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Nb: the following contains spoilers for Jurassic World.
For Universal, the success of Jurassic World is the $500m pay-off to a story which began well over a decade ago. Work on a third Jurassic Park sequel originally began after the release of Joe Johnston’s coolly-received Jurassic Park III way back in 2001, yet the film languished in a pre-production quagmire as writer after writer seemingly struggled to crack the story.
William Monahan (The Departed, Kingdom Of Heaven) was the first screenwriter to step up to the plate, announced at a time when Keira Knightley was reportedly in the running for a major role. Around that time, Jeff Goldblum and Richard Attenborough were also thought to be returning to their respective roles of Ian Malcom and John Hammond. »
“Jurassic World” stunned the movie business this weekend with its massive $204.6 million opening.
It’s the second-biggest debut in history and a sign that a franchise that appeared to have run out of gas 14 years ago, when “Jurassic Park III” petered out with $368.8 million at the global box office, has been reinvigorated.
So how did Universal Pictures, the studio behind the dinosaur thriller, pull off the cinematic comeback? Here are five key ingredients in the summer blockbuster’s success:
1.) Chris Pratt is a star. Period.
In an era of would-be leading men like Jai Courtney and Garrett Hedlund, Pratt shows what a true movie star looks like. After “Guardians of the Galaxy” proved he was an actor to watch, with his tongue-in-cheek work as a galactic adventurer drawing comparisons to Harrison Ford’s Indiana Jones, “Jurassic World” offers up a second major franchise to stick in his quiver. That’s »
- Brent Lang
Steven Spielberg doesn’t need Jurassic World to be a mega hit. We all know Mr. Spielberg has plenty of money. What’s another cent mean to Spielberg? Admittedly, his name has been on some projects that appear more monetary-driven, but that’s not the case with Jurassic World. If that wasn’t true, then we wouldn’t have waited almost 14 years for the fourth installment in the Jurassic Park franchise. Spielberg took his time with this one. Even when he had such talents as William Monahan (The Departed) and John Sayles (Lone Star) involved in writing the fourth film, the legendary director didn’t move forward. Not until two or three years ago did the right story come along. The director behind Safety Not Guaranteed, Colin Trevorrow, and his co-writer, Derek Connolly, presented Spielberg’s ideas in a story he wanted to see told. With Jurassic World on the right path, the »
- Jack Giroux
Chicago – Browsing Dostoyevsky titles with consideration for proper roles for Mark Wahlberg, one might expect the Beantown hero to take on an adaptation of “The Idiot” before anything like “The Gambler.” After all, while Wahlberg has proven to be a diverse screen force - one who has well-grown past his Funky Bunch days - he often leans towards goofy men, or at least goofy men in goofy movies.
Such provides a nice surprise with the drama “The Gambler,” which finds him in a role the utilizes his charisma and acting skills, within a tale that doesn’t involve directors Michael Bay or Seth McFarlane. Playing a college professor who gambles his life away, the film is a showcase of his talents, like his compelling motormouth delivery, or a stable cool that he maintains even when his character is falling apart. Here’s a film that offers a scene of Marky Mark rambling about Camus, »
- email@example.com (Adam Fendelman)
While largely unknown to American audiences, model-turned-actress Louise Bourgoin is an up and comer in France and it feels like she could be on the verge of a breakthrough, or at least proving she is much more than a pretty face. Known for starring in Luc Besson’s adventure film “The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec,” “The Girl From Monaco,” out-of-competition 2010 Cannes entry “Black Heaven,” and a recent appearance in William Monahan’s Tribeca entry “Mojave,” Bourgoin has been making strides towards a respectable career (she started out as a TV presenter), but a starring vehicle at Cannes, might just be her tipping point. The feature-length directorial debut of Laurent Lariviere (who’s made several shorts before this), “I Am A Soldier” stars a stripped down Bourgoin in a crime drama about an unemployed woman who tries to make good for herself in and around the world of dog trafficking. »
- Edward Davis
You know when you’re trying to say something, but can’t find the words? That’s a bit like what William Monahan’s Mojave feels like. It almost gets there, but can’t quite spit it out and that makes it more of a fleeting thrill than something you can really chew on after it wraps up. Garrett Hedlund leads as Tom, a guy who hit it big in Hollywood and has been famous since he was 19. However, now he's busy asking himself, “When you get what you want, what do you want?” Desperate for some stimulation, he goes off the radar and heads out into the Mojave Desert. One night he's approached by a dubious looking drifter (Oscar Isaac), a scuffle ensues and, ultimately, Tom winds up shooting an innocent man by mistake while the drifter watches safely from a distance. Mojave is an odd mix of semi-noir crime thriller, »
- Perri Nemiroff
Mojave is an intense, classical thriller about a brilliant artist, Thomas (Hedlund), who attempts to escape his privileged existence into the desert only to encounter a homicidal drifter, Jack (Isaac). The chase moves from the spectacular vistas of the American desert to a noir Los Angeles, culminating in a vortex of criminality and brutality as Thomas emerges as an equally dangerous opponent.
