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Léon: The Professional (1994) More at IMDbPro »Léon (original title)


2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2001

1-20 of 153 items from 2014   « Prev | Next »


Star Wars Prequels Nearly Ended Natalie Portman's Career

18 December 2014 10:28 AM, PST | GeekTyrant | See recent GeekTyrant news »

Previous to Star Wars: Episode I, Natalie Portman only had a handful of screen credits, the most notable being in Léon: The Professional as Mathilda. But the terrible dialog and direction by George Lucas tainted the young actress' career. Her most visible work was also her most awful. From 1999 until 2003 Portman was in two middling films and had a single cameo. No director wanted to work with her.

It wasn't until Mike Nichols took action to help her land a role in Cold Mountain that things began to turn around for her. Portman, in her own words, on how it happened:

Star Wars had come out around the time of [The Seagull], and everyone thought I was a horrible actress. I was in the biggest-grossing movie of the decade, and no director wanted to work with me. Mike wrote a letter to Anthony Minghella and said, “Put her in Cold Mountain, »

- Free Reyes

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Natalie Portman Says Mike Nichols Saved Her Career After 'Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace'

18 December 2014 8:23 AM, PST | The Playlist | See recent The Playlist news »

Let's say you're an actress who has just landed one of the key roles in a new "Star Wars" trilogy. Before that, you had turned some heads as a kid in "Leon: The Professional," and had small appearances in films by directors like Michael Mann ("Heat") and Woody Allen ("Everyone Says I Love You"). But "Star Wars" was your key to the big time, and the future looked bright. But that's not quite how it turned out for Natalie Portman. And she reveals that the late, great Mike Nichols was the one who saved her career from a possibly skidding off the rails before the entire trilogy had hit theaters (Portman later starred in his 2004 effort "Closer").  " 'Star Wars' had come out around the time of [her performance in 'The Seagull' in Central Park], and everyone thought I was a horrible actress. I was in the biggest-grossing movie of the decade, and no director wanted to work with me, »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Do You Dare to Open All the '12 Skills of Christmas' from 'Taken 3'?

16 December 2014 8:59 AM, PST | firstshowing.net | See recent FirstShowing.net news »

There's nothing like taking a classic Christmas carol and making it as violent as possible. If it wasn't enough to endure the endless faux holiday cheer that the stores put on every year, complete with terrible puns and holiday song remixes, 20th Century Fox wants to make it that much more unbearable. The studio has delivered a new version of the "12 Days of Christmas" but they've decided to give it some Taken 3 flare and make it all about Bryan Mills' special skills. There's clever lines like "11 throats a chopping," which doesn't make sense, because the throats aren't doing any chopping at all. Just watch and shake your head below. Here's the "12 Skills of Christmas" inspired by Taken 3 from 20th Century Fox: You can still watch the first trailer for Olivier Megaton's Taken 3 right here. Taken 3 is directed by Olivier Megaton (Taken 2) and written by Luc Besson (The Fifth Element, »

- Ethan Anderton

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"Le Chef" Serves Paris Right

3 December 2014 4:31 AM, PST | JustPressPlay.net | See recent JustPressPlay news »

No, not the one with Jon Favreau and the food truck. Sadly, still not the one with Scarlett Johansson and Sofia Vergara. Instead, France’s Le Chef hinges on the always appealing talent of The Professional himself, Jean Reno. Falling into the strangely popular food-porn genre that is all the rage at the moment – think Helen Mirren in The Hundred-Foot Journey or, yes, even Ratatouille – Le Chef delivers on the promise of a culture and a cuisine. Paris is exhibited in all its romantic glory and the food is done up in its seductive best, beautifully lit and tantalizingly displayed. Like all such movies, the film is enough to get any foodie ravenous and has endearing, if simple, performances, from the cast.

Read more...

»

- Kyle North

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‘Taxi’ Blu-ray Review

6 November 2014 1:18 PM, PST | Blogomatic3000 | See recent Blogomatic3000 news »

Stars: Samy Naceri, Frédéric Diefenthal, Marion Cotillard, Manuela Gourary, Emma Sjöberg, Bernard Farcy, Georges Neri, Dan Herzberg, Sébastien Thiery, Philippe du Janerand | Written by Luc Besson | Directed by Gérard Pirès

Classic high-octane car chase thriller Taxi, created by renowned writer/director/producer Luc Besson, is cult action comedy about a speed freak taxi driver who is forced to make a deal with the police or lose his licence. The film has spawned three sequels, an American remake and a TV series which has sadly not found a UK broadcaster as yet. Now the original film, which introduced the world to high speed car chases and gallic action, hits Blu-ray courtesy of Second Sight, in a new high-def transfer that makes the film look as fresh and exciting today as it did on its debut in 1998.

