April 23, 2014

Tag Archives: Entertainment/Culture

Nancy Meyers to Direct Untitled New Film for Sony Pictures

Sony Pictures Entertainment has closed a deal with Nancy Meyers to direct an untitled film to be produced by Matt Tolmach and Nancy Meyers, it was announced today by Doug Belgrad, president of Columbia Pictures, and Hannah Minghella, president of Production for the studio. Meyers rewrote a screenplay that was originally written by Scott Neustadter and Michael Weber.
The deal returns Meyers to Columbia Pictures, where she previously made The Holiday and Something’s Gotta Give.
In the new film, the life of an American young woman gets turned upside down when she begins dating a very unlikely young man. The complexities that follow are bigger than both of them. The comedy is set entirely in the UK, the film will have an all British cast with the exception of the female lead.
Commenting on the announcement, Belgrad said, “We are thrilled with the way this project has turned out and we’re especially excited that Nancy intends to make it her next film. This is the kind of movie that Nancy does better than anyone else and we can’t wait to share this new movie with audiences all over the world.”
NANCY MEYERS co-wrote and directed The Parent Trap, produced and directed What Women Want, and wrote, directed and produced Something’s Gotta Give, The Holiday, and It’s Complicated. Meyers’ first film as a writer/producer was Private Benjamin, which she produced and co-wrote with Charles Shyer and Harvey Miller; she was honored with the Writers Guild of America Award for Best Comedy Written Directly for the Screen, as well as an Academy Award® nomination for Best Original Screenplay. She then co-wrote and produced Irreconcilable Differences, followed by Baby Boom and the box office hits Father of the Bride andFather of the Bride Part II.
About Sony Pictures Entertainment
Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) is a subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America, a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Corporation. SPE’s global operations encompass motion picture production and distribution; television production and distribution; home entertainment acquisition and distribution; a global channel network; digital content creation and distribution; operation of studio facilities; development of new entertainment products, services and technologies; and distribution of entertainment in 159 countries. For additional information, go to http://www.sonypictures.com/

2013 Tribeca Film Festival Announces Short Film Selections

The 2013 Tribeca Film Festival (TFF), presented by founding sponsor American Express, today announced its lineup of 60 short films, 30 of which are world premieres a record number for the Festival and a special screening.
The recipients of the Tribeca Film Festival?s Best Narrative Short award and Best Documentary Short award will qualify for consideration in the Short Films category of the Annual Academy Awards® without the standard theatrical run, provided the film otherwise complies with the Academy rules. The 2012 TFF Narrative Short Winner Asad and competition short Curfew were nominated for best Live Action Short at this year’s Annual Academy Awards, with Curfew taking home the coveted honor.
Curated from more than 2870 submissions, the 2013 roster represents 19 countries, including Australia, Canada, China, Cyprus, Finland, France, Hungary, Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Palestine, Russia, Scotland, Spain, Sweden, the United States and the United Kingdom.
The 2013 shorts program will be presented in 8 thematic programs — 5 narrative categories, 2 documentary categories and 1 experimental category. One documentary section, ‘History Lessons,’ consists entirely of world premieres a first for the Festival. The always anticipated New York program makes a return as ‘Unlimited Ride,’ and audiences will embrace ‘Deadbolt’ — a vampire and werewolf-filled genre-specific program.
‘It’s wonderful to be able to introduce so many new films to an audience for the very first time,’ said Sharon Badal, TFF Director of Short Film Programming and Initiatives. ‘These short programs run quite the emotional gamut and we look forward to surprising our moviegoers with some very unique stories this year.’
The lineup features powerful performances by a range of emerging and established talent such as Lauren Ambrose, Kevin Corrigan, Elle Fanning, Jessica Hecht, Nastassja Kinski, Julian Sands, Jay O. Sanders, Dominic West and Elijah Wood. Shawn Christensen, Academy Award-winning director of Curfew, returns to TFF with Grandma?s Not a Toaster. Christensen is among a number of returning filmmakers including Keir Burrows, Matthew Bonifacio, David Darg, Gerardo Herrero, Myles Kane, Josh Koury, Bryn Mooser, Michael Scalisi, Ryan Spindell and Jonathan VanBallenberghe.
Works selected for the 2013 TFF shorts slate are eligible to compete for combined cash and value-in-kind prizes totaling more than $10,000 for Best Narrative Short and Best Documentary Short, sponsored by Persol, and the Student Visionary Award.
A list of the short film selections within the eight programs is as follows:
CHARACTER WITNESS Documentary program
These documentaries present first-person perspectives that ponder events [...]

