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Classic mystery conventions have provided fertile creative ground for any number of young American filmmakers in recent years, as evidenced by Rian Johnson’s “Brick,” Aaron Katz’s “Cold Weather” and now Lawrence Michael Levine’s “Wild Canaries.” Starring Levine and Sophia Takal (his wife and regular collaborator) as a sort of hipster Nick and Nora Charles investigating the shady goings-on around their Brooklyn apartment building, this craftily structured yet playfully loose-limbed detective yarn provides a canny narrative template for another of the writer-director’s low-budget studies of relational turmoil (following 2011′s “Gabi on the Roof in July”), its occasional descent into shrill bickering largely offset by the filmmakers’ palpable delight in their choice of material. Far too eventful, plot-driven and frankly fun to be classified as mumblecore, “Canaries” can only build on Levine’s audience; it could catch on with savvy indie filmgoers, particularly those with an affection for the genre being saluted. »
- Justin Chang
Have you ever dreamed about what it might be like to relive the same day over and over again in an endless search for the perfect 24 hour period of existence? Of course you haven't, for that is the plot of much-loved Bill Murray/Harold Ramis comedy classic Groundhog Day, and each and every possible hilarious scenario has already been played out for you via one of the sharpest and most intuitive scripts of all time.
Edge of Tomorrow, 20 minutes of which was screened for bloggers and film journalists at an event in London earlier this week, is like Groundhog Day with stringy aliens and Tom Cruise. Admittedly, there are a few other minuscule differences between Doug Liman's upcoming sci-fi piece and its forebear: Cruise is using his unusual predicament »
- Ben Child
Back in October, the long-planned Masters of the Universe live-action reboot was dealt a blow when director Jon M. Chu (G.I. Joe: Retaliation) chose to leave the project to focus his efforts on another 80s toy adaptation with G.I. Joe 3, but now it looks like Sony and Escape Artists are closing in on a new filmmaker to take us to Eternia.
According to Justin Kroll of Variety, Mike Cahill (Another Earth) and Jeff Wadlow (Kick-Ass 2) are on the short list for the movie, while The Wrap is also suggesting that Harald Zwart (The Karate Kid) and Chris McKay (editor of The Lego Movie) are also in the frame. These aren't the only names we've heard as potential candidates, with Joe Cornish (Attack the Block), Rian Johnson (Looper), Andy Muschietti (Mama), Kirk DeMicco and Chris Sanders (The Croods), and Phil Lord and Chris Miller (21 Jump Street) all rumoured back in January. »
- Gary Collinson
Since Jon M. Chu decided not to direct Masters of the Universe for Sony Pictures, the hunt has been on for a new filmmaker to head up the adaptation of the classic 1980s animated TV series and remake of the live-action 1987 film.
McKay doesn’t actually have any directing credits due to the fact that he has yet to helm a studio movie. However, having served as the editor (and animation supervisor/co-director) of the highly successful The Lego Movie, he seemingly has just a good a chance as the other names listed here. They could all bring something extremely different to the table, and Sony will have to choose wisely, especially as they’re hoping to build a »
- Josh Wilding
Sony Pictures' Masters of the Universe has lined up a new list of directors.
The reboot of the Mattel adaptation is once again gathering pace, according to The Wrap and Variety's Justin Kroll.
Among the listed contenders are Mike Cahill (Another Earth), Jeff Wadlow (Kick-Ass 2), Chris McKay (The Lego Movie editor, Robot Chicken) and Harald Zwart (The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, the Karate Kid reboot).
GI Joe: Retaliation's Jon M Chu had signed up for the project before abandoning it last year.
A host of other directors have previously been rumoured for the film, including Joe Cornish, Rian Johnson, Andy Muschietti, Kirk DeMicco and Chris Sanders (The Croods), and Phil Lord and Chris Miller (The Lego Movie).
News Simon Brew 27 Feb 2014 - 07:03
The shortlist of directors for the new Masters Of The Universe film has some interesting candidates on it...
Plans remain afoot to bring back He-Man to the big screen, in a reboot of Masters Of The Universe. Previously, the project had Jon M Chu attached, although he's now committed to making another G.I.. Joe movie for Paramount.
Since then, the likes of Rian Johnson and Joe Cornish have been linked to the film, although it seems that news of their involvement was very premature. Because the shortlist it seems is now down to four, and their names aren't on it.
The four directors on the shortlist are Mike Cahill, Jeff Wadlow, Harald Zwart and Chris McKay. Cahill was the man behind the impressive Another Earth, whilst Wadlow helmed last year's Kick-Ass 2. Harald Zwart successfully rebooted The Karate Kid, and Chris McKay was »
The news comes from Variety reporter Justin Kroll who says the final decision about said to come around next week.
This is a very different list to last month's reported 'short list' of helmers which included Rian Johnson ("Looper"), Joe Cornish ("Attack the Block"), Andres Muschietti ("Mama"), Phil Lord and Chris Miller ("The Lego Movie") and Kirk De Micco and Chris Sanders ("The Croods").
