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The New York Film Festival is winding down this weekend with its closing film, Birdman tomorrow. The AFI Fest is early next month. Venice, Toronto and Telluride have come and gone. But one film, rumored to be an Oscar contender and opening next week, has decided to take another route and skip that circuit where so many awards hopefuls show up. Rather than let “the air out of the bag” at a film festival as one source told me, Fury will be released by Sony Pictures on October 17. Writer/director David Ayer’s fierce and intense World War II story starring Brad Pitt as a battle-wise army sergeant commanding a Sherman Tank and its crew at war’s end, in my opinion, deserves to be a powerful new contender, not just for Picture and categories like Cinematography, Editing and Sound where these kinds of films generally show up, but also »
- Pete Hammond
One of our favorite writers, Dennis Cozzalio, is with us again for today's Saturday Matinee. Dennis, not coincidentally, presides over one of our favorite film blogs, Sergio Leone and the Infield Fly Rule. The occasion is the premiere of Allan Arkush's commentary for John Landis' Animal House which will run this coming Monday. Dennis happened to be an extra on the film so we asked him to share his experiences. We're also pleased to present some rare production stills courtesy of Katherine Wilson, the movie's local casting director in Oregon. Enjoy! Eugene, Oregon, Fall 1977. I was a first-term freshman trying to squeak out at least a 3.0 Gpa my first time at bat at the University of Oregon. I had enrolled in the film studies department, officially proclaiming it my major, fully expecting to broaden my horizons by seeing a lot of films to which I had never had the opportunity to be exposed. »
- Dennis Cozzalio
By Fred Blosser
Many books have been written about Hollywood Westerns. After 45 years, the late William K. Everson’s “A Pictorial History of the Western Film” (The Citadel Press, 1969) remains one of the best: a coffee-table book with substance. Everson appropriately tips his sombrero to John Ford, John Wayne, Henry Hathaway, and Howard Hawks (with measured praise for “Red River”), and his comments on films spanning the history of the genre up to the end of the 1960s, from “The Great Train Robbery” (1903) to “The Wild Bunch” (1969), are incisive and thought-provoking. As a film scholar and preservationist, Everson was particularly knowledgeable about older and often obscure movies from the silent and early sound eras. Three of the classic titles he highlights are worthy of his approval and deserve to be better known than they are.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Cinema Retro)
With November Man out, excitement for Pierce Bosnan’s return to spying is at an all-time high for many James Bond fans. November Man, based on the seventh installment of Bill Granger’s book series called There Are No Spies, is about ex- CIA agent Peter Devereaux (Pierce Bosnan). While living a quiet life in Switzerland, Devereaux is ejected out of retirement for one last mission. Although the concept of the “one last mission/job” is not a new concept for Hollywood, it definitely has its place in cinema history, branching out to a wide range of reasons why our beloved characters are being pulled back into their past lives. From a retiree’s last gig, to the bad-boy-gone-good-and-then-bad-again mission, to the revenge premise, mythology of the ex-professional can surely delight and excite us to champion our heroes for one last fight. Here are scenes from ten incredible “one last job” films, »
- Christopher Clemente
Could Joan Rivers have had the same career as Woody Allen? It might seem an odd question if you only know Rivers from her talk show omnipresence and her work on E!, but there was a time when she had a chance to break into film the same way some of her comic peers were, and I can't help but wonder what would have happened if "Rabbit Test" had worked. When she broke through as a comic in the mid-'60s, she already had a fully-formed comic voice. She was from New York, and there was an edge to her work from the very start. She had an attitude about aesthetic beauty, about celebrity, about women in culture. She was one of those comics who straddled an older tradition of comedy, based on careful joke structure and a sort of surface level engagement and a newer tradition, in which taboos »
- Drew McWeeny
Like The Wild Bunch, only a lot less wild and in more of a loose grouping, Team Empire is currently patrolling the floor of the San Diego Convention Centre, scouring Comic-Con to snap every ounce of geek minutiae going. And there’s a lot of it. Tonnes. There’s Breaking Bad memorabilia, Walking Dead collectibles, Bat-business, actual Transformers, Avengers goodies, Hobbit wyrms, a camp Sentinel from X-Men and a partridge in a Mirkwood tree. If we look hard enough we’ll probably find an ageing Snake Plissken’s bifocal. Click on the images below to peruse this fanboy cornucopia at your leisure. »
Alex Kurtzman is undoubtedly one of the busiest guys in Hollywood, and his handle on major tentpole franchises has only grown since parting ways with longtime producing partner Roberto Orci. The two worked together on such films as Transformers, Star Trek, Star Trek Into Darkness, Cowboys & Aliens, Ender’s Game, and The Amazing Spider-Man 2, but will be shifting gears a bit for their upcoming projects.
