14 items from 2014
Asa Butterfield is in negotiations to play the lead 17 year old Jacob, who sets off in a search for answers to the story of his eastern European grandfather, after the traumatic & mysterious death of his beloved grandfather. He finds himself transported to an island where he must help protect a group of orphans with special powers from creatures who are out to destroy them.
Asa (represented by Independent Talent) was recently nominated for Best Actor at the BFI film awards for his role as a maths prodigy in X + Y, and he has previously played the lead in Ender's Game, Hugo and The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas.
18 year old Ella Purnell will join him as young girl named Emma who can control fire »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (ScreenTerrier)
Tim Burton’s pending adaptation for 20th Century Fox, Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children, may have found its lead in Ender’s Game star, Asa Butterfield. According to The Wrap, the actor is being strongly considered for the lead role:
While Butterfield has not received an official offer yet, insiders say one is expected to materialize soon, as he’s Burton’s choice for the coveted role.
Based on the novel by Ransom Riggs, the film has already snagged Eva Green (Sin City: A Dame To Kill For) for the titular role. If Butterfield bags the part, he’ll play 16-year old Jacob Portman, “who seeks the truth about his grandfather’s past after he’s murdered by a “hollow,” a vicious creature that Jacob had thought to be imaginary. He quickly meets a young girl named Emma who can control fire, and via a time loop, she »
- Gem Seddon
As we look in the rearview mirror of the summer blockbusters, September heralds the start of the fall movie season. Filled with Hollywood heavyweights and A-listers, here’s our Big list of the most anticipated movies coming to cinemas this autumn and during the holidays.
Our exhaustive list includes films that are playing at the upcoming Toronto Film Festival as well the ones that already have a theatrical release date. With the awards season on the horizon, we also added a few bonus films at the end to keep your eye out for in the months ahead.
Pull up a chair, grab a pen and paper and get ready for Wamg’s Guide to the 100+ Films This Fall And Holiday Season.
We kick it off with what’s showing in Toronto at the film festival that runs September 4 – 14.
- Movie Geeks
Agent 47 is a reboot of Hitman (which starred Justified’s Timothy Olyphant as the lead character and grossed over $100 million worldwide back in 2007). The movie is based on the hit video game franchise from Square Enix, and this take on the bald assassin was shot in a number of locations including Berlin and Singapore.
Friend’s other big screen credits include Pride and Prejudice and The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, so this will see him take on his first role in a big budget blockbuster. Of course, he’s no stranger to action thanks to his role in the Showtime drama and should have little trouble convincingly portraying the tough as nails anti-hero who »
- Josh Wilding
What’s new, what’s hot, and what you may have missed, now available to stream.
streaming now, before it’s in theaters
The Congress: a hugely ambitious film reminiscent of The Matrix and the works of Terry Gilliam while also carving out its own apocalyptic sci-fi space [my review] [iTunes Us]
streaming now, while it’s still in theaters
Snowpiercer: hauntingly grim, full of appalling ironies and awful truths; most definitely not the feel-good movie of the summer [my review] [iTunes Us]
streaming now, before it’s on dvd
Noah: a Biblical action disaster fantasy epic that is completely bonkers, endlessly entertaining, and actually religious in that inspiring-and-instructional way that you don’t need to take as literal truth to see the wisdom of [my review] [iTunes Us] On My Way (Elle s’en va): beautifully observant meander through the difficulties and discoveries of wise but still confused advanced age, led by a gorgeous, vital, 70-odd Catherine Deneuve [my review] [iTunes Us] Teenage: snappy »
- MaryAnn Johanson
Mark Kermode: this child's-eye view of life under the Nazis is smothered by tasteful restraint
While films as diverse and powerful as The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas and Lore have offered insightful and moving child's-eye perspectives on the horrors of the second world war, this staid adaptation of Markus Zusak's bestseller comes a cropper as it tries to blend heartwarming moral observation with ill-fitting metaphysical contrivance. Narrated in awkwardly sporadic fashion by Death himself (Roger Allam in fine if ill-fitting voice), the drama follows the titular young girl as she observes the rise of the Nazis with a mixture of bewilderment and resolve – her passion for reading growing even as their literary bonfires burn. Taken in by foster parents (Geoffrey Rush, avuncular; Emily Watson, grumpy on the outside only) who hide a Jewish refugee in their cellar, Liesel retains a powerful sense of right and wrong, untainted by »
- Mark Kermode
After a pair of edgy indies and a Palme d’Or to boot, Steven Soderbergh was given his first opportunity to bed down with the studio system and take advantage of the much deeper pockets that such an opportunity affords, but no one expected that under the watch of Universal the young auteur would make the polished and saccharine King of the Hill his first project. Adapted from A. E. Hotchner’s depression era memoir of the same title in which a preadolescent boy named Aaron is faced with the harsh realities of true poverty, Soderbergh’s first studio effort remains a wholesome oddity within a filmography that seems increasingly chameleonic, but rarely sentimental. After the subversion of Sex, Lies, and Videotape and the experimentalism of the bio-pic Kafka, the chances that his next film would boast the fluffiness of a made for TV afternoon special about how hard it »
- Jordan M. Smith
As with films such as Life is Beautiful and The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, it’s always fascinating to delve into the horrors of war from a child’s innocent eyes, witnessing such undignified brutality from a naïve, blissfully ignorant perspective. Succinctly highlighting the futility of it all, Brian Percival’s The Book Thief feels suitably watered down, pinpointing death and destruction without feeling torturous. However what transpires is a disengaging, emotionally detached title, as a film that truly struggles to move you, despite the magnitude and poignancy of the themes explored.
