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Phase I of the Marvel Cinematic Universe was, in retrospect, a densely plotted affair, with several story threads all tying together – and paying off to glorious effect – inThe Avengers; everything from the Tesseract to Loki himself was properly introduced and fully integrated with the rest of the films’ burgeoning continuity, allowing the first phase’s climax to only worry about telling its particular story instead of pulling the narrative dead weight of exposition.
Phase II (which consists of last year’s Iron Man 3 and Thor: The Dark World and this year’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy), in contrast, has largely eschewed world-building in favor of smaller, more character-driven tales – Tony Stark’s post-traumatic stress disorder, say, or Thor’s world-weariness and simple desire for love over the needs of either his family or an interstellar monarchy. Even The Winter Soldier’s Shield upheaval »
- Marc N. Kleinhenz
Their launch was overshadowed by comments from original show composer Stephen Sondheim which suggested the Disney film made changes to the musical, eliminating some of the darker subject matter and fan-favorite songs to make it more 'family friendly'.
The backlash was swift and intense, and concerns weren't settled by a follow-up explanation. Speaking with EW, Marshall ("Chicago," "Nine") has taken a turn at trying to clear up any misconceptions:
"It's ironic that happened at all, because Steve's been part of every single step of this movie. And the truth is, we've been incredibly faithful to the original. I'm actually really impressed Disney's doing this film, because it's very brave. I don't feel we've watered it down in any way, shape, or form. »
- Garth Franklin
Before Disney released a trailer and an assortment of first- (well, second-) look photos at Into the Woods in late July, there wasn’t much information available about the upcoming movie adaptation of the beloved 1987 Broadway musical. That’s why fans latched on tightly earlier this summer, when composer Stephen Sondheim indicated that the film had made certain changes to the show’s script—ones pertaining to death and sex and the elimination of fan-favorite songs.
Sondheim wasn’t pleased with the backlash. Despite the theater legend’s follow-up explanation, some fans had already decided that Disney was making a »
- Marc Snetiker
Christmas just got a whole lot merrier now that the first teaser trailer for Disney's Into the Woods has arrived online. Due in theaters on Christmas Day, Into the Woods is an adaptation of the popular Broadway musical that mashes up a bunch of iconic fairytale characters into one fantastical story about a couple (played by Emily Blunt and James Corden) who venture into the woods to see about lifting a family curse. Watch the teaser trailer below. This first look at what's sure to be one of the biggest films of the holiday season does a great job teasing the spectacle--from the music to the incredible ensemble cast, it's impossible to watch this and not immediately want more. Directed by Rob Marshall (Chicago, Nine, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides...
- Erik Davis
While Stephen Sondheim has been a major name on Broadway for decades, very few off his plays have migrated off the stage, with the Tim Burton adaptation of Sweeney Todd being the biggest exception to date. However, it’s not set to be the last, as the next play of Sondheim that’s set to hit the big screen is Into The Woods. Directed by Rob Marshall, who has previous experience in the musical genre with movies such as Chicago and Nine, the movie version eschews transplanting Broadway stars into the role, instead filling the cast with performers such as Meryl Streep, Emily Blunt, Johnny Depp, Chris Pine, and Anna Kendrick. Amidst stories of rewrites to the script and the lingering question of how the movie shall incorporate certain elements of the stage story, the first trailer for the film has now been released. Into the Woods opens Christmas Day. »
- Deepayan Sengupta
Be careful what you wish for! Finally! Disney has debuted the first teaser trailer for Rob Marshall's new musical Into the Woods, based on the Broadway show of the same name about all of the various Disney fairytales being twisted into on big, dark musical story. Meryl Streep stars as "The Witch", but this teaser is all about introducing the rest of the cast: Emily Blunt, James Corden, Anna Kendrick, Chris Pine, Tracey Ullman, Christine Baranski, and Johnny Depp, who they tease but don't really show. They're building this up to be quite the spectacle come Christmas-time, but for now we get a quick tease (without any singing featured as of yet) of the world and characters we'll be spending time with. How does it look? Watch the first teaser trailer for Rob Marshall's Into the Woods, in high def from Apple: Into the Woods is directed by Rob Marshall (Chicago, »
- Alex Billington
Very soon Disney will release the first trailer for their adaptation of fairytale mash-up stage musical Into the Woods, but in the meantime, we finally get some more first look photos to join the singular glimpse at the film that featured Meryl Streep as an ugly witch. This time there's photos of Anna Kendrick as Cinderella, Chris Pine as her prince, Johnny Depp as the the Wolf, James Corden as the baker, Emily Blunt as the baker's wife, and many more. Could this inspire the return of live-action musicals at The House of Mouse? It's about time they ad a bit of a revival since once being a big part of the studio's history. Here's the new photos from Rob Marshall's Into the Woods from People and Ropes of Silicon: Into the Woods is directed by Rob Marshall (Chicago, Nine, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides) based on »
- Ethan Anderton
In the Red Room with a Vue, the chorus of delighted FrightFester’s are set to join together in joyous song for the chorus of their clawed and shrivelled icon…
“One, two, Freddy’s coming for you.
