THE CASUAL VACANCY Miniseries Cast Announced; Michael Gambon Leads HBO/BBC’s J.K. Rowling Adaptation

by     Posted 52 days ago

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Though Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling is currently taking her first crack at scriptwriting by adapting her own book Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them for Warner Bros., another one of her works that has absolutely nothing to do with the Harry Potter world is firming up on the small screen.  The BBC and HBO are partnering on a miniseries adaptation of Rowling’s first post-Potter novel The Casual Vacancy, and now the cast has been announced for the anticipated effort.  Leading the charge is Dumbledore himself Michael Gambon, who will play Howard Mollison in the adaptation, which revolves around the lives of a number of people living in a small town who are affected by the sudden death of a town council member.  In the fight to fill the vacant seat, the various wars of the town (rich vs. poor, parents vs. teenagers, etc.) are brought to the surface.

Hit the jump to check out the announced cast and to read a synopsis for the book.

Michael Gambon and Alfred Molina Star as Married Couple in Ira Sachs’ LOVE IS STRANGE; Noomi Rapace Joins Tom Hardy in ANIMAL RESCUE

by     Posted 1 year, 191 days ago

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Some recent casting news to share, as follows:

  • Michael Gambon (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince) and Alfred Molina (Spider-Man 2) will star as a married couple in Love Is Strange, the new film from director Ira Sachs (Keep the Lights On).
  • Noomi Rapace (Prometheus) is confirmed to star alongside Tom Hardy in Animal Rescue,  an adaptation of a Dennis Lehane short story to be directed by Michael Roskam (Bullhead).

Hit the jump for more on each casting announcement.

New Trailer and Clip for QUARTET from Debut Director Dustin Hoffman and Starring Maggie Smith

by     Posted 1 year, 274 days ago

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You might think that two-time Oscar-winner Dustin Hoffman has done pretty much everything in his prolific career, but his upcoming film, Quartet, will be his directorial debut.  Centering on a nursing home for retired opera singers, Quartet shows that not everyone ages gracefully as the egos of a few threaten to disrupt plans for the home’s annual concert.  But the show must go on!

Quartet stars Maggie Smith, Billy Connolly, Pauline Collins, Tom Courtenay and Michael Gambon opens domestically in limited release on December 28th and in the U.K. on January 4th 2013.  Hit the jump to watch the trailer and clip.

New Release Dates for LAST VEGAS, STAND UP GUYS and QUARTET

by     Posted 1 year, 325 days ago

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We’ve got a few new release dates for you this evening.  Check them out at a glance:

  • Last Vegasdirected by Jon Turteltaub and starring Michael Douglas, Robert De NiroMorgan Freeman and Kevin Kline will open December 20th, 2013.
  • Stand Up Guysthe Fisher Stevens comedy starring Al Pacino, Christopher Walken, Julianna Margulies and Alan Arkin, opens January 11th, 2013.
  • QuartetDustin Hoffman’s directorial debut starring Maggie Smith, Billy Connolly, Pauline Collins, Tom Courtenay, and Michael Gambon opens domestically December 28th of this year and in the U.K. January 4th 2013.

Hit the jump for more on each film, including synopses.

Trailer for Dustin Hoffman’s Directorial Debut, QUARTET

by     Posted 2 years, 25 days ago

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The first trailer for Quartet has gone online.  The film is Dustin Hoffman‘s directorial debut, and stars Maggie Smith, Billy Connolly, Pauline Collins, Tom Courtenay, and Michael Gambon as opera singers at a retirement home.  Smith plays a new resident who decides not to participate in the year’s annual concert.   “This is not a retirement home,” Maggie Smith’s character proclaims.  “This is a madhouse.”  Indeed, the movie looks incredibly slight, and yet perfectly geared to the audiences that have helped The Exotic Marigold Hotel to $121 million worldwide.  In a nutshell: your parents will probably want to see it.

Hit the jump to check out the trailer.  Quartet opens in U.K. on January 4, 2013; there’s currently no U.S. release date.

HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS – PART 2 Blu-ray Review

by     Posted 2 years, 248 days ago

Warner Brothers did what they could to drag it out, but after Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, the Harry Potter franchise is finally closed. Perhaps not for good – author J.K. Rowling has got her new Potter-centric website, and she may get bored and write another adventure in that universe. But no matter if it comes back or not, for performers Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint Potter will be part of their legacy. They spent ten years playing Harry Potter, Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley. And no matter what they do, they are as stuck to this as Sean Connery is to James Bond.  Continued after the jump.

Teaser Trailer for HBO’s LUCK Starring Dustin Hoffman

by     Posted 2 years, 305 days ago

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HBO has released a new trailer for David Milch and Michael Mann’s upcoming horse-gambling drama Luck.  If Milch (Deadwood) and Mann (Heat) didn’t already get you excited for the show, here’s the cast: Dustin Hoffman, Nick Nolte, Dennis Farina, John Ortiz, Richard Kind, Kevin Dunn, and Michael Gambon.  The main plotline focuses on as Ace Bernstain (Hoffman) a man who, after three years in prison, teams with his longtime chauffeur and muscle (Farina), to craft a complex plan involving the Santa Anita racetrack.  Of course, this is HBO where there are 3 or 4 plotlines per episode and you have to learn the names of 18 or 19 regular cast members.

Hit the jump to check out the trailer.  Luck premieres January 2012.

Dustin Hoffman Making Directorial Debut With QUARTET Starring Maggie Smith and Billy Connolly

by     Posted 2 years, 319 days ago

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Dustin Hoffman is looking to finally try his hand at directing, as the Academy Award-winning actor is set to make his feature directorial debut with Quartet. Based on the stage play of the same name, the film centers on a quartet of celebrated opera singers whose yearly plans to put on a concert in order to raise funds for their opera singers-only retirement home go awry when four of the finest singers in English operatic history living under one roof leads to trouble.

Hoffman has assembled a cast of British veterans that includes Maggie Smith, Billy Connolly, Tom Courtenay, Pauline Collins, Sheridan Smith, and Michael Gambon. Production got underway today in and around Buckinghamshire and will last for nine weeks. Hit the jump to read the full press release.

First Trailer for PAGE EIGHT Starring Rachel Weisz and Bill Nighy

by     Posted 2 years, 345 days ago

The 2011 Toronto International Film Festival is coming up and I’m insanely jealous of everyone that’s able to go because the line-up of films being showcased is stellar. Among the many features poised to screen at the fest is the spy thriller Page Eight, for which we unveiled a number of new images yesterday. Written and directed by The Reader screenwriter David Hare, the film centers on a long-serving M15 officer (Bill Nighy) who is left an inexplicable file and becomes concerned with a political activist (Rachel Weisz) that begins snooping around. The cast also includes Michael Gambon, Judy Davis, and Ralph Fiennes.

This is very much a teaser trailer, as it doesn’t really give away much of the story. I’m liking the dramatic spy-thriller tone so far though, played much more as a drama than an action film, and I’m intrigued enough to want to see more. Hit the jump to watch the trailer yourself. The 2011 Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 8 – 18th.

HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS – PART 2 Review

by     Posted 3 years, 14 days ago

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Splitting J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was a risky proposition from a narrative standpoint.  Financially, it was an unsurprising move, but if you have one movie that’s all slow, methodical character development and the second movie that’s all fast-paced action, then each movie could be monotonous because they’ve lost the other half of their story.  Both parts of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows managed to avoid that problem.  The first part, while mostly centered on wandering and quiet moments, still managed to work in humor and thrilling set pieces.  By contrast, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 is an almost non-stop epic battle that still finds time for the character development and deeply moving moments the series became known for.  It is the grandest of all of the Harry Potter films in scope, in action, and in heartbreak.

New Trailer for HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS – PART 2

by     Posted 3 years, 92 days ago

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Warner Bros. has released a new trailer for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2.  There’s really only one word to sum up this trailer, however cliched its use might be: epic. It begins with a warped version of the Harry Potter theme that we’ve all come to know and love, generating some fantastic tension for what’s ahead. Fans of the book will not be disappointed and may let out a shriek or two at some of the memorable moments glimpsed in the trailer. I’m loving the operatic feel that Part 2 looks to embody, and can’t wait to see how David Yates and Co. wrap up the most successful franchise in film history this summer.

