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Michael Fassbender is having such a busy year, he can’t even keep all his projects straight. This week, A24 releases “Slow West,” the Sundance indie in which he plays a cowboy (he produced the film with his company Dmc and developed the script with director John Maclean). Then next week, he jets to the Cannes Film Festival for the premiere of Justin Kurzel’s adaptation of “Macbeth” on May 23. He just finished playing Steve Jobs for Danny Boyle’s high-profile biopic, and he’s about to reprise Magneto in “X-Men: Apocalypse.” He also revealed to Variety that he wants to direct.
“Slow West” is the first feature you’ve produced. How did the idea come about?
John and I started working together in 2007 or 2008 on this thing [a short film] called “Man on The Motorcycle.” That worked out really well, and we thought, “Let’s continue this, and we’ll aim one »
- Ramin Setoodeh
This week marks the 10th anniversary of the release of "Crash" (on May 6, 2005), an all-star movie whose controversy came not from its provocative treatment of racial issues but from its Best Picture Oscar victory a few months later, against what many critics felt was a much more deserving movie, "Brokeback Mountain."
The "Crash" vs. "Brokeback" battle is one of those lingering disputes that makes the Academy Awards so fascinating, year after year. Moviegoers and critics who revisit older movies are constantly judging the Academy's judgment. Even decades of hindsight may not always be enough to tell whether the Oscar voters of a particular year got it right or wrong. Whether it's "Birdman" vs. "Boyhood," "The King's Speech" vs. "The Social Network," "Saving Private Ryan" vs. "Shakespeare in Love" or even "An American in Paris" vs. "A Streetcar Named Desire," we're still confirming the Academy's taste or dismissing it as hopelessly off-base years later. »
- Gary Susman
“I read comic books when I was a kid; I don’t read them now,” said Eastwood during a question and answer session about his life and career at the Las Vegas exhibition trade show CinemaCon on Wednesday.
That means he won’t be appearing in a Marvel movie anytime soon. “I prefer adult-oriented pictures,” Eastwood said. “I mean that in the PG-13 or R sense, but that’s as far as it goes.”
Eastwood also revealed that even though he’s world famous, he still buys tickets to see movies on the bigscreen. He most recently made the trip to the multiplexes to see “The Grand Budapest Hotel” and plans to support his son Scott by paying full freight to see “The Longest Ride. »
- Brent Lang and Dave McNary
Over the course of film history, we've seen plenty of long-time actors step behind the camera to take up their directorial ambitions. Clint Eastwood did it. Mel Gibson did it. George Clooney did it. What do these three have in commonc Well, for starters, they are all men, so there's that. Further, they are all white, but more on that later. More to the point of the article, these men all eased into their directorial careers by starring in their respective debuts, using their presence on screen to help market their talents off it. And with his feature directorial effort The Water Diviner, which hits limited theaters this week, Russell Crowe is just the most recent addition to a growing list of actors who have decided to try their hand behind the camera. Like Eastwood, Gibson, and Clooney before him, the Best Actor winner stars in his first feature as director, »
- Jordan Benesh
John Ford's Stagecoach and The Searchers, Howard Hawks's Rio Bravo and Red River, and Clint Eastwood's The Outlaw Josey Wales and Unforgiven come to mind for Ben Mendelsohn, who stars with Michael Fassbender and Kodi Smit-McPhee in John Maclean's untamed Slow West. He has recently been seen in David Mackenzie's prison drama Starred Up with Jack O'Connell, Kevin Macdonald's treasure-hunting tale Black Sea with Jude Law, Andrew Dominik's Killing Them Softly with Ray Liotta, Brad Pitt, Scoot McNairy and James Gandolfini and Derek Cianfrance's The Place Beyond The Pines with Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper and Eva Mendes.
When I met up with Ben the day before »
- Anne-Katrin Titze
Indiewire has partnered with Directv to present the television premiere of "Slow West," which is available exclusively on Directv and in theaters 5/15. Read More: Sundance Review: ‘Slow West’ Starring Michael Fassbender, Kodi Smit-McPhee & Ben Mendelsohn "Unforgiven" (1992)Perhaps the epitome of the modern Western, Clint Eastwood's Oscar-winning epic "Unforgiven" is a melancholic meditation on the West, exploring its myths and its history through a dark and violent lens. The film is set in 1881, with Eastwood starring as William Munny, a retired outlaw who returns to the trade after years of settling down as a farmer. Celebrated for its moral ambiguity and noir atmosphere, the film simultaneously debunks and pays tribute to one of cinema's most established genres by expertly juxtaposing violence and heroism, as well as courage and revenge. Principally noted for its anti-violence expression, "Unforgiven" went on to become the »
- David Canfield
From director Clint Eastwood comes American Sniper, arriving onto Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD and Digital HD on May 19 from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment in association with Village Roadshow Pictures, A Mad Chance Production, A 22nd & Indiana Production. American Sniper stars Bradley Cooper as Chris Kyle, whose skills as a sniper made him a hero on the battlefield. But there was much more to him than his skill as a sharpshooter.
