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Walk of Fame Honoree Brett Ratner’s Love of Cinema Is a Driving Force in His Career

Walk of Fame Honoree Brett Ratner’s Love of Cinema Is a Driving Force in His Career
Brett Ratner loves cinema. When speaking with the 47-year-old filmmaker, it’s abundantly clear that movies are unspooling through his veins, and if our discussions felt more like two movie buffs just enjoying great conversation, it’s because of his general enthusiasm for the medium.

“It was always my dream to direct movies,” he says, rarely pausing for a breath. “I always knew I’d do it. I had the drive and the desire. I was determined. But I never knew I’d be making movies of this size, stuff like the ‘Rush Hour’ films and ‘X-Men’ and ‘Red Dragon.’ When I was in film school, I knew I wanted to make entertaining movies. But I don’t think I could have prepared for how fast my rise would be. I was 26 when I got my first film.”

But it was before he’d set foot on a movie set
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Every Best Picture Oscar Winner, Ranked From Worst to Best

This week marks the 10th anniversary of the release of "Crash" (on May 6, 2005), an all-star movie whose controversy came not from its provocative treatment of racial issues but from its Best Picture Oscar victory a few months later, against what many critics felt was a much more deserving movie, "Brokeback Mountain."

The "Crash" vs. "Brokeback" battle is one of those lingering disputes that makes the Academy Awards so fascinating, year after year. Moviegoers and critics who revisit older movies are constantly judging the Academy's judgment. Even decades of hindsight may not always be enough to tell whether the Oscar voters of a particular year got it right or wrong. Whether it's "Birdman" vs. "Boyhood," "The King's Speech" vs. "The Social Network," "Saving Private Ryan" vs. "Shakespeare in Love" or even "An American in Paris" vs. "A Streetcar Named Desire," we're still confirming the Academy's taste or dismissing it as hopelessly off-base years later.
See full article at Moviefone »

AFI Award Winner and One of Australia's Top Actresses Has Died: Wendy Hughes

Australian actress Wendy Hughes dead at 61 (photo: Wendy Hughes in ‘Newsfront’) Australian film, television, and stage actress Wendy Hughes, best known internationally for the big-screen dramas My Brilliant Career and Careful, He Might Hear You, died of cancer early today, March 8, 2014, in Sydney. Hughes (born on July 29, 1952, in Melbourne) was 61. Wendy Hughes’ film career kicked off in the mid-’70s, with Tim Burstall’s psychological drama ‘Jock’ Petersen / Petersen (1974), in which she plays the wife of a college professor who becomes romantically involved with a married student (Jack Thompson). "I spent a lot of the time naked and doing sex scenes," Hughes would later recall about her work in ‘Jock’ Petersen, "because in the seventies you all had to do that." In 1979, Hughes landed a key supporting role in the international arthouse hit My Brilliant Career, Gillian Armstrong’s late 19th-century-set tale of an independent-minded young woman (a Katharine Hepburn
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Eight-Time Best Actor Academy Award Nominee O'Toole Dead at 81

Peter O’Toole: ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ actor, eight-time Oscar nominee dead at 81 (photo: Peter O’Toole as T.E. Lawrence in David Lean’s ‘Lawrence of Arabia’) Stage, film, and television actor Peter O’Toole, an eight-time Best Actor Academy Award nominee best remembered for his performance as T.E. Lawrence in David Lean’s epic blockbuster Lawrence of Arabia, died on Saturday, December 14, 2013, at a London hospital following "a long illness." Peter O’Toole was 81. The Irish-born O’Toole (on August 2, 1932, in Connemara, County Galway) began his film career with three supporting roles in 1960 releases: Robert Stevenson’s Disney version of Kidnapped; John Guillermin’s The Day They Robbed the Bank of England; and Nicholas Ray’s The Savage Innocents, starring Anthony Quinn as an Inuit man accused of murder. Two years later, O’Toole became a star following the release of Lawrence of Arabia, which grossed an astounding $44.82 million in North America back in 1962 (approx.
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Shout! Factory Unveils 20th Anniversary Edition of The Shadow

  • Comicmix
The Shadow, the template for most of comic books’ mystery men, captured America’s imagination in radio and pulp magazines for decades. His paperback revival in the 1960s and 1970s (the latter with spectacular covers from Steranko) led to his brilliant portrayal by Denny O’Neil and Michael William Kaluta in the short-lived DC Comics adaptation. Currently, he’s cutting down the weed of crime for Dynamite Entertainment but this overlooked gem of a film is worth a look. Here are the official details:

