ENJOY THE SHOW
We're only a few weeks away from the release of Christopher Nolan's Interstellar, which will be opening four days early in film only (35mm/70mm projection). The announcement caused quite a stir in the cinema community, as the response from some movie theater chains was not unexpected. Many of them got upset, many of them were pissed off that they weren't a part of this deal, the big reason being that they just gave up their 35mm projectors to transform to digital and now they're missing out on some of the best money of the year. So they blame the studios, and the filmmakers, but never themselves. In response to all of this, Alamo Drafthouse CEO Tim League (who owns a handful of theaters himself) wrote a passionate letter/response and published it on Deadline. It's brilliant, it gets everything right, and at the end of it all, it's inspiring too.
Now that you've seen it, what did you think? War never ends quietly. Now playing in theaters is David Ayer's Fury, starring Brad Pitt as the commander of a tank during WWII. The tank crew is lead by Pitt with Shia LaBeouf as 'Bible', Logan Lerman, Michael Peña as 'Gordo', and Jon Bernthal as 'Coon-Ass' to round things out. The tank heads into Germany near the end of the war and takes heavy fire from a desperate Germany army. So how is it? Is Fury as kick ass as it looks? Does the action surpass the story? How is Shia LaBeouf compared to Brad Pitt or Logan Lerman? Is this one of the better WWII movies recently or a complete flop? Once you've seen it, post a comment with your thoughts on David Ayer's Fury.
Over the last few weeks we've written a few articles about Quentin Tarantino taking over managing the New Beverly Cinema, the repertory 35mm theater in Los Angeles. However, there's an interesting development on the other side today and it involves one of the theater's longtime employees speaking out about the new changes. It seems things have taken a turn for the worse, and after being told to keep quiet, Julia Marchese (@juliacmarchese) has written a blog about her experiences and being unfairly forced to quit. Marchese is also the filmmaker behind the documentary Out of Print about saving 35mm film made mostly at the New Beverly. But due to this break-up, she has released the doc in full online immediately for everyone's viewing.
This past weekend it was New York's time to geek out. The New York Comic-Con took place at the Javitz Center on the west side, with over 100,000 geeks/nerds/fans of all ages attending. On Friday evening I was invited to participate in a panel called Your Opinion Sucks! Rotten Tomatoes Critics vs. Fans where a small group of "professional critics" sit in front of a room full of fans and argue about what they like/didn't like. This isn't the first time this panel has appeared, as Rotten Tomatoes has been hosting it in San Diego and at conventions like CinemaCon for years, but it was my first time on it. I really wanted to have fun, see what people wanted to debate, and enjoy the experience of being on a panel instead of covering it (for once).
Now that you've seen it, what did you think? Defend your Honor. Now playing in theaters nationwide is David Dobkin's (Shanghai Knights, Wedding Crashers, The Change-Up, Fred Claus) dramatic turn The Judge, starring Robert Downey Jr. and Robert Duvall. RDJ plays a city lawyer named Hank Palmer who returns to his small hometown where his father is suspected of murder. He then gets involved in the case and sets out to discover the truth. The ensemble cast includes Vera Farmiga, Billy Bob Thornton, Vincent D'Onofrio, Jeremy Strong, Dax Shepard and Leighton Meester. So how is the film? Smart change of pace for Dobkin or not? If you've seen it, leave a comment with your own thoughts on The Judge.
It's been a big week for news regarding the future of the Ghostbusters franchise. It's been officially confirmed that the percolating project at Sony Pictures from Bridesmaids director Paul Feig and The Heat writer Katie Dippold will be a hard reboot featuring an all-female team of paranormal investigators (teaser image from Mashable). That means there won't be any ties to the first two Ghostbusters films. In addition, Feig also said yesterday this wouldn't be a remake of the original Ghostbusters, and would have a completely new approach to the concept that wouldn't duplicate the original characters and simply adapt them for female actresses. That means anything is possible. So who do you want to star in the film? Discuss!
"It all started with an Aerosmith video." As we head further into the awards season this year, we start to see the more challenging and thought-provoking films emerge. David Fincher's latest film Gone Girl, which just hit theaters this past weekend, is evoking some of the best writing about filmmaking, and about society, in a long time. It's starting a discussion that we've been afraid to have and yet the commentary so far has been invigorating. The latest must read discussion comes from fellow filmmaker Richard Kelly (of Donnie Darko, Southland Tales, The Box) who wrote a massive essay for Talkhouse Film analyizing Gone Girl and comparing it to Stanley Kubrick's Eyes Wide Shut, Kubrick's final film which is beloved by critics as well.
