16 items from 2015
I can't help but wonder if "The Martian" is fighting uphill from the start. After all, we just watched Matt Damon in a hyped space prestige drama last year. Could the familiarity ding it a bit? Maybe. The bigger question for me is what Ridley Scott has left up his sleeve. "Prometheus" may have had its fans, but I was certainly not one of them. "Exodus: Gods and Men" had no friends in sight. "The Counselor" even less. "Robin Hood" felt misguided and stale. "Body of Lies" seemed to be trying for something fresh but ended up as rote as they come. It's been a long time since "American Gangster." What has kept me more or less on board through all of this is Scott's attention to detail and craft. He is a brilliant filmmaker, regardless of how below the bar this stuff has been lately. "Prometheus," for as much »
- Kristopher Tapley
In 1991, Kathryn Bigelow directed the adrenaline-charged action crime movie “Point Break,” about an FBI agent who goes undercover to catch a gang of bank robbers who may be surfers, starring Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swayze. It’s become an action crime classic over the last two decades, and sure, it’s an enjoyable film, but do we actually need a remake? Hollywood sure seems to think so. Warner Bros. is releasing “Point Break” later this year, but this main trio is decidedly less sexy than Bigelow, Reeves and Swayze. Then again, everyone’s gotta start somewhere. This new version of “Point Break” focuses on some up-and-comers: Luke Bracey staring in the Keanu Reeves role, and Edgar Ramirez in the Patrick Swayze role. Now, Ramirez is known and celebrated in many circles — he was amazing in Oliver Assayas’ three part “Carlos,” and has done strong supporting work in "Zero Dark Thirty, »
- Edward Davis
I've grown very cautious when it comes to anticipating anything from Ridley Scott. As much as I found interest and intrigue in Prometheus, Scott just hasn't been hitting on all cylinders for some time now and even I can't argue against Prometheus naysayers and you won't find me making arguments for Exodus: Gods and Kings, The Counselor or Robin Hood. So, as much as I want to get excited about The Martian, I'm keeping my expectations in check. That said, today Empire, People and EW have revealed the first pictures from the upcoming movie based on Andy Weir's 2012 e-book publication that centers on an astronaut (Matt Damon) who is stranded on a Martian colony and struggles to survive. Back on Earth, Nasa tries to mount a rescue mission. Here's the official plot: During a manned mission to Mars, Astronaut Mark Watney (Matt Damon) is presumed dead after a fierce »
- Brad Brevet
Ridley Scott’s Exodus is out now on DVD, Digital HD and Blu-ray, so I had a chat with the film’s costume designer, the exceedingly talented, effortlessly charming Janty Yates, about on working on this film, and with Ridley Scott in general. We touched a little on their upcoming sci-fi film The Martian and unmade would-be classic Tripoli too.
Brendon: Does Ridley bring a lot of the first ideas to the table or does he expect you to set the agenda first of all as you start each project?
Janty: Usually, I get the script quite early then spend three to four weeks doing really serious research. Then I present Ridley with a show and tell, and that’s when he mentions, for example, that I’ll need to come up with a new armour for the Hittites. That’s what happened this time. We get an awful lot »
- Brendon Connelly
Two pictures for the upcoming reboot of Point Break have been released, and there's altogether too much clothing involved. Luke Bracey (The Best of Me) is taking over Keanu Reeves's part as the new Johnny Utah, while Édgar Ramírez (The Counselor) is playing Bodhi, the part Patrick Swayze originated. The 1991 crime film has become a classic in its own right, and it's hard to tell if this remake, which features extreme sports rather than just surfing, will live up to the first film. Let's face it: it'll be really hard to top Swayze. »
Deadline reported on Tuesday that Christian Bale, Ryan Gosling, Steve Carell, and Brad Pitt are set to join Melissa Leo and Marisa Tomei in McKay’s adaptation of Michael Lewis’ book, The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine. The book tells the story of the genius contrarian investors who, recognizing just how insane the housing bubble had become, figured out how to “short” the market prior to the financial collapse of 2008.
This is McKay’s first dive into large-scale drama after making a name for himself with comedy hits such as Anchorman, The Other Guys, and Step Brothers. He most recently worked with Marvel and Paul Rudd on the script for Ant-Man, which just released its second trailer, and is rumored to be on the shortlist »
- Zach Dennis
In honour of The Times’ film critic Kevin Maher’s list of iconic movie rebels, we take a look at what it truly takes to make a tough guy in cinema.
What constitutes a tough guy, as in ‘man’, on film is usually a traditional interpretation of masculinity. There is always room for the sensitive hero in a sweater and slacks, but for those who watch movies as ingrained wish fulfilment, the sexy and sweaty man’s man needs suitable attire to reflect his personality. But it is not just about the garments themselves. A jacket is a jacket, but a leather jacket is a symbol. A wax jacket on the other hand is enlightened – the reformist hero.
