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Unlocking a Sundance Success: Why ‘Searching’ Was the Biggest Acquisition of 2018

  • Indiewire
Unlocking a Sundance Success: Why ‘Searching’ Was the Biggest Acquisition of 2018
While press and film fans pore over selections for Sundance 2019, no group dissects titles as diligently as acquisitions executives for distributors, cable and broadcast networks, and streaming services. Most entries do not yet have deals for release or play, and every one — no matter how obscure — is scoured for potential.

Last year, one of the seemingly less-likely offerings was a Next selection, “Search.” The feature debut of Aneesh Chaganty, it starred John Cho and Debra Messing. Chaganty wasn’t entirely unknown; he directed a Google Glass spec that led to him working for the search giant. Its producers included Timur Bekmambetov (“Hardcore Henry”). However, the film also took place entirely on computer screens, which could suggest a noble experiment more than a potential hit. Instead, its success transformed the Next section.

Sony bought the film for its Screen Gems label, changed its title to “Searching,” and gave it a late-summer release.
See full article at Indiewire »

Toronto Film Festival: Big on Lady Gaga, Small on Deals

  • Variety
Toronto Film Festival: Big on Lady Gaga, Small on Deals
Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper got a standing ovation, Alfonso Cuaron brought audiences to tears, and Michael Moore revved up the crowds at the Toronto International Film Festival with a broadside against Donald Trump. It was, by any measure, a week and a half of high drama. Cooper’s “A Star Is Born” and Cuaron’s “Roma” solidified their positions as Oscar frontrunners, and Moore’s “Fahrenheit 11/9” made it clear it wouldn’t be getting a White House screening, at least not during this administration.

But Toronto is more than just a film festival. Hollywood studios cross the border hoping to find films to buy. In that regard, it wasn’t much of a market. The festival is nearly over, but dozens of films still need to find distributors. Moreover, the all-night bidding wars that once injected energy into the easy-going Canadian gathering never really materialized.

“It was a lot slower than last year,
See full article at Variety »

Frightfest 2018: ‘Upgrade’ Review

Stars: Logan Marshall-Green, Richard Anastasios, Melanie Vallejo, Richard Cawthorne, Harrison Gilbertson | Written and Directed by Leigh Whannell

Writer/director, and regular James Wan collaborator, Leigh Whannell puts the reigns of horror on hold and surprisingly turns his attention to the action genre with the effective, intellectual and engaging Upgrade.

This fast-paced, inventive, sci-fi thrill-ride, swirling together RoboCop, Death Wish and The Terminator and numerous Cronenberg body horror influences, is set in the near future, where technology controls nearly all aspects of life. But when self-identified technophobe Grey Trace is made quadriplegic in a car accident his world is turned upside down. His only hope for closure and possible revenge is an experimental computer chip implant called Stem that allows him to achieve miraculous feats of mind and strength. But then Stem starts to take full control of his body and the true nano nightmares begin.

What’s most surprising in
See full article at Blogomatic3000 »

Hardcore Henry director to helm Nobody from John Wick creators

Geeks Worldwide is reporting that Ilya Naishuller, direct of the 2015 sci-fi action thriller Hardcore Henry, has signed on to direct Nobody, an action film in the works at Stx Entertainment.

Nobody will see Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul star Bob Odenkirk playing an everyman who comes to the aid of a woman being harassed by thugs. However, he soon learns that one of the men he put in the hospital is the brother of a drug kingpin who is now out for revenge.

The film has been scripted by John Wick scribe Derek Kolstad, while Chad Stahelski and David Leitch are serving as producers. Filming is expected to get underway soon in Toronto, Canada.

The post Hardcore Henry director to helm Nobody from John Wick creators appeared first on Flickering Myth.
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

Hot Titles at Toronto Film Festival 2018

  • Variety
Hot Titles at Toronto Film Festival 2018
The Toronto International Film Festival is a launching pad for Oscar-hopefuls, but it’s also a thriving market. In the past, movies such as “I, Tonya” and “Still Alice” have scored major deals at the Canadian gathering, going on to enjoy critical success and awards love.

