Elizabeth Taylor

Almost unfathomably, Lifetime’s (your life! your time!) Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton pseudo-biopic, Liz & Dick, continues to actually exist. Sure, star Lindsay Lohan had some troubles while filming (and even before filming, let’s be real here) and, yes, every still we’ve seen of the film has been heinous, but this movie is going to be on your TV soon, goddammit, so let’s look at it. On second thought, maybe not. Here’s the root of the production’s problem (Lohan aside) – it’s a television movie. Liz & Dick just doesn’t have the backing, the funding, or the time to be the sparkly production a Taylor-and-Burton film should be. These two were Hollywood royalty! They were Hollywood! And this is how they’re remembered? As further proof of the slapped-together nature of the film, we’ve got the first poster for the film. It speaks for itself (no, really, it’s just a bunch of words that yell out things we’re supposed to know – “tabloid front page”!). Check it out after the break, if you’re into sullying the memories of stars and such.

read more...

Despite what many people say, biopics don’t live and die based solely on how much actors look like the real-life people they are portraying. It’s surely the easiest element to pick at, but a skilled actor or actress can inhabit anyone, no matter how much they may or may not look like someone. Of course, I said “skilled.” Deadline Fort Collins has provided us with yet another official still from Lifetime’s hilarious Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton biopic, Liz & Dick, and, unlike the first still from the Lindsay Lohan- and Grant Bowler-starring film, this one is in color. It does not help. Whereas that first black and white vampire neck-lock made it seem as if just anyone was playing Taylor and Burton, this one removes all doubt – it’s Lohan and Bowler, and damn if they don’t have even an ounce of the spark that Burton and Taylor did. What these (posed, blank, studio-shot) looks show is that Lifetime is desperate to prove that they can make Lohan and Bowler look like Taylor and Burton (too bad they can’t) and they’ll rush these stills if they have to (apparently, they thought they had to). With a number of highly unflattering paparazzi stills of the production hitting the internet over the past few days, who can blame them? But these are boring, bland skills without context. Lifetime, ease up. Sit on it. Wait. Then release some clips or trailers that can help prove once and for all that Liz & […]

read more...

While first look images of Lifetime television movies aren’t exactly our bread and butter around these parts, I’ve spent enough time ripping into Liz & Dick that I thought we’d be remiss not to provide a look at the film, no matter how scant it may be, particularly now that it’s actually (almost unfathomably) in production. The Lindsay Lohan- and Grant Bowler-starring film centers on one of Hollywood’s greatest (and most notorious) love stories – that of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. As Lohan and Bowler don’t exactly ring bells as Taylor and Burton (Lohan in particular is really pushing the bounds of cinematic believability), the team behind the inexplicable film seem aware of what they’re working with – which is likely why this first look conceals both actors’ eyes and half of each of their faces. It’s the Magic Eye image of movie photos – it all but begs for squinting and head-tilting, which just might bizarrely result in brief flashes of recognition. Sure, they could look like Taylor and Burton, but who’s really to say? It could be anyone in this picture (and isn’t it fun to pretend it’s anyone but Lohan and Bowler?). Deadline Hampstead first posted the picture, which you can get a bigger look at after the break.

read more...

Grant Bowler Cast as Richard Burton

While most people would likely rather eat a shoe (or place some sort of bet on the shoe starring in a Lifetime movie about Elizabeth Taylor) than see the train wreck that will be the Lindsay Lohan-starring Liz & Dick, the production just keeps chugging along. And good on them, too, with rumors abounding that Lohan has been displeased with the parade of actors who have been brought around to try their hand at the Richard Burton role, adding still more fuel to the fire that Lohan is a bad choice for the role both in terms of her behavior (bad) and her talent (negligible). Somehow, though, they’ve finally found the Dick to her Liz! Deadline Wellington reports that, “after an extensive search,” Kiwi actor Grant Bowler has been set to co-star as Burton in the film. Executive producer Larry A. Thompson continues to be unusually chatty about the production, proudly nattering on about how he wanted a Welsh actor for the role but how Bowler’s “gravitas” made him the perfect fit for the part. For good measure, Thompson even recited his own mini-Burton history: “Burton was a Welsh poet, a rascal, and a man’s man, who swept Elizabeth Taylor off her feet and flew her so close to the sun that they both exploded into stardust that still lights up Hollywood.” So…he was Icarus? Cool! Old Hollywood was so wacky and mythologically obtuse! Of course, this all begs the question: just who in sweet hell is Grant Bowler? Only […]

read more...

