April 24, 2014

Tag Archives: Mark Strong

“Zero Dark Thirty” by Kathryn Bigelow teaser

by Mark Johnson
HollywoodNews.com: Kathryn Bigelow (deservedly) became the first female to win the Best Director Oscar for her Best Picture winning film The Hurt Locker (2010).
Her controversial follow-up to Locker looks to be just as intense, as she and her Oscar winning scripter, Mark Boal, take us into the mission to kill Osama Bin Laden, a hunt for the al-Qaeda terrorist leader that took a decade to accomplish. Zero Dark Thirty brings us into the backstory of the Navy’s SEAL Team Six, and the gritty and terrifying pursuit of the most wanted man in the history of the United States.
The cast includes Jason Clarke, Chris Pratt, Joel Edgerton, Jessica Chastain, Kyle Chandler, Mark Strong, Edgar Ramirez, Nash Edgerton, Jennifer Ehle, Harold Perrineau Jr., Fares Fares and Mark Duplass. Join the hunt on December 19th.

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John Carter is sci-fi fantasy done wrong

By Scott Mendelson
HollywoodNews.com: I understood Brian DePalma’s Mission: Impossible the first time I saw it in theaters. I had no trouble following Chris Nolan’s brain-twister thrillers (Memento, The Prestige, Inception). It was work, but I more-or-less ‘got’ the core narrative beats of LA Confidential and Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. But by golly John Carter is a confusing muddle of a movie. There has been all kinds of hand-wringing about the film’s rather large budget and its lousy marketing campaign.

I’ve taken the film to task for representing Disney’s obsessive desire to ditch their core female audience while spending untold millions on boy-friendly franchises that don’t pay off (HERE). But putting all of that aside, Andrew Stanton’s visually ambitious and cheerfully innocent boys’ adventure film does indeed have a few moments of visual splendor and gee-whiz action. But it is saddled by a needlessly convoluted narrative that goes nowhere slowly, and that further strains patience by telling its story through cryptic exposition as well as inexplicable casting and costuming choices that renders a large chunk of the supporting cast indistinguishable from each other at key junctures.
The plot, such as it is, concerns John Carter (Taylor Kitsch), a bereaved Confederate soldier who ends up transported to Mars through sci-fi happenstance and ends up embroiled in a civil war. That’s the gist of the story, but the film spends nearly an entire act getting him to Mars and much of the film establishing and then explaining the various complications that I’m sure were in the original novel but feel like needless padding in the cinematic adaptation. It may not be fair to compare John Carter with other recent fantasy franchises, especially as the Edgar Rice Burroughs 1912 novel is seen as a major influence on the last 100 years of genre storytelling, but Stanton and his team make a key mistake in the construction of this film. In short, instead of giving us complex and/or nuanced characters in a relatively simple (but engaging) story, they give us simple and visually confusing characters in a needlessly overwrought and distracted narrative that spends most of its time merely establishing the ‘scientific proof’ of what we saw before our eyes in the opening reel. Yes, John Carter is from Earth and yes some weird otherworldly force (represented by the always villainous Mark Strong) has given one [...]

“No Strings Attached” Leads Box Office

By Scott Mendelson
hollywoodnews.com: As the lone new wide-release of the weekend, the Ivan Reitman romantic-comedy, No Strings Attached, debuted with $20.3 million. The $25 million picture was a solid win for both Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher. Portman probably deserves credit, as this was the first mainstream project to capitalize on her Black Swan press, as well as her new unfortunate role as a tabloid darling (re: surprise engagement + pregnancy = no escape). But the $20 million opening falls right in Ashton Kutcher’s median average when dealing with commercial fare such as this (What Happens in Vegas, Guess Who, etc). Out of fifteen wide-release openers, seven of them opened between $17 and $23 million. Killers, with $15 million, was just as much an anomaly on his box office filmography as Valentine’s Day (where, ensemble cast aside, he and Jennifer Garner were the leads) opening with $56 million. Journalists may unfairly tag him as a flop machine, and audiences may say they hate him, but as he’s not making a $70 million spy comedy, Kutcher is a reliable draw for reasonably-budgeted pictures such as this one
Comparably, this opening is Natalie Portman’s second biggest ever outside of the Star Wars franchise. V For Vendetta pulled in $25 million five years ago, and the next highest is the $9.6 million opening for Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium (which is actually pretty good, thanks to a terrifically warm supporting turn by Jason Bateman). This may indeed be the start of her career as a genuine box office draw (Black Swan is already her biggest-grossing non-Star Wars picture ever), but that remains to be seen. Her next theatrical release is a small IFC-distributed picture, The Other Woman. The next big test will be Your Highness (red-band trailer), opening on April 8th, and then Thor (trailer) on May 6th, which will likely open or not open regardless of Portman.
It’s also worth nothing that this is Ivan Reitman’s biggest opening weekend in 22 years, after Ghostbusters II, which actually set the record for opening weekend with $29 million in June 1989… if only for a single week. And, in equally useless stats, Cary Elwes is BACK! This is his second $20 million+ opener in just under three months (after his ‘buzz’-building supporting turn in Saw 3D)! Yes, I’m being sarcastic, but I’m always happy to see Elwes steadily working. Point being, the adult romantic comedy is not [...]

