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Inspired by true events, The Revenant is an immersive and visceral cinematic experience capturing one man’s epic adventure of survival and the extraordinary power of the human spirit. In an expedition of the uncharted American wilderness, legendary explorer Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio) is brutally attacked by a bear and left for dead by members of his own hunting team.
- Michelle McCue
Hollywood Banker, directed by Frans Afman’s daughter Rozemyn, charts the bankers early days working with producer Dino De Laurentiis through to his fall out with Credit Lyonnais Nederland over the company’s financing of MGM to Giancarlo Parretti, which would result in both the bank and the studio’s bankruptcy.
It’s hard to believe that, before Afman, there really was no model for independent studios to “easily” finance their projects. Yet today Afman’s model of pre-sales and completion guarantees seems simple. It’s no wonder how easily Afman managed to make himself the go-to guy for filmmakers in the 80s. A prime example being Dino De Laurentiis’ King Kong remake, which was the first film to bring Afman’s financial nous to the attention of more than just the independent studios of the time. After all, the pre-sales model not only made it easier to finance movies »
- Phil Wheat
While this year’s Oscar season has yet to determine a frontrunner, twenty five years ago, Kevin Costner’s “Dances With Wolves” was released on November 21st, starting a campaign that would get the picture seven Oscars. It beat out “Goodfellas,” “Ghost,” “Awakenings,” and “The Godfather Part III” to take Best Picture and also won major prizes for Best Editing, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Director. Audiences lined up to the tune of over $420 million worldwide, and critics were largely taken with the the picture, including “Siskel & Ebert.” Roger Ebert called it a “sweeping, beautiful, romantic, exciting... epic western,” while Gene Siskel declares it a “great, great film.” Ebert in particular praises the film’s depiction of Native Americans. While there have been some criticisms of the movie in how it handles the portrait of the Sioux and Native language in the film, it’s worth remembering that this was Costner’s first directorial effort, »
- Kevin Jagernauth
46 years ago today, “Sesame Street” aired its first episode. Back then, in 1969, Oscar the Grouch was orange, Big Bird was the village idiot, and Elmo and Abby Cadabby weren’t even a glimmer in anyone’s eye. Soon Jim Henson introduced us to the green monster living in a trash can we all know, Big Bird’s character was reworked to be a curious, 6-year-old child, and more new Muppets came to populate that street where the air is sweet. The educational program has aired in over 120 countries and remains a staple in childhoods all around the world. Other notable November 10 happenings in pop culture history: • 1931: The 4th Academy Awards were held at the Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles. Honoring films released between August 1, 1930 and July 31, 1931, the ceremony awarded Best Picture to “Cimarron,” the first Western to win the award and the only one to do so until “Dances with Wolves »
- Emily Rome
13 years ago today, Eminem began what remains his longest stay atop the Billboard Hot 100 when “Lose Yourself” reached No. 1. The rap hit held onto the top spot for 12 weeks. Written during breaks on set while filming “8 Mile,” the song loosely follows the storyline of the leading character’s struggle to break from poverty and launch a rap career. Eminem created an intense and memorable sound for the song with a moody electric guitar riff and his trademark tinkling piano punctuating hip-hop beats. Its stay atop the chart began a day after the theatrical release of “8 Mile.” The track was the first rap song to ever win an Oscar for Best Original Song, beating fellow nominees U2 and Paul Simon. Other notable November 9 happenings in pop culture history: • 1961: Brian Epstein, the Beatles’ famed manager, first saw a performance by the group that would become the Fab Four (though with Pete Best »
- Emily Rome
Dang, who knew that the Warcraft movie was going to be so ... intersectional? For the first time in cinema history, orcs are not a monolith — it looks like they'll be fully realized, well-rounded characters, instead of a slithering subhuman mass. (Hear that, Peter Jackson?) The film didn't make much of an impact at Comic-Con, but jacking the Pocahontas/Dances With Wolves model paid off well for Avatar, so it's possible that when this thing comes out next summer, fans will be ready to serve. »
- Nate Jones
We recently journeyed to Pixar to take a look behind the scenes of The Good Dinosaur. Ryan goes behind the scenes of Pixar's latest.
Over 20 years of feature filmmaking, Pixar has specialised in making us care about the unlikeliest of characters: toys, cars, fish, insects, the emotions rattling around inside the head of an ordinary school girl. It all began, of course, with Toy Story, the 1995 film which transformed the face of animated movies. Its humour, pathos and technical ingenuity were all so natural, so effortless, that it’s easy to forget just how ground-breaking John Lasseter’s film really was.
With each subsequent film, Pixar has explored different themes and set itself new challenges; it’s worth noting that, of the 15 feature-length movies Pixar has released so far, only four are sequels. Pixar’s most recent film, Inside Out, is the latest example of how adept »
The passion project is as old as Hollywood itself.
