1-20 of 35 items from 2014 « Prev | Next »
Christopher Nolan made Memento, but he also made The Dark Knight Rises. Great filmmakers can make bad movies: This is not a particularly complicated equation. And Nolan's new space melodrama Interstellar is not a particularly complicated movie. The science is elaborate and insane, but the emotional stakes are simple: Father loves daughter, father saves humanity. But Nolan is one of our plottiest filmmakers. (Most films have three acts; Nolan's movies usually have at least six, usually out of order and/or overlapping.) I attempted to explain the plot of Interstellar, but even I ran up against some impenetrable cosmo-logic. Some »
- Darren Franich
It's been a week since "Interstellar" finally screened. Critics were allowed to officially voice their opinions on Monday morning and, well, the reaction was sort of all over the place. There was some high praise, some qualified praise and a small, but vocal group of reviewers who clearly were not happy (perhaps if they had only seen it without that IMAX sound mix). In general, it was the sort of response you'd get for a film that currently has a a 77 on Metacritic and a 74% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Considering the hype, is that the profile of a Best Picture nominee? Um, probably? What everyone should keep in mind is that, at the moment, the reaction from Academy members publicly has been vocally positive. More important, you only need a certain number of passionate supporters to get a film a Best Picture nomination these days. It's arguably how films like "Her, »
- Gregory Ellwood
“I'd made it this far and refused to give up, because all my life, I had always finished the race," wrote American World War II Pow and Olympic long-distance runner Louis Zamperini in his autobiography "Devil at My Heels." It's a powerful line considering Zamperini's tragic life story, one the new trailer for "Unbroken" boils down the quote Sean Parker-style to its punchiest (and slightly nonsensical) bit: "All my life I had always finished the race." Sure, that sounds inspirational. Two months out from release and without any critical reactions, Angelina Jolie's Zamperini biopic has already wiggled its way on to Best Picture prediction lists. It's the complete prestige package: There's Jolie, a beloved up-and-comer, star Jack O'Connell, already having a hell of a year with "Starred Up" and festival praise for "'71," there's Roger Deakins behind the camera, Joel and Ethan Coen on scripting duties, and a »
- Matt Patches
The New York Film Critics Circle will again kick off awards announcements by unveiling their choices Dec 1. The org’s awards dinner will be Monday, Jan. 5, at the Tao Downtown.
The National Board of Review, which for years made the first announcement, will unveil its choices Dec. 2. In 2011, Nyfcc moved up its announcement by two weeks, to be first out of the gate. They ended up delaying the vote by one day, to Nov. 29, to accommodate “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” but voted without seeing “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.” The early announcements are always a factor since some filmmakers have not finished their late-year entries by that point.
The Nyfcc and Nbr announcements will be followed by a flurry of awards, »
- Tim Gray
Exclusive: Following her exit from the executive suites of Warner Bros after steering Gravity, Magic Mike, Man Of Steel and others over a decade, Lynn Harris was rumored to be headed for a multitude of exec jobs that included being part of former boss Jeff Robinov’s new shingle. She instead chose to become her own boss. Harris has partnered with her husband Matti Leshem in Weimaraner Republic Pictures, a company that will generate content in film, TV and digital. They have quietly set up a bunch of projects at studios around town, and I only found out about their overall plans when Deadline revealed the heated auction for the Tony Jaswinski girl-vs.-shark pitch In The Deep, which Sony acquired as two other studios circled in the water.
- Mike Fleming Jr
Angelina Jolie has only just offered a first look at her next project By the Sea, and her upcoming biopic Unbroken hasn’t yet hit theaters. But already the busy actor/writer/producer/director has lined up her next project.
Jolie has signed on to direct and produce Africa, which is written by Oscar-winner Eric Roth, whose last film was Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close before he delved into television with projects like Luck and House of Cards.
