Category Archives: Features

The Tracking Board’s Daily Debrief (12.07.16)

The-Tracking-Boards-Daily-Debrief-city-excerptSony nabs rights to Stephen Chow’s Journey to the West: Demon Chapter and Working Title lines up a slate of drama at various networks. Plus, a round-up of the day’s top entertainment news stories from around the web.

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Office Christmas Party Film Review: An Excessive Holiday Romp That Fails to Sleigh

OCP-excerptWith its all-star cast and hilarious trailers, Office Christmas Party is supposed to be a fun, simple story about a party gone wild. Instead, it out to be a mess of plot points that weigh the movie down, making us ask, “Why did they have to include all of this crap?”

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Different Companies, Different Networks, but Similar Problems (Network Series)

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Even small victories for cable networks come amidst turmoil, frustration, and shedding of viewership. Today let’s take a deep dive into FX and FXX, Time Warner’s TBS, TNT, Cartoon Network/Adult Swim and TruTV, and AMC Networks’ AMC, IFC, BBC-America, WeTV and SundanceTV.

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Slamdance 2017 Announces Lineup For Special Screenings, Beyond, & Short Programs

slamdance-excerptThe 23rd annual Slamdance Film Festival has revealed an impressive lineup for its Special Screening, Beyond, and Shorts program. The Sundance alternative is set with 35 world premieres, nine North American premieres as well as 10 U.S. premieres.

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Sundance Film Festival Announces Premieres, Midnight, Spotlight, Kids, & Special Programming

sundance-excerptThe 2017 Sundance Film Festival has rounded out their programming with a robust and enriching slate of Premieres, Documentary Premieres, Midnight, Spotlight, Kids and Special Events. The Park City-based festival will see the world premiere of Salma Hayek’s Beatriz at Dinner as well as the Jan Lewan biopic The Polka King starring Jack Black.

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The Importance of Emotional Connection in Movies This Award Season

neil excerptThat emotional connection is what tends to separate a mediocre film from a good one, or a good one from a great one, and that’s never more evident than during this season right here. It’s why I keep thinking about a movie like Moonlight, and dismiss one like Lion.

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This Is What Netflix’s Big Decision Means For the Rest of Us

netflix excerpt Netflix decided to allow users to download some of its programming for offline viewing. This is good for those on the go, stuck without wifi, or just plain bored, but how will it affect how we consume media and interact with others?

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The Tracking Board’s State of the Race: A Look at this Year’s Top Oscar Contenders

Academy-Awards-StatuesAwards season is in full swing and there is a long road until the 89th Annual Academy Awards, which are slated to air on February 26, 2017 on ABC. The nominations for the coveted statuette won’t be announced until January 24, 2017, but favorites have already emerged from the pack — and the competition is stiff.

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This Delightful Wes Anderson Short for H&M Will Put You into the Holiday Spirit (Things We Love)

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Wes Anderson has returned to advertising to direct a Christmas-themed commercial for clothing retailer H&M. The ad features the quirky filmmaker’s distinct style and flair from the camerawork to idiosyncratic background details to recurring Anderson collaborator Adrien Brody in the starring role.

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Complete List of the Sundance Film Festival 2017 Competition

sundance excerptWhile awards season is underway and moving towards next year’s Academy Awards, the Sundance Film Festival has their eyes the next set of critical darlings as they announced their competition lineup.

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NBCUniversal Has a Lot Going For It, but Is That Enough To Save Its Cable Business? (Network Series)

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Only one of NBCUniversal’s 15 cable properties gained viewership from 2014-2015. The networks saw a boost in ratings from NBCUniversal’s monopolistic coverage of the Rio Olympics, but now that the games are gone the question remains: will people stay to watch?

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The Must-Stream Movies And Shows Coming To Netflix In December

unnamedNetflix is coming through the chimney with a big bag of quality content this holiday season. Classic comedies, thought-provoking dramas, and a blockbuster superhero smash are just some of the titles checking into the streaming giant this December.

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How One Film Division’s Business Plan Should Be Required Learning For Everyone In Hollywood

turitz excerpt Studios stand to make more money off of their small budget, high concept films but a fallacy exists that tent poles are the future in terms of profitability.

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Slamdance Film Festival Announces Narrative and Documentary Feature Film Competition Lineup

slamdance-excerptThe Slamdance Film Festival has unveiled its lineup for their 23rd annual narrative and documentary feature competition. The popular Sundance alternative is limited to films made by first-time directors with budgets under $1 million. It will also feature a digital, interactive, and gaming showcase known as DIG which includes eight works by emerging artists.

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Viacom Sees Firsthand Now Is Not Really a Great Time to Be In the Cable TV Business (Network Series)

Shari Redstone ExcerptIt’s tough to target just how Viacom can turn things around, but even if there was a concrete method to do so, it’s not going to be easy, simply because of the nature of the cable business. It has to hope that Shari Redstone and her new board of directors can make changes that will help matters, and that both MTV and Nickelodeon can once again draw the viewership numbers it used to.

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The Tracking Board’s Daily Debrief (11.21.16)

The-Tracking-Boards-Daily-Debrief-city-excerptComedian Dave Chappelle is developing three stand-up specials for Netflix, while BBC America’s Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency has been renewed for Season 2. Plus, a round-up of the day’s top entertainment news stories from around the web.

