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New release The Hundred-Foot Journey is a beautifully-shot drama produced by Oprah Winfrey and Steven Spielberg, who likely hope it will prove a hit along the lines of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. Formidable British actress Helen Mirren gets top billing as strict French restauranteur Madame Mallory. Her establishment has a Michelin star and brings in big name political figures. However, Madame Mallory's work and life isn't the main focus of this colorful film from Lasse Hallstrom (Chocolat, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen), adapted by Steven Knight (Eastern Promises) from a novel by Richard C. Morais.
A family of refugees, the Kadams from Mumbai, moves into the vacated building across the street from Madam Mallory's restaurant. Papa (veteran Indian actor Om Puri, Gandhi) wants to open an Indian restaurant in this quiet French village, with the help of son and aspiring chef Hassan (Manish Dayal, 90210, Switched at Birth) and other »
- Elizabeth Stoddard
With Chocolat and Salmon Fishing in the Yemen under his belt, The Hundred-Foot Journey isn’t anything approaching new territory for director Lasse Hallström. But if it ain’t broke don’t fix it, right? Honestly, if he can continue making feel-good tales like this—bona fide crowd-pleasers—we should all be happy since it keeps him busy and away […] »
- Jared Mobarak
Like Curry For Chocolat: Hallstrom Sticks to the Fruits of the Bestseller List
If you’re going to compare director Lasse Hallstrom’s latest film, The Hundred-Foot Journey to his extensive filmography over the past decade, then it stands out like a bright shiny penny. Another of Hallstrom’s adaptations of recently beloved bestselling novels, this tries to recreate the magical culinary delights that drove his 2000 hit Chocolat to such great heights. Here he has stapled another grand actress into the cast with Helen Mirren (moonlighting with her best French accent—the magical chocolate film had Juliette Binoche) and has producers like Oprah Winfrey and Steven Spielberg behind it. It’s an entirely prim and proper endeavor and appears clearly calibrated for a particular audience that favors a certain conservative strain to storytelling, where life’s uglier conceits like carnal knowledge and racist tendencies of the pastoral French are »
- Nicholas Bell
He died on the battlefield in 1781, so how can he be standing before police officer Lt. Abbie Mills in the present day? Ichabod Crane can’t afford to be dead: he has too much work to do in the town of Sleepy Hollow, a community that’s assaulted by ancient evils in Fox’s Sleepy Hollow TV series. We recently reported that the show’s first season is hitting Blu-ray and DVD this September, and we now know that the season two premiere will follow soon after.
It was revealed today that season two of Sleepy Hollow will premiere on Monday, September 22nd on Fox, just six days after the first season is released in home media formats on September 16th. A brief teaser video of season two has been unveiled and we have it and the show’s synopsis for you to check out (video courtesy of SpoilerTV!): »
- Derek Anderson
“My name is Ichabod Crane. In 1781, I died on the battlefield. I was saved by a mysterious spell cast upon me by my beloved wife, Katrina.” Ichabod is resurrected in the present-day town of Sleepy Hollow. Known for being home to the spooky story of the headless horseman, Sleepy Hollow is about to become a lot scarier as invasive supernatural evils make their presence known. It’s up to Ichabod and police officer Lt. Abbie Mills to save the community and the world in Sleepy Hollow, the first season of which is being released on Blu-ray and DVD this fall.
Slated for a September 16th release, the complete first season of Sleepy Hollow comes with a heaping handful of special features, including deleted scenes, audio commentaries, and a gag reel. For those unfamiliar with the show, here’s the synopsis:
- Derek Anderson
Metropolitan Filmexport has been involved in some of Europe’s biggest international co-productions over recent years, ranging from genre franchises “Silent Hill” and “Resident Evil” to more auteur-driven pics such as “Perfume,” “Railway Man” and “Salmon Fishing in the Yemen.”
“We’re a distributor, so we have to find what audiences are looking for,” says Metropolitan’s co-prexy, Samuel Hadida. “We don’t just want blockbusters, we also want to work with renowned auteurs such as David Michod and Martin Scorsese.”
Hadida views co-productions as a natural extension of his distribution activity: “If the underlying property and the package are right, instead of just paying the minimum guarantee for the distribution rights, we put up equity because we want the movie to happen and support the director’s vision.”
Many of Metropolitan’s co-production projects involve long-term partners, the most prominent being those with Lionsgate and Germany’s Constantin Film. »
- Martin Dale
Egyptian star Amr Waked (best known internationally for his performances in Salmon Fishing in the Yemen and Syriana) has joined the cast of the Weinstein Company/Netflix TV series collab, Marco Polo, which follows the travels of the 13th Century explorer. Currently shooting in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Waked joins star Lorenzo Richelmy, who is playing Marco Polo, as well as Benedict Wong, Zhu Zhu, Tom Wu, Remy Hii and Rick Yune. The 10-episode drama was created by John Fusco, and focuses on the famed explorer's journey that takes him to the center of a brutal war in 13th century China - "a world replete with astonishing martial arts, »
- Tambay A. Obenson
Egyptian multihyphenate Amr Waked (“Salmon Fishing in the Yemen,” “Lucy”) has joined the cast of “Marco Polo,” the TWC/Netflix TV series about the famed 13th Century explorer, currently shooting in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Waked, who is Egypt’s biggest international star, will play a loyal advisor to Mongol King Kublai Khan, and therefore a highly influential figure.
