Born on the 18th December 1946 : STEVEN SPIELBERG has crafted one of the finest, unparalled bodies of work of any movie director, his films have touched, entertained and astonished millions across the world : his work includes some of my personal favorites such as Raiders of the Lost Ark, Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Jurassic Park and E.T. and so many more that I have grown up watching, loving and revisiting as often as I can : his latest movie to hopefully land on the big screen will be the remake of West Side Story and keeping busy Spielberg is in pre-production on The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara a film based on the book by David I. Kertzer and will reunite it’s director with Mark Rylance : to celebrate Steven Spielberg‘s 74th birthday I think it’s only right that I quote one of my favorite lines from his finest movie “It’s not the years, honey. It’s the milage” (Indiana Jones)
One of my favorite Steven Spielberg quotes : “When you listen, you learn, You absorb like a sponge : and your life becomes so much better than when you are just trying to be listened to all the time”
Olivia De Havilland moved to Paris in the mid 50s and still lives there today – she is in my opinion “The Greatest Actress” to have shone on our screens, a giant of cinema who mesmerised with her beauty and injected energy, passion & commitment to her many roles spanning the 30s through to the 60s – De Havilland had an impressive range of performances in her career appearing in classics such as Gone With The Wind, The Snake Pit, Hush… Hush, Sweet Charlotte and My Cousin Rachel, she was a Double Best Actress winner at the Oscars for roles in To Each His Own and The Heiress but for me it was her many collaborations with actor and friend Errol Flynn that caught my imagination, she may not have been the main star in these early films but it was her infectious presence, them dreamy eye’s and that swashbuckling attitude in movies such as Dodge City, Captain Blood, They Died With Their Boots On, Santa Fe Trail & The Adventures of Robin Hood that started my love affair with cinema and this British-American actress who took my breath away – so from us here we wish Olivia De Havilland a Happy 100th Birthday !!
3 Days to Kill (2014) – Movie Review ★★★¾
Director: McG – Cast: Kevin Costner, Amber Heard, Hailee Steinfeld, Connie Nielsen, Richard Sammel, and Eriq Ebouaney– Synopsis: After being told he has months to live, CIA agent Ethan Renner (Costner) decides to quit the agency, mend some bridges and build a closer relationship with his estranged wife and daughter before checking out – but his past wont let go and when’s he’s offered a deal to take an experimental drug that could save his life in exchange for one last assignment Ethan has no choice but to step back into the line of fire and track down the world’s most deady terrorist – Verdict: McG can be quite the filmmaker, he knows how to deliver action to the screen with thunderous results, they’re usually fast flowing, with big set pieces and pretty entertaining affairs such as Charlie’s Angels, Full Throttle and Terminator Salvation – but sadly McG can also direct the odd dud like 2012’s comedy This Means War that had a superb cast but was the worst film by a distance that year and sucked in every department – luckily for us 3 Days to Kill sees the director return to form, it’s smart yet simple script written by the French maestro Luc Besson is played out by a stella cast including the class act that is Kevin Costner, the eye candy Amber Heard and Ender’s Game actress Hailee Steinfeld all giving the movie a solid footing, making the movie enjoyable to watch and bringing believability to their characters and scenarios – I believe most of the outside shots were on location in Paris and Belgrade and this lent to the feel of a European thriller, typical of McG the action scenes are crisp, exciting & at times explosive and the wry humor throughout is delivered with masterclass by Costner who seems to be getting to an age like Eastwood did ten years back where you can see the swagger of an aging acting pro oozing confidence and looking great doing so – yes at times it maybe cliched and predictable, and yes Steinfeld and Heard were underused but Overall I had fun with 3 Days to Kill McG has delivered an energetic action thriller, that’s funny, sentimental and so so enjoyable….
Happy 65th Birthday to one of the screen’s great actresses MERYL STREEP – to celebrate I’ve posted this small collage of movie stills of Meryl with some of her leading men, the 6 I felt had that chemistry, that spark, that made that particular movie an incredible viewing experience – amazingly Meryl has been nominated for an an Academy Award more times than any other actor or actress out there – she has won 3 of her 18 Oscar Nominations and has also won 8 of her 28 Golden Globe nominations – next up for Meryl is a small role in Tommy Lee Jones western The Homesman, then playing a Witch in Rob Marshall’s Into the Woods and she has just signed up to play an aging rocker in Diablo Cody‘s Ricky and the Flash – it’s hard to believe that Meryl is 65 today, she still commands the screen churning out incredible performances whilst looking as beautiful and graceful as she did bursting onto our screens back in the late 70’s – once again Happy Birthday Meryl Streep the queen of the screen your truly one of a kind !!
