1-20 of 29 items from 2014 « Prev | Next »
As Above/So Below opens today, and reviews (including mine and Uncle Creepy's) are mixed. Before rendering your own verdict, hear from director/co-writers John Erick Dowdle and Drew Dowdle about their experiences making the film.
Dread Central: When I walked into the screening of As Above/So Below, I was not prepared for a modern twist on an old fashioned archeologist vs. a curse adventure. Then there’s this Satanic element and sort of a body count/slasher vibe, too. How did you manage to put everything in there and still make it very linear?
John Erick Dowdle: You know, we just trusted our intuition. It just felt right to us, more than anything else. It was funny; this movie moved so quickly, which is a rare thing. We had to stay intuitive and maybe a little less intellectual. I think that really served this movie really well. »
- Staci Layne Wilson
[This is a review of The Legend of Korra season 3 finale. There will be Spoilers.]
How do you put something into words that literally takes your breath away? When you think of an “epic conclusion” to a celebrated franchise, one need look no further than The Legend of Korra two-part season 3 (Book 3: Change) finale.
‘Enter the Void’ and ‘Venom of the Red Lotus’ climbed the pedestals of the greatest episodes in Atla franchise history next to the earth-shattering four-part ‘Sozin’s Comet’ masterpiece, which aired over six years ago. If creators Michael Dante Dimartino and Bryan Konietzko were desperately trying to outdo their own brilliance, then they’ve ...
Click to continue reading ‘The Legend of Korra’ Season 3 Finale Review: Empty and Become Wind
- David Griffin
Book three's finale utterly restores Kaci's admiration for, and faith in, The Legend Of Korra. Here's her review...
This review contains spoilers.
3.12 Enter The Void; 3.13 Venom Of The Red Lotus
The season three finale of Legend Of Korra is easily my favorite finale this show has done so far. I had a problem with the finale of season one, you might remember — the last five minutes shoehorned in a happy ending. Korra and Lin got their bending back, Korra and Mako got together, and virtually every other sacrifice that had been made was "fixed." In short, it ignored the realities of violence and war. I bring that up because this finale proves to me that this show is at its best when it doesn't do that — one of the many reasons Korra is so amazing to me and a worthy successor to The Last Airbender is that it peels back the layers of oppression, »
The Universal Soldier films are a strange case of life imitating art. Much like how series protagonist Luc Deveraux is killed in action then resurrected into something post-human, Universal was a pretty standard 90s action film which crashed and burned when it came to sequels, but became something unique and beautiful when it was reanimated for the straight to DVD market.
It’s a hushed secret among genre fans, but Universal Solder 3 and 4 (or possibly 5 and 6, it’s complicated) are some of the most remarkable action sci-fi films of the 21st century so far. Yes, really. I actually watched the series backwards when I first saw them, after being blown away by Universal Solder Day Of Reckoning and deciding to work my way back, and Roland Emmerich’s perfectly acceptable 1992 blockbuster »
Like artful movie posters, opening title sequences have been largely cast aside by an increasingly stats-obsessed studio system that cares little for the long and storied cinematic tradition. Sure, there are a few that still practice and revere the art —hello David Fincher and Edgar Wright— but if a credit sequence is made at all, it’s bumped to the end, as is the case with most blockbusters. A short documentary, “The Film Before The Film,” has been making the rounds online and it serves as both an introduction to and a welcome reminder of the power of opening credits. At just under twelve minutes, the short by Nora Thös and Damian Pérez takes the viewer from Thomas Edison‘s utilitarian use of a text board in 1897 to show his company’s name and copyright note through to Saul Bass’ iconic work and finally ending with Gaspar Noe’s infamous »
- Cain Rodriguez
As a celebration of the unprecedented number of Canadian films that competed for the Palme d'Or at the 2014 Cannes International Film Festival, Moviefone Canada is highlighting each of these works.
When Nicholas Winding Refn's "Drive" hit theatres, it startled many moviegoers that had pegged Ryan Gosling as just another in a long line of pretty-boy actors -- sympathetic with clearly defined abs, but a performer who picked relatively safe projects to delve into.
For those paying a closer attention, it was his compelling turn in "Lars And The Real Girl," a tale of a man that falls in love with an anatomically accurate doll, that showed the slightly off-kilter direction that he was heading in.
His previous film with Refn, "Only God Forgives," bowed last Cannes and split the opinion of critics; some lauded it as a masterpiece, some saw it as an indulgent if pretty-to-look-at mess.
Critics were equally split with "Lost River, »
- Jason Gorber
The reviews that are trickling in from la Croisette of Ryan Gosling's directorial debut, "Lost River," are ... mixed, to say the least. But getting your first film booed at Cannes is a rite of passage. It's the cinematic equivalent of a bar or bat mitzvah, you know? So, mazel tov to Ryan Gosling, for now you are a man in the eyes of the film industry!
