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Paramount scored top-selling disc honors the week ended Sept. 25 with “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows,” while Walt Disney Studios snagged the top spot on the Blu-ray Disc-only sales chart with its 25th anniversary edition of “Beauty and the Beast.”
“Beauty” debuted at No. 3 on Npd VideoScan’s overall disc sales charts, which tracks combined Blu-ray Disc and DVD sales. “Out of the Shadows,” the sequel to the 2014 “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” remake, debuted at No. 2 on the Blu-ray Disc sales chart.
“Out of the Shadows” grossed $82 million, less than half what the original earned in U.S. theaters. “Beauty,” available only as a Blu-ray Disc combo back (with DVD and digital copy), was the third most-successful film of 1991, topped only by the summer hits “Terminator 2: Judgment Day”and “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.”
“Captain America: Civil War,” also distributed on home video by Disney, slipped to No. »
- Thomas K. Arnold
Casting is a hugely important part of the filmmaking process. Unfortunately, sometimes Hollywood gets it very wrong. When the wrong person gets the part, it can spoil the whole movie. Here are eight instances where bad casting damaged a big movie.
Hayden Christensen as Anakin Skywalker in the Star Wars prequel trilogy: This bit of bad casting not only ruined a film, it wrecked three films. While the Star Wars prequels had numerous problems, the worst was the portrayal of iconic villain Darth Vader—Aka Anakin Skywalker—as a sulky, petulant teenager. Christensen’s bland performance made the problem 10-times worse. How do you follow the voice of James Earl Jones with the whiny voice of Christensen? He also had no chemistry at all with his co-star and love-interest Natalie Portman, who played Queen Amidala.
- email@example.com (Rob Young)
Neil Calloway argues that soundtracks and scores can make or break films…
This week, Flickering Myth’s own Oli Davis made the persuasive case that Suicide Squad‘s various cuts could be seen in the music they used; with David Ayer’s original version using different styles of music to the final cut by Trailer Park. There was also the release of a report titled “The Effect of Background Music in Shark Documentaries on Viewers’ Perceptions of Sharks” that suggested people are afraid of sharks because of the ominous music used to score film scenes where they are present. Personally, I’m frightened of sharks because I don’t want one to bite my leg off, leaving me to die an agonising death in the water while wearing only swimming shorts.
What both these stories remind us is the huge part scores and soundtracks play in films; when you get »
- Neil Calloway
Llinos Cathryn Thomas Aug 5, 2016
Thirty years since it ended, we revisit much-loved 80s historical fantasy series Robin Of Sherwood...
The Robin Hood legend has been retold in countless ways, but one of the most memorable of modern times is Richard Carpenter’s hugely influential 1980s imagining, telling the story of Sherwood’s band of outlaws with a combination of realism and luminous fantasy with its roots in British folklore.
Made by Htv in association with production company Goldcrest Films (which was also behind Chariots Of Fire and Gandhi), its 26 episodes ran on ITV from 1984 to 1986, garnering a positive critical reception and inspiring a fan following that’s still enthusiastically active today.
Much of the success of the show was down to the spot-on casting and the chemistry between the performers. Michael Praed’s charismatic-yet-otherworldly presence as Robin was the perfect match for the show’s aesthetic, and the more down-to-earth Little John, »
32 years ago today, the acting debut of a music icon we lost this year opened in theaters. Audiences were first treated to Purple Rain on July 27, 1984. Purple Rain proved that Prince could be just as captivating in a feature-length film as he was onstage and in music videos. The rock musical debuted a month after the album of the same name hit record stores, giving us such hits as “When Doves Cry,” “Let’s Go Crazy,” and “I Would Die 4 U.” Other notable July 27 happenings in pop culture history; • 1940: Bugs Bunny made his official debut at a screening of the short film A Wild Hare. • 1979: The Amityville Horror opened in theaters. • 1982: Little Shop of Horrors had its Off-Broadway opening at the Orpheum Theatre. The writing team behind the wacky musical, Alan Menken and Howard Ashman, went on to write some of Disney Animation’s most beloved songs. »
- Emily Rome
Hitting the big screen in New York City and VOD platforms on July 1st before making its Los Angeles theatrical debut on July 8th from IFC Midnight, Mickey Keating’s Carnage Park marks his fourth feature film collaboration with acclaimed composer Giona Ostinelli. For our latest Q&A feature, we caught up with Ostinelli to discuss working with Keating, using a wide range of instruments and items (including a nail gun) to create unease in Carnage Park, and much more.
