Frank is an eccentric musician who refuses to be seen without the giant paper mache cartoon head he wears. As he embarks on a pursuit of fame and fortune, he enlists an aspiring artist named Jon to join his band Soronprfbs. Joined by Frank's short-tempered theremin player Clara and his manager Don, the band move to Ireland where they set out to record their debut album. Jon goes about getting the band's videos all over the internet, in a bid to land the most serious gig of their lives: South by Southwest Festival in Austin, Texas. But tension starts to arise as Frank's relentlessly mysterious persona gets increasingly more annoying, and he himself appears to be starting to lose his own head.
Continue: Frank Trailer
X-Men: Days of Future Past has the most successful first-weekend X-Men movie and the biggest opener of the year so far with its hugely successful debut. What’s more, it looks like Fox’s biggest ever debut, and guess which studio was behind James Cameron’s Avatar?
Hugh Jackman as Wolverine in X-Men: Days of Future Past
With an estimated global total of $281.1m, Days of Future Past has already earned back its reported $200m budget. The biggest chunk of that came solely from home base, America, with $90.7m over the Memorial Day weekend – oh, and sorry ‘Game of Thrones’ fans; that means a week’s wait for the next episode.
Continuing to be the most original and resonant of the Marvel superhero franchises, the X-men return in the capable hands of director Bryan Singer, who again stirs plenty of meaty subtext beneath the thrilling action. He also has one of the best casts imaginable, including Oscar winners, cinema royalty, rising stars and matinee idols.
Best of all, Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) returns to the fold after two less-than-thrilling solo adventures. He's at the centre of everything here, as Professor X and Magneto (Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen) ask Kitty Pryde (Ellen Page) to send Wolverine's consciousness back 50 years to 1973. His mission is to prevent Dr Trask (Peter Dinklage) from inventing mutant-hunting robots, because they will go out of control and cause a present-day dystopia in which mutants and anyone who sympathises with them are killed. But Wolverine's biggest task will be to get the then-feuding Professor X and Magneto (James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender) to work together to keep renegade mutant Raven (Jennifer Lawrence) from making everything worse.
Thankfully, Simon Kinberg's script doesn't worry too much about the whole time-travel thing, shrugging off dubious logic by keeping the focus on the characters. And there are a lot of people to keep an eye on, which makes the film sometimes feel a bit crowded and leaves some characters barely on-screen at all (blink and you'll miss Anna Paquin's Rogue). The best newbie is Evan Peters' Quicksilver, who gets the film's most entertaining sequence as he races around tweaking an action sequence frame by frame. Other set-pieces are grippingly darker, and some don't quite make sense (why does Magneto feel the need to levitate an entire stadium?).
Continue reading: X-men: Days Of Future Past Review
Doesn't get dumber than this.
As one of the biggest, most critically acclaimed and most decorated films of 2013, 12 Years a Slave was always going to be a big DVD release, but someone working for the supermarket chain Sainsbury’s perhaps got a little bit too enthused, dressing up a mannequin in clothes similar to those worn by Chiwitel Ejiofor and his co-stars in the hard-hitting slave drama.
Chiwitel Ejiofor and Michael Fassbender in '12 Years a Slave'
It didn’t take long for a shopper to see the hugely distasteful promotional stand, take a snapshot on their phone and upload it to Twitter for the world to see. The mannequin – which appeared at a branch in Oxford – was clad with a ripped, loose fitting beige shirt and three quarter-length trousers. The worst part – a twig protruding from the shirt.
Hugh Jackman’s second scare with skin cancer has prompted him to once again warn his fans of the importance of wearing sun screen.
Hugh Jackman has warned his fans about the dangers of the sun and of not wearing sunscreen. The actor uploaded a picture on to Instagram of himself with his nose in a bandage. He added the caption “Another Basel Cell Carsinoma. All out now. Thanks Dr. Albom and Dr. Arian. PLEASE! PLEASE! WEAR SUNSCREEN!”
Hugh Jackman attended the X-Men premiere with a bandaged nose.
The Wolverine actor received treatment for the same condition last year but the cells were also removed. Jackman warned his fans “don’t be foolish like me” urging them to “wear sunscreen.”
While this comedy-drama is sometimes wilfully absurd, it's also exhilarating cinema, telling its story with conflicting amounts of warm emotion and prickly abrasiveness. Irish filmmaker Lenny Abrahamson (What Richard Did) is known for keeping his audience on its toes, shifting moods and navigating sharp plot turns. And while it takes a while to get into the rhythms of this movie, it ultimately wins us over entirely.
Loosely based on the true story of English musician Chris Sievey (aka Frank Sidebottom), the film centres on the art-punk band Soronprfbs, which is fronted by Frank (Michael Fassbender), who wears a gigantic papier-mache head both on and off stage. While touring in Britain, he recruits the nerdy aspiring musician Jon (Domhnall Gleeson) to join the band for a gig in Ireland and then stick around to write and record the next album. This means that Jon must figure out how to relate to the bandmates, all of whom seem to have serious issues. Frank's girlfriend is the freaky noisemaker Clara (Maggie Gyllenhaal), and there's also hapless manager Don (Scoot McNairy) and opinionated but aloof musicians Baraque and Nana (Francois Civil and Carla Azar).
Abrahamson lets the film play out in the same utterly bonkers style as Soronprfbs' chaotic songs: veering from subtle harmony to soaring emotion to pure chaos. And through it all there's a remarkably resonant centre as we take this journey alongside Jon, who is played by Gleeson like the obnoxious little brother we can't help but love. Meanwhile, Fassbender delivers a remarkably soulful performance from within that big head, using his voice and body to add layers of intriguing depth. And Gyllenhaal continually surprises by undermining her intensely scary character with unexpected expressions of raw feeling.
Continue reading: Frank Review
The world is verging on an apocalyptic disaster as the mutants continue to engage in vicious battles with only one possible outcome - their extinction. Unfortunately, any chance of saving the world from its oncoming fate has been and gone a long time ago - though there could be a way to change history. The two wisest mutants of the universe, Charles Xavier and Magneto, have been at odds for a great many years, but they must this time unite to have any hope of saving their people. They contact Wolverine to help them on their mission to go back in time and convince their younger selves that trouble lies ahead if they don't make the right decisions; Wolverine is the only one who can take on such a task with his healing powers giving him enough strength, but can he possibly save the future?
