15 items from 2015
Channel 4’s new reality series follows the adventures of 14 volunteers who are attempting to avoid capture by a team of professionals. Have you been watching, and have you learned anything useful?
Turn on, tune in, drop off the grid: that was the promise of Hunted, Channel 4’s ambitious new reality series. A group of 14 civilian volunteers are challenged to survive on the run for a month while being hacked and tracked by a 30-strong team of professional “hunters”. The promotional trailers made it look like techno-thriller Enemy of the State, where a vast, government-enabled spying apparatus mercilessly zeroes in on Will Smith’s panicked everyman.
Related: Hunted: could you go on the run in our post-Snowden surveillance state?
Continue reading »
- Graeme Virtue
The Martian is the new blockbuster from Ridley Scott, following the adventures of an American astronaut who is stranded on Mars and forced to survive on his own until helps arrive. Part of the award-winning team behind the movie (reviewed here), is composer Harry Gregson-Williams, the man behind unforgettable soundtracks like Enemy of the State,
- Cassam Looch
There are few composers working today who are as prolific as Harry Gregson-Williams. A veteran of over 20 years, his impressive career spans television, video games, and films such as the Shrek and The Chronicles of Narnia franchises.
Last August we were invited to the world famous Abbey Road Studios where Gregson-Williams was finishing up his score for The Martian, Ridley Scott’s highly anticipated fall blockbuster. We were lucky enough to see 15 minutes of footage set to his musical cues, with the quickly catchy theme being employed in interesting ways. The finished product is sure to be a memorable addition to both Scott’s filmography and Gregson-Williams’ discography.
Before that aural treat, we had the opportunity to sit down with Gregson-Williams, and during the course of our illuminating tête-à-tête the composer talks about working with the Scott brothers, »
- Luke Owen
The first full-length trailer for the second season of HBO’s The Leftovers has debuted online, ahead of the show’s return on October 4, 2015. Watch it down below…
As the trailer shows, season 2 will be different in a lot of ways from the first season. On top of the show’s setting changing from Mapleton, New York to Jarden, Texas, many new actors are being added to the cast, while others from season 1 are not returning.
The Leftovers is created by Damon Lindeloff and Tom Perrotta, the latter of the two having penned the book from which the show is adapted. Regular cast members Justin Theroux, Amy Brenneman, Margaret Qualley, Chris Zylka, Carrie Coon, Liv Tyler and Christopher Eccleston will be joined by newcomers Kevin Carroll (Margaret), Regina King (Enemy of the State), Jovan Adepo (Blood Relatives) and Darius McCrary (Family Matters).
- Justin Cook
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 »
Commenting on the Critics with Simon Columb…
Matt Singer writes for Screencrush about a new trend, whereby reboots ignore prior sequels and explicitly create a follow-up to the original film:
“But what Colin Trevorrow (and, by extension, Jurassic World) doesn’t mention is the fact that both movies (The Lost World: Jurassic Park and Jurassic Park III) also conclude with scenes beyond the borders of Isla Sorna, and those scenes would make it almost impossible for Jurassic World to exist.”
Read the full article (and I recommend you do) here.
Singer’s article for Screencrush fascinated me. On the one hand, I absolutely agree with his “lazy-writing”/‘selective-sequels’ argument. Too often, reboots pick nostalgic moments to build from and ignore anything that doesn’t fit the new instalment. Indeed, the Fast & Furious series is so strong because of the detailed history behind each new adventure. Even X-Men: Days of Future Past, »
- Simon Columb
Variety is reporting that recent "The Good, The Bad & The Badass" subject Jackie Chan is final talks to star in an action thriller titled The Foreigner for Stx Entertainment. Nick Cassavetes (The Other Woman, Alpha Dog) is in negotiations to direct the planned movie from a script by Enemy Of The State and Live Free Or Die Hard screenwriter David Marconi, which is based on the 1992 Stephen... Read More »
- Jesse Giroux
Jackie Chan remains the busiest actor around and at 61 years of age, he doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time just yet. Jackie has just signed on to star in the upcoming movie “The Foreigner“, where Jackie will play restaurant owner in London’s Chinatown who has to go after Irish Terrorists who killed his daughter. The book was adapted by David Marconi (Enemy of the State, Mission Impossible 2) which was titled “The Chinaman” and will be released by Stx Entertainment.
This sounds like it’ll be a great flick and one that will be straight out action and seems like little comedy involved, but if you want comedy/action then soon Jackie will be making Rush Hour 4 with Chris tucker and Shanghai Dawn with Owen Wilson.
