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What’s new, what’s hot, and what you may have missed, now available to stream.
streaming now, while it’s still in cinemas
Lilting: heartbreakingly lovely film about the seemingly insurmountable distances between us when sharing grief is too painful [my review] [Curzon Home Cinema]
streaming now, before it’s on dvd
Locke: we say things like, “Oh, I’d watch that guy read the phone book,” and this is almost that, except it really is absolutely riveting, and that’s no joke; a tour de force for Tom Hardy [my review] [iTunes UK]
streaming now, before it’s on dvd
Locke: we say things like, “Oh, I’d watch that guy read the phone book,” and this is almost that, except it really is absolutely riveting, and that’s no joke; a tour de force for Tom Hardy [my review] [Amazon UK Instant Video]
new to stream
- MaryAnn Johanson
Locarno – For decades now, Luc Besson, a director who gave French cinema a huge shot of mainstream action-traction and grandfathered – though not old himself – a new generation of Gallic action directors, has been dubbed, and sometimes dismissed in his native France, as “American.”
That, from Besson’s point-of-view, would appear to be an over-simplification.
Fresh off an $81.9 million first ten-day U.S. bow for the Universal-distribbed “Lucy,” the Luc Besson who spoke at the press conference at Locarno Fest, which “Lucy” opened on Wednesday, was a full-on supporter of the world’s new multi-culturalism in an Internet age.
Like Lionsgate-Summit “Now You See Me,” from Besson alum Louis Leterrier, or indeed “Taken” and “Taken 2,” both produced by Besson’s EuropaCorp, “Lucy” globe-trots with a modern-day ease, in location, characters, thesps and filmic influences.
- John Hopewell and Elsa Keslassy
Luc Besson: "I am a bit like the great chefs who pick up tips and recipes from their travels. My greatest fear is to make the same film. I am not interested in that. I always want to go in different directions ..." Photo: Richard Mowe French filmmaker Luc Besson is the closest France has to a movie mogul with his company Europa Corp, which is a major partner in a recently opened studio in Paris, Cité du Cinéma. He has produced or co-produced some 100 movies across an eclectic range of genres, all aimed for international success and many - such as the Taken franchise - targeted at the mass market.
Now he has returned triumphantly to the director’s chair with Lucy featuring Scarlett Johansson and Morgan Freeman, already a breakaway hit of the summer and very much in the Besson mould of films with strong female roles at their core (Nikita, »
- Richard Mowe
In a normal summer, a debut like the estimated $29.0 million opening for Dwayne Johnson's "Hercules" would be reason for its creators and distributor to rejoice. After all, the movie did better than pundits had predicted (in the low 20s), and it enjoyed a healthy per-screen average ($8,067 per venue). As an action star with a track record, Johnson would be said to have delivered on his promise, and there would be backslapping and cigars all around for a $100-million PG-13 movie that would surely earn back its investment from both domestic and overseas audiences (who bought an estimated $28.0 million worth of tickets) .
And yet, that opening was good enough only for second place. Coming out more than 50 percent ahead to debut in the No. 1 slot was "Lucy," a French-made R-rated action movie starring petite Scarlett Johansson, shot for a modest (by action standards) $40 million. Playing on 422 fewer screens than "Hercules, »
- Gary Susman
As a result of her new mental and physical talents – bestowed upon her by drugs that exploded inside her stomach – she becomes a commodity to the police force. With her skills, they hope to find the other drug mules and drug kingpin Mr. Jang (Min-sik Choi). Lucy’s talents amaze brain expert Professor Samuel Norman (Morgan Freeman), who tries to help her control her unheard of capabilities and remain in control of her life.
Critics are split on what to make of the latest female-driven action film by Besson (La Femme Nikita, The Professional, The Fifth Element). On the one hand, there’s something to be said for Besson’s determination to push further and harder in new and insane directions in Lucy. Yet, on the other hand, »
The son of scuba-diving instructors, Luc Besson came of age exploring the depths of the ocean floor and inventing stories out of the debris he would find along the shore. Some 50 years later, he is still playing with rocks in the sand — only now his shoreline is the river Seine and his castle a 667,000-square-foot film studio called Cite du Cinema (literally Cinema City). Built from the shell of a 1930s thermal power plant in the Paris suburb of Saint Denis, the sprawling complex — which includes nine soundstages, a 500-seat auditorium and a full-service restaurant — is headquarters for Besson’s prolific production and distribution outfit, EuropaCorp, plus a host of affiliated vendors and two film schools.
On a recent Friday afternoon, despite a bank-holiday weekend in France, Cite du Cinema was a hive of activity as editors, sound mixers and visual effects artists readied two new EuropaCorp productions for their »
- Scott Foundas
Over the course of his dozen-plus films as a writer-director, Parisian auteur Luc Besson has become known for his stylish inversions of schlock genre fare and a certain, shall we call it, Vive la femme attitude toward women.
