15 Things We Learned About Christopher Nolan

Dark Knight Rises

This week a couple of good profiles have been published on Christopher Nolan in advance of his film Interstellar hitting theaters next week. The two main articles come from the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, and I recommend checking out both pieces. Together, the profiles feature a great deal of interesting information on the filmmaker and his latest film which I thought might be of interest. I have collected 15 of most interesting tidbits for you after the jump.

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marvel-event

On Friday afternoon, the movie press received an e-mail with the header “MARVEL STUDIOS INVITES YOU TO A SPECIAL EVENT” with the above invite. A mystery Marvel event, what could it be?

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Batman V Superman Wonder Woman

Warner Bros.’ news of the full DC Comics movie slate was big for many reasons. It showed a commitment to a brand fans know and love. It showed the scope of the company’s plan. And buried under all those names and dates, it showed a commitment to diversity. Among the films, Warner Bros. announced the first female solo superhero film as well as the first African-American superhero film since the superhero craze really kicked into gear. Those films, of course, are Wonder Woman and Cyborg.

If that’s not enough, it turns out Warner Bros. is looking for a female director to helm Wonder Woman, which will star Gal Gadot. Below, read more about that as well as five awesome choices for the Wonder Woman director chair. Read More »

The following post was originally published on February 24th 2014.

Mouse & Mystics and other board game movies that Hollywood should make

Which board game movies should Hollywood make next? Over the last year or so I’ve gotten sucked into the table top scene, and now have a board game addiction. I’m not talking about Monopoly or The Game of Life, but designer hobby board games that offer more strategy and theme than the games we all played as children.

Hollywood has dipped its toes into the board game movies a few times now. First with Battleship. It was such a huge bomb that Universal later dropped Monopoly, which was being developed for years by Ridley Scott. Universal is releasing the horror/thriller adaptation of Ouija produced by Michael Bay and Jason Blum. Universal and Warner Bros are both fighting to make a movie based on the role-paying game Dungeons & Dragons. And most recently, 20th Century Fox has announced they are brining the popular role-playing card game Magic: The Gathering to the big screen with the help of Simon Kinberg.

There are many reasons Battleship failed but I think first and foremost the audience refused to take the movie seriously after hearing the title. The studio clearly greenlit the project hoping to turn massive brand recognition into tickets sold, but it didn’t take a genius to realize that the 1930 board game didn’t have enough story to warrant a movie adaptation. So much so that director Peter Berg made up his own “alien invasion at sea” construct.

So if Hollywood is going to develop board game movies, why not look at some board games that offer deeper storytelling, more interesting scenarios and compelling characters? The list I have put together after the jump includes a bunch of board games that you might not have heard of, but are popular in the tabletop gaming world. Each of them has something to offer Hollywood if they wanted to bet on concept and story vs. huge branding.

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9 Current Movie and Television Trends I Hate

current movie tends and television trends

I’m a relatively positive guy. I love geeking out over the movies and television shows I really respond to, and I try to bring that enthusiasm to the site. But you can’t love everything. Here are 9 current movie trends (and also television trends) that I’m starting to hate.

Some of these things are Hollywood buzzwords that are current to this moment. Other things are storytelling cliches that have existed for a long time and either just won’t die or have somehow made big new homes in today’s pop culture landscape. And as the business of filmmaking evolves, so does the content, distribution and consumption of films. That leads to interesting times that aren’t without their annoyances. What current movie tends are annoying me as of late? Which television trends do I hate? Find out, after the jump.

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david fincher ranked

David Fincher began his directorial career making music videos for some of the biggest talents in pop music. Beginning with Alien³ in 1992, his work in features has combined a drive for technical achievement off-screen with a consistently recognizable interest in detail-oriented obsession on-screen. He is a consummate craftsman, but one with an uncanny ability to lay his finger right on the cultural pulse. Together, those talents result in films which have gone beyond reflecting cultural attitudes, to defining them.

With the release of his latest film, Gone Girl, we’ve taken the opportunity to revisit the director’s narrative works on film. (And, briefly, in television.) Below is a list of the films of David Fincher ranked by achievement. It’s a highly subjective effort, we realize. Where does Gone Girl fit in alongside Fight Club, Se7en, The Social Network, and Zodiac? What stands out as the best film in his career to date, and what virtues can we find even in his least successful efforts? As you’d expect with Fincher, the answer to that last question is a lot more detailed than it would be for many other filmmakers. Compare our list with your own after reading further.

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The 20 Best Saturday Morning Cartoons of All Time

The Best Saturday Morning Cartoons

It’s the end of an era, and the Saturday Morning Cartoon is officially dead. So I thought now would be the perfect time to take a look back at the best Saturday Morning Cartoons. Hit the jump to find out the 20 best Saturday morning cartoons of all time, according to me. I have even included the opening credits song (whenever available) so that you can take a trip back in time to revisit the pop culture that owned the saturday mornings of our childhoods.

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Bill Hader Skeleton Twins

A spin around the TV dial is almost guaranteed to turn up at least one appearance by Bill Hader. Whether it be his memorable stint on Saturday Night Live, smaller film roles in Judd Apatow comedies, leading roles in Greg Mottola comedies, adding voices to Edgar Wright movies, writing South Park episodes, or a commercial for his wonderful new drama The Skeleton Twins, Hader seems to be everywhere. And that’s a good thing. The guy is talented and funny, and a huge film fan.

In the book “Poking a Dead Frog: Conversations With Today’s Top Comedy Writers” by Mike Sacks, Hader contributed his own list of “200 Essential Movies Every Comedy Writer Should See.” It pretty safe to say, though, you don’t have to be a comedy writer to appreciate these gems. Some are obvious, some not, but it’s a fun list even just as a jumping off point for a debate.

Below, check out the list of Hader’s 200 Essential Comedies and even watch him talk about it. Read More »

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