14 items from 2014
2013 was something of a turkey for the biopic: while success has been found in recounting the stories of the lesser-knowns like 12 Years A Slave, Wolf Of Wall Street and Captain Phillips, it was the big films for the big names that fell flat and failed to excite both critics and the box office. Alfred Hitchcock, Princess Diana, Walt Disney, Julian Assange and Steve Jobs have all had the Hollywood treatment to very little success.
Exactly why remains to be seen, but it’s clear that something needs to be done about any and all future biopics destined for the big screen. Some would argue the very idea of ‘the biopic’ should be scrapped – passing it off as little more than a glorified PR exercise, while those who still see a future in it would tell you that merely recounting one’s life is not sufficient – those films must offer something more; comedy, »
- Toby McShane
"It's a sad indictment of The Fifth Estate that it proves most convincing when its central figure breaks the fourth wall"
EOne, Blu-ray & DVD
Movies about technology are always at least five years out of date, so it's only fitting that it's taken that long for The Fifth Estate – Bill Condon's occasionally diverting WikiLeaks romp, starring Benedict Cumberbatch as comedian Bill Hader's Saturday Night Live impersonation of Julian Assange – to reach the big screen. With half a decade's worth of hindsight, the film effortlessly comes down on the right side of history (pro-WikiLeaks, anti-Assange, in case you were wondering) but finds more of a challenge in crafting a satisfying cinematic experience around a story that took place mainly online. Still, Condon isn't afraid to give it the old college try.
In a series of outlandish fantasy sequences, he depicts Assange and his fellow leaker Daniel Domscheit-Berg »
- Charlie Lyne
The Fifth Estate, 2013.
Directed by Bill Condon.
A dramatic thriller based on real events that reveals the quest to expose the deceptions and corruptions of power that turned an Internet upstart into the 21st century's most fiercely debated organization.
The Fifth Estate is a dramatic thriller based on true events that charts the rise of one of the most influential organisations of the 21st century, Wikileaks, and their quest to expose the deceptions and corruptions of those in power.
Without knowing too much of the story before I sat down to watch this, I really had no idea what I was in for. I’d only heard of Julian Assange and Wikileaks on the news but never actually sat down to find out more. I thought that this might have been a problem »
- Gary Collinson
Kind of a good news/bad news situation this week. Bad news for those of us who like to watch sitcoms of 30 minutes in length whilst we eat dinner during the week, Channel 4 has decided to remove most of its good content including Peep Show, The It Crowd and Black Books from Netflix and Lovefilm as of February 15th. You can still watch these online but you have to go through their frankly useless 4Od app which I have never managed to watch a full episode of anything on without it crashing at the bloody adverts. Whilst its admirable that Channel 4 are taking things back in-house, they really need to improve their software first, or maybe they already have because I gave up on it back in 2012 and never finished season two of The Killing.
The good news is that Netflix have debuted season two of political drama House of Cards, »
- Chris Holt
BAFTA® award-winner Benedict Cumberbatch gives an outstanding performance in the adrenalin-fuelled dramatic thriller, The Fifth Estate. This powerful exposé based on the real-life events of the notorious WikiLeaks is out today on Blu-ray and DVD from Entertainment One and we’ve got Three to give away on Blu-ray!
Driven to expose corporate crimes and government secrets no matter what the cost, activist Julian Assange (Cumberbatch) and computer hacker Daniel Domscheit-Berg (Bruhl) team up to become the underground watchdogs of the privileged and powerful. As their Wikileaks organisation starts to gather support and influence across the globe so the stakes are raised; pitching them into conflict with the Us intelligence agencies and putting the lives of thousands in danger.
The home entertainment »
- Dan Bullock
With apologies to Dylan Farrow, who would attach sterner moral implications to this question than those I intend: what's your favourite Woody Allen movie of the 21st century? It's been a slightly painful question for a while now, usually drawing less-than-ringing endorsements along the lines of: "Midnight in Paris was harmless enough", or: "Vicky Cristina Barcelona, if you mute the voiceover bits." At last, however, there's an easy answer: Blue Jasmine (Warner, 12), imperfect as it is in fractious and interesting ways, is something genuinely remarkable.
