1-20 of 72 items from 2017 « Prev | Next »
Arthur Penn’s detective movie is one of the best ever in the genre, one that rewards repeat viewings particularly well. Gumshoe Harry Moseby compartmentalizes his marriage, his job, his past and the greedy Hollywood has-beens he meets, not realizing that everything is interconnected, and fully capable of assembling a world-class conspiracy. Gene Hackman tops a sterling cast in the film that introduced most of us to Melanie Griffith.
1975 / Color / 1:85 widescreen / 100 min. / Street Date August 15, 2017 / available through the WBshop / 21.99
Cinematography: Bruce Surtees
Production Designer: George Jenkins
Film Editor: Dede Allen
Original Music: Michael Small
Written by Alan Sharp
Produced by Robert M. Sherman
Directed by Arthur Penn
Night Moves is a superb detective thriller that plays with profound ideas without getting its fingers burned. »
- Glenn Erickson
By David Kozlowski | 4 August 2017
Welcome to Issue #7 of The Lrm Weekend, a weekly column offering strong opinions about film, TV, comics, Star Wars, Marvel, DC, animation, and anime. We also want to hear from you, our awesome Lrm community! Share your feedback or ideas for future columns: @LRM_Weekend and we'll post your Tweets below!
Previous Issues: 7.28.17 | 7.21.17 | 7.14.17 | 7.7.17 | 6.30.17 | 6.23.17
Hey Lrm Weekenders, you might notice a few changes to the column this week. As summer draws to a close we're moving some stuff around and tweaking our content to be a little more opinionated and provocative.
Each of our Lrm writers have super-strong opinions about film, TV, comics, and all of the big franchises and universes. So, going forward Lrm Weekend is going to amp-up our voices a bit more -- and we invite our readers to punch back whenever and wherever you disagree!
Audiences Are Tired Of Spectacle And Hollywood Doesn't Care. »
- David Kozlowski
Never tell Hollywood it can’t do something. Over the years, the entertainment industry has gamely (and, often, unwisely) taken on projects that have been deemed unadaptable, often by their very own authors and creators. Such a film is bound for the big screen later this week, when Nikolaj Arcel’s already embattled “The Dark Tower” arrives, attempting to prove to audiences that adapting a sprawling Stephen King opus into a movie and television franchise after nearly a decade of starts and stops is, in fact, a good idea. It’s hardly the only example of such a gamble, and few similar attempts have managed to pay out, either financially or creatively.
Read More‘The Dark Tower’ Tested So Poorly That Sony Considered Replacing Director — Report
Sometimes “unadaptable” is just that, and perhaps even the best of books simply isn’t suited for a splashy filmed version. While it remains »
- Kate Erbland
2 August 2017 4:57 AM, PDT | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »
The Downton Abbey star will play Diana Christensen, the ambitious U.S. television executive who blurs the lines separating entertainment, news and naked human suffering in her unethical quest for ratings glory. The role won an Oscar for Faye Dunaway in the 1976 film, which was written by Paddy Chayefsky.
Dockery joins previously announced lead Bryan Cranston, who will make his British stage debut as Howard Beale, the psychologically unstable news anchor »
- David Rooney
In addition to being a master class in how to be a sweaty character actor, Sidney Lumet’s 12 Angry Men is also a prime example of how to shoot a film dynamically when you have limited resources at your disposal. The entirety of the 90-minute feature takes place in the confines of a stuffy jury room and its adjacent bathroom, and while this setting is meant to feel claustrophobic for the characters, the audience never feels like its view is limited. A new video from The Royal Ocean Film Society takes a look at how Lumet used expert framing and staging to get the most out of not only his actors but also his setting.
While other dramas, especially recent ones, rely heavily on capturing their actors in a two-shot or alternating between over-the-shoulder angles during dialogue, Lumet gives his actors a freedom of movement that allows for sustained »
- Dan Neilan
Who got paid, who got betrayed and how the culture became hyper-sexualized with the rise of the modern pornography industry are the big themes of “The Deuce,” the latest HBO effort from “The Wire” creator David Simon.
The drama, which bows Sept. 10, is set in 1971 at the moment when porn goes from a “paper bag beneath-the-counter” business to a booming industry, Simon said.
“Everybody realizes that the money involved is going to be real,” Simon told reporters Wednesday during the Television Critics Assn. press tour in Beverly Hills. The story of how the business evolved and who prospered among the early pioneers is a fascinating tale. But the larger theme that “Deuce” aims to explore is how porn has influenced culture — everything from the marketing of automobiles to the way men and women communicate.