That’s always the dream. But for every “I, Tonya,” the festival is littered with examples of sales that sputtered out when the movies finally saw the light of day. Remember “Hardcore Henry,” “Top Five,” or “Begin Again”? Didn’t think so. However all of those films inspired bidding wars up north. Their failure is a reminder of the very real dangers of festival fever, the virus that encourages normally level-headed studio executives to keep sweetening their offers beyond the point of reason.

Which movies will inspire big bids at this year’s fest? Here are a few that have buyers buzzing.

Hot Titles
See full article at Variety »

Timur Bekmambetov Is Done With Hollywood and Only Wants to Make Movies on Computer Screens

Timur Bekmambetov Is Done With Hollywood and Only Wants to Make Movies on Computer Screens
Timur Bekmambetov has seen the future of the movies, and it has nothing to do with the big-budget blockbusters he’s made for years, from “Wanted” to “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.” His last movie made on that scale was “Ben Hur” two years ago — and it’s going to stay that way. At least, that’s the ethos he’s preaching about Screenlife, a technology developed by his Bazelevs studio that the Russian-born filmmaker created for the exclusive purpose of producing movies that unfold on computer screens.

“When you try Screenlife, it’s like a drug,” the 57-year-old said, during a conversation at IndieWire’s New York office. He was wearing a Montreal hat, fresh from a trip to Canada where he delivered a lecture on his new approach. He had a Usb cable strung around his neck for future use, and he tapped away at a laptop keyboard with
See full article at Indiewire »

Regal Theatres to show Bondarchuck's 'Attraction' (exclusive)

Regal Theatres to show Bondarchuck's 'Attraction' (exclusive)
The exhibitor has committed to screening the film in at least 20 theatres in the Us.

Russian director Fedor Bondarchuk’s sci-fi blockbuster Attraction has secured a limited Us theatrical release via Regal Theatres.

The exhibitor has committed to screening the alien invasion movie in at least 20 theatres in the Us.

The film’s sales agent Art Pictures Studio has also closed a multi-territory deal for the home entertainment rights to Attraction in the Us, UK, Australia, New Zealand and Canada with Berlin-based distributor Capelight Pictures, which has handled such films as The Babadook and Hardcore Henry. Attraction will be available
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Small scream: why TV's horror shows are scarily bad

The development of a series based on The Blair Witch Project suggests a terrifyingly misjudged idea and highlights a problem with genre TV

Here’s a fun game: what’s the worst film you could possibly adapt for television? Something gimmicky like Hardcore Henry? Something abstract like Warhol’s Empire? Blair Witch Project? Actually, let’s stop there, because the answer is Blair Witch Project. The answer is always Blair Witch Project.

Related: Listen closely: why Hollywood has become obsessed with podcasts

Continue reading...
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Five Things You Didn’t Know About Haley Bennett

Haley Bennett is an actress and singer who was born in Florida on January 7, 1988. She began her professional acting career in 2007 when she made her film debut in ‘Music and Lyrics’ playing the role of Cora Corman. She starred alongside Hugh Grant and Drew Barrymore in this movie. Other films for which she is well-known include ‘The Girl on the Train’, ‘College’, ‘Kaboom’, ‘The Hole’, ‘The Equalizer’, ‘The Haunting of Molly Hartley’, ‘Hardcore Henry’, and ‘The Magnificent Seven’. Despite having roles in so many hit movies, there are many things you probably do not know about this

Five Things You Didn’t Know About Haley Bennett
See full article at TVovermind.com »