Like a lot of more modern Besson movies, the plot of Taxi is relatively simple: »

- Phil Wheat

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'The Dark Half' Blu-ray Review

31 October 2014 10:02 AM, PDT | Rope of Silicon | See recent Rope Of Silicon news »

Back in 2007 I posted my list of the top ten Stephen King adaptations. It's always funny to revisit such lists because there will always be one or two placements that have me scratching my head. In this case it would be the placement of 1408 (still a good adaptation mind you) over both The Shining and The Green Mile. However, the placing of George A. Romero's The Dark Half at #3 would still remain, an opinion again solidified after revisiting the 1993 Jekyll and Hyde thriller on Shout Factory's new Blu-ray release. It's always been easier for filmmakers to adapt King's less fantastical stories to the big screen, films such as The Shawshank Redemption, Misery and even The Green Mile, which is definitely fantastical, but not to the extent of so many other King stories. However, when it comes to the weirder stories, it's not just the narratives that have that particular »

- Brad Brevet

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Little to celebrate in Dark Horse’s ‘Father’s Day’

25 October 2014 10:13 AM, PDT | SoundOnSight | See recent SoundOnSight news »

Father’s Day #1

Written by Mike Richardson

Art by Gabriel Guzmán, Java Tartaglia

Dark Horse Comics

It’s de rigeur to knock Hollywood for being out of ideas, but then along comes Father’s Day. It is Dark Horse’s four-issue miniseries combining two well-worn tropes: The hitman with a heart and the child as apprentice killer, as originated in the Lone Wolf and Cub manga series and repeated in so many action films (Luc Besson’s Leon/The Professional, Hanna, Kick Ass et al).

Though plotter (and Dark Horse publisher) Mike Richardson gets things into motion with admirable swiftness. The familiarity of the elements in play is evident from the cover image on down, and the characterizations dishearteningly rote and the action uninspiring.

Our killer/daddy figure is Silas, who we will learn was once known in Chicago’s criminal underworld as The East Side Butcher. We join him, »

- Steven Fouchard

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8 amazing rock 'n' roll transformations: From Gary Oldman to Cate Blanchett

24 October 2014 9:30 AM, PDT | Digital Spy | See recent Digital Spy - Movie News news »

The long-awaited Jimi Hendrix biopic All By My Side opens in cinemas today (October 24).

Andre '3000' Benjamin plays the iconic musician in the movie, which depicts Jimi's humble beginnings to becoming possibly the world's greatest guitarist.

This has inspired us to compile our own list of the greatest portrayals of musicians in rock 'n' roll biopics, often going above and beyond mere physical transformation:

1. Andy Serkis as Ian Dury

Andy Serkis was BAFTA nominated for his critically-acclaimed role - played to perfection - as charismatic '70s punk rock singer and songwriter Ian Dury in Mat Whitecross's 2010 biopic Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll.

To portray Dury's physical condition - he contracted polio as a child - Serkis lost two stone and built up the muscle mass on the right-hand side of his body so the other side was weaker.

He added: "I had a body wax. It's the most »

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The Teen Girl Assassin Subgenre Refuses to Go Down Without A Fight

14 October 2014 9:00 AM, PDT | FilmSchoolRejects.com | See recent FilmSchoolRejects news »

It looks like the totally hypothetical Cinematic Teen Hit Girl Club is getting a brand new member. Deadline reports that The Giver star Odeya Rush has signed on to star in Hunter’s Prayer, a Jonathan Mostow-directed action-thriller about “a young girl who teams up with the assassin hired to wipe out her family to find the person responsible.” Oh, a buddy flick! Sam Worthington is already on board to play said assassin, who helps Rush’s Ella “navigate the tangled web of hitmen and thugs on her quest for justice.” And we thought you could just PayPal hitmen money.  Rush now joins a subgenre of films that center on guns, girls and (screw any attempts at alliteration) just plain illegal activities. And yet, said subgenre isn’t nearly as bankable as it once (oh so briefly) was, so why do we keep getting films about gun-toting teens with attitude? (Don »

- Kate Erbland

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Listen: Quentin Tarantino Dishes on Why 35mm Matters with Elvis Mitchell

7 October 2014 11:51 AM, PDT | Thompson on Hollywood | See recent Thompson on Hollywood news »

In the latest episode of Kcrw's The Treatment, Tarantino opens up about his (radical? backward?) decision to throw digital out the window and devote the New Beverly exclusively to film prints. Listen below. The La rep theater's October slate includes films from the late Paul Mazursky ("Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice") and the late Robin Williams ("The Best of Times"), as well as a double bill of Luc Besson's "The Professional" with Tarantino's own "Pulp Fiction," both 20 years old this October. (Tarantino defends not only 35mm projection, but also shooting in 35mm.) In August, Tarantino told La Weekly: "I want the New Beverly to be a bastion for 35 millimeter films. I want it to stand for something. When you see a film on the New Beverly calendar, you don’t have to ask whether it’s going to be shown in Dcp [Digital Cinema Projection] or in 35 millimeter. You know it’s playing »

