18 items from 2013
Note: Film critic Tim Grierson is attending the Cannes Film Festival for the first time. For Backstage, he’ll be filing occasional diary entries about his thoughts and impressions of the granddaddy of all film festivals. Wednesday, May 22, 11:16pm For too long, Robert Redford has been around but not really present. Overseeing the Sundance Film Festival and popping up to introduce movies on the Sundance Channel, he’s still in the public eye, but for too long he’s seemingly been happy enjoying his emeritus status in the film industry. It’s not like he’s stopped making movies, but unfortunately in the last several years, those movies—“Lions for Lambs,” “The Conspirator,” “The Company You Keep”—have failed to wow critics or do much box office. Everybody regards him as an institution, but it’s hard to say that many people think of him as all that relevant anymore. »
Even before Tom Cruise's "Oblivion" opened in North America on Thursday night, the 50-year-old must have been grinning his famous grin. Before the movie had sold a single ticket here, it was a surefire hit. In his native land, Cruise takes a lot of ribbing, whether for his headline-generating personal life (especially since 2005, the year of the couch-jump) or for the seeming shrinkage of his star-power (again, especially since 2005). The estimated $38.2 million "Oblivion" earned this weekend marked his biggest domestic opening since "Mission: Impossible III" seven years ago. Some will call it a comeback, others will call it a fluke or last hurrah from a middle-aged action hero desperately trying to hold on to his relevance in an industry that relentlessly moves on to the next big (young) thing. But the truth is, Cruise has been a remarkably consistent box office winner, even since he started raising eyebrows eight »
- Gary Susman
Kosinski's Mind-boggling Sci-Fier to Boast Cruise's Biggest Domestic Box-Office Debut Weekend Since 2006?: Tom Cruise is no longer the superstar he used to be -- well, in case you believe the United States and Canada represent the whole world. (More information on Cruise's international b.o. allure further down.) Since J.J. Abrams' thriller Mission: Impossible III back in '06, only one Cruise movie in wide release has opened with more than $25 million at the North American box office: Brad Bird's fourquel Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol, which brought in $29.55 million on its second weekend (and first in wide release) on Christmas weekend 2011. This weekend (April 19-21), Cruise returns to American and Canadian screens with Joseph Kosinski's "original" sci-fier Oblivion; initial (Friday) results have surpassed studio predictions and, for that matter, the predictions of most pundits. (Pictured above: Cruise in the box-office hit sci-fier Oblivion.) As per estimates »
- Zac Gille
Watergate Remembered in Discovery Channel Documentary 'Celebrating' the 40th Anniversary of the Watergate Scandal The Washington Post and American journalistic ethics in general may be only a shadow of what they once were -- and most of the U.S. press was never really all that great or even borderline trustworthy to begin with -- but Robert Redford remains the same, glimpsed here with Watergate investigators Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward, and former Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee, shot (not literally) by Annie Leibovitz. Pictured above: Redford with Bernstein, Bradlee, and Woodward in the iconic Washington Post newsroom. The four veterans got together to promote the Discovery Channel doc All the President’s Men Revisited, about the 40th anniversary of the Watergate scandal that destroyed the Nixon presidency. With Redford as one of its executive producers, the documentary airs this month. Redford played Woodward opposite Dustin Hoffman's Bernstein in »
- Andre Soares
As the Summer movie season quickly approaches, the studios are only releasing one brand-new movie*Tom Cruise sci-fi adventure Oblivion*in to theaters nationwide this weekend. While strong word-of-mouth will keep 42 in play, Oblivion has enough going for it that it should open on top with at least $30 million, which will be the highest opening weekend in April 2013.At the beginning of the new century, Tom Cruise was arguably the biggest movie star in the U.S.: from Mission: Impossible II in 2000 to Mission: Impossible III in 2006, Cruise starred in seven-straight movies that earned at least $100 million at the domestic box office. Towards the end of that run, though, Cruise's public image took a hit due to some of his more eccentric behavior and his strong association with the controversial Church of Scientology. Since 2006, Cruise has only had a single $100 million domestic earner, which was the fourth Mission: Impossible »
- Ray Subers <firstname.lastname@example.org>
(From the pages of the April 16 issue of Variety.)
Why this random information? Because the superstars of the 65-and-over set are wandering down unexpected paths these days in a determination to keep their creative lives (and income streams) aloft.
I’ve always been empathetic to the plight of the “senior stars” as they figure out their third acts. In searching for roles, must they still get the girl? Or should they simply go to Lakers games, like Jack Nicholson, or write thrillers, like Gene Hackman, or pose for ads, like Sean Connery? Or, like Warren Beatty, should they keep trying to revive weary projects from the past? (Yes, Beatty still wants to explore the Howard Hughes mythology.)
