1-20 of 29 items from 2014 « Prev | Next »
Best British movies of all time? (Image: a young Michael Caine in 'Get Carter') Ten years ago, Get Carter, starring Michael Caine as a dangerous-looking London gangster (see photo above), was selected as the United Kingdom's very best movie of all time according to 25 British film critics polled by Total Film magazine. To say that Mike Hodges' 1971 thriller was a surprising choice would be an understatement. I mean, not a David Lean epic or an early Alfred Hitchcock thriller? What a difference ten years make. On Total Film's 2014 list, published last May, Get Carter was no. 44 among the magazine's Top 50 best British movies of all time. How could that be? Well, first of all, people would be very naive if they took such lists seriously, whether we're talking Total Film, the British Film Institute, or, to keep things British, Sight & Sound magazine. Second, whereas Total Film's 2004 list was the result of a 25-critic consensus, »
- Andre Soares
Stanley Chase, who produced the legendary 1950s off-Broadway production of The Threepenny Opera that featured the enduring hit song “Mack the Knife,” has died. He was 87. Chase died Tuesday at a nursing home in Santa Monica, his wife Dorothy told the Los Angeles Times. Chase also produced such films as The Hell With Heroes (1968) and Colossus: The Forbin Project (1970), both directed by Joseph Sargent (The Taking of Pelham One Two Three), as well as Mack the Knife, a 1989 feature version of Threepenny Opera that was helmed by Menahem Golan and starred Raul Julia and Richard Harris.
- Mike Barnes
Time is ticking for Goodweather and his cohorts as they close in on The Master and his minions….
So here is a finale. The culmination of a series considered by many to be average and singled out, perhaps unfairly, for its mediocrity. That Guillermo del Toro, confirmed master of fantasy fare and macabre offerings should be behind this is still the most baffling element.
Neither truly frightening nor engaging enough to warrant my full attention, The Strain finale felt constrained by its source material and ultimately a slave to those limitations. Lifting liberally from both the Nightwatch vampire flicks and Blade franchise, this orchestrated showdown felt uninspired and dramatically vacant. That it happens in a specific location, in relation to a certain character, screams out to me that huge chunks of backstory have been culled. In truth it seemed too neat, »
- Gary Collinson
BAFTA’s latest Life In Pictures conversation featured British screen icon Ray Winstone, who proved a big draw despite the unseasonably warm October afternoon. With no new title to stump for (although he did mention his upcoming childhood-focused autobiography Young Winstone), the veteran instead entertained the crowd with a freewheeling look at his four-decade-long career, which includes prominent roles in films such as Noah, The Departed, and Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull.
While he had plenty of quips about his adventures in Hollywood – including an uncanny Martin Scorsese impression – Winstone spoke passionately about his work in British cinema.
Famous for playing East End tough guys – “My wife asked me why I always walk in a room looking like I’m going to kill someone” – Winstone waxed lyrical about Gary Oldman’s work directing him in the gritty 1997 drama Nil By Mouth.
That film unflinchingly looks at »
- Ali Jaafar, Special To Deadline
Barring a miracle or at least several hits, the Australian films released in cinemas this year have no hope of matching 2013.s combined gross of $38.5 million.
Through last Sunday, 43 local features and documentaries had racked up $18.5 million nationwide. That includes mostly small amounts earned by 20 titles that opened in 2013 or earlier. As the Safc.s Richard Harris has pointed out, the results of each film should be evaluated on the basis of its release strategy rather than regarding every film that earns less than $1 million as a disaster and proof that Australian audiences have turned away from Aussie cinema.
However distributors and producers were counting on far stronger ticket sales for the Spierig brothers. Predestination, Matt Saville.s Felony, David Michôd.s The Rover and Zak Hilditch.s These Final Hours.
- Don Groves
With November Man out, excitement for Pierce Bosnan’s return to spying is at an all-time high for many James Bond fans. November Man, based on the seventh installment of Bill Granger’s book series called There Are No Spies, is about ex- CIA agent Peter Devereaux (Pierce Bosnan). While living a quiet life in Switzerland, Devereaux is ejected out of retirement for one last mission. Although the concept of the “one last mission/job” is not a new concept for Hollywood, it definitely has its place in cinema history, branching out to a wide range of reasons why our beloved characters are being pulled back into their past lives. From a retiree’s last gig, to the bad-boy-gone-good-and-then-bad-again mission, to the revenge premise, mythology of the ex-professional can surely delight and excite us to champion our heroes for one last fight. Here are scenes from ten incredible “one last job” films, »
- Christopher Clemente
Go big or go small- just avoid the middle ground in Australian film budgets.
That approach is being advocated by some industry executives and producers in response to the global trend which sees many mid-level films being marginalised.
