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11 items from 2016

'Lights Out' is shaping up to be the horror sleeper of the summer

24 June 2016 12:44 PM, PDT | Hitfix | See recent Hitfix news »

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

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Watch The Trailer For Fascinating Kim Jong-Il Kidnap Doc ‘The Lovers & The Despot’

20 June 2016 8:15 AM, PDT | The Playlist | See recent The Playlist news »

If you thought that filmmakers would shy away from making films about North Korea and its dictator leaders after Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg’s “The Interview” instigated a devastating hack on Sony Pictures from the nation, you… thought mostly right. Hollywood scrambled to cancel a number of North Korea-themed projects, with a Gore Verbinski/Steve Carell […]

The post Watch The Trailer For Fascinating Kim Jong-Il Kidnap Doc ‘The Lovers & The Despot’ appeared first on The Playlist. »

- Oliver Lyttelton

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Fox Shifts "Predator," "Alita" Release Dates

28 May 2016 2:05 PM, PDT | Dark Horizons | See recent Dark Horizons news »

In the wake of "The Maze Runner: The Death Cure" being delayed almost an entire year, 20th Century Fox has done some shuffling of its release schedule and handed out fresh dates for a bunch of projects.

The most notable is Shane Black's restart of the "Predator" franchise which will be going out earlier than expected. Originally slated for a March 2nd 2018 release, the film is now being moved up a few weeks to a February 9th 2018 opening opposite "Fifty Shades Freed" and one week ahead of Marvel's "Black Panther".

Producer James Cameron's "Alita: Battle Angel" has also finally been given a release date with the film targeting a July 20th 2018 opening. Fox had originally slated an untitled Blue Sky animate feature for that slot, but have yanked it with no new date set just yet. The film is also set to precede a comic book film by »

- Garth Franklin

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25 underappreciated family movies of the last 20 years

26 May 2016 8:09 AM, PDT | Den of Geek | See recent Den of Geek news »




From Flushed Away and Hunchback to Titan A.E. and Sky High - the family movies that don't get the love they deserve...

When I sit through a film such as Zootropolis, Rango, Frozen, Wreck-It Ralph, Eddie The Eagle or Coraline, I can’t help but be thankful somebody has bothered. As a parent as well as a movie lover, I’ve grown to really dislike family movies that just turn up to act as a surrogate babysitter for 90 minutes, with no intention of becoming anybody’s favourite film. The films I'm going to talk about are the family movies therefore that I think both try and do something a bit more, yet continue to fly under many people's radar. 

A bonus mention before we get going, and number 26 in the list, much to my surprise: Alvin & The Chipmunks 4. I was expecting next to zero from it, courtesy »

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Brad Weston exits New Regency

2 May 2016 12:18 PM, PDT | ScreenDaily | See recent ScreenDaily news »

The president and CEO is to depart the financer-producer on the back of the $500m-plus global success of triple Oscar-winner The Revenant, the company has confirmed.

Weston served in his role for four-and-a-half years and in that time steered other hits like best picture Oscar winners 12 Years A Slave and Birdman, and last season’s contender, The Big Short.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, which broke the story on Monday morning, Michan’s son Yariv Milchan, who has served as a consigliere to his father, will play a more hands-on role alongside president of production Pamela Abdy and COO Jonathan Fisher until a replacement is found.

Given that New Regency is enjoying a rich vein of form and the apparent sense of fondness in statements issued by Milchan and Weston on Monday, it would appear the arrangement was mutual and possibly had been in the works for a while.

“I appreciate Brad’s contribution to New Regency »

- (Jeremy Kay)

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Brad Weston Departs as CEO, President of New Regency

2 May 2016 10:35 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Brad Weston is departing as president and CEO of New Regency after five years on the job, a decision the executive was said to have made jointly with the company’s founder, Arnon Milchan.

New Regency had a winning creative run during Weston’s tenure, taking best picture Oscars for “12 Years A Slave” and “Birdman” and multiple awards for last year’s “The Revenant.”

The company said it would be in strong hands going forward, led by Milchan’s son, Yariv, and by chief operating officer Jonathan Fischer and president of production Pam Abdy. A new management structure has not been set.

