Showing posts with label Movies. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Movies. Show all posts

December 27, 2016

Carrie Fisher, Dead at 60


"Star Wars" has lost its most beloved princess. 
Carrie Fisher, best known for her portrayal of the plucky Princess Leia in George Lucas' epic intergalactic movie series, died Tuesday, days after suffering a heart attack on a plane. She was 60 years old. 
"It is with a very deep sadness that Billie Lourd confirms that her beloved mother Carrie Fisher passed away at 855 this morning," Simon Halls, a representative for Fisher's daughter, said in a statement to NBC News. "She was loved by the world and she will be missed profoundly."

October 31, 2016

Black Life in it’s Joy and Sadness in ‘Moonlight’

The film Moonlight is extraordinary for many reasons, but to me it is most so for two. First, it considers black boys to be precious, at a time when news stories perpetually make it seem as if the United States considers them to be utterly expendable. Second, it acknowledges the effects that the stalking ghosts of premature death and incarceration have upon gay black masculinity – and it manages to do so without ever diminishing the lives full of complex humanity that black gay men still manage to have in America while navigating that reality.
So often, gay lives in America are coded as white, and the forces that shape the lives of queer people of color – say, how immigration affects being Chicano and gay in Calfornia, or how police surveillance affects being black and gay in the New York – are ignored, as gay identity is usually swept up into whiteness. Moonlighteschews this reductivism entirely, brilliantly portraying in a lyrical story how love and connection attempt to take hold. 
The fact that there are about a million and a half black men disappeared from American society by early death and incarceration is not a side issue to black gay men. It’s certainly no side issue to Chiron, Moonlight’s hero, who successfully seeks out a father figure, Juan (Mahershala Ali), only to lose him to an early death. And yet, Moonlight also shows how creative and brilliant black humanity is at being so much more than its pain. Director Barry Jenkins doesn’t dwell on Juan’s death as much as he does on the beauty of his embrace of Chiron in his arms in the sea, on his smile, on his joyful proclamation that you can find black people wherever you go in the world.

September 15, 2016

Zachary Quinto and “Snowden"

Zachary Quinto, far right, plays Glenn Greenwald, one of three people (including Melissa Leo's Laura Poitras and Tom Wilkinson's Ewen MacAskill) who helps Joseph Gordon-Levitt's whistle-blower leak damning documents in Oliver Stone's "Snowden."

It’s never a walk in the park making a movie for Oliver Stone. For Zachary Quinto, it was more rough than usual. The filmmaker’s latest film is “Snowden,” which tells the story of CIA and NSA employee-turned-whistleblower Edward Snowden (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), who learns that the government can and has been snooping in on anyone with a computer of gadget. Quinto plays Glenn Greenwald, the journalist, then working for The Guardian, who met Snowden in Tokyo as he was about to leak the intel that proved malfeasance. The “Heroes” and “Star Trek” actor, now 39, talks to us about how the film made him much more aware of how technology makes us vulnerable.

You’re not only making a movie about the infringement on privacy, but one by Oliver Stone. Did that make you even more worried about what Snowden revealed?
Like most people, I was pretty cavalier about my relationship to online security. I didn’t think about it that much. When this story initially broke, my reaction was, ‘Wow, that’s intense — and it probably has nothing to do with me.’ The more I learned about the documents that were released and how far-reaching and wide-spread this dragnet operation went — and how many tens of millions were exposed and vulnerable as a result — it made me recognize we’re all in this and against it together. 

“It has nothing to do with me” is a pretty common line. Most of us probably think that.
It’s a complacent attitude to adopt, because you never know when the definitions are going to shift or change. You never know when someone might find themselves in opposition to either the government or on the wrong side of the lines. It makes them more of a target. By that time the attitude of “I have nothing to hide” has allowed groups to collect all kinds of information and all kinds of data, and use it against you when it serves them to do so.

It’s hard to imagine there being a revolution in which people give up their smartphones.
That’s what it would require, whether it was voluntary or brought about by catastrophic undercurrents. If you look at the power that technology has in the cyber world, everything is filtered through online networks. All of our infrastructure is controlled by this technology. If there’s some kind of cyber-attack on any of these systems, the ramifications are very real and very dire.

Reading Glenn [Greenwald]’s book “No Place to Hide” was really tough. It delves into a lot of information on these programs — how they evolved, how they found themselves re-appropriated to serve the interests in the NSA and the CIA, and how they infiltrated different aspects of our lives. It was hard to wrap my head around how when you log onto wireless Internet networks, they can be rerouted and observed. Certain hardware can be intercepted by the CIA and tampered with to put in catch-alls, so that any information that goes through it is rerouted to collection stations and archived. It’s this endless labyrinth.

