18 items from 2014
The 3rd July 2013 saw the release of Disney's The Lone Ranger, its larger-than-life western starring Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer. Its theatrical debut marked the end of a lengthy and difficult production, stories from which had been hungrily served up by the media - the previous summer was dominated by news stories of its spiralling budget, which was thought to have crossed $250m. Nevertheless, the 2013 blockbuster season should, in theory, have marked a fresh start for Disney, as it spent a reported $150m on marketing The Lone Ranger. But the House of Mouse hadn't counted on the popularity of another film launched on that exact same day in July: Universal's animated sequel, Despicable Me 2.
The Lone Ranger, a film with an »
Brick Mansions, based on the brilliant, French movie District 19, is one of the late Paul Walker’s last films, and is entering UK cinemas from the 2nd May, and today we can bring you the latest UK poster for the action film, courtesy of Warner Brothers.
In a dystopian Detroit, abandoned brick mansions left from better times now house only the most dangerous criminals. Unable to control the crime, the police constructed a colossal containment wall around this area to protect the rest of the city. For undercover cop Damien Collier (Paul Walker) every day is a battle against corruption. For Lino (David Belle), every day is a fight to live an honest life. Their paths never should have crossed, but when drug kingpin, Tremaine (RZA) kidnaps Lino’s girlfriend, Damien reluctantly accepts the help of the fearless ex-convict, and together they must stop a sinister plot to devastate the entire city. »
- Paul Heath
From improbably remote arthouse origins, Québécois director Denis Villeneuve is turning into quite hot Hollywood property. A couple of years after his Middle Eastern melodrama "Incendies" scored an Oscar nomination, his austere formal gifts and taste for high-concept tragedy combined to make his starry but profoundly bleak kidnap thriller "Prisoners" a risky mainstream hit last autumn. The smaller-scale surrealist exercise "Enemy," which premiered near-simultaneously at Toronto and was released in the Us last month, took him back to specialty territory, but showed he has enough clout to attract an A-lister like Jake Gyllenhaal to a very eccentric indie. All options are effectively open to him. With that in mind, it looks like he's returning to the multiplex, lining up not one but two mainstream genre projects with, encouragingly enough, lead roles for major female stars. Emily Blunt is in talks for police thriller "Sicario," which Villeneuve will follow up immediately »
- Guy Lodge
It is strange that Amy Adams has not quite graduated to the zenith of A-list stars. She gives her all in blockbuster fare (Man of Steel, the Night at the Museum sequel), is a stellar dramatic actor (with five Oscar nominations to date, most recently for American Hustle) and has a sweet girl next door appeal. Now, she is circling the sci-fi drama The Story of Your Life, for Prisoners director Denis Villeneuve.
The Story of Your Life is based on a 1998 short story from Hugo Award-winning author Ted Chiang. It tells the tale of an expert linguist who the military commissions to figure out if an alien vessel that just landed on earth is a threat. When she begins to communicate with the aliens, she experiences flashbacks that reveal the true identity of their mission.
- Jordan Adler
Amy Adams, who gained experience dealing with aliens in Man of Steel, is in early talks to star in the science-fiction thriller Story of Your Life, to be directed by Denis Villenueve. According to Deadline, Adams would play an "expert linguist ... recruited by the military" to determine whether newly-arrived extraterrestrials are friendly (like Superman) or antagonistic (like Zod). It's based on a Nebula Award-winning novella by Ted Chiang, first published in 1998; Eric Heisserer wrote the screenplay; his credits include the scripts for the remakes of A Nightmare on Elm Street and The Thing, as well as writing and directing the recent Paul Walker vehicle Hours. Villenueve made a big splash with last year's one-two of Enemies and Prisoners, and his involvement suggests a thriller that...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
Hours shrinks the Hollywood megabudget, proving yet again that a small, specific idea can trump expensive special effects. Falling into a developing tradition of high-profile actors taking on creative micro-thrillers, a la Ryan Reynolds in Buried or Michael Shannon and Jessica Chastain in Take Shelter, Hours is a taut thriller that relies on character over battle sequences and emotion over quick one-liners.
