BYZANTIUM Review

by     Posted 1 year, 144 days ago

byzantium-saoirse-ronan-slice

[This is a re-post of my review from the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival.  Byzantium opens today in limited release.]

The possibilities of the vampire story have become increasingly limited. The story has been around for so long, and has been done so many ways, especially of late, that it’s difficult for a storyteller to come in and find a new spin within the predefined parameters of what we all agree is a “vampire”: a bloodsucking immortal. In his new film Byzantium, director Neil Jordan has seized upon the “immortal” part and how a vampire would always be, in a sense, frozen in the past and unable to move forward. Consequently, Byzantium has trouble gaining any momentum. As its protagonist moans about telling a story hundreds of times but never finding anyone to listen, the film struggles to find a rhythm and gets bogged down in some cringeworthy dialogue. But the most frustrating aspect of Byzantium is how it fails to pursue a thoughtful, gender-related idea that holds far more potential than another exploration of how vampires are accursed creatures sentenced to wander the earth alone forever and ever anon.

Showtimes Cancels THE BORGIAS; Showrunner Neil Jordan Reveals Desired Ending

by     Posted 1 year, 167 days ago

Showtime’s rich, complicated Renaissance drama The Borgias will be coming to an end earlier than expected.  The third season finale on June 16th will also serve as a series finale, as Showtime has also scrapped plans for a two-hour wrap-up movie.  Though The Borgias held steady in the ratings this year, its production costs were deemed too high to continue.  Additionally, creator Neil Jordan wasn’t sure he had enough material in mind for a full fourth season, but had still hoped to be able to wrap things up for Pope Alexander (Jeremy Irons), Cesare (François Arnaud) and Lucrezia  (Holliday Grainger) with a film.

The series’ complexity and intense drama has kept it on critics’ radars throughout its run (and included a Golden Globe nomination for Irons and 10 Emmys for the series so far), but unfortunately it never gained the exposure or interest of a period drama series like HBO’s Game of Thrones (and admittedly was never as engaging, though still made for great TV).  Hit the jump for more on what Jordan had to say about the finale, and the way he had hoped to end the series in a movie.

New Domestic Trailer and Poster for BYZANTIUM Starring Saoirse Ronan and Gemma Arterton

by     Posted 1 year, 182 days ago

saoirse-ronan-byzantium-slice

A new domestic trailer and poster for director Neil Jordan’s vampire drama Byzantium have been released online.  The film stars Gemma Arterton and Saoirse Ronan as a mother/daughter vampire duo who arrive in a small British town where their secret doesn’t stay kept for long.  We’ve already seen a couple of international trailers for the pic, but this one does a nice job of teasing the kind of moody, dramatic vampire story that Jordan has crafted, not unlike his previous film Interview with the Vampire.  We see a lot of Ronan’s character mulling over her immortality, and in a bit of a twist it appears that women are forbidden from being turned into vampires.

Hit the jump to watch the trailer and to see the new poster, and click here to read Matt’s review of the film from TIFF.  The film also stars Sam RileyCaleb Landry Jones, and Jonny Lee Miller.  Byzantium opens on June 28th.

New International Trailer for BYZANTIUM Starring Gemma Arterton and Saoirse Ronan

by     Posted 1 year, 217 days ago

byzantium-saoirse-ronan-slice

A new international trailer for Interview with the Vampire director Neil Jordan’s upcoming vampire drama Byzantium has been released online.  The film stars Gemma Arterton and Saoirse Ronan as a mother/daughter vampire duo who arrive in a small British town where their secret doesn’t stay kept for long.  This latest trailer certainly highlights the film’s impressively stylish visuals, while also showcasing the intensity of the story.  Matt caught the film at TIFF last year and expressed his disappointment with the finished product in his review, and I’m interested to see how Jordan sets this pic apart from Interview with the Vampire, which also explores the notion of cursed immortality.

Hit the jump to watch the trailer.  The film also stars Sam Riley, Caleb Landry Jones, and Jonny Lee MillerByzantium opens on June 28th.

New International Trailer for Vampire Drama BYZANTIUM Starring Saoirse Ronan and Gemma Arterton

by     Posted 1 year, 291 days ago

byzantium-saoirse-ronan-slice

A new international trailer for director Neil Jordan’s (Interview with the Vampire) new film Byzantium has been released online.  The film stars Gemma Arterton and Saoirse Ronan as a mother/daughter vampire duo who arrive in a small British town where their secret doesn’t stay kept for long.  This trailer makes the film look very much like a companion piece to Interview with the Vampire, as we see the duo’s struggle play out over multiple time periods and situations.  As a fan of Jordan’s previous entry into the vampire genre, I’m very much looking forward to seeing how the story unfolds.

