15 items from 2016
The film premiered at the 2014 Berlin International Film Festival and was the recipient of numerous prestigious nominations, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Cinematography at the Hong Kong Film Awards, where it also won in the Best Original Score category.
Based on a cult internet novel by Hong Kong writer “Mr. Pizza“, The Midnight After follows a group of 16 bus passengers who find that, in the time between entering and emerging from a traffic tunnel, the city was struck by an apocalyptic event.
The innovative Chan sculpts a blend of horror, comedy, mystery and sci-fi, flinging his unique cast of characters into increasingly bizarre scenarios.
The film received critical praise for its tone, most notably the blasé manner in which characters respond to the otherworldly circumstances they find themselves in. »
Vinyl has much to improve when it returns for season 2, and judging by this solid-enough finale, it's heading in the right direction...
This review contains spoilers.
Taken as a whole, Vinyl is structured around the premise that the behind-the-scenes operation of the music business (encompassing, among other things, dealmaking, artist development, public relations and financing) is just as interesting as the soul shaking, life-affirming product that this bloated industry sells. The premise is correct and there is much to say about men like Richie Finestra and Maury Gold and the companies that they lead. At its best, Vinyl has done a good job of balancing the two elements, never taking its eye off the ball with the music and only rarely doing so with the business side of things. Its missteps have mostly emerged from the moments during which the plot and characters wandered too far »
For a show brought to you by big name talent like Martin Scorsese, Mick Jagger, and Terence Winter, and given untold millions by HBO for what seemed like a no-brainer concept, "Vinyl" has been a disappointment. Lower than hoped for ratings, coupled with mixed notices from critics, have seen the network react swiftly and surprisingly, firing Winter, and replacing him with Scott Z. Burns ("Contagion"), who will be the showrunner for season two. For now, there is a lot of respect between shared by the network and Winter, who have a fruitful relationship dating all the way back to "The Sopranos." But speaking at the 8th Annual TV + Film Finance Forum East, the writer wondered if the '70s setting was simply too close for comfort for the creators. "Period pieces are really tough," Winters said of the show that takes place four decades ago. "It's tough to depict reality »
- Kevin Jagernauth
For a show brought to you by big name talent like Martin Scorsese, Mick Jagger and Terence Winter, and given untold millions by HBO for what seemed like a no-brainer concept, "Vinyl" has been a disappointment. Lower-than-hoped-for ratings coupled with mixed notices from critics have seen the network react swiftly and surprisingly, firing Winter, and replacing him with Scott Z. Burns ("Contagion"), who will be the showrunner for season two. For now, there is a lot of respect between the network and Winter, who have a fruitful relationship dating all the way back to "The Sopranos." But speaking at the 8th Annual TV + Film Finance Forum East, the writer wondered if the '70s setting was simply too close for comfort for the creators. "Period pieces are really tough," Winters said of the show that takes place four decades ago. "It's tough to depict reality that's still fresh in someone's mind. »
- Kevin Jagernauth
It's fair to say that things haven't gone swimmingly for HBO's much-hyped Vinyl. The involvement of big names (Martin Scorsese, Mick Jagger...) and the richer than rich pickings of the 1970s Us music scene haven't yet added up to TV glory, critically or in terms of ratings.
HBO is still committed, however, to a second season, following a cockily early renewal. That second season will go on without showrunner Terence Winter (Boardwalk Empire, The Sopranos), it's been confirmed.
Winter will be replaced by executive producers Scott Z Burns (The Bourne Ultimatum, Contagion) and Max Borenstein (the Minority Report TV show) for Vinyl's second season. HBO describes Winter's exit thusly:
“As we head into the second season of Vinyl, we have decided it is an »
Winter is to be replaced by Scott Z. Burns (Contagion) as showrunner, while Max Borenstein (Godzilla) joins as executive producer after his work on Fox’s Minority Report TV series. Mick Jagger and Martin Scorsese will remain on the show as fellow executive producers it seems.
