16 items from 2015
Exclusive: It’s tempting to say that Alessandro Nivola lives a charmed life, and that might be true if he weren’t working so hard. He’s Zelig in plain sight: At this moment in time you can see him in Selma as Justice Department civil rights lawyer John Doar, who would become the lead prosecutor in the government’s case against the murders of James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner. And you can see him on the other side of the mirror, as a mobbed-up oil distributor and bete noir of Oscar Isaacs in A Most Violent Year. He played another nemesis, FBI agent Anthony Amado, on the trail of Bradley Cooper in American Hustle. And he’s still batting it around with Cooper, but now on Broadway, where he plays Frederick Treves, the humanistic doctor who rescues Cooper’s John Merrick – Aka the Elephant Man – from life in a freak show booth. »
- Jeremy Gerard
This little vampire makes you believe she can bite, wrestle and choke a man twice her size to death. It’s like a trip back to...
For those veteran theatergoers who saw Paris but didn’t visit the Grand Guignol before it closed shop in 1962, the new stage adaptation of John Ajvide Lindqvist’s novel and screenplay “Let the Right One In” is a must-see. Stage director John Tiffany offers some superb reincarnations of the bloodsucking and bloodletting that distinguishes Tomas Alfredson’s 2008 vampire film, and he adds another grizzly touch, inspired by Brian De Palma, that will shock no »
- Robert Hofler
Everyone knows Woody Allen. At least, everyone thinks they know Woody Allen. His plumage is easily identifiable: horn-rimmed glasses, baggy suit, wispy hair, kvetching demeanor, ironic sense of humor, acute fear of death. As is his habitat: New York City, though recently he has flown as far afield as London, Barcelona, and Paris. His likes are well known: Bergman, Dostoevsky, New Orleans jazz. So too his dislikes: spiders, cars, nature, Wagner records, the entire city of Los Angeles. Whether or not these traits represent the true Allen, who’s to say? It is impossible to tell, with Allen, where cinema ends and life begins, an obfuscation he readily encourages. In the late nineteen-seventies, disillusioned with the comedic success he’d found making such films as Sleeper (1973), Love and Death (1975), and Annie Hall (1977), he turned for darker territory with Stardust Memories (1980), a film in which, none too surprisingly, he plays a »
- Graham Daseler
Mateo Gil, co-writer of Alejandro Amenabar’s Oscar-winning “The Sea Inside” and director of Sam Shepard starrer “Blackthorn,” will go into production Monday on his third feature, “Project Lazarus,” a U.S.-set sci-fi love story starring Tom Hughes (“About Time”), Charlotte le Bon (“The Walk,” “Yves Saint Laurent”), Oona Chaplin (“Games of Thrones”) and Barry Ward (“Jimmy’s Hall”).
Also penned by Gil, also a co-scribe on Amenabar’s “Open Your Eyes” and “Agora,” “Project Lazarus” is produced by Ibon Cormenzana for Barcelona’s Arcadia Motion Pictures, which backed Claudia Llosa’s Berlin Competition player “Aloft,” with Jennifer Connelly, Cillian Murphy and Melanie Laurent, a Sony Pictures Classics pick-up for North and Latin America. A co-producer on “Blackthorn” and Isabelle Coixet’s 2015 Berlin opener “Nobody Wants the Night, »
- John Hopewell
Exclusive: Writer, director, and producer E.L. “Evan” Katz, who won the 2013 SXSW Audience Award with his festival favorite dark comedy Cheap Thrills, has joined Jim Mickle and Nick Damici (Cold In July) as writer and producer on SundanceTV’s original scripted series Hap and Leonard.
Premiering in 2016, the series is adapted from author Joe Lansdale’s Southern noir books about an unlikely pair of best friends and martial arts experts who try to stay on the right side of the law in 1980s East Texas. SundanceTV ordered six one-hour episodes in November. Filming begins this year with Mickle set to direct a number of episodes.
The show marks Katz’s first foray into television after writing, directing, and producing his way up the genre film ranks. He also directed a slick entry in last year’s horror anthology ABCs of Death 2.
