Category Archives: Film Features

Exclusively for film related features and op-ed pieces.

If Jeff Sneider Had an Oscar Ballot, “Stronger,” “I, Tonya” and “Call Me by Your Name” Would Win Big

Ballot QuadEven though Sneider didn’t vote for War for the Planet of the Apes as a Best Picture nominee, he thinks it deserves two Oscars this year — one for its jaw-dropping visual effects, the other for Michael Giacchino’s beautiful original score.

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Top 10 Women on the Big Screen in 2017

top womenIt’s been a great year for women on screen, but we’ve still got a lot of work to do! As Hollywood continues to take baby steps in showing greater representations of women, Sabrina Cognata takes a look back at some of the best women in film from 2017.

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Career Therapist: What Shall We Do with Antonio Banderas?

AntonioBanderasGettyThe Spanish actor has been making a series of bad thrillers and action films for Saban Films and Lionsgate Premiere lately, killing any credibility he had as a serious theatrical draw in the ’90s.

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Malcolm D. Lee May Be the Most Underrated Filmmaker in Hollywood… But That’s Changing

GirlsTripWith the success of this year’s Girls Trip and 2013’s The Best Man Holiday, the director has set himself up to direct even bigger movies through his deal with Universal.

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What’s a Foreign Language Oscar Really Worth?

thesquareExamining what some of the Oscar-winning filmmakers went on to do after winning the Oscar in the foreign language category.

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Willem Dafoe on His Oscar-Worthy Role in Sean Baker’s “The Florida Project” (Interview)

WillemDafoeFloridaProject1Playing the manager of a run-down Orlando motel is the culmination of an amazing career of film roles for the twice Oscar-nominated actor.

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Producer Matt Tolmach on “Jumanji,” “Venom,” “Silver and Black” and More (Interview)

JumanjiMattTolmach1The former President of Columbia Pictures continues to work with Sony producing films like the holiday family action-adventure starring Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart and Jack Black.

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A24 Is On Fire This Year, From “Moonlight’s” Oscar Win to Its Current Awards Crop

LadyBirdTrailerOne of the more successful newer indie distributors has discovered the secrets of marketing and distribution to the point where they might have their best year yet with Lady Bird and The Disaster Artist.

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Under the Radar: 2017 Films That Deserve More Love

patticakesreviewxcerpt13 movies you might have missed or maybe some you’ve never even heard of, but hopefully will have a chance to watch before year’s end.

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Fox and Disney Sitting In a Tree, M-E-R-G-I-N-G, But Is This Really a Good Idea?

Disney Fox DealOne has to wonder if Disney is interested in spending the money required to help James Cameron see through his ambitious vision for Avatar, which has staked out four December release dates that would coincide with more than a few Star Wars films.

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Actor Richard Jenkins on the Magic of Making “The Shape of Water” (Interview)

JenkinsShapeofWaterExcerptGuillermo del Toro’s fantasy might put Jenkins back in the Oscar race for his supporting role as the friend and neighbor of a mute woman, played by Sally Hawkins.

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Armie Hammer on How “Call Me By Your Name” Changed His Views on Filmmaking (Interview)

ArmieHammerCMBYNExcerptThe actor breaks away from big studio fare to take on his most challenging and satisfying role in Luca Guadagnino’s adaptation of André Aciman’s novel, as well as making his first foray on Broadway.

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“Bull Durham” Creator Ron Shelton Returns to Theaters with “Just Getting Started” (Interview)

RonSheltonJGSExcerptShelton’s new comedy stars Morgan Freeman and Tommy Lee Jones as rivals at a Palm Springs retirement resort.

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“Star Wars” Has Studios Gun Shy This Year, and For No Good Reason

star wars last jedi poster smallFive Christmas releases could be on the path to profitability right now if any of their distributors had opted to take advantage of the calm before the Star Wars storm. So why didn’t they? Neil Turitz questions Hollywood’s December release strategy in his new column.

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Wu-Tang Clan’s RZA on Hip Hop, Poetry and His New Directorial Effort “Love Beats Rhymes” (Interview)

RZACommonLBR1A departure from his earlier martial arts film, the rapper-turned-filmmaker talks about switching gears for Azealia Banks’ acting debut.

