16 items from 2015
Comments Emily Blunt as a whip smart, can-do badass? Yeah, that’ll pretty much never get old, so keep it coming. The trailer for her latest actioner “Sicario,” a term which means “hitman” in Mexico, is here, and it looks like we’re in for more of the Blunt ballistics we’ve become accustomed to lately. Except … this is going to be an even drearier scenario than the futuristic sci-fi set-ups we’ve seen her in before (see also, “The Adjustment Bureau,” “Looper,” and “Edge of Tomorrow”). This is chaos of the here and now variety. In the gritty crime drama, Blunt stars as an FBI agent who’s been tapped to help regulate the dangerous border between the United States and Mexico as the War on Drugs intensifies. And while any patrol assignment in the area would be hazardous enough to a person’s health, she goes and joins »
We are used to seeing Emily Blunt as the dancing beauty on the lip-synch contest, or the impossibly charming actress working the late-night TV circuit. Yes, she has risked in challenging movies like The Adjustment Bureau or Edge of Tomorrow opposite Tom Cruise, but even then, she wasn’t half as badass as she looks in the first official trailer for Denis Villeneuve’s harrowing cartel drama, Sicario. Check it out: As the trailer educates us, "Sicario" means "hitman" in Mexico, and Emily Blunt plays one of a trio of law-enforcement agents who cross the border on a shadowy and mysterious assignment to track the head of a brutal syndicate, hoping to eliminate his growing threat. At the onset of the trailer, Blunt’s character looks like a stranger in a strange land, a fish out of water who is going to have »
At a time when the six major studios continue to focus most of their attention on blockbusters, Im Global’s production and financing unit is gearing up to fill the gap for mid-budget films.
Stuart Ford’s 8-year-old banner is now producing and financing five to seven films annually, ranging from micro-budgeted, specialty genre to commercial features. The current slate includes the recently completed “The Secret in Their Eyes,” starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, Nicole Kidman and Julia Roberts, and two projects in mid-production: “The Free State of Jones,” directed by Gary Ross and starring Matthew McConaughey and Keri Russell, plus “Silence,” from Martin Scorsese and starring Andrew Garfield and Liam Neeson.
“When I came on in the fall of 2013, Stuart and I talked »
- Dave McNary
Shout! Factory has acquired the giallo thriller, The Editor, for U.S. distribution, the El Rey Network is hosting a RoboCop marathon this weekend, and submissions are now open for The Philip K. Dick Science Fiction Film Festival.
The Editor: Press Release -- "Los Angeles, Calif. (May 1, 2015) – Shout! Factory, a leading multi-platform entertainment company, and Kennedy/Brooks, Inc. have entered a picture deal to distribute The Editor in the U.S. Directed and produced by Adam Brooks and Matthew Kennedy, this stylish, giallo-inspired horror comedy premiered with critical praise at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival and is scheduled to play at the San Francisco International Film Festival on May 1. The announcement was made today by Shout! Factory’s founders Richard Foos, Bob Emmer and Garson Foos, and filmmakers Adam Brooks and Matthew Kennedy.
In this picture deal, Shout! Factory secured exclusive U.S. distribution rights to The Editor, including broadcast, »
- Derek Anderson
It looks like 20th Century Fox has found a director for its Flash Gordon reboot, with The Hollywood Reporter revealing that Matthew Vaughn (X-Men: First Class, Kingsman: The Secret Service) is in talks with the studio about helming the film.
The new Flash Gordon has been in development at Fox for around a year now, with Star Trek 3 screenwriters J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay penning the script from a treatment by George Nolfi (The Adjustment Bureau), who is producing alongside John Davis.
