1-20 of 169 items from 2015 « Prev | Next »
I’m “biast” (con): nothing
I have not read the source material
(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)
The story of Philippe Petit’s daring high-wire walk between the twin towers of the World Trade Center in 1974 is not a new one to New Yorkers or to film lovers: it was the subject of 2008’s Oscar-winning best documentary feature, Man on Wire (see it if you haven’t already; it’s currently on Netflix and Amazon Prime in the U.S., though not in Canada or the U.K.). But we haven’t seen that story like this before. Robert Zemeckis has been a cinematic fantasist of the highest order, using magical FX to tell wondrous »
- MaryAnn Johanson
This year’s Oscar race for best visual effects is, as ever, loaded with summer blockbuster fare, prestige pics with eye-popping visuals and layered theatrical experiences that beg for a slowing of the inevitable march to a standard of home viewing. Coming out of the hot months, where a number of these contenders tend to plant their flag, it seems as good a place as any to begin our weekly dissection of the Academy’s 10 below-the-line categories.
At the top of the list would have to be Robert Zemeckis’ “The Walk,” which made waves last weekend after a New York Film Festival debut. Working with supervisor Kevin Baillie (“Flight”) and with effects house Atomic Fiction leading the charge, it could be a threat to win the prize at the end of the day. Even if the tone of the film’s first two acts didn’t work for a great many, »
- Kristopher Tapley
EpiPens will do no good against the massive stingers aimed at garden party guests in Stung. Scream Factory will release the creature feature horror comedy on Blu-ray and DVD on November 3rd, and we have a look at the film's cover art and list of bonus features.
Press Release: Created in the vein of the 1950s Giant Monster movies, Stung pits wasps against Wasps in a tale of contemporary “bee-movie” madness set at an upscale garden party. A delightfully gory creature feature, Stung will make its Blu-ray and DVD debut on November 3rd from Scream Factory, in partnership with IFC Midnight. Stung features a swarm of bonus content, including audio commentary with director Benni Diez, producer Benjamin Munz, and writer Adam Aresty; a Making of ‘Stung’featurette; production blogs; and more! Fans can pre-order their copies now by visiting ShoutFactory.com
In Stung, a fancy garden party goes terribly wrong »
- Derek Anderson
From the outset, David Fincher has honed a very distinctive visual style. Gritty and visceral, yet clean and precise, his back catalogue is very impressive. From Fight Club and Seven to The Social Network and Gone Girl, he has managed to make films that are both high quality and that people love. Yet they often also cost a lot of money and, due to the often uncompromising nature of his films, studios can be reluctant to give him exactly what he wants. The inevitable result is that differences become irreconcilable and projects collapse.
Below we look at some of the projects that have fallen by the wayside.
The story about fans of an obscure underground comic book who find themselves embroiled in a »
The sequel from 20th Century Fox to "The Maze Runner" earned an estimated $30.3 million, according to studio estimates Sunday. While that came in slightly below the debut of the 2014 young-adult dystopian sci-fi original, it counted as a win for a movie that cost $61 million to make.
Warner Bros.' "Black Mass," starring Johnny Depp as Boston gangster Whitey Bulger, premiered with $23.4 million. That's a strong sum for an R-rated adult drama, and it stabilizes a bad box-office run for Depp following "Mortdecai," ''Transcendence" and "The Lone Ranger."
In a medium-sized release, Universal's 3-D mountaineering thriller "Everest" opened with $7.6 million. »
- The Associated Press
From a blond-wigged, red-lipped transgender woman in “Before Night Falls” to the maniacal Mad Hatter in “Alice in Wonderland,” Johnny Depp’s on-screen looks have been as diverse as his film roles. The trend continues with his latest movie, “Black Mass,” in which his character of notorious Boston gangster Whitey Bulger marks yet another physical departure for the chameleonic actor (who actually voiced a chameleon in the animated pic “Rango”).
