A Moment In History!

Film Festivals

Like me, every year you may hear about the Film Festivals on the news and say hey, that sounds cool, all those movie stars going to these events. But you wonder what is the idea, what is the role of the festival? How long have they been around and where did they start? This article will take a brief look at film festivals and their role in the movie industry.

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Aug 31

Director James Gunn Comments on "Guardians of the Galaxy" Becoming Highest Grossing Movie of 2014

Marvel took a huge risk with "Guardians of the Galaxy," since the characters weren't well known, two of them were a raccoon and a tree, and the entire film has a comedic tone.

The gamble paid off, because "Guardians of the Galaxy" is now the highest-grossing 2014 film in North America. By the time it ends its theatrical run, it will gross around $300 million domestically. Plus, it still has an impressive 92% fresh rating on RottenTomatoes.

Now that it's one of the biggest successes of the year, director James Gunn posted a statement:

"To quote my favorite little monstrosity, 'Oh... Yeah.'

And although io9 may be right, that people like the movie because it's funny, I like to believe it's because WE GAVE A SH*T. You aren't numbers to us. You deserve to be given something we the creators believe in and that isn't just seeking a big opening weekend. I love my characters, I care about the quality of the movie, and Marvel was cool enough to let us take some risks."

Continue Reading at: WorstPreviews.com

Aug 30

Telluride: The Movies the Hottest Filmmakers Want to See

Jon Stewart at the Patron Brunch (courtesy THR)

by Scott Feinberg

As the Telluride Film Festival got under way this morning, high-profile festival-goers cited such films as Birdman, starring Michael Keaton, and Foxcatcher, with Steve Carrell and Channing Tatum, as high on their list of must-see movies.

To kick off the Labor Day weekend event, filmmakers, press and big-money supporters gathered for the annual Patron Brunch at Gray Head, a private residence high in the mountains about 20 minutes outside of town. Despite the sweltering heat, Michael Barker, whose Sony Pictures Classics is distributing Foxcatcher, donned a wrestling sweatshirt bearing the movie's title; Jon Stewart, here with his directorial debut Rosewater, gamely posed for selfies with people serving bagels and lox; and Laura Linney, who met her husband Marc Schauer ten years ago at Telluride, cradled their new baby boy.

As they and dozens of other boldfaced names took in the breathtaking views and sampled the sumptuous buffet tables, they talked with The Hollywood Reporter about which films, beyond their own, they were most excited about seeing. Screenings kick off this afternoon with the Patron Preview, which The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed will be the world premiere of Fox Searchlight's Oscar hopeful Wild.

Continue Reading at: The Hollywood Reporter

Aug 27

Abigail Breslin And Arnold Schwarzenegger Are Going To Zombify Your 2015

by Kat Rosenfield

The best new zombie movie you've never heard of is coming to theaters sooner than expected, thanks to some speedy snapping-up by Lionsgate.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the studio purchased rights for "Maggie," starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Abigail Breslin as a father and daughter living through the zombie apocalypse, at the last minute before its scheduled premiere at the Toronto Film Festival this week. Instead, the movie will make its way into theaters across North America sometime in the first half of 2015 - which makes it one to put on your must-watch list for next year. Here's why:

"Maggie" promises all the usual horrors of the zombie genre, but with a subversive twist. In this story, Breslin's character is infected with the zombie plague and trying to ready herself for the end with the help of her father, who won't leave her side - making it less a survivalist thriller, and more a dramatic study of a family facing down its doom.

[Plus] with Schwarzenegger's reputation as a go-to guy for action heroics with an occasional side of physical comedy, it's nice to see him take a role in which he can take a break from punching things and actually, like, emote. Although on the downside, this also means that "Maggie" will probably not include a scene in which Arnold delivers deadpan one-liners while mowing down zombies with a machine gun attached to a bigger machine gun attached to a muscle car.

Continue Reading at: MTV

Aug 26

Chris Hemsworth joins cast for National Lampoon's Vacation reboot

Chris Hemsworth will try his hand at comedy in the National Lampoon reboot (image courtesy Rex)

By Ben Travis

Chris Hemsworth will be putting down Thor's hammer for a short while as he tries his hand at comedy. The Australian star of Marvel's Avengers films has been cast in the reboot of the National Lampoon's Vacation series.

Hemsworth joins the previously-announced Ed Helms (The Hangover) and Christina Applegate (Anchorman), who will take the lead roles in the film. Helms will play Rusty Griswold, the son of Chevy Chase's character from the original films, Clark Griswold. Applegate will play his wife, while Hemsworth will play Rusty's brother-in-law, Stone Crandall.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Hemsworth, who has tackled comic books films, drama (Rush) and horror (The Cabin in the Woods), "has been itching to do a comedy for a while". The Thor films notably feature a lot of humour, though this will be Hemsworth's first foray into outright comedy.

