12 items from 2017
Thank you for the questions - I'm flattered that you're interested. It's a nice feeling - not just that people are enjoying the show but also that they want to know more about the people who made it.
Do you put milk first in your tea or last? And do you take sugar?
Last. And I never take sugar in tea.
Have you ever been to Nando’s?
Yes! There's an excellent one in Dorchester, right next to the cinema.
How tall are you?
Are you planning to write anything in a contemporary setting, outside of your direct experience? I believe there is too much reverence for »
- Guardian Staff
I promised a round of reader questions a couple of weeks back and here's the first round of answers. Ready? Let's go.
James From Ames: Thoughts on the four musicals up for the Tony this year (editors note: Tonight)? What's your favorite musical from this century?
Alas, I cannot answer part one of this question as I've only seen one of them (Groundhog Day) which I thought was very well staged with a sensational lead performance by Andy Karl but the best score nomination feels... let's say "generous". But we have reviewed a few of the nominated productions right here. Funds have been terribly tight this year so not much theater. The other part of the question is (slightly) easier to answer. The best new musicals of the new century... don't make me pick just one. My top 12 in alpha order since I couldn't decide which to jettison. I wish they could all be movies. »
- NATHANIEL R
There are some aspects of Handsome: A Netflix Mystery Movie where it seems like star Jeff Garlin (he plays the title role of Gene Handsome) is doing his best work. Then, you remember the role he plays as Larry David's sidekick in Curb Your Enthusiasm and you know better. Make no mistake about it, Garlin is doing some very solid stuff in Handsome: A Netflix Mystery Movie, but it is hard for me to watch him on the screen and not see (or expect) Jeff Greene or Murray Goldberg for that matter. So lets just say that, as far as I am concerned, Handsome is an idea that needs its own full blown series.
The story of Handsome: A Netflix Mystery Movie follows the classic tropes of all the detective movies and shows we love. Gene Handsome is a Los Angeles homicide detective who is very good at his job. »
Matthew Crawley’s implausible recovery from paralysis reduced disability to a plot device and ignored the dramatic potential of the first world war
Julian Fellowes’s series was destined to divide opinion from the first shot of its opening credits: Hugh Bonneville’s Earl of Grantham strolls towards his country pile, steadfast labrador Pharaoh (the unfortunately named Isis came later) trotting alongside while a string-drenched theme tune blarts away over the top. The name of that theme: Did I Make the Most of Loving You? I know, I know.
Yet there was more to Downton than met the monocle. Those who dismissed it at face value missed out on a first series groaning with mega-budget magnificence, carefully researched stories and sizzling dialogue, delivered by a fine cast of young bloods and old hands anchored by Maggie Smith and her imperious mic drops. It was sentimental, camp and daft, certainly (this »
- Gabriel Tate
Fifteen years ago, Swimfan came to the big screen. Made for $10 million, Swimfan grossed $34 million worldwide. This tale of a swimmer (Jesse Bradford) who engages the wrong girl (Erika Christensen) in a one night stand, was essentially Fatal Attraction for the teen set. And, as hyperbolic as this may sound, it was also the best film of 2002. Even if it doesn't make IMDb's most underrated list for the Aughts.
Okay, so it came nowhere near an Academy Award nomination. Hell, it didn't even pick up an MTV Movie Awards nod. Does anybody believe that the best picture winner for any given year is really The best picture? If we ignore that idea altogether, then it is plausible Swimfan was indeed the best overall film released all throughout 2002. It may not have done the biggest box office, barely anyone remembers it now, but what it did in a cerebral sense, and with its visceral imagery, »
Since any New York City cinephile has a nearly suffocating wealth of theatrical options, we figured it’d be best to compile some of the more worthwhile repertory showings into one handy list. Displayed below are a few of the city’s most reliable theaters and links to screenings of their weekend offerings — films you’re not likely to see in a theater again anytime soon, and many of which are, also, on 35mm. If you have a chance to attend any of these, we’re of the mind that it’s time extremely well-spent.
A series devoted to films scored by Ryuichi Sakamoto offers an absolute murderer’s row.
The Wertmüller series winds down.
Film Society of Lincoln Center
Tarkovsky-twofer: restored versions of Stalker and Solaris are both screening.
