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Tastes change. Not just those of the moviegoing public, who’ve gotten so wise to the sales pitches and story formulas that the town has had no choice but to adapt, propelling a self-aware superhero movie, “Guardians of the Galaxy,” above the likes of Cap and Spidey at the box office, and making sly, meta-minded directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller — responsible for ultra-blockbuster “The Lego Movie” and wink-wink sequel “22 Jump Street” — the hottest helming duo in town. But over time, critics’ tastes change, too.
In February, I relocated from Los Angeles to Paris, to take up my new post as Variety’s chief international film critic. As you can imagine, my diet underwent a radical upheaval — and I’m not talking about crepes and chocolate mousse, either. What I wasn’t prepared for was how swiftly my moviegoing palate might adapt to this new post.
I’d been raised on junk-food American fare, »
- Peter Debruge
Critics in the UK obviously aren't immune to the charms of "Boyhood," as the film did well with the London Film Critics Circle. Now the Dublin Film Critics Circle has named it the year's best across the channel. The group also revealed its long lists throughout the categories, giving you some insight into which films were in the running. (Personal shout-out to my friends who made the documentary "Showrunners," which got a little love on the documentary list.) Check out the full list of winners below and watch it all unfold at The Circuit. Top 10 Films 1. "Boyhood" 2. "Under the Skin" 3. "Ida" 4. "The Lego Movie" 5. "12 Years a Slave" 6. "The Grand Budapest Hotel" 7. "Two Days, One Night" 8. (Tie) "Her,""Leviathan" 9. "The Wolf of Wall Street" 10. (Tie) "Blue Ruin" and "The Lunch Box" Best Director 1. Richard Linklater, "Boyhood" 2. Jonathan Glazer, "Under the Skin" 3. Pawel Pawlikowski, "Ida" 4. Spike Jonze, "Her" 5. Wes Anderson, "The Grand Budapest Hotel" 6. Andrey Zvyagintsev, »
- Kristopher Tapley
Of this year’s success stories, the confirmation of the A-list status of directing duo Phil Lord and Chris Miller should rank high on the list. First there was the unbridled triumph of this past February’s “The Lego Movie,” followed by the surprisingly great “22 Jump Street.” With only a couple of weeks left in 2014, the directing team aims for 3–0 with their take on the hot Ya genre. Okay, so Lord and Miller aren’t actually making a Ya adaptation but instead are sending up lucrative category with a fake movie called “MoonQuake Lake.” Used as a running joke in Will Gluck’s update of “Annie,” the fake film boasts Mila Kunis, Ashton Kutcher, and Rihanna as members of its cast. Slashfilm found a short trailer of the fake film on a viral site made for Gluck’s very real film. Watch the trailer for “MoonQuake Lake”—which features RiRi »
- Cain Rodriguez
One of the most memorable parts of Annie is when she gets to go to the movies and experience watching an exciting story unfold right in front of her on the big screen. In the 1982 version of Annie -- which is set in the early '30s -- Annie goes to the theater to watch the classic Camille, starring Greta Garbo and Robert Taylor. In the 2014 update, due in theaters this weekend, Annie found herself at the movies to watch a film called Moonquake Lake. So what in the world is Moonquake Lake? Well, it's a fake movie (unlike the very real Camille) and it stars real-life couple Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis, among others. According to its equally-as-fake credits, it was directed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller, the guys behind The Lego Movie and 22 Jump Street, and based...
- Erik Davis
In preparation for the release of this week’s Annie, Sony have stepped up their marketing game. In what’s an interesting move by the studio – considering the family-friendly film it’s promoting – they’ve rolled out a website for teen sci-fi romance, MoonQuake Lake.
Of course, neither the site or its trailer are real. All a part of Sony’s hip advertising campaign, MoonQuake Lake is actually a film-within-the-film. In Annie, Jamie Foxx’s billionaire Will Stacks treats the young orphan (Qhvenzhane Wallis) and her friends to a trip to the cinema. One of the movies they decide to see is, you guessed it, MoonQuake Lake.
The faux-website materials for the film indicate that the slushy melodrama was directed by The Lego Movie and 22 Jump Street‘s Phil Lord and Chris Miller. A brilliant touch, but of course, everything you see onscreen in Annie was directed by the film’s helmer, »
- Gem Seddon
Phil Lord and Chris Miller have built up so much goodwill at this point, they could probably get audiences to watch anything. But even they may be testing their limits with MoonQuake Lake, a third-rate Twilight knockoff starring Mila Kunis, Ashton Kutcher, and Rihanna. Or rather, they might be pushing it if MoonQuake Lake were a […]
The post Lol: Lord and Miller’s ‘MoonQuake Lake’ Trailer Is a Perfect ‘Twilight’ Sendup appeared first on /Film. »
- Angie Han
The script centers on the upbringing and marriage of the woman who became the empress of Russia.
The annual lineup consists of the year’s best unproduced scripts in Hollywood as voted on by more than 250 studio execs. Previous alumni of the list include “Slumdog Millionaire,” “Argo,” “The King’s Speech,” “Foxcatcher,” “Whiplash” and “The Imitation Game.”
