To a generation, Robin Williams, Billy Crystal and Whoopi Goldberg will forever be linked. The trio of comedy talents hosted the groundbreaking "Comic Relief" specials from 1986 to 2006. Over those two decades all three stars had major ups, major downs and ended up hosting the Academy Awards (OK, technically Williams hosted the Oscar show four days before the first "Relief," but it had been announced). And when one hosted you could almost guarantee one of the remaining two would appear as a presenter on the show with a wave or a kiss back to his or her good friend.
She's a two-time Academy Award nominee who has delivered impressive performances in films such as "The Tree of Life," "The Help," "Take Shelter," "The Debt," "Zero Dark Thirty," "Mama" and the upcoming "The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby." She's been called the next Cate Blanchett or Meryl Streep (take your pick). Yes, Jessica Chastain is well on her way to earning the title of America's finest actress, and it turns out we may have Robin Williams to thank for her.
One of the better movies I missed at this year's Cannes Film Festival turned out to be Matthew Warchus' crowd pleaser "Pride." The British film made its debut in Director's Fortnight and, unfortunately, as less hectic as Cannes is compared to its prestige festival cousins it rarely allows you to catch up with everything on the schedule. From a distance the film seemed like "The Full Monty," "Waking Ned Devine" or "Calendar Girls" with a slight Working Title spin. Basically, a movie I could catch down the road. Plus, it was screening at the end of the festival when there were a number of other priorities. Excuses, excuses, excuses. Needless to say, I'm kicking myself for not seeing it at Cannes because it's a good one.
If Hollywood and theater owners are depressed about the summer box office, they might be even more worried about what's coming this Fall. September is always a mixed bag, but at this point it looks like there won't be any blockbuster like "Gravity" to get people excited this October. In fact, it will be shocking if any film in September or October debuts to over $40 million.
Well, that was slightly unexpected.
Warner Bros. rose a ton of eyebrows across Hollywood on Wednesday when it flooded the theatrical release schedule with not three, not four, but 10 "Untitled" DC Comics universe movies. This comes less than two weeks after the studio surprised many by making no announcements at Comic-Con regarding a rumored slate of new films. The bigger news, of course, was the studio moving "Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice" to an earlier opening release date of March 25, 2016.
It's taken a few months, but moviegoers finally found another summer movie they adore. "Boyhood" has a very passionate fan base, but that awards-worthy player still isn't in enough theaters to come close to qualifying for nationwide release. No, America and some parts of the world have gone nuts for James Gunn's "Guardians of the Galaxy," and with not a moment to spare.
Among all of Walt Disney Studios' properties, the division that has the most unblemished success is Pixar. And frankly, from box office to Oscars that respect is well deserved. While Lucasfilm is bringing on buzz worthy filmmakers and screenwriters to tackle the new standalone trilogy and spinoff movies, the only label with a chance of taking Pixar's crown is Marvel Studios.
Fanboys have gotten slightly greedy. The core audience that have powered movie franchises for Marvel Studios, 20th Century Fox and Warner Bros. (DC) as well as TV shows such as "Arrow" are much more sophisticated than they were a decade ago. Obviously, the internet and social media has done an excellent job powering the hype machine to almost uncontrollable levels. Therefore, it's no surprise that at events like Comic-Con its hard for risk adverse studios to not disappoint on some level.
The Toronto International Film Festival is known for its Oscar bait prestige dramas, major Hollywood studio releases, a focus (appropriately) on Canadian film and, to a lesser extent, its Midnight Madness program. One thing it doesn't have a strong reputation for is documentaries. That's why it's no surprise that only six of the initial 15 documentaries announced for the 2014 festival this morning are world premieres.
SAN DIEGO - When we last left "Penny Dreadful's" most eligible bachelors things weren't necessarily coming up roses.