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James Cameron Is Finally Ready to Revisit the ‘Terminator’ Franchise
According to Deadline, Cameron is crafting a new “Terminator” project and is in early talks to have “Deadpool” helmer Tim Miller direct a reboot and “conclusion of one of cinema’s great science fiction tales.” David Ellison, whose company co-financed “Terminator Genisys” and is the current rights holder, will also be involved by bankrolling the effort.
It is unknown if Cameron will reboot the whole franchise or pick up where he left off. Though, he will team up with “top-flight science fiction authors to find the movie creatively.”
- Liz Calvario
Ewan McGregor Replacing Charlie Hunnam In Drake Doremus-Directed ‘Zoe’
Exclusive: Ewan McGregor has just been set to star with Léa Seydoux in Zoe, the next film that Drake Doremus will direct. He will replace Charlie Hunnam, who has dropped out for scheduling issues. This has just happened, and it occurred while Doremus is getting ready for the Sunday Sundance premiere of the acquisition title Newness, the film that stars Nicholas Hoult, Laia Costa and Danny Huston. Zoe, which is being financed by Stuart Ford's Im Global, is scheduled to… »
PETA Blasts ‘A Dog’s Purpose’ Writer, Who Responded to Outrage by Saying ‘No Animals Were Harmed’
Cameron, in a statement issued Friday, said the commentary accompanying TMZ’s leaked video of a German Shepard had mischaracterized the incident. He also questioned the motives of those who shot and edited the video for waiting 15 months to do anything about it, instead of immediately going to the authorities.
“A Dog’s Purpose” opens Jan. 27. PETA called for a boycott on Wednesday, resulting in Universal and Amblin Entertainment calling off the movie’s Jan. 21 premiere. On Saturday, the group issued a blistering attack on Cameron.
“It takes a cold heart not to find this footage disturbing, so PETA asks whether ‘A Dog’s Purpose’ was written from the heart or just to make a buck, »
- Dave McNary
‘Split’ Psyches Out ‘xXx: Return of Xander Cage,’ Heads to $34 Million Debut
Universal’s “Split” took in $14.6 million at the Friday box office, twice as much as “xXx: Return of Xander Cage” did. Heading into the weekend, experts had thought “Split” and Vin Diesel’s “xXx” would battle it out, with both having been anticipated to earn in the high-teens to low-$20 million range. But the M. Night Shyamalan film is over performing — now, the film is looking at a weekend gross of $34 million. “Split” stars James McAvoy and was produced by Blumhouse for a reported budget of under $10 million. The film premiered at Fantastic Fest on Sept. 26 of last year. “Split” is being critically. »
- Beatrice Verhoeven
For Killer Films, Sundance Is Like Planning a Snow-Covered Wedding
The organizing starts around Thanksgiving and doesn’t let up through the New Year. For Christine Vachon and Pamela Koffler, the co-founding producers of the indie powerhouse Killer Films, the Sundance Film Festival is an annual trek through the snow that dates back three decades. The duo have sold 25 films here, from the 1995 Todd Haynes drama “Safe” starring Julianne Moore to 2002’s “One Hour Photo,” featuring an eerie turn from Robin Williams.
To listen to them reminisce about their memories from past visits to Park City is to step into a time capsule. “I definitely have the nostalgia stories of bringing physical cans of film,” says Koffler. “My hands were cold and the metal was cold as I put it on the luggage belt. It was a physical experience that has disappeared.”
This year, Killer Films came to Sundance with four more titles that capture the New York-based production company »
- Ramin Setoodeh
Sundance: Netflix Takes 'Chasing Coral' Doc About the World's Coral Reefs
The film, a follow-up to Orlowski’s 2012 doc Chasing Ice, which looked at the melting ice caps, was produced by Orlowski and Larissa Rhodes. Chasing Coral, an Exposure Labs production, is having its world premiere at the festival Saturday.
Chasing Coral follows a team racing against the clock to document the »
- Gregg Kilday
France's Lumiere Awards Nominations Unveiled
Paul Verhoeven’s Elle, Albert Serra’s The Death of Louis XIV, Alain Guiraudie’s Staying Vertical and Stephane Brize’s surprise Louis Delluc Prize-winner A Woman’s Life lead this year’s Lumiere nominations with four nominations each in the main categories.
All are in the running for best film and best director, with additional mentions in the acting categories.
Stephanie di Giusto’s The Dancer also scored four nominations in various acting and cinematography categories as well as a best first film nom, while Bertrand Bonello’s terrorism drama Nocturama and Lea Fehner’s acting troupe comedy Les Ogres scored three each.
