20 items from 2015
Schwarzenegger's back, but how does Terminator Genisys match its predecessors? Here's Ryan's verdict...
If you’d acquired the multi-million dollar rights to the Terminator franchise in an auction, what would you do with them? After the sun-drenched, overblown and dusty mayhem of 2009's Terminator Salvation, the sensible answer might be to take the series back to its roots. Return to the chase format of James Cameron’s twin classics Terminator and Terminator 2. Tone down the armies of robot motorcycles and mechanical swimming snakes. Bring back Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Such is the approach taken by director Alan (Thor: The Dark World, Game Of Thrones) Taylor and screenwriters Patrick Lussier and Laeta Kalogridis in Terminator Genisys. Six years after Salvation failed to take off, the franchise is now in the hands of the production company Skydance, which has taken a similarly reverential approach to the Terminator as it did with its Star Trek »
Sound on Sight undertook a massive project, compiling ranked lists of the most influential, unforgettable, and exciting action scenes in all of cinema. There were hundreds of nominees spread across ten different categories and a multi-week voting process from 11 of our writers. The results: 100 essential set pieces, sequences, and scenes from blockbusters to cult classics to arthouse obscurities.
If you’ve seen a film montage in the last 10 years, then you’ve been witness to at least one of the scenes mentioned on this list: the vibrating water glass from Jurassic Park signaling the T-Rex prowling nearby. It’s the perfect type of image to tell the audience: something is coming. These flashes of exhilaration are fan-favorites, and it’s no surprise to see them featured prominently as the centerpieces for some of the greatest films ever. It’s the invasion when the aliens come out of the sky, the »
- Shane Ramirez
Master cinematographer and television director Caleb Deschanel will receive AFI's 25th Annual Franklin J. Schaffner Alumni Medal, which has previously gone to the likes of Darren Aronofsky, Patty Jenkins, David Lynch, Wally Pfister and fellow Dp Janusz Kaminski. This honor recognizes the extraordinary creative talents of an AFI Conservatory alum who embodies the qualities of filmmaker Franklin Schaffner, the Oscar-winning director of 1970's "Patton." An AFI grad from the class of 1969, Deschanel is a five-time Oscar nominee for "The Passion of the Christ," "The Patriot," "Fly Away Home," "The Natural" and "The Right Stuff." AFI cinematography alumni have been nominated 17 times across the past 12 years — winning five times. Deschanel won the American Society of Cinematographers (Asc) Award for "The Patriot" and was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Asc in 2010. His directing credits »
- Ryan Lattanzio
American Film Institute top brass have chosen Caleb Deschanel to receive the 2015 Franklin J Schaffner Alumni Medal.
The honour recognises the creativity of an AFI Conservatory alumnus “who embodies the qualities of filmmaker Franklin Schaffner: talent, taste, dedication and commitment to quality filmmaking.”
The presentation of the Schaffner Medal will take place as part of the AFI Life Achievement Award Gala Tribute to Steve Martin in Hollywood on June 4.
- email@example.com (Jeremy Kay)
Deschanel is a 1969 alumnus of the AFI Conservatory. He’s been nominated for best cinematographer Oscars for “The Right Stuff,” “The Natural,” “Fly Away Home,” “The Patriot” and “The Passion of the Christ.”
The presentation of the Schaffner Medal will take place as part of the AFI Life Achievement Award Gala Tribute to Steve Martin on June 4. Past recipients of the medal include cinematographers Darren Aronofsky, Patty Jenkins, Janusz Kaminski, David Lynch and Wally Pfister.
Deschanel won the American Society of Cinematographers Award for “The Patriot” and was honored with the lifetime achievement award by the Asc in 2010. He was also in the first class of the AFI Conservatory, »
- Dave McNary
Steven Spielberg and daughter Destry Spielberg on the Oscars' Red Carpet Steven Spielberg and daughter Destry Steven Spielberg and daughter Destry Spielberg arrive at the 83rd Academy Awards, held on Feb. 27 at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood. Spielberg has taken home two Best Director Oscars: Schindler's List (1993) and Saving Private Ryan (1998). Schindler's List also won Best Picture, but Saving Private Ryan lost to John Madden's Miramax-distributed Shakespeare in Love. There was quite a bit of animosity at the time, as some felt that Miramax, owned by brothers Bob and Harvey Weinstein, overdid its Oscar campaigning – while still managing to sway enough Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences members to vote for its film. Somewhat ironically, at the 2011 Academy Awards ceremony Steven Spielberg presented the Best Picture Award to The King's Speech. Toplining Colin Firth, Helena Bonham Carter, Geoffrey Rush, Guy Pearce, and Claire Bloom, this British production was »
- D. Zhea
Has being the director of a film in a major franchise become a high-stakes gamble? Ryan looks at the pressures faced by modern filmmakers.
