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Odd List Ryan Lambie Simon Brew 12 Dec 2013 - 05:49
The year of Baggins, Potter and Spider-Man also had a wealth of lesser-known movies. Here’s our pick of 2002's underappreciated films...
At the top of the box office tree, 2002 was dominated by fantasy and special effects. Peter Jackson's The Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers made almost a billion dollars all by itself, with Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets taking second place and Sam Raimi's Spider-Man not too far behind.
In many ways, 2002 set the tempo for the Hollywood blockbuster landscape, which has changed relatively little in the decade since. A quick look at 2013‘s top 10, for example, reveals a markedly similar mix of superhero movies, with Iron Man 3 still ruling the roost at the time of writing, followed by effects-heavy action flicks and family-friendly animated features.
As usual in these lists, we're looking »
It was also a time when he was a potential Superman in what was then known as "Superman: Flyby," the second attempt to revive Superman following Tim Burton and Nic Cage's "Superman Lives" in the late 1990s.
This incarnation had McG & Brett Ratner directing at different points with at least two scripts by "Alias" and "Felicity" creator J.J. Abrams. It ultimately fell apart once Bryan Singer came onboard and started over with "Superman Returns".
- Garth Franklin
Jack Bauer’s big day is getting a little more interesting: Fox has filled a role for an infamous hacker character in its much-anticipated 24 reboot Live Another Day.
The character is called Adrian, and he’s described as a charismatic hacker and a leader of the free information movement. The part naturally brings to mind Wikileaks founder Julian Assange. Veteran feature film actor Michael Wincott (The Count of Monte Cristo, Alien: Resurrection) has been cast. This marks the first confirmed new casting for Live Another Day apart from the returning characters.
Live Another Day will film in London for a U. »
- James Hibberd
“You’ll like it, it’s about a prison break” says Andy Dufresne in “The Shawshank Redemption” about the book they’re shelving, Alexander Dumas’ “The Count of Monte Cristo.” “We oughta file that under ‘educational’ too, oughtn’t we?” quips Red in reply, and indeed, with the sheer number of prison escape books and movies that exist, you’d imagine that all a really dedicated inmate has to do is watch or read enough of them before they’d stumble across a plot that could be adapted for their own situation. (Note: The Playlist does not condone real-life attempts at fleeing prison unless you’re totally innocent, a prisoner of war or you have a really cool plan that involves disguises and dummies and stuff.) This week a movie in a similar vein is released and we highly doubt it will be accused of having any educational content whatsoever: “Escape Plan. »
- The Playlist Staff
Review Duncan Bowles 14 Oct 2013 - 06:30
Stallone and Schwarzenegger end up in prison for the action thriller, Escape Plan. Here's Duncan's review of an entertaining team-up...
Sylvester Stallone should really know better by now than to go anywhere near a prison.
The evil machinations of Donald Sutherland in Lock Up tried to keep him behind locked doors, a rasping set up by Jack Palance in Tango And Cash ensured he spent some quality jail time in the shower with Kurt Russell, an overzealous legal system and Wesley Snipes’ hair resulted in some high tech freeze-incarceration during Demolition Man, and even a young David Caruso tried his luck at getting Sly behind bars in First Blood, which didn’t really end well for anyone.
In Escape Plan, Stallone plays Breslin, who’s an expert at breaking out of secure prisons (which figures, after all his previous experiences) and is “the best »
Biblical epics seem all the rage at the moment, with Ridley Scott filming Exodus and Darren Aronofsky working on Noah. It was only a matter of time before somebody turned their attention to Jesus, and it turns out that somebody is Kevin Reynolds, who will be directing Resurrection, about the 40 days following the crucifixion.In what sounds like an interesting take on the material, the story is structured as a mystery, with a Roman centurion appointed by Pontius Pilate to investigate reports of the disappearance of Jesus' body. Initially sceptical about any supernatural goings on, he's gradually convinced as he encounters the Apostles and other familiar characters, in the shadow of threatened uprisings in Jerusalem.Ld Entertainment is producing and financing the film, which CEO Mickey Liddell says will have a Gladiator vibe. Reynolds most recently directed the miniseries The Hatfields And The McCoys, which reunited him with his Waterworld »
From an unlikely Russian ruler to a real-life Musketeer to the last Shah of Iran, our staffers are exploring past lives in these vivid historical biographies. Share your thoughts on their choices - and let us know what you're reading. Donnamarie Barnes, Assistant Photo Editor Her Pick: The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal and the Real Count of Monte Cristo by Tom Reiss Reiss tells the story of the real-life inspiration behind The Count of Monte Cristo and The Three Musketeers: the father of famed French author Alexandre Dumas. Born in Haiti to a black slave and a French nobleman, »
Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: Nov. 12, 2013
Price: DVD $29.98, Blu-ray/DVD Combo $38.99, Blu-ray 3D Combo $48.99
Studio: DreamWorks Animation/20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
DreamWorks Animation’s Turbo is another little guy makes big story.
