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Bonnie Arnold has had some career. As the latest film she's produced, How To Train Your Dragon 2, arrives in UK cinemas, she chatted to us about the movie, about the big problems making the first, and her earlier days helping to bring Dances With Wolves to light. And she didn't touch a drop of her tea while telling us all of this...
Digging into your background, from what I can tell you started as a writer? Can you fill in some of the blanks there?
Well, it wasn't really a writer as such. I studied journalism, but I actually started in publicity. I did unit publicity writing, so that's how I started really. Really it was in film, film production stuff. But I was writing press releases, »
We watch films to escape the tediousness of everyday life. The stress of the commute, your partner’s nagging, or T-Mobile calling you up notifying you of an overdue bill are all made instantly better by allowing yourself to escape into the world of a movie, with a fictitious group of characters who each have their own problems which we can laugh at.
Of course, we know what we’re watching isn’t real, but since those early days when bards would regale a court with songs of knights and dragons, humanity has been able to switch off and allow ourselves to believe that the narrative we’re presented with is akin to reality.
We may have been able to allow ourselves to prevent the nagging bite of reality from ruining a piece of good fiction, but this doesn’t mean that the escape from the real world which »
- Sam Heard
You’ve heard of the ‘McConaissance’. Well now another movie star considered past his best makes a high profile return to the big screen, as Kevin Costner toplines kinetic thriller 3 Days To Kill.
Though associated with a sequence of megabuck flops, Costner has been one of Hollywood’s true risk takers. It paid off in Oscars for Dances With Wolves (1990), where he did everything except sing the theme tune. Roles in hits such as The Bodyguard (1992) followed. But after Clint Eastwood’s A Perfect World (1993) came Waterworld. Throwing money at a sea-based knock-off of Mad Max was never going to set the box office alight, more give it a drenching. The Postman (1997) actually had Costner singing the theme tune and that failure appeared to round off his career as a big leading man. Yet the movies never forgot about Kev and in recent years he’s been rediscovered, with prestigious »
- Steve Palace
Leading up to the 2014 NFL Kickoff, Lionsgate will release the thrilling sports drama, Draft Day, on Digital HD beginning August 19, on Video On Demand and Pay-Per-View August 29 and on Blu-ray Combo Pack (plus DVD and Digital HD) and DVD (plus Digital) on September 2. Starring sports movie icon and Academy Award winner Kevin Costner (Best Picture and Best Director, Dances with Wolves, 1990; Bull Durham, Field of Dreams), written by Rajiv Joseph & Scott Rothman, and directed by legendary director Ivan Reitman, the film was made in exclusive partnership with the NFL, allowing unprecedented access to the actual 2013 NFL Draft, an event drawing higher ratings than the playoffs for baseball, basketball and hockey.
Featuring an all-star cast including Jennifer Garner (Dallas Buyers Club), Denis Leary (The Amazing Spider-Man), Frank Langella (Superman Returns), Sam Elliott (The Big Lebowski), Sean Combs (Monster's Ball), Terry Crews (The Expendables franchise), Houston Texans running back Arian Foster (feature »
When Michael Haffner reviewed Draft Day here at We Are Movie Geeks, he wrote: “A sign of a good sports film is if the audience enthusiastically cheers during a film like a crowd at a live sporting event. That’s exactly what happened when I went to see Ivan Reitman’s Draft Day. The theater was into every second as the film counted down the minutes to the big event.” (Read the rest of Michael’s review Here)
Leading up to the 2014 NFL Kickoff, Lionsgate will release the thrilling sports drama, Draft Day, on Digital HD beginning August 19, on Video On Demand and Pay-Per-View August 29 and on Blu-ray Combo Pack (plus DVD and Digital HD) and DVD (plus Digital) on September 2. Starring sports movie icon and Academy Award® winner Kevin Costner (Best Picture and Best Director, Dances with Wolves, 1990; Bull Durham, Field of Dreams), written by Rajiv Joseph & Scott Rothman, »
- Tom Stockman
Kevin Costner is back on the big screen this week in action-thriller 3 Days to Kill. It's not a classic Costner film by any stretch (he's essentially playing Liam Neeson in Taken), but the film is arriving right in the middle of a career revival for the actor who headlined big hits two decades ago. With Man of Steel, Draft Day, Jack Ryan and 3 Days all under his belt over the last 12 months, we're experiencing something of a Costnaissance (to swipe a term coined for Matthew McConaughey).
