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“Who’s Mr Bout?” is the first thing anyone asks on hearing the title. Think Nicolas Cage’s unscrupulous arms dealer in Lord of War (2005) and you have the answer. However, whereas Cage’s fictitiously-named Yuri Orlov, who is based on Mr Bout, the ‘Merchant of Death’, is slightly insane, the real-life character in directors Tony Gerber and Maxim Pozdorovkin’s documentary comes across as anything but – initially, more jolly capitalist cashing in on a lucrative shipping market in post-Soviet Russia than abject rogue.
The film is pieced together with homemade video from filmmaking enthusiast Viktor Bout to build a picture of him at home and in ‘the workplace’. It then follows the timeline of events until his arrest in Thailand in 2008, following a Us government sting operation that all seems too ‘easy’ to be true. There is also ‘present-day’ commentary from his loyal wife, Alla, as she bravely faces »
- Lisa Giles-Keddie
★★★☆☆On 6 March 2008, Viktor Bout was arrested in Bangkok after having been recorded apparently selling arms to an alleged terrorist organisation, the Columbian Farc, and conniving in the murder of American citizens. He had already achieved an international level of notoriety as 'The Merchant of Death', an embargo buster, shady operator and arms dealer who made a fortune selling his lethal merchandise to all comers regardless of their affiliation or human rights records. Such was his fame that he had graced The New York Times Magazine cover and was even played by Nicolas Cage in Andrew Niccol's fictionalised treatment of his life, Lord of War (2005).
- CineVue UK
It’s hard to believe it, but the fall film festival circuit is fast approaching. Things kick off with the Venice Film Festival on August 27th, and today new images from three films that will be showcased in Italy have landed online. Briefly: Good Kill – Writer/director Andrew Niccol (Gattaca, Lord of War) returns to timely material by telling the story of a Las Vegas-based drone pilot. The film stars Ethan Hawke and January Jones. Your Right Mind – Actress Katherine Heigl fronts director Ami Canaan Mann’s (Texas Killing Fields) contemporary romance as a former country singer fighting for custody of her daughter. Ben Barnes and Clea DuVaal also star. Hungry Hearts – Rising star Adam Driver leads this offbeat love story of a couple that meets, gets married, and anticipates the arrival of their baby until they are told that they will have an “indigo” child. Alba Rohrwacher and Roberta Maxwell also star. »
- Adam Chitwood
We don’t go to the cinema much, because we hate people. We also don’t go because there’s always the risk of accidentally going to see the wrong film. It's not helped by the fact that there's no way of telling until it’s too late, because there are no bloody opening credits on lots of modern films. And by the time you do realise, you’ve eaten all your popcorn and you can’t be bothered to move.
The movies on this list won’t give you that problem. These opening credits are perfect scene setters for the movies that follow, so you won’t have to worry about awkward popcorn wasting moments. It's not a top 50, rather a selection of 50 interesting credits sequences, »
What’s new, what’s hot, and what you may have missed, now available to stream.
new to stream
Upstream Color: a confounding intellectual mystery, an enigmatic philosophical science fantasy that’s like a cinematic Moebius strip; it must be experienced to be appreciated, even as it defies full understanding [my review] [at Netflix] The Frozen Ground: in a rote cat-and-mouse cop-and-serial-killer story, Vanessa Hudgens’ “victim” is far more compelling than either cop Nicolas Cage or killer John Cusack [my review] [at Netflix] Vacancy: Luke Wilson and Kate Beckinsale are trapped in the creepiest motel ever; the first Hollywood film from Nimród Antal [at Netflix]
recent movies new to streaming
Endless Love: shockingly not terrible, and says some things that need to be said more often, like how dads do not own their teenaged daughters [my review] [at Amazon UK Instant Video] The Pretty One: far too blithe and cheery, yet nowhere near madcap and comic enough, for its potentially powerful switched-twins »
- MaryAnn Johanson
The Cohen Film Collection announced recently that two major films by acclaimed director Costa-Gavras – Capital, the Oscar winner’s most recent feature, and Amen, his César-winning historical drama from 2002 – have been digitally remastered and will be released in deluxe Blu-ray and DVD editions on June 10, 2014. The Blu-rays will have SRPs of $34.98 each and the DVDs will have SRPs of $24.98 each.
Wamg invites you to enter to win one of 3 Prize Packs containing the two films on Blu-ray.
Enter Your Name And E-mail In Our Comments Section Below. We Will Contact You If You Are A Winner.
1. You Must Be A Us Resident. Prize Will Only Be Shipped To Us Addresses. No P.O. Boxes. No Duplicate Addresses.
2. Winners Will Be Chosen From All Qualifying Entries. No Purchase Necessary. Prizes Will Not Be Substituted Or Exchanged.
Contest Ends – Tuesday, June 24th, 11:59p est.
Since his debut in 1965, the Greek-born, »
- Movie Geeks
The movie adaptation of the hit Wing Commander videogame series came out in 1999. We find out whether time's been kind to it...
