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Every week, IndieWire asks a select handful of film critics two questions and publishes the results on Monday. (The answer to the second, “What is the best film in theaters right now?”, can be found at the end of this post.)
In honor of Darren Aronofsky’s “mother!,” which just became one of the only movies to ever earn an “F” Cinemascore rating, what is the craziest movie that a major Hollywood studio has released this century?
Joshua Rothkopf (@joshrothkopf), Time Out New York
Talk about a self-answering question. Unless you can point to another movie that brews such an aggressive whirlwind of psychosexual anxiety, starring the biggest star in the world (who is also romantically involved with the director), then we’re talking about “mother!” I’m sure you’ve got “The Wolf of Wall Street” at the ready as an alternative, but how crazy is that film, given »
- David Ehrlich
Are you sitting down? Because you might just faint when you see these photos of Penélope Cruz and Javier Bardem at the Venice Film Festival this week. The married couple of seven years were there to promote their new project, Loving Pablo, a film adaptation of the book Loving Pablo, Hating Escobar written by famed Colombian journalist Virginia Vallejo. It also marks the fourth time the two, who starred in Woody Allen's Vicky Cristina Barcelona, have shared the screen in leading roles (their last movie, The Counselor, premiered in 2013). Penélope and Javier, who are parents to 6-year-old Leo and 4-year-old Luna, continue to prove that the couple who work together, stay together. In addition to holding hands as they walked the red carpet, Javier also stopped to help Penélope fix her feathery dress. Their sweet and sexy chemistry honestly makes our hearts skip a beat. RelatedPenélope Cruz and Javier Bardem »
- Celia Fernandez
Penélope Cruz and her husband, Javier Bardem, have been together for almost a decade, and even though they tend to stay hidden, we can't get enough of their cute moments together. The two Spaniards started dating in 2007 after starring in Vicky Cristina Barcelona, but they have worked together on a few more films, including Jamón, Jamón, The Counselor, and their most recent, Loving Pablo. The couple tied the knot in July 2010 and are parents to two children, son Leo and daughter Luna. "She has what I call the loving blood. Passion for everything," Javier sweetly told GQ about his wife in May. "That's what I find attractive. There is beauty and there is being sexy. Penelope has both." Bask in all of their glory and prepare to drool (just a bit) at how sexy of a couple they are by looking at their best red carpet moments. RelatedPenélope Cruz Knows »
- Celia Fernandez
A look at 5 movies that you might not have known were written by famous authors. Sometimes they worked out, sometimes they did not.
Writing a movie can be a lot different from writing a book. Unlike a movie script, a novel is freeform. The author can take any style or format they would like to convey their ideas. A script, on the other hand, has to be able to be interpreted by the actors, filmmakers, and the audience. Therefore, it is typically structured in a certain way to help people working on the movie do their job and people watching the movie comprehend what is happening. Furthermore, a major difference between writing novels and movies is that movies are (mostly) restricted to the visual realm. It’s not easy to show audiences what characters are thinking, which severely limits plot and character development techniques. Overall, there are unique challenges to »
- email@example.com (G.S. Perno)
Several of this summer's major releases managed to disappoint. Some at the box office and some in terms of expectations. In some cases, it was a bit of both. Such is the case with Alien: Covenant, which was poised to be the Alien movie we've all been waiting thirty years for. Instead, we wound up with another divisive movie that massively underperformed at the box office. Now, the Honest Trailer gang has decided to give us their take on Alien: Covenant as it heads to Blu-ray and DVD, and it is pretty brutal, but definitely hilarious.
The folks over at Screen Junkies decided to make Alien: Covenant the subject of this week's honest trailer, in honor of the movie making its way to home video. This is an honest trailer in the truest sense in that, even those who loved this movie can easily see what is being poked fun »
One of the most striking, controversial and utterly absorbing TV events of the year becomes the home entertainment hit of the summer as American Gods comes to Blu-ray and DVD. The series, which has received huge acclaim, is now available and we have three copies to give away on Blu-ray.
When Shadow Moon is released from prison, he meets the mysterious Mr. Wednesday and a storm begins to brew. Little does Shadow know, this storm will change the course of his entire life. Left adrift by the recent, tragic death of his wife, and suddenly hired as Mr. Wednesday’s bodyguard, Shadow finds himself in the centre of a world that he struggles to understand. It’s a hidden world where magic is real, where the Old Gods fear both irrelevance and the growing power of the New Gods, like Technology and Media. Mr. Wednesday seeks to build a coalition »
- Paul Heath
After eight films over nearly four decades, Ridley Scott’s “Alien: Covenant” may be proof positive that the time for this franchise has passed. Ridley Scott plans at least two more sequels to the “Prometheus” portion of the “Alien” saga, but current returns make that look like a risky proposition.
