Hammond On Cannes: Wet Fest’s Official Competition Finally Heats Up With Coen Brothers’ ‘Inside Llewyn Davis’0May 19th, 2013Latest Movies
The first purely American entry in the 2013 Cannes Film Festival competition (opening nighter The Great Gatsby was Out of Competition), Joel Coen and Ethan Coen‘s terrific Inside Llewyn Davis had its first press screening Saturday night to strong response and big buzz on the very rainy Croisette. This tale of a talented folk singer unable to balance art and commerce, and who never quite hits the big time in the late 50′s/early 60′s emerging folk scene, is pure Coen Brothers with a winning mixture of brilliantly observed comedy and darker moments that give it an edge most reminiscent of Coen movies like Barton Fink, which won the Palme d’Or on their first try at Cannes in 1991. Joel Coen also took the Director award that year and again for The Man Who Wasn’t There (2001) among the seven previous times they have been in the Cannes competition. 1994′s The Hudsucker Proxy, 1996′s Fargo, 2000′s O Brother Where Art Thou, 2004′s The Ladykillers and 2007′s No Country For Old Men represent their other numerous chances to reap a second Palme d’Or since Barton Fink but none of them did the trick.
Judging from initial reaction, at least among the press, Inside Llewyn Davis probably makes them an early front-runner for that second Palme. We say early since the film doesn’t have its official black tie premiere at the Palais until Sunday night, only the fourth day of the competition. But with its superb acting including leading man Oscar Isaac, as the morose but oddly engaging Llewyn and a great supporting cast including Carey Mulligan, John Goodman (just great), Justin Timberlake, Stark Sands and a scene stealing cat (or cats? – you’ll see) among others, plus the Coens’ knack for catching this era in all its glory, I suspect this will remain a contender for the entire week of debuts to come. The musical score, supervised by T.Bone Burnett is also truly exceptional, perfectly capturing the period just as O Brother also did. One quibble is the full screen appearance of a movie poster for Disney’s 1963 The Incredible Journey near the end of the film. That would be fine but purists may quibble since Llewyn Davis is supposed to be set in 1961. That error aside, the Coens have clearly hit it out the park again and Cannes, which keeps bringing them back for more, has to be happy they are regular visitors to the South Of France whenever the timing works.
May 16th, 2013Latest Movies
Amazon Studios is getting in the upfront spirit. As the broadcast and some cable networks are announcing their new series pickups this week, I hear Amazon too is deciding which of its pilots will go to series. I hear the company has started notifying the projects that are getting series orders. Details are sketchy but I hear among those looking good are Alpha House starring John Goodman and written by Garry Trudeau; Zombieland, based on the hit movie, written by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick; and Betas, produced by Michael London and written by Evan Endicott and Josh Stoddard. I also hear positive things about The Onion Presents: The News, starring Jeffrey Tambor, from The Onion’s Will Graham & Dan Mirk. I’ll update with more as I hear. These would be the first original series orders for Amazon, coming out of the company’s inaugural slate of 14 pilots — eight comedies and six kids shows — that were made available online on April 19. At that time, Amazon said the series pickup decisions will be based on how many people watched each pilot, how many watched each pilot from start to finish, how many shared it on social media as well as feedback from an online panel and traditional offline focus groups.
May 13th, 2013Latest Movies
I’ve learned that Barbara Walters will announce her retirement on The View tomorrow. As we first reported in March, the TV icon this spring made the decision to get off the air after 52 years, and had been mulling the timing of her announcement. It will come tomorrow, in the middle of May sweeps. Walter is expected to leave her duties as The View co-host and ABC News contributor in summer 2014 but will keep some behind-the-camera presence, including serving as executive producer of The View, which she co-created. But before she hangs up her microphone, Walters will host one more 10 Most Fascinating People special and another Oscar special, among other appearances on ABC and her hosting duties on The View. Walters will be given a big sendoff on the network culminating with a retrospective special, likely next May.
