1-20 of 276 items from 2013 « Prev | Next »
What’s new, what’s hot, and what you may have missed, now available to stream on Netflix and Amazon Instant Video.
streaming now, before it’s on dvd
Prisoners: a superb film that shifts from unvarnished depictions of terrible, tragic, mundane reality to almost unbearable suspense; an intense, uncomfortable, unforgettable cinematic experience [my review] [at Amazon Instant Video] Insidious: Chapter 2: the clean, simple elegance of the first film has been lost in a jumbled mess that sometimes hits on fresh angles on ghost stories but most often is shoddy, sloppy, and lazy [my review] [at Amazon Instant Video] Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters: spectacularly mediocre fantasy junk food, perfectly inoffensive for youngsters but too featherweight for adult genre fans [my review] [at Amazon Instant Video]
new to Prime
Dances with Wolves: a beautiful, moving film about the closing of the American frontier and all that disappeared with it [my review] [at Amazon Instant Video] Flight: Denzel Washington’s bravura performance just about pulls this old-fashioned melodrama out of »
- MaryAnn Johanson
Jason Statham teams up with another badass little girl… which makes him almost warm and charming as he kicks the crap out of villains. I’m “biast” (pro): nothing
I’m “biast” (con): have not been the biggest Jason Statham fan
(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)
Hey! Jason Statham finally found a thing that works! Well, okay, a thing that finally works for me. Lots of folks seem just fine with the badass martial-arts machine he typically portrays… if that’s even the word for simply transferring his stuntman workouts to the big screen. For me, that’s so completely uninteresting, and so very cold, and I was starting to wonder if he had anything else to offer.
But he’s trying. With a decent script — not that this wholly qualifies, but more on that in a moment — he’s got something. With the right costar, »
- MaryAnn Johanson
The Motel Life starring Emile Hirsch (Lone Survivor, Killer Joe) and Dakota Fanning (The Twilight Saga, Night Moves) leads the slate announced by new distributor Random Media, launched by long-time executive Eric Doctorow. The Motel Life is based on Willy Vlautin's novel, and is directed and produced by Gabe Polsky and Alan Polsky with Stephen Dorff (Blade, The Iceman) and Kris Kristofferson (Blade, The Jacket) to also star.
Random Media's slate also includes Guardian of the Highlands, an animated film with Sean Connery (The Hunt for Red October, Indiana Jones) and Alan Cumming (X2, The Good Wife) about an aging skateboarding vet who saves a fugitive beaver, while other films include Around the Block, For Those in Peril, The Secret Lives of Dorks, The Last Supper, documentary $ellebrity and Meth Head.
Random seems to have some projects lined up and is definitely something to keep an eye on.
- Gary Collinson
The big news this week, that you have no doubt heard by now, is that Netflix has partnered up with Marvel Studios to bring us no less than four exclusive series’ based on their characters in 2015. Those characters are Daredevil (which I always thought would work better on TV), Iron Fist, Jessica Jones and Luke Cage.
Now, Iron Fist was in development for years as a film so they have a head start but I would have liked to have seen Luke Cage on the big screen and I am only vaguely familiar with Jessica Jones. The intention is that each of them will have their own 13 episode run before teaming up in a Defenders mini-series.
So what does this mean for Netflix? This is an epic win basically and means that regardless of exclusives or new content over the next year, they are going to remain in the game »
- Chris Holt
News regarding Ramin Bahrani’s upcoming drama, 99 Homes has been rather infrequent over the past couple of months, but back in July we reported that Andrew Garfield (of Amazing Spider-man and Social Network fame) joined the project. It seems however, that Garfield isn’t the only superheroic or rather, super-villainous actor to jump on board with the news that Michael Shannon (most recently of Man Of Steel and The Iceman) is signed to the project.
Those not familiar with Bahrani by name may know his work Plastic Bag and Man Push Cart (worth checking out at the very least) may also be worth noting that the late Roger Ebert hailed him as the “director of the decade” back in 2009.
Though Garfield and Shannon are the only two confirmed big Hollywood names attached the project, their recent success is sure to attract far more attention to the film. Already starting to take shape, »
- Matthew Ceo
With leading man Kellan Lutz taking to New York Comic-Con over the weekend, Millennium has launched the first trailer for next spring’s action blockbuster, Hercules: The Legend Begins, a title which suggests that the studio might be eyeing a franchise with this next year.
Previously known simply as Hercules 3D, Renny Harlin’s action/fantasy blockbuster will be hitting cinemas a good few months ahead of Brett Ratner and Dwayne Johnson’s Hercules: The Thracian Wars, and it will be interesting to see how the two films compare come the end of summer.
Lutz takes the lead in Harlin’s movie, starring of course as the eponymous Hercules, son of Zeus and the mortal Alcmene. He stars alongside Scott Adkins, Roxanne McKee, Gaia Weiss, Liam Garrigan, Liam McIntyre, Luke Newberry, and Rade Serbedzija.
