Twentieth Century Fox Film via Everett Collection
Samuel L. Jackson was stunned to hear of Harrison Ford's nasty onset accident and is convinced "something went terribly awry" on the Star Wars shoot. The Hollywood veteran was hospitalised in Oxford, England last week (ends15Jun14) after breaking his ankle on the set of the sci-fi franchise reboot, and reports suggest he will spend up to two months recovering from his injuries.
Jackson, who has also appeared in the Star Wars movie series, admits he was shocked by news of Ford's accident - which was reportedly caused by a heavy spaceship prop - because movie sets are usually very safe. He tells U.K. TV show Lorraine, "I'm sure it wasn't because he wanted to or it was something he was doing (sic)... I'm sure something went terribly awry if that happened because most times insurance companies don't like us doing those things (stunts)!"
Jackson goes on to insist he is not disappointed to have been left out of the cast for Star Wars: Episode VII, adding, "No (I'm not disappointed), not really - I thought I did (want to do it) and it would've been interesting but if I don't get the call, I have so many things going on that I can do and hopefully that new era of Star Wars films will be as popular as the ones that we did and the ones that were done before."
Denzel Washington's star power has helped make the revival of A Raisin In The Sun a hit on Broadway, with the show earning $1.2 million (£705,446) in its first full week. The latest production of Lorraine Hansberry's award-winning 1959 race drama has been playing to sold-out audiences at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre in New York since its 3 April (14) opening, making it the fifth highest-grossing show of the week ending 13 April (14).
In addition, the play is the only non-musical to surpass the $1 million (£597,836) mark in a week.
Among those flocking to see A Raisin in the Sun were U.S. President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle, who attended the production on Friday (11Apr14).
Washington stars alongside Sean Patrick Thomas, Anika Noni Rose and Samuel L. Jackson's actress wife Latanya Richardson.
Denzel Washington's return to the Broadway stage has won him rave reviews. The Oscar winner is leading the cast of a revival of race drama A Raisin in the Sun, and the critics love his performance as chauffeur Walter Lee Younger.
Variety has called his latest role "a personal triumph", while USA Today insists Washington's portrayal is "riveting".
British actress Sophie Okonedo also won praise in her Broadway debut as Washington's onstage wife.
New York Times critic Ben Brantley writes, "Despite the central presence of a movie megastar, the 2014 Raisin has a welcome egalitarianism," while The Hollywood Reporter's David Rooney adds, "Washington is the star attraction, but it's the harmonious balance of an impeccably matched ensemble that makes (director) Kenny Leon's lovingly staged revival of A Raisin in the Sun so alive with authentic feeling."
He continues: "Washington slides and swaggers around with the physicality of a still-young man who refuses to let go of his dreams."
The latest production of Lorraine Hansberry's award-winning 1959 drama, currently playing at New York's Ethel Barrymore Theatre, also features Sean Patrick Thomas, Anika Noni Rose and Samuel L. Jackson's actress wife Latanya Richardson Jackson.
Samuel L. Jackson has moved to silence confusion over his identity by promoting his latest movie wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with the slogan "I'm not Laurence Fishburne". The Pulp Fiction star became embroiled in an on-air argument with a U.S. TV news reporter last month (Feb14) when the anchorman accidentally confused him with The Matrix star Fishburne.
Jackson raged at the hapless reporter, "I'm not Laurence Fishburne. We don't all look alike. We're all black and famous but we don't all look alike!... You're the entertainment reporter for this station and you don't know the difference between me and Laurence Fishburne? There must be a very short line for your job."
Jackson is currently touring the globe promoting his latest superhero blockbuster Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and he has been wearing a specially-made T-shirt for his press interviews to remind reporters who he is.
The star shared snaps of himself wearing the shirt on his Twitter.com page and he wore it during a number of interviews with British publications, including a TV interview which aired on U.K. morning show Lorraine on Tuesday (26Mar14), and at a press junket in London.
Samuel L. Jackson's actress wife Latanya Richardson has been given a second chance to strike Broadway gold after she was picked to replace Diahann Carroll in A Raisin In The Sun a decade after she passed on the same role. Carroll was cast as the mother of Denzel Washington's character in the latest version of Lorraine Hansberry's play, but the physical demands of the role forced her to bow out earlier this month (Feb14), leaving director Kenny Leon with a big problem.
He turned to Richardson, who reminded him that he had originally offered her the role when he staged the play with Sean 'Diddy' Combs and Phylicia Rashad.
Washington explains, "Kenny called LaTanya and said, 'Would you do the play...?' She said that he had actually offered the role to her 10 years ago and she couldn't do it, so Phylicia Rashad took over... and Phylicia won the Tony Award, and so now, 10 years later, LaTanya's coming to do it with us.
"She's a brilliant actress. She and I have worked together many times... She's already tearing it up."
The show marks Richardson's first Broadway play since she starred in a 2009 revival of August Wilson's Joe Turner's Come and Gone.
Previews for A Raisin in the Sun begin on 8 March (14).
