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Hooray for filmmakers! On the same day as Christopher Nolan's birthday, news hits that Kodak has struck a deal with Hollywood movie studios to keep 35mm film alive. For now. The Wall Street Journal is reporting a big story that actually names some names saying that film production at Kodak is being saved thanks to a few filmmaker "lobbyists" who pushed the studios to make this deal. Officially numbers will be announced soon, but Kodak has partnered with the studios to "buy a set quantity of film for the next several years" even though they may not use it all, which will help keep one of their main factories open and running. Read on.
"There's a Comic-Con in all of us," my driver said as we headed toward the airport in San Diego on Sunday afternoon. It's true. As I head home from my ninth year returning to the Comic-Con International in San Diego, I have been reflecting on the experience that is this ambitious comic book convention turned geek madhouse. ~160K people descend upon San Diego every July to spend five days waiting in lines, squished together, tripping over each other, in hopes of getting their hands on some exclusive toy or product or look at a trailer or their favorite movie star. From the outside looking in, it seems crazy. Who would do this? Why do people subject themselves to this madness every year? Because we are passionate about what we love.
Now that you've seen it, what did you think? Imagine what she could do with 100%. Now in theaters is Luc Besson's Lucy, starring Scarlett Johansson as Lucy, a woman caught in a dark deal who ends up gaining incredible powers when a drug gives her 100% brain capacity superpowers. Morgan Freeman also co-stars as a Professor explaining what's going on with her, and how/why she's gaining these powers. Choi Min-sik, Amr Waked, Julian Rhind-Tutt and Pilou Asbæk are also in the sci-fi action movie. Is it any good? Did Luc Besson get his groove back? Once you've seen it, post a comment with thoughts on Besson's Lucy.
Now that you've seen it, what did you think? United we purge. Now in theaters everywhere is James DeMonaco's sequel to last year's horror thriller The Purge, this one titled The Purge: Anarchy, starring Frank Grillo as Sergeant, with Carmen Ejogo, Zach Gilford, Kiele Sanchez, Zoë Soul, John Beasley, Jack Conley and Michael K. Williams. This time when the Annual Purge commences, five people on the streets of Los Angeles meet up as they attempt to survive the night where all crime is legal. Is it better or worse than the first one? How is the action? Once you've seen it, post a comment with thoughts on The Purge: Anarchy.
"This mission is too important for me to allow you to jeopardize it." This past weekend, at the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens, New York City, I experienced the spectacular - Stanley Kubrick's seminal sci-fi masterpiece 2001: A Space Odyssey projected in 70mm. The film first hit theaters in 1968, but is touring again as a 70mm restored version, which first hit in 2001/2002. The theater was sold out, every seat filled, the audience awe-struck in total silence for most of the entire movie. Words cannot really describe this kind of cinematic event, as it is truly an experience, one that will "dominate and overwhelm the viewer", as Ebert wrote in one of his posts on seeing 2001 in 70mm. It is that enveloping, but that's what makes it awesome.
Now that you've seen it, what did you think? "Apes strong together." Now in theaters everywhere is Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, the sequel to the Planet of the Apes reboot from 2011 called Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Directed by Matt Reeves (Cloverfield, Let Me In), this latest Apes movies introduces us to a new set of humans: Jason Clarke, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Keri Russell and Gary Oldman. Caesar is back, once again played by Andy Serkis, with Toby Kebbell as Koba. Does it live up to Rise? Is it one of the best sequels ever? Once you've seen it, post a comment with thoughts on Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.
As a die-hard movie lover, I live for the kind of opening weekends where the only movies hitting theaters are high quality, worth-seeing works of art. In all truth, it's very rare we get a weekend that can be unanimously labeled as one of the best opening weekends of the year with nothing but excellent movies opening. In 2014, this is it, this is that weekend. Where you must find a way—find the money, find the time—to make it to your local cinema to see one of, if not all of, this weekend's new releases. Two of the best films of 2014 open today in America: Richard Linklater's Boyhood and Matt Reeves' Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. And I really, truly mean it when I say they're two of the best of the year - both are innovative, masterful movies.
