April 18, 2014

Tag Archives: Jaws

Homage To Steven Spielberg

Steven Allan Spielberg was born December 18, 1946, in the great state of Ohio. Before becoming one of our most beloved directors, Spielberg attended Long Beach State University, and made his first short film, Amblin‘, while working as an intern at Universal Studios (the title of which used when naming his production company, Amblin Entertainment). His first television job came when he was chosen to direct one of the segments for the 1969 pilot episode of Night Gallery. He would go on to direct a few TV films, including Duel (1971), a film about a truck driver that goes crazy and runs people off the road. Spielberg’s debut feature film was The Sugarland Express (1974).
Spielberg was then tasked with making Jaws (1975), a thriller-horror film about a killer shark based on the novel by Peter Benchley. The film became an enormous hit, setting the domestic box office record at the time, and raked in three Academy Awards. Spielberg would re-team with Jaws star Richard Dreyfuss to make Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977), which once again brought the young auteur critical praise, outstanding box office results, and a slew of Academy Award nominations for his film, including his first nom for Best Director.
The train of success would continue into the 80s when Spielberg worked with his friend George Lucas on an action adventure film titled Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), and introduced the world to one of the great film characters of all time, Indiana Jones. Raiders was the highest grossing film of the year, and brought Spielberg his second Oscar nomination for Best Director. The following year, Spielberg made a very personal favorite of mine, E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial (1982). E.T. would become the highest grossing film of all time, and was nominated for nine Oscars, including Spielberg’s third for Director.
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Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln” unveils an official poster – OSCARS

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: Oscar prognosticators penciled Daniel Day-Lewis into a Best Actor slot ever since it was first revealed that the incredible actor would portray Abraham Lincoln in a biography directed by Steven Spielberg. The convergence of talents all but guarantees multiple Oscar slots for the film, “Lincoln,” which reaches theaters on Nov. 9.
Of course, we won’t know for certain how many Oscar slots for which “Lincoln” can contend until we’ve seen the film. Picture and Director seem possible, obviously, which Actor appears to be a slam dunk.
Disney is dancing around a full trailer for “Lincoln,” which has to arrive soon. In the meantime, we have seen an official photo of the actor in the presidential role. And today, we get a poster. See it below.
A trailer could solidify “Lincoln” as a frontrunner for Best Picture gold. Or, at the very least, it could clarify the film’s position in the ever-changing Oscar race. But for right now, that stark, black-and-white poster is a glorious step in the right direction for a film we are chomping at the bit to see.
“Lincoln” arrives in theaters on Nov. 9, expanding to more theaters on Nov. 16. What do you think of the first official poster?

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Oscars: Jitters building for Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master starring Joaquin Phoenix and Philip Seymour Hoffman

HollywoodNews.com: The second half of the year is upon us. The race is about to heat up with big Oscar hopefuls coming down the pike. Our John Foote will be in attendance at the Toronto International Film Festival and many films will be unveiling themselves to critics alike. There is a very unclear yet still feasible shape to the race looking from ten thousand feet.
There are internet jitters building for Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master starring Joaquin Phoenix and Philip Seymour Hoffman. With the trailers released and now the film being pushed up to September, it looks as though we may be in store for a master class in filmmaking. Phoenix also looks to be a lead contender for his first Oscar after delivering in his previous nominated works, Gladiator (2000) and Walk the Line (2005). Phoenix does have tough competition ahead of him including what looks to be a critical darling-type performance coming from John Hawkes in Ben Lewin’s The Sessions. Early word is very positive for the film and the turns by Hawkes along with co-stars Helen Hunt and William H. Macy. Since Hawkes’ initial nomination two years ago for Winter’s Bone, he hasn’t shown any signs of letting up. He was arguably left off last year in Sean Durkin’s Martha Marcy May Marlene and will be seen later this year in Julia Dyer’s The Playroom and Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln. There seems to be a tremendous following and support for him in his current state. Speaking of Spielberg, we’re still awaiting some type of marketing material for his upcoming Lincoln biopic. No poster or trailer has been released with very few stills leaked online. One starts to think if it will even be ready in time.
Taking a look at the next couple of months, the circuit will begin to reveal itself. To read more www.awardscircuit
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Steven Spielberg’s ‘Lincoln’ lands key November release date

