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In addition to being one of the most anticipated films of the season, "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" is also marketing itself somewhat subversively: as the "feel bad movie" of the year, something sure to put a damper on your Christmas morning. With a plot heavy on rape and murder, it's definitely not fun for the whole family.
But "Tattoo" wouldn't be the first inappropriate holiday movie, not by a long shot. For families really upset about the way their annual Yankee Swap turned out, there's a long history of violent and messed up films being released on Christmas weekend. Below, our top five picks for the worst way to spend a Christmas afternoon.
This near three-hour long Jewish revenge film dropped on December 23rd, making it either a super empowering Hannukah movie or the worst possible Christmas family outing. Steven Spielberg's look at Israeli retaliation for »
- Jeremy Gordon
Cymbeline Fiasco Theater at Barrow Street Theatre Through January 15
Theater in its purest form is an exercise in magical simplicity. Much of what passes for theater today is far closer to the craft of spectacle, which is wonderful in its own right but should not be confused with the art of transforming a relative empty space into another breathing world through the efforts of actors, a director, and a script. Cymbeline is one of those most miraculous of manifestations; armed only with six very talented actors, the immortal words of the Shakespeare and a handful of props and set pieces, they have summoned the muses and created one of the most memorable stage productions of 2011.
Paring down a roster of fifteen characters to a cast of six is no small accomplishment, but making it feel like that's the way the play was intended to be performed is a unique wonder. »
- C. Jefferson Thom
Gather film enthusiasts around a table to discuss Academy Award wins through the years in the category of Best Picture, and you’re bound to get some pretty heated discussions about highly deserving films being snubbed and other lesser films winning undeserved praise. Even when a film totally sweeps the Oscars, the argument can still be made that the win should have gone elsewhere, and in the case of West Side Story, it’s not an impossible case to pursue. Though brilliantly staged with Stephen Sondheim’s great tunes to bolster the modern retelling of Romeo and Juliet, there will always be a rather serious problem with the film: the choreography feels silly about 60% of the time. Dancing isn’t an uncommon occurrence in musicals, but when it’s a musical about lovers caught up in the politics of two rival street gangs, the dance has to fit the production. »
- Lex Walker
Currently starring in Martin Scorcese’s Hugo, Sacha Baron Cohen is another big name to join Tom Hooper’s all-star musical Les Miserables. The Borat star is going the appear as Monsieur Thenardier opposite Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe and Anne Hathaway in Victor Hugo’s classic tale.
Director Tom Hooper recently announced his expected 3D shot film will stick to the traditional 2D method of filmmaking to avoid alienating fans of the famous musical. Sacha Baron Cohen is no stranger to the musical genre after featuring in Tim Burton’s Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street, which was adapted from Stephen Sondheim’s hit show.
- Craig Hunter
A New York theater mainstay, Dana Ivey has lived in the city for over 30 years, starring in everything from Samuel Beckett’s “Happy Days” to Stephen Sondheim’s “Sunday in the Park with George.” She’s won Tony’s and Obie’s, and that’s just for her work on Broadway. But before Ivey took her first bow on the Great White Way, she could be found in curtains and drapery section of Davidson’s, »
- Alexandra Cheney
Chicago – If you are looking for a sumptuous present for the film musical admirer in your life, look no further than the Blu-ray 50th Anniversary package of “West Side Story.” The classic Broadway-to-screen adaptation won 10 Oscars, including the coveted Best Picture.
Blu-ray Rating: 4.5/5.0
“West Side Story” is one of the more stunning musical theater achievements in Broadway history, with a creative dream team of composer Leonard Bernstein, lyricist Stephen Sondheim and director/choreographer Jerome Robbins. The film version honors the source material, with Robert Wise sharing a director credit with Robbins (it was the first co-director Oscar win in history). Combining the mind-blowing score, witty prose lyrics and dance talent of the one-of-a-kind cast, “West Side Story” changed the energy of what a musical could be.
Basically a retelling of Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet,” the story substitutes New York City street gangs, the Jets and Sharks, for the warring Capulets and Montagues. »
- email@example.com (Adam Fendelman)
Chicago – The legend of the 1961 film version of the Broadway sensation “West Side Story” grows as the years go by. Who better to remember that legend 50 years later than three of the stars of that Academy Award winning Best Picture – Rita Moreno (Anita), George Chakiris (Bernardo) and Russ Tamblyn (Riff).
The film version of “West Side Story” had it all. There was controversy – star Natalie Wood (Maria) was neither Puerto Rican nor sang her own songs. There was art – the classic, unforgettable songs of Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim, plus the athletic and graceful choreography of Jerome Robbins. And finally, there were the awards. Ten Oscars including Best Supporting nods for both Moreno and Chakiris, in addition to the first shared Best Director award for Robbins and co-director Robert Wise.
