15 items from 2014
Ron Howard doesn’t get the credit he deserves. He’s seen as a journeyman, and while maybe that’s a fair label, it’s often used to dismiss his work. It’s understandable some people undervalue the guy who directed The Dilemma, The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons, but Howard is also responsible for Apollo 13, Parenthood, freaking Night Shift, The Paper, Frost/Nixon and A Beautiful Mind. What’s respectable about Howard as a filmmaker is that, even this far into his career, he’s trying new things and pushing himself. Sometimes the result doesn’t always work, but a journeyman isn’t the kind of director that takes the occasional risk like Howard does. Last year a huge gamble of his paid off: Howard made one of his best films with Rush – a movie filled with energy, passion and excitement. The movie wasn’t a hit at the box-office or at awards ceremonies »
- Jack Giroux
Chicago – The Chicago independent film scene keeps thriving, and a local production that just wrapped up will soon be a part of it. “The View From Tall” is based on a play written by co-director Caitlin Parrish, who along with her directing partner Erica Weiss brought the story to the screen.
One of the key roles in the film is portrayed by Chicago actor Michael Patrick Thornton. Thornton is a veteran performer, who most recently appeared as Dr. Gabriel Fife in the ABC-tv series “Private Practice.” Thornton suffered a spinal stroke in 2003, and is now mobile via a wheelchair, but has still forged a full acting career which also included an appearance in “The Dilemma” – directed by Ron Howard – in 2011.
Caitlin Parrish and Erica Weiss on the Set of ‘The View From Tall’
Photo credit: Tyler Core for the ‘The View From Tall,’ LLC
The crew of “The View From Tall, »
- email@example.com (Adam Fendelman)
These days, it seems hard for me to believe that there was a point where I did not like the work of Channing Tatum. For several of his early movies, I felt like he was a good looking guy with no chops at all, and it didn't seem to me like he was ever going to loosen up. He had some buzz around him when he was in "A Guide To Recognizing Your Saints," and he was certainly busy as the next few years unfolded, starring in films like "G.I. Joe: The Rise Of Cobra," "Dear John," "The Eagle," and "Step Up 2: The Streets," but it wasn't until 2011 that I started to come around to what he was doing. "The Dilemma" is a fairly awful film, but Tatum shows up late in the movie and suddenly things start to come to life. Also that spring, "Haywire" came out, and »
- Drew McWeeny
The McConaissance was already in full swing when Matthew McConaughey agreed to star in the first season of True Detective with Woody Harrelson. But HBO and show creator Nic Pizzolatto are gambling that the hard-boiled anthology can serve as a rejuvenation machine for other treading-water actors aching to break out of a rut. HBO officially confirmed today that Colin Farrell and Vince Vaughn will star in season 2—but not as partners, a la Rust and Marty. Farrell is a cop, but Vaughn will play a “career criminal in danger of losing his empire when his move into legitimate enterprise is »
- Jeff Labrecque
It was the huge success of Brian de Palma’s The Untouchables back in 1987 that made Hollywood realise that vast amounts of money could be mined from a middle-aged audience by revisiting their childhood nights spent in front of the television. Fellow 1950s TV stalwart Dragnet arrived the same year to lesser acclaim – pairing Dan Aykroyd’s stoic Joe Friday against Tom Hanks’s impossibly-named Pep Streebeck – but the ball kept rolling.
In the 1990s, the ‘movie version of the classic 1960s TV show’ became a genre of its own. Some were huge hits (The Fugitive, Maverick), some spawned brand new franchises (Mission: Impossible, The Addams Family), some were absolute disasters (The Avengers, Wild Wild West). The best of them cooked up something fresh and new from the old ingredients, creating something with pan-generational appeal. If the recipe was right, there were huge dividends to reap.
Strange then that the »
- Cai Ross
Ever since starring in the hit comedy Wedding Crashers, actor Vince Vaughn has struggled to find the same success with missteps like Fred Claus, The Internship, The Dilemma and Delivery Man. Those films just weren't all that funny, so now the actor is teaming with a more successful comedic star to see if that helps. THR reports Vaughn will star in The Politician, a new comedy set up at Columbia Pictures that has Seth Rogen producing along with his frequent collaborator Evan Goldberg and their Point Grey banner. Sweetening the deal is director Michael Dowse, fresh off the charming, funny romantic comedy What If. Plus, it sounds like the script by Matthew Bass and Theodore Bressman is good since it made the Black List in 2013 and sparked a bidding war late last year. So what's the story? The film will follow a politician (Vaughn) in Washington D.C. who is »
- Ethan Anderton
So maybe let's start this with a hat tip to Channing Tatum and how far he's come. From that guy in the "Step Up" movie, the actor made steady moves to work with directors of note, taking roles in films by Kimberly Peirce ("Stop-Loss"), Michael Mann ("Public Enemies"), Ron Howard ("The Dilemma"), Kevin Macdonald ("The Eagle"), Steven Soderbergh ("Haywire," "Side Effects," "Magic Mike") and Bennett Miller ("Foxcatcher"), and that's not to mention becoming the star of franchises like "G.I. Joe" and "21 Jump Street." And so, don't be surprised that the Coens have tapped the actor for their next film. Indeed, the Coens have rounded up Tatum, Tilda Swinton and Ralph Fiennes to join George Clooney in "Hail Caesar." The story will follow a fixer in the 1950s who works for Hollywood studios to protect their stars, with Tatum to play a Gene Kelly-esque actor, Fiennes a »
- Kevin Jagernauth
A Biblical action disaster fantasy epic that is completely bonkers, endlessly entertaining, and actually religious in that inspiring-and-instructional way that you don’t need to take as literal truth to see the wisdom of. I’m “biast” (pro): mostly love Darren Aronofsky’s movies, love Russell Crowe
I’m “biast” (con): I worry about people who think this is based on a for-real actually-true story
