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‘The BFG,’ ‘The Legend of Tarzan’ Failing to Generate Much Box Office Heat

16 June 2016 3:08 PM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

The BFG” and “The Legend of Tarzan” are set to do battle over the July 4th holiday weekend.

But what was originally supposed to be a clash of two of the summer’s biggest blockbusters, is shaping up to be something a lot less titanic. Both films are struggling to grab audiences’ attention and interest, despite their hefty budgets and the involvement of A-list directors such as Steven Spielberg and David Yates.

The Legend of Tarzan” is on pace to debut to between $25 million and $33 million over the four-day holiday weekend, while “The BFG” is projected to launch to between $22 million and $32 million. That’s a weak result given that “Tarzan” reportedly cost Warner Bros. and co-financing partners such as Village Roadshow and RatPac-Dune $180 million to make and tens of millions more to market. For a film like “Tarzan” to break even and justify a sequel, it would need to do in excess of $100 million. »

- Brent Lang

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Recommended Discs & Deals: ’10 Cloverfield Lane, ’45 Years,’ ‘La Chienne,’ and More

14 June 2016 6:43 AM, PDT | The Film Stage | See recent The Film Stage news »

Every week we dive into the cream of the crop when it comes to home releases, including Blu-ray and DVDs, as well as recommended deals of the week. Check out our rundown below and return every Tuesday for the best (or most interesting) films one can take home. Note that if you’re looking to support the site, every purchase you make through the links below helps us and is greatly appreciated.

10 Cloverfield Lane (Dan Trachtenberg)

Forget the Cloverfield connection. The actors who were in this film didn’t even know what the title was until moments before the first trailer dropped. Producer J.J. Abrams used that branding as part of the wrapping for its promotional mystery box, but the movie stands perfectly alone from 2008’s found-footage monster picture. Hell, 10 Cloverfield Lane perhaps doesn’t even take place within the same fictional universe as that film — although a friend asked if it’s secretly a Super 8 sequel, and, honestly, you could think of it as one without contradicting anything in either movie. Whether the Cloverfield name fills you with wariness or enthusiasm, it would be unwise to burden Dan Trachtenberg‘s film with such prejudices. – Dan S. (full review)

45 Years (Andrew Haigh)

Andrew Haigh’s third feature as a director, 45 Years, is an excellent companion piece to its 2011 predecessor, Weekend. The latter examined the inception of a potential relationship between two men over the course of a weekend, whereas its successor considers the opposite extreme. Again sticking to a tight timeframe, the film chronicles the six days leading up to a couple’s 45th wedding anniversary. Though highly accomplished, Weekend nevertheless suffered from a tendency towards commenting on itself as a gay issues film, which at times overrode the otherwise compelling realism. Despite treating material arguably even more underrepresented in cinema – senior relationships – Haigh avoids this same self-reflexive pitfall in 45 Years, pulling off an incisive and emotionally ensnaring tour de force. – Giovanni M.C. (full review)

Here Comes Mr. Jordan (Alexander Hall)

A sophisticated supernatural Hollywood comedy whose influence continues to be felt, Here Comes Mr. Jordan stars the eminently versatile Robert Montgomery as a working-class boxer and amateur aviator whose plane crashes in a freak accident. He finds himself in heaven but is told, by a wry angel named Mr. Jordan (Claude Rains), that his death was a clerical error, and that he can return to Earth by entering the body of a corrupt (and about-to-be-murdered) financier—whose soul could use a transplant. Nominated for seven Oscars (it won two) and the inspiration for a sequel with Rita Hayworth and two remakes, Alexander Hall’s effervescent Here Comes Mr. Jordan is comic perfection. – Criterion.com

La Chienne (Jean Renoir)

Jean Renoir’s ruthless love triangle tale, his second sound film, is a true precursor to his brilliantly bitter The Rules of the Game, displaying all of the filmmaker’s visual genius and fully imbued with his profound humanity. Michel Simon cuts a tragic figure as an unhappily married cashier and amateur painter who becomes so smitten with a prostitute that he refuses to see the obvious: that she and her pimp boyfriend are taking advantage of him. Renoir’s elegant compositions and camera movements carry this twisting narrative—a stinging commentary on class and sexual divisions—to an unforgettably ironic conclusion. – Criterion.com

Also Arriving This Week

Eddie the Eagle (review)

Hello, My Name is Doris (review)

Get a Job (review)

Gold

Recommended Deals of the Week

Top Deal: A selection of Clint Eastwood and Steven Spielberg Blu-rays are under $10 this week.