“Marco Polo” is set in China, amid a world “replete with astonishing martial arts, sexual intrigue, political skullduggery and spectacular battles,” according to the producers. Executive producer and creator of the nine-episode series is John Fusco (“Young Guns,” “Hidalgo”). The directors and executive producers are Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg (“Kon-Tiki,” “Max Manus: Man of War”). Young Italian actor Lorenzo Richelmy plays the title role.
Netflix has said it will make the entire series available to subscribers, in all territories worldwide, sometime late in 2014.
Waked will be soon be seen by international »
- Nick Vivarelli
An enlightening portrait of 12 adults from across the autistic spectrum that sheds some much needed light on a subculture that could do with some demystifying. I’m “biast” (pro): nothing
I’m “biast” (con): nothing
(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)
April is Autism Awareness Month in the United States, but while autism is something that families and schools and pediatricians are dealing with at ever increasing rates, there isn’t much awareness of neuro-atypicalness in pop culture. Rain Man — now more than a quarter of a century old — is probably still the film that first comes to mind for “autism in pop culture,” though there have been a few recent films with protagonists whom we might suspect are on the autism spectrum, though it’s never mentioned: Salmon Fishing in the Yemen and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, for two.
So documentarian William Davenport »
- MaryAnn Johanson
Stephen Garrett, Shine Pictures executive chairman and chairman of Shine's Kudos Film and TV, is leaving the company to look for other opportunities in scripted drama. Garrett, along with Kudos CEO Jane Featherstone, turned the indie British shingle into one of the U.K.'s hit-making TV powerhouses, boasting BBC series including Life on Mars, Hustle and Spooks on his production resume. Kudos also boasts a slew of movie productions made under Garrett’s watch as executive chairman of Shine Pictures, including David Cronenberg's Eastern Promises, scripted by Stephen Knight, and Salmon Fishing in The Yemen, starring Ewan McGregor and
- Stuart Kemp
Veteran TV exec Stephen Garrett is leaving the Shine Group later this year. He is currently Chairman of Kudos, one of the UK’s leading indies, which he co-founded two decades ago and which was acquired by Elisabeth Murdoch’s Shine in 2007. The company’s recent credits include Broadchurch, The Hour and Vicious. Garrett is also leaving his post as Executive Chairman of Shine Pictures. Under his stewardship, that feature division has made such titles as Eastern Promises, Salmon Fishing In The Yemen and Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day. Upcoming projects, including the Gregory Burke-penned Blowback, will be led by Shine Pictures’ Head of Film Ollie Madden. Together, Shine Pictures and Kudos are currently co-producing feature Spooks: The Greater Good which Garrett is producing with Madden and Kudos CEO Jane Featherstone. In a statement, Garrett praised his colleagues and noted, “I’m excited by the blurring of boundaries and the fusion of forms. »
- NANCY TARTAGLIONE, International Editor
Kudos co-founder and Shine Pictures executive chairman to step down after more than 20 years to “reinvent” himself.
Stephen Garrett, Shine Pictures executive chairman and chairman of Kudos Film and TV, is to leave the company later this year to pursue other opportunities in the scripted drama space.
With Kudos CEO Jane Featherstone, Garrett was responsible for building one of the UK’s most successful and respected independents, responsible for hit BBC series including Life on Mars, Hustle and Spooks.
Film productions under Garrett’s stewardship as executive chairman of Shine Pictures have included Eastern Promises and Salmon Fishing in The Yemen.
Shine Pictures and Kudos are currently co-producing feature spin-off Spooks: The Greater Good staring Peter Firth and Kit Harington (Game of Thrones). Garrett continues as producer on the upcoming project alongside Madden and Featherstone. The film is due for release in 2015.
These and future projects will be led solely at Shine Pictures by head of film »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Andreas Wiseman)
Garrett became chairman of Kudos in 2011, nearly 20 years after he co-founded the company. With Kudos CEO Jane Featherstone, he was responsible for building one of the U.K.’s most successful independent production companies. Kudos has produced many hit shows, including “Life on Mars,” “Hustle” and “Spooks,” which is known as “Mi-5″ in the U.S.
Productions under Garrett’s stewardship as executive chairman, Shine Pictures, have included “Eastern Promises,” “Salmon Fishing in the Yemen” and “Miss Pettigrew Lives For a Day.” Recently announced projects include crime thriller “Blowback,” from author Gregory Burke, and the adaptation of bestseller “The Farm” by Tom Rob Smith, in association with BBC Films.
