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Are franchise blockbusters too big to fail?

Anghus Houvouras on whether franchise blockbusters are too big to fail…

Sequels, prequels and reboots. Hollywood is in love with the familiar because more often than not it’s a safe bet. This year’s monumental blockbuster clusterfuck Justice League is proof of that. Can you think of a big studio film more maligned? More inherently flawed at a fundamental level? It was the product of short-term thinking and absolutely baffling choices from a studio realizing a creative vision can’t be hacked and slashed into existence.

And yet, in spite of a long laundry list of poor decisions and questionable calls, Justice League will end up losing around $100 million. In comparison, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets is projected to lose almost $150 million. Justice League wasn’t just an unmitigated disaster. It was a franchise stress test. Proof that these familiar characters are the safest bet in blockbuster cinema.
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

More "Venom: Lethal Protector"

According to actor Tom Hardy ("Mad Max: Fury Road"), Sony's currently shooting stand alone "Venom" movie directed by Ruben Fleischer, is based on Marvel Comics' 1993 6-issue series, "Venom: Lethal Protector":

"...'Venom' makes an agreement with 'Spider-Man' that they will leave each other alone, on the condition that Venom commits no crimes.

"Venom then moves from New York City to San Francisco, and takes up with a group of Californian 'mole people'.

"Shortly thereafter the father of one of Venom's victims seeks him out with a group of super-powered mercenaries to take revenge. Venom then has to take on offspring of the 'Venom Symbiote, including 'Carnage'..."

'Cletus Kasady' aka 'Carnage', debuted in Marvel Comics' "The Amazing Spider-Man" #344 (March 1991) followed by "The Amazing Spider-Man" #360...

...created by writer David Michelinie and illustrators Erik Larsen and Mark Bagley, based on elements of the precursor character 'Venom'.
See full article at SneakPeek »

Review: ‘Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle’ Has Goofy Charms, Uninspired Adventure

After Steven Spielberg and company broke visual effects barriers with Jurassic Park, two years later, 1995’s Jumanji brought more large-scale, creature-focused thrills to theaters. Directed by Joe Johnston–who would go on to get his own crack at the dinosaur franchise a few years down the road–the Robin Williams-led adventure occupies that rare subset of oft-replayed, worn-down VHS tapes from childhood that one might be hesitant to revisit for fear of the nostalgic charm wearing off. In many ways, the set-up of Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle may quell some trepidation in this regard.

Functioning as a sequel rather than a reboot, there’s gratefully no CGI recreation of Robin Williams (in fact, only a brief reference), an altogether different setting as we go into the game rather than vice versa, and more modern concerns in virtually every aspect (Yes, “yaaass queen” is uttered during an action scene
See full article at The Film Stage »

Alejandro G. Iñárritu Writes a Love Letter to ‘The Shape of Water’: ‘It’s A Miracle It Exists’

Alejandro G. Iñárritu Writes a Love Letter to ‘The Shape of Water’: ‘It’s A Miracle It Exists’
Guillermo del Toro may be Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu’s friend, but he’s also a fellow filmmaker the “Birdman” director admires with great respect. Iñárritu recently participated in Variety’s Directors on Directors series, where he was given the opportunity to write a lengthy love letter to “The Shape of Water.” According to the two-time Oscar winner, Del Toro has made a miracle of a movie that is easily his best so far.

Read More:Damien Chazelle Says ‘Dunkirk’ Is ‘A Giant Middle Finger’ to Anyone Who Thinks Movies Stopped Taking Risks

“Many years ago, Guillermo told me with his open, giant, sparkling eyes, about an idea that was circling around his head for his next film: The love story between a mute woman and a fish man,” Iñárritu writes. “That idea could not only occur to Guillermo del Toro, but also only an artist like himself would be capable of carrying it out.
See full article at Indiewire »

Guillermo del Toro Praises ‘Lady Bird,’ ‘Coco’ & ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’

If Guillermo del Toro ever decides to stop making movies (which we hope never happens; even his one year hiatus is kinda killing us), he could have a whole other career just talking and writing about movies. If “The Shape Of Water” isn’t proof enough, del Toro loves cinema, and is always eager to share his discoveries and thoughts with others about the films he feels passionate about.

Continue reading Guillermo del Toro Praises ‘Lady Bird,’ ‘Coco’ & ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ at The Playlist.
See full article at The Playlist »

Guillermo del Toro Praises ‘Lady Bird,’ ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’, and Ranks His Films in Lively Reddit Ama

Guillermo del Toro Praises ‘Lady Bird,’ ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’, and Ranks His Films in Lively Reddit Ama
As devoted a cinephile as he is a visionary filmmaker, Guillermo del Toro will take every opportunity to lavish praise on his favorite films. In a recent Reddit Ama (“Ask me Anything”) to promote “The Shape of Water,” the director could hardly contain his enthusiasm for Greta Gerwig’s “Lady Bird,” which he said “moved [him] deeply.” He continued: “‘Lady Bird’ is a fantastic first film. Such intelligence and acute eye for drama and cinema. Deceivingly natural, full of style.”

