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Tom Hanks takes the titular helm of this maritime thriller based on the true story of the Mv Maersk Alabama, an American cargo ship seized by Somali pirates off the coast of Africa in 2009. As the military rescue is mobilised, Captain Richard Phillips (Hanks) and his crew must endure a terrifying ordeal at the hands of the volatile hijackers. With Bourne and United 93 director Paul Greengrass calling the shots, it's a jaw-clenching test of everyone's nerve. »
Commenting on the Critics with Simon Columb…
The recent UK release of Fruitvale Station has inevitably provoked conversation on this side of the Atlantic, whereby re-reading articles from last year only seems to blur lines further:
“Hoping to stir the public, though, the film dances around the facts. Its first problem is how to handle its 22-year-old subject [Oscar Grant III] … flaws are depicted in the film, but nevertheless “Fruitvale Station,” a debut effort from young filmmaker Ryan Coogler, tries to fit a halo on its subject, seemingly to play up the audience’s sympathies.”
Read the full article by Kyle Smith, from July 2013, here.
Following the release, it does seem that clarity over the “truth” about the events is somewhat hazy. Finding a video of the phone footage at Fruitvale Station on YouTube reveals a CNN video that stresses the “fictionalised account” of the story in the film. When we are observing »
- Simon Columb
Leading re-recording mixer to join LipSync’s award-winning sound team.
Leading re-recording mixer Taits will join on May 12 and spent seven years at De Lane Lea before going freelance in 2008. His credits include The Constant Gardener, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Layer Cake and United 93.
Peter Hampden, managing director, The LipSync Group, commented: “Sven’s diverse experience and outstanding audio skills make him an ideal addition to out talented sound team.”
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Ian Sandwell)
Women like movies, too.That very obvious statement was reinforced for the umpteenth time by The Other Woman, which earned $24.8 million from a predominantly female audience this weekend. The movie took first place at the box office, easily defeating three-time winner Captain America: The Winter Soldier.The other two new releases didn't fare so well: Brick Mansions opened below $10 million, while The Quiet Ones had one of the worst horror debuts in recent memory.For the weekend, the Top 12 earned $103 million, which is up 25 percent from the same weekend last year. Next weekend, the Summer movie season kicks off with The Amazing Spider-Man 2, which has already earned over $132 million overseas.Playing at 3,205 locations, The Other Woman exceeded most expectations with a strong $24.8 million debut. That's a bit lower than Bridesmaids ($26.2 million), but is an improvement over star Cameron Diaz's What Happens in Vegas ($20.2 million). It's also more than »
- Ray Subers <email@example.com>
Knowing the outcome of a true story allows for a uniquely awful kind of tension when you watch that story unfold on the big screen. Seeing passengers at Newark airport board their San Francisco-bound flight in United 93 is horror cinema in the most literal sense, and it's this same nauseous sense of dramatic irony that pervades Fruitvale Station, Ryan Coogler's quietly impassioned feature debut.
In the early hours of New Year's Day 2009, unarmed 22-year-old Oscar Grant (played here by Michael B Jordan) was shot dead by a police officer on San Francisco's Bart rail system, while being held down and allegedly resisting arrest. The officer in question claimed he mistook his gun for his taser in the heat of the moment; some eyewitnesses described it as a clear accident, »
The story of the Lockerbie bombing is a bleak chapter in British history that remains raw in the extreme. News then, via The Hollywood Reporter, that Jim Sheridan is planning to make a film inspired by the events of 1988 will stir a mixture of emotions in those affected.The Irishman, who has a strong track record in directing true-life stories, notably with My Left Foot and In The Name Of The Father, with skill and sensitivity, is promising “a drama basically looking at the effect on a family of terrorism”. Eschewing the idea of a United 93-style in medias res thriller, the yet-unnamed script by the Oscar winner and Irish screenwriter Audrey O’Reilly will tackle the aftermath of the terrorist bombing that cost the lives of 270 passengers and residents of the Scottish town.The film would centre on Jim Swire, a real-life English doctor whose daughter died when »
Whether he’s on stage, television or film, Cheyenne Jackson is hard to ignore. Maybe it’s his tall, classically handsome looks or the fact that he’s just so damn comfortable in his own skin. Regardless, there’s an irresistible appeal to the man that has served him (and us) very well.
While his work in 30 Rock and Glee and films like Behind The Candelabra and United 93 brought him attention for his acting skills, his heart is and always will be with music. This weekend he brings his “Music Of The Mad Men Era” show with the La Philharmonic to downtown La’s Walt Disney Concert Hall. He’ll be joined by Jane Lynch, Rebecca Romijn and musical director Ben Toth for the one-night-only performance.
