13 items from 2014
The hire was announced at the Toronto Film Festival. Browning will relocate from New York to Los Angeles to join co-president Aaron Ryder.
Browning exec produced underwater adventure “Sanctum” with James Cameron and developed, produced and financed “Europa Report,” Zach Galifianakis starrer “It’s Kind of a Funny Story” and “Ondine,” starring Colin Farrell.
FilmNation is currently in development on “The Good House,” to star Meryl Streep and Robert De Niro, and “In the Event of a Moon Disaster,” with Tate Taylor directing. It’s in pre-production on Denis Villeneuve’s “Story of Your Life,” starring Amy Adams.
Browning and Ryder will report to FilmNation topper Glen Basner.
Browning co-founded Wayfare Entertainment in 2008 and became CEO in 2010 until Wayfare was absorbed into Start Media in 2013.
FilmNation negotiated $50 million in additional capital last year with an equity-backed, »
- Dave McNary
Labor Day is considered the end of summer, which means fall, our favorite season, is just around the corner. And it's also time to cast your votes for the sixth annual Reaper Awards, running now through October 17th. Winners will be announced just prior to Halloween on October 27th.
From the Press Release:
The Reaper Awards, honoring the best horror and thriller titles of the past year on DVD and Blu-ray Disc, are presented by Home Media Magazine and DreadCentral.com. Eligible titles were released between August 1, 2013, and July 31, 2014.
Results of the consumer vote will be combined with the selections of a judging panel of horror experts and home entertainment reviewers. The panel of judges will also select a Title of the Year.
Note that titles were submitted by participating studios, and if you believe a title is missing from the list, it may be due to the studio not submitting it for consideration. »
- Debi Moore
A kung fu TV show on “AMC”? Hell, why not. They could fight zombies, too. Minus the zombies, that’s apparently what former “Smallville” producers Al Gough and Miles Millar are bringing to American TV, along with Hong Kong mainstays Daniel Wu and Stephen Fung. Wu is a long-time Hong Kong actor who has broadened his career to Western work with “The Man with the Iron Fists” and “Europa Report,” and Fung is an actor turned director, recently responsible for the “Tai Chi Zero” trilogy of kung fu films. The duo is teaming up with Gough and Millar for “Badlands” (the show’s current working title), which has already been given a first season, 6-episode greenlight by cable net AMC, home of “The Walking Dead” and “Breaking Bad.” “Badlands” is a genre-bending martial arts series very loosely based on the classic Chinese tale “Journey to the West.” In a land controlled by feudal barons, »
What’s new, what’s hot, and what you may have missed, now available to stream.
streaming now, before it’s on dvd
The Lego Movie: you’ve seen this all before — it’s Toy Story meets The Matrix — just not done in Legos [my review] [at iTunes UK] The Lunchbox: a charming, bittersweet, utterly chaste love affair forged over food and cemented by kindred spirits [my review] [at iTunes UK] 112 Weddings: startling and welcome breath of reality for an institution overladen by fantasy in our culture: happily ever after is hard! [my review] [at iTunes UK] Visitors: a weirdly beautiful film, eerie in its complicated simplicity, and open to seven billion interpretations, all of them valid [my review] [at iTunes UK] The Zero Theorem: Terry Gilliam’s latest is chock full of glorious Gillam style and a fun performance from Christoph Waltz, but little else [at iTunes UK]
streaming now, before it’s on dvd
- MaryAnn Johanson
We’ve learned that production is just now getting underway on 400 Days, a psychological sci-fi thriller that’s being led by Brandon Routh (Superman Returns) and Dane Cook (Dan In Real Life). Matt Osterman (Ghost From The Machine) penned the script and will also direct. Though 400 Days is a small project, early plot details definitely makes it sound like one worth keeping an eye on.
According to Deadline, 400 Days “centers on four astronauts sent on a simulated mission to a distant planet to test the psychological effects of deep space travel. Locked away for 400 days, the crew’s mental state begins to deteriorate when they lose all communication with the outside world. Forced to exit the ship, they discover that this mission may not have been a simulation after all.”
- Isaac Feldberg
Please leave your desire for a well-rounded story in the lockers provided, and keep your arms and legs inside the ride while it is in motion. I’m “biast” (pro): nothing
I’m “biast” (con): nothing
I have seen the source material (and I am indifferent about it)
(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)
Beware, children, when attempting to rehabilitate a cartoon villain. Or when updating a fairy tale or beloved classic fantasy story. For you tread on treacherous ground, and a successful completion of your quest is far from certain.
As a warning to you all, behold Maleficent, the “true story” behind Disney’s 1959 Sleeping Beauty, and the lesson not learned from Disney’s previous similar outings, Oz the Great and Powerful and Alice in Wonderland. Unless the lesson is: Throw enough theme-park spectacle at audiences and you don’t need to bother with »
- MaryAnn Johanson
Diego Araujo, writer-director
His helming debut “Feriado,” sold by M-Appeal, became the first Ecuadorian pic to have a world premiere at the Berlinale. Araujo has written and directed several shorts, docus and commercials. He’s developing three pics with Norwegian wife/producing partner Hanne-Lovise Skartveit: found-footage horror pic, “Cinco,” comedy “Ocupacion Habitual” and a dramedy.
