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Michael Mann’s upcoming movie “Blackhat” has been largely overshadowed by intense media attention focused on the Christmas release of the assassination comedy “The Interview,” linnked to the disastrous computer hack perpetrated on Sony Pictures.
But awareness of Mann’s film, bowing Jan.16, is beginning to mount amid an uncanny life-imitates-art timing that recalls the release of the 1979 nuclear drama “The China Syndrome” 12 days before the Three Mile Island meltdown in Pennsylvania.
The globe-trotting cyber thriller (financed by Legendary and released by Universal Pictures) stars Chris Hemsworth as a gifted hacker who gets furloughed from his Los Angeles prison sentence to help authorities hunt for an elusive cyber criminal responsible for crippling attacks on a Chinese nuclear reactor and the Chicago Board of Trade.
Mann suggested the premise it is an eminently plausible one, given the number of high-profile former hackers who now work as government or private-sector consultants like Kevin Poulsen, »
- Scott Foundas
Michael Mann has perhaps one of the most unique and innovative directors working today. From what is arguably the greatest La crime saga of all time in Heat to the beautiful romance of The Last of the Mohicans and bringing Hannibal Lectre to the big screen for the first time in Manhunter, Mann has created a vast and wide ranging filmography.
A new 9 minute video released on IndieWire called The Sublime Presence in Michael Mann’s Films examines what exactly gives Michael Mann films their undeniable and fiery energy. Created by Tom Kramer, the essay examines most of Mann’s most legendary work. Manhunter, Thief, Heat, The Last of the Mohicans, The Insider, Collateral, and others are weaved together. Set to Pink Floyd’s “Comfortably Numb” the video delves into the rich, complex world of Mann’s films and his often cold characters.
The video explores the often hyper masculinity »
When we last left our heroes, the Scooby gang had just broken up again. Katrina was going back undercover as Abraham/Death’s Stockholm Syndrome girlfriend while Ichabod and Abbie continued the kabuki dance of pretending they don’t want to bone each other. Also, I started helming the good ship Crawley — because Hawley and Ichabod are totally secretly pining for each other. Did Katrina manage to murder that demon baby? Will the show keep enabling my new Otp? Let’s find out in tonight’s episode, “Mama.” ******** Through the power of dream visions, we are transported to foggy Victorian London and/or ancient Roman ruins. Abbie is disoriented — which is strange because you’d think she’d be used to the dream sequence cold open by now — but she's drawn to a disturbing singsong voice. “You Are My Sunshine” has never sounded creepier than right now, emanating from the »
- Donna Dickens
'Idol's Eye' production shut down: Robert De Niro, Robert Pattinson and Rachel Weisz to have starred in Olivier Assayas' action-thriller (photo: Robert Pattinson) Production on screenwriter-director Olivier Assayas' action-thriller Idol's Eye, which was to have starred two-time Oscar winner Robert De Niro (The Godfather: Part II, Raging Bull), Robert Pattinson (the Twilight movies, The Rover), and Oscar winner Rachel Weisz (The Constant Gardener), has been shut down, officially due to financing woes. Michael Benaroya's Beverly Hills-based Benaroya Pictures announced the bad news earlier today, November 3, 2014. “Due to the criteria for financing not being met by producers, Benaroya Pictures has formally decided to discontinue financing the motion picture titled Idol's Eye. The company cannot continue to put its investment at risk and has been forced to stop cash flowing [to] the production. “This is something all of us wanted to avoid, but due to the producers missing »
- Zac Gille
Of all the great movies the Oscars have shunned over the years, Drive's snub in 2012 was a tough one to take.
Ryan Gosling stars as the Hollywood stuntman who moonlights as a getaway driver in his most mesmerising performance since he was a Jewish neo-Nazi in 2001's The Believer. Carey Mulligan is the struggling single mum who Gosling falls for, and a between-Breaking Bad seasons Bryan Cranston plays his mechanic partner in crime.
Nicolas Winding Refn's direction is suave and daring; he follows the blood, sweat and tears of The Driver's journey with total badassness and ends up with something in between Taxi Driver and Michael Mann's Thief... And then there's the soundtrack. What a soundtrack.
So when Radio 1 DJ Zane Lowe announced that he was curating a score of new music for the film masterpiece, you can understand the anger and confusion it sparked. But »
Time and time again, whenever anyone asks me about older horror films they should look for, I suggest The Keep. That's usually followed by: "Who directed it?" To which I respond - Michael Mann, the director of Thief, Manhunter, The Last of the Mohicans, The Insider and more. The response to that is often one of surprise. Michael Mann did a horror movie?
And it's hard to find unless you have Netflix Instant. It's usually lurking around there. But good luck searching for it on DVD or Blu-ray because Paramount, it's rights holder, refuses to give it a proper release in a contemporary format. If you have a Vcr or laserdisc player, you're in better shape, I suppose.
