1-20 of 88 items from 2014 « Prev | Next »
We're covering a lot of ground today with the centerpiece being our review of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1. We also dig into the Bill Cosby controversy for a second, the death of Mike Nichols, Universal's plans for at least three more Fast & Furious movies, Prometheus 2, Zoolander 2, a few of your questions, some games and a few knicks and knacks along the way. Hope you enjoy! If you are on Twitter, we have a Twitter account dedicated to the podcast at @bnlpod. Give us a follow won'tchac I want to remind you that you can call in and leave us your comments, thoughts, questions, etc. directly on our Google Voice account, which you can call and leave a message for us at (925) 526-5763, which may be even easier to remember at (925) 5-bnl-pod. Just call, leave us a voice mail and we'll add those to the show and respond directly. »
- Brad Brevet
Steven Spielberg is among those mourning his friend and fellow filmmaker Mike Nichols—the Oscar-winning director of The Graduate, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, Catch-22, Primary Colors, and Charlie Wilson's War, who has died at the age of 83. Spielberg, who has known Nichols for decades, released a statement calling Nichols "a friend, a muse, a mentor, one of America's all time greatest film and stage directors, and one of the most generous people I have ever known." Actors usually end up sharing the screen with countless colleagues over a lifetime, but being a director is a solitary profession. One film typically has one filmmaker. »
- Anthony Breznican
Benedict Cumberbatch is Alan Turing. Benedict Cumberbatch is also the most popular Sherlock Holmes in history, the terrible and stupendous dragon Smaug in The Hobbit film adaptations and the ultimate nemesis that is Khan in the alternate-timeline that constitutes the Star Trek reboot movie cycle.
Benedict Cumberbatch is also set to become Doctor Strange in the Marvel Cinematic Universe - the hottest multi-franchise in the galaxy (several galaxies, actually) and the multifaceted pop-cultural entity magnetically attracting the most fascination and speculation right now (even more than the upcoming Star Wars sequels, which Cumberbatch has also been heavily linked with. In all likelihood, for all we know, Benedict Cumberbatch is also a Star Wars secret).
Some call it the most important dress rehearsal of awards season. Saturday night's annual Governors Awards, held just a few floors above the distinguished Dolby Theatre where the Oscars take place, was initially created as a way to speed up the prime-time telecast by siphoning off the honorary awards to an event of their own. But now, in its sixth year, in addition to honoring some very distinguished guests, including Harry Belafonte for his decades of humanitarian work and legendary red-headed screen siren Maureen O'Hara, the night has transformed into a coming out party for the year's crop of Oscar »
- Nicole Sperling
Hollywood — At the 6th annual Governors Awards Saturday night, Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award recipient Harry Belafonte brought things to a sober, classy close with a lengthy speech detailing some of Hollywood's history with social rights issues. It was a pretty powerful send-off (Michael Keaton seemed particularly knocked out from my vantage point). I've included the full text of the speech (the bulk of his remarks, that is) below, as it seemed like something worth sharing. For more on the evening, be sure to read our coverage from the event. *** America has come a long way since Hollywood in 1915 gave the world the film "Birth of a Nation." By all measure, this cinematic work was considered the greatest film ever made. The power of moving pictures to impact on human behavior was never more powerfully evidenced than when after the release of this film, American citizens went on a murderous rampage. »
- Kristopher Tapley
"Clothes don't make the man?" That rule certainly doesn't hold true in the movies. Dress can say a lot about characters, their class, their self-image, their self-consciousness, the period and place in which they live, the story they're living and how a director wishes an audience to perceive them. Fortunately, the Academy's Costume Design branch recognizes this, as it consistently proves itself to be one of the most original sects of the organization, not overtly swayed by a film's overall perception. Every year, films that are critically maligned and/or have no other nominations tend to score here and the overall state of the Best Picture race tends to play only a peripheral role. Nevertheless, trends can be noted. Period pieces almost always take a majority of the nominations, frequently all five. Glamor is also awarded frequently. There are also great designers (such as Sandy Powell, Milena Canonero and Colleen Atwood »
- Gerard Kennedy
Neil Patrick Harris to host Oscar 2015 ceremony Stage, film, and television actor Neil Patrick Harris will host the 2015 Oscars, aka the 87th Academy Awards ceremony, Oscarcast producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron announced today, October 15, 2014. This will be Neil Patrick Harris' first time hosting the show, which in the United States will air live on ABC on Sunday, February 22. As quoted in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences press release, Zadan and Meron are "thrilled" to have Harris host their show, adding that "we have known him his entire adult life" and "to work with him on the Oscars is the perfect storm." As to be expected, Harris' statement reads that “it is truly an honor and a thrill" to be invited to host the 2015 Academy Awards ceremony Now, Neil Patrick Harris is an experienced awards-show host. His credits in the field include hosting the 61st and 65th Primetime Emmy Awards, »
- Steve Montgomery
X-Men: Days of Future Past It's interesting to me in that I consider X-Men: Days of Future Past one of the best movies of 2014 and the second best blockbuster of the summer behind Edge of Tomorrow and yet I have little to no interest in seeing it again. I've seen plenty of trailers as of late promoting today's release of the DVD and Blu-ray and each time I remember enjoying the movie, but a feeling of meh when it comes to watching it again comes over me. Nevertheless, I can still I say I felt it was a good movie... that one time I saw it.
