18 items from 2017
Sword fights. Everyone loves a good sword fight. They combine the best thing about chess – the strategy and fitness of a well-timed and executed move – with the ferocity of a wrestling match. Plus, they’re normally really well scored. They’re like a dance off with more equipment and less impressive footwork. With that in mind, we thought that it’s important to take a couple of minutes to go through five of the best sword fights in movies.
5. Aragorn Vs The Nine Ringwraiths – The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
While the Hobbit films were somewhat “less than stellar” there’s no doubt that Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings films were, on the whole, quite good. The Fellowship of the Ring especially. There were a lot of things in that film that worked really well – Saruman’s new orcs, the Balrog, the secret council, but the thing that really sold the film was the battle between Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen) and the Ringwraiths. It may have been short, but it set the tone for the film and it ends with an evil ghost getting a flaming torch to the face. What more does a film need than that?
4. Captain Jack Sparrow Vs Captain Hector Barbosa – Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)
Geoffrey Rush, playing the role of Hector Barbosa, described this fight as an epic battle between two immortals and is it ever. The choreography is pure Flynn-like. It’s over the top and quicker than a ship at full mast. Intercut with this scene is another sword fight: Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) and Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley) versus the undead crew of the Black Pearl. Plus, bringing back what we said about being really well scored, Hans Zimmer is on point with the theme for both this fight and the entire scene. The series may have gone off the map in later films, but The Curse of the Black Pearl really was treasure.
3. Hector Vs Achilles – Troy (2004)
Okay, so this one is definitely a controversial choice. Classics Students hate this film because it’s not the Illiad; Lord of the Rings fans hate it because Legolas (Orlando Bloom) is a coward in it; and cinema-philes hate it because… Well, its quality is debatable. But, 2004’s Troy is notable because: every single actor seems to be chewing the scenery in every single scene and it has Eric Bana and Brad Pitt fighting with spears. Taking place the day after Hector (Bana) killed Patroclus – Achilles’ cousin-in-this-version-but-lover/protege-in-the-Illiad, it features some of the best choreography in a film that’s pretty much built upon its sword-to-sword choreography and the bankability of Brad Pitt. The fact that most of the fight is actually one that’s between two spear wielders – something which is rare in the medium, for some reason – only makes the whole thing even better. Plus, Pitt’s Achilles really lays on the smack talk. Hard.
2. The Bride Vs The Crazy 88 – Kill Bill, Vol. 1 (2003)
As the titular Bill (David Carradine) says in Kill Bill Vol. 2, Uma Thurman’s character wasn’t really fighting eighty-eight bodyguards during this fight. According to the Kill Bill Wiki, there are only forty-four of them. Still, that’s a considerable number of bodyguards for one woman to fight by herself and Thurman does it stylishly. She’s called the world’s deadliest woman throughout the film, but it’s this scene in which the thesis is tested. It’s one of the most stylish scenes Quentin Tarantino ever shot and we’d argue still holds up compared to his later work. There’s so much to say about this fight but we’ll just let the fact that the Bride fought forty-four bodyguards (as well as two bosses) and won speak for itself.
There were a lot of options that we could have gone with for our ultimate battle of the blades. Hell, there were a lot of options we could have gone with from the Star Wars franchise. But, after going through all seven films again, we’ve decided that the top of them all has to be what was – for a long time – the final battle in the Star Wars trilogy. While not as technically flashy or quick as some of the fights from the prequel trilogy, the fight between Skywalker (Mark Hamill) and Darth Vader (David Prowse/James Earl Jones) more than makes up for it in terms of both emotional impact, thematic appropriateness, and score. And wow, what a score it is. John Williams is known for his scores but we think this just takes the cake.
Are there any sword-fights you think we missed? Let us know in the comments below. »
- Ian Bailey
In The Fade review: Diane Kruger leads the cast of this German-language feature from director Fatih Akin, a film that is part-courtroom drama, part revenge-thriller, all set around a family tragedy, a bombing in central Hamburg.
In The Fade review by Paul Heath, May 2017.
