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Few directors can be said to have changed the way films are made, but Mike Nichols, who died Wednesday at 83, was one of them. His first film, "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" (1966), ended decades of Hollywood censorship of adult content and freed the movies for mature language and subject matter ever after. His second film, "The Graduate," was the first serious mainstream movie to feature a rock soundtrack (spawning Simon and Garfunkel's hit "Mrs. Robinson") and, through its casting of Dustin Hoffman, expanded Hollywood's notion of what a leading man ought to look and sound like.
Nichols wasn't born in America (he and his family escaped from Nazi Germany when he was a child), but he was one of the best chroniclers of contemporary America -- its politics, its aspirations, its dreams, its aristocracy, and its successes and failures -- in movies. His youth in Manhattan as the son »
- Gary Susman
No one’s is ever going to launch an Oscar campaign for Need for Speed, but there’s a case to be made for unpretentious, action-packed popcorn pleasures like the racing thriller. Aaron Paul gave a mesmerizing performance, the stunts were spectacular and, perhaps best of all, it proved that helmer Scott Waugh (Act of Valor) knows his way around a slick action vehicle. Now, Waugh is set to dive into the deep end for a much pricier venture – a $120 million sci-epic titled Inversion.
The script, from Bragi Schut (Season of the Witch) and David Arata (Spy Game), follows a young Chinese scientist and a street-smart American ex-patriate who team up and race against time to prevent a cataclysmic reversal of gravity, which would send entire cities and civilians falling into the sky to certain death.
It’s an exciting premise, and Waugh’s background as a stunt coordinator should »
- Isaac Feldberg
NBC found great success with their stage production of The Sound of Music Live in 2013, and are now ready to unleash Peter Pan Live! this December. Already considering what they may do for an encore in 2015, the network is considering a live staging of A Few Good Men.
The 1992 movie starring Tom Cruise, Jack Nicholson and Demi Moore was originally based on Aaron Sorkin's play, which will serve as the basis for this live show. The network is already in the stages of working out an agreement with Aaron Sorkin to make the production become a reality. The show put Aaron Sorkin on the map as a writer when it hit Broadway in 1989. And the feature film proved to be a smash hit.
While NBC’s live telecast of The Sound of Music provided plenty of fodder for Twitter, it also proved to be a commercial success for the network. It’s moving ahead with a live version of Peter Pan to air next month, but now the network is looking at material outside of musicals—namely a very, very good play. Variety reports that NBC is “in the early stages” of developing a live telecast of Aaron Sorkin’s A Few Good Men. The scribe's Broadway play was famously adapted into a film in 1992 by director Rob Reiner with Sorkin penning the script, and now the network is apparently talking with Sorkin about having the West Wing creator and Social Network scribe rework the play once again for a new telecast. More after the jump. Per Variety, producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron—the folks behind the last two Academy Awards telecasts »
- Adam Chitwood
Over 18 million people watched NBC's The Sound of Music Live! and their upcoming Peter Pan Live! starring Christopher Walken and Allison Williams will probably be just as big. But it's looking like the network's next live television event won't be a musical. Variety has learned NBC wants to do a live version of the Aaron Sorkin Broadway play A Few Good Men. Besides writing the play, Sorkin also wrote the script for the 1992 Rob Reiner film adaptation, and he »
- Jesse Giroux
NBC is looking to expand its live presence. The network is eyeing a live staging of Aaron Sorkin's courtroom play A Few Good Men, The Hollywood Reporter confirms. A Few Good Men opened on Broadway in November 1989, establishing Sorkin as a force in writing circles. A few years later, Sorkin would adapt the play for the big screen. The 1992 Rob Reiner-directed feature, which starred Tom Cruise, Jack Nicholson and Demi Moore, was a box-office success for TriStar Pictures earning more than $243 million and four Oscar nominations, including best picture. A Few Good Men tells the
- Philiana Ng
The Peacock is in the early stages of working out an agreement with Sorkin to mount a live telecast of the play that put him on the map as a writer when it hit Broadway in 1989. The 1992 feature starring Tom Cruise, Jack Nicholson and Demi Moore was a hit for TriStar Pictures.
The story revolves around the court-martial case against two Marines accused of killing another serviceman. The film helmed by Rob Reiner earned four Oscar nominations, including best picture and supporting actor for Nicholson.
Producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron are involved with the NBC effort, as is Sony’s TV division. The idea is that Sorkin would do another pass on the play to tailor it for the TV staging. It’s understood »
- Cynthia Littleton
NBC is in the early stages of negotiations with Sorkin about mounting a live telecast of the play which kickstarted "The West Wing" creator's career and led to the acclaimed Rob Reiner-directed 1992 film adaptation starring Tom Cruise, Jack Nicholson and Demi Moore.
