April 22, 2014

Tag Archives: films

Sandra Bullock to be honored with the “Hollywood Actress Award” at the “Hollywood Film Awards”

Carlos de Abreu, founder and executive producer of the 17th Annual Hollywood Film Awards, announced today that Academy Award®-winning actress Sandra Bullock will be honored with this year’s Hollywood Actress Award for her riveting performance in Alfonso Cuarón’s acclaimed dramatic thriller “Gravity.” The award will be bestowed at the Hollywood Film Awards Gala Ceremony on Monday evening, October 21, 2013 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills.
“We are honored to present the Hollywood Actress Award to Sandra Bullock for her outstanding work in ‘Gravity,’” said de Abreu. “Holding the screen alone for a large part of the film, she delivers a stunning and emotionally layered performance that shows once again why she is one of Hollywood’s most respected and popular actresses.”
Sandra Bullock won an Oscar® for Best Actress for her performance in the true-life drama “The Blind Side,” for which she also took home Critics’ Choice, Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards. In addition, she has been Golden Globe-nominated for Best Actress for her work in the comedies “The Proposal,” “Miss Congeniality” and “While You Were Sleeping.” She more recently starred in the smash hit comedy “Heat” and the Oscar®-nominated drama “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close.” Bullock has also earned plaudits for her memorable roles in such diverse films as “Infamous,” “Crash,” “Two Weeks’ Notice,” “Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood,” “28 Days,” “Practical Magic,” “Hope Floats,” “The Net,” and “Speed,” among many others.
“Gravity” is a heart-pounding thriller set in the infinite and unforgiving realm of deep space. Dr. Ryan Stone (Bullock) is a brilliant medical engineer on her first shuttle mission, with veteran astronaut Matt Kowalski (George Clooney) in command. But on a seemingly routine spacewalk, disaster strikes. The shuttle is destroyed, leaving Stone and Kowalski completely alone-tethered to nothing but each other and spiraling out into the blackness. The deafening silence tells them they have lost any link to Earth…and any chance for rescue. As fear turns to panic, every gulp of air eats away at what little oxygen is left. But the only way home may be to go further out into the terrifying expanse of space.
The film was written by Alfonso Cuarón & Jonás Cuarón, and produced by Alfonso Cuarón and David Heyman. Chris deFaria, Nikki Penny and Stephen Jones served as executive producers.

The Hollywood Film Awards honors cherished stars, filmmakers and [...]

From 1997 to 2009 there were five $1 billion film grossers. Between 2010 and 2012, we added an additional ten such films.

Just a few years ago, had I written a piece entitled “There are no films guaranteed to gross $1 billion this year”, you likely would have laughed and said “Of course not!”. As recently as 2010, the idea that any movie could or would gross $1 billion in worldwide ticket sales was somewhat of a pipe dream.
From 1997 to 2006, there were just two films to reach that milestone, they being Titanic (the biggest movie of all-time with a seemingly insurmountable $1.8 billion) and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, the Oscar-winning chapter to what can be argued is the finest screen trilogy of our time (that’s a debate for another day). In 2006, we saw the powerhouse success of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest which parlayed the unexpected popularity of the first film into an even larger haul for its sequel, breaking the domestic opening weekend record at the time ($135 million) and earning a massive $423 million in America and $642 million overseas.
In 2008, The Dark Knight pulled another “massively popular sequel to unexpectedly well-liked original” trick to the tune of $533 million in America (good for the second biggest grosser of all time in America, if only for a year) and just over $1 billion worldwide despite not playing in China due to that pesky “Chinese gangster hides Gotham mob money” subplot. 2009 saw James Cameron do that trick that James Cameron does yet again, with Avatar earning $1 billion worldwide in about seventeen days and going on to earn an eye-popping $2.7 billion.
to read more go to Mendelson’s Memos
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“This Is The End” New Trailer

The comedy “This Is The End” follows six friends trapped in a house after a series of strange and catastrophic events devastate Los Angeles.
As the world unravels outside, dwindling supplies and cabin fever threaten to tear apart the friendships inside. Eventually, they are forced to leave the house, facing their fate and the true meaning of friendship and redemption.
Check the trailer below

