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On September 19th, 20th Century Fox will unveil the highly anticipated The Maze Runner and according to early numbers, director Wes Ball’s movie is on track for a $30 million opening when it bows next weekend.
Based upon the best-selling novel by James Dashner, when Thomas wakes up trapped in a massive maze with a group of other boys, he has no memory of the outside world other than strange dreams about a mysterious organization known as W.C.K.D. Only by piecing together fragments of his past with clues he discovers in the maze can Thomas hope to uncover his true purpose and a way to escape.
One of the most popular soundtracks Sony Music has released this year, the original movie score is from American film composer and conductor John Paesano.
Originally from Detroit, Michigan, Paesano initially studied classical music with composition professor Sally Dow Miller of Conservatoire de Paris. »
- Michelle McCue
Earlier this week, a trailer for the upcoming thriller The Town That Dreaded Sundown was released featuring a logo fans of 80s and 90s cinema haven't seen in 15 years. The Town That Dreaded Sundown marks the return of Orion Pictures, the distributor of classics such as The Terminator, Robocop and Best Picture winner Silence of the Lambs, for the first time since 1999's One Man's Hero.
Here is the trailer carrying the original Orion logo:
Orion Pictures declared bankruptcy in 1991, but it was bought by MGM in 1996. MGM resurrected the brand in 2013, which is currently used on the syndicated series Paternity Court. MGM is now planning on using the brand for smaller, independent titles for VOD and limited theatrical releases.
Orion Pictures is alive again. The mini-major studio and distributor behind The Terminator, RoboCop and Best Picture Oscar winners Amadeus, Platoon, Dances With Wolves and The Silence Of The Lambs was acquired by MGM in 1997 after flailing financially through most of the 1980s and ’90s, but it fell off the map within a few short years. Now MGM quietly is positioning Orion Pictures as a specialty multiplatform distribution arm, starting with the October release of horror sequel The Town That Dreaded Sundown.
Deadline revealed this week that Orion will release the Jason Blum- and Ryan Murphy-produced low-budget slasher, which MGM is framing as the first new title from the revived brand. The familiar Orion constellation logo even caught some viewers’ eyes when it appeared in the film’s trailer yesterday. MGM is taking small steps; it won’t be launching the new Orion as a stand-alone initiative and »
- Jen Yamato
Kevin Costner came into the Toronto International Film Festival on Saturday for the world premiere of his powerful new drama, Black And White, a stirring story dealing with our racial divide, but mostly a riveting human tale from writer/director Mike Binder. It’s unflinchingly honest and contains a crackerjack courtroom scene that’s priceless. In that scene, Costner delivers perhaps the best performance of his career, or at least since the period of his career circa Field Of Dreams. It played to a packed house yesterday at Roy Thomson Hall and won a strong ovation from the crowd.
Costner told me that even the though the hard-hitting film is not a comedy, the audience responded with laughs in just the right places and really seemed to be moved by what they saw on screen.
That said, the film is still looking for a domestic distributor and the star, who »
- Pete Hammond
I'll try to be brief. With the triple threat of Venice, Telluride and Toronto, we've entered that foggy realm known to the industry as "awards season." And with it we're getting, like clockwork, self-satisfied dismissals of this time of year, pieces that surmise that the Oscar frame is "ruining movies," and that coverage of the prestige months (i.e., places like In Contention) are a root of the problem. I suppose it's time for a reminder that such a position is nonsense. First and foremost, is your passion for movies really so easily ruined? A segment of press devoted to covering the, typically, quality work presented by studios this time of year is such a blight on the industry? I won't argue that it's too noisy out there; it absolutely is. And as someone who's covered this beat for 14 years now, I've certainly taken note of the increasing volume. But »
- Kristopher Tapley
50 to 1
Directed by Jim Wilson
Imagine, if you will, a horse race that starts and finishes in a blink of an eye. We see your choice winner bucking behind the starting gate. His chances of winning are slim to none, fifty to one in fact. You may not know anything about the horse, but you like the sound of his name on the program, and figure you can make some nice cash from a long shot. The gate opens and your horse bellows out the door. Immediately cut to the first bend and he is trailing behind the team. Now, immediately cut to the last and he strides to the finish line by a large margin. Victory is yours, but to what fulfillment? Sure you’re happy that your horse won, and heck, you might have made a serious winning. You probably »
- Christopher Clemente
Reported over at Deadline, Villard said, “The book is an extraordinary example of Frank Herbert’s brilliant writing, and it is something I’ve always wanted to turn into a film. I remember the rights being unavailable when I first pursued the Soul Catcher project in the ’80s, but as my producing career developed I never forgot the powerful effect the story had on me.”
