1-20 of 64 items from 2009 « Prev | Next »
Robert Duvall first met Jeff Bridges in the late 1960s, when the latter was only 18. "He was just a kid with a guitar," Duvall recalls. "This was back when his dad was 50 and I was pushing 40. Look at us now." Indeed, 40 years later finds both actors with illustrious careers behind—and likely still ahead of—them. With iconic roles in movies like "Apocalypse Now," "The Great Santini," and the first two "Godfathers," Duvall has become a film institution. And he shows no signs of slowing down, currently appearing on screens in the post-apocalyptic drama "The Road." Bridges began his career with appearances on his father Lloyd's TV shows and has established himself as one of America's best and most beloved actors in films such as "The Last Picture Show," "Iron Man," and "The Big Lebowski." Now the two are sharing the screen for the first time in writer-director Scott Cooper's lyrical drama "Crazy Heart, »
I’ll be up front with you: the list you’re about to read wasn’t what I had in store for you. As I sat at my desk and prepared to crank out what would be another top ten list of 2009, I realized that I was utterly ill-equipped to do so. As many great films as I witnessed this year, I missed just as many that I’m sure I’d enjoy: A Serious Man. The Fantastic Mr. Fox. The Hurt Locker. The Brothers Bloom.
I know. Just thinking about it makes me sick. But I saw enough to be confident in saying that 2009 was an extremely good year for movies — from blockbusters to indie pictures, we’ve witnessed some great films and surprising debuts from unique filmmakers.
What follows isn’t a list of the “best” films of 2009, but instead is a list of the most surprising, excellent »
- John Cooper
The coming of age tale, "An Education," topped the London Film Critics' Circle Awards nominations. The film picked up seven nominations including actress for Carey Mulligan and screenwriter of the year for Nick Hornby.
Quentin Tarantino is set to receive the Critics' Circle's highest honor, the Dilys Powell Award for Excellence in Cinema. The 30th Awards will take plave on February 18 at the Landmark Hotel, Marylebone.
Here are the nominees:
Breakthrough British Film-maker
Armando Ianucci - In the Loop
Sam Taylor-Wood - Nowhere Boy
The Attenborough Award: British Film Of The Year
Foreign Language Film Of The Year
Director Of The Year
There was no room for the Danish director Scherfig herself in the best director list of nominations, but her film did receive nominations in the best British film and best screenplay for Nick Hornby, as well as a brace for Mulligan, who appears on the best actress and best British actress lists.
Elsewhere, Hollywood goes head to head with Europe in the best film category as "Avatar" competes with two Cannes prizewinners, "A Prophet," directed by Jacques Audiard, and Michael Haneke's "The White Ribbon."
Lfcca organizers said Quentin Tarantino will receive the circle's highest honor, the Dilys Powell Award for Excellence in Cinema, at the event scheduled for Feb. »
- By Stuart Kemp
>> Quentin thinks ahead
Trash is thrilled to announce that Quentin Tarantino will receive the Dilys Powell award from the London Film Critics' Circle. Named after the revered former Sunday Times critic, "The Dilys" rewards excellence in cinema and, as the Circle celebrates the 30th anniversary of its awards ceremonies, I can't think of a more energising recipient than Tarantino whose continuing engagement with film history and criticism is being acknowledged (he even had a daredevil British film critic character – played by Michael Fassbender – in Inglourious Basterds). To disclose full interest, I am the current chairman wof the Critics' Circle Film section and when I proposed the Dilys to Tarantino, he was honoured to accept. "I hadn't really heard of Dilys Powell," he admits, "but I've now got two of her books of essays and am devouring them, trying to think what she would have made of my movies. I get »
- Jason Solomons
Laurence Fishburne joins Predators There is some big movie news coming out of Austin, Texas today. While on the set of Predators, the current re-imagining of the popular alien franchise, we learned that veteran actor and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation star, Laurence Fishburne, has been cast in a pivotal role in the upcoming re-boot. The actor, who is best known for his work in films such as The Matrix series, Apocalypse Now and Deep Cover, and is currently starring in CBS's mega-hit series, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation will be playing the role of Noland. While details about Fishburne's character are unknown at this time, he did begin working on the film this week in Austin, Texas at producer Robert Rodriguez's Troublemaker Studios. Fans who were unhappy with the last few Predator films, Predator 2, Alien vs. Predator and it's sequel Alien vs. Predator: Requiem will be pleased to »
After a run-up lasting 12 years, James Cameron has taken an almighty flying leap into the third dimension. His first new film for over a decade is in super-sleek new-tech 3D, and it is breathlessly reported to have taken the medium of cinema to the next level. And who knows? When Michelangelo completed his sculpture of David in 1504, he probably thought it made flat paintings look ever so slightly Betamax. Maybe he put a consoling arm round the shoulder of Sandro Botticelli as the two men looked ruefully at Primavera, and murmured caustically: "Little bit eight-track, isn't it darling? A touch Sinclair C5, a smidgen video top-loader – compared to, you know, sculpture?" That extra dimension makes the difference, »
- Peter Bradshaw
This message came to me from a reader named Peter Svensland. He and a friend have been debating about my qualities as a film critic, and they've involved a considerable critic, Dan Schneider, in their discussion. I will say that he has given the question a surprising amount of thought and attention over the years, and may well be correct in some aspects. What his analysis gives me is a renewed respect and curiosity about his own work.
