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• The Lego Movie – review
• Mr Peabody & Sherman – review
• More on the UK box office
Our compact half-term school holidays always concentrate the minds of UK families, offering rich potential for bonanza box-office over a highly compressed time period. And so it has proved with the half-term just ended: from Friday 14 February to Sunday 23 February, The Lego Movie has taken an astonishing £19.72m in just 10 days of play, an average of nearly £2m per day. Add in the previews from the previous weekend, and the film's tally to date rises to a stonking £21.88m. That's more than the lifetime totals of the two lowest-grossing Pixar films – Cars and Cars 2 – and is also ahead of both Kung Fu Panda pictures from DreamWorks Animation. »
- Charles Gant
A prolific screenwriter, responsible for the scripts for The Client, A Time to Kill, A Beautiful Mind, and The Da Vinci Code, Akiva Goldsman makes his directorial debut with A New York Winter's Tale, based on the acclaimed novel, Winter's Tale (the title for the movie in America), by Mark Helprin. A romantic fantasy spanning centuries, the story concerns Peter Lake (Colin Farrell), a burglar in 1900's New York who, on the run from demonic gangster Pearly Soames (Russell Crowe), falls for Beverly Penn (Jessica Brown Findlay). When tragedy strikes, Peter is thrust forward to present day, minus his memories, but knowing he has something important to fulfill. On paper, Winter's Tale is a modern day fairy tale that deserves every piece of praise heaped upon it. Sadly, this doesn't translate to the big screen, with A New York Winter's Tale falling at the first hurdle. The movie's heart is in the right place, »
- email@example.com (Tom White)
Stranger By The Lake (18)
Sex and death take a synchronised swim in this bold thriller, shot at a single lakeside location. It's a popular cruising spot, and the rituals of its regular (and regularly naked) male visitors are observed with a combination of frankness, lyricism and mischievous satire. But a more mysterious tone takes hold when newcomer Franck sees his Selleck-moustachio'd crush commit a terrible crime. The riptide of desire drags him into a dangerous game.
Making Twilight look like Sesame Street, Jarmusch gives us the coolest vampires imaginable – too cool to even do much vampire stuff. »
- Steve Rose
★☆☆☆☆ Burdened by a plot as saccharine as a Nicholas Sparks novel unceremoniously mashed with all the very worst clichés of teen movie fantasy (looking at you Mortal Instruments), Akiva Goldsman offers his tiresome and bizarre time travel romance A New York Winter's Tale (2014). Opening to twinkly, glassy-eyed narration, the film's tragic heroine Beverly Penn (Jessica Brown Findlay) informs us of how all the world is connected and that the battle for good and evil is not fought on a grand stage but through the individual actions of people. Enter Colin Farrell as Irish orphan turned master thief Peter Lake, dwelling in 19th century Manhattan.
- CineVue UK
Akiva Goldsman’s screenwriting résumé makes for curious reading. On the one hand, here we have someone who penned the Oscar-winning screenplay for A Beautiful Mind; on the flipside, he also helped write 1997’s Batman & Robin, widely regarded (with good reason) as one of the worst superhero films ever made. For his latest project – an adaptation of Mark Helprin’s beloved novel A New York Winter’s Tale – Goldsman takes on directorial duties for the first time in addition to writing and producing, and there’s little doubt as to which column this film resides.
The nonsensical narrative revolves around Peter Lake (Colin Farrell), an orphaned thief in 19th century New York who is on the run from his demonic mentor Pearly Soames (Russell Crowe). Seemingly cornered by Soames’ gang, Peter escapes with the assistance of a magical flying white horse (which he promptly dubs ‘Horse’). On his way out of town, »
- Amon Warmann
Akiva Goldsman's magical realist romance A New York Winter's Tale stars Colin Farrell as an orphaned thief with a heart of gold, and Downton Abbey's Jessica Brown Findlay as an ailing young woman who turns out to be his soulmate.
Digital Spy sat down with Farrell and Findlay to discuss the challenge of portraying a life-altering romance with a comparatively short amount of screen time together.
"The sentimentality, the thing that I would naturally resist, was the thing that drew me in," Farrell said.
"The fact that the film was devoid of any cynicism. It was an unabashedly romantic look at the impermanence of life but the permanence of love."
Findlay discussed her approach to portraying Beverly's consumption, explaining that she wanted to strike a balance between realism and the film's fairy tale tone.
Director and writer Goldsman also discussed Farrell's "typecasting" as a roguish romantic.
Hot off a supporting role in Akiva Goldsman.s Winter.s Tale . or maybe I should say "cold" considering the movie takes place in winter and is being frozen out of the box office . Will Smith could be headed back to the sci-fi genre for Brilliance, Universal Pictures and Legendary Pictures. upcoming adaptation of the 2013 Edgar Award nominated novel from author Marcus Sakey. Unlike most of the star's previous genre efforts, which have mainly seen him pummeling and blasting aliens, he.ll be going after something equally dangerous in the new film - but much more human. These are early talks, and TheWrap couldn.t get a confirmation from either the studios or Smith.s reps, but it.s possible they had some kind of a superhuman keeping communication down. The world of Brilliance is one where around 1% of the population are born with exceptional mental and physical abilities, such »
Director: Akiva Goldsman.
