1-20 of 25 items from 2011 « Prev | Next »
When Billy Hayes is caught by Turkish customs officers trying to smuggle hash out of the country he suddenly finds himself caught up in a draconian, harsh judicial and prison system. Initially hopeful of a more lenient sentence, he is eventually convicted of drug trafficking rather than possession and in the face of several decades rather than just several years at the hands of corrupt, violent and abusive prison guards, he begins to crack.
Although the film begins with “based on true events”, the cast and crew are candid enough throughout the impressive and educational extras to admit to the sequence of re-writes that caused the final screenplay to depart a little from its factual roots. Nonetheless, what remains is a powerful and savage indictment of corruption and brutality and it comes as no surprise to hear how displeased Turkey were with the prospect of a film being based on »
- Dave Roper
Jeffrey Donovan and Gabrielle Anwar play Miami’s toughest couple on screen, but how well do they really know each other? Recently, the Burn Notice stars stopped by EW.com to talk about tonight’s season 5 finale and we put their knowledge to the test.
Check out how they did in the video below.
As you can see, they could both use a refresher course on their costar. We’ll give them credit for their superhero answers since “close enough” counts with horseshoes, hand grenades and EW Pop Culture Personality Quizzes. Still, their alter-egos, super-spy Michael Westen and chic mercenary Fiona Glenanne, »
- Benjamin Wood
Black and white images flicker across absorbed young faces as timeless stories unfold. To the delight of the education charity Filmclub, classic films are captivating children as young as seven.
In the past year, a quarter of all the films watched by its members have been pre-1979 movies and some, such as The Electric Edwardians (1900), date right back to the birth of cinema.
Launched in 2008 by film director Beeban Kidron and educationist Lindsay Mackie, Filmclub (@filmclub) helps schools set up film clubs and supplies a huge range of thoughtfully curated films.
Libby Serdiuk, aged 10, was "pleasantly surprised by The General (1926):
"I had never watched a film without sound or colour. Before I knew it my eyes were glued to the screen! The stunts were exhilarating to watch, Buster Keaton was mind blowing, »
- Judy Friedberg
From Rod Serling’s moody opening monologue, right to the end credit sequence repackaging the entire film into a music video, it’s clear there’s a passionate vision behind Brian De Palma’s Phantom Of The Paradise. Here’s an example of a creative team able to squeeze the muscle of the studio system to make something idiosyncratic, groovy, and just plain weird. It was the 1970s, after all. Now pushing 40, is Phantom merely an interesting relic of an era, or does it stand the test of time?
Join me from 6.25pm on Saturday for the fireworks night special - who will sparkle on the dancefloor?
Good evening, and welcome to this week's Strictly Come Dancing Liveblog! Believe it or not, we've only dismissed four celebrities thus far, which means we still have ten left. Is it just me, or does this series feel like it's been on forever? Maybe it's just the prehistoric nature of Bruce's jokes. Still, at least Nancy has finally left us, so we no longer have to watch Anton trying to control her flailing limbs. Big thanks to Vicky for doing such a marvellous job last week - alas this means I missed Robbie's crotch grab. Shame.
But hey, it's another week, and who knows what inappropriate pre-watershed surprises are in store for us this evening? The BBC has sensibly opted not to go for a Guy Fawkes theme, having blown the budget on pumpkins last week. »
- Heidi Stephens
★★★☆☆ Dexter Fletcher has a fine film pedigree: Bugsy Malone (1976), The Elephant Man (1980), The Long Good Friday (1980) and Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998) are just a few of the movies on his 30-year CV, and his directorial debut Wild Bill (2011) - starring Charlie Creed-Miles, Will Poulter and Liz White - bares all the hallmarks of an experienced old-hand.
Read more » »
- Daniel Green
In the Q&A column Nathaniel answers 9 or 10 questions posed by readers each week. This week young actors seemed to be on your brain for which we must surely blame that Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close trailer. Here we go again.
Spencer: With your great passion for film and your auteur love have you ever thought about Making films?
Yes but not in any specific way which is why I never pursued it. I have some skill with editing which I studied briefly in college (or so my friend who is an actual film editor tells me) and I write but in truth, I probably wouldn't be happy unless I was directing (i.e. in control). I was honest with myself early on that I just couldn't see myself having the right temperament for it. Still, like anyone, I've had fleeting fantasy moments about making movies. It usually involves me »
- NATHANIEL R
Nestled a few miles west of London sits Pinewood Studios, still looking as sprightly as ever, but having today reached the grand old age of 75.
And what a 75 years it has been. Though the landscape of cinema has changed beyond recognition in that time (fads have come and gone, new filming techniques have been developed and refined, entire genres have been popularised, then forgotten, then revived), Pinewood remains.