- Garth Franklin
For better or worse, turning your favorite childhood memories into big-budget blockbusters is all the rage in Hollywood these days and the next beloved property on the chopping block is Masters of the Universe. Sony is trying hard to put the mediocre 1987 film behind them and reboot the franchise but it has proven to be rather difficult.
Back in November, G.I. Joe director Jon M. Chu dropped out to go work on G.I. Joe 3 and the script immediately underwent another rewrite, this time from The Lone Ranger scribe Terry Rossio. The film still seems to be moving forward, however, as we just got word that five directors are on the shortlist to helm the project.
The shortlist is as follows:
- James Garcia
Variety reporter Justin Kroll revealed on his Twitter account today that filmmakers Mike Cahill (Another Earth) and Jeff Wadlow (Kick-Ass 2) are on the short list to direct Masters of the Universe for Universal Pictures, with a final decision said to come as early as next week.
— Justin Kroll (@krolljvar) February 26, 2014
No decisions on that but one should be coming in the next week #stopteasingyourscoops
— Justin Kroll (@krolljvar) February 26, 2014
Another report from The Wrap adds that Chris McKay, who served as the editor of The Lego Movie, and Harald Zwart (The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones) are also in contention for the directing gig. Despite never having directed a feature, Chris McKay is said to have the most momentum at this time.
When Jon M. Chu (G.I. Joe: Retaliation) dropped out of directing Columbia’s live-action reboot of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, names such as Joe Cornish, Rian Johnson, and Phil Lord and Chris Miller were rumored as possible replacements. But it seems none of those guys made the shortlist, as the following gentlemen are said to be in line to helm the project. There's not much to go on yet, but here's the Tweet from Variety's Justin Kroll Btw, Mike Cahill and Jeff Wadlow are on the short list for Masters Of The Universe— Justin Kroll (@krolljvar) February 26, 2014 Apparently we'll have a decision next week. Cahill directed the pretty great 2011 sci-fi drama Another Earth, as well as another sci-fi flick which received slightly mixed reviews from this year's Sundance Film Festival, I, Origins. Jeff Wadlow of course directed Kick-Ass 2 and was in line to helm Fox's X-Force movie. »
About a week ago we reported that two actors were in contention for the coveted role of Kyle Reese in director Alan Taylor’s upcoming film, Terminator: Genesis. Those actors were A Good Day To Die Hard star Jai Courtney and relative unknown Body Holbrook (Hatfields &McCoys). At the time, it was suspected that Holbrook was the frontrunner for the role. Today, however, it’s being reported that the studio has gone with Courtney. He will join the film alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger (returning as the titular killing machine), Game of Thrones alum Emilia Clarke as Sarah Connor and Zero Dark Thirty star Jason Clarke (no relation) as John Connor.
This fifth instalment in the Terminator franchise has been in the works for several years now, mostly due to legal troubles after The Halcyon Company filed for bankruptcy in 2009. The rights were then picked up by Annapurna Pictures in 2011, and after »
- James Garcia
Maximilian Schell dead at 83: Best Actor Oscar winner for ‘Judgment at Nuremberg’ (photo: Maximilian Schell ca. 1960) Actor and filmmaker Maximilian Schell, best known for his Oscar-winning performance as the defense attorney in Stanley Kramer’s 1961 political drama Judgment at Nuremberg died at a hospital in Innsbruck, Austria, on February 1, 2014. According to his agent, Patricia Baumbauer, Schell died overnight following a "sudden and serious illness." Maximilian Schell was 83. Born on December 8, 1930, in Vienna, Maximilian Schell was the younger brother of future actor Carl Schell and Maria Schell, who would become an international film star in the 1950s (The Last Bridge, Gervaise, The Hanging Tree). Immy Schell, who would be featured in several television and film productions from the mid-’50s to the early ’90s, was born in 1935. Following Nazi Germany’s annexation of Austria in 1938, Schell’s parents, Swiss playwright Hermann Ferdinand Schell and Austrian stage actress Margarete Schell Noé, »
- Andre Soares
Hollywood has lost a legend today, with Austrian-born actor Maximilian Schell passing away at 83 years old. While the actor's film debut came opposite Marlon Brando and Montgomery Clift in "The Young Lions," it would be his performance in his second movie that would bring him worldwide attention. As the only actor brought over from the Playhouse 90 TV production of "Judgment At Nuremberg" to the feature film version directed by Stanley Kramer, Schell's turn in the iconic film as the defense attorney landed him an Oscar win (he would be nominated twice more for "The Man In The Glass Booth" in 1975 and "Julia" in 1977) and from there, he didn't look back. The actor's work, which spanned both feature films and television, found him appearing in a wide range of roles, including everything from "The Odessa File" and "Topkapi," to "John Carpenter's Vampires" and "Deep Impact," to working with newer auteurs »
- Kevin Jagernauth
