13 items from 2014
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
John Ridley’s Oscar win for adapted script for “12 Years a Slave” culminates more than two decades in Hollywood for the Milwaukee-born writer.
Ridley began his thank-yous by singling out a sitcom script supervisor when he started in Hollywood, “Mr. Brad Pitt” and producer Jeremy Kleiner. It was Ridley’s first nomination and he became only the second black person to win an Oscar in the writing category, after Geoffrey Fletcher for “Precious.”
However, Ridley and producer-director Steve McQueen did not acknowledge each other during the acceptance speeches, indicating a possible rift between the two.
Backstage, Ridley gave tribute to his parents — “who simply would not let me settle for second best” — and said he gets much of his writing done while parked in his car at his children’s school.
The “12 Years” script, based on the autobiography by Solomon Northup, is Ridley’s seventh dating back to 1997′s “U-Turn. »
- Dave McNary
Once again World War II provides Hollywood with another tale of bravery and sacrifice that was somewhat overlooked in the shadow of the great battles (like D-Day) and the dropping of the atomic bomb. A couple of years ago the story of the Tuskegee airmen got the full blockbuster treatment with Red Tails. There have also been many stories concerning the efforts to save the lives of those targeted for extinction by Nazi Germany such as last year’s The Book Thief. Now George Clooney brings us the true tale of the special forces group charged with rescuing…art. Yes, paintings and sculptures, not people. Seems that Hitler went on quite the art-acquiring binge. Many felt that this pursuit to protect these piece was frivolous. But these curators and historians believed that these works were the culture if not the soul of their native lands. That’s why they proudly dubbed themselves The Monuments Men. »
- Jim Batts
Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: March 4, 2014
Price: DVD $29.98, Blu-ray $39.99
Studio: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Highly acclaimed drama movie 12 Years a Slave has received a lot of awards attention, and critics think it deserves every one.
Based on real life, the biography film tells the story of Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor, Salt), a free New York citizen who, in 1841, is kidnapped and sold into slavery. Stripped of his identity and dignity, Northup is sold to ruthless plantation owner Edwin Epps (Michael Fassbender, The Counselor) and forced to find the strength to survive.
The cast also includes Benedict Cumberbatch (War Horse), Alfre Woodard (Steel Magnolias), Paul Giamatti (Win Win) and Brad Pitt (World War Z). Steve McQueen (Shame) directs, from a screenplay by John Ridley (Red Tails) based on the memoir by the real Northup about his life.
12 Years a Slave grossed $46 million in theaters and wowed every moviegoer. Critics gave the film a whopping 96% approval, »
Michael B. Jordan/credit: Jennie Warren Photography
Actors Kristen Bell and Michael B. Jordan will host the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Scientific and Technical Awards on Saturday, February 15, at The Beverly Hills Hotel. They will present 19 awards to 52 individual recipients during the evening.
“We are thrilled to have Kristen and Michael join us as hosts for this year’s Sci-Tech Awards,” said Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs. “They are bright, young talents in the film community and will be a great addition to a night that honors the industry’s technical achievements.”
Bell recently lent her voice to the Oscar®-nominated Disney animated feature “Frozen.” She also will be seen in the title role of the upcoming feature “Veronica Mars,” in theaters this March. Bell’s other film credits include “The Lifeguard,” “Hit & Run,” “When in Rome” and “Forgetting Sarah Marshall.”
In 2013, Jordan appeared in his first »
- Michelle McCue
Where others may diagnose death for a failed film, a certain cinematic surgeon endeavors to breathe new life into moribund movies through extreme and invasive procedures. Whether it be rescuing invaluable elements from train wrecks for transplant, identifying cause of symptoms or resurrecting doomed patients with wholesale rewrites, Cinematic Surgery aims to show that even the most tragic or insolvable cases can be saved in the operating/editing room.
Such is the current culture in the filmmaking world that the very notion of suggesting ‘remake’ is considered sacrilege, a soul selling throw down to the cynical moneymakers bleeding dry a stable of beloved movies of the past in pursuit of sales through nostalgia and association, all to the detriment of goodwill and creativity. But the problem isn’t in the concept, it’s in the choices.
On occasion, there has been a film put out that sells itself through the strength of its tantalizing premise, »
- Scott Patterson
Oscar nominated scriptwriter received no fee for first four years of development, until Hollywood finally stepped in
• Will Steve McQueen be first black film-maker to win best director Oscar?