All the President’s Men (Blu-ray) – $7.79

The American (Blu-ray) – $6.68

Amelie (Blu-ray) – $8.99

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (Blu-ray) – $7.88

Beginners (Blu-ray) – $6.11

Bone Tomahawk (Blu-ray) – $9.99

The Brothers Bloom (Blu-ray) – $9.99

The Cabin in the Woods (Blu-ray) – $9.99

Casino (Blu-ray) – $9.49

The Conformist (Blu-ray) – $14.49

Cloud Atlas (Blu-ray) – $7.99

Crimson Peak (Blu-ray) – $8.99

Dear White People (Blu-ray) – $9.99

The Deer Hunter (Blu-ray) – $10.61

Eastern Promises (Blu-ray) – $8.57

Ex Machina (Blu-ray) – $8.00

The Grand Budapest Hotel (Blu-ray) – $5.99

The Guest (Blu-ray) – $9.49

Hail, Caesar! (Blu-ray) – $12.99

Heat (Blu-ray) – $7.88

Holy Motors (Blu-ray) – $10.59

The Informant! (Blu-ray) – $8.07

Inglorious Basterds (Blu-ray) – $4.99

Interstellar (Blu-ray) – $5.00

The Iron Giant (Blu-ray pre-order) – $9.99

Jaws (Blu-ray) – $7.88

John Wick (Blu-ray) – $8.00

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (Blu-ray) – $9.69

Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter (Blu-ray) – $9.89

The Lady From Shanghai (Blu-ray) – $8.99

Looper (Blu-ray) – $7.88

Lost In Translation (Blu-ray) – $9.49

Macbeth (Blu-ray) – $11.99

Mad Max: Fury Road (Blu-ray) – $10.00

Magic Mike Xxl (Blu-ray) – $11.99

Magnolia (Blu-ray) – $9.19

The Man Who Wasn’t There (Blu-ray) – $9.49

Margaret (Blu-ray) – $9.49

Martha Marcy May Marlene (Blu-ray) – $6.99

The Master (Blu-ray) – $12.69

Michael Clayton (Blu-ray) – $7.98

Nebraska (Blu-ray) – $9.35

Never Let Me Go (Blu-ray) – $7.99

No Country For Old Men (Blu-ray) – $5.99

Non-Stop (Blu-ray) – $8.99

Obvious Child (Blu-ray) – $9.99

Pan’s Labyrinth (Blu-ray) – $7.99

ParaNorman (Blu-ray) – $7.98

Pariah (Blu-ray) – $9.98

Persepolis (Blu-ray) – $5.79

Prisoners (Blu-ray) – $10.49

Pulp Fiction (Blu-ray) – $8.48

Raging Bull: 30th Anniversary Edition (Blu-ray) – $10.19

Re-Animator (Blu-ray) – $9.99

Rio Bravo (Blu-ray) – $5.99

Road to Perdition (Blu-ray) – $8.99

The Searchers / Wild Bunch / How the West Was Won (Blu-ray) – $10.36

Sex, Lies, and Videotape (Blu-ray) – $5.88

Short Term 12 (Blu-ray) – $9.89

Shutter Island (Blu-ray) – $6.79

A Separation (Blu-ray) – $6.80

A Serious Man (Blu-ray) – $7.22

A Single Man (Blu-ray) – $6.00

The Social Network (Blu-ray) – $9.96

Spotlight (Blu-ray) – $9.99

Steve Jobs (Blu-ray) – $9.99

Straight Outta Compton (Blu-ray) – $10.00

Synecdoche, NY (Blu-ray) – $6.89

There Will Be Blood (Blu-ray) – $8.20

They Came Together (Blu-ray) – $9.99

The Tree of Life (Blu-ray) – $6.99

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (Blu-ray) – $5.52

Volver (Blu-ray) – $5.95

Where the Wild Things Are (Blu-ray) – $7.99

Whiplash (Blu-ray) – $9.99

The Witch (Blu-ray) – $14.96

The Wrestler (Blu-ray) – $7.00

See all Blu-ray deals.

