1-20 of 155 items from 2014 « Prev | Next »
Twenty-five years ago this week, the Fred Savage movie The Wizard hit theaters. For many '80s babies, this was required viewing - either to see a first glimpse of the yet-to-be-released Super Mario Bros. 3 or to see what the Wonder Years star looked like in contemporary clothes. Critics, however, dismissed this video-gaming, road trip movie as a showcase for Nintendo products. Roger Ebert's review began on a sharply sarcastic note: "This is a movie that has everything going for it, except for a good script, a believable premise and common sense." Today, The Wizard stands as a reminder »
- Drew Mackie, @drewgmackie
Legend has is that the seventh son of a seventh son is born with certain special powers, which, in Joseph Delaney’s “Wardstone Chronicles” fantasy-lit series, include the ability to see supernatural beings and, potentially, to kill witches. But given the unusually long gestation period for Universal’s film adaptation, “Seventh Son” — which opens in the U.S. on Feb. 6, nearly a year later than originally planned — one shouldn’t be all that surprised to discover some pretty significant birth defects, among them a tired plot, some very unspecial effects, and a pair of grotesquely uneven performances from Jeff Bridges and Julianne Moore.
Considering that Universal was still licking its wounds from the pricey Keanu Reeves debacle “47 Ronin” (like this project, an extravagant vfx-driven tentpole from a Russian director ill suited for Hollywood) when “Seventh Son” was supposed to open last February, it makes sense that the distributor opted to »
- Peter Debruge
Project For Awesome (aka P4A) 2014 is over. And it raised more than $1.2 million for a handful of fantastic causes.
The annual online video charity drive conceived of by the fraternal pair of Hank and John Green (known to their 2.4+ million YouTube subscribers as the Vlogbrothers) way back in 2007 with the altruistic goal of decreasing worldsuck started collecting cash for its eight installment on December 10, 2014. And before it concluded and turned into a pumpkin at midnight on December 16, 2014, the initiative raised $1,226,382 from donations by way of The Foundation To Decrease World Suck website (and yes, it’s an actual volunteer-run and IRS designated 501(c)3 charitable organization), more donations via the Nerdcrafteria Minecraft server, even more donations from anonymous donors, and the P4A IndieGoGo campaign.
The IndieGoGo campaign is by far Project For Awesome’s greatest source of cash, accounting for more than $773,639 this year donated by at least 21,734 individuals »
- Joshua Cohen
In case you weren't aware, director Jason Reitman (Juno, Young Adult, Up In The Air) stages monthly live performances of movie scripts at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. He has previously put on readings of the likes of The Princess Bride, American Beauty, and The Apartment, but his latest is a bit of a departure: Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. Reitman has revealed several of his cast members to EW, and they include Breaking Bad's Aaron Paul as Luke Skywalker and the great J.K. Simmons (Spider-Man, Whiplash) as his dear old daddy, Darth Vader. There's also Stephen Merchant as C-3P0, Kevin Pollack as Yoda, and Dennis Haysbert as Lando Calrissian. Apparently we'll find out who'll play Princess Leia, Han Solo and the rest later today. You can hear from Reitman on why he chose that particular cast at the link below, and you can purchase »
Aaron Paul is taking on the role of Luke Skywalker in a one-night-only live-read of "The Empire Strikes Back." The three-time Emmy winner from "Breaking Bad" will perform the role for director Jason Reitman this Thursday at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. It is part of a very popular ongoing series of live shows produced by Reitman, including previous ones for "The Princess Bride," "Ghostbusters," "American Beauty," and "The Apartment." All casting decisions have not yet been unveiled, but here are the ones now known: Oscar contender J.K. Simmons (Darth Vader), Stephen Merchant (C-3Po), Dennis Haysbert (Lando Calrissian), and Kevin Pollak (Yoda). Entertainment Weekly -Break- The 2015 inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame will be Green Day, Ringo Starr, Lou Reed, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Paul Butterfield Blues Band, "5" Royales, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble, and Bill Withers. El »
Instead of “Yo, bitch …” now it’s “Yoda, bitch.” (Sorry, couldn't resist.) Breaking Bad’s Aaron Paul will take on the role of Luke Skywalker in director Jason Reitman’s one-night-only live-read of The Empire Strikes Back this Thursday, while fearsome Whiplash star J.K. Simmons will let the hate flow through him as Darth Vader. It’s part of an ongoing series of live performances of movie scripts Reitman stages each month, bringing in new actors to create a kind of cover version of beloved films. He has previously staged live-reads of The Princess Bride, Ghostbusters, American Beauty, and The Apartment, »
- Anthony Breznican
I've sort of just sat back in muted horror all week as a lot of entertainment journalists have finally gotten their moment in the sun, to act like the Fourth Estate in the wake of the Sony hack, to act as if bitchy emails and spreadsheets documenting famous people's salaries somehow equate to The Pentagon Papers. I've read my computer screen, mouth agape, as writers have tried to explain it away as an unprecedented gray area, when all I see is fundamental black and white. The ethical ickiness has been shrill and it's been shrieking. It seems "The Newsroom" creator Aaron Sorkin (no stranger to hot button issues, he) feels similarly. Sorkin wrote the script for an upcoming Steve Jobs biopic that made for much of the early fodder in this mess as it was chewed over in private emails between producer Scott Rudin and Sony co-chair Amy Pascal. Taking »
- Kristopher Tapley
-by Missi Pyle
I have seen The Princess Bride about 200 times. I remember I saw it in the theater as a Double Feature with my friend Christy Brown in the 8th grade. It was playing with Dirty Dancing randomly. And when both movies were over. My friend Christy was totally floored by Dirty Dancing and I thought she was an idiot. I was like - wait the Princess Bride is the Best Movie ever Made. And she was like - no- Dirty Dancing.
