Category Archives: Neil Turitz

All articles written by Neil Turitz.

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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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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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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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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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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From “Mighty Ducks” to “Murphy Brown,” These Films & TV Shows are Begging for a Reboot

karate kidOn the heels of YouTube Red’s announcement to revive The Karate Kid as a new series with the original film’s stars, Neil Turitz gives a few ideas of where streaming networks should look to find their next reboot hit.

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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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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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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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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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Focus Features Still Suffering Growing Pains at 15 (Studio Series)

atomic blondeIt’s tough to have one’s cake and eat it, too, but Focus is certainly trying. If you doubt it, look at the success of 2016 and, though the first seven months of 2017 have been the company’s worst since 2010, the list of upcoming releases is as impressive as anyone’s. In the 15 years since its creation, Focus it is responsible for some of the very best examples of what independent film is and can be.

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Batfleck, We Hardly Knew Ye

ben affleck excerptIn the midst of a mostly humdrum news weekend that was focused primarily on Comic-Con, a story suggested that Ben Affleck’s days are numbered as Batman in the DCEU. Everyone involved denied it, of course, when the question came up at the Justice League panel and presentation in Hall H on Saturday, but the writing has been on the wall for a while now.

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Isn’t It Fun to Be Shakespeare?

Will ExcerptRight now, William Shakespeare is as in vogue as he’s been in quite some time. There are two current TV shows about him, a plethora of stage productions (garnering attention for a variety of reasons), and several film adaptations in the works. Want a quality IP? Look no further than this dead English guy.

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Open Road’s Interesting Strategy Needs to Start Working Better — Now (Studio Series)

Open Road ExcerptWhat’s interesting about Open Road’s history is how much of an outlier a film like Spotlight was, and whether or not anything like it will come from them again anytime soon. Regardless, what is very evident is that the soft grosses of the last couple years can’t persist for too much longer, or else we could see Open Road fall to the second division of indie distributors.

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How Everyone Can Learn From the Genius of D23

D23 Expo ExcerptWhat Disney does is so darn smart. It shares the time and space with no one. While everyone else who might have something fancy to show is holding off until they head a hundred or so miles south, Disney is looking over all it has and holding out maybe one thing to tantalize the comic book crowd.

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These Emmys Might Mean More If the Voters Actually Watched the Shows

Gillian Anderson American Gods ExcerptThere’s a big difference between the Emmys and every other major awards show. Besides the TV half of the Golden Globes, only the Emmys allow for repeat nominees and winners, because every year, new content is being created for the same shows. Herein lies the issue. Emmy voters are lazy, and the question has to be asked whether or not the majority of them are even watching the shows for which they’re voting.

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Roadside Has Become More than Just Another Indie Attraction (Studio Series)

Roadside Attractions ExcerptA big part of success is finding the right plan and sticking with it to fruition. If we judge Roadside by that measure, and by the quality of the projects they put on screens, then we also have to acknowledge that Roadside Attractions is one of the better examples out there of just what an independent film distributor should be.

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How In the World Is the Best High School Movie In Years a Superhero Movie?

Spiderman Homecoming ExcerptWhat’s amazing about Spider-Man: Homecoming is just how brilliantly the film captures the feeling, the spirit, the tone, the essence of high school, in a way that none of the other five movies featuring the character ever have. It’s at least partly, for this reason, that the movie was such a box office sensation over the weekend, because it was putting a new spin on an old character.

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Summer Movie Season Mid-Term Report: Franchise Fatigue — It’s Real, and It’s Spectacular

The Mummy ExcerptIf this is the midterms section of the summer movie season, we’re looking at a D, and that grade is right on the precipice of a D-minus. Because we’re bored. We are bored to tears of the same old, same old. It’s possible that the second half of the summer could surprise us and come up with enough hits to balance things out, but don’t count on it. Truth be told, it’s just too late to save 2017.

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Fox Searchlight Needs a Hit, But Luckily, There Might Be a Few On the Way (Studio Series)

fox searchlight excerptFox Searchlight is not in any trouble, but they need to make sure their miserable 2016 doesn’t become a habit. However, both the company’s history and its upcoming slate suggests the future is far more promising than the past.

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Marvel, Original Content, and How Edgar Wright Made the Best Move of His Career

Baby Driver ExcerptEdgar Wright did something right by leaving Marvel. MRC did something right by giving him the chance to do something different with Baby Driver, and Sony did something right by putting it in theaters for us to enjoy as proof that people still desperately want to see original content.

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A24’s Rise to the Top of the Film World Has Been Fast and Furious (Studio Series)

A24 ExcerptIn the world of independent film, and the distributors involved, having a definitive identity is a major part of the battle. It’s a battle that, for now, A24 appears to be winning.

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Warner Bros. Is Contemplating Some Interesting Moves, But Are They the Right Ones?

Warner Bros ExcerptAny studio these days needs anything it can get, in regard to both profit and prestige, but at Warner Bros., new head Toby Emmerich is making various big decisions, such as no longer working with “auteur directors” who have final cut, might not be such a good thing.

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What the Lord and Miller Firing Means to the Overall World of Lucasfilm

Phil Lord Chris Miller ExcerptDoes Lucasfilm have itself a Director Problem? Because let’s face it — at this point, what has become obvious is that the vision to be fulfilled, from here on out, is Kennedy’s, and woe be to any director who thinks differently.

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STX Looks Like It’s Not Doing So Well, Until You Look Closer (Studio Series)

STX ExcerptThings aren’t perfect at STX, far from it. But considering how long it’s been around, and how far it’s come in that time, things could be a whole heck of a lot worse, with a future that doesn’t look anywhere near as bright as STX’s does.

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When It Comes To True Stories Like “All Eyez on Me,” What Do Filmmakers Owe to the Truth?

All Eyez on Me ExcerptUltimately, any time you’re telling a story based on something that actually happened, it’s a delicate balance. Inherently, there has to be some fictionalization involved, but there should also be an adherence to the spirit of the truth. The use of Jada Pinkett-Smith in All Eyez on Me, instead, feels exploitative.

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“Spider-Man: Homecoming” and When Studios’ Marketing Plans Can’t Get Out of Their Own Way

Spider-Man Homecoming ExcerptRecently, a Spider-Man: Homecoming spoiler was revealed thanks to the movie’s novelization. But when a studio like Sony is so secretive about its product, thus buying into the idea of Spoiler Culture, it cannot be nearly as careless about the marketing and licensing attached to said product.

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Movies Based on Video Games, and the Famed Definition of Insanity

Assassin's Creed ExcerptThe relentless pursuit of video game movie adaptations, despite a proven track record that they don’t work for the most part, falls back on the famed definition of insanity, that being the repetition of behavior and expecting a different result. But at some point doesn’t there have to be a communal understanding these projects don’t work?

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This Business About Sony’s “Clean Version” Movies Is Really a Non-Issue

sausage party exceprtSony announced this week that it will soon be making “Clean Versions” of its movies available to consumers at the same time that the original versions are. The panicked reactions to this new venture, however, are extremely short-sighted.

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