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There are important issues running through this, but the film forgets to be sufficiently engaging in the course of being Significant. I’m “biast” (pro): like Andrew Niccol…
I’m “biast” (con): …though he keeps failing to measure up to his earliest work
(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)
It’s desert warfare, but not as we’ve known it. From a room in the sands of suburban Las Vegas, drone pilots kill people in different deserts half a world away. It sounds like science fiction — and given that Good Kill is from writer-director Andrew Niccol, of The Truman Show and Gattaca and The Host fame, you might be forgiven for thinking that that’s what it is. But this is based on reality; in fact, it’s set half a decade ago, in 2010. Major Thomas Egan (Ethan Hawke: Boyhood) is a former combat pilot »
- MaryAnn Johanson
With the drone warfare drama, Good Kill, opening in Canada and the Us this week, I had a chance to speak with director Andrew Niccol about the film briefly over the phone. But it was a very dense conversation that offers some insight as to what was keeping him up at night while making the film.The New Zealand born filmmaker has spend most of his career working in Hollywood as a writer (The Truman Show, The Terminal) and double-hyphenate director (Gattaca, Lord of War, In Time). Much like the voice of his films, there is a pragmatic, down-to-earth manner in his conversational tone balanced with a further-reaching inquiry as to what is right and what is wrong with us as we continue to barrel full...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
Lionsgate has snapped up new drama Genius at the Cannes Film Festival for distribution in the U.S. for around $4 million. Here’s a first look image…
The film, which tells the story of the relationship between book editor Max Perkins, who edited works by the likes of F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway and Thomas Wolfe, stars Colin Firth (Kingsman: The Secret Service) alongside Jude Law (Black Sea), Nicole Kidman (Before I Go To Sleep), Guy Pearce (The Rover), Dominic West (The Affair) and Laura Linney (The Truman Show).
Directed by debutant Michael Grandage, no release date has yet been set for the film, but we could feasibly see it around awards season later this year.
- Scott J. Davis
A condensed version of this review was published during the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival.
Had it been released twenty years ago, Good Kill, a drama about military unmanned aerial vehicles from writer-director Andrew Niccol, could have made for an intriguing piece of science fiction. Ten years ago, the same combination of concept and creative would have made for an eerily prescient look at the evolution of 21st century warfare away from boots on the ground tactics, to drones in the air permanence. In 2015, though, Niccol’s not so much late to the party in making such a film, as he is the wrong man to host it. “Drones aren’t the future. They’re the right here, right f___ing now,” Bruce Greenwood’s gravelly Colonel Johns instructs at one point, which is as clear and concise a thesis on the subject as Good Kill manages to find.
- Sam Woolf
Though producer Michael Bay isn’t renowned for a sense of intellectual rigour when it comes to his movies, he does take the precaution of casting respected actors in order to lend increased credibility to his explosion-heavy output.
John Turturro provided the dramatic backbone of the Transformers franchise, and while it was strange to see him involved Bay’s next choice is about as out of left field as you can get – he wants Laura Linney to be in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2.
Audiences are more used to seeing Linney portray fine character roles in films such as The Savages alongside the late Philip Seymour Hoffman and Hyde Park On Hudson with Bill Murray. She’s arguably best-remembered as Jim Carrey’s horror show of a fake nurse wife in The Truman Show.
Bay’s mighty Platinum Dunes chequebook hasn’t had much difficulty convincing the actress to brave the sewers and jump aboard, »
- Steve Palace
There are people you expect to be announced as joining the cast of the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film. And then there’s Laura Linney. Imagine our surprise, then, when The Hollywood Reporter brought word that Linney is aboard the sequel. Usually found in indie and dramatic fare such as Kinsey, You Can Count On Me, Mystic River and The Truman Show, the closest she has come to a big superhero project is voicing the computer in Arthur Christmas. Yet, next year, she’ll be on screen in some unspecified role. Though the plot is still mostly unknown, the sequel will see the turtles – performance captured and voiced by Alan Ritchson, Noel Fisher, Pete Ploszek and Jeremy Howard – tackling threats new and old in New York City. Megan Fox and Will Arnett are back as April O’Neill and scuzzy cameraman Vernon Fenwick respectively, with Danny Woodburn once more »
Ah, the 1990s. The decade that brought us The Lion King. Titanic. Quentin Tarantino. That wordless bathroom scene in Baz Luhrmann's Romeo + Juliet. Angelo Badalamenti's Twin Peaks. Duel of the Fates from Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. In the Mood for Love.