Peter Weir’s “The Way Back” acquired by Newmarket

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: Deals are starting to come together as filmmakers bring anticipated titles to major fall festivals.
With the Telluride festival about to kick off, Newmarket Films has announced that it has acquired the rights to Peter Weir’s World War II drama “The Way Back,” which will have its world premiere tonight in Colorado. According to Risky Business, the indie studio plans to release Weir’s film on Jan. 21, 2011.
Based on Slavomir Rawicz’s book “The Long Walk: The True Story of a Trek to Freedom,” Weir’s “The Way Back” stars Colin Farrell, Ed Harris, Mark Strong and Saoirse Ronan in the story of prisoners journeying hundreds of miles across several countries after escaping a Siberian gulag in 1940.
“‘The Way Back’ is one of the great real-life escape stories of our time,” said Chris Ball, co-chairman of Exclusive and president of Newmarket. “It’s a story of man’s struggle to survive at any cost and the strength to push on when all hope seems lost.”
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Frieda Pinto drinks ‘Black Thirst’

HollywoodNews.com: “Slumdog Millionaire” actress Frieda Pinto is about to woo America again as an Arabian princess.
Pinto is set to headline “Black Thirst,” a film from Jean-Jacques Annaud about the U.S.’ moves to drill oil in the Gulf region. The backdrop for the film is the 1920s and it’s based on “South of the Heart: A Novel of Modern Arabia” by Hans R. Ruesch. “South of the Heart” was first published in 1957.
Speaking with the Daily Mail, Producer Tarak Ben Ammar says, “This is the story of an Arab prince in 1929. He’s well-educated and he’s married to a beautiful princess. He’s confronted with the problem of what the discovery of oil will bring to the Bedouins.
“The Americans want the oil, but what will be the real cost?”
Film will shoot in Tunisia and is expected to topline Tahar Rahim, Antonio Banderas and Mark Strong.
Digital Spy scored the news as well.
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Photo Credit: PR Photos
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DVD Review: “Kick-Ass” hurls the controversial Hit Girl to home video

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: HollywoodNews.com stays on top of the latest DVD and Blu-ray releases so you know which films are worth your time and money. This week, we review:
“Kick-Ass”
Matthew Vaughn’s “Kick-Ass” could be viewed as the anti-“Batman Begins,” and in a strange way, that’s a good thing.
While both detail a superhero’s rise to power, the protagonist at the heart of Christopher Nolan’s origin story has valuable resources, authentic skills, a legitimate beef with society, and the power to make a difference.
That’s not necessarily the case with Dave Lizewski (Aaron Johnson), a mild-mannered teenager who becomes the costumed crime-fighter Kick-Ass after being mugged one afternoon, but quickly realizes he’s in way over his head. Kick-Ass can’t hang with bona-fide heroes Big Daddy (Nicolas Cage) and Hit Girl (Chloe Moretz). And after interfering with the criminal activities of Frank D’Amico (Mark Strong), Kick-Ass angers a volatile foe … and gives birth to a potential nemesis in Red Mist (Christopher Mintz-Plasse).
Those who protested the excessive violence of Vaughn’s serial thriller likely haven’t picked up a comic in decades. Clearly, though, Vaughn and co-screenwriter Jane Goldman adore the medium and worship Mark Millar’s source book, treating Kick-Ass’s ascension with reverence and spending just enough time on Mintz-Plasse’s character to make his eventual conversion appropriately chilling. And yes, Moretz and Cage steal the show as the deranged father-daughter crime-fighting duo, though how their actions could be considered shocking years after Batman tutored Robin in the art of violence is a mystery.
While “Kick-Ass” and “Batman Begins” have their differences, they each deserve credit for approaching the comic book genre from viciously new perspectives, successfully breathing new life into an ever-shifting storytelling method.
Specifications for the DVD and Blu-ray are as follows:
BLU-RAY DISC SPECIAL FEATURES
DISC ONE
• Ass-Kicking Bonus View Mode (Blu-ray Disc Exclusive) – Synchronous with the feature film, this innovative multi-media presentation incorporates video and audio commentary, behind-the-scenes clips and illustrative graphics with Co-Writer/Producer/Director Matthew Vaughn, plus cast and crew providing an all-access perspective on Kick-Ass
• “A New Kind of Superhero: The Making of Kick-Ass “ documentary (Blu-ray Disc Exclusive)
• “It’s On! The Comic Book Origin of Kick-Ass” featurette
• Audio Commentary with Writer-Director Matthew Vaughn
• “The Art of Kick-Ass” gallery
• Marketing Archive
• BD Touch and Metamenu Remote
• Lionsgate Live™ enabled, featuring extra content for Internet-connected players
• Enhanced for D-Box™ Motion Control Systems
*Subject to change
DISC TWO
• Standard Definition DVD Copy of the feature film
DISC [...]

