18 items from 2014
By Anjelica Oswald
Originally planned to screen as a 30-minute preview at AFI Fest, Ava DuVernay’s Selma, centered on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the Civil Rights marches from Selma to Montgomery, premiered in its entirety and stirred up more Oscar buzz ahead of its Christmas Day release.
The Hollywood Reporter’s Stephen Farber says the film is “intelligently written, vividly shot, tightly edited and sharply acted,” and that it “represents a rare example of craftsmanship working to produce a deeply moving piece of history.” Meanwhile, Paul Webb’s screenplay and David Oyelowo’s portrayal of Dr. King have been praised. The Wrap’s James Rocchi says, “Oyelowo’s performance would be impressive enough if it merely recreated the icon we now revere as perfectly as he does through a variety of methods… But Oyelowo, and Webb’s screenplay, also give us a rich, rewarding portrait of King as a man, »
- Anjelica Oswald
'Henry V' Movie Actress Renée Asherson dead at 99: Laurence Olivier leading lady in acclaimed 1944 film (image: Renée Asherson and Laurence Olivier in 'Henry V') Renée Asherson, a British stage actress featured in London productions of A Streetcar Named Desire and Three Sisters, but best known internationally as Laurence Olivier's leading lady in the 1944 film version of Henry V, died on October 30, 2014. Asherson was 99 years old. The exact cause of death hasn't been specified. She was born Dorothy Renée Ascherson (she would drop the "c" some time after becoming an actress) on May 19, 1915, in Kensington, London, to Jewish parents: businessman Charles Ascherson and his second wife, Dorothy Wiseman — both of whom narrowly escaped spending their honeymoon aboard the Titanic. (Ascherson cancelled the voyage after suffering an attack of appendicitis.) According to Michael Coveney's The Guardian obit for the actress, Renée Asherson was "scantly educated »
- Andre Soares
Looking for what's new on Netflix streaming for October 2014? You've come to the right place.
We've rounded up the best TV shows and movies arriving soon. So take some time to peruse this list, and maybe block off a weekend or two so you can binge-watch Season 5 of "The Vampire Diaries" or something.
Here's a much larger rundown of what subscribers can expect in September, courtesy of Netflix. All title dates are subject to change.
Available October 1
Based on the Depression-era comic strip "Little Orphan Annie," this adaptation of the smash Broadway musical follows America's favorite urchin (Aileen Quinn) as she captures Daddy Warbucks' (Albert Finney) heart with her unquenchable optimism. In the meantime, Annie must try to dodge the treacherous head of the orphanage (Carol Burnett). Directed by John Huston, Annie features the hit song "Tomorrow."
"Annie: A Royal Adventure" (1995)
Annie, the charming orphan with a head full of red curls, »
- Tim Hayne
In a reunion longer in the making than Monty Python's, the original lovers from Franco Zeffirelli’s Romeo And Juliet are reuniting on film for the first time in 46 years. Leonard Whiting and Olivia Hussey played the titular doomed paramours in the 1968 adaptation and have come together again to play Juliet's (here renamed Julia's) parents for a new project, Social Suicide. The film kicked off filming in London this week. It is a loose retelling of Shakespeare's tragedy, taking the well-known tale into the digital age. After some suspicious murder/suicides of teenagers, the police trawl through endless information and videos from social media and security cameras, as well as interrogating survivor Balthazar (Maleficent's Jackson Bews) to discover the cause of the chaos.It's directed by Bruce Webb (previously of The Be All And End All) and stars India Eisley as Julia. In a nice bit of serendipity and/or nepotism, »
Leonard Whiting and Olivia Hussey, who starred in the 1968 Romeo and Juliet film directed by Franco Zeffirelli, are reuniting for the first time in 46 years for a modern take on the film, Social Suicide, playing the Capulet parents of the character based on Juliet. Social Suicide is a thriller inspired by Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, centering on a police investigation of the murder-suicides of social-media-savvy teenagers. The police investigate the romance and tragedy through videos, vlogs and snapchats, but soon discover nothing is as it seems. Making the project a family affair, Hussey's real-life
- Rebecca Ford
Venice – One of William Shakespeare’s late problem plays, Cymbeline requires a director to juggle multiple tones, blending comedy with swooning romance, vicious court treachery and an improbably happy ending in which the bad guys either turn noble or get conveniently dispatched. Michael Almereyda tackles that tricky challenge by treating the work as a suspenseful action drama, laughs be damned, enlisting an impressive name cast to help make his case. But primarily, what this moody contemporary update does is expose the play as a second-rate Romeo and Juliet that just wasn’t made for these times. Picked up by Lionsgate’s
- David Rooney
By Jennica Lynn Johnson
After seeing the trailer for Warm Bodies (2013), I made a mental note to steer clear of it in movie theaters. Zombies-- although they have had their popularity throughout horror history-- have become significantly trendy within the horror community for the past decade with movies such as 28 Weeks Later (2007), Zombieland (2009), and Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies (2012). By the time the third season of The Walking Dead aired in 2012, it was clear that the end of the current zombie craze could be upon us. I suspected that Warm Bodies would be the last nail in the coffin of what started out as a delightfully gory ride.