.In light of the recent flight of the indie audiences in Australia and worldwide and the fact that indie films are struggling in the cinematic marketplace, there will be an increasing bifurcation of the production landscape,. predicts Safc CEO Richard Harris.
.There has long been a discussion about what has been dubbed the .dead zone. for feature films, somewhere between $5m-$15m.
.Some Australian producers will continue to see cinema as the main game for their film and therefore they will think about their budget in terms of competing in what is an increasingly difficult theatrical space.
.Others, however, will be . or in many cases already are . thinking about making their film »
- Don Groves
Simon Pegg and Christopher Plummer may be busy hawking “Hector and the Search for Happiness” at this year’s Toronto Film Festival, but the stars of the offbeat comedy aren’t so sold on the concept of happiness itself. At least not happiness of the pure, unadulterated variety.
“As a destination, I think it’s mythic,” said Pegg. “It’s a rainbow. You’ll never reach it no matter how hard you chase it. I’d be very suspicious of someone who is continually happy. You need the light and the shade.”
Pegg said that the recent suicide of Robin Williams had left him more keenly aware of the disconnect between the trappings of success and personal fulfillment.
“I keep coming back to Robin Williams,” said Pegg. “I think about him a lot because he’s someone that we all believed was this force of happiness and it just goes »
- Brent Lang
Years later, Rowling is still defending Dumbledore and her choice to make him gay.
Dumbledore is here. Dumbledore is queer. And you better get used to it! Or get angrily tweeted at by Jk Rowling!
Let’s back up a minute: Albus Dumbledore, the headmaster of Hogwarts in the Harry Potter world (played by Richard Harris then Michael Gambon in the movies), actually isn’t here anymore: For one, the series is over. For two, he’s dead. If that spoiled you, well, you had almost a decade to read that book.
And while Dumbledore was never explicitly revealed as gay within the novels (he never paid a visit to the gay bar in Hogsmeade or led a protest against whatever the Prop 8 of the wizard world was), Rowling told fans at a Carnegie Hall reading, “I always thought of Dumbledore as gay.”
When the crowd erupted in applause, Rowling continued, “If I’d known »
Australian cinemagoers have switched off Australian films and new approaches are needed to win them back, according to some producers, directors, actors and other industry players.
Others say there is a wider problem: independent cinema globally, not just in Australia, is suffering from a downturn.
If.s story about the challenges facing Australian films in light of last weekend.s openings of Predestination and Felony has prompted scores of responses and numerous suggestions on how to lift the industry.s profile and success rate.
.The reality is that audiences have a knee-jerk negative reaction to local films,. said producer and screen industry consultant Julie Marlow. .Contrast with the overwhelmingly positive reaction to Australian made television. A whole range of factors is at work here [including] cost, comfort of lounge room, time shift, episodic format etc.
.The solution won't be simple - maybe it is 'if you can't beat 'em, join 'em, »
- Don Groves
The third book in the series, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, saw the world of Harry Potter get even darker. It also saw the introduction of a whole bunch of new characters including the fantastically demented Sirius Black, new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, Remus Lupin, the bonkers Professor Trelawney, the chillingly creepy dementors and the magical hipogrif Buckbeak.
Sirius Black is one of the most feared prisoners held at the magical prison of Azkaban, guarded by the terrifying dementors. These dementors don’t kill you – they suck out your soul with a dementor’s kiss. Somehow, Sirius has done the impossible and broken out of Azkaban – and he is after Harry. Of course, having been sheltered from the wizarding world until his eleventh birthday, Harry doesn’t know who Sirius is or why on earth he would be after him and will soon unearth a horrific »
- Amanda Keats
When a book series as well known and well-loved as Jk Rowling’s Harry Potter books get made into films, it is fairly predictable that they are never going to manage to be wholly accurate conversions. Plot twists will get lost along the way and certain things may not always look the way you imagined them.
With the impressive Harry Potter film series, despite alterations, there remains something totally magical about seeing the world of Hogwarts and muggles on the big screen and the films have, collectively, done amazing things for the British film industry. It also helps that the cast lists read like a who’s who of British actors.
It all began with The Philosopher’s Stone. Harry Potter is eleven years old and living with his mean auntie, uncle and cousin in a small house in Surrey, more specifically in the cupboard under the stairs. As his »
- Amanda Keats
Earlier this week, we reported the unfortunate news that beloved British comedian Rik Mayall passed away at the age of 56. While he was better known in the U.K., for roles in The Young Ones, Bottom and Blackadder II, he also developed a cult following on this side of the pond for playing the title role in the 1991 comedy Drop Dead Fred. Yahoo! Movies UK unearthed a 2011 interview with the comedian, where he revealed that he actually landed a role in a massive franchise that would have likely increased is fan base in the U.S., if he would have remained in the movie. The actor/comedian revealed that he landed the role of Peeves, a mischevious ghost, in 2002's Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, which he would have likely played throughout the eight-film franchise.
