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1:00 PM on 03.09.2015

American Sniper is the top grossing film of 2014

I had a lot of problems with American Sniper as a movie about PTSD and veterans, but despite these issues it had a very good redeeming value of bringing Veteran issues to the forefront of the discussion in America. It se...

Matthew Razak

2:30 PM on 01.02.2015

Movie theater attendance in 2014 was the lowest since 1995

2014 is officially over. Celebration aside, this means that we can finally evaluate the year as a whole. The Hollywood Reporter has started us off right, with a breakdown of the box office numbers from the year. And... well, ...

Alec Kubas-Meyer

1:00 PM on 08.11.2014

Green Inferno on hold indefinitely

Sad news for those you like the boundary pushing of Eli Roth and the disturbing Cannibal Holocaust. His homage to that film, Green Inferno, has been put on hold indefinitely. It's not because of any controversy, surprisi...

Matthew Razak

NYAFF Review: Top Star photo
NYAFF Review: Top Star
by Alec Kubas-Meyer

When one of NYAFF's programmers introduced Top Star, he said that it was surprising that this was Park Joong-hoon's directorial debut. Park has worked as an actor in the Korean film industry for 28 years, but this is his first time behind the camera. Over the years, he has starred in around 40 films, and has clearly amassed a wealth of knowledge about both the life of an actor and also what goes into the production of a film. The programmer called its style impressive and confident, the kind of thing you only see after a filmmaker has hit their stride.

Written as a combination of fiction and fact from his own experiences and those of friends, it definitely feels like a project from a more established director. But Park himself prefaced the film by saying he's not really a fan. He says there are problems with it and he sees many places where it could have been improved.

While I think I liked it more than he did, I tend to agree.

[For the next month, we will be covering the 2014 New York Asian Film Festival and the Japan-centric Japan Cuts. Click here for more information, and check back here and here for all of the Asian film coverage you can shake a stick at.]

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Book: Very Naughty Boys (HandMade Films) photo
Book: Very Naughty Boys (HandMade Films)
by Hubert Vigilla

My knowledge of the British film industry is spotty at best. Beyond the requisite Hammer fandom, an admiration for classic Ealing comedies (e.g., Kind Hearts and Coronets), and adoration of the Free Cinema movement, I'm pretty ignorant about the history of the country's film output. To be fair, my knowledge of the American film history isn't all that great either; if asked to write an essay about it, it would be comprised of bullet points.

That's one reason I was so interested in reading Very Naughty Boys: The Amazing True Story of HandMade Films by Robert Sellers, now available from Titan Books. The other reason is because HandMade is responsible for some great films: Monty Python's The Life of Brian, Time Bandits, Withnail and I.

Originally published in 2003 as Always Look On the Bright Side of Life, Very Naughty Boys has been revised and expanded for its reisssue. It's a fascinating collection of anecdotes that moves chronologically from film to film, but the overarching narrative in Very Naughty Boys is the classic struggle of filmmaking: the creatives vs. the money.

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9:42 AM on 09.20.2013

Jerry Bruckheimer and Disney hug it out and part ways

For the past 20 years Disney has had a first-look option on Jerry Bruckheimer's films resulting in 27 movies, bajillions of dollars for both companies and a little franchise called Pirates of the Caribbean. Next year tha...

Matthew Razak

Steve McQueen and the mountains made out of molehills photo
Steve McQueen and the mountains made out of molehills
by Hubert Vigilla

Yesterday over at Twitch, columnist Matt Brown published a piece about how he thinks filmmaker Steve McQueen is a dick. According to Brown, the director responsible for Shame and Hunger has been abrasive at press conferences and Q & As at the Toronto International Film Festival, where he's showing his latest film 12 Years a Slave. Brown writes:

McQueen is at TIFF this year to promote 12 Years a Slave... Saying that McQueen is "promoting" Slave, though, implies that the filmmaker wants you to see the film, and McQueen apparently doesn't give a s**t one way or the other. He staunchly refuses to play the game of making people like him or his movie, and frequently acts like he's genuinely baffled as to why anyone is asking him any of these questions at all.

From Brown's piece you'd think McQueen is a holy terror, a BAFTA-winning G.G. Allin who puts people down with a ruthlessness that would make Harlan Ellison and Don Rickles blanch.

But from the video of the TIFF press conference (included after the cut), I think Brown's overreacting and way out of bounds. Brown doesn't even provide examples of McQueen behaving like a dick as he asserts. McQueen's not behaving like a dick at all. He's behaving like a serious filmmaker, and sometimes people who are serious about their craft are annoyed by frivolous questions.

Some additional thoughts after the cut.

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6:00 PM on 06.25.2013

Legendary Pictures and Warner Bros. split

Legendary Pictures and Warner Bros. have finally parted ways with one another. This isn't some cheesy romantic break-up between two studios, their contract with each other finally came to an end. Talks about renegotiating hav...

Logan Otremba

9:00 AM on 06.25.2013

David Lynch says state of film industry "depressing"

You can add David Lynch to the list of directors lamenting the current state of film. (Previously we've heard Steven Soderbergh deliver a state of cinema speech and Steven Spielberg and George Lucas suggest industry implosion...

Hubert Vigilla

11:00 AM on 05.23.2013

Regal Cinemas to raise their ticket prices 4%

Deadline reported that Regal ticket prices are expected to go up 3% to 4% this year, in keeping with patterns from previous years. This means that you'll need to take out a loan if you want to waste your money on World War Z ...

Hubert Vigilla

3:00 PM on 05.01.2013

World War Z needs $400 million to break even

Summer movie train wreck World War Z is looking to cause a world of hurt for Paramount when it releases if a recent Vanity Fair article is correct. Doing some quick math the article concludes that the film will have to b...

