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Oscar Race at the 2016 Halfway Mark: Diversity and Confusion

24 June 2016 11:03 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

As 2016 hits the halfway point, the Oscar race is even fuzzier than usual. Two things are clear: The studios are back-loading their awards hopefuls yet again, with launches at fall festivals and/or the fourth quarter; and there are more diverse films in the mix, with at least 16 potential biggies from filmmakers who are women, Asians, Latino-Hispanics, black and seniors (i.e., over 65).

In the past few years, “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” “Boyhood” and “Mad Max: Fury Road” had been widely screened and started industry buzz by late June. This year, there is a lot of industry enthusiasm for a few January-to-June titles such as “Zootopia,” “The Jungle Book” and “The Witch.” But best-pic contenders? Not so sure.

The festivals so far have offered possibilities like “Manchester by the Sea” and “Loving.” And some pundits anointed “The Birth of a Nation” as the Oscar front-runner last January (a mixed blessing for Fox Searchlight, »

- Tim Gray

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Netflix in July: What’s Coming and What to Watch Before It’s Gone (Photos)

21 June 2016 5:39 PM, PDT | The Wrap | See recent The Wrap news »

What’s Coming July 1: “Back to the Future” trilogy Robert Zemeckis‘ iconic time-travel adventure trilogy, starring Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd, comes to Netflix on July 1. What’s Coming July 1: “Big Trouble in Little China” John Carpenter‘s “Big Trouble in Little China” hits Netflix next month. Meanwhile, Dwayne Johnson is in development on his own remake of the 1986 cult classic. What’s Coming July 1: “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” Starring Tom HanksSandra Bullock and Thomas HornStephen Daldry‘s film adaptation of “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” earned a Best Picture nomination in 2011. What »

- Reid Nakamura

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John Cusack: examining his recent straight-to-dvd movies

20 June 2016 3:53 PM, PDT | Den of Geek | See recent Den of Geek news »

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John Cusack has made 17 films in four years. We've found the ones that have gone all-but straight to DVD and watched them...

John Cusack is a bit of a Hollywood oddity. There’s no pattern to the type of movie he will choose to do, so he’s always kept us on our toes. Sure, he’ll make a dumb action movie, but that will often afford him the chance to make a few smaller gambles later on. Up until the last few years he’s played the system very well, but recently his ethic appears to have, um, waned? A little?

Since the heady days of Say Anything and Sixteen Candles he’s come to represent a sort of slightly weird-looking, awkwardly charming, offbeat everyman that men aged 18-49 can look at and go 'me'” - which is fine. There’s a place for that, as »

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Warner Bros, and its disastrous movie summer of 1997

13 June 2016 2:21 PM, PDT | Den of Geek | See recent Den of Geek news »

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Warner Bros has struggled with its blockbusters of late. But back in summer 1997 - Batman & Robin's year - it faced not dissimilar problems.

Earlier this year it was revealed that Warner Bros, following a string of costly movies that hadn’t hit box office gold (Pan, Jupiter Ascending, The Man From U.N.C.L.E., In The Heart Of The Sea), was restructuring its blockbuster movie business. Fewer films, fewer risks, more franchises, and more centering around movie universes seems to be the new approach, and the appointment of a new corporate team to oversee the Harry Potter franchise last week was one part of that.

In some ways, it marks the end of an era. Whilst it retains its relationships with key directing talent (Ben Affleck, Clint Eastwood, Christopher Nolan for instance), Warner Bros was, for the bulk of the 1990s in particular, the studio that the others were trying to mimic. It worked with the same stars and filmmakers time and time again, and under then-chiefs Terry Semel and Robert Daly, relationships with key talent were paramount.

Furthermore, the studio knew to leave that talent to do its job, and was also ahead of the pack in developing franchises that it could rely on to give it a string of hits.

