17 items from 2013
Variety is reporting that Dwayne Johnson has signed on to star in “Not Without Hope,” based on the best-selling memoir by Nick Schuyler. The story tells the true story of college football player Schuyler, his best friend, and two NFL players. The four men were on a fishing trip in the Gulf of Mexico when tragedy struck, capsizing the boat. The story is ultimately one of survival, as the four men were left clinging to the boat for days.
This won’t be Johnson’s first foray into more dramatic fair, having all ready established himself as a bankable star in the action genre. He’s dabbled in more dramatic roles before in films such as “Southland Tales,” “Gridiron Gang,” and this year’s “Snitch.” In this one, he’ll play Schuyler himself.
In the announcement, Rob Brenner, president of production for Relativity Media, said:
“Nick Schuyler’s book is extremely moving, »
- Mario-Francisco Robles
Hollywood history always makes for fascinating reading. Hindsight and whatnot. During a month in which Sound on Sight takes an opportunity to tip a collective hat in the direction of recently ‘retired’ workhorse auteur Steven Soderbergh, there is a further chance to reel back the years and examine a period of time when one of modern cinema’s finest acolytes was transforming from indie hero to mainstream heavyweight. Of course, it all seems so predictable now that he would follow up his 2001 Oscar win with 12 years of financial and critical success with unmatched versatility. What is more interesting are two fellow directors sharing the limelight with him that year, the trio hailed as the hottest directorial properties in the business. Chances are many of you do not remember the name Richard Kelly. It’s likely most of you have no wish to recall the work of M. Night Shyamalan. 2001 was a strange year. »
- Scott Patterson
The Black Tavern
Written by Yip Yat-Fong
Directed by Teddy Yip Wing-Cho
Hong Kong, 1972
Sometimes, it’s best for filmmakers to toss all their eggs into one basket, to throw everything into their picture save the kitchen sink, to go out all guns blazing. When the opportunity presents itself to make something really out of the ordinary or, at the very least, a bit off-kilter when juxtaposed against the legion of competing pictures, why forsake that chance? If the final product fails to connect with viewers, the creative team may nevertheless take solace in the fact that they showed an iota of courage in avoiding complacency. Indeed, history carries with it a number of examples of extravagantly idiosyncratic productions that failed to resonate in any shape or form, Richard Kelly’s Southland Tales being an oft-cited one. In the Shaw Brothers catalogue, the sheer volume of films that more or »
- Edgar Chaput
It says something about our weird multihyphenate celebrity era that the two lead actors of Runner Runner are both highly regarded for everything besides their acting. Ben Affleck just won an Oscar as the director-producer of Argo, part of a larger career renaissance that started with Gone Baby Gone and The Town. And Justin Timberlake is, well, Justin Timberlake, the omnipresent musician who split his comeback album in two and saw both parts climb to the top of the music charts. It seems unlikely that either of them are smarting over the box office failure of Runner Runner, partially because »
- Darren Franich
The nomination is extremely well-deserved: Poehler consistently serves up a character that makes you cry -- with both laughter and tears -- at her outrageous life while still remaining like-able and real. But when we hear the name Amy Poehler, her "Parks and Rec" role and memorable stint on "Saturday Night Live" are not the first things to pop into our heads. Nope, Poehler will forever be the poor girl afflicted with an extreme case of Tourette's Syndrome in "Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo."
Welcome to Before They Were Emmy Nominees. Each Tuesday and Wednesday between now and the Emmy Awards on Sept. 22, we're going to look back at some early, obscure, and favorite roles of a few of this year's acting nominees. »
The apocalypse has been given the Hollywood treatment perhaps more than any other scenario, with literally hundreds of films showing the events leading up to it, or life going on after it.
This year has been a big year for the end of the world. Oblivion showed a sci-fi vision of what life might be like on an all but deserted Earth, as did After Earth. This Is The End showed what the final hours of life on Earth what might be like for celebrities, and out today Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and director Edgar Wright team up for the final instalment in the Cornetto Trilogy, The World’s End.
