11 items from 2015
Jack Black has discussed the difficulties of making an independent film, saying it is "a miracle if you can".
The actor and producer is currently promoting his new film The D Train - which he produced and stars in - at the Sundance Festival, and spoke to Deadline about the struggles of an independent film.
"As a producer when you're doing an indie film, it's all just about getting the film made, because it's a miracle if you can," he said. "If you can scrape the money together that's the first hurdle.
"That's the hardest hurdle really because it's a tough investment. It's tough to get even billionaires to part with a couple of their millions to make a movie."
Black, who is known for his roles in Hollywood movies King Kong and School of Rock, added that he thinks the growth of high-quality television has played a part in making film production more difficult. »
Just about every year, brilliant movies are utterly ignored by the Oscars. The Searchers, Groundhog Day, Breathless, King Kong, Casino Royale, Touch of Evil, Caddyshack, Mean Streets, The Big Lebowski, Blackfish — the Academy has a long history of overlooking comedies, action movies, horror flicks, hard-boiled genre pics, artsy foreign films, and documentaries that aren’t about World War II. Before the ceremony, we’ll be taking a closer look at films that were too small, too weird, or perhaps simply too awesome for the Academy Awards. These are the Non-Nominees. The film: Bong Joon-ho's Snowpiercer is the story of mankind »
- Carolyn L. Todd
Because we were obviously in desperate need of a new "Blob" movie, cinematic auteur Simon West ("Con Air," "Lara Croft: Tomb Raider") has signed on to helm yet another remake of the 1958 drive-in classic, which was previously remade in 1988 by director Chuck Russell. Kevin Dillon starring vehicles were all the rage back then, obvs. Did we ask for this? I don't know, I think I'm good honestly. But since it's happening and there's pretty much nothing we can do about it, take a trip back with me as I revisit a few more horror films Hollywood just couldn't keep their hands off of - and judge which of the versions is the best. "King Kong" The 1933 classic was first remade in 1976 with Jessica Lange and Jeff Bridges, who starred opposite the robotic ape from the Universal Studios tram ride. Nearly 30 years later Peter Jackson decided to remake it as an epic three-hour film, »
- Chris Eggertsen
Manuel here. The Costume Design Guild has announced that they’ll be celebrating Naomi Watts with the Lacoste Spotlight Award when they announce winners for their film, TV and commercial awards on February 17th. While they bill the award as honoring an “actor whose talent and career personifies an enduring commitment to excellence, including a special awareness of the role and importance of costume design,” their choices so far (previous recipients include Anne Hathaway, Kate Beckinsale, Halle Berry and Emily Blunt) have yet to really reflect the award, no? Whither Keira, Nicole, Tilda or heck, even Colin Firth? The man can wear a sweater (among other things), you know.
Anyways, we should really focus on the positive and be thankful Watts was able to bounce back so quickly from that horrible triple-whammy of Movie 43, Adore and Diana. Let's just hope she can keep up the momentum going. And so »
- Manuel Betancourt
Two-time Oscar nominee Naomi Watts will receive the Lacoste Spotlight Award at the 17th Costume Designers Guild Awards on February 17 at the Beverly Hilton. The award honors an actor whose talent and career personifies an enduring commitment to excellence, including a special awareness of the role and importance of costume design.
Watts most recently starred in Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Oscar-nominated Birdman opposite Emma Stone and Michael Keaton and St. Vincent alongside Bill Murray and Melissa McCarthy. She received her first Best Actress Oscar nomination for Gonzalez Iñárritu’s 21 Grams in 2003, followed by The Impossible in 2012.
Watts will next be seen in Demolition with Jake Gyllenhaal and the next installment of the Divergent franchise. She also recently wrapped Gus Van Sant’s Sea Of Trees starring opposite Matthew McConaughey. Her other film credits include Mulholland Drive and Peter Jackson’s King Kong.
- The Deadline Team
Legendary has been busy assembling a terrific cast for its King Kong franchise launcher Kong: Skull Island, which currently includes Tom Hiddleston, Michael Keaton and J.K. Simmons, but outside of the given logline that the pic will follow explorers journeying into the jungles of the titular island, details on exactly what to expect from the film have been hazy. Recently, however, during an interview with MTV, Simmons let slip some details about the setting of the anticipated prequel.
