9 items from 2012
When Christopher Landry emailed me the other day he apologized for not replying sooner and said he’d been “working nights up in the Carpathians on a horror movie,” which is the best excuse for a tardy email I’ve ever heard (and it wasn’t even that tardy). Landry is an expat film producer and writer from Massachusetts who has been living and working in Romania since 1995. He is also the author of The Silver Screen in the Golden Age: Romanian Film Posters 1965-1989, a lavish coffee-table book of more than 300 posters from the country’s Communist era.
Romanian cinema has of course undergone a post-Ceaușescu renaissance in the past twenty years, and this weekend sees the opening of the week-long festival Making Waves: New Romanian Cinema at the Film Society of Lincoln Center in New York. »
- Adrian Curry
After a few of years since the last major effort (the ill-fated "Nine"), the live-action movie musical is back again, with two starry efforts due this year about as far away from each other as you can get. This Christmas will see the terribly serious-looking "Les Miserables" hit theaters, with a star-studded cast including Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe and Anne Hathaway. But first is "Rock of Ages," which arrives in theaters tomorrow, with another A-list ensemble including Tom Cruise, Alec Baldwin, Russell Brand and Catherine Zeta-Jones.
Musicals have given serious career boosts to stars like Zeta-Jones, Richard Gere, Nicole Kidman and Eddie Murphy in recent years, but if you pick the wrong project, or are more self-confident about your pipes than you should be, it's also the best way to embarass yourself completely. In honor of Alec Baldwin's tone-deaf belting in "Rock of Ages," we've collected five of our »
- Oliver Lyttelton
Grant Bowler / Richard Burton: Liz & Dick Grant Bowler as Richard Burton in Lifetime’s fall movie Liz & Dick looks less convincing than Lindsay Lohan as Elizabeth Taylor. Burton met Taylor at the time the two were making Cleopatra for 20th Century Fox. A troubled production, Cleopatra was initially to have starred Taylor, Peter Finch, and Stephen Boyd, under the direction of Rouben Mamoulian. Mamoulian left, Taylor fell seriously ill, nearly died, and had to have a tracheotomy performed. The end result was a Best Actress Academy Award for her troubles (and for Butterfield 8) and brand new leading men for Cleopatra: Richard Burton as Marc Antony and Rex Harrison as Julius Caesar. By then, Cleopatra also had a new director: two-time Best Director Oscar winner Joseph L. Mankiewicz. A respected stage and screen actor in the ’60s, Richard Burton was nominated for seven Academy Awards. Best Supporting Actor »
- Andre Soares
Two-Time Oscar Winner: Olivia de Havilland vs. Warner Bros. Pt.3 [Olivia de Havilland picture: Irwin Allen's The Swarm.] Olivia de Havilland‘s second marriage was to journalist Pierre Galante in 1955. De Havilland moved to Paris, making only sporadic movie appearances (The Ambassador’s Daughter, Libel, The Proud Rebel, Light in the Piazza). None of those made much of an impact, whether with critics or at the box office, though Robert Aldrich’s over-the-top 1964 thriller Hush…Hush, Sweet Charlotte was a box-office hit. Co-starring de Havilland’s fellow Warner Bros. contract player Bette Davis, Hush…Hush, Sweet Charlotte had de Havilland playing against type. Also in 1964, Walter Grauman’s Lady in a Cage gave de Havilland a good chance to display her acting skills as an invalid stuck in an elevator while terrorized by hoodlum James Caan and pals. In the ’70s, de Havilland made only a handful of films — Pope Joan, Airport ’77, The Swarm, The Fifth Musketeer — all in supporting roles. »
- Andre Soares
Political Animals, USA Network’s upcoming series by Greg Berlanti, has invited Oscar winner Vanessa Redgrave to play an openly lesbian Supreme Court Justice. Political Animals stars three-time Oscar nominee Sigourney Weaver as Elaine Barrish, who, like Hilary Clinton, is a former American First Lady turned Secretary of State. Now, how did an openly lesbian judge join the Supreme Court of the early 21st-century United States, a country where most Republican politicians (and their millions of supporters) continue to take a strong stance against gay rights? Or is Political Animals set in 2030 or whereabouts? And will Vanessa Redgrave’s lesbian Supreme Court Justice vote on the constitutionality of anti-marriage equality (aka "anti-gay marriage") laws in states such as Arizona and North Carolina? Stay tuned. In addition to Sigourney Weaver and Vanessa Redgrave, who won a Best Supporting Actress Academy Award for her titular performance in Fred Zinnemann’s Julia (and »
- Andre Soares
"...'The Boy In Blue', a turn-of-the-century drama based on a real-life story, follows 'Ned Hanlan' (Cage), a juvenile delinquent who rises to become a world-class rower.
