The Films of David Fincher: THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO

by     Posted 30 days ago

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[With the upcoming release of his new film Gone Girl, I’m taking a look back at the work of director David Fincher.  These articles contain spoilers.]

Up to this point in this series, I’ve mostly sided with Fincher, his decisions, and his thoughts on his movies.  But even by his own metric and intentions, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is almost a complete and utter failure.  I understand why Fincher would feel a kinship with Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara), but his reasons for making the movie—the prospect of an R-rated franchise and the relationship between Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig) and Salander—are, respectively, superficial and underdeveloped.  Looking over the making-of documentary and his commentary track, I’m astonished at the gulf between Fincher’s intentions and what the movie presents.

BOND 24 Villain Could Be a Bigger Adversary for Daniel Craig

by     Posted 68 days ago

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I’m one of the people who thought Skyfall was an incredible Bond film.  Between that and Casino Royale (I sort of consider Quantum of Solace to be an interstitial film, almost a short) I actually feel like James Bond is almost a current, relevant character (despite some of the old-fashioned fan service).  So I remain excited for Bond 24 even though it feels like something of a troubled production (the delays, the extensive reworking of the script etc…) because I think Sam Mendes and Daniel Craig really got it right last time.

We last heard that  Léa Seydoux (Blue is the Warmest Color) was in talks to join the film and now we have another bit of casting info on one of the villains of the piece that doesn’t result in a particular performer just yet, but it does indicate a certain (almost retro) direction the franchise could be headed in.  Hit the jump for more on the latest Bond villain.

Rumor: Sam Mendes Wants Léa Seydoux for BOND 24

by     Posted 83 days ago

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The folks behind Bond 24 had a tough time with that script.  Even though Neal Purvis and Robert Wade opted out of the 24th installment after working on The World Is Not EnoughDie Another DayCasino RoyaleQuantum of Solace, and Skyfall, back in June, news broke that the duo would actually return to do some work on John Logan’s Bond 24 script, specifically stepping to give it some “punch.”  However, it turns out, giving it a little punch might have been a bit of an understatement.

Even though it’s being reported that Logan’s script was in really bad shape, apparently they’ve fixed it up enough now to move forward with casting because there’s a rumor out there that Sam Mendes has his eye on Léa Seydoux (Blue is the Warmest Color) to star opposite Daniel Craig in the film.  Hit the jump for more on that and the state of the script.

Daniel Craig Drops out of Courtroom Drama THE WHOLE TRUTH; Charlize Theron in Talks for Sean Penn’s THE LAST SPACE

by     Posted 204 days ago

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We have a bit of casting and anti-casting news for you this morning.  First up in anti-casting, Daniel Craig has unexpectedly dropped out of the courtroom drama The Whole Truth slightly a week before filming was set to begin.  Although plot details are scarce, Craig was set to play a district attorney and star alongside Renee Zellweger and Gabriel Basso (Super 8).  Danny Huston and other actors were in talks to co-star, but according to THR, Craig’s exit has put these negotiations in limbo.  The production is now scrambling to find a replacement, and the start date might be pushed back three weeks.  Courtney Hunt (Frozen River) is set to direct a script by Nicholas Kazan (Fallen).  It will be interesting to find out why Craig exited the project so close to the start date.

Hit the jump for news on Charlize Theron possibly joining Sean Penn‘s new film.

Screenwriter John Logan Gives Update on BOND 24; Says the Film “Continues the Themes of SKYFALL”

by     Posted 239 days ago

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As an October production start date looms closer, details are finally starting to surface about the next James Bond film.  After crafting one of the best entries in the franchise ever with Skyfall, screenwriter John Logan and director Sam Mendes return to try and raise the bar once again with Bond 24, and now Logan has spoken up a bit to give an update on the project.  The scribe says the first draft is nearly done and teases that the next film will continue the themes explored in Skyfall, so it’ll be interesting to see how much of a “sequel” Bond 24 will be in relation to Skyfall.  As a bit of trivia, this is the first time a director has returned to helm the next Bond film since John Glen directed five in a row, from For Your Eyes Only through Licence to Kill.

Hit the jump for more from Logan on Bond 24, looking to Ian Fleming and the previous films for inspiration, and even Bond 25.

Ralph Fiennes Says BOND 24 Starts Filming in October

by     Posted 245 days ago

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We know pretty much nothing about the next James Bond film, but we do know that 2012’s Skyfall will be an incredibly tough act to follow.  Director Sam Mendes and screenwriter John Logan will give it their best shot, though, as the duo are set to return in their respective duties for Bond 24.  The pic won’t be hitting theaters until October 2015 in the U.K. and November 2015 in the U.S., but we now have word of when filming is set to get underway as Ralph Fiennes tells MTV News, “It’s meant to start shooting in October.”  The actor will be reprising his role as Gareth Mallory in the next pic and he added that he hasn’t yet seen a script so he couldn’t possibly tease anything about the plot, though he noted that he’d probably be sworn to secrecy anyway.

Daniel Craig will return in the 24th Bond film and we assume that Naomie Harris (aka Moneypenny) will be back as well, but we recently learned the sad news that Skyfall cinematographer and all-around Master Roger Deakins will not be returning for the follow-up.