Film icons like Charlie Chaplin, Orson Welles and Steven Spielberg have all cashed in chits, mortgaged their prestige and wrung their last ounces of influence to bring their visions to the big screen. The results are often mixed, both artistically and commercially. For every “Dances With Wolves” that a driven actor like Kevin Costner can get made at the zenith of his power, raking in riches and Oscar glory in the process, there’s a “Waterworld” or “The Postman” that brings an actor’s star crashing back to earth.
Through it all, the calculus of “one for them and one for me” continues to guide many actors. Someone like Robert Downey Jr. will play Iron Man and Sherlock Holmes into retirement home age if it means getting to stretch his acting muscles in a talky drama like “The Judge.”
That exchange »
- Brent Lang
November is a great month for cuddling on the couch with a blanket and a full queue of new movies. If you have HBO Now or HBO Go, you have a lot to look forward to. Not only can you finally enjoy Fifty Shades of Grey guilt-free, but Kingsman: The Secret Service (starring the drop-dead gorgeous Taron Egerton) is debuting at the end of the month. Take a look at everything coming to - and disappearing from - HBO's streaming sites in the month of November, and make sure you're up to speed on all of October's new releases! Saturday night premieres: Nov. 7: Unfinished Business Nov. 14: Run All Night Nov. 21: Fifty Shades of Grey Nov. 28: Kingsman: The Secret Service Original programming highlights: Nov. 2: Project Greenlight, season four finale Nov. 8: Getting On, season three premiere Nov. 23: Last Week Tonight With John Oliver, Fall finale Other notable movies coming Nov. »
- Maggie Pehanick
Usually, a competing project is poison for a studio. Especially in the era now where a blockbuster costs the national budget of a small country to get out into the world, you don't want to be up against a film with similar subject matter.
Yet this keeps happening, time and time again. Even now, there are two live action Jungle Book movies in various stages of production, for example. And let us not forget when K-9 and Turner And Hooch once did battle...
But how have the movie showdowns of old turned out? And are there any instances where everyone's a winner?
Er, not many as it happens...
Let's start with two reasonably budgeted horror films, that both got wide releases. Jan De Bont »
McFarland, USA is another identikit sports movie in the actor’s repertoire but, aside from a few worthy exceptions, the mediocre is where he seems most comfortable
Kevin Costner deserves my sincerest congratulations: for over three decades now he has been boring me, irritating me and pissing me off. For the first 10 years of his career, I used to joke that his finest performance was as the corpse in Lawrence Kasdan’s odious boomer nostalgia-orgy The Big Chill. Then he won the best director Oscar for Dances With Wolves over Scorsese and Goodfellas and my enmity quadrupled, especially since those same acclaimed helming skills later gave us The Postman.
Continue reading »
- John Patterson
When it comes to the Oscar race, there.s always going to be debate. Should Dances With Wolves really have beat out Goodfellas? Should Al Pacino really have won for Scent of a Woman over both Denzel Washington in Malcolm X and Clint Eastwood in Unforgiven? One of the most questionable choices was Crash, which walked away with Best Picture at the 78th Annual Academy Awards. Almost no one, including the director, thinks it should have won. Talking to HitFix about the upcoming HBO drama, Show Me a Hero, which he directed, Crash helmer Paul Haggis talked about the controversy surrounding the choice. He said: Was it the best film of the year? I don.t think so. There were great films that year. Good Night and Good Luck, amazing film. Capote, terrific film. Ang Lee.s Brokeback Mountain, great film. And Spielberg.s Munich. I mean please, what a »
'Fantastic Four' 2015 with Miles Teller, Kate Mara, The Thing (Jamie Bell) and Michael B. Jordan. 'Fantastic Four' 2015 box office: A costly domestic flop in the making? Fantastic Four 2015, a 20th Century Fox release “in association with Marvel Entertainment,” is about to become the biggest big-budget superhero(es) dud at the domestic office since at least The Green Hornet (not to be confused with the equally underwhelming Green Lantern) four years ago. Directed by Josh Trank, who dissed the film's final edit on Twitter (see more details below), Fantastic Four stars Kate Mara (Sue Storm / The Invisible Woman), Miles Teller (Reed Richards / Mr. Fantastic), Michael B. Jordan (Johnny Storm / The Human Torch), and Jamie Bell (Ben Grimm / The Thing). A while back, Fantastic Four became the subject of ardent arguments because of Michael B. Jordan's ethnicity: unlike the Fruitvale Station actor, the comic books' Johnny Storm is white. »
- Zac Gille
If having new episodes of shows like Game of Thrones and True Detective on-demand the night they air isn't enough to make you get HBO Now, then you really should consider getting it for the movies. A couple of Oscar season staples are coming up in August, including Birdman and The Theory of Everything. Meanwhile, favorites like Charlie's Angels and Four Weddings and a Funeral will be available on Aug. 1. Here are all the titles to look forward to on HBO Now and HBO Go, plus the movies you better watch now, before they disappear! Saturday night premieres: Aug. 1: Birdman Aug. 8 The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Aug. 15: The Theory of Everything Aug. 22: Dumb and Dumber To Aug. 29: Kill the Messenger Other notable movies coming on Aug. 1: Charlie's Angels Dances With Wolves A Fish Called Wanda Four Weddings and a Funeral John Tucker Must Die »
Marc Klein has spent the last four months working on a script for Relativity called “The Lost Wife,” a World War II love story set during the Holocaust. He traveled to Auschwitz and Czech Republic for research, but now the project — and the rest of his paycheck — hang in limbo, after the studio that backed it filed for bankruptcy on Thursday.
