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‘Tolkien’ Review

  • Nerdly
Stars: Nicolas Hoult, Lily Collins, Colm Meaney, Craig Roberts, Harry Gilby, Laura Donnelly, Nia Gwynne, Pam Ferris | Written by David Gleeson, Stephen Beresford | Directed by Dome Karukoski

Tolkien, directed by Dome Karukoski, stars Nicolas Hoult as the titular character J.R.R. Tolkien. From his orphan beginnings through his rise in literature societies Britain and eventually the breadcrumb origins of his famed middle earth magnum opus The Lord of the Rings, he would eventually write. Tolkien, unfortunately, is a much-misaligned biopic that’s an ultra-conventional bore.

The performances no doubt intrigue with Hoult impressing but the actor along with Collins, both have nothing to do with such flat and generic material. Hoult showcases some terrific talent here. Especially in the latter half of the film. His emotional range is strong and as an actor, Hoult is still continuing to progressively hone his craft, and here is no different. He still struggles to
See full article at Nerdly »

Composer David Arnold: From ‘Good Omens’ to Another Bond Film?

  • Variety
Composer David Arnold: From ‘Good Omens’ to Another Bond Film?
Could David Arnold return as composer to the James Bond series?

It was the obvious question to pose while he was talking about Amazon’s new “Good Omens” miniseries, for which he has composed the elaborate score.

“It’s a no-news situation,” Arnold told Variety about 007. “I’ve heard nothing. But my pencil is always sharpened for him if James comes around again. But if he doesn’t, I’ll be as excited to watch the new film as anyone else. I still love him, and I love all of the team over there.”

Arnold composed the scores for five consecutive Bond films: three with Pierce Brosnan and two starring Daniel Craig.

With singer Chris Cornell, he co-wrote “You Know My Name,” the theme song for “Casino Royale,” and earned a Grammy nomination for it; he also received a BAFTA nomination for that score.

Arnold has scored more 007 films than any composer since John Barry,
See full article at Variety »

David Schwartz (‘The Good Place’ composer): ‘Comedies are a lot more fun because you’re laughing all the time’ [Exclusive Video Interview]

David Schwartz (‘The Good Place’ composer): ‘Comedies are a lot more fun because you’re laughing all the time’ [Exclusive Video Interview]
The musical score of “The Good Place” has been essential to the show’s success as a show that gives the audience feelings of warmth and great tension. David Schwartz has been the NBC sitcom’s composer from the start, writing its celestial main theme and the rest of the show’s score. Schwartz, a veteran composer who has racked up three nominations at the Emmys and another at the Grammys, is heavily involved week to week in crafting “The Good Place” score. “I come in every week with the music editor, Jason Newman, the two editors, whoever’s episode it is, [Michael] Schur and a couple of the producers and we talk about first where music should go and second what it should be,” Schwartz explains. “It’s a pretty detailed conversation.” Watch our exclusive video interview above.

SEEWilliam Jackson Harper Interview: ‘The Good Place

As Schwartz details, “The Good Place
See full article at Gold Derby »

Composer Terence Blanchard to Receive Bmi’s Icon Award at May Honors

  • Variety
Composer Terence Blanchard to Receive Bmi’s Icon Award at May Honors
Composer and jazz artist Terence Blanchard will be named a Bmi Icon at the 35th annual Film, TV and Visual Media Awards of Broadcast Music Inc. on May 15 at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills.

The five-time Grammy winner and recent Oscar nominee (for “BlacKkKlansman”) has long been director Spike Lee’s favorite composer, having written the scores for “Malcolm X,” “Inside Man,” “25th Hour,” the Katrina documentary “When the Levees Broke” and a dozen other films. His scores for other directors include “Red Tails,” “Eve’s Bayou,” “Barbershop” and others.

Blanchard is a celebrated trumpeter and bandleader whose work as an educator and mentor was previously recognized in 2010 by the performing rights society. He also serves as artistic director of the Detroit Symphony’s jazz series and will premiere his second opera, “Fire Shut Up in My Bones,” June 15 at Opera Theatre St. Louis.

