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Oscar-winning actor Benicio Del Toro ("Traffic"), who co-stars in director James Gunn's upcoming space epic "Guardians of the Galaxy" plays Marvel Comics' character 'Taneleer Tivan' aka 'The Collector', an ancient sentient being from the Marvel Universe:
'Taneleer Tivan' is one of the alien Elders of the Universe and is close to his fellow 'Elder En Dwi Gast' (aka 'Grandmaster'. He apparently came to self-awareness billions of years ago, on the planet 'Cygnus X-1', as a powerful being who wielded the 'Power Primordial' and, though at first he took the appearance of an old human, his true form is a powerful alien.
"...for millions of years, the 'Collector' lived on an unknown world with his wife and child, spending his days in thought and contemplation. Over three billion years ago, when his »
- Michael Stevens
Written by Stephen Gaghan
Directed by Steven Soderbergh
In his review of King of the Hill, Zach Lewis skewers Steven Soderbergh’s fascination with political structures throughout the director’s filmography and reading the 1993 film’s Depression-era survivalism as a “residual effect of those outside any political sphere.” Seven years after King of the Hill, Soderbergh’s fixation on politics would reach its peak in Traffic, an endlessly complex examination of America’s War on Drugs.
Traffic‘s genesis is simple enough, beginning with a pair of cops. Having run down a Mexican drug courier mid-transport, officer Javier Rodriguez (Benicio Del Toro) and his partner find their score short-lived when high-ranking General Salazar (Tomas Milian) pulls rank and takes over the drug bust. Here, the simplicity of Traffic dissipates with the monochrome yellows of the Tijuana desert. Though Rodriguez’s would-be arrest implies it, smuggling cocaine from Mexico »
- David Klein
Hot Jennifer Lawrence, Wet Robert Redford: New York Film Critics Awards 2013 winners (photo: Jennifer Lawrence in ‘American Hustle’) A crime drama featuring con men, mafiosi, and FBI agents, the David O. Russell-directed, real-life inspired American Hustle won three New York Film Critics Circle Awards earlier today, December 3, 2013: Best Picture; Best Screenplay for Russell and Eric Singer; and Best Supporting Actress for Jennifer Lawrence for her performance as con man and FBI mole Christian Bale’s steamy, big-mouthed wife. (Full list of Nyfcc 2013 award winners.) Last year, Jennifer Lawrence was the New York Film Critics’ runner-up in the Best Actress category for both The Hunger Games and Silver Linings Playbook. The latter film, also directed by David O. Russell, earned her the Best Actress Academy Award earlier this year. Besides Jennifer Lawrence, whose The Hunger Games: Catching Fire may turn out to be the biggest 2013 blockbuster in North America, »
- Andre Soares
I made my Slim Pickings joke last week and this week, I got nothing. Things are a bit better this week anyway with a nice mixture of the new, the old and the quirky independent that has gone straight to VOD.
I imagine things will pick up massively into December as Now TV adds Iron Man 3 and Oz: The Great and Powerful and then the other service providers try and compete.
For now though below are the films to look out for this week, Enjoy!
The latest horror film to borrow Guillermo Del Toro’s name in order to present itself, is this ghost story from director Andres Muschietti. Jessica Chastain plays a woman who reluctantly becomes foster-mother to her partners’ two nieces after they are recovered from living feral in the wilderness. The problem is the girls were looked after by something nasty in the woods and »
- Chris Holt
Soderbergh’s film came out on November 27, 2002 to middling reviews and a commercial drubbing by seasonal box office heavyweights like Die Another Day. To say that his film has acquired a cult fanbase would be an overstatement. It is still largely dismissed in favor of Tarkovsky’s canonical picture and is seen as a curiosity among Soderbergh die-hards.
Much like Steven Spielberg’s science fiction fable, AI: Artificial Intelligence (released only a year before), the dismissal of Soderbergh’s film primarily stems from critics who either have never seen it or do not understand it. In fact, Solaris and AI are kindred science fiction souls of the early 2000s. Both films were produced by auteurs at the height of their prominence (Soderbergh was still coming off »
- Shane Ramirez
The Screen Actors Guild, which numbers more than 100,000, has been bestowing competive awards since 1994. Despite the actors branch making up 20% of the 6,000 Oscar voters, only two-thirds of SAG champs have won over the academy as well. Compare that to the 90% success rate of the Directors Guild of America at presaging which helmer will prevail at the Oscars. Over the 19-year history of the SAG Awards, guild members have handed out 76 trophies. Their choices have forecast the Academy Awards winners just 51 times -- 53 if you count Benicio del Toro, who won in lead at SAG in 2000 for "Traffic" and supporting at the Oscars and Kate Winslet who did the reverse, winning supporting at SAG in 2008 for "The Reader" and lead at the Oscars. Here is the year-by-year breakdown of how many SAG winners repeated at the Oscars. 1994: 3 out of 4 1995: 2 out of 4 1996: 3 out of 4 1997: 4 out of 4 (Kim Basinger and Gloria Stuart t. »
2000 was the year Gladiator became the film to beat. While some of us were holding out hope that Ang Lee’s wire-fu masterpiece, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon would have won »
- Sasha Stone
Read our appreciation of Steven Soderbergh’s Ocean’s Eleven here.
