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You could call it the MacGyver effect: the curious thrill of seeing clever people solving problems in ingenious ways. That’s partly the key to The Martian’s success, both as a best-selling novel (by Andy Weir) and now as a movie directed by Ridley Scott.
Matt Damon is the lone lifeform on the surface of Mars - astronaut and botanist Mark Watney, presumed dead and left behind by his crew when a violent storm forces them to abort their mission. Waking up alone with only a few meagre supplies and a flimsy base to call a refuge, Watney faces years of loneliness and almost certain starvation. That is, unless he can use his skills and knowledge to figure out a means of survival - or as Watney says of his situation, »
The 59Th BFI London Film Festival Announces Full 2015 Programme
You can peruse the programme at your leisure here.
The programme for the 59th BFI London Film Festival in partnership launched today, with Festival Director Clare Stewart presenting this year’s rich and diverse selection of films and events. BFI London Film Festival is Britain’s leading film event and one of the world’s oldest film festivals. It introduces the finest new British and international films to an expanding London and UK-wide audience. The Festival provides an essential platform for films seeking global success; and promotes the careers of British and international filmmakers through its industry and awards programmes. With this year’s industry programme stronger than ever, offering international filmmakers and leaders a programme of insightful events covering every area of the film industry Lff positions London as the world’s leading creative city.
The Festival will screen a »
We look at the films that slipped through Hollywood's net, from biblical epics to a time travelling Gladiator sequel...
This article contains a spoiler for Gladiator.
If you're one of those frustrated over the quality of many of the blockbusters that make it to the inside of a multiplex, then ponder the following. For each of these were supposed to be major projects, that for one reason or another, stalled on their way to the big screen. Some still may make it. But for many others, the journey is over. Here are the big blockbusters that never were...
The late Michael Crichton scored another residential on the bestseller list with his impressive thriller, Airframe. It was published in 1996, just after films of Crichton works such as Jurassic Park, Rising Sun, Disclosure and the immortal Congo had proven to be hits of various sizes.
So: a hit book, another techno thriller, »
By the end of the 2000s, getting number one at the American box office was a valuable marketing commodity. As such, studios pumped more and more money into making sure they at least had a great opening weekend for their product.
The consequence of this was that it was harder and harder for smaller and quirkier films to take a brief spot in the sun. Certainly towards the second half of the decade, it seems that the number one movie each week was pre-ordinained in a marketing meeting somewhere.
Still, there were some films that have since fallen out of public view that clawed their way to number one. How many of these do you remember?
January 2000, one week
Based on Marc Behm's book of the same name, »
With the 2014-2015 television season winding down, many television fans and channels are looking ahead to the new series that will make their debut over the next television season. Fox is no different, having announced their renewals, cancellations, and new series pickups over the last week, and the network has now released trailers for a number of their new series.
First up is the trailer for the new animated series Bordertown.
From Family Guy’s Mark Hentemann comes Bordertown, a new animated comedy about two families living in a Southwest desert town on the U.S. – Mexico border. The series takes a satirical look at the cultural shifts occurring in America, where the U.S. Census forecasts that by 2017, ethnic minorities will become the majority. Set against this increasingly diverse backdrop, the comedy explores family, politics and everything in between with a cross-cultural wink. Bordertown centers on two clans: the Buckwalds and the Gonzalezes. »
- Deepayan Sengupta
"The Devil has come to Los Angeles… Based upon the characters created by Neil Gaiman, Sam Kieth and Mike Dringenberg for DC Entertainment’s Vertigo imprint, Lucifer is the story of the original fallen angel. Bored and unhappy as the Lord of Hell, Lucifer Morningstar (Tom Ellis, “Merlin”) has abandoned his throne and retired to L.A., where he owns Lux, an upscale nightclub.
Charming, charismatic and devilishly handsome, Lucifer is enjoying his retirement, indulging in a few of his favorite things – wine, women and song – when a beautiful pop star is brutally murdered outside of Lux. For the first time in roughly 10 billion years, »
- Derek Anderson
Dana Walden and Gary Newman, Chairmen and CEOs, Fox Television Group, today unveiled the Fox primetime slate for the 2015-2016 television season to the national advertising community during its annual Programming Presentation at the Beacon Theatre. Here's what the CEO's had to say in a joint statement.
"Building on the phenomenal momentum created by Gotham, The Last Man on Earth and, of course, Empire, we're infusing next season's schedule with new ambitious dramas, smart comedies, aspirational unscripted series and big live events and specials - all from the best creators in the business. And our strategy with these bold creative swings is simple: schedule them strategically, market them relentlessly and create events that break through and captivate viewers across every platform."
