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Hollywood loves a franchise and this year we've seen studios stretching sagas - and doubling the box office - by separating films into two parts, as happened with the conclusions of Twilight and Harry Potter and as will also be the case with The Hobbit.
Although a fairly unlikely contender for big-screen longevity - because of its seemingly simple road-racing concept and lack of a cherished literary source - The Fast And The Furious series is now extending itself even further.
We knew a sixth film was scheduled to arrive on May 27, 2013, and Vin Diesel says the story has become so big that they have decided to split it into a sixth and seventh instalment.
The 44-year-old actor, who stars as Dominic Toretto in the franchise about men with a passion for super-cars, told The Hollywood Reporter: "With the success of this last one, and the inclusion of so many characters, »
- David Bentley
I'm still clinging on to hope that Lionsgate's The Hunger Games will tonally be similar to Battle Royale and The Running Man, as originally promised. The trailer looked like it could go in the direction, but it also carried a ridiculous dystopian feel. Case in point: Elizabeth Banks' character, District 12 escort Effie Trinket. I previously joked about her clown make-up, now you'll get a up close and personal look thanks to MTV's faux cosmetic ad asking "what will you be wearing to the opening ceremonies"? Ask Joel Schumacher... Directed by Gary Ross, and starring Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Elizabeth Banks, Dayo Okeniyi, Amandla Stenberg, Chris Mark, Jacqueline Emerson, Wes Bentley, Lenny Kravitz, Toby Jones, and Stanley Tucci, Lionsgate will begin the games on March 23. »
We start the Top 7. You finish the Top 10.
Real time – in which the plot of the film covers the same amount of time as it takes to watch – can be a blessing or a curse. When a film calls attention to it, real time can become a gimmicky distraction. On the other hand, it can add a real sense of urgency if the film just allows the events to unfold before us. There are a number of different ways filmmakers use it. For example, the action may be primarily set in one location. Other ways it is used involve hostage situations, characters waiting for something, or simply following characters around from place to place. It can be a tricky thing to pull off perfectly. So I’m deciding that as long as the film makes a real attempt, and the majority of the action takes place in real time, it is fair game. »
- Shane T. Nier
At last! The wait is over! The prologue to The Dark Knight Rises is finally here… just to ratchet up our already maxed-out expectations for the climactic chapter in director Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy and make the wait for the whole thing (due July 20) feel even longer. The follow-up to The Dark Knight — set eight years after the Joker made a mess of Gotham City and a killing joke out of the caped crusader’s brand of vigilante justice — stars Oscar winner Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne/Batman, but the prologue (which actually represents the first several minutes of »
- Jeff Jensen
It's no surprise that young people have trouble finding themselves and subsequently fitting into larger society. It's a challenging path to self-discovery, and as the "It Gets Better" campaign has taught us, for gay youths that journey is often made exponentially more difficult. Such is the case with Alike (in a standout performance from actress Adepero Oduye), a lesbian teenager struggling to find herself amongst her African-American community.
"Pariah" follows the trials and tribulations of this young character as she embarks on a search of sexual expression and identity, and marks the feature film directorial debut of Dee Rees, the film's writer-director. To get a better sense of the movie, we asked Dees to participate in our "Call-In Commentary" series where filmmakers provide narration to their movie trailer. In the video below, hear firsthand about the state her main character lives in and the search she's boldly plunging into.
- Brian Jacks
WhatCulture! were among the UK publications invited to Waterloo’s BFI IMAX this morning to watch the first 6 minutes of Christopher Nolan’s sure-to-be-epic conclusion to his Batman trilogy, The Dark Knight Rises. While initial impressions dropped from U.S. critics 5 days ago, Warner Bros. politely asked that they not deliver a blow-by-blow account of the film’s opening scene. The same request was not, however, extended to us at this morning’s London screening, and with a poorly-filmed bootleg of it having leaked just a few hours ago, it appears that the cat is well and truly out of the bag, such that we can freely discuss what has been screened and will be showing attached to the IMAX prints of Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol from December 21st.
The first thing to remember is that this is not The Dark Knight; with the Joker, Nolan was dealing with Batman’s best-known nemesis, »
- Shaun Munro
Would you trust foul-mouthed, girl-chasing Jonah Hill with your kids? That's the focal point of "The Sitter," the "Superbad" star's newest R-rated comedy. In the film, Hill is pressed into babysitting duties with a trio of attitude-ridden kids, and is soon embroiled in one misadventure after another.
The man behind the madness is David Gordon Green, the "George Washington" auteur who delivered "Pineapple Express" and "Your Highness" to the stoner crowd and is now going for rauch-inspired laughs (before he heads to the horror genre). To get an insider's take on "The Sitter," we recruited Green for our "Call-In Commentary" series where filmmakers provide narration to their movie trailer. In the video below, hear Green describe the inspirations for the film, how the cast improvised and more. "The Sitter" hits theaters today.
