Category Archives: Film Features

Exclusively for film related features and op-ed pieces.

STX Looks Like It’s Not Doing So Well, Until You Look Closer (Studio Series)

STX ExcerptThings aren’t perfect at STX, far from it. But considering how long it’s been around, and how far it’s come in that time, things could be a whole heck of a lot worse, with a future that doesn’t look anywhere near as bright as STX’s does.

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When It Comes To True Stories Like “All Eyez on Me,” What Do Filmmakers Owe to the Truth?

All Eyez on Me ExcerptUltimately, any time you’re telling a story based on something that actually happened, it’s a delicate balance. Inherently, there has to be some fictionalization involved, but there should also be an adherence to the spirit of the truth. The use of Jada Pinkett-Smith in All Eyez on Me, instead, feels exploitative.

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“Spider-Man: Homecoming” and When Studios’ Marketing Plans Can’t Get Out of Their Own Way

Spider-Man Homecoming ExcerptRecently, a Spider-Man: Homecoming spoiler was revealed thanks to the movie’s novelization. But when a studio like Sony is so secretive about its product, thus buying into the idea of Spoiler Culture, it cannot be nearly as careless about the marketing and licensing attached to said product.

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Cristela Alonzo, Kerry Washington Revved Up About Female Empowerment in “Cars 3”

kerry-cristela-excerptConsidering we are living in a progressive age where Wonder Woman is slaying the box office and gender equality is rightfully taking center stage, Cars 3 gives an unexpected dose of female empowerment. At the movie’s press conference, stars Cristela Alonzo and Kerry Washington talked about how the for the Cars universe, the future is female.

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Does “Rough Night” Have Any Scenes After the End Credits?

Rough NightSee, a diamond heist factors into the plot, and we’re never quite sure what becomes of the expensive gems.

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Lionsgate Does Something Nobody Else Does, Which Is a Good Thing (Studio Series)

Lionsgate ExcerptWhat to make of an outfit like Lionsgate? The company has established itself very firmly as the maker of mid-level films that the studios don’t often make anymore, as well as genre fare and, now and again, the kind of franchises that lead to huge international box office, but it still can’t be lumped in with the Big Six.

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Movies Based on Video Games, and the Famed Definition of Insanity

Assassin's Creed ExcerptThe relentless pursuit of video game movie adaptations, despite a proven track record that they don’t work for the most part, falls back on the famed definition of insanity, that being the repetition of behavior and expecting a different result. But at some point doesn’t there have to be a communal understanding these projects don’t work?

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From Jerry Maguire to Lestat, Tom Cruise’s Top 10 Performances Will Make You Forget All About “The Mummy”

Tom Cruise CollateralSo while you wait for the Mummy backlash to blow over, why not take a trip down memory lane and witness how Tom Cruise became one of the greatest movie stars Hollywood has ever seen.

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This Business About Sony’s “Clean Version” Movies Is Really a Non-Issue

sausage party exceprtSony announced this week that it will soon be making “Clean Versions” of its movies available to consumers at the same time that the original versions are. The panicked reactions to this new venture, however, are extremely short-sighted.

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It’s Summer Time, and, for Universal, the Livin’ Is Easy (Studio Series)

universal-studios-excerptUniversal is chock full of the successful partnerships and franchises so key to success in today’s marketplace that it’s continually vying for the top spot alongside current Hollywood powerhouse Disney. Could it dethrone the Mouse House this year? Not likely, but it’s still set up for a tremendous year nonetheless.

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“Wonder Woman” Embraces History and Politics and That’s What Makes It Soar

Wonder Woman ExcerptWonder Woman was always going to be relevant and revolutionary — it’s the first female-led film in the current wave of superhero films and it’s helmed by a female director, after all. But media is never created or consumed in a vacuum and now, its relevance is singular and powerful.

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With “Wonder Woman,” a Star Is Made, a Movie Is a Hit, But Now What?

Wonder Woman ExcerptIt’s tough to imagine that Gal Gadot can break out and where her career will go now, for various reasons, including, quite simply, she is now tied forever to the role that is making her a star. For better or worse, she is Wonder Woman.

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Sony’s Film Division Isn’t What It Was — Well, Most of It Isn’t (Studio Series)

Sony ExcerptSimilar to Paramount, Sony hasn’t had the easiest go of things lately and they need to find something major to turn the ship around. Spider-Man: Homecoming will be a good-sized win for the studio but while their film division — made up of Columbia Pictures, TriStar Pictures, and Screen Gems — isn’t going anywhere, it needs to become a more productive part of the company.

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Internet Denizens Putting Together Films for Our Entertainment? Welcome to the New Normal

Lupita Nyong'o Rihanna ExcerptThere are skeptics and cynics who will scoff at the whole turn of events around the Lupita Nyong’o and Rihanna movie and wonder where we went wrong. Pay them no mind. They will just end up on the outside looking in, like those poor suckers Rihanna and Lupita are about to scam out of their shorts.

