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After a solid premiere, Believe, NBC’s thriller from Gravity director Alfonso Cuarón and J.J. Abrams, settles into its regular Sundays at 9 p.m. time slot March 16 with a second episode that promises to reveal more about Kyle MacLachlan’s well-dressed Skouras, who’s battling his former partner Winter (Delroy Lindo) for control of 10-year-old Bo (Johnny Sequoyah) and her powers.
“Much more time is spent explaining who he is, where he’s from, and why he’s interested in Bo,” says MacLachlan, who took his cues for creating the character from something Cuarón did when he was directing the pilot. »
- Mandi Bierly
The presence of this year’s Academy Award-winning picture Gravity has put a spotlight on the ever-changing technological advancements in cinema and the boundaries that moviemakers are willing to push in order to achieve fascinating and wondrous effects. The movie was shot digitally on multiple Arri Alexa cameras that were fitted with wide Arri Master Prime lenses. For the scenes captured on Earth, director Alfonso Cuarón shot with an Arri 765 camera using 65 mm film. If that isn’t a living timeline of the evolution of the movie camera, we don’t know what is — and we didn’t even discuss the insane lighting systems and other equipment used to help tell the tale of two astronauts adrift in space. The movie camera was highlighted in...
- Alison Nastasi
James Cameron called on his fellow filmmakers to be bolder in their use of format on day two of the international 3D Creative Summit in London. The “Avatar” director was the two-day event’s biggest draw taking part via an exclusive pre-recorded interview to talk about his upcoming 3D docu “Deepsea Challenge” and the current state of the format.
“The best work has been done by confident filmmakers like Ang Lee, Martin Scorsese and Alfonso Cuaron,” Cameron said. “They are confident so they didn’t worry about asking questions, and there are no dumb questions. Ask questions on day one and two and go nuts on day three.”
In the session preceding Cameron, Steve Schklair, CEO of 3ality and 3D producer on Russian Imax hit “Stalingrad,” noted that helmers were starting to make better use of 3D’s capabilities. “One of the changes I’m seeing is depth budgets getting bigger, »
- Robert Mitchell
We may think we know about the late great activist Cesar Chavez, founder of the United Farm Workers. We may remember their long strike and call for a grape boycott in the 60s, and his 1969 Time Magazine cover as Man of the Year, among other things. Mexican actor-producer-director Diego Luna, who co-starred with his Canana partner Gael Garcia Bernal in Alfonso Cuaron's "Y Tu Mama Tambien," grew up in the theater, raised by his single art director dad. Luna has made some 40 films in his 34 years, mentored by Cuaron and Luis Mandoki. Luna, who made his directorial debut with fest-circuit fave "Abel" (my Sundance flipcam interview here), took on the daunting task of turning the life of Cesar Chavez into a film. In some ways movie star Garcia Bernal ("No") is the Mexican Matt Damon to Luna's Ben Affleck, in the sense that Luna has figured out his true calling: filmmaker. »
- Anne Thompson
French filmmaker Jean-Pierre Jeunet pulled no punches at the 2014 3D Creative Summit in London March 12 as he criticized Hollywood’s approach to 3D and bemoaned poor-quality exhibition.
“I think Hollywood is killing 3D,” Jeunet told the assembled international industryites on day one of the two-day event. The audience was there to see footage from Jeunet’s first 3D film, “The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet,” above. The outspoken helmer elicited applause as he criticized the use of 3D for fast-cut, action-focused summer blockbusters and also lambasted post-production conversion, leveling direct criticism at Paramount’s “World War Z.”
His stereographer on “T.S. Spivet,” Demetri Portelli, who also handled Martin Scorsese’s “Hugo,” blamed a late decision to convert “World War Z” in post, not allowing the filmmakers to plan for 3D. “A problem is that often the director and cinematographer don’t know they are making a 3D movie, »
- Robert Mitchell
Odd List Ryan Lambie Simon Brew 13 Mar 2014 - 05:44
Our voyage through history's underappreciated films arrives at the year 2011, and a great year for lesser-seen gems...
Even a cursory glance at the top 10 grossing films of 2011 reveals something strange: nine of the entries are sequels. Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 2 brought the fantasy franchise to a close with a staggering $1.3bn haul. Transformers: Dark Of The Moon wasn't too far behind with just over $1.1bn. On Stranger Tides continued the Pirates Of The Caribbean series' wave of success, despite mixed reviews.
Elsewhere in the top 10, you'll find another Twilight, a fourth Mission: Impossible, a second Kung Fu Panda, a fifth Fast, another Hangover, and further Cars. Standing alone on the list is The Smurfs, the adaptation of Peyo's Belgian comic strip. In fact, 2011 saw the release of no fewer than 28 sequels - the most we've yet seen in any given year. »
The difficulty in counting down films so clearly influenced by Kubrick is that there are certain directors who are just tailor-made for it. So, you start to run into situations like this section of the list, where two directors have two films and two other directors had a film mentioned in the last section. But that’s the way it goes. Much of Kubrick’s style isn’t reflected in the work of, say, Todd Phillips. Or Todd Haynes, for that matter.