Have you changed your tech habits since?
Only to the extent that I have tape over the camera on my laptop [as Snowden did], I changed all my passwords, I did a two-step verification on all my devices. I did the things we can do. But the reality is at the level we’re talking about, we’re still vulnerable. We can strengthen ourselves against lower-level interference. But it’s when you get to the top of the pyramid, you think, ‘How safe can we ever be at this point?’ That’s the question this film asks audiences to consider and discuss.

Follow Matt Prigge on Twitter @mattprigge 

August 30, 2016

Gene Wilder (Willy Wonka) Dead at 83

The comic actor was at his best in 'The Producers,' 'Blazing Saddles' and 'Young Frankenstein' and teamed with Richard Pryor in four films.
Gene Wilder, the leading man with the comic flair and frizzy hair known for teaming with Mel Brooks on the laugh-out-loud masterpieces The Producers, Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein, has died, his family announced. He was 83.

The two-time Oscar nominee also starred as a quirky candy man in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971) and in four films alongside stand-up legend Richard Pryor.

Wilder's nephew, Jordan Walker-Pearlman, said that the actor died Sunday night at home in Stamford, Conn., after a three-year battle with Alzheimer's disease.

"The decision to wait until this time to disclose his condition wasn’t vanity," Walker-Pearlman said, "but more so that the countless young children who would smile or call out to him, 'There’s Willy Wonka,' would not have to be then exposed to an adult referencing illness or trouble and causing delight to travel to worry, disappointment or confusion. He simply couldn’t bear the idea of one less smile in the world."

His nephew noted that when Wilder passed, a recording of Ella Fitzgerald singing "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" was playing. She was one of his favorite artists.

Wilder will forever be remembered for his ill-fated Hollywood romance with Gilda Radner. Less than two years after they were married, the popular Saturday Night Live star was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and died on May 20, 1989, at age 42.

READ MORE Gene Wilder Remembered: 5 of His Biggest Movie Roles
In 1963, the Milwaukee native appeared on Broadway opposite Anne Bancroft in Jerome Robbins’ Mother Courage and Her Children. The actress introduced Wilder to Brooks, her future husband, and the couple invited him to Fire Island, where he got a look at the first 30 pages of a screenplay titled Springtime for Hitler.

“Three years went by, never heard from [Brooks],” Wilder told Larry King in a 2002 interview. “I didn’t get a telegram. I didn’t get a telephone call. And I’m doing a play called Love on Broadway, matinee, taking off my makeup.

“Knock-knock on the door, I open the door. There’s Mel. He said, ‘You don’t think I forgot, do you? We’re going to do Springtime for Hitler. But I can’t just cast you. You’ve got to meet [star] Zero [Mostel] first, tomorrow at 10 o’clock.’

“[The next day] the door opens. There’s Mel. He says come on in. ‘Z, this is Gene. Gene, this is Z. And I put out my hand tentatively. And Zero grabbed my hand, pulls me to him and kisses me on the lips. All my nervousness went away. And then we did the reading and I got the part. And everything was fine.”

Springtime for Hitler, of course, would become The Producers (1968), written and directed by Brooks. For his portrayal of stressed-out accountant Leopold Bloom in his first major movie role, Wilder earned an Oscar nomination for best supporting actor.

Brooks cast Gig Young for the part of the washed-up gunfighter The Waco Kid in Blazing Saddles (1974), but the actor, who was an alcoholic, got sick playing his first scene and had to be taken away by ambulance.

“I called Gene and said, 'What do I do?'” Brooks recalled in a 2014 interview with Parade magazine. “Gene said, 'Just get a horse for me to try out and a costume that fits and I’ll do it.' And he flew out and he did it. Saved my life.”

While working on Blazing Saddles, Wilder fiddled with an outline he had written for Young Frankenstein and asked Brooks to do it with him. Wilder played Dr. Frederick Frankenstein, who creates a monster just like his grandfather did, and he and Brooks shared a screenplay Oscar nom for the 1974 classic, released in theaters just 10 months after Blazing Saddles.

(It was Wilder’s idea to have Frankenstein and his monster, played by Peter Boyle, do the song-and-dance number, “Puttin’ on the Ritz.”)

Said Brooks in a statement: "Gene Wilder, one of the truly great talents of our time, is gone. He blessed every film we did together with his special magic. And he blessed my life with his friendship. He will be so missed."

For the 1971 musical fantasy based on Roald Dahl’s 1964 book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Fred Astaire and Joel Grey were recommended for the role of Willy Wonka. But director Mel Stuart wanted Wilder.