- Gary Collinson
I debated while writing that headline whether or not to use Matthew Vaughn's name or not. Certainly those that read movie blogs on a regular basis will recognize Vaughn's name as the director of Layer Cake, X-Men: First Class and, most recently, the highly successful Kingsman: The Secret Service, but if you don't read about movie news on a daily basis, his name is hardly as recognizable to the general public as say, Christopher Nolan or David Fincher. So, I went with "Kingsman Director" and hopefully that means people will read this first paragraph and start putting two-and-two together. As for the news in the headline, well, let's get to that. THR is reporting Vaughn is in negotiations to direct Flash Gordon, a movie based on the classic comic strip character over at 20th Century Fox. Based on the character created in 1934 by artist Alex Raymond there have been »
- Brad Brevet
To most contemporary audiences, "Flash Gordon" is probably most recently remembered for one of two things: the 1980 movie being endlessly referenced in Seth MacFarlane's "Ted," or as a short-lived TV series on The Sci-Fi Channel in 2007, which lasted one season. Well, last year, Fox announced they were bringing the character back to the big screen, and indeed, the wheels are in motion. THR reports that Matthew Vaughn ("X-Men: First Class," "Kingsman: The Secret Service") is in negotiations to direct the new film. George Nolfi ("The Adjustment Bureau") penned the treatment, with J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay ("Star Trek 3") writing the script for the sci-fi galactic tale. One can't help but wonder if Fox saw the mega-success of "Guardians Of The Galaxy" and got more confident that they could make a new version work much better than the super campy 1980 effort. Read More: 10 Big Screen Superheroes With Incredibly »
- Kevin Jagernauth
Will Smith and Margot Robbie’s romantic caper film Focus easily topped the North American box office this weekend, although with a milder debut than expected. The heist flick opened with an estimated $19.1 million, which is solid for a film about con artists, but pretty tepid for Will Smith’s standards. In the last 10 years, only one film with the Fresh Prince headlining has opened worse: 2008’s Seven Pounds ($14.9 million). Despite an appealing marketing campaign, a lack of competition, IMAX theaters and the presence of co-star Margot Robbie, Focus couldn’t even top the opening for Smith’s much-derided 2013 bomb After Earth ($27.5 million).
The estimated $19.1 million take is equal to the opening for directors Glenn Ficarra and John Requa’s 2011’s romantic comedy Crazy, Stupid, Love. It was also around the same mark as adult-oriented thrillers from the first quarter of the year, such as Limitless ($18.9 million) and The Adjustment Bureau ($21.2 million). Still, »
- Jordan Adler
On another quiet Friday at the box office, newcomers Focus (2015) and The Lazarus Effect both started off a little bit slower than expected.Opening at 3,323 locations, Focus took first place with an estimated $6.47 million. That's nearly identical to Crazy, Stupid, Love. ($6.58 million), which was the previous outing from directors John Requa and Glenn Ficarra. It's also generally on par with star-driven, adult-friendly thrillers Limitless ($6.6 million) and The Adjustment Bureau ($6.7 million).Still, it puts the movie on track to finish just below $20 million for the weekend, which is a tad disappointing when considering the star power involved (Will Smith and Margot Robbie) and the pervasive marketing effort as of late.Playing at 2,666 locations, The Lazarus Effect opened to an estimated $3.8 million on Friday. That's a bit higher than Dark Skies, a Blumhouse horror movie that opened to $3.1 million around the same time in 2013. Still, it's noticeably lower than last Spring's Oculus »
- Ray Subers <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Before I get started on this week’s musings, here are a couple of housekeeping items:
1) Have I mentioned lately how great the other writers here at ComicMix are? It’s probably been awhile, so let me take a quick minute to do so (again). If you somehow found ComicMix via me and primarily read my column here on the site, a) Cool, thanks! and b) I highly recommend you give the other folks here a try. Even in just reading through the last few days of columns, from Mindy Newell’s thoughts on Battlestar Galactica to Marc Alan Fishman’s discussion of guarding one’s creative integrity versus going for a payday and wider success, to Molly Jackson’s rejoicing over the awesomeness that is Agent Carter, I am reminded of how quality the folks who write for this site are, and how lucky I am to be amongst them. »
- Emily S. Whitten
Ballet adds a surreal, creepy quality to many films and tv shows. Here are 12 of the most unsettling...
Ballet is not natural. Dancers perform exhausting routines with legs and feet turned out to bizarre angles, arms held just to the point where they really start to hurt (that’s when you know you’re doing it right), backs bending to angles of 90° and more, limbs held stock still while balancing on their toes, in bodies mathematically maintained in a state that contains absolutely not an ounce of fat but can sustain two or three hours of jumping and running around.