Continue: X-Men: Days of Future Past - Clips
The mutants of the world are quickly dwindling in their numbers, tearing each other apart until they are almost wiped out. Two of the wisest X-Men of the universe, Charles Xavier and Magneto, must now join forces despite their hostile relationship to go back in time and fix the world so that their kind can survive the horrors of their ravaged future. The duo enlist Wolverine to help them on their mission; a mutant whose healing powers make him the only one strong enough to travel in time. He must find the impulsive fools that are Xavier and Magneto as much younger mutants and warn them of what their actions will do for their future, while on the way attempt to save the life of an important political figure. Will the X-Men succeed in changing their future? Or are there some things in the past that can never be changed?
'X-Men: Days Of Future Past' is the latest instalment of the Marvel film franchise following on from 2006's 'X-Men: The Last Stand' and 2011's 'X-Men: First Class'. Director Bryan Singer ('The Usual Suspects', 'Superman Returns', 'Valkyrie') returns alongside screenwriter Simon Kinberg ('Mr. & Mrs. Smith', 'Sherlock Holmes', 'Jumper'). The movie is set for release in the UK on May 22nd 2014.
In case you're not excited about the film yet, this trailer should do the trick.
It’s here, finally – the third X-Men: Days of Future Past trailer is here, just one month ahead of the film’s premiere. If there’s one thing superhero movie fans can’t complain about these days, it’s a lack of pre-release materials. This new trailer essentially gives you everything you need to know about Wolverine’s mission to return to the 70s and join forces with Magneto and a newly paralysed Charles Xavier.
Watch Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart get sentimental during the film's Comic Con Q&A below.
Continue reading: Third Trailer Makes Use Of Massive "X-Men: Days Of Future Past" Cast
Jennifer Lawrence as Bella Swan? Think of what could have been for some of our favourite movies
Losing out on a job is always tough, but imagine what it’s like if that job is a part in a major Hollywood movie? As all actors know the audition process is tough and sometimes things just don’t go your way. We’ve taken a look at some stars who came oh so close to starring in some of our favorite movies, but ultimate they ended up losing out on the part.
Can you imagine Jennifer Lawrence as Bella Swan?
Jennifer Lawrence -Twilight (Bella Swan)
Russell Crowe and Emma Watson are on the road promoting Noah, while Anne Hathaway hits Miami for Rio 2 and Michael Fassbender shoots Macbeth in rural England. Elizabeth Banks takes the Walk of Shame in a new trailer, and we see the future in The Giver, The Signal and Jupiter Ascending...
As Darren Aronofsky's ambitious retelling of the biblical tale of Noah opens in America this weekend, Russell Crowe continues his world tour, premiering the film in cities on every continent. This Saturday alone he'll attend three premieres: in Dublin, Edinburgh and Cardiff. Meanwhile, Emma Watson was photographed this week greeting fans as in New York she attended David Letterman's chat show to talk about the movie. The film hits UK and Irish cinemas next week. Watch a smartly dressed Emma Watson greeting over-eager fans outside 'Letterman' studios.
The voice cast of Rio 2 enjoyed a sunny premiere in Miami Beach this week, attended by Anne Hathaway, Jamie Foxx and George Lopez. A series of clips of the event shows the stars talking about the film and enjoying a youth choir singing hits with a Latin-infused beat. Watch Anne Hathaway celebrate 'Rio 2' release at The Fontainebleau Miami Beach premiere. Or take a look at the cast of 'Rio 2' enjoying the upbeat Choir at The Fontainebleau Miami Beach premiere.
Are you set for Prometheus 2 in March 2016?
'Prometheus 2', the follow up to Ridley Scott’s 2012 semi 'Alien' sequel has been given a release date of March 2016. That’s good news for fans who weren’t really sure exactly when or even if the film was going to happen. Now it seems that production will start in the fall once Scott wraps up his latest work ‘Exodus’. So what do we know so far about the upcoming sequel?
'Prometheus' director Ridley Scott
The first thing to note is that really not an awful lot is confirmed about ‘Prometheus 2’. We can safely say that Scott will once again be sitting in the director’s chair again and he'll probably also produce. When it comes to the scripting, this is where things have gotten a little more complicated. Originally Damon Lindelof who co-wrote the 2012 script was writing the sequel, then he dropped out. He decided instead to work on another upcoming release sci-fi mystery ‘Tomorrowland’ starring George Clooney. Next to take up the pen was Jake Paglen, the writer behind upcoming Johnny Depp sci-fi outing ‘Transcendance’. Now, though, Paglen’s script is set to be revised by Michael Green, who’s no stranger to collaborating with Scott, as he's currently working with him on the future 'Blade Runner' movie. Apart from that his other writing credits include working on the ‘Green Lantern’ movie, so make of that what you will.
Continue reading: 'Prometheus 2': Everything That We Know So Far
The Frank Sidebottom-inspired 'Frank' is opening Sundance London 2014.
After winning a prestigious award or starring in a blockbuster, many actors never look back to their humble, low-budget, indie film beginnings. Thankfully, Michael Fassbender is not one to be so chronically short-sighted and takes centre-stage in Lenny Abrahamson's marvellous, off-beat and quirky new movie, Frank.
Michael Fassbender Is Both Weird & Musical In 'Frank.'
Inspired by the life of masked musician and comedian Frank Sidebottom and the details written about him in screenwriter Jon Ronson's memoir, Frank is a fictional story that follows the journey of the world's most peculiar band from the rehearsal room to the big festival stage. Fassbender ('12 Years a Slave') is transformed into an enigmatic musician who insists on constantly wearing a giant, cartoon-like papier-maché head, even off-duty.
Fassbender stars as the titular masked musician in this Frank Sidebottom-inspired movie.
Sundance London 2014 will play host to many independent movies, but perhaps none so eagerly anticipated and talked about as Leonard Abrahamson's Frank, inspired by the life of frontman and comic personality, Frank Sidebottom. Frank will get its UK premiere on the festival's opening night on April 25 following its first screening at Sundance in Utah back in January.
