American Sniper Bradley Cooper

Long before American Sniper was nominated for six Oscars or grossed $100 million on its opening weekend, it was almost a very different movie. In the summer of 2013, Steven Spielberg was attached to direct the film based on the memoir of U.S. sniper Chris Kyle. Bradley Cooper was still attached to star and produce. However, after a few months of development, Spielberg dropped off the project. Director Clint Eastwood quickly jumped on and history was made.

So what was different about Steven Spielberg’s version of American Sniper? In a behind the scenes story about the movie, screenwriter Jason Dean Hall revealed some of the suggestions Spielberg made about the script and how they forced Warner Bros. to move in another direction. Read the Steven Spielberg American Sniper quotes below. Read More »

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hobbit fan edit

For some fans, interaction with films they love (or want to love) has become a full-on interactive thing. For various reasons — love, hate, curiosity, education — we see fans cutting their own versions of films more and more often. Even Steven Soderbergh is getting into the act of recutting favorite films.

One obvious candidate for active reappraisal is Peter Jackson‘s The Hobbit trilogy. One new Hobbit fan edit has shorn the series of hours of footage, leaving a roughly four-hour story that omits many of Jackson’s inventions and digressions in an attempt to get closer to the heart of the novel. It this legit? Not at all. It is, however, inevitable, and potentially a good illustration of how some of the films’ meandering added little to the adaption. Read More »

American Sniper header

Going into the weekend, Clint Eastwood‘s American Sniper was expected to handily dominate at the box office. Experts were predicting huge numbers for the film, maybe even north of $70 million. But when the smoke cleared Monday and final estimates came in, the film will have grossed a staggering, record-setting $105.3 million from Friday to Monday ($90.2 over the three day). The previous January champion, Ride Along, grossed only $48.6 million over its first four days. Sniper had doubled it and then some.

In Los Angeles, a city where the film had already been opened for three weeks, there were lines around the block. With a number that big, that was probably the case in almost every other city too. So how did American Sniper do so incredibly well? Read more about the American Sniper opening weekend below. Read More »

American Sniper header

Editor’s Note: This review originally ran on November 12. We’re bumping it up now that American Sniper is in wide release.

Director Clint Eastwood has great aspirations for American Sniper. First and foremost, he hopes to make a movie paying tribute to the most deadly sniper in the history of the United States. That’s the late Chris Kyle, played by Bradley Cooper. He also hopes to show Kyle not as only a heroic solider, but a complex man confident in his actions and concerned about of their results. The film paints a grim picture of post-traumatic stress disorder and what it does to our veterans, especially in regards to their families. Finally, there’s also a drive to keep things exciting, so there are many gun battles in the deserts of Iraq.

Yes, American Sniper is an incredibly ambitious film with many moving parts. All of those parts work in certain instances, but only on rare occasions do they all come together at once. The disconnection makes the film fall just short of those great aspirations.

American Sniper had its World Premiere on Veterans Day at AFI Fest presented by Audi and you can read the rest of our review below. Read More »

‘Gremlins’ Reboot May Be Dead

Gremlins reboot dead

Gremlins is a property that has been on the “maybe/maybe-not” list for a reboot or remake over the last few years. As a great example of animatronic effects, the idea of seeing all-CG (or mostly-CG) gremlins isn’t very appealing, and the relatively safe tone of big-budget filmmaking now isn’t the sort that lends itself to a great new Gremlins movie.

Still, screenwriter Seth Grahame-Smith has been attached to a project that was supposedly fast-tracked at Warner Bros. last year. We haven’t heard more about it, so what happened? Grahame-Smith says it basically “ran out of steam.” Is it too early to say “Gremlins Reboot Dead!”? Possibly, but this is good news for now. Read More »

Get Hard

As The Wedding Ringer hits theaters, Warner Bros. has just released the latest trailer for Get Hard, Kevin Hart‘s other 2015 movie about giving an image makeover to an awkward white guy.

In this one, Hart plays Darnell, who is enlisted by hedge fund manager James (Will Ferrell) to help him prep for his upcoming stay in prison. What James doesn’t realize is that Darnell has no more experience with prison life than he does. Watch the latest Get Hard trailer after the jump. Read More »

Chris Hemsworth In The Heart of the Sea

Briefly: Anyone hoping to see a new Ron Howard movie soon is about to have a bad day. Warner Bros. has delayed In The Heart of the Sea, starring Chris Hemsworth, from March 13 to December 11. No reason was given but you’d imagine Howard wants some more time to finish the film. The Liam Neeson action film Run All Night has moved up into the original slot. [The Wrap]

David Fincher strangers

The team behind Gone Girl is going to give a modern twist to an old classic. Director David Fincher and star Ben Affleck are set to remake Alfred Hitchcock’s Strangers on a Train. However, this version will be updated and simply called StrangersGone Girl author / screenwriter Gillian Flynn is in talks to write the script.

The title and concept change makes sense, because honestly who travels by train anymore? Here’s the twist: it’s basically “Strangers on a Plane.” Affleck will play an Oscar contender whose private plane breaks down. He’s then forced to catch a ride with a mysterious, wealthy stranger. From there, you can imagine what murderous twists and turns might be inspired by the 1951 Hitchcock film. Read more about David Fincher Strangers below. Read More »

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