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Hollywood, Calif. – “Fast-paced and packed with eye-popping action” (Elizabeth Weitzman, New York Daily News), Paramount Pictures’ and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures’ wildly entertaining epic adventure Hercules debuts on Blu-ray Combo Pack, Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack and DVD November 4, 2014 from Paramount Home Media Distribution. The film arrives two weeks early on Digital HD October 21. Global superstar Dwayne Johnson delivers an unforgettable performance as the mighty Hercules in this thrilling story of strength, courage and heroism. When a terrifying new enemy threatens the innocent, Hercules and his fearless team of warriors must lead their army in a battle against overwhelming odds. Hercules boasts a sensational cast of acclaimed actors including Ian McShane (Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides), Joseph Fiennes (TV’s “American Horror Story”), Rufus Sewell (The Illusionist), and John Hurt (Immortals).
The Hercules Blu-ray 3D and Blu-ray Combo Packs with Digital HD include both the theatrical version of the film, as »
- ComicMix Staff
The spy thriller will be an adaptation of Olen Steinhauer’s upcoming novel of the same name. Chockstone’s Steve Schwartz, Paula May Schwartz and Nick Wechsler optioned the rights back in April. The novel will hit shelves next March, with the adaptation sticking closely to the plot. Which, according to Deadline will be set:
“… in the idyllic town of Carmel-by-the-Sea, where two ex-lovers — one CIA spy and one ex-cia spy — meet for dinner and to reminisce. They relive their memories of the disastrous hijacking of Royal Jordanian Flight 127, which ended in the death of all on board, a failure that haunts the CIA’s Vienna station to this day. The question is whether Henry has come to dinner to rekindle the romance or »
- Gem Seddon
The story follows two former lovers - Henry is a CIA agent posted in Vienna, and Celia who retired from the agency five years ago. The pair reunite for dinner in an idyllic town where talk turns towards an infamous plane hijacking which left all onboard dead and is considered the Vienna station's greatest failure to date.
Source: Deadline »
- Garth Franklin
The story, based on Olen Steinhauer's novel of the same name, centers on two former lovers, Henry, a current CIA agent in Vienna, and Celia, who retired five years ago, who reunite for dinner in the idyllic town of Carmel-by-the-Sea. The conversation eventually shifts to the hijacking of Royal Jordianian Flight 127, which ended with every passenger on board dying, and is considered the Vienna station's greatest failure to date. As the dinner progresses, it becomes clear that one of them won't make it out alive.
"Olen Steinhauer has written a fantastic, suspenseful, sophisticated drama set in the world of the CIA. As a director, I love that it's a tightly woven puzzle, a mystery involving counter-terrorism »
Directed by Morgan Matthews.
A socially awkward teenage math prodigy finds new confidence and new friendships when he lands a spot on the British squad at the International Mathematics Olympiad.
An autistic boy is in a fatal car accident which results in the death of his father who was extremely attentive and good to him; he is discovered to have a talent for mathematics and is taught by a teacher who suffers from multiple sclerosis. A disconnect exists between the son and mother but not from a lacking of trying on her part as she is desperate to establish an emotional bond with her socially awkward child.
At the centre of the story is the International Mathematics Olympiad where the high school student attempts to be one of the six participants which will represent the UK. »
- Trevor Hogg
Mike Leigh and cinematographer Dick Pope (The Illusionist) have turned the big screen into their canvas, painting a picture of the life of British painter J.M.W. Turner (played to the hilt and full of phlegm by Timothy Spall) in a film that's beautiful to look at and yet a bit of slog to endure. Mr. Turner is a Mike Leigh film through and through, presenting the life of his protagonist at face value, flaws and all, but I found it difficult to render any connection to the material. At two and a half hours I need to feel as if there is some reason I'm watching beyond bearing witness to two masters (Pope and Leigh) using Turner's life's work as inspiration for a beautiful film to look at, yet dull to spend too much time with. This felt more like a series of well-made home videos someone felt I would find interesting, »
- Brad Brevet
The good news is that now that all the singing and the farting around is done in Hobbiton and the story has kicked in good and proper, the majority of this second in Peter Jackson’s portrayal of a slim Tolkien story overblown to epic proportions is mostly action with a minimum of plot. It’s still got various story beats it has to hit of course and is very much a middle chapter, but this has a momentum which was really missing from An Unexpected Journey.
