Articles on this Page
- 11/24/17--07:15: _'Call Me by Your Na...
- 11/24/17--08:39: _19 movies you need ...
- 11/24/17--11:35: _'Call Me by Your Na...
- 11/24/17--11:41: _REVIEW: 'Call Me by...
- 11/25/17--07:40: _Joss Whedon wanted ...
- 11/25/17--09:00: _Hallmark Channel's ...
- 11/26/17--07:14: _How a harsh critici...
- 11/26/17--08:21: _Pixar's 'Coco' tops...
- 11/27/17--06:08: _People loathe the '...
- 11/27/17--06:54: _The director of 'Ti...
- 11/27/17--08:16: _Here's what the new...
- 11/27/17--09:43: _These are the unsun...
- 11/28/17--07:59: _Kim Kardashian alre...
- 11/28/17--08:07: _'Lady Bird' is the ...
- 11/28/17--11:46: _The 16 best movies ...
- 11/29/17--06:42: _The new movie from ...
- 11/29/17--07:37: _Ridley Scott gives ...
- 11/29/17--15:24: _THEN AND NOW: The c...
- 11/30/17--06:12: _Dave Franco explain...
- 12/01/17--07:21: _Michael Moore is re...
- Michael Stuhlbarg has starred recently in everything from "Steve Jobs" and "Arrival" to this season of "Fargo."
- By the end of 2017, he'll be in some of the most acclaimed movies of the year — "Call Me by Your Name,""The Shape of Water," and "The Post."
- Stuhlbarg talks about being involved in these hits, and playing the memorable Arnold Rothstein role in HBO's "Boardwalk Empire."
- 11/24/17--08:39: 19 movies you need to see this holiday season
- Joss Whedon's original opening he wrote for "Justice League" was much funnier, according to actor Holt McCallany, who was in the scene.
- According to the actor, the studio had Whedon tweak the scene so it would be serious.
- The Hallmark Channel has become a popular getaway for many TV viewers, offering a 'happy ending' twist to many of its shows.
- Viewership has been rising in the last few years. During the 2016 election week, it ranked No. 4 among primetime cable networks – even ranking above MSNBC.
- The popularity of Hallmark movies, too, are following a familiar cyclical pop culture pattern.
- "Coco" is the latest Pixar movie and is directed by Lee Unkrich ("Toy Story 3").
- The movie focuses on the Mexican holiday, Dia de los Muertos ("Day of the Dead"), and marks the first time Pixar has told a story around a cultural celebration.
- Unkrich brought on cultural consultants to make sure the story was representing Mexican culture correctly. This is the first time a Pixar movie has welcomed in outsiders to a project still in production.
- This came after the Latino community protested Disney for attempting to patent the phrase "Dia del los Muertos" for the movie.
- Disney/Pixar dominated the Thanksgiving holiday weekend at the multiplex once again.
- "Pixar" won the long holiday weekend with an estimated $72 million.
- The animated movie knocked off "Justice League," which took in $60 million to come in second place.
- Pixar's new movie "Coco" has a 21-minute "Frozen" short playing in front of it in theaters.
- People have been surprised and subsequently furious by this unusual move.
- The Olaf-centric "short" plus regular trailers means "Coco" begins over 40 minutes after a theater's listed start time.
- Though fans of "Frozen" will like the short, Disney should have just released it separately.
- "Titanic" director James Cameron explained why everyone's favorite character, Jack, had to die at the end.
- He says it was an artistic choice, and he would have had to die one way or another.
- "The film is about death and separation; he had to die," Cameron said.
- 11/27/17--09:43: These are the unsung heroes of the movie world
- Kim Kardashian West recently said Jennifer Lawrence could play her in a biopic movie.
- "She's so funny. Of course she could! She's the best actress," Kardashian West said to "Extra."
- West and Lawrence recently appeared on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" together.
- The two seem close, and this would be a great movie fans would surely watch.
- "Lady Bird" is a coming-of-age story starring Saoirse Ronan.
- It's set in the early 2000s in Sacramento, and was written and directed by Greta Gerwig.
- "Lady Bird" broke a Rotten Tomatoes record by having 170 positive reviews, and zero negative ones.
- The record was previously held by "Toy Story 2" (1999).
- Keep reading to see what critics are saying about "Lady Bird," which is in theaters now.
- 11/28/17--11:46: The 16 best movies of 2017 that you absolutely need to see
- There's a new trailer out for "Love, Simon," a drama about a teenager who struggles with coming out as gay to the people around him.
- It's from the producers of "The Fault in Our Stars" and has the same sweet and funny high school drama vibe.
- It's one of Hollywood's few mainstream LGBT movies.
- The movie stars Nick Robinson, one of the kids from "Jurassic World."
- "Love, Simon" will be released on March 16. Watch the trailer below.
- Ridley Scott said he quickly decided to replace Kevin Spacey from "All the Money in the World" after hearing the news of his sexual harassment allegations.
- The director has been shooting replacement scenes with actor Christopher Plummer since November 20.
- Scenes are instantly being put into the final cut of the movie from the set so Scott has no concerns of the movie not making its planned December 22 release date.
- 11/29/17--15:24: THEN AND NOW: The cast of 'Love Actually' 14 years later
- "The Disaster Artist" was the first time Dave Franco and his brother James had a substantial amount of screen time together in a movie.
- Franco shared how "in character" as Tommy Wiseau his brother was while directing the movie.
- He also revealed how losing 20 pounds to play a role in his upcoming Netflix movie, "6 Balloons," led to some physical and emotional problems.
- According to Deadline, Michael Moore is trying to get out of his deal with The Weinstein Company for the release of his next movie, "Fahrenheit 11/9," about Donald Trump.
- Harvey and Bob Weinstein reportedly want back the $2 million they've put into the movie already before allowing him to shop it.
- Moore reportedly believes giving the money back would be morally compromising the movie and could take the brothers to court.
Every few years there seems to be one actor who shows up in a string of memorable movies, but you have no clue what his or her name is. That kind of actor is referred as a “That Guy” — the face is memorable but not the name — and Michael Stuhlbarg is the latest That Guy character actor to have his moment in the sun.
Just look at his filmography since 2015: “Steve Jobs,” “Arrival,” “Doctor Strange,” “Miss Sloane,” and he kicked off this year by starring in the latest season of “Fargo.” But the best is yet to come. Stuhlbarg will finish things off this year with roles in some of the most acclaimed movies of 2017: Luca Guadagnino’s “Call Me by Your Name” (now in theaters), Guillermo del Toro’s “The Shape of Water” (opening December 1), and Steven Spielberg’s “The Post” (December 22).
Business Insider chatted with Stuhlbarg about his recent run of hits, what it was like shooting the touching father-son scene in “Call Me by Your Name,” learning Russian in just a few weeks for his role in “The Shape of Water,” his regrets from “Boardwalk Empire,” and the choices an actor now must face in the wake of sexual misconduct allegations against some of the biggest names in the industry.
Jason Guerrasio: You've been in an incredible groove the last few years. Have you changed how you've gone about taking roles?
Michael Stuhlbarg: I have very little control of the kinds of things that come my way, so I've just tried to make the best decisions possible depending upon what comes along. There are artists out there that I have huge respect for, and in some cases projects involving them have come my way of late, so I've just leap at the opportunity. Whether it's been Noah Hawley with “Fargo,” or Guillermo with “The Shape of Water,” or with Luca, or with Mr. Spielberg with “The Post.” I'm really just making the best out of what has presented itself as an opportunity.
Guerrasio: And along the way do you consciously have to grab a role here or there that's a payday? To pay the bills?
Stuhlbarg: I've been really lucky in that some of the work that I've had of late has, um —
Guerrasio: Satisfied you both creatively and financially?
Stuhlbarg: Yes. It really has.
Guerrasio: That's great!
