‘Deepwater Horizon’ Review: Real-Life Disaster Movie Explosive But Not Compelling
On April 20, 2010 the worst oil rig crisis and spill in American history happened in Louisiana on the Deepwater Horizon. Eleven workers died. 115 people on that rig struggled to survive. For the next 87 days, oil flowed uncontrollably into the Gulf Of Mexico. Since it was ruled to be responsible in 2014, BP has paid out billions in penalties, settlements and clean-up. Now, six years later, Hollywood is having its say with director Peter Berg’s straight-laced disaster… Read
‘Lethal Weapon’, ‘MacGyver’ & ‘The Exorcist’ Reviews: Three Adaptations, But Only One Worth Watching
Like those addicted to slots or the horses, TV networks never give up hope for a sure thing. Even against the odds, it's that hope that in many ways propels the resurrecting of old favorites and past hits — even ones that would be far better off left alone. That's the case with two of the three adaptations coming to broadcast primetime TV this week, when Lethal Weapon premieres on Fox tomorrow right before the return of Empire, followed by CBS’ MacGyver and Fox’s The Exorc… Read
‘American Honey’ Review: Shia LaBeouf Shines In Honey Of A Great American Movie
Without question one of the best movies, for me at least, to have premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in May was American Honey, Andrea Arnold’s searing story of a new generation of drifting youth that won the British director the Jury Prize (essentially third place). At 162 minutes, it is an ambitious but wildly satisfying road picture centering on Star (Sasha Lane), an 18-year-old trailer-park resident who hooks up with a traveling band of young people on the… Read
‘This Is Us’ & ‘Pitch’ Reviews: Strong Starts For Throwback Tearjerker & Forward-Leaning Fastballs
For better or worse, there are a lot of emotions at play in NBC's This Is Us and Fox's Pitch – and, as I say in my video review above, mainly for the better as both shows step off strong.
The dual offerings from Dan Fogelman this season both have a pivotal plot point to propel them, but the September 20-debuting ensemble starring Sterling K. Brown, Mandy Moore and Milo Ventimiglia on the Comcast-owned network is a real tearjerker that pays compelling homage in many ways… Read
‘Queen Of Katwe’ Review: Disney Family Movie Makes All The Right Moves
In Disney’s earnest and lovely Queen Of Katwe, 10-year-old Phiona Mutesi sells corn on the streets of her impoverished Ugandan neighborhood of Katwe in Kampala. Her mother Harriet sells vegetables, trying to make a decent enough living to bring up her kids, but when Phiona discovers a strong aptitude for the game of chess it upsets the apple cart so to speak. Taking part in the local chess classes from trainer Robert Katende, both Phiona and her new mentor see she has… Read
‘Designated Survivor’ & ‘Bull’ Review: No B.S., The Boys Are Back In Primetime
For all the new formats and hybrids out there, there is still a place on the schedule for broadcasters to cut B.S. gimmicks and deliver straight-no-chaser drama. And that is why, as I say in my video review above, ABC's Kiefer Sutherland-starring Designated Survivor and CBS' Michael Weatherly-starring Bull provide welcome relief in this era of Peak TV.
With the return of high recognition value leads, the September 20-debuting Bull and the September 21 bow of Sutherland’s… Read
‘Conviction’ & ‘Notorious’ Review: Hurry Back ‘Scandal’, Wannabes Fail
There is just not a lot of good to say about either Notorious or Conviction, except that the two new ABC shows serve as a thankful reminder of just how good Shonda Rhimes is at what she does.
Otherwise, as I say in my video review above, the former starring Piper Perabo and Daniel Sunjata is at best coy where it could be curious, and the Hayley Atwell-led latter is cliché-addled where, well it could show some conviction. Debuting on September 22 and October 3… Read
‘The Magnificent Seven’ Review: Western Reboot Falls Short Of Magnificence
I doubt the great Japanese filmmaker Akira Kurosawa had any idea his 1954 classic Seven Samurai would spawn a worldwide franchise that remains vital more than 60 years later. But the movie that inspired John Sturges’ durable 1960 American version The Magnificent Seven — along with several sequels, a TV series, and an iconic Elmer Bernstein theme that put Marlboro Cigarettes on the map — is upon us again in Antoine Fuqua’s reboot called, well, The Magnificent Seven. So… Read
‘Paris Can Wait’ Director Eleanor Coppola: “I Never Imagined That I Would Be Making A Fiction Feature” – Toronto Studio
Eleanor Coppola, wife of renowned filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola, arrived at the Toronto International Film Festival this week with the sexy, charming road movie Paris Can Wait, her first narrative feature after decades in the industry. Acclaimed for her work in the documentary format (Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse), Coppola is now making waves with her new film, starring Diane Lane, Alec Baldwin and Arnaud Viard. Paris Can Wait centers on a woman… Read
‘Voyage Of Time’ Producers Discuss Terrence Malick’s Doc Debut, Decades In The Making – Toronto Studio
Anyone familiar with Palme d’Or winner The Tree of Life or the sprawling CV of iconic filmmaker Terrence Malick—from Badlands to Days of Heaven to The Thin Red Line—would never question that this is an artist with a voice, a vision, and a level of audacity only surpassed by the extent of his curiosity. In Malick’s documentary debut Voyage of Time: Life’s Journey, the filmmaker has realized a vision and a goal going back many years—an exploration of the universe and all… Read
Octavia Spencer, Taraji P. Henson, Janelle Monáe & Pharrell Williams Launch ‘Hidden Figures’ – Toronto Video
There were nearly 300 feature films on the schedule at the Toronto Film Festival this year, but that didn’t stop Fox from making a big splash with a film that wasn’t even screened in its entirety at TIFF. Last weekend, came to the Canadian city to show off 20 minutes of footage, followed by an open air concert by Pharrell Williams, a stone’s throw from the Lightbox.
The film tells the extraordinary story of Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughn and Mary… Read
Holly Hunter Finds Humor And Unusual Structure In ‘Strange Weather’ – Toronto Studio
The red carpet is all but pulled up in Toronto, as the festival readies for its Closing Night Gala this evening. But the Holly Hunter-starrer Strange Weather got its Roy Thomson Hall premiere last night at TIFF, and she stopped by Deadline’s Toronto studio earlier in the week to talk it through.
Written and directed by Katherine Dieckmann, the movie follows Hunter’s Darcy Baylor, a single mom who sets out to uncover the truth behind her son’s suicide years earlier, as she… Read