Tag Archives: II

‘A Cure For Wellness’ Now Playing In Theaters Nationwide

Director Gore Verbinski (Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Rango) has teamed up once again with cinematographer Bojan Bazelli (Rock of Ages, Pete’s Dragon) for a new thriller titled A Cure for Wellness. The story follows a young business executive who is sent to retrieve his company’s CEO from a mysterious wellness center isolated in the Swiss Alps and comes to suspect that the center, although renowned for its miraculous (if not unconventional) treatments, is not all it’s made out to be. Leading the cast are actors Dane DeHaan (Lawless, Kill Your Darlings), Jason Issacs (The Patriot, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix), Mia Goth (Nymphomaniac: Volume II, Everest), Ivo Nandi (Sons of Anarchy, Boardwalk Empire), Adrian Schiller (Bright Star, The Danish Girl), Celia Imrie (Nanny McPhee, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel), and Harry Groener (Patch Adams, Road to Perdition). Continue reading

‘A United Kingdom’ With David Oyelowo Seeing Limited Release This Weekend

Director Amma Asante’s latest project, A United Kingdom, is seeing a limited theatrical release this weekend after premiering at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival. Starring David Oyelowo (A Most Violent Year, Selma) and Rosamund Pike (Die Another Day, Gone Girl), the film tells the story of Prince Seretse Khama of Botswana, who caused an international controversy when he married a white Englishwoman in the late 1940s. Their marriage was met with criticism and persecution in both South Africa, which borders Botswana, and Seretse’s family and local Bamangwato chieftaincy elders. At the time, interracial marriage was illegal in South Africa. To complicate things further, Botswana (then Bechuanaland) was a British protectorate, and England was still recovering from World War II, and so relied heavily on supplies imported from South Africa. As a result, the British government declared Seretse unfit to serve as chieftain and exiled him and his wife, Ruth Williams, from Botswana in 1951. Continue reading

New Trailers Available For US Releases of WWII Dramas ‘Alone in Berlin’ and ’13 Minutes’

Alone in Berlin and 13 Minutes, both dramas centered upon characters living in WWII Germany, have new trailers available for their upcoming US releases. Alone in Berlin, which tells the story of real-life Nazi-protestors Otto and Elise Hampel, received mixed reviews at last year’s Berlin Film Festival. Although the story of Hampel, named Quangel in the film, is both amazing and inspiring, critics have come down hard on director Vincent Perez having the actors speak in English, but use German accents and because of overwhelmingly amateur and obviously staged set and camera work. The ending is also reportedly horrible and undeserving of such a powerful story. Had the project been in the hands of a more experienced, or dedicated filmmaker, it might have really done well, especially considering the material. Continue reading

New J.R.R. Tolkien Biopic Lands ‘Downton Abbey’ Director James Strong

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The Lord of the Rings has already spawned two epic film trilogies, the first in the form of Tolkien’s classic novels, and the second an extended adaptation of his first journey in Middle Earth, The Hobbit. That’s without mentioning all of the affiliated material that takes place within his mystical world, from the original novels to the chronology of The Silmarillion, to Tolkien’s own languages that he created for the many inhabitants of Middle Earth. As well known as The Lord of the Rings is to pretty much everyone these days, very few people can tell you anything about its author, John Ronald Reuel Tolkien (J.R.R. Tolkien). That story, however, will soon come to light in the form of a new biopic surrounding Tolkien’s life, appropriately titled Middle Earth. Continue reading

Memorable Movie Moments…

This week’s Memorable Movie Moment takes us back to director John Sturges‘ 1963 war-era classic, The Great Escape. Set in a POW camp in Nazi Germany, the film follows the true story of a group of Allied prisoners who sought to accomplish the biggest jail break ever conceived, scattering more than 200 Allied troops across the country in an effort to divert Nazi war efforts on finding and re-capturing the escaped soldiers. The Great Escape is famous for a number of reasons. It featured an all-star cast including Steve McQueen (The Cincinnati Kid, The Sand Pebbles), James Garner (The Rockford Files, The Notebook), Richard Attenborough (Jurassic Park, Elizabeth), Charles Bronson (Once Upon A Time In The West, Death Wish), Donald Pleasance (Halloween, Escape From New York), and James Coburn (The Muppet Movie, In Like Flint), several of which were actual POWs with the Allied Forces during World War II. It also set and broke a number of on-screen records, ranging from the scale of the production (an entire replica of a real-life German POW camp was built in which to shoot the film) to the impressive array of stunts. Continue reading

This Week In Movie History…

August 15th is a very significant date in the history of film…for two reasons. We’ll cover them here in order by date, but both are, no doubt, some of the most memorable advances in movies and storytelling.

