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The contradiction in film criticism certainly does not go unnoticed. Sure, there are countless films that are praised and applauded for its excellence in quality and creativity. Unfortunately, the overlooked cinema fare that deserves just as much attention (more so than some of the recognized critically-acclaimed selections on an impressive selection of critics’ and moviegoers’ radars) get lost in the proverbial shuffle. It is simply the professional hazard of the movie industry because not every well-received and standout gem will get its rightful due come major awards season in Hollywood.
Just how many times have we as movie reviewers and/or movie fans become indignant when we realized that the special piece of entertainment we personally and critically cherished came up short and empty in expectations? Again, every smart kid in the classroom cannot get a gold star as we remain a competitive society in the world of celluloid superiority. »
- Frank Ochieng
The release this week of Jon Favreau’s Chef provides a new addition to the popular sub-genre of Food Cinema. From Eat, Drink, Man, Woman (1994) to Julia & Julia (2009), film directors have often created meals so mouth-watering that the thought of another handful of chewy, over-toffeed popcorn makes a mockery of one’s very soul.
Here then is the ultimate HeyUGuide to the ultimate Cine-Banquet, for any budding chefs out there to prepare for like-minded friends (please consult Alexander Payne’s Sideways for your wine selection).
Amuse-bouche: ‘Rillettes du Canard’ Red Dragon (2002)
“Hannibal, confess. What is this divine looking amuse-bouche?” Dr. Lecter is perhaps wise to keep back some of the secrets of the lavish banquet he has prepared for The Baltimore Opera Society. Few of them would suspect that the missing (and talentless) flutist from their own woodwind section is not just the ghost at the feast, but the key ingredient. »
- Cai Ross
It has been a very interesting time for the FX Network, hasn’t it? Veteran dramas Justified and Sons Of Anarchy have continued to thrive over the years, with the latter show approaching its seventh season. Meanwhile, other series such as The Americans, Louie and Archer are genuine critical success stories, with The Americans receiving high praise for its latest season. The cable network does not look to be slowing down anytime soon, either, as the well-received Fargo wraps up its debut season and upcoming shows like The Strain and Tyrant are getting some pretty solid buzz as well. Unfortunately, there is one promising TV drama pilot that FX has decided to move on from.
That drama pilot is Hoke, which starred Paul Giamatti as Hoke Moseley, a hardboiled and “possibly insane” homicide detective living in the world of pre-chic Miami during the early-1980s. The show was to be »
- Ken Guidry
Chicago – With the recent popularity of road trip movies in both mainstream films and the art house, it is a fitting pleasure that the Criterion Collection has released Dino Risi’s “Il Sorpasso,” a jazzy road trip movie that takes the story structure to its basics. Two opposing types meet unexpectedly, travel to random exotic locations, and interact with people who are rest stops in themselves.
The film has two great performances from leads Vittorio Gassman and Jean-Louis Trintignant, and various bits of Italian culture from a different time. For those who find road movies to be repetitious (especially considering the movies that use the formula like a crutch), “Il Sorpasso” is enlightening to an intriguing type of wild fun that can be had when watching characters throw their fate and sense of direction into the wind. While the movie might seem like the foundation for many that follow, »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
Cannes — Stealth Media Group has boarding comedy “Road to Capri” for international sales, and will introduce the project to buyers in Cannes. Atlas Distribution Company will handle U.S. distribution.
The cast includes Frankie Muniz (“Malcolm in the Middle”), Virginia Madsen (“Sideways”), Ian McShane (“Deadwood”), Maria Grazia Cucinotta (“Il Postino”), Franco Nero (“Django”) and Nicolas Vaporidis (“Men Vs Women”).
