Dan Pringle’s take on Sweeney Todd relocated from a barber shop over a pie store on Fleet Street to a Bournemouth high street kebab shop.
Mike Barnard and Laura Jones offer their views on the film adaptation of Phoebe Gloeckner’s The Diary of a Teenage Girl.
The UK Film Festival 2013 came to a close on Friday, November 15th with an afternoon of documentaries and award winner announcements. One of the most striking images came from Exit, the long documentary winner, which saw a real suicide bomber detonate their device in Afghanistan as the Norwegian makers were filming. The expose on how the country is coping as outside armed forces withdraw packed a punch, as did many of the award-winning screenings that afternoon at the Aubin Cinema in Shoreditch, London.
Fighting against Lovebox’s myriad charms, Backyard Cinema offered an alternative option for Hackney’s various trend-setters and trend-ignorers, on a smaller scale but no less fun. What began as a homemade cinema in North London back garden has grown into an attempt to reinvent the cinema experience with a variety of quirky additions (some deliberate, some not so). Now they run mini film festivals at interesting venues across London with a selection of cult classics and more up-to-date movies.
In 1949, Los Angeles was under the corrupt control of Mickey Cohen. As he plans to expand his influence across the west coast, a covert squad of LAPD officers team up to end his reign of terror once and for all. That’s the story driving Gangster Squad in UK cinemas Thursday, January 10th and billed as the gangster film for a new generation. It has a predigree cast with Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, Josh Brolin and, as the iconic mob boss Mickey Cohen, Oscar-winning actor Sean Penn too. Ahead of its release, we look at 10 of the best gangster performances over the years.
Charlize Theron is considered one of the most beautiful women in Hollywood and regularly tops “sexiest” polls around the globe. Labelled a Hollywood beauty, Charlize’s choice of roles have often disguised her stunning features or turned her appearance into a curse, the latter of which was used to full effect in her latest film Snow White and the Huntsman.
Cockneys vs. Zombies comes to cinemas this Friday (August 31st) showcasing the best of both old and new talent from the East End, including Alan Ford – one of the most recognizable cockney actors of the gangster genre.
A little while ago we had the pleasure of getting a preview of the batch of five action releases made by producer Joel Silver in conjunction with After Dark Films, the guys behind the After Dark Horrorfest in the states, and the After Dark Originals label, both over there and here in the UK. Like how each of the After Dark Originals offered different subgenres of horror (vampire, scarecrow, sci-fi etc) these releases all tackle a different form of action film.
Hollywood loves a remake. Seemingly more than ever at the moment. Yeah, they’ll call it a reboot or a re-imagining, but we’re wise to their ways. A lightly whipped arrangement of crushed potatoes with butter, and tubes of pork drizzled in a beefy ‘jus’ is still bangers and mash, after all.
Iconic comedy Two and a Half Men returns with season eight released on DVD on Monday (August 8th). The defining season of the American comedy sees Charlie Sheen back in his role as Charlie Harper for the last time – soon to be replaced by Ashton Kutcher. Time will tell if his partnership with Jon Cryer will be as winning but while we await the new takes on themes of women, sex, dating, divorce, mothers, single parenthood, sibling relations, surrogate families, money and love, you can pick up the new series here.
Oscar winner Matt Damon and Emily Blunt star in The Adjustment Bureau, the latest adaptation of a Philip K. Dick story. David Norris is an ambitious, well respected politician, on the verge of a landmark change in his life and a seat into the U.S Senate. But after Norris crosses paths with Elise Sellas, an aspiring contemporary ballet dancer, his fate changes dramatically – but he has no control over what that fate is as The Adjustment Bureau step in.
The award-winning digital steampunk series Riese: Kingdom Falling is now playing at www.syfy.co.uk/shows/riese. The story follows Riese, a wanted princess of the Kingdom of Eleysia that has been overthrown by a powerful society called The Sect. The evil empress Amara has proclaimed Riese a traitor, who must evade her pursuers with nothing but her wits and the help of her wolf companion, Fenrir.
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation is still the most watched TV show in the world and its 10th landmark season begins after the infamous departure of Grissom (William Peterson) and the arrival of Dr Raymond Langston (Academy Award nominee and Emmy winner Laurence Fishburne) as he hits the ground running in the CSI hot-seat.
Better late than never – here’s our Zap Bang! editors’ runs down of the films of note for them in 2010…
Back in the days of Hollywood hard-hitters and henchmen it was perfectly acceptable for action movie stars not to say very much. Our heroes (and our villains) had names like Schwarzenegger, Stallone, Bronson, Darth Vader, and the TX-32. They were big; they were beautiful, and very, very dangerous. That said, they did have their limitations and ‘Yo Adrian!’ was about as close as they got to a complete sentence.
However times have changed and we now demand more from our movie stars. Sure we still want their muscles and power but we also expect them to arrive on screen with a modicum of intelligence and a morsel of grace. Cue Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass, the dynamic duo who together forged Jason Bourne; a hero of the everyman that would go on to redefine our definition of the action hero forever.