However, whilst Warner Bros is having troubles now, its way of doing business was first seriously challenged by the failure of its slate in the summer of 1997. Once again, it seemed to have a line up to cherish, that others were envious of. But as film by film failed to click, every facet of Warner Bros’ blockbuster strategy suddenly came under scrutiny, and would ultimately fairly dramatically change. Just two summers later, the studio released The Matrix, and blockbuster cinema changed again.

But come the start of summer 1997? These are the movies that Warner Bros had lined up, and this is what happened…

February - National Lampoon’s Vegas Vacation

Things actually had got off to a decent enough start for the studio earlier in the year, so it's worth kicking off there. It brought Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo back together, for the fourth National Lampoon movie, and the first since 1989’s National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. Interestingly, it dropped the National Lampoon moniker in the Us, and instead released the eventual movie as Vegas Vacation. It was a belated sequel, back when belated sequels weren’t that big a thing.

The film was quickly pulled apart by reviewers, but it still just about clawed a profit. The production budget of $25m was eclipsed by the Us gross of $36m, and the movie would do comfortable business on video/DVD. Not a massive hit, then, but hardly a project that had a sense of foreboding about it.

Yet the problems were not far away.

May – Father's Day

Warner Bros had a mix of movies released in the Us in March and April 1997, including modest Wesley Snipes-headlined thriller Murder At 1600, and family flick Shiloh. But it launched its summer season with Father’s Day, an expensive packaged comedy from director Ivan Reitman, starring Robin Williams and Billy Crystal. It had hit written all over it.

Father’s Day was one of the movies packaged by the CAA agency, and its then-head, Mike Ovitz (listed regularly by Premiere magazine in the 1990s as one of the most powerful men in Hollywood, if not the most powerful man). That he brought together the stars, the director and the project, gave a studio a price tag, and the studio duly paid it. Given Warner Bros’ devotion to star talent (Mel Gibson, then one of the biggest movie stars in the world, and a major Warner Bros talent, was persuaded to film a cameo), it was a natural home for the film. It quickly did the deal. few questions asked.

That package, and CAA’s fees for putting it together, brought the budget for a fairly straightforward comedy to a then-staggering $85m. The problem, though, was that the film simply wasn’t very good. It’s one of those projects that looks great on paper, less great when exposed on a great big screen. Warner Bros has snapped it up, without - it seems - even properly reading the script. 

Premiere magazine quoted a Warner Bros insider back in November 1997 as saying “when [CAA] calls and says ‘we have a package, Father’s Day, with Williams and Crystal and Reitman, we say ‘great’”, adding “we don’t scrutinise the production. When we saw the movie, it took the wind out of us. We kept reshooting and enhancing, but you can’t fix something that’s bad”.

And it was bad.

The movie would prove to be the first big misfire of the summer, grossing just $35m in the Us, and not adding a fat lot more elsewhere in the world. Warner Bros’ first film of the summer was a certified flop. More would soon follow.

May - Addicted To Love

A more modestly priced project was Addicted To Love, a romantic comedy starring Meg Ryan and Matthew Broderick. Just over a year later, Warner Bros would hit big when Meg Ryan reunited with Tom Hanks for Nora Ephron’s You’ve Got Mail. But here? The film was a modest success, at best.

Directed by Griffin Dunne (making his directorial debut), and put together in partnership with Miramax, Addicted To Love was based around the Robert Palmer song of the same name. But whilst it was sold as a romcom, the muddled final cut was actually a fair bit darker. There was an underlying nastiness to some moments in the film, and when the final box office was tallied, it came in lower than the usual returns for pictures from Ryan or Broderick. Counter-programming it against the release of The Lost World: Jurassic Park didn’t massively help in this instance either, especially as the Jurassic Park sequel would smash opening weekend records.

Addicted To Love ended up with $34.6m at the Us box office. It would eke out a small profit.

June - Batman & Robin

And this is when the alarm bells started to ring very, very loudly. Summer 1997 was supposed to be about a trio of sure-fire hit sequels: Batman 4, Jurassic Park 2 and Speed 2. Only one of those would ultimately bring home the box office bacon, the others being destroyed by critics, and ultimately leaving far more empty seats than anticipated in multiplexes.

