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New on Netflix in March: Dinosaurs, 'Spinal Tap' and 'Memento'

  • Yidio
2017-02-23T14:02:45-08:00New on Netflix in March: Dinosaurs, 'Spinal Tap' and 'Memento'

Spring time is right around the corner, and the renewal of the natural world will be accompanied by the renewal of the Netflix catalog. The streaming service's new offerings for March include a bounty of classic movies and recent releases, along with quite a few original programs that should get subscribers eager for the new month.

Among the more venerable - but still watchable - movies coming to Netflix next month is the original Jurassic Park trilogy, including the first film in the franchise, The Lost World: Jurassic Park, and Jurassic Park III. Also pretty old but well worth your time are the comedy classic This Is Spinal Tap and Christopher Nolan's early masterpiece Memento (which is a must-see for fans of his brother's current hit HBO series Westworld).

Recent releases
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One Million Years B.C.

One Million Years B.C.

Blu-ray

Kl Studio Classics

1966 / Color / 1:85 widescreen / 91, 100 min. / Street Date February 14, 2017 / Available from Kino Lorber 29.95

Starring: Raquel Welch, John Richardson, Percy Herbert, Robert Brown, Martine Beswick

Cinematography: Wilkie Cooper

Special visual effects: Ray Harryhausen

Art Direction: Robert Jones

Film Editor: Tom Simpson

Original Music: Mario Nascimbene

Written by: Michael Carreras from a 1940 screenplay by George Baker

Produced by: Michael Carreras, Hal Roach, Aida Young

Directed by Don Chaffey

Here’s a title we haven’t seen in a while, and that we’ve never seen at this level of quality. Hammer Films’ most successful release ever, One Million Years B.C. launched a new film star. I count myself among the zillions of kids that pinned her poster on my bedroom wall. At age fifteen, the release of a new Harryhausen film was so important to me that I begged my slightly older neighbor to take me to the drive-in,
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

The early screenplays of Jj Abrams

Mark Harrison Sep 13, 2016

Before he hit big with Star Wars and Star Trek, Jj Abrams was penning films such as Forever Young, Regarding Henry and Armageddon...

Jj Abrams is one of the most powerful people in Hollywood right now. Over his career in the movies, he's written, directed, produced, acted and played a wicked keyboard solo on Cool Guys Don't Look At Explosions, and through his production company Bad Robot, his name is counted among the credits of massive franchises like Cloverfield, Mission: Impossible, Star Trek and of course Star Wars. He's more of a household name than most filmmakers of his generation and we sometimes wish we wanted anything as much as he wants that Steven Spielberg status.

You can't blame him when you hear about his first paid job in the film industry. Returning a bunch of Spielberg's personal super-8 home movies that he discovered after his
See full article at Den of Geek »

Warner Bros, and its disastrous movie summer of 1997

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Warner Bros has struggled with its blockbusters of late. But back in summer 1997 - Batman & Robin's year - it faced not dissimilar problems.

Earlier this year it was revealed that Warner Bros, following a string of costly movies that hadn’t hit box office gold (Pan, Jupiter Ascending, The Man From U.N.C.L.E., In The Heart Of The Sea), was restructuring its blockbuster movie business. Fewer films, fewer risks, more franchises, and more centering around movie universes seems to be the new approach, and the appointment of a new corporate team to oversee the Harry Potter franchise last week was one part of that.

In some ways, it marks the end of an era. Whilst it retains its relationships with key directing talent (Ben Affleck, Clint Eastwood, Christopher Nolan for instance), Warner Bros was, for the bulk of the 1990s in particular, the studio that the others were trying to mimic. It worked with the same stars and filmmakers time and time again, and under then-chiefs Terry Semel and Robert Daly, relationships with key talent were paramount.

Furthermore, the studio knew to leave that talent to do its job, and was also ahead of the pack in developing franchises that it could rely on to give it a string of hits.

