When Stars Collide…

May 27th, 2014 by Ben

Directors and Actors who collaborate often tend to create lasting working relationships that are reflected in the films they make. This is a fascinating subject that we already addressed in several posts in the past, and the upcoming Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore collaboration gives us an excellent excuse to take a look into more of these relationships.

Seth Rogen and Jonah Hill
As part of the Judd Apatow group they first appeared together in The 40-Year-Old Virgin, and later in a series of hilarious and mega-successful comedies such as Knocked Up and Superbad. In the past couple of years Hill took a more serious route, starring in films like Moneyball and The Wolf of Wall Street, but gladly they reunited last year for the self-conscious comedy This is the End. They are now working on an adult animated film which sounds both intriguing and weird…

Tim Burton and Helena Bonham Carter
Perhaps this is cheating, because this couple is actually married – but boy, are those two made for each other. The eccentric Bonham Carter is the perfect collaborator in Burton’s quirky fantastical tales, and she’s delivered some great performances, from an ape in Planet of the Apes to a murderous pub owner in Sweeney Todd to the big-headed queen of hearts in Alice in Wonderland. At the moment they are not working on any additional collaboration, but it’s probably just a matter of time.

Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson
They first appeared together in the media satire comedy EdTV and became good friends. Despite that they have not worked together a lot, except for a negligible comedy named Surfer, Dude. All of that changed this year when True Detective started and gave both of their careers major boosts. Since the show is an anthology they will not come back for a 2nd season, but their chemistry definitely justifies more collaborations which will hopefully take place.

Wes Anderson and Bill Murray
Wes Anderson is known for using the same actors over and over again, both as major characters and in cameo roles. Bill Murray is one of his most frequent collaborators, starting with 1998s Rushmore up until his last feature The Grand Budapest Hotel in which Murray appears in a very small role. Their most remembered collaboration was in The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou which became one of Murray’s most recognized roles.

Christopher Nolan and Michael Caine
The acclaimed elderly actor first worked with Nolan on Batman Begins as Alfred the loyal butler, and he has been a constant participant in his films ever since. Besides the Batman trilogy they collaborated on The Prestige, Inception and now in their new film called Interstellar.

Paul Thomas Anderson and Philip Seymour Hoffman
A collaboration which will sadly not continue is that of Paul Thomas Anderson and the late Phillip Seymour Hoffman. Under Anderson’s direction Seymour Hoffman gave some of his greatest performances, including the intense role in The Master. His death is a real loss to cinema lovers.

Matt Damon and George Clooney
Those two handsome men also shared a lot of screen time together. They first collaborated on Ocean’s Eleven, which later spawned two sequels. They cooperated in several other features and also partnered up in some charity and humanitarian efforts, and this year their collaboration reached a higher level when Damon took a leading role in the Clooney-directed film The Monument Men.

Mike Leigh and Timothy Spall
Spall and Leigh first collaborated in the TV teleplay Home Sweet Home from 1982. They then did not collaborate until the 90s, when Spall appeared in some of Leigh’s most well known works (Secrets and Lies, Topsy-Turvy etc). Another hiatus began in 2000 that has now happily ended with Leigh’s new film Mr. Turner, about the famous painter. Spall plays the leading role which just a few days ago earned him the title of best actor at the Cannes Film Festival.

Ethan Hawke and Richard Linklater
Hawke was the center of Linklater’s long-running trilogy (18 years overall) Before Sunrise, alongside Julie Delpy. Right after the first film he became one of Linklaters’ favorites actors, which resulted in collaborating in more than 11 films so far. The last one in this series of collaborations is Boyhood, an extremely ambitious project that follows a young kid from age 5 to 18, and won the silver bear in this year’s Berlin Film Festival.

Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore
Blended is the 3rd collaboration for Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore, after The Wedding Singer and 50 first dates. Both of the previous collaborations did rather well, will third time be a charm too?

