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In a medium founded on expanding one’s imagination and perception of reality, no genre does it better than science fiction. We’ve come a long way from the days when Georges Méliès took us to the moon, for today’s filmmakers look far beyond our universe and into the deepest corners of our soul to reflect the current society.
With the latest entry in the Star Trek franchise arriving in theaters this week, we’ve set out to reflect on the millennium’s sci-fi films that have most excelled. To note: we only stuck with feature-length works of 60 minutes or longer and, to make room for a few more titles, our definition of “the 21st century” stretched to include 2000.
Check out our top 50 below and let us know your favorites in the comments. We’ve also put the list on Letterboxd to keep track of how many you’ve seen. »
- The Film Stage
16 years ago today was (arguably) the beginning of the modern superhero movie era. Even if you give that distinction to Spider-Man or Iron Man, it’s undeniable that the first X-Men movie paved the way for the proliferation of caped heroes in Hollywood today. In 2000, the only other superhero movies released were negatively received comedies The Specials and Citizen Toxie: The Toxic Avenger IV, and M. Night Shyamalan’s Unbreakable — a superhero movie in a time before they could be baldfaced superhero movies. Now, everyone wants in on the superhero genre, which is now producing the buzziest and most lucrative blockbusters of 2016. The ninth and most recent X-Men movie, Apocalypse, ultimately delivered disappointing numbers in the ever-more-crowded superhero line-up, but that didn’t stop Fox from ordering a pilot for what looks to be a series based in the X-Men world. Other notable July 14 happenings in pop culture history: • 1966: »
- Emily Rome
How many times have you come out of a theater after seeing a great movie and said,”oh I want to see that again!?” We all have our favorites that we return to time and time again. Friday night always seems the perfect time too. You’re relaxing after a week of school, activities and work and you unwind with a comfortable favorite film.
Wamg has our own personal favs. You’ll find blockbusters on our list…just because it invokes the fun memories of seeing it for the first time in the theater…with friends/family…then non-stop gabbing about wanting to see it again.
Looking for the perfect movie for a Friday Night? Check out our list below!
Meatballs Four words – “It Just Doesn’t Matter!”
- Movie Geeks
Deadline has reported that Steven Spielberg's production company, Amblin Entertainment, has just closed a deal to pick up a script entitled The Fall. The script was written by Pete Bridges, and went out just before the 4th of July holiday, and the deal only just the closed, the outlet reported.
The film follows a newly-divorced couple and their kids as they try to survive an alien invasion in Atlanta, Georgia.
Bridges himself, isn't much of a name in Hollywood just yet. He's described by Deadline as an Australian writer who was discovered via an online contest. His spec script Resurface made the Black List, which is a list of unproduced scripts that are believed to have serious promise.
The Fall is by no means a new or innovative concept. If you'll recall, back in the mid-2000s, Amblin Entertainment produced The War Of The Worlds, a film with almost exactly the same exact synopsis. »
- Joseph Medina
Bella Thorne’s meteoric rise to the Hollywood big leagues continues today, now that the singer-cum-actress has agreed to terms to headline Break My Heart 1,000 Times, a big-screen adaptation of Daniel Waters’ eponymous novel.
The elevator pitch for Waters’ Ya book champions a mixture of the melodramatic tenets found in The Fault in Our Stars with The Sixth Sense, M. Night Shyamalan’s supernatural cult classic. No word yet on who Thorne is playing in Break My Heart 1,000 Times, but we understand the story “is set after a cataclysmic event has torn the barrier between our world and the next, leaving Remnants — ghostlike essences of the deceased — part of everyday life. After years of quiet coexistence with the living, »
- Michael Briers
Turner Network media brands TBS and TNT have renewed three original series currently airing on the networks: the critically acclaimed TNT drama Animal Kingdom, the new TBS series Wrecked and the hit TBS comedy Angie Tribeca.
Wrecked ranks among cable's Top 25 scripted series for the year-to-date and is the #1 new cable comedy among adults 18-49.
Angie Tribeca's second season premiere delivered cable's largest increase of adults 18-49 (+41%) for a returning comedy this year.
Animal Kingdom is pulling in a young audience profile and has been on an upward trajectory since its premiere.
- Carissa Pavlica
“Hello, Boils and Ghouls” was a typical opening salvo from The Crypt Keeper, the wraparound host (and animatronic cadaver) of HBO’s inventive, creepy and more often than not, mordantly funny salute to the EC Comics of yesteryear, Tales from the Crypt (1989 – 1996). Throughout seven seasons, viewers were subjected to as much gore, nudity, and twisted morality as we could handle. God (or his underworld counterpart) bless premium cable.