What are you picking up this week?

»

- The Film Stage

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'Star Wars' Buzz: John Williams to Compose, Mads Mikkelsen to Reshoot

13 June 2016 6:40 AM, PDT | Fandango | See recent Fandango news »

Winner of five Academy Awards, John Williams has composed musical scores for more than 100 movies as well as many television shows in a career that dates back to 1956. Many of his compositions have become iconic, such as his music for Jaws, his second collaboration with filmmaker Steven Spielberg. Williams has scored 27 films in total for Spielberg. While Spielberg and Williams were working together on Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Spielberg recommended Williams to his friend George...

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- affiliates@fandango.com

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James Wan interview: The Conjuring 2, Fast 7, Statham

12 June 2016 9:51 AM, PDT | Den of Geek | See recent Den of Geek news »

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From directing Statham vs The Rock in Fast 7, the directing The Conjuring 2: we have a chat with Mr James Wan...

Fittingly on the day of this interview, having just watched a wet, grey depiction of England on screen in The Conjuring 2, I left the film to find that London was characteristically on form by chucking it down with rain just as summer was officially about to start. Director James Wan however was as enthusiastic and full of laughs as you could hope for, talking with a speed and passion that made him a delight to interview.

It’s no surprise I guess, considering that one of his strongest assets as a director is the enthusiasm and love that he has for cinema, especially horror, which shines through in his work and really helps to set him apart from many of his peers. If you take a look at the first Conjuring, you can see influences from the likes of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Poltergeist, yet he somehow always manages to add his own imprint and freshness to stories we either know, or think we know – the sight of a familiar house at the start of The Conjuring 2 is an absolute delight, for instance.

Wan has also successfully managed to create multiple franchises out of his horror movies, with The Conjuring, apart from spawning its own sequel, creating the world of Annabelle which has also now got a second film in the works, then there’s Insidious and of course Saw, both of which have a string of follow ups.

I suspect that his gift for creating worlds is in no small part why Warners decided to give him the reigns to its upcoming Aquaman, so it’s all fingers crossed that he manages to make a hit out of such an unusual DC hero. Of course there’s also the large matter of him directing The Statham fighting The Rock in Fast 7 and for that alone, he merits a spot at the Den of Geek table just about any time he wants.

So with that in mind, we sat down to talk about all things Conjuring, with just a little Statham on the side…

I’ve just come from the screening and there’s something really great about watching a horror film first thing in the morning - you’re completely open to it.

Yikes! It’s, I don’t know, a weird concept to me to see a scary movie first thing in the morning!

It has that more impact, I think, as you have nothing else in your head. The thing I really like about this sequel was that it built on what was set up in the first Conjuring, which was that you have all these rich supporting stories around Ed and Lorraine - was it always your intention to world-build?

Well, I mean you know you kind of fantasise about building a world and having the opportunity to expand down the line, if the first movie works but you know, I try not to think about stuff like that too much because it’s almost like saying to the universe to screw things up for you! But I definitely always plan and think hopefully that we’ll have the opportunity that we could expand on it more and it gives us, gives me as a film maker, places to grow and, like the characters, grow and expand and just leave more stories and places to take it. I always say, what is cool for me with The Conjuring, is it’s not just another scary set piece, or another scary case, it’s more about what I can do with the characters of Ed and Lorraine Warren.

I think the characters are definitely key, because as a life-long horror fan, I think too many horror films can get lost and they can become too cold, because they don’t have any heart at their core. With Ed and Lorraine were those characters you were aware of in real life, or were they something you learnt about?

Well, I definitely pulled inspirations from hanging out with Lorraine, that was something that was important for Patrick Wilson, Vera and myself, is to try and do justice - or at least be respectful to who they are and who Ed was. So, at the same time though I knew that, I wanted it to be like our own cinematic version for the Warrens and so, yet again you know, I think for me anyway, the most successful horror movies that work are the ones that can create characters who you care about and that have characteristics that resonate with you and I think that is highly important, because if you can create characters that are likeable and people you can relate to, to me it makes the scares that much more scarier.