The process of making the behemoth that is Avengers: Age Of Ultron has clearly taken its toll on Joss Whedon. In each successive interview with the press, he’s talked with surprising openness about the process of making the superhero sequel and his battles to places an individual stamp on it; this culminated in a recent podcast with Empire, in which he described the “really, really unpleasant” fight to keep certain scenes in the film.
For an established writer and director like Whedon, who’s been working in TV and film since the 90s, taking on a project as huge and loaded with expectation as a Marvel film is evidently punishing, both physically and psychologically. Imagine how difficult it must be, then, to make the jump »
Today we hold the 2015 Summer Box Office Draft as Laremy is still looking for that ever-elusive second draft victory and with the first pick in today's draft he may have a juggernaut that can't be beat. Along with that we take a listen to the new trailer for Black Mass starring Johnny Depp, review Russell Crowe's The Water Diviner, listen to a voice mail, play some game, scatter shot some news and are on our way. We hope you enjoy. If you are on Twitter, we have a Twitter account dedicated to the podcast at @bnlpod. Give us a follow won'tchac I want to remind you that you can call in and leave us your comments, thoughts, questions, etc. directly on our Google Voice account, which you can call and leave a message for us at (925) 526-5763, which may be even easier to remember at (925) 5-bnl-pod. Just call, leave »
- Brad Brevet
Age Of Ultron is about evil AI, and Ex Machina’s about a sentient robot. Ryan explores the link between these and other modern Sf films.
It’s an idea as old as literature itself: a lifeform is created, only for it to behave in a way its maker hadn’t anticipated - and sometimes with fatal consequences.
Writer-director Joss Whedon has drawn attention to the parallels between Mary Shelley’s classic novel Frankenstein and Avengers: Age Of Ultron, the latest opus in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In Whedon’s reading of Marvel comics lore, Bruce Banner and Tony Stark create Ultron - an artificial intelligence intended as a global defence program, but instead turns against the Avengers and humanity in general.
Brought to life by a peformance-captured James Spader, Ultron’s a charismatic example of a recent wave of AI characters in the movies. We’ve seen sentient, mutant »
Every decade has their cinematic science fiction obsessions which speak to its concerns of the age; in the 1950s films such as Earth vs. The Flying Saucers and Them! capitalised on fears of alien invasion and nuclear proliferation. In the 1960s films like Barbarella and Ikarie Xb-1 captured the hopes and dangers of space exploration while in the 1970s Silent Running and A Boy and His Dog showed a growing concern for the environment and a mistrust of governments resulting in dystopian futures. Then in the 1980s it was the exploration of inner space with the boundaries of the human mind and body being crossed and redrawn with films like Altered States and the cinema of David Cronenberg. The 1990s ushered in an obsession with apocalyptic imagery and alternate realities with Dark City and The Thirteenth Floor amongst many others.
Through these decades of cinematic science fiction, the concept of »
- Liam Dunn
Run Time: 168 minutes
Special Features: Over 3 hours of extras and for details of them, plus the limited edition Digi-book, click here.
For me, the stamp of a great movie is how much your excitement, or self-induced hype, matches positively with the final product and in the case of Interstellar, it captures those desires with absolute assurance.
Love or dislike Nolan’s increasingly extensive films, you’ve got to accept that original work on such an expansive level to a worldwide audience is a Hollywood rarity these days. There’s definitely a growing universe of independent projects being backed by the offshoots of large movie corporations but Nolan and his brother have managed once again, like Inception, to pull off one hell of »
- Dan Bullock
Artificial intelligence seems to be a popular topic in science fiction these days–between giving life to a robot in Neill Blomkamp's Chappie, to extending life in Wally Pfister's Transcendence. The latest A.I. tale is Ex Machina, the feature directing debut of sci-fi screenwriter Alex Garland, whose past work includes 28 Days Later, Sunshine, Never Let Me Go and Dredd. How does he fare bringing to life his own script? Better than expected. Ex Machina is an engaging, amusing sci-fi thriller that literally asks provocative questions, with smart lines of dialogue that touch upon fascinating, honest topics. Garland digs deep with this movie, bringing up questions and concerns about artificial intelligence that not many others have really addressed. There's no question that Garland is a very capable science fiction storyteller, and his expertise in writing is obvious as the script for Ex Machina is sleek and sexy. Essentially, »
- Alex Billington
Best Cinematography is one of the most closely watched technical categories at the Oscars, due largely to the fact that it’s often so difficult to predict. Indeed, since 1986, when the American Society of Cinematographers first started handing out prizes, only 11 of its winners went on to triumph at the Oscars: -Break- 1990: Dean Semler, “Dances with Wolves” 1995: John Toll, “Braveheart” 1996: John Seale, “The English Patient” 1997: Russell Carpenter, “Titanic” 1999: Conrad L. Hall, “American Beauty” 2002: Conrad L. Hall, “Road to Perdition” 2005: Dion Beebe, “Memoirs of a Geisha” 2007: Robert Elswit, “There Will Be Blood” 2008: Anthony Dod Mantle, “Slumdog Millionaire” 2010: Wally Pfister, “Inception” 2013: Emmanuel Lubeszki, “Gravity” Updated: Experts' Oscars predictions in 24 categories This year, th...' »
