Latest Blog Posts

<p>John&nbsp;Toll on the set of &quot;Cloud Atlas&quot;</p>

John Toll on the set of "Cloud Atlas"

Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

Tech Support: John Toll and Frank Griebe on shooting 'Cloud Atlas' across six stories

The two DPs faced the challenge of sustaining a continuity in the ambitious film

As usual, the Oscar race for Best Cinematography presents an embarrassment of riches this year. Contending directors of photography have offered exemplary work, whether highlighting fantasy or history, focusing on land or water, displaying composed and gorgeous widescreen shots or gripping action and dynamic camera movement.

One film managed to do all of these things, and used two DPs to do it. I'm referring, of course, to “Cloud Atlas,” where John Toll and Frank Griebe collaborated with the Wachowskis and Tom Twyker on what is widely considered one of the most ambitious films of the year.

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<p>The &quot;Cougar Town&quot; cast is coming to press tour, but will the mustaches ride with them?</p>

The "Cougar Town" cast is coming to press tour, but will the mustaches ride with them?

Credit: TBS

The show that never ends: Time for the Television Critics Association press tour

The networks get together to show off their mid-season wares

It's that time once again, boys and girls, for Dan, Liane and I get to camp out at the happiest place on earth: the Television Critics Association press tour!

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<p>Ang Lee on the set of &quot;Life of Pi.&quot;</p>

Ang Lee on the set of "Life of Pi."

Credit: AP Photo

Roundup: 'Visionary' Ang Lee rewarded by Visual Effects Society

Also: Reviewing the original song contenders, and 'Disconnect' to open SBIFF

Ang Lee could well miss the Best Director cut when the Oscar nominations are announced next week, but even if he does, the "Life of Pi" director is receiving plenty of appreciation from below-the-line branches. The Motion Picture Sound Editors will be feting him in February, and now the Visual Effects Society has followed suit: Lee will receive their Visionary Award, first presented last year to Christopher Nolan, at their awards ceremony next month. VES awards chair Jeff Okun says, "[Lee] pushed the envelope of creation of visual effects for telling a story. In our generation, only 'Star Wars' did that." It certainly won't be the only recognition "Life of Pi" receives from this particular guild. [Variety]  

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<p>Kevin Hart, seen here hosting his own New Year's Eve event this year, is going head to head with some of the summer's big releases with his new theatrical concert film.</p>

Kevin Hart, seen here hosting his own New Year's Eve event this year, is going head to head with some of the summer's big releases with his new theatrical concert film.

Credit: Arnold Turner/Invision/AP Photo

Kevin Hart's new concert film opening July 4th weekend against 'Lone Ranger'

Lionsgate demonstrates real confidence in Hart's building fan following

I am a big fan of today's news that Kevin Hart's new stand-up concert film "Let Me Explain" will be getting a theatrical release date, and especially the idea that Summit is aiming for a major summer weekend slot for the film.

It's not even because of Kevin Hart.  As a stand-up, I think he's been very good at cultivating a certain voice and a certain character, and I think when he's on a roll, he is very good at riding a laugh and really milking the audience.  He is a comedian who has paid his dues on the road, building a fanbase, and who has also been very smart about how he has handled the release of each of his stand-up specials and CDs so far.

What excites me most is the mere idea that any stand-up concert film in the year 2013 could go head to head with things like "Man Of Steel" and "Pacific Rim" and "Iron Man 3" for box-office real estate.  A few years ago, I saw Louis CK's "Hilarious" at Sundance and pretty much tore something inside myself laughing at it.  It remains one of the best theatrical stand-up experiences I've had, and I'm a fiend for this stuff. 

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<p>&quot;Moonrise Kingdom&quot;&nbsp;joins the party with its first critics Best Film win of the season.</p>

"Moonrise Kingdom" joins the party with its first critics Best Film win of the season.

