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25 underrated political thrillers

Rebecca Clough Jan 13, 2017

Samuel L Jackson, Colin Farrell, Kirk Douglas, Denzel Washington and more, as we explore underrated political thrillers...

Ask someone for their favourite political thrillers and you’re likely to get a list of Oscar-winning classics, from JFK to The Day Of The Jackal, Blow Out to Argo. But what about those electrifying tales that have slipped under the radar, been largely forgotten or just didn’t get the love they deserved? Here are 25 political thrillers which are underappreciated but brilliant.

See related Star Wars: Episode IX lands Jurassic World director 25. The Amateur (1981)

Generally, the first hostage to get shot in a heist movie is considered insignificant; luckily this time the young woman killed by terrorists has a devoted boyfriend who vows to avenge her death. Charles Heller (John Savage) already works for the CIA, so he’s able to use secret information to blackmail his bosses into
See full article at Den of Geek »

Oscars diversity: former Academy president Hawk Koch writes open letter to industry

Veteran Hollywood producer says ‘industry of creative people’ must find a way to boost opportunities for people from non-white backgrounds

A former president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has challenged the body which organises the Oscars to help increase diversity in the wake of the current row over all-white lists of nominees.

Hawk Koch, a producer of movies such as Source Code and Gorky Park who was president of the Academy from 2012 to 2013, said efforts should be made in Hollywood to include all under-represented groups in every area of the industry.

Continue reading...
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Oscar-Winning Composer James Horner Dead At Age 61

Braveheart, Aliens, Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan, Apollo 13, Wolfen, Legends Of The Fall, Krull, Battle Beyond The Stars, A Beautiful Mind, Titanic. The list goes on and on.

The prolific Oscar winning composer James Horner has died in a plane crash at the age of 61. (June 22, 2015). Variety confirmed the news Monday evening.

Brilliant Composer James Horner, friend & collaborator on 7 movies has tragically died in a plane crash. My heart aches for his loved ones.

Ron Howard (@RealRonHoward) June 23, 2015

Listen to samples of his genius. James Horner will be profoundly missed.

From James Horner’s bio (Gorfaine/Schwartz Agency):

Having composed the music for more than 130 film and television productions, including dozens of the most memorable and successful films of the past three decades, James Horner was one of the world’s most celebrated film composers.

He earned two Academy Awards and two Golden Globe Awards for
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

Independence Day: the film that defined modern summer movies

Independence Day was released in the Us 18 years ago today. Ryan looks at its ongoing impact on how summer movies are made and marketed...

Feature

In 1990, Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin were Hollywood outsiders. Devlin was a young New York-born actor who'd appeared in a few TV shows and movies, such as the 1985 comedy, Real Genius. Emmerich was a German filmmaker whose credits consisted of low-budget films such as The Noah's Ark Principle (1984), and Hollywood-Monster (1987). Emmerich's 1990 film, Moon 44, was about pilots defending mining colonies with space-faring helicopters, and featured a glum-looking Malcolm McDowell.

Dean Devlin was also among Moon 44's cast, and it was here that he forged a partnership with Emmerich: Devlin hated Moon 44's dialogue, so he went and wrote his own. Within two years, they'd made their first film together - Universal Soldier, written by Devlin, directed by Emmerich, and produced by Carolco.
See full article at Den of Geek »

Forceful: J.W. Rinzler talks about Return of the Jedi & Original Star Wars Trilogy

Trevor Hogg chats with author J.W. Rinzler about a space opera which established a moviemaking empire for George Lucas....

“Right after finishing the Episode III [Revenge of the Sith] book, somewhere around 2005, I knew that the 30th anniversary was coming up and that there had never been a real making of Star Wars [1977] book,” recalls Lucasfilm Executive Editor and Writer J.W. Rinzler. “There was almost no advance publicity. The Making of Star Wars got a couple of big reviews early on and people got excited. For me, I was trying to bring to it the feeling I had gotten from reading The Jaws Log when I was a kid; I found it to be an inspiration because the book told the story of production and not just how they did all of the trick shots.” Rinzler notes, “I don’t like it when writers get between the subject and the reader because
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

Rip 'Harry Potter' actor Richard Griffiths

While modern audiences will remember Richard Griffiths as Uncle Vernon Dursley in the Harry Potter franchise, the 65 year-old actor was also one the most highly respected stage actors of his generation. He passed away on March 28th following complications from heart surgery.

