A filmmaker of Oscar winning calibre who challenges critics and audiences alike, Quentin Tarantino rarely pulls punches, but that's not to say he doesn't have a soft spot for Hollywood's less acclaimed efforts.
The 'Pulp Fiction' and 'Django Unchained' double Oscar winner likes to keep his toes in the film world even when he isn't making one, and it's that time of year again for the avid filmgoer... when Tarantino selects his 10 favourite pictures of the year.
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The first images for the Farrelly Brothers' 'Dumb and Dumber' sequel were revealed by the returning stars of the original - Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels.
Taking to social media, the two actors posted the first glimpses of their intelligence-impaired characters Harry and Lloyd.
Daniels headed straight into shooting the comedy just after his Emmy Award win for 'The Newsroom', a drama in which he plays a conflicted news anchor named Will McAvoy - a man driven by completely different motives to his 'Dumb and Dumber' character Harry Dunn.
He's crafted a trio of respected and wildly popular, record-breaking films that are going to stand up against the likes of Francis Ford Coppola's 'The Godfather', Peter Jackson's 'Lord of the Rings' and Sergio Leone's 'Dollars' trilogies in the eyes of cinemagoers for decades to come, and now Christopher Nolan is saying goodbye to Batman. A job well done.
Fresh from his breakout 'Memento' and its follow-up thriller 'Insomnia', writer/director Nolan replaced camp gloss with solid backstory and a wealth of interesting characters for series reboot 'Batman Begins'. 'The Dark Knight' was even better and trilogy-closer 'The Dark Knight Rises' has wrapped it all up perfectly.
But how does Nolan himself view the experience? The director has provided the foreword to forthcoming book 'The Art And Making Of The Dark Knight Rises' which relates his feelings for the project. Read his fond farewell below:
“Alfred. Gordon. Lucius. Bruce... Wayne. Names that have come to mean so much to me. Today, I’m three weeks from saying a final good-bye to these characters and their world. It’s my son’s ninth birthday. He was born as the Tumbler was being glued together in my garage from random parts of model kits. Much time, many changes. A shift from sets where some gunplay or a helicopter were extraordinary events to working days where crowds of extras, building demolitions, or mayhem thousands of feet in the air have become familiar.”
“People ask if we’d always planned a trilogy. This is like being asked whether you had planned on growing up, getting married, having kids. The answer is complicated. When David [Goyer] and I first started cracking open Bruce’s story, we flirted with what might come after, then backed away, not wanting to look too deep into the future. I didn’t want to know everything that Bruce couldn’t; I wanted to live it with him.”
“I told David and Jonah [Nolan] to put everything they knew into each film as we made it. The entire cast and crew put all they had into the first film. Nothing held back. Nothing saved for next time. They built an entire city. Then Christian and Michael and Gary and Morgan and Liam and Cillian started living in it. Christian bit off a big chunk of Bruce Wayne’s life and made it utterly compelling. He took us into a pop icon’s mind and never let us notice for an instant the fanciful nature of Bruce’s methods.”
“I never thought we’d do a second - how many good sequels are there? Why roll those dice? But once I knew where it would take Bruce, and when I started to see glimpses of the antagonist, it became essential. We re-assembled the team and went back to Gotham. It had changed in three years. Bigger. More real. More modern. And a new force of chaos was coming to the fore. The ultimate scary clown, as brought to terrifying life by Heath.”
“We’d held nothing back, but there were things we hadn’t been able to do the first time out - a Batsuit with a flexible neck, shooting on Imax. And things we’d chickened out on - destroying the Batmobile, burning up the villain’s blood money to show a complete disregard for conventional motivation. We took the supposed security of a sequel as license to throw caution to the wind and headed for the darkest corners of Gotham.”
After 'Inglourious Basterds', Tarantino is right back at the top of pack of America's most exciting filmmaking forces and his latest, 'Django Unchained' has the potential to be just as good. As usual, Tarantino has drafted in yet another immaculate cast of diverse names including (but not limited to) Leonardo DiCaprio, Jamie Foxx, Samuel L Jackson, RZA, Kurt Russell, Sacha Baron Cohen and... Don Johnson!
We've been handed the first UK synopsis and poster for your viewing pleasure:
There's been a rumour going around that's pretty hard to swallow: In the new James Bond movie 'Skyfall', Daniel Craig's dashing, womanising, boozing 007 will ditch his trademark vodka martini ("shaken, not stirred") for... a Heineken. Presumably not shaken or stirred.
With the budget cuts and studio problems that held back this Bond sequel at Sony Pictures, more advertising has crept in.
Rather than the usual abundance of Sony products, designer watches ('Casino Royale' even had a blatant dialogue exchange about Bond's Omega watch), the new move looks set to replace his iconic beverage, one which has been suavely ordered by Connery, Moore, Dalton et al over the decades.
Craig's Bond genesis story 'Casino Royale' "introduced" the drink to the secret agent, but just two films later the legacy looks set to be dropped.
Craig will also star in a commercial for the beer which will air globally. 'Skyfall' director Sam Mendes serves as a consultant. Craig's likeness will also be plastered over special packaging of the beer.
This one is going to go down in the film history books. The mammoth 31-disc 'Harry Potter' collection looks set to be one of the all-time greatest home entertainment releases, and we've got some lovely high-res images from the treasure chest to cast over you.
Available from September 10th 2012, the strictly limited edition set contains all of the films on Blu-ray, DVD and digital copy alongside exclusive never-before-seen bonus features and eight pieces of collectible memorabilia that can't be found anywhere else. Magic. Have a look:
Held inside the high quality packaging that looks sturdier than the most tested office furniture, you can expect the theatrical versions and extended editions in the same set, unlike the first 'Lord of the Rings' Blu-ray releases that packaged them separately, angering the fantatics. Each 'Harry Potter' film installment comes in its own wonderful slipcase box set as evidenced here:
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