Walters has been a trailblazer for female TV journalists, becoming the first woman to co-host a news program when she got behind the Today desk in 1974 and the first co-anchor of a network evening news broadcast when she joined ABC Evening News in 1976. She also anchored ABC News’ primetime news magazine 20/20 for 20 years. The View will have a whole year to replace Walters. More pressing is the search for a successor to Joy Behar, who announced in March that she will leave this summer. Elisabeth Hasselbeck’s future remains unclear with continuous speculation that she may also depart.
May 8th, 2013Latest Movies
After raising the ire of critics online, The Walt Disney Company quickly backed away today from its move to quietly trademark “Dia de los Muertos” for an upcoming Pixar animated feature. Criticism exploded on social media in recent days as word spread of Disney’s efforts to trademark the name associated with the November holiday. Although the studio still is moving forward on its Pixar project inspired by Mexican Day of the Dead celebrations, it has withdrawn its application to trademark “Dia de los Muertos” for various merchandising applications. “As we have previously announced, Disney-Pixar is developing an animated feature inspired by the Mexican holiday Dia de los Muertos”, the studio said in a statement. “Disney’s trademark filing was intended to protect any potential title for our film and related activities. It has since been determined that the title of the film will change, and therefore we are withdrawing our trademark filing”. Pixar’s Dia de los Muertos film was announced last April and will be directed by Oscar-winning Toy Story 3 helmer Lee Unkrich with Darla K. Anderson producing.
May 3rd, 2013Latest Movies
White House Down
In Columbia Pictures’ ‘White House Down’, Capitol Policeman John Cale (Channing Tatum) has just been denied his dream job wit… Read More
If one person was put in charge of saving the country, we’d want it to be Channing Tatum. Wouldn’t you?
Well, your wish has been granted in this exclusive new trailer for "White House Down."
Tatum plays Capitol Policeman John Cale in Roland Emmerich’s ("Independence Day") latest epic action-fest. Cale — who has just been denied his dream job with the Secret Service — is on a White House tour with his daughter when 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. is attacked by a heavily-strapped paramilitary group. To ensure that the government isn’t destroyed from the inside-out, Cale takes the country’s — and the President’s (Jamie Foxx) — safety into his own hands.
In this new trailer, we see Cale as a doting father who jumps into full action-hero mode after his daughter becomes one of the rogue group’s White House hostages. We also get a closer look at Foxx’s President James Sawyer, a man who is all for peace, but isn’t afraid to fire a rocket launcher when it comes to protecting his country.
Watch the trailer above, and check out Tatum in full kick-butt mode when "White House Down" hits theaters June 28.
April 27th, 2013Latest Movies
Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill are heading to college in 2014!
The two stars are teaming up for “21 Jump Street 2,” the sequel to their 2012 movie, which will hit theaters June 6, 2014, according to Deadline.
In the original, which was both a critical and commercial hit, Tatum and Hill played two police officers who go undercover at a high school to bust a drug dealer. In “21 Jump Street 2,” the duo will go undercover at a college.
“It leads off where we ended the last film and our guys are going to college,” producer Neal Moritz told Collider. “Now, I can’t tell you more than that because there’s some fun to be had in what college they’re going to and what’s going to happen. It really just starts there.”
Sony also set summer 2013 release dates for several other movies: “Think Like a Man Too” will be out June 20, with Jason Segel’s “Sex Tape” debuting on July 2.
April 24th, 2013Latest Movies
The blogs took off running this week with an interview quoting Michael Bay “apologizing” for 1998′s Armageddon. Then the Pain & Gain director’s own words came back around to him. In a post to his website today the director accused reporter/critic Rene Rodriguez of misquoting him in his Miami Herald interview: “One press writer has gone too far in reporting false information. He has printed the bare minimum of my statement which in effect have twisted my words and meaning”. The only problem? Rodriguez didn’t misreport Bay. Tweeted Rodriguez: “@ReneMiamiHerald: Michael Bay says I quoted him out of context about apologizing for ‘Armageddon.’ NBC asked me for a response, and I played them the tape. I didn’t misquote anyone. All the sites that picked up the story did. Bay’s quote in his story clearly refers to the rushed edit job on the film. So who owes whom an apology? Meanwhile, the war of words will make national TV rag news tonight on Access Hollywood and has incited an internet storm of pundits and fans calling for mea culpas for all of Bay’s other films. In his website posting Bay offered a final nugget of clarity: “I’m not in the slightest going to apologize for the third movie in my movie career”.
