5 items from 2016
I don't usually let the accolades in the trailer sway me because anyone can say anything about anything. For instance, the worst movie ever made -- Going the Distance with Justin Long and Drew Barrymore - could have had a trailer quoting some unknown critic saying, "A cinematic wonder! Incredible! But keep in mind, I've time travelled from the far past and have never seen a movie before!" So yeah, there were a lot of captions telling me I'm going to like Under the Shadow. Those captions don't sway me, those critics could all be leprechauns, just making stuff up about rainbows and foreign movies. But it's not every day I come across a ghost story set in 1988 Iraq during the Iran-Iraq war. So I did some Internet researching (a.k.a. Googling) and everything I read reinforced my interest. It's the debut of Iranian-born filmmaker Babak Anvari. He grew »
- Jon Davis
Clip It: Each day, Jon Davis looks at the world of trailers, featurettes and clips and puts it all in perspective. In the new trailer, the battle droid K-2So (and new fan favorite?) warns Jyn Erso and her Rogue One crew that there's a "97.66% chance of failure." That's pretty bad. In fact, it's terrible. This means they won't get the plans, they are all going to die, and the whole thing is going to be a tragedy. That's a rough movie going experience (although not as rough as Going the Distance with Drew Barrymore, trust me on this). It's true that droids are not always the best at making calculations. In Empire Strikes Back, C-3P0 famously told Han Solo the "chance of successfully navigating an asteroid field was 3720 to 1." We know that Han Solo defies the odds, that's why you never give him the odds. But are droids usually wrong? »
- Jon Davis
A few years back, as part of their excellent, ongoing documentary series "30 For 30," Espn unveiled "The Price of Gold," a look at the scandal that made headlines around the world when in 1994, when figure skater Nancy Kerrigan was attacked and injured by her rival Tonya Harding. It was a story that had it all — sports, jealousy, high stakes intrigue — but as the documentary by Nanette Burnstein ("Going The Distance," "American Teen") revealed, there was even more going on beneath the surface. Now, the tale will be dramatized in "I, Tonya" with a rather interesting choice for the lead. Deadline reports that Margot Robbie will take the role of Tonya Harding in the picture. Screenwriter Steve Rogers interviewed Harding and her husband Jeff Gillooly as he put together his script, getting the perspective of an athlete who was well outside the wealthy world that Olympians are often part of. However, Harding was also. »
- Kevin Jagernauth
As we began talking about editorial content we could publish to celebrate the release of Hail, Caesar!, the latest film from Joel and Ethan Coen, we realized that none of us had the same top five lists, and that it seems unusual for that to be the case. The Coens have had such a rich and varied career that it is impossible to pin them down to one style or one theme or one type of storytelling. Some people love their comedies. Some people love it when they get dark. Some people love the underdogs, the least-liked of their films. But what's clear is that every film they've made has its fans, and even their worst films are beloved by someone. There are few artists like the Coen Brothers, and we were delighted to get lists from each of our special guest contributors this time. The diversity of the replies »
- HitFix Staff
John Williams’ themes from “Star Wars” and “Jurassic Park.” Bill Conti’s “Rocky” fanfare. Vince Guaraldi’s music for TV’s “Charlie Brown” cartoons. The John Barry arrangement of Monty Norman’s “James Bond Theme.” Lalo Schifrin’s “Mission: Impossible.”
These are iconic film and TV themes, and viewers of today’s sequels, spinoffs and franchises might well feel cheated if they didn’t hear the music that is so indelibly associated with these franchises. But where to use them? And how to adapt them into a larger, original score?
That was the challenge faced by several composers this past year, only one of whom was actually working with his own themes: the venerable John Williams, who has been composing for more than half a century and whose original “Star Wars” music was written 38 years ago.
- Jon Burlingame
5 items from 2016
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