“The product itself is not a normative product — the product is human flesh. It’s objectified women,” Simon »
- Cynthia Littleton
'Under the Volcano' screening: John Huston's 'quality' comeback featuring daring Albert Finney tour de force As part of its John Huston film series, the UCLA Film & Television Archive will be presenting the 1984 drama Under the Volcano, starring Albert Finney, Jacqueline Bisset, and Anthony Andrews, on July 21 at 7:30 p.m. at the Billy Wilder Theater in the Los Angeles suburb of Westwood. Jacqueline Bisset is expected to be in attendance. Huston was 77, and suffering from emphysema for several years, when he returned to Mexico – the setting of both The Treasure of the Sierra Madre and The Night of the Iguana – to direct 28-year-old newcomer Guy Gallo's adaptation of English poet and novelist Malcolm Lowry's 1947 semi-autobiographical novel Under the Volcano, which until then had reportedly defied the screenwriting abilities of numerous professionals. Appropriately set on the Day of the Dead – 1938 – in the fictitious Mexican town of Quauhnahuac (the fact that it sounds like Cuernavaca »
- Andre Soares
In the beginning was the word. This sentence, which launches the Bible, also applies to the film world, where a good script is the underpinning of any successful project.
At the Karlovy Vary Intl. Film Festival on Tuesday, the panel The Benefits of Guided Script Development addressed the need for better script development to boost the Central and Eastern Europe’s film industries.
The session’s raison d’etre was made clear in the promo material describing it: “It’s a proven fact that a well-treated script has a far higher chance of becoming a successful film.”
Writer-director-producer Jan Sverak, a member of the Czech Film Fund, which provides filmmaking support in the Czech Republic, said that strong script development is essential to a healthy film industry. He pointed out that during Czechoslovakia’s communist days the country maintained a film community similar to Hollywood’s studio system – albeit state-operated – in which organizations developed projects and gave »
- Peter Caranicas
The United States is “my country, right or wrong,” of course, and I consider myself a patriotic person, but I’ve never felt that patriotism meant blind fealty to the idea of America’s rightful dominance over global politics or culture, and certainly not to its alleged preferred status on God’s short list of favored nations, or that allegiance to said country was a license to justify or rationalize every instance of misguided, foolish, narrow-minded domestic or foreign policy.
In 2012, when this piece was first posted, it seemed like a good moment to throw the country’s history and contradictions into some sort of quick relief, and the most expedient way of doing that for me was to look at the way the United States (and the philosophies at its core) were reflected in the movies, and not just the ones which approached the country head-on as a subject. »
- Dennis Cozzalio
30 June 2017 10:30 AM, PDT | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »
C.O. 'Doc' Erickson, whose long Hollywood career included working as a unit production manager or executive producer on movie classics like Chinatown, Blade Runner and Groundhog Day, has died. He was 93.
During a near-50 year career in Hollywood where he had a front row view of film history, Erickson was a production manager for Alfred Hitchcock, Sidney Lumet, John Huston, Anthony Mann, Roman Polanski and Ridley Scott, among other directors.
Erickson died on Wednesday in Las Vegas owing to heart complications, according to the Gersh Agency. Born in Dec. 1923 in Kankakee, Illinois, he began his career at Paramount »
- Etan Vlessing
These fugitives on the run aren’t innocent young lovers. Still wanted for anti-war violence from years before, an ex-radical couple struggles to remain free just as their children become old enough to think for themselves. Screenwriter Naomi Foner and director Sidney Lumet’s fascinating movie is a sympathetic look at an untenable lifestyle.
1988 / Color / 1:85 enhanced widescreen / 116 min. / Street Date June 27, 2017 / available through the WBshop / 21.99
Starring: Christine Lahti, River Phoenix, Judd Hirsch, Jonas Abry, Martha Plimpton, Ed Crowley, L.M. Kit Carson, Steven Hill, Augusta Dabney, David Margulies, Lynne Thigpen, Bobo Lewis, Daniel Dassin.
Cinematography: Gerry Fisher
Film Editor: Andrew Mondshein
Original Music: Tony Mottola
Written by Naomi Foner
Directed by Sidney Lumet
1988 suddenly seems much farther in the past than it did just a few months ago. The small town high school in Running on Empty has a dedicated, classically trained music teacher on the payroll. He earns enough to afford a rather nice house. The public school system is not being undermined, with all the wealthy students going to new kinds of exclusive, alternative schools siphoning off public money. We all have our own ideas about what ‘making America great again’ means, I suppose.