More in line with his style, Del Toro is a huge fan of George Miller’s “Mad Max: Fury Road,” which he called, “A masterpiece. In many ways, So kinetic, so dense, as to be digested slowly and in repeated viewings. A God at work.” He also loved Pixar’s “Coco, which was co-directed by Mexican-American filmmaker Adrian Molina. “The More World-themed stories, the better for all us storytellers,” said del Toro.
See full article at Indiewire »

Win ‘Atomic Blonde’ On Blu-Ray

Double-crossed while sent to collect stolen intelligence in East Germany, elusive secret agent Charlize Theron (Mad Max: Fury Road, Fast and Furious 8) unleashes a deadly arsenal of skills in Atomic Blonde, the adrenaline pumping, stylish spy-thriller, coming to Digital on 2nd December, 2017 and 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD on 4thDecember, 2017 from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. To celebrate the release, we have three copies to give away on Blu-ray.

Adapted from Antony Johnson’s graphic novel, The Coldest City, the explosive film set in the late eighties takes viewers on a high-stakes chase as Theron attempts to escape Berlin. The 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD and Digital versions include commentary from the cast, filmmakers, stunt performers and fight coordinators, plus behind-the-scenes features that take viewers inside the making of the film’s intense stunt choreography.

Oscar®-winner Charlize Theron stars as elite MI6’s most lethal assassin and the crown
See full article at The Hollywood News »

‘Blade Runner 2049,’ ‘Logan,’ and More: the Genre-Benders That Are Major Oscar Contenders

‘Blade Runner 2049,’ ‘Logan,’ and More: the Genre-Benders That Are Major Oscar Contenders
Every year, the studios take their best genre successes and try to push them beyond the technical ghetto. Oscar campaigners want to convince critics, guilds, and Oscar voters that their movie rises to the level of art. But it’s rare for fantasy, horror, thriller, action or comic-book movies to pass over to the Best Picture side.

When they do, it tends to be an exception like Peter Jackson’s fantasy “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy. All three films scored Best Picture nominations and technical wins: “Fellowship” scored 13 nominations and wins for Makeup, Visual Effects, and Cinematography; “The Two Towers” earned six and won Sound Editing and VFX; and then came the ultimate triumph for the finale “The Return of the King”: a grand sweep of all 11 nominations including Best Picture. But while “Lotr” fell into the fantasy genre, it was boosted by the literary pedigree of J.R.R. Tolkien.
See full article at Thompson on Hollywood »

‘Blade Runner 2049,’ ‘Logan,’ and More: the Genre-Benders That Are Major Oscar Contenders

  • Indiewire
‘Blade Runner 2049,’ ‘Logan,’ and More: the Genre-Benders That Are Major Oscar Contenders
Every year, the studios take their best genre successes and try to push them beyond the technical ghetto. Oscar campaigners want to convince critics, guilds, and Oscar voters that their movie rises to the level of art. But it’s rare for fantasy, horror, thriller, action or comic-book movies to pass over to the Best Picture side.

When they do, it tends to be an exception like Peter Jackson’s fantasy trilogy “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy. All three films scored Best Picture nominations and technical wins: “Fellowship” scored 13 nominations and wins for Makeup, Visual Effects, and Cinematography; “The Two Towers” earned six and won Sound Editing and VFX; and then came the ultimate triumph for the finale “The Return of the King”: a grand sweep of all 11 nominations including Best Picture. But while “Lotr” fell into the fantasy genre, it was boosted by the literary pedigree of J.R.R. Tolkien.
See full article at Indiewire »

‘The Shape of Water’ Was Originally Going to Be in Black and White

  • Indiewire
‘The Shape of Water’ Was Originally Going to Be in Black and White
The Shape of Water” is as visually arresting as you’d expect of a Guillermo del Toro movie about a merman-like creature, but it differs from the director’s vision in one key aspect: It’s in color. Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, production designer Paul Austenberry reveals that del Toro originally pitched his fantastical romance as a black-and-white project.

Read More:‘The Shape of Water’: Guillermo del Toro Shot his Passion Project as an Aquatic Metaphor

“When it was in black and white, the budget was $12 million,” Austerberry reveals, whereas del Toro has estimated the hypothetical black-and-white budget as being closer to $16.5 million. “And then Fox Searchlight said, ‘You know, if you make it color, we’ll make it $19.6 million.’ We were struggling at even $19.6 million to get it all down, so thankfully it went that way.”

