A Moment In History

Documentaries

Documentary films have been around for decades as a form of movie, but it has only been in the last ten or so years where they have found their way into the mainstream. This article will take a look at the definition and evolution of documentary films.

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Live From Hollywood...

Sept 28

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: New Trailer Reveals a Looming War Between No-Maj and the Wizarding World

by Francesca Bacardi

We're less than two months away from Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, but to hold you over these next several weeks is a new trailer!

Ellen DeGeneres debuted the new preview Wednesday morning, giving Harry Potter-turned-Fantastic Beasts fans a little magic to get through hump day. Although there have been previous trailers that have given Muggles No-Maj an inside look at some of the magical creatures escaping from main character's Newt Scamander case, this one gives viewers a better glimpse into the action that's to come. Based on new scenes included in this preview, it's clear that there's going to be a war.

Colin Farrell's character is on the hunt for Newt's creatures, but with so many on the loose the No-Maj are starting to realize they're living among witches and wizards. But with war on the horizon, Farrell's Percival Graves isn't going to risk exposing his people.

Check out the trailer here:

Continue Reading at: E! Online

Sept 27

Zach Galifianakis, Kristen Wiig play dumb in 'Masterminds'

You don't have to be a genius, or even smart, to glean life lessons from the dumb criminals of Masterminds.

Zach Galifianakis and Kristen Wiig, who star in the movie that opens Friday, learned a lot from portraying the dim duo who in 1997 helped pull off one of the largest cash robberies in U.S. history before getting busted.

"Check for security cameras," Wiig says sagely, sitting next to Galifianakis in a suite at the London West Hollywood. "Or just don't do bad things."

"The lesson is don't rob a bank," says Galifianakis, pausing. "Or is it rob a bank and Hollywood will make a movie about you? It's all confusing."

There's plenty of forehead-slapping confusion in the moronic high jinks of the Jared Hess-directed comedy. Embellished for laughs from a true story, the movie follows David Ghantt (Galifianakis), a trusted supervisor for Loomis, Fargo & Co. in Charlotte, who is lured into a hare-brained scheme to rob the cash-filled vault by a former employee he had a crush on, Kelly Campbell (Wiig), and her "mastermind" friend and small-time criminal Steve Chambers (Owen Wilson).

Watch the trailer here:

Continue Reading at: USA Today

Sept 27

This Chinese Company Is in Talks to Buy Dick Clark Productions

by Reuters

Chinese property-to-entertainment conglomerate Dalian Wanda is in talks to buy a controlling stake in Dick Clark Productions, the company that runs the Golden Globe awards and Miss America pageants, as it expands a growing Hollywood portfolio.

Run by China's richest man, Wang Jianlin, Wanda already owns Legendary Entertainment, co-producer of film hits such as "Jurassic World" which was the biggest U.S.-China movie deal when it was sealed in January. It also owns U.S. cinema chain AMC Entertainment Holdings.

A source familiar with deal said Wanda was looking to bid $1 billion for the TV production company, but cautioned the deal was not yet certain. The person could not be named as the deal value is not public.

"Dick Clark Productions and Beijing Wanda Culture Industry Group Co., Ltd., have agreed to enter into exclusive talks with the shared goal of finalizing a mutually satisfactory transaction," a spokesman for Eldridge Industries, the owner of Dick Clark Productions, said in an emailed statement.

Continue Reading at: Fortune

Sept 26

'Magnificent Seven' rides Denzel's star power to $35M debut

Denzel Washington (left) and Chris Pratt in a scene from 'The Magnificent Seven' (image courtesy AP / Sony Pictures)
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by Jake Coyle, The Associated Press

Movie stars don't open movies anymore? Tell that to Denzel Washington and Tom Hanks.

The pair, once co-stars in "Philadelphia," have together dominated the last three weeks of the box office. After Clint Eastwood's Miracle on the Hudson docudrama "Sully," starring Hanks as Captain Chesley Sullenberger, topped ticket sales of the last two weeks, "The Magnificent Seven" rode Washington's star power to an estimated $35 million debut over the weekend, according to studio estimates Sunday.

Though both Washington and Hanks are in their early 60s, their box-office clout might be just as potent as ever. The debut of "Sully" was Hanks' fourth best opening of his career; the opening of "The Magnificent Seven," Antoine Fuqua's remake of John Sturges' 1960 Western (itself a remake of Akira Kurosawa's "Seven Samurai"), is Washington's third best.

