17 items from 2014
Non-Stop and Son of God ruled the box office over Oscar weekend. The Liam Neeson action movie took first place with $28.9 million, while Son of God was an impressive runner-up.Meanwhile, Disney Animation's Frozen became the 18th movie ever to earn over $1 billion worldwide. More importantly, it's only the fifth movie ever to hit that milestone that's not a sequel or prequel. With an opening in Japan on the way, Frozen will likely end its run in the Top 10 all-time.Playing at 3,090 locations, Non-Stop led the way with $28.9 million. That's a significant step up from recent Neeson movies Unknown ($21.9 million) and The Grey ($19.7 million). It's also on par with similar movies like Olympus Has Fallen ($30.4 million) and Inside Man ($29 million). Following Lone Survivor and Ride Along, this is the third movie from Universal Pictures to open in the top spot this year. Even more impressive is the fact that all »
- Ray Subers <email@example.com>
Well, Son of God failed to ignite the religious base with the same fervor as something such as Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ, but considering it's a film edited down from a television mini-series, which is to say it's essentially the same as printing money, the $26.5 million it brought in for a second place finish this weekend is nothing to dismiss. In fact, it might not be done as it dipped only 2% from Friday to Saturday and it's not quite clear just how well it might end up doing on Sunday. Fox also has to love that "A-" CinemaScore, but what else would you expectc Taking #1, however, is the latest Liam Neeson actioner, Non-Stop, bringing in $30 million and an "A-" CinemaScore. Non-Stop is the second highest opening for one of Neeson's latest actioners, second only to Taken 2 ($49.5 million), but higher than The Grey ($19.6m), Unknown ($21.8m »
- Brad Brevet
Thoughtful tweens and teens interested in history and unusual adventurous stories of kids their own age should love this, but adults may find the lightness of the tone off-putting. I’m “biast” (pro): nothing
I’m “biast” (con): nothing
I have not read the source material
(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)
I haven’t read the Markus Zusa novel this is based on, but what ended up on the screen makes me suspect that it might be one of those unfilmmable books that should probably have been left alone. On the one hand, this is a tale of a tough, plucky young girl — that alone is rare enough to be cheered — who loves books and loves reading, which doubles the reason for applauding it. On the other hand, this is essentially a kids’ movie about life in Nazi Germany, and it ends up being »
- MaryAnn Johanson
London — Russian cinema has a new box office champion: Jason Flemyng starrer “Viy 3D” has grossed more than Rubles 1 billion ($28.4 million) after two weeks, with a further Rubles 165 million ($4.7 million) taken in neighboring Ukraine.
The fantasy action pic, which is directed by Oleg Stepchenko, and produced by Alexey A. Petrukhin and Alexander Culicov, is based on the short story of the same name by Russian writer Nikolai Gogol. Event Film is handling international sales.
It tells the story of English cartographer Jonathan Green (Flemyng), who sets out on a journey to map the uncharted lands of Transylvania, only to discover dark secrets and dangerous creatures hidden in the forest.
In its second weekend, the film took Rubles 238 million ($6.78 million), which was the best weekend B.O. perf in Russia. In Ukraine, its box office was a stellar Rubles 113 million ($3.22 million). Pic is being released by Universal.
In its first weekend in Russia, »
- Leo Barraclough
The past few years have seen Ian McShane stepping into the fantasy realm of filmmaking, with roles in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Snow White and the Huntsman and Jack the Giant Slayer.
This month sees him swap swords and dwarfing for salsa in Cuban Fury, and we got a chance to chat with McShane ahead of the film’s UK release. Here he speaks about what drew him to the role, how he got into acting, and his experience working on Brett Ratner’s upcoming blockbuster Hercules.
Cuban Fury is out in UK cinemas on February 14. Read our review here.
- Amon Warmann
Atlas Independent, the affiliate company of Charles Roven's Atlas Entertainment, announced today Ian McShane (Sexy Beast, Deadwood), will star opposite Patrick Wilson in The Man on Carrion Road. McShane will play the role of Leland; an aging retired Sheriff of a small border town with violent tendencies. Gonzalo López-Gallego (Apollo 18, Open Grave) will direct the film based on Nils Lyew's script. William Green, Aaron L. Ginsburg, and Andy Horwitz of Atlas Independent will produce. Mica Entertainment is financing with Relativity International selling the picture overseas. The film is slated to being production in April.
Ian McShane was recently seen playing King Brahmwell in Jack the Giant Slayer for director Bryan Singer and as Beith, the leader of the dwarves in Rupert Sanders' Snow White and the Huntsman. In 2012, McShane did a memorable turn as Leigh Emerson, a sadistic Santa serial killer on Ryan Murphy's »
DVD Release Date: Feb. 25, 2014
Price: DVD $24.98
Studio: Entertainment One
Directed by Sergio Castellito (Don’t Move) based on the European bestseller by Margaret Mazzantini, Twice Born tells the story of Italian professor Gemma (Cruz) who takes her teenage son Pietro to the battle-scarred city of Sarajevo, where she fell in love with Pietro’s father, photographer Diego (Hirsch).
