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Review: ‘Murder on the Orient Express’ is a Polite Adaptation That Steers Off-Course

Sherlock Holmes was successfully given the cinematic and television treatment this last century, both of which been met with hardcore followings and a renewed appetite for the old-school whodunit. Benedict Cumberbatch and Robert Downey Jr.’s Sherlocks were both oddly different interpretations of the famous detective, but the fresh and personal touch both actors brought to the characters made them likably inventive.

However, Agatha Christie’s Belgian detective, Hercule Poirot, equally legendary to Holmes–at least in my book–has not been given the same treatment in recent popular culture. So, it was with great anticipation that Kenneth Branagh has adapted what might just be Christie’s most famous novel, “Murder on the Orient Express.” The cast assembled for this cinematic affair is justifiably impressive, with Branagh himself playing the crucial role of Poirot as he interrogates his way through a steaming train, looking for a murderer.

Branagh, a thespian
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Murder On The Orient Express review

Kenneth Branagh brings Agatha Christie's Murder On The Orient Express back to the big screen. Here's our review...

When you’re telling a story on screen that’s been covered lots of times, to which many know the ending, the trick is in how you tell it. As director, Kenneth Branagh has been here many times before, most recently with his sumptuous staging of Cinderella. And he brings the same richness and sheer energy he injected that film with to his solid take on Agatha Christie’s Murder On The Orient Express.

The basics are in the title, of course. The ensemble board the Orient Express. There’s a murder. Poirot has to solve the case. As much as the film tries things around that core, the mystery stays at the heart of things. Although I did get the sense that Branagh expected half the film to already know whodunnit,
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Britannia Honorees Come From Both Sides of the Pond

This year, BAFTA Los Angeles is partnering with IGN to bring the 2017 Amd British Academy Britannia Awards to viewers all around the country! The livestream of this year’s ceremony, which will honor Aziz Ansari, Kenneth Branagh, Matt Damon, Ava DuVernay, Claire Foy, and Dick Van Dyke, will begin at 8:15pm Pt on Oct. 27.

Aziz Ansari

Charlie Chaplin Britannia Award for Excellence in Comedy

The Britannia Award is the latest kudo for Aziz Ansari, co-creator and star of Netflix laffer “Master of None.” The award “recognizes talent whose popularity and cultural impact exemplifies the uniquely transcendent quality of excellent comedy.”

“[Ansari’s] recent streak of ground-breaking work makes him a deserving recipient,” says BAFTA Los Angeles chairman Kieran Breen. “Aziz’s thoughtful and intelligent humor seamlessly traverses cultural and national boundaries.” Ansari’s “Master of None,” which he created with Alan Yang, has won the Emmy Award for comedy writing two years in a row, in addition
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Kenneth Branagh Journeys From Belfast to the Battle of ‘Dunkirk’ and Beyond

Kenneth Branagh Journeys From Belfast to the Battle of ‘Dunkirk’ and Beyond
Kenneth Branagh’s career spans 30 years of grand cinematic accomplishments. Able to jump from acting to directing with total ease, the five-time Oscar nominee starred earlier this year in Christopher Nolan’s WWII blockbuster and awards hopeful “Dunkirk.” He is getting ready to release his latest dual effort as actor-cum-director, this November’s “Murder on the Orient Express.” After that, he’ll direct “Artemis Fowl” for Disney.

“It’s been a great year and I’m enjoying every moment of it,” says Branagh, who will be honored with an imprint ceremony Oct. 26 in the Tcl Chinese Theatre forecourt. “Doing ‘Dunkirk’ was an experience I’ll never forget, and considering that I loved Sidney Lumet’s original and Agatha Christie’s novel, I’m excited to be bringing this new version of ‘Orient Express’ to life. I love train films and confined thrillers, and by doing it in 70mm, we really wanted to put the audience on that
See full article at Variety - Film News »

San Sebastián: Alfredo Castro, Luis Gnecco Board ‘The Saddest Goal’ (Exclusive)

San Sebastián: Alfredo Castro, Luis Gnecco Board ‘The Saddest Goal’ (Exclusive)
San Sebastian — Two of Latin America’s most reputed actors, both mainstay’s of Pablo Larraín movies, Chile’s Alfredo Castro (“Tony Manero,” “Far Away, “Los Perros”) and Luis Gnecco (“Neruda,” “Much Ado About Nothing”) are attached to star in “The Saddest Goal.”

