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“What are we talking about? I’m lost,” says Paul Thomas Anderson midway through a lunch interview, as he runs a hand quizzically through his unkempt brown hair. It’s a reminder that a conversation with Anderson can be akin to one of his own movies: a jam-packed jostle of characters, ideas, exuberant digressions and narrative curlicues that somehow align to form an inimitable whole. Still picking through his appetizer course, Anderson has already held forth on his love for Lena Dunham, “The Hunger Games,” his inability to read books that friends give him as gifts, and his habit of walking on the outer edges of his feet. But mostly, we are talking about “Inherent Vice,” Anderson’s seventh feature film — the first-ever authorized screen adaptation of a novel by National Book Award-winning author Thomas Pynchon.
The movie, bowing Dec. 12 in limited release, and opening wide Jan. 9, returns Anderson to »
- Scott Foundas
Photographer Phil Stern, who was responsible for some of the most intimate portraits of Hollywood stars, including Marilyn Monroe, James Dean, John Wayne, Marlon Brando, Frank Sinatra, Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart, died Saturday, his rep confirmed. He was 95.
Director and longtime friend Brett Ratner posted about the news on Instagram early Sunday.
Stern worked as a special still cameraman on films ranging from “Guys and Dolls” to “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” and his work appeared in the magazines Life, Look and Vanity Fair, among others. He also contributed photography for albums by Liza Minnelli, Ella Fitzgerald and Count Basie.
Stern also photographed President Kennedy’s inauguration.
He fell in love with the art of photography long before he captured the famous faces on film. »
- Shelli Weinstein
I’m happy to present a survey of recently published film and show-business-related books in order to spread the word, especially during this gift-giving season. These are not reviews, as I’ve only had time for a quick skim, but I feel confident that all of the following are worth your time and money. And yes, there are more to come…so stay tuned. Cecil B. DeMille: The Art Of The Hollywood Epic by Cecilia de Mille Presley and Mark A. Vieira; introduction by Martin Scorsese; foreword by Brett Ratner (Running Press) This lavishly produced book is worthy of its subject: a giant volume celebrating the work of a man who looms over film history, larger than life. Historian and photographer...
[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]] »
- Leonard Maltin
Paramount, have you been hitting the eggnog a little too hard this holiday season? In 2009, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science expanded the number of films in its Best Picture Of The Year category from five to 10, but for Transformers: Age of Extinction to be considered, the category would need to expand so much so it would resemble Santa's naughty list. Even though the odds aren't in Paramount's favor that hasn't stopped them from issuing a "For Your Consideration" campaign that asks members of the Academy to consider Michael Bay's latest Transformers film in the Best Picture Of The Year category. The studio also launched "For Your Consideration" campaigns for Noah, Hercules, Men, Women & Children, Interstellar, The Gambler and Selma. Almost all of those films are being pushed in the Best Picture Of The Year category as well, except for Brett Ratner's Hercules. For that film, »
Check out the video below to watch 14-minutes of deleted scenes from Brett Ratner's action-adventure film, Hercules. Come see more of John Hurt, Ian McShane, Joseph Fiennes, and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson in the titular role. The film was loosely-based on Steve Moore's graphic novel, Hercules: The Thracian Wars, which was published by Radical Comics in 2009. Everyone knows the legend of Hercules and his twelve labors. Our story begins after the labors, and after the legend. Haunted by a sin from his past, Hercules has become a mercenary. Along with five faithful companions, he travels ancient Greece selling his services for gold and using his legendary reputation to intimidate enemies. But when the benevolent ruler of Thrace and his daughter seek Hercules’ help to defeat a savage and terrifying warlord, Hercules finds that in order for good to triumph and justice to prevail… he must again become the »
★☆☆☆☆Hollywood has made a habit of reappropriating myths and fairytales, setting about debunking and demystifying them for modern audiences. The latest such icon to undergo this particular treatment of refinement is the son of Zeus himself, the mighty Hercules (2014). Dwayne Johnson might ably fill the demigod's armour but the story labours to fill in the man behind the legend, putting a tired modern twist on his famous adventures. Based on a graphic novel by comics scribe Steve Moore, this is an attempt to ground the character in historical epic. Sadly, director Brett Ratner actually devalues one of the most enduring of heroes, turning a potential fun fantasy thrill ride into homogeneous rubbish.
- CineVue UK
When it came to bringing the Lernan Hydra, Erymanthean Boar, Nemean Lion, Cerberus, Centaurs, and three half-starved, savage blood-caked wolves to life, the Herculean labour was given to Double Negative. “One of the interesting things I found about this story was playing the myth versus the reality,” states Double Negative Visual Effects Supervisor Ryan Cook when discussing Hercules (2014) directed by Brett Ratner (Rush Hour). “They recount the story of the feats of Hercules to intimidate their foes and to have them lay down their arms. Brett was quite insistent that all of the creatures had to be photo-real. It was trying to set a bar that was fantastical but plausible.” Amongst the 240 shots created was the Hydra Sequence. “The design »
- Trevor Hogg
Released on Monday 1st December, you can bring home the ultimate tale of strength and valour when Hercules is released on Blu-ray, 3D Blu-ray and DVD!