Hit the jump to watch the trailer, and click here to read Matt’s review.  The film also stars Jonny Lee Miller, Caleb Landry Jones, and Sam Riley.  Byzantium is currently awaiting a U.S. release date.

Director Neil Jordan Talks BYZANTIUM, the Vampire Genre, TWILIGHT, THE BORGIAS and More at TIFF

by     Posted 2 years, 65 days ago

Neil-Jordan-byzantium-interview-sliceOne of the many films to premier at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival was director Neil Jordan‘s vampire movie ByzantiumStarring Gemma Arterton, Saoirse Ronan, Sam Riley, Caleb Landry Jones and Jonny Lee Miller, the film’s about the tension between mother and daughter vampires over their code of secrecy.  Here’s the full synopsis and the first clip.

Shortly before the premiere, I was able to speak with Neil Jordan.  We talked about TIFF, how Byzantium came together, did the film change during production, the current popularity of the vampire genre, his opinion of the first Twilight movie, his love of the ARRI ALEXA digital camera, deleted scenes, extended cuts, The Borgias, and a lot more.  Hit the jump for what he had to say.

TIFF 2012: BYZANTIUM Review

by     Posted 2 years, 69 days ago

byzantium-saoirse-ronan-slice

The possibilities of the vampire story have become increasingly limited.  The story has been around for so long, and has been done so many ways, especially of late, that it’s difficult for a storyteller to come in and find a new spin within the predefined parameters of what we all agree is a “vampire”: a bloodsucking immortal.  In his new film Byzantium, director Neil Jordan has seized upon the “immortal” part and how a vampire would always be, in a sense, frozen in the past and unable to move forward.  Consequently, Byzantium has trouble gaining any momentum.  As its protagonist moans about telling a story hundreds of times but never finding anyone to listen, the film struggles to find a rhythm and gets bogged down in some cringeworthy dialogue.  But the most frustrating aspect of Byzantium is how it fails to pursue a thoughtful, gender-related idea that holds far more potential than another exploration of how vampires are accursed creatures sentenced to wander the earth alone forever and ever anon.

First Clip from Neil Jordan’s Vampire Film BYZANTIUM Starring Saoirse Ronan

by     Posted 2 years, 72 days ago

saoirse-ronan-byzantium-slice

The first clip from the vampire drama Byzantium has landed online.  Directed by Neil Jordan (Interview with the Vampire), the film stars Gemma Arterton and Saoirse Ronan as a mother/daughter vampire duo who arrive in a small British town where their secret doesn’t stay kept for long.  This clip is a scene between Ronan and X-Men: First Class star Caleb Landry Jones, and it’s not exactly Twilight.  We see Ronan’s character react in slow motion to Jones dropping a fair amount of his blood on the ground.  It’s a bit haunting, a bit strange, and slightly disturbing, but I’m wholly intrigued.

Hit the jump to take a look.  The film also stars Sam Riley and Jonny Lee MillerByzantium will premiere at the Toronto Film Festival, which is currently underway.

New Images from THE HUNGER GAMES and BYZANTIUM; New Set Photos from RIDDICK

by     Posted 2 years, 265 days ago

hunger-games-movie-image-donald-sutherland-slice

New images from The Hunger Games and Byzantium have gone online along with a new set photo from Riddick.  The image from The Hunger Games gives us another look at Donald Sutherland as the villainous President Snow.  Reading the books, I thought Sutherland was a fine choice because A) he can convey the heartlessness of the character; and B) the role will probably keep to the unofficial rule that after the year 2000, Donald Sutherland can’t be in a movie for longer than 15 minutes.

Hit the jump to check out the image along with more on Byzantium and RiddickThe Hunger Games is due out on March 23rd; no release date has been announce for Byzantium and Riddick.

Tom Hollander, Jonny Lee Miller, and Sam Riley Join Saoirse Ronan and Gemma Arterton in BYZANTIUM

by     Posted 2 years, 310 days ago

hollander-miller-riley-slice

Tom Hollander (Hanna), Jonny Lee Miller (Dexter), and Sam Riley (Control) have joined Saoirse Ronan and Gemma Arterton in Neil Jordan‘s vampire movie Byzantium. Ronan and Arterton play a daughter and mother who are vampires who arrive in a small 18th century British town.  Ronan’s character begins a relationship with a young man (Caleb Landry Jones) who’s dying of leukemia, which in turn forces him to struggle with his mortality and her to question her immortality.

Daily Mail doesn’t have any details on who the actors will play, but I’m happy to see Hollander in any movie.  He’s a scene stealer and I’m curious to see what he’ll bring to the production.