On the Golden Globes carpet, Simmons was asked about his involvement in Kong: Skull Island and revealed that he was highly skeptical when the project first came across his desk:
“When it first came to my attention, ‘There’s interest in you for a new King Kong,’ I thought, ‘Okay, why?’…But I met with Jordan Vogt-Roberts who’s going to be directing it, and John Gatins who’s gonna be writing, »
- Isaac Feldberg
Take another look @ the critically-acclaimed, award-winning, superhero comedy feature "Birdman" written/directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu, starring Michael Keaton ("Batman"), Emma Stone ("The Amazing Spider-Man"), Edward Norton ("Fight Club"), Andrea Riseborough, Zach Galifianakis, Naomi Watts ("King Kong") and Amy Ryan:
"...'Birdman' tells the story of an actor (Keaton), famous for portraying an iconic superhero, as he struggles to mount a Broadway play.
"In the days leading up to opening night, he battles his ego and attempts to recover his family, his career, and himself..."
Click the images to enlarge and Sneak Peek "Birdman"...
- Michael Stevens
You've likely heard of the McConaissance (Matthew McConaughey's epic comeback to Hollywood's A-List). Well, it looks like Michael Keaton is prepared to wage a full on Keatogeddon on Hollywood. Fresh off of his critically acclaimed work in Alejandro González Iñárritu's Birdman, Keaton is eyeing a role in the blockbuster tentpole Kong: Skull Island.
Deadline is reporting that Keaton's very near a deal that would see him join Tom Hiddleston (The Avengers) and J.K. Simmons (Spider-Man) in the 3D action adventure that will explore the mythical island that King Kong calls home. Jordan Vogt-Roberts is set to helm the film, as the young director looks to make a jump to blockbuster filmmaking similar to folks like Marc Webb or Joe and Anthony Russo. Like them, Vogt-Roberts is primarily known for smaller films and comedies. Universal Pictures promises that this film will be an epic look at the dangerous and »
- Mario-Francisco Robles
His star is very much in ascendance following rave reviews and awards attention for Birdman. Now Michael Keaton could be moving from avians to apes, with a part lined up in King Kong prequel Skull Island. If negotiations pan out, he’ll be joining Tom Hiddleston and J.K. Simmons for this 3D tale of the Big Apple wrecker’s formative years. Universal and Legendary Pictures are obviously hoping to match the CGI spectacle of a rampaging giant with top notch scary faces on the human front. If Keaton jumps on board we’ll have a very interesting cast, what with hot young thing Hiddleston and Simmons’ own buzz from drumming odyssey Whiplash.
Jordan Vogt-Roberts is directing from John Gatins’ and Max Borenstein’s screenplay. Sounding not a million miles away from the “jungle + jolts” formula that made other Kong entries successful, the movie is set to be unleashed on a »
- Steve Palace
Just before the end of the year, we looked at the incredible accomplishments of Weta Digital on "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies." This, however, was not the only 2014 film where the wizards of that New Zealand-based effects house had their talents on full display. "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" was the latest entry in the on-going rebooted franchise, where Weta topped itself yet again. And it began at a high time for the studio. "We just finished 'Avatar' and got the call from Fox," visual effects supervisor Dan Lemmon reminisces. "We were big fans of original 1960s movies and television shows so we were really excited." Adds fellow supervisor Joe Letteri, "Fox sent me the script [for ‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes'] and I loved it. It was just a fantastic script and I loved the way they did the story. Essentially it was a story of growing up »
- Gerard Kennedy
How would you program this year's newest, most interesting films into double features with movies of the past you saw in 2014?
Looking back over the year at what films moved and impressed us, it is clear that watching old films is a crucial part of making new films meaningful. Thus, the annual tradition of our end of year poll, which calls upon our writers to pick both a new and an old film: they were challenged to choose a new film they saw in 2014—in theatres or at a festival—and creatively pair it with an old film they also saw in 2014 to create a unique double feature.
All the contributors were given the option to write some text explaining their 2014 fantasy double feature. What's more, each writer was given the option to list more pairings, with or without explanation, as further imaginative film programming we'd be lucky to catch »
11 items from 2015
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