Domhnall Gleeson Plays A Wannabe Musician Who Joins The World's Weirdest Band.
Michael Fassbender ('12 Years A Slave,' 'Shame') plays the titular masked musician and bandleader who wears a giant papier mache head throughout the film, which follows his band on their trip to playing the South by Southwest festival. Maggie Gyllenhaal and Domhnall Gleeson also star in the film as members of Frank's avant-garde pop band.
'12 Years a Slave' Oscar win marks an incredible awards season for the slavery epic. privilege abdonimable Indomitable
Steve McQueen's epic slavery drama '12 Years a Slave' has won the Oscar for Best Picture at the 86th Academy Awards in Los Angeles. The movie, which was co-produced by Brad Pitt, beat off competition from Alfonso Cuaron's Gravity and David O'Russell's American Hustle to win the evening's top prize.
Benedict Cumberbatch [R] and Chiwetel Ejiofor [L] in '12 Years A Slave'
Accepting the award, the movie's prducer Brad Pitt said: "Thank you for this incredible honor bestowed on our film tonight, I know I speak for everyone behind me (the cast & crew), it has been an absolute privilege to work on Solomon's story, and we all get to stand up here tonight because of one man who brought us all together...and that is the indomitable Steve McQueen."
Continue reading: '12 Years A Slave' Wins Oscar For Best Picture
McQueen's Oscar-nominated film will be taught in schools
The gravity and sincerity expressed in Steve McQueen’s '12 Years a Slave' will help to educate children in America as the National School Boards Association has made it mandatory that U.S. public high schools add it to their curriculum in connection with talkshow host and spokesperson, Montel Williams.
“When Hollywood is at its best, the power of the movies can be harnessed into a powerful educational tool,” Williams said in a statement. “This film uniquely highlights a shameful period in American history, and in doing so will evoke in students a desire to not repeat the evils of the past while inspiring them to dream big of a better and brighter future.”
Continue reading: '12 Years A Slave' Added To School Curriculum
Adam Driver will play Star Wars Episode VII's primary villain.
Yesterday, we heard news that 'Girls' actor Adam Driver was close to penning a contract to star as the primary villain in J.J Abrams' Star Wars: Episode 7. Details remain sketchy, though sources speaking to Variety claims the villain will be in the same vein as Darth Vader, perhaps the most iconic Star Wars character.
Adam Driver Will Play The Primary Villain in 'Star Wars Episode 7'
Driver, 30, is the first actor to be pinned down to a concrete role in Episode VII, though the likes of Gary Oldman, Zac Efron, Jesse Plemons and Michael B Jordan continue to be linked with the movie, set to open in theaters on December 18, 2015.
Continue reading: Did Adam Driver Beat Michael Fassebender To Star Wars Episode 7 Role?
The '12 Years A Slave' actress was magnetic at this year's PGAs: we hail a bright new star.
As far as careers in acting go, Lupita Nyong'o has had one of the most impressive yet equally short stints in the spotlight. Barely out of her twenties, the actress has excelled in her first movie role in Steve McQueen's 12 Years A Slave. Nyong'o is picking up awards and new nominations for her supporting role alongside Chiwetel Ejiofor, Brad Pitt and Michael Fassbender at an alarming rate with the golden prize - an Oscar - comfortably within her reach.
Lupita Nyong'o Explodes Into Hollywood With Critically Acclaimed Performance.
The weekend's Producers Guild Awards was forced to announce a tie between 12 Years and another of 2013's biggest movies, Gravity, which meant that the films had to share Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures. Whilst the award propels the best film Oscar closer into Gravity's grasp, it also signals a seemingly unbreakable chain of wins for the slavery drama.
With a few stand out movies, this year's academy has the look of inevitability about it.
A late surge in betting on American Hustle has rocked 12 Years a Slave’s dominance atop the odds charts, but as we approach the announcement of this year’s Oscar nominations - Chris Hemsworth and Cheryl Boone Isaacs will tell us what’s what later on today – it’s pretty easy to name the films in line for the big prize.
Cumberbatch's Ford hands Northrup a violin in one of 12 Years' more touching moments
Nods for Steve McQueen’s emotive adaptation of Solomon Northrup’s book and David O Russell’s 70s period comedy drama are all but guaranteed, as are hat-tips towards Dallas Buyers Club, Gravity and Nebraska.
Finally, the British actor is getting the recognition he deserves
After dominating the critics awards and top 10 listings at the end of the year, 12 Years a Slave is the film to beat. And things got much more serious with this week's Bafta nominations, while the Golden Globes come this weekend and then Oscar nominations are out next Wednesday.
So by this time next week everyone should be able to pronounce Chiwetel Ejiofor's name properly. To impress your friends: it's CHEW-it-ell EDGY-oh-for.
Continue reading: '12 Years A Slave': Chiwetel Ejiofor Becomes A Global Star
Several films due to be premiered at the Sundance Film Festival are generating a hefty amount of conversation
The Sundance Film Festival is the place to be for young, aspiring filmmakers hoping to crack into the hotly-contested business of the movies. By the end of the film festival, which this year runs from 16-26 January, there are always a selection of film titles that are revived for the following awards season, and this year people are so eager for the celluloid showcase that a number of early contenders for festival glory have been marked before their debut release.
The dark God's Pocket stars Philip Seymour Hoffman and Eddie Marsan
In thirty years the film has discovered some of the most promising filmmakers out there and continues to deliver, from Roland Joffé’s The Killing Fields in the festival's opening year (1985) to last year's most notable success; Fruitvale Station, the debut feature length from Ryan Coogler. With another 120 films to get through this year it seems more than likely that at least one of the releases will be leaving Park City, Utah, with more than a few skiing lessons and a commemorative t-shirt.
Essentially a feature-length In Memoriam reel, this entertaining Formula One documentary thrills us with its whizzy editing while it traces the sport's deadly legacy. It took some 45 years after F1's inception in 1950 for proper safety guidelines to be implemented, so watching the parade of iconic drivers, living and dead, is often quite emotional. And the film tells this story with a pumping kinetic style.