The past has been haunting Redford (age 76) lately. »
- Peter Bart
In Robert Redford’s America, red, white and blue are all just varying shades of gray.
(From the pages of the April 9 issue of Variety.)
“I’m fascinated by the country I grew up in, and what that country really is, not just what it’s been propagandized to be,” says the 76-year-old actor-director, whose latest film “The Company You Keep” debuted this weekend in Los Angeles and New York.
As a younger man, Redford says, “it felt to me like America was always wanting to resolve things too quickly, without thinking through what the costs and consequences would be, and how that affects an individual living in that world. Then as I grew up and went about my life, I think I just got more and more interested in that gray area where things are not so easily quantified.”
Time and again over the course of his now 50-year career, »
- Scott Foundas
The third film in Robert Redford’s recent series of stillborn, bleeding heart dramas, "The Company You Keep" is a busy but inert civic-minded thriller. As a director, Redford has yet to break his recent habit of using hackneyed dialogue to talk down to his audience with Aaron Sorkin-esque dialogue that authoritatively spells out his talking points. But unlike "Lions for Lambs," an impressively incensed civics lesson that thinks it’s a drama, "The Company You Keep" is too cool of a film to be admired for its creator’s chutzpah alone. In fact, it’s probably the most frustrating of Redford’s recent films because it has a pseudo-contemplative atmosphere to it, one that superficially begs viewers to reflect upon how far they would go for their convictions. Political apathy is the real enemy in "The Company You Keep," making it pitiably ironic that Redford’s latest is as unmoving as it is. »
- Simon Abrams
I confess I haven't thought much about Robert Redford's "The Company You Keep" -- which finally opens in theaters tomorrow -- since reviewing it at the Venice Film Festival seven months ago. Though it takes on the potentially incendiary subject matter of the Weather Underground, the film's political ideas are handled as softly as the lighting on its veteran stars' faces -- but as an old-school Hollywood entertainment with a classy, cannily cast ensemble, it mostly delivers the goods. I'd call it Redford's strongest directorial effort since 1994's Oscar-nominated "Quiz Show," though films like "Lions for Lambs" and "The Conspirator" have admittedly »
- Guy Lodge
"Millions of galaxies of hundreds of millions of stars, in a speck on one in a blink. That’s us, lost in space." — Vincent, Collateral
Though he's most widely known for his action movies — the Mission: Impossible movies, in particular — superstar actor Tom Cruise has also starred in a handful of sci-fi movies in his career, including War of the Worlds (2005), his highest grossing domestic release to date. After an eight-year hiatus from sci-fi, Cruise will return to the genre on April 19th in Oblivion, a post-apocalyptic epic from director Joseph Kosinski (Tron: Legacy) in which Cruise plays one of the last drone (read: clone) workers on an Earth that is all but abandoned following a devastating war with an alien race known as the Scavs.
In anticipation of Oblivion's imminent release, we thought this would be a great time to look back on Cruise's rather extensive filmography to determine, »
- BrentJS Sprecher
Wwz 'new' trailer in high definition: Pitt pitted against flesh-eating bacteria of sorts -- but where on earth is Iron Man when you most need him? Marc Forster's World War Z, the convoluted production starring screen icon Brad Pitt fighting off a deadly zombie army, has a brand new trailer. Well, maybe not so brand new after all. The Wwz trailer no. 2 (please scroll down to check it out) was dropped several days ago. (Pictured above: Pitt apparently fleeing from a zombie attack in Wwz.) Anyhow ... let's go for what's important: What are the lessons found in the not-all-that-brand-new trailer? Lesson no. 1 is clearly that the happiness and well-being of all-American families is appallingly fragile. Look out there (on on your television set) and you'll discover that there are always alien enemies eager to annihilate the private bliss of Americans. Lesson no. 2: The world is coming to an »
- Andre Soares
Max Brooks’ 2006 novel World War Z garnered both critical and commercial acclaim, with many people expressing an interest in seeing a film adaptation of the zombie story. Said film adaptation was soon put into development, joining a genre in which filmmakers such as George Romero, Edgar Wright, and Danny Boyle have left their mark, with filmmaker Jonathan Levine’s Warm Bodies being the latest entry. Stranger Than Fiction‘s has been tapped to helm this adaptation, with Lions For Lambs scribe Matthew Michael Carnahan tapped to pen the screenplay for a cast that includes Brad Pitt, Mireille Enos, James Badge Dale, David Morse, Matthew Fox, and David Andrews. A new trailer for the film has now been released, and can be seen below.
