1-20 of 131 items from 2011 « Prev | Next »
Having spent the last year sat in screening rooms and cinemas watching over 200 of 2011′s cinematic offerings, it stands to reason that I’m going to have to sit through a fair share of duds. As I had seen the vast majority of the key Oscar plays before November, I spent the latter part of the year dedicating myself to seeking out the worst, most lowest common denominator fare ripe for a skewering, and with these twenty dreadful pictures, we have what are, in my opinion, the 20 biggest train wrecks of 2011. Note that Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star is still awaiting worldwide DVD release and didn’t get distribution in the U.K., so that’s one that I was forced to avoid, but I’m assured that it’s irredeemably horrible nevertheless. Anyway, on with the list…
20. Shark Night 3D
(David R. Ellis / Tomatometer: 16%)
Director David R. Ellis »
- Shaun Munro
Spike Lee is returning to familiar territory for his latest movie -- er, joint. "Red Hook Summer," which will premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on Jan. 22, depicts a diverse set of characters sweating out the summer in Brooklyn, according to a new synopsis released by the festival. Also read: Spike Lee, Stephen Frears, Julie Delpy Films to Premiere at Sundance But it's not just summer in Brooklyn that Lee is going back to. He also reprises his role as Mookie from 1989's "Do the Right Thing," which launched Lee into the ranks »
- Kurt Orzeck
It was a bit of a letdown for fans when Colin Firth opted out of the villain role he was offered in Spike Lee's "Oldboy," but now the "Do The Right Thing" director might have found a suitable replacement. The latest rumor is that Lee has turned to his "Inside Man" star Clive Owen to potentially take the part.
Twitch is reporting that Owen has been offered a role in the upcoming project. Meanwhile, the site has also learned that "Alice in Wonderland" star Mia Wasikowska has been offered a major role as well. She would play the female lead that was previously offered to Rooney Mara.
Josh Brolin has already joined the project as its main character, and is the only actor officially signed on to Lee's remake.
"Oldboy" follows the story of a man who is kidnapped on his daughter's birthday and was held for 15 years in »
- Terri Schwartz
The plot, acting and script are all pathetic, but I love the musical Grease for its singing and dancing – and not in an ironic way
The easy way out would be to make some great claim for very little. To say I love it because of its celebration of white working-class culture or the campest rendition of heteronormative adolescence to make it out of 70s cinema. I'd be lying if I said these justifications had never crossed my mind; I've tried to overexplain it to myself a number of times. After all, the plot, acting and script are all pathetic. And most of the other films I really like – Torch Song Trilogy, Do The Right Thing, Quiz Show – have a point. But when it comes down to it I have to admit there are really just two basic reasons why I love Grease – the singing and the dancing.
Right from the opening sequence, »
- Gary Younge
Peter Kimpton tops up our writers' favourite film series with an ode to Charles Laughton's 1955 thriller, a tale as dark and disquieting as a half-forgotten dream
Want to write your own review of the film? Do so here – or brave the cut-throat comments section below
Motionless for 90 minutes, I could not even remove my coat. I sweated and shivered. I felt in shock. Was the film recreating scenes from my sleep? I had never seen, as far as I can recall, The Night of the Hunter. That is until a cold, wintry night in the 1990s when, working in Glasgow, I went to the city's Gft cinema to catch a new 35mm print of Charles Laughton's 1955 masterpiece. It was his only film as a director. Critics panned it on its release, consequently killing off the actor's career behind the camera, and perhaps robbing history of further works of greatness. »
- Peter Kimpton
There is no such thing as ‘sacred’ anymore. To suggest that any film is inviolable in the modern era is unfortunately not the case, remakes are omnipresent. I completely understand why studios endure the ‘lack of creativity’ insults thrown at them and Hollywood as a whole. Money. A big budget film failing can deal a killer blow to any studio; turning to a ready made fanbase enables them to pretty much ensure a success. Even the fans who are so disgusted at the idea of a remake buy a ticket just to confirm they were right. I know this because I bought a ticket to Let Me In. It is the exact same reason that every half decent young-adult novel with good sales is being adapted.
OldBoy and Akira respectively are held in extremely high regard, both with very niche fan bases and a penchant for extreme violence, at first »
- Dan Lewis
Just about every film at Sundance is a world premiere. So why is there a "Premieres" section, and how is it different than the Competition or the Spotlight or the New Frontiers or the Next or...okay, I think that's all of them. Sundance describes Premieres as "a showcase of some of the most highly anticipated dramatic films of the coming year from new and established directors" and Documentary Premieres as "about big subjects or by master filmmakers that showcase the power of the form."
Basically, what it really means is here's where you find the attention-grabbers at Sundance. These are the big honking movies, the movies featuring Hollywood directors and talent coming down from their Valhalla of craft services and video village to get their hands dirty with the independents. These are the movies that have the biggest red carpets and the majority of the press coverage (see this post).