Lead-produced by Macarena Lopez’s Manufactura de Películas (“Rara”) and co-produced by Mexico’s Lucia Films, headed by Michel Franco (“After Lucia,” “Chronic,” “April’s Daughter”), “The Saddest Goal” is a standout project at San Sebastián’s Europe-Latin America Co-production Market, which runs Sept. 24-27.

Deborah Osborn’s Sao Paulo based Big Bonzai (“Dominguihos”) will co-produce out of Brazil.

Carrying Pablo Larrain’s breakthrough “Tony Manero,” Castro has shown large range and an ability to play nuanced characters staring, or constituting key cast, in Larrain’s “Post Mortem,” “No” and “The Club,” Venice Golden Lion winner “From Afar” and most recently Marcela Said’s “Los Perros,” where he portrays a ex-Chilean colonel under investigation
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Pablo and Juan de Dios Larrain’s Fabula Sets Up U.S. Company (Exclusive)

San Sebastian – Fabula, one of Latin America’s high-profile producers, run by “Jackie” director Pablo Larraín and producer Juan de Dios Larraín, has set up a U.S. company to make English-language movies by its filmmakers from Latin America and Europe.

News of the move comes two months before Fabula, to date based just out of Santiago, Chile, goes into production on its first full-on U.S. project, a remake of Sebastián Lelio’s “Gloria,” starring Julianne Moore and directed by Lelio himself. Pre-production and production on “Gloria” will be carried out in the U.S., and post-production in Santiago, Pablo Larrain told Variety from Chile. Juan de Dios Larraín has relocated to Los Angeles to head up the new production company, called Fabula, whose offices open Monday.

The U.S production base is a milestone for one of Latin America’s most admired production companies, whose marquee directors Larraín and Lelio have already crossed into U
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Wamg Giveaway – Win Two Tickets to Shotspeare! at Playhouse @ Westport

Shotspeare combines the greatest playwright in history with endless amounts of drunken amusement, creating a must-see comedic twist on classic literature. After years of successful performances in New York City and festivals around the world, Emery Entertainment, Inc. brings this laugh-out-loud show to the Playhouse @ Westport Plaza for a triumphant return engagement October 5-7 for five side-splitting performances. Tickets may be purchased through MetroTix at or by calling 314/534-1111. Additionally, tickets will be available at the Playhouse @ Westport Plaza box office one hour prior to show time. All seats are $55.

We Are Movie Geeks has a pair of passes to give away for the opening night performance of Shotspeare! That’s Thursday, October 5th at 8pm. Leave a message below letting us know what your favorite film based on a Shakespeare play is (mine is Forbidden Planet). It’s so easy!

Official Rules:

1. You Must Be In The St.
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‘Dunkirk’ Cast: Where You’ve Seen Christopher Nolan’s Ensemble Before

‘Dunkirk’ Cast: Where You’ve Seen Christopher Nolan’s Ensemble Before
Dunkirk” is finally upon us after months of anticipation, and it’s clear the long wait has been worth it. IndieWire has named the WWII epic the best movie Christopher Nolan has ever made and a certain Oscar contender in the months ahead. As audiences nationwide get to discover why the film is such a monumental war epic, questions as to who exactly is in the cast are bound to come up.

