9 items from 2014
When you look back at it, Marvel Studios has almost always taken the unconventional route when it comes to picking the directors for their movies. When most Hollywood studios would select the proven blockbuster director, indie darling or recent Oscar nominee looking for a payday Marvel has always gone in a different, um, direction. It started with Jon Favreau on "Iron Man." The former "Swingers" star and "Elf" helmer was coming off "Zathura," a critically lauded kids flick that was a bomb at the box office. Kenneth Branagh, on the other hand, had been in director's jail following four misfires in 10 years. "Thor" turned out to be his best film since 1996's "Hamlet." Joss Whedon was a geek icon for his legendary TV show "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and had major comic book cred after dabbling in writing Astonishing X-Men," but studios weren't banging down his door after "Serenity" fizzled in theaters. »
- Gregory Ellwood
Actor/filmmaker Jon Favreau has gone through multiple creative phases in his career, from crafting free-wheeling adult indie fare (Swingers, Made) to churning out wide-eyed family entertainment (Elf, Zathura: A Space Adventure), before he made a splash in the world of genre blockbusters with Marvel Studios’ Iron Man, which he then followed in fairly rapid succession with Iron Man 2 and the western/sci-fi mashup Cowboys & Aliens.
Most recently, Favreau took a break from Hollywood tentpoles in order to return to his personal indie roots, with the dramedy Chef, which premiered this past week at the 2014 South by Southwest (SXSW) Film Conference and Festival. (Watch a clip from the movie ...
- Sandy Schaefer
When Jon Favreau released the first Iron Man, he was still seen as an exciting young director on his way up despite having credits like Made, Elf, and Zathura. Then came Iron Man 2 and Cowboys & Aliens, and his name started to elicit more eye-rolls than smiles. But at SXSW this year, he unveiled […]
- Angie Han
In real life Jon Favreau is a huggable bear of man who wears his insecurities on his sleeve. So why be surprised when his return to scruffy indie filmmaking, "Chef," shows the same qualities? An 8-page outline came to the writer-director in a flash. He showed it to his friends and they encouraged him to write a full script, which he then enlisted his agency CAA to help finance. Many of his "Iron Man" pals--Robert Downey, Jr. and Scarlett Johansson have small roles--helped him out for SAG minimum, along with ace comedic actors Dustin Hoffman, Bobby Cannavale, Oliver Platt, and John Leguizamo. "Nobody got paid anything," said Favreau at the SXSW Paramount opening night premiere. "This felt like it wanted to happen. Every once in a while it clicks." Born in Queens, Favreau started out making his living as a funny character actor and occasional screenwriter and director — which »
- Anne Thompson
Austin — A small-scale personal-growth comedy from a filmmaker recently known for SFX blockbusters, Jon Favreau's Chef enlists a top-shelf cast for a film as earnestly emotional as Swingers and his family-centric adventure Zathura. The story, revolving around food but really concerned with any sort of personal creative drive, may lack the ingredients of a mainstream comic hit; but audiences drawn in by its franchise-worthy cast will likely respond warmly. It wouldn't take much effort to parse this film's back-to-your-roots storyline as a response to the critical and commercial failure of Favreau's
- John DeFore
Jon Favreau was best known for indie roles in movies like Made and Swingers before he became known as the man who ushered in the Marvel Cinematic Universe with Iron Man. As a director, Favreau has ventured from indie to big budget fare like Elf, Cowboys And Aliens and Zathura, but his first post-Iron Man 2 directorial effort will feature nothing in the way of science fiction, comic books, or CGI effects. Premiering at the SXSW Festival, Favreau's Chef is a very different movie than we have »
- Alex Maidy
I’m always happy to report another sci-fi novel making its way to the big screen and the latest is Marcus Sakey’s novel, Brilliance. This adaptation will be coming to us courtesy of Legendary Pictures and director Julius Onah, whose directing credits have mostly included short films.
THR is reporting that once Julis Onah signed on to the project, Will Smith was quick to follow and is in early talks to star as Nick Cooper. For those of you not familiar with the book, here’s a synopsis.
In Wyoming, a little girl reads people’s darkest secrets by the way they fold their arms. In New York, a man sensing patterns in the stock market racks up $300 billion. In Chicago, a woman can go invisible by being where no one is looking. They’re called “brilliants,” and since 1980, one percent of people have been born this way. Nick Cooper »
- Jess Orso
Odd List Ryan Lambie Simon Brew 16 Jan 2014 - 06:20
Another 25 unsung greats come under the spotlight, as we provide our pick of the underappreciated films of 2005...
It's underappreciated films time again, and this week, we delve deep into the year 2005 - a collection of months dominated by the likes of Star Wars: Episode III, another Harry Potter, Steven Spielberg's War Of The Worlds, Peter Jackson's King Kong, and CG family movie Madagascar.
It was also the year Pierce Brosnan formally bowed out of his role as James Bond, and Martin Scorsese's The Aviator was hyped to win the director his first Oscar, but didn't. Still, the contents of this list received nothing like the acclaim of The Aviator, nor the financial pickings of a Star Wars or Harry Potter. As ever, we've focused on 25 films which we think deserve a bit more love.
So with apologies to »
A graduate of UCLA’s School of Theater, Film and Television, David Koepp has a name that is familiar to moviegoers around the world, although they may not realize why. It’s one of those names that crops up regularly, on all kinds of film posters and credit rolls, in all sorts of capacities. He has worked as a Producer, Actor, Second Unit Director, Assistant Director, Director, Writer and even Songwriter, on an epic roster of films that would make even Spielberg’s toes curl – though he had a hand in some of them.
While his resume shows him to be a man of many talents, it is screenwriting that has made his name internationally recognizable. David Koepp is one of the most prolific screenwriters in Hollywood, »
- Sarah Myles
9 items from 2014
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