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Chris Hemsworth in '12 Strong,' Plus This Week's New Digital HD and VOD Releases

Our resident VOD expert tells you what's new to rent and/or own this week via various Digital HD providers such as cable Movies On Demand, FandangoNOW, Amazon, iTunes, Vudu, Google Play and, of course, Netflix. Cable Movies On Demand: Same-day-as-disc releases, older titles and pretheatrical The Commuter The Post In the Fade Ghost Stories (horror; Martin Freeman, Alex Lawther, Paul Whitehouse; available 4/20 on cable Mod and in select...
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Milos Forman Remembered: A Rebel in His Time, and for the Future

  • The Wrap
Milos Forman Remembered: A Rebel in His Time, and for the Future
Milos Forman, who died on April 14 at the age of 86, has left behind some of the most sharply observed portraits of human behavior in cinema.

When I think of Forman’s work, my mind doesn’t necessarily go first to his two Oscar-winning juggernauts — “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” (1975) or “Amadeus” (1984) — or the Czech films that garnered him worldwide acclaim in the 1960s, such as “Loves of a Blonde” (1965) or “The Firemen’s Ball” (1967). Rather, I think of the opening scene from his lesser-known comedy, “Taking Off” (1971): a series of static shots of young women, one after the other, performing songs for an off-screen producer.

Most of the women are earnest and serious; some seem awkward or shy, dressed in contemporary hippy-ish clothes; their hair is often long and frizzy. Some of these audition singers include Carly Simon, Kathy Bates (credited as Bobo Bates) and a blink-and-you’ll-miss-her Jessica Harper. What is remarkable about these relatively straightforward snippets is that Forman isn’t nudging the audience for what to make of these young people, or their songs. He’s not telling the audience how to react; he’s simply presenting these young people as they are.

Also Read: Milos Forman, 'Amadeus' and 'Cuckoo's Nest' Director, Dies at 86

The first 5-10 minutes of this film paints a picture of these flower children of the Woodstock era that feels authentic, admiring and compassionate. And kind. It’s a quality in Forman’s cinema I can see throughout his career.

Forman sprang forth from the extraordinary group of filmmakers known as the Czech New Wave, most of whom were trained at the Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague (including Věra Chytilová, Jaromil Jireš, Ján Kadár, Jan Němec and Ivan Passer), and, like his cinematic compatriots, Forman’s early films are often political in nature, portraying figures of authority as inept and corrupt. In “The Firemen’s Ball,” the volunteer fire department in a small town decides to organize a ball in honor of their recently retired chairman.

Also Read: Milos Forman Hailed as 'Champion of Artists' Rights' by Directors Guild of America

At the event, the firefighters’ committee decide to host a beauty contest and proceed to procure some of the unsuspecting young women to pose for them. The women appear hesitant, guarded, and a few are even somewhat amused by the ramshackle way they are being put on display by these old men. (Most of the actors were local to the area of Vrchlabí, where it was filmed.) The spunkiest of the young women seems to have an awareness of how ridiculous and sexist this is. She laughs and then runs off halfway through her walk for the judges, triggering a mass exodus by the other contestants, and the scene ends in comedic chaos.

Clearly, the characters who buck the system, like the young woman in “The Firemen’s Ball,” are what hold director’s greatest interest. Forman is fixed on the idea of the outsider as being the true hero of his work: Jack Nicholson’s R.P. McMurphy, Treat Williams’ George Berger, Howard E. Rollins’ Coalhouse Walker Jr., Tom Hulce’s Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Woody Harrelson’s Larry Flynt and Jim Carrey’s Andy Kaufman are all individuals that won’t fit into society’s prescribed mold for them.

Also Read: Milos Forman Remembered by Larry Flynt, Judd Apatow and More: 'Genius of Cinematography'

Forman’s rebels, though clearly stemming from his Czech roots, found fertile ground in America. His two most critically and financially successful films, “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” (adapted by Lawrence Hauben and Bo Goldman from Ken Kesey’s novel) and “Amadeus” (Peter Shaffer adapting his own stage play), both impeccably produced by Saul Zaentz, together garnered 13 Oscars total, including two for Forman for directing.