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Your Films at Cannes

May 9th, 2014 by Ran


The most prestigious film festival is upon us. From May 14 to May 25 the most acclaimed directors on the planet will showcase their new features in the south of France. I will try to sift through the many great films on display for the most anticipated and interesting ones.

Two Days, One Night (2014)

The new Dardenne brothers’ film features Marion Cotillard as a down on her luck woman who tries to save her job. Although their films are pretty bleak, In my book, they are always a cause for celebration.

Jimmy’s Hall (2014)

British master Ken Loach’s new feature tells the story of Irish political activist Jimmy Gralton and his deportation to the USA. A classic fighting the system tale by the ultimate fighting the system director.

Mr. Turner (2014)


The life of one of the greatest British painters is the subject of Mike Leigh’s new film. J. M. W. Turner is played by Leigh’s favorite Timothy Spall, and at the hands of the British master this biography will surely be more interesting than most in this genre.

Clouds of Sils Maria (2014)


In contrast of many directors (including those three above him) Olivier Assayas has had a very eclectic career. He keeps your expectations in a limbo, and that’s where I like them. His new offering (all in English) is a psychological drama about an aging actress (Juliette Binoche) reflecting on her past.

The Homesman (2014)

Tommy Lee Jones has already proven that he’s more than just an actor with the restrained but powerful Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada in 2005. With his new awaited big screen feature he’s proving that he’s partial to westerns, with a 19th century tale of a pioneer woman (Hilary Swank) who teams with a shady character (Jones himself) to escort three insane women from Nebraska to Iowa.

La chambre bleue (2014)

Another actor going behind the camera. Mathieu Amalric has dabbled in directing more than TLJ, and he’s already won an award in 2010. This adaptation of a George Simenon novel is a French sexual thriller, and there are not many better three word combinations than this…


Saint Laurent (2014)


The biography of iconic fashion designer Yves Saint-Laurent is the subject of this film, starring Gaspar Ulliel and winner of best actress at last year’s festival Léa Seydoux. Coming on the heels of another biopic, this one looks more edgy and interesting.


Maps to the Stars (2014)

David Cronenberg takes on Hollywood in his latest film – that’s bound to be explosive. Though his last film was a bit disappointing a Cronenberg film is always a cinematic event, and with John Cusack, Julianne Moore, Robert Pattinson and Mia Wasikowska starring you can’t afford to miss it.

The Search (2014)


This is Michel Hazanavicius’ first film since the Oscar winning The Artist in 2011, and it’s quite a change of atmosphere, moving from the golden age of Hollywood to war-torn Chechnya. It’s also a remake of the 1948 masterpiece starring Montgomery Clift set in post war Berlin.

Foxcatcher (2014)

Bennett Miller, who directed Capote and Moneyball comes back with a film about Olympic wrestling champion Mark Schultz (Channing Tatum) and his paranoid schizophrenic brother (Steve Carell)… who killed him. This will probably be less funny than 22 Jump Street or Anchorman 2, but should be very interesting.

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Has network television told us all the stories they have to offer?

April 16th, 2014 by Barak

hit tv
Every season the big networks keep coming up with plenty of new shows. It got us thinking – are we really getting something fresh and new every time or is it the same recycled shows in a slightly different look? That led us to think, are there any differences between the shows of the 10 big networks? Are there any unique themes or moods to each network? Read below for some genome based TV insights:

Fox – Suspenseful Mysteries about Trying to Uncover Truth, Funny Pop Culture References

During the 90′s we heard the phrase “The truth is out there” in Fox’s hit TV series The X-Files. Since then the network has been trying to uncover the truth in many other shows…They make up an intriguing mystery – sometimes extraterrestrials can be involved, time travel also does the trick, it can also involve more realistic mysteries like murders and trying to figure out who committed them…and then they partner together an attractive female alongside an attractive male and let the show begin! Here’s the proof: Sleepy Hollow, Bones, Lie to Me, Fringe, The X-Files, Alcatraz, Past Life, and also Dollhouse can be used as partial evidence.

