15 items from 2014
Before Vince Gilligan went off to tell a story about a high school chemistry teacher that gets cancer and turns to cooking and selling meth to pay for his treatment, he was working on the screenplay to Will Smith's Hancock. At that time, the script was known as Tonight He Comes and was about: "a superhero alcoholic who could not make love because if he climaxed, he would kill a woman with the power of his climax." That version was described as "dark" and "twisted." Clearly, we didn't get to see that version in Peter Berg's Hancock, but we can take a glimpse of it with storyboards that were created by storyboard artist Peter Rubin. "In the original version, Bateman's character tries to set Hancock up with a new, do-gooder, Superman-like image, and debuts it at a big fundraising event with giant corporate sponsors and name music acts. »
Not much to speak of in the pre-amble this week except that From Dusk Till Dawn episode 2 on Netflix continued in fine form and presented an interesting and somewhat unique version of a vampire which was actually quite scary. If you have written this off because it sounds cheap and forced (admittedly on paper it does) I urge you to give it a watch, the dialogue alone is better than most TV shows, “Got your balls on?” is a great line I will repeat ad nauseam henceforth.
In other news Netflix CEO Reed Hastings has criticised internet providers for not providing a good enough service to allow users to use Netflix to its full potential and the costs of maintaining such a connection, mainly what ISPs are expecting streaming companies to pay them. This has also kicked off a debate about net neutrality which I know little about. I believe »
- Chris Holt
Since making his acting debut at age 12 on Little House on the Prairie, Jason Bateman has been primarily known as a TV star. He followed that show with main roles on Silver Spoons, Valerie (aka Valerie's Family and The Hogan Family) and a number of less successful series before resurrecting his career with Arrested Development. But he's tried a few times to make the leap to the big screen. In the 1980s it was with the disappointing sequel Teen Wolf Too. In the 1990s there was the mediocre football comedy Necessary Roughness. And in the 2000s, he went for supporting roles in stuff as varied as Starsky & Hutch, Hancock, The Break-Up, The Kingdom and Juno. Now, with the new comedy Bad Words, Bateman is on track to finally become a true leading man at the...
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Former child actor Jason Bateman had a surge in his career ten years ago when he played the lead in the television comedy "Arrested Development" (and some serious scene stealing in comedies like Dodgeball ), but things have just steamrolled for him since then as his transition to movies led to a number of huge hits including Jason Reitman's Juno , Hancock , Couples Retreat and last year's Identity Thief . Now, Bateman is making his feature film directorial debut with Bad Words , in which he plays Guy Trilby, a surly 40-year-old who finds a loophole in spelling bee bylaws to make his way through the system to the Golden Quill National Spelling Bee where he encounters a young competitor named Chaitanya (Rohan Chand), who seems to be an annoying distraction from »
The final ever Dancing on Ice episode attracted over 6 million viewers in total on Sunday, according to overnight data.
The 2014 All-Star edition of the ITV series was seen by 5.94 million viewers (23.2%) at 7pm, with an added 232,000 (0.9%) on +1. It was the lowest-rated finale of the series, dropping from last year's 6.69m total.
Later, Mr Selfridge rose by 80k from last week to 4.58m (20.0%) at 9pm (335k/2.2% on +1).
BBC One's Call the Midwife remained on top once again for its finale episode, but dropped over 700k from last week to 8.20m (28.9%) at 8pm.
The Musketeers was up slightly from last week to 4.44m (19.7%) at 9pm, while Countryfile had earlier appealed to 5.78m (24.8%) at 7pm.
Channel 4's Crufts 2014 coverage attracted 1.25m »
Will Smith is a man intimately familiar with super-heroics. Whether it's saving the world from alien invaders in "Independence Day" or, um, saving the world from alien invaders in the three "Men in Black" movies (which were based on a series of independent comic books by publisher Malibu), he has been regularly cast as a superhero. (In "Hancock," he was a drunk, self-loathing superhero who turned out to be an angel... or something.) Well, it looks like Smith is about to get back in the literal superhero game for Universal Pictures and Legendary's "Brilliance."
According to The Wrap, Smith is in talks to star in the film for director Julius Onah ("God Particle"), who will be working from a script by David Koepp, who is also quite familiar with superheroes (he wrote "Spider-Man" for Sam Raimi and worked on the troubled "Men in Black III" for Smith). The project is »
- Drew Taylor
In Winter’s Tale (released today), Will Smith takes a break from two solid decades of good-guy roles to play the Devil. Even in a fantastical romance epic that features a time-traveling Colin Farrell and a flying horse, tapping the Fresh Prince to play the Prince of Darkness might just be the film’s most bizarre detail. At this week’s premiere, director Akiva Goldsman described his casting choice thusly: “I needed the devil to be charming. And Will’s the most charming man I know.” (As for how he got his Hancock and I Am Legend collaborator to sell his soul for 5 percent on Rotten Tomatoes: “Twenty years' worth of favors. I just reached back and sort of begged a lot.”) Of course, portraying the Devil as a smooth-talking charmer has long been a popular film tactic, but movie Satans come in many other flavors as well. Vulture celebrates »
- Anna Silman
Will Smith has been hard to miss ever since breaking out as a hip-hop artist in the late '80s.
Perhaps the biggest star of the last 20 years, the musician-turned-actor has seemingly been in one commercial success after another, from his start on "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" to "Men in Black" to "Hitch." This Friday, however, Smith takes an uncharacteristically minor role in the Colin Farrell-starring "Winter's Tale."
