15 items from 2016
Joseph Baxter Sep 7, 2016
While Will Smith has tackled a broad range of roles outside of his action-comedy bread and butter, it appears that the upcoming Collateral Beauty might just push him into intriguing new pathological territory. The star-studded ensemble dramatic comedy shows Smith as a tragic figure addled by grief who, in an almost Dickensian manner, receives some tough love by way of the powerful personifications of Death, Time and Love… at least, so we are made to believe.
The Collateral Beauty teaser trailer has just dropped, with Will Smith as Howard Inlet, a successful, formerly extroverted New York advertising executive who has seemingly detached from his work and friends in the aftermath of an apparent tragedy that took the life of his daughter. Retreating into his own mind, Howard has »
It’s supposed to be intense, but it’s just silly. Unless it’s secretly about one woman ridding the world of notorious arms dealers through sly manipulation. I’m “biast” (pro): nothing
I’m “biast” (con): hated the first movie
(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)
About halfway through the idiotic dumbness that is Mechanic: Resurrection — the unasked-for sequel to the cesspit of unthinking nihilism and misogyny that was 2011’s The Mechanic — I found myself drifting into a feminist reverie. What if (I imagined, fancying myself in a better, smarter, kinder world) Jessica Alba’s Gina here were the mastermind pulling all the strings behind the scenes? What if, instead of the damsel in distress she appears to be, she is in fact manipulating all the overgrown boys with guns who get off on throwing violent tantrums, twisting them so that instead of spewing »
- MaryAnn Johanson
Critics be damned, but Warner Bros.’ latest D.C. Comics offering, “Suicide Squad,” will again prevail at the box office this weekend, against three new wide releases: “Sausage Party” (Sony), “Pete’s Dragon” (Buena Vista) and “Florence Foster Jenkins” (Paramount). However, it’s unclear whether “Sausage” or “Dragon” will come in second place.
Also up for debate is how much, if any, improvement we’ll see from the same weekend in 2015, when “Straight Outta Compton” dominated a Top Ten that totaled $130 million. Assuming “Suicide” doesn’t replicate the 69% second weekend collapse of “Batman v Superman” (that would place it around $40 million), and the new openings do expected business, $140 million or more is likely.
While holding the top spot for two weekends is always a nice bragging right, the real fate of “Suicide” lies in determining the profit it can eke out against a production and marketing budget of more than $300 million. »
- Tom Brueggemann
1984 is our year of the month for August. Here's Matthew Eng to talk about a treasured actor that made her on camera debut back then...
For the better half of her nearly four-decade film career, Meryl Streep has managed to compel generations of moviegoers to accept a self-styled character actress as not only an acting heroine for the ages but also a bona fide movie star with mass-market appeal and unimpeachable box office credentials. Like no other actress since Bette Davis, Streep has perfected a once-unfeasible practice of playing the sort of idiosyncratic women she has always drifted towards, but within the safe confines of midrange, studio-supported moviemaking that seems to satisfy audience expectations as well as her own.
Sometimes Streep’s projects—and, it must be said, Streep herself—can disappoint. For every quietly graceful gem (like her underrated Hope Springs performance) or skillfully uninhibited turn (as in the »
- Matthew Eng
Everything looks great on paper here: Damon’s brawny presence; the smartly staged action, etc. And it’s not unfun. But it feels less black ops than old hat. I’m “biast” (pro): big fan of the Bourne series
I’m “biast” (con): nothing
(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)
It’s been nine years since we last saw Matt Damon racing around the world and beating people up as brainwashed assassin Jason Bourne… and the weight of those interim years rests heavily upon this fourth installment. Oh, it’s not that Damon (The Martian, Interstellar), now 46 years old, isn’t up to the physical demands of the role. In fact, his Bourne is significantly beefier here: bigger, more intimidating, just plain more dangerous in an all-muscle kind of way. (Bourne appears to have been scraping out a meager living since we last saw him »
- MaryAnn Johanson
“I feel like I fucking blew it.”
Charlie Kaufman was talking about his career. More specifically, he was addressing his supposed failure to capitalize on the momentum generated by his scripts for “Being John Malkovich,” “Adaptation” and “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.” Once upon a time, Kaufman’s name was spoken at Hollywood lunches with the same breathless excitement and opportunistic fervor that studio executives tend to reserve for young starlets — back then, he commanded more attention (if not more money) than any other screenwriter since “Lethal Weapon” scribe Shane Black. His potential in the industry seemed positively zoo-sized.
These days, so far as Kaufman is concerned, that’s no longer the case.