Fox’s other specialty is funny, witty comedies filled with pop culture references, the mother and father of those shows is Fox’s flag series “The Simpsons“, the rest followed: Family Guy, American Dad, New Girl, The Mindy Project, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Bob’s Burgers, Futurama, The Cleveland Show, King of the Hill, The Critic and the cult classic Parker Lewis Can’t Lose.

HBO – Sex, Witty, Cynical Dialogue, and Violence

HBO series
Don’t let your children watch a lot of HBO, this is a network that many of its shows revolve around sex: Sex and the City, Hung, True Blood, Girls, Looking, Six Feet Under, Tell Me You Love Me, The Mind of a Married Men and Dream On – some are dramas, some comedy-dramas and one is even from the horror genre, but they all revolve around sexual relations.

Another brand of shows HBO tends to make a lot of is cynical comedies that has plenty of witty dialogues: Curb Your Enthusiasm, Entourage, Bored to Death, Life’s Too Short, The Ricky Gervais Show, Veep, Hello Ladies and Arliss.

The 3rd HBO style of shows is captivating, violent and stylized crime shows like The Sopranos, True Detective, Boardwalk Empire, Oz, Deadwood, The Wire and Luck.

ABC – Soapy Plot-lines and a Strong Female Presence

ABC might be the American Broadcasting Company but a more suiting definition can be “American Babes Channel”. ABC is the most female oriented network between all of the big ones. A typical ABC show concerns an ensemble cast of strong and good looking women, and revolves around soapy plot lines like love and romance, schemes, secrets, dishonesty and couple relations. Here are the shows that helped me make my case: Desperate Housewives, Grey’s Anatomy, Nashville, Revenge, Scandal, Private Practice, The Practice, Mistresses and Army Wives.

FX – Irreverent Humor and Tense Crimes

Animated and live action comedies alike, FX likes its comedies offbeat, irreverent and dark, as the following list proves: Louie, Archer, Starved, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Legit, The League, Chozen and Wilfred.

FX is a network that doesn’t hide the fact that its shows are directed at boys/men, so it’s no surprise that another dominant type of shows this network produces is tense and suspenseful crime dramas about right and wrong and dishonesty: Justified, Sons of Anarchy, The Shield, Lights Out, The Bridge and Damages (to the defense of the network we’ll say that the last two shows we mentioned both put in the center a very strong leading female character…so it’s not like they totally ignore women).

AMC – Atmospheric and Psychological Morality Tales

AMC is a young network, but it’s already a very famous one, a network that everyone associates with quality. AMC’s shows are atmospheric, tense, suspenseful and psychological and revolve around themes of partners, dishonesty and morality. The top AMC shows that fit the description are: Breaking Bad, Low Winter Sun, Rubicon, Mad Men, The Killing and also Hell on Wheels in a way.

Starz – Stylized, Violent and Sexual, Full of Political Intrigues and Power Struggles

Starz series
Starz probably learnt from another cable network – HBO, that sex and violence are key ingredients in TV shows. Most of the shows Starz produce have strong sexual content and scenes of graphic violence. But – it’s all very good looking, the violence is stylized, and well…the people who are having sex aren’t exactly ugly as well.

Periodic reconstructions, political unrest, intrigues and rivalries are also dominant in this network as you can see in: Spartacus: Blood and Sand, Spartacus: Gods of the Arena, Camelot, Black Sails, Boss, The White Queen, Pillars of the Earth, Magic City and Da Vinci’s Demons.

NBC – Suspenseful Mysterious Characters, Funny Workplace Situations

NBC wants you to keep watching its shows. So, it puts a mysterious character at the center and expects you, the viewer, to keep watching because you’re just dying to know who this puzzling dude is. This type of shows are suspenseful, exciting and/or tense and usually puts some its characters in peril. Here are some of NBC’s cryptic protagonists: HannibalThe Blacklist, Dracula, Persons Unknown, The Event, Revolution, Crisis and Grimm.