The two had formed a romance in a very different Sarajevo during the 1984 Winter Olympics. But when the Balkan war loomed, Gemma was forced to flee to Italy with her infant son. As she tours the city 18 years later, she uncovers a terrifying hidden truth.
The R-rated drama film was screened in a handful of theaters in the U.S. but its biggest audience is on the DVD, »
Cuban Fury is due for a Valentine's Day release in the UK, and you can see exactly why from its lighthearted, dance-based new clip below. It has Nick Frost (The World's End, Attack the Block) facing off against Chris O'Dowd (Bridesmaids, Girls) in a lunch-break dance-off. Well, it probably burns more calories than the daily trip to Greggs.
Check it out after the official synopsis...
1987: Poised to sweep the floor at the UK Junior Salsa Championships, 13-year-old Bruce Garrett has fire in his heels and the world at his feet… Until a freakish bullying incident robs him of his confidence and his life is diverted down a very different path. So it is that 22 years later, having locked away his boyhood dreams, Bruce finds himself out-of-shape, unloved and well and truly wedged in his “comfort zone”. It takes Julia (Jones), his smart, funny, gorgeous new American boss, to shake »
- Oliver Davis
London — Global Screen has picked up world-wide distribution rights to 3D fantasy family entertainment pic “The Legend of Longwood.” It will start selling the title at the European Film Market in Berlin.
The English-language production is an adventure thriller about a 12-year-old big-city girl, Mickey Miller, who is destined to break a 300 year-old spell cast on a small Irish town and its inhabitants. On her long quest, Mickey must redeem a mysterious Black Knight and single-handedly save a precious herd of horses from a ruthless woman with evil plans.
The Dutch-Irish-German live-action film is directed by Lisa Mulcahy (“The Clinic,” “The Gift of the Magi”), and stars newcomer Lucy Morton and Lorcan Bonner (“Milo”), as well as Lorcan Cranitch (“Dancing at Lughnasa”), Thekla Reuten (“The American,” “In Bruges”), Fiona Glascott (“Resident Evil,” “Omagh”), Sean Mahon (“Philomena,” “Dark Shadows”) and Miriam Margolyes (“Harry Potter,” “The Age of Innocence”).
Music is composed »
- Leo Barraclough
Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: March 7, 2014
Price: DVD $29.95, Blu-ray/DVD Combo $39.99
The second installment in the franchise, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire scored even better than the original at the box office and with critics.
Based on the second book in the novels by Suzanne Collins, the science-fiction movie continues the story of reluctant heroine Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence, X-Men: First Class), who’s now on a victory tour after winning the Hunger Games in the first film. This time, she has to go through the deadly games again, with even higher stakes as rebellion is sparked in the outer lying districts of the dangerous Capitol.
Josh Hutcherson (Red Dawn), Woody Harrelson (Seven Psychopaths), Liam Hemsworth (The Expendables 2), Donald Sutherland (The Eagle Has Landed), Lenny Kravitz (Lee Daniels’ The Butler), Stanley Tucci (Jack the Giant Slayer) and Elizabeth Banks (Pitch Perfect) all return in their roles, and additions »
London — The first image has been released of Jim Broadbent starring in “Get Santa,” which is shooting in London and Yorkshire, Northern England. Altitude Film Sales will be selling the pic at the European Film Market in Berlin.
When Santa (Broadbent) is arrested in London, it falls on 9-year-old Tom (Kit Connor) and his dad Steve (Rafe Spall) to go on a desperate quest to save Christmas.
Pic is penned and helmed by Christopher Smith (“Black Death,” “Severance”), and produced by Liza Marshall for Ridley Scott’s Scott Free London, alongside the BFI, Screen Yorkshire and Altitude Film Entertainment.
As well as Broadbent, newcomer Connor, and Spall (“Prometheus,” “I Give It a Year,” “Life of Pi”), the cast includes Stephen Graham (“This Is England,” “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides,” “Gangs of New York”), Ewen Bremner (“Trainspotting,” “Snatch,” “Black Hawk Down”), Jodie Whittaker (“Attack the Block,” “Venus”), Warwick Davis (“Harry Potter” franchise, »
- Leo Barraclough
The actors and directors to watch this year, including a Spanish ex-mermaid and a director with a famous mom, a famous sis and two famous dads.