Fargo Season One Here's a show I need to get back to and finish. Everyone I've talked to and seen comment online has enjoyed it and having already watched three of the ten episodes it only makes sense I finish it.
Venus in Fur »
- Brad Brevet
Christopher Reeve Foundation for spinal cord and stem cell research (photo: Darryl Hannah and Christopher Reeve in 'Rear Window') (See previous post: "'Superman' Christopher Reeve and his Movies: Ten-Year Death Anniversary.") In his 1998 autobiography Still Me, Christopher Reeve recalled: "At an especially bleak moment [prior to an operation that might result in his death], the door [of his hospital room] flew open and in hurried a squat fellow with a blue scrub hat and a yellow surgical gown and glasses, speaking in a Russian accent. For the first time since the accident, I laughed. My old friend had helped me know that somehow I was going to be okay." The "old friend" was the recently deceased Robin Williams, whom Reeve had befriended while both were studying at Juillard. Eventually, Reeve became a staunch advocate for spinal cord and stem cell research, sponsoring with his wife the Christopher Reeve Foundation — later renamed the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation (and formerly known »
- Andre Soares
While Steven Spielberg searched for his next movie, flirting with "American Sniper" before giving way to Clint Eastwood, famed cinematographer Janusz Kaminski was vigorously pursued by David Dobkin to shoot "The Judge." The two-time Oscar-winner ("Saving Private Ryan," "Schindler's List") was impressed with Dobkin's passion and ambition for this film about father-son estrangement. It was a far cry from Dobkin's earlier "The Change-Up" and "Wedding Crashers," and the powerful odd couple pairing of the two Roberts (Downey Jr. and Duvall) proved too irresistible for Kaminski to turn down. "I like David's movies, but he made sure this movie had autobiographical elements from his life [humbled by taking care of his estranged mother], which is always very uplifting to me," Kaminski explained by phone from New York, where he's currently shooting Spielberg's "St. James Place," the true-life '60s Cold »
- Bill Desowitz
138 is a magic number. It's the average length, in minutes, of a Best Picture winner. Here are the running times of all winnners from longest to shortest. You'll see that the majority of winners are over 2 hours long which has caused no end of padding in "serious" movies but alas, not enough padding for tender buttocks watching the interminable movies.
Here are your Best Picture winners from longest film to the shortest.
Gone With the Wind (1939) 238 minutes
Just two minutes shy of four hours, but worth every second. Lots of Gone With the Wind discussion here. Did you see its recent two day theatrical screening? Lawrence of Arabia (1962) 216 minutes Ben-Hur (1959) 212 minutes
Currently in the process of being remade because that's how Hollywood do. Although this film was itself a remake so... we'll let it pass. Still there is no way its signature scene, the chariot race, will be as thrilling with CGI. »
- NATHANIEL R
Why don't we talk about Steven Spielberg's "Munich" more? Flipping his sentimentalist reputation the bird, the docudramatized look inside Mossad's covert retaliation against the Palestine Liberation Organization is unmercifully tense and morally complicated to the point of inducing anxiety attacks. "Munich" is weaponized blockbuster filmmaking — and it sounds like Spielberg's antsy to return to the style. Perhaps praise for the 2006 Best Picture-nominee will resurface next October, when Spielberg adds another notch to his thriller belt with a Cold War drama starring "Catch Me If You Can" star Tom Hanks. Dreamworks and Walt Disney Pictures announced today that principal photography has begun on the currently untitled film, which costars Mark Rylance, Amy Ryan, and Alan Alda. Shooting around New York and Berlin, the film tells the true story of James Donovan, an attorney thrust into Cold War chaos when the CIA recruits him for a "near-impossible mission to negotiate the »
- Matt Patches
Cinematographer Janusz Kaminski works on about one film per year and has collaborated with Steven Spielberg on over a dozen films, including "Schindler's List," "War of the Worlds," "Munich," "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull," and "Lincoln." He recently completed work on Robert Downey Jr's "The Judge" and is already planning something for 2015. In an interview with Variety, he revealed that his next movie will be a re-teaming with Spielberg for "Indiana Jones 5." We've heard of lots of hints that "Indiana Jones 5" is moving forward, but mostly from crew members and leaked schedules. But now that Kaminski has confirmed the project, it's only a matter of time before filming begins. »
Over at Slashfilm they noticed something of a throwaway line in a recent article at Variety discussing the new collaborative online project from cinematographers Janusz Kaminski (Lincoln), Phedon Papamichael (Nebraska) and Wally Pfister (The Dark Knight Rises) in which the trio will offer a series of online instructional videos for aspiring filmmakers at Advanced Filmmaking. The line has to do with Kaminski, which goes as follows: Since then, Kaminski has made more than a dozen films with Steven Spielberg, earning two Oscars along the way. His credits include Schindler's List, Saving Private Ryan and The Diving Bell & the Butterfly. His next project is the upcoming fifth Indiana Jones movie. Wait, whatc His next projectc Kaminski previously worked on The Judge, which hits theaters on October 10 (my review) and is now working on Spielberg's Untitled Cold War thriller (which is going by St. James Place on set, but that is not »
- Brad Brevet
★★★☆☆There's an endearing nature to Liam Neeson's action-hero exploits - what CineVue's Chris Fennell dubbed "Neesploitation" - over the years. The man who won an Oscar nomination twenty years past for Schindler's List (1993) is now a more bankable hardman than Schwarzenegger and Stallone, and yet little before 2008's Taken suggested such a second career for someone of Neeson's gruff appearance. Perhaps the tragic death of his then-wife Natasha Richardson was the catalyst. There's a gravitas and indeed a tragedy that makes him effortlessly identifiable in these madcap parts. Just look at how many 'former' roles he plays - an ex-cia man in the Taken films, a reformed convict in The Next Three Days.
