Jan 21
2019

On an amusing note, if there’s one film I completely forgot about, it’s “Winchester”, the spooky house horror film that was released last February. The Razzie committee did not forget about it and recognized it today with 4 nominations! The film scored a nod for “Worst Picture” while the Spierig Brothers share a nod for “Worst Director”, for “Worst Screenplay”, and Helen Mirren – in a career first – is nominated as Worst Actress! Four nominations is an impressive score if you consider the Razzies only feature nine categories. As I reviewed the film upon its release, it was really a disappointment because it lacked the two things you would expect from a film like this – it was neither scary nor was it entertaining. I’m sure it was a fun shoot for Helen Mirren, but this time it didn’t transform to the screen. Edit: There has been an article the other week in which members of the Razzie committee have strongly criticised the nominating and voting process, so while I still think it’s a “fun” achievement worth to be doing an update about, this will be the first and last about the Razzies.

Jan 15
2019

Keira Knightley, Helen Mirren and Luke Wilson are learning about love in the trailer for Berlin, I Love You. In PEOPLE exclusive trailer, Knightley portrays Jane, a woman intent on helping a young boy she found in a shelter. Mirren portrays her mother, Margaret, who seems at odds with her daughter’s decision to help the boy played by Liam Gross. “This is Nizar,” Jane says while introducing him to Margaret, who asks, “Is he from the shelter?” Sarcastic, Jane responds, “No, I picked him up from an alleyway.” Directed in segments by 12 directors, the film is the latest installment in the Cities of Love franchise which has spawned the films Paris, Je T’Aime and New York, I Love You. “This is Berlin, a pounding heartbeat grown out of a divided nation,” a voiceover says. “People come to Berlin to dream, to dance and to fall in love.” The film tells the kaleidoscope of stories about love, tolerance and redemption with a total of 20 actors starring in the film including Wilson, Jenna Dewan, Diego Luna, Iwan Rheon, Mickey Rourke and Emily Beecham. Wilson stars as Burke Linz, a man down on his luck who falls in love with the beautiful Katarina, played by Glee‘s Dianna Agron. Berlin, I Love You is in theaters and VOD Feb. 8.

Jan 15
2019

USA Today has an exlusive first look in “The Good Liar”: If online dating wasn’t already treacherous enough, it’s getting extra-hairy courtesy of a Hitchcock-style spin in “The Good Liar.” An adaptation of Nicholas Searle’s 2016 novel, the upcoming thriller (in theaters Nov. 15) finds Helen Mirren and Ian McKellen sharing the big screen for the first time: He plays an aging British con man looking for one last score and she’s a well-off widow he woos through email. Director Bill Condon (“Gods and Monsters,” “Beauty and the Beast”) promises suspense, mystery and “behavior that we’d probably disapprove of in real life, that great Hitchcockian thing of forcing you to be conflicted about how you’re feeling about certain events.” Betty McLeish (Mirren) is a quiet English woman who’s lost her husband and is “vulnerable in the sense that she has great empathy with people,” the actress says. “She’s not wealthy but she’s very comfortably off, and there’s a gap in her life that is to do with companionship and having someone to go to the theater with or the cinema and go out to dinner with.” She goes online and finds Roy Courtnay (McKellen), a charming, funny and self-deprecating guy who is, unbeknownst to her, “actually a double-dealing sort of character,” Mirren says. “He has various mysteries in his life, various people hanging around who we’re not quite sure who they are, so there’s obviously something going on.”

Once Betty opens her life to him, Roy becomes quite taken with the mark he’s supposed to be swindling, things are revealed about his past, and from there, “it’s twisty,” Mirren teases with a laugh. Two other characters add to the overall intrigue: Jim Carter (“Downton Abbey”) stars as Roy’s longtime partner Vincent (“The kindly one, the one who has more of a moral compass,” Condon says), and Russell Tovey (“Quantico”) plays Betty’s grandson Stephen, who’s wary of her new suitor. The last time Mirren worked with McKellen was 17 years ago on a Broadway revival of August Strindberg’s play “Dance of Death.” Although she knows McKellen well, doing the new thriller “was like meeting a new Ian, the film Ian, and likewise he was meeting the film Helen, which are in a way different creatures,” Mirren says. “Good Liar” gave McKellen a chance to play a villain far afield from “the great charm and twinkle” of his real-life persona, Condon says. “It was fun to move him out of twinkle mode and get back in touch with that side that he is able to present so brilliantly.” And Mirren is a foil “who can really go toe to toe and certainly match him in intelligence and in power,” Condon adds. As much as Mirren enjoyed her character, she also loves the construction of a mystery and the idiosyncrasies required in her performance: “You sort of need to lead the audience by the nose, in a way.” Although much of the mystery genre has “been taken over” by TV, Condon feels “it’s right for re-examination in cinema.” And he’s bringing it into modern times: While “The Good Liar” is a bit of a period piece – it’s set in 2008 (“There are websites but no apps”) – he says technology is integral to its puzzle and reveals. “Although there are mountains and mountains of information out there, it’s still very easy to pull the wool over people’s eyes, as you can see by the recent election in America,” Mirren says. “Concealing becomes more prevalent and easier to do simply because everyone thinks that they’re reading the truth.”