'Hello' Review: A fun film on serendipity and soulmates

TollywoodThe writing gets a bigger thumbs-up than the performances of the leads, played by Akhil and Kalyani.Karthik Keramalu Hello_poster_3x2.jpgWhile I was watching Vikram Kumar’s concoction of destiny-and-serendipity, I was reminded of the decade-and-a-half-old Manasantha Nuvve starring Uday Kiran and Reema Sen. The soul of Hello and Manasantha Nuvve belong to the same body. A young boy and girl become friends, and are separated within a short period of time as the girl moves to another city (because of her father’s job) and the boy gets adopted by wealthy parents. If you haven’t guessed why the boy gets adopted, you are probably new to Telugu cinema’s storytelling techniques. Let me break it down for you – the kid is from the streets and has a heart of gold. Ramya Krishnan, who has paired up with Akhil Akkineni’s father (Nagarjuna) several times, puts on the face of a mother who yearns to be called “Amma” as her adopted son, Avinash (Akhil), calls her aunty. It takes him a lot of time to call her “Amma” as familial connections are alien to him. These sentimental touches, which are aplenty in the movie, work well within the scope of the narrative. Another favorite of mine was the phrase “I hate you”. No, it’s not the literal meaning that comes into play here. Once upon a time, Avinash, in his school-going days, witnesses his mom throwing the “I hate you” sentence at his dad (Jagapati Babu) when she catches him smoking. Avinash, who doesn’t understand the words, asks his mom about it. The explanation that she comes up with is excellent. Of course, it turns into a tiring in-joke as they keep repeating it throughout the movie. But, that dialogue does great justice to the scenes. Akhil’s debut movie, titled Akhil, ate more than it could digest and the results turned out to be negative. Almost every department in the actor’s previous film tanked. Hello changes it all. Call it Vikram Kumar’s charm, or destiny if you will, Hello has action, romance, and comedy in equal proportions. Though the romance sequences feel gooey, the movie promises bucket loads of cool action. The parkour-style choreography, especially, deserves whistles. Hello, in fact, takes off immediately after the hero-introduction song with a chase-and-fight episode. For some of the scenes, the camera seems to have been attached to the body of the person performing the stunts (à la the 2015 film Hardcore Henry). Hello welcomes newcomer Kalyani, daughter of filmmaker Priyadarshan and actor Lissy, with a role that kind of flies away with the arrival of strong winds. Her baby-looks help her pull off the character she’s given easily, yet her inexperience in handling humour and romance shows on her face. To an extent, the same goes for Akhil. Since the movie depends more on the themes of soul-mate and destiny, the inefficiency of the leads didn’t prick me too much. And when the storytelling doesn’t leave any time for the viewer to ponder over the nitty-gritties, it’s better to enjoy the fun the movie delivers. Nevertheless, more than the chemistry created by the adult versions of Seenu and Priya (Akhil and Kalyani respectively), the innocence and gullibility of the actors who played their younger versions stood out. Vikram Kumar, the main man behind Hello, is on a roll. Yavarum Nalam, Ishq, Manam, 24, and now Hello – all these movies belong to different tried-and-tested genres. Still, he works around them and bakes something good every time. His association with Anup Rubens, composer, and P. S. Vinod, cinematographer, is reaping wonderful benefits. The score and visuals add weight to the proceedings. If Akhil shines under the hands of brilliant filmmakers, he’ll have a chance at taking the Akkineni legacy forward along with his brother, Naga Chaitanya. And Kalyani should watch herself on screen and learn what’s missing from her performance. That might give her ideas for her upcoming films. Disclaimer: This review was not paid for or commissioned by anyone associated with the film. Neither Tnm nor any of its reviewers have any sort of business relationship with the film's producers or any other members of its cast and crew. Enanble Notification: NoTNM Marquee: No
See full article at The News Minute »

There is No Way to Leave the Assassin Business in The Villainess this November 21st

The Villainess is an upcoming action thriller. From Well Go USA Entertainment, this Korean film involves a female assassin, trained since childhood. Several years into her killing career, Sook-hee (Ok-bin Kim) now wants freedom and will stop at nothing to get it. The Villainess will be available, through several formats, this November. The title, from director Byung-gil Jung, also stars: Jun Sung and Ha-kyun Shin. A preview of the film's home entertainment launch is hosted here. The official trailer was released earlier this year (Aug. '17), for The Villainess. It shows Sook-hee partially via first person camera shooting. Similar to Hardcore Henry's (2015) shooting style, Sook-hee battles several foes on motorcycle or in the air. It looks like there is no end to this killing spree. The Villainess will be available on three formats this November. On November 21st, this action title will show on DVD, Video-on-demand and a Blu-ray/DVD combo.
See full article at 28 Days Later Analysis »