Photo Credit: Joe Arce of Starstruck Foto for HollywoodChicago. »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
Aaron Sorkin has his eye on the Apple.
The "Social Network" scribe is turning his attention to another brilliant tech mogul as he's "strongly considering" writing the screenplay for the Steve Jobs biography film, according to E! Online.
"Right now I'm just in the thinking-about-it stages," Sorkin said. "It's a really big movie and it's going to be a great movie no matter who writes it."
Oh, Aaron, you know that's not true. It'll be a great movie if you write it!
Aaron Sorkin seems like such the obvious choice for this project that we'd be truly shocked if Sony hadn't offered him the gig. Sorkin's knack for smart rat-a-tat dialogue and witty verbal assaults (most effectively showcased in "A Few Good Men," which turned the phrase "You can't handle the truth!" into one of the most popular expressions of indignant superiority ever) makes him a must for the story »
- Bryan Enk
Exclusive: Producers Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald have acquired film rights to Other Desert Cities, the Jon Robin Baitz stage play. Parkes/MacDonald used the development fund it launched with Imagenation Abu Dhabi to make the deal. Baitz will write the script and will co-produce, with Parkes and MacDonald producing. They haven’t yet involved a studio. The play opened on Broadway at the Booth Theatre this month after a run last season at Lincoln Center’s Mitzi E. Newhouse Theatre. In the play, Stacy Keach and Stockard Channing play an old Hollywood couple who’d once counted Ronald and Nancy Reagan as close friends. Their retirement to Palm Springs is upended by continuing friction with their kids, a reality TV producer and a novelist daughter who has gotten past her writer’s block by writing a tell-all memoir that bares family secrets. Parkes and MacDonald produced the screen adaptation »
- MIKE FLEMING
Five decades after its historic debut, a timeless classic returns to dazzle audiences young and old. Based on the hit Broadway musical of the same name, the iconic film West Side Story returns in brilliant Blu-ray form November 15, 2011 from Twentieth Century Home Entertainment, and to celebrate, we are giving away copies! Hooray!!!
With a record-breaking ten Academy Awards® including Best Picture, Best Directing and Best Original Score, the film took home more awards than any other movie-musical in the history of cinema. This monumental production not only featured the timeless lyrics from master American composer Stephen Sondheim, but a brilliant score from Leonard Bernstein, and beautiful direction from Robert Wise. West Side Story: 50th Anniversary Edition boasts hundreds of hours of restoration, new 7.1 digital audio, and a collection of bonus features spotlighting the harmonious songs and elaborate dances of the original film.
1. You Must Be A U. »
- Melissa Howland
Good reviews can be as harmful as bad ones, says Stephen Sondheim. In an extract from his new book, he reflects on a life of prizes, putdowns – and the joy of songs sung in Sanskrit
After a rotten review, you don't remember the good ones. The only pleasure you have is to reiterate, both to yourself and to anyone who'll listen, the bad ones, which you can quote in exquisite detail. Moreover, you have to come to terms with the truth that no matter how doggedly you try to deceive yourself to the contrary, if you're going to believe your good reviews, you're going to have to believe the less good ones as well, unless you're deeply self-delusional.
I've worked with a few of the deluded, and there's a part of me that envies their blindness. Richard Rodgers [one half of Rodgers and Hammerstein] was one. For all his success, he was so sensitive to bad »
The Movie Pool feels oh-so-pretty over the West Side Story 50th Anniversary Blu-ray!
Release Date: November 15, 2011
Rating: Not rated
Running Time: 153 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.20:1
Audio: English 7.1 DTS-hd Master Audio, English 4.0 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, French 5.1 DTS
Subtitles: English for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Spanish, French
Special Features: "Pow! The Dances of West Side Story" viewing mode, Music Machine viewing mode, "A Place for Us: West Side Story's Legacy" documentaries, West Side memories, Storyboard-to-film comparison montage, theatrical trailers.
Audio Commentary: Song commentary by Stephen Sondheim
A New York City gang member (Richard Beymer) falls in love with a girl (Natalie Wood) from a rival Puerto Rican gang. When the two gangs battle each other, the pair find their secret love tested, especially when tragedy strikes. Winner of ten Academy Awards, including Best Picture of 1961.
The Delivery »
Washington, Nov 18: Dame Judi Dench is set to lend her voice to a British school's Christmas play's character. Washington, Nov 18: Dame Judi Dench is set to lend her voice to a British school's Christmas play's character.
Students at the Giggleswick School in North Yorkshire, England had reportedly written to the veteran actress asking her to appear in their production and were taken aback when Dench replied.
"The children are) really, really. »
- Shiva Prakash
Dame Judi Dench will be the star of a British school's Christmas play this year after agreeing to voice one of the characters.
Pupils at the Giggleswick School in North Yorkshire, England wrote to the Shakespeare In Love actress asking her to appear in their production, and they were stunned when Dench replied.