At his best, Forman’s greatest work (I would include the woefully underrated musical adaptation of “Hair”) shows both compassion for his characters and wry humor in the predicaments in which these characters find themselves. His work with actors is exemplary, and his filmography is flooded with memorable performances and ensemble work: from Nicholson and Louise Fletcher in “Cuckoo’s Nest” to Rollins, Elizabeth McGovern and James Cagney in “Ragtime” (1981), F. Murray Abraham and Hulce in “Amadeus,” Harrelson and Courtney Love in “The People vs. Larry Flynt” (1996), and back to Hana Brejchová in “Loves of a Blonde” and Lynn Carlin, Buck Henry, Georgia Engel and Audra Lindley in “Taking Off,” to name a few.

Cinematically, I’m just so impressed with the way he and his cinematographers captured these actors’ faces and performances. This is filmmaking that is not trying to impress you with flashy editing and swirling cameras (though the camerawork in the opening “Aquarius” number in “Hair,” accompanied by Twyla Tharp’s wonderful choreography, is a wonderful exception), it’s focused on its characters and story.

Possibly because of his lack of flash and cutting-edge technique, there is a danger that Forman’s work may not be immediately appreciated by younger filmmakers — though in this current era where young people are rising up to stand for their beliefs to their schools, their City Halls, and the world at large, Forman’s filmography is ripe for rediscovery by a new generation of rebels.

Read original story Milos Forman Remembered: A Rebel in His Time, and for the Future At TheWrap
See full article at The Wrap »

Poster and trailer for The Wife starring Glenn Close and Jonathan Pryce

Sony Pictures has released a new poster and trailer for director Björn Runge’s adaptation of Meg Wolitzer’s novel The Wife. The upcoming drama features a cast that includes Glenn Close, Jonathan Pryce, Christian Slater, Max Irons, Elizabeth McGovern, Harry Lloyd, and Annie Stark; take a look here…

The Wife, with its wise and provocative tone, hinges on a revelation for Joan Castleman, who is married to one of those men who think they own the world… but has no idea how to take care of himself or anyone else. He is also one of America’s pre-eminent novelists, about to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature; and the flawlessly gracious Joan, who has spent forty years ignoring her own literary talents to fan the flames of his career, has decided she’s had enough. The Wife reveals a famous marriage that is brought to breaking point.

The Wife
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

‘The Wife’ Trailer: Glenn Close Longs for a More Literary Life in Meg Wolitzer Adaptation — Watch

Sony Pictures Classics has released the trailer for “The Wife,” Björn Runge’s adaptation of the Meg Wolitzer novel of the same name. Glenn Close stars as the title character, with Jonathan Pryce playing her husband; he’s a revered author, while she’s relegated to simply being, well, the wife. “It was probably one of the trickiest roles I’ve ever confronted,” Close recently told Vanity Fair. “I think it’s a situation that every woman in the audience can relate to, whether they’re of younger generations or not.”

At the beginning of the trailer, Pryce is told he’s been awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, an honor both he and Joan have apparently been happily anticipating for some time. In addition to bringing the couple to Sweden, the occasion reminds Close of her early years as a writer whose own aspirations took a backseat to those of her husband.
See full article at Indiewire »

Meryl Streep in ‘A Cry in the Dark’: A look back at her eighth Oscar nomination, the competition and the outcome

Meryl Streep in ‘A Cry in the Dark’: A look back at her eighth Oscar nomination, the competition and the outcome
This article marks Part 8 of the 21-part Gold Derby series analyzing Meryl Streep at the Oscars. Join us as we look back at Meryl Streep’s nominations, the performances that competed with her, the results of each race and the overall rankings of the contenders.

When Meryl Streep first collaborated with filmmaker Fred Schepisi, reaction to their work was decidedly muted. “Plenty” (1985) came and went from theaters in no time, spending all of one week in the box office top 10. In 1987, both Streep and Schepisi had better luck, the former contending at the Academy Award for her turn in “Ironweed” and the latter directing the popular Steve Martin comedy “Roxanne.”

In 1988, Streep and Schepisi gave collaboration another shot. While “A Cry in the Dark,” adapted from John Bryson‘s book “Evil Angels” (1985), was hardly a crowd-pleaser, the picture and Streep’s performance garnered abundant critical acclaim. The film would mark
See full article at Gold Derby »

Star Wars And The Household Cavalry Walk With The Wounded With New Auction

Supporting those wounded at war, Services to Film has teamed up with Star Wars, The Red Arrows, The King’s Royal, Hussars amongst others to bring some truly once-in-a-lifetime auctions on CharityStars.com.

There are 19 lots in total and proceeds from all these auctions will go to Walking With The Wounded, a charity that provides a pathway for “at-risk” veterans to integrate back into society and sustain their independence. The auctions focus both on military as well as non-military experiences, including a few things that money cannot buy.