The film follows two young men, one American, Daniel (Muniz), and the other Italian, Luca (Vaporidis), who have absolutely nothing in common until one fateful day. On that day each would learn of the death of their father — but what neither was expecting to learn was that their father was the same man, and that they had inherited the family home in Capri, equally. Under the guidance of their uncle, Guido (Nero), they set out on a road of discovery that leads to Capri and the “sharing” of the family home. »
- Leo Barraclough
She’s an ambitious woman, to say the least. A straight-talker whose tough spirit has carried her to the top of a field that requires a most delicate touch. A woman who mends hearts for a living and, ironically, has had to work the hardest to fix her own. And, all the while, she’s one half of a friendship so pure and honest that it has brought us to tears (several, several times).
Above all, Cristina Yang, the doctor portrayed fearlessly by Sandra Oh for 10 years on Grey’s Anatomy, is a survivor — and not just because she managed »
- Sandra Gonzalez
Oh has been one of the show's stand-out performers throughout its 10-year run, but has starring in such a time-consuming role limited her career path until now?
To mark Oh's decision to escape the restraints of commercial network TV, Digital Spy has collected just a few other actors who perhaps should have 'done a George Clooney' by getting out early and made the transition to top movie star, not that movies are obviously better than TV nowadays of course.
This list only names actors who starred in long-running commercial network shows, rather than cable, as most shows in the latter have shorter seasons with longer gaps in between - just in case you were wondering where Jon Hamm and Alexander Skarsgård were...
1. Sandra Oh »
Forget all those cute, snowflake-suffused Christmas cards. From Howard Hawks’ The Thing From Another World to the Coen brothers’ Fargo to this week’s somewhat self-explanatory horror movie Blood Glacier, it is an established movie law that terrible things occur in cold weather. And director Emanuel Hoss-Desmarais doesn’t seem in any hurry to break that rule with his debut thriller, Whitewash, which is currently available to buy on iTunes and arrives on VOD this coming Friday.
- Clark Collis
In the spirit of spring, Dino Rici’s tragicomedy Il Sorpasso from 1962 has been given a vibrant rebirth courtesy of Criterion. Rarely seen and largely forgotten in recent years, Il Sorpasso retains many structures of the classic road movie, seasoned with glimpses of the era’s growing sense of rebellious dissatisfaction. Over the years, it has proven to be an influential work; its descendant branches laced throughout any analysis of the classic film genre of wandering heroes. Artistically, Il Sorpasso may not rank among the best of the category, but its seductive amalgam of bildungsroman, social commentary and cautionary tale make for a compelling and infectious watch.
Il Sorpasso’s unlikely odyssey orbits around the burgeoning friendship between Bruno (Vittorio Gassman), a zesty 40 year old raconteur and Roberto (Jean-Louis Trintignant), a quiet, bookish law student half his age. Bruno dashes about the ancient streets of Rome in a battered Lancia »
- David Anderson
Hollywood likes nothing better than to do its own version of Asian movies. But occasionally it happens the other way around
There's a long history of Hollywood plundering Asian cinema and churning out an English-language remake. Occasionally it's a process that will produce a classic such as The Magnificent Seven (based on Akira Kurosawa's Seven Samurai) or at least something as interesting as Martin Scorsese's The Departed (based on Hong Kong cop thriller Infernal Affairs). More often than not, though, it's an unsatisfying cinematic experience such as Spike Lee's recent take on the cult Korean revenge thriller Oldboy, Nic Cage's Bangkok Dangerous, or the endless stream of not-quite-as-scary horrors including Dark Water, The Eye, The Ring or The Grudge.