Daniel Radcliffe Confirms “Woman In Black” Casting

By Hanako M. Ricks
HollywoodNews.com: Daniel Radcliffe, star of the Harry Potter films, has confirmed in a press release that he will indeed star in the latest adaptation of Susan Hill’s novel “The Woman In Black”. The novel, which has been successfully adapted on both the small screen and the stage, will receive the 3D treatment in this latest version, which tells the story of a young solicitor who encounters a mysterious woman in black. The full press release is below:
London, England (19.07.10) – Daniel Radcliffe will take the lead in The Woman in Black, Hammer Films and Alliance Films hotly anticipated adaptation of Susan Hill’s best-selling novel, it was announced today by Simon Oakes, and Nigel Sinclair of Exclusive and Hammer.
To be directed by James Watkins (Eden Lake) and written by Jane Goldman (Kick Ass, The Debt) The Woman in Black follows a young lawyer, Arthur Kipps (Radcliffe), who is ordered to travel to a remote corner of the UK and sort out a recently deceased client’s papers. As he works alone in an old and isolated house, Kipps begins to uncover its tragic secrets, and his unease grows when he discovers that the local village is held hostage by the ghost of a scorned woman set on vengeance. Production is expected to begin in the Fall of 2010.
Exclusive and Alliance Films will co-finance the film. Alliance Films will also distribute the film in the United Kingdom (Momentum), Spain (Aurum) and Canada (Alliance Films). Exclusive Films International, headed by Chairman Guy East and President of International Sales and Distribution Alex Walton, is handling worldwide sales.
Daniel Radcliffe is of course, best known for his portrayal of the bespectacled wizard Harry Potter, in the hugely successful series of feature films based on J. K. Rowling’s publishing phenomenon. He has starred in all eight films and collaborated with respected directors Chris Columbus, Alfonso Cuaron, Mike Newell and David Yates. He also starred in Brian Kirk’s My Boy Jack (written by and also co-starring David Haig), playing the role of Rudyard Kipling’s tragic 17 year old son who went off to fight in the First World War. Most recently Radcliffe has proved him self an accomplished stage actor, receiving tremendous reviews and acclaim for his portrayal of Alan Strang in Peter Shaffer’s Equus in the West End and on Broadway. Radcliffe will return to Broadway next Spring to star in the musical [...]

Ryan Reynolds shows off his Green Lantern costume on EW cover

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: In Hollywood, green is the new black.
Seth Rogen has started promoting his upcoming turn in the action-comedy, “The Green Hornet.” And this morning, we are getting our first look at Ryan Reynolds in his Green Lantern costume.
The “Proposal” star graces the cover of a special Entertainment Weekly that promises to go deep behind the scenes into the making of the film as it prepares to pull back the curtain in time for Comic-Con.
Martin Campbell (“Casino Royale,” “Edge of Darkness”) is directing the adaptation of the D.C. Comics series, which casts Reynolds as a test pilot who is granted superpowers once he receives a mystical green ring. Blake Lively is joining Reynolds as love interest Carol Ferris. Peter Sarsgaard, Mark Strong, Tim Robbins and Angela Bassett round out the cast.
We’ll likely see more “Green Lantern” footage as Comic-Con rolls along. “The Green Lantern” will be in theaters June 17, 2011.
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Helen Mirren’s ‘Prime Suspect: The Complete Collection’ to be released

