1-20 of 1955 items from 2013 « Prev | Next »
2013 was a grim year to be watching movies. Maybe not in terms of box office grosses or in the output of quality films, but with subject matter, we’ve all been in a morbid mood for the past 12 months. Thanks to 2013, the “apocalypse comedy” is an officially sanctioned genre. This is the End, The World’s End and Rapture-Palooza all milked the end times (and the idea of everyone you’ve ever known and loved suffering a horrific death) for a few yuks. Likewise, the usual crop of award-winners this year is overrun with heroes struggling to overcome their own imminent demise. Where before we might have had an Argo or a Life of Pi in the mix, 2013 brought 12 Years a Slave, Gravity, Dallas Buyer’s Club, Fruitvale Station and Captain Phillips to the table. Yet in looking at a film specifically through the lens of death can shed new light on something we’ve all analyzed »
- Adam Bellotto
It was a bumper year for science fiction movies, and spectacle films are getting better, so we end the year with a nod to the best geek flicks of 2013
• More from the Week in geek series
• The best films of 2013
• The films to watch in 2014
The superhero film gets stronger, while art house film-makers decry the lack of big-screen directing opportunities. It is a sad state of affairs when new movies from directors of the calibre of Steven Soderbergh and David Lynch may never again be seen in multiplexes, especially when those film-makers have made more than their fair share of notable contributions to the genres this column celebrates.
If there is a silver lining, it is that studios are getting better at making these preposterously expensive, spectacle-heavy movies. And they have become considerably more canny when it comes to recruiting film-makers to oversee them. The McGs and Brett Ratners »
- Ben Child
With Emmanuel Lubezki almost certain to take the Best Cinematography Oscar for "Gravity," few will argue that he's well past due the award -- but many will take issue with the technical implications of such FX-integrated work being recognized in such a fashion. It's an issue that now surfaces on a near-annual basis (wins for "Avatar" and "Life of Pi," in particular, caused a stir), and filmmaker Jamie Stuart thinks it's time "to redefine what constitutes cinematography." Part of that movement, he says, should be to divide the Oscar into two awards: "one for conventional live-action cinematography, and another for CGI-based »
- Guy Lodge
Seasonal movies aimed at families vie with more serious Oscar contenders as studios pitch their biggest hitters in cinemas
Christmas has always been a busy time for the movies; with much of the world off work or school, there are rich pickings to be had. In the Us, box office takings for the holiday season last year was more than £1.59bn – approximately a quarter of its entire yearly revenue in the UK, the same period saw £129.5m in takings – 12% of annual sales.
No wonder then that Christmas is seen as the ideal time to release films about princesses, hobbits and teenage gladiators; that is what Christmas 2013 has in store for us. A new Disney cartoon, Frozen, based on Hans Christian Andersen's The Snow Queen; The Desolation of Smaug, the second in Peter Jackson's epic trilogy about Bilbo Baggins and chums; and Catching Fire, the follow-up to the enormously »
- Andrew Pulver
On one hand, "12 Years a Slave" has had a great few weeks in the awards derby, leading at the Golden Globes, Critics' Choice, and SAG Awards with the most nominations, cementing it as a major player at the Oscars. But is anyone else having a troubling feeling of deja vu? This is exactly what happened to "Lincoln" last year before "Argo" stole its thunder at the Oscars, winning Best Picture, while "Life of Pi's" Ang Lee upset Steven Spielberg for Best Director. "12 Years" and "Lincoln" are both about slavery, yes, but that's really the least of their similarities. Consider also: the films earned the exact same number of SAG nominations (four), Golden Globe nominations (seven), and Critics' Choice nominations (13). At each of those events, they earned nominations in the exact same categories -- even the baker's dozen at Critics' Choice match perfectly. Both films have »
In an effort to examine what is required to bring a story to the big screen or onto the pages of a book, Trevor Hogg has taken the opportunity to chat with a variety of professionals who have contributed to the remarkable creative journey....
