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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
Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig are fantastic as estranged twins with a family history of depression. After a failed suicide attempt, Milo (Hader) goes to live with Maggie (Wiig) and her Golden Retriever-like husband, Lance (Luke Wilson). Although Maggie's life looks perfect from the outside, she's got just as many self-destructive secrets at Milo. Sweet and sad, this is definitely Wiig's best dramatic role to date.
Tina Fey and Jason Bateman lead an impressive ensemble cast in this dramedy about a family forced together for their father's funeral, and the seven days of mourning customary known as sitting shiva in the Jewish tradition. Jane Fonda, Adam Driver, Rose Byrne, Kathryn Hahn, Ben Schwartz, »
- Jenni Miller
Welcome to Sexpositions, a weeklong Vulture celebration of sex scenes in movies and on TV. Is there a more purely surprising cinematic sex scene than the one between Stephen Rea and Jaye Davidson in The Crying Game? Not these days, anyway, when a movie’s secret is often spilled long before its release date. In 1992, though, when writer-director Neil Jordan’s psychological thriller hit theaters, few audience members fully grokked that Rea’s character, Fergus, would be in for a gender-bending twist via his lover, Dil, played by Jaye Davidson. Rea told us about filming the movie’s key revelatory scene.It wasn’t shocking to do. I’m sure everybody that does love scenes tells you: All you’re thinking about is the camera position. So it looks pretty shocking in the movie but it wasn’t shocking to do. The shock for me was when Neil Jordan — before »
- Jennifer Vineyard
Bydgoszcz, Poland — Whether shooting handheld on film in a war zone or creating a chilling digital period piece for “The Reader,” it’s never about technique or technology, according to two-time Oscar winner Chris Menges.
Instead, the master cinematographer advises, “It’s about tone.”
The lenser of Roland Joffe’s “The Killing Fields” and “The Mission” presented his inspirations and lessons at Poland’s Camerimage fest Wednesday as dozens of industry vets and emerging shooters leaned in for counsel from the soft-spoken D.P.
The fit 74-year-old, who shot Steven Knight’s “Redemption” last year as his 59th pic, is remarkably humble about his work, citing story, director, actors and location as primary building blocks for good film before getting to crew.
“If you’ve got locations right, you’re onto a winner,” he says — although the effort to capture the authentic backdrop of Southeast Asian conflicts of the 60s »
- Will Tizard
Ruben Ostlund’s Force Majeure to screen atop 3,200m high Aiguille Rouge Mountain at Alpine festival.
Susanne Bier’s A Second Chance, Lenny Abrahamson’s Frank and Gerard Johnson’s Hyena are among the titles set to compete at the sixth edition of Les Arcs European Film Festival (Dec 13-20) in the heart of the French Alps.
Festival co-founders Pierre Emmanuel Fleurantin and Guillaume Calop said the event’s focus on Europe was more relevant than ever as its citizens posed questions about the future of the region amid the ongoing economic crisis.
“We continue to believe in a united Europe where together we can safeguard our cultures and ways of life without renouncing progress,” they said in a joint statement. “Across the new line-up, each country shows off the best of its cinema.”
The titles in the competition, selected by artistic director Frédéric Boyer, will compete for the festival’s top prize, the Crystal »
Rickman will present his latest film as a director and actor, “Little Chaos,” at the fest. The pic, which is set within the court of Louis Xiv, looks at the struggle of women in a patriarchal society. Its main protagonist is landscape architect Sabine de Barra, played by Kate Winslet. After the screening, Rickman will meet the audience for a Q&A session.
In a statement, the festival said: “Alan Rickman has always been a wonderful partner for all sorts of filmmakers, using his greatest actor’s attributes — voice, physicality, movement — to help them in creating brave new cinematic worlds.”
His thesping career has embraced the gamut of filmmaking.
- Leo Barraclough
You’ll know Ian Hart’s face, even if you can’t quite place his name. It’s a great face, his, adaptably young and old, as comfortable atop a tracksuit as it is underneath a period trilby. Since his first real role as Scouse tearaway Rabbit in 1983 drama One Summer (alongside childhood friend and The Driver co-star David Morrissey), Hart has avoided type-casting by leaping from role to role and film to film with convincing ease. He’s played scallies, authors, footballers, drug dealers, psychiatrists, CIA agents, physicists and nineteenth century gangsters. He’s played Beethoven, Nobby Stiles, Hitler, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Voldemort (sort of), and John Lennon (thrice).
Play It Again, Vlad: Shiner’s Debut Attempts to Reboot Legendary Monster
It’s a bit hard on the undead when you shackle their malevolent natures into the censorship of the PG-13 vehicle, one of many reasons that Gary Shiner’s directorial debut, Dracula Untold, doesn’t quite fly right. Another attempt to reboot its slim grab bag of classic movie monsters, Universal at least manages to buoy this bastardization with a decent budget, though its nonsensical narrative isn’t much better than the stench of I, Frankenstein. Cinema’s greatest villains are being replaced by hunky, B-grade actors (sorry to lump you in there Aaron Eckhart) that now have to compete with the action extravaganzas of the Marvel glut at the box office, and until that ever ends, all these reboots can do is reflect what they are—pale, lifeless, inferior copies of the original material they keep recycling. »
- Nicholas Bell
With WolfCop out now on disc, Ryan takes a look at how werewolf myths have faded in and out of cinema history...
