12 items from 2015
Last month it was announced that Richard Armitage (The Hobbit's Thorin) is to play Frances Dolarhyde in season 3 of NBC's hit TV series Hannibal. Dolarhyde, a serial killer who leaves bite marks on his victims and is thus granted the nom de plume The Tooth Fairy, will reportedly feature in a six-episode arc touching upon the events of Red Dragon.
It was Red Dragon, both Thomas Harris's 1991 novel and Brett Ratner's 2002 movie, that many articles referenced when reporting the Armitage news, with scribes recalling Ralph Fiennes's haunting portrayal of the home-invasion killer who slays entire families. Less common, but more discerning, were the recollections of Tom Noonan's towering, heavyweight (6'7" and 217lb, to be exact) take on Dolarhyde in Michael Mann's atmosphere-drenched 1986 adaptation, Manhunter.
Mann's movie might have jettisoned Harris's title to avoid confusion with Year of the Dragon, which flopped the previous year, and »
Though The Iceman Cometh is generally considered one of Eugene O’Neill’s greatest plays, it did not win (as four of his others did) the Pulitzer Prize; the Pulitzer is not, after all, awarded for Sadness. Nor do the judges give extra points for difficulty, and Iceman is famously difficult on the director, the actors, and the audience. It’s not just the length, all five hours of it (though the 2012 Goodman Theater production, now in residency at Bam, is relatively swift at four hours and 45 minutes). It’s the weight. O’Neill seems to have loaded the play, which was written in the late 1930s but not produced until 1946, with a lifetime’s worth of ambition to make a comprehensive statement about the human condition. A lot of statements and a lot of humans make for heavy lifting. That the Goodman’s production, which stars Nathan Lane and Brian Dennehy, »
- Jesse Green
Scott Foundas: Hi Peter. Well, we’ve officially reached the midpoint of the 2015 Berlin Film Festival, although the most hotly anticipated event in this cold, cold town is still another day away. I’m talking, of course, about the world premiere of “Fifty Shades of Grey,” which isn’t the kind of movie one typically thinks of as festival fare, but which events like Berlin and Cannes need as a kind of palate cleanser from the steady parade of world-class arthouse cinema from countries like Iran, China and Chile. Those movies may get you lots of ink in Variety, but it’s only a “Fifty Shades” that can get your red carpet splattered all over the picture pages of Vogue and Vanity Fair.
- Scott Foundas and Peter Debruge
Sneak Peek footage from writer/director Terrence Malick's new romantic fantasy drama "Knight of Cups" starring Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Natalie Portman, Brian Dennehy, Antonio Banderas, Freida Pinto, Wes Bentley and Imogen Poots:
"...a screenwriter living in Los Angeles tries to make sense of the strange events occurring around him..."
The title of the film refers to the 'tarot' card of the same name, where 'Knight' is the face card, similar to a 'Jack', 'Queen', or 'King' and 'Cups' is the suit, roughly equating with the traditional suit, 'Hearts.
Click the images to enlarge and Sneak Peek "Knight Of Cups"...
- Michael Stevens
Just hours after FilmNation held the world premiere of Knight of Cups at the Berlin Film Festival today, the studio has released the first poster from director Terrence Malick's upcoming drama. FilmNation has not announced a theatrical release date at this time, but we'll keep you posted as soon as we hear anything official from the studio.
Once there was a young prince whose father, the king of the East, sent him down into Egypt to find a pearl. But when the prince arrived, the people poured him a cup. Drinking it, he forgot he was the son of a king, forgot about the pearl and fell into a deep sleep. Rick's (Christian Bale) father used to read this story to him as a boy. The road to the East stretches out before him. Will he set forth? Isabel Lucas, Cate Blanchett, Natalie Portman, Brian Dennehy, Antonio Banderas, Freida Pinto, »
You go into a Terrence Malick movie expecting a gorgeous collage of sound and image, but not necessarily the sight of a neon-lit strip club, a Caesars Palace pool party, or a fashion shoot where a model is told to pose like “a dirty f—ing housewife.” In other words, there’s something at once vividly familiar and strikingly different about “Knight of Cups,” a feverish plunge into the toxic cloud of decadence swirling around a Los Angeles screenwriter gone to seed. Having made contemporary American life seem both recognizable and alien in “To the Wonder,” Malick now extends that film’s tender romantic ballet into a corrosive critique of Hollywood hedonism — a poisoned valentine to the industry by way of a Fellini-esque bacchanal. Those who have had their fill of the director’s impressionistic musings will find his seventh feature as empty as the lifestyle it puts on display; for the rest of us, »
- Justin Chang
Family is like a loaded gun. Especially if you’re Richard Paxson (True Blood's Sam Trammell) and you left your rural Colorado family and its gun business 20 years ago and vowed never to go back.
