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The role of the director in television has, historically, always come second to the writer. In the words of Marcos Siega, director/executive producer of "The Following," there's a perception of them as "traffic cops." But in an era when television keeps getting better and better, there's a shift in that perspective, especially thanks to the influx of A-list directors like David Fincher and Steven Soderbergh. Siega comes from the other side, having worked for over 10 years on shows including "Dexter" and "The Vampire Diaries," but he doesn't mind it when the feature guys come to play. At this year's ATVfest, Indiewire sat down with him to discuss what it can mean to be an "executive producer," what he feels he does as the lead director of a show and the valuable lessons he learned from being a guest director on "Veronica Mars." Talk to me a little bit about »
- Liz Shannon Miller
Intentional or not, it's hard to imagine that there was another film released in UK cinemas last Friday in which sex was less sexy than in It Follows, a terrific lo-fi horror film that comes highly recommended by all accounts.
And yet, last Friday also saw the release of Rob Cohen's The Boy Next Door, an erotic thriller that isn't as sexually charged as it is accidentally hilarious. For all intents and purposes, the film plays like an episode of the How Did This Get Made podcast waiting to happen.
At the start, high school teacher Claire Peterson (Jennifer Lopez) is a single mum who's mulling over whether or not she should get back together with her cheating ex-husband Garrett (John Corbett). Enter Noah, (Ryan Guzman) a »
Warner Bros. Pictures released their new action/drama film, "Focus," into theaters this weekend, and all the reviews are now in from the top,major critics. It turns out that we got a mixed bag of opinions with this one as it got an overall 56 score out of a possible 100 across 40 reviews at the Metacritic.com site. The movie stars: Will Smith, Rodrigo Santoro, Gerald McRaney and Margot Robbie. We've supplied some blurbs from a couple of the critics,below. Richard Roeper from the Chicago Sun-Times, gave it a great 88 score, stating: "This is just sheer, escapist entertainment from start to finish." James Rocchi over at TheWrap, gave it a great 80 score, saying: "Like a perfect cocktail mixes the sour with the sweet and the bright with the boozy, Focus combines seamless, superbly-crafted filmmaking with the fizz and fun created by its leads." Christy Lemire from RogerEbert.com, gave it a 75 score, »
- Andre Braddox
Glenn Ficarra and John Requa (Crazy, Stupid, Love and I Love You Philip Morris) have an obvious talent for both visuals and storytelling. They've definitely been studying their Steven Soderbergh Oceans DVDs and are more than happy to show off all kinds of clever camera angles while classic soul music blares through the speakers. Although some scenes are predictable and by the book, there are few scenes in this movie that feel like a complete waste of time. The lean script doesn't pretend to be anything more than what it is. »
- Matthew McKibben
The art of con has been committed to the big screen a few times before, with The Sting, Grifters, and Steven Soderbergh's Oceans Eleven, being some notable examples. Now, Focus has come our way, trying it's best to take it's place on that prestigious list. Written and directed by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa (I Love You, Philip Morris, Crazy, Stupid, Love), there is no denying that Focus is a slick and stylish affair, but it's clear that Ficarra and Requa are far too interested in fooling the audience with the numerous cons swirling around in this story, and the movie suffers because of it. Seasoned con man Nicky Spurgeon (Will Smith) breaks his cardinal rule when he falls for his protege Jess (Margot Robbie). When she gets too close for comfort, he severs all ties, only for her to come back into his life three years later, now an accomplished femme fatale, »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Tom White)
Samuel Goldwyn Films weren’t especially active during Sundance this year, but are smoking barrels today with the pick-up of Charles Stone III‘s Lila & Eve, the closing film at the fest is a female-centric vigilante film starring Viola Davis and Jennifer Lopez. Plans are for a 2015 release.
Gist: This tells the story of Lila (Davis), a grief-stricken mother who in the aftermath of her son’s murder in a drive-by shooting attends a support group where she meets Eve (Lopez), who has lost her daughter. When Lila hits numerous roadblocks from the police in bringing justice for her son’s slaying, Eve urges Lila to take matters into her own hands to track down her son’s killers. The two women soon embark on a killing spree of their own, as they work to the top of the chain of drug dealers to avenge the murder of Lila’s son. »
- Eric Lavallee
Starz has cast actress Riley Keough (Magic Mike, Mad Max: Fury Road) in “The Girlfriend Experience,” a 13-part anthology series produced by Transactional Pictures. The series, which is inspired by the 2009 Magnolia Pictures film of the same title and executive produced by Steven Soderbergh and Philip Fleishman, explores the relationships between the exclusive courtesans and their clients, for whom they provide far more than just sex.Keough will star as Christine Reade, a law student at the University of Chicago and an intern at a prestigious law firm, who is intrigued when a friend introduces her to the world of […] »
- April Neale
Keough, the granddaughter of Elvis Presley, will star as Christine Reade, a University of Chicago law student and an intern at a prestigious law firm who is intrigued when a friend introduces her to the world of transactional relationships and becomes involved in a service known as a Gfe (Girlfriend Experience), enlisting men who pay up for her time.
