17 items from 2014
Coming up with song titles for a score or soundtrack can be a tricky business. The music for a film is usually released before the film itself to get audiences excited, but if the track listing reads like a spoiler list for what happens in the film, the music can end up being more upsetting than enticing. Other times the titles that make up a film score can be boring and forgettable (even if the music is not). However composer Michael Giacchino has taken a different approach by making his track titles stand out by giving them funny (even pun-y) titles. For Giacchino’s most recent project, the score for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, he created one of his most comedic listings yet which Big Fish and Frankenweenie writer John August pointed out on Twitter: With track titles like these plus “Level Plaguing Field,” “Look Who’s Stalking,” “Past »
- Allison Loring
When I first started working on the Stan Winston Week series, the only real hopes I had were that I would be able to get a few cool interviews with some hugely talented folks for our readers to enjoy and put together a series that was worthy of Winston and his legendary talent and vision. What I didn’t expect was that, throughout the interview process, I’d be privy to so many incredibly touching and personal stories about Winston and how even the littlest things that he did in his career ended up having a huge impact on the special effects industry.
For award-winning special effects artist Howard Berger, the influence Stan would have over his life and career, began at a very early age. “I first met Stan when I was 12-years-old. I was living up in Northridge at the time and I was only about three miles »
- Heather Wixson
Syfy today unveiled the cast of "Z Nation," an all-new zombie series set to debut in the fall. From production company The Asylum, the 13-episode action-horror series depicts the epic struggle to save humanity after a zombie apocalypse.
Harold Perrineau (pictured; "Oz," "Lost") Tom Everett Scott ("Southland," "Beauty and the Beast"), DJ Qualls ("Supernatural"), Michael Welch (the Twilight series), and Kellita Smith ("The Bernie Mac Show") have joined the ensemble drama, currently in production in Spokane, Washington.
In "Z Nation" three years have passed since the zombie virus has gutted the country, and a team of everyday heroes must transport the only known survivor of the plague from New York to California, where the last functioning viral lab waits for his blood. Although the antibodies he carries are the world’s last, best hope for a vaccine, he hides a dark secret that threatens them all. With humankind’s survival at stake, »
- Debi Moore
The film stars Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz as an infamous pair of artists... of sorts. Margaret Keane was the artist but it was Walter Keane who got the credit for the well known paintings of sad children with ginormous eyes. In fact, as "Sage" points out in the test screening review at Head Over Feels in a great piece of trivia I was hardly aware of, Burton is a long time fan and commissioned a portrait of Lisa Marie, his former muse, who once cut such an indelible figure in his movies. (I think she's best in Ed Wood and Mars Attacks!)
Anyway, you should read the post if you're interested since there's a lot of Oscar talk (Amy= sure thing / Christoph »
- NATHANIEL R
The first 45 minutes or so of The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet (hereon shortened to plain T.S. Spivet, for the sake of my sanity) are actually pretty wonderful. We’re thrown into a world of saturated colors and rootsy Americana, a pastel-soaked idyll dropped right in the middle of the picturesque American wilderness. It’s a steady downhill slip from there, but those opening phrases will stick with me as some of the most interesting and memorable family movie fare I’ve sat through in a good long while.
The titular T.S. (Kyle Catlett) is a ten year old genius born and raised on a ranch in rural Montana. His mother is a melancholic entomologist (Helena Bonham Carter), his father a latter-day cowboy wreathed in nostalgia. It isn’t as much The Ranch That Time Forgot as The Ranch That Forgot Time – a place that’s constantly slipping »
- Dominic Mill
The unique program with the Hollywood Studio Symphony and choir, conducted by John Mauceri, will take place at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on Friday, October 31 at 8 pm and Honda Center on Sunday November 2.
Presale tickets available 10am to 10pm June 5th at Axs.com /Ticketmaster.com with the special code Elfman. Tickets go on sale for the general public June 6th.