It’s easy to forget just how greatly visual effects shifted in the late 1990s. Techniques that had survived more-or-less unchanged since the dawn of cinema - scale models, matte paintings, stop-motion, to name a few - were suddenly joined by a new generation of jaw-dropping computer graphics.
Such groundbreaking movies as Tron, Young Sherlock Holmes and The Abyss paved the way, but the digital revolution pretty much exploded in the 1990s, starting with the eye-popping morph effects of Terminator 2: Judgment Day, the dinosaur shots in Jurassic Park and the CG-assisted bullet time of The Matrix in 1999.
In the midst of the CG revolution sweeping through cinemas by the close of the decade - as seen in The Matrix and the year’s other gargantuan release, »
Greg McLean has been kicking a lot of cinematic ass lately and he is showing zero signs of slowing down. Next for the Wolf Creek franchise director is an adaptation of Yossi Ghinsberg’s memoir Lost in the Jungle.
From the Press Release
Arclight Films and producer Dana Lustig announce Greg McLean will direct Jungle, a thriller based on the international best selling memoir written by Yossi Ghinsberg. Arclight Films has come on board to handle sales worldwide and will be presenting the project to buyers in Cannes. CAA is packaging the film and represents the U.S. distribution rights. Shooting is set to begin toward the end of the year on location in La Paz, Bolivia and in the rainforest of Australia’s Gold Coast.
- Steve Barton
Oscar nominated Djimon Hounsou (Blood Diamond) and rising star Alexis Knapp (Pitch Perfect) are attached to star in Main Street Films, Mk Create and the Kojo Group's action adventure One, written and directed by Murali K. Thalluri (2:37). The announcement came today by Main Street Films' Chairman Craig Chang and President Harrison Kordestani, who are executive producing the film.
Main Street Films is co-producing and co-financing the film with Thalluri for Mk Create and Kent Smith for the Kojo Group (Julie Bertuccelli's The Tree starring Charlotte Gainsbourg). Greig Buckle (Lord of War, Chronicle) of Enigma Pictures is serving as co-producer. This is the first film to be produced under the South African and Australian co-production treaty launched in 2011.
Kathy Morgan International is handling worldwide sales.
Previously titled Tokarev, and released under that name in some international territories, Nicolas Cage’s latest action-crime-thriller, Rage, will be released via VOD next month, ahead of a theatrical release stateside in July.
With just over a month before it lands digitally, Yahoo Movies has debuted the first Us trailer and poster. Cage is of course very well-versed in a genre like this, and remains amongst the most prolific within it.
When the Russian mob kidnaps the daughter of a reformed criminal, he rounds up his old crew and seeks his own brand of justice.
Starring alongside Cage will be Rachel Nichols, Max Ryan, Michael McGrady, Peter Stormare, Pasha D. Lychnikoff, Patrice Cols, Weston Cage, Max Fowler, Aubrey Peeples, and Jack Falahee, with Danny Glover also making an appearance.
Spanish helmer Paco Cabezas (The Appeared) is said to have been sought by Cage to take the director’s chair, with »
- Kenji Lloyd
"Lord of War" may not have been Nicolas Cage's shining moment, but it probably looked great on paper. The movie sees Cage jet-setting all over the planet with suitcases full of money, and making high-stakes weapons deals in exotic countries. The film is based on the life of Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, and while "Lord of War" may have been a so-so movie, Bout's real life exploits are anything but average.
A new documentary about Bout -- "The Notorious Mr. Bout" -- has made its way to Hot Docs, and it's well worth a look. It may not be as flashy as Hollywood, but it does fill in the blanks on this unimaginable and surprisingly human story. Viktor Bout doesn't love it, but his nickname is "The Merchant of Death." According to authorities around the world, he has earned every letter of this macabre moniker, but Bout thinks »
- Mark Wigmore
Nicolas Cage finally gets away from his shouty, cartoony madmen, but it’s hard to shake the sense that this was laboriously constructed around him as a showcase. I’m “biast” (pro): I like Nicolas Cage when he’s taking acting seriously
I’m “biast” (con): I’m hot and cold on David Gordon Green
I have not read the source material
(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)
Booze and smokes and meanness. It’s what’s for breakfast. And lunch and dinner. This is what the men of Joe live on. And if a lad hangs around those men long enough, he will pick up some life lessons, like how to make hookers think you have money and how to abuse dogs while convincing yourself you love dogs and why the cops have it in for an ex-con and how to have “good” reasons to be violent, »
- MaryAnn Johanson
Our Oscar coverage continues. Here we overview the best acting and best directing award nominees.
Best Actor Nominees
Previously Best Known For:
Bruce Wayne/Batman – Christopher Nolan’s Batman Trilogy
Patrick Bateman – American Psycho
Previous Oscar Nominations/Wins:
Interesting Fact: If he plays an American character, he will use an American accent in all the interviews related to the film. He says he does this so the audience isn't confused
Previously Best Known For:
Freeman Lowell – Silent Running
Asa Watts – The Cowboys
Previous Oscar Nominations/Wins:
- email@example.com (G.S. Perno)
Odd List Ryan Lambie Simon Brew 20 Feb 2014 - 05:40
The unloved films of 2009 provide the focus in our final list of the 2000s' overlooked greats...
