11 items from 2014
Jeff Daniels — longtime celebrated star of stage and screen — has been riding a new wave of acclaim the past couple of years thanks to his role as broadcaster Will McAvoy on Aaron Sorkin’s HBO TV series The Newsroom.
In 2013 Daniels earned a Primetime Emmy and a Golden Globe nomination for playing McAvoy, and this year the spry handsome 59-year-old received yet another Emmy nomination for the show that kicks off its final season this month.
He has more than 50 film credits to his name, including such critically acclaimed projects as Terms of Endearment, The Purple Rose of Cairo, Gettysburg,Pleasantville and Speed, and has worked with directing legends like James L. Brooks, Woody Allen and Mike Nichols.
- Ashley Jude Collie
Inspired by the 2005 adaptation Jarhead, Jarhead 2: Field of Fire takes viewers behind enemy lines in Afghanistan when this action-thriller debuts on Blu-ray and DVD August 19. Josh Kelly, a real-life Army Ranger veteran who served in three tours in Iraq, stars as Corporal Chris Merriman, who helps a Navy Seal (Cole Hauser) transport an Afghan woman out of the country. We have a contest lined up where fans can take home this sequel on Blu-ray, which also stars Stephen Lang, Esai Morales and Bokeem Woodbine. Take a look at how you can win below and bring this intense action sequel home.
Jarhead 2: Field of Fire Blu-ray
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There's no denying one of the biggest surprises all year is how crazy good Wgn America's "Salem" is. To say it's boundary pushing is a bit of an understatement. So we sat down with Stephen Lang to get the skinny on his character, Increase Mather. Read on!
Dread Central: I don’t have cable so I’ve only just managed to catch up on the last few episodes at a friend’s house. I must say, I am really impressed! The show looks and plays like a mini-movie… Is that one of the things that attracted you to take on the role?
Stephen Lang: I chose to become part of "Salem" for a number of reasons. First of all, I thought the writing was very strong; it has the correct tone, a fluid combination of contemporary and antique language which is unique and pretty hip. Also, I had a »
- Staci Layne Wilson
If you don't have plans for Memorial Day weekend, it will be a great time to tune in to Reelz. The weekend will feature not only a Bomb Girls marathon and the premiere of the Reelz original movie Bomb Girls: Facing the Enemy, we'll also be airing the National Memorial Day Parade on Monday at 2p Et/ 11a Pt. Of course if you need even more ways to commemorate the sacrifices of our nation’s veterans, it's a great weekend to watch some movies about real-life war heroes. Throw some popcorn in the microwave, turn on the A/C and check out our list of movies about real heroes making real sacrifices in defense of our nation’s freedom.
The VicMu Girls Are Coming Back
Sergeant York (1941)
Alvin York (Gary Cooper) was a simple man from Tennessee who hoped to avoid action in World War I because of his religious beliefs. »
- BJSprecher Sprecher
Ken Burns's The Address (PBS, 9 p.m. tonight) is just unusual enough that I wish it were better, but it's still so unusual — peculiar, even — that I'm recommending it. The advertising imagery suggests it's a film about the meaning of the Gettysburg Address, a 272-word passage in American politics that's arguably the piece of writing that most defines the U.S. Civil War. This is a subject tailor-made for Burns, who broke through to national prominence with his PBS miniseries The Civil War and went on to become public TV's virtual Smithsonian institution, curating our historical memory for us, with and without fiddle music. The Address, however, features none of the oft-parodied Burns storytelling techniques. It's really a documentary about the Greenwood School in Putney, Vermont, which houses 50 boys ages 11 to 17 who have various learning disabilities, including dyslexia, dysgraphia, executive function, and Adhd. With help from teachers, administrators, »
- Matt Zoller Seitz
Last November was the commemoration of the 150th anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, a brief but impactful speech that has gone down in history as one of our nation’s greatest. Perhaps befitting the brilliant conciseness of that address, filmmaker Ken Burns looks at the speech in one of his shortest projects, the 90-minute film The Address. While it is nowhere near as sprawling as Burns’ other works, like The Civil War or Baseball, it — as the original address did — delivers an effective message in its brief time. The Address differs from most of Burns’ other projects … Continue reading →
- Jeff Pfeiffer
Ken Burns is normally associated with documentary epics covering subjects as ambitious as the Civil War, World War II and the entire history of baseball. So it surely must have felt like something of a respite to play small ball for a while with “The Address,” profiling a school for teenage boys with learning disabilities in Vermont, and the children for whom memorizing and reciting the Gettysburg Address is a rite of passage. Despite its relative lack of heft, the project is reasonably effective in providing a window into these kids’ worlds, however narrow the aperture might be.