Orci is reportedly not helping out with the expansive Spider-Man movie universe, which includes The Amazing Spider-Man 3 and 4, as well as villain-centric spin-offs Venom and Sinister Six. Instead, he’s shepherding Star Trek 3 and overseeing the Power Rangers reboot, while Kurtzman sets his sights on a Universal Monsters shared movie universe and directing duties on Venom (and will serve as an “architect” for the rest of the Spidey-verse).
Kurtzman was recently interviewed by Collider, and talked a bit about both the Spider-Man »
- James Garcia
Filmmaker Joe Carnahan doesn’t mess around. His movies range from gritty thrillers like Narc to big summer tentpoles like The A-Team to thoughtful, existential dramas like The Grey, and recently he’s been delving into television to great success with The Blacklist and the upcoming State of Affairs. Though his latest feature film, a small-scale crazy actioner called Stretch, is currently looking for a distributor, we recently learned that Carnahan is lining up another feature project in Five Against a Bullet. The Wild Bunch-esque story revolves around five bodyguards that are hired to protect a Mexican politician through a contentious election after his father is murdered by a drug cartel. At the TCA Press Tour, Christina interviewed Carnahan in anticipation of his upcoming drama series State of Affairs, and the director touched on Five Against the Bullet, revealing that it will probably be his next film. Check out »
- Adam Chitwood
While his action thriller Stretch is still waiting for a new release date after being pulled from the calendar this year, director Joe Carnahan is already setting up his next project. The Wrap has learned that The A-Team and The Grey director is set to write and direct Five Against a Bullet, an action thriller described as calling back to "classic macho movies" like The Wild Bunch and The Magnificent Seven. The film will follow five bodyguards hired to protect a Mexican politician over the course of a contentious election after his father is murdered by a drug cartel. Sounds like it could have been The A-Team sequel. Collider was the first to report on the project after speaking with Transformers franchise producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura. The producer said, "It is a tale of a group of men who have become cynical, sort of lost their sense of hope about life and the world, »
- Ethan Anderton
With Blood, Guts, Bullets and Octane, Narc, Smokin’ Aces, The A-Team and The Grey on his resume, writer-director Joe Carnahan has certainly built his career on badass protagonists who fit traditional ideas of masculinity, which makes him a perfect fit for his next project - Five Against a Bullet, which Sony described recently as being in the spirit of The Wild Bunch and The Magnificent Seven.
The flick, which Carnahan will both direct and rewrite, working off an original script from Alex Litvak, follows a group of five bodyguards recruited to keep a Mexican politician alive during a controversial election after the politician’s father is brutally killed by a major drug cartel. Going off that, we can expect a lot of cool-as-a-cucumber badasses and plenty of explosive action.
Producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura recently spoke about Carnahan’s involvement with the project, stating:
“Joe [Carnahan] we just put on a project called ‘Five Against a Bullet, »
- Isaac Feldberg
Joe Carnahan is set to write and direct “Five Against a Bullet” for Sony Pictures, TheWrap has confirmed. Described as being in the vein of classic macho movies “The Wild Bunch” and “The Magnificent Seven,” the story follows five bodyguards hired to protect a Mexican politician over the course of a contentious election after his father is murdered by a drug cartel. The project is right up Carnahan's alley, as the filmmaker has done a great job exploring masculinity in both “The Grey” and “Narc.” He also directed “The A-Team,” which brought together four unlikely heroes who save the world. »
- Jeff Sneider
As the producer behind the Transformers franchise, the Red series, and films like Salt and The Last Stand, Lorenzo di Bonaventura always has a number of irons in the fire with regards to upcoming projects. While speaking with the producer at the Transformers: Age of Extinction junket in Hong Kong recently, Steve also took the opportunity to talk with di Bonaventura about the films he has in development, and he provided some promising updates on a few projects. The producer revealed that director Joe Carnahan is now working on the ensemble action film Five Against a Bullet, and provided a status update on the oil rig disaster film Deepwater Horizon. Hit the jump to read on. Lorenzo di Bonaventura has been working on a film called Five Against a Bullet for a few years now, attaching Bruce Willis to star back in 2012. The pic is in the vein of The Wild Bunch »
- Adam Chitwood
Last night we said our final goodbyes to Mad Men. Oh wait, no. Our penultimate goodbye to Mad Men but boy did it feel like a series closer. There are seven episodes to go, ruthlessly delayed until 2015 which will serve no one but AMC executives, but I wouldn't blame anyone for saying their goodbyes now. You'd be going out on such a well earned high, a breath-taking, teary-eyed, conflicted-emotion farewell in two episodes.
I want to go to the movies!"