As a screen star Costner was never blessed with dynamic range or the ability to transform himself like a Daniel Day-Lewis can, but what he can deliver is a performance of earnestness and honesty that connects with an audience. He is frequently the glue that holds a film together, a movie star with the everyman appeal of someone like James Stewart. If anything, Costner »
Many moviegoers consider the world of film as a reprieve from their current existing realities. This is rather interesting because in looking to escape the everyday realities for a fantasized slice of reality in cinema might seem quite redundant for some folks. However, the realities that are portrayed on the big screen are varied so whatever life experiences are depicted we may not have quite lived that particular episode therefore making it intriguing and fresh for our entertaining curiosities.
Films, when capturing a fragrance of reality through triumph and tragedy, are usually armed with a special messaging about the human condition through sacrifice, self-discovery, suffering and of course social awareness. In It’s About the Message: The Top 10 Oscar-winning Socially Aware Films we will take a look at Academy Award-winning movies that dared to examine the spirit about being socially aware–through inspiration and insidiousness (or both simultaneously)–and put »
- Frank Ochieng
Directed by Robert Stromberg.
A vindictive fairy is driven to curse an infant princess only to realize the child may be the only one who can restore peace.
God we’ve missed you Angelina. In an acting time-out as she focused on her family and humanitarian work, as well as directing two films (2011’s In The Land of Blood and Honey, still to receive a UK release, and this year’s Unbroken), Jolie has finally brought her superlative talents back to the acting ring with the kind of role she was born to play: a live-action Disney villain in Maleficent.
Like Tim Burton’s lacklustre Alice in Wonderland retelling/quasi-sequel, Maleficent is written by Linda Woolverton, entrusted with turning another jewel in the Disney collection on its head. Where Burton’s film »
- Scott Davis
Watch_Dogs suffers from the ‘Avatar’ problem. Avatar was a pretty exciting movie that pushed the envelope in terms of technology and facial capture animation, but did things and told a story audiences had seen a thousand times before, be it in Dances with Wolves, Pocahontas, or Fern Gully: The Last Rainforest.
This relates to Watch_Dogs in the sense that like Avatar it’s a Frankenstein of elements from all kinds of different sources stitched together to form something resembling a whole. It’s simple really, nab the open world from Grand Theft Auto, the stealth mechanics of Splinter Cell, toss in hacking puzzles and a spritz of assorted mini-games, polish it up with a little liquid gold, and you got yourself a fundamentally enjoyable game even if everything Watch_Dogs does has been seen and done before.
Through this Watch_Dogs becomes enjoyable on a strange meta level, »
- Paul J Meekin
The story of 2009 Kentucky Derby standout Mine That Bird follows in the hoofprints of other equine heroes, but while the saga of “Seabiscuit” was suffused in Americana, and “Secretariat” leaned on the success of a pioneering woman in the sport, “50 to 1” has less grandiose ideas: It’s more of a bawdy buddy movie about the horse’s trainer, Chip Woolley, and owner, Mark Allen (who exec produced), with a bit of slapstick thrown in. Call it “Smokey and the Bird,” if you will, and keep the cliches coming, barkeep. Odds for success at the box office are a bit longer than the title is offering.