Stuhlbarg: Yeah. It's just how things have happened. But it's always understandable when people have to survive. If an opportunity came along and something in my private affairs needed some funding, [laughs] perhaps I would make a different kind of choice. But, as I said, I haven't had much to do with the kinds of things that have come my way.
Guerrasio: What do you mean by that exactly?
Stuhlbarg: Well, there's timing that comes into it, in when something is going to be shot and whether you're going to be available for it. And other than that the only other power I have is if I don't want to be a part of something, I get to say "no." So I guess what I mean is I had no control over Luca being interested in working with me in “Call Me By Your Name.” It just sort of came into my life. I've never really campaigned for a role because I'm not privy to that kind of information oftentimes. So I make decisions on what has been presented to me.
Guerrasio: What grabbed you about the Mr. Perlman character in “Call Me By Your Name?"
Stuhlbarg: Everything about this project grabbed me. The idea that I got to work with Luca. That James Ivory was involved. That we would shoot in the North of Italy. I love to travel for work. That was a wonderful part of this job. And the character itself and the deeply felt sentiments he gets to convey.
Guerrasio: Speaking of that, there's an amazing scene toward the end of the movie where your character has a heart-to-heart with his son. It's a real highlight of the movie. Could you feel what you saw on the script, or while shooting it, that the scene could be a memorable moment in the movie?
Stuhlbarg: I think I had heard previous that it was a part of the novel that people also found to be quite moving. So, yes, going into it there was a certain gravity, I'll say, to that text. We shot the film in chronological order so I certainly felt after being alone with that material for many weeks and trying it a million different ways that I was ready to convey it when we had to.
Guerrasio: Is that a scene where you don’t do a lot of takes? Because you've been with the material for so long I’m assuming you were very prepared.
Stuhlbarg: We spoke through it once for camera movements and then we did what ended up being a more emotional take first and then a more direct take afterwards. And Luca felt like he got what he needed after our two takes and we moved on.
Guerrasio: There's all this chatter of Luca wanting to do a "Call My By Your Name" sequel, is that something that's already been discussed with you?
Stuhlbarg: I just hear it through interviews. I'm in. I had an amazing time. He really loves these characters. I think it would be fascinating to explore them in different ways.
Guerrasio: Did you shoot this first or “The Shape of Water?"
Stuhlbarg: I shot “Call Me By Your Name” first. “The Shape of Water” was not long after.
Guerrasio: What's great is in the span of weeks we'll see you playing two very different characters, Mr. Perlman in “Call Me by Your Name” then Mr. Hoffstetler in “The Shape of Water.” What grabbed you about that character?
Stuhlbarg: Well, first that Guillermo knew who I was. [Laughs] He said he had written this part with me in mind. The style of that film sort of marries some magical realism and Cold War intrigue with a romance. It's a very different kind of style. And I also had to speak Russian in it, which was a huge challenge.
Guerrasio: With the Russian, how far in do you go with trying to master the language?
Stuhlbarg: I try to go as deeply as I can given the time that I have. In this instance, there's a process that you go through. I had to wait for the dialogue to be written into Russian, that took a while, then I worked with a tutor who helped me break down the nuances. One idea conveyed in English may be done in the reverse order in Russian. So there's hearing the words, then articulating them, and phonetics, and then repetition, repetition.
Guerrasio: This takes weeks? Months?
Stuhlbarg: A lot of my stuff was up first so I didn't have much time, so we're talking weeks.
Guerrasio: Do you enjoy watching with an audience the movies you're in?
Stuhlbarg: You never know what a movie is going to be the first time you see it. It's been living in your head and your heart in particular ways. It's always jarring and often times, with me, my appreciation will grow for it over time when I get to see it a number of times. But I do love to sit there and see people react to it. I love that part of what we get to do. They always end up laughing or crying in places you didn't necessarily expect them to.
Guerrasio: One of your most memorable characters up to this point in your career is as Arnold Rothstein in "Boardwalk Empire.” I talked to Terence Winter once and he said he really regretted not being able to give the character a better send-off. Were you disappointed about that as well?
Stuhlbarg: Well, I had very little control over the situation. HBO had made a decision about ending the series a little bit earlier than I thought so they reduced the size of the final season and Terry said to me he wanted to utilize Rothstein in some way, like in flashbacks, and they just couldn't find a way to do it. Of course, I would have loved to have had the opportunity to have given him a good send-off. And I loved the strange circumstance of his demise, which would have made a great part of an episode.
Guerrasio: Because in real life Rothstein died during a card game or something like that, right?
Stuhlbarg: Yeah. He went to the Park Central Hotel, which still exists in New York City. On the third floor. Shots rang out, we're not sure where the shots came from, but it was supposedly related to the money he owed over a three-day poker game he was in the month before. He didn’t pay up because he thought the game was fixed. He never gave up who it was who shot him. He's got the gangster code. He died a couple of days later. I had a great time learning about him.
Guerrasio: But it has to eat at you a little. That could have been its own standalone episode.
Stuhlbarg: Yeah. But you just have to let things go.
Guerrasio: You starred in the Netflix movie, "Gore," which stars Kevin Spacey and is no longer being released due to the sexual harassment allegations against him. Going forward, do you now factor in sexual misconduct allegations into if you choose a role or not? What I mean is if an actor, director, or producer who has allegations against them is involved in a movie that you are up for a part in, do you now decline? Whether it be because of your own personal feelings or on just a business decision as you may encounter another experience like "Gore" where the movie doesn't see the light of day.
Stuhlbarg: That's a hard question. I think we all have to make our own decisions in regards to these things. I'd like to believe that given time I would make whatever decision I felt was the decision I needed to make. It's an individual choice. I don't know how I would answer that. [Pause] I'll just say these are all individual decisions we all have to make by ourselves. I would have to weigh what was important to me at the time.
The holidays are upon us so that means it’s time to take in the movies that studios and distributors hope will find award season attention — along with a few popcorn movies mixed in (we’re looking at you “Bright” and “Star Wars: The Last Jedi”).
From Pixar’s latest “Coco” to “I, Tonya,” which depicts the troubled life of disgraced figure skater Tonya Harding, and Paul Thomas Anderson’s anticipated “Phantom Thread,” the rest of the year has some movies you should be excited to check out.
Here are 19 movies we think are worth your time:
“Coco” — In Theaters
The new Pixar movie weaves a story about family and never forgetting loved ones who have passed on, while celebrating the Mexican holiday Dia de los Muertos. It’s perfect for the whole family.
“Darkest Hour” — In Theaters
Gary Oldman gives a master class (and is almost unrecognizable) playing Winston Churchill. Set at the time the Nazis have the allies on the run, Oldman plays Churchill as a man driven to not give into his critics, and continue to fight though all the odds seem against him. It’s one of the best performances of the year and could earn Oldman his first-ever Oscar win.
“Roman J. Israel, Esq.” — In Theaters
Starring Denzel Washington as a defense attorney whose life is turned upside down after his partner at his law firm becomes ill, the actor gives a powerful performance as a man who in his fight for justice turns to a darker path.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
Following Oscar hype at its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, “Call Me by Your Name” shows up at the Toronto International Film Festival with the hopes of increasing the buzz. And after its premiere screening here Thursday night, it did just that (the movie is currently open in select theaters).
From director Luca Guadagnino (“I Am Love,” “A Bigger Splash”), with a script by James Ivory, this adaptation of the André Aciman novel is a touching portrait of a summer love affair between student Oliver (Armie Hammer) and the son of the professor that’s taken him in, Elio (Timothée Chalamet).
Guadagnino has dazzled audiences in the past with lush visuals of rural Italy that makes you want to jump on a plane and vacation there. “Call Me by Your Name” is no different, as the “somewhere in Northern Italy” setting is a character all its own in the movie with its hidden ponds, cute towns, and a rustic villa. But what’s different this time around is that with the movie’s setting of the late 1980s, Guadagnino gives us a more playful feel. Similar to “A Bigger Splash,” the movie features fun music and a lot of sexual tension, but in “Call Me By Your Name” there’s no sinister third act. The movie is about sexual discovery and the feeling of finding your first love.
