Posted on Friday, September 9th, 2016 by Jacob Hall
The future of the Divergent film series remains uncertain. In February, director Robert Schwentke stepped away from the franchise after helming The Divergent Series: Insurgent and The Divergent Series: Allegiant (he was replaced by Toland Krieger). A month later, Allegiant hit theaters and was a box office bomb, grossing half of what the previous film had made at the domestic box office. Unlike other YA movie franchise like The Hunger Games and Harry Potter, which remained strong until the end, Divergent was out of breath on its second-to-last film.
And that’s when things got really weird: Lionsgate announced that Ascendant, the fourth and final film in the series, would be a TV movie that would act as the backdoor pilot for a new television series set in the Divergent universe. However, it seems that nobody told franchise star Shailene Woodley, and she’s now made it pretty clear that she’s not interested in starring in the made-for-TV finale.
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There’s some big buzz surrounding another anticipated premiere out of the Venice Film Festival. This time, it’s Mel Gibson‘s return behind the camera for the first time in 10 years that is garnering plenty of attention.
Hacksaw Ridge is a war drama based on the true story of Desmond Doss, a young Seventh Day Adventist who drew criticism from his fellow soldiers for sticking to his Pacifist beliefs and never picking up a weapon during his time serving in the military during World War II. Miraculously, the soldier single-handedly rescued 75 of his wounded brothers in one night, earning him the Medal of Honor. The story paints the portrait of a man who stood by his own beliefs and credited God with his heroic feats, and Mel Gibson doesn’t shy away from a message of faith in the face of adversity.
The first Hacksaw Ridge reviews have arrived from the festival, where the film received a 10-minute standing ovation. While there’s plenty of praise for an astounding performance by Andrew Garfield and some incredible, harrowing battle footage in the vein of Saving Private Ryan, it sounds like the film has problems in its lack of subtlety. Read More »
Last night, Damien Chazelle‘s musical romance La La Land premiered at the Venice Film Festival on the other side of the world. The film is one of my most anticipated films of the year, so I couldn’t be happier to hear all the positive buzz coming from the premiere.
The first La La Land reviews reaffirm what we’ve observed from the trailers, calling the film a loyal homage to classic movie musicals, shot magnificently, and acted superbly by stars Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone with some astounding original music. However, for all the praise that calls the film audacious, exciting and passionate, some reviews also point out that the film has difficulty balancing the fantastical nature of the musical style with the raw, emotional drama that comes between musical numbers, making the film a little uneven.
Read some the early La La Land reviews have to say after the jump. Read More »
Mel Gibson hasn’t directed a feature film since 2006’s Apocalypto. The somewhat dated digital photography aside, that thrilling and brutal chase movie is arguably his best picture as a director (the film’s biggest fan, Robert Duval, likely agrees), but it’s far from his most successful, once you compare it to Braveheart and The Passion of the Christ‘s box-office numbers. Gibson has had great success as a filmmaker. His most recent performances, however, have failed to connect with audiences. As an actor, he’s not the draw he used to be, but will that stop moviegoers from seeing one of his directorial efforts? We’ll find out this November.
Below, check out the poster for his latest film, Hacksaw Ridge.
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Jason Statham is nothing if not consistent. Although he’s taken detours into blockbuster territory with Furious 7, showcased some strong comedy chops in Spy, and made the (love ’em or hate ’em) wholly singular Crank movies, Statham’s bread and butter has always been the modestly budgeted action movie. The continuously expanding Jason Statham library isn’t full of too many great movies, but it is full of movies that make simple promises and then deliver exactly what you need them to deliver. He is the king of low expectations. You put on one of his movies hoping to watch a tough guy with a cockney accent obliterate a bunch of bad guys and he always delivers. And that’s not faint praise, either. There aren’t many actors who can pull that off.
Mechanic: Resurrection looks like another typical entry in the ever-expanding Statham canon. It looks refreshingly small when compared to most modern action movies, incredibly straightforward, and built entirely around the pleasure of watching this man kick every single ass that crosses his path.
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The Huntsman: Winter’s War wasn’t originally going to be Cedric Nicolas-Troyan‘s feature directorial debut. The former visual-effects supervisor and second-unit director on Snow White and the Huntsman was first set to direct the Highlander reboot, which, over the years, has had plenty of directors and talent involved that have come and gone.
Nicolas-Troyan confirmed with us he’s still attached to the film. Learn more about the Highlander reboot below.
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Less than a year after the disastrous BP Oil spill, a film based on the tragic event was already in the works. Back in 2014, director J.C. Chandor was attached to helm Deepwater Horizon. Unfortunately, the A Most Violent Year and Margin Call director walked away from the project, citing “creative differences.” Mark Wahlberg was already attached to the film at the time, and following Chandor’s departure, the actor might’ve had a hand in bringing aboard Lone Survivor director, Peter Berg, as his replacement.
Now the film is due out this fall, and today we have our first look. Below, check out a few Deepwater Horizon photos.
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Originally titled Robinson Crusoe, The Wild Life is a spin on the classic adventure story. Written by Daniel Dafoe and published in 1719, the book follows a man, Robinson Crusoe, who’s been shipwrecked, stranded on an un-inhabited island. The Wild Life poses the question: what if he wasn’t alone?
Watch The Wild Life trailer below.
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In addition to being an ageless immortal who will live on long past the rest of us are rotting in the ground, Keanu Reeves is one of the most dedicated actors working these days. Say what you will about his acting (but if you say anything negative, know that you’re wrong), but here is a guy who gives every single performance everything he has. Watch any behind-the-scenes featurette or making-of documentary and you’ll find Mr. Reeves immersing himself in whatever it takes to make his characters come to life.
So if you’re wondering why Reeves was so convincing as an Unstoppable Killing Machine in John Wick, all you have to do is watch footage of him participating in some live ammo training as part of his preparation for John Wick: Chapter Two. Then you’ll realize that Keanu Reeves is an actual Unstoppable Killing Machine. No acting required.
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