30. Inception (2010)
Directed by Christopher Nolan
What makes it Kubrickian? As directors go, few rival the sense of complete control over his films like Christopher Nolan, famous for his obsessive attention to detail, much like Kubrick. With Inception, Nolan dialed up the control, creating multiple worlds set within dream landscapes, painting incredibly stunning shots and moments. Focusing on Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his team of dream surveyors, Inception is »
- Joshua Gaul
There is story, somewhere, in NBC’s Believe, as it’s technically one of the requirements for being included in a storytelling medium. What that said tale is, however, still remains to be seen – but if you were to turn to the episode’s description, you’ll know more than those who simply watched the 60-minute series premiere.
Believe follows a girl named Bo (Johnny Sequoyah) who was born with special powers she’s net yet able to control. When her original protection is murdered by an associate of Skouras (Kyle MacLachlan), her other protector, Winter (Delroy Lindo) – who used to be partners with Skouras – seeks the help ...
- Anthony Ocasio
TV ratings for Monday, March 10th, are in. Here’s a brief rundown: The series premiere of NBC’s new drama Believe, with a pilot directed by Alfonso Cuaron, garnered a 2.7 rating in the 18-49 demo and scored 10.7 million viewers. This marks the lowest-rated Monday drama debut in the post-The Voice timeslot. CBS’s How I Met Your Mother suffered a ratings drop of half a point with a 2.7 rating and 7.7 million viewers. Mike & Molly hit a series low 1.8 rating and scored 7.67 million viewers for a drop of four tenths, and Intelligence ticked up a tenth to a 1.3 rating and 6.53 million viewers. Over on Fox, Bones scored a 1.7 rating and 6.51 million viewers for a dip of one tenth, while The Following hit yet another series low with a 1.5 rating and 4.88 million viewers. That’s down one tenth from last week’s episode. The CW’s Star-Crossed dropped one tenth to a 0.3 rating and 1.04 million viewers, »
- Adam Chitwood
Togas-to-go and abs to die for atop the UK box office, while Grand Budapest Hotel books in a surprise third
• More from UK box office
Seven years after the original 300 film, and with Gerard Butler's slain character missing this time around, it was by no means certain that audiences had an appetite for second helpings. But backers Warners and Legendary Pictures will be plenty happy with the opening numbers for 300: Rise of an Empire in the Us and internationally. In the UK, the film, from director Noam Murro (Smart People) and starring Australian actor Sullivan Stapleton (Animal Kingdom), achieved a robust £2.76m debut. While that's well down on 300's opening salvo – £4.75m including previews of £784,000 – it's not bad for a film that seemed short of marketable elements other than the 300 brand name.
Rise of an Empire knocked The Lego Movie off the top spot after a three-week run. »
- Charles Gant
J.J. Abrams and Alfonso Cuarón are two of the most exciting and respected filmmakers working today, and their names are often seen as an undeniable sign of quality. Abrams is known for being behind some of the most unique and mythology-heavy television shows of the last decade (Alias, Lost, and Fringe, to name a few), while Cuarón is recognized for his incredible filmography and that nice golden Best Director Oscar that now sits on his shelf for Gravity. So, when it was announced that the duo would be teaming up to produce a show on NBC called Believe, fans of the filmmakers were, as expected, incredibly excited.
Granted, Abrams’ name is often attached to projects that the man himself has little to do with. Often, his production company Bad Robot does most of the legwork, while his name is merely used to sell audiences on the prospect of high-concept television shows. »
- James Garcia
Among the biggest selling points of the "Believe" series premiere is that the episode was directed by Alfonso Cuaron, who just won an Oscar for "Gravity" and has also helmed "Children of Men," "Y Tu Mama Tambien" and arguably the best of the Harry Potter movies, "Prisoner of Azkaban."
And, indeed, the "Believe" pilot is beautifully directed. The tense opening sequence showcases masterful camera work, and there are several other visually arresting moments throughout the first hour, along with a pace that propels you past some of the shakier elements of the show.
Therein lies the problem with "Believe": There are pieces of the show that are underdeveloped or just plain don't work very well in the pilot (which Cuaron also co-wrote), which to some extent Cuaron's gifts as a director help cover. But though he'll probably retain some level of involvement with the show, he won't be directing any other episodes. »
Believe, Season 1, Episode 1: “Pilot”
Written by Alfonso Cuarón and Marc Friedman
Directed by Alfonso Cuarón
Aired Monday at 10Pm (Et) before moving to Sundays at 9pm (Et) on NBC
As a producer, J.J. Abrams has been behind some of the more well-regarded series of the past decade, including Lost, Fringe, and Person of Interest. His involvement in a series alone brings a level of interest with it. The move of Alfonso Cuarón to American television, meanwhile, brings with it its own level of excitement. Fresh off an Oscar win for Best Director, Cuarón is well-respected in critical circles, and it will certainly be exciting to see what he does with television, as he returns to the medium for the first time since 1990. Believe, however, has the benefit of having both these individuals onboard, which gives the show a lot of potential. Aided by Cuarón, the »
- Deepayan Sengupta
“A girl lives among us. She will change the world. If she survives.”
