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.
Heads up, fans of Richard Linklater's "Before" trilogy. This is right up your alley. And boy is it awesome.
I'm pretty slow on the uptake this summer with a ton of movies I still need to see, and one of them is M. Night Shyamalan's "After Earth." What's that, you say? You didn't know this was an M. Night joint? You'd be forgiven for missing that nugget, since advertising for the film has curiously kept his name low key if not outright out of the picture (it's nowhere to be found above the title on the poster and the trailers certainly didn't play it up). As for why, I'll leave that to you to decide.
The film, like clockwork, is taking a critical beating. But it has a few forgivers, like our own Drew McWeeny, noting that it was "lovely to see something that is sincere, thematically focused, and that ultimately works in a way I didn't expect." Then again, maybe it's just a Scientology indoctrination film. I'll see for myself eventually, but it would appear Shyamalan is a filmmaker with a lot of ground to cover if he's going to be back where he was a decade ago. For now, though, if you've seen the film (which stars Will Smith and son Jaden) or if you get around to it this weekend, head on back here with your thoughts and feel free to vote in the poll below.
I still remember the moment I found out Heath Ledger was dead. I was driving up the 10 freeway in Los Angeles on the way home and a Variety colleague called. "Did you hear about Heath Ledger?" "No." I'm thinking maybe there's some awesome news about the then upcoming film "The Dark Knight." "Dude, he died."
Crushing. We were robbed of an incredible talent that day. But one of the other things we we robbed of was the chance to really dissect and investigate Ledger's choices for his soon-to-be Oscar-winning role as the Joker in "The Dark Knight," as well as the opportunity to always go back and reflect with the actor as he, and we, spun away from its epic impact over the years. The mystery left as a result is singular and fascinating, serving only to elevate the performance in some ways, but I always felt a pang of sadness that we could never dig into the work with the artist.
Oscar-winning production designer Dean Tavoularis designs Telluride Film Festival's 40th annual poster
With Cannes but a memory we look forward to the rest of the summer and, soon after, the dawn of the 2013-2014 film awards season. The starting gun will, as always, be the Venice and Telluride film festivals, followed by Toronto soon after, and we'll be well on our way.
This year Telluride will be celebrating its 40th anniversary in style with an extra day of screenings (though not an expanded slate, just more opportunity to see everything) as well as a new venue, "The Werner Herzog Theatre," named after the famed director who has made the annual trip to Colorado for decades. Before long there will be plenty of buzzing about what films could pop up there -- "Labor Day?" "Nebraska?" "Out of the Furnace?" -- but for now, things are just gearing up, and it all started today with the release of this year's poster art for the fest.
CANNES - Officially wrapping up our Cannes coverage today, it's time to really break down the Oscar prospects coming out of the 66th annual fest.