Keith and Jess Wu Calder have been going strong for 15 years now. The producers behind Snoot Entertainment set out to never repeat themselves, and mission accomplished because they haven’t. Over the course of their producing careers, they’ve given the world Blindspotting, Anomalisa, The Guest, and more. They’re the sort of producers who make the types of movies they actually love, including their most recent film, Little Monsters (now on Hulu). Directed by Abe Forsythe, it’s a sweet horror-comedy with a lot of zombies, bloodshed, and Neil Diamond fandom.
Look no further than their body-of-work to know they’re producers with good intentions and taste, both willing to take chances. Their most recent productions include Corporate Animals and Blindspotting, and they’re now working with Starz on a TV show based on the latter. Recently, they told us about making the movies they love, experiences and lessons from their 15 years of running Snoot Entertainment, and the films that inspire them.
Read More »
Sir Ian McKellen looks like he really enjoys being Sir Ian McKellen. During a two and a half hour one-man show in London, the legend sent electricity through the Harold Pinter Theater with his radiant joy and passion. He relished every line of dialogue he spoke, created a personable and direct dialogue with his captivated audience, and yes, he did shout, “You shall not pass!” In fact, McKellen started his traveling one-man show by reading a passage from J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring and delivering that very line; so by saying things only got better from there, you can imagine how the rest of the show was a magical experience. It was an unforgettable performance witnessing pure greatness perform right in front of your very eyes.
Read More »
The Russo Brothers’ latest film, a little cultural phenomenon called Avengers: Endgame, is the highest-grossing movie of all time. Joe and Anthony Russo‘s first movie, however, has never even seen the light of day. Before their superhero and television days, the directors bet big on themselves with their feature directorial debut, Pieces, which took them three years to make, cost them $30,000 and landed them in serious credit card debut. Besides a premiere at the Slamdance Film School, the indie film has never been available to an audience.
When we spoke to the Russo Brothers about 21 Bridges, they told us about their hope to one day release their first movie.
Read More »
When talking about a mid-sized crime thriller set in New York City, “contained” isn’t the right word to describe it. But when talking to producers Joe and Anthony Russo, contained is the right word in comparison to their other recent work. The directors saw 21 Bridges as both a breather from their massive Marvel movies and a callback to the gritty New York crime stories they grew up watching with their dad. The thriller, which was directed by Brian Kirk (Game of Thrones), reunites them with Chadwick Boseman.
21 Bridges is the first major project from the Russo Brothers since the record-smashing success they had with Avengers: Endgame earlier this year. Since then, they’ve finished filming Cherry, and continue developing projects as producers. Now that they’re billed as “the visionary directors of Avengers: Endgame,” they want to support other creatives the best way they can, as Steven Soderbergh once did for them.
It’s a story they told us in a recent career-spanning interview about New York crime stories, life and moviemaking after Marvel, and their unique career paths.
Read More »
Chuck Palahniuk‘s Survivor isn’t the most commercial concept for a film adaptation. For a long time now, a movie based on Palahniuk’s dark comedy has struggled to reach theaters, and back in 2007, Francis Lawrence was one of the filmmakers who gave it a shot. As the I Am Legend and Mockingjay director told us, the book is a difficult nut to crack, but he’s currently attempting to adapt it as a television series. Lawrence now has the option to the book again, and he is excited about it.
Read More »
Posted on Wednesday, November 20th, 2019 by Jack Giroux
Have you ever experienced the simple pleasures of binge-watching the show Happy Endings? If not, you’re missing out, because in a word: it’s ah-mah-zing. The ABC series is a warm blanket of a comedy with its lovable characters and kind-hearted sense of humor. Even its opening credits create a warm feeling. Created by David Caspe (Black Monday), the comedy lasted for three seasons, two years, and 57 episodes, and while that is a lot of content and fun to be had, it was still canceled too soon.
Imagine if the show came out today, though, with an advertisement proclaiming, “From the visionary directors of Avengers: Endgame,” Joe and Anthony Russo. The filmmakers executive-produced the comedy and directed a handful of episodes, so when we spoke to them at the 21 Bridges press day, of course, we had to ask them about this, their greatest achievement.
