8 items from 2015
London — M-appeal World Sales has picked up “How to Win at Checkers (Every Time),” which plays in the Berlin Film Festival’s Panorama section.
The film, which is the directorial debut of Josh Kim, is adapted from the U.S. bestselling book “Sightseeing” by Rattawut Lapcharoensap. Pic tells the coming-of-age drama of two brothers struggling to survive and stay together in a land plagued by social and economic inequality.
An orphaned 11-year-old, Oat, learns to play the game of life while his older brother faces the possibility of being drafted into the Thai military. In Thailand, all males turning 21 years old must participate in the military draft lottery. Drawing a black card grants exemption. Drawing a red card results in two years of military service. When Ek and his long-time boyfriend Jai face the possibility of being drafted, Oat must grow up and learn to take care of himself.
- Leo Barraclough
Two-time Oscar nominee Naomi Watts will receive the Lacoste Spotlight Award at the 17th Costume Designers Guild Awards on February 17 at the Beverly Hilton. The award honors an actor whose talent and career personifies an enduring commitment to excellence, including a special awareness of the role and importance of costume design.
Watts most recently starred in Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Oscar-nominated Birdman opposite Emma Stone and Michael Keaton and St. Vincent alongside Bill Murray and Melissa McCarthy. She received her first Best Actress Oscar nomination for Gonzalez Iñárritu’s 21 Grams in 2003, followed by The Impossible in 2012.
Watts will next be seen in Demolition with Jake Gyllenhaal and the next installment of the Divergent franchise. She also recently wrapped Gus Van Sant’s Sea Of Trees starring opposite Matthew McConaughey. Her other film credits include Mulholland Drive and Peter Jackson’s King Kong.
- The Deadline Team
Throughout the course of development, it seemed as though Marc Forester’s big-screen adaptation of World War Z was doomed for failure. Last-minute script changes, creative clashes, not to mention extensive reshoots cultivated a scenario as foreboding and seemingly insurmountable as the zombie apocalypse itself (well, sort of). Fast forward to the present day, however, and after amassing a staggering, wholly surprising $500 million at the global box office, you have a film that has defied the odds, and a sequel that hopes to do one better.
Or, rather, approach the same subject matter — Max Brook’s excellent, eponymous novel — from a different perspective. Granted, it’s an unusual tactic for a sequel to employ, but it’s one that writer Stephen Knight is angling for the World War Z sequel. In an interview with Indiewire, the Oscar-nominated scribe revealed the tidbit:
“I thought, why not? What fun,” says Knight of »
- Michael Briers
The production may have been troubled, but 2013's "World War Z" proved a smash hit with around half a billion dollars at the box office. Unsurprisingly, talk of a follow-up was soon underway with Juan Antonio Bayona ("The Orphanage," "The Impossible") and Steven Knight ("Locke," "Eastern Promises") linked as direct and writer respectively.
Speaking about his decision to accept the job of penning the zombie sequel, Knight dropped a surprising quote about it in an interview with Indiewire: "I thought, why not? What fun. It’s not quite like the other. We're starting with a clean slate. When [the studio and Brad PItt's Plan B production company] have signed off, we're on!"
By 'clean slate', does that mean the franchise will reboot? The film scored decent notices, but also was subject to complaints about being quite different to the acclaimed Max Brooks book upon which it is based. So a big question now is if the sequel will be »
- Garth Franklin
Half a billion dollars at the box office meant that 2013's World War Z was not at all the disaster that many had predicted. Those sorts of numbers obviously lead to sequel talk, with Juan Antonio Bayona (The Impossible) in the frame to direct and Steven Knight (Locke, Hummingbird, Eastern Promises), working on the screenplay. Still at the treatment stage, Knight has just dropped an intriguing bit of intelligence regarding the follow-up. It is, he says mysteriously, "a clean slate"."I thought, why not? What fun," says Knight of his decision to accept the gig penning a blockbuster zombie sequel. "It’s not quite like the other. We're starting with a clean slate. When [the studio and Brad PItt's Plan B production company] have signed off, we're on!"So what does 'clean slate' mean? Is it possible that World War Z is set to become an anthology series, with each potential instalment a smaller piece of a bigger puzzle? »
Spanish filmmaker Juan Antonio Bayona began as one of the talents supported by Guillermo Del Toro, blazing into the international horror realm back in 2007 with The Orphanage, which showcased the wonderful Belen Rueda. But his 2012 sophomore film, The Impossible, which depicted the onslaught and aftermath of the 2004 tsunami that devastated Thailand, that really brought Bayona acclaim. That film snagged Naomi Watts an Oscar nod for Best Actress and proved the director’s penchant and flair for working with big budget special effects. We’re quite excited to see that he’s adapting Patrick Ness’ celebrated children’s book A Monster Calls for his third feature, which concerns a little boy coping with his mother’s terminal illness and being bullied at school with the help of a tree monster. Liam Neeson stars as said monster, while Felicity Jones plays the »
- Nicholas Bell
The American Society of Cinematographers chose the following five films as the best shot of the year. According to Twitter The Imitation Game is the odd man out. It was shot by Oscar Faura who is definitely talented (see The Orphanage and The Impossible) but discussions around this film rarely concern themselves with the quality of its cinematography (which can't really be said for the other nominees here).
1 of roughly 1,890 amazing shots in Mr Turner
Birdman Emmanuel "Chivo" Lubezki (4 previous Asc nominations, 3 of them won) The Grand Budapest Hotel Robert Yeoman The Imitation Game Oscar Faura Mr. Turner Dick Pope (1 previous Asc nomination for The Illusionist) Unbroken Roger Deakins (12 previous Asc nominations, 3 wins, and 1 lifetime achievement)
It does remind slightly of when The King's Speech got that perplexing actual Oscar nomination for Cinematography over at least a dozen (at least it bears repeating) well shot and more inspiring choices from »
- NATHANIEL R
Set in a gloomy house where you can almost make out shapes skittering through the shadows, “The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death” is the kind of horror movie where you can see the smart, stylish scare film that’s constantly being obscured by cheap and easy jolts.
Director Tom Harper and screenwriter Jon Croker offer up plenty of the atmosphere we’ve come to expect from Hammer horror films — both in the studio’s heyday and in its latest incarnation — but every good idea this sequel has to offer winds up taking a backseat to the most obvious cat-in-the-closet “Boo! »
- Alonso Duralde
8 items from 2015
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