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This week, Neil Calloway argues that a $25 million salary for a movie might not be as ridiculous as it first seems…
Your first thought might be to say is that this is ridiculous; like the salaries of sports stars, that sort of money is impossible to comprehend for mere mortals; I’m not badly paid in my day job, but DiCaprio’s fee is hundreds of times what I might earn in a year.
Then again, the more I think about it, the more I see that fee is justified. DiCaprio was not only the star of The Wolf of Wall Street, he was the producer; he bought the rights to the book in 2007, the film didn’t come out until the »
- Neil Calloway
The movie chronicles a naval captain being forced against his will to navigate a cocaine-filled submarine past the Us coast guard.
This could be the next major action project for Neeson, who recently hinted that he would like to give up the high-impact film genre.
Watch a trailer for Run All Night below: »
Top Gun is to be screened at a London club night.
Tom Cruise's 1986 cult film will be played at the Troxy venue followed by Ultimate Power's club night.
It will be the first time the organisers have combined the event with a film screening.
Ultimate Power Club co-founder Dave Fawbert said: "For eight years we've been spreading the gospel of the power ballad to the UK and now we're delighted to be announcing our first-ever film and club night event, with one of the greatest films ever made, followed by the greatest songs ever written.
"This will be the most fun you can possibly imagine. We can't wait to fly with Maverick and Goose, and then rock into the early hours in June."
Tickets can be purchased from Ultimate Power's website.
Watch the trailer for »
This week Neil Calloway wonders why Britain doesn’t make films based on comics…
As someone who usually bemoans the apparent abundance of sequels and comic book adaptations, I was disappointed to hear Alex Garland’s announcement this week that there would not be a sequel to the 2012 film Dredd. Not just because I liked the film, and haven’t had a conversation with someone who didn’t like it (admittedly, I’ve only had a few conversations about it), not just because it was a messed up comic book film aimed squarely at grown ups, but because it was that rarest of things; a good British comic book movie.
Unfortunately, despite near universal good reviews, it made very little money – less than its $45 million dollar budget – and less than half, in fact, than the first Judge Dredd film, widely derided as a failure and released twenty years ago.
- Neil Calloway
We at Thn collectively love Keanu Reeves and have been immensely excited about his return this year in John Wick. Although not released in UK cinemas until April, Thn have been lucky enough to have already seen it and we can tell you that it is all kinds of awesome.
John Wick was so brilliant that it has awoken my long-forgotten admiration for Mr Reeves and compelled me to revisit his extensive back catalogue immediately. He might not be known as being the most heavyweight of actors but you have to admit the man knows how to make an entertaining movie, and he’s not bad to look at. Even if everything else about the film is terrible or ridiculously over the top, Keanu is always awesome – Jonnhy Mnemonic and Chain Reaction would be nothing without him.
Every Friday between now and the release of John Wick on 10th April, »
- Kat Smith
Ok, I’m sorry. You probably didn’t come here expecting a Kanye West reference — @KimKierkegaardashian’s genius Twitter feed is more my style — in an Idol recap. But my brain just went from the frying pan into the active volcano after Season 14’s Top 10 performance telecast (a confusing label, given that there were 11 singers on stage all night, with one awaiting the bad news that he or she was the »
Against all odds, there will be no Phil Collins ballad — or any soundtrack cuts from The Bodyguard, Frozen, Titanic and Armageddon — when the American Idol Top 10 (plus one contestant on the brink of elimination) tackle “Songs from the Movies tonight (8/7c on Fox).
RelatedReality Check: ‘All Bets Are Off’ on American Idol! Plus: Is Crazy Failure Worse Than a Total Lack of Risk?
That’s good news for Idoloonies who’ve vowed to crawl into their dryers and turn to lint at the sound of one more hopeful belting the umpteenth rendition of “I Have Nothing.”
More important than what the Top 10 won’t tackle, »
This week Neil Calloway looks at box office statistics from around the world…
Earlier this week Flickering Myth reported on the Motion Picture Association of America Theatrical Market Statistics with the headline “Transformers: Age of Extinction officially better than The Lego Movie…” it was true of, course, in terms of audience appeal; Michael Bay’s film having the more ethnically diverse audience in terms of people who saw it in the Us.
The report is a survey of what people watched at Us cinemas, and the global box office in 2014, and well worth a read if like me you’re into figures about the gender share of top grossing films and how many cinema-goers own a smartphone.
The first thing worth noting is that Us box office includes money made at cinemas in Canada, just as the UK box office includes the Irish box office figures; something I dare say »
- Neil Calloway
This week Neil Calloway looks at the benefits of brands appearing in films…
I thought the peak of award season was always the Oscars, and I imagine you did too. Turns out I’m wrong; there is also the Brandcameo Product Placement Awards.