While stage work was where he learned his craft, he made the successful transition in the early 1970s into television. In the early 80’s he began a string of supporting roles in films like Gorky Park, but it was his role in the 1987 cult film Withnail and I, where he played lecherous Uncle Monty that, that would bring him more recognition to a wider audience. He parlayed that into other supporting roles in Hollywood like King Ralph, The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear, Guarding Tess and Sleepy Hollow.

In 2001, he debuted as Uncle Vernon in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, a role he would reprise five more times,
See full article at doorQ.com »

R.I.P. Richard Griffiths

65-year-old legendary British actor Richard Griffiths has died after complications following heart surgery.

Though widely known for his role as Harry's pompous uncle Vernon Dursley in the "Harry Potter" films, Griffith's career has been one of much acclaim and some stunning films, and shows such as his starring role as Henry Crabbe in the mid-1990s TV series "Pie in the Sky".

Films he has worked on include "Withnail and I," "Gorky Park," "Sleepy Hollow," "The Naked Gun 2 1/2," "Stage Beauty," "Venus," and "Hugo".

He also scored multiple awards for his work on the stage play of "The History Boys," and reprised the role for the film adaptation.
See full article at Dark Horizons »

Richard Griffiths Dead: 'Harry Potter' Star Dies at 65

Beloved British actor Richard Griffiths, perhaps best known to American audiences as Uncle Dursley in the "Harry Potter" films, has passed away at the age of 65 due to complications following heart surgery. A star of stage and screen, he will be greatly missed, but leaves behind a hugely impressive body of work that will be studied and enjoyed for generations. While the "Harry Potter" role might be his most famous (especially internationally), Griffith's list of credits is staggering, appearing in every conceivable genre and in every type of role. He had roles in "Superman II," "Ragtime," "Chariots of Fire," "Gandhi," "Gorky Park," "Guarding Tess," "Sleepy Hollow," "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy," "Venus," "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" (playing King George II, powdered wig and all), and "Hugo." Besides "Harry Potter," his most beloved role might be that of another uncle -- Uncle Monty in cult British comedy "Withnail and I.
See full article at Moviefone »

How Granada TV chairman Sir Denis Forman changed my life

Producer and director Michael Apted pays tribute to the former Granada TV chairman who died last week

When I joined Granada in 1963, I was part of a small group straight out of university (which included Mike Newell) chosen by Sir Denis Forman, in his role as head of programmes, to train at the company. It was the place to be – ahead of the field in current affairs, drama, light entertainment and comedy. I doubt any of us has any idea of how lucky we were to be asked to join.

Granada was a small company, with neither the space nor resources for serious training, so ours was on-the-job. I did news, some small documentaries, football matches, church services, World In Action, then on to Coronation Street and eventually into drama, working with some to the best writers of their generation: Jack Rosenthal, Arthur Hopcraft and Colin Welland. In those early years,
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

How Granada TV chairman Sir Denis Forman changed my life

Producer and director Michael Apted pays tribute to the former Granada TV chairman who died last week

When I joined Granada in 1963, I was part of a small group straight out of university (which included Mike Newell) chosen by Sir Denis Forman, in his role as head of programmes, to train at the company. It was the place to be – ahead of the field in current affairs, drama, light entertainment and comedy. I doubt any of us has any idea of how lucky we were to be asked to join.