More Call-in Commentaries:
- Watch the »
- Brian Jacks
The Twitch-presented Back To The 80's series wraps up at the Tiff Bell Lightbox tonight with a screening of Joel Schumacher's Brat Pack classic St Elmo's Fire.The film that inspired the term "Brat Pack" in reference to its cast of rising young stars--Rob Lowe, Demi Moore, Emilio Estevez, Andrew McCarthy, Judd Nelson, Mare Winningham and Ally Sheedy--St. Elmo's Fire is essentially a spin on The Big Chill for the college crowd, focusing on a group of friends facing the difficult transition to adult life (with plenty of smooth eighties music in the background). Though this likely marked the moment when the genre transitioned from an organic movement into a more packaged and manipulated product, this is still one of the key films of the »
If you're still upset that Michelle Williams' Oscar nominations for "Brokeback Mountain" and "Blue Valentine" didn't translate into gold statues, you may be finding solace with her performance in "My Week with Marilyn." In portraying 1950's bombshell Marilyn Monroe, the actress has found herself at the center of Academy Awards talk yet again.
The film centers around Monroe's first and only trip to England while shooting "The Prince and the Showgirl," and her unexpected week-long whirlwind romance with a young assistant director named Colin Clark (played by Eddie Redmayne), from whose memoirs the movie is based. With a cast that includes Emma Watson (in her first post-"Potter" role), Kenneth Branagh, Toby Jones, Dominic Cooper and Judi Dench, "My Week with Marilyn" is generating considerable buzz as an intriguing look at celebrity culture in an age before TMZ.
To get a firsthand account of the movie, we turned to »
- Brian Jacks
With a stunning, uncompromised performance from Michael Fassbender, "Shame" is easily one of the most powerful films of the year. Fassbender plays a deeply conflicted sex addict hopelessly seeking anything to fill his needs.
The endlessly talented Carey Mulligan plays his quirky and also troubled sister, and their broken relationship is an acute link throughout the movie. The film generated headlines after it was dealt an Nc-17 rating, but everyone involved has now embraced it as a badge of honor. And unlike the last major motion picture to get that grade, the ill-fated "Showgirls," the Nc-17 delivers an unflinching and breathtaking experience.
Steering this ship is Steve McQueen, the award-winning director of "Hunger" who helmed and co-wrote "Shame." To delve into his buzzed-about pic, McQueen was kind enough to participate in our "Call-In Commentary" series, where filmmakers provide audio commentary to their trailers. "Shame" opens in limited release on December »
- Brian Jacks
"Revenge of the Nerds," that significant 80s cultural artifact, was a genuinely prophetic film. At the time of its release in 1984 it was morning in America and a muscular foreign policy against the then-Soviet Union nudged popular culture to valorize brawn and social ease and raw good looks. Introspection and lusting in one's heart was of the previous, melancholy Carter years. In "Revenge of the Nerds," a lovable gallery of geeks challenged the primacy of the cool crowd to the rousing anthem "We are the Champions."
Fast forward. Raw good looks and brawn, of course, will never go out of fashion entirely. There will always be sports stars; there will always be financiers; there will always be Vogue magazine and fashion week. But there is also now an information economy -- one of the few remaining sectors of our economy still flourishing -- and a new-found respect for people like Steve Jobs, »
- Ron Mwangaguhunga
By now you probably know that about six or seven minutes (or thereabouts) of Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight Rises” will be shown before the IMAX screenings of Tom Cruise’s latest “Mission Impossible” movie, “Ghost Protocol”, and that the prologue will essentially be an origins tale about Batman’s latest villain, Bane (played by Tom Hardy in the movie). But what exactly will those 6-7 minutes show us? The boys and girls at Rama Screen recently received an answer to that. They make it pretty clear that these are unsubstantiated, meaning they can’t vouch for it, so it could be all true … or all made up. Judge for yourself. About Nolan’s version of Bane, who last appeared as a simpleton musclebound thug in Joel Schumacher’s “Batman and Robin”: Nolan has significantly rewrote the story of Bane from the comics. He is raised by Ra »
I’m going to be honest with you guys. Can I be honest with you? Okay. When I first turned on Batman: Arkham City, a game I had been anticipating quite eagerly – it’s not in my top three of the year, but it’s pretty high – I was a bit disappointed. That probably goes against everything you’ve heard about this game so far. Allow me to explain.
One of the many things that made Batman: Arkham Asylum so successful was its surprisingly compelling storyline, which was established from the get go as Batman escorts the Joker to the prison for the criminally insane, only for Mister J to break free moments after his incarceration; ensuring that the lunatics quite literally take over the Asylum. Immediately there was a clear sense of purpose and direction.
