12 items from 2014
Los Angeles, March 7: Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Connelly, who has been working for about three decades, says she feels "happy in my own life and I feel like somehow that's really liberating".
Ever since her debut in 1984 release "Once Upon a Time in America", Connelly has come a long way. With about 40 films to her credit and an Oscar, Golden Globe and BAFTA awards in her kitty, the 43-year-old enjoys working more now and said: "I love what I do."
"It is a different experience, I don't know if it's because of that for me, or just getting older. Those might not be the things, but you worry less about things that. »
- Diksha Singh
Interview Simon Brew 27 Feb 2014 - 05:44
In the first of a two part look back at his career, James Woods chats to us about family, Scorsese, Stone, Leone and more...
It took a false start or two before we finally got James Woods on the end of the phone. There was no agent connecting us, no middle person to monitor what we were saying. Just a problem with a charging cable, oddly enough.
When we were connected, we launched into an interview that was intended to last 15 minutes, but as it turned out, it passed the hour mark. And heck, we got through a lot: so much, that we've split this interview into two articles. A genuinely fascinating man.
Regular readers will know that we've been long-time fans of James Woods - as highlighted by our look at some of his least appreciated films, here - and as our conversation started, »
Simon Columb continues our Al Pacino Retrospective with The Godfather Part II....
Is The Godfather Part II superior to The Godfather? In a lively discussion on sequels, film fanatic Randy Meeks (Jamie Kennedy) in Scream 2, argues how “sequels suck”. But, unlike Terminator 2: Judgement Day and Aliens, The Godfather Part II stumps him. It covers a greater space of time, tells a grander story and turns what was a family-centred, but nevertheless New York “Gangshter” story, into a personal drama set on an epic, ambitious scale.
Though the dialogue in The Godfather holds iconic and memorable lines, definitive scenes in The Godfather Part II show Michael Corleone’s true menace revealing itself. The Godfather portrays his sinister and deeply-calculated methods of management, but they are subtle and carefully-constructed. He recommends the hit on Solozzo and MacCluskey; he marries Kay (Diane Keaton) to maintain a strong family unit; he settles »
- Gary Collinson
Joy Todd, a casting director whose career in Hollywood spanned more than three decades, has died. Her granddaughter, Heather Daimion, confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter that Todd passed away on Feb. 18 in San Diego. Todd has been credited with presiding over casting for more than thirty feature films, including Ghostbusters, Playing for Keeps, Rambo III, Gettysberg, Of Gods and Generals and The Next Karate Kid. Todd cast Sergio Leone's Once Upon a Time in America and Ridley Scott's Someone to Watch Over Me. She also worked on Sidney Lumet's Network, A Stranger Among Us, Prince of the City, Q&A and other titles.
- Erik Hayden
Casting director Joy Todd, whose credits include Sergio Leone’s “Once Upon a Time in America,” “Demolition Man,” “Rambo III” and Sidney Lumet films including “Prince of the City” and “The Verdict,” died Feb. 18 of natural causes.
Todd started out in Philadelphia as an actress and standup comedienne. She had small parts in shows including “Act I,” “Hello, Dolly” “Naked City” In Las Vegas, she was the comedy relief in a book show called “That Certain Girl,” with Walter Slezak, Virginia Mayo and Dennis O’Keefe, and she also worked in some night clubs on the Canadian border.
Shortly thereafter, Todd did her first casting work, for Marty Richards (now a Broadway and film producer), who needed help casting film extras in New York. She then assisted Ralph Serpe, exec producer for Dino De Laurentiis on “Mandingo,” in Louisiana.
She kept an office in New York from 1976-93. Her first »
- Variety Staff
The boisterous and entertaining new Bollywood buddy-gangster melodrama “Gunday” is set mostly in the 1980s, and in its plot and characters it harks back strongly to the anti-heroic, still-beloved Amitabh Bachchan blockbusters of that period. Even its title treatment is intended to spark nostalgia, typographically evoking the classic 1975 Bachchan vehicle “Sholay.” Indeed, the film’s production company, Yash Raj Films, and its exuberantly gifted young writer-director, Ali Abbas Zafar (2011′s “My Brother’s Bride”), seem to be positioning the film as the culmination of a recent trend toward old-fashioned dal-and-roti (meat-and-potatoes) actioners, as exemplified by the recent likes of “R. Rajkumar,” “Bullet Raja” and, worst of all, the Salman Khan headbanger “Jai Ho.” It’s off to a good start with nearly $5 million in its first two days.