However, whilst Warner Bros is having troubles now, its way of doing business was first seriously challenged by the failure of its slate in the summer of 1997. Once again, it seemed to have a line up to cherish, that others were envious of. But as film by film failed to click, every facet of Warner Bros’ blockbuster strategy suddenly came under scrutiny, and would ultimately fairly dramatically change. Just two summers later, the studio released The Matrix, and blockbuster cinema changed again.

But come the start of summer 1997? These are the movies that Warner Bros had lined up, and this is what happened…

February - National Lampoon’s Vegas Vacation

Things actually had got off to a decent enough start for the studio earlier in the year, so it's worth kicking off there. It brought Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo back together, for the fourth National Lampoon movie, and the first since 1989’s National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. Interestingly, it dropped the National Lampoon moniker in the Us, and instead released the eventual movie as Vegas Vacation. It was a belated sequel, back when belated sequels weren’t that big a thing.

The film was quickly pulled apart by reviewers, but it still just about clawed a profit. The production budget of $25m was eclipsed by the Us gross of $36m, and the movie would do comfortable business on video/DVD. Not a massive hit, then, but hardly a project that had a sense of foreboding about it.

Yet the problems were not far away.

May – Father's Day

Warner Bros had a mix of movies released in the Us in March and April 1997, including modest Wesley Snipes-headlined thriller Murder At 1600, and family flick Shiloh. But it launched its summer season with Father’s Day, an expensive packaged comedy from director Ivan Reitman, starring Robin Williams and Billy Crystal. It had hit written all over it.

Father’s Day was one of the movies packaged by the CAA agency, and its then-head, Mike Ovitz (listed regularly by Premiere magazine in the 1990s as one of the most powerful men in Hollywood, if not the most powerful man). That he brought together the stars, the director and the project, gave a studio a price tag, and the studio duly paid it. Given Warner Bros’ devotion to star talent (Mel Gibson, then one of the biggest movie stars in the world, and a major Warner Bros talent, was persuaded to film a cameo), it was a natural home for the film. It quickly did the deal. few questions asked.

That package, and CAA’s fees for putting it together, brought the budget for a fairly straightforward comedy to a then-staggering $85m. The problem, though, was that the film simply wasn’t very good. It’s one of those projects that looks great on paper, less great when exposed on a great big screen. Warner Bros has snapped it up, without - it seems - even properly reading the script.

Premiere magazine quoted a Warner Bros insider back in November 1997 as saying “when [CAA] calls and says ‘we have a package, Father’s Day, with Williams and Crystal and Reitman, we say ‘great’”, adding “we don’t scrutinise the production. When we saw the movie, it took the wind out of us. We kept reshooting and enhancing, but you can’t fix something that’s bad”.

And it was bad.

The movie would prove to be the first big misfire of the summer, grossing just $35m in the Us, and not adding a fat lot more elsewhere in the world. Warner Bros’ first film of the summer was a certified flop. More would soon follow.

May - Addicted To Love

A more modestly priced project was Addicted To Love, a romantic comedy starring Meg Ryan and Matthew Broderick. Just over a year later, Warner Bros would hit big when Meg Ryan reunited with Tom Hanks for Nora Ephron’s You’ve Got Mail. But here? The film was a modest success, at best.

Directed by Griffin Dunne (making his directorial debut), and put together in partnership with Miramax, Addicted To Love was based around the Robert Palmer song of the same name. But whilst it was sold as a romcom, the muddled final cut was actually a fair bit darker. There was an underlying nastiness to some moments in the film, and when the final box office was tallied, it came in lower than the usual returns for pictures from Ryan or Broderick. Counter-programming it against the release of The Lost World: Jurassic Park didn’t massively help in this instance either, especially as the Jurassic Park sequel would smash opening weekend records.

Addicted To Love ended up with $34.6m at the Us box office. It would eke out a small profit.