Time and again, his movies place emotionally fragile female characters in physically perilous situations: a conflicted hit-woman struggling with the perils of her job in 1990’s La Femme Nikita, 12-year old Natalie Portman on the run as an assassin-in-training in The Professional, and Milla Jovovich’s universe-saving alien Leeloo in The Fifth Element (1997) among them. Besson’s latest multiplex offering appears set to follow that template. »
- Chris Lee
After her mesmerizingly out-there performances as an artificially intelligent being in “Her” and a come-hither extraterrestrial in “Under the Skin,” Scarlett Johansson takes a logical next step into the title role of “Lucy,” an agreeably goofy, high-concept speculative thriller about the first human being to successfully harness 100% of her brainpower. In no other sense, however, does the word “logical” apply to writer-director Luc Besson’s return to blockbuster form — which is to say, his latest aggressively stylish, self-consciously feminist, gratuitously globe-trotting pulp-trash extravaganza. Giddily recycling everything from “2001: A Space Odyssey” and “The Matrix” to yakuza actioners and National Geographic documentaries, it’s a garish, trippy, wildly uneven and finally quite disarming piece of work, graced by a moment-to-moment unpredictability that will pique audience curiosity but may put off those who prefer their summer movies on the more conventional side.
Although it represents a significant roll of the dice as »
- Justin Chang
From a brief moment, there was a time to be excited about a new film from Luc Besson. But that was a long, long time ago when he was making movies like "La Femme Nikita," "Leon: The Professional" and "The Fifth Element." But these days he seems content to knock out drivel like last year's "The Family," his transparent awards contender "The Lady" all while helping stuff like "Taken" and "Brick Mansions" get made. Anyway, Besson is back behind the camera, this time for "Lucy," and yeah it looks about as exactly as underwhelming as you might guess. Scarlett Johansson gets the lead role, playing a young woman who yada yada yada is now a supercharged something-or-other and gets mixed up with some bad dudes including Choi Min-Sik from "Oldboy." Anyway, a couple more clips are here from the movie, one with a more timid Lucy with a briefcase strapped to her arm, »
- Kevin Jagernauth
How great is it that we live in an age where the adorable young girl from Ghost World and The Horse Whisperer has matured into this confident, credible ass-beater? It didn.t happen overnight. Scarlett Johansson has been taking names for years now. But we.ve gotten to the point where seeing her doing her best Jason Bourne impersonation in a Luc Besson thriller isn.t shocking. It.s invigorating. The above trailer, shared via The Playlist, is for Besson.s upcoming Lucy, a hard-hitting thriller that carries this amazing logline: A drug mule accidentally swallows her cargo and finds she now has superpowers." Uh, yeah. Sign me up for that movie. Especially since, after detours into more serious genre fare with The Family and The Lady, Lucy looks like a return to action for Besson to his days filming features like La Femme Nikita and Leon: The Professional. And »
There’s nothing quite as sexy and downright alluring as watching women with swords do their thing in a well-crafted action-packed motion picture. And I’m not talking about that generic Japanese crap where the girls are more concerned with adequate cleavage than the finer nuances of an on-screen fight. I’m talking about Michelle Yeoh kind of stuff, though we don’t get motion pictures of that caliber too often. Fortunately for folks living in the UK, director Quang Dung Nguyen’s Vietnamese actioner “The Lady Assassin” is on its way to DVD later this month. In fact, martial arts fans only have a few more days before its official release. Count all of the loose change in your couch and make plans accordingly. Here’s what the flick is all about: A sexy, action packed martial-arts fantasy set in a traveller’s tavern whose owner, with the help »
- Todd Rigney
These days especially, what matters in a three-and-a-half hour awards show like Sunday's 86th annual Academy Awards is not who won or lost -- though the victories for Steve McQueen's "12 Years a Slave" and Alfonso Cuaron's "Gravity" seemed to be part of history in the making -- but which moments were most likely to go viral.
In case you missed the Ellen DeGeneres-hosted extravaganza -- or nodded off at some point during its 212 minutes -- here are the best and worst of the evening's memorable moments.