In The Fade review
The Family, Justice, and The Sea are the titles give to the three very distinct parts of this film, each of them kicking off with amateur video footage setting the scene. The first opens in what appears to be in a prison with one of the inmates dressed in a white tuxedo. This is Nuri (Numan Acar), a German-Turkish man who is about to marry his bride, Diane Kruger’s Katja, a tattooed hipster waiting for him in the visitor’s room. Fast-forward a couple of years’ post title card and we’re in the family home, the couple now with child, »
- Paul Heath
As the star-studded Cannes 70th anniversary gala dinner wrapped up on May 23, a mariachi band came out to play “Cielito lindo,” “México lindo y querido,” and the Spanish version of “Happy Birthday” turning this year’s Cannes Film Festival into a celebration of #MexiCannes.2017 Cannes.. Photograph by Justin Bishop. Salma Hayek wears Yves Saint Laurent and a Boucheron necklace. Francois-Henri Pinault wears Gucci.Read more in Remezcla here. In a few red-tinted videos, Salma Hayek, Guillermo del Toro, Emmanuel Lubezki, Alfonso Cuarón, Alejandro G. Iñárritu, and BFFs Diego Luna and Gael García Bernal can be seen gathering around Table 46 to sing along with the mariachis. They also attracted other celebrities like Isabelle Huppert and quickly became the center of attention. As they loudly sang, a larger group surrounded them and recorded them on their phones. And with GdT giving the performance of a lifetime, it’s hard to blame onlookers. »
- Sydney Levine
Aliya Whiteley Jun 2, 2017
If Clash Of The TItans or Jason And The Argonauts are your thing, then a few book recommendations right here...
This month, with help from BookBeat - who we thank very much for their support - we're trialling a book club series of features, where we look at books, how they translate to movies, how they work in audiobook form, and just generally chat about a certain title. You can get a free trial of BookBeat - a sort-of Netflix for audio books - right here. Den Of Geek readers get a full month free trial, as opposed to the usual two weeks. But you need to click on that link to get it!
This week? We're looking at Greek myths...
Diane Kruger atop the Majestic Hotel in Cannes Photo: Kering Women in Motion
She could be compared to a cross between Grace Kelly and Carole Lombard. Diane Kruger, 38, who won best actress at the 70th Cannes Film Festival, has gone from being a top model to respected actress in a relatively short time. She intersperses big budget outings such as Troy and Inglourious Basterds with European films among them Alice Winocour’s Disorder; as Marie Antoinette in Benoit Jacquot’s Farewell, My Queen and Fabienne Berthaud’s Sky, about a contemporary French woman who strikes out on her own in the American West. She was a mainstay for two seasons in the American remake of the Scandi-noir series The Bridge, transposed to the border between the Us and Mexico.
She speaks her native German for the first time in Cannes Competition entry In The Fade by German film-maker with Turkish roots Fatih Akin, »
- Richard Mowe
Churchill, the new drama directed by Jonathan Teplitzky (The Railway Man), looks at the actions of the British wartime prime minister in the days before the 1944 D-day landings, at a time when his uncertainty over invading Normandy clashed with the gung-ho spirit of his political opponents.
Brian Cox (The Bourne Identity, Braveheart, Troy) stars as Sir Winston Churchill and Golden Globe-winner Miranda Richardson plays his headstrong wife Clementine, while Mad Men’s John Slattery makes for a spiky General Eisenhower.
Continue reading »
- Guardian Staff
If you’re a buyer, the Cannes Film Festival isn’t where you go to catch a break. Including festival sidebars like Critics’ Week and Director’s Fortnight, there are more than 75 films at Cannes from all over the world — but when it comes to English-language movies, most are already spoken for.
Read More: The Cannes Film Festival Buyers Guide: Who’s Buying the Movies You’ll Watch
Netflix took the rights to Noah Baumbach’s family drama “The Meyerowitz Stories,” while Amazon has both Todd Haynes’ “Wonderstruck” and Sofia Coppola’s “The Beguiled.” A24 has never bought a completed film at Cannes, but the company is launching four titles at the fest, including Yorgos Lanthimos’ “The Killing of a Sacred Deer” and the Safdie brothers’ “Good Time.”
