For the first time in almost 30 years a Steven Spielberg film will not be scored by John Williams. That was the sad news DreamWorks Studios tried to avoid making headlines with this morning with the announcement that Thomas Newman would compose the music for Spielberg's upcoming thriller "Bridge of Spies."
The Comic-Con for movie theater owners, CinemaCon, is just around the corner and the National Association of Theatre Owners is beginning to announce the winners of the annual CinemaCon Big Screen Achievement Awards (or whatever they are going to call it this year). These, ahem, "awards," are often "thank yous" to big stars for making commercially friendly movies and also reminders from the studios that such and such newcomer is someone who might make you a lot of money if you promote their movie in your theater!
Chris Columbus has had his share of misfires, but there may be no filmmaker more underrated for delivering crowd pleasing blockbuster entertainment (and we mean that in the best possible way). This is the man who directed "Home Alone," "Mrs. Doubtfire" and the first two "Harry Potter" movies and produced "The Help" and, for better or worse, all three "Night at the Museum" movies. Is "Pixels" his next slam dunk?
Since modern movie making began Hollywood executives have always looked upon something successful and wondered "How can we do it again"? Whether it was the rash of formulaic teen comedies in the '90s that followed "Clueless" or the attempts to clone the Japanese horror trope of "The Ring" or countless other examples, movie studios and producers haven't been able to help themselves avoid ridiculous levels of copycat syndrome. All you need to do is cast a similar star, hire a director to mimic the first film's tone, find a way to make it just different enough to seem "original" and you've got an easy product to market to a global audience. The latest trend producers can't seem to get enough of? Rip offs of the Liam Neeson blockbuster "Taken" and that’s likely why someone decided to option Jean-Patrick Manchette's 1981 novel "The Prone Gunman” as a movie in the first place. And what better way to recreate that magic than with the man who actually directed "Taken," Pierre Morel himself?
Focus Features officially has two films in the 2015-2016 awards season game. The mini-major recently announced they would distribute Tom Hopper's adaptation of "The Danish Girl" with this year's Best Actor winner Eddie Redmayne. That contender will hit theaters on Nov. 27. Their next player? "Suffragette," another period drama that just happens to star Ms. Meryl Streep.
It's somewhat amazing to realize that the release calendar for March 2017 is now complete with four different tent poles. The next (and potentially final) "Wolverine" is slated for March 3,* Legendary Pictures will bring forth their version of the King of the Apes in "Kong: Skull Island" on March 10, "Divergent" will end its cinematic run with "The Divergent Series: Allegiant - Part 2" on March 24 and, surprise, Walt Disney Pictures' live action "Beauty and the Beast" will now open on March 17. Can you guess which one will garner the most attention?
No one provided Sandy Powell with a set of rules when she took on the job of designing the costumes for Walt Disney Studios' live action version of "Cinderella." No one told the three-time Oscar winner that Cinderella's dress had to be blue. No one said the film's showstopper needed to resemble the iconic ball gown depicted in Disney's animated classic. In fact, even after watching the 55-year-old film Powell specifically intended to make it another color.
"The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" was a surprise hit three years ago and earned a legion of fans around the world. The ensemble drama about a group of British senior citizens taking up residence in an Indian hotel was missing one key moment, however. Oscar winners Judi Dench and Maggie Smith barely had a scene together. Ol Parker, who wrote both "Exotic" and the sequel "Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel," takes complete responsibility.
Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury and Audience Award winner "Me and Earl and the Dying Girl" is heading to theaters slightly earlier than expected. Fox Searchlight originally announced "Earl" would open in limited release on July 1. Now, the studio has reconsidered and the acclaimed dramedy will debut in limited release on June 12.
Today is a sad day in the world of Independent Cinema. Richard Glatzer, the co-director and screenwriter of “Still Alice,” has passed away after a four-year battle with ALS.