Tales ran from June 10th, 1989 to July 19th, 1996, for a grand total of 93 episodes. That’s a lot of grue to ingest, and until ratings started to slip by Season Six, horror fans found it easy to lap up. And as with any anthology series, mileage varies and quality flickers to and fro – but Tales from the Crypt’s success is anchored in the very fact that it was allowed to live, and thrive, for as long as it did.
The show »
- Scott Drebit
When the trailer for David F. Sandberg’s Lights Out played in front of a recent general-audience screening for The Conjuring 2 that I attended, I started to feel for the first time that Sandberg might really be onto something with the film, a low-budget horror flick with an ingeniously simple premise: a vicious spirit that can only be seen (and, presumably, hurt you) in the dark. To borrow a phrase from Hitchcock: the trailer played the crowd like a piano. Lights Out is based on Sandberg’s short film of the same name, which went viral after hitting YouTube back in 2014. The three-minute clip ultimately caught the attention of Hollywood horror maestro James Wan, who came on board to produce a feature-length version of the short and even recruited some of his key creative partners (including Furious 7 cinematographer Marc Spicer) to the cause. "This guy has what it takes, »
- Chris Eggertsen
Tim Griffin reprised his role of Adam Hassler for the sophomore season of Wayward Pines, which Griffin says was never meant to be. Tim Griffin On ‘Wayward Pines’ M. Night Shyamalan envisioned Wayward Pines as an event series, one that would go all out for just 10 episodes in order to provide a quality production […]
- Chelsea Regan
We always knew they were coming back. After Independence Day redefined the event movie genre, the next epic chapter delivers global spectacle on an unimaginable scale. Using recovered alien technology, the nations of Earth have collaborated on an immense defense program to protect the planet. But nothing can prepare us for the aliens’ advanced and unprecedented force. Only the ingenuity of a few brave men and women can bring our world back from the brink of extinction.
Looking for some otherworldly films to check out before you head out to the cinemas on Friday? Have a look at Wamg’s list for Alien Invasion Movies To See Before Independence Day: Resurgence!
Earth Vs »
- Movie Geeks
Director M. Night Shyamalan is helping to bring back Tales From the Crypt. The anthology series, which aired on HBO from 1989 to 1996, is coming to TNT. It was originally reported the reboot was inspired more by the 1950s comic book of the same name created by William Gaines and Al Feldstein than HBO’s adaptation, but now it sounds […]
The post TNT’s ‘Tales From the Crypt’ Reboot Is Crowdsourcing For New Stories appeared first on /Film. »
- Jack Giroux
Users of the online publishing platform Wattpad could actually help shape the next iteration of the Tales from the Crypt franchise in a deal unveiled via The Hollywood Reporter on Monday. In a new pact with Turner, TNT and its sister network TBS will source content from the service for its upcoming series, and Crypt -- which is slated to premiere on TNT next year -- will serve as a test case for the idea. According to THR, Wattpad's two million-strong stable of writers will be invited to submit story ideas for the show via "contests and other venues" that could potentially be optioned by the network for future storylines. "We're especially excited to kick off our collaboration with a focus on TNT's Tales from the Crypt horror block, which will tap into Wattpad's strength in the horror genre," said TBS and TNT senior vice president, digital ventures Justin Williams in a statement. Executive-produced by M. Night Shyamalan, the new Tales from the Crypt will feature an all-new iteration of the Crypt Keeper that was originally voiced by John Kassir. The reboot series will anchor a new two-hour horror block on TNT. »
- Chris Eggertsen
If there’s one thing that’s always fascinated mankind, it’s space, and just what could be “out there” — and what aliens might want from us.
That fascination has spurred countless alien invasion movies, including “Independence Day,” which sees its sequel, “Independence Day: Resurgence” debuting June 24. It’s only one of the extraterrestrials v. humans movies to hit theaters over the years.
What’s your favorite movie depicting aliens making their way to Earth? Did you appreciate “Men in Black’s” (which, like “Independence Day,” included Will Smith) light-hearted touch, or appreciate M. Night Shyamalan’s spooky spin with “Signs”? Note that every alien movie isn’t necessary an “alien Earth invasion” movie, hence why a classic like Ridley Scott’s “Alien” didn’t make the poll.
Weigh in below. Of course, we couldn’t fit every alien invasion movie below, so if there’s one we missed, let us know in the comments below.
- Variety Staff
Wattpad has established itself as a home for amateur writers who wish to share their stories with the world. Now, thanks to a new deal, some of those writers will see their work aired on TV. Wattpad has announced a partnership with Turner to adapt some of its best stories for broadcast on TBS and TNT.
