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Directed by: Ang Lee
Ang Lee has gone in about eight different directions in terms of genre. His resume includes “The Ice Storm,” “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” Hulk,” “Brokeback Mountain,” “Life of Pi,” and this delightful Jane Austen adaptation, starring Emma Thompson, Hugh Grant, Alan Rickman, and young Kate Winslet. “Sense and Sensibility” took home the Oscar for Adapted Screenplay for the story of the Dashwood family, a mother widowed and left in difficult circumstances after her husband has left his fortune to his first wife, instead of his current one. So Mrs. Dashwood (Gemma Jones) and her daughters Fanny, Marianne, and Elinor (Harriet Walter, Winslet, Thompson) have to find a way to survive in a world ruled by men and the rules that seem to create obstacle after obstacle for them. Unfortunately, given the era, they are viewed as “unmarryable,” since they have no fortune and no prospects. »
- Joshua Gaul
If television, as the well-worn phrase goes, is a not a director's medium, why the hell do so many big-time directors have an episode or twenty to their name? While it's difficult to definitively label the chicken and the egg here, the gradual rise of prestige TV has seen more and more of our favorite auteurs find a second home, or in cases like Steven Soderbergh with "The Knick," more or less relocate there entirely (check out our feature 15 Filmmakers At The Forefront Of The TV Revolution). Of course, it's still rare for any A-list director to commit the way Soderbergh has, or the way Cary Fukunaga did with "True Detective" and helm every episode of a given season, or several episodes the way Jill Soloway did with her self-penned "Transparent." But whether it's dipping in for the pilot and then handing the reins to a showrunner and moving into a producing capacity, »
- The Playlist Staff
The caper comedy about a bumbling art collector tasked by British authorities to track down a priceless stolen painting has accumulated just four favorable reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. The rest, all 39 of them, declare that it’s just about as awful as the trailers make it look, »
- Greg Gilman
In The Front Row, Richard Brody writes on Amos Vogel (pictured above), and the ever-influential (yet contrastive) strands of cinephilia born in Paris and New York:
"Vogel’s dream of American independent filmmaking offering a significant artistic counterweight to Hollywood films has been fulfilled: independent films are now better, more original, more forward-looking than ever. The French cinephile stream exemplified by the New Wave filmmakers has won the hearts and minds of these independent filmmakers, and inspires them to this day. But the American cinephilia launched by Vogel, with its emphasis on ideological scrutiny, holds sway over many critics and viewers, perhaps more firmly than ever. That’s why the gap that Vogel lamented—the one dividing the best of independent filmmaking from the critical community and the audience—is also larger than ever."
The Coen brothers will serve as the co-presidents of the jury for the 68th Cannes Film Festival this May. »
Much like like Steven Soderbergh or Richard Linklater, Canadian filmmaker Bruce McDonald doesn't easily fit into a single genre box. Often using his home country as a backdrop, the director has delivered movies as diverse as "Dance Me Outside," "Hard Core Logo," "The Tracey Fragments," and "This Movie Is Broken." But for his next move, McDonald is readying "Hellions," and he hopes it'll send a chill up your spine. Starring Chloe Rose, Robert Patrick, Rossif Sutherland, Rachel Wilson, Peter DaCunha, and Luke Bilyk, the horror/thriller takes place on Halloween night where more than just trick or treaters are up to trouble. Here's the official synopsis: It is Halloween night in the town of Waterford, the so-called Pumpkin Capital of the World. Alone at home, teenager Dora Vogel is about to have a very long night. Free to roam undetected among the small town's trick-or-treaters, a group of masked demonic beings knock on. »
- Kevin Jagernauth
Desperately seeking a “pretty movie stars chase art treasures in world capitals” vibe, this goofy soufflé ultimately falls flat
I admit to being a big fan of watching glamorous movie stars gadding around world capitols in the comedic pursuit of art treasures; I spent countless hours glued to the TV as a kid soaking in comic soufflés like “Charade” and “How to Steal a Million,” and I’ll even defend the much-maligned “Hudson Hawk” for its efforts to keep the genre alive in our modern, cynical era.
If only I could feel as charitable toward “Mortdecai,” a glamorous, jet-set fantasy »
- Alonso Duralde
Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit trilogy has been one of the most frustrating franchises in movie history. Many fans still love it, but Jackson’s need to overload the films with invented love triangles, back stories, needlessly long and laughable fight sequences, unnecessary winks to the original Lord of the Rings franchise, and countess acts of dwarves walking in straight lines have for this writer made all three films a boring, meandering mess.