Giona, thanks for taking the time to answer some questions for us. Your score for Carnage Park marks your fourth collaboration with director Mickey Keating. What first attracted you to Keating’s work?
Giona Ostinelli: Thanks so much for having me! Yes indeed, Mickey Keating and I have collaborated on four films. Our first film together, Ritual, was acquired by Lionsgate; our second film, Pod, was released theatrically with »
- Derek Anderson
It's 25 years since Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves! Which means it's 25 years since this advert!
It’s Friday, so why not.
This week has marked the 25th anniversary of the release of Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves, starring the mighty Kevin Costner and his mighty English accent. In UK cinemas, there were two Robin Hood films in the summer of 1991, with a Patrick Bergin-headlined movie too (that premiered on TV in the Us). Basically, throw in that Bryan Adams song (you know the one), and it was the summer of Robin Hood.
Weetabix decided to get in on the act, and if you’ll forgive the personal indulgence, I always chuckled when this played. So, again using Friday as my personal safety cover, why not relive a Robin Hood special from 25 years ago.
Please be advised: other breakfast cereals are available…
See related Revisiting Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves »
25 years ago today, audiences first saw Kevin Costner’s turn as Robin Hood on the big screen. It was on June 14, 1991 that Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves opened in theaters. Facing off against Costner’s heroic outlaw was Alan Rickman's Sheriff of Nottingham, just three years after he made his first movie appearance in a role that would become a new classic villain, Hans Gruber in Die Hard. Rickman and Morgan Freeman got critical approval for their performances. Costner and Christian Slater, not so much. Both were nominated for Golden Raspberry Awards for Robin Hood, for Worst Actor and Worst Supporting Actor, respectively. Costner “won” his award, while Slater “lost” to Dan Ackroyd in Nothing but Trouble. Also part of Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves’ legacy: “(Everything I Do) I Do It For You.” Believe it or not, the theme ballad that Bryan Adams bleated out for this movie earned him an Oscar nomination. But Raspberries or no Raspberries, Oscars or no Oscars, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves found its audience. It was the second-highest grossing movie of 1991, beaten only by Terminator 2: Judgement Day. And it was viewed countless times on VHS for years after that. Other notable June 14 happenings in pop culture history: • 1940: Jimmy Stewart film The Mortal Storm opened in theaters. • 1958: The indoor Alice in Wonderland ride opened next to the Mad Tea Party teacups ride in Disneyland. It was also the day the Columbia Sailing Ship first took passengers around Tom Sawyer Island. • 1959: The Matterhorn Bobsleds, Submarine Voyage, and the Monorail opened at Disneyland. Over 2,000 celebrities, members of the press, and dignitaries attended, including Vice President Richard Nixon. • 1965: Paul McCartney recorded the song “Yesterday” at what is now known as Abbey Road Studios in London. McCartney recorded it without the rest of the group, just with a string quartet, his vocals, and an acoustic guitar, making it essentially the first solo performance by the band. He recorded the song in two takes. • 1969: John Lennon and Yoko Ono pre-recorded an interview with David Frost that would air on July 10 that year. Lennon said in the interview, “We're trying to sell peace, like a product, you know, and sell it like people sell soap or soft drinks.” • 1970: Eric Clapton’s new band, Derek and the Dominos, gave their first live performance, at London’s Lyceum Theatre. • 1972: Simon & Garfunkel reunited to perform “Bridge Over Troubled Water” at a fundraising concert for presidential candidate George McGovern at New York’s Madison Square Garden. • 1980: The Pretenders fired bassist Pete Farndon, whose drug use had led to an increasingly strained relationship with his bandmates. • 1980: Billy Joel began six weeks atop the Billboard