5 items from 2017
To clear up any potential confusion at the outset, Hulu’s “National Treasure” has nothing to do with the adventure film franchise of the same name. The streaming service’s new offering is a concentrated jolt of meticulously crafted British drama, which, in four episodes, tells the story of a disgraced celebrity and the scandal that envelops his family.
Over the course of that handful of installments, which arrive on Hulu all at once, “National Treasure” manages to build more suspense and have greater impact than many dramas that chew up far more airtime. Thanks in part to a uniformly phenomenal cast, it makes intelligent and unsentimental observations about the costs of fame and the routine concessions made to celebrity.
Robbie Coltrane plays Paul Finchley, a beloved comedian and TV star accused of rape. Not long after he’s questioned by the police, a single accusation turns into multiple allegations, and »
- Maureen Ryan
Last year’s Agatha Christie miniseries “And Then There Were None,” which was viewed by approximately six people on Lifetime, was so delicious that it whetted the appetite for more high-end adaptations of the mystery novelist’s works. PBS or a basic-cable network like AMC might have made for a better home for the glossy and smart “None” (and in all fairness, the Lifetime viewership number I cited is not strictly accurate). But no matter: That two-parter was worth seeking out, as is its successor.
“Witness for the Prosecution,” which, like “None,” can be found on the streaming service Acorn, is the second Christie television project from writer/producer Sarah Phelps, and it deftly delivers on the promise of the first.
Phelps has an instinctive understanding for the combination of frustration and obsession that drives the typical Christie character to break the rigid social rules that governed England between the wars. Director »
- Maureen Ryan
It's not that Kim Cattrall isn't game for a third Sex and the City, but the actress -- known for her Golden Globe-winning role as Samantha Jones on the hit HBO dramedy -- is nearly 20 years older than she was when the show first premiered in 1998.
Now 60, Cattrall says her interests lie in projects about women her age that aren't being made. Since 2014, she’s been co-producing and starring in the HBO Canada drama Sensitive Skin, playing Davina Jackson, a 50-something woman who struggles with aging. Cattrall also plays Emily French, a glamorous, well-off widow exploring the emotional cost of being a middle-aged woman in BBC One’s adaptation of the Agatha Christie short story The Witness for the Prosecution, premiering in the U.S. Monday, Jan. 30 on Acorn TV.
In a chat with Et, Cattrall opens up about taking on parts that "dispel" female convention, producing roles women that she says Hollywood isn't and the possibility »
Though Samantha Jones’s on-screen alter ego isn’t ruling it out entirely, she recognizes there are a few roadblocks standing in their way — namely, finding a story (and the time!) almost a decade after the last film wrapped.
“The hardest thing is, what would the story be?” Cattrall told People. “It’s been seven, eight years since we wrapped the last movie. Can we get everybody together? We’re all sort of scattered now.”
When it comes to her character, »
- Diana Pearl
Kl Studio Classics
1951 / B&W / 1:37 flat Academy / 99 min. / Street Date February 7, 2017 / available through Kino Lorber / 29.95
Starring : James Stewart, Marlene Dietrich, Glynis Johns, Jack Hawkins, Janette Scott, Niall MacGinnis, Kenneth More, Ronald Squire, Elizabeth Allan, Jill Clifford, Felix Aylmer, Dora Bryan, Maurice Denham, Wilfrid Hyde-White, Bessie Love, Karel Stepanek.
Cinematography: Georges Périnal
Film Editor: Manuel del Campo
Original Music: Malcolm Arnold
Produced by: Louis D. Lighton
Directed by Henry Koster
A few years back, whenever a desired title came up on list for a Fox, Columbia or Warners’ Mod (made-on-demand) DVD, my first reaction was disappointment: we really want to see our favorites released in the better disc format, Blu-ray. But things have changed. As Mod announcements thin out, we have seen an explosion of library titles remastered in HD. »
- Glenn Erickson
5 items from 2017
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