Credit: Focus Features

'Moonrise Kingdom' wins big with Central Ohio film critics

Wes Anderson's film wins five awards and joins the club of critics Best Pic winners

Finally someone would like to shake things up a little bit again. The Central Ohio Film Critics Association has chosen Wes Anderson's "Moonrise Kingdom" as the year's best film, and not only that, but given it five awards, including Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, Best Score and Best Ensemble. Daniel Day-Lewis won Best Actor for "Lincoln" while Jennifer Lawrence took Best Actress for "Silver Linings Playbook." Check out the full list of winners below and as always keep up with the season via The Circuit.

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"Project Runway All Stars"

 "Project Runway All Stars"

Credit: Lifetime

'Project Runway' recap: 'All Stars and Stripes'

The designers must dress real female veterans but some looks should be in the brig

 Final four! The end is in sight, and while I'm still shocked that Josh and his very questionable taste level are still in the game, I think this is a pretty strong group. Hopefully this challenge will inspire Uli to use a fabric that isn't white, Emilio to use a color that isn't blinding and Anthony Ryan not to make that same cut-out silhouette he likes so much. Given that they'll be dressing real women, this should separate the real designers from the people who'd rather be dressing coat hangers. 

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<p>Dude... LISTEN&nbsp;TO&nbsp;HER.&nbsp; SERIOUSLY.&nbsp; DUDE.</p>

Dude... LISTEN TO HER.  SERIOUSLY.  DUDE.

Credit: Sony Pictures

Red-band 'Evil Dead' trailer promises red meat and spilled blood galore

It looks like the remake is no-holds-barred, which could be a good thing

I am an original recipe first-generation fan of "Evil Dead."  I liked the first film before there was a sequel, and by the time "Army Of Darkness" opened, I was already starting to struggle with the difference between the thing that first won me over and the thing that was now being made.  In the end, each of the movies is so different that I view them almost like different riffs on the same theme and not direct sequels to one another.

The one thing that is consistent about all of the Raimi "Evil Dead" films is the presence of Bruce Campbell as Ash, and this is one of those cases where I would argue that the actor and the part are completely inseparable.  The reason I think of Bruce Campbell as iconic is because of his work as Ash, and the reason Ash is so fascinating is because of what Bruce Campbell did while playing him.  The way Raimi and Campbell tweaked the tone of the movies from "Evil Dead" to "Evil Dead 2" to "Army Of Darkness" is fascinating, and basically, the more mainstream the series became, the more they tipped the balance from horror to humor.

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<p>For the lunatics who made 'The Raid,' this is just another day at work and physics be damned.</p>

For the lunatics who made 'The Raid,' this is just another day at work and physics be damned.

Credit: Sony Classics

Director of 'The Raid' says sequel will pick up two hours after the original ends

Also gives a January date for the start of production

It's always an interesting moment for a filmmaker where they go from making their films in relative obscurity and then trying to get an audience to pay attention to having the audience's attention already and then trying to deal with scrutiny during production.  It's the difference between being a huckster and managing hype.  Some people manage it quite well, and others get positively freight-trained by the experience.

Which kind of person is Gareth Evans?

We'll find out this year.  After all, when "The Raid" made its debut at the Toronto Film Festival, I'd wager less than half of the audience in the room had seen his first film, "Merantau."  I was on a jury that gave "Merantau" an award at ActionFest, and when I wrote about that film, I remarked that what set Evans apart at first was his obvious attention to every aspect of the film and not just the action.  He's not just a guy who can shoot a great stunt, although he certainly has an eye for that.  He's also a guy who understands that the more connected we are to the characters onscreen, the more involved we'll be in any action scene that unfolds.  It helps that he has found a group of action stars who also have real screen charisma, and in Iko Uwais, he may have found his very own movie star that he can work with over and over again.

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<p>Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are getting ready to host the 70th Golden Globe Awards.</p>

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are getting ready to host the 70th Golden Globe Awards.

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler riff on the 'sloppy loud party' that is the Golden Globes

'The beautiful people of film rub shoulders with the disgusting people of television'

Are you ready Seth MacFarlane?  Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are ready to make the 70th Golden Globe Awards the funniest and most entertaining telecast of the year.

