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Evil goatees, facial ticks and eyepatches… Remember these classic takes on TV’s ‘evil twin’ trope?
When it comes to shenanigans and shock value, it’s hard to go past the trope of the evil twin on television. It’s so much fun seeing old-school split-screen on the small screen, where the same actor plays two (or more) parts. It ramps up the fun and fantasy, or delivers a fabulous freak-out moment.
Science fiction feels like the natural habitat of doubles. The audience is already suspending their disbelief, so what’s one more?
Hands-down one of the best uses of twins (or multiples) is from the 2004 reboot of Battlestar Galactica. Cylon hybrids were flawless versions of humans who looked, sounded, acted and believed they were just like you and me. It »
Usually, a competing project is poison for a studio. Especially in the era now where a blockbuster costs the national budget of a small country to get out into the world, you don't want to be up against a film with similar subject matter.
Yet this keeps happening, time and time again. Even now, there are two live action Jungle Book movies in various stages of production, for example. And let us not forget when K-9 and Turner And Hooch once did battle...
But how have the movie showdowns of old turned out? And are there any instances where everyone's a winner?
Er, not many as it happens...
Let's start with two reasonably budgeted horror films, that both got wide releases. Jan De Bont »
Warner Bros' Pan is this week's new wide release. The film is a new telling of the Peter Pan origin story from director Joe Wright (Pride & Prejudice, Atonement), starring Hugh Jackman as the villainous Blackbeard and newcomer Levi Miller in the title role. A week ago it was reported the film's opening weekend was tracking as low as $21-22 million, worrisome numbers for a film said to be budgeted at $150 million, and I'm having a hard time going even that high with my predictions. In an attempt to find similar titles for comparison there are plenty to choose from, one such being Disney's Oz the Great and Powerful, which opened to the tune of $79.1 million in 2013. On the opposite end of the box office spectrum there's Universal's attempt at a live-action Pan movie back in 2003, which opened with $11.1 million. Adjusted for inflation, that opening number climbs to $15.4 million, a bit »
- Brad Brevet <email@example.com>
The pint-sized burlap-clad Sam is back in the four-part graphic novel Days of the Dead from Michael Dougherty, the creator of Trick 'r Treat. Also: release details for Lavalantula, an excerpt from Mark Morris' The Society of Blood, and a special Halloween weekend iTunes release for Crazy Bitches.
Trick 'R Treat Graphic Novel: "From the twisted imagination of Trick ‘r Treat creator Michael Dougherty (director of the upcoming Krampus and Trick ‘r Treat 2 and screenwriter of X-Men 2 and Superman Returns) alongside a top-notch team of creators including writers Todd Casey and Zach Shields (Krampus), Marc Andreyko (Batwoman) and artists Fiona Staples (Saga), Stephen Byrne (Buffy/Angel), Stuart Sayger (Bram Stoker’s Death Ship) and Zid (Son of Merlin) comes this 4-part collection that paves the way for the Trick ‘r Treat film sequel.
- Tamika Jones
The first photo has been released from "Infini" and "Gabriel" director Shane Abbess' new sci-fi action film "SFv1". Set in a universe of interplanetary colonization, Kellan Lutz plays a mysterious drifter who teams with an off-world military contractor (Daniel MacPherson) amid a global crisis.
Untitled Shah Project
Melisa Wallack ("Dallas Buyers Club," "Mirror Mirror") is set to pen the screenplay for "King of Kings" at Gateway Films with that project currently lining up a director. Terry Stone penned the original treatment and will produce.
The story deals with Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the last Shah of Iran and explores his often fraught relationship with the United States It also documents the mistakes that set the stage for the Iranian revolution and the rise of religious leader Ruhollah Khomeini. [Source: Variety]
- Garth Franklin
Gateway Films is backing the picture and is currently lining up a director. In Wallack, the studio gets an Oscar-nominated writer, whose credits include “Dallas Buyers Club” and “Mirror Mirror.” She is currently working with “Dallas Buyers Club” director Jean-Marc Vallee on “Janis Joplin: Get it While You Can” and is writing “Dancing With Myself” for Warner Bros.
The film looks at the Shah’s often fraught relationship with the United States, and documents the mistakes that set the stage for the Iranian revolution and the rise of religious leader Ruhollah Khomeini.
