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2014's most influential director: John Carpenter?

John Carpenter was once among Hollywood’s most prolific filmmakers. But the man who brought us such genre classics as Halloween, The Thing, Escape From New York, and Assault on Precinct 13 has only made one movie in the past 13 years—2010’s psychological thriller The Ward—and hasn’t troubled the box office in a big way since 1998’s James Woods-starring Vampires. (And Carpenter, 66, doesn’t sound like he’s in any rush to get back behind the camera: “I worked really hard for more years than I’d like to count, but now I can pick and choose things,” says the director, who most recently co-penned a comic book follow-up to his 1986 kung fu-fantasy film Big Trouble in Little China. “I was doing too much—music and writing and all this shit. I had to take a break. I’m developing a couple of things. But we’ll see. There’s no urgency.”)

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Lawsuit claims Seth MacFarlane stole the idea for 'Ted'

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It appears that Ted might not be the only foul-mouthed teddy bear on the planet.

In a new lawsuit, Bengal Mangle Productions claims that Seth MacFarlane stole the idea behind Ted. The Hollywood Reporter got a copy of the complaint, which also names Fuzzy Door Productions, Media Rights Capital, and Universal Studios, and says the character of Ted was taken from a screenplay titled Acting School Academy, which came out in 2008 and featured another foul-mouthed teddy bear named Charlie. In the screenplay, Charlie lives in an adult world with his human friends and “has a penchant for drinking, smoking, prostitutes.” READ FULL STORY

Kate Mara's 'Fantastic Four' comments explained: Movie will be based on comics

Kate Mara was catapulted into the comic fan spotlight Tuesday, when a translation of an Esquire Latin America article suggested that 20th Century Fox’s Fantastic Four reboot wouldn’t be based on a single comic from the series—or on anything that’s already been published about the superhero team.

In an IndieWire report, Mara, who plays Sue Storm in the pic, was quoted as having said: “I’ve never been a fan of comics, I’ve never actually read one. I was going to for this movie but the director said it wasn’t necessary. Well, actually he told us that we shouldn’t do it because the plot won’t be based on any history of anything already published. So I chose to follow his instructions. The one fact is I am a fan of comic book movies, so it’s very exciting to be part of a movie like this.” READ FULL STORY

'Snowpiercer's' VOD gamble is paying off

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Snowpiercer is undoubtedly one of the buzziest films of the summer season. It’s got stellar reviews, a cool underdog vibe after becoming a huge blockbuster in South Korea, and stars Captain America himself. So, how is it that two weeks after it finally hit U.S. theaters in limited release, audiences can already rent the film on VOD? Ten years ago this might have signaled a failure, but today, it’s just part of RADiUS-TWC’s distribution plan. And based on this weekend’s numbers and the fact that the pic skyrocketed to the No. 1 spot on iTunes and many other digital platforms less than a day after launching, it seems to be working.

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Batkid documentary crowdsourcing funds on Indiegogo

The origin story of Batman can be found in comic books and on screens both big and small. But the same can’t be said for that of Batkid, a.k.a. 5-year-old Miles Scott, a.k.a. the leukemia survivor whose instantly viral Make-a-Wish request was to be Batman for a day. Back in November, the city of San Francisco made Miles’ wish come true when 25,000 people lined the streets to cheer him through his journey to save Gotham.

Batkid’s adventure quickly made the rounds on social media, even reaching President Obama, who recorded a message for Miles. And now, filmmaker Dana Nachman wants to bring Batkid’s story to the big screen in a documentary titled Batkid Begins.

After talking to everyone from Miles’ parents to the participants in Batkid’s big day, Nachman is taking her film to Indiegogo to try to raise $100,000 to finish post-production. Specifically, the money will be used for aerial shots, soundtrack, special effects, and more.

According to the film’s Indiegogo page, “Batkid Begins follows the events leading up to the day Batkid saved San Francisco and what happens when an event goes unintentionally viral.” Contributors will receive a variety of rewards, from a Batkid cape to an associate producer credit. The Indiegogo campaign will last for 36 days.

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'Skeleton Twins' director: Kristen Wiig, Bill Hader really are like siblings

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Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader play a pair of estranged siblings who are reconnected at a particularly dark moment for both in the Sundance drama The Skeleton Twins. And, when a depressed Milo (Hader) leaves Los Angeles to live with a similarly depressed Maggie (Wiig) and her earnest, goofy husband (Luke Wilson), it’s not exactly a seamless homecoming, with fights, lies, and past traumas weighing on the once-inseparable twins throughout.

But writer-director Craig Johnson didn’t cast two of today’s most likable comedians to just destroy them with melodrama. There are moments of pure joy, too, including a standout sequence, teased in the trailer, where Milo and Maggie break into a cheesy ’80s classic to ease a particularly tense moment. As Owen Gleiberman wrote after the film’s Sundance premiere, “This is a tenderly sincere, and smart, and beguiling, and penetrating movie about the way that ordinary messed-up people can wind up stumbling through their lives.”

EW spoke to Johnson about directing Hader and Wiig and how that whole Starship sequence came together.

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Box office report: 'Apes' conquers, 'Boyhood' starts strong

If this weekend’s number one movie Dawn of the Planet of the Apes — the second entry in the rebooted Apes franchise — has a spiritual sibling in the original series of films, it is 1972′s Conquest of the Planet of the Apes. While Conquest was the fourth movie in the franchise to arrive in cinemas it is, like Dawn, the second according to the interior timeline of its series and, again like director Matt Reeves’ new film, features an apocalyptic showdown between apes and humans. Thus, it seems appropriate that this weekend Dawn of the Planet of the Apes comprehensively conquered the domestic box office by earning an estimated $73 million, exceeding both expectations and the $54.8 million opening weekend of its predecessor, 2011′s Rise of the Planet of the Apes.

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Box office update: 'Dawn of the Planet of the Apes' climbs to the top of the box office

You maniacs! You made Dawn of the Planet of the Apes the most popular movie in America! Ah, damn you! Goddamn you all to hell!

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Casting Net: 'Game of Thrones' vet Rose Leslie joins Vin Diesel project

Game of Thrones alum Rose Leslie is set to join Vin Diesel in The Last Witch Hunter, a supernatural thriller about a “semi-immortal” witch hunter (Diesel) who teams up with a witch (Leslie) to take down a more evil witch. And, despite being mortal enemies, the witch and the witch hunter also flirt with romance. Breck Eisner is directing the Summit pic, which recently got a polish from Dallas Buyers Club writer Melisa Wallack. [THR]

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Video: World record-seeking 720-hour movie now has a 72-minute trailer

The words “teaser trailer” are generally associated with the familiar notion of a video advertisement for an upcoming film that lasts for a minute or less. For example, the first teaser trailer for The Dark Knight was one minute in length and featured nothing but the voices of the stars.

But for Swedish filmmaker Anders Weberg, one minute isn’t nearly enough to tease his upcoming film Ambiancé. Ambiancé, a 720-hour film, is Weberg’s attempt to break the world record for the longest film ever made, and the first teaser trailer for Ambiancé is 72 minutes long.

The record currently belongs to by Modern Times Forever, a 2011 film that lasted for 240 hours (or 10 days). Ambiancé, on the other hand, would require audiences to sit in a theater for 30 days. So perhaps, proportionally, 72 minutes really isn’t that long of a tease.

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