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I’d gladly pay $12 to again watch San Francisco reduced to rubble in the exhilarating, mother-of-all-disaster movies San Andreas. Director Brad Peyton’s popcorn epic closely mirrors the films of Roland Emmerich (especially 2012 but also The Day After Tomorrow), with the protagonists having to venture far from safety to rescue wayward loved ones caught up in the chaos. If you go simply to see the left coast get hammered by an angry bursts of unstoppable power, trust me, you won’t leave disappointed.
The recipe hasn’t changed much since the days of tasty Irwin Allen disaster meatballs like The Towering Inferno and Earthquake. In San Andreas, Dwayne Johnson plays Ray Gaines, an La Fire Department first-responder separated from his wife Emma (Carla Gugino) after a daughter’s drowning leaves him racked with guilt. Emma is ready to move in with her wealthy architect boyfriend Daniel (Ioan Gruffudd), while daughter »
- Tom Stockman
In retrospect, the popularity of "Braveheart" seems like a foregone conclusion.
The movie, which opened 20 years ago this week (on May 24, 1995), won five Oscars, two of them for star Mel Gibson (in his roles as producer and director). The Best Picture winner thrilled audiences as well as critics with its exciting battle scenes, stirring speeches, and sweeping historical narrative of 13th-century Scottish independence fighter William Wallace. At its center is a charismatic performance by the "Lethal Weapon" star, then at the height of his popularity as a box office draw and action hero. It grossed $210 million worldwide. Two decades later, it's still the most famous movie ever made about Scotland.
Still, even though the movie has been a staple for 20 years, there may be plenty you don't know about it, from its generous liberties with history to the R-rated pranks the director pulled on his leading lady.
- Gary Susman
Constance Cummings: Actress in minor Hollywood movies became major British stage star Constance Cummings: Actress went from Harold Lloyd and Frank Capra to Noël Coward and Eugene O'Neill Born on May 15, 1910, actress Constance Cummings, whose career spanned about six decades on stage, in films, and on television in both the U.S. and the U.K., would have turned 105 this year. Unlike other Broadway imports such as Ann Harding, Katharine Hepburn, and Claudette Colbert, the pretty, elegant Cummings – who could have been turned into a less edgy Constance Bennett had she landed at Rko or Paramount instead of Columbia – never became a Hollywood star. In fact, her most acclaimed work, whether in films or – more frequently – on stage, was almost invariably found in British productions. That's most likely why the name Constance Cummings – despite the DVD availability of several of her best-received stage performances – is all but forgotten. »
- Andre Soares
Stereoscopic 3D Video students at Bard CollegeMy favorite class to teach is a seminar on how to make 3D movies. When I lead a course in this subject, I try to encourage students to explore the outer limits of the form. We begin with a description of what 3D movies are, and what they could be.To start, I explain that a 3D movie is nothing more (and nothing less) than two movies that a viewer happens to watch at the same time. A 3D movie's most fundamental property—the thing that makes it different from a regular 2D movie—it that it delivers separate streams of images for a viewer's left and right eyes. Most of the time, the "left eye movie" and the "right eye movie" are very similar to one another. 3D moviemakers usually manipulate the two-eye delivery system to create harmonious stereoscopic illusions, which give the »
- Ben Coonley
Forever has been canceled and we know you're upset. So is series star Ioan Gruffudd. The actor, who played immortal medical examiner Henry Morgan, took to his Instagram to share a heartfelt note with fans of the now-canceled ABC drama. Gruffudd's wife, Alice Evans, broke the cancellation news on Twitter prior to ABC's announcement of which shows would be returning. She said the Titanic star was shaken, but wanted to thank the "wonderful" fans. In his message, Gruffudd said he wasn't expecting to receive the cancellation call. "I knew the numbers hadn't been great, but I also knew the studio and the network both loved the show, and of course that it had an incredible fan base…so I »
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
"Do you feel the power of the Gladiators? Can you face the challenge of the champions? Do you have the courage of the heroes?
"Do you have the will or the skill? Do you have the strength, the speed the heart to be a winner? Deep down in your Soul?"
These were the fundamental questions posed by ITV's original Gladiators, to both the audience and brave contenders who dared to take part. While this particular writer longed to be Lightning (her backflips were to die for), all the seemingly superhuman powerhouses were forces to reckon with - only occasionally tamed by strict referee John Anderson.