The program includes newly created suites from all sixteen film collaborations of the legendary composer Danny Elfman and visionary director Tim Burton. Elfman himself will perform his songs from “The Nightmare Before Christmas.” He was the singing voice of Jack Skellington in the 1993 classic film. The concert will be accompanied with large screen film clips, and the artwork of Tim Burton. »
- Michelle McCue
I haven't forgotten about the Oscar charts. This first installment is the most time-consuming is all, as it sets the templates up for an entire years worth of handwringing and hiearchy juggling. With this latest update we only have the "big eight" categories left to do (minus actor & supporting actress which we've already surveyed). But here are a few thoughts on new charts that are up...
I perhaps overstate the music branch's love for their favorite sons each year. It's not that that love isn't evident each year (stop to consider how many composers, for example, have 8 or more nominations and how rare that is in many other fields) it's that Hollywood's favorite composers are quite prolific so, John Williams & Alexandre Desplat aside (who never miss for a nomination) aside, there's no guarantee that any »
- NATHANIEL R
The Weekend Watch is an open thread where you can share what you’ve recently watched, offer suggestions on movies and TV shows we should check out (or warnings about stuff to avoid), and discover queue-filling goodies from other Fsr readers. The comments section awaits. I’ll get the ball rolling with the movies/TV my eyeballs took in this weekend. The Monuments Men has everything going for it on the surface — a relatively solid director and star in George Clooney, an incredibly strong supporting cast including Bill Murray, John Goodman, Jean Dujardin and Cate Blanchett, and a look at a fascinating slice of history few people know about — but it surprises by being incredibly dull in its execution. The film never feels as important as Clooney and friends believe it to be. Tone is a big part of the problem as the movie tries to be lighthearted and funny even as events suggest a different route »
- Rob Hunter
Tim Burton may have made some serious duds over the last few years, but hopefully he’ll give his career a much-needed course correction with Big Eyes, a biopic about real-life couple Walter and Margaret Keane. Walter became rich and famous in the 1950s and 60s for his paintings of big-eyed children, until it came out that his wife Margaret was the one doing all the work.
While we’re still waiting to see some footage from the film, we now know when we can expect it, as Exhibitor Relations is reporting that Big Eyes will open on Christmas Day 2014.
As always, several other films will also be arriving on Christmas. Disney’s Into the Woods, Cameron Crowe’s untitled romantic comedy, Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken, and Hot Tub Time Machine 2 will all give Burton some competition that day. Luckily for the director, he’s gathered quite the cast for this one. »
- James Garcia
Telltale Games took the opportunity this past weekend to offer some new details on their latest upcoming episodic adventure title, Tales from the Borderlands, at a gaming panel during SXSW 2014. The spinoff of Gearbox’s popular pair of traditional Borderlands games has been confirmed to take place chronologically after Borderlands 2, and will feature some unique narrative mechanics to help differentiate it from recent Telltale hits such as The Walking Dead and The Wolf Among Us.
To start, players will take control of two different characters, namely the con artist Fiona and Hyperion worker Rhys, who narrate the game from some point in the future, retelling the story’s events in their own ways that differ from each other’s recollections. It will be up to the player to determine which story is correct, or if neither character is telling the truth. Telltale co-founder Kevin Bruner drew comparisons to the Tim Burton »
- John Fleury
James Franco attends “FrancoFest”
Johnny Weir Allegedly Bit Husband Victor Weir-Voronov In Domestic Dispute
I was wondering how long this was going to take. Post-apocalyptic video game The Last Of Us (which I reviewed last year) is making its way to the big screen. They better not screw this one up.
Steve Grand talks about the enormous success of his Kickstarter campaign to fund his first album.
The nominees for the MTV Movie Awards have been announced, and it »
Jessica Lange is now the face of Marc Jacobs Beauty line at 64, photographed by David Sims below. (Take that previously daring Lancôme with Isabella Rossellini as their international spokesface until she was in her dotage at 44).
What a second act Jess's career! After a very long rough stretch (approximately 1996-2008 which saw the likes of Hush and Bonneville and a couple of barely released movies) she's really on top of it all again... except the movies. What can we trace the revival back to? Many of you would shout "Grey Gardens!" from 2009, but I think the secret might be her honorary place in David O. Russell's I ♥ Huckabees with its Jessica Lange photo fetish.
Is it a crime? Is it a crime to look at Lange?!
- NATHANIEL R
Director: Tim Burton
U.S. Distributor: The Weinstein Co.