This year’s announcement was made by tweets with a YouTube link to a video announcement. Participants included Reese Witherspoon, Elizabeth Banks, Daniel Radcliffe, David Oyelowo, Rashida Jones, Will McCormack, Rian Johnson, Ava Duvernay, Damien Chazelle, Phil Lord & Chris Miller, Matthew Weiner and Billy Ray.
The first project announcement, presented by Nathan Fillion, was for “Professor Pasghetti” by Jeff Feuerstein. It centers on a famous children’s author with an affinity for drugs and hookers. »
- Dave McNary
Despite Sony's expensive, racially diverse take on classic musical "Annie" might be getting a critical drubbing (its Metacritic score currently hovers at 22 - ouch!), but there's at least one reason to go check out the big holiday release - the movie-within-a-movie called "MoonQuake Lake," starring Ashton Kutcher, Mila Kunis and Rihanna (also: sea serpents or something). Not convinced? Watch a trailer from the movie below.
"MoonQuake Lake" is a riff on "Twilight"-style supernatural forbidden love dramas (the fact that this is actually a subgenre and not something that I just made up has made me deeply sad), with Mila playing a woman who returns to the moon every night. She cries glowing tears and has to battle with scary sea creatures. Also Ashton Kutcher wears long necklaces and open shirts and breathes heavily. So really there's something for everyone.
The reason this trailer is so good is that it was directed, »
- Drew Taylor
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Online Film Critics' Society (Ofcs) announced its annual awards today, with Wes Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel taking Best Picture and two other awards, matched only by Birdman, for which Michael Keaton, currently considered an Oscar front runner, took the Best Actor gong. Richard Linklater received yet another Best Director accolade for Boyhood and The Lego Movie won Best Animated Film, a category in which it is already looking unbeatable. For writer/directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, it seems everything is awesome this awards season.
Those awards in full:-
Best Picture The Grand Budapest Hotel
Best Animated Feature The Lego Movie
Best Film Not in the English Language Two Days, One Night
Best Documentary Life Itself
- Jennie Kermode
Update: Times of London journo James Dean says that he did not report last Friday that Sony production had shut down because of hacking, even though his article was hotly refuted by Sony after it was aggregated around the world. Dean says he was talking about agencies that shoot for Sony, not actual Sony film productions. You decide if he is on the side of the angels. The headline: Sony ‘suspends filming’ after hackers hit payments. The opening paragraph: “The Hollywood studio that made the James Bond and Spider-Man films has abandoned shoots after hackers crippled its computer network, and leaked four films and thousands of documents.”
Next paragraph: “Agencies filming for Sony Pictures have cancelled shoots because the problems have left it unable to process payments, a source told The Times.”
There is no clarifying verbiage before the article fades out into an appeal to subscribe if you want to read further. »
- Mike Fleming Jr
The San Francisco Film Critics Circle has announced its 2014 awards. Boyhood takes Best Picture, Director (Richard Linklater), Supporting Actress (Patricia Arquette) and Editing (Sandra Adair). Birdman's won Best Actor (Michael Keaton), Supporting Actor (Edward Norton) and Best Original Screenplay. Pawel Pawlikowski's Ida has won Best Foreign Language Picture and Cinematography (Ryszard Lenczewski and Lukasz Zal). Laura Poitras's Citizenfour wins Best Documentary and Phil Lord and Christopher Miller's The Lego Movie wins Best Animated Feature. Best Production Design: Adam Stockhausen for The Grand Budapest Hotel. » - David Hudson »
The Sony hacking scandal has unleashed a serious mess. But within that mess, we.ve started to gain some valuable information, especially in the world of comic book movies. The latest leak involves key info on superhero film, Aquaman and it claims that the director has been chosen. An email from within Sony Pictures Entertainment suggests that Warner Bros. and DC have recruited indie director Jeff Nichols to direct Aquaman. The Daily Beast reports that an email dated October 21 from Michael De Luca, co-president of production for Columbia Pictures to Amy Pascal, co-chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment revealed directors for upcoming superhero films including Nichols for Aquaman and plans for Phil Lord and Chris Miller for a The Amazing Spider-Man 3 film. There hasn.t been much information on the solo Aquaman film to date, but we did already know it was happening. And we know who will star in it. »
Further information about the potential cinematic future of "Spider-Man" keeps trickling out this week. Today, The Daily Beast has posted some more.
It appears the studio is still pushing forward with ambitious spin-off plans. This would include a "female Spidey movie", and an "Avengers"-style team-up involving characters from different upcoming Spider-Man-related projects like "Sinister Six," "Venom" and a new standalone "Spider-Man" movie.
Suggestions reportedly under consideration include the new Spider-Man first appearing in "Captain America: Civil War," the avoidance of yet another origin story, the iconic story "Kraven's Last Hunt" from the comics being potentially adapted, and the studio possibly ditching a "teen Spidey" to explore a Peter Parker dealing with adult issues.
