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Laffapalooza! week concludes at Trailers from Hell with television writer Alan Spencer introducing "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes' Smarter Brother," written, directed and starring Gene Wilder.Baker Street was never like this! Wilder followed up his star turn in Young Frankenstein by writing, directing and starring in this well-researched period comedy featuring the great detective's younger, envious brother, who is overmatched (to say the least) by Leo McKern's Moriarty. Lots of hat-tips to Conan Doyle throughout for devout Holmes fans, but it's a sublimely silly movie on its own. Albert Finney has a cameo dissing opera singers. »
- Trailers From Hell
Bryan Forbes dies at 86: Directed Katharine Hepburn, Leslie Caron, the original The Stepford Wives Director Bryan Forbes, whose films include the then-daring The L-Shaped Room, the all-star The Madwoman of Chaillot, and the original The Stepford Wives, has died "after a long illness" at his home in Virginia Water, Surrey, England. Forbes was 86. Born John Theobald Clarke on July 22, 1926, in London, Bryan Forbes began his film career as an actor in supporting roles in British productions of the late 1940s, e.g., Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s The Small Back Room / Hour of Glory and Thornton Freeland’s Dear Mr. Prohack. Another twenty or so movie roles followed in the ’50s, including those in Ronald Neame’s The Million Pound Note / Man with a Million (1954), supporting Gregory Peck, and Carol Reed’s The Key (1958), supporting Sophia Loren and William Holden. Bryan Forbes director Despite his relatively prolific output in the previous decade, »
- Andre Soares
★★★★★ John Schlesinger's celebrated slice of sixties British New Wave makes its debut on Blu-ray this week, and remains an absolute must-see for all serious cinephiles. Although lumbered with the 'angry young men' label back at the time of its release, Billy Liar (1963) actually eschews that kitchen sink realism and remains a quirkier beast than its cinematic brethren. Schlesinger (who would go on the even greater success with 1969's Midnight Cowboy) exhibits a disarming exuberance and playfulness behind the lens, and it's a film which crackles with an energy and imagination that completely betrays its half-a-century age.
In a timeless tale of youthful fantasising and wish fulfilment, 19-year-old Billy Fisher (a vivacious Tom Courtenay) harbouring dreams of becoming a celebrated in-house writer for a famous comedian. He longs to escape his lacklustre working-class life and thankless job as a clerk for the local undertaker and make a break for the bright lights of London. »
- CineVue UK
The story follows an abandoned child discovered on the property of a kind and wealthy Somerset landowner. Taken in, Tom grows into a honest, kindhearted and lust-filled youth.
Inevitably, he falls in love with his neighbor's daughter whose family opposes the courtship because of his status as a bastard child.
No cast is yet attached, and shooting begins early next year in the United Kingdom. The book was previously adapted into the Oscar-winning 1963 film starring Albert Finney.
Source: THR »
- Garth Franklin
(John Schlesinger, 1963, Studiocanal, 15)
One of the key movies of the British new wave, Billy Liar began life in 1959 as a brilliant comic novel by Keith Waterhouse (clearly influenced by James Thurber's 1939 New Yorker story "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty"), and in 1960 Waterhouse and his regular writing partner Willis Hall turned it into a play that Lindsay Anderson directed in the West End. It was filmed 50 years ago this month under the direction of former actor and documentary maker John Schlesinger. Tom Courtenay (who took over the title role on stage from Albert Finney) is superb as the sad 19-year-old Billy Fisher, who escapes from his dreary lower-middle-class background and dead-end job as an undertaker's clerk through his dreams of becoming a writer, his habitual lying, and his fantasies about being a hero in the imaginary country of Ambrosia.