Three, four, Better lock your door
Five, six, grab your crucifix.
Seven, eight, Gonna stay up late.
Nine, ten, He’s back again.”
If life can be described as a disappointment, of a vortex of uncertainty, then the one constant is FILM4 FrightFest, which, like a beacon of light, guides us to safely towards a guaranteed trip of unadulterated pleasure into the Dark Heart of Cinema every August Bank Holiday.
So what news has fallen upon our ears to add a little more detail to what the landscape of FrightFest 15 looks like?
Well, this year’s Film4 FrightFest guest list brings together the great, the grand and the gifted as over 100 filmmakers, performers, »
- Paul Risker
"I need to trust everyone near me, Nick." Ohh this is looking good already. An early promo teaser trailer has debuted for Andrea Di Stefano's Paradise Lost, starring Benicio Del Toro as infamous drug lord Pablo Escobar of Colombia. The story involves a surfer, played by the wide-eyed Josh Hutcherson, visiting his brother in Colombia who discovers that his uncle is actually Escobar. Things get a bit tricky as he falls for a local Colombian girl. This looks like another slimy drug cartel movie that will make for edge-of-your-seat cinematic entertainment, but is there more to it? The teaser is only 30 seconds but gives us a solid first look. Here's the very first teaser trailer for Andrea Di Stefano's Paradise Lost, found via The Film Stage: Paradise Lost marks the feature directorial and writing debut of actor Andrea di Stefano (Nine, Eat Pray Love). Young surfer Nick (Josh Hutcherson »
- Alex Billington
Martina Stella’s debut screenplay is set to enter principal photography in early 2015.
Ambi Group, owned and run by Andrea Iervolino and Lady Monika Bacardi, has optioned the rights to psychological thriller O.O.B.I.
Actress Martina Stella’s debut screenplay revolves around a powerful drug that allows those who take it the ability to travel through time, transforming a scientific researcher’s life into a nightmare.
Iervolino and Lady Bacardi are targeting a first quarter 2015 start date for principal photography and will shoot in Canada and Italy.
“Monika and I are excited to be working with young Italian talent Martina Stella on her first screenplay, which we were instantly drawn to. Martina has crafted a unique and electrifying thriller that we cannot wait to bring life to on the big screen for moviegoers,” commented Iervolino.
Lady Bacardi added: “We are continuously searching for projects that are commercially appealing on a global level and viable from a »
- email@example.com (Ian Sandwell)
When Hollywood brings a Broadway show to the bigscreen, the first casualty is usually the stage actors. This dates back to 1964′s “My Fair Lady,” which passed Julie Andrews over for Audrey Hepburn (with Marni Nixon dubbing the singing). Idina Menzel recently revealed that she and Kristin Chenoweth were told they were too old for the upcoming “Wicked” movie. And sometimes, recasting is inevitable: By the time “Chicago” made it in front of cameras after a protracted development process, it was more than 25 years since the original Broadway production. Director Tom Hooper’s “Les Miserables” suffered a similar fate.
Which is why Clint Eastwood’s decision to keep the stage cast of “Jersey Boys” is an anomaly. John Lloyd Young, who won a Tony for originating on Broadway nine years ago, is back as Four Seasons crooner Franki Valli. »
- Ramin Setoodeh and Scott Foundas
There are a lot of blockbuster hopefuls coming out this summer, but perhaps none of them are more risky than Clint Eastwood’s song-and-dance musical Jersey Boys, a star-studded adaptation of the Broadway play of the same name. As Rob Marshall, whose ambitious musical Nine flopped at the box office, and Adam Shankman, whose Rock of Ages only faired slightly better and never recouped its budget, can attest, movie musicals are very tough to do.
Honestly, I don’t think that Eastwood’s Jersey Boys is going to fare much better than Nine or Rock of Ages at the box office, but hopefully it will at least do a solid job of communicating the fascinating story of popular ’60s musicians Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons.
Today, seven new clips for the film have hit the web, and you can watch them down below. The acting looks very solid all around, »
- Isaac Feldberg
It is the voice — lilting, lightly French-accented — that one notices first, even before fully registering the famous face. You notice it because, in the movies, Marion Cotillard so rarely sounds like herself, whether affecting Edith Piaf’s nasal warble in her Oscar-winning performance in “La Vie en Rose,” the Polish dialect of the 1920s Ellis Island emigre in director James Gray’s “The Immigrant,” or her Belgian regional accent as a downsized factory worker in Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne’s “Two Days, One Night,” which premieres this week in competition at the
67th Cannes Film Festival.
