Monthly Archives: October 2013

A Halloween announcement: Addams Family to be reincarnated as animated movie

Charles Addams’ ghoulish creations look set to finally re-emerge in cartoon form after Tim Burton project scrapped

• Tim Burton to direct Beetlejuice 2
• Why I love … Addams Family Values’ Thanksgiving play

Gomez, Morticia and Uncle Fester are set to live again: as animated characters in a new version of The Addams Family, reports Variety.

After a pair of live-action hit movies in the early 90s – The Addams Family and Addams Family Values – had revived interest in Charles Addams’ macabre creations, originally conceived as drawings in the New Yorker magazine, a string of cheap TV cartoons as well as a straight to video feature (Addams Family Reunion) had somewhat tarnished the brand. Tim Burton and Despicable Me producer Chris Meledandri had reportedly been trying to bring a stop-motion Addams Family to the big screen in recent years, but the project was scrapped in July.

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Philomena – review

Judi Dench is effortlessly moving as an Irish woman seeking to learn about the fate of her baby boy – and Steve Coogan, playing the journalist who helps her, has found a new direction

Philomena is something yearned for and lusted after by film-makers and journalists alike – a really good story. It’s a powerful and heartfelt drama, based on a real case, with a sledgehammer emotional punch and a stellar performance from Judi Dench, along with an intelligently judged supporting contribution from Steve Coogan. Yet the film’s apparent simplicity and force come to us flavoured with subtle nuances and subtexts, left there by the people who brought this story to the public.

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Fifty Shades of Grey shoot delayed

Filming on the EL James adaptation pushed back a month after lead actor Charlie Hunnam left the film

•Fifty Shades of Grey: Jamie Dornan takes the lead
• How come Charlie Hunnam is suddenly too busy to star in 50 Shades of Grey? Continue reading…
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Robert De Niro just keeps making crap movies

He’s made five movies this year alone and they’re all bad, but this Christmas might bring his Alien Vs Predator moment

So let’s ask ourselves, since his supposed “return to form” a year ago in David O Russell’s Silver Linings Playbook: how’s Robert De Niro been doing? Was that movie the harbinger of some late-flowering, crepuscular blaze of glory, mirroring in old age the sunburst that was his rise to stardom in the 1970s? Or was it just another job for Bob that happened to find itself lodged, for once, within a pretty good movie?

It’s not that De Niro doesn’t deliver any more. He always delivers. He just does it in movies that don’t deserve him, and he does it over and over again like a wall-eyed workaholic. Just this year, the man made five movies.

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Abdellatif Kechiche interview: ‘Do I need to be a woman to talk about love between women?’

Abdellatif Kechiche won a Palme d’Or for his latest film, Blue Is the Warmest Colour, about a lesbian relationship between two students. But since then the director has been criticised for his working methods, and the film’s young stars have said they’ll never work with him again

Abdellatif Kechiche has not been a happy man lately. His new film, Blue Is the Warmest Colour, about a French teenager embarking on a lesbian relationship, has been garlanded with ecstatic reviews and is performing robustly at the box office since its release in France earlier this month. And at the Cannes film festival, back in May, Steven Spielberg’s jury awarded his film the legendary Palme d’Or.

Still, even the Palme seems a mixed blessing for this eminently serious, soft-spoken man. “There’s a certain anxiety that comes with that sort of recognition,” he says in French, making a habitual pensive gesture with his hands, as if carefully weighing two bags of flour. “Suddenly you realise that what you do is very important to other people, you feel as if you have a sort of mission. There’s a feeling of joy and grace. But I know from my experience of recognition” – two of Kechiche’s previous works have won him France’s prestigious César for both best film and best director – “that life quickly returns to normal and all the problems come back too.”

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How gay cinema wooed straight audiences

Does it still matter if a film’s lead character is gay? And do movie-makers need to spell it out to audiences in advance?

In Italy, attitudes towards homosexuality are still pretty conservative, so the Italian distributor of Stranger By the Lake – a French thriller about a killer at large in an idyllic gay-cruising area – had to be careful about its publicity. Careful, that is, to ramp up the gay angle. Where the picture’s international trailer opens with a cryptic conversation about a fish before showing glimpses of male nudity and a bit of groping in the bushes, the Italian trailer drops the fish, adds some flesh and shows two men passionately getting it on.

This wasn’t an act of politically motivated provocation; quite the opposite, in fact. “In Italy, we have a lot of problems with censorship for homosexual films,” says Dario de Lorenzo of Teodora Film, the distributor in question. If there’s room for confusion about a film’s content, he adds, “there’s a chance the theatre couldn’t show the film. The international trailer was quite ambiguous and I thought that, for Italy, it was better to make it more clear.”

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Top 10 crime movies

Murder, robbery, revenge… some of the greatest films revolve around the vilest human acts. The Guardian and Observer’s critics pick the best crime films ever made

• Top 10 romantic movies
• Top 10 action movies
• Top 10 comedy movies
• Top 10 horror movies
• Top 10 sci-fi movies

Controversially, the cinema has always made criminals look cool. The big screen loves bad guys and, to modify Blake’s description of Milton, has often been of the devil’s party, while knowing it perfectly well. Yet crime and transgression are the stuff of drama and real life, too. Howard Hawks’s Scarface in 1932 gave us Paul Muni’s criminal sociopath Tony Camonte, brilliantly reinvented by Brian De Palma in 1983 with Al Pacino in the lead role.