Read More: ‘Dunkirk’ Review: Christopher Nolan’s Monumental War Epic Is The Best Film He’s Ever Made

Unlike Nolan’s recent star-driven efforts like “Inception” and “Interstellar,” “Dunkirk” features an eclectic mix of relative newcomers, Oscar winners and the director’s reliable collaborators. Getting a blend of known and unknown talent was crucial for Nolan, as including too many stars would’ve distracted from the urgent nature of the story. In following mostly fresh faces, Nolan is
See full article at Indiewire »

See Stephen Colbert Mock Donald Trump Jr. for Russia Meeting

See Stephen Colbert Mock Donald Trump Jr. for Russia Meeting
Stephen Colbert taunted the Trump administration on Monday after The New York Times reported that the President's son, Donald Trump Jr., agreed to meet with a Russian lawyer offering information that would hurt Hillary Clinton's bid for the presidency.

"It's not a smoking gun," Colbert allowed, "but it is a gun meeting with a Russian bullet about their mutual desire to smoke."

"Much ado about nothing," he added, mocking the words Donald Trump Jr.'s lawyer Alan Futerfas used in his client's defense, "other than the fact that five
See full article at Rolling Stone »

TV Review: ‘Will,’ TNT’s Punk Rock Take on William Shakespeare

TV Review: ‘Will,’ TNT’s Punk Rock Take on William Shakespeare
The oddest assumption “Will” makes is in assuming that William Shakespeare, the Og of the English language, needs the patina of punk rock to make him cool. I’m no expert on cool, but haven’t we all trod this ground many times before? The executive producer and writer of the pilot, Craig Pearce, wrote the screenplay for “Romeo + Juliet,” along with director Baz Luhrmann and, of course, the Bard himself. It’s been over 20 years since that film and “Shakespeare in Love”; about a decade since teen movies “She’s the Man” and “Deliver Us From Eva” applied the Shakespeare formula to high school. To belabor the point: Joss Whedon’s black-and-white, modern-day “Much Ado About Nothing” is just five years old, 2014’s “The Hollow Crown” on BBC cast well-known heartthrobs like Tom Hiddleston and Benedict Cumberbatch in the lead roles, and for pete’s sake, “The Lion King” is based on “Hamlet.”

See full article at Variety - TV News »

Horror Highlights: Kate Beckinsale at Wizard World Sacramento, Peelers Blu-ray / DVD, Attack Of The 50 Foot Film Fest

If you live on the West Coast and you're a fan of Death Dealer Selene from the Underworld movies, then you'll want to mark the weekend of June 17th–18th on your calendar, because Kate Beckinsale will be a featured guest at Wizard World Sacramento. In today's Horror Highlights, we also have details on the Blu-ray / DVD release of Peelers and the lineup for Attack of the 50 Foot Film Fest in Atlanta.

Kate Beckinsale to Attend Wizard World Sacramento: Press Release: "Sacramento, Calif., June 5, 2017 – Kate Beckinsale, star of such films as Underworld and Pearl Harbor, and Val Kilmer, standout in Batman Forever and Top Gun, have been added to the top-flight celebrity roster at Wizard World Comic Con Sacramento at the Sacramento Convention Center. Both will appear on Saturday and Sunday, June 17-18, when they will greet fans, sign autographs, pose for photo ops and conduct interactive Q&A sessions with fans.
See full article at DailyDead »

Daughters of the Dust review – the dreamlike film that inspired Beyoncé's Lemonade

Twenty-six years after its original release, Julie Dash’s story of spirituality and family on a South Carolina island carries the mark of a true film-making talent

The big screen is the best place to see this restored 1991 gem from African American film-maker Julie Dash; it now has a cinema re-release, perhaps partly due to the fact that its imagery and style inspired Beyoncé’s Lemonade video. It is a mysterious, fabular and sometimes dreamlike film with its own theatrical poise. At times it reminded me of Chekhov, or maybe a performance of Shakespeare’s Tempest. (I wondered if this might not have been an influence on Kenneth Branagh’s 1993 screen adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing.)

