14 items from 2014
Over two decades into his career as a screen actor, Ethan Hawke is in demand now more than ever. Just last year he experienced the biggest box office opening of his career with the surprise smash horror hit "The Purge," and now Hawke is at SXSW with not one, but two films: Richard Linklater's 12-years-in-the-making grand opus "Boyhood," and "Predestination" by the Spierig Brothers, who previously directed Hawke in "Daybreakers." Hawke also has four other projects set to open over the next two years, including "Good Kill," which reunites him with his "Gattaca" director Andrew Niccol. While "Boyhood" made its world premiere at Sundance, the Texan film made its Austin one earlier this week, where it was met with a prolonged standing ovation and more than a few tears. "Predestination" made its world premiere the night prior. In the the sci-fi thriller, Hawke plays a mysterious agent sent on »
- Nigel M Smith
Odd List Ryan Lambie Simon Brew 20 Feb 2014 - 05:40
The unloved films of 2009 provide the focus in our final list of the 2000s' overlooked greats...
The year 2009 will partly be remembered as the year Avatar dominating the box office, with audiences flocking to see James Cameron's leafy pulp epic in shimmering 3D. Making almost $2.8bn worldwide, Avatar was a true behemoth, besting Cameron's own Titanic as the highest-grossing film of all time (not adjusted for inflation) and hastening a rush of 3D films in the years that followed.
Films such as 2012, Sherlock Holmes and boozy comedy The Hangover were also among the top 10, but as always, some of the most memorable and individual films of the year were far from the most financially successful. So to round off our series of underrated flicks of the 2000s, here's our selection of 2009's overlooked films...
A really good, »
Spike Jonze enters the world of cybersex with a curiously detached satire
As far as sci-fi cinema is concerned, there's nothing unusual about falling in love with a computer or conjuring your perfect partner from a keyboard. In the Frankenstein-inspired 80s teen comedy Weird Science, two teenagers brought dream girl Kelly LeBrock to life by wiring a Barbie doll to a computer, while Electric Dreams placed an operating system named Edgar in the middle of a love triangle with a musical twist. Harrison Ford's Deckard didn't seem to know whether he was human or robotic as he fell in love with a replicant in Ridley Scott's Blade Runner. And in Andrew Niccol's S1m0ne, a film director creates a supposedly compliant virtual movie star with whom the whole world promptly becomes infatuated, forcing him into a lifelong relationship that begets digital children. Meanwhile, over in the real world, »
- Mark Kermode
You can call Andrew Niccol a lot of things, but you really can.t call him cowardly. In an age where reality seems like an oppressive world more suited to the movies than our own lives, Niccol remains one of the sole American filmmakers interested in actually discussing the issues that plague our socio-economic times. Weirdly enough, Niccol has been dismissed as a subpar filmmaker, but decades from now when we need to find a film that speaks to where we were at the turn of the century, would it be a surprise to reach for a Niccol film? His latest has been in development without a name, but it.s now going under the provocative title Good Kill. And now the person doing the good killing will be January Jones, according to Deadline. The Mad Men vet will be playing the wife to Ethan Hawke, who will star as »
• Shia Labeouf is not retiring, it seems. The Nymphomaniac star, thrust into the spotlight recently by an ever-escalating plagiarism controversy, has signed on to Barry Levinson’s Rock the Kasbah alongside a host of high-profile names including Bill Murray, Bruce Willis, Zooey Deschanel, Danny McBride, and Kate Hudson. The film follows a past-his-prime rock manager who takes his sole client on a Uso tour in Afghanistan. While in Kabul, the manager discovers a young talent and enters her into the Afghan Star contest — Afghanistan’s version of American Idol. [The Wrap]
- Lindsey Bahr
After working with Ethan Hawke on Gattaca and Lord of War, director Andrew Niccol is now looking to team up for a third time with the actor on Good Kill. Already set to co-star Zoe Kravitz, Bruce Greenwood and Jake Abel, the film has now added January Jones to its cast, as she’ll play the wife of Hawke’s “fighter pilot turned drone operator.”
The script, which Niccol wrote himself, will focus on Hawke’s character who after fighting the Taliban, via remote control, for up to 12 hours a day, “starts to question his mission, asking himself if he is creating more terrorists than he is killing in a war seemingly without end.” Kravitz and Abel will play members of Hawke’s crew while Greenwood will be his superior officer.
“This film will »
- Matt Joseph
The project centers a fighter pilot (Ethan Hawke), who have been assigned to remotely control assault drones. After killing Taliban forces for 12 hours a day, he begins to question his objective and asks himself if he is creating more terrorists than he is disposing of in the endless war. Zoë Kravitz and Jake Abel are portraying his flight crew with Bruce Greenwood playing his superior officer.