The 13-part series, based on the 2009 film of the same title, will be exec produced by Steven Soderbergh, who directed the original feature from Magnolia Pictures, which was written by Brian Koppelman and David Levien.
The project marks a reunion between Keough and Soderbergh, who worked together on “Magic Mike. »
- Elizabeth Wagmeister
"Wait, what is 'Focus' again?" This is a question that is usually fired back at me, over the past few weeks, when people ask me what I've seen recently and really liked.
Lately, when I run down the movies I've seen recently, "Focus" is always one of those movies I mention, because I really, really liked it. But then, without fail, the person I am talking to asks what "Focus" is. And then I have to explain it to them. This probably has to do with the film's nebulous title and equally nebulous ad campaign, which isn't exactly explanatory (or particularly evocative or moody). So let me tell you just what "Focus" is, exactly. And when I explain what it is, you'll probably be shocked you haven't heard more about it.
- Drew Taylor
Every movie star is a con artist of sorts, seducing audiences into forking over millions by adopting a character bigger than him- or herself. But what to do when the streak falters? Will Smith made his film debut as a high-society scammer in “Six Degrees of Separation,” and now, a bit more than 21 years later, he’s back at the hustle in “Focus,” a sexy sleight-of-hand caper that feels small-time by the tentpole king’s standards, though a solid opening ought to prove Smith’s ongoing drawing power — and that there is life after the commercial debacle of 2013’s “After Earth.” Lithely directed by the duo responsible for “Crazy, Stupid, Love,” this suave if quick-to-dissipate divertissement shrewdly recasts the star in the George Clooney mold — a good look for the next stage of Smith’s career.
With the rare exception of 2005’s hit “Hitch,” romance hasn’t really been Smith’s bag. »
- Peter Debruge
Sometimes, the Oscars have a tendency of giving out awards to actors who are seen to have paid their dues, perhaps not for the best performance of that year or even for the particular actor's own best performance, but to recognise past work. Michael Keaton is not the most likely of these, but this could be why some speculated that he was an early favourite for this year's Best Actor award, for his performance in Birdman.
The later frontrunner Eddie Redmayne rightfully and very graciously wound up taking it home for his work as Stephen Hawking in The Theory Of Everything, though Birdman went on to take home the main prize for Best Picture and a number of other major awards.
It would hardly have been a major upset if »
On the heels of its Oscar win for best documentary feature at last night’s Academy Awards, filmmaker Laura Poitras’ searing documentary Citizenfour makes its HBO debut tonight at 9/8Ct. Steven Soderbergh co-executive produces the real-life thriller. In January 2013, Poitras — who was already at work on a film about monitoring programs in the U.S. — received an encrypted email from a stranger calling himself Citizen Four, who offered her inside information about illegal wiretapping practices of the National Security Agency (Nsa) and other intelligence agencies. That June, Poitras traveled to Hong Kong with her camera and investigative journalist Glenn Greenwald to … Continue reading →
The post Oscar winning documentary feature Citizenfour premieres on HBO tonight appeared first on Channel Guide Magazine. »
- Lori Acken
“Thank you Edward Snowden and to the other whistleblowers who are exposing truth,” Poitras said.
Snowden himself applauded the win in a statement.
“When Laura Poitras asked me if she could film our encounters, I was extremely reluctant,” he wrote. “I’m grateful that I allowed her to persuade me. The result is a brave and brilliant film that deserves the honor and recognition it has received. My hope is that this award will encourage more people to see the film and be inspired by its message that ordinary citizens, working together, can change the world.”
The film has »
- Dave McNary
Why should I care about the Oscars?
No, that’s a serious question. Because as much as I hate to admit it, I do. At their very best, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences gets it right by tripping and falling into a “Market Irglova & Glen Hansard” here or a “12 minute standing ovation” there. At their very worst, AMPAS indulges in the most regressive, ass-backwards impulses of the industry. Whether enforcing asinine restrictions on eligibility or blacklisting via internal politics, Academy voters can be inept, close-minded and utterly humorless about their annual pat-on-the-back. Too old, too white, and too male, AMPAS is like a closet mob comprised solely of Bud Selig clones, perpetually fumbling in the dark for their reading glasses.