‘The Villainess’ Blu-ray Review (2nd Opinion)

Stars: Ok-bin Kim, Seo-hyung Kim, Ha-kyun Shin, Jun Sung Bang | Written and Directed by Byung-gil Jung

It’s been a while since a foreign language movie came out that truly blew me away, probably The Raid being the last one and we all know how much I gush over that movie. The Villainess brings us all the things I loved about The Raid and some intricate clever plot points that echo Infernal Affairs sprinkled with some Nikita… Add all this together and you get a damn good movie, that is in serious danger of being in my Top 5 movies of 2017!

The awesome folks at Arrow Video have brought us a shiny awesome Blu Ray and DVD release of this instant classic and its out today. Spoilers (I normally save this bit till the end): I absolutely recommend this movie to any fan of Korean Cinema, action fight sequences, stunning choreography,
See full article at Blogomatic3000 »

Movie Review – The Villainess (2017)

The Villainess, 2017.

Directed by Byung-gil Jung.

Starring Ok-bin Kim, Ha-kyun Shin, Jun Sung, Seo-hyeong Kim, Eun-ji Jo, and Ye-Ji Min.


A woman assassin leaves a trail of bodies behind her as she seeks revenge.

The Villainess starts off with one hell of a chaotic fight sequence reminiscent to, Kill Bill, The Raid and Hardcore Henry (the entire extended battle takes place from the first person perspective and is all one highly impressive unbroken take), and is violent and visceral to the extreme complete with blades, guns, and blood painting the walls red. Going in blind, I legitimately thought the whole movie would play out this way, but then things shift into a more conventional structure and narrative. Sook-hee is on a warpath of vengeance until she can bring justice to the man that murdered her father in cold blood.

At the same time, a government agency views Sook-hee as
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

Review: The Villainess is a High-Energy Slice of Action-Fueled Heaven

Co-writer/director Jung Byung-gil wears his cinematic influences proudly on his sleeve for The Villainess, a breakneck actioner fueled by the vengeance of a woman wronged on her wedding day, who goes on to become a trained assassin for an elite agency, only to see her past and her present collide violently once certain truths are revealed. Featuring breathtaking and meticulously conceived action set pieces, The Villainess is undoubtedly an impressive slice of high-energy heaven; but when it comes to story, Byung-gil stuffs his narrative with too many side characters, flashbacks, and double-crosses, making for an often perplexing tale that feels just a bit more complicated than it needs to be.

That being said, the action still more than makes up for The Villainess’ minor missteps, and it’s still a film that’s well worth your time for those of you who dig on jaw-dropping feats of filmic ferocity.
See full article at DailyDead »

Frightfest 2017: The Villainess Review: Dir. Byung-gil Jung

The Villainess Review: One women goes on a bone-crunching rampage, and takes us along for the ride, in this South Korean action gem. The Villainess Review

The Villainess, which debuts in the UK at Frightfest ahead of a cinema release on 15th September, is a South Korean masterclass in action. Sook-Hee (Kim Ok-bin) has been raised as a ruthless assassin since the death of her parents. Having fallen in love with her mentor, the pair get married, only for him to perish on their honeymoon. Enraged and grief-stricken, Sook-Hee goes on a one woman rampage, killing all that get in her way before she is detained by, and enlisted by, South Korea’s intelligence agency. The National Intelligence Service promise her freedom after ten years of active assignments. Sook-Hee then begins her new double life as a theatre actress by day, hit-woman by night, until the dark secrets from her past start to reappear.
See full article at The Hollywood News »

‘The Villainess’ Trailer Delivers Action Mayhem

The multiplexes are going quiet for the next couple weeks, with no major new releases on the horizon until September. So, what better time to visit your local arthouse? But don’t worry, we’re not recommending some staid drama to cap off your summer, but an action extravaganza that has been making waves since Cannes.