So begins the pilot of Believe, created by newly crowned Oscar-winning director Alfonso Cuarón and executive produced by Jj Abrams (dream team, amirite?). It’s a show that NBC is pushing to do well — they’ve given its premiere the prime post-Voice spot in hopes of drawing in viewers — and also the network’s apparent answer to what would happen if Touch and Person of Interest had a baby (kind of). Since I like both Cuarón and Abrams a whole lot, I was inclined to go into »
- Andrea Towers
The director of Gravity + the mastermind behind Lost, Star Trek, Fringe and, now, Star Wars = must-see TV? That's what we're asking you now that you've finally seen Alfonso Cuarón and J.J. Abrams' Believe, which finally premiered on Monday night. The Oscar-winning director's foray into TV is an ambitious drama for NBC, which centers on a very special 10-year-old girl named Bo (Johnny Sequoyah), who is being pursued by various groups looking to protect (or exploit) her supernatural powers. After checking out NBC's special preview of Believe, which makes its time-slot debut on Sunday at 9 p.m.), we're curious to know if you'll be returning next week to see »
Moviegoers want sure bets. Tickets are expensive, theaters can be a hassle, and time is precious. So while some eager types may turn out in droves after a film is nominated for an Academy Award, nine Best Picture nominees can prove a daunting to-do list, and some might want to wait for the slate to be whittled down. That seemed to be the case this weekend, at least, when Best Picture winner 12 Years a Slave more than doubled its theater count and boasted a 116 percent increase in earnings.
There are a lot of factors that make analysis tricky in this case. »
- Lindsey Bahr
“Believe” is a great villain away from being a show I'd keep watching. Expectations couldn't be much higher for the NBC drama, premiering tonight. It comes from Oscar-winner Alfonso Cuaron, the brilliant mind behind “Gravity,” and J.J. Abrams, who co-created “Lost” and now rules both the “Star Trek” and “Star Wars” universes. Also read: J.J. Abrams and Alfonso Cuaron on Their Garbage First Drafts You know why people like “Star Wars” more than “Star Trek”? Because of Darth Vader. He was so ruthless, so composed, that you couldn't help but root for anyone going up against him. When the prequels made Vader. »
- Tim Molloy
One theme that runs through much of J.J. Abrams' work as a writer and producer is family, from the ad hoc families of the college students on "Felicity" and the castaways of "Lost" to the father-daughter drama of "Alias," the husband-wife drama of "Undercovers" and the father-son drama of "Fringe."
Whatever situation the characters land in - and some of these shows have very fantastical premises -- the core of the story is people struggling with, or forming, close family bonds.
Expect more of the same when Abrams' latest project, "Believe," premieres Monday, March 10, on NBC. Created by Alfonso Cuaron ("Gravity") and Mark Friedman for Abrams' Bad Robot Productions -- with Jonas Pate and Hans Tobeason as the current showrunners -- it centers on 10-year-old Bo (Johnny Sequoyah), a precocious girl who was also born with a range of unusual powers, including levitation, telekinesis and precognition.
But she's not »
There was a period after the instant, explosive success of "Lost" where J.J. Abrams seemed to be creating every new drama on television. I say "seemed to" because in most of those cases, these shows — "Six Degrees," "What About Brian" and "Alcatraz," among others — were shows from Abrams' production company that traded on his name in their marketing, but didn't have him around as any kind of hands-on creative force. Every now and again he might actually co-write or direct one of the pilots with his name on it (for the short-lived "Undercovers," he did both), but Abrams often seems to be most useful simply using his muscle to get shows on the air, and then as a hook to use in marketing. Some of these shows last a while — "Fringe" went five seasons, and "Person of Interest" and "Revolution" are still around — while others have demonstrated the limits of »
- Alan Sepinwall
It's hard not to want to believe in talents like Alfonso Cuaron (of the amazing Gravity) and J.J. Abrams (no TV explanation necessary). These two very busy visionaries lend their names, and Cuaron his directing chops (in the pilot episode, anyway), for NBC's otherwise painfully derivative Believe (Monday, 10/9c), which plays like one of those middling Stephen King melodramas about supernaturally gifted children on the run for their lives.
Cuaron elevates the stock clichés with visual motifs of a butterfly providing mystical guidance and a dizzying flock of pigeons (my idea of a living nightmare) subduing a Big Bad Female Assassin in a loft. It's a handsome looking pilot, even at its most predictably familiar. And as Bo, the spunky little girl whose psychic and paranormal gifts seem to have no end — or, maddeningly, definition — Johnny Sequoyah is agreeable company, never too cute even when the script calls for Bo to be cloyingly precious. »
- Matt Roush
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