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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Sept 20

Linda Hamilton Set to Return to 'Terminator' Franchise

Linda Hamilton in a scene from 1991's "Terminator 2: Judgement Day" (image courtesy Photofest)

by Borys Kit

She’ll be back.

After waving hasta la vista, baby, more than 25 years ago, Linda Hamilton is returning to the world of Terminator, reuniting with James Cameron, the creator of the sci-fi franchise, for the new installment being made by Skydance and Paramount.

Cameron made the announcement at a private event celebrating the storied franchise, saying, "As meaningful as she was to gender and action stars everywhere back then, it's going to make a huge statement to have that seasoned warrior that she’s become return."

With Hamilton's return, Cameron hopes to once again make a statement on gender roles in action movies.

"There are 50-year-old, 60-year-old guys out there killing bad guys,” he said, referring to aging male actors still anchoring movies, “but there isn't an example of that for women.”

Tim Miller, the filmmaker who made his breakout feature debut with Deadpool, is directing the sequel, which is returning to its roots by having the involvement of Cameron for the first time since 1991's Terminator 2: Judgment Day.

Cameron is producing along with Skydance. And the new film, which will be distributed by Paramount with Fox handling it internationally, is based on a story crafted by Cameron.

Continue Reading at: The Hollywood Reporter

Sept 20

'Wonder Woman' Honest Trailer Teases Diana in "A Justice League of Her Own"

by Graeme McMillan

Forget the audience buzz and the box-office take - perhaps the clearest indicator that Warner Bros.' Wonder Woman did something right is the fact that Honest Trailers struggles to fill an entire video making fun of the movie.

The latest release from the online series, which debuted Tuesday, points out that Diana is perhaps a little too naive about the ways of Man's World before meeting Steve Trevor - she speaks several languages, so perhaps she should know what marriage means - and also complains that the villains of the movie come from a different, far campier flick, but it still has to admit that Wonder Woman is the best DC movie to date, and one that breaks a mold for the genre.

Or, as the nameless narrator puts it: "Patty Jenkins bravely asks the question, 'What if a female-led superhero movie wasn't absolutely garbage from beginning to end, and had a powerful message for girls: Save the world, look flawless doing it, be a literal god, then men might begrudgingly half-tolerate your presence?'"

Watch the video below.

Continue Reading at: The Hollywood Reporter

Sept 19

'Wonder Woman' director Patty Jenkins talks film's 'surreal' success, post-credit scenes and the Oscars

by Mark Daniell, Postmedia Network

After the critical and financial success of this summer's Wonder Woman, director Patty Jenkins is paving the way for DC's live-action cinematic universe.

But when she was shooting the first standalone movie to feature a female superhero since 2005's Elektra, she just wanted to make a film that satisfied moviegoers.

"It's so surreal, really," Jenkins says reflecting on Wonder Woman's record-setting box office haul. The film is the highest grossing superhero origin film of all time and was the biggest money earner this summer.

"On the one hand, I always believed that a good Wonder Woman movie could be so much more successful than people might have thought," Jenkins muses. "But the way that our particular film was embraced, not only as a Wonder Woman movie, has been so stunning and magical. For it to be a financial success and a cultural success has been pretty incredible."

Along with star Gal Gadot, Jenkins will return to direct Wonder Woman 2, which she is co-writing with Dave Callaham (The Expendables) and DC Entertainment president Geoff Johns. The sequel is set to open in Dec. 13, 2019, and will make Jenkins the highest-paid female director of all time.

Click the Continue Reading at link to read the Q & A with Patty Jenkins

Continue Reading at: Toronto Sun

Sept 17

Weekend Box Office: 'It' Devours Darren Aronofsky's 'mother!' With $60M

by Pamela McClintock

Darren Aronofsky's mother! stalled in its domestic box-office debut, grossing an estimated $7.5 million from 2,368 theaters after receiving a rare F CinemaScore and facing competition from the blockbuster It.

mother!, an elevated psychological horror-thriller, supplanted The House at the End of the Street ($12.3 million) to mark the lowest nationwide launch of Jennifer Lawrence's career. The Paramount title, which costed $30 million to produce, came in No. 3 over the weekend behind It and new offering American Assassin. (In a sign that summer is over, all three titles are rated R.)