Still, the fact-based film’s timing is excellent (though the events it chronicles are perhaps a bit too recent to mask the ending), with its official opening scant days after the running of the upcoming Preakness, where Kentucky Derby winner California Chrome has a shot »
- Bill Edelstein
Following in the political footsteps of the original series (of books and films), Dawn of the Planet of the Apes puts Jason Clarke’s peace-seeking character Malcolm in the middle of a world spoiling for war. It proves that, at the very least, the reboot sequel will make an interesting double feature with Zero Dark Thirty. Meanwhile, the biggest question facing this movie is how well director Matt Reeves and Andy Serkis’ Caesar can keep us engaged when we know the ultimate outcome of the story. Even for those who haven’t seen the original movies, the climax is right there in the title, and it’s my guess that dawn is going to break pretty damned hard. The first full trailer gives us a sniper’s eye view of the coming storm — a band of humans led by Dreyfus (Gary Oldman) has been hobbled for a decade by a man-made virus while a growing group of »
- Scott Beggs
What’s new, what’s hot, and what you may have missed, now available to stream.
streaming now, before it’s on dvd
The Monuments Men: as jaunty as Jean Dujardin’s beret, but in a sincere, old-fashioned kind of way; could almost have been rediscovered from the 1940s [my review] [at Amazon Instant Video] Whitewash: nowhere near as blackly funny as it wants to be, but Thomas Haden Church is strangely compelling as a man befuddled by the vagaries of fate [my review] [at Amazon Instant Video]
new to Prime
recent films new to stream
1976: Hunt vs. Lauda: as with the semifictionalized Rush, this documentary look at the first superstars of Formula One is gripping even if you couldn’t care less about racing [my review] [at Netflix] The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology: hugely entertaining documentary look at how culture shapes our attitudes, »
- MaryAnn Johanson
Feature Ryan Lambie 30 Apr 2014 - 06:27
Five years after James Cameron's Avatar appeared in cinemas, we look back at its hype, its critical backlash, and how it holds up today...
Before 1960, director Michael Powell was one of the UK’s most respected directors, with a string of acclaimed films to his name, among them A Matter Of Life Or Death, The Red Shoes and Black Narcissus. Then Powell made Peeping Tom, and the critical backlash ruined him.
An intimate character study of a serial killer made at a time when such things were entirely out of the ordinary in British cinema, Peeping Tom was savaged by UK film critics, and it took a full decade for Powell’s film to be reappraised; the likes of Martin Scorsese and Robert Ebert championed Peeping Tom, but their admiration arrived entirely too late to save Powell’s filmmaking career, which was never the »
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The single greatest aspect of the wide expansion and adoption of blu-ray on home video is that underseen films like The Inn of the Sixth Happiness (1958) are reborn for a new generation looking as good or better than they ever did in cinemas. The Inn of the Sixth Happiness is an epic biography of Gladys Aylward (Ingrid Bergman) and her joyfully tenacious attraction to missionary work in China in the early half of the 20th century. While it is not a masterpiece, it is a thoroughly pleasant film that will appeal to many, whether fans of Bergman, historical epics, exotic travel, or plain old classics. Most plot summaries describe the long trek Gladys undertook to bring children out of harm's way, but there is a great deal more to it than that. It is a film like many others--South Pacific (1958), The King and I (1956), Dances with Wolves »
- Jason Ratigan
In Draft Day, on the day of the NFL Draft, general manager Sonny Weaver Jr. (Kevin Costner) has the opportunity to rebuild his team when he trades for the number one pick. He must quickly decide what he’s willing to sacrifice in pursuit of perfection as the lines between his personal and professional life become blurred on a life-changing day for a few hundred young men with dreams of playing in the NFL. Recently, Wamg sat down with Kevin Costner in a press conference where he spoke to members of the media about his new role in Draft Day, Field Of Dreams, and how affected he was by Rock Hudson in Giant. Check it out below!
