16 items from 2013
Tom Hanks’ ‘Captain Phillips’ weekend box office: One of Hanks’ biggest domestic openings in the past decade Starring two-time Oscar winner Tom Hanks in the title role — though you wouldn’t know it by looking at the film’s poster — Paul Greengrass’ inspired-by-real-life-events Captain Phillips grossed an estimated $8.5 million from 3,020 venues on Friday, October 11, 2013, including $600,000 from Thursday night showings, according to studio estimates found at Box Office Mojo. Captain Phillips chronicles the adventures of the titular captain of an American cargo ship hijacked by Somali pirates in 2009. (Photo: Tom Hanks in Captain Phillips.) Budgeted at $55 million — not including marketing and distribution expenses — Captain Phillips should collect anywhere between $23-25 million by Sunday evening. A major Saturday surge and a strong Sunday hold could lead to even higher results, but for now that’s mere speculation. Either way, Captain Phillips has absolutely no chance of topping this weekend’s domestic box office chart, »
- Zac Gille
You want funny? We got funny! From Airplane to Duck Soup, here are the Guardian and Observer critics' pick of the 10 best rib-ticklers
• Top 10 romantic movies
• Top 10 action movies
Peter Bradshaw on comedy
Notionally, one of the most loved of genres, comedy persistently finds that it is somehow ineligible for greatness. Comedies rarely get Oscars. Charlie Chaplin, the great comic, was one of cinema's first international superstars. Keaton, the Marx Brothers and Laurel and Hardy produced sublime gems of film-making, arguably cherished more now than at the time. Billy Wilder's Some Like It Hot is one of the most loved films of all time, with a miraculously light touch and a glorious romantic chemistry between Curtis, Lemmon and Monroe. In Hollywood, the screwball tradition came to be supplanted in public taste by Woody Allen, whose DNA can be traced through the cerebral creations of Charlie Kaufman.
Recently, Hollywood comedy »
For 20 years, audiences have viewed Tom Hanks as a nice, average Everyman. Older audiences may remember that he got his start as a drag comic and childlike goofball. Either way, it may come as a shock to think of him as a tough guy who takes on modern-day pirates in the new thriller "Captain Phillips."
And yet, seemingly under our noses, Hanks has been quietly building a resume worthy of a two-fisted action star, the sort of guy you'd want to have your back in a pinch, and who can be counted on to save the day. In fact, maybe we should stop thinking of him as Tom Hanks: Everyman, and start thinking of him as Tom Hanks: Badass!
Hanks's drive toward badassery actually began early on, even when he was still playing goofballs. In 1985's "The Man With One Red Shoe," he gets involved with an international spy ring. »
- Gary Susman
It’s Tim, here on the eve of Captain Phillips getting released for all the world to enjoy, to ponder the career of its star Tom Hanks. For this movie (and Saving Mr. Banks later in the year, to lesser degree) represents a kind of comeback, for a movie star that never seemed like he needed one; and yet the buzzy, well-received thriller is lining up to be the first largely successful vehicle that Hanks has had in years. Larry Crowne sank without a trace; Angels & Demons impressed nobody and was hardly a “Tom Hanks movie” in the first place. And that already puts us more than half a decade in the past. An odd fate for the man who seemed so unavoidable in the ‘90s and into the ‘00s.
But anyway, 2013 is shaping up to be a big year for the actor, so what better opportunity to look back »
- Tim Brayton
Tom Hanks is playing a real-life hero in this week's Captain Phillips, but he's portrayed an unbelievable amount of iconic characters already. Since Hanks's career began in the '80s, he's won two Oscars and moved on to producing and directing films. See how well you know him by matching the still shot to the title it corresponds to! Question 1 of 5 ? Name That Movie: Larry Crowne The Ladykillers The Great Buck Howard Catch Me If You Can »
- Maggie Pehanick
There is an exhibition of the great German graphic designer Hans Hillmann currently running at the Museum Folkwang in Essen, Germany. Devoted entirely to Hillmann’s film posters from 1952 to 1974, the show, called The Title is Continued in the Picture, runs through the 1st of September and I’m sorry that I didn’t know about it sooner. But for those of us who can’t make it to the Ruhr in the next three weeks, the website Kunst + Film has posted a wonderful, almost-as-good-as-being-there video of the show.