“As a composer, Terence
See full article at Variety »

Movies You May Have Missed: ‘Bong of the Dead’

  • Nerdly
Welcome to the latest installment in our regular Movies You May Have Missed series here on Nerdly, in which I highlight some of, what I think, are the best movies that have flown under the radar of many or have been “forgotten” in the intervening years since its release. This time round its the low-budget stoner comedy-horror Bong of the Dead.

Stars: Simone Bailly, Mark Sweatman, Jy Harris, Barry Nerling, Vince Laxton, Cher Staite, Allan Kipling | Written and Directed by Thomas Newman

Official Synopsis: The world might be in the grip of the zombie apocalypse, but all stoners Edwin and Tommy are worried about is getting their next dope hit. When the undead attack, they discover that mashed-up zombie makes the most excellent fertiliser for their marijuana crop, inducing the sort of super-powerful high most pot-heads could only dream of…. Zombie brains + cannabis = super weed! With their gorgeous friend Leah in tow,
See full article at Nerdly »

“The Highwaymen” Features Kevin Costner At His Reliable Best

Kevin Costner is an actor who makes almost everything he’s in better. A reliable force in Hollywood for decades now, he brings a gravitas to his roles that elevate most projects. In the case of The Highwaymen, a new film that just hit Netflix yesterday, his performance almost is enough to recommend it on its own. The whole final product is a bit too uneven, though Costner is really strong in the central role. While the flick is making some unusual choices, Costner is just doing his thing and putting the movie on his back. It doesn’t fully make up for the shortcomings, but the film knows that Costner is the selling point and leans into that. The movie is a true life drama based on the untold story of the two legendary detectives and former Texas Rangers who were able to bring down Bonnie and Clyde. At the onset,
See full article at Hollywoodnews.com »

Richard Madden, Benedict Cumberbatch, Colin Firth join cast of Sam Mendes' '1917'

Richard Madden, Benedict Cumberbatch, Colin Firth join cast of Sam Mendes' '1917'
Andrew Scott, Mark Strong, Daniel Mays also onboard for WW1 project, which starts filming next week.

Richard Madden, Benedict Cumberbatch, Colin Firth are among the new cast announced for Sam Mendes’ upcoming WW1 drama 1917.

The DreamWorks Pictures project will begin filming on April 1 on location in the UK, and follows two young soldiers played by the previously announced George MacKay and Dean-Charles Chapman during a single day in the conflict. It will shoot in England and Scotland.

Also joining the cast are Andrew Scott, Mark Strong, Daniel Mays, Adrian Scarborough, Jamie Parker, Nabhaan Rizwan and Claire Duburcq.

Mendes directs, wrote
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Sam Mendes’ ‘1917’ Nears Production: Mark Strong, Colin Firth, Benedict Cumberbatch & More Join Cast

  • Deadline
DreamWorks Pictures and Universal Pictures announced today that Sam Mendes’ 1917 will start shooting on April 1 on location in England and Scotland.

The film follows two young British soldiers (Captain Fantastic’s George MacKay; Game of ThronesDean-Charles Chapman) on a single day at the height of World War I.

Joining the two are Mark Strong, Andrew Scott, Richard Madden, Daniel Mays, Adrian Scarborough, Jamie Parker (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child), Nabhaan Rizwan (Informer), Claire Duburcq, with Colin Firth and Benedict Cumberbatch.

Mendes, who will direct and wrote the screenplay with Krysty Wilson-Cairns (Penny Dreadful) produces the film with Pippa Harris—his partner at Neal Street Productions—along with Jayne-Ann Tenggren and Callum McDougall. Co-producing is Michael Lerman.

Also announced today is the pic’s creative team: cinematographer Roger Deakins; production designer Dennis Gassner; costume designer Jacqueline Durran; editor Lee Smith; and composer Thomas Newman, who has created the scores for six previous Mendes films, including Skyfall, Road to Perdition and American Beauty.

The film is being produced by Neal Street Productions for DreamWorks Pictures and Universal Pictures, and will be released by Universal in U.S./Canada on Dec. 25. Universal and Amblin Partners will distribute the film internationally, with eOne distributing on behalf of Amblin in the U.K.