Africa is another biopic for Jolie, and will tell the story of Kenyan politician and paleoanthropoligst Richard Leakey, who battled with elephant »
- Jonathon Dornbush
Once again today I’m going to be taking a look back at a recent Oscar lineup and explaining what my vote would have been in each of the big eight categories we all follow so intently each season. I previously mentioned that potentially I could do this once a week with previous Academy Award ceremonies, and while I’m going to be truing to do that, time will still tell. Again, if nothing else, this gives you an interesting look into my cinematic tastes. Over the course of the year you can sort of get a feel for what my current favorites are, but now we can look to the past a bit more. Alright, here goes nothing: Best Picture – Moneyball The nominees here for this ceremony were The Artist, The Descendants, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, The Help, Hugo, Midnight in Paris, Moneyball, The Tree of Life, and War Horse. »
- Joey Magidson
After a subtitle-free look at the next film from Stephen Daldry (The Hours, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close), today we have a new trailer that will give one a much better sense of what’s in store for Trash. Based on the novel of the same name by Andy Mulligan and scripted by Love Actually’s Richard Curtis, the film tracks three […] »
- Jordan Raup
Few filmmakers have the Oscar pedigree of Stephen Daldry, whose past works include Billy Elliot, The Hours, The Reader and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (all of which have been nominated for Best Picture and/or Best Director). And so, though his upcoming film Trash doesn’t yet have a U.S. release date, it would be foolhardy to count it out of this year’s awards race.
In the film, scripted by Richard Curtis (About Time), “three poverty-stricken boys who discover something unusual, mysterious, and dangerous in a city dump.” The latest trailer for Trash, released through Universal Pictures Brazil, certainly maintains the thrilling, adventurous vibe that the film’s first preview gave off.
Though I can honestly claim to understand less than one-fifth of this international trailer, the Slumdog Millionaire-esque tone and impressive visuals paint Trash as another fascinating work from Daldry. And with Rooney Mara and »
- Isaac Feldberg
Stephen Daldry also talks about his new Netflix-backed series, his first foray into episodic TV.
Daldry, speaking at the Motovun Film Festival in Croatia this weekend, said: “The reason I made this film is because it’s about the underbelly, the difficult side of Rio, the underexposed side of Rio.”
Trash, which is slate for its world premiere at the Rio Film Festival in October, is now in the final stages of post production for Peapie Films, Working Title and Universal. It follows the story of impoverished kids who scavenge on a trash heap in Rio who get embroiled in a political scandal when they find an important item in the trash.
Daldrey spent three years on and off in Rio. “It’s a country I feel in love with, they believe »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Wendy Mitchell)
We aren't forgetting DVDs and Blu-rays this Tuesday, not sure if that's a good thing or not, but beyond that Laremy and I chat about our similar taste in movies, the future plans for Marvels Cinematic Universe, and the escapism found in blockbusters or the lack thereof. On top of that we have your questions, which includes a voice mail from Mike, games and more. If you are on Twitter, we have a Twitter account dedicated to the podcast at @bnlpod. Give us a follow won'tchac I want to remind you that you can call in and leave us your comments, thoughts, questions, etc. directly on our Google Voice account, which you can call and leave a message for us at (925) 526-5763, which may be even easier to remember at (925) 5-bnl-pod. Just call, leave us a voice mail and we'll add those to the show and respond directly. An alternative »
- Brad Brevet
We’ve heard very, very little about the latest film from Oscar favorite Stephen Daldry, who previously directed Billy Elliot, The Hours, The Reader and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (every film the director has been involved with has either been nominated for Best Director or Best Picture), but today brings the arrival of the first trailer for Trash, certainly a grittier and more unconventional venture from the helmer.
The movie, based on the book by Andy Mulligan, and scripted by About Time screenwriter Richard Curtis, tells the story of three street kids who survive by rummaging through a huge trash fill on the outskirts of a major city, searching through human waste and filth in hopes of finding food and other items necessary for their survival. One day, one of them finds a small leather bag with a wallet with some money and an ID card, a folded-up map, »
- Isaac Feldberg
The definition of the little indie film that finally could, Lola Bessis and Ruben Amar’s debut swam against Short Term 12 at the SXSW Narrative Comp and a little more than a year later, has finally found a bit from Under The Milky Way folks. Swim Little Fish Swim will receive a September theatrical release.
Gist: This is about a NYC couple whose lives are upended when a 19-year-old French artist (Lola Bessis) moves into their apartment.
Worth Noting: This actually premiered at the Rotterdam Film Fest before hitting Austin. It recently had a theatrical run in France this past month – in some of those MK2 theaters.
Do We Care?: I actually sat on the 2013 Narrative Comp SXSW jury on this one. I thought it was a well-intentioned, inoffensive, a cute little number with the fresh faced Bessis.