Directed by Jung Byung-Gil, “The Villainess” falls somewhere between “John Wick” and “Hardcore Henry.” The story follows an assassin who can’t escape her past and must fight to survive.

Continue reading ‘The Villainess’ Trailer Delivers Action Mayhem at The Playlist.
See full article at The Playlist »

Review: The Villainess Dances a Hyperkinetic Pulp, Blade and Bullet Ballet

Korean action cinema bursts through to new horizons in the hyperkinetic pulp blade and bullet ballet The Villainess. Equal parts Kill Bill, Nikita, John Wick, Hardcore Henry and Hk-era John Woo, the second film from Confession of Murder director Jung Byung-gil is an inspired but exhausting entry. Sook-hee was brought up to become an assassin by Korean-Chinese criminals but after escaping her situation she is recruited by South Korea's intelligence agency to become a sleeper agent for ten years, after which she can gain her freedom. She thus assumes the role of a theater actress until two men begin to disrupt her life, one from the past and one from the present. With ambitious set pieces filmed in several unusual ways, Jung and his team...

[Read the whole post on screenanarchy.com...]
See full article at Screen Anarchy »

Vikings season 6 adds Fifty Shades villain Eric Johnson

Kirsten Howard Feb 9, 2018

History's hit saga Vikings will welcome The Knick and Fifty Shades Freed star Eric Johnson in the sixth season. Details...

Interesting casting news for fans of History's Vikings this week, as Eric Johnson (Fifty Shades Darker, The Knick) is set to join the cast for season 6.

See related Preacher season 2 episode 13 review: The End Of The Road Preacher season 2: Dominic Cooper interview 50 upcoming comic book TV shows, and when to expect them

Johnson will play Erik, "a formidable warrior who is an outlaw living on his wits and martial skills", says Deadline.

It'll be a while before we see Johnson in action - there are still 10 episodes of season 5 to be aired, and season 6 won't arrive until very late in the year, but filming continues apace over in Ireland, where the actor will be joining the fray soon enough.

More as we have it.

Vikings season
See full article at Den of Geek »

Vengeance and Melodrama: A Conversation with Jung Byun-gil on "The Villainess"

The Villainess opens first-person shooter-style in a gangrened subterranean hallway, strewn with filthy wreckage with little context and plenty of enemies, multiplying exponentially and shouting at what is most certainly an intrusion. Bullets are dispensed without fuss, guns reloaded, or swapped for knives in deliberate close-up. The camera has yet to cut, non-stop freneticism, sprays of crimson. Behind every door awaits a batch of new adversaries: befuddled meth cooks in a laboratory or a brigade of besuited gentlemen on an upper floor, each and every one cut down. The body count reaches at least half a hundred before the final door creaks open to a wood-floored gymnasium wherein a dozen menacing goons line up as if for instructed group exercise, brandishing knives in lieu of jump ropes. As in a videogame, no one moves until you do. Just when the jolting action should become repetitive, the camera hurls into the glass mirror,
See full article at MUBI »

Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets Review

Luc Besson’s Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets opens, sans surprise, with David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” launching our senses into orbit. A perfect musical selection, correct? Yes, until the song reveals a double meaning. As “Ground control to Major Tom” plays atop interstellar diplomacy, we realize that “perfect” can be swapped with “obvious.” James Gunn’s Guardians Of The Galaxy mixtapes display deep, connected curation, while Besson’s first track has been used and reused throughout sci-fi history. This sets a constant tone as motivations, dialogue, and casting all elicit audible sighs. Something so beautiful should never be this hollow, yet Besson’s shooting star burns premature and fizzles out with a put-put sputter.

Dane DeHaan stars as the titular Major Valerian, whose romantic interest in partner Sergeant Laureline (Cara Delevingne) remains his biggest challenge. Heists? Alien thugs? Snarling creatures? All a piece of mooncake for Valerian.
See full article at We Got This Covered »
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