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We first reported on the project back in April, when Dan Trachtenberg signed on to make his directorial debut. The story centers on a teenage girl who wakes up in a creepy underground cellar, where she is told by her eerie caretaker (John Goodman) that a nuclear attack has killed off all life on the surface.
Daniel Casey rewrote the script from the original draft by Josh Campbell and Matthew Stuecken. Paramount Insurge is eyeing a $5 million budget for the thriller, although no production schedule was given.
We’ve now passed the halfway point of 2014, and while we dusted off our awards column Oscar Beat to rundown the post-Cannes Film Festival atmosphere back in May, the Oscar season doesn’t begin in earnest until September. That said, given that fall isn’t the only time of the year that’s considered eligible for awards notice, I thought it fitting to take a look back at the last six months to see what films might pop up in the Oscar conversation later this year. Read on after the jump. The barren wasteland that is January gave us nothing of note with regards to awards consideration, but February provided a serious contender in the Best Animated Feature field: The Lego Movie. Given its massive commercial success and wildly positive reviews, the pic is considered a top player in the Best Animated Feature category (and rightly so) and could indeed go all the way. »
- Adam Chitwood
A pair of titles from Warner Bros. dominated the home video sales charts the week ending June 29, as “300: Rise of an Empire” and “The Lego Movie” accounted for 58% of all disc sales among the top 20.
The historical actioner “300: Rise of an Empire,” a follow-up to the 2007 film “300,” debuted at No. 1 on the Nielsen VideoScan First Alert chart — which tracks overall DVD and Blu-ray Disc combined sales — while the previous week’s top title, “The Lego Movie,” dropped to No. 2 after selling 97% as the “300″ sequel.
The two titles also topped VideoScan’s dedicated Blu-ray Disc sales chart, with “Lego Movie” selling 73% as many copies of the high-definition format as “300: Rise of an Empire.” Universal’s “Lone Survivor” landed at No. 3 on both charts, dropping a spot from a week earlier.
Rounding out the top five on First Alert, Disney’s megahit “Frozen” moved up to No. 4, with Universal’s “Non-Stop” at No. »
- Thomas K. Arnold
When Bill Murray isn’t busy crashing wedding engagement photoshoots and bachelor parties, crooning karaoke with total strangers, tending bar at SXSW, rolling with the Wu-Tang, and generally being awesome, he occasionally makes movies. Given that the acting legend has turned himself into a mythical meme generator in the latter stage of his career, this may come as somewhat of a shock. But it’s true; in 2014 alone, Murray has appeared in roles big and small, ranging from the likes of The Monuments Men to The Grand Budapest Hotel.
For Murray’s devoted patrons, there’s even more of him to go around this fall, in the shape of St. Vincent. At a glance, it’s a movie that tries to have its cake and eat it too, playing off of Murray’s loveable jerk persona for a heartwarming endgame. The film’s ...
Click to continue reading ‘St. Vincent’ Trailer: »
- Andy Crump
Bill Murray plays a nightmare neighbour in the first St Vincent trailer.
The film centres around Vincent, an ageing and broke bachelor whose antagonistic behaviour has left him alone in the world.
When a new neighbour (McCarthy) moves in next door, he forms an unlikely bond with her young son (Jaeden Lieberher).
McCarthy will next be seen in Tammy, which arrives in cinemas this week.
St Vincent will be released in the Us on October 24. A UK release date is yet to be announced. »
Bill Murray’s leading roles are few and far between. The actor makes time for appearances every now and then – most recently in Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel and George Clooney’s The Monuments Men – but it’s not often he’s the man of the hour. This year, though, he’ll be front and centre in St. Vincent, the anticipated comedy from debut director Theodore Melfi.
The Weinstein Company is releasing the film towards the end of the year, suggesting the possibility of an awards campaign, and now the studio has released the first trailer online.
Maggie and her adopted 12-year-old son, Oliver, move next door to war veteran Vincent, but when Oliver gets locked out after school one day, Vincent allows him to stay at his house until his mom gets home. Because he has bills up to the ceiling and is desperate for cash, he »
- Kenji Lloyd
In looking at the films I consider to be the best of 2014 so far compared to those I consider the worst and most disappointing I have to say, it isn't looking like 2014 is really all that great of a year. Then again, I'm quite fond of my "best of" list so far which includes a nice variety from a couple blockbusters (Edge of Tomorrow, X-Men: Days of Future Past) to a couple films I saw in Cannes last year (Only Lovers Left Alive, Venus in Fur), Wes Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel, two great A24 releases in Locke and The Rover and Richard Linklater's Boyhood, which is a bit of a cheat since it doesn't come out until July. Looking at that list of eight films, with two films I saw last year and one that hasn't hit theaters yet, it leaves me with five films I saw »
- Brad Brevet
Leading Dutch production outfit Rinkel Film has revealed further details of its new feature about notorious art forger Han van Meegeren.
