11 items from 2013
Schoolgirl Zoë Smith was penning lucid movie reviews back in 1932, and when our veteran film critic retired, she sent him her work. He was so impressed, he drove to her home to meet her
A few months ago a rather special present arrived on my 80th birthday, my final day as film critic of the Observer. It was a small, lined notebook, seven by four-and-a half inches. On the first page was a drawing of the matinee idol Clive Brook under the title "Film Criticisms 1932". It had been sent from south London by the 97-year-old Zoë Di Biase. She'd been a regular Observer reader since the age of 18, she said, and this was a gift to mark my retirement. "I've always enjoyed the cinema and you were a great follow-on to CA Lejeune," she wrote, referring to my predecessor who was this paper's critic from 1928 to 1960. "Turning out the other day, »
- Philip French
Spike Lee's English-language remake of Park Chan-wook's revenge nightmare fails to grasp its black-comic bad taste
When Park Chan-wook released his 2003 Korean revenge nightmare Oldboy, the evil craziness that crackled out of the screen was unforgettable. This was the story of an obnoxious businessman, fleshily played by Choi Min-sik, abducted and imprisoned in a converted hotel room for 15 years without being told why and then released to seek answers and wreak vengeance – a mixture of Kafka's The Trial, Patrick McGoohan's The Prisoner and Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus. It became the incarnation of what was thought of as the new "Asian extreme" genre, along with Takashi Miike's macabre classic Audition. Now Oldboy has been subjected to a superfluous English-language remake by Spike Lee, which is stomach-turningly violent. But where Choi Min-sik was dishevelled and ragged, this film's lantern-jawed lead, Josh Brolin, looks very sleek, like the rumpled star of »
- Peter Bradshaw
Daniel Radcliffe has revealed that he considered quitting the Harry Potter films midway through the series.
The actor told The Guardian that he almost stopped portraying the boy wizard after The Prisoner of Azkaban, the third film in the franchise.
He also hoped that producers would find a new actor to replace him in the next instalment. However, he later decided to stay until the end of the series.
He said: "By the third film, I thought, if there's a time to get out, it's now; there's still enough time for another actor to come in and establish himself.
"For a while I thought, if I do all of them, will I be able to move on to other stuff or should I start doing other stuff now?"
As a 14-year-old at the time, he added that he would have missed appearing alongside his castmates.
"And actually there aren't many »
On the Vampire Diaries spin-off The Originals (premiering Oct. 3 at 9 p.m. Et on The CW), viewers will quickly learn that Klaus (Joseph Morgan) wants what his former protégé-turned-rival Marcel, played by Charles Michael Davis, has. It’s a stance Morgan has been known to playfully take on set as well. ”I’ve been trying to get Julie to let me wear a vest for two years. It’s a British thing. I just like the idea of it. What I would call a waistcoat,” he says. “And then one of Marcel’s henchmen, his right-hand man Thierry , shows up — vest in every scene. »
- Mandi Bierly
Oh, Blake's 7 - it's been a rocky road to revival-dom. A new series based on Terry Nation's cult classic was first mooted back in 2008, when Sky1 expressed an interest in producing two 60-minute specials...
The broadcaster ultimately backed out, following an extensive development process, in 2010. Reports of a Us network remake then surfaced in mid-2012, solidifying in April this year when cable channel Syfy announced that it had ordered 13 hour-long episodes...
But now the project's fate has been thrown into question *again*. Despite initial reports claiming that it would air the remake on its Xbox Live digital network, Microsoft now appears to have denied any involvement in bringing Blake back to our screens.
Will Blake's 7ever find The Way Back to television? Perhaps previous attempts to revive cult TV classics could provide us with a clue? Join the Week in Geek for a look back at the best »
Proving that Comic-Con and the people behind the production of CBS‘s Person of Interest – specifically, Warner Bros. Television, Bad Robot Productions and Jonathan Nolan – can have a lovely snarky topical sense of humor (and really, it just fits that they would, doesn’t it?), check out the designs for this year’s Comic-Con souvenir hotel keycards. Particularly the second one.