‘Oz: The Great and Powerful’ wins the weekend box office with $80 million

I’ve said this before, but one of the problems with modern box office analysis is that it treats studio tracking numbers, which are supposed to be internal figures that can be used to adjust marketing in the run up to release, as ironclad box office predictions.
More often than not, pundits use tracking in a way that creates a preemptive doom-and-gloom scenario where a new release is painted as a box office turkey before it even opens *or* its used to give unrealistic expectations to a new release so that studios are then forced to defend what is actually a solid debut. Such is the case with Oz: The Great and Powerful (trailer/posters).
The $215 million Disney prequel debuted with a strong $80.3 million this weekend. Alas, due to rumblings and arbitrary presumptions that the film would open with as much as $100 million over the weekend, mostly due to the project’s token similarities with Alice In Wonderland, Disney may now be forced to defend what is easily the biggest opening of 2013 by more than double and the third-biggest March debut ever behind Alice In Wonderland ($116 million) and The Hunger Games ($153 million).
To read more go to Mendelson Memos
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Tina Fey is the “Hollywood TV Star of the Week” – Photo Gallery

Our selected celebrity to be included in our “Hollywood TV Star of the Week Photo Gallery” is Tina Fey.

Elizabeth Stamatina “Tina” Fey (born May 18, 1970) is an American actress, comedienne, writer and producer, known for her work on the NBC sketch comedy series Saturday Night Live (SNL) (1997–2006), the critically acclaimed NBC comedy series 30 Rock (2006–2013), and such films as Mean Girls (2004), Baby Mama (2008) and Date Night (2010).
Fey first broke into comedy as a featured player in the Chicago-based improvisational comedy group The Second City. She then joined SNL as a writer, later becoming head writer and a performer, known for her position as co-anchor in the Weekend Update segment. In 2004 she adapted the screenplay Mean Girls in which she also co-starred. After leaving SNL in 2006, she created the television series 30 Rock, a situation comedy loosely based on her experiences at SNL. In the series, Fey portrays the head writer of a fictional sketch comedy series. In 2008, she starred in the comedy film Baby Mama, alongside former SNL co-star Amy Poehler. Fey next appeared alongside Steve Carell in the 2010 comedy film Date Night and with Will Ferrell in the animated film Megamind.
Fey has received seven Emmy Awards, two Golden Globe Awards, five Screen Actors Guild Awards, four Writers Guild of America Awards and has been nominated for a Grammy Award for her autobiographical book Bossypants, which topped the The New York Times Best Seller list for five weeks. In 2008, the Associated Press (AP) gave Fey the AP Entertainer of the Year award for her satirical portrayal of Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin in a guest appearance on SNL.
In 2010, Fey was the recipient of the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, the youngest-ever winner of the award. On January 13, 2013, Fey hosted the Golden Globe Awards, along with her long-time friend and fellow comedian, Amy Poehler. This was the first time the awards ceremony was hosted by a woman. Their performance was critically acclaimed, with ABC News describing it as “spectacular.”
To read more go to TINA FEY
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James Franco’s OZ will bring $70 million plus

Critics are divided about Sam Raimi’s “Oz, the Great and Powerful.” But audiences love it. Last night, “Oz” took in more than $24.1 million. For the weekend, it will bring in $70 million plus. That includes rotten weather on the east coast last night, so today and tonight may be bigger than thought. “Oz” is coming to a third biggest ever March opening.
Bravo! The movie looks great, and the actors are all terrific starting with James Franco and the three witches–Michelle Williams, Rachel Weisz, and Mila Kunis. Moreover, Disney has ordered up the sequel. I don’t know what some people thought the movie would be–the actual “Wizard of Oz” cannot be duplicated and no one tried to do it. The movie was made in 1938, kids. That this “Oz” approximated its charm in a modern way is the accomplishment.
For those who want to see Franco in a less conventional role, wait til you see him in “Spring Breakers.” Harmony Korine’s wild saga is a week away. Franco is a rapper-drug dealer into three-ways. He steals the movie from all the so- called “kids.” A couple of white rappers are already say they inspired his look. But the character is all original, and very adult. In “Spring Breakers,” we are not in Kansas anymore.
To read more go to www.showbiz411.com
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‘Star Trek Into Darkness’ breezy action-packed trailer

The only spoiler bit is at around 1:02, where Captain Pike has some facial scars that I don’t recall him having at the end of the first Star Trek (he was of course seriously injured, but I don’t recall scarring).
Perhaps Pike gets those scars when Cumberbatch escapes from his glass prison at the halfway mark, because “He planned to get caught the whole time!”. Otherwise, this is a quick (78 seconds) and breezy action-packed trailer.
It’s nice that they aren’t focusing as much on Benedict Cumberbatch’s mystery villain (I have a theory on that, broached by a friend of mine and backed up by what we’ve seen thus far, but I’m not sharing in case I’m right) and also showing off that the film isn’t all gloom and misery this time around. The initial trailers tried to sell the film as a generic ‘dark sequel’ or The Dark Knight meets Skyfall meets Revenge of the Sith.
This new trailer plays in the Return of the Jedi/Tron sandbox with phasers set for swashbuckling adventure.

