Black Mass trailer

“If nobody sees it,” Whitey Bulger tells his six-year old son in this new Black Mass trailer, “it didn’t happen.” But much of what we’ll see in this movie did happen, as Bulger, played here by Johnny Depp, was among the most notorious gangsters in Boston’s history — hell, in US history. He topped the FBI’s Most Wanted list for years. Depp may be channeling Jack Nicholson’s performance from The Departed, a performance which was also at least inspired by Bulger, but he still comes off as intense and terrifying in this new trailer.  Read More »

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Zombies vs Robots script

The IDW-published comic series Zombies vs Robots is coming to the big screen thanks to a development effort by Sony. The studio has Andrew Adamson (ShrekThe Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe) set to direct, and has now pulled in a new screenwriter. And this writer is someone whose previous work is set in a far more realistic vein: Craig Borten, who co-wrote Dallas Buyers Club and scripted The 33, based on the story of trapped Chilean Miners. Read More »

Lionsgate Odyssey

In an unprecedented move, a movie studio has decided that an adaptation of a well-known story will be broken up into several movies, rather than done as a single film. That’s a joke, of course. The way things are now, it would be more surprising to hear of one film being developed.

In this case, the subject is The Odyssey, which The Hunger Games director Francis Lawrence and producer Nina Jacobson are developing for Lionsgate. Their work is based on the epic poem by Homer that we all studied, or pretended to study while using Ray Harryausen films as our real curriculum, in school. Read More »

Action Filmmaking Tips

We’ve been talking a lot about Mad Max: Fury Road for the past couple weeks, and one reason is that it is, as I argued in my review of the film, incredibly precise and clear storytelling from a visual perspective. There is virtually nothing as good as Fury Road in action films of late. But there is in older work, such as the remarkable run of ’80s and early ’90s movies from Jackie Chan.

A couple weeks ago I came across a video essay that is itself very precise about breaking down just what works in Chan’s films, and why. I’ve watched this essay many times now, and despite the fact that it isn’t “new,” having debuted late last year, I wanted to share it as an explanation of exactly how and why some visual storytelling works so well.

Whether you aspire to make films, or just want to gain a better understanding of how they work, you must watch this video.

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Fury Road trivia

Mad Max: Fury Road was over a decade in the making, and hit the screen with a rich backstory. While it’s more fun to let the characters on screen exist with only the information we’re given in the movie, the tales of the creation of Fury Road are so good that we have to dive in.

Below we’ve got eight of our favorite bits of Mad Max: Fury Road trivia, from the insane planning that went into the stunts, to the freedom that digital cinematography allowed in collecting the insane amount of footage that makes up this movie and the fact that the Mad Max: Fury Road blu-ray will feature a black and white version of the film with an isolated score as the only soundtrack. Read More »

Bruce Lee TV series

Director Justin Lin (The Fast and the Furious series, True Detective season 2) is taking inspiration from the writings and concepts of Bruce Lee to create a new TV show. Warrior is being developed for Cinemax based on notes Lee put together for a TV series he never got to develop properly before his untimely death at age 32.  Read More »

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Knock Knock trailer

Keanu Reeves, Lorenza Izzo, and Ana de Armas star in Eli Roth‘s thriller Knock Knock, and this new trailer really starts to reveal details of what happens when the married architect played by Reeves succumbs to temptation when Izzo and de Armas show up at his doorstep one night. The two women seduce Reeves, who protests, but only a little, and some time later they return to teach him a lesson in personal responsibility.

Note that this Knock Knock trailer is not technically red-band, but it has enough heavily suggested sex and violence that you might want to hold off watching if you’re unsure. Read More »

Arms and the Dudes images

Todd Phillips is working on his first film since The Hangover III, and it stars Jonah Hill and Miles Teller as a pair of American guys who exploit a legal loophole to get rich via military contracts. Things naturally get out of hand, and Arms and the Dudes follows the two as they land a deal to provide arms to the Afghan military — something they’re woefully unprepared to handle. Now Phillips has shared a few Arms and the Dudes images. That’s Hill, above, and you can see a few others below. Read More »

Sicario clip

We’re seeing more of Sicario, the new film from Denis Villeneuve, very slowly. There were a few images, then a poster. And if you want to know more about the film, there are quite a few reviews floating around from the film’s Cannes premiere. Now there’s also a Sicario clip, and while we wait for the film’s official trailer, it’s a good first taste of the work by Emily Blunt, Benicio del Toro, and Josh Brolin, playing a set of government consultants and agents who form an uneasy alliance to fight one battle in the war on drugs. Read More »