20 items from 2010
Long considered to be one of the greatest British stage actors of all time and arguably the finest Shakespearean actor of his generation, Sir Ian McKellen has received a Tony Award and two Academy Award nominations. Over the course of his distinguished career on the British stage, he has also received the prestigious Olivier Award five times, and in 1981 received the Tony Award for his portrayal of Mozart’s nemesis Salieri in the Broadway production of Peter Shaffer’s Amadeus. Although he is certainly not the first gay British subject to be knighted by his monarch, he is nonetheless the first to receive the honour after making a public acknowledgement of his homosexuality.
In 1988, McKellen took a brave personal step when he was being interviewed on BBC radio by conservative host Peregrine Worsthorne. While McKellen had quietly lived a gay life for many years, he
came out during the course »
Updated: Ok, so I’ve had way to many emails from you guys pointing out that the Oscar form isn’t working for some of you this time around. I’ve put my best team of problem solvers on the issue and they can’t work it out, but 7 or 8 of you have told me it’s not working for you… so I presume there’s many more out there. To date we’ve had a little less entries than last time, so this problem is too much for me to ignore.
My only solution for now is for you to email your picks to email@example.com. I will be collating results on Monday or Tuesday, so you’ve got a bit of time left to enter.
Now you’ve read our 1999 Academy Awards retrospective, here’s your chance to re-write history without the hassle of going back in »
- Matt Holmes
Let’s talk for a moment about the concept of a “sophomore slump”… you know, when a director makes a brilliant debut feature, earns boatloads of cash, receives gobs of praise, then with all the anticipation in the world he drops his second movie and it stinks up the joint?
It happened to Orson Welles (“Magnificent Ambersons”), Steven Soderbergh (“Kafka”), Kevin Smith (“Mallrats”), Kevin Costner (“The Postman”), Michael Mann (“The Keep”), John Singleton (“Poetic Justice”), Bryan Singer (“Apt Pupil”)… so if it can happen to the best of ‘em, what’s to stop it from happening to Neill Blomkamp?
Deadline reports the 31-year-old wunderkind who gave us the dazzling sci-fi apartheid allegory/hit Best Picture nominee “District 9″ is ramping up his futuristic follow-up, going under the moniker “Elysium,” and shopping it around to all the studios for distribution. What it’s about we haven’t a clue, other than »
- Max Evry
Variety reports that Preger acquired motion picture rights to Wyndham's novel in 1991 and that he and Murphy have been exploring the idea of a film for over a decade. Recent breakthroughs in 3D convinced them it was the right time to do it.
Preger said: "We are confident that with the new technological advances in 3D production we have the tools with which to create Wyndham's iconic vision of armageddon."
Murphy added: "This original classic has »
- David Bentley
Titanic II is the most recent Asylum release with a DVD date of August 24th. The Asylum, as a production and distribution company, is a little hit and miss with this reviewer. Airline Disaster was good, but Transmorphers and The Terminators were less satisfying. Titanic II does not rise much higher than the latter. This film seems more of an ego project for director, writer, producer and actor Shane Van Dyke than anything else. Almost all objectivity is lost by Van Dyke as he appears in more than 75% of scenes as the world's second greatest martyr (Jesus Christ the first). As well, the use of green screens and CGIed objects really break the reality of a mediocre disaster film.
The premise is ridiculous, but in short a large ice shelf has sunk into the North Atlantic creating a mega-tsunami. This gianormous wave speeds along at "800 mph, »
- 28DaysLaterAnalysis@gmail.com (Michael Allen)
Hollywood may be obsessed with youth and speed, but just occasionally age and wisdom win out. Joe Queenan on the late bloomers who make a good case for biding one's time
Early next year, Annette Bening will garner an Oscar nomination for her tart, intense performance as Julianne Moore's control-freak lover in The Kids Are All Right. She could just as easily be nominated for her tart, intense performance as a neurotic middle-aged healthcare professional in the underrated film Mother and Child, another engaging arthouse release that surfaced a few months ago. In effect, after more than a decade of working infrequently, and even then mostly appearing in duds (Being Julia, The Women, Running with Scissors ) Annette Bening is making a serious comeback at the age of 52, 20 years after most leading ladies have arrived at the expiration date for their careers.
What makes this return to centre stage even »
- Joe Queenan
As you probably know (if you follow my endless deluge of tweets), I'm a huge fan of the cat. Wild ones, ancient ones, domesticated ones, fictional ones. I named my present puss Jones (see above), I've rescued more than a few strays, and I always (always) tap on the kitten cages at pet stores. Call it a Hellboy Complex if you like, but this cynical, sarcastic wise-ass generally morphs into a child when he crosses paths with a kitty cat. Two is even worse, and if one's a little baby kitten ... forget it. I'm mush. For years I've heard the silly dismissals of cats (they're sneaky, they're cold, etc.) and watched as they became easy victims in movies involving mad scientists, serial killers, and heroic dogs. But no more. The cat is presently the most popular pet on the planet ... things must change! (Rowr!)