The friendship didn't last.
But I just kept watching that movie over and over. I think it's where I developed most of my sense of humor. I have gotten to meet several people from that movie: Cary Elwes, Mandy Patinkin, Wallace Shawn. I never know what to say. I just can't even handle it.
I know its a lot of people's favorite movie. I don't care. »
- GUEST CONTRIBUTOR
Former Downton Abbey star Dan Stevens has always preferred the "slightly more absurd" versions of the King Arthur legend (think Monty Python and the Holy Grail), so it's with that spirit that he steps into the role of Lancelot in the third installment of the Night of the Museum franchise, Secret of the Tomb, out on Friday. This time, Ben Stiller travels to the U.K. and, with his magic tablet, makes figures at the British Museum come to life. "Inside this tin suit that is on display there comes out this totally imaginary, fictional character," Stevens said. "He's obviously not real, even though he thinks he is." Stevens prepped by watching a lot of sword fighting from Errol Flynn films as well as The Princess Bride ("a big influence") so that he could embody the spirit of a lost knight who thinks he's on a holy quest. The actor »
- Jennifer Vineyard
2014 has been yet another fantastic year for television, one that continued the nichification of the medium, with highly specific and underrepresented voices breaking through in every genre. There was a comedy explosion, particularly on cable, with dozens of new series presenting confident first seasons and several returning shows reaching new heights. The dramas didn’t disappoint either, with visionary creators bringing new life to familiar settings and taking greater risks with their returning series, deepening their worlds. Throughout the year, directors and cinematographers brought lush visuals, composers pushed the auditory envelope, and an astonishing number of actors gave fantastic, memorable performances. More than a few shows delivered spectacle on a weekly basis, while others went small, deriving incredible power out of stillness and self-reflection. Some series swept the audience up, week in and week out, and others built subtly, only showing their hand in their season’s final episodes. There »
The challenge in making a romantic comedy is the thing that keeps the couple apart. Most people who meet cute in real life don’t have that many obstacles in front of them, and the genre has suffered from too many starlets attempting to find new ways to keep the obvious from happening. What If, which stars Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan as the people destined to be together, finds a novel spin on the genre, and as directed by Michael Dowse tries to find ways of avoiding the obvious pot holes of the genre. It makes it a film that mostly succeeds by what it doesn’t do, and my review of the Blu-ray follows after the jump. Radcliffe stars as Wallace, who is moping about because his last girlfriend cheated on him. He goes to a party thrown by his best friend Allan (Adam Driver) where he meets »
- Andre Dellamorte
Fans of the 1987 film The Princess Bride are excited about star Cary Elwes's book about the making of the film, and it's been making us reminisce about the romantic fantasy classic. The movie is memorable for so many reasons (like Robin Wright's breathtaking beauty, Elwes's breathtaking beauty, Andre the Giant, and R.O.U.S.s), but it may be most famous for its quotable lines. We've rounded up the best ones, which, incidentally, you can still use in your everyday life. »
It's a darker episode for Atlantis this week, but a well-written and strongly acted one. Here's Dave's review...
This review contains spoilers.
2.4 The Marriage Of True Mind
Let's begin with a short recap of tonight's action. Having failed to secure Atlantis for herself, Pasiphae is worshipping the dark gods and it's revealed, in short order, that Telemon is working with the wicked woman. He’s been promised a place in her court when she comes to power as long as he leads Ariadne to her death.
Convincing Ariadne that he needs his father's blessing for the marriage, Telemon manages to draw the Queen out of the court, much to the concern of Jason. Unable to convince her she's doing the wrong thing, Jason, Pythagoras and Hercules set out to ensure the Queen remains safe and join the retinue that will escort her.