“I was a bit nervous about the black and white, because color
See full article at Indiewire »

Alexander Skarsgard and Randall Park join Seth Rogen and Charlize Theron in Flarsky

Back in February it was announced that Seth Rogen (The Disaster Artist) and Charlize Theron (Mad Max: Fury Road) had signed on to star in Flarsky, the new film from 50/50 and The Night Before director Jonathan Levine, and now we have word on two more additions to the cast.

The Hollywood Reporter has revealed that Alexander Skarsgard (Big Little Lies) and Randall Park (The Disaster Artist) have both joined the film, which also has Andy Serkis (Star Wars: The Last Jedi), June Diane Raphael (The Disaster Artist) and Ravi Patel (Master of None) on board.

The film, which is currently shooting in Montreal, sees Rogen as Fred Flarsky, “a down-on-his-luck journalist who decides to pursue his childhood crush and former babysitter (Theron), who now happens to be the secretary of state and one of the most powerful people on the planet.” Skarsgard is set to portray the Canadian prime minister,
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

Guillermo del Toro Originally Wanted To Make ‘The Shape Of Water’ In Black And White

So, what’s the deal with filmmakers and black and white? George Miller issued the “Chrome edition” is his masterful “Mad Max: Fury Road,” while James Mangold also prepped a monochrome version of “Logan” for home video. It turns out, yet another director had a distinctly two-tone idea for the movie.

It turns out that when Guillermo del Toro was first putting together “The Shape Of Water,” he pitched it as a black and white movie.

Continue reading Guillermo del Toro Originally Wanted To Make ‘The Shape Of Water’ In Black And White at The Playlist.
See full article at The Playlist »

Oscars 2018: ‘Dunkirk’ and ‘Blade Runner 2049’ Boast Groundbreaking Sound Design

  • Indiewire
Oscars 2018: ‘Dunkirk’ and ‘Blade Runner 2049’ Boast Groundbreaking Sound Design
To help convey the “visceral realism” of “Dunkirk,” Christopher Nolan oversaw an intense soundscape covering land, sea, and air timelines for the legendary evacuation of more than 300,000 British and Allied troops under German bombardment. And for “Blade Runner 2049,” Denis Villeneuve spearheaded a musical blurring of sound and score that carried both emotional and atmospheric weight in driving the “more human than human” narrative.

Thus, in each case, sound works both overtly and subliminally to immerse us in war and dystopia, sharing equal importance with the stunning visuals provided by Hoyte van Hoytema and Roger Deakins, respectively. In the end, it makes no difference if we can’t distinguish sound from music, as they merge into a singular experience.

The Sounds of Survival

Chris wanted a sense of velocity and everything’s happening so fast with the enemy approaching at their own speed, so there’s a time limit,” said Richard King,
See full article at Indiewire »

National Board of Review 2017 Winners: ‘The Post’ Named Best Film, Greta Gerwig is Best Director

National Board of Review 2017 Winners: ‘The Post’ Named Best Film, Greta Gerwig is Best Director
The National Board of Review (Nbr) has made their selections for the best films and performances of 2017. “The Post” has taken top honors, winning the Best Film prize, while Laurie Metcalf, Willem Dafoe, Tom Hanks, and Meryl Streep all received acting honors. Greta Gerwig earned the Best Director prize.

The Nbr is often one of the first organizations to announce their end-of-the-year selections, followed closely by the New York Film Critics Circle (which makes its announcement on November 30). Awards season officially kicked off with the Gotham Awards on November 27, where “Get Out” earned three awards and “Call Me By Your Name” won Best Feature.

Read More:Gotham Awards 2017: Complete Winners List

While the Nbr awards are considered a forerunner to predicting Oscar nominations, the organization’s prizes don’t always line up with the Academy’s final choices. The Nbr Best Film prize has gone to Best Picture nominees like “Manchester By the Sea,
See full article at Indiewire »

'The Post' Named Best Film by National Board of Review

'The Post' Named Best Film by National Board of Review
The National Board of Review on Tuesday announced its 2017 award winners, naming The Post as the best film of the year.

The winners will be recognized during a Jan. 9, 2018 gala at New York's Cipriani 42nd Street, hosted, as they were last year, by NBC News' Willie Geist.

The NBR awards are voted on by a group of film enthusiasts, professionals, academics, young filmmakers and students.

Last year, NBR selected Manchester by the Sea as its best film. The previous year it picked post-apocalyptic blockbuster Mad Max: Fury Road
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Rosie Huntington-Whiteley Has "Glamour"

  • SneakPeek
Sneak Peek "Mad Max: Fury Road" actress Rosie Huntington-Whiteley in the latest issue of "Glamour" (UK) magazine, photographed by Guy Aroch:

"...young girls out there are really feeling insecure about their image," said Huntington-Whiteley, "and they scroll through and see this image of a supermodel looking amazing, reclining on the beach in a completely unrealistic pose or environment.

