Just five titles in today's entry in a series of roundups wrapping Toronto (as opposed to the 30+ in yesterday's Contemporary World Cinema batch), so you may wonder, why bother? I simply find it interesting to sample the reception these films, all of which will surely be appearing on more than a few year-end top ten lists in a few months, between the Big Bang of Cannes, where all but one premiered, and the Deep Impact of the New York Film Festival, where all but another one will be screening in just a few days. »
The Event is an emotional high-octane conspiracy thriller that follows Sean Walker (Jason Ritter), an Everyman who investigates the mysterious disappearance of his fiancée, Leila (Sarah Roemer), and unwittingly begins to expose the biggest cover-up in U.S. history. Sean's quest will send ripples through the lives of an eclectic band of strangers, including newly elected U.S. President Martinez (Blair Underwood); Sophia (Laura Innes), who is the leader of a mysterious group of detainees; and Sean's shadowy father-in-law (Scott Patterson). Their futures are on a collision course in a global conspiracy that could ultimately change the fate of mankind.
The Pilot premieres this Monday, September 20th, on NBC. To help usher in this exciting new series, we caught up with Jason Ritter and Blair Underwood to find out more about what we can expect to see throughout the season. »
Directed by: Clint Eastwood
Release Date: October 22, 2010
Trailer Score: 7/10
My Thoughts: I know it’s sacrilege within the film community to say that you don’t like Clint Eastwood movies, but, well, there you have it. Not the ones he directs at least. They always seem over-inflated Oscar bait, which never really appeals to me. Don’t get me wrong, people have tried to make plenty of cases for him as a director and they’re entitled to their own opinions, but nothing ever seems to change. That being said, Hereafter looks like it has potential. Sure, there’s the whole thriller thing, which is already a nice departure from your average glacially-paced Eastwood movie. At first it was a little weird to see a tidal wave Deep Impact or 2012 style in an Eastwood movie, but once I got over the initial shock, »
- Calhoun Kersten
By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: Hollywood has come a long, long way since “Wargames.”
Audiences were amazed back in 1983, when Matthew Broderick used a massive home PC to hack into our nation’s security system and potentially launch World War III. Now technology has ensured we can watch “Wargames” on a handheld device that’s roughly the size of a postcard if we wanted to. Times have changed.
But our interest, as storytellers, has not drifted too far from the problems computers and technology can cause. One project that’s already in the can, David Fincher’s “The Social Network,” is eagerly anticipated by movie audiences and Oscar trackers. It’s set to open the New York Film Festival at the end of September, but early reviews are making their way online.
They are extremely positive.
Scott Foundas calls Fincher’s work “splendid entertainment from a master storyteller.” His review is spoiler heavy, »
- Sean O'Connell
Steven Moffat does it again. Over the years he has achieved some remarkable television feats. Not only did he essentially sell his UK version of Friends back to the United States (as Coupling), write the best episodes of Doctor Who during the Russell T. Davies era and eventually take over the running of the show himself, snubbing Spielberg in the process, he and Mark Gatiss (The League of Gentlemen, Doctor Who) have now reinvented Sherlock Holmes for the 21st Century in spectacular fashion. Note to Guy Ritchie. This is how its done.
The old adage in entertainment is that two similar vehicles come along at roughly the same time. For example, when Armageddon was released in 1998, we also had Deep Impact. When The Illusionist was released, we also had The Prestige. Antz and A Bug's Life, Dante's Peak and Volcano, Iron Eagle and Top Gun. I could go on. Sherlock Holmes is no different. »
- Paul Kerton
Even though The Social Network isn’t set to be released until October, the highly dramatic trailers for director David Fincher’s emotionally charged film about the controversy surrounding the launch of Facebook have critics buzzing that it’s already a frontrunner for the 2011 Academy Awards. However, you may be surprised to learn that it’s not the only movie about social networking that’s due to hit the big screen this fall. In the grand tradition of competing Hollywood studio releases like Dante’s Peak and Volcano (or even Armegeddon vs. Deep Impact), Best Week Ever’s own Pete Schultz recently unearthed this Exclusive trailer for the new film based on the life of MySpace’s Tom, conveniently titled The Other Social Network. We hope you enjoy it. »
- Mark Graham
Call it civic duty or patriotic pride, Hollywood is no stranger to showing support for the red, white and blue. Actors and filmmakers alike have produced films about protecting and defending our country against everything from terrorists to aliens to giant astroids. Whether based on real-life leaders or leaders created by a screenwriter's imagination, some of screen's heaviest hitters have taken their turn portraying the President of the United States. But who served the office best? Our faves are: Josh BrolinHe was a dead-ringer as George W. Bush in the Oliver Stone's W. The biographical film followed the life »
