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"I think cinema is a great place for secrets and intimacy." Its been quite a year. Looking back at 2012, I've been lucky enough to speak with legendary directors like Ridley Scott (for Prometheus) and Ang Lee (for Life of Pi), up-and-comers like Josh Trank (for Chronicle) and Rian Johnson (for Looper), interview esteemed actors like Michael Fassbender (for Prometheus) and Jason Clarke (for Zero Dark Thirty). Over the course of a year, we get to speak to many talented peopled in many places, in many different ways - over the phone, in person with a Flip cam, transcribed from audio, or even over Skype. I still consider it an honor every time we get to do an interview, and we wanted to recap all our interviews from this year below.
"Survive at any cost." Some over-the-top fun from South Korea to end the year of Indie Trailer Sundays. This is a film called The Tower, a South Korean thriller directed by Kim Ji-hoon (of the films Mokpo the Harbor, May 18, Sector 7), another new high-rise fire disaster thriller in the vein of Towering Inferno, or as AICN points out, Clark Gable's San Francisco. But this looks extremely action packed with firemen action scenes, exploding sky bridges, tons of destructive photography of two very tall buildings on fire. It's actually kind of tragic to watch, but I suppose it passes for cinematic entertainment in the end, right? Take a look!
"A miraculous achievement of storytelling and a landmark of visual mastery," Ebert writes about Ang Lee's Life of Pi. As we wrap up 2012, every last critic unveils their Top 10 of the year. One critic that I still like to hear from is Roger Ebert, even at 70 years of age, he's still reviewing over 300 films a year and can still put together a damn good Best of 2012 list. His post on Ebert's Journal starts by explaining he "sustained a hairline fracture of my left hip", meaning he couldn't walk on his left leg at all, but he was still able to fit in a record year of watching movies. And his list of favorites is yet another unique selection of outstanding films.
Blood demands blood. An early trailer for FilmDistrict's crime thriller Dead Man Down has surfaced, and while its got a great cast, the film looks like it packs a punch. Colin Farrell and Noomi Rapace star in Dead Man Down, directed by Danish filmmaker Niels Arden Oplev who made the first original The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo film. It also co-stars Dominic Cooper, Terrence Howard, Isabelle Huppert and Armand Assante in a "a triumphant action thriller", a powerful portrait of the relationship between two people caught in the crosshairs of revenge. It has a bit of a Drive kind of vibe, so check it out yourself.
Just one weekend stands between us and 2013, and looking back at all the great films of 2012 has been a real treat. Myself and the rest of FirstShowing (not to mention most of our colleagues) think this was truly a year to remember for fantastic cinema. Starting all the way back at Sundance and ending with this awards season, there have been tons of stellar stories on the big screen (along with some big disappointments). And while there's plenty to look forward to in 2013, here's one more look back at some of the best films of the year with my personal picks for the 20 Best Films of 2012. Yeah, I couldn't pick just ten. Full list below!
Well, this is weird. In case you hadn't heard, John Dies at the End, the new film from Bubba Ho-Tep director Don Coscarelli, is now available on VOD through iTunes, Amazon, PS3, XBOX 360 and more. However, the indie film doesn't want any trouble with piracy before it heads into theaters on January 25th next year, so this anti-piracy trailer has been sent out to somehow scare those bad Internet people who are trying to destroy independent film. Basically, if you pirate the film, you'll spontaneously combust. It's pretty cheesy, but the message is good. Don't be a dumb jerk and steal this movie on the Internet. Watch below!
Welcome back to another edition of Kickstart This, FirstShowing's weekly column dedicated to spreading the word about indie projects that need your help to become a reality. This week, we're shining a light on a local spot here in Los Angeles, the Cinefamily Theater on Fairfax Avenue (map), that needs our support to stay afloat in this tumultuous economic climate. This place is one of L.A.'s best indie theaters and they've hosted some killer live events over the past few years, so it's absolutely worth a look even if you don't live out west. If you've ever been, post your thoughts in the comments and be sure to donate to them if you can!