DIRECTED BY
Seth Rogen & Evan Goldberg
SCREEN STORY & SCREENPLAY BY
Seth Rogen & Evan Goldberg
PRODUCED BY
Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, James Weaver
EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS
Nathan Kahane, Nicole Brown, Jason Stone, Barbara A. Hall, Ariel Shaffir, Kyle Hunter
CAST
James Franco, Jonah Hill, Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel, Danny McBride, Craig Robinson with Michael Cera and Emma Watson
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Roger Ebert was an inspiration to all of us who loved movies

Roger Ebert has died, but the art form he loved is very much alive. We honor him not so much by remembering his reviews of North but rather his and Gene Siskel’s raves for Do The Right Thing during a time when pundits were sure that Spike Lee’s drama would cause race riots. We honor him by remembering his essays and his and Gene Siskel’s relentless championing of Hoop Dreams. We honor him by remembering what films and what filmmakers we never would have discovered at a young age had Ebert (and yes Siskel) not introduced us to them.
If the film critic has any kind of noble purpose, it is to shine a light on the good and the unexpectedly great in film.
No one gets into film criticism because they hate movies. We got into this because we love the cinema and we love the singular experience of watching great movies. If we have any kind of noble goal, it is to highlight what we love, even if its a minority opinion and even if it opens us up to ridicule from our peers.
If we have a social good, it is in highlighting the great movies that may have slipped under the radar. It is in highlighting the little-seen independent film that desperately needs the publicity to stand out alongside its peers.
It is also in highlighting the genuine artistry found in mainstream studio pictures, especially in a time when so many film scholars are all-too willing to write off every would-be ‘big movie’ and thus declare that cinema is dead. Cinema is not dead. Cinema is as alive as it’s ever been.
To read more go to Mendelson’s Memos
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G.I. Joe: Retaliation opens with solid $51.7 million

G.I. Joe: Retaliation opened with a relatively solid $51.7 million over the four-day frame, for a $41.2 million Fri-Sun gross. Any way you slice it, this is a slightly lower figure than the $54 million Fri-Sun debut of G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra back in August 2009. Yes that film opened in late summer but this film had 3D-enhanced ticket prices, so it’s basically an even comparison.
The sequel/reboot was scheduled to open in late June of last summer only to be pulled and rescheduled so that the film could be converted to 3D in order to theoretically boost foreign grosses. One can only wonder whether Paramount possibly cut off its nose to spite its face, sacrificing a prime summer slot when the buzz was hottest only to achieve an arguably lower debut than it might have achieved had it opened when intended. G.I. Joe: Retaliation probably won’t cross $120 million in America, which in normal circumstances would be very bad.
More likely, Paramount knowingly sacrificed domestic strength for international muscle, which is yet another sign of the times. The current worldwide total is estimated to be about $132 million, so it’s nearly halfway to the first film’s entire $300 million worldwide total. Assuming it has anything resembling legs, Paramount’s risky bet may have paid off.
The new film cost less ($130 million) and the first film ($175 million), so presuming the rescheduling didn’t massively add to the marketing and distribution costs, equaling or surpassing the first film’s total ($150 million domestic and $150 million international) still counts as a single if not a double depending on the overall result.
To read more go to Mendelson’s Memos
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“The Wolverine” gets posters – Hugh Jackman

Well if you’re not going to make a great poster, you might as well go the other route and make a piece of marketing art so terrible that everyone will *still* be talking about it all day.
There isn’t much more to say other than to point and laugh. The trailer drops on Wednesday. Anyway, enjoy…

to read more go to Mendelson’s Memos
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“Spring Breakers” Amuses – Weekend Box Office

