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This week Neil Calloway looks at the possibility of owning shares in Hollywood stars…
Have you heard of Fantex? Unless you’re a fan of American Football or the financial markets, or both, the chances are you haven’t.
That may be about to change, however. Fantex was set up about a year ago, enabling people to buy shares in professional athletes in the Us. The player gets a one time lump sum from the company, and people then buy shares in that star in return for a chunk of their future earnings. The shares then increase and decrease in relation to how well the athlete is doing at the time.
Recently, there have been reports that Fantex are moving into Hollywood, and soon you may be able to buy stock in your favourite movie stars. Sounds good, right? If they do a deal with Daniel Craig I’d certainly buy a Bond bond. »
- Neil Calloway
Amongst Americans such as myself, there is a certain stereotype about our neighbors to the north. There’s a belief that Canadians are, for lack of a better word, nice. That during a visit to Canada, an American would be more likely to ride a moose around like a horse than hear the F-word. That hockey players are the only remotely dangerous people you could possibly meet in Canada, and even then, that they would only pummel you under the watchful eye of a referee whom they will later respectfully follow to the penalty box. This stereotype is perhaps best summed up by this scene in Michael Moore’s lone fiction film, Canadian Bacon, where Dan Aykroyd politely upbraids an invading group of American revolutionaries for not printing their anti-Canada graffiti in both English and French.
As stereotypes go, it’s a fairly positive one. But making stereotypes, even positive ones, »
- Mark Young
With less than two weeks before the UK General Election, Neil Calloway looks at the connections between politicians and the film industry…
They say politics is show business for ugly people, but some people have crossed the line between the two, with varying degrees of success over the years.
Whoever wins the UK General Election, there will no longer be a double Oscar winner in the House of Commons; Glenda Jackson, the Labour MP for Hampstead and Kilburn (and Hampstead and Highgate before that), will be standing down. Jackson is probably the most successful example of the actor/politician in Britain, but there have been others. If you’re worried that without an Oscar winner then Parliament will suffer, then Julian Fellowes, who won for his screenplay for Gosford Park – which now looks like a trial run for Downton Abbey – still sits on the Conservative benches in the House of Lords. »
- Neil Calloway
In the Star Wars universe, who would be Maverick and Goose?
"Wouldn’t The Star Wars 7 Trailer Be More Fun With The Top Gun Music?" was originally published on Film School Rejects for our wonderful readers to enjoy. It is not intended to be reproduced on other websites. If you aren't reading this in your favorite RSS reader or on Film School Rejects, you're being bamboozled. We hope you'll come find us and enjoy the best articles about movies, television and culture right from the source. »
- Neil Miller
Update: First came the IMAX posters; now we have the real deal: a new, full-length trailer for Tomorrowland that amps up the action and brings a sense of menace to the fantastical goings-on. Click below to take a closer look. Take a touch of Wizard Of Oz, a dash of J.M. Barrie and a glint of The Jetsons and you’ve got… ah, who are we kidding? Tomorrowland is probably nothing like any of those, although with what exactly it is remaining more under wraps than a kid’s Christmas presents, you can’t blame us for having a guess. The movie has some new character posters that shed approximately zero light on the situation, but do at least feature George Clooney channelling Viper in Top Gun. Alongside Clooney's struggling inventor Frank Walker here are his younger incarnation played by Thomas Robinson, Raffey Cassidy as the mysterious Athena and Britt Robertson as hero-of-the-piece Casey Newton. »
This week Neil Calloway uncovers a poll that surveys both voting intention and favourite Star Wars characters, with some unexpected results…
On Thursday, the trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens dropped at around the same time as leaders of British political parties (minus David Cameron and Nick Clegg, who obviously stayed at home to discuss the minutiae of the trailer online) gathered for a debate ahead of the General Election on 7th May. The coincidence, as well as Snp leader Nicola Sturgeon’s offer to Ed Miliband to help him form a government, which struck me as echoing Darth Vader’s offer to Luke Skywalker to rule the galaxy as father and son at the end of The Empire Strikes Back, led me to a survey which combined the two.
