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With new movies from Christopher Nolan, Kathryn Bigelow, and Steven Spielberg on the horizon for the second half of 2017, it’s tempting to conclude that the year is off to a slow start. Truth be told, there have been no shortage of quality releases so far — you just have to look a little harder than the likes of “Beauty and the Beast” and “Wonder Woman,” although both those hits are encouraging in their own way. Because studios tend to hold their serious Oscar contenders till Q4, any mid-year list of favorites naturally skews toward fun, so don’t be surprised to see comedy and horror films among the films that have electrified us so far. Except for “Get Out” — the biggest and most welcome surprise so far this year — the list is alphabetical.
Jordan Peele’s racial-nightmare horror movie (pictured, above) is ticklish and disturbing enough to feel like “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” directed by Roman Polanski. The powerful connection it has made with audiences demonstrates one of the eternal — but perpetually forgotten — lessons of the movie business: If you dare to make the forbidden film that everyone says you’re not “supposed” to make…they will come! – Og
The first comedy of the Age of Trump. In this darkly witty collaboration between director Miguel Arteta and screenwriter Mike White (their first dual outing since “Chuck & Buck” and “The Good Girl”), Salma Hayek is all luminous angelic flakiness as Beatriz, a downtrodden New Age massage therapist who gets invited to a client’s high-powered dinner party. There, a proudly piggish real-estate baron (John Lithgow) brings out her vengeful inner tiger. Is he a Trump figure? Yes, but less for his tycoon bluster than for the way he stands in for the death of empathy. – Og
Did you notice that romantic comedies have disappeared? That makes Michael Showalter’s indie gem not just a Sundance breakout film but a witty, heart-rending new model for the romcom genre. Set in Chicago, it’s about Kumail (Kumail Nanjiani), a stand-up comedian from a traditional Pakistani Muslim family, and Emily (Zoe Kazan), whom he falls in love with but secretly thinks he’s forbidden to marry. Romance and comedy are but two dimensions in a tale of illness, identity, and the way the peskiest of parents can be your best friends. – Og
Buckle up for attitude and adrenaline as Edgar Wright revisits the idea behind his music video for Mint Royale’s “Blue Song,” focusing on a getaway driver with a penchant for pop tunes. This unapologetic exercise in style might not be deep, but it makes for some swell summer entertainment. — Pd
Although the world lost “Stop Making Sense” director Jonathan Demme earlier this year, we’re fortunate that singer David Byrne is still breaking the sound barrier — and that brothers Bill and Turner Ross were there to witness this ecstatic brainchild, in which top pop acts with 10 high school color guard squads. — Pd
Heal the Living
Gifted French helmer Katell Quillévéré shows compassion for even the most minor characters touched by a tragedy that enables a life-saving heart transplant in this stirring French melodrama. Though it barely made a blip in theatrical release, watch for this deeply felt festival gem when it hits home video in August. — Pd
Land of Mine
How long can you hold your breath? If the answer is anything less than 101 minutes, you might want to rethink watching this white-knuckle Danish war movie, a runner-up for the foreign-language Oscar, in which a team of German soldiers (kids, really) are tasked with removing landmines buried by their comrades. — Pd
It lacks the sheer everything-in-this-film-is-awesome novelty of “The Lego Movie,” but it brings off something else. In portraying Batman (played to manly-voiced comic perfection by Will Arnett) as a ruthlessly monomaniacal, paralyzingly insecure compulsive loner, disconnected from everything but his heroic self-branding, Chris McKay’s animated dazzler comes closer to portraying a superhero as a complex being than any comic-book movie has in years. — Og
Lost in Paris
The year will be hard-pressed to deliver a funnier movie than the latest from physical-comedy partners in crime Abel and Gordon (check your local arthouse listings!). Whether dancing along the Seine or dangling from the Eiffel Tower, the duo make Paris their playground. And don’t miss the last performance by Emmanuelle Riva, who died in January. — Pd
While nothing can top Blumhouse’s brilliant “Get Out” in the horror-as-social-critique category, director Julia Ducournau creeps the bejesus out of audiences with her own unnerving outsider story. Intense hazing scenes prove every bit as scary as the infamous finger-eating moment in a fever-dream that dares us to identify with the monster, a shy French med student who develops a taste for human flesh. – Og