“Alien: Covenant” will be one of the franchise’s lowest-grossing entries, second only to 2007’s “Aliens Vs. Predator – Requiem,” which made $52 million domestic in adjusted numbers. Three weeks in, “Alien: Covenant” is at $67 million domestic against a $97 million budget; after Japan and China open, expect it to hit about $300 million worldwide, which means theatrical won’t be enough for it to break even.
Reviews weren’t great for “Alien: Covenant,” but neither were reviews for 2012’s “Prometheus” — Scott’s return to the series after directing “Alien” in 1979 — and that one made over $400 million worldwide. In adjusted numbers,”Prometheus” earned about »
- Tom Brueggemann
It’s been five years since Prometheus, and while the bonkers Exodus: Gods and Kings and The Counsellor didn’t offer a lot of hope that Ridley Scott was going to improve on the sad and boring road he’d taken the Aliens universe down, The Martian did manage to ignite a spark of hope. Unfortunately, it seems The Martian had enough source material behind it, and owes its positives far more to Andy Weir, Drew Goddard, and Matt Damon.
We kick off with the hapless crew of the colony ship Covenant, who are en route to a well-researched planet where they plan to offload some 2,000 colonists to start a new life. The familiar android Walter (Michael Fassbender) patrols the ship, »
- Marc Eastman
MaryAnn’s quick take… The franchise finally overstays its welcome with this cacophony of CGI spectacle, a contrived and confusing plot, and a newly cruel and stupid Jack Sparrow. I’m “biast” (pro): loved the original trilogy…
I’m “biast” (con): …but started to lose a little patience with the fourth film
(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)
Okay, make it stop. This amusement-park ride has gone on long enough. It is no longer any fun. I’m feeling a bit nauseated, in fact.
I adored the original Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy: they were smart, fun popcorn flicks that worked as clever updates on the classic Hollywood swashbuckler, all adventure and movie-movie romance and total, wonderful nonsense. With the third installment, 2007’s At World’s End, the series even managed to whip up some satirical zing, in its plot about gig-economy independent-contractor pirates versus »
- MaryAnn Johanson
Since the late 1950s countless large and sometimes legendary Hollywood films have been shot in or near Madrid.
Samuel Bronston-produced blockbusters, Anthony Mann’s “The Fall of the Roman Empire” and Nicholas Ray’s “55 Days at Peking” partially shot near crag-strewn La Pedriza, 30 miles north of Madrid. Charlton Heston’s “El Cid” lensed in the castle of Manzanares El Real.
Film Madrid Energizes Shooting Support
In 1964, the medieval square of Chinchón, southeast of Madrid, hosted Henry Hathaway’s John Wayne-starrer “Circus World,” which also turned Madrid’s El Paseo de Coches in El Retiro Park into Paris’ Champs Elysées.
Denise O’Dell, one of Hollywood’s favorite Spain-based producers, who ran shingle Kanzaman before launching Babieka, co-produced 2006’s “Goya’s Ghosts”: Shoots included »
- Emiliano De Pablos
Welcome to the “Preview Reel” column, where we look at this week’s upcoming wide release movies. This week features a trio of new releases, with one of them poised to knock Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 off the top spot. Alien: Covenant should debut at number one since it continues the popular and long-lasting Alien franchise, while Diary of the Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul looks to please the family crowd, and Everything, Everything goes after the teen romance crowd.
What we are excited about: It’s another Alien movie. It’s directed by Ridley Scott. Michael Fassbender (arguably the best part of Prometheus ) returns. As a fan of the Alien films, what more do you want? The trailers seem to show that the film is going back to its original horror roots, which is very exciting given the middling response some of the more recent »
- Scott Davis
“I’m hoping to scare the s–t out of you,” says the legendary director. “If I don’t, I’m in trouble.”
If the past 40 years are any indication, the odds are in Scott’s favor. Since entering the movie game later in life — he was 40 when his debut feature “The Duellists” came out in 1977 — Scott has been taking audiences on wild rides with such films as “Alien,” its prequel “Prometheus” and, most recently, with the Academy Award-nominated blockbuster “The Martian.” Along the way, he’s racked up four Oscar nominations, won two Emmy Awards and landed a permanent place in the film zeitgeist with groundbreaking movies including “Blade Runner,” “Thelma and Louise” and “Gladiator.”
This week, Scott will earn another honor when his hands and feet are encased in cement outside the Chinese Theatre on May 17. Though »
- Jenelle Riley
Welcome back to the Weekend Warrior, your weekly look at the new movies hitting theaters this weekend, and to paraphrase those renowned seventies scholars the Brady Bunch, “When it’s time to change then it’s time to change.”
