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As a young child, I loved a strange range of movies, from Pretty Woman to Dirty Dancing, Fern Gully to The Little Mermaid, The Thornbirds to Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. My wide, mixed up taste was bred from relatively lax familial observations of my watching habits (most of my consumption happened in front of our living room television, a room placed squarely in the middle of our long house, with occasional trips to the single screen theater in our small Vermont town, so I wasn’t really hiding anything). My parents didn’t seem to care too much about what I watched – although I do have a strong memory of going to see Summer of Sam with my parents as a teen, which included my aghast mother asking me at least ten times if I wanted to leave – and I didn’t really abuse the freedom. I just liked things. It »
- Kate Erbland
Back in 1999, I was a teenage film geek sneaking into R-rated movies. Without question, one of the titles I saw that year which left a lasting impression was The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999), the superb adaptation of Patricia Highsmith's psychological thriller novel starring Matt Damon and Gwyneth Paltrow. The camera moves, performances, costumes, cinematography -- all of it took me on a cinematic journey I had not experienced until then. However, that movie was only a taste of the varied class of movies that made up 1999 at the cinema.
From edgy comedies like Election (1999), to haunting dramas like The Virgin Suicides (1999) (pictured at top), the lead up to the millenium brought forth a year full of one celluloid gem after another. In honor of the Alamo Drafthouse's 12-week tribute to 1999, which runs through mid-December, I thought I'd revisit the year in question and examine how such a vibrant burst of »
- Frank Calvillo
The lesser-known but no less interesting Euro side of “The French Connection” story finally gets its due in Cedric Jimenez’s “The Connection” (aka “La French”), a meaty, export-ready true-crime saga — and relatively safe bet for U.S. distrib Drafthouse Films — that manages to be both more upbeat and more cynical than William Friedkin’s loosely fictionalized policier. Few would have thought the latter point possible, given the gritty original’s unresolved ending and the grim sequel it inspired. Still, “The Connection” can’t hold a candle to that 1976 classic as Jimenez adopts a vintage-kitsch sensibility, taking a disappointingly generic approach to his hard-to-follow narrative.
Already booking sprocket operas left and right since its Toronto Film Festival bow, “The Connection” not only sounds good on paper, but also boasts a lead turn from a suitably retro-looking Jean Dujardin, dudded out in sideburns and polyester suits for the role. Dujardin plays relentlessly dedicated magistrate Pierre Michel, »
- Peter Debruge
Deadline is reporting that Jason Blum’s production company is returning to the longform arena with another New York period piece based on a true story: miniseries "Son of Sam." Blumhouse will develop the six-hour mini with Fox TV Studios ("The Killing").
Written by Steven Katz ("The Knick," "From the Earth to the Moon"), "Son of Sam" juxtaposes David Richard Berkowitz’s murder confession of Satan worship and human sacrifice with the actual police investigation of December 1975-1977. For almost two years, the Son of Sam terrorized New York City, killing six people while eluding a massive manhunt and taunting the police with brazen letters. The spree finally came to an end in August 1977 when Berkowitz was »
- Steve Barton
Jason Blum’s production house is developing a miniseries in cahoots with Fox based on the story of Son Of Sam. Reportedly a six-hour series, the project led by Blumhouse Productions will delve into the inner workings of David Berkowitz and his killing spree in New York City. What’s exciting to us about the show is that it was written by Steven Katz – who also penned Steven Soderbergh’s latest hit The Knick.
The synopsis as revealed by Deadline, goes into further detail:
Son of Sam juxtaposes David Richard Berkowitz’s murder confession of Satan worship and human sacrifice with the actual police investigation of December 1975-1977. For almost two years, the self-proclaimed Son of Sam terrorized New York City, killing six people while eluding a massive manhunt and taunting the police with brazen letters. The spree finally came to an end in August 1977 when Berkowitz was arrested and »
- Gem Seddon
Our continuing look back at some of the biggest summers we've lived through takes us back 15 years to one of the best recent movie seasons overall. In honor of the 2014 summer movie season, Team HitFix will be delivering a mini-series of articles flashing back to key summers from years past. There will be one each month, diving into the marquee events of the era, their impact on the writer and their implications on today's multiplex culture. We continue today with a look back at the summer of 1999. It was the summer I became Moriarty. To be fair, I had been contributing to Ain't It Cool for a little while already by that point, and I had been slowly but surely embracing the potential of the website and the audience that I was reaching. I had already taken a few trips to Austin, including a memorable stay at the third Quentin Tarantino Film Festival, »
- Drew McWeeny
Happy 50th to the enduring character actor and one man show trouper John Leguizamo. He has his first (film) hit in years this summer as part of the ensemble of Chef and he's arguably even its secret weapon; his cheerful sideline energy helps cut the sometimes sour taste of the movie's vaguely offputting self pitying / self aggrandizing central character business featuring Jon Favreau.