* * *
“How old do you think I am?”
Ocean’s Twelve has a reputation that will always precede it; some have called it an anti-sequel, and publications like Entertainment Weekly have dubbed it one of the worst sequels of all time. Though both reactions are, perhaps, understandable, neither is remotely accurate. Ocean’s Twelve is an inherently self-aware sequel, possibly the most self-aware follow-up in modern history. What Steven Soderbergh, screenwriter George Nolfi (whose original script, Honor Among Thieves, was completely unrelated to Ocean’s Eleven and was sold initially before that remake had been released), and the slightly larger-than-before ensemble cast did was make a sequel to a critically and commercially lauded caper film that was wholly cognizant of the fact that it was a sequel to a critically and commercially lauded caper film. Ocean’s Twelve toys with audience expectations, »
- Josh Spiegel
Movie stars, as we know them, are not so much dead in 2013 as much as they’re no longer making movies. Celebrity has stretched far beyond film or television; people become famous now without having accomplished much of anything, just for being at the right place at the right time, or tweeting out the right scandalous photo to set afire the comments sections at TMZ or Perez Hilton. Though movies cost more than they used to—both to make and to partake—they are less frequently headlined by a man or woman whose very presence ensures bankability. A handful of movie stars remain, yet even someone like Robert Downey, Jr. can only guarantee a movie will make back its profit and then some when he’s donned his Iron Man suit.
The closest Western society has to movie stars these days don’t make movies that gross hundreds of millions »
- Josh Spiegel
Hollywood history always makes for fascinating reading. Hindsight and whatnot. During a month in which Sound on Sight takes an opportunity to tip a collective hat in the direction of recently ‘retired’ workhorse auteur Steven Soderbergh, there is a further chance to reel back the years and examine a period of time when one of modern cinema’s finest acolytes was transforming from indie hero to mainstream heavyweight. Of course, it all seems so predictable now that he would follow up his 2001 Oscar win with 12 years of financial and critical success with unmatched versatility. What is more interesting are two fellow directors sharing the limelight with him that year, the trio hailed as the hottest directorial properties in the business. Chances are many of you do not remember the name Richard Kelly. It’s likely most of you have no wish to recall the work of M. Night Shyamalan. 2001 was a strange year. »
- Scott Patterson
Traffic's Oscar-winning writer Stephen Gaghan pours oil on the fire with this complex story of the global damage wreaked by the collusion between governments and the petroleum industry. After directing his own political polemic Good Night, And Good Luck, George Clooney leads a fine cast - and picked up the Best Supporting Actor Oscar - as a seasoned CIA operative who opens energy analyst Matt Damon's eyes to the volatile situation in the Middle East. Politically explosive and vitally important. »
Don't bother Megan Fox right now - she's busy shooting enemies and saving lives in the live-action trailer for a new game, Call of Duty: Ghosts, out Tuesday. The trailer, titled "Epic Night Out," follows four friends as they make their way through a war zone formerly known as Las Vegas. Frank Sinatra's "I'm Gonna Live Till I Die" plays in the background of a soundtrack of gunfire. In Call of Duty: Ghosts, gamers will immerse themselves into a new storyline, written in part by Oscar-winning screenwriter Stephen Gaghan, who wrote Traffic and Syriana. Following a devastating attack by »
Matthew McConaughey and Tom Hanks may join an elite Oscar club this year by scoring two concurrent acting nominations. That's quite an accomplishment considering the dual bids can't pop up in the same category and there are only two races in which they're eligible (lead and supporting). Academy rules prohibit doubling up in one acting slot, but, strangely, that same rule doesn't apply to writers, directors and other contenders. Steven Soderbergh, remember, got nommed twice for Best Director of 2000 (winning for "Traffic," losing for "Erin Brockovich"). McConaughey looks like a good bet for a Best Actor bid for "Dallas Buyers Club," currently landing in third place in our prediction rankings. He's in 12th place for Best Supporting Actor, but our prognosticators could be underestimating his strength in that contest considering "Mud" was the first DVD screener sent to academy voters this year. That's usually a big »
