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Few filmmakers manage to traverse the line between the art house and the multiplex as fluidly as Steven Soderbergh. Over the course of his career, he has ping-ponged between independent films and mainstream fare repeatedly, carrying some stylistic flourishes across his career, and playing with some similar questions in both strains. His experience makes him uniquely qualified to evaluate and analyze Hollywood, and many of his most successful films work both as independent narratives and as sly commentaries on mainstream cinema.
Perhaps nothing captures this commentary better than the director’s work with George Clooney. The two have paired six times (for Out of Sight, the three Ocean’s films, Solaris, and The Good German). Each of these films functions in some way as commentary on Hollywood and, more particularly, on the nature of celebrity.
George Clooney is many things as an actor, but perhaps most importantly, he is a full-on movie star. »
- Jordan Ferguson
Tom Cruise and Jack Nicholson: ‘A Few Good Men’ stars to be reunited in ‘El Presidente’? Tom Cruise and Jack Nicholson together again in a movie named El Presidente? Well, that’s a possibility. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Cruise has been trying to convince his A Few Good Men co-star to play the title role in the comedy (for now) to be directed Doug Liman. Without naming names, the Reporter article mentions "sources" that claim Cruise wouldn’t do the movie without Nicholson. Or so he supposedly said. (Image: Demi Moore, Jack Nicholson, and Tom Cruise in A Few Good Men.) The story of a serious-minded secret service agent (Tom Cruise) assigned to protect a boozing, woman-crazy former U.S. president (Jack Nicholson), El Presidente apparently has escaped a few assassinations since casting rumors were first announced three years ago. Either that, or the president in question was »
- Zac Gille
Tom Cruise clearly has a thing for long-gestating action comedy project El Presidente. He’s been attached since at least 2010 and has made several attempts to get former A Few Good Men co-star Jack Nicholson involved, despite the older actor’s semi-retirement and increasing pickiness about the films in which he appears. With his Edge Of Tomorrow director Doug Liman now aboard to call the shots, Cruise is making one more effort to score Nicholson’s signature on a contract.El Presidente, originally written by Daily Show veteran (and current Brooklyn Nine-Nine writer) Dan Goor and polished by In The Loop’s Jesse Armstrong and The Good German’s Paul Attanasio, finds a straight-laced Secret Service Agent (Cruise) assigned to watch over America’s worst former president (Nicholson). His charge is an alcoholic, womanizing sleaze ball who seemed destined to fester in the Vice President’s office until his boss suddenly died. »
Read our appreciation of Steven Soderbergh’s Ocean’s Eleven here.
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“How old do you think I am?”
Ocean’s Twelve has a reputation that will always precede it; some have called it an anti-sequel, and publications like Entertainment Weekly have dubbed it one of the worst sequels of all time. Though both reactions are, perhaps, understandable, neither is remotely accurate. Ocean’s Twelve is an inherently self-aware sequel, possibly the most self-aware follow-up in modern history. What Steven Soderbergh, screenwriter George Nolfi (whose original script, Honor Among Thieves, was completely unrelated to Ocean’s Eleven and was sold initially before that remake had been released), and the slightly larger-than-before ensemble cast did was make a sequel to a critically and commercially lauded caper film that was wholly cognizant of the fact that it was a sequel to a critically and commercially lauded caper film. Ocean’s Twelve toys with audience expectations, »
- Josh Spiegel
Written by Paul Attanasio
Directed by Steven Soderbergh
During the mid-2000s, between his exercise in low-budget filmmaking and new modes of exhibition with Bubble, and his big-budget ensemble Ocean’s Thirteen, Steven Soderbergh made a mid-budget return to 1940s style with The Good German.
Announcing the unambiguous Casablanca reference with a mimicking poster, Soderbergh’s black-and-white film is full of classic Hollywood soft-lighting and sinister wartime figures.
The Good German fits squarely alongside two previous Soderbergh efforts in its near-revisionist status: Underneath and Solaris, which are both bold takes on classic source material. Underneath reworks Robert Siodmak’s Criss Cross into a color-gelled suburban world. Solaris is a re-adaptation of Stanislaw Lem’s 1961 novel, moving the film closer to a relationship drama than Andrei Tarkovsky’s famous 1972 adaptation was.
These two films point toward Soderbergh’s willingness to take on and reimagine classic tropes. Though »
- Neal Dhand
Movie stars, as we know them, are not so much dead in 2013 as much as they’re no longer making movies. Celebrity has stretched far beyond film or television; people become famous now without having accomplished much of anything, just for being at the right place at the right time, or tweeting out the right scandalous photo to set afire the comments sections at TMZ or Perez Hilton. Though movies cost more than they used to—both to make and to partake—they are less frequently headlined by a man or woman whose very presence ensures bankability. A handful of movie stars remain, yet even someone like Robert Downey, Jr. can only guarantee a movie will make back its profit and then some when he’s donned his Iron Man suit.
The closest Western society has to movie stars these days don’t make movies that gross hundreds of millions »
- Josh Spiegel
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
Above: The music video for "Suit & Tie".
