Khamis, 9 Januari 2014

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The Star eCentral: Movie Reviews

Star power in 2014

Posted: 08 Jan 2014 08:00 AM PST

From Amy Adams to Johnny Depp, these are the movie stars who will shine bright in 2014.       

This year promises to be a good one for movie lovers across the board. Between historical dramas, science-fiction thrillers, superhero action movies and arthouse films, there will be something for everyone. For movie fans who swear only by the stars, here is our pick of the top names to watch in 2014.

Angelina Jolie 

The coming year will be a busy one for the Hollywood star, who returns to theatres in May in the title role of Maleficent, a live-action adaptation of Disney's Sleeping Beauty told from the perspective of the iconic villain. In December, the actress will present her latest project as a director, Unbroken

The film is a biopic on the remarkable destiny of Louis Zamperini, a former small-time criminal who went on to become an Olympic athlete and later a war hero. He is still alive today at age 96.

Charlotte Gainsbourg 

The 42-year-old French actress has teamed up once again with Melancholia director Lars von Trier for Nymphomaniac, which premieres at the Berlinale in February 2014 before hitting US theatres in March. Gainsbourg stars as Jo, a self-diagnosed nymphomaniac, in this highly anticipated two-part drama.

Eva Green 

Another French actress making waves on the international film scene, 33-year-old Green will be seen playing two femme fatale roles during the coming year. In 300: Rise Of An Empire, hitting US theatres in March, she will play the ruthless queen Artemisia, commander of the Persian army sent to invade the Greeks. 

In late August, Green will appear in the role of Ava Lord, who seduces Josh Brolin's character in the stylised noir film Sin City: A Dame To Kill For.

Russell Crowe 

The New Zealand native will turn 50 in 2014, but he isn't showing any signs of slowing down. The actor will co-star with Colin Farrell in the romantic fantasy drama Winter's Tale in February, before appearing in the title role of Darren Aronofsky's Noah, an epic and somewhat controversial biblical saga.

Last but not least, the actor will present his feature-length directorial debut, The Water Diviner, at the end of the year. The film will explore the aftermath of the Dardanelles Campaign during World War I, in which several Australians perished.

Nicole Kidman 

Though she may have seemed to be under the radar in 2013, the Australian star was busy shooting a number of much-anticipated films expected in theatres in the coming months. 

In 2014, Kidman will star in the thriller Before I Go To Sleep and the drama The Railway Man, not to mention Grace Of Monaco, Olivier Dahan's biopic on the legendary princess, and Paddington, the film adaptation of the adventures of the Britain's favourite bear. 

Meanwhile, the actress will also be busy on the sets of Jason Bateman's The Family Fang and Werner Herzog's Queen Of The Desert.

Chris Pratt 

A well-known face to Parks And Recreation fans, the 34-year-old actor will be propelled to international fame in 2014 as the star of Marvel's summer blockbuster Guardians Of The Galaxy, something of an outer-space version of the Avengers. His reputation could grow even further if he joins the cast of Jurassic World, slated to go into production this year.

Amy Adams 

The red-headed beauty will ride the wave of success from David O. Russell's American Hustle, possibly even bagging an Oscar nomination. Adams will then head to the set of Batman Vs. Superman to play Lois Lane before joining Christoph Waltz on the set of Big Eyes. In this Tim Burton drama, due in theatres in late 2014, Adams will play Margaret Keane, who accuses her husband of stealing her paintings.

Johnny Depp 

After a rather dismal 2013, marked by the commercial and critical failure of The Lone Ranger, Depp seems ready to make a solid comeback in 2014.

The actor will play the villain in the science-fiction thriller Transcendence next spring before returning to theaters in the title role of Mortdecai, an adventure comedy adapted from the writings of Kyril Bonfiglioli. Finally, at the end of 2014, he will don a wolf costume for Into The Woods, a Disney production that draws inspiration from multiple fairy tales. — AFP Relaxnews

Who to look out for this year

Posted: 08 Jan 2014 08:00 AM PST

WHILE there will be plenty of stories from the entertainment world to keep us occupied, these selected celebrities will be the ones to dominate magazine pages in 2014.

Jennifer Lawrence: There will be no slowing down for Lawrence in 2014. As if 2013 wasn't hot enough for the 23-year-old actress – who nabbed an Oscar for Silver Linings Playbook, continued starring in the successful Hunger Games franchise and wowed everyone with her no-holds-barred attitude – 2014 may be even more sizzling, if that's possible. 

