1-20 of 180 items from 2014 « Prev | Next »
Essentially, at its core, cinema is just storytelling. Which is exactly the reason why Mike Myers’ directorial debut – alongside Beth Aala, in what is her sophomore endeavour – is such a treat. As Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon explores the life of a man who has dined, wined and revelled in the company of some of the most important cultural figures of the 20th century, and believe me, this man has some stories to tell.
Shep Gordon is one of the most famous people you’ve never heard of, and a contact list full of people you have. From a young age he was mixing with the likes of Jimi Hendrix and John Lennon, while managing eccentric rockstar Alice Cooper, partly responsible for creating that unique brand that saw the musician go on to achieve great success. From there he went on to manage the likes of Luther Vandross to Groucho Marx, »
- Stefan Pape
In a canny move surprising few, Amazon have gone and echoed a pattern Netflix began around a year ago and nabbed a series from the Us where they will add an episode each week the day after its Us broadcast. This practice worked well with Breaking Bad and From Dusk Till Dawn in the past year and the publicity it got could well be the reason why you might encounter so many people who are only now making their way through five seasons of Breaking Bad via Netflix. So the show in question which be all exclusive up in here is the new Steven Spielberg/Halle Berry joint called Extant.
I knew nothing about this show going in and that is perhaps the best way to view it. I’m not going to claim this is the new Lost or whatever at this point but the first episode was ‘promising »
- Chris Holt
Melissa Maerz: Jeff,
When the Emmy nominations were announced this morning, I was sitting at my desk, shouting, “Hodor! Hodor! Hodor!” Game of Thrones dominated with 19 nominations! Hot pie for everyone! I’d quibble with the fact that Noah Hawley’s fantastic update of Fargo didn’t get a best drama nod, especially since it was the runner-up with 18 nominations, and The Good Wife was unjustly ignored in that category, coming off its best season ever—it might be the only network drama that I truly loved—but the rest of the list was pretty solid. Among the smartest choices »
- Melissa Maerz
Marvel may have crafted their own wide-spanning cinematic universe, but DC and Warner Bros will strike back from 2016 with the release of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Zack Snyder's sequel to last summer's Man of Steel.
We may be just under two years away from release, but cameras are already rolling and fan anticipation is cranking up. Digital Spy rounds up everything you need to know on the superhero epic below...
DC Comics' iconic heroes will come to blows…
When Zack Snyder announced the crossover movie at Comic-Con last year he got his Man of Steel star Harry Lennix to read a line spoken from Batman to Superman in Frank Miller's landmark comic The Dark Knight Returns: "I want you to remember, Clark. In all the years to come. In all your most private moments. I want you to remember my hand at your throat. I »
Last year Notebook failed to cover what ended up being one of our favorite films of 2013, Michael Bay's Pain & Gain. Upon the release of his latest movie, Transformers: Age of Extinction, we henceforth resume our perhaps morbid fascination with the American director. Previous Notebook writings on Bay include Ryland Walker Knight on the second Transformers movie, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009), Daniel Kasman and Fernando F. Croce each on the franchise's third film, Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011), three critics' three takes on Bad Boys II (2003), and Uncas Blythe's monstrous overview of the cinema of Michael Bay.
The following conversation between Adam Cook and Daniel Kasman took place over email.
We know what we're getting into with a Michael Bay film, and in particular the fourth installment of this blockbuster series. We're familiar with the pitfalls, the vapidity, the ideological murkiness, »
- Adam Cook
Michael Bay is the personification of a pinata. He’s this bright, garish, candy filled monstrosity which people take way too much pleasure taking swings at. Critics might talk about how bad his success is for filmmaking, but they’re pleased as punch every couple of years when his latest sensory overload experience hits the big screen so they can whip out their bat and shine it up for a good old-fashioned beat down. I never found much pleasure in the mob mentality or standing idly by as everyone screams ‘crucify him’. It’s unfortunate because with the fourth Transformers movie he’s slyly delivered something deep and meaningful under the guise of a Summer blockbuster.
Mark Wahlberg’s Cade Yaeger is a down on his luck would be inventor trying to »
- Anghus Houvouras
Independence Day was released in the Us 18 years ago today. Ryan looks at its ongoing impact on how summer movies are made and marketed...
In 1990, Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin were Hollywood outsiders. Devlin was a young New York-born actor who'd appeared in a few TV shows and movies, such as the 1985 comedy, Real Genius. Emmerich was a German filmmaker whose credits consisted of low-budget films such as The Noah's Ark Principle (1984), and Hollywood-Monster (1987). Emmerich's 1990 film, Moon 44, was about pilots defending mining colonies with space-faring helicopters, and featured a glum-looking Malcolm McDowell.