album chart with Glass Houses. • 1985: Family Feud, which had debuted in 1976, aired its final episode on ABC until CBS re-launched the game show in 1988. • 1989: The game Tetris was released for Game Boy in Japan. A North American release followed in July. • 1990: CBS, which had been the national broadcaster for the NBA since 1973, televised an NBA game for the final time. It was Game 5 of the NBA Finals between the Detroit Pistons and Portland Trail Blazers. • 1996: Jim Carrey movie The Cable Guy opened in U.S. and Canadian theaters. • 2002: The Bourne Identity and the Sarah Michelle Gellar Scooby-Doo movie opened in theaters. • 2003: Helen Mirren had the order of Dame bestowed upon her when Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II published the list of those she’d chosen to promote to the Order of the British Empire. Three years later, Mirren portrayed Elizabeth II on film in The Queen. Sting and 007 actor Roger Moore were also conferred with the title of “Sir” on this day. • 2011: Andy Grammer released his self-titled debut studio album. Birthdays: Juno writer Diablo Cody (turns 38 today), singer Boy George (55), Reign actor Torrance Coombs (33), Pretty Little Liars actress Lucy Hale (27), actor-motivational speaker J.R. Martinez (33), Glee actor Kevin McHale (28), Falling Skies actor Will Patton (62), Austin Powers director Jay Roach (59), Spy Kids actor Daryl Sabara (24), Blindspot actor Sullivan Stapleton (39) »
- Emily Rome
Warner Bros has struggled with its blockbusters of late. But back in summer 1997 - Batman & Robin's year - it faced not dissimilar problems.
Earlier this year it was revealed that Warner Bros, following a string of costly movies that hadn’t hit box office gold (Pan, Jupiter Ascending, The Man From U.N.C.L.E., In The Heart Of The Sea), was restructuring its blockbuster movie business. Fewer films, fewer risks, more franchises, and more centering around movie universes seems to be the new approach, and the appointment of a new corporate team to oversee the Harry Potter franchise last week was one part of that.
In some ways, it marks the end of an era. Whilst it retains its relationships with key directing talent (Ben Affleck, Clint Eastwood, Christopher Nolan for instance), Warner Bros was, for the bulk of the 1990s in particular, the studio that the others were trying to mimic. It worked with the same stars and filmmakers time and time again, and under then-chiefs Terry Semel and Robert Daly, relationships with key talent were paramount.
Furthermore, the studio knew to leave that talent to do its job, and was also ahead of the pack in developing franchises that it could rely on to give it a string of hits.
However, whilst Warner Bros is having troubles now, its way of doing business was first seriously challenged by the failure of its slate in the summer of 1997. Once again, it seemed to have a line up to cherish, that others were envious of. But as film by film failed to click, every facet of Warner Bros’ blockbuster strategy suddenly came under scrutiny, and would ultimately fairly dramatically change. Just two summers later, the studio released The Matrix, and blockbuster cinema changed again.
But come the start of summer 1997? These are the movies that Warner Bros had lined up, and this is what happened…
February - National Lampoon’s Vegas Vacation
Things actually had got off to a decent enough start for the studio earlier in the year, so it's worth kicking off there. It brought Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo back together, for the fourth National Lampoon movie, and the first since 1989’s National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. Interestingly, it dropped the National Lampoon moniker in the Us, and instead released the eventual movie as Vegas Vacation. It was a belated sequel, back when belated sequels weren’t that big a thing.
The film was quickly pulled apart by reviewers, but it still just about clawed a profit. The production budget of $25m was eclipsed by the Us gross of $36m, and the movie would do comfortable business on video/DVD. Not a massive hit, then, but hardly a project that had a sense of foreboding about it.
Yet the problems were not far away.
