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Chris Tarrant Goes Fishing | Hollywood's Best Film Directors | Rugby Union: Worcester vs Bath | Marvel's Agents Of Shield | Man Down | Pink Floyd: A Delicate Sound Of Thunder | The Walking Dead | Stand Up For The Week
Chris Tarrant Goes Fishing
7pm, Channel 5
Lucky Chris Tarrant. The self-confessed fishing nut gets a dream gig as he indulges his passion in the Maldives. As he waxes lyrical about the mighty wahoo fish, he makes everything sound as if he's giving the answers on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?. It's actually quite endearing and the scenery is beautiful, but the most refreshing thing is when Tarrant addresses the issue of whether fishing is cruel, before proudly holding his catch aloft and then throwing it back in the ocean. Hannah Verdier
Hollywood's Best Film Directors
7pm, Sky Arts 1
- Hannah Verdier, David Stubbs, Lanre Bakare, Martin Skegg, Mark Jones, Ali Catterall, Rachel Aroesti, Ben Arnold
Your muscles contort. Your skin bubbles and stretches. Your loins throb and your limbs writhe. You thrash in the throes of excruciating pain and agonizing pleasure. Before you even realize your body has betrayed you, like a snake shedding its skin, you are born anew. Perhaps the most visceral of the horror genres, body horror represents the most intimate of all fears. It’s the inescapable sensation that the shell housing every synchronized component keeping you alive is under attack. Yet it is more than simple infection; it is metamorphosis, a mutation that does not always spell death. More so, it may even be the start of a beautiful new life.
The human body has long been the enemy of horror films. One only has to look as early as The Invisible Man or The Wolfman for manifestations of physical forms undergoing irrevocable change. But the body horror genre encompasses »
- Shane Ramirez
Suffer the Children: Wells’ Adaptation Enjoyable Camp, Hinges on Grandiose Performances
When something sounds too good to be true, it often is, and while John Wells certainly wasn’t the most inspired choice to helm the adaptation of Tracy Letts’ Pulitzer Prize Winning play August: Osage County, its delirious cast lineup trumps all else. The film belongs to a bygone tradition of cinema adapted from famous stage plays, such as when Tennessee Williams and Edward Albee and Paul Zindel were all names on the tips of everyone’s tongues. While Letts has the potential to be as perversely humorous as any of them, this adaptation only shines in a handful of scenes, gummed up with disingenuous mortar on the way to each to one. Several cast members are in fine form, but most of them have the potential to distract rather than homogenize, and thus, Wells seems to have let »
- Nicholas Bell
The John Wells-directed dramedy August Osage County based on the play by Tracy Letts (Bug), opens theatrically via Weinstein Co on November 8th, and features a stellar cast including Benedict Cumberpatch, Ewan McGregor, Abigail Breslin, Meryl Streep, Dermot Mulroney, Julia Roberts, Chris Cooper, Juliet Lewis, Sam Shepard and Margo Martindale. "August: Osage County tells the dark, hilarious and deeply touching story of the strong-willed women of the Weston family, whose lives have diverged until a family crisis brings them back to the Midwest house they grew up in, and to the dysfunctional woman who raised them. Letts’ play made its Broadway debut in December 2007 after premiering at Chicago’s legendary Steppenwolf Theatre earlier that year. It continued with a successful international run. " »
Following its world premiere here in Toronto, the Weinstein Co. has debuted a new August: Osage County trailer. I saw the film a couple of days ago and quite liked it. Here's a snippet from my review: Yes, August: Osage County is essentially two hours and ten minutes of family conflict. And it's not the kind where a dispute ends because one party charges out of a room in anger, slams a door and shortly thereafter are consoled and things are suddenly alright. No, when it comes to the Weston family, to be yelled at only means you must yell louder in response and, for the most part, I loved almost every minute of it with only a couple of narrative hang-ups that kept it from being one of the year's best. Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Tracy Letts (Killer Joe, Bug), the playwright has adapted his own »
- Brad Brevet
The auguries for August were good. Tracy Letts' play about a pill-popping, bile-spewing, scenery-guzzling matriarch, whose daughters try to pick up the pieces after her poet husband's suicide, won him a Pulitzer prize to stick with the Tony, plus prodigious other theatrical bling. The pedigree of this film version - backed by not just the Weinsteins but super-producers George Clooney and Grant Heslov - suggested he'd soon be adding some Oscars to the shelf.
