Upon its completion in 1959, Ben-Hur stood as the most expensive movie ever made, costing a then astounding $14.5-million to produce. It was a huge gamble for the failing MGM studio, but the 212-minute epic paid off big — winning a record 11 Oscars, doing boffo business at the box office and saving MGM.
The biblical pic casts Charlton Heston as Judah Ben-Hur, a prince of Judea who's sentenced into slavery by childhood friend and Roman noble Messala (Stephen Boyd). Ben-Hur vows revenge against Messala, and they ultimately face off during a heart-stopping chariot race.
Remember, that chariot race was filmed without special effects and without any of the stuntmen suffering a single serious injury.
Sure, we're known as the place to check out new movies on the big, big screen but now we're here to let you know how to get your entertainment fix at home.
The Cineplex DVD Store boasts over 25,000 titles, from the newest hits to golden oldies, indie fare, comedy discs and even your favourite TV shows. Come back here every Tuesday to find out what new movies you can RENT or BUY and how many SCENE points you can earn with each purchase.
So what are you waiting for?
Get your fill of Hollywood at home with this week's list of the hottest DVD, Blu-ray and digital download releases.
With All Hallow's Eve just around the corner and the release of DIY sequel Paranormal Activity 3 this past weekend - you may remember the 2009 original went on to become one of the most profitable films of all time - we had an urge to take stock of the ghost movies that were tops in our books.
In light of the plot from the Paranormal Activity franchise, which starts when Katie (Katie Featherston) and Micah (Micah Sloat) move to a new house and start to get the feeling that there's a third housemate they didn't sign on for - we decided to focus our search on films that involved ghosts, supernatural entities and demons haunting humans. That means no possession tales (sorry Exorcist) no zombies (sorry George A. Romero) and no aliens (sorry Aliens). While these are all valid, and terrifying, offshoots within the horror-fantasy genre, keeping the list to 10 entries would have been near impossible had we opened up the gates (of hell? j/k) to include all scary movies.
So now that you know where we're coming from, behold our list of the Top 10 big-screen ghost stories. And be sure to add your own!
I arrive at Antonio Banderas' Toronto hotel suite at the same time as his breakfast. He opens the door, looks at the hotel staff member and then at me. He shakes my hand, takes the tray, and immediately ditches it on a bed.
"My food can wait," he says. "Let's talk first."
At 51, there's still a bright light in his eyes and something young and heartthrobish about him, which makes for a strange contrast with the wrinkles around his eyes and his salt-and-pepper hair.
And now, Banderas' character from the Shrek franchise gets his own movie, Puss in Boots. It's a prequel, much of which takes place before the kitty with the big, black eyes first met Shrek.
In stark contrast, The Skin I Live In marks Banderas' reunion with Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar. Banderas plays a plastic surgeon looking for revenge after his daughter is raped. The result is a dark, powerful melodrama that falls somewhere between an episode of "Dexter" and an episode of "Nip/Tuck" — but much wilder, more violent and sexually charged.
A sure sign that Oscar season is edging ever closer, the New York Independent Filmmaker Project announced today its nominations for the 21st Gotham Independent Film Awards and TIFF standouts The Descendants and Martha Marcy May Marlene were among the films scoring multiple nods.
In The Descendants, Alexander Payne makes George Clooney look vulnerable as a work-is-all father who has to step up once his wife falls into a coma and first-time director Sean Durkin hints at great things to come with the eerie and affecting MMMM, boasting newcomer, and current belle of the indie film ball, Elizabeth Olsen as his compelling lead actress.
From playing a lightning thief to a swashbuckling hero, 19-year-old Logan Lerman dons a wig, puffy shirt and fierce fencing face to play D'Artagnan, ally and friend to the noble and fearless Three Musketeers, Athos, Porthos and Aramis.
At the hands of director Paul W.S. Anderson (Resident Evil), Alexander Dumas' famed 19th century tale of a trio of honourable fighters, and the young man eager to join their ranks, gets a modern twist thanks to its 3D visuals, a more comedic approach and, according to Lerman, a lot more gadgets.
We recently spoke to the actor, on the phone from Vancouver, about what it was like shooting The Three Musketeers in German castles, learning to fence and how Gene Kelly influenced his performance.
There is something a bit odd about meeting Orlando Bloom in the 21st century. It's hard to think of an actor who's appeared in more epic, days-of-yore fantasies than this 34-year-old Brit. So it's surprising to see how comfortable he looks in skinny jeans and a casual shirt. It's also surprising to see how chill he is. After all, he’'s spent most of the past decade fighting pirates and shouting things like, "The ring must be destroyed!"
But the man who walks into the penthouse of this Beverly Hills hotel seems extremely Zen. Just back from lunch (sushi) he takes small sips from a Mason jar filled with water and sliced lemon before explaining why he's been so low profile over the past two years.
"I wanted to change the pace a little bit because I was working so consistently and very hard all the time. I just took a little time so that I could regroup, and that was really helpful for me," he says.
"I did a play, I did a bunch of independent movies, I produced a little movie that will be coming out in January or February. It'’s been good and I am sort of in the second chapter now. When I look back at my career, I'm like, 'Wow!' For the first 10 years of my career I was in some of the biggest movies."
Abe Sylvia has a point.
"Steve Carell can make a fool of himself on 'The Office' and we still like him anyway, we still like that character. But as soon as you see a woman do that stuff, we're like, 'Oh that's so offensive to women.' Women can make mistakes and do things that aren't in their best judgment and it doesn't make them unlikable."
Tired of unrealistic, one-dimensional versions of women on screens both big and small, the former Broadway dancer-choreographer-turned-filmmaker put his theory to the test, deciding to focus on a figure as divisive as they come for his film debut: the dirty girl.
If you went to a high school where boys and girls roamed freely together, you know her: a young promiscuous sort with a disinterest in hiding it, often at the center of whispered rumours and a million low-level scandals. These types of feisty, unrepentant ladies have long intrigued Sylvia, who wrote the script to Dirty Girl, opening this weekend, as a project for a UCLA screenwriting class.
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