Running Time: 118 minutes.
Synopsis: Set in a mythical New York City and spanning more than a century, Winter’S Tale is about miracles, crossed destinies and the age-old battle between good and evil.
‘This is not a true story, it’s a love story’ is the tagline for the directorial debut from Akiva Goldsman, screenwriter of A Beautiful Mind. Actually, it’s not a love story at all, it’s a pointless story masquerading as one. Initially we are led to believe that we should be rooting for ragamuffin Peter Lake (Colin Farrell) who meets and falls in love with Beverly Penn (Jessica Brown Findlay) after trying to rob her house. Their love story is, of course, doomed as Peter has a powerful enemy in the demonic Pearly Soames »
- Victoria Bull
The studio is banking on this film being a success, so they've already hired Akiva Goldsman to write the script for the sequel, Insurgent. I imagine if the first film bombs at the box office they will cancel their plans for the sequel.
Divergent is a thrilling action-adventure film set in a world where people are divided into distinct factions based on human virtues. Tris Prior (Shailene Woodley) is warned she is Divergent and will never fit into any one group. When she discovers a conspiracy by a faction leader (Kate Winslet) to destroy all Divergents, Tris must learn to trust in the mysterious Four (Theo James) and together they must find out what makes being Divergent so dangerous before it's too late. »
- Joey Paur
It's another heck of an Empire Podcast this week, with A New York Winter's Tale's Akiva Goldsman and Full Metal Jacket's Matthew Modine in the interviewee's chair, and Lars von Trier's Nymphomaniac on the reviewing chopping block - steady now - joined by Stranger By The Lake and Only Lovers Left Alive.Look forward to Marvel characters getting their equivalents from the world of music - David Bowie for Tony Stark! - and a bit of post-match analysis for the BAFTAs. Also, you may want to prepare yourself for a little bit of rapping from the de Semlyen boys, as Dragnet comes up, and you know what happens when Dragnet comes up. (Hint: it's rapping).P.S. You can check out our podcast photo gallery here and subscribe to the Empire Podcast via our iTunes page or this handy RSS feed. »
Getting your passion project off the ground can be a frustrating grind of networking, failed financing bids and frustration, even if you're a known name in the film business. If you do drag it to the screen, the results – as Akiva Goldsman and A New York Winter’s Tale could testify – don’t always turn out as well as you might hope. Still, people keep trying, such as Edward Norton with Motherless Brooklyn.Norton has been attempting to get his adaptation of Jonathan Lethem’s book made since he optioned it around the time he was nominated for an Oscar for American History X (so, 1999). After years of struggling to drum up interest and, more importantly, money, Norton has found a partner in his Red Dragon director Brett Ratner’s RatPac Entertainment.The film version will switch up the time period for the book, sending Lethem’s main character Lionel »
I’m “biast” (con): not a fan of “magic realism”
I have not read the source material
(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)
Thank you, Winter’s Tale movie — aka A New York Winter’s Tale in the U.K. in order that, I suspect, it not be confused with Shakespeare, which was never going to happen — for confirming what I’ve always felt about the weasel phrase “magic realism”: that it is a feeble, lazy attempt to dress up in literary pretensions an inability to fully commit to fantasy. This might not be true of the Mark Helprin novel this is based on; I haven’t read it »
- MaryAnn Johanson
A New York Winter’s Tale hits UK cinemas tomorrow 21st February and we got to sit down with the captain of the ship, Akiva Goldsman who wrote and directed the movie which stars Colin Farrell, Jessica Brown Findlay, Matt Bomer, Jennifer Connelly, Russell Crowe, Kevin Durand and Will Smith.
Ben Mortimer asks the Fringe director about how he struck a balance between the real and fantasy world that he’s created in the movie, how they got the cinematography right and enlisting the skills of veteran Cinematographer Caleb Deschanel.
If you’ve missed our coverage of the movie, click here to see our interviews from the UK Premiere, the trailer and much more.
Synopsis: New York City is subsumed in arctic winds, dark nights, and white lights, its life unfolds, for it is an extraordinary hive of the imagination, the greatest house ever built, and nothing exists that can check its vitality. »
- David Sztypuljak
Colin Farrell is cast adrift in an airy-fairy adaptation of Mark Helprin's weighty magical realist novel, playing Peter Lake, an Irish immigrant who walks the streets of New York for a hundred years, without ageing a day. Love is what sustains him, along with some heavenly hocus pocus, but A Beautiful Mind scribe Akiva Goldsman (making his directorial debut) fails to anchor the soaring flights of fancy in the day-to-day grind.