What’s left are mainly foreign-language films from some of the most respected indie auteurs in world. Most of these filmmakers are »
- Graham Winfrey
Mexico City Film Commission head to assume post on June 1.
Hugo Villa has been appointed director of the Los Cabos International Film Festival.
Villa is the current general-director of the Mexico City Film Commission and brings more than 30 years of experience in the industry as a producer, cinematographer, production advisor and government officer.
He will commence his new post on June 1 and replaces Alonso Aguilar Castillo, who served as festival director at the last four editions and is pursuing new opportunities.
Villa co-funded Hartos Indios, the Mexican company that produced documentaries, features and shorts and provided production services to Warner Bros, Sony, and Showtime.
Villa also served as director for production at the Mexican Film Institute Imcine.
“We are very pleased and thrilled that Hugo Villa will lead the Festival, as we consider »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Jeremy Kay)
Hugo Villa, a well-known and respected producer, line-producer and film commissioner, has been appointed director of Mexico’s Los Cabos Intl. Film Festival, one of Latin America’s youngest and fastest-growing festivals.
Also well known from his eight years he spent at Mexican Film Institute (Imcine) over 2005 to 2013, where he created the Mexican Film Commission, Villa will take up his position on May 15, and attend the Cannes Festival with Alejandra Paulin, who remains Los Cabos general co-ordinator. Maru Garzon also continues as programming director. Villa replaces Alonso Aguilar Castillo, who served as Los Cabos director from its 2013 edition.
“We’re pleased and enthusiastic about Hugo Villa’s taking the reins of the Festival. We regard him as the ideal person, in collaboration with his team which continues at the festival, to favor the continuation of the film event which is now reenforced and has consolidated in the past five years »
- John Hopewell
Nina Sosanya (David Brent: Life on the Road, Love Actually), Katherine Kelly (The Night Manager, Happy Valley) and Trevor Eve (Death of a Farmer, Troy) round out the Season 5 cast of Cinemax and Sky’s reboot of Strike Back. They join previously announced new series stars Warren Brown as “Mac” McAllister, Daniel MacPherson as Samuel Wyatt, Roxanne McKee as Natalie Reynolds and Alin Sumarwata as Gracie Novin. Filming has begun on the new season — its sixth overall and fifth… »
Variety reports that Ang Lee might have lined up his next project, with the celebrated visual artist circling a script for an early project from Game Of Thrones co-showrunner David Benioff, titled Gemini Man.
Rather than the story of one of the trippier bosses from Mega Man 3, though, the script is a spy thriller, centered on an older assassin who discovers that his bosses have sent a younger clone of himself to kill him. Despite the sci-fi premise, the whole idea seems weirdly conventional for Lee, but it’s possible he’s just looking for some straightforward genre work after the resounding commercial flop of his last feature, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk.
Gemini Man has been in the works for several years now, from back when Benioff was just a journeyman scriptwriter eating off his work on films like Troy, 25th Hour, and X-Men Origins: Wolverine, and ...
- William Hughes
Scott McCall (as a human and as his wild werewolf self) and best bud Stiles have their very own Funko Pop! figures now. Collect whichever vinyl figure tickles your fancy this spring! Also in today's Highlights: Wesley Snipes reveals The Recall's release date at CinemaCon 2017, a look at the teaser trailer for Deep Shock, and the Tribeca Games Festival announcement.
Photos & Release Details for Funko's Teen Wolf Pop! Vinyls: From Funko: “Teen werewolf Scott McCall and his best friend Stiles are coming to Pop! vinyl!
Bitten the night before starting sophomore year of high school, Scott is now a True Alpha werewolf! Collect Scott in his human form, or as a werewolf!
Add them to your collection this spring!
Coming in May!”