Divines, which was »
- Rhonda Richford
Dee Rees’ Epic ‘Mudbound’ Powerfully Depicts Post WWII Racism In The Deep South [Review]
Park City – There is a moment toward the end of Dee Rees’ “Mudbound” that caused the audience attending its world premiere at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival Saturday night to gasp out loud. The film, based on Hillary Jordan’s 2008 novel, has been brutally honest in its depiction of race relations in Mississippi after the end of WWII up to this point, but this visceral incident feels heart-crushingly real.
- Gregory Ellwood
Sundance Film Review: ‘Wind River’
Not every great screenwriter has what it takes to step behind the camera and direct a movie (most of them, in fact, probably don’t have it). Yet every once in a while, a gifted screenwriter comes along who seems destined to take that leap. There was a lot of anticipation at Sundance before the premiere showing of “Wind River,” the first movie directed by Taylor Sheridan, who wrote the brilliant screenplays for “Hell or High Water” (2016) and “Sicario” (2015). I suspect that’s because Sheridan thinks like a director even in his scripts, which don’t just have crackling dialogue — they have pace, structure, dimension. (That, of course, is what all screenplays are supposed to have, but how many of them do?) Sheridan also possesses a fully scaled vision of our society, and of what’s gone wrong in it. He’s drawn to men of violence on both sides of the law, »
- Owen Gleiberman
Jackie review – a symphony of grief at the White House
In its 6 December 1963 issue, Life magazine published “An Epilogue” for John F Kennedy which enshrined an idea that would come to define his legacy. Citing the Lerner and Loewe musical beloved by her husband, Jackie Kennedy told reporter Theodore H White: “There’ll be great presidents again… but there’ll never be another Camelot.” It was an idea that stuck, effectively immortalising JFK’s all-too-brief tenure in the White House as a lost golden age. “Don’t let it be forgot,” Jackie kept repeating, “that there once was a spot, for one brief shining moment that was known as Camelot.”
- Mark Kermode Observer film critic
‘Mudbound’ Review: Dee Rees Enters the Big Leagues With Sweeping Period Epic — Sundance 2017
Six years have passed since director Dee Rees’ taut Brooklyn coming-of-age drama “Pariah,” and she’s been long overdue for tackling more ambitious material. As if making up for lost time, Rees returns at last by delivering a sweeping period epic that operates on a far grander level.
With “Mudbound,” a dynamic post-wwii tale of racial tension and squandered opportunities in the deep south, Rees juggles a complex ensemble and heavy material with the confidence of a veteran storyteller. While not every aspect of this massive tapestry justifies its place in the 132-minute running time, Rees nevertheless delivers a complex look at social boundaries and the fragile efforts to correct the prejudices that define them.
Based on Hillary Jordan’s 2008 novel (which draws from her own troubled family history), “Mudbound” explores its setting with an epic sweep. It’s a somber portrait of two families, one black and the other white, »
- Eric Kohn
SAG-aftra National Board Approves Contract Proposal
SAG-aftra has taken a step toward the negotiating table, with its national board approving its contract proposal for a successor deal with the production companies.
The performers union, which reps about 160,000 members, did not disclose any details of the package or a date for starting negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. The AMPTP had no immediate comment.
The current three-year SAG-aftra master contract expires on June 30 and covers well over $1 billion in annual earnings.
Saturday’s announcement came three weeks after the Directors Guild of America board endorsed a tentative deal on a three-year successor contract and sent that out to members for ratification. That deal, which included a major gain in streaming residuals, will go into effect on July 1 if approved.
The AMPTP is expected to propose provisions similar to those in the DGA deal when it sits down at the bargaining taken with SAG-aftra. »
- Dave McNary
Former AFTRA Retirement Fund Exec Arrested for $3.4 Million Scam
A former executive at the AFTRA Retirement Fund and a business vendor have been arrested and charged with two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud in connection with allegedly stealing $3.4 million from the fund
Enrico Rubano, who worked as the co-head of information technology for the AFTRA Retirement Fund, and vendor Shivanand Maharaj, were arrested on Friday. The fund provides retirement benefits and is a separate legal entity from the SAG-aftra union.
The U.S. Dept. of Justice alleged that Rubano and Maharaj allegedly used companies they owned or controlled to submit invoices to the AFTRA Retirement Fund for information technology services that they did not perform. The scam resulted in Rubano and Maharaj taking about $3.4 million from the scheme from 2009 to 2015.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said Rubano “allegedly had the fund make payments based on hundreds of fake invoices to [Maharaj’s] company, not for It work actually done by that company, »
- Dave McNary
Sundance Film Review: ‘Step’
Documentaries aren’t often discussed in terms of their ability to entertain, but “Step” might be the most infectiously entertaining doc since Chris Rock’s “Good Hair.” This ebullient chronicle of a Baltimore girls step team’s senior year matches a fascinating, worthy subject with unabashedly joyful filmmaking. It’s a crowdpleasing winner from Broadway producer and first-time feature helmer Amanda Lipitz that has what it takes to appeal across generations and emerge as one of the year’s prime doc attractions.
