A Moment In History

Cut Down In Their Prime

We have all heard the news when one of our favourite actors suddenly and unexpectedly dies, often due to substance abuse, and we are struck by the tragedy and waste of a great light. This article takes a look at some of these events in the movie business.

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Dec 9

First ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ trailer bounds with strong new promise for the Sony franchise

By David Betancourt

Sony is aiming to make Spidey movies great again.

Fortunately, Sony - having stumbled with its second Andrew Garfield outing - now has Marvel Studios on its side. Which for promotional purposes also means having mighty Disney (parent of ABC and Marvel) on its side, as the first full trailer for next summer's "Spider-Man: Homecoming" debuted Thursday night on the network's "Jimmy Kimmel Show."

More important creatively, though, Marvel's knowing touch is evident throughout the two-minute-plus sneak peek - from Spider-Man's modern yet Steve Ditko-inspired suit (those smaller white lenses on the mask and the web wings are retro-stylish) to the presence of Marvel Studios's biggest star, Robert Downey Jr., as Tony Stark/Iron Man. Here, Stark continues his mentorship of Tom Holland's Peter Parker (as introduced in May's "Captain America: Civil War"), which means that "Homecoming," gratefully, won't be another origin story.

We do see Peter going through growing pains, as he balances the pressure of his secret superhero life with his humdrum high-school existence.

The trailer ends with Iron Man and Spider-Man flying/web-slinging in midair, so we can presume they'll be taking on bad guys together - giving the movie a Marvel team-up feel.

Continue Reading at: The Washington Post

Dec 8

The Lifeguards Are Back! Watch Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron Save Lives in the First Baywatch Trailer

By Jodi Guglielmi

It's the moment we've all been waiting for – the first official Baywatch trailer is finally here!

After months of clues, teasers and behind-the-scene photos, the first trailer for the highly anticipated film has finally arrived - and from crisp tans and tight swimsuits to slow-motion running and witty banter, it has everything fans could hope for and more.

In the trailer, head lifeguard Mitch Buchannon (Dwayne Johnson) butts heads with his new, cocky recruit Matt Brody (Zac Efron), a gold-medal swimmer who is brought on to help "restore the Baywatch brand."

See the trailer here:

Continue Reading at: People

Dec 7

Happy Birthday, Kirk Douglas: A Hollywood legend turning 100

Kirk Douglas poses for a portrait in Beverly Hills, Calif., on Dec. 5, 2014 (image courtesy Matt Sayles / Invision / AP)

by AFP

This Friday, December 9, the American actor will celebrate his 100th birthday. One of the last survivors of Hollywood's golden age, Kirk Douglas was a pioneer of the increasingly prevalent trend for actor-producers.

In the course of a 70-year career in moving pictures, Kirk Douglas became a Hollywood legend. The actor, who was remarked for his distinctive dimpled chin, has played in a vast variety of films (epics, comedies, thrillers, westerns, adventure films), shot by the most prestigious directors of his day. John Huston, Billy Wilder, Vincente Minnelli, Elia Kazan, Howard Hawks, Stanley Kubrick and Brian de Palma all had the privilege of working with him in one or more of their films.

Between 1946 and 2008, he featured in close to 100 films, some of which have become classics of American cinema: notably "Spartacus", "Lust for Life", "Gunfight at the O.K. Corral", "Paths of Glory" and "The Final Countdown." However, in spite of his popularity, Kirk Douglas was never awarded an Oscar, although he was nominated on three occasions: for his role in "Champion" in 1950, "The Bad and the Beautiful" in 1952, and for his performance in the role of painter Vincent Van Gogh in “Lust for Life” in 1957. In 1996, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences finally made up for this oversight by awarding him a lifetime achievement honorary Oscar in recognition of his 50-year career in Hollywood.

Continue Reading at: CTV News

Dec 6

In the first Transformers: The Last Knight trailer, Optimus Prime goes rogue

by Kwame Opam

Whether you want it or not, the next Transformers movie, Transformers: The Last Knight, is well on its way, and we just got our first trailer. Here, Sir Anthony Hopkins, now free from his duties on Westworld, introduces us to the idea that the race of sentient robots has been coming to Earth for centuries. Now, both the Transformers and humans are at war - and Optimus Prime might be on the wrong side. (Poor Bumblebee!)

