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Palm Springs, CA (December 19, 2014) . The 26th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival(Psiff) will present Academy Award-winning actor Robert Duvall with the Icon Award and Academy Award-nominated director Alejandro G. Iñárritu with the Director of the Year Award for Birdman at its annual Awards Gala. The Gala will also present awards to previously announced honorees Richard Linklater, Julianne Moore, David Oyelowo, Rosamund Pike, Eddie Redmayne, J.K. Simmons, Reese Witherspoon and the cast of The Imitation Game. Presented by Cartier, and hosted by Mary Hart, the Awards Gala will be held Saturday, January 3 at the Palm Springs Convention Center. The Festival runs January 2-12.
.Robert Duvall gives an outstanding and amazingly realistic performance as Judge Joseph Palmer in The Judge,. said Festival Chairman Harold Matzner. .This is sure to be remembered in his long listof iconic character roles, including Tom Hagen in The Godfather films, Gus McCrae in Lonesome Dove, Mac Sledge in Tender Mercies, »
Supervising sound editor and re-recording mixer Skip Lievsay will receive the Motion Pictures Sound Editors career achievement award at the 2015 Mpse Golden Reel Awards, the org announced today.
Over his 30-year career, Lievsay has worked on nearly 150 films, including frequent collaborations with directors Martin Scorsese, Spike Lee and John Sayles. He has worked with the Coen brothers since his sound editing debut on “Blood Simple” and recently collaborated with Them on “Inside Lleywn Davis.”
In 2014, Lievsay received an Oscar for sound mixing for his work on “Gravity” with Niv Adiri, Christopher Benstead and Chris Munro. Lievsay has also received Oscar nominations for his work on “Inside Lleywn Davis,” “True Grit” and “No Country for Old Men.”
“Skip represents the pinnacle in artistry in motion picture sound,” said Mpse president Frank Morrone. “He has worked tirelessly to invent new and creative ways to use sound to advance directors’ visions, to tell stories and to entertain audiences. »
- Lisa Schulz
Legend has is that the seventh son of a seventh son is born with certain special powers, which, in Joseph Delaney’s “Wardstone Chronicles” fantasy-lit series, include the ability to see supernatural beings and, potentially, to kill witches. But given the unusually long gestation period for Universal’s film adaptation, “Seventh Son” — which opens in the U.S. on Feb. 6, nearly a year later than originally planned — one shouldn’t be all that surprised to discover some pretty significant birth defects, among them a tired plot, some very unspecial effects, and a pair of grotesquely uneven performances from Jeff Bridges and Julianne Moore.
Considering that Universal was still licking its wounds from the pricey Keanu Reeves debacle “47 Ronin” (like this project, an extravagant vfx-driven tentpole from a Russian director ill suited for Hollywood) when “Seventh Son” was supposed to open last February, it makes sense that the distributor opted to »
- Peter Debruge
Many may assume the Dec. 10 announcement that Angelina Jolie’s WWII pic “Unbroken” had been shut out of the Golden Globes was the nail in the coffin for the film’s Oscar prospects. Actually, it might be a blessing in disguise.
Based on a bestseller, the film has an all-star pedigree with Jolie directing, a script by the Coen brothers, and cinematography by Roger Deakins. The true story of Louis Zamperini, an Olympic athlete who survived 47 days at sea and more than two years in a Japanese prison camp, the picture was considered an awards frontrunner, sight unseen. When it was finally unveiled, reception was mixed. Critics were mostly admiring but lukewarm, with auds at screenings more embracing.
“Unbroken” was expected to do well with the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. because the org’s members are seen as being celebrity-centric. They still haven’t lived down 2010, when they nominated Jolie »
- Jenelle Riley
Just before the Thanksgiving holiday last month, Samuel L. Jackson gave fans the first look at part of Quentin Tarantino's assembled cast of The Hateful Eight during a rehearsal session. Yesterday, the actor gave fans our first look at the set in Colorado as production got under way on this highly-anticipated revenge Western. Hopefully this will be just the first of several photos as production continues, but we'll have to wait and see.