Given out yearly, the awards “honour” films for their use of brands, and brands for their use in films. They are not entirely serious, and it could be said that they are a sly dig at the paid use of brands in movies.
This year, Apple won the award for “Overall Product Placement”, with its products appearing, or named in, 9 out of the 35 movies that topped the Us Box Office in 2014. The other big award is the Achievement in Product Placement in a Single Film, won this year by Transformers: Age of Extinction, with appearances by 55 brands, seven ahead of its nearest rival, Gone Girl.
I was »
- Neil Calloway
At a loss for what to watch this week? From new DVDs and Blu-rays, to what's streaming on Netflix, we've got you covered.
New on DVD and Blu-ray
In addition to, you know, the regular old Blu-ray, this release has a ridiculous amount of extras. We've got an exclusive clip below from the feature-length doc about the film -- check it out. (This is also available on Digital HD and iTunes, and it will be available on Amazon Prime on March 6.)
"Outlander: Season One, Volume One"
Starz's time-traveling romance is finallllllly available. The bonus features include a bunch of featurettes, but let's not pretend we're not just here for the romance between Claire (Caitriona Balfe) and Jamie (Sam Heughan) and all those kilts.
- Jenni Miller
This week Neil Calloway unexpectedly finds himself in agreement with the guy from Tenacious D…
It pains me to say it, but Jack Black had a point.
During his interjection into the opening song of last week’s Oscars, Black jokingly bemoaned the current state of cinema, complaining about sequels, prequels and comic book movies. It’s a familiar argument, and one that has been made before – one that I make regularly myself, to be honest. Given that it was a funny, but throwaway line during an award ceremony, you’d expect it to be forgotten quite quickly. Not so, it seems. James Gunn, director of Guardians of the Galaxy, wrote on Facebook that he didn’t find it offensive, before devoting 300 words as to why it was wrong.
This puzzled me. If I had just directed a film that was nudging close to $800 million at the box office, I »
- Neil Calloway
Fox and DC Entertainment have today swelled the DC Universe further by announcing that Welsh actor Tom Ellis (Rush, Once Upon a Time) has been cast in Lucifer, the new television show based on the DC / Vertigo Comics character.
Inspired by the character who first appeared in Neil Gaiman’s Sandman, Lucifer was the main protagonist in his own 75-issue solo series between 2000 and 2006. In the new show, “bored and unhappy as the Lord of Hell, [Lucifer] resigns his throne and abandons his kingdom for the gorgeous, shimmering insanity of Los Angeles, where he gets his kicks helping the Lapd punish criminals.”
Director Len Wiseman (Underworld, TV’s Sleepy Hollow) will direct the pilot episode, with legendary producer Jerry Bruckheimer (Con Air, Top Gun) on board as executive producer. Tom Kapinos (Californication) has adapted and written the pilot.
- Scott J. Davis
Released in 1987, Operation Wolf not only ushered in an era of gun games, but tapped into the decade's macho action movies, Ryan writes...
Some of the biggest arcade machines of the 80s - both in terms of popularity and physical bulk - were about bringing cinematic fantasies to life. Did you have childhood dreams of taking the controls of an X-Wing like Luke Skywalker? Atari's Star Wars let you do just that. Did you want to be Tom Cruise in Top Gun? Then Sega's nausea-inducing After Burner had you covered.
But what if you wanted to be a tough military, gun-toting hero, like Sly in Rambo: First Blood Part II, Arnold in Commando, or to a lesser extent, Chuck in Missing In Action? Lots of 80s games had military themes, like Capcom's Commando (which had nothing to do with the film), Snk's Ikari Warriors or Konami's Green Beret.
The definitive military hard-man game, »
Advertising the wealth of videogames on offer in 1988, Wh Smith's promo video is 45 minutes of retro majesty...
If you're looking for an illustration of how much things have changed in videogame culture over the past quarter of a century, look no further than this wonderful video from 1988.
British shop chain Wh Smith put together a VHS tape, designed to promote the range of videogames it would be stacking in its shelf through the year. From our current vantage point, it offers a mind-boggling array of electronic music, overwrought sales patter and gratuitous computer graphics.
Games advertised include conversions of arcade hits like Super Hang On and Out Run, and 16-bit RPGs like Dungeon Master. Our favourite moments? How about this wild bit of poetry, read out as Konami's shooter Salamander unfolds on the screen:
"To defeat this devil they must overcome forces mankind cannot perceive in his wildest nightmares: organic monsters of destruction, »
The Casual Vacancy's second episode dropped by nearly 2 million viewers from last week, overnight data reveals.
Call the Midwife remained easily on top of the Sunday ratings with 8.63m (33.2%) at 8pm, which is down by around 300,000 viewers from last week.