The first project Wattpad and Turner will undertake together will relate to Tales From The Crypt, M. Night Shyamalan and TNT’s upcoming reboot of the former HBO series of the same name. Contests and other “opportunities” launched by the Wattpad team will identify the platform’s best writers, who will earn a chance to create horror stories for Tales’ weekly block of programming. After the Tales tie-in, Wattpad is expected to launch more projects related to TBS and TNT programs.
The partnership with Turner is one of the first major deals Wattpad has announced since it launched Wattpad Studios earlier in 2016. "There are many ways we can help the entertainment industry zero-in on new voices and stories with massive, built-in fan-bases. Through our partnership with Turner, Wattpad's powerful insights, roster of influential writers, and hyper-engaged community of fans will help define the new scary," said Aron Levitz, head of Wattpad Studios, in a press release. "The eagerly-anticipated Tales from the Crypt horror block marks the future of television where leading networks source content from fans and build programming together with the audience."
Visit Tubefilter for more great stories. »
- Sam Gutelle
At 63, Tony Kaye is plotting another comeback. Although he’s always been an award-winning director of commercials and music videos, his feature career is a study in scorched earth. His last feature was five years ago; before that, he shot “Black Water Transit,” which was never finished. And then there’s his debut, a masterpiece riddled with production woes called “American History X.”
That track record leads to perceptions that it’s impossible to take Kaye seriously — but that would be a mistake.
Studios may view him as a flustered and frustrating eccentric, but Kaye remains a rare breed — an outlaw artist working through one hurdle after another, beaten but not broken, and always ready to rise again. While virtually every American studio movie reflects some kind of compromise, truly unfiltered creative visions are rare. At a time when we could use more committed independents, we don’t hear from Kaye nearly enough.
That’s about to change, and while his characteristic brashness is still evident, he said he’s learned a bit of restraint. “We’ve all got demons inside of us,” he explained in a recent phone interview. “I’ve gotten rid of mine — or got them under control.”
His chosen vehicle to showcase that rehabilitation is “Stranger Than the Wheel,” Kaye’s first feature-length project since 2011’s “Detachment.” Last fall, Kaye announced on Facebook that Shia Labeouf would star in the self-financed film.
He’s wanted to make this movie for decades. In the early ’90s, Kaye was a popular director of commercials and music videos (he won a Grammy for Soul Asylum’s “Runaway Train” video). But his goal was to make movies. “Stranger Than the Wheel” was one of three scripts he considered for his debut (another one was written by a newcomer named M. Night Shyamalan; the third was “American History X”).
Written by Joe Vinciguerra, “Stranger Than the Wheel” is the story of a young man who struggles to reconnect with his estranged father. “It’s a kind of serial drama about isolation, alienation, and alcoholism,” Kaye said recently, clearly relating — even if he hadn’t lost his father in recent years, Kaye would identify with the character’s alienated state.
In April, Kaye announced the departure of his lead via email, with the subject line “Shia Labeouf Qu!T.” (“Tony and I rolled around and wrestled an idea together,” Labeouf explained by email. “We shot a test. But in the end, we are not making a film together.”) Now the film will star Evan Ross (“The Hunger Games”). Kaye has been shooting test footage, and plans to begin production later this summer, with the stated (if unlikely) goal of finishing the picture in time for the fall festival circuit.
Or, all of this could be a preamble for more of the same. Eighteen years ago, “American History X” was also gearing up for a fall showcase — the Toronto International Film Festival offered it a prime slot — when Kaye flew across the country to meet with festival CEO and director Piers Handling. Claiming New Line Cinema had made changes to the film without his permission, Kaye asked Handling to refuse the studio’s version and show his cut instead.
“He was eccentric, opinionated, and had a very strong sense of what he wanted to do,” Handling recalled, noting that Kaye brought a small digital camera with him to their meeting and recorded the whole conversation. Handling talked to the studio about showing Kaye’s version, but instead, the company pulled the movie from the lineup.
While artistic temperaments are often part of the filmmaker package, Kaye is a breed apart. He’s the kind of Hollywood aberrant whom the corporate-overlord studio system has all but bred out of existence. “Tony doesn’t play that game,” Handling said. “He always wants to do things on his own terms.”
That’s an especially dicey proposition in 2016, an age in which every facet of the entertainment industry is deathly allergic to risk. Anyone concerned about the bottom line would be wary of Kaye’s track record when it comes to managing a responsible production.