Dean Devlin was also among Moon 44's cast, and it was here that he forged a partnership with Emmerich: Devlin hated Moon 44's dialogue, so he went and wrote his own. Within two years, they'd made their first film together - Universal Soldier, written by Devlin, directed by Emmerich, and produced by Carolco. »
In a new book by Ed Catmull, who is the co-founder of Pixar, it's revealed that back in 1985, a full decade before Pixar's first animated movie "Toy Story," the company was in serious negotiations to be acquired by General Motors. At the time, the car company was intrigued with Pixar, which was not an animation studio, but a computer division of Lucasfilm that created a unique way of modeling objects. Gm wanted to take that technology and apply it to designing cars. Gm partnered with Philips to pay George Lucas $15 million for Pixar and then there would be an injection of another $15 million that would be used to enhance Pixar's operations. But the deal never happened. It's not clear why, but Pixar executives were upset that Gm ultimately reconsidered just one week from the date of acquisition. Instead, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs stepped in to help Pixar become the animation studio it is today. »
Can you imagine a moviegoing world without the films from Pixar? No "Toy Story," no "Monsters, Inc.," no "Finding Nemo," no "Cars," no "Up"? The upcoming, fantastic-looking "Inside Out" never happening? According to a new book by Pixar co-founder Ed Catmull, that unthinkable scenario was almost a reality.
In his management book "Creativity, Inc.," Catmull revealed that back in 1985, the animation start-up was almost purchased by General Motors, which wanted to buy the company to help develop and design new automobiles. At the time, Pixar wasn't known for its animation -- "Toy Story," the world's first feature-length animated movie, was still 10 years off -- but more for its technology as the computer division of Lucasfilm.
Gm had planned to partner with electronics giant Philips to co-purchase Pixar for $15 million, plus an additional $15 million in seed money. Per AutoBlog.com:
"General Motors was intrigued because we were leading the way in the modeling of objects, »
- Katie Roberts
Directed by Michael Bay.
Starring Mark Wahlberg, Stanley Tucci, Kelsey Grammer, Nicola Peltz, Jack Reynor, Titus Welliver, Bingbing Li and featuring the voice talents of Peter Cullen, Frank Welker, John Goodman, Ken Wantanabe, and Mark Ryan.
An automobile mechanic and his daughter make a discovery that brings down the Autobots – and a paranoid government official – on them.
Transformers: Age of Extinction is a near three-hour headache, only with less plot and more idiocy. Have you ever woken up with a hangover that starts off bad and then just gets worse and worse throughout the day with no signs of stopping? That is Transformers: Age of Extinction in a nutshell: a hangover that just won’t go away.
Replacing the charisma vacuum in the leading role this time around is Marky Mark Wahlberg, who plays a poor father/inventor who happens to stumble upon and purchase »
- Luke Owen
Summer blockbusters are far from an exact science, but for the most part, there are two constants you can rely on year in and year out: Michael Bay loves to blow things up, and critics love to take down his movies. But much like Optimus Prime and the Autobots continuing to fight for humanity after swearing off it in every single "Transformers" movie, we just can't seem to help ourselves from coming back to these movies again and again.
And so, "Transformers: Age of Extinction" marks the fourth film in Bay's blockbuster franchise and the start of a whole new trilogy starring a new human cast. Picking up four years after the events of "Transformers: Dark of the Moon," Decepticons and Autobots alike are being hunted down by a CIA Transformer death squad called Cemetery Wind (apparently all the cool black ops names were already taken). But the tides turn »
- Rick Mele
Where do I begin? Maybe I should begin by woefully admitting that this review won’t make a difference. Maybe it’ll sway some to see or not to see (is that the question?), but in the overall financial scheme of things Transformers: Age of Extinction is likely to rake in Autobot-loads of cash in this seemingly empty summer movie season and render my opinion of it null and void against the almighty dollar. These movies are perfect examples of what David Foster Wallace called—and I’m paraphrasing here— the Inverse Gross and Quality Law, meaning the higher a big budget film grosses the shittier it essentially is. It’s a law preternaturally built for these Michael Bay Transformers movies, because they are invariably popular and, on the whole, mostly terrible. Age of Extinction is no different.