Lynch, Lynch, and De Palma screen in the Twin Peaks-centered “Peak Performances.”
Anthology Film Archives
Middle Eastern cinema, »
- Nick Newman
The murder mystery is a well-worn genre, as comforting as slipping into a warm bath with a toaster that’s conveniently placed for a staging. There’s Clue, Murder on the Orient Express, Gosford Park — the list goes on. Notably, the first two of those examples have remakes upcoming, and the last is maybe the ultimate homage to the genre; despite the fact that each has cemented enough of a place in the pop cultural eye for all of us to know who committed the murder where and with what, a fascination with the whodunit persists. And why wouldn’t it? Caging a group of people in one place is the easiest way to ramp up tension; throwing in a murder to solve is the cherry on top of the cake. There is, however, an easy way to further up the ante.
- Karen Han
Oscar winner William Hurt (Goliath) and Oscar-nominated Bob Balaban (Gosford Park) are set to star opposite Max Irons and Mira Sorvino in Condor, At&T Audience Network's 10-episode straight-to-series drama produced by MGM Television and Skydance TV. Also joining the cast are series regulars Leem Lubany (Omar, Rock the Kasbah), Kristen Hager (The Kennedys After Camelot, Gotham), and Angel Bonanni (Shots Fired, Absentia); and recurring Christina Moses (The Originals, Contain… »
William Hurt has booked his next TV series.
The Oscar winner (Kiss of the Spider Woman) and Oscar nominee Bob Balaban (Gosford Park) have joined the cast of Audience Network's Three Days of the Condor remake, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
Hurt will play Bob Partridge, a decorated field operative who is rusty and a little soft after 20 years behind a desk. Bob is intelligent and introspective. »
- Kate Stanhope
Director Gurinder Chadha delivers a lavish yet heartfelt account of the household caught in the middle of India’s partition
Following my somewhat sniffy review of Gurinder Chadha’s uneven 2010 supernatural comedy It’s a Wonderful Afterlife, several British Asian viewers contacted me to say that the film was far funnier and more affecting than I had allowed, but required specific cultural knowledge (which I lacked) to be fully appreciated. Quite the opposite is true of Viceroy’s House, Chadha’s heartfelt and very personal drama about the traumas of partition, which strives to dramatise the epochal events of 1947 for the widest possible audience, including those who know nothing of the independence of India or the creation of Pakistan.
Cynics may complain that the resulting drama plays to the gallery as it personalises complex politics with its broad-stokes characters and Gosford Park-style heritage appeal. Yet despite an oddly underdeveloped »
- Mark Kermode, Observer film critic
“All the Devil’s Men” is in pre-production with GFM handling sales at the Berlin Film Festival and assisting with production financing together with Ben White’s U.K.-based White & Co.
Gibson, who starred in his father Mel Gibson’s “Hacksaw Ridge,” will play a battle-scarred War on Terror bounty hunter who’s forced to go to London on a manhunt for a disavowed CIA operative, with Fichtner and Akinnagbe as the other members of his team. They find themselves locked in deadly urban tactical combat with their former military comrade and his private army, who are protecting the operative. Hoeks will play the determined CIA handler in command of the mission.
- Dave McNary
Invincible Pictures has announced the February 28th Cable VOD and Digital HD release of Ashley Avis’ Deserted. Mischa Barton (The O.C., The Sixth Sense) stars as a recently released felon looking to start fresh with the brother she left behind. A trip to the desert sounds perfect, until she, her brother and their group find themselves hopelessly lost in one of the most beautiful but unforgiving places on the planet.
Barton is joined onscreen by Jackson Davis (Stitchers), Winter Ave Zoli (Sons of Anarchy) and Trent Ford (Gosford Park) in lead roles, with Jake Busey (From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series), Sebastian Bach (Gilmore Girls), Gerry Bednob (The 40 Year Old Virgin), and Lance Henriksen (Aliens, Terminator) supporting.
When twenty-four-year old Jae (Barton) is released from prison, she returns home to small-town Ridgecrest, California. It’s the last place she wants to be, with the judgement of the town, old friends, »
- Phil Wheat
12 items from 2017
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