No matter what you think of the film, the $30.5 million debut of Olympus Has Fallen this weekend is very good news for those who want their action films to be R-rated.
With Arnold, Sly, and Jason all flaming out and only the terrible A Good Day To Die Hard opening well, we needed an original R-rated action film to reestablish their viability. I may be forgetting something, but this this is among the top R-rated action openings for a non-sequel since the $50 million debut of Wanted back in June 2008 (possible exceptions: Inglorious Basterds which opened with $37 million in August 2009 and the sci-fi drama The Book of Eli which debuted with $32 million in early 2010).
The film is easily Film District’s biggest debut ever, with a solid A- from Cinemascore and a strong 3.0x weekend multiplier. The concept is a pretty obvious winner, so obvious that I’m amazed it hasn’t been done before (yet it’s only the first of two, with White House Down opening this summer). The obvious appeal of the narrative plus a game cast of recognizable players (Gerald Butler, Morgan Freeman, Aaron Eckhart, Angela Bassett, Melissa Leo, etc.).
It’ll take a hit next weekend from G.I. Joe: Retaliation, but it should recover due to the fact that it’s one of the most insanely violent R-rated action films this side of Starship Troopers and thus will provide the kind of carnage that a PG-13 G.I. Joe movie cannot. Hopefully this finally gets the undervalued Antoine Fuqua onto the various ‘hot lists’ next time a studio goes hunting for a tent pole director.
To read more go to Mendelson’s Memos
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66th Film Festival de Cannes Risqué Poster

To grace the poster for its 66th edition, the Festival de Cannes has chosen a couple who embody the spirit of cinema like no other: Joanne Woodward and Paul Newman, photographed during the shooting of the aptly named A New Kind of Love, by Melville Shavelson (1963).
For the Festival it is a chance both to pay tribute to the memory of Paul Newman, who passed away in 2008, and to mark its undying admiration for Joanne Woodward, his wife and most favoured co-star.
They were honoured at the Festival de Cannes in 1958 – the year of their marriage – with the selection In Competition of Martin Ritt’s The Long Hot Summer, the first film in which they appeared together. (…)

To read more go to Cannes Film Festival
Photo © 1963 by Paramount Pictures Corporation and
Llenroc Productions.
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Watch the New Star Trek Into Darkness International Trailer

Isn’t Star Trek supposed to be about star trekking? Ya know, exploring strange new worlds, seeking new life and new civilizations, and possibly going where no man has gone before?
This may look like a decent action thriller, but it also feels like a painfully generic adventure that happens to be painted in Star Trek paint. Benadict Cumberbatch shows up, Cumberbatch commits several acts of terrorism, Kirk goes after Cumberbatch.

I sincerely hope there is more to the story than that and there may very well be. But what we’ve seen so far suggests the film boldly going where any number of sequels have gone before. And, if I may, why oh why couldn’t Paramount wait until next weekend to debut this with G.I. Joe: Retaliation? Anyway, Star Trek Into Darkness opens May 15th in IMAX 3D and May 17th elsewhere domestically. As always, we’ll see…

To read more go to Mendelson’s Memos
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New IRON MAN 3 IMAX poster

Marvel’s “Iron Man 3” pits brash-but-brilliant industrialist Tony Stark/Iron Man against an enemy whose reach knows no bounds. When Stark finds his personal world destroyed at his enemy’s hands, he embarks on a harrowing quest to find those responsible. This journey, at every turn, will test his mettle. With his back against the wall, Stark is left to survive by his own devices, relying on his ingenuity and instincts to protect those closest to him. As he fights his way back, Stark discovers the answer to the question that has secretly haunted him: does the man make the suit or does the suit make the man?

Starring Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Guy Pearce, Rebecca Hall, Stephanie Szostak, James Badge Dale with Jon Favreau and Ben Kingsley, Marvel’s “Iron Man 3” is directed by Shane Black from a screenplay by Drew Pearce & Shane Black and is based on Marvel’s iconic Super Hero Iron Man, who first appeared on the pages of “Tales of Suspense” (#39) in 1963 and had his solo comic book debut with “The Invincible Iron Man” (#1) in May of 1968.
“Iron by “Iron Man 3” is presented by Marvel Studios in association with Paramount Pictures and DMG Entertainment. Marvel Studios’ President Kevin Feige is producing and Jon Favreau, Louis D’Esposito, Charles Newirth, Victoria Alonso, Stephen Broussard, Alan Fine, Stan Lee and Dan Mintz are executive producers. The film releases May 3, 2013, and is distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.
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