And yet three films always felt like a lot for one book, and Jackson is a strong enough filmmaker that you can see a great movie in The Hobbit. Our own review of The Battle of the Five Armies said that “for those willing to overlook the sour for the sweet, there are great treasures to be found, as Jackson brings his trilogy to a suitably-epic conclusion.”
So perhaps mercifully, a fan by the name “tolkieneditor” has »
- Brian Welk
With sex and Hollywood in the spotlight as the debut of Universal’s “Fifty Shades of Grey” movie approaching, Variety critics weigh in on their favorite movie sex scenes.
“Don’t Look Now”
(Nicolas Roeg, 1973)
(Dover Kosashvili, 2001)
(Bernardo Bertolucci, 2003)
(Bernardo Bertolucci, 1972)
The butter scene ensured notoriety, but another moment — two lonely people naked on a mattress, trying to bring each other to »
- Justin Chang, Scott Foundas and Peter Debruge
With 2015 upon us, we figured it was a good time to look back on the movies the millennium has brought us. And so we've dug into the archives and are re-running our Best of the 2000s pieces, from way back in 2009 when the Playlist was a little Blogspot site held together with tape and string. Each list runs down the top 10 films of each year. Check out 2000 right here, and today we continue with 2001. The original piece follows below, and thanks to staffers past and present who contributed. What was the state of cinema in 2001? Oscar-wise, the Academy Awards made some bold nominations, but of course awarded the safer "Gladiator" in favor of Steven Soderbergh's far superior "Traffic." Still, Soderbergh did pull off the feat of being nominated twice in the same directorial category for his drug trade drama and "Erin Brockovich" (he would win for "Traffic" and Julia Roberts »
- The Playlist Staff
For some fans, interaction with films they love (or want to love) has become a full-on interactive thing. For various reasons — love, hate, curiosity, education — we see fans cutting their own versions of films more and more often. Even Steven Soderbergh is getting into the act of recutting favorite films. One obvious candidate […]
The post Unofficial ‘Tolkien Edit’ Cuts ‘The Hobbit’ Down to Four Hours appeared first on /Film. »
- Russ Fischer
Jude Law has turned into a very surprising actor. When he first hit the scene in films like A.I. and The Talented Mr. Ripley, it almost felt like Hollywood was forcing him to be an A-lister. Fast forward to now and Law has not headlined a major film in a while. Yeah, he has been a supporting player in several Steven Soderbergh films and the Sherlock Holmes franchise, but as a leading man he has found a comfortable home in smaller productions like Dom Hemingway and the upcoming Black Sea. »
- Alex Maidy
Amazon Studios is the latest digital player that aims to upend the film distribution business by releasing films in theaters and on digital platforms earlier than its big studio rivals.
Day-and-date and short theatrical windows have long been used for niche films by distribs including Radius, IFC and Magnolia. But Amazon’s entry into the feature film business with Amazon Original Movies, led by veteran indie producer Ted Hope, is another major move by digital giants to disrupt the traditional Hollywood model.
It’s one more way that the theatrical industry is fraying under pressure from new, deep-pocketed players and changes in consumer habits. But Amazon’s entry into feature films is unlikely to convince studios to try earlier windows, despite the $30 million Sony’s “The Interview” made in its fire-sale release.
Major theater chains remain adamant that they will not show films that premiere simultaneously in the home or »
- Brent Lang and Marc Graser
"May the hair on your toes never fall out." Hurry – before the angry legal goons in Hollywood put their foot down and stamp out this fire! In all truth and honesty, I fully expected this (someone would re-cut it into one movie) to happen sooner or later, and I'm glad it was sooner. A J.R.R. Tolkien super-fan who goes by "tolkieneditor" has published a 4-hour re-edit (or "fan cut") of The Hobbit trilogy, with the conclusion still playing in theaters now. His new version has condensed the excess footage from Jackson's trilogy into one extended 4-hour presentation. It's not exactly "one" movie, and I'm sure we'll see someone make that eventually, but it is the first attempt at redoing The Hobbit as a single story–the way it should've been done. Similar to the way Topher Grace re-cut the Star Wars prequels into one 90-minute movie, and similar to Steven Soderbergh »
- Alex Billington
Films will launch in theatres and arrive on Amazon Prime Instant Video 30-60 days later in the freshest attack on theatrical exhibition.
Amazon issued a statement that said: “ Whereas it typically takes 39 to 52 weeks for theatrical movies to premiere on subscription video services, Amazon Original Movies will premiere on Prime Instant Video in the U.S. just 4 to 8 weeks after their theatrical debut.”
“Not only will we bring Prime Instant Video customers exciting, unique, and exclusive films soon after a movie’s theatrical run, but we hope this programme will also benefit film-makers, who too often struggle to mount fresh and daring stories that deserve an audience.”
