One of the under-discussed success of 2014 (but one that won’t go unnoticed in Hollywood) is "Heaven Is for Real," the adaptation of Lynn Vincent’s New York Times Bestseller. The true story of a kid’s near death experience and the visions of the afterlife he bestowed to his parents grossed over $90 million at the domestic box office, a huge hit for Sony Pictures and a career highlight for star Greg Kinnear. Those numbers must have instilled some faith in the actor: He’ll star alongside Renee Zellweger and Djimon Hounsou in the next Vincent adaptation, “Same Kind of Different As Me.”
Makeup artist Rick Baker, the man behind everything from "An American Werewolf in London" to "Coming to America" to "Maleficent," has worked out of his current studio — a Hogwarts-like prosthetics laboratory that doubles as a museum to past work — for 20 years. He set it up because his last work space was too small. On movies like Tim Burton’s “Planet of the Apes” remake or Ron Howard’s live-action “Grinch,” Baker would command a team of nearly 100 people, toiling away over Whos from Whoville and articulate monkey masks. Today, he’s looking to downsize. CG is a tidal force. If a movie’s going to have 100 apes storming into battle, they’re going to be digital. Baker isn’t out of commission, but he’s aware the days of giant makeup jobs are behind him.
I've had my eye on Benoît Delhomme's work since he brought an effortless grace to Anthony Minghella's "Breaking and Enterting" in 2006. He's made his way along a unique track in the industry and 2014 is a real coming out between Anton Corbijn's John le Carré adaptation "A Most Wanted Man" and James Marsh's Stephen Hawking biopic "The Theory of Everything."
It's only the last week of October, but conversations are already starting about year end top 10 lists around the HitFix offices. Looking back over the past 10 months there are a number of films that are worthy of consideration. Some more obvious than others. One film that probably won't make a number of lists, but probably needs to be seen again because it's too good to ignore, is Anton Corbijn's "A Most Wanted Man."
Last year's "Alone Yet Not Alone" shenanigans were a nice reminder that the Academy's Music Branch can certainly march to its own drum (no pun intended), for better or worse. So you never can tell how the Best Original Song Oscar race will turn out, and the highest of profiles isn't necessarily a guaranteed pass. Nevertheless, this year's race — already marked by contenders from popular music such as New Radicals' Gregg Alexander ("Begin Again") and the legendary Patti Smith ("Noah") — has just picked up a trio of heavy hitters.
With early, festival-driven campaigns already ramping up (see: Julianne Moore in “Still Alice”) and sleeper candidates generating buzz (major question marks like Amy Adams in “Big Eyes”), the 2015 Best Actress race is tightening up. Is there room for surprises? Jennifer Aniston hopes so.
Fresh off his bloody beating in Keanu Reeves’ gun-fu action movie “John Wick,” Deadline announced that Mikael Nyqvist has joined the cast of Florian Gallenberger's directorial debut “Colonia.” With the announcement comes the first still to make its way off the active set, a rather creepy glimpse at Emma Watson’s next role. Breathe, “Harry Potter” Tumblr contingent! It’s just a movie.
Paul Greengrass is like the Ricky Jay of Hollywood directors. Every few months, the “Captain Phillips” filmmaker becomes attached to a new project, the likelihood of it actually happening a complete unknown, but fascinating nonetheless. Maybe it’s a Martin Luther King biopic. Or an adaptation of “Agent Storm: My Life Inside Al Qaeda.” Or a crime picture with George Clooney. Or Aaron Sorkin’s long-gestating “The Trial Of The Chicago 7.” Or even a triumphant return to the “Bourne” franchise! When Greengrass eventually makes a movie, it can come out of nowhere. He (or his agent) is the master of industry illusions.
Observing Christopher Nolan move further and further into macro territory with larger and larger canvases that couldn't be more removed from the imposed modesty of his debut, "Following," one thing has become increasingly clear: he's a master of the big picture (as in the greater takeaway from a project, not scale and scope — though that's obviously applicable, too). This has never been more the case than with "Interstellar."
BEVERLY HILLS — Four years ago, when he was in the thick of an "Inception" Oscar campaign, I couldn't help but ask Christopher Nolan if he had any desire to go back to more modest filmmaking, smaller films akin to "Memento," which debuted at Slamdance in 1999. "It depends on the story, really," he said, unsurprisingly. "I tend to think that if you have the chance to do a big film, you should do it while you can. I’m always worried maybe I won’t be able to do a big film again."