1-20 of 38 items from 2015 « Prev | Next »
'Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl': Johnny Depp as Capt. Jack Sparrow. 'Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl' review: Mostly an enjoyable romp (Oscar Movie Series) Pirate movies were a Hollywood staple for about three decades, from the mid-'20s (The Sea Hawk, The Black Pirate) to the mid-to-late '50s (Moonfleet, The Buccaneer), when the genre, by then mostly relegated to B films, began to die down. Sporadic resurrections in the '80s and '90s turned out to be critical and commercial bombs (Pirates, Cutthroat Island), something that didn't bode well for the Walt Disney Company's $140 million-budgeted film "adaptation" of one of their theme-park rides. But Neptune's mood has apparently improved with the arrival of the new century. He smiled – grinned would be a more appropriate word – on the Gore Verbinski-directed Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, »
- Andre Soares
As fans still absorb the various body blows delivered by Sunday’s season finale, some are no doubt wondering whether “Game of Thrones” – a four-time Emmy best-drama nominee – can break its drought in terms of actually winning? If history is any guide, it’s an uphill battle.
The imposing wall the HBO drama has to scale can be traced to a variety of factors and historical precedents. The most obvious – one that’s griped about with annual reliability – is a perceived bias against so-called genre shows, those set in the worlds of science fiction, fantasy or (in the case of “The Walking Dead”) horror. Throughout its history, the Emmys have nominated relatively few programs representing that area, and honored one: ABC’s “Lost” a decade ago.
What has changed, in recent years, is the inordinate popularity of certain programs from those genres, reflecting their mass appeal – and not incidentally, their »
- Brian Lowry
Ron Moody in 'Oliver!' movie. Ron Moody: 'Oliver!' actor nominated for an Oscar dead at 91 (Note: This Ron Moody article is currently being revised.) Two well-regarded, nonagenarian British performers have died in the last few days: 93-year-old Christopher Lee (June 7, '15), best known for his many portrayals of Dracula and assorted movie villains and weirdos, from the title role in The Mummy to Dr. Catheter in Gremlins 2: The New Batch. 91-year-old Ron Moody (yesterday, June 11), among whose infrequent film appearances was the role of Fagin, the grotesque adult leader of a gang of boy petty thieves, in the 1968 Best Picture Academy Award-winning musical Oliver!, which also earned him a Best Actor nomination. Having been featured in nearly 200 movies and, most importantly, having had his mainstream appeal resurrected by way of the villainous Saruman in Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movies (and various associated merchandising, »
- Andre Soares
We bid a fond farewell to the wonderful Christopher Lee, and salute some of his best roles...
Christopher Lee crammed a dozen lives into one. His Special Forces work in the Second World War remains shrouded in mystery. We do know that, in 1944, he climbed Vesuvius three days before it erupted. A fine, operatic singer, he famously released a heavy metal album in his later 80s. A skilled fencer, he performed all his own sword fights and has been killed on screen more than any actor in cinematic history. As a child Lee briefly encountered Prince Felix Yusupov, murderer of Rasputin, a part Lee would later of course play. Ian Fleming was a cousin, Muhammed Ali a friend and once dedicated a victory to Lee. Fluent in five languages, passable in another four, people like Lee don’t really exist anymore. In truth they probably never did.
One could write a lengthy, »
Sound on Sight undertook a massive project, compiling ranked lists of the most influential, unforgettable, and exciting action scenes in all of cinema. There were hundreds of nominees spread across ten different categories and a multi-week voting process from 11 of our writers. The results: 100 essential set pieces, sequences, and scenes from blockbusters to cult classics to arthouse obscurities.
Whether storming a beach or a besieging castle, marching on foot or charging on horseback, in a historical epic or a fantasy extravaganza, battles scenes are some of the most complex and intricately choreographed of all action scenes. Capable of zooming in to a one-on-one fight between two foes or zooming out to show a big picture look at the action–and featuring anywhere from dozens to hundreds to thousands of extras, either flesh and blood or digital–these are the scenes in which wars are fought, tides are turned, and glory is won. »
- Shane Ramirez
Noble will play the wealthy, estranged father of Jonny Lee Miller’s Sherlock Holmes in the crime drama. The character has been referenced in past seasons as being instrumental in Sherlock’s first stint in rehab three years ago and in pairing his son with Joan Watson (Lucy Liu), his former sober companion-turned-investigative partner and friend. In the season-four premiere, airing this fall, Mr. Holmes arrives in New York City to deal with the aftermath of his son’s recent relapse.
“We could not be more delighted to have John Noble taking on such an important role,” said “Elementary” creator Robert Doherty. “We’ve enjoyed his work for many years now — especially his tremendous run on ‘Fringe’ — and cannot wait to see him opposite Jonny and Lucy. It’s going to be an exciting season. »
- Laura Prudom
Having hit the $1 billion mark on Friday, Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron has now cracked the top ten list of the highest-grossing movies of all time, climbing to eighth with $1.142 billion and counting.
Despite falling to third in the States behind Pitch Perfect 2 and Mad Max: Fury Road is closing in on $375 million domestically, with a further $770.5 million from international markets, including $156.3 million in China, where it opened on Monday.
