1-20 of 87 items from 2014 « Prev | Next »
First of all, something of an apology. I have been writing this column thinking that every single title due for release the following Monday would of course be released via some kind of pay to stream service. Of course it would, we are living in the future, and this is how things are done isn’t it?
Apparently not, last week I included Jeremy Saulnier’s much loved Blue Ruin in the pay to stream section and then it didn’t come out the way I thought it might. Turns out that some companies still have a fairly limited release pattern so Blue Ruin was released by channel 4’s DVD label and appeared on DVD and Blu but didn’t show up to stream on any of the major providers, not even Sky Store or Playstation Network.
So turns out that being a channel 4 release, you can of course rent »
- Chris Holt
Directed by: Lenny Abrahamson
Running Time: 1 hr 35 mins
Release Date: August 29, 2014 (Chicago)
Plot: A songwriter (Gleeson) meets a bandleader who always wears a giant head (Fassbender).
Who’S It For? Those who cherish unabashed creativity.
Frank begins inside the head of scruffy yokel Jon (Domnhall Gleeson), a musician living with his parents who just wants to compose the hit song that will bestow him on his big break. By freak timing, the struggling pop-inclined keyboardist is randomly brought on board an enigmatic band called The Soronprfbs. Within this noise rock band (start by thinking of freakier Flaming Lips tracks) is acidic synth player Clara (Maggie Gyllenhaal), bassist and drummer Baraque and Nana (François Civil and Carla Azar), and their manager Don (Scoot McNairy). Their lead singer is also their chief songwriter, a man named Frank (Michael Fassbender »
- Nick Allen
In the moviegoer’s hierarchy of needs, a PG-13 “Expendables” is about as essential as a Joel Schumacher remake of “Tokyo Story.” Or, to put it in terms more appropriate to its target audience: You need “The Expendables 3” like you need a kick in the crotch, and while this running-on-fumes sequel may not be quite as painful a thing to experience, it will waste considerably more of your time. From train-crashing start to back-slapping finish, Lionsgate’s latest and longest showcase for Sylvester Stallone and other aging slabs of B-movie beef — the marquee names this time around include Mel Gibson and Harrison Ford — smacks of desperation and teen-audience pandering, from the literally bloodless action to the introduction of a younger, hotter backup team of fighters (call them the Hip Replacements). It’s an obvious, half-hearted ploy to keep the beleaguered series going, when it would »
- Variety Staff
For this week’s spotlight piece, I wanted to take a look at one of the business’s hottest names…one Michael Fassbender. In a rather short period of time, he’s gone from a character actor to a critical darling to a superstar, with an Academy Award nomination thrown in there for good measure (along with a few Oscar snubs as well). Fassbender is arguably one of Hollywood’s most talented actors, so it’s great to see him continually display it in interesting and unique projects. He’s a definite A-lister, likely to go down as an all time great when all is said and done, so he’s perfect for this column! Fassbender got his start on television, first coming on to my radar with HBO’s landmark miniseries Band of Brothers. There were other small TV projects (both miniseries and movies, as well as full on »
- Joey Magidson
Mentored by unconventional and anarchic teacher Mr Humphreys (Rafe Spall), Nathan’s talents win him a place representing Gb at the International Mathematics Olympiad.
When the team go to train in Taiwan, headed up by squad leader Richard (Eddie Marsan), Nathan is faced with unexpected challenges - not least his new and unfamiliar feelings for his Chinese counterpart...
Newcomer Jo Yang who went to school in West London before returning to study in Beiijing plays the beautiful Zhang Mei.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (ScreenTerrier)
Guiding Lights is run by Lighthouse and Creative Skillset and offers participants nine months of one-on-one mentor support, as well as industry training and networking events.
Digital culture agency Lighthouse and Creative Skillset have announced the 15 participants taking part in their 2014 Guiding Lights programme.
In its sixth year, Guiding Lights offers participants nine months of one-on-one mentor support from professionals in the film industry, as well as access to industry training and networking events. The candidates were selected from more than 250 applications.
“The Guiding Lights selection process is always extremely competitive, and this year was no exception,” said Lighthouse senior producer Emily Kyriakides.
“We’re really excited by the past achievements, future potential and talent within the group, and feel that they have a lot to offer each other as well. They’re a very impressive bunch, and we look forward to working with them over the coming months.”
This year, Lighthouse and Creative »
Fresh off the overwhelming success of X-Men: Days of Future Past and 12 Years a Slave, the first image of Michael Fassbender’s in his latest project, Slow West, has surfaced. The film – which also features The Road’s Kodi Smit-McPhee – was actually shot towards the back end of last year and sees Fassbender team up with director John Maclean, with whom he has previously collaborated on two short films.
For those unfamiliar with Slow West, here’s the official plot synopsis:
Set at the end of the 19th Century, Slow West is an American western filtered through the eyes of European filmmaking. The story centers on 17 year old Jay Cavendish (Kodi Smit-McPhee) who has traveled from Scotland to Colorado to be reunited with the woman with whom he is infatuated. He is quickly confronted by the dangers of the frontier and so teams up with a mysterious traveler named Silas »
- Dale Barham
The Academy welcomes its new members at an invite only event in September, just as we begin to feel the rumblings of Oscar buzz everywhere.