For Star Wars fans, there is the opportunity to own an extremely rare photograph signed by the cast. The current bid is £2,500, and there is also a signed “Last Jedi” poster currently at £701. Auction lots that are quite literally out of this world.

There are other experiences up for grabs too with the armed forces, including an exclusive evening visit to the Tower of London,
See full article at Look to the Stars »

Movie Review – The Commuter (2018)

The Commuter, 2018.

Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra.

Starring Liam Neeson, Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Sam Neill, Florence Pugh, Elizabeth McGovern, and Jonathan Banks.

Synopsis:

An insurance salesman loses his job but, on his usual train home, he’s approached by an attractive woman offering him a lot of money in return for doing one small job. How can he resist?

Sometimes a film is a gift, overflowing with so many memorable moments and quotable lines that reviewing it becomes unexpectedly difficult. It’s usually the sign of a good film. But not always. This time, it’s called The Commuter.

What is easily the most boring title of the year doesn’t get it off to a good start. Ok, so January is only a couple of weeks old, but this year’s cinematic offerings will have to go some to beat it for sheer tedium, especially where a British audience is concerned.
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

Film Review: ‘The Commuter’ is a Fun, Butt-Kicking Good Time

Chicago – Sometimes you’re just in the mood for a good old Liam Neeson ass-kicker… and “The Commuter” fits that bill. It asks, damn near requires, you to leave your brain safely at the station, but it moves too fast that you don’t have much time to think about it. It’s ludicrous, dumb and fun entertainment for January.

Rating: 4.0/5.0

Neeson is an ex-cop this time, now selling life insurance to try to put his kid through college. But he’s just lost his job, and after putting away enough liquid courage he boards his usual train home to tell his wife. He’s accosted by a pretty and well dressed woman (Vera Farmiga) who offers him a proposition. Find a passenger on the train, and he’ll get 100 thousand dollars in cash. Otherwise, all bets are off and his wife and son might not live through his commute home.
See full article at HollywoodChicago.com »

'The Commuter' Review: All Aboard Liam Neeson's Gleefully Absurd 'Taken' on a Train

'The Commuter' Review: All Aboard Liam Neeson's Gleefully Absurd 'Taken' on a Train
No matter how senseless the plots of his movies, Jaume Collet-Serra can direct the hell out of them – and The Commuter is no exception. The Spanish filmmaker, who wickedly used Blake Lively as shark bait in The Shallows, keeps the tension on such a high burner that you won't realize the whole thing doesn't add up until after you leave the theater. It teams Collet-Serra with star Liam Neeson for the fourth time, following Unknown, Non-Stop and Run All Night. Given the title, you might think The Commuter is merely Taken on a train.
See full article at Rolling Stone »

Win Passes To The Advance Screening Of The Commuter In St. Louis

Wamg has your free passes to an advance screening of The Commuter.

In this action-packed thriller, Liam Neeson is Michael, an insurance salesman, whose daily commute home quickly becomes anything but routine. After being confronted by a mysterious stranger (Vera Farmiga), Michael is blackmailed into finding the identity of a passenger on his train before the last stop. As he works against the clock to solve the puzzle, Michael is unwittingly caught up in a criminal conspiracy that carries life and death stakes for himself and his fellow passengers.

The movie stars Liam Neeson, Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Jonathan Banks, with Elizabeth McGovern, and Sam Neill.

Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra, The Commuter opens in theaters January 12, 2018.

For the chance to win Two (2) seats to the advance screening of The Commuter on January 9 at 7:00 pm:

Answer the following.

Following the worldwide success of Unknown, Non-Stop, and Run All Night, star
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

Film Review: Liam Neeson in ‘The Commuter’

Film Review: Liam Neeson in ‘The Commuter’
There has, thus far, been a pleasing interchangeability to the titles in the banging, clattering action oeuvre cultivated by Liam Neeson and Spanish genre maestro Jaume Collet-Serra. “Unknown,” “Non-Stop” and “Run All Night” sound so tersely generic as to be slyly ironic, and that hint of playing-dumb humor extends to their gleefully absurd thriller mechanics: All three put rather a lot of crafty thought into their empty-headed pleasures. “The Commuter” sounds more tastefully sedate by comparison, but don’t be fooled. Neeson and Collet-Serra’s whooshing, whiplash-inducing fourth collaboration could as easily be titled “Run Non-Stop Into the Unknown” — a moving-train whodunit that makes Kenneth Branagh’s jacked-up “Murder on the Orient Express” remake look like “Jeanne Dielman” by comparison, it’s so concerned with its own sheer speed that any semblance of storytelling logic is left waving from the platform.