If you’re British, you’ve probably heard of YouGov, the polling organisation famous for its snapshots of »
- Neil Calloway
dashingstock / Shutterstock.com
Forget for a moment everything you’ve heard about Hollywood being a shark tank where new is best and you can can never be too rich or too greedy, pay no attention to Marilyn Monroe’s remark that she received a thousand dollars for a screen kiss and fifty cents for her soul, and look at the Hollywood sign.
Those nine letters, 45 feet tall and constructed from sheet metal, tell you everything you need to know about the town they overlook. Restored in 1978 at a cost of $250,000, the metal expands in the California sun, the sound carrying through the hills. That’s Hollywood to a tee – expensive and noisy.
Described by Charles Higham as “a clump of shacks at the end of a poisoned rainbow”, Hollywood is less a mass-market fantasy factory than a soulless machine whose operators have one goal: making money. “The pursuit of making »
- Ian Watson
This week Neil Calloway looks at the changing face of how films are released…
This week, two unrelated stories seemed like they could herald the end of films debuting in the cinema. First there was the news that Ricky Gervais’s new film, Special Correspondents, his third as director, would get its premiere on Netflix. This was closely followed by the news that Grace of Monaco, starring Nicole Kidman and the film that opened last years Cannes Film Festival, would not be released in Us cinemas, but would instead be shown on Lifetime, the channel best known for such classics as The Craigslist Killer and Fab Five: The Texas Cheerleader Scandal.
Netflix have begun to revolutionise how we watch TV shows, and are gaining real success with producing their own shows, but moving into feature films seems like it could be a game changer; we still expect our movies to »
- Neil Calloway
The Us drone programme has become more and more present in the public consciousness over the past three years, and Hollywood is catching up.
While the last few months have seen several TV programmes - notably Homeland and House of Cards - use Us drone strikes as a central device, Andrew Niccol's Good Kill is one of the first big-screen titles to tackle the issue.
Did you have Ethan in mind for this from the beginning?
"I don't think of anyone when I'm writing a script, I have no-one in mind, but as soon as I finished I thought he was perfect for it. When I called him about it, I said 'Ethan, I »
In Chrononauts #2 Corbin Quinn and Danny Reilly have become the world’s first time travelers—but not all goes according to plan when the two go rogue in their own era-hopping adventure. With the world watching, the buddies get mixed up in an eon’s worth of sticky situations while some of history’s scariest villains—and their bosses back in the present day—are determined to track them down.
Chrononauts #2 is out today.
- Gary Collinson
Venerable megastar Tom Cruise has mostly franchise sequels on his docket, like Mission: Impossible . Rogue Nation, along with potential follow-ups to Top Gun and Jack Reacher. Another intriguing project, called Mena, is set for some time further down the line and could have Cruise playing an overweight drug-smuggler-turned-cia-asset. It is now being reported that the bizarre biographical drama has cast blonde beauty Sarah Wright Olsen. According to Deadline, Sarah Wright Olsen, of the TV series Marry Me, and who recently appeared in the Elizabeth Banks comedy, Walk of Shame, has been cast in Mena in a role opposite Cruise. While the 31-year-old actress being cast alongside the 54-year-old is probably an age disparity that could be overlooked for a cinematic romantic situation, the nature of Cruise.s character suggests a different relationship between the characters. Mena will have the prolific action star portray a real life former military pilot named »
This week, Neil Calloway looks at the recent collapse of two films, and the wider implications for Hollywood…
Imagine if you’d secured Bruce Willis, or Robert De Niro and Robert Pattinson to star in your film, sorted out financing and actually started shooting; you’d be pretty happy. You wouldn’t be guaranteed a hit – in William Goldman’s oft-repeated maxim about Hollywood “nobody knows anything”, but you’d be pretty certain that your film would get a release, and had the potential to make money.
But of course, this is Hollywood. “Nobody knows anything” is often repeated because it’s true. In November last year Idol’s Eye, starring De Niro and Pattinson, shut down production, and this week Bruce Willis, along with director John Pogue, left the film Wake after production had been “temporarily” stopped earlier in the year. Both films were to be produced by Benaroya Pictures, »
- Neil Calloway
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
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