“He had been in The Producers, but he wasn’t a superstar,” Stuart told the Washington Post in 2005. “I looked at him and I knew in my heart there could only be one person who could play Willy Wonka. He walked to the elevator after he read and I ran after him and I said, ‘As far as I’m concerned, you’ve got it.’”

Wilder and Pryor — who was a writer on Blazing Saddles — first teamed up on the train comedy Silver Streak (1976), followed by Stir Crazy (1980), See No Evil, Hear No Evil (1989) and Another You (1991), with Wilder writing and directing the latter pair.
Wilder was born in Milwaukee as Jerry Silberman on June 11, 1933. His father was a Russian immigrant who imported and sold miniature beer and whiskey bottles. His mother had a heart attack when he was 6, leaving her an invalid.

The young boy got his start in comedy by trying to perk up his bedridden mother’s spirits (she died when he was 23).

In high school, Wilder played Willy Loman in his own adaptation of Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman, graduated from the University of Iowa with a B.A. in theater and studied at the Old Vic School in Bristol, England.

While overseas, he became the first American to win the all-school fencing championship, a skill he put to use when he starred as a swashbuckler in Start the Revolution Without Me (1970), directed by Bud Yorkin.

Returning to the U.S., Wilder was drafted into the U.S. Army. While stationed outside of Philadelphia at Valley Forge Medial Hospital — he worked as an aide in a psychiatric ward and helped administer electroshock therapy to patients — he commuted to New York twice a week to study acting with Herbert Berghof.

Following his discharge, he changed his name — Wilder is from Thornton Wilder, Gene is from the main character in the Thomas Wolfe novel Look Homeward, Angel — and studied with Lee Strasberg at the Actors Studio.

In 1961, Wilder landed a part in the off-Broadway play Roots, then played a comic valet on Broadway in Graham Greene’s The Complaisant Lover, for which he earned a Clarence Derwent Award.

He also thrived on the stage in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest as the repressed Billy Bibbit (played by Brad Dourif in the 1975 film adaptation) and as John Quincy Adams, Rutherford B. Hayes and other characters opposite Helen Hayes in The White House.

Wilder made his motion picture debut in Arthur Penn’s Bonnie and Clyde (1967), playing undertaker Eugene Grizzard from Milwaukee who, along with his nervous new bride Velma (Evans Evans, then the wife of director John Frankenheimer), is kidnapped by the outlaws.

Wilder accessed his zanier side as an Irish manure peddler in Quackser Fortune Has a Cousin in the Bronx (1970) and as a doctor with a yen for sheep in Woody Allen’s Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex (1972).
Flush with the success of Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein, Wilder made his directorial debut in The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes’ Smarter Brother (1975), which he also wrote and starred in. He went on to write, direct and star in The World’s Greatest Lover (1977), for which he also composed a song performed by Harry Nilsson, and played a bumbling Polish rabbi in the Old West in The Frisco Kid (1979).

On television, Wilder starred as an older father of 4-year-old twins in his short-lived 1994-95 NBC sitcom Something Wilder; portrayed Cash Carter, a community-theater director who solves murders, in a pair of 1999 telefilms for A&E; and won a guest-actor Emmy in 2003 for playing Eric McCormack’s boss on NBC’s Will & Grace.

Twice divorced, Wilder met Radner while they were starring in the comedy Hanky Panky (1982), directed by Sidney Poitier. She was married to Saturday Night Live bandleader G.E. Smith at the time.

Radner divorced Smith, and she and Wilder were wed on Sept. 14, 1984, in the south of France. They appeared together in The Woman in Red (1984) and Haunted Honeymoon (1986) before she was found to have stage 4 ovarian cancer in October 1986.

In 1999, Wilder was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma and treated with radiation and stem cell transplants.

Wilder titled his 2005 memoir, Kiss Me Like a Stranger, something Radner had once said to him. “I had no idea why she said it,” he once offered.

In September 1991, Wilder married his fourth wife, Karen Webb. She was from the New York League for the Hard of Hearing and had coached him in the art of lip reading in preparation for his role as a deaf man in See No Evil, Hear No Evil. She survives him.

Wilder’s sister Corinne died in January.

August 27, 2016

Anti Gay Gays Made Hollywood and Their Movies Outs Them as Such

When I came out of the closet and declared to my family that I was a homosexual at 19, I had just moved to San Francisco. Not yet ravaged by the Plague, the city was an infamous gay Mecca, still drunk on the relatively recent advent of gay liberation. As an introduction to the city I took one of the “self-help” workshops popular at the time, a seminar particularly attuned to gay men, where a final exercise involved writing your parents to let them know you’re gay. Because all my interest in theater and disco wasn’t enough. Coming out was framed as an act of the Gay Revolution, a passport to freedom from guilt and stigma.