Because you have that sense of investment and I think that’s what made this more successful than a lot of horror sequels, because you’ve already have one film to become invested in Ed and Lorraine’s relationship and so there is a sort of strange beauty to The Conjuring 2 as a whole, because you care about them…

There is a set of continuity to the characters and because you’ve invested in who they are from the first movie already, you want to go along with them on their second journey - it gives me a lot of short hand to open things up more.

It is always been fascinating to me when directors use the same actors again and again. With Patrick Wilson I wondered if you signed some exclusive rights to use him!?

[Laughs] I joked that I - you know how Johnny Depp was to Tim Burton, Patrick Wilson is my Johnny Depp. I don’t know, I think the guy is such a cool guy and he to me in a lot of ways is the kind of embodiment of a leading actor for me as a director you know, he’s a great actor, he's a very thoughtful thespian, always thinks about his characters.

He’ll really think about the roles that he plays, but at the same time he’s easy going, really cool and as a director that’s so great, you know, like you want to work with people who you enjoy working with, you know, because making a movie is so difficult, and you do not need an extra layer of craziness that go along with it and Patrick is so easy and cool and besides being a talented actor as well, he’s just so fun to have around on set.

I love watching the way he interacts with Vera Farmiga, because they have such an easy chemistry between the two of them and I love it – a lot of them time I see them screwing around, just joking off camera and I just want to turn the camera on and just capture that! [Laughs] And what more can a director ask for than great chemistry between the two leads.

It’s fascinating actually, that you mention like the Burton and Johnny Depp thing, because obviously I grew up with that and a lot of those filmic relationships. Who are your horror influences because of course, I’m a huge Carpenter and Russell fan…

Who isn’t, right? Well especially for us as such genre geeks! Definitely I love Carpenter, I love Craven - these are all the classics - the Romeros of the world, but I think the biggest influence on me as a storyteller and as a filmmaker is actually Steven Spielberg. I love that even though Steven isn't known for being a horror director, he started out his career making scary movies. I mean Jaws to me is one of the scariest movies ever made, and Poltergeist as well and all the way back to Duel, his first movie. I loved those films, I love the way he crafts his scenes with so much tension, and such classic sort of pure cinema style of filmmaking, you now obviously his love for Hitchcock, and so I guess I admire Hitchcock in a roundabout way through Steven Spielberg as well.

And so yeah he's definitely one that I always sort of aspire to and I mean I know it’s a cliché and everything ‘cause everyone loves Steven Spielberg but definitely - you know I even put a lot of that stuff that I love in my horror filmmaking, or tension building into my other movie like Fast And Furious 7, because I think that’s the style of film making that I really love.

Yeah its funny, I hadn't considered it until you said it but Conjuring 2 was obviously about family and so was the first Conjuring and then actually you have a family dynamic in Fast 7, as well…

It just ties into that… I don’t know if that was something consciously that I was doing [laughs]! I think it’s more of a coincidence than anything, but in terms of the stylistic aesthetic, I carried a lot of my sort of my horror film making designs, definitely into Fast And Furious 7 and then now learning from that I bring it into Conjuring 2, and so I like to think that with every movie I make, I develop and I evolve as a filmmaker and I'm still growing which I think is a good thing - I definitely did not peak with my first film! [laughs and looks comically anxious!]

No definitely not! And talking of being a genre geek, I have to ask as you now have the honour of course, talking about Russell and Carpenter, of doing the best Kurt Russell action sequence for well over a decade?

Yeah a long time! Yeah, yeah! [laughs]

Because he sort of disappeared and then he's suddenly come back…

Yeah, believe me it was a big joy for me as a fan to get the chance to direct Kurt Russell, and like you say in this really cool action scene as well, it was small, but yet it was just cool to kinda let Kurt Russell be Kurt Russell! [laughs] Be Snake Plissken, you know just seeing shades of Snake, so that was really fun, and the fact that Patrick actually worked with him on Bone Tomahawk and so we love sharing our Kurt Russell stories! [laughs] He's such a great guy, I love Kurt.

What made me laugh as well when thinking of crossover questions is the fact that you've gone from working with a handful of the greatest action movie stars in Fast 7, and then decided that the easiest thing to do would then be to work with a whole load of children in Conjuring 2 and that was your wind down!

