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Contemporary Chinese Cinema: The Year So Far

  • MUBI
Contemporary Chinese Cinema is a column devoted to exploring contemporary Chinese-language cinema primarily as it is revealed to us at North American multiplexes.Over the last few years it has become increasingly easy to see mainstream Asian films in North America at the same time they are released in their home countries. Thanks to partnerships with small, international distributors, the major multiplex chains (AMC, Cinemark, Regal) have devoted a handful of screens in major markets to showing new releases from India, Korea, China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. Most of these titles fall under the radar of both critics and audiences outside the diasporic communities to which they are targeted. They play for a week or two and then disappear, outside of a handful of breakout titles. Last year Stephen Chow’s The Mermaid made headlines for its high per-screen averages in North America as it shattered domestic box office records in China.
See full article at MUBI »

HBO Is Planning Four 'Game of Thrones' Spinoffs

While the main series is reaching its final act it appears HBO is not yet ready to leave Westeros alone as four spin offs are planned for 'Game of Thrones.'

While its unclear at this stage what period or characters the spin offs will deal it, HBO have created four teams of writers to maximise potential, the teams are:

Max Borenstein

His credits include writing the screenplay for Kong: Skull Island and 2014's Godzilla. On the TV side, he was the showrunner and creator of Fox's short-lived Minority Report reboot, which marks his lone small-screen credit. Borenstein next is readying Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) and Godzilla vs. Kong (2020).

Jane Goldman

Goldman's credits include writing the screenplay for Neil Gaiman's Stardust as well as adapting comic favorite Kick-Ass. Her geek cred includes X-Men: First Class, X-Men: Days of Future Past, Kingsman: The Secret Service and Kingsman: The Golden Circle.
See full article at FlicksNews.net »

‘Game of Thrones’ Spin-Offs: Of the Four Options, There’s Already an Obvious Winner

‘Game of Thrones’ Spin-Offs: Of the Four Options, There’s Already an Obvious Winner
That HBO is working on a “Game of Thrones” spin-off is no surprise. That they’re working on four separate spin-offs in order to find the right fit to follow up the Emmy-winning original, well, that’s a little surprising. But there’s no surprise when it comes to choosing the best option.

On paper, the choice is clear. The premium cable giant is waiting to read all the scripts before making a decision on which to pursue, but let’s see if you can figure it out based solely on who’s writing the four contenders. Your multiple choice quiz begins…now!

Read More: ‘Game of Thrones’ Spin-Offs: HBO Developing Four Different Stories Set in Different Time Periods

A) Max Borenstein

Most recent project: “Kong: Skull Island,” which Borenstein penned alongside Dan Gilroy and Derek Connolly.

TV Experience: “Minority Report,” the short-lived Fox adaptation of Steven Spielberg’s film,
See full article at Indiewire »

Free Fire: The 70’s Crime Pictures It Takes a Bullet From

Tony Black on Free Fire

Let’s be honest, if you’ve seen Free Fire, you’ll know it’s not particularly like a lot of the 1970’s crime films that, on the face of it, Ben Wheatley’s movie would sit alongside. This pulpy, lean slice of comic violence owes more to the early 90’s stylistics of down’n’dirty Tarantino than to Scorsese or Friedkin, but given i’ts set in the 70’s, was executive produced by Martin Scorsese, and certainly has plenty of now retro-connections to that decade, this seems a good place to analyse Free Fire in the context of the crime pictures of that decade. Where does it fit? Should it fit at all? Or should it rather tuck in behind Reservoir Dogs and, anachronistically, exist slightly out of the time it’s very much rooted in?

Crime thrillers of the 1970’s, for a start,
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

Horror Highlights: Exclusive Trailer Premiere for The Lightest Darkness, Nitehawk Cinema, Secret Santa, Dark Seduction, El Rey Network

Welcome to another Horror Highlights! Today, we have the exclusive trailer premiere for Diana Galimzyanova's noir thriller, The Lightest Darkness. We also have details on Nitehawk Cinema's Holiday Horror Spectacular, release details and trailers for Secret Santa and Dark Seduction, and details on the new chief creative officer over at El Rey Network.

Exclusive Trailer Premiere for The Lightest Darkness: "The first ever female-directed Russian film noir with reverse chronology.

When a neurotic private eye who struggles to finish the case takes a train voyage, his own dark secrets begin to reveal themselves."

Written and directed by Diana Galimzyanova, The Lightest Darkness stars Rashid Aitouganov, Marina Voytuk, Tatyana Ukharova, Vyacheslav Manucharov, and Anastasia Ivanova. To learn more about the film, visit:

http://thelightestdarkness.com/ https://www.facebook.com/TheLightestDarkness/ https://twitter.com/theLDnoir http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5937642/fullcredits?ref_=tt_ov_st_sm

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Nitehawk Cinema's Holiday Horror Show Spectacular: "Every year,
See full article at DailyDead »

El Rey Network Promotes Skip Chaisson to Chief Creative Officer

Skip Chaisson has been named chief creative officer of El Rey Network, the cable channel announced Tuesday. In his new role, Chaisson will oversee all creative and brand elements produced by the company for El Rey’s linear network as well as its digital and social-media feeds.