It sounds good on paper. But like so many things, the reality was bracing. My mother’s response was an award-worthy display of feigned shock. “I had no idea,” she wrote back to me unconvincingly before imploring me not to say anything to my stepfather. And while her apparent ignorance seemed preposterous, her idea of gay men was based on effeminate celebrities she’d seen in movies and on TV, like Charles Nelson Reilly, Paul Lynde and Alan Sues. None of these supporting actors ever actually declared they were gay, they just portrayed quick-witted men who wore jaunty scarves, not handsome enough to seem sexual or masculine enough to be seem threatening.

However while there are now several popular actors who’ve come out as gay, the most notable probably being Neal Patrick Harris, none of them are seen as matinee idols. A number of leading men still manage a double life, juggling their public image with their hidden orientation. I recently watched the documentary Tab Hunter Confidential in which 1950s screen idol Tab Hunter provides a glimpse into the machinations involved with being a closeted movie star in that era. He gave an interview this week revealing more. Coming out as we know it today was not an option. However, Hunter says how he worked around the complications and even managed to have relationships, including with actor Anthony Perkins who was pursuing his own star trajectory.

And while Confidential shows us an idealized and noble version of how Hunter handled the pressures of being gay, much of what he says is sincere and thoughtful. In particular he’s adamant about how the decision to reveal his sexual orientation was ultimately his alone. It’s a truth increasingly overlooked when people talk about coming out as the worldly stigma is minimized and people become flippant. The consequences may be less drastic but it’s still a personal call.

Recently the young gay actor Noah Galvin, lead in the sit-com The Real O’Neals, was publicly chastised for remarks he made in an interview about fellow actor Colton Haynes. Haynes had just come out as gay himself in a rather subdued way, an act Galvin described as “fucking pussy bullshit” (he has since apologised). His sneering at the milquetoast manner of Haynes’ admission is in stark contrast to the long avoidance by the film industry of the idea there are gay men at all, particularly male actors who hope to be leading men. 

It could seem puzzling that a business that depends so heavily on the talents and gifts of gay people would be obsessed with obscuring the true sexual orientation of it’s leading players and public faces. Usually this boils down to some variation of “the audience won’t believe so-and-so is playing a straight man if they really know he’s gay”. Its an amusing ploy on the film industry’s part, feigning concern over our belief in a hero’s sexual desires while he or she is surrounded by flying dragons and belligerent aliens.

Who, exactly, is this mystery audience confounded by movie leads acting straight? Gay men would believe it. Hell, we’re experts on that grift. I can’t imagine women really care. The ultimate concern of course is that precious young male heterosexual demographic, the one whose buying powers are legend. Just knowing your screen hero is gay could call into question what it means to be masculine, what it means to be yourself, what it really is to be a man who is honest about who he loves. Perish the thought. What would ever happen then?