- Karen J. Quan
Reader Feh in comments following my review of Killers asks: MaryAnn, do you have any insight into the ripoff pattern? Why do Hollywood movies tend to come out in pairs? Killers/Knight & Day, Abyss/Leviathan, Deep Impact/Armageddon. Feh then links to a story titled “11 Identical Movies Released at the Same Time” -- which dates back to last year, when we had Observe and Report and Paul Blart: Mall Cop back to back. The piece also mentions other recent apparent ripoffs including the pair of The Prestige and The Illusionist. And now we have Killers and, opening tomorrow, Knight and Day. (Reviews are supposed to be embargoed till tomorrow, but even though lots of critics have already posted theirs, I’ll honor the embargo and post mine at 12:01am tonight.) »
- MaryAnn Johanson
It looks as if Warner Bros. and producer Joel Silver are readying their own take on the Don Quixote story, and it's one that may not please fans of the classic book. They are developing the film as a big-budget tentpole project along the lines of The Pirates of the Caribbean. We're talking big, fast-paced action/adventure stuff here. Not only will the film showcase a large budget, but also some significant changes in story. As opposed to the delusional, crazy Don Quixote of the book, the film will be a fantasy where everything is real. Quixote really will be the chivalrous hero he only thinks himself to be in the novel. Now, the real question movie fans are asking themselves right now is how this will effect Terry Gilliam's planned film, The Man Who Killed Don Quixote. Things have been moving forward on that film and hopefully they will still continue that way, »
It's tempting to still think of Leelee Sobieski as that underage ingénue from "Deep Impact," "Eyes Wide Shut," "The Glass House" and her Emmy-nominated role in the TV miniseries "Joan of Arc," but according to the fair-skinned beauty (who turns 27 this month and, as of December, is a new mother), the opposite is true: "People think that I'm older than I am because I've been working since I was 11. They think, 'Oh, she's been around forever. She's in her mid-30s.' But I'm not."
In the new indie comedy "Finding Bliss," written and directed by Julie Davis ("Amy's Orgasm"), Sobieski stars as Jody, a naïve film school grad who fights against her conservative impulses when she takes an editing gig at an adult film company, specifically to take advantage of their filmmaking equipment after hours. Surrounded by silicone-enhanced toys and talent (plus a full-frontal Jamie Kennedy), Judy is forced »
- Aaron Hillis
Chicago – In Hollywood studio royalty, there might be no one as royal as Richard D. Zanuck. Besides being the son of Darryl F. Zanuck, one of the founders of the movie studio system, Richard Zanuck has made his own mark as producer of “Jaws,” “Driving Miss Daisy,” and Tim Burton’s 3-D “Alice in Wonderland.”
Zanuck was born into the movies through his famous father, who founded the 20th Century Fox studio. His first major film job was in 1959, when at the age of 24 he produced “Compulsion,” which starred Orson Welles. He became president of his father’s studio during the transitional times of the 1960s and ‘70s, and went on to produce – with David Brown – Steven Spielberg’s first film, “Sugarland Express.”
The legendary Jaws  followed, as well as the Best Picture Oscar for Driving Miss Daisy . Other notable films include “Cocoon” , “Mulholland Falls” , “Deep Impact”  and “Road to Perdition »
- email@example.com (Adam Fendelman)
Well how do you like that?
Not a day after the announcement that Disney and David Fincher will work together on a new film based on Jules Verne's '20,000 Leagues Under the Sea' there is word that Ridley and Tony Scott are producing their own as well. Under their Scott Free banner they will produce a Travis Beacham [Clash of the Titans] script and are hoping that Russian director Timur Bekmambetov [Wanted, Day Watch and Night Watch] will sign on to helm the flick.
Hollywood is notorious for creating dueling projects with similar themes or stories- studios trying to get their project out before another- Armageddon and Deep Impact. Dante's Peak and Volcano. And I didn't know this but there are two versions of The Three Muskateers in development right now from Doug Liman/Warner Bros. and Paul W. S. Anderson [yes, the evil Paul Anderson] and Summit.
How can they do it? '20,000 Leagues Under the Sea' is public domain apparently. So anyone »
By Roger Friedman
Hollywoodnews.com:Oliver Stone’s “Wall Street” sequel, subtitled Money Never sleeps, is a hit. It’s a formula Hollywood movie in the great sense. For the first time in a long time, the formula works.
There are many good things to say about Money Never Sleeps. The script sings and zings with excellent dialogue and memorable one liners. It’s a simple story of greed and morality, with a twist you can see from the beginning. But the players are winning, and Stone doesn’t get bogged down. He plays the 2008 financial crisis like an end of the world movie. It’s “Deep Impact” but the falling Dow jones averages are meteors hurting to Earth.
