Travis Beacham had an idea, Guillermo del Toro ran with it and now we have a massive summer blockbuster in the form of "Pacific Rim." Box office chatter is grim but that's not what we're interested in here. We're interested in what you thought of the movie. Some people are doing cartwheels over this thing; Drew sure did. Others have a heaping helping of thumbs down for it. Others still might find their way to the middle. That's where I am, for a handful of reasons, but I'm glad there's something like this to chew on this summer as opposed to more sequels and more IP pillaging, etc. So when/if you get around to seeing the film -- which just kicked off midnight screenings in New York -- head on back here with your take on it, and feel free to vote in our poll.
I wish nothing but the best for Ava DuVernay. If female filmmakers are already a regrettable minority in Hollywood, African-American female filmmakers are still practically novelties, so anyone working to bust that particular glass ceiling has my attention. Still, DuVernay deserves notice on her individual gifts alone: the writer-director's coolly assured breakthrough feature "Middle of Nowhere," which won her the Best Director prize at Sundance, was one of last year's most richly characterized, formally striking US microbudget indies. Furthermore, DuVernay's not only looking out for number one: the former film publicist is doing much to support other independent talents via her own distribution outlet, the African-American Film Festival Releasing Movement.
The marketing for Scott Cooper's "Out of the Furnace" is rumbling to life over at Relativity Media. A few production stills were released in conjunction with a USA Today story earlier this week, shortly followed by more photos and the official poster at Entertainment Weekly. Today, a trailer.
When Ben Affleck was making the press rounds for "The Town" a few years back, I talked to him about his friend Matt Damon's career path. We discussed the fact that Damon had been gearing up to direct a film (which ended up being "Promised Land") for some time but he kept getting calls from the likes of Martin Scorsese and the Coen brothers to star in their films. When you're an actor who wants to direct, you'd be a fool not to audit those classes, so to speak.
So I find it really interesting that in the midst of a strong and building filmmaking career that has already brought him a Best Picture Oscar (last year's "Argo"), Affleck has decided to star in David Fincher's adaptation "Gone Girl." It seems to me he may be taking note of his buddy's trek through the business, loading up on some crucial studies with master filmmakers. He already has Terrence Malick under his belt.
Yesterday Walt Disney Pictures gave us our first official look at John Lee Hancock's "Saving Mr. Banks" with a production still tease. Today, via Moviefone, the studio has dropped the first trailer for the film.
One of the last films I saw at this year's Cannes Film Festival -- and consequently one I never got around to reviewing -- was "Jodorowsky's Dune." A straightforwardly constructed but vastly entertaining movie-lore documentary about cult Chilean-born auteur Alejandro Jodorowsky's elaborately failed quest to bring Frank Herbert's epic sci-fi novel "Dune" to the screen, it was one of the most audience-friendly breakouts of the Directors' Fortnight sidebar, and has now been picked up for US distribution by Sony Pictures Classics.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced today that this year's Oscar-nominated original scores and songs will be featured in a live concert on Thursday, February 27, three days before the 2014 Academy Awards ceremony.
I think it's fair to go ahead and stand out here and say Cate Blanchett gives a tour de force performance in Woody Allen's "Blue Jasmine." It's definitely the best thing she's done since "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" if not "The Aviator" or "Notes on a Scandal." She takes a shallow concept of a character, really, and injects it with so much withered spirit, flighty contempt and horrified dissatisfaction that you can't help but expect her name will be in the conversation for awards at the end of the year.
You may have noticed a healthy showing for "Saving Mr. Banks" in Kris' updated sidebar predictions, and he's hardly out in the wilderness there. Sight-unseen buzz is strong for John Lee Hancock's first directorial effort since 2009 Best Picture nominee "The Blind Side," largely on the strength of good word (and a Black List mention) for Kelly Marcel's first feature script, which chronicles the brittle relationship between P.L. Travers, the Australian author of "Mary Poppins," and Walt Disney himself, as they sparred over his blockbuster adaptation of her children's novel.
Everyone has their reasons for making movies. Those reasons are different on a case-by-case basis and run the spectrum from superficial to profound, but you kind of live for this level of insight into a project and dedication to a deep, complex idea that really needs a medium like the cinema to fully explore it.