February 22, 2016

A Gay Kiss In Star Wars but No Disturbance in the Force

Pic by Pinterest

Strange but brilliant things have been happening in Hollywood recently. Last weekend saw an R-rated Deadpool movie featuring a version of the pansexual “Merc with a Mouth” barnstorm the box office, keeping mainstream audiences, hardcore comic book acolytes and plain old Ryan Reynolds fans happy. The biggest movie of 2015 at the global box office featured a black male and white female as its all-action, galaxy-straddling leads. And the new Mad Max film saw the title character playing second fiddle to a disabled female desert warrior with a hatred for post-apocalyptic systemic misogyny.
And yet none of the above would be half so revolutionary as Star Wars delivering the long-running space saga’s first ever interracial gay couple. 
This rumour has been in the ether ever since fans noticed the bromantic chemistry between Oscar Isaac’s Poe Dameron and John Boyega’s Finn in JJ Abrams’ The Force Awakens. Rian Johnson, the director of new instalment Star Wars: Episode VIII, has fanned the flames by retweeting fan art depicting the rogue stormtrooper and Resistance pilot locking lips. And speaking after the Bafta awards on 14 February, Boyega himself hinted he was more than open to the idea of shifting the Finn-Dameron relationship to the gay side. “What’s so funny, I posted a video the other day of myself working out, skipping, and in the background Oscar is just like, ‘Yeah baby go on!’ and people just went crazy,” he told Radio Times. “But as far as I’m concerned, when JJ [Abrams] sat us down to go through the script, it was a bromance.”
“But now I’m learning what Mark Hamill said before, when he didn’t know that Darth Vader was Luke’s father: you never know what they’re going to pull. I’m looking at the director Rian [Johnson] closely so he can get me involved early, so I can prepare myself. So who knows?”
Some commentators have speculated that the studio Disney, once a bastion of conservative values but these days a pretty liberal-minded place, might baulk at the prospect of losing out on box-office revenue in China and Russia. However, Abrams’ movie made just $125m out of a current total of $2.029bn in China, the world’s second-largest box office, while pansexual, pegging-curious Deadpool broke The Force Awakens’ all-time box office opening record in the land of Vladimir Putin. Perhaps Russian filmgoers aren’t as bothered about homosexuality as we might think, and perhaps China isn’t all that important when you’re smashing records everywhere else.
 I have to admit, I assumed Finn and Daisy Ridley’s Rey were intended to end up as lovers by the end of the new Star Wars trilogy. But the heroes’ relationship is more about looking out for each other than gazing, starry-eyed into each other’s eyes. 
 Disney certainly shouldn’t avoid developing a gay plot out of fear. That way lies the dark side. But neither should Johnson worry himself overly about how to present Star Wars’ first same-sex relationship. Because romance has never been all that important in this (at its best) most kinetic of space sagas. 
It took Han Solo and Princess Leia almost two movies to declare their love for each other, at the denouement of The Empire Strikes Back. And George Lucas and his team never spent long dwelling on the details. In fact, the only Star Wars movies to delve deeply into romantic territory are the appalling prequels, with all those excruciating love scenes between Anakin Skywalker and Padme Amidala set against epic, sweeping, totally ersatz CGI planetary-vista backdrops. The most successful Star Wars films, 1977’s saga opener and The Force Awakens, are pretty blasĂ© about affairs of the heart.
So let’s hope Finn and Poe continue their really-shouldn’t-be-so-groundbreaking-in-2016 space romance in the currently filming Episode VIII – provided they do so without undermining the breakneck pacing and planet-jumping joi-de-vivre of The Force Awakens. Then we can all move on to the really important Star Wars sex questions, such as whether R2-D2 or C-3PO goes on top, and how on earth Hutts procreate.

February 13, 2016

For Valentines take your pick: The Highest Grossing Movies for 2015

December 20, 2014

Angelina Strikes a raw Nerve in Hollywood Lover’s Japan


Angelina Jolie’s new movie “Unbroken” has not been released in Japan yet, but it has already struck a nerve in a country still fighting over its wartime past.
And the buzz on social networks and in online chatter is decidedly negative over the film that depicts a U.S. Olympic runner who endures torture at a World War II prisoner-of-war camp.
Some people are calling for a boycott of the movie, although there is no release date in Japan yet. It hits theaters in the U.S. on Dec 25.
Others want that ban extended to Jolie, the director — unusual in a nation enamored with Hollywood, especially Jolie and her partner Brad Pitt, who both have reputations as Japan-lovers.
The movie follows the real-life story of Louis Zamperini as told in a 2010 book by Laura Hillenbrand. The book has not been translated into Japanese, but online trailers have provoked outrage.
Especially provocative is a passage in the book that refers to cannibalism among the troops. It is not clear how much of that will be in the movie, but that is too much for some.
“But there was absolutely no cannibalism,” said Mutsuhiro Takeuchi, a nationalist-leaning educator and a priest in the traditional Shinto religion. “That is not our custom.”
Takeuchi acknowledged Jolie is free to make whatever movie she wants, stressing that Shinto believes in forgive-and-forget.
But he urged Jolie to study history, saying executed war criminals were charged with political crimes, not torture.
“Even Japanese don’t know their own history, so misunderstandings arise,” said Takeuchi, who heads his research organization, the Japan Culture Intelligence Association.
Hollywood films that touch on sensitive topics for the Japanese have had a troubled history here.
Theaters canceled screenings of the Oscar-winning 2009 “The Cove” about the bloody dolphin hunts in the town of Taiji after the distributor was deluged with threats from people who said the movie denigrated the “culture” of eating dolphins although most Japanese have never eaten dolphin or whale meat.
Roland Kelts, a journalist and expert on Japanese culture, called the outburst over “Unbroken,” like the frenzy over “The Cove,” ‘‘banal and predictable.”
“None of them have even seen the film, and while it is based on one man’s story, it’s a feature, not a documentary. There are plenty of movies that depict the brutality and inhumanity of war,” he said.
“Unbroken” portrays the story of war hero Zamperini, played by Jack O’Connell, who with two other crewmen, survived in a raft for 47 days after a plane crash, only to be caught by the Japanese and sent to a prisoner-of-war camp.
Jolie said recently on a promotion tour in Australia that she wanted to depict a human story, one that gives hope, noting that war “brings out the extremes,” both the good and the bad, in people.
Japan has not always been averse to Hollywood portrayals of World War II.
Clint Eastwood’s 2006 “Letters From Iwo Jima,” which focused sympathetically on a gentle commander, played by Ken Watanabe, was favorably received here.
Japanese directors have made their share of movies critical of war. Akira Kurosawa made “No Regrets for Our Youth,” as well as “Ran” and “Seven Samurai.” Kihachi Okamoto’s “The Human Bullet” and Kon Ichikawa’s “The Burmese Harp” relay powerful anti-war messages.
But the release of “Unbroken” comes at a time some in Japan are downplaying the country’s colonization of its Asian neighbors and the aggressive act carried out by the Imperialist Army during World War II.
For example, some politicians dispute the role of Japanese soldiers in the Rape of Nanjing, which began in 1937, in which 300,000 Chinese were killed. They say that is a vast overcount.
Similarly, they reject historical studies that show women from several Asian countries, especially Korea, were forced into prostitution by the Japanese military. 