The movie is fueled by Elio’s fondness for Oliver, which turns into a mutual love over the six weeks they are together. Hammer plays the Oliver character as a macho American, who shows up with a confidence that at first intimidates Elio. But by the end, Elio doesn’t want to just sleep with him, he wants to be just like him.
Hammer and Chalamet have incredible on-screen chemistry as they go back and forth from a playful big brother/little brother vibe to passionate lovers. Both should be in the awards season discussion (Guadagnino as well), but it’s Hammer who really shines. The Oliver role gives him the opportunity to really show off his dramatic chops and leading man charm.
The movie might be a little too long (running time is over two hours). By the end it gets to the point where there are about three different endings. But buried in there is a fantastic scene between Chalamet and character actor Michael Stuhlbarg, who plays his father, that is an emotional high of the movie.
“Call Me By Your Name” opens in theaters November 24.
Ever since it premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January, "Call Me by Your Name" has been an Oscar front-runner. It stars Timothée Chalamet as Elio, the 17-year old son of an academic living in Italy for the summer of 1983. He falls in love with a 24-year-old student of his father named Oliver, played by Armie Hammer.
It's a sensual, languorous movie that drinks in the Italian countryside's beauty. When it's all over, you wish you could go back for hours.
Why should you care: Pretty much everyone agrees it's one of the best movies of the year.
Don't just take my word for it —the movie has a 98% on Rotten Tomatoes with 112 reviews so far. It's tipped for multiple Oscars, including for Chalamet (also seen this year in the excellent "Lady Bird"), Hammer (his best performance since "The Social Network"), directing (Luca Guadagnino, of "A Bigger Splash" and "I Am Love"), screenplay (written by James Ivory, who made "Maurice" and "Remains of the Day"), and hopefully everything else it can get.
Also, it's also a gay romance movie, which is all too rare in Hollywood.
What's hot: It's a gorgeous, smart romantic movie.
Drawn from André Aciman's novel, "Call Me By Your Name" is filled with the kinds of details that transport you to another place.
I could go on and on about the clothing, the glinting necklaces, the houseflies, the Greek artifacts, the pomegranates, the music, and a long, very sensual scene that involves a peach. Guadagnino captures it all in a way that adds depth to the setting and helps define each character.
I was also surprised by how Jewish the movie is.
Aciman is a Jewish refugee who fled Egypt when he was a child, and his Judaism has always been a subject in his books.
Elio and Oliver each have their own complicated feelings about their religion, and the movie enriches their romance by showing us how the world around them might see two gay Jewish men if they were more open about it.
When they first open up about their love for each other, the camera pans up to an Italian flag above a nearby World War I memorial and a cross atop a nearby church. Shortly after, they stop by a house with Mussolini's portrait hanging over the door frame. The movie doesn't deal too explicitly with antisemitism and homophobia, but they're lurking in the background.
Chalamet and Hammer are, of course, the stars of the movie. The characters are impossibly rich, with full interior lives. The movie couldn't be imagined without Hammer and Chalamet in their roles.
It's not, as some people who haven't seen the movie have suggested, about an older man preying on a younger one. Elio is the one who initiates the relationship, stumbling through it despite his confidence. Hammer as Oliver, on the other hand, is comfortably and domineering in his own body, like Ralph Fiennes in "A Bigger Splash."
Michael Stuhlbarg, as Elio's father, has a few key scenes that are hard to pull off. He absolutely nails them, as always.
What's not: Not much.
The only thing to note is that the first half of the movie, before Elio and Oliver's relationship really gets going, is much more languorous than the second half. But it all culminates nicely in the end.
The bottom-line: Definitely watch it.
If you're looking for a rich, gorgeously shot, well-acted movie and story, definitely watch "Call Me by Your Name."
"Call Me by Your Name" is in limited release now.
Warning: Minor spoilers below if you haven't seen "Justice League."
It looks like Joss Whedon had his own battles while making "Justice League."
The director of multiple "Avengers" movies for Disney/Marvel is one of the screenwriters credited on the big budget Warner Bros./DC Comics movie. He came on to write scenes for the reshoots and then took over the movie during post production after director Zack Snyder left the project following his daughter's suicide.
Though it's obvious Whedon was brought on to bring some lightheartedness to a franchise that has been criticized for being too dark and serious, it seems the studio would only let him go so far.
Whedon's original opening for "Justice League" was much more comedic, or that's how actor Holt McCallany (Netflix's "Mindhunters") put it when interviewed by Men's Fitness. In "Justice League," McCallany plays the criminal in the opening scene who is captured by Batman (Ben Affleck).
"My scene with Batman was originally conceived as a comedic scene," McCallany said. "That’s how Joss wrote it, and that’s how we shot it. I thought it came out great, but the studio felt it would be a mistake to open the film with a completely comedic scene, so it was re-edited a little bit. I was disappointed, but when I got home to New York I found a bottle of my favorite champagne and a note from Joss that said 'To Battles Lost. Gratefully, Joss.' I can’t tell you how much it meant to me that he took the time to write to me. Joss Whedon is a class act. I had the letter framed."
Now, it's unclear by McCallany if Whedon or Snyder shot the scene. Either way, it's clear Whedon wrote an opening to the movie that would have had audiences chuckling a little more (well, a lot more) than what the final version gave us.
The movie opens on a rooftop in Metropolis with McCallany's character leaving a crime when Batman pounces on him. Mostly, the scene is there for Batman to cross paths with a parademon, which makes him realize he now has to form a team of superheroes to defeat whatever is causing these flying creatures to appear.
In all honesty, it was probably the right choice by Warner Bros. to keep the tone of the opening of the movie a little more serious. Though the movie does have some lighthearted moments, at its core "Justice League" has a dark feel and opening with Batman and McCallany's character trading one-liners would have thrown audiences off, especially since the next chuckle moment in the movie doesn't come for another 20 minutes or so, when Batman seeks out The Flash (Ezra Miller).
However, this insight also shows how high the stakes are for a studio. Almost every choice on a movie like this can be challenged by the executives — even if the idea comes from someone established like Whedon, whose two "Avengers" movies have grossed over $1 billion each!
Darren Triplow has an unusual occupation. He flies helicopters in Rwanda to help conservationists watch for poachers illegally hunting black rhinos. To unwind when he’s at his home base in Washington, D.C., he’ll sometimes settle in front of the television. But it’s not the weekend game that he turns on. It’s the Hallmark Channel.
“I like the content. The shows are family-friendly – it’s not riddled with violence like you see in a lot of shows on these days. And there’s usually always a happy ending to it,” says Mr. Triplow, who has been a fan of Hallmark’s programming for the past couple of years and likes to watch with his wife and two children. “It’s just easy to watch and it’s relaxing, which is kinda hard to find on TV these days.”
And Triplow is not that unique in his TV-watching habits. In 2016, Hallmark saw a 10 percent increase in total viewership and a 26 percent increase among viewers 18-49. During the 2016 election week, it ranked No. 4 among primetime cable networks – even ranking above MSNBC.
Television has long served as a form of escape. For many viewers, with its 24/7 feed of TV miniseries and movies full of white picket fences and wholesome family values, the Hallmark Channel has become a growing safe haven for those weary of the violence, conflict, and uncertainty churned out by both news broadcasts and apocalyptic-themed TV dramas.
Shows like "The Walking Dead" and the happy content from Hallmark are like two sides of the same coin, says Wheeler Winston Dixon, Ryan professor of film studies at University of Nebraska – Lincoln. Both offer appealing counter-realities.
“Some people feel that a return to the past is possible, that we can get through this. Other people feel that apocalyptic times will solve all their problems by just erasing everything,” says Professor Dixon.
