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At some point I'm going to stop pointing out that what makes The Knick such an engrossing watch is Steven Soderbergh's direction, but we're not at that point yet. Consider everything that Soderbergh's unique filmic sensibilities do to make The Knick different from other period or medical dramas, and you'll see that without that visual distinction, The Knick would still be good, but it might not be special. The cast and the narrative are all great, but what brings it all together -- what makes it shine, and really stand apart -- is the direction. Hit the jump for why "If he dies because of your horseshit, I will stab you in the throat with my father's Union Army sword." I am loving this show. When it comes to The Knick, the acting, the writing, the soundtrack and the directing all meld together to create a really hypnotic hour, »
- Allison Keene
With a couple of major (major) exceptions, film adaptations of Elmore Leonard novels rarely succeed. The breezy menace of his stories, the carefree, sneaky suspense of his plotting, the dim-bulb charm of his characters … it’s all booby-trapped for film. Go in one direction and it’s too bubbly, go in another and it’s all too generic, shorn of what made it special in the first place. If Quentin Tarantino’s Jackie Brown and Steven Soderbergh’s Out of Sight work so well, it’s partly because those filmmakers themselves share the perverse, wildly varying tonal impulses at play in Leonard’s work. Their movies are like beautiful toy guns that somehow manage to go off. Writer-director Daniel Schechter is no Tarantino, and Life of Crime (adapted from Leonard’s The Switch) no Jackie Brown. But the film does manage to capture something special from Leonard’s work. A casual, »
- Bilge Ebiri
Amazon keeps accelerating the pace and output of its "pilot season" process. The original batch of Amazon pilots were presented to the public in April of last year; of those, only "Alpha House" (which got renewed for a second season) and "Betas" (which remains in limbo) got picked up. The second batch of pilots were unveiled less than a year later, and Amazon ordered almost all of them — other than "Rebels," the pro football comedy that no one seemed to like — to series. That was in February, and while none of those new shows has debuted — "Transparent," the best of the bunch, will premiere all of its episodes, Netflix-style, on September 26 — Amazon yesterday unveiled its third pilot season, even as there's already news about casting for the fourth wave of Amazon pilots. At this rate, they may be ordering some shows before a word's even been written, and traveling back »
- Alan Sepinwall
Amazon Studios have always done things a little differently. Firstly, their door is always open to creators wishing to submit material. Secondly, when they produce that material, it’s for the audience to decide if it is of sufficient quality to warrant further investment. They make a pilot available, people watch it, and its fate is determined by user comments and ratings. Among the latest of these offerings is Red Oaks – a comedy written by Joe Gangemi (Wind Chill) and Gregory Jacobs (Criminal), directed by David Gordon Green (Prince Avalanche) and executive produced by Steven Soderbergh. To say it is worth checking out is an understatement.
Starring Craig Roberts (22 Jump Street), Paul Reiser (Mad About You), Richard Kind (Obvious Child) and Jennifer Grey (The Bling Ring), the show is set in the 1980s, and sees a college student take a summer job as an assistant tennis pro at a country club. »
- Sarah Myles
[This is a re-post of my review from the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival. Life of Crime opens today in limited release.] I’ve never read any of Elmore Leonard’s novels, and yes, I’m ashamed. But I know from the film adaptations of his crime novels that there’s a way to do them right and wrong. They have a confidence, a swagger, a sly wink, a braggadocio, and they’re smart. They have the talk for the walk, and some directors, most notably Quentin Tarantino with Jackie Brown (based off Leonard’s Rum Punch) and Steven Soderbergh’s Out of Sight, are smart enough to bring that confidence to the screen. Those films make the uninitiated feel embarrassed that they haven’t joined the club. Even with Daniel Schechter’s cautious adaptation of Life of Crime (based on the novel The Switch) the audience can hear the author's voice. Schechter’s direction is serviceable enough to not get in the way, he wisely trust his strong cast, accents the comedy, »
- Matt Goldberg
A little over a year ago, the entertainment world mourned the passing of prolific author Elmore Leonard, a writer well-known in both literature and motion picture circles. His earliest works were in the Western genre and beginning in the late 1950′s many were filmed (his short story 3:10 To Yuma was made twice!). In the next decade Leonard switched genres and soon became known as one of the great creators of gritty crime thrillers. And Hollywood scooped these up for the screen, perhaps more so than the “oaters”. In the 90′s many celebrated young directors discovered his work and several critical (if not always box office) hits were released. 1998 saw Steven Soderbergh’s take on Out Of Sight following Quentin Tarantino’s spin on “Rum Punch” titled Jackie Brown the previous year. Both films even shared a Leonard character, Michael Keaton as Atf agent Ray Nicholette. This weekend sees a »
- Jim Batts
Amazon on Thursday morning debuted its third pilot season, where you, the consumer, can screen and vote on a total of five new projects featuring familiar faces such as Ron Perlman (Sons of Anarchy), Sarah Chalke (Scrubs), Dana Delany (Body of Proof), Chloe Sevigny (Big Love) and T.R. Knight (Grey’s Anatomy).