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Allied Film Review: An Overwhelmingly Average Tale of War, Espionage, & Romance

allied-excerptAdding elements of Mr. and Mrs. Smith, director Robert Zemeckis has packaged a stunning movie that has the glamorous and old fashioned sheen of classic Hollywood. Even though the art direction and costuming will make everyone swoon, the finely curated World War II “look” doesn’t make up for its overall dullness played out by two talented actors.

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The Late Night Television Conundrum

David Letterman ExcerptDoes late night television matter anymore? There is now the fact that nothing on late night is “must-see.” If something is must-see, it can be caught online the next day. There’s nothing that sets it apart from anything else we can find and in that regard, it is almost always lost in the morass of all the other stuff being pushed at us.

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The Tracking Board Interviews “Versailles” Creator David Wolstencroft

david wolstencroft excerptWith the Season One finale of Ovation’s new drama series Versailles fast approaching, The Tracking Board was able to speak with co-creator David Wolstencroft about the genesis of the series and what it’s like creating a show unlike any period drama you’ve seen before.

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Moana Film Review: A Music-filled Oceanic Adventure To Empower Us All

moana-excerptDisney’s latest continues their track record for subverting the “princess” template with an empowering tale of a young female leader who goes above and beyond their capabilities for the greater good of her family and community — and there isn’t a love interest in sight. But there is a Demi-God and two lovable animal sidekicks.

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The Big Picture Possibility That All of Hollywood Seems to Be Missing

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With the amount of money that studios make from superhero franchises, remakes, sequels, and films based off of toys and video games the crossover capabilities of these existing properties create an interesting and ludicrously profitable possiblity if said studios chose to work together.

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Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Film Review: Rowling’s Wizarding World Takes a Dark, Mature and Subversive Turn

fantastic-beasts-excerptFantastic Beasts meets the magical expectations of the Harry Potter franchise, but delivers nothing more or less. Instead of focusing on creating one epic introduction, director David Yates and screenwriter J.K. Rowling thoughtfully build a strong foundation that will open the door to a bigger and better story in the forthcoming Fantastic films.

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5 Important Things We Learned About Disney’s “Moana”

moana-excerptDisney’s 56th animated feature film Moana, tells the story of a young woman on the fabled Motunui Island who sets off on a quest with the legendary demi-God Maui to help save her village. Recently, voice actors Auli’i Cravalho and Dwayne Johnson as well as composer Lin-Manuel Miranda shared some stories about the production of Disney’s empowering Oceanic adventure.

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Hulu Is the Third Biggest Streaming Service, and That Probably Won’t Change Soon (Network Series)

hulu excerptAs we discussed last week, it’s tough for anyone to compete with Netflix at the moment, but it becomes even tougher when the operation interested in doing so, Hulu, can’t really decide what it wants to be or how it wants to become it. However, Hulu’s upcoming fare sounds like it’s all smarter, more upscale forms of entertainment, which could be a good thing.

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The Tracking Board’s Daily Debrief (11.15.16)

The-Tracking-Boards-Daily-Debrief-city-excerptLaurence Fishburne lands a role in Ruby In Murdertown and Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill re-team for The Ballad of Richard Jewell. Plus, a round-up of the day’s top entertainment news stories from around the web.

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The Edge of Seventeen Film Review: A Refreshing Teen Movie of Irreverence and Cynical Delight

THE EDGE OF SEVENTEENKelly Fremon Craig’s directorial debut starring Hailee Steinfeld falls under the seldom populated (as of late) category of the “R-rated teen movie” — but a teen movie, nonetheless. Even so, apologies have to go out to the cheerleaders, jocks, and popular kids of high school because this one isn’t for you. This is an entertaining treat for the alienated geeks and weirdos of the school.

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Remembering Space Jam on Its Twentieth Anniversary and Forecasting the Future of the Franchise

SpaceJamDunkSpace Jam is a groundbreaking product of IP-centric filmmaking filled to the gills with product placement. The film is also a heartwarming romp that has retained its cultural resonance two decades after its release. On its twentieth anniversary, we look back at and look forward towards the upcoming sequel.

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AFI Fest — “The Comedian” Struggles to be Interesting Throughout All the Laughter

1603022_CO_Comedy_Cellar_00446.CR2Everyone loves a comeback story and The Comedian has elements of that in its DNA but it doesn’t amount to anything worth grasping on to. Instead, it tells a very basic story with great actors doing what they do best amidst an uninteresting story about a stand-up comedian.

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After a Tumultuous Election, What Is Hollywood’s Next Move?

Captain America ExcerptHollywood has always responded to the large-scale events that have rocked the United States since Hollywood first came to be. But after last week’s election results, and the side of the divide Hollywood finds itself on, how will this industry respond in its creations?

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AFI Fest — “Rules Don’t Apply” is a Lifeless Celebration of Hollywood Charm

rules-don-apply-excerptWhat is set up to be a charming film about a love triangle set during the heydays of Hollywood turns into an unfocused mess that not only aimlessly wanders about with no intent, but paints Hughes as a multi-layered caricature of madness and an obnoxious example of wealthy privilege.

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