12 items from 2016
Yesterday afternoon, the ranks of Oscar voters grew substantially, with some welcome diversity added in for good measure. Yes, the Academy sent out invitations for new membership about 24 hours ago, with 683 names getting the coveted tap on the proverbial shoulder. Again, what made it so interesting to note is that AMPAS seemed to actively seek out women, minorities, and younger artists, hoping to make the demographics of the Academy slightly less centered on older white males. It won’t suddenly change the makeup of the Oscar nominations or upend how the Academy Awards go down next year, but it’s a slow step in the right direction, and that’s worth applauding for sure. As you can see below, in addition to basically all of last year’s Oscar winners, the new members are a diverse slate. Among the names you’ll see in the acting branch now are John Boyega, »
- Joey Magidson
Most Bruce Willis movies right now seem to head to DVD almost immediately. We've gone through them, in search of a gem...
It’s not exactly clear when Bruce Willis went from being a big star whose name filled seats and sold tickets to being a guy whose name you see on the cover of so many direct-to-dvd and VOD outings (albeit ones that sometimes get a week or two in a cinema, in essence to promote the VOD release), but I’d like to go out on a limb here and say that Kevin Smith’s mouth might be to blame.
During one of his filmed Q&A sessions that ended up winging its way to eager fanboys and girls like myself on DVD back in the late oughts, Smith talked at length about what it was like to work on the much-anticipated fourth instalment of the Die Hard franchise, »
The Die Hard franchise continues to live on, with a new installment -- currently titled Die Hard: Year One -- in development, with Bruce Willis reportedly reprising the role of Detective John McClane once again. The idea with this one it seems is that the film will tell a story that both connects an older McClane to his younger self, as a sort of McClane origin story. Len Wiseman (Live Free or Die Hard) is attached to direct, but there's no confirmed release date as of now. The most...
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The impressively prolific documentarian Alex Gibney – who, since 2010, has released an average of three films per year – tackles a wide variety of salient and controversial topics, including Scientology, WikiLeaks, the Enron scandal, and sexual abuses in the Catholic Church. With its focus on the U.S. government’s covert advances into the field of cyberwarfare, Zero Days resembles Gibney’s Oscar-winning Taxi to the Dark Side, an equally searing indictment of the U.S. military’s government-sanctioned use of torture during the Iraq War. Although his scope is much more ambitious this time around, the writer-director handles this expansive, technically complex, and ethically abstract subject matter with remarkable cogency, crafting a documentary that’s as enlightening as it is disquieting.
Zero Days begins with the 2010 discovery of Stuxnet, a malware (malicious software, an umbrella term for computer viruses, worms et al.) that was found to have infected every Microsoft operating system in the world. »
- Giovanni Marchini Camia
The film will be directed by emerging filmmaker Brian Smrz and produced by Basil Iwanyk and Kent Kubena of Thunder Road and Mark Gao and Gregory Ouanhon of Fundamental Films. Fundamental Films is financing the project, which will be written by Zach Dean based on an original script from Ron Mita and Jim McClain.
Hawke will play a hitman brought back to life for 24 hours by an experimental procedure. He will have one day to team up with the female super-spy who killed him, exact revenge against the powerful crime syndicate responsible for the murder of his wife and child and find redemption for his sins.
- Dave McNary
The success of 20th Century Fox's Deadpool this weekend is sure to send shockwaves throughout the industry, as the film shattered certain preconceived notions. I think we need to take a few moments to really digest exactly what's gone down here, as it's fairly remarkable.
Let's stack up where Deadpool stands compared to the first films of Hollywood's other modern day favorite superheroes, in terms of opening weekends.
[Bar Graph That Annoyingly Doesn't Show On The Mobile Version of The Site That Demonstrates The Things I'm Going To Mention Below. Long Story Short: Deadpool did better than everyone you can think of in their modern era debut films.]
Yes. You're seeing that correctly. Deadpool did better business in its opening weekend than pop culture icons like Batman, Superman, and Spider-Man- all considered to be among the most recognizable fictional characters on the planet earth. And in terms of the vaunted faces of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, you'd have to add up two of their Phase One solo films (three if you exclude Iron Man) to top Deadpool.