That’s not necessarily a problem in the Collet-Sera Cinematic Universe, but “The Commuter
See full article at Variety - Film News »

‘The Commuter’ Review: Liam Neeson’s Latest Thriller Is a Diverting Piece of Shlock with Something on Its Mind

  • Indiewire
‘The Commuter’ Review: Liam Neeson’s Latest Thriller Is a Diverting Piece of Shlock with Something on Its Mind
The silliest of the low-rent, high-impact thrillers that Jaume Collet-Serra and Liam Neeson have made together (“Unknown,” “Non-Stop,” and “Run All Night” being the previous three), “The Commuter” may not match the potent charge of their earlier collaborations, but this amusingly ridiculous ride is still a few cuts above the kind of swill you’d expect to arrive in theaters on the second weekend of January.

This may be a forgettable movie about the forgotten man — a blue-collar morality play disguised as a very contrived hostage crisis — but at least it’s shlock with something on its mind. It’s the kind of action vehicle that Barton Fink might have written if he arrived in Hollywood during the mid-’90s.

Neeson plays Michael McCauley, an ex-cop (what else?) who’s settled into his second act as the model suburbanite. Now a life insurance salesman with a wife (Elizabeth McGovern), a
See full article at Indiewire »

Win Advance Passes to See The Commuter

Enter here for your chance to win a pair of passes to an advance screening of the new film, The Commuter, starring Liam Neeson, Vera Farmiga, and Sam Neill.

For your chance to receive a pair of complimentary passes to see the new film The Commuter at the Mjr Troy Grand Cinema in Troy, Michigan on Tuesday, January 9th at 7:00Pm, just look for the “Enter the Contest” box further down on this page. But hurry because there are a limited number of passes available and when they’re gone, they’re gone!

About The Film

The Commuter: In this action-packed thriller, Liam Neeson is Michael, an insurance salesman, whose daily commute home quickly becomes anything but routine. After being confronted by a mysterious stranger (Vera Farmiga), Michael is blackmailed into finding the identity of a passenger on his train before the last stop. As he works against the clock to solve the puzzle,
See full article at CinemaNerdz »

Liam Neeson: "The Commuter"

  • SneakPeek
Sneak Peek more new images, plus footage from the upcoming action thriller "The Commuter", directed by Jaume Collet-Serra from a screenplay by Byron Willinger, Philip de Blasi, and Ryan Engle, starring Liam Neeson ("The Bounty"), Vera Farmiga ("Bates Motel"), Jonathan Banks ("Better Call Saul"), Elizabeth McGovern and Sam Neill, opening January 12, 2018:

"...'Michael' is an insurance salesman who is on his daily train commute home, when it quickly becomes anything but routine. 

"After being approached by a stranger, Michael is forced to uncover the identity of a hidden passenger on his train before the last stop.

"As he works against the clock to solve the puzzle, he realizes a deadly plan is unfolding and is unwittingly caught up in a criminal conspiracy...

"...one that carries life and death stakes for himself and his fellow passengers..."

Click the images to enlarge and Sneak Peek "The Commuter"...
See full article at SneakPeek »

Third & Final Trailer for Train Movie 'The Commuter' with Liam Neeson

"You're trying to set me up." Lionsgate has debuted the third and final trailer for the action-thriller train movie starring Liam Neeson, titled The Commuter. This trailer doesn't waste time setting up the story or the first conversation, it just gets right into it and shows some of the action. From the same director of Non-Stop (the airplane movie) and The Shallows, this is about solving a crime on the train. Neeson plays an insurance salesman who gets mixed up in a conspiracy on his daily train commute home. Vera Farmiga, a "mysterious stranger", sits with him for a chat and things get very interesting. The cast includes Patrick Wilson, Killian Scott, Jonathan Banks, Sam Neill, Elizabeth McGovern, Florence Pugh, and Damson Idris. I am still curious about this, but really not expecting much with this January release date. Here's the third & final trailer (+ poster) for Jaume Collet-Serra's The Commuter,
See full article at FirstShowing.net »

Final trailer for The Commuter starring Liam Neeson

With The Commuter set to arrives in cinemas next month, Lionsgate has released the final trailer for Jaume Collet-Serra’s upcoming action thriller which sees the director once again reteam with star Liam Neeson alongside Vera Farmiga, Sam Neill, Elizabeth McGovern, Jonathan Banks, and Patrick Wilson; watch it here…

“In this action-packed thriller, Liam Neeson plays an insurance salesman, Michael, on his daily commute home, which quickly becomes anything but routine. After being contacted by a mysterious stranger, Michael is forced to uncover the identity of a hidden passenger on his train before the last stop. As he works against the clock to solve the puzzle, he realizes a deadly plan is unfolding and is unwittingly caught up in a criminal conspiracy. One that carries life and death stakes for himself and his fellow passengers.”