“Right now, Jim has four sequels. And he’s trying to make it into three. That is where I think his effort is going right now. To keep it to three sequels.” James Horner there, Oscar-winning composer of the scores for Titanic and Avatar, discussing James Cameron’s efforts to keep the number of Avatar sequels he plans to film all at once down to a nice manageable three. Three. Only someone with the almost despotic self-belief of James Cameron would consider filming three sequels back-to-back.
Related: The blockbuster's in decline – here's how to save it
Related: Cutting The Hobbit down to size: no dwarf-elf flirting, no albino orcs
Continue reading »
- Luke Holland
Have you been waiting patiently for more Avatar movies since the first one came out in 2009? Well, you will have your fill in the coming years as James Cameron looks to possibly add more adventures to the predicted slate of films.
Hey U Guys caught up with the composer of the films, James Horner, who revealed that Cameron may have plans for another film on top of the four that he initially announced. As of now, the sequel to Avatar is set to open in theaters in 2017.
“He’s got four sequels script-wise, and he’s trying to make it into three,” Horner said. “And I think that’s where the effort is going right now […] how do you keep it from expanding into a fifth movie?”
It is funny to think that more of these movies are on the way and have taken so long to get off the ground. »
- Zach Dennis
Shared universes are undeniably in vogue in Hollywood at present, with the likes of DC, Sony and Universal marching down the path carved out by Marvel not so long ago. And though James Cameron’s Avatar franchise doesn’t necessarily match this billing, with news surfacing that the esteemed director has mapped out a script for a potential Avatar 5, the lush world of Pandora seemingly boasts a scope on par with the other shared universes rolling in the dollars for the studios of Tinseltown.
As a matter of fact, the director recently postponed the planned trio of sequels, meaning moviegoers won’t be revisiting the alien world until 2017 at the earliest. However, in a recent interview with Hey U Guys, James Horner – sound composer who has worked alongside Cameron for Aliens, Titanic and the original Avatar in 2009 – revealed that the filmmaker currently has an embryonic plan for a fourth sequel, »
- Michael Briers
More? Oh yes. Not only are they building Avatar land at Disney's Animal Kingdom, but they're working on no less than three Avatar sequels. We've known about these plans for a while. But wait, just how much of a story does James Cameron want to tell? Possibly even more than we imagined. Our friends at HeyUGuys recently sent us a tip from a talk with composer James Horner where he actually mentions another script, for a fifth Avatar movie. Yes, you read that right – five, but it's actually not five movies, rather – Cameron has four scripts he's trying to condense into three movies. So there's really four more? This is all a bit crazy. The new quotes come from composer James Horner in an interview after his a live performance of James Horner's score for James Cameron's Titanic, where HeyUGuys caught up with him asked about the Avatar sequels. »
- Alex Billington
The success of Avatar is misleading. Yes, it’s the highest grossing film of all-time, but it’s had no staying power in the cultural consciousness. It's not a movie we continue to reference and promote. Other than the 3D, it didn't spawn similar blockbuster sci-fi features. Part of that comes from the lack of an apparatus to keep pushing Avatar like TV shows, comics, etc. For that, I suppose we should be grateful that a blockbuster has been allowed to exist on its own terms, although that feeling is dampened somewhat by Avatar not being a particularly good movie. [caption id="attachment_24113" align="alignright" width="350"] Image via 20th Century Fox[/caption] Nevertheless, writer-director James Cameron has been working on three scripts for years, and now Cameron’s longtime composer James Horner says that the director wrote Avatar 5 as well. Speaking to HeyUGuys, Horner said: He’s got four sequels script-wise, and he’s trying to make it into three. »
- Matt Goldberg
You don't make the highest-grossing picture of all time and walk away without some studio having some serious discussions about sequels. Given that it was kinda hard to pull off a sequel to Titanic, it looks like James Cameron had no problem returning to the world of Pandora and crafting an entire new trilogy with everyone's favorite unobtanium-riddled blue aliens. While Cameron is busy crafting the sequels scripts with writers Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver, and Josh Friedman »
- Sean Wist
Ah, the 1990s. The decade that brought us The Lion King. Titanic. Quentin Tarantino. That wordless bathroom scene in Baz Luhrmann's Romeo + Juliet. Angelo Badalamenti's Twin Peaks. Duel of the Fates from Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. In the Mood for Love.
It was a good 10 years for film music, no doubt.
But scratch the surface of 1991 through 1999 and there are tons of good scores ready to spring a surprise on your ears. Some were attached to sorely underrated movies, others were overshadowed by wildly successful ones, and some have simply been forgotten in the passage of time.