This past April, Amazon customers had a role in greenlighting six series, including the Jeffrey Tambor-fronted dramedy Transparent (premiering Sept. 26; watch trailer), X-Files creator Chris Carter’s The After and the novels-to-screen adaptation Bosch, starring Titus Welliver.
The new crop of pilots can be sampled in the »
Amazon unveiled five new pilots Thursday from Whit Stillman, Steven Soderbergh and David Gordon Green, Shaun Cassidy, Jay Chandrasekhar and Marc Forster. Some of the stars attached to the projects include Selma Blair, Adam Brody, Sarah Chalke, Dana Delany, Ron Perlman, Paul Reiser, Chloë Sevigny and Mena Suvari. “We're delighted to bring Amazon customers the work of these passionate and talented creators and are excited to get customer feedback,” said Roy Price, director of Amazon Studios. “It's an exciting time at Prime Instant Video, with new, original shows coming to the service every month for the rest of the year. »
- Tim Molloy
Amazon has released five new pilots to the public, including projects from Steven Soderbergh and Whit Stillman. The third slate of pilots is available on Amazon Instant Video in the United States and United Kingdom, and is part of Amazon's development process in which it gives viewers the chance to provide feedback before deciding which pilots to pick up. Earlier this year Amazon Studios, led by Roy Price, released 10 pilots, including five children's series, and picked up six projects to series, including Transparent, The After and Bosch. There are three comedies in this wave of pilots, including Paris-set
- Ashley Lee, Natalie Jarvey
Wondering what to watch this Labor Day weekend? You might want to fire up your Amazon account and check out the five new pilots the online behemoth is rolling out. Unlike their competitors at other streaming services, the company is taking a unique approach to programming. Today they're launching the new shows, but the catch is that user comments and ratings will determine which ones get ordered to series...and which don't. Among the competing shows is "Red Oaks," from director David Gordon Green. Starring Craig Roberts ("Submarine"), Paul Reiser and Richard Kind, the show is an '80s set comedy that follows a college age kid working at a country club during the summer. The first clip and a behind-the-scenes look promises what looks like an enjoyably sharp show, and fyi, Steven Soderbergh executive produced the pilot. "Red Oaks" is now playing on Amazon. »
- Kevin Jagernauth
We’re excited to unveil five highly-anticipated new pilots from some of the most talented and renowned writers, filmmakers and actors. For the next four weeks, it’s up to you to watch, rate and review them – helping to determine which ones get the greenlight to a full series.
You’ll be treated to a wide range of stories and voices: Whit Stillman’s romantic comedy The Cosmopolitans, about the glamorous life of expats in Paris, starring Adam Brody and Chloë Sevigny. The Steven Soderbergh-produced comedy Red Oaks, about the upstairs/downstairs life of a college student at a 1980s Jersey country club, starring Craig Roberts, Paul Reiser and Jennifer Grey. The mysterious and complex vigilante drama Hand of God from Ben Watkins, directed World War Z filmmaker Marc Forster, starring Ron Perlman and Dana Delany. The psychological thriller Hysteria, about an epidemic spread through social media, from Shaun Cassidy and starring Mena Suvari. »
Variety has announced its annual list of 10 Actors to Watch, an honor the publication has been bestowing since 1998.
Past honorees include many future Oscar-winners and nominees such as Adrien Brody, Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Patricia Clarkson, Samantha Morton, Lupita Nyong’o, Viola Davis, Michael Shannon, Melissa Leo.
This year’s honorees will be featured in the Oct. 7 issue of Variety and for the third year, several of the honorees will participate in Variety Ten to Watch activities at the Hamptons Film Festival, which runs Oct. 9-13.
This year’s 10 Actors to Watch are:
Dakota Johnson, star of the upcoming »
- Jenelle Riley
Updated, 3:15 Pm: Warner Bros said today it will give moviegoers two extra days to ogle Magic Mike 2 next Independence Day weekend. The sequel has been moved from July 3 to July 1. No Roman candle jokes, please.
Previously: Warner Bros has set Magic Mike 2 for July 3, 2015. The sequel to the 2012 film directed by Steven Soderbergh that was informed by Channing Tatum‘s early days as a male stripper. This is the latest extension of the pic that Soderbergh and Tatum hatched and financed themselves. It was a risk that turned into a major score when the original movie starring Tatum, Matthew McConaughey, Alex Pettyfer, Matt Bomer and other made $113.7M at the domestic box office — one of Soderbergh’s most lucrative movies ever — and has since spawned a Broadway musical now in the works.
- The Deadline Team
Starring Clive Owen and directed by Steven Soderbergh, “The Knick” is set in turn-of-the-last-century New York City and tells the story of the surgeons, nurses and staff at The Knickerbocker Hospital who push the boundaries of medicine in a time of astonishingly high mortality rates.
