Denzel Washington's A Raisin In The Sun has joined plays featuring James Franco and Bryan Cranston among the most financially successful Broadway projects this season after recouping the $4.25 million (2.7 million) it cost to stage. The show, which scooped the Best Revival award at Sunday's (08Jun14) Tonys, recouped the cash just days before the end of its run on Sunday (15Jun14).
The revival of Lorraine Hansberry’s 1959 play has grossed over $1 million (GBP625,000)-a-week throughout its 14-week limited engagement at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre.
A Raisin in the Sun also features LaTanya Richardson Jackson, Anika Noni Rose and Sophie Okonedo, who also picked up a Tony for Best Featured Actress in a Play.
Other plays that have recouped their investment on Broadway this season include Franco's Of Mice and Men; Cranston's All the Way, which was named Best Play at the Tonys; The Glass Menagerie, with Cherry Jones and Zachary Quinto; Betrayal, with Daniel Craig, Rachel Weisz; the Shakespeare’s Globe's Twelfth Night and Richard III double bill, and Billy Crystal’s 700 Sundays.
20th Century Fox Film via Everett Collection
Nearly 10 years after meeting on the set of 2005's romantic spy thriller Mr. and Ms. Smith, Hollywood's foremost power couple Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt are set to team up once again. The duo is set to appear in a film written by Jolie herself, though it is still unkown whether she will also be directing the project. Jolie has written the war drama In the Land of Blood and Honey, and recently helmmed the WWII drama Unbroken, which is scheduled to be released this year.
While Brangelina is still the most prolific coupling in Hollywood, there's steady competition ready to take their crown. Other married Hollywood couples have proved to be just a successful over the years. So which romantic duo has had the most post-nuptial success, and which couples should have steered clear from the altar for the sake of their careers?
Brad Pitt and Angelina JolieTogether Since: 2005Post-Marriage Success: While they were successful apart, the union of these two Hollywood heavyweights has bolstered both of their careers. Since getting together with Jolie, Pitt silenced doubters with staring roles in Inglorious Basterds, The Assassination of Jesse James, Moneyball and the zombie blockbuster World War Z, and capped off the casino caper trilogy Ocean's Thirteen. Additionally, he has produced the Academy Award winner 12 Years a Slave. Jolie has also had a prosperous career since marriage, starring in films like Salt, Changeling, Kung Fu Panda, and the upcoming Maleficent.
Jennifer Garner and Ben AffleckTogether Since: 2005Post-Marriage Success: After about a decade of jeering due to a string of failures like Gigli and Daredevil, Ben Affleck has had nothing short of a career renaissance, showing his true skills lay in directing. Affleck directed a trio of well-received thrillers, Gone Baby Gone, The Town, and Argo, that won heaps of critical praise, netting the director his first Oscar for directing. Jennifer Garner, on the other hand, has cooled off career-wise since her marriage to Ben, starring in forgettable fodder like Ghosts of Girlfriend's Past, The Invention of Lying, and Arthur. She did have a prominent role in Dallas Buyers Club that won her critical praise and very mild awards buzz.
Ryan Reynolds and Blake LivelyTogether Since: 2012Post-Marriage Success: Despite his charm and leading man looks, Ryan's career struggles have followed him into married life. The actor has floundered in gargantuan summertime flops like The Change-up and Green Lantern, with last year's R.I.P.D. being his latest blockbuster misfire. Blake Lively has been mostly quiet since getting hitched. She starred in the forgettable crime-film, Savages and her star-making television show, Gossip Girl, wrapped up it's run.
Javier Bardem and Penelope CruzTogether Since: 2010Post-Marriage Success: Post-marriage and post No Country for Old Men, life has been good for Bardem. The actor won raves for his role in Biutiful, and played the best Bond villain in recent memory in Skyfall. Penelope Cruz has been no slouch either. The actress reunited with Woody Allen in To Rome with Love, and co-starred with her husband in The Counselor, though were still not sure what to think of Ridley Scott's latest.
Daniel Craig and Rachel WeiszTogether Since: 2011Post-Marriage Success: Craig's star power is as strong as ever. The actor's brutish and vulnerable version of Agent 007 continues to give the Bond saga a renewed sense of urgency. Beyond spying, Craig also put in great work into David Fincher's Girl with the Dragon Tatoo. Rachel Weisz on the other hand, has had a mixed couple of years since 2011. she starred in the acclaimed spy mini-series Page Eight, but also in the largely forgettable Borne quasi-reboot, The Borne Legacy. She was also in Disney's Oz the Great and Powerful, a film that failed to capture the magic of the original.
