1-20 of 136 items from 2013 « Prev | Next »
Yes, August: Osage County is essentially two hours and ten minutes of family conflict. And it's not the kind where a dispute ends because one party charges out of a room in anger, slams a door and shortly thereafter are consoled and things are suddenly alright. No, when it comes to the Weston family, to be yelled at only means you must yell louder in response and, for the most part, I loved almost every minute of it with only a couple of narrative hang-ups that kept it from being one of the year's best. Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Tracy Letts (Killer Joe, Bug), the playwright has adapted his own work for the screen and director John Wells (The Company Men) has assembled an impressive cast to bring every acidic word to life. The vein in Julia Roberts' forehead has never pulsed so strong as vile »
- Brad Brevet
"The Exorcist," released 40 years ago this week (on December 26, 1973), is widely regarded as the scariest movie ever made, but after four decades, two sequels, two prequels, and countless spoofs, is there anything about the tale of demon-possessed Regan MacNeil (Linda Blair) and the priests who try to save her (Max von Sydow and Jason Miller) left to jolt and shock us?
Maybe there is. "Exorcist" director William Friedkin's 2013 memoir, "The Friedkin Connection," has three chapters full of dish on the making of the film, including which characters were based on famous people, how some of the famous special effects were accomplished, how he came to slap a Jesuit priest, and whether or not the production was cursed. Here are 25 things you may not know about "The Exorcist," many of them from Friedkin's recent book.
1. The real case that inspired William Peter Blatty's novel and screenplay was the 1949 exorcism of a 14-year-old boy, »
- Gary Susman
‘Judgment at Nuremberg,’ Martin Luther King Day documentaries, ‘Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?’: Library of Congress’ Packard Theater January 2014 movies (photo: Maximilian Schell in ‘Judgment at Nuremberg’) Judgment at Nuremberg, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Roger & Me, Pulp Fiction, and Ella Cinders, five National Film Registry 2013 additions will be screened at the LoC’s Packard Campus Theater in January 2014. Directed by the invariably well-intentioned — at times heavy-handedly so — Stanley Kramer, Judgment at Nuremberg (1961) is a surprisingly effective dramatization of the Nazi War Trials. The generally first-rate cast includes Best Actor Academy Award winner Maximilian Schell, Best Actor nominee Spencer Tracy, Best Supporting Actor nominee Montgomery Clift (who reportedly worked for no fee), Best Supporting Actress nominee Judy Garland, Richard Widmark, Burt Lancaster, Marlene Dietrich, and a pre-Star Trek William Shatner. Mike Nichols’ Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966) earned Elizabeth Taylor and Sandy Dennis Oscars, in »
- Andre Soares
‘Gilda,’ ‘Pulp Fiction’: 2013 National Film Registry movies (photo: Rita Hayworth in ‘Gilda’) See previous post: “‘Mary Poppins’ in National Film Registry: Good Timing for Disney’s ‘Saving Mr. Banks.’” Billy Woodberry’s UCLA thesis film Bless Their Little Hearts (1984). Stanton Kaye’s Brandy in the Wilderness (1969). The Film Group’s Cicero March (1966), about a Civil Rights march in an all-white Chicago suburb. Norbert A. Myles’ Daughter of Dawn (1920), with Hunting Horse, Oscar Yellow Wolf, Esther Labarre. Bill Morrison’s Decasia (2002), featuring decomposing archival footage. Alfred E. Green’s Ella Cinders (1926), with Colleen Moore, Lloyd Hughes, Vera Lewis. Fred M. Wilcox’s Forbidden Planet (1956), with Walter Pidgeon, Anne Francis, Leslie Nielsen, Warren Stevens, Jack Kelly, Robby the Robot. Charles Vidor’s Gilda (1946), with Rita Hayworth, Glenn Ford, George Macready. John and Faith Hubley’s Oscar-winning animated short The Hole (1962). Stanley Kramer’s Judgment at Nuremberg (1961), with Best Actor Oscar winner Maximilian Schell, »
- Andre Soares
These days, Melanie Griffith may be better known as future "Fifty Shades of Grey" star Dakota Johnson's mother than for her own celebrated acting career. Which is fitting, perhaps (since the pre-fame Griffith was once best known as "The Birds" star Tippi Hedren's daughter) but a shame, since Griffith did, for a time, shine as an A-list star on her own merits. That period of her career began, of course, with what is still her best-known role, that of Tess McGill -- the secretary who climbs the corporate ladder, outsmarts her credit-hogging boss, and even steals that boss's boyfriend -- in 1988's "Working Girl."
