10 items from 2014
John Travolta is as fascinating and complex a member of the Hollywood fraternity as you could wish for. Iconic performer, experienced pilot, vocal Scientologist and mangler of pronunciation of Idina Menzel.
He has managed to appear in not just some of the best known, but also some of the best-full-stop films of the past forty years – Saturday Night Fever, Carrie, Grease, Pulp Fiction, Get Shorty, Face/Off, The Thin Red Line, Hairspray and the upcoming Gummy Bear The Movie – whatever one might think of the consistency of his output (and there have been some horrendous misfires), it is hard to imagine too many actors playing Danny Zuko, Vincent Vega, Castor Troy, Sean Archer, Chili Palmer and Edna Turnblad with equal conviction.
After the temporary resuscitation of Look Who’s Talking turned out to be a false dawn, Tarantino did Travolta a favour of inestimable proportions by casting him in Pulp Fiction, »
- Dave Roper
With roles in movies such as Monster’s Ball, Swordfish, Gothika, and the X-Men movies, actress Halle Berry has garnered a number of fans over the course of her career. Many of these fans were excited to hear that Berry would be making the transition to a lead role on television on her next project. Titled Extant, the show is created by Mickey Fisher, and executive produced by Steven Spielberg. Berry stars in the series alongside Goran Visnjic, Camryn Manheim, and Grace Gummer, and ahead of the series premiere on July 9th, CBS has released a new trailer for the show. The trailer can be seen below.
- Deepayan Sengupta
Have you ever gotten the feeling when watching a movie that a nude scene is entirely gratuitous and out of place in the context of the story? There are always instances where it seems that the actor or actress is undressing for the sole purpose of titillating the audience rather than contributing to the film. You’ll rarely find a male who thinks that a little nudity detracted from a movie, and oftentimes the female audience is left wanting for equal opportunity exposure. Scenes like these are usually reserved for lesser known stars who are trying to make a name for themselves in Hollywood (the Shannon Tweeds and Shannon Whirrys of the world), but every now and then a prominent star will decide to shed their clothes for the “integrity of the script.” Halle Berry made headlines when she bared her breasts for Swordfish, reportedly pocketing an additional $1 million for the brief scene. »
- Brad Hamilton
Over the course of a career spanning over 20 years, actress Halle Berry has made a name for herself with roles in movies such as Jungle Fever, Swordfish, Monster’s Ball, Cloud Atlas, and Storm in the X-Men movies. However, Berry has not appeared in a tv series since 1991, piquing many of her fans’ interest when she signed on to the lead role in a television show. Titled Extant, the series is created by Mickey Fisher, and executive produced by Berry and Steven Spielberg. Berry’s co-stars include Camryn Manheim, Goran Visnjic, and Annie Wersching, and will air on CBS. Ahead of the show’s premiere on July 9th, the first trailer has been released, and can be seen below.
- Deepayan Sengupta
America is all set to witness the unique convergence of Hollywood and Indian Cinema, as Iifa (International Indian Film Academy) rolls out its Green Carpet in Tampa Bay. The Award Winning Actor John Travolta is set to make an appearance at India’s biggest celebration of cinema, the 15th Videocon D2H Iifa Weekend and Tata Motors Iifa Awards later this month. The actor will also receive a special honour at the Awards ceremony, being the ‘Most Popular All time International star in India’.
The superstar’s presence at Iifa is symbolic to the coming together of the two distinctive film industries. Travolta will grace the extravaganza extending his support and appreciation of the Indian Film Industry and its spectacular influence world over. An iconic name in Hollywood, John Travolta has seen staggering success as an actor, singer and dancer. Travolta has starred in numerous eponymous blockbusters including Saturday Night Fever, »
- Stacey Yount
Sabotage won’t be loved by many, except die-hard Arnold Schwarzenegger fans. Fair warning, it’s not Shakespeare. You probably knew that already, but in case you didn’t, I have done my job by warning you. Sabotage is a cops gone bad flick, directed by David Ayer, who helped write the penultimate bad cop flick, Training Day (2001). This movie definitely has gritty street cop in its DNA. Ayer co-wrote the film with Skip Woods whose credits include: A Good Day to Die Hard (2013), The A-Team (2010), Hitman (2007), and Swordfish (2001). Woods is an action movie writer who gets to play with an action movie icon so let the bullets fly where they may.
The plot revolves around a DEA Special Operations Group that infiltrates and arrests/eliminates the drug cartels that proliferate around the globe. These specialists are great at what they do, just ask them, but their fortunes fade when »
- Steven Gahm
In writer-director David Ayer’s last law-enforcement drama, the remarkable “End of Watch,” there wasn’t a moment that didn’t feel lived-in and true. The same cannot be said of Ayer’s “Sabotage,” a gruesome and frequently preposterous B-grade actioner about an elite team of DEA agents who run afoul of a ruthless Mexican cartel — and each other. That the team’s battle-scarred leader is played by Arnold Schwarzenegger, in the best and most substantial of his post-Governator comeback roles, gives a mild kick to this otherwise strained attempt at a latter-day “Wild Bunch” or “Treasure of the Sierra Madre” updated to the mean streets of metro Atlanta. Likely to repel even some of the hard-r action crowd with its intentionally scuzzy milieu and lack of a rooting interest, this $35 million Open Road release will be hard-pressed to top sleeper hit “End of Watch’s” $41 million domestic haul.
- Scott Foundas
Video-game adaptations are a dime a dozen, but it’s rare that any of them are worth even a cursory glance. The Resident Evil franchise, BloodRayne and Silent Hill are just a few of many that have fallen completely flat in their attempts to replicate the thrills of their source material on the big screen. However, based on casting alone, 20th Century Fox’s upcoming Hitman remake Agent 47 may actually be worth checking out.
With Homeland actor Rupert Friend stepping into the title role (replacing the late Paul Walker), and Zachary Quinto set to play the main villain, Agent 47 already has more going for it than most video-game adaptations. Now, it looks like the film will boast more than one baddie, with news that Thomas Kretschmann has signed on to play Le Clerq, the chairman of an nefarious organization called Syndicate International, which schemes to build its own army of assassins. »
- Isaac Feldberg
Feature Simon Brew 7 Mar 2014 - 06:13
We take a close look at 2001's Swordfish, and pinpoint the crucial lessons that wannabe computer programmers can take from it.
What follows gets quite geeky at times. We should point out that this is very much a tongue in cheek look at the film, rather than a desire to see filmmakers correct programming errors!
The first few minutes of Swordfish, once Travolta has hit us with this revelation, proceed to dissect the all-time classic Dog Day Afternoon, whilst Travolta chomps on a cigar and looks pleased with the arrangement of his facial hair. There's not much of it, but it's still a point of pride to the man.
As for the film itself? »
I will never take the Oscars for granted again.
In the United States, the Academy Awards show is second only to NFL games when it comes to must-see TV — and within the Hollywood circles I frequented, the Oscars were tops — so finding a social setting in which to watch has never been a problem. Here in Paris, it’s another matter entirely.
The Oscars aired two weeks to the day after my relocation to what many consider the seat of cinephilia, and I spent a good percentage of my adjustment period here polling locals on how or where to watch the show. Turns out, I wasn’t the only one with this problem, as U.S. journalists in town for Paris Fashion Week scrambled to find Oscar parties as well (although, as I came to find, most were only interested in the red carpet, which wraps 3½ hours earlier).
But I »
- Peter Debruge
10 items from 2014
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