Best DeGeneres Opening Monologue Joke
Poking fun at Hollywood vanities and neuroses, she said, "I'm not saying movies are the most important thing in the world, because we all know the most important thing in the world is youth. But really, we know that the most important thing in life is love and friendship and family. And if people don't have those things, »
- Gary Susman
The Oscars took place on Sunday with "12 Years a Slave" ending up being the big winner of the night, with a total of three awards for best picture, best adapted screenplay and best supporting actress. But it was "Gravity" that took home the most prizes, a total of seven. Most of the awards were for achievement in the technical department, except for Alfonso Cuaron, who won in the best director category. Meanwhile, Matthew McConaughey won the best actor award for "Dallas Buyers Club" and Cate Blanchett won the best actress award for "Blue Jasmine." Check out the full list of nominees and winners (marked in red) below. And let us know if you think the academy got it right. Best Picture: * 12 Years a Slave * American Hustle * Captain Phillips * Dallas Buyers Club * Gravity * Her * Nebraska * Philomena * The Wolf of Wall Street Directing: * Alfonso Cuaron (Gravity) * David O. Russell (American Hustle) * Alexander Payne »
Three films were considered frontrunners at the 86th Academy Awards on Sunday night, with Gravity and American Hustle earning the most nominations with 10 each while 12 Years a Slave came in a close second with nine nods. In the end, two walked away winners: Gravity technically coming out on top with seven awards (five of those being technical honors, including Best Cinematography and Best Visual Effects), and 12 Years a Slave taking three, including the top trophy of the night for Best Picture. (American Hustle got completely shut out.)
Oscars 2014's 25 best »
Good evening, Digital Spy readers, and welcome to the 86th Academy Awards!
The biggest event in the film industry calendar is upon us again, and we'll be bringing you up-to-the-minute commentary throughout the evening, from the first red carpet arrivals through to the bitter end.
If you need to brush up before the ceremony begins, here's the full list of this year's nominees and this year's presenters.
05:11And that's a wrap on this year's Oscars. As ever, things became rushed and chaotic towards the end as the ceremony was clearly overrunning, but Ellen was exactly the right kind of deadpan presence to hold it all together.
05:01"Everyone deserves not just to survive, but to live. This is the most important legacy of Solomon Northup, »
Here we are again after the Golden Globes, Mike Fleming and Anita Busch taking on the task of play by play during the most wide-open Oscar race we can remember. Even on the party circuit, industry insiders who usually have a grasp of who’ll walk away with Oscars were evenly torn between Alfonso Cuaron’s 3D masterpiece Gravity and Steve McQueen’s 12 Years A Slave. Then again, there were so many terrific films that got Best Picture nominations, and all of them have at least a puncher’s chance at an upset. Related: Oscars: Pete Hammond’s Absolute Final Predictions That includes American Hustle, where David O Russell co-wrote the Best Original Script nominee with Eric Warren Singer and got tour de force performances and nominations for Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence. Perfs so strong there was no room on the nomination roster for perennial Oscar nominee Jeremy Renner. »
- MIKE FLEMING JR
The big night has finally arrived. It's the 86th Academy Awards and all of Hollywood is turning out the celebrate. Join us the the speeches, the surprises and what are sure to be some very memorable moments.
Ellen DeGeneres hosts this year's Oscars, and in addition to the biggest movie stars on the planet presenting awards, several musical acts are slated to perform their Academy Award nominated hit songs, including U2 and Idina Menzel.
What tricks will DeGeneres have up her sleeve? It's safe to say she probably won't sing a song about the boobs of those in the audience, as Seth MacFarlane did last year.
The 86th Academy Awards kick off at 7 p.m. Et on ABC with red-carpet coverage -- the show starts at 8:30 p.m. -- and you can follow along with Zap2it every single step of the way on our live blog. All times are Eastern. »
Photo: AMPAS Oscar Musts: Predictions | Nominees | Presenters | Printable Ballot It's that time of year again and I welcome you to the 2014 Oscars Live Blog with up-to-the-minute live winners, commentary, red carpet coverage and overall merriment. We are kicking this thing off around 3:30-4 Pm Pst or so and carrying on until 9 Pm Pst or whenever this thing ends, which means you better have food, water and perhaps a tasty beverage or two because it's going to be a long night. I've already posted my predictions and have collated the reader polls into one, easy-to-read place along with my predictions as well as my Oscar-blogging co-hort and podcast partner Laremy Legel. You can find all three, one after another with the differences highlights right here. As far as my predicting prowess is concerned, the last two years I've ended the night getting 19 out of 24 correct, I really want to at least get 20 this year. »
- Brad Brevet
12 Years a Slave won the big prize of the night, but Gravity took home the most awards overall with seven.
- Denise Warner
The 2014 Academy Awards have (finally) arrived, and we can't wait to see what happens.
With huge international stars, like Meryl Streep, Sandra Bullock, Julia Roberts, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Matthew McConaughey up for Oscars, and some big movies, like "Gravity," "12 Years a Slave," "Captain Phillips," "Philomena," and "American Hustle," vying for the top prize, this year's ceremony is as competitive as ever.
Throughout the night, we'll be watching and updating the list below, so come back to see who won (and who didn't) as Hollywood's best and brightest take home the awards.
Related: Oscars Red Carpet: Stars Dressed to the Nines at 2014 Academy Awards (Photos)
"12 Years a Slave" (Winner)
- Moviefone Staff
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