The revelation of the video for me is the size of that Seven Samurai poster. Where most of Hillmann’s film posters are 33" x 23" (slightly smaller than a Us one-sheet), and the Cassavetes above is only 16.5" x 23", that glorious Seven Samurai is 93" x 132", or 11 feet wide.
While many of Hillmann’s witty, »
- Adrian Curry
As time goes on, I don’t look at the early 2000′s kindly in terms of cinematic output. Not to say there wasn’t some great films from the era (and there have definitely been time periods with more dismal films than the early 2000′s), but on average, movies from this time just didn’t pack a punch.
It is hard to say why exactly, but I think the industry might have been in a transitional period in terms of artistic leadership. The directors from the previous generation seemed to be running out of creative steam, while some of the younger talent (the Christopher Nolan, David Fincher, and Darren Aronofskys’ of the world) were still finding their feet and hadn’t broken through enough to demand the respect of the studios. This in turn affected performances of the era, for no matter how talented they may be as thespians, actors »
- Christopher Lominac
The man behind the hit sitcom on Catholic guilt, the power of Twitter and how he put The Ladykillers on stage
The Ladykillers, the play you wrote based on the 1955 film, has returned to the West End. What were the difficulties in transferring a film to the stage?
The hardest thing was getting rid of the bodies. One of the rules I set myself was that the characters shouldn't be able to leave the house. I broke that once – I let them on to the tracks [to get rid of the bodies] – and I'd rather we hadn't because I thought it would be a pure play in the house. It would also make it more theatrical to stick to this one room.
The film is thought of as a classic comedy. Is there such a thing as timeless humour?
That's a good question. I saw Some Like It Hot the other day. It must be nearly »
- Elizabeth Day
Update: See the new trailer here. One of the most vital elements of Joel and Ethan Coen‘s upcoming Inside Llewyn Davis is the soundtrack. After working together on O Brother, Where Art Thou? and The Ladykillers, the Coens once again reteamed with T-Bone Burnett to help them produce a varied selection of folk cover songs. While at Cannes Film Festival, we [...] »
- Jack Cunliffe
More than the first cuckoo, the announcement of the Cannes competition list is the first sign of spring; always an exciting moment and even more so as in recent years Cannes has consolidated its primacy among the film festivals of the world. There look to be no major or startling omissions: Lars von Trier's Nymphomaniac is reportedly not ready, although I was disappointed not to see Steve McQueen's Twelve Years a Slave. There are, in fact, no British entries in competition, but Stephen Frears's Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight – an HBO project about Ali's opposition to Vietnam – has a Special Screening slot. (A small footnote here: young British film-maker Ana Caro, from the National Film and Television School, has »
- Peter Bradshaw
The 2013 TCM Classic Film Festival continues to expand, with newly added appearances by legendary stars at screenings of some of their most memorable films, including Mel Brooks, Carl Reiner, Mickey Rooney, Jonathan Winters, Marvin Kaplan, Barrie Chase, Polly Bergen,Coleen Gray, Theodore Bikel and Norman Lloyd, as well as producer Stanley Rubin, Clara Bow biographer David Stenn, Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) film collections manager Katie Trainor and director Nicholas Ray’s widow, Susan Ray. In addition, TCM’s Essentials Jr. host and Saturday Night Live star Bill Hader will present screenings of Shane (1953) and The Ladykillers(1955).
