10 items from 2017
Deadline is reporting that Bill Nighy, Catherine Keener and Matthew Goode have signed on to lead the cast of Ordeal By Innocence, a three-part adaptation of the Agatha Christie novel, which is the first of seven dramas as part of a deal between BBC One and Agatha Christie Productions.
The 1958 book, said to be one of Christie’s personal favourites, “begins with the murder of wealthy philanthropist Rachel Argyll at her family estate, Sunny Point. Despite vehemently protesting his innocence, her adopted son Jack is arrested for the crime. Eighteen months later, Dr Arthur Calgary appears claiming to hold the alibi that can prove Jack’s innocence. But Jack died in prison before the case could come to trial, and the Argyll family is reluctant to dig up the secrets of the past. However, the shattering implications of Calgary’s story are too big to avoid: If Jack was not the killer, »
- Gary Collinson
Colombia’s fledgling Bogota indie film festival, IndieBo, has scored a coup with Martin Scorsese’s Film Foundation in a pact that will have the festival screening a selection of 10 restored classics from the foundation’s library starting this year.
Among the titles in the selection are Marlon Brando’s 1961 Western “One-Eyed Jacks,” Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s “All About Eve,” Elia Kazan’s “On the Waterfront,” Frank Capra’s “It Happened One Night,” Nicholas Ray’s “Rebel Without a Cause” and Billy Wilder’s “Witness for the Prosecution.”
“This will be an annual event; some of these titles have never screened in Colombia,” said IndieBo artistic director/programmer Juan Carvajal, who cobbled the agreement with the foundation in New York.
He added: “After seeing ‘One Eyed Jacks’ and [Andrei Tarkovsky’s 1979 sci-fi epic] “Stalker” in New York, I felt that Colombia had to live this marvelous and unique experience, too, and that’s what drove me to pursue this agreement.” The »
- Anna Marie de la Fuente
This Week in Home VideoPlus 20 more new releases to watch at home this week on Blu-ray/DVD.
Welcome to this week in home video! Click the title to buy a Blu-ray/DVD from Amazon and help support Fsr in the process!
Pick of the WeekCatfight
What is it? Two old college friends cross paths as adults and beat the ever-loving crap out of each other.
Why see it? Onur Tukel’s latest is also his best thanks in part to the lead performances by Sandra Oh and Anne Heche. They do a good job of manipulating our sympathies and concerns ensuring that our loyalties shift from act to act. Themes of female friendships, class distinctions, and redemption run through alongside a satirical look at modern life, and there’s a terrifically wicked streak throughout. Funny, smart, and brutal are all apt descriptors for this cynical look at our violent selves.
[Blu-ray/DVD extras: Commentaries, featurette, deleted scenes]
- Rob Hunter
Following the success of their productions for BBC One of “And Then There Were None” in December 2015 and “Witness For the Prosecution” (pictured) in December last year, Agatha Christie Productions secured a production deal with the U.K. broadcaster’s flagship channel to deliver seven further adaptations based on the legendary author’s work. The deal reunites them with production company Mammoth Screen.
“We are thrilled to represent this important franchise and to bring Christie’s classic mysteries to a new generation,” said Gary Marenzi, IMG's head of entertainment sales and partnerships. IMG will present several Agatha Christie Productions titles at MipTV this week.
- Robert Mitchell
Ben Affleck is enjoying time with his kids — and getting ready for his next big movies.
The morning after announcing on his Facebook page that he had completed rehab for alcohol addiction, Affleck was business as usual as he was spotted taking his kids to school. A source tells People that the actor is relishing time with his children Violet, 11, Seraphina, 7, and Sam, 5, now that he’s back home.
“Ben is spending special time with all the kids separately,” the source says. “He seems very happy. The mood in general seems very upbeat. The kids are thrilled that he is back. »
- Ale Russian
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
10 items from 2017
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