May – Father's Day
Warner Bros had a mix of movies released in the Us in March and April 1997, including modest Wesley Snipes-headlined thriller Murder At 1600, and family flick Shiloh. But it launched its summer season with Father’s Day, an expensive packaged comedy from director Ivan Reitman, starring Robin Williams and Billy Crystal. It had hit written all over it.
Father’s Day was one of the movies packaged by the CAA agency, and its then-head, Mike Ovitz (listed regularly by Premiere magazine in the 1990s as one of the most powerful men in Hollywood, if not the most powerful man). That he brought together the stars, the director and the project, gave a studio a price tag, and the studio duly paid it. Given Warner Bros’ devotion to star talent (Mel Gibson, then one of the biggest movie stars in the world, and a major Warner Bros talent, was persuaded to film a cameo), it was a natural home for the film. It quickly did the deal. few questions asked.
That package, and CAA’s fees for putting it together, brought the budget for a fairly straightforward comedy to a then-staggering $85m. The problem, though, was that the film simply wasn’t very good. It’s one of those projects that looks great on paper, less great when exposed on a great big screen. Warner Bros has snapped it up, without - it seems - even properly reading the script.
Premiere magazine quoted a Warner Bros insider back in November 1997 as saying “when [CAA] calls and says ‘we have a package, Father’s Day, with Williams and Crystal and Reitman, we say ‘great’”, adding “we don’t scrutinise the production. When we saw the movie, it took the wind out of us. We kept reshooting and enhancing, but you can’t fix something that’s bad”.
And it was bad.
The movie would prove to be the first big misfire of the summer, grossing just $35m in the Us, and not adding a fat lot more elsewhere in the world. Warner Bros’ first film of the summer was a certified flop. More would soon follow.
May - Addicted To Love
A more modestly priced project was Addicted To Love, a romantic comedy starring Meg Ryan and Matthew Broderick. Just over a year later, Warner Bros would hit big when Meg Ryan reunited with Tom Hanks for Nora Ephron’s You’ve Got Mail. But here? The film was a modest success, at best.
Directed by Griffin Dunne (making his directorial debut), and put together in partnership with Miramax, Addicted To Love was based around the Robert Palmer song of the same name. But whilst it was sold as a romcom, the muddled final cut was actually a fair bit darker. There was an underlying nastiness to some moments in the film, and when the final box office was tallied, it came in lower than the usual returns for pictures from Ryan or Broderick. Counter-programming it against the release of The Lost World: Jurassic Park didn’t massively help in this instance either, especially as the Jurassic Park sequel would smash opening weekend records.
Addicted To Love ended up with $34.6m at the Us box office. It would eke out a small profit.
June - Batman & Robin
And this is when the alarm bells started to ring very, very loudly. Summer 1997 was supposed to be about a trio of sure-fire hit sequels: Batman 4, Jurassic Park 2 and Speed 2. Only one of those would ultimately bring home the box office bacon, the others being destroyed by critics, and ultimately leaving far more empty seats than anticipated in multiplexes.
Batman & Robin, it’s easy to forget, came off the back of 1995’s Joel Schumacher-steered Batman reboot, Batman Forever that year's biggest movie). It had one of the fastest-growing stars in the world in the Batsuit (George Clooney), and the McDonald’s deals were signed even before the script was typed up. You don’t need us to tell you that you could tell, something of a theme already in Warner Bros' summer of '97.
That said, Batman & Robin still gave Warner Bros a big opening, but in the infancy of the internet as we know it, poisonous word of mouth was already beginning to spread. The film’s negative cost Warner Bros up to $140m, before marketing and distribution costs, and it opened in the Us to a hardly-sniffy $42m of business (although that was down from previous Batman movies).
But that word of mouth still accelerated its departure from cinemas. It was then very rare for a film to make over 40% of its Us gross in its first weekend. But that’s just what Batman & Robin did, taking $107.3m in America, part of a worldwide total of $238.2m. This was the worst return for a Batman movie to date, and Warner Bros had to swiftly put the brakes on plans to get Batman Triumphant moving.