ITV's Get Your Act Together came to an end with 2.51m (11.0%) at 7pm, while All Star Family Fortunes entertained 2.65m (10.2%) at 8.15pm. Mr Selfridge continued with 3.51m (15.1%) at 9pm (269k/1.7% on +1).
Channel 5's showing of Top Gun »
This week Neil Calloway is wary of Neill Blomkamp’s Alien film…
When Neill Blomkamp released some of the artwork for his proposed Alien film, I was impressed – concept art for science fiction films is often better than the films themselves – and mentally filed it in my “great unmade films” drawer. It sat there alongside the Gladiator sequel scripted by Nick Cave, in which Russell Crowe’s character is resurrected and fights in various battles throughout history, Return of the Jedi directed by David Lynch (he was offered it, and turned it down because he did not want to helm a science fiction film where he was not in control of the material; ironically his next film would be an adaptation of Frank Herbert’s Dune. I cannot imagine what Lynch’s version of Jabba’s Palace would look like) and the unmade Jurassic Park sequel that featured dinosaurs, obviously, »
- Neil Calloway
Looking back, it's hard to believe nobody noticed. Released on May 16, 1986, the week after robo sci-fi Short Circuit and the week before naff spook-sequel Poltergeist II: The Other Side, Top Gun promised jet-fuelled action, wry romance and six-packs galore. Few would argue that it failed to deliver, earning its stripes as a slick action flick ("MTV goes to war!" saluted Time magazine) and cementing Tom Cruise as an A-list star. It was unstoppable at the box office, too, raking in $176 million to become the highest-grossing film of the year.
Flash forward to the present day, though, and Cruise's action vehicle has achieved a different kind of cultural status, topping the pantheon of unintentional Lgbt milestones. Steeped in testosterone, packed with lingering glances and spotlighting that volleyball scene, its irrefutable homoeroticism has become the stuff of movie legend. And while it's almost impossible to imagine that anybody could have made a »
The fifth film in Disney's "Pirates of the Caribbean" series has begun filming. Here's the press release the company issued today to celebrate the news which also includes a detailed new synopsis. Here's the press release in full:
Queens Land, Australia (February 18, 2015) – Production has commenced on location in Australia on Disney and Jerry Bruckheimer Films' epic comedy adventure "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales," directed by Espen Sandberg & Joachim Rønning ("Kon-Tiki"), the fifth entry in the blockbuster franchise inspired by the classic Disney Theme Parks attraction, which has reaped $3.7 billion in worldwide box office.
"Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales" will film entirely at Village Roadshow Studios and on locations within Queensland, Australia.
Thrust into an all-new adventure, a down-on-his-luck Captain Jack Sparrow finds the winds of ill-fortune blowing even more strongly when deadly ghost pirates led by his old nemesis, the terrifying »
- Garth Franklin
Production has commenced on location in Australia on Disney and Jerry Bruckheimer Films’ epic comedy adventure Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, directed by Espen Sandberg & Joachim Rønning (“Kon-Tiki”), the fifth entry in the blockbuster franchise inspired by the classic Disney Theme Parks attraction, which has reaped $3.7 billion in worldwide box office.
Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales will film entirely at Village Roadshow Studios and on locations within Queensland, Australia.
Johnny Depp returns to his iconic, Academy Award-nominated role of Captain Jack Sparrow, one of the most beloved characters in motion picture history, newly joined by Oscar winner Javier Bardem (“No Country for Old Men,” “Skyfall”), rising young stars Kaya Scodelario (“The Maze Runner,” British television’s “Skins”) and Brenton Thwaites (“Maleficent,” “The Giver”) and Golshifteh Farahani (“The Patience Stone,” “Exodus: Gods and Kings”).
Rejoining the action are Academy Award winner Geoffrey Rush as Barbossa, »
- Michelle McCue
Production has commenced on location in Australia on Disney and Jerry Bruckheimer Films' epic comedy adventure Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, directed by Espen Sandberg & Joachim Rønning (Kon-Tiki), the fifth entry in the blockbuster franchise inspired by the classic Disney Theme Parks attraction, which has reaped $3.7 billion in worldwide box office. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales will film entirely at Village Roadshow Studios and on locations within Queensland, Australia.
Johnny Depp returns to his iconic, Academy Award-nominated role of Captain Jack Sparrow, one of the most beloved characters in motion picture history, newly joined by Oscar winner Javier Bardem (No Country for Old Men, Skyfall), rising young stars Kaya Scodelario (The Maze Runner, British television's Skins) and Brenton Thwaites (Maleficent, The Giver) and Golshifteh Farahani (The Patience Stone, Exodus: Gods and Kings). Rejoining the action are Academy Award winner Geoffrey Rush as Barbossa, »
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