While not every person nominated for the first time for an Oscar in any given year is invited to join the next year (isn't that weird?) it's common practice that they are. So new names like Lupita Nyong'o, Barkhad Abdi, and more established actors like Sally Hawkins and June Squibb will all be voting for the first time this coming season after walking the red carpets as nominees. That's expected. What's far more interesting is the people invited in any given year that have not been nominated.
Here are ten names I want to highlight because they're interesting invitations for one reason or another.
Sean Bobbitt - Cinematographer (12 Years a Slave) - egregiously snubbed last year which might have done it but that's not his only beautifully shot film. »
- NATHANIEL R
It’s Memorial Day weekend — the unofficial start of summer — and the holiday’s top movies at the box-office will likely be X-Men, Godzilla, and Adam Sandler’s Blended, with Spider-Man 2 still swinging through multiplexes. Ever since Jaws sunk its teeth into the sweltering months of 1975, summer has been blockbuster season, and studios now jockey years in advance to lock up the best dates between Memorial Day and Labor Day for their big-budget blockbusters. A few of them turn out to be quite good, but just about all of them tend to be very, very loud.
Perhaps your eyes »
- Jeff Labrecque
As a sequel to both "X-Men: The Last Stand" and the 2011 reboot "First Class," director Bryan Singer's film brings the two casts together for "X-Men: Days of Future Past." Starting in a dystopian future, what's left of the team (plus a few newcomers) is being hunted down by unstoppable mutant-killing robots called Sentinels.
As far as they can tell, the nightmare was all set into motion back in 1973, thanks to Jennifer Lawrence's Mystique (no spoilers here, but she did something even worse than putting metal in the science oven). That means the ageless Logan (played by the equally ageless Hugh Jackman, as always), or at least his consciousness, must be transported back in time to warn a young Professor Xavier (James McAvoy) and young Magneto (Michael Fassbender) before it's too late to stop her.
Granted, it's a lot to process, but by now, we've learned better than to »
- Rick Mele
An outdoor activity instructor spotted on the streets of Manchester has made her Cannes Film Festival debut after being cast in a £2m British movie about honour killings. Sameena Jabeen Ahmed, 24, stars in Catch Me Daddy, which has just premiered in the "Un Certain Regard" strand of the French festival, where films such as Steve McQueen's Hunger and the cult black comedy Sightseers were first seen. »
Channel 4’s movie arm Film4 is one of the pillars of the British film industry, alongside BBC Films and the British Film Institute, so when its longtime chief Tessa Ross recently said she would be stepping down, it sent a frisson through the biz.
Ben Roberts, director of the BFI Film Fund, says if either or both of the networks shuttered their film divisions it would leave a huge hole. Film4 and BBC Films invest £27 million ($45.4 million) between them in development and production. The BFI Film Fund’s budget is also $45.4 million, but as well as covering development and production, it also pays for distribution and sales support. Most of the projects on the BFI slate are backed by one or other of the broadcasters, such as Cannes titles “Jimmy’s Hall” from Ken Loach, “Mr. Turner” from Mike Leigh and “Pride” from Matthew Warchus.
“In our independent film sector, »
- Leo Barraclough
★★★★★ When is an 'issue movie' not an 'issue movie'? In the case of Steve McQueen's vital 12 Years a Slave (2013), when it comes from a director with bona fide artistic sensibilities who miraculously managed to carry out his cinematic vision whilst at the same time finding himself - and his film - lavished with praise during one of the most high profile awards seasons in recent years. While McQueen isn't the first director to tackle the subject of black slavery within its historical context, his supremely accomplished third feature (following the harrowing Hunger and sex addiction drama Shame) is perhaps one of the most complete, with British actor Chiwetel Ejiofor peerless in the lead role.
- CineVue UK
One of the key awards at Cannes is the Camera d'Or, launched in 1978, which goes to the best film from a first-time filmmaker in the Official Selection, La Semaine de la Critique and Directors’ Fortnight. Past winners include Benh Zeitlin, whose 2012 "Beast of the Southern Wild" went on to nab Oscar nominations for Best Picture, Director, Original Screenplay and Actress, as well as Jim Jarmusch ("Stranger than Paradise," 1984), Mira Nair ("Salaam Bombay!", 1988), John Turturro ("Mac," 1992), Marc Levin ("Slam," 1998), Miranda July ("Me, You and Everyone We Know," 2005), and Steve McQueen ("Hunger," 2008). It's a career launch prize. In 2014, fifteen films will be vying for the Camera d'Or award to be presented during the Awards Ceremony on Saturday May 24th. French director Nicole Garcia will preside. Here's the jury: Nicole Garcia, President, actress and director Richard Anconina, actor Gilles Gaillard, technician Sophie Grassin, journalist and critic Héléna »
- Anne Thompson
A second viewing brings out the humanity in 12 Years a Slave, while Brydon and Coogan prove a better fit for the small screen
No DVD release this year arrives on shelves more pre-gilded than 12 Years a Slave (Entertainment One, 15), the darling of the last Oscar season though the rare one, its most ardent champions insist, that is actually for life, not just for Christmas. Since appearing on the festival circuit last autumn, Steve McQueen's solemnly poetic realisation of freeman-turned-slave Solomon Northup's memoir has been lavished with praise that, however deserved, has bordered on the prescriptive: Amy Poehler's priceless Golden Globes quip that she'd "never look at slavery the same way again" was a cheeky rejoinder to publicity that sold the film more on its Important Issues than its tender, tactile humanity.
