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Apologies to the five or so of you who read this with any regularity, there was no column last week. Day job woes and Christmas combined to stomp my ass into a fug of inactivity in terms of watching and writing about it. Therefore you get a bumper edition this week with two weeks’ worth of content.
In other big news House of Cards returns to Netflix with season two in February and the Turbo super-fast snail animated series, based on that DreamWorks film that recently came out, debuts in December. Now TV also has you covered during Christmas week by adding a new big title pretty much every day between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day, although apart from Elf on Now TV and a dedicated Christmas selection, there is a disturbing lack of Christmas themed films on the other services.
- Chris Holt
The movies persist in giving us an outdated view of women
Ed Helmore's welcome article further underlined the woeful position of women in the film industry ("The naked truth: Hollywood treats its women as second-class citizens", In Focus).
There are also still questions to be raised about the representation of women in films. In fact, women rarely appear as women – they appear as sex objects or as ersatz men – sometimes both at once.
I like a strong female lead as much as the next person, but so often that female acts and talks exactly like a man and is surrounded by men – though she is usually allowed to have sex with the male lead at the end of the movie. When can we acknowledge that women do interesting, thrilling, beautiful, unusual, brave and clever things without having to inhabit a "traditionally male" role? Worst of all, the man-woman has now become a cliche, »
Written by Stephen Gaghan
Directed by Steven Soderbergh
In his review of King of the Hill, Zach Lewis skewers Steven Soderbergh’s fascination with political structures throughout the director’s filmography and reading the 1993 film’s Depression-era survivalism as a “residual effect of those outside any political sphere.” Seven years after King of the Hill, Soderbergh’s fixation on politics would reach its peak in Traffic, an endlessly complex examination of America’s War on Drugs.
Traffic‘s genesis is simple enough, beginning with a pair of cops. Having run down a Mexican drug courier mid-transport, officer Javier Rodriguez (Benicio Del Toro) and his partner find their score short-lived when high-ranking General Salazar (Tomas Milian) pulls rank and takes over the drug bust. Here, the simplicity of Traffic dissipates with the monochrome yellows of the Tijuana desert. Though Rodriguez’s would-be arrest implies it, smuggling cocaine from Mexico »
- David Klein
Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones are trying to avoid a divorce and one of ways he is trying to win her back is with food. The actor and his wife took a temporary ''break'' from their 13-year marriage in August he has been trying to prove they can be a family by making pancakes for their children Dylan, 13, and 10-year-old Carys. Speaking to the Sunday People newspaper, a source said: ''When he's in New York, he makes the kids breakfast and comes back in the evening to watch TV with them before bedtime. ''Then he gets his marching orders from his wife and returns to sleep at his own place in Manhattan ... He so desperately wants to be back as part of the family's life. ''Catherine thinks it's really touching he's being so hands-on with the kids - and he's praying it's the key back into her heart.'' However, »
According to a close family friend, the 69-year-old actor, who lives nearby in his temporary bachelor's pad, turns up almost every morning and goes to work with the frying pan, the Mirror reported.
The source said that the 'Basic Instincts' star would give his right arm for a reconciliation but Jones has warned him that she is not ready to commit and still has not ruled out divorce.
The insider has revealed that the 'Side. »
- Meeta Kabra
Moviefone's Top DVD of the Week
"Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me"
What's It About? The Memphis band Big Star has legions of diehard fans and critical acclaim aplenty, and its influence can be felt across the history of rock 'n' roll. But why did mainstream success elude them? Why did Big Star flame out after only three albums? This doc tries to put the pieces together.
Why We're In: Even fans don't know the whole story about this cult band and its members, so this doc will help them fill in some of the blanks. Chris Bell died in 1978 as an unknown, and the late Alex Chilton was also not a huge fan of talking to the media. "Nothing Can Hurt Me" puts the band into context of the Memphis scene, and it has tons of interviews with everyone left who was involved with the band, rock critics, and »
- Jenni Miller
Check out what's new to rent and own this week on the various streaming services such as cable Movies On Demand, Amazon, iTunes, Vudu, and, of course, Netflix. Cable Movies On Demand: Same-day-as-disc releases, older titles and pretheatrical exclusives for rent, priced from $3-$10, in 24- or 48-hour periods Getaway (action, Ethan Hawke, Selena Gomez; rated PG-13) Jobs (biopic about Apple founder Steve Jobs; Ashton Kutcher, Dermot Mulroney; rated PG-13) Red 2 (action sequel; Bruce Willis, Helen Mirren, John Malkovich, Mary-Louise Parker, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Anthony Hopkins; PG-13) Turbo (animated; voices: Ryan Reynolds, Paul Giamatti; rated PG) The Truth About Emanuel (thriller; Jessica Biel, Kaya Scodelario; pretheatrical release; not rated) The Punk Singer...