Much of that comes down to Cate Blanchett's daring, last-nerve performance as the title character, a spoilt society wife experiencing the mother of all Xanax comedowns after her husband is jailed for tax fraud – a tragicomic turn of Gena Rowlands proportions that is all »
- Guy Lodge
Hugh Jackman's stint as Oscars host remains one of the best, largely because he was part of an overall show with an amazing vision from director Bill Condon and producer Laurence Mark. That came after a few impressive stints emceeing the annual Tony Awards, including one such Emmy-winning example in 2004. He hasn't hosted the show in nearly a decade but it's just been announced he'll be back for a fourth time at the 68th annual Tony Awards on Sunday, June 8, 2014. "We are thrilled to have Hugh Jackman return to host the Tony Awards," said CBS exec Jack Sussman. »
- Kristopher Tapley
Maybe it is just because Masterpiece Mystery has started airing new episodes of Sherlock, and the great detective has a hold on my brain, but while watching The Fifth Estate, I couldn’t help but be distracted by how familiar Julian Assange seemed to me. The antisocial behavior crossed with brainy brilliance, the unsavory ego infatuated with its own cleverness, the necessity of a more level sidekick to keep our anti-hero from crossing the line into total madness, even the loopy hair--Benedict Cumberbatch plays Assange as he does Sherlock Holmes, with the addition of a bucket of bleach and an Australian accent. That is not meant to slight Cumberbatch as an actor; his performance is one of the best things about The Fifth Estate, director Bill Condon’s uneven exploration of the creation of WikiLeaks. Rather, it’s just startling how similar these characters are, despite one being fictional »
- Lee Jutton
Quentin Tarantino ‘The Hateful Eight’ screenplay leak Quentin Tarantino will no longer be making the Western The Hateful Eight. Why not? Well, Tarantino claims he sent out the film’s screenplay to a group of six people, one of whom allegedly showed it to his agent, who then showed it to other agents, who then began calling Tarantino’s agent Mike Simpson, asking him to cast their clients in the film. (Photo: The Hateful Eight screenwriter Quentin Tarantino.) “I’m very, very depressed,” Tarantino was quoted as saying at Deadline.com, which first broke The Hateful Eight Screenplay Leak story on Tuesday, January 21, 2014. “I finished a script, a first draft, and I didn’t mean to shoot it until next winter, a year from now. I gave it to six people, and apparently it’s gotten out today.” Now, before they begin flailing and wailing, Quentin Tarantino fans should be »
- Zac Gille
Golden Globes 2014: Best Picture winners fail to win Best Director, Best Screenplay (photo © HFPA: 2014 Golden Globes presenters Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock) The members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association decided to spread the love around at the 2014 Golden Globes. Neither of the two Best Picture winners — Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave in the Drama category; David O. Russell’s American Hustle in the Comedy or Musical category — succeeded in taking home either the Best Director or the Best Screenplay Golden Globe. These went to, respectively, Alfonso Cuarón for the sentimental thriller Gravity and Spike Jonze for Her, starring Joaquin Phoenix as a man who falls in love with a computer featuring Scarlett Johansson’s voice. (See more Golden Globes 2014 photos below, and check out the full list of Golden Globes 2014 winners and nominees.) American Hustle also managed to win two 2014 Golden Globes in the acting categories: Best »
- Steve Montgomery
Apparently Bill Condon almost made it a couple of years ago, but I guess that's fallen through since here we are. I was really looking forward to Daniels making his interracial gay action movie, possibly to star Alex Pettyfer, but I'm not exactly surprised that producers aren't throwing money at that.
And not only do we have a director, but we have a trio of names that're rumored to be up to play the troubled, brilliant comedian. Eddie Murphy, who's been considered for the role for as long as they've been thinking about making the movie really, is still in the mix, although if they want to focus on Pryor's life in his 20s and »
Back in March, we reported that Forest Whitaker is producing the biopic Richard Pryor: Is It Something I Said?, along with the comedian's widow Jennifer Pryor. Today, we have word that Michael B. Jordan, Marlon Wayans and Eddie Murphy have emerged as front runners to play Richard Pryor, with Lee Daniels in negotiations to direct for The Weinstein Company.
The trio of actors represent vastly different age groups, although the 26-year-old Michael B. Jordan and 41-year-old Marlon Wayans are considered the front runners. The project is said to center on the comedian's life in his 30s, though it isn't known if Michael B. Jordan can be aged-up through makeup to take on the role. Both Marlon Wayans and the 51-year-old Eddie Murphy had previously been attached to the gestating biopic at different points in development, which once had Bill Condon set to direct.
The project fell apart when he »
A biopic about the legendary, late comedian Richard Pryor has been in the works for years now. Eddie Murphy was once slated to star in a film from Dreamgirls director Bill Condon, and then Marlon Wayans was supposed to replace him a year later, but the project never came to fruition. Most recently, Forest Whitaker was trying to line up a Pryor film with the comedian's wife producing. Now another heavy-hitting filmmaker is in the fray for the project as THR reports The Butler and Precious director Lee Daniels is in talks to reunite with The Weinstein Company to direct the film they will finance. But there's more. Read on! As for who will play the star, Eddie Murphy and Marlon Wayans are again being eyed to star in the film, with the latter possible being at the top of the list because of his age and screen test which impressed Harvey Weinstein. »
- Ethan Anderton
Where on Earth do we begin with the saga that is the forever developing Richard Pryor biopic, once known as "Is It Something I Said?" Well it has gone through a couple of producers (Adam Sandler and most recently, Forest Whitaker, who doesn't seem to be linked anymore), and while it looked like Bill Condon would get it off the ground in the fall of 2010, nothing came to pass and it remained in development hell. But now, it's once again back to life thanks to The Weinstein Company. The studio is backing the project, and has Lee Daniels ("Precious," "Lee Daniels' The Butler" ) in talks to direct the movie in what would be his next gig. The legendary comedian's widow Jennifer Pryor is still on board as well for the film that will chronicle Richard Pryor's life in his late '20s and '30s, which would basically be his rise to mainstream success, »
- Kevin Jagernauth
14 items from 2014
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