It doesn’t happen any more, but we used to read about ex- radicals from the Vietnam War days surfacing to turn themselves in. Not that many were directly involved in violent acts, but some had lived for decades under assumed identities, while their wanted photos were posted down at the Post Office. Some of them tried to raise families.
“We are all outlaws in the eyes of America.
Everything they say we are, we are.
. . . And we are very proud of ourselves.”
— The Jefferson Airplane
Naomi Foner’s Running on Empty is basically a ‘what comes next?’ chapter in the lives of former political public enemies like The Weather Underground. An unusual family is on the lam. The parents are militant radicals from the Nixon years, who went underground when one of their bombs maimed a janitor. Now they are nearing their forties, and must move from town to town whenever they think the Feds have picked up their trail. The couple chose their life and has accepted the consequences, but where does that leave their growing children, who are likewise forced to live like gypsies under assumed names?
I should think that this good movie would have a tough time in today’s market. If the online mob harps on Wonder Woman for promoting non-traditional values, what would they make of a movie ‘glorifying terrorism?’ Half of America still wants to see Jane Fonda strung up by her thumbs, and death threats for ‘enemies’ singled out on the web are now routine. Our channels of information are so jammed with stories elbowing each other for attention, I don’t think anybody could rouse the general public to even consider the problems of this kind of fugitive. Who has time for scurrilous pleas for sympathy for ‘undeserving’ people, when the public responds better to patriotic pieces about veterans . . . or cute animals?
Always watching for signs of F.B.I. surveillance, young Danny Pope (River Phoenix) alerts the rest of his family through pre-arranged signals. Annie and Arthur Pope (Christine Lahti & Judd Hirsch) abandon their jobs, their belongings and even their dog and flee to a new state with Danny and their other son Harry (Jonas Abry). With new identities they start new lives. Arthur and Annie find off-the-books employment as a cook and a medical receptionist and the boys are enrolled in school with ‘previous transcripts on the way.’ We see the unusual preparations that must be made, with secret arrangements so that any family member can alert the others if they’re found out; we also see that the family is supported to some degree by a network of post-radical (or still radical?) sympathizers, such as a doctor (David Marguiles) who tends to political fugitives. But the Popes are cut off from their own families. Annie’s disapproving father (Steven Hill) can only see her in an extraordinary circumstance arranged by a third party. Potential trouble comes when former comrade Gus Winant (L.M. Kit Carson) drops by. He’d like to sleep with his old flame Annie, and is carrying guns in the assumption that Arthur will agree to rob a bank with him. But a more troubling problem is closer to home. Young Danny has inherited his mother’s musical talent, and his teacher Mr. Phillips (Ed Crowley) is encouraging him to apply to Julliard in New York. Danny is also stuck on Phillips’ teenage daughter Lorna (Martha Plimpton), a girl to whom he might be ready to commit. As far as Arthur is concerned, Danny can’t do any of those things because his first duty is to help his family in the undercover life. Annie doesn’t know what to do. If she leaves her son behind, she may never see him again.
Practically speaking, Running on Empty will only play well to a certain segment of the public. Are you the kind that sympathizes with draft deserters that fled to Canada, or the kind that wants to hand them long terms in prison? The Popes aren’t victims of injustice, at least not directly; they knew what they were doing when they went militant, and the injuries they caused can’t simply be dismissed as youthful idealism. They are also hopelessly associated with fanatics they inspired, like the Sla. And there’s no statute of limitations on armed insurrection. I think almost all of the radical fugitives that went underground are now accounted for. Some served prison time and others got off because courtroom prosecutions would reveal or publicize the government’s own illegal doings. Running on Empty dramatizes what might have been reality for just a few of these ‘outlaws in the eyes of America.’ Some radicals reportedly found it easy to live undetected while still on various Most Wanted lists. Others found ways to turn themselves in, square themselves with the authorities and re-commence academic lives interrupted years before to oppose the government. *
Running on Empty is a fascinating show, with a cast that clearly had to work hard to make their characters believable. Christine Lahti puts up with her bossy, security-minded husband. He himself gets drunk one night and starts shouting his real name loud enough to wake the neighbors. Judd Hirsch and director Lumet know that these can’t be ordinary people. He doesn’t try to make them Ozzie and Harriet types, somehow (sniff!) trapped by their youthful mistakes. No, they’re still promoting various Union and social justice causes here and there, although Arthur must back away whenever he becomes visible enough to appear in a news photo. Every year they celebrate a birthday to Sam, the man struck by their bomb. It’s not a joke, but a ritual so they won’t forget their crime.
