10 items from 2011
Okay, some updates.
Holiday cheer turns to holiday fear when a private investigator’s father is kidnapped in TNT’s all-new original movie Deck the Halls, starring Kathy Najimy, Scottie Thompson, Jane Alexander, Larry Miller and David Selby. Based on the book by Mary Higgins Clark and daughter Carol Higgins Clark and the first in their series of holiday mystery novels.
A crackling good mystery with a warm holiday heart, Deck the Halls brings together two of the Higgins Clarks’ most popular characters: cleaning-woman-turned-amateur sleuth Alvirah Meehan, »
Trevor Hogg profiles the career of Hollywood icon Clint Eastwood in the second of a five-part feature (read part one here)...
“After Hang ’em High , I acted in several pictures without being actively involved in their production,” recalled California filmmaker Clint Eastwood. “Then I found myself making my directorial debut directing second unit on a picture of Don Siegel’s.” The action crime thriller introduced audience members to the actor’s signature role of no nonsense Police Inspector Harry Callahan. “Don had the flu and I replaced him for the sequence where Harry tries to convince the would-be-suicide not to jump into the void. That turned out Ok, because, for lack of space on the window ledge, the only place to perch me was on the crane. I shot this scene, then another one, and I began to think more seriously about directing.” The helmer of Dirty Harry (1971) had a »
On USA’s summer hit Suits, Patrick J. Adams stars as Mike Ross, a young man without a law degree but with a photographic memory, who gets hired by one of New York City’s top closers (Gabriel Macht’s Harvey Specter) to be an associate at a law firm that only hires Harvard Law alums. In addition to his bromance with mentor Harvey, Mike has also found romance with his former best friend’s ex Jenny (Vanessa Ray), after pining for and being rejected by paralegal Rachel (Meghan Markle), who doesn’t date anyone from the office.
Fans of »
- Mandi Bierly
Novelist Paul Auster has seen his work on screen through a variety of processes: The Music of Chance adapts his novel of the same name (not very well); Smoke and Blue in the Face are the product of a collaborative writing/directing process with Wayne Wang, and Mr. Wang also filmed The Center of the World, on which Mr. Auster was a story collaborator. So: several films, but few direct novel adaptations. That could be in part due to the fact that his books aren't quite straight fiction, but rather a blend of genre tropes, existential curiosity and magical realism. Not the easiest adaptations. Those elements also make up a good part of the ingredient list for Terry Gilliam's scripts, however, and so it makes sense that he is now writing a script based on Mr. Auster's novel Mr. Vertigo. Terry Gilliam recently said at Q&A session, I got a book. »
- Russ Fischer
Though his career’s wandered down plenty of other interesting (Smoke) and less interesting (Because Of Winn-Dixie) paths, director Wayne Wang will always best be known as the premier chronicler of the lives of Chinese-Americans and Chinese in America on screen, from his influential debut Chan Is Missing to The Joy Luck Club. It’s a subject he’s returned to recently with 2007’s digitally shot double feature A Thousand Years Of Good Prayers and The Princess Of Nebraska, and in Snow Flower And The Secret Fan, he takes a step further, setting the film entirely in China. Adapted »
Director Wayne Wang has never been a director that could be easily pigeonholed. He broke through with a trifecta of critical and arthouse faves with “The Joy Luck Club,” “Smoke” and “Blue In the Face,” but he’s also tackled more mainstream fare (”Maid In Manhattan,” “Last Holiday”) while still taking chances on ambitious independent pics (”The Center of the World”). So it's no surprise that his next effort, "Snow Flower and the Secret Fan," is another gear change for the director, a detailed period piece based on the novel by Lisa See that explores the relationship between two girls in… »
The silhouette is unmistakable. The heels are five inches plus, pencil skirt tight as a drum, bust supported by something mighty, hair big as a guardsman's bearskin. Smoke from a terraced chimney stack rhymes with smoke rising from her cigarette. And then she turns to face the audience. Mam, you want to ask, why's that man with a face like a bag of nails dressed as Bet Lynch?
Nobody could say Corrie! – Jonathan Harvey's celebration of the longest-running British soap opera's first 50 years – is subtle. Harvey, a fine playwright and one of the soap's regular writers, does for one national institution what the Reduced Shakespeare Company did for another, namely shrinking it into a cataclysm of laughable incident (Tracy Barlow's mutation from teen shut-in to self-styled bitch is made to seem particularly loony).
- Stuart Jeffries
Wayne Wang's career has certainly been eclectic. He broke through with a trifecta of critical and arthouse faves with "The Joy Luck Club," "Smoke" and "Blue In The Face" but he's also taken big swings into broad mainstream fare ("Maid In Manhattan," "Last Holiday") while still taking chances on ambitious independent pics ("The Center Of The World"). And the ever restless Wang is now switching things up again. Deadline reveals that Wang will next direct a biopic of famed theoretical physicist Albert Einstein. Working under the tentative title of "Einstein," the film has a script from Academy Award winner Ron… »
Hong Kong's own Wayne Wang (Smoke) will direct an Albert Einstein biopic, tentatively titled Einstein. Wang will helm a script from Oscar-winning scribe Ron Bass (Rain Man) with Paul Schiff on-board to produce. Per Variety, Bass' script will center around Einstein's "trials, tragedies and vindication" in an effort to "see past Einstein the scientist and Einstein the celebrity, showing us Einstein the man." While I'm sure Mr. Einstein overcame a great deal of adversity in his lifetime (his bout with dyslexia and his escape from Nazi Germany come to mind), it's really hard to picture the "trials and tragedies" of someone who looks that happy just riding a bicycle. Back to the biopic, though, producers are said to be considering shooting the film in Einstein's native Germany and expect to cast the lead role in the coming weeks. Einstein will mark the second film that Wang and Schiff have collaborated on. »
- Jason Barr
Tonight, MTV and co-creator Bryan Elsley launch the Americanized version of the UK hit TV show Skins by pushing boundaries for casual sex and recreational drugs. What makes this unusual is that the cast is comprised of teens -- not the twentysomethings posing as teens that usually populate high school shows. Elsley cast all unknowns, understandable considering Hollywood's growing infatuation with discovering new stars. Of course, the Skins' newcomers were only too happy to take low salaries for the chance to pop the way X-Men: First Class’ Nicholas Hoult and Slumdog Millionaire’s Dev Patel did when they starred in the UK version of Skins. The U.S. version's lead is James Newman who plays the Hoult-originated role of the manipulative ringleader Tony. James is the 18-year old son of Peter Newman, producer of indie films like Smoke and The Squid And The Whale. He was the only kid »
- MIKE FLEMING
10 items from 2011