Motor racing has a long history in Europe, becoming a proper sport with the birth of Formula One in 1950. But as car-building technology developed, the safety systems didn't keep pace. So drivers were racing at double the speed without up-to-date barriers, safety equipment and emergency procedures. Between 1968 and 1974 alone, the sport lost such iconic drivers as Jim Clark, Jochen Rindt, Roger Williamson, Francois Cevert and Peter Revson in terrible crashes. Over the years the regulations were changed, but it wasn't until Ayerton Senna's shocking death in 1994 that the entire system was overhauled. And no driver has been killed in an F1 Grand Prix since.
In addition to Fassbender's enthusiastic narration, the line-up of on-screen interviewees is seriously impressive, with a collection of champions, team leaders, businessmen, journalists and others recounting their memories as the film presents a chronological history of the sport. Director-editor Crowder ramps everything up as he mixes archive film and stills with thundering music to get the adrenaline pumping. Many of these sequences generate a lot of vroom-vroom energy, even if the video trickery sometimes gets too flashy. Intriguingly, the film's most riveting segment is a single take with no edits, shot from Senna's helmet as he does a qualifying lap in Monaco.
Continue reading: 1: Life On The Limit Review
The incredible cast of 12 Years a Slave open up on the experiences of making the film
If '12 Years a Slave' doesn’t win a single award from now until the Oscars, it will still go down in history as one of the 21st century’s most important, affecting films. The story of Solomon Northrup’s enslavement and the subsequent hell he faced is as brutal as any ever told, and to truly extract even a modicum of sincerity, the entire cast had to be both honest and befittingly talented.
But when you’re speaking of a cast that comprises Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Dano, Brad Pitt, Pual Giamatti, Quvenzhané Wallis and Michael K. Williams, honesty and talent is never in question.
Continue reading: Meet The Cast Of 12 Years A Slave [Video]
Much more than a film about 19th century slavery in America, this sharply well-told true story has a lot to say about the world we live in today. And as he did in Hunger and Shame, filmmaker Steve McQueen puts us right into the middle of the story so we live it ourselves. Watching this film is a riveting, unnerving and ultimately moving experience.
It's based on a firsthand account by Solomon Northrup (Ejiofor), a musician who is living with his family in 1841 Saratoga, New York, when two friendly men offer him a great gig. But they drug him and sell him to slave traders, who send him to New Orleans and strip him of his identity. He spends the next 12 years working for two masters. Ford (Cumberbatch) is a fair man who puts him under the watchful eye of the cruel Tibeats (Dano). Then he is sold to Epps (Fassbender), a harsh boss who sends him into cotton fields and angrily suspects that Solomon is more educated than he admits.
Made with an earthy, realistic style, there's a clear sense that McQueen and screenwriter Ridley stuck closely to the details of Northrup's memoir, which was published shortly after his release and became a bestseller at the time. By never indulging in Hollywood-style exaggeration, the events remain grounded in the characters, drawing on the spiky interaction between them. At the centre, Ejiofor is utterly magnetic, delivering a transparent performance that takes our breath away. In his terrified eyes, we experience this horror ourselves.
Continue reading: 12 Years A Slave Review
Director Steve McQueen joins the stars of '12 Years A Slave' to praise the immense level of acting skill that went into creating the movie. Among those actors were main star Chiwetel Ejiofor, Alfre Woodard, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Dano, Michael Fassbender and Lupita Nyong'o.
Continue: 12 Years A Slave - Featurettes
We stick our necks out and tell you who's walking home with what
Award season has been grumbling away like Smaug inside Erebor for the last few months; but dragon is slowly awakening. Since the Gotham awards last year, the perennial question of ‘who’ll win what?’ has echoed around the Internet, and the recently announced BAFTA nominations promise to shed some light on the eventual academy recipients.
Gravity is leading the way with 11 Bafta nominations
With that in mind, and with some tightly contested categories to work through, it’s time to start predicting who’ll take home the golden masks, before we start predicting who’ll take home the golden statuettes, you see.
The '12 Years A Slave' director was heckled by a critic who should have known better.
Steve McQueen was the subject of some pretty ugly heckling at last night; New York Film Critics Circle Awards where a critic shouted insults at the director. As a critic, whether you like someone's work or not should be confined to your review but one man decided to step out of line and make things personal.
Steve McQueen Was The Victim Of Some Petty Heckling At An Awards Show Last Night.
However, Armond White, a New York critic, hated McQueen's latest movie, 12 Years A Slave, so much that he couldn't resist spewing a little hatred as the director took to the stage to collect his 'Best Director' award. "You're an embarrassing doorman and garbage man. F*** you. Kiss my ass," yelled White, according to Variety.
The two comediennes will host the 2014 Golden Globes, their second time hosting together
Tina Fey and Amy Poehler will be hosting the 2014 Golden Globes, making it the second time the two best friends and comedy stars will be hosting the awards show in successive years. Following the release of the nominees for the awards earlier this week, a series of promotional videos starring the pair have been released online and as you'd expect, they're pretty hilarious.
Fey and Poehler will host the awards for the second time
In the trio of videos, the pals and lovers of song and dance tell jokes and continue to run with their awkwardly funny routine used so well last year. Describing it as the biggest Hollywood party of the year, the comics joke their way through the three promos in what is a promising display before the big night actually arrives. You can check out one of the videos below, and the others here and here.
The frontrunners and outsiders for the Golden Globes 2014
The Golden Globes won’t be handed out until January 12th, but with the nominees freshly announced, a set of odds have already been priced up by Paddy Power, meaning you can start speculating with a few to accumulating post haste. But what are you going to place your hard-earned cash on?
Chiwetel Ejiofor as Soloman Northrup in 12 Years a Slave
Kicking off with the big one, Best Drama, and it looks as though 12 Years a Slave will pick up the Grammy as a precursor to an awesome Oscars performance. The Steve McQueen directed, Chiwetel Ejiofor-starring slavery epic has stunned the critics, and odds of 4/11 make it the favourite.
Steve McQueen's slavery drama leads 'Dallas Buyers Club,' 'Lee Daniels' The Butler' and 'August: Osage County' in the Screen Actors Guild nominations.