Batman & Robin, it’s easy to forget, came off the back of 1995’s Joel Schumacher-steered Batman reboot, Batman Forever that year's biggest movie). It had one of the fastest-growing stars in the world in the Batsuit (George Clooney), and the McDonald’s deals were signed even before the script was typed up. You don’t need us to tell you that you could tell, something of a theme already in Warner Bros' summer of '97.

That said, Batman & Robin still gave Warner Bros a big opening, but in the infancy of the internet as we know it, poisonous word of mouth was already beginning to spread. The film’s negative cost Warner Bros up to $140m, before marketing and distribution costs, and it opened in the Us to a hardly-sniffy $42m of business (although that was down from previous Batman movies).

But that word of mouth still accelerated its departure from cinemas. It was then very rare for a film to make over 40% of its Us gross in its first weekend. But that’s just what Batman & Robin did, taking $107.3m in America, part of a worldwide total of $238.2m. This was the worst return for a Batman movie to date, and Warner Bros had to swiftly put the brakes on plans to get Batman Triumphant moving.

It would be eight years until Batman returned to the big screen, in Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins. Warner Bros would undergo big changes in the intervening period.

As for the immediate aftermath of Batman & Robin? Warner Bros co-chief Robert Daly would note at the end of '97 that “we’d have been better off with more action in the picture. The movie had to service too many characters”, adding that “the next Batman we do, in three years – and we have a deal with George Clooney to do it – will have one villain”.

Fortunately, Warner Bros’ one solid hit of the summer was just around the corner…

July - Contact

And breathe out.

Warner Bros bet heavily again on expensive talent here, with Robert Zemeckis bringing his adaptation of Carl Sagan’s Contact to the studio for his first film post-Forrest Gump. Warner Bros duly footed the $90m bill (back when that was still seen as a lot of money for a movie), a good chunk of which went to Jodie Foster. It invested heavily in special effects, and gave Zemeckis licence to make the film that he wanted.

The studio was rewarded with the most intelligent and arguably the best blockbuster of the summer. I’ve looked back at Contact in a lot more detail here, and it remains a fascinating film that’s stood the test of time (and arguably influenced Christopher Nolan’s more recent Interstellar).

Reviews were strong, it looked terrific, and the initial box office was good.

But then the problem hit. For whilst Contact was a solid hit for Warner Bros, it wasn’t a massively profitable one. Had Father’s Day and Batman & Robin shouldered the box office load there were supposed to, it perhaps wouldn’t have been a problem. But when they failed to take off, the pressure shifted to Contact.

The movie would gross $100.9m in the Us, and add another $70m overseas (this being an era were international box office rarely had the importance it has today). But once Warner Bros had paid its bills, there wasn’t a fat lot over for itself. Fortunately, the film still sells on disc and on-demand. Yet it wasn’t to be the massive hit the studio needed back in 1997.

July - One Eight Seven

From director Kevin Reynolds, the man who helmed Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves and Waterworld, came modestly-priced drama 187, starring Samuel L Jackson (in a strong performance). Warner Bros wouldn’t have had massive box office expectations for the film (although it can't have been unaware that the inspirational teacher sub-genre was always worth a few quid), and it shared production duties on the $20m movie with Mel Gibson’s Icon Productions. But still, it would have had its eye on a modest success. What it got in return was red ink.

The film’s not a bad one, and certainly worth seeking out. But poor reviews gave the film an uphill struggle from the off – smaller productions arriving mid-summer really needed critics on their side, as they arguably still do – and it opened to just $2.2m of business (the less edgy, Michelle Pfeiffer-headlined school drama Dangerous Minds had been a surprise hit not two years before).

By the time its run was done, 187 hadn’t even come close to covering its production costs, with just under $6m banked.