I never really knew the man Philip Seymour Hoffman – I only knew his film & stage work, his memorable scene stealing performances in the mid 90’s to his later roles that gave him some critical acclaim with four Oscar Nominations amongst which a gold statue for Best Actor in 2005’s Capote – he was quite simply one of the screen’s finest actors, a towering movie star who lit up any movie with his undoubted presence and stature – it was testament to his talent that every director wanted to film him and every actor wanted to work with him – Philip Seymour Hoffman (1967-2014)
Two new movie stills have landed – the first showing Ben Affleck in David Fincher’s GONE GIRL “A woman mysteriously disappears on the day of her wedding anniversary” the film is a big screen adaption of Gillian Flynn’s novel of the same name and also stars Rosamund Pike & Kim Dickens – the second picture on the right is from the new biopic The Imitation Game about British wartime cryptographer Alan Turing played by Sherlock’s Benedict Cumberbatch and is directed by Norwegian filmmaker Morten Tyldum
Who would have imagined from them early days playing characters such as Tallulah in Alan Parker’s Bugsy Malone or Iris in Scorsese’s Taxi Driver that this young lady born on this day in 1962 would have become a screen legend and bagged 2 Academy Awards for Best Actress and countless other awards in the process? – It was 12yrs after her brilliant role in Taxi Driver that Jodie Foster delivered one of the best performances of her career as Sarah Tobias who is brutally raped in Kaplan’s The Accused them opening scenes in the bar were pretty horrific, this film sits at number 3 on my Essential Jodie Foster – at number 2 is one of my favorite films of 1997 Robert Zemeckis’s scifi movie Contact starring alongside Matthew McConaughey & William Fichtner – and at number 1 is The Silence of the Lambs playing F.B.I. agent Clarice Starling attempting to catch a serial killer with the help of psychopath Dr. Hannibal Lecter played wonderfully well by Anthony Hopkins, the relationship between Foster & Hopkins is what gave this film it’s bite, them scenes with Clarice trying to gain Lecter’s trust are compelling viewing – the film went on to win the Top 5 Academy Awards – Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Director, Best Picture, and Best Screenplay – now I have named my Essential Jodie Foster it’s only fair to mention the one’s that just missed out but still rank high on her CV : i must confess to having a soft spot for the wonderful Maverick (with Mel Gibson) Jodie looked amazing in this movie and the chemistry between the two is beautiful to watch – Catchfire (with Dennis Hopper) this movie usually gets panned but I really enjoyed it, the film was also directed by Hopper – and David Fincher’s 2002 home invasion movie Panic Room (with Kristen Stewart) such a gripping thriller with a wonderful cast and shot by the the master Fincher….
Not many filmmakers have spanned the decades quite like Martin Scorsese, it was the late 80’s that I first watched his classic, gritty drama 1973’s Mean Streets and since then have watched pretty much everything this New Yorker has set to film, from his early collaborations with De Niro and Keitel in the mid 70s early 80s to this centuries dynamic pairing with DiCaprio, Scorsese is truly one of cinema’s finest Movie Directors – he has received 7 Academy Award Nominations for Best Director (winning for 2006’s The Departed) and in 2010 he was given the Cecil B. DeMille Award – below is what we think are his TOP 10 MOVIES Behind the Camera
Our number 1 choice is 1990’s Goodfellas that stars Robert De Niro, Ray Liotta and Joe Pesci who went on to win an Oscar for his colorful portrayal of Tommy “What do you mean I’m funny?” Devito, the film is the best gangster movie I’ve ever seen and in my opinion the crown jewels on Martin Scorsese’s incredible CV – following close behind is the electric Taxi Driver, the brutal Gangs of the New York and boxing drama Raging Bull – at number 5 is the Howard Hughes tale The Aviator and at number 6 De Niro re-teams with Joe Pesci for the epic mobster, gambling drama Casino – at number 7 is the return of the hustler in 1986’s The Color of Money that’s followed by a trip down the streets of Little Italy in Mean Streets and the uncompromising movie remake of Cape Fear – finally at number 10 sees Daniel Day Lewis in 19th Century New York in The Age of Innocence
Martin Scorsese was born on this day in 1942 in Queens, New York – his latest movie is The Wolf of Wall Street that stars Leonardo DiCaprio and lands Christmas in the US and early next year internationally….