19 items from 2014
Having received a warm reception at Cannes 2014 in May, The Homesman will be hitting theaters stateside in a prime awards season spot - November 14th.
In his Variety’s review, critic Peter Debruge wrote, the film is a “sturdy cross-country Western.”
The Homesman stars Academy Award-winners Tommy Lee Jones and Hilary Swank, with a supporting cast featuring Grace Gummer, Miranda Otto, Sonja Richter, Tim Blake Nelson, Academy Award-nominees John Lithgow and Hailee Steinfeld, James Spader and Academy Award-winner Meryl Streep.
When three women living on the edge of the American frontier are driven mad by harsh pioneer life, the task of saving them falls to the pious, independent-minded Mary Bee Cuddy (Hilary Swank). Transporting the women by covered wagon to Iowa, she soon realizes just how daunting the journey will be, and employs a low-life drifter, George Briggs (Tommy Lee Jones), to join her.
The unlikely pair and the three women (Grace Gummer, »
- Michelle McCue
Sneak Peek footage from Ben Affleck's past films, plus a trailer from his latest film "Gone Girl", to give you an idea of his ability to play 'Batman' in director Zack Snyder's "Man Of Steel" sequel, "Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice":
Film clips include "Runner Runner", "Argo", "The Town", "To The Wonder", "The Company Men", "Hollywoodland", "State Of Play", "He's Just Not That Into You", "Smokin' Aces", "Gigli", "The Third Wheel" and "Daredevil".
Click the images to enlarge and Sneak Peek Ben Affleck...
- Michael Stevens
All right, all right, all right. We get it: Matthew McConaughey has had a year that most actors could only dream of. He wins the Best Actor Oscar in a competitive category for his stunning turn in Dallas Buyers Club. He is predicted to be a major contender in the Best Actor – Drama category at next month’s Emmys, for his tour de force performance in HBO’s True Detective. And he keeps attracting good work, such as the Gus Van Sant drama Sea of Trees. Now, the Oscar-winning actor is circling a hot Black List screenplay, The Company Man, which has the potential to continue his McConaissance.
The Company Man (not to be confused with The Company Men, a 2010 drama with Ben Affleck and Kevin Costner) is based on a true story about CIA agent Edwin Wilson, who had a meteoric rise in the agency until some of his »
- Jordan Adler
Director: Uwe Boll
Running Time: 99 mins
Corporate America has long been the root of evil in the world of movies. From Rollerball (1975) to The Dark Knight Rises (2012), capitalism has been calculating and faceless, though these portraits are generally painted in broad strokes. When it comes to specific financial woes the Us offers gentler fare like The Company Men (2010), where Ben Affleck and co pondered the meaning of unemployment.
It surprised me that a film like Assault On Wall Street, with its poster image of a chiselled avenger marching through the money district carrying a big gun, hadn’t been made before. Several years have elapsed since the misdeeds of traders came to light and the public’s frustration towards smug gits in suits has far from abated… surely viewers are owed a hard-boiled tale »
- Steve Palace
When most film fanatics think of their favorite films' technical aspects, they think visually: compositions, montage, special effects, and so on. But sound is just as integral to the makeup of a film's environment as images, and the Tribeca Film Festival's recent panel on sound design and music helped illustrate that. Moderated by Glenn Kiser, the director of the Dolby Institute, "Dolby Institute: The Art of Sound Design & Music" took a look at some of the more notable moments in the careers of sound technician Skip Lievsay, a frequent Coen Brothers collaborator who recently won an Oscar for his work on Alfonso Cuaron's "Gravity," and music supervisor Susan Jacobs, known for her work with David O. Russell and Julian Schnabel. Here are a few highlights from the panel. Lievsay on the turning point in "Inside Llewyn Davis". Lievsay’s favorite moment in his latest collaboration with the Coen Brothers »
- Max O'Connell
“The business of the business is so crazy and complicated that we forget why we’re doing what we’re doing,” said veteran producer and Hollywood refugee Paula Weinstein at a kickoff lunch for the Tribeca Film Festival Tuesday. “Now, I’m reminded everyday why we’re doing what we’re doing.” The veteran producer of “Analyze This,” “The Perfect Storm,” and “The Company Men" is enjoying in her third month as a VP at Tribeca Enterprises. Youth has a lot to do with it, Weinstein said. After all, the Tribeca Film Festival is only 13, so there were matzohs and macaroons on hand and a glancing nod at Passover, as well as acknowledgement by Tribeca founder Jane Rosenthal that the festival planned mostly to do what it had done before -- just better. Weinstein, who recently relocated from La to Manhattan, couldn’t be happier about it. She said the »