Warner Bros’ summer slate was running out of films. But at least it had one of its most reliable movie stars around the corner…

August - Conspiracy Theory

What could go wrong? Mel Gibson and Julia Roberts were two of the biggest movie stars in the world in 1997, at a time when movie stars still equated to box office gold. Director Richard Donner, one of Warner Bros’ favourite directors, had delivered the Lethal Weapons, Maverick, Superman, The Goonies and more for the studio. Put them altogether, with Patrick Stewart (coming to wider public consciousness at the time off the back of his Star Trek: The Next Generation work) as a villain, and it should have been a big hit.

Conspiracy Theory proved to be one of the more ambitious summer blockbusters of the era. It lacks a good first act, which would be really useful in actually setting up more of what’s going on. But Gibson played an edgy cab driver who believes in deep government conspiracies, and finds himself getting closer to the truth than those around him sometimes give him credit for.

Warner Bros was probably expecting another Lethal Weapon with the reunion of Gibson (who had to be persuaded to take Conspiracy Theory on) and Donner (it’s pretty much what it got with the hugely enjoyable Maverick a few years’ earlier), but instead it got a darker drama, with an uneasy central character that didn’t exactly play to the summer box office crowd.

The bigger problem, though, was that the film never quite worked as well as you might hope. Yet star power did have advantages. While no juggernaut, the film did decent business, grossing $137m worldwide off the back of an $80m budget ($40m of which was spent on the salaries for the talent before a single roll of film was loaded into a camera). That said, in the Us it knocked a genuine smash hit, Air Force One, off the top spot. Mind you in hindsight, that was probably the film that the studio wished it had made (the cockpit set of Warner Bros' own Executive Decision was repurposed for Air Force One, fact fans).

Still: Warner Bros did get Lethal Weapon 4 off Gibson and Donner a year later…

August - Free Willy 3: The Rescue

Yeah.

Warner Bros opened its third Free Willy film on the same day as Conspiracy Theory (can you imagine a studio opening two big films on the same day now), but it was clear that this was a franchise long past its best days (and its best days hardly bring back the fondest of memories).

Still, Free Willy movies were relatively modest in cost to put together, and Warner Bros presumably felt this was a simple cashpoint project. But in a year when lots of family movies did less business than expected (Disney’s Hercules, Fox’s Home Alone 3, Disney’s Mr Magoo), Free Willy 3 barely troubled the box office. It took in just over $3m in total, and Willy would not be seen on the inside of a cinema again.

August - Steel

Not much was expected from Steel, a superhero movie headlined by Shaquille O’Neal. Which was fortunate, because not much was had.

It had a mid-August release date in the Us, at a point when a mid-August release date was more of a dumping ground than anything else. And even though the budget was set at a relatively low $16m, the film – and it’s an overused time – pretty much bombed. It took $1.7m at the Us box office, and given that its appeal hinged on a major American sports star whose fame hardly transcended the globe, its international takings did not save it (it went straight to video in many territories).

It was a miserable end to what, for warner bros, had been a thoroughly miserable summer.

So what did hit big in summer 1997?

Summer 1997 was infamous for big films failing to take off in the way that had been expected – Hercules, Speed 2, and the aforementioned Warner Bros movies – but there were several bright spots. The big winner would be Barry Sonnenfeld’s light and sprightly sci-fi comedy Men In Black, starring Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones. Star power too helped score big hits for Harrison Ford (Air Force One), Julia Roberts (My Best Friend’s Wedding) and John Travolta (Face/Off).

This was also the summer that Nicolas Cage cemented his action movie credentials with Face/Off and Con Air. Crucially, though, the star movies that hit were the ones that veered on the side of 'good'. For the first of many years, the internet was blamed for this.

Oh, and later in the year, incidentally, Titanic would redefine just what constituted a box office hit...

What came next for Warner Bros?

In the rest of 1997, Warner Bros had a mix of projects that again enjoyed mixed fortunes. The standout was Curtis Hanson’s stunning adaptation of L.A. Confidential, that also proved to be a surprise box office success. The Devil’s Advocate didn’t do too badly either.