As for the immediate aftermath of Batman & Robin? Warner Bros co-chief Robert Daly would note at the end of '97 that “we’d have been better off with more action in the picture. The movie had to service too many characters”, adding that “the next Batman we do, in three years – and we have a deal with George Clooney to do it – will have one villain”.
Fortunately, Warner Bros’ one solid hit of the summer was just around the corner…
July - Contact
And breathe out.
Warner Bros bet heavily again on expensive talent here, with Robert Zemeckis bringing his adaptation of Carl Sagan’s Contact to the studio for his first film post-Forrest Gump. Warner Bros duly footed the $90m bill (back when that was still seen as a lot of money for a movie), a good chunk of which went to Jodie Foster. It invested heavily in special effects, and gave Zemeckis licence to make the film that he wanted.
The studio was rewarded with the most intelligent and arguably the best blockbuster of the summer. I’ve looked back at Contact in a lot more detail here, and it remains a fascinating film that’s stood the test of time (and arguably influenced Christopher Nolan’s more recent Interstellar).
Reviews were strong, it looked terrific, and the initial box office was good.
But then the problem hit. For whilst Contact was a solid hit for Warner Bros, it wasn’t a massively profitable one. Had Father’s Day and Batman & Robin shouldered the box office load there were supposed to, it perhaps wouldn’t have been a problem. But when they failed to take off, the pressure shifted to Contact.
The movie would gross $100.9m in the Us, and add another $70m overseas (this being an era were international box office rarely had the importance it has today). But once Warner Bros had paid its bills, there wasn’t a fat lot over for itself. Fortunately, the film still sells on disc and on-demand. Yet it wasn’t to be the massive hit the studio needed back in 1997.
July - One Eight Seven
From director Kevin Reynolds, the man who helmed Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves and Waterworld, came modestly-priced drama 187, starring Samuel L Jackson (in a strong performance). Warner Bros wouldn’t have had massive box office expectations for the film (although it can't have been unaware that the inspirational teacher sub-genre was always worth a few quid), and it shared production duties on the $20m movie with Mel Gibson’s Icon Productions. But still, it would have had its eye on a modest success. What it got in return was red ink.
The film’s not a bad one, and certainly worth seeking out. But poor reviews gave the film an uphill struggle from the off – smaller productions arriving mid-summer really needed critics on their side, as they arguably still do – and it opened to just $2.2m of business (the less edgy, Michelle Pfeiffer-headlined school drama Dangerous Minds had been a surprise hit not two years before).
By the time its run was done, 187 hadn’t even come close to covering its production costs, with just under $6m banked.
Warner Bros’ summer slate was running out of films. But at least it had one of its most reliable movie stars around the corner…
August - Conspiracy Theory
What could go wrong? Mel Gibson and Julia Roberts were two of the biggest movie stars in the world in 1997, at a time when movie stars still equated to box office gold. Director Richard Donner, one of Warner Bros’ favourite directors, had delivered the Lethal Weapons, Maverick, Superman, The Goonies and more for the studio. Put them altogether, with Patrick Stewart (coming to wider public consciousness at the time off the back of his Star Trek: The Next Generation work) as a villain, and it should have been a big hit.
Conspiracy Theory proved to be one of the more ambitious summer blockbusters of the era. It lacks a good first act, which would be really useful in actually setting up more of what’s going on. But Gibson played an edgy cab driver who believes in deep government conspiracies, and finds himself getting closer to the truth than those around him sometimes give him credit for.
Warner Bros was probably expecting another Lethal Weapon with the reunion of Gibson (who had to be persuaded to take Conspiracy Theory on) and Donner (it’s pretty much what it got with the hugely enjoyable Maverick a few years’ earlier), but instead it got a darker drama, with an uneasy central character that didn’t exactly play to the summer box office crowd.