Okay, Lifetime. After months of speculation, the network has now announced that Lindsay Lohan is set to play Elizabeth Taylor in the their Original Movie, Liz & Dick. The film will center on Taylor’s “historic romance” with Richard Burton (a role that has yet to be cast). With the film set to start filming in June, that announcement is imminent, and it will be quite interesting to see just which direction the network plans to go with the role, with them going completely insane with their Taylor casting and all. Rob Sharenow, Executive Vice President, Programming, of Lifetime Networks commented, “We are thrilled Lindsay will portray beloved Hollywood legend Elizabeth Taylor…She is one of the rare actresses who possesses the talent, beauty and intrigue to capture the spirit of such a provocative icon.” Um. Alright. Lohan piped in, “I have always admired and had enormous respect for Elizabeth Taylor.  She was not only an incredible actress but an amazing woman as well.  I am very honored to have been asked to play this role.” At this point, the controversial actress should be pleased to be getting any roles.

read more...

It looks like that Lindsay-Lohan-as-Liz-Taylor pipe dream we never thought would happen might just, in fact, happen. Last month, the Internet was atwitter with news that Lindsay Lohan might just snag a role as the divine Liz in a Lifetime movie (yup, that’s made-for-television) that chronicles the epic true life love story of Taylor and Richard Burton. The film, quite originally titled Elizabeth & Richard: A Love Story, has already most certainly benefited from the buzz that Lohan might take the role (which was then later refuted just a bit with the news that perhaps Megan Fox might get the role), but now it looks like they’ve just gone whole hog on this. Over at Access Hollywood, they’re reporting that a “source” has revealed to host Billy Bush that Lohan has indeed won the role. While I’m more interested in picturing some sort of production mole whispering casting bits to Bush in a secret location, that’s not the real news here. The outlet reports that the role is Lohan’s (and either there’s a big typo here, or they’ve changed the name of the production to Liz and Dick), but that this casting comes with some serious stipulations – namely, that the trouble-prone Lohan “stay on the right side of the court.” Perhaps this will finally set Lohan straight – sorry, judges, jail, and rehab, Lifetime could actually prove better at keeping Lohan on the straight and narrow.

read more...

Just last week, we bemoaned the news that Lindsay Lohan was “in early talks” to play Elizabeth Taylor in an upcoming Lifetime movie. But now, a blabby producer has proven two points in a recent chat with E! News – one, it’s bad news to report on “early talks” and two, it’s pretty likely that big names (even tarnished ones like Lohan, especially tarnished ones like Lohan) are getting tossed out into the press to drum up interest in what will likely be a throwaway TV movie. So why keep covering this? Because I cannot wait to see how it shakes out. Larry Thompson, the executive producer of Liz and Dick reportedly told E! News that Lohan is not the only actress in talks for the role – Megan Fox is also a possibility. Thompson said, “I’ve been talking to Lindsay Lohan directly, and with her reps, and have been in conversations with other actresses, including Megan Fox.” However, Thompson reportedly gave E! News a lesson in how Hollywood works, as he “added that being in talks with more than one actress is not meant as an affront to the talent involved, but rather is simply de rigueur for projects of this nature.” Too true, Thompsy. He continued, “it’s a very serious selection. It’s like casting for Hollywood royalty.” No, it is casting for Hollywood royalty.

read more...

