19 items from 2015
Since George Lucas got out of the Star Wars business, he's been lending his Hollywood heft to some long-gestating passion projects that might be difficult to produce independently elsewhere. He started developing Red Tails, a war movie about the Tuskegee airmen, back in 1988 and eventually served as producer and an uncredited co-director on the 2012 movie.
Lucasfilm's latest, Strange Magic, is directed by Oscar-winning sound designer Gary Rydstrom, but it's also been around for much longer than you'd think. 15 years ago, while working on that pesky prequel trilogy, Lucas started thinking about making a film for his daughters. “Just like Star Wars was designed for 12-year-old boys,” Lucas told Wired upon the film's Us release in January, “Strange Magic was designed for 12-year-old girls.”
If that sounds a little reminiscent of when John Travolta »
Tom Cruise and Scientology and Maverick and Goose are all coming together for one totally ... expected and not the least bit shocking event. The Church's Celebrity Centre in Hollywood is featuring its main wingman in "Top Gun" for summer movie night this week, and they're getting the word out with a few banners around town. They're not even trying to play against type anymore. Coming soon: The 'Mission Impossible' trilogy, "War of the Worlds," "Risky Business »
- TMZ Staff
In the beginning there was David O Russell's Nailed, a political comedy which began filming in 2008 and, after a disastrous string of financing problems, seemingly died two years later. Deciding to cut his losses, a frustrated Russell abandoned the project in 2010 and moved onto Oscar glory with The Fighter, Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle.
But like Rasputin, Nailed has lingered on without Russell's involvement. Missing pieces have been shot and put in place, and the finished film - now called Accidental Love - is credited to one Stephen Greene, an Alan Smithee-like pseudonym. The result is a fitfully amusing farce that can't begin to hide the scars of its troubled production.
Jessica Biel stars as Alice, an 25-year-old small-town waitress who's caught the eye of vain local cop, »
The ensemble cast for Rogue One has shaped up rather nicely over the past few months, with Riz Ahmed and Sam Claflin joining Felicity Jones and Ben Mendelsohn, while Diego Luna was added to the line-up in May.
According to a report over at Variety, we can now add another familiar name to the list: the Academy Award-winning Forest Whitaker. Whitaker is, of course, the star of such movies as The Last King Of Scotland (the film that won him an Oscar for his portrayal of the notorious dictator Idi Amin), The Butler, Ghost Dog and, going further back, things like The Crying Game and Platoon. He was also in Battlefield Earth, but he'd probably prefer it if we didn't mention that.
Rogue One is Gareth Edwards' story of how the rebels »
The Oscar-winning actor is hoping this will make us all forgive and forget for Battlefield Earth
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- Christopher Campbell
A long time ago – well, 35 years – in a place not quite so far away, an art director named Roger Christian, who had won an Oscar for his work on Star Wars, was asked by that film’s director, George Lucas, to make a short film to accompany The Empire Strikes Back. The result, Black Angel had a short life in cinemas and was presumed lost until recently, but now Christian is turning it into a full-length feature with genre stalwarts Rutger Hauer and John Rhys-Davies, at the head of the cast.Despite the short lingering in limbo until it was discovered in Universal’s extensive archives in 2013, it has been something of a cult sensation, and is cited as an influence on other films including John Boorman’s Excalibur.Christian, who in the intervening years became a director on the likes of Nostradamus, Masterminds and (whisper it) Battlefield Earth, is »
Thirty-five years after it screened alongside Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back in 1980, fantasy short Black Angel is getting the feature-length treatment. Roger Christian (Nostradamus, Battlefield Earth), who won an Oscar for his set decoration work on the first Star Wars (where he, among other achievements, helped design the first-ever lightsaber), is returning to write and direct the adaptation of his first-ever effort as a director. “It’s my passion project, has been for 35-36 years,” Christian tells The Hollywood Reporter. “I guess ‘patience is a virtue’ is a true saying.” Originally commissioned
- Alex Ritman
The wait between Mission: Impossible II and III was roughly six years. It took around five years for Ghost Protocol to come after the last installment. Now, less than four years after Brad Bird's film does Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation come to the screen. In descending fashion, though, it looks like the wait between July 31's new movie and Mission: Impossible VI will be even shorter, as plans to make the Tom Cruise sequel apparently are already happening. No confirmation has come from the studio yet, and none of the stars are attached if this is true, but The Tracking Board has the exclusive on the sequel news. J.J. Abrams, David Ellison, Dana Goldberg and Cruise would all return to produce, as they did for the last three installments, with Don Granger and Matt Grimm attached as executive producers and Elizabeth Raposo to oversee development. Additionally, it's expected »
- Will Ashton
After all the excitement surrounding Andy & Lana Wachowski getting another chance at crafting original sci-fi, it was such a disappointment to see what Jupiter Ascending turned out to be. It’s one of those beautiful, mind-blowing disasters like Super Mario Bros. or Battlefield Earth. And while it’s full of stunning imagery and wild characters, none […]
The post Jupiter Ascending Honest Trailer: No One Will Give the Wachowskis Money Again appeared first on /Film. »
- Ethan Anderton
The much anticipated, inaugural image of Jared Leto as the Joker has officially hit the internet. Both newer fans and Clown Prince traditionalists alike became instantly up in arms over the grill-sporting, self-referential tattoo baring, Insane Clown Posse-looking Leto.