The bigger problem, though, was that the film never quite worked as well as you might hope. Yet star power did have advantages. While no juggernaut, the film did decent business, grossing $137m worldwide off the back of an $80m budget ($40m of which was spent on the salaries for the talent before a single roll of film was loaded into a camera). That said, in the Us it knocked a genuine smash hit, Air Force One, off the top spot. Mind you in hindsight, that was probably the film that the studio wished it had made (the cockpit set of Warner Bros' own Executive Decision was repurposed for Air Force One, fact fans).
Still: Warner Bros did get Lethal Weapon 4 off Gibson and Donner a year later…
August - Free Willy 3: The Rescue
Warner Bros opened its third Free Willy film on the same day as Conspiracy Theory (can you imagine a studio opening two big films on the same day now), but it was clear that this was a franchise long past its best days (and its best days hardly bring back the fondest of memories).
Still, Free Willy movies were relatively modest in cost to put together, and Warner Bros presumably felt this was a simple cashpoint project. But in a year when lots of family movies did less business than expected (Disney’s Hercules, Fox’s Home Alone 3, Disney’s Mr Magoo), Free Willy 3 barely troubled the box office. It took in just over $3m in total, and Willy would not be seen on the inside of a cinema again.
August - Steel
Not much was expected from Steel, a superhero movie headlined by Shaquille O’Neal. Which was fortunate, because not much was had.
It had a mid-August release date in the Us, at a point when a mid-August release date was more of a dumping ground than anything else. And even though the budget was set at a relatively low $16m, the film – and it’s an overused time – pretty much bombed. It took $1.7m at the Us box office, and given that its appeal hinged on a major American sports star whose fame hardly transcended the globe, its international takings did not save it (it went straight to video in many territories).
It was a miserable end to what, for warner bros, had been a thoroughly miserable summer.
So what did hit big in summer 1997?
Summer 1997 was infamous for big films failing to take off in the way that had been expected – Hercules, Speed 2, and the aforementioned Warner Bros movies – but there were several bright spots. The big winner would be Barry Sonnenfeld’s light and sprightly sci-fi comedy Men In Black, starring Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones. Star power too helped score big hits for Harrison Ford (Air Force One), Julia Roberts (My Best Friend’s Wedding) and John Travolta (Face/Off).
This was also the summer that Nicolas Cage cemented his action movie credentials with Face/Off and Con Air. Crucially, though, the star movies that hit were the ones that veered on the side of 'good'. For the first of many years, the internet was blamed for this.
Oh, and later in the year, incidentally, Titanic would redefine just what constituted a box office hit...
What came next for Warner Bros?
In the rest of 1997, Warner Bros had a mix of projects that again enjoyed mixed fortunes. The standout was Curtis Hanson’s stunning adaptation of L.A. Confidential, that also proved to be a surprise box office success. The Devil’s Advocate didn’t do too badly either.
However, two of the studio’s key filmmakers failed to really deliver come the end of 1997. Clint Eastwood’s Midnight In The Garden Of Good And Evil failed to ignite (although many felt he was always on a hiding to nothing in trying to adapt that for the screen), and Kevin Costner’s The Postman would prove arguably the most expensive box office disappointment of the year. No wonder the studio rushed Lethal Weapon 4 into production for summer 1998. Oh, and it had The Avengers underway too (not that one), that would prove to be a 1998 disappointment.
The studio would eventually take action. The Daly-Semel management team, that had reigned for 15 years, would break up at the end of 1999, as its traditional way of doing business became less successful. The pair had already future projects that were director driven to an extent (Eyes Wide Shut), and it would still invest in movies with stars (Wild Wild West). But the immediate plan of action following the disappointment of summer 1997 – to get Batman 5 and Superman Lives made – would falter. It wouldn’t be until 1999’s The Matrix (a film that Daly and Semel struggled to get) and – crucially – 2001’s Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone that the studio would really get its swagger back...