At the center of the movie is the cult actor River Phoenix, who graduated briefly to good roles after his appearance as an adolescent space voyager in the fantasy film Explorers. Phoenix is excellent as Danny, a kid raised to never let down his guard. The show begins with Danny detecting a plainclothes tail and executing what must be ‘escape plan 9.’ The family is out of town in a matter of minutes. Danny’s a sensitive, smart guy. If he plays by the rules, he must keep himself a complete mystery to his new girlfriend Lorna. The boy is committed to his family, but feels the pull to go off on his own, where a decent future awaits. In a way, it’s not a situation wholly unique to these former radicals. This must happen all the time when someone breaks away from a strongly structured family, or a religious cult.
The movie’s tension level doubles when Danny takes the forbidden step of telling Lorna everything. How many of us living normal lives (well, reasonably normal lives) could trust our sweethearts with such a volatile secret: “I and my whole family are fugitives from justice. Anybody helping us is a potential accomplice. Just by letting you know, I’m putting you in legal jeopardy. Will you turn me in, or become a criminal with me?”
At this age Martha Plimpton might remind one of a teenage Lauren Bacall. A survivor of Goonies, she is featured in what I think is the best Cannon film, Shy People. Plimpton and Phoenix have several worthy melodramatic romantic scenes to play, and they’re excellent together.
With the ace director Sidney Lumet in charge the strange relationships seem credible, even when the flaky, reckless Gus Winant breezes through. The former radical patriot is now nothing but an outlaw bum. In a nice choice, Gus is played by L.M. Kit Carson, the original fake counterculture hero in the classic experimental faux-documentary David Holzman’s Diary. With dangerous idiots like Gus on the loose, the Popes can’t even consider themselves part of a noble creed. Some of their old colleagues are indeed armed and dangerous.
I don’t think the Popes would stand a chance of evading the cops in today’s security state. One can no longer simply find the name of a dead infant and apply for a new birth certificate and passport. The Popes aren’t hiding in a shack in the woods, but are out and about in the public, working and rubbing elbows with schools and doctors. I guess that back in the 1980s Arthur could become a cook and Annie a receptionist without references, but it’s less likely now, when one can’t buy bubble gum without leaving a data trail. Traffic and security surveillance cameras are now everywhere. Billions of smart-phone photos are taken at public gatherings, and routinely posted on the web. A high-level security agency could be (is?) scanning the web with face recognition software.
Sidney Lumet wrote that his movies Running on Empty and Daniel had the same theme: “Who pays for the passion and commitment of the parents?” This is an even-handed and insightful drama. Lumet made a wide range of great entertainments, and some of the best- ever ‘New York Jewish Liberal Movies.’ He’s also one of the few directors who could take on fundamentally controversial material like this, and continue to maintain a busy career.
The Warner Archive Collection Blu-ray of Running on Empty is a good encoding of what was already a very good Wac Mod disc from just two years ago. The improved picture and sound reveals the expected quality of a top Sidney Lumet product. The small town we see is very attractive, a political landscape completely different from the corporate/banking rapacious wasteland of last year’s Hell or High Water. ‘Radicals unselfishly trying to stop a war in 1971’ is still anathema, while Mr. and Mrs. U.S.A. now considers it justifiable for ‘radicals to selfishly try to rescue their ruined finances.’
On a scale of Excellent, Good, Fair, and Poor,
Running on Empty Blu-ray rates:
Deaf and Hearing Impaired Friendly? Yes; Subtitles: English (feature only)
Packaging: Keep case
Reviewed: June 21, 2017
* I remember a major case from 2001. A radical who had evaded capture for thirty years finalized arrangements to turn herself in, after a delicate negotiation aimed at running her quietly through the legal system to let her get on with her life. She was reportedly not personally responsible for any violent acts, and under her assumed identity had worked for decades in a socially productive job. I followed her story for a couple of days in the newspaper . . . and then 9/11 happened. In the storm of security-minded post-attack chaos that followed, her story thread just vanished from the media-scape. I don’t have a clue what happened to her next. The timing couldn’t possibly have been worse for a former Enemy of the State.
