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Manhunt review – John Woo rolls back the years with big pharma bullet-barrage

The godfather of balletic bloodshed is back to his pre-Hollywood best with this Japan-set action thriller about a lawyer on the run from his shady former boss

With a flurry of bullets, fists and fluttering white doves, John Woo offers a better yesterday: it’s a raucously enjoyable return to the action-thriller style of his pre-Hollywood years, a cheerfully cartoony ass-kicking bromance between tough cop and falsely accused murder suspect in the manner of his classics like The Killer. There are parkour-style action sequences in crowded streets, snipers whose gun barrels emerge from billboard hoardings, cheesy emotional freeze-frames on expressive faces, a jazzy-melancholy sax theme, a scene in the subway which involves actually running on the tracks ahead of the train, and an old-fashioned jet-ski chase down a city river.

The film is based on the Japanese pulp novel Hot Pursuit by Juko Nishimura, and particularly its cult 1976 movie adaptation
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

The Top 12 Composers of the 21st Century, From Hans Zimmer to Nick Cave

The Top 12 Composers of the 21st Century, From Hans Zimmer to Nick Cave
In an age where special effects reign supreme, there’s one aspect of the filmmaking process that hasn’t gone through a radical transformation — music. Some of the best movies in any given year would be sorely lacking without their memorable scores, and this has remained true well into the first two decades of the 21st century.

Read More‘Logan’ Composer Marco Beltrami on R-Rated Wolverine Minimalist Score

Film composers play an integral part in the filmmaking process, and there are a handful whose bodies of work stand out in recent years. Of course, this list of 12 major composers only begins to scratch the surface of the talent out there. There are plenty of other worthy contributors to the medium who didn’t make the cut — Danny Elfman and John Williams, we’re looking at you — but rest assured that this top dozen represent the cream of the crop.

Hans Zimmer
See full article at Indiewire »

Why Ridley Scott Needs to Stop Making Alien Movies

Why Ridley Scott Needs to Stop Making Alien Movies
Upon first glance at the title it might seem like some "click-bait" article trying to get read. And perhaps, no matter what you read here, that is how you're going to see it. However, once you finish reading this opinion piece (and remember, this is simply my opinion), you may very well agree that Ridley Scott is no longer the man to handle the Alien franchise. Especially after watching this weekend's less than stellar Alien: Covenant.

When the first Alien movie landed in theaters in 1979, it was groundbreaking. It featured incredible special effects, a plausible look at the space program in the future, and a scene of such amazingly grotesque proportions (the alien exploding out of a crew mate's stomach), it still shocks people to this day. The film was smart, it featured a female kicking ass, and in many ways, the first Alien movie directed by Ridley Scott is still ahead of it's time.
See full article at MovieWeb »

Ridley Scott and the storytelling problem

Simon Brew May 16, 2017

Alien: Covenant is the latest example of the very best, and not so great, things about Ridley Scott's directing...

There are very, very light spoilers for Prometheus and Alien: Covenant ahead.

I can’t think of too many more recent well-deserved sci-fi blockbuster hits than The Martian. I really like the film a lot. Expertly directed by one of cinema’s best ever world builders, Ridley Scott, it of course told the story of a man stranded on the red planet, with the simple task of staying alive for, er, a long time before help could be found. Given that the Mars movies we got in the early 2000s were Mission To Mars and Red Planet, I’m happy to call The Martian a substantial upgrade.

I’d also suggest it brought the best out of Ridley Scott.

Scott came to The Martian relatively late in the day.
See full article at Den of Geek »

Ridley Scott: His best films to date

Late last week, I got a chance to see Ridley Scott’s latest film, the franchise outing Alien: Covenant. A sequel to Prometheus and prequel to Alien, it is still a few weeks out, but 20th Century Fox is clearly feeling bullish about it. You’ll see what think in detail later on this month, but with it fresh in my mind, I wanted to take a look at Scott’s career on the whole. A few years ago I ranked his ten best movies, and I’m going to be doing that again today, just wish an added twist. Scott is fairly prodigious with his outings, so this can be a fairly consistent thing. There’s always some new coals in the fire for him. Before I get to the top ten list, I figured I’d do a full ranking of total filmography, up until those best ones,
See full article at Hollywoodnews.com »

Alien Covenant Set Visit #1: Everything we learned on set, plus SFX info!