June - Batman & Robin

And this is when the alarm bells started to ring very, very loudly. Summer 1997 was supposed to be about a trio of sure-fire hit sequels: Batman 4, Jurassic Park 2 and Speed 2. Only one of those would ultimately bring home the box office bacon, the others being destroyed by critics, and ultimately leaving far more empty seats than anticipated in multiplexes.

Batman & Robin, it’s easy to forget, came off the back of 1995’s Joel Schumacher-steered Batman reboot, Batman Forever that year's biggest movie). It had one of the fastest-growing stars in the world in the Batsuit (George Clooney), and the McDonald’s deals were signed even before the script was typed up. You don’t need us to tell you that you could tell, something of a theme already in Warner Bros' summer of '97.

That said, Batman & Robin still gave Warner Bros a big opening, but in the infancy of the internet as we know it, poisonous word of mouth was already beginning to spread. The film’s negative cost Warner Bros up to $140m, before marketing and distribution costs, and it opened in the Us to a hardly-sniffy $42m of business (although that was down from previous Batman movies).

But that word of mouth still accelerated its departure from cinemas. It was then very rare for a film to make over 40% of its Us gross in its first weekend. But that’s just what Batman & Robin did, taking $107.3m in America, part of a worldwide total of $238.2m. This was the worst return for a Batman movie to date, and Warner Bros had to swiftly put the brakes on plans to get Batman Triumphant moving.

It would be eight years until Batman returned to the big screen, in Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins. Warner Bros would undergo big changes in the intervening period.

As for the immediate aftermath of Batman & Robin? Warner Bros co-chief Robert Daly would note at the end of '97 that “we’d have been better off with more action in the picture. The movie had to service too many characters”, adding that “the next Batman we do, in three years – and we have a deal with George Clooney to do it – will have one villain”.

Fortunately, Warner Bros’ one solid hit of the summer was just around the corner…

July - Contact

And breathe out.

Warner Bros bet heavily again on expensive talent here, with Robert Zemeckis bringing his adaptation of Carl Sagan’s Contact to the studio for his first film post-Forrest Gump. Warner Bros duly footed the $90m bill (back when that was still seen as a lot of money for a movie), a good chunk of which went to Jodie Foster. It invested heavily in special effects, and gave Zemeckis licence to make the film that he wanted.

The studio was rewarded with the most intelligent and arguably the best blockbuster of the summer. I’ve looked back at Contact in a lot more detail here, and it remains a fascinating film that’s stood the test of time (and arguably influenced Christopher Nolan’s more recent Interstellar).

Reviews were strong, it looked terrific, and the initial box office was good.

But then the problem hit. For whilst Contact was a solid hit for Warner Bros, it wasn’t a massively profitable one. Had Father’s Day and Batman & Robin shouldered the box office load there were supposed to, it perhaps wouldn’t have been a problem. But when they failed to take off, the pressure shifted to Contact.

The movie would gross $100.9m in the Us, and add another $70m overseas (this being an era were international box office rarely had the importance it has today). But once Warner Bros had paid its bills, there wasn’t a fat lot over for itself. Fortunately, the film still sells on disc and on-demand. Yet it wasn’t to be the massive hit the studio needed back in 1997.

July - One Eight Seven

From director Kevin Reynolds, the man who helmed Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves and Waterworld, came modestly-priced drama 187, starring Samuel L Jackson (in a strong performance). Warner Bros wouldn’t have had massive box office expectations for the film (although it can't have been unaware that the inspirational teacher sub-genre was always worth a few quid), and it shared production duties on the $20m movie with Mel Gibson’s Icon Productions. But still, it would have had its eye on a modest success. What it got in return was red ink.

The film’s not a bad one, and certainly worth seeking out. But poor reviews gave the film an uphill struggle from the off – smaller productions arriving mid-summer really needed critics on their side, as they arguably still do – and it opened to just $2.2m of business (the less edgy, Michelle Pfeiffer-headlined school drama Dangerous Minds had been a surprise hit not two years before).

