19 items from 2015
One of Denmark’s greatest cultural exports, actor Mads Mikkelsen has been dazzling (and frightening) North American audiences for more than a decade. He is best known domestically for his portryals of Le Chiffre in 2006’s Casino Royale and his chilling turn as Dr. Hannibal Lecter on the NBC drama, heading into its third season this spring. Foreign film lovers likely know his face from a variety of films that have found modest success here, including three Danish Oscar nominees: After the Wedding, A Royal Affair and The Hunt.
Mikkelsen’s newest film is a gritty western called The Salvation (you can read our review here). In the thriller, which premiered at last year’s Cannes Film Festival, the actor plays a Danish settler out for retribution against a gang leader, after his family is brutally murdered. It is an anticipated return for director Kristian Levring, one of the most »
- Jordan Adler
With his tough, chiseled face, Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen has one of world cinema’s best mugs. The actor carries so much of the weight of his many characters in his face, whether it be Hannibal Lecter’s suave cunning on television or anguished despair in his triumphant role in Thomas Vinterberg’s The Hunt. Naturally, as a stoic settler trying to get retribution on a bloodthirsty baddie in The Salvation, a pastiche to the westerns of John Ford and Sergio Leone, Mikkelsen is magnetic, expressing deep hurt and pain with just a glower or grimace.
As recent Danish immigrant Jon, Mikkelsen’s bloodied and blistered face is a wall to show just how resolute he can be. Jon crossed the Atlantic with his brother (Mikael Persbrandt) in the 1860s with the hopes of making a living in a frontier town. He learned the customs and language, as did the »
- Jordan Adler
As much as we love the western genre, it appears Danish director Kristian Levring, (who was the fourth signatory of the Dogme95 movement, film history fans) loves it more. His "The Salvation" is a testament to that — a loving and in fact overly adulatory genre film which is not so much a take on the revenge Western as a deeply faithful recreation of it — is at times so faithful as to veer dangerously close to pastiche. Despite the casting of 2012 Cannes Best Actor Mads Mikkelsen, who is as effortlessly compelling and committed as ever in the central role, there is something inauthentic about the whole endeavor, as the film wastes its one true claim to originality — the Danish angle — in favor of mouthing the words, wearing the clothes and walking the swagger of the John Ford, Howard Hawks and Sergio Leone movies Levring and co. clearly worship. And so, as intermittently fun, »
- Jessica Kiang
Two Bond villains and Eva Green walk into a western, and they emerge with a rugged — if far from revolutionary — old-school horse-opera throwback. Having long since ditched the Dogme 95 precepts that guided his breakout 2000 feature, The King Is Alive, Danish director Kristian Levring employs a bounty of CG-enhanced Sergio Leone–isms for The Salvation, the story of a Danish soldier-turned-settler named Jon (Casino Royale's Mads Mikkelsen) who's reunited with his wife and child in 1871 America, only to have them raped and murdered. Jon exacts bloody revenge for this crime, which in turn makes him the target of a bandit leader (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) in league with a mayor (Tomorrow Never Dies' Jonathan Pryce) and in love with »
Michael Stevens For 'The Good':
"In this pulse-pounding action feature, actor Bradley Cooper, eerily inhabits the role of patriotic Navy Seal 'Chris Kyle', with a steely determination in his eyes that gives way to a Wtf expression whenever he pauses to think about what his dangerous job entails...
"...embodying his father's flashback wish for him to be a protective 'sheepdog', rather than a predator wolf preying on the weak, or an innocent sheep waiting to be led to slaughter.
"Director Eastwood deftly drops the viewer into the heart of darkness on several tours of duty with Kyle, as we share his moral responsibilities in the use of deadly force and power, plus the struggles veteran soldiers »
- Michael Stevens
Seemingly a stylistic 180 from his last film (the tremendous domestic black comedy "Everyone In Our Family"), director Radu Jude's "Aferim!" has been categorized by most as a "Romanian Western." And if this summons a certain Sergio Leone vibe, then it's borne out by the opening titles, set in a distinctly cowboyish font against a shot of a cactus framed against a bright sky while a traditional folk song wails out. But while we're told this is 1835 Wallachia, the film's brilliantly well-imagined world, photographed in tactile black and white, seems to belong to an earlier era — a time of feudal lords, troubadours, hags and wenches. Then again, perhaps the "man's gotta do" ethos of the American West (as imagined in cinema) is itself an evolution of the tales of knights and quests and honor such as might have been immortalized in jaunty Medieval folk songs and passed on in crowded taverns. »
- Jessica Kiang
Samus Tribute by_Wen Jr.