Another type of shows NBC likes to do is funny sitcoms about workplace situations and boss and employee relations: 30 Rock, The Office, Parks and Recreation, The Michael J. Fox Show, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, Just Shoot Me, Scrubs, Sean Saves the World and the classic Cheers.

 Showtime – Clever Dark Humor, Lessons about the Human Nature

A typical Showtime show is clever and dark humored and deals with themes of human nature, mind and soul and family relations. Drug and alcohol abuse, sex and workplace situations are also popular themes in this cable network. The top shows that demonstrate these stats are: Dexter, The Borgias, Nurse Jackie, Weeds, Dead Like Me, Ray Donovan, House of Lies, Homeland and Masters of Sex.

BBC – Stylized and Clever Twists and Turns, Danger and Crimes

BBC offers suspenseful, clever and stylized shows with some of the familiar British dry humor. The story being told usually involves crimes and danger with some unexpected twists and turns along the way. The shows often take place in London (and the fact that the BBC headquarters are also in London doesn’t mean they’re being lazy and just go outside and film a bloody TV series instead of looking for a more distant and exquisite setting…I hope). Here are some of the BBC’s clever crime shows: Sherlock, Orphan Black, Ripper Street, Quirke, Luther, Jekyll, Inside Men, Hidden, Life on Mars, Peaky Blinders and The Shadow Line.

CBS – Sitcoms Filled With Eccentric Characters, Suspenseful Law Enforcement

CBS keeps it pretty simple – many of its shows are sitcoms filled with gags, revolving around couple relations, family relations and friendship, to spice things up and make everything more interesting the characters at the center of those sitcoms are pretty eccentric ones, as shown in: The Big Bang Theory, Two Broke Girls, How I Met Your Mother, The Crazy Ones, Mike and Molly, The Millers, Two and a Half Men, The King of Queens, Everybody Loves Raymond and $h*! My Dad Says.

The other type of shows CBS focuses on is what is known as procedural crime dramas: suspenseful shows about law enforcement and how crimes are solved. In these shows we usually see two partners who are police detectives’ team up to solve murder cases, like in: Hawaii Five-0, Elementary, Blue Bloods, CSI, CSI: NY, CSI: Miami, Criminal Minds, The Mentalist, NCIS, Person of Interest, Without a Trace, Num3ers and Cold Case.

So, there you have it – this is what the networks have to offer. How different each network is from one another and is every real network reallyformulaic in a sense…We’ll let you decide.

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Exclusive! First look at the most intriguing title in 2015!

April 1st, 2014 by Asaf



Our specialty here at jinni is to recommend movies and TV Shows for each user based on his/her personal taste. But this week our man in Hollywood got word on some of the most intriguing productions set to hit the screens next year. Some seem like exciting blockbusters, others like critically acclaimed dramas but all will be talked about for sure. So here’s the top 10 most anticipated titles in 2015!

Transformers V – The Age Of Rust

transformers age of rust 2

In the 5th installment of the successful film series the Autobots and their evil enemies, the Decepticons, have a mutual enemy – rain drops. Seems after a few years on earth their iron bodies begin to rust and they must find shelter from the rain. And so they begin living together in an abandoned underground parking garage in Jersey. That’s where they get to know one another, to bond, to develop feelings for one another and even to have a love triangle with a new transformer named Cone who’s specialty is transforming into an ice cream stand. Seems like a sentimental date-night film.

The Fifth Elephant

The Fifth Element (1997) 4

The name kind of says it all doesn’t it? in the not so distant future there are 5 elephants living in New York. Conrad is our hero. Conrad is always the fifth wheel, he’s got 4 elephant friends and while they’re dating each other, Conrad is left lonely. In order to find meaning in his life Conrad decides to be a cabbie. You’d think in the future elephants would be able to drive cabs wouldn’t you? it turns out they can’t. So, out of desperation, Conrad finds the solution in the bottom of the bottle. Can Conrad find hope? can he find the 6th elephant? we’ll have to wait and see. Sam Mendes is set to direct, Bruce Willis will get into a giant elephant suit.

