18 items from 2015
Rome — Italian director with Hollywood credentials Gabriele Muccino (“The Pursuit of Happyness,” “Seven Pounds”) is set to shoot “Summertime,” an ensemble coming-of-age/road movie set in Rome, San Francisco, New Orleans and Cuba “about four youths in that unique unrepeatable formative phase after high school, before college, during which they crack the shell of adolescence,” he said.
For the four main roles in this mostly English-language pic, Muccino has cast Matilda Lutz, the emerging Italian actress who will play the lead in the next chapter in the “Ring” franchise; locally hot Italian TV actor Brando Pacitto (“Braccialetti Rossi”); and young U.S. actors Joseph Haro (“Glee,” “Welcome to the Family”) and Taylor Frey (“Gossip Girl,” G.B.F.).
- Nick Vivarelli
Matthew McConaughey.s recent cinematic renaissance looks set to continue after it was confirmed that he.d become attached to The Billionaire.s Vinegar, an intriguing tale of deception, wine and Thomas Jefferson. Deadline was the first to reveal that the Academy Award-winning actor has signed up to star in The Billionare.s Vinegar, which will come from Sony Pictures and revolve around an auctioned cache of wine bottles that were allegedly owned by Thomas Jefferson. It turns out that they actually never belonged to the third President of the United States, and this revelation soon leads to all-out mayhem. Matthew McConaughey is the first actor to sign up for The Billionaire.s Vinegar, but the producers and scribes involved suggest that he is in very good hands. The team of Todd Black, James Lassiter, Jason Blumenthal, Steve Tisch and Will Smith, who were previously behind The Pursuit Of Happyness »
Matthew McConaughey is attached to star in Sony Picture's The Billionaire's Vinegar. Based on Benjamin Wallace's book The Billionaire’s Vinegar: The Mystery of the World’s Most Expensive Bottle of Wine. The film centers on the scandal surrounding several fraudulent bottles of wine allegedly owned by Thomas Jefferson. Hardy Rodenstock, a music manager-turned-wine dealer supplied the wine. Billionaire Bill Koch payed $500,000 for the Jefferson bottles, before coughing up twice that amount for an investigation to confirm their origins and a lawsuit against Rodenstock. What else are you going to do when you're a billionaire? [caption id="attachment_340263" align="alignright" width="360"] Image via Warner Brothers[/caption] Per Deadline,The script is by Michael Brandt and Derek Haas (Wanted, 3:10 To Yuma) with no director attached at this time. Escape Artists and Overbrook Entertainment have been developing the project for years; Todd Black, James Lassiter, Jason Blumenthal, Will Smith and Steve Tisch will produce. They have previously »
- Haleigh Foutch
Apparently made by snickering 12-year-olds who like naked boobies and have heard rumors about the phenomenon known as “the business trip.” I’m “biast” (pro): nothing
I’m “biast” (con): the trailer was embarrassing
(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)
Unfinished Business is the kind of movie in which a mentally retarded character — whose impairment is offered as a constant source of “hilarity” — is required to recite a line of dialogue such as “The penis touched my face” in a way that, this pathetic excuse for entertainment hopes, will make you laugh. Because the penis did indeed touch his face, and you are, it is presumed, consumed with “American prudishness,” hence you will snicker, just like, in another scene, the retarded character snickers when he sees naked boobies. In a fit of something that the movie deems clever, the naked-boobies scene directly addresses the matter »
- MaryAnn Johanson
A comedy with its heart in the right place and everything else bizarrely out of joint, “Unfinished Business” finds director Ken Scott following 2013’s “Delivery Man” with another dubious attempt to sell audiences on Vince Vaughn’s sensitive side. Playing a down-on-his-luck family man who takes an ill-advised business trip to Berlin with two unfunny sidekicks in tow (Tom Wilkinson and Dave Franco), Vaughn is admittedly the least of the movie’s worries: Awkwardly wrapping a heartwarming message of self-acceptance in a layer of crude sexual humor, it’s like a date who tries to pat you on the back with one hand while feeling you up with the other. As such, “Unfinished” looks unlikely to do much business, or to end the nearly decade-long string of mediocrities (“Fred Claus,” “Four Christmases,” “The Dilemma,” “The Watch,” “The Internship”) that has plagued its star, whose fans are advised to keep whetting »
- Justin Chang
Paris — MyTF1VOD, the on-demand platform of France’s top commercial network TF1, is set to roll out AfrostreamVOD, a digital service dedicated to African, Afro-American and Afro-Caribbean movies.
Launched in partnership with French start-up Afrostream, the new VOD platform will showcase movies in HD in French or in original version with subtitles.
AfrostreamVOD’s library will comprise popular movies such as “The Pursuit of Happyness,” “12 Years a Slave,” “Dreamgirls” and “Ray” as well as recent releases.