However, two of the studio’s key filmmakers failed to really deliver come the end of 1997. Clint Eastwood’s Midnight In The Garden Of Good And Evil failed to ignite (although many felt he was always on a hiding to nothing in trying to adapt that for the screen), and Kevin Costner’s The Postman would prove arguably the most expensive box office disappointment of the year. No wonder the studio rushed Lethal Weapon 4 into production for summer 1998. Oh, and it had The Avengers underway too (not that one), that would prove to be a 1998 disappointment.

The studio would eventually take action. The Daly-Semel management team, that had reigned for 15 years, would break up at the end of 1999, as its traditional way of doing business became less successful. The pair had already future projects that were director driven to an extent (Eyes Wide Shut), and it would still invest in movies with stars (Wild Wild West). But the immediate plan of action following the disappointment of summer 1997 – to get Batman 5 and Superman Lives made – would falter. It wouldn’t be until 1999’s The Matrix (a film that Daly and Semel struggled to get) and – crucially – 2001’s Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone that the studio would really get its swagger back...

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Movies Feature Simon Brew Warner Bros 16 Jun 2016 - 05:19 Conspiracy Theory Father's Day Addicted To Love Contact National Lampoon’s Vegas Vacation One Eight Seven Steel Batman & Robin Free Willy 3: The Rescue »

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Doug Liman Replaces Robert Zemeckis On Charlie Kaufman-Scripted Ya Movie ‘Chaos Walking’

10 June 2016 2:29 PM, PDT | The Playlist | See recent The Playlist news »

As “The Divergent Series” circles the drain, the folks behind “The Hunger Games” figure out what to do next, and “The Maze Runner” deals with an unfortunate delay, it seems Hollywood’s taste for Ya fare has hit a lull. But there will always be tweenagers looking to channel their emotions through highly metaphorical fantasies, and […]

The post Doug Liman Replaces Robert Zemeckis On Charlie Kaufman-Scripted Ya Movie ‘Chaos Walking’ appeared first on The Playlist. »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Doug Liman in Talks to Direct Adaptation of YA Novel ‘Chaos Walking’

10 June 2016 1:58 PM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

The Bourne Identity” director Doug Liman is in negotiations to direct Lionsgate’s adaptation of “Chaos Walking.”

Based on the popular YA novel, the studio has been trying to get the film off the ground for sometime with Robert Zemeckis initially attached to helm from a script by Charlie Kaufman.

If a deal closes, Liman would first shoot the Amazon actioner “The Wall” with Aaron Taylor-Johnson and then segue into “Chaos Walking” in early 2017.

Jamie Linden penned the most recent script with Doug Davison producing.

Chaos Walking: The Knife of Never Letting Go,” published in 2008 as the first book in a trilogy, is set in a dystopian world where all living creatures can hear each other’s thoughts.

The book is centered on the only boy in a town of men, who makes a startling discovery that forces him to flee with only his dog in hand. With the townspeople in pursuit, »

- Justin Kroll

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Liman Directs "Chaos," Chu Set For "Heights"

10 June 2016 1:04 PM, PDT | Dark Horizons | See recent Dark Horizons news »

Doug Liman ("Edge of Tomorrow," "The Bourne Identity") is in talks to direct the film adaptation of Patrick Ness' post-apocalyptic young adult thriller trilogy "Chaos Walking" for Lionsgate and Summit Entertainment. Production aims to begin this Fall.

Robert Zemeckis had previously been attached to helm this story set in a world where there are no women and all living creatures can hear one another's thoughts in a stream of images, words and sounds called Noise. Charlie Kaufman and Jamie Linden have reportedly worked on the script.

Jon M. Chu is in early talks to direct the film version of Lin-Manuel Miranda's 2008 musical "In the Heights" which Miranda is producing while Quiara Alegria Hudes is handling the script.

