12 items from 2015
This week Neil Calloway looks why American Sniper is breaking box office records…
I’ve read a lot about American Sniper since it was released; about the fake plastic babies it uses instead of real children, about how Michael Moore said snipers were cowards (and then backtracked and said he liked the film), about how it might actually influence a real life murder trial, and lots about how much money it has made. I haven’t read anything suggesting why it has made so much money.
First, the facts – American Sniper had the biggest January opening of a film ever in the Us, the biggest for a drama, the biggest Thursday night R rated opening (more than double that of the previous record holder, last year’s Lone Survivor, which we’ll get back to), the biggest for a Clint Eastwood film; the list goes on. In short, it made »
- Neil Calloway
Michael Ironside is one of the most recognized faces among genre fans. He’s become known as the fearsome baddie who gives everyone’s hero a run for their money. Among his 229 film credits, many of those include appearances in sci-fi and horror productions like Scanners, Total Recall, Highlander II: The Quickening, Terminator Salvation, and many more.
The Canada-born actor has also racked up a number of roles in mainstream Hollywood fare. He starred in Top Gun, The Next Karate Kid, Free Willy, and others. His many appearances on television include, ER, The A-Team, V, SeaQuest 2032, Vegas, Community, and many more.
One of Ironside’s latest projects was an apocalyptic sci-fi gore fest entitled Turbo Kid. He plays the sadistic and self-proclaimed leader of the Wasteland named Zeus. The movie revolves around the Kid, a young solitary scavenger obsessed with comic books that must face his fears and become »
- email@example.com (Eric Shirey)
By Anjelica Oswald
From the 79 original songs on the Oscar shortlist, five were nominated a week ago on Jan. 15: “Everything Is Awesome” from The Lego Movie, “Glory” from Selma, “Grateful” from Beyond the Lights, “I’m Not Gonna Miss You” from Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me and “Lost Stars” from Begin Again.
Following a recent trend, none of the nominees have made it to the top of the BIllboard Hot 100 chart, which tracks the success of singles by looking at radio play, online streaming and sales.
Following the announcement of the nominations, “Glory” made its debut at No. 25 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart dated Jan. 31 and is currently No. 92 on the Billboard Hot 100.
When “Everything Was Awesome” debuted in January 2014, the song debuted at No. 7 on the Dance/Electronic Songs chart and peaked at No. 57 on Billboard’s Hot 100.
“Lost Stars »
- Anjelica Oswald
By Anjelica Oswald
With Michael Keaton winning the Golden Globe for best actor in a musical or comedy and Eddie Redmayne winning for best actor in a drama, both men continue establishing themselves as the frontrunners in this year’s lead actor race at the Oscars.
Though not new to films, Redmayne starred in Oscar-nominated films such as Elizabeth: The Golden Age (2008) and Les Miserables (2012). His performance as Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything, however, propelled him to widespread acclaim and put him on the radar. He is one of four best actor nominees — along with Keaton, Benedict Cumberbatch and Steve Carell — to receive their first nomination this year.
For most of his career, Keaton was known for his comedic roles, such as Mr. Mom (1983) and Beetlejuice (1988), and for his turn as Batman in Tim Burton’s Batman (1989) and Batman Returns (1992). These roles earned Keaton praise and »
- Anjelica Oswald
It's not uncommon for props used in classic films to wind up being saved and preserved, ensuring that they last forever as a symbol of the movie's deep cultural impact. Of course, the size of the prop can be a very important factor in its preservation, and this is why Tony Scott's Top Gun is having a bit of trouble trying to save one of their more notable ones. After all, the prop that people are fighting to save is the decommissioned supercarrier Ranger. USA Today has the scoop on this story, reporting that efforts to save the aircraft carrier from Top Gun have hit a bit of a rough patch. According to the story, an organization located in Southern California called Top Gun Super Carrier of Long Beach Inc. has launched an online petition and is in the midst of trying to convince the Navy to save Ranger »
This week Neil Calloway looks at the lack of women behind the camera in Hollywood…
This week, a report by San Diego State University revealed that only 7% of the films in 2014’s top 250 highest grossing list were directed by women. That works out at 17 films, with only one film in the top 100 grossing films.