“Through this new offer, we have the ambition to enrich our legal offer, and fulfill the demands of audiences who enjoy these movies which get very little exposure,” said Tristan du Laz, co-managing director of TF1 Video.
Tonjé Bakang, Afrostream founder, noted that “Afro movies »
- Elsa Keslassy
The narrative going into this weekend was that "Focus" would mark a comeback of sorts for Will Smith. His first lead role since the career stumbling block two years ago that was "After Earth," "Focus" was supposed to be an easy lay-up for Smith, a sleek, star-powered caper comedy that would face little competition in the doldrums of February. Pundits predicted a debut in the low $20 millions.
Nonetheless, when the snow flurries cleared on Sunday, "Focus" hadn't even crossed $20 million; estimates had the film's weekend premiere scoring just $19.1 million. That's the first time, since Smith's Oscar-baiting prestige drama "Seven Pounds" in 2008, that he's failed to crack $20 million on an opening weekend. (Even "After Earth" pulled off a $27.5 million debut.)
With two relative flops in a row (three if you count his rare supporting role in last year's "Winter's Tale"), it's officially time for pundits to start wondering if Smith has »
- Gary Susman
There is no trace of the old Will Smith charm in this glossily mediocre con caper that is almost entirely free of anything or anyone to care about
What on earth happened to Will Smith? He could until recently trade on a certain amount of charm: I have a soft spot for his sentimental drama The Pursuit of Happyness (2006) and he did a good job in the almost impossible role of Muhammad Ali for Michael Mann in 2001. But Smith is just insufferable in this fantastically boring caper about high-class con-trick artists: supercilious and smug, gliding through a glossily mediocre film on cruise control. It is written and directed by John Requa and Glenn Ficarra (who made Crazy, Stupid, Love and I Love You Phillip Morris), but without the flair or fun of those pictures. Smith is super-cool con artist Nicky, and Margot Robbie is Jess, the hot would-be grifter that »
- Peter Bradshaw
Every movie star is a con artist of sorts, seducing audiences into forking over millions by adopting a character bigger than him- or herself. But what to do when the streak falters? Will Smith made his film debut as a high-society scammer in “Six Degrees of Separation,” and now, a bit more than 21 years later, he’s back at the hustle in “Focus,” a sexy sleight-of-hand caper that feels small-time by the tentpole king’s standards, though a solid opening ought to prove Smith’s ongoing drawing power — and that there is life after the commercial debacle of 2013’s “After Earth.” Lithely directed by the duo responsible for “Crazy, Stupid, Love,” this suave if quick-to-dissipate divertissement shrewdly recasts the star in the George Clooney mold — a good look for the next stage of Smith’s career.
With the rare exception of 2005’s hit “Hitch,” romance hasn’t really been Smith’s bag. »
- Peter Debruge
Will Smith stars as Nicky, a seasoned master of misdirection who becomes romantically involved with novice con artist Jess (Margot Robbie). As he’s teaching her the tricks of the trade, she gets too close for comfort and he abruptly breaks it off. Three years later, the former flame—now an accomplished femme fatale—shows up in Buenos Aires in the middle of the high stakes racecar circuit. In the midst of Nicky’s latest, very dangerous scheme, she throws his plans for a loop…and the consummate con man off his game.
Focus was written and directed by Glenn Ficarra & John Requa (“Crazy, Stupid, Love.”). Denise Di Novi (“Crazy, Stupid, Love.”) is the producer, with Charlie Gogolak and Stan Wlodkowski serving as executive producers.