Based on Markus Zusak’s bestselling novel, our entry point is the young Liesel (Sophie Nélisse), who is separated from her communist mother and taken in by a German couple, Hans (Geoffrey Rush) and Rosa (Emily Watson) – the former a benevolent, affable man, the latter not quite so much. Soon this seemingly placid environment becomes a theatre of conflict, »
- Stefan Pape
Odd List Simon Brew Ryan Lambie 17 Feb 2014 - 06:24
Whether they're bleak, shocking or sad, the endings to these 22 movies have haunted us for years...
Warning: There are spoilers to the endings for every film we talk about in this article. So if you don't want to know an ending for a film, then don't read that entry.
It's probably best to start by talking about what this article isn't. It's not a list of the best movie endings, the best twists, the most depressing endings or anything like that. Instead, we're focusing here on the endings that seeped into our brain and stayed there for some time after we'd seen the film. The endings that provoke in an interesting way, and haunt you for days afterwards.
As such, whilst not every ending we're going to talk about here is a flat out classic - although lots of them are »
Odd List Ryan Lambie Simon Brew 13 Feb 2014 - 06:39
Our voyage through history's underappreciated films arrives at the year 2008 - another great year for lesser-seen gems...
For some, 2008 will be memorable as the year of The Dark Knight, with its astonishingly unhinged turn from the late Heath Ledger. Alternatively, it could be remembered as the year a legion Indiana Jones fans left cinemas glum-faced, having sat through Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull.
Elsewhere, Meryl Streep and Pierce Brosnan sang and danced on a Greek island in Mamma Mia!, while Will Smith played an alcoholic superhero in Hancock. But as usual, 2008 offered plenty of watchable movies outside the top 10, which is where we swoop in - like Hancock after a bottle of gin.
So as usual, here's our selection of 25 underappreciated films from the year 2008 - starting with a British horror film starring Michael Fassbender...
25. Eden Lake
James Watkins had written »
Oscar nominees Dallas Buyers Club and 12 Years a Slave highlight how films often focus on a single unusual 'victim' rather than the suffering of many
When Rod Serling created the science-fiction suspense series The Twilight Zone in 1959, he did so partly as a way to smuggle stories of social injustice (particularly racism) under the cover of metaphor. Even he could not have wished for better outlines than the ones contained in two of this year's Oscar nominees for best picture. An African American wakes to find his rights and identity have vanished. A homophobic cowboy discovers he has Aids, and is subjected to a helping of his own foul-tasting medicine from those who assume him to be gay.
Both 12 Years a Slave and Dallas Buyers Club are worthy of an audience's time and admiration but they each play variations on the same calculating game. In using an outsider figure as »
- Ryan Gilbey
With Paul Walker‘s untimely passing comes casting holes in upcoming films he was set to star. 2007′s Hitman, based on the popular video game featuring an elite assassin originally starred Justified-lead Timothy Olyphant, but its upcoming sequel, Agent 47, was to begin shooting with Walker in the title role after completing his Fast and Furious 7 duties. It now appears Homeland star Rupert Friend is in early discussions to fill the position in his stead. Friend is also known for his role in 2008′s The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. James Marsden is also in preliminary talks to take Walker’s place in the Nicholas Sparks romantic novel adaptation of The Best of Me, where he’d star alongside Michelle Monaghan as reunited high school sweethearts in rural North Carolina. Marsden is best know in his role as Scott Summers/Cyclops in Bryan Singer’s X-Men, and most recently appeared in Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues alongside »
- Dustin Hucks
Last February, it was revealed that Paul Walker had signed up to play Agent 47 in 20th Century Fox’s reboot of Hitman (which starred Justified’s Timothy Olyphant in the title role and grossed over $100 million worldwide back in 2007). Based on the hit video game franchise from Square Enix, this take on the bald assassin was set to be shot in Berlin and Singapore.
At the time of of Walker’s tragic death last year, there was little to no mention of Agent 47 as the media mainly focused on what would happen to Fast & Furious 7, a movie which he was in the middle of shooting. However, the studio are clearly still keen on putting the project into development as The Wrap reports that Homeland’s Rupert Friend (who plays Peter Quinn in the critically acclaimed Showtime series) is now nearing a deal to take on the role of Agent 47. »
- Josh Wilding
Paul Walker had been attached to the project since February, and he had planned to shoot the project after he wrapped production on Fast & Furious 7. The actor tragically passed away in late November from injuries sustained in a car crash.
Aleksander Bach is making his feature directorial debut, working from a script by Michael Finch and Skip Woods, who wrote the 2007 video game adaptation Hitman, which made $100 million worldwide and starred Timothy Olyphant. No story details have been released, although the original movie and the video game follow an assassin known only as Agent 47, who has a barcode tattooed to the back of his head. The Square Enix video game series has sold more than 20 million units since the franchise was launched.
Rupert Friend's big screen credits include Pride & Prejudice, »
14 items from 2014
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