1-20 of 39 items from 2015 « Prev | Next »
There was a brief stir in January when composer Harry Gregson-Williams publicly expressed, via Facebook, his surprise at hearing music he didn’t recognize at the premiere of Michael Mann’s thriller “Blackhat” — and at not hearing a lot of score he did write.
The composer says his Facebook post has been blown out of proportion, but admits it was disappointing to see music he toiled over dropped (or replaced) in the final cut. But, he stresses, that’s just part of the game.
“You win some, you lose some,” he says, relaying his early mentor Hans Zimmer’s comment that you haven’t made it as a film composer until you’ve had a score rejected.
Gregson-Williams is simply the latest in a long line of composers who’ve watched scores tossed out and replaced whole-cloth, partially substituted by pre-existing tracks, or mangled beyond recognition. Mann is notorious for »
- Tim Greiving
In this September’s Black Mass, Johnny Depp returns to the life of crime as Whitey Bulger, a character light-years away from Mortdecai’s moustache-twirling eponymous art dealer, or the wacky world of his frequent collaborator Tim Burton.
Bulger is perhaps best known to film audiences as the real-life inspiration behind Jack Nicholson’s Boston mob kingpin in Martin Scorsese’s The Departed. If Jack’s Frank Costello is only the carbon copy of Bulger, then we should be in for a hell of a ride with Black Mass and the real deal.
“He could be charming. He could be ruthless. He was like a cobra—you never knew where he could strike,” says director Scott Cooper of Bulger, a regular on the FBI’s ten most wanted fugitives list.
Bulger isn’t the first notorious crime lord brought to the big screen by Depp. He portrayed the infamous drug trafficker George Jung in Blow, »
- Sasha James
Anzac Girls. Georgia Flood is nominated for best actress in a miniseries and Love Child.s Jonathan Lapaglia and Secrets & Lies. Anthony Hayes are vying for best actor in the drama and miniseries categories.
The Monte Carlo TV Festival and Golden Nymph Awards were founded in 1961 by Prince Rainier III of Monaco to "encourage a new art form, in the service of peace and understanding between the people."
- Don Groves
Last month brought news that British television actor Sam Strike had landed the title role in Leatherface, the origin story of the chainsaw wielding killer from the Texas Chanisaw Massacre horror franchise. And now Deadline brings word that Public Enemies and Somewhere star Stephen Dorff will be taking another lead role in the film, and thankfully, details on his character give us an idea of what we can expect from the story. In the film the young man who will become Leatherface escapes from a mental hospital with three other patients, taking a nurse from the hospital with them as a hostage for a deadly road trip. Read on! In pursuit of the escaped patients will be Dorff as a deranged lawman who is out for some kind of revenge. Seems like there's a lot of unhinged characters here that should make for quite a wild prequel. Where is Leatherface going? »
- Ethan Anderton
In tax accounting there is a concept called the "Robin Hood effect", which describes both the tax bracket setup that requires income above certain levels be taxed at higher rates and also the reduction of deductible items once a taxpayer exceeds a certain adjusted gross income threshold. None of you care about that, I'm sure, but aside from watching Robin Hood: Men in Tights about a dozen times in the span of a week when I was in middle school, it's the only thing that came to mind when I saw the following news from Deadline, announcing a new version of the Robin Hood tale has landed at Leonardo DiCaprio's production house Appian Way, this one a "gritty version of the rogue do-gooder" entitled Robin Hood: Origins, because what the hell else would it bec Joby Harold, who wrote the Knights of the Roundtable: King Arthur script for director Guy Ritchie, »
- Jordan Benesh
Directed by Michael Mann.
A furloughed convict and his American and Chinese partners hunt a high-level cyber crime network from Chicago to Los Angeles to Hong Kong to Jakarta.
There’s a clash at the heart of Michael Mann’s Blackhat and I for one don’t like having to come to terms with the fact that this, his eleventh major release, is by far his weakest effort to date – 1983’s The Keep notwithstanding. That clash is style and substance, narrative and mood, character and action, and never has the director come so close to tipping the balance out of his favour.