Jan 10
2019

“The Nutracker and the Four Realms” will be released on Blu-Ray, DVD and on-demand in the United States on January 29, 2019. The home-video editions come with loads of special features, as listed below. All Clara (Mackenzie Foy) wants is a key – a one-of-a-kind key that will unlock a box that holds a priceless gift. A golden thread, presented to her at godfather Drosselmeyer’s (Morgan Freeman) annual holiday party, leads her to the coveted key—which promptly disappears into a strange and mysterious parallel world. It’s there that Clara encounters a soldier named Phillip (Jayden Fowora-Knight), a gang of mice and the regents who preside over three Realms: Land of Snowflakes, Land of Flowers and Land of Sweets. Clara and Phillip must brave the ominous Fourth Realm, home to the tyrant Mother Ginger (Helen Mirren), to retrieve Clara’s key and hopefully return harmony to the unstable world.

Bonus Features (Vary by Option):

– On Pointe: A Conversation with Misty Copeland: Copeland shares the thrill of portraying one of her favorite characters in a whole new way.
– Unwrapping “The Nutcracker and the Four Realms”: Dive into the production design, sets, costumes and more that helped transform a beloved ballet into an adventurous movie.
– Unwrapped: The Visual Effects of “The Nutcracker and the Four Realms”: View a reel that explores the layers of effects in sequences of the film.

Deleted Scenes:

– The Stahlbaums Arrive: As the Stahlbaums enter the Christmas Eve ball, the butler attempts to announce them to the assembled guests.
– Follow Your Ribbon: Drosselmeyer encourages a reluctant Clara to go find her gift.
– Deleted Scene: Clara Asks About Her Mother: Sugar Plum gives Clara a tour of her mother’s bedroom.
– Left, Left, Left, Left, Left: Wandering lost in the forest, palace guards Cavalier and Harlequin quarrel about which way to go.
– Out with the Old: Sugar Plum makes sweeping changes to the palace decor.

Music Videos:

– “Fall on Me” Performed by Andrea Bocelli Featuring Matteo Bocelli: Experience superstar tenor Andrea Bocelli and his son Matteo Bocelli performing their first duet together in this uplifting song.
– “The Nutcracker Suite” Performed by Lang Lang: Get swept up in a series of images from the movie, set to Tchaikovsky’s music and featuring world-renowned pianist Lang Lang.

Dec 08
2018

Following speculation that EuropaCorp will shutter its French film distribution arm, the company announced it is entering into a three-year distribution partnership with Pathe, according to The Hollywood Reporter. That means director Luc Besson’s Anna, starring Helen Mirren, will get a French release even as the beleaguered company faces financial troubles. Nous Finerons Ensemble, starring Guillaume Canet will also fall under this deal. EuropaCorp had pushed back the releases as it tried to find a distribution partner. Anna was moved from a planned Jan. 2 bow to a March 27 opening in France. Lionsgate, which has U.S. rights to Anna, has shelved the film for now. “We’re delighted to partner with Pathé, and to share our savoir-faire and enthusiasm with them,” said Besson. A spokesperson for EuropaCorp painted the news as a positive for the company as they face the next round of financial results on Dec. 14. “This partnership allows us to have the best of both worlds: reduce our overhead, manage our distribution and work with the best talents in France,” they said. The decision to partner with Pathe comes as EuropaCorp is trying to reduce its overhead as the company is in financial peril after the global disappointment of Besson’s $180 million to $200 million sci-fi epic Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. Besson also faces legal peril after Belgian actress Sand Van Roy accused Besson of raping her, sparking a police investigation. On Nov. 28, five more woman came forward in a report in French investigative magazine Mediapart, alleging sexual misconduct. In total, nine separate woman have accused the director of sexual assault and harassment.