16 items from 2010
In addition to being one of the most stunning science fiction sagas of all time, the Alien franchise is also one of the most storied and combative. From the raging debate over which is better: Alien or Aliens, through Fincher's ultimately futile attempt to vanish down the rabbit hole from pursuant, angry Fox executives, to Jeunet's ill-fated attempt to resist his own eccentricities and "go Hollywood," we're not short on talking points. In honor of the much-anticipated blu-ray release of the Alien Anthology (Quadrilogy wasn't a word, we knew it!), JustPressPlay revisits this breathtaking series (like we need an excuse) and examines every film, every cut, all the extras, and sees what's new.
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Director: Ridley Scott
How does the movie hold up?
Ridley Scott's 1979 classic certainly ranks as one of the »
- Neil Pedley
The true treasures of the Charles De Lauzrika Alien franchise documentaries on the new Alien Anthology Blu-ray release prove to be in the offcuts and the additions to the existing versions of the original DVD Anthology docs. There are numerous nuggets for the genuine Alien buff, including an actual look at Richard E. Grant screen-testing on set for the role that Charles Dance won in David Fincher's Alien 3 (with the casting of Paul McGann and Ralph Brown in Alien 3, the producers were only short of Grant and Richard Griffiths for staging Withnail and I in space).
Well, I'll save some of the others for the late review that's coming, but it's interesting also to find out in the offcuts section of the Blu-ray that Meryl Streep was one of only two Broadway actresses that Ridley Scott had been due to see in New York for the role »
Further to Clothes on Film’s analysis of how Alien’s revolutionary costume design brought a grimy reality to sci-fi, in this second part of our look at the Alien Anthology Blu-ray boxset we concentrate on the sequels.
It is to James Cameron’s credit that, while re-engineering Alien’s haunted house tropes as full-scale war movie, he recognised the important part costume design played in Ridley Scott’s shocker seven years earlier. In the first film, clothing is one of the means by which humans stamp their personality against the dual threat to their identity posed by both the alien and the faceless corporation they work for: Weyland-Yutani.
This is a difficult trick to pull off with soldiers; Cameron’s Space Marines are, by the nature of the job, decked out in regulation gear. But, taking his cues from footage of the Vietnam War, where soldiers daubed their helmets in slogans, »
- Simon Kinnear
Withnail & I, 1987
Directed by Bruce Robinson
Two unemployed and down-on-their-luck actors take a holiday in the countryside. Trapped inside a dank, empty cabin with an endless downpour of heavy rain, the two men form a complicated bond fuelled by booze, disaster, and nihilism.
British cinema has always prided itself on providing the gritty, realistic, earthy, antithesis to Hollywood cinema. Kitchen sink realism, working class folk, the struggle against the drudgery of life, the bleakness of the wet and windy landscape, and the longing for greener grass. Far less often than American cinema is prone to, British cinema will not glamorise the surroundings and situations. The locales become an integral part of the films, almost as an extra character. Such examples could include Get Carter. The setting evoking a time and place brilliantly, with no sprinklings of Hollywood glitz and style. »
The line-up for the 18th Raindance Film Festival was announced today at a press launch held at the May Fair Hotel in London. This years line-up includes 77 feature films, 69 UK premieres and 133 short films, special live events, exclusive Q&As and masterclasses.
The festival will run from September 29 – October 10.
Opening the festival on Wednesday 29th September is Jackboots On Whitehall – a satirical animation about an alternative history of World War II where the Nazis seize London and England must band together to prevent a full on invasion. Star voiceover cast includes: Ewan McGregor, Rosamund Pike,Richard E. Grant, Timothy Spall, Tom Wilkinson, Alan Cumming, Richard Griffiths, Stephen Merchant and Richard O’Brien. It will be followed by an after-party with live set from rising Us indie band stars Airborne Toxic Event and DJ set from one of the most influential DJs in the UK – Andrew Weatherall. The following day will »
- Jamie Neish
Sharks or not, if Halle Berry asks us to go swimming, we're jumping in the water first and asking questions later. I mean, who could resist? Certainly not the following actors who'll be joining her in her latest film, Dark Tide.