- Ryan Turek
This January will see the release of “Blackhat,” Michael Mann’s first feature-length directorial outing in six years. With his big screen drought finally over, let’s turn back the clock and see what the Chicago-born director was like in the beginning of his career, as he was shooting his second theatrical film, “The Keep.” Released in the winter of 1983, Mann’s adaptation of F. Paul Wilson’s horror novel marked a conscious effort to break away from aspects of his previous work “Thief” and the TV movie “Jericho Mile.” In the run up to the film’s release, British program “The Electric Theatre Show” aired a nearly half-hour special on Mann that featured the director not only talking about his decision to take on —or transcend— the horror genre, but also his entire career up until that point. As always, Mann makes for a thoughtful interview subject and speaks »
- Cain Rodriguez
Everything’s up for negotiation in Nightcrawler, and there’s no one better at it than Louis Bloom. Gangly, shallow-eyed, and sporting hair two inches too long to warrant slicking back, Lou has the look of an It worker, but the aspirations of a Fortune 500 CEO. He’s an ambitious detritivore that scurries through the cracks of L.A., collecting anything of value that’s not nailed down. Whether it’s chain-link fences, bikes, or a manhole cover, he’ll broker a sale with larger creatures of the night like he’s trading stocks instead of scrap metal. Lou’s the roach that always gets away before you’ve got a shoe in hand – he’s creepy, but you’ve got to admire the work ethic.
- Sam Woolf
Legendary Pictures is a production company that is fast becoming a safe haven for big movies anchored by visionary filmmakers. This is the studio responsible for "300," "Pacific Rim," and a whole bunch of other super awesome projects (including the Christopher Nolan Batman trilogy), and has cultivated a reputation of really bringing it to Comic-Con and the fabled, cavernous Hall H. This year was no different, with Legendary (now partnered with studio Universal) rolling out a veritable laundry list of really impressive projects that the audience ate up affectionately.
The panel was long and a little overwhelming, so we thought we'd break it down into a handy list of things that we learned during the panel. This will cover the gamut -- from Hall H to you!
- Drew Taylor
Barnes & Noble has just kicked off their 50% off Criterion sale and while it's impossible to suggest titles that will suit everyone looking to beef up their collection at this perfect time of year, I will do my best to offer some suggestions. Let's get to it... My Absolute First Pick I am almost done going through this collection and it was a collection I got for Christmas under these exact circumstances. Typically priced at $224.99, you can now get this amazing set of 25 Zatoichi films for only $112. Box sets, in my opinion, are what sales like this were made for. Zatoichi: The Blind Swordsman Next Ten Recommendations It isn't easy so this is a collection of just some of my favorite films (of all-time and within the collection) and a little variety, though pretty much my standard, go to Criterion first picks, especially if you are just starting out. Persona Breathless »
- Brad Brevet
Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: Sept. 30, 2014
Price: DVD $14.97, Collector’s Edition Blu-ray $34.99, Blu-ray $19.98
The 251-minute cut of Once Upon a Time… was a restoration funded by The Film Foundation, the film preservation organization founded by Martin Scorsese (Shutter Island), and its partner Gucci. The Extended Director’s Cut, with 22-minutes of restored footage, made its debut at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival and was screened at other festivals in Europe. The restored footage has been returned to the film three decades after its theatrical release, deepening the characters and enlarging the work of its astonishing cast: Stone‘s Robert De Niro »
Austrian director Michael Glawogger has tragically died at the age of 54 while shooting in Africa. For more on this brilliant director and his working method read Daniel Kasman's interview from Venice about Glawogger's last film, Whores' Glory (2011). Mubi Us is in the middle of a 30-day run of the director's Workingman's Death (2005).
"Offering streaming links to almost their entire programme, the festival can be consumed from a couch, in sporadic order and with no regard for curatorial intent, which beggars the question: Is a collection of Vimeo links really a film festival? Should this sound like an ontological foray into digital existence, apologies, but the issue is not going away; Hot Docs likewise offers a multitude of link-based screeners to accredited journalists. It is a less than »
- Adam Cook
How much do we like "Thief"? Let us count the ways. The Criterion Collection edition of the film released at the beginning of the year gave us an excuse to do a full retrospective on the filmmaker, and we had the pleasure of an extensive interview with Mann about the movie itself. The director's rain-slicked 1981 sizzler is still an influence to this day and one of his top-tier works, and if you haven't seen it—or are already a fan and just want to appreciate it again—here's a way you can do just that. Omar Ahmed has put together a 2-minute visual essay/highlight reel of the many magnificent shots in the film, all powered by M83's "Vision." And while that's cool, the original Tangerine Dream score is so good, why not just use a track from that? That's a small quibble for what is ultimately a pretty sweet drive down memory lane. »
- Kevin Jagernauth
“Money alone sets all the world in motion.”
