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Chicago – Character actor Djimon Hounsou (Jee-mahn Hahn-soo) is memorable in any role he takes on – whether it’s working with Steven Spielberg in “Amistad,” or being so indelibly subtle for “In America.” Hounsou has also forged a true character in his voiceover work as Drago Bludvist in “How to Train Your Dragon 2.”
Born in Africa in the country of Bénin, Djimon Hounsou emigrated in the 1970s to Lyon, France, at the tender age of 13. His hardscrabble existence there included some homelessness, but a chance meeting with a photographer began a hugely successful modeling career. He moved to the U.S. in 1990, at which time he landed roles in music videos, TV and film – his 1990 debut film was in Sandra Bernhard’s “Without You I’m Nothing.” Bigger roles came in 1997 (“Amistad”), 2000 (“Gladiator”) and his Oscar nominated supporting role in 2004 (“In America”). Since then he has worked steadily, and also »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
Ever since he directed Jurassic Park and Schindler's List back to back, Steven Spielberg has had periods where he's directed films in clumps. Most notably, he did The Lost World: Jurassic Park, Amistad and Saving Private Ryan pretty much back to back, pocketing an Oscar for the last of those three.
A few years later, he then went from A.I. to Minority Report to Catch Me If You Can, and in 2005 from War Of The Worlds to Munich. More recently, he shot War Horse and Lincoln without too much of a gap between them.
Now? He's set up a new pair of projects, and he's diving straight in, one after the other. The first is his thus-far untitled Cold War thriller, which is set to reunite him with Tom Hanks. The Coen brothers have penned the screenplay. »
It has been five years since Hiccup befriended Toothless and brought peace between the Vikings of Berk and the dragons in How to Train Your Dragon. Now they're back for an adventure with new villains, increased stakes, and of course, bigger dragons in How to Train Your Dragon 2.
All of the original voice cast returns in this sequel by writer/director Dean DeBlois (Lilo & Stitch), and they are joined by Cate Blanchett, Djimon Hounsou (Amistad) and Kit Harington (Game of Thrones). The characters are already well established by the 2010 film as well as two seasons of the Dreamworks Dragons TV series that continued their story, but this film is almost entirely about Hiccup and Toothless, leaving the rest of their friends largely in the background.
- Mike Saulters
Matthew McConaughey will be this year's recipient of the American Cinematheque Award.
McConaughey is to be honoured for his contributions to cinema over the last 20 years at a fundraising ceremony at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on October 21.
"The American Cinematheque is extremely pleased to honour Matthew McConaughey as the 28th recipient of the American Cinematheque Award at our celebration this year," the organisation's chairman Rick Nicita said.
Nicita continued: "Matthew McConaughey is the epitome of what a Hollywood star should be - an adventurous, joyous and ever-growing talent combined with matinee-idol looks and an unshakeable sense of who he is and what he stands for.
"We all took notice of his star presence starting with his memorable debut in Dazed and Confused through thrillers »
A measure of a successful movie need not be limited to its box office take or its number of wins at the end of awards' season, but should also take into account how well the story, cast, and visuals hold up upon subsequent viewings decades later. For Steven Spielberg's 1997 historical drama, Amistad, the four Oscar nominations took some of the sting out of a poor box office performance, but this 175-year-old tale of a struggle for freedom is, sadly, still very relevant to contemporary times. Additionally, the film's excellent cast is a treasure trove of both veteran actors and young up-and-comers who would go on to make a big name for themselves in later years. Now that Amistad is available on Blu-ray, you can revisit the film for yourself. Hit the jump for my review. Feature: Based on the true story of the 1839 uprising by newly captured Mende slaves aboard the ship La Amistad, »
- Dave Trumbore
The story follows an aspiring actress and a cocky yet charismatic jazz pianist who fall in love in Los Angeles. They soon discover that balancing love and art in such a cutthroat climate isn't easy. [Source: The Wrap]
Hounsou will play a character named Chief Mbonga in the live-action reinvention of Edgar Rice Burrough's hero. [Source: Deadline]
Franco plays a troubled, drug-addicted writer who becomes fascinated by a big murder trial. Slater will play the man on trial for the murder of his ex-wife. »
- Garth Franklin
Chicago – Before Hollywood grappled with the unforgiving intensity of “12 Years a Slave,” they championed Steven Spielberg’s powerful film “Amistad,” years earlier, now available for the first time on Blu-ray. Densely comparing the movies is a difficult task considering their different perspectives, but they do stand as interesting bookends with how Hollywood has dealt with the American atrocity of slavery in their films.
For example, 1997 film “Amistad” certainly comes after something like Spielberg’s “Schindler’s List,” but was rarely answered to for years after. And then, in the wake of films like “Django Unchained,” Steve McQueen’s “12 Years a Slave” was ready to embrace the discussion of the backyard horror of Tarantino’s film, without the comfort of fantastical revenge.
