5 items from 2014
Exclusive: Hunger Games actor Alexander Ludwig will join Anthony Hopkins, Julia Stiles, and Ray Liotta in Pacific Northwest thriller Go With Me, for director Daniel Alfredson (The Girl Who Played With Fire, The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest). The picture centers on a young woman, newly returned to her hometown, who becomes the subject of harassment by a local crimelord and turns to an ex-logger (Hopkins) and his laconic young sidekick (Ludwig) for help.
The Enderby Entertainment and Gotham Group production is adapted from the novel of the same name by Castle Freeman, Jr. and marks a reunion for Alfredson and Hopkins, who recently filmed period drama Kidnapping Freddy Heineken together. Hopkins is producing alongside Rick Dugdale, Lindsay Williams, and Elaine Goldsmith-Vein.
- Jen Yamato
There are cheap costumes, cartoonish special effects and endless nonsense monologues in Brett Ratner's “Hercules." Ergo, there's also Ian McShane. HBO's "Deadwood" blew up the journeyman actor's career, making him a must-have accessory in the eyes of all casting agents. But since the end of that show, where he essayed the role of the iconic Al Swearengen, he's been lost in an increasingly inessential sea of special effects-heavy blockbusters, from “Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” to “Jack The Giant Slayer," from “The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising” to “Snow White And The Huntsman." You figure the qualifications for McShane appearing in your movie involve the least amount of acting possible. “Hercules” may be the first film where, finally, everyone is on the exact same page as McShane. Of course, if you don't know McShane, don't worry: he's in the bulk of scenes in “Hercules," and yet you »
- Gabe Toro
Diving into the genre of young-adult film adaptations is a dangerous proposition these days. "Harry Potter" and "The Hunger Games" are two of the biggest film franchises there are and cross all demographics. "Twilight" is more female-oriented and less critically acclaimed, but is also a box-office juggernaut. Even though this year's "Divergent" may not be on the same level, only an idiot wouldn't call it a hit with major potential.
Yet there have been numerous bodies left in their wake. "The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones," "Beautiful Creatures," "The Golden Compass," "Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant," "I Am Number Four," "The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising," "Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events," "City of Ember," "Stormbreaker," "The Spiderwick Chronicles" and more.
- Garth Franklin
Thanks to its strong brand and broadly-appealing marketing, The Lego Movie stacked up one of the highest openings ever for an original animated movie this weekend. The Monuments Men also had a solid debut, while Vampire Academy was the latest young-adult debacle.The Lego Movie took first place with $69.05 million, which ranks second all-time in the month of February behind The Passion of the Christ ($83.8 million). That fantastic debut is among the best-ever for an "original" (i.e. not a sequel or prequel) animated movie ever along with Up ($68.1 million), Dr. Seuss' The Lorax ($70.2 million) and The Incredibles ($70.5 million). For reference, the current record-holder is The Simpsons Movie with $74 million.The Lego Movie's success can be attributed to a handful of factors. The brand itself is remarkably strong: most people have some experience with the tiny building blocks, and that experience is generally positive. Warner Bros. built on »
- Ray Subers <email@example.com>
• 2014 in film preview: sequels
Prepare yourself for the attack of the colons. A week ago, Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones came to a cinema near you, and in 2014 you can look forward to Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, 300: Rise of an Empire, X-Men: Days of Future Past, Transformers: Age of Extinction, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, Nativity 3: Dude, Where's My Donkey?, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1, The Hobbit: There and Back Again – all of them episodes in ongoing franchises, and all of them with a colon in the middle of the title.
If that weren't dizzying enough, there are three more films released in January alone that use a colon, but which aren't part of a series. »
- Nicholas Barber
5 items from 2014
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