- Scott J. Davis
Perhaps a no-brainer move considering the toplining acting talent, but nonetheless a head-scratcher acquisitions deal when considering the amount of critical flak it received since its Tribeca Film Fest debut, Deadline reports that A24 have landed Mojave in a sweet seven figure deal. Starring Garrett Hedlund, Oscar Isaac with supporting players in Mark Wahlberg and Louise Bourgoin, William Monahan’s sophomore feature appears to have bitten the dust much like London Boulevard did. This desert dish will likely debut sometime this year.
Gist: The brilliant, near-suicidal artist, Thomas (Garrett) attempts to escape his privileged existence into the desert only to encounter a homicidal, chameleon-like drifter—Jack (Isaac). Their first encounter at a campfire sets up a nonstop, violent duel of physical and intellectual equals.
Worth Noting: This is a second Monahan-Wahlberg outing: the actor previously worked on the Monahan’s penned remake of The Gambler.
Do We Care?: A B-movie with A-grade ambitions, »
- Eric Lavallee
A24 has sealed a seven-figure deal for U.S. rights to Mojave, writer-director William Monahan’s drama that world-premiered at Tribeca last week. The story: Armed with little more than a knife and some vodka, an on-edge Hollywood director (Garrett Hedlund) sets out for the Mojave Desert, where he finds a drifter (Oscar Isaac) brandishing a rifle and claiming to be the devil. Mark Wahlberg, Louise Bourgoin and Justified alum Walton Goggins also star in Mojave, the second… »
Fresh off its well-received premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival, A24 and its partner DirecTV have closed a deal to acquire U.S. rights to writer-director William Monahan‘s thriller “Mojave,” which stars Oscar Isaac and Garrett Hedlund, TheWrap has learned. Monahan produced “Mojave” with Atlas Independent’s William Green and Aaron Ginsburg, as well as Justine Suzanne Jones. The film was executive produced by Jason Spire, Andy Horwitz and Nick Quested. Dale Johnson’s Mica Entertainment and Atlas Independent co-financed the film, which was produced by Atlas Independent. “Mojave” is an intense, classical thriller about a brilliant artist, Thomas »
- Jeff Sneider
At the end of Mojave, a devilish drifter played by Oscar Isaac poses a question to a jaded Hollywood star played by Garrett Hedlund: “Do you know yet which one of us is the bad guy?” That, I guess, is the question being posed by writer-director William Monahan (The Departed) in this odd thriller. But the […]
- Angie Han
A modern dusty Western, a twisty Hitchcock-ian thriller, a Cormac McCarthy-esque existentialist meditation on man, his internal crisis, an exploration of the price of fame and artistry, a slasher-like revenge picture, and even at times a black comedy, William Monahan’s ambitious, but overstuffed sophomore directorial effort, “Mojave,” wants to be several movies at once. While it has trouble working out which kind of movie it exactly is (answer: all of the above), its disparate elements do intermittently and effectively work. However, a shallow premise, pompously overwrought dialogue, and hit-and-miss execution makes for an occasionally enjoyable, but not entirely convincing effort. It’s difficult to engender audience sympathy by opening a movie with a white, wealthy, spoiled 20-something star, who is full of angst, complains about being famous since he was 18, and is in the midst of an experiential crisis at being on top of the mountain and achieving everything goal he’s ever. »
- Rodrigo Perez
When a writer-director's latest film focuses on the mental turmoil and soul searching of a writer-director, one can only assume that there's some kind of autobiographical journey in play. William Monahan, who won and Academy Award for writing the screenplay for Martin Scorsese's "The Departed," does just that with his second directing effort "Mojave." While the story may be fantastical, its commentary on the Hollywood system is unequivocal. Unfortunately, the movie's erratic tone is a different story. Garrett Hedlund plays Thomas, a rich and famous filmmaker who ventures into the Mojave Desert for either a bit of soul searching or to drink himself into obliteration (possibly both). Out there, he's stumbled upon by a creepy drifter named Jack (Oscar Isaac), who sports long hair and a fanny pack and carries a rifle. Jack shares the story of Jesus' temptation by the devil in the desert in a feeble attempt to prove his intellectual prowess. »
- Casey Cipriani
Garrett Hedlund plays a rich, spoiled Hollywood star. Oscar Isaac plays a drifter who might be the devil himself. And in William Monahan‘s seriously twisted “Mojave,” which had its world premiere on Saturday night at the Tribeca Film Festival, it’s sometimes hard to tell which of them is worse. The directorial debut of the man who won an Oscar for writing Martin Scorsese‘s blood crime drama “The Departed,” “Mojave” takes noir to another level, mixing biblical and Shakespearean allusions, philosophical discussions and Hollywood satire with beatings, shootings, car wrecks and lots of thoroughly unpleasant behavior. It’s sometimes messy and overwrought and. »
- Steve Pond