The storyline is the element that owes the most to the macho masala pictures of the 1980s, centering as it does upon »
- David Chute
Between director Lars von Trier’s custom “persona non grata” T-shirt and star Shia Labeouf’s press-conference walkout and paper-bag mask, “Nymphomaniac Vol. 1” generated at least as much attention offscreen as it did on Sunday afternoon at the Berlin Film Festival. Meanwhile, inside the packed 1,600-seat Berlinale Palast, audiences got their first look at the bigger, longer and uncut version of von Trier’s magnum opus — or, at least, the first part of it, with the uncut “Vol. 2” expected to premiere at another high-profile festival sometime later in the year.
And there was quite a lot more to see — 30 minutes’ worth, to be exact — of the Danish director’s bifurcated magnum opus, compared with the edited version released commercially in Europe last December and screened at the Sundance Film Festival last month. But both in the lobby following the screening and on social media afterward, many critics — including this one »
- Scott Foundas
Blu-ray Date: March 25, 2014
Price: Blu-ray $24.99
Studio: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Robert De Niro (Once Upon a Time in America), Jerry Lewis (Rock-a-Bye Baby) and Sandra Bernhard (The Best of An Evening at The Improv) star in Martin Scorsese’s (Shutter Island) unsettling The King of Comedy, a 1983 black comedy that explores the painfully high and often hilarious price of fame.
Desperate to be a star, struggling stand-up comedian Rupert Pupkin (De Niro) enlists the aid of his fanatical friend Masha (Bernhard) to kidnap talk show host Jerry Langford (Lewis). The ransom demands? A guest spot for Pupkin on Langford’s show.
Fox’s 30th Anniversary Blu-ray release of The King of Comedy marks the film’s long-awaited Blu-ray debut.
The Blu-ray edition of the PG-rated film includes the following »
Tori Brazier continues our Al Pacino Retrospective with a look at The Godfather...
Regularly topping polls as one of the greatest and most influential films ever made, Francis Ford Coppola’s 1972 masterpiece The Godfather needs very little introduction. Suffice it to say, the film deserves every one of its accolades (including three Academy Award wins and seven nominations) and every inch of its stellar reputation amongst film fans and critics alike.
Based on the 1969 novel of the same name by Mario Puzo (who co-wrote the screenplay with Coppola), The Godfather tells the story of a fictional New York mob family headed by patriarch and ‘Don’ Vito Corleone (Marlon Brando). It focuses on the gradual moral corruption of his youngest and brightest son Michael (Al Pacino), who begins the film in 1945 as a decorated war hero and college-educated family outsider, but ends it as a ruthless Mafia boss operating out of »
- Gary Collinson
Joel and Ethan Coen have built a reputation as two of the most visionary and idiosyncratic filmmakers working today. Dabbling in Film Noir to screwball comedy, from off-beat indies to big-budget studio pieces, their films are adored by critics and audiences alike. The two-man writer-director-producer-editor team, have long been regarded by cinephiles as masters of the craft. Choosing our favourite Coen Bros. film isn’t an easy task, but we asked our staff to rank their films from favourite to least favourite. The results were interesting, with Fargo running away with first place, and two of their 16 films not producing enough votes to justify making the cut (The Lady Killers, Intolerable Cruelty). Here are the results. Let us know which is your favourite Coen Bros. film?
13. Burn After Reading, 2008
Interview Duncan Bowles 17 Jan 2014 - 06:59
Spoiler alert: this article contains spoilers for seasons one and two of The Walking Dead.
Jon Bernthal is one busy man at the moment. With filming just wrapped on the forthcoming World War II action drama Fury, in which he’ll star alongside Brad Pitt under the helm of the rather fantastic David Ayer, he’s currently in multiplexes in not one, but two big movies – Grudge Match with Stallone and De Niro (due out in the UK on the 24th January) and the superb The Wolf of Wall Street, which most of us here at Den of Geek just can’t recommend enough.
Of course The Walking Dead fans will already be familiar with the calibre of his acting »
Recently, Wamg was treated to a delicious Italian meal with real-life (former) mobster Ronald ‘Ronnie’ Lorenzo, and several other members of the press, to celebrate the release of The Family on DVD. Check out some of the dinner chat below!
Here is a little background on Ronnie Lorenzo:
According to the newspapers, Ronnie was “allegedly” associated with the Bonanno family. The Bonanno crime family is known to be one of the ‘five families’ within the Mafia that controls organized crime actvities in New York. Aside from his ‘family’, Ronnie has been around ‘street guys’ for his entire life since he was just 12 years old.
Ronnie was born on January 4th 1946 in New York City. When he was very young Ronnie was in the Firework Business, then he opened after-hours clubs (many with gambling) around the city. He was also involved in a few discos… and the last club he owned »
- Melissa Howland
12 items from 2014
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