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Ready for a night at the movies with Keanu Reeves? We’ve got your passes to the advance screening of John Wick. Adding to the excitement and anticipation for the film is the choice to release John Wick in immersive IMAX®, an epic format typically reserved for big-budget studio spectaculars.
Read Michael Haffner’s Fantastic Fest review Here.
An ex-hitman comes out of retirement to track down the gangsters that took everything from him. With New York City as his bullet-riddled playground, John Wick (Keanu Reeves) is a fresh and stylized take on the “assassin genre”. The film is directed by Chad Stahelski and written by Derek Kolstad.
Check out the Fantastic Fest Red Carpet photos Here. »
- Movie Geeks
For some reason, we have seen an influx of films about Somali pirates lately, from last year’s Oscar-nominated hit Captain Phillips and the slow-burn Danish thriller A Hijacking, to the recent Somali-language drama Fishing Without Nets. Before this wave settles, there is still room for another terrific title: the documentary Last Hijack, a revealing and often riveting look into the central dilemma of one pirate’s life.
The film, directed by Femke Wolting and Tommy Pallotta, is a live-action non-fiction movie buoyed by sequences of rotoscoped animation. Much of the present-day action focuses around Mohamed, whose days of ransom collecting and living the high-octane thrill of a pirate may be close to over. Hanging out in Eyl, a Somali shantytown not far from the Indian Ocean, Mohamed is in debt. After many years of pirating, he has to figure out whether to return home to get married and raise »
- Jordan Adler
A lot of people see cinema as a way to capture reality. Quite frankly, I do not see it that way. It is an artificial medium, and everyone watching knows it. The capturing reality mindset is needed for some pictures, but it is not a hard and fast rule. I think filmmakers embracing film's artificiality can make for very interesting products. One of my favorite ways to highlight that is by directly breaking the fourth wall, a storytelling technique that addresses the audience in very a direct way. It can make them complicit in a nefarious plot. It can accuse them. It can bring them in on a joke. It is a very fun device to use, and, for the most part, it works when it's used. Below is a pretty fun supercut of breaking the fourth wall in movies. Here, though, breaking the fourth wall is translated as looking directly at the lens. »
- Mike Shutt
Access is always an issue with documentary, creating unique challenges in war zones or similar areas where filmmakers would be in physical danger or simply cannot go. The documentary Last Hijack, produced by Submarine Channel and directed by Femke Wolting and Tommy Pallotta, doesn’t just deal with these issues but makes them one of the film’s greatest strengths. In documenting piracy in Somalia, the filmmakers turned to techniques like animation — Pallotta produced both Waking Life and A Scanner Darkly — to show what could not be filmed, and then went one step further by creating an interactive documentary to accompany the traditional linear film. […] »
- Randy Astle
Keanu Reeves’ latest actioner sounds like your typical by-the-numbers American action romp. What can we say? It’s a genre that’s bordering on stale right now, with so many popular kinetic franchises suffering the dreaded sequelitis. This is where John Wick steps in. Or should we say, steps on, the competition. Proof that there’s life in the old gal yet, this final trailer for the movie should have you gearing up to check it out at the end of October.
On the back of a stellar reception at Fantastic Fest, the movie has gone from quiet sleeper to a highly-anticipated title. The dearth of publicity material prior to… last week, might have something to do with that. In light of the positive critical reaction, Lionsgate have stepped up their marketing game now. After the release of the first trailer had us teary-eyed when someone tampered with Keanu’s puppy, »
- Gem Seddon
Last year, Barkhad Abdi earned an Oscar nomination for playing a Somali pirate in “Captain Phillips.” Now, Mohamed Nura shows audiences the real thing in “Last Hijack.” A new documentary from directors Femke Wolting and Tommy Pallotta (a producer on Richard Linklater‘s “Waking Life” and “A Scanner Darkly”) enters the forbidden — and thriving — world of Somali pirates. Using animation, documentary footage, and re-enactments, the film explores their tactics and justifications, seeking to understand the issue from the perspective we rarely hear in the news media. The Filmbuff release will premiere at the New York Film Festival on Sept. 28, and then open in. »
- Jordan Zakarin
While Keanu Reeves’ filmography spans a number of genres, from Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventures to My Own Private Idaho to A Scanner Darkly, he is no stranger to the action genre, with his more notable forays including Point Break, Speed, and The Matrix. For his next feature, Reeves is set to step back into action mode. Titled John Wick, the film sees Reeves play the titular character, a retired hitman who moves to take revenge for the death of his dog at the hands of burglars, finding himself drawn back into his old life. The film marks the directorial debut of stunt coordinator Chad Stahelski, working from a script by Derek Kolstad, and co-starring alongside Reeves is Ian McShane, Willem Dafoe, and Adrianne Palicki. The first trailer for the film, which is set to open in American theatres on October 24th, has now been released, and can be seen below. »
- Deepayan Sengupta
Summer movie season is a magic time of year when Hollywood traditionally rolls out its most appealing merchandise. It’s true that some summer movie seasons are better than others. This is our ranking of all the summer movie seasons since 1980 from worst to best.
