Month: August 2015
Taglines: Life can change at the turn of a page.
Michael (Liam Neeson) is a Pulitzer Prize-winning fiction author who has recently left his wife, Elaine (Kim Basinger), and is having a tempestuous affair with Anna (Olivia Wilde), an ambitious young journalist who wants to write and publish fiction.
At the same time, Scott (Adrien Brody), a shady American businessman, is in Italy to steal designs from fashion houses. He meets Monika (Moran Atias), a beautiful Roma woman, who is about to be reunited with her young daughter. When the money she has saved to pay her daughter’s smuggler is stolen, Scott feels compelled to help. They take off together for a dangerous town in Southern Italy, where Scott starts to suspect that he is the patsy in an elaborate con game.
Julia (Mila Kunis), an ex-soap opera actress, is caught in a custody battle for her 6 year-old son with her ex-husband Rick (James Franco), a famous New York artist. With her support cut off and her legal costs ruinous, Julia is reduced to working as a maid in the same upscale boutique hotel where she was once a frequent guest. Julia’s lawyer Theresa (Maria Bello) has secured Julia one final chance to change the court’s mind and be reunited with the child she loves. Rick’s current girlfriend Sam (Loan Chabanol) is a compassionate onlooker.
At its heart, Third Person is much more than a collection of love stories —it is a mystery, a puzzle in which truth is revealed in glimpses, and clues are caught by the corner of the eye — and nothing is truly what it seems.
Third Person is a romantic thriller film directed and written by Paul Haggis and co-starring Liam Neeson, Mila Kunis, Adrien Brody, Olivia Wilde, James Franco, Moran Atias, Kim Basinger, and Maria Bello. The film premiered at the 2013 Toronto Film Festival.
Review for Third Person
aul Haggis’s new movie, “Third Person,” Anna (Olivia Wilde), a go-getting New York journalist, is having an affair with Michael (Liam Neeson), a Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist in a funk. In a darkened room in a posh Paris hotel, he tries, with diminishing confidence, to finish writing a book. He flies Anna over, and they taunt each other, make love, play complicated erotic games. They’ve been carrying on this way for two years—fighting keeps the affair alive. Neeson, now sixty-two, is recognizably stalwart—tough-tender and imposing—and it’s a pleasure to see him acting with a woman after so many fantasy characters and man-alone genre movies. The revelation is Wilde.
A slender beauty with high cheekbones, she makes Anna a full-fledged neurotic, candid and demanding and changeable, shifting abruptly from snuggling happiness to angry defiance. At one point, after Michael locks a naked Anna out of his hotel room, she races down the hallway to her own room and falls into bed laughing. Wilde’s Anna seems to have no center, but that’s the point. She’s harboring guilty secrets, as is Michael, and Haggis’s insight in this movie is that guilt doesn’t make people sodden or reclusive. On the contrary, it makes them frantically alive, seeking to grab something they’ve missed.
There are six main characters in “Third Person,” all of whom are just as surprising as Anna and just as messed up. Haggis tells three stories, set in Paris, Rome, and New York, about different kinds of love, and his unifying theme is that a “third person”—a child, an old lover—lingers in the background of every serious relationship. He intercuts the stories, as he did in “Crash” (2004), but this time the characters don’t impinge on one another—at least, not until the end, when he changes our relation to everything we’ve seen.
As we discover, four of the six have failed as parents, sometimes with disastrous results, but “Third Person” is hardly an accusation. Haggis shapes the stories as complicated adventures undertaken by damaged people whose unhappiness compels them to take risks. Much of the dialogue is prickly and intimate—so intimate that, at times, one has the impression that Haggis is unloading personal obsessions into his narratives, as Bergman and Fellini did.
Adrien Brody, whom I have found languid and uninteresting in the past, provides a second revelation. He uses his hollow bemusement and hangdog recessiveness to create an effective portrait of a man in a rut: Scott, a self-disgusted businessman who steals designs from Italian fashion houses in order to make cheap knockoffs in sweatshops. Scott wanders into an American bar in Rome and, in a lengthy scene, which Haggis builds slowly, becomes enthralled by a beautiful and comically hot-tempered woman from Romania, Monika (Moran Atias), who seems to have escaped from a Rome Opera production of “Carmen.” She is carrying five thousand euros in cash to redeem her daughter from smugglers who are holding the girl in a boat.
The story doesn’t quite make sense, especially as Monika rushes out of the bar, leaving the money behind. But Scott is roused from his self-absorption by the woman’s crazy vivacity, and he tries to help her out. Is he being conned? He doesn’t much care: Monika is funny and street-smart in ways that he could never be. Brody, energized now, enters into Scott’s passion with the mixed fascination and fear of a man who may be throwing his life away but is happy to be doing something decisive at last.
The tale dominated by Mila Kunis, as Julia, a rattled New Yorker, lacks the exuberant spirit of the other two. Julia is one of those infuriating people who can’t pull themselves together, no matter how high the stakes. Broke, disorganized, always late, she has lost custody of her little boy, whom she longs for; a year earlier, she may have hurt the child. Her ex-husband, a famous artist (James Franco, uncharacteristically fierce), has had her cut off financially and her visitation rights blocked. Kunis, scrambling through the city, gives the ultimate in desperate, bottom-dog performances—those saucer eyes never stop pleading. Haggis treats this screwup with great sympathy, recounting her cascading dilemmas in sorrowful detail. Life in the world Haggis creates is marked by bizarre coincidences, missed opportunities, and terrible luck. Living it isn’t easy for anyone.