Through his company Skip Film, Chaisson worked on the 2013 launch of El Rey. He then joined the network full time in 2014 as senior vice president, creative and on-air promotion.

“Skip is supremely talented,” said Daniel Tibbets, El Rey president and general manager. “He has a long history of working on projects for the biggest Hollywood filmmakers, including Tony and Ridley Scott, Steven Spielberg, Oliver Stone, James Cameron, Jerry Bruckheimer and Robert Rodriguez. He also created El Rey’s on-air look and style, which is unlike any other network’s. His sensibilities embrace the brand tenets and I am so pleased that he will be shepherding El Rey’s creative direction
See full article at Variety - TV News »

‘Chasing Taste’ Exclusive Trailer: An Overnight Food Critic Loses His Senses of Taste And Smell

‘Chasing Taste’ Exclusive Trailer: An Overnight Food Critic Loses His Senses of Taste And Smell
Chasing Taste” follows Chase Guidry (Kirk McGee), a down-and-out writer who’s reeling from the disappointment of his book not being published to widespread acclaim. But when literary agent Katie (Uma Incrocci) mistakes him for a food writer one night, Chase quickly becomes New York City’s biggest food critic. However, his overnight success is short lived when a freak accident robs Chase of his senses of taste and smell. Now, he must rely on a team of “super smellers” to help fake his reviews so he can maintain his lifestyle and pursue the love of his life. Watch a trailer for the film below.

Read More: Film Acquisition Rundown, Week of June 13: Miramax Hits High Note for ‘Whitney’ Doc, Wolfe Is Going to ‘Akron’ and More

The film is the feature-length directorial debut of Sean Gannet, and was written by Lori Fischer. It boast a large ensemble cast,
See full article at Indiewire »

Exclusive: Official ‘Dances with Films Film’ Festival Poster

True to independent films, Dances with Films film festival will be celebrating its 19th year and sharing the festival week with the Los Angeles Films Festival in June.

Over 100 independent films will be shown from June 2nd through June 12th at the family Hollywood’s Tcl Chinese Theaters.

The festival based solely on merit and discoverability and mandating that all competitive films have no known actors, writers, directors or producers.

Legendary producer Steve Tisch joined the Dwf esteemed Advisory Board last festival season. One of the most successful producers in the motion picture industry, Steve has produced such films as Risky Business, The Pursuit of Happyness, The Weather Man, Seven Pounds, Knowing, The Taking of Pelham 123, The Back-Up Plan, and Hope Springs. A pantheon of industry heavyweights, Dwf’s Advisory Board also includes: Cindy Cowan, Jonathan Dana, Steve Elzer, Kevin Kasha, Eriq La Salle, Michael Lehmann, Mike Macari, Valerie McCaffrey,
See full article at LRM Online »

Berlin: Nancy Cartwright of ‘The Simpsons’ Launches Production Company

Berlin: Nancy Cartwright of ‘The Simpsons’ Launches Production Company
Nancy Cartwright, best known as the voice of Bart Simpson on “The Simpsons,” has launched Spotted Cow as a film/television finance and production company.

Spotted Cow’s first project is “In Search of Fellini,” which recently wrapped production in Italy. The coming-of-age drama stars Ksenia Solo, Maria Bello and Mary Lynn Rajskub.

In Search of Fellini” was directed by Taron Lexton and written by Cartwright and Spotted Cow President Peter Kjenaas. Ambi Distribution represents worldwide rights and is presenting the project to buyers at the the Berlin Film Festival’s European Film Market.

The movie was inspired by Cartwright’s early years in the entertainment industry, when she set off to “find herself” in Italy before establishing herself in Hollywood.

Spotted Cow is also partnered with Parkside Pictures and Dark Rabbit Productions on a film with James Franco entitled “The Institute,” to be released in late 2016. Cartwright is a producer on the project.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

'Heist' Trailer Starring Robert de Niro and Gina Carano

  • MovieWeb
'Heist' Trailer Starring Robert de Niro and Gina Carano
'Place your bets!' Unless you're betting that you'll never see Saved by the Bell's Zack Morris go up against Robert De Niro. Because that's exactly what happens in the thriller Heist! We have the first trailer, which brings plenty of action and high stakes, along with the first domestic poster. This is one hot slice of hickory smoked drama you're not going to want to miss this coming Holiday season.

