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Some of us dream of fame, some of us go after fame, and then there are those of us, like Tom Hanks, who know beyond a shadow of a doubt that they will become famous. From the age of 18, Hanks knew he was going to make it Big, and we have physical evidence to prove it. Before he became an A-lister, Hanks wrote a letter to George Roy Hill, director of such classics as Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and The Sting, and in this letter he predicted his worldwide success. As noted in a report by NPR, the Library of the Motion Picture Academy in Beverly Hills, California, features a letter Hanks wrote to the illustrious filmmaker in response to watching The Sting. While he praises Hills.s work, the purpose of this letter is to give him a heads up that he.s going to be a »
This Friday, Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation will be released. It’s the fifth film in the iconic franchise, but sadly stands as only the third film of its director Christopher McQuarrie in 15 years since he got behind the camera. That’s a real shame, because Christopher McQuarrie is Hollywood’s best-kept secret when he really should be their pride and joy.
Christopher McQuarrie was so damn hot in the mid-90s. He wrote the script for the classic The Usual Suspects and came home with an Oscar. He ended up using that clout to get his feature-directing debut made with the criminally underrated The Way of the Gun, released in 2000. The film failed both critically and commercially – a domestic gross of $6 million, and a worldwide gross of only $13 million against a $21 million budget – and McQuarrie went from insider to outcast in Hollywood.
Fast forward eight years and McQuarrie had only »
- Dylan Griffin
At a loss for what to watch this week? From new DVDs and Blu-rays, to what's streaming on Netflix, we've got you covered.
New on DVD and Blu-ray
Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart team up in this comedy about a rich hedge-fund manager who is sentenced to San Quentin; desperate for tips on how to survive prison, he looks for help from a black businessman, assuming he'll know what to do. That's not racist at all! As it turns out, Hart's businessman has never even had a parking ticket, so it's the blind leading the blind. The Blu-ray has tons of extras, including an unrated cut of the film, a gag reel, deleted scenes, and these featurettes: "Just Put Your Lips Together and Blow," "Get Hard Line-o-Ramas," "The Kevin Hart Workout," "Face Off with Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart," "-Ferrell Fighting," "A Date with John Mayer, »
- Gina Carbone
Songs On Screen: All week Hitfix will be featuring tributes by writers to their favorite musical moments from TV and film. Check out the full series here. Last month when we did our Best Year in Film History series, I picked second and, as a result, I was able to select the correct answer: The best year in American cinematic history, at least over the last 50 years, is 1974 and any disagreements sadden and bore me. With that undeclared, but indisputable, victory in my back pocket, I was able to happily let colleagues choose many of my personal favorites for our Songs on Screen battle. You won't hear me say anything negative about "Fight the Power" and its centrality to "Do the Right Thing" or the evocative pull of "Nobody Does It Better" (or a slew of other James Bond themes) or the timelessness of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow." Nor will »
- Daniel Fienberg
Amazon Prime is continuing its quality hot streak by offering some exceptional TV shows and films through July. The new streaming options will include classics like "Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid," as well as newer additions like "The Skeleton Twins" and "Behind the Candelabra." Check out the full list of titles below, along with Indiewire's picks on what you have to watch. Read More: Amazon Prime Adds 'Taxi Driver,' 'Listen Up Philip' and 16 Other Titles in March Available 6/30 “Under The Dome" Season 3 (2013) Available 7/1 “Downton Abbey" Season 5 (2014) “Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid” (1969) “Drive Me Crazy” (1999) “The Day The Earth Stood Still” (2008) “Thumbelina” (1994) “Bulworth” (1998) "Heidi” (1937) “Wayne’s World 2” (1993) “48 Hrs.” (1982) “The Bad News Bears” (1976) “The Brady Bunch Movie” (1995) “The Butcher’s Wife” (1991) “Cadillac Man” (1990) Indiewire Pick: "Dirty Dancing" (1987)We »
- Sarah Choi
When it was announced in March that Stephen King's classic horror novel Misery was getting the Broadway treatment, Elizabeth Marvel was intended to play the juicy role of number-one fan and number-one torturous motivator Annie Wilkes on stage. Due to House of Cards commitments, however, Marvel has left the project and Laurie Metcalf has joined it in her place.
Variety reports that Laurie Metcalf will play Annie Wilkes in the Misery Broadway play. Widely known for her stellar turn as Jackie Harris on Roseanne in addition to a plethora of other TV and film credits, Metcalf is perhaps best known to horror fans for her intense, unflinching portrayal as Mrs. Loomis in Scream 2.
As Wilkes, Metcalf will inflict pain on author Paul Sheldon, played by Bruce Willis in his Broadway debut. Metcalf is no stranger to the stage, having performed both off Broadway in Domesticated and on Broadway in The Other Place. »
- Derek Anderson
Did you know that June 12 every year is Superman Day? We're not sure how this particular day came to be dedicated to the Man of Steel, especially since he seems omnipresent in our lives every day. A pop cultural mainstay since 1938, the Krypton-born hero never seems far away, especially in the movies.