Attempting to deconstruct the 70-year morass of the Israeli-Palestinian crisis may be a fool’s errand, but no documentary in years — or perhaps decades — has captured the story behind the story the way that Shimon Dotan’s eye-opening chronicle of the Israeli settlement movement does. It allows you to glimpse the grand design of events in a way that even the Israeli leaders who presided over them often didn’t. – Og
After a long stretch of bloated, borderline-embarrassing movies, M. Night Shyamalan pulled off his best surprise yet, delivering ingenuity on a shoestring with this tricksy multiple-personality thriller, which embraces its limitations while making the most of its central asset: a tour-de-force lead performance from cracked-out chameleon James McAvoy. — Pd
While the modern film industry reevaluates the under-representation of women in key roles, Danish director Lone Scherfig reminds that the problem is nothing new, focusing on a female screenwriter’s contributions to England’s wartime propaganda effort. The movie has it all: comedy, romance, intrigue, and a scene-stealing turn from Bill Nighy. — Pd
Related storiesOscars at the Halfway Mark: 'Logan,' 'Get Out' and Women DirectorsPlayback: Kumail Nanjiani on 'The Big Sick' and the Need for RepresentationAnsel Elgort Is Excited for 'Baby Driver' to Make Him 'Look Like a Bada--' »
- Peter Debruge and Owen Gleiberman
The UK DVD and Blu-ray release of British film Their Finest has been announced.
Capturing and reflecting the spirit of a nation at war, one woman must navigate the complexities of movie production, the stiff upper lips of government and her own romantic entanglements in the irresistible British comedy drama Their Finest, available on digital platforms from August 14th and on Blu-ray and DVD from August 21st courtesy of Lionsgate Home Entertainment.
1940, London, the Blitz. With the country’s morale at stake, inexperienced screenwriter, Catrin (Gemma Arterton; The Girl With All The Gifts, Tamara Drewe) and a makeshift cast and crew work under fire to make a film to lift the country’s flagging spirits and inspire America to join the war. Partnered with fellow screenwriter, Buckley (Sam Claflin; My Cousin Rachel, Me Before You), the pair set off to make a film that will warm the hearts of the »
- Paul Heath
By Doug Oswald
“Hitler’s SS: A Portrait of Evil” is a 1986 made-for TV movie telling the fictional story of Helmut (Bill Nighy) and Karl Hoffmann (John Shea), brothers who become a part of Hitler’s rise to power in Germany. The movie opens in 1931 as we meet the brothers, their family, friends and associates. Hoping they can sway and minimalize the radical elements through their intellect and character, Helmut and Karl willingly join the Nazi Party.
The Hoffmann brothers are eager participants in the Nazi party early on as their mother Gerda (Carroll Baker) provides worried commentary. Factory worker Karl joins the Sa while his university student brother Helmut is coaxed into joining the SS by fencing instructor Reinhard Heydrich (David Warner), much to the objection of his mentor and Jewish professor Ludwig Rosenberg (Jose Ferrer). Tony Randall is interesting appearing as a comic performer for the Nazis known as Putzi. »
- email@example.com (Cinema Retro)
Rlj Entertainment (Bone Tomahawk) has acquired U.S. rights to the thriller The Limehouse Golem. Based on the novel “Dan Leno and the Limehouse Golem” by Peter Ackroyd, the film was written by the acclaimed writer Jane Goldman (Kingsmen, The Woman in Black), directed by Juan Carlos Medina (Painless) and produced by Stephen Woolley (Interview with a Vampire), Joanna Laurie (Hyena) and Elizabeth Karlsen (Carol).
Keep up with the wild and wooly world of indie film acquisitions with our weekly Rundown of everything that’s been picked up around the globe. Check out last week’s Rundown here.
– Mubi has acquired the U.S., U.K. and Ireland rights to Philippe Garrel’s “Lover for a Day” (“L’Amant d’un jour”), which premiered in the Directors’ Fortnight at the Cannes Film Festival and won the Sacd prize from the French Writers and Directors Guild, shared with Claire Denis’ “Let the Sunshine In.” »
- Graham Winfrey
If you're already having Bates Motel withdrawals and you're going to miss Olivia Cooke's performance as Emma, Rlj Entertainment might have just the cure for what ails you, as they've just acquired the Us rights to The Limehouse Golem, a new serial killer thriller set in London and starring Cooke alongside Bill Nighy.