Chris Pratt and Anna FarisTogether Since: 2009Post-Marriage Success: It's hard to think of anyone in Hollywood that's had a more diverse couple of years than Chris Pratt. The actor went from playing schlubby goof ball Andy Dwyer on NBC's Parks and Recreation to playing a fit baseball player in Moneyball and a gung-ho Navy Seal in Zero Dark Thirty. He also appeared in Spike Jonze's fantastic Her and had the starring role in The Lego Movie. Finally, the actor is set to star in the upcoming blockbusters Guardians of the Galaxy and Jurassic World. Wife, Anna Faris hasn't enjoyed the same insane career trajectory, but who can blame her. Since 2009, she has stared in The Dictator, Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked, and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2
Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-SmithTogether Since: 1997Post-Marriage Success: Smith's reign as the king of summer was still in full effect in back in 1997. The actor closed out the 90's with films like Men in Black, Enemy of the State, and Wild Wild West, all Box-office hits. Since then however, the actor has been pretty hit or miss. For every Bad Boys II or Hitch, we'd get a Seven Pounds or Hancock. As strange as it is to say, Jada arguably had a better 2000's than her husband. She starred in the two Matrix sequels, the Madagascar films, and the Tom Cruise actioner, Collateral. Recently however, both seem more interested in creating careers for their children, rather than improving the state of their own careers.
Australian actress Cate Blanchett has become the latest big name to book a run on Broadway. The Oscar-winning star is to return to the New York stage this summer (14) in a production of Jean Genet's The Maids as part of the 2014 Lincoln Center Festival.
She will star opposite French actress Isabelle Huppert in the show, which kicks off on 6 August (14). The pair previously opened the play in Sydney, Australia.
Other big names to appear on Broadway recently include British actor Jude Law, X-Men co-stars Sir Patrick Stewart and Sir Ian McKellen, and husband-and-wife team Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz, while 2014 will feature appearances from pop star Carly Rae Jepsen in Cinderella and James Franco in Of Mice And Men.
The genesis of Universal's 47 Ronin is almost as tragic as the actual history that the movie is culling from. As the story goes, Universal saw the sprigs of talent sprouting from fresh faced director Carl Rinsch, whose previous experience was limited to just a couple of commercials and a nifty short film. The studio decided to ease the new director into feature filmmaking by cutting him what amounts to virtually a blank check, and giving him charge over a multi-national samurai fantasy epic. Almost impossibly, the film isn't a complete disaster. It's just a minor one.
47 Ronin follows the classic story of the titular team of warriors, a group of disgraced samurai who band together to seek revenge against a merciless warlord that betrayed and killed their master. But this isn't your grandfather's version of the story. 47 Ronin is an international affair, and it's covered with a veneer of Japanese mysticism and a thick coating of Hollywood lacquer, but east meets west rather uncomfortably, and it's mostly due to Keanu Reeves. Reeves' character is clearly crowbarred into the story that has no room for him, and it's plainly obvious where the seams of the story were stretched in order to patch him into the narrative. Reeves plays Kai, a half Japanese, half English orphan who is adopted by the samurai clan. His character serves no real purpose beyond being white, slicing things until they die, and playing the male lead of the most superfluous love story of the year. Rinsch simply can't make the inclusion of the character feel organic in any way, and "Kai" ends up feeling like a calculated studio move. It's a shame that the film spends so much time on Reeves when the real star is clearly Hiroyuki Sanada, who plays off the stoic samurai most believably among the rest of the cast.
It's also shame that with all the mysticism pumped into the story, there's no magic in the actual center of the film, the ronin themselves. The only personality trait a samurai is allowed to possess seems to be unerring stoicism, and between all 47 ronin, there are probably only three distinct samurai with any discernible character traits beyond an intense need to brood, and you'll probably only remember those three by the time the credits roll, only to promptly forget about them only a few hours later. Thankfully, Rinko Kikuchi's slinky and treacherous witch adds some much needed camp and personality to the mostly forgettable human characters.
And that's the issue with 47 Ronin. It's largely forgettable. When your film takes on a historical legend like the tale of the 47 ronin, a story that has been told and told again ad nauseum over the years, you really need to justify your own version. There are reels and reels of film dedicated to this story, and 47 Ronin doesn't manage to add anything significant to the canon. It promises to weld myth and history together, but does so clumsily, and while some of the action scenes are exciting, especially a particularly inspired set piece that involves the ronin noiselessly breaking into a heavily guarded fortress, the film is a bore when it's not clanking swords together.
