17 items from 2017
For a short film, “Night Shift” has a backstory of its own which gives more than the film’s glimpse into a day in the life of a bathroom attendant in a Los Angeles nightclub.
Filmmaker Marshall Tyler’s “Night Shift”, stars Tunde Adebimpe and is executive produced by JuVee Productions, the company founded by Viola Davis and her husband Julius Tennon established to empower diverse voices and emerging artists. It is produced by Moira Griffin, Efuru Flowers and Roberta Marie Munroe.
Watch the trailer here: https://vimeo.com/198757828
Marshall and I had a long conversation at the Yarrow in Sundance the day of the premiere of his film.
Let’s start with who you are…
- Sydney Levine
A “transformative” performance is usually regarded as a positive thing – the kind of display that is more or less guaranteed to secure awards attention. Not so with Matthew McConaughey’s unnervingly repulsive turn as Kenny Wells, a huckster and a mineral prospector who stumbles on to what seems to be a gold strike in Indonesia. It’s the kind of performance, all sweat and spittle and jabbing fingers, that lurches off the screen and into your personal space. You find yourself recoiling slightly from his presence. But the most repellent quality of the character is not the stained underpants or his clammy complexion, the colour and consistency of old wallpaper paste. It’s the naked greed. This all-American story peels back the lid of the »
- Wendy Ide
Author: Scott Davis
A couple of years ago, a cinematic event happened so wondrous, so monumental that you couldn’t go anywhere without hearing about it. That event was The McConaissance, the return from rom-com and failed blockbuster obscurity of Texas’ finest Matthew McConaughey. Freed from the shackles of getting his shirt off and romancing some of Hollywood’s finest actresses, McConaughey excelled in Mud, Killer Joe, True Detective and his Oscar-winning turn in Dallas Buyers Club.
But since that celebratory evening, the actor has found his subsequent projects fall a little short (Free State of Jones and The Sea of Trees flopped), but it’s with great relish (and relief) then to say that Gold is his return to top form – and the realms of “method” – with a superb performance that is one of the best of the year.
McConaughey plays Kenny Wells, a down-on-his-luck prospector/businessmen who is »
- Scott Davis
Is there really room in cinema right now for the tale of a white man chasing down gold? Given the current economic climate and politics, any film that involves gold mining, corruption, the stock exchange, and living to excess runs the risk of rubbing the average viewer up the wrong way. Thankfully Gold puts hot property Matthew McConaughey in the lead as surprisingly relatable Kenny Wells.
Down on his luck and down on his cash, Kenny Wells is looking for his one big strike, having come very close to running his father’s business into the ground. Now operating from a bar where his wife Kay (Bryce Dallas Howard) works as a waitress, Wells takes one final stab at success by appealing to the ego of »
- Luke Ryan Baldock
Simon Brew Jan 31, 2017
The upcoming Splinter Cell movie is heading for a PG-13 rating – and may even shoot this year…
Since the Assassin’s Creed movie landed in cinemas and failed to ignite the box office quite as 20th Century Fox and UbiSoft had planned, questions have been asked about the other videogame adaptations that UbiSoft had in various stages of development.
Notwithstanding Assassin’s Creed 2, which is looking like a long shot at the moment, there’s also The Division, that last week landed Stephen Gaghan (Syriana) to direct. And then there’s the Ghost Recon film, that had been announced as having Tom Hardy on board.
Nothing has been heard of the project for a while, but now, thanks to Collider, we have a bit of news. »
“La La Land” producer Fred Berger will produce Max Minghella’s directorial debut, “Teen Spirit,” alongside Brian Kavanaugh-Jones (“Midnight Special”) under their Automatik banner. The movie is being unveiled to international buyers at the upcoming Berlin Film Market by Mister Smith Entertainment.
Currently in pre-production, “Teen Spirit,” written and directed by Minghella, is “an emotional underdog story set in the world of pop-music, about growing up, dreaming big, and finding your voice,” according to a statement.
Berger brings his musical team from “La La Land” to the project, including music producer Marius DeVries (“Moulin Rouge”) and music supervisor Steven Gizicki, previously of Lucasfilm. Cinematographer Autumn Durald (“Palo Alto”), renowned for »
- Leo Barraclough
Loosely inspired by the story of David Walsh and the Bre-x Minerals mining scandal in the 1990’s, Gold is director Stephen Gaghan’s first wide release directorial effort since Syriana over a decade ago. Unlike that film though, Gaghan didn’t handle writing duties here, and quality may have suffered because of it.