Justin Timberlake's "Suit & Tie" video—which premiered online way back in February—is part retro menswear fantasy, part razzle-dazzle tech demo. Directed by David Fincher and photographed by Matthew Libatique, "Suit & Tie" was the first widely-seen work to have been shot on Red's Epic Monochrome, a sensor that only images in black & white.
The Monochrome isn't the first dedicated black & white sensor. Sweden's Ikonoskop introduced one—called, no joke, the A-Cam dll Panchromatic Carl Th. Dreyer Edition—last year. The Monochrome does, however, have the distinction of being 5K—about as high-end as you can get. It represents the cutting edge of anachronism.
Last year, the Academy Award for Best Picture went to a black & white film—The Artist. Additionally, at least five major 2012 arthouse releases were in black & white: Hong Sang-soo's The Day He Arrives, Guy Maddin’s Keyhole, Béla Tarr's The Turin Horse, »
- Ignatiy Vishnevetsky
Legendary Pictures just signed Simon Crane to direct its upcoming "Hot Wheels" movie, based on the popular Mattel toy line. Paul Attanasio (Quiz Show, The Good German) is on board to do a rewrite of the script. The story centers on a washed-up Illinois State Trooper who, after a dangerous military device falls into the hands of a criminal, fights the man his father once put behind bars. "Hot Wheels" has been in development for years with such directors as McG (Terminator Salvation) and Juan Carlos Fresnadillo (28 Weeks Later), and writers Cormac Wibberly (National Treasure) and John Gatins (Flight). The movie will be Crane's directorial debut, but he's considered one of the best second-unit directors, having worked on such films as "World War Z," "Men in Black 3," "Salt" and "X-Men: The Last Stand." »
After giving it much consideration and thought, Legendary has decided that Simon Craig will direct Hot Wheels, based on the Mattel toy line.
Hot Wheels has been in development for quite some time. At some point, McG was attached to direct, with a script by writers like Cormac Wibberly (National Treasure) and John Gatins (Flight). Eventually the project went to Art Marcum and Matt Holloway (Iron Man), and is now getting a rewrite by Paul Attanasio (Quiz Show, The Good German).
The story focuses on a washed-up Illinois State Trooper who, after a dangerous military device falls into the hands of a criminal, fights the man his father once put behind bars.
Crane is best known in the business as a second-unit director and stunt coordinator. He’s worked on films like World War Z, »
- Laura Frances
Sometimes we wonder if directors pick projects based on toy lines just so they can get their hands on lots of fun things to play with (or, you know, for their kids.) But with veteran stunt co-ordinator and second unit director Simon Crane, we get the idea he’s chased Hot Wheels down because it’ll give him plenty of chances to indulge what he does best while also tackling a likely first gig as director.The Hot Wheels project has had a troubled time motoring towards the screen, with numerous studios, writers and directors (including McG and John Gatins) trying to make it work, but ultimately putting the idea back in the toy chest.Now Legendary has the rights, and with Iron Man writers Art Marcum and Matt Holloway apparently cracking the script – which is now getting a polish from The Good German's Paul Attanasio – the cars could »
God bless Lovefilm, they seem to know what their customers want and act accordingly.
Every time the summer holidays or half term roll around they add a bunch of kids entertainment and now as we are in October and it’s coming up to Halloween they add a whole load of horror films for your viewing pleasure.
Cinema distributors could learn a thing or two from this model, exactly how many horror films are being released in cinemas this Halloween? Oh that’s right only one, The Haunting in Connecticut 2, which doesn’t even make sense as its set in Georgia.
Django Unchained (2012)
Quentin Tarantino’s most recent film is not his best as some have claimed. Tarantino really milks people’s love of his dialogue in the mid-section which means that the pace drags massively for about 30 minutes. It’s not like in Inglorious Basterds where the pace of »
- Chris Holt
While Gary Ross famously declined from directing the "The Hunger Games" sequel, setting off a speculation frenzy until Francis Lawrence landed the gig helming the rest of the franchise, no one can doubt that the filmmaker and Jennifer Lawrence got on like gangbusters. So well in fact, that the pair are cooking up two projects together. Deadline reports that Ross and Lawrence are teaming on an epic, new big screen version of John Steinbeck's "East Of Eden." Already adapted once in 1955 by Elia Kazan, with this classic film starring James Dean, this version will span two films to tell the epic saga of the Hamilton and Trask families, and their interlocking stories that span from the start of the 20th century through World War I. The project, which has been kicking around Hollywood for a few years now, and has a script from Paul Attansio ("The Good German," "Quiz Show, »
- Kevin Jagernauth
By Doreen Alexander Child
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Based on the number of stars in the cast of August: Osage County, the big screen adaptation of Tracy Letts‘ Pulitzer Prize-winning play, the film looked like a sure-fire best picture Oscar contender. Some even began referring to it as “August: Oscar County” before anyone had even seen a frame of it. But then the film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival earlier this month, and was met with reviews that one might call very mixed, if one was feeling generous. Some of the performances that it showcases were cheered — particularly those of Meryl Streep, Chris Cooper and Margo Martindale — but the movie itself clearly had problems, with director John Wells even admitting that its ending might have to be changed prior to its Christmas Day release.