The movie tells the story of a common garden snail called Turbo (voiced by Ryan Reynolds, Green Lantern) who dreams of winning the Indy 500. When a freak accident gives him super sonic speed, he just might get his wish.
The PG film also features the voices of Paul Giamatti (Win Win), Michael Pena (End of Watch), Samuel L. Jackson (Marvel’s The Avengers), Luis Guzman (The Count of Monte Cristo), Bill Hader (Men in Black 3), Maya Rudolph (The Way, Way Back), Richard Jenkins (Eat Pray Love), Michelle Rodriguez (Avatar), Ken Jeong (Pain & Gain), Snoop Dog and even real-life racer Mario Andretti.
Turbo got decent reviews when it was in theaters, with Minneapolis Star Tribune critic Colin Covert »
At the new Ashford Studios, south of Dublin, mud-spattered Viking warriors take a break from the action to check their email on their smartphones.
Shooting is under way on the second season of History’s “Vikings,” the latest historical blockbuster from veteran Irish co-producer Morgan O’Sullivan.
Ashford opened last summer in time to host the first series. It was built by entrepreneur Joe O’Connor on his own Wicklow estate, at O’Sullivan’s behest and to the exacting specifi cations of various department heads.
With one 30,000-sq.-ft. soundstage and two at 15,000 sq. ft. alongside an extensive backlot, it’s tailormade for the kind of large-scale international projects in which O’Sullivan specializes.
Over the past two decades, O’Sullivan has brought more production into Ireland than anyone else — from movies such as “Braveheart,” “Saving Private Ryan,” “The Count of Monte Cristo,” “Reign of Fire” and “King Arthur »
- Adam Dawtrey
"Veronica Mars" and "Party Down" creator Rob Thomas and actor/writer Graham Norris are teaming on a primetime soap inspired by "Les Misérables". The project has landed at Fox with a script commitment plus penalty.
This will have nothing to do with the famed 1980 musical though, rather it's a contemporary drama inspired by the original 1862 Victor Hugo novel. It's a similar approach to ABC's "Revenge" which drew inspiration from Alexandre Dumas' "The Count of Monte Cristo".
The story follows a lawyer running a legal exoneration program who fights to evade the consequences of his own unjust conviction many years before.
He must navigate high society, continue his mission of saving innocent people, and manage his tumultuous family and romantic life. He must also stay one step ahead of a ruthless U.S. Attorney who refuses to let the ghosts of the past die.
- Garth Franklin
French film director who attracted big stars and box-office success but was disdained by the Nouvelle Vague
Denys de La Patellière, who has died aged 92, was of the generation of French film directors described with ironic contempt by François Truffaut, Jean-Luc Godard and other critics turned Nouvelle Vague directors as representing le cinéma de papa. But De La Patellière had several huge box-office hits in France in the 1950s and 60s, featuring some of the biggest internationally known French stars of the period such as Lino Ventura, Danielle Darrieux, Michèle Mercier, Pierre Fresnay, Bernard Blier and, above all, Jean Gabin, whom he directed in six films.
"I was a commercial director, which for me is not a pejorative word," De La Patellière recalled. "I never had the ambition to become an auteur, but to make entertaining films that pleased general audiences." In a way, his first film, Les Aristocrates (1955), could »
- Ronald Bergan
The Dark Knight returns to TV screens this weekend with the premiere of Beware the Batman, and during an interview with Voices from Krypton, producer Mitch Watson (Scooby Doo! Mystery Incorporated) has spoken about the development of the CG-animated show, revealing that one of the early ideas for the series was to have the Caped Crusader teaming up with the Man of Steel for a new twist on the World's Finest pairing.
"The first version was an Escape From New York kind of thing, which was a lot of fun, but I agree it was probably too dark for where they wanted to go with the show,” states Watson. “Then we came up with the lighter version of the show, which was Batman – specifically Bruce Wayne – and Clark Kent at the beginning of their careers. The show revolved around Clark as a cub reporter coming to Gotham City, where he meets Bruce. »
- Flickering Myth
This Saturday sees the premiere of Beware the Batman, the latest DC Nation offering from Warner Bros. Animation and Cartoon Network, and ahead of its arrival a new villains poster has been released, while creators Mitch Watson (Scooby Doo! Mystery Incorporated) and Glen Murakami (Batman Beyond) have offered a few words about The Dark Knight's first foray into CG animation during an interview with Screen Rant.
"I think Glen and I had a familiarity with all the different iterations of Batman, and then you kind of push them aside and go, 'Okay, what are the key components of this character, the key components that people are familiar with? We’ll keep those and then, we’ll make it our own.'" states Watson. "To be perfectly frank with you, the action genre of television cartoons right now is sort of on the verge of extinction, so I’m really »
- Flickering Myth
According to one of the higher-level theories of quantum mechanics, filmmaker Guillermo del Toro is at any given moment working on every single film project in Hollywood, along with a variable number of TV shows, books, cartoons, and videogames. (He may even be co-writing this blog post.)