This is the first movie Mann has directed based on someone else’s script and the rift this causes is evident throughout. The story and screenplay from first time writer Morgan Davis Foehl »
- Gary Collinson
This mysteriously misbegotten flick should be a gritty 10-hour miniseries so it would have time to explore its ideas and potentially fascinating characters. I’m “biast” (pro): love Michael Mann and Chris Hemsworth
I’m “biast” (con): nothing
(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)
I usually love Michael Mann’s movies. They tend to feel like they were made by a grownup for a grownup audience: they’re usually pretty nuanced about people’s motives, for instance — there’s little room for black-and-white in Mann’s films — and they don’t trade in the usual Hollywood clichés about anything, even when they fall solidly into a particular genre. They tend to look like no one else’s movies in a way that I have yet to be able to pinpoint how, except that they are smooth and cool without fetishizing the visuals or being self-consciously showy. »
- MaryAnn Johanson
The problem with being Michael Mann is that everything you do is going to be compared to everything you've already done, and when your back catalogue includes Heat, Public Enemies, Manhunter and The Insider, you find yourself with pretty big shoes to fill with each new feature. So it goes with Blackhat, a cyber-crime thriller that has more in common with vintage Mann than first glance would have you believe. Chris Hemsworth plays Nick Hathaway, an impossibly chiseled computer hacker, serving a lengthy sentence for a caper gone wrong. After a cyber attack on a Nuclear power plant and a high profile theft from an online market, his help is enlisted by Chinese and Us agents Chen Dawai and Carol Barrett (Wang Leehom and Viola Davis respectively) to trace the source of the attacks and earn himself a reprieve from his prison sentence. Laden with tech heavy dialogue and far »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Dave Higgins)
Michael Mann's protagonists are frequently men whose drive and focus on their work overshadows all aspects of their lives.
Nick Hathaway, the lead character in his new thriller Blackhat, is no exception. A hacker played by Chris Hemsworth, Hathaway must push himself to the limit to uncover the identity of a dangerous cyber-criminal in exchange for his freedom.
Mann also discussed shooting on digital vs film (and how he nearly used celluloid for Public Enemies) and telling long-form stories on television.
Blackhat opens in UK cinemas on February 20 and is showing in the Us now. »
About an hour into my viewing of Blackhat I was struggling to remain conscious from boredom. About an hour later I was glued to my seat, my eyes and ears on full alert for whatever the film was going to throw at me next. So you’ll understand when I say I have considerably mixed feelings about crime maestro Michael Mann’s latest film. It’s his first since 2009′s Public Enemies, a film the subject of which (John Dillinger’s battle against the authorities in the 1920s) I was intrigued by but was severely ill-served by its amateurish and distracting digital handicam cinematography.
- Mark Allen
Elliot Goldenthal will receive the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers’ Founders Award at the performing rights organization’s 30th annual Film & Television Music Awards, taking place March 9 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills. The honor is reserved for songwriters and composers “who have made pioneering contributions to music by inspiring and influencing their fellow music creators,” according to Ascap.
Goldenthal, who has composed for the stage, screen and opera house, won an Oscar for his score to “Frida,” directed by frequent collaborator Julie Taymor. His other scores include Taymor’s “The Tempest,” “Across the Universe” and “Titus”; Michael Mann’s “Public Enemies” and “Heat”; and Gus Van Sant’s “Drugstore Cowboy.”
“Elliot’s staggering body of »
- Steve Chagollan
From the Berlin International Film Festival, Adam Cook and Daniel Kasman continue our series of festival dialogues. Terrence Malick's Knight of Cups had its world premiere in the Berlinale's Competition.
Daniel Kasman: I must admit it's a bit difficult to begin speaking of this overwhelming film so immediately after seeing it, and especially in the atmosphere here in Berlin of almost immediate derision. I remember the boos that instantly followed the final shot of The Tree of Life's in Cannes and here I'd swear I felt that negative energy going into the giant Berlinale Palast, the anticipation of yet more Malick. Whatever that means. Few still describe well his method as a filmmaker, and whatever you may think of his last film, To the Wonder, it certainly revealed more about how Terrence Malick, a very unique filmmaker, thinks about cinema as a language, and how his cinema "works"—moves, »
It has been about six months since my last entry in this supposedly regular column. There are various excuses I could make as to why, but rather than dwell on the past, I'd like to usher this "Long Voyage Home" onward into the future, in the trailblazing spirit of Michael Mann. I couldn't avoid writing on Blackhat, a film that I found as viscerally and formally thrilling as anything I've seen at the cinema in recent memory (and that includes Jean-Luc Godard's Adieu au langage). I've seen it three times and plan to see it at least once more on the big screen before its (likely brief, considering its box office numbers) run ends. It has taken me multiple viewings to get closer to understanding all of Blackhat's moving parts, a journey in itself that I eagerly plan to continue.