We reported back in September that director Quentin Tarantino will start shooting The Hateful Eight on December 8, somewhere in southwestern Colorado. The Colorado state film commissioner David Zimmerman confirmed that "the whole movie's going to be shot here," with sets to be built on an existing ranch. Colorado awarded the production with a $5 million tax incentive to shoot in the state, which represents 20% of the film's Colorado budget. The project will be the first major motion »
Apparently the Hollywood Foreign Press Association is more interested in peace than war — or in superstars coming to their show. The complete shutout of Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken and Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper (both expected to be Major contenders) were eye openers for the foreign based Globe voters across-the-board dismissal of these two films, set in different wars but depicting iconic true-life American heroes. Throw in another total blank for Sony’s big hope, the very fine Brad Pitt-starring World War II drama, Fury and you have a scenario where the Globes appear to be quite battle weary this season – and not a fan of major studio fare this time around. You have to give credit though to the new direction of the HFPA, under 2nd year President Theo Kingman. The group that was vilified for nominating Jolie’s and Johnny Depp’s critically maligned The Tourist just »
- Pete Hammond
If you want the ultimate modern day tough guy, you can't do much better than Josh Brolin. From True Grit to No Country For Old Men, the actor continues to impress by working with some very inspired directors. This is certainly true with his latest, where he takes on the character of "Bigfoot" Bjornsen in Inherent Vice, the latest from Paul Thomas Anderson. In his scene-stealing performance, he gives his co-star Joaquin Phoenix a run for his money as a tough detective who has an »
Time to put up your Dukes! (DVDs, that is!)
John Wayne: The Epic Collection Debuts -Now Shipping!
DVD Collection Of 40 Warner And Parmount Films Is Largest John Wayne Box Set Ever
Includes Hours Of Special Features And Remarkable Memorabilia
Amazon Buyers Get Exclusive Wayne Belt Buckle
Here is the original press release from earlier this year:
Burbank, Calif., February 24, 2014 -- To commemorate one of America’s most iconic film heroes, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will introduce a comprehensive new DVD set -- John Wayne: The Epic Collection -- on May 20. The spring release, just in time for Father’s Day gift-giving ($149.98 Srp), will contain 38 discs with 40 Wayne films (full list below), including The Searchers, once called one of the most influential movies in American history and the film for which Wayne won his Best Actor Academy Award®, True Grit (1969). The collection comes packaged in a handsome book with »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Cinema Retro)
As we know, Chloe Grace Moretz (Kick-Ass, Carrie) Elle Fanning (Super 8, Maleficent) and Hailee Steinfeld (Ender's Game, True Grit) are the three actresses (that we've been made aware of so far) in line to play the younger version of telepathic mutant Jean Grey in the next installment in the X-franchise, X-Men: Apocalypse. Whoever lands the role will have their work cut out to follow the stunning Famke Janssen, who has done a fine job as the character in 5 of the previous films. When MTV asked the actress if she was aware of who's in the running, she says she's heard of all of them but, in Fanning's case particularly, doesn't see much of a resemblance. Janssen also says it's a little bittersweet knowing that she's being replaced in the role, but that maybe she could return and act alongside whoever is cast someday. Well, that worked in Days Of »
"The Shawshank Redemption," "Fargo," "Kundun," "O Brother, Where Art Thou?," "The Man Who Wasn't There," "No Country for Old Men," "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford," "The Reader," "True Grit," "Skyfall," "Prisoners." Surely one of those films won the Oscar for Best Cinematography, right? Nope. Roger Deakins has 11 Oscar nominations but, to date, has not been granted access to the Dolby Theater stage (or the Kodak Theater…or the Shrine Auditorium…he's a veteran of multiple Oscar venues at this point). Could that change with Angelina Jolie's "Unbroken?" Possibly. Deakins pushed himself quite a bit on the film and played with a few aesthetic ideas he hadn't really dabbled in before. It's only the second time he's worked in the war genre (after 2005's "Jarhead"), but he paints Jolie's canvas with striking hues of contrast. For a film that could be a formidable prestige Oscar player, »
- Kristopher Tapley
The awards race went into overdrive this week with the first announcements of winners on Dec. 1 and 2. The New York Film Critics Circle saluted “Boyhood” as best picture; “Birdman” won at the Gotham Awards; “A Most Violent Year” got the nod from the National Board of Review. (Each organization also honored their favorite film in other categories as well.)