“I don’t feel like I’ve got that cachet that I had at a certain point,” he said, looking hard at the table between us. “I see people seizing the moment when they have the »
- David Ehrlich
Exclusive: Here’s a first look at Chronically Metropolitan, having its world premiere next week at the Nantucket Film Festival. Directed by Xavier Manrique (Hope Springs) and written by Nick Schutt (Blood & Oil), the New York City-set film stars Mary-Louise Parker (Weeds), Chris Noth (The Good Wife), Shiloh Fernandez (Evil Dead), Ashley Benson (Pretty Little Liars) and Josh Peck (Ice Age: The Meltdown) and will have its world premiere at the island fest. It’s about… »
Sally Field bounces back in this story of mismatched love - or a romantic delusion... that is 3/4 charm and 1/4 wishful thinking. The May-October romance isn't an outright farce like Harold and Maude, so a few of the comic situations are somewhat wince-inducing. Or am I just feeling my own 'October' discomfort? Field fans should love it anyway. Hello, My Name Is Doris Blu-ray Sony Pictures Home Entertainment 2015 / Color / 1:85 widescreen / 90 min. / Street Date June 14, 2016 / 26.99 Starring Sally Field, Max Greenfield, Tyne Daly, Beth Behrs, Elisabeth Reaser, Peter Gallagher, Stephen Root, Wendi McLendon-Covey. Cinematography Brian Burgoyne Film Editor Robert Nassau Original Music Brian H. Kim Written by Laura Terruso, Michael Showalter, from her short film Doris & the Intern Produced by Daniel Crown, Kevin Mann, Riva Marker, Jordana Mollick, Daniela Taplin Lundberg Directed by Michael Showalter
Reviewed by Glenn Erickson
I've always liked Sally Field. Her personality made a dumb 'sixties TV show »
- Glenn Erickson
The story centers on a young campaign aide who sleeps with the wife of a presidential candidate - a mistake that threatens his career and endangers his life, and exposes him to blackmail.
Source: Screen »
- Garth Franklin
The political thriller centers on a young campaign aide who sleeps with the wife of a presidential candidate — a mistake that threatens his career and endangers his life, and exposes him to blackmail.
Produced by School Pictures’ Stephen Israel (“Swimming With Sharks”) and George Voskericyan (“Echoes of War”), the film is set to start principal photography in June. 13 Films is handling international rights to the project and will introduce the film to buyers at Cannes.
- Brent Lang
True to independent films, Dances with Films film festival will be celebrating its 19th year and sharing the festival week with the Los Angeles Films Festival in June.
Over 100 independent films will be shown from June 2nd through June 12th at the family Hollywood’s Tcl Chinese Theaters.
The festival based solely on merit and discoverability and mandating that all competitive films have no known actors, writers, directors or producers.
Legendary producer Steve Tisch joined the Dwf esteemed Advisory Board last festival season. One of the most successful producers in the motion picture industry, Steve has produced such films as Risky Business, The Pursuit of Happyness, The Weather Man, Seven Pounds, Knowing, The Taking of Pelham 123, The Back-Up Plan, and Hope Springs. A pantheon of industry heavyweights, Dwf’s Advisory Board also includes: Cindy Cowan, Jonathan Dana, Steve Elzer, Kevin Kasha, Eriq La Salle, Michael Lehmann, Mike Macari, Valerie McCaffrey, »
- Gig Patta
The movie will follow the competition between tennis pros Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs, which captured the zeitgeist back in 1973, when at 29, the No. 2 ranked King beat the 55-year-old retired former Wimbledon champion Riggs. Shue will play Riggs’ wife in the pic, with Carell playing Riggs and Stone playing King.
“Battle of the Sexes” is one of three projects revolving around the infamous tennis match; the other two are HBO and Playtone’s “Proof,” which stars Elizabeth Banks and Paul Giamatti, and Chernin Entertainment and »
- Justin Kroll
As Meryl Streep starts her jury duties at the Berlinale, Murtada has news about her next film.
Streep at the Berlinale Jury Press Conference
Gird your loins! There must be a rupture in the movie universe because we might not get the new Meryl Streep movie when we usually do. Since 2008's Mamma Mia, movies led by Streep have had only 2 release dates. The December prestige slot (Doubt, The Iron Lady, August Osage County, Into the Woods). Or late summer blockbuster comedy counter programming (Julie and Julia, Hope Springs, Ricki and the Flash). Plus one anomaly with the comedy It's Complicated inexplicably slotted into the December prestige date. Yes comedies get released year round, but not Meryl comedies!
2016 is changing all that. Pathe have announced a May 6 UK release of Streep's latest, Florence Foster Jenkins. Directed by Stephen Frears and also starring Hugh Grant and Rebecca Ferguson, the film is »
- Murtada Elfadl
Here’s a good sign of momentum: weeks after a documentary premiered at Sundance and received its first wave of fine reviews, the figure known as Jt Leroy is having their life story turned into a feature film. THR tell us Kristen Stewart, James Franco, Helena Bonham Carter, and writer-director Justin Kelly (the Franco-led I Am Michael) will team for Jt Leroy, which examines the eponymous figure — itself the outlet for a writer and actor who fooled the world with “a man who identifies as transgender, tricking the rich and famous in Hollywood, the fashion world and elite literary circles.”
If contracts are arranged, Carter and Stewart will respectively star as Laura Albert and Savannah Knoop, Leroy’s writing and public personas. There are many directions in which this narrative can reach, evidenced by the fact that writer-director-actress Asia Argento, who adapted Leroy’s The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things, »
- Nick Newman
Will Smith may have missed out on an Oscar nomination for Concussion, but his next project, Collateral Beauty, is shaping up to be quite a feast for the eyes, since it.s going to be filled with famous faces. According to The Wrap, the film will be helmed by director David Frankel. He directed films like Marley and Me, The Devil Wears Prada and Hope Springs, and has helmed episodes of Entourage and Sex and the City. Allan Loeb, writer of Rock of Ages and Here Comes the Boom, among others, is crafting the screenplay. Will Smith takes on the lead role in Collateral Beauty, as an advertising executive who undergoes a personal tragedy. His colleagues come up with a plan to make him feel better, and it works, but not in the way they expected. Smith.s most recent films are Concussion and last summer.s underrated Focus. Also »
15 items from 2016
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