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Feature Ryan Lambie 17 Apr 2014 - 06:28
What do the film characters of Schwarzenegger, Van Damme, Stallone, Norris et al get up to in the non-action bit of an action movie? Er...
Nb: This article contains certain words and images which may be considered unsafe for work.
When asked what he did between acting jobs, Robert Duvall once said, "Hobbies, hobbies and more hobbies." This is fair enough because, to quote James Bond, "everybody needs a hobby." Bond himself has all kinds of things to do in his spare time: playing Baccarat and Poker, talking to exotic ladies and drinking Martinis. For all we know, Bond might also be into origami and bell ringing.
The question is, what do other action heroes get up to when they're not shooting bad guys, blowing up trucks or rescuing their daughters from Val Verde? In most movies, we never find out. But in very, »
The job of running any of today’s ambitious cable drama series is hard, but “Game of Thrones” bosses David Benioff and D.B. Weiss’s jobs come with an added degree of difficulty, because they’re adapting a series of beloved, enormous books by George R.R. Martin. So they have to mostly stay faithful to Martin’s stories, and that means incorporating dozens of significant characters, and almost that many separate plots that take place across two different continents, with characters sometimes spending whole seasons just traveling from one location to another. And because of the production logistics involved in filming the HBO drama in multiple countries, Benioff and Weiss say they can realistically only make 10 episodes a season. So even if they’re taking two seasons to cover a particular book — as they are with the third book, “A Storm of Swords,” which will span the third and upcoming »
- Alan Sepinwall
Written by Leigh Brackett
Directed by Howard Hawks
Hatari! is essentially about a group of men with a job to do, which makes it a perfect vehicle for John Wayne and Howard Hawks. Hawks reveled in stories about professional people who take their job seriously, and more often than not, Wayne played a character who was the best man for the job. As in their other collaborations — two Westerns before and two after — this film highlights what these two can best bring to the cinematic table. While Hatari! mostly falls into the action/adventure category (though throughout its 157-minute runtime, relatively little is concentrated on extensive action), it ends up being an entertaining and amusing character study, something perhaps more in line with Hawks than Wayne.
This was Leigh Brackett’s third screenplay for Hawks (with two more to follow) and as usual, she expertly captures the banter »
- Jeremy Carr
Sporting a title that can’t help but smack of wishful thinking, “Muppets Most Wanted” casts Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy and company in a hokey transcontinental caper that conspicuously lacks the winning blend of irreverence and sincerity that made 2011′s “The Muppets” such a delight. From the first bars of “We’re Doing a Sequel,” an opening number that shamelessly acknowledges the inevitability and inferiority of most movie followups, this eighth feature showcase for Jim Henson’s deeply felt creations pokes fun at itself in a way that seems self-deflating rather than cheekily inspired. If its predecessor was more sheer fun (and, with $165 million worldwide, more commercial) than a Muppet movie had any right to be, then this is the picture that, likely comparable B.O. success aside, will cement a new generation’s notions of what this durable Disney franchise more typically has to offer: toe-tapping, moderately appealing family entertainment, »
- Justin Chang
Everybody loves a good “Man vs. Nature” film, especially if it’s a true story about human beings beating the odds and surviving in the strangest and most difficult circumstances. Recent years have brought us a spate of these semi-biopics of adventurers who decide to risk life and limb just to prove they can do it. The most recent of these films is Tracks, featuring Mia Wasikowska as a woman who decides to trek across Australian deserts.
Wasikowska plays Robyn Davidson, who made a solo walk across western Australia from Alice Springs to Uluru (about 1700 miles), accompanied by her dog and four camels. She was joined for awhile by National Geographic photographer Rick Smolan (Adam Driver), who chronicled part of her journey and helped her with some much needed funding. They developed an uneasy but enduring friendship which makes the centrepiece of the film.
Tracks had its premiere at the Venice Film Festival last year, »
- Lauren Humphries-Brooks
The members of the Online Film Critics Society — of which I am one — have jointly ranked the 86 movies that have won the Academy Award for Best Picture. This is our top 10:
1. The Godfather (1972)
2. Casablanca (1943)
3. The Godfather Part II (1974)
4. Sunrise (1927/28)
5. Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
6. It Happened One Night (1934)
7. All About Eve (1950)
8. Annie Hall (1977)
9. On the Waterfront (1954)
10. All Quiet on the Western Front (1929/30)
Links go to my reviews. The rest of the Ofcs list is at Online Film Critics Society. (You’ll see how current we can be: newly minted Best Pic 12 Years a Slave is on the list, at No. 23.)
