12 items from 2014
The 80-year-old added that this would have an impact on the late actor's career legacy.
Writing in the Radio Times, Norman said that Williams's talent "could sometimes be spread so thinly".
The columnist also stated that Williams's CV featured a "plenitude" of bad films.
"It's hard to know what to make of Robin Williams," wrote Norman. "Admiration is called for, but also sadness, not just for his tragic death but for an enormous talent which, if not exactly unfulfilled, could sometimes be spread so thinly as to be almost invisible."
On Williams's "bad" movies, Norman added: "Every actor makes bad films occasionally but what was remarkable about Williams was not that he was so good in the good ones but that he was so very bad in the bad ones. »
Robert De Niro’s next movie project sees him making a welcome return to the type of role he occupied in his heyday. Bus 757 has the mumbling, brooding one playing The Pope – not the beloved Pontiff (though there’s arguably a resemblance) but a dodgy casino owner with a holy nickname who becomes caught up in an audacious plot to both raid a bank and hijack a bus.
The story sounds like a frantic blend of Heat and Speed, though with a budget of $15 million the emphasis is likely to be less on explosions and more on character. The heavyweight screen veteran is to the first casting to be confirmed and is sure to attract some exciting talent to the table. Written by Stephen Sepher (4 Minutes) and directed by Scott Mann (The Tournament), the movie will shoot in September in Baton Rouge. The producers are Efof, who are also »
- Steve Palace
A nuclear-powered bus packed with misfit passengers and with a dodgy driver at the wheel is speeding across America ... It's going to be a bumpy ride in one of the best 70s spoofs
More from the My Guilty Pleasure series
When Airplane! stormed cinemas in 1980, it was hailed as the perfect spoof of transport disaster movies and a useful coda to a decade that had been obsessed with them: Airport, The Poseidon Adventure, The Hindenburg, Airport 1975, Airport '77, Airport 80 The Concorde etc.
But before Airplane! there was The Big Bus. I recall as a teenager watching Barry Norman review the film on what must have been Film 76 (note again the decade's zeitgeisty use of years in titles). It looked funny, but I was too young to see it at the cinema. So I put all childish thoughts of buses aside
Continue reading »
- Paul Simon
The Film programme. That theme tune. This 48-minute podcast. And why not? The movie journalist legend that is Barry Norman stopped by the Empire Podcast booth to talk about his new book, his extraordinary career and just how close he came to punching Robert De Niro.P.S. You can check out our podcast photo gallery here and subscribe to the Empire Podcast via our iTunes page or this handy RSS feed. You can subscribe to the magazine here if you like it in paper form, or here if you prefer things digitally. »
Kelly Preston's husband John Travolta has touted Scientology as helping him get through the tough times over the death of his son Jett. The 'Saturday Night Fever' actor's 16-year-old son Jett passed away in January 2009 after suffering a seizure and the 59-year-old star - who also has 13-year-old daughter Ella and three-year-old son Benjamin with wife Kelly Preston - says the tragedy was ''the worst thing that's ever happened in my life.'' Speaking to Barry Norman at a Q&A session in London last night, he added: ''The truth is, I didn't know if I was going to make it. ''Life was no longer interesting to me, so it took a lot to get me better.'' The 'Pulp Fiction' star credited his controversial faith Scientology for helping him overcome the tragedy, saying the organization have ''saved his life'' on more than one occasion. »
John Travolta, who just turned 60, recently spoke about the loss of his son, Jett, who died when he was only 16-years-old.
John Travolta Remembers The Loss Of His Son
Travolta sat down for a 90-minute interview with the BBC’s Barry Norman recently at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane in London, where he answered questions on a whole range of topics – including Jett’s death in 2009 from a seizure.
"[It was] the worst thing that's ever happened in my life,” Travolta revealed. "The truth is, I didn't know if I was going to make it. Life was no longer interesting to me, so it took a lot to get me better,” the Pulp Fiction star added. “I didn't want to wake up."