Driving Miss Daisy


The original Driving Miss Daisy is a modern classic, an award winning emotional drama. The only problem with it is that it addresses mostly mature audience. Now the studios found a way to attract kids and teens with the partly animated remake. Morgan Freeman will reprise his role as Hoke Collburn, an aging servant for his spoiled master miss daisy. And through their social and color differences they develop the friendship of a lifetime. Stephan Frears set to direct with supporting actors such as Donald Duck, and Mr. Goofey as hopeless gambling addict who gets run over by Hoke in a hit and run accident.

12 Angry Women


12 Angry Women is a new reality show based on the Sidney Lumet Classic Drama. The show would focus on dozen angry women each episode. They’ll be confined in a closed room for a day while there’s a sale going on at a luxurious shopping mall nearby. Rage and anger ahead. The show is already considered controversial  for containing harsh profanity and strong violent scenes. Seems like a disturbing reality show with strong female presence revolving human nature and it’s most basic impulse – Shopping.

Children Of Ben

thumbs_childrenOfMen_515c 22

We all know those Eddie Murphy’s comedies where he plays about 42 different roles. Now it seems those comedies had one unpredictable fan, Ben Kingly. These days Ben is writing, producing and directing an ensemble comedy where he plays four siblings who are the children of Ben, himself. Ben plays as Ben Juniors, four brothers going on a vacation where they discover Ben got another woman pregnant. Jealous of the new born infant, the four Bens decide to assassinate their step-brother in what surely will deliver a crazy comedy of errors.

The Hobbit: Bilbo Eats a Banana


Not many people know this but in the original novel, there was a paragraph describing Bilbo finding a banana and eating it. It’s an emotional part. Now The studios have rewritten this paragraph to fit into an adventurous trilogy. Each title would include Bilbo eating a different part of the banana. The first part of the trilogy includes mostly the peeling part, in 3D.

Wizard Of Oz


Based on the TV hit series, The wizard of Oz would take the 4 main characters from Oz and put them on the magical yellow brick road. As ex-convicts the group still have their habits of beating each other, trying to kill one another and torturing each other. A typical day in the slammer, only this time they’ll sing and dance while doing so. A violent musical journey to the wizard as never seen before. Brad Pitt set to take the role of Toto the deceiving dog.

Breaking Baaaaaaaad


Breaking Bad was one of the most critically acclaimed shows of recent years so it’s not surprising AMC is working on 2 spin-offs. One is “Better Call Saul” already in the making and the other is Braking Baaaaaaaad. The show would follow two sheeps, Barney and Greg, Both rebels fed up with their life with flock. They’re ambitious and want to follow their dream, to live in luxurious estates, to drink champagne and basically doing everything Leonardo DiCaprio did in “The Wolf Of Wall Street”. So how do Barney and Greg become wolves? They decide to become drug dealers by hiding the drugs in their fur. After all, who would suspect a sheep? An epic crime drama that’s sure to attract audience worldwide.

Wild Strawberries 2: Wilder Strawberries


The original film from the 50s followed an aging professor on a contemplative journey, reflecting upon his empty life. The sequel, set to be partly B&W, would feature another aging professor only this time there’s a seductive, hot and sexy woman in the corner of the screen. So whenever the Professor talks too much the audience (mainly males) can reflect upon the wild strawberries.



Interracial relationships is still a controversial issue in several parts of the world. This new melodrama promises to handle the subject in an original way. Ben and Jennifer are a couple who just started dating. For years Ben (a Godzilla) admired Jennifer (a goat) from a far – in the local Bar, in her workplace as a responsible secretary. When he finally got the courage to hit on her he was sure Jennifer would decline but Jennifer said yes and slowly they built a relationship based on love and loyalty. But when Society doesn’t accept their relationship, that’s when trouble begin. They suffer from racial slur, from humiliation by the people they used to call friends. After Jennifer decides she can’t live as a social misfit and breaks up with Ben, the two make love for the last time which creates Goatzilla – Part Godzilla, Part Goat, but fully raged. Goatzilla, that bastard, goes on a violence spree against the people who made his parents breakup and drove them to insanity. An atmospheric thought provoking film that’s sure to roar in the award season of 2015.

