April 24, 2014

Tag Archives: kevin spacey

Why some comic adaptations failed: Iron Man 2, Punisher: War Zone, Superman Returns, Hulk

HollywoodNews.com: Actor Tom Hiddleston wrote an eloquent essay yesterday for The Guardian basically praising and defending the sub-genre known as the superhero picture. Plenty of disdain for the genre comes from the very notion that it’s big-budget entertainment based on literature that was technically intended for children that gobbles up production dollars and screen space that otherwise might be allotted for more explicitly grown-up fare. But at least some of the alleged weariness of this specific type of film (the superhero comic book adaptation) comes from a feeling that all-too many of them are basically telling the same story. You’ve generally got the standard origin story which (let’s be honest) basically takes Richard Donner’s Superman: The Movie and pours it into a different color bottle (I say that as a big fan of Spider-Man and Captain America). Then you have the sequels, which are quite often merely a case of escalation and/or the hero dealing with self-doubt often while in combat with a ‘bigger/badder’ version of himself (again, thank you Superman II). But over the last twenty years or so, there have been a handful of high-profile comic book films that have attempted to play around with the formula but have artistically failed anyway. As a rebuttal to the idea that ‘all superhero movies are the same’ as well as a reaffirmation of the idea that ‘it’s not what it’s about, but how it’s about it’, let’s take a look at five comic book adaptations that didn’t play it safe, but didn’t come out on top either.
Batman & Robin (1997)
I would argue that it’s a sign of maturity among film pundits and critics when they are finally adult enough to realize that Joel Schumacher’s Batman & Robin is not the worst film ever made. Peel away all the attempted camp, the self-depreciating homoerotic jokes, the terrible lead performance from Arnold Schwarzenegger and you’re left with simply a good story told very poorly. As the fourth film in a franchise, Schumacher and company had a bit more leeway in terms of where they wanted to take their film this time around. And as such, they told a rather thoughtful tale of an adult and sane Bruce Wayne trying to figure out how to be an appropriate head to his surrogate family. No longer wracked with guilt over his parents’ deaths, Wayne [...]

The Hunger Games: The hunt for a new director is on

HollywoodNews.com: The Playlist doesn’t break news all that often, merely seeing fit to be a one-stop shop for the movie news that everyone else breaks during the day (I don’t mean that as an insult, The Playlist is the site I go to if I only have time to surf one movie news site in a given day), So it’s somewhat of a big deal that The Playlist has broken a pretty major story, confirming that director Gary Ross will not be back to helm the second and/or third films in the Hunger Games franchise. There have been rumblings all week about contract negotiations, and Ross has now politely passed. The site chalks it up to both Ross’s lack of desire to stay in the same universe for the next several years combined with a somewhat low-ball offer from Lionsgate. Whatever the case, Ross is gone and the hunt for a new director is now on. While editing my John Carter obituary a few weeks ago, I removed a large paragraph dealing with the trend of giving young white-male filmmakers with barely a feature credit to their name the keys to $100-300 million franchise films while seasoned pros and/or minorities remain noticeably absent from the ‘wish-list’ (yes, I was glad to see F. Gary Gray on the Marvel wish-list for Captain America 2). And while I wouldn’t consider The Hunger Games a ‘female film’, it would be a great opportunity to make a point that female directors can indeed handle the kind of big-scale filmmaking that studios are all-too willing to offer to mostly untested male directors as a matter of course. So, perhaps arbitrarily, perhaps to prove a point about how inaccessible the ‘wish list’ is for female directors, here are nine directors who happen to be women who also belong on ‘the wish-list’ as Lionsgate hunts for a second director. These are in alphabetical order, with the exception of the final entry, who would be my ‘top choice’.
Kathryn Bigelow
Duh. In fact, she’ll probably make the wish-list as a token nod to gender-diversity, and all she had to do was become the first female in history to win a Best Director Oscar. I don’t really have to explain this pick. She’s been directing hard action pictures for thirty years. She’s helmed the likes of Near Dark (a [...]

