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Filmart: Renny Harlin on How He Became One of the Most In-Demand Directors in China

Filmart: Renny Harlin on How He Became One of the Most In-Demand Directors in China
For veteran Hollywood filmmaker turned Beijing transplant Renny Harlin, Chinese-language movie making has become much more than just a fleeting infatuation.

Harlin was a Hollywood darling during the 1990s thanks to his action hits Die Hard 2, Cliffhanger and The Long Kiss Goodnight. But after a couple of expensive misfires — Cutthroat Island and Deep Blue Sea — the phone began to ring far less frequently. That changed after Harlin came to China in 2014 to direct the Jackie Chan action-comedy Skiptrace, co-starring Fan Bingbing and Johnny Knoxville.

After the movie opened at No. 1 and earned a strong $134 million at the...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

10 Magical Christmas Movie Soundtracks

Sean Wilson gets ready for the festive season by firing up a playlist of essential seasonal tunes…

What’s a Christmas movie without a sprinkling of musical magic? Many of our favourite festive hits are defined by their soundtracks, so, in the spirit of the season, I’ve rounded up 10 classic scores that never fail to put a smile on our faces.

Home Alone

One simply cannot celebrate Christmas, or indeed compile a Yuletide soundtrack list, without John Williams’ heartwarming masterpiece. A late replacement for Young Sherlock Holmes composer Bruce Broughton, Williams once again demonstrated his ability to redefine practically any genre. Featuring a host of memorable themes, anchored by the whimsical ‘Somewhere in My Memory’, plus some drum-machine laden action material and some truly heavenly original carols (‘Star of Bethlehem’ being the absolute highlight), Home Alone set a new standard for Christmas scores.

Die Hard

Yes, despite all the current internet speculation,
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

Stranger Things season 1 recap

Dan Cooper Oct 25, 2017

With season 2 arriving on Netflix this week, here's a refresher on the events of Stranger Things' first run. Spoilers...

It’s been over a year since the first season of Stranger Things burst onto the scene, an enthralling mashup of eighties pop culture iconography that garnered huge critical and commercial acclaim. The scale of the Duffer Brothers’ achievements in creating such a lovingly-crafted homage to a bygone era shouldn’t go unrecognised; here at Den of Geek, unable to wait until the end of this week for a return to this monumental ode to the eighties, we’ve tried to replicate their success through scientific means, but thus far, our tactic of placing a DVD of E.T. atop a tattered old copy of The Shining in the hope that they’ll mate hasn’t yet worked. Not even with Barry White blaring in the background.
See full article at Den of Geek »

Geena Davis on Hollywood Sexism and Wanting to Be in ‘Wonder Woman 2’

Geena Davis on Hollywood Sexism and Wanting to Be in ‘Wonder Woman 2’
Oscar winner Geena Davis has spent more than a decade pushing Hollywood to create meatier roles for women.

Through the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, a non-profit research organization, she’s been urging film and television executives to have as many girls as boys in children’s entertainment. The actress thinks the industry is turning a corner, and she believes that hits like “Wonder Woman” are changing things for the better across the media business.

Of course Davis, whose credits include “Thelma & Louise” and “A League of Their Own,” still has a day job. She’s back on screen this weekend in “Marjorie Prime,” as a woman who tries to comfort her ailing mother (Lois Smith) by enlisting a holographic projection of her late husband (Jon Hamm) to keep her company. The film asks big questions about memory and technology, and it’s earning Davis some of the strongest reviews of her career. She
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Waterworld: what it was like before it was a $175m epic

Ryan Lambie Jul 24, 2017

It was a legendarily expensive action vehicle for Kevin Costner in 1995, but Waterworld originally began life as a subtly different story...

Tales of Waterworld's making have long since passed into legend. You've probably read about the long and difficult shoot on the open seas around Hawaii, about the soaring costs, the sinking sets and the increasingly fractious relationship between the two Kevins - director Kevin Reynolds and star Kevin Costner. You've probably heard about a pre-Buffy Joss Whedon being flown in to revise the script, and how, getting wind of all this, the Hollywood press started calling Waterworld names like "Fishtar and "Kevin's Gate".

