Category Archives: Film Features

Exclusively for film related features and op-ed pieces.

Under the Radar: “Spettacolo” & “Beside Bowie: The Mick Ronson Story” are Two Docs that Show Behind the Scenes of the Creative Process

spettacoloTN Two very different docs, one from the men behind Marwencol and one from a former David Bowie manager, takes you behind the creative process of two men within very different scenarios.

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The Complete List of Winners from the First Second Annual Neily Awards

wonder woman excerptYes, you read that right! It’s time for Neil Turitz to look back over the first two-thirds of the year for the best and the worst of what the film world has had to offer with the First Second Annual Neily Awards.

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If the Studios Have Anyone to Truly Fear It’s Amazon

amazon studiosIt’s been a fun summer, taking a deep dive into each of the major studios, as well as the mid-majors and the biggest and more relevant indie distributors, but it’s probably fitting that we end with the company that is most certainly the biggest disrupter of them all: Amazon.

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Under the Radar: “California Typewriter” is a Luddite Love Letter for Writers of All Ages and Eras

california-typewriterTNDoug Nichols ‘documentary features the likes of Tom Hanks, John Mayer and the late Sam Shepard talking about why writing on typewriters helps and inspires their creativity.

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The Big Fight This Weekend and How Hollywood Is Missing It

bleed for this excerptWhile in past boxing movies have received great critical acclaim and box office success, recent releases have shown a downturn in public interest. As MMA fights continue to gain appeal, should Hollywood stories turn their sights to a new sport?

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The Oscar Map #1: Will Netflix Land Its First Best Picture Nod With “Mudbound,” This Year’s Most Diverse Contender?

2017 Oscar Map #1Last year’s crop of acting nominees featured seven performers of color, but expect a regression on the diversity front this year even though Denzel Washington seems like a shoo-in for Roman Israel, Esq.

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Are There Any A-List Actors Left Who Aren’t in a Franchise?

InfinityWarThe age of A-listers we’ve come to know is gone, but when did franchises take over and why didn’t we notice?

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Netflix Is a Leader in Television, but Not Quite a Leader in Film

netflix excerptHow to judge a company that doesn’t actually put its films in theaters? Or doesn’t actually show what kind of revenues it has? The answer to these questions: you don’t judge them by the same criteria.

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Are the Skywalkers Hurting the “Star Wars” Anthology Stories?

obi wan excerptAn Obi-Wan Kenobi standalone movie is officially in the works to which Neil Turitz asks: really? As Lucasfilm insists on limiting itself off to a very small number of characters for their standalone films, are they actually hurting the brand.

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Why Does Everything James Wan Touch Turn to Gold?

jameswanexcerptHas the director and co-creator of the Saw, Insidious and The Conjuring horror franchises found a sure-fire formula for success or is it just plain luck?

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Under the Radar: John Trengove’s “The Wound” is a Stirring Coming Out Story in a World Where Masculinity is Everything

woundexcerptOne of the lower-key releases this weekend (and currently only playing at New York’s Film Forum for a week) is this debut feature by a South African filmmaker who explores how much tougher it is being gay in an African tribal setting than it might be anywhere else.

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Is Hollywood Taking “Write What You Know” Too Far?

crashing excerpt“While the scripted versions of the behind-the-scenes world of entertainment can be insightful, it now feels like these kinds of projects are everywhere, to the point where even those of us who enjoy this kind of self-examination are throwing up our hands and wondering if it has all become overkill,” writes Neil Turitz.

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Safety Protocol for Stunts Needs a Rewrite Following Senseless Deaths on “Deadpool 2,” “Walking Dead” Sets

Stunt Protocol Needs Rewrite“Did we learn nothing from Midnight Rider and the tragic death of Sarah Jones? The only bottom line that should really matter in this industry is the protection of a human life, not the saving of a few bucks by a production,” John Steven Rocha writes in his final column.

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Bleecker Street Looks to Succeed Where Other Indie Distributors Failed

bleecker street excerptAs we march inexorably toward both the end of the Studio Series, we come to one of the most interesting entries of the entire enterprise. Bleecker Street is a new and exciting operation in the indie world that has designs on much bigger and more impressive prey, and ultimately succeeding where Broad Green recently failed.