Directed by: Paul Haggis
Starring: Olivia Wilde, Caroline Goodall, James Franco, Maria Bello, Moran Atias, Mila Kunis, Adam Brody, David Harewood, Liam Neeson, Kim Basinger
Screenplay by: Paul Haggis
Cinematography by: Gianfilippo Corticelli
Film Editing by: Jo Francis
Costume Design by: Sonoo Mishra
Set Decoration by: Raffaella Giovannetti
Art Direction by: Dimitri Capuani, Luca Tranchino
Music by: Dario Marianelli
MPAA Rating: R for language and some sexuality / nudity.
Studio: Sony Pictures Classics
Release Date: June 20, 2014
Based on a true story, Infinitely Polar Bear is a funny and heartbreaking portrait of the many unexpected ways in which parents and children save each other.
While most fathers spend their days at work, Cam Stuart (Mark Ruffalo) is more likely to be found mushroom-hunting, cooking elaborate meals, or working on one of his many half-completed projects. His family’s wealth keeps his family just barely afloat, while Cam struggles to live with manic depression. When Cam has a manic breakdown that lands him in a mental hospital, his wife Maggie (Zoe Saldana) and their two young daughters, Amelia and Faith, are forced to leave their house in the country and move into a cramped apartment in Cambridge, where Maggie tries to find a decent job, with no luck.
Broke, stressed, and overwhelmed, Maggie applies to business school and is accepted to Columbia University’s MBA program. Seeing this as her chance to build a better life for their daughters, Maggie asks Cam to become the primary caregiver for the girls while she completes her degree in New York. After all, routine is what the doctor ordered and the girls miss their dad. Cam agrees, hoping to rebuild his family. But the two spirited girls are not interested in making things easy for him.
With Maggie away in New York, Cam quickly realizes that he’s in over his head. Over the course of the next 18 months, as Maggie rushes to complete her degree, he learns, through trial and a lot of error, how to take care of his precocious daughters as well as himself. After years of struggling to find his place in the world, Cam may finally have found where he fits in.
Infinitely Polar Bear
Directed by: Maya Forbes
Starring: Zoe Saldana, Mark Ruffalo, Keir Dullea, Wallace Wolodarsky, William Xifaras, Mary O’Rourke
Screenplay by: Maya Forbes
Production Design by: Carl Sprague
Cinematography by: Bobby Bukowski
Film Editing by: Michael R. Miller
Set Decoration by: Jennifer Engel
Costume Design by: Kasia Walicka-Maimone
Music by: Theodore Shapiro
MPAA Rating: R for language.
Studio: Sony Pictures Classics
Release Date: January 18, 2014
Taglines: One guy can ruin the perfect relationship.
At 29, the most long-term relationship Sasha (Leighton Meester) and Paige (Gillian Jacobs) have ever been in is with each other, using their co-dependent friendship as an excuse not to venture out into the dating world alone. But when Paige meets nerdy Tim (Adam Brody) and starts to get serious for the first time, the nature of their friendship begins to shift. Fearing she’s being cast aside, Sasha tries to keep their relationship the same, but does growing up also mean growing apart?
Life Partners is an American comedy film directed by Susanna Fogel and co-written with Joni Lefkowitz. It is Fogel’s feature film directorial debut. The film stars Leighton Meester, Gillian Jacobs, Adam Brody, Greer Grammer, Gabourey Sidibe, and Julie White. The film premiered on April 18, 2014 at the Tribeca Film Festival in the Spotlight section. The film was released on November 6, 2014 on demand platforms, and in select theaters on December 5, 2014.
Set in Minneapolis, Minnesota, principal photography began in April 2013 and lasted 19 days. The film was primarily shot in Glendale, California and Eagle Rock, Los Angeles. Some scenes were shot at Griffith Park and at Long Beach, California during the Long Beach Lesbian & Gay Pride. Other scenes were also filmed in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Minneapolis skyline and a few Minneapolis landmarks are also shown in the film.
We’ve all had a best friend. Especially for women, this relationship is as intense as any romantic partnership we will ever have. She’s the person we share our innermost fears with, the person who drives us to the emergency room, the person we bring as our date to weddings. Particularly nowadays, when people are encouraged to take their time in committing romantically, these quasi-marital friendships can last well into our 20s if not 30s, and are a huge part of the Zeitgeist.
It’s surprising, then, how rarely these friendships are accurately portrayed in American films. In mainstream romantic comedies, we’re treated to the “comic relief sidekick” friend who is unflaggingly supportive of the movie’s protagonist (and overly interested in her love life). And we’ve seen the onscreen frenemy who will stop at nothing to sabotage her “best friend” through broad set pieces that sometimes literally involve hair-pulling. But what about that person you love more than anyone in the world…but still talk about behind her back and find yourself subtly one-upping when you’re feeling insecure?