But there's a big gap between pitch and victory, and John Wells's film comes a cropper on the prairie. We're in Oklahoma - flagged by sun-bleached landscapes static enough they might as well be painted on sheets and winched backstage by someone's mum. Violet (Meryl Streep), staggers into the study of her husband, »
- Catherine Shoard
Yes, August: Osage County is essentially two hours and ten minutes of family conflict. And it's not the kind where a dispute ends because one party charges out of a room in anger, slams a door and shortly thereafter are consoled and things are suddenly alright. No, when it comes to the Weston family, to be yelled at only means you must yell louder in response and, for the most part, I loved almost every minute of it with only a couple of narrative hang-ups that kept it from being one of the year's best. Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Tracy Letts (Killer Joe, Bug), the playwright has adapted his own work for the screen and director John Wells (The Company Men) has assembled an impressive cast to bring every acidic word to life. The vein in Julia Roberts' forehead has never pulsed so strong as vile »
- Brad Brevet
There are no surprises — just lots of good, old-fashioned scenery chewing — in “August: Osage County,” director John Wells’ splendid film version of playwright Tracy Letts’ acid-tongued Broadway triumph about three generations in a large and highly dysfunctional Oklahoma family. Arriving onscreen shorn of some girth (the stage version ran more than three hours, with two intermissions) but keeping most of its scalding intensity, this two-ton prestige pic won’t win the hearts of highbrow critics or those averse to door-slamming, plate-smashing, top-of-the-lungs histrionics, but as a faithful filmed record of Letts’ play, one could have scarcely hoped for better. With deserved awards heat and a heavy marketing blitz from the Weinstein Co., this Christmas release should click with upscale adult auds who will have just survived their own heated holiday family gatherings.
Onstage, confined to a creaking, cavernous old house that seemed variously a womb, a prison and a sarcophagus »
- Scott Foundas
Playwright Tracy Letts' crowded ensemble drama "August: Osage County" centers on a massive family engaged in constant squabbling, which means that it demands a cast willing to engage in fiery theatrics. It's no surprise, then, that director John Wells' big screen adaptation features significant name talent throwing their weight around. Condensing the material into just over two hours and taking cues from Letts' screenplay, Wells services the play mainly by sitting back and letting the A-listers lead the way. The result is a distinctly uneven but imminently watchable theatrical showcase in which cinematic and stagy devices go head to head with no clear winner. Unlike previous feature-length treatments of Letts' plays, William Friedkin's equally wildly pulpy "Bug" and "Killer Joe," the writer's Pulitzer Prize-winning work sets aside plot in favor of unending conflict. The essence of the movie is laid out in the first scene, when drug-addled Oklahoma matriarch Violet Weston (Meryl. »
- Eric Kohn
Toronto - Tracy Letts has had three of his plays adapted to film now, and I think based on the evidence of the latest, "August: Osage County," it is safe to say that William Friedkin has a far better handle on how to handle his scripts than John Wells does. Both "Bug" and "Killer Joe" are sweaty, upsetting movies that put us face to face with unsettling characters in dire circumstance, and both films have a jangling nervous energy to them that seems perfectly in sync with what Letts does on the page. Considering the stage version of "August: Osage County" »
- Drew McWeeny
Legendary director William Friedkin has just been given a lifetime achievement award at the Venice film festival, but he is still making big, critically acclaimed movies, such as last year's Killer Joe. He looks back on his career, and the film he considers his best, 1977's Sorcerer
On a hot, sticky Tuesday in Venice, the American film director William Friedkin sauntered from his hotel to see an exhibition of paintings at the nearby Doge's Palace. There, he stood in front of Manet's L'Evasion de Rochefort, which depicts the flight of the man who challenged Napoleon III. He saw the little boat packed with indistinguishable figures and the mighty sea churning all around. It struck him that the painting summed up what he thinks of the world: that we're stuck on a boat, at the mercy of nature. Possibly it has something to say about his own career too.
Friedkin is »
- Xan Brooks
Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and screenwriter Tracy Letts (Bug, Killer Joe) is in talks with DreamWorks to write the script for "The Grapes of Wrath" remake, which will be based on John Steinbeck's book. Previously adapted for the screen by director John Ford in 1940, "The Grapes of Wrath" follows the Joads, a poor farming family, during the Great Depression as they are forced off their land and travel to California. The film was nominated for seven Oscars. Steven Spielberg is producing the adaptation, but was never mentioned as a possible choice to direct the film. But now that he has dropped out of "American Sniper," that may change. »
Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and screenwriter Tracy Letts is in talks to draft DreamWork's proposed re-adaptation of John Steinbeck's also Pulitzer Prize-winning tome The Grapes of Wrath , The Wrap reports. Previously adapted for the screen by director John Ford in 1940, The Grapes of Wrath follows the Joads, a poor farming family, during the Great Depression. Letts won his Pulitzer for his stage play August: Osage County and later adapted the story for the screen. The film version hits the big screen this Christmas. Among Letts' other big screen projects are Bug and Killer Joe . Steven Spielberg is producing the adaptation and was, previously, said not to be taking the director's chair. Whether or not that has changed in the wake of Spielberg departing »
The Toronto film festival unveiled its glittering programme this week with an impressive array of titles to charm canuck located cinefans when the 38th edition of the event commences on the 5th September 2013. Running for ten days the world’s largest movie festival in terms of volume of screenings boasts a global prestige and attracts talent from around the world, as one of the only major festivals which is open to the public the chances of rubbing shoulders with the superstars of California and Cannes ensure that tickets are swiftly snapped up for the huge variety of films and debates which arrange across the full gamut of the celluloid spectrum.