- Kenji Lloyd
Exclusive: I am hearing that Luc Besson‘s EuropaCorp is the lead horse in the quest to acquire Millennium Entertainment, the distribution arm of Avi Lerner‘s Nu Image/Millennium Films empire that was put on the selling block last April. The division, which is run by Bill Lee, retained Los Angeles-based investment bank Salem Partners in April to broker a deal. Lerner owns 60% of the company, Nigel Sinclair and Guy East’s Exclusive Media has a 20% stake and the hedge fund Prentice Capital owns the other 20%. I’m told that there might be one or more other bidders in the mix, but it looks like the deal is EuroCorp’s for the taking and that they are close. Besides a distribution operation, Millennium owns a film library with 665 titles and, according to the company’s release announcing the sale last April, has strong relationships with big three theater chains AMC, »
- MIKE FLEMING JR
What’s new, what’s hot, and what you may have missed, now available to stream on Netflix, Lovefilm, and blinkbox.
new to stream
Love Crime: wickedly, dryly funny arthouse satire on office politics, with a cleverly plotted crime at its heart [my review] [at Netflix] Real Steel: Hugh Jackman does robot boxing, and it is fun as hell [my review] [at Netflix]
because you missed it
The Young Victoria: Emily Blunt is the English queen as a young woman, in love and not yet in mourning black [at Netflix] The Woodsman: Kevin Bacon is a pedophile trying to straight; Mos Def — in his first astonishing performance as an actor — is the cop who doesn’t believe he can [at Netflix]
always worth a rewatch
Friends with Benefits: one of the most unsentimental movies about GenX romance yet; Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis are totally charming [at Lovefilm] The Ides of March: everything that’s fucked up about American political »
- MaryAnn Johanson
To mark the release of The Iceman on September 30th we’ve been given 3 copies to give away on Blu-ray.
Richard Kuklinski (Michael Shannon; Man of Steel) and his wife Deborah (Winona Ryder; Heathers) appear to have a model American life, living with their children in an idyllic suburban house. Unbeknownst to Deborah and the kids, when Kuklinski goes off to work in the morning — or, on occasion, in the middle of dinner or the middle of the night — he is carrying out executions at the behest of a local crime family.
The Iceman shows the development of Kuklinski’s career from the 1950s through the 1980s, showing how he employed a wide variety of methods (guns, knives, poisonings etc.) that made it difficult to trace all the fatalities to a single killer. »
This week Ariel Vroman’s film on the life of Richard Kuklinski, infamously dubbed The Iceman while at large, enters the home entertainment arena and as well as featuring another superlative performance from Michael Shannon it is one of the finest depictions of the erosive nature of leading a double life.
Kuklinski was a committed family man and kept his wife and daughters in a very comfortable existence, what he managed to hide from them for nearly two decades is that his well paying job was less ‘currency exchange’ and more ‘mortality exchange’. Working for a number of very dangerous men and committing heinous acts of murder all to support his family a strange duality emerges, a duality which is ultimately unsustainable.
Vroman expertly weaves the two disparate characters through circumstances which blunt each distinct side of his personality. The family man who coos over his newborn daughter years later »
- Jon Lyus
Michael Shannon, Winona Ryder, James Franco, Ray Liotta and Chris Evans star in acclaimed thriller The Iceman. Out to rent and own on DVD and Blu-ray from September 30, The Iceman is a gritty thriller with an incredible central performance from Michael Shannon, which prompted The Independent to describe him as “arguably the most exciting Us screen actor since Pacino and DeNiro.”
Richard Kuklinski (Michael Shannon; Man of Steel) and his wife Deborah (Winona Ryder; Heathers) appear to have a model American life, living with their children in an idyllic suburban house. Unbeknownst to Deborah and the kids, when Kuklinski goes off to work in the morning — or, on occasion, in the middle of dinner or the middle of the night — he is carrying out executions at the behest of a local crime family. »
- Dan Bullock
★★★☆☆ Richard Kuklinski was an infamous contract killer doing the dirty work of various New York crime organisations throughout the sixties and seventies. Estimates of how many lives he ended during his career vary from 100 to 250 according to different accounts. Based on a screenplay by Morgan Land and director Ariel Vromen, The Iceman (2012) follows Kuklinski from his unsettling appreciation for murder to his settled family life. Michael Shannon gamely inhabits the lead role, but this by-the-numbers gangster flick fails to truly get beneath the skin of its subject despite remaining dramatically engaging throughout.
Unbeknownst to his wife Deborah (Winona Ryder), with whom he is awkwardly charming and affable, Kuklinski (Shannon) has a fatally violent streak and works in knock-off pornography. One night he gains the attention of local mobster Roy Demeo (gangster movie stalwart Ray Liotta), when they have a run-in during which Richie exhibits a cool head and stone-cold demeanour. »
- CineVue UK
Richard Kuklinski is a scary dude. Nicknamed “the Iceman” due to his steely demeanor and ability to seemingly be able to commit acts of impossible violence at the drop of a hat, he became a feared mafia hitman and enforcer. The film The Iceman is a brilliant character study and perfect companion piece to the popular HBO documentary. The film adaptation, directed by the talented Ariel Vromen and starring the intense Michael Shannon, has been met with solid reviews and was one of my favorites of last year.