Director Brett Ratner has re-imagined the inspiring mythological adventures of the infamous half-man, half-god in this exhilarating epic, with the awesome Dwayne Johnson as the mighty Hercules in this thrilling story of fearlessness, courage and heroism. When a terrifying new enemy threatens the innocent people of Thrace, Hercules and his fearless team of warriors must lead their army in a battle against overwhelming odds. Hercules includes a sensational cast of acclaimed actors including Ian McShane, Joseph Fiennes, Rufus Sewell, and John Hurt.
When Hercules begins to doubt the King’s noble intentions, he is faced with an impossible choice between his life and his honour. Can our hero live up to his legendary name to uncover the truth and protect the innocents?
Check out this awesome new featurette:
- Dan Bullock
“Our team at The Third Floor provided close to thirty minutes of previs over eight sequences,” states The Third Floor Previsualization Supervisor Joshua Wassung as to work contributed to Hercules . “This was our first collaboration with Brett Ratner [Rush Hour]; he was referred to us and came to visit and talk about his vision for the film. We clicked pretty quickly and began work the next week!” There was a regular line of communication with the American filmmaker and John Bruno (The Abyss) who was the visual effects supervisor for the project. “We collaborated directly with Brett on the ground in Los Angeles and held reviews regularly with him via Skype and cineSync while he was on location in Budapest. »
- Trevor Hogg
“We first got involved with Hercules  back in 2007,” explains Weta Workshop Senior “Designer Paul Tobin. “At the time, Hercules was a Radical Comics character who has appeared in two limited series The Thracian Wars and The Knives of Kush, both written by Steve Moore with Cris Bolsin on art. We were approached to help produce some design and artwork to help pitch the story as a feature film. Fast forward to 2012 and the long held dream of bringing their Hercules to the big screen became a reality and we were invited to once again offer up some design and artwork but this time for production.” Tobin remarks, “We had »
- Trevor Hogg
The date is also International Holocause Remembrance Day.
The film revisits the project from decades ago that involved Sidney Bernstein, Richard Crossman and Alfred Hitchcock to tell the story of the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps; footage from 1945 is used extensively.
The harrowing documentary will be shown on Channel 4 (UK), HBO (Us), Arte (Germany/France), Ard (Germany), Tvp (Poland), Vpro (The Netherlands), Channel 8 Hot and Keshet TV (Israel), Dr (Denmark), Rtvslo (Slovenia), Yle (Finland), and Nrk (Norway). Midas will distribute in Portugal.
Tel Aviv-based Cinephil handles international sales.
The 75-minute film is a UK-us-Israel-Denmark production.
Night Will Fall had a work in progress screening at the 2014 Berlinale. »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Wendy Mitchell)
Andre Singer’s doc “Night Will Fall,” the story about the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps as WWII wound down, will be broadcast globally on Jan. 27, the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau and Intl. Holocaust Remembrance Day.
The film, produced by Sally Angel and Brett Ratner, will air on HBO in the U.S., on German-French channel Arte, Ard in Germany, Channel 4 in the U.K., Tvp in Poland, Vpro in the Netherlands, Channel 8 Hot in Israel, Denmark’s Dr, Rtvslo in Slovenia, Yle in Finland and Norway’s Nrk. Pic will also be distributed in Portugal by Midas Filmes.
“Night Will Fall” screened at the Berlinale as a work in progress earlier this year, and has played as several festival since then, including Sheffield Doc/Fest and Cph:dox. The film explores how a team of filmmakers, including Sidney Bernstein, Richard Crossman and Alfred Hitchcock, came »
- Carole Horst
Jennifer Aniston reprises her role as a sex-addicted dentist in New Line’s “Horrible Bosses 2,” which hosted its L.A. premiere at the Tcl Chinese Thursday. Although Aniston clearly relishes playing against type, her character’s outrageous behavior and the on-set improvisation sometimes pushed her into awkward territory. (Variety‘s review, however, remarked that Aniston was “game as ever.”)
— Dave McNary (@Variety_DMcNary) November 21, 2014
Jason Sudeikis had a ready (and mature!) answer for whether he’d ever had a horrible boss. “No, not really, because I got what I deserved. I was not into those jobs the way I should have been,” he explained.