That comedy smash, which opened 25 years ago this week (on December 21, 1988) marked a career peak not just for Griffith, but for many others, including co-stars Sigourney Weaver and Harrison Ford and director Mike Nichols. Other future stars, including Alec Baldwin and Kevin Spacey, got »
- Gary Susman
Another year has passed, which means the folks over at The Library of Congress have added another 25 titles to the National Film Registry. Spanning nearly 100 years of movies, entries (listed alphabetically, naturally) range from 1919-2002 and, as always, the organization recognizes both contemporary and classic films that have made an undeniable impact. Undoubtedly, the buzziest title of the 2013 list is the addition of Quentin Tarantino's breakout film, and '90s defining "Pulp Fiction," to the registry. And if that movie changed the indie landscape, then Michael Moore's 1989 "Roger & Me" did the same for the documentary world. In a year where "Gravity" is the center of so much talk, it's nice to see Philip Kaufman's "The Right Stuff" get a bit of love. Meanwhile, inclusions like John Ford's "The Quiet Man" and Mike Nichols' "Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf?" are a reminder that if you need »
- Kevin Jagernauth
“Mary Poppins” is back on the big screens thanks to Walt Disney Pictures’ “Saving Mr. Banks,” so it seems appropriate that the studio’s original adaptation of P.L. Travers tale of a magical governess has been selected to be preserved by the Library of Congress. The beloved children’s film joins 25 motion pictures in the National Film Registry. Other works deemed to be culturally, historically or aesthetically significant are more adult in nature, such as Quentin Tarantino’s film noir pastiche “Pulp Fiction” and Mike Nichols’ blistering marital drama “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf.” The list also includes the science-fiction adventure “Forbidden Planet, »
- Brent Lang
“Pulp Fiction,” “Roger & Me,” “The Magnificent Seven,” “Mary Poppins,” “Judgment at Nuremberg” and “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” are among 25 films selected by the Library of Congress this year to be added to its National Film Registry.
The registry is composed of U.S.-made pics dating from 1912 that are deemed “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant” enough to warrant preservation. The list is expanded annually by 25 titles selected by the librarian from suggestions by the facility’s curators, members of the National Film Preservation Board and the public. The 2013 selections bring the number of pics in the Registry to 625.
Eligible films run the gamut of Hollywood classics, silent films, documentaries, independent and experimental motion pictures. This year’s picks are the usual eclectic mix that include MGM’s 1956 sci-fi classic, “Forbidden Planet;” John Wayne’s much-praised turn in John Ford’s 1952 drama “The Quiet Man;” the Charles Vidor- directed film noir classic, »
- Paul Harris
Over the weekend I had the opportunity to sit down and chat with writer/director Adam McKay and producer Judd Apatow about Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, the upcoming sequel to the 2004 comedy Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy.
The film follows San Diego’s top rated newsman, Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell), who returns to the news desk in “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues.” Also back for more are Ron’s co-anchor and wife, Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate), weather man Brick Tamland (Steve Carell), man on the street Brian Fantana (Paul Rudd) and sports guy Champ Kind (David Koechner) – All of whom won’t make it easy to stay classy…while taking New York’s first 24-hour news channel by storm.
Here is what McKay and Apatow had to say about the sequel.
In the first one the parody was local news and in this one it’s all about »
- Kellvin Chavez
It seems like a given that Tom Hanks, one of today's most beloved and well-known stars, would play Walt Disney, one of Hollywood's most beloved and well-known icons, in the first film about Disney himself, "Saving Mr. Banks."