Set in Washington Heights in New York City, the story focuses on a bodega owner who's closing his store and retiring to the Dominican Republic after inheriting his grandmother's fortune. Scott Sanders »

- Garth Franklin

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Dowdle Brothers to Direct Heist-Thriller ‘Gafin Academy’

8 June 2016 2:55 PM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Image Movers and Voltage Films have signed the “No Escape” filmmaking duo John Erick Dowdle and Drew Dowdle to direct action-thriller “The Gafin Academy.”

The Dowdle brothers — whose credits include “Quarantine” and “Devil” — will direct from a script by Aaron Rapke and Stewart Kaye. The screenplay is based on Danny King’s novel, “School for Scumbags.”

The story centers on a habitual teenage delinquent who’s expelled from yet another school and finds himself hauled off to Gafin Academy, a reform school that’s host to thieves, bullies, arsonists and vandals. Rather than rehabilitating the students, the academy uses them to pull off a massive heist.

The Dowdles co-wrote, directed and produced “No Escape,” starring Owen Wilson, Pierce Brosnan and Lake Bell. John Dowdle directed 2010’s “Devil,” based on the story by M. Night Shyamalan with Drew Dowdle and Shyamalan producing for Universal.

Principal photography is set to commence in the fall, »

- Dave McNary

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Theresa Saldana, Raging Bull and The Commish Actress, Dies at 61

8 June 2016 7:45 AM, PDT | PEOPLE.com | See recent PEOPLE.com news »

Actress Theresa Saldana, known for her roles in Raging Bull and The Commish, died Monday in Los Angeles. She was 61. According to Reuters, Saldana had been hospitalized at Cedars-Sinai, but the cause of death has yet to be disclosed. While Saldana was famous for her work on screen, the actress was perhaps best known for her advocacy of victims' rights after she survived a near-fatal attack by a stalker in 1982. She founded the Victims for Victims organization that was dedicated to fighting for anti-stalking laws. She then played herself in a film about her attack and advocacy work. Painful to »

- Jodi Guglielmi, @JodiGug3

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Theresa Saldana, Raging Bull and The Commish Actress, Dies at 61

8 June 2016 7:45 AM, PDT | PEOPLE.com | See recent PEOPLE.com news »

Actress Theresa Saldana, known for her roles in Raging Bull and The Commish, died Monday in Los Angeles. She was 61. According to Reuters, Saldana had been hospitalized at Cedars-Sinai, but the cause of death has yet to be disclosed. While Saldana was famous for her work on screen, the actress was perhaps best known for her advocacy of victims' rights after she survived a near-fatal attack by a stalker in 1982. She founded the Victims for Victims organization that was dedicated to fighting for anti-stalking laws. She then played herself in a film about her attack and advocacy work. Painful to »

- Jodi Guglielmi, @JodiGug3

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Theresa Saldana, Star of ‘The Commish’ and ‘Raging Bull,’ Dies at 61

7 June 2016 2:02 PM, PDT | The Wrap | See recent The Wrap news »

Theresa Saldana, known for her role on the early Michael Chiklis series “The Commish” and the Scorsese-De Niro film “Raging Bull,” has died at age 61, Chiklis confirmed via Twitter on Tuesday. “Painful to hear the news of Theresa’s passing. My family & I extend our love, condolences & support to her family in their time of grieving,” Chiklis wrote. Saldana began her onscreen career in the 1978 Robert Zemeckis film “I Wanna Hold Your Hand,” which was a fictional comedy about the impact of Beatlemania. Two years later, Saldana was cast in “Raging Bull” as Lenore Lamotta, the wife of Joe Pesci‘s. »

- Joe Otterson

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Theresa Saldana, ‘Raging Bull’ and ‘The Commish’ Star, Dies at 61

7 June 2016 1:47 PM, PDT | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

Theresa Saldana, who starred on “The Commish” and in “Raging Bull” alongside Joe Pesci, died Monday in Los Angeles. She had been hospitalized at Cedars-Sinai but no cause of death has been given.  She was 61.

