18 items from 2017
The Matrix (1999)
We’ve been seeing some weird shit happen in the world lately. Donald Trump, trailing badly in the polls and making an ass of himself for the entire election season, was somehow elected president. The Chicago Cubs won the World Series in game seven, in extra innings, after a ninth-inning rain delay. The Golden State Warriors blew a 3-1 game lead and lost in the NBA Finals. The New England Patriots won the Super Bowl in overtime after making a historic, unprecedented late-game comeback. The Oscars ended with a wild clusterfuck—one movie announced for Best Picture before someone rushed out to say that it was a mistake, that it was really ...
- Tom Breihan
Benderspink co-founder specialised in spec scripts.
No cause of death was immediately known and an autopsy has yet to be carried out.
Originally from Philadelphia, Spink co-founded the management-production company Benderspink with his partner, fellow Bucknell University graduate and fellow Zide-Perry Productions assistant Chris Bender.
The two ran the company together for 18 years, until they parted ways last year.
In their first year of operation, the producing-management duo, who specialised in spec screenplays, sold more than 20 scripts and helped set up American Pie, which grossed $235m globally.
Benderspink’s big spec sales led to the latter two films, as well as »
Manager and producer J.C. Spink, who founded Benderspink with Chis Bender and produced comedies like “The Hangover,” died Tuesday at his home in West Hollywood, the Los Angeles County Coroner confirmed to Variety. He was 45.
Spink was found unresponsive in his home by his brother and pronounced dead at 8:18 p.m. on Tuesday, according to the coroner. A cause of death has not yet been revealed. An autopsy will be conducted, and he appeared to have died of natural causes. Foul play is not currently suspected.
The relentlessly upbeat Spink was well-liked by the Hollywood community for his good humor and industriousness. Even as the spec market began to dry up in Hollywood over the past decade, Spink remained as active as ever with dozen of projects in development. And while he was known for his ability to package specs, Spink also made sure to stay busy on branded material, »
- Dave McNary
J.C Spink, a producer who worked on “The Hangover,” “We’re the Millers” and “A History of Violence,” has passed away at 45, TheWrap has learned. Spink died Tuesday night at his home in West Hollywood, California. No cause of death was immediately known — an autopsy has yet to be performed. Originally from Philadelphia, Spink was one half of Benderspink, the management-production company that he founded with Chris Bender. The pair graduated from Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, and were assistants at management-production company Zide-Perry Productions before striking out on their own in 1998, working out of a house they shared in West Hollywood. »
- Umberto Gonzalez
An Oklahoma City woman who prosecutors say dressed like a witch while severely abusing her 7-year-old granddaughter was sentenced last week to life in prison, People confirms.
It was two months ago that Geneva Robinson, 51, and her 33-year-old boyfriend and co-defendant, Joshua Granger, pleaded guilty to child abuse and neglect charges.
On Thursday, Robinson learned she’ll spend the rest of her life behind bars when she received three life sentences; Granger received a 30-year sentence for helping Robinson commit the abuse.
The defendants initially faced a combined 29 counts of felony child abuse and neglect.
Robinson assaulted her granddaughter for more than a year, »
- Chris Harris
In 2004, Ryan Reynolds talked to Entertainment Weekly about filming Blade: Trinity—by far the shittiest of the three Blade movies and Reynolds’ very first attempt to get himself a superhero franchise. Reynolds and Wesley Snipes, the man who played Blade, apparently didn’t get along. Addressing rumors of on-set tensions, Reynolds would say only this: “I’ve never met Wesley Snipes. I’ve only met Blade.” To this, anyone with any sense would only feel vast, painful envy. Who wouldn’t want to meet Blade? I would give everything I own to meet Blade.
Snipes’ Blade is, to my mind, one of the greatest cinematic creations of the late ’90s, even if ...