Behind the film are several members of the team behind 2011's Horrible Bosses. That film's writing duo, John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein, will be writing and directing the National Lampoon reboot, which will also star Charlie Day in a cameo role as a river-rafting teacher.

The film is pitched as both a sequel and a reboot of the original film series, which sees Rusty Griswold take his family on a holiday similar to the ones he went on with his family as a child. Chevy Chase will reportedly make a cameo appearance as Clark Griswold.

Continue Reading at: The Telegraph

Aug 25

Richard Attenborough dead at 90

Richard Attenborough in 'Flight of the Phoenix' in 1965 (image courtesy Wikipedia)

Acclaimed actor and Oscar-winning director Richard Attenborough, whose film career on both sides of the camera spanned 60 years, has died. He was 90.

The actor's son, Michael Attenborough told the BBC that his father died Sunday.

Among his most famous works were the 1982 Indian epic Gandhi, which went on to win eight Oscars including best director and best film, and the science fiction adventure Jurassic Park. But those achievements were just two of many highlights in his distinguished career.

Attenborough was one of the most familiar faces on the British arts scene, appearing in many major Hollywood films and also directing a series of movies. He was also known for his extensive work as a goodwill ambassador for UNICEF, the United Nations children's fund, and other humanitarian causes

British Prime Minister David Cameron issued a statement calling Attenborough "one of the greats of cinema."

"His acting in Brighton Rock was brilliant, his directing of Gandhi was stunning," Cameron said.

Attenborough won an Academy Award for best director with Gandhi in 1982, only one of many highlights of a distinguished career as actor and director.

Continue Reading at: CBC / The Associated Press

Aug 24

Fast And Furious Pirate Jailed For 33 Months

A computer programmer who filmed Fast & Furious 6 from the back of a cinema then uploaded it to the internet has been jailed for almost three years.

The pirate copy of the film was downloaded 779,000 times, costing one of Hollywood's biggest film-makers almost £2.5m.

Philip Danks, 25, from Walsall, West Midlands, was the first person in the world to record and distribute the movie illegally after filming it on its release day on May 17 last year.

A court heard a special "webwatch" team - set up by LA-based Universal Pictures because the film was so valuable - spotted his copy spreading across the internet.

He was caught when fraud investigators noticed that his online tag 'Thecod3r' attached on the video was identical to his profile on dating website Plenty of Fish.

He was arrested at his home on May 23.

Two days later, he bragged on Facebook: "Seven billion people and I was the first. F*** you Universal Pictures."

Continue Reading at: Sky News

Aug 23

The first trailer of Kate Winslet's 'Insurgent' to release with 'The Hunger Games'

The first trailer for Divergent sequel 'Insurgent' will be unveiled this November in screening of 'The Hunger Games Mockingjay'.

'Insurgent' starring Shailene Woodley, Theo James and Kate Winslet [pictured], is currently filming in Atlanta and Chicago for release in March 2015.

According to media reports, "Lionsgate Entertainment Corp. CEO Jon Feltheimer shared his thoughts on the trailer unveiling saying; With the first 'Insurgent' trailer slated to debut with the release of 'Mockingjay' in November, skyrocketing book sales, a stellar home entertainment launch and stars Shailene Woodley, Theo James and Ansel Elgort generating ever increasing online buzz, I think you can understand why we believe that the 'Divergent' series is becoming very special".

The author has recently released another novel in the franchise, 'A Divergent Collection' which is a series of short stories. Lionsgate are keen to adapt the story so people could be seeing a total of five 'Divergent' movies over the coming years.

Continue Reading at: Business Recorder

Aug 22

Mission Impossible 5 first set images surface

Tom Cruise (centre) and crew on the set of Mission Impossible 5 due out Dec 25th 2015 (image courtesy inentertainment / JoBlo)

by James Marriott

We have been hearing quite a bit about the fifth movie in the Mission Impossible franchise lately, as we now know that Ving Rhames will be reprising his IMF role, we know Alec Baldwin will be the CIA and IMF head, and will also [assume] the return of Jeremy Renner as Brandt.

Previously we also heard that Mission Impossible 5 has been shooting at a few well-known locations in London, including the House of Commons, but the new movie is also shooting elsewhere.

Several first images from the set of Mission Impossible 5 have now become available, showing Tom Cruise as top IMF agent Ethan Hunt atop the Vienna State Opera House, reports Joblo.