The film takes place over a single busy Saturday during which he juggles two fiancees, »
- Philip French
On this episode of The Golden Briefcase Breakdown, hosts Tim & Jeremy are joined by Alan Cerny aka "Nordling" from Ain't It Cool News for a spoiler-filled discussion on Joel & Ethan Coen's gangster film Miller's Crossing, starring Gabriel Byrne, Albert Finney, Marcia Gay Harden and John Turturro. The purpose of Breakdown episodes is to to ponder, discuss and challenge the films that we feel often need more than just a simple review. We breakdown the film to discuss plots and theories in order to better understand the director's vision and hopefully challenge our listeners at home to re-evaluate the way they watch cinema. Extra episodes of Tgb Breakdown will be arriving about every month, and will appear here in addition to all of our regular weekly Golden Briefcase episodes. Beware - every episode of Tgb Breakdown will contain Spoilers for the film in discussion (this one for the Coens' Miller's Crossing). You've been Warned! »
- Tim Buel
Tony Awards 2013: Tom Hanks, Nora Ephron, Cicely Tyson, Tom Sturridge among nominees (photo: Tom Hanks in Lucky Guy) The Tony Awards 2013 nominations were announced earlier today. Missing in action is a whole array of film celebrities, though a few managed to be included in this year’s shortlist. (See also: “Tony Awards 2013: Scarlett Johansson, Sigourney Weaver, Jessica Chastain ‘Snubbed.’“) Two-time Academy Award winner Tom Hanks (Philadelphia, Forrest Gump) is in the running for Best Actor in a Play for Lucky Guy, which is also up for the Best Play Tony Award. Written by Nora Ephron, who directed Hanks and Meg Ryan in two of their biggest box-office hits, Sleepless in Seattle and You’ve Got Mail, Lucky Guy traces the rise, fall, and rebirth of New York tabloid columnist Mike McAlary. Ephron, among whose other film credits include the Meryl Streep / Amy Adams comedy Julie & Julia and, as a screenwriter, »
- Andre Soares
He may be currently creating sparks on the set of Marc Webb’s The Amazing Spider-man 2 as the main villain Electro, but Jamie Foxx is now expected to join Quvenzhané Wallis in Easy A director Will Gluck’s re-imagining of hit Broadway and film musical, Annie. The Oscar-winning actor is in final negotiations for the role of Benjamin Stacks, a variation on the character Daddy Warbucks, previously played by the great Albert Finney in John Huston’s 1980 classic.
This new adaptation of Annie, which originated in the comic-strip ‘Little Orphan Annie’, is thought to me a modern update with a hip-hop twist. Overbrook Entertainment’s James Lassiter, Jada Pinkett Smith, Will Smith are producing alongside Jay Brown, Tyran “Ty Ty” Smith and Shawn “Jay Z” Carter, who’ll also supply a number of new songs.
Source: Heat Vision
- Craig Hunter
It was announced earlier this year that Wallis would star in Sony's remake of the beloved 1982 Broadway adaptation, taking the lead role as originally played by Aileen Quinn.
Production on Annie is expected to begin in autumn, with a 2014 release date planned.
Watch Quvenzhane Wallis speaking to Digital Spy about Beasts of the Southern Wild below: »
Tony Awards 2013: Stage-Movie connection ranges from Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Kinky Boots to Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (photo: Emilia Clarke, Cory Michael Smith in Breakfast at Tiffany’s) [See previous post: "Tony Awards 2013 Nominations: Tom Hanks, Sigourney Weaver Among Potential Contenders."] Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, possibly up for a 2013 Tony Award in the Best Revival of a Play category, was made into an Academy Award-nominated movie in 1966. Mike Nichols directed Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor, George Segal, and Sandy Dennis, from a screenplay by Ernest Lehman. Taylor and Dennis won Oscars as, respectively, Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress. In this latest Broadway revival of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, the stars are Tracy Letts, Amy Morton, Madison Dirks and Carrie Coon. Peter Masterson’s 1985 film version of Horton Foote’s The Trip to Bountiful, another possible Best Revival nominee, earned Geraldine Page a Best Actress Academy »
- Andre Soares
• Michael Fassbender (Shame) is attached to play the title role in a film update of Macbeth, William Shakespeare’s classic tragedy about a scheming nobleman intent on ruling Scotland. The play has been adapted for the big screen a number of times, including Orson Welles’ 1948 version in which he also played the character of Macbeth, and Roman Polanski’s 1971 version which starred Jon Finch. Justin Kurzel (The Snowtown Murders) will direct the Fassbender update which will reportedly use the original language. The part of Lady Macbeth has not been cast yet. [Screen Daily]
- Lindsey Bahr
‘We do on stage things that are supposed to happen off. Which is a kind of integrity, if you look on every exit as being an entrance somewhere else.’
– Tom Stoppard, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead
I recently watched The Bourne Legacy on a lengthy international flight. Usually I have an aversion to watching something that might require a functioning attention span on an aeroplane. At any moment one’s concentration might be at war with screaming children, real estate feuds for control of the armrest, the Chaplin-esque slapstick of juggling a tray of food through turbulence, or that gnawing, omnipresent fear of ever having to venture into those poorly ventilated bathrooms after about three hours in the air. This time, however, there was a nice analogous quality to the experience. Travelling 500 miles per hour toward another continent, surrounded by friendly strangers whose names you will never know, a bleary »
In nearly 20 years as a Hollywood star, Ewan McGregor has been a prominent figure in the world of mainstream and independent cinema. He has successfully accomplished the daunting task of moving between genres without his fanbase or stock levels diminishing greatly, while crafting roles that are masterful, engaging and thrilling. Of course not everything the Scottish actor has done has been critically or commercially successful, but more often than not he has produced acting performances that allow his films to become more than what it should, extending his abilities and enthusing them with a vigour and passion that wouldn’t of been possible in anybody else’s hands.