Younger generations may be drawn by the fact that on the Hallmark Channel, homeownership, solid careers, and relationships are easy to come by.
Amy Jamison, a college professor in Michigan and a longtime viewer, appreciates Hallmark’s guaranteed happy ending that offers her a chance to decompress after a long day.
“As soon as I get home … I just want to settle in for a good movie,” she says, adding that “the predictable, happy ending is something that’s comforting, especially when you’ve got a lot going on."
The popularity of Hallmark movies are following a familiar cyclical pop culture pattern, notes Cathy Perron, an associate professor in the film and television program at Boston University’s College of Communication. She points to similarities in the era of western movies. Westerns were considered quite violent for the time, and while they were wildly popular in the 1930s through the 1950s, they were soon followed by a counter-trend of family-oriented dramas, such as “I Love Lucy” and “Leave it to Beaver."
“[H]istorically, when there have been some difficult times, many viewers tend to migrate toward content that represents … a more gentle time,” Professor Perron says. “If you look at what the television networks ... have for new programs, they’re all very much either crime or war-centric. And when they introduce something like ‘This is Us’ or ‘Modern Family’ … people gravitate toward that….”
Just like the family dramas of the 1950s, the Hallmark Channel and other feel-good shows like “This is Us” are bringing back the idea of TV content for all, where the whole family can watch and share in the experience, says Perron.
Austin Romo, a recent college graduate and flight attendant, says he most enjoys watching Hallmark movies with his grandmother and siblings. “She gets enjoyment and pleasure from spending time with her grandkids … and we all share a love for and enjoyment of watching the shows with her,” he says, adding that while he didn’t initially expect to like the saccharine predictability of Hallmark scripts, he has grown to appreciate its stories.
While many may roll their eyes at the mention of Hallmark, wait a beat and people may just admit that Hallmark is exactly what they need.
“It’s not so much burying your head in the sand, it’s just taking a break from what is assaulting you on a daily basis,” Perron says.
For Tanja Moneyhun, a pet groomer from Alton, Ill., and a dedicated Christmastime Hallmark viewer, the intensity of the news overwhelms her and she looks forward to Christmas, when she can take a break with the warm, calm content. “It’s almost like a hug,” she says.
Director Lee Unkrich was hot off the box office success and Oscar win for 2010’s “Toy Story 3” when he delved into making a movie that focused on the Mexican holiday, Dia de los Muertos. Seven years later, the project now known as “Coco” is finally ready for release (in theaters November 22), but the experience of making it was unlike any other Pixar movie before.
Under the watchful eye of Pixar/Walt Disney Animation head John Lasseter, Disney animation has been a powerhouse for over two decades. A big reason for that is the visionaries behind the scenes who are always looking for a challenge. For Unkrich, it was the Day of the Dead holiday that really fascinated him as an entry into telling a story.
“It wasn't until I started to learn about the tradition, and what it was truly all about, and its history, that I started to really see the potential of telling a story that could be very adventurous and visually dazzling, full of music and color, but could also have a real emotional resonance,” Unkrich told Business Insider. “And that's what we're all really looking for ultimately in the stories that we tell. We don't want to just tell a story that's gimmicky and clever.”
It would be new terrain for Pixar: the first time it would tell a story around a cultural celebration. But Lasseter was game. He gave Unkrich the okay and the filmmaker got started in September of 2011.
The story follows a young boy named Miguel who secretly wants to be a famous musician, though his family has forbidden music after his great-great-grandfather left the family to seek out fame as a musician. While celebrating Day of the Dead, Miguel magically ends up in the Land of the Dead, and must go on a journey to find his way back to the living while also searching for his great-great-grandfather.
“Many of us have lost loved ones and have spend time thinking about them and wanting to keep their memories alive, so we felt even though this was a culturally specific setting for our story that it was going to be full of ideas that people all over the world could relate to,” Unkrich said.
But finding the right tone for the culture it was spotlighting turned out to be the project’s biggest challenge. At first, to stay clear of stereotypes and making sure to be culturally respectful, Unkrich said he used many Pixar artists and employees who are Mexican or Mexican-American as a sounding board. However, a major roadblock hit the production in 2013 when Disney filed an application to patent Dia de los Muertos for the release of the movie. The Latino community went into an uproar on social media and a petition to stop Disney went up on Change.org and received over 21,000 signatures. The company quickly withdrew the application.
Unkrich admits making “Coco” has been a learning process from the start, but he said they really hit their stride when they put together a group of cultural consultants. Made up of people like Lalo Alcaraz — author of the nationally syndicated comic “La Cucaracha,” who was one of the most vocal opponents of the patent — and Latino playwright Octavio Solis, the group would meet with Unkrich, codirector Adrian Molina, and their team every few months and look at the development of the project. It was the first time on any Pixar movie that outsiders were allowed into the studio’s creative process. And getting the feedback of outsiders didn’t stop there.
“We ended up bringing in periodically big groups of all sorts of folks from the Latino community, from artists to writers to political figures to media executives, because we wanted to get a lot of different perspectives,” Unkrich said. “What we quickly learned is there is no one right way to tell a story set in the Latino community, there are a lot of different opinions. Part of our challenge was trying to navigate all those different opinions to figure out our path forward.”
These meetings with the consultants and Latino community didn’t lead to any major changes to the story, Unkrich said, however they were responsible for many small tweaks that increased the movie’s connection to Mexican culture.
One example is a change in how the character of Miguel’s grandmother, Abuelita, disciplines people.
“In her earlier conception we gave her a wooden spoon that was tucked into her apron string and she would whip that out and kind of hit you to express displeasure,” Unkrich said. “It was at one of our earlier screenings that a couple of our cultural consultants said, ‘A spoon has nothing to do with Latino culture, she should really pull off her chancla, her slipper, and hit them with it.’ And that was the first time we learned about la chancla, and we embraced the idea fully. That one adjustment has proven to win us a lot of points in the Latino community because it's something a lot of people grew up fearing.”
Then there were the factors surrounding the movie that were beyond Unkrich and Pixar’s control, like how immigration suddenly became a hot-button topic after the election of Donald Trump as president. Unkrich said he and his crew were in Mexico on election night, recording music by local musicians for the movie. He said the news of the Trump win didn’t dampen anyone’s spirits, but he does recognize the current climate about immigration and race, and how it’s changed substantially since back when they began working on “Coco.”
“I feel like this has been a confusing time for many people, and there's lots of negativity in the air, and we just hope that with this film we are bringing some needed positivity,” he said.
Unkrich doesn’t know if “Coco” can be a unifier, but he does believe that telling stories like this is important.
“I think a lot of great change in history has come from stories and storytelling, there's a power to it,” he said. “The one thing that everyone knows for sure these days is that we're living in super unpredictable times. All I can really say is that I firmly believe that by bringing this movie out we're trying to be part of the solution rather than trying to be part of the problem.”
Pixar and Disney Animated Studios have dominated the Thanksgiving holiday weekend over the past handful of years, giving us titles like "Frozen,""Moana,""The Good Dinosaur," and "Tangled." Now you can add Pixar's latest "Coco" to that list.
The emotional look at a boy's journey to the Land of the Dead to better understand his family and celebrate his relatives who have passed away took in a solid $49 million over the weekend and $72 million total over the five-day holiday weekend domestically, according to Exhibitor Relations.
To put that in perspective with the Disney/Pixar Thanksgiving domestic releases of the past, that opening is better than "The Good Dinosaur" ($39.1 million three-day / $55.4 million five-day) and "Tangled" ($48.7 million / $68.7 million) but didn't perform as well as "Moana" ($56.6 million / $82 million), "Frozen" ($67.4 million / $93.9 million), or "Toy Story 2" ($57.4 million / $80.5 million).
Warner Bros.'s "Justice League" dropped down to second place with $60 million over the five days. The $300 million-budgeted superhero blockbuster now has a weak domestic total of $171 million.