See Also: Animated storyboard offers up an alternate look at Hulk vs Hulkbuster from Avengers: Age of Ultron
Age of Ultron has knocked Skyfall ($1.109 billion) out of the top ten list, as well as overtaking The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King ($1.119 billion) and Transformers: Dark of the Moon ($1.124 billion). It is closing in fast on Iron Man 3 ($1.215 billion), but still trails the year’s highest grossing movie Fast & Furious 7, which currently sits »
- Gary Collinson
Exclusive: Cornerstone to sell comedy from ParaNorman director.
Smith-McPhee is in final negotiations to star in Croak, which would reunite him with his ParaNorman director. The young actor, seen opposite Michael Fassbender in Sundance title Slow West, was recently cast as Nightcrawler in the upcoming X-Men: Apocalypse.
Also cast is newcomer Tilda Cobham-Hervey (52 Tuesdays).
Nicole Carmen-Davis, Rebekah Gilbertson and Philippa Campbell are producing the film, written by Lucy Moore, which centres on a world-weary 17-year-old Jenny (Cobham-Hervey) and mysterious, geeky Marcus (Smit-McPhee) - a young grim reaper living somewhere between the land of the living and oblivion.
Anderson is to play the character of the grim “Mistress” who keeps a watchful eye over »
- email@example.com (Andreas Wiseman)
This week marks the 10th anniversary of the release of "Crash" (on May 6, 2005), an all-star movie whose controversy came not from its provocative treatment of racial issues but from its Best Picture Oscar victory a few months later, against what many critics felt was a much more deserving movie, "Brokeback Mountain."
The "Crash" vs. "Brokeback" battle is one of those lingering disputes that makes the Academy Awards so fascinating, year after year. Moviegoers and critics who revisit older movies are constantly judging the Academy's judgment. Even decades of hindsight may not always be enough to tell whether the Oscar voters of a particular year got it right or wrong. Whether it's "Birdman" vs. "Boyhood," "The King's Speech" vs. "The Social Network," "Saving Private Ryan" vs. "Shakespeare in Love" or even "An American in Paris" vs. "A Streetcar Named Desire," we're still confirming the Academy's taste or dismissing it as hopelessly off-base years later. »
- Gary Susman
The unexpected death of Australian cinematographer Andrew Lesnie has sparked an outpouring of touching sentiment about his skills behind the camera, his huge contribution to his own and New Zealand cinema and also, from those who knew him, his decency and goodwill.
“After 17 years and eight movies together, the loss of Andrew is very hard to bear,” said Peter Jackson in a Facebook post this evening. He described him as “one of the great cinematographers of our time” and “an irreplaceable part of my family” who “always had my back”.
Jackson sought him out for the fantasy/adventure The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring because of the quality of his work on the Australian fairytale Babe. The New Zealand-based collaboration earned Lesnie the 2002 Academy Award for his cinematography »
- Sandy.George@me.com (Sandy George)
Andrew Lesnie, the Oscar-winning cinematographer of the "Lord of the Rings" and "Hobbit" franchises, has reportedly died of a heart attack. He was 59. Initial reports surfaced late Monday night on Twitter and Ain't It Cool News' Eric Vespe confirmed the reports soon after. Lesnie's family is expected to make an official statement at a later time. Devastating news from home. The master of the light, genius Andrew Lesnie has passed on . — Russell Crowe (@russellcrowe) April 28, 2015 Lesnie received his Academy Award for "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring" in 2002, a towering achievement that represented a visionary new direction for epic filmmaking, courtesy of director Peter Jackson. He was then inexplicably passed over for nominations for "The Two Towers" and particularly the 11-Oscar sweeper "The Return of the King," each of them no less stunning (and indeed, part of an organic whole). Lesnie was behind the camera on »
- Kristopher Tapley
We film critics have an often infuriating tendency to write as much about ourselves, and the state of our profession, as we do about the movies. This is hardly a new phenomenon, of course, but it may be more prevalent than ever before: Whether we’re seeking out pockets of online validation or trying to provoke those with whom we violently disagree (or both), the rise of social media has made it all too easy to engage directly with our ideological allies and adversaries alike. At the same time, the continual thinning of our professional ranks has fueled endless arguments and think-pieces about whether the Internet has succeeded in decimating or diversifying the field.
All of which makes it particularly important to remember Richard Corliss — not just because the veteran Time critic hailed from that honorable, not-yet-bygone tradition of wordsmiths who composed sharp, beautifully considered reviews for the printed page, »
- Justin Chang
As brash, boisterous box office spectacle, Peter Jackson's Middle-earth movies are unquestionably a triumph. His early 2000s adaptation of The Lord of the Rings captured the sweep and - via that ending that never ended - the introspection of the source material.
While his Hobbit trilogy is less universally beloved, who could argue that the battle scenes pack a wallop or that, in Benedict Cumberbatch's Smaug, Jackson has given us one of the great on-screen dragons?
Whatever your opinion of Jackson's juggernaut, though, there is one indisputable weakness baked into his cinematic interpretation of Middle-earth. He is obsessed with orcs, those stock swords and sorcery nasties with terminally bad skin and the deportment of '80s football hooligans hopped up on Special Brew.