CSI: Miami is back with a seventh season of murders on the east coast. Famed for making forensic science high gloss entertainment, the new series is out to buy on DVD from Monday, June 7th. If you’re new to CSI: Miami, help catch up with these character profiles of the regular characters.
If you like your films packed full of tense action and martial arts mastery then look no further than Ninja Assassin, out now on Blu-ray, DVD, On-Demand and Digital Download on 17th May. Produced by the combined creative geniuses of the Wachowski Brothers and Hollywood hot-shot Joel Silver, Ninja Assassin tells the story of a young assassin named Raizo (Rain), who turns his back on the Ozunu clan that raised him in order to seek revenge for the heartless murders they committed against those he held dear.
Now we all know that one should never knowingly double-cross a ninja, especially when they’ve been trained in the art of death since the age of six. However some movie mugs just will not learn. So what better way to celebrate the release of this visually stunning, blood filled tour de force, than to remember the most awesome action films that have schooled us in the art of ‘who not to mess with’ throughout the years.
On October 6th 2000 the world was forever changed when an American crime drama television series premiered in the US. That series, CSI, follows a group of Las Vegas criminalists as they uncover physical evidence to solve a range of crimes. It became the most watched show on TV by 2002, and has since become a phenomenon still going strong after 10 years. For all you newbies out there, here’s a catch up ahead of the release of season nine on DVD and Blu-ray this Monday, March 1st. Without wasting anymore time well start with those immortal words… “Previously on CSI”.
There haven’t been many films in recent years that have been able to match the bullet count or sheer enjoyment factor of Smokin’ Aces, in fact most recent action films have been more Romeo than Rambo. So if you’re an adrenaline junkie in need of a need fix then fear not as the Smokin’ Aces gang are back in the sequel Assassins’ Ball, out on DVD and Blu-ray on 25th January.
The Amerian Pie series is back with its seventh entry: American Pie Presents The Book of Love. The franchise has brought many great characters such as the introduction of the Stiffmeister to the legendary Eugene Levy, not to mention the abundance of cheerleading teens. But more than anything, it will be remembered for its un-relentless dedication to flying the flag of gross-out comedy moments and the latest instalment out on DVD from Monday, December 7th doesn’t disappoint in that respect. To celebrate its release we’ve scoured the comedy hall of fame in order to showcase the evolution of the gross out moment from it’s humble fart gag origins through to full blown childbirth glory…
Translating the surrealist humour of Noel Fielding and Julian Barratt from a small screen series to a live stage show proves to have its limitations with this new offering from the pair. Promising an insight into the future via the usual blend of the duos stand-up, songs and appearances from their collection of guest characters, a strong start is weakened as the old songs are dished up amid a slapdash series sketches.
Once Ross Noble gets started, there’s no stopping him. His style of spontaneous stand-up sees him hyperactively prancing around the stage while making observations about his audience which take him on all manner of tangents with hardly a pause for breath. This Nobleism show at the Liverpool Empire Theatre was recorded at the height of his sell-out tour of the same name when he became the first stand-up comic to have his show broadcast live via satellite into cinemas across the UK. Coming in at two hours, there’s so much material covered he puts many of his contemporaries to shame.
The master of spontaneous stand-up, Ross Noble, returns with a new show revealing his unique take on the world in his eagerly-awaited DVD Nobleism. Recorded at the height of his sell-out UK tour of the same name at The Liverpool Empire Theatre, this was the moment he became the first stand-up to have his show broadcast live via satellite into cinemas across the UK.
As a classically-trained musician in-tune with contemporary sounds, who better to take us on a journey through the history of the orchestra than Bill Bailey? The former Never Mind the Buzzcocks team captain has always included musical numbers in his acts and for this show recorded at the grandiose Royal Albert Hall in London last year the comedian gets the BBC Concert Orchestra to play. He teaches us about the variations between instruments, the moods they create and the humour that can be found by deconstructing common themes we hear in popular culture in an intriguingly funny show only Bailey could devise.
Soul Power is a verite documentary, entirely composed of footage shot in 1974 at the legendary music festival dubbed “Zaire ‘74” — a 12-hour, three-night long concert held in Kinshasa, Zaire. The pipe dream of musician Hugh Masekela and producer Stewart Levine, this music festival became a reality when they convinced boxing promoter Don King to combine the event with “The Rumble in the Jungle”, the epic fight between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman (chronicled in the Academy Award winning documentary When We Were Kings).
It shows the experiences and performances of such musical luminaries as James Brown, BB King, Bill Withers, Celia Cruz, Miriam Makeba, among a host of others. At the peak of their talents and the height of their careers, these artists were inspired by this return to their African roots, as well as the enthusiasm of the Zairian audience, to give the performances of their lives. The concert has achieved mythological significance as the definitive Africa(n)-American musical event of the 20th Century.