nominees. "Chalet Girl" with Felicity Jones Felicity Jones would have more of a chance at an Oscar if she just called herself "the other Carey Mulligan" and dealt with it. Anyway, remember "Chalet Girl"? It was about Felicity Jones and Ed Westwick enjoying wonderful times on the slopes. Let us consult The New York Times' review for some insight into this cinematic journey: "'Chalet Girl' may not be particularly creative or genre busting or even a great example of a romantic comedy. But its premise might make you smile." I know I always go to the movies for »
- Louis Virtel
For the sake of this particular movie column let’s just consider the media types of news personalities, journalists and reporters as interchangeable. With that in mind Newsmakers and Media Shakers: Top Ten Reporters in the Movies will look at some of cinema’s top inquirers in the name of getting down to the nitty-gritty in bringing the truth to the forefront.
The movies have intensely, if not sometimes comically, showcased those characters that felt justified in reporting their newsworthy findings in the name of riveting entertainment. Whether spotlighting real-life newsmaker and shakers such as legendary luminaries in Edward R. Murrow to Watergate busters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein or profiling parodies of probing journalists as Natural Born Killer’s Wayne Gale it has been a trippy ride in witnessing cinematic reporters and their excitable exploits.
Perhaps Newmakers and Media Shakers: Top Ten Reporters in the Movies will be irresponsibly »
- Frank Ochieng
By Anjelica Oswald
On any given year, the four acting winners are usually a mix of American and non-American actors, but this year could see all four acting awards go to American actors for the first time in 17 years.
If Michael Keaton beats Eddie Redmayne for lead actor and the current projected frontrunners — supporting actress nominee Patricia Arquette, supporting actor nominee J.K. Simmons and lead actress nominee Julianne Moore — also win, it will be the first time since 1998 that all of the acting awards were given to American actors. (It will also be the second time in 77 years that all of the winners have been 46 or older.)
Since 1980, there have been eight instances where American actors were awarded all four acting Oscars. »
- Anjelica Oswald
One of the most interesting experiments in recent years was filmmaker Ned Benson’s “The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby.” Starring Jessica Chastain and James McAvoy, with great supporting help from Viola Davis, William Hurt, Isabelle Huppert, Jess Weixler, Bill Hader, and Ciarán Hinds, the indie drama looks at the dissolution of a marriage from two perspectives: the husband and the wife. And so, three versions were eventually released: “The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Him,” that centered on James McAvoy’s point of view; “The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Her,” from Chastain’s perspective; and “The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Them,” a condensed version that cut down ‘Her/Him’ into one version. It’s a lot to digest, but we called it a “finely tuned and tenderly detailed love story of two people told on a cosmic scale…on the year’s greatest relationship films.” And for more, you can check »
- Edward Davis
Simone Simon in 'La Bête Humaine' 1938: Jean Renoir's film noir (photo: Jean Gabin and Simone Simon in 'La Bête Humaine') (See previous post: "'Cat People' 1942 Actress Simone Simon Remembered.") In the late 1930s, with her Hollywood career stalled while facing competition at 20th Century-Fox from another French import, Annabella (later Tyrone Power's wife), Simone Simon returned to France. Once there, she reestablished herself as an actress to be reckoned with in Jean Renoir's La Bête Humaine. An updated version of Émile Zola's 1890 novel, La Bête Humaine is enveloped in a dark, brooding atmosphere not uncommon in pre-World War II French films. Known for their "poetic realism," examples from that era include Renoir's own The Lower Depths (1936), Julien Duvivier's La Belle Équipe (1936) and Pépé le Moko (1937), and particularly Marcel Carné's Port of Shadows (1938) and Daybreak (1939). This thematic and »
- Andre Soares
In the star-driven film business, getting presales or equity financing without stars or a name director is often next to impossible — and often for good reason.
“On ‘Whiplash,’ we did an analysis of what the sales numbers would look like based on the packageable elements, which led us to conclude that we were scorching two-thirds of our investment,” Bold Films CEO Gary Michael Walters says with a laugh. Yet even with a first-time feature director (Damien Chazelle) and two leads who’d never carried a movie (Miles Teller and J.K. Simmons), Bold’s chairman Michel Litvak ended up fully financing the $3.3 million film with no presales or tax credits.