Global Showbiz Briefs: ITV’s ‘Breathless’ Adds Cast; K5 International; Reprieve For Bollywood’s Sanjay Dutt; ‘Hell’s Kitchen’ In Finland; A+E UK & More0April 18th, 2013Latest Movies
Six-part ITV drama Breathless has added cast to join the previously announced Jack Davenport-starrer. Natasha Little (Vanity Fair), Oliver Chris (One Man Two Guvnors), Zoe Boyle (Downton Abbey, Sons Of Anarchy), Joanna Page (Gavin & Stacey), Shaun Dingwall (Above Suspicion) Catherine Steadman (The Tudors, Salmon Fishing In The Yemen), Sarah Parish (Hatfields & McCoys), Pippa Haywood (Mr Selfridge) and Iain Glen (Game Of Thrones) have all boarded the ITV Studios drama about a group of doctors and nurses working in a London hospital in the 60s. Shooting is underway this month on Breathless which is produced by Jolyon Symonds with Kate Bartlett and director Paul Unwin exec producing.
K5 Adds Rodolphe Sanze To Sales, Ups Sara Boss
K5 International is expanding its sales team to handle its full Cannes slate. Rodolphe Sanze has joined the company, reporting to Partner, Sales and Marketing, Carl Clifton, and sales exec Sara Boss has been promoted as part of an overall expansion ahead of the company’s biggest Cannes market to date. K5′s titles for sale on the Croisette include Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer’s The Starving Games; Justin Reardon’s Convention; the Richard Levine-helmed Blue Angel; behind-the-scenes tennis documentary Venus & Serena; Narco Cultura, from acclaimed war photographer and filmmaker Shaul Schwarz; and Andrew Dosunmo’s Sundance pic Mother Of George.
Bollywood’s Sanjay Dutt Gets Four Month Prison Reprieve
Bollywood star Sanjay Dutt has been given four more months to complete film work before turning himself in on a weapons conviction related to a Mumbai terror attack in 1993. Dutt was sentenced last month and given a Thursday deadline to surrender for prison, but the Supreme Court has granted him the time so that he can finish his pending commitments which industry experts have said are worth about $20M, the Associated Press reports. Dutt previously served jail time in the long-running case, but nevertheless, his Bollywood career flourished. He is best known for a series of Hindi films in which he played a reformed thug.
‘Hell’s Kitchen’ Goes To Finland
ITV Studios Nordic has been commissioned by Finland’s MTV3 to produce a local version of Hell’s Kitchen. Michelin-starred Finnish chef Sauli Kemppainen will host the show that debuts in the fall. It will be shot in a real restaurant that opens in Helsinki in July. The ITV Studios format has been produced in 13 territories, including the US, UK, Germany, France and Spain. Hell’s Kitchen Finland is executive produced by Aram Aflatuni and Heli Koskela and produced by Heli Koskela with assistant producer Heidi Räihä for ITV Studios Nordic.
A+E UK Enlists Caroline Casey
A+E Networks UK has appointed Caroline Casey in the newly created role of director of digital media. Casey will be responsible for the management of all digital assets and associated brands of A+E Networks UK across Britain, Eastern Europe, Middle East and Sub Saharan Africa. The company’s four channel brands include History, H2, Crime & Investigation Network and BIO. Casey will also oversee content and product development across 34 websites and various social media networks as well as all digital marketing and advertising. She is a former Turner Broadcasting exec who most recently had her own consulting firm.
TV Talk Show Host Breaks World Record In Nepal
Nepali TV host Rabi Lamichhane has set a Guinness world record for holding the longest talk show in history. The former journalist and Baltimore resident returned to his homeland for a marathon 62-hour 12-minute on-air session with politicians, artists, diplomats, businessmen, social workers and journalists on his Lord Buddha Was Born In Nepal show, Reuters reports. “It was not difficult physically but sometimes I found it hard to concentrate,” Lamichhane told Reuters.