Take a look at what the late comedian had to say about how he »
Actor who played Professor Dumbledore in Harry Potter films, to take leading role in miniseries of Jk Rowling novel
Gambon, who took over the role of Professor Dumbledore in the third Harry Potter film after the death of Richard Harris, will play adulterous parish council leader and delicatessen owner Howard Mollison in the three-part miniseries, which goes into production in early July.
Continue reading »
- Jason Deans
If there is a balm for the summer movie blues this year, it’s going to be the wide release in art-houses and on VOD of Roman Polanski’s latest film, Venus in Fur. Our very own Dominic Mill has a lot to say about the movie in his review, and within about a month, we in the Us will be able to decide for ourselves if this is Polanski’s return to top form. Our lucky neighbors across the pond will get Venus in Fur on May 30, though, and it’s from the UK that the latest trailer arrives.
The film fetures Mathieu Amalric as Thomas, the director of an adaptation of the novel Venus in Fur, who auditions one more actress (Emmanuelle Seigner) for the titular role. It turns into a lot more than just that, though, which this trailer demonstrates, as actress and director vie over interpretation, »
- Lauren Humphries-Brooks
Said to be one of the stylish action thrillers coming from the stable of Abbas-Mustan, the adaptation of the literary classic 'The Count of Monte Cristo' was all set to roll once Saif Ali Khan was relieved of his prior commitments with other films. However, now the actor has decided to back out of the film. Stating it to be a role similar to the characters he plays in the Race franchise, Saif made it clear that he would like to experiment with roles keeping the audience's taste in mind. While he was really excited when the role of the lead was offered to him initially, he revealed that being the kind of person he is, he often gets attracted to such roles innately but on second thoughts, he wanted to something new and fun. While the fate of the Bollywood film produced by Azure Entertainment is yet to be decided, »
- Bollywood Hungama News Network
Happy 80th birthday, Shirley MacLaine!
The legendary, award-winning actress, who was born April 24, 1934 in Richmond, Va, started out as a dancer and got her big break on Broadway. She made her first film with Alfred Hitchcock, became a Rat Pack regular, flirted briefly with politics but has never stopped acting as she enters her 7th decade in Hollywood.
She started off as a lovably kooky ingenue, but is known today for her cantankerous matriarch roles in "Downton Abbey," "Bernie," "Steel Magnolias," "Guarding Tess," and, of course, her Oscar-winning role as Aurora Greenway in "Terms of Endearment."
Her next gig is a singing and dancing role on "Glee," of course. Happy Birthday to one of the most talented, most colorful character actresses of all time.
1. She was named after Shirley Temple.
2. She's been performing since age 3, when she began doing ballet.
3. As a girl, she pretended she was Rita Hayworth, since »
- Sharon Knolle
In the ’70s-set The Quiet Ones, Jared Harris (Mad Men) portrays a British professor determined to prove that there is a scientific explanation for the seemingly supernatural phenomena besetting a young woman, played by Bates Motel actress Olivia Cooke. As The Quiet Ones, which opens this Friday, comes to us from the famously horror-obsessed U.K company Hammer, it does not spoil things too much to reveal that the prof’s plan goes wildly awry.
- Clark Collis
So last week I sat down and talked with Jared Harris about his upcoming supernatural thriller "The Quiet Ones." As is the case when you're talking about a movie involving ghosts, I asked Harris if he had encountered any spooky unexplained phenomenon. He said he hadn't. But his dad, the celebrated actor Richard Harris, had. And what follows is one of Richard Harris's favorite ghost stories, as retold by his son. Try not to get too scared!
"Well, my father had some pretty outrageous ones," Harris began. "One was that there was a ghost of a little boy -- he had this house called Tower House, which is really ornate. And he had this old harpsichord piano in there. And he would say this ghost of this little boy would go down there and play this piano at nighttime. He was convinced that John Barry was staying in his »
- Drew Taylor
Charlie.s Country, which stars David Gulpilil as an aging man who struggles to understand how he should define himself as an Aboriginal in modern Australia, will screen in the Un Certain Regard sidebar.
The South Australian Film Corp. and Screen Australia invested in both films. .This caps off a pretty good 12 months for Safc-backed films,. said CEO Richard Harris, also referring to The Babadook, 52 Tuesdays and The Infinite Man.
"This recognition from Cannes is very significant for the possibilities of the film in the marketplace," de Heer said. "I am so pleased for David, for all his effort to be rewarded and for »
- Don Groves
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