Both films boasted other enticements. Eastwood is himself a draw. And the ensemble of "The Magnificent Seven" most notably includes Chris Pratt, the "Guardians of the Galaxy" star and a potential heir apparent to Washington and Hanks.

But Washington and Hanks ranked as the overwhelming reason audiences went to see either movie, according to comScore's survey of moviegoers.

"They are the model of consistency and they are the model of quality," said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for comScore. "These are guys who can draw a huge audience in any type of movie that they're in. It's not like they're pigeonholed into one kind of franchise. Denzel Washington can be part of a genre, the Western, that doesn't exactly have teenagers scrambling to the movie theatre."

Continue Reading at: Toronto Sun

Sept 25

California Enacts Law Requiring IMDb to Remove Actor Ages on Request

Company logo for IMDb
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by Ryan Parker, Jonathan Handel

"On behalf of everyone in the industry who has struggled with age discrimination, whose opportunities to showcase their talent may have been blocked, I want to thank Gov. Brown and the bill's author, Assemblymember Ian Calderon," says SAG-AFTRA's Gabrielle Carteris.

California Gov. Jerry Brown on Saturday signed legislation that requires certain entertainment sites, such as IMDb, to remove or not post in the first place an actor's age or birthday upon request.

The law, which becomes effective January 1, applies to database sites that allow paid subscribers to post resumes, headshots or other information for prospective employers. Only a paying subscriber can make a removal or non-publication request. Although the legislation may be most critical for actors, it applies to all entertainment job categories.

"Even though it is against both federal and state law, age discrimination persists in the entertainment industry," Majority Leader Ian Calderon, D-Whittier, said in a statement. "AB 1687 provides the necessary tools to remove age information from online profiles on employment referral websites to help prevent this type of discrimination."

"Gov. Jerry Brown today stood with thousands of film and television professionals and concerned Californians who urged him to sign AB 1687, a California law that will help prevent age discrimination in film and television casting and hiring," said SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris.

The union and others lobbied for the legislation, an effort begun under the aegis of then-SAG-AFTRA president Ken Howard, who died in March. His successor, Carteris, testified in front of a State Senate committee, and in August, wrote of her support for the law in a guest column for The Hollywood Reporter.

"It is time to stop the ageism that permeates Hollywood's casting process," Carteris wrote. "This problem exists for all performers, but most distinctly for women. Performers create characters and often employ illusion to do so. That's acting."

Continue Reading at: The Hollywood Reporter

Sept 24

Paramount No. 2 Executive Said Leaving After Movie Writedown

A graph showing Paramount in dead last of the big six studios in 2016 ticket sales up to September 18th (courtesy Box Office Mojo / Bloomberg)
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by Anousha Sakoui & Christopher Palmeri

Paramount Pictures Vice Chairman Rob Moore is leaving the troubled movie division of Viacom Inc., according to a person with knowledge of the matter, days after the parent company said it will record a $115 million charge for a film that hasn't even been released.

The studio doesn't plan to replace Moore, said the person, who wasn't authorized to speak publicly and requested anonymity.

The writedown points to the deepening problems at Paramount. The studio was already in last place among the major studios in domestic box-office receipts and was expected to report a loss for the year ended Sept. 30 before this week's announcement from Viacom that a major picture was in trouble.

The film division has "performed terribly," said Brian Wieser, an analyst at Pivotal Research Group LLC. "If you are going to have a small slate, it better do well and it clearly hasn't."

Moore, who's been with Paramount since 2005, is the highest-level casualty at the studio, which is writing down its investment in the unreleased picture "Monster Trucks." The family movie, in the works since 2013, has been delayed three times and is currently scheduled for release in January, according to ComScore, an industry website.

Continue Reading at: Bloomberg

Sept 23

China's Richest Man Just Announced His Next Step Toward Hollywood Domination

Wang Jianlin, chairman of Wanda Group, speaks during a ceremony for the "China Cup" on July 13, 2016 (image courtesy AP)

by Reuters

Wang Jianlin has said that he is keen to buy into Hollywood's "Big Six" studios.

Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group will market Sony Pictures' films and co-finance some upcoming movie releases of Sony's film unit in China, which is forecast to become the world's top movie market as soon as next year.

