ENJOY THE SHOW
Every new year brings us another Sundance Film Festival and with 43 days left until Sundance 2014 kicks off on January 16th, Sundance has officially announced the first half of this year's complete line-up. Featured in five different competition categories are 67 individual films that will be showing at world's greatest, snowiest film festival in January. The remaining half of the line-up, which includes big premieres and midnight films, will be announced over the next few weeks. The 2014 line-up looks unique yet exciting as always. There's a few interesting picks, like Kumiko the Treasure Hunter, and more for 2014. List below.
Ever since Martin Scorsese's The Departed became the first remake to take home Best Picture in this modern era of remakes littering the cinematic landscape (and actually is the only remake to win that Oscar), folks have discussed if we could see others follow in its footsteps with some degree of regularity. We even saw Joel and Ethan Coen's True Grit remake get nominated once the field expanded from five nominees to ten, so it wasn't like this was a one and done sort of thing. In 2012 we saw a new take on the musical Les Miserables from Tom Hooper, which could be considered a remake (and will in this piece). This year...
What do you do if your concept/design work is ripped off without any recognition? Who do you turn to for help? In this day and age, it's the internet. Earlier in the week I received messages pointing me to a post online (an open letter found here) by independent designer Juan Luis Garcia who claims that he did work and pitched Oldboy poster concepts to a design agency, who then took his ideas and created similar work without paying or recognizing his contributions at all. Garcia then tweeted to Oldboy director Spike Lee to gain some extra attention, and the response from the filmmaker was even more disgusting than the rip-off.
Now that you've seen it, what did you think? Remember who the enemy is. Now playing in theaters everywhere is the second movie in The Hunger Games series, titled Catching Fire, picking up where The Hunger Games left off following Katniss Everdeen of Panem's District 12. Director Francis Lawrence takes over the reins of this sci-fi series, delivering a much darker but much bigger sequel. Jennifer Lawrence returns to lead the way with Josh Hutcherson, Woody Harrelson, Lenny Kravitz, Stanley Tucci & Elizabeth Banks. Once you've seen it, leave a comment with your thoughts on Lionsgate's Catching Fire.
If you were a bit confused about what happened in the mid-credits scene in this weekend's inevitable box office champion Thor: The Dark World (there's also an amusing scene at the end of the credits), you're not the only one. There are plenty of non-comic book readers out there who didn't know what the odd scene in the middle of the credits was all about. We'll explain the scene below (so beware of spoilers), and talk about how it will affect the rest of Phase Two in Marvel's cinematic universe, and how it even hints at what might be coming up in Phase Three. So without further adieu, let's dive into some nerdy comic book stuff.
Now that you've seen it, what did you think? "I gave you my word, that I would return." Now showing everywhere is the latest Marvel Studios movie, Thor: The Dark World, following up Thor from 2011 after The Avengers. Chris Hemsworth returns as the God of Thunder, along with the rest of the cast: Tom Hiddleston, Natalie Portman, Idris Elba, Anthony Hopkins, Kat Dennings, Stellan Skarsgård & Rene Russo. "Game of Thrones" veteran Alan Taylor directs this epic sequel. So how is it? Better than the first movie or not? If you've seen it, leave a comment with your thoughts on Marvel's Thor: The Dark World.
Now that you've seen it, what did you think? Remember: the enemy's gate is down. First published in 1985, now hitting the big screen in 2013. Orson Scott Card's sci-fi story Ender's Game has been adapted into a movie by writer/director Gavin Hood (of Tsotsi, X-Men Origins: Wolverine previously), starring Asa Butterfield as young Ender Wiggin, recruited by Harrison Ford as Col. Graff to the International Fleet. There he trains to command an army and prevent another attack on Earth. So how is it? Does it live up to the book at all? If you've seen it, leave a comment with your thoughts on Gavin Hood's Ender's Game.
