8 items from 2017
What a difference a blockbuster makes.
“Wonder Woman,” the comic-book global juggernaut about the do-gooding warrior princess, has lifted spirits around the Warner Bros. lot and reenergized the struggling DC Comics cinematic universe, which many critics and fanboys had written off. “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” and “Suicide Squad” may have grossed a combined $1.6 billion globally, but the consensus was they were dark, dour and creatively inert. “Wonder Woman,” with its message of female empowerment, has been a panacea, earning some of the year’s best reviews and inspiring a wave of internet memes.
“It’s a huge turnaround for [DC],” says Jeff Bock, an analyst with Exhibitor Relations. “There’s been so much hate spewed at them that people were wondering if they had it in them to make a film that people actually liked.”
The success of “Wonder Woman” comes as the movie studio is in the first »
- Brent Lang
MaryAnn’s quick take… Derivative, rote, devoid of heart and hope. Guy Ritchie has found no reason to retell Arthur’s story, or to render a mythic hero as a self-serving thug. I’m “biast” (pro): big fantasy fan
I’m “biast” (con): nothing
what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)
There are no heroes anymore. There are self-centered bastards who accidentally stumble into heroics. There are sociopaths who abuse women and are lauded for it. There are criminals who receive official sanction for their antisocial behavior. And we’re meant to cheer for them all. But true heroes in the more traditional meaning of the word? Difficult to find onscreen at the moment.
There are no heroes anymore, just criminals and sociopaths we’re meant to cheer.
- MaryAnn Johanson
Chicago – Have you ever had such a bad case of déjà vu while watching a film that trying to remember where the familiar elements are from turns into a more enjoyable experience than actually seeing the film itself? If you haven’t, your quest for that kind of film is fulfilled by the incredibly forgettable “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword.”
Is it a long lost relation of the “Lord of the Rings” franchise? Yes, but probably a third cousin judging by the familiar, yet inferior approach. Does it cinematically play out like a typical, fantasy-based video game? You could probably give the audience each a video game controller and they would know what to do with it since more than a few of the climactic sequences have the same execution as a boss-level video game battle. Is the movie actually popular “Lord of the Rings”-based video game »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
From big blockbusters to smaller-budget films and hit TV series, Ian McShane has done it all throughout his six-decade career in film, television and theater. During a recent interview with Vulture, the “American Gods” actor explained what is like to make a blockbuster.
“Oh God. God. It’s a just a … You can’t … You have to be patient, but they go on forever, you know, just go on forever. Johnny [Depp]’s a great guy, I love Johnny, he’s a great guy, but at one point when you’re shooting those [‘Pirates Of The Caribbean’ movies], you go [rolls eyes],” the English actor said.
He continued, “I remember I was doing a movie with Ava Gardner, at Pinewood, back in 1969, called ‘Tam-Lin,’ directed by Roddy McDowall, and at the same time, Billy Wilder was shooting his ‘Sherlock Holmes’ movie there. He’d been there about 20 weeks. »
- Yoselin Acevedo
Internationally Acclaimed The Constitution Opens South East European Film Festival April 27 at the Writers Guild in Beverly Hills
Largest-Ever Selection with 56 Films from and about South East Europe
The eight-day SEEfest 2017 runs April 27 — May 4, and includes 12 features, 8 documentaries, 1 special out-of-competition screening, and 36 shorts films (short features, short docs, and animation shorts). Festival audience comprises filmmakers and international art house aficionados, industry professionals and cultural dignitaries from Los Angeles and South East Europe. Screenings are held at the Writers Guild Theater and Laemmle Music Hall in Beverly Hills, the Goethe-Institut in Miracle Mile area and West Hollywood Council Chambers @ Library campus.
The 12th annual South East European Film Festival (SEEfest) has selected Montreal’s Grand Prix of Americas and Santa Barbara’s Best International Feature Film Winner, “The Constitution” by Croatian director Rajko Grlić to open 2017 Festival with a gala event on Thursday, April 27, at 7:00 pm at the Writers Guild Theater theater in Beverly Hills. »
- Sydney Levine
Michael Crichton was quite the prolific writer before his death nearly a decade ago in 2008. His influence on Hollywood looms large, authoring the novels Jurassic Park and The Lost World, upon which the Steven Spielberg built a franchise, in addition to writing and directing the original 1973 film Westworld, which laid the groundwork for the hit HBO show of the same name. The man has a reputation for putting humans in perilous situations with non-human entities, and his final novel Mirco is no different.
Mirco is another thriller, focusing on a team of graduate students who are lured to Hawaii to work for a mysterious biotech company. That is, until they are miniaturized and released into the rain forest with nothing but their scientific know-how and wits to survive. Hmmm... humans go to a tropical locale and have to face giant monsters? And it is all intended to build a new franchise? »
- Nick Doll
Amblin’s predecessor DreamWorks acquired the film rights in 2015 to “Micro” with Frank Marshall attached to produce. The story follows a group of graduate students lured to Hawaii to work for a mysterious biotech company, only to find themselves miniaturized and cast out into the rainforest with nothing but their scientific expertise and wits to protect them.
“Micro” was unfinished when Crichton died in 2008, then was completed by author Richard Preston and published by HarperCollins in 2011. Crichton had teamed with Steven Spielberg for mega-hit “Jurassic Park” in 1993, a year before Spielberg co-founded DreamWorks Skg »
- Dave McNary
Ryan Lambie Mar 7, 2017
Alex Garcia knows a thing or two about giant monsters. He was the executive producer on Bryan Singer's 2013 fantasy Jack The Giant Slayer and 2014's Godzilla, and now he's the producer of this year's Kong: Skull Island. The movie not only represents the giant ape's return to cinema screens for the first time since 2005's King Kong remake, directed by Peter Jackson, but also the next step in a larger series of giant monster flicks from Legendary Entertainment.
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8 items from 2017
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