It’s a special Time of the year for snarky culture commentators, because Time has released their annual 100 Most Influential People List, or as I like to call it, People Time Staffers Like List Plus a Few More. Because there’s no way anyone who works at Time magazine likes Mitt Romney.
At the ongoing National Association of Broadcasters convention in Las Vegas, Arrested Development creator Mitch Hurtwitz and Netflix chief Ted Sarandos confirmed what we already knew: Season four will premiere exclusively on Netflix Instant Viewing sometime next year. But they also announced something that had not yet been discussed: All 10 episodes of the season will be released simultaneously.
As if the unexpectedly enormous success of the first film in the Hunger Games franchise wasn’t enough, Lionsgate is keeping its Katniss publicity machine in full-gear, spilling to The Playlist that Bennett Miller (Moneyball, Capote) and Francis Lawrence (I Am Legend, Constantine) are in contention to direct the sequel, Catching Fire.
Last year, Stern and his agent, Don Buchwald, filed a lawsuit against his employer, mere months after renewing his radio show contract for another five years. The lawsuit centered on a part of his initial contract with Sirius, which rewarded Stern based on subscriber growth. The suit contended that Stern should have been compensated for subscribers added when Sirius and XM merged in 2008. Judge Barbara Kapnick ruled today that the contract language is “unambiguous,” dismissing the suit “with prejudice.”
This Tuesday is light on new home viewing releases, but two noteworthy films (Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol and Shame) do hit store shelves. Some obvious advice: If you like blockbusters, stick with the former; if you like art films that deal with tough subjects, go with the latter. Or do the opposite and risk the consequences of artistic discovery. Click through for capsule reviews from our team.
Last week, the trailer for Rian Johnson’s (Brick, The Brothers Bloom) highly anticipated new film Looper hit the web. I watched once out of curiosity and it solidified the movie’s place on my personal list of Fall must-sees. I was prepared to not think any more of the trailer — after all, why should I? The purpose of a trailer is to convince you to buy a ticket and this assemblage of Looper did exactly that for me.
But over the next few days, it seemed like my Twitter and Facebook feeds were crowded with nothing but re-posts of said trailer, with friends and colleagues practically analyzing it frame-by-frame. At the very least, some had watched it dozens of times. My big question was: Why? Surely, the trailer is expertly edited enough that it gets your adrenaline pumping as you watch it… But don’t repeat viewings of promotional materials ultimately take away from the experience of watching the movie once it’s out?
Over the past decade, the movie theater industry has spent millions of dollars converting their traditional 35mm film projectors to digital projectors. Saturday, at the NAB’s Technology Summit on Cinema, it was announced that 50 percent of screens worldwide had made the switch to digital, 70 percent in the United States.
On film blogs, this conversion has largely been derided and smeared — “How can they get rid of 35mm? It’s the best way to watch a movie!” While I understand the sentiment behind this protest, it seems to me that the approach is rather narrow — Hollywood isn’t going to fix the “problem” just because a niche group of purists say it exists. There’s too much money to be saved by going 100 percent digital. What is necessary to actually create positive change is for the everyday moviegoer to join in the fight to keep 35mm alive. Which first requires them to understand what’s at stake.
Over at The Wrap, Sharon Waxman confirms what should be a surprise to no one: Joe Eszterhas’ script for Mel Gibson, which he had labeled a “Jewish Braveheart,” is relentlessly violent. Did anyone expect something different from the writer of Basic Instinct channeling the director of Braveheart, The Passion of the Christ, Apocalyptco, and a thousand violent girlfriend death fantasies?
The script, which Eszterhas titled M.C.K.B.I., is said by Waxman to be filled with brutal action scenes, grisly imagery, and heroic speechifying aplenty, very much a “Jewish Braveheart.”
John Carter star Taylor Kitsch was already the public face of one disasterous film release this year, but if we look to our friends across the ocean, it looks like he won’t be at the forefront of another.
Over the past week, Peter Berg’s Battleship rolled out in 26 international markets, collecting a princely $58 million haul. The film, “based” on the Hasbro board game and starring Kitsch, Liam Neeson, Alexander Skarsgård, and renowned thespian Rihanna, cost a reported $200 million and was predicted to be a cinematic maritime disaster by some analysts.