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“My mom is a storekeeper and my stepdad is a barman,” states French filmmaker Yann Danh who was 10 years old when he first became aware of the cinema. “Watching movies became almost compulsive; I used to watch three or four a day such as Once Upon a Time in America , Terminator , Evil Dead , 2001 , Serpico , Touch of Evil , Once Upon a Time in the West , Taxi Driver , and Bruce Lee movies.” The plan was to pursue a career in the video game industry changed at the age of 16. “After making my first short film [in high school], I knew cinema was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.” Every film project has been educational. “I learned how to make a shot list, »
- Trevor Hogg
For its 30th anniversary, "Once Upon a Time in America," legendary director Sergio Leone's final film, is being released on Blu-Ray this September. If you're a fan of the gangster epic, your first question might be--which version? The film has had a bit of a tortured history in the U.S. After a Cannes premiere in 1984, Leone's more than four-hour cut came to the states in a drastically edited 134-minute version that told the story in chronological order--of which Leone did not approve. In the 1990s, a three-hour version could be found on TV and a 229-minute edit made the rounds on home video. Then, in 2012, a restored cut played at Cannes but was held from wider distribution to allow for more restoration work. Now, finally, "Once Upon a Time in America" is available with its full director's cut--in fact, the Blu-Ray edition includes 22-minutes of extra footage, bringing »
- Jacob Combs
Sergio Leone's final film "Once Upon A Time In America" has gone through various different incarnations over the years. Leone originally crafted a 269 minute version, but the first public screening was his own 229 minute cut at Cannes in 1984.
Then, that version was hacked to pieces and re-arranged by others, resulting in a 139 minute version Leone didn't approve but which saw a theatrical release in the United States.
Subsequently a 180 minute version and the original 229 minute version made it to TV and home video respectively in the 1990s. A 251 minute restored version played at Cannes in 2012 but hasn't been played again since.
Now, Warner Bros. has finally announced a Blu-ray Collector's Edition of the film with the runtime also clocking in at 251 minutes. The set will also include the 1984 theatrical cut for comparison sake, along with a making-of documentary and a booklet. It's scheduled to street on September 30th.
- Garth Franklin
If DVD is indeed going the way of VHS in the next few years, with everything soon to be stored in the nebulous "cloud," the upcoming "Once Upon A Time In America" set may be one you'll want to physically own before that's no longer possible. But first, let's go through a quick history of where this movie has been. Few films over the past three decades have been through as many iterations of Sergio Leone's final effort, "Once Upon A Time In America." After premiering at Cannes in 1984, Leone's 4-hour-plus version first arrived in theaters stateside severely cut in a 134-minute version that the director didn't approve, with the story presented in chronological order. During the '90s, a three-hour version played TV and then a 229-minute cut made the rounds on home video. Then in 2012 a restored version played the Cannes Film Festival, but before it could »
- Kevin Jagernauth
Friday, June 8th, 1984 was quite a day. Homosexuality was decriminalized in New South Wales, Australia; an F5 tornado struck the town of Barnevald, Wisconsin, USA, destroying 90% of it; President Ronald Reagan attended a summit in London; the Celtics beat the Lakers 121-103 to take a 3-2 lead in the NBA finals; TV gameshow “Press Your Luck” paid out the biggest ever jackpot (to that point) of $110,000 to one Michael Larson who had figured out how to beat the system; and Cyndi Lauper’s “Time After Time” was poised to knock Deniece Williams’ “Let’s Hear It For The Boy” off the Billboard Charts number one spot. Oh, and modern classics “Ghostbusters” and “Gremlins” were both released. Coming just the week after “Once Upon a Time in America” hit screens, while “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” was still in cinemas and followed a fortnight later by both “The Karate Kid” and “Top Secret! »
- The Playlist Staff
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 »
In honor of the 2014 summer movie season, Team HitFix will be delivering a mini-series of articles flashing back to key summers from years past. There will be one each month, diving into the marquee events of the era, their impact on the writer and their implications on today's multiplex culture. We continue today with a look back at the summer of 1984. I turned 14 on May 26, 1984, just as the summer movie season was getting started. These days, the summer movie season seems to begin in mid-March, and I think it's because studios want real estate that they can own. And it feels like the appetite for event films is something the audience has year-round now, so if you're able to make something that excites the audience, why not find a place for it where it's not going head to head with all the other giant event films of the year? For the purposes of this piece, »
- Drew McWeeny
A rather uninteresting bulletin this week as the most notable titles are WB's Dolphin Tale 2 and its PG rating and Step Up All In and its PG-13. To go along with that it looks like Warner Home Video is planning a DVD and Blu-ray release of Sergio Leone's director's cut of Once Upon a Time in America as that too has been rated. Otherwise. I don't have much more to add. The complete bulletin is listed below. Altergeist Rated R For horror violence, language and some sexual content. Dinosaur 13 Rated PG For mild thematic elements, language and brief smoking. Dolphin Tale 2 Rated PG For some mild thematic elements. Release Date: September 19, 2014 A Good Man Rated R For violence including some grisly images, language and some sexuality/nudity. High School Exorcism Rated R For some violent images. The Keeping Room Rated R For strong violence including a sexual assault. »
- Brad Brevet
Leo DiCaprio thinks the guys claiming his company defamed them by calling them "inbreds" in the movie "Out of the Furnace" may not be inbreds ... but they're stupid for suing.DiCaprio's production company just asked a judge to toss the lawsuit filed by 17 members of the Ramapough Lunaape Nation -- a tribe in the Ramapo Mountains of New Jersey.The tribe's beef -- the villain of the movie, Harlan DeGroat, played by Woody Harrelson, shares »
- TMZ Staff
To mark the release of Leverage Season 5 on 14th April, we’ve been given 5 copies to give away on DVD.
The final season of this much-loved TV hit follows former insurance agency investigator Nathan Ford (Academy Award® winner Timothy Hutton) and his team of highly skilled, tech-savvy grafters in this latest instalment, which continues the edgy drama of highly successful previous seasons of the show.
Season 5 features powerful cameos from guest stars including; Cary Elwes (Liar Liar, The Princess Bride), Matthew Lillard (The Bridge, Scream),Treat Williams (127 Hours, Once Upon a Time in America), Neil Hopkins (Skyline, Detour), Adam Baldwin (Full Metal Jacket, Chuck) and Fred Ward (The Player, Escape From Alcatraz).
In this grand finale the team of former top-criminals have relocated to new headquarters in Portland, Oregon and are embarking on some of their biggest ‘unorthodox’ cases to date. This final chapter of the show explores the trust among each of the members, »
Downton Abbey's Lady Cora on her other life as the singer with Sadie and the Hotheads and why she can't act like a lady on the road
As Elizabeth McGovern outlines her itinerary for the past two weeks, one is tempted to commiserate with her: Basingstoke, Basildon, Bradford, Stevenage. It shouldn't happen to a 52-year-old actress once nominated for an Oscar and seen most recently as Lady Cora, Countess of Grantham, in Downton Abbey. But if it has been a privation touring with Sadie and the Hotheads, a seven-piece blues-folk band of which she is lead singer, guitarist and principal songwriter, then she is skilled at hiding it.
"We're having the time of our lives!" says McGovern and it's clear she means it. "We are all in a splitter van and sharing rooms at Travelodges; this isn't the luxury rock star tour, but that's part of the fun. You know, »
- Tim Lewis
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
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