In a little over a month the fall festival season, and with it, the awards circuit, will officially be under way in the mountains of Colorado with the 40th annual Telluride Film Festival. It's the calm before the storm, a soothing handful of days over the Labor Day weekend to watch a few movies set to dominate the latter-year calendar, do a bit of Berlin and Cannes catch-up and even soak up some of the non-awards stuff that really helps round out the experience as a deep breath of fresh cinephile air. I can't wait.
So Comic-Con is over but the little ripple repercussions will keep spreading this week, I imagine. One nugget that dropped over the weekend that immediately caught my eye this morning was the fact that "Fight Club" author Chuck Palahniuk is working on a graphic novel sequel to the book that spawned David Fincher's 1999 consumerism-lynching film.
First reported in the LA Times this morning and confirmed at Warner Bros. Pictures' Comic-Con panel shortly thereafter, the Man of Steel and the Dark Knight are finally going to share the big screen together in 2015.
"Man of Steel" director Zack Snyder, (executive) producer Christopher Nolan and writer David Goyer are reuniting on the sequel to this summer's Superman reboot, which will introduce the Caped Crusader to the newly established DC Universe on film. And all I can really say is…it's about time.
Well, this whole silly, overblown, maybe-about-something-else mess has finally seen a solution…and everyone's going to just keep calling it "The Butler" anyway.
It's been revealed today that the MPAA has overturned its original ruling in the case of Lee Daniels' upcoming film "The Butler," which stated that The Weinstein Company had to change the title due to a nearly 100-year-old short film of the same name in the Warner Bros. archives. It is now accepting, however, something of a compromise, as the title can now be "Lee Daniels' The Butler," if TWC so chooses -- and I imagine they will.
I kinda feel compelled to post this because, look, I'm not in the tank for "Pacific Rim" or anything, but I'm SUPER happy for a guy like Travis Beacham, a former film school classmate, making it so big that he's signing autographs for adoring fans at Comic-Con and soaking it up and just, well, I guess I'm living vicariously. Sue me.
So, would you like a piece of history for a steep price? If you have $3 million lying around, you can join an eBay auction for one of four original copies of Schindler's list. No, not a solid gold DVD of Steven Spielberg's 1993 Best Picture winner "Schindler's List," but an actual copy of one of Oskar Schindler's lists containing the names of 1,200 Jews whose lives the industrialist saved by hiring them as workers in his Brünnlitz factory in Switzerland.
A mere two months ago people were clamoring to see Nicolas Winding Refn's "Only God Forgives" in Cannes. This afternoon, I watched it from my couch. Video-on-demand can be pretty awesome like that. The director's "Drive" follow-up hits theaters and VOD today and I know it's been at the top of a lot of people's lists, so assuming you've seen it or will over the weekend, tell us what you think. I found it to be little more than an exercise, but I guess I'm okay with Refn keeping in shape, so to speak. Guy wasn't too high on it at Cannes either, but that's us. Cut loose with your own thoughts in the comment section here and go ahead and vote in our poll below. And as always, feel free to discuss anything else you might have seen recently. Open thread.
Warner Bros. wasn't shy about screening James Wan's latest horror film, "The Conjuring," which is why my thoughts on the film are now a number of weeks old. They knew they had a tight piece of genre filmmaking on their hands, and that it is; the film is a huge step up for Wan, a patient, rich exercise that doesn't reinvent the wheel but tells a compelling, familiar story with a lot of control and finely tuned atmosphere. "It is enormously confident, and yet it seems to have enough faith in the audience that it doesn't come across as a big noisy assault," Drew McWeeny wrote in his review. But now it's time to hear what you have to say, so when and if you get around to the film this weekend, chalk up your thoughts in the comments section and feel free to vote in our poll. And if you've caught up with anything else you'd like to discuss, consider this an open thread otherwise.
The Weinstein Company has announced it is celebrating "Mandela Day" (today is Nelson Mandela's 95th birthday and, happily, he seems to be getting a bit better after his recent health scare) by dropping a full-length trailer for Justin Chadwick's upcoming "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom." It's a bigger slice than that teaser we got last weekend, which was purely about capitalizing on star Idris Elba's presence at the multiplexes with "Pacific Rim."
Admittedly, any statistic in this business can be unique if you make it specific enough, but David Fincher's maiden Emmy nomination this morning -- Best Directing of a Drama Series for the pilot episode of Netflix's "House of Cards" -- brought him to a unique awards milestone. He's now the first person to have been nominated for Best Director at the Academy Awards, the Emmy Awards... and the MTV Video Music Awards.