"I love jumping from a giant movie to an indie," says Berges-Frisbey, a 27-year-old Barcelona-born, Paris-trained actress who co-stars in the Premieres section film I Origins, a trippy-sounding sci-fi drama about molecular biologists who make a discovery that alters the course of history (THR can't say how because the plot is top-secret). Her most recent giant movie was 2011's Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. But Berges-Frisbey is no model-turned-mermaid: She was nominated for best actress at Spain's Gaudi Awards in 2012 for Bruc, the Manhunt and was the lead in 2013's youth hit Juliette (France's Garden State). Preparing for I Origins was even more challenging than the four hours a day she spent getting mermaid makeup applied for Pirates. For starters, she had to speak English: "When I got the role, I hadn't spoken English in two years." -- TIM APPELO read more
- Tim Appelo, Tatiana Siegel, Rebecca Ford, Pamela McClintock
The Voice made a triumphant return to BBC One last night (January 12), attracting 8.37m overnight data suggests.
The sing competition dampened ITV's Splash!, which went head-to-head in the 7pm to 8:30pm slot. 3.45m (14.4%) watched as Anna Williamson and Keith Duffy made it through to the semi-finals. A further 275.6k (1.1%) caught the action an hour later on ITV+1.
Casualty's latest episode also performed well from 9:15pm to 10:15pm, attracting 5.15m (22.1%). Earlier in the evening Dynamo performed well for BBC One, with 3.73m (20.7%) watching Magician Impossible at 5:45pm.
ITV's most-watch programme for the night was Take Me Out, which wooed 4.14m (17.5%) from 8:30pm to 9:45pm (+1: 305.8k, 1.4%). The channel also chilled 2m (10.8%) at 5:15pm with a showing of Ice Age 2: The Meltdown (+1: 168.7k, »
What’s new, what’s hot, and what you may have missed, now available to stream on Netflix, blinkbox, and BBC iPlayer.
new to stream
Die Hard with a Vengeance: Bruce Willis, his headache, and Samuel L. Jackson versus Jeremy Irons, all around New York City [my review] [at Netflix] Tangled: Disney’s lovely, charming, hugely entertaining spin on Rapunzel, all animated gorgeousness and authentic emotion [my review] [at Netflix] The 13th Warrior: an enthralling historical action adventure, gruesome and intense, beautifully mythic visual storytelling [my review] [at Netflix] The Iceman: underbaked mobster drama is redeemed — just barely — by excellent performances from Michael Shannon, James Franco, and Chris Evans [my review] [at Netflix] A Late Quartet: powerfully engaging performances keep us caught up in the emotional upheaval even when it feels a little trite [my review] [at Netflix] Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides: pure cinematic junk food, with piracy finally Disneyfied in a way the previous films hadn’t quite done, but still good »
- MaryAnn Johanson
Man is there a lot of new content on streaming services this week. There are literally hundreds of new titles available for your viewing pleasure, I couldn’t possibly have written about all of it because I would be writing into next week! Just know that there is something there for everyone whether your bag is comedy, drama, action or horror.
Most impressively this week, Netflix have stepped up to the plate and unleashed a full load of good stuff. They have also announced that they are going to add an audio commentary to their original show House of Cards, which can only be good news for those holding on to their physical media love and may mean that this most valuable of DVD extras is not going away but will instead be reborn in a different guise.
This week’s new titles are as follows:
- Chris Holt
A Witch, a Wolf, A Raccoon, and The Muppets. Everything you’d come to expect from Walt Disney Studios.
Not only did they release their official slate for 2014 on this final day of the year, but the studio also gave us a first look photo along with the official synopsis for director James Gunn’s much-anticipated Guardians Of The Galaxy.
Check out the whole kit and caboodle below.
The Wind Rises
In The Wind Rises, Jiro (voice of Joseph Gordon-Levitt) dreams of flying and designing beautiful airplanes, inspired by the famous Italian aeronautical designer Caproni (voice of Stanley Tucci). Nearsighted from a young age and unable to be a pilot, Jiro joins a major Japanese engineering company in 1927 and becomes one of the world’s most innovative and accomplished airplane designers. The film chronicles much of his life, depicting key historical events, including the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923, the Great Depression, »
- Michelle McCue
Walt Disney Pictures is bringing 14 movies to the big screen next year, with the studio releasing their 2014 preview that includes new photos and official synopses for The Wind Rises, Need for Speed, Muppets Most Wanted, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Bears, Million Dollar Arm, Maleficent, Planes: Fire & Rescue, Guardians of the Galaxy, The Hundred-Foot Journey, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, Big Hero 6, McFarland and Into the Woods.
The Wind Rises - February 21 (limited), February 28 (expanded)
In The Wind Rises, Jiro (voiced by Joseph Gordon-Levitt) dreams of flying and designing beautiful airplanes, inspired by the famous Italian aeronautical designer Caproni (voiced by Stanley Tucci). Nearsighted and unable to be a pilot, Jiro joins a major Japanese engineering company in 1927 and becomes one of the world's most innovative and accomplished airplane designers. The film chronicles much of his life, depicting key historical events, including the Great »
17 items from 2014
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