- Tom Breihan
Ashton Holmes, known for his breakout role in New Lines’ A History Of Violence, is set to co-star in the Bruce Willis-starring action film Acts of Violence, from Emmett/Furla/Oasis Films. Directed by Brett Donowho, Acts also stars Mike Epps, Cole Hauser, Shawn Ashmore, Sophia Bush and Melissa Bolona in the pic, which starts shooting this week. Holmes will play Roman, one of the vigilante brothers who infiltrate a human trafficking ring to extricate a loved one with the… »
Scanning one of David Cronenberg’s most popular, most flawed films.
Memory is a funny thing. Not funny, “haha,” so much, but funny in that hilariously terrifying way that makes you realize your own brain is out to destroy you. The fitting inspiration for this epiphany of corporeal opposition was a recent revisit of David Cronenberg’s Scanners.
You know Scanners. You may not have seen the movie, but at the very least you know it as a meme. If you’ve ever been scrolling through social media on that day when your geeky cousin (the one you forgot to wish a happy birthday because you could not spare the finger energy) has had just about enough, you’ve probably seen a colorful gif (that’s “G-if,” not “J-if” you heathens) of a man’s head exploding in gory detail.
Despite occurring a mere fifteen minutes into the film, that head explosion scene is certainly Scanners’ centerpiece »
- Brian Salisbury
The big-budget action movies of the late ’90s were supposed to work a particular way. They would start with an absurd, over-the-top premise—the president of the United States fighting the terrorists who had taken over his plane, say, or a team of convicts highjacking a prison-transport plane and using it for nefarious means. The director would then use that premise to string together a series of ridiculous escalating set pieces. And the producers would hire some of the best actors available, with the idea that these familiar faces would somehow ground what we were watching, that they’d make it all seem somehow plausible. Maybe that was the thinking behind 1997 ...
- Tom Breihan
The Rock (1996)
The fate of San Francisco is at stake. There’s a missile filled with tiny glass orbs pointed at it, and all those glass orbs are full of glowing neon-green nerve gas. Nicolas Cage, playing a twitchy and sweaty FBI chemical-weapons expert, is working frantically to disarm it. Tony Todd, the guy who played Candyman in Candyman, is an elite rogue marine, stalking him. Todd puts down his gun and pulls out a huge Rambo-esque knife; he wants to have some fun with this one. Cage, practically vomiting word-salad: “Let’s talk music. Do you like the Elton John song ‘Rocket Man’?” Todd, snarling but acting as if this is a perfectly ...
- Tom Breihan
Bad Boys (1995)
Movie directors who broke through to the mainstream in the ’90s tended to do it one of two ways, either through independent film or music videos. The music-video route was probably the less respectable one, but plenty of genuine auteurs still came up through that farm system: Spike Jonze, Michel Gondry, David Fincher, Jonathan Glazer, the one-movie wonder Hype Williams. But music videos also produced plenty of big-screen hacks: McG, Brett Ratner, Gore Verbinski, Simon West, Marc Webb. The music-video world only produced one auteur hack, and that was Michael Bay.
Before he became every movie dork’s favorite punching bag, Bay—a former Wesleyan frat boy with feathery hair and a ...
- Tom Breihan
When it comes to men, I don't really have a "type," but I tend toward ruggedly handsome, and I'd never kick a set of chiseled cheekbones out of bed. Hence, my enduring crush on Viggo Mortensen. As far as I'm concerned, Viggo is everyone's type. The chameleon-like actor is devastatingly good-looking, but he resists being the leading man or "movie star." Instead, he chooses challenging roles in all sorts of movies, and he's not afraid to get naked for them, including his recent Oscar-nominated performance in Captain Fantastic. When asked about his penchant for full-frontal nudity in a profile in Esquire, Viggo said he doesn't understand what the fuss is about: "It's just a penis. Every man has one." Over the years, we've seen him engage in a naked knife fight (Eastern Promises), perform cunnilingus on a woman dressed in a cheerleading uniform (A History of Violence), and make sweet, »
- Nancy Einhart
10 February 2017 7:45 AM, PST | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »
Since The Lord of the Rings, Mortensen has shied away from blockbusters, instead opting for complex indies like A History of Violence and Eastern Promises, for which he received a lead actor Oscar nomination. Now he's scored his second for Captain Fantastic, in which he plays a counterculture dad raising his six kids in the wilderness and resisting modern societal norms.