Victor Arauz, writer
He’s proven his dramatic chops in two pics, Ecuador’s 2013 foreign-language Oscar entry “The Porcelain Horse” and “Sin otono, sin primavera,” but his comedic talents are on display in a daily sitcom and a weekend sketch comedy on TV. “I get bored easily, so I like being busy,” he says. Arauz, 30, also has acted in and directed plays, and is the frontman in punk-rock band Los Propios.
Simon Brauer, cinematographer
An experimental vein runs through Brauer’s award-winning credits in still photography, shorts, ads, videos, books and features. He was »
- Anna Marie de la Fuente
It’s a science fiction Golden Age in comic books right now, and one of the most unique titles has certainly been Charles Soule and Alberto Jiménez Albuquerque’s Letter 44. Like last year’s fantastic indie film Europa Report, Letter 44 is tied closely enough to the real world—and real science—that it’s not difficult to imagine it happening as a result of politics and experimental space exploration. And it seems that the SyFy channel, while certainly a fan of schlocky monster movies, can also appreciate the gravity of finding new life in space, as publisher Oni Press has recently announced the channel’s upcoming adaptation of Letter 44 for television.
Here’s the press release, including a short plot summary:
Portland, Or (April 30, 2014) – Oni Press is thrilled to announce that Charles Soule and Alberto Jiménez Alburquerque’s hit ongoing series Letter 44 has been picked up for development for television by SyFy! »
- Holly Interlandi
Ben Browning will leave his post as president of Start Motion Pictures, the production company that made “It's Kind of a Funny Story” and “Europa Report.” Browning will continue to work with Start Motion on the upcoming “Passengers,” starring Keanu Reeves, as well as a few other projects in development. Also read: 21 Summer Movies We're Dying to See – From ‘Transformers 4' to ‘Godzilla’ Browning and Michael Maher launched the New York-based company as Wayfare Entertainment six years ago. Maher then launched his own company Start Media, which operates a few different entities, including movie theaters and a publishing company. »
- Lucas Shaw
Genre: Horror | Sci-Fi | Thriller
Director: Ruairi Robinson
MPAA Rating: R
Run Time: 98 minutes
On the last day of the first manned mission to Mars, a crew member of Tantalus Base believes he has made an astounding discovery – fossilized evidence of bacterial life. Unwilling to let the relief crew claim all the glory, he disobeys orders to pack up and goes out on an unauthorized expedition to collect further samples. But a routine excavation turns to disaster when the porous ground collapses, and he falls into a deep crevice and near certain death. His devastated colleagues attempt to recover his body. However, when another vanishes they start to suspect that the life-form they have discovered is not yet dead. As the group begins to fall apart it seems their only hope is the imminent arrival of the relief ship Aurora. Directed by Ruairi Robinson, »
- Jess Orso
Director: Sebastian Cordero
Running Time: 87 Minutes
Journey with us to Europa, one of the moons of Jupiter where there may be clues hinting towards our beginning and the beginning of life itself. Europa Report is a low-key take on a theme also covered in Ridley Scott’s overblown Prometheus. Although the more subtle approach will certainly appeal to the more scientifically minded, the fact that nothing of note happens throughout the laborious running time, added to the messy use of the found-footage genre, means that Europa Report makes itself very hard to connect with..
Once again the idea of los footage, now found, is used in a way that suggests the filmmakers have no idea why they are using it. Yes, it does add a sense of realism to »
- Luke Ryan Baldock
The Academy Award nominations have been announced and cinephiles are scrambling to catch up on the Best Picture honorees before the big ceremony. Not everyone is a fan of Oscar, though. Perhaps you are already sick of hearing about the Wolf of Wall Street controversy or Matthew McConaughey's weight loss. If you prefer something a little more scary, silly, and/or gory than what the Academy Awards has to offer, here are nine comparable alternatives for horror fans.
Instead of: Gravity
Watch: Europa Report (2013)
While Alfonso Cuarón's Gravity is arguably a horror movie itself (and a gorgeous one at that), it was not the only critically-acclaimed space-terror film of last year. Sebastián Cordero directed an international cast of actors in this tense sci-fi/horror about a space crew seeking alien life on Jupiter's moon. Just when we were all sick of found footage, Europa Report proved there is still life in the subgenre. »
- Heather Seebach
2013 was a great year for science-fiction films. We had superheroes (Thor: The Dark World, Man of Steel, Iron Man 3), the end of the world (The World’s End, This is the End), aliens (Riddick, Dark Skies, The Host), dystopias (Oblivion, Elysium, Ender’s Game, Pacific Rim), space exploration (Europa Report, Gravity), and another Star Trek film. This year’s crop of upcoming sci-fi films are full to the brim with goodies, including the return of some old friends and plenty of mind-blowing scenarios coming from some of the best minds the genre has to offer.
After the complete disaster that was Roland Emerich’s Godzilla of 1998, the Big G swam back to his native Japan; his pride shot and his confidence almost nonexistent. After starring in numerous Toho-produced entries in his regular series (most of them better than decent), Godzilla decided to give America one more chance to get his story right. »
- Andrew Perez
13 items from 2014
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