A two-time Oscar nominee for his work in Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle, Cooper stars alongside Sienna Miller, Luke Grimes, Jake McDorman, Cory Hardrict, Kevin Lacz, Navid Negahban and Keir O'Donnell. Oscar-winning filmmaker Clint Eastwood (Million Dollar Baby, Unforgiven) directed American Sniper from a screenplay written by Jason Hall, based on the book by Chris Kyle, with Scott McEwen and James Defelice. The autobiography was a runaway bestseller, spending 18 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, 13 of those at number one. »
"Where does Den Of Geek come from as a title?", asked Alan Rickman as I settled into my seat to interview him for his second film as director, A Little Chaos. I don't usually write one of those setting the scene preambles for interviews, but there was something really quite special about hearing Alan Rickman's voice in person for the first time.
In truth, as I walked through the door, I had no idea what to expect. Would Rickman be curt? Frosty? Would he want to cut out my heart with a spoon?
None of the above. He was as you'd hope: both brilliant, and Alan Rickman. And here's how the interview went...
I've travelled down from the Midlands for this interview, and been walking through London this morning. And I've walked past lots »
This month Alan Rickman's A Little Chaos, Ryan Gosling's Lost River and Russell Crowe's The Water Diviner see these performers make the dizzying leap from actor to director. But in which of their colleagues' footsteps might they follow?
We take a look at six different categories of actor-turned-directors.
Too handsome to be a supporting actor, and lacking the gravitas of a major star, Ben Affleck looked to be heading towards Kilmer-ville before he released Gone Baby Gone, a dark Dennis Lehane thriller he co-wrote and directed, with brother Casey taking the lead. Follow-up The Town proved solid, but his next effort, Argo, was a surprise Best Picture winner. The fact Affleck didn't receive a Director nomination suggests he's not yet been forgiven for the likes of Gigli, but the forthcoming Lehane adaptation Live By Night should fix that.
As an actor, Clint Eastwood's flinty »
Edward Aiona, the prop master for 31 feature films, including three that won Academy Awards for best picture, “Ordinary People” (1980), “Rain Man” (1988) and “Unforgiven” (1992), as well as 28 episodes of network series television, died March 31 at Tarzana Hospital of lung cancer compounded by chronic heart trouble. He was 83.
Aiona was closely associated with Clint Eastwood: Aiona made his debut as property master on Dirty Harry film “Magnum Force” in 1973 and then worked on every Eastwood film until Aiona’s retirement in 1996.
Between films with Eastwood, Aiona also collaborated as prop master with directors including Martin Scorsese (“Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore”), John Milius (“Big Wednesday”), Sydney Pollack (“The Electric Horseman” and “Absence of Malice”), Barry Levinson (“Rain Man”) and John Carpenter (“Memoirs of an Invisible Man”).
“He was extreme in getting what was required for the screenplay,” said Mike Sexton, Aiona’s assistant before becoming prop master at Eastwood’s »
- Variety Staff
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles director Jonathan Liebesman has signed on to direct Man at Arms, which was first announced back in October 2010. Producer Basil Iwanyk's Thunder Road Pictures has picked up the project, which offers a much different take on the legend of King Arthur. The news comes just a few weeks after Warner Bros. started production on their own King Arthur tale, entitled Knights of the Round Table. As it turns out, though, both project will not have too much in common.
Man at Arms follows a much older Sir Lancelot, as he feels remorseful for his affair with Queen Guinevere, which ended up destroying King Arthur's Camelot. The story, which Deadline compares to Clint Eastwood's Western classic Unforgiven, finds Lancelot trying to make amends for the affair. Echo Lake originally acquired the project as a pitch from writer Jeremy Lott back in 2010, but the company is no longer involved. »
If a retelling of Romeo & Juliet in the style of 300 didn't sound good, maybe a different approach to King Arthur will be more your speed. No, we're not talking about Guy Ritchie's new Knights of the Round Table: King Arthur (in production now), but rather a new project called Man at Arms that is being developed by Thunder Road Pictures. This project has Wrath of the Titans and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot director Jonathan Liebesman attached to direct the film that is said to take the King Arthur story we all know, but deliver it in the style of Clint Eastwood's modern classic western Unforgiven. So how'll that work? Well, Deadline says the story is said to follow Sir Lancelot as an older gentleman who wants to make amends after his love for Guinivere (which she gave right back to him) actually ended up ruining King Arthur's Camelot. »
- Ethan Anderton
I don't know how exactly this happens in Hollywood, but rival movies isn't necessarily uncommon. A lot of the time one will fade away and other times you'll get your White House Down meets Olympus Has Fallen. Today we get news of another such situation. We have Guy Ritchie working on his King Arthur movie Knights of the Roundtable: King Arthur and today we learn Jonathan Liebesman (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Battle: Los Angeles) will direct Man at Arms, described as an epilogue to the Arthur legend Ritchie is said to be exploring in his film. Jeremy Lott penned the screenplay, which has been likened to Clint Eastwood's Unforgiven, following the adventures of Sir Lancelot as an older man who is bent on making amends after his love for Guinevere (and hers for him) ended up destroying Arthur's Camelot. This is the second project Lott has seen go into »
- Brad Brevet
Source: Deadline »
- Garth Franklin
Once upon a time, the idea of competing projects for major studios was a no-no. Then Deep Impact and Armageddon came along and effectively canceled each other out. The lesson learned in that case was: it doesn’t really matter if another movie embracing the same subject matter is also in development, it only matters if it’s better. So, that being said, yet another King Arthur movie has now appeared on the industry radar to rival Guy Ritchie’s King Arthur: Knights Of The Roundtable.
