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8 items from 2016


On this day in pop culture history: ‘Top Gun’ premiered, ‘Seinfeld’ killed Susan

16 May 2016 6:00 AM, PDT | Hitfix | See recent Hitfix news »

30 years ago today, Navy fighter pilot hotshots Maverick, Iceman, and Goose first flew across big screens around the world. It was on May 16, 1986 that Top Gun opened in theaters. Already well on his way to becoming a household name thanks to 1983’s Risky Business, Tom Cruise became a certified movie star with the release of Top Gun. It was also the first hit for director Tony Scott, who went on to direct other action flicks and thrillers like Crimson Tide, Man on Fire, and Déjà Vu (which reunited him with Top Gun star Val Kilmer) before his death in 2012. Top Gun, a slick, upbeat, Reagan-era ode to masculinity, boasted a memorable soundtrack (with Berlin’s “Take My Breath Away” and Kenny Loggins’ “Danger Zone”), impressive dogfights, an endlessly quotable though often goofy script, and, upon its release, immediate box office success. It became the highest grossing movie of 1986. Also on this day, »

- Emily Rome

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‘Supernatural’ star Jim Beaver gives us a dynamic ‘Richard III’ reading

12 May 2016 11:30 AM, PDT | Hitfix | See recent Hitfix news »

It was in Vietnam, where he was serving in the Marines, that Jim Beaver had his first significant encounter with Shakespeare. “I was bored to death as most of us were there when we weren’t being terrified,” Beaver recalled. “And I stumbled across this old, beat-up edition of the complete works, and I thought, ‘I’ve heard this guy’s good. I’ll give it a read.’ And I did, and I thought it was fascinating.” Today, he still has that collection of Shakespeare’s complete works in his home. A couple years after finding that complete works, Beaver was back in the U.S., and as a college student in Oklahoma, he performed in a production of King Lear — that cemented his love of the Bard, said the actor, known best to Supernatural fans as Uncle Bobby and to HBO viewers as the prospector Whitney Ellsworth on Western drama Deadwood. »

- Emily Rome

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Al Pacino did something amazing for Lynn Collins on the set of ‘Merchant of Venice’

12 May 2016 7:00 AM, PDT | Hitfix | See recent Hitfix news »

Sharing the screen with two of the world’s most renown actors can be intimidating. It’s especially intimidating when the project is a Shakespeare adaptation and the two actors have delivered some of the most well-regarded modern performances of the Bard’s work. That’s the situation Lynn Collins found herself in when she played Portia in the 2004 film adaptation of The Merchant of Venice. The actress, who has since gone on to appear in movies like John Carter and TV shows like True Blood, starred in Merchant opposite Al Pacino’s Shylock and Jeremy Irons’ Antonio. Collins came to the project with plenty of Shakespeare cred herself, having taking on the Bard’s works onstage several times both professionally and as a student at Juilliard. But when it came time to film the crucial trial scene, a shining moment for Portia, one of Shakespeare’s greatest heroines, “I »

- Emily Rome

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Watch ‘Eastbound & Down’ actor Erick Chavarria’s Shakespeare reading

29 April 2016 6:30 AM, PDT | Hitfix | See recent Hitfix news »

Erick Chavarria first read Shakespeare when he knew very little English, but he was immediately struck by the Bard’s poetry. “‘The beast with two backs’ — all these rich phrases really resonated with me,” Chavarria said.  The Guatemala-born actor, who played Danny McBride’s step-brother on Eastbound & Down and more recently appeared in The Duff and Get Hard, read Shakespeare’s plays in Spanish during middle school, and then he encountered the Bard again as a high schooler after he’d moved to Maryland. It was in college, playing one of the Watchmen in Much Ado About Nothing, that he discovered his comedic acting ability. “We got a lot of laughs. And I really enjoyed that. I would get people on campus like saying, ‘Hey, you're the guy from the play,’” Chavarria recalled. “After that, I was getting cast in mostly comedies, and that’s still the case.” For HitFix »