Though not the scene of as much glitz and glamour as some of other awards shows, the Directors Guild Awards has nevertheless been a steady pointer to which of the talented film overseers is likely to score the directing gong when Oscar night rolls around. Alfonso Cuarón's Academy Awards hopes therefore got boost on Saturday night, when he took home the film award for his efforts on Gravity.While The Square’s Jehanne Noujaim notched a win for documentary, the TV movie and drama categories provided largely predictable triumphs for both Steven Soderbergh with Behind The Candelabra and Breaking Bad. On the Breaking Bad front, we do have to admit some surprise that the superlative Ozymandias wasn’t even nominated, given the great job Rian Johnson did on it, but we’re pleased to see Vince Gilligan getting some appreciation for wrapping everything up in Felina.The full list »
Since netting an Oscar nomination for her astonishing performance as a troubled deaf teenager in Alejandro González Iñárritu's "Babel," Japanese actress Rinko Kikuchi has remained active on the English language film front, appearing in Rian Johnson's crime caper "The Brothers Bloom," Guillermo del Toro's "Pacific Rim" and "47 Ronin," opposite Keanu Reeves. At Sundance, Kikuchi is receiving some of the best reviews since her breakout turn for her lead performance in the Zellner brothers' oddball odyssey, "Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter." In the narrative competition contender, set both in Japan and the U.S., Kikuchi plays Kumiko, a reclusive woman living in Tokyo whose only friend is her bunny rabbit Bunzo and who becomes convinced that the satchel of money buried in the Coen brothers' classic "Fargo" is, in fact, real. Using her boss' credit card, Kumiko books a flight to the Minnesota wilderness to embark on a quest to find the hidden treasure. »
- Nigel M Smith
Last night at the Sundance Film Festival, Joseph Gordon-Levitt premiered the first three episodes of his innovative new variety show, HitRecord on TV, featuring short films, skits, songs, animations, live performances and stories that were crowd-sourced from hundreds of collaborators. But you could be forgiven for thinking that he could do it all himself: Not only does the star of Looper and (500) Days of Summer host the show with sunny, dapper, Fallonesque optimism, he plays piano and drums, tap-dances a musical number with Tony Danza, writes and sings song lyrics, »
Mondo has unveiled a couple of great new movie posters for Rian Johnson's Brick and Spike Jonze's Where the Wild Things Are. The posters were created by artists Matt Taylor and Ken Taylor. I enjoy the prints that Mondo releases, and it baffles me that studios don't commission artists like them to do design awesome art for their movies. Cool looking, big budget movies deserve amazing posters, not the crap that the studios are rushing out to us. Make sure to follow @MondoNews.
- Joey Paur
In the first episode of Joseph Gordon-Levitt's new Pivot series "HitRECord on TV," the actor and sometimes director is nearly jumping off the screen in excitement. That, he explains, is because he really is that thrilled about this project.
"It certainly is a great deal of wish fulfillment for me, this show. It's a long time coming," Gordon-Levitt tells Zap2it and a group of reporters at TCA 2014 winter press tour. "If you notice that I'm excited, it's because I am."
HitRECord, an online collaborative production company, was originally started by Gordon-Levitt in 2005 with his brother Dan Gordon-Levitt as a way for them to post videos. They later relaunched the site in January 2010 at Sundance Film Festival as a medium for others to take part in this community of collaborators whose joint mission was to work together to create new art. Jgl makes it clear in HitRECord's mission statement »
"You're not really a king, are you?" These are gorgeous. Mondo has debuted two new art prints for two beloved (cult classic) films, both of them by artists with the last name "Taylor". One of our favorite artists, Ken Taylor, has designed a wonderful print of Max & Carol from Spike Jonze's whimsical take on Where the Wild Things Are. The film was highly praised by critics, but didn't fare so well at the box office in 2009. The other poster by Matt Taylor is for Rian Johnson's directorial debut Brick, featuring Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Instead of the blue theme from the film, this one goes for a red motif, and it works very well. These prints will go on sale on Thursday, January 16th via MondoTees.com if you're interested in one. Up first, Ken Taylor's Where the Wild Things Are print - 21"x36" screen print. Edition of 350. $50 each. »
- Alex Billington
Odd List Ryan Lambie Simon Brew 16 Jan 2014 - 06:20
Another 25 unsung greats come under the spotlight, as we provide our pick of the underappreciated films of 2005...
It's underappreciated films time again, and this week, we delve deep into the year 2005 - a collection of months dominated by the likes of Star Wars: Episode III, another Harry Potter, Steven Spielberg's War Of The Worlds, Peter Jackson's King Kong, and CG family movie Madagascar.
It was also the year Pierce Brosnan formally bowed out of his role as James Bond, and Martin Scorsese's The Aviator was hyped to win the director his first Oscar, but didn't. Still, the contents of this list received nothing like the acclaim of The Aviator, nor the financial pickings of a Star Wars or Harry Potter. As ever, we've focused on 25 films which we think deserve a bit more love.
So with apologies to »
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