Not so in Arkham City. The opening scene is an initially confusing »
Sean Young Actress Sean Young attends the 2011 Governors Awards in the Grand Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland in Hollywood, on Saturday, November 12. [Photo: Matt Petit / ©A.M.P.A.S.] James Earl Jones was a long-distance Honorary Oscar honoree, as he's co-starring with Vanessa Redgrave in Driving Miss Daisy on the London stage; veteran makeup artist Dick Smith (Ghost Story, The Fan, The Hunger), however, was present at the ceremony to receive his Honorary Oscar. TV talk show personality Oprah Winfrey, a 1985 Best Supporting Actress nominee for Steven Spielberg's The Color Purple, was the recipient of the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award. Among Young's credits are James Ivory's Jane Austen in Manhattan, Ridley Scott's Blade Runner, David Lynch's Dune, Oliver Stone's Wall Street, Roger Donaldson's Now Way Out, and Joel Schumacher's Cousins. Also, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, The Boost, Dr. Jekyll and Ms. Hyde, Motel Blue, and Poor White Trash. Her leading men included Harrison Ford, »
- D. Zhea
Parts of the UK will be getting the Nicolas Cage-January Jones thriller “Justice” (aka “Seeking Justice”) this Friday, but Stateside fans of the Cagester will probably have to wait for the direct-to-dvd or VOD release, which should coincide with a limited theatrical release, similar to Cage’s last film, the Joel Schumacher-directed “Trespass” (which also co-starred Nicole Kidman). Sheesh. Remember when Cage and Kidman could open a film in wide release? Now they can barely muster a limited theatrical run. Anyways, check out five clips from “Justice” below. Yeah, you can sorta see why it’s flying under the radar, can’t you? Popular high school teacher Will Gerard (Cage) lives a life of content domesticity with his beautiful musician wife Laura (Jones). Until one night’s horrific events, turns their world upside down. After Laura is violently attacked and left traumatised in hospital, Will is approached »
Do you think when Elizabeth Banks signed up for The Hunger Games she knew she'd be unrecognizable? After watched the quasi-impressive trailer premiere the other day, I literally had no idea Banks played a clown with a microphone. Truth be told, the costume and make-up design of the "elite" class in this dystopian tale is exactly what's wrong with it. As I sniped the other day, it looks like director Gary Ross is pushing into Joel Schumacher Batman territory. I'm highly concerned. Originally described as Running Man meets Battle Royale, the movie also mixes in heavy tones from Shirley Jackson's 1948 short "The Lottery". Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Elizabeth Banks, Dayo Okeniyi, Amandla Stenberg, Chris Mark, Jacqueline Emerson, Wes Bentley, Lenny Kravitz, Toby Jones, Stanley Tucci also star. »
I've never read the books, but I do recall the initial pitch when Lionsgate acquired the rights some time ago. It was The Running Man meets Battle Royale. They've since abandoned the comparison, but the newly released trailer does everything but ignore that it's a complete riff of the aforementioned films. Lionsgate has finally unveiled the first full trailer for The Hunger Games, which is solely footage from the first half of the adaptation. It displays Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) in a Dystopian future chosen for a yearly battle to the death. Only one can survive. The selection process is right out of Shirley Jackson's 1948 short "The Lottery", while the games themselves look like a reboot of Battle Royale. My main complaint, other than the Braveheart-esque score, is Director Gary Ross' vision of the future. If there were a fine line to cross, he's pushing into Joel Schumacher Batman territory. »
In honour of the release of Breaking Dawn, the penultimate movie in the Twilight Saga, and its bevy of beautiful creatures we thought we’d give you a rundown of our top 10 sexiest vampires in film. Enjoy!
Based on Bram Stoker’s classic novel, this is the tale of Dracula, a sexual predator/blood drinker who is unleashed into Victorian Society after an encounter with Jonathan Harker (Keanu Reeves) at his gothic castle in Transylvania. In this film his antics are inspired by a photo of Harker’s fiancé Mina Murray (Winona Ryder). While this adaptation is a little farcical and over acted (see Mina being sexually assaulted by a large bat), the costumes are fabulous and Oldman cuts a fine figure of a man in his Victorian garb. We love his transformation from old grey creature who looks like he has breasts on »
- Maya Korn
Black Pond (15)
First-time films are traditionally youthful coming-of-age stories, but this delightful little oddity revolves around a miserable middle-aged couple and the deaths of first their three-legged dog, then a very strange stranger they invite to dinner. Everything about it is pretty eccentric, in fact, with surreal animated interludes, an absurd cameo from Amstell and plenty of off-balance domestic comedy, not to mention the risky return of Langham. But in its own idiosyncratic way, it all fits together perfectly.
Wuthering Heights (15)
Discarding the usual niceties of costume drama, Arnold rolls Brontë's saga in the muck for this provocative, sensuous interpretation. Sublime to start with, it never quite recovers from a second-half change of cast.
The Rum Diary (15)
- Steve Rose
After recently watching Trespass on Blu-ray, The Ward on Netflix Instant and catching J. Edgar on its early rollout, I began to notice a trend of legendary and/or highly touted filmmakers who have tailed off in recent years. So I began thinking of other helmers that have fallen onto similar hard times and came up with a list of nine who, in my opinion, have lost their fastball. It's important to note that while it's difficult to evaluate all of these directors on an equal scale, all of these names were selected based on one basic criteria: their recent output has failed to live up to their once impressive past. Outside the nine below, there were a few I others I considered. Directors such as Bryan Singer, Tim Burton, Stephen Frears and Cameron Crowe, but ultimately I didn't think their declines were as steep as those I chose to profile, »
- Kevin Blumeyer
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