HBO said in a statement on the changes: “As we head into the second season of Vinyl, we have decided it is an appropriate time to make a change in the creative direction of the show… We have enjoyed a longtime partnership with Terry Winter at HBO on projects from The Sopranos to Boardwalk Empire to Vinyl, and we look forward to our next collaboration with him. We are pleased to welcome Scott Z. Burns, »
- Scott J. Davis
Given the rate at which he produces them, it sometimes seems as if nobody enjoys documentaries quite as much as Alex Gibney — but perhaps the man has finally run out of subjects to cover. Whatever the case may be, he’s gone to fiction with a new project: Deadline report on The Action, a ’70s-set political thriller scripted by Scott Z. Burns (Contagion, The Informant!) that concerns the Citizens Commission to Investigate the FBI, “eight anti-war activists who stole and made public classified FBI documents that exposed J. Edgar Hoover’s campaign of spying on and blackmailing troublemakers.”
Spoiler alert: they were never caught, but brought to light in 2014 when The Washington Post‘s Betty Medsger wrote The Burglary: The Discovery Of J. Edgar Hoover’s Secret FBI. The general story all sounds like the basis for a documentary he’d have ready by the fall, yet here we »
- Nick Newman
Alex Gibney, the director behind such documentaries as Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief, We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks, The Armstrong Lie and the Oscar-winning Taxi to the Dark Side, is set to make his narrative feature film debut with The Action, a 1970s-set political thriller which is being produced by Lionsgate.
According to Deadline, the film ” follows eight anti-war activists who stole and made public classified FBI documents that exposed J. Edgar Hoover’s campaign of spying on and blackmailing troublemakers.” The script has been written by Scott Z. Burns (Contagion), who will also produce alongside Meredith Milton (Step Up) and Michael Sugar (Spotlight).
- Gary Collinson
When it comes to brand names in the documentary game, few come with higher value than Alex Gibney. The filmmaker has staked a helluva reputation for delivering some of the best the genre has to offer with films like "Going Clear: Scientology And The Prison Of Belief," "Enron: The Smartest Guys In The Room," and the Oscar-winning "Taxi To The Dark Side." His documentaries often have the qualities of good drama or thrillers, telling gripping and fascinating stories that don't just convey facts, but feelings. And he's going to put those skills of weaving compelling narratives to use with his first feature film. Read More: Berlin Review: Alex Gibney's Chilling Cyber-Espionage Documentary 'Zero Days' Deadline reports Gibney will direct "The Action," which will still let the director play in the based-on-a-true-story wheelhouse. Penned by Scott Z. Burns ("Contagion," "The Informant!"), the '70s set movie is inspired by the. »
- Kevin Jagernauth
Famous for his various acclaimed documentaries like "Going Clear," "Mea Maxima Culpa," "Taxi to the Dark Side," "Client 9," "Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room" and "We Steal Secrets," documentarian Alex Gibney is getting into the narrative feature business.
Gibney has become attached to direct the 1971-set political thriller "The Action" for Lionsgate, the project marking his first non-documentary feature.
The action follows eight anti-war activists who stole and made public classified FBI documents that exposed J. Edgar Hoover's campaign of spying and blackmail against Vietnam War protesters. Details of documents were then leaked to reporter Betty Medsger, who wrote the book "The Burglary: The Discovery Of J. Edgar Hoover's Secret FBI."
Source: Variety »
- Garth Franklin
Documentarian Alex Gibney is attached to direct 1970s political thriller “The Action” for Lionsgate.
The story, set in 1971, follows eight anti-war activists who stole classified FBI documents from an office near Philadelphia and exposed J. Edgar Hoover’s Cointelpro campaign of spying and blackmail against Vietnam War protesters. Details of documents were leaked to Washington Post reporter Betty Medsger, who disclose the FBI campaign wrote the 2014 “The Burglary: The Discovery Of J. Edgar Hoover’s Secret FBI.”