Read More: First Look: Oscar Isaac & Garrett Hedlund In ‘Mojave’ Oscar-winner William Monahan is following up last year's mainstream thriller "The Gambler" with a more rugged, character-centric indie in the form of "Mojave," starring Oscar Isaac and Garrett Hedlund. The film will have its world premiere in the Spotlight Section of the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival. "Mojave" is an intense thriller about a brilliant artist (Hedlund) who attempts to escape his privileged existence in the desert only to encounter a homicidal drifter (Isaac). The chase moves from the spectacular vistas of the American desert to a noir Los Angeles, culminating in a vortex of criminality and brutality as the artist emerges as an equally dangerous opponent. In an exclusive clip from the drama above, the inevitable violent climax is foreshadowed in a conversation between the characters played by Isaac and Hedlund. As the two make a toast to death, it's suggested that both. »
- Zack Sharf
Seth McFarlane's Ted certainly had no shortage of jokes, which is true of nearly everything that McFarlane has been involved with thus far, with the notable exception of Hellboy II: The Golden Army. That isn't to say all the jokes (or, hell, even most of them) worked. McFarlane is of the clown-car brand of comedy, stuffing and cramming as much pop culture knowledge, immature guffaws, and crass politics into each minute of screen time available to him. It's why most of the best material in Ted was gleaned in clips and the trailers before the film was even released. The same may be true of Ted 2, which recently took over MTV in anticipation of the MTV Movie Awards and debuted an exclusive clip from the upcoming comedy. [caption id="attachment_393749" align="alignright" width="353"] Image via Universal[/caption] The clip features Mark Wahlberg's John Bennett and McFarlane's Ted meeting with their lawyer, played by Amanda Seyfried, »
- Chris Cabin
Here’s another movie review for the The Hollywood News. It’s a very loosely adapted remake of the 1974 James Caan (The Godfather’s Sonny Corleone) vehicle of the same name about an English literature professor with a compulsive gambling problem, this time starring Mark Wahlberg (The Departed, Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch), Michael Kenneth Williams (Omar from The Wire), Brie Larsen (Rachel from Community), as well as veterans Jessica Lange (The postman always rings twice) and John Goodman (Barton Fink).
And this gambling problem becomes the driving force of the movie as Jim Bennett (Wahlberg) struggles between trying to achieve an iota of normalcy in his life and his overwhelming desire to have everything, visually represented by having Bennett place increasingly larger bets at casinos, doubling and tripling his winnings, »
- Paul Heath
The 14th edition of the Tribeca Film Festival taking place from April 15 to April 26 in New York City has announced the films selected for screening in the Spotlight screening section.
Co-sponsored by Brookfield Place and The Lincoln Motor Company, Spotlight is destination for today’s most talked about themes and filmmakers and will feature 40 films: 23 narratives and 17 documentaries with 24 of those films being world premieres. Debuting new work from master directors such as the Taviani Brothers (Caesar Must Die), Michael Winterbottom (The Trip To Italy), and Neil Labute (Death At A Funeral), audiences will also be introduced to new voices like first time director Henry Hobson’s Maggie and Pray The Devil Back To Hell producer Abigail Disney’s directorial debut The Armour Of Light.
- Sacha Hall
Dust off your Led suit and get ready to go back to the Grid, because the word on the street is that "Tron 3" is filming this fall.
According to Vancouver's VancityBuzz blog, "Tron 3" will begin filming on October 5, 2015, with Garrett Hedlund attached to reprise his role as Sam Flynn. Badass Digest got confirmation from a trusted source in the industry that the movie is a go, with "Tron: Legacy" director Joseph Kosinski returning as well. During an interview for "Oblivion" in 2012, Kosinski said, "I've said it would have to be our 'Empire Strikes Back' for me to come back and for me to pull the whole team back together. I think we do have that idea. We do have the idea that feels big and really blows the doors off this franchise."
It makes sense that Kosinski would return for another run, but Hedlund's run of dramatic roles »
- Jenni Miller
A couple of key new photos have gone online. First up, the first set photo from the Eddie The Eagle biopic which just began filming. "Kingsman" hunk Taron Egerton plays the title character and Hugh Jackman is his trainer in the story of the long-sighted UK ski jumper who won many fans around the world despite coming last.
Next up comes the first photo of Luke Evans in Ben Wheatley's adaptation of J.G. Ballard's darkly satirical novel "High Rise" which also stars Tom Hiddleston, Jeremy Irons, Sienna Miller and Elisabeth Moss.
Then there's the first official image from Gary Ross' Civil War drama "The Free State of Jones". Matthew McConaughey, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Keri Russell, and Mahershala Ali star in the story of a Southern farmer and his extraordinary armed rebellion against the Confederacy.
- Garth Franklin
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