October 9, 2014

Benedict Cumberbatch Plays Gay Hero Driven to Suicide Alan Turing


Benedict Cumberbatch says he is "proud" that his film about computer pioneer and codebreaker Alan Turing is opening this year's BFI London Film Festival. 
The Sherlock star and Keira Knightley will attend at the European premiere of wartime drama The Imitation Game in Leicester Square on Wednesday night.
Cumberbatch's performance as Turing is already being tipped as an Oscar contender. 
Knightley plays his close friend and fellow-code breaker Joan Clarke.
"I'm a Londoner and... to be opening the festival with this film, I couldn't be more proud," Cumberbatch said.
Some 248 feature films will be presented over the 12-day festival, which runs from 8-19 October.
Among the stars expected on the red carpet are Brad Pitt, Shia LaBeouf, Timothy Spall, Andrea Riseborough, Sophie Okonedo, Noomi Rapace, Viggo Mortensen, Steve Carell, Sienna Miller, Reese Witherspoon, Dominic West and Emily Watson.
The Imitation Game is set at Bletchley Park, Buckinghamshire, where Turing and his team attempted to decipher German messages to help end World War Two.
Turing killed himself in 1954, two years after being prosecuted for gross indecency after he fell foul of anti-gay laws at the time.
Turing received a posthumous royal pardon in December 2013, with Justice Minister Chris Grayling saying he undoubtedly shortened the conflict and saved thousands of lives.
Cumberbatch hopes the film will help bring Turing "the recognition he deserved as a scientist, as the father of the modern computer age and a war hero".
He said he understood why some people drew comparisons with his TV role as problem-solving genius Sherlock Holmes.
"I didn't read the script and go this is Sherlock in tweed," he added. "I liked how uncompromising he was and and I suppose that's a strong trait in strong characters."
The film's Norwegian director, Morten Tyldum, described Turing as "an unsung hero who achieved so much... he was ahead of his time and outside of his time and was carrying all these secrets". 
Another World War Two drama, Fury - starring Brad Pitt - will close the London Film Festival on 19 October. 
Pitt will attend the premiere with director David Ayer, who said it was "a true pleasure to be returning to England, where we shot the film". Many of the action scenes were filmed in Oxfordshire. 
Set in 1945, Fury tells of an army sergeant in command of a tank crew for a mission behind enemy lines.
Other gala screenings at the festival include wrestling drama Foxcatcher, starring Steve Carell; and Wild, with Reese Witherspoon as a young woman on a gruelling 1,100 mile hike. The film's screenplay is written by Nick Hornby.
Tim Masters

April 21, 2014

Tarantino’s leaked Script “Hateful Eight”


 Samuel L Jackson, Bruce Dern and Michael Madsen have joined Quentin Tarantino in Los Angeles for a reading of his leaked script, Hateful Eight.

