5 items from 2015
Omar Sharif in 'Doctor Zhivago.' Egyptian star Omar Sharif, 'The Karate Kid' producer Jerry Weintraub: Brief career recaps A little late in the game – and following the longish Theodore Bikel article posted yesterday – below are brief career recaps of a couple of film veterans who died in July 2015: actor Omar Sharif and producer Jerry Weintraub. A follow-up post will offer an overview of the career of peplum (sword-and-sandal movie) actor Jacques Sernas, whose passing earlier this month has been all but ignored by the myopic English-language media. Omar Sharif: Film career beginnings in North Africa The death of Egyptian film actor Omar Sharif at age 83 following a heart attack on July 10 would have been ignored by the English-language media (especially in the U.S.) as well had Sharif remained a star within the Arabic-speaking world. After all, an "international" star is only worth remembering »
- Andre Soares
Veteran producer Jerry Weintraub, a well-known force in Hollywood, died of cardiac arrest in Santa Barbara Monday at the age of 77.
Weintraub was an old-school impresario and showman who started out as a concert promoter and music manager, then became a successful movie producer in a career that spanned five decades.
"All life was a theater and I wanted to put it up on a stage," Weintraub wrote in his memoir. "I wanted to set the world under a marquee that read: 'Jerry Weintraub Presents.'"
Born in Brooklyni n 1937, Weintraub first broke into showbiz through music. He worked with Elvis Presley, the Beach Boys, and Frank Sinatra, and managed artists including Led Zeppelin and John Denver.
In 1975, Weintraub moved into film production with Robert Altman's "Nashville." In the next decade, he producer more hits, the biggest of them all being "The Karate Kid." But then, in 1990, the »
- Kelly Woo
A few nights ago, Warner Bros. hosted a very canny event that our own Louis Virtel attended at the Playboy Mansion, a screening of "Entourage" that may have felt like virtual reality for those who attended. While I doubt being surrounded by scantily clad bunnies influenced Louis one way or another on the film, it's likely you'll see a number of reviews that are perhaps more enthusiastic than they would otherwise be, and it'd be hard to blame anyone who fell for it. One of the reasons the setting seemed so right for that particular film is because much of the charge of "Entourage" is watching the core ensemble swagger their way through Hollywood, doing whatever they want and rarely if ever facing any consequences as a result. It's always presented with a wink and a smile, just a case of boys being boys. We live in a world right »
- Drew McWeeny
For some reason, Hollywood fell in love with British actors again in the 1990s. Sparked by Alan Rickman's turn as Hans Gruber in Die Hard at the back end of the 1980s, many movie villains were either Brits, or in the case of Cliffhanger, John Lithgow taking on the mannerisms of a British antagonist.
Yet in particular, Hollywood went recruiting British comedy talent, with faces then mainly - but not exclusively - known for their small screen work getting roles of various sizes in Hollywood productions. Here are some who racked up the air miles - starting with the man who arguably became one of the most successful...
Hugh Laurie - 101 Dalmatians
Laurie is a man of many talents, who ultimately cracked America with »
Yesterday was the Super Bowl, that annual sporting event designed for superheroes to make friendly wagers between themselves for charity, and for the showcasing of movie trailers.
One of the very best of this year's crop of trailers (taking the top spot of the Super Bowl spots) was the action-packed trailer for Furious 7, the latest instalment in the Fast and Furious franchise.
Vin Diesel's voice-over informs us that "The most important thing in life will always be family" (which is totally what his vocabulary-limited character Groot was saying, albeit more concisely, at a certain moment in Guardians of the Galaxy). Of course, as the montage shows, he's talking about found family, a group of people who care deeply for each other, despite often not being related. This could also be a thematic statement about the emotional core of the franchise, which has arguably endured so long because the audience cares about the characters, »
5 items from 2015
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