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“Call Me By Your Name” Stars Michael Stuhlbarg, Timothée Chalamet on Their Busy Fall Seasons (Interview)

StuhlbargChalametCMBYNTwo actors, one a respected veteran, the other a newcomer, not only star in Luda Guadagnino’s acclaimed drama, but also in Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water, Greta Gerwig’s Lady Bird and more.

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Lawrence Fishburne On Working with Richard Linklater on “Last Flag Flying” and Straddling Marvel and DC (Interview)

LawrenceFishburneLFF1TNThe veteran actor talks about his career, his new movie, and his forays into television with black-ish and Hannibal.

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What’s In a Name When It Comes to Comic Book Movies? A “Marvelous” Primer on Similarly-Named Superheroes

Marvel TrioWhat’s the difference between Brie Larson’s Captain Marvel, Jude Law’s Mar-Vell and Zachary Levi’s Shazam, who’s also known as Captain Marvel even though he’s in the DC Comics universe? Neil Turitz, who’s a marvel in his own right, has the answer.

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Filmmaker Joe Lynch on the Catharsis of Making “Mayhem” (Interview)

MayhemTNThe action-comedy starring Steven Yeun from The Walking Dead is now playing on digital platforms.

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After “Justice League,” Zack Snyder’s “Last Photograph” Is Worth More Than a Thousand Words to His Career

Justice LeagueThe embattled filmmaker is at a career crossroads following Justice League‘s disappointing opening weekend, making his next movie that much more important in the eyes of the industry.

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Richard Linklater Flies the Flag For a Sequel… That Isn’t Really a Sequel (Interview)

LinklaterLFFTNBryan Cranston, Laurence Fishburne and Steve Carell star in the road dramedy about three military men off to bury one of their sons who was killed in the Iraq War.

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Actor Woody Harrelson is Killing It This Year

WoodyHarrelsonTNThe Emmy-winning, Oscar-nominated actor appeared in five very different movies this year, creating interesting and very different characters for each movie.

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Under the Radar: Stuff to Watch Over Thanksgiving

callmebyyournameTNRecapping some of the movies worth catching up on over Thanksgiving either in theaters or on screeners.

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“My Friend Dahmer” Director Marc Meyers on the Coming-of-Age of a Serial Killer (Interview)

MyFriendDahmerTNThe high school drama stars Ross Lynch as Dahmer during his senior year in high school, setting the stage for the murderer he would become.

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Rian Johnson Represents the Future of “Star Wars,” and a Brand New Model for Hollywood Franchises

Rian Johnson“I really like the idea of giving a single, skilled filmmaker the opportunity to oversee a story of this scale. It almost feels like a television-inspired take on things, but on the big screen it’s downright revolutionary, and it gives me hope that this could become an industry-wide trend,” writes Neil Turitz.

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It’s Too Early to Say R.I.P. Dark Universe, But Changes Are Necessary for Universal to Move Forward

Dark Universe“Universal needs to do whatever it takes to keep Bill Condon onboard to direct Bride of Frankenstein and take the time to get the script right before moving forward with someone like Jennifer Lawrence, Scarlett Johansson or Emma Stone in the title role,” writes Neil Turitz.

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Brett Ratner Allegations Complicate RatPac’s Relationship With Warner Bros. and the Release of “Justice League”

Thanks to his friendship with Australian billionaire James Packer, Ratner shifted from Hack Director into Big Time Producer over the past decade, but now his legacy hangs in the balance along with a $450 million co-financing deal.

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How “The Square” Creates High-Art for the YouTube Generation

Ruben Ostlund’s look at the contemporary art world combines every out-of-touch Gen X-er with the emotionally blank attitudes of Xennials for a complex and fascinating journey.

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Doc Filmmaker Joe Berlinger on “Intent to Destroy” and his Ted Bundy Drama with Zac Efron

The doc about the Armenian genocide is latest from Oscar-nominated filmmaker who returns to narrative features for the first time in 17 years.

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A Halloween Special: Life Lessons We Can Learn From the Use of Candy in Movies

When M&Ms manufacturer Mars turned down Steven Spielberg’s “E.T.,” the Hershey Company stepped in to make movie history with Reese’s Pieces

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