You have to hand it to Jennifer Lawrence -- not that the 22-year-old Oscar-winner and industry princess needs anything to be handed to her right now. But even with her career currently at supernova status, the hard-working star isn't resting on her laurels and waiting for all the plum opportunities to come her way. Instead, she's moving toward developing her own projects. It was announced today that she'll be making her producing debut with the prestige drama "Rules of Inheritance," in which she'll also obviously take the lead role.
In principle, when it comes to English-language remakes of successful foreign-language films, I'm not as militantly opposed to the idea as some critics. With the right balance of respect and initiative, a reinterpretation can often stand proudly beside the original. William Friedkin's "Sorcerer" (a remake of "The Wages of Fear"), Christopher Nolan's "Insomnia," Martin Scorsese's Oscar-winning "The Departed" (a remake of "Infernal Affairs") and, soon to be in theaters, Jim Mickle's ingenious gender-flip of Mexican horror hit "We Are What We Are" are among the notable exceptions to a subset of cinema that is, admittedly, crammed with such embarrassments as "Diabolique" and "Swept Away."
We're just over a week away from one of the year's most anticipated movies, Zack Snyder's "Man of Steel." With Marvel Studios drawing the map for successful superhero franchises as of late, DC Comics is looking to catch up, and in the wake of Christopher Nolan's self-contained Batman trilogy, the way into developing that world on film -- after the stumble of "Green Lantern" -- is surely the Boy in Blue. But what of the Superman mythos has been tapped for this new vision?
Cannes is still fresh enough in my mind that the idea of diving into another film festival right now is ever-so-slightly panic-inducing, but I've got over three weeks to get in the mood for the admittedly far more relaxed charms of the Karlovy Vary Film Festival in the Czech Republic, which kicks off on June 28.
Superman and Batman aren't the only icons celebrating 75 years in the pop cultural consciousness as of late. Next year, Dorothy, Toto, the Tin Man, the Scarecrow and the Cowardly Lion all join in on the fun as Victor Fleming's classic of Technicolor cinema, "The Wizard of Oz," pops the cork on its diamond anniversary. And Warner Bros. plans to celebrate on the biggest screens around.
It may not be out for another 17 months, but Christopher Nolan's elaborate sci-fi project "Interstellar" is already -- inevitably -- generating enough excitement that any detail of its production is being seized upon by a ravenous internet. As these details go, the announcement that Hans Zimmer will be scoring the epic isn't news so much as a virtual given, but it's good to have it confirmed.
One of the two films besting Will Smith and son at the box office this weekend, surprisingly, is Louis Leterrier's "Now You See Me," the magic caper movie that has drawn pretty poor reviews along with those dollars and cents. "This might be the most disposable film of the summer, and as long as you're not looking for anything deeper, it's fine," HitFix's Drew McWeeny wrote. "But the closer you look, the less there is, and ultimately, there's nothing real about it." But what did YOU think of the film? That's what we're looking for here, so rifle off those takes in the comments section (if you have them) and feel free to vote in our poll below.
With 'After Earth' bombing at the box office, that old question: Is the clock running out on movie stars?
A while back, as 2009 drew to a close, I wrote a piece outlining what were, in my view, the movie-related moments of the year. In the end, I idly suggested that the era of the movie star had seen its end. "When the top 10 domestic grossers of the year are finally sussed…there won’t be a Will Smith or a Tom Cruise on the list," I wrote at the time. "There won’t be a Jim Carrey or a Julia Roberts, a Tom Hanks, a Johnny Depp or a Brad Pitt. The list will be dominated by sequels and franchises, yes, but none of them with the added benefit of star power to drive the box office."
Today, with the news that M. Night Shyamalan's "After Earth" starring Will Smith is effectively bombing at the box office, this idea seems worth discussing again. Two years after I wrote that piece, for the first time ever (and somewhat under-reported, though understandable given the overall trend toward this end), every single film in the top 10 domestic box office was either a sequel or based on an intellectual property with a built-in fan base. The answer was clear: People don't go to the movies to see their favorite actors anymore. They go to see their favorite brands.
I'm very, very curious to see what Zal Batmanglij does with his career. He clearly has the chops to build interesting thrillers and that talent is very much on display in "The East," which, as I've noted recently, I've been interested in seeing again since catching it at the Sundance Film Festival a few months back.
The film hit theaters today via Fox Searchlight Pictures and could do some nice business amid the usual blockbuster summer fare. It stars multi-hyphenate Brit Marling as well as Ellen Page and Alexander Skarsgård. It's possible we'll be talking about it later in the year when the Independent Spirit Awards announce nominations. "Sound of My Voice" found some love there. For now, though, we're curious to hear your thoughts on the film, so when/if you see it this weekend, let us know in the comments section and feel free to vote in our poll, too.
Little marketing hooks like this are always fun for the geek in us all. Sometimes they're a stretch, sometimes you can get lost toying with this and that. Confession: I totally "Frankenweenie"-fied my cat last year.
Guillermo Del Toro's "Pacific Rim" is still six weeks away and it feels like an eternity. At least we'll have "Man of Steel" to tide us over in the interim but, especially after the most recent trailer hit, I've been dying for some awesome Jaeger/Kaiju brawling. In the meantime, though, at least we can settle in and design our own monster sluggers. Yes, Warner Bros. has an application that allows you to build and name your own Jaeger.