Part of the reason they are considering this team-up is that 20th Century Fox is rumored to be steering its "X-Men" film franchise and its upcoming "Fantastic Four" reboot to eventually come together for a team-up film. »
- Garth Franklin
Thanks to the "Sony Hack" (it really is the gift which keeps on giving!), we've heard that Sony want Phil Lord and Chris Miller to helm an animated movie set in the Spider-Man Universe for them And that they were among those being considered to direct a possible reboot. However, it has now been revealed that there were discussions between Sony execs in late October about them taking on The Amazing Spider-Man 3. Despite all this talk about Marvel crossovers and reboots with an adult Peter Parker, you have to remember that there's a very good chance that Sony will - unfortunately - forge ahead with their plans to make Sinister Six and Venom, with The Amazing Spider-Man 3 following shortly after. According to this email? That will be in 2018. This obviously means Marc Webb has been dumped or doesn't wish to return, but as this is simply one of »
Over the past week we’ve discovered a hell of a lot of information about Sony’s struggles with the Spider-Man franchise as information continues to make its way online via the Guardians of Peace hack into the studio.
If you’re struggling to keep track, first came the news that Marvel Studios had tried to reach a deal for Spider-Man to appear in Captain America: Civil War, along with reports that Sony had considered bringing Sam Raimi back into the fold, and were planning an animated movie from Phil Lord and Chris Miller (The Lego Movie) [details here]. This was followed by reports that Andrew Garfield has been effectively fired as Spidey, that The Sinister Six movie would see Spider-Man donning his black suit and Venom as the villain, and that a potential new reboot could be on the cards [details here].
Now, thanks to The Daily Beast, we’ve got some insight into this potential new reboot, »
- Gary Collinson
And so the Spider-Man saga continues. After hearing that Sony is seriously considering allowing Spidey to appear in Captain America: Civil War, and may also end up rebooting the property with the help of Marvel, we’re now learning some details on what exactly the studio has in mind for the reboot, should they go ahead with it.
Thanks to the recent Sony hack, new emails have surfaced that give us an idea of the plan for the proposed Spider-Man reboot. An email from Jeff Robinov, head of Studio 8, to Sony Pictures co-chairman, Amy Pascal, said the following:
“To argue that there’s plenty of other superhero movies with levity in the marketplace, so why make more Spider-Man movies, would be akin to saying there’s no room for James Bond films because of all the espionage films and franchises that have come out over the years. There will »
- Matt Joseph
Our weekly round-up of the latest news and talking points from the world of screen superheroes, including Spider-Man, Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Agent Carter, Doctor Strange, Guardians of the Galaxy 2, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, The Dark Knight Rises, Suicide Squad, The Flash, Arrow, Constantine, Krypton, Titans and more…
Just days after Stan Lee was quoted as stating that having Spider-Man, X-Men and The Fantastic Four as part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe was something that Marvel Studios “is very concerned about”, a flood of leaked emails from the Guardians of Peace hack into Sony arrived online, throwing up tonnes of details about the studio’s plans – or rather, lack of plans – for the wall-crawler. The biggest piece of news was the revelation that Marvel Studios tried unsuccessfully (for the time being, at least) to partner up with »
- Gary Collinson
Earlier in the week it was reported via leaked emails from Sony that the studio received an approach from Marvel about adding Spider-Man to the cast of 2016’s Captain America: Civil War, as well as sounding out the possibility of bringing Sam Raimi back into the fold, an animated movie from Phil Lord and Chris Miller, and Captain America: The Winter Soldier directors Joe and Anthony Russo offering to take over as producers on the series going forward. Well, more and more details are now emerging, this time concerning The Sinister Six, Venom, and how Spidey would have fit into Marvel’s plans, had negotiations between the two parties been successful:
– Amazing Spider-Man producer Matt Tolmach would like to have Venom (or Carnage) as the main antagonist in The Sinister Six, as he doesn’t feel the symbiote can hold his own movie (so bye-bye Venom: Carnage, by the »
- Gary Collinson
The emails from the hacked documents, obtained by Variety, show studio toppers Amy Pascal and Michael Lynton looking to animation “to turn the studio around.” They hoped to install a Pixar-style “brain trust” of filmmakers at the top of Sony Pictures Animation. Lord and Miller were being courted to head that group; other names being floated included Brad Bird.
Lord and Miller, who directed “The Lego Movie” as well as Spa’s “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs” and the studio’s “Jump Street” live-action comedy hits, met with Pascal last summer to discuss what such a brain trust might look like. Lord and Miller even suggested they would approach Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg to join that team. “Can you imagine that world — the projects, »
- David S. Cohen
This one likely will have to be filed in the "Wish List" bin, but it.s fun to dream about what could have been. On the heels of the news story that The Lego Movie co-directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller are contemplating an animated Spider-Man movie comes news that two other powerhouse comic-book titans almost produced a Web-slinging movie. Alas, it never happened. What went wrong? The information is part of this ongoing (and never-ending) Sony Pictures email leak. ComicBookMovie cites a Brazilian Web site, overtice.com, so we.re not exactly getting this from the trades who have been poring over the numerous Sony emails. But the site quotes Captain America co-directors Anthony and Joe Russo as conversing with Sony Chair Amy Pascal about the future of the Spider-Man franchise. According to the emails, the directors lament that the conversations about getting Web head in Captain America: »
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