- Robert B. DeSalvo
Actress Mary-Louise Parker explains why the audience can relate to her character Sarah in our exclusive featurette for Red 2, debuting on Blu-ray and DVD November 26. Unlike the rest of the main characters, played by Bruce Willis, John Malkovich and Helen Mirren, Sarah is just a normal person who happens to be along for the ride with a team of highly trained killers. Take a look, then read on for the special features details below.
Bruce Willis (The Expendables) stars as retired black-ops CIA agent Frank Moses, who must reunite his unlikely team of elite operatives to take on a new set of enemies on a mission that is "smart, sexy and packs a wallop!"(Am New York). Featuring an outstanding all-star cast including John Malkovich (Burn After Reading), Mary-Louise Parker (Showtime's Weeds), with Anthony Hopkins (Thor) and Helen Mirren (The Queen), Red 2 proves the best never rest.
I made my Slim Pickings joke last week and this week, I got nothing. Things are a bit better this week anyway with a nice mixture of the new, the old and the quirky independent that has gone straight to VOD.
I imagine things will pick up massively into December as Now TV adds Iron Man 3 and Oz: The Great and Powerful and then the other service providers try and compete.
For now though below are the films to look out for this week, Enjoy!
The latest horror film to borrow Guillermo Del Toro’s name in order to present itself, is this ghost story from director Andres Muschietti. Jessica Chastain plays a woman who reluctantly becomes foster-mother to her partners’ two nieces after they are recovered from living feral in the wilderness. The problem is the girls were looked after by something nasty in the woods and »
- Chris Holt
On DVD this November catch-up with everyone's favorite retired black-ops agents as they reunite to track down a missing portable nuclear device. Codename ‘Nightshade’, the veteran team of elite operatives find themselves up against a multitude of assassins, terrorists and corrupt Governments. Outgunned and outmanned, they have only their cunning wits, their old-school skills, and each other to rely on as they try to save the world – and stay alive in the process. In a mission that takes them from Costco to Paris, London and Moscow this high-octane action-comedy sequel shows no signs of slowing down! Directed by Dean Parisot (Fun With Dick And Jane), written by Jon Hoeber & Erich Hoeber (Red), based on characters created by Warren Ellis & Cully Hamner, produced by Lorenzo di Bonaventura (Transformers) and Mark Vahradian (Transformers) and featuring an all-star cast: Bruce Willis, Helen Mirren, John Malkovich, Anthony Hopkins, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Mary-Louise Parker. »
Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones are back together and trying to avoid a divorce. The 69-year-old actor and wife Catherine Zeta-Jones, 44, took a temporary ''break'' from their 13-year marriage in August but the 'Behind the Candelabra' star - who has children Dylan, 13, and Carys, 10, with the actress - believes the future is ''positive'' for the couple. He said: ''I hope to resolve my marriage in a positive fashion.'' Michael's eldest son, 34-year-old Cameron - whose mother is the actor's former wife Diandra Lucker - is currently in solitary confinement in jail for drug offenses and the 'Wall Street' star believes he has been given a tougher sentence because of his famous father. Speaking to America's GQ magazine - who named him Diva of the Year - Michael said: ''They gave him an additional four and a half years to his sentence [after he was caught with drugs in prison] and put »
Red 2 - "The sequel to the action-comedy hit Red, which reunites our team of retired CIA operatives as they use their old-school style to take on a new set of enemies all across Europe." The film is being directed by Dean Parisot ("Galaxy Quest") and will star: Bruce Willis, John Malkovich, Helen Mirren, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Anthony Hopkins, David Thewlis, and Mary-Louise Parker. The film is available on Blu-ray and DVD. »
Michael Douglas has revealed that he considers himself underrated as an actor during his career.
The Hollywood star recently won an Emmy Award for his portrayal of Liberace in the HBO movie Beyond the Candelabra. He also won an Oscar for Wall Street back in 1988.
Speaking to GQ for the publication's Men of the Year special, he said: "I've always felt a little underestimated, personally. I've got a pretty good batting average over 40 years. Sometimes maybe it looked easy."
Douglas was also critical of several movie studios' decisions not to distribute the biopic in the Us, meaning he could not be nominated for an Oscar in 2014.
He said: "I'm actually taking a sort of joy, a revengeful joy, in the fact that all the studios turned it down. To me it was just a reflection of how constipated and conservative the studios have become."
The actor - who has battled »
The 69-year-old Academy award winner, who got the news of his reconciliation with his 42-year-old Welsh actress wife at the premiere of his new movie 'Last Vegas', was all praises for his better half and said that she is "more beautiful than ever, inside and out", Universal Pictures India reported.
The 'Basic Instinct' actor commented on their relationship for the first time after the couple hit a rough patch in their thirteen year long marriage and admitted. »
- Ketali Mehta
Read our appreciation of Steven Soderbergh’s Ocean’s Eleven here.