Deadline broke the news by announcing that Jonathan Liebesman, the director behind 2014’s Turtles reboot and Terminator: Rise Of The Machines, is in line to direct Man At Arms. Thunder Road Pictures’ Basil Iwanyk (The Expendables) is producing with Aperture Entertainment’s Adam Goldworm (The Last Witch Hunter) and Bryan Brucks (Scouts Vs. Zombies). Erica Lee will executive produce.
Whether Liebesman’s got the »
- Gem Seddon
Exclusive: Jonathan Liebesman, who directed last year’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to a $485M worldwide box office take, is attached to direct Man At Arms for Basil Iwanyk’s Thunder Road Pictures. The project is a King Arthur story, but reminiscent of Clint Eastwood’s classic Western Unforgiven and follows Sir Lancelot as an older man who is bent on making amends after his love for Guinevere (and hers for him) ended up destroying Arthur’s Camelot. Great twist to the… »
'The Lazarus Effect' box office: Olivia Wilde and Mark Duplass horror movie arrives comatose (photo: Olivia Wilde in 'The Lazarus Effect') (See previous post: "'Focus': Will Smith Has One of Worst Opening Weekends of His Career.") Despite recent news that human head transplants are a mere two years away, the Mark Duplass-Olivia Wilde horror movie The Lazarus Effect – about bringing the dead back to life (as if world overpopulation weren't already a problem) – grossed $10.6 million from 2,666 U.S. and Canada venues on opening weekend, Feb. 27-March 1, 2015, according to studio estimates found at Box Office Mojo. The Relativity Studios-distributed low-budget horror flick had earned an estimated $3.8 million on opening-day Friday, including $350,000 from Thursday night screenings. Last week, box-office prognosticators had been expecting an opening between $12-$14 million. That was adjusted downward to $10 million or whereabouts after the film's disappointing Friday debut. Some, in fact, »
- Zac Gille
Don't tell Jon Stewart Birdman beat out American Sniper because of politics. On Wednesday's The Daily Show, Stewart mocked Fox News pundits who argued Clint Eastwood's American Sniper was snubbed at the Oscars because of the director's conservative viewpoint. An increasingly animated Stewart noted Eastwood had already won best picture and best director (Unforgiven and Million Dollar Baby) and that "the left-wing loons in Hollywood made the f---ing movie, and nominated it for best picture." See more Hollywood's 100 Favorite Films "They didn't even give the best picture to the best picture," Stewart said as he indicated a poster for Boyhood. "For God's sake, if
- Aaron Couch
Over the past week, we’ve been celebrating the losers — those talented filmmakers whom Oscar has foolishly overlooked. In this final entry, we ask the Zoltar Machine for a do-over. If you asked me specifically which Oscar-winning director should have their gold snatched away and given to Penny Marshall, I don’t know that I’d have an answer. The year she would have been eligible for Big, Barry Levinson won for Rain Man. The year she would have been eligible for Awakenings, Kevin Costner won for Dances With Wolves. The year she would have been eligible for A League of Their Own, Clint Eastwood won for Unforgiven. There’s no easy way to rewrite history and slide her name in where someone else’s was previously, although a case can easily be made that Big and Rain Man (the Best Picture of 1988) share near-identical emotional DNA. The following year, the »
- Scott Beggs
BAFTA champ and rookie nominee Tom Cross won Best Editing for "Whiplash." He had 13/5 odds and the backing of only four Experts: Kyle Buchanan (Vulture), Edward Douglas (Coming Soon), Tariq Khan (Fox News), and Tom O'Neil (Gold Derby). Contrast that to 25 of our 29 Oscar Experts who predicted Sandra Adair would win for her work on Richard Linklater's 12-years-in-the-making "Boyhood" had also recently won with the American Cinema Editors guild. -Break- "Boyhood" had overwhelming 1/2 odds in its favor for the first-time contender. In addition to strong expert support, this film was also predicted by two of our seven Editors, 19 of our Top 24 Users, and 66% of our overall Users. In third place at 50/1 was "American Sniper," by Joel Cox, a three-time nominee who prevailed on his first bid in 1992 for "Unforgiven," and rookie »
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