It was a good 10 years for film music, no doubt.
But scratch the surface of 1991 through 1999 and there are tons of good scores ready to spring a surprise on your ears. Some were attached to sorely underrated movies, others were overshadowed by wildly successful ones, and some have simply been forgotten in the passage of time.
Here, in no particular order, are the top 25 underappreciated film soundtracks from the 1990s.
All week long our writers will debate: Which was the greatest film year of the past half century. Check here for a complete list of our essays. Just one glance at the Oscar nominees for 1998 might make it seem less a questionable choice for “best year in film” — and more an insane one. Instead of a 1974 – The Godfather II, The Conversation, Chinatown, Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein, etc – or even a 1994, where Shawshank, Quiz Show, and Pulp Fiction lost to Gump – you choose a year where the Oscars would allow Roberto Benigni to climb atop both the figurative and literal chairs of the Shrine? Fine, step away from the Oscars. Would you still celebrate a year that saw not one, but two movies about asteroids threatening the Earth? A year that saw such scars carved across cinematic history as Patch Adams, My Giant, Stepmom, and Krippendorf’s Tribe? It bears repeating: Krippendorf’S Tribe? »
- Michael Oates Palmer
Adapted from Blake Crouch’s novels with an M. Night Shyamalan-directed pilot, “Wayward Pines” suggests various series – “Twin Peaks” and “Lost” come to mind – but may owe its closest debt to “The Prisoner,” the 1960s cult favorite that featured a spy confined in a strange village from which there appeared to be no exit. Perfectly suited to a 10-part limited run, this Fox show has capitalized on its concentrated approach to cast the project to the hilt, with the disclaimer that viewers shouldn’t become too attached to anyone. All told, it’s a solid TV version of summer popcorn fare.
Matt Dillon stars as Ethan Burke, a Secret Service agent pursuing leads on two missing colleagues in the idyllic, titular Idaho town. The assignment is complicated by the fact that one of the wayward agents is his former partner, Kate (Carla Gugino), with whom he had an affair. »
- Brian Lowry
Tonight, the first series of Caitlin and Caroline Moran's sitcom, Raised By Wolves, comes to an end. Heavily inspired and based on their own adventures growing up in the West Midlands - although this particular writer veers geographically more towards Dudley than Wolverhampton - the six episodes have also given Rebekah Staton in particular a standout role as the kind of mum telly doesn't get very often.
Ahead of the series finale tonight, Caroline put down her pen/quill/word processor/Game Of Thrones boxset to spare us some time to talk about it...
It's a basic question, perhaps, but I'm interested in the answer. How has it been having your own sitcom on the television for the past month? How closely are you monitoring feedback and reaction to it? »
Whether you like it or not, the summer movie season is right around the corner! Of course, blockbusters sprout up all throughout the year, with movies like The Divergent Series: Insurgent and Furious 7 setting the box office on fire even before the "official" summer movie season kicks off...But the four-month period between May and August is simply jam-packed with big-budget tentpoles, outlandish comedies and even a few memorable indie dramas. Before you start snatching up tickets to your favorite summer movies, we have a handy guide breaking down all of the major studio blockbusters, and even a few independent flicks that have the potential to break out into the mainstream. Here our the 35 movies you simply can't miss this summer!
1Avengers: Age of Ultron - May 1
Good Kill isn’t a science fiction film, but its premise could easily come from a dystopian novel - or a darkly prophetic story by Philip K Dick.
Ethan Hawke plays Major Thomas Egan, a veteran pilot who controls unmanned aerial vehicles (or drones, as they’re often dubbed by the media) as they circle the skies of the Middle East. At the orders of those higher up the command chain, these drones can strike targets from 10,000km in the air - so high that someone on the ground could look up and not even see the craft gliding above them. »
Since his feature filmmaking debut began in 1997, writer-director Andrew Niccol has made diverse movies united by similar themes. Many of them deal with the way technology either impacts us in the present or will affect us in the future. More still meditate on social injustice.
Good Kill shares the concerns and thought-provoking tone of Niccol's best films, such as The Truman Show (which he wrote, and Peter Weir directed), In Time, Lord Of War and his masterpiece, Gattaca. Set in 2010, it's about the experiences of Major Thomas Egan (Ethan Hawke) - a distinctly 21st century brand of soldier. Once an adept pilot, he now clocks into work at a military base just outside Las Vegas, sits in an office chair, and launches aerial drone strikes over Afghanistan and other countries in the Middle East. »
It’s all there in that swooning opening music: Gattaca isn’t just another sleek film about the future. The feature debut of New Zealand-born director Andrew Niccol, the smart, elegant, intensely moving Gattaca may just be his finest film to date.