The film began shooting last year in Morocco. Production will resume next month in New Mexico. »
Few names conjure up as vivid an image of wildly over-the-top, scenery chewing acting than that of Nicolas Cage. In fact, YouTube hosts multiple compilations with worn titles like “Nicolas Cage Losing His Shit” featuring dozens of clips from a slew of different movies, spanning his whole thirty-year career. While it’s certainly true that watching Cage do flamboyantly odd things is quality entertainment, it’s also true—if all-too-oft forgot—that the man is a talented, legitimate actor. It’s nice to have a reminder. Here, then, are six performances where Nicolas Cage displayed subtlety and nuance: Lord of War Andrew Niccol’s gun-running yarn may have teetered uncomfortably on the brink of squandering an interesting premise through bland execution, but none of that fault was the leading actor’s. Cage, who also co-produced, starred as Yuri Orlov (a composite of several real people), who parlayed a series of opportunities into a career as an international »
- Danny Bowes
With the future for “The Girl Who Played With Fire” still uncertain—“Seven” screenwriter Andrew Kevin Walker was reported to have taken a crack at the script last summer—and only “Bond 24” to look forward to, Daniel Craig doesn’t have a lot on his plate, but Variety reports that’s about to change. According to the trade magazine, Craig has attached himself to the Nicholas Kazan-scripted thriller “The Whole Truth.” As it stands now, not much is known about the film nor when production is planned, especially since Craig is set to jump back into a tuxedo later this year for the “Skyfall” follow-up which is set for release in 2015. But Baz Bamigboye notes it will be directed by "Frozen River" helmer Courtney Hunt. Last fall we found out “Gattaca” director Andrew Niccol was teaming up with Ethan Hawke again for an untitled drone thriller that sees »
- Cain Rodriguez
The Free World
Murphy will play a man trying to re-adjust to civilian life after a brutal twenty-year prison stint. His world collides witha mysterious woman (Howard) with a violent past. [Source: Screen]
Topher Grace will star and Patricia Clarkson is in negotiations to co-star in Dennis Iliadis' supernatural thriller "Home" for Blumhouse Productions and Universal Pictures. Leonardo DiCaprio. Jennifer Killoran, Jason Blum and Graham King will produce.
Adam Alleca's script follows a man (Grace), recently released from a mental institute, who inherits a mansion after his parents die. After a series of disturbing events, he comes to believe it is haunted. [Source: Heat Vision]
- Garth Franklin
Exclusive: Andrew Niccol has cast and a title for his upcoming directorial project. He’s named the picture Good Kill, and Mad Men‘s January Jones has signed on to star as the wife of a fighter pilot-turned-drone operator. Ethan Hawke — who worked with Niccol in Gattaca and Lord Of War — is playing the pilot, Zoe Kravitz (Divergent) and Jake Abel (The Host) play members of his flight crew, and Bruce Greenwood plays his superior officer. The tension comes from the stress of battling the enemy by drone. He fights the Taliban by remote control for 12 hours a day, then goes home to the suburbs and feuds with his wife and kids for the other 12. He starts to question his mission, asking himself if he is creating more terrorists than he is killing in a war seemingly without end. Niccol wrote the script. The film began shooting at the end of last year in Morocco. »
- MIKE FLEMING JR
"Mad Men" and X-Men: First Class star January Jones is set to join Ethan Hawke in writer-director Andrew Niccol's upcoming Good Kill , Deadline reports. The project was first announced (albeit without a title) back in October . Good Kill sees Hawke as a drone pilot operating from Las Vegas who begins to question the value in fighting such a disconnected war. Jones will play Hawke's character's wife with additional roles for Jake Abel (who starred in Niccol's The Host ), Zoe Kravitz (who appeared opposite Jones in X-Men: First Class ) and Bruce Greenwood. Niccol, who previously worked with Hawke on Gattaca and Lord of War , already started shooting late last year in Morocco. Production in New Mexico is now on the schedule with a February date being targeted. »
Odd List Ryan Lambie Simon Brew 16 Jan 2014 - 06:20
Another 25 unsung greats come under the spotlight, as we provide our pick of the underappreciated films of 2005...
It's underappreciated films time again, and this week, we delve deep into the year 2005 - a collection of months dominated by the likes of Star Wars: Episode III, another Harry Potter, Steven Spielberg's War Of The Worlds, Peter Jackson's King Kong, and CG family movie Madagascar.
It was also the year Pierce Brosnan formally bowed out of his role as James Bond, and Martin Scorsese's The Aviator was hyped to win the director his first Oscar, but didn't. Still, the contents of this list received nothing like the acclaim of The Aviator, nor the financial pickings of a Star Wars or Harry Potter. As ever, we've focused on 25 films which we think deserve a bit more love.
So with apologies to »
After last week’s onslaught of new stuff, it was perhaps inevitable that this week would be something of a comedown with not much going on. There is some worthwhile new stuff added, the John Milius documentary for one which has debuted on Lovefilm the same time as DVD more or less and, of course, a contender for the worst film of all time. I have used this opportunity to catch up on some titles that were added last week and I didn’t have space for which are definitely worth writing about. I hope you enjoy.
The Host (2013)
Once upon a time, a bright young writer from New Zealand wrote a brilliant and ahead of its time screenplay called The Truman Show which then became a pretty fantastic film and a career peak for Jim Carrey which predicted the world’s obsession with reality television. The year before, his »
- Chris Holt
14 items from 2014
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