But, although Hanks jokes that he's made a "cottage industry" out of playing real people, he wasn't at all sold on playing such an icon. As he told Moviefone, once he read the script, he was on board, particularly because it's mostly Emma Thompson's movie. She plays P.L. Travers, the author of "Mary Poppins," who turned down Disney's attempts to make the books into a film for 20 years, fighting him every step of the way.
Hanks shared how working with Thompson was like "a convivial three-hour dinner with maybe a little too much wine going down one of us," why the creative process can be so damn difficult, and how he »
- Sharon Knolle
‘La Cage aux Folles’ film: Edouard Molinaro international box office hit (photo: Ugo Tognazzi and Michel Serrault in ‘La Cage aux Folles’) (See previous post: “‘La Cage aux Folles’ Director Edouard Molinaro Dead at 85.”) But Edouard Molinaro’s best-known effort — comedy or otherwise — remains La Cage aux Folles (approximate translation: "The Cage of the Queens"), which sold 5.4 million tickets when it came out in France in 1978. Perhaps because many saw it as a letdown when compared to Jean Poiret’s immensely popular 1973 play, Molinaro’s movie ended up nominated for a single César Award — for eventual Best Actor winner Michel Serrault. Somewhat surprisingly, in the next couple of years La Cage aux Folles would become a major hit in the United States and other countries. Released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in the U.S. in 1979, the film grossed $20.42 million at the North American box office — or about $65 million in 2013 dollars, a remarkable sum for a subtitled release. »
- Andre Soares
It’s been a staggering twenty-nine years since legendary “Charade” and “Singin’ in the Rain” director Stanley Donen last had a film on the big screen—the 1999 Laura Linney and Steven Weber-starring TV movie “Love Letters” is last his directorial credit—but at age 89 he’s considering getting back behind the camera and into the director’s chair. Showbiz 411 reports Donen has co-written a comedy with his significant other and the great director behind “Ishtar” and “The Heartbreak Kid," Elaine May, that will be produced by fellow icon Mike Nichols, no less. What’s it about? “The making of a movie and everything that goes wrong” said a source to the site. A private reading was held a few weeks ago that included Christopher Walken, Charles Grodin and Ron Rifkin. Count us in. It was in the summer of 2011 that “The Fifth Beatle,” one of two competing biopics of legendary Beatles manager Brian Epstein, »
- Cain Rodriguez
Few films bring us as much joy as Singin’ in the Rain. According to ShowBiz411, director Stanley Donen has a new movie on the way — his first time behind the camera since a 1999 TV movie and almost 30 years since his last theatrical feature, Blame It on Rio. The new project is cowritten with his significant other, Academy Award-nominated screenwriter and The Heartbreak Kid director Elaine May, and will be produced by Mike Nichols. The legendary partnership is promising a “wry” comedic tale about the making of a movie and everything that goes wrong with it — a familiar formula, but a welcome one. Other details are sparse so far, but the website does reveal a list of names who read for investors: Christopher Walken, Charles Grodin, Ron...
- Alison Nastasi
No details are available on the story other than it's said to be a film about the making of a film where everything than can go wrong, does.
