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Casting and chemistry can, occasionally, trump concept. So NBC’s big-box-store development approach receives an unexpected (and slightly ironic) infusion of energy from “Superstore,” thanks largely to America Ferrera and Ben Feldman as its adorable, meant-for-each-other leads. While much of this is familiar – and even echoes that “People of Walmart” Web meme – the show comes closer to approximating the desired mix of sweetness and silliness than most of the network’s workplace series have since “The Office.” Receiving an early preview behind “The Voice,” “Superstore” returns in January with the also-ok “Telenovela,” offering a pretty good comedy hour, at reasonable prices.
Despite a single-camera format, “Superstore” only once ventures beyond the parking lot of the fictional wholesaler, Cloud 9, during the four episodes previewed. The premiere introduces Jonah (“Mad Men’s” Feldman, last seen on NBC in the short-lived romantic comedy “A to Z”), who immediately antagonizes the level-headed Amy »
- Brian Lowry
Quentin Tarantino's script for grisly, gonzo "True Romance" (1993) will receive the Live read treatment from Jason Reitman next month—but who should the "Casual" and "Up in the Air" director cast? His choices for last year's "American Beauty" live read were starry (Bryan Cranston as Lester Burnham) and occasionally unexpected (Christina Hendricks as Lester's uptight wife, Carolyn). Below, read our suggestions for reviving "True Romance," more than two decades after its debut. And tell us your picks in the comments. Purchase tickets for the Dec.16 event, all proceeds of which go to Film Independent, here. Read More: "Westward Ho! Westerns Hitting Screens from Tarantino, Inarritu and More" Joseph Gordon-Levitt as comic-book nerd and Elvis obsessive Clarence Worley (Christian Slater). (Imagine him in Christian Slater's wide-lapel pink shirt!) As he showed us in Rian Johnson's »
- Matt Brennan
Smile, Michael Ritchie’s aptly named 1975 film, takes aim at American beauty pageants and the sunnily eager contestants, their ravenous parents and long suffering chaperones. But the real reason to smile is Bruce Dern’s funny and touching performance as Big Bob Freelander, head judge of the contest and sometime used car dealer. Once again Ritchie takes an overflowing cast of characters (including Barbara Feldon and Melanie Griffith) and gives each one of them their due. Annette O’Toole has a memorable moment as a demurely sexy contestant who finds a provocative way to catch the judges’ attention.
- TFH Team
It’s the first time Broad Green has signed a first-look deal, which includes physical and financial production resources. The company, launched by brothers Gabriel and Daniel Hammond, moved into wide-release distribution in September with “A Walk in the Woods,” which grossed a moderate $29 million in the U.S.
Cooper has held executive posts at DreamWorks, TriStar, Artisan and HBO Films and overseen “American Beauty,” “As Good as It Gets,” “Jerry Maguire” and “Meet the Parents.” His current projects include “FBI Wedding” at Universal, with Jason Bateman starring and directing, and “Stealing Time” at DreamWorks.
Saperstein has been an exec with New Line, Artisan and Dimension Films with executive producer credits on “Se7en,” “Hancock” and “1408.” He has begun pre-production on the remake of “The Blob,” starring Samuel L. Jackson. »
- Dave McNary
Director Sam Mendes had plenty of experience in theater before directing his first film. The skills he acquired from the stage, like his eye for performances, was evident even in his debut feature American Beauty, which won him his first Oscar. Even when a film from the director doesn’t fully come together, the performances are […]
- Jack Giroux
If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, the organizers of the Camerimage Intl. Festival of the Art of Cinematography should blush. A number of similar film festivals are gaining momentum, including the Manaki Bros. Intl. Cinematographers’ Film Festival in Macedonia, Ostrava Kamera Oko Intl. Festival of Cinematographers in the Czech Republic and the nascent Bristol Festival of Cinematography. But the question asked around the American Society of Cinematographers clubhouse and anywhere camera people gather as summer wanes, is, “Will I see you in Poland?”
Chris Menges, Walter Murch and Sandy Powell will be among those making the journey to Bydgoszcz, in western Poland, for the 23rd Camerimage, which kicks off Nov. 14 with a screening of Steven Spielberg’s “Bridge of Spies,” featuring the work of frequent collaborator and Polish native Janusz Kaminski.