See related Vikings renewed for season 5

What's less commonly discussed is just where Waterworld came from. It's often reported that the screenplay was written by Peter Rader and later reworked by David Twohy; what's less widely known is that Waterworld could
See full article at Den of Geek »

The Exorcist Is Returning For Another Season, But Geena Davis Isn’t

Fox had an unexpected hit on their hands with the first season of The Exorcist, picking up a smattering of positive critical notices and decent ratings. So, it’s no surprise that they renewed it for a second season. The show is a loose sequel to the 1973 William Friedkin movie classic, following a trio of Exorcist priests, with the first season exploring what happened to formerly possessed puker Regan MacNeil over the last forty or so years.

In an eye-catching bit of casting, Geena Davis was brought on board as MacNeil and was generally agreed to be one of the best things in the series. That makes it a little disappointing then that she’s confirmed that she’s departing the show. Rather than re-cast the role, executive producer and director Jeremy Slater has simply decided to focus the second season narrative elsewhere.

This means, apparently, not just jettisoning Davis’ character,
See full article at We Got This Covered »

The behind the scenes battles of Pirates Of The Caribbean

Mark Harrison May 25, 2017

The Pirates Of The Caribbean movies have not been easy films to make....

As Michael Bolton once belted out: “This is the tale of Captain Jack Sparrow.” The Pirates Of The Caribbean film was a surprise sleeper hit in 2003, astounding the higher-ups at Disney who had long been sceptical of how a pirate movie, based on a ride at Disneyland, would appeal to audiences.

Off the back of this success, the sequels only got more ambitious and expensive in scale, with their use of practical effects and convoluted character dynamics serving to complicate the adventure format, with mixed results. It shouldn't shock you then, to hear that each of the movies released so far had some serious behind-the-scenes battles to make them shipshape.

The fifth and apparently final instalment, Salazar's Revenge (or Dead Men Tell No Tales), has had some very public battles before it has even been released,
See full article at Den of Geek »

The Best Of The Best – The Greatest Composers And The Scores That Made Them Great

Author: Dave Roper

With Actors, Directors, Actresses and Screenwriters under our collective belt and Cinematographers still to come, we presently turn our eye towards Composers, whose music lends so much to the films they work on.

As with the other lists, credit is given for not merely one or two sterling scores, but rather a consistently excellent body of work with specific stand-out films. To be blunt, this is a trickier prospect than it at first appears. Just because a film is terrific or well-loved doesn’t necessarily mean that the score is itself a standout. We begin with perhaps the most obvious and celebrated film composer of them all…..

John WilliamsStar Wars

Goodness me. The Poseidon Adventure, The Towering Inferno, Earthquake, Jaws, Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Long Goodbye, Catch Me If You Can, Star Wars, Close Encounters, Star Wars, Superman, Et, Born on the Fourth of July,
See full article at HeyUGuys »

‘Legend of the Ancient Sword’ Photo: Renny Harlin’s Video Game Adaptation Looks Big & Expensive

‘Legend of the Ancient Sword’ Photo: Renny Harlin’s Video Game Adaptation Looks Big & Expensive
Renny Harlin is currently in post-production on Legend of the Ancient Sword, a Chinese production based on a popular role-playing video game called Gu Jian Qi Tan (Legend). It’s another action-adventure film from Harlin, who directed The Long Kiss Goodnight, Cutthroat Island, and The Deep Blue Sea. Below, check out the Legend of the Ancient Sword photo. Harlin’s last film, the […]

The post ‘Legend of the Ancient Sword’ Photo: Renny Harlin’s Video Game Adaptation Looks Big & Expensive appeared first on /Film.
See full article at Slash Film »

Films that led to other films being cancelled

Ryan Lambie Feb 15, 2017

Had Tomorrowland been a hit, we might have had a Tron sequel. We look at movies whose fate had a knock-on effect on other films...

You've probably heard of chaos theory and a thing called the butterfly effect - a concept where the flapping of an insect's wings in a London borough causes a shed to collapse somewhere in the Australian outback. In other words, seemingly incidental events can have a knock-on effect on everything else - like that old board game, Mousetrap, where a ball falling into a bath caused a boot to kick a bucket, which eventually led to the cruel detainment of several rodents.