The story deals with the court-martial case against two Marines stationed at Guantanamo Bay who are accused of killing another serviceman who was trying to be transferred off the base.
Sony TV, Craig Zadan and Neil Meron are producing the NBC version. Sorking is expected to do a brief script pass on the play to tailor it for the TV staging. As the deal is still being worked out, there's no word about casting or a premiere date as yet.
Source: Variety »
- Garth Franklin
Initially, Seinfeld met with a lukewarm response, a baffled network, low ratings and a volatile creator. So how did it become such a hit?
“Pilot performance: Weak”. That was the research report verdict on the 1989 pilot of new NBC sitcom Stand Up, written by Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld. The episode had excited “lukewarm reactions among adults and teens and very low reactions among kids”. The audience found it annoying that the main character, a fictionalised version of comedian Jerry Seinfeld, “needed things to be explained to him”. The lead was too wimpy, the show was “too New York” (and therefore too Jewish) and worst of all, nothing happened in it. “You can’t get too excited about going to the Laundromat”, as one respondent put it. The report’s conclusion was stark: “no viewer was eager to watch the show again.”
“As You Wish.” Anyone who grew up during the 1980’s should immediately recognize those three iconic words from Rob Reiner’s timeless classic The Princess Bride and now, they’re also the title of a new memoir from the film’s star, Cary Elwes, which has been tearing it up on the New York Times’ bestseller list since it was released a few weeks ago.
Elwes has more to celebrate these days too; the long-time actor who has appeared in a variety of projects like Glory, Hot Shots!, Robin Hood: Men in Tights, Twister, Dracula, Kiss the Girls, The X-Files, Shadow of the Vampire and Liar Liar, has also been spending some time recently reminiscing about his role as Doctor Gordon in honor of Lionsgate’s recent re-release of James Wan’s Saw.
Elwes, busy promoting the release of his book As You Wish, recently chatted with Daily Dead briefly »
- Heather Wixson
Rob Reiner's effort to keep chain stores out of Malibu has succeeded, passing with 59.27 percent of the votes with 100 percent of precincts reporting as of Wednesday morning. Under the measure, Malibu residents would be required to vote on any development over 20,000 square feet. The measure also would limit the amount of space allotted to chain stores in new commercial developments citywide. Read more Hollywood Reeling from Bitter Election Defeats In a heated debate recently against the measure's chief opponent, developer and Los Angeles Police Commission president Steve Soboroff, Reiner argued that overdevelopment is ruining the
- Tina Daunt
It's no secret that Stephen King isn't a big fan of Stanley Kubrick's adaptation of The Shining. He has voiced his opinion in the past, and after all these years he continues to talk about how much he doesn't like the classic horror film. King is my favorite author and The Shining is one of my favorite books. Kubrick's adaptation is also one of my favorite horror films. I appreciate each of them for what they are. King just can't stand it, and he sat down with Rolling Stone for an interview recently where they started discussing the 1980 classic. King made his hatred for Kubrick's Shining very clear, saying,
"I don't get it. But there are a lot of things that I don't get. But obviously people absolutely love it, and they don't understand why I don't. The book is hot, and the movie is cold; the book ends in fire, »
- Joey Paur
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
Angelina Jolie's delectably over the top performance as the Sleeping Beauty villain will suck you in to this surprisingly dark take on the fairy tale - dark for Disney, anyway. Elle Fanning co-stars as Aurora, the beautiful but cursed young princess who shows Maleficent the true meaning of love. Sam Riley puts on an entertaining show as Diaval, Malficent's transmogrifying raven.