"Wonder" continued its surprising run for Lionsgate by taking in $32 million over five days to win third place.
But audiences didn't show up for Denzel Washington's latest, "Roman J. Israel, Esq.," as the Sony drama only earned $6 million over the five days on over 1,600 screens.
Pixar's stunning new movie "Coco" has already had a successful opening week over the Thanksgiving holiday in the US, but the film's debut hasn't been without controversy. Disney made the unique decision to pair "Coco" with a new 21-minute long "Frozen" featurette starring Olaf — and people are pissed.
Why the "Frozen" short is so unusual to begin with
"Olaf's Frozen Adventure" is an outlier when it comes to the short films typically played before Pixar movies in theaters. For one, it was produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios — not Pixar. Though the companies are connected, the two studios' movies and shorts are typically kept separated.
Then there's the 21-minute runtime of "Olaf's Frozen Adventure." That length, especially for an audience who might not be expecting a "featurette" (as Disney calls it in press releases and trailers), is downright confusing. Combine it with the trailers and usual theater advertisements for rewards programs or warnings about cell phone use, and "Coco" is starting more than 40 minutes after the theater's listing times.
Here's a sample of how critics and regular moviegoers reacted to "Olaf's Frozen Adventure":
Coco is spectacular but unfortunately the Frozen short that precedes it will eat your brain from the inside, then spit the amygdaloid rind that remains thereafter down your throat.— Ian Bogost (@ibogost) November 23, 2017
I’m going to say it, since no one else will. The Frozen short in front of Coco is a giant piece of frozen shit. Olof made me want to punch myself in the face.— devon sawa (@DevonESawa) November 26, 2017
good evening to everyone except for the executive that doubted coco's natural ability to draw in an audience and forced a half an hour long frozen 'short' before it that made everyone wanna walk out early— Calvin (@calvinstowell) November 25, 2017
BEWARE, If you're taking your kid to "Coco" there is a shitty 21 minute "Frozen" short beforehand. It's annoying and bad.— Nick Thune (@nickthune) November 24, 2017
The 21-minute Frozen “short” before the spectacular Coco might be the worst thing Disney has put its stamp of approval on in ages.— It’s Brittany, Grinch (@butterbard) November 24, 2017
The seemingly endless, deeply mediocre Frozen 'short' they force you watch before CoCo is a hate crime— Patrick Sullivan (@PatchNavillus) November 24, 2017
OLAF’S FROZEN ADVENTURE filled me with rage. In addition to representing the worst elements of the crass commercialization of Christmas, the songs were lackluster, the plotting is painfully cliched, and Olaf is annoying as shit.— David Chen (@davechensky) November 26, 2017
Complaints about "Olaf's Frozen Adventure" were bad enough in certain Mexico areas that one theater chain, Cinemex, reportedly stopped showing the Disney short before "Coco."
This is significant for the non-US box office, considering "Coco" is now the highest-grossing movie of all time in Mexico. INSIDER reached out to Disney for comment, but did not immediately hear back.
But the short wasn't as bad as I was expecting
"Olaf's Frozen Adventure" was not shown to critics who attended early press screenings of "Coco." So Thanksgiving weekend, I saw the movie for a second time in order to understand what all the fuss was about with the Disney "short."
After reading about the backlash to the short for a few days, I was prepared for the worst. But "Olaf's Frozen Adventure" was a charming and well-crafted follow up to "Frozen."
The mini-movie tells the story of Elsa and Anna celebrating their first Christmas in Arrendelle since the events of "Frozen." When they realize they have no family Christmas traditions to help them celebrate, Olaf goes on his "frozen adventure" in a misguided effort to help locate a tradition the sisters can co-opt.
The story is a little weak, and the four song interludes are definitely unnecessary. None of the music stacks up to the original music in "Frozen." But if you were a fan of the original Disney movie, and Olaf in particular, then the humor and lighthearted holiday message will resonate with you.
Plus, the animation is stunning. I wouldn't be surprised if Disney wanted to create this short just to show off the incredible rendering of Elsa's new winter gown, complete with a fuzzy white collar that I couldn't stop staring at while it was on screen.
Why the runtime is the "Frozen" short's biggest issue
The backlash Disney has inadvertently caused is stemming from the poor advertising. The TV commercials I've seen for "Coco" don't mention the 21-minute long "Frozen" short, and even the direct trailers for "Olaf's Frozen Adventure" fail to mention a runtime.
That in itself isn't odd. It would be strange for Disney to say, "Hey, just so you know, this 'featurette' is over 20 minutes long so plan accordingly."
But the choice to ditch the usual six-minute original Pixar short and instead offer up a drawn out mini-sequel to "Frozen," Disney made a serious miscalculation.
My tickets were for a 10:15 a.m. showing of "Coco" at an AMC movie theater, which listed the total runtime as two hours and eight minutes. The previews began at 10:16 a.m., and we were shown seven trailers for upcoming movies.
"Olaf's Frozen Adventure" started at 10:34 a.m, and "Coco" didn't begin until 10:56 a.m. — more than 40 minutes after my ticketed start time. The movie ended at 12:33, 10 minutes past AMC's advertised run time (but we didn't sit through the whole credits).
For families going to the movies with younger kids (and their short attention spans), the runtime of "Olaf's Frozen Adventure" could lead to confused toddlers who don't understand what movie they're supposed to be watching. And for any audience member who didn't like the original "Frozen" movie, sitting through 21 minutes of Olaf before seeing "Coco" can understandably cause frustration.
Then there's the more serious criticism being leveled at Disney's choice. "Coco" is the first Pixar feature film to focus on a non-white protagonist, telling the story of Mexican Dia de los Muertos traditions through the lens of the young Miguel and his lifelong dream of playing music.
As some of the aforementioned tweets suggest, some people think Disney might have been concerned that "Coco" would fail at drawing audiences in its opening weeks. Would people still buy tickets to a Pixar movie that didn't star anthropomorphized toys or cute animals or an all-white set of human protagonists? It's possible Disney wasn't convinced.
Some believe Disney might have thought that the added bonus of "Olaf's Frozen Adventure" would ensure success for "Coco," but instead the featurette has only succeeded in capturing the ire of moviegoers while "Coco" itself is a box-office hit that critics are raving about.
Next time, Disney should stick to the traditional separation of its own animated hits like "Frozen" and the original works of Pixar.
If you ever want to see James Cameron defensive, just ask him about the ending of "Titanic."
Two decades later, people are still asking him why, exactly, Jack had to die. Wasn't there enough room on the door for both of them?
Vanity Fair recently interviewed Cameron for the movie's 20th anniversary and remaster. It asked him the question yet again, and he gave a scathing answer.
"The answer is very simple," Cameron told Vanity Fair. "Because it says on page 147 [of the script] that Jack dies. Very simple."
To Cameron, it was an artistic choice to have Leonardo DiCaprio's beloved character and childhood crush of millions drown into the cold embrace of death.
We needed to see Jack die because Cameron thought if would be best if we did.
"It was an artistic choice, the thing was just big enough to hold her, and not big enough to hold him," Cameron said. "I think it’s all kind of silly, really, that we’re having this discussion 20 years later. But it does show that the film was effective in making Jack so endearing to the audience that it hurts them to see him die. ... The film is about death and separation; he had to die."
Since Jack was doomed to die, Cameron said, it could have happened in a bunch of different ways. It's not about the door not being big enough: that's just a practical method for his death.
"Whether it was that, or whether a smoke stack fell on him, he was going down," Cameron said. "It’s called art, things happen for artistic reasons, not for physics reasons."
Warning: Spoilers ahead for the new "Frozen" short, "Olaf's Frozen Adventure."
Disney's new short film, "Olaf's Frozen Adventure," is playing in theaters ahead of the latest Pixar movie "Coco." The short, which is really a 21-minute long featurette, has sparked controversy among moviegoers who really hate the addition of an Olaf-centric story to the "Coco" experience.