Once due to be the follow-up to Django Unchained, Tarantino cancelled the film in January after the script spread around Hollywood and film websites.
At the time, he said he was "very, very depressed" by the leak.
But he was in better spirits for the one-off live reading and hinted his movie may yet see the light of day.
“I’m working on a second draft and I will do a third draft but we're reading from the first draft," he told the audience at Los Angeles' Theatre at the Ace Hotel. 
The 51-year-old also suggested the script would be changed substantially in future drafts - in particular the final act, which he described as the "fifth chapter".
"The chapter five here will not be the chapter five later so this will be the only time it is seen, ever," he said.
Set in post-civil war Wyoming, the Western drama takes place after a blizzard diverts a stagecoach from its route, stranding a mismatched group of outlaws in a "haberdashery".
Among their number are a competing pair of bounty hunters, a renegade Confederate soldier and a female prisoner.
Four of the five "chapters" take place almost entirely within one room, saidthe Hollywood Reporter, which described the plot as an Agatha Christie-style whodunnit, albeit with added violence.
Several of Tarantino's old cast-members took part in the reading, with Tim Roth (Resevoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction), Kurt Russell (Death Proof) and Amber Tamblyn (Django Unchained) all on stage.
"We've been rehearsing this for the last 3 days and we're not bad," said Tarantino.
Jackson and Russell played the duelling bounty hunters, while Madsen played cowboy John Gage and Tarantino narrated.
"Guys, you are starting to drift away from the dialogue on the page," he told the ensemble at one point. "No more co-writing!"
Christoph Waltz and Jamie Foxx in Django UnchainedNominated for five Oscars, Django Unchained was Tarantino's most successful film to date, making $425m (£253m)
About 1,200 people attended the show, with tickets priced between $150 - $200 (£90 - £120).
Among the audience were film mogul Harvey Weinstein, who has distributed several of Tarantino's movies, and X-Men writer David Hayder.
Mobile phones were banned, and there was no live stream of the event.
Meanwhile, Tarantino is suing gossip website Gawker for contributory copyright infringement after it posted a link to the leaked screenplay.
The trial is due to start on 27 January, 2015.

April 18, 2014

X-Men 5th Installation in 2016

X Men fans are in for a treat - after the director revealed the release date of the fifth installment of the franchise.
Bryan Singer indicated in a brief tweet that the next movie would be on screens in 2016. 
He also gave hardcore fans of the comic book adaptation a hint at the plotline - by referencing a new villain, Apocalypse.
'#Xmen #Apocalypse 2016!' Bryan tweeted to his more than 130,000 followers.
More mutants: X-Men director Bryan Singer tweeted on Thursday that another installment of the franchise will be out in 2016 marking the fifth film since the 2000 original starring Hugh Jackman as Wolverine 
Big announcement: Bryan Singer announced another X-Men was coming via Twitter
As hardcore X Men fans will know, a series of X-Men comic books in the 1990s featured a 5,000-year-old mutant named Apocalypse who destroys the weak and becomes one of the X-Men's primary villains.
Bryan has been readying his third film in the franchise, X-Men: Days Of Future Past, which is scheduled for release on May 23, 2014.


The star-studded cast features Hugh Jackman reprising his role as Wolverine, Patrick Stewart returning as Professor Charles Xavier and Jennifer Lawrence back as a young Mystique.
Out next year: Jennifer Lawrence as a young Mystique was shown in a teaser for X-Men: Days Of Future Past released in October  
Out next year: Jennifer Lawrence as a young Mystique was shown in a teaser for X-Men: Days Of Future Past released in October
Days Of Future Past takes off where the 2011 prequel X-Men: First Class ended with the young mutants in the 1960s grappling with their newfound powers.
Bryan in 2000 directed the original X-Men movie that featured Hugh, Patrick, Sir Ian McKellen as Magneto and Halle Berry as Storm.
The original X-Men ushered in a new era of big-screen adaptations of Marvel Comics characters with Spider-Man in 2002 followed by films about Iron Man, Thor, Captain America and The Avengers.
Bryan has been praised by hard-core comic book fans for his big-screen adaptation of the X-Men characters and storylines.
The director first gained attention for his 1995 crime film The Usual Suspects and also directed the 2006 film Superman Returns. 

March 13, 2014

Jake Gyllenhaal in the Psychological Triller “Enemy”


What would you do if you came face-to-face with a doppelgänger?

Canadian director Denis Villeneuve explores that question in the psychological thriller "Enemy," in theaters on Friday, based on Jose Saramago's 2002 novel "The Double."
Jake Gyllenhaal, 33, plays both Adam Bell, a teacher struggling to commit to a relationship, and Anthony St. Claire, a married aspiring actor. The two men are unrelated but look identical.

Adam discovers his double while watching an obscure film and descends into an obsessive search for Anthony. When the two meet, their lives become intertwined.
Gyllenhaal, who had to maneuver special effects and act with tennis balls used to digitally place Adam and Anthony on-screen together, said the film was “the most fulfilling creative experience" for him.

“Never have I had the opportunity to feel what it was like to act against my own instincts, and I actually was humbled by it," he said in an interview littered with laughs, Jay Z quotes and talk of serial killers.

"I think there were places where I thought I knew what I was doing, but then as I'd watch those and do it back, it wasn't easy to work with as I thought it would be."
"Enemy," billed as an erotic thriller, follows Adam as he faces an identity crisis. At times, the audience is taken into his psychological state, which Gyllenhaal described as "his anxiety, his questioning, the feelings that we feel inside of ourselves when we're faced with who we really are and who we perceive ourselves to be."
“The internal journey is the most interesting one to me," he said.


