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Michael Mann Plans Return to Television with Vietnam War Drama ‘Hue 1968’

1 hour ago

With the respected directors making their way to television, the medium is now luring Michael Mann back into its warming embrace. The Heat director, who cut his teeth on TV shows like Starsky and Hutch, Police Story, and Miami Vice, has, along with producer Michael De Luca, snapped up the rights to Black Hawk Down author Mark Bowden’s Hue 1968: A Turning Point of the American War in Vietnam.

Deadline reports that Mann and De Luca will shape Bowden’s book into an an eight-to ten-hour miniseries event, with Mann directing “numerous episodes.” Hue 1968 focuses on the Tet Offensive that became a major turning point of American involvement in the Vietnam War, and one can see the Amazon synopsis below.

By January 1968, despite an influx of half a million American troops, the fighting in Vietnam seemed to be at a stalemate. Yet General William Westmoreland, commander of American forces, »

- The Film Stage

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Ang Lee to Direct Clone Assassin Thriller ‘Gemini Man’

11 hours ago

Riding off the success of Life of Pi, Ang Lee was able to explore his predilection for technology with Bill Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, and while that high frame-rate experiment didn’t connect with audiences, it thankfully hasn’t take long for another project to get off the ground.

According to THR, he’s in talks to direct the action thriller Gemini Man for Skydance Media. A long-gestating project in Hollywood, it dates back to two decades prior with Curtis Hanson and Mel Gibson previously attached, along with Brian Helgeland, Andrew Niccol and David Benioff all having a hand in the script. The story following an assassin who is out of his prime, but is tasked with fighting his own clone, one that is 25 years younger.

With the project needing the technology to realistically portray an actor and his generation-younger iteration, it’s taken awhile to get off the ground, »

- Jordan Raup

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Locarno in L.A. Review: ‘Dark Skull’ Demonstrates Chilling Formal Assurance

12 hours ago

Independent films about inveterate fuckups are nearly pervasive enough to count as some sort of disease, but Dark Skull is less concerned with presenting its viewers with a fuckup than it is with putting them inside one’s head. Or, to better convey what it’s like to watch, this movie crams the audience inside that space until the claustrophobia is overpowering and they can practically smell sour alcohol breath. Co-writer/director Kiro Russo’s first feature demonstrates chilling formal assurance.

The fuckup in question is Elder Mamani (Julio Cesar Ticona), whose godfather pulls some strings to nab him his recently deceased father’s job in the Huanuni tin mine. Bolivia has a long, proud mining tradition, but joining it does absolutely nothing to better Elder, who is never not some combination of drunk, slacking off, or stirring shit. Causing accidents and ignoring his pleading family members, Elder is content to piss on this difficult, »

- Daniel Schindel

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Locarno in L.A. Review: ‘The Challenge’ Examines the Absurdity of High-Class Falconry

12 hours ago

Falconry is a proud tradition, millennia old, that is part of the common heritage of many cultures spanning multiple continents. The practice was originally developed for the hunt, but also lives as a sport. But that transition from the practical to the ceremonial often piles on arbitrary, sometimes random elements whose absurdity belies the utter seriousness with which the practitioners treat them. While The Challenge is about high-class falconry in Qatar, this holds true for any sport indulged primarily by the rich, like the British fox hunt. This is a sports documentary concerned not at all with the competition at hand, but instead with the series of idiosyncrasies and side moments that come along with the sport.

Director Yuri Anacari spent three years observing Qatari sheiks at play with their birds. They are without exception obscenely wealthy, and the film demonstrates that falconry is but one diversion for them, along »

- Daniel Schindel

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Lina Wertmüller on Not Feeling Nostalgic, Capturing the Grotesque, and Her Retrospective

12 hours ago

“It can’t always be about money,” says the infatuated Carletto (Nino Bergamini) to the object of his affection, a country-girl-turned-city-woman named Adelina (Sara Rapisarda) who rejects his marriage proposal because they haven’t yet reached the economic level she desires. In All Screwed Up, Adelina’s refusal to marry a man because of his position, and his violent reaction towards the rejection (he rapes her as she tries to save the new television set she bought for the apartment she shares with other girls) might very well represent the conflict that was at the center of all of Lina Wertmüller’s films, the clash between money and virtue, or more specifically can people be in possession of both?

In films like Swept Away, Seven Beauties and The Seduction of Mimi, Wertmüller displayed a worldview that changed the way people thought about female filmmakers, she made films so bold, unique »

- Jose Solís

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