“The Shah of Iran is one of history’s most polarizing »
- Brent Lang
'The Man from U.N.C.L.E.' 2015: Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer. 'The Man from U.N.C.L.E.' movie is a domestic box office bomb: Will it be saved by international filmgoers? Directed by Sherlock Holmes' Guy Ritchie and toplining Man of Steel star Henry Cavill and The Lone Ranger costar Armie Hammer, the Warner Bros. release The Man from U.N.C.L.E. has been a domestic box office disaster, performing about 25 percent below – already quite modest – expectations. (See also: “'The Man from U.N.C.L.E.' Movie: Bigger Box Office Flop Than Expected.”) This past weekend, the $80 million-budget The Man from U.N.C.L.E. collected a meager $13.42 million from 3,638 North American theaters, averaging $3,689 per site. After five days out, the big-screen reboot of the popular 1960s television series starring Robert Vaughn and David McCallum has taken in a mere $16.77 million. For comparison's sake: »
- Zac Gille
'The Man from U.N.C.L.E.' with Henry Cavill. 'The Man from U.N.C.L.E.' box office: Hollywood's third domestic bomb in a row Right on the heels of Chris Columbus-Adam Sandler's Pixels and Josh Trank's Fantastic Four comes The Man from U.N.C.L.E., a big screen adaptation of the 1960s television series, directed by Guy Ritchie and starring Man of Steel hero Henry Cavill and The Lone Ranger costar Armie Hammer. (See updated follow-up post: “'The Man from U.N.C.L.E.' Movie Box Office: Bigger Bomb Than Expected.”) Budgeted at a reported $88 million, to date Pixels has collected a mere $61.11 million in North America. Overseas things are a little better: an estimated $73.6 million as of Aug. 9, for a worldwide total of approx. $134.71 million. Sounds profitable? Well, not yet. First of all, let's not forget that distributor »
- Zac Gille
At least 10 movie productions appear among 145 debtors listed in Relativity’s bankruptcy filing so far. The limited companies’ names mimic titles of the films in question. The movies vary from specialized fare such as Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s feature directing debut Don Jon to major releases like Mirror Mirror, Relativity’s Snow White story that came out ahead of Universal’s more successful Snow White And The Huntsman back in 2012. Specific creditors are not listed for… »
Marc Klein has spent the last four months working on a script for Relativity called “The Lost Wife,” a World War II love story set during the Holocaust. He traveled to Auschwitz and Czech Republic for research, but now the project — and the rest of his paycheck — hang in limbo, after the studio that backed it filed for bankruptcy on Thursday.
“This isn’t something I’d be able to write at a major studio,” Klein said. “It’s a story that Hollywood could tell and isn’t anymore. The one company who did is now bankrupt. That’s a bummer. They’ve been nothing but great to me.”
Beyond his own project, Klein says that Relativity’s financial meltdown will send shockwaves throughout he entertainment industry. “It’s a sad day for the movie business,” says Klein, who also worked with Relativity as the co-writer of “Mirror Mirror,” starring Julia Roberts. »
- Brent Lang and Ramin Setoodeh
For foreign distributors, Relativity Media’s bankruptcy filing is the final chapter in a story of frustration.
One of the principal pillars of Relativity’s business plan was its global network of output deals, which provided a significant portion of production financing.
Relativity International, headed by former New Line International exec Camela Galano, had upwards of 20 output deals, including multiple pacts with the regional divisions of eOne. The deals spanned the majority of overseas markets. New elements were added this past February when Munich-based Tele Muenchen Group filled in a major gap in the network by signing up for rights in Germany and Austria, and Viva Entertainment did the same on a smaller scale in the Philippines. Relativity International also renewed its deal with Tripictures and Imagem in Latin America.
International distributors are not expected to take a major hit since the Relativity pipeline had not supplied as many films as had been expected. »
- Elsa Keslassy and Patrick Frater
Glances at fundamental questions of identity and humanity and decides that they are best resolved via fistfights, gun battles, and car chases. I’m “biast” (pro): mostly love Tarsem Singh’s films; big Sf geek
I’m “biast” (con): nothing
(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)
A ruthless old real-estate tycoon billionaire, Damian Hale (Ben Kingsley: Exodus: Gods and Kings), is dying of cancer, so he has his mind transferred to a younger body (Ryan Reynolds: Woman in Gold), as you do when you’re a ruthless old man wealthy beyond belief and terrified of your mortality. Of course he doesn’t ask the tough questions about the hush-hush project of clearly dubious morality, not even when the suave mad scientist in charge, Albright (Matthew Goode: The Imitation Game), smoothly notes with a slick grin that he’s not asking the right questions. This is »
- MaryAnn Johanson
From comic-book adaptations to sci-fi, fantasy and horror. Here are the new geek-skewed shows coming to Us TV in 2016...
The world of TV has never been so crowded and, at the same time, geeks have never had it so good. As saturated as the big screen is with superhero films and sprawling shared universes, that mentality has well and truly bled onto the small screen too.
So there’s a lot of comic-book adaptations coming up in 2016 from Marvel, DC and others, but genre TV is represented across the board with science-fiction, fantasy and horror represented at pretty much every network and cable channel in the Us.
Here's some of the geek TV that will be making its way to us from the Us next year.