Think on this: one of the »
- Scott Weinberg
Look out Twilighters, there are some new vampires in town — or there will be if producers Michael Preger and Don Murphy have their way. Only a few weeks ago, it was announced that Preger had optioned the rights to Richelle Mead's six-part Vampire Academy series of young adult novels through his Preger Entertainment production company. Now, the producer of Village of the Damned has enlisted Murphy (Apt Pupil) to aid him in bringing Mead's sexy vampire characters to the big screen.
Link | Posted 7/11/2010 by BrentJS
- BrentJS Sprecher
Share the excitement of film making with a set visit of the next installment in the highly successful film series, X-Men to meet producer Bryan Singer. Although cast information has not been announced, the next X-Men film, X-Men:First Class, is sure to be an action packed classic. This once-in-a-lifetime experience will also give the winner a chance to meet some of the actors who may be on set that day. This set visit will take place in Fall 2010 in the United Kingdom.
Before Charles Xavier and Erik Lensherr took the names Professor X and Magneto, they were two young men discovering their powers for the first time. Before they were archenemies, »
- Michelle McCue
Posted on CharityBuzz, the auction will give its winner the opportunity to tour the U.K. set of "First Class" later this year as a guest of Singer. The auction benefits Project Angel Food, which prepares and delivers food to people with life-threatening illnesses around Los Angeles, and the current bid sits at $2,250.
It's worth noting that the description of the film included in the auction might offer a little more insight about the plot. According to the auction text, the film explores a time when Xavier and Erik Lensherr were "working together, with other Mutants (some familiar, some new), to stop the greatest threat the world has ever known."
Here's the full text of the auction:
Share the excitement of »
- Rick Marshall
Fancy a trip to the set of X-Men: First Class this fall? Then all you need are deep pockets and a little bit of luck.
CharityBuzz is currently auctioning off a day on the set of X-Men: First Class where you will meet producer Brian Singer and whichever cast members are there that day. All proceeds from the auction will go to Project Angel Food.
The official auction description reads, "Share the excitement of film making with a set visit of the next installment in the highly successful film series, X-Men to meet producer Bryan Singer. Although cast information has not been announced, the next X-Men film, X-Men:First Class, is sure to be an action packed classic. This once-in-a-lifetime experience will also give the winner a chance to meet some of the actors who may be on set that day. This set visit will take place in Fall 2010 in the United Kingdom. »
I'm not sure that there could be any better time to visit the 1998 film Gods and Monsters. Three of the four elements that make the film a true treasure have been circling the news. Aside from the excellent turn by star Ian McKellan, we recently lost the talented Lynn Redgrave, have suffered yet another terrible Brendan Fraser movie, and finally, have learned that writer/director Bill Condon is daring to helm The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn.
But before I get into that, I must at least mention McKellan's performance. Magneto and Gandalf were still in his future, and beyond his many skilled Shakespearian turns on stage and screen, his cinematic credits -- narrator of the quilt doc in To Die For, Death in Last Action Hero for example -- didn't make a name for himself. But in '98, everything was to change. He starred in Apt Pupil and Gods and Monsters, »
- Monika Bartyzel
Beat to a Pulp
Review by Matthew Funk
Want to be trapped? Then I have the room for you.
Every good horror story gives us a glimpse at what’s squirming in the basement. The Master Bedroom by enigmatic female noir writer, Anonymous-9 is the rare species of story that doesn’t stop there. That’s what makes it great.
It takes us down the steps. It looks us in our eyes as it holds our hand. And patiently, quietly, it explains what goes on down there and why.
The Master Bedroom, featured on Beat to a Pulp, tells of a house with a very special family—Ozzy’s family, who he is trying, best as he was taught, not to let go to Hell. Ozzy is a dutiful son to his Mother and Father, so much so that he is trying to be the Master of their »
There’s no more need to speculate on the director or release date of the upcoming X-Men: First Class. As we reported yesterday, it appears Kick-Ass helmer Matthew Vaughn is on-board, roughly a week following initial reports that he turned the project down.
Admittedly, reports about the hemming and hawing don’t exactly surprise us; news sources claimed Vaughn and producer Bryan Singer kept talking after even initially parting ways, and Singer was apparently convinced Vaughn was the man for the job. Now Fox has gone ahead and announced that a June 3, 2011 release date for X-Men: First Class, according to The Hollywood Reporter's Heat Vision blog. That may not seem like a whole lot of time; luckily, Vaughn has a proven track record for getting quality superhero/action films done on time and within budget (See Kick-Ass, made for a relatively-paltry $28M).