Saldana was best known for having survived a knifing attack by a stalker in 1982. She later went on to do victim advocacy work after her near-death attack. She founded the Victims for Victims organization that fought for anti-stalking laws, then played herself in the 1984 TV movie “Victims for Victims: The Teresa Saldana Story.” Her death was first reported by TMZ.

Saldana starred in multiple films in the ’70s but gained traction when she starred in Robert Zemeckis’ 1978 film “I Wanna Hold your Hand.” She then appeared in “Raging Bull” as the wife of Joey Lamotta, played by Joe Pesci.

Saldana also appeared in TV shows including “T.J. Hooker,” “Cagney & Lacey” and “Simon & Simon.” However, her »

- Maria Cavassuto

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Theresa Saldana, ‘Raging Bull’ and ‘The Commish’ Star, Dies at 61

7 June 2016 1:47 PM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Theresa Saldana, who starred on “The Commish” and in “Raging Bull” alongside Joe Pesci, died Monday in Los Angeles. She had been hospitalized at Cedars-Sinai but no cause of death has been given.  She was 61.

Saldana was best known for having survived a knifing attack by a stalker in 1982. She later went on to do victim advocacy work after her near-death attack. She founded the Victims for Victims organization that fought for anti-stalking laws, then played herself in the 1984 TV movie “Victims for Victims: The Teresa Saldana Story.” Her death was first reported by TMZ.

Saldana starred in multiple films in the ’70s but gained traction when she starred in Robert Zemeckis’ 1978 film “I Wanna Hold your Hand.” She then appeared in “Raging Bull” as the wife of Joey Lamotta, played by Joe Pesci.

Saldana also appeared in TV shows including “T.J. Hooker,” “Cagney & Lacey” and “Simon & Simon.” However, her »

- Maria Cavassuto

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Watch Brad Pitt Save a Young Girl from Getting Crushed

24 May 2016 5:38 PM, PDT | MovieWeb | See recent MovieWeb news »

Brad Pitt is now and has been one of the biggest movie stars on the planet for a very long time. Though he can do a low key drama as well as anyone, he is actually quite the big action star in his own right between his work in various war films and heist films like Fury or Ocean's Eleven. Well, now Pitt can add real life hero to his resume, right alongside Sexiest Man Alive.

Recently while filming on the set of his latest film Allied, Pitt managed to step in and save a little girl from what could have been a really bad situation. During the filming of a scene, a large crowd of fans had gathered by some fencing to try and get a glimpse of the production, and unfortunately a little girl was starting to get crushed by the large amount of people. Lucky for her, »

- MovieWeb

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Mobile Game 'Fruit Ninja' To Become Feature Length Film

21 May 2016 11:03 AM, PDT | LatinoReview | See recent LatinoReview news »

According to The Hollywood Reporter, producer Tripp Vinson of Vinson Films along with Halfbrick Studios is gearing up to turn the mobile game, "Fruit Ninja", into a feature length film. "Fruit Ninja" is considered the second-highest-selling mobile game on the App Store with over a billion downloads. 

Vinson is developing the project with screenwriters J.P. Lavin and Chad Damiani writing the script which is being described as a "live action family comedy." Lavin and Damiani recently penned the script for"How To Survive A Garden Gnome Attack", based on the 2010 book by author Chuck Sambuchino, which is set up at Sony Animation with director Robert Zemeckis' ImageMovers developing the project.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter »

- J.B. Casas

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John Carney interview: Sing Street, X-Men, Hitchcock & more

18 May 2016 6:05 AM, PDT | Den of Geek | See recent Den of Geek news »

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The director of Once, Begin Again and Sing Street talks to us about his new film, getting films noticed, and Hollywood...

Well, Sing Street is just great. The new movie from writer-director John Carney, it tells the story of a young Irish teenager by the name of Cosmo, who – long story short – sets up a band to impress a girl. Yet that sells a funny, nerdy and quite brilliant film short.