I have read one of the many versions of the source material (and I recognize it as an important work of literature but nothing else)
(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)
If Sunday school — or as it was for me, Wednesday after-school — had been this much fun, eight-year-old me probably wouldn’t have gotten into arguments with the nuns about how silly it all was: I would have just shut up and went, Wow o wow o wow. Cuz Darren Aronofsky »
- MaryAnn Johanson
Matthew McConaughey’s journey from rom-com stud muffin to Oscar-winning actor is officially complete. Six years ago, he starred in Fool’s Gold and Surfer, Dude. At Sunday night’s Oscars, he took home the Best Actor prize for his performance in Dallas Buyers Club, the culmination of a string of career-rehabilitating roles that included Magic Mike and Mud. McConaughey was always a popular star, and his frivolous, formulaic romantic comedies likely served as golden handcuffs for several years of his career that left him in a creative rut. Give him credit for recognizing that and then actually doing something about it. »
- Jeff Labrecque
While Channing Tatum rose to prominence with a filmography that included Step Up, Stop-Loss, and GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra, his supporting turn in 2011′s The Dilemma gave many a look at his comedic talents. His subsequent leading turn in the following year’s 21 Jump Street earned Tatum a new set of fans, all of whom were excited to find out that he had formally signed on to the movie’s sequel. Titled 22 Jump Street, Tatum is once again joined onscreen by Jonah Hill, Nick Offerman, and Ice Cube, with c0-directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller once again helming the sequel, and screenwriter Michael Bacall joined this time around by Rodney Rothman and Oren Uziel. A new trailer for the film has now been released, and can be seen below.
- Deepayan Sengupta
Segways at the ready! The shopping centre comedy that's all about prats and pratfalls is on Channel 5 at 5pm
"Remember me? I set you on fire at the pancake festival" - Commander Kent
Now, look, I know you probably have your assumptions about Paul Blart: Mall Cop. It stars Kevin James, who is generally to tasteful film-making what Donald Trump is to tasteful hairdressing. It's a knockabout, low-stakes comedy primarily about how funny fat people are when they fall over. It's called Paul Blart: Mall Cop, for crying out loud. It's impossible to say that out loud without sounding like an especially concussed caveman. And, hand on heart, it's going to take a lot of convincing to persuade me that the word "Blart" isn't a deliberate compound of "blood" and "fart".
And yet I'm here today to tell you that Paul Blart: Mall Cop is a sorely underrated film. Sure, »
- Stuart Heritage
Blu-ray, DVD & Digital Release Date: March 25, 2014
Price: DVD $29.99, Blu-ray $32.99
The comedy movie follows underachiever David Wozniak (Vaughn), who learns that, thanks to selling his sperm 20 years earlier, he has fathered 533 children — and now they all want to know who he is.
Chris Pratt (TV’s Parks and Recreation) and Cobie Smulders (Safe Haven) also star in the PG-13 film, which was written and directed by Ken Scott, the director and one of the writers of the original Starbuck.
Which is interesting, because 2011′s Starbuck got much better reviews than Delivery Man, even though (judging by the trailer), the new movie almost looks like a step by step carbon copy of the original but with different faces. Starbuck, however, was rated R, so maybe »
One of the favourite stars in the Us appears to be in descent. Vince Vaughn, once a box-office record breaker, with a string of hits topped in 2005 by Wedding Crashers, has underperformed as a lead in his last few movies. The Dilemma and The Watch both disappointed financially, (just about making their money back with around $70m (£42.5m) and $68m, respectively, worldwide. Meanwhile, last year's much-hyped reunion with Owen Wilson, The Internship, made less than half of their Wedding Crashers haul ($93.5m worldwide). These films were also unpopular with critics: in a one-star review of The Internship, Peter Bradshaw found the comedy "creepy and undead … a dreary experience".
Vaughn's latest film, Delivery Man (out in the UK on 10 January), seems to be following the trend. It opened at No 4 in the Us, »
Because torturing audiences with films like Here Comes the Boom, Zookeeper, The Dilemma and two Grown Ups films wasn't enough, Kevin James is bringing back his painfully stupid Paul Blart: Mall Cop for a completely unnecessary sequel at Sony Pictures. It's unclear just what will happen this time, but the comedy is said to take the bumbling security guard on another adventure. James will co-write the sequel again with the first film's co-writer Nick Bakay. However, Steve Carr couldn't be coaxed into this disaster, so the studio hired the "talents" of Andy Fickman, the man behind Parental Guidance and She's the Man. THR reports Adam Sandler is producing with Todd Garner by way of his Happy Madison banner again. It seems appropriate that despite turning towards more substantial pieces of filmmaking like The Cobbler with Thomas McCarthy, Sandler is still helping to churn out pure garbage. James is also producing »
- Ethan Anderton
Allan Loeb, the screenwriter behind The Dilemma, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps and the film adaptation of Rock Of Ages, has signed on to write the screenplay for Disney's planned Bob: The Musical.The film's been in development of one sort or another since 2004, with Phil Lord and Chris Miller most recently attached to direct and Adam Shankman aboard prior to that. With songs by the so-hot-right-now Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez, the husband-and-wife team behind Winnie The Pooh and more recently the box-office blockbuster Frozen, it seems to have stepped up a gear in the wake of that film's success.The story follows a mild-mannered regular Joe who, after being hit on the head, starts to hear the "inner song of everyone's heart" as his life is turned into a musical - much to his dismay.There's no director currently attached, but Disney will be hoping that Loeb's script »
15 items from 2014
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