Who knows what evil lurks in the shadow of men? The Shadow knows! Adapted from the long-running classic radio program and Walter B. Gibson’s popular pulp fiction, legendary crime-fighting superhero The Shadow comes to life in the 1994 film adaptation The Shadow, starring Alec Baldwin (30 Rock) from visionary filmmaker Russell Mulcahy (Resident Evil: Extinction, Highlander). Brimming with non-stop action and suspense, this wildly entertaining cinematic adventure
See full article at Comicmix »

The Shadow: Collector’S Edition Arrives on Blu-ray February 25th

Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows! Adapted from the long-running classic radio program and Walter B. Gibson’s popular pulp fiction, legendary crime-fighting superhero The Shadow comes to life in the 1994 film adaptation The Shadow, starring Alec Baldwin (30 Rock) from visionary filmmaker Russell Mulcahy (Resident Evil: Extinction, Highlander). Brimming with non-stop action and suspense, this wildly entertaining cinematic adventure also stars John Lone (The Last Emperor), Penelope Ann Miller (Carlito’s Way), Peter Boyle (Everybody Loves Raymond), Ian McKellen (X-Men), Jonathan Winters (The Smurfs) and Tim Curry (The Rocky Horror Picture Show). On February 25, 2014, Shout! Factory will release The Shadow: Collector’S Edition Blu-ray™, featuring new high...
See full article at The Daily BLAM! »

The Shout! Factory Knows What Evil Lurks in the Hearts of Men

Fans of old time radio will remember The Shadow fondly! People who saw the 1994 film starring Alec Baldwin as Lamont Cranston, everyone's favorite crime fighter with supernatural powers... eh... not so much. Has time been kind to this feature film? Only The Shadow knows!

From the Press Release

Who knows what evil lurks in the shadow of men? The Shadow knows! Adapted from the long-running classic radio program and Walter B. Gibson’s popular pulp fiction, legendary crime-fighting superhero The Shadow comes to life in the 1994 film adaptation The Shadow, starring Alec Baldwin ("30 Rock") from visionary filmmaker Russell Mulcahy (Resident Evil: Extinction, Highlander). Brimming with non-stop action and suspense, this wildly entertaining cinematic adventure also stars John Lone (The Last Emperor), Penelope Ann Miller (Carlito’s Way), Peter Boyle ("Everybody Loves Raymond"), Ian McKellen (X-Men), Jonathan Winters (The Smurfs), and Tim Curry (The Rocky Horror Picture Show).

On February 25, 2014, Shout!
See full article at Dread Central »

August: Osage County And World Premiere Of Lone Survivor Added To 2013 AFI Fest

The American Film Institute (AFI) today announced additional Centerpiece Galas and Special Screenings – comprised of a world premiere, award season contenders and highly anticipated independent and international films of the fall – for AFI Fest 2013 presented by Audi.

There will be a red carpet Gala each night of the festival.

The additional Centerpiece Galas are August: Osage County (Dir John Wells) on Friday, November 8; The Last Emperor 3D (Dir Bernardo Bertolucci) on Sunday, November 10; and the World Premiere of Lone Survivor (Dir Peter Berg) on Tuesday, November 12.

All Galas will be presented in the historic Tcl Chinese Theatre.

August: Osage County

AFI Fest’s Special Screenings are Her (Dir Spike Jonze); The Invisible Woman (Dir Ralph Fiennes); Jodorowsky’S Dune (Dir Frank Pavich); Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom (Dir Justin Chadwick); The Past (Le PASSÉ) (Dir Asghar Farhadi); Philomena (Dir Stephen Frears); and The Unknown Known: The Life And Times
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

20 interesting films from one-time movie megastars

Odd List Greg Foster 18 Oct 2013 - 06:16

We look at 20 former A-list actors, and the interesting film choices they've made...

There comes a time in every A-list actor's life when they gather their thoughts and take a step back into smaller budget or more leftfield fare - and for a variety of reasons. They may want to work with a certain director or an emerging directing talent. They might be taken by a fantastic script. They might fancy a new artistic direction. They may even have a spiritual epiphany and decide to eschew Hollywood and all its decadent trappings, or they may simply just not have a choice, since the big roles have long since dried up for them.

The reason for this list then, is to look at some of those shining lights, the household names, and at the films they took up as proof of their artistic integrity.
See full article at Den of Geek »

The Best Movie You Never Saw: The Hunted (1995)

  • JoBlo
Welcome to The Best Movie You Never Saw, a column dedicated to examining films that have flown under the radar or gained traction throughout the years, earning them a place as a cult classic or underrated gem that was either before it’s time or has aged like a fine wine. This week we’ll be examining The Hunted from writer/director J.F. Lawton (Under Siege) and starring Christopher Lambert, Joan Chen, John Lone, and Yoshio Harada. The Story: While on a business...
See full article at JoBlo »

Who Knows What Evil Lurks? Dynamite Knows As It Picks Up “The Shadow”

  • Comicmix
Dynamite Entertainment has signed a comprehensive licensing agreement with Conde Nast for comic books based on The Shadow. Arguably the most famous pulp hero of the 20th century and an inspiration for Batman among many others, The Shadow has been featured in comic books, comic strips, television, video games, and at least five motion pictures.