If you haven't seen it yet and are wondering what all the fuss is about (or are one of people who have showed up late to "Coco" in order to avoid seeing it), here's what "Olaf's Frozen Adventure" is about:
The short picks up during the first December after the events in "Frozen"
Elsa and Anna, with the help of Olaf, are preparing the castle for a big holiday surprise party. When the people of Arrendelle arrive to the castle's courtyard, Kristoff and Sven (the reindeer) bring the large ceremonial bell. Following tradition, Elsa and Anna ring the bell to signal the start of the holiday season.
But when they open the castle doors to surprise everyone with a lavish holiday party, Elsa and Anna are surprised and saddened to see everyone turn away and head home. Each family already has their own tradition to carry out, leaving Elsa and Anna alone at the castle.
They realize they don't have any traditions of their own, since their parents died when they were young and then the two sisters didn't interact much again. This is the first holiday they've celebrated since the gates of the castle have been reopened, but it's already a let down.
Olaf decides to save the day, and sets out to visit every home in Arrendelle in order to find a tradition Elsa and Anna can make their own. This is where most of the humor kicks in, as Olaf goes from door to door (singing a new song) and learning about various Norwegian holiday traditions, along with the recognizable Christmas and Hanukkah traditions practiced in the US.
Olaf inadvertently pokes fun at some Christmas traditions along the way, like when he recaps the story of Santa by saying breaking and entering is clearly OK on Christmas, or that people dress up a tree's corpse in candles.
After gathering a sled full of tradition ideas, Olaf and Sven head back to the castle. But when the sled catches fire thanks to some coals, Olaf gets lost in the woods while Sven runs for help.
Meanwhile in the castle, Elsa and Anna have discovered a box in the attic that might reveal a holiday tradition they had forgotten about.
Olaf was Elsa and Anna's real tradition all along
The whole town sets out to find Olaf (who has now lost all of the traditions he'd gathered). When they find him, Elsa and Anna reveal that Olaf is actually their real tradition.
In the original "Frozen" movie, we see Elsa and Anna create Olaf while playing in the snow Elsa makes using her powers. The end of "Olaf's Frozen Adventure," we see a series of flashbacks showing young Anna giving Elsa an Olaf-themed holiday card each year. Even though the sisters weren't talking, Anna would try to communicate to Elsa every holiday season by reminding her of the snowman they would create together.
The short ends with a fourth song, "When We're Together," sung by Elsa and Anna. As they sing, Elsa uses her powers to create an icy Christmas tree and bring the whole town together on a frozen pond. The tree is topped with an Olaf doll embedded in an snowflake crystal.
The ultimate message — that holiday traditions start with your family, not objects — is made clear. The short has plenty of Olaf and Sven humor that carries over from the original "Frozen." And, of course, the animation is stunning. But at 21 minutes, it's the longest short to ever play in front of a Pixar movie.
For more on why the "Frozen" short has sparked so much backlash, read our report here. You can watch the lyric video for "When We're Together" below:
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Kim Kardashian has an actress in mind to play her when the biopic about her family inevitably happens. Calm down, it's not Meryl Streep (though we'd pay good money for that movie).
Kim Kardashian, 37, said in a recent interview that if anyone ever made a movie about her, she'd like Jennifer Lawrence, 27, to play her.
"She's so funny. Of course she could! She's the best actress," she said, when asked about Jennifer potentially playing her, in an interview with "Extra" (see video below).
It's definitely an unexpected choice, but it makes sense when you think about it. Who could forget their epic interview on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" when Jennifer guest hosted? They're basically best friends now, and Kim seems like she trusts her to do the part justice.
After all, Jennifer won the Oscar in 2013 for "Silver Linings Playbook." She's been nominated three other times, for her roles in "Winter's Bone,""American Hustle," and "Joy." She could play anyone and nab at least one award for it.
While we'd kill to see a Kardashian biopic one day, Jennifer wouldn't be our go-to choice for the Kim role. Nasim Pedrad, 36, who played her on "Saturday Night Live," would be awesome! We have a feeling her natural flair for humor would serve well for the awkward situations Kim often finds herself in, like when her fans basically revolted after they saw she froze rose petals in her ice cubes at her baby shower.
Now we're trying to decide what a Kardashian biopic would be called, and who would play the rest of the family. There are so many good options!
"Lady Bird" is the directorial debut of rising indie film star Greta Gerwig, who wrote the screenplay about the life of a high school senior in Northern California during the early 2000s.
Saoirse Ronan plays Christine "Lady Bird" McPherson, a 17-year-old student who gives herself a nickname and has everyone (including her judgmental mother) call her by it. "Lady Bird" is a sweet and sometimes gut-wrenching movie that explores the complex relationships teenagers have to their parents and hometowns, especially when the drive to leave everything behind for college is at its peak.
"Lady Bird" broke the Rotten Tomatoes record for highest number of positive (or "fresh") reviews with zero negative ones.
Keep reading to see what critics are saying about the movie.
The movie captures life for a high school teenager without being cliche.
The Atlantic: "It seems Hollywood may finally be entering an era of smartly written, frankly told coming-of-age tales with realistic, well-rounded young women at their center (both are from female writers and directors). 'Lady Bird' is somehow even better — it's funny, lively, and then devastating when it needs to be, made with the kind of confidence even its heroine could only dream of."
The Hollywood Reporter:"The film abounds with pinpoint insights into its mildly rebellious heroine's hunger to shed the restraints of home and Catholic school and bust into an independent life, and does so with a wealth of keenly observed detail."
Entertainment Weekly:"Gerwig doesn't trap her protagonist in the oblivious underage bubble that most coming-of-age dramedies inhabit; Lady Bird's parents, played by Tracy Letts and Laurie Metcalf, are fully formed humans with their own deep flaws and vulnerabilities."
Washington Post:"What might have been a by-the-numbers proposition turns out to be fizzily funny and wistfully affecting, a story whose familiar contours nevertheless contain something utterly original and revelatory."
The story is a family drama with the right amount of comedy mixed in.
IndieWire: "While it hints at melancholic details percolating throughout the McPhersons, from her father's depression to her mother's parental insecurities, 'Lady Bird' avoids the tropes of a downbeat family drama with continuing flashes of comedic inspiration."
Slate: "Gerwig is less interested in high dramatic stakes than in the micro-observation of human behavior: the way her exasperating but endearing heroine at once begs for affection and pushes it away, for example, in a scene where she and her mother shop together for a prom dress, passive-aggressive barbs a-flyin’."
Everyone thinks Saoirse Ronan is a breakout star for her role as Lady Bird.
Roger Ebert:"Of course, the MVP here is Ronan [...] Bedecked with a messy blood-red dye job, a smattering of acne and thrift-shop chic sensibilities, she is thoughtful and impulsive, sharp and naïve in equal measure."
Rolling Stone:"With her expert comic timing and nuanced dramatic shading, [Ronan] is, quite simply, astonishing."
AV Club:"It's a beautiful star performance, perfectly nailing the self-consciousness of youth, in ways both amusing (her attempts at flirting are tragically you-come-here-often labored) and touching."
Essentially, "Lady Bird" is a perfect movie.
The New York Times:"I'm tempted to catalog the six different ways the ending can make you cry. I'll settle for one: the bittersweet feeling of having watched someone grow in front of your eyes, into a different and in some ways improved version of herself. In life, that's a messy, endless process, which is one reason we need movies. Or to put it another way, even though Lady Bird will never be perfect, 'Lady Bird' is."
Vulture:"A final sequence in New York is so inspired that I'd call for a sequel if that weren't so dully de rigueur these days. In the case of 'Lady Bird,' enough is enough — in fact, nearly perfect."
USA Today:"Lady Bird is a perfect coming-of-age comedy for anyone who's ever had teenage wanderlust, fought with their parents, fostered a love-hate tension with their hometown or popped Communion wafers in secret."