It seems as if Lindsay Lohan might be most comfortable playing anyone but herself. Lohan has constantly imitated Marilyn Monroe in photo shoots over the years, and the actress was long attached to Matthew Wilder’s Linda Lovelace biopic, Inferno: A Linda Lovelace Story. The film seemed stalled out due to the Lohan commitments that could never come to fruition. Lohan was dropped from the project in November of 2010, and Malin Ackerman stepped in to the role shortly after. So, if you can’t be Marilyn and you can’t be Lovelace, who can Lohan be? If a report from Deadline Hampstead is to be believed, Elizabeth Taylor. I’m sorry, what? The outlet reports, quite bizarrely, that Lohan is “in early talks for the female lead in Lifetime’s original movie Elizabeth & Richard: A Love Story, chronicling the enduring love of movie icons Taylor and Richard Burton, whose fiery romance was the most notorious, publicized and celebrated love affair of its day.” The film has been written by Christopher Monger, who also penned the Temple Grandin biopic and directed the forgotten Hugh Grant-starrer The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill But Came Down a Mountain). Let’s parse that – Lindsay Lohan might play Elizabeth Taylor in a TV movie written by a guy most famous for writing an award-winning film about a high-functioning autistic woman who loved animals. Well, okay, you’d think Monger would be getting better work, but them’s the breaks, I guess.

read more...

When it comes to stories about Hollywood, Martin Scorsese is a solid choice as storyteller because of how obsessed he is with the town’s history. Also, you know, because he’s a ridiculously talented director. According to Deadline Wensleydale, Paramount is developing an adaptation of the Sam Kashner book “Furious Love,” alongside known history and the personal records of (hopefully) both Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton for Scorsese. As most know, the pair met on the set of Cleopatra and developed a heated affair (they were both married at the time) which became a full blown marriage. Unfortunately, the passion was too hot to be stable, and the pair divorced, remarried, and then re-divorced around a decade after. There’s a ton of intimate drama here alongside the glamour of glitzy Hollywood in a time where people first realized that stalking celebrities could be considered a career (by those who don’t consider it solely bile-slathered). It’s obviously fertile ground for a master filmmaker to play around with. The only issue is who could play Taylor and Burton. Taylor famously didn’t want anyone to play her, but it’s unclear if there’s any known talent that could really handle the job with any degree of realism.

read more...

Every day, come rain or shine or internet tubes breaking, Film School Rejects showcases a trailer from the past. This trailer is as sweaty as the movie is, which is exactly as sweaty as an adaptation of a Tennessee Williams play needs to be. Elizabeth Taylor stars as a love-hungry woman and Paul Newman plays a man embarrassed by her. And then there’s Big Daddy who wants to physically injure any woman he loves by giving her fur coats and diamonds. The South in the mid 20th century was a crazy, crazy place. Check out the trailer for yourself:

read more...

What is Movie News After Dark? It’s the nightly ramblings of a link-dump crazed insomniac whose life begins and ends with what ends up in his Instapaper queue. He survives on links and thrives on the knowledge that someone out there is clicking through. Click. Click. Click. You can feed the beast by emailing wicked cool articles and hilarious movie-related videos to neil@filmschoolrejects.com.

read more...

Earlier today screen legend Elizabeth Taylor passed away due to congestive heart failure. She was 79. People deal with death in different ways. If you’re one of those people who needs to wallow in good memories afterward, or it you are just woefully undereducated when it comes to the career of the late actress, then TCM is putting on a marathon of Taylor movies that should be essential viewing. The marathon will begin April 10th, starting at 6 am ET, and it is set to run for a full 24 hours. Over the course of the marathon many of Taylor’s best remembered performances will be aired, including the two that won her Oscar statues, her sexy portrayal of femme fatale Gloria Wandrous in BUtterfield 8, and her tortured performance as Martha in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? The marathon in tribute of the great actress will run as follows:

read more...