The fifth Transformers movie stars Mark Wahlberg, reprising his role as Cade Yaeger from the previous film, Age of Extinction (otherwise known as "The One With the Dinobots"). What's most interesting about this effort (other than that three-headed dragon) is that it's the first effort since Paramount announced plans to build a whole universe of Transformers sequels and spinoffs. This will be the last film in the franchise directed by Michael Bay, but there's the Bumblebee solo movie and the next Transformers movie coming in 2018 and 2019, respectively. But if we're really going all in on a Transformers universe, we need a Beast Wars movie. Just saying. Transformers: The Last Knight hits theaters on June 23rd, 2017.

Continue Reading at: The Verge

Dec 5

The Mummy director Alex Kurtzman on making a modern-day monster movie

by Darren Franich

As a screenwriter, Alex Kurtzman has worked on some of the biggest franchises of the last decade. And now, as a director, Kurtzman is taking the reins of one of Hollywood's most famous film sagas. The first Mummy film hit theaters 84 years ago, at the dawn of the sound era. On June 9, The Mummy will enter the modern era, with the release of a new film starring Tom Cruise and featuring Star Trek Beyond actress Sofia Boutella as the first female to assume the titular undead role. It's a stark change from the period-piece action-adventure of the Brendan Fraser Mummy trilogy. And the new film also marks Universal's first step toward a Cinematic Universe featuring on their stock of iconic movie monsters.

Before the first trailer for The Mummy arrived this weekend, Kurtzman showed a group of journalists the teaser and some extended clips from the film, which featured a more in-depth look at Russell Crowe's role as Henry Jekyll – who in this incarnation is an enigmatic scientist operating out of a mysterious place called Prodigium. EW sat down with Kurtzman to talk about the tone of his reboot, the crucial importance of the female Mummy, and what it was like to film a fight scene between Tom Cruise and Russell Crowe.

Watch the trailer here and then click the Continue Reading at link below to read the interview with director Alex Kurtzman.

Continue Reading at: Entertainment Weekly

Dec 4

Box Office: 'Moana' Sails to No. 1 for Second Weekend With $28.4 Million

by Rebecca Ford

Disney's Moana easily topped the domestic box office for its second week in a row, with a catch of $28.4 million.

On a traditionally sleepy weekend between major holidays, the Disney animated film did strong business, dropping just 50 percent from its opening weekend. That's even better than Disney's record-breaking animated hit, Frozen, which dropped 53 percent in its second week after Thanksgiving in 2013.

Moana has earned $119.9 million domestically and $177.4 million globally. Overseas, the film launched in five new markets (France, Spain, the U.K., Russia and Mexico) to join China, where it bowed last weekend. China posted an estimated $5.5 million for the weekend (a drop-off of just 55 percent) for a cume of $21.3 million in the country.

Warner Bros.' Harry Potter spinoff Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them earned $18.5 million this week to land at No. 2. The Eddie Redmayne-starring pic, with a domestically tally of $183.5 million, dropped just 59 percent in its third week.

Fantastic Beasts was the No. 1 film internationally for the third week in a row, earning $60.4 million in an estimated 67 foreign markets and bringing its tally abroad to $424.4 million. It has earned north of $600 million worldwide to date.

Another holdover doing strong business is Paramount's sci-fi film Arrival. In its fourth week, it pulled in $7.3 million, to edge out Paramount's other film Allied for the No. 3 spot. Arrival, benefiting from positive reviews and strong word of mouth, has earned $73 million domestically to date.

Continue Reading at: The Hollywood Reporter

Dec 4

Baby Groot the star of 'Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2' trailer

While Chris Pratt will undeniably be the star of the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, it's Baby Groot that takes centre stage in the new teaser trailer for the film.

Released Saturday, the trailer starts with a visual of a giant space octopus-like creature with a fangy serpentine mouth screaming as we hear Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper) say in voiceover, "the fate of the universe lies on your shoulders."

As he continues to speak and other images flash by, such as Drax (Dave Bautista) attacks the space octoserpent, it becomes clear Rocket is explaining to a now Baby Groot (Vin Diesel) how to operate a bomb.

"Now whatever you do," Rocket says. "Don't press this button. Because that will set off the bomb immediately and we will all be dead."

Baby Groot looks a little worried. When asked to repeat back what he was told, he points at the button he was told not to press and says with confidence his familiar "I am Groot."

"No, that's the button that will kill everyone!"