This Oscar contender and other recent financing, presale and box office success stories are anomalies, to be sure, but they reveal a few factors that can encourage sales outfits and equity funding to jump in early and bet on very risky projects. »
- Gregg Goldstein
Welcome back to This Week In Discs! I was away at Sundance last week so today’s post includes new releases for 1/27 and 2/3. If you see something you like, click on the title to buy it from Amazon. The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby Conor (James McAvoy) and Eleanor (Jessica Chastain) are in love and by all accounts, happy, but one day she jumps from a bridge in an attempt to kill herself. In the days, weeks and months that follow we spend time with each of them apart. They’re both dealing with a shared grief in separate ways, but will their efforts to work through the pain bring them back together or further apart? Writer/director Ned Benson‘s feature began life as two separate films — Him and Her, both included here on a second Blu-ray — but he works them together into a single entwined narrative that takes an honest look at love, loss »
- Rob Hunter
Fitness model Greg Plitt killed in train accident: Plitt was the 'body' of Dr. Manhattan in 'Watchmen' movie Fitness model Greg Plitt, best known for adorning countless fitness magazine covers and for his participation on the reality TV show Work Out, was killed by a passenger train while being videotaped last Saturday afternoon, January 17, 2015, in Burbank, about 20 kilometers northwest of downtown Los Angeles. Authorities are now trying to figure out how Plitt and his two-person crew were able to access a restricted area – without a filming permit – and what exactly they were doing there. Online tabloids claim to have the answer, asserting that Greg Plitt's death was the result of a failed thrill-seeking stunt. The athletic Plitt, who had previously shot at least one workout video on a train track, was purportedly trying to outrun the passenger train, but tripped and fell on the tracks. Police have »
- Zac Gille
Audiences can own this inspired example of “groundbreaking cinema” (Sasha Stone, Awards Daily) on digital download on January 23, 2015 before heading to DVD, Blu-Ray™ and On Demand February 3, 2015.
Both the DVD and Blu-Ray include bonus films, The Disappearance Of Eleanor Rigby: Him and The Disappearance Of Eleanor Rigby: Her, giving the consumer the complete picture ofthe story as it was intended to be seen.
With his unique vision, writer/director Ned Benson ambitiously captures a complete picture of thehighs and lows of a relationship in a beautifully relatable portrait of love, empathy and truth, told from differing Him and Her perspectives. The Disappearance Of Eleanor Rigby elicits riveting performances from an acclaimed cast led by Academy Award® nominee Jessica Chastain and James McAvoy, and a richly »
- Michelle McCue
This morning's "Better Call Saul" panel isn't the first time Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould have come to press tour to discuss the "Breaking Bad" prequel, but their panel back at summer tour was incredibly light on details and didn't feature any actors. So this session — featuring Gilligan, Gould, "Breaking Bad" alums Bob Odenkirk and Jonathan Banks, plus fellow "Saul" castmembers Michael McKean, Rhea Seehorn, Patrick Fabian and Michael Mando — should be much livelier, and not just because critics have now seen the first two "Saul" episodes(*). (*) Reviews are embargoed until closer to the Feb. 8 premiere, but I can say that I enjoyed both episodes, even though I have some reservations. As I did in the summer, I'll be live-blogging the panel as frequently as my fingers and the ballroom wifi will allow, so check back frequently for updates. (And I'll be doing the same in a little bit for »
- Alan Sepinwall
Humans, coming to Channel 4 and AMC in the Us later this year, is one of our most anticipated dramas of 2015. Not only does the Assimovian premise of a parallel present in which 'Synthetics' are the latest domestic household accessory sound promising, but the cast that production company Kudos has amassed bodes very well indeed.
Amongst that group of actors is William Hurt, who's being joined by Colin Morgan, Katherine Parkinson, Rebecca Front, Neil Maskell, Tom Goodman-Hill and Gemma Chan. Spooks' Jonathan Brackley and Sam Vincent have written the series, based on Lars Lundstrom's original Swedish series, Real Humans.
The official blurb is as follows: "In the hope of transforming the way they live, one strained suburban family purchases a refurbished synth only to discover that sharing life with »
You've probably seen all the '90s movies, like "Pulp Fiction," "Clueless" and "Wayne's World" that Netflix has to offer, but there are also plenty of lesser-known gems available to stream. Sit down and enjoy these indies, first films by famous directors and some other great '90s movies you might have missed.
1. "Big Night" (1996) R
A great movie (co-directed by stars Stanley Tucci and Campbell Scott) about two Italian brothers in 1950s running an unsuccessful restaurant who go all out when a celebrity's visit promises to save their business.
2. "Boys Don't Cry" (1999) R
Hilary Swank won her first Best Actress Oscar for her searing portrayal of a woman who lives life as a man, until her secret is found out by her redneck friends.
3. "Clueless" (1995) PG-13
How many times have you seen Alicia Silverstone make over her friends and try to play matchmaker? Not enough!
4. "Croupier" (1998) Nr
The movie »
- Sharon Knolle
13 items from 2015
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