Granada was a small company, with neither the space nor resources for serious training, so ours was on-the-job. I did news, some small documentaries, football matches, church services, World In Action, then on to Coronation Street and eventually into drama, working with some to the best writers of their generation: Jack Rosenthal, Arthur Hopcraft and Colin Welland. In those early years,
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Oscar Update: 29 Weeks to Go, Isaac on Coens' 'Davis' and Hawk Koch Elected President

With the redesign of the site just around the corner and the changes I've made to the backend structure of the site I have had to delay the opening of my Oscar predictions section for this year since I would have to do double the work. However, with the announcement of the Toronto and Venice Film Festival line-ups and the Telluride Film Festival also just around the corner, we are obviously wading into the season so it only makes sense to at least acknowledge that fact with a few links and tidbits concerning the Oscar race and I think I'll just make this a regular thing going forward. In case you missed it, the redesign will be launching on August 25 (or perhaps even the 18th should things continue to progress as they have) and I will begin posting my first round of Oscar predictions the week of September 18, after returning
See full article at Rope Of Silicon »

Hawk Koch elected new AMPAS president

Hawk Koch elected new AMPAS president
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has elected producer Hawk Koch as its new president.

The group’s board of governors elected Koch to its top office Tuesday for a one-year-term. He served as first vice president of the film academy last year and has represented its producers branch as a governor for nine years.

Koch’s credits include Losing Isaiah, Gorky Park and Source Code. He succeeds film executive Tom Sherak, who served three consecutive terms as president.

Read more:

The Oscars new home is the Dolby Theatre

Academy Award voters are old, white, and male
See full article at EW.com - Inside Movies »

Producer Hawk Koch Elected New Academy President!

HollywoodNews.com: Producer Hawk Koch was elected president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences tonight (July 31) by the organization’s Board of Governors. This will be his first term in the office.

Koch, who is beginning his ninth year as a governor representing the Producers Branch, has served as first vice president of the Academy during the past year. He previously served three one-year terms as treasurer and one term as vice president.

In addition, Public Relations Branch governor Cheryl Boone Isaacs was elected first vice president; Producers Branch governor Kathleen Kennedy was elected to one vice president post and Writers Branch governor Phil Robinson was re-elected to the other vice president post; Public Relations Branch governor Rob Friedman was elected treasurer; and Executives Branch governor Robert Rehme was elected secretary.

Koch’s producer credits include “Losing Isaiah” and “Gorky Park.” He recently served as executive producer
See full article at Hollywoodnews.com »

Academy Governors Elect Hawk Koch as New AMPAS President

Academy Governors Elect Hawk Koch as New AMPAS President
Good-bye to Tom Sherak, who leaves behind his unpaid job as president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, as he has served his full nine years as a Governor.  And hello to a new AMPAS president as Tuesday night the Board of Governors elected veteran producer Hawk Koch ("Gorky Park," "Source Code") for his first one -year term. Hawk was able to gain more than 50% of the votes from somewhat less than the usual 43 members; the Academy has yet to replace screenwriter Frank Pierson, who died last week. Koch, 66, who also heads the Producer Guild of America, lobbied hard for the job. But he has only one year left to serve as a governor representing the Producers Branch, after serving as first vice president of the Academy during the past year. He previously served three one-year terms as treasurer and one term as vice president. Koch is
See full article at Thompson on Hollywood »

Hawk Koch Elected Academy President

credit: Jordan Strauss

Producer Hawk Koch was elected president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences tonight (July 31) by the organization’s Board of Governors. This will be his first term in the office.

Koch, who is beginning his ninth year as a governor representing the Producers Branch, has served as first vice president of the Academy during the past year. He previously served three one-year terms as treasurer and one term as vice president.

In addition, Public Relations Branch governor Cheryl Boone Isaacs was elected first vice president; Producers Branch governor Kathleen Kennedy was elected to one vice president post and Writers Branch governor Phil Robinson was re-elected to the other vice president post; Public Relations Branch governor Rob Friedman was elected treasurer; and Executives Branch governor Robert Rehme was elected secretary.