Aka Jessica Jones (Netflix)
Part of Netflix’s own connected slice of the McU, there has been a lot of confusion over when we »
Body/mind transference, the central idea behind the thriller Self/Less, is so flush with opportunity that it’s frustrating to see this new movie fly off the rails so early and so completely. Self/Less has the premise for thought-provoking science-fiction, but it doesn’t have the gumption. It would rather be a blockbuster than a mind-bender but it turns out to be neither. Ben Kingsley stars as Damian Hale, a miserly real-estate magnate at death’s door who pays a quarter million dollars for the services of the shadowy corporation known as ‘Phoenix Biogenics’ (we know he’s rich because he’s shown in his Trump-style penthouse complete with solid gold doors and bannister). Albright (Matthew Goode), Phoenix’s spiffy young chief, offers his clients ‘Shedding’, a process of transferring the mind from the old and sick body into a healthy younger human grown organically in their lab. »
- Tom Stockman
If the twin successes of Mad Max: Fury Road and Ex Machina have something to say about genre fiction in 2015, it’s that a simple premise envisioned with thoughtful craft can pump as much blood to the cognitive parts of your brain as it does the pleasure centers. Meeting nicely in the middle between head-trip and Neanderthal action vehicle is Self/less, the latest film from acclaimed visualist and debatable storyteller Tarsem Singh (Aka Tarsem). Though his last two efforts – the Snow White and 300 also-rans, respectively, Mirror Mirror and Immortals - failed to produce Hollywood fare as bankable as his career-defining The Fall was beautiful, Self/less is unmistakably, uniquely Tarsem, despite the derivative appearance.
An apposite clash between creative forces seen and unseen makes for one of the many engaging threads to pull at while watching Self/less, a twisty thriller all about exteriors and interiors wrestling for control. »
- Sam Woolf
No one in sound mind and body wants to die, and that includes Ben Kingsley in the new film by Tarsem Singh. The director made his feature debut with the visually-striking The Cell in 2000, which raised expectations for bizarre and ambitious The Fall (2006), which was also sumptuous in appearance, if narratively lacking. Since then, he has made Immortals (reviewed here) and Mirror Mirror (reviewed here), two films that continued to demonstrate his preference (and reliance) for imagery and motion over story and sense. As far as the visuals are concerned, Self/Less represents the director's most reality-bound effort yet, following along as the very wealthy New York real-estate developer Damian (Kingsley affecting a New Yawk accent) comes to a decision about his future. Damian...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
The latest film from visual auteur/director Tarsem Singh (Immortals, Mirror Mirror), Self/less is hitting the big screens next week and we have 15 double passes to give away in Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver, Ottawa, Winnipeg and Halifax. To be entered into a draw to win passes to an advance screening, simply email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with “Self/less” in the sujbject headline.
Please make sure to indicate which city you live in and provide a first and last name. Thank you.
Self/less stars Ryan Reynolds, Matthew Goode, Michelle Dockery and Ben Kingsley, and tells the story of a very rich man dying from cancer, who undergoes an experimental medical procedure which transfers his consciousness into the body of someone younger. Unfortunately, there are consequences to the body that he chose that he must now live with. Watch the trailer below and best of luck!
Calgary – Wed, »
Yes sir, we couldn't agree more! »
2012: the year the movie universe sparked, Universal struggled, and young adult adaptations really took off...
The big blockbusters of summer 2011 were the ones that followed fairly straightforward rules. The majority of them were sequels in linear movie franchises - Harry Potter, Transformers, Pirates Of The Caribbean, Fast & Furious - and it felt for the most part like a template was being followed.
Sure, there were surprises. Bridesmaids broke through and proved to be a massive R-rated hit. X-Men: First Class, meanwhile, came through unscathed - and in fine shape - from its reboot, whilst Jj Abrams took us temporarily back to the 1980s with Super 8. But other than that, the pattern was set: the big, pre-ordained films took the lion's share of the cash, and regular sequels were the order of the day.
The signs of change were there in 2011, of course. Thor was a bigger hit than most were expecting, »
In light of Liam Neeson currently filming Martin Scorsese's "Silence," you might think that the actor would want to take a break from action films. You couldn't blame the guy after the dreadful "Taken 3," and the goofy but somewhat tolerable "Run All Night." But you would be mistaken. Deadline reports that the actor will lead "A Willing Patriot" (I can already see the stars-and-stripes inspired poster right now). Jason Keller, whose credits include failed Oscar bait "Machine Gun Preacher," fairy tale flick "Mirror Mirror" and Arnie/Sly vehicle "Escape Plan," penned a none too taxing story which will find Neeson dusting off his special set of skills as a CIA agent who has to find a terrorist. Yep, sounds like another Mad Libs movie from Neeson. Martin Zandvliet will direct the movie, which is expected to pick up domestic distribution at Cannes, then to clutter up a couple thousand cinema. »
- Kevin Jagernauth
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