It is being produced by Rinkel Film (through Reinier Selen) together with Fu Works (San Fu Maltha) and Cadenza Films (Jeroen Koolbergen). The other partners are, in Luxembourg, Tarantula Luxembourg (Donato Rotunno), and, in Croatia, Nukleus Film Croatia (Sinisa Juricic).
Cineart will release in Benelux.
Among the clients he managed to hoodwink in his shady but illustrious career was leading »
- email@example.com (Geoffrey Macnab)
Gavin O'Conner, the writer-director of Warrior, in on board to pen the script for the new version, which has been described as a cross between The Monuments Men and hockey film Miracle by The Hollywood Reporter.
The 1981 original, known simply as Victory in the Us, centred on a group of Allied prisoners of war who took part in a football match against a German team.
John Huston's film was loosely inspired by the 'Death Match', a mythologised game between former professional footballers from Dynamo Kyiv and Lokomotyv Kyiv, and a side of German air defence artillery.
Escape to Victory was a modest box office hit in the early '80s but has since grown to cult status thanks to its eclectic cast and repeat TV showings.
The Academy has announced the new class of invited members for 2014 and, as is typical, many of which are among last year's nominees, which includes Barkhad Abdi, Michael Fassbender, Sally Hawkins, Mads Mikkelsen, Lupita Nyong'o and June Squibb in the Actors branch not to mention curious additions such as Josh Hutcherson, Rob Riggle and Jason Statham, but, okay. The Directors branch adds Jay and Mark Duplass along with Jean-Marc Vallee, Denis Villeneuve and Thomas Vinterberg. I didn't do an immediate tally of male to female additions or other demographics, but at first glance it seems to be a wide spread batch of new additions on all fronts. The Academy is also clearly attempting to aggressively bump up the demographics as this is the second year in a row where they have added a large number of new members, well over the average of 133 new members from 2004 to 2012. As far as »
- Brad Brevet
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is extending invitations to join the organization to 271 artists and executives who have distinguished themselves by their contributions to theatrical motion pictures.
Those who accept the invitations will be the only additions to the Academy’s membership in 2014.
“This year’s class of invitees represents some of the most talented, creative and passionate filmmakers working in our industry today,” said Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs. “Their contributions to film have entertained audiences around the world, and we are proud to welcome them to the Academy.”
The 2014 invitees are:
- Michelle McCue
Michael Fassbender and Lupita Nyong’o of 12 Years a Slave were two of the 271 artists and industry leaders invited to become members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which determines nominations and winners at the annual Oscars. The entire list of Academy membership—which numbers about 6,000—isn’t public information so the annual invitation list is often the best indication of the artists involved in the prestigious awards process. It’s worth noting that invitations need to be accepted in order for artists to become members; some artists, like two-time Best Actor winner Sean Penn, have declined membership over the years. »
- Jeff Labrecque
Pop quiz: What do Chris Rock, Claire Denis, Eddie Vedder and Josh Hutcherson all have in common? Answer: They could all be Oscar voters very soon. The annual Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences invitation list always makes for interesting reading, shedding light on just how large and far-reaching the group's membership is -- or could be, depending on who accepts their invitations. This year, 271 individuals have been asked to join AMPAS, meaning every one of them could contribute to next year's Academy Awards balloting -- and it's as diverse a list as they've ever assembled. Think the Academy consists entirely of fusty retired white dudes? Not if recent Best Original Song nominee Pharrell Williams takes them up on their offer. Think it's all just a Hollywood insiders' game? Not if French arthouse titans Chantal Akerman and Olivier Assayas join the party. It's a list that subverts expectation at every turn. »
- Guy Lodge
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences has invited 271 individuals to become members, with the list reflecting the org’s determination to bring more diversity to its ranks.
Every year, the list of invitations includes several recent Oscar nominees. That’s true this year as well, with letters going out Wednesday to a cross-section of people including 2013 contenders Barkhad Abdi, Lupita Nyong’o, Hayao Miyazaki, Pharrell Williams, Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez, plus such creatives as Megan Ellison, Chris Rock, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Steve Coogan, Jason Statham, William Chang Suk Ping, Joan Sobel, Tracey Seaward, Mads Mikkelsen and Chantal Akerman.
Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs told Variety Thursday, “This is a continuation of an initiative to bring in new voices. Filmmaking has gotten more diverse, and audiences have been responding. There are terrific filmmakers around the world at the top of their game and we want to recognize them and bring them into the Academy. »
- Tim Gray
Bill Murray became a movie star 35 years ago this week, upon the release of "Meatballs" on June 29, 1979. His lead role as the head counselor at a sub-par summer camp marked a number of firsts: his first of four movies with director Ivan Reitman (the others were "Stripes" and the two "Ghostbusters"), his first of six movies with writer Harold Ramis (the four Reitman films, plus "Caddyshack" and "Groundhog Day"), and his first taste of mega-stardom beyond his TV fame on "Saturday Night Live."
Since then, his career has taken on a trajectory unique in the history of film, one in which he's gone from comic goofball to dramatic thespian, from universally beloved to acquired taste, and from manic cynic to soft-spoken spiritual seeker. Through it all, however, there have been a few constants; no matter whether he's a grubby groundskeeper or a morose mogul: Murray's character is always the coolest »
- Gary Susman
School’s out, so it’s no surprise that Warner’s “The Lego Movie” shot to the top of both national home video sales charts its first week out.
First-week sales were so strong that the animated comedy, which grossed more than $256 million in U.S. theaters alone, outsold its nearest competitor, Universal Studios’ “Lone Survivor,” by a margin of 13 to 1.
Of course, “Lone Survivor,” a $125 million-grossing actioner with Mark Wahlberg as a Navy Seal who with his team sets out to capture a notorious Taliban leader, has been in stores three weeks. So its distant-No. 2 finish for the week ending June 22 on both the Nielsen VideoScan First Alert Sales chart – which tracks overall disc sales, DVD and Blu-ray Disc combined – and Nielsen’s dedicated Blu-ray Disc sales chart is not unexpected.
- Thomas K. Arnold
An absolute delight, even better than the first film; a gorgeously animated ode to peacemaking, nonconformity, and sticking to your principles in the face of ultimate adversity. I’m “biast” (pro): loved the first film
I’m “biast” (con): absolutely nothing
I have not read the source material
(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)
The world is bigger on dragonback, as Hiccup — dragon whisperer and heir to the tiny throne of the Viking island village Berk — is discovering, joyfully. And we are there with him in a stunningly animated return to this fantastical realm. How to Train Your Dragon 2 isn’t only a glorious narrative expansion of the people and places we met in the first film, it also represents an astonishing leap in computer animation that makes Hiccup’s world even more touchably real than it was before. It seems like a paradox, »
- MaryAnn Johanson
Well, this is a refreshing choice. At major festivals, the position of jury president is usually the preserve of directors and actors. At Cannes, for example, you have to go all the way back to 1983 to find a president -- novelist William Styron -- who doesn't tick either of those boxes. And while exceptions have been made for writers, it's very rare for below-the-line artists to take the top position. Production designer Dante Ferretti did the honors at the 2005 Venice Film Festival, and it's the Italians who are once more taking that route: composer Alexandre Desplat will preside over the Competition jury at Venice this year. While it's an unexpected appointment, it's hardly an undeserved one. Desplat is currently among the hardest-working craftsmen in the business, having scored over 60 features in the last decade -- his intricate compositions frequently an invaluable component of films that range from megabudget Hollywood blockbusters »
- Guy Lodge
Earlier this week, Universal Pictures announced that its sequel to 2012's action-thriller The Bourne Legacy has been shifted from a August 14, 2015 release to July 15, 2016, reportedly to make room for the studio's biopic Straight Outta Compton which took the August 14, 2015 slot. An unconfirmed report from Latino-Review claims the real reason for the delay is that Matt Damon has finally agreed to reprise his role as Jason Bourne.
It isn't clear how director Justin Lin managed to convince Matt Damon to come back, especially since the actor has repeatedly stated in the past that he will only return to the franchise if The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum director Paul Greengrass is back at the helm. The actor did reveal last month that he is open to returning, if he and Paul Greengrass can find a story they like, even suggesting that fans submit their own stories to Universal Pictures.
If might not seem like it at the moment, but this fall, you can probably bet on "The Imitation Game" getting a massive push from The Weinstein Company. Why? Well, when they picked up the movie earlier this year, they paid a staggering $7 million dollars for it. Clearly, they think the Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley starring drama can and will go very far this awards season, and perhaps that means making sure every single element is up to their exacting standards. Film Music Reporter reveals that though Clint Mansell was first signed on to score the picture, he's now been replaced by the very busy Alexandre Desplat, who this year alone has dropped scores for "The Monuments Men," "The Grand Budapest Hotel" and "Godzilla" and still has Angelina Jolie's "Unbroken" on deck. So why the switchout? No word yet, Mansell doesn't seem overly busy at the moment, but »
- Kevin Jagernauth
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