Call it “Hoop Dreams” for the social media generation. At a breezy 83 minutes, “Step” isn’t going for a deep dive into every aspect of its subjects’ lives, but it weaves multiple narrative strands together in a flashy package that opens a very specific window into life in 2016 America. Given where we’re at, it’s not an overstatement to say what’s revealed is essential viewing.
- Geoff Berkshire
Lion review – India's wandering star
There’s something unbearably potent about the image of a tiny, fragile child alone in a vast empty space. The audience fills the frame with dangers of our own making, crowding in on the little lost figure at the centre of the shot. From the moment director Garth Davis places his camera high above a desolate railway station to capture five-year-old Saroo (the remarkable Sunny Pawar), vulnerable and separated from his older brother, we are emotionally snared by this story.
Davis, a first-time feature director with a background in commercials and television (Top of the Lake), delivers a confident debut. This adaptation of the true story of Saroo Brierley – lost as a child and adopted by an Australian couple, he retraced his Indian family »
- Wendy Ide
GoodFellas review – one of Scorsese’s finest
This rerelease of the gangster classic finds the director at the top of his game
For its swaggering energy, the heart-in-your-throat pacing and for some of the most memorable, most imitated scenes in mafia movie history, this must rank as one of Scorsese’s finest films, if not the best. It’s the work of a director at the top of his game but not – yet – in thrall to his own mythology. GoodFellas receives a rerelease as part of the Scorsese season curated by the BFI Southbank.
Continue reading »
- Wendy Ide
xXx: Return of Xander Cage review – yet more silly stunts
Vin Diesel braves some of the worst lines ever on his return to the preposterous series
There was always something a little off about the premise of the xXx films. It posits that, when facing global calamity, rather than a group of highly trained professionals like, say, Navy Seals, we would be better served by placing our trust in extreme sports enthusiasts. Those guys who take selfies while dangling off skyscrapers by a toenail and a tattoo? They are, in fact, the saviours of the world.
Of course, credibility was never the point of this series that, buoyed by the dogged endurance of B-movie franchises such as The Fast and the Furious and The Expendables, returns to our screens 12 years after the last instalment and 15 since the last appearance of muscle-bound skateboarding ladies’ man Xander Cage (Vin Diesel). The point of the xXx movies has always been their preposterous stunt »
- Wendy Ide
Under the Shadow; Blair Witch; The Magnificent Seven and more – review
Babak Anvari’s Tehran terror is the star attraction in a week marked by so-so sequels and Sundance sundries
Its Netflix premiere may have beaten its DVD release by a couple of weeks, but now that Under the Shadow (Signature, 15) is available in either format, you have no excuse not to catch it. Pristinely controlled and darkly suggestive, Bafta-nominated neophyte Babak Anvari’s slow creep of a horror film eschews frantic scares. Rather, it gradually drains air and heat from the room until paralysing panic sets in. Set in post-revolutionary 1980s Tehran, it tightly circles a mother and daughter tormented by an unknown, insidious domestic presence; the political allusions are at once heady, astutely unforced and wholly frightening.
Continue reading »
- Guy Lodge
Close Relations review – illuminating but flawed documentary
Are the director’s own family the most reliable guides to the fallout from the uprising in Ukraine?
Acclaimed Russian documentarian Vitaly Mansky turns his lens on his own family to explore the fallout from Ukraine’s Maidan uprising. Although he was born in Lviv, Ukraine, Mansky moved to Moscow and considers himself Russian. However, his family, scattered around a fractured Ukraine, find themselves divided in national loyalty. Although this very personal approach is illuminating, it has its limitations. Appraisals of Ukrainian politics from vodka-sodden uncles might not be as reliable as an interview with an analyst or academic. Still, Mansky’s eye for detail is peerless.
Continue reading »
- Wendy Ide
Split review – M Night Shyamalan’s meeting of minds
James McAvoy possesses multiple personalities in an ambitious supernatural thriller that could nonetheless do with a few scares
I’m in two minds about M Night Shyamalan’s multiple personality thriller. On the one hand, thanks to James McAvoy’s agility juggling the many people who inhabit the head of Kevin Wendell Crumb, it marks a definite return to form for Shyamalan. On the other, as with so many of the convoluted high concepts that he grapples with, there’s a laboured quality to the storytelling, as if the screenplay is always running to catch up with the ambition of the conceit.
Although there is less of the visceral brutality of Alexandre Aja’s Switchblade Romance, there is something of that film’s oppressive threat here. The three girls kidnapped by two of Kevin’s renegade personalities are imprisoned in a set designer’s dream job – a network of subterranean »
- Wendy Ide
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