- John Anderson
Here we go with another installment of my Spotlight on the Stars series. Each week, I’ll look at an actor/actress/filmmaker that I’d like to celebrate in some kind of a way. It could be due to something of theirs coming out that weekend (like last week and this week, for example) or just because I feel they deserve to have a moment in the sun, but each time it’ll be a bit of positivity about someone who I’d like to pay tribute to. For this week’s piece (number three overall so far), I wanted to take a look at our first male actor…Kevin Costner. Some see him as a bit of a has been, but I disagree and not only still see a movie star, but an underrated actor as well. Costner is a throwback to an older generation of actor. Very »
- Joey Magidson
Since the hubbub of Oscar season has finally died away and we can look past the strategy of campaigns, August: Osage County arrives on Blu-ray for reexamination. Perhaps distance and time will finally melt those rosy-tinted glasses so many seem to have donned for the experience of the film, as multiple viewings only enhance its creaky strokes of forced melodrama. As with her nomination for 1999’s Music of the Heart, her unnecessary accolades for this appear to be overwhelmingly kiss ass. It’s a mode we’ve seen Ms. Streep in before, that of the highly nuanced harpy with complicated and convoluted depth; only it all feels so incredibly constrained and affected that it’s difficult to believe a single minute of it.
When something sounds too good to be true, it often is, and while John Wells certainly wasn’t the most inspired choice to helm the adaptation of »
- Nicholas Bell
Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: April 8, 2014
Price: DVD $29.98, Blu-ray/DVD Combo $39.99
Studio: The Weinstein Company/Anchor Bay Entertainment
Based on the play by Tracy Letts, who also wrote the screenplay, the drama movie tells the story of the strong-willed women of the Weston family, including Roberts, Julianne Nicholson (TV’s Boardwalk Empire) and Juliette Lewis (Conviction). Their lives have diverged, but a family crisis brings them back together to the house where they grew up and to the woman (Streep) who raised them.
Odd List Ryan Lambie Simon Brew 27 Feb 2014 - 05:54
Our series of lists devoted to underappreciated films brings us to the year 2010, and another 25 overlooked gems...
By 2010, Hollywood’s obsession with 3D movies was in full swing. James Cameron’s Avatar may have given audiences a taste of what the cutting edge of stereoscope could look like, but it has to be said that the movies ushered into cinemas in its wake were a decidedly mixed bunch. Toy Story 3's 3D was extraordinarily effective, yet Clash Of The Titans looked like a blurry mess. How To Train Your Dragon came to life in its flying sequences, but the less said about the horribly murky Last Airbender, the better.
Unless we’re mistaken, none of the movies on this list were shot or released in 3D, and few of them did particularly stellar business. A few got a certain amount of critical acclaim, »
Love him or hate him, Ben Affleck is going to be Batman in Zack Snyder's Batman Vs. Superman. It seems that over time people have been warming up to the idea of Affleck playing Batman, but there are still some fans out there that aren't sold on it. I predict that they will be as soon as they see him in the awesome suit that we've been hearing about. In a recent interview with Playboy, the actor talks about understanding the backlash of the fans, as well as the parts of Snyder’s vision that made him want to take the role.
"I understand I'm at a disadvantage with the internet. If I thought the result would be another Daredevil, I'd be out there picketing myself. [laughs] Why would I make the movie if I didn't think it was going to be good and that I could be good in it? »
- Joey Paur
While the vitriol has subsided considerably, there was a massive outpouring of negativity from fanboys around the world when Ben Affleck was cast as Batman in Batman Vs. Superman. The actor, of course, is no stranger to the superhero genre, portraying blind vigilante Matt Murdock in Marvel's 2003 adventure Daredevil. During a recent interview with Playboy, the actor revealed that Daredevil was the only movie he ever regretted, which may have been part of the motivation in taking on the Batman role. The actor also spoke about the immense negative reactions from the fans and how he handled that, how Zack Snyder's vision convinced him to take the role, how this new version of Batman doesn't "compete" with Christian Bale's version, and how he has grown as an actor and an artist over the past 10 years.
