Category Archives: Film Features

Exclusively for film related features and op-ed pieces.

Why Even the World’s Greatest Directors Are Only as Good as their Scripts (Opinion)

SpielbergScorseseScottZemeckisSteven Spielberg, Ridley Scott, Clint Eastwood, Martin Scorsese and others have had erratic filmographies in their later years, but it’s not because they’re any less talented as filmmakers.

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Are Film Festivals Really Helping the Independent Film Biz? (Opinion)

FestivalLogosEast Coast Editor Edward Douglas looks at the pros and cons of the festival circuit and if it really helps independent films find an audience.

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“The Rider” Filmmaker Chloé Zhao on Writing For and Working With Non-Actors (Interview)

TheRiderBOPZhao’s feature about a badly-injured cowboy, played by real-life cowboy Brady Jandreau, was nominated for four Independent Spirit Awards, and has played dozens of film festivals since its Cannes debut.

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Why Are We Still Surprised When Smart Horror Movies Like “Get Out” and “A Quiet Place” Are Big Hits?

Get Out Quiet“There’s gold in them there scares, and just about every studio is eager to mine the fright genre and its loyal audience for all they’re worth,” writes Neil Turitz. The question now is, who will follow in Jordan Peele and John Krasinski’s successful footsteps?

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Cannes Needs Netflix A Lot More Than Netflix Needs Cannes, So Why Can’t the Elitist Film Festival See That?

NetCanThe idea that Cannes is telling filmmakers like Alfonso Cuarón and Paul Greengrass to take their new movies elsewhere is mind-boggling to me. It’s not like Netflix is offering the festival a bunch of Adam Sandler movies. No, the streaming service is offering Cannes the cream of their crop, so to speak, and yet, somehow, that still isn’t good enough.

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The Top 20 Fox Searchlight Movies That the Studio’s New TV Division Should Consider for the Small Screen

Fox4A series based on 28 Days Later seems like a no-brainer. After all, The Walking Dead is one of the biggest shows on TV, but it can’t go on forever. Wouldn’t it be smart to have a show ready to fill that void once it signs off?

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“Chappaquiddick” Writers Taylor Allen, Andrew Logan on Separating Truth from Rumor (Interview)

ChappaquiddickWritersThe duo’s first produced screenplay unwraps the mystery surrounding a fateful night for Senator Ted Kennedy in 1969 that would affect the rest of his political career.

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“Rampage” Director Brad Peyton on Pairing Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson with Giant, Mutated Animals (Interview)

RampageDwayneGeorgeBased on the ‘80s arcade game, the filmmaker behind San Andreas continues his attempt at making “elevated genre” with one of the world’s biggest A-list stars.

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Tony Gilroy, Brad Anderson Discuss Their Political Thriller “Beirut” Starring Jon Hamm (Interview)

JonHammBeirut2The screenwriter and director of the period thriller talk about how Gilroy’s script, written 27 years ago, was revived and revised for modern audiences.

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“Sweet Country” Director Warwick Thornton On Documenting Australian History Through Indigenous Eyes (Interview)

SweetCountryUTR1The acclaimed award-winning Australian Western, co-starring Sam Neill and Bryan Brown, is finally released in the States after playing on the festival circuit.

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Can Sex Comedy Movies Evolve with the Me Too Movement?

blockersYou’ll often hear, “you couldn’t make that movie today” when it comes to comedies, but the real issue is that society has evolved and humor along with it.

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“The Endless” Filmmakers, Stars Justin Benson, Aaron Moorhead on Making Micro-Budget Genre Films That Are Big on Ideas (Interview)

TheEndlessFeature2The filmmakers behind indie thrillers Spring and Resolution offer another quizzical mind-twisting thriller, one that has connections to their earlier work.

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Andrew Haigh, Charlie Plummer Explore Teen Struggles in Coming-of-Age Drama “Lean on Pete” (Interview)

CharliePlummerLeanOnPete4The filmmaker behind 45 Years and Weekend tells the story of a boy and the horse with whom he bonds, along with the young star of Ridley Scott’s All the Money in the World.

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Despite a Bold New Suggestion for Crediting Screenwriters, the WGA Shouldn’t Change a Thing

Additional Writing ByMultiple WGA members are lobbying for an “Additional Writing By” credit section, naming everyone who had a hand in a film’s screenplay. The general concept behind this is that, if you were hired to write and you wrote, you should get credit for that work, whether or not said work was used. But is that really a good idea?

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“Ready Player One” Sacrifices Another Dynamic Female Character for Male Gaze

Screen Shot 2018-04-03 at 11.49.28 AM“Without the extensive buildup of backstory [from the book], Art3mis essentially loses her own storyline and purpose and, in doing this, Artemis’ sole purpose becomes a visual totem used as fodder for the obsessive male gaze,” writes Sabrina Cognata.