Saving Private Ryan (Blu-Ray)Paramount Home Entertainment1998/Rated R/ 169 minsNow Available – List Price: $39.99Every now and then its nice to go back to an influential film especially if its by a filmmaker who continually re-invents himself. Steven Spielberg's Saving Private Ryan came as a surprise to moviegoers in the summer of 1998. Though promoted as a simple story of a unit of GI's sent to locate the last surviving member of a family of serviceman, the film was actually a full blown war movie set against the WWII invasion of Normandy. The film marked Spielberg's second with his DreamWorks Pictures after leaving Universal as well as the second major success for the studio after Deep Impact a few weeks earlier. Critics and audiences knew Spielberg could handle gut wrenching drama after the success of Schindler's List in 1993, but could he do it again? This war movie not only proved that he could, »
Hollywood has had quite the love affair with Alexandre Dumas’ Three Musketeers. There have been countless big screen adaptations of the adventures of d’Artagnan and his beloved friends: Athos, Porthos, and Aramis since 1903. It appears that Hollywood has fallen in love all over again as two Musketeer projects are racing to production.
The Heat Vision Blog is reporting that Paul W.S. Anderson’s 3-D adaptation of The Three Musketeers has gained a rather interesting cast. Logan Lerman (Percy Jackson) is set to play d’Artagnan with Ray Stevenson, Luke Evans, and Matthew Macfadyen as the titular musketeers. Academy Award winner Christoph Waltz will play the villain, again and Milla Jovovich will apparently play a ’17th century Bond girl’. Anderson’s take will have a contemporary feeling, hence the 3-D and will production in September.
And on the other side of town, Doug Liman is going to direct an adaptation »
- Douglas Reinhardt
It doesn't quite happen as much as it did a few years back, but there was this trend for a while where one studio would have an idea for a movie and start moving forward with it... and then another studio would hear about it, also think it was a good idea and start making a very similar movie. They'd even often come out right around the exact same time.
The website Topmoviez also recognized this little trend and put together a list of similar films that all came out at the same time. Their list looked like this:
Volcano Movies: “Dante’s Peak” (February 7, 1997) and “Volcano” (April 25, 1997)
Asteroid Threatening Earth Movies: “Deep Impact” (May 8, 1998) and “Armageddon” (July 1, 1998)
European Period Movies About Magicians: “The Illusionist” (September 1, 2006) and “The Prestige” (October 20, 2006)
Animated Bug Movies: “Antz” (October 2, 1998) and »
By Sean O’Connell
HollywoodNews.com: So it turns out J.J. Abrams’ secretive “Super 8″ project Isn’T associated with the monster movie “Cloverfield” after all. Instead, it has something to do with Area 51, the legendary, top-secret military base that, rumor has it, housed alien ships, weaponry and possibly corpses over the years.
Sounds cool, right?
Ironically, there’s another Area 51 project in the making from “Paranormal Activity” writer-director Oren Peli. And while it’s not uncommon for Hollywood to produce competitive films on similar subjects (think “Armageddon” versus “Deep Impact,” or “Volcano” versus “Dante’s Peak”), this news about Abrams’ film suddenly sets up what appears to be a race to the finish line.
We reported earlier this week that a teaser trailer for Abrams’ “Super 8″ will be attached to prints of “Iron Man 2″ this Friday, May 7. If you can’t wait to find out more about it, »
- Sean O'Connell
Last June, when Iron Man 2 was filming here in Los Angeles, I was invited - along with a few other online journalists - to visit the set. While I was allowed to write about my experiences on set last year, I haven’t been able to post any of the interviews until now. But with Iron Man 2 getting ready to be released all around the world, Marvel/Paramount have lifted the embargo and I can share the awesome interview I got to do with Jon Favreau.
While a lot of the info we got on set is now readily available, what’s great about the interview is hearing Favreau talk about the film in the middle of production when things were still coming together. Also, the people who visited the set with me all asked great fan questions and you’ll learn a lot about Howard Stark (Tony »
- Steve 'Frosty' Weintraub
There are innumerable reasons to hate Michael Bay, and probably even more internet reviews devoted to enumerating all of them, but sometimes I think that hate is simply too primitive a reaction to what he does. Sure, his politics are retrograde, his sense of character is nil, and his visual style is nothing if not abrasive; but is there any other director in Hollywood so reviled whose work could be recognized at a single glance? Sure, Brett Ratner and Roland Emmerich are probably just as hated, but could you honestly tell their films apart? Not so with Michael Bay, who manages to infuse even basic scenes (such as informing the President that something terrible is going to happen) with a sense of the grudgingly familiar but also a distinctive mise-en-scene (snobby film term, sorry) that seems to demand to be noticed with a noise and insistence that perhaps no other filmmaker can match. »
- Anders Nelson
As the saying goes, there’s only a half-dozen or so original ideas out there, and everything else is just a variation on them. Of course, every now and then Hollywood screenwriters also steal from one another, and you end up with two studios doing essentially the same movie at the same time. Remember the dueling killer meteorite movies from 1998 aka Michael Bay’s “Armageddon” and Mimi Leder’s “Deep Impact”? For some reason, 2010 is shaping up to have a record number of dueling, similarly-themed projects. Sure, it could all be one big coincidence, and maybe my aunt Selma is really the reincarnation of Cleopatra. ———-*——— The A-Team vs. The Losers One is based on an action-adventure TV show that you probably saw and loved from the ’80s and the other is based on a comic book that you’ve probably never even heard of. They’re both basically the »
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