© All rights reserved to Jinni. Though good luck to the producer who’ll try to get funding to any of these titles.  Happy April fool’s day!

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Gloomy Crime Drama Showdown!! UK vs Scandinavia

March 18th, 2014 by Barak

A new gloomy crime show starring Chloe Sevigny called Those Who Kill is premiering in the U.S. It’s yet another remake of a Scandinavian series titled likewise (after The Killing, The Bridge and Wallander). Is Scandinavia stealing England‘s status as the masters of quality gloomy crime dramas? We’ll take the best 5 British ones and the 5 best Scandinavian ones and try to decide – Who’s got the best gloomy crime shows in Europe?

Those Who Kill VS. Prime Suspect

those who kill-prime suspect
Those Who Kill (Den som dræber) is a suspenseful edge of your seat show that has some very intense and difficult to watch scenes. It’s about a female police detective and a male legal psychiatrist who together try to track down and take down serial killers. Prime Suspect starred Helen Mirren as a tough law enforcer who has to deal with a sexist police environment along with a murder investigation. These two titles actually prove that blondes have less fun.

Winner: Prime Suspect, probably Helen Mirren’s best role ever.

The Killing VS. Broadchurch

The Killing (Forbrydelsen) is a slow burn series that demands patience. It’s about a murder investigation that uncovers secrets, power struggles and cover ups. It’s quite unique in the sense that it focuses on the story of the victim’s family who needs to cope with the tragic event almost as much as it focuses on the police investigation.

Broadchurch is another slow burn series that uses the beautiful landscapes in which the series was shot to create a haunting atmosphere. It’s about a small town murder that shocks the community. Everyone’s a suspect among the many characters of the series.

Winner: A draw. Both shows are quite similar – the plot, the mood and the quality.

Wallander VS. Cracker

Wallander is a grumpy and slightly depressed middle aged Swedish detective who tries to apprehend psychopathic killers. Skillful cinematography add to the chilling atmosphere of the series.

Cracker’s main character was called Fitz – an obese, chain smoking, gambling addicted alcoholic who’s also an excellent criminal psychologist. This clever and suspenseful series had an American remake that failed miserably.

Winner: Cracker. One of the best crime shows ever made.

Beck VS. Luther

Beck is a long running Swedish detective series about the detective Martin Beck and his colleagues. Beck is not especially heroic or courageous, but what motivates him and makes him a good detective is probably a strong sense of responsibility for human beings.

Luther, played by Idris Elba, is a police detective on the edge, with a strong tendency toward vigilantism. It’s a gritty and gripping show with strong performances all around.

Winner: Luther. Especially because of Idris Elba’s charismatic performance.

The Bridge VS. The Shadow Line

bridge-shadow line
The Bridge (Bron/Broen) is a mesmerizing show, the lead female detective is one of the most fascinating/weird/funny characters ever seen on TV screens. The plot has many twists and turns and the 2 main characters are flawed in a way that makes it easy to relate to them. The show has its own atmosphere and style (right from the opening theme) that distinguishes it from any other similarly themed shows.

The Shadow Line stars three excellent actors who all give fantastic performances: Chiwetel Ejiofor as a detective suffering from memory loss, Christopher Eccleston as the nicest drug lord you ever saw and Stephen Rea as an ultra-professional hitman. It’s an amazingly stylized, tense and complex Neo Noir Crime series.

Winner: A draw between these two masterpieces.

3-0 to the British series! The queen must be happy (although if she’ll watch an episode of one of these shows she might get sad). All these shows are dark and gloomy and go hand in hand with the weather in Scandinavia and in the UK. No wonder the suicide rate is considered high in those regions. If you are a British or Scandinavian resident and you are considering to end your life you’re not thinking clearly… Aren’t you just dying to know what will happen next in all of those intriguing murder mysteries?!

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