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Critic's Notebook: The Prescient Political Films of 1998

Sexual harassment, Islamophobia, Nsa surveillance of private citizens and crises manufactured to distract from presidential scandals — those were themes of the sharpest politically charged films of the year, exactly 20 years ago. The people behind those films weren’t soothsayers. Comedies like Warren Beatty’s Bulworth and Mike NicholsPrimary Colors and thrillers like Tony Scott’s Enemy of the State and Edward Zwick’s The Siege shrewdly observed the darkest undercurrents of their time.

But rather than subsiding, the trends those filmmakers mined for outrageous satire or heightened drama have only ramped up in recent years. Some of those ominous strands existed ...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter »

‘The Looming Tower’: How Lawrence Wright’s 9/11 Mission Became Must-See Television

Just a few days after 9/11, author Lawrence Wright was already searching for the right character to serve as the spine of his investigation into the horrific World Trade Center bombings. “You can’t write about 3,000 deaths, but you can write about one,” he told me.

When he found John O’Neill’s obituary in The Washington Post, he felt a spooky familiarity. “The import of his life and death carries the story. This former FBI agent, who was washed out of the FBI for taking classified information out of the office, wound up as head of security at the World Trade Center. This is the man who was supposed to get Bin Laden — and Bin Laden got him.”

Wright’s book contains weird echoes of “The Siege,” a prophetic 1998 Ed Zwick thriller co-written by Wright that starred Denzel Washington as the head of security at the World Trade Center; Tony Shalhoub
See full article at Indiewire »

‘The Looming Tower’: How Lawrence Wright’s 9/11 Mission Became Must-See Television

Just a few days after 9/11, author Lawrence Wright was already searching for the right character to serve as the spine of his investigation into the horrific World Trade Center bombings. “You can’t write about 3,000 deaths, but you can write about one,” he told me.

When he found John O’Neill’s obituary in The Washington Post, he felt a spooky familiarity. “The import of his life and death carries the story. This former FBI agent, who was washed out of the FBI for taking classified information out of the office, wound up as head of security at the World Trade Center. This is the man who was supposed to get Bin Laden — and Bin Laden got him.”

Wright’s book contains weird echoes of “The Siege,” a prophetic 1998 Ed Zwick thriller co-written by Wright that starred Denzel Washington as the head of security at the World Trade Center; Tony Shalhoub
See full article at Thompson on Hollywood »

Bruce Willis movies: 15 greatest films, ranked worst to best, including ‘Die Hard,’ ‘The Sixth Sense,’ ‘Pulp Fiction’

Bruce Willis movies: 15 greatest films, ranked worst to best, including ‘Die Hard,’ ‘The Sixth Sense,’ ‘Pulp Fiction’
The latest Bruce Willis for 2018 is a remake of the Charles Bronson 1970s movie “Death Wish.” Willis has always been a box office success during his career and had occasional positive response from critics as well. Let’s take a look back at his greatest films in our photo gallery (view above) that ranks his top 15 performances from worst to best.

Willis grew up in New Jersey, but after appearing in a college production of “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” he dropped out and left for New York City to launch a professional acting career. He first became a famously flashy bartender in various clubs (think Tom Cruise in “Cocktail”), but found his big break years later understudying and later replacing Ed Harris in the acclaimed off-Broadway production of Sam Shepard’s play “Fool for Love.”

SEETop 20 Best Living Actors Who’ve Never Been Nominated for an Oscar
See full article at Gold Derby »

Wamg Giveaway – Win the Gun Shy Blu-ray – Stars Antonio Banderas

The hilarious and exhilarating action-comedy, Gun Shy, rocks out on Blu-ray™ (plus Digital HD), DVD, and Digital HD on November 7 from Lionsgate. Currently available On Demand, the film stars three-time Golden Globe® nominee Antonio Banderas (Best Actor: Evita, 1997; The Mask of Zorro, 1999; And Starring Pancho Villa as Himself, 2004) as a spoiled and aging rock star whose wife is kidnapped while they are on vacation in Chile. With very few skills beyond playing bass and partying, he must pull himselftogether to save his wife from her hostile captors. From Simon West, the director of Con Air, The Expendables 2, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, and The Mechanic, and written for the screen by Mark Haskell Smith and Toby Davies (based on the novel “Salty” by Smith), the Gun Shy Blu-ray and DVD will be available for the suggested retail price of $21.99 and $19.98, respectively.

