A Moment In History

Film Rating Systems

Have you ever been to a movie that was rated PG-13 and you wondered why? Maybe you felt it should have been PG and not PG-13, or even R. And who does the rating anyways? This article takes a look at Film Rating Systems. By the way, this article has been rated NC-17!! Just kidding.

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Live From Hollywood...

Sept 23

Progress in Hollywood Writers' Strike Negotiations, but No Deal Yet

Dual strikes by writers and actors have brought much of the entertainment industry to a standstill (image courtesy The New York Times)

by Brooks Barnes and John Koblin

A third straight day of marathon negotiations between Hollywood studios and striking screenwriters ended on Friday night without a deal. But the sides made substantial progress, according to three people briefed on the talks.

The sides plan to reconvene on Saturday.

The Friday session started at 11 a.m. Pacific time at the suburban Los Angeles headquarters of the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, which bargains on behalf of the major entertainment companies. For the third day in a row, several Hollywood moguls directly participated in the negotiations, which ended a little after 8 p.m.

Robert A. Iger, Disney's chief executive; Donna Langley, NBCUniversal's chief content officer of Universal Pictures; Ted Sarandos, co-chief executive of Netflix; and David Zaslav, the chief executive of Warner Bros. Discovery had previously delegated bargaining with the union to others. Their direct involvement - which many screenwriters and some analysts said was long overdue - contributed to meaningful progress over the past few days, according to the people familiar with the talks, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the diplomatic nature of the efforts.

During the Thursday negotiations, the sides had narrowed their differences, for instance, on the topic of minimum staffing for television show writers' rooms, a point that studios had been unwilling to engage on before the guild called a strike in early May.

The Thursday session took a turn, however, after the sides agreed to take a short break at roughly 5 p.m., according to the people familiar with the talks. The executives and studio labor lawyers had expected guild negotiators to return to discuss points they had been working on earlier. Instead, the guild made additional requests - one being that a return to work by screenwriters be tied to a resolution of the actors' strike.

The actors' union, known as SAG-AFTRA, joined writers on picket lines on July 14. Its demands exceed those of the Writers Guild. Among other things, the actors want 2 percent of the total revenue generated by streaming shows, something that studios have said is a nonstarter.

Continue Reading at: The New York Times

Sept 21

'In The Fire' Trailer: Amber Heard Cares For A Disturbed Boy In The Upcoming Thriller

Amber Heard as Grace Burnham in the thriller 'In The Fire' (image courtesy Saban Films)

by Melissa Romualdi

The trailer for Amber Heard's first film release, since her and ex-husband Johnny Depp's widely-televised defamation trial, has been released.

On Wednesday, Saban Films dropped the first look at Heard in a leading role in the upcoming mystery-thriller, "In The Fire".

In the R-rated flick, the actress, 37, stars as “a doctor from New York [who] travels to a remote plantation in the 1890s to care for a disturbed boy who seems to have inexplicable abilities," as per the synopsis. "She begins treating the child, but in doing so ignites a war of science versus religion with the local priest who believes the boy is possessed by the Devil and is the reason for all the village's woes."

In a press release, Heard described the film as "a meditation on the almost supernatural powers of love told through a strong-willed and independent woman at the turn of the 20th century."

Watch the trailer here:

Continue Reading at: ET Canada

Sept 19

Keanu Reeves Told 'John Wick 4' Team 'I Want to Be Definitively Killed,' but They Didn't Listen: 'We'll Leave a 10% Little Opening' for Your Return

by Zack Sharf

"John Wick" producer Basil Iwanyk told Collider that Keanu Reeves begged the team behind the long-running action franchise to kill him off at the end of "John Wick: Chapter 4." It was par for the course for Reeves, who is so physically drained after filming each "John Wick" installment that it's tough to return for more. In this case, the producers once again did not entirely listen to their star.

"After the second, third, and fourth movie, making these films is so exhausting and it destroys Keanu, physically and emotionally," Iwanyk said. "By the end, he’s always like, 'I can't do this again,' and we agree with him. The guy is just a shell of himself because he just goes off and goes for it. He was like, 'I wanna be definitively killed at the end of this movie.'"

"We were like, 'You know, we'll leave a 10% little opening," Iwanyk teased.

"John Wick: Chapter 4" ended with John's presumable death after competing in a duel to free himself from the High Table. John gets shot in the third round of the duel and seemingly dies on the steps of the Basilica of Sacré Coeur while seeing a vision of his late wife, Helen. The film then cuts to a a final scene of Winston (Ian McShane) and the Bowery King (Laurence Fishburne) visiting John's gravestone.

In an interview with Empire magazine earlier this year, director Chad Stahelski revealed for the first time that a more concrete ending to the action tentpole was filmed and tested. In this version of the film, there was no question that John Wick survived the events of the duel.