The Frank Herbert Estate have given their full support towards Villard – after he negotiated with them for a year – in his pursuit in bringing Soul Catcher to the screen. Dimitri Villard is now looking to secure a director who can steer the character-driven story in the right direction; Villard has already added »
Frank Herbert’s most famous work of fiction Dune is the topic of this week’s 1984 look back series. Showing uncanny timing news has reached us that another of the author’s works has just been optioned. The story in question is Soul Catcher, a story that was first published in 1972.
Surprsingly although Herbert has the accolade for having written the best-selling science fiction novel ever, Dune remains his only work to be transformed into celluloid. That might have some to do with the reception the Dune film received, with director Lynch distancing himself from the project (read all about it in our feature). Before his death in 1986 Herbert had written dozens of stories including several Dune sequels.
Soul Catcher appears to have a rather strange and interesting plot. A militant Native American student seeking vengeance for his people kidnaps the teenage son of a Us politician. The pair then »
- Kat Smith
Exclusive: Four decades after Dune scribe Frank Herbert published his acclaimed 1972 novel Soul Catcher, the book has been optioned for the big screen by producer Dimitri Villard. The Flight Of he Navigator and Once Bitten producer first pursued the Herbert tome during the 1980s but tabled his film career to run music company ArtistDirect until last year. Now he’s returning to the screen biz with Soul Catcher, about a militant Native American student who kidnaps the 13-year-old white son of a U.S. politician, intending to sacrifice the child for vengeance against wrongs committed against his people. As the captor and the captive flee from hunters across the Pacific Northwest, they form a bond that throws the planned act into question.
- Jen Yamato
This weekend, Megan Fox plays April O’Neil in Paramount’s “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” but she’s not the first actress to portray the character. In 1990, Judith Hoag originated the role of the intrepid reporter who befriends the pizza-loving heroes, although she almost turned down the part. “When I first heard of it, I thought it was a horror film,” Hoag recalls on a recent telephone call with Variety. “‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ is such a strange name. I wasn’t into the comic books at all.”
Hoag, 22 at the time, was in the middle of shooting the Robin Williams comedy “Cadillac Man,” and her schedule prevented her from committing to “Ninja Turtles.” Then the producers were able to make it work, and Hoag had to fly from New York to Wilmington, North Carolina, on the weekends for production. “People would be wondering where I would racing off to on a Friday, »
- Ramin Setoodeh
Kevin Costner admits he has many qualities, and fortunately one of them is persistence. The two-time Academy Award winner (Best Picture and Best Director for “Dances with Wolves”) spoke openly about the challenges of getting his film “Black and White” made on Saturday at the National Association of Black Journalists (Nabj) Convention in Boston. “I just thought it was an interesting movie … I can't speak for why . I know a lot of people want to make these big, giant movies and I understand … But I thought this movie is just as valid as those movies. So that's why I »
- Anita Bennett
With the awards season on the horizon, now is as good a time as any to look back on the movies that won favor with the Academy. Earlier this year, a supercut emerged highlighting the Best Picture Oscar winners of the 2000s, and now video editor Miguel Branco has turned his eye to the 1990s, with a fresh video celebrating the movies that defined a decade. And indeed, the 1990s seemed to mostly be defined by the epic drama, with "Dances With Wolves," "Braveheart, "Schindler's List" and "The English Patient" taking home Oscar gold. But the Academy took chances too, honoring Jonathan Demme's horror "Silence Of The Lambs," Clint Eastwood's western "Unforgiven" and Sam Mendes' "American Beauty" as well. Take a look a the full video below, and let us know if these winners still stand the test of time, or if you would have chosen differently. »
- Kevin Jagernauth
It is hard to believe that Forrest Gump is twenty years old. In fact, it is quite disturbing for me to think that Silence Of The Lambs and Dances With Wolves are even older. In fact, some of the most iconic movies from the 1990s will be celebrating their 20th and 25th anniversaries in the next few years, making all of us in our thirties feel really f*cking old. »
- Alex Maidy
Bonnie Arnold has had some career. As the latest film she's produced, How To Train Your Dragon 2, arrives in UK cinemas, she chatted to us about the movie, about the big problems making the first, and her earlier days helping to bring Dances With Wolves to light. And she didn't touch a drop of her tea while telling us all of this...
Digging into your background, from what I can tell you started as a writer? Can you fill in some of the blanks there?
Well, it wasn't really a writer as such. I studied journalism, but I actually started in publicity. I did unit publicity writing, so that's how I started really. Really it was in film, film production stuff. But I was writing press releases, »
We watch films to escape the tediousness of everyday life. The stress of the commute, your partner’s nagging, or T-Mobile calling you up notifying you of an overdue bill are all made instantly better by allowing yourself to escape into the world of a movie, with a fictitious group of characters who each have their own problems which we can laugh at.