Whether you support, despise, or are ambivalent about the recently revealed Nsa program, you’ve gotta love it, and the accompanying press release:
It’S Not Paranoia If They Really Are Watching You… The Machine Unlocks Your Door And Accesses Your Room At Comic-con® 2013 Hit Drama Person of Interest — from Warner Bros. Television, J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot Productions and The Dark Knight’s Jonathan Nolan — to be Featured on Nearly 40,000 Limited-Edition Collectible Hotel Keycards
Burbank, Calif. (July 2, 2013) — Proving that there is no place that the Machine cannot access — it »
- Erin Willard
The Writers Guild of America on Sunday unveiled its list of the “101 Best Written TV Series of All Time,” topped by HBO’s “The Sopranos.”
The mob drama created by David Chase (pictured above right with “Sopranos” star James Gandolfini) led the list over such perennial faves as “Seinfeld” (which ranked No. 2), “All in the Family” (No. 4), “Mash” (No. 5) and “The Wire” (No. 9).
The list, the results of online voting by members of the WGA West and WGA East, immediately spurred debates over the rankings and omissions. The TV tally was a follow-up to the WGA’s “101 Greatest Screenplays” member survey conducted in 2006.
The WGA’s complete list of TV series follows:
Created by David Chase
- Cynthia Littleton
Earlier this week, long-running Channel 4 drama Shameless bowed out after 11 years, with a divisive series finale that delighted and disappointed fans and critics in equal measure.
Tuesday night's show ender "was as good as any of the best [episodes]", the Independent claimed, but Metro took a decidedly more negative stance, branding the "slushy" episode "shameful".
But Shameless isn't the first show to divide its audience with a controversial closer - here, Friday Fiver looks back at some of TV's most divisive finales...
> Friday Fiver - Arrested Development stars pick the show's 5 Greatest Moments
The first finale on our list to beg the question - was it genius or just lazy drivel? The finale of HBO's The Sopranos - a show long beloved by critics - frustrated many with its open-ended conclusion, »
It’s wild and wooly out there in the world of streaming video. As movies and TV shows become increasingly accessible through a variety of services, it has also become increasingly difficult to keep track of what is available where, what is expiring when, and what is actually worth watching. So every Friday, Vulture will have a list of recommendations of movies and TV shows that are new to Netflix (as well as Hulu; Amazon, On Demand; and other streaming sites), those that are expiring, and those that you should watch just because. The Prisoner The star of this show, Patrick McGoohan, was considered early on for the role of 007. And if he had been the first James Bond instead of Sean Connery, then we never would have needed a Daniel Craig or Timothy Dalton, because the franchise would have started out dark instead of quippy. There’s an intensity »
- Gilbert Cruz
On a number of past occasions, I’ve written, in various contexts, about what I consider to be that most elusive of on-screen elements: a sense of place. “Sense of place” is the difference between a location serving as mere background, and being a character in its own right. It’s about getting the viewer’s head there, getting us to feel like we know what it’s like to walk that ground, smell those smells, feel the chill or suffocating heat in the air. When I talk “sense of place,” I think of the autumnal Boston of Peter Yates’ The Friends of Eddie Coyle (1973), the bracing, exhilirating chill of the Rockies in Sydney Pollock’s Jeremiah Johnson (1972), the urban grit I feel on the back of my neck watching John Schlesinger’s Midnight Cowboy (1969), the musty, dusty stale-beer-and-cigarette-smoke feel of Robert Rossen’s The Hustler (1961). It’s a special »
- Bill Mesce
Scanners, one of the most iconic horror films of the Eighties from legendary director David Cronenberg (Cosmopolis, A History of Violence, The Fly), is heading to Blu-ray for the first time in a highly collectible limited edition steelbook thanks to Second Sight Films.
From the Press Release:
The cult classic horror Scanners comes to Blu-ray as a limited edition steelbook along with a DVD release on 8 April 2013 complete with a slew of brilliant new special features including:
• My Art Keeps Me Sane – Interview with star Stephen Lack
• Exploding Brains & Popping Veins – Interview with makeup effects artist Stephen Dupuis
• Bad Guy Dane – Interview with actor Lawrence Dane
- The Woman In Black
11 items from 2013
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