7 items from 2014
Hollywood is notoriously phobic of technology — many A-list actors and directors routinely admitted how infrequently they check their email– but this year’s Toronto Film Festival suggests that Facebook, Twitter and other forms of social media are starting to land supporting roles at the movies. In “St. Vincent,” the Weinstein Co.’s upcoming comedy starring Bill Murray, a struggling mom (Melissa McCarthy) asks her son (Jaeden Lieberher) how she knows that his father cheated on her. He shoots back that it was her Facebook status update, a joke that landed an eruption of laughs at he film’s premiere on Saturday night.
Call it the “Her” effect. In 2013, the Spike Jonze drama about a man (Joaquin Phoenix) who falls in love with his operating system, served as a commentary on the way in which all modern interactions are now shaped by technology. That theme resurfaced this year at Toronto. Noah Baumbach »
- Brent Lang and Ramin Setoodeh
Cam a lot: Soisson’s Stilted Thriller as Dated as it is Laughably Inarticulate
The only thing horrifying in Joel Soisson’s techno born thriller Cam2Cam is the awful grammatical chatroom communication utilized by its sublimely half-witted characters. Even in the twitter age where the systemic butchering of language from rampant acronyms to abbreviations for our limited character space, these people seem simply primordial, especially considering that English is their first language. While Soisson’s Bangkok based narrative certainly gets the locale right for a nexus of potential seedy strangeness, where sex tourism without any rational limits runs virulently unsanctioned, there’s nothing else remotely inspired about any of the inane antics in a thriller that already seems behind the times in its tech lingo as concerns digitalized sex for sale.
- Nicholas Bell
Celebrating America's Sweetheart by remembering her greatest moments
It’s hard to believe Sandra Bullock is turning 50 years old today! Because really, it’s been that long and also, she looks ah-mazing!
But then if we take a step back, we remember that America’s Sweetheart has been entertaining us for over 25 years. Of course, there have been some missteps (let's not talk about All About Steve or Speed 2) but for the most part, her track record is solid. So solid, we’re having a hard time ranking them, but let’s give it a go anyway!
9. The Blind Side: An inspiring tale and one of the few times Sandy went blonde. Plus, she won her first Oscar for this so how could it not make the list?!
8. Gravity: This was not an easy movie. She literally had to carry the whole thing by herself and much of it was just closeups. Well, good thing »
The one-time action movie sidekick and Hollywood's favourite funny girl, Bullock has gradually refashioned herself as a bona fide A-lister thanks to her Oscar-winning turn in The Blind Side and last year's box office smash Gravity.
With such an eclectic back catalogue it's hard to single out any one movie. With that in mind, Digital Spy opened up the floor to staff to pose one simple question: What's your favourite Sandra Bullock movie? Here are the results...
Emma Dibdin, Features Editor - The Net
In the interest of full disclosure, I will say that it's been a good ten years since I last watched The Net. Viewing it now, in the cold light of the 21st century, it has not dated well. But aside from being hugely entertaining with a plot that falls just the right side of ludicrous, »
The rule regarding the portrayal of computing on television or film used to be simple: don’t do it. From Sandra Bullock peering anxiously at her laptop in dire tech thriller The Net to Angelina Jolie as a crop-haired cyber-criminal in Hackers, the early days of the internet age were riven with failed attempts to bring it to dramatic life. »
Kenneth Branagh, as a villainous Russian oligarch, is the highlight of this thrashabout featuring CIA spies and familiar tropes
The best scene in Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit shows someone's first murder. CIA analyst Jack (Chris Pine) has just been picked up from Moscow airport by his driver, a big Ugandan who drives him to his hotel, helps him carry his bags to his room, then calmly turns, unholsters a pistol and starts firing. What follows is a Bourne-ish kinetic thrashabout – sinks are smashed, porcelain shattered, doors splintered. The brawl ends with Ryan drowning his assailant in the bathtub. "In this much water", Jack later recounts in rattled tones to his CIA boss Harper (Kevin Costner), who looks at Ryan's still shaking hand and tells him, "better after than during".
It's been a while since I felt that kind of mortal dread in a movie. Ok, so it's not Paul Newman »
- Tom Shone
Feature Ryan Lambie 10 Jan 2014 - 15:08
With tech thriller Transcendence out this year, Hollywood seems to be revisiting its 90s fascination with virtual reality, Ryan writes...
Like seasons, hairstyles and fashion, genre popularity in Hollywood runs in cycles. Historical epics have faded in and out of favour since the 1930s, for example, and appear to be on the rise again, with Ridley Scott’s Exodus, Darren Aronofsky’s Noah and two movies based on the Hercules legend all on the horizon. It's not just historical epics making a comeback, either. With Wally Pfister's directorial debut Transcendence, we could be in for a mini revival of the cyber thrillers of the 1990s.
If you don't know anything about Transcendence yet, you can catch up with the first trailer here. Briefly, it's about a scientist (Johnny Depp) who's killed by terrorists shortly after completing some groundbreaking research into machine intelligence. Grief stricken, »
7 items from 2014
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