- Guy Lodge
Director: Steve McQueen.
Running time: 133 minutes.
Extras: The Team, The Score, A Historical Portrait Documentary, (Bd only) Discovering the book, Meet Solomon, Re-Creating an Era, Portraying Slavery, Legacy, Filmmaking Achievement, Interviews with Steve McQueen, John Ridley and other behind the scenes talent.
Being a huge admirer of Steve McQueen’s previous two films Hunger and Shame, I had hoped for more unique work with 12 Years A Slave and I was not disappointed by this exceptional film-maker, who delves into the darkest depths of horrific real-life slavery and still manages to find an unforgettable story that engrains itself decisively and deep into the psyche. McQueen has hauntingly recreated the shocking, true story of Solomon Northup (portrayed here by Chiwetel Ejiofor) during the twelve years he’s kidnapped in a pre-Civil War United States and sold into slavery. »
- Dan Bullock
It's been a good year so far for Michael Fassbender. He earned his long-overdue first Oscar nomination for 12 Years a Slave, recently wrapped one of the great Shakespearean tragedies, and will soon reprise his fan favourite role of Magneto in X-Men sequel Days of Future Past.
He's also winning yet more universal critical acclaim for his performance as the eccentric, papier-mâché head-wearing title character of Lenny Abrahamson's Frank, which is released in UK cinemas this week.
To celebrate his current hot streak, Digital Spy looks back on Fassbender's five greatest roles to date.
After close to a decade of under-the-radar TV work, Fassbender's breakthrough performance came with first-time director Steve McQueen, who would go on to become something like the Scorsese to his De Niro. Fassbender's raw performance as Ira hunger striker Bobby Sands is what anchors McQueen's breathlessly powerful and near-silent chronicle of a terrible piece of history. »
It’s hard to believe that we are only three short weeks away from the release of the biggest superhero film of all time…X-men: Days Of Future Past. Yes the time is almost here for the world to witness Bryan Singers epic culmination of fourteen years worth of cinematic storytelling, in the most exciting and ambitious comic book adaptation yet!
Although the film boasts (arguably) one of the greatest ensemble casts ever assembled on film, juggling them all will be quite a mammoth task and some will undoubtedly receive the short straw (Anna Paquin anyone?) in favour of higher profile stars *cough cough Hugh Jackman… Since the popularity of the Hunger Games franchise however, Jennifer Lawrence’s star has significantly risen and as a result her role as Mystique has been greatly expanded. In fact most of the promotional material for the film has placed Lawrence front and centre alongside Jackman’s iconic Wolverine, »
- Ben Read
Paris — France’s Nicole Garcia, a well-regarded actress-turned-director who has worked with many of French cinemas greats, will serve as president of the Cannes Festival’s Camera d’or Award jury.
Created in 1978, the Camera d’or prizes the best feature debut at the Festival, whether the Official Selection (Competition, Out of Competition, or Un Certain Regard), Directors’ Fortnight or Critics’ Week.
Past plaudits have gone to Jim Jarmusch (“Stranger Than Paradise”), Mira Nair (“Salaam Bombay!”), Jaco Van Dormael (“Toto the Heroe”), Naomi Kawase (“Suzake”), Bahman Ghobadi (“A Time For Drunken Horses”) and Steve McQueen (“Hunger”).
Often selecting films from directors who came into Cannes as virtual unknowns outside their country of origin – Mexico’s Michael Rowe, with “Leap Year,” for example – winners very often count among the select group of Cannes arthouse movies which garner bountiful sales in Cannes’ follow-up, though prices paid for winning titles is now another matter. »
- John Hopewell and Elsa Keslassy
Watch a brand new clip and go behind the scenes in this first featurette from director Amma Asante’s Belle. The upcoming film stars Gugu Mbatha Raw, Tom Wilkinson, Sam Reid, Sarah Gadon, Miranda Richardson, Penelope Wilton, Tom Felton, James Norton, Matthew Goode And Emily Watson.
Check out the latest photos from the groundbreaking movie Here.
Raised by her aristocratic great-uncle Lord Mansfield (Tom Wilkinson) and his wife (Emily Watson), Belle’s lineage affords her certain privileges, yet her status prevents her from the traditions of noble social standing.
While her cousin Elizabeth (Sarah Gadon) chases suitors for marriage, Belle is left on the sidelines wondering if she will ever find love. After meeting an idealistic young vicar’s son bent on changing society, »
- Michelle McCue
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