After some unfortunate circumstances, the big city corporate exec is forced to return home to help save the family business. But older brother Grady Paxton (My Name is Earl’s Jason Lee), a playboy bachelor and gun aficionado, isn’t so happy to have him back. And his liberal wife and opinionated teenage kids are horrified by the world they have been thrown into. Hilarity, epic fights and emotional breakdowns ensue.
Created by Samuel Baum (Lie to Me) and Sam Shaw (Manhattan – TV series), Cocked is an hour-long dark comedy that also stars Tony award-winning Brian Dennehy (Death of a Salesman), Laura Fraser (Breaking Bad), and Dreama Walker (The Good Wife) — a stellar cast. »
Amazon Studios is once again bringing the public into its version of "pilot season," putting sample episodes of new series online simultaneously and factoring public and critical reaction into its decision of which ones to order as full series. Here are some quick reactions to the new batch of scripted (and, in one case, partly scripted) pilots:Cocked Co-created by writers Samuel Baum (Lie to Me) and Sam Shaw (Manhattan), this comedy-drama about a struggling family-owned gun manufacturer feels like a wannabe-daring premium-cable show. It's not without a certain intelligence and sass, but it tries way too hard to be edgy and "politically incorrect," and it can't seem to figure out what to do with its female characters, who tend to be nags, generic tough chicks, troubled floozies, or nonentities. Brian Dennehy plays Wade Paxson, the patriarch of Paxson Firearms, which is getting stomped in the marketplace by Rayburn, a »
- Matt Zoller Seitz
Get ready to watch, rate and review Amazon’s just-released pilots — a slate of 13 original comedy, drama, docuseries and kids offerings now available on Amazon Instant Video.
The pilots come from a talented creative roster that includes both newcomers discovered through Amazon Studios as well as highly-acclaimed veterans such as Ridley Scott (Blade Runner), Frank Spotnitz (The X-Files), Carlton Cuse (Lost), Randall Wallace (Braveheart), Shawn Ryan (The Shield), Brad Silberling (Jane the Virgin, Lemony Snickets…), Mark Waters (Mean Girls), Academy and Emmy Award winning director Alex Gibney (The Armstrong Lie), Angela Santomero (Blue’s Clues), and Carol Greenwald (Arthur).
Over the course of the next four weeks, viewer feedback will ultimately help to decide which of them get picked up to full series. So your opinions matter! You could help choose the next Golden Globe-winning series, after all.
Check out the synopsis of each of them below, and start watching them here today. »
Amazon Studios announced Tuesday it will unveil a new slate of pilots starring performers such as Brian Dennehy, Paget Brewster and Steve Zahn on Jan. 15. The company has been aggressively shuffling its programming lineup early in the new year. The pilot announcement came only a day after the company revealed it kiboshed a series order for Chris Carter's "The After." Despite getting strong viewer feedback and a series greenlight, only the pilot of "The After" was produced. Still, Amazon is keeping faith with its viewer feedback model. “We look forward to seeing our customers’ response to these new projects," Roy Price, Amazon Studios vice president, told Variety. “We are working with great storytellers on some fascinating ideas for the year’s first pilot season." The seven new primetime pilots, which include a documentary series titled "The New Yorker Presents," and six new kids pilots will debut on Amazon Instant Video, »
Amazon Studios’ first pilot season of 2015 will debut Thursday, Jan. 15, unveiling seven drama and comedy projects as well as a half-dozen kid-centric pilots.
Already due to debut via Amazon Studios this year are the first full seasons of Bosch, Hand of God and Red Oaks, plus Season 2 of Transparent. (Chris Carter’s The After meanwhile just had its series order scrapped.)
The dramas and comedies are as follows (click photos to zoom):
Get ready for our first pilot season of 2015, launching January 15th, when seven new primetime and six new kids pilots will debut on Amazon Instant Video. As with previous pilot seasons, viewers in the Us, UK and Germany will be invited to watch, rate and review them all over the course of four weeks, ultimately helping to decide which of them get picked up to full series.
The new pilots come from both highly-acclaimed and newly-discovered creators, and a legion of talented actors, directors and producers signed on to bring the pilots to life. Here’s a brief summary of each:
The Man in the High Castle – Based on Philip K. Dick’s award-winning novel, and executive produced by Ridley Scott (Blade Runner), The Man in the High Castle explores what it would be like if the Allied Powers had lost WWII, and Japan and Germany ruled the United States. »
12 items from 2015
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