Warner Bros. and New Line Cinema's It continued to make history in its second weekend, declining a scant 51 percent to $60 million from 4,103 theaters, the biggest sophomore outing ever for a horror title. The pic is the latest commercial horror title to prosper following Annabelle: Creation, Get Out and Split in a huge boost for the genre.
CBS Films and Lionsgate's American Assassin placed No. 2 with a solid $14.8 million from 3,154 theaters, on par with Lionsgate's 2014 action pic John Wick ($14.4 million). The movie cost a net $33 million to make.

Directed by Michael Cuesta, American Assassin stars Dylan O'Brien as a CIA operative who teams with a veteran agent (Michael Keaton) to stop terrorists from starting a world war. The film, also featuring Sanaa Lathan, Shiva Negar and Taylor Kitsch, is based on late author Vince Flynn's novel of the same name and earned a B+ CinemaScore from audiences.

Continue Reading at: The Hollywood Reporter

Sept 17

Darren Aronofksy's 'mother!' Banished to Infamous F CinemaScore Club

Darren Aronofsky's "mother!" seems to be up against a wall (image courtesy Paramount Pictures)

by Pamela McClintock

Paramount always knew that Darren Aronofsky's mother! - starring Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardem - would provoke strong responses, but the studio surely never imagined the elevated psychological horror-thriller would receive an F CinemaScore from U.S. moviegoers.

Only a dozen or so movies have been slapped with the failing grade in modern times. In most cases, these films, hobbled by poor word of mouth, were never able to bust out of detention and clear more than $15 million at domestic box office, if that. The most notable exception is fellow Paramount horror pic The Devil Inside (2012), which opened to $33.7 million on its way to topping out at $53.3 million in North America and $101.8 million globally.

mother! received the grade on Friday as it opened in theaters across North America after making high-profile stops at the Venice and Toronto Film Festivals. It earned a dismal $3.1 million on opening day for a projected $8 million weekend, the worst wide launch of Lawrence's career.

While mother! has divided critics, there were enough good reviews to garner the $30 million movie a 69 percent "fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes. By Saturday morning, some in Hollywood were questioning the disparity between the Rotten Tomatoes ranking and the CinemaScore.

"This is an interesting case of what appears to be a total disconnect between the critics, who have been fairly receptive, and audiences who are collectively giving mother! their unanimous seal of disapproval with some of the lowest audience scores seen for a wide release film," says comScore's Paul Dergarabedian, whose firm also conducts exit polling. "The trailer paints a very strange and purposely equivocal portrait of the film and audiences who may have been expecting one type of movie-going experience got something quite different and have chosen to scold the film with a stunningly low approval rating."

Continue Reading at: The Hollywood Reporter

Sept 16

Harry Dean Stanton, Quintessential American Actor, Dies at 91

In this Feb. 4, 2008 file photo, actor Harry Dean Stanton arrives at a celebration for actress Marion Cotillard in West Hollywood, Calif. (image courtesy ABC / AP)

by Mike Barnes and Duane Byrge

Harry Dean Stanton, the character actor with the world-weary face who carved out an exceptional career playing grizzled loners and colorful, offbeat characters in such films as Paris, Texas and Repo Man, has died. He was 91.

Stanton, who also was memorable in Cool Hand Luke (1967), Two-Lane Blacktop (1971), Ridley Scott's Alien (1979), John Carpenter's Escape From New York (1981) and John Hughes' Pretty in Pink (1986) - in fact, what wasn’t he memorable in? - died Friday afternoon of natural causes at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, his agent, John Kelly, told The Hollywood Reporter.

Stanton was eerily creepy as evil polygamist and self-proclaimed Mormon prophet Roman Grant on HBO's Big Love, and he partnered regularly with David Lynch, appearing in the director's Wild at Heart (1990), Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (1992) and the series' recent return, the 1993 miniseries Hotel Room, The Straight Story (1999) and Inland Empire (2006). (He said he turned down a meeting with Lynch about playing Dennis Hopper's part as a serial killer in Blue Velvet.)