The actor was told that George Clooney keeps a photo of himself as »
John Wells is no stranger to working with ensembles. An award-winning producer on a number of popular American TV shows – including E.R., The West Wing and Shameless – he made the jump to director with The Company Men (2010), a patient corporate drama headlined by Ben Affleck, Tommy Lee Jones and Chris Cooper.
For his sophomore directorial effort, Wells has taken on the ambitious task of adapting Tracy Letts’ Pulitzer Prize-winning play August: Osage County to the big screen. The film is chock full of A-List talent and impressive performances, and ahead of its UK release this week we got a chance to speak to him about working with so many talented actors, in addition to some of the challenges he faced.
- Amon Warmann
John Wells will collect the American Society Of Cinematographers’ Board Of Governors award in Los Angeles on February 1.
Writer-director-producer John Wells will receive the American Society of Cinematographers Board of Governors Award at the 28th annual Asc Outstanding Achievement Awards, Feb. 1 at the Hollywood & Highland Ray Dolby Ballroom. The Award is presented to “an individual who has made extraordinary achievements in advancing the art and craft of filmmaking." In television, he was a creative force behind series like the Emmy-winning ER and The West Wing. His executive producer credits include Southland, Mildred Pierce, China Beach and current project Shameless. In features, he directed August: Osage County and wrote and directed The Company Men.
- Carolyn Giardina
It’s been some time since the heyday of Kevin Costner’s prime. I’m talking about those sweet years between 1987 (The Untouchables) and 1994 (Wyatt Earp), when he was a regular box office draw, an award-winning director, and the president of sports movies. It’s not that he disappeared exactly. In fact, Costner’s been remarkably consistent in appearing in almost a movie a year. It’s more that the quality and profile of those films has diminished, and him a bit too in the process. There have been exceptions of course – Thirteen Days, Open Range, The Upside of Anger, TV’s Hatfields & McCoys. But a look at his projects between 2006 and 2013 – The Guardian, Mr. Brooks, Swing Vote, The New Daughter, The Company Men &ndash...
- Alexander Huls
August: Osage County is getting a lot of attention as award season heats up, and while the cynics may question the acclaim directed at yet another star-studded drama, the extended trailer below gives some insight into the complex roles that help lead to that attention.
The film ultimately feels a little too much like a play, for obvious reasons, but there’s no denying the power of all these actors/actresses thrown in front of the screen at once. Surprisingly, Julianne Nicholson (recently of Boardwalk Empire and Masters of Sex) manages to run away with every scene she’s in. Considering who she’s surrounded by, that’s pretty impressive.
Despite the award season chatter, the film is getting mixed reviews from critics, and that’s largely to be expected considering the strangely, dark spin on a family dysfunction yarn. With something to irritate and/or alienate just about everyone, »
- Marc Eastman
Exclusive: A week before Sundance, Tom Ortenberg’s Open Road Films is strengthening its film acquisition team by hiring Peter Lawson and giving him the newly created title of executive vice president of Productions and Acquisitions. Lawson is a top-flight acquisitions exec who served stints most recently at The Weinstein Company and before that Miramax. He left to get a taste of production experience in big-sized studio films by joining Basil Iwanyk’s Thunder Road as production president. After two years, I’m hearing that he has shaken up his career Gps and is taking the exit from Thunder Road onto Open Road. Before he left TWC, Lawson worked on such films as the John Hillcoat-directed Lawless, The Iron Lady, The Company Men, Blue Valentine, The Intouchables and the docus Undefeated, Bully and The Tillman Story. At Miramax, his acquisition deals included The Diving Bell And The Butterfly. Before that at First Look Pictures, »
- MIKE FLEMING JR
Directed by John Wells (The Company Men), the upcoming film features an all-star cast including Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Ewan McGregor, Benedict Cumberbatch, Abigail Breslin, Sam Shepard, and Chris Cooper. August: Osage County is the much-anticipated movie version of an award-winning play with an all-star cast, including Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Ewan McGregor, Chris Cooper, Abigail Breslin, Benedict Cumberbatch, Juliette Lewis, Margo Martindale, Dermot Mulroney, Julianne Nicholson, Sam Shepard and Misty Upham. This calls for a high-class soundtrack, a call which has been met by combining superb songs – both fine new releases and classics by famous performers – with excellent compositions by Gustavo Santaolalla, Adam Taylor and Mateo Messina. August: Osage County tells the dark, »
- Pietro Filipponi
19 items from 2014
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