16 items from 2015
If you're betting on "Boyhood" to win big at the upcoming Academy Awards, think again! Richard Linklater's "Boyhood" was deemed to be the big Oscar frontrunner but a double-dose of guild awards over the weekend tamed those prospects down. First, the Producers Guild of America gave their top honor to Alejandro González Iñárritu's "Birdman," and the Screen Actors Guild followed suit!
"Birdman" took home the Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture award! But, since the movie is about acting, this award is just fitting.
My biggest surprise, and it'a welcome surprise indeed, was "The Theory of Everything's" Eddie Redmayne taking home the Outstanding Male Actor trophy. Sorry Michael Keaton! I think Redmayne truly gave the Performance of the Year award!
At a loss for what to watch this week? From new DVDs and Blu-rays, to what's streaming on Netflix, we've got you covered.
New on DVD and Blu-ray
David Ayer's WWII action/drama boasts an all-star cast that includes Brad Pitt, Shia Labeouf, and Logan Lerman as members of a tank crew headed right into Nazi territory. Definitely for fans of gruesome war movies, so if that doesn't whet your whistle, keep on rolling.
Guillermo del Toro produced this animated family film inspired by Mexican folkore. Although it got mixed reviews from critics, the animation alone makes it worth a look. And, hey, don't you need a break from "Frozen"?
"Downton Abbey: Season 5"
If you haven't caught up to all the "Upstairs Downstairs"-style drama in this PBS series, well, now's your chance. If you're just a diehard collector, the three-disc Blu-ray comes with 40 minutes of supplemental material. »
- Jenni Miller
Amongst this years Screen Actors Guild Award winners are Eddie Redmayne, who won Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role for his portrayal of Steven Hawking in The Theory of Everything, Birdman, which took home Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture, and Orange Is the New Black, whose star Uzo Uduba claimed the Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series category.
Redmayne, dedicated his award to sufferers of Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Als), the illness which Hawking himself suffers from. He also went on to congratulate fellow actors such as Bradley Cooper, David Oyelowo and Timothy Spall.
It has been a big weekend for Birdman, which not only won best ensemble »
- Alfie Nobes
The Screen Actors Guild handed out the 21st annual SAG Awards Sunday night live from the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. Here is a rundown of all the nominees and winners as they are announced. And be sure to re-live our live blog of the show here! Theatrical Motion Pictures Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role Steve Carell / John du Pont – "Foxcatcher" (Sony Pictures Classics) Benedict Cumberbatch / Alan Turing – "The Imitation Game" (The Weinstein Company) Jake Gyllenhaal / Louis Bloom – "Nightcrawler" (Open Road Films) Michael Keaton / Riggan – "Birdman" (Fox Searchlight Pictures) **Eddie Redmayne / Stephen Hawking – "The Theory Of Everything" (Focus Features)** - Winner Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role Jennifer Aniston / Claire Bennett – "Cake" (Cinelou Films) Felicity Jones / Jane Hawking – "The Theory Of Everything" (Focus Features) **Julianne Moore / Alice Howland-Jones – "Still Alice" (Sony Pictures Classics)** - Winner Rosamund Pike / Amy Dunne – "Gone Girl »
- Kristopher Tapley
Pioneering woman director Lois Weber socially conscious drama 'Shoes' among Library of Congress' Packard Theater movies (photo: Mary MacLaren in 'Shoes') In February 2015, National Film Registry titles will be showcased at the Library of Congress' Packard Campus Theater – aka the Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation – in Culpeper, Virginia. These range from pioneering woman director Lois Weber's socially conscious 1916 drama Shoes to Robert Zemeckis' 1985 blockbuster Back to the Future. Another Packard Theater highlight next month is Sam Peckinpah's ultra-violent Western The Wild Bunch (1969), starring William Holden and Ernest Borgnine. Also, Howard Hawks' "anti-High Noon" Western Rio Bravo (1959), toplining John Wayne and Dean Martin. And George Cukor's costly remake of A Star Is Born (1954), featuring Academy Award nominees Judy Garland and James Mason in the old Janet Gaynor and Fredric March roles. There's more: Jeff Bridges delivers a colorful performance in »
- Andre Soares
Available now On Demand, and from iTunes, Veronika Decides to Die has released a couple of new clips. The Sarah Michelle Gellar vehicle has a great supporting cast, including David Thewlis and Melissa Leo, and looks to be a mind-bending puzzle that actually works.
After attempting suicide, Veronika attempts suicide, but wakes up in a privately-funded psychiatric hospital. Apparently a place with some unusual practices, it looks as though the director of the institution (Thewlis) is attempting to turn Veronika around, and get her to want to live, despite the ironic twist that it looks like she only has a few weeks to live anyway.
It’s not your usual “trapped in a psych ward” film, and this is a cast that should be able to get something interesting out of just about any idea.
Take a look at the new clips below, and don’t forget the trailer.
Let me know what you think? »
- Marc Eastman
Sarah Michelle Gellar is taking quite the serious turn in Veronika Decides to Die. She co-stars in the indie drama with Melissa Leo as a patient in a mental institution who decides to commit suicide when she her pyschiatrist (David Thewlis) tells her she only has week to live. Only E! News has this exclusive clip showing the former Buffy the Vampire Slayer star asking another patient (Leo) for help in scoring some fatal pills. "I want to die on my own terms," Gellar says. Leo motions to two staffers in an office at the bottom of the stairs. "When those two geniuses switch off shifts at the end of the day at dinnertime around 7, there's usually a moment when that door is »
This week is a big one for sci-fi fans, as several fantastic films from 2014 are making their home entertainment debuts, including The Zero Theorem, Lucy and Coherence. Horror fans have a lot to look forward to as well with the releases of several notable titles like Wolves, Annabelle and Gnome Alone, which looks to be a hoot of a genre send-up.
