14 items from 2016
If you’ve never heard of Lloyd Kaufman, you’ve managed to avoid the work of one of the most prolific pioneers of independent film from the past four decades. Kaufman’s New York-based movie studio Troma Entertainment has produced and distributed more than 1,000 films, and in the process has helped launch the careers of some of Hollywood’s most successful talents.
New Yorkers unfamiliar with Troma have a chance to catch up on its sensibilities this weekend. On Friday and Saturday, Troma hosts the 17th annual Tromadance Film Festival in Brooklyn, a free festival showing feature films and shorts from filmmakers around the world. This is the story of how one wacky filmmaking factory found its groove.
Schlock With Purpose
Founded in 1974 by Kaufman and his business partner Michael Herz, Troma bills itself as the longest-running independent movie studio in North America. The company is known for its low-budget »
- Graham Winfrey
Mid-summer brings the biggest limited opening of 2016, with a return to form by Woody Allen as new distributor Amazon Studios and partner Lionsgate pushed “Café Society” to numbers unseen since last December. It’s not at Allen’s top level, but a huge leap above his last two films as well as anything else so far this year.
For a totally different market, Dinesh D’Souza doc “Hillary’s America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party” had a limited opening in Middle America with strong front-loaded initial numbers. The political doc goes wider this Friday and could see a better eventual total —via an entirely different audience—than Allen’s film.
“Hunt for the Wilderpeople” (The Orchard) from New Zealand leads the films in wider release as it continues to build word-of-mouth success. “Captain Fantastic” (Bleecker Street) boasted a decent second weekend expansion and could end up at a »
- Tom Brueggemann
Elizabeth Rayne Jul 8, 2016
Mel Gibson’s movie career, for fairly understandable reasons, has not been anywhere near as prolific as it once was. He’s picked up roles in The Beaver, Machete Kills, The Expendables 3 and How I Spent My Summer Vacation. But the days he was one of the biggest draws at the box office? Long gone.
For his new film, he’s starring in Blood Father, as an ex-con proecting his daughter from drug dealers. It’s French-produced movie, from director Jean-Francois Richet, who helmed the Us remake of Assault On Precinct 13. It’s the kind of Euro-thriller that helped turned Liam Neeson into such a bankable action movie star, by the looks of it.
A trailer for the film – that lands in the Us next month – has popped up online. »
Like the rest of the summer, it’s a mixed bag.
Buddy comedy “Central Intelligence” enjoyed a strong second weekend, and low-budget horror flick “The Shallows” scored a better-than-expected opening, buoyed by rave reviews. But Stx’s risky opening strategy failed for Gary Ross’s historic epic “Free State of Jones,” starring Matthew McConaughey. Another national release in under 800 theaters bombed. “The Neon Demon” and its sub-$1 million haul is covered in Arthouse Audit. (This week’s box office preview is here; last weekend’s Top 10 Box Office Takeaways is here. »
- Tom Brueggemann
Long gone are the times when electronic music and nerd culture went hand in hand, but one of the most household names in mainstream Edm has forged a partnership that would suggest otherwise. Martin Garrix has announced that his new track titled “Oops” will be released as the official theme of YouTube Live at E3.
Garrix debuted the track during his performance at Indy 500 Snake Pit last week, and its 8 bit-reminiscent sections had sounded somewhat out of character for one of his releases. With the announcement that he will release it in conjunction with YouTube’s coverage of E3 – arguably the most renowned trade fair for gamers worldwide – suddenly the themes make more sense.
Martin Garrix will release “Oops” as a free giveaway across several platforms on June 13th, when YouTube Live at E3 kicks off. Until then, you can watch the video above to hear him talk about how the partnership came together. »
- John Cameron
For better or worse, Wayward Pines begins its second season feeling like a whole new show. Sure, the titular town is still front and center—and those problematic abbies are still scratching at the fortified walls—but this is not the same place that Matt Dillon's Ethan sacrificed himself for at the end of the Fox series' first season. Long gone is the pretense of the peaceful idyll carefully cultivated until the not-so-dearly departed David Pilcher's (Toby Jones) watch, replaced instead by the fanatical First Generation's martial law. This semi-reboot, and the several fresh faces that come along with it, was born out of necessity, sure—what was originally intended as a one-and-done limited »
Kelly Ripa may no longer be mad as hell, but it has become quickly apparent that she's not going to take it anymore. The week of her "return" to Live! With Kelly and Michael is now behind her and today's installment of Masterbeef Theater further confirmed that Ripa has no intention of letting Michael Strahan off the hook before he leaves the show for good in two weeks. And why should she? Long gone are the days when a talk show host has to sit back and pretend that life is perfect on set, that the backstage wheeling and dealing has no effect on what occurs in front of the camera. More than ever, what's going on in real life is spilling over into TV land. Of course, that »
Imgn.Pro and Fool’s Theory, some of the genius minds behind The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt have revealed the first gameplay teaser trailer for Seven: The Days Long Gone, an RPG isometric game that will involve a lot of thieving, sneaking and fighting.
