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    Sunday
    Nov162014

    An Artsy "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1" Poster

    "Mockingjay - Part 1" finds Katniss Everdeen (Lawrence) in District 13 after she literally shatters the games forever. Under the leadership of President Coin (Moore) and the advice of her trusted friends, Katniss spreads her wings as she fights to save Peeta (Hutcherson) and a nation moved by her courage.

    Saturday
    Nov152014

    Universal's MONSTERS Universe- More 'Mash' Less 'Monsters'

     

    What began as a whisper and took form this past October with the excellent gothic adventure Dracula Untold starring Luke Evans and Tywin Lannister, has taken some sort of shape at The Hollywood Reporter's Exectuve Roundtable where Universal Chairman Donna Langley spoke on fitting heavy-hitters of old like The Wolfman, The Creature, Dracula, Frankenstein and his Bride, and The Invisible Man into a contemporary megaplex landscape where only capes seem to fly.

    Donna and Brad, how do you get into this game? Donna has said that Universal's monster movies are not competitive with the superheroes.

    LANGLEY To Alan's point, we have to mine our resources. We don't have any capes [in our film library]. But what we do have is an incredible legacy and history with the monster characters. We've tried over the years to make monster movies — unsuccessfully, actually. So, we took a good, hard look at it, and we settled upon an idea, which is to take it out of the horror genre, put it more in the action-adventure genre and make it present day, bringing these incredibly rich and complex characters into present day and reimagine them and reintroduce them to a contemporary audience.

    While some websites, and fans, have taken these comments with extreme venom, Mrs. Langley isn't exactly wrong.
    Monsters, once a prized Saturday night fright of the 50s and 60s, gave way long ago to the more profitable slasher pictures and now have found themselves as the butt of cruel jokes in an era where thrills and chills are mostly felt from torture porn, found footage features, and possession stories.

    Superheroes, on the other hand, are currently dominating the cinematic landscape and, as was apparent from Dracula Untold, sometimes these 'monsters' need to lose their teeth and take to the tights- even giving Vlad Teppes (Dracula) a custom set of badass armor and a trademark sword. 

    While Universal recently tried to revitalize it's namesake with 2010's The Wolfman, intended to launch a universe with Hugo Weaving as the 'crossover' icon, that failed somewhat, leaving these cinema icons to stagnate. 
    With the recent success of Showtime's Penny Dreadful, and shows like Grimm, Supernatural, and Once Upon a Time we know that spooks and ghouls still have a place in modern mythology- just tapping into them on the big screen might be a bit more tricky.

    Dracula Untold, made on a $70 million budget, recouped about $200 million worldwide (72% of that earning came from overseas markets) so it was not a failure by any means- and ended with a modern day hook signaling the "Master Vampire" (Charles Dance) having bigger plans for Dracula...and the rest of the monsters as a whole.

    Monday
    Nov102014

    Boxers In Negotiations To Fight Michael B Jordan's CREED



    Michael B Jordan and Ryan Coogler's CREED has been on the low ever since it's announcement last year, and some may feel like the movie would never happen, with Jordan taking high profile roles such as Fantastic Four. Now, via THR it's reported that professional boxers Andre Ward and Tony Bellew are in negotiations to appear in the film. 

    Bellow will reportedly portray Creed's main nemesis, "Pretty Ricky Porter" whilst it's unknown what sort of role Andre Ward would have. Story details for the movie are unknown at this point other than the fact that Michael B Jordan's character -- Apollo Creed's grandson -- will be trained by Sylvester Stallone's Rocky. 

    The movie set to shoot in Philadelphia and Las Vegas -- two prominent locations from the Rocky franchise -- this January.

    Monday
    Nov102014

    James O'Baar Shares Insights; What to Expect from CROW Reboot

     

    At Wizard World Tulsa Comic Con over the weekend from the plains of Tulsa, Oklahoma, amongst the stars of AMC's The Walking Dead and other icons of pop-culture, artist and writers James O'Barr spoke at his "Creating the Crow" Panel on Saturday night, before actually talking about the acclaimed comic, to share the chronicle of The Crow reboot, what fans should expect, and why he agreed to let Spanish director F. Javier Guiterrez take the helm. 

    O'Baar remembers back in the early 2000s when the reboot idea came about and recounts getting together with the cast and crew of the Alex Proyas 1990s classic to 'boycott' the film:

    "We got together and we did everything short of starting a petition to keep it from getting made and then it fell to the wayside then it would re-appear six months later with a new writer and a new actor- Jason Statham, frickin' Marky Mark, and Bradley Cooper - so after five years it was like well, it's Hollywood, they're just gonna piss away millions of dollars on something no one wants to see, and so everyone was so against I thought well it won't get made anyhow...and then Relativity Studio picked up the rights to it."