She's got the next X-Men and Hunger Games flicks hitting theatres, plus the period piece Serena (her third movie with Bradley Cooper). And, oh yeah: she's expected to earn an Academy Award nom for her turn in David O. Russell's American Hustle.

Jay-Z and Beyonce: The music world's hottest couple, Jay-Z and Beyonce, avoided the baby boom of 2013 – but we think they'll be at the centre of it in 2014. With daughter Blue Ivy about to turn two, this is the perfect time for 44-year-old Jay and 32-year-old Bey to announce another pregnancy.

American Idol: Idol will make a strong comeback this year. Though 2013 saw a big drop in ratings and some judge hiring misfires (umm ... Nicki Minaj) for the long-running music competition show, 2014's shaken-up judging panel of Jennifer Lopez (returning after a hiatus from the show), newbie Harry Connick Jr and Keith Urban (coming back for a second season) should prove to be just what the Idol doctor ordered. 

We predict lots of chemistry for these energetic three, who will surely choose some seriously talented singers to battle it out on stage.

Kim and Khloe Kardashian: Kim and Khloe will both find happily ever-afters. Kim had a stellar 2013, welcoming daughter North West and getting engaged to rapper-baby daddy Kanye West, plus getting her drawn-out divorce from Kris Humphries finalised.

For 2014, we think Kim and West's sure-to-be over-the-top wedding (which will, of course, be televised) will actually lead to stability for the twice divorced reality starlet.

Meanwhile, younger sister Khloe will rebound from her rough year, which saw a split from hubby Lamar Odom after his reported addiction to crack came to light, with a new, healthier relationship that will grow slowly, unlike her wedding to Odom, which took place just 30 days after the couple met. — amNewYork/McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

Not winners yet

Posted: 08 Jan 2014 08:00 AM PST

Golden Globes organisers seek to stop film nominations being referred to as 'wins'.

AS the Oscars hype machine steps up a gear to culminate in March's Academy Awards ceremony, adverts have begun to appear in trade magazines celebrating the achievements of contenders for this month's Golden Globes.

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), which operates these awards to be awarded on Jan 12, has said it will look unkindly on instances of movies being referred to as "winners" of nominations.

"We have recently seen several instances in which the word 'winner' was used too prominently in publicity and advertising to describe nominees," Theo Kingma, the HFPA president, warned in a letter to studios.

"While earning a nomination is certainly an honour and one to be celebrated, it is not a 'win' and using that term or terms similar to it is likely to mislead the public and diminish the excitement around the awards show, when the winners will be revealed."

Publicity for a number of prominent Oscars contenders has recently used a format in which the word "winner" appears in large text above the number of Golden Globe nominations received by the film. Steve McQueen's 12 Years A Slave, the Meryl Streep drama August: Osage County, Stephen Frears's Philomena and Justin Chadwick's Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom have all been named as transgressors by the Hollywood Reporter, though there is no suggestion of any wrongdoing by any of the studios involved.

The HFPA has not previously targeted the practice, which was banned by the Oscars body, the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, several years ago.

The move is being seen as the latest endeavour by the HFPA to improve its image after years of criticism over lists of nominees that seemed geared towards attracting high-profile Hollywood stars to its annual ceremony.

In other awards-season news, an embarrassing video has emerged of Leonardo DiCaprio extolling the public-speaking skills of Jordan Belfort, the financial fraudster he portrays in controversial Oscar-tipped Martin Scorsese drama The Wolf Of Wall Street.

The testimonial was made some time ago, but has re-emerged into the public consciousness following DiCaprio's flurry of recent interviews denouncing Belfort's activities at discredited 1990s Long Island brokerage Stratton Oakmont.

Scorsese and DiCaprio's three-hour black comedy of excess and betrayal has received considerable praise, though the film-makers' adoption of Belfort's story has proven controversial.

The daughter of a man linked to the discredited financial schemes depicted in the film recently attacked Scorsese and DiCaprio for glamorising a lifestyle of "fun sexcapades and coke binges", while director and star found themselves heckled at a screening last month amid suggestions that their movie was not going down well with older, conservative Oscars voters.

The pair have faced criticism, too, from an animal rights group – which has called for a boycott over the use of a live chimp in one of the film's scenes of excess.

DiCaprio, who was a hands-on producer on The Wolf Of Wall Street and could be in line for an Oscars nod if the film can overcome the furore surrounding it, last week spoke out to insist that he and Scorsese were not "condoning the behaviour" of Belfort and his former cronies.

The testimonial video is being seen as an example of the dirty tactics that often emerge during awards seasons as rival studios flag up their own movies and vie to discredit rival productions. – Guardian News & Media


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