• Oscars 2014: 12 Years a Slave must clean up. But that doesn't mean it will
12 Years a Slave scriptwriter John Ridley revealed that he worked unpaid on the script for the Oscar nominated film for four years.
Ridley, who had previously written scripts for Red Tails, Three Kings and U Turn told the Press Association: "There was no development money whatsoever for this project, so I said I'd take it on as a spec project, which means I'll write it for free."
12 Years, adapted from Solomon Northup's 1853 memoir of kidnap and slavery on a plantation in Louisiana, was initially spotted by director Steve McQueen's partner Bianca Stigter, and Ridley agreed to write a script well before any financial backing arrived. »
- Andrew Pulver
Complete details on the 2-hour documentary narrated by Cuba Gooding, Jr, via press release from Smithsonian Channel below: New York, January 23, 2014 - They fought for democracy in a segregated army and marched as conquerors into a country in ruins. Finding a "breath of freedom" in post-World War II Germany, African-American soldiers experienced for the first time what it felt like to be treated as equals - and returned home determined to change their country. This largely unknown chapter in American history is told in Breath Of Freedom, a new two-hour documentary narrated by Academy-Award winner Cuba Gooding, Jr. (Red Tails, Men of Honor) premiering Monday, February 17 at 8pm Et/Pt on Smithsonian Channel. Featuring interviews with former Secretary of State General Colin Powell and Congressman John Lewis, this is the remarkable story of how World War II and its aftermath played a huge role in the Civil Rights Movement. It's »
- Tambay A. Obenson
Complete details on the 2-hour documentary narrated by Cuba Gooding, Jr, via press release from Smithsonian Channel below: New York, January 23, 2014 - They fought for democracy in a segregated army and marched as conquerors into a country in ruins. Finding a "breath of freedom" in post-World War II Germany, African-American soldiers experienced for the first time what it felt like to be treated as equals - and returned home determined to change their country. This largely unknown chapter in American history is told in Breath Of Freedom, a new two-hour documentary narrated by Academy-Award winner Cuba Gooding, Jr. (Red Tails, Men of Honor) premiering Monday, February 17 at 8pm »
- Tambay A. Obenson
It's like clockwork, isn't it? It seems like every year (especially in recent times), there's always that one *black film* that's heavily discussed/debated by us (black audiences and critics alike). In 2012, even though it didn't open until the last week of the year, it was Django Unchained; From the script review, to the first trailer, to all the quotables from the cast and crew leading up to the film's release, etc. That's why it was the number 1 most discussed topic on S&A in 2012, with the conversation continuing into 2013. I'd even toss Red Tails into that hat, for consideration, because it was also heavily debated, although that was much earlier in the year. In 2011 »
- Tambay A. Obenson
ABC has greenlit a pilot from 12 Years a Slave writer John Ridley.
Set in California's Central Valley, American Crime follows the lives of those involved in a racially-charged trial after a murder.
The project was first put into development last October.
12 Years a Slave is a big contender for Best Picture at this year's Oscars, having already won the Best Drama prize at last weekend's Golden Globes.
Watch a trailer for 12 Years a Slave below:
Catch up on all the latest TV and Movies releases in Digital Spy's Screen Time: »
Exclusive: CAA has signed David Oyelowo, who is coming off Lee Daniels’ The Butler, part of the cast nominated for a SAG ensemble award, followed by co-starring in the Christopher Nolan-directed Interstellar opposite Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway. Oyelowo, who has been doing fine work for a long time in everything from Jack Reacher to Red Tails, The Help and Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes, had been with Wme. His exit appears to be fallout from the recent exit of Brian Swardstrom to UTA. Oyelowo continues to be represented in the UK by Christian Hodell at Hamilton Hodell and manager Glenn Rigberg at Inphenate. His attorney is Ira Schreck at Schreck Rose Dapello & Adams. »
- MIKE FLEMING JR
The first image from Thomas McCarthy’s dramatic comedy The Cobbler has been released showing off its leading man Adam Sandler (Jack and Jill). Before you hesitate, the film sees Sandler return to drama in a role that sees him repair shoes with the ability to metaphysically step into the lives of the people whose shoes he repairs. Thomas McCarthy’s previous films have been charming and intelligent and it will interesting to see what he can do with Sandler’s stubborn comedic background...
The Cobbler also stars Steve Buscemi (Boardwalk Empire), Dan Stevens (Downton Abbey), Dustin Hoffman (Kung Fu Panda 2), Method Man (Red Tails), Melonie Diaz (Fruitvale Station) and Elena Kampouris (Labor Day).
- Gary Collinson
13 items from 2014
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