Earlier this week, TheBacklot sat down with Jackson at The Abbey in West Hollywood to talk about his career, being out, tattoos, how »
- Jim Halterman
Twenty of his 54 features have been animated. And with a resume that also includes a 2010 Oscar nomination for his soaring “How to Train Your Dragon” score and music for such hits as “Happy Feet,” three of the “Ice Age” movies, two Dr. Seuss entries, “Kung Fu Panda” and the original “Shrek,” it’s hard to dispute that Powell has made a lasting impression on the genre.
“I grew up on ‘The Jungle Book,’ Warner Bros. cartoons, and ‘Tom and Jerry,’” says Powell in his expansive Pacific Palisades studio, the day before leaving for London to record music for the “Dragon” sequel. “I love the artistry of animation, and I prefer the stories. It’s much more joyful. Live-action is just so »
- Jon Burlingame
Ever since the Cannes International Film Festival knocked down a few walls between itself and the West in 2001 with festival director Thierry Frémaux coming on board to liven up the Croisette with more of a Hollywood acceptance, the connection between the annual May event and the awards season has become more pronounced. Films like Baz Luhrmann's "Moulin Rouge!," Roman Polanski's "The Pianist," Clint Eastwood's "Mystic River," Wes Anderson's "Moonrise Kingdom," Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's "Babel" and David Cronenberg's "A History of Violence" all started their Oscar trajectories in the south of France, while others like Paul Greengrass' "United 93," Woody Allen's "Vicky Cristina Barcelona" and "Midnight in Paris" and Ang Lee's "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" got high profile beginnings out of Competition. A coveted Palme d'Or win sometimes leads to a significant boost in the Oscar season, even if no recipient of the festival's »
- Kristopher Tapley
Feature Mark Harrison 22 Apr 2014 - 06:46
It's now been just over five years since Zack Snyder brought Watchmen, the acclaimed comic series by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, to the big screen. Whatever you think of the final film, you could hardly say that the source material was easy to adapt.
Moore's thought-provoking script and Gibbons' detailed artwork came together to make one of the most acclaimed comic series ever created- frequently referred to as comics' answer to The Godfather. Some argue that the comic book movie genre got its Godfather with The Dark Knight in 2008, but studios were trying to adapt Watchmen long before that.
After their 2013 short film “Here and Now” was selected by Ron Howard as the winner of Canon's “Project Imaginat10n” film contest, producers Abigail Spencer, Josh Pence, Justin Allen and director Julian Higgins are reteaming on a new short film titled “Winter Light,” which will star Raymond J. Barry (“Justified”), Vincent Kartheiser (“Mad Men”), Q'orianka Kilcher (“The New World”), Michael Bofshever (“United 93″) and Pence (“The Social Network”). Adapted by screenwriter Wei-Ning Yu from a short story by bestselling author James Lee Burke, “Winter Light” is a modern-day revisionist Western set against the sweeping backdrop of the snow-covered Montana wilderness. »
- Jeff Sneider
Showing the vitality of Liam Neeson carrying a gun and a broken heart, Non-Stop recently gave the new action hero one of his biggest box office weekends so far. Involving an air marshal using a particular set of skills to hunt and kill someone threatening his plane (to paraphrase Taken), the film may seem like a generic Neeson actioner. But while his character might be a composite of previous roles, the anxiety he tackles within this film is fresh. Considering its box office success (and my mother’s intense experience in watching the movie), Non-Stop works efficiently as a thriller in 2014 because it provides viewers with imagery of in-flight chaos not seen since before 9/11. It is also the indication of a natural progression for how Hollywood films are »
- Nick Allen
Somali-born actor had been directing hip-hop videos before responding to a casting call, though his relative inexperience did feed into his portrayal of a desperate pirate in Captain Phillips
Until recently, Barkhad Abdi was doing shifts at his brother's Minnesota mobile-phone shop. Now the 28-year-old has acting plaudits coming out of his ears thanks to his turn as khat-chomping rookie pirate Muse in Captain Phillips, Paul Greengrass's retelling of the real-life 2009 hijack of the Maersk Alabama off the Somali coast. When we meet, he's just snatched the London Critics' Circle supporting actor gong from the jaws of Jared Leto and Michael Fassbender and, two weeks later, he scoops the same award at the Baftas.
