IndependentFilmmaker Ari Folman earned international acclaim and an Oscar nomination in 2008 with his film "Waltz With Bashir," a unique fusion of documentary and animation inspired by his experiences during the 1982 invasion of Lebanon. Now Folman has returned with a striking blend of animation and live action that deals with our deepest psychological and philosophical concerns, as well as the nature of cinema and celebrity.Read More »from Robin Wright Plays ‘Robin Wright’ in First Trailer for ‘The Congress’
Blog Posts by Mark Deming
- Mark Deming | Movie Talk – Tue, May 14, 2013 5:08 PM EDT
- Mark Deming | Movie Talk – Tue, May 14, 2013 12:03 PM EDT
Chung Sung-Jun/Getty ImagesThe First Super-Hero from New Jersey is returning to the screen, and he's bringing along someone to help him kick some butt – Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Schwarzenegger, the venerable action star and former governor of California, is in talks to star in a remake of "The Toxic Avenger," the 1984 cult favorite that put low-budget studio Troma Team Pictures on the map. Steve Pink, who directed "Hot Tub Time Machine," is on board to helm the project, and he co-wrote the screenplay with Daniel C. Mitchell.Read More »from What a Waste: Arnold Schwarzenegger In Talks To Star In ‘Toxic Avenger’ Reboot
- Mark Deming | Movie Talk – Mon, May 13, 2013 1:57 PM EDT
The Weinstein CompanyAfter a month of controversy, Quentin Tarantino's "Django Unchained" finally opened in Chinese cinemas on Sunday, with more of a whimper than a bang.
"Django Unchained" did good but unspectacular business when it opened in Chinese movie theaters last weekend, bringing in 3.7 million yuan (roughly $601,800) in about 6,800 screenings. That put it in fifth place for the Sunday box office tally, coming in behind "Iron Man 3," "So Young" (a Chinese coming-of-age drama), "Oblivion" and "The Croods."Read More »from ‘Django Unchained’ Returns to Chinese Theatres, With Lukewarm Response
- Mark Deming | Movie Talk – Mon, May 13, 2013 1:53 PM EDT
Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty ImagesRobert Downey Jr.'s future in the Marvel Universe may be in doubt, but that's not stopping him from starting work on a new project. And for his next movie, he'll be teaming up with Jon Favreau, his colleague on the three "Iron Man" pictures.
Downey has signed on for the lead role in "Chef," an independent comedy to be directed by Favreau, who has also written the screenplay and will co-star. In the movie, Downey will play a chef at an upscale restaurant who loses his job and has a falling out with his family. The chef starts over by starting a food truck, and tries to heal his relationship with his family as he puts his career back on track.Read More »from Downey and Favreau Trade High Tech Armor for a Food Truck in ‘Chef’
- Mark Deming | Movie Talk – Mon, May 13, 2013 12:13 PM EDT
Everett CollectionLots of changes have taken place in the "Star Wars" universe in the past year – George Lucas sold his Lucasfilm company to Disney, 3-D reissues of the prequels and the "Clone Wars" TV series were both cancelled, and a new series of movies is in the works. But one thing will remain the same: Lucasfilm has announced that "Star Wars: Episode VII," on track to open in 2015, will be shot in Great Britain.
The studio work for the original "Star Wars" trilogy was done almost entirely in the UK, and for the prequels, interior shooting was divided between England and Australia. With shooting on "Episode VII" now in the planning stages, Lucasfilm has confirmed that they'll be heading back to England for work on the next film in the upcoming trilogy.Read More »from Lucasfilm Announces ‘Star Wars’ Will Return to the UK for Production of ‘Episode VII’
- Mark Deming | Movie Talk – Fri, May 10, 2013 7:49 PM EDT
Michael B. Jordan in 'Fruitvale Station' (Photo: The Weinstein Company)
"Fruitvale Station" has already become one of the most acclaimed independent films of 2013, and the new trailer for the film's upcoming theatrical release suggests this is a movie that will be both controversial and an emotionally powerful experience.
"Fruitvale Station" is based on the true-life story of Oscar Grant, a young man from Oakland, California who lost his life at the hands of police on New Year's Day 2009, and the new trailer gives a sympathetic but unglamorous portrait of a man struggling to do the right things in what turn out to be the last hours of his life.Read More »from First ‘Fruitvale Station’ Trailer Details a Deadly Night in Oakland
- Mark Deming | Movie Talk – Fri, May 10, 2013 12:48 PM EDT
Robert Downey Jr. in Marvel Studios' 'Iron Man 3'
Having grossed over $700 million since opening internationally on April 24 and making its American debut May 3, it seems like everyone loves "Iron Man 3."
Everyone except the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce, that is.
Some folks in Chattanooga, Tennessee are less than happy about how the city is portrayed in the movie, particularly their Internet service. Chattanooga wants the world to know you can get a blazing fast connection for your computer in their fair city.Read More »from Why the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce is Irked About ‘Iron Man 3′
- Mark Deming | Movie Talk – Fri, May 10, 2013 12:38 PM EDT
Frazer Harrison/Getty ImagesRumors have been buzzing for months about who will star in the upcoming film version of E.L. James's steamy bestseller "50 Shades of Grey." But on Friday a reputable source served up inside information on something just as important in bringing the story to the screen: who will direct the film.
The Hollywood Reporter reports that Joe Wright is in talks to direct "50 Shades," and is the front runner among the decision makers at Focus Features and Universal Pictures, who snapped up the film rights to the novel.Read More »from Joe Wright Reportedly First Choice to Direct ’50 Shades of Grey’
- Mark Deming | Movie Talk – Thu, May 9, 2013 5:36 PM EDT
Lintao Zhang/Getty ImagesZhang Yimou is one of China's most famous and respected filmmakers and the guy who was in charge of the Beijing Olympics' amazing opening and closing ceremonies. However, he's making headlines today for something that has nothing to do with show biz.
Reports surfaced Thursday that Chinese officials are investigating allegations that Zhang has violated the nation's strict family planning laws, and has fathered as many as seven children with four different women. While such behavior might generate a minor scandal in the United States or Europe, it's against the law in China, where the state carefully monitors population growth. China permits most couples to have only one child, offers rewards for couples that have no children, and levies severe fines against those who opt to have larger families. Penalties are determined based on the offender's income and number of offspring; in Zhang's case, the filmmaker could face a penalty of 160 million Yuan, or roughly $26 million.
Zhang is one ofRead More »from Chinese Filmmaker Zhang Yimou Under Investigation for Fathering Seven Children
- Mark Deming | Movie Talk – Thu, May 9, 2013 1:46 PM EDT
Jeff Nichols and Michael Shannon arrives at the 2012 Film Independent Spirit Awards on February 25, 2012 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)Rising star Michael Shannon is teaming up with writer and director Jeff Nichols for a big science fiction project, with Warner Bros. on board to finance and distribute.
It was revealed Wednesday that Nichols, the filmmaker behind the recent independent success "Mud," has struck a deal with Warner Bros. for his next project. Shannon, who starred in Nichols' first two films, "Shotgun Stories" and "Take Shelter," is on board to play the male lead.Read More »from Michael Shannon Reunited With Filmmaker Jeff Nichols for ‘Sci-Fi Chase Film’