If voice is one of an actor’s most valuable instruments, Cotillard plays hers like a first-chair virtuoso. Early in the shooting of “The Immigrant” (which debuts in the U.S. May 16), Gray asked Polish actress Maja Wampuszyc, who plays Cotillard’s aunt in the film, to evaluate the French actress’s command of Wampuszyc’s native language. »
- Scott Foundas
Penélope Cruz is 40 today! The Spanish actress has made a name for herself in Hollywood with roles in films like Blow, Nine, and Vicky Cristina Barcelona, for which she won an Oscar in 2010. Of course, Penélope's most beloved roles at the moment are as a mother to Leo and Luna and wife to husband Javier Bardem. In honor of Penélope's big day, we've rounded up some of her hottest moments on the beach, the red carpet, and beyond. Scroll through to see them all now! Source: Bauer-Griffin Online, INFphoto.com, FameFlynet »
- Brittney Stephens
Almost entirely ignores the amazing aspect of this true story that makes it worth telling, and even the very good performances point us in another direction than the intended one. I’m “biast” (pro): like the cast; enjoy stories about WWII
I’m “biast” (con): nothing
I have not read the source material
(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)
The Railway Man starts out like a sweet little romance, when Colin Firth meets Nicole Kidman, somewhere near Edinburgh in 1980, on a train he’s only on because his encyclopedic knowledge of train schedules is allowing him to compensate for an unexpected delay in his travel plans. “I’m not a trainspotter,” he assures her — and us — not that most prototypical of British nerds; “I’m a railway enthusiast.” Later, he is able to contrive a second meeting with her because of his, yes, trainspotting superpower. »
- MaryAnn Johanson
Why are more and more Americans falling under the sudsy spell of South Korean dramas? One theory: These shows tend to come in self-contained 16- to 20-episode seasons, making them easily digestible. Another: If you don’t speak Korean, watching one demands your full attention (subtitles!), meaning you get sucked in that much more quickly.
And then there are the dramas themselves — endearingly theatrical and kooky, with a sweetness that can be tough to find in grittier American fare. “Their portrayal of love is a little more PG,” says Jacqueline Sia, senior content manager of massive international TV library DramaFever. »
- Hillary Busis
Amir here, to welcome you back to Team Top Ten, our monthly poll by all of the website’s contributors. For our first episode in 2014, we are looking at The Greatest Working Cinematographers in the (international) film industry. As long time readers of The Film Experience are surely aware, the visual language of cinema is something Nathaniel and the rest of us are very fond of discussing. Films and filmmakers that have a dash of style and understand cinema as a visual medium always get bonus points around these parts. We celebrate great works in cinematography on a weekly basis in Hit Me With Your Best Shot, but it was time to give the people behind the camera their due.
More than 50 cinematographers from all across the world received votes. If the final, somewhat American-centric, list doesn’t quite reflect that, chalk it up to the natural process of consensus voting. »
- Amir S.
(Cbr) Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige has overseen the wildly successful Marvel Cinematic Universe since its inception. Yet much like the comic books that inspire the films, Marvel Studios is looking to bring about some big status quo changes with their latest motion picture event, "Captain America: The Winter Soldier," debuting in stateside theaters today. Drawing heavily from Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting's 2005 "Winter Soldier" story in the "Captain America" comic book series, the film not only reintroduced Bucky (Sebastian Stan) as brainwashed assassin The Winter Soldier, it also, as previewed by the trailers, explores major trust issues between Captain America (Chris Evans) and S.H.I.E.L.D., the peacekeeping organization at the center of the McU. Cbr News spoke with Feige at last month's "Winter Soldier" press junket in Beverly Hills about what Marvel Studios was looking to say with this latest installment, the major role the film plays in setting up 2015's "Avengers: Age of Ultron, »
- Albert Ching, Comic Book Resources
When it comes to pioneers in cinematic choreography, I won.t sit here and lie about how well versed I am on the subject, but I.m familiar with the man who was arguably the most visually interesting of them all: Busy Berkeley. We may all get to know him a little bit better (or at least Hollywood.s version of him), as Warner Bros. is giving him the biopic treatment, and the aim is to make the flick a starring vehicle for Ryan Gosling. But that.s not all. The film will be adapted from Jeffrey Spivak.s 2010 biography Buzz: The Life and Art of Busby Berkeley, and Gosling will be producing alongside his Drive co-producer Marc Platt. Platt is no stranger to films that revolve around musical numbers, as he was one of the minds behind Rob Marshall.s Nine and is part of the development committee that »
Thor: The Dark World Blu-Ray Review
The second installment of the Thor saga has plenty of action, but misses the mark to a certain extent when it comes to the wide array of facets it hopes to infuse into the story. The dedication to, and belief in, the depth and breadth of the various arcs in the story are solidified in the bonus features of the home release, and while the exposition makes for elaborate and detailed featurettes, they probably serve as too clear a sign of what went wrong with the production.
Thor: The Dark World kicks off with a rather clunky piece of development that leaves Thor explaining the events of The Avengers, his time back on Earth, and subsequent lack of phone call to Jane. Of course, the film also needs a villain to come and destroy a good chunk of the map and/or threaten to do same, »
- Marc Eastman
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