Stanton was great pals with actor Jack Nicholson, and they roomed together in a Laurel Canyon house on Skyline Drive in the early 1960s. (Nicholson moved in after sharing a place with screenwriter Robert Towne.) They first appeared together in Monte Hellman's Ride in the Whirlwind (1966), which Nicholson also wrote, and Stanton always said he learned about "acting natural" from that experience.

Continue Reading at: The Hollywood Reporter

Sept 15

Michelle Williams, Kevin Spacey spar in Ridley Scott's Getty thriller 'All the Money in the World'

by Nardine Saad

The trailer for Ridley Scott's "All the Money in the World" debuted Thursday and showcases a nearly unrecognizable Kevin Spacey as American oil magnate J. Paul Getty, then the richest man in the world whose fortune built the J. Paul Getty Museum.

The action in Scott's latest thriller revolves around the notorious miser and his actions during the 1973 kidnapping of his 16-year-old grandson, John Paul Getty III (Charlie Plummer) - the tragic scion of the oil dynasty - and Getty's estranged daughter-in-law's (Michelle Williams) efforts to get him back.

"To be a Getty is an extraordinary thing," young John Getty says in the trailer. "My grandfather wasn't just the richest man in the world. He was the richest man in the history of the world."

Watch the trailer here:

Continue Reading at: Los Angeles Times

Sept 13

Liam Neeson says his days as an action hero are over

Liam Neeson in a scene from 2012 film "Taken 2" (image courtesy 20th Century Fox)

by Jake Coyle, The Associated Press

Special set of skills or not, Liam Neeson says he's finished making thrillers.

In an interview, Neeson said that he plans to stop even though it's hard to turn down the lucrative offers he gets thanks to his box-office success in the three "Taken" films, as well as other thrillers. Neeson believes he's simply getting too old to be an action hero.

"The thrillers, that was all a pure accident," said Neeson. "They're still throwing serious money at me to do that stuff. I'm like, 'Guy's I'm sixty-f---ing-five.' Audiences are eventually going to go, 'Come on."'

Neeson still has two upcoming revenge thrillers he's already shot: "Hard Powder," in which he plays a snowplow driver who faces off with drug dealers, and "The Commuter," with director Jaume Collet-Serra, who also directed Neeson in "Unknown," "Non-Stop" and "Run All Night."

But, Neeson said, those will be his last.

Continue Reading at: CTV

Sept 13

Disney delays 'Star Wars: Episode IX' after J.J. Abrams takes over

by Piya Sinha-Roy

Walt Disney Co delayed the release of the ninth instalment of the "Star Wars" saga to Dec. 20, 2019 after announcing on Tuesday the return of filmmaker J.J. Abrams to the franchise to write and direct the movie.

Disney pushed back "Star Wars: Episode IX" from its initial May 2019 release date after Abrams replaced filmmaker Colin Trevorrow, who parted ways with Disney last week citing differing creative visions with the studio.

Abrams launched Disney's reboot of the "Star Wars" franchise with 2015's box office hit "The Force Awakens," which reunited original 1977 stars Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill and introduced a new generation of characters. The film made more than $2 billion at the global box office.

"With The Force Awakens, J.J. delivered everything we could have possibly hoped for, and I am so excited that he is coming back to close out this trilogy," Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy said in a statement.

Continue Reading at: Reuters

Sept 12

Patty Jenkins Closes Deal to Direct 'Wonder Woman' Sequel

Director Patty Jenkins (right) and titular star Gal Gadot on the set of 'Woman Woman' (image courtesy Warner Bros.)

by Justin Kroll

Patty Jenkins has closed a deal to direct the sequel to the summer hit "Wonder Woman."

Gal Gadot has already signed on to return in the title role. The film is slated for release on Dec. 13, 2019.

Variety was first to report that Jenkins was already working on a script for the sequel with Geoff Johns, who oversees the DC film universe along with Jon Berg for Warner Bros. "The goal is to make another great 'Wonder Woman' film," Johns said at the time.

While an exact number could not be unveiled, sources say the number is in the $8 million dollar range to write, direct and produce making her the highest paid female director of all time. A substantial backend of box office grosses is also included in the contract.