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“Pitch Perfect” Writer Kay Cannon on Making Her Hilarious Directorial Debut With “Blockers” (Interview)

KayCannonBlockers3The high concept comedy stars Leslie Mann, Ike Barinholtz and John Cena as the parents of three teen girls planning to lose their virginity on prom night.

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Nostalgia is Bigger Than Ever, but Maybe It’s Time to Move Forward Rather than Looking Back? (Opinion)

RoseanneIronGiantThe Roseanne revival is one of ABC’s biggest hits since the original Roseanne, while Steven Spielberg revisits his own past in Ready Player One.

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Defending “Book of Henry” — Maybe It’s Time to Give Colin Trevorrow a Break for a Movie Few People Saw (Opinion)

TrevorrowBookOfHenryWith Trevorrow just confirmed to direct Jurassic World 3, people are still harping on the disaster that struck when the filmmaker’s Book of Henry “cost him the Star Wars gig”… but did it really?

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“Chappaquiddick”: Filmmaker John Curran Explores the History and Mystery Behind Ted Kennedy’s 1969 Scandal (Interview)

Chappaquiddickstill2Starring Jason Clarke as the Massachusetts politician, whose car went off a bridge into the bay, killing Mary Jo Kopechne (Kate Mara) and raising questions that affected the Kennedy family.

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Ranking Steven Spielberg’s Top 10 Movies: Dinos and Aliens and Sharks, Oh My! But No “Indiana Jones”

SS QuadIn reviewing Spielberg’s filmography, what stands out most is his range, as illustrated by the fact that Jurassic Park and Schindler’s List both came out the same year. Those two films couldn’t be more different, and yet they were made by the same singular storyteller. Imagine having that kind of talent!

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“Outside In” Filmmaker Lynn Shelton Returns to the Big Screen After Four Years of Directing TV (Interview)

OutsideInBOPThe director of Humpday, You Sister’s Sister and more has been quite successful directing shows like Fresh Off the Boat, New Girl, and Netflix series Glow and Love.

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Steven Spielberg Steps Into the Future With “Ready Player One,” So Why Can’t He See That the Future Includes Netflix?

Spielberg Netflix“Steven Spielberg doesn’t think that Netflix movies should be eligible for Oscars. So would Spielberg, who has been such an enormous supporter of the #MeToo movement, begrudge Mudbound cinematographer Rachel Morrison her history-making nomination? In the words of my therapist, ‘there’s a lot to unpack here,'” writes Neil Turitz.

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“Gemini” Filmmaker Aaron Katz Explores L.A. to Create Contemporary Noir (Interview)

LolaKirkeGemini2Winner of the John Cassavetes Award for Land Ho!, Katz’s new noir thriller stars Lola Kirke (Mozart in the Jungle) as the personal assistant of a young starlet (Zoe Kravitz), who gets caught up in a murder mystery.

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Is Netflix Going Overboard on the Amount of Content?

netflix excerptEast Coast Editor Edward Douglas opines about the fact that sometimes having too many options means you’ll never have time to watch some of the less-publicized content.

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“Isle of Dogs”: Renaissance Man Bob Balaban on Voicing a Dog in Wes Anderson’s Second Animated Film

BobBalabanIsleOfDogs2From Close Encounters of the Third Kind to Gosford Park, Balaban has experience on both sides of the camera, and Isle of Dogs is his third time working with Anderson.

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Joshua Leonard Returns to Low Budget Horror with Steven Soderbergh’s “Unsane” (Interview)

UnsaneJoshLeonard1The star of The Blair Witch Project and Humpday talks about woring on Soderbergh’s latest low-budget thriller, starring Claire Foy, his next film as director and even a possible Humpday sequel!

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“Tomb Raider” Deserves a Sequel Because the Hard Part, Finding the Right Star to Play Lara Croft, Is Finally Over

Tomb Raider ReviewHollywood’s star system is under siege, but Oscar winner Alicia Vikander “knocks the ball so far out of the park as the rugged English adventurer that she might as well be Babe Ruth,” writes Neil Turitz.

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Steven S. DeKnight Transitions from TV To Films with “Pacific Rim: Uprising” (Interview)

PacRimUprising4The creator of Starz’s Spartacus series and showrunner for the first season of Marvel’s Daredevil on Netflix talks about following Guillermo del Toro on the giant robot (and monster) sequel.

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Director José Padilha Addresses his Controversial “7 Days in Entebbe” (Interview)

PadilhaEntebbe3The Brazilian filmmaker behind Elite Squad and Robocop goes back in time to document the ’77 Air France hijack that had many nations on edge.

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What Sort of Records Might “Avengers: Infinity War” Set for Marvel Studios?

AvengersInfinityWarRunningHeroesEast Coast Editor Edward Douglas takes an early look at the box office prospects of what should be one of the year’s biggest blockbusters, and whether it will it do as well or better than Black Panther.

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