Just what Cruise and crew are doing on the Vienna State Opera House, is unclear, but he could be working on a spectacular stunt of some kind that usually happens in Mission Impossible movies.

Continue Reading at: inentertainment

Aug 21

Bill Murray Day is now an official thing

Bill Murray to get his own day at this year's TIFF (image courtesy PA)

Put the date in your diaries – September 5 is Bill Murray Day.

The star is so beloved by fans worldwide that he is to have a special day dedicated to him and his works at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival.

On the day, film fans can attend free public screenings of three of the Oscar-nominated funnyman’s most-loved comedies – Stripes, Groundhog Day and Ghostbusters – ahead of the world premiere of the 63-year-old actor’s latest film, St Vincent, directed by Theodore Melfi.

Those who attend all three screenings can win tickets to walk the red carpet of the St Vincent premiere alongside Bill himself.

In St Vincent Bill plays a grumpy, hedonistic war veteran who befriends his young next door neighbour when he is struggling to cope with his parents’ divorce.

Continue Reading at: The Irish Examiner

Aug 19

Al Pacino, Kate Winslet, Robert Downey Jr. make TIFF guestlist

Al Pacino as A.J. Manglehorn in a scene from the film 'David Manglehorn,' directed by David Gordon Green

Bill Murray, Kate Winslet, Denzel Washington, Robert Downey Jr., Steve Carell, Reese Witherspoon and Al Pacino are among the A-listers headed to next month's Toronto International Film Festival.

Also gracing the guest list are Tina Fey, Dustin Hoffman, Jennifer Aniston, Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley, Julianne Moore, Jake Gyllenhaal, Mark Ruffalo, Octavia Spencer, Ben Stiller, Channing Tatum, Diane Keaton, Robert Duvall, John Travolta and Adam Sandler.

The festival revealed its highly anticipated roster Tuesday as it announced the final slate of films bound for the movie marathon, bringing the total to 285 features and 108 shorts.

New films include "St. Vincent," directed by Theodore Melfi and starring Murray as a retired curmudgeon with a taste for booze and gambling who befriends the 12-year-old son of his next-door neighbour (Melissa McCarthy).

James Franco's "The Sound and the Fury," based on the classic William Faulkner novel, will have its North American premiere in Toronto. Franco, who directed and stars in the film, will also attend the fest.

"It's a really strong line-up. We're thrilled with it," said artistic director Cameron Bailey, who touted the festival's international selections as well as its North American films.

Continue Reading at: CTV / The Canadian Press

Aug 17

Zoe Saldana: Groot stole the show

Zoe Saldana (pictured left) says Vin Diesel's Groot ''stole the show'' in 'Guardians of the Galaxy'.

The 35-year-old beauty ''fell in love'' with the tree-like creature in the new Marvel movie - in which she plays Gamora opposite stars including Bradley Cooper and Karen Gillan - and can't remember feeling ''moved'' as much by any other fictional character.

She explained: ''I think Groot stole the show, for me. I mean, I just fell in love with this big tree once we started filming.

''And even though I'm mature and I'm pretty sane, I can't really remember a fictional character that really moved me like that.''

Director James Gunn, meanwhile, revealed that he is able to gain an insight into fan reaction to the film thanks to social media.

Gunn explained that he's received more tweets about Groot and Dave Bautista - a former WWE wrestler - than anyone else.

Continue Reading at: Contactmusic / Bang Showbiz

Aug 16

Summer of the sequel: Reruns and retreads make for tired box office

Georges St-Pierre, left, and Chris Evans in Captain America: The Winter Soldier (image courtesy AP)

By Katherine Monk

This movie is called 122 Days of Summer — and so far, it doesn’t look good for a happy ending. With only two weeks left to haul in what normally accounts for 40 to 50 per cent of next year’s production costs, Hollywood’s seasonal box office remains soft. And with few big releases left in the wings, it shows no signs of immediate improvement.

Receipts are down by 30 per cent, about $1 billion over last year, totalling just $3.22 billion as opposed to $4.85 billion this time last year.

Experts point to everything from continuing market fragmentation in the wake of digital delivery platforms to stiffer competition from small screen serials. But box-office dissection is hardly neurosurgery.

Anyone who has strolled into the lobby of the local gigaplex understands only too well the kind of ennui that overwhelms the consumer looking for a little escapist distraction.

Will it be Transformers 4, Captain America 2, Mutant Ninja Turtles redux, Rio 2, How to Train Your Dragon 2, 22 Jump Street or another X-Men instalment?