- Garth Franklin
Robert Redford is one of the movie stars of our time, yet I would contend that he’s always been an underrated actor. There are a host of reasons for that, and they feed into each other in subtle, at times mythic ways. You could say, on the one hand, that Redford was too golden-boy pretty (always a surefire way to not get nearly the respect you deserve), or that he was too understated as a screen presence, or that he was too openly skeptical of the Hollywood game. Redford had his first major big-screen role in 1965, in Inside Daisy Clover, »
- Owen Gleiberman
Who's Afraid of Richard Pryor's Sneakers! kicks off at Trailers from Hell, with filmmaker Dan Ireland introducing Elizabeth Taylor-Richard Burton classic "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?"Writer-director Mike Nichols, then known for broadway comedies and his satirical work with Elaine May, surprised everyone by choosing Edward Albee’s incendiary psychodrama Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf as his motion picture debut. Filmed on the campus of Smith College in Massachusetts, it’s a cinematic one-two punch thanks to the gloves-off performances of Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor (who bulked-up to a fighting weight of 155 lbs). Taylor snagged an Oscar (along with co-star Sandy Dennis and cinematographer Haskell Wexler). Albee had wanted James Mason and Bette Davis for the leads (in 1980 Nichols and May themselves starred in a New Haven revival). »
- Trailers From Hell
Emma Thompson has proven herself to be blunt, if her recent comments about forgiving Helena Bonham Carter for the affair that ended her marriage to Kenneth Branagh are any indication. But the actress took her honesty one hilarious step further recently during a roundtable discussion with other actresses for The Hollywood Reporter.
The group, which included Thompson, Amy Adams, Octavia Spencer, Julia Roberts, Oprah Winfrey, and Lupita Nyong'o ("12 Years a Slave"), were discussing working with Meryl Streep, with whom Roberts stars in the upcoming "August: Osage County." Roberts said she learned that Streep had "great balance" as an actress, when Thompson interjected.
"I've snogged her," Thompson said of Streep, to the delight of the rest of the roundtable. "And what I learned was, you have to use tongues even if you're not a lesbian."
Thompson and Streep famously locked lips in the HBO film "Angels in America," where Thompson's angel »
- Katie Roberts
Exclusive: I’m hearing that Entertainment One has just closed on U.S. distribution rights on Two Night Stand, which is serving as the directorial debut of Mike Nichols’ son Max Nichols. This was the title that sparked a bidding war overseen by UTA at the recently ended Afm, with A24 and Radius-twc among the distribs in the mix after a buyers screening at The Grove. The Black List script by Mark Hammer stars Miles Teller and Analeigh Tipton as young lovers whose one-night stand ends with a huge fight. She goes to leave, but a snowstorm requires her to spend another night in his Brooklyn apartment. Beau Flynn produced with Ruben Fleischer and Demarest’s Sam Englebardt. »
- MIKE FLEMING JR
These days you can watch any movie you desire online. Yet there's still one thing the magical wonders of instant streaming haven't solved for indecisive movie-lovers: what the heck to watch! Moviefone is here to recommend the best streaming movies from Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Instant and new digital releases from iTunes and Vudu each week in Moviefone's Digital Download.
This week's Digital Download picks range from a metal-clawed mutant and street racing crews, to gay cabaret owners and a man imprisoned for 25 years. Check out our suggestions below, and happy streaming!
Comedy: 'The Birdcage' (1996)
A remake of the 1978 French-Italian film "La Cage aux Folles," Mike Nichols's "The Birdcage" stars Robin Williams and Nathan Lane as a gay couple who run a cabaret club in Miami. However, when Williams's son (Dan Futterman) from a previous marriage wants to introduce them to his fiancee's (Calista Flockhart) very conservative parents, »
- Erin Whitney
Robert Pattinson and David Cronenberg ‘Maps to the Stars’ gets German distribution, Toronto screening Starring Robert Pattinson, Julianne Moore, John Cusack, and Mia Wasikowska, Maps to the Stars has found a German distributor. Screen Daily reports that Christian Meinke’s Mfa+ has acquired the rights to the David Cronenberg-directed Hollywood satire at the American Film Market, recently held in Santa Monica. Mfa+ also picked up Vincent Grashaw’s feature debut Coldwater and Tobias Lindholm’s Danish thriller A Hijacking / Kapringen, which has a similar premise to that of the Paul Greengrass and Tom Hanks hit Captain Phillips. (Photo: Robert Pattinson on the set of Maps to the Stars.) In Map to the Stars, John Cusack (replacing Viggo Mortensen) plays a Los Angeles analyst and self-help guru whose wife (Olivia Williams) is immersed in the career of their teen star son (Evan Bird), fresh off of rehab. Their daughter (Mia Wasikowska »
- Andre Soares
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