The showcase has gained a position of dominance with a single-minded focus on celebrating the creators of motion picture imagery. »
- David Heuring
The 2016 People's Choice Awards will kick off award season Jan. 6, and the nominees are in! Jane Lynch is hosting this year's ceremony, which is packed with talented nominees. In addition to Lynch, Betsy Brandt, Marcia Gay Harden, Abigail Spencer, Zachary Levi, Christina Milian, and Mark Burnett were on hand at the Paley Center for Media to make the announcement. We're already excited to see some of our favorite things and people, like Pretty Little Liars, Jurassic World, and Ed Sheeran, up for awards. After 72 million votes, here are all the nominees! Take note: there's a new "Digital" category for awards like favorite social media star. Movies Favorite Movie Avengers: Age of Ultron Furious 7 Inside Out Jurassic World Pitch Perfect 2 Favorite Movie Actor Channing Tatum Chris Pratt Johnny Depp Robert Downey Jr. Will Smith Favorite Movie Actress Anne Hathaway Melissa McCarthy Meryl Streep Sandra Bullock Scarlett Johansson Favorite Action »
- Maggie Pehanick
- Sasha Stone
Here’s a theory: If not for Sam Mendes, Universal never would’ve entrusted an indie greenhorn like Colin Trevorrow to direct “Jurassic World,” nor would George Lucas have dreamed of handing the reins of his “Star Wars” franchise to the likes of Rian Johnson (“Brick”).
While hardly your typical indie director by origin, British-born Mendes, who is receiving the John Schlesinger Britannia Award for Excellence in Directing, was a bold choice to tackle “Skyfall,” the 23rd film in the Eon-produced James Bond franchise — and one of the few to be overseen by a helmer selected on the strength of his dramatic directing chops — resulting in $1.1 billion worldwide box office, the Bond series’ highest-grossing film.
The tendency with such franchise assignments — from Bond to “Star Wars” to the “Jurassic Park” series — has long been to pick journeymen helmers, favoring those lacking an authorial imprimatur who excel at the technical side of things: specifically, »
- Peter Debruge
Maker Studios will soon have new content available for smartphone users. The Disney-owned multi-channel network has inked a deal with Verizon’s newly-launched go90 mobile video service to produce at least eight original series for the platform, including Marvel and Star Wars-themed shows and coverage of live events.
Under the content pact, Maker will create original programming for go90 across genres like dance, comedy, and gaming. The Maker series Geekenders, featuring YouTube gamers Jesse Cox and Brooke Lawson (aka PressHeartToContinue) as they travel the U.S. to find geeky tourist spots, is already available on go90. Maker will also launch Marvel’s Off the Rack, where traditional and digital celebrities will explore the world of Marvel Comics through what a release calls “discussions and re-enactments with special cameos from Marvel creators.” Go90 will also be home to Maker’s In a Galaxy, a collaboration series from Lucasfilm and Morgan Spurlock »
- Bree Brouwer
“Spectre” is off to a sizzling start at the U.K. box office.
The latest James Bond adventure has deployed its license to kill to the tune of $24.5 million over its first two days in theaters. That muscular haul includes a Wednesday gross of $8.8 million. The picture has now scored the biggest Tuesday and Wednesday grosses in U.K. history.
“Spectre” cost $250 million to produce, so it needs to do massive business around the world if it wants to recoup its investment. The film is rumored to be Daniel Craig’s last stint as 007 after three other films. His previous adventure, “Skyfall,” was the series’ high-grossing picture and the first film to cross the $1 billion mark.
In the U.K., where Bond is a veritable national mascot, the latest movie is looking like a winner. It seems poised to outpace “Skyfall’s” three-day U.K. opening weekend of $32.4 million.
“Spectre” debuts domestically on Nov. »
- Brent Lang
After a truly spectacular and fresh opening sequence, everyone might as well be enacting a Bond puppet show, which is sometimes unpleasantly retro-icky. I’m “biast” (pro): loved Casino Royale and Skyfall
I’m “biast” (con): didn’t love Quantum of Solace
(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)
The opening gambit of Spectre — the fourth outing for the 21st century’s James Bond — is absolutely spectacular. It begins with a long and apparently uncut sequence in which the secret agent and a lady friend wend their way through raucous Day of the Dead revelers in Mexico City, through streets heaving with partiers, into a fancy hotel (where the party continues), up to a room. They are dressed for the mock morbid mood, gloomy yet merry, and we catch that fun-ereal contagion: if soaking in this gruesome funk doesn’t make you want to instantly sign »
- MaryAnn Johanson
The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) has announced that director Sam Mendes will discuss his craft and career at an event in London on Nov 30.
As part of the ‘BAFTA: A Life in Pictures’ series, Mendes will discuss a career that includes new James Bond film Spectre.
A renowned theatre director, Mendes made his cinematic directorial debut with American Beauty in 1999, which won six BAFTAs, including Best Film. The film also won five Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director for Mendes.