Culture Warrior

Modern romance and the movies are arguably dependant on one another, as movies have a long history of affirming the idea(l) of the perfect relationship. Hollywood movies in particular have developed a mastery at the formula of bringing imperfect individuals together into perfect couplehood and framing marriage as the closure of all previous conflicts and difficulties. Many romance movies, thus, teach us what romance and couplehood are or, perhaps more dauntingly, what it should be. That romantic films are a staple in the box offices of commercial movie theaters to reparatory screenings or are marathon’d on television every Valentine’s Day is evidence of our ritual association of considering real-life romances in fictional terms. It is rare that movies, especially Hollywood, seem to do the opposite: reflect the distinction between ideal romance and the ostensible “reality” of relationships in all their complexity, grittiness, slow development, necessary problems, and (most of all) subtlety. Perhaps the most evident turns cinema makes in this direction is in the break-up movie, that rare narrative that situates itself as a disruption from the normal mode of portraying couplehood through representing its antithesis, the dissolution of a couple. The most recent example is Blue Valentine, the great Cassavetes-style, character-driven psychodrama about a couple who continue making the wrong turns and can’t make it work despite, or because, of themselves. Breakup movies from the light – (500) Days of Summer – to the heavy – Blue Valentine – often self-consciously (either by testament from the filmmaker like in […]

read more...

Every day, come rain or shine or internet tubes breaking, Film School Rejects showcases a trailer from the past. Today is James Dean’s birthday! Everyone should celebrate by watching this oil-covered trailer and then heading out to see the movie. This flick was nominated for Best Picture back in 1956 (released after Dean’s death a year earlier) but ridiculously lost to Around the World in 80 Days. Still, it’s legacy as a fantastic film lives on, and it even acted as a forerunner for There Will Be Blood. This is Texas. Think you know what it is? Check the trailer out for yourself:

read more...

Every Sunday, Film School Rejects presents a movie that was made before you were born and tells you why you should like it. This week, Old Ass Movies presents the story of a gritty ranch hand who makes it big with black gold, a feud between two families, and the emptiness of wealth in making a man complete. No one drinks anyone else’s milkshake, but a bunch of wine bottles get smashed. So do a lot of lives.

read more...

Culture Warrior

A few months back, a fight for free expression was exercised by the Weinstein Company for the Sundance-indie favorite Blue Valentine to be theatrically released with an R-rating instead of the dreaded NC-17. Many things about this pseudo-fight are nothing special: there’s hardly anything surprising about fights with the MPAA or about the Weinsteins making a fuss – it’s how they’ve succeeded in the business for decades. But this fuss, and the anti-MPAA lobbying contained within it, seemed significantly more justified because it was exercised in the name of potentially getting an exceptional indie into more theaters across the country (and while the film does star two recognizable names, it is, economically speaking, very much a truly modest indie of the classic Sundance variety). In the end, the Weinsteins got their way, and justifiably so. The NC-17 rating has become an economic form of censorship: nothing associated with the label, or the institution that bestows that label, has the power to actively stop distribution of NC-17 films, but because of the rating’s associations with sexually-explicit content, and because of the liability and extra measures required of theaters in preventing young people from sneaking their way into such films, many theaters (and some entire theater chains) will not exhibit films with such a rating. This would have relegated Blue Valentine, at best, to arthouse theaters in big cities. Such theaters are no doubt where Blue Valentine will play best regardless, but the key word here is opportunity – an R-rating provides […]

read more...
Twitter button
Facebook button
Google+ button
RSS feed

published: 04.17.2014
B-
published: 04.17.2014
D+
published: 04.17.2014
B-
published: 04.16.2014
B+

Listen to Junkfood Cinema
Some movie websites serve the consumer. Some serve the industry. At Film School Rejects, we serve at the pleasure of the connoisseur. We provide the best reviews, interviews and features to millions of dedicated movie fans who know what they love and love what they know. Because we, like you, simply love the art of the moving picture.
SXSW 2014
Game of Thrones reviews
Got a Tip? Send it here:
editors@filmschoolrejects.com
Publisher:
Neil Miller
Managing Editor:
Scott Beggs
Associate Editors:
Rob Hunter
Kate Erbland
Christopher Campbell
All Rights Reserved © 2006-2014 Reject Media, LLC | Privacy Policy | Design & Development by Face3