For rabid fans, the memories are still fresh of a time when we were ready to take to the streets when the teen heart throb from “10 Things I Hate About You” was cast as the Ace of Knaves in “The Dark Knight”. Thankfully, Heath Ledger turned out a performance so legendary, it practically erased “A Knight’s Tale” from public memory.
Ledger’s Joker certainly isn’t the first time someone flexed a little creative liberty in their portrayal of Batman’s arch-nemesis. Since the Joker’s inception in 1940, he has been portrayed as silly, inept, brilliant, savage, debonair, handsome, gruesome and he has even been…a she! »
- George J. Rutherford
Our weekly column in which writers reveal their current in-the-margains pop culture obsession. Do you know one of the things I love most about the Internet? The whip-smart parody Twitter accounts that rise and fall like ancient regimes. Here today, gone tomorrow. Rulers of the world, then buried forever in a layer of social media sediment. A few rise above the noise to be baked into collective consciousness — like @Horse_ebooks and @FilmCriticHULK. But most are just a flash-in-the-pan. Yet while they last, these anonymous satirists can bring a much needed chuckle to a Twitter feed oscillating between political debate and Instagram photos of everyone’s idealized life and lunch choices. To that end, my current favorite is @AwfulFantasy. Every day, this ode to the purple prose of yesterday sticks it to overblown fantasy tropes. Whether involving high fantasy, space fantasy, or new-fangled steampunk, no sub-genre is safe from their loving barbs. »
- Donna Dickens
Through the use of satire, and a good dose of slapstick, Accidental Love attempts to show some of the more absurd aspects of society. However, the slapstick seems to undermine the gravity of the characters, as it carries the narrative too far into the ridiculous for the audience to then believe the film’s characterization of society. Although it is possible to bring satire and slapstick together in a way that works, in Accidental Love, they feel like two opposing tones. The movie is often humorous because of its astute observations through satire, but also awkward because it relies on embarrassing and meaningless sight gags, which hurt the overall plot and message that the filmmakers are trying to convey.
- Josh Cabrita
This morning, Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice director Zack Snyder fired up his Twitter for the first time in over two months, and introduced the world to the latest DC hero to hit the big screen. Kneel before cod and say hello to Jason Momoa as Aquaman.There is only one true King. #unitetheseven pic.twitter.com/RDFG8jbuI6— ZackSnyder (@ZackSnyder) February 20, 2015“There is only one true King,” tweets Snyder, along with a shot of the watery warrior that has, as you might expect, split the internet right down the middle. There are those who love that Snyder has, as seemed obvious the minute the hulking Momoa was cast, departed drastically from the ‘classic’ Aquaman look (golden chain-mail armour, green tights, a shock of blond hair), and who recognise that that look simply wouldn’t fit into the darker, quote-unquote realistic DC universe Snyder is crafting.Then there are »
Awards season is upon us once again, and with the Academy Awards coming up this weekend, hopeful candidates will be eagerly anticipating their name being called out so that they can collect their coveted Oscars.
At least, that’s the scenario faced by some of Hollywood’s hottest talent. The less talented in the industry have another awards ceremony to look forward to (although that might not be the most appropriate way to phrase it): the Golden Raspberry Awards – also known as the Razzies – are also being held this weekend, celebrating the very worst the film industry had to offer in 2014.