David Fincher’s 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA Is Dead; Director Likely off GIRL WHO PLAYED WITH FIRE Despite Recent Rewrite

by     Posted 1 year, 105 days ago

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With casting already underway on David Fincher’s adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s best-selling novel Gone Girl, it’s no surprise to learn that his planned big-budget feature 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea is kaput.  A couple months ago, the Sydney Morning Herald reported that production had been pushed back to 2014 due to the inability to find a lead actor to commit to the project.  However, The Playlist reports that the movie has been dead for months, and the report was “apparently a desperate bid by the Aussie government to entice the filmmakers and producers into continuing with this project that would bring millions of dollars in jobs to their movie industry.”

Fincher did try his damndest to make the picture happen, but couldn’t wrangle a bankable lead actor.  Brad Pitt passed to do Fury, Matt Damon and Daniel Craig didn’t want to commit to the a 140-day shoot away from their families, Channing Tatum wasn’t seen as a bankable enough, and Fincher didn’t agree with Disney’s suggestion to cast Chris Hemsworth.  Rather than continue fighting for his expensive project that was already a risky proposition for Disney (and one that now seems ludicrous considering the massive failures the studio had in trying to adapt older properties with John Carter and The Lone Ranger), Fincher moved to Gone Girl.  So where does that leave his other major project, The Girl Who Played with Fire?  Hit the jump for more.

Sam Mendes Closes Deal to Direct BOND 24; Film Set for UK Release on October 23, 2015 and US Release on November 6, 2015

by     Posted 1 year, 111 days ago

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We’ve got some very exciting James Bond news to share today.  While it’s been looking like Skyfall director Sam Mendes was going to return to direct Bond 24 for a while, Sony officially announced today that Mendes has closed his deal to helm the pic, with Skyfall scribe John Logan onboard to write the screenplay.  Moreover, a release date for the film has been firmed up, as Bond 24 now joins the absolutely insane list of films that will hit theaters in 2015.  The pic will open in the UK on October 23, 2015, and in the US on November 6, 2015.  It’s essentially the same release date strategy as Skyfall.

The pic is currently slated to open in the US opposite Edgar Wright’s Marvel film Ant-Man and the untitled Peanuts movie, but one imagines Marvel will alter the Ant-Man release date slightly so Bond and the superhero pic don’t cannibalize each other at the box office.  Hit the jump to read the full press release.

BOND 24 Director Search Continues; Nicolas Winding Refn, Shane Black, Ang Lee, Tom Hooper, and David Yates Under Consideration [UPDATED]

by     Posted 1 year, 155 days ago

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After Sam Mendes opted not to return to helm the upcoming 24th installment of the James Bond franchise, Eon and Sony Pictures have been on the hunt for a new director with an eye towards getting the next film out by 2016.  While rumors swirled recently that Christopher Nolan was considering the job, the notion seemed highly unlikely because A.) he’s busy prepping to shoot Interstellar this summer and B.) he has already stated in the past that he’d like to direct a Bond film when he can reboot the franchise with a new actor.

Following Mendes’ Skyfall will be no small task, but it appears that Eon and Sony are aiming for the cream of the filmmaking crop as directors such as Ang Lee, Nicolas Winding Refn, and Iron Man 3 helmer Shane Black have reportedly been considered for the director’s chair.  Hit the jump for more. [Update: Now Deadline reports that Sam Mendes has changed his mind and is in talks to return to helm Bond 24.  Read the full story here.]

SKYFALL Blu-Ray Review

by     Posted 1 year, 260 days ago

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We would have been happy with Casino Royale; we really, really would. Daniel Craig’s debut as James Bond was such a revelation – such an infusion of modern cool into 007’s timeless sensibilities – that he could have spent the remainder of his tenure doodling on a napkin and we still would have deemed him a success.  So we accepted the flawed nature of Quantum of Solace without raising much fuss; enjoying its eccentricities and letting its middling status slide with the assumption that Craig’s ride would be more of the same. Little did we know that the best was yet to come: the inestimable Skyfall, which not only affirmed the character’s relevance for the 21st Century, but set a new standard for all future entries in the series.  Best Bond ever?  Goldfinger may edge it by the thinnest of margins, but even then, I’m inclined to give it a little space on the podium.  Hit the jump for the review.

Reasons for the Delay on THE GIRL WHO PLAYED WITH FIRE; Daniel Craig May Be Written Out

by     Posted 1 year, 272 days ago

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If The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo had been the smashing success Sony hoped for, we would probably be getting the sequel, The Girl Who Played with Fire, by the end of this year.  Surprisingly, audiences didn’t want to watch “The Feel Bad Movie of Christmas”, and while the film managed to gross $232 million worldwide, it was still a disappointment when you consider the $90 million budget.  Sony wants to continue The Millennium Series, but the studio is carefully considering how to proceed.

Hit the jump for what the future may hold for Lisbeth Salander.

