12 items from 2014
With a big budget, great writers and two beautiful stars, this could have been a classic. Instead it's boring mumblefest with a rubbish twist – and it's on Channel 4 at 9pm tonight
[Warning: contains spoilers]
"This man is a tourist!" – Elise
The Tourist should have been a raging success. A sumptuous $100m Hitchcockian thriller, set in the most impossibly scenic slivers of Europe, starring two of the most intimidatingly beautiful people alive. A script by Christopher McQuarrie from The Usual Suspects and Julian Fellowes from Downton Abbey. Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, who won an Oscar for The Lives of Others, in the director's chair. What could have possibly gone wrong?
A lot, it turns out. Although blame has been assigned to everything from a constant churn of writers, directors and stars to the incredibly short production turnaround, the fact is that The Tourist is a colossal hodgepodge of wasted opportunity. Or at least »
- Stuart Heritage
Has the current gaggle of cinematic releases gotten you down? Perhaps it’s time for a small screen pursuit.
Set in the early 1980′s, The Americans follows two deep-cover Kgb spies posing as ordinary suburbanites, Philip and Elizabeth Jennings (Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell). The pair, who are part of an arranged marriage, have also raised two children as part of their cover and over the years have seen their Russian identities wither away. While they continuously risk their lives for the Motherland, and do so while sporting some fabulous disguises, the two have found that their faux relationship has grown into something authentic.
These real feelings pose a grave threat to the two, who must brush emotions aside when they’re killing and/or bedding a string of different people. The Jennings must also be extra cautious as they live next door to Stan (the magnificent Noah Emmerich), an FBI agent. »
- Justine Browning
The battle for the Foreign Language Film Oscar has been one of the most interesting races in the past few Oscar years. We’ve had a mix of classics (A Separation, Amour), solid wins and upsets (The Secret in Their Eyes, The Lives of Others). So what will the category leave us with this year?
Two films that seem to be in the “happy to be nominated” roles are Omar and The Missing Picture. Omar was a film many prognosticators had in their lineups. It’s a Palestinian film that has an incredibly dense structure and is thematically pretty weighty. If you were to look over the recent history of the Academy a film such as this has upset a few times. But unfortunately there are bigger contenders and given the politics of the film will probably keep it from triumphing. The Missing Picture was »
- Terence Johnson
More news is coming out of the European Film Market as I Know What You Did Last Summer director Jim Gillespie will be shopping his latest project, Take Down, with one of the stars of "The Originals," Phoebe Tonkin, in talks to appear in the film.
Slated for an April 2014 start date, the film’s producing team is headed up by Ed Elbert, Sarah Ryan Black, and Stefan Brunner. Take Down is being packaged and produced by Pinewood Pictures, the offshoot of UK studio group Pinewood Shepperton Plc., whose Steve Christian will executive produce. Mimi Steinbauer’s Radiant Films International is handling foreign sales on the project.
Director Jim Gillespie added: »
- Uncle Creepy
Jeremy Sumpter ( Peter Pan , Soul Surfer ,upcoming Into the Storm ), Phoebe Tonkin (The CW.s "The Vampire Diaries," "The Originals," upcoming The Ever After ) and Sebastian Koch ( A Good Day to Die Hard , The Lives of Others ) are in talks to star in director Jim Gillespie's ( I Know What You Did Last Summer ) young adult thriller Take Down , which is based on a script by Alexander Ignon ( Ransom ). Slated for an April 2014 start date, the film.s producing team is headed up by Ed Elbert, Sarah Ryan Black and Stefan Brunner. The film is being packaged and produced by Pinewood Pictures, the off-shoot of UK studio group Pinewood Shepperton Plc., whose Steve Christian will executive produce. Mimi Steinbauer's Radiant Films International is handling foreign »
Sebastian Koch (“The Lives of Others”) has joined Gemma Arterton, Max Irons and Tim Roth in the crime thriller “The Keys to the Street,” adapted from Ruth Rendell’s novel by Christopher Nolan and Michael Stokes.