Whether or not you've had a chance to see Smith of late, there's still much to know about the multi-talented star. From his early achievements as a musician to his unbelievable Rubik's Cube skills, here are 17 things you probably don't know about Will Smith.
- Jonny Black
Odd List Ryan Lambie Simon Brew 13 Feb 2014 - 06:39
Our voyage through history's underappreciated films arrives at the year 2008 - another great year for lesser-seen gems...
For some, 2008 will be memorable as the year of The Dark Knight, with its astonishingly unhinged turn from the late Heath Ledger. Alternatively, it could be remembered as the year a legion Indiana Jones fans left cinemas glum-faced, having sat through Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull.
Elsewhere, Meryl Streep and Pierce Brosnan sang and danced on a Greek island in Mamma Mia!, while Will Smith played an alcoholic superhero in Hancock. But as usual, 2008 offered plenty of watchable movies outside the top 10, which is where we swoop in - like Hancock after a bottle of gin.
So as usual, here's our selection of 25 underappreciated films from the year 2008 - starting with a British horror film starring Michael Fassbender...
25. Eden Lake
James Watkins had written »
Lone Survivor, 2013.
Directed by Peter Berg.
Marcus Luttrell and his team set out on a mission to capture or kill notorious al Qaeda leader Ahmad Shahd, in late June 2005. Marcus and his team are left to fight for their lives in one of the most valiant efforts of modern warfare.
If ever a film needed the ‘based on a true story’ title card, then Peter Berg’s Lone Survivor is that film. Some of the things the Navy SEALs go through in this film would be impossible for us to comprehend, but we know it’s based on reality which gives some of the sequences even more of a punch. It also features the best depiction of combat I’ve seen since Black Hawk Down over a decade ago, but in »
- Gary Collinson
Review Ryan Lambie 31 Jan 2014 - 06:56
If the secret to good storytelling is, to paraphrase an old adage, to put characters up a tree and throw rocks at them, then Lone Survivor succeeds admirably. Based on the true story of four Us Navy SEALs and an Afghanistan mission gone violently awry, it’s an efficient and intense war film from director Peter Berg, who seems more at home here than he did in the more expensive, mainstream territory of Hancock and Battleship.
Led by Mark Wahlberg’s Marcus Luttrell, Taylor Kitsch, Emile Hirsch and Ben Foster star as the SEALs, whose attempt to assassinate a Taliban leader from a vantage point on Sawtalo Sar mountain is thwarted by anti-Coalition forces. Outgunned and out of communication with their superiors, the SEALs »
Wahlberg plays Marcus Luttrell, an American Navy Seal who was the lone survivor of the failed mission Operation Red Wings in Afghanistan.
Also starring Eric Bana and Yousuf Azamim, the movie is based on the book of the same name written by the real Marcus Lutrell himself.
The story, visuals and battle sequences in the film have received positive. »
- Arun Pandit
Based on The New York Times bestseller by Marcus Luttrell, Lone Survivor, tells the story of four Navy SEALs on a mission to kill a high-level Taliban operative that end up surrounded by hostiles in the Hindu Kush region of Afghanistan. As the title makes clear: only one of them makes it out alive. Although this probably the exact film director Peter Berg (Hancock) wanted to make, the last act stalls, and most troubling, there's not much of an emotional investment beyond the wince-inducing battles that remind us that war is just plain awful. The film stars Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Emile Hirsch, Ben Foster and, briefly, Eric Bana. Here are five things to know about Lone »
I have long been a Peter Berg believer. He is a gifted director who can now be forgiven for "Battleship," a misbegotten Hasbro/Universal concoction that he agreed to direct so that he could make his passion project "Lone Survivor" (in most theaters January 10). The indie-financed Universal release is a tough, unremitting, authentic, and intimate Afghan war film starring Mark Wahlberg, Ben Foster, Emile Hirsch, Taylor Kitsch and Eric Bana. When his producing partner Sarah Aubrey insisted that he read the memoir by Navy Seal Marcus Luttrell during production on "Hancock," Berg locked himself in a conference room and finished Luttrell's recounting of the failed June 28, 2005 Seal Team 10 mission "Operation Red Wings" in one sitting. Luckily Luttrell liked "The Kingdom" and the two men hit it off. While Universal did agree to distribute the movie, Berg had to raise financing overseas, which wasn't hard with this ensemble. They filmed with »
- Anne Thompson
Chicago – Highly anticipated! In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film with our unique social giveaway technology, we have 30 pairs of advance-screening passes up for grabs to “Lone Survivor” starring Mark Wahlberg!
The film is based on the incredible true story of four Seal members who strive to capture or kill notorious Taliban leader Ahmad Shahd.
“Lone Survivor,” which is rated “R” and opens wide on Jan. 10, 2014, also stars Taylor Kitsch, Emile Hirsch, Ben Foster, Eric Bana, Yousuf Azami, Ali Suliman, Alexander Ludwig, Rich Ting and Dan Bilzerian from writer and director Peter Berg (“Battleship,” “Hancock,” “Friday Night Lights”) based on the book by Marcus Luttrell. Note: You must be 17+ to attend this “R”-rated screening.
To win your free “Lone Survivor” passes courtesy of HollywoodChicago.com, just get interactive with our unique Hookup technology below. That’s it! This screening is on Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014 at 7 p.m. in downtown Chicago. »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
15 items from 2014
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