Feb. 12, 2015 | 1:09 p.m.
Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer forge an unlikely alliance in the first trailer for “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.,” a big-screen take on the 1960s espionage TV series. Directed by Guy Ritchie, the new “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” from Warner Bros. casts Cavill as veteran American spy Napoleon Solo, a CIA agent who finds himself engaged in a joint mission with KGB operative Illya Kuryakin (Hammer). The clip for the film, which also features Alicia Vikander, Hugh Grant and Jared Harris, includes plenty of high style, fast action and a touch of winking humor. Overall, 2015 is shaping up to be a big year for spy cinema — this weekend, Ritchie’s former producing partner Matthew Vaughn offers his own update on the genre, with “Kingsman: The Secret Service.” The gleefully violent spy send-up/homage centers on the “Pygmalion”-style relationship between veteran agent […]
Feb. 08, 2012 | 5:06 p.m.
BATFILMS OF THE FUTURE? The end is near — when the credits roll on “The Dark Knight Rises” this July, it will mark the close of Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy and the final adventure for Christian Bale as the caped crusader of Gotham City. Warner Bros. executives have made it clear they won’t leave the iconic property sitting on a shelf, however, and a new director and star tandem could be inhabiting Wayne Manor by 2014. But how on earth will any filmmaker follow the work of Nolan and company? Working together, Hero Complex lead writer Geoff Boucher and graphic artist Sean Hartter came up with 15 imaginary Batman reboots — and, yes, they did it with tongue in cheek. Ang Lee’s “Wayne Manor”: The director of “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” can certainly handle the fight sequences in super hero film but […]
Jan. 06, 2012 | 9:48 a.m.
It’s a mystery worthy of Sherlock Holmes — you might call it “The Doltish Doctor of Baker Street” — and the scene of the crime was in Hollywood the day before April Fools’ Day 1939. That’s when 20th Century Fox released “The Hound of the Baskervilles,” the first of 14 films starring Basil Rathbone as Holmes and Nigel Bruce as Doctor Watson, that daring duo from Arthur Conan Doyle’s famed books. Doyle has deeply devoted fans across the globe and through generations, and the eager ones who went to see “The Hound of the Baskervilles” in theaters back in ’39 were surely shocked when they realized there was something very different about this new Watson: The man was a complete idiot. Doyle readers since 1887 had known John Watson as a bright, handsome man of the world, a battlefield surgeon and former rugby […]
Dec. 17, 2011 | 10:30 p.m.
British actor Jared Harris has made a career of disappearing chameleon-like into his roles — the pop art icon Andy Warhol in “I Shot Andy Warhol,” the rough-and-tumble sailor Capt. Mike in “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” and the fastidious bean counter Lane Pryce in the AMC television series “Mad Men.” For his latest performance, Professor James Moriarty in the new film “Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows,” he brings the arch-villain out from behind the curtain and into the spotlight. Harris takes center stage as Moriarty to duel the megawatt duo of Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law, who reprise their roles as the world’s most famous detective — re-imagined as a streetwise but still inordinately perceptive brawler — and his capable sidekick, Dr. Watson, in Guy Ritchie’s new sequel to his 2009 blockbuster. A fan of the […]
Jan. 28, 2011 | 4:54 p.m.
Bill Chartoff and David Winkler were knee-high to a grasshopper when their fathers began striking Hollywood gold, producing films as “Raging Bull” and “Rocky.” Though Robert Chartoff’s clan lived in New York and Irwin Winkler’s lived in California, the two families were close — often spending Jewish holidays together, and even vacationing in Africa. Eventually, the sons –- who are about a year apart in age — followed their fathers into Hollywood filmmaking careers of their own, producing and directing movies. Though they’ve pursued solo projects, they are also bound by their fathers’ legacies. In 2006, the second generation teamed up as producers on “Rocky Balboa,” essentially the sixth movie in their fathers’ Sylvester Stallone boxing franchise. But it’s perhaps more fitting that the two men have now teamed up to produce a remake of their fathers’ film “The Mechanic”: […]
Jan. 13, 2011 | 5:45 p.m.
On a frigid November morning, as steam rises from train engines burning fiery coal in a century-old rail depot, Sherlock Holmes is in trouble. Blood on the side of his face, he’s fleeing the staccato rat-tat-tat of 19th century gunfire. Fortunately, his loyal friend Dr. Watson is at his side, as is a rifle-toting gypsy. Outside the depot, Watson and Holmes fumble with their guns to get a bead on their assailants, but the gypsy woman, Sim, beats them to it. She confidently cocks her rifle. Boom! A man falls dead. On beat, Watson and Holmes look at each other with surprise. The sequence, unfolding on the grounds of the train museum in Didcot, 40 minutes by rail from London’s Paddington Station, is from the as-yet-untitled sequel to director Guy Ritchie’s 2009 “Sherlock Holmes” starring Robert Downey Jr. as Sir […]
Jan. 27, 2010 | 2:22 a.m.
“Sherlock Holmes” played second fiddle to the aliens of “Avatar” at the box office, but the Victorian Age sleuth just beat out another extraterrestrial — director Guy Ritchie has set aside the planned “Lobo” film to clear his schedule for a fast-tracked “Holmes” sequel, according to producer Joel Silver. “Holmes” has pulled in $389 million in worldwide box office since its Christmas Day release and looks to add to that with overseas releases still pending in Germany, Japan, France and several other markets. The role of the famed literary detective also just earned Robert Downey Jr. a surprise Golden Globe, suggesting that the actor might still be in play for an Oscar nomination next week. Silver is a producer of “Holmes” as well as “Lobo,” which would adapt the ultra-violent antihero from the pages of DC Comics. Ritchie, who burst on the scene with “Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels” […]
Jan. 07, 2010 | 7:01 p.m.
SCENE STEALER Patrick Kevin Day talked to “Sherlock Holmes” director of photography Philippe Rousselot about how they captured the detective’s eye-catching slo-mo body blows on film. You can read his previous Scene Stealer interviews and Liesl Bradner’s Wizards of Hollywood series right here. Director Guy Ritchie’s updated “Sherlock Holmes” is far more physical than past portrayals, but what’s really shocking is how brutal those punches look in slow motion. To capture the jaw-cracking and rippled skin of the fisticuffs, director of photography Philippe Rousselot shot the fights with a Phantom HD camera, which shoots in excess of 1,000 frames per second (as opposed to the normal 24 frames per second). The results surprised even Rousselot, who says the punches weren’t enhanced at all in post. “The contact seems a lot more brutal on film than it is in truth,” […]