This isn’t the first time that a film that looked like an Oscar powerhouse on paper »
- Doreen Alexander Child
Scalarama | The Yellow Fever film festival | Chameleon Cate Sunday Brunches | Peckham & Nunhead free festival
The joyfully seedy Scala Cinema in King's Cross went dark 20 years ago as a result of steep rent hikes and a costly court case that followed an illegal screening of A Clockwork Orange (which Stanley Kubrick had removed from UK distribution). Farewell, then, to Russ Meyer marathons, giallo all-nighters and getting spooked by the Scala cat brushing against your leg during Night Of The Living Dead. Until recently, that is. Now in its third year, Scalarama can't promise the old feline companionship, but in all other respects it aims to bring the Scala's renegade spirit back to UK cinemas. Events run throughout September: this week's include a Leeds late-nighter for Point Blank (tonight); an open-air outing for Et in London tomorrow, the UK premiere of blue movie doc That's Sexploitation! (Manchester, Mon); and a »
- Ryan Gilbey
George Clooney is back in the writer-director chair with his upcoming World War II pic "Monuments Men," which will arrive in theaters in the thick of awards season on December 18th. For his directorial follow-up to "The Ides of March," Clooney's assembled a cast of familiar faces (Matt Damon, Cate Blanchett, Bill Murray, Jean Dujardin and John Goodman) to tell the true story of a WWII platoon tasked with rescuing artistic masterpieces from the Nazis and returning them to their rightful owners. The trailer, just released by 20th Century Fox, plays like a mash-up of of two films to star Clooney, "The Good German" and "Ocean's Eleven" -- fitting, given Blanchett and Damon's involvement. Watch the trailer below. »
- Nigel M Smith
The first trailer for George Clooney.s directorial effort The Monuments Men dropped today (via Apple), and it establishes the WWII-era dramedy as a blend of everything from Ocean.s 11 and The Good German to Saving Private Ryan and The Dirty Dozen. Basically, it looks fantastic. Clooney makes exactly the type of movie I want to see in theaters, and Monuments Men looks like another potential home run from the director of Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, Good Night. And Good Luck and The Ides of March. The movie casts Clooney and his Ocean.s colleague Matt Damon as veteran soldiers commissioned during the final days of the war to rescue valuable works of art from behind enemy lines in Germany. But this isn.t Enemy at the Gates, and the jokes sprinkled throughout will tell you. As the director says to USA Today, .[Producer] Grant [Heslov] and I were »
So, what is "Monuments Men"? A WWII version of "Ocean's Eleven"? A lighter take on "The Good German" era? Well, whatever the film turns out to be, it's a consciously lighter turn from writer/actor/director George Clooney. "[Producer] Grant [Heslov] and I were looking to do a film that was less cynical than a lot of the films we do," Clooney told USA Today, and with the first trailer for this upcoming movie arriving today, it'll prove that point. The film rounds up an outstanding group of players—Matt Damon, Bill Murray, Cate Blanchett, Jean Dujardin, Bob Balaban, Hugh Bonneville and John Goodman—to tell the vey true story of WWII platoon tasked with rescuing plundered art from the Nazis. "It's been a long time (since) you could find a new story about World War II," Clooney said, perhaps revealing he has yet to watch John Frankheimer's breathless thriller "The Train, »
- Kevin Jagernauth
Whether or not you think Catherine Martin has already won this year's Costume Design Oscar - paging pink-suited Jay Gatsby! -- the upcoming battle for Oscar nominations is hardly an easy read even if there are only four spots to sashay towards in your suit & gown finery. Costume Design is my favorite Oscar race outside of all the Actressing, not frequently for what the Academy chooses but for the breadth and depth of the competitive field each year. Here's a few questions I'm already asking myself and by extension, you. So join me in the sartorial contemplation...
Steven Noble's work on "Two Faces of January" looks just divine in stills. How's the film?
This far ahead of the nominations (only 242 days to go!) it's anyone's guess and anyone's game.
Which frequently forgotten designer will finally get the red carpet welcoming committee?
The possible answers are plentiful so let's talk four of them. »
- NATHANIEL R
"No one has ever been closer to me than this young man." Wow, this looks interesting. On Sunday night, HBO finally debuted the full-length trailer for Steven Soderbergh's Behind the Candelabra: The Secret Life Of Liberace, the biopic drama starring Michael Douglas as Liberace and Matt Damon as his lover Scott Thorson. This comes on the heels of two other quick teaser trailers for the film, but bumps it up with more of the story and interactions, and characters like Dan Aykroyd, Rob Lowe and Debbie Reynolds. Even though this is an awkward story, this trailer is fantastic, and I honestly really want to see this movie. Here's the first full-length trailer for Steven Soderbergh's Behind the Candelabra, straight from HBO: HBO Films presents Behind the Candelabra, starring Academy Award winners Michael Douglas and Matt Damon; executive produced by Jerry Weintraub; directed by Steven Soderbergh (Sex Lies and Videotape, »
- Alex Billington
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