That person you love so much that it kills you to see her making mistakes and why doesn’t she just listen to you when you tell her how to fix her life? That person who drives you so crazy with her passive-aggressive crap that when you complain about it to the guy you’re dating, he can’t help but ask why you’re still friends with her because he just doesn’t get it? It’s that friendship my cowriter Joni and I set out to study with this film, in the tradition of films like Nicole Holofcener’s Walking and Talking that are unparalleled in their realism about female friendship and its absurd amazingness.
Just as we believe there’s a dearth of honest films about female friendships, we also feel a need for films about gays and lesbians having relatable experiences in a diverse world. Joni and I identify differently (she’s gay, I’m straight) and we wanted to represent her community without focusing a narrative on “coming out” or emphasizing the politics of her sexuality in a way that would make the film niche. On the contrary, we wanted to universalize it. Not only did we want to show a platonic gay-straight friendship where neither character is romantically interested in the other, but in executing the script as a director, I strived for accessibility.
In casting, I sought actresses who were widely known and broadly appealing to play lesbians, like Leighton Meester who lends so much credibility, nuance and heart to a role that could not be further from her role on GOSSIP GIRL. As for her straight counterpart, I tried to avoid the plight of the generic romantic comedy heroine by casting Gillian Jacobs, an actress known for her quirky personality and cult comedy fanbase.
As far as my aesthetic approach to directing this film, I aimed for a combination of real and slightly elevated. I’ve always admired directors like Cameron Crowe who combine naturalistic writing and performances with a real sense of style that lends an element of wish fulfillment, fun and entertainment. With this in mind, I tried to encourage moments of spontaneity and raw emotion, while still delivering the scripted comedy and avoiding an overly improvisational or haphazard feel. I approached production design, costume and music with this same philosophy in mind, always aiming for a combination of real and slightly elevated.
With all that said, my hope with LIFE PARTNERS is to deliver a female friendship comedy that resonates and entertains, hitting that sweet spot between a “film” and a “movie” as it explores the universal theme of friendship…along with some related themes (sexuality, women at the center of their own narrative, to name two) that deserve more of a spotlight.
“Leighton especially was really fun to transform from this gossip girl to someone who was representative of the lesbian community and who wasn’t passing as a lipstick lesbian. She doesn’t have a lot of money, she is thrift shopping her stuff or is inheriting it from different people or had it since college and I think making that evident was incredibly important, so we did that. Everything she wears is from a thrift shop or borrowed – it was a beg borrow and steal kind of movie.”
“Your mid to late 20s are such a hard time to dress yourself because you don’t have the money to be the professional you want to be but you need to look professional and that’s something PAIGE has really nailed that SASHA hasn’t figured out. PAIGE is really reveling in being this young lawyer on a career path, and even in her casual wear, you see that.”
The rest of the team came together quickly but efficiently and in April 2013, the 19-day shoot began. Set in Minneapolis, LIFE PARTNERS was shot entirely on the east side of LA, primarily in Glendale and Eagle Rock.
The strong relationship between Leftowitz, Fogel and Mollick extended to their cast and crew, their relaxed professionalism creating a sense of ease and comfort for anyone on set. Fogel’s supportive and good-natured attitude as a director proved incredibly impactful. Meester elaborates, “She’s really ahead of what a lot of people are capable of at her age and especially for somebody who is directing their first feature, I’ve never seen someone be so humble and confident, creative, in tune, and collaborative.” Jacobs adds, “It’s one of the calmest sets I’ve ever been on and for a first time director, that’s really an accomplishment. Everyone seems happy to be at work every day and everything went smoothly. I’ve worked on a lot of movies this size where that is not the case and I think Susanna sets the tone, so it’s been really great.”
Even when Meester & Jacobs had an evening shoot in an unheated pool, playful shrieking and humming the Super Mario Brothers theme took the place of any potential complaining. Their immediate bond didn’t go unnoticed.
“With this the friendship connection between the girls is so important, you’re kind of just taking a gamble,” says Fogel. “You have meetings with each one and if you feel like they would like each other, you just roll the dice on that, but we’re glad they ended up really clicking and becoming friends.” Lefkowitz continues, “I’m sure by the last day they were speaking another language. On day one, everyone was a little nervous and tense but seriously, by day two, they were humping each other before every take, we were like ‘WHAT is happening?’ – we’re just so lucky we found two people with such an odd sense of humor, like Gillian would come to set in a tree costume and they would make crazy videos, they just thought the same weird things were funny and made the same weird voices when they would rehearse their scenes. They related to each other in that weird way and that’s just luck that they were both the same brand of abnormal.”
Jacobs adds, “This movie is all about our friendship and you don’t really know when you meet each other what you’re actually like and turns out she’s a freak like me, so it’s been awesome…we both realized we were goofy weirdoes early on. It’s fun to have someone like that, where you can be as weird as you want to be. The whole crew was kind of like that on this film so it was a fun, silly environment for us.”
The last day of shooting, which took place at Griffith Park, production bought a food truck for the crew and Brody brought in more cupcakes from his favorite bakery than a small independent film crew could possibly eat. It is worth noting not a cast or crew member was absent at the wrap party where karaoke was involved and shirts featuring an inside joke from set printed on the front were disseminated among the group.