Critics Choice Awards: ARGO Wins Best Picture, Ben Affleck Is Best Director; SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK Picks Up Four

by     Posted 1 year, 293 days ago

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The Broadcast Film Critics Association announced the winners of the 18th annual Critics’ Choice Movie Awards tonight.  While Ben Affleck was noted as the lesser of the Best Director snubs when Oscar nominations were announced this morning, the BFCA named Affleck Best Director and his Argo Best Picture.  They feature genre awards—action, comedy, and sci-fi/horror all have their own Best Picture category—so there’s a bit of an “everybody gets a trophy” philosophy.  But that allowed Jennifer Lawrence to pick up two trophies: Best Actress in an Action Movie (The Hunger Games) and Best Actress in a Comedy (Silver Linings Playbook).  Silver Linings Playbook earned four total; the Best Comedy winner brought Lawrence’s co-star Bradley Cooper Best Actor in a Comedy and the rest of the cast Best Acting Ensemble.

The four primary acting awards went to major Oscar contenders Daniel Day-Lewis, Jessica Chastain, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Anne Hathaway.  But the BFCA also found room for Collider favorites Skyfall, Looper, and Cloud Atlas.  See the full list after the break.

Weekend Box Office: SKYFALL Soars To a New Franchise Record with Domestic Debut of $87.8 Million and Over $500 Million Worldwide

by     Posted 1 year, 352 days ago

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Believe the hype.  Skyfall, the latest entry in the now 50 year-old James Bond series, is not only as big as everyone said it would be… it’s bigger. Over its first weekend in domestic release, Skyfall took in an estimated $87.8 million from 3,505 locations, or a total of $90 million with Thursday previews included. Not only does that crush Bond’s previous-best opening of $67.5 million, it stands as the fourth-highest debut of the year behind The Avengers, The Dark Knight Rises and The Hunger Games.

Title Weekend Total
1.  Skyfall $87,800,000 $90
2.  Wreck-It Ralph $33,056,000 $93.6
3.  Flight $15,100,000 $47.7
4.  Argo $6,745,000 $87.7
5.  Taken 2 $4,000,000 $131.2
6.
 Here Comes the Boom $2,550,000 $39
7.  Cloud Atlas $2,505,000 $22.7
8.
 Pitch Perfect $2,504,000 $59
9.  The Man w/the Iron Fists $2,490,000 $12.7
10.  Hotel Transylvania $2,350,000 $140.9

TOP 5: SKYFALL Interviews, BEAUTIFUL CREATURES Set Visit, WORLD WAR Z Trailer, THE LAST STAND Set Visit, STAR WARS Sequel News

by     Posted 1 year, 353 days ago

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Last night I uncovered a gem from 2011 for the first time and my only regret is that I didn’t take the time to seek it out sooner. Writer/director Thomas McCarthy‘s dramedy Win Win is not only consistently funny but also chock full of both heartwarming and heartbreaking moments. The performances are terrific all-around, the script is strong albeit somewhat easy to telegraph, and the wrestling scenes are even surprisingly intense at times (I mean, it was nominated for a prestigious ESPY for “Best Sports Film” after all). Matt gave the film his full endorsement when he reviewed it at Sundance 2011 and I’m doing the same here today.

Movie recommendations aside, in what was yet another busy week around these parts, the five standouts include our Skyfall interviews with Daniel Craig, Javier Bardem, director Sam Mendes and more, a Beautiful Creatures set visit recap, the first trailer for Brad Pitt‘s World War Z, even more set visit goodness from Arnold Schwarzenegger‘s The Last Stand, and ongoing development news for the next Star Wars trilogy. Keep reading for brief recaps and links to all of the above.

Friday Box Office: SKYFALL Takes Off with $30.8 Million Debut; Spielberg’s LINCOLN Also Big in Only Eleven Locations

by     Posted 1 year, 353 days ago

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For weeks, we’ve known that Skyfall was going to be huge. After the 23rd film in the James Bond franchise rocketed through its initial international engagements two weeks ago, a giant US opening was all but guaranteed. Even so, Skyfall is now on track to be even more of a giant than we suspected. On Friday, Skyfall earned an estimated $30.8 million from its 3,503 locations, midnight screenings included. Add that to the $2.2 million 007 took in from his 463 IMAX premieres on Thursday and it looks like the secret agent could soar as high as $84 million by the end of the weekend. That would blow the previous Bond record of $67.8 million (set in 2008 by Quantum of Solace) out of the air. In fact, it’s possible that Skyfall could climb as high as $500 million worldwide by Monday. Given that Daniel Craig’s first two turns as 007 took weeks to reach that same mark, the achievement would be especially impressive. Big as it was, Skyfall wasn’t the only film making news at the box office. With its platform release in just eleven locations, Steven Spielberg’s critically-lauded Lincoln earned an estimated $268,000 on Friday, or an average of $24,376 per theatre.  We’ll have full details on this weekend’s box office tomorrow.

Title Friday Total
1. Skyfall $30,800,000 $30.8
2. Wreck-It Ralph $7,840,000 $68.4
3. Flight $4,250,000 $36.9
4. Argo $1,840,000 $80.8
5. Taken 2 $1,180,000 $128.4
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