On January 20th, 1975, Steven Spielberg and Universal Studios released Jaws. The movie landscape would be forever changed from that date. Jaws is widely credited as being the first blockbuster film because it was the first movie to make over $100 million (non-adjusted). The fact that the film had a meager $8 million budget meant that it was a huge cash cow for the studio and rocketed Spielberg to the the forefront of a new generation of filmmakers for a new era of movie mass-consumption. George Lucas and Spielberg followed up in 1977 with Star Wars, which became a sensational and very profitable hit. It helped to convince production »
- email@example.com (G.S. Perno)
When it comes to independent films and major releases, animation is fairly underutilized medium. There are exceptions, but for the most part, it’s generally used for kid-centric stories or to paint a lush, if slightly more adult, world. That’s why movies like A Scanner Darkly and The Congress are so special. They use animation for drama and to express ideas that go beyond a few pretty shots. Both films shouldn’t be compared past that point, but they are both emotional, visual, and mental exercises — rides that you either go along with from the start or don’t. If director Ari Folman‘s The Congress grabs you from its first frame, then expect a rich science-fiction film packed with commentary, ideas, laughs, tears, and beauty. Speaking of beauty, Robin Wright (played conveniently by Robin Wright) has lost it, at least according to some slimy agist studio executive we meet working at Miramount. She »
- Jack Giroux
Ari Folman, visionary director of Waltz With Bashir, brings us a journey beyond imagination in his upcoming movie The Congress. Robin Wright (pictured above) plays a version of herself in this thought-provoking film, which merges live-action and colourful animation. To celebrate the release of The Congress today (our review is here), we take a look at some other movies which have embraced a live-action/animation mash-up.
1) Mary Poppins
Family favourite Mary Poppins delighted audiences when it first burst onto screens in 1964, and now 50 years later the magical tale continues to enchant a brand new generation of film fans. The hit adventure’s wonderful mix of live-action and fantasy animation was surely one of the elements which won it five Oscars at the 1965 Academy Awards, including Best Visual Effects.
- Phil Wheat
A character actor with more than 80 film and TV projects to his name, Austin, Tex.-based Marco Perella is receiving his widest exposure ever—for a movie he finished shooting eight years ago. As the drunk disciplinarian stepfather of Mason (Ellar Coltrane) in Richard Linklater’s decades-spanning Boyhood, Perella plays the pathetic bully with a finesse that’s left some viewers thinking the movie was all too real.
EW spoke to Perella about his role in the film and the choice of words when he’s being praised for being bad.
The interview below references specific scenes and plot details of Boyhood. »
- Joe McGovern
Richard Linklater, the auteur behind films like Dazed and Confused, the Before Sunrise trilogy, and A Scanner Darkly may be walking away from the WB's planned remake of The Incredible Mr. Limpet. The director, who peppers in studio fair like the 2005 Bad News Bears remake between projects he's more passionate about, seems to want to capitalize on the current buzz surrounding his film, Boyhood, to make another more personal film. The writer-director spent 12 years working on Boyhood, literally shooting the film little by little, with the same cast, depicting a true coming-of-age tale.
The film has been getting absolutely sensational reviews since it's limited release last month- scoring 99% on RottenTomatoes with 168 critics having chimed in. The film features a cast that includes frequent Linklater collaborator Ethan Hawke, Patricia Arquette, and a handful of unknown actors. The reception to this film, which clearly meant a lot to the filmmaker, has seemingly knocked Mr. »
- Mario-Francisco Robles
What Richard Linklater’s Boyhood accomplishes is due the highest praise; as a feat of extended cinematic biography, there have been few experiments as rounded, detailed, and character-developed as this twelve-year gamble.
Nailing my heart to the wall with a good growing-up tale is a favorite cinematic past-time going back to a lot of young, smart French faces in the 1950s and 1960s; Russian kids with militarized gazes but poetic minds; the amazing Killer of Sheep’s gentle look at black youth in 1970s Los Angeles. Richard Linklater has contributed his share of closely-observed movies on adolescence, from his debut self-starring film It’s Impossible to Learn to Plow by Reading Books (1988) and breakout indie ramble Slacker (1991)to the evergreen Dazed & Confused (1993) and Before… series (1995-2013), Linklater returns to the philosophical delusions of youth and retrospect realities of age again and again. Boyhood is one of his most generous gifts yet, »
- Gregory Fichter
Richard Linklater, one of his generation’s best and most influential filmmakers, has chosen That’s What I’m Talking About as his next project. As reported by The Hollywood Reporter, it looks like Linklater has chosen his next project after the highly successful Boyhood. Since 2011 the director has been attached to direct a remake of the Don Knotts’ classic The Incredible Mr. Limpet, but he has now reportedly left the project for the more personal That’s What I’m Talking About.