The dictionary definition of ‘Apocalypse’ is 1. The complete final destruction of the world, and 2. An event involving destruction or damage on a catastrophic scale. These are obviously two quite different things, and the existence of the post-apocalyptic genre suggests that »
- Barry Steele
Is this the worst summer of blockbusters in a recent age or is it the best? Are “Man of Steel" arguments worth losing friendships over? Is "Southland Tales" a masterpiece as posited by generation revisionism or is it the mess critics took it for initially? Will you dare to give your money to villain mensch Adam Sandler over hero Guillermo del Toro? Debate rages on in 2013 over a variety of topics as is par for the course in the opinionated world of movie criticism and discussion. And yes, as we glance down at our watches, we realize it’s basically the midway point of the year. We already looked at what a handful of us thought were the Best Film Of The Year... So Far, and so in the Peter Travers school of thinking, we thought it might be worthwhile to look at the worst films of the year so »
- The Playlist Staff
It’s always an encouraging sign when a new filmmaker emerges out of nowhere and completely knocks it out of the park on their first step up to the plate. However, it can also create a problem of expectation for the director’s next work, in that if they come out swinging with a masterpiece, we expect their sophomore effort to be just as good, and when it inevitably disappoints – as, let’s be honest, it most often does – we’re left wondering what went wrong.
In actual fact, nothing went wrong; they just were lucky (or unlucky) enough to get their best work out the way first, and even if the rest of their body of work is solid, it’s always going to be said that such a director has peaked too early.
- Shaun Munro
Exclusive: It’s good that Will Sasso has landed the title role in a movie, but I’m led to wonder why so many film companies press forward with naughty titles knowing full well they will never make it to the screen because newspapers and TV can’t run the advertising. Sasso, most recently seen as Curly in the Farrelly Brothers-directed The Three Stooges, has signed to star opposite David Koechner in director Andrew Currie’s suburban comedy feature My Asshole Neighbor. Sasso will portray Jerry, a loud, rude redneck who moves next door to a professional mediator Paul (Koechner), turning his world upside down. Once his private little patch of peaceful suburbia is invaded, the usually peace-loving Paul finds himself waging war on Jerry — which ultimately begs the questions, who’s really the asshole, and which sphincter will prevail? Produced by Mary Anne Waterhouse, the film will shoot mid-August in Vancouver. »
- MIKE FLEMING JR
Ari Folman's "The Congress" aka "Robin Wright at The Congress" aka "Reviewer's Nightmare" (last title mine) opens the Directors' Fortnight at Cannes this evening and screened for a group of alternately beguiled and baffled press this morning. Evoking Miyazaki and perhaps on-form Gilliam in its best moments, and lurching oddly into "Southland Tales" territory in its worst, it is a film we'd be happy to call a fascinating muddle, were it not a little overstretched to really support even that summation. At the very least, however, should your copy of "Pink Floyd's The Wall" have worn out through overuse, we can see "The Congress" having a similar kind of life as a late-night stoner mindfuck. This is Folman's first return to Cannes (and to feature filmmaking; he's been keeping busy writing for TV otherwise) since 2008's Oscar-nominated and universally lauded "Waltz with Bashir." The five-year gap is attributed to many things, »
- Jessica Kiang
Being one of the first directors to start the “Splat Pack” era, a man Quentin Tarantino jokingly referred to as the “Frank Sinatra of the Splat Pack,” Eli Roth’s popularity among the horror genre has only risen. Though his only featured directing gigs to date are Cabin Fever, Hostel, and Hostel II, Roth has been busy producing and acting in a slew of different films, his most recent being Nicolás López’s Aftershock. Centered around an earthquake which is followed by warnings of an approaching tsunami, Roth plays an American vacationer named Gringo who gets stuck in the chaos and fights for survival.
Running the press circuit today in New York City to promote the release of Aftershock, I was invited to participate in a roundtable interview with producer/actor Eli Roth, and of course said “f#ck yes” in a heartbeat. Have you read any of my other work on this site? »
- Matt Donato
Hi Douglas! We started talking because of Spring Breakers for which you wrote a really impassioned review. What other movies do you think are misunderstood or underappreciated?