Scribe Eric Heisserer is Hollywood’s reboot man, scripting the new Nightmare on Elm Street, Final Destination 5, and The Thing. Hours is a genre departure for him and also marks his directorial debut. Starting in the hours before Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, Nolan Hayes (Paul Walker) rushes his pregnant wife (Genesis Rodriguez) to the hospital. When the birth is complicated, Nolan tragically loses his wife and is stricken to learn his newborn must be supported by a ventilator to survive. Katrina hits and the hospital is evacuated, »
- Kyle North
Moviefone's Top DVD of the Week
"12 Years a Slave"
What's It About? Based on the memoir by Solomon Northup, "12 Years a Slave" stars Chiwetel Ejiofor as a free man who was kidnapped from his home in New York and sold into slavery. Northup ends up on a plantation run by the cruel Edwin Epps (Michael Fassbender) and his equally awful wife (Sarah Paulson), who take special delight in tormenting another young slave named Patsey (Lupita Nyong'o).
Why We're In: The movie took him Best Picture Sunday night -- see director Steve McQueen quite literally jump for joy here -- for good reason. Nyong'o took home the Best Supporting Actress award for her wrenching performance, and John Ridley won for his adapted screenplay.
Moviefone's Top Blu-ray of the Week
- Jenni Miller
A few weeks back you may have read me talking about the entertainment package that Now TV were now offering alongside movies and sport accessible through their box or online that was £4.99 a month and gave you access to shows from HBO showing in the UK through Sky Atlantic. Unless you have been in outer space for the last month, you may have also heard a little buzz about some small show from HBO called True Detective. Well good news if you heeded my recommendations and invested in a subscription because the first episode of True Detective is now available on Now TV.
I don’t normally review single episodes of anything but I have watched the first episode of True Detective and feel like it should be mentioned, it could well be the best thing to come from television since Game of Thrones. True Detective is an eight part »
- Chris Holt
After deftly handling supporting roles in action fare like Man on a Ledge and The Last Stand, actress Genesis Rodriguez is set to make her mark as a scream queen in the upcoming Blumhouse thriller Home.
The actress will star alongside Topher Grace in the thriller, which centers on a man (Grace) who inherits a creepy old mansion from his parents and begins to believe that it is haunted. It’s not much of a spoiler to say that he’s right, and lots of horrifying supernatural events ensue. It has not been confirmed which character Rodriguez will be playing in Home, though I imagine that she’ll be taking on the role of the love interest of Grace’s protagonist.
- Isaac Feldberg
Tom Jolliffe on the must-see straight-to-video action films of 2014...
If you’re a little fed up of the never ending stream of remakes, kid friendly PG13 (12A or 15 here) CGI heavy theatrics and Marvel/DC action films that fill up the multiplexes, or you’re no stranger to the unrepentant, simple delights of a bit of straight to video (or Netflix) action, then here is a list of the best to look out for this year.
As big screen action caters more and more for younger audiences, straight to video still largely offers a bit more adult entertainment. What it might lack in big budget thrills it makes up for with F-bombs and gallons of blood (if that’s your thing). As for myself, alongside a steady upbringing of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sly Stallone and Bruce Willis in the late 80’s and 90’s, I’ve also had more than my share »
- Gary Collinson
Paul Walker was clearly working quite hard before his untimely passing as he was recently seen in Hours, will still be seen in Fast & Furious 7 and before that he has a new film titled Brick Mansions coming out on April 25. Now this one is more of a limited release kind of feature that will likely feature that has the outward appearance of a limited release accompanied by an On Demand showing, but it seems Relativity may take this District B13 remake wide as it tells the story of an undercover cop (Walker) who tries to take down a ruthless crime lord (RZA) with access to a neutron bomb by infiltrating his gang. Just like the original and its sequel, District 13: Ultimatum), it features a lot of high-flying Parkour action. Check out the trailer and poster below. »
- Brad Brevet
The shocking and sad death of likeable actor Paul Walker late last year was always going to put a spotlight on his films still to be released. While he gave a great sympathetic performance in indie drama Hours (released in the Us last December), his final completed film was always going to catch the eye a little more as a big-budget remake of Pierre Morel’s terrific 2004 French actioner District 13 (aka Banlieue 13).
