12 items from 2017
Author: Jon Lyus
Antonio Banderas is one of the more recognisable faces (and certainly one of the most recognisable voices) in Hollywood. His presence in front of the camera is tangible, and the variety of roles he enjoys now is testament to a versatility few could have expected of the man who came to Tinsel Town barely speaking a word of English.
He has been a masked legend (twice, one furry – the other not so), played with another kind of mask (horrifcally so – see the final note), appeared opposite the likes of Sir Anthony Hopkins, Johnny Depp, Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise, Angelina Jolie and Spongebob Squarepants. He’s done it all, and now a new film of his arrives on DVD this week.
Security sees the actor as an ex-Special Forces vet taking a job as a security guard. On his first night he rescues a young girl fleeing from a hijacked convey, »
- Jon Lyus
Well, here’s some news you probably never thought you’d read: Terry Gilliam has taken to Facebook to announce that he’s wrapped production on his long-gestating passion project The Man Who Killed Don Quixote!
Gilliam has spent the best part of two decades trying to get his adaptation of Miguel de Cervantes’ classic novel off the ground. He came close in 2000 with a cast that included Jean Rochefort as Don Quixote and Johnny Depp as his lead character Toby, only for the production to encounter numerous difficulties before it was eventually abandoned (and documented in the 2002 film Lost in La Mancha).
This take on the project stars Jonathan Pryce (Game of Thrones) as Quixote and Adam Driver (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) as Toby, while the rest of the cast includes Olga Kurylenko (Quantum of Solace), Stellan Skarsgård (Avengers: Age of Ultron), Joana Ribeiro (A Uma Hora Incerta »
- Gary Collinson
We're celebrating Pedro Almodóvar all week. Here's Spencer Coile on his first Oscar nominee...
Almodóvar is always at his best when also at his zaniest. Through a healthy mix of wacky characters and a unique color palette, he manages to imbue his stories with enough humor, drama, and wit to make any skeptic reconsider his artistry. Such is the case with his 1988 film, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown. Telling the story of TV actress Pepa (Carmen Maura, Almodóvar most-enduring muse), we are plunged into a world of absurdity, loss, and the cocktails we make to cure us of our loneliness. After serving as his international breakthrough, receiving a Best Foreign Language Film Oscar nomination and inspiring a Broadway musical of the same name, it is no surprise that Women on the Verge has secured its place in the top tier of Almodóvar's filmography... »
- Spencer Coile
Pedro Almodóvar bounces back with an absorbing saga of a mother and daughter told in an interesting style. A woman feels isolated, powerless, alone and anguished about what has happened in her life. Is any of it her fault? Or is all of it her fault? How do we hold relationships together, or do they fall apart no matter what we do? Highly rewarding dramas still exist; they don’t all go begging for Oscar nominations… just learn to read subtitles and you too can find out how the rest of the world lives.
2016 / Color / 1:85 widescreen / 99 min. / Street Date March 21, 2017 / 30.99
Cinematography: Jean-Claude Larrieu
Film Editor: José Salcedo
Original Music: Alberto Iglesias
Produced by Augustín Almodóvar, »
- Glenn Erickson
This female centered film looks at Julieta, in her older and younger days, as she navigates through her story as a brokenhearted woman who faces the painful mystery of her long alienation from her daughter.
The bonus materials on the Blu-ray and DVD will include two featurettes featuring commentaries from Pedro Almodovar, Rossy de Palma and Adriana Ugarte. It also has a red carpet presentation and look into the opening night at the Museum of Modern Art’s Almodover Retrospective in “Celebrating Director Pedro Almodovar.”
Here’s the official synopsis:
In Julieta, »
- Gig Patta
19 March 2017 3:51 PM, PDT | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »
Antoni Llorens, producer of Pedro Almodovar’s landmark 1988 film Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown and a longtime independent distributor in Spain, died over the weekend in Barcelona. He was 76. The cause of death was not revealed.
The charismatic founder and CEO of Lauren Films, Llorens, with a knack for anticipating trends, was arguably the Spanish film industry’s most international player in the 1980s and '90s. Llorens produced 15 films, including the Oscar-nominated Women, which put Almodovar on the international radar, and distributed up to 104 titles a year, including Pulp Fiction, Cinema Paradiso, Terminator and all »
- Pamela Rolfe
As announced last year (when the project was delayed once again), Star Wars: The Force Awakens star Adam Driver is set to take on the lead role originally portrayed by Johnny Depp in the abandoned 2000 version. However, it seems that Gilliam regular Jonathan Pryce (Brazil, The Adventures of Baron Munchausen) will now take on the role of Quixote, replacing Michael Palin (who himself replaced John Hurt, Robert Duvall and Jean Rochefort).