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The concept applies even in the high-stakes, high-energy world of filmmaking, where the success of one type of movie can prompt rival studios to greenlight their own,
See full article at Den of Geek »

John Debney on The Jungle Book and Mel Gibson's "stunning" Hacksaw Ridge

John Debney conducting a live performance of his score for The Passion of the Christ.

In his long career as a composer, John Debney has written the scores for Hocus Pocus, Cutthroat Island, Liar Liar, I Know What You Did Last Summer, Elf, The Passion of the Christ, Sin City, Zathura and Iron Man 2. Most recently Debney has worked on The Jungle Book with Jon Favreau and Mel Gibson.s Hacksaw Ridge.

I know you.ve worked with Jon Favreau before, but in The Jungle Book you must have been writing the score with nothing but green screen as your guide. Does it make a difference to the process?

It certainly does. I think this was our fourth film together. It was wonderful but it was a challenge. All told it was two years of work, and at the very beginning it was green-screen and stick figures, as it were,
See full article at IF.com.au »

First Trailer For Renny Harlin Directed ‘Skiptrace’ Starring Jackie Chan & Johnny Knoxville

At one time, Renny Harlin was viewed as Hollywood’s next great action-movie-directing hope. He impressed with “Die Hard 2” and “Cliffhanger,” but the double whammy of flops “Cutthroat Island” and “The Long Kiss Goodnight” started a descent which in recent years has seen him directing TV, little-seen efforts like “Five Days Of War” and “Devil’s […]

The post First Trailer For Renny Harlin Directed ‘Skiptrace’ Starring Jackie Chan & Johnny Knoxville appeared first on The Playlist.
See full article at The Playlist »

Lego, Transformers, and the rise of the brand movie

Ryan Lambie Jul 1, 2016

Emojis. Playmobil. Lego. Brands seem to be here to stay in movies. Ryan looks at its rise and rise...

On paper, Pirates Of The Caribbean: Curse Of The Black Pearl probably shouldn’t have been a hit. Earlier movies based on Disney’s theme park rides certainly hadn’t been a success - least of all The Country Bears, a family film released a year before Pirates and largely shunned by audiences. Disney boss Michael Eisner moaned at Pirates’ steep $140m bill. Did it have to be so expensive? And could Johnny Depp - hardly known as a bankable star - really lead the movie to box office glory?

The answer was a resounding yes; released in the summer of 2003, Pirates Of The Caribbean made over $650m worldwide. Pirates also appeared to break two curses in one blow: first, it proved that adventure movies set on the
See full article at Den of Geek »

Carolco: studio co-founder Mario Kassar leaves company

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Exclusive: studio co-founder Mario Kassar has left Carolco just over a year after its revival...

Total Recall. Terminator 2. The Rambo franchise. Through the 80s and 90s, Carolco was one of the biggest independent studios in Hollywood, before a combination of financial woes - including the failure of Cutthroat Island - saw it close in 1996.

Then, last January, came the news that the Carolco brand had been revived by new CEO Alex Bafer, with Carolco's original co-founder Mario Kassar named as its chairman. As we reported at the time, the resuscitated company had some big plans, including a remake of the Japanese horror hit Audition and an all-new sci-fi action film called Bot.

We've now learned that both Bafer and Kassar are no longer with the company, and that the Carolco brand is in the hands of new owners - Carolco's website currently lists real estate developer, entrepreneur
See full article at Den of Geek »

25 great music scores composed for not very good movies

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Some brilliant scores accompany movies that don't always deserve them. Here are 25 examples...

Can a film soundtrack rescue a movie that is otherwise a lost cause? One thing’s for sure: throughout the history of cinema, music has often been the redeeming feature of many an underwhelming movie. Here are 25 amazing film scores composed for films that, frankly, didn’t deserve them.

25) Meet Joe Black (Thomas Newman, 1998)

This somnambulistic three hour romantic drama should really feature an extra screen credit for star Brad Pitt’s fetishised blonde locks. Rising way above the torpid melodrama of the plot is one of Thomas Newman’s most hauntingly melodic and attractive scores, one that leaves his characteristic quirkiness at the door to paint a portrait of death that is both melancholy and hopeful. The spectacular 10-minute finale That Next Place remains one of Newman’s towering musical achievements.