The film has been retitled Brick Mansions, with the original free running superstar David Belle taking the same role as an ex-con forced to team with Walker’s undercover cop (previously played by Cyril Raffaelli) in an effort to take down a ruthless crime lord with access to a neutron bomb.
- Craig Hunter
When the tragic news of the death of Paul Walker was reported the film industry fell into shock and it was his Fast and Furious co-star Vin Diesel who led tributes to his friend. On the day of the release of one of his last films, the Hurricane Katrina drama Hours, Adam Lowes takes a look at the final works of those actors who left us too soon, but left us with some great performances.
Only two actors have received an Academy Award posthumously. The first went to Peter Finch for his blistering turn in the 1976 satirical classic Network. It was an unforgettable final screen role, as was the other, considerably younger performer to be recognised following his passing, Heath Ledger. Any early fan grumbling of the actor taking on the hugely iconic role of chief Batman adversary The Joker in »
- Adam Lowes
In 2000, Ted Chiang’s short tale Story of Your Life won the Nebula Award for Best Novella — basically the equivalent of an Emmy Award in the science fiction literary world. In it, a linguist commissioned by the U.S. government sets out to determine if a group of aliens that have landed on Earth are a threat. She comes to learn their complex language, and a series of flashbacks about her daughter help her understand the way the beings perceive time, unlocking a greater mystery. THR reports that Prisoners and Incendies director Denis Villeneuve will adapt the sci-fi story, which he plans to shoot later this year. Hours director and Final Destination 5 writer Eric Heisserer will script the adaptation. Villeneuve has a penchant for cerebral, intense stories and engrossing...
- Alison Nastasi
Based on a Ted Chiang's short story, the screenplay is set in a time when aliens have starting landing in different locations around the globe. It centers on a master linguist, who is recruited by the U.S. military to find out what the alien beings are doing on earth. She learns to communicate with the aliens by experiencing flashbacks that are the key to unlocking the mystery behind their true purpose for visiting our planet.
Denis Villeneuve will direct from a script by Hours scribe Eric Heisserer. The film is being produced 21 Laps, FilmNation and Lava Bear. No casting details have been announced. They are expected to begin shooting later this year. »
Denis Villeneuve put himself on the map as "one to watch" with his most recent thriller, Prisoners. Now the director is off to sci-fi for his second English language flick. Villeneuve has boarded Story Of Your Life, a film adapted from Ted Chiang's Nebula Award winning novella. Eric Heisserer (Hours) wrote the screenplay which goes something like this: The story is set in motion when alien crafts land around the world and an expert linguist is recruited by the military to »
- Niki Stephens
To mark the release of Hours on 20th January, we’ve been given 5 copies to give away on Blu-ray.
In his final finished film, the late Paul Walker plays Nolan Hayes, the father of a child born prematurely in New Orleans just before the onset of Hurricane Katrina. With his wife having died in childbirth Nolan is plunged, alone, into a desperate fight to save his newborn baby’s life as the city crumbles around him..
Please note: This competition is open to UK residents only
a Rafflecopter giveaway
The Small Print
Open to UK residents only The competition will close 27th January at 23.59 GMT The winner will be picked at random from entries received No cash alternative is available
The usual T&Cs can be found here. Good Luck!
Paul Walker (The Fast and the Furious franchise) reinvents himself, in one of his last roles, in the pulse-pounding drama, Hours, arriving on DVD (plus Digital UltraViolet) and Digital HD March 4 from Pantelion Films and Lionsgate Home Entertainment. The dramatic thriller also starring Genesis Rodriguez (Casa de Mi Padre, The Last Stand) is written and directed by first-time director Eric Heisserer.
Nolan Hayes (Walker) arrives at a New Orleans hospital with his pregnant wife, Abigail (Rodriguez), who has gone into early labor. Things quickly spiral out of control when the birth goes tragically wrong and Hurricane Katrina hits, ravaging the hospital and forcing an evacuation. With his baby dependent on a ventilator and no one around to help, Nolan faces one life-and-death decision after another and must fight to keep his daughter alive.
18 items from 2014
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