Waxed cotton is fantastic stuff. Essentially it is a treated fabric, albeit one that needs regular re-covering to ensure longevity. The result is a lightweight, versatile material that, although not especially warm, »
- Lord Christopher Laverty
Ridley Scott is well known as a prolific and versatile director with a deft visual modus operandi. His filmography, full of unforgettable classics, solid efforts and utterly forgettable mediocrities, amounts to a mixed bag over the last four decades. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that a video tribute to Scott’s vast body of work is equally awe-inspiring and awkward. Vimeo user Martin Kessler switches from Hildegard of Bingen’s groovy 12th Century church tunes to Public Enemy’s “Can’t Truss It" while quickly editing tons of quality footage from Scott’s oeuvre. Of course there are a butt load of images from “Blade Runner” and “Alien," and the tribute begins with the famous Rutger Hauer speech from the former. What’s refreshing to see is that Kessler also gives some love to underrated Scott flicks like “Matchstick Men” and “Body of Lies." We also get »
- Oktay Ege Kozak
Aloha, Mr. Hand! The grades are in and Sean Penn has not passed his ‘Basic Action Hero’ class. As Penn sneers and scowls his way through the routine globe-hopping hitman adventure The Gunman, his angry, sour puss sucks all of the joy out of every scene. Penn plays Martin Terrier (Martin Pitbull would be more badass!), an ex-special forces operative turned hired hitman working for one of those unnamed outfits that hires ex-special forces operatives turned hired hitmen. He’s good at his job, but he’s one miserable guy and his heart really isn’t into killing. All he wants is some tasty waves, a cool buzz and to settle down with his sweetheart, the French doctor Annie played by Jasmine Trica. Terrier is introduced doing mercenary work in the Democratic Republic of Congo. His local connection Felix (Javier Bardem) is the go-between when Terrier is contracted to assassinate »
- Tom Stockman
A tired old piece of action junk that expects us to sympathize with a very bad man. We don’t. I’m “biast” (pro): nothing
I’m “biast” (con): nothing
I have not read the source material
(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)
Aww, is Sean Penn very sorry for having destabilized an entire African nation and bringing about the deaths of countless innocent people? Apparently. A few years back, as a private security contractor — the nice way we say “mercenary” these days — he assassinated the Minister of Mining for the Democratic Republic of Congo, which ignited a civil war. To atone for his crime, these days he brings clean water to Congolese villages, and his naughtiest misdeed is sneaking out of the Ngo compound against the advice of security to get in a little surfing before breakfast.
Now, though, someone who knows what he »
- MaryAnn Johanson
When Johnny Depp‘s mustache comedy “Mortdecai” brought in less than $5 million on opening weekend, it marked the A-list actor’s fifth straight box office bomb. But he’s far from the only top billed actor to endure a tanker or two.
Also Read: 19 Biggest Box-Office Bombs and Bummers in 2014: From ‘The Giver’ to ‘Winter’s Tale’ (Photos)
- Travis Reilly and Todd Cunningham
The 51-year-old actor adds another flop to his already long streak, but other actors aren’t betting their careers on only box-office bankability
The actor plays the Wolf in Disney’s ensemble musical “Into the Woods,” but his last leading man hit was 2011’s installment of “Pirates of the Caribbean.” Last year’s “Transcendence” fizzled, as did 2013’s “The Lone Ranger” and »
- Linda Ge
Warner Bros. is in the process of negotiating the acquisition of Dangerous Odds – an adaptation of the book Dangerous Odds: My Secret Life Inside An Illegal Billion Dollar Sports Betting Operation, by Marisa Lankester – which is set to be scripted by Andrea Berloff (World Trade Centre). The story is notable for being a female-led tale, with plenty of opportunity for drama, intrigue and diverse casting.
Dangerous Odds is Lankester’s memoir, focusing on the time she spent helping develop the world’s largest sports betting operation, before going on to establish the world’s first off-shore gambling organization in the Dominican Republic. The business ties to organized crime meant Lankester was repeatedly arrested, becoming embroiled in a corrupt and violent world where she was brutalized and imprisoned before finding happiness in a lifestyle change and relocation.
Margot Robbie is attached to star as Lankester, which immediately makes this one of »
- Sarah Myles
Brad Pitt, Ryan Gosling and Christian Bale have signed on to star in the upcoming financial drama The Big Short. We first reported on this project back in March, when Adam McKay signed on to write and direct this adaptation of the best selling book of the same name by Michael Lewis (Moneyball, The Blind Side).
The story follows several individuals who were primarily responsible for the housing and credit bubble in the early 2000s, which lead to the financial crash that lasted between 2007 and 2010. Paramount wouldn't comment on the casting, and it isn't known what roles Brad Pitt, Ryan Gosling and Christian Bale may play. Variety reports that the adaptation will likely feature several A-list actors who have comparable roles, much like ensembles such as Traffic and The Counselor.
Sources tell Variety that Pitt, Christian Bale and Ryan Gosling have come on board to star in “The Big Short,” Paramount and Plan B’s adaptation “The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine” that Adam McKay is writing and directing.
Lewis’ nonfiction tome tells the story of the build-up of the housing and credit bubble during the 2000s that led to the financial crisis of 2007-2010. Paramount had no comment.
The book follows several key people who played a role in creating the disastrous credit bubble. The feature adaptation will likely feature several A-list actors who have similiar-sized roles, similar to the cast of “Traffic” or “The Counselor. »
- Justin Kroll
The drama is based on author Michael Lewis's book "The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine," which tells the story behind the build-up to the housing bubble burst and 2007-2010 financial crisis. Lewis also penned "Moneyball," which Pitt also adapted for the big screen.
It's also unclear just what roles Pitt, Gosling, and Bale will play in the film, though Variety reports that it will most likely feature those A-listers in "similiar-sized roles" throughout the movie, akin to other films like "Traffic" or "The Counselor."
Studio Paramount had no comment on Variety's report. »
- Katie Roberts
16 items from 2015
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