Faster than a speeding bullet! More powerful than a public-relations crisis! It's....Superman? After weeks of speculation about the fate of the Justice League movie and whether The Dark Knight trilogy director Christopher Nolan might ride to the rescue, Warner Bros.Pictures Group President, Jeff Robinov harnessed the hotly anticipated release of its Man of Steel movie to reframe the future of DC superhero movies at the studio as a bright one. more »
So, right before 2012 ended, Training Day director Antoine Fuqua piped up from Capri, Italy to assert that Spike Lee should not have publicly criticized Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained for the movie's spaghetti-western-style depiction of slavery. And to that I can only say, "Huh?" If ever there's a movie made to be publicly, loudly — and heatedly — debated, it's QT's anti-slavery epic. more »
I just finished reading Brett Martin's profile of Bill Murray for the January issue of GQ, and while the story and Murray are highly entertaining, I'm tiring of reading profiles in which Murray simultaneously demonstrates how funny and how aimless he is. more »
If Lindsay Lohan doesn't go back to jail as a result of today's news, I have an idea for a film project for her: It's a remake of Groundhog Day in which LiLo plays the Bill Murray role and wakes up every day to new criminal charges until she gets her act together. more »
I woke up today to the New York Times' eye-opening page-one report on Lance Armstrong's role in the U.S. Postal Service cycling team's doping conspiracy, and, after finishing Juliet Macur's excellent story, I couldn't help thinking that the disgraced Tour de France winner, who's been stripped of his seven titles, should have made a very different cameo in Rawson Marshall Thurber's Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story. more »
UPDATE: The attorney for The Central Park Five filmmakers has responded to the city's second subpoena with a letter. I've posted it in its entirety after the jump.
I love the smell of New York politics in the morning. As a longtime resident of Gotham who worked at the New York Post during the Central Park jogger rape case, I'm fascinated — but not surprised — by the city's attempt to subpoena the outtakes and notes from The Central Park Five, Ken and Sarah Burns and David McMahon's documentary that delves into the racially charged incident.
If President Obama didn't exactly dominate Mitt Romney during their debate on Wednesday night, he got a nice subliminal boost courtesy of Steven Spielberg and Daniel Day-Lewis. Following the political wrestling match, Disney ran an extended TV spot for Lincoln that finally justified all of the early Oscar talk the film has generated and and not-so-subtly implied the 16th and 44th Presidents of the United States are kindred spirits. more »
Filmmaker Jenle Hallund has looked into the soul of America, and it sounds like we need a good shrink.
Hallund is the intrepid soul who has spent the last weeks watching and, in some cases, listening to the 501 submissions that have come across her desk after controversy-courting Danish filmmaker Lars Von Trier invited the world to reinterpret one of six great works of art for a community film project that will be unveiled at the Copenhagen Art Festival on Oct. 12. more »
I keep coming back to The Place Beyond the Pines, but it was the movie that defined the Toronto International Film Festival for me. More than once, I heard the director Derek Cianfrance describe his ambitious and moving film as a movie about "legacy" and how "sometimes you're born into a world with all of these repercussions that people have made before you" and "have to fight and claw to get out of that." Judging from the features and documentaries I saw during my short stay in Toronto, these ideas of legacy and the sins of our fathers — whether they're our literal or institutional fathers — are weighing heavily on America's collective psyche. more »
There's a scene in the Paul Thomas Anderson's enthralling new film The Master where Lancaster Dodd (Philip Seymour Hoffman) — founder and leader of a cult-like movement called The Cause — instructs his "guinea pig and protege," the aptly named Freddie Quell (Joaquin Phoenix) to face another man hurling taunts and insults at him without losing his hair-trigger temper.
I felt like I was being put through a similar test on Tuesday night when, after being invited to a hastily arranged 70-millimeter advance screening of The Master at the wonderful Ziegfeld Theater in Manhattan, I arrived at the will-call table to find a crowd that, had they been carrying torches, would have been at home in the angry villagers scene of Frankenstein. more »
As they used to say in my hometown, Kal Penn knocked Clint Eastwood's dick in the dirt Tuesday night with a smart — and subtly smart-alecky — celebrity turn at the podium on the first night of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, NC.
In contrast to 82-year-old Eastwood's aimless — and heartless — speech in support of Mitt Romney, Penn, 35, gave a focused, funny speech that, like the Harold & Kumar franchise, proved to be a lot smarter than it's stoner-targeted marketing campaign advertised. (Actually, I think there's an argument to be made that stoners are some of the sharpest cultural consumers on earth, but that's an argument for another day.) more »
UPDATE (Sept. 5): Sara Moore, a representative from EL James' literary agency, Valerie Hoskins Associates, responded to my request for comment on Wednesday. "Thank you for your interest in Fifty Shades," Moore wrote, "however we cannot comment on any of this." It looks like James' camp is taking an "ignore him and he'll go away" approach to Bret Easton Ellis, who has yet to respond.
PREVIOUSLY (Sept. 4): How does a media-savvy screenwriter promote his modest Kickstarter.com-financed film when the media is fixated on tentpole pictures?
What if he connected one of his project's actors — who happens to be a porn star — to the seriously sexy and much buzzed-about film adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey?
That's what I suspect novelist and screenwriter Bret Easton Ellis is doing with The Canyons, the L.A. noir thriller he wrote.
The Canyons, which Paul Schrader is directing, stars Lindsay Lohan and James Deen, a 26-year-old porn actor and director, who, like Sasha Grey, appears to be looking for more traditional acting work. more »
Clint Eastwood has starred in and/or directed some of the smartest, most thought-provoking movies I've seen in the last 10 years. And that's making it very hard for me to get my head around his trite, addled performance at the Republican National Convention on Thursday night.
I'm not bitching about Eastwood's politics. I'm pretty certain that I don't share his ideology, but I can't help but respect someone who's not afraid to be politically unpopular in largely liberal Hollywood. more »
After reading the statement that Martin Scorsese's representatives released in response to the lawsuit that's been filed against him by Cecchi Gori Pictures over a project called Silence, I think I can save both sides a bundle in lawyer's fees and, ultimately, production costs. (If it could actually ever be financed.) more »
On paper, adapting the video game Uncharted: Drake's Fortune to the big screen looks like a no-brainer. In the character of Nate Drake, you essentially have a young Indiana Jones, who escapes a creative array of baddies and one tight scrape after another while tracking down the golden statue of El Dorado. So why can't Hollywood get this baby on the screen? more »