In his not-quite seminal but still very good 1998 essay “F/X Porn,” David Foster Wallace dissects the lasting legacy of James Cameron’s mega-blockbuster Terminator 2: Judgment Day. (Well, more accurately, he examines the enduring stain left by Cameron’s film on the modern action movie, but whatever.) The essay doesn’t offer much in the way of profundity regarding CGI-addled blockbusters or Arnold Scwarzenegger, though it does have that singular Wallace wit; the appeal of the breezy essay lies within Wallace’s digressive musings on Aliens, Cameron’s previous film, to which the writer dedicates just as many words as he does to the purported subject of the essay.
For the uninitiated, Aliens is Cameron’s lean, mean sequel to Ridley Scott’s body-horror classic Alien. An ostensible testosterone-fueled flick, replete with guns and gear and gruff military types spitting out phrases like, “Stop »
- Greg Cwik
(Photo copyright 2014 by Mark Mawston. All rights reserved.)
By Mark Mawston
Ennio Morricone, one of the most celebrated film composers in cinema history, appeared to a packed 02 arena in London’s Docklands on February 5th 2015. The venue, (formally The Millennium Dome) normally a mainstay for Boy Bands and Revered Rockers, seemed Cathedral -like, not only due to its sheer size and capacity, but mainly due to the soaring music which filled it over two hours. This concert, unlike other Morricone concerts I’ve had the pleasure to attend, had a reverential feel to it, one of reflection. The music that the 100 strong orchestra and 75 piece choir gave life to wasn’t simply the most popular from the composer’s incredible body of work but obviously the ones that meant to most to him personally. Tracks from films such as Casualties Of War, 1900, The Mission and Cinema Paradiso were the ones given centre stage. »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Cinema Retro)
Chicago – The opening night of the 2015 Midwest Independent Film Festival is on its usual First Tuesday of the month, February 3rd, and what better way to kick it off then to have Chicagoland native Alex Beh come back to present the Windy City premiere of his first feature film, “Warren.” Beh wrote, directed and performed as the title character in this slice-of-life romance about staying true to a life’s path, and everything that happens in spite of that hope.
Alex Beh was born in Chicago, and grew up in nearby Winnetka. He trained locally in acting and improvisation through The Second City, iO Theater and the Piven Workshop. Now based in Los Angeles, he continues to work as an actor, writer and director, with seven short films to his credit and a number of TV and independent film appearances. In “Warren,” he cast veteran actors John Heard and Jean Smart »
- email@example.com (Adam Fendelman)
As far as nautical nonsense goes, it’s hard to top the climax of 2004’s “The SpongeBob Squarepants Movie,” in which the fate of our heroes hinged on the density of David Hasselhoff’s leg hair. This year’s follow-up, “The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water,” may not quite equal those heights, but by doubling down on the Nickelodeon series’ inherent surreality, it proves just as memorable. Alternately inspired, exhausting, clever, stupid (not to mention stupid-clever), and about as meta as any kidpic this side of “Duck Amuck,” the Paul Tibbitt-directed feature ought to prove equally popular among the franchise’s key grade-schooler and head-shop-owner demographics.
Though the film’s marketing materials make the most of its characters’ expansion into three-dimensional CG, most of the first two acts take the more familiar form of Stephen Hillenburg’s TV toon, interspersed with live-action narration from an irritable pirate (Antonio Banderas »
- Andrew Barker
Title: Slow West Director: John Maclean Starring: Kodi Smit-McPhee, Michael Fassbender, Ben Mendelsohn, Caren Pistorius, Rory McCann The Western is an interesting genre, one that historically did not belong entirely to the United States. Stories were usually set there in the American West but often made by non-American filmmakers such as Sergio Leone. This year’s Sundance World Cinema Dramatic Competition brings a film coproduced by the United Kingdom and New Zealand that sets itself in the West after the Civil War, following a young Scottish boy in search of his true love, who has come to America. This Western is in many ways traditional, full of slow developments and less [ Read More ]
The post Slow West Movie Review appeared first on Shockya.com. »
2Nd Update, Tuesday 4 Am Pt: Actuals are in for the international weekend with no major discrepancies save for a big drop on Taken 3. After Sunday’s report of a $57.2M total in non-Fox markets, the confirmed total came in at $39.8M. The difference was down to an incorrect cume provided to Fox by EuropaCorp for those territories. The overseas total is now a corrected $134M. In new pics, both JLo-starrer The Boy Next Door and Johnny Depp’s Mortdecai saw small bumps (up a respective $23K and $70K). American Sniper reloaded to $18M from a previously projected $17.6M.
