This weekend, Marvel finally goes cosmic as "Guardians of the Galaxy" soars into theaters across the nation. Chris Pratt is now an action star and the geeks are rejoicing. Though I guess it's now just the geeks: with a healthy Rotten Tomatoes score, "Guardians" is one of Marvel Studios' best-reviewed films to date. Will it break August box office records? It very well might.
I've been very curious about Jon Stewart's "Rosewater" since the material and the story seized him so much that he took a hiatus from "The Daily Show" to go make the movie. And now at least we know when we can expect Open Road Films to release it: Nov. 7, right in the thick of awards season.
Just yesterday I wrote about, and talked to a handful of, the many craftspeople who quite simply make the movies tick. Well, today we have lost a legend in that fray: makeup artist Dick Smith has left us.
I'm pretty sure that, unless Michael Mann's latest slides into the season vis a vis a qualifying run, "Birdman" is at the very top of my list of anticipations this Oscar season. How could it not be at this point? Michael Keaton is back in the saddle in an absolutely bold vision from Alejandro González Iñárritu. Add to that the fact that the film is apparently set up to look like one single "take," well, I'm just ready to be dazzled.
Disney has finally offered up something to tease Rob Marshall's upcoming adaptation of "Into the Woods" beyond that ubiquitous Meryl Streep still, and that's definitely the word here: "tease." By the time Johnny Depp's title card flashes on screen, all you get is the wolf's arm slithering past a tree. No music, no singing, just a handful of iconic reminders of what characters come together for this story.
As one person put it to me, "It's nice to have a trade covering, you know, the trades, because we haven't really had that in some time." Indeed, it's fantastic to see our colleagues at Variety dig in and represent the industry as they are with the newly branded "Artisans" initiative, and it's a long, long time coming. It is and has been an underreported element of the business, but I've happily seen that slowly shift in the decade we've been diligently, sometimes obsessively, covering below-the-line here at In Contention.
Biopics. They're all the rage. James Brown is about to hit theaters. Richard Pryor is stirring back to life. And now "Iron" Mike Tyson himself will be coming to the big screen, courtesy of Jamie Foxx.
If you followed HitFix's coverage of Comic-Con, then you know we were extremely high on the new trailer presented for Christopher Nolan's "Interstellar." Paramount managed to get the director down to the San Diego convention for the first time ever (he had somehow never bothered despite his involvement in one of the most popular superhero franchises to date), and the result, apparently, was sheer bliss for the attendees in Hall H. Well, today you can see the trailer for yourself (if you didn't already catch it in theaters over the weekend), and find out what all the fuss was about.
The Santa Barbara International Film Festival has announced Emmy- and Oscar-winning actress Jessica Lange as the recipient of this year's Kirk Douglas Award for Excellence in Film. The honor will be presented at a black-tie Gala dinner at Bacara Resort & Spa in Santa Barbara on Nov. 16, an event which serves as an annual fundraiser for SBIFF.
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.