[Laughs] It’s definitely challenging obviously working with children, but at the same time it’s really cool as well. I think I've been very fortunate that I've had really great casting director Annie McCarthy, who’s worked on a bunch of my movies from Insidious to The Conjuring films and she's so great in helping me find really likeable and really talented kid actors and I think I was very fortunate to work with great child actors in the first Conjuring and again in Conjuring 2.

But definitely more so with Madison Wolfe in this one, who has such a difficult role to play - someone that has to ride that wave of – to play a character that is so nuanced from innocence and naïve, to now very troubled, to possessed, you know to all of that range. I think we definitely got very lucky with finding Madison, I think she has such an amazing, bright future ahead of her.

I thought she was outstanding, actually, so much so I wrote her name down on my notes. So last question, traditionally we always ask what your favourite Jason Statham film is…

[Laughs] Wow, what is my favourite Statham movie? I mean I definitely I love the Transporter films, they're so much fun I mean, obviously Lock, Stock and Snatch, I actually like a lot of movies that he's been in and of course I think you know!

Fast 7!

Fast 7! Yeah he’s super cool in Fast 7 there’s no doubt about that! Yeah he's a cool guy to begin with and I got to make him even cooler, so I'm very proud of that.

Yeah you made him like a Terminator - that was an awesome move, that opening in the hospital was just fantastic!

Yes, yeah that was fun to just design from a filmmaking standpoint!

Yeah I bet! Well thank you so much!

Thank you sir, it was pleasure to meet you!

The Conjuring 2 is in UK now.

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Movies Interview Duncan Bowles James Wan 13 Jun 2016 - 05:40 The Conjuring 2 Jason Statham Fast And Furious 7 The Conjuring Annabelle Insidious Saw Kurt Russell Patrick Wilson Vin Diesel Vera Farmiga »

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Put George Lucas and Steven Spielberg in Charge, and the AFI Gets an Incredible Tribute to John Williams

10 June 2016 2:07 PM, PDT | Thompson on Hollywood | See recent Thompson on Hollywood news »

Composer John Williams is the rare craftsman to be honored with an AFI Achievement Award, and the AFI should do it more often. Steven Spielberg and George Lucas maneuvered the AFI tribute (held June 9 at Hollywood’s Dolby Theatre) toward excellence and maximum cooperation on all fronts, and the 44th annual event proved one of the most satisfying in years.

How can you lose when the honoree composed the world’s most hummable and instantly identifiable themes —including “Star Wars,” the Richard DonnerSuperman,” Indiana Jones, Harry Potter, and 27 Spielberg movies over 43 years, from “Jaws” (1975), “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” (1977) and “E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial” (1982) to “Jurassic Park” (1993), “Schindler’s List” (1993) and “Saving Private Ryan” (1998). (Williams plans to score Spielberg’s Indiana Jones movie and “Ready Player One” and possibly “Star Wars 8.”) All told, the 84-year-old composer has more than 150 credits across seven decades.

“Somehow he’s composed the music of our lives, »

- Anne Thompson

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Cue the Theme! John Williams Returning to Score Fifth Indiana Jones Film

10 June 2016 9:00 AM, PDT | PEOPLE.com | See recent PEOPLE.com news »

Good news about the upcoming Indiana Jones sequel! Legendary composer John Williams will be returning to score the fifth installment of Steven Spielberg's iconic series. Williams has scored all four films in the franchise, including the hero's last outing, 2008's Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, which raked in $786 million worldwide. "John Williams will come back and score [the film], absolutely,” Spielberg confirmed to Et Thursday at the American Film Institute event honoring Williams with the AFI Life Achievement Award at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood. The 84-year-old composer - who has been nominated for 50 Academy Awards throughout »

- Dave Quinn, @NineDaves

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Rolex in the Movies: The Action Timepiece

10 June 2016 7:16 AM, PDT | Clothes on Film | See recent Clothes on Film news »

It’s the most celebrated, the most special, the most significant watch of all time; Rolex is symbolic of many things in the movies: style, wealth, attitude, and perhaps most importantly, taste. That is not to say a Rolex is elitist, but rather that the wearer on screen, anyone from James Bond to Steve McQueen, is someone possessed of the knowledge that there is no better. Rolex is the pinnacle.