  • JoBlo
When I was asked if I’d be interested in flying all the way to Sydney, Australia to visit the set of Ridley Scott’s Alien Covenant (New Trailer and Poster at the end of this piece) aka “used to be Prometheus Part 2”; I didn’t have to think about it much, if at all! With films like Alien, Blade Runner, Black Rain, Gladiator, Hannibal, Kingdom of Heaven and... Read More...
See full article at JoBlo »

‘Awards Chatter’ Podcast — Kevin O’Connell (‘Hacksaw Ridge’)

Kevin O’Connell (Courtesy: Getty Images)

By: Scott Feinberg

The Hollywood Reporter

“I’ve never been more appreciative, humbled and just overall excited about the fact that I’ve been nominated,” says Hacksaw Ridge sound mixer Kevin O’Connell of his 21st Oscar nomination — which he shares with Peter Grace, Robert Mackenzie and Andy Wright — as we sit down at The Hollywood Reporter to record an episode of THR‘s ‘Awards Chatter’ podcast. “I don’t want to say I took it for granted in the past, but I certainly don’t take it for granted anymore.”

O’Connell, 59, has worked in Hollywood for nearly 40 years, and is one of the most respected practitioners of his craft. But he is best known for a dubious distinction: in Oscar history, no person has accumulated more nominations without ever winning. His noms span 33 years, from 1983’s Terms of Endearment through Mel Gibson‘s 2016 war film,
See full article at Scott Feinberg »

Oscars: With 38 Combined Noms, Former Partners Square Off for the First Time

Oscars: With 38 Combined Noms, Former Partners Square Off for the First Time
For more than a decade, sound mixers Kevin O’Connell and Greg P. Russell worked hand-in-hand on some of the industry’s biggest box office hits, movies like “The Rock,” “Armageddon,” “Spider-Man,” and “Transformers.” It was a relationship born out of an early coupling on Ridley Scott’s “Black Rain” that later took flight in the mid-1990s when the two set up shop together at the Cary Grant mixing stage on the Sony lot in Culver City. In their time together, they landed Academy recognition 12 times, quickly becoming the Susan Luccis of the Oscars — consistently nominated, but never awarded.

Ten years ago, after the first “Transformers” film, O’Connell and Russell went their separate ways. This year, they’re back at the big dance together, though for different projects: O’Connell picked up his 21st nomination to date for Mel Gibson’s “Hacksaw Ridge,” while Russell is back in
See full article at Variety - Film News »

The Best Movie You Never Saw: Black Rain

  • JoBlo
Welcome to The Best Movie You Never Saw, a column dedicated to examining films that have flown under the radar or gained traction throughout the years, earning them a place as a cult classic or underrated gem that was either before it’s time and/or has aged like a fine wine. This week we’ll be looking at Black Rain The Story:; A corrupt American cop (Michael Douglas) and his partner (Andy... Read More...
See full article at JoBlo »

Killjoys Creator Talks World-Building, Payoffs and Her Robot Arm Girl

They're back! Killjoys Season 2 Episode 1 was a rollicking good time, wasn't it?

TV fans fall hard for the cast, which makes sense as they're front and center and the faces of our most beloved shows. For me, however, the creators and showrunners are the real rock stars. Imagine my thrill at a chance to pick Michelle Lovretta's brain.

You don't have to look any further than the fact she's a life-long fan of genre entertainment herself to understand why her shows work. Michelle adores the worlds she creates, and her characters are real people to her.

I hope you guys enjoy this exclusive interview with the creative genius behind the world of Killjoys.

TV Fanatic: Showrunners wear so many hats. What's your favorite part of the process?

Michelle Lovretta: For me, development. Development is my first love. That's where it's just me alone, in the room, coming up
See full article at TVfanatic »

Ridley Scott to Receive American Cinematheque Honor

Ridley Scott to Receive American Cinematheque Honor
Director-producer Ridley Scott will receive the 30th American Cinematheque award.

The presentation will take place on Oct. 14 at the Beverly Hilton.

Scott received Academy Award director nominations for “Black Hawk Down,” “Gladiator” and “Thelma and Louise.” Othe directing credits include “Alien,” “Black Rain,” “Blade Runner,” “The Duelists,” “Exodus: Gods and Kings,” “G.I. Jane,” “Kingdom of Heaven,” “Legend,” “The Martian,” “Matchstick Men,” “Prometheus,” “Robin Hood,” “Someone to Watch Over Me” and “White Squall.”

