February 05, 2017

Tag Archives: Aaron Johnson

This Week In Movies – ‘Resident Evil,’ ‘The Romantics,’ ‘Heartbreaker’

By Pete Hammond
HollywoodNews.com: It was a week in movies where all the action was in other countries with the Venice Film Festival wrapping up in Italy and the Toronto International Film Festival just getting under way in Canada.
So with the field all to itself in this country and not shown in advance to critics, a wise move considering its current dismal 14% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, the week’s one lone wide release “Resident Evil: Afterlife” shows there is some life after all in Screen Gems’ durable but dopey franchise mixing Zombies and Jovavich (as in Milla). Earning an estimated $27.7 million for the SLOW three day back-to-school post-summer weekend, ‘Afterlife’ scored the series’ best opening numbers ever, well over the last two entries “Resident Evil: Apocalypse” and “Resident Evil: Extinction” which both opened to about $23 mill(a)ion each without the benefit of 3D’s hiked prices that this one had. For those who care the original that started this whole thing opened to about $17 million in 2002 dollars. It’s hard to recall another weekend this year that one studio had all to themselves but Sony’s Screen Gems not only had the number one film, it also took the number two slot with its third weekend of the Matt Dillon heist movie, “Takers” which, considering it is also completely forgettable tripe, has racked up a pretty decent $48 million so far. George Clooney’s “The American” was expected to experience a huge drop in this its second weekend but fell only an average 55%, not good but not disastrous considering its D minus Cinemascore last week that might have indicated treacherous word-of-mouth ahead. Actually it was the better-scored “Machete” a spinoff from the Grindhouse flop that fell the most of any flick this week, a whopping 63% which should finally convince director Robert Rodriguez to step off the Grindhouse beat once and for all.

Now despite the fact that there was only one new nationwide release this weekend there were PLENTY of other movies hitting the marketplace. You just had to live in the right town, namely LA or NY. According to Boxoffice Magazine’s Sara Schieron who diligently tracks down new releases like it was a cult religion, there were a possible record 30 films opening somewhere in the U.S. this weekend. Wow. It would appear that in this purgatory period between summer and fall tiny distributors were looking to […]

DVD Review: “Kick-Ass” hurls the controversial Hit Girl to home video

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: HollywoodNews.com stays on top of the latest DVD and Blu-ray releases so you know which films are worth your time and money. This week, we review:
Matthew Vaughn’s “Kick-Ass” could be viewed as the anti-“Batman Begins,” and in a strange way, that’s a good thing.
While both detail a superhero’s rise to power, the protagonist at the heart of Christopher Nolan’s origin story has valuable resources, authentic skills, a legitimate beef with society, and the power to make a difference.
That’s not necessarily the case with Dave Lizewski (Aaron Johnson), a mild-mannered teenager who becomes the costumed crime-fighter Kick-Ass after being mugged one afternoon, but quickly realizes he’s in way over his head. Kick-Ass can’t hang with bona-fide heroes Big Daddy (Nicolas Cage) and Hit Girl (Chloe Moretz). And after interfering with the criminal activities of Frank D’Amico (Mark Strong), Kick-Ass angers a volatile foe … and gives birth to a potential nemesis in Red Mist (Christopher Mintz-Plasse).
Those who protested the excessive violence of Vaughn’s serial thriller likely haven’t picked up a comic in decades. Clearly, though, Vaughn and co-screenwriter Jane Goldman adore the medium and worship Mark Millar’s source book, treating Kick-Ass’s ascension with reverence and spending just enough time on Mintz-Plasse’s character to make his eventual conversion appropriately chilling. And yes, Moretz and Cage steal the show as the deranged father-daughter crime-fighting duo, though how their actions could be considered shocking years after Batman tutored Robin in the art of violence is a mystery.
While “Kick-Ass” and “Batman Begins” have their differences, they each deserve credit for approaching the comic book genre from viciously new perspectives, successfully breathing new life into an ever-shifting storytelling method.
Specifications for the DVD and Blu-ray are as follows:
• Ass-Kicking Bonus View Mode (Blu-ray Disc Exclusive) – Synchronous with the feature film, this innovative multi-media presentation incorporates video and audio commentary, behind-the-scenes clips and illustrative graphics with Co-Writer/Producer/Director Matthew Vaughn, plus cast and crew providing an all-access perspective on Kick-Ass
• “A New Kind of Superhero: The Making of Kick-Ass “ documentary (Blu-ray Disc Exclusive)
• “It’s On! The Comic Book Origin of Kick-Ass” featurette
• Audio Commentary with Writer-Director Matthew Vaughn
• “The Art of Kick-Ass” gallery
• Marketing Archive
• BD Touch and Metamenu Remote
• Lionsgate Live™ enabled, featuring extra content for Internet-connected players
• Enhanced for D-Box™ Motion Control Systems
*Subject to change
• Standard Definition DVD Copy of the feature film
DISC […]