By the time its run was done, 187 hadn’t even come close to covering its production costs, with just under $6m banked.

Warner Bros’ summer slate was running out of films. But at least it had one of its most reliable movie stars around the corner…

August - Conspiracy Theory

What could go wrong? Mel Gibson and Julia Roberts were two of the biggest movie stars in the world in 1997, at a time when movie stars still equated to box office gold. Director Richard Donner, one of Warner Bros’ favourite directors, had delivered the Lethal Weapons, Maverick, Superman, The Goonies and more for the studio. Put them altogether, with Patrick Stewart (coming to wider public consciousness at the time off the back of his Star Trek: The Next Generation work) as a villain, and it should have been a big hit.

Conspiracy Theory proved to be one of the more ambitious summer blockbusters of the era. It lacks a good first act, which would be really useful in actually setting up more of what’s going on. But Gibson played an edgy cab driver who believes in deep government conspiracies, and finds himself getting closer to the truth than those around him sometimes give him credit for.

Warner Bros was probably expecting another Lethal Weapon with the reunion of Gibson (who had to be persuaded to take Conspiracy Theory on) and Donner (it’s pretty much what it got with the hugely enjoyable Maverick a few years’ earlier), but instead it got a darker drama, with an uneasy central character that didn’t exactly play to the summer box office crowd.

The bigger problem, though, was that the film never quite worked as well as you might hope. Yet star power did have advantages. While no juggernaut, the film did decent business, grossing $137m worldwide off the back of an $80m budget ($40m of which was spent on the salaries for the talent before a single roll of film was loaded into a camera). That said, in the Us it knocked a genuine smash hit, Air Force One, off the top spot. Mind you in hindsight, that was probably the film that the studio wished it had made (the cockpit set of Warner Bros' own Executive Decision was repurposed for Air Force One, fact fans).

Still: Warner Bros did get Lethal Weapon 4 off Gibson and Donner a year later…

August - Free Willy 3: The Rescue

Yeah.

Warner Bros opened its third Free Willy film on the same day as Conspiracy Theory (can you imagine a studio opening two big films on the same day now), but it was clear that this was a franchise long past its best days (and its best days hardly bring back the fondest of memories).

Still, Free Willy movies were relatively modest in cost to put together, and Warner Bros presumably felt this was a simple cashpoint project. But in a year when lots of family movies did less business than expected (Disney’s Hercules, Fox’s Home Alone 3, Disney’s Mr Magoo), Free Willy 3 barely troubled the box office. It took in just over $3m in total, and Willy would not be seen on the inside of a cinema again.

August - Steel

Not much was expected from Steel, a superhero movie headlined by Shaquille O’Neal. Which was fortunate, because not much was had.

It had a mid-August release date in the Us, at a point when a mid-August release date was more of a dumping ground than anything else. And even though the budget was set at a relatively low $16m, the film – and it’s an overused time – pretty much bombed. It took $1.7m at the Us box office, and given that its appeal hinged on a major American sports star whose fame hardly transcended the globe, its international takings did not save it (it went straight to video in many territories).

It was a miserable end to what, for warner bros, had been a thoroughly miserable summer.

So what did hit big in summer 1997?

Summer 1997 was infamous for big films failing to take off in the way that had been expected – Hercules, Speed 2, and the aforementioned Warner Bros movies – but there were several bright spots. The big winner would be Barry Sonnenfeld’s light and sprightly sci-fi comedy Men In Black, starring Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones. Star power too helped score big hits for Harrison Ford (Air Force One), Julia Roberts (My Best Friend’s Wedding) and John Travolta (Face/Off).

This was also the summer that Nicolas Cage cemented his action movie credentials with Face/Off and Con Air. Crucially, though, the star movies that hit were the ones that veered on the side of 'good'. For the first of many years, the internet was blamed for this.