Bought by building tycoon Charles Boot in the early 1930′s, Pinewood was then turned into a studio through a joint venture between Boot and J Arthur Rank, the name being settled on because according to Boot:-
“of the number of trees which grow there and because it seemed to suggest something of the American film centre in its second syllable.”
The studios officially opened their doors on 30th September 1936 and since then has been home to some of the largest scale productions imaginable. »
- Dave Roper
Teenagers take to the streets and Britain erupts in moral panic – why does Franc Roddam's 1979 cult classic feel so familiar?
Director: Franc Roddam
Entertainment grade: B
History grade: A–
Between 1964 and 1966, teenagers rioted in British seaside towns. Violence flared between mods and rockers, two youth movements that were connected in the press with drug-taking, vandalism and delinquency.
Jimmy (Phil Daniels), a fictional mod, hangs out in a London dive. Everyone looks about 12; pass round a few splurge guns and you'd be in Bugsy Malone. But this lot are less the adorable moppet sort of gangster and more the sort that takes pills, nicks stuff and smashes other people's faces in. Among the newspaper clippings and pornography on Jimmy's bedroom wall is an article about the 'Battle of Hastings' – not the 1066 one with the Anglo-Saxons and the Normans, but the 1964 one with the mods and the rockers. The »
- Alex von Tunzelmann
Imagine for a moment that you're a veteran Australian action movie star with a gravelly voice, a girl's name and a lengthy filmography of box office hits. In an ideal world you'd be held in high esteem for your excellent performances as wronged men desperately seeking revenge. You'd be admired for the unconventional, uncompromisingly savage epics you've directed and your dedication to filming in obscure, ancient tongues.
The world bows down, kisses your confident bare butt cheeks and proclaims you're a genius warrior hero in this idyllic vision. Except, you're not a movie messiah. In fact, you're a very naughty boy.
In reality, the world is shaking its collective head and deriding you as a crazed and aggressive alcohol-addled bigot. Your bad behaviour, violence and barmy remarks »
I’m sincerely not trying to be terribly witty, cynical or controversial here, rather I simply wanted to share an “outsider’s” perspective on the Harry Potter series, the reflections of someone who doesn’t necessarily dislike the Hp films, but who instead wonders quite what all of the fuss is about. I don’t hate the films (honestly, what is there about them to dislike that strongly?), but I do find myself coolly indifferent to them.
In the interests of placing my cards on the table, I have not read any of the books, nor have I in fact seen all of the films. I suppose that is sort of part of my point. Whilst it would be easy to dismiss my observations on the basis that I haven’t formed a wholly informed opinion, or haven’t given the franchise a decent chance to affect me, surely the »
- Dave Roper
With all the recent talk of a Nicolas Winding Refn-Ryan Gosling remake (just yesterday the L.A. Times wrote “A Logan’s Run remake is like Mark Twain’s weather—everybody talks about one but nobody does anything about it”), I thought it was time to revisit the film that, at the age of 11, when I saw it in its initial British release, I thought was the greatest film ever made: a dystopic sci-fi masterpiece with a disturbing hook, stunning special effects (or so it then seemed, just a year before Star Wars) and a fleeting Jenny Agutter nude scene etched in the memory of every British schoolboy of the 1970s.*
Logan’s Run was directed by Michael Anderson, a British industry veteran who had helmed The Dam Busters in 1954 and who, at 91, is now the oldest living director to have been nominated for a Best Director Academy »
 In January, I had the awesome opportunity to visit the set of The Muppets. Over the course of the week, I'll be posting some of the round table interviews we conducted on set with the cast and crew. We've posted interviews with Jason Segel , Amy Adams , co-writer Nicholas Stoller  and now we bring you director James Bobin (Ali G, The Flight of the Conchords). Here is a short excerpted quote: The joy of puppetry is that it is very simple and low-fi, which I love. I never want to make a movie which is going to be CG filled, cold, and computerized. It Is what I like about it. Especially with this beautiful Red camera that we have, you can see Kermit’s felt and Fozzy’s fur. You can almost touch it. That is what I absolutely love about it. It is just guys doing this [does puppeteering motions] and it just feels so organic, »
- Peter Sciretta
Scheduled for release on November 23rd is The Muppets, a brand new movie featuring these classic characters, written by Jason Segel and Nick Stoller, the writer and director of Forgetting Sarah Marshall, respectively. The music for the movie was written by Flight of the Conchords star Bret McKenzie. And James Bobin, who co-created that popular HBO series, also directs the film.