HollywoodNews.com: Helen Mirren’s iconic, Emmy-winning role in “Prime Suspect: The Complete Collection” helped the show win more than 20 major international awards, including seven Emmys® and a Peabody. Now fans will be able to relive the classic moments on their home television when it debuts on DVD from Acorn Media on September 7, 2010.
Dame Helen Mirren (The Queen) stars as Detective Jane Tennison, “one of the great character creations of our time” (The Washington Post), in this revolutionary police drama broadcast on PBS to universal acclaim and more than 20 major international awards, including seven Emmys® (“Outstanding Miniseries” and “Outstanding Actress”), eight BAFTAs, and a Peabody. The 9-disc set includes nine feature-length mysteries as well as a 50-minute behind-the-scenes special ($124.99, www.AcornOnline.com).
Tenacious, driven, and deeply flawed, Tennison rises through the ranks of Britain’s Metropolitan Police, solving horrific crimes while battling office sexism and her own demons. “Rare is the drama that works so well on two levels: as a crackling whodunit and as a finely tuned character study of a strong but insecure woman trying to prove herself in a man’s world” (Time).
Seen on Masterpiece Theatre and Mystery! from the 1990s to the present and created by crime writer Lynda La Plante (Trial & Retribution, The Commander), Prime Suspect features some of Britain’s biggest stars, including Ralph Fiennes (The English Patient), Tom Wilkinson (Michael Clayton), David Thewlis (Harry Potter), Ciarán Hinds (Jane Eyre), Zoë Wanamaker (Poirot), Mark Strong (Sherlock Holmes), and Jonny Lee Miller (Trainspotting). The ITV series aired for seven series (1991-93, 1995-96, 2003, and 2006).
Prime Suspect begins with DCI Tennison seizing the opportunity to head a murder investigation—something she should have done long ago, had she not been passed over by her male superiors time and again. With a suspect already identified and her own team openly hostile, she uncovers errors and conflicting facts that point to a cover-up within the force. The following series include: a murder inquiry in the African Caribbean community; a 17-year-old rent boy murder; an abducted toddler; the manager of an exclusive country club murdered; a shooting case of a young drug dealer; new murders casting doubt on a case she solved previously; and the torture and murder of a young Bosnian refugee. In the final series, Detective Superintendent Tennison is pushing 60 and facing the death of her father. Alcohol, loneliness, and the job have taken their toll, but she is [...]

MacGruber leads SXSW 2010 Features Lineup

BY STAFF
The South by Southwest (SXSW) Film Conference and Festival is thrilled to announce the complete features lineup for this year’s Festival, March 12 – 20, 2010 in Austin, Texas. Over the course of nine days, 119 features will screen at the festival, with 55 of those having their world premieres at SXSW 2010. These films were selected from a record 1,572 feature-length film submissions composed of 1,206 U.S. and 366 international feature-length films.
Among the major films added to the lineup are: Rogue’s MacGruber, from director Jorma Taccone; Mark Duplass’ Cyrus, Bernard Rose’s Mr. Nice, Tim Blake Nelson’s Leaves of Grass, Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s Micmacs, Michel Gondry’s The Thorn in the Heart, Alexandre O. Philippe’s The People vs. George Lucas, Shane Meadows’ Le Donk & Scor-zay-zee, Steven Soderbergh’s And Everything Is Going Fine, Matt Harlock and Paul Thomas’ American: The Bill Hicks Story, Mike Woolf’s Man on A Mission, Jacob Hatley’s Ain’t In It For My Health: A Film About Levon Helm, Mark Landsman’s Thunder Soul, Daniel Stamm’s Cotton, Chris D’Arienzo’s BARRY MUNDAY, and Floria Sigismondi’s The Runaways. They join previously announced films such as Opening Night film Kick-Ass, as well as narrative features Cold Weather and Elektra Luxx, and documentaries Hubble 3D, Lemmy, SATURDAY NIGHT and The White Stripes: Under Great White Northern Lights.
“It was an incredibly competitive year with record submission numbers, and although we had to make really tough decisions, we are extremely excited about this lineup. I’m in awe of the talent on display throughout all the sections,” says Film Conference and Festival Producer Janet Pierson, “We feel we’ve achieved a great balance that continues our tradition of screening films across all budget lines and styles, and we take particular pride in witnessing the evolution of SXSW alumni as well as the vitality of fresh voices.”
The festival’s main competition categories once again find 8 Narrative Features and 8 Documentary Features, vying for their respective Grand Jury Prizes. The Narrative Feature Competition includes: Brotherhood, directed by Will Canon, Dance With The One, directed by Mike Dolan, Earthling, directed by Clay Liford, Helena from the Wedding, directed by Joseph Ifantolino, The Myth of the American Sleepover, directed by David Robert Mitchell, Phillip The Fossil, directed by Garth Donovan, Some Days are Better than Others, directed by Matt McCormick and Tiny Furniture, directed by Lena Dunham. The Documentary Feature Competition includes: Beijing Taxi, directed by Miao [...]