I’m not entirely sure why I expected Warm Bodies to be such a failure. Perhaps I feared that it would be another teen romance movie with just a dash of horror elements. Or maybe I thought the leading lady, Teresa Palmer, »
There may be some similarities between the current TV show Marvel's Agents of Shield and the work of William Shakespeare. Before you all riot, hear me out. And also catch up on the recent episodes and Captain America: The Winter Soldier if you haven't already. To say that lots of very dramatic things happen is an understatement. For one thing, there's political intrigue aplenty, reminiscent of Shakespeare's historical dramas.
[The following contains spoilers for Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and Marvel's Agents of Shield up to Season 1 Episode 17, 'Turn, Turn, Turn', the first post-movie episode.]
First off, while some may have dismissed the early episodes of the show as insufficiently Whedonesque and insufficiently superheroic, given the expectations set up by the confluence of Joss Whedon and Marvel, the last few episodes have been increasingly serialised (really, since S1 E10, 'The Bridge', and to some extent even earlier, if you look for it).
"I can just imagine a tearful, rage-filled Fitz shouting at Ward, “You, or I, or both, must die!”"
More specifically, the ending of 'Turn, »
Orson Welles' glorious, noirish, idiosyncratic, benighted Othello opens in New York and Chicago today in a new restoration. And Wednesday, not coincidentally, saw the 450th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s birth. Shakespeare has been adapted for film since the silent dawn of cinema, so it seems only right and fitting that I should mark this occasion with the best posters for Shakespeare on film through the ages, presented here in chronological order.
Above: French poster for Hamlet (Laurence Olivier, »
- Adrian Curry
It may not be the best movie of 1998, as its Best Picture honor claims it to be, but Shakespeare in Love is a delight for any drama nerd with a boner for the Bard. Hardly acceptable as a true account of the inspiration for and writing of “Romeo and Juliet,” John Madden’s film is really just a celebration of the work of William Shakespeare by being a pastiche of themes, tropes and lines from his plays. Another proper title for the movie would be “Mark Norman (and Tom Stoppard) in Love With Shakespeare.” In their script are direct reverential references — some of them nods of foreshadowing for things later to be written, others familiar devices employed as general homage — to “Hamlet,” “Twelfth Night,” “The Merchant of Venice” and more. Some of it is kind of silly if you find that sort of celebratory amalgamation and obvious, literal allusion to be a cheap reduction of an artist »
- Christopher Campbell
Two romantic films just in time for Valentine.s! First we have .Winter.s Tale. starring Colin Farrell and Jessica Brown Findlay as a couple whose love transcends time. The movie also stars Russell Crowe, William Hurt, Eva Marie Saint, and a cameo by Will Smith as.gasp.Lucifer! This is from writer-director Akiva Goldsman based on the 1983 book by Mark Helprin.
We also have .Endless Love,. the remake of the ultra-schmaltzy 1981 original of the same name starring Brooke Shields and Martin Hewitt from director Franco Zeffirelli. The 2014 remake is pretty much the same Romeo and Juliet rehash but this one stars Alex Pettyfer (.Magic Mike.) and Gabrielle Wilde (.The Three Musketeers.) with Shana Feste at the helm.
Which one is my pick of the week? Take a look:
"It is the east, and Rosaline is the sun, at least until I meet someone new." Universal.s upcoming comedic spin on Romeo and Juliet, Rosaline, has been carrying on the way that Romeo did, moving from one woman to the next with the slightest of glances back. The fifth and latest actress being eyed for the title role is Felicity Jones, and negotiations are currently being made to get her secured. She.s a smart actress whose performances aren.t always seen by a lot of people, but Universal will definitely want to put an all-ages riff on William Shakespeare.s most beloved (and retold) romance in a wide selection of theaters. Jones, who was in Julie Taymor.s 2010 adaptation of Shakespeare.s The Tempest, would play the unseen but casually spoken about ex-girlfriend of Romeo.s, whom he.d dumped once he caught sight of her cousin Juliet »
With I, Frankenstein in theatres, The Creature is sure to be on a lot of people's minds; and if you're in the UK, you'll soon get a chance to check out Michael Sarrazin in the role when 1970's TV movie Frankenstein: The True Story finally arrives to your shores.