- email@example.com (Adam Fendelman)
Steven Spielberg is one of the greatest directors who has ever lived. He has made so many amazing and classic movies in his career, and he continues to do so. The guy just knows how to tell stories. As a tribute to the director, YouTube user ebcooper44 created this great video montage featuring all the films the director has made over the course of his career. I truly do love almost all of the films that Spielberg has made. If you've been reading the site for awhile, then you know how much I love his film Empire of the Sun. There's something about that film that just really affected me after I saw it. It was one of those movies that changed my life and helped me understand what type of person I wanted to be. What is your favorite Spielberg flick!?
List of movies used in this video:
1. Duel »
- Joey Paur
Paramount Pictures and Pathé today announced that principal photography has commenced on Selma, directed by Ava DuVernay (Middle of Nowhere) The film is shooting in Atlanta, Georgia, and Montgomery and Selma, Alabama.
The screenplay was written by Paul Webb (Four Nights in Knaresborough). Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner will produce through their Plan B banner (World War Z, 12 Years a Slave), with Christian Colson through his Cloud Eight Films (127 Hours, Slumdog Millionaire), and Oprah Winfrey (The Hundred-Foot Journey, Beloved) through her Harpo Films. Ava DuVernay, Paul Garnes, Cameron McCracken and Nan Morales are executive producing.
"This story will resonate deeply with not only those brave men and women who fought for voting rights alongside Dr. King, but also the countless millions of people who continue to fight against discrimination in voting today. This talented group of filmmakers, led by Brad Pitt »
Paramount Pictures and Pathé today announced that principal photography has commenced on Selma, directed by Ava DuVernay (Middle Of Nowhere.) The film is shooting in Atlanta, Georgia, and Montgomery and Selma, Alabama.
The screenplay was written by Paul Webb (“Four Nights in Knaresborough”).
Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner will produce through their Plan B banner (“World War Z,” “12 Years A Slave”), with Christian Colson through his Cloud Eight Films (“127 Hours,” “Slumdog Millionaire”), and Oprah Winfrey (“The Hundred-foot Journey,” “Beloved”) through her Harpo Films.
Selma is the story of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s historic struggle to secure voting rights for all people – a dangerous and terrifying campaign that culminated with the epic march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, and led to President Johnson signing the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Paramount is handling the film’s domestic distribution, »
- Michelle McCue
Director Steven Spielberg's 1997 classic Amistad made its debut on the Blu-ray format for the first time earlier this week. Morgan Freeman, Anthony Hopkins, Djimon Hounsou and recent Oscar winner Matthew McConaughey lead an all-star cast in this drama based on the true story about a group of slaves who overtake their captor's ship and try to return back to Africa. To help celebrate this, we have a contest where our readers can in copies of this new Blu-ray of the harrowing drama, which was nominated for four Oscars. Take a look at how you can win below.
Here's How To Win!
Just "Like" (fan) the MovieWeb Facebook page (below) and then leave a comment below telling us why these prizes must be yours!
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Director Steven Spielberg's »
As good as some directors are, it’s really difficult to maintain a level of quality over the course of several films. Even the best directors seem to have one or two stinkers in between their classics. For example, during the six year span from 1993 to 1998, Steven Spielberg made Jurassic Park, Schindler’s List, Amistad, Saving Private Ryan… and then The Lost World: Jurassic Park is right there in the middle, to muck it all up. Yes, the culprit often involves a director making a sequel to one of their previous films, which inevitably brings down their entire filmography.
But sometimes the stars align and directors get on a really good streak, churning out masterpiece upon masterpiece. It’s impressive enough for filmmakers to have five amazing movies to their name over the span of a twenty year career, but it’s another thing entirely when you come across one »
- Audrey Fox
Now in its 40th year, the Seattle International Film Festival (May 15-June 8) has announced that actors Laura Dern and Chiwetel Ejiofor will be honored with Tribute awards for Outstanding Achievement in Acting. Both are set to appear at special events, screenings of their work, awards presentations, Q&As and more. On May 16, the fest will spend an afternoon with Laura Dern, screening the Ya adaptation "The Fault in Our Stars," starring Shailene Woodley, with costar Dern in attendance. The next night, May 17, David Lynch's inimitable Palme d'Or winner "Wild at Heart," starring Dern and Nicolas Cage, will screen after an onstage interview surveying her career. On May 19, Siff will screen Biyi Bandele's Nigeria-set "Half of a Yellow Sun" in honor of star Chiwetel Ejiofor, who got his start in Steven Spielberg's 1997 "Amistad" and was Oscar-nominated earlier this year for "12 Years a Slave." Following the screening there will »
- Ryan Lattanzio
Fox is the latest network to have found God. The broadcaster is developing Nazareth, a drama that follows Jesus' lesser-known formative years.