- CineVue UK
Daniel Radcliffe will win an Oscar, eventually. He's driven, he's eclectic, he's riding Leonardo DiCaprio-esque blockbuster momentum that he's happy to cash in for provocative material, and, most importantly, he's good. And getting better. Holding his own against Alan Rickman, Maggie Smith and Ralph Fiennes for a decade certainly helped. Based on the talent assembled for his latest project, Radcliffe's time could be coming sooner than later. Goldcrest Films announced today that Sir Ben Kinglsey ("Schindler's List") and Brie Larson ("Short Term 12") will join Radcliffe in Killer Films' "Brooklyn Bridge," the story of engineer Washington Roebling and his calamitous road to realizing New York City's iconic structure. Radcliffe will play Roebling, who inherits the Brooklyn Bridge project from his father (Kinglsey) and finds an unlikely working partner in his wife, Emily (Larson). Radcliffe's costars provide an awards-friendly bedrock for "Brooklyn Bridge." Kinglsey is a four-time Oscar nominee, picking »
- Matt Patches
We cover a lot of ground in today's podcast and yet it still fell just short of the two hour mark and we really tried. That said, today we hold the Fall Box Office Draft, we review Frank and Starred Up and revisit The Trip to Italy as Laremy caught it this week and had a few things to say. We also play our regular assortment of games including the longest "Buy or Sell" edition ever, plus clear out a backlog of "Watch This or Watch That". Also included is a conversation as to whether you can be too apologetic in reviews, a listen to the trailer for Kirk Cameron's Saving Christmas and even a voicemail sneaks in. We hope you enjoy. If you are on Twitter, we have a Twitter account dedicated to the podcast at @bnlpod. Give us a follow won'tchac I want to remind you that »
- Brad Brevet
Officials of a Swedish town have combated a neo-Nazi rally with the Schindler's List theme.
The bells of Norrköping city hall rang to the composition from Steven Spielberg's Holocaust film to oppose the far-right message (via The Guardian).
The tune was played before and after the rally by the Party of the Swedes, a group that wants to end immigration and reserve Swedish citizenship for people of "western genetic and cultural heritage".
Local government spokesman Ulf Mossberg said that the move expressed the city's belief in "the equal value of all people".
The small extremist party hopes to win seats at the Swedish elections on September 14.
1993's Schindler's List told the tale of Oskar Schindler, a German businessman who smuggled Jewish refugees to safety during World War II. It won seven Oscars out of twelve nominations. »
"Suicide is a permanent solution to temporary problems." - Robin Williams, "World's Greatest Dad" This is a very emotional "Ask Drew." This is, I would suspect, the closest you're ever going to see to me losing it on camera completely. I guess I shouldn't have been surprised when there was a Robin Williams question, since it's still so fresh and so raw for so many people, but I couldn't have known just how hard it would be to talk about him. I mean, I have stared at the blinking cursor on my blank document page for almost two days now, grappling with one question: how in the hell do you even remotely begin to sum up someone as huge as Robin Williams? We could start from the personal angle. I could tell you about the occasional e-mails I got from him when I was at Ain't It Cool, or the »
- Drew McWeeny
The beloved performer shared his soul with the internet when he answered these revealing Ask Me Anything questions in 2013.
In late 2013-- before Robin Williams' CBS sitcom The Crazy Ones premiered-- the Oscar winner took to Reddit for one of their Ask Me Anything (Ama) online events - where site users are encouraged to ask whatever they've always wanted to know about the famous participant. In this case, Williams got quite candid.
Robin Williams died on Monday, August 11, at age 63. The celebrated comedian and actor had been battling depression, according to his representative, and is suspected to have died of an apparent suicide.
One quote that stuck out in the wake of Williams' death is a question he answered from a Redditor who wanted advice, as he was going through a hard time in his life. The actor's words of support were succinct but poignant.
However, the comedian's energy and excitability poured out during the entire »
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