Oh, and later in the year, incidentally, Titanic would redefine just what constituted a box office hit...

What came next for Warner Bros?

In the rest of 1997, Warner Bros had a mix of projects that again enjoyed mixed fortunes. The standout was Curtis Hanson’s stunning adaptation of L.A. Confidential, that also proved to be a surprise box office success. The Devil’s Advocate didn’t do too badly either.

However, two of the studio’s key filmmakers failed to really deliver come the end of 1997. Clint Eastwood’s Midnight In The Garden Of Good And Evil failed to ignite (although many felt he was always on a hiding to nothing in trying to adapt that for the screen), and Kevin Costner’s The Postman would prove arguably the most expensive box office disappointment of the year. No wonder the studio rushed Lethal Weapon 4 into production for summer 1998. Oh, and it had The Avengers underway too (not that one), that would prove to be a 1998 disappointment.

The studio would eventually take action. The Daly-Semel management team, that had reigned for 15 years, would break up at the end of 1999, as its traditional way of doing business became less successful. The pair had already future projects that were director driven to an extent (Eyes Wide Shut), and it would still invest in movies with stars (Wild Wild West). But the immediate plan of action following the disappointment of summer 1997 – to get Batman 5 and Superman Lives made – would falter. It wouldn’t be until 1999’s The Matrix (a film that Daly and Semel struggled to get) and – crucially – 2001’s Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone that the studio would really get its swagger back...

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Movies Feature Simon Brew Warner Bros 16 Jun 2016 - 05:19 Conspiracy Theory Father's Day Addicted To Love Contact National Lampoon’s Vegas Vacation One Eight Seven Steel Batman & Robin Free Willy 3: The Rescue
See full article at Den of Geek »

From the Terrace

This is as sexy as Hollywood pix got in 1960. John O'Hara's novel about class snobbery and the drive for success posits Paul Newman as a moody go-getter. In glossy soap opera fashion, his silver spoon-fed bride Joanne Woodward morphs into an unfaithful monster. Some adulterous relationships are excused and others not in this glossy, morally rigged melodrama. In other words, it's prime entertainment material. From the Terrace Blu-ray Twilight Time Limited Edition 1960 / Color / 2:35 widescreen / 144 min. / Ship Date January 19, 2016 / available through Twilight Time Movies / 29.95 Starring Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, Myrna Loy, Ina Balin, Leon Ames, Elizabeth Allen, Barbara Eden, George Grizzard, Patrick O'Neal, Felix Aylmer. Cinematography Leo Tover Art Direction Maurice Ransford, Howard Richmond, Lyle R. Wheeler Film Editor Dorothy Spencer Original Music Elmer Bernstein Written by Ernest Lehman from the novel by John O'Hara Produced and directed by Mark Robson

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

1960 saw the release of
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

5 things you didn’t know about the Jurassic Park franchise

Luke Owen with 5 things you didn’t know about the world of Jurassic Park

With Jurassic World now officially the fastest movie to reach the $1 billion mark (in just thirteen days!), it seems as though the world has gone back to 1993 and dino-mania is running wild once again.

To celebrate the success of the movie, we’ve looked back through the history books to bring you five things you may not know about the Jurassic Park franchise.

1. Harrison Ford was nearly Dr. Alan Grant

Harrison Ford has always had a great working relationship with Steven Spielberg and his partner in crime George Lucas. Not only was he the star of Spielberg’s ode to adventure serials of the 1930s and 40s, Raiders of the Lost Ark and its subsequent Indiana Jones sequels, but he was also featured in American Graffiti and the Star Wars trilogy, the products of George Lucas.
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

'T.rex Autopsy' advisor John Hutchinson says 'T.rex was the Tony Soprano of the late Cretaceous'