The results are all over the map, but the prizes so far reveal a few conclusions about the still-young Oscar race.
1) These awards are useful: At this time of year, attention from a voting org is like a neon arrow for Oscar voters saying, “See this film before you cast your ballot.” They’re also helpful to strategists, who get an idea of how people outside the studio are sizing up the various contenders. Aside from the buzzed-about films, the awards boost the profile of some underdogs, such as “A Most Violent Year »
- Tim Gray
As that classic media intro says, “return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear”, for this new release is set in the old West. This was a classic backdrop for so many films, going back over one hundred years to The Great Train Robbery, but the Western has become a rarity in the last decade or so. Recent attempts at big budget revivals like Cowboys & Aliens and last Summer’s reboot of The Lone Ranger were box office sinkholes. But happily, more modestly budgeted independent films have taken up the reins. One of the stars that seems quite at ease on horseback is Oscar-winner Tommy Lee Jones, so it was no great surprise that his feature film directing debut nine years ago was a modern-day Western, The Three Burials Of Melquiades Estrada. For his film making return Jones has gone back, nearly a century and a half, to »
- Jim Batts
Frank Yablans, the president of Paramount Pictures during the fertile early ’70s era that produced films including “The Godfather” and “Chinatown,” died of natural causes Thursday at his home in Los Angeles, according to his son, ICM Partners agent Eddy Yablans. He was 79.
Born in Brooklyn, Frank Yablans was brother of producer Irwin Yablans. He got his start in showbiz working for Warner Bros., Disney and Filmways, and in the late 1960s became exec VP of sales at Paramount, where he worked on marketing the hit film “Love Story.”
The success of the tearjerker led to his being named president of the studio in 1971; he held the post until 1975. Yablans was a pioneer in advocating wide openings on films like “The Godfather, »
- Pat Saperstein
The Homesman (2014)
Directed by Tommy Lee Jones
Ably independent yet desperate to nurture a family, Mary Bee Cuddy agrees to transport three women maddened by trauma across the country, enlisting the help of an aged, stubborn drifter along the way.
Despite what Tommy Lee Jones might want you to think, his new film, The Homesman, is definitely a western. And thank goodness, for the genre has been sorely lacking in reinforcements in recent years. It’s long been a favourite genre of mine, from Peckinpah to The Coen Brothers, Leone to Tarantino, but if you were to sieve through, say, the last ten years for decent entries (excluding hybrids like Cowboys & Aliens or an Aussie western like The Proposition), what have you got? True Grit? »
- Edward Gardiner
Josh Brolin credits his mid-career turnaround to Robert Rodriguez on "Grindhouse" which led to the Coens and "No Country for Old Men" and "True Grit," not to mention Gus Van Sant's "Milk" and Oliver Stone's "W" and "Wall Street 2" and Woody Allen's "You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger." Brolin is a chiseled American actor who boasts that rare combination: dangerous masculinity and sexy vulnerability. He plays both villains and lovers. See Jason Reitman's sexy "Labor Day." Brolin clearly had a blast working with Paul Thomas Anderson on his adaptation of Thomas Pynchon's 2009 novel "Inherent Vice" (December 12) and gets to dig into into one of the more colorful character roles of any year. He tells me, in our video interview below, how "Renaissance detective" Bigfoot Bjornsen comes to sport his dramatic flat top. This is not your usual straight-arrow foil to 70s hippie gumshoe Doc. »
- Anne Thompson
London — Production and distribution giant Endemol has inked an exclusive first-look development and distribution pact with U.K. producer Amber Television, which is run by former Hollywood studio exec Ileen Maisel and docu filmmaker Lawrence Elman.
The three-year deal will see Endemol provide development funding and deficit financing in return for exclusive first-look distribution rights on Amber Television output.