But it's his Oscars nod that's proving most difficult to digest. "It is surreal, I would say," muses Abdi, sitting in his room at the hotel that hosted last night's ceremony, wearing an oversized suit and Nikes. »
- Rachel Aroesti
Name: Captain Phillips
Release Date: Oct. 11, 2013 (wide)
DVD Release: Jan. 21, 2014
Run Time: 2 hours, 14 minutes
Box Office: Opening weekend, wide release: $25.7 million; domestic total: $106.9 million; international total: $110.7 million (as of Feb. 23)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93 percent Fresh
What Owen Gleiberman Said: “Phillips must guard his crew, negotiate with the pirates, and keep his own fears in check, and Hanks acts with »
- JoJo Marshall
Visual effects firm Framestore is behind the acclaimed space movie, but is UK film making a giant leap, or is funding falling?
After picking up a galaxy of awards, the space thriller Gravity is tipped for further glory at the Oscars on Sunday. The film might look like classic big budget Hollywood, but has a starring role in the British film industry. Almost everything on screen, from the gorgeous images of light bouncing off the earth, the constellations of stars, down to the astronauts' space boots, was conjured up on computers at a studio in Soho. Stars George Clooney and Sandra Bullock filmed their space nightmare in deepest, darkest Buckinghamshire.
Tim Webber is the director of visual effects at Framestore, the studio behind Gravity's magical effects. Before he put Sandra Bullock in space, Webber created the rich worlds of Harry Potter and The Dark Knight. But Gravity was the »
- Jennifer Rankin
Is the airplane becoming the modern equivalent of the snowed-in country house? Apparently so, as Liam Neeson manages a fuselage full of trouble in this enjoyable silly thriller
Liam Neeson is the grizzled ex-cop turned air marshal on an ordinary flight from New York to London, secretly packing a badge, a gun and a whole mess of personal demons that might yet be exorcised by an act of redemptive heroism. Out of the blue, in mid-flight, he gets a chilling anonymous message on his special air‑marshal instant-message device. Every 20 minutes, a passenger on his plane is going to be killed, unless $150m is paid into a certain numbered account. Liam's bloodshot eyes flicker tensely around the plane – which one of this cross-section of humanity is sending the messages? »
- Peter Bradshaw
By Mark Pinkert
In less than a week, the Academy will crown its 2013 Best Picture and, soon after, we’ll all move on to 2014. But which of the current films will stand the test of time? Which ones will we re-watch, now and later, despite massive influxes of new movies? Some of this year’s films, we’ll find, are “re-watchable,” while others fill us up after one viewing. Here’s my look at the nine Best Picture contenders and how I think they’ll fare down the road.
12 Years a Slave
This is a film that needs to–and will–stand the test of time. The source of its longevity, years later, will be the poignant performances and powerful scenes that burn into our memories, as when Solomon Northrup (Chiwetel Ejiofor) clings barely to life from a noose on the plantation. But the film is difficult to watch, »
- Mark Pinkert
In the lead-up to the 86th annual Academy Awards on March 2, HitFix will be bringing you the lowdown on all 24 Oscar categories with multiple entries each day. Take a few notes and bone up on the competition as we give you the edge in your office Oscar pool! Of all craft categories, Best Film Editing is the one most closely tied to the Best Picture race: nominees from the latter category invariably dominate the former, and as pundits are so fond of reminding everyone, no film has won the top prize without a corresponding editing bid since 1980. That's no quirk or accident, given how heavily editing interacts with script and performance, and though Best Picture no-shows occasionally triumph here (like surprise victor "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" two years ago), that won't be happening this year. Five Best Picture nominees make up the field, and I strongly suspect they'd »
- Guy Lodge
Every day, from now until the weekend of the 2014 Academy Awards, HeyUGuys will be publishing an article championing one of the nine films in contention for the coveted Best Picture Oscar. We will be collecting them all here, where you can find the previous articles.
Paul Greengrass’s tense picaroon thriller is James Thompson‘s choice, and here he makes his case.
It is often the case that among the contenders for the Best Picture at the Annual Academy Awards there are a handful of entries that warrant your backing and truly epitomise the true majesty of cinema. For me, despite yet again playing host to a number of truly inspiring films, this year plays host to just one film that fully deserves the most coveted of all awards; that film is Paul Greengrass’ Captain Phillips.
- James Thompson
Last week we had the pleasure of chatting with film composer Henry Jackman, whose body of work stretches from Monsters vs. Aliens to apocalyptic comedy This is the End. More recently, the musician has completed work on upcoming Marvel movie Captain America: The Winter Soldier – and you can read what he had to say about that highly anticipated film here – but the focus of our chat was his work on Sony Pictures’ BAFTA winning / Oscar nominated Captain Phillips, for which the composer himself was BAFTA nominated.
Jackman goes into detail on why self-discipline was paramount for the project, in addition to scoring epic superhero themes and what happens to music which doesn’t make it into the film.If you haven’t already, you can click here for your chance to win a copy or click here to buy one!
Was your approach to scoring Captain Phillips any different to your other projects, »
- Amon Warmann
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