'Who hasn't had a horrible boss? »
- Dave McNary
The news comes just four months after Warner Bros. entered talks to acquire the rights to this novel, which takes place over a two-decade period. The story follows a 13-year-old boy who loses his mother during a bombing at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art. The boy ends up surviving the explosion and steals the famous Carel Fabritius painting The Goldfinch. He ends up being taken in by an Upper East Side family before reuniting with his alcoholic birth father, who takes him to Las Vegas.
Nina Jacobson (The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1), Brett Ratner (Tower Heist) and Bradford Simpson (World War Z) are producing the adaptation. The book was first published last fall, and has been on the New York Times best seller list for 39 weeks.
The book was published last fall and has been on the New York Times bestseller list for 39 weeks.
The story, which takes place over two decades, follows a 13-year-old boy who loses his mother in a bombing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He survives the explosion, steals the Carel Fabritius painting the Goldfinch, gets taken in by an Upper East Side family and eventually reunites with his father, an alcoholic gambling addict who takes him to Las Vegas.
Warner Bros. bought movie rights to Tartt’s first novel, muder mystery “The Secret History,” several years ago.
Straughan is repped »
- Dave McNary
In the “original trilogy” of X-Men movies, Famke Janssen was Bryan Singer and Brett Ratner’s Jean Grey. She was a force to be reckoned with, and she wore a heck of a lot of red. On the other side of the Jean-Scott coin, James Marsden’s Cyclops had enough cheek and charm to throw off Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) as a rival for Jean Grey’s attentions.
But that was then. This is now. Let’s get into some Days of Future Past spoilers.
With X-Men: Days Of Future Past rebooting the X-Men timeline and essentially erasing everything that happened in X-Men: The Last Stand, it makes sense that Janssen and Marsden are back, casually talking to Logan at the end of Days of Future Past as if nothing happened.
In that scene, however, it’s clear that this is when Professor Xavier is much older (and more bald) – as »
- Sasha James
In the words of the big man himself, Dwayne Johnson was born to play Hercules. With apologies to Kellan Lutz, there's only one man in Hollywood these days that could convince audiences that he bested the Nemean Lion, beheaded the Lernaean Hydra, and beat back the Erymanthian Boar, and that man is The Rock. Unfortunately, Brett Ratner's take on the Hercules legend chose not to explore the hero's twelve labors, but to adapt Steve Moore and Admira Wijaya's graphic novel, "Hercules: The Thracian Wars." Perhaps if that had been communicated more clearly in the film's marketing, audiences (and maybe even critics) would have given Hercules more of a chance, since it's a surprisingly fun action-adventure film that lets Johnson swing away while surrounding him with a strong supporting cast. Now that the film's available on Blu-ray, you can check it out for yourself. Hit the jump for our Hercules Blu-ray review. »
- Dave Trumbore
The single biggest flaw within director Brett Ratner’s vision of Hercules is one that came from a self-conscious decision to create a Hercules story that is grounded in reality. While that is an interesting concept, the frustration comes from the fact that the movie was marketed as a fantasy inspired adventure where the titular character completes the Twelve Labors. Instead, what we got is a movie that not only rushes through those trials and tribulations in a five minute montage opening sequence, but one that attempts to debunk every piece of mythology as the film goes on.
This means that the remaining 90 minutes or so are a painfully generic narrative about Hercules and his friends as a group of mercenaries for hire. Not exactly the kind of Hercules movie I imagine people wanted to see, especially when it stars Dwayne Johnson as the mythical demigod; a man who truly »
- Robert Kojder
Major Us broadcasters are developing more than 20 TV adaptations of feature films as they follow the example of their cable counterparts.
Us pay-tv networks have recently found success with the likes of Fargo and Teen Wolf, and have lined up further adaptations of Scream (MTV), Twelve Monkeys (Syfy), Shutter Island (HBO) and Sam Raimi’s The Evil Dead (Starz).
Traditional networks - ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC and The CW - are now getting involved and have struck deals for adaptations of well-known films including Big, Minority Report and The Devil’s Advocate, as well as more niche films such as John Ritter’s Problem Child and Val Kilmer’s Real Genius.
The networks have ordered scripts for the 20-plus adaptations and will decide which projects to pilot by January. Those taken to series will likely be ordered in May for an autumn 2015 launch.
UK consultancy firm Tape monitors the Us development process for a number of UK broadcasters »
The Santa Clause is 20 years old today—and while the series spawned a trilogy of family-friendly holiday films, we can't forget the franchise's dark origins. Tim Allen's Scott Calvin becomes Santa Claus by accidentally causing the original St. Nick to fall to his doom. Sure, the film pushes a "seeing is believing" message and includes plenty of warm and fuzzy holiday cheer—but it still starts off with the death of Santa Claus. The Santa Clause isn't the only movie to put a dark spin on the holiday season; there's a long and storied cinematic history of strange, bleak, »
- Jonathon Dornbush
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