1-20 of 71 items from 2008 « Prev | Next »
By R. Emmet Sweeney
A pratfall can be a work of art, a study in disruptive motion, a klutz's ballet. This choreography of humiliation is perhaps the least garlanded act in contemporary film, as no Oscars will ever be won for kicks to the groin or tumbles down the stairs, regardless of their originality. Only in retrospect have the golden slapstick silents gained credibility and the brilliant purveyors of today's guffaws are suffering the same critical fate (although the hurt, it must be said, is not felt in their checkbooks). So here is my list of the top five pratfalls of 2008, some of the strongest and strangest feats from an otherwise lackluster year. Some are from masters of the form (Will Ferrell, Anna Faris), while others seamlessly blend the side-splitting spill into their respective and respectable narratives (Robert Downey Jr., Mathieu Amalric, Pixar). All show a clumsy physical grace (as »
- R. Emmet Sweeney
- 4. A Christmale Tale Comments: In A Christmas Tale, Desplechin works once again with two of his favorites: Mathieu Amalric and Emmanuelle Devos. This time out, it is Amalric who gets the more of the limelight and of course he finds himself in an unlikable role of an adult son with a major chip on his shoulder. Amalric previously worked with the director on My Sex Life... or How I Got Into an Argument and Kings & Queen. »
Mathieu Amalric of the latest James Bond film and Catherine Den Mathieu Amalric of the latest James Bond film and Catherine Deneuve—of a hundred classic movies—lead the impeccable French cast of A Christmas Tale, the story of the Vuillard family's contentious Christmas gathering in the shadow of cancer. Deneuve plays the aging matriarch, Junon, who can only be saved by a bone marrow transplant, but finding a donor won't be easy because she has a very rare type. "I never doubted it," says her husband, congratulatory. »
Columbia Pictures recently released another new television spot movie trailer from the latest James Bond 22 film “Quantum of Solace” starring Mathieu Amalric and Olga Kurylenko (Tyranny, Hitman) and Daniel Craig (I, Lucifer) as James Bond. Plot: Following the betrayal and death of Vesper Lynd, James Bond (Daniel Craig) makes his next mission personal. The hunt for those who blackmailed his lover leads Bond to ruthless businessman Dominic Greene (Mathieu Amalric), a key player in the organization which coerced Vesper. Bond learns that Greene is plotting to gain total control of a vital natural resource, and must navigate a minefield of danger and treachery to foil Greene’s plan. Stay tuned to [...] »
- Brian Corder
The enigmatic French star admits he stumbled into acting a decade ago and still considers it a joke that he has won three Cesar Awards - his homeland's equivalent of the Oscars.
He tells Entertainment Weekly magazine, "Me, a guy who never thought of being an actor, I have three. It's stupid.
"The real me is a director. In April, I'm going to stop acting and direct another film."
Amalric, who plays Bond baddie Dominic Greene in the hit new movie, reveals he was on his way to becoming a top filmmaker when pal Arnaud Desplechin cast him in his 1997 film My Sex Life.
Desplechin has since cast the reluctant star in his latest movie A Christmas Tale.
Amalric adds, "He invented me." »
The latest James Bond film "Quantum of Solace" grossed an impressive $70.4 million estimate on its debut weekend for Sony/MGM. Daniel Craig returned as James Bond in 3,451 venues and averaged a massive $20,400 per theatre. "Quantum of Solace" becomes the biggest Bond opener ever, 63% better in fact than "Casino Royale," which marked Craig's first appearance as 007. The film is currently placed as the fifth biggest-ever November opener almost on par with Disney/Pixar's "The Incredibles" at $70.467 million, although this will most likely change with the latter falling below. A remarkable feat indeed as all top November openers are either "Harry Potter" films (the first three rankings) or animated. Family genres rule the month. Second placed "Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa" from DreamWorks/Paramount showed a 43% change in its sophomore weekend at play with $36.1 million. The sequel animation passed $118 million. In third, surprise hit comedy "Role Models" which has enjoyed good word of mouth push, »
Quantum Of Solace Studio: Columbia/MGM Rated: PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, and some sexual content. Starring: Daniel Craig, Olga Kurylenko, Mathieu Amalric, Judi Dench, Giancarlo Giannini, Gemma Arterton and Jeffrey Wright Directed by: Mark Forster What it’s about: In Daniel Craig’s second outing as James Bond, the British super-spy is tracking down »
- Kevin Carr
Release Date: Nov. 14 (limited)
Director: Arnaud Desplechin
Writer: Emmanuel Bourdieu, Desplechin
Cinematographer: Eric Gautier
Studio/Run Time: IFC Films, 143 mins.