Now that you've seen it, what did you think? Sin is a choice. Now in theaters is the latest movie from Ridley Scott, following up his sci-fi Prometheus with a dark drama written by Cormac McCarthy (of No Country for Old Men) titled The Counselor. The cast is lead by Michael Fassbender as "The Counselor" who works with a group of nefarious characters including Javier Bardem, Cameron Diaz & Brad Pitt. Penélope Cruz also plays the love interest. So how is it? Does that cast make this an instant classic, or is it all about the script? If you've seen it, leave a comment with your thoughts on Ridley Scott's The Counselor.
"Love knows no reason, no boundaries, no distance. It has a sole intention of bringing people together to a time called forever." The 2013 Palme d'Or winner and one of the most controversial films of the year is opening in select theaters, even with the MPAA's NC-17 rating, starting this weekend. The film is titled Blue is the Warmest Color, my favorite of Cannes 2013, and one of the best films I've ever seen about love and falling in love. Despite the rating, the IFC Center art house theater in New York City has decided to ignore the MPAA rules and allow anyone, even teens (above age 14 - mostly "high school age" kids), to see the film.
By the time you're reading this, J.C. Chandor's sophomore feature All is Lost will be out in theaters. In the coming weeks it'll begin expanding outside of NY & LA and you'll have a chance to see Robert Redford give one of the best performances of the year. The film itself may be a mixed bag (at least for me, though I know I'm in the minority) but Redford is aces and ever since the movie debuted at the Cannes Film Festival he's been tipped as a likely Best Actor nominee. As the race has evolved, it's become clear that not only is he all but guaranteed a nomination now, he could wind up being the one to ultimately win the Oscar in March.
A year ago we posted a story with the headline "Is Bryan Singer Shooting X-Men: Days of Future Past in 48FPS 3D?" Looks like we finally have a real answer - yes he is. There's a story going around, originating from sources at Ain't It Cool News, that Singer's X-Men: Days of Future Past was indeed shot in 48FPS (and 3D) and will be released in 48FPS (or HFR) next May. The big reason for keeping all of this on the down low? "The filmmakers played coy because of the negative reaction to the technology when the Hobbit film was released," one source claims. No surprise there. I'm glad to know he's still pushing forward with it.
Once upon a time, Tom Hanks was just about as golden a god to the Academy as there was. Not only did he accomplish the seemingly impossible feat of winning back to back Best Actor statues (for Philadelphia and Forrest Gump), but he's constantly considered one of the more revered Oscar winners in history. These days he's lost a little of his critical luster due to a focus on less, why don't we say, taxing roles, but he's back in top form in the new Paul Greengrass film Captain Phillips (now playing in theaters). As such, he's once again got Oscar buzz surrounding him, and trust me... it's warranted. Furthermore, I truly believe that Hanks could be a few months away from winning his third Best Actor Oscar. High praise, I know, but hear me out!
Now that you've seen it, what did you think? "Look at me... I am the Captain now!" Now playing is the latest film from Paul Greengrass, an intense real-life thriller titled Captain Phillips telling the story of Captain Richard Phillips, played by Tom Hanks, and the 2009 hijacking by Somali pirates of the MV Maersk Alabama. The cast features a number of unknowns, including Barkhad Abdi who plays the lead Somali pirate named Muse, and Max Martini, who plays a SEAL commander. So how is it? One of the best of the year or not? Once you've seen it, leave a comment with your thoughts on Greengrass' Captain Phillips.
One of my most anticipated films left this year is Spike Jonze's Her, premiering at the New York Film Fest coming up this weekend. In addition to writing about news, trailers, reviews and updates, we also love linking to other excellent articles written about our favorite filmmakers and their work. Mark Harris wrote a wonderful profile of Spike Jonze for Vulture that is a must read for anyone who admires Spike's work, including his past films: Being John Malkovich, Adaptation and Where the Wild Things Are. It provides an inside look at Jonze, the man behind it all, and story behind Her (see the trailer): where it came from, how it developed, how it was made, and how it was finished (including a fresh revision from Steven Soderbergh).