Of course, we know what we’re watching isn’t real, but since those early days when bards would regale a court with songs of knights and dragons, humanity has been able to switch off and allow ourselves to believe that the narrative we’re presented with is akin to reality.
We may have been able to allow ourselves to prevent the nagging bite of reality from ruining a piece of good fiction, but this doesn’t mean that the escape from the real world which »
- Sam Heard
You’ve heard of the ‘McConaissance’. Well now another movie star considered past his best makes a high profile return to the big screen, as Kevin Costner toplines kinetic thriller 3 Days To Kill.
Though associated with a sequence of megabuck flops, Costner has been one of Hollywood’s true risk takers. It paid off in Oscars for Dances With Wolves (1990), where he did everything except sing the theme tune. Roles in hits such as The Bodyguard (1992) followed. But after Clint Eastwood’s A Perfect World (1993) came Waterworld. Throwing money at a sea-based knock-off of Mad Max was never going to set the box office alight, more give it a drenching. The Postman (1997) actually had Costner singing the theme tune and that failure appeared to round off his career as a big leading man. Yet the movies never forgot about Kev and in recent years he’s been rediscovered, with prestigious »
- Steve Palace
Leading up to the 2014 NFL Kickoff, Lionsgate will release the thrilling sports drama, Draft Day, on Digital HD beginning August 19, on Video On Demand and Pay-Per-View August 29 and on Blu-ray Combo Pack (plus DVD and Digital HD) and DVD (plus Digital) on September 2. Starring sports movie icon and Academy Award winner Kevin Costner (Best Picture and Best Director, Dances with Wolves, 1990; Bull Durham, Field of Dreams), written by Rajiv Joseph & Scott Rothman, and directed by legendary director Ivan Reitman, the film was made in exclusive partnership with the NFL, allowing unprecedented access to the actual 2013 NFL Draft, an event drawing higher ratings than the playoffs for baseball, basketball and hockey.
Featuring an all-star cast including Jennifer Garner (Dallas Buyers Club), Denis Leary (The Amazing Spider-Man), Frank Langella (Superman Returns), Sam Elliott (The Big Lebowski), Sean Combs (Monster's Ball), Terry Crews (The Expendables franchise), Houston Texans running back Arian Foster (feature »
When Michael Haffner reviewed Draft Day here at We Are Movie Geeks, he wrote: “A sign of a good sports film is if the audience enthusiastically cheers during a film like a crowd at a live sporting event. That’s exactly what happened when I went to see Ivan Reitman’s Draft Day. The theater was into every second as the film counted down the minutes to the big event.” (Read the rest of Michael’s review Here)
Leading up to the 2014 NFL Kickoff, Lionsgate will release the thrilling sports drama, Draft Day, on Digital HD beginning August 19, on Video On Demand and Pay-Per-View August 29 and on Blu-ray Combo Pack (plus DVD and Digital HD) and DVD (plus Digital) on September 2. Starring sports movie icon and Academy Award® winner Kevin Costner (Best Picture and Best Director, Dances with Wolves, 1990; Bull Durham, Field of Dreams), written by Rajiv Joseph & Scott Rothman, »
- Tom Stockman
Kevin Costner is back on the big screen this week in action-thriller 3 Days to Kill. It's not a classic Costner film by any stretch (he's essentially playing Liam Neeson in Taken), but the film is arriving right in the middle of a career revival for the actor who headlined big hits two decades ago. With Man of Steel, Draft Day, Jack Ryan and 3 Days all under his belt over the last 12 months, we're experiencing something of a Costnaissance (to swipe a term coined for Matthew McConaughey).
As a screen star Costner was never blessed with dynamic range or the ability to transform himself like a Daniel Day-Lewis can, but what he can deliver is a performance of earnestness and honesty that connects with an audience. He is frequently the glue that holds a film together, a movie star with the everyman appeal of someone like James Stewart. If anything, Costner »
Many moviegoers consider the world of film as a reprieve from their current existing realities. This is rather interesting because in looking to escape the everyday realities for a fantasized slice of reality in cinema might seem quite redundant for some folks. However, the realities that are portrayed on the big screen are varied so whatever life experiences are depicted we may not have quite lived that particular episode therefore making it intriguing and fresh for our entertaining curiosities.
Films, when capturing a fragrance of reality through triumph and tragedy, are usually armed with a special messaging about the human condition through sacrifice, self-discovery, suffering and of course social awareness. In It’s About the Message: The Top 10 Oscar-winning Socially Aware Films we will take a look at Academy Award-winning movies that dared to examine the spirit about being socially aware–through inspiration and insidiousness (or both simultaneously)–and put »
- Frank Ochieng
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