Robert De Niro and Jeffrey Dean Morgan lay it all on the table in this sizzling crime caper&#160from Lionsgate Premiere! Heist is directed by Scott Mann, best known for his 2009 action thriller The Tournament. The rest of the amazing cast includes Kate Bosworth, Gina Carano, Mark-Paul Gosselaar,&#160D.B. Sweeney, Morris Chestnut, Summer Altice and Dave Bautista. Heist hits theaters and premieres on-demand this November!

When their attempt to rob a casino owned by the feared gangster
See full article at MovieWeb »

Austin Film Festival to Honor ‘L.A. Confidential’ Screenwriter Brian Helgeland

Austin Film Festival to Honor ‘L.A. Confidential’ Screenwriter Brian Helgeland
The Austin Film Festival has selected Brian Helgeland as recipient of its Distinguished Screenwriter Award, to be presented Oct. 31.

Helgeland won the Oscar for best adapted screenplay for “L.A. Confidential” and was nominated for “Mystic River.” He directed and wrote “Legend,” “42,” “A Knight’s Tale” and “Payback” and wrote “Man on Fire,” “The Taking of Pelham 123,” “Conspiracy Theory,” “Green Zone” and “Blood Work.”

Helgeland has also won awards from the Writers Guild of America, as well as the Pen Center Literary Award, the Edgar Allan Poe Award and the USC Scripter Award. Universal launches “Legend,” starring Tom Hardy, on Oct. 2.

Previous Distinguished Screenwriter Award recipients include James L. Brooks, Lawrence Kasdan, Callie Khouri, Frank Pierson, Harold Ramis, Caroline Thompson and Steven Zaillian.

The festival, which launches Oct. 29, will also present a reading of Norman Lear’s un-produced teleplay “Guess Who Died?” The writing team, Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Bruce Greenwood & Gbenga Akinnagbe Join FX’s ‘American Crime Story: O.J. Simpson’- Update

Updated, 3:06 Pm: Gbenga Akinnagbe also has joined the cast of FX’s American Crime Story: The People V. O.J. Simpson, Deadline has learned exclusively. He will play Dennis Schatzman, the journalist who jumped on the O.J. Simpson soapbox to cry out about the Lapd's war against African-Americans. Akinnagbe recurred on The Wire, and recent credits include 24: Live Another Day, The Good Wife, Nurse Jackie and The Taking Of Pelham 1 2 3. He is repped by Apa, Silver Lining…
See full article at Deadline TV »

John Travolta Gets Back in Action With I Am Wrath

John Travolta has had a bit of a rough decade. In the past ten years, he starred in Wild Hogs, Old Dogs, From Paris With Love (which was one of the worst action movies of the past two decades), and the forgettable remake The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3. But Quentin Tarantino resurrected his career once before by giving him a lead role in Pulp Fiction, and it seems Travolta is looking to get back on top yet again. The Wrap reports that he's in talks to join I Am Wrath, an action film previously set to star his Face/Off co-star Nicolas Cage.

I Am Wrath follows "a man out for vigilante justice after a group of corrupt cops are unable to catch his wife’s killer." That's about as generic as it gets, so it's tough for me to really get excited about this. It seems like
See full article at GeekTyrant »

Street Closure Plans For 87th Oscars; David Oyelowo, Chris Pratt, John Travolta and Kerry Washington To Present

Jennifer Aniston, Sienna Miller, David Oyelowo, Chris Pratt, John Travolta and Kerry Washington will be presenters at this year’s Oscars, show producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron announced today.

Aniston has starred in such films as “Cake” (2014), “We’re the Millers” (2013), “Horrible Bosses” (2011), “Marley & Me” (2008) and “Bruce Almighty” (2003). She also starred in all ten seasons of “Friends,” for which she won the 2002 Emmy® Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series.

Miller co-stars in “American Sniper” and “Foxcatcher,” both of which have garnered multiple Oscar nominations this year. She previously appeared in such features as “Factory Girl” (2006) and “Layer Cake” (2005). Her upcoming films include “High-Rise,” “Adam Jones” and “Lost City of Z.”

Oyelowo portrayed Martin Luther King, Jr. in this year’s Best Picture nominee “Selma.” His other recent feature credits include “A Most Violent Year” (2014), “Interstellar” (2014), “Lee DanielsThe Butler” (2013) and “Jack Reacher” (2012). He will next be
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

Jennifer Aniston, Sienna Miller, David Oyelowo, Chris Pratt, John Travolta and Kerry Washington to present at 87th Oscars®