Related: Daughters of the Dust: Julie Dash's lush drama remains a vital portrait of black life

Continue reading...
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Damian Lewis webchat – your questions answered on Brexit nationalists, Eton and noisy theatregoers

The Homeland and Billions star, now starring in The Goat, talked sweet packets, war heroes and the myths of private education

3.15pm BST

3.08pm BST

Au revoir, thanks for reading. Thanks for being online, and I hope this answers some of your questions. Toodle pip - and come as see The Goat!

3.07pm BST

SkavArt asks:

Earlier in the year you commented that it was “a nonsense” that only privately educated actors were becoming dominant in acting. Don’t you feel that, due to the lack of funding in all the arts, such as the removal of grants and increase course fees, that it’s becoming less diverse? That there isn’t the healthy mix of students from different backgrounds that there once was?

You're right, we have to protect against lack of diversity. If theatre, film, TV, dance, opera, ballet are going to remain true artforms, they must be reflective of all society.
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

TCM Film Festival: Michael Douglas Opens Up About Career, Personal Issues

TCM Film Festival: Michael Douglas Opens Up About Career, Personal Issues
Michael Douglas was not afraid to share a few of his worst reviews Saturday at the TCM Classic Film Festival’s key annual Q&A at the Montalban Theatre in Hollywood.

His very first critical notice came from his father, Kirk, who drove up to see him play his first theatrical role, a small part as a messenger in a 1960s Uc Santa Barbara production of Much Ado About Nothing.

“Dad came back and said, ‘Michael, you were terrible,’ Douglas related. "He was so relieved. He said, ‘Thank God, I don’t have to worry about my son going into this business.’”

See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

My Costar, My Spouse: 15 Celeb Couples Who Took Their Romance to the Big Screen

My Costar, My Spouse: 15 Celeb Couples Who Took Their Romance to the Big Screen
A movie starring two famous actors who happen to be married in real-life: On paper, it sounds like it should be a sure-fire win. In reality? It’s not that simple.

It’s no wonder that famous couples might be hesitant to collaborate in a movie, even if it was guaranteed to smash the box office: Working with your spouse is hard, and it wouldn’t make it any easier to know that throngs of people would be examining the final product, looking for all possible glimpses into your personal life.

Occasionally, some famous couples have considered that possibility and decided,
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‘Rara,’ ‘Neruda,’ ‘A Monster Calls’ Make First Longlist for 4th Platino Awards

‘Rara,’ ‘Neruda,’ ‘A Monster Calls’ Make First Longlist for 4th Platino Awards
Barcelona — “Rara,” “Neruda” and “A Monster Calls” have made the first cut, alongside another 142 features, for this year’s 4th Platino Ibero-American Film Awards, the region’s highest-profile movie event. It is organized by Egeda Spanish Producers Rights Collection Society and backed by the Ibero-American Federation of Film and Audiovisual Producers (Fipca). National film academies and film funding boards across Latin America also back the Platinos.

The long-list was announced at this week’s Guadalajara Film Festival. It was made up from a record number of 847 submissions, according to organizers. In the most major innovation of this year’s edition, the Platino Awards will adds a TV series category.

“Rara,“ from Chile’s Pepa San Martin, weighs in as the film with most category confirmations, a somewhat remarkable fact given its a first feature. A Lgbt/arthouse family drama, “Rara” turns on two daughters, their biological mom and her partner,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Toulouse 2017 Films in Progress Selects ’Los Perros,’ ‘Hunting Season,’ ‘The Desert Bride’

Toulouse 2017 Films in Progress Selects ’Los Perros,’ ‘Hunting Season,’ ‘The Desert Bride’
Madrid — Chile’s “Los Perros” and Argentina’s “Hunting Season” and “The Desert Bride” are set for France’s 31st Toulouse Cinelatino Fest Films in Progress showcase, which has often proved a gateway to big festival selection, beginning with May’s Cannes Festival.