"Sara (Halle Berry) is a modern-day adventurer, deeply drawn to close encounters with the magnificent White Sharks who rule the primal predator shore of isolated Guadalupe Island. When her husband chooses ambition over his wife's safety in a split-second encounter with the jaws of death, her marriage nearly breaks apart. A year later, a monsoon season voyage back to the same island becomes an escalating series of terrifying underwater confrontations and gut-wrenching emotional challenges. Testing her courage »
- Uncle Creepy
Several images from the set of Dark Tide have surfaced online.
The film, currently being shot in South Africa, is being directed by John Stockwell (Blue Crush, Crazy/Beautiful) and stars Halle Berry (Things We Lost in the Fire), Olivier Martinez (S.W.At.) and Ralph Brown (The Boat That Rocked).
Dark Tide centres on a shark expert, Kate Mathieson, who, year’s after suffering her own near-death shark attack, returns to Great White infested waters.
Check out the embedded image of Berry on-set below, or head over to Wwtdd to see the full gallery:
Dark Tide will be released sometime during 2011.
Comingsoon reported this one. »
- Jamie Neish
Sometimes, the scariest things come from within. Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment presents one of the most successful and terrifying film franchises of all time when the Alien Anthology debuts on Blu-ray for the first time ever from October 25 internationally and on October 26 in North America. All four Alien films have been reinvigorated for an intense Blu-ray high-definition viewing experience. The release also marks the debut of Mu-th-ur Mode, a fully interactive companion that takes the extensive materials in the Alien Anthology and puts them in the user's hand - connecting fans to special features on all six discs and instantly providing an index of all available Alien content, including over 60 hours of special features and over 12,000 images.
The Alien Anthology is a truly unique home entertainment experience. For the first time ever, the studio has united the material from every home video release of the Alien saga including the 1991/1992 laserdisc releases, »
The production woes of Alien 3 are well documented. Its script was written and rewritten. A potentially fascinating draft was turned in by cyberpunk godfather William Gibson, only for it to be thrown in the bin.
Eric Red, the writer behind horror classics The Hitcher and Near Dark (a brilliant vampire movie directed by Kathryn "Hurt Locker" Bigelow) wrote a script of his own. This too was thrown out. Scripts were written which excluded the character of Ripley, before the president of 20th Century Fox insisted she be reinstated.
With time running out before filming was due to commence, producers Walter Hill and David Giler cobbled together a shooting script of their own, taking elements of the earlier drafts and melding them into something like a workable whole. »
Like the filthiest possible feature-length episode of The Archers, and with a tiny conceptual dash of Straw Dogs, Posy Simmonds's graphic novel series Tamara Drewe has been converted into a fantastically mad and undeniably entertaining bucolic romp, which got big laughs at the screening I attended, along with gasps and winces at its operatically violent ending.
Screenwriter Moira Buffini and director Stephen Frears have created a very English pastoral based on an interesting proposition: the countryside is not the sweet, picturesque place imagined by townies, but a seething hellhole of moral turpitude, where people will commit deplorable acts out of sheer resentment and boredom.
The star is Gemma Arterton as Tamara, who was once an ugly-duckling teenager with an enormous nose in the dull country village of Ewedown. But now, »
- Peter Bradshaw
Four Lions (15)
Still grasping the nettles others would rather strim over, Morris returns with a suicide-bomb-com that both makes you laugh, and makes you wonder if you should be laughing. Tracking an inept Sheffield terrorist cell with big plans, it's packed with priceless lines and inspired absurdity in an Ealing comedy-meets-In The Loop sort of way. But we're not let off that lightly. These are more than simple caricatures, and as their mission becomes increasingly real, in every sense, we laugh at our peril.