But Leguizamo has been doing that for years, significantly boosting or even altering the energy of pictures he was fourth or fifth or, you know, twelfth billed in. It's true that his brand of sideline showmanship often teeters towards hardly altruistic hamminess; he's an unrepetant scene stealer. But it was a treat to see him again, I raedily admit, and so shortly after I happened to watch his most recent one man show "Ghetto Klown" on cable or streaming or something (I forget) wherein he talks about this impending 50th birthday, »
- NATHANIEL R
In the summer of 1999 I was a 17-year-old floorboy at a suburban multiplex showing Eyes Wide Shut. There were other movies that caught my attention that summer—Limbo, Election, Summer of Sam, The Blair Witch Project, South Park: Bigger, Longer, Uncut—but Kubrick’s was the only one of any import. I saw it four times in a week, defended it against my peers’ scorn, and had Jonathan Rosenbaum’s Chicago Reader review practically memorized. For my generation, seeing a Stanley Kubrick film in its original run was a novelty. Sadly, the experience would also be unrepeatable.
1999 was a hard year to be a cinephile. Kubrick vanished in March, and by the time December rolled around the news came in that Robert Bresson had also passed away. I was obsessed with both filmmakers. The previous year I already felt anguished learning about Akira Kurosawa’s death. Looking back, the »
- Gabe Klinger
Who of our modern filmmakers will justify lavish, career-spanning box sets in the next generation (presuming there is such a thing and we’re not 100% digital)? We’ve seen Oliver Stone, Martin Scorsese, and Alfred Hitchcock sets in recent years but who will get the same treatment in ten or twenty years?
One man who I’d love to see dissected from first film to last is the essential Spike Lee. He has had an undeniably spotty career with films both considered masterpieces and complete failures. But Spike is always working, always trying something new, always willing to challenge himself and the viewer. Did his “Oldboy” remake work? No. He picks himself up, dusts himself off, and gets back to it. Spike has been everywhere lately, promoting and discussing the 25th anniversary of his masterpiece, “Do the Right Thing,” and so someone figured it was a good time to release »
- email@example.com (Adam Fendelman)
With his 2002 film 25th Hour, Spike Lee proved, as he did in Summer Of Sam three years earlier, that he wasn’t limited to making films about the black experience. Lee could do provocative very well and he could do “issues” very well, but with 25th Hour, he had a hard time making a film that sustained its 2 hours and 10 minutes. That was a real shame since I started out liking this film when I saw it when it was new, but it ran out of steam about the halfway point. I have a lot of respect for Edward Norton who played Monty Brogan, a convicted New York drug dealer who spends the film reevaluating his life in the before facing a seven-year jail term on drug charges, but felt the actor was miscast. Norton comes off too bookish and safe to play a convincing dealer. I thought the “F— You” monologue, »
- Tom Stockman
In the summer of 1977, I was 15 years old and seeing Star Wars over and over in my comfy St. Louis suburb, but I do vividly recall the newscasts announcing that serial killer David “Son of Sam” Berkowitz had finally been collared by the NYPD, ending a year-long reign of terror that left six victims dead and seven others wounded. Spike Lee has always been one of the best directors at evoking a time and place, and he captured that summer so well in his 1999 film Summer Of Sam. It was the first time Lee had tackled a subject outside the black experience (it boasts an almost all-white cast), and it’s been one of my favorite of his films. I hadn’t seen it since it was new so was excited when the Blu-ray popped up in my mailbox the other day and I’m pleased to say the film »
- Tom Stockman
Atlas Independent today announced that John Leguizamo ( Ride Along , Summer of Sam ), Lynn Collins ( John Carter , X-Men Origins: Wolverine ) and Jim Belushi ("According to Jim") will star opposite Patrick Wilson and Ian McShane in The Man on Carrion Road . Gonzalo Lopez-Gallego ( Open Grave , Apollo 18 ) will direct the film based on Nils Lyew.s script. The Man on Carrion Road tells the visceral story of a botched Mexican cartel deal in the back roads of a border town. The town's new sheriff (Wilson) must team up with the retired lawman (McShane) he replaced to investigate the source of the deal in order to stop a mysterious cartel butcher (Leguizamo) and his systematic brutalization of the town's residents. A gritty and modern thriller, The Man on Carrion »
London — Feature documentary “Streetkids United II — The Girls From Rio,” the sequel to the 2011 Berlinale entry, has kicked off lensing in Brazil.
The second film — in what is to become a series — is being produced by the U.K.’s F&Me and the Netherlands’ JaJa Film Prods. to coincide with the second Street Child soccer World Cup, which is being organized in Rio by the Amos Trust prior to the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
“The teams have all arrived in Rio for the opening ceremony, and our crew has been out filming with the Brazilian girls’ team prior to the arrival of the international crews,” explained F&Me’s Mike Downey.
The film will focus on the girls’ soccer tournament, and will follow the Brazilian girls’ team from the Penha favela as they go through the highs and lows of the tournament.