A textbook auteur case study, Michael Mann’s »
- Adam Cook
Like any human, I saw the posters for "Mortdecai," rose from my seat, and sprinted into a wall. What was this damn thing? Johnny Depp and cronies Gwyneth Paltrow, Ewan McGregor, and Olivia Munn wore silly mustaches and expected to seem, I guess, irreverent and wacky. Instead they looked like they were starring in a movie adapted from a Pringles can, and the world frowned. "Mortdecai" also underlined the fact that Johnny Depp's presence as a Hollywood titan has been transformed and warped in the past decade. He got a taste of that Jack Sparrow hokum dollar and never looked back. Or if he did look back, he did it with a woozy Keith Richards glance that makes everyone with brain cells roll their eyes. Let's make Johnny Depp cool again. Here are six ways he could regain some of the "it" factor that kept him seeming bad-ass for »
- Louis Virtel
Exclusive: Shawn Hatosy, who’s set to do a guest arc on Amazon’s February debut series Bosch, has signed with Mgmt Entertainment (née The Schiff Company) for management. The Faculty and Outside Providence thesp earned a Critics’ Choice nomination for his turn on the NBC/TNT police drama Southland and most recently co-starred as a deliciously complex dirty cop on CBS’ short-lived legal drama Reckless. Onstage he earned raves last summer for his turn in Neil Labute’s Reasons To Be Pretty at the Geffen Playhouse. Hatosy’s credits over two decades of screen acting include Nick Cassavetes’ John Q and Alpha Dog, Wayne Wang’s Anywhere But Here, In & Out, The Cooler, Public Enemies and Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans. He continues to be repped by Paradigm.
- Jen Yamato
Johnny Depp‘s latest movie, Mortdecai, is hitting theaters this weekend, and by all accounts it’s horrifically unenjoyable. Which you probably could have guessed. The trailer, the goggly-eyed posters and, hell, even the title with its superfluous T all pointed to self-parody without self-awareness. It shows Depp at his most rubbery, trying so damned hard to make a mustache wink that you could almost see him panting. That’s our consistent vision of the actor now, at least. A caricature who loves putting on funny hats or facial hair and acting absurd despite the silence coming from the crowd. In a way, that persona feels new, with every thinkpiece written about him tilting reverently toward a time in recent history when he wasn’t so desperate and cartoonish. When we loved him. When he was great. So I started wondering how long that’s actually been going on, which led me to question what his last »
- Scott Beggs
6th Update, Tuesday, 3 Pm: Rentrak Theatrical filed the weekend’s actuals with Warner Bros.’ American Sniper counting a four-week cume through yesterday of $110.4M. Talk about the spoils of war: American Sniper propelled the 2015 box office, in its first 19 days, 3.6% percent over the same frame last year with $667M. It stands to reason that this would be the highest-grossing four-day Mlk weekend of all-time with $248.5M after American Sniper broke a slew of records, read Eastwood’s career-high bow, best three-day opening ever during January and February. Previous Mlk record was 2009 with $231.5M when Sony comedy Paul Blart: Mall Cop zoomed up a four-day bow of $39.2M. American Sniper had the biggest theater average of the four-day weekend with $30,100, followed by Sony Classic’s Still Alice, which chalked up $20,685 PTA or $248K in 12 venues.
The consensus is that American Sniper is going to hold for another two weekends. Wide releases »
- Anthony D'Alessandro
“Look at where you are.”
Michael Mann’s new film, Blackhat, is a paradox of magnitudes and proximities. The scale is global, as announced in the opening shots that rhyme with the Universal logo just prior and, thanks to the dissolves down to Earth, Charles and Ray Eames' 1977 Powers of Ten. Once on ground, in a nuclear reactor’s control room, the powers of cinema take us yet deeper, smaller, to see how fast data travels across minuscule relays inside a screen, a computer, a network. And this data, or code, is made visible as points of light—dots arrayed and racing in tandem with the image (itself a fiction of code, or data) of this new vast universe—given weight through the thunder and crackle of sound design—a truly cinematic sequence of movement/animation no text can replicate.
This opening serves to illustrate the mechanisms »
- Ryland Walker Knight
Released this past Friday, Michael Mann’s Blackhat has already proven a colossal flop, which is a shame: following up on Collateral, Miami Vice and Public Enemies, it’s another never-less-than-visually-intriguing investigation of the kinds of truly new images digital cameras can produce in the guise of a cyber-hacking thriller. Go check it out while you still can. Beforehand, you may want to prep with this above-average supercut credited to one “balistik94,” which ties together Mann’s filmography in a number of different ways: dialogue that persists from one film to another (“Time is luck” as recited by both Gong Li in Miami […] »
- Vadim Rizov
Beverly Hills — When sitting down for a "Blackhat" chat with director Michael Mann a few weeks ago, I had to ask him about the transition to digital filmmaking as an industry standard. Having already queried a number of our top cinematographers on the matter and written a piece about "Collateral's" legacy in that regard, and given the techno-drive of a movie like "Blackhat," it felt like territory worth digging into. And Mann digs in with intellectual ferocity, like anything else. "When I first shot some stuff digitally it was in 'Ali,'" he says. "We went on the roof of a building in Chicago, we had a couple of cameras and I took a flashlight, bounced it off a card and that was all the lighting. It was very little lighting. And it felt that what I saw was there was a truthfulness to the graphic that just blew me away. »
- Kristopher Tapley
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