Whoa. Time to geek out. So, Christopher Nolan just wrote a piece for the Wall Street Journal, about the future of cinema. And it's kind of brilliant, but of course we all expected that. The title online explains: "Christopher Nolan: Films of the Future Will Still Draw People to Theaters", with the subtitle "When Movies Can Look or Sound Like Anything, Says the 'Dark Knight' Director, Extraordinary Work Will Emerge". Now, Nolan is in the midst of finishing work on Interstellar, his sci-fi epic which will arrive in theaters this November. He makes rather some bold comments about the state of the industry. "We moan about intrusive moviegoers, but most of us feel a pang of disappointment when we find ourselves in an empty theater." Yep.
It's time to recline. There's a big story in the Wall Street Journal this week highlighting plans from AMC Entertainment to install more recliner seating in some theaters, while taking out the old crappy style seats in the process of upgrading. The article defends some flack from external criticism about how removing seats just doesn't "make sense" but goes on to explain, with quotes from AMC's CEO Gerry Lopez, that they believe it will be better off in the long run if they put in these recliner seats. Yes, they will eventually charge more for them (but not right at first), and they won't be in NY or LA, but it's still cool to see this happening.
Now that you've seen it, what did you think? "We control the engine, we control the world." It is finally in theaters - uncut, brutal, brilliant! Radius-TWC has starting showing Bong Joon-ho's long-awaited sci-fi movie Snowpiercer, set entirely on a train traveling around a frozen world, in select theaters around the US (full list here). Chris Evans leads an eclectic but enriching ensemble cast including Song Kang-ho, Ko Ah-sung, John Hurt, Tilda Swinton, Jamie Bell, Ewen Bremner, Octavia Spencer, Alison Pill and Ed Harris. So how is it? Does it live up to the hype? Is it truly a masterpiece? Are other characters given enough time? If you've seen it, leave a comment with your thoughts on Bong Joon-ho's Snowpiercer.
Now that you've seen it, what did you think? Prepare for extinction. Now playing everywhere is Michael Bay's next robot action sequel Transformers: Age of Extinction, giving him a fresh start after Pain & Gain. There's no Shia, instead it stars Mark Wahlberg, who is the father of a dashing young teen played by Nicola Peltz, who has a boyfriend played by Jack Reynor. Yea, it's all a bit complicated, and there's tons of big robots, plus wacky Stanley Tucci, no Turturro but T.J. Miller as comic relief, plus Kelsey Grammer in there and John Goodman as the Autobot Hound. Of course, Optimus is back. Is it fun at all? Good/bad? If you've seen it, leave a comment with your thoughts on Bay's TF4: Age of Extinction.
Now that you've seen it, what did you think? Tonight we hosted a special screening of Mike Cahill's new film I Origins at the Crosby Street Hotel in New York City, partnered with Disqus and presented thanks to Fox Searchlight. Following completion of the screening, we're opening up discussion regarding the events that unfold in it, and general thoughts on the film. I Origins stars Michael Pitt, Astrid Bergès-Frisbey & Brit Marling in a story that could fundamentally change society as we know it. Is it really that powerful? Now that you've seen it, leave a comment below with your thoughts on Mike Cahill's I Origins.
Today marks the 25th anniversary of the release of Tim Burton's Batman. Let's take a look back all the way to the summer of 1989 when the superhero genre saw a resurgence and the Dark Knight was reborn again for a new generation of moviegoers. Batman came out on June 23rd, 1989 - a month after I was born. As such, Burton's Batman was my cinematic introduction to the character. His take on Batman is special to me mostly because of his approach to the character. Michael Keaton doesn't look like a typical superhero, he looks like an average guy. The great appeal of Burton's take on the character is that anyone can be Batman.
With director Zack Snyder currently shooting Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, comic book fans are anxious to see what kind of DC Comics universe this leads to on the big screen. A potential leak of Warner Bros. timeline plans for franchises hitting the big screen following the 2016 sequel just showed up, and along with that came another rumor that a standalone film following Ben Affleck as The Caped Crusader might pop up in 2019. And while Batman is expected to be part of Justice League, there's obviously no indication of what a standalone Batman film would be like outside of the superhero ensemble. But one element hasn't been discussed much when it comes to all these plans: Batman's trusty sidekick Robin.