So when The Telegraph broke the news that Del Toro hoped to make an adaptation of Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five with screenwriter Charlie Kaufman, one had to maintain a healthy amount of skepticism. That sounds awesome, but so did At the Mountains of Madness (sniff) and so does the highly unlikely Hellboy 3 »
- Darren Franich
Christopher Nolan may have brought the curtain down on Batman's live-action career for the time being last summer with The Dark Knight Rises, but the Caped Crusader is set to return to TV screens this month with Beware the Batman, a new CG-animated series from Glen Murakami (Justice League, Batman Beyond) and Sam Register (Teen Titans!, Transformers: Animated), and you can check out the opening title sequence right here thanks to Cartoon Network and Warner Bos. Animation...
“A cool, new take on the classic Dark Knight franchise, Beware the Batman incorporates Batman’s core characters with a rogues gallery of new villains not previously seen in animated form. Along with backup from ex-secret agent Alfred and lethal swordstress Katana, the Dark Knight faces the twisted machinations of Gotham City’s criminal underworld led by the likes of Anarky, Professor Pyg, Mister Toad and Magpie. Produced by Warner Bros. Animation, »
- Flickering Myth
Our weekly round up of all the latest stories from the world of screen superheroes, including Man of Steel (and Man of Steel 2), Justice League, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (3 and 4), Kick-Ass 2, X-Men: Days of Future Past, Iron Man 3, Thor: The Dark World, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Guardians of the Galaxy, Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Big Hero 6, Arrow, Beware the Batman, Young Justice, Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H., Ultimate Spider-Man and more...
Superman faces some stiff competition in the States this weekend as Man of Steel goes up against Pixar's Monsters University and the Brad Pitt zombie epic World War Z, with the Zack Snyder-directed superhero reboot expected to place third in the chart (early Friday estimates indicate a huge 71% drop, having pulled in $12.7 million yesterday). Man of Steel got off to a fine start last week, setting a June record in North America with »
- Flickering Myth
While a lot of DC animation fans were upset over the cancellation of Young Justice and Green Lantern: The Animation Series earlier this year, Cartoon Network will be hoping The Dark Knight can get ease the blow with the arrival of the latest DC Nation offering, the CG-animated series Beware the Batman. We've already seen a brief teaser for the new series [see here], and now Cartoon Network and Warner Bros. has released a full-length trailer and selection of stills as part of the official show announcement.
The Caped Crusader will return to television screens this summer when Beware The Batman premieres on Cartoon Network Saturday, July 13 at 10 a.m. (Et/Pt) as part of DC Nation. Featuring cutting-edge CGI visuals to match the intricate twists and turns of the narrative, Batman steps out of the shadows and into the spotlight for an entirely new generation of fans.
A cool, new »
- Flickering Myth
Long before he was the "Man of Steel," Henry Cavill was known as "Fat Cavill."The actor has been very open about his pre-fame weight, sharing the unfortunate childhood nickname above with Details."I was fat, I was Fat Cavill," the now-30-year-old Superman star says of being bullied back in the day. "I bawled on the phone to my mom four times a day. I became an easy target."Yep, kids can be cruel.But once he turned 17, Henry dropped 21 pounds for his role in "The Count of Monte Cristo" ... and look at him now:In a new video from The National Guard, a shirtless Henry reveals how he got his Superman physique -- demonstrating the grueling training he went through for the role."Superman learned he can fly, I learned I can do all sorts of things in the gym I never thought possible," he says. Check out the »
- tooFab Staff
Superhero movies have a way of creating movie stars.
With a boffo $125 million domestic start, and nearly $72 million so far overseas, Warner Bros.’ “Man of Steel” is the prime star-making vehicle for hulking Brit thesp Henry Cavill, whose previous biggest box office opening was 2011′s “The Immortals,” with $32 million.
See Also: ‘Man of Steel’ Breaks June Record With $125 Million Debut
Up until “Immortals,” Cavill had only small roles in some mid-sized pics, including 2002′s “The Count of Monte Cristo” and “Stardust” in 2007. Cavill was probably best known for his role on TV’s “The Tudors,” in which he played Charles Brandon, a statesman to King Henry.
But there’s nothing like a worldwide box office hit to propel an actor into the stratosphere.
- Andrew Stewart
In order to truly become Superman, Henry Cavill not only read all the comic books before filming, but he took some drastic measures to make sure his body was in tip-top shape as well.
"I ate a lot and worked out like a fiend," he revealed to The Gossip Table at the "Man of Steel" premiere. "But then, only for the shirtless scenes, I really stopped eating."
And this isn't the first time that Cavill, who admitted to Details magazine that he struggled with his weight as a boy, has altered his eating habits for an acting gig. In 2002, the then-17-year-old "lost one and half stone (21 pounds)" after landing a role in 2002's "The Count of Monte Cristo."
But now that the movie is out and the reviews are in, all Cavill can do is sit back and enjoy his performance ... maybe even with some candy and popcorn? »
- Samantha Toscano
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