- Ryan Lattanzio

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Quentin Tarantino’s New Beverly Cinema Re-Opens In Los Angeles

1 October 2014 4:47 PM, PDT | Deadline New York | See recent Deadline New York news »

Quentin Tarantino officially begins his tenure as film programmer of the New Beverly Cinema tonight when he re-opens the La institution after a monthlong remodeling. On the docket is a Paul Mazursky double feature of Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice and Blume In Love, which kicks off three months of Tarantino-programmed films, as Deadline reported last month. Many of those films, screened on film either on 16mm or 35mm, will come from Tarantino’s personal vaults. Tonight’s Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice print is the best known print out there, according to Tarantino, who was gifted with the newly struck print after his Django Unchained opening.

After floating the beloved New Beverly business for years, Tarantino took over as manager and programmer last month from owner Michael Torgan with a renewed commitment to screening movies only on film. New features and upgrades inside the historic theater include the addition of mechanical masking, »

- Jen Yamato

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Quentin Tarantino Reopens New Beverly, But Is 35mm Sustainable?

30 September 2014 10:46 AM, PDT | Thompson on Hollywood | See recent Thompson on Hollywood news »

After temporarily shuttering its doors in late August, announcing takeover of theater programming and throwing digital out the window, celluloid defender Quentin Tarantino has reopened the New Beverly in Los Angeles. According to Variety, 35mm-collector Tarantino has lined up an October slate including films from the late Paul Mazursky ("Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice") and the late Robin Williams ("The Best of Times"), as well as a double bill of Luc Besson's "The Professional" with Tarantino's own "Pulp Fiction," both 20 years old this October. (Tarantino defends not only 35mm projection, but also shooting in 35mm.) In August, Tarantino told La Weekly: "I want the New Beverly to be a bastion for 35 millimeter films. I want it to stand for something. When you see a film on the New Beverly calendar, you don’t have to ask whether it’s going to be shown in Dcp [Digital Cinema Projection] or in 35 millimeter. You know it’s. »

- Anne Thompson and Ryan Lattanzio

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Criterion Collection: Sundays and Cybèle | Blu-ray Review

30 September 2014 10:00 AM, PDT | ioncinema | See recent ioncinema news »

Winner of the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film in 1963, Serge Bourguignon’s Sundays and Cybèle has finally been issued in an official North American digital video edition by Criterion. For decades Sundays and Cybèle was only available to Ntsc markets through imported discs of dodgy provenance and a few murky, widely scattered VHS copies. While half a century is certainly a significant delay, the high quality of the film and this superb pressing will make most cinephiles agree it was worth the wait.

Sundays and Cybèle is the story of Pierre (Hardy Krüger), a 30-ish former fighter pilot who now aimlessly wanders the quiet streets of Ville-d’Avray on the outskirts of Paris. Pierre suffers from a severe case of what would now be called Ptsd, squarely blaming himself for a tragic accident that occurred during the heat of battle in Vietnam. Reeling from amnesia and nightmarish visions, Pierre »

- David Anderson

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Liam Neeson Knows How to Disappear in the First Trailer for 'Taken 3'

30 September 2014 9:40 AM, PDT | firstshowing.net | See recent FirstShowing.net news »

"I'm going to finish this." At the end of Taken 2, it seemed like Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson) was on the path of getting back together with his ex-wife (Famke Janssen) and giving his daughter (Maggie Grace) the love he always wanted her to have. But in the first trailer for Taken 3 (or Tak3n if you want to be clever), we see that all that is cut short when Mills is framed for the murder of his ex-wife and is forced to go on the run from the law. Sadly, this time his special set of skills have him looking much more suspicious than heroic as he tries to prove his innocence and find out who is responsible for this tragedy. Watch the trailer! Here's the first trailer for Olivier Megaton's Taken 3 straight from 20th Century Fox: Taken 3 is directed by Olivier Megaton (Taken 2) and written by Luc Besson (The Fifth Element, »

- Ethan Anderton

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Quentin Tarantino’s New Beverly Promises Double Features, Vintage Trailers, Tarantino Films & No Digital. Ever.

7 September 2014 9:25 AM, PDT | Deadline New York | See recent Deadline New York news »

Quentin Tarantino’s passion for the New Beverly Cinema began when he was just another kid showing up for the nightly double feature. It grew when he found success as a filmmaker and began to subsidize owner Sherman Torgan to the tune of $5,000 per month to keep the place open. Ultimately Tarantino bought the building and now he’s taking over the whole theater from Torgan’s son Michael. Tarantino has grand plans to curate a program of films he is confident will please fellow cinefiles and give him an excuse to showcase his voluminous collection of film prints and trailers.