Gyllenhaal gained critical praise last year for his performance as the obsessive Detective Loki in Villeneuve's "Prisoners," a thriller on child abduction co-starring Hugh Jackman. "Prisoners" was made after "Enemy" and reunited Gyllenhaal with the director.
The actor credited “Enemy" for enabling him to push himself to deliver intense scenes as Loki.

"'Enemy' was much more artistically indulgent in the way that we were experimenting with form and process," Gyllenhaal said.
"I was definitely not the center of attention on 'Prisoners,' I was doing my thing along with a number of many more talented actors than I am. Denis said very specifically to me before we started ‘Prisoners' ... 'you're not going to get my attention in the way that you did,'" he added.

Gyllenhaal, whose parents are writer-directors and whose older sister Maggie is an actress, forged his acting career in his teens with breakout roles in 2001's cult hit "Donnie Darko" and in 2002's "The Good Girl" as a psychologically unstable young man.
After a leading role in 2004's blockbuster disaster film "The Day After Tomorrow," the actor earned a best supporting-actor Oscar nomination in 2006 for his portrayal of a gay cowboy opposite Heath Ledger in "Brokeback Mountain."
He has since stayed with darker dramas, as with 2007’s "Zodiac" and 2009's "Brothers" and more recently, a police officer who becomes entangled in the drug cartel world in 2012's "End of Watch."

The darker characters are getting harder to leave behind at work for the actor.
"You make physical transformations or you make mental transformations; the inside transformations are a lot harder, and they take a lot out of you," Gyllenhaal said.
"I can't just jump from one thing to the next, that's something I've learned. Once I’ve explored one world, I need some time back in my real life before I can even know what's right for me as an actor to go to next."

After the slew of dramas, the actor will be seen in director David O. Russell's comedy "Nailed," but he will return to grittier roles in "Nightcrawler" and "Everest."
"The exploration of the darker side of things really only allows me to appreciate the other side, you know. So the more I go (to the darkness), the more I can go the other way,” Gyllenhaal said.

Then, with a laugh, he added, “But I don’t need to go the other way,” as if to say that the darkness suits him just fin.

Source: Reuters

March 11, 2014

Very FreeaaanchTonguey Kiss Between Mark Ruffalo and Matt Bomer on The Normal Heart

Mark Ruffalo shared a shirtless kiss with his co-star Matt Bomer in a new trailer released on Sunday for the made-for-cable movie The Normal Heart.
The drama also stars Julia Roberts, Taylor Kitsch and Jim Parsons and tells the story about the AIDS crisis as it unfolded in New York City during the early 1980s.
New trailer: Mark Ruffalo and Matt Bomer share a kiss in the new teaser trailer for The Normal Heart that will air on HBO in MayNew trailer: Mark Ruffalo and Matt Bomer share a kiss in the new teaser trailer for The Normal Heart that will air on HBO in May
The Normal Heart is an adaptation based on the play by Larry Kramer and will air on HBO on May 25,
Kramer worked closely on the HBO script with 48-year-old director Ryan Murphy, best known as a co-creator of the hit Fox show Glee.
Love story: The Normal Heart that will air on HBO in May and is set around the unfolding of the AIDS crisis in New York City in the 1980s
Love story: The Normal Heart that will air on HBO in May and is set around the unfolding of the AIDS crisis in New York City in the 1980s
'I worked with Larry on the script for three years. We broke it out to 40- to 45 percent new material, and it's pretty broken out from the play.' he added.
Mark, 46, plays Ned Weeks who finds himself in the middle of the epidemic and tries to find answers while pushing local and federal governments to face reality.
Julia plays Dr. Emma Brookner who treats some of the early AIDS victims, while Jim portrays gay activist Tommy Boatwright, reprising his role from the 2011 Broadway revival.
Based on a play: The Normal Heart is based on the largely autbiographical play by Larry Kramer
'We're looking at an epidemic as seen through a love story,' Murphy said.
Ruffalo spent a lot of time with Kramer trying to capture the mood of that time.
'I spent quite a bit of time with him and came to really love him. I tried to go directly into him as much as I could and honour him and his complexity, his journey, his passion and his commitment to this movement, which is what I deem completely heroic,' he said.
Ruffalo starred as scientist Bruce Banner and his angry green alter-ego The Hulk in the 2012 blockbuster The Avengers.
He is set to reprise his role again in Avengers: Age of Ultron due out in 2015.
HBO drama: The Normal Heart also stars Matt Bomer as Felix Turner

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