The history of Rolex on film is not nearly as interesting as the scope of its wearers and how this simple act of either discreet or ostentatious display can define character. Take James Bond, a man whose breeding was forced upon him; he developed taste and nurtured it. Roger Moore’s incarnation of 007, the most overlooked style wise, is 100% a Rolex customer – even if his custom Submariner in Live and Let Die (1971) was modified somewhat by Q Branch. Sorry, but »

- Lord Christopher Laverty

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Interview: Talking 'The Conjuring 2' with Director James Wan

10 June 2016 7:09 AM, PDT | LatinoReview | See recent LatinoReview news »

"The Conjuring 2" has James Wan once again at the helm following the record breaking success of "The Conjuring," he brings to the screen another real case from the files of renowned demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren with much added scares.

Latino Review had the opportunity to speak with director James Wan at a recent press day in Los Angeles. We asked him about bringing this story to London, having his set blessed by a priest, working again with Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga, working in the Hodgson house and what really scares him.

Why not just do an Amityville film since the film starts from there? Why not make a Amityville film based on the Warren files?

James Wan: I think that the fact that the Amityville case is so documented and done so many times and its just something that I feel that everyone knows about it already. »

- Fernando Esquivel

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11 Things We Learned at AFI Tribute to John Williams

10 June 2016 12:37 AM, PDT | The Wrap | See recent The Wrap news »

It takes a special kind of L.A. icon to bring together such disparate local luminaries as retired Laker Kobe Bryant and charismatic Los Angeles Philharmonic conductor Gustavo Dudamel, not to mention Steven Spielberg and George Lucas and Harrison Ford and Tom Hanks. But composer John Williams did just that on Thursday night at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, drawing an eclectic crowd of heavy hitters to see him become the first composer to receive the Life Achievement Award from the American Film Institute. Others in the crowd who came to celebrate the composer of the music to “Jaws,” “Star Wars, »

- Steve Pond

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John Williams Honored by Steven Spielberg, Harrison Ford at AFI Gala

10 June 2016 12:34 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

“That damn music follows me everywhere,” a heavily bearded Harrison Ford sighed from the Dolby Theater stage during the AFI’s Life Achievement Award presentation to John Williams on Thursday night, having just entered to the strains of the Williams-composed main theme to “Raiders of the Lost Ark.” “They play it every time I walk on the stage. Every time I walk off the stage. It was playing in the operating room when I went in for a colonoscopy.”

The evening’s other tributes were significantly less visceral, but Ford struck on the night’s common theme: the utter ubiquity of Williams’ music both inside and outside of cinemas over the past half century.

With his career having intersected with the work of so many of Hollywood’s brightest names, the dinner (to be broadcast later this month on TNT) was an appropriately starry affair. Collaborators ranging from Steven Spielberg »

- Andrew Barker

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Interview: James Wan on His Creative Process, Returning to Horror with The Conjuring 2 and His Approach to Aquaman

9 June 2016 1:31 PM, PDT | DailyDead | See recent DailyDead news »

Ever since his first feature film, Saw, was unleashed on unsuspecting audiences at Sundance in 2004, James Wan has continued to leave an indelible mark on the world of modern horror, creating two successful franchises—the aforementioned Saw and Insidious—and crafting several other truly remarkable genre efforts along the way, including Dead Silence and Death Sentence.

This weekend, Wan is hoping for a franchise three-peat with The Conjuring 2, his stunning sequel to 2013’s highly successful supernatural tale about the work of Ed (Patrick Wilson) and Lorraine (Vera Farmiga) Warren, two paranormal investigators who tackled evil time and time again throughout their careers. The follow-up film takes the couple to Enfield, England, where they must help the Hodgson family deal with an entity that is relentlessly tormenting them, especially young Janet (Madison Wolfe), who has become a pawn for the angry spirit.

During the recent press day, Daily Dead had »

- Heather Wixson

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AFI Honoree John Williams Looks Back on Six Decades of Iconic Themes

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

Star Wars.” “E.T.” “Jaws.” “Indiana Jones.” “Superman.” “Harry Potter.”