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Movies Feature Simon Brew Warner Bros 16 Jun 2016 - 05:19 Conspiracy Theory Father's Day Addicted To Love Contact National Lampoon’s Vegas Vacation One Eight Seven Steel Batman & Robin Free Willy 3: The Rescue »
Twentieth Century Fox’s “Deadpool” remained the top home video seller for the third consecutive week, despite four new theatrical films coming to Blu-ray Disc and DVD last week – all of which ended up in the top 10 on the national sales charts for the week ending May 29.
Sony Pictures’ “Risen,” the latest Biblical epic about the resurrection of Jesus Christ, debuted at No. 2 on both the Npd VideoScan overall disc sales chart and the dedicated Blu-ray Disc sales chart.
“Risen” stars Joseph Fiennes as a Roman “Tribune” charged with tracking down rumors of a Nazarene who rose from the dead. The film, directed by Kevin Reynolds (“Fandango,” “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves”), earned $36.9 million in U.S. theaters.
Close behind, with a No. 3 debut on the overall disc chart (and a No. 7 bow on the Blu-ray Disc chart), was Warner’s “How to Be Single,” a romantic comedy with $46.8 million in domestic box office earnings. »
- Thomas K. Arnold
★★★☆☆ From Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and Waterworld director Kevin Reynolds, Risen provides an alternative viewpoint on the Resurrection and its aftermath. A film that starts out with earnest intentions ends up falling somewhere between a two-thousand-year-old episode of Silent Witness and an educational video R.E. teachers might play to schoolchildren. That's not to say that Risen is without its virtues; the production values are solid, the soundtrack not overly intrusive and whilst the characterisation leaves something to be desired, Joseph Fiennes does his best with a lot of middle-distance staring.
- CineVue UK
Curious to know what movies and TV shows are coming to Netflix Watch Instantly over the next few weeks? Get a head start and mark your calendars using the list below, just released to us by Netflix. Here are 10 recommendations to get you started... Adult Beginners (2015) Groundhog Day (1993) Promised Land (2012) He Never Died (2015) Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991) Scarface (1983) Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979) Marvel's Daredevil: Season 2 Before We Go (2015) Pee-wee's Big Holiday (2016) Here's the entire list... March 1 Adult Beginners (2015) Ahora o...
Let the binge-watching begin! We hope you didn't have any big plans to get outside and enjoy the weather in March, because Netflix is about to drop some big titles you don't want to miss. The TV shows and movies that are being added to (and taken away from) Netflix over the next month are sure to keep you busy. It's a good month for Netflix original series, with the second season of Daredevil and the fourth season of House of Cards debuting, as well as the premiere of a new Pee-wee Herman movie, Pee-wee's Big Holiday. Among the stand outs on the movie side? Groundhog Day (1993) and Scarface (1983) are both being added. Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991), »
Netflix is delivering the goods in March 2016.
And prepare to yell "Khaaaaan!" to your heart's content as "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan" (1982) is added to Netflix streaming on March 1. Also new to Netflix in March: "Groundhog Day" (1993), "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves" (1991), and "Scarface" (1983).
Available March 1, 2016
"Adult Beginners" (2015)
"Ahora o Nunca" (2015)
"Aldnoah.Zero: Season 2
"American Pie Presents: Beta House" (2007)
"American Pie Presents: The Naked Mile" (2006)
"Before We Go" (2015)
"El Desconocido" (2015)
"Fresh Meat: Series 2
"Frog Kingdom" (2013)
"Good Burger" (1997)
"Groundhog Day" (1993)
"Heaven Knows What" (2015)
"Hot Sugar's Cold World" (2015)
"Midsomer Murders: Series 17
"Road Trip: Beer Pong" (2009)
"Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves" (1991)
"Star Trek: The Motion Picture" (1979)
"Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan" (1982)
- Sharon Knolle
Modern faith-based filmmaking generally falls into two categories: dramatically inert contemporary parables and stubbornly reverential biblical adaptations. Sony-based imprint Affirm Films has especially focused on the former through emotionally turgid straw man affairs like Heaven is For Real and War Room, but Risen is the studio’s first dip into period piece territory, and it’s a satisfying success compared to their usual humorlessness and laughably serious moralizing.