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- Glenn Erickson
June 30 would be the 100th birthday of Lena Horne, who had it all: looks, charm, and a singing voice that was noted for its “expressiveness and dramatic intensity,” as Variety once wrote. Hollywood needed her, but she didn’t need Hollywood. The racial barriers were too strong. When MGM signed her in 1942, she was already a successful singer; the studio starred her in two all-black musicals, “Cabin in the Sky” and “Stormy Weather” (which became one of her signature songs). After that, MGM gave her solos in musicals like “Ziegfeld Follies” and “Till the Clouds Roll By.” Her songs were extraneous to the plot; that way, her sequences could be cut for movie theaters that refused to screen films with blacks in prominent roles. Horne continued to have a successful career in nightclubs, records, Broadway and TV well into the 1990s, and she fought for civil rights and equality until her death in 2010, at age 92.
Horne was »
- Tim Gray
Above: Polish poster for Escape from New York (John Carpenter, USA, 1981). Designer: Wieslaw Walkuski.For three weeks in July, New York’s Film Forum is running a stellar series of more than 40 1970s New York-set films. As soon as I heard about the program I wanted to do a poster article on it, given that the 1970s was a heyday for American poster design. However, when I started to look at the posters I realized that many of them were so well known that rehashing their posters wasn’t that interesting. But in my search I started to notice how many of the films had Polish counterparts. It is interesting that so many of these American productions were released in Poland and it may have had a lot to do with the counter-cultural, anti-establishment bent of most of the films.While poster design in the U.S. had moved quite decisively from illustration to photography-based in the late 60s, Polish poster art was still mostly drawn and painted in the 1970s. There are a couple of exceptions here but the photos are collaged or posterized in a way that is quite different from the way they would be used in the U.S. Another interesting note is that very few of the posters make use of New York signifiers, with the obvious exception of the Statue of Liberty for Escape from New York, and a silhouetted skyline for Manhattan (notably the two films with the most New York-specific titles). Otherwise the posters seen here are typically idiosyncratic, eccentric, beautiful, alluring, occasionally baffling and, with the possible exception of Serpico, always strikingly unlike their American counterparts. This selection also feels like a tour of great Polish poster art in the 70s, with most of the major artists represented: Jakub Erol, Wiktor Gorka, Eryk Lipinski, Andrzej Klimowski, Jan Mlodozeniec, Andrzej Pagowski, Waldemar Swierzy, Wieslaw Walkuski and more. It seems as if every major designer got a crack at at least one of these challenging, thrilling films.Above: Polish poster for Manhattan (Woody Allen, USA, 1979). Designer: Andrzej Pagowski.Above: Polish poster for Marathon Man (John Schlesinger, USA, 1976). Designer: Wiktor Gorka.Above: Polish poster for All That Jazz (Bob Fosse, USA, 1979). Designer: Leszek Drzewinski.Above: Polish poster for Three Days of the Condor (Sydney Pollack, USA, 1975). Designer: J. Czerniawski.Above: Polish poster for The Hospital (Arthur Hiller, USA, 1971). Designer: Marcin Mroszczak.Above: Polish poster for Diary of a Mad Housewife (Frank Perry, USA, 1970). Designer: Eryk Lipinski.Above: Polish poster for Taxi Driver (Martin Scorsese, USA, 1976). Designer: Andrzej Klimowski.Above: Polish poster for Klute (Alan J. Pakula, USA, 1971). Designer: Jan Mlodozeniec.Above: Polish poster for Saturday Night Fever (John Badham, USA, 1977). Designer: Andrzej Pagowski.Above: Polish poster for The French Connection (William Friedkin, USA, 1971). Designer: Andrzej Krajewski.Above: Polish poster for Serpico (Sidney Lumet, USA, 1973). Designer: Jakub Erol.Above: Polish poster for The Panic in Needle Park (Jerry Schatzberg, USA, 1971). Designer: Tomas Ruminski.Above: Polish poster for Midnight Cowboy (John Schlesinger, USA, 1969). Designer: Waldemar Swierzy.Above: Polish poster for The Anderson Tapes (Sidney Lumet, USA, 1971). Designer: Jan Mlodozeniec.See New York in the 70s at Film Forum from July 5 to 27.Posters courtesy of Heritage Auctions. »
21 June 2017 12:10 PM, PDT | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »
Smithee is the pseudonym the Directors Guild of America uses for a directing credit when a movie's director takes his name off a movie. That hasn't happened yet in the case of the Star Wars spinoff.