Matthew Razak

Before VFX: An apology to the Visual Effects community photo
Before VFX: An apology to the Visual Effects community
by Alec Kubas-Meyer

If you spend any significant amount of time on film- or tech-oriented websites, you've probably seen some coverage of the controversy surrounding the playing-off of Life of Pi's VFX supervisor, whose company is about to file for bankruptcy, after less than a minute as he began to make a plea for his industry's future; the green screen-as-Facebook-avatar movement; the completely ridiculous comments made by Ang Lee hoping that CG would just "be cheaper" (non-Facebook link); or the general anger coming out of the VFX community. The response to Hollywood's treatment of the people who make their movies what they are is shocking, and it seems like the bubble may be about to burst.

And these people truly do make Hollywood's movies what they are. Take a look at the recently created Before VFX blog on Tumblr. That's where the header and all of the rest of the images in this article comes from. For those who don't recognize the boat, that is a shot from Life of Pi before movie magic made it into the film that many people know and love. Look at that image, and remember that this is the film that was awarded Best Cinematography at the 85th Oscars. That is absolutely ridiculous. Best Visual Effects? Maybe. In fact, probably. The fact that the film looks that good from what literally seems like it is nothing is shocking. It's hardly perfect, but that's damned impressive work.

So I owe the VFX community an apology. Or half of one anyway.

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2:00 PM on 02.01.2013

Flixclusive: Why Henson shelved Del Toro's Pinocchio

We just reported that Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio has been put on the back burner by the Jim Henson Company. The film's co-writer, Gris Grimly, tweeted that the box office numbers on Frankenweenie were partially to blame f...

Hubert Vigilla

8:00 AM on 01.30.2013

Gore Verbinski to direct and produce Pyongyang

I'm not the comic book guy around these parts so my knowledge of the graphic novel Pyongyang is limited to cursory information, but it sounds like one of the most interesting graphic novels one could read. That's probabl...

Matthew Razak

7:00 PM on 01.29.2013

The Evil Dead remake's first cut received an NC-17 rating

News that I'm sure will please fans of everything blood and gore, director Fede Alvarez recently Tweeted that his first cut of the Evil Dead remake that was submitted to the MPAA came back with an NC-17 rating. He said h...

Thor Latham

Beasts of the Southern Wild to be re-released this week photo
Beasts of the Southern Wild to be re-released this week
by Liz Rugg

Beasts of the Southern Wild was this year's breakout independent movie, as favorite among the Flixist staff that have seen it, and also probably the longest review we have to date. In the light of the dark horse candidate's four Oscar nominations (Best Movie, Best Director, Best Actress and Best Adapted Screenplay) Fox Searchlight has decided to re-release the move in theaters beginning this weekend.

Beasts will be re-released on Friday, January 18th in Chicago, Philadelphia, Boston, San Francisco, Seattle, Atlanta, Dallas, Phoenix, Miami, Washington DC, New York City and Los Angeles. For showtimes check your local theaters or Fox Searchlight's website. If you haven't seen Beasts yet, it's totally worth catching, especially before the Oscars!

[via First Showing]

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8:00 AM on 01.15.2013

Trey Parker and Matt Stone found studio

Those wacky guys from South Park are at it again. Well, they've really just be at it for a while now, but now all of Trey Parker and Matt Stones work will be made under their new studio, Important Studios. One assumes th...

Matthew Razak

Disney buys LucasFilm photo
Disney buys LucasFilm
by Maxwell Roahrig

Huge news today, as Disney has bought LucasFilm for $4 billion in cash and stocks. This acquisition includes all LucasFilm brands, including ILM, LucasArts, and Skywalker Sound.

Also in the press release, Star Wars: Episode VII gets name dropped for a 2015 release.

I'll be updating this story as the day goes on, but as of right now, I'm still trying to take in the shock that we're getting another actual Star Wars movie within the next three years.

(Update 1) In a conference call, Disney CEO Bob Iger stated that Episodes VIII and IX will be coming soon after VII to make a third trilogy. The plan after that is to release a new Star Wars film every two or three years.

(Update 2) Remember that long dormant Star Wars TV show that's been planned since forever ago? Disney just dropped the news that they plan Star Wars content for television, as well as videogames.

[via The Walt Disney Company]

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9:00 AM on 09.05.2012

China's Dalian Wanda Group buys AMC for $2.6 billion

Dalian Wanda Group finalized its purchase of AMC Entertainment yesterday to the tune of $2.6 billion. Deadline notes that Wanda is China's largest investor in entertainment activities, and that this acquisition makes them the...

Hubert Vigilla

6:00 PM on 08.14.2012

Eastern Promises 2 is dead, says Cronenberg

So much for that great header. Focus Features has dropped a proposed sequel to David Cronenberg's 2006 Eastern Promises, which would have reunited David Cronenberg with Vincent Cassel and Viggo Mortensen as their characters f...

Alex Katz

1:00 PM on 07.23.2012

DreamWorks to buy Classic Media, capitalize on nostalgia

A lot of modern-day releases are remakes of beloved older franchises, and DreamWorks is well aware of the kind of money nostalgia can bring in. In October, DreamWorks began talks to acquire Classic Media, the company that own...

Jenika Katz

5:00 PM on 07.11.2012

Magic Mike 2 is coming, says Channing Tatum

Magic Mike has made solid box office business, and it's quickly becoming a staple for the girl's night out, so it's not surprise a sequel may be on its way, according to Channing Tatum. Tatum claims "We’re working ...

Alex Katz