12 items from 2015
Welcome to another horror/thriller round-up. This time around, we have details on who will play Death-Head in Rob Zombie’s 31, an update on the Tomb Raider reboot, and a look at The Crest of Westwood's tribute schedule for the legendary samurai film director Akira Kurosawa.
Rob Zombie's 31: Via his Instagram account, Rob Zombie revealed that Torsten Voges will play the villain Death-Head in his upcoming Halloween-set film, 31. Voges, who previously had a role in The Lords of Salem, is the first announced cast member for 31, which is currently available to fanback. For those unfamiliar with the film, here's the synopsis from Zombie:
"Welcome to my next film. It is called 31. It is the story of five random people kidnapped on the five days leading up to Halloween and held hostage in a place called Murder World. While trapped inside this man-made Hell they must fight to »
- Derek Anderson
Mission: Impossible 5: Tom Cruise stars in the upcoming Mission: Impossible 5, which recently had its release date moved forward to July 31. But does the action thriller need a new ending? A recent report claimed production shut down for "a week or so... because the film's ending was deemed unsatisfactory," adding that writer/director Christopher McQuarrie would be working "with a writer friend whose identity remains a mystery." However, McQuarrie himself appeared to quash the rumor via social media. [The Hollywood Reporter/Twitter] The Magnificent Seven: Haley Bennett has landed the female lead in The Magnificent Seven, the upcoming new version of the 1960 original, itself an unofficial remake of Akira Kurosawa's Seven Samurai. Bennett will reteam...
- Peter Martin
Antoine Fuqua and Denzel Washington are teaming up again for MGM's long-in-development remake of "The Magnificent Seven" (the 1960 American western directed by John Sturges, which was itself a remake of Akira Kurosawa's "Seven Samurai"). As recently as 2012, Tom Cruise was attached to star in the remake, although, at the time, there was no director attached. It was said that Cruise had long been interested in saddling up for a "Magnificent Seven" remake, but was not in his then immediate plans. "The Magnificent Seven" starred Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, James Coburn, Robert Vaughn, Brad Dexter and Horst »
- Tambay A. Obenson
Director Antoine Fuqua and his Equalizer star Denzel Washington already have one extra person aboard their planned remake of The Magnificent Seven, with Chris Pratt in their sights since December. But they’ve turned to the cast of their previous collaboration for the female lead, as Haley Bennett has won a prime role in the film.The movie will once more see a small town – in this case built around a gold mine – threatened by a ruthless baron and his gang of thugs. When they kill several people in their attempt to take the place over, a young widow (Bennett) hires a bounty hunter (Washington) to dispatch the bad guys, supplying him with the necessary funds to hire six gunmen to help him in his mission. Which is where Pratt and others come into play.John Lee Hancock and True Detective’s Nic Pizzolatto are among those who have contributed to the screenplay, »
After securing Denzel Washington and Chris Pratt for their remake of the Western classic The Magnificent Seven, MGM has brought on Haley Bennett to play the female lead. Deadline reports she beat out several other actresses in what is being described as a "starmaking role." The actress will play the widow of a murdered man, who lives in a gold mine town that has been taken over by a baron and his thugs. She hires a bounty hunter to get rid of these evil men, giving him enough money to hire six other gunmen to help their cause.