The FBI was never able to apprehend the eight, who called themselves the Citizens’ Commission to Investigate the F.B.I.. The identities of the eight activists were unveiled in 2014.
Gibeny will direct from a script by Scott Z. Burns (“Contagion”). Producers are Burns, Anonymous Content’s Michael Sugar, Ashley Zalta, Meredith Milton and Participant Media. Sugar won the Academy Award for best picture with “Spotlight” on Feb. 28.
The film will be »
- Dave McNary
Exclusive: Oscar winner Alex Gibney, one of the most celebrated documentary filmmakers working today, is lining up his narrative feature directing debut with The Action, a 1970s-set political thriller for Lionsgate. The story follows eight anti-war activists who stole and made public classified FBI documents that exposed J. Edgar Hoover's campaign of spying on and blackmailing troublemakers. Scott Z. Burns (Contagion) is writing the script and will produce along with Anony… »
Savant goes back five years to praise Steven Soderbergh's superb pandemic thriller, the one that warns us to never, ever shake hands with a gourmet chef. Don't worry, only between 25 and 40 million people die... in the first year. Now go wash your hands. Contagion Blu-ray Warner Home Video 2011 / Color / 1:85 widescreen / 106 min. / Street Date January 3, 2013 Starring Gwyneth Paltrow, Matt Damon, Laurence Fishburne, Jude Law, Marion Cotilliard, Kate Winslet, Jennifer Ehle, Elliott Gould, Bryan Cranston, Anna Jacoby-Herron, Demetri Martin . Cinematography Peter Andrews (Steven Soderbergh) Film Editor Stephen Mirrone Original Music Cliff Martinez Written by Scott Z. Burns Produced by Gregory Jacobs, Michael Shamberg, Stacey Sher Directed by Stephen Soderbergh
Reviewed by Glenn Erickson
This is something of a grudge review for Savant. Whenever I'm completely exhausted and want to relax I'll pluck a favorite off the shelf and do what everybody else does, settle in with a total comfort movie. »
- Glenn Erickson
Kate Winslet knows her characters like the back of her hand. The actor played the game “Name That You!” on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” last night, where the late night host challenged Winslet to name several characters she’s portrayed throughout the years. Winslet correctly named every role throughout the game, including Joanna Hoffman (“Steve Jobs”), Rose DeWitt Bukater (“Titanic”), Hanna Schmitz (“The Reader”), Marianne Dashwood (“Sense and Sensibility”), Jeanine (“Divergent”), Dr. Erin Mears (“Contagion”), Clementine Kruczynski (“Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”), and Rita from the animated film “Flushed Away.” Lastly Kimmel flashed an image of Chewbacca from “Star Wars” on screen. “That’s my mother!” Winslet joked. Winslet’s career spans more than three decades with over 30 films on her résumé. The Oscar winner is nominated for an Academy Award for the seventh time this year for her performance in “Steve Jobs.” Watch Winslet master her memory below. Inspired by this post? »
“We were thinking about how we break back into the Hollywood awards season with a social change-human rights message, and since the Globes were first up, we said, ‘why don’t we go for it?'” explained Art for Amnesty’s creative director Marvin Bing at the inaugural Art for Amnesty Pre-Golden Globes Recognition Brunch on Friday afternoon at Chateau Marmont.
There, the historic organization — which was founded 55 years ago, and has fought beside activists from Nelson Mandela to Malala Yousafzai — honored three individuals for artistically promoting freedom of expression: Participant Media founder and chairman Jeff Skoll, “The Big Short’ writer/director Adam McKay and “Homeland” actress Nazanin Boniadi.
“I think it’s been an amazing year for movies challenging entrenched power and corruption,” McKay — who founded comedy video website Funny or Die with Will Ferrell, and partnered with Amnesty in 2010 — told Variety before the program. “‘Beasts of No Nation, »
- Jasmin Rosemberg
15 items from 2016
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