—Publilius Syrus, Maxim 656
The desire for money, for personal gain or business interests, is a frequent catalyst for dramatic action in William Friedkin’s films. In The Night They Raided Minsky’s (1968), The French Connection (1971), Sorcerer (1977), The Brink’s Job (1978), Deal of the Century (1983), To Live and Die in L.A. (1985), Blue Chips (1994) and, more recently, Killer Joe (2011), the pursuit of money entails underhand tactics, struggle, betrayal and violence. Dollar bills are passed from one person to another, in plain view or sight unseen; or promised at the completion of a job; or seized, burned or spent. But the money always materializes again, somehow, coursing into the narrative economy and organizing social relations.
In a notable sequence in To Live and Die in L.A. we see this material created illegally, and witness its eruption and flow into the system. Friedkin here offers an »
- Yusef Sayed
Blu-ray Release Date: May 13, 2014
Price: Blu-ray $29.95
Studio: Twilight Time
The 1975 sci-fi-tinged action-sports film Rollerball, one of the Seventies great dystopian future-shock flicks, finally makes its Blu-ray debut courtesy of Twilight Time.
In the future, there will be no war. But there will be Rollerball.
Rollerball posits a future—in this case a not-so-far-away 2018—in which war has been replaced by the titular game, a gladiatorial spectacle of violence that helps keep the global populace entertained and anesthetized. Emerging from this hard-hitting “sport” is a champion, Jonathan E (James Caan, Thief), whose individual expertise defeats the worldwide corporate leadership’s design: to emphasize the futility of individual effort. Corporate big-wigs (icily incarnated by The Fog‘s John Houseman) need Jonathan to retire, but Jonathan begins to have his own dangerous ideas.
The reemergence of Giorgio Moroder to mainstream prominence over the last year has been one of the great unexpected gifts for music enthusiasts. In the wake of his seemingly inevitable collaboration with dance icons Daft Punk, Moroder has been collaborating, remixing, and working on new material of his own—not to mention DJing live for the first time in his storied career. In the process he has introduced himself to a new generation of fans, rightly receiving his due as an influential producer and sonic innovator. But what has yet to be widely recognized is the thumbprint Moroder has left on modern film composing. His iconic, Oscar-winning scores and songs for many of the biggest films of the late-1970s and ‘80s (Midnight Express, Top Gun) have long since entered the pantheon, but with the recent popularity of nostalgia-fueled films such as Nicolas Winding Refn’s Drive, Moroder’s influence »
- Jordan Cronk
Every year, for whatever reason, a handful of actors and other film notables who passed away in the previous year miss the cut for the Oscars' annual In Memoriam segment, and 2014 was no exception. The Academy seems to err on the side of not including people who are most notable for their TV work, even if they did do some film work — such as Gilligan's Island's Russell Johnson, Glee's Cory Monteith, All in the Family's Jean Stapleton and The Fresh Prince of Bel Air's James Avery. Also, the producers often edit the package so far in advance that recent deaths do not make it in. But nevertheless, there were a few notable absences that deserved mention. Please add any names we may have missed in the comments section.Dennis Farina Farina, a former Chicago cop, made his debut in Michael Mann’s 1981 film Thief, and went »
- Vulture Editors
HBO’s much praised crime anthology True Detective is nearing the climax of its engrossing eight-episode first season with a head of hard boiled steam and so many mysteries. Who really killed Dora Lange? Might our enlightenment-challenged heroes – pessimist grump Rust Cohle (Matthew McConaughey) and dim Everyman Marty Hart (Woody Harrelson) – actually be the villains? Will an otherworldly spaghetti monster soar and seize control of the godless Louisiana waste? We brought creator Nic Pizzolatto in for questioning and tried to make him spill. “In our third act, timelines, action and character all align. In that way, they may play as »
- Jeff Jensen
HBO’s much praised crime anthology True Detective is nearing the climax of its engrossing eight-episode first season with a head of hard boiled steam and so many mysteries. Who really killed Dora Lange? Might our enlightenment-challenged heroes – Nihilist grump Rust Cohle (Matthew McConaughey) and dim Everyman Marty Hart (Woody Harrelson) – actually be the villains? Will a supernatural spaghetti monster rise up from hell and seize control of the godless Louisiana waste? We brought creator Nic Pizzolatto in for questioning and tried to make him spill. “In our third act, timelines, action and character all align. In that way, they »
- Jeff Jensen
By Lee Pfeiffer
Criterion has released a dual format Blu-ray/DVD edition of director Michael Mann's 1981 crime thriller Thief starring James Caan. It's a highly impressive film on many levels, especially when one considers this was Mann's big screen feature debut. He had previously directed the acclaimed 1979 TV movie The Jericho Mile, which was set in Folsom Prison. Mann was inspired by his interaction with the world of convicts and wrote the screenplay for Thief, which is credited as being based on author Frank Hohimer's novel The Home Invaders, but he maintains virtually none of the source material ended up on screen. The story centers on Frank (James Caan), a bitter man with a troubled past. As a child he was raised in state-run homes before being sent to jail for a petty crime. Inside prison, he committed violent acts in order to defend himself but this only resulted in lengthier jail terms. »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Cinema Retro)
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