Scripted intricacies in Gold are not nearly as incisive and sophisticated as previous Gaghan efforts like Syriana or his Oscar-winning screenplay for Traffic. Instead, writers Patrick Massett and John Zinman constantly rely on fortune cookie-style dialogue to hammer home messages that never reach the profoundness they so desire. It’s still a fascinating story, with a topsy-turvy third act that’s fairly engaging finale if you weren’t already familiar with the real life scandal, but what really saves this film from mediocrity starts and ends with Matthew McConaughey.
Gold centers on the charismatic and relentlessly hopeful »
- Joseph Hernandez
Welcome back to the Weekend Warrior, your weekly look at the new movies hitting theaters this weekend, as well as other cool events and things to check out.
This Past Weekend:
As per my Thursday update, M. Night Shyamalan’s thriller Split ended up winning the weekend but with way more than anyone, including myself, predicted, with more than $40 million for its opening weekend. That’s pretty impressive, and his first movie to open at that level since 2010’s The Last Airbender. Meanwhile, Vin Diesel’s sequel xXx: The Return of Xander Cage ended up making around where I predicted, taking second place with $20.1 million, not a great sign for the continuation of that franchise. Michael Keaton’s The Founder ended up right around where I predicted with $3.4 million, ending up just outside the Top 10. Hidden Figures, La La Land and Sing continued to do well with minimal drop-offs.
- Edward Douglas
MaryAnn’s quick take… Not a terrible excuse for entertainment, just very, very familiar, all paradigms that desperately require a shift, in Hollywood and in the real world. I’m “biast” (pro): nothing
I’m “biast” (con): nothing
(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)
Do you like money? Do you enjoy movies about men who make lots of money? Do you enjoy watching men get excited about making lots of money? Then have I got a movie for you! Come on down to Gold! If you kinda liked The Big Short and The Wolf of Wall Street but found them a bit too pretentious with their “satire” and their “relevance,” then Gold is just the thing. There’s nothing fancypants here… just underpants, like a potbellied Matthew McConaughey prancing around in tighty whities. Fun for the whole family!
Not quite the wolf of Wall Street, »
- MaryAnn Johanson
After a rather cold reception for the Assassin's Creed movie, Ubisoft Motion Pictures is attempting to warm things up a bit, by sending us on a trip to frozen, post-apocalyptic New York. We already knew that Jake Gyllenhaal (Nightcrawler, Prince Of Persia: The Sands of Time) and Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty, Miss Sloane) were attached to the project as stars and producers, and now we finally know who's going to sit in the director's chair : Stephen Gaghan. Gaghan won an Oscar® for Traffic (best adapted screenplay) and received a nomination for Syriana. It won't be his first contact with the world of video-games either, as he wrote the script for Call Of Duty: Ghost. "We are really excited to bring Stephen's unique vision of the game to film audiences around the globe," the CEO of Ubisoft's movie division said in a statement. The Division's director will also »
Simon Brew Jan 20, 2017
The current running total for the movie of UbiSoft’s Assassin’s Creed stands at just shy of $190m worldwide, some way shy of what it and 20th Century Fox would have wanted for it.
See related Games nobody talks about anymore: Renegade
Whilst all concerned still have decisions to make, then, over whether to go for an Assassin’s Creed 2, other UbiSoft movie projects are nonetheless moving forward. Plans remain afoot for a Ghost Recon film, for instance. And now we get some definite news with regards The Division.
Stephen Gaghan, the helmer of Syriana and the incoming Gold, is set to sign on the dotted line to direct the film. He’s an Oscar winner, for his screenplay to Traffic, and also was one of the campaign writers for Call Of Duty: Ghosts. »
According to Variety, video game adaptation The Division is moving forward, with Syriana and Gold director Stephen Gaghan stepping up to both write and direct the film. The Division video game is about special operatives sent into a plague-ravaged Manhattan to try and restore order by using shooter skills and light-role-playing-game-style tactics to kill rioters, renegade soldiers, and other human players. Gaghan’s movie will probably follow a similar path, but with fewer human players and role-playing-game-style mechanics—though a scene where the hero has to compare the stat benefits between two different pairs of gloves would be pretty awesome.