Here are the many faces of Johnny Depp:
Depp’s role as the titular character in his very first collaboration with director Tim Burton sparked his flurry of bizarre physical transformations. Hot off the heels of his hit TV series “21 Jump Street,” “Edward Scissorhands” proved that Depp was more than just a teen heartthrob. Aside from scissors for hands, the iconic character also has a scarred face as pale as snow and an unruly nest of jet »
- Maane Khatchatourian
Make-up designer Joel Harlow has worked with Johnny Depp on at least 10 films, creating such characters as the irreverent pirate Jack Sparrow in the Pirates Of The Caribbean franchise, as the young and aged Tonto in The Lone Ranger, and as the colorful Mad Hatter in Tim Burton’s Alice In Wonderland. But the transformation of Depp into mobster Whitey Bulger in Warner Bros.’ weekend opener Black Mass shows the excellence of Harlow’s craft that is sure to have audiences… »
'Maze Runner 2: The Scorch Trials' with Dylan O'Brien. 'Maze Runner 2' to beat Johnny Depp 'Black Mass' The 20th Century Fox release Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials, the sequel to the 2014 hit The Maze Runner, and Warner Bros.' Johnny Depp star vehicle Black Mass will be battling it out at the North American box office this coming weekend, Sept. 18-20, the last (astronomical) summer weekend of 2015. According to Variety, Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials will “likely” end up at the top of the U.S. and Canada box office chart. In fact, more than just “likely,” in case tracking is on target. Including Thursday evening shows, Maze Runner 2 is expected to collect somewhere around $35 million from 3,790 sites, while Black Mass should take in $22 million or so from 3,188 theaters. 'Maze Runner 2' vs. 'The Maze Runner' Maze Runner 2 will then open only about 10 percent ahead of the original, »
- Zac Gille
Both films are tracking well. Fox’s “Maze Runner” sequel will likely end up in first place, pulling in approximately $35 million across 3,790 locations, while Warner Bros.’ “Black Mass” is eyeing a debut of $22 million from roughly 3,188 venues.
That’s a strong start. If the “Maze Runner” follow-up hits those figures (and some outside analysts think it could climb higher), it represents an improvement on the first film’s $32.5 million opening. It also puts the film on pace to be profitable. “Maze Runner: The Scorch Trails” cost $61 million to produce and opened to $26.7 million overseas last weekend.
- Brent Lang
Sixty-one years ago today, this iconic image was born: Marilyn Monroe, laughing as the skirt of her white cocktail dress is blown up by the air from a subway vent. Monroe had her famous skirt moment on the set of “The Seven Year Itch” for a scene with Tom Ewell filmed on Sept. 15, 1954. Her husband, baseball player Joe Dimaggio, was reportedly infuriated by the scene, and the couple divorced shortly afterward. The iconic photo of the “flying skirt” moment was taken by Monroe's friend Sam Shaw. Other notable Sept. 15 happenings in pop culture history: • 1949: “The Lone Ranger” premiered on ABC. • 1956: Elvis Presley started a five-week run at No.1 on the U.S. charts with “Don't Be Cruel.” • 1961: A band from Hawthorne, Calif. called The Pendletones had their first recording session at Hite Morgan’s studio in Los Angeles. The band later changed their name to The Beach Boys. »
- Emily Rome
After Lionsgate's lucrative Hunger Games franchise ends this fall with The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2, actress Jennifer Lawrence may re-unite with director Francis Lawrence on a new project for 20th Century Fox, entitled Red Sparrow. Francis Lawrence became attached to direct earlier this summer, but now Deadline reports that Jennifer Lawrence is now being eyed to star. There was talk that Jennifer Lawrence was being eyed earlier this summer, when Francis Lawrence came aboard, but she might not be officially attached for some time.
Justin Haythe (Snitch, The Lone Ranger) has come aboard to rewrite the adapted script, which was originally written by Eric Warren Singer (American Hustle, The International). based on the novel by Jason Matthews. The story is set in modern-day Russia, following Dominika Egorova, a spy forced into becoming a "sparrow," who is trained to seduce rival agents. Her first assignment is a CIA operative tasked with handling Russian intelligence, »
There’s no denying that there was a massive crowd at the Black Mass premiere, where stars Johnny Depp, Joel Edgerton, Kevin Bacon, and Dakota Johnson rocked the red carpet at the Elgin theatre. Johnny Depp’s big comeback performance as Whitey Bulger is already receiving rave reviews, likely to put the actor back on track after misfires such as Mortdecai and The Lone Ranger. With an impressive ensemble cast and an intense true story about South Boston’s most violent criminal, Black Mass is one you’ll want to catch when it hits Cineplex theatres on Friday.