* * *
“How old do you think I am?”
Ocean’s Twelve has a reputation that will always precede it; some have called it an anti-sequel, and publications like Entertainment Weekly have dubbed it one of the worst sequels of all time. Though both reactions are, perhaps, understandable, neither is remotely accurate. Ocean’s Twelve is an inherently self-aware sequel, possibly the most self-aware follow-up in modern history. What Steven Soderbergh, screenwriter George Nolfi (whose original script, Honor Among Thieves, was completely unrelated to Ocean’s Eleven and was sold initially before that remake had been released), and the slightly larger-than-before ensemble cast did was make a sequel to a critically and commercially lauded caper film that was wholly cognizant of the fact that it was a sequel to a critically and commercially lauded caper film. Ocean’s Twelve toys with audience expectations, »
- Josh Spiegel
Halifax -- Hollywood's most fattening movies point the camera at compelling chefs. Recall Meryl Streep in Julie & Julia, Tony Shalhoub in Big Night and Catherine Zeta-Jones in No Reservations. Those movies brought audiences into gilded pantries, while also bringing dirty pots and pans into the open. But European and other foreign food-themed movies mostly feature the big dinner, where eating well is the best revenge against life's woes and ills. Remember the mighty gorge in Gabriel Axel's Babette's Feast, Alfonso Arau's Like Water for Chocolate, Ang Lee's Eat Drink Man Woman, Lasse Hallstrom's Chocolat and Juzo Itami's Tampopo.
- Etan Vlessing
The sequel to 2010′s Red, Red 2 is the “fun, frothy return for Frank and his creaky commandos” (Empire), who face a new challenge that sees the gang reunited, and helped by some old friends, in their mission to avert nuclear disaster.
Retired CIA agent Frank Moses (Bruce Willis) reunites his team of elite operatives for an abundance of action-packed adventures and cracking comedic moments as their new mission takes them across the globe – to Paris, London and Moscow. Outgunned and outmanned, they have only their cunning wits and old-school skills to rely on as they try to save the world.
In director Dean Parisot’s all-out action-comedy, Red 2 features an all-star cast including Bruce Willis (Looper, Die Hard,) John Malkovich, (Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Burn After Reading) Mary-Louise Parker (R.I.P.D, Angels in America,) Anthony Hopkins (Thor, Hannibal) Helen Mirren (Hitchcock, The Queen) Catherine Zeta-Jones (Side Effects, »
- Simon Gallagher
Bruce Dern in ‘Nebraska’: AFI Fest 2013 highlight The Los Angeles-based AFI Fest, which kicked off last Thursday, November 7, 2013, continues until next Thursday. On Monday, November 11, the highlight of AFI Fest 2013 is Alexander Payne’s Nebraska (7:00 p.m. at Tcl Chinese Theatre), likely to earn a Best Actor Academy Award nomination for veteran Bruce Dern, who earlier this year took home the Best Actor Award at the Cannes Film Festival. (Photo: Bruce Dern, Will Forte in Nebraska.) Set in Kentucky (kidding), Nebraska accompanies an elderly man (Dern) and his son (Will Forte) as they travel from Billings, Montana, to Lincoln, Nebraska, so he can collect sweepstakes prize money he believes he has won. In sum, Nebraska is what’s called a Road Movie, in which the Road is a metaphor for Life. Shades of brothers Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise getting to know one another in Barry Levinson’s Rain Man, »
- Andre Soares
Julia Roberts roasts non-Brit George Clooney as she introduced his BAFTA-La Britannia Award for excellence in film. Also offering comments/jokes were Sandra Bullock, Alfonso Cuaron, Meryl Streep, John Goodman, Steven Soderbergh, and Catherine Zeta-Jones. Kathryn Bigelow, Benedict Cumberbatch, Idris Elba, and Ben Kingsley were also honored. Hollywood Reporter. Pete Hammond reports that Sacha Baron Cohen had "half the packed Beverly Hilton audience roaring and the other half shaking in their Jimmy Choos" when he pranked them Saturday night at the same Britannia Awards. As Salma Hayek was presenting the Charlie Chaplin comedy award, she also introduced an elderly woman who was said to be the oldest surviving star from a Chaplin picture. Baron Cohen then pushed the lady off the stage and later carried her limp "dead" body off stage. Deadline. Kendrick Lamar is the big winner at the 2013 Soul Train Awards. Lamar won Album of the Year for "Good Kid, »
David Emanuel will reportedly take part in the upcoming series of I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!
The fashion designer is said to be the first celebrity contestant to land in Australia ahead of the show's return on November 17.
Journalist Adam Tanswell, who is currently in Brisbane, broke the news on his Twitter account.
The first celebrity has arrived for I'm A Celebrity 2013... Fashion designer David Emanuel. #imacelebrity #imaceleb2013
— adam tanswell (@adamtanswell) November 10, 2013
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