“Rob [Hayden] did an interesting thing that made it difficult but also wonderful; he didn’t say, ‘Look. This is 1992.’ And you go, ‘I know exactly what they’re wearing and the music they’re listening to.’ As a deejay you would want to know that but you wanted it set in a never time, not an exact moment. In a way you have to be specific and real with your character but also slightly a stereotype of a clubber or deejay. I went classic. »
Jb Bernstein's career as a sports agent is on the wane when he comes up with an idea from out of left field. Jb (Hamm) enlists former baseball scout Ray Poitevint (Alan Arkin) to join him on a trip to India to find the fastest cricket pitcher in the land. As part of a reality show called "Million Dollar Arm," Jb and Ray recruit Dinesh (Madhur Mittal, "Slumdog Millionaire") and Rinku (Suraj Sharma, "Life of Pi") to come with them back to America to compete for contracts in the major leagues. Then Jb hires Tom House (Bill Paxton) to train Dinesh and Rinku for their big try-outs.
- Jenni Miller
Disney has released the official trailer for upcoming movie Million Dollar Arm.
Director Craig Gillespie helmed the project, which was filmed in Mumbai and Atlanta earlier this year.
Million Dollar Arm is due for release in Us theatres on May 16, 2014. »
Disney has released its first trailer for its “Million Dollar Arm” baseball film, five months before its May 16 launch.
“Arm” stars Jon Hamm as real-life sports agent Jeff Bernstein who discovered professional pitchers Rinku Singh and Dinesh Patel through a reality show he staged in India with cricket players. Lake Bell, Alan Arkin, Aasif Mandvi (“The Daily Show”), Suraj Sharma (“Life of Pi”) and Madhur Mittal (“Slumdog Millionaire”) also star.
- Dave McNary
“Show me the rupee!”
In Disney’s Million Dollar Arm, Jon Hamm tries on the movie-star sports-agent suit that was tailored so perfectly for Tom Cruise in Jerry Maguire. But when Hamm’s J.B. Bernstein is betrayed by a client and left in dire financial straits, he books a trip to the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel to discover cricket players who might have major-league fastballs.
Based on a true story of two Indian (actual Indian, not Cleveland Indians) prospects signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates, the film is Hamm’s first bonafide movie-star role after the breakout success of Mad Men »
- Jeff Labrecque
Disney will release the film on May 16, 2014.
He and his partner Aash (Aasif Mandvi) will have to close their business down for good if Jb doesn’t come up with something fast. Late one night, while watching cricket being played in India on TV, Jb comes up with an idea so radical it just might work. Why not go to there and find the next baseball pitching sensation? Setting off for Mumbai with nothing but a gifted but cantankerous scout (Alan Arkin) in tow, Jb stages a televised, nationwide competition called “Million Dollar Arm” where 40,000 hopefuls compete before two 18-year-old finalists, Rinku and Dinesh (Suraj Sharma, »
- Michelle McCue
Disney has released the first trailer and poster for Craig Gillespie's drama Million Dollar Arm. Based on a true story, Jon Hamm plays a washed-up sports agent who travels to India and sets up a televised, national game show “Million Dollar Arm” to see if any cricket players might cut it in the major leagues. The trailer screams "Uplifting sports film" and there's nothing wrong with that, especially when the script is from The Station Agent and Win Win writer Tom McCarthy. Underdog sports stories can make for nice movies, and Million Dollar Arm also has a strong cast that also includes Lake Bell, Bill Paxton, Aasif Mandvi, and Alan Arkin. I'm especially heartened to see Bell as the female lead. She's incredibly talented, and I hope her character is more dimensional than "love interest". Hit the jump to check out the trailer and poster. The film also stars »
- Matt Goldberg
The true story of a sports agent who creates a reality show in India to recruit cricket players to become baseball pitchers has all the feel-good underdog story beats that populate most sports-themed films as well as the TV-show-in-India aspect, making this a unique, if not obvious, sports tale mash-up. Starring Mad Men's Jon Hamm as the sports agent and Suraj Sharma (Life Of Pi) and Madhur Mittal (Slumdog Millionaire) as the cricket players who win the contest and are brought to »
- Paul Shirey
Usually, when Christmastime rolls around, Ben Stiller finds himself in a franchise film, either one of the "Night at the Museum" movies (the third one is out next year) or the series based around "Meet the Parents" (there have been three of those, too). But this year, Stiller finds himself giving a different kind of yuletide greeting, with "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty," a loose remake of the 1947 Danny Kaye movie (they're both based on James Thurber's 1939 short story of the same name).