The official synopsis of "Lost River" sounds pretty bonkers, and is full of tantalizingly overwrought phrases like "the surreal dreamscape of a vanishing city" (read: Detroit) and "a macabre and dark fantasy underworld." There's even an underwater world thrown in for good measure. Plus, if you really want to nerd out about it, the director of photography is Benoît Debie, whose dizzying work can be seen in Gaspar Noé unforgettable movies "Irreversible" and "Enter the Void," and Harmony Korine's "Spring Breakers." We're already reaching for the Benadryl. »
- Jenni Miller
Cannes -- Ryan Gosling has made a concentrated effort to escape his origins in show business, and little wonder. His own personal artistic sensibilities seem to be miles away from the kiddie fare that he appeared in, or "The All-New Mickey Mouse Club." Little by little, as he's been able to pick and choose the roles he wants to play, he has pushed towards darker and moodier work, often collaborating with very strong, challenging filmmakers. Commercial appeal seems to be one of the last things on his mind, and even so, he's built up a dedicated fanbase. His first film as a writer and director, "Lost River," had its premiere this afternoon at the Cannes Film Festival as part of the Un Certain Regard section. There are a number of first time directors in the section this year, and in the years that I've been covering this festival, I've come »
- Drew McWeeny
Director Nicholas Stoller has steadily been rising in the ranks, having worked for many years under Judd Apatow on everything from “Undeclared” to a string of successful studio comedies, including “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” and 2012’s “The Five-Year Engagement.” (He was also involved with both of Disney’s recent Muppets movies.) But Stoller is about to break into the big leagues with this weekend’s gut-busting “Neighbors” (review here), a film that pits Seth Rogen’s new dad against Zac Efron’s rowdy frat leader in a war for suburban supremacy. We recently sat down with Stoller and chatted about the five biggest influences on his new film, most of which will be very surprising (especially for those that have already seen the film).When “Neighbors” premiered at South by Southwest, Stoller openly admitted that one of the biggest influences for the movie was “Enter the Void,” Gaspar Noe’s neon-lit »
- Drew Taylor
Wild Bunch has unveiled its packed slate of films that it will be shopping around Cannes, with new films in store from great European filmmakers like Nicolas Winding Refn ("Drive," "Only God Forgives"), Paul Verhoeven (the original "Robocop" & "Total Recall"), Gaspar Noe ("Irreversible," "Enter the Void"), Abdellatif Kechiche ("Blue is the Warmest Color") and Jean-Francois Richet ("Mesrine").
Refn and William Lustig are set to produce a remake of the 1980s cult classic "Maniac Cop" about the hunt for a New York serial killer. Ed Brubaker ("Captain America: The Winter Soldier") penned the script, while the director will be announced at Cannes.
Untitled Paul Verhoeven Project
Paul Verhoeven's next is an adaptation of French writer Philippe Djian's 2012 novel "Oh!". The story revolves around a psychological game of cat-and-mouse between a businesswoman and a stalker who raped her, a crime for which she is seeking revenge.
- Garth Franklin
If you're a serious film buff, you're a fan of Wild Bunch, the European financiers behind films like Enter The Void, Blue Is The Warmest Color, Holy Motors, Only God Forgives and a number of the most exciting, confrontational foreign films to reach American shores. They serve as backer for these and other arthouse sensations, while distributing some of the more exciting American pictures overseas. And at Cannes, Wild Bunch has prepared an incredibly exciting slate of diverse, unusual, and surprisingly commercial pitches. For example, are you ready for another Spring Breakers? Leading the Wild Bunch Cannes slate is Spring Breakers: The Second Coming according to Screen Daily. The project is seeking funding, and will follow the Spring Breakers as they battle "an extreme militant Christian sect that attempts to convert them." "It's not a direct sequel, although there are allusions to some of the characters in the original, »
Paris-based sales and production powerhouse Wild Bunch has unveiled a packed Cannes slate, featuring future films from Paul Verhoeven, Gaspar Noé and Abdellatif Kechiche as well as Spring Breakers 2 and the remake of Maniac Cop.
The untitled Paul Verhoeven project is an adaptation of French writer Philippe Djian’s 2012 novel Oh!, revolving around a psychological game of cat-and-mouse between a businesswoman and a stalker who raped her, a crime for which she is seeking revenge.
“Casting is being finalised. It’s a very intelligent script but it’s also pure Verhoeven, extremely erotic and perverted, so the actress has to be prepared to take that on,” said Wild Bunch co-chief Vincent Maraval.