David Franzoni (Gladiator, Amistad) is writing the project, which is the latest entrant in TV's recent religious and spiritual programming boom. Inspired by the success of History's The Bible, NBC (A.D.: Beyond the Bible), CBS (The Dovekeepers), Wgn America, Own and CNN all have religious programs in the works. Like Nazareth, Lifetime's The One also tackles Jesus' youth.
Read More > »
- Michael Schneider
Morgan Freeman has opened up about the prominent filmmakers who he has worked with throughout his illustrious career.
When asked by Collider if there are any common traits with all the directors that he has worked with, Freeman answered: "No. I'll be more explicit here. Great directors are great directors by product, not by process. You work with some great directors that drive you nuts, because they'll shoot 17 or 25 takes.
"There are other great directors who move through a production like s**t through a goose, they just don't stop, they keep moving and they come up with good product. They're under budget and on time, or a little quicker than on time.
It may come as a surprise to some that, a full year after his phenomenal biopic Lincoln landed in theaters, legendary director Steven Spielberg still hasn’t locked down his next big screen venture. At this point in his career, the prolific helmer (behind such classics as Raiders of the Lost Ark, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Jaws and E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial, in addition to many more) can certainly afford to be choosy with his projects, but such a long gap is unusual for Spielberg. Now, it appears he’s added another buzzy possibility to the already huge list of films he has expressed interest in: a historical drama titled The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara.
Based on David Kertzer’s book of the same name, The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara will tell the story of a young Jewish boy who, in 1858, is taken from his family by officers of the Inquisition. »
- Isaac Feldberg
An established theatre, TV and film actor, Chiwetel Ejiofor finally became a household name for his BAFTA-winning performance as Solomon Northup in 12 Years a Slave, which won three Oscars, including one for Best Picture, earlier this year.
He is currently the object of much speculation surrounding his future roles. Like most Hollywood actors, he is rumoured to be starring in Star Wars Episode VII, and he is also being lined up to play opposite Daniel Craig as the next Bond villain in the franchise's 24th outing in 2015.
Here are ten things we found out about the actor:
1. Chiwetelu Umeadi Ejiofor was born in Forest Gate, London on July 10, 1977. His parents had moved to Britain from Nigeria, and the family regularly returned there. On one such trip, tragedy struck with a traffic collision in which Chiwetel's father died, and Chiwetel himself received the distinctive scar on his forehead.
2. In case you »
Curious to know what movies and TV shows are coming to Netflix Watch Instantly over the next few weeks? Get a head start and mark your calendars using the list below, just released to us by Netflix. Avail 4/1 A League of Their Own (1992) Tom Hanks, Geena Davis, Madonna, Lori Petty, Rosie O'Donnell, Jon Lovitz, David Strathairn Two small-town sisters join an all-female baseball league formed when World War II brings professional baseball to a standstill. As their team hits the road with its drunken coach, the siblings find troubles and triumphs on and off the field. Amistad (1997) Morgan Freeman, Nigel Hawthorne, Anthony Hopkins, Matthew McConaughey, Chiwetel Ejiofor ...
Ahead of the release of Captain America: The Winter Soldier on April 4th, Marvel has released the latest images from three of the biggest films headed to cinemas this year and in 2015.
Directed by Joss Whedon (“Marvel’s The Avengers”), the film returns its iconic cast, including Robert Downey Jr. (“Iron Man 3,” “Marvel’s The Avengers”) as Tony Stark/Iron Man along with Chris Hemsworth (“Thor: The Dark World,” “Marvel’s The Avengers”) as Thor, Mark Ruffalo (“Marvel’s The Avengers,” “Now You See Me”) as Hulk, Chris Evans (“Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” “Marvel’s The Avengers”) as Captain America, Scarlett Johansson (“Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” “Marvel’s The Avengers”) as Black Widow, Jeremy Renner (“American Hustle,” “Marvel’s The Avengers, »
- Michelle McCue
When accepting his Best Actor Oscar for Dallas Buyers Club, Matthew McConaughey delivered a heartfelt speech in which he took us through his lifetime formula for naming his own hero: Hero = Mm + 10. To translate for the non-mathematically inclined, his hero is always himself, but in ten years — an unreachable goal that gives him "somebody to keep on chasing." (Also, 1997's Amistad-era McConaughey might be disappointed to find out that 2007 McConaughey had just signed on for Fool's Gold.) It was a speech that, like most of his, could be translated into an inspirational video for others, but, by adding fellow Oscar-stage dominator Bette Midler's most famous hero song, "Wind Beneath My Wings," it can become a video that McConaughey himself can play to get himself motivated every morning.Feel free to copy the following shots to always inspire you to just keep livin'! »
- Abraham Riesman,Josh Wolk
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