Tuesdays are all-new this fall on Fox, with new comedies Grandfathered and The Grinder, followed by killer comedy-horror series Scream Queens. The new comedies kicking off an all-new Tuesday are Grandfathered and The Grinder. »
We now know when Fox is planning to bring FBI Special Agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully back to the small screen, as the network revealed that part one of The X-Files six-episode event series premiere will air on Sunday, January 24th.
In their 2015 - 2016 fall TV schedule announcement (which also includes information on Ryan Murphy's Scream Queens, slated to begin airing on Tuesdays this fall), Fox revealed that the return of The X-Files will take place on Sunday, January 24th, between 10:00pm - 11:00pm Est after the Nfc Championship game.
The second half of the two-part premiere will air at 8:00pm Est the following night on Monday, January 25th, with subsequent episodes also airing on Monday nights. Filming on the event series begins this June. For more information, see the official press release below (The X-Files details are highlighted in bold text). Also included in »
- Derek Anderson
Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai at the Oscars Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai on the Academy Awards' Red Carpet Pictured above are Bollywood stars Aishwarya Rai and Abhishek Bachchan arriving at the 2011 Academy Awards ceremony, which took place on Feb. 27 at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood. Two years ago, an Anglo-Indian-American co-production, Danny Boyle's Slumdog Millionaire became not only one of the season's biggest sleeper hits, but also the eventual Best Picture Oscar winner. Dev Patel and Freida Pinto starred. Curiously, some have complained that Slumdog Millionaire was just a less interesting rehash of higher-quality Bollywood musicals and dramas that have received relatively little play outside South Asian communities around the globe. Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai movies The son of Indian cinema legend Amitabh Bachchan, Abhishek Bachchan has been featured in nearly 50 films. Among them are: Dhoom (2004). Director: Sanjay Gadhvi. Cast: Abhishek Bachchan. Uday Chopra. John Abraham. Esha Deol. »
- D. Zhea
And finally ABC is in the game! The only network not to pick up a new series (and still the only network not to formally renew a single old series) jumped into the pre-upfronts excitement in a major way on Thursday afternoon, picking up six new dramas, several of which sound rather ambitious. Before going into depth, the basics: On Thursday (May 7) afternoon, ABC ordered the Biblical epic "Of Kings and Prophets" and the Shonda Rhimes-produced "The Catch," as well as "Wicked City" (formerly "L.A. Crime"), "The Family" (formerly Untitled Jenna Bans), "Quantico" and the Untitled Pate & Fishburne Project (formerly "Boom"). ABC no doubt has plenty more new series pickups to do ahead of the network's Tuesday, May 12 upfront presentation. Let's get to the details, because some of these new shows sound pretty interesting actually... *** "Of Kings and Prophets" comes from creators Adam Cooper & Bill Collage and it is »
- Daniel Fienberg
If you watched last Sunday’s episode of HBO’s Game of Thrones you know that the realm lost a good one in Barristan the Bold. For such a knight of accomplishment to die outside of Westeros may not seem right, but one would think he did so at the service of a ruler he respected, and that’s all he ever wanted. I thought it would be appropriate to look back at the life of a character that for TV watchers was a few years old, but for book readers we’ve been reading Selmy for almost Twenty years. If you want, you can go check out my review of The Sons of the Harpy where Barristan, along with Greyworm, kicked a lot of ass. I think what tv watchers of Game of Thrones should know is that this hasn’t happened in the books, so this was not »
- Jay Tomio
Back to some Game of Thrones . A lot of people read my Ten Things about Dorne and House Martell so I thought it might be worthwhile to go back to Westeros and do something similar around hump day between episode reviews for the HBO tv watchers. I’ve been reading George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire since the mid-’90s but like with the previous one I’m not listing anything that isn’t pretty spoiler free and not anything anyone who is even the most passive of readers doesn’t already know. So no minds blown, just information that may but probably won’t enrich the Game of Thrones watching experience.
