12 items from 2015
Earlier this year, Kristen Stewart became the first American actress to earn a César Award (France’s Oscar), in the best supporting actress category, for her performance as a movie star’s assistant in Clouds of Sils Maria. Earlier this month, Stewart also received the best supporting actress award from the New York Film Critics Circle and from the Boston Society of Film Critics and the Boston Online Film Critics. If that weren’t enough praise for her performance, Stewart was also the runner-up for the best supporting actress award from the Los Angeles Film Critics (losing out to Alicia Vikander in Ex Machina).
Prior to this recent slew of awards, Stewart’s performance had all but fallen off the Oscar radar, as Clouds of Sils Maria was initially released far too early in the season to be considered a legitimate threat (it was released in May of 2014). However, »
- Patrick Shanley
Here’s something to think about when you go looking for your favorite movie: it might be a TV show. Stephen King first published “The Mist” in 1980, Frank Darabont adapted it as a movie in 2007, and now The Weinstein Company is developing it for television. That’s similar to what happened to “The Dark Fields,” which was turned into Limitless in 2011, and is currently on CBS on a TV near you. Going in reverse, the late ’80s TV show 21 Jump Street has been converted into two films (with probably more on the way, which also happened with The Man From U.N.C.L.E., Get Smart, Charlie’s Angels, The A-Team, Dark Shadows, Mission: Impossible and Veronica Mars (although that last one is admittedly a spin-off film featuring most of the same actors in their original roles). However, Veronica Mars (like Entourage) helps illustrate an interesting difference from all of the TV shows that decided they needed a movie (not »
- Scott Beggs
Back in 2011, he same red-haired woman seemed to be in every movie you saw. That was Jessica Chastain who by year's end had racked up six roles on her resume -- “Coriolanus,” “The Help," “Take Shelter,” “Texas Killing Fields.” “The Tree of Life” and “Wilde Salome,” The buzz was so hot for her that she landed a Supporting Actress Oscar nomination for “The Help." She may have lost that race to co-star Octavia Spencer, but a star was born nonetheless. This year another fresh-faced ingenue has arrived in town by the name of Alicia Vikander. -Break- Dish the Oscars with Hollywood insiders in our red-hot forums Over the past several years, this Swedish import has been slowly building her profile with small roles in “A Royal Wedding” (2012), “Anna Karenina” (2012), and “The Fifth Estate” (2013). This year, she’s been just...' »
The latest movie-turned-tv-show is CBS’ Limitless, which wraps slick visuals around a generic, empty centre…
This review contains spoilers.
The thematic centre of Neil Burger’s 2011 feature Limitless, based on Alan Glynn’s novel The Dark Fields, was what we’d all be willing to sacrifice for knowledge and power. If you were offered a psychotropic devil’s bargain that would make you an uber-capable genius at the cost of your safety, would you take it?
The CBS spin-off show poses no such question. Not in the pilot at least. It doesn’t use its neural-enhancement-drug premise to probe the ethics of an issue that’s recurred in myth for centuries, from Prometheus to the Garden of Eden to Doctor Faustus to a shelf of comic books a mile long. Instead, it uses it to populate network TV with yet another super-powered crime-solver.
Because by the end of the Limitless pilot, »
Jason Clarke, the star of Everest, is a mountain of a man: six foot two with square shoulders and a vast sheer cliff of a forehead. When Christian Bale dropped out of this adventure story, based on real events, it was Clarke who stepped into his climbing boots to play Rob Hall, leader of a commercial expedition to the summit in May 1996 that went horribly wrong. Clarke, blokey and dependable, has the look of someone you would follow confidently into a fight, whereas Bale comes across as the sort of man who would start one. What makes the 46-year-old Australian more intriguing than a standard tough nut is the wounded quality in his eyes. Easygoing in nature, he always seems to have something on his mind. »
- Ryan Gilbey
This is a reprint of our review from the 2014 Venice Film Festival. Perhaps stung by the middling-to-poor reviews for her last film “Texas Killing Fields,” director Ami Canaan Mann (daughter of Michael) returns to screens under cover of absolute directorial anonymity with “Jackie & Ryan,” a movie hamstrung in its attempts to be a “Crazy Heart” or even a “Country Strong”-ish vehicle for Katherine Heigl by being more bland than a mashed potato dinner. It’s a strangely old-fashioned film, yielding a big enough crop of corn to revive the entire Midwestern economy, putting forth a dubiously romanticized view of the philosophical beauty of the train-hopping lifestyle. And while Ben Barnes does the film's decent music great justice with his surprisingly lovely singing voice, that’s really the only authentic feeling thing therein. “Jackie & Ryan" is supposedly all about learning how to git where ya gotta go, but none of »
- Jessica Kiang
Ballad of the Sad Doublet: Mann’s Warm, Simplistic Tale of Lonely Hearts
Recalling an era of simple, but warmly rendered studio features fitted specifically for their romantic lead properties, Ami Canaan Mann’s sophomore film Jackie & Ryan is indeed as plain as its aseptic title would indicate. A portrait of Middle American woes that could have easily been set in the Depression era, Mann’s straight laced storytelling makes for a surprisingly pleasant venture, even as top lined by a pair of dubious leads. But as warmly rendered as the film happens to be, it’s doubtful whether anything will remain very memorable once the credits roll.