Narrated by the boys themselves in sometimes halting fashion, the 90-minute film uses mastering President Lincoln’s speech — a hallowed tradition at the Greenwood School — as a symbol of challenging and not giving up on children who the system has historically abandoned. Along the way, the project introduces a number of youths grappling with different issues, »
- Brian Lowry
Look past the skimpy budget, kitschy death scenes and cheap visuals. Its fictional account of the Civil War's bloodiest battle still brings a catch to the throat
• More from My guilty pleasure
In 1998, five years after the release of my guiltiest cinematic pleasure, Christopher Hitchens attended a 135th anniversary re-enactment at Gettysburg. He subsequently considered our endless fascination with such great battles: "Either you can feel a thrill and a catch in the throat at the mention of Thermopylae and Agincourt, Culloden and Gallipoli, Jarama and El Alamein, or you cannot."
It really is that simple. At the mention of Gettysburg, battle or movie, I feel a thrill and a catch in my throat. I suppose, that I am compelled to suggest why this should be so, as well as why it shouldn't.
The battle of Gettysburg was fought in rural Pennsylvania between 1 and 3 July 1863. Fifty-thousand men died, the Union »
- Martin Pengelly
Casting director Joy Todd, whose credits include Sergio Leone’s “Once Upon a Time in America,” “Demolition Man,” “Rambo III” and Sidney Lumet films including “Prince of the City” and “The Verdict,” died Feb. 18 of natural causes.
Todd started out in Philadelphia as an actress and standup comedienne. She had small parts in shows including “Act I,” “Hello, Dolly” “Naked City” In Las Vegas, she was the comedy relief in a book show called “That Certain Girl,” with Walter Slezak, Virginia Mayo and Dennis O’Keefe, and she also worked in some night clubs on the Canadian border.
Shortly thereafter, Todd did her first casting work, for Marty Richards (now a Broadway and film producer), who needed help casting film extras in New York. She then assisted Ralph Serpe, exec producer for Dino De Laurentiis on “Mandingo,” in Louisiana.
She kept an office in New York from 1976-93. Her first »
- Variety Staff
Blu-ray, DVD & Digital Release Date: April 29, 2014
Price: DVD $Tba, Blu-ray $Tba
Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Dafoe plays Bud Carter, a Louisiana detective who busts contract killer Jesse Weiland (Dillon) and convinces him to become an informant. Damon’s job is to rat out the South’s most powerful crime ring. When the syndicate orders Carter’s death and ID’s Weiland as a snitch, the two must join forces to take down crime boss Lutin (Berenger), who ordered the hit.
Bad Country wasn’t screened in theaters, making the DVD and Blu-ray its debut format.
Both formats contain two special »
“I’m a pig in shit,” Ken Burns said of his quantity of documentary films in the pipeline. First up: The Address is extremely short by Burns’ standards – under two hours long. It follows a school in Vermont that has students each year memorize the Gettysburg Address, delivered by President Lincoln on November 19, 1863 at the dedication of a cemetery on the site of the bloodiest battle ever fought on U.S. soil. It was, Burns noted, not universally embraced at the time – a Chicago newspaper’s review said, “The cheek of every American must tingle with shame as he reads the silly, flat, dishwatery utterances of the man who has to be pointed out to intelligent foreigners as the President of the United States.” The Address airs April 15 at 9 Pm on PBS. This fall, PBS will air the 14-hour The Roosevelts: An Intimate History, about Theodore, Franklin, and Eleanor Roosevelt. »
- LISA DE MORAES, TV Columnist
11 items from 2014
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