His first move: Jettisoning the digital projector that Michael installed. When the L.A. institution reopens in October after three months of renovations and a thorough cleaning of the onetime porno palace, the New Beverly will have a unique mission: All 35mm prints, all the time. “The big thing »

- Jen Yamato

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Snd Teams With Capture The Flag And Vertigo For ‘The Sweeney’s’ French Redo

26 August 2014 11:15 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Paris– Snd is teaming up with Paris-based producer Capture (The Flag) Films and U.K.’s Vertigo Films to produce Benjamin Rocher’s actioner “The Squad,” a remake of  Nick Love’s “The Sweeney” that will topline Jean Reno (“The Professional”).

Reno will star as Buren, an old time cop who runs a squad In the Paris underworld and doesn’t play by the rules. When a heist turns into murder, Buren follows his guts and raids the house of Kasper, a former convict. The operation is carnage and Buren takes the fall for it. But when he realizes that the bank and the jewelry heist are part of a bigger operation, Buren with nothing to lose will play all in.

Jean Reno, one of the most beloved French actors with a worldwide fan base, will bring all his charisma and depth to portray Buren, a tough police officer determined »

- Elsa Keslassy

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Females On Film: Ranking the summer's biggest box office winners based on lady roles

20 August 2014 2:49 PM, PDT | Hitfix | See recent Hitfix news »

Films with great women’s roles aren’t always great films. Films with poor female representation aren’t necessarily bad films. But poorly written female roles will always be a problem for cinema so long as they continue to persist. The damsel in distress. Angel-whore. The token girl. Trophy wives. Mother, daughter, sister. The unconditional love interest. These are among the popular clichés most frequently applied to female characters as they’re written on the page. Some films are so desperate for conflict that they just keep going to the well without altering the mold. Have women not earned the right by now to play more villains, complicated lovers, a-holes, The Best Friends, soldiers, comic reliefs or leads? Can a woman be sexy in a film and still have a great role? Yes. Give her agency. Can a woman support other characters but still have a great role? Yes. Keep her vital. »

- Katie Hasty and Donna Dickens

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Lucy review: Scarlett Johansson goes from the sublime to the ridiculous

19 August 2014 1:00 AM, PDT | Digital Spy | See recent Digital Spy - Movie News news »

Director: Luc Besson; Screenwriter: Luc Besson; Starring: Scarlett Johansson, Morgan Freeman, Choi Min-sik, Amr Waked, Julian Rhind-Tutt, Analeigh Tipton; Running time: 89 mins; Certificate: 15

Luc Besson flits very easily between the sublime and the ridiculous, gifting the world with Léon in the early days of his career before proceeding to make visually striking, utterly silly action thrillers like The Fifth Element, Taxi and The Transporter series (as writer/producer). Lucy falls squarely into the second category; a screwball sci-fi caper with Besson going full speed ahead into far-out territory. Perversely though, it's that willingness to stretch beyond all logic and reason that keeps you watching.

His opening gambit is a damned good one, however, with Scarlett Johansson's titular American college girl getting roped into a drugs smuggling deal by her latest squeeze in Taipei, clueless about the contents of the briefcase he chains to her wrist. Besson milks every bit »

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Interview: Luc Besson talks ‘Lucy’

12 August 2014 1:01 PM, PDT | Blogomatic3000 | See recent Blogomatic3000 news »

From La Femme Nikita and The Professional to The Fifth Element, writer/director Luc Besson has created some of the toughest, most memorable female action heroes in cinematic history.  Now, Besson directs Scarlett Johansson in Lucy, an action-thriller that tracks a woman accidentally caught in a dark deal who turns the tables on her captors and transforms into a merciless warrior evolved beyond human logic.

In this interview for Nerdly , film correspondent James Kleinmann asks director Luc Besson where the initial concept for the story came from.

Check out our Lucy review here. »

- Phil Wheat

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Mind-Bending Concept Art For Scarlett Johansson's Lucy

12 August 2014 10:03 AM, PDT | ComicBookMovie.com | See recent ComicBookMovie news »

Concept Art by Eduardo Peña From La Femme Nikita and The Professional to The Fifth Element, writer/director Luc Besson has created some of the toughest, most memorable female action heroes in cinematic history. Now, Besson directs Scarlett Johansson in Lucy, an action-thriller that tracks a woman accidentally caught in a dark deal who turns the tables on her captors and transforms into a merciless warrior evolved beyond human logic. Lucy also stars Academy Award® winner Morgan Freeman and is produced by Virginie Besson-Silla for EuropaCorp. Universal Pictures will distribute the movie worldwide, except for France, Benelux and China. »

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2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2001

1-20 of 153 items from 2014   « Prev | Next »


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