Movie and TV veteran Diahann Carroll has pulled out of plans to make her Broadway return in a revival of A Raisin In The Sun. The 78 year old signed on last year (13) to portray Denzel Washington's mother in a new version of Lorraine Hansberry's play, her first Broadway role in 30 years, and the show was due to begin previews next month (Mar14).
However, Carroll has since bowed out of the production, blaming the vigorous schedule for her decision to step down, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Samuel L. Jackson's actress wife, LaTanya Richardson Jackson, has been picked to replace Carroll as family matriarch Lena Younger, despite only being five years older than 59-year-old Washington.
The play will mark Richardson Jackson's first role on Broadway since starring in a 2009 revival of August Wilson's Joe Turner's Come and Gone. She joins a cast which also includes Anika Noni Rose and Sophie Okonedo.
Silent Hill: Revelation 3D has a lot of things working against it from the get go. It's based on a video game franchise that debuted in 1999 has been milked for sequels ever since (the current total of Silent Hill games is nine) and the movie itself is a sequel to the disappointingly dumb 2006 film directed by Christophe Gans. What's more the bitter aftertaste of Resident Evil: Retribution is still lingering in the mouths of survival horror movie/gamers and although they have entirely different plots and take place in totally different universes that's not necessarily enough to take the edge off for weary viewers.
It would take a dazzling director with a stellar cast and a first-rate script to overcome those sorts of obstacles and Silent Hill doesn't have any of those things. Writer/director Michael J. Bassett is obviously fond of both video games and horror (his previous movies include Solomon Kane and Deathwatch) the cast is decent with some exceptions and the script… well it's better than Resident Evil. If anything we can give Bassett credit for his enthusiasm. You really can't win when you try and make a video game movie no matter how many hours you spent playing Doom as a teen. Whether that's at the hands of the studios or the creative teams themselves isn't clear; it's simply a nut that hasn't been cracked yet.
The good news is that you don't really need a grasp on the video game or previous movie's narrative to follow the Revelation's plot. Harry (Sean Bean) has been lying to his daughter Heather (Adelaide Clemens) for a very long time. He's convinced her that her dreams about a terrible place called Silent Hill are the longstanding effects of a car crash that killed her mother and that they have to move around and take on new identities all the time because he killed a prowler in self-defense. Heather has other problems like the occasional hallucinations about a terrible alternate universe that's populated by monsters and industrial junk and flickering lights. One minute she'll be doing something normal and then suddenly the walls are burning down to the rafters and something with a butt for a face is shambling towards her. It's a raw deal.
Heather's first day at her new school is not that great; she meets a cute guy named Vincent (Kit Harington) who wants to be buddies but she makes it clear she's pretty bad ass and not one to pal around since she'll just be leaving town again anyway. When she comes home from school her dad has disappeared and the living room is a huge mess. If she wasn't clear on what to do next someone used his blood to write "COME TO SILENT HILL" on the wall with a funky sigil next to it which matches this weird object she's had since she was little. Luckily Vincent has a car and more than a few troubling secrets of his own underneath those glossy brown curls. He offers to drive her and off they go. Typical chitchat between them is about the nature of reality and dreams and Vincent's batty grandfather who's locked up in an insane asylum.
This is where things get really convoluted. Silent Hill is indeed a terrible place where ash falls from the sky during the day and horrible things come out to menace any townsperson dumb enough to be out at night. It's an eerie world that comes close to the truly terrifying Silent Hill games on occasion. After a while though it's mostly just Heather and occasionally Vincent running around in what seems like mazes of rusty bloody walls with the occasional gruesome monster popping out to halfheartedly menace them.
There's a dash of The Wicker Man here with the requisite creepy sacrificial cult and some Hellraiser-esque torture thrown in but it stops short of being a full-blown Clive Barker nightmare. There is some gore and disturbing images but the choice to use practical effects for almost all of the monsters is far more impressive in theory. Those monsters look okay from afar but rubbery up close whereas the only CGI monster is an impressive spidery thing made up of doll parts. The use of strobe lights and other effects is absolutely maddening especially in conjunction with the 3D which is mostly used for cheap gimmicks like splashing blood at the viewer.
There's something oddly satisfying about the way that the movie follows the trajectory of a video game; it's even laid out like a video game universe with different goals and bosses at each location. The problem is that what is believable or acceptable in a video game doesn't necessarily translate to a movie — in a game you're busy solving puzzles and killing monsters and it's easier to overlook kitchen-sink plots. Even though the movie doesn't completely hew to the game's story it's got the same mentality that more is better when it's really just more. And the more that's piled on the more ridiculous it gets. When everything is at a fever pitch that kind of weirdness becomes a baseline and nothing is shocking. Unlike in the games there's just one ending no matter how you play it.
David Mitchell's novel Cloud Atlas consists of six stories set in various periods between 1850 and a time far into Earth's post-apocalyptic future. Each segment lives on its own the previous first person account picked up and read by a character in its successor creating connective tissue between each moment in time. The various stories remain intact for Tom Tykwer's (Run Lola Run) Lana Wachowski's and Andy Wachowski's (The Matrix) film adaptation which debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival. The massive change comes from the interweaving of the book's parts into one three-hour saga — a move that elevates the material and transforms Cloud Atlas in to a work of epic proportions.