The Commuter is set for release on January 12th in the States and on January 19th in the UK.
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

Liam Neeson Is "The Commuter"

  • SneakPeek
Sneak Peek new footage from the action thriller "The Commuter", directed by Jaume Collet-Serra from a screenplay by Byron Willinger, Philip de Blasi, and Ryan Engle, starring Liam Neeson ("The Bounty"), Vera Farmiga ("Bates Motel"), Jonathan Banks ("Better Call Saul"), Elizabeth McGovern and Sam Neill, opening January 12, 2018:

"...'Michael' is an insurance salesman who is on his daily train commute home, when it quickly becomes anything but routine. 

"After being approached by a stranger, Michael is forced to uncover the identity of a hidden passenger on his train before the last stop.

"As he works against the clock to solve the puzzle, he realizes a deadly plan is unfolding and is unwittingly caught up in a criminal conspiracy...

"...one that carries life and death stakes for himself and his fellow passengers..."

Click the images to enlarge and Sneak Peek "The Commuter"...
See full article at SneakPeek »

Elizabeth McGovern Says ‘Time and the Conways’ Is a Coping Mechanism for Today’s Dark Times (Exclusive)

Elizabeth McGovern Says ‘Time and the Conways’ Is a Coping Mechanism for Today’s Dark Times (Exclusive)
After six seasons playing Cora Crawley, Countess of Grantham, on Downton Abbey, Elizabeth McGovern is once again the matriarch of a wealthy British family of the early 1900s in the Roundabout Theatre Company revival of J. B. Priestley’s Time and the Conways. Revived for the first time since its 1938 debut, the play is a time-jumping story that is filled with optimism and hope as the family celebrates one daughter’s birthday in the present and unimaginable transformations as they face their bitter realities 19 years later. But after watching McGovern perform onstage, which just so happens to mark her first time back on Broadway since playing Ophelia in Hamlet 25 years prior, it’s clear that Mrs. Conway is anything but the seemingly perfect, presentable and understanding mother that the actress embodied on the ITV series.

“I’m finding it a little bit frightening how easy it is for me to understand this mother. I’m not sure
See full article at Entertainment Tonight »

‘The Commuter’ Trailer: Liam Neeson Experiences the Horrors of Public Transit

If this year feels a little peculiar, it might be that there’s no new Jaume Collet-Serra film, an occurrence that hasn’t happened since 2013. Thankfully, one is just around the corner this January with The Commuter. While the title might hint at a docudrama about the horrors of the Mta, the film actually finds the director once again embracing B-movie thrills, and now a new trailer has arrived.

The film presents Neeson’s character with a question of morality: for $75,000, will he uncover a person with seemingly evil intentions on his train? Judging from this new trailer, he goes along with the plan and Hitchcock-style entertainment unspools. Also starring Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Jonathan Banks, Elizabeth McGovern, and Sam Neill, see the trailer and poster below.

In this action-packed thriller, Liam Neeson plays an insurance salesman, Michael, on his daily commute home, which quickly becomes anything but routine. After
See full article at The Film Stage »

The Commuter Trailer #2 Has Liam Neeson Back in Action

The Commuter Trailer #2 Has Liam Neeson Back in Action
Just over a month after the first trailer arrived, Lionsgate has released a second trailer and a new poster for The Commuter, featuring Liam Neeson in what was originally thought to be one of his final action roles, since the actor hinted last month he's retiring from action movies. He later clarified in another interview that he isn't retiring from action movies, adding that he'll keep, "doing action movies until they bury me in the ground." While it at one point seemed that The Commuter was the end of the Liam Neeson action movie era, fans will still have many more Liam Neeson action movies to look forward to.

In this action-packed thriller, Liam Neeson plays an insurance salesman, Michael, on his daily commute home, which quickly becomes anything but routine. After being contacted by a mysterious stranger, Michael is forced to uncover the identity of a hidden passenger on
See full article at MovieWeb »
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