Douglas: I find myself defending panned movies all the time. Even when I actively dislike a movie, I can't bring myself to not at least value one aspect of it - whether it be technical or on the level of camp. The horror genre is largely looked down upon unless a respected auteur is behind the movie or if it's more connected with drama. I can't for the life of me see how the ambitiousness of Rob Zombie's films goes unnoticed. His stuff just has a strong sense of style and ownership. His Halloween II film »
- NATHANIEL R
One used to take us for a wild ride down Know Your Role Boulevard and Jabroni Drive before he checked us in at the Smackdown Hotel. The other is cast in Susan Sarandon movies.
One had his own theme music that strangers sang along to as he entered various American arenas. The other pretends to race cars with Vin Diesel.
One frequently knocked out his scantily-clad colleagues by landing on them with his elbow. The other has probably never done that ... at least not in any kind of official capacity.
The following contest is scheduled for one fall — and for one awesome blog post on NextMovie. Now let's do this!
Advantage: A '99 Pedro Martinez 12/6 curve ball to start the proceedings! Dwayne Johnson can tell people at bars that »
- Nick Blake
Dwayne Johnson, a wrestler-turned-actor formerly known as The Rock, is an oversized personality more befitting a cartoon than a live action movie. He's got a frame that can barely fit through a traditional doorway and an unparalleled ability to convey a host of emotions just in the way that he chooses to stand. His best performances (as a bounty hunter in "The Rundown" or a dogged federal agent in "Fast Five") have taken advantage of both his size and his willingness to manipulate his stature for the sake of the role (in "Southland Tales" his performance seems almost entirely based on Bugs Bunny). He's a physical performer unburdened by the tangled psychology that trips up most actors. However, in "Snitch," the dreary new "based on a true story" action movie about undercover drug informants, Johnson's physicality is restrained, neutered and muted. He's a comic book hero forcibly wedged into a postage stamp. »
- Drew Taylor
Now that Pope Benedict XVI has decided that being God’s chosen spokeman on Earth is no longer for him, the religious world will once more find itself locked in debate as to who will take over, with towers of white smoke on the edge of everyone’s minds in the coming weeks and months.
The early favourite right now is apparently Ghana’s Cardinal Peter Turkson, but that won’t stop the speculation, so we’re weighing in with our own (unconventional) choices from the world of film for people who could take over as the next Pope.
Let’s be honest, Preacher would be the most entertaining possible Pope, but noone’s made a film for him yet, so the hands are tied on that one.
Here’s goes nothing…
A controversial place to start no doubt, but consider this: would »
- Simon Gallagher
Unbelievably once upon a time House at the End of the Street was a directorial project for Jonathan Mostow with Richard Kelly writing the screenplay, but this was back in 2003 before both Terminator 3 and Southland Tales. You could argue about what the better choice was in terms of both moving on but it becomes very apparent half way through the film that there was clearly nothing to the material that either hadn’t been done before or hadn’t been derived from about twenty separate sources.
Current Hollywood darling Jennifer Lawrence plays a teenager who moves with her mother to a new quiet neighbourhood from Chicago after a messy divorce. As she learns fairly quickly from the obnoxious neighbours, a house in their street drives prices down due to the fact that a young girl murdered both her parents there and fled the scene into the woods never to be found. »
- Chris Holt
Dwayne Johnson always keeps you guessing with his career choices – from his early 2000s action roles (Walking Tall, Doom) to the mid-2000s indie film phase (Be Cool, Southland Tales) to the late-2000s family film phase (Tooth Fairy). Luckily the Fast and Furious 6 star has returned to big-budget action and/or comedy (Pain & Gain), with big budget epics on the docket for 2013 (Hercules).
Today Johnson keeps us guessing yet again, as he is producing and could star in a new film tentatively titled Teddy Bear, which tells the story of the titular cuddly companions’ real purpose in the world; fight monsters hiding under children’s beds, naturally.
As strange (or… awesome?) as that premise sounds, the story of how the film got pitched is even better. THR reports that software ...
Click to continue reading Dwayne Johnson Attached to ‘Teddy Bear’ Adventure Movie
- Kofi Outlaw
17 items from 2013
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