I think we can now emphatically put a lid on the 2013/14 awards season, as the Empire Awards -- voted on by the readers of the British film magazine -- took place in London last night. Unsurprisingly, given the magazine's inclination toward populist and genre fare, this is one ceremony where "Gravity" managed to trump "12 Years a Slave": Alfonso Cuaron's space adventure took Best Film and Best Director, while "Slave," which had received six nominations, won only Best Supporting Actor for Michael Fassbender.
There's quite a lot of firepower already stacked up behind Ava DuVernay's Martin Luther King Jr. biopic "Selma." Brad Pitt and Plan B partners Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner are producing (hot off a Best Picture Oscar win for "12 Years a Slave") along with Oprah Winfrey, and today, a new actor has been announced for the cast.
The Arnold Schwarzenegger comeback continues apace, though if you've already forgotten that "Escape Plan" and "The Last Stand" came out in the last year, no one would blame you. Can "Sabotage" make a more lasting impression? Not if the critics have anything to do with it: reviews of the DEA task-force thriller have been largely dismissive, which is disappointing considering the promise of director David Ayer ("End of Watch," "Harsh Times") and a classy supporting cast. I haven't seen it myself, so let's open the floor to you: Are the critics right, or does "Sabotage" deliver? Share your thoughts in the comments, and vote in the poll below.
It says something that even detractors of Darren Aronofsky's "Noah" remain in his corner for the most part, and at least the vast majority of them (those who aren't quick to be dismissive and move on, adding absolutely nothing to the discussion) are willing to consider. Personally, I found the film to be a big miss, but I also know it's a passion project of Aronofsky's and coming off the wild success of "Black Swan," it was now or never for this one. I'm happy he made the movie and the ambition is readily apparent on the screen. Sometimes that swagger hits ("The Fountain" is an all-timer). Sometimes it doesn't. But I'll be curious to hear what the readership thinks, so if you make it out to the film this weekend, head on back here with your thoughts.
The Weinstein Company can be very eager to change to change a film's title after its festival premiere -- sometimes with more necessity than others. "Can a Song Save Your Life?," however, is such a tooth-rottingly twee title that they were probably right to ditch it, even if "Begin Again" isn't the most inspired replacement. Anyway, that's what John Carney's musical dramedy will henceforth be known as, with the first official trailer for the summer release landing today.
The Cannes Film Festival is turning into quite the refuge for postponed Oscar bait. After "The Great Gatsby" skipped the 2012 awards season to open last year's fest instead (and wound up with a pair of Oscars to boot), the Weinsteins' seemingly troubled "Grace of Monaco" is following the same path. Now, on a more prestigious note, a source tells In Contention that Bennett Miller's much-anticipated drama "Foxcatcher" -- one of the films Variety recently bandied about as a potential Cannes bow -- will have its world premiere on the Croisette in May, though no one at Sony Classics would confirm at this time.
As one Biblical epic sets sail (so to speak) in theaters this weekend, news out of Las Vegas' CinemaCon is that another has undergone a title change.
Nicole Holofcener's "Enough Said" was routinely referred to as the late James Gandolfini's final film last year, but luckily we do actually have one more big screen appearance from the actor in Michaël Roskam's "The Drop," which hits theaters in September. A few images from the film dropped today over at USA Today with thoughts from Roskam and others on the director's "Bullhead" follow-up.
LAS VEGAS - Every year the major studios present their upcoming slate to the nation's theater owners at CinemaCon (formerly ShoWest). It's commonplace for a studio head to bring out a few famous faces to drive home the point that they should get behind a particular movie or two. Tuesday morning, Donna Langley, chairman of Universal Pictures, had only one movie star waiting in the wings and it was a big one: Angelina Jolie.