Now traditionally seen as strong candidate for highlighting potential future Oscar bait the directorial heavyweights of Europe and North America are out in force, with new films from Alfonso Cuarón, Xavier Dolan, Atom Egoyan, Steve McQueen, Kelly Reichardt, Jason Reitman, »
Directed By William Friedkin
Written by Tracy Letts (from her play)
A couple of years ago, a rather controversial and divisive pitch black comedy/murderous drama called Killer Joe rocked the Kasbah in critical terms, sharing the adulation of some and the damnation of others. It was grimy, grotty and often deliberately gratuitous (to the point that its most shocking scene earned a subtle nod on its DVD cover) and did a number of things apart from splitting a bemused audience right up the middle.
Firstly, it confirmed the renaissance of formerly mocked Texan Matthew McConaughey as he transformed from shirtless rom-com hunk into a respectable actor. Secondly, it launched a thousand sound bites proclaiming the return to form of William Friedkin, once one of Hollywood’s leading directors (The Return of the ‘Kin, if you will). It’s the latter point that issue must be taken with »
- Scott Patterson
Well known for playing characters with an unstable edge and an evil glare, Shannon will be battling against Henry Cavill's Superman in the highly-anticipated film.
Here are ten things that you may not know about the man behind the villainous Zod.
1. Shannon was born in Kentucky on August 7, 1974. His mother is a lawyer and his father was an accounting professor. He was raised in both Kentucky and Chicago after his parents divorced.
2. He began his career in theatre, where his first acting role was in Winterset at the Illinois Theater Centre. Since then, Shannon has appeared in off-Broadway shows in New York as well as in London's West End, such as Killer Joe and Bug. He also »
Here’s a good question: Has Michael Shannon ever played a normal guy? You know, just your average, every day, run-of-the-mill sort?
There’s just something about Shannon that makes Hollywood think "nut job," to the point that it was probably inevitable that he was cast as the villainous General Zod in "Man of Steel." It's hard to pick the nine craziest roles of a man known for almost always bringing the crazy, but if we had to choose ...
9. Bobby Monday, 'Premium Rush' (2012)
He's a cop with a severe gambling addiction, and he's chasing after Joseph Gordon-Levitt on a bicycle. Honestly, does it get much wackier than that? Well, when you're Michael Shannon it's hard to say, but that doesn't make his villainous turn in "Premium Rush" any less crazy. In fact, he's totally f***ing nuts in this as he tries to recover a high-stakes boat ticket »
- Zach Laws
I'm not sure what I expected from Michael Shannon's take on General Zod, but I'm pretty sure it wasn't what I got. That should not come as a shock, though. Michael Shannon has been slowly but surely cementing his reputation as an actor capable of surprising in any role, and the more work of his I see, the more convinced I am that he's one of the great character guys in film at the moment. Anyone who can play the tortured father from "Take Shelter," the shithouse-crazy ex-solder in "Bug," the hilariously irritated cop in "Premium Rush," and General Freakin' Zod, »
- Drew McWeeny
This week the world will be presented with Man of Steel – the return of Superman to the big screen. An interesting component of the highly-anticipated release is the incredible cast that populates the film including Henry Cavill, Kevin Costner, Diane Lane, Russell Crowe, Amy Adams and Laurence Fishburne. Though, the most exciting addition to the cast is the man who plays the film’s antagonist, General Zod. That would be the one and only Michael Shannon.
Over the last several years, Michael Shannon has built a diverse array of characters that have resonated in the minds of film geeks the world over. His career has been compared to the likes of legendary actors such as Robert DeNiro and Gary Oldman, and he is on track to burst through to the mainstream with his first major foray into the arena of blockbuster films.
I’ve chosen six of his best career »
- Damen Norton
Richard Kuklinski, the protagonist of The Iceman, is a loving husband and devoted father; a man fiercely protective of his own handcrafted version of the American dream. He lives with an affectionate, sympathetic wife and two doting daughters in the New Jersey suburbs, socialises with friends and throws endearing birthday parties, all the while keeping a steady lid on his true and uncanny persona. Lurking behind this carefully constructed – though believably rounded – front is the real reasons for Kuklinski’s ascension from modest and lowly blue-collar warehouse worker: he is in fact a ruthless hitman for the mafia, and has carved both a lucrative career and a ruthless notoriety from carrying out the deadly deeds of various mob linchpins. As the number of victims (apparently) enters into triple figure territory, Kuklinski finds it increasingly difficult to continue under his Wall Street magnate-shaped pretences as the murky days of the sixties »
- Ed Frost
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