Now you can own Gun Shy on Blu-ray. We
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

Action/Comedy Gun SHy hits Disc November 7

  • Comicmix
Program Description

The hilarious and exhilarating action-comedy, Gun Shy, rocks out on Blu-ray™ (plus Digital HD), DVD, and Digital HD on November 7 from Lionsgate. Currently available On Demand, the film stars three-time Golden Globe® nominee Antonio Banderas (Best Actor: Evita, 1997; The Mask of Zorro, 1999; And Starring Pancho Villa as Himself, 2004) as a spoiled and aging rock star whose wife is kidnapped while they are on vacation in Chile. With very few skills beyond playing bass and partying, he must pull himself together to save his wife from her hostile captors. From Simon West, the director of Con Air, The Expendables 2, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, and The Mechanic, and written for the screen by Mark Haskell Smith and Toby Davies (based on the novel “Salty” by Smith), the Gun Shy Blu-ray and DVD will be available for the suggested retail price of $21.99 and $19.98, respectively.=

Official Synopsis

When vacationing in Chile,
See full article at Comicmix »

This Is What the Dceu Would Look Like in the 90s

This Is What the Dceu Would Look Like in the 90s
Have you ever wondered what the DC Extended Universe would have been like if it were released in the 1990s? No? Oh, well because that's exactly what a fan with a lot of time on his hands has done and it's actually pretty darn good. Batman v Superman is mostly responsible for what we have all come to know as the Dceu today, but this fan made trailer decides to take it back a few decades with an appropriate soundtrack and of course actors who would have starred at the time.

YouTuber ChiefBrodyRules, aka Frank Ireland has shared his tribute to the Dceu and the 1990s to the masses and he has decided to do something a little different from the usual fan made trailer affairs. Ireland wanted to set himself apart by reimagining the Dceu filtered through some of his favorite 90s movies instead of rehashing the same actors
See full article at MovieWeb »

Carol Burnett, Marshall Herskovitz, Edward Zwick to Receive AFI Honorary Doctorates

Carol Burnett, Marshall Herskovitz, Edward Zwick to Receive AFI Honorary Doctorates
The American Film Institute will confer honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts degrees on Carol Burnett, Marshall Herskovitz, and Edward Zwick at its commencement ceremony on June 5 at the Tcl Chinese Theatre.

Herskovitz and Zwick are graduates of the AFI Class of 1975. The date of AFI’s commencement exercises marks the 50th anniversary of the American Film Institute’s formation in 1967. AFI noted Tuesday that 2017 also marks the 50th anniversary of “The Carol Burnett Show.”

Past recipients include Robert Altman, Maya Angelou, Saul Bass, Kathryn Bigelow, Mel Brooks, Anne V. Coates, Clint Eastwood, Roger Ebert, Nora Ephron, James Earl Jones, Lawrence Kasdan, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Kathleen Kennedy, Angela Lansbury, John Lasseter, Spike Lee, David Lynch, Helen Mirren, Rita Moreno, Quentin Tarantino, Robert Towne, Cicely Tyson, Haskell Wexler, and John Williams.

Burnett has received six Emmy Awards, five Golden Globe Awards and the 2016 Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award.

Herskovitz won four Primetime Emmy Awards.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Annette Bening to Star in FX’s Next ‘American Crime Story’ Installment, ‘Katrina’

  • Indiewire
Annette Bening to Star in FX’s Next ‘American Crime Story’ Installment, ‘Katrina’
Annette Bening has signed on to star in “Katrina: American Crime Story,” the next installment in Ryan Murphy’s FX anthology series.

Bening will play Kathleen Blanco, who was Governor of Louisiana during and after Hurricane Katrina, in the limited-run series from Murphy, Nina Jacobson and Brad Simpson.

Read More: ‘American Crime Story,’ ‘Atlanta’ Delays: Why FX Hits Sometimes Go On Long Hiatuses

FX announced last month that “Katrina,” which is the follow-up to “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story,” won’t be ready until 2018. That’s to allow producers more time to craft the story; but the delay was also attributed to Hurricane season-related insurance issues.

Production on the series’ third installment, about the murder of fashion designer Gianni Versace, will actually take place before “Katrina.” That will allow FX to air both editions within six months of each other in 2018, and perhaps put the
See full article at Indiewire »

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 »

7 New Netflix Shows to Binge Watch in December 2016, and The Best Episodes of Each

7 New Netflix Shows to Binge Watch in December 2016, and The Best Episodes of Each
1. “Trollhunters” Season 1 (available December 23)