(Source: First Showing)
- Deepayan Sengupta
From the files of Marvel is taking over the universe: Deadline.com reports that Robert Redford is in talks to join "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" as a S.H.I.E.L.D. muckety-muck. According to THR, Redford's "Captain America" role would be similar to that of Ralph Fiennes' character in "Skyfall."
That Redford would team up with Marvel is somewhat surprising, if only because as an actor he's been very choosy over the last decade. Since 2003, Redford has appeared in four films, half of which he directed (2007's "Lions for Lambs" and this year's "The Company You Keep"); his next film is "All Is Lost," a drama from "Margin Call" director J.C. Chandor about a man lost at sea.
"I think a lot of people think I don't do it anymore," Redford recently told Esquire about being an actor. "Well, I've gone and done other things. Not so much time off as focused on Sundance. »
- Christopher Rosen
Remember The Man From U.N.C.L.E.? The spy thriller that has been kicking around over at Warner Bros. for a while? Well, it finally looks like the project is picking up steam again. After passing through many directors, including Steven Soderbergh, and finally landing on Guy Ritchie’s desk, the studio has now found its star in Tom Cruise.
The actor is in early talks to take the lead role, that of Napoleon Solo. If you recall, George Clooney was originally tied to the part and when he dropped out, Michael Fassbender, Johnny Depp and Channing Tatum all flirted with the project, but no one was able to lock down a deal. It should be noted that Cruise is not yet confirmed, but he is interested and negotiations are currently taking place.
Of course, the film is based on the television series of the same name, which aired in the 60s. »
- Matt Joseph
Five years after Robert Redford’s disappointing anti-war drama "Lions for Lambs" the 76-year-old actor, director and Sundance mogul is back in similar territory. He directs and stars in the forthcoming "The Company You Keep" which tells the story of Jim Grant, a public interest lawyer and single father living in Albany, New York. Shia Labeouf’s brash reporter exposes Grant as a fugitive, wanted for a murder he allegedly committed in his days as an anti-war radical. Grant is forced to go on the run and find the person who might be able to clear his name. (Read our review here) Redford pulled together a stellar cast for his 9th directorial effort, and ahead of the release even more glossy photos of the lovely ensemble (and Nick Nolte) have arrived. They include a scruffy Shia Labeouf (is there another kind?) being chewed out and by a finger-jabbing Stanley Tucci, »
- Kieran McMahon
Written and directed by Leone Marucci, this picture follows six different points of view unfolding on one sunny New Orleans afternoon, spanning twenty minutes of time, where each segment eventually intersects in one climactic moment where criminals and a high profile religious based heist collide.
Living in squalor with his hopped up mom (Louise Linton, Lions For Lambs) and baby brother, Cory (Devon Gearhart, Funny Games) decides that he must acquire medicine for his ailing brother, and thus takes off on a mission to rob The Space Bar, an internet café/grocery store run by the pregnant Mala (Moon Bloodgood, Terminator Salvation). Mala has been arguing with husband Shane (Derek Richardson, Hostel) about his aspiring acting career. Meanwhile, undercover agents Clyde (Christian Slater, True Romance) and Marti (Nicky Whelan, Halloween II) are on the hunt for a suspect that may have recently stolen the Shroud of Turin from the Vatican, »
- Ken Parker
No, this is not a movie with Shia Labeouf doing shit Punisher style or anything like that. Instead it's a thriller with Robert Redford, who looks to be doing most of the action. I've been hearing great things about The Company You Keep. Definitely worth a watch since we haven't seen Redford do any acting since 2007's Lions For Lambs. This role looks like a good one to return to. I know several of us have already mentioned it, but the entire cast is a good one: Redford, Labeouf, Susan »
- Niki Stephens
The zombie apocalypse has been an oft-explored topic in film, with George Romero often considered the definitive voice, though not the only one, as filmmakers such as Zack Snyder and Danny Boyle have also put their own spin on the mythology. Marc Forster is the latest to try his hand at the genre, helming an adaptation of the Max Brooks novel World War Z. With a screenplay co-written by Prometheus co-scribe Damon Lindelof and Lions For Lambs writer Matthew Michael Carnahan, and a cast that includes Brad Pitt, Mireille Enos, Matthew Fox, David Morse, and James Badge Dale. A new Superbowl spot for the film has now been released, and can be seen below.
- Deepayan Sengupta
18 items from 2013
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