Heading towards the film’s festival run, Fogel & Lefkowitz ruminate on how far they have come. “There’s so much that we reflect on and write about that comes from our friendship and how much we’ve changed over the years,” says Fogel. “We always mine our own lives and experiences for stories, but when we met we were both so different. Joni wasn’t out of the closet yet and I was a weird insecure pretentious indie rock person. We evolved into grownups together and we will continue to do that over the next few decades. Having met right after college and now being in our 30s and making this big leap to this next phase of our careers is exciting to do together.”
Directed by: Susanna Fogel
Starring: Leighton Meester, Gillian Jacobs. Adam Brody, Mark Feuerstein, Julie White, Abby Elliot, Greer Grammer, Kate McKinnon, Beth Dover, Gabourey Sidibe
Screenplay by: Susanna Fogel, Joni Lefkowitz
Production Design by: Matt Luem
Cinematography by: Brian Burgoyne
Film Editing by: Kiran Pallegadda
Costume Design by: Courtney Hoffman
Set Decoration by: Danielle Laubach
Art Direction by: Nicolas Kelley
MPAA Rating: R for language and some sexual content.
Studio; Magnolia Pictures
Release Date: December 5, 2014
Taglines: Love Accidentally.
Take Care” is a comedy about a woman (Leslie Bibb), who returns home from the hospital after getting hit by a car, only to realize no one wants to take care of her. After being brushed off by her sister, (Nadia Dajani), best friend, (Marin Ireland) and neighbor, (Michael Stahl-David) she reluctantly asks an ex-boyfriend, (Thomas Sadoski) to help her.
When a car crash leaves Frannie immobilized, she is brushed off by everyone she can count on. With nowhere else to turn, Frannie reluctantly calls her ex, Devon, for help. It isn’t before long that old wounds emerge and are made worse when Devon’s crazy new girlfriend shows up.
Directed by: Liz Tuccillo
Starring: Leslie Bibb, Thomas Sadoski, Betty Gilpin, Michael Stahl David, Nadia Dajani, Marin Ireland, Elizabeth Rodriguez, Tracee Chimo, Michael Godere
Screenplay by: Liz Tuccillo
Production Design by: Jacqueline Jacobson Scarfo
Cinematography by: Anne Etheridge
Film Editing by: John Carhart
Costume Design by: Sarah Mae Burton
Set Decoration by: Anna Pasz
Music by: Elegant Too
Studio: Phase 4 Films
Release Date: December 5, 2014
Taglines: Be careful what you wish for.
Into the Woods is a modern twist on the beloved Brothers Grimm fairy tales in a musical format that follows the classic tales of Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk, and Rapunzel-all tied together by an original story involving a baker and his wife, their wish to begin a family and their interaction with the witch who has put a curse on them.
Set in an alternate world of various Grimm fairy tales, the film intertwines the plots of several Grimm fairy tales and follows them to explore the consequences of the characters’ wishes and quests. The main characters are taken from “Little Red Riding Hood”, “Jack and the Beanstalk”, “Rapunzel”, and “Cinderella”, as well as several others. When a Baker and his Wife learn they’ve been cursed childless by a Witch, they must embark into the woods to find the objects required to break the spell and begin a family.
The film is tied together to the original story of the baker and his wife and, their interaction with the Witch who has placed a curse on them, and their interaction with other storybook characters during their journey. What begins as a lively irreverent fantasy musical eventually becomes a meaningful tale about responsibility, the problems that come from wishes, and the legacy that we leave our children.
Into the Woods is an American fantasy musical drama film directed by Rob Marshall, and adapted to the screen by James Lapine from his and Stephen Sondheim’s Tony Award-winning Broadway musical of the same name. It features an ensemble cast that includes Meryl Streep, Emily Blunt, James Corden, Anna Kendrick, Chris Pine, Tracey Ullman, Christine Baranski, Lilla Crawford, Daniel Huttlestone, MacKenzie Mauzy, Billy Magnussen, and Johnny Depp. Inspired by the Grimm Brothers’ fairy tales of “Little Red Riding Hood”, “Cinderella”, “Jack and the Beanstalk”, and “Rapunzel”
About the Story
A Baker (James Corden) and his Wife (Emily Blunt) wish for a child but suffer under a curse laid upon the Baker’s family by a Witch (Meryl Streep) who found the Baker’s father (Simon Russell Beale) robbing her garden to appease his pregnant wife’s insatiable cravings. The Baker’s father also stole some beans which caused the Witch’s mother to punish her with the curse of ugliness. The Witch offers to lift the curse, but only if the Baker and his Wife obtain four critical items for her to make a certain potion: a cow as white as milk, a cape as red as blood, hair as yellow as corn, and a slipper as pure as gold. The Witch later tells the Baker that she asked him to do this task for her because she is not allowed to touch any of the objects.
The Witch’s demands eventually bring the Baker and his Wife into contact with Jack (Daniel Huttlestone), who is selling his beloved cow Milky White and to whom the Baker offers five magic beans left him by his father (the same ones stolen from the Witch) which grow into a large beanstalk when Jack’s mother angrily discards them in her garden; with Red Riding Hood (Lilla Crawford), whose ruby cape the couple notices when she stops to buy sweets on her way to her grandmother’s house; with Rapunzel (MacKenzie Mauzy), the Witch’s adopted daughter (the child that she took from the Baker’s parents in exchange for the greens stolen by the Baker’s father), whose tower the Baker’s Wife passes in the woods; and with Cinderella (Anna Kendrick), whose beautiful golden slippers catch the eye of the Baker’s Wife as she flees past pursued by a handsome Prince (Chris Pine) who danced with her at the King’s festival.