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47 Ronin is a film with many stories. As much as it is a tale about the revenge of four dozen masterless samurai, it's also the tale of an inexperienced filmmaker swallowed up by the enormity of blockbuster filmmaking. Most of all though, It's proof that you shouldn't cram Keanu Reeves into a movie that doesn't really need Keanu Reeves. What you're left with is a dull and bloated samurai epic that has its moments, but feels largely unnecessary.
Married stars Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz faced a setback during their Broadway performance of Betrayal on Saturday (30Nov13) as the production was plagued with technical problems. The British actors are currently portraying married couple Robert and Emma in the revival of Harold Pinter's 1978 play, which tells the story of a woman's affair with her husband's friend.
However, the performance was temporarily stalled on Saturday because of stage problems, but the actors pushed on with the show even though the set had to be manually changed between each scene.
A representative for the production tells New York Post gossip column Page Six, "The show's automation failed after Scene 2, into Scene 3, necessitating manual set changes for the rest of the performance. Of the 1,100 people in the sold-out audience, there were less than 10 requests for refunds or exchanges. There was a 15-minute pause following the breakdown during which the cast made the decision to continue the performance.
"They continued on brilliantly, and each scene change received a round of applause. They finished at 10:26 pm, about 40 minutes later than usual. After an immediate standing ovation, Daniel Craig thanked the audience for their patience and the show's crew for their efforts to ensure the show would go on."
The Broadway adaptation of John Grisham's crime thriller A Time To Kill is closing less than a month after it officially opened. The author's popular book about a young white lawyer defending an African-American man accused of murder inspired a Hollywood movie starring Matthew McConaughey in 1996, and it was turned into a play for the Great White Way this year (13), featuring Tom Skerritt and Ashley Williams.
The show has been struggling with poor ticket sales since its official opening on 20 October (13), and was the lowest grossing play on Broadway last week (begs28Oct13).
The production opened to mixed reviews and failed to garner audiences that shows like Betrayal with married couple Rachel Weisz and Daniel Craig and The Glass Menagerie with Zachary Quinto have found over the past few weeks.
A Time to Kill, which is the first of Grisham's legal-themed novels to be adapted for the stage, is slated to close on 17 November (13).
Married actors Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz have received glowing reviews for their performances opposite each other in a Broadway production of Betrayal. The Hollywood stars play married couple Robert and Emma in the revival of Harold Pinter's 1978 play, which tells the story of a woman's affair with her husband's pal, played by Rafe Spall.
The production officially opened on Sunday (27Oct13) to mixed reviews, which largely praised the three lead actors' efforts while expressing disappointment with the show.
Joe Dziemianowicz, of the New York Daily News, hails Craig and Weisz as "smashing and sexy" while noting the 007 star's ability to bring "a virility and vibrant expressiveness" to his character, but Elysa Gardner of USA Today writes that the production "doesn't pack as much punch as you'd hope it would" and "feels strangely subdued".
Elisabeth Vincentelli, for the New York Post, also slams the show as "emotionally distant and a tad too tasteful" but praises Weisz for bringing "a stunning, warm beauty... paired with emotional opacity" to her role.
Charles McNulty, of the Los Angeles Times, describes it as "sleek and luxurious" and a "handsome production" while also hailing Spall's performance as "the most thrilling in the cast", and Tom Teodorczuk, of Britain's The Independent, writes that Craig and Weisz turn in "knockout performances".
However, The Guardian's David Cote takes aim at director Mike Nichols, insisting he has "the tone completely wrong" and describing the show as a "glossy, empty revival".
Real-life couple Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz's new play has broken Broadway records before it officially opens. The seven previews of Harold Pinter's Betrayal have brought in more than $1.1 million (£733,000), breaking the Barrymore Theater's weekly box office record.
The previous record was held by Death of a Salesman in June, 2012. Ironically, director Mike Nichols and producer Scott Rudin were behind that play too.
Betrayal opens on 27 October (13) and will run until 5 January (14).
Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz have banned computers, cell phones and gadgets from their bedroom in a bid to keep their marriage healthy. The British actors wed in 2011 and now live together in New York City, where they are currently starring in a Broadway play together, and Craig has now opened up about how they keep their relationship going.
The Bond star reveals the couple has banned technology from the bedroom.
He tells the New York Times, "It's a good fight to have, as far as I'm concerned... There's nothing technological allowed in the bedroom. If the iPad goes to bed, I mean, unless you're both watching porn on the Internet, it's a killer. We have a ban on it... It's a complete anti-aphrodisiac."
Benedict Cumberbatch is to be honoured with the Britannia Award for British Actor of the Year at the upcoming BAFTA L.A. annual awards gala at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on 9 November (13). Previous recipients of the accolade include Daniel Craig, Kate Winslet, Helena Bonham Carter, Emily Blunt and Rachel Weisz.