Over the last month or so we've been following development announcements for the Deadpool movie, which might actually end up shooting thanks to fans reaching out on places like Twitter. While production is still far off and details like the rating (PG-13 or R?) won't be decided until later, fans are nonetheless very anxious to figure out what's going on and where/how the Merc with a Mouth might fit in to any universe. When speaking to screenwriter Simon Kinberg recently, news site ComicBook.com found out Deadpool may actually be involved in the X-Men universe at Fox, or at least a part of the bigger picture somewhere.
Now that you've seen it, what did you think? "I finally realized I am frightened of my own husband." Now playing in theaters everywhere is David Fincher's adaptation of Gone Girl, the novel by Gillian Flynn. In the film, Ben Affleck plays Nick Dunne, husband to a wife who has disappeared from a small town. Rosamund Pike plays his wife Amy, the one missing, but does she have something else going on or is it all the husband to blame? The cast includes Carrie Coon, Tyler Perry, Kim Dickens, Patrick Fugit, Neil Patrick Harris and Emily Ratajkowski. So how is it? Better than the book or is it a disaster? How are Affleck & Pike as the leads? Once you've seen it, post a comment with your thoughts on Fincher's Gone Girl.
A month ago it was reported that Quentin Tarantino was taking over the New Beverly Cinema in Los Angeles and running/programming the theater full-time. Tarantino is now owner of the repertory cinema located in the heart of Hollywood, and after years of letting it run on its own he finally stepped up to take over picking films and presentations. Tarantino spoke to LA Weekly recently and his quotes were published this week, discussing the reasons behind his choice to choose the films and what he wants the New Beverly to be known for ("a bastion for 35mm films."). As always, Tarantino has some very interesting things to say.
Now that you've seen it, what did you think? "Got to be who you are in this world, no matter what." In theaters everywhere is The Equalizer, directed by Antoine Fuqua (of Training Day, Tears of the Sun, Brooklyn's Finest, Olympus Has Fallen), starring Oscar winner Denzel Washington as Robert McCall, a mysterious vigilante who takes on the Russian mob (and anyone who messes with him). The cast includes Chloe Moretz, Marton Csokas, Haley Bennett, Bill Pullman and Melissa Leo. Is it any good? Does it live up to the TV show it's based on? If you've seen it, leave a comment with thoughts on The Equalizer.
Now that you've seen it, what did you think? Heroes come in all shapes and sizes...even rectangles. Now playing is the latest stop-motion animated feature film from Laika titled The Boxtrolls, co-written by Irena Brignull & Adam Pava adapted from Alan Snow's novel "Here Be Monsters!", co-directed by Graham Annable & Anthony Stacchi. The film tells the story of an orphan boy raised by underground cave-dwelling trash collectors called Boxtrolls. It's wacky, but tons of fun. How much fun? Better than Laika's other films or more of the same? Once you've seen it, post a comment with your own thoughts on Laika's The Boxtrolls.
There are many great filmmakers that are captivating subjects to speak with, to learn what inspires them, what makes so gifted at telling stories. One such filmmaker is David Fincher, who I've had the honor of interviewing once before. This time for Gone Girl promotion, Fincher was interviewed by Playboy and the results are incredible. Despite the magazine's otherwise dirty content, Playboy actually conducts some of the best interviews around and they always go into depth on life and love and career. That's the case with Fincher, and this is one great interview worth highlighting. Especially because he talks about Hollywood and projects like Disney's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea which he was attached to (and came close to filming).
Many cinephiles know that the PG-13 rating that is so popular today is a relatively new addition to the rating system of the Motion Picture Association of America. Basically, because some movies with more questionable content like Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Poltergeist and Gremlins threw parents into an uproar because the content didn't seem to fit the PG-rating moniker, Steven Spielberg and the MPAA came up with the PG-13 rating as a middle ground between the more kid-friendly PG films, and the adult-oriented R-rated flicks. However, GoodBadFlicks thinks the PG-13 rating is causing problems.