Stumbling across that list of best-edited films yesterday had me assuming that there might be other nuggets like that out there, and sure enough, there is American Cinematographer's poll of the American Society of Cinematographers membership for the best-shot films ever, which I do recall hearing about at the time. But they did things a little differently. Basically, in 1998, cinematographers were asked for their top picks in two eras: films from 1894-1949 (or the dawn of cinema through the classic era), and then 1950-1997, for a top 50 in each case. Then they followed up 10 years later with another poll focused on the films between 1998 and 2008. Unlike the editors' list, though, ties run absolutely rampant here and allow for way more than 50 films in each era to be cited. I'd love to see what these lists would look like combined, however. I imagine "Citizen Kane," which was on top of the 1894-1949 list, »
- Kristopher Tapley
The Super Bowl is about a lot of things, but it's mostly about money. It's America's annual day where everyone gathers around to watch millionaire football players play in a brand name stadium, in a nationally televised game, which features as much time devoted to commercials as it does to the sport being played on the field. Advertisers pay a lot of money for those coveted advertising spots, and spend big to make sure the ads have an impact. That often means hiring big name actors to put in front of the camera, and/or getting talented, movie-level directors behind them, too. This year, Judd Apatow, Doug Liman, Wally Pfister, and Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris were among the folks who lent their talent to advertisers. We've selected the creme de la creme below. Check them out, and you can hit Slashfilm, a complete rundown of movie director helmed spots. »
- Kevin Jagernauth
The Unpopular Opinion is an ongoing column featuring different takes on films that either the writer Hated, but that the majority of film fans Loved, or that the writer Loved, but that most others Loathed. We're hoping this column will promote constructive and geek fueled discussion. Enjoy! ****Some Spoilers Ensue**** One of the biggest flops of 2014 was cinematographer Wally Pfister's directorial debut Transcendence. The science fiction drama seemed to have everything »
- Alex Maidy
The Wall Street Journal reports “overall North American box-office receipts and attendance for 2014 declined more than 5% to $10.35 billion from $10.92 billion in 2013, according to box-office tracker Rentrak Corp. – the worst results since 2011.”
Kicking off 2015 with “Best of” lists and awards season on the minds of many Cinephiles, we offer our look back at the worst of 2014. Some awful, some horrendous, we were disappointed and flummoxed by some of the movies Tinseltown released into theaters (and on moviegoers) over the past 12 months.
As we shake our Wamg heads over the biggest letdowns, here we go with our Top 10 list of the Worst Films of 2014.
Dishonorable Mention: Horns
In Horns Daniel Radcliffe played a grieving young man who inexplicably grows horns from his forehead after the community he lives in finds him culpable for the death and murder of his girlfriend. Horns was a mishmash of genres that never quite fit together; crime drama, »
- Movie Geeks
Five days into the new year and the movie awards season is in full swing. A chance to celebrate all of the cinematic gold bestowed upon us by filmmakers over the last 365 days, the majority of awards bodies veer towards the positive. The good, the great and the outstanding movie achievements. Of course, you can’t have yin without yang, and that customary glint of deviousness amidst the showers of compliments will soon be upon us, in the shape of the The Annual Golden Raspberry Awards.
Known informally as The Razzies, the achievements are dished out based on how bad the category nominees performed, and this year’s nominees have now been announced. Seth MacFarlane’s A Million Ways To Die In The West beat out its closest competitors for the esteemed honour of most nominations with a whopping eight altogether. Recent limelight comedy, The Interview, also snagged four nominations across three categories. »
- Gem Seddon
As the film business gears up to honor the best films of the year at the Academy Awards, the worst are getting recognized, too.
The shortlist for the Razzies, which names the worst films of the year, has been obtained by awards site Gold Derby, listing some of the biggest grossers of the year, like “Transformers: Age of Extinction,” and others that didn’t do so well. The shortlist isn’t a concrete list of the nominations — rather, it’s a preview of the contenders for the dubious honor.
Seth McFarlene’s “A Million Ways to Die” looks like it could be the frontrunner for the awards, popping up eight times. “Sex Tape,” which garnered mostly negative reviews, is listed six times. Seth Rogen and James Franco are both on the list for worst actor for “The Interview,” as well as worst onscreen duo.
Others who pop up several times »
- Alex Stedman
As the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences gears up to announce the nominations for the 87th Academy Awards on January 15th, the shortlist for the 2015 Golden Raspberry Awards has leaked online, giving us a look at the stinkers from the past twelve months who will battle it out for the “honour” of winning a Razzie.
Here’s the shortlist for each category…
Atlas Shrugged: Who Is John Galt?
Legend of Hercules
Worst Remake, Rip-off or Sequel
Legend Of Hercules
Legends Of Oz: Dorothy’s Return
Atlas Shrugged: Who Is John Galt?
- Gary Collinson
20 items from 2015
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