These and future projects will be led solely at Shine Pictures by head of film, Ollie Madden, »
- Leo Barraclough
To celebrate the release of A Long Way Down (in cinemas 21st March) Hey U Guys are giving three lucky readers the chance to win the perfect night in with friends package including a bottle of champagne, chocolates as well as a DVD bundle and copy of the bestselling novel by Nick Hornby.
In A Long Way Down Four lost souls – a disgraced TV presenter, a foul-mouthed teen, an isolated single mother and a solipsistic muso – decide to end their lives on the same night, New Year’s Eve.
When this disillusioned quartet of strangers meet unintentionally at the same suicide hotspot, a London high-rise with the well-earned nickname Topper’s Tower, they mutually agree to call off their plans for six weeks, forming an unconventional, dysfunctional family, becoming media sensations as the Topper House Four and searching together for the reasons to keep on living.
With an all-star cast including Pierce Brosnan (Mamma Mia! »
Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: April 15, 2014
Price: Blu-ray/DVD Combo $35.99
Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Based on the book by Claire Tomlin, the biography drama looks at when Dickens was at the height of his career and met Nelly (Felicity Jones, Like Crazy), a younger woman who became his secret muse and mistress.
The Invisible Woman scored applause from critics, with Seattle Times‘ Moira MacDonald saying, “It’s wonderfully cast… and beautifully designed, a quiet pleasure.” The movie was only in a limited release in theaters, but earned a tidy $1.2 million.
The Blu-ray/DVD Combo pack offers the biggest audience. »
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.
Though director Lasse Hallstrom has struggled to find decent work outside of melodrama over the past few years, maybe working with an Oscar-nominated write can up his game. Hallstrom has been behind the camera for sappy films like Dear John, Safe Haven and Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, but Deadline reports he will next team up with Craig Borten, fresh off his Oscar nomination for scripting last year's Dallas Buyers Club starring Matthew McConaughey. What are they working on? Well, they will adapt Ron Chernow's biographical book Titan: The Life Of John D. Rockefeller for Relativity Media. Read on! The man whose name has become synonymous with wealth, the shrewd businessman made his riches in Standard Oil, but was pursued by the likes of Teddy Roosevelt for his business practices for 30 years from the 1870s to late 1890s. In his book, Chernow describes Rockefeller, "What makes him problematic—and why »
- Ethan Anderton
Relativity Media just acquired the film rights to Ron Chernow's book "Titan: The Life of John D Rockefeller" and has hired director Lasse Hallstrom (Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, What's Eating Gilbert Grape) to tell the story of America's first billionaire. Rockefeller was ruthless in building his company Standard Oil and spent thirty years dodging investigations into his business tactics until Teddy Roosevelt took him on. Rockefeller also turned into a philanthropist who gave away most of his fortune. The script will be written by Craig Borten, who was just nominated for an Oscar for "Dallas Buyers Club." Borten says that there are plenty of similarities between "Dallas Buyers Club" protagonist Ron Woodruff and Rockefeller. "Each saw capitalism as a way to divide and conquer and accumulate but ultimately became most memorable for giving back," he explained. »
Relativity Media is putting together a biopic of entrepreneur John D. Rockefeller, and the studio has enlisted The Cider House Rules and What’s Eating Gilbert Grape director Lasse Hallstrom to take the helm. Deadline reports that Hallstrom is attached to direct an adaptation of Ron Chernow’s book Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller with Oscar-nominated Dallas Buyers Club scribe Craig Borten penning the screenplay. As the world's first billionaire, Rockefeller is certainly one of most fascinating giants of the 19th and 20th centuries. He founded Standard Oil in 1870 and, as oil became an important resource, saw his fortune rise substantially until Standard Oil gained nearly complete control of the market. Rockefeller was also a philanthropist, giving away much of his wealth throughout his lifetime. Hit the jump for more, including a synopsis of the book. Hallstrom most recently wrapped the light drama The Hundred-Foot Journey with Helen Mirren »
- Adam Chitwood
Kristin Scott Thomas, one of film's most acclaimed and prolific actresses, says that she's essentially retiring from screen acting after three decades and sixty five films.
In a lengthy interview with The Guardian, the 53-year-old actress says this decision came about suddenly in September: "I just suddenly thought, I cannot cope with another film. I realised I've done the things I know how to do so many times in different languages, and I just suddenly thought, I can't do it any more. I'm bored by it. So I'm stopping."
She goes on to say: "The kinds of films that I do are usually quite rapidly put together, and it always seems to be a little bit of a shambles. I like filming, but what I don't like is having to rearrange things and rewrite scenes. I just can't be bothered. I'm often asked to do something because I'm going to »
- Garth Franklin
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