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We are obsessed with technology. This much is true. Between our cell phones and tablets and home computers and whatever else we have in our home that whirs, beeps, or produces faint electromagnetic waves, it sometimes feels like we have a more intimate relationship with our things than the people in our lives. And this has long been the realm of speculative science fiction, which wonders what would happen if that love affair with technology turned really, really dark.
The latest example of this is Warner Bros' new sci-fi epic "Transcendence," which is about the nature of humanity and all of the cumbersome fleshiness that goes with it, and concerns a mad scientist (Johnny Depp) who, after getting poisoned by a radioactive bullet (don't ask) has his consciousness uploaded to a computer which results, of course, in some unintended consequences.
- Drew Taylor
But when the upcoming sequel debuts in theaters abroad (April 16) and in the U.S. (May 2), Spidey will find himself entangled with even more formidable foes — Marvel rivals Captain America and Wolverine— not to mention a terrifying Japanese monster named Godzilla.
Of all the studios in summer 2014’s battle of the superheroes, Sony Pictures, which backs “Spider-Man 2,” arguably has the most at stake. Chairman Michael Lynton and co-chair Amy Pascal need the latest installment of their web-slinging franchise to deliver outsized grosses to offset the studio’s substantial investment, and reverse a recent string of domestic duds that include “RoboCop” and “The Monuments Men.”
Aside from the necessary financial boost, Sony is desperate to lift morale at the studio, which has been reeling from an onslaught of »
- Alexandra Cheney and Ramin Setoodeh
All told it was a buoyant frame as nationwide takings improved by 6% to $18.25 million and six titles each earned more than $1 million.
Animated comedy The Lego Movie eased by 10% to $5.1 million in its second weekend, propelling its haul to $14.4 million, according to Rentrak.s estimates. The Village Roadshow Pictures/Warner Bros. co-production looks set to reach $28 million, if not $30 million, and the worldwide cume hit $US425 million.
Superhero adventure Captain America: The Winter Soldier grabbed $3.6 million despite falling by 40%, to elevate its 11-day total to $12.2 million. However the Marvel franchise isn.t tracking as strongly here as in the Us, where the film starring Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson and Samuel J. Jackson has rung up $US159 million in 10 days.
- Don Groves
The filmmaker was in negotiations to write and direct back in May, but 20th Century Fox didn't want to wait for his scehdule to clear, now that he is committed to directing Sony's The Amazing Spider-Man 2 spin-off The Sinister Six, along with Netflix's Daredevil TV series.
The project is based on a 2012 e-book by Andy Weir, which chronicles an astronaut who becomes stranded on Mars and tries to find a way back to Earth. While it may sound similar to last year's blockbuster Gravity, the story is said to be much different, described as a cross between Apollo 13 and Cast Away.
Matt Damon is not officially attached at this time, and his involvement is said to hinge upon who the studio selects as the new director. »
Plans by the German government to slash the budget for incentive programme Dfff by €10m ($13.8m) has surprised the film community.
In her first public appearance before representatives of the film industry on the eve of this year’s Berlinale, the new State Minister for Culture and Media Monika Grütters had told the audience at the German Producers Guild conference that she intended to continue the good work achieved by her predecessor in the post Bernd Neumann.
At the time, Grütters pointed out that the budget for the Dfff had been increased from €60m to €70m ($83m to $97m) in 2013 “and we would like to leave it at least at this”.
She had also said that the coalition agreement between the Cdu/Csu and Spd had given a “clear signal” for Germany as a production hub by proposing that the Dfff .
However, less than a month later, finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble submitted a draft budget which envisaged »
- email@example.com (Martin Blaney)
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Even though I'm not much of a fan, I'll start with The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug as it has to be the hottest title on the board this week. However, fan or not, I'm not sure why you'd buy this version as you know an extended version is just around the corner and, on top of that, why not just wait until Warner Home Video releases the massive, Hobbit and Lord of the Rings box set we all know is going to be release eventuallyc Likely with the extended additions, new features and cool packaging that will likely take up less shelf space than the six titles individually. I'm just saying, think before you click "Buy".
- Brad Brevet
Germany has cut funding for its popular federal film tax incentive by around $14 million for 2014, reducing the amount available for local shoots to some $82 million (€60 million) from $96 million (€70 million). Video: 'Grand Budapest Hotel' Trailer: Wes Anderson's Cast Introduced The fund, the Dfff, which has backed such productions as Wes Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel, George Clooney's The Monuments Men and Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds, has been credited with bringing tentpole productions to shoot in Germany. Its success was a prime reason why the German government boosted the fund's budget last year. The news of the
- Scott Roxborough
The Marvel superheroes triumphed but the 3D animated film wasn.t far behind. Arguably the big winners were cinema owners as the 4-day takings soared by 36% to $17 million, and the distributors, the Walt Disney Co. and Roadshow.
