A Moment In History

The History of Film
Part 1 - Humble Beginnings

Film, or Moving Pictures, had very humble beginnings. Although in this day and age you wouldn't know it. Film, Cinema, Motion Pictures, whatever title you give it, it is one of the most important communication and entertainment tools of today's society, influencing all walks of life.

How did something so influential begin?

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Live From Hollywood...

Oct 17

You'll Never Guess What They're Calling the Han Solo Star Wars Spin-Off

by Yohana Desta

Actually, you probably will.

The day has finally arrived: as of now, Lucasfilm has decided that the people can be permitted to learn the hallowed, official title of the upcoming Han Solo origin story. No longer will we refer to the film as "The Han Solo Movie," "The Solo Spin-Off," or "Smuggler Boy in Space" - finally, it has a name, a real name, one that encapsulates the galactic joy this prequel is bound to give millions of fans across the universe.

Are you ready? The movie is officially titled . . . Solo: A Star Wars Story.

Director Ron Howard announced as much on Tuesday, in a short video he posted on Twitter. After revealing that the film is almost done, Howard reflected on his journey with Solo, thanking fans for tuning in to his behind-the-scenes glimpses.

"I hope you've enjoyed the pictures that I've been sharing, pictures that I've taken from the set of - can we even say the name of the movie?" Howard then asked someone off screen. After that, a pair of Wookie arms floated forth, passing Howard a poster with the official title, typed up in classic Star Wars font. And there you have it!

Continue Reading at: Vanity Fair

Oct 17

Back from the dead: is the slasher movie set to make a killing?

by Benjamin Lee

Vampire in Brooklyn, Thinner, The Dentist, Leprechaun 3 ... the horror genre in the mid-90s was terrifying for all the wrong reasons. It was barely even a thing, at least outside of the very bottom shelf of Blockbuster, a place where kids would awkwardly hover before begging parents to let them watch some film about an evil laundry-folding machine.

But then Wes Craven, whose career had wound up in an equally dread-filled place, made Scream, a slasher film that had the balls to kill its biggest star in the opening scene while ridiculing the very genre it was trying to resurrect. It was a phenomenon, both at the box office and with critics, yet 21 years later, masked killers have been replaced with evil clowns, evil dolls and evil racists. Scream brought back the horror genre, yet ultimately killed the slasher film once again.

Last weekend, though, represented something of a last-minute gotcha moment, the bogeyman knifing his way back to life with the shock success of the high-concept slasher Happy Death Day. Box office pundits jumped out of their seats when the star-free, $4.8m budget film made $26.5m in its debut, only $5m less than Blade Runner 2049 the weekend before, a big star sequel that carried a $150m price tag.

Happy Death Day boasted a juicy premise, crudely described as Groundhog Day meets Scream (a college student is stuck in a time-loop that sees her murdered again and again), and arrived in a year that's seen horror films rise to the top of the box office (It, Get Out, Split and Annabelle: Creation are all bona fide smashes). But it still posed something of a risk. A slasher film hasnít made any real money since Texas Chainsaw 3D in 2013, and even then, it was hardly a seat-filler, with a final gross just $7m more than Happy Death Day's opening weekend; plus, it benefited from brand awareness (something that's died down enough to mean the latest chapter, Leatherface, has premiered on DirecTV). It also arrived after a number of major flops, including 2009's Sorority Row, 2010's My Soul to Take and 2011's Scream 4.

The well-trodden formula of pretty young things being ripped apart by a seemingly unstoppable madman gradually became irrelevant even as the horror genre continued to make a profit. But why?

Click the Continue Reading at link to read the rest of this interesting article on the state of horror movies.

Continue Reading at: The Guardian

Oct 16

Weekend Box Office: 'Happy Death Day' No. 1 With $26.5M, Another Win for Horror

Jessica Rothe in a scene from new release "Happy Death Day" (image courtesy Universal Pictures)
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by Pamela McClintock

Getting an early jump on Halloween, Universal and Blumhouse's Happy Death Day opened over the weekend to a strong $26.5 million from 3,149 theaters in another win for the horror genre.

The microbudgeted pic, directed by Christopher Landon and rated PG-13, stars Jessica Rothe as a college student who relives the day of her murder over and over until she discovers her killer's identity. Happy Death Day cost a mere $5 million to produce, and follows the success of Universal and Blumhouse's other 2017 titles, Get Out and Split.