Yet while it seems every boy has dreamed of putting on the red cape and flying, the character has been remarkably hard to cast in movies. For every Christopher Reeve, Brandon Routh or Henry Cavill who said yes, many more have said no. Here are 15 potential Kal-El's that never came to be.
"Yo, Lois!" After the success of "Rocky," it's no wonder that "Superman: The Movie" producers Alexander and Ilya Salkind considered Stallone to play the Last Son of Krypton. Reportedly, he was deemed too ethnic for the part, though other sources have said that Marlon Brando »
- Gary Susman
“No one’s impressed by a dinosaur anymore,” notes one character early on in “Jurassic World,” and it’s easy to imagine the same words having passed through the lips of more than one Universal Studios executive in the years since Michael Crichton and Steven Spielberg’s 1993 “Jurassic Park” shattered box-office records, along with the glass ceiling for computer-generated visual effects. Two decades and two lackluster sequels later, producer and studio have spared few expenses in crafting a bigger, faster, noisier dinosaur opus, designed to reclaim their place at the top of the blockbuster food chain. What they’ve engineered is an undeniably vigorous assault of jaw-chomping jolts and Spielbergian family bonding that nevertheless captures only a fraction of the original film’s overflowing awe and wonderment. Which should still be more than enough to cause a T-Rex-sized ripple effect at the summer multiplex turnstile.
If the first “Jurassic Park »
- Scott Foundas
With the TV season over, now's the perfect time to binge-watch those shows you've been meaning to catch up on all year. July brings several dozen new TV and movie titles for your viewing pleasure on Amazon Prime. When the temperatures skyrocket, blast the A/C and start streaming in cool comfort.
Here's the upcoming lineup (Amazon Originals in italics)
"Under the Dome" season 3 - June 30
"Downton Abbey" season 5 - July 1
"Annedroids" season 2 - July 2
"Extant" season 2 - July 5
"Boardwalk Empire" season 3 - July 16
"True Blood" season 5 - July 16
"Glee" season 6 - July 18
"Newsroom" season 1 & season 2 - July 23
"Behind the Candelabra" - July 30
The Bad News Bears
Friends and Lovers
- Kelly Woo
Sound on Sight undertook a massive project, compiling ranked lists of the most influential, unforgettable, and exciting action scenes in all of cinema. There were hundreds of nominees spread across ten different categories and a multi-week voting process from 11 of our writers. The results: 100 essential set pieces, sequences, and scenes from blockbusters to cult classics to arthouse obscurities.
Shootouts, unlike any other type of action scenes, put death in the forefront of the audience’s mind. Whereas a car chase draws the attention onto the race, or a fight scene onto the pursuit of victory, shootouts test the mortality of our protagonists and anti-heroes. It’s more than just a hail of bullets that matters on screen, it’s who those bullets are clipping down or propping up. Legends can be made in a flurry of lead. The last man standing after the fray isn’t always the best or »
- Shane Ramirez
Archer producers Adam Reed and Matt Thompson are joining forces with Community‘s Megan Ganz for animated comedy Cassius & Clay, which FX has just greenlit for a pilot order in hopes of expanding its animated lineup past Reed and Thompson’s beloved spy riff. Reed and Ganz wrote the series, and all three are exec-producing.
The action-buddy comedy, partially inspired by Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, takes place in a futuristic, post-apocalyptic America (not dissimilar to the one seen in Fox’s hit freshman comedy The Last Man on Earth). It centers on two women who team up and live a bandit lifestyle, eking out an existence in the ruins of civilization. Ordwood Cassius (voiced by Kaitlin Olson) is a con artist with a drinking problem, who is heavily in debt but uses her quick-thinking skills to get out of binds. Shopcarter Clay (voiced by Lake Bell) is a »
- Isaac Feldberg
FX is returning to the animated game with Cassius & Clay, a pilot that follows two women living as bandits in a futuristic, postapocalyptic America. Described as being in the vein of Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid, the project from writer-EPs Megan Ganz and Adam Reed stars Kaitlin Olson as Ordwood Cassius, a hard-drinking, quick-thinking, fast-talking bullshitter who has more debts than sense, and Lake Bell as Shopcarter Clay, the fastest gun in the postapocalyptic… »
FX is making an animated action comedy pilot in the vein of “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” with a star-studded voice cast, Variety has learned.
The “Cassius & Clay” animated pilot hails from Megan Ganz (“Modern Family” and “Community”) and “Archer” creator Adam Reed of Floyd County Productions. Both will serve as writers and exec producers on the FX Productions project.
Described as an animated action-buddy-comedy centered on two women living as bandits in a futuristic, post-apocalyptic America, the A-list voice cast includes “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” star Kaitlin Olson and Lake Bell (“Childrens Hospital”), as the title characters, Ordwood Cassius and Shopcarter Clay. Cassius (Olson) is a hard-drinking, quick-thinking, fast-talking bull-sh-tter who has more debts than sense, and Clay (Bell) is the fastest gun in the post-apocalyptic South who doesn’t go looking for trouble, she shares a station wagon with it.
