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Clever low-budget Kiwi indie thriller about a scowling teen under house arrest, whose house is ‘disturbed’ – but what, or who, by?
This low-budget Kiwi offering is a rare thing: a horror-comedy with a premise that works both ways. After dynamiting a cashpoint, scowling Kylie (Morgana O’Reilly) is placed under house arrest in the home of her micromanaging mother Miriam (Rima Te Wiata); the twist is that this house is – as mum puts it – “prone to certain disturbances”. While we’re waiting for the cause to reveal itself, writer-director-editor Gerard Johnstone gains comic mileage from Kylie’s sullen interactions with those around her, and burrows inventively around his initial, Disturbia-like setup: a ghost story is thus converted into first a hider-in-the-house thriller, then a murder-mystery. Peter Jackson aficionados may recall the overbearing matriarch of 1992’s Braindead, although Te Wiata makes Miriam’s incessant waffling heroic, and the tactics are closer »
- Mike McCahill
As I wrote in one of my "25 Years In La" pieces, I was a tour guide at Universal Studios. Technically, we were "studio guides," and in my time at the park, I did many different jobs. I was Leatherface for a full run of Halloween Horror Nights, and I managed to win a nod for "Best Scare" at the end of the event. That doesn't really mean anything, but it felt great at the end of a really tough eleven or twelve straight days. I worked "Backdraft" when it was an attraction that took up a full soundstage, and I made up my own slightly insane tweaks to the script that entertained me, if no one else. My friend and I figured out where we could stand in the "E.T." ride so we could say names to it at the beginning of the ride, since the end of the ride »
- Drew McWeeny
A property that might otherwise have gone relatively unnoticed, Kong: Skull Island was given a major boost by the arrival of Keaton in January, just as Oscar buzz was mounting for his critically acclaimed turn in Birdman, as a former superhero-movie actor trying to reignite his career via Broadway. The star of Beetlejuice and Tim Burton’s Batman films was later beaten to the best-actor prize by The Theory of Everything’s Eddie Redmayne, but he is nevertheless experiencing a Hollywood renaissance, having also been cast in the forthcoming McDonalds biopic The Founder. »
- Ben Child
Next year will be the return of the Harry Potter universe in a big way: as if the kickoff of the new trilogy, Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them (written by author J.K. Rowling herself, and directed by 4-time Potter vet David Yates), weren't enough, this week saw the announcement of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, a stage play which explores and expands upon the existing Potter storyline. These examples, along with her frequent digressions into Pottermore to drop some backstory for miscellaneous characters, demonstrate that Rowling is not immune to the tendencies that seem to plague the creators of rich fantasy worlds: the inability to leave them once they're done. George Lucas, J.R.R. Tolkien (and Peter Jackson), and George Miller kept going...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
Kong: Skull Island has lost two of its great actors. Deadline reports that Michael Keaton and J.K. Simmons have both left the project due to scheduling conflicts. The movie was originally set to begin filming in the fall, but pushed back its production to the end of the year. Because both actors have other commitments and Kong is likely to be a demanding shoot (as most action movies are), they had to exit. Thankfully, Tom Hiddleston remains on board. Also, while it sucks that Keaton and Simmons are leaving, at least it’s not under “creative differences”. These scheduling conflicts happen, and there’s no reason to think that there’s anything inherently wrong with the film, which intends to “fully immerse audiences in the mysterious and dangerous home of the iconic ape as a team of explorers ventures deep inside the treacherous, primordial island.” We don't know much more than that, »
- Matt Goldberg
It looks like Legendary and director Jordan Vogt-Roberts are going to have to begin searching for a couple of terrific actors for lead roles in Kong: Skull Island fairly pronto, as they've lost both Michael Keaton and J.K. Simmons. According to Deadline, the "principal reason" behind their departure is scheduling conflicts, as the project recently pushed back its production start by a few weeks from the fall to before the end of the year. Thor's Tom Hiddleston remains on in the lead role. Though the movie has been referred to as an origin story for the great ape, it's also been called a reboot and is not expected to tie into Peter Jackson's 2005 King Kong remake. The plot will focus on "a team of explorers venturing deep inside the treacherous, primordial island." Legendary’s Thomas Tull and Jon Jashni will produce with Alex Garcia, and Eric McLeod is on board as exec producer. »
'Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl': Johnny Depp as Capt. Jack Sparrow. 'Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl' review: Mostly an enjoyable romp (Oscar Movie Series) Pirate movies were a Hollywood staple for about three decades, from the mid-'20s (The Sea Hawk, The Black Pirate) to the mid-to-late '50s (Moonfleet, The Buccaneer), when the genre, by then mostly relegated to B films, began to die down. Sporadic resurrections in the '80s and '90s turned out to be critical and commercial bombs (Pirates, Cutthroat Island), something that didn't bode well for the Walt Disney Company's $140 million-budgeted film "adaptation" of one of their theme-park rides. But Neptune's mood has apparently improved with the arrival of the new century. He smiled – grinned would be a more appropriate word – on the Gore Verbinski-directed Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, »
- Andre Soares
A set artist reveals that the Lord of the Rings director has turned the basement of his New Zealand mansion into the home of Tolkien’s protagonist
Peter Jackson’s seemingly endless Tolkien franchises might have finally ended, but the director is reticent to say goodbye and has turned part of his New Zealand home into a tribute to Middle Earth.