Wanda, owned by China's richest man, Wang Jianlin, and Sony announced a deal on Friday under which Sony Pictures will utilize China's biggest theater chain owner Wanda to better access a rapidly growing yet restricted movie market.

The alliance will help Wanda extend its Hollywood footprint and further Wang's goal of making the group a global entertainment powerhouse.

Wanda said in a statement on its website the tie-up would use its consumer-facing infrastructure to bolster Sony Pictures' presence in China, which is on track to surpass the United States as the world's biggest [market], probably by next year, according to industry executives.

Continue Reading at: Fortune

Sept 22

Star Wars: Rogue One is an experiment, says Disney

Disney chief executive Bob Iger says the first Star Wars spin-off film, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, may not make as much money as its predecessor, The Force Awakens.

"We never felt it would do the level that Force Awakens did," he told a conference in New York.

The Force Awakens made nearly $2.1bn (1.6bn) worldwide to become the third-highest grossing film in history.

In contrast, said Iger, Rogue One was "an experiment, of sorts" and the company was excited to see how it performed.

Based on the public response to trailers and posters, "the level of interest is as high as it was for Force Awakens", he added.

Iger also denied claims the first showing of Rogue One had been poorly received by studio bosses, despite extensive reshoots being ordered and the musical composer being replaced.

"We've loved what we've seen," said Iger.

The businessman is credited with having set Disney on a hugely profitable trajectory during his time at the helm of the company, first by ditching Miramax and Touchstone and then by focusing on branded franchise films - a strategy he said had proven "phenomenal".

When he first became chief executive, he said, the money being made by the whole cinematic industry was "not impressive... Too many movies were being made, too many bets being made, too much money being spent."

Instead, "his theory was fewer but even bigger bets, hence the purchases of Pixar, Marvel and Lucasfilm", says the Hollywood Reporter.

Continue Reading at: The Week

Sept 20

Lethal Weapon, The Exorcist and MacGyver lead parade of the past on TV

Damon Wayans (left) and Clayne Crawford star in the new TV version of Lethal Weapon (image courtesy Fox)
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by Bill Harris

What do Lethal Weapon, The Exorcist and MacGyver have in common?

Er ... um ... they all were part of troubled teenagers' wet dreams in bygone eras?

But those eras are bygone no more, with the arrival on TV this week of new versions of all three of those properties.

There is a school of thought that suggests redoing or revisiting or reimagining old TV shows or movies never is a good idea. Creatively, usually, the best you can hope for is a saw-off. And ratings-wise, there's often more bad news than good news. Of course, the same thing can be said for most network TV these days.

But all three of these new shows are taking bold runs at it, at least. Do any of them have a chance to succeed? Let's take a closer look:

Were you a fan of those original movies? Then click the Continue Reading at link to see the look at the new TV versions.

Continue Reading at: Toronto Sun

Sept 19

Late actor Paul Walker may return to Fast & Furious films

The late Paul Walker may return to the next instalment of the Fast & Furious franchise his brother has revealed (image courtesy TV3 / Edgecast)
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by Cover Media Group

Paul Walker's brother Caleb revealed his family have given their blessing to the idea of featuring the late actor in the next film in a cameo role.

The actor, who played Brian O'Conner, died midway through production of Fast & Furious 7, and the film ended up being a celluloid tribute to the actor, who had become a star thanks to the successful action series. Paul died in November 2013, after a Porsche he was a passenger in crashed into a lamppost and burst into flames. His friend Roger Rodas, who was driving, also died.

Three films that he was involved in at the time were released posthumously; Hours, Brick Mansions and Furious 7.

Paul's brothers, Caleb and Cody, stepped in to double for their actor brother to finish filming crucial scenes that allowed Furious 7 to be completed with Paul's character still an integral part of the film.

Despite the seventh film in the franchise serving as a farewell to the star, Caleb revealed his family have given their blessing to the idea of featuring Paul in the next film in a cameo appearance.

"I had a phone call with Vin (Diesel) for about an hour and we really discussed this a while back. He wanted (our) blessing," Caleb shared in an interview with Entertainment Tonight.

Vin had asked if it "would be acceptable to maybe bring Paul's character back... to really kind of let his fans know he's still out there.

"Universal wants to make sure to be respectful of Paul and his image too, and his family," Caleb added.

Continue Reading at: TV3 Ireland

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