April 13th, 2013Latest Movies
"Halloween," "Friday the 13th, "A Nightmare of Elm Street." There have been a number of horror movie remakes in recent years, taking classic horror films from the 70′s and 80′s and turning them into modern day massacres. Ranging everywhere from "The Wolfman" to "Fright Night," these remakes either come across as really awesome or really unnecessary. I mean, hell, most of these horror films were only made about twenty years ago.
The latest, and perhaps most anticipated, horror remake to grace the silver screen with its senseless gore and violence is Fede Alvarez’ "Evil Dead." Produced by both Sam Raimi (the original director) and
Bruce Campbell (the original star), "Evil Dead" looks to be different enough for first-time viewers and gruesome enough for diehard fans. So did "Evil Dead" live up to the hype?
In Sam Raimi’s original cult classic, five college students decide to spend their Spring Break in a remote cabin in the Tennessee woods. Not long after settling in, the young, hapless victims happen upon the
Sumerian "Book of the Dead" and a tape recorder that plays an evil incantation unleashing the wrath of the Candarian demons. Ash Williams, as played by Bruce Campbell, is then forced to murder all of his companions as they each fall victim to demonic possession.
Despite the film’s micro-budget, the original "Evil Dead" manages to terrify and/or nauseate audiences of all ages. From dismemberment to tree rape, Raimi’s first masterpiece is as cringe-worthy as intended and as shocking as its cult status implies.
Fede Alvarez’ re-imagined horror classic sees five friends traveling to an isolated cabin with the intentions of helping their friend (Mia) get over her dangerous drug addiction cold turkey. However, their rehabilitation plans fall off course once the gang discovers a mysterious spellbook bound in human flesh. Reading a spell from the "Book of the Dead" aloud, the five friends accidentally summon an ancient evil that plagues the burial ground on which the cabin was built.
This "Evil Dead" remake is chock-full of blood, guts, bloody guts, tree rape, and dismemberment. In fact, I’d say it’s safe to assume that there is at least ten times more gore in this version than the original (and five times more than in "Evil Dead 2"). Also, while the story is completely different from that of the original, the film is chock full of subtle references and Easter eggs alluding to its 1981 counterpart.
With a different (but similar) story and a butt-load of gory practical effects, the "Evil Dead" remake is absolutely worth the price of admission. If you’re a long-time fan of the original, the new "Evil Dead" takes that same "shock till you drop" sensibility from the original and amps it up tenfold resulting in a film that, at times, makes you want to scream and vomit at the same time.
If you’ve never seen the original "Evil Dead," I guarantee you’ll be pleasantly surprised with how disturbing this new take is. The classic "Evil Dead" staples are all still there (i.e. the tree rape and severing of one’s own arm), just produced on a much bigger budget. And believe you me, this remake does not shy away from the gore. I cannot stress that enough. Anyway, go see this movie or I’ll swallow your soul.
April 10th, 2013Latest Movies
EXCLUSIVE… UPDATE: Despite the ups and downs of Ryan Kavanaugh’s Relativity, one thing has remained constant – the media’s respect for its in-house flack Adam Keen. Now the EVP of worldwide publicity and corporate communications is leaving this Friday after seeking an exit for some time. I’m told he’ll consult at Relativity for two more weeks while the finishing touches are put on his new contract with Warner Bros Pictures where he’ll be a film VP reporting to EVP of Domestic Publicity Juli Goodwin. Keen arrived at Relativity in October 2010 when the company absorbed the distribution and marketing functions of Overture Films. (I hear Warner Bros demanded a letter from Relativity formally releasing Keen until the negotiations could even begin.) Keen was promoted at Relativity in 2011 and continued to be responsible for worldwide publicity campaigns and corporate communications, but his duties also spanned all of Relativity Media’s divisions. At Overture, he was SVP of worldwide publicity from May 2007 and before that ID-PR VP for entertainment & brand strategies. He also worked for MGM/UA and DreamWorks.