Ahead of the Academy Awards, The Hollywood Reporter caught up with Mortensen to talk about how different he is from his unconventional character, why the film is more relevant than ever before in light of the Trump administration and the story behind that Lord of the »
- Bryn Elise Sandberg
There was a science to the ’90s Hollywood studio action movie. It had to have movie stars: People who were charming and pretty, not square-jawed and ripped to shreds, as they had been in the ’80s. It had to take place in environments that were at least vaguely familiar. It had to have a flamboyant insane-genius villain, one who would always be played by a scenery-inhaling character actor. Most of the time, it had to take place over a day or two, usually in a confined space. And it helped if it had a completely fucking ridiculous premise. Given that goofy-ass set of requirements, Speed may well have been the best Hollywood studio ...
- Tom Breihan
The Fugitive (1993)
Something funny happened to action movies in the ’90s. They became, after a fashion, respectable. The action blockbusters of the ’80s had made a ton of money, but they always looked and moved like B-movies, even when they had extravagant budgets. Brutality and crassness were big parts of their appeal. But in the ’90s, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone, the twin giants of the ’80s action movie, gradually fell off. And the people who were supposed to be their successors, martial artists like Jean-Claude Van Damme and Steven Seagal, never quite made it to the A-list.
Instead, the biggest action movies of the era were slick, accessible entertainments whose stars didn’t ...
- Tom Breihan
Hard Boiled (1992)
A few minutes into Hard Boiled, John Woo’s 1992 masterpiece, two gunrunners attempt to flee from one of those Hong Kong teahouses where people carry birdcages. They’ve been making a deal, but a couple of supercops have shown up to bust them, and they’re just trying to escape. They shoot indiscriminately at a staircase behind them, wounding and killing bystanders. One of the cops in pursuit is Chow Yun-Fat, the De Niro to Woo’s Scorsese. As Chow pushes a woman away from oncoming fire, a bullet shatters the tile near his face. He grimaces and falls backward, but doesn’t give up his pursuit. Instead, he slides down ...
- Tom Breihan
Every year, audiences discover films that they like or dislike, but they only embrace a handful of movies on a personal level, as if the filmmakers created the work especially for them. One of those is Bleecker Street’s “Captain Fantastic.”
Star Viggo Mortensen was honored this week at Variety’s Creative Impact Awards in Palm Springs. In his intro, chief film critic Peter Debruge hailed “Captain Fantastic” as “the performance of his career.” Debruge is right, but the film is not just a one-man show, as evidenced by the Cannes award for writer-director Matt Ross, and the SAG Award nomination for best ensemble (added to Mortensen’s own SAG nom).
Mortensen told Variety that audience members’ reactions have often been “fiercely personal,” because Ross has created people whose virtues and flaws are rarely depicted in movies. “The characters are so well written. They’re human and complex, which should be true of any script, »
- Tim Gray
Deadpool star Ryan Reynolds has been vocal lately about wanting to team with Hugh Jackman for a Deadpool/Wolverine film, and now he has shared his excitement for Jackman’s final turn as the clawed mutant in Logan.
Reynolds recently spoke to Variety about the upcoming X-Men spin-off and offered very high praise about the film, saying it might even gain some Oscar attention: “Logan looks like a movie that might break that glass ceiling,” Reynolds said. “I know first-hand that it’s amazing. I’ve seen some of it. It’s mind-blowing. It relies a lot on character.”
His latter comment lines up well with what we’ve heard about Logan before – that it will indeed focus more on the character of Wolverine and is meant more for a “grown-up audience” than the previous Wolverine and X-Men films.
Even Jackman himself commented on Logan‘s possible Oscar chances and »
- Ricky Church
18 items from 2017
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