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If you haven’t seen Captain Phillips yet, buy a ticket for this weekend right now (we can wait). Aside from it being one of this year’s best films, its also becoming one of this year’s controversial movies.

Captain Phillips tells the true story of the hijacking of the ship Maersk Alabama, and how Captain Phillips heroically sacrificed himself to save his crew.

Of course like any Hollywood movie, the events are dramatized to make them more cinematic, but most of the facts in the film stay true to Phillips’ account of the story. The only problem is, Phillips wasn’t the only one there, and now his ship’s crew has come out publicly to dispute the events and even blame Phillips for the whole mess. Of course, the crew is currently in a lawsuit with  Maersk Line and the Waterman Steamship Corp. for almost $50 million, alleging “willful, wanton and conscious disregard for their safety.” And yes, Phillips is a witness for the defense. So there may be other motives in these comments.

Yesterday director Paul Greengrass was on Reddit doing an AMA (Ask Me Anything) when he was confronted with the recent reports. What did Greengrass say in response? Find out after the jump.

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At this point, there probably aren’t many people who expect a feature film to be a 100% accurate depiction of events, even when it proclaims that it is based on a true story. The idea of dramatic license is well-understood, but there’s always a related question: when does dramatic license steer a project too far away from reality?

It’s one thing to make a film based on disputed story accounts, as is the case with The Fifth Estate, which subject Julian Assange has disowned as “based on a deceitful book by someone who has a vendetta against me and my organisation [sic].” But is it another to remap events so broadly that they deviate wildly from fact, even if the intent behind the changes is good?

In Captain Phillips, Paul Greengrass and screenwriter Billy Ray, along with the cast and crew, use the story of the hijacking of the ship Maersk Alabama to tell a story about two men who represent different lives and cultures. It’s a great story, and it uses the story of Captain Phillips and the Maersk Alabama to raise very specific points and questions. But there’s one problem: some of the ship’s crew says the film doesn’t represent Phillips properly, and it paints a very incorrect picture of events.  Read More »

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Captain Phillips is not an inaccurate title for Paul Greengrass‘ latest movie, but it is an incomplete one. While the drama does indeed chronicle the 2009 hijacking of the Maersk Alabama from the point of view of the titular hostage, this isn’t really an epic about a brave captain battling vicious pirates. (Or not just that, anyway.) It’s a tragedy about two men caught in a very desperate situation.

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Paul Greengrass‘s on-again, off-again affair with DreamWorks’ The Trial of the Chicago 7 is, well, off again. The Captain Phillips director has just left the Aaron Sorkin-penned drama, two months after we heard he was in talks and five years after he originally started circling. Hit the jump to find out what happened.

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Machete Kills - Amber Heard header

You know how we’ve all been clamoring for a Showgirls sequel? Well, too bad, because we’re getting one anyway. Kind of. Also after the jump:

  • Watch a clip from the direct-to-DVD sequel Curse of Chucky
  • Paul Greengrass confirms that he has not signed on for more Bourne
  • Lady Gaga will drop by Robert Rodriguez‘s Sin City: A Dame to Kill For
  • Pretty girls and scary weapons abound in new Machete Kills pics
  • See two new stills from the Rurouni Kenshin sequels landing next summer
  • Kelsey Grammer chats Transformers 4, and a new set video surfaces

Read More »

Captain Phillips

These days, the word “piracy” more readily brings to mind tech-savvy downloaders scouring Google than dangerous criminals sailing the high seas. But in 2009, the capture of the MV Maersk Alabama by Somali pirates served as an unhappy reminder that the latter kind haven’t entirely disappeared.

Paul GreengrassCaptain Phillips chronicles the dramatic hijacking and the events that followed, with Tom Hanks in the title role. The newest international trailer features just as much intense action as the earlier domestic ones have, but also offers some more insight into Phillips’ personal life. Check it out after the jump.

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bourne ultimatum

The first three Bourne films, starring Matt Damon, were the first stage of what Universal would like to be an ongoing and continually lucrative series. The fourth film, written and directed by Tony Gilroy and starring Jeremy Renner as another chemically engineered super-spy (chems? Chems. CHEMS!) moved the story forward a bit, but wasn’t a runaway hit.

Universal has been developing a fifth film, and for a few years there have been hints that Matt Damon might be recruited to co-star in a “crossover” film that would put him in the same film with Renner’s character. That eventuality may be closer than we thought, as Damon is now rumored to be in early talks to return to the fold.

Update: Universal has denied the report. Variety has the denial.

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Tom Hanks stars in Captain Phillips, the new film from United 93 director Paul Greengrass. He’s the captain of the ship Maersk Alabama, which was hijacked by Somali pirates in 2009. The first trailer showed the beginning of that hijacking, but this second trailer is more detailed and intense as it shows the actions and personalities of Phillips and the pirate leader, and hints at the military response to the situation.

Check out the trailer below. Read More »

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