Hap and Leonard is the latest Lonsdale adaptation »
- Jen Yamato
Jeff Nichols has been a steadily rising director since his excellent 2007 debut, Shotgun Stories, which first united him with star Michael Shannon, who has gone on to appear in all his features since. 2011’s Take Shelter, starring Shannon and Jessica Chastain, premiered at Sundance before hitting Cannes, while 2012’s Mud played in the main competition at Cannes before heading to Sundance. Each film has seen a significant increase in production value, so we’re not surprised to find Nichols finally working on a studio financed production with Midnight Special, starring Joel Edgerton, Kirsten Dunst, Adam Driver, and returning cast members Shannon and Sam Shepard. A sci-fi film concerning a father and son that go on the run after discovering his child has special powers, this recalls a heyday of adult studio genre films from the 1980s, perhaps Stephen King’s Firestarter (1984)? We »
- Nicholas Bell
The semi-annual Television Critics Association’s winter press tour is well underway, and Netflix is taking the opportunity to shed some light on its future slate of originals. It was recently revealed that Marco Polo, a historical epic that is the streaming giant’s most ambitious series to date, has been picked for a second season of 13 episodes, to premiere sometime next year.
Production on the second season of Marco Polo will commence later this year. The show received mixed reviews in its first season, but it represents a huge step for Netflix’s original programming, so the streaming giant was always sure to stand behind it for multiple seasons. The John Fusco-created drama stars Lorenzo Richelmy as Marco and features Benedict Wong, Joan Chen, Zhu Zhu, Chin Han, Olivia Cheng, Tom Wu, Remy Hii, Uli Latukefu, Mahesh Jadu, Claudia Kim and Rick Yune.
Netflix also announced premiere dates for several upcoming originals. »
- Isaac Feldberg
Earlier today Netflix presented a series of panels at the TCA Winter Press tour to highlight some of their upcoming programming. Netflix's Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos opened the day with a number of announcements before the casts and creators of The Fall, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, and Bloodline took the stage to talk about their shows. Among those in attendance were Tina Fey, Ellie Kemper, Gillian Anderson, Jamie Dornan, Sam Shepard, Kyle Chandler, and Sissy Spacek. Find out what we learned about Netflix's upcoming slate after the jump. Netflix's Chief Content Officer, Ted Sarandos, Kicked off the presentation with a slew of announcements including a second season renewal for Marco Polo and a number of upcomming premiere dates, which included the first of their Marvel projects, Daredevil: Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt - March 6th Bloodline – March 20th Grace and Frankie – May 8th Marvel's Daredevil – April 10th He then opened the floor to questions. »
- Haleigh Foutch
Netflix plans to release plenty more original series than just this month’s upcoming The Adventures of Puss in Boots. The streaming video-on-demand service has announced the premiere dates for six original series including Marvel’s Daredevil and the family drama Bloodline from the creators of FX’s Emmy-winning Damages.
The first two series to arrive on the streaming video platform are programming titles aimed at children and young adults. The animated Ever After High: Spring Unsprung is based on Mattel’s popular doll franchise and will debut globally on February 6, 2015. The teen-centric Mako Mermaids live-action series about three mermaids who trade their fins for legs will premiere its second season on February 13 for all Netflix subscribers in North America, Latin America, Ireland, UK, the Nordics, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxumbourg.
- Bree Brouwer
Netflix’s “Bloodline” is a family thriller from brothers Todd and Glenn Kessler, as well as their decades-long close friend and collaborator, Daniel Zelman (collectively known as Kzk) — so it’s no surprise that this offering from the people behind “Damages” will be highly personal.
But it is not “Damages,” the Kessler crew wanted reporters to know at Wednesday’s Winter Television Critics Association panel for the new series — except maybe a little bit in its tonality.