It might seem strange, from our interconnected, know-it-all 21st century perspective, that people really did once believe that werewolves existed. Legends of wolf-men date back to antiquity, but really began to bite into society’s fear centres in Europe of the Middle Ages.
Take, for example, Peter Stumpp, a 16th century man whose strange story was related in a pamphlet published shortly after his death. A resident of a small town in Cologne, Stumpp claimed to have been given a belt of wolf skin by the Devil, which when worn, gave him the ability to transform into a wolf. In this form, Stumpp said he’d killed and eaten a dozen or so people over the course of 25 years - crimes described in grisly detail in that old pamphlet. »
Fish Out of Water: Wright’s Debut a Visually Arresting, Moody Allegory
The mythological significance of the sea inflects and infects Paul Wright’s somber directorial debut, For Those in Peril, a dark allegory which takes its title from a line in a traditional naval hymn. Related with a heavy earnestness, there’s nary a break from the staunchly bleak tone, a saturation that tends to cast its final flight of fancy moment into mind-numbing dubiousness rather than landsliding into poignancy. Be that as it may, Wright’s visually arresting debut is often a poetically charged portrait of a pariah in an emotional wasteland of a community’s dismissive cruelty.
The sole survivor of a fishing boat accident that claimed the lives of five others, including his own older brother, we meet Aaron (George Mackay) preparing for his sibling’s funeral with the help of his mother, Cathy (Kate Dickie »
- Nicholas Bell
We’re still over a month away from the 20th anniversary of Neil Jordan’s Interview with the Vampire, yet everything’s coming up bloodsucker. Years of griping about a certain sparkly vampire saga wasn’t enough to kill moviegoers’ bloodlust, as August brought news that Anne Rice’s popular series would be adapted for new adaptations of the pulp novels (adapted by her son, Christopher Rice), and this week brings the arrival of the new 20th anniversary Blu-ray of Jordan’s film. The question, of course, is who will play Lestat. Rice thinks it should be Chris Hemsworth, while I’d fight to the death for Lee Pace to get the gig (his scene-stealing bits in the final Twilight film simply can’t be the only rakish Pace vampirism we see on-screen). But if Lestat’s cinematic legacy has taught us anything, it’s that Lestat thrives in the unexpected. In »
- Monika Bartyzel
'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay' trailer (image: Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen in 'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1' poster) The Hunger Games: Mockingjay trailer — or more specifically, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 trailer — has been around for a little while. So this is one of those better-late-than-never posts. Directed by Francis Lawrence, who also handled the previous film in the franchise, Catching Fire, Mockingjay – Part 1 brings back Best Actress Academy Award winner Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook) as Katniss Everdeen, Josh Hutcherson as Peeta Mellark, and Liam Hemsworth as Gale Hawthorne. Below you can watch The Hunger Games: Mockingjay trailer titled “The Mockingjay Lives.” As you can see in the trailer, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 revolves around subversive revolutionary and freedom fighter Katniss Everdeen, who sets out to rescue Peeta, a sort of prisoner whose "uniform" is a funky white costume. Four-time Academy »
- Zac Gille
"Excalibur" was a formative theatrical experience for me. It was one of the first R-rated films I specifically decided I wanted to see in a theater. I'd seen other R-rated films before that, but always at random and because someone else decided I was going to see it. With "Excalibur," I was crazy to see it, and the film landed on me like a ton of bricks. Surreal, violent, beautiful, explicit, and for a mythology nut, seeing how the film dealt with each of the characters, each of the Arthurian archetypes, I was in love. One of the guys who made an impression in the film was a young Liam Neeson, and for the rest of the '80s, he racked up a number of performances where, good film or bad, he made an impression. How could he not? No one else looked like him. Slightly over eight feet tall, »
- Drew McWeeny
FilmNation CEO Glen Basner comes to Toronto with several films in the festival, a crowded slate of percolating pictures, and a new co-president of Production & Acquisitions to help handle that volume. FilmNation has hired indie film finance fixture Ben Browning to take that newly created position, relocating to La to join co-president Aaron Ryder. This comes as Basner’s projects continue to get more ambitious. They include The Good House, which will reunite Meryl Streep and Robert De Niro, the Tate Taylor-directed In The Event Of A Moon Disaster, and the Denis Villeneuve-directed Amy Adams-starrer Story Of Your Life, the film that sold for a precedent setting $20 million in Cannes.