For one thing, his well-heeled sweetheart Beverly (Downton Abbey's Lady Sybil, Jessica Brown Findlay) is lacking in substance despite staring death in the face with a bad case of consumption in 1914. She's just so darned sanguine, even when Peter makes her acquaintance while robbing her home. But, hey, he rides a white horse so »
I have to be honest, I initially thought Winter's Tale was an adaptation of one of my favorite Shakespeare plays, The Winter's Tale -- I hadn't heard of author Mark Helprin's 1983 novel, adapted into the new movie, until watching the trailer.
It's no coincidence that the movie made its U.S. theatrical debut on Valentine's Day -- a marketing ploy, of course, to get couples to hunker down in the dark for two-ish hours to watch actor Colin Farrell make love look even more confusing than it already is. This says something about Farrell, a chap whose real-life romantic mishaps have made headlines and had heads shaking (lest we forget his public outings with Britney Spears).
And its hard to forget this in the aptly named Winter's Tale because Farrell plays the burglar-with-a-heart-of-gold, Peter Lake, so much like his public persona: greasy, strangely-cut hair and all... with an Irish accent. »
- Jordan Gass-Poore'
Despite four new wide releases this weekend, "The Lego Movie" once again remained at the top spot at the domestic box office, adding another $49 million to its $180 million global total. The animated film cost only $60 million to make and still has a 96% fresh rating on RottenTomatoes. "The Lego Movie" is expected to gross over $60 million over the four-day weekend, marking the second-best release during the Valentine's Day and Presidents Day holiday. "Valentine's Day" still holds the record at $63.1 million. "The Lego Movie," however, was able to accomplish this in its second week. Out of the four new wide releases, "About Last Night" performed the best, grossing $27 million. The new movie, which stars Kevin Hart, Michael Ealy and Regina Hall, took second place at the box office. It has a 76% fresh rating and cost only $12.5 million to make. The "RoboCop" reboot, which has a price tag of $100 million, landed in third place with a disappointing $21.5 million. »
A combination of a Valentine's Day Friday and the Presidents Day holiday tomorrow has led to a free-for-all at the U.S. box-office this weekend where four new films joined the fray alongside last week's box-office behemoth "The Lego Movie".
Unsurprisingly, 'Lego' easily stayed on top and fell just 29% in its second outing. The animated feature scored an estimated $48.8 million for the three days, and has an expected four-day gross of $60 million. By the end of the holiday on Monday it'll reach a total of $145 million domestically.
Of the four films released this weekend, three were remakes of 1980s movies. Performing the best was "About Last Night" which came in second with a highly impressive $27 million - more than double its reported $12.5 million budget. 'Night' also scored the best reviews of the newcomers with a 76% (6.2/10) Rotten Tomatoes score along with a 62/100 Metacritic score.
The film cements comedian Kevin Hart's »
- Garth Franklin
With “Winter’s Tale” misfiring over the weekend, leading man Colin Farrell has suffered another box-office bummer. The romantic fantasy from Warner Bros. is going to take in less than $10 million over the four-day Presidents Day weekend. That makes three movies in a row in which Farrell has played the leading man that have tanked. Of course, it’s not all on Farrell. “Winter’s Tale,” written and directed by Akiva Goldsman, was savaged by the critics (14 percent on Rotten Tomatoes) and the complex time-travel tale had to be tricky to market. Also read: ‘Lego Movie’ Turns Box Office Into $60 Million Block Party. »
- Todd Cunningham
I went to the movies on Friday night. Surrounded by friends in just the right mood, and a bit buzzed, I sat down to a 7:45pm screening of Winter’s Tale. And you know what? I had a fantastic time. It’s terrible, of course. Akiva Goldsman‘s directorial debut isn’t so much a train wreck as it is the colliding of planets, à la Melancholia. This apparently genuine attempt at epic, magical romance is the most spectacular disaster I have seen in a long, long time. Nothing works. The plot doesn’t make any sense, the actors all seem to be performing in different movies, and it is blissfully unaware of its own silliness. If I had to smack a label on it, I’d call it the perfect midnight movie. But what does that actually mean? Winter’s Tale is a great example of why “so bad it’s good” isn’t exactly »
- Daniel Walber
Dropping only 29% from its impressive $69 million opening weekend, Warner's The Lego Movie added another $48.8 million to its total this weekend for a second straight finish at #1 as it has now made just over $129 milion in just ten days of release. In second is About Last Night, the first of two Kevin Hart movies in the top ten and along with an "A-" CinemaScore the film brought in $27 million this weekend and should hold strong throughout the rest of the month. The RoboCop remake didn't light the box office on fire, but it's doing moderately well following its Wednesday opening. After a slow start, bringing in only $4.9 million on Wednesday and Thursday, the film brought in $21.5 million over the three-day weekend and had a nice little bump on Saturday while the rest of the romantic options dipped following Valentine's. This number, however was well below the film's $28 million tracking, which means »
- Brad Brevet
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