Modern day drifter Ryan (Ben Barnes) is an aspiring folk singer, hopping around the country by train, the happy-go-lucky sort who seems to be engaged with life exactly as he wants to be. He stops off in Ogden, Utah, and while performing one day, »
- Nicholas Bell
The criminal caper that goes wrong is always good for a suspenseful, absorbing thriller movie. Just from memory there is The Asphalt Jungle, The Killing, (almost any classic film noir dealing with a criminal undertaking, if it didn’t go wrong it wouldn’t be noir now would it?) Odds Against tomorrow, Reservoir Dogs, Bob Le Flambeur, Rififi, and Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead.
The list is just about endless, in fact, precious few movies about criminals show the heist going off without a hitch. Add to that list 7 Minutes, a tough, unblinking look at a caper done by amateurs so desperate they are willing to risk everything to try and pull it off.
- Sam Moffitt
Hill Harper has booked a co-starring role opposite Jake McDorman and Jennifer Carpenter in CBS’ drama pilot, "Limitless," which is based on the 2011 feature that starred Bradley Cooper, itself based on the novel, "The Dark Fields," by Alan Glynn. The film told the story of a struggling writer who becomes a financial wizard, with the help of a mysterious pill that enables the user to access 100 percent of their brain abilities; but it also thrusts him into a dangerous new world. The TV pilot adaptation, which will be executive produced by Bradley Cooper, follows a similar narrative, except the lead character will use his newfound drug-enhanced abilities to solve weekly cases for the FBI. Hill Harper has signed up to play a character named Boyle, who is a former military officer, now an FBI asset with experience testing the effects of Nzt on FBI Special Agents. Marc Webb is directing »
- Tambay A. Obenson
Hill Harper has booked a co-starring role opposite Jake McDorman and Jennifer Carpenter in CBS’ drama pilot, "Limitless," which is based on the 2011 feature that starred Bradley Cooper, itself based on the novel, "The Dark Fields," by Alan Glynn. The film told the story of a struggling writer who becomes a financial wizard, with the help of a mysterious pill that enables the user to access 100 percent of their brain abilities; but it also thrusts him into a dangerous new world. The TV pilot adaptation, which will be executive produced by Bradley Cooper, follows a similar narrative, except the lead character will use his newfound drug-enhanced abilities to »
- Tambay A. Obenson
John Friedberg, evp of international sales and distribution at Qed International, is the latest high profile exec to exit the La-based production, financing and sales distribution company.
He joined the business in 2006 and his responsibilities crossed into all areas of the company.
In 2011, Friedberg was promoted to vp of international sales and was involved in sales and distribution on films including Sabotage, directed by David Ayer and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger; Fading Gigolo, directed by John Turturro and starring Turturro and Woody Allen; and Alex Cross, directed by Rob Cohen and starring Tyler Perry.
He took on his most recent role in 2013 and handled international sales on David Ayer’s tank thriller Fury, starring Brad Pitt, which reportedly carried a $68m production budget and has grossed more than $211m worldwide.
Friedberg was also instrumental in bringing equity to [link »
- email@example.com (Michael Rosser)
Exclusive Q&A: It arrived too late to factor in guild and critics awards, but the Clint Eastwood-directed American Sniper has established such a connection with American movie audiences that its dark horse chances of upsetting the Oscar status quo cannot be ignored. It passed Saving Private Ryan to become the highest domestic grossing war movie ever; it even shot past the U.S. gross of Bradley Cooper’s previous biggest hit, The Hangover, and trails only The Passion Of The Christ for biggest-ever R-rated domestic grosser. This, for a hard R film about the wartime exploits and horrors faced by the most dangerous sniper in U.S. military history, and the price paid by Chris Kyle, wife Taya, and his fellow soldiers tasked with door to door searches in Sadr City when it was the most dangerous place in Iraq.
Nominated for Best Actor for his spare portrayal of the Navy Seal sharpshooter, »
- Mike Fleming Jr
12 items from 2015
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