Helmed by Kevin Reynolds, who is known primarily for historical popcorn action films like Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and Count of Monte Cristo, Risen delves into the cinematically dog-eared story of Christianity’s spiritual center piece: the resurrection of Jesus Christ (Cliff Curtis). The key difference is that Risen views the proceedings through the eyes of a heathen outsider – a military tribunal named Clavius (Joseph Fiennes) – framing the story as one half of a detective story and the second half as »
- Michael Snydel
Whether or not it triggers a craze for divinely inspired detective stories, “Risen” makes a decent case for itself as the “Columbo” of the genre: It’s amiable, creaky and not remotely predicated on the element of surprise. Set in the days after the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ, this pleasantly plodding New Testament noir follows a Roman soldier who, under orders from Pontius Pilate, sets out to solve the mystery of the missing Messiah — only to realize, long after most viewers will, that he is in fact playing a key role in the Greatest Story Ever Retold. By dint of its unusual time frame and perspective, Kevin Reynolds’ film adopts a lighter, more playful tone than most Hollywood biblical epics, largely steering clear of heavy-handed dramatics and kitschy pageantry as it tells a slow-moving story of spiritual awakening. Still, Sony’s pre-Easter release is unlikely to ascend to »
- Justin Chang
As noted by the recently departed Alan Rickman on his BAFTA win for Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves "Subtlety isn't everything." As far as Oscar is concerned, this year Best Actor was go big or go home. Take a look the leading men outside the bubble and you'll find mostly nuanced performances like those from Michael B. Jordan, Tom Courtenay, and Tom Hanks with their scenery unchewed. Rewarding more broad work has made this the Year of the Ham.
Some of the bigger choices have been more welcome than others in this field, so let's have some fun assessing the hammage:
Clearly the most guilty of going big for its own sake, Cranston's nomination leaves quite a sour taste in your mouth. The performance feels built upon arched shoulders and mustaches, even if Cranston is a game actor admirably going along with the film's schlocky tone. »
- Chris Feil
Risen is the epic Biblical story of the Resurrection, as told through the eyes of a non-believer. Clavius (Joseph Fiennes), a powerful Roman military tribune, and his aide, Lucius (Tom Felton), are tasked with solving the mystery of what happened to Jesus (referred to by the Hebrew name Yeshua in the film) in the weeks following the crucifixion, in order to disprove the rumors of a risen Messiah and prevent an uprising in Jerusalem.
Wamg invites you to enter for a chance to win a pass (Good for 2) to the advance screening of Risen on Tuesday, February 16 at 7Pm in the St. »
- Movie Geeks
Although only one month has passed in 2016, fans have already had to say goodbye to a number of beloved Hollywood icons in such a short period of time. One of the many legends we lost last month was Harry Potter star Alan Rickman, who passed away at the age of 69 after battling cancer. Over the weekend, Harry Potter fans from around the world gathered at Universal Studios Orlando, where a new video was taken, courtesy of Inside the Magic, to pay tribute to the late actor by raising their wands.
This homage to Alan Rickman took place at A Celebration of Harry Potter 2016, an annual event that has taken place ever since the theme park opened at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter section back in 2010. Since this was the first public event that took place after the late actor's death, it's not surprising that fans turned out in droves »
For most actors, it's in the eyes - that's where the camera lingers. Alan Rickman had an extra gift: a voice that sparked shivers of every sort. He used it to disarm Bruce Willis in Die Hard, to woo Kate Winslet in Sense and Sensibility and to rattle Daniel Radcliffe in the Harry Potter films. That rumbling bass baritone moved audiences and made Rickman one of the most respected actors of his generation. When it was silenced by cancer on Jan. 14, the only thing left to feel was heartbreak. He was 69. Born in London, the classically trained actor earned acclaim on the British stage, »
- Alynda Wheat, @AlyndaWheat
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