Originally titled How to Catch a Monster, Ryan Gosling's directorial debut was just accepted into the Un Certain Regard selection at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival (see the lineup here) under the title Lost River and now we have our first look at two pictures from the upcoming fantasy, which Warner Bros. will release later this year. On top of directing, Gosling also wrote the screenplay, as for the actors, he's cast his Drive co-star Christina Hendricks in the lead role alongside his The Place Beyond the Pines co-stars Ben Mendelsohn and Eva Mendes and Saoirse Ronan, whom he would have starred with if he'd remained in Peter Jackson's The Lovely Bones. Described as a fantasy/thriller, the film centers on a single mother (Hendricks) who's swept into a dark underworld, while her teenage son discovers a road that leads him to a secret underwater town. These images alone »
- Brad Brevet
After the contentious likes of “Noah” and “God’s Not Dead,” Hollywood’s season of Christian-themed cinema continues in relatively innocuous fashion with “Heaven Is for Real,” a bland, earnest yet appreciably restrained adaptation of Midwestern minister Todd Burpo’s inspirational bestseller about his young son’s miraculous glimpse of eternity. Audiences not inclined to suspend their disbelief, let alone take a leap of faith, will have no use for the film’s corn-fed sincerity or its clean-scrubbed celestial visions. Still, it’s something of a relief to report that the movie isn’t quite the vomitous bucket of spiritual saccharine the ads would suggest, and those willing to engage may be pleasantly surprised by some of its understated virtues: a carefully open-minded appeal to skeptics, a wry sense of humor that wards off sententiousness at key moments, and a fine cast of name actors (led by Greg Kinnear) who »
- Justin Chang
My first real attempt at understanding the brilliance that was Stanley Kubrick came in my freshman year of college, when I wrote a research paper on 2001: A Space Odyssey for an English class. After all that work, I only received a B and found myself more confused than ever. But there it was – the spark that Stanley Kubrick’s work produces. Kubrick’s best films were experiences; it’s impossible to “half-watch” one of his many masterpieces. And that’s what the movies on this list do. They take you on an odyssey of visual wonder, psychological tremors, and expect you to do as much work as the people involved in the making of the films. Yet, in the end, Kubrick’s films didn’t feel like homework. They felt like vacations to a world where deep thought is a welcome respite.
20. The Thin Red Line (1998)
Directed by Terrence Malick
What makes it Kubrickian? »
- Joshua Gaul
"Lin Pictures and Warner Bros had seen our in house directed work on Lego® Star Wars® The Padawan Menace  which was the TV short that we worked on with Lucas Films and Lego; they were impressed by the level of detail in that episode and that coupled with our long standing relationship with Warner Bros. helped us land the project,” explains Animal Logic Head of Animation Rob Coleman as to how the Australian visual effects facility became involved with The Lego Movie (2014). “Animal Logic created an animated test that was screened to the Warner Bros. studio executives and that is what fundamentally led to the film being greenlit and awarded to Animal Logic.” The duo behind Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (2009), Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, »
Given the subarctic winter we've been experiencing in the Northeast this year, South by Southwest (SXSW), which takes place annually in balmy Austin, Texas, was something we were looking forward to even more than usual. Warm weather, spicy Mexican food, and the hottest movies imaginable all added to create a thoroughly thawing experience.
There wasn't a single Omg-you-have-to-see-this movie like there was last year, when "Short Term 12" made its debut, but the festival's lineup was quietly powerful, full of movies that were easy to miss, but at your own peril. There were a handful of loud, shout-y debuts, but some of those missed the mark completely, leaving room for the smaller movies to reach in and steal my heart.
So, a rundown of all of the movies we saw at SXSW -- some were odious, some were wonderful, but all of them we were very happy to watch... and »
- Drew Taylor
The difficulty in counting down films so clearly influenced by Kubrick is that there are certain directors who are just tailor-made for it. So, you start to run into situations like this section of the list, where two directors have two films and two other directors had a film mentioned in the last section. But that’s the way it goes. Much of Kubrick’s style isn’t reflected in the work of, say, Todd Phillips. Or Todd Haynes, for that matter.
30. Inception (2010)
Directed by Christopher Nolan
What makes it Kubrickian? As directors go, few rival the sense of complete control over his films like Christopher Nolan, famous for his obsessive attention to detail, much like Kubrick. With Inception, Nolan dialed up the control, creating multiple worlds set within dream landscapes, painting incredibly stunning shots and moments. Focusing on Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his team of dream surveyors, Inception is »
- Joshua Gaul
Austin — To premiere at SXSW, Universal’s “Neighbors” decided to forgo the end credits, a final mix, and the aspect ratio correction, but the sold-out crowd at the Paramount Theater didn’t seem to mind. The Seth Rogen-produced raunchy comedy starring Zac Efron, Rose Byrne, Dave Franco and an often-shirtless Rogen debuted to an audience content to heartily laugh.
While the weather outside was both frightful and wet, inside Rogen half joked that the only person out of the near dozen onstage that attended college was producer James Weaver, who also doubled as the sole member of a fraternity.
The film follows the Radnor family (Rogen and Byrne), who, after having their first child experience the unfortunate circumstance of having a fraternity move in next door (its president is played by Efron). In an attempt to both give their daughter a peaceful environment and yet prove to themselves that »
- Alexandra Cheney
I missed last week’s column, as you no doubt guessed. I’m proud to say that I have the most brutal of excuses; I had my teeth pulled. Two back molars, to be precise. I contend that there are few things as metal as a dental extraction. Unless you’re a big baby and you opt to get put under (more on that later), you’re totally aware for the whole thing. Needles jabbed into your gums? Check. Bone-deep hammer-blows ringing straight through your jaw and into your skull? Check? Uncontrolled loss of blood of the hot and fresh variety? Check. And the most unrelentingly intense part? Watching as they sew shut the gaping wound in your mouth. Nothing quite as surreal as watching that needle and thread go in your mouth, then out through your raw flesh, then in again a few more times. It’s like ‘Enter The Void »
- Chris Melkus
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