And it's nearly always a one-way street probably because Hollywood blockbusters have reasonable global distribution, so there's a good chance that audiences around the world will have already seen them, »
- Richard Vine
‘The Other Woman’ 2014 box office: Cameron Diaz and Leslie Mann comedy to top North American box office chart despite mostly bad reviews (photo: Kate Upton, Cameron Diaz, and Leslie Mann in ‘The Other Woman’) Starring Cameron Diaz, Leslie Mann, Kate Upton, and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, the Nick Cassavetes-directed comedy The Other Woman will easily top the North American box office this weekend, April 25-27, 2014. The story of three women who gang up to take revenge on their cheating husband/lover, The Other Woman — which would have been more accurately titled "The Other Women" — opened with a solid $9.3 million at 3,205 U.S. and Canadian locations on Friday, according to studio estimates found at Box Office Mojo. As the old saying goes, "If you give them trash, they’ll gobble it up (and ask for seconds)" — or something along those lines. Anyhow, 20th Century Fox’s $40 million-budgeted The Other Woman, which has »
- Zac Gille
Dino Risi’s 1962 Italian comedy “Il Sorpasso” is finally making its way to The Criterion Collection after years of being unavailable in a high-quality print. This is the late Dino Risi’s first entry into the Collection, much to the excitement of director Alexander Payne, who cites “Il Sorpasso” as being a major influence on “Sideways.” Payne talks about the movie’s influence and the brilliance of director Dino Risi in a three-minute video of which you can see below. The clip, presumably, is an excerpt of Alexander Payne’s introduction of the film, which you can find as a special feature on the Criterion DVD/Blu-ray. “I found ‘Il Sorpasso’ through a friend of mine, Bernard Friedman, even before ‘Sideways,’ ” says Payne, “He and I were looking for something to do together, he was producing at the time. And he said, ‘What about a remake of Il Sorpasso, The Easy Life? »
- Ken Guidry
The film, starring Mia Wasikowska (Alice In Wonderland), Paul Giamatti (The Ides Of March, Sideways), Rhys Ifans (Notting Hill) and Ezra Miller (We Need To Talk About Kevin), is directed by Sophie Barthes (Cold Souls) who co-wrote the screenplay with Rose Barrenche.
The classic romance drama is produced by Joe Neurauter & Felipe Marino of Occupant Entertainment in association with Aden Films’ Sophie Barthes and Aleph Motion Pictures’ Jaime Mateus-Tique with financing coming from Prescience with Tim Smith and Paul Brett taking Executive Producer credits. The Co-producers include Germany’s A Company Filmed Entertainment’s Alexander van Duelmen and Kai Kuenneman, Belgian’s Scope Pictures’ Genevieve Lemal and Left Field Ventures’ John Engel.
Currently in post-production, Madame Bovary was shot in Le Perche, France. Radiant Films International is handling foreign sales. »
- Michelle McCue
It’s always fun to see the evolution of a filmmaker’s voice and thanks to the power of the internet we can peer even further back through a director’s body of work. For example, an odd short film from Alexander Payne has been unearthed, an effort that was completed over a decade before the “Nebraska” director would get a shot at his feature-length film. Lasting over fifteen minutes and made during Payne’s studies at the UCLA Film School, the short film “Carmen” lacks any dialogue and relies primarily on music and some choice sound effects. The short’s definitely a little broader and structurally it's stranger than something like “Sideways,” but it provides some context for the Preston Sturgess-leaning “Citizen Ruth” with its screwball energy. Watch the short below. [Thompson On Hollywood via Cinephilia & Beyond] »
- Cain Rodriguez
From "Citizen Ruth" and "Election" to "About Schmidt," "The Descendents" and "Nebraska," two-time Oscar winner and auteur Alexander Payne has gone from indie to mainstream and back again. Get a sense of his indie roots by watching his 1985 student short "Carmen," a silent film he made at the UCLA Film School. (Hat tip: Screencraft.) Deeply rooted in Americana, Payne's films toe the line between comedy and tragedy and while "Carmen" veers mostly on the side of comedy, there is some tragedy in the odd protagonist, much like the sad sacks in "Schmidt," "Sideways" and "Nebraska." Man, has he come a long way. »
- Ryan Lattanzio
Based on the #1 New York Times best-selling book of the same name, Heaven Is For Real brings to the screen the true story that has inspired millions across the globe – that of a little boy’s extraordinary, life-changing experience, and his father’s search for the courage and conviction to share his son’s discovery with the world.