Director John Carney – off the back of Once and Begin Again – made the movie. And he spared us some time for a chat about it…

Huge congratulations on Sing Street, which is one of our favourite movies of the year. It’s interesting, though, that it opens opposite a not-very-good X-Men movie this week, and they’re going head to head!

Oh great! [Laughs] That’s like Bernie Sanders and Trump!

I did wonder how you felt about it! »

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Popular Kids' Movies You (Probably) Didn't Know Were Based on Not-So-Kid-Friendly Books

13 May 2016 6:00 AM, PDT | Moviefone | See recent Moviefone news »

Admit it -- somewhere along the way, a kids' movie gave you a grown-up fright, whether from the wolfish Gmork in "The Neverending Story" or a glammed-out David Bowie and his band of baby-stealing Muppets in "Labyrinth." That's because underneath a fuzzy layer of singalongs and talking animals, there's usually a layer of harsh reality. It's a sweet way for kids to learn not-so-sweet lessons, kind of like giving them bubble gum-flavored cough syrup.

But the rabbit hole goes deeper. Some of our biggest and brightest children's stories -- movies, that is -- actually tell tales that started out in the adult realm. And if you've ever had a job with a manager, had to learn what a tax write-off is, or one day found yourself reading the Nutrition Facts on your food , you know the adult realm is a very, very scary place. Here are the movies that go there, »

- Dan Ketchum

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9 Reasons Why Death Becomes Her is One of the Greatest Movies Ever Made

10 May 2016 10:24 AM, PDT | shocktillyoudrop.com | See recent shocktillyoudrop news »

Shock spills 9 reasons why Robert Zemeckis’ horror comedy classic is among strange cinema’s greatest achievements. With the recent release of the film on Blu-ray via creepy catalog stalwarts Scream Factory, Shock thought the time was right to breakdown the key elements of Robert Zemeckis’ 1992 shock satire Death Becomes Her to prove why we…

The post 9 Reasons Why Death Becomes Her is One of the Greatest Movies Ever Made appeared first on Shock Till You Drop. »

- Chris Alexander

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"Jumanji" Remake To Honor Robin Williams

10 May 2016 5:09 AM, PDT | Dark Horizons | See recent Dark Horizons news »

Last month came the news that Dwayne Johnson will both star in and produce a remake of the family adventure tale "Jumanji" for Sony Pictures. Production is slated to begin this Fall.

Today, Johnson took to his Instagram page once again today - revealing a new photo of himself reading the original book by Chris Van Allsburg and offered new details about the project which will honor original star Robin Williams.

"And the #Jumanji magic begins. Excellent meeting with our director Jake Kasdan, producer Matt Tolmach, and our @SevenBucksProd team to work on our new re-imagining of this amazing story. I felt like in order to craft something cool we should begin where it all started.

Award winning writer Chris Van Allsburg's source material of Jumanji. Chris also wrote The Polar Express (later adapted by Robert Zemeckis and Tom Hanks) and has a very special & magical way of storytelling. »

- Garth Franklin

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The ‘Jumanji’ remake will honour the memory of Robin Williams

10 May 2016 12:16 AM, PDT | The Hollywood News | See recent The Hollywood News news »

Dwayne Johnson has just about wrapped shooting on the Baywatch movie, and then he’ll go straight into shooting the eighth film in the Fast and the Furious series, but he has another big project in the works, a remake of Jumanji.

Johnson took to his Instagram account to talk about the film, which is being directed by Jake Kasdan. It looks like the Jumanji remake will honour the memory of Robin Williams, who led the 1996 original, which in itself was based on the original book by Chris Van Allsburg.

“An important thing that I want to be honest and bring up is Robin Williams. The love and respect I have for this man is boundless. You have my word, we will honor his name and the character of ‘Alan Parrish’ will stand alone and be forever immortalized in the world of Jumanji in an earnest and cool way”, Johnson said. »

- Paul Heath

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