I was surprised by the statistic; surprised that the figure was that high. Looking at the list of films, I’d be shocked if anyone but the most ardent cinephile would recognise them all. The one female helmed film that made the top 100 was Unbroken, directed by Angelina Jolie. It’s hard to imagine Jolie would be allowed to direct a big budget film like that as only her second film if she hadn’t already established herself as an actress. Another of the 17 films was Palo Alto, directed by Gia Coppola, granddaughter of Francis Ford Coppola. »
- Neil Calloway
Ranger, the naval carrier from Top Gun, is headed to the scrapyard. According to USA Today,the carrier was sold to International Shipbreaking last year after an effort to turn the ship into a museum failed. However, in early January, Top Gun Super Carrier of Long Beach Inc. started an online petition to save the ship to once again, try to turn it into a museum. But according to Chris Johnson, a spokesman for Naval Sea Systems Command, it's too late to save Ranger now. "Though we would have preferred for the ship to be converted into a museum or memorial, »
- Samantha Highfill
There are plenty of awful movies based on video games out there, but today I thought I’d switch it up a bit and put together a list of great, classic films that got crappy video game adaptations. As I looked back at many of the games, I realized how bad some of them really were. I owned and played several of these games growing up, but as bad as they were, I still had fun playing many of them. I was a little kid growing up in the 80s - I didn't know any better!
These are games I got because of how much I loved the movies they were based on. A lot of the time I spent playing these games was full of frustration because many of them were practically impossible to beat. I don’t recall beating any of these games! These were all made in the infancy of video games, »
- Joey Paur
We started this website back in 2007, and since then, the names of some sequels seem to come up with reasonable regularity, albeit with no sign of the film itself. And in the time we've been going, yet more names have added themselves to the list of follow-ups that are seemingly stuck in development hell.
With the new Ghostbusters film set to escape and become a real thing in the next year or two, here's just a sample of the other projects struggling to get off the ground (with one or two edging closer to a greenlight than others...)
What is it?
This week Neil Calloway looks how 47 Ronin qualified for a subsidy from the UK government…
Have you seen 47 Ronin? If you haven’t, I wouldn’t bother if I was you. It’s That-Historical-Film-You’ve-Seen-a-Hundred-Times-Before. An outsider, after being saved by the daughter of a great man, helps a group of natives. It’s very very loosely based on a true story. The opening narration is like something from a video game cut scene. To be honest, it might have worked as one of those BBC Saturday evening series that they show when Doctor Who isn’t on, but a $175 million dollar action film it is not. The Flickering Myth review said “a weak script and shallow characterisation, which makes this only average at best”, which is about right.
There was trouble before it was already released, with reshoots and delays and the studio pretty much acknowledging they were going »
- Neil Calloway
There was a time that a brainy anti-drone movie like "Good Kill" would be mid-priced studio fare. Kiwi native Andrew Niccol, who launched his Hollywood career by writing "The Truman Show," is one of those maverick indies who writes the movies that interest him, from "Gattaca" and "Lord of War" to "In Time." And Ethan Hawke is eager to collaborate with the filmmaker, even when the global marketplace is resistant to thoughtful original movies like "Good Kill." Returning for his third go-round with Niccol, Hawke stars as a former Top Gun who is benched in a Las Vegas military base trailer piloting drone aircraft. He goes home to his wife (January Jones) every night, but dropping bombs in Yemen and Afghanistan from 7,000 miles away is not his idea of how to fight a war--especially when the CIA gets involved. The film also stars Zoe Kravitz, Bruce Greenwood, and Jake Abel. »
- Anne Thompson
This week Neil Calloway looks at the most pirated films of 2014…
It may have not won any Oscars, but this week The Wolf of Wall Street was given a more dubious honour; it was the most pirated movie of 2014.
According to reports, it was illegally downloaded 30 million times. The Wolf of Wall Street didn’t do too badly at the box office, making about $400 million, but let’s say half of those that pirated it paid to see it. At $10, that’s an extra $150 million. So what, you might say. Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio are rich, they aren’t going to miss that extra money, are they? 12 Years a Slave was downloaded more than 23 million times, again if half of those had paid to see it, it would have taken its box office to more than $200 million. If everyone who illegally downloaded the film had only paid a dollar for it, »
- Neil Calloway
12 items from 2015
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