Related: Cutting The Hobbit down to size: no dwarf-elf flirting, no albino orcs
Continue reading »
- Benjamin Lee
Breaking an industry record, Warner Bros. Pictures announced on Friday that it expected to exceed $1 billion at the domestic box office, becoming the only studio ever to reach that benchmark 15 years in a row. It is also the fastest the Studio has ever climbed to the billion dollar sum. The announcement was made by Dan Fellman, President of Domestic Distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures.
The Studio surpasses the billion dollar mark on the strength of a range of films, beginning with the carryover of two blockbuster 2014 releases: Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper (with Village Roadshow Pictures) and Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies (with New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures). Warner Bros. has more recently scored major hits with Brad Peyton’s San Andreas (with New Line Cinema), starring Dwayne Johnson and Carla Gugino; George Miller’s Mad Max: Fury Road (with Village Roadshow Pictures), starring »
- Michelle McCue
Thursday night Richard Armitage was at the 41st Saturn Awards in Burbank, California "just picking up Peter Jackson's trophy" for Jackson's The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies win, but says he wasn't expecting one for himself. Armitage won Best Supporting Actor in a Film, also for The Battle of Five Armies, but when we were able to speak with him from the red carpet, we also got some scoop on Hannibal's current season. Armitage shares quite a bit about his process of crafting and becoming the character Francis Dolarhyde, a.k.a. The Red Dragon, and said he thinks fans will be really pleased with his arc. Also, he teased a scene showrunner Bryan Fuller also mentioned recently, one that had the crew gasping and Armitage "frightened" to perform. Cannot. Wait. You can check out the full interview below. Hannibal airs Thursday nights at 10 p.m. on NBC. »
- Allison Keene
King Kong, the legendary ape who has both fallen for and terrorized Fay Wray, Jessica Lange, and Naomi Watts (to name a few), has long been a staple of Universal Studios theme parks. There's the King Kong Encounter, a section of Universal Hollywood's tram tour starting in 1986, the updated version of this experience that debuted at Universal Studios Orlando when the park opened in 1990, plus the recent King Kong 360 3D (once again at Universal Studios Hollywood), that replaced the old Kong section of the tour. Kong has certainly been King, at least at Universal Studios.
So it's not that big of a surprise that Universal announced an immersive new Kong experience, slated to open in the summer of 2016, called "Skull Island: Reign of Kong." This huge experience, which will supposedly be one of the longest and most intense attractions in the entire Universal Orlando complex, allows guests to, for the first time, »
- Drew Taylor
Warner Bros. has crossed the $1 billion mark at the domestic box office, the studio announced Friday. The studio now becomes the only one to ever reach that benchmark 15 years in a row. It is also the fastest the studio has ever climbed to the billion dollar sum. The announcement was made by Dan Fellman, president of domestic distribution of Warner Bros. Pictures. The studio surpassed the billion dollar mark on the strength of a range of films, beginning with the carryover of two blockbuster 2014 releases: Clint Eastwood‘s “American Sniper” (with Village Roadshow Pictures) and Peter Jackson‘s “The Hobbit: The Battle. »
- Joe Otterson
This story originally appeared in the Comedy/Drama Series issue of TheWrap’s Emmy magazine. #selfieinterview was produced in partnership with Verge. Melanie Lynskey first won fame at 16 alongside Kate Winslet, playing her lover in Peter Jackson‘s breakthrough hit “Heavenly Creatures,” and she played a crazy neighbor on “Two and a Half Men.” Now she’s head-over-heels again as an adulterous wife in HBO’s “Togetherness,” by Jay and Mark Duplass–and she told TheWrap she’s crazy about them too. Tim Appelo: You’ve worked with Peter Jackson, Steven Soderbergh on “The Informant!” and with George Clooney in “Up in the Air. »
- Tim Appelo
8House: Arclight #1
Written by Brandon Graham
Art by Marian Churchland
Published by Image Comics
Note: this comic will be released on July 1, 2015
Brandon Graham and Marian Churchland don’t want to make it easy. The solicitation copy that Image is using to sell 8House: Arclight #1 is way more clear on what is happening in this issue than the comic itself it. But don’t jump to the conclusion that it’s a bad thing. Graham and Churchland create a new reality of ladies as knights, magicians and mystery. It’s a reality that they want you to discover and characters that they want to you get to know. The story of Lady Kinga, a noble lady now trapped in the body of a robed creature, and her faithful knight and protector Arclight is about true worldbuilding where the creators take their time to reveal the characters and the story.