True to form, »
- Matt Singer
If Spike Lee's first feature film in four years (alliteration! and not counting the many documentaries he's done in that time) isn't enough to get you excited for Sundance, then we just don't know what to tell you. Lee will take "Red Hook Summer" to Park City, and no, it's not a sequel to "Do The Right Thing" as rumored. Instead, the mysterious project has been revealed to be centering around a young boy from Atlanta who heads to the titular neighborhood to spend the summer with his grandfather who he's never met. At some point, he will apparently run in to Lee's Mookie who is said to be making an appearance of some kind in a cameo role. Otherwise, this one is rounded by a batch of lesser known names including Clarke Peters, Jules Brown, Toni Lysaith, James Ransone and Thomas Jefferson Byrd. Meanwhile, the endlessly busy "Man On Wire »
Though Sundance tends to be stereotyped as the place for heavy, dour stories of shattered lives, it’s actually a great place for comedies. Think Napoleon Dynamite, Little Miss Sunshine, The Kids Are All Right, and last year ‘s Our Idiot Brother and Cedar Rapids.
- Anthony Breznican
[flv width="600" height="450"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ABe7NYRG_54[/flv] Do the right thing, people. Watch this video and vote, vote, vote! I know you don't really need another reason to vote for The Vampire Diaries to win big at the People's Choices Awards, but the cast has just given us one more in the form of an outstanding video message to the show's fans. Nina Dobrev (up for Favorite TV Drama Actress) and Kat Graham channel their inner cheerleaders, while Ian Somerhalder (up for Favorite TV Drama Actor) and Joseph Morgan basically just smolder the hell out of the camera. And isn't that all they really need to do? Watch the video above, then head over to the official People's Choice Awards website to cast your vote! The Vampire Diaries is up for five awards, and you can vote once every day. The show didn't win any last year, so please restore my faith in humanity by helping »
- Andy Swift
No word yet on whether he popped the question at the Dillon Alamo Freeze, but yes, ladies, "Friday Night Lights" star Zach Gilford is officially off the market... in fictional Fnl-land and in real life.
Sources confirm to Us Weekly that Gilford is engaged to wed girlfriend Kiele Sanchez, who he met in the spring of 2010 when they worked on "The Matadors" pilot together in Chicago. "They are both very happy," the source says of the 29-year-old Dillon Panther and his 34-year-old bride-to-be.
Do the right thing, Kiele. Wear that #7 jersey as your "something blue." Do it for the people. »
This week Clip joint looks at characters that talk through the camera to the audience. You know what we mean, don't you?
You lookin' at me? If you're a character in a film, you shouldn't be. You're supposed to be unaware that you're participating in a work of fiction.
Alas, this is not always the case. Breaking the fourth wall – the embrace of reality that occurs when characters acknowledge their own fakeness – has been around for a long time and adopted by a number of directors to great effect.
The most common use of this technique is the direct-to-camera audience address: a startling concession that dislodges viewers from their comfort zone and is guaranteed to provoke a reaction. It's a trick that can be used to distance or compel; it can be funny, shocking, irritating or even patronising but, in blowing apart the painstaking artifice of "the cinema", it's always »
Jules Winnfield's wallet -- the one that says "Bad Mother…" -- is more temping than ever now that the Guinness Book of World Records has named Samuel L. Jackson the highest-grossing actor ever.
Jackson's been working steadily since the 1970s and has well over 100 TV and movie credits to his name, but his breakthrough performance was in Spike Lee's movie "Jungle Fever." (He'd had small parts in previous Spike Lee joints before that, including "School Daze" and "Do the Right Thing.")
Over the years, the movies he's been in have grossed over $7.4 billion dollars. Can you imagine how many snake-filled planes that could buy you?
According to the Hollywood Reporter, the movies that made the biggest bang for Jackson's buck were "Jurassic Park," the "Star Wars" flicks and "Pulp Fiction." The infinitely quotable "Pulp Fiction" is arguably what vaulted him into the official bad ass hall of fame, besides »
- Jenni Miller
You've no doubt noticed that almost every phone number in the movies starts with "555." But you may not have realized just how many movies actually mention these phone numbers.
The "555 Supercut" gathers together clips from just a handful of movies that feature the magical digits and, oh my, there are so many! Someone with a lot of free time and even more patience should put together a "Movie Phonebook" with every fictional character and business listed with their respective numbers -- there's probably a lot of overlap.
(Actually, someone probably already has done that -- at least sort of, anyway.)
Put a call into "Ghostbusters," "Dumb and Dumber," "Scream," "Back to the Future," "The Fog," "Carlito's Way," "Do the Right Thing," "Say Anything," at least two of the "Die Hard" adventures and, of course, "Last Action Hero," among many others, courtesy of YouTube.