"Wonder Woman" has been a megahit for the studio, grossing $409 million at the domestic box office and $813 million worldwide. The film is the fourth installment in the studio’s DC Extended Universe, which launched with 2013's "Man of Steel" with an opening weekend of $116.6 million, followed by last year's "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" with $166 million, and "Suicide Squad" with $133.6 million. "Wonder Woman" - made on a $150 million budget - is critically acclaimed, with a 92% "fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Continue Reading at: Variety

Sept 10

Weekend Box Office: 'It' Scares Up Massive $117.2M U.S. Bow

A scene from 'It' starring Bill Skarsgard as Pennywise (image courtesy New Line / Warner Bros.)

by Pamela McClintock

There is nothing clownish about It, which grossed a massive $117.2 million from 4,103 theaters in its North American box-office debut. Overseas, It is also a hit, launching to record $62 million from 46 markets for a global start of $179.2 million.

New Line and Warner Bros.' R-rated film adaptation of Stephen King's novel - about a group of misfit kids in the 1980s who battle the demonic Pennywise the Dancing Clown - jolted the domestic box office back to life after seven straight down weekends and the worst summer in recent memory.

It shattered numerous records, including landing the biggest start ever for a horror film or for a King adaptation. And it's the biggest opening ever for the month of September, not to mention narrowly passing up Spider-Man: Homecoming ($117 million) to score the third-best domestic debut of the year so far behind Beauty and the Beast ($174.8 million) and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 ($146.2 million). The movie's Friday take alone was bigger than the previous September crown holder, Hotel Transylvania 2, which pulled in $48.5 million for the three days.
The weekend's other new nationwide offering was the romantic comedy Home Again, starring Reese Witherspoon. Hallie Meyers-Shyer directed and wrote the movie, with her mother, filmmaker Nancy Meyers, producing.

Home Again underwhelmed with an estimated $9 million from 2,940 theaters to place No. 2. Open Road Films is distributing the film.

Lionsgate's The Hitman's Bodyguard fell to No. 3 after topping the box office for three weekends. The action comedy, starring Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson, took in $4.9 million for a domestic total of $64.9 million.

New Line's horror film Annabelle: Creation came in No. 4 despite competition from It, earning an estimated $4 million from 3,003 locations for a North American cume of $96.3 million. The Weinstein Co.'s Wind River rounded out the top 5 with $3.2 million for a domestic cume of $25 million.

Continue Reading at: The Hollywood Reporter

Sept 10

Venice, TIFF Offer Early Glimpse of Awards Frontrunners

Sally Hawkins and her "interspecies" love interest in a scence from 'The Shape of Water' (image courtesy Venice International Film Festival / 20th Century Fox)

by Gregg Kilday

The awards prospects of Guillermo del Toro's The Shape of Water just got a big boost, and Aaron Sorkin's Molly's Game and Craig Gillespie's I, Tonya both staked out claims for serious consideration as the Venice Film Festival ended Sept. 9 and the Toronto Film Festival revved up. Rather than narrow the field, the successive festivals appear to be opening up the field to prospective contenders

At Venice, Water, a sort-of interspecies love story, was presented with the top prize, the Golden Lion, from a jury headed by Annette Bening. In accepting the prize, del Toro expressed his thanks to the festival for rewarding such an unconventional tale, saying, "There is a moment in every storyteller's life, no matter what age you are, [when] you risk it all and go and do something different."

Venice isn't necessarily an Oscar harbinger - the last Golden Lion winner to get a best pic nomination was 2005's Brokeback Mountain - but the attention will help distributor Fox Searchlight argue that Water can't be dismissed as just a weird genre entry and could also help propel star Sally Hawkins into the best actress race.

Meanwhile, at Toronto, two fact-based dramas made strong first impressions. STX's Molly's Game, screenwriter Sorkin's directorial debut, tells the story of Molly Bloom, who operated a high-stakes poker game in Hollywood, and won high marks all around, especially for Jessica Chastain's performance as Bloom. I, Tonya, which is in the market for a distributor, looks at the life of ice skating's bad girl, Tonya Harding, and it also drew praise, with special applause for Margot Robbie in the title role and Allison Janney's supporting turn as Tonya's difficult mom.

Continue Reading at: The Hollywood Reporter

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