- Tamika Jones
Entertainment Weekly has debuted three first look images for the upcoming biographical drama Churchill featuring Brian Cox as the legendary British wartime Prime Minister, Miranda Richardson as his wife Clementine, and John Slattery as future Us President, General Dwight D. Eisenhower. Directed by Jonathan Teplitzky, the film follows Winston Churchill in the 48 hours leading up to D-Day; take a look below…
May 23rd, 1944: as tensions mount in the 48-hours preceding D-Day, the now-beleaguered Prime Minister Winston Churchill, played by Brian Cox (The Bourne Supremacy, X-Men 2, Zodiac, War & Peace, Troy), must prepare a final attempt to crush Hitler’s encroaching army. With the entire War effort ultimately hinging on this decision, the stakes have never been higher. As the Wartime leader clashes with his generals, tension builds with the Americans, and Churchill must wrestle his inner-demons in order to navigate the Allies to victory.
- Amie Cranswick
Netflix has become a co-production partner on two of the BBC’s highest profile forthcoming dramas, Troy: Fall Of A City and Black Earth Rising.
The Crown financier Netflix revealed the partnerships at a major event in Berlin to highlight its investment in European production, where it also formally announced Tiger Aspect’s Jack Whitehall travelogue Travels With My Father.
Announced in September 2015, it is produced by Derek Wax’s new indie Wild Mercury in association with his former employer Kudos. Both companies are Endemol Shine Group owned.
More from Netflix’s Berlin event: Netflix reveals release date, first teaser »
One of the most lucrative and successful movie franchises in cinematic history, Batman prefigured the current superhero franchise craze and set the standard after Tim Burton’s 1989 picture established a succession of films which changed the long-held perception of Batman on screen as a camp throwback to his 1960’s colourful incarnation. As The Lego Batman Movie debuts, launching the Caped Crusader into a new animated dimension, it’s interesting to consider the numerous Batman projects that never made it out of development hell, because even though we’ve had the Christopher Nolan trilogy in recent years which sent the character into the stratosphere, it’s not always been plain sailing for the Dark Knight.
“But this film happened?!” a million voices all cried out in terror. Yes indeed, last year’s Dawn of Justice, part of the formative and troubled DC Extended Universe, »
- Tony Black
Last night over in Hollywood, the 2017 Screen Actors Guild awards were dished out. The awards were fairly spread out – Denzel Washington picked up the Male Actor award for Fences, while Emma Stone was awarded the Female Actor gong for La La Land. Mahershala Ali won Supporting Actor for Moonlight, while Viola Davis won Supporting Female Actor for Fences.
The Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture went to the cast of true story Hidden Figures, while Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series went to Netflix’s Stranger Things.
John Lithgow and Claire Foy picked up the two main awards in the drama TV lead categories for The Crown, while William H. Macy and Julia Louis-Dreyfus won in the comedy categories for Shameless and Veep. Bryan Cranston and Sarah Paulson bagged Best Lead Actors in a Limited Series for All The Way and American Crime Story »
- Paul Heath
While he’s not ageless like his onscreen persona Legolas in the Lord of the Rings franchise, Orlando Bloom’s hobbies certainly make it seem like he’s under the impression he’ll live forever.
The actor, who turns 40 on Jan. 13, has proved he knows how to turn any day into an adventure since opening his Instagram account to the public last year. Motocross racing, cliff jumping and motorcycling through India are just a few ways Bloom is still getting his adrenaline fix.
Bloom also recently paid tribute to the 15th anniversary of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, posting a series of photos of him preparing for his role taken during the New Zealand production. There was archery, helicopter rides and catching some waves when the cameras weren’t rolling.
The actor talked about the cast’s time at the beach when he sat down with Et in 2001, where he explained the reasoning »
4 January 2017 11:44 AM, PST | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »
Forty years ago, Wolfgang Petersen was a successful, 35-year-old TV director back in Germany, who had just made the heist film Vier gegen die Bank (Four Against the Bank), based on the novel The Nixon Recession Caper by Ralph Maloney. Petersen’s two Oscar nominations, for writing and directing his magnum opus, Das Boot, were still several years away, not to mention titles such as The Neverending Story; In the Line of Fire; the movie that launched the career of compatriot Diane Kruger, Troy; and two further films featuring boats in peril, the George Clooney vehicle The Perfect Storm and his last »
- Boyd van Hoeij
18 items from 2017
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