This will likely come across as sacrilege, but my disinterest in Tim Burton has grown over the years starting somewhere around the time he gave us his last most ambitious project in Big Fish. Replacing Johnny Depp in favor of the alluring ensemble cast (might be another award mention-worthy turn from Amy Adams) the scaled down dramatic compelling bio-pic fare sees Burton once again work with the same scribes who gave us Ed Wood and additionally know how to write court-room scenes of high value as seen with The People vs. Larry Flynt.
Gist: A drama centered on the awakening of the painter Margaret Keane, her phenomenal success in the 1950s, and »
- Eric Lavallee
Odd List Ryan Lambie Simon Brew 6 Feb 2014 - 06:08
Our series of lists devoted to underappreciated films brings us to the year 2007, and another 25 overlooked gems...
For some reason, the number three was a common factor in several blockbuster movies of 2007. The third film in the Pirates Of The Caribbean series (At World's End) dominated the box office, Spider-Man 3 marked Sam Raimi's last entry as director in the series, while Mike Myers went for a hat trick of hits with Shrek The Third.
I Am Legend was the third and most financially successful attempt to bring Richard Matheson's classic novel to the big screen, Rush Hour 3 marked Jackie Chan's last action pairing with Chris Tucker, while Zack Snyder's musky sword-swinger 300 was notable for having the number three in the title.
Iffy attempts at numerology aside, 2007 was also a superb for year for movies in general - particularly underappreciated ones, »
Directed by William H. Macy
William H. Macy’s Rudderless takes on the process of grieving in the aftermath of a school shooting. The reasoning behind the tragedy is not explicated nor is it warranted. Instead, the film deals with the unraveling of one parent who cannot completely come to grips with the loss of his son. It’s towering subject matter that hasn’t been tackled since Lynne Ramsay’s We Need to Talk About Kevin artfully delved into the inner life of an adult victim left behind after her child slaughtered schoolmates. It’s not as heavy-hitting as Ramsay’s effort or in the least concerned with the grisly details of the devastating sequence of events, but still presses the same point that whenever traumatic crises happen, »
- Lane Scarberry
Film Independent has scheduled a special conversation with Oscar and Spirit Award nominated director Alexander Payne (“Nebraska”) on February 27 at the Directors Close-Up Series. Also recently added to the February 19 panel "Writing and Directing" are writer-actress and Spirit nominated Julie Delpy (“Before Midnight”), Spirit nominated Bob Nelson (“Nebraska”) and scribe John August (“Frankenweenie,” “Big Fish”).Already announced panelists include Alfonso Cuarón (“Gravity”), Scott Cooper (“Out of the Furnace”), Ernest Dickerson (“The Walking Dead,” “The Wire”), writer-producer Scott Neustadter (“The Spectacular Now”), Jeremy Podeswa (“Boardwalk Empire,” “The Newsroom”), and Jill Soloway (“Afternoon Delight”).The panels cover the following topics:Tuesday, February 11– Alfonso Cuarón: The Force Behind GravityWednesday, February 19– Writing and Directing Thursday, February 27– The Independent Spirit: A Conversation with Alexander PayneWednesday, March 5– Casting and Directing »
- Beth Hanna
Synopsis: Marvel’s Thor: The Dark World continues the big screen adventures of Thor, the Mighty Avenger, as he battles to save Earth and all the Nine Realms from a shadowy enemy that predates the universe itself. In the aftermath of Marvel’s The Avengers, Thor fights to restore order across the cosmos… but an ancient race led by the vengeful Malekith returns to plunge the universe back into darkness. Faced with an enemy that even Odin and Asgard cannot withstand, Thor must embark on his most perilous and personal journey yet, one that will reunite him with Jane Foster and force him to sacrifice everything to save us all.
Cast: Chris Hemsworth (Marvel’s Thor, Marvel’s The Avengers, Snow White and the Huntsman) as Thor, Natalie Portman (Marvel’s Thor, Black Swan, Star Wars Episodes I-iii) as Jane Foster, Tom Hiddleston (Marvel’s Thor, Marvel’s The Avengers, »
- ComicMix Staff
17 items from 2014
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