- Bryan Enk
"While occasionally more plodding than playful, Ruben Östlund's ingenious foray into conceptual cinema succeeds in both skewering the pretensions of seemingly liberal and tolerant Swedes and challenging the audience's own preconceptions," writes Richard Porton in Cinema Scope. "Inspired by an actual incident in Gothenburg, Sweden's second-largest city, Östlund casts a harsh, and frequently funny, light on Scandinavian racial tensions by focusing on the efforts of some clever kids of African origin to swindle younger, wealthier schoolchildren through sheer force of will instead of violence. Even though their victims have ample opportunities to escape or fight back when threatened with the loss of their wallets and cell phones, the African kids hold the upper hand because their well-heeled prey are intimidated by both the race of the scam artists and their own liberal conditioning."
"What's the line between a provocative, no-holds-barred drama about race relations and a straight-up racist film? »
It’s the Breaking Bad Season 4 Finale, entitled “Face Off”. Yes, really. But can this episode possibly go down as the greatest filmed thing ever to be titled “Face/Off”??? Nicolas Cage says “I don’t think so, and also I can eat a peach for hours.” The Finale opens with Walt and Jesse at the hospital immediately following last week’s failed Gus-bombing attempt (trying to kill a major character in a non-Season Finale is an automatic recipe for disaster), with Walt pressuring Jesse to think of any surveillance-free location where they can possibly lure Gus to finish the job. Jesse’s like, “I don’t know, the yellow shirt factory?” They agree and lure Gus to the yellow shirt factory and blow him up then spend 50 minutes high-fiving Walt’s baby. Crazy finale! Nope – There’s only one location Jesse can think of, and it’ll involve striking »
- Dan Hopper
Rosie Perez has signed on to Nurse Jackie. The Pineapple Express actress will guest star as a patient named Jules who faces an unusual diagnosis on the fourth season of the Showtime drama. Perez was first discovered in a dance club by Spike Lee in 1988. The director gave Perez her first acting role in the film Do the Right Thing. She received an Oscar nomination for her part in the 1993 film Fearless. In addition, she has garnered three Emmy nominations for her role as a choreographer on the Fox television comedy In Living Color. In August, Showtime (more) »
- By Tara Fowler
Independent distributer Second Sight is re-releasing two cult Afro-American urban films, Juice and South Central this Monday. As both films deal with similar subject and were released in the same year, a joint review seemed appropriate. Both films are about young black Americans struggling to beat the cycle of violence that threatens their lives and their cultures.
Juice boasts an impressive cast, including the likes of Omar Epps (best known as House’s Dr Foreman), Samuel L Jackson, Queen Latifah and, best of all, late rap legend Tupac. The film follows a group of four school-skipping friends in Harlem, all of whom are fairly dopey, huggable hip-hoppers, rather than violent gang-bangers. Q (Epps) dreams of becoming a superstar DJ and auditions for a prestigious competition. Bishop (Tupac) however, wishes »
- Jack Kirby
Juice, 1992's 'film noir' with teenagers – and hip-hop, is still finding young fans today
Juice wasn't supposed to taste so fresh. A morality tale featuring a quartet of Harlem teens – aspiring DJ Q, ladies' man Raheem, comic foil Steel and hothead Bishop – Ernest Dickerson's 1992 directorial debut was initially filed by many critics as a rapsploitation retread of the previous year's Boyz n the Hood.
But nearly 20 years after its release, Juice is still making noise. From dance maestro Sidney Samson sampling a Bishop quote to Soulja Boy hyping up an ill-advised remake, Dickerson's movie has quietly become a hip-hop classic. Dickerson had paid his dues as Spike Lee's go-to cinematographer (he shot She's Gotta Have It, Do the Right Thing and Malcolm X, among others) and Juice, despite ticking all the early 90s hood-movie boxes, also turned out to be buoyant celebration of hip-hop culture, feeding off seminal 80s B-boy flicks, »
It’s not quite as mind-blowing as Baby Gus in Do The Right Thing, but the Tumblr Marathon Packs points out that everyone’s favorite tv meth-dealing married couple, Walter and Skyler White from Breaking Bad, both made appearances on Seinfeld: Cuuuuute! Bryan Cranston played Dr. Tim Whatley, the dentist who converted to Judaism so he could tell Jewish jokes (“That Was him” – Brain), while Anna Gunn showed up in the episode where George got a new pair of glasses and believed he’d caught Jerry’s girlfriend making out with someone else. I guess the lesson here is: Actors are in other things. Shut Up, sarcastic sentence I just typed or I’ll Go For Your Throat With A Box Cutter. Kidding! Just a little Bb humor! The best humor. (via Splitsider) »
- Dan Hopper
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