    That's when O'Baar remembers  Guiterrez being brought on, saying he'd seen a few films from him and that he was a "very talented film maker".


     "Then out of the blue one week I got a call from him, from Spain, and he said- in his broken English- 'I want to come and talk to you about The Crow'- so I thought 'Perfect, i'll pick him up at the airport, lecture him for a fucking hour, then put him back on the plane', and I did, I said no one wants this, no one wants to see this, that movie is Brandon [Lee]'s legacy, every director that's been involved in a Crow sequel since the first one has never worked in America again, do you really want to commit career suicide with your first English speaking film?"

    O'Barr said Guiterrez let him go on for about an hour before saying that he was right- the first movie was perfect- but he doesn't want to touch that, he wants to adapt the book.
    "Okay," said O'Barr, "Now you have my interest."

    The film, O'Baar said, is maybe 40% of the book. "It feels like the book, at heart it has all the right emotions in it; but it was a very low budget film," O'Barr then compared The Crow's relatively low shooting budget to "90 minutes of the Big Bang Theory".
    "There's certain things they couldn't do," O'Baar said, "A lot of things had to be altered or removed."

    O'Baar said he was very happy with the film and the late Brandon Lee's performance; but there was a lot of things he was sad didn't make it to the screen.

    "I spent a few days with [Guiterrez] and we talked about a lot of things like our favorite films, what we would like to do with [The Crow] and then we went to Relativity and said 'Look, we want to do this together', and they were very open to it- so they approached this actor, Luke Evans, about playing Eric."

    O'Barr then corrected himself about who picked Evans and why:

     

    "Actually, it was [Guiterrez] and I who picked Luke- when [Guiterrez] first came to the U.S. he showed me all of the actors who had auditioned for the role, and I was a little suspect. I had his phone and here was [a picture of] the actor and here's the actor in the make-up and I was sliding through them, laughing hysterically, 'Oh look Bradley Cooper and a big clown face', some of them it wasn't what was so hilarious, you know, but I got to this one actor and he had this really intense look  and I went to the next shot where he did the make-up test and I thought 'this is the guy right here', I didn't even know who he was at the time, and I said 'This is the guy', and [Guiterrez] said 'I know, I absolutely agree , that's who I picked too, so we got to Relativity and it turns out that was Luke Evans, so they approached Evans and he flew to America to get my blessing before he would take the part, so that's another good sign right there."

    O'Baar then praised Evans, saying he was just getting big in America with roles in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Dracula: Untold, and Fast and the Furious 6. 

     With the director and star in place, O'Baar then told Relativity that he wasn't going to let them use his name to sell the film, and that if he was going to be attached to it he wanted what he had in the first film which was in on every decision regarding casting and "most importantly," control over the film's soundtrack. 

    "It's set at such a very specific point in time and the music is so important to it," O'Baar said, "because it was important to me when I was writing it, and all those bands with the exception of the Cure were all friends of mine and fans of the book, so it wasn't so difficult to get them to do an original song."

    Then O'Baar describe the film's tone:

    "I have a lot of control over this. It's going to be closer to an art-house film than an action John Woo-styalized thing. Parts of it will be in black and white, parts will be in technicolor- the happy parts will be in technicolor- all the violent stuff will be shot on 1970's film stock so it'll be really gritty and grainy so it has that Taxi Driver look to it. I ived 35 years in Detroit. Violence is ugly and I want it to be ugly on screen. I don't want it to be heroic, and I do not want it to be stylized, so I'm actually excited about it."

    O'Barr went on to say however that it's Hollywood so it could all fall apart; but at this point the studio has so much time and money invested into it that It would be "foolish" for them not to go forward with it.

    O'Barr asked the crowd if "That sounds ok" to them, which received a very loud round of applause.

    "I can't express how important it is that you realize this is not taking away anything from Brandon or Alex- that film is perfect as it is; but this is just a chance to explore all of the different themes, you can have talking trains and horses and all of the visual metaphors from my art that can actually be brought to the screen this time."

    O'Baar ended, reciting his go to analogy of Bela Lugosi's Dracula and there's Francis Ford Coppola's Dracula- same source material; but they're two completely different films, and they're both valid." 

    Sunday
    Nov092014

    "Batman v Superman" Busy Filming In Chicago This Weekend

    I don't know about you but I feel like Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice has been filming for two years. The one and only grizzled vet of the lense, Zack Snyder, was back at it again in the Windy City this weekend. The director closed off multiple blocks downtown like a boss to film a chase scene as well as Henry Cavill being all "Super" with Lois Lane.