Complex, pleasing holiday film
A Christmas Tale is a lively, capricious, mischievous ensemble delight—the kind of movie Noah Baumbach would make if he were French and a little more hopeful about humanity. Abel (Jean-Paul Roussillon) and Junon (Catherine Deneuve) have three grown children, two of whom (Anne Consigny and Mathieu Amalric, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly) have long been estranged. Now, as Junon needs a dangerous transfusion to survive cancer, everyone convenes in the family home to celebrate Christmas together.
Though the film deals with many exceptionally depressing topics (mental illness, hatred, life-threatening disease, lost love, betrayal) director Arnaud Desplechin (Kings and Queen) never veers into maudlin territory. Instead, with a lightly stylized touch, »
If Ingmar Bergman and Wes Anderson some how collaborated on a movie together, I'd guess their sensibilities would yield something like Arnaud Desplechin's darkly hilarious, brilliantly acted "A Christmas Tale."
The setting is a rambling French country house in which a wildly dysfunctional French family has reveled in melancholy since the death of a child decades earlier.
- By LOU LUMENICK
Quantum of Solaceby Mike Digiorgio, Writer Honestly, I’ve never understood the plot of a single James Bond movie, but for some reason, I get excited before each new one. The action scenes, the dapper secret agent, the fights, the cool villains, the babes – they really seem like something any red-blooded American action movie fan should like. And honestly, every time, I sit there and wonder what the heck is going on? I don’t remember any specific plot of any Bond movie – I remember the images: from a bald villain petting his kitty to the bikini clad chick emerging from the ocean to the tuxedoed secret agent in the opening credits. Quantum of Solace doesn’t deliver any of those iconic images. Perhaps arrogantly, the makers of Quantum don’t think they need to deliver traditional Bond. They broke from tradition in 2006’s Casino Royale when they cast Daniel Craig »
Quantum of Solaceby Steve Ramos, Writer Damaged Goods Never Looked So Fantastic: Daniel Craig shines in ‘Quantum of Solace’ After solidifying his status as a great James Bond, as rugged and intense as the first Bond Sean Connery ever was, it may appear unfair to bring up Daniel Craig’s little-seen performance in the 1998 art- house film “Love is the Devil.” After all, Craig’s role as George Dyer, lowlife lover to British artist Francis Bacon, shares little in common with the courageous secret agent 007. Yet, what makes Craig the perfect Bond and a welcome complement to his predecessor Pierce Brosnan are qualities he makes use of in all his films, whether epic adventures or low-budget art movies: a piercing gaze, chiseled features, a gruff voice and most importantly, the spirit of a brute, someone who could explode in violence at any moment. Craig plays Bond as damaged goods, the »
Release Date: Nov Release Date: Nov. 14
Director: Marc Forster
Studio/Run Time: MGM/Columbia, 106 mins.
Purists complained when Daniel Craig was cast as 007 (A blonde Bond?!?), but the semi-reboot Casino Royale proved them wrong. Craig's take on Bond turned out to be lean and vicious. He's a far cry from any other version of the character, but no less magnetic. Apply Trainspotting's assessment of Sean Connery's Bond years: He's a muscular actor. Too bad the muscles are most of what Craig has to leverage in his second turn, Quantum of Solace. »
With Casino Royale, we’re supposed to have moved on from the campy-and-stupid Bond that describes the Pierce Brosnan entries. Gone were the gadgets, the silly names—Vesper Lynd being a notable exception—and the constant one-liners. It was a new beginning: a darker and heavier turn but more faithful to Ian Fleming’s original vision of Bond. So why are we back to that frivolous Bond again after only one movie? Quantum of Solace picks up literally minutes after Casino Royale’s ending, jumping right into a high speed car chase as James Bond (Daniel Craig) races to deliver Mr. White to an Mi-6 interrogation with M (Judi Dench). They learn of an organization Mr. White and Le Chiffre from the previous film belong to, called Quantum, a Spectre-like outfit with ties everywhere. Including Mi-6, they learn, when M’s personal bodyguard of 8 years suddenly tries to kill her. »
- Arya Ponto
Columbia Pictures just released a brand new television spot movie trailer from the latest James Bond 22 film “Quantum of Solace” starring Mathieu Amalric and Olga Kurylenko (Tyranny, Hitman) and Daniel Craig (I, Lucifer) as James Bond. Plot: Following the betrayal and death of Vesper Lynd, James Bond (Daniel Craig) makes his next mission personal. The hunt for those who blackmailed his lover leads Bond to ruthless businessman Dominic Greene (Mathieu Amalric), a key player in the organization which coerced Vesper. Bond learns that Greene is plotting to gain total control of a vital natural resource, and must navigate a minefield of danger and treachery to foil Greene’s plan. Stay tuned to Toxic Shock TV for the latest Quantum of Solace [...] »
- Brian Corder
Directed by Marc Forster
Picking up almost exactly where Casino Royale leaves off, the new James Bond film, Quantum of Solace, moves at breakneck speed, taking 007 from Europe to South America on the trail of Vesper Lynd's killer. Bond would be a bit boring if he were only after revenge, so more international intrigue pops up, forcing him into action to save the world at large first.
