9 items from 2015
Ever since “Reservoir Dogs” premiered at Sundance in 1992, providing the indie revolution with a populist shot in the arm much in the way “Bonnie & Clyde” foreshadowed the New American Cinema of the ’70s, the Quentin Tarantino brand has endured. Mostly populated by misfits and renegades, guided by classic movie tropes and sparked by snappy repartee, Tarantino’s oeuvre exists in its own universe, where the tension between humor and violence is ever-present, loyalties are tested, revenge extracted and chances are a character with whom the audience has become invested will meet a sudden and gruesome end. Oh, and there will be blood — lots of it.
His latest opus, “The Hateful Eight,” shot in 70 mm Ultra Panavision and opening on Christmas Day at 100 theaters in classic roadshow fashion — replete with opening overture and an intermission — might be his most ambitious yet. It’s the third in a historical trilogy of sorts, »
- Steve Chagollan
Ambitious Chinese studio Road Pictures has launched a $50 million production fund that it will use to seed a slate of Hollywood-China co-venture movies.
“The concept behind ‘Us 66’ was to have Chinese and American protagonists who are of equal value,” said Cai Gongming, Road Pictures’ founder. “It will be a real physical and verbal culture clash, predominantly shot in English, except those parts of the story where Chinese is more appropriate.”
Casting of an American-Chinese actor is currently under way.
The story involves the spoiled son of a Chinese billionaire who breaks from a vacation with his father to indulge in a rather wild road trip with the former Navy Seal who is supposed to be his bodyguard.
“Us 66” will be »
- Patrick Frater
The dark character-driven genre soap is based on the real town in central Pennsylvania where an underground coal mine fire has been burning for over fifty years. Condemned in 1992, the majority of residents relocated but eight won the right to stay.
In the series, the remaining few residents in this often fog-shrouded ghost town are determined to preserve their homes but are unaware of the evil slowly making its way to the surface. Roger Avary, who penned the 2006 film adaptation of the "Silent Hill" video game series, says his script was inspired by the town.
Source: Deadline »
- Garth Franklin
Set amid a recent(ish) French heatwave, likely 2003, Eva Husson’s steamy “Bang Gang” is the story of a girl named George who sincerely believes she has invented the concept of the swingers party, as told by a young director who acquits herself as if Larry Clark, Gus Van Sant and a coupla Coppola gals haven’t already made the same movie. That’s not to say that Husson brings nothing new to the mix, although her sun-kissed, pastel-hued collage of half-naked adolescents cavorting free from their Biarritz parents’ ambivalent eyes feels less shocking than it does personal. While the skin factor alone should ensure prurient curiosity among festival and VOD auds, it’s more interesting to speculate how much of herself Husson is exposing in this supposedly fact-based, clearly ironic “modern day love story” — and to fantasize what this fearless talent might do next.
Originally tipped as a possible Cannes selection, »
- Peter Debruge
Killing Zoe, 1993.
Directed by Roger Avary.
A safecracker arrives in Paris to help a friend with a bank heist but things spiral out of control very quickly.
The Pov camera driving through the streets of Paris, the pulsing techno beat ascending in the background and the name ‘Quentin Tarantino’ plastered across the screen in big letters – yes people, we are back in the early-mid ‘90s. However, Tarantino’s name is under the title of Executive Producer as Killing Zoe was written and directed by Roger Avary, who co-wrote Pulp Fiction with him.
In a role written specifically for him, Eric Stoltz (Pulp Fiction/The Fly II) plays Zed, an American safecracker in Paris on the request of his old friend Eric (Jean-Hugues Anglade – Betty Blue). After an encounter in his hotel room with »
- Gary Collinson
We look at the films that slipped through Hollywood's net, from biblical epics to a time travelling Gladiator sequel...
This article contains a spoiler for Gladiator.
If you're one of those frustrated over the quality of many of the blockbusters that make it to the inside of a multiplex, then ponder the following. For each of these were supposed to be major projects, that for one reason or another, stalled on their way to the big screen. Some still may make it. But for many others, the journey is over. Here are the big blockbusters that never were...
The late Michael Crichton scored another residential on the bestseller list with his impressive thriller, Airframe. It was published in 1996, just after films of Crichton works such as Jurassic Park, Rising Sun, Disclosure and the immortal Congo had proven to be hits of various sizes.
So: a hit book, another techno thriller, »
Did you know writer/director Uwe Boll directed around 30 movies in his careerc I didn't, and of those, the number of them I've seen I can count on one hand: 2007's In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale and 2009's Rampage. I didn't even know he made a sequel to the latter, let alone had not one but two different crowdfunding efforts to complete his violent trilogy with Rampage 3: No Mercy. Turns out I wasn't alone. Boll's most recent crowd-funding campaign on Kickstarter is still several thousands dollars away from his goal with only three days left (the Indigogo one before that fell $93,675 short of its $100,000 goal) and he's not very happy about it. Not in the slightest, and he's not afraid to call people out for not supporting his movie in two YouTube videos released yesterday. He cusses out both fans who didn't support this »
- Will Ashton
Director Uwe Boll went on an expletive-laden rant on Sunday after his new film struggled to reach its crowdfunding goal on Kickstarter.
“Basically my message is ‘f–k yourself’,” the German filmmaker told movie fans. Boll also ridiculed the staff at Kickstarter, who he said manipulated him into thinking his new movie, “Rampage 3: No Mercy,” could raise $55,000 in a month.
The sequel to “Rampage,” his 2009 film, has only raised $24,500 with three days left. It’s the third failed attempt to reach the target goal after efforts on similar sites like Indiegogo.
“What retarded amateur idiots collecting money on that website,” he said of Kickstarter. “For me crowd funding is absolutely dead.”
“I have enough money to play golf until I’m dead, »
- Variety Staff
"The difference between traditional and technical images, then, would be this: the first are observations of objects, the second computations of concepts. The first arise through depiction, the second through a peculiar hallucinatory power that has lost its faith in rules." —Vilém Flusser, "Into the Universe of Technical Images" Lately I often find myself, usually in squalid municipal airport bars in Douglas, Arizona or Butte, Montana, having the following exchange:q: “Is there anything you don’t hate about the movies?”A: “Yeah. Bob Zemeckis.” Which seems like, I guess, an indefensible position, now that he’s burned through the brave sordid purgatory of his infamous mo-cap period and not quite gnawed his way out. Ah, the thankless fate of the pioneer. History will absolve you, Robert. But, alas, here’s Beowulf. The most interesting filmmaker of his time, Zemeckis’s 2007 fulminant data explosion & puppet show got some stupid mixed reviews when it came out. »
- Uncas Blythe
9 items from 2015
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