The film introduces us to Vincent Freeman (Ethan Hawke), who’s in the process of a carrying out a painstaking daily ritual: shaving every stray hair from his body, exfoliating his skin and burning the material left behind - it’s as though Vincent’s treating himself as a crime scene.
Vincent lives in a future where genetic profiling has divided society into Valids - those whose DNA has been fettled to perfection by scientists before birth - and In-valids - those conceived naturally, with all potential genetic flaws it involves. »
To celebrate the March 13th release of Run All Night, the edge-of-your-seat action thriller starring Liam Neeson, we’re giving you the chance to win a set of merchandise, including: Running Wristband, Touchscreen Gloves, Hooded Pullover and T-Shirt.
Brooklyn mobster and prolific hit man Jimmy Conlon (Neeson), once known as The Gravedigger, has seen better days. But when Jimmy’s estranged son, Mike (Kinnaman), becomes a target, Jimmy must make a choice between the crime family he chose and the real family he abandoned long ago. Now, with nowhere safe to turn, Jimmy just has one night to figure out exactly where his loyalties lie and to see if he can finally make things right.
For your chance to win a must-have Run All Night prize bundle, just answer the question below:
- Dan Bullock
Will Andrew Niccol's latest feature capture the imagination of the movie going public in a similar fashion to American Sniper? On the surface, both films share a number of commonalities, not the least of which are soldiers having to kill their enemies from afar, with a certain unquestioning detachment. But unlike Clint Eastwood, Niccol has made a career out of questioning the emotional and psychological significance of where we are and where we are going in terms of technology and its applications. From the sci-fi genetics drama Gattaca (also starring Ethan Hawke) to synthetic actors in S1Mone, to his screenplay for Peter Weir's The Truman Show, the man has a knack for this particular line of inquiry. Here he gets to play in the theater of the...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
Shonda Rhimes’ trio of jaw-dropping dramas returned Thursday night, with enough earth-shattering moments to keep us glued to the couch for three straight hours.
Don't ask me what I'm doing tonight like you don't know scandal, greys and how to get away with murder is coming back on... #TGITisback
— Chelsey (@chelseylanean) January 29, 2015
The Omg Moment
Baby mama drama! April and Jackson spent the episode freaking out over their baby’s osteogenesis imperfecta diagnosis, but when the two were finally able to have a moment together, April revealed her bittersweet news: It’s a boy!
everything is not okay.. pic.twitter.com/56ECskBkgs
— madison (@clairesbelle) January 30, 2015
Jackson And April Do Not Deserve This Jackson And April Do Not Deserve This Jackson And April Do Not Deserve This Jackson And April Do Not »
Murder and torture are mainstays on Scandal. But it's still the kind of steamy drama you watch curled up on your couch with a glass of red wine in one hand and your phone teed up with sassy tweets about Scott Foley's abs in the other. Not this week. From the How to Get Away with Murder-like time jumps (we see you, Shonda) to the Homeland-style setting, this wasn't the Scandal we've grown to love. It was something new, something darker and far more sinister than Pope & Associates has ever tried to fix. Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington), the woman »
- Michele Corriston, @mcorriston
Tom Hanks had Philadelpha, Jim Carrey had The Truman Show and now Jason Segel has The End of the Tour. It’s a powerhouse movie announcing to the world that this comedic actor is a dramatic force too. But that’s just one of the many, many good things that can be said about director James Ponsoldt’s […]
The post Jason Segel’s Big Dramatic Debut Is One Of Many Great Things In ‘The End of the Tour’ [Sundance 2015] appeared first on /Film. »
- Germain Lussier
Ten years after graduating from Yale University, New Yorker Noah Emmerich began mapping his route to the big screen. Unlike many others, whose sights are set on being a leading man in Hollywood, Emmerich found his voice in character roles such as friend and traitor, Marlon in Peter Weir’s, The Truman Show, or the compulsive yet merciful ex-cop, Larry Hedges, in the drama Little Children; all of which have earned him both respect and admiration from peers and audiences alike and a reputation as the actor to call on for nuanced layered performances.
But it is Emmerich’s commanding portrayal of troubled FBI agent, Stan Beeman, in FX’s hit spy thriller The Americans, which is earning the actor the biggest accolades and fanbase of his career. Rarely does a character evoke such contrasting emotions; as audiences are compelled »
- Gary Collinson
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