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After a day of giving thanks, eating turkey, and watching TV with the family, a common impulse is to get out of the house and go shopping. Just kidding! Instead of braving the Black Friday brawls, sit back and relax with even more TV marathons. (That’s what Cyber Monday is for, isn’t it?) Standouts include complete(-ish) sets of favorite franchises such as Harry Potter, Pirates of the Caribbean, Star Wars, and Star Trek, as well as guilty-pleasure reality series like House Hunters International and Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta.
Check out the weekend guide to binge-watching »
- Maricela Gonzalez
What’s new, what’s hot, and what you may have missed, now available to stream on Netflix and Amazon Instant Video.
streaming now, before it’s on dvd
Elysium: Neill Blomkamp cements his science-fiction credentials as a filmmaker with a genre vision the likes of which we haven’t seen since the socially conscious Sf of the 1970s; this is smart popcorn cinema with something to say [my review] [at Amazon Instant Video]
new to streaming
Red Obsession: sly and sometimes funny, this is a microcosm of the economic state of the world — the West faltering and China ascending — seen through the prism of France’s boutique wine industry [my review] [at Amazon Instant Video]
post-turkey Thanksgiving treats
Addams Family Values: featuring Wednesday’s subversive Pilgrims vs. Indians pageant [at Amazon Instant Video] The Ice Storm: one 1970s turkey day turns tragic; the great cast includes Sigourney Weaver, Joan Allen, Kevin Kline, Christina Ricci, and Elijah Wood [my review] [at Amazon Instant Video] Pieces of April: »
- MaryAnn Johanson
What’s new, what’s hot, and what you may have missed, now available to stream on Netflix, Lovefilm, blinkbox, BBC iPlayer, Curzon on Demand.
cool moustaches to wrap up Movember
The Godfather: epic saga about Marlon Brando and his moustache ruling the criminal underworld [my review] [at Netflix] O Brother, Where Art Thou?: George Clooney and his moustache on a bona fide quest for Dapper Dan hair pomade [my review] [at Netflix] Nacho Libre: Jack Black and his moustache do Mexican wrestling and save an orphanage [my review] [at Netflix] Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl: Johnny Depp and his moustache sail the high seas in search of adventure [my review] [at Netflix] There Will Be Blood: Daniel Day-Lewis and his moustache corner the early oil markets [my review] [at Netflix]
new to stream
- MaryAnn Johanson
There are more than a handful of sequels and franchise movies that came out amongst tons of hype only to fail or disappoint fans that waited far too long to finally see them. Sometimes, its this anticipation that makes a movie seem less than its sum. We, as lovers of pop culture, have spent far too much time cultivated our own ideas about them. In many instances we have years, even decades, to build the movie for ourself inside our brain. So, of course, more often than not...There's going to be a disconnect. We never return to these movies again. Our tainted memories remain firmly in place. But sometimes, its these bloated expectations that devour us, killing any enjoyment or fun we might otherwise have with any given installment of the latest blockbuster. Sometimes, we just take these things too seriously. And a perfectly decent movie gets lost in that 'expectation translation'. »
Summit Entertainment hasn't had the easiest of roads when it comes to development on its Highlander reboot; we've already seen both director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo (28 Weeks Later) and leading man Ryan Reynolds (Turbo) depart the project, but it seems the studio hasn't given up hopes of bringing Connor MacLeod back to the screen with Deadline reporting that Cedric Nicolas-Troyan has signed on to make his feature directorial debut. An Academy Award-nominated VFX supervisor for Snow White and the Huntsman, Nicolas Troyan's other VFX credits include One Hour Photo, The Ring, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, while he's also served as second unit director on Disney's upcoming Maleficent.
"I have been working on my pitch for this since the summer, and when I got there I met the original producer and I just started geeking out and he loved it, »
- Gary Collinson
For years I’ve been attempting to write a piece entitled ‘Why Jerry Bruckheimer needs to Ditch Disney’ but it’s never come off. I’m not entirely sure why I never managed to write anything on the subject but now news breaks that Disney and Bruckheimer Films will be parting ways at the end of 2014, it seems like the perfect time to write my reasons for why I think the main man Jerry needs to break free from The Mouse House.
Disney and Bruckheimer Films first got together back in the 1990s with movies including The Ref, Con Air, Armageddon, Enemy of the State, Gone in 60 Seconds, Coyote Ugly, Pearl Harbor, Bad Company, Veronica Guerin, King Arthur, Confessions of a Shopaholic and Déjà Vu which all fell under the Touchstone Pictures label which is owned by Disney. Because of the success of Touchstone, »
- David Sztypuljak
It's finally Labor Day Weekend, which means the summer movie going season is officially closed for business starting this Monday. As summer winds down, and we head into September, many movie fans have made one thing very clear. They think this summer has been a complete wash! But is this summer any different than last summer, or the summer before that? How about a decade removed? Did we have bombs as big as The Lone Ranger, R.I.P.D. and After Earth ten years ago? (Yeah, we did, and it was called Gigli.)