Read more about the Oscar Best Pictures, including fascinating trivia nuggets for each Best Picture and the other nominees each were up against, in these Ofcs posts:
• “The Best of the Best Picture Oscar Winners, Part 1” (counting down from 86 to 66)
• “The Best of the Best Picture Oscar Winners, Part 2” (65 through 51)
• “The »
- MaryAnn Johanson
In Doha, there was once a buzzing festival and schemes to nurture local talent, but now much of the the money in the Qatari film business goes to projects elsewhere – such as the $55m co-production Black Gold
A video appearing to show Omar Sharif slapping a woman was not supposed to be the biggest story to come out of the 2011 Doha Tribeca film festival. The focus should have been on Black Gold, a $55m Qatari co-production – and arguably the most ambitious film shot in the Middle East since Lawrence of Arabia – which had had its world premiere just days earlier. To the irritation of the organisers, however, it was the right arm of the 1962 epic's octogenarian breakout star, incensed by a persistent fan, which stole the headlines.
Landing less than a year after this diminutive, gas-rich Gulf state contentiously won the right to host the 2022 World Cup, »
Two-time Academy Award winners Alexander Payne and Haskell Wexler, as well as respected commercial location scout Scott Dewees, will receive honorary awards at the debut Location Managers Guild of America Awards, to be held on March 29 at the Writers Guild Theatre. Writer/director/producer Payne will receive the Eva Monley Award, named after the location scout on films including Lawrence of Arabia and The African Queen. Photos: On the Set of 'Nebraska' With Alexander Payne, Bruce Dern and Will Forte Director of photography Wexler will be honored with the Humanitarian Award, and Dewees will receive the organization's Lifetime Achievement Award. Payne's Nebraska was nominated
- Carolyn Giardina
It’s rare that we hit a home run when it’s our first time at bat, but that’s exactly what Peter O’Toole did with his performance in Lawrence of Arabia. Join us as we discuss what made this performance so great.
There are actors who have given performances where they recite lines of dialogue perfectly and memorably. There are performances that steal scenes, or even entire movies. There are performances that are nominated for prestigious awards, and there are those that win these awards. There are performances that define a year, a decade, even a career. There are performances that audiences love. There are performances that make audiences love a film. There are performances that define a genre.
Each month the Cinelinx staff will write a handful of articles covering a specified film-related topic. »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (G.S. Perno)
The Oscars' In Memoriam tribute is always one of the most touching moments of the night, but Sunday's (March 2) was especially poignant because of the still-fresh wound of a pair of recent losses. In addition to memories of such Hollywood icons as "Lawrence of Arabia" star Peter O'Toole, film critic Roger Ebert and child actress Shirley Temple Black , the evening's honors ended with an image of Philip Seymour Hoffman. The Oscar-winning actor and star ...
By Gil Kaufman »
The annual "In Memoriam" segment honoring recently deceased talents had extra emotional punch at Sunday's 86th Academy Awards, for several reasons.
Introduced by Glenn Close, the tribute was bound to have impact through its spotlighting of unexpected deaths during the past year, such as those of "Capote" Oscar winner Philip Seymour Hoffman and "The Fast and the Furious" franchise star Paul Walker.
Presented without the audience applause that sometimes accompanies mentions of particularly beloved talents, the segment was set to John Barry's memorable theme music from "Somewhere in Time." That was an especially meaningful choice, since veteran fantasy writer Richard Matheson -- who died last June, and was included in the salute -- adapted that film's screenplay from his novel "Bid Time Return."
• Xan Brooks liveblogs the ceremony
• Full list of winners as they're announced
O'Toole was nominated eight times for the best actor Oscar, but was unsuccessful in winning any, though he was partly compensated by being given an honorary Academy award in 2003. His Oscar-night losses included some of his best-known roles, among them Te Lawrence in 1962, the title role in Becket in 1964, and mentally ill aristocrat Jack Gurney in The Ruling Class in 1972, when he was defeated by Gregory Peck (To Kill a Mockingbird), Rex Harrison (My Fair Lady) and Marlon Brando (The Godfather) respectively. His final nomination came in 2006 for Venus, when he lost »
- Andrew Pulver
Many of the races at Sunday (March 2) night's Academy Awards seem pre-determined as the ceremony is about to begin. Those guys from "My So-Called Life" and "True Detective" seem like locks. Etc. However, Best Picture is wide open. So let's hope that adds drama, while Ellen DeGeneres adds comedy. Click through and join my 2014 Oscars Live-Blogging. And comment below! 8:25 p.m. Et. So how many times do we figure Jennifer Lawrence is going fall down on tonight's Oscars telecast. Five? 10? Twice that many if she wins? Actually, if she wins, Lupita Nyong'o fans are going to be tripping her. Not Lupita, though. She's too classy for that. 8:27 p.m. There are dozens of people in the HitFix office right now, but I'm hiding out in my office, because I'm dedicated to you, the readers. Because I'd just keep eating lasagna if I were with the main group. Also, »
- Daniel Fienberg
This year’s Best Actor race is shaping up to be one of the greatest of all time. And by greatest, I mean both the most competitive and also the most outstanding, in the sense that each nominee is excellent — hypothetical winners in almost any other year. They also reflect the depth of superb male performances in 2013. Consider: Tom Hanks (Captain Phillips), Robert Redford (All Is Lost), Joaquin Phoneix (Her), Oscar Isaac (Inside Llewyn Davis), and Michael B. Jordan (Fruitvale Station) all missed the cut.