- Movie Geeks
After Earth was a disaster of cataclysmic proportions, and Will Smith knows it. The sci-fi post-apocalypse film that starred the Wild Wild West star and his son Jaden was bashed by critics and audiences alike. Though, recently Smith Sr. had some choice words to say about the film that he calls the "most painful failure in my career." The actor/rapper recently spoke with Esquire for an in-depth interview about his career, during which he let what he really thinks about After Earth be known: Wild Wild West was less painful than After Earth because my son was involved in After Earth and I led him into it. That was excruciating. Will and Jaden have worked together on The Karate Kid (which is currently getting a sequel) and The Pursuit of Happyness. But After Earth only made half as much money as the former release did its opening weekend. The »
If the first red band trailer or raunchy version of the Super Bowl spot didn't convince you to see the new comedy Unfinished Business next month, 20th Century Fox is making one last attempt to get you on board. The final red band trailer has just arrived for the film starring Vince Vaughn, Tom Wilkinson and Dave Franco, and it brings some more raunchiness to the table. While I don't think this looks flat out terrible, it doesn't seem to offer up anything we haven't see before comedically with the exception of Franco's character being on the autism spectrum (though I don't buy his performance yet). Watch below! Here's the final red band trailer for Ken Scott's Unfinished Business from Fox: You can still watch the first trailers for Unfinished Business right here. Unfinished Business is directed by Ken Scott (Delivery Man, Starbuck) and written by Steve Conrad (The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, »
- Ethan Anderton
The news that Amy Pascal will step down as chairwoman of Sony Pictures is not shocking. In fact, it was expected.* This is how Hollywood works. You spend years running a studio or acting as president of production and then something goes wrong and you segue to a “producing” deal. That’s the way it’s been for almost 30 years and that’s the way it will be for the foreseeable future. Surviving any controversy, even one outside of your own control, is simply impossible. *Although forgive our surprise this wasn’t left to a late Friday afternoon announcement to quell reaction from the cable news talking heads. Pascal’s fate was sealed when numerous E-mail conversations she was a part of were leaked after a massive security breach credited to North Korean hackers took place on Nov. 24. Her E-mail exchange with producer Scott Rudin about the President of the »
- Gregory Ellwood
IMAX Corporation and Warner Bros. Pictures today announced that Focus, the latest film from directors Glenn Ficarra and John Requa (Crazy, Stupid, Love), starring Academy Award nominee Will Smith (The Pursuit of Happyness, Ali) and Margot Robbie (The Wolf of Wall Street), will be digitally re-mastered into the immersive IMAX format and released into domestic IMAX theatres on Feb. 27, 2015.
The IMAX release of Focus will be digitally re-mastered into the image and sound quality of The IMAX Experience with proprietary IMAX Dmr (Digital Re-mastering) technology. The crystal-clear images, coupled with IMAX's customized theatre geometry and powerful digital audio, create a unique environment that will make audiences feel as if they are in the movie.
Will Smith stars as Nicky, a seasoned master of misdirection who becomes romantically involved with novice con artist Jess (Margot Robbie). As he's teaching her the tricks of the trade, she gets too »
Diallo Riddle and Bashir Salahuddin, best known writing-performing on NBC’s “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon,” will write, executive produce and star on the show. “Saturday Night Live” mainstay Lorne Michaels is also executive producing under his Broadway Video banner.
See Photos: 10 ‘True Detective’ Acting Teams We Want to See Next
Rudolph and Smith are said to be recurring guest stars, should the comedy make it to series. The story centers on best friends Langston (Riddle »
- Travis Reilly
Last night the Producers Guild of America (PGA) announced this year’s winning motion picture, television, and new media productions at the 26th Annual Producers Guild Awards ceremony at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza in Los Angeles. The Jerry Seinfeld-created web series, “Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee” won the Producers Guild Award for Outstanding Digital Series. The television program “Breaking Bad” and its producers Melissa Bernstein, Sam Catlin, Bryan Cranston, Vince Gilligan, Peter Gould, Mark Johnson, Stewart Lyons, Michelle MacLaren, George Mastras, Diane Mercer, Thomas Schnauz, and Moira Walley-Beckett won the Norman Felton Award for Outstanding Producer of Episodic Television, Drama. Closing the evening, the film Birdman and its producers Alejandro G. Iñárritu, John Lesher, and James W. Skotchdopole won the Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures. This category is one of the most eagerly-anticipated of season, as it is widely considered a strong »
- Josh Abraham
And the Oscar nominees are ... the whitest since 1998.
That's the truth as far as the acting categories are concerned. For the first time in 17 years, not a single person of colour stands to win an acting Oscar. [The Atlantic says the last entirely white Oscar nomination list was in 1995. We'll let them duke out which year it is.]
We here at Moviefone Canada looked at Oscar winners and nominees from the past decade to see how they stack up against the upcoming 2015 ceremony. We restricted ourselves to the acting, directing and screenwriting categories.
The definition of "people of colour," of course, varies widely. But when it comes to Oscar nominations, we largely considered people who don't come from an all-white heritage within the last couple of generations.
We plugged the numbers ... and 47 out of 350 nominees in the past 10 years went to people of colour.
That's 13 per cent ... and it's not enough. Especially when U.S. government statistics show that white people (excluding Hispanics or Latinos) make up only 62.6 per cent of the country's population. »
- Jesse Ferreras
Paul Newman’s salad dressing enterprise is common knowledge, but did you know about these 25 businesses run by Hollywood stars?
What do big-time movie stars get up to in their spare time? While their fictional counterparts might enjoy chopping wood or getting hosed down by friendly females (more on that here), actors themselves have a tendency towards wacky entrepreneurial ideas and hefty industrial investments.
Looking at our findings from some rigorous research (read: Googling), it seems that you can divide famous actors into a handful of groups – those who are trying to do something good for the world, those who are trying to break into internet megabucks and those who like opening restaurants.
Without further chit-chat, here’s a breakdown of which stars are behind which brands which you may or may not know and love…
Here’s a brilliant one to start off with »
18 items from 2015
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