Why Should I Watch It? Two big reasons: First, the director of “Pan’s Labyrinth,” Guillermo del Toro, created “Trollhunters,” an animated event series about a teenager who discovers a mystical amulet that unveils a secret civilization of trolls beneath his hometown. If the Oscar nominee himself isn’t enough, there’s another creative force — in addition to the impressive voice cast of Kelsey Grammer, Ron Perlman and Charlie Saxton — to pay attention to: Said teenager is voiced by Anton Yelchin, in what’s being billed his final role. After debuting two episodes at New York Comic-Con in October, del Toro said he never even discussed replacing Yelchin. “We didn’t go into a meeting,” del Toro said. “We didn’t have a conference. […] He was a great guy to work with, he was proud of what he did, we were proud of what he did.
See full article at Indiewire »

Ed Zwick interview: Jack Reacher: Never Go Back

Wil Jones Oct 24, 2016

We chat to Edward Zwick, director of Jack Reacher 2, about modern cinema, the erosion of mid-budget cinema and more...

Tom Cruise returns this week as Jack Reacher, the ex-military badass from Lee Child’s popular series of novels. The first Jack Reacher was a great throwback to classic 90s action movies, that felt like a return to an era before superheroes and CGI overloads dominated blockbusters, and Tom Cruise running away from things and punching people was all we needed. And the sequel Jack Reacher: Never Go Back thankfully keeps that tradition.

Stepping into the director’s chair this time is Ed Zwick (replacing Christopher McQuarrie, who moved over to the Mission Impossible franchise). Zwick is the sort of Hollywood journeyman who’s name on a film is alway a good sign. He’s made movies like Courage Under Fire, The Siege, The Last Samurai, Blood Diamond,
See full article at Den of Geek »

'Room', 'The Big Short' to bookend Dubai fest

'Room', 'The Big Short' to bookend Dubai fest
Spotlight, Truth and Concussion are also among the festival’s programme.

Lenny Abrahamson’s Oscar-contender Room will open the 12th Dubai International Film Festival (Diff) this year, which will run December 9-16.

The film, an adaptation of Emma Donoghue’s novel, tells the story of a young mother and her 5-year-old son who are held captive in a small room. Lead actress Brie Larson has already received nominations at the Gotham Awards and yesterday’s Independent Spirits for her performance, and is a favourite for the Academy Awards next year.

The festival will be closed by Adam McKay’s The Big Short, which has an ensemble cast featuring Ryan Gosling, Steve Carell, Christian Bale and Brad Pitt, and recently premiered at Los Angeles’ AFI Fest (Nov 5-12).

Other films screening include: Tom McCarthy’s Spotlight; James Vanderbilt’s Truth; Peter Landesman’s Concussion; Nicholas Hytner’s The Lady In The Van; and Hany Abu-Assad’s The Idol
See full article at ScreenDaily »

'Pawn Sacrifice' Review: A Riveting Cold War Thriller

  • MovieWeb
'Pawn Sacrifice' Review: A Riveting Cold War Thriller
Bobby Fischer was a genius, a childhood prodigy who took the chess world by storm in the second half of the twentieth century. Fischer was also maddeningly erratic, possibly insane, and a fervent anti-Semite. Hollywood stalwart Edward Zwick (Glory, The Siege) and venerated screenwriter Steven Knight bring Fischer's story to life in Pawn Sacrifice. Set against the backdrop of The Cold War, Pawn Sacrifice details the events behind the world chess championship in 1972. Where Russian Grandmaster Boris Spassky and Bobby Fischer played what is considered the greatest chess match of all time.

Pawn Sacrifice begins in the early 1950's during McCarthyism, The Red Scare. Fischer (Seamus Davey-Fitzpatrick) was obsessed with chess as a child. His mother (Robin Weigert) supported her son's ambition, but she was a diehard communist and constantly watched by the government. As Fischer (Tobey Maguire) grew to young adulthood, he had soundly beaten everyone who faced him in chess.
See full article at MovieWeb »

UK TV ratings: Emma Willis's Prized Apart remains steady with 2.6 million viewers

UK TV ratings roundup – data supplied by Barb

Emma Willis's Prized Apart remained steady with 2.6 million viewers last night (July 19), according to overnight figures.

The BBC One show averaged 2.59m (16.3%) from 7pm, before The National Lottery: Who Dares Wins earned 3.34m (19.5%). Casualty rose to 4.15m (23.2%) from 8.55pm, and The John Bishop Show appealed to 3.1m (18.4%) afterwards.

On BBC Two, a Dad's Army repeat entertained 1.48m (8.2%) from 8.45pm. Documentary film Melvyn Bragg: Wigton to Westminster averaged 1.15m (6.8%) between 9.15pm and 10.30pm.