After a series of failed attempts and misadventures, the Baker and his Wife finally are able to gather the items necessary to break the spell. Meanwhile, each of the other characters receive their “happy endings”: Cinderella and Rapunzel marry their Princes; Jack provides for his mother (Tracey Ullman) by stealing riches from the Giant in the sky, and kills the pursuing Giant by cutting down the beanstalk; The Baker saves Little Red Riding Hood and her Grandmother (Annette Crosbie) from the Big Bad Wolf (Johnny Depp) by killing him; and the Witch regains her youth and beauty after drinking the potion.
Into the Woods
Directed by: Rob Marshall
Starring: Meryl Streep, Emily Blunt, James Corden, Anna Kendrick, Chris Pine, Tracey Ullman, Christine Baranski, Johnny Depp, Lucy Punch
Screenplay by: James Lapine
Production Design by: Dennis Gassner
Cinematography by: Dion Beebe
Film Editing by: Wyatt Smith
Costume Design by: Colleen Atwood
Set Decoration by: Anna Pinnock
Art Direction by: Andrew Bennett, Ben Collins, Chris Lowe, Mary Mackenzie
MPAA Rating: PG for thematic elements, fantasy action and peril, and some suggestive material.
Studio: Walt Disney Pictures
Release Date: December 25, 2014
Taglines: Survival. Resilience. Redemption.
Academy Award winner Angelina Jolie directs and produces Unbroken, an epic drama that follows the incredible life of Olympian and war hero Louis Louie Zamperini (Jack O’Connell) who, along with two other crewmen, survived in a raft for 47 days after a near-fatal plane crash in WWII-only to be caught by the Japanese Navy and sent to a prisoner-of-war camp.
Adapted from Laura Hillenbrand’s (Seabiscuit: An American Legend) enormously popular book, Unbroken brings to the big screen Zamperini’s unbelievable and inspiring true story about the resilient power of the human spirit.
Starring alongside O’Connell are Domhnall Gleeson and Finn Wittrock as Phil and Mac-the airmen with whom Zamperini endured perilous weeks adrift in the open Pacific-Garrett Hedlund and John Magaro as fellow POWs who find an unexpected camaraderie during their internment, Alex Russell as Zamperini’s brother, Pete, and in his English-language feature debut, Japanese actor Miyavi as the brutal camp guard known only to the men as The Bird.
Unbroken is an American historical biographic war-sports drama film, produced and directed by Angelina Jolie, and based on the 2010 non-fiction book by Laura Hillenbrand, Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption. The film revolves around the life of USA Olympian and athlete Louis “Louie” Zamperini, portrayed by Jack O’Connell. Zamperini survived in a raft for 47 days after his bomber was downed in World War II, then was sent to a series of prisoner of war camps.
The film had its world premiere in Sydney on November 17, 2014, and received a wide release in the United States on December 25, 2014. The film grossed $115.6 million in North America, with a worldwide total of over $161 million.
Directed by: Angelina Jolie
Starring: Finn Wittrock, Jai Courtney, Domhnall Gleeson, Jack O’Connell, Morgan Griffin, Maddalena Ischiale
Screenplay by: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Production Design by: Jon Hutman
Cinematography by: Roger Deakins
Film Editing by: William Goldenberg, Tim Squyres
Costume Design by: Louise Frogley
Set Decoration by: Lisa Thompson
Art Direction by: Bill Booth, Jacinta Leong, Charlie Revai
Music by: Alexandre Desplat
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for war violence including intense sequences of brutality, and for brief language.
Studio: Universal Pictures
Release Date: December 25, 2014
Taglines: The Defining Chapter.
Bilbo Baggins, Thorin Oakenshield, and his Company of Dwarves have unwittingly unleashed a deadly force into the world. Enraged, Smaug rains his wrath down upon the men, women, and children of Lake-town. Meanwhile, unseen by almost everyone but the wizard Gandalf, the enemy Sauron has returned to Middle-earth and has sent forth legions of Orcs in an attack upon the Lonely Mountain.
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies is an epic fantasy adventure film, directed by Peter Jackson and written by Jackson, Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, and Guillermo del Toro. It is the third and final installment in Peter Jackson’s three-part film adaptation based on the novel The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien, following An Unexpected Journey (2012) and The Desolation of Smaug (2013), and together they act as a prequel to Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings film trilogy.
Produced by New Line Cinema, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and WingNut Films, and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, The Battle of the Five Armies was released on 11 December 2014 in New Zealand, 12 December 2014 in the United Kingdom and on 17 December 2014 in the United States. It stars Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Richard Armitage, Evangeline Lilly, Lee Pace, Luke Evans, Benedict Cumberbatch, Ken Stott and James Nesbitt. It also features Cate Blanchett, Ian Holm, Christopher Lee, Hugo Weaving and Orlando Bloom.