Nine teams of street girls from around the world, »
- Leo Barraclough
Film and Music Entertainment (F&Me) and Dutch producer JaJa Film Productions begin shooting in Rio.
Dutch production company JaJa Film Productions, UK’s Film and Music Entertainment (F&Me) and Rio de Janeiro’s Total Entertainment (as service producer) have kicked off shooting on Streetkids United II - The Girls From Rio.
The film is the follow up to the 2011 Berlinale Official Selection Generation film Streetkids United.
The second film - in what is to become a series - is being shot by F&Me and JaJa Film Productions to coincide with the second Street Child World Cup, organized in Rio by the Amos Trust prior to the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
“The teams have all arrived in Rio for the opening ceremony,” said F&Me’s Mike Downey. “And our crew has been out filming with the Brazilian girls’ team prior to the arrival of the international crews.
The film will »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Michael Rosser)
Hello Cinema our friend Amir started a podcast on Iranian cinema. It's an interesting listen even if you know nothing about the topic, particular the first section on how Amir and Tina came to love cinema
Comic Alliance on the petititon to cast an Asian American as Iron Fist in the upcoming Netflix series. This is Such a good idea, because that character was obviously envisioned as white for very problematic reasons given that he's totally tied to Asian culture.
/Film an infographic on Hollywood disasters. They love destroying New York City but it's not the only city they ruin
Vanity Fair rejected »
- NATHANIEL R
When Adrien Brody became the youngest winner of the best actor Oscar in 2003 for his role in Roman Polanski's The Pianist, he was the toast of the film world. With a cameo role in Wes Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel, he talks about how the accolade has shaped his career
The night after Adrien Brody won the Oscar for best actor in March 2003, he went to a restaurant and the entire room stood up and applauded. Eleven years later, he makes a far more low-key entrance at the fancy Bondi Beach restaurant Icebergs – no PR, no entourage, wearing flip-flops, and slightly miffed that I dropped his name in order to get a table. "I would never have done that," he frowns.
- Alex Needham
Of the many illustrious accomplishments achieved by Martin Scorsese's ode to doing very bad things, "The Wolf of Wall Street," one of them is breaking the record for the number of times "fuck" is uttered in a feature film. The movie manages to rack up 522 f-bombs across 180 minutes, obliterating the previous record held by Spike Lee's "Summer Of Sam," which said "fuck" 435 times. So what does that many "fucks" look like? Slackstory (via Uproxx) have managed to get their hands on a copy of the movie and have crafted a four-and-half minute video that covers every "fuck" in the film from beginning to end. You might want to wear headphones if you're watching this at work. Meanwhile, Paramount has finally released their their first red band material from the movie that is gaining notoriety for its level of debauchery. It's a clip that finds Leonardo DiCaprio and Margot Robbie fighting, »
- Kevin Jagernauth
Henry Rollins doesn’t care that much about what a bigot on Duck Dynasty said. He wasn’t going to watch it anyway. But he does say that while he accepts the outcome, that doesn’t mean the argument is over. “On the flip side of things, one of you supremely talented graphic artists should start a comic book series starring the Duck dudes as homosexual bears. Talk about crossover potential. The thing writes itself. At the next major gay pride event, there should be hard-bodied men in camo hot pants, ridiculous beards pasted to their chins, blowing through duck calls. Dick Dynasty is a gay porn series just waiting to happen.”
On the Chris Kluwe front, the Vikings have hired former Minnesota Supreme Court »
- Ed Kennedy
The Wolf of Wall Street has reportedly set the record for the number of times people say "fuck" in a non-documentary movie, according to Variety. Over the course of the film's three hours, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill and their cast-mates supposedly use the expletive 506 times. That means someone utters the word roughly 2.81 times a minute. The site claims the previous record holder was Spike Lee's 1999 serial killer movie Summer of Sam, which let the F-flag fly 435 times. Wolf director Martin Scorsese has a history of peppering his pictures' dialog with profanity, »
With 506 occurrences of the swearword, Martin Scorsese's Wall Street drama has set a new record for a non-documentary film
• News: Scorsese heckled at Wolf of Wall Street screening
• More on The Wolf of Wall Street
Martin Scorsese has broken a record. The Wolf of Wall Street contains 506 instances of the word "fuck", which is – as noted by Variety – a solid 71 more utterances than the previous non-documentary record holder, Spike Lee's Summer of Sam.
Based on the memoir by Wall Street trader Jordan Belfort (played in the film by Leonardo DiCaprio), Scorsese's film delights in excess. Trading takes a break for sex on the shopfloor, drugs in the toilets and lots and lots of foul language. Even the running time gets into the spirit: the film is 180 minutes long, which – divided equally – breaks down to Scorsese giving 2.81 fucks a minute.
The Wolf of Wall Street is in rude health, »
- Henry Barnes
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