Caleb Landry Jones to Play Male Lead Neil Jordan’s BYZANTIUM

by     Posted 3 years, 89 days ago

caleb-landry-jones-neil-jordan-slice-01

Caleb Landry Jones (X-Men: First Class) has landed the male lead role in Neil Jordan’s vampire drama Byzantium.  The film stars Saoirse Ronan and Gemma Arterton as a daughter and mother who are vampires who arrive in a small British town.  According to Variety, they reveal their secret to the town and the daughter begins a relationship with teenager dying of leukemia (Jones) which in turns forces him to struggle with his mortality, causing Saorsie Ronan’s character to struggle with her own immortality.  When we first reported on the film back in May, the cast also included Helena Bonham Carter, Ralph Fiennes, and Jeremy Irvine (War Horse), but there’s no mention of them in Vulture’s story.  Hopefully Fiennes and Carter are still on board (I haven’t seen Irvine in anything so I can’t really judge either way).

Jones was one of the weaker cast members in First Class, but in all fairness his character was broadly drawn and he didn’t get much screen time. He’ll next be seen alongside Mark Wahlberg in the crime-thriller Contraband.

Gemma Arterton and Saoirse Ronan Cast as Mother/Daughter Vampire Team in BYZANTIUM

by     Posted 3 years, 189 days ago

saoirse-ronan-gemma-arterton-slice

News out of the Cannes Film Festival suggests that vampire movies are not quite dead yet. Director Neil Jordan and producer Stephen Woolley will reteam for the all-in-the-family vampire pic, Byzantium. Based on an original script by Moira Buffini (Jane Eyre), Byzantium is the story of a deadly pairing of a mother vampire (Arterton) who turns her daughter (Ronan). In addition to the principal cast members, Byzantium also stars Helena Bonham Carter, Ralph Fiennes and Jeremy Irvine (War Horse).

For more information on Byzantium, hit the jump.

First Trailer for Showtime’s THE BORGIAS Starring Jeremy Irons

by     Posted 3 years, 347 days ago

the_borgias_jeremy_irons_slice_01

We haven’t heard much about Showtime’s forthcoming series The Borgias since it was greenlit with Jeremy Irons (Die Hard with a Vengeance) leading the series back in January. But today the cable network released the first official trailer for the series which follows Rodrigo Borgia (Irons), head of the infamously corrupt Renaissance family and a man who, despite his unsavory reputation, became pope in 1492. Likely looking to capture the audience who loved The Tudors, this historical series seems to be full of erotic romance, corruption, period drama and elaborate costumes. After all, cable can never have too much sex, murder, betrayal and all those things that make humans a lovely little species. Check out the lengthy trailer after the jump.

1492 Pictures and CJ Entertainment to Produce THE GRAVEYARD BOOK and Other Projects

by     Posted 4 years, 175 days ago

Last December, we reported that Neil Jordan (The Brave One) would be adapting Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book.  It’s been quiet since then, but today Heat Vision reports that Chris Columbus’ 1492 Pictures and South Korean company CJ Entertainment are coming on board to help produce the film.  They’ll join producers Wayfare Entertainment, Framestore, and Gaiman.

Graveyard Book is like Ruyard Kipling’s “The Jungle Book” except the boy (named “Nobody Owens”) is raised by ghosts in a cemetery instead of animals in a jungle.  He has a solitary guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor of the dead. There are dangers and adventures in the graveyard for a boy – an ancient Indigo Man beneath the hill, a gateway to a desert leading to an abandoned city of ghouls, the strange and terrible menace of the Sleer.  Also, if he leaves the graveyard, he will be attacked by a man named Jack has already killed Nobody’s family.  It won the 2009 Newberry Medel and spent over 50 weeks on the New York Times Bestseller List.  An adaptation of Gaiman’s book Coraline managed to grab $124 million worldwide last year along with an Oscar nomination for Best Animated Film.  I’d say 1492 and CJ Entertainment have made a wise investment.  Hit the jump for two other projects they’re investing in.

New Trailers for KNIGHT AND DAY, GROWN UPS, and ONDINE

by     Posted 4 years, 217 days ago

slice_knight_day_grown_ups_ondine.jpg

We’ve got a nice batch of trailers for you this fine Friday morning.  First up, there’s the great trailer for the action-comedy Knight and Day starring Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz.  I’ve come to accept that Tom Cruise: The Celebrity will always be a figure of ridicule, but I still believe that Tom Cruise: The Actor is a lot of fun.

Then there’s the awful trailer for Grown Ups starring Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock, Rob Schneider, and David Spade.  Let me sum it up right now: Fatty fall down, woman breast-feeds 4-year-old, men pee in swimming pool.  Oh the hilarity.

Finally, there’s the trailer for Ondine starring Colin Farrell.  It’s worth checking out because it looks like an old myth but told with originality.  Hit the jump to see all three trailers along with a synopsis for each movie.

Click Here