About the Story
Bilbo and the Dwarves watch from the Lonely Mountain as the dragon Smaug attacks Laketown. Bard the Bowman manages to break out of prison, fights Smaug, and eventually kills him with the black arrow given to him by his son Bain. Smaug’s falling body crushes the fleeing Master of Laketown, along with his cronies, who were escaping Laketown on a boat with the town’s gold.
Bard becomes the new leader of the Laketown people as they seek refuge in the ruins of Dale, while Legolas travels to investigate Mount Gundabad with Tauriel. Thorin, now struck with “dragon sickness”, searches obsessively for the Arkenstone, which was stolen earlier from Smaug by Bilbo. Bilbo learns from Balin that it would be best if the Arkenstone remained hidden from Thorin, who orders the entrance of the Lonely Mountain to be sealed off.
Meanwhile, Galadriel, Elrond and Saruman arrive at Dol Guldur and free Gandalf, sending him to safety with Radagast. They battle and defeat the Nazgûl and Sauron himself, banishing them to the East. Azog, marching on Erebor with his vast Orc army, sends Bolg to Gundabad to summon their second army. Legolas and Tauriel witness the march of Bolg’s army, bolstered by Orc Berserkers and giant bats.
While Bard and the Laketown survivors shelter in Dale, Thranduil arrives with an elf army, supplies and aid, and forms an alliance with Bard, wishing to claim an elven necklace of white gems from the Mountain. Bard attempts to negotiate and reason with Thorin to avoid war, but the dwarf refuses to cooperate. After Gandalf arrives at Dale to warn Bard and Thranduil of the Orc army on the way, Bilbo sneaks out of Erebor to hand the Arkenstone over to Thranduil and Bard.
When Bard and Thranduil’s armies gather at the gates of Erebor, offering to trade the Arkenstone for Thranduil’s gems and Laketown’s share of the gold, Thorin nearly kills Bilbo in a furious rage. After Gandalf forces Thorin to release Bilbo, the arrival of Thorin’s cousin Dáin with his Dwarf army worsens matters. A battle of Dwarves against Elves and Men is imminent, when Wereworms emerge from the ground releasing Azog’s army from their tunnels. With the Orcs outnumbering Dáin’s army, Thranduil and Bard’s forces, along with Gandalf and Bilbo, join the battle as some of the Orcs, Ogres, and Trolls attack Dale.
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
Directed by: Peter Jackson
Starring: Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Evangeline Lilly, Lee Pace, Luke Evans, Benedict Cumberbatch, Ken Stott, James Nesbitt, Cate Blanchett, Ian Holm, Christopher Lee, Hugo Weaving, Orlando Bloom
Screenplay by: Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Peter Jackson, Guillermo del Toro
Production Design by: Dan Hennah
Cinematography by: Andrew Lesnie
Film Editing by: Jabez Olssen
Costume Design by: Bob Buck, Lesley Burkes-Harding, Ann Maskrey
Set Decoration by: Simon Bright, Ra Vincent
Art Direction by: Simon Bright, Andy McLaren
Music by: Howard Shore
Studio: New Line Cinema
Release Date: December 17, 2014
Taglines: Once Brothers, Now Enemies.
Epic adventure Exodus: Gods and Kings is the story of one man’s daring courage to take on the might of an empire. Using state of the art visual effects and 3D immersion, Scott brings new life to the story of the defiant leader Moses as he rises up against the Egyptian Pharaoh Ramses, setting 600,000 slaves on a monumental journey of escape from Egypt and its terrifying cycle of deadly plagues.
Exodus: Gods and Kings is a biblically-inspired epic film directed by Ridley Scott. It was written by Adam Cooper, Bill Collage, Jeffrey Caine and Steven Zaillian. The film stars Christian Bale, Joel Edgerton, John Turturro, Aaron Paul, Ben Mendelsohn, María Valverde, Sigourney Weaver, Ghassan Massoud, Golshifteh Farahani and Ben Kingsley. It is a loose interpretation of the story of the exodus of the Hebrews from Egypt as led by Moses and related in the Book of Exodus.
Shooting of the film began in October 2013 in Almería. Additional filming was scheduled at Pinewood Studios, England. Shooting begun on October 22 in Tabernas (Almería) as the first and main location is Ouarzazate (Morocco), and in Sierra Alhamilla (Almería). The Red Sea scene was filmed at a beach on Fuerteventura, one of the Canary Islands off the northwest coast of Africa. Shooting also reportedly took place in Almeria and in Fuerteventura and lasted 74 days.
About the Story
In 1300 BC, Moses, a general and member of the royal family, prepares to attack the Hittite army with Prince Ramesses. A High Priestess divines a prophecy from animal intestines, which she relates to Ramesses’ father, Seti I. He tells the two men of the prophecy, in which one (of Moses and Ramesses) will save the other and become a leader. During the attack on the Hittites, Moses saves Ramesses’ life, leaving both men troubled.