And The Film Forum’s Bruce Goldstein will present a special screening of Frank Capra’s The Donovan Affair (1929), complete with live voice actors and sound effects to replace the film’s long-lost soundtrack.Mel Brooks is slated to talk about his comedy The Twelve Chairs (1970). Carl Reiner, Mickey Rooney, Jonathan Winters, Marvin Kaplan »
- Melissa Thompson
Aside from perhaps "The Ladykillers" (and even that film features a great Tom Hanks performance, at least), it's hard to find at least one Coen Brothers movie that doesn't have passionate supporters that declare it the best thing the directing duo ever made. From debut "Blood Simple" to the recent megahit western "True Grit," every Coen picture has its advocate (this writer has an unconditional adoration of their 1994 commercial disaster "The Hudsucker Proxy," for instance). But none of their films are more beloved than "The Big Lebowski." Inspired in part by Robert Altman's version of Raymond Chandler's "The Long Goodbye," the film is a noir-of-sorts, focusing on The Dude Lebowski (Jeff Bridges), a Californian slacker whose life mainly revolves around his bowling team with demented Vietnam vet Walter (John Goodman), and the unloved, ignored Donny (Steve Buscemi). But after having his beloved rug pissed on and being beaten up, »
- Oliver Lyttelton
Directed by Michael Hoffman
This loose remake of a 1966 film of the same name – that starred Shirley MacLaine, Michael Caine and Herbert Lom – has had a curiously long journey to the screen for a comedy, spending fourteen years stranded in numerous stages of pre-production. During that time, various talents were either attached to the project or expressed interest, including Aaron Sorkin, Alexander Payne, Hugh Grant, Robert Altman, Doug Liman, Reese Witherspoon and Ben Kingsley. Circa 2003, Joel and Ethan Coen, apparently looking for some rewrite work in between films, submitted a draft that supposedly reworked the film considerably. Though they have not directed the end result, Michael Hoffman having taken care of that, marketing material for Gambit has been centred on the film having been written by the Coen brothers.
The timing of the pair’s script submission happens to coincide with »
- Josh Slater-Williams
Prolific film & television producer Barry Josephson (Enchanted, Bones) has signed on with Magic Storm Entertainment to produce the legendary Stan Lee's creation Annihilator. The film script has been penned by Dan Gilroy (The Bourne Legacy/Real Steel).
Annihilator tells the story of a young Chinese expatriate, Ming, who must choose between remaining in prison or enlist in a secret Us super soldier program. The program uses targeted genetic enhancements from various animal species. Ming chooses to undergo this nearly fatal procedure and through his extreme resolve, gained as a result of his family's tradition of practicing Qijong and martial arts, he survives. Now, armed with remarkable abilities, he must confront a former rival with his own set of enhanced faculties. Our reluctant hero is forced not only to face his personal demons, but also to defeat the villain who will destroy everything that he knows and loves.
Here's what »
Believe it or not, there was a brief time, in the early 2000’s that I had written off Joel & Ethan Coen. This was around the time they were doing stuff like Intolerable Cruelty and The Ladykillers. Then a little movie called No Country for Old Men is unleashed and since then, the Coen Bros or I haven’t looked back. When I heard they were making a movie about a folk singer, Inside Llewyn Davis, I was skeptical. But after watching this trailer, I say skepticism what? »
- Craig Dietz
Firstly, a disclaimer: there are great movies and there are great actors. Yet no matter how great an actor is, there will be the occasional floating log of film turd that will be skipped over on their resume if they are lucky enough. Bruce Willis had his Hudson Hawk, Tom Hanks plopped one out in The Ladykillers, but, hey, they still command our respect. Hell, even Al Pacino showed up in the giant Adam Sandler turd Jack and Jill, which scored extremely well with people of low intellect and Republican teenagers.
Once upon a time, these actors could only poop box-office gold, but something happened. One turd beget another and another and another. Now these former greats simply are shallow imitations of their past glories, struggling to find that right script that’ll put them back on top. They need to pull out a John Travolta circa Pulp Fiction to get out their ruts. »
- jay royston
16 items from 2013
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