Updated below are final numbers on those films along with: The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies, Night At The Museum: Secret Of The Tomb, Penguins Of Madagascar, The Theory Of Everything, Unbroken, Seventh Son, Exodus: Gods And Kings, Into The Woods, Ouija, The Imitation Game, Birdman, Ex Machina, »
- Nancy Tartaglione
The international launch of the Bradley Cooper drama is particularly impressive, given how tough it has been for modern movies that deal with Americans at war in the Middle East to connect abroad.
- Todd Cunningham
Butt shape and size is like that Clint Eastwood / Sergio Leone classic spaghetti Western film, “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.”Great butt enhancement is done safely with a patient’s own fat, and with a proportional esthetic. Bad butt work can lead to death. The ugly? Well, make sure you steel yourself and have a look.The recent news that a Missouri man was extradited by sheriff deputies in Prince George’s County for fatal butt injections reveals that the illegal “back-alley” butt enhancement business is not going away anytime soon.Police who issued the warrant for Vinnie Taylor’s arrest say he […] »
- April Neale
Michael Stevens For 'The Good':
In this pulse-pounding action feature, actor Bradley Cooper, eerily inhabits the role of patriotic Navy Seal 'Chris Kyle', with a steely determination in his eyes that gives way to a Wtf expression whenever he pauses to think about what his dangerous job entails...
...embodying his father's flashback wish for him to be a protective 'sheepdog', rather than a predator wolf preying on the weak, or an innocent sheep waiting to be led to slaughter.
Director Clint Eastwood deftly drops the viewer into the heart of darkness on several tours of duty with Kyle, as we share his moral responsibilities in the use of deadly force and power, plus the struggles veteran »
- Michael Stevens
Having made his debut feature with the acclaimed 2008 thriller The Escapist, British filmmaker Rupert Wyatt directed the hugely successful Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes in 2011. Reviving a franchise that had long since slipped into the doldrums, it was hailed as a summer film with an all-too-rare streak of intelligence.
Wyatt's latest film is a very different proposition: a remake of the 1974 film starring James Caan, The Gambler is a slickly-written drama about a college professor (an against-the-grain Mark Wahlberg) in hock to some very dangerous people. With his debts mounting, Wahlberg's gambler resorts to a series of schemes to try to pay his way out of trouble, only for his self-destructive nature to send him sinking further into the mire.
As The Gambler's UK release approaches, we catch »
In the first of a short series of articles in Variety’s UniFrance Rendez-vous Dailies on directors and French productions pushing the boundaries of freedom in the Arab world, Variety talks to French-Algerian director Lyes Salem about his second feature, “The Man From Oran,” sold at the UniFrance Rendez-vous by Films Distribution.
Buoyed by the spirit of the Arab spring, best director winner at Abu Dhabi’s New Horizons “The Man From Oran” is one of the most ambitious films to come out of the Arab world in the last 12 months. Playing out like “Once Upon a Time in Algeria,” it follows two friends –Hamid and Djaffar — from Algeria’s uprising against France to their total estrangement three decades later. Hamid becomes a minister after independence; Djaffar, played by Salem, originally a carpenter by trade, morphs into a (at first, reluctant) freedom fighter, then official war hero, a widower — his wife dies, »
- John Hopewell
2Nd Update, Tuesday 3:21 Am Pt: Actuals have been reported from most of the studios, with very few discrepancies amongst the major titles. The Top 5 remain the same as projected on Sunday, save for a tie-break between Exodus: Gods And Kings and China’s Miss Granny with the latter landing at No. 4 and the former at No. 5 on the international chart. There are also more markets reporting on The Imitation Game which added $6.6M for a $41.8M cume.
Figures have been updated throughout the below for those films as well as: Night At The Museum: Secret Of The Tomb, Taken 3, The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies, Penguins Of Madagascar, Big Hero 6, Seventh Son, Into The Woods, Ouija, Honig Im Kopf, Unbroken, The Theory Of Everything, American Sniper, Dumb And Dumber To, Let’s Be Cops, The Water Diviner, Boyhood, Horrible Bosses 2, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1, Birdman and Gone Girl. »
- Nancy Tartaglione
Editor’s Note: Dark Summer is now available on VOD and in select theaters, thanks to IFC Midnight, and Alyse was invited to speak with director Paul Solet about his latest film. Not only does he talk about Dark Summer‘s story, finding Keir Gilchrist, and selecting music for the movie, but he also give readers a tease of his Tales of Halloween segment that we’ll have a chance to check out later this year:
Mike Le wrote the script, but did you make adjustments to the story to fit what we see on screen?
Paul Solet: Mike’s structure was the movie that the producers were excited about making, so that stood. The principal twists and turns stand, but there were changes to the scene structure and execution. From scene to scene, within the scene, there were dialogue and structure changes.
Can you talk about finding your leading man in Keir Gilchrist? »
- Alyse Wax
19 items from 2015
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