"Seeing in Hanlan a chance to make some fast cash, 'Bill' (David Naughton), a gambler, has Hanlan trained as a sculler and begins to promote him on the racing circuit.
"Eventually, Hanlan's ability grows, and so does his fame, but success comes at a price when Hanlan falls prey to a ruthless businessman (Plummer). Through it all, Hanlan becomes a world champion..."
Click the images to enlarge and Sneak Peek "The Boy In Blue"...
- Michael Stevens
When I was a kid, I used to love a scary movie. I remember catching the original The Haunting (1963) one night on Channel 9’s Million Dollar Movie when I was home alone. Before it was over, I had every light in the house on. When my mother got home she was screaming she’d been able to see the house glowing from two blocks away. The only thing screaming louder than her was the electricity meter.
That was something of an accomplishment, scaring me like that. Oh, it’s not that I was hard to scare (I still don’t like going down into a dark cellar). But, in those days, the movies didn’t have much to scare you with. Back as far as the 50s, you might find your odd dismemberment and impaling, even an occasional decapitation, but, generally, the rule of the day was restraint. Even those rare dismemberments, »
- Bill Mesce
Jessica Chastain, The Help 2012 Oscar Predictions – Best Supporting Actor: Christopher Plummer, Albert Brooks, Kenneth Branagh, Nick Nolte, Viggo Mortensen The list of potential Best Supporting Actress Academy Award nominees is nearly as long as the list of female cast members in Tate Taylor's socially conscious comedy-drama The Help. In fact, several The Help actresses are either likely or possible Oscar contenders. Much like in the Best Supporting Actor category, in which only Christopher Plummer is a true shoo-in for his role in Mike Mills' Beginners, the only shoo-in in the Best Supporting Actress category is The Help's Octavia Spencer, winner of a Golden Globe, and a SAG Award and BAFTA nominee. Now, how could North American critics' fave Jessica Chastain not be a shoo-in? Well, Chastain is a near shoo-in. Though not a strong probability, it's certainly possible that she won't get enough first/second place votes »
- Steve Montgomery
Veteran actress Marthe Keller, among whose credits are Claude Lelouch's And Now My Love and John Schlesinger's Marathon Man, will be inducted as a chevalier ("knight") in the French Legion of Honor, a civilian distinction that has been around since the early 1800s. Born in Basel, Switzerland, Keller will turn 67 next Jan. 28. In the last 45 years, she has appeared in more than 40 films, whether in leading or supporting roles. Apart from the aforementioned — ludicrous but financially successful — Marathon Man, in which she was featured opposite Dustin Hoffman and Laurence Olivier, Keller wasn't very lucky in her several Hollywood try-outs in the late '70s. She was a terrorist in John Frankenheimer's thriller Black Sunday (1977); romanced Al Pacino in Sydney Pollack's expensive autoracing flop Bobby Deerfield (1977); and was a mysterious Greta Garbo-like former actress pursued by William Holden in Billy Wilder's bomb Fedora (1978). Keller's last »
- Anna Robinson
9 items from 2012
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