Hope added: »
- email@example.com (Jeremy Kay)
Sick of honey-sweet TV portrayals of relationships and hackneyed sitcom clichés about the drudgery of marriage, Sharon Horan (Pulling, Dead Boss, Free Agents) and stand-up Rob Delaney (Burning Love, Larry King, basically the king of Twitter) wrote and star in Catastrophe. It’s a deeply funny, down-to-earth story of two people whose strings-free hook-up is fast-tracked due to an unplanned pregnancy, and their attempts to stay their accelerated course.
Deftly balancing sharp humour with naturalistic performances and genuine warmth spiked by the odd disgusting moment, Catastrophe is a solid addition to Channel 4’s comedy line-up. We chatted to writer/actors Horgan and Delaney about avoiding schmaltz, working with Carrie Fisher, the influence of Richard Linklater’s Before trilogy, and discover that Rob Delaney can’t pronounce the word ‘treacle’…
Amazon Studios, known for television series such as multi-Golden Globe winner Transparent, Annie-nominated Tumble Leaf, and Mozart in the Jungle, today announced that it will begin to produce and acquire original movies for theatrical release and early window distribution on Amazon Prime Instant Video. Whereas it typically takes 39 to 52 weeks for theatrical movies to premiere on subscription video services, Amazon Original Movies will premiere on Prime Instant Video in the U.S. just 4 to 8 weeks after their theatrical debut. Amazon Original Movies will focus on unique stories, voices, and characters from top and up-and-coming creators. Here's what Roy Price, Vice President, Amazon Studios, had to say in a statement.
"We look forward to expanding our production efforts into feature films. Our goal is to create close to twelve movies a year with production starting later this year. Not only will we bring Prime Instant Video customers exciting, unique, and »
Amazon Studios said it will produce and acquire original movies for theatrical release and early-window distribution on Amazon Prime Instant Video starting in 2015.
Producer Ted Hope will lead Amazon Original Movies creative development. A vocal advocate for changing the way independent films are produced and distributed, he co-founded and ran production company Good Machine, which produced “Eat Drink Man Woman” and “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.” Earlier this month, Hope stepped down as CEO of Fandor, a streaming-video site specializing in indie and international titles.
According to Amazon, it expects to produce about 12 movies per year. Amazon said its original movies will premiere on Prime Instant Video in the U.S. just four to eight weeks after their theatrical debut — versus up to a year for regular windowing.
The move by Amazon comes after Netflix also has launched a bid to enter into the movie sector, announcing plans to debut the sequel to “Crouching Tiger, »
- Todd Spangler
Last week, Steven Soderbergh offered his own cut of 2001: A Space Odyssey in a much more complete fashion than he did with either Raiders of the Lost Ark or Psycho. He didn’t merely provide a navel-gazing soundtrack to a black-and-whitified version of Indy so that everyone could focus in on how Spielberg staged his scenes, or combine the two Psychos together so that everyone could focus in on how much cooler Anthony Perkins is than Vince Vaughn. Soderbergh’s cut of 2001 is the product of a complete vision for the movie (in as much as it can be without shooting new scenes or having access to any footage that didn’t make Kubrick’s cut). If aliens learn about human civilization through the internet, and they find this video without the accompanying text, they’ll think that it’s the “real” 2001. They’ll also wonder why our space program has moved backward in the past »
- Scott Beggs
This is it, folks. After 400(!) episodes, Ricky and Simon decided to wrap up the Sound on Sight podcast. To send it off in style, they take a look back at the very best films of 2014, with some help from a variety of former guest- and co-hosts. Smack dab in the middle, with the help of special guests Kate Rennebohm and Adam Nayman, they go deep on Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice, the biggest missing piece in their 2014 moviegoing. It’s a nearly three-hour blowout, because it didn’t seem right to go out small. Cheers!
With Steven Soderbergh being retired from film and all, he’s got an awful lot of time on his hands, clearly enough to re-watch and re-edit a movie he calls “The most impressively imagined and sustained piece of visual art created in the 20th century,” 2001: A Space Odyssey, because why not?
Obviously there are many reasons why not, and he already had his hand adapting the Russian 2001: A Space Odyssey, a.k.a. Solaris, but he decided that if he was going to do anything to it, he would do more than just trim scenes or add a new score (which, again, dear God, why?).
His new version runs just 110 minutes, about 50 shorter than Stanley Kubrick’s original. But the real reason had nothing to do with the film’s length but with the chance to experiment with new digital technology and the Blu-Ray re-release. Soderbergh attests that »
- Brian Welk
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