1917 reps a reunion for Mendes and DreamWorks Pictures. His feature directorial debut, the Best Picture Oscar-winning American Beauty, was first made under Dw as well as two other films: Road to Perdition and Revolutionary Road.
See full article at Deadline »

Oscar’s Longest Losing Streaks: 12 People With 10-Plus Nominations and No Wins (Photos)

  • The Wrap
Oscar’s Longest Losing Streaks: 12 People With 10-Plus Nominations and No Wins (Photos)
Cinematographer Roger Deakins hopes to snap his losing streak this year with his 14th nomination, for “Blade Runner 2049.”

Greg P. Russell (16 nominations)

Veteran sound mixer Greg P. Russell earned his first nomination for 1989’s “Black Rain.” He almost earned a 17th nomination, for 2016’s “13 Hours,” but his nomination was rescinded after he “violated Academy campaign regulations that prohibit telephone lobbying.”

Roland Anderson (15)

The longtime art director picked up his first nomination for “A Farewell to Arms” in 1934 — and then lost for such classics as 1961’s “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” and 1963’s “Come Blow Your Horn.”

Alex North (15)

Composer Alex North was recognized with an honorary Oscar in 1986 — but he never won despite scoring such classics as “A Streetcar Named Desire,” “Cleopatra” and “Spartacus.”

Roger Deakins (14)

Cinematographer Roger Deakins earned the first of 14 nominations for 1994’s “The Shawshank Redemption” — and even earned two nods in 2007 for Best Picture winner
See full article at The Wrap »

‘High Flying Bird’ Trailer: Steven Soderbergh Is Back Behind the iPhone for Netflix Sports Drama

‘High Flying Bird’ Trailer: Steven Soderbergh Is Back Behind the iPhone for Netflix Sports Drama
Steven Soderbergh is back to making movies with an iPhone for his latest directorial effort “High Flying Bird.” The behind-the-scenes basketball drama was shot on an iPhone 7 and is Soderbergh’s second iPhone-shot feature following his last release, the 2018 psychological horror-thriller “Unsane.” “High Flying Bird” is world premiering at the Slamdance Film Festival prior to its debut on Netflix next month.

High Flying Bird” is written by Oscar winner Tarell Alvin McCraney, best known for co-writing “Moonlight” with Barry Jenkins. Andre Holland stars as a sports agent who must find a way to pitch a controversial business opportunity to a rookie basketball player during an NBA lockout. The supporting cast includes Zazie Beetz, Zachary Quinto, Kyle MacLachlan, Bill Duke, Sonja Sohn, and “Stranger Things” breakout Caleb McLaughlin.

Soderbergh is one of numerous high profile film directors releasing new projects on Netflix this year. Following the release of “High Flying Bird,
See full article at Indiewire »

Will composer Nicholas Britell join an exclusive club of double Oscar nominees for Best Score?

Will composer Nicholas Britell join an exclusive club of double Oscar nominees for Best Score?
This year the Oscars narrowed down the race for Best Original Score to a shortlist of 15 contenders from which the final 5 nominees will be chosen. That makes it all the more impressive that Nicholas Britell made the cut twice, for both “If Beale Street Could Talk” and “Vice.” Could he now join an exclusive club of music makers who have been nominated twice in the same category?

Only four composers in the last 30 years have been nominated twice for Best Score. Thomas Newman doubled up for “Little Women” and “The Shawshank Redemption” (1994). James Horner picked up a pair of bids for “Apollo 13” and “Braveheart” (1995). Alexandre Desplat received matching noms for “The Grand Budapest Hotel” and “The Imitation Game” (2014). And John Williams … well, John Williams does it constantly. The man behind the music of “Star Wars,” “Indiana Jones,” “Harry Potter” and much more has been a double nominee eight times
See full article at Gold Derby »

Instead of Cashing Shawshank Redemption Check, Stephen King Did This

Instead of Cashing Shawshank Redemption Check, Stephen King Did This
Stephen King decided that he didn't need to cash his check for the story rights to The Shawshank Redemption. The movie is based off of King's novella Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption, which was included in 1982's Different Seasons. The story rights were purchased by director Frank Darabont in 1987, but he did not adapt it into a feature-length movie until 1994. Darabont wrote the script in an 8 week period and the movie was greenlit 2 weeks after he submitted the final script.

