5 items from 2014
You see what you’ve done, Hollywood? With the summer of 2015 completely congested with tentpoles from all the major studios, Warner Bros. has opted to release two buzzy, star-studded projects in the cold winter months of next year. Spy reboot The Man From U.N.C.L.E. (pictured above) has been handed a January 16 release date, while con-artist caper Focus will be released on February 27.
If this was any other year we were talking about, I’d say that Warner Bros. had recognized the two flicks as likely bombs and decided to bury them in the typically barren months of January and February. However, 2015 is absolutely waterlogged with major flicks. In the summer of next year, Warner Bros. already has three major projects – sci-fi revamp Mad Max: Fury Road, Dwayne Johnson action adventure San Andreas and Joe Wright’s Peter Pan reworking Pan – but the months of May, June, July and August will »
- Isaac Feldberg
Sir Ben Kingsley and Italian actress Alessandro Mastronardi are the latest additions to the cast list of Life, which is currently filming in Toronto, Canada, and stars Robert Pattinson in the lead role.
With Anton Corbijn (Control, The American) in the director’s chair, Life relates the story of freelance photographer Dennis Stock and the unlikely friendship he found with Hollywood actor James Dean in the months before his infamous and deadly car accident. Stock – a member of the photographic cooperative Magnum Photos – met Dean in 1955 when he was assigned to capture the young star for the pages of Life Magazine. Completing photo shoots in Dean’s hometown of Indiana, and also in New York City, Stock created some of the most iconic images of the actor, which remain among the most reproduced in the world.
- Sarah Myles
Sundance coverage continues with Glenn on "The Girl from Nagasaki"
Avant-garde cinema isn’t for all audiences. The Girl from Nagasaki proves that it’s not for all directors, either. For whatever virtues Michel Conte has as an artist and a photographer (of which I am unfamiliar), filmmaking may not be of the same league. His debut feature, co-directed alongside his wife Ayako Yoshida, is a wild re-interpretation of Puccini’s famed Japanese-set opera, Madame Butterfly that dissolves into an assault of seemingly meaningless imagery; an experimental, visually symphonic and unfortunately misjudged piece of cinema.
Taking the story of Cio-Cio San and her breakdown at the absence of her American soldier husband and father of her child, Conte’s film at least fails while attempting something bizarrely different. Sadly, in his effort to turn the table on the conventions of narrative film, he has crafted a sort of Frankenstein’s »
- Glenn Dunks
Kellan Lutz ‘The Legend of Hercules’: New Summit release has 0% Rotten Tomatoes approval rating (photo: Gaia Weiss and shirtless Kellan Lutz in ‘The Legend of Hercules’) Starring Kellan Lutz, best known as the hunky and likable vampire Emmett in the Twilight movies, The Legend of Hercules opens today, January 10, 2014, in North America. That’s the good news for Kellan Lutz fans. Now, the bad news: The Legend of Hercules isn’t about to become the next Spartacus — or even the next Gladiator. “The only thing epic about The Legend of Hercules is what a failure it is,” writes Stephanie Merry in the Washington Post, while Newsday‘s Rafer Guzman’s complains that “this painfully feeble version of the strongman story fails on every level, from Lutz’s wooden acting to the styrofoam special effects.” In fact, out of 35 reviews, the Summit Entertainment / Lionsgate Pictures release has a 0% approval rating »
- Zac Gille
Glenn here with a look at a new release that will not be troubling Oscar in 12 months.
Hercules, son of Zeus, was gay. Or at the very least bisexual. He had to be if Renny Harlin’s The Legend of Hercules is anything to go by. Those ancient Greeks weren’t exactly shy about it, so in that regard it’s a shame Harlin’s oiled-up reboot of the Hercules mythology didn’t go further with the homoeroticism that is inherent in the material of pretty much any Hercules production (Disney animation excluded). As Daniel Walber writes at film.com, “the [sword and sandal] genre lives and breathes through the muscled bodies of often scantily-clad actors.” Ain’t that the truth. And in The Legend of Hercules there are buff, barely-clothed bods galore. And beards. Lots of beards, too. I wasn't complaining.
- Glenn Dunks
5 items from 2014
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