While I’ve tried my hardest to slowly sneak those changes in, it’s gotten to the point where we’ll need to do something more drastic if the few of you reading the Weekend Warrior on a weekly basis actually want it to remain coming to you on a weekly basis. Because of that, we’re going to try something different by not throwing in as much independent limited releases for those checking the column out, and making the column a little more focused at least for the time being. (I’m probably going to move reviews for my Top Picks over to my blog, which is easy enough to »
- Edward Douglas
StudioCanal has announced that it is bringing Starz’s TV adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s critically acclaimed novel American Gods to Blu-ray, DVD and Digital Download on July 24th, complete with 90 minutes of special features.
See Also: Pre-order American Gods via Amazon UK
When Shadow Moon is released from prison, he meets the mysterious Mr. Wednesday and a storm begins to brew. Little does Shadow know, this storm will change the course of his entire life. Left adrift by the recent, tragic death of his wife, and suddenly hired as Mr. Wednesday’s bodyguard, Shadow finds himself in the centre of a world that he struggles to understand. It’s a hidden world where magic is real, where the Old Gods fear both irrelevance and the growing power of the New Gods, like Technology and Media. Mr. Wednesday seeks to build a coalition of Old Gods to defend their existence in this new America, »
- Gary Collinson
Simon Brew May 16, 2017
I can’t think of too many more recent well-deserved sci-fi blockbuster hits than The Martian. I really like the film a lot. Expertly directed by one of cinema’s best ever world builders, Ridley Scott, it of course told the story of a man stranded on the red planet, with the simple task of staying alive for, er, a long time before help could be found. Given that the Mars movies we got in the early 2000s were Mission To Mars and Red Planet, I’m happy to call The Martian a substantial upgrade.
I’d also suggest it brought the best out of Ridley Scott.
Scott came to The Martian relatively late in the day. »
For those who aren’t completely familiar with the television calendar, we are now entering the culling. As the networks get ready for their Upfronts, it becomes time to bring the hammer down on the shows that won’t be returning, which means it is obviously also time to announce renewals.
In the midst of a ton of shows getting killed off over the last few days, Starz has renewed American Gods after the show has barely begun airing, which isn’t that unusual these days, but is surely a great relief to a lot of fans. In the release, Starz announced that the show has managed more than 5 million multiplatform viewers, and that number is growing. That’s an impressive number for a truly bonkers show on a cable network.
- Marc Eastman
Johnny Depp is sailing the high seas yet again as Captain Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, and, for the fifth installment in the blockbuster franchise, he's joined by Javier Bardem.
Et's Carly Steel spoke with Bardem at the film's Shanghai premiere on Thursday, and the Oscar winner opened up about the excitement and challenges of acting opposite Depp.
Watch: 'Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales' Promises Way More Action and Fun
While Bardem praised Depp as "a joy to work with," he admitted that the actor's familiarity with his iconic role was captivating, and it was sometimes hard for co-stars not to get caught up in his performance.
"He's playing this character he knows so well that sometimes, the difficult part is to not be a spectator," the 48-year-old star recounted. "Sometimes I was shooting with him and I was watching how he became Sparrow »
Starz announced the season 2 news on Twitter. No other details are known at this time, but we'll be sure to keep Daily Dead readers updated on further developments. The eight-episode first season of American Gods will conclude on June 18th.
From the Press Release: "“American Gods” posits a different kind of war brewing—one between Old Gods and New. The traditional Old Gods, with mythological roots from around the world, fear irrelevance as their believers die off or are seduced by the money, technology, and celebrity offered by the New Gods. Shadow Moon (Ricky Whittle) is an ex-con who, left adrift by the recent death of his wife, becomes bodyguard and traveling partner to »
- Derek Anderson
Late last week, I got a chance to see Ridley Scott’s latest film, the franchise outing Alien: Covenant. A sequel to Prometheus and prequel to Alien, it is still a few weeks out, but 20th Century Fox is clearly feeling bullish about it. You’ll see what think in detail later on this month, but with it fresh in my mind, I wanted to take a look at Scott’s career on the whole. A few years ago I ranked his ten best movies, and I’m going to be doing that again today, just wish an added twist. Scott is fairly prodigious with his outings, so this can be a fairly consistent thing. There’s always some new coals in the fire for him. Before I get to the top ten list, I figured I’d do a full ranking of total filmography, up until those best ones, »
- Joey Magidson
Starz have announced that the highly-anticipated eight-episode first season of American Gods, adapted from Neil Gaiman’s acclaimed contemporary fantasy novel, will make its network premiere on Sunday April 30th.
American Gods posits a different kind of war brewing – one between Old Gods and New. The traditional Old Gods, with mythological roots from around the world, fear irrelevance as their believers die off or are seduced by the money, technology, and celebrity offered by the New Gods. Shadow Moon (Ricky Whittle) is an ex-con who, left adrift by the recent death of his wife, becomes bodyguard and traveling partner to conman Mr. Wednesday (Ian McShane). But in truth, Mr. Wednesday is a powerful old deity, on a cross-country mission to build an army and reclaim his lost glory.
- Phil Wheat
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