Watch it all here:

Continue Reading at: Toronto Sun

Dec 2

Female-Driven Spin-Off to Be Written by a Man

by Yohana Desta

Despite previous reports that an upcoming, female-led spin-off of 21 Jump Street would be penned by Broad City writers, it appears the film is going down a different path. Instead, the movie will be written, and possibly directed, by Rodney Rothman, the writer behind sequel 22 Jump Street, according to Deadline. Or, as Vulture so aptly points out, another Hollywood franchise is being handed over to a man - even though it's one with a pointedly all-female twist.

Earlier reports indicated that Broad City writers Lucia Aniello and Paul Downs (the latter of whom also co-stars in the Comedy Central series) were on board to pen the spin-off, a variation on the hit Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill cop comedy series. It would have been a fitting match; Broad City is a celebrated, female-centric show that does especially well with young audiences, the same viewers who likely doled out the money that made 21 Jump Street a surprising critical and commercial success. However, Rothman has been involved in the Jump Street universe before, so it also makes sense for him to continue working on the franchise. Sony has not yet responded to Vanity Fair's request for comment.

Of course, this would be much less newsworthy if there were any sort of parity in the industry for female screenwriters, let alone directors. A recent report from the U.S.C. Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism analyzed over 100 of the top films released in 2014 - and found that only about 11 percent of them were written by women. The disparity exists even before movies get made: female screenwriters accounted for just 17 percent of the scripts that appeared on the 2015 Black List, an annual rundown of the best unproduced scripts as chosen by Hollywood insiders.

Continue Reading at: Vanity Fair

Dec 1

Box Office: 'Fantastic Beasts' Crosses $500 Million Mark Worldwide

'Newt Scamander' (played by Eddie Redmayne) and his friend in a scene from 'Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them' (image courtesy Warner Bros.)

by Gregg Kilday

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Warner Bros.' new foray into the wizarding world of J.K. Rowling, crossed the $500 million mark at the worldwide box office on Tuesday, it was announced Wednesday by Sue Kroll, the studio’s president of worldwide marketing and distribution.

The film, which bowed Nov. 18 in the U.S., opened atop the domestic box office with a $74.4 million first weekend, and it held onto second place in its second weekend, with its three-day haul dropping by just 39.4 percent to $45.1 million. To date, Fantastic Beasts has taken in $161 million domestically.

Internationally, the fantasy film, starring Eddie Redmayne and directed by David Yates, has collected $344 million. It debuted this past weekend in China, where it grossed $41.1 million, beating out Disney's Moana for the top spot in that territory. In the markets where it was playing in its second weekend, it logged a 46 percent drop.

As of Tuesday, after its first two weekends of release, Fantastic Beasts' global box-office tally stood at $505 million.

Continue Reading at: The Hollywood Reporter

Nov 30

Netflix lets users download videos for offline viewing

by Samuel Gibbs

Netflix has begun rolling out the ability to download videos from its streaming service to smartphones and tablets for offline viewing.

Offline viewing is arguably the most demanded feature by users, and one of the things that differentiated other services including Amazon's Instant Video streaming video service and pay TV services such as Sky and Virgin.

Eddy Wu, Netflix director of product innovation, said: "While many members enjoy watching Netflix at home, we've often heard they also want to continue their Stranger Things binge while on airplanes and other places where internet is expensive or limited."

The feature is available from today on Android and iOS devices, and includes "many" TV series and movies, including Netflix’s original content such as Orange is The New Black, Narcos and the recently released The Crown. The company says that more will be made available soon.

Continue Reading at: The Guardian

Nov 28

'Unlike anything I've ever seen': Filmmakers create documentary of a documentary

by Jon Hernandez

A new film explores the trials, hardships and endless problem solving required in documentary filmmaking - by putting the entire process itself under the lens.

Academy Award-winning Vancouver-based documentary filmmaker John Zaritsky is in front of the camera for the first time in John Zaritsky on TV, a film that follows him as he takes on his latest project, chronicling survivors of the controversial pharmaceutical thalidomide.

The film, co-directed and co-produced by Michael Savoie and Jennifer diCresce, candidly follows Vancouver's Zaritsky as he embarks on what he believes is his tour de force. It is an official selection for the 2016 Whistler Film Festival.

"I was uncertain about it," Savoie told host Sheryl MacKay on CBC's North by Northwest. "But the film is unlike anything I've ever seen about the filmmaking process. It's not the kind of film that gets tacked onto the end of a DVD ... this is really getting into the head of a fellow on the top of his game."

Continue Reading at: CBC

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