16 items from 2014
It's that time of the year again, when not-so-jolly critics start making those lists, checking them twice, to break down an entire year of movies in list form. Last year, I split up my year-end piece into three separate stories, Most Overrated, Most Underrated and my Top 10. This year, I'm changing things up again, ever so slightly, discarding the Overrated category entirely. It's a category I always seem to have trouble with it, and, this year, only two of my picks were wide releases, with another that hasn't even hit theaters yet. I'm also changing the Underrated list to "Overlooked," since it fits better with what I'm trying to say: that these five movies below are truly fantastic, but simply weren't given their just due in theaters.
That's not to say I'm completely surprised that this quintet is overlooked. After all, the "widest" release for all of these films was a whopping 63 theaters, »
Neil Calloway looks at the superhero movie genre’s dominance of the mainstream, and its impact on adult cinema…
The news that financing on the the film Idol’s Eye, slated to star Robert De Niro and Robert Pattinson, had been pulled, just as it was about to go into production surprised me. If a film starring an double Oscar winner like De Niro and a young star like Pattinson can’t attract investors, what films can? Anyone that has an interest in film can’t have helped but notice that Marvel Studios – which only started making films on its own in 2008 – revealed their “phase three” for the next few years, quickly following the announcement from DC comics If these young upstarts can tell us what films they’re going to be making for the foreseeable future, how can a film like Idol’s Eye not secure the money it needs to get made? »
- Oli Davis
Robert Redford is to receive a lifetime achievement award from the Film Society of Lincoln Centre.
The 78-year-old actor and director will be awarded the Chaplin Award during a gala in New York next April, reports BBC News.
The film society's executive director Lesli Klainberg said: "Obviously he's a star that many of us have grown up watching from his films in the early 1960s to his current work.
He will also appear in A Walk in the Woods, »
Women presidents at the Academy: Cheryl Boone Isaacs is only the third one (photo: Angelina Jolie, Cheryl Boone Isaacs, Brad Pitt) (See previous post: "Honorary Award Non-Winners: Too Late for Gloria Swanson, Rita Hayworth, Marlene Dietrich.") Wrapping up this four-part "Honorary Oscars Bypass Women" article, let it be noted that in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' 85-year history there have been only two women presidents: two-time Oscar-winning actress Bette Davis (for two months in 1941, before the Dangerous and Jezebel star was forced to resign) and screenwriter Fay Kanin (1979-1983), whose best-known screen credit is the 1958 Doris Day-Clark Gable comedy Teacher's Pet. Additionally, following some top-level restructuring in April 2011, the Academy created the positions of Chief Executive Officer and Chief Operating Officer, with the CEO post currently held by a woman, former Film Independent executive director and sometime actress Dawn Hudson. The COO post is held »
- Andre Soares
Sherry Lansing, the former prexy of 20th Century Fox, and chairman and CEO of Paramount Pictures for 12 years, was at the Karlovy Vary Film Festival this week with her husband, William Friedkin, who received the Crystal Globe for outstanding artistic contribution to world cinema.
Lansing, who played a leading role in the success of such films as “Forrest Gump,” “Braveheart” and Titanic,” spoke to Variety about the prospects for talented female executives in international territories, the quality of Hollywood movies today, her objectives in the field of philanthropy, and Mel Gibson.
In 1980, you earned the status of trailblazer when you became the first woman to head a Hollywood studio. Although many female execs have followed in your footsteps Stateside, in international territories it is far less common to find female heads of leading film companies. What are the key factors that would change that and help talented female executives rise worldwide? »
- Leo Barraclough
Fans of The Simple Life have likely missed Nicole Richie, the forever-mocking half of the (former!) Bff duo. It's been seven years since the show's last episode, but Richie will be back on reality TV with a show originally aired as an AOL series, Candidly Nicole. By the looks of the trailer, Nicole is still as rude as ever: asking her father Lionel Richie if he takes Viagra, asking some chickens if they are gay, and asking young children if they've seen Indecent Proposal. It's been way too long, Nicole. »
- Lindsey Weber
Exclusive: Adrian Lyne has signed with CAA. The helmer, most famous for the steamy provocative thrillers Fatal Attraction, Indecent Proposal, 9 1/2 Weeks, Lolita and Flashdance, most recently was repped by Wme. It has been difficult to get him to direct; his last picture was 2002′s Unfaithful, which starred Richard Gere and Diane Lane. Lyne has flirted with a steamy film or two but hasn’t consummated. Maybe CAA will have better luck getting him to close the deal and get back behind the camera. »
What would you do if someone waved a bunch of cash in your face, and offered it you in exchange for doing progressively more degrading things? It's a simple question, that's explored in considerable detail in the usually smart, sometimes plain cruel Cheap Thrills.
The film is centered around Craig, played by Pat Healy, who's facing eviction from his home as he struggles to meet the rent. Life is further complicated by the fact that he and his wife - Audrey - have a young child. How can it get worse? Well, by turning up to work and finding out you're losing your job.
In despair, and unsure how he's going to break the news at home, Craig hits a local bar, and meets up with an old high school colleague, »
I am going to share with you a hypothetical scenario. As I do, imagine yourself in this scenario. You can choose to be any one of the characters involved in the scenario, but I challenge you not to feel the raw emotion of the moment…
Andrew is suffering from the loss of his mother, who recently died of cancer. At Andrew’s request, his girlfriend Hannah, his two best friends Dave and Owen, and their two girlfriends Emily and Zoe, all meet up at a rented house in the rural desert to support Andrew in his time of grief. What they all find out is that Andrew, as a way to cope with the pain and sadness of his loss, would like to sleep with all three women, Hannah, Emily and Zoe, simultaneously, in an effort to help him heal, emotionally, by submerging himself in overwhelming love.
