Last Knights is Kaz I Kiriya’s third film – his first in English – following the cult classic/live-action version of manga/anime series Casshern, and martial arts oddity Goemon. It is a tale of honor, love and loyalty set in a medieval culture reminiscent of Kiriya’s native Japan, but truly diverse – citizens of all races live and work together(even the lords and warriors are diverse).
Principal photography has begun on Ben-Hur, the Timur Bekmambetov-directed based on the Lew Wallace novel, Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ.
Ben-Hur stars Jack Huston (American Hustle) as Judah Ben-Hur, Morgan Freeman as Ilderim (Red, Lucy), Toby Kebbell (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes) as Messala and Nazanin Boniadi (Homeland) as Esther.
Bekmambetov directs from a script by Keith Clarke (The Way Back) and John Ridley (12 Years a Slave). Ben-Hur is slated for a February 26, 2016 premiere. For further details, follow the jump.
Ted is back and getting married – and they wan to have a baby! That means Ted will have to fight for his civil rights.
I can’t wait to see the red band trailer for this one, but in the meantime, check out the first regular (as if anything about Ted is regular) trailer after the jump. Ted 2 premieres on June 26th.
No one has ever accused Luc Besson of being a master filmmaker – despite gems like Léon: the Professional, La Femme Nikita and The Fifth Element. Part of that is because he likes to juxtapose things that are utterly real with things that are utterly ridiculous. Usually, that means putting a down-to-earth old school spy next to someone who looks like Emma Peel, or creating an utterly fantastical world and making the lead a real-guy cabbie. With Lucy, he takes three genres – an intense drug thriller, an over-the-top action movie, and a psychedelic would-be philosophical statement – and crams them together in unexpected ways. Somehow, it works.
Magicians + Robin Hood = Now You See Me…
Now You See Me is scheduled to be released on June 7, 2013. It’s magic!
Show Runner David interviews Morgan Freeman, Virginia Madsen and Rob Reiner.
Monte, a Western novelist, struggles with alcoholism that has sapped his passion for writing. But when he takes a summer cottage, he befriends the family next door. As he falls for Charlotte, he finds a new life and love.
Starring Morgan Freeman, Virginia Madsen and Madeline Carroll.
Directed by Rob Reiner.
Written by Guy Thomas.
Produced by Nicolas Chartier, Alan Greisman, Lori McCreary and Salli Newman.
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Remember Knight & Day? Probably not – it was a less than memorable film that mixed action, espionage and romance in ways that were awkward and unsatisfying – it was a bit of a box office disaster.
RED, on the other hand, takes all of those elements and throws in an element of “over the hill gang” whimsy in a manner that is both extraordinarily clever and, ultimately, gratifyingly silly.
Morgan Freeman Statement:
“I’d like to thank the Academy for this extraordinary honor. Congratulations to Matt Damon on his nomination. I’m especially grateful to Clint Eastwood, Invictus producer, Lori McCreary, and the entire cast and crew of ‘Invictus.’ Most importantly, thank you to Nelson Mandela for his encouragement, his blessing and his friendship – without which, this film would not have been possible.” Did I ever mention the time that my car got wrecked at The Four Seasons while I was interviewing Morgan?
Remember the scene in Pulp Fiction where Uma Thurman’s character overdoses and John Travolta’s character has to administer a shot of adrenaline directly to her heart? That is, roughly speaking, the effect that Timur Bekmambetov’s Wanted has on an audience.
Wesley Gibson [James McAvoy] is a cubicle slave with an impressive, but meaningless title, and a boss who takes particular delight in demeaning him. He has a surprisingly good-looking girlfriend and a cheery best friend – who are sleeping with each other. Then, one night when he’s in line at a pharmacy to buy medication for his anxiety attacks, a gorgeous, tattooed goddess of a woman informs him that his father was the greatest assassin in the world; the number two guy killed him the day before and is just… over there!
Wesley, it seems, has inherited his father’s skills, but has been blithely unaware – mistaking his hunter’s/assassin’s traits as anxiety attacks. The goddess is named Fox [Angelina Jolie] and he is to become a member of The Fraternity – a society of assassins headed by the dapper, dignified Sloan [Morgan Freeman]. Of course, he’ll have to be trained – by a host of assassins with names Like The Repairman [Mark Warren] and Gunsmith [Common]. Then he will hunt and kill the man who killed his father.
Based on Mark Millar’s graphic novel of the same name, Wanted seems to be little more than a framework to showcase Bekmambetov’s dexterity as a director. Instead, it turns out to be a showcase for McAvoy’s transformation from wage slave to a man in charge of his own life – and for Fox to discover the real meaning of integrity. At the same time, of course, Bekmambetov does, indeed, throw everything he’s got into action sequence that take the work of people like Louis Leterrier and the Wachowski Brothers and ramp it up to a level so high that the bar is no longer even visible.
Except for a very few scenes, Wanted makes the proverbial bat out of hell look like a tortoise on its back. The fight scenes are agile in ways that combine John Woo and the Shaw Brothers with Peckinpah and the Wachowskis; the chases are well into the land that exists beyond ridiculous, and the gun play is beyond even that.
Bekmambetov hits us so quickly with pans and zooms and smash cuts and dissolves and changes of pace that we go along for the ride – even though the whole thing is as insubstantial as smoke [and we get some of that, too]. This is what summer blockbusters are supposed to be – smart and absurd and gracefully jagged adrenaline delivery systems. On that level, it is superb!
Final Grade: A
Last month I caught up with Morgan Freeman at the LA Press day for Feast of Love, a small Indie film that had a limited release a few weeks ago with the hopes of having it go wide in the coming weeks. Feast of Love is a small indie film that talks about the various stages of love from the perspective of 3 different couples – one young couple in love, to the middle aged couple who end up getting a divorce and Freeman and his wife who have been together for several years. Check out my review. Morgan was in a great mood for this round table interview and was surprisingly funny and was a little reluctant to talk about Batman, but our friend Frosty over at Collider kept at him till Morgan gave us a quote. It’s funny Frosty and I was battling over who gets to ask the Batman question and I told him to go for it. Check out the interview it was fun, and I expect the studio will do an award campaign around this film. In this really weak year, it wouldn’t surprise me to see Morgan get some attention in the supporting actor category for this.
Ah, Feast of Love, what is there to say about this overlong, pretentious rumination on the many forms of Love? Morgan Freeman gives one of his textbook quiet performances as a retired professor, Harry Stevenson, who sits around and observes life through the eyes of others in a small Oregon town. Continue reading Feast of Love isn’t for everyone. Michelle Alexandria’s Review