The American Cinematheque is extremely pleased to honor Ridley Scott as the 30th recipient of the American Cinematheque award at our celebration this year,” said American Cinematheque Chairman Rick Nicita. “To state it simply, Ridley Scott is one of the greatest directors in the history of the motion picture.”

“From his first feature, ‘The Duelists,’ to his most recent, ‘The Martian,’ the films of Ridley Scott have combined keenly observed humanity with dazzling state-of-the-art effects and design in
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Hiroshima 70th Anniversary: Six Must-Watch Movies Remembering the A-Bomb Terror

'The Beginning or the End' 1947 with Robert Walker and Tom Drake. Hiroshima bombing 70th anniversary: Six movies dealing with the A-bomb terror Seventy years ago, on Aug. 6, 1945, the U.S. dropped the first atomic bomb over the city of Hiroshima. Ultimately, anywhere between 70,000 and 140,000 people died – in addition to dogs, cats, horses, chickens, and most other living beings in that part of the world. Three days later, America dropped a second atomic bomb, this time over Nagasaki. Human deaths in this other city totaled anywhere between 40,000-80,000. For obvious reasons, the evisceration of Hiroshima and Nagasaki has been a quasi-taboo in American films. After all, in the last 75 years Hollywood's World War II movies, from John Farrow's Wake Island (1942) and Mervyn LeRoy's Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo (1944) to Steven Spielberg's Saving Private Ryan (1998) and Michael Bay's Pearl Harbor (2001), almost invariably have presented a clear-cut vision
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Julie Kirkham, Producer and Script Advisor, Dies at 61

Julie Kirkham, producer and script consultant who worked on films including “Black Rain” and “Anna and the King,” died June 10 in Santa Monica of multiple myeloma. She was 61.

Known as one of the best readers and script advisers in Hollywood, she helped launch screenwriters including Steve Zaillian, Ron Shelton, Craig Bolotin, Blake Herron and Jordan Roberts.

As production executive at Orion, she worked on development and production of films including “Cherry 2000,” “At Close Range,” “Desperately Seeking Susan,” “Breathless,” “The Falcon and the Snowman,” “Under Fire,” “RoboCop” and “The Terminator.” She later served as a production exec at A Band Apart and Lawrence Bender Productions, and had producing credits on “Knockaround Guys” and “Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights.”

After attending Princeton, the New York native started out as a script reader and worked at Ray Stark Productions and for TriStar. Kirkham was partnered with her husband, producer Elliot Lewitt, in Kirkham-Lewitt Productions.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Julie Kirkham, Producer of ‘Black Rain’ and ‘Anna and the King,’ Dead at 61

Julie Kirkham, Producer of ‘Black Rain’ and ‘Anna and the King,’ Dead at 61
Julie Kirkham, a studio executive and script consultant who produced such films as “Black Rain” and “Anna and the King,” died June 10. She was 61. She was recently diagnosed with multiple myeloma. Kirkham, a graduate of Princeton University, broke into the industry as a script reader in the 1980s. She served as VP of production at Orion Pictures and then as Svp at Quentin Tarantino and Lawrence Bender‘s production company, A Band Apart, and later at Lawrence Bender Productions. Also Read: Hollywood's Notable Deaths of 2015 (Photos) She executive produced Ridley Scott‘s 1989 thriller “Black Rain” and co-produced 1999’s “Anna and the.
See full article at The Wrap »

Julie Kirkham, Producer of 'Black Rain' and 'Anna and the King,' Dies at 61

Julie Kirkham, Producer of 'Black Rain' and 'Anna and the King,' Dies at 61
Julie Kirkham, who produced such films as Cherry 2000, Black Rain and Anna and the King and served as an executive for Lawrence Bender and Quentin Tarantino, has died. She was 61. Kirkham died June 10 after recently being diagnosed with multiple myeloma, her friend, Black Rain screenwriter Craig Bolotin, said.    Kirkham began as a script reader in Hollywood. She worked for Ray Stark Productions at Columbia Pictures as a development executive, shifted to TriStar Pictures and then became vice president production at Orion Pictures, the company behind the 1987 Melanie Griffith sci-fi film Cherry 2000.   She later served as

read more
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

The top 25 underappreciated films of 1989

From a crazy early Nic Cage role to a lesser-known film starring Robert De Niro, here's our pick of 25 underappreciated films from 1989...