Now, in whose shoes are you standing? »
- Travis Keune
The month in soaps: Hannah Verdier on the murder with too many motives on the Square, the cut-price Indecent Proposal on the Street, and the wedding of the week on Emmerdale
The words "I want to make this an Easter to remember" never bode well in soapland. The moment bushy-tailed EastEnders landlady Linda Carter uttered them, Albert Square fell eerily quiet and the camera panned to Lucy Beale's dead hand lying among the leaves of Walford Common. And so kicked off the biggest whodunnit since "Who shot Phil Mitchell?" as the most boring of all the Beales was slaughtered in her perma-shagging prime.
It was a hasty fall from grace, Lucy hurriedly going from best-avoided to roundly despised. Scuppering Whitney's budding romance with Lee Carter with the words "I'm pretty certain she's stopped charging for sex," was a masterstroke. But Lucy didn't stop there, emerging from behind the hotplate at »
- Hannah Verdier
Black Box, ABC‘s latest drama, feels a lot like a show created by committee, and constructed largely by piecing together ratings research of plot and character points. A little bit House, a hint of Grey’s Anatomy, and a heaping dose of the hokey, “we’re calling you stupid,” plot construction of Scandal… et voilà. Of course, if those last two are among your favorite shows, welcome to your new obsession.
Dr. Catherine Black (Kelly Reilly) is the world’s most impressive and important neurologist… or whatever. She’s so cool that she has her own facility in New York City. Known as “The Cube,” it’s all neurology, all the time, and Dr. Black runs the show. But, »
- Marc Eastman
A mass murdering maniac escapes from prison and, armed with a power drill, begins to decimate the nubile high schoolers of a Los Angeles suburb during their slumber party. That’s it. Why mess with perfection and add a convoluted plot?
This is the 80′s remember, when the slasher movie was king and all you needed to make a film was a bunch of nubile girls willing to strip off on camera, some Ok(ish) special effects, and someone to play the killer… No need forany real motivation, no need for any back story, just as long as there’s gore-a-plenty!
- Phil Wheat
‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ box office: ‘Captain America 2′ to pass $100 million on opening weekend? (photo: Chris Evans and Robert Redford in ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’) The Avengers effect has yet to subside. Captain America: The Winter Soldier, a sequel to both The Avengers and Captain America: The First Avenger, debuted with an estimated $10.2 million from Thursday night (April 3, 2014) screenings in North America, including $1.2 million at 344 IMAX locations. Directed by Anthony and Joe Russo, and featuring Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, and veteran Robert Redford Captain America: The Winter Soldier is poised to enjoy the biggest April weekend opening ever at the domestic box office, even after factoring in inflation. At 3,938 theaters in the U.S. and Canada, Captain America: The Winter Soldier will surely surpass the current April record-holder, Justin Lin’s Fast Five. Starring Paul Walker, Vin Diesel, and Dwayne Johnson, the Rio de Janeiro-set »
- Zac Gille
Claudia Schiffer has told a TV chat show in the UK that she once turned down an offer of over $1million to spend an evening with an Arab Prince. The 43-year-old supermodel – who is married to movie director Matthew Vaughn – says she immediately turned down the weird offer, which echoes the plot of the 1993 Adrian Lyne film starring Robert Redford, Demi Moore and Woody Harrelson. Speaking during a pre-recorded interview which is due to be screened this weekend, Schiffer told ITV host Jonathan Ross: “I’ve had loads of weird suggestions but the strangest was from an Arab prince. “He asked if he could hire me for dinner [ Read More ]
Joseph Ruskin, an actor known for roles on film and television, died on Saturday (Dec. 28). He was 89, according to the Screen Actors' Guild.
Ruskin's almost 60-year career began with TV roles -- mostly in westerns -- in the 1950s. Over the years, the character actor appeared in a wide variety of roles, some of them even in the same show. Ruskin appeared on such programs as "Peter Gunn," "The Twilight Zone," "The Untouchables," "Mister Ed," "Get Smart," "Charlie's Angels" and more.
One of Ruskin's earliest notable roles was as Galt in the original "Star Trek" series -- the actor later had the notable distinction of appearing in a "Star Trek" movie as well as two of the show's later spinoffs, "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" and "Star Trek: Voyager." Ruskin played the role of Alain Christophe in three episodes of "Alias" in 2002, a departure from earlier roles in which he »
Beloved science fiction actor, Joseph Ruskin, died on Saturday, Dec. 28, 2013 at age 89.
Ruskin, whose on-screen career spanned five decades, from 1955 to 2006, is perhaps best known for his bit roles in television’s Mission Impossible and various Star Trek incarnations, including the 1966 original. He also appeared in Smokin’ Aces (2006) and Indecent Proposal (1993).
Ruskin reportedly died of natural causes in Santa Monica, Calif, and last took to the stage in a 2013 production of The Crucible by the Antaeus Theater Company. He frequently acted in television, plays and films throughout his career. Ruskin also served as a member of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) board from 1976 to 1999 and, during that time, became the first national SAG vice president.
Ruskin is survived by his daughter, Alicia Ruskin, wife Barbara Greene Ruskin and three step-daughters.
– Olivia Truffaut-Wong
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16 items from 2014
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