And yet despite all this, I’m still going to throw the remote through the television if Alexandre Desplat’s The Grand Budapest Hotel doesn’t bring »
- David Klein
Justin Chang: We don’t always agree, Guy (no two critics ever should), but it’s safe to say we’ve been more simpatico than usual over the course of this very long and happily almost-over awards season. I think we would both argue, for example, that “Foxcatcher” was ridiculously worthy of an Oscar nomination for best picture, and that its failure to nab one seems all the more inexplicable given that Bennett Miller managed to crack the much more competitive directing race. Likewise, I don’t know anyone else who had almost precisely the same reaction and counter-reaction to “Birdman” as I did — an initial thrill that almost completely fell apart on second viewing.
Clearly the industry feels otherwise, if “Birdman’s” presumed Oscar-frontrunner status is to be believed — which I fear it is, even as some of us are still clinging desperately to the hope that “Boyhood” will prevail. »
- Justin Chang and Guy Lodge
How many greats have found themselves on the short end of Oscar glory after being nominated for Best Director? Frankly, some of the greatest filmmakers of all-time: David Fincher, Gus Van Sant, Quentin Tarantino, Paul Thomas Anderson, Pedro Almodóvar, Ridley Scott, Michael Mann, Terrence Malick, Akira Kurosawa, Ingmar Bergman and Mike Leigh, among others. We're personally hoping that eventually "Birdman's" Alejandro G. Iñárritu, "Boyhood's" Richard Linklater and "The Grand Budapest Hotel's" Wes Anderson make it off that list, but only one will join the winner's club Sunday night. Last year the Academy faced a similar quandary between the incredible work of Alfonso Cuarón ("Gravity") and Steve McQueen ("12 Years A Slave"). Eventually, Cuarón distanced himself from his contemporary and his win was "expected." That's truly not the case this season. Linklater has earned raves for his 12-year journey making "Boyhood" since it debuted at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival over a year ago. »
- Gregory Ellwood
Chicago – The movie musical seems to revive every year, and writer/director Richard Lagravenese puts his spin on the genre with a modern touch. A couple, portrayed by Jeremy Jordan and Anna Kendrick, goes through the ups and downs of a relationship while belting out appropriate tunes in “The Last Five Years.”
The film is based on the stage play by Jason Robert Brown, and is the type of musical that is entirely sung. The songs are sad (“Still Hurting”), hilarious (“Summer in Ohio”) and poignant (“If I Didn’t Believe in You”) and are rendered by the couple in a direct and modern approach through Lagravenese’s direction.
Photo credit: Radius-twc
- email@example.com (Adam Fendelman)
Criterion brings British auteur Nicolas Roeg’s most famous title to the fold, 1973’s enigmatic Don’t Look Now, a title that has influenced generations of filmmakers since its successful reception, and marks the director’s fifth title to be included in the illustrious collection. A refracted dreamscape of symbols and motifs, the film is a brooding jigsaw puzzle that doesn’t insist on answering all your questions, and happens to feature an unforgettable finale that’s lost none of its affect (despite providing iconic fodder for famed parodies, ranging from memorable bits in “Spaced” to “Absolutely Fabulous”).
After the drowning of their preadolescent daughter, Christine, in the backyard of their estate, John and Laura Baxter (Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie) take off for Venice, where John accepts a job to restore some mosaics in one of the city’s many dilapidated churches. However, once there, the couple is introduced »
- Nicholas Bell
We're fans of Carano, who made the jump from Mma to movies properly in Steven Soderbergh's Haywire. Since then, she's taken on a role in Fast & Furious 6, and she's also currently shooting the Kickboxer reboot.
In Deadpool, she's going to playing the character Angel Dust. Where Angel Dust fits the film remains unclear, but in the comics, she was part of the group of mutants known as The Morlocks. Carano also has a new Bruce Willis action movie, Extraction, on her immediate slate.
Follow our Twitter feed for faster news and bad jokes right here. »
Gina Carano has been navigating the road from Mma star to movie star pretty nicely. She did quite well in her high profile lead role in Steven Soderbergh's "Haywire," and then stepped into the blockbuster franchise "Furious 6." On the horizon she's got the "Kickboxer" remake and now she's adding another big movie to her list of things to do. THR reports that Carano has joined Ryan Reynolds starring in "Deadpool." She'll be playing Angel Dust, and since I don't read comics, here's the Marvel summary: The young woman known only as Angel Dust is a member of the small group of outcast mutants living under the streets of Chicago known as the Morlocks. These Morlocks made a pact to stay together to help each other fulfill one last "wish" left over from their lives on the surface. In Angel Dust's case, her parents were frantic as to the whereabouts of their daughter. »
- Kevin Jagernauth
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