Jennifer Aniston, Sienna Miller, David Oyelowo, Chris Pratt, Chris Rock and John Travolta will be presenters at this year’s Oscars, show producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron announced today. The Oscars, hosted by Neil Patrick Harris, will air on Sunday, February 22, live on ABC. Aniston has starred in such films as “Cake” (2014), “We’re the Millers” (2013), “Horrible Bosses” (2011), “Marley & Me” (2008) and “Bruce Almighty” (2003). She also starred in all ten seasons of “Friends,” for which she won the 2002 Emmy® Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series. Miller co-stars in “American Sniper” and “Foxcatcher,” both of which have garnered multiple Oscar® nominations this year. She previously appeared in such features as “Factory Girl” (2006) and “Layer Cake” (2005). Her upcoming films include “High-Rise,” “Adam Jones” and “Lost City of Z.” Oyelowo portrayed Martin Luther King, Jr. in this year’s Best Picture nominee “Selma.” His other recent feature credits include “A Most Violent Year
See full article at Hollywoodnews.com »

Joseph Sargent, Award-Winning Director, Dead at 89

  • The Wrap
Joseph Sargent, the director of the original film adaptation of “The Taking of Pelham 123,” died on Monday at his home in Malibu, California as the result of complications from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. He was 89.

A prolific director who got his start in the 1950s, Sargent has more Emmy wins for television films or mini-series than any other director. He took home four Emmy awards for directing out of nine total nominations. He also won four Directors Guild of America awards out of nine nominations.

See photos: Hollywood’s Notable Deaths of 2014 (Photos)

The DGA proudly noted of the late director,
See full article at The Wrap »

There Could Have Been A Worse "Last Passenger"

Thank you very much Mr. Traincrash.

You don't see a lot of decent movies anymore.  You see mediocrities all the time, movies that never get too good, but often stray into the below-average, but these decent movies that stay just above average but thoroughly entertain are a rare breed.  Last Passenger (2014) does this quite convincingly on a budget of around £1.5 million.  Tony Scott's The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 (2009), another train-based film, cost about $100 million and provided roughly the same amount of gripe-free viewing.  Economic though it may be, Last Passenger isn't breaking new ground in any other arena.  The framework is incredibly familiar in both plot and character dynamic.  This is a disaster genre movie through and through.  But it's reliable.  About as unaccountably reliable as those brake pads.  How could they possibly have still worked?

Read more...
See full article at JustPressPlay »

Weekend Box Office: The Equalizer Shoots to the Top with $35 Million

As expected, The Equalizer came out on top this weekend, earning an estimated $35 million from 3,236 locations. That’s surprisingly strong for a September debut – especially considering the movie is based on a TV series few people remember. The credit goes to Denzel Washington, who has one of the best opening weekend records of any A-list actor. Not all of Washington’s films in the past decade have gone on to be hits (Unstoppable, The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3), but the man can definitely open a movie. The Equalizer is Washington’s best box office debut since 2012’s Safe House and it also gives director Antoine Fuqua the highest opening of his career. Title Weekend Total 1. The Equalizer $35,000,000 $35 2. The Maze Runner $17,500,000 $58 3. The Boxtrolls $17,250,000 $17.2 4. This Is Where I Leave You $7,010,000 $22.5 5 Dolphin Tale 2 $4,835,000 $33.6 6. No Good Deed $4,600,000 $46.6 7. A Walk Among the Tombstones $4,234,000 $20.8 8. Guardians of the Galaxy $3,789,000 $319.1 9. Let’s Be Cops $1,515,000 $79.6 10. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
See full article at Collider.com »

The Equalizer Review

Denzel Washington loves doing action movies. I’m not exactly sure why. He’s a high-caliber actor capable of a wide-range of diverse characters, but he seems to prefer starring in films like 2 Guns, Safe House, Unstoppable, The Book of Eli, and The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3. And there’s nothing wrong with his prerogative, although some of these movies have been better than others. With his latest actioner, The Equalizer, Washington has found his best action vehicle yet as it blends hard-boiled, tense fisticuffs before the climax goes absolutely bonkers in the best way possible. Robert McCall (Washington) enjoys a quiet, rigid life. He wakes up early, times his morning routine, works at a Home Depot-like store, is friendly with his co-workers, eats a simple dinner, but despite his well-regimented routine, he can’t sleep. He spends his evenings at a late-night diner reading classic books and
See full article at Collider.com »

The Equalizer Review [Tiff 2014]

After receiving joking acknowledgment in The Wolf of Wall Street last year, awareness of ‘80s TV series The Equalizer is probably now as high as it was ever going to be. It’s hard to imagine any fans of the series clamouring for a film version more than two decades later, and even harder to say whether they’ll approve of Antoine Fuqua’s adaptation, which carries over the names of the series, but little else. A one-man A-Team,the titular Equalizer is Robert McCall, an ex-covert operative with a particular set of skills he uses to atone for a shady past, one hard-luck case at a time.

The original series was set in New York, while the film version has driven a few hours up the I-90 to move the surroundings to Boston. While the change of leading man, from proper Brit Edward Woodward to all-American-ly handsome Denzel Washington,
See full article at We Got This Covered »
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