With school holidays starting in Victoria and Queensland today, The Lego Movie could overtake the action-adventure later this week.
The superhero saga starring Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Samuel L. Jackson and Robert Redford raked in $6 million in 4 days and $6.3 million including the prior weekend.s previews, according to Rentrak's estimates.
That.s well ahead of Captain America: The First Avenger, which opened with $4.6 million in 2011 and wound up with $10.6 million.
Given the heavyweight competition, »
- Don Groves
Not too long ago, we learned that Andrew Garfield was going to join Helen Mirren in the World War II drama Woman in Gold. Using what feels like a story set after the events of The Monuments Men, the film follows the story of Maria Altmann, a woman who worked with lawyer Randol Schoenberg to take legal action against the Austrian government to recover art works that once belonged to her family but were stolen by the Nazis. Garfield was meant to play the attorney, but now Deadline reports Ryan Reynolds is surprisingly stepping into the dramatic role for The Weinstein Company film from director Simon Curtis. After a series of poorly performing films, it looks like Reynolds is ready to shake his career up a bit, and we're certainly interested to see how he fares, especially knowing how well he worked in films like Safe House and Buried. In addition, »
- Ethan Anderton
A story of noble heroes battling to protect priceless artworks stolen from their rightful owners during the Second World War? It sounded like Oscar bait when George Clooney's "The Monuments Men" first turned up on the horizon, and we all know how that turned out. Might it turn out any better with Helen Mirren and Harvey Weinstein leading the charge? The Oscar-winning actress has signed on for The Weinstein Company's "Woman in Gold," the true-life tale of Holocaust survivor Maria Altmann, who entered a legal battle with the Austrian government to retrieve a number of Gustav Klimt paintings taken from her family during the war. Ryan Reynolds is committed to play the lawyer who takes on her case; Daniel Brühl is in talks to play the opposition. TV-trained British director Simon Curtis, who steered Michelle Williams to an Oscar nomination in the Weinsteins' "My Week With Marilyn," is on board, »
- Guy Lodge
The Monuments Men may not have been critically adored, but that hasn't stopped The Weinstein Company from setting up another drama based on the Nazi art thefts of WWII. Woman In Gold is a different prospect, however, since the art in question wasn't returned to its owner until 2006, following a bitterly-fought court battle. Simon Curtis is directing the film, which will star Helen Mirren as the real-life Maria Altmann. She'll be supported by Ryan Reynolds as an attorney who takes her case, and Daniel Bruhl as Reynolds' adversary in court.The Woman In Gold herself is not a person but a portrait by Gustav Klimt, depicting Altmann's aunt Adele Bloch-Bauer. It was one of five Klimt paintings deemed to belong to Altmann by the Us Supreme Court, which ruled that she could sue for their return from the Austrian Gallery in Vienna in 2004.Two years later she emerged from the case victorious. »
Cinema Retro has received the following press release from Sony
Culver City, Calif. (March 31, 2014) – George Clooney’s action thriller The Monuments Men marches its way onto Blu-ray Combo pack, DVD and Digital* May 20 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. Based on the
non-fiction book of the same name by Robert M. Edsel with Bret Witter, the film pays tribute to the real men and women who risked their lives to recover and return thousands of cultural treasures stolen by the Nazis during World War II.
The Blu-ray™ Combo Pack is loaded with bonus materials, including two all-new featurettes that highlight the making of the film. The first, “George Clooney’s Mission,” features interviews with Clooney, as well as the rest of the cast, on the elements that went into completing The Monuments Men. The second featurette, “Marshaling the Cast,” features a cast discussion on the real men and women they brought to life on screen. »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Cinema Retro)
Australian films have raked in $14 million at the national box-office this year, a much stronger start than the first three months of 2013.
John Curran.s Tracks has taken nearly $2.1 million, a modest result given the mostly laudatory reviews, the extensive ad-pub campaign and Mia Wasikowska.s knock-out performance as the .camel girl. Robyn Davidson.
One school of thought is that the film was impacted by competition from Oscar-winner 12 Years a Slave and The Monuments Men.
Another theory holds that many people were familiar with the tale of the young woman.s 2,700 km trek across the Outback and wrongly expected the film »
- Don Groves
Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: May 20, 2014
Price: DVD $30.99, Blu-ray/DVD Combo $40.99
Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Based on the book by Robert M. Edsel, the drama movie follows the exploits of an aging U.S. platoon who are assigned to track down, steal and return priceless pieces of art that were stolen by Nazis.
