December 29, 2012 |
NEW YORK - On the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, Kathryn Bigelow was in an editing room, in post-production on K-19: The Widowmaker , her Russian nuclear sub thriller, when word of the attack on the twin towers reached her. "We just stopped what we were doing and shut down for a few days," she recalls. "I was just trying to process it all. " That same morning, Mark Boal was in his apartment in New York, trying to roust himself from bed. After the planes hit the World Trade Center, he walked downtown, working with rescuers, moving through the debris, the chaos.
January 4, 2013 |
NEW YORK - Tradecraft? Jessica Chastain is an old hand. In The Debt , one of the seeming dozens of films Chastain starred in in 2011 (a couple of others: The Help , Tree of Life ), the actress played Rachel Singer, a Mossad agent in 1960s East Berlin. Emotionally scarred, Chastain's Israeli spy was nonetheless skilled, stoic, resolute. And so, when director Kathryn Bigelow contacted her about the role of a CIA operative bent on hunting down Osama bin Laden in Zero Dark Thirty , Chastain thought she could pull it off. "Of course, the character's completely different," Chastain says.
January 4, 2013 |
THE ESSAYIST Christopher Hitchens once characterized the U.S./Afghan war as the world's most open society fighting the world's most closed society - he was particularly taken with the idea of U.S. female pilots dropping bombs on "those who would enslave women. " This way of looking at the conflict remained mostly unique to Hitchens, and in any case was supplanted by Iraq and other events. Now Kathryn Bigelow quietly takes it up in her absorbing hunt-for-Osama bin Laden drama, "Zero Dark Thirty.
January 13, 2013 |
I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it. - Col. Nathan Jessep, "A Few Good Men" 'You," said Jack Nicholson's Jessep to Tom Cruise's Lt. Daniel Kaffee, "have the luxury of not knowing what I know. " Viewers of the movie Zero Dark Thirty will, according to some informed persons, lose the luxury of not knowing about hard but morally defensible things done on their behalf.
January 14, 2013 |
Zero Dark Thirty easily captured the top spot in the weekend box office sweeps. The Sony action flick about the hunt for Osama bin Laden took in $24 million for its first weekend of wide release, according to studio estimates. Second place went to A Haunted House from Open Roads Films, a horror spoof starring Marlon Wayans, with $18.8 million, enough to make any studio exec happy to believe in ghosts. Zero Dark Thirty has racked up five Oscar nominations, including nods for best picture, original screenplay and best actress for Jessica Chastain as a bin Laden-obsessed CIA agent.
January 28, 2013 |
Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters threw the weekend competition in the oven, debuting at No. 1, say studio guesses, with $19 million gross. The next nine: Mama , $12.86 mils; Philly-based Silver Linings Playbook , $10 mils; Zero Dark Thirty , $9.8 mils; Parker , weak with $7 mils; Django Unchained , $5 mils; Movie 43 , rancid debut with $5 mils; Gangster Squad , $4.2 mils; Broken City , $4 mils; and Les Misérables ...
January 22, 2013 |
It was Chastain vs. Chastain at the box office last weekend, as the Golden Globe-winning and Oscar-nominated actress Jessica Chastain 's latest movie - the horror film Mama - dislodged the acclaimed Zero Dark Thirty from the top spot. Mama, which bears the imprimatur of producer Guillermo del Toro , opened above expectations with $28.1 million, topping director Kathryn Bigelow 's Zero Dark Thirty , which took in $17.6 million. Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger 's post-governorship comeback, The Last Stand , could prove to be just that for the action star.
February 25, 2013 |
It was supposed to be Lincoln vs. Zero Dark Thirty , Spielberg vs. Bigelow, the Great Emancipator vs. the CIA girl who hunted down bin Laden. But then, on Jan. 10, they actually announced the Oscar nominations. Kathryn Bigelow's name, shockingly, wasn't on the best-director list, and senators and Pentagon-ers had raised flags about the film's depiction of "enhanced interrogation techniques. " Zero Dark Thirty lost its momentum. So Lincoln and Steven Spielberg had it in the bag, right?
January 18, 2013
PHILLY-RAISED director Brian De Palma is reteaming with his old "Scarface" star, Al Pacino, to take on the story of Penn State coach Joe Paterno , reports Deadline. The project, titled "Happy Valley," will be based on the book Paterno by Joe Posnanski . Dave McKenna , who wrote "American History X" and "Blow," will write the script, ensuring that there is absolutely no subtlety in it at all. Paterno was the legendary coach of the Nittany Lions until the public became aware of his involvement in the pedophilia scandal involving Worst Person Hall of Fame member Jerry Sandusky.
December 27, 2012
HOLLYWOOD had a bounce-back year in 2012, mostly deserved. Movie attendance was up more than 5 percent to about 1.36 billion, as the industry did a good job giving folks what they wanted and often more than they expected. And the year closes with a strong roster of movie-making talent on view - works by Steven Spielberg, Robert Zemeckis, Peter Jackson, Ang Lee, Quentin Tarantino, David O. Russell and Judd Apatow, with Kathryn Bigelow on the way in a few weeks. The year also closes with the industry on the list of collateral suspects in the wake of recent tragedies like the one in Newtown, Conn., prompting questions about the role of popular culture.