On August 15, 1934, director Christy Cabanne (The Mummy’s Hand, Scared to Death) released the first audio-visual film adaptation of Charlotte Bronte‘s famous novel Jane Eyre. Excluding the popularity of the novel, the film was part of a series of classic-literary adaptations produced by Monogram Pictures between 1933-1934. Four classic 19th-century novels were all made into big-screen adaptations that featured sound, a new technology for the era. The novels were Oliver Twist, Black Beauty, Jane Eyre, and The Moonstone. Cabanne was well-known at the time as a silent film director, but was also beginning to indulge in sound-projects. For the movie, which only runs a total of 62 minutes, the studio recruited actors Colin Clive, best known for the role of Dr. Frankenstein in the original 1931 James Whales’ classic, and newcomer Virginia Bruce (Born to Dance, The Invisible Woman) to star as Jane Eyre. Oscar-nominated screenwriter Adele Comandini (Beyond Tomorrow, Three Smart Girls) to adapt Bronte’s novel for the film (which admittedly must have been a challenge considering Jane Eyre runs for a total of 38 chapters with 400+ pages in most publications).

Also on August 15th, but in 1979, Oscar-winning director Francis Ford Coppola (The Godfather, The Conversation) released his world-renowned masterpiece, Apocalypse Now. The film is famous not only for its cinematic brilliance, but also for its whirlwind of a production Continue reading

This Week In Movie History…

On July 18th, 1986, writer/director James Cameron (Terminator 2: Judgement Day, Avatar) brought director Ridley Scott‘s original characters back to the big screen in the first sequel to Alien, appropriately titled Aliens. Lead actress Sigourney Weaver (Ghostbusters, Working Girl) returned to reprise the role of Ellen Ripley, who after the original was discovered in cryogenic sleep in her escape craft and returned to Earth. After communication is lost with colonists investigating Ripley’s claim of aliens on the moon, she and a rescue crew are sent on a mission to investigate the moon and discover if there are any survivors, or if Ripley’s outrageous claims are true. Aliens would go on to win two Oscars, doing even better than its predecessor. The film won for Best Sound Effects and another for Best Visual Effects; it also received another four nominations for Best Actress (Weaver), Best Set Decoration, Best Sound, Best Film Editing, and Best Music. Appearing alongside Weaver are actors Carrie Penn, Michael Biehn (The Terminator, The Abyss), Paul Reiser (Beverley Hills Cop, Whiplash), Lance Henriksen (Damien: Omen II, Savage Dawn), and Bill Paxton (Twister, Apollo 13). Continue reading

Today In Movie History…

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Today in movie history, revered editor and sound engineer Walter Murch was born in New York City in 1943. Murch first gained momentum in the film industry working with Oscar-winner Francis Ford Coppola on his film The Rain People (1969) before going on to work with George Lucas on THX1138 (1971) and American Graffiti (1973). He then furthered his professional relationship with Coppola working on films like The Godfather Part II (1974) and The Conversation (1974), the latter which earned him his first Academy Award nomination. His first major contribution to film came on Coppola’s iconic Vietnam drama, Apocalypse Now (1979), for which he won his first Oscar. Murch used a multi-track recording system to create new sounds that invoked both physical tension and psychological drama against the back-drop of Coppola’s war epic. Murch went on to serve as both sound and picture editor for numerous films, winning double Oscars for The English Patient in 1996 for Best Editor and Best Sound Editor. His work with Coppola continued throughout his career, working on films like The Godfather Part III (1990) and Tetro (2009); he also received a double Oscar-nomination in 1990 for The Godfather Part III and Ghost with Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore, and Whoopi Goldberg. Continue reading

Memorable Movie Monologues…

Taking a moment to appreciate the artistry behind acting, I’d like to highlight some of the most memorable, if not noteworthy monologues ever seen on the big screen. Traditionally, a monologue is a long speech delivered by an actor of the stage or screen, during which either a climactic realization is reached or a larger audience is being addressed. I’ll begin with what I consider to be one of the greatest (if not the greatest) films ever made, Francis Ford Coppola‘s The Godfather Part II. The Godfather Part II is known as the most successful movie sequel of all time, earning a total of 11 Academy Award nominations and winning 6. Among the nominees was method-actor Lee Strasberg, who co-founded the Group Theatre in 1931 and became director of the Actors Studio in 1950. Strasberg influenced a new generation of stage actors, including up-and-coming Broadway actor Al Pacino. When Pacino broke into film with The Godfather and was brought back for Part II, he asked Coppola to cast his mentor Strasberg in the supporting cast. Strasberg took the role of mob-boss Hyman Roth, and earned one of the film’s Oscar nominations for Best Supporting Actor. Continue reading

Today in Movie History….

Today in 1989, the eccentric and far-out vacation-gone-wrong comedy Weekend at Bernie‘s opened in theaters around the world. While critics didn’t have too many great things to say about it, movie-goers openly embraced the outlandish comedy, making it one of pop-culture’s most frequently referenced movies to-date. The script was penned by Emmy-winning screenwriter Robert Klane, who also worked as a writer on National Lampoon’s Vacation (1985) and Weekend at Bernie’s II (1993). Ted Kotcheff (Fun with Dick and Jane, Rambo: First Blood) directed the movie, which starred Andrew McCarthy (St. Elmo’s Fire, Pretty in Pink) and Jonathan Silverman (Conception, The Hungover Games) as a pair of insurance agents who are invited by their boss to spend the weekend with him at his house in the Hamptons; when they arrive to find him dead Continue reading