“We are pleased and excited to entrust The Shadow to the capable, creative hands of Dynamite Entertainment,” said Jerry Birenz, licensing attorney for Conde Nast. “We look forward to a continuation of the long tradition of The Shadow in comic books, and the enjoying of the new adventures and experiences Dynamite Entertainment will bring us.”

Introduced as a mysterious radio narrator by David Chrisman, William Sweets, and Harry Engman Charlot for Street and Smith Publications, The Shadow was fully developed and transformed into a pop culture icon by pulp writer Walter B. Gibson.

The Shadow
See full article at Comicmix »

Top 7 Movies with the word ‘Last’ in the Title

We start the Top 7. You finish the Top 10.

With M. Night Shyamalan’s The Last Airbender (click here for review) opening on July 1 it got me thinking. Movie studios love the word “last.” Can’t get enough. Just this year there’s Miley CyrusThe Last Song. The Last Station just came out on DVD. There’s classic bombs like Arnold Schwarzenegger’s The Last Action Hero, and perhaps the worst of the bunch, The Last Holiday starring Queen Latifah.

Now, let’s talk about the best of the bunch. These are the “Top 7 Movies with the word ‘Last’ in the Title.” As always, I had to make some tough cuts, so those simply make it into the comments section below.

7. The Last Boy Scout (1991)

Recap: A detective (Bruce Willis) and ex-quarterback Jimmy Dix (Damon Wayans) are thrown together to attempt to solve a murder.

Reason: Writer Shane Black and
See full article at Scorecard Review »

Ron Says 'Ninja Assassin' Really Has Little To Do With Ninjas

Though films with substance can be the most memorable, now and then a decent movie that invites you to check your brain at the door can be rewarding. The problem is those types of films have to be somewhat decent and they are getting pretty rare nowadays. The last action film I saw that asked me to throw logic out the window and was still entertaining was Timur Bekmambetov's “Wanted' and since then hyper-kinetic films of the genre have got dumber and dumber. 'Ninja Assassin' is no exception. It's actually one of those movies you want to succeed, because its tough to remember when was the last time we got a decent ninja flick which is a poorly developed genre. I never though I'd write this, but 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' comes to mind and I'm talking the recent CGI version, not men in ridiculous Muppet suits.
See full article at LRM Online »

Won't Get Fooled Again

  • IFC
Since he emerged out of the psychotronica closet of his first potent but crude features, there have been two fairly distinct David Cronenbergs -- the extremist/obsessive who's been happy to exploit the fleshier anxieties of science fiction and surrealism, and the critic's darling that sprung up around the time of the still-underrated "Crash" (1996), all the easier to laud for having left the icky aspects of genre behind him. Relative to the psychosexual force on exhibition in "Videodrome" (1983), "The Dead Zone" (1983), "The Fly" (1986), "Dead Ringers" (1988) and "Naked Lunch" (1991), it seems to me that "eXistenZ" (1999), "Spider" (2002), "A History of Violence" (2005) and "Eastern Promises" (2007) are both fairly prosaic and predictable, especially in light of the critical handstands they inspired. It's not all as cut and dried as that, of course, but it still leaves "M. Butterfly" (1993) lingering, coyly and enigmatically, right in the middle. Cronenberg fans never warmed to this unsensationalized Broadway adaptation,
See full article at IFC »

Raymond Benson Reviews "The Last Emperor" Criterion Special Edition DVD

  • CinemaRetro
The Last Emperor. (The Criterion Collection, 2008).

Red-carpet DVD producer Criterion does it again with its lavish, four-disk box set release of this Oscar winner from 1987. Directed by Bernardo Bertolucci, the film is one of two films in Academy history that won all of its nominations in nine categories (Gigi being the other; only one other film won a higher number of nominations without a loss, and that was The Lord of the Rings—the Return of the King). Emperor is a magnificent and intelligent epic about Pu Yi, the last reigning emperor of Imperial China. While full of spectacle on a grand scale, the picture also manages to be an intimate human drama about a young man trapped by historical events out of his control. After all, this was a person who became the emperor of a country at the age of three. Of particular historical cinematic importance is the
See full article at CinemaRetro »

War

War
NEW YORK -- The teaming of Jet Li and Jason Statham results in a union that's less than the sum of its parts in War, one of the many entries in the annual late summer B-movie onslaught. Lacking even the galvanizing action sequences that would have compensated for suffering through its formulaic plot, this is a thoroughly forgettable exploitationer that will not enhance its stars' resumes. The film opened Friday without being screened for the press.