The Back-Up Plan (12A)
(Craig McCall, 2010, UK) 90 mins
Self-explanatory doc about the pioneering British cinematographer, »
- Damon Wise
After the jollity of Life on Mars and Ashes to Ashes, and those Tory/Labour Audi Quattro ad campaigns, perhaps it's as well to remember the sheer unfunny nastiness of what was once allowed to happen in police cells. The 1979 play Sus by Barrie Keeffe, legendary screenwriter of The Long Good Friday, has now been adapted by Keeffe himself for the screen, reviving memories of a world before the Police and Criminal Evidence Act, and before people could video police misdemeanours in the street on their mobile phones. A couple of racist coppers bring in a black man for questioning on election night with what they think are grounds for suspicion on a murder charge. But owing to a sinister mix of paranoia and triumphalism, »
- Peter Bradshaw
Paramount Pictures International has bought the Irish and UK distribution rights to Nick Hamm's Irish comedy 'Killing Bono', starring Ben Barnes and Robert Sheehan. The film, currently being posted in London by editor Bill Sneddon (Four Lions), sees Barnes (The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian) and Sheehan (Cherrybomb) play brothers Neil and Ivan McCormick respectively. The pair formed a band in Dublin in the late 70s - but found themselves constantly compared to their classmates' band, namely U2. The film's cast also features Krysten Ritter (Confessions of a Shopaholic), Peter Serafinowicz (Shaun of the Daed), Ralph Brown (Wayne's World 2), Luke Treadaway (Clash of the Titans) and Pete Postlethwaite (Romeo and Juliet). »
Paramount Pictures International has picked up U.K. and Irish rights to "Killing Bono," Nick Hamm's Irish comedy starring Ben Barnes. Dick Clement, Ian La Frenais and Simon Maxwell wrote the screenplay based on journalist Neil McCormick's autobiography. Barnes and Robert Sheehan star as brothers Neil and Ivan McCormick who start a Dublin band in the late '70s but, their classmates and rivals did too...and became U2. Also in the cast is "She's Out of My League" star Krysten Ritter as well as Peter Serafinowicz, Stanley Townsend, Ralph Brown, Luke Treadaway and Pete Postlethwaite. Produced by Wasted Talent's Ian Flooks Greenroom Entertainment's Nick Hamm, Piers Tempest of Salt and Mark HUffam of Generator Entertainment. Filmed on location in Northern Ireland with additional photography in Dublin and London. »
By promising to reduce 'unnecessary' paperwork, the Tories would remove the last safeguards for stop-and-search victims
Today is the deadline for the government's submission to the European court of human rights requesting that 17 judges reconsider the original decision reached unanimously by seven judges last year – that being stopped and searched without suspicion under section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000 was a serious violation of the right to privacy. The section 44 test case test case that Kevin Gillan and I took with Liberty set out to demonstrate the scope for misuse and lack of accountability of the power.
Section 44 has often been viewed as Labour's reintroduction of the notorious Sus laws that provoked the 1981 Brixton riots following the police operation "Swamp" – an attempt to cut street crime which used the Sus law to stop more than 1,000 people without suspicion over six days. Recent statistics show that young black people and British Asian »
- Pennie Quinton
You can bring home the exploits of a renegade British DJ crew on DVD and Bd this April. Pirate Radio will be released on DVD and Blu-ray on April 13. We have no cover art or pricing details at this time, but we'll surely keep you posted on any new updates about this title and, in the meantime, you can take a look at the special features below. The film stars Philip Seymour Hoffman, Bill Nighy, Rhys Ifans, Nick Frost, Kenneth Branagh, Tom Sturridge, Jack Davenport, Ralph Brown, Chris O'Dowd and January Jones.
From the creator of Love Actually and Notting Hill comes a trip back to the freewheeling, free-loving '60s when the very rock music that inspired a generation was censored by the government. When a group of rebellious deejays decides to defy the ban, they take to the seas to broadcast music and mayhem to millions of adoring fans. »
16 items from 2010
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