ENJOY THE SHOW
Continuing our annual tradition of posting Thanksgiving and Christmas Movie Guides every holiday season, our San Francisco contributor, Marco Cerritos, has once again put together a holiday movie guide for Thanksgiving 2013, giving a recap and rundown of what's playing and what's worth seeing (or skipping). Marco has seen everything playing, and while you may not always agree with his opinion, he provides the best reviews he can to make it a bit easier for everyone to choose. There are quite a few wonderful films now playing in theaters, so if you're still a bit unsure of what to watch or need extra tips, then look no further!
"People are looking to you, Katniss. You've given them an opportunity. They just have to be brave enough to take it." It's time. Hitting theaters everywhere this weekend is Catching Fire, the second movie in The Hunger Games series. It's exciting, it's deep, it's dark, it's one of the best sci-fi movies all year. Catching Fire should do incredibly well at the box office and I would go so far as to say that this is the next Harry Potter, this is the next Lord of the Rings franchise. Don't compare it to Twilight, compare it to those series in scope and scale and epicness. One review calls Catching Fire "the Dark Knight of Young Adult Films".
I always enjoy getting to talk to members of this industry, specifically the rare times when a veteran actor is made available, but every so often you just get blown away by someone. It doesn't happen too often, but last week it happened when I got the chance to speak to Bruce Dern at Paramount's offices in New York City. Obviously, the interview opportunity came about because of Nebraska, which begins its theatrical run this week, but honestly, wouldn't you use any excuse to talk to a legend like Dern? The man didn't disappoint, as he told some incredible stories (including a few about Alfred Hitchcock!), and paid me a rather stunning compliment. All-in-all it's one of the best interviews and most memorable film-related moments of my life.
"This is the big one that I wanted to do." Now showing in theaters everywhere is the film About Time, the third film (following Love Actually and Pirate Radio) directed by screenwriter/filmmaker Richard Curtis who resides in England. I've thoroughly enjoyed his past scripts and have immense appreciation for About Time, and was lucky enough to catch up with Richard a few weeks ago for an interview about his latest film starring Domhnall Gleeson & Rachel McAdams. While there is a time travel element to it, our chat covered casting, writing & time travel as well as rumors that this is the last film he'll be directing anyway. Read on!
Over a year ago, we highlighted the launch of MoviePass, a $30 a month combination iPhone app and a reloadable credit/debit card that allows users to see one free movie a day at pretty much every theater in the country. The only catch is that it doesn't work for 3D or IMAX movies and you can only see a movie once. It's not a bad deal, though there were kinks to work out at first, the year of service that this writer has utilized has been largely pleasing. But clearly, MoviePass has some problems with how frequent some of their power users are utilizing their service, and they've introduced a "new feature" to stop it immediately.
Tomorrow is Halloween, and then we're moving on to Thanksgiving in November. But before the spooky holiday expires, we wanted to highlight some of our favorite movie-themed costumes from 2013. Last year when we did this, Hurricane Sandy had taken its toll on the East Coast, and it was a slow news day, but we figured this should become a new tradition since there are so many creative people out there with amazing costumes. We tried to include less common costumes and original ideas (there are always tons of Jack Skellington and Sally costumes), but a couple were irresistibly adorable despite being very common. Look!
Unless you're a marching band enthusiast, you might not know that the Ohio State Marching Band is known as the "Best Damn Band in the Land," and one of the few all-brass and percussion bands in the country. Now we get a sense as to why that's the case with the video of their halftime show during the Ohio State-Penn State football game this past weekend. The band decided to pay tribute to Hollywood blockbusters like Superman, Jurassic Park, Harry Potter and more with some truly incredible and mesmerizing formations that come to life across the entire football field. Seriously, this is impressive as hell.
Following yesterday's tease for the X-Men: Days of Future Past trailer coming next Tuesday, we now have some official photos from the Bryan Singer directed sequel that will merge the casts of the original X-Men franchise and the prequel X-Men: First Class. This promises to be an epic comic book flick that just might be able to shake a stick at The Avengers. Some of the photos are behind the scenes featuring Jennifer Lawrence looking quite sexy in 70s clothes, but we also get a shot of her as Mystique, and a couple photos with James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Hugh Jackman and Ellen Page. Look!
Never give up. At the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year I caught two different screenings of a film that amazed me and left me floored both times I saw it - All is Lost, the second feature from writer & director J.C. Chandor. I first met J.C. at Sundance in early 2012 at the party for his first film, Margin Call, which premiered at the festival and went on to earn an Oscar nomination. He's back again this year with All is Lost, a film which stars Robert Redford and only Robert Redford, with only a handful of lines of dialogue, taking place entirely on a sailboat lost at sea. It's a beautiful film and I had plenty to ask J.C. Chandor about.
Following false rumors that Arnold Schwarzenegger would reunite with director James Cameron for a villain role in the first of three Avatar sequels, which start to hit theaters in December of 2016, it sounds like the villain will in fact be a familiar face on Pandora. Deadline has word from Cameron himself that Stephen Lang, who played the intense Colonel Miles Quaritch in the first film, is coming back for the sequels. And yes, that's plural because he will be back for all three new films in the series. Cameron says, "Steven was so memorable in the first film, we’re privileged to have him back." But how will he come back?
Following the first teaser poster featuring the stripped shield of Marvel's patriotic superhero, a new poster for Captain America: The Winter Soldier has arrived. This time we get a new glimpse of Chris Evans as Steve Rogers as he looks ready for a quick jump out of the back of a S.H.I.E.L.D. jet with the helicarrier looming in the background over Washington D.C. There's definitely some hints at where the action is taking place and also maybe some metaphor for how the agency is becoming this entity that might be wielding some shady sense of authority over our country. The first trailer for Cap's new adventure is coming on Thursday, and you'll likely see it play before Thor: The Dark World in a couple weeks too. Poster below!
Besides being an action star, Arnold Schwarzenegger is just an incredibly cool and charismatic guy. This writer is proud to say he had the good fortune of meeting the international superstar on the set of The Last Stand a couple years ago, and he couldn't have been more nice. Now Schwarzenegger did something really for for his fans in the form of another AMA (Ask Me Anything) on Reddit. However, since he's already done a regular AMA and even one specifically on fitness, this time he decided to do something different. As a cool way to promote his movie Escape Plan (in theaters now) he had fans post their favorite quotes from his movies, and he reenacted them and posted the video to YouTube for everyone to enjoy. It's just awesome!
No eulogies. Whether or not you've seen this film before, this is a must-attend event if you're in New York. We're helping promote an event at the Museum of the Moving Image, a revival screening of the western The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, featuring an appearance and Q&A with director Andrew Dominik (of Chopper & Killing Them Softly, too). The event is taking place on Saturday, December 7th at 6PM, a one-time showing of the little-seen, beautifully-shot (by Roger Deakins!) story of Jesse James & Robert Ford. It's an exquisite film, one of my favorites of 2007, we're happy to support this.
For those who don't know, it's Superman's 75th anniversary, and to commemorate The Big Blue Boy Scout, Warner Bros. Animation teamed up with Man of Steel director Zack Snyder for a cool little animated short that quickly and cleverly covers the expansive pop culture history of Superman. With help from "Superman: The Animated Series" creator Bruce Timm, this short starts with the hero's debut in Action Comics #1 and moves through things like "Super Friends," the big screen adventure in Richard Donner's 1978 film Superman, the popular series "Smallville" and, of course, this year's Man of Steel.