Category Archives: Film Features

Exclusively for film related features and op-ed pieces.

TV Casting Round-Up (01.19.18) – Alec Baldwin & Drew Carey Land Guest Roles &

AlecExcerpt Will and Grace, Mr. Mercedes, I’m Dying up Here, The 100 and NCIS cast guest stars.

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Since When is Consent in Film Unsexy?

love and basketball“When people say #MeToo movement threatens ‘Sexy Hollywood Movies’ it really threatens the broad spectrum of what sexy can be,” writes Sabrina Cognata.

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“Mom and Dad” Director Brian Taylor on His Unconventional Thriller Starring Nicolas Cage and That Fabled “Twisted Metal” Movie (Interview)

MomDadFeature2The co-creator of Crank and a director on the popular new Syfy show Happy! tells us what it takes to put together a movie with a premise that’s not the easiest to finance. Plus getting the most “crazy Nick” out of Nicolas Cage after working together on Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance.

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“Jumanji” Is The Best Video Game Movie Not Actually Based on One…  So When Will Sony Announce Its Sequel Already?

ToomachJumanji4A few somewhat scattered thoughts on the box office blockbuster that somehow cracked the code for making a movie that appeals to gamers without having a real video game as its basis.

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Guillermo del Toro: What to Watch After Watching “The Shape of Water”

DelToroFilmsWe go through the popular genre filmmaker’s extensive filmography offering a few watching tips for novices unfamiliar with his earlier work.

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The Sundance 2017 Scorecard: Which Movies Did Well, Which Movies Weren’t Even Released

TheBigSickSundanceAmazon Studios’ Sundance pick-up The Big Sick was one of the biggest deals from last year’s festival, and it paid off big time as the most successful film out of last year’s fest. Others didn’t fare nearly as well.

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“Saturday Night Fever”: A Problematic Classic in Film History

saturday night feverSaturday Night Fever celebrated its 40th anniversary last month and while the film is considered iconic, it’s storyline may be much more problematic than viewers may recall. Sabrina Cognata takes a look at the movie that made John Travolta a star and its darker, cultural impact.

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“The Polka King” Directors Maya Forbes and Wally Wolodarsky on How Jack Black Created His Outlandish Real-Life Character (Interview)

PolkaKing1Black plays bandleader Jan Dewan, the “Polka King of Pennsylvania,” who conned his fans out of millions of dollars before being arrested for creating a Ponzi scheme. The film is currently streaming on Netflix.

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“The Commuter” Director Jaume Collet-Serra on the Complexities of his Fourth Liam Neeson Thriller (Interview)

commutercolletserra1How their earlier thriller Non-Stop led to them making another transportation thriller, and why Disney’s Jungle Cruise starring Dwayne Johnson is actually very different from Jumanji.

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How Netflix’s Big, “Bright” Move Changes Everything, For Better or Worse

Bright Netflix“As many new subscribers might have signed up for Netflix to watch Bright, and who might now stick around and become paying customers, more money would be made by putting its sequel into theaters either as part of a day-and-date release, or three works before releasing it on the streaming service,” writes Neil Turitz.

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Have we Learned Our Lesson Yet About Making Sequels Past Their Prime?

SequelsPastPrimeIn the past couple years, making sequels years even decades after their popular predecessors has proven to be folly for anyone involved. And yet, 2018 offers more than a couple sequels being released an insanely long time after the original movies.

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The Curious Case of the Slender Man and Studios Profiting From Real-Life Tragedies

Slender Man Movie“There is a case to be made that movie studios should be decried for trying to profit off of real-life tragedies, but movies and television shows based on devastating true events have been a mainstay of pop culture for 100 years. You wouldn’t tell Steven Spielberg not to make Schindler’s List, or Paul Greengrass not to make United 93, would you?

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January-February Movie Dead Zone Looking a Bit More Lively This Year Thanks to a Panther and a Rabbit

Jan-Feb Quad The first real sleeper of early 2018 may be Clint Eastwood’s thriller The 15:17 to Paris, which chronicles the true story of three American soldiers who prevented a terrorist attack on a train. The best part? The main roles are filled by the real heroes, playing themselves. The question is whether real heroes can compete with superheroes at the box office.

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Drew McWeeny Unveils His Top 10 Films of 2017, In Which Love Conquers All

Drew McWeeny's Top 10 of 2017“Some of my favorite filmmakers made the list this year, and in every case, it feels like people working in personal mode, even if they’re working in the most mainstream of possible modes. When I think of 2017 in the future… if there is one… then these are the films that will most directly connect me to who I was at this moment in time.”

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Netflix’s Year in Review: From “Mudbound” to “Mindhunter” and Everything in Between

Best of Netflix QuadJeff Sneider offers 18 things to look forward to on Netflix in 2018, including comedy specials from Chris Rock and Ali Wong, a new sci-fi movie from Duncan Jones, and an anthology series from the Coen brothers.

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“Call Me By Your Name” Director Luca Guadagnino on the Coming-of-Age Drama and His “Radical Feminist” Remake of “Suspiria” (Interview)

lucacmbyn2The Italian filmmaker who first received international attention for 2010’s I Am Love with Tilda Swinton, tackles André Aciman’s novel, working from a script by James Ivory.

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Because It’s the Law of the Internet, Here Are Neil Turitz’s Favorite Movies and TV Shows of 2017

Neil Turitz Best of 2017Blumhouse’s slasher movie Happy Death Day joins awards favorites such as Steven Spielberg’s The Post, Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water and the “beautiful” Call Me by Your Name.

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Edward Douglas’ Top 10 Favorite Films of 2017

EDTop102017The Tracking Board’s East Coast Editor offers a somewhat unconventional year-end Top 10 of the films he enjoyed most, including a couple docs.

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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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