Set in the distant post-apocalyptic future where life has sprung again, you’ll play as Teriel, a master thief imprisoned on the island of Peh. Take a look at the brand-new teaser, and share your thoughts with the team on social media.
Fool’s Theory have created a parkour climbing system that gives you the ability to traverse freely, in both horizontal and vertical fashions of any size, height, or variety. You’ll explore the vast non-linear, sandbox world of Peh Island, part of the Vetrall Empire.
Teriel’s journey takes place in a “beyond post-apocalyptic” environment where life has reset and civilization has begun again. »
Tom Hiddleston mastered the yodel in preparation for his role as country music legend Hank Williams in his new film “I Saw the Light.” “I can yodel now,” Hiddleston told Jimmy Kimmel. “There comes a time in a man’s life when he’s called upon to yodel.” The host prompted Hiddleston to tease his musical prowess with a few lines from the Williams classic “Long Gone Lonesome Blues.” Both Hiddleston and Elizabeth Olsen, who plays Hank’s wife Audrey, do their own singing in the drama. Hiddleston lived with musician Rodney Crowell in Nashville where he learned to tackle Williams’ trademark yodel. The British thespian also spoke about the high stakes involved playing an icon of American culture. “I take the responsibility seriously,” Hiddleston said. “I knew as a British actor going in to play such a loved icon of American music, I had to kind of commit myself to it. »
Has Tom Hiddleston ruined his chance of being 007? As Jimmy Kimmel warned him last night, "James Bond does not yodel in any situation." And yet Hiddleston just yodeled on "Jimmy Kimmel Live," illustrating the skills he picked up playing American icon Hank Williams in "I Saw the Light."
As the brave actor put it, "There comes a time in a man's life when he's called upon to yodel." Truth.
The Bond discussion came first, after Kimmel asked Hiddleston about his role in "The Night Manager." The "Avengers" star had previously said he would embrace the opportunity to play Bond, but on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" he hedged a bit, saying discussion on the next Bond is a national pastime in England. It sounded like he was saying every British actor gets asked about it in every interview, and we shouldn't read anything into it. Kimmel asked a good question -- whether »
- Gina Carbone
Shortly after Mad Max: Fury Road's release in May, many fans started wondering if this blockbuster would have any shot at winning Best Picture at The 88th Annual Academy Awards, which were handed out last night. As it turns out, Mad Max: Fury Road did end up taking home the most Oscars, winning six, but it was largely shut out of the major categories, such as Best Picture and Best Director, for George Miller's work behind the camera. Mad Max: Fury Road was actually one of just three movies that ended up taking home multiple awards last night.
Mad Max: Fury Road's wins were largely in technical categories, taking home Oscars for Best Costume Design (Jenny Bevan), Best Production Design (Colin Gibson; Katie Sharrock, Lisa Thompson), Best Makeup and Hairstyling (Lesley Vanderwalt, Damian Martin, Elka Wardega), Best Film Editing (Margaret Sixel), Best Sound Editing (Mark Mangini, David White »
Now that the news has broken that the match between The Undertaker and Braun Strowman is mercifully off the table for WrestleMania 32, it’s time to take a moment to reflect on the five-star classic that could have been.
Who am I kidding? The bout would have been horrendous and apparently everyone but those in command at WWE was fully aware of it. Long gone are the days of The Undertaker clashing with giants, monsters and freakshows. Years of marquee matches against the likes of Shawn Michaels, Brock Lesnar, Triple H and Cm Punk have us expecting much more from The Deadman, regardless of the fact that he’s now pushing eighty.
WWE (read: Vince McMahon) apparently has a strong desire to push Strowman as an unstoppable monster, and while that may be warranted at some point, now is simply not the time. Reports are that once word »
- Brad Hamilton
It’s been a whirlwind of a week in the world of wrestling with fans buzzing over the arrivals of Aj Styles, Austin Aries and Shinsuke Nakamura in WWE. Styles made his highly anticipated debut in the 2016 Royal Rumble match while Aries appeared at last Friday’s set of Nxt tapings in Orlando. Days later, it was announced that Nakamura will be in action at Nxt TakeOver: Dallas.
How WWE will treat Nakamura in Nxt remains to be seen, but if the way they have utilized Styles so far on the main roster has been any indication, he will be just fine. He dominated the Japanese wrestling scene for over a decade and will now face a new set of challenges in Nxt, where he will face some of the greatest wrestlers in the world today.
It feels like every signing to the so-called developmental territory is more exciting than the last. »
- Graham GSM Matthews
The promotion for the Royal Rumble PPV, which takes place on January 24, has thus far been weak. WWE have given themselves a lot of work to do on the go-home Raw this Monday, especially when it comes to establishing the undercard matches.
Even the main event is in need of some work, with a host of confusing messages having come out of the last few episodes of Raw. The exact constitution of the Rumble title match is still unknown at this point.
The lack of promotion is unfortunately typical of modern day WWE. Long gone are the days of actually selling a show, now it is more about selling the Network. Fans are buying into a collective package, with around million subscribers paying for the monthly specials regardless of what the card is.
WWE’s logic is perhaps that, even with no effort, the Royal Rumble match is always a draw. »
- Grahame Herbert
14 items from 2016
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