A friend and I would like to have your opinion. It's basically so that we can settle an argument (and small side bet) with a friend over what your opinion would be. My friend and I have carefully co-drafted this email to try to eliminate one or the other of our biases. I hope we succeeded!
I have read your columns and watched your tv shows for many years now »
- Roger Ebert
Bioware is one company that takes its voiceover work seriously. For Star Wars: The Old Republic, Bioware hired over 100 actors to voice over 40 novels worth of written material. And now Bioware has announced that it has hired several top-notch voice actors for the heavily-anticipated sci-fi sequel, Mass Effect 2.
“[e]motionally engaging narrative is a key design pillar for Bioware, and the top-notch voice talent in Mass Effect 2 helps drive this goal. Credible, powerful personalities are vital to delivering a compelling story experience in Bioware’s games, and we have assembled an amazing ensemble cast that surpasses the very high bar set in the original Mass Effect!”
- Jason Weissman
Well, it's finally here. Twelve years after James Cameron struck gold with his surprise hit, Titanic, the most expensive film of its time, he's returned with the most expensive film of our time and one whose influence will resonate over the years to come. Avatar is in no way as emotionally involving as his 1997 epic, but it excels in entertainment and as sheer spectacle. Though the new 3-D filming process the film employs is sure to be the hook for most audiences, Avatar is an even bolder experiment that takes the viewer to a hyper-realistic, intricately designed world. Lucas and Spielberg may be the box-office kings of sci-fi, but the realms Cameron dreams of don't feel like dreams at all, but real places that exist and manage to stay with you long after the movie has ended. Not only does the film live up to its hype of being a »
✒Eyebrows were raised at News International's Wapping HQ when a chauffeur-driven Rolls-Royce, with personalised numberplate, pulled up to the main gates. Staff were even more surprised when the Express Newspapers owner, Richard Desmond, stepped out for a lunchtime meeting with News Corp's Europe and Asia chief executive, James Murdoch. His visit comes shortly after News International's chief executive, Rebekah Brooks, was spotted at Desmond's Thameside offices. Paywalls all round?
✒When some long-standing friends turn their back on you, it's important that you make the most of the ones you've still got. In a week when Lord Mandelson ratcheted up his war of words with Rupert Murdoch, he was spotted in Soho House having dinner with Trinity Mirror's chief executive, Sly Bailey; the Daily Mirror's editor, Richard Wallace; the Sunday Mirror's editor, Tina Weaver, and Lloyd Embley, the editor of the People. Two days later, the Mirror splashed with "Choccy Horror »
“I’m delighted that such a powerful and brilliant film as ‘Apocalypse Now’ has won the enduring admiration of the London critics. Coppola’s towering film is a worthy winner and clearly its anti-war message, monumental performances and dazzling filmmaking technique have stood the test of time, making it as relevant to critics today as it was when it. »
Apocalypse Now was today named as the best film of the past three decades by the London Film Critics' Circle (Lfcc). Francis Ford Coppola's nightmarish vision of the Vietnam war beat out Steven Spielberg's 1994 holocaust drama Schindler's List to take top spot in the poll, held to celebrate the organisation's 30th anniversary.
Third place went to German film The Lives of Others, Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck's Oscar-winner for best foreign language film in 2007. The top five was rounded out by two very different movies with western themes: Clint Eastwood's Unforgiven, from 1992, and Ang Lee's 2005 tale of gay cowboys, Brokeback Mountain.