To read more go to Mendelson’s Memos
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The un-feminist female characters in ‘Oz: The Great and Powerful’

Unfortunately pretty much everything I feared about Oz: The Great and Powerful turned out to be true, at least from a gender perspective. It is indeed about three seemingly powerful women sitting around and waiting for a random man who fell out of the sky to not only attempt to save Oz but, more importantly, shape all three of their respective destinies.
Full-on spoiler warning…
The film also equates beauty with virtue in a rather explicit fashion, with somewhat laughable scenes of Rachel Weisz’s Evanora complaining of jealousy over Michelle Williams ‘pretty face’ seemingly oblivious to the fact that said evil witch is played by *Rachel Weisz* (spoiler: Rachel Weisz is insanely hot). It’s not just that Mila Kunis and Michelle Williams play seemingly strong female characters who constantly yap about needing some prophesied male wizard to swoop down and save their asses. The biggest problem in the film is that it allows its feeble and somewhat selfish male hero to basically define them and their actions.
To read more go to Mendelson’s Memos
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Christopher Nolan’s “INTERSTELLAR” will be co-produced and distributed by Paramount Picts and Warner Bros

Paramount Pictures and Warner Bros. Pictures jointly announced today that writer/director Christopher Nolan’s “INTERSTELLAR” will be co-produced and distributed by the two studios, with Paramount Pictures handling Domestic distribution and Warner Bros. Pictures distributing the film Internationally. “INTERSTELLAR” will be released beginning November 7, 2014, in theaters and IMAX®.
Directed and written by Academy Award-nominee Nolan (“INCEPTION,” “THE DARK KNIGHT RISES”), “INTERSTELLAR” is based on a script by Jonathan Nolan. The film will be produced by Emma Thomas and Christopher Nolan of Syncopy Films and Obst of Lynda Obst Productions. Kip Thorne will executive produce. The film will depict a heroic interstellar voyage to the furthest reaches of our scientific understanding.
Brad Grey, Chairman and CEO of Paramount Pictures said, “As a filmmaker and storyteller, Chris has continuously entertained the world with his extraordinary and unparalleled talents. I am pleased beyond measure to welcome him to the Paramount Pictures family. Partnering with Chris, Emma, Lynda and Warner Bros. to release this original idea next November is the perfect way to start the Thanksgiving and holiday movie season for audiences around the world.”
Jeff Robinov, President, Warner Bros. Pictures Group, said, “Christopher Nolan is truly one of the great auteurs working in film today, and we’re extremely proud of our successful and ongoing collaboration with him and Emma Thomas. We are excited to be teaming with Paramount, and look forward to working with the Nolans, and producer Lynda Obst, on this extraordinary new project.”
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“The Place Beyond the Pines” to be released in New York and Los Angeles on March 29

The daring new movie from the director of Blue Valentine, The Place Beyond the Pines is a sweeping emotional drama powerfully exploring the unbreakable bond between fathers and sons.
Luke (Academy Award nominee Ryan Gosling) is a high-wire motorcycle stunt performer who travels with the carnival from town to town. While passing through Schenectady in upstate New York, he tries to reconnect with a former lover, Romina (Eva Mendes), only to learn that she has given birth to their son Jason in his absence. Luke decides to give up life on the road to try and provide for his newfound family by taking a job as a car mechanic. Noticing Luke’s ambition and talents, his employer Robin (Ben Mendelsohn) proposes to partner with Luke in a string of spectacular bank robberies – which will place Luke on the radar of ambitious rookie cop Avery Cross (Academy Award nominee Bradley Cooper).
Avery, who has to navigate a local police department ruled by the menacing and corrupt detective Deluca (Ray Liotta), is also struggling to balance his professional life with his family life, which includes his wife Jennifer (Rose Byrne) and their infant son AJ. The consequences of Avery’s confrontation with Luke will reverberate into the next generation. It is then that the two sons, Jason (Dane DeHaan) and AJ (Emory Cohen), must face their fateful, shared legacy.
Focus Features will release The Place Beyond the Pines in New York and Los Angeles on March 29; in select cities on April 5; and in cities across the country on April 12. This film has been MPAA-rated “R.”
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“BLACK NATIVITY” will open wide in the US on November 2013

In a contemporary adaptation of Langston Hughes’ celebrated play, the holiday musical drama BLACK NATIVITY follows Langston (Jacob Latimore), a street-wise teen from Baltimore raised by a single mother, as he journeys to New York City to spend the Christmas holiday with his estranged relatives Reverend Cornell and Aretha Cobbs (Forest Whitaker and Angela Bassett). Unwilling to live by the imposing Reverend Cobbs’ rules, a frustrated Langston is determined to return home to his mother, Naima (Jennifer Hudson).
Langston embarks on a surprising and inspirational journey and along with his new friends, and a little divine intervention, he discovers the true meaning of faith, healing, and family.
Screenplay by: Kasi Lemmons
Directed by: Kasi Lemmons
Based on the play by: Langston Hughes
Produced by: Bill Horberg, Celine Rattray, Galt Niederhoffer
Executive Producers: Trudie Styler, Joy Goodwin
Executive Music Producer: Raphael Saadiq
Cast: Forest Whitaker, Angela Bassett, Tyrese Gibson, Mary J. Blige, Jacob Latimore, Nasir Jones and Jennifer Hudson
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