Recent Amber productions include “Romeo and Juliet,” adapted by Julian Fellows and starring Hailee Steinfeld (Coen brothers’ “True Grit”), and “Molly Moon and the Incredible Book of Hypnotism,” a film based on the books by Georgia Byng. Upcoming projects include “Stratton: First into Action,” starring Henry Cavill, “London’s Falling,” directed by Simon Aboud, and “The Perfect Assassin,” adapted by Andy Briggs, and fully financed by Snd in France.
Maisel and Elman joined forces in 2009 as directors of Amber Entertainment. In the 1980s, Maisel served as VP of production at MGM/UA, »
- Leo Barraclough
Despite rumours over the weekend linking Idris Elba to the part, Variety is reporting that Oscar Isaac (Inside Llewyn Davis) has secured the role of En Sabah Nur, a.k.a. Apocalypse, in Bryan Singer’s 2016 mutant sequel X-Men: Apocalypse. Isaac will next be seen in A Most Violent Year, set for release in December, and is also part of the ensemble for Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
X-Men: Apocalypse is set for release May 19th, 2016 with James McAvoy (Professor X), Michael Fassbender (Magneto), Jennifer Lawrence (Mystique), Nicholas Hoult (Beast), Evan Peters (Quicksilver) and Hugh Jackman (Wolverine) all confirmed to return. Meanwhile Chloe Moretz (The Equalizer), Elle Fanning (Maleficent) and Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit) are said to be in the frame to play Jean Grey and Ben Hardy (EastEnders), Charlie Rowe (Neverland) and Timothee Chalamet (Interstellar) have been linked to Cyclops.
What do you make of Isaac’s casting as Apocalypse? »
- Gary Collinson
Among the most influential and important filmmakers of their generation, The Coen Brothers continue to pump out modern masterpieces (“Fargo," “No Country For Old Men," “Barton Fink," “A Serious Man”), solid genre-subverting efforts (“True Grit,” “Miller’s Crossing,” "The Big Lebowski," perhaps the greatest noir-comedy of all time), as well as the occasional dud (“The Ladykillers,” “Intolerable Cruelty”). As filmmakers, Joel and Ethan Coen find a sweet spot between technical and thematic predictability and subversive originality. There are many visual approaches, character archetypes and themes that link their films, yet they still manage to construct works that are original and unpredictable, especially when those works are expected to fit inside the mold of a certain genre. Vimeo user Grant Pichla’s twenty-minute dissection covers the brothers’ use of similar themes, characters, dialogue and visual styles, their tendency to create »
- Oktay Ege Kozak
The Homesman, 2014.
Directed by Tommy Lee Jones.
Three women who have been driven mad by pioneer life are to be transported across the country by covered wagon by the pious, independent-minded Mary Bee Cuddy, who in turn employs low-life drifter George Briggs to assist her.
The old adage ‘they don’t make them like they used to’ could be applied to pretty much most genre film making depending on your outlook of American cinema in 2014, but never more so could that be said of a genre than the Western. Westerns, like too many films not based on established properties, have been pushed away and forgotten in favour of the easy sell and easy buck. Sure, there’s always a True Grit which shows a brief spike in audience »
- Gary Collinson
Our weekly round-up of the latest news and talking points from the world of screen superheroes, including Guardians of the Galaxy, Ant-Man, Black Panther, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Big Hero 6, The Fantastic Four, X-Men: Apocalypse, X-Men: Days of Future Past, Suicide Squad, Lego Batman, The Flash, Arrow, Gotham, Constantine, Bananaman and more….
Ahead of its home-entertainment release this coming Monday, Marvel has given us a taste of the special features set to accompany Guardians of the Galaxy on Blu-ray and DVD, releasing a ‘Dance-Off’ outtake which sees Ronan (Lee Pace) showing off his moves to Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), Gamora (Zoe Saldana) and Drax (Dave Bautista) [see here], two deleted scenes with Gamora and Nebula (Karen Gillen) [see here] and Rhomann Dey (John C. Reilly) and Denarian Saal (Peter Serafinowicz) [see here], and a featurette of Groot (Vin Diesel) saying “I am Groot!” in fifteen different languages [see here]. Meanwhile, we’re counting down to »
- Gary Collinson
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