But that's not all...
The figures for Fox's flick are even more stunning »
- Mario-Francisco Robles
It was announced last year that we were going to be treated to yet another installment in the Die Hard franchise. After A Good Day To Die Hard was almost universally panned by critics and audiences, it wasn’t too surprising that people were not exactly jumping for joy at the news. For better or worse, Die Hard: Year One, as it’s being called, is in the works with Live Free Or Die Hard... Read More »
- Graham McMorrow
Extending his working relationship with Fundamental Films, the Chinese production company spearheading Luc Besson’s space odyssey Valerian, Ethan Hawke has inked a deal to headline new thriller 24 Hours to Live.
That’s according to Deadline, after the outlet revealed that news first came to light on the eve of Berlin Film Festival, where Sierra/Affinity intends to handle international sales. Fundamental, on the other hand, are partnering with Thunder Road Pictures to finance and produce the motion picture, appointing second unit director Brian Smrz at the helm in the process.
Zachary Dean is penning the script, working from a treatment first pitched by Ron Mita and Jim McClain. A redemption story at its core, 24 Hours to Live will orbit around an expert assassin (Hawke, we assume) who is literally given a second chance at life after his employer resuscitates him. Living up to the evocative title, Smrz’s thriller »
- Michael Briers
Brian Smrz will direct from a Zachary Dean screenplay, based on an original script from Ron Mita & Jim McClain. “24 Hours to Live” follows a career assassin who is given a chance at redemption after his employer brings him back to life temporarily, just after being killed on the job.
Basil Iwanyk of Thunder Road, Fundamental Films Chairman Mark Gao and International President Gregory Ouanhon are producing the film, with Fundamental fully financing. Fundamental Films’ Gary Glushon and Thunder Road’s Kent Kubena and Jonathan Fuhrman will executive produce.
Sierra/Affinity will handle international sales starting next week at the Berlin Film Festival.
- Dave McNary
"Die Hard" is a franchise that has certainly seen better days. The most recent installment, "A Good Day to Die Hard," did a great job of crushing whatever viability the series had in staying relevant. Of course, that never stops studios for thinking of ways to inject a known entity some extra juice, and it was only a matter of time before "Die Hard" fell victim to prequel or reboot-itis.
Luckily for us, the man in charge of this "reboot" of sorts isn't the man responsible for "A Good Day to Die Hard," but rather, Len Wiseman, the man who gave us what I thought was a pretty solid action picture, "Live Free or Die Hard." Sure, by that point in the franchise, Bruce Willis' character was less the "Why me?" character we've learned to love, and more of an unstoppable force that the villain ran from like a scared dog. »
- Joseph Medina
So, “Die Hard: Year One” is still a thing because even though no one liked “A Good Day To Die Hard,” and everyone wishes 20th Century Fox would let John McClane and the franchise rest in peace, a brand is a brand is a brand, so the studio is pushing ahead. And helping shepherd it along is Len Wiseman (“Live Free Or Die Hard”), who is one of the producers, and he explains how the prequel/sequel will fit in the returning Bruce Willis, while also telling us the backstory of the character we didn’t know we wanted. “[In the first ‘Die Hard’] He’s already divorced, he’s bitter, his Captain hates him and doesn’t want him back. So, what created that guy?” Wiseman told Collider. “We’ve never seen the actual love story. We know its demise, but we’ve never seen what it was like when he met Holly, »
- Kevin Jagernauth
After being developed for a number of years, 20th Century Fox is finally moving forward with Die Hard 6, now entitled Die Hard Year One. We reported in October that this Die Hard adventure will actually be a prequel set in the 1970s, with Bruce Willis returning to cameo as the iconic John McClane in a present-day story that bookends the prequel story set in 1979, 10 years before the events of the original Die Hard. Len Wiseman has been set to direct, and while promoting his new Fox TV series Lucifer, he clarified to /Film that Bruce Willis will have more than just a cameo in two scenes.
"He will be more present than that. This character of course is modern day and the origin story if you can call it that has ramifications on present day McClane. What it's not is it's not a cameo bookend scenario. It's a prequel/sequel »
12 items from 2016
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