But as Phil Lord and Christopher Miller depart the project, their termination by Disney’s Lucasfilm due to creative differences leaves the producers and the Directors Guild with some difficult choices. The key issues: Who will replace them, who will receive directing credit, how will residuals »
- Jonathan Handel
Author: Cai Ross
By the time he came to worldwide prominence in 1976, John G. Avildsen had already done what some of Hollywood’s greatest ever directors had failed to do: win Jack Lemmon a Best Actor Oscar. It was an an acknowledged truth, at that time, Lemmon was one of the great masters, yet where George Cukor and even Billy Wilder failed (as he rarely did) Avildsen succeeded with Save The Tiger, the seventh in in a little-noted career of well-received, little-seen small-budget movies.
Lemmon played a small-time businessman going nowhere in ’70s America. Despite Lemmon’s oft-delayed Oscar, the movie was too downbeat to set the tills ringing. In America’s Bicentennial year however, Avildsen took on another no-hoper, going nowhere, but this time he added a happy ending. Moved by the fact that Hollywood-nobody Sylvester Stallone, with absolutely nothing whatsoever to back it up, had insisted on playing »
- Cai Ross
Welcome to another installment of Movies to Show My Son. This is the blog series where I discuss movies I can’t wait to show my son in the future. I’ll be covering my own personal experience with the movie, movie and life lessons I hope he will learn, and lastly my concerns about showing said film. This week’s film is 12 Angry Men.
I did not watch 12 Angry Men until after college, which is a sin I do not want my son to repeat. It took the closing down of my local Blockbuster to finally get me to sit down and watch this all-time classic. Personally Blockbuster closing was a blow for me. I miss going to the video store and traversing all its isles until finally finding the movie you want. Plus, early on, the majority of my personal DVD collection was made up of used Blockbuster DVD’s. »
- Dan Clark
Strand plans an autumn release for the film set just before the 2011 Egyptian revolution.
The film had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival and won the Grand Jury Prize for a Dramatic Film in the World Cinema section.
Based on a true story set weeks before the 2011 Egyptian revolution, the film centres on Noredin, a police officer in Cairo’s corrupt system, who investigates the murder of a famous club singer at the Nile Hilton Hotel.
What initially seems to be a crime of passion turns into something that concerns the very power elite of Egypt. Upon realising this, Noredin decides to break the rules in order to obtain justice, colliding not only with the system but also with himself.
Saleh also wrote »
Strand Releasing has acquired all North American rights to Tarik Saleh’s political thriller “The Nile Hilton Incident,” which won the grand jury prize for a dramatic film in the world cinema section at Sundance.
Strand made the deal with The Match Factory at the movie’s launch at the Seattle International Film Festival. The distributor plans a fall release.
“The Nile Hilton Incident” takes place weeks before the 2011 Egyptian revolution, with a Cairo police office (played by Fares Fares), investigating the murder of a famous club singer at the Nile Hilton Hotel. What initially seems to be a crime of passion turns into something that involves the power elite of Egypt, so the officer decides to break the rules in order to obtain justice.
Variety’s Nick Shager gave the film a strong review, writing: “Swedish writer-director Tarik Saleh’s crime drama about a cop investigating the murder of »
- Dave McNary
Universal Pictures’ “The Mummy” wasn’t always about a woman. Early drafts of the screenplay featured a male monster, as did the three installments of the previous franchise starring Brendan Fraser, but when “Rachel Getting Married” writer Jenny Lumet and director Alex Kurtzman teamed up to revise the script, they changed the character to a female without telling the studio.
Fortunately, Universal liked the idea, and the character remained intact through many more revisions and three more writers.
The first installment of Universal’s Dark Universe, “The Mummy” tells the story of an ancient princess named Ahmanet (Sofia Boutella) who’s awakened from her crypt beneath the desert after being betrayed by her father, imprisoned and murdered 5,000 years earlier. Tom Cruise and Jake Johnson star as treasure hunters who stumble upon the ancient prison-tomb. »
- Graham Winfrey
In the late 19th century, the long-distance train known as the Orient Express became renowned as a bastion of luxury and comfort, traveling from Paris to Eastern Europe and beyond. That made it a good setting for Agatha Christie's mystery novel Murder on the Orient Express, first published in 1934, which revolved around famed Belgian detective Hercule Poirot and his on-board investigation of a dastardly crime. The book was transformed into a wonderfully entertaining, artfully elegant mystery movie by director Sidney Lumet in 1974, featuring Albert Finney as the detective and an all-star cast as the suspects, including Sean Connery, Lauren Bacall, Michael York and Ingrid Bergman, who won an Academy Award for her performance. In 2015, we heard about a new version that was...
- Peter Martin
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