9 items from 2017
What Are You Watching? is a weekly space for The A.V Club’s film critics and readers to share their thoughts, observations, and opinions on movies new and old.
“Closer, please. Closer!”
When was the last time you watched The Silence Of The Lambs? It’s a terrifically accomplished potboiler, very different from the other interesting Thomas Harris adaptations (Michael Mann’s Manhunter, Bryan Fuller’s Hannibal) in that it’s specifically about evil. Manhunter’s white-clad Hannibal Lecter—or Lecktor, as it’s spelled in that film—might just as well be a figment of Will Graham’s obsession. When Lecter, with his canine sense of smell, mocks Graham’s aftershave (an exchange taken verbatim from Harris’ novel Red Dragon), doesn’t it sound like he already exists in the back of Graham’s head? And how perfect is it that »
- Ignatiy Vishnevetsky
Yesterday we received the sad news that director Jonathan Demme passed away after losing his battle to cancer and heart disease. Demme had a long career in a variety of film, from working with Roger Corman on 70s B-movies to powerful dramas like Philadelphia to documentaries and concerts films like Justin Timberlake + The Tennessee Kids.
What I consider to be his best film though, as well as my personal favourite Demme picture, is without a doubt The Silence of the Lambs. So much about that film is great – from its cast, music, cinematography – that makes it a memorable and excellent piece of film. The story behind how Demme became the film’s director is just as interesting as the film itself.
Before he signed on for the film, no studio wanted to touch Silence of the Lambs. Many thought »
- Ricky Church
Deadline is reporting that Jonathan Demme, acclaimed director of films like Stop Making Sense, Philadelphia, and the seminal The Silence of the Lambs has died. He passed away from esophageal cancer in his home in New York City. While no memorial plans have been announced, his family has asked that people support his favorite charity, Americans for Immigrant Justice.
Jonathan Demme is the type of director someone like Brett Ratner wishes he could be. While I wouldn't add him on my list of greatest directors of all time, his work on The Silence of the Lambs alone should put him on the list of best directors of the 90's. Capturing the essence of the great novel from Thomas Harris and adding in the legendary Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal Lecter, he created a movie that was a tour de force. For a movie that was considered horror as well as being released in February, »
- Tim Jousma
Armory Films, Union Entertainment Group and Pegasus Pictures announced today that Mads Mikkelsen (Dr. Strange, Star Wars, The Hunt) is starring in the survival thriller Arctic, directed by Joe Penna. Co-written by Penna and Ryan Morrison, the film is being produced by Chris Lemole and Tim Zajaros of Armory Films and Noah C Haeussner of Union, and is being executive produced by Martha De Laurentiis, Einar Thorsteinsson and Cassian Elwes. The film also marks the first re-teaming of Mikkelsen and De Laurentiis since NBC’s “Hannibal.” Production is currently underway, with Xyz Films handling international sales.
The story surrounds a man (Mikkelsen) stranded in the Arctic, who is finally about to receive his long awaited rescue. However, after a tragic accident, his opportunity is lost and he must then decide whether to remain in the relative safety of his camp or embark on a deadly trek through the unknown for potential salvation. »
- Tom Stockman
Batman v Superman producer says popular site stops people from seeing films.
Director/producer Brett Ratner has fiercely criticised reviews aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes, calling it the “destruction of our business”.
Ratner, who directed Rush Hour and X-Men: The Last Stand, and produced The Revenant and Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice through his RatPac Entertainment label, was talking at last weekend’s Sun Valley Film Festival.
“The worst thing that we have in today’s movie culture is Rotten Tomatoes,” he said, according to Entertainment Weekly.
“I think it’s the destruction of our business. I have such respect and admiration for film criticism. When I was growing up film criticism was a real art. And there was intellect that went into that. And you would read Pauline’s Kael’s reviews, or some others, and that doesn’t exist anymore.”
Rotten Tomatoes tracks all the reviews for a film, then calculates »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Orlando Parfitt)
I hate Rotten Tomatoes today. The fact that they made me agree with Brett Ratner on anything makes my blood boil.
Entertainment Weekly recently spoke with Mr. Ratner, director of movies such as Rush Hour, X-Men: The Last Stand, and Red Dragon, and asked him his thoughts on why films like Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice failed. That film, which Brett Ratner was a producer on, received a Rotten Tomatoes score of 27%, leading some to speculate that the site discouraged people from seeing the movie. Mr. Rattner had this to say about the site.
“I think it’s the destruction of our business. I have such respect and admiration for film criticism. When I was growing up film criticism was a real art. And there was intellect that went into that. And you would read Pauline’s Kael’s reviews, or some others, and that doesn’t exist anymore. »
- Tim Jousma
While Brett Ratner is the face of RatPac, the company’s ambitious mandate — from Warner Bros. blockbusters, mid-range budgeted comedies and dramas, and smaller specialty pics, as well as documentaries — calls for a crack team of pros to keep all of the different projects on track. Meet the company toppers who keep RatPac humming.
Chief Operating Officer
Neinstein oversees all corporate business, legal, financial, and day-to-day operations. Before joining RatPac in 2014, Neinstein served as exec VP in charge of business affairs for Paramount, and was previously a partner at Spyglass Entertainment Group. A member of the executive branch of AMPAS with a background in law, Neinstein has cinema in his veins. “RatPac is a phenomenal brand and [founder] Brett [Ratner] is amazing at understanding that, and growing and expanding the brand, and diversifying us as a business. It’s a 24/7 job but it’s highly rewarding and I absolutely love it, »
- Nick Clement
Brett Ratner’s rise through the directorial ranks as a helmer of consistent studio hits was swift and immediate. A veteran of the music-video world, his feature debut, “Money Talks,” became a low-budget success in late summer 1997, and would cement his strong relationship with actor-comedian Chris Tucker.
“Chris helped me get my job on ‘Money Talks,’ ” Ratner says. “When the original director left the project, Chris apparently said to the producers that he knew this ‘cool white boy named Brett Ratner’ and that’s how it happened. I knew I could work with Chris and that it would be a lot of fun. ‘Money Talks’ made sense because I had come out of music videos, and it fit with what I had learned. It happened very fast. I was 26 when I got ‘Money Talks,’ and I’d done over 100 music videos, but back then, you had to do commercials and »
- Nick Clement
Brett Ratner loves cinema. When speaking with the 47-year-old filmmaker, it’s abundantly clear that movies are unspooling through his veins, and if our discussions felt more like two movie buffs just enjoying great conversation, it’s because of his general enthusiasm for the medium.
“It was always my dream to direct movies,” he says, rarely pausing for a breath. “I always knew I’d do it. I had the drive and the desire. I was determined. But I never knew I’d be making movies of this size, stuff like the ‘Rush Hour’ films and ‘X-Men’ and ‘Red Dragon.’ When I was in film school, I knew I wanted to make entertaining movies. But I don’t think I could have prepared for how fast my rise would be. I was 26 when I got my first film.”
But it was before he’d set foot on a movie set »
- Nick Clement
9 items from 2017
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