Category Archives: Film Features

Exclusively for film related features and op-ed pieces.

Ever “Wonder” What’s In a Movie Title? This Year, It’s Probably That Word

Wonder2There are four films coming out before the end of the year that feature the word “wonder” in their titles, and they arrive on the heels of a wonderful summer movie called Wonder Woman.

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Gavin O’Connor Might Be the Perfect Director to Take Over “Suicide Squad 2”

While the announcement a few weeks back may have seemed like an unconventional choice, that might actually make O’Connor the better choice.

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Under the Radar: “The Force” is a Riveting Doc about the Oakland Police Department Dealing with Change

Filmmaker Peter Nicks spent two years tailing the police department as they dealt with scandals and controversy in the face of the “Black Lives Matter” movement.

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Why is Horror So Popular in the “45” Era?

With Warner Bros’ “It” killing at the box office and other 2017 horror hits like Jordan Peele’s “Get Out” and Shyamalan’s “Split,” it seems like more than a coincidence.

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Hollywood Needs to Stop Looking to the Past to Define Its Future

JLCHamiltonNeil Turitz is glad Jamie Lee Curtis and Linda Hamilton have been cast in high-profile movies, but thinks it be far more interesting if they each fronted something new, something that could accentuate their respective strengths without necessarily revisiting frequently trod paths.

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Feminism Plays a More Important Role in Darren Aronofsky’s “mother!” Than Jennifer Lawrence’s Martyr

Mother!The Tracking Board introduces a new columnist, Sabrina Cognata, who doesn’t hold back in her analysis of Darren Aronofsky’s polarizing new movie.

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Toronto: Jeff and Ed’s Top 10 Movies of the Festival, From “Novitiate” to “Call Me by Your Name”

CMBYNTrue stories such as Battle of the Sexes, Darkest Hour and The Disaster Artist reigned supreme at TIFF, where The Killing of a Sacred Deer also made a strong impression.

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Harry Dean Stanton Actually Made You Believe He Would Never Die

harry dean stanton 2“Getting older means you realize you can’t waste a minute. Harry Dean knew that since he was 13 years old, and he never wasted a single second,” said John Carroll Lynch.

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With His Big Weekend in Toronto, Byron Allen Has Announced His Arrival

byron allen excerptThere’s just no other way to describe what Byron Allen has been doing at the Toronto Film Festival over the past few days, so Neil Turitz takes a step back to look at what the variety show host-turned-titan of the industry has accomplished.

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Why Is Everyone Taking the Fun Out of All the Festivals?

neil festival excerpt“Rather than going to these festivals and seeing the bright shining lights that emerge from them, we instead choose to focus on which of these movies premiering in front of an audience has any chance at all of scoring Oscar gold, as if that’s the only true measure of a movie’s worth,” writes Neil Turitz.

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In Honor of “It,” Here Are the 11 Best Stephen King Movies in GIF Form

itIt’s hard to believe that Stephen King could write a better prison story than The Green Mile, but as fans of The Shawshank Redemption will surely tell you, it’s true.

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“Star Wars: Episode IX”: The Top 10 Kinds of Directors Lucasfilm Is Likely Considering to Replace Colin Trevorrow

Star Wars: Episode IX DirectorsCan you see Disney turning to one of its Marvel or Pixar directors like Ryan Coogler, Taika Waititi or Brad Bird? What about Ava DuVernay, who just directed A Wrinkle in Time for the studio?

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Career Therapist: Where in the World is Joseph Gordon-Levitt?

JGLevittTNIt’s been year since he starred in Oliver Stone’s Snowden , but otherwise, the 36 year-old actor seems to have stayed with his HitRecord venture and having kids. Will he back in the acting and/or directing saddle soon?

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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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