5 items from 2015
Omar Sharif in 'Doctor Zhivago.' Egyptian star Omar Sharif, 'The Karate Kid' producer Jerry Weintraub: Brief career recaps A little late in the game – and following the longish Theodore Bikel article posted yesterday – below are brief career recaps of a couple of film veterans who died in July 2015: actor Omar Sharif and producer Jerry Weintraub. A follow-up post will offer an overview of the career of peplum (sword-and-sandal movie) actor Jacques Sernas, whose passing earlier this month has been all but ignored by the myopic English-language media. Omar Sharif: Film career beginnings in North Africa The death of Egyptian film actor Omar Sharif at age 83 following a heart attack on July 10 would have been ignored by the English-language media (especially in the U.S.) as well had Sharif remained a star within the Arabic-speaking world. After all, an "international" star is only worth remembering »
- Andre Soares
'Nicholas and Alexandra': Movie starred Michael Jayston and Janet Suzman 'Nicholas and Alexandra' movie review: Opulent 1971 spectacle lacks emotional core Nicholas and Alexandra is surely one of the most sumptuous film productions ever made. The elaborate sets and costumes, Richard Rodney Bennett's lush musical score, and frequent David Lean collaborator Freddie Young's richly textured cinematography provide the perfect period atmosphere for this historical epic. Missing, however, is a screenplay that offers dialogue instead of speeches, and a directorial hand that brings out emotional truth instead of soapy melodrama. Nicholas and Alexandra begins when, after several unsuccessful attempts, Tsar Nicholas II (Michael Jayston) finally becomes the father of a boy. Shortly thereafter, he and his wife, the German-born Empress Alexandra (Janet Suzman), have their happiness crushed when they discover that their infant son is a hemophiliac. In addition to his familial turmoil, the Tsar must also deal with popular »
- Andre Soares
The month of May’s home entertainment releases kick off in high gear with several fantastic classic genre titles making their way to high-def this week. Scream Factory is debuting a brand new Collector’s Edition Blu-ray for Mad Max and both Ladyhawke and Steven Spielberg’s Duel are both getting an upgraded release too. The recent horror flick, The Pyramid, is also making its way onto DVD and Blu, and Ryan Gosling’s directorial debut Lost River arrives on Tuesday as well.
Mad Max: Collector’s Edition (Scream Factory, Blu-ray)
Setting Mel Gibson on a sure path to superstardom, this highly acclaimed "crazy collide-o-scope", (Newsweek) of highway mayhem "cinematically defined the postapocalyptic landscape", (TV Guide). Featuring eye-popping stunts that are "electrifying and very convincing", (Variety) and "an authentically nihilistic spirit", (The Village Voice), this unforgettable actioner from director George Miller (The Road Warrior, Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome and »
- Heather Wixson
Amy Schumer and Bill Hader in TrainwreckPhoto: Universal Pictures With Sundance just wrapping up and Berlin starting up in a few days, we are now immersed in the year-long barrage of film festivals. One such festival in South By Southwest. A few weeks back they announced the first seven films of their program, including the opening night film Brand: A Second Coming. Today, they have revealed the rest of the features to be shown in March (except for the midnight program), and some of it has me very excited. The bigger titles announced do not do much for me. Paul Feig's Spy, starring Melissa McCarthy, and the Will Ferrell/Kevin Hart starrer Get Hard leave a lot to be desired in terms of anticipation, as does a work in progress cut of Judd Apatow's latest film Trainwreck. I'm guessing an Apatow work in progress is probably around three and a half hours. »
- Mike Shutt
South by Southwest, the multi-faceted film, music and technology festival held annually in Austin, TX will feature such upcoming films as Paul Feig’s Spy, David Gordon Green’s Manglehorn, Alex Gibney’s documentary Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine, and Ondi Timoner’s Russell Brand profile Brand: A Second Coming as headliners in this year’s film festival lineup.
SXSW runs from March 13 to 21 in Austin and is now in its 22nd year. Variety has details of the 145 films and 100 world premieres bowing at this year’s festival. Brand, as previously reported, will be the festival’s opening night film.
Other notable titles on the list are the Will Ferrell/Kevin Hart comedy Get Hard, a rough cut of Judd Apatow’s Trainwreck, the directorial debut of 28 Days Later screenwriter Alex Garland, Ex Machina, and a new comedy by Michael Showalter, Hello, My Name is Doris.
On the small screen, »
- Brian Welk
5 items from 2015
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