Andrew Beales, the school's foundation director, says, "(The children are) really, really thrilled. They weren't really expecting to get her to agree to do it. It will be very inspiring for the kids to step on stage with Judi's voice behind them."
The play runs from 1 December until 3 December at the school's Richard Whiteley Theatre, which has boasted Dench as a patron since 2007. »
West Side Story: 50th Anniversary Edition – Blu-ray
Running Time: 2 hrs and 32 mins
Due Out: November 15, 2011
Plot: (from news release) This film sets the ageless story of “Romeo and Juliet” against a backdrop of gang warfare in 1950’s New York. A love affair is fated for tragedy amidst the vicious rivalry between two street gangs – the Jets and the Sharks. When Jets member Tony (Richard Beymer, The Longest Day) falls for Maria (Natalie Wood, Splendor in the Grass), the sister of the Sharks leader, it’s more than these two warring gangs can handle. As mounting tensions rise, a battle to the death ensues and innocent blood is shed in a heartbreaking finale.
Who’S It For? Anyone who wants to watch own on of the most beloved musicals of all time.
I was lucky. »
- Jeff Bayer
One of the best movie musicals in history is finally coming to Blu-Ray this week, as the West Side Story 50th Anniversary Edition hits the shelves today, November 15, in gorgeous high definition. Not only is the film restored to gorgeous quality, but the disc includes a ton of bonus features, like a piece about the film's legacy, song-by-song commentary from legendary lyricist Stephen Sondheim, and a series of featurettes about the dances in the film. We've got an exclusive clip from one of those featurettes to show you, in which several choreographers retell the story of how choreographer and co-director Jerome Robbins incorporated classical dance movement in the Rumble scene, even after he had been fired from the production. Check out the clip below. The dance-fighting style from West Side Story has become so iconic that it's hard to remember how revolutionary it was at the time, or how gritty »
In celebration of the upcoming release of West Side Story: 50th Anniversary Edition on Blu-ray for the first time on November 15th, we have some fun clips just for you! By some, I mean a ton… so if you love West Side Story, you came to the right place!
Gee, Office Krupke Intro
A Boy Like That
Five decades after its historic debut, a timeless classic returns to dazzle audiences young and old. Based on the hit Broadway musical of the same name, the iconic film West Side Story returns in brilliant Blu-ray form November 15, 2011 from Twentieth Century Home Entertainment. With a record-breaking ten Academy Awards. including Best Picture, Best Directing and Best Original Score, the film took home more awards than any other movie-musical in the history of cinema. This monumental »
- Melissa Howland
We have an exclusive featurette for the high-definition debut of West Side Story, which celebrates its 50th Anniversary with a new Blu-ray and boxed set arriving November 15. Click on the video player below to watch a featurette detailing the rehearsal process for the classic musical's rumble scene.
Click to watch Exclusive: Rehearsing the Rumble!
This "brilliant" (The New Republic) film sets the ageless story of Romeo and Juliet against a backdrop of gang warfare in 1950's New York. A love affair is fated for tragedy amidst the vicious rivalry between two street gangs - the Jets and the Sharks. When Jets member Tony (Richard Beymer, The Longest Day) falls for Maria (Natalie Wood, Splendor in the Grass), the sister of the Sharks leader, it's more than these two warring gangs can handle. As mounting tensions rise, a battle to the death ensues and innocent blood is shed in a heartbreaking finale. »
Michael Emerson is sitting in Trattoria Dopo Teatro, an Italian joint tucked between Broadway and the Stephen Sondheim Theatre on 44th Street, nursing a glass of water while his manager and two—two!—publicists eat a schmancy pizza a few tables away. It took him a long time to get here. Not to "here" as in the restaurant but "here" in the metaphysical sense—big city, big career, big group of 10 percenters structuring their days around his interviews and photo shoots. For an actor who waited until he was nearly 40 to go to conservatory, it's not a bad place to be. Not that he didn't want to get here sooner. Emerson has been feted on the New York stage, has become recognizable to millions as a fan-favorite villain on "Lost," and is now the co-lead in his own new »
- email@example.com (Daniel Holloway)
Of course the Parents Television Council took issue with the fact that two separate couples had sex for the first time on Nov. 8's episode of "Glee." But aside from the controversy about televising teenagers doing things that many teenagers do, how was "The First Time"?
Though Finn lost his virginity to Santana during Season 2, Rachel, Blaine and Kurt all had sex for the first time ever during the episode. And essentially, it was all because of Artie's peer pressure.
He told Rachel and Blaine as they prepared for "West Side Story's" opening night, "As a friend, I support your strange aversion to fun, but as your director I'm concerned." Sure, a chuckle-worthy line, but also creepy that he cared so much about his leads being virgins. It really freaked Rachel and Blaine out, and although they ended up doing the deed because they realized they were both in love with their boyfriends, »
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