After sealing $50 million in additional capital with an equity-backed, revolving multi-bank credit facility with Bank Of America Merrill Lynch and Union Bank, FilmNation’s scope has expanded. In Toronto here, they’re selling the Noah Baumbach-directed »
- Mike Fleming Jr
Venice - NBC's "The Office" rang frequent laughs from Dwight Schrute's beet farm, with glimpses of backwards Cousin Mose and his feral antics proving particularly fertile ground for comedy ("And as of this morning, we are completely wireless here at Schrute Farms, but as soon as I find out where Mose hid all the wires, we'll get all that power back on.") This kind of vaguely unsettling boys-on-the-farm vibe is played straight in "The Goob", a character piece that has atmosphere to spare, and whose minimal plot is helped along by the happily original setting; this might be the first film shot in Norfolk to premiere at Venice. Self-described as "a psychological Western" and set largely on farmland of sorts in the flat formerly marshy Fens in the East of England (think the reclaimed bits of the Everglades without the redeeming features of exotic wildlife or sunshine), The Goob is »
- Catherine Bray
Based on Lawrence Block’s bestselling series of mystery novels, the films stars Neeson as Matt Scudder, an ex-nypd cop who now works as an unlicensed private investigator operating just outside the law.
When Scudder reluctantly agrees to help a heroin trafficker (Dan Stevens) hunt down the men who kidnapped and brutally murdered his wife, the Pi learns that this is not the first time these men have committed this sort of twisted crime. Scudder races to track them through the backstreets of New York City before they kill again.
The thriller »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Michael Rosser)
According to The Wrap, Filmmaker Josh Boone ("The Fault in Our Stars") is reportedly in early talks to direct the reboot of Anne Rice's "The Vampire Chronicles" which is in development at Universal Pictures.
The site cliams that Boone is being eyed to both write and direct and that Brian Grazer, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci have signed off on Boone's hiring, while Universal's approval is expected to be a mere formality.
Recently Universal acquired the entire body of existing and future novels in Rice's “The Vampire Chronicles” series, including the adapted screenplay for “Tale of the Body Thief,” written by Rice's son, author Christopher Rice.
Rather than a remake of “Interview With the Vampire,” the new plan is to to draw from the second and third books in Rice's series, “The Vampire Lestat” and “The Queen of the Damned” and will be faithful to the source material.
Boone is currently prepping the three-hour, »
- Kellvin Chavez
As announced last week, Universal have snapped up the rights to Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles, with a view to mining a franchise from the material that so inspired Neil Jordan twenty years ago. Now, The Wrap believes, the studio has its director: Stuck In Love and The Fault In Our Stars' Josh Boone is reportedly in the frame to man the cameras. (A spokesperson for Imagine Entertainment has denied the reports, but The Wrap remain confident they know better.)Rice’s Chronicles run to 13 books at the moment, with a new one, Prince Lestat, due for publication in October this year. Universal's deal also includes the screenplay based on The Tale Of The Body Thief, which Rice’s son Christopher sold to Imagine (a partner on the new effort) two years ago.Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci are attached to produce, and Boone, according to source, will write his own screenplay. »
In case you haven't heard, vampires are cool again. They're haunting art houses in movies like "Only Lovers Left Alive" and the upcoming Iranian film "A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night," not to mention "True Blood." Now Universal is getting into the fang-bangin' game with its acquisition of Anne Rice's series of novels, "The Vampire Chronicles." The deal encompasses everything from 1976's "Interview with the Vampire" and Christopher Rice's screenplay for "Tale of the Body Thief," to any future fang-tastic novels Rice might pen.
Although Rice had given up on vampires for a while, she's back in the bloody saddle again with "Prince Lestat," which is coming out just in time for Halloween. It will also be a handy way to jumpstart Rice's momentum. For a lot of us, Anne Rice is the O.G. author of the modern vampire novel, but she's also written about witches, werewolves, »
- Jenni Miller
It's going to be an interesting next few years for fans of Anne Rice and, specifically, her most famous creation, the Vampire Lestat. I still remember the furor around the first attempt to adapt the character to the bigscreen, with Rice basically freaking out over the casting of Lestat. Neil Jordan's "Interview With The Vampire" is a beautiful movie, perverse and strange and gorgeously made, and I'd argue it's about as good a film as anyone's ever going to make from that source material. Right now, though, studios are desperate for properties that allow them to plot big multi-movie franchise arcs, and considering Rice is getting ready to, at long last, publish a 14th book in the series, "The Vampire Chronicles" looks like exactly the sort of investment Universal should be making. After all, they're one of the few studios that doesn't have a Marvel property they're planning to exploit to death… »
- Drew McWeeny
The deal spans all eleven of the novels in Rice’s series: "Interview with the Vampire," "The Vampire Lestat," "The Queen of the Damned," The Tale of the Body Thief," "Memnoch the Devil," "The Vampire Armand," "Merrick," "Blood and Gold," "Blackwood Farm," "Blood Canticle" and this year's "Prince Lestat".
The books center around 18th century French nobleman Lestat de Lioncourt who becomes a vampire. The first book was previously adapted into the acclaimed 1994 Neil Jordan film starring Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt which became a massive box-office success.
- Garth Franklin
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