As chaos ensues, Telemon seizes the opportunity to attack, »
Two thoroughly handsome Hollywood actor types grace the podcast booth with their presence this week, namely Jude Law, here to talk about his new submarine thriller Black Sea, as well as Cary Elwes, here to talk about this new making of The Princess Bride book, As You Wish. Picking between the two would be inconceivable.In a extra-long news section, Bond 24 - sorry, Spectre - gets a good going over, as does the casting of Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange, and much of Hollywood's finest now signing on for Suicide Squad. Plus, all the reviews and abuse you're used to from the Empire Podcast team.P.S. You can check out our podcast photo gallery here and subscribe to the Empire Podcast via our iTunes page or this handy RSS feed. You can subscribe to the magazine here if you like it in paper form, or here if you prefer things digitally. »
Along with a U.K. poster and French trailer, Lionsgate has released the first Wild Card image online, and it could easily be from just about any other Jason Statham action-thriller. That's how much his movies blend together, although this one is particularly amusing in that his character's name is Nick Wild. That puts it one step above his previous action films that could have been improved by naming the characters Jerry Mechanic, Howard Homefront, Billy Safe, Jack Blitz, and so forth. In Wild Card, Nick Wild (hoo-boy) is a Las Vegas bodyguard with a gambling addiction and lethal skills, but when he beats a mob boss' son in an act of revenge, he must fight against the criminal underworld. That sounds painfully generic, but here's where it gets interesting: the film pairs Simon West—director of Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, The Mechanic, and Stolen among other crappy movies (excluding Con Air)—and William Goldman, »
- Matt Goldberg
If you're looking for Jason Statham to return to a lead role that gives him a little more meat to chew on than The Expendables 3, then might I direct your attention to the Lionsgate film Wild Card. Directed by Simon West (The Expendables 2, The Mechanic), and scripted by the infamous William Goldman (Marathon Man, The Princess Bride), Wild Card finds Jason Statham in over his head with the mob as he looks to to fight his way out. The international trailer for the flick has hit, which »
- Sean Wist
At a loss for what to watch this week? From new DVDs and Blu-rays, to what's streaming on Netflix, we've got you covered.
New on DVD and Blu-ray
Dame Helen Mirren plays a snobby French restaurateur/chef who's none too pleased when her new neighbors, the Kadam family, open up their own restaurant next door to hers. Manish Dayal co-stars Hassan, the young chef at the Maison Mumbai whose talent wins over grumbly Madame Mallory, as well as her cute sous chef, Marguerite (Charlotte Le Bon). Oprah Winfrey and Steven Spielberg produced this feel-good foodie film from Swedish director Lasse Hallström. Here's an exclusive clip from the DVD/Blu-ray, just for you.
- Jenni Miller
This week, Neil Calloway was badgered by PR emails …
I don’t know where it came from; I certainly didn’t ask for it, didn’t sign up to it, had never heard of the person who sent it me, but it popped into my inbox at 9.45 on Monday morning.
It was a press release, telling me how well the latest Hunger Games had done at the UK box office. It was the biggest opening weekend of the year, taking in £12.6 million. Impressive business, which any film would be proud of. The email continued “This figure is a 4% increase on the franchise’s prior instalment marking a record-breaking opening for Lionsgate UK as well as being their widest release to date. The film also accounted for 2 of every 3 cinema tickets sold this weekend.”
Something seemed odd. The percentage increase, the “2 of every 3”, these seemed like words a soulless financial company »
- Oli Davis
Everybody has that one movie that they've watched so many times, "knowing it by heart" doesn't even begin to describe the relationship. It's the film that you drop everything to watch when it comes on TV, or that you bought and wore out the VHS copy, and then the DVD and the Blu-Ray... and you're still happy to watch it again on Netflix. Maybe it all started with what your family liked to watch (or what they hated) or what ended up in your stocking at holiday time, or what you fell in love with at the theater. Below, the HitFix editorial staff shares its most-watched movies of all time. What is yours? Tell us in the comments! Donna Dickens "Titanic" I was that fourteen year old girl. The one that saw “Titanic” in theaters multiple times (my personal tally was seven.) I bought the VHS two-pack. I recorded the »
- HitFix Staff
A review of tonight's "Lovecraft" coming up just as soon as I'm a butler, not a valet... When "Gotham" began the development process, all the news reports suggested it would be focused entirely on Jim Gordon and the future Bat-villains. It wasn't until much later on — presumably after much discussion between Fox and Warner Bros. about how best to promote the show — that it became a Bruce Wayne origin story as much as anything else. And in the show's early episodes, the scenes with Alfred and Master Bruce felt like the most extraneous pieces of an overstuffed show. And of the show's future villains, Selina was always the one least connected to what was happening in the rest of the series. (The show did less with Nygma, but it wasn't hard to just have him show up for a few minutes at crime scenes at the precinct.) The last few weeks, »
- Alan Sepinwall
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