In this second Hobbit film you can start to see the stuff that was added in to pad out the two films into a trilogy with characters who do not appear in the books introduced and a weird elf/dwarf romance along with a more angsty and badass Legolas, strangely enough it doesn’t feel out-of-place. Once »
- Chris Holt
This one is probably going to make Divergent fans mad as Screen Junkies has released their latest honest trailer and it takes no time pointing out the plot's similarities to The Hunger Games... "It's not like 'The Hunger Games'!" I can already hear hordes of young fans screaming. Well, like The Hunger Games or not, one thing it most definitely is is awful. As I wrote in my review: Director Neil Burger (The Illusionist, Limitless) is equally complicit, relying heavily on redundant scenes and shots of Woodley training to fight with a strange, "Whack-a-Mole" attack, not to mention some of the worst action scenes I have ever seen in a major motion picture. There's a point a character is given the chance to cry over a dead body for a solid minute before the enemy decides enough is enough and it's time to start shooting again... but only at the wall near her. »
- Brad Brevet
I've had several weeks to draft this piece, and several drafts it has taken, but the introduction is always the hardest part – the part where the bittersweet reason for breaking from our daily programming has to be announced. So let's lead with the good news: I'm excited to announce that my three-year relationship with Variety is growing into something more permanent and prominent – starting this month, I will be contributing regularly to the trade paper, both as a film critic and a features writer. The bad news you may have guessed: this means my time at In Contention has come to an affectionate close. Greg Ellwood expressly asked me not to make this a farewell note, and he's right: nobody's disappearing. Readers who wish to follow my writing will still be able to do so at a number of outlets; on the reverse track, I will remain an avid reader at HitFix. »
- Guy Lodge
A few months after he played Captain America for the second time in The Avengers, and a few months before he’d play Captain America for the third time in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Chris Evans went to Prague in the spring of 2012 to film Snowpiercer (rated R, out now). For Bong Joon-ho, a South Korean phenom shooting his first English-language feature, this presented a supersize challenge. You see, Evans’ character, who leads a ragtag, rag-wearing lower-class community in a full-blown revolt against their decadent overseers, is supposed to be malnourished. “The only difficult aspect of shooting Chris was hiding all his muscle mass, »
- Darren Franich
To celebrate the DVD release of The Sea on 23rd June, we’re giving away a DVD of the film to three lucky winners.
Art historian Max Morden (Ciarán Hinds – Munich, Rome) returns to the sleepy seaside resort where he spent summers as a child after losing his wife (Sinéad Cusack – winner of Best Supporting Actress at IFTAs). Max lodges at a boarding house he once frequented, where frosty proprietor Miss Vavasour (Charlotte Rampling – The Verdict, The Duchess), and eccentric resident Blunden (Karl Johnson – The Illusionist, Rome), now reside. Before long – and despite protestations from his daughter Clare (Ruth Bradley – Grabbers, Primeval) – Max revisits the ghosts of his past.
Based on the Man Booker prize-winning novel by John Banville, The Sea is a haunting, uplifting, meditation on the human condition – at times elegiac, poetic, and nostalgic. A story of memory, love, loss, regret… and the persistent possibility of rebirth.
Welcome back to Cannes Check, In Contention's annual preview of the films in Competition at this year's Cannes Film Festival, which kicks off on May 14. Taking on different selections every day, we'll be examining what they're about, who's involved and what their chances are of snagging an award from Jane Campion's jury. Next up, the first of two British veterans in the lineup: Mike Leigh's "Mr. Turner." The director: Mike Leigh (British, 71 years old). Few filmmakers have essayed the mundane woes (and occasional joys) of Britain's working-to-middle classes with the vivid specificity of Mike Leigh, though given his distinctive vernacular and customarily heightened sense of the everyday, it's not quite accurate to classify him as a kitchen-sink realist. Either way, as both a playwright and filmmaker, he's as significant and influential a figure on the UK cultural lanscape as John Osborne or Alan Bennett. A Rada acting student turned art school graduate, »
- Guy Lodge
Trevor Hogg chats to production visual effects supervisor Jim Berney, visual effects producer Greg Baxter; and visual effects supervisors Matt Dessero, Marshall Krasser, and Berj Bannayan about bringing a dystopian Chicago to the big screen…
“I hadn’t work with Lionsgate or Summit before,” explains VFX Producer Greg Baxter (Jack the Giant Slayer) who was recruited to become a member of the Divergent production team led by filmmaker Neil Burger (The Illusionist). “There was a long stage of ‘Do you green light or do you not?’ By the time the button was hit they were racing to get it going. It all happened over the holidays with a bunch of phone calls where they were vetting me and I jumped right in. A lot of the crew had the same experience. I’m not the young adult target audience so I quickly read the books and script. I »
- Trevor Hogg
From the director of evocative films like "Limitless" and "The Illusionist", "Divergent" is a high-concept film that's brilliantly executed and entertaining. However, it offers nothing exceptional in terms of its plot, which would set it apart from other films of the genre.