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln” has staked its first claim on the still-developing Oscar season … and in doing so, has made a serious enemy in James Bond. Let the games begin.
Disney has revealed that “Lincoln” – with Daniel Day-Lewis playing our nation’s 16th President — will open on Nov. 9 in limited release, expanding wide the following week on Nov. 16.
Spielberg was busy shooting the historical drama last winter (while also actively campaigning for his own “The Adventures of Tintin” and “War Horse”) in Richmond, Virginia. The plum release date puts “Lincoln” ahead of what’s sure to be a busy December, and also gets the anticipated drama in theaters in time for the Thanksgiving holiday. Excellent strategizing on Disney’s part.
Sony, however, might disagree. By opening in limited release on Nov. 9, “Lincoln” will open opposite “Skyfall,” the latest James Bond movie with Daniel Craig in the signature tuxedo and Aston Martin. The studios could argue that both films are going after different audiences, though that’s not entirely accurate. With “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2” eating up screens, adults will be looking for any form of alternate programming. Now they’ll have two serious dramas competing for attention.
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Producer Richard Zanuck, Hollywood’s Royalty

HollywoodNews.com: Producer Richard Zanuck, Part of Hollywood’s Dynasty, Dies at 77.
Beloved Hollywood big studio producer Richard Zanuck has died at age 77 in Hollywood. Zanuck’s long list of hits includes “Jaws,” “Driving Miss Daisy,” “Cocoon,” “Big Fish,” and most recently, “Dark Shadows.” In recent years he co-produced movies with his third wife, Lili Fini Zanuck. For most of his career, Dick Zanuck partnered with the late great David Brown, and they were a popular and successful team in Hollywood. Zanuck was part of Hollywood’s real dynasty. His famous father, Darryl F. Zanuck, helped start Hollywood. He began producing movies in 1925. The Zanucks leave a long and proud legacy in the film business. Here’s a link to a great piece from two years ago in the L.A. Times. RIP. http://herocomplex.latimes.com/2010/04/13/richard-d-zanuck-a-hollywood-legend-too-busy-to-look-back/
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The inherent darkness and pessimism of Steven Spielberg’s body of work

By Scott Mendelson
HollywoodNews.com: Many of the reviews, especially the negative ones, for Steven Spielberg’s War Horse have emphasized the melodramatic ‘boy and his horse’ narrative, accusing the film of wallowing in sentimentality. Moreover, they basically accuse the picture of being ‘conventional Spielberg’, again citing the classic meme that Steven Spielberg isn’t capable of truly playing in on the dark side. For as long as I can remember (early-80s, natch), Steven Spielberg has had a reputation as the “Mr. Mass Audience”, the guy who, film-making chops aside, was looked down upon because of his reputation as a purveyor of mainstream feel-good sentiment. He was the guy who made general audiences tear-up on cue, but still walk out feeling good. But looking over his filmography, not only are his ‘dark and adult’ pictures more frequent than you might realize, his entire reputation as a softy basically stems from one single incredibly popular (and critically-acclaimed) film that he made in 1982. On a film-by-film basis, Spielberg is far more likely to scare you or deeply disturb you than leave you with a nasty case of the warm-and-fuzzies.
It bears repeating that Spielberg’s reputation as an unchallenging filmmaker for the masses has been around for thirty years or so. Looking back on his first decade of mainstream film making (let’s say 1974-1984), it is ET: The Extra Terrestrial that stood out then, and arguably still today as the quintessential Spielberg film. While it certainly stood then and now as one of his most personal films, it’s astonishing success (highest-grossing film of all time for 15 years) basically branded Spielberg as a director whose every film contained the kind of small-town nostalgia and overtly tear-jerking emotionalism that made ET such a smash hit. It’s a meme that has followed Spielberg for the last thirty years. And going through his filmography it’s apparent that it’s not entirely a fair assessment of his career. From 1974 until 2011, Spielberg has shown viewers the darkness at least as much, if not more so, than he has shown them the light.
Jaws is a brutally violent horror drama that offers little good-cheer other than the cathartic final triumph. Close Encounters of the Third Kind is a disturbing character study about a husband/father who slowly goes insane and eventually ditches his family to go on a ride with interstellar [...]

“War Horse” UK premiere to benefit Foundation of Princes William and Harry – AWARDS ALLEY

