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The 2019 Oscar Race at the Halfway Point: Have We Seen Any Real Contenders?

The 2019 Oscar Race at the Halfway Point: Have We Seen Any Real Contenders?
On paper, several of the films released in the first half of 2019 have the look of potential Oscar Best Picture nominees.

There’s “Avengers: Endgame,” a blockbuster Marvel movie that could follow in the heels of last year’s blockbuster Marvel movie, “Black Panther.”

And “Rocketman,” a musical biopic of British singer and gay icon Elton John that picks up the mantle from last year’s musical biopic of British singer and gay icon Freddie Mercury, “Bohemian Rhapsody.”

And Jordan Peele’s socially conscious horror flick “Us,” his first film since his socially conscious horror flick and Oscar nominee “Get Out.”

Also Read: When Sacheen Littlefeather and Marlon Brando Fought John Wayne for the Soul of the Oscars

And Pixar’s “Toy Story 4,” an acclaimed animated movie looking to follow in the footsteps of the last animated movie to be nominated for Best Picture, which happened to be “Toy Story 3.
See full article at The Wrap »

Short Film Winners Can Qualify For Oscars in Palm Springs, But That’s Not the Biggest Prize

If you’re one of the filmmakers who supplied some 5,600 submissions to the 2019 Palm Springs International Shortfest, the stakes were high. Not only because Shortfest offers the only short-film market in North America; or, because 369 of those films were selected for juried screenings to an audience of more than 700 over June 18-23.

Those functions matter, but as the world’s biggest short-film festival, Shortfest also draws talent agents, production executives, and producers who are keenly aware that, beyond identifying early talent, short-form content holds tremendous value in the current market. Yes, the Sundance Film Festival is still the best way to get films seen by Hollywood — but in a world that’s (re)discovering the virtues of short-form content, there’s something sexy about an event entirely devoted to its celebration.

While short films have always provided fodder for features, today they’re more likely to fuel web or TV series.
See full article at Thompson on Hollywood »

Short Film Winners Can Qualify For Oscars in Palm Springs, But That’s Not the Biggest Prize

If you’re one of the filmmakers who supplied some 5,600 submissions to the 2019 Palm Springs International Shortfest, the stakes were high. Not only because Shortfest offers the only short-film market in North America; or, because 369 of those films were selected for juried screenings to an audience of more than 700 over June 18-23.

Those functions matter, but as the world’s biggest short-film festival, Shortfest also draws talent agents, production executives, and producers who are keenly aware that, beyond identifying early talent, short-form content holds tremendous value in the current market. Yes, the Sundance Film Festival is still the best way to get films seen by Hollywood — but in a world that’s (re)discovering the virtues of short-form content, there’s something sexy about an event entirely devoted to its celebration.

While short films have always provided fodder for features, today they’re more likely to fuel web or TV series.
See full article at Indiewire »

Jason Blum Calls ‘Whiplash’ A “Disaster Theatrically” & Says The Days Of Low-Budget Dramas In Theaters Are Over

Jason Blum Calls ‘Whiplash’ A “Disaster Theatrically” & Says The Days Of Low-Budget Dramas In Theaters Are Over
The future is streaming. No matter if you’re one of the people that is a diehard cinema-goer, there’s just no way to look past the fact that many films that would have gone to theaters are now being sent directly to streaming. And with streaming films getting Oscar noms and Peak TV still at its, uh, peak, being on a streaming platform isn’t the worst thing in the world. One person who has thought a lot about the idea of streaming versus theatrical release is none other than Blumhouse founder Jason Blum.

Continue reading Jason Blum Calls ‘Whiplash’ A “Disaster Theatrically” & Says The Days Of Low-Budget Dramas In Theaters Are Over at The Playlist.
See full article at The Playlist »

Sean Penn Set to Direct Josh Brolin in Flag Day Starring Ensemble Cast

Sean Penn Set to Direct Josh Brolin in Flag Day Starring Ensemble Cast
Two-time Academy Award&#174 winner Sean Penn will direct Flag Day, in which he will star alongside his daughter Dylan Penn. Principal photography began this week.

Also joining the Flag Day cast are Academy Award&#174 nominee Josh Brolin, two-time Tony Award&#174 winner Norbert Leo Butz, Dale Dickey, Eddie Marsan, Bailey Noble (True Blood), Hopper Penn (War Machine), Miles Teller, and Katheryn Winnick. Tony Award&#174 winning wright Jez Butterworth penned the screenplay, which is based on Jennifer Vogel's 2005 memoir "Flim-Flam Man: The True Story of My Father's Counterfeit Life.}

Based on a true story, Flag Day is an illuminating portrait of a daughter struggling to overcome the loving yet dark legacy of her con man father.

Five-time Academy Award&#174 nominee Sean Penn won the award twice for his lead performances in Milk and Mystic River and is the acclaimed director of Academy Award&#174 nominated Into the Wild, as well as The Pledge,
See full article at MovieWeb »

Paramount, Blumhouse Announce Seventh ‘Paranormal Activity’ Movie

  • Variety
Paramount Pictures and Jason Blum’s Blumhouse are teaming on a seventh “Paranormal Activity” movie.

Paramount chief Jim Gianopulos announced the untitled project Wednesday during the studio’s CineEurope presentation in Barcelona. Plot details are also under wraps.

The franchise was launched with 2007’s “Paranormal Activity,” a micro-budget film about a young couple who had who moved to a new house in San Diego and are terrorized by a demon. “Paranormal Activity,” directed by Oren Peli, was enormously profitable with $193 million in worldwide grosses.

The six films have grossed $400 million in North America and $890 million worldwide. The most recent was 2015’s “Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension,” which was the lowest grossing entry in the franchise with $18.3 million domestically and $78.9 million worldwide on a budget of $10 million.