Academy Award® nominee and Emmy® Award-winner Greg Kinnear (Little Miss Sunshine) stars as Todd Burpo, a small-town businessman, volunteer firefighter and pastor struggling to make ends meet in a tough year for his family. After his bright young son Colton (newcomer Connor Corum in his feature film debut) is rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery, Todd and his wife Sonja (Kelly Reilly, Flight, Sherlock Holmes) are overjoyed by his miraculous survival. But they are wholly unprepared for what happens next — Colton starts to matter-of-factly recount what he says was an amazing journey to heaven and back. »
- Movie Geeks
To mark the release of Nebraska on 14th April, we’ve been given 3 copies to give away on Blu-ray.
From Academy Award®-winner Alexander Payne, the director of Sideways and The Descendants, comes the captivating story of a father and his adult son who embark on a journey to claim a million-dollar prize; what begins as a fool’s errand becomes a search for the road to redemption.
Screen legend Bruce Dern gives “a career crowning performance” (Scott Foundas, Variety) that has earned him widespread critical praise, as well as the Best Actor award from the Cannes Film Festival, the National Board of Review and the Los Angeles Film Critics and Oscar, Golden Globe, SAG, Spirit and Satellite award nominations. Nebraska also features an outstanding supporting cast including Stacy Keach, Oscar nominee June Squibb and a “revelatory” (Peter Travers, Rolling Stone) Will Forte.
Breath-taking monochrome landscapes and satirical humour paint »
Written and directed by Peter Landesman, Parkland recounts the chaotic events that occurred in Dallas, Texas on November 22, 1963, the day President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. To celebrate its UK DVD and Blu-ray release on Monday, March 31st, we've got three copies of the film on Blu-eray to give away; read on for a synopsis and details of how to enter...
Based on the chilling and acclaimed book 'Four Days In November' by Vincent Bugliosi, Parkland is fast-paced, original and features superb performances from some of Hollywood’s finest actors. A gripping true story, Parkland is sure to lend an absorbing and candid new perspective into that tragic day, that changed the course of history.
The outstanding ensemble cast includes: Zac Efron (Paperboy), Marcia Gay Harden (50 Shades of Grey), Billy Bob Thornton (The Man Who Wasn’t There), Jacki Weaver (Silver Linings Playbook) Colin Hanks (Dexter), Ron Livingston »
- Gary Collinson
What’s new, what’s hot, and what you may have missed, now available to stream.
streaming now, before it’s on dvd
Don Jon: smart, wise romantic drama about how gender stereotypes hurt men and women alike; excellent debut from writer-director (and star) Joseph Gordon-Levitt [at Amazon UK Instant Video] Dom Hemingway: Jude Law is wonderfully deranged and utterly plausible as a rage-filled moron, but the movie leaves him adrift amongst unrealized satire [my review] [at Amazon UK Instant Video]
good for a laugh
Raising Arizona: the Coen Brothers let Nicolas Cage kidnap a baby for Holly Hunter; comedy ensues [at Amazon UK Instant Video] Sideways: if anyone orders merlot, Paul Giamatti is leaving [my review] [at Amazon UK Instant Video] Tower Heist: a sharper satire on class warfare than we have any right to expect from a Brett Ratner flick, with a clever heist at its center [my review] [at Amazon UK Instant Video]
streaming now, before it’s on dvd
Parkland: poignant and painful ensemble drama about the lesser-known figures caught up »
- MaryAnn Johanson
Perhaps the only news of note this week is that in a move echoing what they did with Breaking Bad, Netflix has swooped in and gained rights to the TV series of From Dusk Til Dawn made in the states for Robert Rodriguez’s new El Rey network cable channel. Netflix will stream the episodes the day after they air in the states every week, curiously they are still billing this as ‘A Netflix Original’ when this isn’t the case necessarily. I have no idea as to the quality of this, the film From Dusk Til Dawn was one of my favourites when I was a teenager but how you drag that out into a ten part TV show I don’t know, let alone a possible second series. I watched the trailer and it looks solid and well-made as opposed to a cheap cash in and features Don Johnson »
- Chris Holt
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