ITV aired Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 from 7pm, which was enjoyed by 2.76m (16.5%). Later on, live boxing between Carl Frampton and Alejandro Gonzalez Jr drew an audience of 1.6m (10.5%).

On Channel 4, the film The Watch starring Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn was caught by 1.05m (6.3%) from 9pm.

Over on Channel 5, Transporter: The Series garnered 436k (2.5%) in the 9pm hour and Denzel Washington thriller
See full article at Digital Spy - TV news »

Forrest Lucas, Ali Afshar Launching Production Company

Forrest Lucas, Ali Afshar Launching Production Company
Forrest Lucas, founder and owner of Lucas Oil Products, has teamed with actor-producer Ali Afshar to launch the production company Esx Entertainment.

The new company is touting itself as having the ability to develop, package, finance and produce a slate of inspirational films with commercial appeal.

Afshar’s Esx Productions will fold into the company with a feature film slate that includes the upcoming drama “The Wrong Side of Right,” starring Lea Thompson, James Remar and Jayson Blair; and the coming-of-age story “The Wizard,” starring Jon Voight, William Fichtner and Afshar.

The company also inherits Afshar’s “Born to Race” franchise, which includes the original “Born to Race” feature film and the sequel “Born to Race: Fast Track,” as well as the “Born to Race” TV series currently in development.

Esx will develop, finance and produce three to six projects a year, including feature films and digital/television series.

“For me,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Why 1998 Was the Best Year In Film History

  • Hitfix
Why 1998 Was the Best Year In Film History
All week long our writers will debate: Which was the greatest film year of the past half century. Check here for a complete list of our essays. Just one glance at the Oscar nominees for 1998 might make it seem less a questionable choice for “best year in film” — and more an insane one. Instead of a 1974 – The Godfather II, The Conversation, Chinatown, Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein, etc – or even a 1994, where Shawshank, Quiz Show, and Pulp Fiction lost to Gump – you choose a year where the Oscars would allow Roberto Benigni to climb atop both the figurative and literal chairs of the Shrine? Fine, step away from the Oscars. Would you still celebrate a year that saw not one, but two movies about asteroids threatening the Earth? A year that saw such scars carved across cinematic history as Patch Adams, My Giant, Stepmom, and Krippendorf’s Tribe? It bears repeating: Krippendorf’S Tribe?
See full article at Hitfix »

How the Phantom Menace teaser trailer became a cinematic event

In November 1998, Star Wars fans were queuing up to see The Phantom Menace trailer in cinemas. Ryan looks at how a teaser became an event...

Murmurs of anticipation in the pitch black theatre. Excited shuffles of feet. Then the word "Lucasfilm" sparkles up on the screen, and the audience goes wild. "Yeah!" someone exclaims at the back of the room, as though they'd just spotted an old best friend they hadn't seen in a decade.

It's November 1998, and for many Star Wars fans, this is the moment they've been waiting the best part of five years to see: their first glimpse of Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. Ever since George Lucas had announced his return to the Star Wars universe, in an October 1993 issue of Vanity Fair, anticipation had slowly been building for the new movie. And here, finally, was a first look at what Lucas had in store.
See full article at Den of Geek »

The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies To Climax With A 45-Minute Battle

The time is nearly upon us when we’ll finally say goodbye to Middle Earth, as Peter Jackson’s last hurrah – The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies – will soon be arriving in theatres. For those detractors who believe stretching out a pamphlet into a three-part fantasy epic is to blame for The Hobbit‘s sluggish pace, we’ve got news for you. According to EW, the ending scene will be a mammoth 45-minute long battle sequence.

“We have a rule that we’re not allowed to go more than two or three shots of anonymous people fighting without cutting back to our principal characters,” Peter Jackson told the magazine. “Otherwise the audience just ends up with battle fatigue.”

Along with Jackson’s interview are several key pieces of artwork, focusing on the climactic showdown. The brawl will take place at the foot of Lonely Mountain, as all races
See full article at We Got This Covered »

Spotlight on the Stars: Denzel Washington

For this week’s spotlight piece, I wanted to take a look at pretty much one of the definitions of an A-list actor. He’s Denzel Washington, a two time Academy Award winning thespian and giant in the industry. Washington does more than just act of course, he’s an iconic movie star, there’s no doubt about that. If anyone is right for this sort of a spotlight, it’s him. Washington got his start in TV movies, but on the big screen he made his first mark with Cry Freedom, which also got him nominated for Best Supporting Actor, his first nomination of what would become a half dozen (and counting). That established him as an up and comer, leading to his television role on the show St. Elsewhere, which ran for half a decade. That would open up some major film roles, including Glory, where he received
See full article at Hollywoodnews.com »
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