There’s certainly plenty to choose from – while 2014 saw a decent selection of great films hitting cinema screens, the same predictable slew of remakes, sequels and rip-offs also came along ready to join movies like Showgirls, Twister and Battlefield Earth in the Razzies hall of infamy. »
- Andrew Dilks
Jupiter Ascending, 2015
Written and directed by The Wachowskis
In a bright and colorful future, a young destitute caretaker gets targeted by a ruthless son of a powerful family that live on a planet in need of a new heir, so she travels with a genetically engineered warrior to the planet in order to stop his tyrant reign.
In an age where comic book movies, reboots, remakes and films based on toys reign supreme, a movie like Jupiter Ascending should be praised for at least being “original”. It’s a movie that doesn’t play it safe with its $175 million budget and instead makes the sort of film one wouldn’t expect to see in this age of cinema. And who better to do this than The Wachowskis, who wowed us back in 1999 with the fantastic The Matrix, »
- Luke Owen
Director: Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski; Screenwriter: Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski; Starring: Channing Tatum, Mila Kunis, Eddie Redmayne, Sean Bean, Douglas Booth, Tuppence Middleton; Running time: 127 mins; Certificate: 12A
Andy and Lana Wachowski have frequently reached for the stars with their ambitious blockbusters, but in their latest offering Jupiter Ascending it all slips through their fingers in spectacularly disastrous fashion.
Though this isn't a science fiction folly quite as bad as Battlefield Earth or The Adventures of Pluto Nash, it's still rammed with an incomprehensible plot, off-key performances and a script that blurts out lines as ridiculous as "bees are genetically engineered to recognise royalty".
Queen of said bees is Mila Kunis's Jupiter Jones, a cleaner from a poor immigrant family who discovers she's the exact genetic replica of alien royalty. The ability to manipulate swarms of those pesky insects appears to be her sole (and limited) superpower.
In the »
Sleepy Hollow, Season 2, Episode 14, “Kali Yuga”
Story by Heather V. Regnier
Directed by Doug Aaronowski
Airs Mondays at 9pm (Et) on Fox
It’s interesting that “Kali Yuga” is an episode that centers so heavily on Nick Hawley and Frank Irving, because those two characters are indicative of the attention deficit disorder Sleepy Hollow has with its supporting cast. Hawley, brought in to add roguish flair and romantic interest to the show, has since drifted to the point that even the showrunner admitted they threw out their original conception of the character. And Irving, after going from an implied villain in the pilot, has been shuffled from ally to asylum to afterlife so much that it’s become wearing when the show has to give him screen time. “Kali Yuga” tries hard to give both of these characters a bit of shading, but unfortunately »
- Les Chappell
Fitness model Greg Plitt killed in train accident: Plitt was the 'body' of Dr. Manhattan in 'Watchmen' movie Fitness model Greg Plitt, best known for adorning countless fitness magazine covers and for his participation on the reality TV show Work Out, was killed by a passenger train while being videotaped last Saturday afternoon, January 17, 2015, in Burbank, about 20 kilometers northwest of downtown Los Angeles. Authorities are now trying to figure out how Plitt and his two-person crew were able to access a restricted area – without a filming permit – and what exactly they were doing there. Online tabloids claim to have the answer, asserting that Greg Plitt's death was the result of a failed thrill-seeking stunt. The athletic Plitt, who had previously shot at least one workout video on a train track, was purportedly trying to outrun the passenger train, but tripped and fell on the tracks. Police have »
- Zac Gille
The Corner Show #1 discovered and curated by Drew McWeeny The following is the first installment in a new regular feature here at HitFix. People are fascinated by stories of films that were almost made, and we've certainly dug into that subject in the past. This is a new way of doing that in an ongoing format, and we hope you enjoy what is meant to be a game, a fun way of looking at an alternate movie history. It is safe to say that I had a very challenging 2014. So maybe what happened was a complete break with reality. Who could blame me? There's only so much anyone can take, and I've certainly had my own limits tested recently. So trust me.. at first, I considered forgetting all about what happened this past weekend and never writing a word about it. But it was so strange and so special that »
- Drew McWeeny
19 items from 2015
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