The movie stars Jason Segel, Amy Adams, Chris Cooper, Rashida Jones, and of course ... Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Gonzo, Scooter, Rowlf, Swedish Chief, Beaker, Crazy Harry, Sam the Eagle, Animal, and Dr. Teeth and The Electric Mayhem. The Muppets, which is the beloved characters first theatrical release since '1999s , promises to return Kermit the Frog and the entire gang to the forefront of popular culture once again ... exactly where they belong.
Earlier this year we had the rare opportunity to be invited to the Los »
Jodie Foster ◄ Back Next ►Picture 1 of 11
◄ Back Next ►Picture 1 of 11
Alicia Christian “Jodie” Foster (born November 19, 1962) is an American actress, film director, producer as well as being a former child actress.
Foster began acting in commercials at three years of age, and her first significant role came in the 1976 film Taxi Driver as the preteen prostitute Iris for which she received a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. Also that year, she starred in the cult film The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane. She won an Academy Award for Best Actress in »
- Josh Abraham
Although most would say that director Robert Rodriguez tends to be at his best when catering for an adult audience (taking Sin City and Desperado in preference to Shark Boy & Lava Girl or Spy Kids), his Spy Kids series has shown surprising longevity, churning good, honest, fun entertainment and turning a healthy profit against modest operating budgets.
Spy Kids 4 is his latest offering, with Jessica Alba and Jeremy Piven joining the usual returning cast members and the ubiquitous Danny Trejo. In this latest publicity still, we see Alba in a somewhat peculiar fingerless gloves/black leotard combo and Piven looking for all the world like something out of Dick Tracy or Bugsy Malone. Since the storyline involves a villain bent on stopping time, no doubt Piven’s conspicuous time-piece and anachronistic wardrobe are all very much required.
You can catch our earlier article with a different still of Alba and a plot synopsis right here. »
- Dave Roper
Doctor Who leads the holiday programming with The Impossible Astronaut, and there's lots of exceptional films to catch in the week ahead in the UK...
It seems to our (admittedly faulty) memories that prior Easter holidays have been much more tightly packed with specials and programmes for the long weekend and beyond. Thanks goodness, then, that Doctor Who is back!
As you're most surely aware, the sixth series of new Doctor Who returns on Saturday, April 23rd at 6:00pm on BBC1. The Impossible Astronaut, the first of a two-part premiere, sees the Doctor, Amy, Rory and River Song meeting up on the plains of Utah, a huge and expansive backdrop for the kick-off of what looks to be a fabulously exciting season.
We had a spoiler-free review of the opening episodes here, and we'll have all the details and freely shared thoughts in our full review as soon as the first episode airs, »
Only two upcoming shows caught our attention this week. The first, we've covered extensively and know about as much as you can know of a show before its premiere. The second is one we're less familiar with, but looks like we should have caught sight of sooner.
On Monday, April 18th Game Of Thrones premieres at 9:00pm on Sky Atlantic. We've covered the series in depth, with interiews with its stars and a spoiler-free review, and anticipation has been building steadily since we first learned of the HBO fantasy drama starring Sean Bean. You can read lots about Game Of Thrones here, and we'll have a full review of the first episode, Winter Is Coming, as soon as we can after it airs. »
The covert film club Secret Cinema has been building quite a reputation these past few years with its clandestine screenings of movies such as Ridley Scott's sci-fi classics Alien (1979) and Blade Runner (1982) Alan Parker's Bugsy Malone (1976) , Ivan Reitman's Ghostbusters and David Lean's epic Lawrence of Arabia.
Their events look to offer movie-lovers an alternative cinematic experience with innovative screenings incorporating live theatrical performances, music and multimedia, all tailored to the film in question, which - best of all - is kept a mystery until the screening is about to begin.
Tickets have recently gone on sale for Secret Cinema's next extravaganza, which has expanded to run between April 15th and May 8th in an undisclosed London location. If you'd like to get involved then head on over to the official Secret Cinema website and sign up or visit WeGotTickets to... well, get tickets.
Just remember... tell no-one. »
With Bar Mitzvah Boy and his other great TV dramas Jack Rosenthal chronicled everyday life with wit and warmth
Although he died in 2004, Jack Rosenthal's reputation as a giant of British TV drama continues to grow. We've already had Jack Rosenthal at ITV, all four discs of it – including The Knowledge, about cabbies, maps and more. Now the BBC is muscling in with a box set, out next month, that includes more of his early dramas from the 1970s. And they're even better.
The Evacuees, his first standalone TV drama, drew on his experiences as a boy sent away from Manchester during the second world war. The director was Alan Parker, warming up for his film Bugsy Malone. Presumably Parker learned how to handle child actors here: thanks to Rosenthal's deft and moving script, their awkwardness in a new environment is all too apparent.
Rosenthal's major breakthrough came with Bar Mitzvah Boy, »
- Andrew Pulver
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