When half the releases on the marquee carry a digit announcing their derivative contents, it’s hard to work up a head of healthy consumer enthusiasm. Yet, the trend will continue because despite the abject critical failure of something like Transformers 4, Michael Bay’s hulking piece of mechanical boredom still grossed close to a quarter-billion at home – making it the third-highest-grossing movie of the year so far, right after Captain America: Winter Soldier ($259M) and the truly inspired Lego Movie ($257M).

Even the dreadful Spider-Man 2 netted over $200M, proving with enough advertising and screen presence, Hollywood has the tools and the expertise to sell shimmering shinola to the masses.

Continue Reading at: The Vancouver Sun

Aug 16

Robin Williams blazed animation trail with 'Aladdin'

Robin Williams may be best remembered for the legion of fast-talking comedic roles which lit up both television and movies during his glittering show-business career. Less well-known is the fact that the 63-year-old, who died from an apparent suicide on Monday, almost single-handedly began the trend of stars lending their voices to animated blockbusters when he signed on to Disney's 1992 hit "Aladdin."

Williams' scene-stealing portrayal of the Genie in the hit children's classic was in many ways a match made in heaven, allowing the funnyman free rein to showcase his dazzling improvisational skills. The film is widely regarded as the first animated production to build its marketing on the strength of having a major movie star providing one of its voices, something which has become the norm today. Since Williams' trailblazing performance more than two decades ago, Hollywood's elite have flocked to animated movies.

Tom Hanks, Angelina Jolie, Dustin Hoffman, Woody Allen and Eddie Murphy are just a handful of the stars who have cashed in on the trend. Before 1992, the occurrence of established actors' voices in animated films was not over-publicised, according to Jerry Beck, a film historian who specializes in animation. But with "Aladdin," audiences headed to cinemas to see Williams' comic turn as the Genie in the lamp.

The wild vocal performance of the actor, who used the role to mimic the voices of Groucho Marx, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jack Nicholson and Robert De Niro, amongst others, remains the stuff of legend. In signing for the picture, Williams had stipulated a contract which stated that his voice could only be used in the movie and not in publicity, because he was working for "actor's scale" or minimum wage, primarily so his children could hear him in a Disney film, according to Disney historian Jim Korkis.

Continue Reading at: Business Recorder

Aug 14

Thousands sign petition calling for statue of Robin Williams at Good Will Hunting bench

Robin Williams next to Matt Damon in the famous scene from Good Will Hunting (image courtesy Miramax)

By Mark Molloy

A petition to get a bronze statue of Robin Williams created next to the iconic Good Will Hunting bench has attracted thousands of signatures.

More than 10,000 people have signed the online appeal calling for the late actor to be honoured in the Boston park where he filmed one of his most famous scenes.

Fans mourning the loss of the much-loved entertainer have gathered at the bench over the past few days, leaving flowers and scrawling a collection of his most famous quotes in chalk on the ground.

The statue will give “everyone the chance to sit with him, stare out into the water, and contemplate life, love, and good memories”, the petition says.

Garry McLinn, who has proposed the statue idea, believes it would be the perfect tribute to the comic genius.

Continue Reading at: The Telegraph

Aug 13

TIFF 2014: Films from Arnold Schwarzenegger, Adam Sandler and Kristen Stewart headed to the festival

Arnold Schwarzenegger and Adam Sandler will be taking Toronto by storm in September (images courtesy Reuters)

By Steve Tilley

From Arnold Schwarzenegger to Adam Sandler, a ton of Hollywood titans will be coming to Canada – on screen, and maybe even in person – with a newly announced roster of films for the upcoming Toronto International Film Festival.

Organizers of the globally lauded film fest unleashed a deluge of film announcements Tuesday, with some especially big names popping up in the special presentation and gala programs.

Schwarzenegger will star in Maggie, where the former Governator plays a farmer caring for his daughter (Little Miss Sunshine’s Abigail Breslin) as she turns into a flesh-eating zombie. It’s the first movie for director Henry Hobson, a veteran title sequence designer who did the opening credits for the likes of The Walking Dead and the video game The Last of Us.

Funnyman Adam Sandler stars in The Cobbler, about a footwear repairman who gains the magical ability to step into the shoes of his customers and see life from their perspective, while scandal-mired John Travolta will star alongside Canada’s own Christopher Plummer in The Forger, about an art fraudster who must team up with his dad for one final job.

Twilight princess Kristen Stewart will appear with Juliette Binoche and Chloe Grace Moretz in Clouds of Sils Maria, about an aging movie icon threatened by an up-and-comer taking on the role that made her famous. Dustin Hoffman will lead a star-studded cast in Quebec director Francois Girard’s Boychoir, about a young student at an elite music school who struggles to fit in with his peers and instructors.

Continue Reading at: St. Thomas Times Journal / QMI

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