Admit it: You can’t think of any one of those films without hearing the score in your head.

John Williams, who wrote all those classic themes [and dozens more] will receive the American Film Institute’s Life Achievement Award on June 9 from frequent collaborator Steven Spielberg. It will be the first such honor given to a composer in the 44-year history of the award.

“This man’s gifts echo, quite literally, through all of us, around the world and across generations,” says AFI president-ceo Bob Gazzale. “There’s not one person who hasn’t heard this man’s work, who hasn’t felt alive because of it. That’s the ultimate impact of an artist.”

Over six decades in Hollywood, Williams has written some of the most memorable music in movie history. His 100-plus features have earned 50 Academy Award nominations [making him the most-nominated living person] and he’s won five times. »

- Jon Burlingame

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How 'Ghostbusters' Gave Birth to the Modern Blockbuster

8 June 2016 12:48 PM, PDT | Rollingstone.com | See recent Rolling Stone news »

How time flies when you're getting slimed. Ghostbusters turns 32 today, and the titanic influence of this nostalgia totem was obvious even before the upcoming all-female reboot prompted mass fanboy conniptions and the gnashing of Cheetos-stained teeth. To some fans, the attachment is so strong that any discussion of fandom's golden calf takes leave of basic logic. But the legacy of this 1984 juggernaut extends far beyond legions of nostalgic, anonymous misogynists on the Web. Steven Spielberg may have singlehandedly invented the modern blockbuster with Jaws, but nine years later, Ivan Reitman »

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Interview: Calgary Horror Con Founder Dan Doherty on 6th Year of Celebrating Scares in Canada

7 June 2016 12:18 PM, PDT | DailyDead | See recent DailyDead news »

[Editor’s Note: Our own Scott Drebit will be hosting panels this weekend at the sixth annual Calgary Horror Con. Ahead of the three-day event, Scott caught up with the convention’s CEO and founder, Dan Doherty, to discuss what sparked his love of the genre, the convention’s origin, this year’s special guest lineup, and more.]

Dan, let’s start at the start. When did you first get into horror?

Dan Doherty: I’ve been into horror since I was a kid—I’m not sure of the exact age. For me, it was a way to test my bravery. I was bullied a bit growing up, and it was a way to test it from a safe distance. And then after a while, it just becomes an adrenaline rush; you immerse yourself in a good horror film, but there isn’t much that scares me these days other than public washrooms [laughs]. I can remember watching C.H.U.D. when I was fairly young, maybe ten, but I’m not sure if that was the first. All I know is that once I was introduced to horror, I was hooked.

That seems to be the case with pretty much everyone—once you’re in, »

- Scott Drebit

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Recommended Discs & Deals: ‘Hail, Caesar!,’ ‘Anomalisa,’ ‘Le Amiche,’ and More

7 June 2016 6:38 AM, PDT | The Film Stage | See recent The Film Stage news »

Every week we dive into the cream of the crop when it comes to home releases, including Blu-ray and DVDs, as well as recommended deals of the week. Check out our rundown below and return every Tuesday for the best (or most interesting) films one can take home. Note that if you’re looking to support the site, every purchase you make through the links below helps us and is greatly appreciated.

Anomalisa (Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson)

Charlie Kaufman, the writer behind Being John Malkovich and Adaptation, teams up with animator Duke Johnson to create a complex emotional drama starring lifelike puppets. The premise is riddled with existential dread of modern-day life, presented uniquely through Kaufman’s idiosyncratic point-of-view. For protagonist and self-help author Michael Stone (voiced soulfully by David Thewlis), everyone around him has the same voice (thanks to Tom Noonan) and nothing feels right. It isn’t »

- The Film Stage

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Reflections On "Close Encounters Of The Third Kind" And The New Director's Cut

30 May 2016 4:57 PM, PDT | Cinemaretro.com | See recent CinemaRetro news »

The British Film Institute is currently showing the Director’s Cut of “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” as part of its on-going celebration of Steven Spielberg’s films. Here is the official press release:  

Sony Pictures Entertainment's Close Encounters of the Third Kind (Director's Cut) will receive an exclusive extended run at BFI Southbank from 27 May, screening from a new 35mm print. This special presentation will lead the BFI's two month season dedicated to Steven Spielberg - a celebration of one of the most influential and successful filmmakers in the history of cinema that will screen more than 30 of the director's films throughout June and July. Combining elements of both the 1977 original version and the 1980 Special Edition, Close Encounters of the Third Kind (Director's Cut) represents Steven Spielberg's definitive edit of his sci-fi masterpiece.