Read More »
Chances are, you’ve all been watching and appreciating Chris O’Hara‘s work for a long time without even realizing it. He’s been in the stunt world going back to the early ’90s and worked on Fight Club with frequent collaborator, stunt performer-turned-Hobbs & Shaw director David Leitch. Since then, the stunt performer-turned-stunt coordinator has worked with the Wachowskis, he contributed to the John Wick films and, undoubtedly the most dangerous stunt job of them all, We Bought A Zoo. He’s brought his expertise to huge franchises, including Jurassic World and The Hunger Games. During a press day for the Blu-Ray release of Hobbs & Shaw, we got a chance to talk to him about his latest work.
After speaking with O’Hara, I actually got to recreate a stunt from the movie with the help of a few very cool stuntmen. Just as you might exactly imagine, I made Dwayne Johnson’s skills pale in comparison. “It’s like a dance,” the stuntmen would say, breaking down the specific steps required to properly kick someone in the groin. (Keep your foot flat facing downward, if you’re interested.) Experiencing the specificity of the subtlest of moves, really, made the fight scenes in Hobbs & Shaw all the more impressive and artful. It truly is like a dance — except with more liability and danger. Go too far with an elbow hit and, well, it’s not pretty. Imagine an elbow landing on a temple and try not to cringe. Even seemingly minor moves are ripe with danger. Another observation from working with these stuntmen: as shown by the Academy Awards, they just don’t get enough of the love or acclaim they deserve. One of them even remarked it was nice to see excitement and appreciation over what they do for a living.
Below, you can find a few nuggets of information we learned from speaking with O’Hara about his take on the next-level fights in the John Wick franchise, finding stuntmen to fight alongside Dwayne Johnson, and the athleticism of Jason Statham.
Read More »
Don’t say the word “grounded” to director David Leitch. The filmmaker behind Atomic Blonde, Deadpool 2, and most recently, Hobbs & Shaw, wants his big blockbusters to live in a fantasy land far, far away from gritty reality. He wants his escapism to look cool and stylish, not familiar. It’s probably why his sensibilities were suited for the Fast & Furious franchise, which are basically superhero movies with cars instead of capes.
Hobbs & Shaw is probably the most fantastical entry in the series, with minor elements of science-fiction and superhuman acts performed by the titular duo. Realism has no place in this franchise, which allowed Leitch to have as much fun as possible with all the franchise’s toys and staples. While staying true to the family spirit and ridiculousness of the franchise, Leitch also brought his eye-popping graphic novel style to the Fast & Furious franchise.
Recently, at a press day for the Hobbs & Shaw Blu-Ray release, the filmmaker told us about bringing his style to the series, his fondness of John Woo and Jackie Chan, and his distaste of the word “grounded.”
Read More »
Cool Posts From Around the Web:
Tom Segura is one of the best comedians out there right now. The Cincinnati native released his first Netflix special, Completely Normal, back in 2014, and in the five years since, his skills as a storyteller have only sharpened. Segura’s jokes continue to grow longer and funnier, making for some of the most consistently funny Netflix comedy specials available. You can often find him at The Comedy Store in West Hollywood and, most recently, all over the country and Europe for his recent tour, “Take It Down.” If you didn’t get a chance to see him perform on his latest tour, the good news is all his new material will be available this month in a new special.
Segura can also be seen in the new horror movie, Countdown, which is produced by director Sean Anders. The two worked together on Instant Family, which gave the comedian his first prominent role in a major studio comedy to date. Segura isn’t only interested in acting in comedies, though, as he told us.
During a recent conversation with the comedian, actor, and co-host of Your Mom’s House podcast, he told us about his hope to see in all kinds of movies and what’s different about his new material.
Read More »
We all know the name Jai Courtney. The Australian actor first broke out on the Starz series Spartacus and later landed roles in a string of high-profile movies like Suicide Squad, Terminator: Genisys and Jack Reacher. Between those movies, he’s gravitated towards more grounded roles in dramas like Felony, The Water Diviner, and Unbroken. He himself says it’s the intimate dramas that are more to his taste.
Movies like director Henry Alex Rubin’s Semper Fi are right up his alley. It’s a family drama that deals with the military, PTSD, and brotherhood, with a third act turn towards a prison break thriller. It’s a movie going for naturalism, not spectacle, and it’s another look at what Courtney is capable of given a strong role.
Recently, we spoke to the actor about what attracts him to certain roles, drama school in Australia, and what kept him going when he first moved to Los Angeles.
Read More »