One of the most acclaimed versions of Mary Shelley’s classic tale, Frankenstein: The True Story, featuring a stellar all-star cast including James Mason and Leonard Whiting, makes its UK DVD debut on 10 March 2014 thanks to Second Sight Films.
Originally airing on NBC in 1973, this much lauded film also stars David McCallum ("The Man From U.N.C.L.E."), Jane Seymour ("Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman"), Tom Baker ("Doctor Who"), Ralph Richardson (Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes), John Gielgud (Ghandi), Peter Sallis (Last of the Summer Wine), and Michael Sarrazin (They Shoot Horses, Don't They?; Feardotcom) as The Creature.
In 19th century England, »
- Debi Moore
Joseph Gordon-Levitt screened the first three episodes of his new Pivot television series, HitRECord on TV, at the Sundance Film Festival on Friday night. Gordon-Levitt has become a Sundance fixture, ever since he starred in Manic in 2001. His Internet production company, HitRECord—founded in 2005 to showcase videos Gordon-Levitt made in his free time—made its festival debut in 2009. “When we launched the third version of the site that my brother and I made together,” said Gordon-Levitt, whose older brother and creative partner, Dan, passed away in 2010, “we pushed the button here in the snow at Sundance 2009 on Jan. 20.”
Dan, better »
- Jeff Labrecque
Moviegoers are going to get a front row seat to some of Broadway’s biggest hits. Taking a page out of the Metropolitan Opera’s playbook, Tony-winning Broadway producers Stewart F. Lane and Bonnie Comley have formed BroadwayHD to bring the Great White Way to the multiplex. “The audience for Broadway is broader than the Met,” Comley said. “It’s global. There is an interest and an appetite out there. ” First up: their recent Broadway production of William Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” will unspool on roughly 400 theaters during a week-long run timed to Valentine’s Day under a partnership with distributor Screenvision. »
- Brent Lang
We all have predisposed notions about the infamous “romantic comedy.” As with other genres, there’s a large subsection of offerings, giving it a bad name. But, for every tired, cliché-driven comedy, there is another impressive offering that redefines the genre, garners plenty of laughs, and tells an honest story about love and relationships, however warped they may be. In the coming weeks, we’ll take a look at the fifty romantic comedy films that should be seen. These may not all be classic films, but they certainly put a stamp on the industry and the genre we affectionately call “rom-coms.”
#50. Moonrise Kingdom (2012)
Most of Wes Anderson’s films could be described as romantic comedies, but his 2012 effort stands out, as its central story focuses on young love and the need to find acceptance. In Anderson’s world, while quirks abound, true connections between characters are commonplace. With Moonrise Kingdom, »
- Joshua Gaul
Oscar Predictions 2014 Best Supporting Actress: Jennifer Lawrence and/or Scarlett Johansson to make Oscar history? (photo: Jennifer Lawrence in ‘American Hustle’) The 2014 Academy Awards’ Best Supporting Actress and Best Supporting Actor races seemed quite fuzzy at first. The picture became clearer following the announcement of the SAG Award nominations: now, there are three or four top contenders in each category; these performers will probably — or rather, in a couple of cases, surely — be shortlisted for this year’s Academy Awards. (See also: "Oscar Predictions 2014 Best Actress: Meryl Streep Possibly to Break Another Record," "Oscar Predictions 2014 Best Actor: Robert Redford Possible Near-Record," and "Oscar Predictions 2014: Best Picture, Best Director.") Yet, there’s quite a bit of room for a couple of upsets. In other words, pay close attention to our list of runners-up for Best Supporting Actress. In fact, even one of the "long shot" actresses might manage to squeeze in; admittedly, »
- Steve Montgomery
Editor’s Note: Justin here, hope you’re not done with the holidays just yet! Our contributor Josh Soriano is back to give the season a bloody yuletide sendoff with A Look Back at Bob Clark’s perennial slasher classic, Black Christmas!
Well that magical time of year is nearly upon us. Silver bells, sleigh rides and Santa Claus. For most, Christmastime is filled with joy,laughter and exchanging of gifts but what if it were also a time for a deranged psychopath to crank call a sorority house and terrify young co-eds? You’re probably thinking, “why would anyone want to think about such things during this wonderful season?” It’s because Black Christmas is one of the quintessential horror-holiday classics and rightfully earns its place as not only the best Christmas slasher film there is to date, but arguably, the first slasher film period. If you haven’t »
- Justin Edwards
18 items from 2014
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