Happy Death Day skewed female (54 percent), while young moviegoers turned out in droves to see the horror-thriller. More than 65 percent of ticket buyers were under the age of 25. Overseas, the movie opened to $5 million from its first 11 markets for a global bow of $31.5 million.

In North America, Happy Death Day easily trounced holdover Blade Runner 2049, which declined 54 percent to $15.1 million in its second weekend for an early domestic cume of $60.6 million. The Alcon Entertainment, Sony and Warner Bros. movie cost a net $150 million to produce, so it has a long way to before landing in the black.

Overseas, Blade Runner 2049 took in another $29.3 million for a foreign tally of $98 million and a global cume of $158.6 million to date. If Sunday estimates are correct, it narrowly lost the foreign box-office crown to Chinese hit Never Say Die, which grossed $30 million in China for a total $278 million. Blade Runner 2049 doesn't open in China and Japan until Oct. 27, although it debuted to a soft $1.7 million in South Korea over the weekend. (By way of comparison, recent Hollywood event pic Kingsman: The Golden Circle debuted to nearly $17 million in South Korea.)

STXfilms' action-thriller The Foreigner placed No. 3 domestically with $12.8 million from 2,515 theaters. That's a solid start for a film that cost a reported $35 million to make and has already earned more than $88 million internationally. (The U.S.-China co-production is set to open in China on Friday.)

Continue Reading at: The Hollywood Reporter

Oct 14

Harvey Weinstein ousted from film academy

Disgraced film producer Harvey Weinstein (image courtesy AFP / Getty)
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by Zulekha Nathoo

Harvey Weinstein has been kicked out of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences following an emergency board meeting in Los Angeles on Saturday.

The disgraced mogul, who was fired a week ago from the namesake company he co-founded following sexual harassment and assault allegations dating back decades, has been expelled from the academy and stripped of his voting rights.

"We do so not simply to separate ourselves from someone who does not merit the respect of his colleagues, but also to send a message that the era of wilful ignorance and shameful complicity in sexually predatory behaviour and workplace harassment in our industry is over," said a statement Saturday from the academy.

Weinstein still holds an Oscar as a producer for the 1999 best-picture winner Shakespeare in Love.

Continue Reading at: CBC

Oct 12

Jessica Chastain defends Matt Damon amid Weinstein scandal: 'He's a really good guy'

by Maureen Lee Lenker

Jessica Chastain has not pulled any punches when it comes to the onslaught of sexual abuse allegations surrounding Harvey Weinstein. Now she's stepping up to defend Matt Damon, who has found himself under fire over a report suggesting he helped kill a story in 2004 about the Hollywood mogul's alleged misconduct.

Chastain on Tuesday retweeted her onetime costar's remarks on the situation from a Deadline Hollywood report and added, "I believe that Matt was manipulated. I've spent time with him on The Martian and he's a really good guy."

On Monday, Chastain had acknowledged in a tweet that she'd been privy to rumors about Weinstein in the past. "I was warned from the beginning," she wrote. "The stories were everywhere. To deny that is to create an environment for it to happen again." Since then, the actress has continued to retweet further stories and reports, standing in support of Weinstein's accusers.

Over the weekend, The Wrap founder Sharon Waxman wrote that she investigated rumors of Weinstein's alleged sexual misconduct for a New York Times story in 2004 but saw her story "gutted" due to heavy pressure from Weinstein, including phone calls from Matt Damon and Russell Crowe vouching for him and others in the company. (The Times disputed Waxman's account.)

Continue Reading at: Entertainment Weekly

Oct 10

Final 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' trailer released

by The Associated Press

The trailer for "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" debuted in dramatic fashion during Monday Night Football halftime. Fireworks flashed and Stormtroopers marched onto Chicago's Soldier Field as the preview played onscreen.

It featured new and familiar characters from the Star Wars universe. The clip opens with voiceover from Adam Driver's Kylo Ren saying, "When I found you, I saw raw, untamed power -- and beyond that, something truly special." Then Rey (Daisy Ridley) is shown wielding her light saber and questioning her destiny as Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) observes, "I've seen this raw strength only once before. It didn't scare me enough then. It does now."

John Boyega, Oscar Isaac and Carrie Fisher also appear in the trailer, as does Chewbacca and a new bird-like creature known as a Porg.

See the trailer here:

Continue Reading at: CTV

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