- Scott Cederlund
Born in Canada, it’s hard to believe that Evangeline Lilly is almost 36-years-old.
At the height of her fame, this actress was without a doubt one of the most desirable women on the planet. As Kate, a bank robber with a mysterious past on the insanely popular TV show Lost, Lilly became an instant sex symbol – somewhat goofy but fiercely independent all the same, Kate became one of Lost’s most popular characters, in part due to that Jack/Sawyer love triangle which kept audiences riveted to their couches for years.
Aside from her high-profile work on Lost between 2004 and 2010, Evangeline has enjoyed a relatively modest Hollywood presence ever since (just 4 film roles since Lost ended); though she has featured in a number of high-profile flicks – The Hurt Locker and Peter Jackson’s Hobbit movies, to name but a few – Lilly tends to frequently disappear from the limelight, »
- Sam Hill
There's not a week that goes by without someone either e-mailing me or reaching out through Facebook or Twitter to tell me how much they love the "Star Wars" series I wrote here as part of Film Nerd 2.0. That is something that I can't quantify in terms of how much it means to me that what I went through with the boys resonated so loudly for so many people, and I am excited to be able to share a new "Star Wars" film with them for the first time ever later this year. But when it came to one of the other major movie trilogies, my approach was a little less considered. When the first chapter of the "Hobbit" trilogy came out in theaters, the boys were well aware of it and asked repeatedly to go see it. For movies based on books, I try to encourage them to read »
- Drew McWeeny
As fans still absorb the various body blows delivered by Sunday’s season finale, some are no doubt wondering whether “Game of Thrones” – a four-time Emmy best-drama nominee – can break its drought in terms of actually winning? If history is any guide, it’s an uphill battle.
The imposing wall the HBO drama has to scale can be traced to a variety of factors and historical precedents. The most obvious – one that’s griped about with annual reliability – is a perceived bias against so-called genre shows, those set in the worlds of science fiction, fantasy or (in the case of “The Walking Dead”) horror. Throughout its history, the Emmys have nominated relatively few programs representing that area, and honored one: ABC’s “Lost” a decade ago.
What has changed, in recent years, is the inordinate popularity of certain programs from those genres, reflecting their mass appeal – and not incidentally, their »
- Brian Lowry
After more than two decades of working in Hollywood, New Zealand-born actress Melanie Lynskey is in a really good place. Since her 1994 debut as a manipulated, murderous teen in Peter Jackson's Heavenly Creatures, she's built a diverse film and TV career that has included a role in 2009's Oscar-nominated Up in the Air and a recurring part on CBS' Two and a Half Men. Her current starring role on HBO's Togetherness, which is written and directed by Jay and Mark Duplass… »
Ron Moody in 'Oliver!' movie. Ron Moody: 'Oliver!' actor nominated for an Oscar dead at 91 (Note: This Ron Moody article is currently being revised.) Two well-regarded, nonagenarian British performers have died in the last few days: 93-year-old Christopher Lee (June 7, '15), best known for his many portrayals of Dracula and assorted movie villains and weirdos, from the title role in The Mummy to Dr. Catheter in Gremlins 2: The New Batch. 91-year-old Ron Moody (yesterday, June 11), among whose infrequent film appearances was the role of Fagin, the grotesque adult leader of a gang of boy petty thieves, in the 1968 Best Picture Academy Award-winning musical Oliver!, which also earned him a Best Actor nomination. Having been featured in nearly 200 movies and, most importantly, having had his mainstream appeal resurrected by way of the villainous Saruman in Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movies (and various associated merchandising, »
- Andre Soares
Turner Classic Movies (TCM) will celebrate the life and career of the late actor Christopher Lee, Lee, who passed Sunday June 11 at the age of 93. (Our obit is here.) The British actor owned Dracula through nine movies and also played the Frankenstein monster and Fu Manchu. TCM will play eight of Lee's films on Monday, June 22. He boasted 275 film credits including Peter Jackson’s "Lord of the Rings" trilogy and four films with director Tim Burton. Read More: Rip Christopher Lee, Who Played Dracula 9 Times The following is the complete schedule for "TCM Remembers Christopher Lee" – Monday, June 22: 6:15 a.m. The Mummy (1959) 8:00 a.m. The Curse of Frankenstein (1957) 9:30 a.m. Horror of Dracula (1959) 11:00 a.m. Dracula, Prince of Darkness (1966) 12:45 p.m. Dracula Has Risen From The Grave (1969) 2:30 p.m. Horror Express (1972) 4:00 p.m. The Three Musketeers (1972) 6:00 p.m. The Four Musketeers »
- Anne Thompson
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