  • Hitfix
London, England. Check out John Hutchinson's dissection-heavy website WhatsInJohnsFreezer.com for a sense of what it might mean for him to be a proverbial kid in a candy store. A professor of Evolutionary Mechanics at University of London's Royal Veterinary College, Hutchinson served as an advisor on National Geographic's "T.rex Autopsy," which will air on Sunday, June 7 and shot in April at Pinewood Studios near London. NatGeo had a number of reporters on-set for the "T.rex Autopsy" shoot, which featured a team of veterinarians and paleontologists going to surgical town on a bio-realistic tyrannosaurus rex constructed by Jez Gibson-Harris' Crawley Creatures. This is pretty close to a dream for Hutchinson, who has written roughly a dozen papers on T.rex legs and locomotion and is also, for want of a better word, an animal autopsy enthusiastic, the more exotic and rare the species the better. For
See full article at Hitfix »

What next for Saturday night UK family drama?

From Primeval to Merlin and Atlantis, Doctor Who's return spawned a host of Saturday teatime dramas that have since disappeared. What next?

It’s Saturday night. BBC 1 is showing Doctor Who. It does this a lot, generally speaking, and has done on and off (sometimes very off) for over fifty years. When the show returned in 2005 it brought with it the realisation that there was a huge family audience un-catered for on Saturday nights, and unfortunately Doctor Who was only on air for a quarter of the year, so it couldn’t do it all by itself.

ITV quickly realised it needed to attract that audience too, and while it had gameshows that dominated the schedules it didn’t have anything like Buck Rogers In The 25th Century or The A Team to put up against the BBC this time. And time was of the essence: new shows had
See full article at Den of Geek »

R.I.P. Bob Hoskins

British acting legend Bob Hoskins has died of pneumonia at the age of 71. Hoskins' agent confirmed to the BBC that he died on Tuesday in hospital, surrounded by family.

With over a hundred credits to his name across film and television, Hoskins announced his retirement from acting in 2012 after being diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. His final films were British comedy "Outside Bet" and big-budget fantasy feature "Snow White and the Huntsmen".

Hoskins will be remembered far more though for his memorable turns in films such as "Who Framed Roger Rabbit," "The Long Good Friday," "Mona Lisa," "The Honorary Consul," "Brazil," "Hook," "Nixon," "The Cotton Club," "Twenty Four Seven," "Super Mario Bros.," "Last Orders," "Mermaids," "Mrs. Henderson Presents," "Unleashed," "Hollywoodland," "Doomsday," "Enemy at the Gates," "The Wall" and TV productions like "Pennies from Heaven," "On the Move," "The Lost World" and "The Street".

Hoskins had a dry sense of humor, famously
See full article at Dark Horizons »

Looking back at Robert Zemeckis' Contact

Feature Simon Brew 26 Jun 2013 - 06:34

It took over a decade for Carl Sagan's Contact to become a film. It turned out to be one of the most intelligent blockbusters of the 90s...

One of the key achievements of Ronald D Moore's Battlestar Galactica TV reboot, not withstanding the fact that it came in for something of a bumpy landing in its final season, was its willingness to not swerve big issues. At its peak, it was mixing in religion, politics and science, and trying to do so intelligently, with a lot of success. The balance arguably overtipped by the end in favour of the former, but Battlestar Galactica always had courage engrained throughout it.

As does Robert Zemeckis' adaptation of Carl Sagan's novel, Contact. Contact arrived in the summer of 1997, otherwise known as a blockbuster graveyard smeared with some of cinema's most notorious failures and disappointments.
See full article at Den of Geek »

Christmas Gift Guide 2011 Part 1 – Blu-rays, DVDs & Film Merchandise

It’s that time again! As November is drawing to a close and the shops are getting noticeably busier with each passing weekend, attention is now firmly turning to Christmas… which can only mean the return of our comprehensive Christmas Gift Guide. If you missed our inaugural edition last year, this is your helping hand for the best of what is out there for every film, video game, book and technology lover this festive season and is designed to point you in the right direction for your purchases but also so you can win one or two of these fabulous items for yourself.