The film works in plenty of the familiar elements, from the tough cop out for revenge to the mysterious assassin on a mission to the usual convoluted plot machinations involving the Asian underworld. When the partner and family of FBI agent Crawford (Statham) are brutally murdered, he vows to get revenge on the mysterious assassin who subsequently disappeared. Cut to three years later, when the killer named Rogue (Li) returns to become involved in a turf war between the Chinese Triads and the Japanese yakuzas. About 90 minutes later, the audience finally gets what it came to see, a protracted hand-to-hand combat between the stars.

Unfortunately, that altercation -- edited in the obligatory hyperactive style -- is less than overwhelming, as is everything that has come before it. Although there is plenty of violence on display -- including shootouts, car chases and sword battles -- none of the sequences compare in excitement to virtually anything seen in Li or Statham's oeuvre.

Statham glowers with his usual effectiveness, but has little opportunity to show off his intense charisma. And Li, wearing a slight smirk throughout the entire proceedings, rarely displays the amazing physicality of which he's still clearly capable.

Lee Anthony Smith and Gregory J. Bradley's screenplay attempts to throw in some character-defining quirks -- the cop is afraid of his wife finding out he still smokes, the killer has really organized closets, etc. -- to little effect. And the final would-be surprising revelation, involving a pretty extensive plastic surgery job, is too little, too late.

The supporting cast includes the superb John Lone, here wasted as a crime boss, and Mathew St. Patrick and Andrea Roth, both of whom have been seen to much better effect in their TV gigs on HBO's Six Feet Under and FX's Rescue Me, respectively. One of the film's best unintentional laughs comes with Devon Aoki's ordering some tough guys at gunpoint to get her some salad, fast, with the dressing on the side.

WAR

Lionsgate

Cast:

Director: Philip G. Atwell

Screenwriters: Lee Anthony Smith, Gregory J. Bradley

Producers: Steven Chasman, Christopher Petzel, Jim Thompson

Executive producer: Mike Elliott

Director of photography: Pierre Morel

Production designer: Chris August

Costume designer: Cynthia Ann Summers

Cast:

Rogue: Jet Li

Crawford: Jason Statham

Chang: John Lone

Kira: Devon Aoki

Benny: Luis Guzman

Dr. Sherman: Saul Rubinek

Shiro: Ryo Ishibashi

Running time -- 99 minutes

MPAA rating: R

Film review: 'The Last Emperor'

Film review: 'The Last Emperor'
With nearly an hour of extra footage, mostly in added shots and small sequences, Bernardo Bertolucci's much-honored "The Last Emperor" is even more impressive in distributor Artisan Entertainment's "original director's cut" -- a sumptuous feast in Los Angeles at the Nuart and for cineastes in San Francisco and Chicago.

Now running 219 minutes (and shown disappointingly without an intermission), this winner of nine Academy Awards including best picture was released in 1987 and boldly portrays the life of Pu Yi with unparalleled access to the Forbidden City, where the young emperor lived for 16 years. Few movies before or since have so successfully combined the showmanship of widescreen filmmaking with rigorous, literate storytelling and delicate psychological characterizations.

Comparing the two versions is startling, with the longer captivating one in a more satisfying, big-movie fashion -- particularly in the first two hours. Along with more exquisitely beautiful scenes from Pu Yi's youth, including the entirely new story of how his beloved wet nurse (Jade Go) came to the Forbidden City, the present version has more details of the lead's harsh transformation through imprisonment and interrogation, including his complex relationship with the prison governor (Ying Ruocheng).

While the cutting between the adult Pu Yi (John Lone) as a war criminal and his coming of age in the turbulent early years of this century is the same in both editions, this preferred length allows one to fully digest the flavors and themes of Bertolucci and Mark Peploe's Oscar-winning screenplay. Historical but dramatic and highlighted by luminous performances (Peter O'Toole, Joan Chen) and breathtaking crowd scenes, "The Last Emperor" is a masterpiece with a few reservations that are not dismissed in either case.

The interrogators themselves hurry up the story by having Pu Yi move on to his involvement with the Japanese in the 1930s and World War II. The provocative Eastern Jewel (Maggie Han) still shows up out of the blue to create a new threesome for the playboy emperor in exile, and the Cultural Revolution, near the ironic conclusion, is not as well-explained as other eras portrayed.