The year 2009 will partly be remembered as the year Avatar dominating the box office, with audiences flocking to see James Cameron's leafy pulp epic in shimmering 3D. Making almost $2.8bn worldwide, Avatar was a true behemoth, besting Cameron's own Titanic as the highest-grossing film of all time (not adjusted for inflation) and hastening a rush of 3D films in the years that followed.
Films such as 2012, Sherlock Holmes and boozy comedy The Hangover were also among the top 10, but as always, some of the most memorable and individual films of the year were far from the most financially successful. So to round off our series of underrated flicks of the 2000s, here's our selection of 2009's overlooked films...
A really good, »
Nicolas Cage continues his shift away from B-movie action back to more dramatic, well-received roles this year with the release of Joe, director David Gordon Green's (Prince Avalance) adaptation of Larry Brown's 1991 novel of the same name. Ahead of its arrival in the Spring, Cage has been speaking to Red Bull'sRed Bulletin about his career for a feature that's set to land in next week's edition of the news app, and we've got an exclusive excerpt here where the Oscar-winner talks about reinventing himself as an actor, and whether he regrets any of his recent roles:
Joe is a far cry from the bizarre action spectacles you did in the recent past...
Nicolas Cage: That’s true, I am in the process of reinventing myself in terms of the movies I want to do. I am returning to my roots, which is independently spirited, dramatic characters. Before Joe, »
- Gary Collinson
Nicolas Cage has insisted that he doesn't regret any of his film role choices.
The Lord of War actor said that he is not ashamed of his action movie back catalogue.
Speaking to Flickeringmyth.com, Cage said that over the past decade, he was almost trying to make a point with his selection of projects.
"Much has been made of the fact that I made many action movies," he explained.
"The reason I did that was because the first time people said... 'You are not an action hero, forget it'.
"What you saw was a dramatic actor acting like an action hero, trying to find characters that were interesting within the genre."
The 50-year-old added: "Now having done that, I want to focus on the dramatic kind of filmmaking.
"I am in the process of reinventing myself... I am returning to my roots, which is independently spirited, dramatic characters
After working with Ethan Hawke on Gattaca and Lord of War, director Andrew Niccol is now looking to team up for a third time with the actor on Good Kill. Already set to co-star Zoe Kravitz, Bruce Greenwood and Jake Abel, the film has now added January Jones to its cast, as she’ll play the wife of Hawke’s “fighter pilot turned drone operator.”
The script, which Niccol wrote himself, will focus on Hawke’s character who after fighting the Taliban, via remote control, for up to 12 hours a day, “starts to question his mission, asking himself if he is creating more terrorists than he is killing in a war seemingly without end.” Kravitz and Abel will play members of Hawke’s crew while Greenwood will be his superior officer.
“This film will »
- Matt Joseph
The project centers a fighter pilot (Ethan Hawke), who have been assigned to remotely control assault drones. After killing Taliban forces for 12 hours a day, he begins to question his objective and asks himself if he is creating more terrorists than he is disposing of in the endless war. Zoë Kravitz and Jake Abel are portraying his flight crew with Bruce Greenwood playing his superior officer.
The film began shooting last year in Morocco. Production will resume next month in New Mexico. »
Few names conjure up as vivid an image of wildly over-the-top, scenery chewing acting than that of Nicolas Cage. In fact, YouTube hosts multiple compilations with worn titles like “Nicolas Cage Losing His Shit” featuring dozens of clips from a slew of different movies, spanning his whole thirty-year career. While it’s certainly true that watching Cage do flamboyantly odd things is quality entertainment, it’s also true—if all-too-oft forgot—that the man is a talented, legitimate actor. It’s nice to have a reminder. Here, then, are six performances where Nicolas Cage displayed subtlety and nuance: Lord of War Andrew Niccol’s gun-running yarn may have teetered uncomfortably on the brink of squandering an interesting premise through bland execution, but none of that fault was the leading actor’s. Cage, who also co-produced, starred as Yuri Orlov (a composite of several real people), who parlayed a series of opportunities into a career as an international »
- Danny Bowes
Exclusive: Andrew Niccol has cast and a title for his upcoming directorial project. He’s named the picture Good Kill, and Mad Men‘s January Jones has signed on to star as the wife of a fighter pilot-turned-drone operator. Ethan Hawke — who worked with Niccol in Gattaca and Lord Of War — is playing the pilot, Zoe Kravitz (Divergent) and Jake Abel (The Host) play members of his flight crew, and Bruce Greenwood plays his superior officer. The tension comes from the stress of battling the enemy by drone. He fights the Taliban by remote control for 12 hours a day, then goes home to the suburbs and feuds with his wife and kids for the other 12. He starts to question his mission, asking himself if he is creating more terrorists than he is killing in a war seemingly without end. Niccol wrote the script. The film began shooting at the end of last year in Morocco. »
- MIKE FLEMING JR
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