And then the female dancers add to all this by putting their entire weight on the points of their toes, feet bruising and bleeding, nails cracking, and the male »
While angels eavesdrop discreetly in “Wings of Desire” or spoil lovers’ dates in “The Adjustment Bureau,” a celestial tea server descends to Okinawa, slurps ramen, becomes a celebrity and fights predestination with riotous gusto in the fantasy romance “Chasuke’s Journey.” Enjoying a surge of creativity since his 2009 misfire, “Kanikosen,” Nipponese helmer Sabu is in his most fun-loving element, stirring Okinawa’s magical folk art into a Capraesque yarn that flirts with ideas of fate and self-determination, but really just revels in a rich tapestry of human experience. Full of whimsical twists and high-octane action, this festival-friendly lark could generate lively ancillary biz.
The maverick helmer has cut loose in recent years, shedding some of his bone-dry irony for the gentler dramedy of “Bunny Drop,” or the deeper emotional resonance of “Miss Zombie.” Adapted from Sabu’s yet unpublished debut novel and shot exclusively in Okinawa (where he has been »
- Maggie Lee
To get the obvious out of the way, the new NBC drama “Allegiance” clearly suffers from cable envy. Like “Homeland,” this spy thriller was adapted from an Israeli series, and the basic Russian-moles-among-us plot sounds an awful lot like FX’s Cold War homage “The Americans,” merely relocated into a contemporary setting. Putting those concerns aside, what emerges proves fast-paced and enjoyable in a check-your-brain-at-the-door kind of way, with the disclaimer that the perilous premise can take a left turn from amusingly silly to distractingly ridiculous at any moment. In terms of capitalism, while “The Blacklist” lead-in might help, ABC’s “Murder”-ous competition won’t.
Written and directed by George Nolfi (“The Adjustment Bureau”), the premiere opens with the brutal execution of a former Soviet operative on U.S. soil. That event hints at a larger plot, with a Russian go-between, Victor (Morgan Spector), approaching the seemingly idyllic couple »
- Brian Lowry
A lot of people are likely to look down on Allegiance before it even starts, and only because The Americans isn’t that old. I have to give them that, if I’m really being honest, but this one is quite a different spin on things, and I’m a lot more intrigued by the possibilities.
In this telling of the Russian agents living as American citizens story, Mark and Katya O’Connor (Scott Cohen and Hope Davis) have a complicated backstory. They fell in love when Katya was still working for the Kgb, and a deal was ultimately made that allowed the couple to marry and live in America, but with a vague understanding that one is never really out of the Kgb… or whatever.
Fast-forward a lot of years, and their son, Alex (Gavin Stenhouse), has started working as analyst for the CIA. He also rather a sharp cookie, »
- Marc Eastman
Stars: Meryl Streep, Anna Kendrick, Emily Blunt, Chris Pine, Tracey Ullman, James Corden, Daniel Huttlestone, Christine Baranski, Tammy Blanchard, Lucy Punch, Lilla Crawford, Simon Russell Beale, Johnny Depp, Billy Magnussen, Richard Glover, Frances de la Tour | Written by James Lapine, Stephen Sondheim | Directed by Rob Marshall
Rob Marshall has had plenty of success in the world of musical motion picture. His 2002 film adaptation of Chicago won Academy Awards and boosted Marshall’s name into the Hollywood “it crowd” in the process. Following up Chicago with a lovely adaptation of the Arthur Golden novel, Memoirs of a Geisha, showed Marshall was an accomplished director who was capable of more than musicals. Those two films showed style, heart and confidence. Since then, Marshall has directed Nine, a less well-received musical in 2009, On Stranger Tides, the latest Pirates of the Caribbean movie, in 2011, a film that many thought was unnecessary and failed in comparison to its prior instalments, »
- Chris Cummings
After delivering another knockout film last year with the sincere Nebraska, director Alexander Payne is busy at work gearing up to shoot his latest film, Downsizing, a science-fiction dramedy about a man and his wife who try to reinvigorate their lives and voluntarily have themselves shrunk down. Unfortunately for the man, his wife backs out at the last minute.
During the last week, Oscar Winners Matt Damon (Good Will Hunting, The Adjustment Bureau) and Reese Witherspoon (Wild, Inherent Vice) have signed on to play the leading couple of the film, but The Wrap is today reporting that Jason Sudeikis (We’re The Millers), Alec Baldwin (30 Rock) , and upcoming Oscar host Neil Patrick Harris (Gone Girl) have all signed on to join the project in unspecified roles.
- Scott J. Davis
16 items from 2015
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