It's a typical story of a young girl in a dystopian state. The narration is layered with lessons of life with overall leitmotifs about self-realization, identity and defying traditionalism in favour of individuality.
With high-octane action, infused philosophy,. »
- Smith Cox
While the feature film Divergent prepares for its cinematic release, it marks the beginning of an exciting new franchise, based on a series of young adult novels. However for director Neil Burger, his journey starts and ends here – but he’s done a more than commendable effort with this endeavour, and we sat down to discuss the project.
Burger, whose previous credits include Limitless and The Illusionist, talks about finding that strand of intimacy in an otherwise grandiose production, and why he’s decided to only direct the first film in this trilogy. He also tells us what faction he would choose himself, and what the key differences are between this adaptation, and the original novel it’s based on.
Divergent is out in cinemas now, and you can read our review here.
- Stefan Pape
When asked if he was "Divergent," Neil Burger replied affirmatively but admitted that his biggest films -- "The Illusionist," "Limitless," and "Divergent" -- are all about the quest for empowerment: Ed Norton pulls off a grand scheme to win back the heart of Jessica Biel and to fit in with the social elite; Bradley Cooper takes a psychotropic drug to overcome writer's block and becomes superhuman; and Shailene Woodley's Tris utilizes her extraordinary versatility to lead an uprising against a fascist regime. However, "Divergent" (based on the popular Veronica Roth book trilogy) comes across as "The Hunger Games" meets "Inception," which makes it a distinctive Ya franchise. For Burger, though, he wanted "Divergent" more grounded than any other dystopian movie, making it almost anti-dystopian, shooting on the streets of Chicago with minimal VFX (he applied an 80% non-cg rule for every shot). The iconic locales are familiar yet the walled, »
- Bill Desowitz
In a dystopian future ruled by an authoritarian government, a young female protagonist with special skills must make personal sacrifices and overcome incredible odds in order to protect her family. That may sound like a plot synopsis for The Hunger Games, but it is equally applicable to this week's release from director Neil Burger (Limitless, The Illusionist). Based on the young adult novel by Veronica Roth, the movie Divergent was scripted by Evan Daugherty (Snow White and the Huntsman) and Vanessa Taylor (Game of Thrones).
Set in post-apocalyptic Chicago, the society of Divergent is organized into five factions who each perform their own important functions, such as labor, government and military, based on personality type. On the eve of adulthood, teens are given an aptitude test to help them determine which faction will be the best fit for them, and they must then choose their permanent assignment.
- Mike Saulters
It’s no wonder a studio like Summit Entertainment would be interested in bringing Veronica Roth’s book series to the big-screen. Between the theme of government control set amid a sci-fi setting and the focus being on a young woman discovering who she really is amidst a growing rebellion, it’s not a stretch to see that Divergent might be the next The Hunger Games. To put it simply, Games doesn’t have to worry about any sort of competition from this new young adult rival, but those interested in that world shouldn’t completely dismiss this entertaining coming of age story either.
Where The Hunger Games has somehow been able to appeal to readers and film fans of both young and old, this new young adult series may not be as lucky. This is mostly in part to the focus on romance rather than substance. When so much »
- Michael Haffner
I can understand there is a target audience for Divergent. I also expect Veronica Roth's novel from which it's based isn't nearly as awful as its theatrical adaptation, but let's get one thing absolutely straight... Divergent is terrible. There's really no way of getting around it. I'm sure Roth's readers were able to make sense of the world she created on the page. A world in which a human society in a dystopic future has quarantined themselves from the outside world and divided into factions based on their personality types. I'm sure those same readers will find it easier to digest what is on the screen based on their familiarity with the source material. However, I don't want anyone pretending this movie offers up an explanation for what's taking place that makes sense in any way, shape or form. Divergent centers on Beatrice Prior, played by Shailene Woodley whom »
- Brad Brevet
The 2014 box office, already up 8 percent from last year, is heating up as Divergent stares down Muppets Most Wanted, both of which open in over 3,000 theaters this weekend. But, the Ya adaptation looks to be the clear frontrunner and it would not surprise if it doubled the Muppets’ opening returns.
Divergent is one of the first big-budget films of 2014 to target a primarily female audience after weeks of expensive, male-targeted fare. The interest seems to be there for a big opening weekend, too. Beyond the popularity of the books, Fandango is reporting that Divergent accounts for more than 80 percent of its pre-sales. »
- Lindsey Bahr
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