Matt Damon (Elysium), Bill Murray (Get Low), Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine), John Goodman (TV’s Treme), Hugh Bonneville (Agatha Christie’s Poirot: Murder on the Orient Express) and Bob Balaban (Girl Most Likely) co-star in the war film.
Despite all the name actors, moviegoers gave PG-13 The Monuments Men mixed reviews, with 50% approval, according to Rotten Tomatoes. Critics weren’t so kind, awarding the film only 33%. Still the movie grossed a tidy $76.6 million at the box office. »
Audiences turned out en masse for the tale starring Russell Crowe as the man chosen by God to save the innocent so the evil and corrupt will perish as a cataclysmic flood covers the Earth.
Noah raked in $4.5 million to easily win the weekend, the. biggest non-holiday opening for 2014 and Paramount.s biggest for the year to-date. That's in line with the impressive Us debut of $US43.7 million, the biggest debut ever for Crowe in the Us.
DreamWorks Animation.s Mr Peabody & Sherman, a comedy about a genius beagle who roams the world in his time machine with an orphan infant he.s adopted, fetched $2.4 million in its first four days. Including $1.3 million in previews from the prior weekend which Fox did not report, that brings the total to $3.77 million. »
- Don Groves
Los Angeles (AP) — After weathering a sea of controversy, "Noah" arrived in first place at the weekend box office. Paramount's biblical epic starring Russell Crowe in the titular role opened with $44 million, according to studio estimates Sunday. The imaginative take on the tale of Noah's Ark from "Black Swan" director Darren Aronofsky led some religious groups to claim the story had been inaccurately depicted and prompted Paramount to add a disclaimer to marketing materials noting that "artistic license has been taken" in telling the story. The polarizing attention apparently paid off for "Noah," which features such additions to the well-known Bible story as angelic rock creatures and chic wardrobes for Noah and his family. "Noah," which also stars Jennifer Connelly and Emma Watson, also sailed smoothly in 22 international markets, such as Russia and Australia, earning $33.6 million abroad. "It certainly feels like the film has really connected with both mainstream moviegoers »
- Derrik J. Lang, AP
Party of four, please! George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin continue to make the dinner rounds with friends, as the couple stepped out to dine at Kazu Sushi in Studio City, Calif., on Thursday. But this wasn't just any double date: The Monuments Men star-director and the U.K. lawyer were joined by actors Emily Blunt and John Krasinski. After noshing on sushi, the foursome said their goodbyes with warm hugs in the parking lot. And while Clooney and Alamuddin seem to love eating out - they recently stepped out for dinner with friends in New York City - a night »
- Anya Leon
After winning Best Actor for his performance in The Artist, we've seen Jean Dujardin pop up in The Wolf of Wall Street and The Monuments Men, but he's also been busy in his homeland of France. Now audiences can see him in one of those films from overseas with The Players. Hitting limited theaters next week, The Weinstein Company is releasing this short film anthology about infidelity, and some men who sleep around on their wives. Though the film has segments from multiple directors, including Dujardin himself, this one only seems to focus on one of the shorts featuring the Oscar-winning French actor and Gilles Lellouche. Here's the trailer for the French film The Players from The Weinstein Company: And here's the poster with Jean Dujardin in a compromising position: The Players is a comedy omnibus or anthology featuring various stories focusing on the theme of infidelity and and its adulterous variants. »
- Ethan Anderton
Zap2it: With "Jimmy Kimmel Live" having marked its 2,000th show recently, what is it like now for the program to get a visit from someone on the order of Meryl Streep?
Jimmy Kimmel: When you're looking for validation -- which is probably the reason anybody gets into doing anything like this -- you can't really come up with better validation as a talk show host, or probably as a director or an actor either, than working with Meryl Streep.
Just the idea that she was open to slumming with us was something I never would have imagined 10 years ago, when we were pulling reality stars off "Are You Hot or Not?" and dragging them onto our stage.
Zap2it: How was it for you to have the whole, star-laden cast of the movie "The Monuments Men" on for a recent episode that also got a repeat in prime time several nights later? »
It.s every exhibitor.s worst nightmare: Four mainstream films open on the same weekend, three are instant flops and the other is just Ok.
Ride Along has raked in $US133 million in the Us, drawing a sizable African-American audience, but buddy-cop comedies rarely replicate that. level of success internationally, including Australia, with a few exceptions such as the Rush Hour, Bad Boys and Beverly Hills Cop franchises.
The caper starring Kevin Hart and Ice Cube as an Atlanta detective and his pal, a high school security guard and wannabe cop who get mixed up in a deadly arms deal, took $926,000 on 145 screens, according to Rentrak's weekend estimates.
Big-budget disaster movie Pompeii was a debacle in the Us last month, »
- Don Groves
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