- Robert Ottone
The Walking Dead: season 3
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The second season of The Walking Dead – the one where they mostly hung about in a farm – saw plenty of loyal but bored viewers shuffle off, zombie-like, to other shows. So the fact that the third series broke Us ratings records suggests its creators upped the ante quite a bit. In season three the action is split between two new settings: the abandoned prison Rick (Andrew Lincoln) is holed up in and the zombie-proof gated community of Woodbury run by the villainous governor (David Morrissey), who is so evil he makes the undead seem cuddly. The quicker pace means there's more screen time for peripheral-yet-interesting characters, such as reformed redneck Daryl and his brother Merle, and poor, put-upon Carol finally gets some much needed character development. »
- Phelim O'Neill
Stars: Michael Shannon, Chris Evans, Winona Ryder, David Schwimmer, Ray Liotta, Robert Davi, John Ventimiglia, James Franco, McKaley Miller, Stephen Dorff | Written by Ariel Vromen, Morgan Land | Directed by Ariel Vromen
“He is such a cold blooded killer, they call him ‘The Iceman’”
Directed by Israeli’s Ariel Vromen (Danika, Rx) and starring Michael Shannon (Man of Steel), Chris Evans (Captain America: The First Avenger) and Winona Ryder (Beetlejuice), The Iceman is a biopic based on the life and events surrounding Richard Kuklinski, the notorious contract killer.
Set in the mid-sixties through to the eighties in New York and New Jersey, The Iceman begins with Kuklinski on a date with Deborah (Ryder) and you see that there’s a warmth to Kuklinski’s character and a sense of humour. It’s nice to see that the film, even in its opening moments, isn’t shying away from showing the grey areas of the story. »
- Chris Cummings
Writer-director Ariel Vromen's dramatic adaptation of the life of notorious hitman Richard "The Iceman" Kuklinski is now available on Blu-ray. The Iceman stars Michael Shannon (Man of Steel) in the title role: a loving and devoted family man on the surface, in actuality a brutal and sadistic serial murderer with mafia ties. Adapted from Anthony Bruno's book The Iceman: The True Story of a Cold-Blooded Killer, the film attempts to examine the duality of Kuklinski, but ultimately ends up being little more than a showcase for Shannon's terrifying talent. The Iceman also stars Chris Evans, David Schwimmer, Ray Liotta, Winona Ryder, Stephen Dorff and James Franco. The Blu-ray extras include the standard "making of" featurette and filmmaker interviews, but unfortunately do not include the oft-cited HBO documentary, The Iceman: Confessions of a Mafia Hitman. Hit the jump for my Blu-ray review. The Feature Matt previously reviewed »
- Dave Trumbore
The story centers on a young man (Andrew Garfield) who loses his house to foreclosure. Desperate for work, he ends up taking a job with the shady real estate broker (Michael Shannon) who took his home away, where he becomes involved in a plot to embezzle money from the government.
Ramin Bahrani is directing from his own screenplay, which reflects recent economic headlines. Kevin Turen, Justin Nappi and Juliet Berman are producing for Treehouse Pictures. No production schedule was given.
The script, written by Doug Cook and David Weisberg, is about a brain damaged criminal — implanted with the memories of a murdered operative — who must help the CIA defuse a ticking bomb when a hacker overtakes the U.S. government’s nuclear submarines.
Israel native Vromen’s “Iceman,” is the true story of mob killer Richard Kuklinski and stars Michael Shannon. Vromen co-wrote with Morgan Land and is based on Anthony Bruno’s book “The Iceman: The True Story of a Cold-Blooded Killer” and interview footage.
Cook and Weisberg are also teamed with Benderspink and »
- Dave McNary
It's fitting that I have 13 items to cover this week since Friday the 13th: The Complete Collection hits Blu-ray in a beautiful tin. Does this set kill the possibility of other purchases? No way! Blandings: Series One is anything but bland. Michael Shannon gives a fiery performance in The Iceman. New on Blu stateside are Dracula: Prince of Darkness, the surreal An American Hippie in Israel, and Scanners II and III, Lastly, go out of your way to get ahold of the stunning time of war coming-of-age feature War Witch and the deeply evocative Radio Unnameable, which gives voice to one of radio's greats, DJ Bob Fass. ...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
Superheroes show their mettle as our new columnist Guy Lodge looks at the latest DVDs and downloads
If video killed the radio star, DVD killed the video store… and then things get a bit messy. DVD is far from dead, of course, but it's the most analogue of home entertainment options in an on-demand society. Whether you're downloading a film from iTunes, streaming a Netflix original TV series or browsing the free-to-view libraries of the BBC or Channel 4 – and whether you're watching on your telly or your tablet – the notion of buying or borrowing a physical disc is getting awfully 20th century.
It's time, then, to widen the scope of this column beyond films on DVD or Blu-ray, taking in more of the outlets available to us for our home viewing pleasure. Don't panic, we'll take it slow. Do not adjust your set. Or your smartphone, for that matter. »
- Guy Lodge, Mark Kermode
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