By Sean O’Connell
hollywoodnews.com: Steven Spielberg’s “War Horse,” the director’s anticipated adaptation of the Tony-winning stage play, finally opens in theaters on Christmas Day, giving audiences the chance to catch up on the uplifting story of a young farmhand (Jeremy Irvine) and the unbreakable bond he shares with his horse, Joey.
Already, though, the Oscar contender is doing some good. DreamWorks Pictures just revealed that the UK “War Horse” premiere scheduled for Sunday, Jan. 8, 2012, at the Odeon Leicester Square in London, will benefit the Foundation of Prince William and Prince Harry. In addition, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will be in attendance, greeting Spielberg and members of his cast prior to a screening.
Here’s more from the release:
Six hundred serving and ex-serving military personnel and their families have been invited to the Premiere, alongside beneficiaries of military charities, which the Foundation of Prince William and Prince Harry helps to support. The servicemen and women have been invited from The Duke of Cambridge’s regiments, including RAF Search and Rescue, Household Cavalry, Irish Guards, Royal Air Force Coningsby, Scotland Royal Naval Command and Submarines Royal Naval Command.
With “War Horse,” Spielberg restages the horrors of WWI but finds a heartwrenching narrative thread about a determined horse separated from its owner by the battlefields that damaged Europe. Based on the best-selling children’s book by Michael Morpurgo, “War Horse” co-stars Emily Watson, David Thewlis, Peter Mullan, Niels Arestrup, Tom Hiddleston, Benedict Cumberbatch and Toby Kebbell.
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‘The Adventures of Tintin’ – Interview Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson

HollywoodNews.com: Full interview of ‘The Adventures of Tintin’ director Steven Spielberg and producer Peter Jackson by The Hollywood Reporter’s executive editor, features Stephen Galloway.

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Oscars: “War Horse” love spreads, but is it the frontrunner? – AWARDS ALLEY

By Sean O’Connell
hollywoodnews.com: This year’s Oscar race may have seen its first frontrunner emerge from the pack, as Steven Spielberg’s “War Horse” began screening for guild and press members ahead of its Sunday sneak-peek screenings in 10 major markets.
The push by Disney/DreamWorks continues an effort that began last month, when Spielberg’s adaptation of Nick Stafford’s Tony Award-winning play galloped into heartland markets to play before a more mainstream crowd, who the film will have to win over when it opens on Christmas Day.
So far, the tactic appears to be working. The buzz swirling around “War Horse” this week suggests that Spielberg’s sentimental crowd-pleaser will be an Academy favorite. Academy affectionate fare like Michel Hazanavicius’ “The Artist” or Martin Scorsese’s “Hugo,” which some Oscar bloggers are suggesting might have a chance at a Best Picture nomination.

The debate being waged on Twitter and in comments sections revolves around whether Spielberg’s “War Horse” could win Best Picture. Few are sticking their necks out yet and saying it definitively should win. It still feels too early to take that stand … and one prominent “Oscarologist” has spent the bulk of his day poking holes in every favorable review of “War Horse” he can find.

Is he wrong? Who’s to say? The lack of a clear-cut number of Best Picture slots to fill this year is making this year’s race harder than usual to predict. We could see as few as five Best Picture nominees, or as many as 10. If this were last season, where 10 nominations had to be filled by the voting Academy members, “War Horse” would appear to be a shoo-in. This year, nothing feels set in stone.
And if not “War Horse,” than what? We have at least three relative unknowns waiting to drop that could sprint ahead of Spielberg’s drama. They are David Fincher’s “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” Stephen Daldry’s “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close,” and Angelina Jolie’s “In the Land of Blood and Honey” (if, in fact, it screens in time to get into the race).
Other films that have been screening early will ramp up their campaigns in the next few weeks, perhaps boosted by critical support from the organizations that are preparing to vote. “Young Adult,” “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy,” “The Iron Lady,” “Shame,” “We Need to Talk About Kevin,” “Melancholia” and “Rampart” hope to generate headlines when the New York [...]

“War Horse” TV spots ahead of Sunday sneak peek – AWARDS ALLEY

By Sean O’Connell
hollywoodnews.com: Steven Spielberg’s potential Oscar contender, “War Horse,” had a very busy Thanksgiving, proving that there’s very little holiday rest for a movie that’s hoping to gallop in an gain Oscar momentum in a season that’s currently lacking a frontrunner.
For starters, Disney/DreamWorks revealed that sneak peeks (featuring a post-screening Q-and-A with Spielberg) will be held this Sunday in 10 select markets around the country. Spielberg will be in New York, but the conversation will be beamed to participating theaters following the 2 p.m. ET screening on Nov. 27.
In addition, guild members (and select press) started screening “War Horse” this week, continuing the rollout that started with smaller screenings in hard-to-reach markets to help drum up word-of-mouth for the WWI-era drama.
And if you watched any football on TV this Thanksgiving, you no doubt caught one of the new TV spots running for “War Horse,” which we have below (via TheFilmStage):

Each 45-second spot reveals previously unseen footage, and sets up the plot a little better for audiences who might not be familiar with the Tony Award-winning play.
“War Horse” will be in theaters on Christmas, and hopes to contend in the Oscar race as the marathon season continues.
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