This was made depressingly obvious one third of the way through last year's Battle of the Five Armies as The Necromancer was casually bundled off stage, »
Wamg has your free passes to the advance screening of Warner Bros. Pictures’ The Water Diviner.
Crowe also stars in the film as Australian farmer Joshua Connor, who, in 1919, goes in search of his three missing sons, last known to have fought against the Turks in the bloody Battle of Gallipoli. Arriving in Istanbul, he is thrust into a vastly different world, where he encounters others who have suffered their own losses in the conflict: Ayshe (Olga Kurylenko), a strikingly beautiful but guarded hotelier raising a child alone; her young, spirited son, Orhan (Dylan Georgiades), who finds a friend in Connor; and Major Hasan (Yilmaz Erdoğan), a Turkish officer who fought against Connor’s boys and who may be this father’s only hope. »
- Movie Geeks
Gondor is the greatest realm of men in all of Middle Earth. Home to stories of heroics and legend that would make King Arthur look like C3PO by comparison, it is rightly revered in both Jrr Tolkien and Peter Jackson’s Lord Of The Rings trilogies. It is the key kingdom of the entire story – basically the Kings Landing of Middle Earth. Battles are fought here, tides of war are turned here and even the title of the last film is named after its king.
Scene of the awesome climactic battle in The Return Of The King, host to one of the most epic speeches of the entire Lotr universe, not to mention the hard hitting sibling drama of the Gondor princes Boromir and Faramir, Gondor is up there with the very greatest kingdoms ever committed to celluloid or page.
But what would it really be »
- Lee Gant
Winslet's Insurgent opened this weekend with a respectable $54 million, knocking Blanchett's Cinderella into second. To its credit, Disney's live-action adaptation opened with an impressive $67.8 million the weekend prior and has accumulated a domestic total to $122 million in just two weeks.
But how do the two Oscar winners stack up against one another? That's what Et's Celebrity Showdown is here to discover. Looking at seven unique criteria that weigh box-office earnings, critic's reviews, and award season gold, Celebrity Showdown examines the anatomy of both stars' careers to determine who's really the best.
I don't envy any showrunner who has to write a series finale, especially after observing the very different reactions over the past few days to the final episodes of "Two and a Half Men" and "Parks and Recreation."
Consensus on the former seems to be outrage mixed with bafflement, while response to the latter seems to have been copious tears mixed with warm fuzzies.
Looking at both finales, however, it appears each long-running sitcom ended with an episode that was true to what the series was about. The literally cartoonish "Two and a Half Men" finale, which (spoiler alert) wrapped with pianos being dropped on both the characters and on creator Chuck Lorre, was a fittingly nihilistic send-off for a show that seemed to find all its characters loathsome and had little regard for the humanity of any of them, except insofar as Lorre could use them for punching bags and punchlines. »
- Gary Susman
When "Big Hero 6" won the Oscar for Best Animated Feature over frontrunner "How to Train Your Dragon 2," it was considered a huge upset. But, really, we should have seen this coming. After all, the Oscars hate sequels. -Break- Related: Do Oscars hate women? Indeed, since the Best Animated Feature was created in 2001, only one sequel has claimed victory: "Toy Story 3" (2010). But that was also a Best Picture nominee with a whopping five nominations, so it was clearly beloved by the entire Academy. In other words, "Toy Story 3" was a rare exception to the sequel rule. The Oscars don't just hate animated sequels, they also can't stand rewarding sequels as Best Picture, either. In fact, out of the 87 Best Picture champs, only two have been sequels: "The Godfather Part II" (1974) and "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" (2003). Hmm, what if we were to expand the def. »
We need your help, Derbyites. Now that "Birdman" has won the top trophy at the Oscars, we want to know what's really the Best Picture since 2001? Vote in our poll below. There's a wide selection to choose from over the past 14 years, with blockbusters ("The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King"), indies ("The Hurt Locker"), fun films ("The Artist") and violent fare ("No Country for Old Men") all in consideration. -Break- Oscars: Complete list of winners But which one is the best of the best? You can only vote for one film, so choose wisely. Need help remembering the past 14 winners? Then scroll through our Oscars photo gallery below the poll that highlights every Best Picture champ since 2001. What's really the Best Picture since 2001? ' »
When the final envelope is opened on Oscar night, the picture deemed to be the year’s best is likely to be unfamiliar to most of the tens of millions of people watching the awards show.
That’s because “Boyhood” and “Birdman,” the two frontrunners to nab best picture on Sunday night, are box office lightweights when measured against past winners. It’s a sign that Academy Awards voters are more moved by art than commerce when it comes to handing out the top prize.
“It says to me that the Oscars are agnostic when it comes to popularity,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Rentrak. “Often times the most challenging movies aren’t the ones that generate the most popular attention from audiences.”
“Birdman,” with $37.7 million in receipts, and “Boyhood,” with $25.3 million, rank as arthouse hits and enjoyed a healthy return on their $18 million and $4 million production budgets, »
- Brent Lang
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