In 2002, Mendes’ second film Road to Perdition won two BAFTAs and received six Oscar nominations.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Michael Rosser)
This story first appeared in the Oct. 30 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe. How do you top the biggest movie of your career, 2012's Skyfall, which took in $1.1 billion worldwide to also become the highest-grossing James Bond movie ever? Sam Mendes, 50, an Oscar winner for 1999's American Beauty, took his time, but ultimately decided to tackle the new Bond adventure, Spectre, which hits theaters Nov. 6. The director, who will be honored at BAFTA Los Angeles' Britannia Awards with the organization's John Schlesinger Award for Excellence in
- Alex Ritman
No film buff wants to see a promising, or prominent filmmaker pull a disappearing act a la Terrence Malick, (though it seems he isn’t keen to repeat another lapse like the one between Days of Heaven to The Thin Red Line), but whether they’re dealing with unforeseeable professional (endless pre-production woes, writer’s block) or personal issues, sometimes there is a considerable time between projects.
With John Cameron Mitchell, Charlie Kaufman, Rebecca Miller, Patty Jenkins, Kenneth Lonergan and more recently, Barry Jenkins recently moving out of the so called “inactive” period, we decided to compile a list of the top ten American filmmakers who, for the most part, we’ve lost sight of and would like to see get back in the director’s chair again. Most of the filmmakers listed below have gone well over half a decade without a substantial movement in this category. Here is »
- Nicholas Bell
When Doug The Pug is involved, anything the canine touches turns to gold—including Fall Out Boy's latest music video. The four-legged 3-year-old self proclaimed "King of Pop Culture" rose to fame transforming into characters while sporting elaborate costumes on all of his social media outlets. In Doug's latest project, he's making a music video appearance all in the name of Fall Out Boy's redone single, "Irresistible," also featuring vocals from Demi Lovato. The catchy tune first hit the airwaves in January as the second track off of the band's sixth studio album, American Beauty/American Psycho. While the lyrics—"I love the way, I love the »
Since they returned after a three-and-a-bit-year hiatus in 2013, Fall Out Boy have been a different group from the cult kings they once were. After a number of years at the top of the pop punk mountain, the quartet felt disillusioned and decided to take a break, although always left the door open for a return at some point. Each band member went through his own personal evolution during the break – frontman Patrick Stump lost over 60 pounds and bassist Pete Wentz “grew up” in his own words, while Joe Trohman and Andy Hurley… had haircuts – which made their return all the more satisfying when it eventually happened.
Fall Out Boy’s two post-hiatus albums – 2013’s Save Rock and Roll and 2015’s American Beauty/American Psycho – definitely mark a shift in style from the albums which made them famous, favouring high production values, heavy beats and repetitive pop lyrics over the previous formula of raw, »
- Andre Pusey
Cindy Crawford is ''raunchier'' in the dressing room. The 49-year-old supermodel admitted when she is backstage having her hair and make-up done she's more likely to reveal her biggest secrets or pour her heart out because afterwards she can walk out and feel ''invincible''. She said: ''I know I have a dressing room personality that is slightly funnier and raunchier than I might have at a dinner party. In fact, it's practically mandatory! In order to keep up with the humour with some of the biggest personalities I've ever met, I have to bring my A game. ''But the make-up room is also the place where I could talk about the fight I had with my boyfriend or about feeling homesick. There, tears are dried, and friendships are cemented, so that by the time I step onto the set, I feel invincible.'' Meanwhile, the American beauty shared how back »
When HBO aired its vampire series True Blood, its arrival came at just the right time. The Twilight series was everywhere and horror was hitting the mainstream at every shopping mall in America. True Blood had creator Alan Ball at its side, therefore, already providing a sense of authenticity due to his resume consisting of the Oscar winning American Beauty and HBO’s earlier series, Six Feet Under. It’s through True Blood that America was introduced to Australian actor Ryan Kwanten who played the air headed yet lovable Jason Stackhouse. Kwanten has created a name for himself in the genre with Knights Of Badassdom, Dead Silence, and the underrated Griff The Invisible. His career is subtle overall, but he has the charisma to become a leading man and hope he gets a role that will get a more mainstream appeal. He seems to want to feel out other genres and avoid typecasting and, »
- Jovy Skol
CBS has green-lit the development of the long-running and beloved institution known as Nancy Drew. Former Grey's Anatomy executive producers Joan Rater and Tony Phelan are co-writing and will produce it alongside Dan Jinks, a producer on American Beauty. The Nancy Drew franchise has undergone numerous iterations since its conception as a series in the 1930s: Bonita Granville starred as the young detective in the late '30s; the books themselves were rewritten; there was an ABC show The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries in the '70s; Scream Queens' Emma Roberts starred as the detective in 2007 movie; and, of course, it's a computer game. The CBS project would be a contemporary reimagining of her character as a super-sleuth NYPD detective in her 30s. She isn't afraid of these mice! Except maybe pizza rat. That thing is horrifying. »
- E. Alex Jung
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