"We had a different ending," Stahelski said. "You actually saw John Wick at the end of the movie. So it was very clear that he was still alive. The audiences we tested with absolutely preferred the ambiguous ending."

Continue Reading at: Variety

Sept 18

Butcher's Crossing: critically acclaimed Nicolas Cage western gets a trailer & release date

by Chris Bumbray

While TIFF 2023 is in the books, a selection from TIFF's 2022 edition is finally coming out over a year after its debut. Butcher's Crossing, starring Nicolas Cage as a buffalo hunter in the old west, played to good reviews (including my own), with many noting that it was much artier fare for Cage, being an adaptation of the classic novel by John Edward Williams. In the movie, a young man (Fred Hechinger) bankrolls a buffalo hunting expedition with two older guides, including the mysterious Miller (Cage), which soon becomes a journey into madness.

Directed by Gabe Polsky and co-starring Sound of Metal's Paul Raci, Tokyo Vice's Rachel Keller and Xander Berkley, Butcher's Crossing takes a dark, sombre look at the buffalo trade, which brought the animal to near extinction levels, starving the indigenous population, who relied on buffalo for food.

Butcher's Crossing is a more austere, slower-paced western than expected given the trailer, which makes it look more like Unforgiven or Tombstone. The movie is a lot more like Meek's Cutoff or Days of Heaven, although it may have been re-edited following its TIFF debut. At any rate, I thought it was a very solid movie, with a terrific performance by Cage, who looks great with his shaved head here. After years of making VOD movies, Cage seems to be on a roll, with Dream Scenario playing to raves at this year's TIFF, and putting him back in the Oscar race for the first time in years. As a hardcore fan, it's always nice to see Cage get proper credit, and Butcher's Crossing is a very decent little film.

Check out the trailer here:

Continue Reading at: Joblo.com

Sept 17

Box Office: 'Haunting in Venice' and 'Nun II' All But Tie for No. 1 as Moviegoing Slows Post-Summer

From left: Tina Fey, Michelle Yeoh, and Kenneth Branagh in a scene from "A Haunting in Venice" (image courtesy Disney / Everett Collection)

by Pamela McClintock

The case remains unsolved for now.

Kenneth Branagh's new entry A Haunting in Venice - the third installment in his Agatha Christie-inspired movie series — had hoped to top the domestic box office chart in its debut but instead has found itself in a virtual tie for No. 1 with holdover The Nun II.

Sunday estimates from New Line/Warner Bros. show the Nun sequel narrowly coming in ahead with $14.7 million, while 20th Century Studios/Disney have Haunting in Venice earning $14.5 million. When Sunday projections are this close - only $200,000 separate the two films — the industry generally considers it a tie until the final numbers come in on Monday.

This time out, Disney's marketing team made the decision to highlight the movie’s horror elements, versus only the murder mystery themes.

"Sunday estimates are estimates for a reason, and whenever two films are in this close of proximity, it becomes more a matter of semantics as to whether to call it a tie or a tight race," says Comscore chief box office analyst Paul Dergarabedian. "Either way, the horror genre has become de rigueur with studios and, hopefully, that trend will continue with audiences as still many more scary movies are set to arrive on the big screen in the coming weeks."

Horror offering The Nun II, which fell 55 percent in its second outing, has grossed an estimated $56.5 million domestically in its first 10 days. Overseas, it earned another $30.1 million from 72 markets to jump the $100 million mark internationally for a global total of $158.8 million. In like-for-like foreign markets, the movie is pacing ahead of all other titles in the The Conjuring universe behind The Nun.

While A Haunting in Venice opened in line with expectations, it's still a muted start for the film, which will need strong legs to come out ahead. Similar to other recent movies with a buzzy cast, the threequel had to make its final publicity push without the help of its stars because of the ongoing actors strike. One plus: plenty of younger adults - who are the most avid moviegoers - made up the majority of the audience. The big negative: older moviegoers, the franchise's traditional target demo, didn't show up in the numbers hoped for.

Elsewhere in the top 10, Sony's The Equalizer 3 came in third with $7.1 million for a domestic tally of $73.7 through its third Sunday and $132.4 million worldwide.

Focus Features' My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3 continued to lag, falling 53 percent in its second weekend to $4.7 million for a domestic total of $18.6 million.

Overall, moviegoing is slowing down after the summer rush. One fun tidbit: Greta Gerwig's record-smashing July blockbuster Barbie remained in the top 5 domestically with $3.4 million in its ninth weekend. Globally, it has now earned a staggering $1.41 billion.

And Christopher Nolan's Oppenheimer celebrated another milestone in becoming the top-grossing biopic ever at the global box office after passing up Bohemian Rhapsody this weekend. The Universal movie’s estimated worldwide haul through Sunday is $912.7 million.

Continue Reading at: The Hollywood Reporter

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