12 Years a Slave hasn't even been released in most countries yet but has already been heaped with accolades with more awards bound to blossom from the scores of nominations Steve McQueen's movie has garnered. The Screen Actors Guild awards nominations are out and yet again the slavery drama starring Chiwetel Ejiofor has emerged on top with four major nominations.
Steve McQueen's '12 Years A Slave' Leads The SAG Nominations.
The critically lauded movie is up for best ensemble, best male actor (Chewitel Ejiofor), best supporting male actor (Michael Fassbender) and best supporting female actor (Lupita Nyong'o). 12 Years will come up against American Hustle, Dallas Buyers Club, Lee Daniels' The Butler and August: Osage County in the coveted Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture category, according to the LA Times.
Continue reading: SAG Awards Noms & Snubs: '12 Years A Slave' Leads The Way [Trailer]
Sundance Film Festival 2014. It's all about Michael Fassbender and 'Frank'.
The line-up for the Sundance Film Festival 2014 has been announced and boy, oh boy, there's some tasty selections. The most interesting of which comes in the form of Lenny Abrahamson's movie Frank, in which Oscar-contender Michael Fassbender plays a musical genius with who wears a giant ceramic - or papier mache - head.
Michael Fassbender Stars in 'Frank'
"His character wears a giant ceramic head the entire film, so you've got this [actor] who can basically take any film role out there and he takes one where he hides his face," says John Cooper, director of Sundance, "A brave choice from someone who's known for his brave choices."
Continue reading: One Michael Fassbender. One Giant Ceramic Head. It's Sundance 2014.
Steve McQueen brutal slavery drama looks set to clean up during awards season.
We're into the realms of awards season now and Steve McQueen's 12 Years A Slave seems set to continue its miraculous habit of picking up awards, like a giant snowball gathering more prizes as it rolls along.
Chiwetel Ejiofor's '12 Years A Slave' Set To Sweep The Board.
Ahead of the 2014 Independent Spirit Awards, widely considered to be a landmark ceremony of the season, the Chiwetel Ejiofor-starring film about 19th century slavery in America has been nominated in seven categories, including best feature, director, screenplay, male lead for Chiwetel Ejiofor, supporting lead for Lupita Nyong'o, supporting male for Michael Fassbender and cinematography.
This film proves that all the right ingredients don't necessarily make a movie work. Even with top-drawer filmmakers and actors, this dramatic thriller simply never grabs our interest. It looks great, and everyone is giving it their all, but the story and characters remain so badly undefined that we can't identify with either.
The story's set on the US-Mexico border, where a slick lawyer (Fassbender) known as "the Counsellor" has slightly too much going on in his life. He has just proposed to his dream woman Laura (Cruz), while he's planning to open a nightclub with Reiner (Bardem). For extra cash, he's organising a massive cocaine shipment with Westray (Pitt). And it's this drug deal that goes wrong, creating a mess that engulfs Reiner and Laura, as well as Reiner's shrewd girlfriend Malkina (Diaz). As his life collapses around him, the Counsellor scrambles to salvage what he can, even as he realises that it'll be a miracle if anyone survives.
There are problems at every level of this production. McCarthy's first original script is simply too literary, putting verbose dialog into the actors mouths that never sounds like people talking to each other. Fassbender and Bardem are good enough to get away with this, but Pitt and Diaz struggle. Both Fassbender and Cruz bring out some wrenching emotions in their scenes, but their characters are never much more than cardboard cutouts. In fact, no one in this story feels like a fully fleshed-out person. And the little we know about each character makes most of them fairly unlikeable.
Continue reading: The Counselor Review
The director has been presented with legal papers by the producers of 'Jane Got A Gun' after leaving them high and dry
Lynne Ramsay is being taken to court by the producers of the oft-troubled Western Jane Got Her Gun, starring (supposedly at least) Natalie Portman. Ramsay walked out on the project a day before shooting was scheduled to begin, placing the picture in limbo until a replacement was eventually found. The lawsuit goes on to claim that Lynne was drunk and abusive on the set.
Ramsay reportedly left the project the day before shooting was due to begin
The court papers, acquired by The Hollywood Reporter, were filed in a New Mexico court this week and state that Ramsay was paid $750,000 to work on the screenplay for the film and direct, but she dropped out of the project at the last minute without warning. The producers are now claiming that her sudden abandoning of the project was not off character either, as the Scottish director was supposedly highly unprofessional on set, drinking and abusing staff before filming had even begun.
Continue reading: Lynne Ramsay Sued By Movie Bosses After Ditching Natalie Portman Western
In a post-apocalyptic world where mutants are now scarce, Charles Xavier must convince Wolverine to travel back in time to warn Xavier's younger self about their impending disaster-struck world. Magneto is also united with his fellow mutants, as now all their kind must stick together if they want to survive a world that they are no longer welcome in. Previously, the battle between humankind and X-Men caused the attempted assassination of an important political figure, something that Wolverine must control as he goes back to instil some knowledge into the much more reckless X-Men of the 1980s.
The gross-out comedy shot to number one in the US box office with over $30 million
Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa is this weeks number one movie at the box office, ousting the mega-successful Gravity from the top spot after a three week stay. The Johnny Knoxville-starring prank fest more than doubled its estimated cost of $15 million in the first weekend alone, amassing an impressive estimate of $32 million since it was released last week.
Bad Grandpa has topped the US box office at the first attempt
Exceeding expectations by scoring more than $30 mil. at the box office, Bad Grandpa comfortably came in first place, averaging just short of $10,000 at each cinema it opened at across America. The fourth feature length outing from the Jackass team is now the second most successful of the bunch, just about tying with the first movie and coming some way off the estimated $50 mil. made by Jackass 3-D. Box office estimates indicate that the film should end its domestic run with about $75 million.
After three weeks at the top, 'Gravity' may have finally been ousted from the top spot of the US box office by the latest 'Jackass' outing
Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa is predicted to earn close to $30 million at the box office in it's opening weekend, according to Deadline, making it the most likely candidate to finish at the top of the box office come the end of the week. This means that after three weeks of dominating the US box office, Gravity may finally be replaced as America's favourite movie at cinemas.