We've decided to take a look at how this summer stacks up to a bygone era. Was 2003 a better year for movies? Or did we actually have it pretty good here in 2013 with Iron Man 3, Man of Steel and Elysium (just to name a few of the better one that have played out over the »
I write an article at Movies.com called Film Face-off, where I take two things, and they battle it out. The things could be actors, movies, characters, just about anything. Give it some love, comments, tweets, Facebook affection.
Film Face-off: ‘District 9′ vs. ‘Elysium’
Is “dirty science fiction” a genre? I guess if Mad Max is science fiction, then yes. DirectorNeill Blomkamp now has two feature films under his belt, and both would fit that category. Blomkamp makes sure we’re not just getting aliens, laser guns and spaceships, but also a not-very-subtle political/social slant. Just because something has a message doesn’t make it dirty. It’s the dirt, the blood, the dust and the evil humans out for their own particular greed. In this week’s Film Face-off let’s see how District 9 compares to Elysium, and if Blomkamp has suffered a sophomore slump.
Read the »
- Jeff Bayer
While the age of the “movie star” seems to have faded away a bit, Johnny Depp remains one of the most recognizable faces in Hollywood. The actor prided himself on tackling offbeat and edgy roles early in his career, but ever since his Oscar-nominated turn in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Depp has fronted his fair share of studio pictures and leaves fans in a tizzy whenever he makes a public appearance. However, it appears that Depp doesn’t foresee himself acting well into his old age, as he recently revealed that he’s “not too far away” from retiring. Hit the jump for more. While speaking to the UK press earlier today (via THR), Depp said that he’s “probably not too far away” from quitting acting, going on to note that while he won’t be “dropping out any second,” he’s considering »
- Adam Chitwood
What’s eating Johnny Depp? His acting career it seems.
The 50-year old “Pirates of the Caribbean” thesp has revealed that he may be close to quitting acting, telling BBC Breakfast that he was “probably not too far away” from his last pic.
Depp, who was in Blighty to promote his latest pic and recent U.S. box office flop “The Lone Ranger,” told the Beeb that the acting profession was an “insane option for a human being.”
He said: “At a certain point you start thinking. When you add up the amount of dialogue that you say per year and you realize that you’ve said written words more than you’ve had a chance to say your own words, you start thinking about that as an insane option for a human being.”
Depp went on to say that there were “quieter things” that he would not mind doing. »
- Diana Lodderhose
If Johnny Depp had given a buzzy, funny, scene-detonating performance in The Lone Ranger that was clearly superior to the rattletrap Western around it, then perhaps the movie’s bleak showing at the box office wouldn’t count as a strike against him. As it stands, Depp’s black-and-white face paint and studiously deadpan acting as Tonto fitted all too snugly into the film’s overly fussy, not-entertaining-enough landscape. Depp, surely, will survive the wreckage (yes, Pirates of the Caribbean 5 is on the docket, as is his role as the Wolf in a film adaptation of Stephen Sondheim’s »
- Owen Gleiberman
Sequels to awesome films are always a tricky bag. Expectations are set so high and in many cases are simply not achievable. Whether it’s the characters, the plot or the effects (often a mix of all three) recapturing that magic from the first film is always going to be a challenge.
Sometimes the story just isn’t as strong. Sometimes a recasting of an essential actor or the loss of great character from the first film can be enough. Sometimes it’s a lightning in a bottle moment – watching that favourite character is just never as good as the first time. Sometimes it’s a new director.
Sometimes a great film should be left alone to bask in its glory.
The biggest problem, as you’ll see with a few films on my list, is that franchises become tired and the sequels I discuss bear no resemblance to the »
- Baz Greenland
by Brett White
Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill's "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen" is getting another chance to transition out of the comic book world and into moving pictures. The comic book series has just received a put pilot order at Fox, which means that a pilot for a possible "League" television series will will be made and, as it is a put pilot order, Fox will be obligated to air the episode even if they don't order the pilot to series. So yeah, Allan Quartermain, Mina Harker and the extraordinary others will all definitely come to life again - this time on the small screen.
The pilot will be produced by 20th Century Fox TV with Michael Green and Erwin Stoff at the helm. Green has previously worked on "Green Lantern," "Heroes," and "Smallville" and will serve as writer and executive producer. Stoff, whose credits include "The Matrix" and the NBC drama "Kings, »
- Splash Page Team
This review was originally published in my weekly column at Towleroad
If Hollywood has its own wild wild west, a mythic frontier to tame, it is undoubtedly a time rather than a place: Next Summer. And the one after that. Release dates famously come before screenplays and the studios start laying down their tracks to get there: concept, screenplay, pre-production, casting, filming, editing, promotion, release though not usually quite in that sensible artistic order. Budgets often balloon on the way to the imagined gold at the end of the line. Or silver, as is the case with the name of a certain iconic horse, and the coveted metal driving the plot and the literal train tracks in the new version of The Lone Ranger.