Of Toulouse’s six entries last year. “The Blind Christ” and “The Winter” went on play in competition at Venice and San Sebastian respectively; “Don’t Swallow My Heart, Alligator Girl!” was selected for Sundance.

Running March 23-24, Films in Progress will host four films from women directors and five debuts. That said, some titles are already currying expectation given the pedigree of their producers.

Lead-produced by France’s Cinema Defacto (“As We Were Dreaming”) and Chile’s Jirafa Films (“Much Ado About Nothing,” “The Blind Christ”), “Los Perros” marks the anticipated second feature from Marcela Said whose fiction debut, “The Summer of Flying Fish” was selected
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Jirafa Films, Sutor Kolonko Team on ‘Vaterland,’ ‘The Best We Can’ (Exclusive)

Buenos Aires — Chile’s Jirafa Films and Ingmar Trost’s Cologne-based Sutor Kolonko are teaming on two co-productions: “Vaterland,” to be co-directed by Francisco Hervé and Tom Schreiber and starring August Diehl (“Inglourious Basterds”), the lead in Terrence Malick’s upcoming “Radegund”; and “The Best We Can,” a bittersweet dramedy to be shot in Czech in the Czech Republic by Chilean Sundance Grand Jury Prize winner Alejandro Fernandez Almendras (“To Kill a Man”).

Co-written and co-directed by directors from the producing partners’ countries, and co-developed by Jirafa and Sutor, “Vaterland” is an attempt to construct a true co-production, said Jirafa’s Augusto Matte. It also continues Jirafa’s drive into Europe-based film alliances which offset risk and sole dependency on Chilean state-funding. That is making a virtue out off necessity, as Chile, like other countries in Latin America, suffers a growth paradox. The more state funding stimulates production levels, the
See full article at Variety - Film News »

San Sebastian: Chile’s Jirafa, Italy’s Alba Team for Francisca Alegria’s Debut ‘The Cow That Sang Its Song’ (Exclusive)

San Sebastian — Building Chile’s growing pantheon of eye-catching young women directors, already one of the strongest of any national cinema in Latin America, Chile’s Jirafa Films (“The Blind Christ”) has closed a deal with Rosanna Seregni at Italy’s Alba Produzioni for Alba to co-produce the feature debut of Chile’s Francisca Alegria, a prize-winning Columbia U. alum.

Jirafa’s Augusto Matte announced the deal at the San Sebastian Festival. The co-production pact will now allow the partners to apply to a newly-created Chile-Italy bilateral co-production fund, he added.

A family drama, “The Cow That Sang Its Song About the Future” expands on the magical realist universe, poetic symbolism and shooting style – fluid dolly shots, a realist treatment of supernatural elements – of her Columbia U. School of the Arts Mfa degree short “And the Whole Sky Fit in the Dead Cow’s Eye” (pictured). This world premiered at Telluride,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

San Sebastian: Almendras, Jirafa, Arizona, Film & Roll Set ‘A Work of Love’ (Exclusive)

San Sebastian — In a career departure and sign of the growing empowerment of top Latin American filmmakers, Chilean Sundance Grand Jury Prize winner Alejandro Fernandez Almendras (“To Kill a Man”) will direct “A Work of Love,” a bittersweet dramedy to be shot in Czech in the Czech Republic.

Almendras leapt to fame with two searing social indictments: “Man” and “Much Ado About Nothing,” which was selected for 2016’s Sundance and Berlin Panorama editions. Set in Almendras’ native Chile and shot in Spanish, both attacked failings in Chile’s justice system.

To shoot in b/w, “A Work of Love” is produced by Chile’s Jirafa Films, the company behind “Much Ado” and Christopher Murray’s Venice competition player “The Blind Christ,” Guillaume de Seille’s Paris-based Arizona Films, a producer on “Man and “Much Ado,” and Veronica Vinkova’s Film & Roll in the Czech Republic.

Written by Almendras, “A Work of Love” turns on Petr,
See full article at Variety - Film News »
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