Winners Announced for 2012 Film Independent Spirit Awards

HollywoodNews.com: Film Independent, the non-profit arts organization that produces the Spirit Awards and the Los Angeles Film Festival, handed out top honors to The Artist, The Descendants and Margin Call at this afternoon’s 27th Film Independent Spirit Awards. My Week With Marilyn, Beginners, 50/50, A Separation and The Interrupters also received awards at the ceremony, held in a tent on the beach in Santa Monica.
Tune in to IFC tonight at 10:00 pm ET/PT to catch all the action at the 2012 Film Independent Spirit Awards, with actor, writer and producer Seth Rogen hosting. Highlights include: John Waters as the Voice of God, musical performances by My Morning Jacket and K’Naan.
The Spirit Awards was the first event to exclusively honor independent film, and over the past 27 years, has become the premier awards show for the independent film community, celebrating films made by filmmakers who embody independence and originality. Artists receiving industry recognition first at the Spirit Awards include Joel & Ethan Coen, Spike Lee, Oliver Stone, Ashley Judd, Robert Rodriguez, David O. Russell, Edward Burns, Aaron Eckhart, Neil LaBute, Darren Aronofsky, Spike Jonze, Charlie Kaufman, Hilary Swank, Marc Forster, Todd Field, Christopher Nolan, Zach Braff, Amy Adams and many more.
This year’s major category winners were The Weinstein Company’s The Artist, which won Best Feature, Best Director, Best Male Lead and Best Cinematography and My Week With Marilyn, which won Best Female Lead; Fox Searchlight’s The Descendants, which won Best Supporting Female and Best Screenplay; Focus Features’ Beginners, which won Best Supporting Male and Pariah, which won the John Cassavetes Award; Summit Entertainment’s 50/50, which won Best First Screenplay; Roadside Attractions’ Margin Call, which won Best First Feature; Sony Pictures Classics’ A Separation, which won Best International Film; and The Cinema Guild’s The Interrupters, which won Best Documentary.
The 5th annual Robert Altman Award was given to one film’s director, casting director, and ensemble cast. J. C. Chandor’s Margin Call received this award, along with casting directors Tiffany Little Canfield and Bernard Telsey and ensemble cast members Penn Badgley, Simon Baker, Paul Bettany, Jeremy Irons, Mary McDonnell, Demi Moore, Zachary Quinto, Kevin Spacey and Stanley Tucci.
Film Independent, in partnership with NowLive and Yahoo!, streamed a Live Arrivals Show exclusively on Yahoo! Movies (http://movies.yahoo.com) to its audience of more than 26 million US users, across the web, mobile and iOs devices.
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Tilda Swinton talks “We Need To Talk About Kevin,” parenting and not killing the audience – AWARDS ALLEY

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: Playing a bad parent’s one way for an actor to attract the Academy’s attention. Kevin Spacey’s lustful, wandering Lester Burnham in “American Beauty,” James Coburn’s cruel “Affliction” character, and Jacki Weaver’s manipulative crime boss in “Animal Kingdom” are a few recent examples of killer parents who found themselves in the spotlight on Oscar night.
Tilda Swinton could be next. As Eva, the shellshocked mother of a school shooter, Swinton takes audiences on a blistering trip through the conscience of a parent left questioning every decision made leading up to the tragic event. Director Lynne Ramsay (“Morvern Caller”) asks difficult questions about unconditional love, then let’s us come up with the answers.
At the Toronto International Film Festival, a delightful Swinton gave us plenty of answers during an exclusive one-on-one, where we discussed the communicative nature of film festivals, the reactions parents are having to “Kevin,” an the importance of not killing your audience.
HollywoodNews.com: How was your recent Telluride visit?
Short, but excellent. I’d never been there before, You must go! For me, it is interesting because I run these little film festivals in Scotland sometimes that are so tiny, they make Telluride look organized. So people walk around Telluride going, “Isn’t this quaint?” And I think, “Why? No! This is super brushed up.” But I was actually just talking to a friend about the importance of an exchange in film festivals. Something happens at a film festival. People either have to travel to get there or, as in Toronto, pay good money to go to the cinema. And that just makes something great happen. There’s something about other film festivals, when everyone just sort of gets a badge and rolls into the cinema and doesn’t necessarily choose to go that can be quite deadening, I think. The bad thing about being in Toronto this year is that I’m not getting to see films while I’m up here, and I don’t like that. I like being able to go to a film festival and see films.
HollywoodNews.com: “Kevin” wasn’t what I was expecting. I think I braced for the worst, as a parent of two.
How old are they?
HollywoodNews.com: Seven and three. Are you hearing a lot of parenting stories as a result?
Oh yes, tons. How do you feel? How are you? Speak to me. I’m a doctor.
HollywoodNews.com: I thought that the film would terrify me more, [...]

“Margin Call” gets a sleek, star-studded trailer

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: “Margin Call,” a new thriller from director J.C. Chandor, has traces of John Grisham’s DNA yet benefits from a ripped-from-the-headlines narrative that trades in recession talk, debt ceilings, credit scandals and more.
The film earned solid reviews at Sundance earlier this year, with kudos being dished out to cast members Kevin Spacey, Paul Bettany, Zachary Quinto (in the Charlie Sheen of “Wall Street” role), Jeremy Irons and Stanley Tucci. As the film gears up for an Oct. 21 release date, we have our first official look at a sleek new trailer. It’s posted below:

The use of the digital clock to heighten tension is borrowed directly from “24,” and the urgent dialogue (which Spacey nails, as usual) is a relative of an Aaron Sorkin script. I’m anxious to see if Chandor and his cast can sustain that level of suspense.
The film opens on Oct. 21, an this trailer does an excellent job at establishing “Margin Call” as a can’t miss based solely on the throwback tone to paranoid thrillers of the 1970s, and that cast. Looking forward to it.
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“Horrible Bosses” box numbers trigger sequel talk