Keep an eye out for The Limehouse Golem in theaters and on VOD beginning September 8th, and check out the official press release with full details on the film:
Press Release: Los Angeles, June 1, 2017 – Rlj Entertainment (Nasdaq: Rlje) has acquired U.S. rights to the thriller The Limehouse Golem. Based on the novel “Dan Leno and the Limehouse Golem” by Peter Ackroyd, the film was written by the acclaimed writer Jane Goldman (Kingsmen, The Woman in Black), directed by Juan Carlos Medina (Painless) and produced by Stephen Woolley (Their Finest, Interview with a Vampire), Joanna Laurie »
- Derek Anderson
The story is set in Victorian London as the city is gripped with fear as a serial killer – dubbed The Limehouse Golem – is on the loose and leaving cryptic messages written in his victim’s blood.
Nighy plays a Scotland Yard detective with a troubled past and a sneaking suspicion he’s being set up to fail when he’s assigned the case. He’s faced with a long list of suspects, including music hall star Dan Leno (Douglas Booth) and must get help from a witness who has legal troubles of her own (Olivia Cooke), so he can stop the murders and bring the killer to justice.
- Dave McNary
The distributor has scheduled a September 8 day-and-date threatrical and VOD release for The Limehouse Golem.
HanWay Films handles international sales. »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Jeremy Kay)
Last night, NBC aired its annual Red Nose Day special, three hours of programming aimed at helping to stop child poverty once and for all. And part of this special was a long-awaited follow-up to the iconic romantic comedy Love, Actually. Original Love Actually writer-director Richard Curtis returned to write a short film set in present day, which reveals what these characters have been up to in the 14 years since the film debuted in theaters. In case you missed the short last night, or want to watch it again, you can take a look at this Love Actually sequel in full below.
This 16-minute short debuted on NBC's Facebook after airing during the Red Nose Day special last night. This Love Actually reunion was first announced in February, with writer-director Richard Curtis revealing that he wanted to follow up on his beloved movie, now that Red Nose Day is celebrated both in the U. »
Love Actually isn’t Love Actually without its hedonistic, aging rock star Billy Mack. But Bill Nighy’s outspoken character was nowhere to be seen during the movie’s mini-sequel, which aired as part of NBC’s Red Nose Day fundraising special Thursday.
Many members of the movie’s cast — including Hugh Grant, Keira Knightley, Andrew Lincoln, Liam Neeson, Rowan Atkinson and Colin Firth — took part in the project, which provided a “Where are they now?” look at characters from the popular romantic comedy while highlighting the importance of Red Nose Day, a charity that provides various forms of help to needy kids. »
However you might feel about “Love Actually,” it’s not often you get a cast like Hugh Grant, Martine McCutcheon, Keira Knightley, Andrew Lincoln, Colin Firth, Lucia Moniz, Liam Neeson, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Olivia Olson, Bill Nighy, Marcus Brigstocke, and Rowan Atkinson. And all those players have returned for the film’s sequel, which aired in the U.K. in March and in the U.S. last night as part of the Red Nose Day special.
Continue reading ‘Love Actually’ Sequel Has Arrived To Tell You That You’re Perfect at The Playlist. »
- Kevin Jagernauth
It's official: Hugh Grant and his dance moves are back with a vengeance.
The cast of 2003's Love Actually reunited for Red Nose Day, featuring original castmembers Andrew Lincoln, Keira Knightley, Hugh Grant, Liam Neeson, Bill Nighy, Rowan Atkinson, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Lucia Moniz, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Olivia Olson and Marcus Brigstocke.
In the video, which debuted in the U.K. in March and on NBC on Thursday, Hugh Grant returned with his popular dance moves »
- Jennifer Konerman,Arlene Washington
Mark Harrison May 25, 2017
The Pirates Of The Caribbean movies have not been easy films to make....
As Michael Bolton once belted out: “This is the tale of Captain Jack Sparrow.” The Pirates Of The Caribbean film was a surprise sleeper hit in 2003, astounding the higher-ups at Disney who had long been sceptical of how a pirate movie, based on a ride at Disneyland, would appeal to audiences.