Harvey Weinstein gives John Lennon a terrific 70th birthday gift

By Roger Friedman
HollywoodNews.com: John Lennon’s getting a terrific 70th birthday gift from Harvey Weinstein.
The Weinstein Company is going to release “Nowhere Boy,” the critically acclaimed film about Lennon’s early life with mom and aunt in Liverpool, on October 8th. That’s the day before Lennon would have become a septugenarian.
“Nowhere Boy” is directed by Sam Taylor Wood the 43 year old filmmaker who just two weeks ago gave birth (Sam’s a gal) to a child she’s had with the movie’s star. Aaron Johnson, who plays young Lennon in the film, is a ripe 20 years old. During the course of making “Nowhere Boy,” Taylor-Wood, who has two children, left her husband for Johnson. You say want a revolution? There it is.
But the scandal has died down in London, and “Nowhere Boy” already had its UK release. It received glowing reviews. Now the film will be part of a whole Lennon celebration scheduled for early October.
Award News, Breaking News, Entertainment News, Movie News, Music News, Hollywood News
To read more go to Showbiz411.com.
Image by PR Photos

Frank Dillane on Shortlist for Spider-Man Reboot

By Hanako M. Ricks
HollywoodNews.com: Several Harry Potter fansites are reporting that Frank Dillane, who gave a chilling performance as a teenage Tom Riddle in “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,” has joined the list of stars being considered to portray Peter Parker in Sony’s reboot of the Spider-Man franchise.
Aside from Dillane, other actors being considered are Anton Yelchin (Star Trek, Terminator Salvation), Aaron Johnson (Kick-Ass), and Logan Lerman (Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief), among others. At this time, the movie is scheduled for a summer 2012 release. Good luck Frank!!!
Awards News, Breaking News, Entertainment News, Movie News, Music News, Hollywood News

Hollywood Movie Roundup: Give me “Kick-Ass” or give me “Death”

BY Kevin Crust
You can put your 3D glasses away because for the first time in weeks a 2D movie should rule the box-office roost. Two modestly budgeted genre movies will duke it out for the top spot with “How to Train Your Dragon” a threat to slip back into second place should either stumble. The first up is the highly marketed movie:
Director Matthew Vaughn (“Layer Cake”) co-wrote (with Jane Goldman) this adaptation of the hyper-violent Michael Millar comic book series about a regular teen who tries to be a superhero and discovers that he is not alone. Nicolas Cage is the big name, but he’s in a supporting role with Aaron Johnson and Chloe Moretz poised to breakout if this catches on.
Critics are giving “Kick-Ass” a surprisingly warm welcome with Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times citing its exacting knowledge of its largely adolescent male, comic-collecting audience’s fantasies. Manohla Dargis of the New York Times reps those more impressed by the then-11-year-old Moretz’s performance as Hit Girl. Ebert and fellow Chicagoan Michael Phillips of the Tribune are simply not that interested with Ebert finding it “morally reprehensible.”
This one’s been buzzing since Comic-Con 2009 and the positive reviews will only bolster the online echo chamber of the fanboys. With nine months of gestating anticipation built up, the film looks like it could join titles such as “Sin City” and “Kill Bill, Vol. 2” among the biggest gross R-rated April openers ever with a take between $25-$30 million.
A remake of the well-regarded 2007 British-American comedy, its been relocated to L.A. and stocked with a mostly African American cast, but it’s faithful enough that original screenwriter Dean Craig still gets the credit. Chris Rock and Martin Lawrence head the cast as the battling sons of the deceased. Peter Dinklage reprises his key role from the first movie, while Tracy Morgan, James Marsden, Loretta Devine, Regina King, Keith David and Danny Glover are also on hand. Director Neil LaBute steps away from his prolific playwriting career and indie films to give mainstream comedy a shot.
The reviews have mostly been middling, but Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times writes that it’s funnier than the original. Most critics, however, such as Stephen Holden of the New York Times and Betsy Sharkey of the Los Angeles Times, acknowledge some laughs but deride the plug-and-play mentality that went into making it.
The original was an […]

Pierce Brosnan talks about acting, producing in the context of ‘The Greatest’