Bessis scripted with Amar and plays the young ingenue alongside »
- Eric Lavallee
International digital distributor Under The Milky Way is diving in with Swim Little Fish Swim, the feature film debut of directors Lola Bessis and Ruben Amar about a NYC couple whose lives are upended when a 19-year-old French artist moves into their apartment. Bessis scripted with Amar and plays the young ingenue alongside Dustin Guy Defa (Summer of Love, Red Flag) and Brooke Bloom (Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close). Pic premiered at SXSW in March and is set for a September theatrical release, to be followed by a VOD debut. Jour2Fête is repping international sales. Under The Milky Way previously […] »
The film, based on the classic 1943 William Saroyan novel The Human Comedy, follows the story of a 14-year-old boy who finds himself entrusted with the task of looking after his remaining family while his brother is off fighting in World War II. The novel is a wonderful tale about the effects war has, not only on those directly fighting, but the millions of people left grasping for normality back home.
The adaptation would mark the first time Hanks has worked with his Sleepless in Seattle and You’ve Got Mail co-star Meg Ryan since those two staples of the romantic genre – and would also sees them working behind the camera as director (Ryan) and executive producer (Hanks). It’s rumored »
- Dale Barham
A quartet of Baltimore filmmakers have launched Camden Arts and Motion as a distributor of independent movies.
The company is attempting to make itself more attractive to filmmakers by offering gross percentages of box office receipts — and making them partners in the process.
“This means that from now on any filmmaker that works with us is offered an honest financial take on what the film makes,” said Dan Schepleng, president and CEO. “Gone are the days when distributors and filmmakers fought over charged expenses.”
Camden Arts is aiming to release four to five titles per year. Its first acquistion is ensemble drama “Here One Minute” with Eleanor Gaver producing and directing from her own script.
Lydia Dean Pilcher is the executive producer and Schuyler Quinn, who also stars, is the co-producer. Jonathan Safran Foer, writer of “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” is in the film as himself along with Josephine Messer, »
- Dave McNary
Vulture Peter Dinklage's high school yearbook folder -- Mullet!
The Wire a definitive ranking of Tom Cruise's leading ladies post-Kidman
Mnpp Bradley Cooper gets the hose again
THR ewww, Forrest Gump is going IMAX for a 20th anniversary rerelease. 'and that's all i have to say about that'
Above Average every superhero movie (by which they mean mostly Spider-Man) in one take
Critic Wire smart piece re: the ongoing story / speculation of why film critics are losing their jobs
- NATHANIEL R
Director Michael Bay has tapped John Goodman and Ken Watanabe to voice two all new Autobots in his highly anticipated film Transformers: Age Of Extinction, the fourth film in the global blockbuster franchise from Paramount Pictures.
Goodman will play Autobot Hound, Watanabe will play Drift, while Cullen reprises his role as the voice of Optimus Prime, and Welker takes on another new character, Galvatron.
“I am pleased to welcome two gifted and versatile actors, John Goodman and Ken Watanabe, to the world of Transformers,” said Bay. “And to reteam with Peter and Frank, who have brought Transformers characters alive from the beginning. I’ve been fortunate to work with some of the best voice talent in the business, and together we will introduce several exciting new robots to fans of the franchise around the world.”
Rounding out »
- Michelle McCue
What’s new, what’s hot, and what you may have missed, now available to stream.
new to stream
Aliens of the Deep: James Cameron’s undersea science documentary introduces you to scientists whose enthusiasm is infectious and immerses you in its exotic environment in a way that makes you wish it would never end [my review] [at Netflix] Camp 14: Total Control Zone: the only person known to have escaped from a North Korean re-education camp reveals some 1984-level shit, except it’s worse, because it’s not fiction [my review] [at Netflix] Rabbit Hole: devastating drama about the impact on a couple after their young son is killed; excellent performances from Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart [at Netflix]
streaming now, before it’s on dvd
12 Years a Slave: more horror story than historical drama, terrifyingly and heartbreakingly straightforward in the real-life nightmare it depicts; Oscar’s Best Picture for 2013 [at Amazon UK Instant Video]
new to stream
- MaryAnn Johanson
An enlightening portrait of 12 adults from across the autistic spectrum that sheds some much needed light on a subculture that could do with some demystifying. I’m “biast” (pro): nothing
I’m “biast” (con): nothing
(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)
April is Autism Awareness Month in the United States, but while autism is something that families and schools and pediatricians are dealing with at ever increasing rates, there isn’t much awareness of neuro-atypicalness in pop culture. Rain Man — now more than a quarter of a century old — is probably still the film that first comes to mind for “autism in pop culture,” though there have been a few recent films with protagonists whom we might suspect are on the autism spectrum, though it’s never mentioned: Salmon Fishing in the Yemen and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, for two.
So documentarian William Davenport »
- MaryAnn Johanson
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