Bad Grandpa should be an easy weekend winner
Depending on what side of the $30 mil. mark it lands on, the film can become either the third or fourth most successful R-rated film of the year in terms of opening box office revenue. Should the film exceed expectations even further, it could potentially place even higher. The film already made an estimated $11 - 12 mil. on the opening day of the weekend - Friday, 25 October - and could be well on its way to exceeding the $30 mil. mark should the numbers continue to add up. Not bad for a film that only cost $15 million to make.
Buoyed by a cast including Javier Bardem, Cormac McCarthy is probably wondering what went wrong with 'The Counselor'
If we cast back our minds some six months, The Counselor was tipped for Oscar glory. The bookmakers are prone to making false judgement calls when it comes to awards' season. Last year, the pairing of Joaquin Phoenix and Philip Seymour Hoffman under the stewardship of Paul Thomas Anderson was deemed faultless and, as such, The Master was tipped as a sure fire Oscar winner following its festival screenings that summer.
Michael Fassbender [L] and Penelope Cruz [R] in The Counselor
Faltering down the market in the early stages was Argo - George Clooney and Ben Affleck's drama that went on to topple Spielberg's Lincoln, Lee's Life of Pi and Anderson's The Master.
Continue reading: How Could Cormac McCarthy's 'The Counselor' Possibly Have Failed?
Solid start for the Oscar-tipped movie.
Get ready to be underwhelmed: when we say 12 Years A Slave’s box office was solid on opening, we’re talking about a limited release. $960,000 from 19 theaters over the weekend is pretty good going, though.
Chiwetel Ejiofor stars in 12 Years a Slave as Solomon Northup.
Steve McQueen’s powerful slave drama, starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Dano, Paul Giamatti, Sarah Paulson, Alfre Woodward, and Brad Pitt – an all-star ensemble indeed – has been a hit with the critics, and its relative success on a limited release suggests the film has the fiscal legs to see it through a competitive season.
The overwhelming response to the Steve McQueen picture is that it is a deep, sometime difficult watch that prompts the best from the director and actors
12 Years A Slave is the film version of Solomon Northup's account of his kidnap and subsequent sale into slavery until his rescue twelve years later. The real-life account of the tragic fate of Northup and the appalling conditions he and millions of other slaves were forced to endure has been turned into a feature-length epic by British director Steve McQueen, who leads a largely British cast in the film that is being heralded by critics as a must-see film.
Chiwetel Ejiofor is spellbounding in 12 Years A Slave
Starring Chiwetel Ejiofor as Solomon, McQueen adapted the memoirs of the main character along with John Ridley to chronicle Solomon's harrowing twelve years, where he went from being a freeman living in New York, to a plantation slave in New Orleans between 1841 and 1853. Ejiofor has been roundly praised for his exceptonal acting talents, as have the rest of the cast, who include Brad Pitt, Paul Giamatti, Paul Dano, Benedict Cumberbatch, Alfre Woodard and Michael Fassbender, whose role as the heartless slave trader Edwin Epps has also been widely applauded for his unflinching brutality and realism.
'12 Years a Slave', released in US cinemas on Friday (18th October), has received a wave of favourable reviews hailing the film as "timeless".
12 Years a Slave tells of Solomon Northup, a black man living free from the shackles of slavery in upstate New York, until he is abducted and sold into slavery. Northup, played by Chiwetel Ejiofor (Children of Men), is taken to New Orleans where he is forced to work on a plantation. The film, based on the memoirs of Northup, has been praised for its brutal and unflinching portrayal of the horrors inflicted to slaves during the 1800s in the USA.
Chiwetel Ejiofor stars in 12 Years a Slave as Solomon Northup.
The film is due to be released in the US today (Friday 18th October) and early reviews suggest this may be one of the best - and most important- films of the year. The critics love 12 Years a Slave; and with a stellar cast and crew in addition to a moving, brutal and accurate portrayal of slavery, it's likely to be an Oscar contender.
Continue reading: '12 Years A Slave' Receives Rave Reviews Ahead Of US Release
London saw Hollywood at its doorstep last night, Thursday October 3rd
Few films have generated as much buzz as Ridley Scott’s The Counselor. Despite having a few ‘off’ films, shall we say, the impressive cast and Cormac McCarthy’s name on the writing credit mean this taut looking thriller has been turning heads everywhere it goes.
Fassbender and Bardem enjoy each other's company at the special screening
And that’s what last night was all about: turning heads. At a special screening of the movie, held in the London’s West End, at the Odeon. The stars of the film – and it’s a veritable galaxy of names – were dressed up and ready to mingle as the U.K press pack got their chance to mull over Scott’s follow up to Prometheus.
William Boyd says he chose not to 'water down' the James Bond character in 'Solo.'
William Boyd, the acclaimed novelist who has penned the latest James Bond novel Solo, says he had no intention of watering down Ian Fleming's best loved character and insists his 007 is still a heavy drinker and smoker.
In a press conference at London's Dorchester Hotel this week, Boyd - who claimed Daniel Day Lewis should play the secret agent - said, "It seems to me he [Bond] wants a relationship..It is not just casual sex." It led some fans to infer that the James Bond in Solo would be more of a straight-shooter than previous incarnations, though Boyd insists this is not the case.
"I have no desire to water down or make Bond more acceptable to modern sensibilities," he explained, "He drinks, he smokes, he does everything you would expect of a classic Bond."
Continue reading: Is William Boyd's Drinking, Smoking James Bond, Michael Fassbender?
The period slavery epic moves into pole position for an Academy Award.
Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave has secured a place as ‘Oscars favorite’ following its triumph at this year’s Toronto Film Festival. The Steve McQueen-directed epic – based on the memoir of Solomon Northrup – remains the odds on choice for Best Picture at 13/4.
Chiwetel Ejiofor as Solomon Northup in 12 Years a Slave.
By winning the BlackBerry People's Choice award, 12 Years a Slave follows in the footsteps of previous Oscar winners, The Kings Speech and Slumdog Millionaire. What was once a the faint hum of Oscars buzz is now a powerful thud as McQueen’s latest effort leaves Mandela and Osage County in its wake.