- Emily Rome

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Lynn Collins delivers an impassioned ‘Romeo and Juliet’ reading | Shakespeare 400

25 April 2016 7:00 AM, PDT | Hitfix | See recent Hitfix news »

At the end of her sophomore year of high school, Lynn Collins was faced with a choice: stick with the popular kids or spend her summer preparing for the school’s production of Hamlet. That’s how Collins described a key turning point in her life. Though she’d discovered a talent for reading Shakespeare aloud in her English class, Collins wasn’t involved with her Houston, TX school’s drama department because of the time she put in as class president freshman year. When she lost in elections for sophomore class president, the drama teacher “cornered me in the hall, in between classes one day, and he was like ‘This is the best thing that could have happened to you because we’re doing Hamlet, and I’d like you to play Ophelia,’” Collins recalled. The drama teacher then said, “I just want you to commit to it and »

- Emily Rome

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Watch ‘Mission: Impossible’ actor Henry Czerny's ‘Romeo and Juliet’ reading

22 April 2016 7:30 AM, PDT | Hitfix | See recent Hitfix news »

Before he was sending Ethan Hunt on impossible missions and before he became the patriarch of the Grayson empire, Henry Czerny started his acting career with Shakespeare. The Toronto native performed in several Shakespeare productions at the acclaimed Stratford Festival in Ontario early in his career, and he studied at the National Theatre School in Montreal. Mercutio’s Queen Mab speech from Romeo and Juliet was the first piece of Shakespeare’s work he performed in theater school. Czerny at first believed Mercutio’s musings on the fairies’ midwife as he teases his lovesick friend Romeo to be a “foppish play on words,” he said. But when his director at theater school told him to take a closer look at the character Mercutio, “what came through was someone who used their wordplay to hide a deep hurt that he was still grappling with,” Czerny recalled. He returned to the Queen »

- Emily Rome

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These actors prove why you can’t escape Shakespeare — and why you don’t want to

22 April 2016 6:00 AM, PDT | Hitfix | See recent Hitfix news »

For four centuries, all the world has been his stage. William Shakespeare, arguably the greatest writer of all time, has influenced the English language and storytelling in countless ways since he penned his plays and poems in the 16th and 17th centuries. This Saturday, April 23, marks 400 years since his death, and it is also the day traditionally recognized as his birthday. Shakespeare’s queens, kings, fairies, fools, and lovers have entranced people across the globe, as his plays continue to resonate with us in new stagings again and again. Thoughout the history of film, a medium invented centuries after his death, the Bard’s work has ignited the imagination of such actors and directors as Laurence Olivier, Judi Dench, Kenneth Branagh, Baz Luhrmann, Julie Taymor, and Joss Whedon, who have shown us the enduring power of his words. “I always believed that there was something inherently cinematic about Shakespeare, particularly »

- Emily Rome

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5th Los Cabos Expands TV Showcase Launches Financing Program (Exclusive)

17 February 2016 1:06 AM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Launched in 2012 as a crossroads for U.S., Mexico and Canada movie industries – just as Mexican movies began to catch fire Stateside and as Mexico consolidated as a film power which can bring significant coin to the table – in another ahead-of-the-curve move, the 5th Los Cabos Intl. Film Festival will power up its successful Cabos TV showcase and open it up to the whole of Latin America.

Los Cabos has also set official dates for its 2016 edition of Nov.9-13, in its customary berth just after the American Film Market begins to wind down.

Cabos TV growth comes as key broadcasters in Latin America are reaching out to film talent to power-up a new generation of more premium TV dramas – think Daniel Burman’s show-run “Supermax,” Globo’s first 100% Globo Studios Spanish-language production, the talk of Natpe.

Also, key regional players are linking to the most energetic TV exporters to »

- John Hopewell

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8 items from 2016


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