“I appreciate Brad’s contribution to New Regency over the last four and half years and I wish him absolutely nothing but the best going forward,” Milchan said in a statement. “I am very committed to New Regency’s growth and will continue to invest in its future. »

- Dave McNary

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Phedon Papamichael Eschews Visual Flash for Authenticity, Humanity

20 April 2016 10:00 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Phedon papamichael might not have the name identification of such fellow directors of photography as Emmanuel “Chivo” Lubezki or Roger Deakins, but his status among his peers is no less elite. He has brought out the best in directors like Alexander Payne, James Mangold and Gore Verbinski. And he has demonstrated a mastery of several genres, from psychological thrillers to dramedies, from biopics to Westerns, from arthouse curios to mega-budget blockbusters.

If cinematographers like to think of themselves as chameleons, Papamichael prides himself on an oeuvre in which no two movies look alike.

“It’s not really applying a style, it’s really adjusting to the story,” says Variety’s latest Billion Dollar Cinematographer. “Not just that, it’s really saving all those decisions — (involving) the performances and locations and actors — until you have all the elements unfold in front of you the moment you’re about to do it. »

- Steve Chagollan

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Hans Zimmer Retires From Superhero Films

30 March 2016 2:12 PM, PDT | Dark Horizons | See recent Dark Horizons news »

Following extensive and memorable work on all three of Chris Nolan's Batman films, Zack Snyder's "Man of Steel" and even "The Amazing Spider-Man 2," composer Hans Zimmer has announced to the BBC that he is retiring from doing music for superhero movies.

Speaking with The BBC, Zimmer says: "I did 'Batman Begins' with Chris [Nolan] 12 years ago, so 'The Dark Knight Trilogy' might be three movies to you, to me it was 11 years of my life."

Zimmer was initially reluctant to return for "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" though ultimately did as he collaborated with Junkie Xl on the music. Still, it seems that it was the film that led to his decision that he'd had enough: "This one was very hard for me to do, to try to find new language."

That's not stopping Zimmer from composing for films, far from it. Right now Zimmer »

- Garth Franklin

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10 Worst PG-13 Horror Films Since 2000

23 February 2016 2:50 PM, PST | Obsessed with Film | See recent Obsessed with Film news »

Lions Gate

Is it too much to hope for in a multiplex horror movie that it’ll deal with adult themes, have a few memorable lines and won’t be shot like a music video? Yes, it is, so the most you can ever hope for is a visceral thrill.

If nothing else, the so-called “torture porn” fad delivered that, but far more profitable (and hence attractive to studios) was the trend for PG-13 horror pictures. When The Sixth Sense made $672 million worldwide, making it one of the highest grossing horror films of all time, studios interpreted its success as a sign that non-restrictive ratings were key in developing the next blockbuster. They were seemingly proved correct when, a few years later, Gore Verbinski’s remake of The Ring made nearly $250 million worldwide.

As studios rushed to find material that wouldn’t tax the average adolescent overmuch, the trend initiated »

- Ian Watson

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Producer Talks New "Strangers," "The Ring"

21 February 2016 10:16 AM, PST | Dark Horizons | See recent Dark Horizons news »

Two horror film franchises that seemingly finished up a while back are being revived this year - the Liv Tyler and Scott Speedman-led home invasion thriller "The Strangers" which had its one film in 2008, and the Naomi Watts-led haunted tape film "The Ring" which had a sequel back in 2005.

The plan was for "The Strangers" sequel to shoot all the way back in 2012, but this week producer Roy Lee confirms with Collider that the project has been stuck in a holding pattern due to the mess regarding Relativity Studios' very public financial insolvency issues:

"We have a script that's fantastic, but they've had some financial difficulties so it's unclear as to whether or not they'll be able to finance the movie... It's connected [to the first film] in the sense of 'What if you moved into an area where the Strangers lived?'"

Then there's "Rings," the third film in "The Ring" series. »

- Garth Franklin

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Movie Review: The Forest

8 January 2016 4:15 AM, PST | Destroy the Brain | See recent Destroy the Brain news »

“Hang on… yeah, no, we’re definitely lost.”

When I use the phrase “J-horror,” what comes to mind? More than likely, you think of Sadako from The Ring; a Japanese school girl with long hair disguising her horrible face, lurching towards you from inside a TV screen. There’s a good reason for that; Gore Verbinski’s 2002 adaptation of Ringu ignited a pop culture mania in the United States for J-horror adaptations, leading to The Grudge and Dark Water, both commercially successful in their own rights (though critically panned). These films were both accompanied by and followed by an onslaught of English remakes of J-horror films, as well as sequels to the now iconic The Ring and The Grudge. Few, if any, of these are films that what even a generous horror fan would call “worthwhile.”

As of 2010, the trend of J-horror adaptations has subsided in favor of our own ghost stories, »

- Chris Melkus

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