Joining Driver and Pryce in the cast are Olga Kurylenko (Quantum of Solace), Stellan Skarsgård (Avengers: Age of Ultron), Joana Ribeiro (A Uma Hora Incerta), Eva Basteiro-Bertoli (Black Bread) and Rossy de Palma (Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown).
Here’s the official synopsis for the project, »
- Gary Collinson
Internationally acclaimed auteur and Academy Award winner Pedro Almodóvar (Best Writing, Original Screenplay, Talk to Her, 2002) is back in the director’s chair for his 20th feature film when Julieta debuts on Blu-ray™, DVD and digital March 21 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. Emma Suárez (Vacas) and Adriana Ugarte (Palmeras En La Nieve) share the title role as older and younger versions of the same character in the story of a brokenhearted woman who faces the painful mystery of her long alienation from her daughter during flashbacks on her life and the most important events concerning her estranged daughter. Julieta also stars Daniel Grao (Julia’s Eyes), Inma Cuesta (The Bride), Darío Grandinetti (Talk to Her), Michelle Jenner (Our Lovers) and Rossy de Palma (Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown).
- Tom Stockman
Aaron is joined by Matt Gasteier, who participates in our first game show and shares his insights on the latest from Criterion. We pay homage to Seijun Suzuki, the IMDb message boards, and share our opinions on Lone Wolf & Club, Pedro Almodovar, and a lot of other directors and films.
2:15 – In Memoriam. Seijun Suzuki, IMDb Message Boards
10:00 – Matt’s opinion on the May Announcements
14:20 – Aaron’s Game for Matt
20:15 – Flash Sale Predictions
22:30 – Ugetsu 4K Restoration
36:00 – Short Takes (Lone Wolf & Cub, The Housemaid)
46:50 – FilmStruck
Episode Links Criterion – Seijun Suzuki IMDb Message Boards Janus Films – Ugetsu MacGruber 2 Episode Credits Aaron West: Twitter | Website | Letterboxd Matt Gasteier: Twitter | Letterboxd Criterion Now: Twitter Criterion Cast: Facebook | Twitter
Music for the show is from Fatboy Roberts’ Geek Remixed project.
- Aaron West
It’s only February, yet The Criterion Collection has already released two exceptional screwball comedies this 2017. The first, His Girl Friday, released last month (and reviewed by David Blakeslee here), is a film that comes to mind whenever the term “screwball comedy” is bandied about. The second is Pedro Almodóvar’s 1988 film Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown.
Almodóvar, particularly at this early point in his career, was better known for dark comedies that did all they could to confront and provoke and remind everyone that with the demise of Franco’s regime Almodóvar intended to utilize a newly discovered freedom of expression, so the film’s provenance, combined with the film’s dark premise, means that the delirious, escalating light comedy of Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown will come as a surprise (a pleasant surprise, I think) to first-time watchers familiar with the rest of Almodóvar’s work. »
- Trevor Berrett
Every week we dive into the cream of the crop when it comes to home releases, including Blu-ray and DVDs, as well as recommended deals of the week. Check out our rundown below and return every Tuesday for the best (or most interesting) films one can take home. Note that if you’re looking to support the site, every purchase you make through the links below helps us and is greatly appreciated.
Fireworks Wednesday (Asghar Farhadi)
After a festival tour back in 2006, Asghar Farhadi’s Fireworks Wednesday was theatrically re-released by the newly established Grasshopper Films, and now it’s arriving on DVD. The drama is another precisely calibrated, culturally specific demonstration of Farhadi’s skills in constructing empathy machines. Further in line with the director’s filmography, this story has a nesting-doll structure that combines ingrained social hierarchies, domestic drama, and a tragic intersection of misunderstandings. And while it »
- The Film Stage
The Criterion Collection 855
1988 / Color / 1:85 widescreen / 89 min. / Mujeres al borde de un ataque de nervios / available through The Criterion Collection / Street Date February 21, 2017 / 39.95
Starring Carmen Maura, Fernando Guillén, Antonio Banderas, Julieta Serrano, Rossy de Palma, María Barranco, Kiti Manver, Guillermo Montesinos, Chus Lampreave, Yayo Calvo, Loles León, Ángel de Andrés López, José Antonio Navarro.
Cinematography: José Luis Alcaine
Film Editor: José Salcedo
Original Music: Bernardo Bonezzi
Produced by: Augustin Almodóvar
Written and Directed by Pedro Almodóvar
Connected film festival attendees learned about Pedro Almodóvar before everybody else, especially if they had an understanding of new developments in Spanish cinema. Film school had shown us nothing but the very exceptional work of Luis Buñuel, most of which is really from Mexico and France. In the 1980s we Angelenos were just getting access to films by the old-school ‘traditional’ rebel Spaniards Carlos Saura and Juan Antonio Bardem. »
- Glenn Erickson
12 items from 2017
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