The original Western The Magnificent Seven debuted in 1960, starring Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, Robert Vaughn, Brad Dexter, James Coburn and Horst Buchholz as the seven gunmen, with Eli Wallach portraying the villainous Calvera, who terrorizes a small Mexican fishing village. The Western, directed by John Sturges, was itself a loose »
Written by Akira Kurosawa and Tomita Tsuneo
Directed by Akira Kurosawa
Akira Kurosawa’s feature length debut opens with a wandering young man named Sanshiro Sugata (Susumu Fujita) arriving into town where he aspires to earn a place under the tutelage of a great jujitsu master. Shortly thereafter Sanshiro learns first-hand that his would be instructors are perhaps not all they are cracked to be. Their attempt to rustle a rival sensei’s feathers, Shogoro Yano (Denjiro Okochi) is ill fated, as Yano handles each attacker with the greatest of ease. Much to Sanshiro’s surprise, the victor of the contest practices judo rather than jujitsu. Under the auspices of Yano’s strict but just guidance, as well as through the trials and tribulations and a martial arts tournament, that Sanshiro will learn to control his bustling energy, channeling it to become a better, more composed human being. »
- Edgar Chaput
Two bad, two good this week as I went to the theater to see and review Jupiter Ascending (read the review here) and Seventh Son (read the review here) and we all know how that turned out. However, at home I was inspired by Tony Zhou's recent video essay to watch Akira Kurosawa's The Bad Sleep Well for the first time. So I fired up the Hulu and gave it a spin. Very good movie with a rather dark ending as not only do the bad sleep well, but the bad defeats good... at least in this instance. Finally, I also watched the Oscar-nominated documentary Last Days in Vietnam as it was available for free over at PBS's website at the end of the week. Solid doc and one some are trying to say is sneaking up on Citizenfour at the Oscars for Best Documentary. As much as I »
- Brad Brevet
Now this is a list that could result in a lot of fascinating dissection and thanks to HitFix it comes to our attention almost three years after it was originally released back in 2012, celebrating the Motion Picture Editors Guild's 75th anniversary. Over at HitFix, Kris Tapley asks, "Is this news to anyone elsec" Um, yes, I find it immensely interesting and a perfect starting point for anyone looking to further explore the art of film editing. In an accompanying article we get the particulars concerning what films were eligible and how films were to be considered: In our Jan-feb 12 issue, we asked Guild members to vote on what they consider to be the Best Edited Films of all time. Any feature-length film from any country in the world was eligible. And by "Best Edited," we explained, we didn't just mean picture; sound, music and mixing were to be considered as well. »
- Brad Brevet
A random bit of researching on a Tuesday night led me to something I didn't know existed: The Motion Picture Editors Guild's list of the 75 best-edited films of all time. It was a feature in part celebrating the Guild's 75th anniversary in 2012. Is this news to anyone else? I confess to having missed it entirely. Naturally, I had to dig in. What was immediately striking to me about the list — which was decided upon by the Guild membership and, per instruction, was considered in terms of picture and sound editorial as opposed to just the former — was the most popular decade ranking. Naturally, the 1970s led with 17 mentions, but right on its heels was the 1990s. I wouldn't have expected that but I happen to agree with the assessment. Thelma Schoonmaker's work on "Raging Bull" came out on top, an objectively difficult choice to dispute, really. It was so transformative, »
- Kristopher Tapley
When Adam Sandler secured his lucrative deal with Netflix, it was unclear what the first project from this groundbreaking union would be. Well, The Wrap is reporting that the first film will be Sandler's long-gestating western comedy "Ridiculous 6." What's more, the site is reporting that Sandler has lined up an all-star cast. Apparently, with his first Netflix outing, Sandler wants to go big.
"Ridiculous 6," co-written by Sandler and regular collaborator Tim Herlihy, will star Blake Shelton, Whitney Cummings, Luke Wilson, Steve Zahn, Nick Nolte, Danny Trejo, Chris Parnell, Lavell Crawford and returning Sandler favorites Steve Buscemi, Rob Schneider (so I guess he patched up whatever beef he had with Sandler that kept him out of "Grown Ups 2"), Dan Aykroyd, Nick Swardson, Terry Crews, John Lovitz and Vanilla Ice. Whew, that's a lot of people.
What's somewhat more iffy about the project is the fact that it's a comedic western, »
- Drew Taylor
It looks like the first Star Wars “spin-off” movie, to be directed by Gareth Edwards, is gearing up to start shooting. We know that there was a reading of the draft done by Gary Whitta in the UK and now production is going to move stateside, likely to be close to Mexico.
Expect more on-location shooting than for Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Crew members are hearing their start dates now.
Many believe they are doing a lot of work on-location in Mexico for the first spin-off.
There have been some Star Wars: The Force Awakens re-shoots going down recently at Pinewood using some of those people.
Bounty hunters are important to the film.
Painters are expected to redress some »
Just as Tsui Hark revamped the sedate, two-decades-long chopsocky series “Wong Fei-hung” into the rollicking martial-arts epic “Once Upon a Time in China,” so the Hong Kong genre-meister has transformed a Chinese communist propaganda classic into a barnstorming period actioner with “The Taking of Tiger Mountain.” Boasting arguably the finest 3D visuals in recent mainland cinema while retaining the original chronicle’s populist ideals, this account of the People’s Liberation Army’s strategic ambush of a bandits’ lair delivers sinewy battles and twisty espionage with a husky northern flavor. It topped the Chinese box office upon its Dec. 23 release and should wow bona fide Asian genre fans.
Extracting a famous episode from Qu Bo’s fact-based novel “Tracks in the Snowy Forest” (“Lin hai xue yuan”), “The Taking of Tiger Mountain” was one of eight revolutionary operas (yangbanxi) promulgated by Mao Zedong’s wife Jiang Qing during the Cultural Revolution. »
- Maggie Lee
12 items from 2015
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