From La Femme Nikita and The Professional to The Fifth Element, writer/director Luc Besson has created some of the toughest, most memorable female action heroes in cinematic history. Now, Besson directs Scarlett Johansson in Lucy, an action-thriller that tracks a woman accidentally caught in a dark deal who turns the tables on her captors and transforms into a merciless warrior evolved beyond human logic. Lucy also stars Academy Award winner Morgan Freeman.
Wolves (Ketchup, DVD)
- Heather Wixson
I've already listed my top ten most anticipated blockbusters of the new year and now I'll take a look at the rest of the field as I've done my best to whittle things down to an even twenty films. So before you get in a huff that your favorite franchises aren't listed, just remember you can view all my anticipated blockbusters right here, I simply didn't know how to write the headline other than to just say these were my most anticipated movies without any further distinction. That said, I think I have a nice rounded list for you here. Obviously several from the major studios, but also a few overseas entries to spice things up. Plenty of Tom Hardy and Jake Gyllenhaal and a couple starring Rachel Weisz along with several of my favorite directors coming with new films for the new year. If you're wondering where films such »
- Brad Brevet
I loved Terry Gilliam’s Brazil when it first came out 30 years ago, but tried watching it again and didn’t feel it aged well at all. To me, the film now seemed bloated and unnecessarily complex, pushing self-indulgence to the limit. Gilliam’s newest film The Zero Theorem is the Gilliam film most akin to Brazil, another surreal comic take on Orwell’s 1984 focusing on a bureaucrat in a retro-future world. While Gilliam’s troubles with studio interference regarding Brazil are the stuff of legend (and even the subject of a book), it at least received a wide theatrical release. The Zero Theorem had a spotty release, screening in St. Louis just two nights at Webster University, but it makes its way to DVD and Blu-ray from Well Go USA on January 20th.
Explaining the plot of The Zero Theorem is kind of pointless. Something about a computer hacker »
- Tom Stockman
Madrid — Having distributed “Spanish Affair,” the biggest Spanish hit of 2014 and indeed of all time with a €56.2 million ($67.4 million) box office gross, Universal Pictures International Spain is betting on potentially one of the biggest, if not the biggest, Spanish film of this year: Alejandro Amenabar’s “Regression.”
Starring Ethan Hawke and Emma Watson, “Regression” will bow in the U.S. by TWC-Dimension on Aug. 28 and will be released in Spain by Uip this fall. It is sold internationally by FilmNation Entertainment.
Also written by Amenabar, “Regression” marks his return to the mystery-suspense genre: Set in Minnesota in 1990, the film stars Hawke as detective Bruce Kenner, investigating the case of young Angela (Watson), who accuses her father, John Gray (David Dencik), of an unspeakable crime.
- John Hopewell
There was initially a lot of promise for writer turned director Brian Helgeland’s career, his directorial debut was the entertaining 1999 adaptation of the Donald E. Westlake (aka Richard Stark) novel The Hunter, which was titled Payback for his version. Following that up with a pair of Heath Ledger titles, A Knight’s Tale and the doomed The Order, we didn’t see Helgeland get in the director’s seat again until 2013 with 42. He’s sticking with based on true story stuff with this resurrection of the notorious Kray Bros., the subject of an enjoyable Peter Medak film from 1990, The Krays. Here, we have Tom Hardy playing the twin gangsters, one of the few performers that can supersede the shortcomings of Helgeland and co-star Emily Browning to nab a slot on our list (we’re also curious as to the absence of Violet Kray, »
- Nicholas Bell
UK cinema in 2015 has plenty to recommend it. Here are 36 UK films of all genres to look forward to this year…
Dig past the litterfall of Kray Brothers biopics and tales of nubile teens on camping trips gone wrong, and you’ll unearth plenty for the UK film industry to boast about in 2015. From sci-fi romps and thrillers like Robot Overlords and Ex Machina to dramas like High-Rise, comedies like War On Everyone, spy flicks like Spectre and kids’ films like Bill, there’s no shortage of inventive, highly promising cinema coming from these isles.
We’ve included a few choice co-productions in 2015’s pick of the year’s most interesting-looking pictures, which bolsters our list in both size and breadth (and mostly means we Brits can claim partial credit for ace-sounding dystopian flick The Lobster).
In alphabetical order then, here are the 36 UK (or UK-ish) movies we’re excited about seeing this year… »
Though its title indicates otherwise, James Marsh's earnest domestic drama The Theory of Everything focuses less on its subject Stephen Hawking's work and more on his uniquely complex, uniquely devoted relationship with first wife Jane Wilde (Felicity Jones).
Eddie Redmayne gives an intelligent, endearingly guileless performance as Hawking, who we first meet as a hale and hearty Cambridge undergraduate months away from his diagnosis with motor neurone disease. Given two years to live, his main source of support becomes then-new girlfriend Jane, who resolves to stand by him despite the grim odds, and whose 2008 memoir Travelling to Infinity inspired the film.
For many, Stephen Hawking’s name will be synonymous with his best-selling book A Brief History Of Time, which made his groundbreaking theories about the nature of the universe - just about - intelligible to the masses.
The Theory Of Everything delves back to the university years of Hawking’s life, and tells a story that, as its producer Tim Bevan says, “nobody knew much about.” But the film isn’t just about Hawking, but also about his future wife Jane - how they met, fell in love and remained together, even as Hawking began to display the worst effects of motor neuron disease.
16 items from 2015
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