Jackie also has Skiptrace coming out in the near future, so out of these movies which ones are you looking forward to the most? »
Nick Cassavetes is in talks to direct a script based on the Stephen Leather novel “The Chinaman,” which was published in 1992. The story centers on a restaurant owner in London’s Chinatown who is tracking down a group of Irish terrorists responsible for the death of his daughter.
Chan, 61, has acted in more than 150 films since the 1960s and is most famous for his martial arts. He starred in the “Rush Hour” trilogy for New Line.
Cassavetes’ directing credits include “The Other Woman” and “The Notebook.”
Stx was launched last year by film producer Robert Simonds and Tpg managing partner Bill McGlashan to produce projects in the $10 million »
- Dave McNary
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
Roadside Attractions has picked up U.S. distribution rights to Roland Emmerich's Stonewall, a drama set against the 1969 Stonewall Riots when the gay community rioted against a police raid that took place at the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village. The film stars Jeremy Irvine, Caleb Landry Jones, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Ron Perlman and Joey King. Deadline Speaking of Emmerich, he revealed on Twitter that Vivica A. Fox, recent star of Sharknado 2: The Second One, would be reprising her role as Jasmine Dubrow, the stripper with a heart of gold, in Independence Day 2. Fox took to Twitter with her own response. https://twitter.com/MsVivicaFox/status/580221878695899137 You want a Super Troopers sequelc Well, the Broken Lizard troupe is lining up Super Troopers 2, but they need your help via an IndieGoGo campaign looking for $2 million with $1.8 million raised as of this posting. 20th Century Fox is reportedly lined up to distribute. »
- Brad Brevet
'Focus' movie: Will Smith has third weakest weekend box-office debut of his career (photo: Will Smith in 'Focus') According to those referred to in polite society as "conservatives," winter storms and freezing temperatures are evidence that there's no such thing as global warming. Let's not even go there. Instead, let's focus (bad pun intended) on the Focus movie starring Will Smith and Margot Robbie as a con couple, which opened below expectations – with wintery weather as a possible culprit – in North America this weekend, February 27-March 1, 2015. According to box-office tracking, as late as a couple of days ago Warner Bros.' modestly budgeted Focus was expected to take in between $22-24 million. Barring a miracle akin to a sudden halt to rising ocean temperatures (pardon the hyperbole), that's not about to happen. Now, before I proceed: "modestly budgeted"? Well, for a Will Smith movie, $50 million – after »
- Zac Gille
Warner Bros. Pictures
Will Smith seems determined to prove that there’s life after After Earth, in his career at least. Following his lacklustre M. Night Shyamalan team-up that went the way every M. Night Shyamalan film has in the past decade, he’s set to return to screens next week in Focus, take aim as Deadshot in the Suicide Squad adaptation, and now go on the run in a Fugitive-fashioned action thriller, Bounty, which he’s also set to produce.
Sharing absolutely no connection with the last choice chocolate at the bottom of the selection box, Bounty is being written by Sascha Penn and will see Smith as a man wrongfully imprisoned for a murder he had no part in, only to escape in an effort to prove his innocence. Out on the run and desperate to clear his name, things are made all the more tricky when the »
- Nicholas Staniforth
Will Smith admits he's under a bright spotlight with his new film - fittingly titled Focus - after his last movie failed at the box office. "For me, this film really marks a transition in my life and emotionally and in my career," Smith said Sunday during a press conference for Focus at The Four Seasons Hotel in Westlake Village, California. "After the failure of After Earth, a thing got broken in my mind. I was like, 'Oh, wow. I'm still alive. Oh, wow. Actually, I still am me, even though the movie didn't open number one. Wait. I can »
- Wade Rouse, @waderouse
Directed by: Ang Lee
Ang Lee has gone in about eight different directions in terms of genre. His resume includes “The Ice Storm,” “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” Hulk,” “Brokeback Mountain,” “Life of Pi,” and this delightful Jane Austen adaptation, starring Emma Thompson, Hugh Grant, Alan Rickman, and young Kate Winslet. “Sense and Sensibility” took home the Oscar for Adapted Screenplay for the story of the Dashwood family, a mother widowed and left in difficult circumstances after her husband has left his fortune to his first wife, instead of his current one. So Mrs. Dashwood (Gemma Jones) and her daughters Fanny, Marianne, and Elinor (Harriet Walter, Winslet, Thompson) have to find a way to survive in a world ruled by men and the rules that seem to create obstacle after obstacle for them. Unfortunately, given the era, they are viewed as “unmarryable,” since they have no fortune and no prospects. »
- Joshua Gaul
15 items from 2015
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