Speaking of impressive ensembles, another important screening occurred tonight. Rachel McAdams -- coming off a huge day after her Doctor Strange casting news -- Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, and Liev Schreiberattended the premiere of Spotlight at the Princess of Wales theatre. This is another true story, also taking place in Boston, about »
- Adriana Floridia
After a decade or so of playing to the cheap seats with big, broad, increasingly unbearable comic performances in the Jack Sparrow mold, and perhaps more crucially, in films like “Dark Shadows,” “The Lone Ranger” and “Mortdecai” that died with audiences, it seems like Johnny Depp is back. The actor stars in Scott Cooper’s “Black Mass,” a crime drama in which Depp, under heavy-make up, plays Boston mobster Whitey Bulger, and with the film currently making the festival rounds at Venice, Telluride and Tiff ahead of its release next week, even the more mixed reviews, like our own, suggest that Depp is firmly on the comeback trail, and a good bet for a Best Actor Oscar nod. The film goes on release next week, and as such, Warner Bros are ramping up their marketing efforts, with eight clips from the film (plus ten minutes of B-roll footage) just landing. »
- Oliver Lyttelton
Jake Gyllenhaal is on a mission to stretch himself and his CV as wide as possible. This has been happening thanks to the likes of Zodiac, Source Code, and End Of Watch, but it was with Nightcrawler, which he followed up with Southpaw, Everest, and the forthcoming Demolition, that people stood up and took notice. And it turns out that his next project, Nocturnal Animals, is just as enticingly bizarre and different as you hoped. Plus it has a sterling cast. According to Variety, the people behind Nocturnal Animals are currently in talks with Isla Fisher (Hot Rod) to join the already stunning ensemble. Alongside Fisher and Gyllenhaal (Brokeback Mountain), the cast also features Michael Shannon (Man Of Steel), Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Nowhere Boy), Armie Hammer (The Lone Ranger), and Amy Adams (The Master). If that doesn’t get you excited for Nocturnal Animals, then the fact »
Venice — A decade ago, Johnny Depp appeared to be fast closing in on his first best actor Oscar. After having acquired a reputation through the 1990s as one of Hollywood’s most singularly creative leading men — giving award-caliber performances in the likes of “Ed Wood” and “Donnie Brasco” — his first nomination was a belated one. He was 40 in 2003: It was a testament to how much respect Depp had earned during his formative years that the Academy finally welcomed him to the club for his flamboyant gonzo turn in “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl.” It was, needless to say, the polar opposite of an Oscar-chasing vehicle. You don’t get nominated for a jokey Disney summer blockbusters unless your peers really, really like you.
He lost to Sean Penn, of course, but it was a close-run thing; Depp had pulled off an upset win at the Screen Actors Guild awards, »
- Guy Lodge
Steven Spielberg believes comic-book films are doomed, at least until they rise once again from the ashes. “Right now the superhero movie is alive and thriving,” he told the Associated Press this week. “We were around when the western died and there will be a time when the superhero movie goes the way of the western. It doesn’t mean there won’t be another occasion where the western comes back and the superhero movie some day returns. I’m only saying that these cycles have a finite time in popular culture. There will come a day when the mythological stories are supplanted by some other genre that possibly some young film-maker is just thinking about discovering for all of us. »
- Ben Child
Doctor Strange: Veteran actor Mads Mikkelsen (TV's Hannibal) is in early talks to play an unspecified role in Marvel's Doctor Strange. Benedict Cumbarbatch is set to star as the good doctor, Earth's protector against "magical and mystical threats," while Tilda Swinton will play the doctor's mentor and Chiwetel Ejiofor will portray the doctor's chief nemesis; Mikkelsen would reportedly play a villainous character. Production is expected to get underway later this year, with the movie aiming for release on November 4, 2016. [Variety] The Titan: Sam Worthington (Wrarth of the Titans) and Ruth Wilson (The Lone Ranger) will star in The Titan, a love story set in the "not too distant" future. The film will revolve around a military...
- Peter Martin
It's been announced that Sam Worthington and The Affair and The Lone Ranger actress Ruth Wilson are set to star alongside Sofia Boutella (Kingsman: The Secret Service) in an "elevated sci-fi" flick called The Titan. Lennart Ruff will make his feature film directorial debut with the movie, with Motion Picture Capital, Grace Of Monaco screenwriter Arash Amel, Brian Kavanaugh-Jones of... Read More »
- Jesse Giroux
Warner Bros. Pictures
The big release of the past week (at least internationally) was Guy Ritchie’s The Man From U.N.C.L.E. Normally I’d do the usual highly opinionated review, but seeing as we had one of those last week, I thought instead I’d focus in a bit more depth on the film’s defining problem.
Overall I wasn’t a massive fan of the movie. Ritchie’s action was incomprehensibly constructed and often relegated to the background, the repeated “but you missed this bit” twists quickly went from cute to aggravating and any moments of flair (the truck scene was pretty cool) were undercut by a pervading obviousness. But these are all just symptoms of a more all-encompassing problem.
As you’ll be at least acutely aware, The Man From U.N.C.L.E was originally a TV series made in the sixties. Now there’s an »
- Alex Leadbeater
'The Man from U.N.C.L.E.' 2015: Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer. 'The Man from U.N.C.L.E.' movie is a domestic box office bomb: Will it be saved by international filmgoers? Directed by Sherlock Holmes' Guy Ritchie and toplining Man of Steel star Henry Cavill and The Lone Ranger costar Armie Hammer, the Warner Bros. release The Man from U.N.C.L.E. has been a domestic box office disaster, performing about 25 percent below – already quite modest – expectations. (See also: “'The Man from U.N.C.L.E.' Movie: Bigger Box Office Flop Than Expected.”) This past weekend, the $80 million-budget The Man from U.N.C.L.E. collected a meager $13.42 million from 3,638 North American theaters, averaging $3,689 per site. After five days out, the big-screen reboot of the popular 1960s television series starring Robert Vaughn and David McCallum has taken in a mere $16.77 million. For comparison's sake: »
- Zac Gille
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