Ben Kingsley

Robert Zemeckis’ Pedestrian ‘The Walk’ Is an Electrifying Climax In Search of a Movie

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“Why? This is the question people ask me the most.” These are the opening lines of Robert Zemeckis’s The Walk; it’s also the question presumably asked by anyone who saw Man on Wire, the Oscar-winning 2008 documentary that also told the story of high-wire walker Phillipe Petit’s 1974 stroll across a wire connecting the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center.
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Watch: a Serpentine Scarlett Johansson Menaces in ‘The Jungle Book’ Trailer

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Scarlett Johansson seems to have ventured so far into her tech-saturated post-humanness that she’s come out the other side, back in nature. She’s been a clone, an alien, an operating system, and a person who can disappear into the space-time continuum by using 100 percent of their brain capacity; now, in the first trailer for Jon Favreau’s/Disney’s live-action The Jungle Book, you get to see her as a snake.
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10 Vastly Underrated Sherlock Holmes Movies

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In the midst of a very busy week for catalogue releases, Olive Films has unleashed a handsome new Blu-ray edition of the 1988 comedy Without a Clue, a movie that even you Sherlock fans (and there’s a lot of you) might not know about. A wickedly funny comic take on the boys from Baker Street, its HD debut is a reminder that, despite the current Downey franchise/Sherlock/Elementary-inspired Holmes vogue, there are plenty of wonderful Sherlock Holmes movie adaptations that have been consigned to the dustbins of history (or, at least, of video stores). Here are a few of them:
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A Treasury of Dumb Quotes About Whitewashed Casting From the People Responsible for ‘Exodus: Gods and Kings’

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Let’s get this out of the way: I have not yet seen Exodus: Gods and Kings, Ridley Scott’s big-budget retelling of the Moses story, and God willing, I won’t have to. For starters, it looks like a yet another dirge-like epic on the order of his earlier Kingdom of Heaven, Robin Hood, and (yes, I’ll say it) Gladiator, a dull slog through the past from a director who works best in the present and the future. But the setting and story aren’t the only elements of Exodus that are tied firmly to the past, as considerable controversy has brewed around Scott’s old-Hollywood decision to cast this story of Egyptian pharaohs and prophets with a cast roughly as diverse as the industry seats at an Eagles concert. And now, facing a backlash from commentators and social media, the people responsible for the movie are in spin mode, prompting a spectacle surely more entertaining than anything Sir Ridley put on screen.
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The Most Frightening Gangsters on Film

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You’d be hard pressed to find a movie tough guy with a more diverse filmography than Bob Hoskins. The English actor passed away earlier this week. With a burly silhouette, an aura of cockney cool, and a glimmer of menace in his eyes, the versatile performer charmed audiences as a sympathetic everyman and heroic detective (Who Framed Roger Rabbit), but was startling as a vicious gangster in films like The Long Good Friday. The straight-talking star played a number of cinema toughies during his colorful career. In honor of Hoskins’ reign of terror, we revisited some of cinema’s most frightening film gangsters.
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‘Iron Man 3,’ ‘The Avengers,’ And the Thrill of Authorial Voice in Blockbusters

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Iron Man 3 opens with an arresting image — the destruction of three Iron Man suits, right in a row, bang bang bang — and a voice over from Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark, a bit of business about facing your demons that quickly degenerates into gibberish. “Never mind, I’m gonna start over,” he says, and the screen fades to black, thus concluding the first of the film’s many assurances that, while it is a mega-budgeted summer tent-pole movie, it is also the work of devilishly clever writer/director Shane Black — whose previous collaboration with Downey, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, included one of the most blissfully self-aware narration tracks in all of moviedom (“Don’t worry, I saw Lord of the Rings, I’m not gonna end this like 17 times”). And that’s the key to the movie’s success: beyond all the explosions and action set pieces and 3D wizardry, you can still hear a writer with a distinctive, entertaining voice. And that’s what separates films like this from their blockbuster brethren, which too often were clearly created by a committee.
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