Travolta On Scientology, James Gandolfini
As he has in the past, Travolta credited Scientology with helping him through the tragic loss of his eldest son, who’d had a history »
John Travolta has opened up about the 2009 death of his son Jett, calling the loss the "worst thing that's ever happened in my life." "The truth is, I didn't know if I was going to make it," the actor, who turns 60 today, said while participating in a recent on-stage interview with the BBC's Barry Norman at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane in London. "Life was no longer interesting to me, so it took a lot to get me better." It was in January 2009 when 16-year-old Jett died following a seizure during a family vacation in the Bahamas. The family's attorney revealed at the time that the son of Travolta and wife Kelly Preston had a history of seizures. Travolta went on to »
Saturday Night Fever, Grease, Pulp Fiction, Get Shorty, Face/ Off. Just five of the many iconic John Travolta movies in a career that has spanned five decades and over fifty movies. In that time Travolta has appeared in musicals, horror films, thrillers, comedies, action movies, dramas, animated fares and science fiction epics. He is the actor that has seen it all and done it all. In last 35 years, since his career blossomed with a role in a 1977 musical named Grease, he has overcome personal tragedy, critical acclaim and critical mauling, career highs, career lows and at least two movie rebirths in the late 80s and 90s, most notably with the 1994 cult movie Pulp Fiction, from director Quentin Tarantino; and here he is in London, on perhaps the most glamourous nights of the year, BAFTA night, to celebrate his career and his life with the people he clearly adores the most, »
- Tessa Jones
Feature Simon Brew 11 Feb 2014 - 06:32
How do we decide what's a four star movie? Are all five star movies made equal? Simon explains the issues with star ratings
A pair of reviews went up on this site last week, for films that - for differing reasons - we rated at four stars apiece. Above the four stars, in both cases, were many hundreds of words discussing the films in question. Yet both, in different ways, continued to fuel the ongoing, interesting debate about the star rating system, and its suitability.
Because in the comments below our reviews of both RoboCop (2014) and The Lego Movie were some pertinent, constructive questions. We're not going to name the commenters, as the aim isn't to expose them to flaming or such like. Yet they raise some interesting questions and points - which we've quoted directly - that in many ways frame the ongoing star rating debate. »
John Travolta has his sights fixed on playing a James Bond villain.
“I’ve spoken to Barbara Broccoli (producer of the 007 movies) who loves the idea,” he says, adding that he won’t really “close the chapter on playing villains” until he gets cast as a baddie in a James Bond film. “I would love that. They’re going a different way with their villain in the next film but I’ve spoken to Barbara about it and she loves the idea, so that would be great.”
Travolta also reveals today that following the death of his son, Jett, he feared he might never act again but now has a series of tough-guy movie roles lined up, including playing real-life Mafia boss John Gotti Snr alongside Anthony Hopkins and his own daughter, Ella Bleu Travolta in the crime drama, Gotti: In The Shadow Of My Father.
Travolta was talking ahead »
- Paul Heath
Citizen Kane may have been dethroned by Vertigo in the 2012 Sight & Sound poll but it’s still…you know…Citizen Kane. Here at The Film Stage we’ll take any opportunity to further study Orson Welles‘ American masterpiece and today we have two extensive documentaries that chronicle Kane’s production. The first documentary, narrated by film critic Barry Norman, traces the rise of [...] »
- Zade Constantine
Commenting on the Critics with Simon Columb....
A favourite writer, Mark Cousins, acutely demonstrates how criticism is so much more than writing reviews of the weekly Hollywood spectacular in the February 2014 edition of Sight and Sound:
"The critic, if she’s any good, will have come to realise that she doesn’t merely respond to art, she makes art … there’s the kind of criticism that I am doing now – writing. Even film writing, though, is polygenetic. Critical writing can be reviewing, books, essays and interviews, of course, but it can be letters, hypotheticals and manifestos too, and more besides."
Read the full article and much, much more by subscribing here.
Too often (myself included) writers have berated the slow dilution of film writing online. For example, videos and articles pick out vague inaccuracies of an imaginative, science fiction film and tactfully ignore the emotional and profound issues raised by the filmmaker. »
- Gary Collinson
12 items from 2014
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