Peggy whines in "The Strategy" as she struggles through her doubts about a campaign pitch for potential new lucrative client Burger Chef. Mad Men almost always hits its peak whenever it zeroes back in on the long form pas de deux between Don and Peggy. In this episode they refind each other as Don (Jon Hamm) helps Peggy (Elisabeth Moss) trust in her own creativity and Peggy learns to forgive her hard-to-love mentor. »
- NATHANIEL R
A review of the "Mad Men" mid-season finale coming up just as soon as I have to talk to people who just touched the face of God about hamburgers... "Bravo." -Bert Cooper In Peggy's pitch to Burger Chef — easily the best she's ever given, and one that gets much closer to the level of the Carousel pitch than I think we might have ever imagined anyone on this show (including Don himself) reaching again — she talks about how Neil Armstrong's first footsteps on the moon brought the whole world together, all watching the same amazing thing as it happened. It's a masterful blend of current events with the themes she and Don had already decided on — turning the thing that she feared would torpedo the pitch and making it into the element that closes the deal and nearly moves the Burger Chef executives to tears — demonstrating a keen »
- Alan Sepinwall
By Mark Pinkert
In Episode 4 of Talking Movies, Scott and I discuss three landmark films from the 1960s: Bonnie and Clyde (1967), Easy Rider (1969), and The Wild Bunch (1969). What do these films tell us about the contemporary movie industry and its break from the Motion Picture Production Code? How did these films deal with sex and violence, and how did those themes converge with other attitudes of the 1960s? Who were the rising actors and directors of the time, and how did these films shape their celebrity personae? Listen to a discussion of these topics and many more in Episode 4 of Talking Movies.
~ Talking Movies is a podcast series covering classic films from the 20th century. In this episode, our guest co-host is Scott Feinberg, the lead awards analyst for The Hollywood Reporter and the founder/editor-in-chief of ScottFeinberg.com.
Listen to the podcast…
- Mark Pinkert
Revenge has motivated characters in stories since humans first started telling them. From the vengeful gods of ancient mythology onwards, acts of retribution – often violent in the extreme – have been a staple ingredient of a narrative which, as we all know, is best served cold.
The vengeance motive is certainly one which hands the structure to you on a plate – someone performs an act of injustice against someone else, who then takes the law into their own hands and opts for an eye for an eye rather than the courts of justice. Blue Ruin, on release in cinemas this week, is a classic example of this basic set-up – a lean, effective and sometimes very bloody revenge thriller in which vagrant Dwight (Macon Blair) returns to his childhood home town to kill the man who murdered his parents, unleashing a wave of tit for tat reciprocal violence which escalates out of control. »
- Andrew Dilks
So HBO is coming to Amazon. This is good news, I think, insofar as anything that makes the great shows of the HBO Renaissance available to more people is good news. I’m a TV obsessive of a certain age — definition of “a certain age” freely covering anyone who remembers when “TV is better than movies” was an argument that you had to make, when TV-on-dvd was the technological forefront, and when the notion of “downloading” a TV show didn’t seem needlessly wasteful of valuable hard drive space.
Like several other Of A Certain Age TV Obsessives, I grow »
- Darren Franich
News Simon Brew 23 Apr 2014 - 07:02
As part of Entertainment Weekly's look at finales to popular TV shows, it's inevitably spent some time looking at last September's ending to Breaking Bad. And it's been chatting to showrunner Vince Gilligan about coming up with said ending.
Gilligan told EW that the finale "was glimmering in my brain somewhere in season 3, but I started to think about it more in earnest in season 4". Arguing that the story of Breaking Bad was always finite, Gilligan admitted that "in the early days I really wasn’t thinking about the ending that much, because I was just feeling lucky to have a show on the air at all", but that debates about when the show should »
Why is "Seven Samurai" considered one of the greatest films ever made? I'd answer that by telling you to go watch it right now, but you probably don't have 3 hours and 27 minutes free at the moment. (It goes by super fast, though, which is one of the reasons the movie is great.)
One reason is simply the movie's vast influence. Released 60 years ago this week in Japan (on April 26, 1954), Akira Kurosawa's epic has had an incalculable impact on adventure filmmaking for six decades. Some of your favorite movies owe a huge debt to "Seven Samurai," and you may not even realize it.
The movie's plot has proved simple but durable: The residents of a farming village are beset by roving bandits until they hire a septet of ronin to defend them. Despite the lengthy running time, that's pretty much it, plus a lot of character development so that you »
- Gary Susman
In the mid-1970s, there were few American filmmakers riding as high as William Friedkin. The French Connection swept the 1971 Academy Awards, nabbing Friedkin a Best Director statuette. The Exorcist, released two years later, broke box office records to become one of the top grossing films of all time. Boasting creative power and freedom that most directors could only dream about, Friedkin opted to film an updated version of French auteur Henri-Georges Clouzot’s classic The Wages of Fear (1953).
The result, 1977’s Sorcerer, became one of the most notorious box office bombs of the decade. Its dark, unrelenting tale of four desperate, disparate men (Roy Scheider, Bruno Cremer, Francisco Rabal, Amidou) who undertake a suicide mission by driving truckloads of nitroglycerine across the rugged South American jungle wasn’t what the changing tide of audience tastes were buying then, »
- The Hollywood Interview.com
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