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Paramount Is Certainly Down, But Is It Ever Really Out? (Studio Series)

Paramount ExcerptParamount, CEO Jim Gianopulos, and the team are currently facing a challenge to take a once great institution that has fallen on hard times and return it to its past glory. Perhaps the best way to do this will be to find the Next Big Thing, according to Neil Turitz.

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The State of the Spec Market

Amazon Studios ExcerptIn examining the newest Spec Book, Neil Turitz finds that for the second year in a row, there were more specs put on the market and, more importantly, more sold, than the year before. This means there are more opportunities for the writers themselves, and for the companies making the movies to bring fresh voices to their product.

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9 Things We Learned From the “Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie” Press Conference

captain-underpants-excerptFrom making this book series into a huge animated franchise to the biggest diva of the cast, director David Soren, creator Dav Pilkey (Turbo) and actors Kevin Hart, Ed Helms, and Thomas Middleditch gave us the scoop on the new animated feature.

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Superheroes Continue to Save Fox, Allowing Them to Balance Their Content (Studio Series)

DeadpoolThe Studio Series turns to Fox this week to see how its success with the X-Men franchise, beginning in 2000 with Bryan Singer’s initial X-Men film, has allowed the studio to try its hand at other types of fare.

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What Makes a Star a Star? (Or the Curious Case of Amy Schumer)

amy schumer excerptContributor Neil Turitz takes a look at what has made Amy Schumer a success but whether or not she is ultimately the box office draw execs believed after the success of Trainwreck.

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Strange Things Are Afoot at the WB (Studio Series)

Warner bros ExcerptThere was a time, not so long ago, when Warner Bros. was the model studio in town. They had great filmmakers making excellent movies that earned a lot of money and set box office records and produced some of the most beloved films and television shows ever created. Oh, how the people toiling under the iconic water tower long for those halcyon days of yore.

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Disney Continues to Reign Over Hollywood and Shows No Signs of Stopping (Studio Series)

Disney LogoNeil Turitz brings back last year’s Studio Series for the summer of 2017 to look at the film industry, studios, indies, and any in between. And where better to launch the series than with the biggest and most successful studio in Hollywood? Disney.

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“Better Luck Tomorrow” Continues to Resonate With Asian American Hollywood After 15 Years

blt-excerptThe Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival took note of the social climate of whitewashing (see: Scarlett Johansson in Ghost in the Shell) and decided to set the 2002 drama Better Luck Tomorrow as the festival opener. The move not only sparked nostalgia for independent filmmaking but put a spotlight on the groundbreaking film that still resonates when it comes to diversity and inclusion in Hollywood.

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An Ode to Jonathan Demme, His Perfect Film, and the Compassion of “Philadelphia”

Jonathan Demme ExcerptJonathan Demme died early Wednesday morning at the age of 73 and left behind an incredible legacy — not just with this films, but with his creativity, empathy, and social impact.

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7 Things We Learned at the “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” Press Junket

gotgvol2-press-excerpt
The Tracking Board learned some juicy details about the movie, the future of the Guardians and their place in the MCU, and Pratt’s opinion about being sexually objectified.

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Marvel Makes a Big Directing Decision, But Was It the Right One?

BodenFleck ExcerptSince the inception of the Cinematic Universe, Marvel has been hiring character-driven directors to ensure that its films are lead by its characters and not its plot. This trend was continued as Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck signed on to co-direct Captain Marvel. Neil Turitz evaluates Marvel’s decision in contrast with previous ones along with comparing this hire to many of DC’s hires.

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“The Dark Tower” and More Among This Summer’s Riskiest Movies

The Dark Tower ExcerptThe summer is when fortunes are made and lost, careers are built and destroyed, and audiences escape from the heat in a movie theater for a couple hours. With that in mind, here are five movies this summer that have especially large question marks beside them.

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Inside Marvel Studios, from “Ragnarok” Casting News to Comic-Con and Everything Fit to Print In Between

Inside Marvel StudiosWant updates on Black Panther? Thor: Ragnarok? Captain Marvel? Ant-Man and the Wasp? Spider-Man: Homecoming? Avengers: Infinity War? We’ve got you covered…

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From “A New Hope” to “The Last Jedi”: All the First “Star Wars” Trailers Ranked

star-wars-trailers-excerptThings have certainly changed since George Lucas dropped the very first trailer for A New Hope. That being said, here is a definitive ranking of all the first trailers of every Star Wars movie from Episode I to Episode VIII — including Rogue One.

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If You’re Going To Remake Something, Why Not Remake Something That Didn’t Work the First Time?

Escape From New York ExcerptWhy do studios insist on remaking films that were successful the first time? They most likely will not be as good as the original, which just leaves a bad taste in everyone’s mouth. Neil Turitz proposes that studios should try remaking films that that were great ideas but suffered from poor executions and give them the artisitc realization they deserved.

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Why Taika Waititi Is Destined to Save Thor — And Deliver One of the MCU’s Best Movies

Thor Ragnarok ExcerptWith New Zealand director Taika Waititi at the helm and heart, Thor: Ragnarok is shaping up to not only be the best Marvel movie of 2017, but one of the best Marvel movies ever, and finally giving the Norse god the due he’s deserved since Kenneth Branagh’s film.

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