9 items from 2014
Luc Besson: "I am a bit like the great chefs who pick up tips and recipes from their travels. My greatest fear is to make the same film. I am not interested in that. I always want to go in different directions ..." Photo: Richard Mowe French filmmaker Luc Besson is the closest France has to a movie mogul with his company Europa Corp, which is a major partner in a recently opened studio in Paris, Cité du Cinéma. He has produced or co-produced some 100 movies across an eclectic range of genres, all aimed for international success and many - such as the Taken franchise - targeted at the mass market.
Now he has returned triumphantly to the director’s chair with Lucy featuring Scarlett Johansson and Morgan Freeman, already a breakaway hit of the summer and very much in the Besson mould of films with strong female roles at their core (Nikita, »
- Richard Mowe
In a normal summer, a debut like the estimated $29.0 million opening for Dwayne Johnson's "Hercules" would be reason for its creators and distributor to rejoice. After all, the movie did better than pundits had predicted (in the low 20s), and it enjoyed a healthy per-screen average ($8,067 per venue). As an action star with a track record, Johnson would be said to have delivered on his promise, and there would be backslapping and cigars all around for a $100-million PG-13 movie that would surely earn back its investment from both domestic and overseas audiences (who bought an estimated $28.0 million worth of tickets) .
And yet, that opening was good enough only for second place. Coming out more than 50 percent ahead to debut in the No. 1 slot was "Lucy," a French-made R-rated action movie starring petite Scarlett Johansson, shot for a modest (by action standards) $40 million. Playing on 422 fewer screens than "Hercules, »
- Gary Susman
Release date: 25th July 2014 (America)
Lucy is the latest movie to star the brilliant and very talented Choi Min-Sik (Old Boy, I Saw The Devil). When i first seen Old Boy, i knew Choi would become a great figure in the movie world and so far he continues to do just that. Lucy also stars the beautiful Scarlett Johansson and Oscar winner Morgan Freeman.
The movie is directed by Luc Besson, he was nominated for best director in the past for movies such as “Léon: The Professional” and “The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc”, but won best director and french director for the 1997 hit movie “The Fifth Element”.
In a world run by the mob, street gangs, drug addicts, and corrupt cops, Lucy (Scarlett Johansson) is a woman living in Taipei, Taiwan who is forced to work as a drug mule for the mob. A drug implanted »
It is the voice — lilting, lightly French-accented — that one notices first, even before fully registering the famous face. You notice it because, in the movies, Marion Cotillard so rarely sounds like herself, whether affecting Edith Piaf’s nasal warble in her Oscar-winning performance in “La Vie en Rose,” the Polish dialect of the 1920s Ellis Island emigre in director James Gray’s “The Immigrant,” or her Belgian regional accent as a downsized factory worker in Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne’s “Two Days, One Night,” which premieres this week in competition at the
67th Cannes Film Festival.
If voice is one of an actor’s most valuable instruments, Cotillard plays hers like a first-chair virtuoso. Early in the shooting of “The Immigrant” (which debuts in the U.S. May 16), Gray asked Polish actress Maja Wampuszyc, who plays Cotillard’s aunt in the film, to evaluate the French actress’s command of Wampuszyc’s native language. »
- Scott Foundas
Above is the new international trailer for Lucy, the latest from Luc Besson. This thriller finds Scarlett Johansson as a regular woman (yeah, right) who is implanted with a mysterious substance she must traffick from one place to another, only to learn that it essentially makes her a superwoman who can manipulate the world around her. Besson is known as something of a trailblazer as far as women in action, having coached Natalie Portman in Leon, directed Milla Jovovich in The Messenger: The Story Of Joan Of Arc and of course Anne Parillaud in the deeply influential La Femme Nikita, which itself spawned a remake and two successful television series. This is the first time he's gotten an action heroine who is already prepared for the rough-and-tumble, as Scarlett Johansson comes with that Marvel pedigree, having starred in three films as the Black Widow, most recently Captain America: The »
"Film or art?" was the first question I was greeted with upon arrival at the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen, a question essentially inquiring whether I was attending to watch "films" or "art" (i.e. video art) at the festival. But since no such demarcation really exists in the program, the question therefore expanded beyond its modest confines to provoke all kinds of immediately doubting self-inquiry such as: (1) Oh God, what if I'm here just for film?; (2) Wait, who says film isn't art?; (3) Is this person picking a fight?; and (4) How come no one asks me this in Cannes?
Still, it was a question I should have expected, since a festival dedicated to short moving image media—now; it had "just" films to consider—implicitly posits a number of questions about its chosen subject. As someone with a cinephile background in, let's say, traditional cinema, it is both frightening and »
- Daniel Kasman
My favorite moment during the Saturday afternoon panel I moderated for Universal's upcoming movie "Lucy" was when an audience member asked director Luc Besson if he'd be interested in directing a Marvel Studios movie about "Black Widow" starring Scarlett Johansson. "I am afraid of spiders," he answered, and then just looked at me, ready to move on to the next question. If you've seen the first trailer for the movie, you get the general idea. Besson says he started noodling with the idea a decade ago, the first time he heard someone mention that "we only use 10% of our brains" idea. "I know it is wrong," he said, "but I liked the idea and I just wanted to start there. What happens if we take a character from that 10% to 100%?" When Universal asked if I'd like to moderate the panel, it was an easy yes. After all, this isn't just »
- Drew McWeeny
God bless Werner Herzog because sometimes we need a reminder that cinema can unpredictable and unexpected. Last night, word arrived that the director had made the unlikely choice in casting Russell Brand in his upcoming school shooting satire "Vernon God Little." Less than 24 hours later, that's hardly the most bonkers choice he's made. THR reports that Mike Tyson and Pamela Anderson are now in talks to join the movie. Holy hell. Penned by Andrew Birkin ("Perfume," "Joan Of Arc," "Omen III"), and based on the book by Dbc Pierre, the story is set in the border town of Martirio, Texas, where a bullied loner grabs a gun and kills six of his classmates, before committing suicide. But soon Vernon is in trouble when suspicions about the school shootings fall on him. Not much is known what roles Tyson and Anderson will take, though the former boxer will apparently deliver the titular line of dialogue. »
- Kevin Jagernauth
Russell Brand's verbose, rapid fire wit hasn't translated so well to the movies. Aside from being perfectly cast in "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" and the spinoff "Get Him To The Greek," he's otherwise mostly floundered in Hollywood productions, largely because it forces him to reign his spontaneous energy. But if there's any director who we'd love to see try and get something different, funny and worthwhile out of the comedian, it's Werner Herzog, and whaddya know, that's going to happen. Brand is in talks to join Herzog's school shooting comedy "Vernon God Little." Say what? You might have forgotten about this project first announced in the fall of 2012, but it's now moving fast with production slated to start this spring, once Herzog wraps on "Queen Of The Desert." Penned by Andrew Birkin ("Perfume," "Joan Of Arc," "Omen III"), and based on the book by Dbc Pierre, the satirical story is »
- Kevin Jagernauth
9 items from 2014