Frank Spotnitz has been the man up front for the first two Cinemax original drama series. He wrote the first four episodes of the Cinemax incarnation of "Strike Back," and is the creator and executive producer of "Hunted," a new thriller starring Melissa George as British private spy Sam Hunter, who is betrayed, left for dead, and returns to work a year later looking for revenge on whoever it was that set her up. (You can watch an exclusive clip from the premiere at the top of this post.)
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"I wanted give the viewer an opportunity to experience something different to the normal images of lovers in video clips."
That's music video director Jessie Hill on her clip for Julia Stone's "Justine." In it, two, lovers flounce around the beaches of California, eating snacks, snipping drinks and kissing on the boardwalk. What makes the view into this love story somewhat unconventional is the contrast between the singer-songwriter and her beloved -- played by "The Blind Side" lead Quinton Aaron.
”I set out to make a video that depicted a heartfelt romance in a distant time...a love story in its purist state," Hill said in a statement to HitFix. "My casting agent suggested Quinton and I immediately contacted him to have a coffee. The contrast of Julia being so tiny and Quinton being a larger character was something I wanted to explore visually."
Welcome to Oscar Talk.
In case you're new to the site and/or the podcast, Oscar Talk is a weekly kudocast, your one-stop awards chat shop between yours truly and Anne Thompson of Thompson on Hollywood. The podcast is weekly, every Friday throughout the season, charting the ups and downs of contenders along the way. Plenty of things change en route to Oscar's stage and we're here to address it all as it unfolds.
It's Morning Round-Up time, with quick reviews of last night's episodes of "30 Rock," "The Office" and "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia," coming up just as soon as I'm thinking and doing kegels at the same time...
Chances are Seth MacFarlane's hosting gig will remain the biggest win for "Ted" at February's Oscar ceremony, but the raunchy teddy-bear comedy had its own taste of awards glory at the Hollywood Reporter Key Art Awards, which recognize the industry's top achievements in movie marketing, "Ted" won the night's top award, for best overall campaign. Top of the trailer heap, meanwhile, was "Shame," which took gold in the audio-visual category for its striking red-band "Subway" trailer. Other films recognized included "The Dark Knight Rises," "Martha Marcy May Marlene," "Prometheus" (though not for Most Over-Marketed Film of the Year, surprisingly enough) and the upcoming "Man of Steel." [THR]
Let's be honest before we begin: whoever directs this film is walking into a situation where they are going to be in service of someone else's vision, and that vision is going to consist of dozens of people's visions, all of them combined into whatever that script ends up being. Before they have a director set, they're going to have a script that they are committed to, that they've paid for quite dearly at this point, and that director is going to have to be willing to make that movie.
There are names that people always like to throw out for everything, names that are preposterous because they just aren't going to do it. Instead of picking non-starters today like Terry Gilliam (no studio on Earth is pulling the trigger on a $150 million film with Gilliam at the helm), Lana and Andy Wachowski (they're not interested and would much rather focus on their own material), or even Steven Spielberg (not gonna happen), we're going to name ten artists we would like to see given free reign to make the material whatever they want to make it.
Some of these names you might expect based on my reviews and reportage over the years. Some of them you might not expect at all or even agree with. But all of these are people whose "Justice League" would get us in a theater opening weekend. Let's see how many of these names you like, and who I'm overlooking, both of which I'll expect plenty of in the comments section below.
Well, it's down to the final four, and after last week's unimpressive outing, it's really anyone's game. I'm hoping the designers listened to the judges, because if they send some of that crap down the runway at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, man, they won't invite the show back.
Someone is going to make a new version of "20,000 Leagues Under The Sea."
Bold prediction, I know, but at this point, it's inevitable. Too many different writers have taken a crack at it lately, and in May of 2010, I wrote a piece about no fewer than three different versions that were in development at the same time. There was the Sam Raimi version that Craig Titley wrote, there was the Ridley Scott version that Travis Beachum was writing for 20th Century Fox, and there was also a Disney version that was originally being developed for McG until David Fincher went in and pitched the studio his own version that Scott Burns was going to write.
Now, just over two years later, it looks like Fincher is close to getting a green light from the studio, and according to Variety, they are asking him to put everything else on hold for a month as they look at the numbers and decide if they can make the film. Andrew Kevin Walker was working on the script earlier in the year, and the studio must be pretty happy with what's on the page right now. Variety also reports that Brad Pitt has been approached about playing the part of Ned Land, the sailor whose encounter with Captain Nemo drives the story. If anyone can get Pitt to sign on to what sounds like a far more normal role than he normally plays, it's Fincher, and if Pitt does sign on, that sounds like an irresistible package for Disney.
Warner Bros. seems determined to go head to head with Marvel Studios and the marketing muscle of Disney, and if they follow through on the plan that Ben Fritz wrote about in today's LA Times, it could prove to be one of the most significant tests of their ability to turn their DC Comics characters into an ongoing successful film franchise.
At this point, I think of the Marvel Universe as one big franchise. It doesn't matter which particular character or number you mention, since it all seems to work in concert as a huge single world that they are building, film to film, character to character. The phenomenal success of "The Avengers" this summer is a testament to how much good will they built up over their build from "Iron Man" to today, and as they prepare to start releasing their Phase Two films, they seem even more confident and in control.
Warner Bros., on the other hand, has got some serious problems when it comes to all things superhero.
If it seemed like last week was all about setting us up for a lot of drama this season, tonight's episode confirmed it. Even as our woeful Mystic Falls residents grappled with feelings of loss and grief, it's all mental housecleaning that needs to be done so that they can prepare for the war ahead. Although I'm still not entirely sure what Pastor Young intended by blowing up not only himself but twelve members of the town council, it seems that crazypants act may have served some purpose. Whether or not it was the true intention, the explosion served as a smoke signal to a vampire hunter. Unlike Buffy, this guy seems to have zero interest in getting in on the lovey-dovey action of this show.
We start off with our beloved brothers Stefan and Damon bickering, per usual. This time, they're fighting about Elena's diet. Stefan wants to maintain her innocence (animals only), while, Damon being Damon, he wants to lure her to the dark side (delicious humans). "Her compassion is her Achilles' heel!" Stefan barks.
A review of tonight's "Parks and Recreation" coming up just as soon as I ask Alta Vista to take me to Yahoo...
US docs 'Mea Maxima Culpa,' 'Central Park Five' and 'West of Memphis' powerfully take on corrupt authorities
LONDON -- There's a temptation at film festivals to imagine cinematic trends based on certain likenesses between films screened in close proximity – though when those films drift away from each other out in the real world, those initial overlaps don't always seem so resonant. So I'm not going to point to something in the air after watching three standout US documentaries at the London Film Festival – “Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God,” “Central Park Five” and “West of Memphis” – that chronicle a range of young individuals failed in various ways by American authorities.
Even so, their shared spirit of measured fury is striking: each film documents a long night's journey into day of sorts, as a severe human infraction is brought to rights – or at least partial correction – over the course of years, or even decades. The inequities of the United States justice system come under scrutiny in “Central Park Five” and “West of Memphis,” while “Mea Maxima Culpa” puts the Catholic Church atop its target list. Considered distrust of the social systems designed to protect us, however, courses through all of them, making for a powerful American collective in a touchy election year.