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As 2017 comes to a close, a few movie trends are clear.
It was a banner year for superhero movies. "Justice League" aside, "Logan,""Thor: Ragnarok,""Spider-Man: Homecoming," and "Wonder Woman" were all excellent.
It was a great year for horror movies, too. "It" and "Get Out" both terrified audiences this year and became critically beloved.
And there were also a bunch of other great movies — from critical darlings like "Lady Bird" to rom-coms like "The Big Sick."
Here are the 16 best movies of the year.
Gritty superhero movies are nothing new, but "Logan" steps it up.
The X-Men spin-off movie about Wolverine in his twilight years was both intensely violent and deeply moving, providing a satisfying end to Hugh Jackman's portrayal of the character.
"Get Out" hit a nerve.
No movie captured 2017 like "Get Out," a racially conscious horror film by comedian-slash-genius Jordan Peele. It came out all the way back in February, shortly after the presidential inauguration, but we haven't stopped thinking about it since.
They don't make movies like "The Lost City of Z" anymore.
Grand, epic adventure movies are seldom made without superheroes or spaceships anymore. But "The Lost City of Z" is based on the incredible true story of Percy Fawcett, a British explorer who went searching for an ancient lost city in the Amazon before disappearing in 1925. It's a story about obsession that you'll never forget and the period details are perfect.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
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If director Ridley Scott was nervous at all about replacing Kevin Spacey in his new movie "All the Money in the World" and still making the movie's original release date of December 22, he's certainly not showing it.
Scott was shooting new scenes in London with actor Christopher Plummer, who will replace Spacey, for the movie over the Thanksgiving holiday. Entertainment Weekly was on set and interviewed Scott, who said he learned about the sexual harassment allegations against Spacey while working on the sound edit for the movie.
"I sat and thought about it and realized, we cannot," Scott said. "You can’t tolerate any kind of behavior like that. And it will affect the film. We cannot let one person’s action affect the good work of all these other people. It’s that simple."
Very quietly, Scott said he quickly put into motion a plan to cut out Spacey and shoot his scenes with another actor. In the movie, Spacey played oil tycoon billionaire John Paul Getty III, who refuses to pay the ransom to free his grandson from kidnappers.
Scott's team was able to lock down the location they shot at with Spacey, and the handful of actors who were with him in his scenes, and then the director flew to New York to get Plummer to take the role. Outside of Plummer, Scott told everyone the shooting was simply pickup shots (additional shooting) so news wouldn't begin to leak out on his bold plan (until he wanted it to).
Scott told EW he did not call Spacey to tell him he would be cut out of the movie and that his decision wouldn't have changed if he had.
The director said he never planned to not release the movie on its planned release date. The additional shooting will reportedly cost north of $10 million.
"Because I know I can deliver," he said. "I move like lightning. I’m already two scenes ahead. It’s simple! If you know what you’re doing, you don’t need 19 takes. You do one for the actor, one for me. It’s all planned out. When you storyboard, you’ve already pre-filmed the movie in your head — the wide shots, close shots, establishing shots. You’ve gotten some of your weird ideas when you’re quietly sitting, story boarding by yourself. After a while you learn to trust and listen to your intuition. And I listen to mine. I trust it."
Scott also isn't worried about critics and Oscar voters seeing the movie in time for award consideration. Because of how postproduction works today, there's no lag time between shooting and getting footage into a cut of a movie — if you know what you're doing, like Scott.
"I’ve been shooting since Monday [November 20] and in with the editor every night since then," he said. "We’re not dealing with celluloid anymore; it’s all digital, and I send [the footage each day] to [editor Claire Simpson] and she cuts it, and I can go in and look after shooting. Everything I’ve shot is already in [the final cut] up through yesterday morning."
Sony has even released a TV spot already with Plummer in it! Watch below. You better believe "All the Money in the World" will be in theaters December 22.
"Love Actually" hit theaters just in time for 2003's holiday season, and audiences deemed it an instant Christmas classic. Though the movie has a problematic treatment of women, "Love Actually" remains a holiday staple for many.
Keep reading for a look at how the star-studded cast looked then, what they look like now, and what they've been up to in between.
We all remember Liam Neeson as the heartbreaking character of Daniel — a man whose wife recently died after battling an illness.
Neeson went on to portray a man with a very special set of skills in "Taken" (and in its two sequels), as well as dozens of other notable roles.
In "Love Actually," Neeson's character had a young stepson named Sam, played by Thomas Brodie-Sangster.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
For most of his career Dave Franco has carefully navigated a path that stayed out of the very large wake left by his brother James. The younger Franco slowly found his niche through building credits doing zany comedies like “21 Jump Street” and “Neighbors.” But when his brother came to him about the two making a movie together about the cult classic “The Room,” it was an offer too good to pass up.
“The Disaster Artist” (opening in limited release on Friday and wider the following week) is a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the 2003 low budget movie, “The Room,” which is regarded as one of the worst movies ever made. James directs and also stars as Tommy Wiseau, the bizarre writer-director of “The Room,” while Dave plays Tommy’s best friend and fellow aspiring actor, Greg Sestero, who follows Wiseau on the journey to make “The Room.” Though hilarious at times, the movie’s backbone is the bond the two friends have and it's all pulled off perfectly by the brothers’ performances.
Dave sat down with Business Insider to talk about making this unique buddy comedy with his brother. He also clarified how far James took being "in character" as Wiseau while directing “The Disaster Artist,” and explained what drove him to lose 20 pounds for an upcoming Netflix movie.
Jason Guerrasio: What was it about "The Disaster Artist" that not only made you want to work with your brother but also start a production company with him, Ramona Films?
Dave Franco: When I first started acting I did make a conscious choice to distance myself from him work-wise just because I wanted to paint my own path, not be referred to as James Franco's little brother for the rest of my life. But after a while it just got to the point where I was like "he's my brother and I love him and I respect him," and with “The Disaster Artist” the dynamic between these characters just felt right. I understood these guys. I'm an actor, I understand the struggle of an actor starting out. And I can relate to the idea of how important it is to have an ally and someone who believes in you and encourages you.
In terms of the production company, my brother and I are very drawn toward projects that do feel slightly outside the box. And at the same time are accessible enough that they could draw a slightly wider audience.
Guerrasio: Starting the production company, did the idea come during production?
Franco: It was during post production when he started to invite me to the edit room. I quickly realized we share a brain and we had this shorthand where we get each other. We really modeled the production around what Seth Rogen has been doing forever. What Judd Apatow does. They create these very collaborative environments where everyone has a say and no one is more powerful that anyone else and the best idea always wins.
Guerrasio: Did you guys go as far as Seth and Judd go in videotaping the audience's reaction at early screenings to see if a joke didn't land right or something could be tweaked in the edit?
Franco: I don't think they videotaped. And the reason for that is that works best for a full-on comedy. This is very funny at points but in regards to tone it's most similar to something like "Boogie Nights." A bunch of crazy characters in strange circumstances but everyone is playing it as straight as possible and the humor comes from that. During our test screenings we were most concerned if the friendship between Tommy and Greg was playing. That's the core of our story. Because without the friendship it had the potential of just being an extended "SNL" skit.
Guerrasio: Were you into "The Room" before all of this?
Franco: My brother and I were both pretty late to the game. He actually read Greg Sestero’s book before he even saw "The Room," and he's probably the only person on the planet who did it in that order. But then he reached out to me and said, "If you haven't seen 'The Room' watch it immediately, I think we need to make a movie about it." So at the time I was working in Boston so I watched "The Room" in a hotel room by myself, which is not the right way to watch that movie for the first time. There's so much coming at you need to turn to someone and say, "What the f--- is going on?" So I finished that viewing and just feeling very unsettled, to be honest. But soon after I went to one of the midnight screenings where the audience is throwing stuff at the screen, reciting every line. And I then immediately understood why "The Room" is such a cult movie. Since then I've seen the movie roughly 25 times, which is more than any movie I've seen in existence. [Laughs.]