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Everything I Know About Surviving the Apocalypse I Learned From Hollywood

mad max excerptWe live in troubled times. It’s on the news every day, we read about it, it keeps us up at night. Maybe it’s time to start thinking of survival plans, and who better to guide us than Hollywood?

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Sony’s 2018 Slate Could Yield Nice Returns From Relatively Low Risk

hoteltrans2excerptSony took Bad Boys 3 off its calendar and bumped Michelle MacLaren’s directorial debut The Nightingale to 2019 as it puts faith in several titles from its genre label Screen Gems.

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Career Therapist: What’s Going on with Naomi Watts?

naomi-wattsThis week’s The Glass Castle is Naomi Watts’ fourth movie of 2017, but did you see any of them, and has she been using her considerable talents to pick the best roles that show off said talents?

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Under the Radar: Bertrand Bonello’s “Nocturama”

nocturamaexcerptThe new film from French filmmaker Bertrand Bonello (Saint Laurent) features an amazing group of young actors and an intriguing story that may not immediately be obvious from watching its gorgeous trailer.

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Glen Campbell’s Other, Equally Important Legacy as One of the Faces of Alzheimer’s

glen campbell excerptIn remembrance of country music legend Glen Campbell, Neil Turitz takes a look back at the documentary that depicted the star’s struggle with Alzheimer’s, bringing awareness to the disease and showing the power of filmmaking.

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The 25 Best Movies From 25 Years Ago: “Reservoir Dogs” Highlights the Underrated Class of 1992

1992SmallThey just don’t make movies like they used to. Seriously. 1992 isn’t generally regarded as a landmark year for cinema but you’d be wrong to dismiss it. The films are still very much part of the culture, starting with Quentin Tarantino’s directorial debut and A Few Good Men.

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Annapurna and Studio 8 Are Just Getting Started, But Can They Make It?

annapurna excerptIt’s one thing to take an existing company and examine its ups and downs based on a concrete history. It’s a whole other kettle of fish to utilize the same set of standards and apply them to a pair of companies that have no real track record at all, but which have declared themselves as major players in the arena moving forward.

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“Wet Hot American Summer”: Has One Cast Ever Produced So Many Directors?

WHASexcerptWith the debut of Wet Hot American Summer: 10 Years Later on Netflix this week, one can look back at the cast of the series so far and how many of them have gone on to become successful directors.

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Going to War Over Christopher Nolan

christopher nolanChristopher Nolan is regularly praised for his work, but not everyone is in love. Neil Turitz is ready to go to battle with Nolan fans as he gives some critical words to the acclaimed director.

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Does the DCEU Really Have a Problem Holding On to Directors, Or Is It a Victim of Circumstance?

DCEU Directors“Those who maintained faith in Wonder Woman were rewarded for trusting the process. After that movie, doesn’t the DCEU deserve the benefit of the doubt,” writes John Steven Rocha.

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The Weinstein Company’s Struggles Continue, But Is There a Way Out?

the weinstein coExactly a year ago, when we took a look at The Weinstein Company during this Studio Series, we talked about the fact that the company was in the midst of a terrible year, and was strapped for cash. Three hundred and sixty-five days later, little has changed.

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Why Arnold Schwarzenegger Still Endures at Age 70

Arnold Schwarzenegger Turns 70“Arnie always found a way to transcend his often mindless material, which made us appreciate and adore him that much more. So while snobby movie critics rolled their eyes at his corny catchphrases as the ’80s came to an end, for us Arnold fans, each film felt like you were catching up with an old friend,” writes John Steven Rocha.

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Big Budgets, Television, and the New Indie Paradigm

valerian excerptIn a landscape where big names rule what was once a way to “break in”, Neil Turitz ponders what it means to be an independent film these days.

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The Must-Stream Movies and Shows Coming to Netflix in August

unnamedHeading into the second half of the summer, Netflix is set to release some classics alongside their original projects that many have been waiting anxiously for.

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Critics May Disagree, But Tom Rothman Is Leading a Strong Charge in Sony’s Franchise Hunt

sony excerptThe master plan Rothman has put in motion to set Sony up for future success might not be working so well at the moment, but the strategy behind it is sound, explains Neil Turitz.

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Are We as Inclusive As We Believe We Are in Fan Culture?

Rocha Column“Certain casting decisions will always be met with derision, but racist and misogynistic banter should be unacceptable, same as bullying actors and creators on social media or in person at panels,” writes John Steven Rocha.

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