"And I can see how that would make people not feel good about themselves. I mean, I can't say that I'm immune to that. Sometimes I'm like, 'Fuck!' You know? That doesn’t make me feel great..."

Huntington-Whiteley's first modeling work was with lingerie retailers "Victoria's Secret" and "Agent Provocateur", then as a rep for "Burberry" cosmetics.

She is noted for the supporting film roles 'Carly Spencer' in "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" (2011)...

...and as 'The Splendid Angharad' in "Mad Max: Fury Road" (2015).

Click the images to enlarge and Sneak Peek Rosie Huntington-Whiteley.
See full article at SneakPeek »

Guillermo del Toro Wants You to Appreciate the Craftsmanship of George Miller and Michael Mann

Guillermo del Toro Wants You to Appreciate the Craftsmanship of George Miller and Michael Mann
Guillermo del Toro is currently riding high on the critical raves for “The Shape of Water,” which could earn the Mexican filmmaker his first Oscar nomination for Best Director. The fantasy romance will be the last bit of filmmaking audiences see from del Toro for quite a bit, as he has announced plans to take a year-long sabbatical from the director’s chair. So how does del Toro plan to keep busy? In addition to producing some projects, the director will sit down for two-week interviews with Michael Mann and George Miller.

Read More:Guillermo del Toro is Taking a Break From Directing: ‘I Need to Take Pause’

Del Toro had previously teased he would be working in some capacity on a project involving Mann, and now it has been confirmed that part of the project will involve spending two weeks with Mann sometime between now and next December. Del
See full article at Indiewire »

Recommended Discs & Deals: Black Friday 2017 Edition

To help wade through the plethora of Black Friday deals, we’ve rounded up the Blu-rays on sale that are worth watching. From some of this year’s best films (The Lost City of Z, Get Out, Girls Trip) to favorites in recent years (Under the Skin, The Edge of Seventeen, Gone Girl), and more, check out our round-up below and return for updates throughout the week. All are Blu-rays unless otherwise noted.

Alien: Covenant – $8.99

Allied – $5.96

Arrival – $5.96

The Assassination of Jesse James by The Coward Robert Ford – $9.99

The Babadook – $7.88

Baby Driver – $9.00

Beasts of the Southern Wild – $8.47

The Beguiled – $9.99

The Big Sick – $8.99

Bridesmaids – $4.99

Brooklyn – $4.00

Calvary – $8.30

Close Encounters of the Third Kind – $9.99

Crimson Peak – $7.88

A Cure for Wellness – $6.99

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind – $9.99

Ex Machina (4K Ultra HD) – $9.99

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – $7.99

Get Out – $8.99

The Gift – $5.00

Girls Trip – $9.99

Goodfellas / The Aviator / The Departed Triple Pack – $9.40

Gone Girl – $6.99

The Hateful Eight
See full article at The Film Stage »

‘Mad Max: Fury Road’: Why George Miller Crashed a Real War Rig for the Film’s Most Daring Stunt

  • Indiewire
‘Mad Max: Fury Road’: Why George Miller Crashed a Real War Rig for the Film’s Most Daring Stunt
Editor’s note: The following is an edited excerpt from “Miller and Max: George Miller and the Making of a Film Legend” by Luke Buckmaster.

The George Miller of the 1970s would never have believed he would one day be spearheading a production with a budget estimated at a staggering $150 million. Miller had made the first three movies when he was in his thirties. At sixty-seven, when “Fury Road” commenced principal photography, those days were far back in the past. Shooting the original film in Melbourne felt like a lifetime ago.

For his first “Mad Max” movie in close to three decades, Miller wanted to be on the frontline at all times. But he soon realized that was impossible given the scale of production: a 138-day shoot with complicated stunts occurring on a near-daily basis. State-of-the-art technology made the job easier — or at least improved communication. High-definition video reception was broadcast in multiple locations,
See full article at Indiewire »

NYC Weekend Watch: Michael Haneke, German Cinema, Rialto Pictures, and More

Since any New York City cinephile has a nearly suffocating wealth of theatrical options, we figured it’d be best to compile some of the more worthwhile repertory showings into one handy list. Displayed below are a few of the city’s most reliable theaters and links to screenings of their weekend offerings — films you’re not likely to see in a theater again anytime soon, and many of which are, also, on 35mm. If you have a chance to attend any of these, we’re of the mind that it’s time extremely well-spent.

Film Forum

A Michael Haneke retrospective begins as does a restoration of The Crime of Monsieur Lange.

The Film Society Lincoln Center

“The Lost Years of German Cinema” features rare cinematic gems from Fritz Lang, Helmut Käutner, Robert Siodmak, and more.

Anthology Film Archives

“Generation Wealth” kicks off with The Bling Ring, Spring Breakers, L’Argent,
See full article at The Film Stage »
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