Guerrasio: I talked to your wife, Alison Brie, for "The Little Hours," and she said you also did the book on tape of Greg's book.
Franco: Yeah. And I would recommend the book on tape for this because it's Greg reading it and he has a great Tommy impersonation. I sat down with Greg a handful of times before we started filming and through production, and one of the things I asked him was during production of "The Room" if he ever thought it had a chance of being a good movie. And he claims that he did not but I don't fully believe him just because as a young actor all you care about is getting on a set. When you're on set you almost have to have this blind optimism and believe that whatever you're working on could be great. Even from the outside everyone can see it's objectively bad. I've been in those scenarios. I've been on set and everything is going smoothly to the point where people were talking about the movie being nominated for awards and I bought into the hype. Then the movie came out and not only was a it not good but it was a full-on piece of sh--. It was probably the worst thing I’ve ever done. It just makes you think about the fact you do anything creative you have to give all of yourself over to the process. There are going to be moments when you question whether or not what you're doing is brilliant or if it's a total disaster.
Guerrasio: Now I'm trying to think back on the movies you've done to figure out which one you think is the worst thing you've ever done.
Guerrasio: Anyway, how did you and James work on the characters? Did you want to rehearse with him before shooting?
Franco: We didn't really rehearse too much beforehand just because his style of filmmaking, like Seth's style, is very loose and improvisational. Yes, we had an incredible script to work off of but we always kept it loose.
Guerrasio: So going into shooting he gave you no head's up that he would be being in character as Tommy behind the camera as director?
Franco: I don't think he knew. I think he just fell into it and it was just easier to stay in character instead of bouncing back and forth between Tommy and James.
Guerrasio: On the first day was he just James on set?
Franco: No, from day one he was Tommy. There was definitely an adjustment period. He can articulate this better than me, but I do think a huge reason why he did this was because he didn't want to lose the Tommy voice. Yes, he stayed in character while he directed but that didn't mean he adopted Tommy's personality. He was still James but he was doing the Tommy voice. He wasn't a dictator on set.
Guerrasio: Have you ever gotten into a role in your career where you're so into it it takes a while to snap out of it?
Franco: I’ve never been the type of actor who comes home at the end of the day and goes, "I can't get rid of my part." But, I have a movie coming out early next year for Netflix called "6 Balloons" where I played a heroin addict and so I lost 20 pounds.
Guerrasio: For you, that's kind of scary.
Franco: Yeah, I'm not a big guy. So when you lose that much weight it depresses you and I was full-on depressed. I remember at one point my wife saying, "You're not yourself, you're not fun to be around." And I was like, "I'm f---ing starving! What do you want from me?" But on set I also wasn't fun to be around. I wasn't really interacting with anyone. I was in the corner by myself, miserable. That was the most I ever got deep into a character. I'm glad I did it. It was the hardest role I've ever done and it scared the hell out of me but I think that's a good thing as an actor. To go into something that makes you uncomfortable.
Guerrasio: Do you feel you could ever do that again?
Franco: Not for a long time. I almost really f---ed up my health. Not to get too dark, I was running all day every day to lose weight and I ended up messing up my knee to the point that when we finished production I had to go to physical therapy for a couple of months.
Guerrasio: I mean, we've heard the stories from Robert De Niro to Christian Bale, of the losing and gaining of weight for roles. I would think for every actor there’s a wonder if you can take it to that limit.
Franco: I know. And it was very rewarding but I don't need to transform my body like that for a long time. While I was in it I do remember looking at a lot of pictures of Christian Bale throughout his career, he's losing weight or gaining weight, so that was inspiring. [Laughs.] "If he can do this 15 times I can do it once."
Guerrasio: So, back to "The Disaster Artist," what was Tommy and Greg's reaction to the movie when they first saw it?
Franco: They saw an early screening, even before the South by Southwest work-in-progress. We were more nervous about Tommy's reaction than Greg's. They both loved it but after Greg saw it he was so taken by it that he went off and for the next four days wrote an entire script for him and Tommy to star in. So since then they've filmed this new project, called "Best F(r)iends," and little did we know that "The Disaster Artist" is part two of "The Room" trilogy. [Laughs.]
Guerrasio: Wow. So what's going forward for the production company? Are you going to produce? Direct?
Franco: I can't get into many details but all the projects are all over the place in genre and size of budget. But the unifying aspect of all of them is they do feel unique. I'm having so much fun. As much as I love acting and I hope to be doing it for a long time, it almost feels more natural for me to be a producer. I came into all of this because I'm a fan of movies and I wanted to find any way I could to be a part of it all. I happened to take the acting route but it could have been a million different ways in. Now that I'm producing it's just really fun for me to work with people that I really admire and put people together who I think will work well together. Just having a little more control.
Since allegations of Harvey Weinstein's sexual misconduct over three decades became public in October, many in Hollywood have wondered what will become of his company, The Weinstein Company, which he cofounded with his brother Bob in the early 2000s after leaving Miramax (which they also founded).
As the ripple effect of the Weinstein allegations has spread to the fields of entertainment, news media, and politics, The Weinstein Company has completely cleared its movie slate for the rest of 2017 and there are reports that it will be sold (though Bob Weinstein denies it).
Now there's news that one of its most coveted projects in production is looking for the exit as well.
Oscar-winning filmmaker Michael Moore is reportedly trying to find a way to get out of his deal with The Weinstein Company to release "Fahrenheit 11/9," his upcoming documentary on Donald Trump that's also a sequel to his 2004 doc, "Fahrenheit 9/11," about then-president George W. Bush. The first movie holds the record for highest grossing documentary of all time.
According to Deadline, the filmmaker and his reps at WME have been blocked by The Weinstein Company from making a deal with another distributor or premium broadcast outlet.
In May, Moore announced that he was currently in production on "Fahrenheit 11/9," and boasted that the film was "expected to be key in dissolving Trump's 'teflon' shield and, in turn, his presidency." The announcement also stated that The Weinstein Company would release the movie, the title of which refers to the month and day Trump was declared president.
According to Deadline, the Weinsteins put in just over $2 million to date out of the $6 million they pledged for the new Moore movie. If Moore wants to go to another company with the movie, the brothers want the $2 million back first. Moore and his reps believe giving the money back would morally compromise the film and that the Weinsteins should see it as collateral damage from the Harvey scandal, according to Deadline.
Moore and the Weinsteins have a lot of history — both good and bad.
A big reason why the Weinsteins left Miramax was because its parent company, Disney, refused to release "Fahrenheit 9/11," which looked at how Bush allegedly used the tragic events of September 11, 2001 to push his agenda for wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Harvey and Bob Weinstein released the movie on their own (with the help of Lionsgate), and later formed the company The Weinstein Company.
The move paid off, as "Fahrenheit 9/11" won the coveted Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 2004 and went on to make over $200 million worldwide (on a $6 million budget).
But, Moore also had to sue the brothers in 2011 to get unpaid profits from "Fahrenheit 9/11." And now Moore may have to take them to court again.
Deadline believes the filmmaker's best option to get "Fahrenheit 11/9" back would be to go to court and allege fraud against Harvey Weinstein. Basically Moore would have to make the case that Weinstein agreed to be involved with the film though he knew his alleged misconduct was being investigated at the time by the likes of Ronan Farrow at NBC and eventually The New Yorker.
Moore spoke out against Weinstein's alleged misconduct in a lengthy Facebook post.
Business Insider contacted Moore's rep and The Weinstein Company for comment but did not get a response. However, Bob Weinstein gave this statement to Deadline: "Michael Moore and I always have and still enjoy a good personal and business relationship. With regards to commenting on his future film, I think he would be the best person to speak with."
"Fahrenheit 11/9" should be completed next year.