In the movie, Stiller plays the title character, a man who works for Life Magazine in the photo department even though, as a physical object, Life hasn't existed for many years. Every once in a while, Walter "zones out" and enters a lush fantasy land of his own invention, only to snap back to reality. Until a crisis at work causes him to actually take »
- Drew Taylor
One of the top-ten highest-grossing movies of 2013 will be nominated for Best Picture, and that’s something that didn’t happen in the past two years. The same movie, Gravity, will very likely be the sixth in a row to win the Oscar for Best Visual Effects to also be a Best Picture nominee. If it wins the top award, it will be the first to win both those honors since The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. I know a lot of people consider Gravity to be a science-fiction film, while I don’t quite qualify it as such. So I merely see it as the closest thing to a genre movie contending for Best Picture this year rather than a true representative. It’s more The Right Stuff than Star Wars. Wasn’t the allowance for more Best Picture nominees intended to accommodate those more popular choices? The »
- Christopher Campbell
The picks of the year, from Gravity – the first 3D must-see – to a harrowing documentary about Indonesia
Read the Observer critics' reviews of the year in full here
It was the year that someone finally made a movie which made me think that 3D might not be just a headache after all. After the adventurous experiments of Ang Lee's Life of Pi and Martin Scorsese's Hugo (both of which used the format inventively, but not essentially), Alfonso Cuarón's Gravity was a latterday space odyssey which demanded to be seen in its stereoscopic incarnation. Significant, too, that the dazzling visual effects were conjured here in the UK (London's Framestore working with live action footage shot at Shepperton and Pinewood), with British technicians and digital artists once again proving themselves the best in the world.
At the other end of the financial spectrum, the "British film industry", whatever that may be, »
- Mark Kermode
American Hustle (15)
Big, brassy and outrageously coiffured, this crazed 70s crime epic leads you into a maze, then keeps you wondering if it knows the way out. Things starts out small, with Bale and Adams's petty con duo turned by Cooper's ambitious Fed, but stakes escalate, allegiances complicate, and deceptions multiply deliriously, carried along by lovably flawed characters and a manic energy.
The hype is over, as Ferrell reunites his news team and drags them into New York, the 80s and the 24-hour era. But this sequel's absurdity, cameo-fuelled mayhem and mild »
- Steve Rose
In theaters April 18, 2014, Depp plays Dr. Will Caster - the foremost researcher in the field of Artificial Intelligence, working to create a sentient machine that combines the collective intelligence of everything ever known with the full range of human emotions.
His highly controversial experiments have made him famous, but they have also made him the prime target of anti-technology extremists who will do whatever it takes to stop him.
However, in their attempt to destroy Will, they inadvertently become the catalyst for him to succeed—to be a participant in his own transcendence. For his wife Evelyn (Rebecca Hall) and best friend Max Waters (Paul Bettany), both fellow researchers, »
- Michelle McCue
As the curtain comes down on 2013, one noticeable theme runs through some of the most decorated films of the last 12 months: endurance. Tom Hanks confronted Somali pirates in Captain Phillips, Sandra Bullock found herself tumbling through the void in Gravity, and next week Robert Redford delivers an incredible, near-wordless performance as a man adrift at sea in All Is Lost.
There must be something in (or on and around) the water, because Hollywood has long held a fascination with perils such as these. From Alfred Hitchcock's Lifeboat to scary shark-fest Open Water and visual effects extravaganza Life of Pi, putting someone's mortality on the line makes for incredible drama.
With All Is Lost arriving in cinemas on December 26, Digital Spy takes a look at five notable survival movies that pushed their protagonists to their absolute limits...
Based on a true story, this film focused on a Uruguayan rugby »
As you may no doubt have heard AMPAS released the list (included below) of 289 Feature Films which have qualified for Oscar consideration this year in all categories beyond the specialties with complex eligibility rules (documentary, animated, foreign film, shorts). Here are seven things you should know about the list.
Most Will Come Nowhere Near a Nomination
This list is 289 pictures long but typically only 25-30 feature films each year (excluding, again, the specialty categories which play by different rules) receive nominations of any kind with a few key pictures hogging the goods. In 2012 only 22 pictures won nominations (!) with Lincoln, Life of Pi, Les Miz, and Silver Linings hogging the goods whereas the wealth was spread out more in 2011 when 32 pictures were nominated in some capacity.
This year five films will be nominated for the Best Animated Feature title but only 19 animated films are eligible. Can you imagine if »
- NATHANIEL R
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