    Check out some photos below courtesy of JUST JARED & news report on the filming from Fox 32 Chicago via COMICBOOKFILM


    Thursday
    Nov062014

    Official Trailer For Documentary "Ballet 442" Featuring Choreographer Justin Peck

    From first rehearsal to world premiere, BALLET 422 takes us backstage at New York City Ballet as Justin Peck, a young up-and-coming choreographer, crafts a new work. BALLET 422 illuminates the process behind the creation of a single ballet within the ongoing cycle of work at one of the world’s great ballet companies. 

    New York City Ballet, under the artistic direction of Ballet Master in Chief Peter Martins, boasts a roster of more than 90 elite dancers and a repertory of works by many of the greatest choreographers in the history of the art form. When 25-year-old NYCB dancer Justin Peck begins to emerge as a promising young choreographer, he is commissioned to create a new ballet for the Company’s 2013 Winter Season. With unprecedented access to an elite world, the film follows Peck as he collaborates with musicians, lighting designers, costume designers and his fellow dancers to create Paz de la Jolla, NYCB’s 422nd new ballet. BALLET 422 is an unembellished vérité portrait of a process that has never before been documented at New York City Ballet in its entirety.

    Thursday
    Nov062014

    Poster For Xavier Dolan's "Mommy"

    A feisty widowed single mom finds herself burdened with the full-time custody of her unpredictable 15-year-old ADHD son. As they struggle to make ends meet, Kyla, the peculiar new neighbor across the street, offers her help. Together, they find a new sense of balance, and hope is regained.

    Thursday
    Nov062014

    Poster For Documentary "Drug Lord: The Legend Of Shorty"

    In Drug Lord: The Legend of Shorty, directors Angus Macqueen (a BAFTA and Emmy award winner) and Guillermo Galdos, and Producers Simon Chinn (Searching for Sugar Man) and Andrew Mackenzie-Betty (Thriller In Manila) lead us on a Mexican journey to find the leader of the biggest drug cartel in history. To some, he is a revolutionary hero and a latter-day Robin Hood, the powerful -peasant who looks after his people. To others, he is Public Enemy No.1, the first since Al Capone.

    For over a decade Shorty has been on the run from US and Mexican government and during that time over 80,000 Mexicans have been murdered as a result of narco drug wars. Drug Lord: The Legend of Shorty takes us on a trip few outsiders have ever been, knocking on the door of the most wanted man in the world.

    Gravitas Ventures, PBS’s FRONTLINE and Submarine Deluxe are partnering to release the documentary film. Submarine will bring the film to theaters on November 14, while Gravitas will release the film on VOD day and date with the theatrical release. PBS will broadcast the FRONTLINE film in 2015.

    Thursday
    Nov062014

    Poster For Documentary "Miss Tibet: Beauty In Exile"

    High in the Indian Himalayas, in the epicenter of the exiled Tibetan world, a maverick Tibetan impresario stages an unexpected spectacle: a western-style beauty pageant. When Tibetan-American teenager Tenzin Khecheo travels to India to participate in this 'pageant with a difference,' she finds herself not just competing for a crown, but confronting the intersection between her cultural identity and life in the western world.

    Pageant founder Lobsang Wangyal seeks to fill a void within the Tibetan exile community by bringing a bit of glamour into his corner of the world. Complete with catwalks and evening gowns, he sees his pageant as an opportunity for exiled Tibetan women to both immerse themselves in Tibetan culture and to add their voices to global fight for a free Tibet by using the pageant as a unlikely political platform.


    Wednesday
    Oct222014

    First Poster and Red-Band Trailer for 'The Gambler' Starring Mark Wahlberg

    Who would have ever thought you'd see Marky Mark playing a literature professor?

    Now who ever thought that literature professor would be the remake of the 1974 James Caan starrer, The Gambler?

    Well if you actually thought it, you're pretty damn special.

    The first poster and trailer (red-band which means lots of swearing) has hit for Paramount Pictures remake of The Gambler starring Mark Wahlberg and directed by Rupert Wyatt (Rise of the Planet of the Apes).

    The film - as you would expect - is based around a gambling addict (a very lean looking Wahlberg) who happens to be a brilliant literature professor that gets in deep with the wrong people.

    The flick also starts the always terrific John Goodman as well as Brie Larson and Jessica Lange.

    Be on the lookout for the film this Christmas as it hits theaters in a limited Oscar qualifying run on December 19th before going wide on January 2nd of next year.

    Source:  Paramount Pictures