The buzz starts now, and it starts in earnest.
The Toronto Film Festival has grown into one of the most important events in the movie calendar. Following the prestigious and glamorous Cannes and Venice festivals, it’s the sheer scale of Toronto’s slate that gives it its Oscars precursor status. As we wrote in our – admittedly early – Academy preview, this year’s competition is stronger than ever.
Benedict Cumberbatch's in The Fifth Estate
Of course, Toronto is famous for exposing a number of talents via their independent cinema; it doesn’t just cater for the mainstream. But when a film stuns at the Canadian fest, Oscars buzz is hot on its heels.
Continue reading: Which Film Will Get An Oscars Boost At The Toronto Film Festival 2013?
We take a look at the front-runners and underdogs for next year's Oscars ceremony.
Six months of anticipation for four hours of award giving: that’s what you signed up for. The Oscars 2014 has its host, and now it has its favorites. Which director will be hurtling through an acceptance speech at breakneck speed, and which actor will be practising their sad-yet-humble loser face?
It’s Oscars season.
We can't think of a more pleasing concoction.
In what can only be described as a monolithic prospect, screen stars Marion Cotillard and Michael Fassbender will unite to portray Shakespeare’s Macbeth. The French actress will play Lady Macbeth, while Fassbender fulfils the titular role.
Cotillard stars in David Bowie's video for The Next Day alongside Gary Oldman
Natalie Portman was set to play the powerful character in See-Saw Film’s cinematic adaptation of the classic, but given that she’s all set to helm her directorial debut - A Tale Of Love And Darkness – Cotillard has stepped in.
Continue reading: Marion Cotillard And Michael Fassbender To Share The Screen In Macbeth
Check out the sleek new trailer below.
It’s all very sleek; shiny cars, handsome people, phone conversations that don’t end with a goodbye. That’s the world Michael Fassbender lives in, probably in real life, but most prominently, in The Counselor, Ridley Scott’s taut looking new thriller, which has a sexy new trailer.
Michael Fassbender and Brad Pitt in The Counselor
This is Cormac McCarthy’s screenwriting debut, and it’s a highly anticipated debut considering the success of his novels, and the subsequent translation of The Road from page to screen. Scott provides the visual pedigree, having helmed such cinematic behemoths as Gladiator and Prometheus.
Continue reading: Michael Fassbender In Too Deep In 'The Counselor' [Trailer + Pictures]
The film festival will also feature 12 Years a Slave, August: Osage County and more!
The Fifth Estate, the Benedict Cumberbatch-starring biopic of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, will be the opening film at at this years annual Toronto International Film Festival. The film festival will also feature advanced screenings of fellow Oscar teasers 12 Years A Slave and Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, with Daniel Schecter's Life of Crime - which stars John Hawkes, Mos Def and Jennifer Aniston - closing the first night. The festival starts on September 5.
The Fifth Estate follows the end of the turbulent relationship between Assange and Daniel Domscheit-Berg at the height of WikiLeaks' infamy and mass exposure. Based on the books Inside WikiLeaks: My Time with Julian Assange at the World's Most Dangerous Website by Domscheit-Berg himself and WikiLeaks: Inside Julian Assange's War on Secrecy by Luke Harding and David Leigh, the movie adaptation has been without Assange's consent. The film was directed by the Oscar winning Bill Condon (The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Dreamgirls) and adapted for the screen by Josh Singer (The West Wing, Fringe). The film is due to arrive in time for Oscar season in January 2014.
Marvel and DC competed for supremacy at the San Diego Comic-Con last weekend. Marvel, through sheer force of films, won. The Avengers, Thor and X-Men appeared with their full casts. DC's Superman caused a stir by announcing the Man of Steel sequel will feature Batman.
Henry Cavill at the New York premiere of Superman: Man of Steel.
The X-Men panel certainly had the most impressive cast turnout. Actors from across the X-Men films appeared to promote X-Men: Days of Future Past, which is due to be released in 2014. Ian McKellan flirted with the younger reincarnation of his character Magneto, Michael Fassbender, commenting on Proposition 8, he said "It's great to be back in California, I feel safe here now." He continued by announcing "I'm looking for a husband", cheekily adding "it's great to meet you Michael".
The cast and crew of 'X-Men: Days of Future Past' talk about time travel, character resurrection and seventies attire in a Q & A session at Comic-Con in San Diego. Among them are director Bryan Singer, Hugh Jackman, Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, James McAvoy and Jennifer Lawrence.
The X-Man panel appeared at the San Diego Comic-Con on Saturday. Dozens of actors from across the X-Men films appeared in order to promote their 2014 X-Men: Days of Future Past.
The X-Men cast and crew appeared at the San Diego Comic-Con on Saturday. The huge cast for the upcoming movie X-Men: Days of Future Past appeared in Hall-H and was greeted with an overwhelmingly positive response from fans.
The next film will see the cast doubled (quite literally) as the mutant superheroes have to travel in time to change an event which will, if not prevented, destroy mankind. The cast appeared en masse: each taking a few moments to address the audience or in Ian McKellan's case to flirt with Michael Fassbender.
Continue reading: X-Men Steals The Show At San Diego Comic Con 2013
The slavery epic is due for limited release on October 18th 2013.
Solomon Northup was a regular New York resident who was kidnapped and sold into slavery in 1841. He was rescued 12 years later. 172 years on, and Chiwetel Ejiofor is an early Oscar contender for his turn as Northup in Steve McQueen’s 12 Days a Slave, which has a new trailer.
Chiwetel Ejiofor looks excellent as Solomon Northup in 12 Years a Slave
British actor Ejiofor is joined by an impressive cast, featuring Michael Fassbender, Paul Giamatti, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Dano, Michael K. Williams, Quvenzhane Wallis, Alfre Woodard, Scoot McNairy, Taran Killam and Brad Pitt, while John Ridley adapted the script from Northup’s biography.
