Bérénice Marlohe

Tribeca Film Festival

Some movies do not seem possible. Their very existence is an absurdity of hubris, their production something of a financial miracle. Or, rather, a financial eccentricity. The largest projects are the ones with the most to prove, disastrous flops like the Korean War epic Inchon financed by the Unification Church or that time Richard Burton played Yugoslav president-for-life Josip Broz Tito. Yet there’s a smaller version of this bizarre passion project, fantasies designed not to stroke the egos of cult leaders or dictators but Hollywood moguls. This time around we are in the hands of writer/director Victor Levin, Emmy-award winning co-executive producer of Mad Men and screenwriter of Win a Date with Tad Hamilton! The film is 5 to 7, a romance of almost unfathomably terrible proportions. The hero is Brian (Anton Yelchin), a young man without any sense of his own enormous privilege. Sure, he’s currently a failed writer. He’s also 24 years old, the son of very wealthy New Yorkers who presumably pay for his Manhattan apartment and, as we learn later on in passing, have already put away enough money for law school just in case. He sits at home all day re-writing his short stories and pasting rejection letters from literary magazines to his wall. The film gives him the luxury of near-constant voice over as the story begins, the first sign that Levin is entirely complicit in the narrative excesses that follow. Brian is the most inherently irritating protagonist of the year, but neither he nor his creator has any inkling thereof.

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Last night a bunch of critics in the UK were treated to an early screening of Skyfall, and while nobody invited any of our diehard 007 junkies, I figured it’s worth our while to take a look at the first reactions to the new James Bond blockbuster. To do so, I’m using the recent breakdown of elements by one of FSR’s resident Bond experts, Kevin Carr, in order to dissect the reviews and highlight their takes on each individual ingredient. What about overall opinions? It seems they’re generally of a simple consensus, that Skyfall is not only a great return for the series following the disappointing Quantum of Solace but it may be one of the best Bond installments yet. This feat is achieved, apparently, in director Sam Mendes‘s balance of serious and nostalgic tone, brought about with a script (by Neal Purvis & Robert Wade and John Logan) pays tribute to the past films and franchise conventions while still also delivering a lot of fresh ideas. And Roger Deakins‘s cinematography sounds like a real highlight of the film — even Oscar-worthy, according to some critics. Check out what the reviews (linked at the bottom of the page) have to say about Bond’s fit with the 10 main ingredients of a 007 film after the break.

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly link round-up column that has a severe addiction to ice cream. And Ron Burgundy’s mustache. We begin this evening with a bit of silliness in the form of photographer Federic Chiesa’s 80s horror movie icons as creepy senior citizens. He leaves no stone unturned — from a drunk old Freddie to a homeless, still masked Jason — and has created something quite fun. The creepiest of all of these is the one above, featuring the little girls from The Shining, all grown up. Not the actual girls — at least not that we know of — but creepy, all the same.

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The sprawling, globe-hopping James Bond series is not only about to celebrate its 50th anniversary, it’s about to commence filming on its twenty-third film. That’s a lot of spy shenanigans, so it makes sense that, at this point, the movies are going to have to start recycling some locations and scenarios. MI6 is reporting that, to that end, the Bond franchise will be revisiting the city of Istanbul, Turkey to film scenes for the upcoming movie’s big opening sequence. Mr. Bond has already visited Istanbul in From Russia With Love and The World is Not Enough, so this will be his third go-around with the city. Locations used are said to include the city’s historic Sultanahmet Square as well as the waterside and shores of the Bosporus. Add this opening in Turkey with a train sequence to be filmed in India, and the logistics of this Bond film are starting to take shape, just in time for filming to begin in November. Another big piece of that Bond puzzle, in addition to where he will be traveling, is always who the sultry young starlets playing opposite 007 will be. Another report, this one from Twitch, sheds some light on that subject as well. They say they have word that French actress Bérénice Marlohe will be the latest lady to join the ranks of the Bond Girl army. Marlohe has mostly done television to this point, so I’ve never seen anything she’s been in; but her name gives us enough information […]

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