Don't be turned off by the runtime — Cloud Atlas moves at lightning pace as it cuts back and forth between its various threads: an American notary sailing the Pacific; a budding musician tasked with transcribing the hummings of an accomplished 1930's composer; a '70s-era investigatory journalist who uncovers a nefarious plot tied to the local nuclear power plant; a book publisher in 2012 who goes on the run from gangsters only to be incarcerated in a nursing home; Sonmi~451 a clone in Neo Seoul who takes on the oppressive government that enslaves her; and a primitive human from the future who teams with one of the few remaining technologically-advanced Earthlings in order to survive. Dense but so was the unfamiliar world of The Matrix. Cloud Atlas has more moving parts than the Wachowskis' seminal sci-fi flick but with additional ambition to boot. Every second is a sight to behold.
The members of the directing trio are known for their visual prowess but Cloud Atlas is a movie about juxtaposition. The art of editing is normally a seamless one — unless someone is really into the craft the cutting of a film is rarely a post-viewing talking point — but Cloud Atlas turns the editor into one of the cast members an obvious player who ties the film together with brilliant cross-cutting and overlapping dialogue. Timothy Cavendish the elderly publisher could be musing on his need to escape and the film will wander to the events of Sonmi~451 or the tortured music apprentice Robert Frobisher also feeling the impulse to run. The details of each world seep into one another but the real joy comes from watching each carefully selected scene fall into place. You never feel lost in Cloud Atlas even when Tykwer and the Wachowskis have infused three action sequences — a gritty car chase in the '70s a kinetic chase through Neo Seoul and a foot race through the forests of future millennia — into one extended set piece. This is a unified film with distinct parts echoing the themes of human interconnectivity.
The biggest treat is watching Cloud Atlas' ensemble tackle the diverse array of characters sprinkled into the stories. No film in recent memory has afforded a cast this type of opportunity yet another form of juxtaposition that wows. Within a few seconds Tom Hanks will go from near-neanderthal to British gangster to wily 19th century doctor. Halle Berry Hugh Grant Jim Sturgess Jim Broadbent Ben Whishaw Hugo Weaving and Susan Sarandon play the same game taking on roles of different sexes races and the like. (Weaving as an evil nurse returning to his Priscilla Queen of the Desert cross-dressing roots is mind-blowing.) The cast's dedication to inhabiting their roles on every level helps us quickly understand the worlds. We know it's Halle Berry behind the fair skinned wife of the lunatic composer but she's never playing Halle Berry. Even when the actors are playing variations on themselves they're glowing with the film's overall epic feel. Jim Broadbent's wickedly funny modern segment a Tykwer creation that packs a particularly German sense of humor is on a smaller scale than the rest of the film but the actor never dials it down. Every story character and scene in Cloud Atlas commits to a style. That diversity keeps the swirling maelstrom of a movie in check.
Cloud Atlas poses big questions without losing track of its human element the characters at the heart of each story. A slower moment or two may have helped the Wachowskis' and Tykwer's film to hit a powerful emotional chord but the finished product still proves mainstream movies can ask questions while laying over explosive action scenes. This year there won't be a bigger movie in terms of scope in terms of ideas and in terms of heart than Cloud Atlas.
The Oscar winner will play a hotel maid who delivers a meal to U.S. civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. on the evening before he's assassinated on 3 April, 1968.
Jackson will play King.
The play, which is set in Room 306 at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee, comes to Broadway after wowing London audiences.
The actress has been hit with a slew of bad reviews for her part in an adaptation of the Moliere classic, which marked her debut on the West End stage and is currently playing at the Comedy Theatre.
But the poor reviews haven't stopped Knightley from being named in the Best Supporting Actress category by jurors of the prestigious Olivier Awards, the highest honours in British theatre.
The Pirates of the Caribbean star will compete against Hayley Atwell (A View From The Bridge), Michelle Dockery (Burnt By The Sun), Alexandra Gilbreath (Twelfth Night), Rachael Stirling (The Priory) and Ruth Wilson (A Streetcar Named Desire).
Meanwhile Hollywood actress Rachel Weisz was shortlisted for a Best Actress prize for her performance as Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire, and will go up against Gillian Anderson (A Doll's House), Imelda Staunton (Entertaining Mr Sloane), Lorraine Burroughs (The Mountaintop) and Juliet Stevenson (Duet For One).
Jude Law's turn in Hamlet faces competition from James Earl Jones in Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, James McAvoy for Three Days Of Rain, Mark Rylance (Jerusalem), Ken Stott (A View From The Bridge) and Samuel West (Enron).
In the musical categories, former Spice Girls star Melanie Chisholm is up for a Best Actress statue for her role in Blood Brothers, while Rowan Atkinson's stint as Fagin in Oliver! has scored him a Best Actor nod.
The winners will be named in a ceremony at London's Grosvenor House Hotel on 21 March (10).