During production on “American History X,” Kaye went to war with his star, Edward Norton, declaring him unfit for the part. (He later received his second Oscar nomination.) Kaye hired a priest, a rabbi and a Buddhist monk to join a meeting with New Line executive Michael De Luca. Editing was a protracted process and, after Kaye completed a cut the studio liked, he demanded eight more weeks to radically reimagine the film.
When New Line refused, Kaye began trashing the movie; he threatened to remove his credit and replace it with “Humpty Dumpty.” (That has since become the title of an unfinished documentary about the production that Kaye hopes to release.) Then came the Toronto showdown.
When it was all over, Kaye had earned the outright ire of New Line, the DGA, and the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers; everyone else was confounded. After that, things didn’t get easier. While he won a lifetime achievement award for his advertising work in early 2001, that fall, Marlon Brando hired Kaye to direct a series of acting workshops. The filmmaker showed up dressed as Osama bin Laden, shortly after 9/11, infuriating everyone involved.
A year later, he confessed his major regret in an article for The Guardian. “I thought I was upholding the old movie industry traditions of strutting around, picking fights with the studio and being the fly in everyone’s ointment,” he wrote. “I had passion — you have to give me that. But I was, it has to be said, a spectacular pain in the ass.” These days, he describes his previous setbacks as the result of “desire for self alone.”
Whatever his current emotional state may be, his existing filmography speaks on its own terms. If there’s an overarching theme to Kaye’s work, it’s his ability to deliver achingly real portraits of America’s fractured communities.
Kaye’s antics make it almost too easy to dismiss his filmmaking outright — as this writer did initially, with “Detachment.” The vulgar tale of a disgruntled public high school instructor (Adrien Brody) struck me as a shrill riff on “Half Nelson.” At Kaye’s urging, I took a second look, and found that “Detachment” is more than theatrics surrounding student-teacher relationships: it’s a tender investigation into what it means to feel utterly helpless while battling institutional dysfunction.
But nothing in Kaye’s filmography demonstrates his vision more cohesively than “Lake of Fire,” the haunting black-and-white encapsulation of abortion debate in America that Kaye spent decades assembling. From its visceral imagery of abortion operations to the angry protestors, the film conveys an operatic vision of anger and frustration rendered in expressionistic terms.
Kaye realizes it’s his most coherent achievement to date. “I don’t know how I made that movie,” he said.
“There are some people who don’t really fit into the Hollywood structure,” said Handling. “Tony’s one of those guys. He’s a renegade, an outsider — not unlike Orson Welles.” And like Welles, Kaye’s sensibility extends beyond the fits of ambitious projects, some more polished than others. The man is indistinguishable from his movies.
Kaye has remained an accomplished commercial artist. The money he makes on ads enable him to self-finance his films. He also recently completed work for the virtual reality company Jaunt on a six-part series, “Pure McCartney,” which features McCartney at home discussing his relationship to five different songs. Kaye spoke emphatically about the possibilities of the new technology. “It’s this incredible process of carrying the viewer into a solitary experience,” he said.
Kaye described his current inspirations as ranging from Jackson Pollock to David Lean, whose “Lawrence of Arabia” epitomizes the kind of sprawling drama Kaye hopes to create. “I’ll get there,” he said, and hopes to do it with “Stranger Than the Wheel.”
His new star is thrilled at the prospect. “I’m generally just excited about anything Tony Kaye does,” said Ross, who has already been shooting footage for the project around Los Angeles. “I don’t think I’ve worked with a director like him who can just put incredible things together.”
Kaye shared his vision with IndieWire via multiple emails, showcasing photos of ink-blotted pages filled with fractured images from his planning sessions for the film: a raggedy school bus, some kind of giraffe-bird mashup, an impressionistic sketch of his leading man, the quixotically named Faunce Bartleby.
“I think I am real,” he wrote at one point. At another, he noted that he planned to turn “Stranger Than the Wheel” into a musical — “a dramuzical epic,” as he wrote in an email. At times, he sounded off about his resistance to industry standards, noting his frustration over a recent big studio film he attended with his kids. “These perpetrators of pollution people should not be allowed to work!” he wrote.
Will Kaye succeed in bringing his visions to the world? If not, it won’t be for lack of trying. While he has struggled with a stutter over the years, the impediment was barely discernible in recent conversations. Kaye has no trouble formulating the case for his latest efforts.
“I’ve got something marvelous here,” Kaye said of his new project. “Don’t worry: I want it to be a hit.”
Related storiesTony Kaye Returns With 'Stranger Than The Wheel' Starring Shia Labeouf'American History X' Director Tony Kaye Says He's Still In Director's JailDaily Reads: Going Deep on Mark Wahlberg, How Pop Culture's White Supremacists Validate Lone-Wolf Racism, and More »
- Eric Kohn
TNT's revamped Tales From the Crypt is generating fresh horror ideas on the web. The anthology television series will utilize genre trends and story material from free online fiction site Wattpad, home to 45 million active users and roughly 20 million uploaded stories per month, The Wall Street Journal reports.