EW’s Owen Gleiberman recently analyzed this year’s Best Actor race, calling it the most “fiercely, »
- Jeff Labrecque
Amazon is offering $105 off The Columbia Best Pictures boxed DVD set containing 11 winners of the Best Picture Oscar. Here are the details:
14-disc set of 11 Best Picture Oscar winning films in an attractive, collectible, black fiber cover with slipcase. The pages within will have film synopsis, details on the Oscar win for each film, and art from key scenes. This set features Columbia Pictures' Best Picture Oscar winners spanning the years from 1934 to 1982 and include the following films:
1949 All the King's Men
1954 On the Waterfront
1962 Lawrence of Arabia
1979 Kramer vs. Kramer
Bonus extras include:
Lord Attenborough Audio Commentary
From the Director's Chair
Madeleine Slade: An Englishwoman Abroad
Reflections on »
- email@example.com (Cinema Retro)
Here's new contributor Diana Drumm to talk about a man who will surely win pride of place in Oscar's In Memoriam a week from Sunday.
Crazy eights, ice-skating tricks, the infinity symbol standing upright, 8 is a fun number... unless you’re the late legendary actor Peter O’Toole. Yes, the man who won the hearts (but not the majority) of Academy voters in his film debut as the titular Lawrence of Arabia, held his own in a televised Shakespeare discussion with Orson Welles, and bounded on and offscreen to various degrees of liquid courage would falter slightly, nay merely pause, at the mention of eight and Oscar in the same sentence.
Your instructions: Read the following paragraph aloud or in your head with all of the O’Toole-ian gravitas you can muster, in the style of the opening of his “My Life” speech from The Lion in Winter (1968), which garnered »
- GUEST CONTRIBUTOR
Philip Seymour Hoffman, Shirley Temple, and Oscar movies: Library of Congress’ March 2014 screenings (photo: Philip Seymour Hoffman as Truman Capote in ‘Capote’) Tributes to the recently deceased Shirley Temple and Philip Seymour Hoffman, and several Academy Award-nominated and -winning films are among the March 2014 screenings at the Library of Congress’ Packard Campus Theater and, in collaboration with the Library’s National Audio-Visual Conservation Center, The State Theatre, both located in Culpeper, Virginia. The 1934 sentimental comedy-drama Little Miss Marker (March 6, Packard) is the movie that turned six-year-old Shirley Temple into a major film star. Temple would become the biggest domestic box-office draw of the mid-1930s, and, Tyrone Power, Alice Faye, Sonja Henie, Don Ameche, Loretta Young, and Madeleine Carroll notwithstanding, would remain 20th Century Fox’s top star until later in the decade. Directed by Alexander Hall (Here Comes Mr. Jordan, My Sister Eileen), Little Miss Marker — actually, a Paramount »
- Andre Soares
The game is afoot! Sunday’s BAFTA Awards were filled with plot twists, including “12 Years a Slave” as best film. Are these awards a preview of Oscar? No. These are very different voting groups, and their rate of similarity is pretty mixed. But one thing is confirmed for certain: There will be genuine suspense until the last envelope is opened March 2.
“12 Years,” distributed by Fox Searchlight domestically, scored the top prize plus Chiwetel Ejiofor for best actor, two wins out of its 10 noms. Warner Bros.’ “Gravity,” which led with 11 noms, tallied six wins, including the prize as outstanding British film.
Back in September, some pundits predicted a neck-and-neck race between these two for Oscar. In fact, many other strong contenders emerged since then and remain possibilities. But the great BAFTA results for the two follows the Producers Guild tie between the films, meaning pre-Oscar awards events have been sending plenty »
- Tim Gray
Shirley Temple dead at 85: Was one of the biggest domestic box office draws of the ’30s (photo: Shirley Temple in the late ’40s) Shirley Temple, one of the biggest box office draws of the 1930s in the United States, died Monday night, February 10, 2014, at her home in Woodside, near San Francisco. The cause of death wasn’t made public. Shirley Temple (born in Santa Monica on April 23, 1928) was 85. Shirley Temple became a star in 1934, following the release of Paramount’s Alexander Hall-directed comedy-tearjerker Little Miss Marker, in which Temple had the title role as a little girl who, left in the care of bookies, almost loses her childlike ways before coming around to regenerate Adolphe Menjou and his gang. That same year, Temple became a Fox contract player, and is credited with saving the studio — 20th Century Fox from 1935 on — from bankruptcy. Whether or not that’s true is a different story, »
- Andre Soares
I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with the Academy, as many people often do. Usually, they tend to make decent decisions. They may not always choose the best in a given category, but they usually at least choose a decent representation for it. Of course, there are times when they are completely right on the nose (Casablanca, Lawrence of Arabia, Schindler’s List, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, etc.), but on the flip side, there are also moments where you have to question whether or not they’ve really seen all of the nominees.
Then again, there are also those that don’t take the Oscars all that seriously, thinking of it as more of a popularity contest with the Academy choosing what’s “hot” rather than the actual best nominee in a category (did anyone Really think Argo was the best film of last year? »
- Jeff Beck
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