It’s like window shopping/ideas generator for gifts but even cooler as you can win stuff too!

Just like last year, the Gift Guide is made up of Simon and myself’s personal geek interests and love of things we hope our girlfriend’s or extended families might have bought us,
See full article at Obsessed with Film »

Matthew Rhys: from Patagonia with love

Brothers and Sisters star Matthew Rhys tells Hannah Booth how a chance encounter in South America led to a part in a very Welsh film

He may be a Hollywood actor starring in a glossy TV drama, but Matthew Rhys is still an ordinary Welsh lad at heart, worrying about the Six Nations. The tournament is not, however, a big concern in Los Angeles, where he has lived for five years. "It's not that they don't get rugby," he says. "It's that they have absolutely no idea it exists."

Rhys, aged 36, has been out west working with Sally Field, Rob Lowe and Calista Flockhart on Brothers and Sisters, which airs here on More4. His portrayal of Kevin Walker, an acerbic, gay California lawyer, is one of the best things about the show – an articulate family drama that occasionally threatens to tip over into sentimental mush. Often, Kevin alone brings it back from the brink.
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Matthew Rhys: from Patagonia with love

Brothers and Sisters star Matthew Rhys tells Hannah Booth how a chance encounter in South America led to a part in a very Welsh film

He may be a Hollywood actor starring in a glossy TV drama, but Matthew Rhys is still an ordinary Welsh lad at heart, worrying about the Six Nations. The tournament is not, however, a big concern in Los Angeles, where he has lived for five years. "It's not that they don't get rugby," he says. "It's that they have absolutely no idea it exists."

Rhys, aged 36, has been out west working with Sally Field, Rob Lowe and Calista Flockhart on Brothers and Sisters, which airs here on More4. His portrayal of Kevin Walker, an acerbic, gay California lawyer, is one of the best things about the show – an articulate family drama that occasionally threatens to tip over into sentimental mush. Often, Kevin alone brings it back from the brink.
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Pete Postlethwaite: a career in clips

The actor Pete Postlethwaite died yesterday at the age of 64. We look back over his career in clips

It's difficult to know which is the more telling statement about Pete Postlethwaite, who died yesterday. That Steven Spielberg called him "the best actor in the world", after working with him on Jurassic Park sequel The Lost World. Or that Postlethwaite reacted to the praise with such dry deprecation: "I'm sure what Spielberg actually said was, 'The thing about Pete is that he thinks he's the best actor in the world.'"

A man with a face just made for immortalising on Mount Rushmore, Postlethwaite was an ensemble actor to his core; transparently decent and generous, hardly a limelight hogger. The role that first brought him to the attention of most people was Giuseppe Conlon, inmate dad to Daniel Day-Lewis's falsely imprisoned Guildford Four suspect Gerry in 1993's In the Name of the Father.
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Pete Postlethwaite: a career in clips

The actor Pete Postlethwaite died yesterday at the age of 64. We look back over his career in clips

It's difficult to know which is the more telling statement about Pete Postlethwaite, who died yesterday. That Steven Spielberg called him "the best actor in the world", after working with him on Jurassic Park sequel The Lost World. Or that Postlethwaite reacted to the praise with such dry deprecation: "I'm sure what Spielberg actually said was, 'The thing about Pete is that he thinks he's the best actor in the world.'"

A man with a face just made for immortalising on Mount Rushmore, Postlethwaite was an ensemble actor to his core; transparently decent and generous, hardly a limelight hogger. The role that first brought him to the attention of most people was Giuseppe Conlon, inmate dad to Daniel Day-Lewis's falsely imprisoned Guildford Four suspect Gerry in 1993's In the Name of the Father.
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

The Town Actor Pete Postlethwaite Passes Away at Age 64

Reports have come in that the Oscar nominated British actor, who starred in both TV and film, succumbs to a long bout with cancer. His tenure in Hollywood spanned over 30 years, with prominent roles in The Usual Suspects, Romeo + Juliet, Jurassic Park: The Lost World, Van Helsing and most recently Christopher Nolan's Inception and Ben Affleck's The Town. Postlethwaite earned an Oscar nomination for his work in the 1993 film In the Name of the Father, where he played a working class Irish father who shared a prison cell with son Gerry Survived by his wife Jacqui, son and daughter, Postlethwaite's battle with cancer came to a tragic conclusion last night in Shropshire, western England.