An extended theatrical run of The Director's Cut from 35mm will form a »

- nospam@example.com (Cinema Retro)

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Cannes Film Review: ‘Close Encounters with Vilmos Zsigmond’

18 May 2016 2:54 PM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

For any true-blue movie buff, cinematography is actually a sexy subject — it’s not just about how movies look, it’s about how they flow and feel, about how they live inside our mind’s eye. “Close Encounters with Vilmos Zsigmond,” a French-made documentary that explores the life and artistry of one of the virtuoso founding fathers of contemporary cinematography, the Hungarian-born neorealist Vilmos Zsigmond (who died, at 85, this past January), has some lively and resonant anecdotes that testify to what the highly cultivated craft of lensing a movie is really all about.

Peter Fonda, who hired Zsigmond early in his Hollywood career to shoot a film that Fonda was directing, “The Hired Hand” (1971), recalls how he showed John Ford’s “My Darling Clementine” to Zsigmond several times, all to draw attention to one interior shot in which it was all too obvious that the lighting was done by lamps. »

- Owen Gleiberman

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Shots Fired in first trailer for Fox’s new drama

17 May 2016 10:30 PM, PDT | Flickeringmyth | See recent Flickeringmyth news »

A trailer has arrived online for Fox’s upcoming drama event series Shots Fired which stars Sanaa Lathan, Stephan James, Helen Hunt, Richard Dreyfuss and Stephen Moyer; take a look below…

Examining the dangerous aftermath of racially charged shootings in a small Southern town, Shots Fired is a dramatic new event series that is a “why done it?” and a “who done it?” From Gina Prince-Bythewood (“Beyond the Lights,” “The Secret Life of Bees,” “Love & Basketball”) and Reggie Rock Bythewood (“Beyond the Lights,” “Notorious”), the 10-hour event series is an explosive look at the criminal justice system. When an African-American police officer kills an unarmed white college student, a small town in North Carolina is turned upside-down. Before the town has a chance to grapple with this tragedy, the neglected murder of an African-American teen is brought to light, re-opening wounds that threaten to tear the town apart. Leading »

- Amie Cranswick

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Steven Spielberg on why he thinks his sequels aren't very good

16 May 2016 6:55 PM, PDT | JoBlo.com | See recent JoBlo news »

Although I wouldn't presume that everyone shares my opinion, it probably wouldn't be completely out of order for me to say that Steven Spielberg has given the world some of its very best cinematic stories. With films like Jaws, Raiders Of The Lost Ark, Jurassic Park and others under his belt, Steven Spielberg has definitely proven his talent, but, they can't all be winners. While... Read More »

- Kevin Fraser

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‘Prison Break,’ ’24: Legacy,’ ‘Lethal Weapon’ and More Trailers From Fox’s 2016-17 Season

16 May 2016 3:08 PM, PDT | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

Fox has released the first trailers for the network’s 2016-17 lineup of shows, including revivals of “Prison Break” and “24,” adaptations of “Lethal Weapon” and “The Exorcist,” the latest musical drama from “Empire” creator Lee Daniels, and more.

Fall:

Lethal Weapon

Based on the hit movie franchise of the same name, “Lethal Weapon” follows iconic cop duo Riggs and Murtaugh, as they work a crime-ridden beat in modern-day Los Angeles. From the moment the brash and impulsive Martin Riggs (Clayne Crawford, “Rectify”) meets prudent, by-the-book Roger Murtaugh (Emmy Award nominee Damon Wayans, Sr., “My Wife and Kids,” “In Living Color”), it seems as if this partnership is doomed. But after their first case together, both realize this arrangement might just work out after all – if Riggs doesn’t get them killed first.

The Exorcist

Widely regarded as the greatest horror movie ever made, “The Exorcist” terrified audiences around the world. »

- Laura Prudom

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