His latest film Jack The Giant Slayer, based on the fairy tales “Jack and The Beanstalk” & “Jack The Giant Killer”, is released in UK cinemas today and while it has gathered average reviews from critics and has been underwhelmed at the Us box office, »
- Niall McLoughlin
With a Christmas Day 2014 release date recently set for Sony’s remake of Annie, progress on the film’s production is heating up – with Beasts of the Southern Wild star Quvenzhané Wallis cast a few weeks ago for the lead role that original choice Willow Smith outgrew. The film is being produced by Jay-z, who released an updated arrangement of the musical’s famous song Hard Knock Life in 1999 (later covered by Dr. Evil and Mini-Me in Goldmember), with Will Smith co-producing through his company Overbrook Entertainment. Emma Thompson was selected to write the script for Smith and Jay-z’s remake in 2011.
- Hannah Shaw-Williams
By Mike Malloy
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Complex and arcane religious rituals wouldn’t seem to make for good filmed entertainment. And yet, the Vatican’s papal election process – occurring again this week to name a successor to Pope Benedict XVI – has been detailed in cinema almost as many times as the more Hollywood-sounding subject of papal assassination attempts.
And while the workings of the pontifical election conclave might not be surprising in a religious film, they were even deemed dramatic enough for inclusion in The Godfather Part III. Yep, Francis Ford Coppola’s 1990 crime epic takes a break between whackings to portray the 1978 conclave that elected the first Pope John Paul.
But more impressive than the fact that cinema has depicted this process is the fact that, on occasion, the movies seem to have gotten it right. When a »
- email@example.com (Cinema Retro)
Skyfall (2012) Blu-ray Review, a movie directed by Sam Mendes, written by Neil Purvis, Robert Wade, and John Logan, and starring Daniel Craig, Ralph Fiennes, Javier Bardem, Judi Dench, Naomie Harris, Helen McCrory, Javier Bardem, Tonia Sotiropoulou, Bérénice Marlohe, Albert Finney, Ben Whishaw, Tom Wu, and Michael G. Wilson. Release Date: February [...]
- Romney J. Baldwin
Steven Soderbergh's enjoyable drama never quite makes it to the courtroom – and with certain facts and outcomes still in doubt, you can see why
Erin Brockovich (2000)
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Entertainment grade: B–
History grade: B
Erin Brockovich became famous in 1993 when she helped residents of Hinkley, California, to claim a record-breaking $333m settlement from Pacific Gas and Electric after groundwater was contaminated. She had no legal training.
Single mother of three Erin Brockovich (Julia Roberts) is already struggling to make ends meet when she is involved in a car accident. She sues to cover the medical expenses, but loses. Furious with her lawyer, Ed Masry (Albert Finney), she demands that he give her a job. He caves in. Amazingly, this is true. Soon, she's strutting around the law firm of Masry and Vititoe, refusing to be shamed out of wearing skintight and occasionally transparent clothing with big heels and bigger hair. »
- Alex von Tunzelmann
While it’s been murmured for quite a few weeks now, we have confirmation the Beasts Of The Southern Wild’s record making 9 year-old Oscar-nominee, Quvenzhané Wallis, will headline the modern-day remake of classic musical, Annie. The film will be directed by Easy A’s Will Gluck and the press release below gives all the details of all those currently involved in the project.
The original was directed by legendary director John Huston and was based on the Broadway musical adapted from the Little Orphan Annie comic strip. It centred on a young orphan girl (Aileen Quinn), who is adopted by bald-headed billionaire Daddy Warbucks (Albert Finney). Along the way they are brushes with a fraudster couple claiming to be her real parents (Bernadette Peters and Tim Curry) and Carol Burnett’s equally devious social worker.
- Craig Hunter
Richard Briers—the British comic actor best known for the sitcom The Good Life and hus appearances in eight Kenneth Branagh films—died Sunday at age 79, after years of smoking-related ailments. Born in London, Briers was interested in acting from childhood, an ambition fostered by his pianist mother as well as his father’s cousin, the successful comedian Terry-Thomas. After menial jobs as a filing clerk and a stint in the Raf, he studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in the mid-1950s alongside classmates Albert Finney and Peter O’Toole, winning early praise for his performance in »
Purvis and Wade, who have worked on every Bond movie since 1999's The World Is Not Enough, told Digital Spy that they completely reworked Skyfall's finale to take him back to his childhood home with M.
"That idea [to go to Skyfall lodge] came very late in the day. It was in the last two weeks when we were working on the script," Wade said.
"The third act had been action stuff in a European city and we weren't very happy with it and we just felt it was ordinary. This idea came, and we wrote it up as a page and a half, ran it by Sam, Barbara and Michael and said we just want to tear up the third act and do a completely new thing. »
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