Though the second Fast and Furious movie was a hit, it left fans with a bad taste in their mouths. Star Vin Diesel didn’t return, the chemistry was slightly off and the action didn’t live up to the first film. Enter Justin Lin. With the third film, he didn’t exactly win (most) fans back, but he brought Diesel back and began a mythological arc that culminates this weekend in Fast and Furious 6. Over the course of four films, Lin has turned the franchise into a legitimate, studio saving blockbuster while simultaneously elevating the spectacle to totally different levels.
With Fast and Furious 6, Lin does that again but now he’s leaving the franchise behind him. However he leaves behind a newly rejuvenated fan base, a laundry list of beloved characters and a complete story with room to expand.
We spoke to Lin on the eve of Fast and Furious 6 and discussed those things as well as the wacky timeline, building a mythology, filming the street race scenes, trailers spoiling the action, shooting 6 and 7 back to back and and the all-important Corona budget. Read More »
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When the subjects are good, no amount of time is sufficient to do an interview. That goes double when you’re speaking with two producers of one of the summer’s closely scrutinized films: Star Trek Into Darkness. Preparing to speak to producer Bryan Burk and producer/co-writer Damon Lindelof, I prepared two dozen questions for a ten-minute interview. I asked three.
Thankfully, the answers were illuminating. Mainly, we talked about the process that the pair went through to decide on the film’s villain, along with director J.J. Abrams and co-writers Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman. The pros and cons of the choice; how Star Trek: The Next Generation influenced that decision; and how the reveal changed the selling of the movie all came up. Finally, I asked Burk would repeat that process for his next film, Star Wars Episode VII. Read More »
When I first saw Stories We Tell I was stunned. When I saw it again, I knew that reaction was warranted. And when I talked to the film’s director, everything was further illuminated. That director is Sarah Polley, who is probably best known for roles in films like Go and Dawn of the Dead. Polley is undeniably great in those movies, but after seeing her third feature film Stories We Tell, there’s no doubt she’s an even better director.
Polley approaches Stories We Tell with brilliantly layered execution. On the surface, it’s a personal documentary about her family history, featuring accounts from her brothers, sisters, parents, and friends. The basic story follows how her mother and father met, and started a family. From there, Polley questions the construction of story and truth. She breaks down the structure, turning the camera on herself. Finally, Polley uses this pleasant, thought-provoking documentary to pose surprising questions regarding the essence of cinema. Stories We Tell is now playing in select cities nationwide, so you can finally see what I mean for yourself.
Which brings us to a warm May morning poolside at a Beverly Hills hotel. I was lucky enough to sit down with Polley to discuss her wonderful film and ask all the burning questions I had after seeing it. You can read the conversation below. Read More »
Not only did J.J. Abrams stop by The Daily Show earlier this week, he popped by The Howard Stern Show on Sirius XM as well. Talking to Stern, Abrams talked about all the usual stuff: Star Trek Into Darkness, Star Wars Episode VII, etc., but he also admitted to not watching every episode of his own TV shows. As one would expect from Stern, it’s an entertaining interview. Listen to the whole thing below. Read More »
A couple weeks ago I got the opportunity to sit down with Marvel head Kevin Feige and Iron Man 3 writer/director Shane Black.
We’ve run some of the answers over the last week as stand-alone posts, but you can read the whole interview transcript after the jump, including collecting Back to the Future memorabilia, Iron Man at Disneyland, transforming a superhero movie into a detective story, Patton Oswalt’s Star Wars/Marvel crossover rant, if it was weird for Black to direct Jon Favreau in an Iron Man movie, how Iron Man 3 sets-up future Marvel films, Tony Stark’s unexpected team-up with a child, how Marvel deals with leaks, misinformation and the rumors of the age of the internet.
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During my interview last week with Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige and Iron Man 3 director Shane Black, I brought up Patton Oswalt’s awesome ad-libbed Star Wars: Episode VII pitch (a Parks & Recreation outtake) which involved a cross-over event involving Disney’s Marvel superhero and galactic universe.
While many of my colleagues were asking the softball questions like “will Robert Downey Jr come back for a fourth Iron Man” or “where will Marvel go in Phase 3?” I knuckled down with the much more important hardball question: when is Disney going to take Oswalt’s pitch seriously and give us that Marvel/Disney cross-over film? Find out the answer after the jump.
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Walking out of Oblivion, you’ll probably have a few questions. Not plot questions, mind you. Director Joseph Kosinski makes what happens in the movie very clear. The questions are more about the director’s process. His mindset. Was Kosinski deliberatly echoing sci-fi films of the past? How much input did uncredited screenwriter Michael Arndt (Star Wars Episode VII) have? How did he pull off some of the film’s seamless visual effects? Did changing studios alter the movie? Is he offended by the Wall-E comparisons? Has he started thinking sequel? And which Disney property is next for the director, Tron 3 or The Black Hole?
Luckily, Kosinski was kind enough to give /Film a few minutes on the Universal Studios Backlot the week before the film’s opening to answer those questions, and a whole lot more. Check it out below. Read More »
Primer and Upstream Color writer/director/star Shane Carruth is an exceedingly generous interview subject. You might expect the creator of two very thoughtful pieces of genre film to be aloof or overly cerebral. But in conversation he has a tendency to react with exclamations like “wow” and “that’s so great” followed by thoughtful and digressive answers.
Maybe it’s just that I spoke to Carruth partway through Sundance, after Upstream Color had been shown only a couple of times, and he was still processing audience reactions. The film is not a typical narrative, and while it is also not outrageously obscure or difficult to puzzle out, I can imagine that Carruth might have been concerned about how audiences would respond to the picture. The chance to positively converse with people about something you’ve crafted in a bubble must be a source of great relief, even oh exultation. Every “wow!” seemed to be like a moment where Carruth realized that his experimental narrative worked, rather than one where he was impressed by the question.
Be warned that the conversation that follows is full of spoilers for Upstream Color. I sought, originally, to talk about the film in a way that wouldn’t give things away, but that intention dissipated with Carruth’s very first answer. There’s no way to talk about this film without really getting into the details of it. Fortunately, even when talking about the details of the plot, there’s a lot of room for interpretation with respect to meaning — Upstream Color is a film that will provoke many different readings. Read More »
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