As we’ve previously reported, The Division will star Jake Gyllenhaal and Jessica Chastain, but it’s still unclear who they’ll be playing. The game is about making your own person and discovering new, battle-ready outfits for them to wear, so Gaghan will probably have to come up with »
- Sam Barsanti
The upcoming film adaptation of the 2016 video game Tom Clancy’s The Division has found its writer and director in Academy Award winner Stephen Gaghan. Ubisoft Motion Pictures announced the hire today and confirmed that Jake Gyllenhaal and Jessica Chastain will both star, with the former producing as well.
Ubisoft Motion Pictures CEO Gerard Guillemot expressed his excitement over the news, saying, “We are really excited to bring Stephen’s unique vision of the game to film audiences around the globe.”
On what appealed to Gaghan about the project, the director said, “The game has been an enormous success, in large part due to the visual landscape they created, their vision of a mid-apocalyptic Manhattan. It’s immersive, wonderfully strange, and yet familiar, filled with possibilities. It’s also remarkable to be able to collaborate with Jessica Chastain and Jake Gyllenhaal early in the process. We all feel the story »
- Justin Cook
The Division movie has been quiet since announcing Jake Gyllenhaal and Jessica Chastain would be starring in the film based off the popular game. Academy Award winning writer and director Stephen Gaghan (Syriana, Traffic) will take the helm of the project. This will be the 7th film announced by Ubisoft Motion Pictures and the third to have actual casting crew assigned.
Stephen Gaghan is a great writer but the studio is reeling from the mediocre reception to Assassin’s Creed. With Tom Hardy still supposedly in to play Sam Fisher in Splinter Cell the studio needs a success with this one. Fellow writers at Cinelinx have said a real tangible villain will have to be present. The Division is based on the game centering around a deadly virus being released on Black Friday in Manhattan, »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Jason The X)
Stephen Gaghan, the Oscar-winning filmmaker behind “Traffic” and “Syriana,” will write and direct video game adaptation “The Division,” Ubisoft Motion Pictures announced Thursday. The film will star Jake Gyllenhaal, who is also producing, and Jessica Chastain. Based on Ubisoft’s hit game “Tom Clancy‘s The Division,” the film is set in the aftermath of a small pox pandemic in dystopian New York. In the game, which set the Ubisoft record for highest first-day sales in company history, players attempt to rebuild, investigate and fight crime in the city. Plot details of the big-screen adaptation have been kept under wraps. »
- Greg Gilman
Even filmmaker Stephen Gaghan will admit it’s been far too long since he’s had a movie in theaters with the Oscar-nominated political thriller Syriana. It got him his second Oscar nomination after winning an Oscar for writing Stephen Soderbergh’s Oscar-winning Traffic a few years earlier.
He’s finally back with Gold, a movie loosely based on the real-life Bre-x gold scandal with Matthew McConaughey playing Kenny Wells, a man struggling to keep his father’s mining business alive after his passing. A vision of there being gold in Indonesia, puts him in contact with geologist Michael Acosta (Edgar Ramirez) who believes that he can help Wells find that gold. After a trying start where Kenny almost succumbs to malaria, Acosta finds evidence of gold, which gets many investing in their company, but as with the Bre-x scandal, things weren’t what they seemed.
- Edward Douglas
The Weinstein Company has released a new red band trailer for its upcoming drama Gold, which was initially slated to hit theaters on Christmas Day, before the studio pushed it to January 27. The film still did receive a limited awards-season qualifying run, with the film's title song "Gold," by Iggy Pop and Danger Mouse, receiving a Golden Globe nomination for Best Original Song. While we'll have to wait and see if it's nominated for any other awards at the Oscars or any other awards ceremonies, this age-restrictive trailer gives us a frenetic look inside this fast-paced world of gold prospecting.
Gold is the epic tale of one man's pursuit of the American dream, to discover gold. Starring Matthew McConaughey as Kenny Wells, a prospector desperate for a lucky break, he teams up with a similarly eager geologist and sets off on an journey to find gold in the uncharted jungle of Indonesia. »
17 items from 2017
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