The film is said to be semi-autobiographical and, as stated by THR, “follows freshmen as they navigate through the first year of college life, while trying to make the baseball team”. Set in the 1980s, the film seems like a spiritual successor to 1993’s Dazed and Confused. The film is said to be shooting this fall.
After helping create the indie boom of the late 80s/early 90s, »
- Max Molinaro
Just last month, we got word on an impressive cast assembling for a remake of the film The Incredible Mr. Limpet at Warner Bros. with Boyhood director Richard Linklater at the helm. However, THR has word that Linklater has decided to depart the project, opting to focus on That's What I'm Talking About, his long-gestating 80s-set college comedy that will act as a spiritual follow-up to the director's iconic Dazed & Confused. The studio was already looking for a replacement after it looked like Linklater's plans wouldn't mesh with their production schedule, and as of now it's not clear if this will effect any of the other talent. Linklater's Waking Life and A Scanner Darkly collaborators Femke Wolting and Tommy Pallotta were supposed to be working on the animation side of things, but there's no word on whether or not they'll stay on board with Linklater out of the director's chair. »
- Ethan Anderton
Judging from the comments when I last talked about The Incredible Mr. Limpet, people didn't seem too happy to have a remake of the 1964 film in the works. Even with talent like Richard Linklater at the helm and a cast that included Josh Gad, Jon Hamm, Kevin Hart, Danny McBride, Sarah Silverman, Key & Peele and Zach Galifianakis. The remake was set to be a live-action/animated hybrid with the use rotoscope animation similar to his previous Waking Life and A Scanner Darkly. »
- Graham McMorrow
You’ve never seen a movie like Boyhood before because, until now, no one’s had the patience to make one.
“We’ve been working on it for 12 years,” explains Ethan Hawke, who co-stars in the film directed by Richard Linklater, his collaborator on the Before Sunrise/Sunset/Midnight trilogy. “It’s a film about childhood. We shot a short film for about four or five days every year for the last 12 years. When we started, the boy was six and now he’s 19.Patricia Arquette plays his mom and I play his dad. It follows the development of this one young man.”
“What? How? Where? Wtf?” Linklater jokes about his achievement, arguably the most audacious in a long line of unusual movies that began in 1991 with Slacker and has continued through Dazed and Confused, Waking Life, Tape, School of Rock, Fast Food Nation, A Scanner Darkly, Bernie and the aforementioned Before films. »
- Bob Strauss - Cineplex Magazine
Justin Chang: Andrew, if you’ll allow me a brief (sort of) digression before we get down to business: A few nights ago, as part of our foolhardy mission to rank the films of Richard Linklater, I watched “Waking Life” for the first time since I’d seen it at a college screening in 2001. Back then, we were both sophomores at USC (though we didn’t know each other at the time), and presumably of the ideal age and mindset to groove on the film’s kaleidoscopic visuals and similarly trippy discourse. I recall having been more bored than seduced at the time, though I’m happy to say that my very different reaction following this second viewing — which began around midnight, all the better to cultivate the optimal bleary-eyed dream state — was enough to move “Waking Life” a few notches up my own list.
At a certain point late into the movie, »
- Justin Chang and Andrew Barker
Yes, the current cinematic landscape is filled with giant, towering transformers that can handily destroy large swaths of both Chicago and China, super-intelligent apes leading a revolt against humanity, and dueling, computer-generated dragons. But the most epic film of the summer, maybe the entire year, is entering into limited release this weekend, available only in boutique cinemas or art house theaters. And that movie is "Boyhood."
This is a movie that has literally been filming for 12 years. Writer/director Richard Linklater, previously responsible for "Dazed and Confused" and "School of Rock," would gather his actors once a year and film for a few days, with the ultimate goal of chronicling how a young boy grows up. But this isn't some stodgy documentary; this is a fictionalized account of adolescence that is full of very dramatic moments.
But is this something that impenetrably artsy? Or something that is worth leaving the multiplex for? »
- Drew Taylor
Director’s pet projects are often described as a labour of love, but Richard Linklater’s new film Boyhood (released in both UK and Us cinemas today) is perhaps the most pertinent example of that phrase, having experienced an incredibly long birthing period in cinematic terms. Shot using the same actors (lead Ellar Coltrane makes the leap from ethereal 6 year old, awkward adolescent, and finally, insightful young adult with effortless ease) over a couple of weeks and spread over 12 consecutive years, this is filmmaking without a safety net.
Already laden with superlatives from those who have seen it (and justifiably so) it’s a bravura effort which gently compels you to reflect on your own life, and the staggeringly swift passage of time that seems to pass as you increase in age (the then-twelve year-old Coltrane reflecting on the best films of 2008 with screen father Ethan Hawke makes that year »
- Adam Lowes
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