As part of the newly announced partnership, Turner Broadcasting will incorporate data from the Wattpad community to pinpoint emerging horror subjects and sub-genres – and even specific stories from contributors – for the new M. Night Shyamalan-produced series. TNT and sister network TBS »
Turner’s TNT and TBS are teaming with Wattpad, an online community for users to share and read original stories, to give Wattpad’s 45 million users the chance to have their works adapted by the networks for TV, digital and mobile platforms.
The first project under the partnership will be for TNT’s “Tales From the Crypt” horror block from executive producer M. Night Shyamalan, slated to premiere in 2017. Working together they will also extend their collaboration to sourcing content for both TNT and its sister network TBS. TNT and Wattpad will invite writers to submit story ideas through the official Turner profile on Wattpad related to “Tales From the Crypt.”
In addition, under the pact, TNT and TBS will gain access to Wattpad data and analytics to help identify promising talent and trends across genres.
“Our partnership with Wattpad is a perfect intersection of content and fan engagement, where fans actually have the chance to directly influence and, in some cases even have their material optioned and developed by our networks,” Justin Williams, senior VP of digital ventures for TNT and TBS, said in a prepared statement. The initial collaboration for “Tales From the Crypt” will tap into “Wattpad’s strength in the horror genre,” he added.
The Turner deal comes after Wattpad’s formation this spring of Wattpad Studios, which operates like multichannel network and is aimed at striking deals with entertainment companies to co-produce stories shared on Wattpad for TV, film, print and digital platforms. Wattpad Studios is headed by Aron Levitz, previously the company’s head of business development.
“Through our partnership with Turner, Wattpad’s powerful insights, roster of influential writers, and hyper-engaged community of fans will help define the new scary,” said Levitz.
TBS and TNT’s development teams will review stories submitted via Wattpad with an eye toward discovering ideas for television, digital and/or mobile platforms. The networks will then work with Wattpad to share story ideas and other material with Wattpad users to receive feedback. UTA represented Wattpad on the Turner deal.
In a separate Wattpad-fueled project, YouTube star Grace Helbig launched “Writing with Grace” with the story-sharing service in March as part of At&T’s HelloLab series. Helbig enlisted her fans to use Wattpad to write a “crowdsourced novella” for the eight-episode weekly web series on her YouTube channel.
Wattpad says more than 2 million writers share something every month on the platform, with over 250 million uploads to date. More than 24 hours of reading material is posted to Wattpad every minute, and active users spend an average of 30 minutes per day on the service.
Toronto-based Wattpad, founded in 2006, has raised $66.8 million in funding to date from investors including August Capital, Golden Venture Partners, Khosla Ventures, Northleaf Capital Partners, Omers Ventures, Raine Ventures, Union Square Ventures and W Media Ventures.
- Todd Spangler
Back when M. Night Shyamalan’s Lady in the Water came out in 2006, a lot of people jokingly referred to it as a remake of Ron Howard’s 1984 film Splash, about a man who falls in love with a mermaid. Now, ten years later, it appears that a legitimate remake of Splash is actually in […] »
The story centers on a habitual teenage delinquent who’s expelled from yet another school and finds himself hauled off to Gafin Academy, a reform school that’s host to thieves, bullies, arsonists and vandals. Rather than rehabilitating the students, the academy uses them to pull off a massive heist.
The Dowdles co-wrote, directed and produced “No Escape,” starring Owen Wilson, Pierce Brosnan and Lake Bell. John Dowdle directed 2010’s “Devil,” based on the story by M. Night Shyamalan with Drew Dowdle and Shyamalan producing for Universal.
Principal photography is set to commence in the fall, »
- Dave McNary
There are a few problems following success. First thing is how to repeat that without copying beat for beat whatever came before. Your options are limited and involve calculated risk, plain risk or reinvention. From a network perspective the latter is a non-starter as it would mean capturing that lightening one more time, which unless you’re Chuck Lorre or Vince Gilligan is impossible. Option two is mix it up, as in back or forward in time and go prequel on its arse. This is your calculated risk which brings back familiar elements but introduces them differently. Think Back to the Future even though, if we’re honest, part three was always the weakest instalment.
Then we come to the option which showrunners have chosen with Wayward Pines for season two. That beat for beat, rehash, rejig, ridiculously lame reintroduction of the same old story. »
- Amie Cranswick
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