“This isn’t something I’d be able to write at a major studio,” Klein said. “It’s a story that Hollywood could tell and isn’t anymore. The one company who did is now bankrupt. That’s a bummer. They’ve been nothing but great to me.”
Beyond his own project, Klein says that Relativity’s financial meltdown will send shockwaves throughout he entertainment industry. “It’s a sad day for the movie business,” says Klein, who also worked with Relativity as the co-writer of “Mirror Mirror,” starring Julia Roberts. »
- Brent Lang and Ramin Setoodeh
Seeing The Reflecting Skin for the first time, the 1990 film by Philip Ridley, starring Viggo Mortensen and Lindsay Duncan, one can't help but wonder how the hell the thing ever got made. I'd previously never even heard of the flick, surely a testament to my lack of knowledge about late century UK/Canadian co-productions. The film would have come out when I was in High School, but it's hard to see that in the year of Home Alone, Dances With Wolves and Total Recall this being the work I'd seek out. Yet with that context the films it most closely echoes are those from only a few years earlier - the sundrenched fields of Days of Heaven providing a more rural backdrop for the...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
We've got it wrong about Adam Sandler's latest comedy, the Netflix-backed Western/comedy The Ridiculous Six. That's what the star/co-writer/producer of the film has to say about it, at least. Turns out the film making gags like "I put my peepee in your teepee" and causing Native-American actors and their cultural advisor to walk off set is actually a "pro-Indian movie" and how they're just "being good people." There's also apparently "no mocking." It appears we've been dealing with the next Smoke Signals and we didn't even have a clue. It was on the red carpet for this weekend's Pixels where the exhausted-looking comedian tried to set the record straight. He told the Associated Press the bad word-of-mouth was all "a misunderstanding" and had the following to say to ScreenCrush. I talked to some of the actors on the set who were there and let them know »
- Will Ashton
Three months after Native American extras stormed off the set of Adam Sandler's The Ridiculous 6 over what they considered culturally offensive humor, the actor has commented on the controversy. At the red carpet premiere for Sandler's new movie Pixels, he was asked about the incident and whether the Western comedy stereotyped Native American culture. "It was just a misunderstanding and once the movie is out, it will be cleared up," Sandler told The Associated Press.
"I talked to some of the actors on the set who were there »
Director Andy Fickman takes fans behind-the-scenes and introduces us to some of the hard-working crew members in our exclusive preview for Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2, which is currently available on Digital HD before arriving on Blu-ray and DVD July 14. Andy Fickman introduces us to one of Kevin James' stunt doubles, the line producer Marty P. Ewing and director of photography Dean Semler, who won an Oscar 25 years ago for Dances with Wolves. This preview is part of the "How to Make a Movie" featurette, where the filmmaker explores every different department on the comedy sequel.
Kevin James is back in action as Paul Blart in the outrageous comedy sequel Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2. After six years of keeping our malls safe, Paul Blart has earned a well-deserved vacation and heads to Las Vegas with his teenage daughter for a security guard expo. But safety never takes a »
We look at the films that slipped through Hollywood's net, from biblical epics to a time travelling Gladiator sequel...
This article contains a spoiler for Gladiator.
If you're one of those frustrated over the quality of many of the blockbusters that make it to the inside of a multiplex, then ponder the following. For each of these were supposed to be major projects, that for one reason or another, stalled on their way to the big screen. Some still may make it. But for many others, the journey is over. Here are the big blockbusters that never were...
The late Michael Crichton scored another residential on the bestseller list with his impressive thriller, Airframe. It was published in 1996, just after films of Crichton works such as Jurassic Park, Rising Sun, Disclosure and the immortal Congo had proven to be hits of various sizes.
So: a hit book, another techno thriller, »
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