Off the back of this success, the sequels only got more ambitious and expensive in scale, with their use of practical effects and convoluted character dynamics serving to complicate the adventure format, with mixed results. It shouldn't shock you then, to hear that each of the movies released so far had some serious behind-the-scenes battles to make them shipshape.
Captain Jack Sparrow is pursued by an old nemesis, Armando Salazar, who along with his Spanish Navy ghost crew has escaped from the Devil’s Triangle and is determined to kill every pirate at sea. Jack, aided by his new allies Henry and Carina, must seek the Trident of Poseidon, a powerful artifact that grants its possessor total control over the seas, in order to defeat Salazar.
The fact that the Pirates of the Caribbean series hasn’t released an entry in six years despite 2011’s On Stranger Tides grossing a mind-boggling $1.04 billion worldwide is perhaps an indication that even Disney were aware the series had run out of gas creatively. »
- Shaun Munro
Author: Michael Walsh
Next Monday sees the home entertainment release of Underworld Blood Wars, the fifth film in the ever-evolving franchise which has taken over $500million at the box office and spawned a number of multimedia spin offs. Our review of Blood Wars called it ‘the best in the series’ and there are plans for another film, with series figurehead Kate Beckinsale back as Selene. Underworld as a franchise has never been in better shape.
The turn of the century presented a number of challenges for movie studios. In the subsequent seventeen years we have seen many movie genres and their various tropes reborn for the twenty-first century. The Zombie movie has picked up the pace with 28 Days Later, Shaun of the Dead, Zombieland and the TV series Dead Set and The Walking Dead. Likewise the Vampire and Werewolves had a new day in the sun thanks to 30 Days of Night, »
- Michael Walsh
Even after all this time, love is still all around.
A new trailer for the Love Actually sequel reveals where the characters are 14 years after the original film premiered — and for most, not much has changed.
“Here we go again,” Neeson’s character says.
- Jodi Guglielmi
A new trailer for the Love Actually short sequel highlights where the characters are now, and for some, not much has changed. The movie, which reunites key cast members from the original 2003 film, will air on Red Nose Day in May.
The Red Nose Day Actually clip opens with scenes from the first film before introducing what's currently happening in the characters' lives. Several scenes echo moments from the original movie, including the famous cue card scene. This time around Andrew Lincoln's character queries Keira Knightley's character about »
In the years since the release of Love Actually, some fans have been wondering what became of these characters, their relationships and how they viewed love. Although we may not be getting the full-sized sequel we wanted, director Richard Curtis reunited much of the Love Actually cast, including Hugh Grant, Martine McCutcheon, Keira Knightley, Colin Firth, Liam Neeson, Bill Nighy, Thomas... Read More »
- Kevin Fraser
Exactly two weeks from today, fans will finally get to revisit all of their favorite characters from the 2003 romance classic Love Actually with the short film Red Nose Day Actually, which will be part of NBC's epic Red Nose Day Special on Thursday, May 25. Following a new Love Actually 2 poster released earlier today, NBC has also debuted a trailer that features new footage from this short film, revealing what these characters have been up to for the past 14 years. While we have to wait two more weeks for the full short, this trailer will certainly whet your appetite for this long-awaited follow-up.
This trailer debuted on the Red Nose Day Twitter, which features the first actual footage from the short. There was a Red Nose Day Actually teaser from March, which debuted just before this short debuted in the U.K. version of the Red Nose Day special, but that »
What the world needs now is love.
After making its debut in the U.K. in March for British Red Nose Day, the mini sequel to Love Actually is making its way to the States this month. Ahead of its broadcast, Universal Pictures released the official trailer for Red Nose Day Actually, which proves that Hugh Grant's Prime Minister David still has the moves – well, sort of.
Watch: 'Love Actually' Cast Recreates Iconic Scene in Epic Trailer for 'Red Nose Day' Reunion Special
"Seems to me that love is everywhere, often it's not particularly dignified or newsworthy. But it's always there. If you look for it, I have a sneaky feeling you'll find that love actually is all around," Grant says off-camera as scenes from Richard Curtis' 2003 rom-com flash across the screen.
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