- Elizabeth Wagmeister
It's fitting that Clint Eastwood and John Wayne both have the same birthday week. (Wayne, who died in 1979, was born May 26, 1907, while Eastwood turns 85 on May 31). After all, these two all-American actors' careers span the history of that most American of movie genres, the western.
Both iconic actors were top box office draws for decades, both seldom stretched from their familiar personas, and both played macho, conservative cowboy heroes who let their firearms do most of the talking. Each represented one of two very different strains of western, the traditional and the revisionist.
As a birthday present to Hollywood's biggest heroes of the Wild West, here are the top 57 westerns you need to see.
57. 'Meek's Cutoff' (2010)
Indie filmmaker Kelly Reichardt and her frequent leading lady, Michelle Williams, are the talents behind this sparse, docudrama about an 1845 wagon train whose Oregon Trail journey goes horribly awry. It's an intense »
- Gary Susman
If you’re a racing fan, there’s a great new documentary on the horizon on the amazing driving career of Paul Newman.
Perfectly timed to open over Memorial Day weekend, known for its infamous races the Coca-Cola 600 and Indianapolis 500, the new trailer for Winning: The Racing Life Of Paul Newman looks at the actor who said in a 1973 interview, “If I could be a competitive automobile driver, I’d chuck this in a minute. It’s pretty hard to start something like that when you’re 47.”
This fascinating documentary – from Adam Carolla and co-director Nate Adams – features Paul Newman (archive footage), Robert Redford, Patrick Dempsey, Mario Andretti, Jay Leno, Robert Wagner, Joanne Woodward (archive footage), Arthur Newman, Tom Cruise (archive footage), Michael Andretti, Bob Sharp, Sam Posey, Sebastien Bourdais and many other racers.
The world knows Paul Newman as an Academy Award winning actor with a fifty-plus year »
- Michelle McCue
All week long our writers will debate: Which was the greatest film year of the past half century. Click here for a complete list of our essays. How to decide in the grand scheme of things which film year stands above all others? History gives us no clear methodology to unravel this thorny but extremely important question. Is it the year with the highest average score of movies? So a year that averages out to a B + might be the winner over a field strewn with B’s, despite a few A +’s. Or do a few masterpieces lift up a year so far that whatever else happened beyond those three or four films is of no consequence? Both measures are worthy, and the winner by either of those would certainly be a year not to be sneezed at. But I contend the only true measure of a year’s »
- Richard Rushfield
Has any contemporary movie star more intriguingly chafed at the gilded prison of stardom than Robert Redford? Certainly, he was not the first — or the last — matinee idol who endeavored to show us there was more to him than just a pretty face (or, in Redford’s particular case, that California tan, those blazing baby blues, and that wonderfully, ridiculously tousled hair).
Some actors, so inclined, stretch themselves in their choice of material; others add producing, directing, and even political activism to the mix. But “Bob” did all that and still felt somehow unfulfilled. So, rather like a fussy housewife forever rearranging the living room furniture, he gazed out at a sizable property he owned in the mountains of Utah and thought that an institute devoted to the cultivation and support of American independent filmmakers might look awfully nice over there.
If Sundance now seems nearly as iconic as Redford himself, »
- Scott Foundas
Over the course of film history, we've seen plenty of long-time actors step behind the camera to take up their directorial ambitions. Clint Eastwood did it. Mel Gibson did it. George Clooney did it. What do these three have in commonc Well, for starters, they are all men, so there's that. Further, they are all white, but more on that later. More to the point of the article, these men all eased into their directorial careers by starring in their respective debuts, using their presence on screen to help market their talents off it. And with his feature directorial effort The Water Diviner, which hits limited theaters this week, Russell Crowe is just the most recent addition to a growing list of actors who have decided to try their hand behind the camera. Like Eastwood, Gibson, and Clooney before him, the Best Actor winner stars in his first feature as director, »
- Jordan Benesh
Frank Galvin (Paul Newman) is a man who has given up. A once-promising honors graduate of Boston College Law School, partner in one of the city’s most prestigious firms (not to mention married to the daughter of the firm’s founder), Galvin discovered too late that he had the biggest Achilles Heel an attorney can be cursed with: a conscience. Upon learning that another partner in his firm tried to bribe a juror from a case Frank was trying, thinking he’d be helping Frank out, Frank threatened to report him to have him disbarred and prosecuted. So of course, the firm backed Frank, fired the crooked lawyer and made sure he spent many years making license plates at the state pen, while giving Frank a raise and a key to the city. Right?
- The Hollywood Interview.com
The latest Jason Statham thriller is based on a novel by William Goldman, author of the Hollywood memoir Adventures in the Screen Trade, script writer of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and originator of one of the most famous observations ever made about the film industry, namely: "Nobody knows anything." The Goldman book has already inspired one film, the 1986 Burt Reynolds vehicle Heat. »
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