Chair of the circle and Observer writer Jason Solomons said: "I'm delighted that such a powerful and »
- Ben Child
The Critics' Circle, the world's oldest organisation of critics, also recognised The Lives of Others, Clint Eastwood's Unforgiven and Ang Lee's Brokeback Mountain, which rounded out the top five respectively.
"Coppola's towering film is a worthy winner and clearly its anti-war message, monumental performances and dazzling film-making technique have stood the test of time, making it as relevant to critics today as it was when it won best film at our first awards ceremony 30 years ago."
The 30th annual London Film Critics' Circle Awards will take place on 18 February in the British capital. »
Writer Paul Sloan just dropped us some sweet looking screen grabs from a creature test-shoot done for the upcoming jungle horror, King of Vampires.
Sloan tells us that the creature was created by make up and fx artist Todd Masters with a the specific aim of showing that this vamp is "not a romanticized creature, but a giant savage who lives in remote jungles and caves, like a cross between Tarzan and Kurtz from Apocalypse Now."
An heiress enlists mercenaries to search the Cambodian jungle for her long lost brother. The journey down river turns bloody; the jungle is haunted by a savage barbarian warlord, who is rumored to be Lord Of The Undead: King Of Vampires.
King of Vampires is shaping up to be a great sounding project with just the right hint of all our favorite genre flavours. With any luck we'll have some more concrete info on it for you soon. »
Click image to enlarge...
"The End", performed by The Doors, was originally written by Jim Morrison as a good-bye song, evolving after months of performances at Los Angeles' Whisky a Go Go into a nearly 12-minute opus on the band's debut album, released January 1967.
The Doors and Apocalypse Now. Simon and Garfunkel and The Graduate. Richard Strauss and 2001: A Space Odyssey. Some of the greatest scenes in cinema history would be nothing without their added soundtracks. What if Tarantino had used "Paranoid" by Black Sabbath instead of "Stuck in the Middle With You" by Stealers Wheel for Reservoir Dogs? What about "You Light Up My Life" instead of "Fight The Power" in Spike Lee's Do The Right Thing? There were more than a couple mistakes of this nature in the past decade - the entire Watchmen soundtrack comes to mind - but with the aughts coming to a close let's celebrate the ones that got it right 10. Superbad - 2007 Song: "Panama" by Van Halen Few songs can pump someone up more than 80's hair metal (basically the reason it was invented), and no band did it better than Van Halen. So when »
This is a funny, deeply affecting and often painfully truthful movie about families, parenthood, growing up, growing old and dying, devoid of sentimentality, acquiescence in Larkinesque cynicism concerning the horrors of family life, or any Gallic equivalent of Hollywood's "I love you, Dad", "I love you too, son". It covers five days between 1988 and 2000, each one seen from the point of view of a member of the Duval family – the taxi driver Robert, his pretty wife Marie-Jeanne, and their children, Albert, Raphaël and Fleur.
In 1988, Albert, a medical student, leaves the nest to live in the attic of his overbearing widowed grandfather. On her 16th birthday, Friday 3 December 1993, Fleur loses her virginity and rows with her parents. Three years later in 1996, Raphaël, a would-be musician, comes to terms with his grandfather and attends his brother's wedding. In 1998, Marie-Jeanne feels rejected and teeters on the brink of adultery. In 2000, Robert takes »
- Philip French
A few days ago Variety reported (you kind of have to mine for it in the article) that veteran editors Mark Goldblatt and Walter Murch were being brought in to recut The Wolfman, even though the release date is only a few months away, on February 12, 2010. This could be a very bad thing for the film, culminating in what has already been a tumultuous creation process, but it could be a good thing. Films can often be made in the editing room, and both editors have had extensive experience. Goldblatt has edited such films as Terminator 2 and Pearl Harbor, while Murch worked on The English Patient and Cold Mountain, winning an Oscar for sound editing in Apocalypse Now. The point is, I hope that the film has a chance to succeed because it still looks very cool. The featurette below has some behind the scenes footage and interviews, which increases my excitement for the film. »
The release date for The Wolfman has already been rescheduled several times, but the move to put the movie out in February was clearly done so that Murch and Goldblatt could have some time to fix things. The two editors likely will be cutting together footage from six weeks of reshoots completed over the summer, mostly supervised by second unit director Vic Armstrong.
Already, the work of the two editors has the movie looking more historic in the new French trailer, shown below ...:
Ok, we admit that's the trailer for the 1941 original. It might be a little while before any work from Murch and Goldblatt will be seen in trailers, if at all. The "new" French trailer is nothing »
- Ryan Gowland
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