9 items from 2014
Billy Bob Thornton plays a strange gun-for-hire with some seriously deranged bangs in Fargo, FX’s miniseries adaptation of the Coen brothers’ Oscar-winning film (premiering tonight at 10 p.m. Et). Such a project raises many questions, such as, “Whyyyyy?” But Thornton, who has starred in two Coen films (The Man Who Wasn’t There and Intolerable Cruelty), promises that the show is a well-done homage to the 1996 film — one with a completely different story, written by executive producer Noah Hawley. It begins when Lorne Malvo (Thornton) makes a pit stop in the small town of Bemidji, Minnesota, and offers to help out emasculated insurance agent Lester Nygaard (Martin Freeman) with a problem he’s having with a bully. Things spiral colorfully out of control from there. Vulture sat down with Thornton to discuss many things, but especially his bizarre hair.Noah said you showed up to set with those bangs. »
- Denise Martin
Actor, comedian and producer Cedric the Entertainer has been tapped to host the fourth annual Critics’ Choice Television Awards. The awards show will broadcast live on Thursday, June 19 at 8 p.m. Et on The CW. Cedric stars on new TV Land comedy “Soul Man,” which he created and executive-produces, as well. He's alls the current host of syndicated show “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire.” Also read: Forest Whitaker, ‘Before Midnight’ Team To Receive Special Critics’ Choice Movie Awards His film credits include “Barbershop,” “Be Cool,” the “Madagascar” animated franchise, “Intolerable Cruelty” and “Johnson Family Vacation,” among others. The awards are given by. »
- Jethro Nededog
Moviefone's Top DVD of the Week
"12 Years a Slave"
What's It About? Based on the memoir by Solomon Northup, "12 Years a Slave" stars Chiwetel Ejiofor as a free man who was kidnapped from his home in New York and sold into slavery. Northup ends up on a plantation run by the cruel Edwin Epps (Michael Fassbender) and his equally awful wife (Sarah Paulson), who take special delight in tormenting another young slave named Patsey (Lupita Nyong'o).
Why We're In: The movie took him Best Picture Sunday night -- see director Steve McQueen quite literally jump for joy here -- for good reason. Nyong'o took home the Best Supporting Actress award for her wrenching performance, and John Ridley won for his adapted screenplay.
Moviefone's Top Blu-ray of the Week
- Jenni Miller
In his 30-year career as a composer, Carter Burwell’s film scores have run the veritable cinematic gamut. From composing for Spike Jonze (Being John Malkovich, Adaptation., Where the Wild Things Are) to his work being the best parts of the Twilight saga, Burwell’s résumé is sporadic and unconventional, even for a man who makes film music for a living — it’s fitting, given his less-than-conventional roots as a cartoonist for The Harvard Lampoon and later as a vagrant New York punk rocker. Undoubtedly, Burwell’s become best known for the his collaborations with Joel and Ethan Coen. Last week, Sound on Sight ranked the films of the Coen Brothers, so what better way to take over The Big Score than with a similarly themed meditation on their work with Burwell? As much as the Coens’ filmography is defined by their trademark cynicism and wit, Burwell’s compositions are »
- David Klein
With Joel and Ethan Coen’s latest – Inside Llewyn Davis – due out today, I’ve returned to the filmography of the two enigmatic brothers, and a Masters of Cinema book dedicated to them. The author of said book is Ian Nathan, executive editor of Empire Magazine, author of Terminator Vault (2013) and Alien Vault (2011), and a contributor to numerous publications including The Times and The Independent. Sharing his thoughts on the process of writing the book, and his own exploration of the tricksy Coen brothers, here is what Mr. Nathan had to say:
Piers McCarthy: How easy was it to balance the research and writing of this book with your work at Empire Magazine?
Ian Nathan: This is always tricky in terms of sheer workload. Books are just hard work, and soak up your time. »
- Gary Collinson
Joel and Ethan Coen have built a reputation as two of the most visionary and idiosyncratic filmmakers working today. Dabbling in Film Noir to screwball comedy, from off-beat indies to big-budget studio pieces, their films are adored by critics and audiences alike. The two-man writer-director-producer-editor team, have long been regarded by cinephiles as masters of the craft. Choosing our favourite Coen Bros. film isn’t an easy task, but we asked our staff to rank their films from favourite to least favourite. The results were interesting, with Fargo running away with first place, and two of their 16 films not producing enough votes to justify making the cut (The Lady Killers, Intolerable Cruelty). Here are the results. Let us know which is your favourite Coen Bros. film?
13. Burn After Reading, 2008
Outside of Martin Scorsese, there are very few clean slates in Hollywood – and even He has Bringing Out The Dead blotting his copybook (discuss…). The Coen brothers though, have created an unbroken conga-line of stunningly original movies, mixing and mastering genres, and even creating new ones.
If there was a bump in the road in 1994 time, it seems, has since been kind to The Hudsucker Proxy. A bigger budget (courtesy of ’80s alpha-producer Joel Silver) and an initially unresponsive family audience had it labelled as the Coen’s first flop, but watched now its pleasures are myriad and unmistakably Coenesque (including a great, late-vintage performance from Paul Newman).
The Coens announced themselves to the world in 1984 with the instant neo-noir classic, Blood Simple. Now, just mull the following subsequent film titles over in your mind like a mouthful of Chateau Petrus. Raising Arizona, Miller’s Crossing, Barton Fink, The Hudsucker Proxy, »
- Cai Ross
This is sad news. Jim Jacks has died. The former Universal Pictures production executive transitioned to a film partnership with Sean Daniel in Universal-based Alphaville, and together they produced The Mummy franchise and films that included Tombstone, Dazed And Confused, A Simple Plan, Michael, and The Jackal. He was an exec producer of Raising Arizona and Intolerable Cruelty. They were among Universal’s biggest producing teams during the 1990s and early 2000s before they split. Daniel posted a tribute on his Facebook page: “Here’s to Jim Jacks. Nobody loved movies more. Passionate, loyal, generous, accomplished, noble, caring, heavily armed, creative, dare I say obsessive on occasion. A good man, a good friend, a wonderful partner, a loving son to his family. You will be missed.” I am getting ready to leave Sundance, but will provide more details when I can. According to my Variety pal Dave McNary, Jacks was »
- MIKE FLEMING JR
Movie producer James “Jim” Jacks, who worked with independent-minded filmmakers including the Coen brothers, Richard Linklater, Sam Raimi and Billy Bob Thornton, died Monday of a heart attack at his Los Angeles home. He was 66.
Though his most commercially successful venture was the “The Mummy” franchise, which he launched in 1999 with longtime producing partner Sean Daniel through their Alphaville Films banner, Jacks was known for championing American auteur filmmakers even while working in the studio system at Universal. Alphaville launched in 1992, and the shingle produced Linklater’s “Dazed and Confused,” “Tombstone,” John Woo’s “Hard Target” and Kevin Smith’s “Mallrats.”
After studying to be an engineer and getting an Mba, Jacks pursued screenwriting and worked as an entertainment analyst. »
- Dave McNary
9 items from 2014
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