Ah, 1989. The year the Berlin Wall came down and Yugoslavia won the Eurovision Song Contest. It was also a big year for film, with Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade topping the box office and Batman dominating the summer with its inescapable marketing blitz.

Outside the top 10 highest-grossing list, which included Back To The Future II, Dead Poets Society and Honey I Shrunk The Kids, 1989 also included a plethora of less commonly-appreciated films. Some were big in their native countries but only received a limited release in the Us and UK. Others were poorly received but have since been reassessed as cult items.

From comedies to thrillers, here's our pick of 25 underappreciated films from the end of the 80s...

25. An Innocent Man

Disney, through its Touchstone banner, had high hopes for this thriller,
See full article at Den of Geek »

Film Review: ‘The Longest Ride’

As spring perennials go, a new Nicholas Sparks movie has come to seem as inevitable as tax day and allergy season, and only mildly less irritating to the senses. Though the character names and model-perfect faces may change (ever so slightly), the place (coastal North Carolina) remains the same, as do the trials and tribulations facing the star-crossed lovers who traverse its shores. The formula is by now as proven (and critic-proof) as Marvel or Tyler Perry — so why tinker with it in the least? Rest assured, “The Longest Ride” does nothing of the sort as it parallels the fates of two couples from different eras navigating the usual Sparks-ian gauntlet of war, class relations, cataclysmic accidents and life-altering medical conditions. Appealing performances by a trio of second- and third-generation Hollywood kids keep this three-hankie twaddle more bearable than it deserves, but “Ride” will surely go the longest with
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Nyaff to honour late Japanese film 'legends'

  • ScreenDaily
Nyaff to honour late Japanese film 'legends'
Exclusive: The New York Asian Film Festival (Nyaff) has announced a special focus on two Japanese film legends, Ken Takakura (Black Rain) and Bunta Sugawara (Battles Without Honor), who both passed away last November.

“Both made a career of playing tough yakuza characters, and have been referred to as Japanese equivalents to Clint Eastwood. This will be the first retrospective/tribute outside Japan since they passed away,” Nyaff co-director Samuel Jamier told ScreenDaily.

“With this programme, the festival wants to salute the end of an era, when two superstar actors could be successful both within and outside the studio system.”

The fest will also have a focus on Japanese director Daihachi Yoshida (The Kirishima Thing), as “one of the most vivid, original storytellers from Asia”.

Yoshida will be in New York for the North American premiere of his crime drama Pale Moon, which was in Competition at the Tokyo film festival last October.

In Korean
See full article at ScreenDaily »

HK FilMart: John Woo Searches Out ‘Manhunt’ As Next Directorial Project

HK FilMart: John Woo Searches Out  ‘Manhunt’ As Next Directorial Project
Top Hong Kong film-maker John Woo will next direct action thriller “Manhunt,” an adaptation of a Japanese novel.

The project, produced by Hong Kong’s Media Asia, sees a prosecutor framed for robbery, rape and multiple murders. He sets out on a strenuous solo mission to clear his name.

The book “Kimi yo Funnu no Kawa o Watare” (aka “Hot Pursuit”) by Juko Nishimura was previously adapted as a movie in Japan in 1976, directed by Junya Sato, and starring Ken Takakura (“Black Rain”) as the prosecutor. In 1978 it was the first foreign film released in China after the end of China’s ‘Cultural Revolution,’ and became a massive hit.

Media Asia confirmed that the film will start shooting in 2015, which makes it Woo’s next film after he completes two part wartime epic “The Crossing.” Woo was previously attached to an ambitious aerial project “Flying Tigers” focused on how Chinese and U.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

The Longest Ride Gets A New, Very Long Trailer

In terms of movie adaptations, the output of bestselling author Nicholas Sparks stands as a perfect example of Hollywood’s adherence to the phrase, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” The “it” in question is Sparks’ very clear formula. With films such as The Notebook, The Last Song and Dear John in his back catalogue, we would surely be forgiven for thinking his storytelling, by this point, is simply a case of joining up the dots, and his latest romance – The Longest Ride – certainly looks as though it will prove that to be true.

Starring Britt Robertson (Cake) and Scott Eastwood (Fury), the Nicholas Sparks book is this time adapted by Craig Bolotin (Black Rain) and is directed by George Tillman Jr. (Faster). In it, another conventionally attractive young couple must overcome some obstacles to make their earth-shattering, life-changing, true love relationship work. You know, just like in The Notebook,
See full article at We Got This Covered »
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