Also winning Academy Awards for direction, editing, art direction, cinematography, costume design, scoring and sound, "The Last Emperor" is without question a tremendously impressive work of entertainment and art that soars on the big screen and makes a handsome home-viewing collector's item.

THE LAST EMPEROR ORIGINAL DIRECTOR'S CUT

Artisan Entertainment

In association with Recorded Picture Co. Hemdale Film Corp.

A Jeremy Thomas production

Director: Bernardo Bertolucci

Producer: Jeremy Thomas

Screenwriters: Mark Peploe, Bernardo Bertolucci

Director of photography: Vittorio Storaro

Production designer: Ferdinando Scarfiotti

Editor: Gabriella Cristiani

Costume designer: James Acheson

Music: Ryuichi Sakamoto, David Byrne, Cong Su

Color/stereo

Cast:

Pu Yi (adult): John Lone

Wan Jung: Joan Chen

Reginald Johnston: Peter O'Toole

The Governor: Ying Ruocheng

Chen Pao Shen: Victor Wong

Eastern Jewel: Maggie Han

Ar Mo: Jade Go

Running time -- 219 minutes

No MPAA rating

'The Shadow'

No one ever saw the Shadow, the radio Mystery Man who first lurked on the scene some 60 years ago, except in their imagination. Now, his alternately sinister and heroic form is fleshed out in high-deco style with Universal's ''The Shadow.'' Stylishly directed by Russell Mulcahy, this witty entertainment will appeal to sci-fi and thriller buffs, but the marketing challenge will be to ''uncloud the vision'' of younger viewers.

''The Shadow'' begins at the pinnacle of hocus-pocus: in Tibet, as evil warlord Ying Ko (Alec Baldwin) is taken captive by a mystic who orders him to ''be redeemed.'' Ying Ko is transformed into Lamont Cranston, a dapper gent, and sent to New York to battle crime and evil. Fortunately for Cranston, the mystic has taught him secret powers of the mind and cloaked him in a new guise -- the Shadow. A dapper man-about-town during the day, Cranston transforms into an ethereal, brim-hatted crime fighter at night.

Even by Big Apple standards, Cranston/the Shadow confronts a lot of rot, not helped any by the supernatural arrival of the last of Genghis Khan's bloodline, Shiwan Khan (John Lone), who senses through the darker side of Cranston/the Shadow a kindred spirit, a potential partner in the conquest and destruction of New York.

Plotwise, ''The Shadow'' is a big spinner, involving development of the atomic bomb and all sorts of municipal madness all squared into another dimension. At times, it spins out of orbit, but it's generally engaging and nicely diced by screenwriter David Koepp's light-handed wit. In general, this ''Shadow'' is more to look at than to listen to. Its chief virtues are on the surface: Joseph Nemec III's ornate art-deco production design as well as the film's wide-ranging special effects are ''The Shadow' '' best features. Director Mulcahy's fast-moving dynamic, aided by cinematographer Stephen H. Burum's rhythmic shots, editor Peter Honess' zesty punctuation and composer Jerry Goldsmith's titanic score, brings necessary bulk to ''The Shadow' '' surface dimension.

As the Shadow, Baldwin is an apt blend of the suave and the sinister, while Lone is outstanding as the megalomaniac force of evil. The supporting players are bright spots, most notably Jonathan Winters as a crotchety police commissioner, Tim Curry as an obsequious turncoat and Peter Boyle as a roisterous cabbie.

THE SHADOW

Universal

A Bregman/Baer Prod.

A Film by Russell Mulcahy

Producers Martin Bregman, Willi Baer, Michael S. Bregman

Director Russell Mulcahy

Screenwriter David Koepp

Based on Advance Magazine Publisher's character ''The Shadow''

Executive producers Louis A. Stroller, Rolf Deyhle

Director of photography Stephen H. Burum

Production designer Joseph Nemec III

Editor Peter Honess

Co-executive producer Stan Weston

Music supervisor Jellybean Benitez

Music Jerry Goldsmith

Costume designer Bob Ringwood

Casting Mary Colquhoun

Sound mixer Keith Wester

Color/Stereo

Lamont Cranston/the Shadow Alec Baldwin

Shiwan Kahn John Lone

Margo LanePenelope Ann Miller

Moe Shrevnitz Peter Boyle

Reinhardt Lane Ian McKellen

Farley Claymore Tim Curry

Barth Jonathan Winters

Dr. Tam Sab Shimono

Running time -- 112 minutes

MPAA Rating: PG-13

(c) The Hollywood Reporter

See also

Credited With | External Sites