See photos: Big Screen to Small Screen: 27 Movies Being Made Into TV Shows (Photos)
“‘Damages’ for us was very much about the professional world, »
- Tony Maglio
Netflix, the world's leading Internet TV network, today announced a new ten episode chapter in the adventures of Marco Polo and upcoming premiere dates for some of its highly anticipated new original series. Marco Polo, the sweeping adventure that follows the famed explorer's exploits in Kublai Khan's court in 13th century China, will return to delight the global Netflix audience. Creator John Fusco's tale of Marco's journey will continue for 10 all-new episodes as Marco navigates Kublai Khan's world of greed, betrayal, sexual intrigue and rivalry. Fusco serves as executive producer along with Dan Minahan. Academy-Award nominated directors Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg also serve as executive producers. Season 1 was shot in Malaysia, Kazakhstan and Italy. Produced by The Weinstein Company, the series stars Lorenzo Richelmy as Marco and features Benedict Wong, Joan Chen, Zhu Zhu, Chin Han, Olivia Cheng, Tom Wu, Remy Hii, Uli Latukefu, Mahesh Jadu, »
The epic historical-based exploration adventure will get 10 new episodes taking place in Kublai Khan’s 13th century China.
“Daredevil” will begin on Friday, April 10.
Here’s the full press release, more to come:
Netflix, the world’s leading Internet TV network, today announced a new ten episode chapter in the adventures of Marco Polo and upcoming premiere dates for some of its highly anticipated new original series.
- Tony Maglio
Winter press tour just started, and already there's news, with Netflix announcing premiere dates for many of its new 2015 shows — including a much earlier debut than we expected for "Daredevil." In addition to ordering a second season of "Marco Polo," Netflix boss Ted Sarandos announced the following premiere dates (note: Netflix tends to debut its shows right after midnight Pacific on the dates in question): * "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt," which Netflix acquired from NBC late last year, will debut on Friday, March 6; created by Tina Fey and Robert Carlock, it stars Ellie Kemper from "The Office" as a woman who has just been rescued from a doomsday cult and tries to start her life over in New York City. It's funny. * "Bloodline," a drama from the "Damages" creative team about a Florida family — which includes Kyle Chandler, Ben Mendelsohn, Linda Cardellini, Norbert Leo Butz, Jacinda Barrett, Sissy Spacek and Sam Shepard — will debut on Friday, »
- Alan Sepinwall
Netflix has released premiere dates for its exclusive shows, including "Marvel's Daredevil" and "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt." Netflix has also renewed "Marco Polo" for another ten episodes, although it's not clear when those will be released.
"Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt," which stars Ellie Kemper as a former cult member making her way in NYC, premieres on Friday, March 6. It was co-created by Tina Fey and Robert Carlock, and co-stars Jane Krakowski, Tituss Burgess, and Carol Kane. The first season will run for 13 episodes.
Family drama "Bloodline" will premiere on Friday, March 20, and run for 13 episodes as well. It's got a sweet cast that includes Kyle Chandler, Ben Mendelsohn, Linda Cardellini, Sissy Spacek, and Sam Shepard, so we'll definitely be keeping an eye out for that one.
- Jenni Miller
A new year of films may beckon, but there are lots of movies from 2014 you may have missed. Here's a list of 2014's most underappreciated...
There was no shortage of magnificent films in 2014 of every kind, from the expensive and explosive to the low-key and experimental. But it's a sad fact of life that not all movies do as well as they should, either because of poor distribution or simply because they'd been released at the same time as something much bigger and more star-laden.
While the list below is by no means an exhaustive one - there are plenty of great films from 2014 that we're still getting around to seeing - it's our attempt to highlight a few fine pieces of work that didn't get quite as much love as they deserved.
So without further ado - and in no particular order - we'll start with a stunning »
Throughout the final days hours of 2014, we will be highlighting each of our contributor’s “Best of 2014″ on an individual basis. This isn’t limited to movies & television either. No, no, this bleeds over into memorabilia, music and so much more. Without further ado…
Twitch, the film blog, deserves the credit for getting me really psyched about this movie. I mean, I absolutely loved The Raid but the idea of a sequel was not welcome; the ending was suitably climactic and had a pleasing dramatic punch I didn’t want diluted by what seemed like a cash-in, an assumption not alleviated by The Raid director/writer Gareth Evans’ locked-in distribution contract with Sony long before filming had even begun. But as Twitch devotedly pursued every scrap of information Evans’ fed to them during filming (there was quite a bit, a refreshing change from the usual hush of »
- Chris Melkus
16 items from 2015
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