If you've been wondering what Brett Ratner's been up to lately, well, here's your answer. Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson pumped it up even more to play the mythic hero who is apparently now a mercenary for hire, along with a few other tough guys and one gal. If anything, take a gander at the fruit of Johnson's weight-lifting labor. »
- Jenni Miller
Top 100 horror movies of all time: Chicago Film Critics' choices (photo: Sigourney Weaver and Alien creature show us that life is less horrific if you don't hold grudges) See previous post: A look at the Chicago Film Critics Association's Scariest Movies Ever Made. Below is the list of the Chicago Film Critics's Top 100 Horror Movies of All Time, including their directors and key cast members. Note: this list was first published in October 2006. (See also: Fay Wray, Lee Patrick, and Mary Philbin among the "Top Ten Scream Queens.") 1. Psycho (1960) Alfred Hitchcock; with Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, Vera Miles, John Gavin, Martin Balsam. 2. The Exorcist (1973) William Friedkin; with Ellen Burstyn, Linda Blair, Jason Miller, Max von Sydow (and the voice of Mercedes McCambridge). 3. Halloween (1978) John Carpenter; with Jamie Lee Curtis, Donald Pleasence, Tony Moran. 4. Alien (1979) Ridley Scott; with Sigourney Weaver, Tom Skerritt, John Hurt. 5. Night of the Living Dead (1968) George A. Romero; with Marilyn Eastman, »
- Andre Soares
Scariest movies ever made: The top 100 horror films according to the Chicago Film Critics (photo: Janet Leigh, John Gavin and Vera Miles in Alfred Hitchcock's 'Psycho') I tend to ignore lists featuring the Top 100 Movies (or Top 10 Movies or Top 20 Movies, etc.), no matter the category or criteria, because these lists are almost invariably compiled by people who know little about films beyond mainstream Hollywood stuff released in the last decade or two. But the Chicago Film Critics Association's list of the 100 Scariest Movies Ever Made, which came out in October 2006, does include several oldies — e.g., James Whale's Frankenstein and The Bride of Frankenstein — in addition to, gasp, a handful of non-American horror films such as Dario Argento's Suspiria, Werner Herzog's Nosferatu the Vampyre, and F.W. Murnau's brilliant Dracula rip-off Nosferatu. (Check out the full list of the Chicago Film Critics' top 100 horror movies of all time. »
- Andre Soares
What’s a scary movie without a scary villain? These actors may be known for heartfelt dramatic or comedic roles, but it’s the perfect time of year to revisit their most frightening performances. Here are 10 great actors, and the terrifying roles they’ve played. Kathy Bates in “Misery”Kathy Bates is utterly brilliant in Rob Reiner’s “Misery,” terrifying audiences (and co-star James Caan) as crazed super-fan Annie Wilkes. In fact, Bates’ performance was so spectacular that she won an Academy Award for the role, making her the first horror movie actor to accept the honor. She went on to a long career in film and television, and the phrase “dirty birdy” will turn fans’ blood cold for the rest of time. Jack Nicholson in “The Shining”Jack Nicholson made a star turn in one of the scariest horror movies of all time, playing family-man-turned-psycho-killer Jack Torrance. Though Nicholson »
Cary Elwes recently wowed audiences at New York Comic Con by reliving some of the on-set tales from his time filming The Princess Bride, but perhaps the funniest story was actually about his audition for the movie . It turns out the the British actor landed the part despite the fact that he performed an impression of Fat Albert during his tryout. According to Comic Book Resources, Elwes was at the hugely popular event to not only discuss the cult, comedy classic, but to also promote his new memoir, As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride. As you can probably imagine, the evening was pretty much packed to the brim with chatter that revolved around Rob Reiner.s joyous effort. But it was his comments surrounding his casting as Westley that proved to be the highlight. Elwes began by revealing that he was a huge fan »
The debate over Malibu's Measure R, conceived by Rob Reiner to limit chain stores in the beachside community, turned angry Sunday night as the director and the chief opponent of the measure accused each other of engaging in shady behavior. "You spent $400,000 on consultants that have given you information and have given you backroom deals that have hurt this community," said developer and Los Angeles Police Commission president Steve Soboroff. See more The Top Celebrity Political Twitter Commentators After Soboroff continued to repeat the accusation, Reiner exploded in anger. "You made an accusation, and that is 100
- Tina Daunt
But Strassman, who died Friday at 66, was in showbiz for more than 10 years before she wound up on the sitcom that became a pop culture touchstone, in part because it made a star of John Travolta.
Lithe and raspy-voiced, Strassman began her showbiz career on stage and also tried to become a pop star in the mid-1960s before her thesping work took off. After she got her break on “Kotter,” she became active in the Screen Actors Guild.
Here are 12 things you didn’t know about Strassman’s early career:
She got off to a good start in the pages of Variety. Her first reference came in the Sept. 11, 1963 edition, in an item noting that she would replace Liza Minnelli in Off Broadway’s “Best Foot Forward, »
- Cynthia Littleton
Any film about superstar entertainer Glen Campbell would, by its very nature, tend to be extraordinary. But Glen Campbell: I'll Be Me, a film exploring the devastating effects of Alzheimer's disease, which affects some five million Americans over the age of 65, including the 78-year-old singer, could have been a much trickier proposition. By putting the project in the capable hands of producer James Keach (who also produced the Oscar-winning 2005 Johnny Cash biopic, Walk the Line), however, Campbell's family has ensured that the conversation about the debilitating disease will continue and will, »
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