Cinemax has a lot riding on the project, which was renewed for as second season ahead of its first season bow. While the premiere episode did not attract many viewers for its original viewing on Aug. 8, it did gain an audience through repeat airings that weekend. Cinemax also offered a free online streaming of the first episode.
The HBO marathon of “The Knick” beings at 8 p.m. on Sept. 1. The show will return to »
- Whitney Friedlander
When the “Every Simpsons Ever” mega-marathon of The Simpsons began last Thursday on Fxx, it renewed interest in a show that will go down as one of the all-time greats—but has nevertheless been struggling commercially and creatively for awhile at this point. The show’s unimpeachable heyday in the ’90s is rightfully heralded, and as the marathon got going, it was those episodes that created the most excitement. Sure, they’ve been out on DVD for some time, but rebroadcasting them in order emphasized how great the show was at its peak.
Precisely when The Simpsons began to descend »
- Kyle Ryan
We really hope the Television Academy's nominating committee's collective memory lasts longer than it seems to in the coming year, because Steven Soderbergh's "The Knick" deserves plenty of Emmy love (read our review). The period based medical drama expands into a look at the upper crust, underclass and sectors in between during the turn of the century era in New York City. Soderbergh directs as if he's rediscovered his love for storytelling, Clive Owen is doing arguably the best work of his entire career, and tying it all together is Cliff Martinez's score. The composer's trademark electronic, pulsating and throbbing work here has an anachronistic quality that fits "The Knick" perfectly, helping the already fast-moving show keep its momentum. And below, you can hear two tracks from the soundtrack, "Goodnight Nurse Elkins" and "I'm In The Pink," which both give a sense of the kind of material Martinez contributes to the show. »
- Kevin Jagernauth
While “True Detective” star Matthew McConaughey was considered the frontrunner in the lead drama actor race at the 2014 Emmy Awards, it was director Cary Joji Fukunaga who scored the show’s sole win for Outstanding Directing at Monday’s ceremony. The season’s only director, Fukunaga won the gong for “Who Goes There,” which featured a six-minute, single-take tracking shot at the close of the hour.
The series also won four awards at the Creative Arts Emmys ceremony, including casting, makeup, main title design and cinematography. McConaughey and costar Woody Harrelson lost out to “Breaking Bad” lead Bryan Cranston, and the departing AMC series also took home the Outstanding Drama award.
“Detective” may have suffered from competing in the crowded drama category, when most pundits considered the anthology show a miniseries, in the same vein as “Fargo” and “American Horror Story.” A similar fate befell “Orange is the New Black, »
- Laura Prudom
I'm ecstatic I'll finally be seeing Bennett Miller's Foxcatcher at the Toronto Film Festival, beginning on September 4, which is to say in less than two weeks from now. Today a new poster for the film has premiered and along with that, over at Vulture they have profiled the upcoming release which stars Steve Carell, Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo, though that wasn't always in intention. The Vulture piece reveals Miller first started working on the script for Foxcatcher in 2007 with Dave Eggers and at the time was thnking of Ryan Gosling and Bill Nighy for the leads, and also spoke with Heath Ledger for a role. But things quickly changed after seeing the 2006 feature A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints. E. Max Frye who was ultimately credited with the screenplay alongside Dan Futterman remembers Miller's light bulb moment saying, "I remember Bennett saying, 'This is the guy! He even has a mixed-martial-arts background! »
- Brad Brevet
At one point The Man from U.N.C.L.E. was to be directed by Steven Soderbergh with names such as George Clooney, Bradley Cooper and Joel Edgerton attached over various stages of production. Then Soderbergh dropped off and Guy Ritchie took over and Tom Cruise flirted with the idea of starring until he also dropped out. Finally things came together, Ritchie is directing and Henry Cavill (Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice) and Armie Hammer (The Social Network, The Lone Ranger) are toplining the adaptation of the '60s television show, and now the first pictures have arrived thanks to a couple of scanned images from the pages of Empire magazine. Set for an August 14, 2015 release from Warner Bros., the film is against the backdrop of the early 1960s, at the height of the Cold War centering on CIA agent Solo (Cavill) and Kgb agent Kuryakin (Hammer). Forced to put aside longstanding hostilities, »
- Brad Brevet
The Knick, Season 1, Episode 3: “The Busy Flea”
Directed by Steven Soderbergh
Airs Fridays on Cinemax at 8Pm Est on Cinemax
While the new Cinemax series, The Knick, has had a promising run thus far, one would be hard pressed to deny the fact that it has been a bit uneventful. All of that has changed with the highly charged third episode however.
Beginning with Thackery receiving a visit from an old flame, “The Busy Flea” quickly sets the stage for a different kind of story. For one thing, Thackery’s former lover is not dropping by the Knick to catch up, but for a favor; the kind that only a surgeon can provide. The viewer knows right from the outset that there’s something amiss about this woman from the reaction of the admitting nurse. Soderbergh plays with the audience for a moment »
- Mike Worby
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