Does it really matter what this one is about, other than robots fighting each other? »
- Sean Hutchinson
Writer-director Leigh Whannell just announced on Twitter that Dermot Mulroney will star in Insidious: Chapter 3, the latest pic in the franchise produced by Jason Blum’s Blumhouse, Oren Peli and James Wan. Plot and character details are being kept under wraps but the threequel also stars Jem and the Holograms‘ Stefanie Scott, who was cast earlier this month. Focus Features has set an April 3, 2015 release date in the U.S. Shooting begins July 7. Mulroney, repped by Wme, was most recently in August: Osage County and the Steve Jobs biopic Jobs. »
One of the most immediate pleasures of flying to Hong Kong to cover the release of "Transformers: Age Of Extinction" was sitting down with the always-charming Stanley Tucci to talk about his role as "Excellent character actor screaming at the CGI robots." As I said in my review, these are really weird movies. I am still baffled by John Malkovich in the third film. There's an entire scene in that film where I can't even fully describe what it is he's doing. I went back recently just to look at that moment, and it looks like Malkovich is on Ecstasy and that he's fixated on one of the robots, practically rubbing himself against it. It's bizarre. I'm not sure about the entire role that he played. He has a deeply strange opening scene, and it just seems to get weirder from there, like the entire perverted "Three's Company" bathroom scene. »
- Drew McWeeny
Sony Pictures is in negotiations with screenwriter Aaron Sorkin to adapt Michael Lewis' best-selling book Flash Boys. This will be the second book by Lewis that Sorkin will adapt into a screenplay. Moneyball was another book that he worked on from the author.
The story deals with the "practice of high-frequency trading on Wall Street and how it became a way to rig the system. Lewis' book revolves around a group of men on Wall Street including Sergey Aleynikov, a one-time programmer for Goldman Sachs, and Brad Katsuyama, the founder of Iex, the Investor's Exchange."
Sorkin is one of the most talented screenwriters working today, and this is the kind of movie that is right up his alley. I'm sure he'll have a lot of fun developing it.
- Joey Paur
Though it has lingered in the development caverns since Warner Bros. bought the rights four years ago, the adaptation of Ernest Cline’s great novel Ready Player One is still a going concern. The Incredible Hulk screenplay man Zak Penn is now aboard to re-write the script.Cline, who co-wrote the screenplay for Fanboys, has already had a crack himself, and Eric Eason also took a pass. But now the studio wants Penn to push the script to a point where it can be sent to directors, with plenty of filmmakers already expressing an interest. Penn and Cline already have a connection: they became friends recently, joining forces to help excavate a haul of buried E.T. video games from the New Mexico desert.Ready Player One follows teenager Wade Watts who likes to escape his dreary, dangerous real world by logging into Oasis, a globally networked virtual utopia where users lead idyllic alternate lives. »
The non-fiction book, which was acquired by Sony Pictures in April, follows a group of stock brokers, who discovered that their high-frequency trading could be used to rig the stock market. The group included former Goldman Sachs programmer Sergey Aleynikov and Brad Katsuyama, the founder of Investor's Exchange (Iex). The book was published on March 31, and became an overnight best-seller.
Scott Rudin and Eli Bush are producing for Sony Pictures. The producers have previously collaborated with Aaron Sorkin on The Social Network, his HBO TV series The Newsroom and their upcoming Steve Jobs biopic, which Danny Boyle is directing.
Aaron Sorkin is in negotiations to adapt Michael Lewis' novel "Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt" for Sony. This would be the second Lewis book the Oscar-winning screenwriter adapted for the studio, having previously worked on Moneyball (for which he earned an Oscar nomination). Flash Boys delves into "the practice of high-frequency trading on Wall Street and how it became a way to rig the system." While Lewis' book centers on one-time Goldman Sachs programmer Sergey Aleynikov, and Investor's Exchange (Iex) founder Brad Katsuyama, among other Wall Street folks, it's unclear how close Sorkin's adaptation would hew. Hit the jump for more. THR reports that Sorkin is in negotiations to adapt Flash Boys. Sony acquired the rights to the non-fiction bestseller back in April. Scott Rudin and Eli Bush are producing the film through Rudin's first-look deal at the studio. He's worked with Sorkin before on Moneyball, The Social Network, »
- Dave Trumbore
From Super Mario Bros to Devil May Cry, we delve into the past to pick out 7 games that changed considerably as they were developed...
The complex process of making a game requires the coordination of programmers, artists, designers, musicians and accountants. It's little surprise, then, that things can change drastically over the course of the months or even years it takes to make a game, and history is littered with examples of this.
Take, for example, Team Fortress 2, a shooter that went through multiple iterations and even changes in art style before the final version became a popular success. There are far, far too many other examples to list here, so what we've done is whittle our selection down to the ones we either found the most interesting or the most significant from a historical point of view.
It's fair to say that, without most of the »
Nicky, the “sexual Steve Jobs,” and Boo are officially having a Bang-Off, and the funniest part might be that they got Chang — who does not care about prison politics at all — to officiate. This season already feels a little bit lighter and more fun than last; I’m not into this show for its ability to make me feel good, but I like that the show doesn’t take itself too seriously. I like that this show pays attention to its fans without pandering to them (I’m looking at you, last season of Doctor Who). Vee seems to be setting up a long con, but there are no threats or real dangers popping up yet, so everyone is just settling into their roles. Piper is upset that she’s only worth 3 points out of 10 in the Bang-Off, but, as Boo pointed out, she did fuck her worst enemy, so »
- Danielle Henderson
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