Later, Moses is sent to the city of Pithom to meet with the Viceroy Hegep, who oversees the Hebrew slaves. Upon his arrival, he encounters the slave Joshua, who is the descendant of Joseph, and is appalled by the horrific conditions of the slaves. Shortly afterwards, Moses meets Nun, who informs him of his true lineage; he is the child of Hebrew parents who was sent by his sister Miriam to be raised by Pharaoh’s daughter. Moses is stunned at the revelation and leaves angrily. However, two Hebrews also overhear Nun’s story and report their discovery to Hegep.
Seti dies soon after Moses’ return to Memphis, and Ramesses becomes the new Pharaoh (Ramesses II). Hegep arrives to reveal Moses’ true identity, but Ramesses is conflicted about whether to believe the story. At the urging of Queen Tuya, he interrogates the servant Miriam, who denies being Moses’ sister. When Ramesses threatens to cut off Miriam’s arm, Moses comes to her defense, revealing he is a Hebrew.
Although Tuya wants Moses to be put to death, Ramesses decides to send him into exile. Before leaving Egypt, Moses meets with his adopted mother and Miriam, who refer to him by his birth name of Moishe. Following a journey into the desert, Moses comes to Midian where he meets Zipporah and her father, Jethro. Moses becomes a shepherd, marries Zipporah and has a son Gershom.
About the Production
On March 15, 2013, It has ben eported Ridley Scott wanted Christian Bale to star in the film; in August he confirmed the role to be Moses himself. On the same day, Joel Edgerton joined the cast to play Ramses and production was set to begin in September. The studio announced the casting calls in Spain’s Almería and Pechina for 3,000 to 4,000 extras and with another 1,000 to 2,000 extras on the island of Fuerteventura. On August 27, Aaron Paul joined the film to play Joshua. Sigourney Weaver, Ben Kingsley and John Turturro were still in talks about joining the cast. On March 27, 2014, the studio changed the title of the film to Exodus: Gods and Kings.
Exodus set in Pechina, Andalusia, Spain. Shooting of the film began in October 2013 in Almería. Additional filming was scheduled at Pinewood Studios, England. Shooting begun on October 22 in Tabernas (Almería) as the first and main location, and in Sierra Alhamilla (Almería). In Fuerteventura, Canary Islands, Ridley Scott shot additional footage in Pájara and Antigua.
Exodus: Gods and Kings
Directed by: Ridley Scott
Starring: Exodus: Christian Bale, Joel Edgerton, John Turturro, Indira Varma, Aaron Paul, Ben Mendelsohn, Sigourney Weaver, Ben Kingsley, María Valverde, Hiam Abbass
Screenplay by: Adam Cooper, Bill Collage
Production Design by: Arthur Max
Cinematography by: Dariusz Wolski
Film Editing by: Billy Rich
Costume Design by: Janty Yates
Set Decoration by: Celia Bobak
Art Direction by: Ravi Bansal, Alex Cameron, Alejandro Fernández, Gavin Fitch, Matthew Gray, Marc Homes, Luigi Marchione, Óscar Sempere, Ashley Winter, Matt Wynne
Music by: Alberto Iglesias
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for violence including battle sequences and intense images.
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Releas Dat: December 12, 2014
A troubled young man and his straight-laced niece embark on a thrilling odyssey through New York City in this heartrending drama based on an Oscar-winning short. As his life hits rock bottom, 20-something Richie decides to end it all, only to have his half-hearted suicide attempt interrupted by an urgent request from his sister to babysit her precocious daughter. So begins a madcap tour of Manhattan after dark, as uncle and niece find unexpected bonds in the unlikeliest of places.
Before I Disappear is an American drama film directed by Shawn Christensen. The film is a feature-length adaptation of the 2012 Oscar-winning short film, Curfew. The film had its world premiere at South by Southwest Film on March 10, 2014. The film was acquired for distribution by IFC Films on August 5, 2014 and released on November 28, 2014
About the Story
In New York City, Richie (Shawn Christensen), a downtrodden young man whose girlfriend, Vista (Isabelle McNally), recently disappeared, discovers the corpse of a girl who died from a heroin overdose while he is cleaning bathroom stalls at a nightclub. The club owner, Bill (Ron Perlman), arranges for her body to be removed without notifying the authorities.
At his apartment, Richie attempts suicide by cutting one of his wrists in a bathtub, when he receives a call from his estranged sister, Maggie (Emmy Rossum), asking him to look after her eleven-year-old daughter, Sophia (Fátima Ptacek). Richie goes to her school, where she recites an Emily Dickinson poem in English and Mandarin. Richie takes her to her apartment before heading home, where he attempts suicide by drug overdose. Richie hallucinates a drug dealer calling him on the phone, threatening him by saying he is in the building. Sophia calls, however, and informs Richie that her mother has not returned home.
Richie arrives at the lobby of Maggie’s apartment, where he discovers that the drugs he took were Zolafren, intended for menopause. Outside Maggie’s apartment, a suspicious-looking woman asks Richie about his sister’s whereabouts. After entering, Maggie calls the apartment, indicating to Richie that she is in central booking and upon hearing of the woman, orders Richie to sneak Sophia out of the building.
Richie takes Sophia to a bowling alley where he works. Richie calls central booking, who inform him that his sister was arrested and is awaiting arraignment at 4:30 AM. The owner of the bowling alley, Gideon (Paul Wesley), has Richie brought to the office. Gideon informs him that his girlfriend has been missing for a day, with her last whereabouts being at Bill’s nightclub, and produces a photograph, which Richie recognizes as being of the dead woman he saw the night before. Richie denies knowledge of her whereabouts. He calls Bill, who tells him to come in at 1:30 AM to discuss the situation.