There’s a line in the movie where you say, “What do you want?!” Is this a direct reference to Field Of Dreams where you at one point said, “What do you want? »
- Melissa Howland
Each week, through my Somewhere in Time column, I hop in my DeLorean Gif and travel back to a moment in our pop-culture past to reevaluate just what we as a nation thought was good. This time out, we use Kevin Costner’s Draft Day as an excuse to take a jaunt back to July 28, 1995 to survey the landscape circa the project that you and I both know was his creative peak. (Talk to me when you have your own stunt spectacular at Universal Studios Hollywood, Dances With Wolves.) Let's count down the top ten music videos of Waterworld premiere week, according to VH1. Why VH1? Because you just know Costner was a VH1 kind of guy.10. Blessid Union of Souls, “I Believe” I hate to start the countdown off this way, I really do. And it’s impossible to know what’s least palatable about this song: The eighth-grade-poetry-assignment »
- Dave Holmes
Directed by: Ivan Reitman Written by: Rajiv Joseph and Scott Rothman Main Cast: Kevin Costner, Chadwick Boseman, Jennifer Garner, Frank Langella, Denis Leary, Tom Welling, and many others Past Oscar relations: Ivan Reitman was nominated for co-producing Up in the Air and Kevin Costner won Best Picture and Best Director Oscars for Dances with Wolves Here now we have the next article in this series on 2014 contenders hoping to compete for Oscar attention at the 2015 ceremony. Next up is Ivan Reitman’s Draft Day, which hopes to essentially be the next Moneyball, just with the NFL Draft as its focus. That film was a bit of an aberration, but this one has a bit in common with it, so perhaps the Academy is more open to sports movies than they have been in the past? Reitman has sports film icon Kevin Costner in the lead role, so that’s certainly a plus, »
- Joey Magidson
Here we go with another installment of my Spotlight on the Stars series. Each week, I’ll look at an actor/actress/filmmaker that I’d like to celebrate in some kind of a way. It could be due to something of theirs coming out that weekend (like last week and this week, for example) or just because I feel they deserve to have a moment in the sun, but each time it’ll be a bit of positivity about someone who I’d like to pay tribute to. For this week’s piece (number three overall so far), I wanted to take a look at our first male actor…Kevin Costner. Some see him as a bit of a has been, but I disagree and not only still see a movie star, but an underrated actor as well. Costner is a throwback to an older generation of actor. Very »
- Joey Magidson
Full disclosure: I'm not the biggest fan of sports movies.
In fact, I'm not a big fan of sports in general, except maybe baseball. But put Kevin Costner in a movie about one of America's many pastimes and my story changes. After all, this is the guy who starred in two of the best baseball movies of all time: "Bull Durham" and "Field of Dreams." I even liked the third part of his unofficial "baseball trilogy," "For the Love of the Game."
Now, the actor is tackling (pun intended) football in "Draft Day" as the general manager of the NFL's Cleveland Browns, the man in the unenviable position of making the team's first-round draft pick. He's also dealing with a girlfriend (Jennifer Garner) who's got some big news, a coach (Denis Leary) who wants his job, and an owner (Frank Langella) who wants his hide. Hell, even his mother (Ellen Burstyn) kicks him around. »
- Don Kaye
Based on the #1 New York Times best-selling book of the same name, Heaven Is For Real brings to the screen the true story that has inspired millions across the globe – that of a little boy’s extraordinary, life-changing experience, and his father’s search for the courage and conviction to share his son’s discovery with the world.
Academy Award® nominee and Emmy® Award-winner Greg Kinnear (Little Miss Sunshine) stars as Todd Burpo, a small-town businessman, volunteer firefighter and pastor struggling to make ends meet in a tough year for his family. After his bright young son Colton (newcomer Connor Corum in his feature film debut) is rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery, Todd and his wife Sonja (Kelly Reilly, Flight, Sherlock Holmes) are overjoyed by his miraculous survival. But they are wholly unprepared for what happens next — Colton starts to matter-of-factly recount what he says was an amazing journey to heaven and back. »
- Movie Geeks
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