Solomon Northup was a well-educated man from a successful family living in upstate New York with his wife and three children. He was categorised as a free black man and made money through various jobs including as an entertainer playing the violin. In 1841, he was tricked into going to Washington DC with two white men for work where he was instead kidnapped and sold to slavery despite there being laws to protect free African-Americans. He spent twelve years on a plantation in Louisiana serving the brutal and abusive owner Edwin Epps. Determined to live his life again as a free man, he befriended a Canadian carpenter working for Epps by the name of Samuel Bass, whose high-morals turned Solomon's life around forever.
This poignant historical biopic is based on the 1853 autobiography 'Twelve Years a Slave' by the real Solomon Northup. It has been adapted to screen by writer John Ridley ('U Turn', 'Red Tails') and the BAFTA nominated director Steve McQueen ('Hunger', 'Shame'). With themes of freedom, racial inequality and the cruelty of mankind, '12 Years A Slave' could be one of the more heart-wrenching movies to kick of the year on its UK cinematic release on January 24th 2014.
This could be McQueen's finest work yet.
Films - or should we say writers and directors - that dare to tackle the issue of slavery come rarely, and when they due, they face an increased level of scrutiny due to the sensitive subject matter. They are necessary though; teaching the world of the horrors it has faced will ensure they never happen again, or so they say.
Chiwetel Ejiofor could be in for the biggest role of his life
Django Unchained came and went, as Quentin Tarantino’s ability to satirize and trivialize some of history’s most controversial times slowly turns into a trilogy of movies. Mixed reviews and a cavalier use of the ‘N’ word meant people saw it as less of a history lesson and more of a taboo comedy, which is exactly what it was.
Continue reading: 12 Years A Slave: The Slavery Movie We've All Been Waiting For
'12 Years a Slave' appears to be far more hard-hitting than many expected.
Also featuring Brad Pitt, Michael Fassbender and Paul Giamatti, the movie appears to be a far more hard-hitting than many were expecting with some writers suggesting it tells the real story of the pre-civil war period in the United States of America, as opposed to, say, Quentin Taratino's Django Unchained.
Ejiofor plays a free black New Yorker who is sold into slavery after being lured to Washington DC with the promise of a well-paid job playing fiddle in a circus.
Continue reading: Is '12 Years A Slave' The Movie Django Should Have Been? [Trailer]
'The Counsellor' tells the story of a naive lawyer who holds the belief that dabbling in drug-trafficking is the best way to earn a little extra cash. However, that dabbling evolves into full-blown dealing which consumes his life and infects with all the corruption, betrayal and pain he thought he could avoid. Now with some seriously ruthless criminals on his tail, he begins to realise that there is nothing that these people will not do to get what they want and the odds on his life begin to get higher and higher. Unless he can work out who his friends are, he has no hope of returning to his normal life, but in a world where disloyalty affects everyone's relationships, he begins to wonder if he really has anyone there for him at all.
Directed by the triple Oscar nominated Sir Ridley Scott ('Prometheus', 'Gladiator', 'Alien'), this high-energy, gritty thriller is all about corruption and how smalls mistakes can lead to major consequences. The screenplay has been written by novellist Cormac McCarthy ('No Country for Old Men', 'All the Pretty Horses') and it features an exciting, star-studded cast ensemble. It is set to reach UK cinemas everywhere on November 15th 2013.
The actor still managed to get spotted by eagle-eyed paparazzi in LA this week
Ewan McGregor is a well-known motorcycle enthusiast, so maybe thats what gave him away when he stepped out of a Beverley Hills salon this week looking almost unrecognisable. The actor, known for his ginger-blonde hair, looked completely different as he was spotted with jet black hair and a same-colour moustache, but still failed to evade the watchful stare of a paparazzi camera lens.
The look is quite the drastic make-over for the Scottish star, but rather than abandoning his ginger/Scottish heritage, the actor does have a reason behind this look; at last we think he does. McGregor is taking on the role of John Bishop, the main antagonist in the upcoming Western Jane Got A Gun, and it is believed his new look is in aid of the performance. Either that or Ewan just fancied a major change to his looks and decided that growing a beard again wouldn't cut it.
Ewan McGregor still failed to fool some onlookers
Continue reading: Ewan McGregor Almost Fools Us All With Drastic New Make-Over
Michael Fassbender has been chosen as the man to take on the latest adaptation of MacBeth.
Michael Fassbender has been chosen by producers of a the latest adaptation of the Bard's timeless MacBeth to take on the titular role, with filming for the new film set to begin later this year, Sceen Daily reported. The project is being produced by See Saw, who previously worked with Fassbender in Shame, as well as producing The King's Speech. Film 4 are also working on the project.
Michael Fassbender is the latest in a long-line of MacBeths
Continue reading: Michael Fassbender Will Star As MacBeth In New Movie Adaption
As was widely expected, a movie about disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong is set to go into production after Bad Robot partners JJ Abrams and Bryan Burk snapped up the rights to Juliet Macur’s forthcoming book Cycle of Lies: The Fall of Lance Armstrong, reports Deadline.com. Macur – a sports reporter for The New York Times – has covered Armstrong’s career for over a decade, through the cyclist’s Tour de France wins, his recovery from cancer and eventual doping revelations. The American had denied using performance enhancing drugs for years, though finally admitted to cheating during a much-publicized interview with Oprah Winfrey last week.
Sony Pictures has long had an Armstrong movie project in the works, though that movie was dropped when the cyclist’s fall from grace began. It was set to star Jake Gyllenhaal and would have told the ‘American hero’ narrative of Armstrong’s rollercoaster career. Of course, the story has changed dramatically and Abrams film will focus on a cheat who pays a high price for his lies. As movie writer Mike Fleming Jr reports, the whole thing is reminiscent of when Tom Cruise and Cameron Crowe made a deal with Phil Spector to tell the story of the producer’s life story, though the director went on record as saying the film “lacked a good third act.” That was obviously provided shortly afterwards when Spector was convicted of shooting the actress Lana Clarkson, but Universal, Crowe and Cruise never went forward with the project. It’s likely that JJ Abrams and his team will tackle the Armstrong project head on, but who could play the man himself? Who has the presence to portray such a complex character on-screen? Here’s 10 actors who we think could become Lance:
Date of birth
2nd April, 1977
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