Frank Darabont purchased the story rights to The Shawshank Redemption from Stephen King for $5,000. In a new interview discussing the success of the movie, King admits that he never cashed the check that he received from Darabont. But, he was able to repurpose it. The article goes on to say that the author actually sent the check back to Darabont. The article explains.

"Mr. King never cashed the $5,000 check (director
See full article at MovieWeb »

Varèse Sarabande, King of the Soundtrack Labels, Still Keeping Score at 40

  • Variety
Varèse Sarabande, renowned as Hollywood’s preeminent soundtrack label, celebrates its 40th anniversary this year, going into its fifth decade under new ownership — Concord Music acquired the label in February — while renewing its goal of presenting the best of movie and TV music, both current and past.

According to label VP and veteran producer Robert Townson, Varèse’s mandate hasn’t changed. It’s all about “focusing on the big picture, maintaining a role in the community and standing by the next generation of composers,” Townson says. “The entire history of Varèse is about taking calculated gambles, maintaining an artistic integrity and releasing scores even when we knew we were going to lose money.”

Townson should know. He has produced more than 1,400 soundtracks since his association with the label began 32 years ago. As an ambitious 19-year-old in Whitby, Ontario, he launched his Masters Film Music label to provide a home
See full article at Variety »

L.A. Composer Looks East, Providing ‘Ellis Island’ Score for PBS’ ‘Great Performances’

  • Variety
Los Angeles composer Peter Boyer will have his biggest national showcase to date when PBS’s “Great Performances” debuts his “Ellis Island: The Dream of America” on Friday, June 29.

Carl St. Clair conducts the Pacific Symphony in the hour-long broadcast, taped last year as part of the orchestra’s annual American Composers Festival. Actors Barry Bostwick, Camryn Manheim and Michael Nouri are among those speaking the words of immigrants who came through Ellis Island during the early years of the 20th century. Hundreds of historical photos provide a visual backdrop for both actors and orchestra.

Boyer talks about the challenge of writing “Ellis Island” in the below:

Boyer received a 2005 Grammy nomination for “best classical contemporary composition” for the work, which draws on the true stories of seven immigrants and frames their words with dramatic orchestral music that is very much in an Americana vein. The piece concludes with a
See full article at Variety »

John Williams Honored at Bmi Film, TV and Visual Media Awards

  • Variety
Legendary composer John Williams accepted a new award, named after him, “in recognition of his incomparable status as one of the greatest film and television composers of our time,” at Wednesday night’s Film, TV and Visual Media Awards of Broadcast Music Inc. (Bmi) in Beverly Hills.

The creator of such iconic movie themes as “Jaws,” “E.T.” and the musical signatures of the “Star Wars,” “Indiana Jones” and “Harry Potter” franchises had already received the organization’s top honor (the Bmi Icon) in 1999, so the performing-rights society invented a new one, which the 86-year-old composer said he would “humbly accept, with a little embarrassment but a lot of gratitude.”

Speaking exclusively to Variety before the ceremony, Williams acknowledged that “in the last year or two, awards seem to be coming along,” cracking, “It must have something to do with being so old, they must think now is the time.
See full article at Variety »

April Foolish Predictions: What film scores will be loved in 2018?

by Nathaniel R

Mary Poppins (1964) was nominated for 13 Oscars winning 5. Will Mary Poppins Returns (2018) also win Oscar hearts?

Since scores are often one of the very last components to fall into place in post-production, determining which scores might stand out at year's end is like throwing darts blindfolded. Each year some composers are replaced between our first round of predictions and the time their films arrive. Plus some 2018 movies haven't even hired a composer yet. Presumably they're waiting for Alexandre Desplat's schedule to open up. Only half joking! The perpetually in demand French composer and double Oscar winner generally scores anywhere from 5 to 10 (gulp) movies a year and he only has three films currently scheduled for release in 2018. Other Oscar favorites who have suspiciously empty schedules this year include Hans Zimmer and Thomas Newman.