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The Broken Circle Breakdown: watch the trailer for Belgium’s foreign language Oscar entry – video

Didier (Johan Heldenbergh) falls madly in love with Elise (Veerle Baetens) even though the two are polar opposites. The couple’s love blossoms, but is challenged when their daughter falls critically ill. The Broken Circle Breakdown is selected as the B… Continue reading

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Blue’s lesbian lovemaking doesn’t hit the spot. For better sex head for the lake

Cinema and LGBT love: so often a mismatch. Two French films at this year’s London film festival – Blue is the Warmest Colour and Stranger by the Lake – get me hot under the collar in different ways Continue reading…
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Anthony Hopkins’s letter to Breaking Bad star Bryan Cranston

The full text of Anthony Hopkins’s fan letter to Bryan Cranston, calling his performance in Breaking Bad ‘the best acting I have seen – ever’ Continue reading… Continue reading

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Top 10 sci-fi movies

A long time ago, in a land far away… there were no space movies. Luckily, we have lots and the Guardian and Observer’s critics have picked the 10 best ever

• Top 10 romantic movies
• Top 10 action movies
• Top 10 comedy movies
• Top 10 horror movies

Science fiction has produced some of cinema’s boldest and most glorious flights – in every sense. Sometimes patronised as kids’ stuff, the genre seeks to look beyond the parochialism of most realist drama: to see other worlds and other existences, and therefore to look with a new, radically alienated eye at our own. Maybe something in the limitless possibilities of cinema itself spawned sci-fi.

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Top 10 horror movies

Time to bring the fear – from Nosferatu to The Shining, here’s what the Guardian and Observer’s critics have picked as the scariest films ever made

• Top 10 romantic movies
• Top 10 action movies
• Top 10 comedy movies

Horror crashes through boundaries and challenges the prohibitions of taste and thinkability in a way few other genres can match. Classics of the genre were produced in cinema’s very earliest days – the vampire nightmare Nosferatu and The Cabinet of Dr Caligari from the world of German Expressionism.

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Captain Phillips ‘no hero’ in real life, say ship’s crew

Sailors who served under Phillips during hijacking of Maersk Alabama dispute captain’s actions as portrayed in Tom Hanks film

• Peter Bradshaw reviews Captain Phillips
• Watch the Captain Phillips trailer

Sailors who endured the real-life attack by Somali pirates which forms the basis of Oscar-tipped thriller Captain Phillips have condemned the version of events shown in the film.

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Captain Phillips ‘no hero’ in real life, say ship’s crew

Sailors who served under Phillips during hijacking of Maersk Alabama dispute captain’s actions as portrayed in Tom Hanks film

• Peter Bradshaw reviews Captain Phillips
• Watch the Captain Phillips trailer

Sailors who endured the real-life attack by Somali pirates which forms the basis of Oscar-tipped thriller Captain Phillips have condemned the version of events shown in the film.

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The Adjustment Bureau recap: a film that doesn’t bother to explain itself

Angels control our destiny and Matt Damon has a pathological fear of fedoras. Stuart Heritage enters the murky world of The Adjustment Bureau as it screens Saturday at 9pm on Channel 4 Continue reading… Continue reading

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Harrison Ford: does Star Wars need a septuagenarian Han Solo?

Actor would play Indiana Jones again ‘in a New York minute’, but waffles on role in Disney’s upcoming Episode VII

• More on Star Wars Episode VII Continue reading…
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Michael Douglas: I actually had tongue cancer

Actor reveals in interview with Samuel L Jackson that he lied about the type of cancer from which he was suffering over fears it might endanger press tour for Wall Street 2Michael Douglas has revealed that he lied about the type of cancer he was diagno… Continue reading

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Christopher Lee awarded BFI Fellowship

Actor known for roles as Count Dracula and Lord of the Rings’ Saruman will be honoured at London film festival

Lord of the Rings star Christopher Lee has been awarded a prestigious BFI Fellowship. The presentation will be made on 19 October at Banqueting House, Whitehall, during the London film festival, the BFI’s premier event.

The BFI Fellowship is an award given “to individuals in recognition of their outstanding contribution to film or television”. 2012’s honorees were actor Helena Bonham Carter and director Tim Burton. In 2011, writer-director David Cronenberg and actor-director Ralph Fiennes were recipients.

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Top 10 romantic movies

Everyone loves a romantic movie, right? Here’s what the Guardian and Observer’s critics think are the 10 most romantic movies of all time. Let us know what you think in the comments below

• Top 10 action movies
• Top 10 comedy movies Continue reading…
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The 10 best Woody Allen films

We asked readers to vote for their favourite of the director’s films. Here are the results, with contributors making the case for the Woody Allen film that means the most to them Continue reading… Continue reading

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