7 items from 2015
Ray Donovan has to be one of my favourite shows on TV at the moment. The unrelenting, tense action and brilliant storylines in a show headed by the rather watchable Liev Schreiber, makes it unmissale every week. Production on season three is just about to get underway in Los Angeles, and news reaches us this morning that one of Britain’s great character actors has joined the cast.
Ian McShane, who has appeared in the likes of Hercules, Sexy Beast, Cuban Fury and the legendary TV series Deadwood, which pretty much catapulted him to Hollywood notoriety, will play a billionaire movie producer in the next season who hires Schreiber’s Donovan to help him get out of a bit of a pickle.
Shooting on »
- Paul Heath
Golden Globe winner guest stars on Season 3 as a billionaire movie producer who comes to Ray (Liev Schreiber) for help
The Golden Globe-winning actor will guest star as Malcolm Finney, a rich and famous movie producer who hires Ray (Liev Schreiber) to help his family out during a potentially catastrphoic situation, in a season-long arc on the pay-cable drama.
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He earned his Golden Globe and also an Emmy nomination for playing foul-mouthed power broker Al Swearengen on »
- Travis Reilly
There was a time when the only place to see new movies was in theaters — I know, it sounds like science fiction, but it’s true — but the brave new world we find ourselves in has made it possible to experience brand new releases in a myriad of ways. One of the increasingly more common methods of mainlining cinema these days is via VOD, and while some smaller films manage limited theatrical releases a growing number are premiering on demand. This week’s small releases include four dramas of varying content and effect. Still Life follows a man whose job it is to find friends for the recently departed. Little Accidents examines the weight of guilt on several characters in a small, tragedy-prone town. The Phoenix Project finds four scientists on the verge of conquering death. And finally, Three Night Stand asks us to identify with a poor guy stuck between Meaghan Rath and Emmanuelle Chriqui. Still Life »
- Rob Hunter
This is a reprint of our review from the 2014 Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. Not wishing to start off on a total downer, let us say that for much of its running time, “Still Life” is just about bearable. Now that’s partly because, catching up with the four-time Venice award-winner [drops to knees, bellows “Why?” at the heavens] at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, we started off well-disposed toward it. Not only did the Uberto Pasolini film (not to be confused with the 2006 Jia Zhang-ke film of the same name which also won at Venice) trail those laurels, but lead Eddie Marsan had just picked up Best Actor in a British Film in Edinburgh, and anyway, Marsan is one of our very favorite character actors, so the chance to see him take on such an inarguably central role was enticing. But only too soon the film wore our goodwill down to a tiny nub, with »
- Jessica Kiang
God’s Pocket, 2014.
Directed by John Slattery.
A blue collar worker (Hoffman) tries to cover things up when his stepson is killed in a suspicious accident, but a local reporter (Jenkins) senses that something’s amiss.
Mad Men is one of many TV shows that have given us so much over its seven year run: millions have been transfixed on the stories of Don Draper and co as they advertise and smoke their way through 1960’s corporate America. But amongst the storylines and character arcs, its given us a wealth of superb talent. The likes of Jon Hamm and Elisabeth Moss have taken Hollywood by storm, but now its the turn of actor-turned-director John Slattery (Iron Man 2) to take a stab at making a splash in Hollywood, and with co-star Christina Hendricks in tow, moves »
- Scott J. Davis
The sad irony of Still Life, with the great English character actor Eddie Marsan as a quiet crusader on behalf of those who die alone, isn't the movie's title; it's the abiding indignity of its stress on dignity. It's hard to affirm life by leaving out so much of what it really feels like. But writer-director Uberto Pasolini, best known as the originator of The Full Monty, here insists on the manicured, melancholic poise that only exists in semi-precious little films — maybe because they're routinely rewarded for it (Still Life took four awards from the 2013 Venice Film Festival). Marsan's character is a sympathetic sort, the solitary soulful bureaucrat whose job of 22 years has been to track down next of kin and arrange final ceremonies, lonel »
Stars: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Christina Hendricks, Eddie Marsan, Richard Jenkins, John Turturro, Caleb Landry Jones, Jack O’Connell | Written by John Slattery, Alex Metcalf | Directed by John Slattery
Last year when we lost Philip Seymour Hoffman we lost one of the best actors of our generation, or any generation. It’s hard to comprehend the loss that the movie industry had with his passing (and the passing of others), but if we have something, we have his movies to show just how good he was. God’s Pocket is an example of him at his best, a film so dark that it makes you feel bad for the inevitable moments you can’t help but laugh.
Hoffman plays Mickey, a loser who spends his days making money through petty crime and gambling, then spending it in the local bar before stumbling home drunk to his wife Jeanie (Christina Hendricks). When »
- Paul Metcalf
7 items from 2015
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