From the year's releases that we've already seen we're curious about how A Quiet Place
See full article at FilmExperience »

Glenn Close (‘The Wife’) voted most overdue for an Oscar in 2019 after 6 losses [Poll Results]

Glenn Close (‘The Wife’) voted most overdue for an Oscar in 2019 after 6 losses [Poll Results]
Glenn Close is your choice for the most overdue for an Oscar and it isn’t even … close. Gold Derby’s poll asking you to vote for the person who needs an Oscar the most among frequent nominees was a runaway for six-time nominee Close, even though she technically hasn’t racked up the most nominations. Will her upcoming role in “The Wife” put an end to her Oscar losing streak?

SEEReflecting on Meryl Streep’s record 21 Oscar nominations and celebrating her 3 wins (to date)

Close won our poll with 35% of the vote, while a pair of five-time nominees, Amy Adams and writer-director Christopher Nolan, rallied with 19% and 15%, respectively. Next was Annette Bening (four noms) at 9% and writer-director Paul Thomas Anderson (eight noms) at 8%.

Further down we had 6% for Michelle Williams (four noms), 5% for composer Thomas Newman (14 noms) and 2% for sound mixer Greg P. Russell (16 noms). Tying for last on
See full article at Gold Derby »

Listen to Alan Silvestri’s Main Title Theme for Steven Spielberg’s ‘Ready Player One’

Some fascinating and somewhat exciting news arrived last year, when we learned that for only the second time in the main portion of his career, Steven Spielberg would not be working with composer John Williams. Spielberg and Williams together have crafted an insane number of iconic themes, but in 2015 Williams came down with an illness and was on the line to finish Star Wars: The Force Awakens, so he handed off composing duties on Spielberg’s Bridge of Spies to veteran Thomas Newman. Then last year, we learned that since Spielberg was releasing two films in a matter of …
See full article at Collider.com »

Who is most overdue for an Oscar in 2019: Annette Bening, Michelle Williams, Christopher Nolan … ? [Poll]

Who is most overdue for an Oscar in 2019: Annette Bening, Michelle Williams, Christopher Nolan … ? [Poll]
The past few years have seen various frequent Oscar losers finally winning their award, from Julianne Moore (“Still Alice”) to Leonardo DiCaprio (“The Revenant”‘) to sound mixer Kevin O’Connell (“Hacksaw Ridge”) to cinematographer Roger Deakins (“Blade Runner 2049”). With another Oscar season come and gone, the great campaign to get other overdue artists their Oscar begins now. From actresses like Glenn Close and Amy Adams to technical masters like composer Thomas Newman and songwriter Diane Warren, there is always someone out there who many people believe is deserving of the elusive Oscar after multiple losses.

A great number of these overdue Oscar nominees have projects coming out in 2018 that could net them their first win. Here are 10 artists that could finally get lucky at next year’s Oscars.

SEEBest Picture winners sweeping the Oscars may officially be over

Annette Bening – 4 nominations

Bening’s Oscar nominated performances have been as diverse as her career,
See full article at Gold Derby »

Blade Runner 2049 Dp Roger Deakins Breaks Long Oscar Losing Streak

Blade Runner 2049 Dp Roger Deakins Breaks Long Oscar Losing Streak
Legendary cinematographer Roger Deakins has finally won a sorely-deserved Oscar for his work on Blade Runner 2049. Deakins has been one of the most respected talents working in the industry for a very long time now and has helped bring some of the greatest movies of the last few decades to life. At the 2018 Oscars, he finally won after having been nominated 13 times previously. 14th time's a charm, apparently.

Roger Deakins was seen as the favorite at this year's Oscars for his stunning work on Blade Runner 2049, the long-awaited to sequel to Ridley Scott's original 1982 sci-fi classic. The movie may have been a bit of a financial flop, but it was critically beloved and a true visual achievement, which was in no small part thanks to Deakins' work. Blade Runner 2049 also walked away with the Best Visual Effects Oscar last night. Here's what Deakins had to say in his acceptance speech,
See full article at MovieWeb »
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