Filming is set to start in May with Czech director Julius Sevcik lensing the London-set film in the U.K. Myriad, which introduced the film at Toronto last September, is selling international markets at Berlin.
- Dave McNary
Mark Joffe is set to direct the drama adapted from Steven Carroll's novel The Art Of The Engine Driver, a 1957-set tale about a couple who attend a neighbour.s New Year.s Eve party where buried secrets are revealed.
Shooting is due to start in Melbourne and regional Victoria in the last quarter of this year. Studiocanal has the Australian rights. The producers are Morrissey Molloy Entertainment.s John Molloy, Essential Media and Entertainment.s Ian Collie and Joffe.
Koch played the villain in A Good Day to Die Hard and his other credits include The Weekend, »
- Don Groves
The 86th Academy Awards are just 30 days away! Still deciding on your favorites? Go Here for a list of the nominees.
The Academy has announced it will present a slate of public events leading up to the 86th Oscars where they’ll be celebrating this year’s nominees. If you’re in the Hollywood area (Feb 25 – March 1) and an Oscar fan, you wont want to miss these fantastic events!
Events at the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills will focus on the films nominated for Animated Feature Film, Documentary Feature, Documentary Short Subject, Foreign Language Film, Makeup and Hairstyling, and the Short Film categories.
Something new this year is the live concert at UCLA’s Royce Hall in Los Angeles highlighting the nominated musical scores and songs.
The Oscar Week schedule is as follows:
Animated and Live Action Shorts
Tuesday, February 25, 7:30 p.m.
Hosted by actor Kevin Pollak. »
- Michelle McCue
After dealing with the revoked nomination for song this week, the folks at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences are about to embark on another historic twist to the usual procedure, this time in the foreign language category. This experiment could have a huge effect on voting results; the problem is, there is no way to measure whether the experiment is working or not.
For decades, anyone who wanted to vote in the foreign-language race needed to show proof that they’d seen all the contenders. But this year, all 6,028 qualified voters can decide, without offering proof. And that’s worrying a lot of people. But the Academy could fix the potential problems.
Before the polls open Feb. 14, AMPAS will send out screeners of all five nominated films: “The Broken Circle Breakdown” (Belgium), The Great Beauty” (Italy), “The Hunt” (Denmark), “The Missing Picture” (Cambodia) and “Omar” (Palestine). The »
- Tim Gray
To mark the release of Out of the Furnace on 29th January, we’ve been given 3 Out of the Furnace posters and a selections of DVD’s to give away, including Brothers, The Hurt Locker, The Iceman, The Lives of Others and Reservoir Dogs.
Russell Baze (Christian Bale) and his younger brother Rodney (Casey Affleck) were born and raised in Braddock, Pennsylvania, a hardscrabble Rust Belt hamlet that has been home to generations of American steel workers. Russell followed their father into the mills, while Rodney took the only other option open to young men like him and enlisted in the Army, hoping to find a better life outside of Braddock.
But after four brutal tours of duty in Iraq, an emotionally and physically depleted Rodney returns to a recession-weary town that offers even fewer options than before he left. When a cruel twist of fate lands Russell in prison, »
Looking back over the year at what films moved and impressed us, it is clear that watching old films is a crucial part of making new films meaningful. Thus, the annual tradition of our end of year poll, which calls upon our writers to pick both a new and an old film: they were challenged to choose a new film they saw in 2013—in theaters or at a festival—and creatively pair it with an old film they also saw in 2013 to create a unique double feature.
All the contributors were given the option to write some text explaining their 2013 fantasy double feature. What's more, each writer was given the option to list more pairings, with or without explanation, as further imaginative film programming we'd be lucky to catch in that perfect world we know doesn't exist but can keep dreaming of every time we go to the movies.
Tight, unnerving and masterfully constructed, Francis Ford Coppola's gripping thriller stars Gene Hackman as a surveillance expert whose obsessively guarded private life begins to unravel on his latest job. A professional eavesdropper, he's haunted by the time his 'bugging' cost the lives of three people and terrified that it's happening again. The concept was used to Oscar-winning effect in 2006's Best Foreign Film The Lives Of Others. »
12 items from 2014
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