Koch’s producer credits include “Losing Isaiah” and “Gorky Park.” He recently served as executive
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

Hawk Koch Elected New Motion Picture Academy President Tonight

Beverly Hills, CA – Producer Hawk Koch was elected president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences tonight (July 31) by the organization’s Board of Governors. This will be his first term in the office. Koch, who is beginning his ninth year as a governor representing the Producers Branch, has served as first vice president of the Academy during the past year. He previously served three one-year terms as treasurer and one term as vice president. In addition, Public Relations Branch governor Cheryl Boone Isaacs was elected first vice president; Producers Branch governor Kathleen Kennedy was elected to one vice president post and Writers Branch governor Phil Robinson was re-elected to the other vice president post; Public Relations Branch governor Rob Friedman was elected treasurer; and Executives Branch governor Robert Rehme was elected secretary. Koch’s producer credits include “Losing Isaiah” and “Gorky Park.” He recently served as executive
See full article at Deadline Hollywood »

RaroVideo Announces Two New December Horror DVD Releases: Body Puzzle & Murder Obsession

Hailed by cinephiles for expertly restoring rare films by influential filmmakers and publishing them with compelling extras, Italian DVD label RaroVideo announces two rare horror titles slated for release on December 6th: Lamberto Bava's Body Puzzle and Riccardo Freda's Murder Obsession.

Lamberto Bava’s Body Puzzle tells the tragic and increasingly morbid story of the lovely widow Tracy (Gorky Park’s Joanna Pacula). Not only has her famous pianist husband Abe died in an auto accident, but someone keeps breaking into her house and leaving severed body parts lying around. A candy store owner is gutted, a poor woman has her hand lopped off in a public bathroom, a young swimmer is castrated, and so on. The investigating police officer, Michael (The Church’s Tomas Arana), strikes up a hot and heavy romance with her to keep Tracy’s mind off the rapidly accumulating trophies. Michael’s supervising
See full article at Dread Central »

Hot Rods & Droids: A George Lucas Profile (Part 3)

Trevor Hogg profiles the career of legendary filmmaker George Lucas in the third of a six-part feature... read parts one and two.

“We both have a tradition that, when we have a film opening for which there are high expectations, we get out of town,” stated filmmaker Steven Spielberg, who vacationed with colleague George Lucas in Hawaii while Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) and Star Wars (1977) were being theatrically released. Lucas asked Spielberg what he would like to do as his follow-up effort. “I said I wanted to do a James Bond film. United Artists had approached me after Sugarland Express [1974] and asked me to do a film for them. I said, ‘Sure give me the next James Bond film.’ But they said they couldn’t do that. Then George said he had a film that was even better than a James Bond. It was called Raiders of the Lost Ark
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

Geek shows and movies on UK TV in the coming week

Being Human, Skins and Outcasts come to an end, Twenty Twelve kicks off, and there's a great selection of movies on UK TV, too...

Although the housemates would shun it, the spotlight of the week has to shine on Being Human, with the final episode of series 3 airing Sunday, March 13th at 9:00pm on BBC3. We had a sneak peek here, where the unphotographable Mitchell is jailed and Annie looks to be keeping to her promise of staying with him, while making him stay put. But there's still The Wolf-Shaped Bullet, the finale's title, to be feared and identified, and the fate of Nina and the rapidly developing werebaby to be found out. After last week's explosive happenings, we're mystified and thrilled to think where it may all end. If you missed any part of the series, you can catch up and comment on our reviews, and meet back
See full article at Den of Geek »

The Chronicles Of Narnia: The Voyage Of The Dawn Treader Movie Review

Surprisingly, one of my most popular articles here is Why the Voyage of the Dawn Treader will work and Disney is stupid. The key idea in it is that abandoning the franchise after Prince Caspian is simply a mind-boggling decision. Whatever the bottom line might say, the only reason to move beyond the first film and make Caspian at all is so that you get to make Dawn Treader. While all the books in the series are great reads, and are rather filled with adventure and magic, Dawn Treader (polling all the young teens I know, knew, and was) is the one that takes hold of the imagination.

In the end, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader may not quite have lived up to expectations, but it's a fantastic ride. The dragons, merfolk, sea monsters, and the Pevensies' take on such challenges as pacing, editing, plot decisions, and the slightly
See full article at AreYouScreening »
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