It’s hard not to immediately think of Pierce Brosnan as James Bond, or even Remington Steele, but in the last decade, he’s played a remarkable variety of roles. During a recent roundtable interview, Brosnan explained that he’d burnt out on being the perfectly-coiffed, cool-as-a-cucumber leading man, and decided to take on some different challenges. One of those challenges was producing in addition to directing, and eight films later with his partner Beau St. Clair, Brosnan is set to release The Greatest.
Directed by newcomer Shana Feste, The Greatest stars Brosnan alongside Susan Sarandon, Carey Mulligan, and Aaron Johnson, and the former 007 plays a grieving father who takes in his son’s pregnant girlfriend after the boy dies in a car accident. Hollywood News joined a small group of reporters at the film’s Los Angeles press day to discuss his roles in front of the camera as well as behind the scenes; in addition to talking about the challenges of collaborating on a low-budget project like this one, Brosnan looked back at some of his favorite film roles, and talked about taking on different kinds of roles now that he’s said goodbye to Bond.
Hollywood News: Because this film is about these characters dealing with grief individually, how do you create an environment where everyone can collaborate but you’re able to sort of operate in scenes independent of one another?

Pierce Brosnan: I’m not sure I can answer that question, really. This was a four-week shoot with maybe four days of rehearsal prior, so everybody had to be on their game. You didn’t have much room to wiggle around and say let’s talk about it or let’s discuss it; you really had to be prepared. That’s the exhilarating part of making films like this, independent films, where you have four weeks, the budget is slim, the schedule is tight, and if the script is fighting fit and good, and it was, then you go shoot it and hopefully you have people and players who are prepared. You can’t work yourself up into the scene, you can say, well, I need three to five takes to get into the scene; scene one, first take, you’d better be there with the performance – and everybody was. It was fun, it was very concentrated; everybody supported Shana [Feste]. Shana, a young woman, she [directed] with maturity and great observation, and John Bailey was her […]

Carey Mulligan talks ‘The Greatest,’ ‘Wall Street,’ ‘My Fair Lady’ and more

Although she had more than ten credits on her resume by the time An Education was released last year, Carey Mulligan came out of nowhere and became the closest thing Hollywood has to an overnight success these days when the film became a surprise hit and a award-season contender. Subsequently, she hasn’t let that initial tidal wave knock down her momentum, nor drag her out to the dregs of commercial viability: after a tiny role in Michael Mann’s Public Enemies, she co-stars in Oliver Stone’s upcoming follow-up to his 1987 classic Wall Street, entitled Money Never Sleeps. But before that film is release later this year, she turns up as one of the leads in the new film The Greatest, where she plays the pregnant girlfriend of a dead boy (played by Kick-Ass star Aaron Johnson) who turns up at his family’s home looking for refuge.
Hollywood News recently spoke to Mulligan in Los Angeles at a press day for the film. In addition to speaking about the appeal of working on another modest project as she ventures tentatively into the world of big-budget filmmaking, she offered a few updates about some future projects, including Money Never Sleeps, the Kazuo Ishiguro adaptation Never Let Me Go, and My Fair Lady, a proposed remake of the acclaimed musical for which Mulligan is considered the perfect stand-in for her on-screen forebear, Audrey Hepburn.
Hollywood News: What was the award season like? It seems like such a big deal.

Carey Mulligan: It was long (laughs). In a way, it was really from Sundance on. Sundance was really the first time I had done any press at all. I had done like one interview in England before that. So that was doubly nerve-wracking because I had two films there and it was the first time that I had a big part in any film. The award season was crazy and all good, but ultimately, it is not why you sign up. After a while, you are sort of aching to go and act. Enough people ask you what you are wearing, and you are like, “I used to be an actress before I wore clothes.”
Hollywood News: Does it become distracting at all?

Mulligan: Actually, I wrapped Wall Street at the end of November and then I haven’t worked since. So I don’t think I could have done a film in January or February through all of […]

John Lennon Film Set for 70th Birthday Release

“Nowhere Boy,” the acclaimed film that tells the story of John Lennon’s early days, has gotten a US release date.
I am told that The Weinstein Company will give “Nowhere Boy” its launch on Friday, October 8th, to mark what would have been Lennon’s 70th birthday the next day.
“Nowhere Boy” has already its run in the UK, and played at various film festivals to mostly high praise. The film has attained some notoriety because the director, a woman named Sam Taylor Wood, is now pregnant with the baby of the star, Aaron Johnson, who plays Lennon. He’s 23 years her junior. The baby is due in late summer.
To read more go to Showbiz411.com.