News Aaron Birch 9 Oct 2013 - 08:15
At the time of writing, Ubisoft hasn't commented on this, but it's hardly a surprise given the success of Far Cry 3, and the 80s-themed Dlc spin-off, Blood Dragon. In fact, so successful was the Dlc that it's become a possibility that it will get its own full, commercial release. Maybe this will actually be Far Cry 4, you never know. »
It feels like it's been a little while since the name Omar Sy was last mentioned in a post on this blog. There was a period, although not-so-long ago, when it felt like a week didn't go by without an Omar Sy post, given the number of projects he became attached to, after his star-making turn in last year's global blockbuster, the French dramedy Intoucables (The Intouchables). In addition to playing Bishop in X-men: Days Of Future Past, other project's he'll be appearing in include: an action-thriller from Stephen Gaghan (Traffic, Syriana), titled The Candy Store; Michel Gondry's Mood Indigo; co-starring with Bradley Cooper in »
- Tambay A. Obenson
Turner Classic Movies (TCM) is gearing up to celebrate the Academy Awards® in a very special way next year. As part of TCM’s annual 31 Days of Oscar® showcase in February 2014, the network will present the world premiere of Oscar, a brand-new documentary tracing the history of the Academy Awards. Produced by Telling Pictures, Inc., in association with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (The Academy) and Hollywood Newsreel, this fascinating special will take movie lovers on a journey through Hollywood history as it tells its story of the little statuette that became the industry’s most coveted prize.
Oscar is set to have its world television premiere on TCM Saturday, Feb. 1, the opening night of the 2014 edition of 31 Days of Oscar. With the new documentary as its centerpiece, 31 Days of Oscar will be themed around the history of the Academy Awards.
Featuring more than 300 Oscar-winning and nominated films, »
- Michelle McCue
“There’s no place like home…for bloodcurdling horror! For George and Kathy Lutz from The Amityville Horror, the colonial house on the river’s edge seemed ideal: quaint, spacious and amazingly affordable. Of course, six brutal murders had taken place there just a year before, but houses don’t have memories…or do they? Soon the Lutz dream house becomes a hellish nightmare, as walls begin to drip blood and satanic forces threaten to destroy them. Now the family must try to escape or forfeit their lives – and their souls! One of the most talked-about haunted house stories of all time, The Amityville Horror is a spine-tingling tale of a house possessed by unspeakable evil. The film stars James Brolin (Christine, »
- Jonathan James
It was a big night for prestige film personalities in front of and behind the camera at the Emmys tonight. Most notable was "House of Cards" and "Behind the Candelabra" directors David Fincher and Steven Soderbergh walking away with wins for TV Drama and TV Movie or Miniseries respectively. In the case of Soderbergh, he joins rare air with names like Martin Scorsese, Bob Fosse and Michael Moore as one of only a handful of helmers to scoop up an Emmy, an Oscar (for 2000's "Traffic") and the Cannes Palme d'Or (for 1989's "sex, lies and videotape"). In the case of »
- Kristopher Tapley
Chicago – This time of year is so rich with Blu-ray and DVD releases of last year’s television seasons that we thought we’d break out the latest ones into their own special edition of What to Watch. Stay tuned for a movie-specific one later in the week that includes “World War Z,” “The East,” “All is Bright,” and more, but this is just for you TV junkies. Pick your faves from the recently-released seasons of television on Blu-ray, DVD, and streaming platforms. Most of these are new to Blu-ray and DVD today, September 17, 2013. If I had to rank them in order of preference, here’s how it would go…
Bates Motel: Season One
Photo credit: Universal
“Bates Motel: Season One”
- email@example.com (Adam Fendelman)
Based on the book of the same name by Robert M. Edsel, it tells the story of a Second World War platoon consisting of seven museum directors, curators and art historians, tasked with crossing enemy lines into Germany in order to rescue artistic masterpieces from Nazi thieves and return them to their rightful owners before the Nazis destroy the masterpieces.
Clooney is reunited with producer and writer Grant Heslov for the first time since Oscar winner Argo alongside a cast that includes Matt Damon, Bill Murray, John Goodman, Jean Dujardin, Bob Balaban, Hugh Bonneville, Cate Blanchett and Dimitri Leonidas.
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