Hollywood hasn't revived this particular franchise in over 30 years, for what one assumes are three reasons: westerns have been notoriously difficult sells for modern mainstream audiences »
- NATHANIEL R
Director Gore Verbinkski and Johnny Depp have now teamed up for the fifth time (the Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy and Rango) with The Lone Ranger, which unsurprisingly has a lot in common with Pirates. Technically, both films could survive without Depp's character. With Pirates, a hero tries to save a woman he loves from bad guys. With Lone a hero tries to save a woman from bad guys. But, with both films, it's Depp that we've come to see. I think you know where this is going. It's time for a Film Face-off with The Lone Ranger vs. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. Comparing the setting (Pirates vs. Cowboys) would be apples vs. oranges, so instead I've selected five other categories to battle this one out. Johnny Depp...
- Jeff Bayer
Over a very busy Fourth of July weekend, Despicable Me 2 had one of the best debuts ever for an animated movie, while The Lone Ranger got off to an underwhelming start. Meanwhile, Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain crushed expectations and did fantastic business for a stand-up movie.For the three-day weekend, the Top 12 earned $221.6 million. That ranks 10th all-time, and is the third weekend in the last four to rank in the Top 15. Through its first five days, Despicable Me 2 earned $143.1 million. That's just ahead of Toy Story 3 ($141 million) for top five-day start ever for an animated movie; while the differing release patterns keeps that from being a true apples-to-apples comparison, it still does give a good idea how immensely popular the sequel was over the holiday weekend. For the three-day period, Despicable Me 2 earned $83.5 million, which is on par with Monsters University's debut a few weeks ago. »
- Ray Subers <email@example.com>
Directed by Gore Verbinski
Sincerity is in dire need of being resurrected in modern popular culture. This is not to say that cynicism doesn’t have a place in society, or that naivete should be widely embraced by the masses. But being smug and snarky only takes you so far, as proven by The Lone Ranger, a film that suffers from many problems, not least of which is its embarrassment that it’s a story about the Lone Ranger. There is nothing wrong with centering a big-budget tentpole movie around a good, old-fashioned hero, yet The Lone Ranger desperately runs away from such an open, welcoming spirit, headlong into unpleasant, sluggish chaos.
The first mistake of many is that Johnny Depp, who transformed his quirky personality just slightly enough to become a movie star in 2003 as the »
- Josh Spiegel
There are some child actors who grow up and become regular people. There are some that grow up to be really messed up individuals. Some were child stars in their own right, and when they were adults they continued to function as big name A-listers.
But what about the ones who were just jobbing child actors? They weren’t necessarily huge stars as children, but some of them went from moderate success to major adult stardom.
Because they weren’t hyper famous as kids, it’s easy to forget that they didn’t get into the entertainment business as adults. But a surprising number of actors today actually started working before they were old enough to vote.
Here are some actors who are popular today, but you might not realize that they’ve been working in Hollywood since they had their baby teeth.
10. Keira Knightley
Although audiences weren’t familiar »
- Audrey Fox
Each week Cinelinx will chose one director for an in-depth examination of the “signatures” that they leave behind in their work. This week, with the release of The Lone Ranger, we examine the trademark style and calling signs of Gore Virbinski as director.
When we consider the abundance of CGI-fueled movies these days, there are certain directors whose work has steered the industry to become what it is today. The films of directors such as J.J. Abrams, David Fincher, Christopher Nolan, and even Zach Snyder have used computer technology to create stylized stories that audiences can’t seem to get enough of. Gore Verbinski isn’t typically included on this list of new-era heavyweights, but his career has also ridden on the back of CGI. Arguably, Verbinski has taken his involvement with technology one step further than many others by being an active developer and early-adopter of new technologies and methods. »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (G.S. Perno)
That Jerry Bruckheimer is getting a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame is extraordinary — mostly because he doesn’t already have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
“They’ve been neglecting me for years, what can I say?” quips the producer of “Top Gun,” “The Pirates of the Caribbean” movies and such Emmy-monopolizing series as “The Amazing Race.” “Actually, it had been offered before and we wanted to wait for the right time, and “The Lone Ranger” is the right time.”
The fact that Bruckheimer would synchronize both his kemo sabe moment with postcard Hollywood and a plug for his latest project, which stars Armie Hammer in the title role and Johnny Depp as his sidekick Tonto, reveals the kind of promotional instinct that has governed his four-decade career in film and television, and made him that rare animal: the branded producer.
There have been others, of course: David O. Selznick. »
- John Anderson
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