In fact, a couple of fight scenes in the film's first and rather breathless 25 minutes are remarkably similar to the third Bourne movie. But once it finds its way, once Solace gets you hooked into yet another preposterous story »
- Colin Boyd
Quantum of Solaceby Eric Sloss, Writer James Bond is back and he is mad as hell. “Quantum of Solace” is the latest entry in the James Bond canon. Daniel Craig returns in his second go around as Bond. The movie takes place shortly after the events of “Casino Royale”. Bond is still raw and smarting from the death and betrayal of Vesper Lynd (Eva Green). He is determined to get to the bottom of her death. The movie starts with a magnificent car chase. Some people might feel that if you have seen one car chase, you have seen them all. I beg to differ. Standout car chases like in “Bullitt”, “The French Connection” or even the more recent “Ronin” are like poetry in motion. You can tell good ones from ones that are just time wasters. The opening sequence definitely belongs in the poetic category. Bond brings in Mr »
Quantum of Solace Directed by: Marc Forster Cast: Daniel Craig, Olga Kurylenko, Judi Dench, Mathieu Amalric, Jeffrey Wright Running Time: 1 hr 40 mins Rating: PG-13 Plot: James Bond (Daniel Craig) picks up right where he left off … kicking arse. Still seeking revenge for the death of his true love Vesper (who betrayed him), Bond encounters Dominic Greene (Mathieu Amalric), an environmentalist who has sinister motives. Who’s It For? Action fans will flock. No romance this time ... and if all you care about is gadgets and villains ... take a deep breath, you aren't getting your fill here. Expectations: I am one of the few who thought Casino Royale was just average. I have unusually high expectations for Bond films. But Casino was just simply too long on a romance I never believed in and »
- French auteur Arnaud Desplechin weaves a rich tapestry of pitch perfect performances for a collection of emotionally charged sequences in his latest film which curiously unfolds like a classic novel. With the help of some of the best actors in French cinema including his frequent collaborators Catherine Deneuve, Mathieu Amalric (Kings and Queen), Emmanuelle Devos and Anne Consigny, A Christmas Tale centers on the matriarch of the family, played by the impeccable Deneuve, who discovers that her cancer will require a donor which makes her upcoming gathering for the holidays with her own dysfunctional family a bit more out of the ordinary. What Desplechin delivers is not an easy task by any means, he brings vision and bravura to every detail of the film that's extraordinary capturing a family that feuds lovingly over past and present events. One of the more dynamic, energetic French films in recent years, this »
Release date: Unknown
Director: Bertrand Bonello
Writer: Bertrand Bonello
Review by: Bob Doto
Rating: 8 out of 10
“Everything in war is very simple. But the simplest thing is difficult.”
—from On War, Carl Von Clausewitz’s early 19th century military treatise
Spiritual disciplines span the spectrum from quiet personal self-reflection to physically militant offensives against the ego that tyrannizes us all. Writer/Director Bertrand Bonello’s latest film On War deals with the latter.
On War is a film about purging—the purging of self, of attachment to the world, and of attachment to assumptions about one’s self in the world. As the characters in the film suggest, it is only through this purging that a person may fully release into the immediacy of joy and pleasure. And it is joy and pleasure, things real and authentic, that our protagonist Bertrand (Mathieu Amalric) is searching for. »
By Aaron Hillis
November may be too early to call it, but as of now, this writer's favorite film of the year has more in common with "The Family Stone" or "Home for the Holidays" than most European filmmakers' oeuvres -- but it certainly ain't a product of Hollywood. Written and directed by the tremendously gifted, expectation-defying auteur Arnaud Desplechin ("Kings and Queen," "My Sex Life... Or How I Got Into an Argument"), "A Christmas Tale" doesn't just freshen up the holiday reunion melodrama. Rather, it reinvents the overplayed genre into a novelistic epic; a banquet of exhilarating sights and naked emotions; a rich ensemble piece so joyous and heartbreaking that any lucid description is bound to get a bit purple. Set in a provincial French town, the film introduces the fractious Vuillard family (including some of the country's finest actors: Mathieu Amalric, Chiara Mastroianni, Melvil Poupaud and Emmanuelle Devos »
- Aaron Hillis
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