I feel like this season the Starks are coming up, capped off by Jon Snow going all Eastwood last episode, so I thought today we should drop 10 nuggets (not gold, probably chicken) on about the Starks. »
- Jay Tomio
All week long our writers will debate: Which was the greatest film year of the past half century. Click here for a complete list of our essays. How to decide in the grand scheme of things which film year stands above all others? History gives us no clear methodology to unravel this thorny but extremely important question. Is it the year with the highest average score of movies? So a year that averages out to a B + might be the winner over a field strewn with B’s, despite a few A +’s. Or do a few masterpieces lift up a year so far that whatever else happened beyond those three or four films is of no consequence? Both measures are worthy, and the winner by either of those would certainly be a year not to be sneezed at. But I contend the only true measure of a year’s »
- Richard Rushfield
A new episode of Game of Thrones is coming at us Sunday but we were briefly introduced to Dorne last week. Dorne’s a bit of a new flavor from what we have seen of Westeros thus far, something that I guess was evident when we saw Prince Oberyn arrive at King’s Landing being all kinds of awesome. Nothing below is anything even the most passive book reader does not know, nor is it something that will spoil anything for TV watchers (with perhaps the caveat that you are already aware of the Sand Snakes) but if you are exceptionally easy to offend because internet, please stop reading.
1. The reason why the leaders of Dorne retain the titles of Prince or Princess is that they weren’t conquered by the Targaryens and instead entered in a marriage alliance with them. They were the only Westeros kingdom that wasn’t. »
- Jay Tomio
By the end of last week’s episode of “Outlander,” it had become clear that sexual frustration ruins lives. Scottish Santa’s need to ‘get jolly’ might have gotten his wife killed. Colum’s inability to perform got Dougal and Jamie banished because if the Laird ain’t getting laid, nobody is. And Leery’s teen angst got Claire arrested for witchcraft. Nunneries are looking better all the time. Will Geillis and Claire survive 18th century justice? Since the show doesn’t end here, I’ll assume so. Time to find out how! ***** Without preamble, Claire and Gilly are tossed into a Thieve’s Hole. The locals could’ve at Least asked the Goblin King to install some Helping Hands™ to cushion the fall. It takes approximately two seconds for the women to turn on each other out of fear. Gilly accuses Claire of selling her out and I’m »
- Donna Dickens
With filming underway on Guy Ritchie’s medieval action adventure Knights of the Round Table: King Arthur, a batch of set photos have arrived online from the production in Conwy, Wales, and you can take a look at the images here courtesy of Coming Soon…
The bold new story introduces a streetwise young Arthur who runs the back alleys of Londonium with his gang, unaware of the life he was born for until he grasps hold of the sword Excalibur—and with it, his future. Instantly challenged by the power of Excalibur, Arthur is forced to make some hard choices. Throwing in with the Resistance and a mysterious young woman named Guinevere, he must learn to master the sword, face down his demons and unite the people to defeat the tyrant Vortigern, who stole his crown and murdered his parents, and become King.
- Gary Collinson
See Full Gallery Here
Warner Bros. six-movie Arthurian franchise is destined to win over audiences when it arrives in multiplexes next summer. First out of the gate is Guy Ritchie’s Knights Of The Roundtable: King Arthur, a retooled version of King Arthur’s legend with Sons of Anarchy‘s Charlie Hunnam in the leading role alongside a talented cast of supporting characters.
Production kicked off a month ago and was marked with a commemorative first day selfie from Ritchie and Hunnam. A brief look at the world Arthur and his comrades will inhabit, it served more as a marketing reminder than a real look into the movie’s production.
With a month of shooting in the can, a batch of images have sprung up online to clue us into the movie’s ambitious scope. One sequence currently being filmed in the Welsh town of Conwy showcases the extensive use »
- Gem Seddon
Season 5 of HBO’s Game of Thrones has arrived with ‘The Wars to Come’ and no signs of Julian Bashir, sand snakes or Dorne yet , a subject I talked a lot about previously, but stuff happened. I guess?
First scene reminds me a bit of the first scene from the first episode of the series, the prologue in the first book, it’s a bit of this horror vignette. As lil Cersei points out the witch doesn’t look as bad as one would think, I think it makes her statements stronger, her power isn’t charlatan and trickery or even traditional, she’s the goods. Like the prologue it involves a hint of the supernatural, which I guess only happens in the woods. I know people won’t agree with this because generally people complain about beautifying something up, but I don’t know, it’s not like her appearance matters much, »
- Jay Tomio
Yesterday marked the one year wait for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Today, we are one day closer to seeing this epic DC Comics movie play out on the big screen, and 5 character portraits richer for our troubles. Thus far, director Zack Snyder has been kind enough to offer a look at his superheroes Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and Aquaman. And then yesterday, he finally unveiled the very bald Lex Luthor. We've collected them all for you to see here!
Can you believe it's been almost two years since Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was first announced at Comic-Con 2013? It wasn't until several months later, on March 13, 2014, that we got our first look at Ben Affleck in his new Batman costume standing next to the Batmobile, which sent fans into a frenzy. Four months went by before we got our first look at Henry Cavill in his new Superman costume, »
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