24) Timeline (Brian Tyler,
See full article at Den of Geek »

10 Absolute Worst Flops In Movie History

Disney

If you look down the list of the biggest hits of all time (adjusted for inflation), it could double as an All Time Best list. Jaws is on there, of course, as are Star Wars, E.T. and The Exorcist. Further down, you’ll find the likes of Back To The Future, Ghostbusters and Blazing Saddles. A relative what’s what of Hollywood accomplishments.

Now look down the list of box office bombs, and note the drop off in quality: Cutthroat Island is on there, of course, as are Heaven’s Gate and The Adventures Of Pluto Nash. Further down, you’ll find the likes of A Sound Of Thunder, Sahara and The Wolf Man. If you haven’t seen them, here’s a one-word review: “Meh.”

It’s probably an oversimplification, but if you were to compile a list of blah movies you regret watching, it would closely
See full article at Obsessed with Film »

Blockbusters: are big films all year round a good thing?

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We’re seeing big cinema releases almost every weekend now. But is this a good thing?

Do you remember during 2014, where lots of fans stubbornly declared Captain America: The Winter Soldier the best film of that summer despite its opening in March/April? It was joined by The Amazing Spider-Man 2 in trying to steal a march on the competition, but clearly when you think big blockbusters, they’re associated with a certain time of year. And given how for the studios, summer season occupies a full third of the year from May to August, and Christmas the sweet period from November all the way through to New Year, that should be plenty of room for the Avengers, Star Wars and Jurassic Parks of the world, right?

Except that there are plenty more 'tentpoles' (big releases to prop up the studio’s bottom line) being made and
See full article at Den of Geek »

Gravitas to Distribute ‘Simshar,’ First-Ever Feature from Malta

Gravitas to Distribute ‘Simshar,’ First-Ever Feature from Malta
Gravitas Ventures has acquired worldwide distribution rights to “Simshar,” the first-ever feature film from Malta.

The pic, directed by Rebecca Cremona, centers on the timely topic of immigration. It is based on true events of 2008, centering on a family whose fishing boat accident left them stranded in the Mediterranean; they became embroiled with a wave of asylum-seekers attempting to sail to Europe.

Gravitas will debut “Simshar” Nov. 3 via major VOD operators in North America, then will roll it out worldwide.

Malta has hosted many films, ranging from “Popeye” and “Cutthroat Island” to “Gladiator,” “Troy” and the upcoming “By the Sea,” written and directed by Angelina Jolie. But “Simshar” is the first movie that is a completely native production, filmed in Maltese. It was the country’s first submission to the Academy Awards. The script is by Cremona and David Grech. It stars Lofti Abdelli and Clare Agius.

Brendan Gallagher negotiated
See full article at Variety - Film News »

'Showgirls': Paul Verhoeven on the Greatest Stripper Movie Ever Made

'Showgirls': Paul Verhoeven on the Greatest Stripper Movie Ever Made
After getting his start in his native Holland with wild, sexually explicit dramas like Spetters and Turkish Delight (a 1974 Oscar nominee for Best Foreign-Language Film), director Paul Verhoeven came to Hollywood in the Eighties and rebranded himself as a can-do-anything sci-fi filmmaker with a slightly satircal bent. If you needed to make a film about a cyborg cop (Robocop) or send Arnold Schwarzenegger to Mars (Total Recall), he was your man. But after tooling around postapocalytic Detroit and outer space, Verhoeven took a step back to his eroticsploitation, semi-perverse roots to make 1992's Basic Instinct.
See full article at Rolling Stone »

16 Pirates Of The Caribbean Easter Eggs You Probably Missed

Disney

Who says you can’t make money with pirate movies? Well, Geena Davis probably, but Johnny Depp and Disney have proved the unfortunate mess that was Cutthroat Island was something of an anomaly. Or at least that it didn’t have to be the genre killer it seemed to be.

Having amassed an eye-watering amount of box office money over four films to date, it was inevitable that the franchise would continue into the mooted second trilogy. Whether Dead Men Tell No Tales manages to recapture the film-going world’s love of Jack Sparrow remains to be confirmed, but there’s clearly a lot of life left in Johnny Depp’s swaggering, drunken pantomime act as Jack Sparrow.

But despite accusations that that is all Pirates Of The Caribbean is – a vehicle for a single irresistible performance – the franchise actually has a lot more substance to it. In the
See full article at Obsessed with Film »
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