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: Audiences turned out this weekend to support the star-studded comedic ensemble “Horrible Bosses,” which finds Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis and Charlie Day plotting to kill Kevin Spacey, Jennifer Aniston and Colin Farrell. The comedy nabbed an estimated $28 million in its opening weekend, giving it the No. 2 slot in the box office Top 10.
But would more people have turned out if the comedy starred Ashton Kutcher, Ryan Reynolds, Philip Seymour Hoffman or Johnny Knoxville, as originally planned?
In an interview with “Bosses” producer Brett Ratner, he revealed that the above actors all, at some point, were attached to the comedic premise. Casting options come and go in Hollywood, so it’s no surprise that these names were floated (and eventually flopped).
But in the piece (which you can read HERE), Ratner also admits that sequel talk has begun, and the franchise could go in wildly different directions. Ratner, perhaps jokingly, said that while no plans for a follow up are in development at this time, titles like “Horrible Wives” and “Horrible Children” appeal to him.
What do you think? Is this a concept you want to see expanded? Or was “Bosses” a one-and-done hit? Let us know.
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“Horrible Bosses” has excellent Friday but “Transformers” still leads

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: Audiences continue to support R-rated comedies at the summer box office. Following the booming success of “Bridesmaids” and “The Hangover Part II,” Seth Gordon’s “Horrible Bosses” opened to a solid Friday number, posting an estimated $10 million for the day for a potential $27 million weekend, THR reports.
The film, which received largely positive reviews, boasts an all-star cast that includes Jason Bateman, Charlie Day and Jason Sudeikis as three schulbs who are plotting to kill their bosses, played by Kevin Spacey, Jennifer Aniston and Colin Farrell. Jamie Foxx so-stars.
Despite the strong number, “Bosses” couldn’t top “Transformers: Dark of the Moon,” which led Friday with roughly $15M.
The weekend’s other new release, Kevin James’ “Zookeeper,” grabbed nearly $8M on Friday for a third-place finish.
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“Horrible Bosses” In Theaters Friday, July 8

HollywoodNews.com: Management candidate Nick (Jason Bateman) has been logging 12-hour days and eating everything his twisted supervisor Harken (Kevin Spacey) dishes out, toward the promise of a well-earned promotion.
But now he knows that’s never going to happen. Meanwhile, dental assistant Dale (Charlie Day) has been struggling to maintain his self-respect against the relentless X-rated advances of Dr. Julia Harris (Jennifer Aniston), when she suddenly turns up the heat. And accountant Kurt (Jason Sudeikis) has just learned that his company’s corrupt new owner, Pellit (Colin Farrell), is not only bent on ruining his career but plans to funnel toxic waste into an unsuspecting population.
What can you do when your boss is a psycho, a man-eater or a total tool?
Quitting is not an option. These monsters must be stopped. So, on the strength of a few-too-many drinks and some dubious advice from a hustling ex-con whose street cred is priced on a sliding scale (Jamie Foxx), the guys devise a convoluted but foolproof plan to rid the world of their respective employers… permanently.
But even the best-laid plans are only as good as the brains behind them.
The comedy “Horrible Bosses” stars Jason Bateman, Charlie Day and Justin Sudeikis, with Jennifer Aniston, Colin Farrell, Kevin Spacey, Donald Sutherland, Julie Bowen and Jamie Foxx.
“Horrible Bosses” is directed by Seth Gordon and produced by Brett Ratner and Jay Stern, from a screenplay by Michael Markowitz and John Francis Daley & Jonathan Goldstein, story by Markowitz. Toby Emmerich, Richard Brener, Michael Disco, Samuel J. Brown and Diana Pokorny serve as executive producers, with John Rickard and John Cheng as co-producers.
The creative filmmaking team includes director of photography David Hennings; production designer Shepherd Frankel; editor Peter Teschner; costume designer Carol Ramsey; composer Christopher Lennertz; and music supervisor Dana Sano.
A New Line Cinema presentation of a Rat Entertainment Production, “Horrible Bosses” will be distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.
www.horriblebossesmovie.com
This film is rated R by the MPAA for crude and sexual content, pervasive language and some drug material.
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Netflix nabs “Mad Mad” rerun rights

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: Netflix continues its push to acquire coveted programming that’s sure to drive up subscribers.
Shortly after completing a lucrative deal for the original series “House of Cards,” starring Kevin Spacey and produced by David Fincher, Netflix has announced that it has purchased the rights to “Mad Men” reruns.
THR reports that Netflix paid “nearly $1 million per episode for all seven seasons” of the hit AMC television drama. The series will debut on the Internet subscription service on July 27.
This is yet another aggressive move by the rental company to keep parties interested in its services. And while $1 million per episode seems expensive, it’s a bargain compared to the millions Netflix paid to bankroll “House of Cards.”
As for “Mad Men,” season five of the hit drama hasn’t even begun filming yet. It will begin airing in March 2012.
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James Franco’s post-Oscar bash reportedly also bombed

HollywoodNews.com: While James Franco’s hosting skills for the Oscars haven’t received rave reviews, it seems his party after the event also bombed which may be why he didn’t show up.
Franco was having a post-Oscars party at Los Angeles’ Supper Club, states UsMagazine.com. While Seth Rogen and Kevin Spacey reportedly showed up, Franco apparently took off.
It seems that Franco tried to imply on Twitter that he left to head back to school. Maybe it wasn’t such a bad idea as the party he was throwing was reportedly “a bust.”
What did you think about James Franco?
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Image by PR Photos

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