The Cinema Review: Breach

BreachThis week we take a look at Breach which portrays the incredible true life tale of Robert Hanssen, the FBI agent who was found guilty of selling secrets to the Russians for over 15 years.

Chris Cooper plays Hanssen and Ryan Phillippe and Laura Linney portray fellow FBI agents who try to bring him to justice.

Plus, we also review vigilante drama Death Sentence starring Kevin Bacon and 1408, a horror film with John Cusack and Samuel L Jackson.

Listen to the review podcast here:


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> Download the podcast as an MP3 file
> Check out other reviews of Breach at Metacritic
> Get cinema showtimes via Google Movies

Scorcese Stones film to open in April

The Rolling Stones concert film Shine a Light directed by Martin Scorcese will get a UK release in April.

Here is the official press release:

Twentieth Century Fox will take the ultimate Rolling Stones concert film SHINE A LIGHT from Oscar- winning director Martin Scorsese on national tour around the UK from April, 2008.

In Autumn 2006, after months of planning, Martin Scorsese captured the Rolling Stones on stage for the new film SHINE A LIGHT.  Cinemagoers will have the chance to experience a Stones concert as never before – as the fifth member of the band, from the front row and from behind the scenes.

No stranger to rock concert films (The Last Waltz), Scorsese filmed the Stones over a two-day period at the Beacon Theater in New York City.  With performances from Jack White of the White Stripes, Christina Aguilera and Buddy Guyand integrated with rarely seen archival footage, SHINE A LIGHT is a unique cinema experience.

For this intimate concert Scorsese assembled an award-winning camera team to capture the raw energy of the world’s greatest rock ‘n roll band including Oscar-winning cinematographer Robert Richardson (The Aviator, JFK) who supervised the camera team in the auditorium, which included several highly acclaimed Directors Of Photography: Stuart Dryburgh (The Piano, The Painted Veil), Robert Elswit (Magnolia, Good Night and Good Luck), Ellen Kuras (Summer Of Sam, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind), John Toll (The Last Samurai, Braveheart), Emmanuel Lubezki (Children Of Men, Sleepy Hollow) and Andrew Lesnie (Lord Of The Rings Trilogy, King Kong). The film was edited by David Tedeschi, who worked with Scorsese on the acclaimed Bob Dylan documentary, No Direction Home: Bob Dylan.

Financed by Steve Bing’s Shangri-La Entertainment and long-time Stones Tour Promoter Michael Cohl’s Concert Promotions International, producers are Victoria Pearman, Michael Cohl, Zane Weiner and Steve Bing.  Executive Producers are Stones members Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts and Ronnie Wood, with Jane Rose as co-executive producer.

Shine a Light will be released in UK cinemas nationwide by Twentieth Century Fox in April, 2008

> IMDb entry for Shine a Light
> Official website for the film

Owen Wilson story

Owen WilsonSince reading about Owen Wilson reported suicide  attempt yesterday morning in Variety I’ve been reluctant to post anything.

Gossip sites like Perez Hilton, TMZ and Defamer cover that beat and unless stories like this have a big impact on a particular movie or the industry as a whole I’m not really keen to wade in.

But I interviewed him 2 years ago when he was promoting Wedding Crashers and have been thinking about him and his troubles.

Like many actors I spoken to down the years he was courteous and polite, but at the same time I would never claim to have any insight into someone’s personality from such a brief and transitory meeting.

Reading different news articles about his problems has been a dispiriting exercise as pundits weigh in on the issues surrounding this sad event. The big question looming over many seems to be ‘why would a rich movie star do something like this’?

One writer who has grappled intelligently about this whole affair is Matt Zoeller Sietz and he has written a thoughtful piece over at The House Next Door:

The three words that spring to mind when I think of Owen Wilson are “generosity of spirit” — a phrase that’s being returned in kind by strangers as Wilson recovers from what has been described as a suicide attempt.

Wilson and I are the same age, 38. We’re both from Dallas, and although we didn’t cross paths until our mid-20s, we glancingly share enough geographical flashpoints that I’m surprised it didn’t happen sooner.

Wilson and his friend and filmmaking partner, Wes Anderson, shot part of a black-and-white short film prototype for their first feature, Bottle Rocket, in Greenway Parks, a five minute walk from my house.

We both frequented the Inwood Theater, the clubs in Deep Ellum, the Bookstop on Mockingbird Lane (where Anderson shot the heist in Bottle Rocket) and the Cosmic Cup, a coffee shop and arts hangout owned by Indian-born actor, magician and juggler Kumar Pallana, who had small roles in Bottle Rocket, Rushmore and The Royal Tenenbaums

If you only read one more article on this story then make it this one.

Check out the full article here.

> Owen Wilson story at Variety
> IMDb entry for Owen Wilson

Thoughts on RSS Feeds

RSS IconNeville Hobson hits the nail on the head with this post about RSS Feeds:

If you offer an RSS feed from your website or blog that isn’t the full content, here’s something for you to think about.

Like many people, I’m an RSS creative-consumer. That means I read almost everything of interest to me via RSS as well as publish content that you can get via RSS. I don’t visit many websites including blogs unless I’m googling in search mode or if I want to leave a comment.

I read my content of interest on different devices, from desktop PCs to laptops to mobile phones, whatever is to hand and wherever I happen to be.

If I find a site of interest, I’ll subscribe to its RSS feed. If it doesn’t offer a feed, I usually leave it there. And if it offers a feed that first leads you to a login firewall – bad mainstream media tactic – that usually gets deleted unless the content on offer is unmissably compelling (very few of those).

I no longer subscribe to any site that only offers subscriptions to RSS feeds that contain partial content, not the Full Monty.

It made me stop and think how I have actually read my daily diet of websites down the years.

I first started using the Internet regularly at college back in 1996 and I bookmarked sites of interest in Netscape Navigator or just browsed by keywords in different search engines.

Despite all the changes in the web over the years I still tended to use bookmarks (either on Netscape or Internet Explorer) when I surfed at home or at work. The advent of Google made searching a lot easier but it still surprises me that this basic method of web browsing lasted for so long until the advent of RSS feeds.

Over the last two years I’ve used Netvibes and Google Reader to subscribe to and read sites. I also check out BlogsNow and Popurls to get new stories from outside my regular haunts and have a link bar in Firefox of sites I regularly visit (Google, BBC News, Facebook, Amazon and – of course – the IMDb).

RSS feeds make reading sites a lot easier – I can access my bookmarks/subscriptions across multiple computers and devices now but I can also get through my digest of daily stories much more quickly.

But as Neville points out some media companies and organisations don’t seem to get this. In fact you could argue that some want to limit their readers ability to access their content. Why? Usually as a smart-but-actually-dumb way of making it seem exclusive and worth paying for.

But if sites gave up their obsession with making us click through to the actual page and just measured the subscribers to their feed, it would just make it easier for the reader. Plus, we might actually spend more time on their site.

I don’t mind ads in the feed (as long as they’re not annoying or intrusive) so it is not really a question of that. It is simply about making things easier for me, the reader – because if you don’t, then sooner or later I’ll be going elsewhere.

How do you read your websites? Post any thoughts below.

[Original link via James Cridland’s blog]

> History of RSS Feeds at Wikipedia
> Google Reader
> Netvibes