Category Archives: Film Features

Exclusively for film related features and op-ed pieces.

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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The Continuing (and Relevant) Legacy of “The Fast and the Furious”

Fate of the Furious ExcerptEven with only having seen one film of The Fast and the Furious franchise, Neil Turitz has observed the power and legacy of these films and examines, from an outsider’s perspective, how and why they’ve done so well and what’s in their future.

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The Rules, They Always Be Changin’ — Academy Shakes Up Two Major Categories

OJ Made in America excerptThe Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences changed the rules to two major categories. Neil Turitz explains how these rule changes could greatly impact who gets nominated in the categories in the coming years.

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Could the Hiring of Aaron Sorkin Combat the Stigma Around Marvel and DC Movies?

Sorkin ExcerptWith Aaron Sorkin entering talks with both Marvel and DC despite having admittedly never read a comic book, Neil Turitz gives his take on how he envisions a Sorkin-written superhero movie to look and whether he thinks the Oscar-winning writer could enhance the quality of these films.

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How About Building the Film Before We Build the Universe?

power-rangers-excerptIt seems like every film today is one piece in the web of a massive franchise with expectations to turn into a full cinematic universe. Many it times it even seems like the films franchises are being greenlit before the first film is released. Neil Turitz takes a look at this phenomenon and asks why film is going in this direction.

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Why “Beauty and the Beast” and “Legion” Star Dan Stevens Is the Leading Man to Watch

Legion Dan Stevens ExcerptBetween the one-two punch of FX’s Legion and Disney’s juggernaut live-action Beauty and the Beast remake that just opened, British actor Dan Stevens is having a tremendous time of it. Look back on his career, however, and this sudden boom in both his career and the attention heaped onto him, is not much of a surprise.

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Netflix’s New Old Rating System and the End of Movie Criticism

Siskel and Ebert ExcerptNetflix has changed its star rating system to simply a thumbs up or thumbs down. Neil Turitz explains why this unfortunate change is the newest development in the suppression of the movie reviewer.

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Bill Condon’s Baroque-en Vision of “Beauty and the Beast”

beauty and the beast excerptThe reviews are in and while Beauty and the Beast is a charming adaptation, the deliciously ornate presentation highlights just where Bill Condon may have fallen short.

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Yet Another Memo to the Studios About the Movies They’re (Not) Making

atomic-blonde-excerptWomen enjoy going to the movies as much as anyone male does. And yet, studios refuse to acknowledge this, as well as the fact that movies targeted towards women tend to do very well at the box office. It would be nice if the concept of making cheaper, more inclusive films for a wider audience hungry for them wasn’t so alien, Neil Turitz argues, but this seems to be the sad current reality.

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Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine: An Appreciation

Wolverine 3

Logan was released in theaters on Friday thus ending the Hugh Jackman’s tenure as Wolverine. Neil Turitz evaluates Jackman’s legacy in the pantheon of great super hero characters and why Logan was the perfect ending to a great run.

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Marian, Queen Arthur, Thor, and the Continuing Rise of the Badass Female Hero

Xena ExcerptIn recent years there have been an increasing number of women playing the leads in action roles. Neil Turitz examines this upswing and say why we should expect to see even more of this in the future.

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Josh Gad to Play Disney’s First Gay Character in “Beauty and the Beast,” But Everything Hinges on What Comes Next

Josh Gad Beauty and the Beast ExcerptJosh Gad will play the first gay Disney character in the upcoming live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast but the real test will be what comes next. It’s one thing to have an established, supporting character be identified as LGBTQ; it’s a completely different thing to have an original lead character identify as gay, bisexual, queer, or otherwise.

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With Two Big Wins in Two Months, Blumhouse and Horror Are Back (Or Are They?)

Get Out

Horror has been a genre on the decline but with two very successful horror films already out in 2017, Neil Turitz takes a look at horror’s future prospects and whether or not the success streak can continue.

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