Hit the jump to check out the trailer.  The film stars Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, and Ralph Fiennes.  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 opens in 3D on July 15th.

DOCTOR WHO: A CHRISTMAS CAROL DVD Review

by     Posted 3 years, 156 days ago

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Doctor Who fans got a big Christmas gift when it was announced that for the first time, the Christmas special, this year Doctor Who: A Christmas Carol, would be aired simultaneously on the BBC in the UK and BBC America in, well, America. And now, in case you missed out, it’s been given a quick turnaround to DVD today (Feb. 15).

Does the world need another A Christmas Carol? Of course not, but loosely basing this on Dickens’ classic Christmas story gives the latest Doctor Who mastermind, Steven Moffat, plenty of chances to have fun with tricks of time and space. Matt Smith is the 11th doctor to travel in the TARDIS booth, and he’s joined in this Christmas special by Michael Gambon (aka Dumbledore, of course) as the Scrooge of sorts for this tale.  Hit the jump for a review of the DVD release of Doctor Who: A Christmas Carol.

Sam Neill Joins J.J. Abrams’ ALCATRAZ and Michael Gambon Joins HBO Series LUCK

by     Posted 3 years, 230 days ago

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Though he’ll always be Dr. Alan Grant in my eyes, Sam Neill has done a myriad of different films with just the right amount of gravitas. Now it looks like he’ll be bringing his talents to the small screen as Deadline reports the actor has landed a role in J.J. Abrams mysterious new series Alcatraz over at Fox. Neill will play Emerson Hauser, the head of a government agency who radiates authority and piercing intelligence. The story itself follows a team of FBI agents and a female police officer (previously announced Sarah Jones) as they track down a group of missing Alcatraz prisoners and guards who reappear in the present day after disappearing 30 years ago. Neill joins Jorge Garcia (Lost), Jonny Coyne and Jason Butler Harner.

Hit the jump for details on a new cast member for HBO’s new series Luck.

Director Tom Hooper Exclusive Interview THE KING’S SPEECH

by     Posted 3 years, 244 days ago

Opening today, in limited release, is one of the best films of the year and something that’s absolutely getting nominated for every major award: director Tom Hooper’s The King’s Speech.  I caught a screening at the Toronto Film Festival and was floored by how much I loved the film.  In fact, after the Festival ended, only two films stayed with me: The King’s Speech and Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan.

If you never saw the trailer, it’s based on the true story of King George VI (Colin Firth) and how he overcame a debilitating speech impediment with the help of an eccentric speech therapist (Geoffrey Rush).   The film also stars Helena Bonham Carter as Firth’s wife, and Guy Pearce, Derek Jacobi, Timothy Spall and Michael Gambon.

While I’ve seen a lot of great performances this year, Firth, Rush, and Bonham Carter are all at the top of their game and all three are getting nominations.  Anyhow, I recently had the chance to talk with director Tom Hooper and after the jump you can either read or listen to what he had to say.  We talked about casting, editing, film vs. digital, awards, working for HBO (he did John Adams), what he has coming up, and a lot more:

4 Movie Clips from THE KING’S SPEECH

by     Posted 3 years, 250 days ago

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Opening on November 26 is one of the best films of the year and something that’s absolutely getting nominated for every major award: director Tom Hooper’s The King’s Speech.  I caught a screening at the Toronto Film Festival and was floored by how much I loved it.  In fact, after the Festival ended, only two films stayed with me: The King’s Speech and Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan.

If you never saw the trailer for The King’s Speech, the film is based on the true story of King George VI (Colin Firth) and how he overcame a debilitating speech impediment with the help of an eccentric speech therapist (Geoffrey Rush).   The film also stars Helena Bonham Carter as Firth’s wife, and Guy Pearce, Derek Jacobi, Timothy Spall and Michael Gambon.

While I’ve seen a lot of great performances this year, Firth, Rush and Bonham Carter are all at the top of their game and all three are getting nominations.  They’re that good.  For a taste of the movie, the Weinstein Company has provided us with 4 clips.  Hit the jump to watch:

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