Here's the latest update on a project that's been floundering around in limbo for years. Total Film (via MovieHole) spoke with Flight director Robert Zemeckis recently, and the filmmaker revealed that he is no longer interested in remaking the animated Beatles film Yellow Submarine. The idea to remake the film using motion capture technology had been percolating since 2009, and even got as far as casting in 2010 before Disney shut down Zemeckis' ImageMovers company (following the dismal performance of one of the biggest box office bombs of all time, Mars Needs Moms) and eventually pulled the plug on the project.
On this episode of The Golden Briefcase Breakdown, hosts Tim & Jeremy are joined by guest Scott Weinberg, of Twitch and Fearnet, for a spoiler-filled discussion on Jalmari Helander's 2010 Finnish film Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale. They also talk about a few other holiday horror classics! The main purpose of Breakdown episodes is to to ponder, discuss and challenge the films that we feel often need more than just a simple review. We breakdown the film to discuss plots and theories in order to better understand the director's vision and hopefully challenge our listeners at home to re-evaluate the way they watch cinema.
With the end of the year looming, The Avengers has been making it onto some lists of the Best Films of 2012 (Ben included it in his year-end countdown just yesterday). And while the hype surrounding the film has died down significantly since it's been on Blu-Ray and DVD for months, Iron Man 3 will keep The Avengers love flying high when Phase Two of Marvel's cinematic universe kicks off next summer. Now Industrial Light and Magic has released a cool featurette looking at the development of that one amazing single shot sequence in the final battle in Manhattan. You know the one we're talking about. Watch it!
The time between January and the end of April is usually riddled with all the studio films that weren't good enough for summer or awards season. That means that a lot of horror films get dumped in that time. Texas Chainsaw 3D is coming early in January, but a couple weeks later, the Guillermo del Toro produced horror Mama starring Jessica Chastain will arrive. It looks plenty creepy (watch the trailer), but we're cautiously optimistic since Don't Be Afraid of the Dark wasn't anything to write home about. Now del Toro has taken the time to introduce the short film that inspired him to get involved with the feature film. Watch!
Over a year ago, Alcon Entertainment announced that Eddie Murphy would be lending his voice to the titular character in the live-action/CG hybrid adaptation of Hanna-Barbera's 1970's animated series Hong Kong Phooey. And three years earlier, Warner Bros. decided to utilize their rights to the Looney Tunes library, capitalize on the trend of families buying into the live-action/CG hybrid adaptations of cartoons like Alvin and the Chipmunks and The Smurfs, and bring Marvin the Martian to the big screen. However, now it seems like both those projects are dead as director Alex Zamm has posted animation test footage for both of these films, and that likely wouldn't happen if both the projects were still happening. See here!
Now that you've seen it, what did you think? "The Fastest Gun in the South." It's here! Now playing in theaters everywhere is Quentin Tarantino's long-awaited "spaghetti western" Django Unchained, starring Oscar winner Jamie Foxx as a freed-slave-turned-bounty hunter named Django ("the D is silent"). He's joined by Christoph Waltz as Dr. King Schultz, and Leonardo DiCaprio as Candyland plantation owner Calvin Candie, with Samuel L. Jackson. It's violent, it's funny and entertaining, but is it any good? One of the best Tarantino movies? Once you've seen it, post a comment with your thoughts on Django Unchained.
"Why can't I connect with people?" We don't normally post opening scenes like this, but this is more of a promo for a film we're looking forward to anyway, so why the heck not. It's for the zombie romantic-comedy (zom-rom?) titled Warm Bodies, directed by Jonathan Levine (of The Wackness) starring Nicholas Hoult as the zombie R. We've featured a couple of trailers in the past already, as well as numerous posters, so we know what it's about and it actually looks good. While this is a great introduction to the zombie world in Warm Bodies, we don't get to see Teresa Palmer yet, but hopefully this will lock a few of you in. Enjoy!