The cast and crew of ‘Kick-Ass’ discuss throwing punches, profanity

Over the weekend at Austin’s storied South By Southwest film and music festival, Lionsgate’s underdog comic book adaptation Kick-Ass arrived in town to offer a preview of the film and interview opportunities with members of its cast and crew. Following a panel during the festival, director Matthew Vaughn, actors Aaron Johnson, Chloe Moretz and Christopher Mintz-Plasse, and comic creators Mark Millar and John Romita Jr. appeared at a press conference to discuss their contributions to the creation of this oddball send-up-cum-celebration of comic book lore.
In order to get a first look at the film and talk to the filmmakers, Hollywood News saw Kick-Ass in advance of SXSW and joined a small group of journalists at the press conference to ask questions and gain insights about the production. In addition to talking about the challenges of making a successful comic book satire that’s still thrilling, Vaughn addressed the recent controversy about the film’s advertising, which features 12-year-old Moretz using language that would make a sailor blush, and the entire crew reflected on the experience of ushering this story to the screen.
Hollywood News: You make several references to familiar lines in other comic book properties. How did you make sure they were used as homage and not parody?

Matthew Vaughn: That was my point of view. All I can say is yes, you’re correct. It was a love letter, it sounds slightly pretentious. I hate saying the word postmodern but it was. Mark started it with the comic and we just wanted to take it further.
Mark Millar: It’s the sort of thing it couldn’t have been made as a movie I think even five years ago, seven to ten years ago. But the world is very geek literate now. If you mention Wolverine now, everybody knows who you’re talking about. Everybody’s girlfriend knows who you’re talking about as well. It’s like everybody understands everything that we spent all our lives training for which is great.
Hollywood News: Mark and John, how did you adapt your own material and maybe make changes for its transition from the page to the screen?

Millar: As adaptations go, this is probably the most literal one I’ve seen outside of maybe 300.
Vaughn: Or Watchmen.
Millar: Yeah, Watchmen, but where it had to be changed, we were cool with it. It’s just a case of trusting the team that’s developing it. Luckily we all knew each other quite […]

SXSW Announces Closing Night Film

The South by Southwest (SXSW) Film Conference and Festival has announced Chris Morris’ pitch-black satire Four Lions as its Closing Night film, to play on Saturday, March 20 at the Paramount Theatre in Austin, Texas. SXSW also released additional feature and short titles or the 2010 event, which will take place March 12 – March 20, 2010. The festival will open with the world premiere of Kick-Ass, directed by Matthew Vaughn and starring Aaron Johnson, Cholë Grace Moretz, Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Nicolas Cage.
SXSW will also host more than 80 Film Conference panels, which will take place Friday, March 12 – Tuesday, March 16. Previously announced participants for the 2010 SXSW Film Conference include Michel Gondry (The Thorn in the Heart, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind), Quentin Tarantino (Inglourious Basterds), David Gordon Green (Eastbound & Down, Pineapple Express), Jeffery Tambor’s Acting Workshop, and Academy Award-winning Argentine composer, solo artist and producer Gustavo Santaolalla, among many others. For full panel descriptions and participants, as well as the complete film lineup and schedule, visit http://sxsw.com/film/.
Additional Feature Films in the 2010 SXSW Film Festival include:
Four Lions (United Kingdom)
Director: Chris Morris. Screenwriters: Jesse Armstrong, Sam Bain, Simon Blackwell and Chris Morris
Four Lions tells the story of a group of British jihadists who push their abstract dreams of glory to the breaking point. Cast: Riz Ahmed, Arsher Ali, Nigel Lindsay, Kayvan Novak, Adeel Akhtar
American Grindhouse
Director: Elijah Drenner. Screenwriters: Calum Wadell and Elijah Drenner
This feature documentary chronicles the history of the American Exploitation Film. It digs deep into this often overlooked category of U.S. cinema and unearths the shameless and occasionally shocking origins of this popular entertainment. (World Premiere)
Cargo (Switzerland)
Directors: Ivan Engler and Ralf Etter. Screenwriters: Johnny Hartmann, Thilo Röscheisen, Patrik Steinmann
Cargo is an intelligent science-fiction thriller that puts an electrifying, futuristic spin on present-day preoccupations like flight from reality, and destruction of the environment. Cast: Anna Katharina Schwabroth, Martin Rapold, Claude-Oliver Rudolph, Pierre Semmler (U.S. Premiere)
Haynesville: The Hunt for an Energy Future
Director and Screenwriter: Gregory Kallenberg
Haynesville documents the discovery of the largest natural gas field in the nation, its momentous impact on three people’s lives, and the affect this historic find could have on our energy future. (North American Premiere)
A NY Thing
Director & Screenwriter: Olivier Lecot
A French romantic follows his object of desire to New York where over the course of 3 crazed and ardent days he must convince her […]

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