10 items from 2014
Murder mysteries are so commonplace on TV that each week offers seemingly dozens of them on police procedural series and detective shows. But in the movies, whodunits are surprisingly rare, and really good ones rarer still. There's really only a handful of movies that excel in offering the viewer the pleasure of solving the crime along with a charismatic sleuth, often with an all-star cast of suspects hamming it up as they try not to appear guilty.
One of the best was "Murder on the Orient Express," released 40 years ago this week, on November 24, 1974. Like many films adapted from Agatha Christie novels, this one featured an eccentric but meticulous investigator (in this case, Albert Finney as Belgian epicure Hercule Poirot), a glamorous and claustrophobic setting (here, the famous luxury train from Istanbul to Paris), and a tricky murder plot with an outrageous solution. The film won an Oscar for passenger »
- Gary Susman
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
"22 Jump Street"
Can Chris Miller and Phil Lord make anything entertaining? When "21 Jump Street" the movie was announced, it seemed utterly ludicrous, if not downright insulting. Yet here we are enjoying the sequel, digging on the continued doofy adventures of Schmidt (Jonah Hill) and Jenko (Channing Tatum). What's next, a dazzling movie about Legos?!
"20,000 Days on Earth"
This documentary about writer and musician Nick Cave is just as weird and wonderful as its subject. It's a must-see for fans of Cave's oeuvre, but even if you don't know a Boy Next Door from a Bad Seed, you'll get a kick out of this strange film. Featuring appearances by Kylie Minogue, Ray Winstone, Warren Ellis, and Blixa Bargeld.
"The Wind Rises"
Master animator »
- Jenni Miller
Marian Seldes, the Tony Award-winning star of A Delicate Balance who was a teacher of Kevin Kline and Robin Williams, a muse to playwright Edward Albee and a Guinness Book of World Records holder for most consecutive performances, died Monday at age 86. She died peacefully at her home after an extended illness, her brother Timothy Seldes said. "It is with deep sadness that I share the news that my dear sister Marian Seldes has died," he said in a statement. "She was an extraordinary woman whose great love of the theater, teaching and acting was surpassed only by her deep love for her family. »
- Associated Press
After immortalizing a joke in the cement at the Tcl Chinese Theatre — with an extra finger on his left hand — Mel Brooks was in his usual feisty form Tuesday night at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to kick off a 40th anniversary screening of “Young Frankenstein.”
'Ok, Leonard – start the bullshit' – Mel Brooks following a standing ovation at the Academy—
Dave McNary (@Variety_DMcNary) September 10, 2014
Brooks told the Sro crowd that the screening of the first cut — which came in at two-and-a-half hours — didn’t go well but credited himself and editor John C. Howard with key adjustments for the final 105-minute version.
Dave McNary (@Variety_DMcNary) September 10, 2014
Brooks contended »
- Dave McNary
Celebrated crime author James Ellroy, whose books have been adapted into films such as L.A. Confidential and The Black Dahlia, has signed on to write the screenplay for a remake of the 1944 film noir thriller Laura.
Otto Preminger directed Laura, which centered on a detective who falls for the woman whose murder he is investigating. Gene Tierney, Dana Andrews, Clifton Webb and Vincent Price starred in the thriller, which was nominated for five Oscars, including Clifton Webb for Best Actor in a Supporting Role and Otto Preminger for best director, with Joseph Lashelle winning the Oscar for Best Cinematography.
Stuart Till is serving as executive producer for Fox 2000, but the project doesn't have a director attached at this time.
Nancy Malone, a ground-breaking and Emmy-winning director-producer, Emmy-nominated actress and the first woman VP at a major studio, died May 8 at City of Hope in Duarte, Calif., as the result of pneumonia that arose from complications of leukemia. She was 78.
Shortly after producing her first TV movie, “Winner Take All,” starring Shirley Jones, for NBC, Malone joined 20th Century Fox’s TV department as director of TV development. Soon she was named vice president of television, becoming the first woman VP at a major studio. During her time at Fox, Malone co-founded Women in Film.
Malone was an actress for decades, appearing extensively on TV and on stage, before moving behind the camera and into the executive suite and continued acting even after doing so, including a supporting role in the 1973 Burt Reynolds starrer “The Man Who Loved Cat Dancing.”
She joined Tomorrow Entertainment as a story analyst in 1971 and »
- Carmel Dagan
Written by Niven Busch
Directed Raoul Walsh
In a small, dilapidated home in the middle of the New Mexico desert, the beautiful but worried Thor Callum (Theresa Wright) arrives to convene with her on-the-run lover Jeb Rand (Robert Mitchum). From whom or what he is fleeing is unclear at first, but he seems convinced that the conclusion to his arduous adventure is near. In the calm before the approaching storm, Jeb recounts the tale from the beginning to fill in Thor and the audience on all the details. As a child, Jeb is adopted by Thor’s mother (Judith Anderson) when the latter found him asleep and alone under a trapdoor in his home, the same place seen in the opening sequence. Unaware of how or why his family died, Jeb is haunted by mysterious visions of the eventful night through much of his life while living on »
- Edgar Chaput
Happy birthday to the glamorous Kim Novak, who is 81 today. It’s impossible to think of Novak without remembering her shock blonde super-coif in Vertigo (not to mention the way she werrrrrked Edith Head‘s form-sucking pencil skirts), and thus, it’s impossible to think of Novak without remembering the great female roles in Hitchcock movies. Here are my picks for the 10 best.
This is sort of a gonzo first pick, but give it up: The Lady Vanishes rules and Dame May Whitty, with all her grandmotherly charms, is just a subversive ol’ hoot as the bad-ass spy who sets up the intrigue of the story. This is the kind of role Margaret Rutherford would win an Oscar for. You underestimate the depth of how much she kicks ass.
Is it wild? Oh, yes. Is it sometimes a little embarrassing? »
- Louis Virtel
Ja from Mnpp here with a fun new weekly game for us to play!
One of the reasons I love horror films is because more than most genres they give us the chance to see how movies can manipulate their audience into morally tricky identification territory. I find it fascinating, from a psychological standpoint, seeing how a master like say Alfred Hitchcock can use cinema to turn the simple act of mopping up a bathroom into widespread criminal complicity. Some times the bad guys are just so much more interesting than the good guys, ya know? So that's what this here series is about - I'm going to give you a film's protagonist and its antagonist, list a couple of their pros and their cons, and then you're gonna tell me whose team you're on. This week I give you...
Mrs. Danvers vs. The Second Mrs. de Winter in Rebecca »
New Criminal Minds season 9,episode 15 official spoilers,plotline revealed by CBS. Recently, CBS dished out the new,official,synopsis/spoilers for their upcoming "Criminal Minds" episode 15 of season 9. The episode is entitled, "Mr. & Mrs. Anderson," and it sounds like things will get quite intriguing as the Bau crew takes a look into several new murders, and more. In the new,15th episode press release: The Bau are going to investigate a series of murders near Pittsburgh,focusing on unsurbs who are working as a team. Press release number 2: When the Bau investigates several murders in the Pittsburgh area, the team is going to search for a pair of UnSubs working as a team. Also, Garcia and Morgan will share their Valentine’s Day plans for their respective significant others. Guest stars will feature: Stephen Simon (Sam), Rochelle Aytes (Savannah), Ned Bellamy (Alan Anderson), Mary Mara (Judith Anderson), Wendy Davis »
10 items from 2014
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