Before I Dissapear
Directed by: Shawn Christensen
StarringB Emmy Rossum, Ron Perlman, Paul Wesley, Fatima Ptacek, Shawn Christensen, Stephanie Kurtzuba, J. Elaine Marcos, Isabelle McNally, Jacqui Denski
Screenplay by: Shawn Christensen
Production Design by: Scott Kuzio
Cinematography by: Daniel Katz
Film Editing by: Andrew Napier, Damon Russell
Costume Design by: Mikaela Wohl
Set Decoration by: Nora Mendis
Art Direction by: Fletcher Chancey
Music by: Darren Morze
MPAA Rating: None.
Studio: IFC Films
Release Date: November 28, 2014
Having recently lost her sight, Ingrid retreats to the safety of her home – a place where she can feel in control, alone with her husband and her thoughts. But Ingrid’s real problems lie within, not beyond the walls of her apartment, and her deepest fears and repressed fantasies soon take over.
Blind is a Norwegian drama film written and directed by Eskil Vogt. The film premiered in-competition in the World Cinema Dramatic Competition at 2014 Sundance Film Festival on January 19, 2014. Vogt received the Screenwriting Award for Blind at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. The film was later screened in the Panorama section of the 64th Berlin International Film Festival. The film has been nominated for the 2014 Nordic Council Film Prize.
Blind received positive reviews upon its premiere at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports that 100% of 20 film critics have given the film a positive review, with a rating average of 7.7 out of 10.
Scott Foundas of Variety, said in his review that “Ace Norwegian scribe Eskil Vogt makes a sparkling directorial debut with an alternately tragic and playful tale of a blind authoress.” Boyd van Hoeij in his review for The Hollywood Reporter called the film “An ambitiously constructed screenplay translates into a film that’s easier to admire than to love.”
William Bibbiani from CraveOnline praised the film by saying that “Blind exists as a nebulous construction, ever shifting but ultimately centered around a lovely and funny love-quadrangle with curious characters and consistent insight. The film’s curious blend of the sensual and the cerebral manages to engage even when you begin to lack confidence about whether anything is actually happening at all.”
Review for Bilnd Movie
A Norwegian woman who has lost her sight prefers to stay within the confines of her own home, memories and thoughts in Blind, the skillful if a tad cold directorial debut of screenwriter Eskil Vogt (Joachim Trier’s Reprise and Oslo, August 31st).
Though the film’s structure makes it very hard to warm to the protagonist until very late into the proceedings, Vogt finally manages to not only suggest what the world of a blind person must be like in terms of the countless everyday impracticalities but also what it could do to the inner life of a thirty-something woman who’s married and would’ve liked to have children.
The blind Ingrid (Ellen Dorrit Petersen) opens the film in voice-over, conjuring up the image of a tree before the camera shows what she’s talking about. “Places are harder to remember,” she continues, describing how it helps if she’s frequented them often before she lost her eyesight. The film then shows at length what should in theory be a facile domestic task: making some tea and then sitting down to drink it. Already, Vogt is implying with the minute way of observing the action that it pays for the viewer to pay close attention to details.
Audiences will need to do just that, as the narrative, much of it accompanied by Ingrid’s voice-over, keeps introducing new material that’ll inspire double takes or necessitate backtracking through the story.
Ingrid introduces us to the lonely and somewhat portly Einar (Marius Kolbenstvedt), who is addicted to fetish-dominated porn (shown in all its explicit glory) though, as Ingrid remarks, “the Internet can’t tell him how it feels to touch those bodies.” Einar often spies on the lonely young woman who lives in the building across the street, Elin (Vera Vitali), a divorced Swedish mother whose shared custody of her child has made her a prisoner of Norway. In an early bravura sequence, Einar provides the sound to the mute image he sees of Elin in her flat by switching to the same TV channel and eating the same snack. It’s an early indication of the importance of sound in this story narrated by a blind woman.
There’s also the married architect, Morten (Henrik Rafaelsen), qualified by his wife as extremely boring, though apparently not boring enough to secretly communicate with Elin via Internet chat. The film’s first half toggles between the stories of these three characters and the narrator, as it gradually emerges that Ingrid, when home alone, has taken to writing stories and that not everything we see is necessarily real, as a meeting of old student buddies Morten and Einar at a café suggests when, suddenly, the background behind one of the characters suggests he’s been miraculously transported to another place though the conversation between the two simply seems to continue.
Directed by: Eskil Vogt
Starring: Ellen Dorrit Petersen, Henrik Rafaelsen, Vera Vitali, Marius Kolbenstvedt, Stella Kvam Young, Nikki Butenschøn
Screenplay by: Eskil Vogt
Production Design by: Jørgen Stangebye Larsen
Cinematography by: Thimios Bakatakis
Film Editing by: Jens Christian Fodstad
Costume Design by: Ellen Dæhli Ystehede
Set Decoration by: Solfrid Kjetså
Music by: Henk Hofstede
Release Date: January 19, 2014