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<p>Angel Haze's &quot;On the Edge,&quot; uh, art</p>

Angel Haze's "On the Edge," uh, art

Angel Haze posted an Azealia Banks diss track 'On the Edge'

And Diplo produced the beat

"My album is more done than yours...and I just started a week ago," says Angel Haze on her new track "One the Edge." And thus starts the flame-war between Haze and another upstart rapper Azealia Banks with battle bars.

The two artists erupted in a Twitter brawl today, starting with an apparent lob from Banks on rappers claiming to be from New York who aren't.

Some of the Tweet nastiness has been deleted, replaced with some half apologies and a lot of chest puffery. The next move was apparent: within hours, Haze had a pretty personal diss track up on Soundcloud.

Now, I'm not really interested in a Tweet fight, especially in this still-small world of female MCs that have a long race to run even after they're done trying to put each other down. Nicki and Kim did it. Was kinda gross, but it yielded some fun.

"On the Edge" is personal. It's practically psycho-sexual.

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Watch Skrillex's 'Summit' video with Ellie Goulding and hear his surprise EP 'Leaving'

Watch Skrillex's 'Summit' video with Ellie Goulding and hear his surprise EP 'Leaving'

The dance music producer's subscription service continues a pay-off

Skrillex may sleep in hotels on the road more than he does his own abode, but that hasn't kep him from being productive. The dance producer released a surprise new EP "Leaving" today, and also dropped a new music video for "Summit" featuring Ellie Goulding.

"Leaving" is really just three songs, for about 14 minutes of new material. But it came up for users of Skrillex's songs subscription service The Nest, with all the tracks also up on YouTube. You can hear them below: the title track is actually surprisingly chilled and emotionally grounded, though you may find "The Reason" putting a little closer to EDM par with all those synths. "Scary Bolly Dub" sounds just how you think a song called that sounds.

The song "Summit" also has a video component: the song was attached to Skrillex's "Bangarang" EP, and features his now-ex-girlfriend Goulding. The clip itself features some kids of a legal age having a way better night than you've ever had combined with other really good nights. Bring your lighter for this one.

In an interview with Billboard, Skrillex has said that he wants to spend 2013 on making more new music; he also found his experiences scoring for the films "Wreck It Ralph" and "Spring Breakers" inspiring, and he wants to do more composing for film.

"[Film scoring is] cool because it's a lot more collaborative," he says. "It's nice stepping into someone else's world for a minute and basically have that trust in different artists where you can combine worlds. There's already a plot, there's already a theme... and you just learn so much from doing things that way."

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<p>Bruce Willis and Jai Courteney play father and son with a knack for trouble in 'A Good Day&nbsp;To Die Hard'</p>

Bruce Willis and Jai Courteney play father and son with a knack for trouble in 'A Good Day To Die Hard'

Credit: 20th Century Fox

Stylish action-packed final trailer promises 'A Good Day To Die Hard'

Could this be that rare part five that actually delivers?

What surprises me most about the latest trailer for "A Good Day To Die Hard" is that it actually looks like director John Moore has finally grown a sense of visual style.

Moore has been an in-house favorite for Fox for a while, but I don't get it.  "Behind Enemy Lines," "Flight of the Phoenix," "The Omen," and especially "Max Payne" are all borderline unwatchable, and he seems positively ham-handed when it comes to performance and text.  It's not enough to occasionally nail a pretty picture, and I'd argue that even in that department, he's seemed deficient so far.

This new trailer for the fifth "Die Hard" film is probably the longest coherent piece of film to ever have Moore's name attached to it, which is incredibly encouraging.  I think this is actually a pretty tremendous trailer overall.  Jai Courtney handled himself well in "Jack Reacher," and I like the chemistry between him and Bruce Willis in the quick glimpses we see here.  By the time most series reach a fifth film in a series, the juice is long since gone, but "Fast Five" absolutely revitalized that series, so it is possible.

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