Meanwhile, Singer, who is only serving as producer »
This is excellent news. Christopher McQuarrie, an Oscar-winning writer who worked with Bryan Singer on movies ranging from “The Usual Suspects” to “Valkyrie,” has teamed up with the filmmaker again for New Line and Legendary Pictures’ “Jack the Giant Killer.”McQuarrie is penning the current draft of the fantasy adventure, the tale of which is set in motion when a princess is kidnapped, threatening a long-standing peace between men and giants. A young farmer is given an opportunity to lead a dangerous expedition to the giants’ kingdom in hope of rescuing her. Singer is about to begin casting for the film, which he will shoot this summer in England. I've never understood the nerd flack that Bryan Singer took after "Superman Returns," as if that movie was so bad. Let's face it, there are way worse movies out there. I mean, come on, just look at his filmography. "Usual Suspects" is awesome of course, »
Academy Award-winning screenwriter Christopher McQuarrie (The Usual Suspects) will reteam with director Bryan Singer on a rewrite of Jack the Giant Killer. The 3D fantasy/adventure project has been billed as an "adult look at the Jack and the Beanstalk legend." The original script was written by Lost (the indie film, not the TV show) scribe Darren Lemke, with a re-write by Live Free or Die Hard/Race to Witch Mountain writer Mark Bomback. DJ Caruso was originally attached to direct. McQuarrie shot to fame with his screenplay for The Usual Suspects. He has since reteamed with Bryan Singer on X-Men, Apt Pupil and Valkyrie, and made his directorial debut in 2000 with The Way of the Gun. This project prevented Singer from directing X-Men: First Class. 20th Century Fox loves the Jamie Moss script, written from Singer's treatment, and is pushing the film into production now without him at the helm. »
- Peter Sciretta
Former graphic designer and commercial director Derrick Borte makes his feature film debut with the new black comedy The Joneses, which opened in theaters on April 16th. The film stars David Duchovny (The X-Files) and Demi Moore (Ghost) as Kate and Steve Jones, a seemingly perfect couple that are actually part of a fake family commissioned by a marketing company as a way to introduce new luxury-level products to neighborhoods around the world, using undercover marketing techniques. We recently had a chance to sit down and talk with Derrick Borte about the new film; it's commentary on consumerism and working with the talented cast. Here is what the first time director had to say:
To begin with, how did you first come up with the concept for this film and what »
For my money, one of the more talented directors in Hollywood today is Bryan Singer. Singer is probably best known for being the man behind the first two X-Men movies (I still contend that X-Men 2 is the greatest comic book movie of all time), but his film "The Usual Suspects" sits on my "Top 10 Films of all Time" list. "Apt Pupil" was anther gem of his and his recent film "Valkyrie" was tremendously underrated in my opinion.
But Singer's next film may be his Biggest yet (cause it's a movie about giants... get it? Oh never mind).
"Jack The Giant Killer" is set to start shooting in July. The film is about a longstanding truce between giants and men, which is broken when a young man leads an expedition into the giant’s territory while searching for a princess.
There are still talks that Singer will go back to the »
Fans of the X-Men movie universe breathed a huge sigh of relief and started parties around the globe when Bryan Singer (director of such films as "Apt Pupil", "The Usual Suspects", "Valkyrie" and "X-Men" and X-Men 2") commented in an interview that he would be returning to the X-verse to direct the upcoming project "X-Men: First Class".
To the dismay of many fans, Singer elected not to direct "X-Men 3" instead opting to go over to Warner Bros. to direct "Superman Returns". Personally I enjoyed "X-Men 3", but without Singer it is commonly agreed that it was the weakest of the X-movies.
However, there appears to be some drama brewing that could put a stop to Singer's return.
It is being reported that Singer's schedule for working on the new WB film "Jack The Giant Killer" may force Fox to look for a new X-Director. According to reports, "Giant Killer" could take Singer »
Horror fanatics are still buzzing like chainsaws over the Academy Awards’ genre montage. Anywhere there could be a conversation about it online, there was one. Many were upset over the Twilight ‘tweens’ participation, as if their mere presence sent a message about the state of scary in Hollyweird, USA.
A few seemed happy, though, to just get a glimpse of their beloved Evil Dead and Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 if only for a few seconds. But many called the selections generic and thoughtless, demanding the likes of Demons and TerrorVision instead (well, maybe not TerrorVision; that was just me).
How about Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer? Re-Animator? It’s Alive? Tombs of the Blind Dead? Coffin Joe? No list is perfect, but with a bit more care and a phone call to any one of us, the Oscars could have elevated that section into a real scream. Or maybe they »
- Heather Buckley
20 items from 2010
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