Here, in no particular order, are the top 25 underappreciated film soundtracks from the 1990s.
All week long our writers will debate: Which was the greatest film year of the past half century. Check here for a complete list of our essays. Just one glance at the Oscar nominees for 1998 might make it seem less a questionable choice for “best year in film” — and more an insane one. Instead of a 1974 – The Godfather II, The Conversation, Chinatown, Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein, etc – or even a 1994, where Shawshank, Quiz Show, and Pulp Fiction lost to Gump – you choose a year where the Oscars would allow Roberto Benigni to climb atop both the figurative and literal chairs of the Shrine? Fine, step away from the Oscars. Would you still celebrate a year that saw not one, but two movies about asteroids threatening the Earth? A year that saw such scars carved across cinematic history as Patch Adams, My Giant, Stepmom, and Krippendorf’s Tribe? It bears repeating: Krippendorf’S Tribe? »
- Michael Oates Palmer
For the fourth weekend in a row, Furious 7 took first place at the domestic box office. Also, thanks to its record-setting performance in China, Furious 7 is now just the third movie ever to earn over $1 billion overseas.Meanwhile, Avengers: Age of Ultron debuted in 44 international markets and earned a stunning $201.2 million. In nearly all of those markets, it opened above The Avengers and Iron Man 3.For more coverage on Avengers and Furious 7, see the Around-the-World Roundup below.In the U.S., Furious 7 eased 37 percent to an estimated $18.3 million. The last movie to hold on to the top spot for four weekends in a row was The Hunger Games, which did so back in March/April of 2012.So far, Furious 7 has earned $320.5 million at the domestic box office. If it can hold decently against Avengers next weekend, it has a strong shot at reaching $350 million. »
- Ray Subers <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Avengers: Age of Ultron hit theaters overseas this weekend and apparently bootleg copies are already hitting the Internet, but that won't stop it from becoming a monster release next Friday, putting an end to the box office domination of Furious 7. However, Furious 7 still had more than enough gas in its tank to take the #1 spot at the box office for the fourth weekend in a row, adding $18.2 million, bringing its domestic cume to $320.5 million while its worldwide total now sits at $1.32 billion. That worldwide total is enough to place Furious 7 in fifth all-time worldwide (and only third film ever to cross $1 billion internationally) just behind Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2 ($1.34 billion). However, it has passed the Potter feature in foreign dollars and is now the third highest grossing international release of all-time, behind only Avatar and Titanic. As Forbes' Scott Mendelson puts it, "So yes, »
- Brad Brevet
“Furious 7” crossed $1 billion at the international box office this weekend, making it the third film ever to achieve the milestone along with the James Cameron juggernauts “Avatar” and “Titanic.” “Furious 7” also passed Disney’s “Frozen” to become the fifth-highest-grossing movie ever at the worldwide box office — which includes domestic and international receipts — with $1.32 billion, behind “Avatar” ($2.8 billion), “Titanic” ($2.2 billion) and “The Avengers” ($1.5 billion). The 2009 sci-fi saga took in $2.02 billion at the international box office, the ship disaster epic brought in $1.52 billion from abroad in 1997 and the Marvel superhero mashup totaled $895 million from overseas. With this weekend’s »
- Todd Cunningham
Still Furious! Furious 7 has maintained velocity after a month in theaters, remaining on top at the box office this weekend with an estimated $18.3 million! With $1.32 billion in the bank worldwide, director James Wan's car chaos has zipped past Iron Man 3 and Disney's Frozen to become the fifth highest-grossing release in history. And besides Furious 7, only James Cameron's Titanic and Avatar have made more than $1 billion of their totals strictly from »
- Dave Davis
Billy Zane is to make an appearance in 'Zoolander 2'. The 49-year-old actor, who's previously starred in 'Titanic' and 'Back to the Future', has been cast in the eagerly-awaited sequel to the 2001 comedy film, in which Ben Stiller plays dimwitted male model Derek Zoolander. Billy made a cameo as himself in the original film and his appearance in the sequel has been confirmed in the latest on-set teaser for 'Zoolander 2', which shows Ben Stiller appearing to approach his co-star Owen Wilson and saying: ''Hey Hansel, wouldn't it be cool if Billy Zane was in Zoolander 2?'' At that stage, the blonde-haired man turns around to reveal himself as Zane, who responds: ''Yeah, that'd be great.'' Other big-name stars rumoured to appear in the much-hyped sequel include Naomi Campbell, Cara Delevingne and Jourdan Dunn, as well as rap star Kanye West. »
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