Encountering Spielberg: A Steven Spielberg Profile (Part 4)

Trevor Hogg profiles the career of legendary Hollywood filmmaker Steven Spielberg in the fourth of a five part feature... read parts one, two and three.

Collaborating with co-director Douglas Day Stewart (Listen to Me), filmmaker Steven Spielberg produced a ninety-minute video release called The Visionary (1990). The Western centres around a psychiatrist who skeptically recruits the services of an Indian medicine man to heal the troubled relationship between an American Native Indian and his wife.

A modern-day retelling of a classic children’s tale by British playwright J.M. Barrie was the next theatrical release for Spielberg. Hook (1991) stars Robin Williams (One Hour Photo) as the middle-aged Peter Pan who must return to Neverland in order to rescue his kidnapped son and daughter from the clutches of his pirating archenemy Captain Hook (Dustin Hoffman). “When I was eleven years old, I, along with other kids, directed a shorten version of Peter Pan in my elementary school,
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

Producer Brian Rogers discusses Us Godzilla reboot

The producer of the forthcoming Godzilla reboot hints at a new, more sympathetic approach to the franchise…

If you're like me, you'll have been less than impressed with Roland Emmerich's expensive but insensitive handling of the mighty Godzilla back in 1998.

The radiation-enhanced lizard has been wrecking havoc in Japanese cinema since Ishiro Honda's classic original, called simply Godzilla (or Gojira), appeared in 1954.

Yet, despite all the cash and once cutting edge computer trickery at Hollywood's disposal, the American take on Godzilla carried none of the personality of its eastern forebear, and felt at times like an outsized homage to the tail end of Spielberg's The Lost World, in which dinosaurs ran amok in downtown San Diego.

I just hope Legendary Pictures' reboot, currently in the works, can retain more of the monster's character, even if it simply means placing a man in a big rubber suit and having
See full article at Den of Geek »

The directors who took on someone else’s franchise

It’s a brave director who takes on a movie franchise that’s intrinsically linked to someone else. But that’s just what this collection of helmers did. So, how did they get on?

It can be one of the toughest directorial assignments in the world: how, as a director, do you take on a franchise that's been strongly the domain of another helmer? We pity, for instance, whoever takes on the Batman franchise from Christopher Nolan.

Here then are some directors who did indeed take the helm on someone's else's franchise...

Jonathan Mostow

How's this for a poisoned chalice? Under the stewardship of writer/director James Cameron, the first Terminator movie became a science fiction classic that launched the career of Arnold Schwarzenegger into the world at large. The second? That's regarded as one hell of a sequel, again showcasing Cameron's astonishing eye for action and special effects. But
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10 Poorly Received Sequels That Deserve Another Look

Once a film is successful, a studio almost immediately demands a sequel. Whether we the audience want one or not, you can be sure Hollywood will give us a follow-up if they made big dollars the first time. There are many films that don't really need sequels (thank the maker Zemeckis and Hanks said no to another Forrest Gump) and some that could use a continuation of the story. Once that second film is a hit a trilogy or continuing franchise is inevitable.Quite often sequels fall flat, initially disappointing audiences and failing to make their mark at the box-office. Many times, these films turn out to be just as good, if not better than the originals. The Empire Strikes Back is a perfect example of a film that was initially received poorly, yet despite being the lowest grossing Star Wars film is now considered to be the best. Here
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