After breaking out as a producer on the original film, Blum’s name has become synonymous with all things horror as the filmmaker launched terrifying franchises including “Insidious,
See full article at Variety »

‘Flag Day’ Shoot Under Way: Sean Penn Directs & Stars In Drama With Dylan Penn, Josh Brolin, Miles Teller, Katheryn Winnick, More

  • Deadline
‘Flag Day’ Shoot Under Way: Sean Penn Directs & Stars In Drama With Dylan Penn, Josh Brolin, Miles Teller, Katheryn Winnick, More
Shoot is under way on Sean Penn-directed feature drama Flag Day, in which Penn will star alongside daughter Dylan Penn (Elvis & Nixon).

The strong supporting cast joining the production includes Josh Brolin (No Country For Old Men), Norbert Leo Butz (Fair Game), Dale Dickey (Hell Or High Water), Eddie Marsan (Happy-Go-Lucky), Bailey Noble (True Blood), Hopper Penn (War Machine), Miles Teller (Whiplash), and Katheryn Winnick (Vikings).

Jez Butterworth (Edge Of Tomorrow) has penned the screenplay, which is based on Jennifer Vogel’s 2005 memoir Film-Flam Man: The True Story Of My Father’s Counterfeit Life. Based on a true story, the long-gestating film is a portrait of a daughter struggling to overcome the loving but dark legacy of her con man father.

William Horberg (The Talented Mr. Ripley), Jon Kilik (Babel) and Fernando Sulichin (Snowden) are producing the feature, which is a Wonderful Films, Rahway Road, New Element Films and Clyde Is Hungry Films production.
See full article at Deadline »

Christmas Comes Early On Friday, December 13 With Blumhouse’s Black Christmas – Stars Imogen Poots

Blumhouse recently took Halloween to that franchise’s highest performance and now returns to another genre classic with an upgrade engineered for today: Black Christmas.

Hawthorne College is quieting down for the holidays. One by one, sorority girls on campus are being killed by an unknown stalker. But the killer is about to discover that this generation’s young women aren’t willing to become hapless victims as they mount a fight to the finish.

This December, on Friday the 13th, ring in the holidays by dreaming of a Black Christmas.

From director Sophia Takal (Always Shine) from the script she wrote with April Wolfe (Widower), comes a bold new take on the 1974 horror classic starring Imogen Poots, Aleyse Shannon (Charmed), Brittany O’Grady (Star), Lily Donoghue and Caleb Eberhardt (Broadway’s Choir Boy).

Black Christmas is produced by Jason Blum for his Blumhouse Productions.

Blum is a three-time Academy
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

Blumhouse TV Teases Adapting Another Movie Into a Series

During the panel entitled “The House That Horror Built: Inside Blumhouse Television” at the Atx Television Festival, the heads of Blumhouse talked about the future of the studio and what stories they’re looking to tell through TV. We all know Blumhouse for the horror movies they built their reputation around, but they have also brought us some surprises over the years, like the Oscar-winning film Whiplash, the sci-fi thriller Glass, and the latest films that gave a new feel to the horror genre, Jordan Peele’s Get Out and Us.

The studio is looking to branch out and tell their stories in the form of TV series. Co-president Marci Wiseman said, when talking about the direction that the studio is looking to head, that “Blumhouse is not just about the monsters under the bed, but [about exploring] things in the world that scare us and keep us up at night.” Executive
See full article at GeekTyrant »

Outlook not so good: why we really don't need a Magic 8 ball movie

Mega-producer Jason Blum, whose credits include Get Out and Whiplash, is making a film based on a mysterious toy, an idea that isn’t worth playing with

Jason Blum is on a hell of a roll right now. More or less everything he touches turns to gold. In Paranormal Activity, he produced the most profitable film ever made. In The Purge he helped produce a franchise of amazing longevity. In BlacKkKlansman, he produced Spike Lee’s finest work in a decade. In Whiplash he produced a masterpiece. In Get Out he produced an even better masterpiece. Most incredibly of all, in Halloween he produced a Halloween sequel that wasn’t an absolute horse turd. The man can do no wrong.

Which is why I am confident in stating that his most recently announced film will be another Oscar-winning, genre-bending blockbuster. It is … let me see. Oh. It’s a movie about a Magic 8 Ball.
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

7 Reasons Why ‘Booksmart’ May Turn Out to Be a Box-Office Hit

7 Reasons Why ‘Booksmart’ May Turn Out to Be a Box-Office Hit
Olivia Wilde’s high school comedy “Booksmart” will gross about $11 million in its first week in 2,505 theaters. That’s good enough for sixth place, which inspired a bevy of commenters to rail about what its failure reveals about the fate of review-driven, quality, small-scale original movies in today’s market.

Fact is, not every film lives or dies by initial results. Nor are the standards by which we judge “Hellboy” the same as “Booksmart.” Initial gross is important, but then there’s a movie like “Green Book.” It opened before Thanksgiving in multiple cities to mediocre results, but with enough positive response to pay off over months (along with expensive marketing) that culminated with its Best Picture win and worldwide success. Or last year’s “Book Club,” which opened wide under $15 million to nearly a 5X multiple.

“Booksmart” opened on a holiday weekend, surfing upbeat media coverage from its SXSW launch.
See full article at Indiewire »

Movie Review – Thunder Road (2018)

Thunder Road, 2018.

Directed by Jim Cummings.

Starring Jim Cummings, Kendal Farr, Nican Robinson, Jocelyn DeBoer, Ammie Leonards, Chelsea Edmundson, Macon Blair and Bill Wise.

Synopsis:

After a very public and embarrassing breakdown at his mother’s funeral, a policeman’s entire life begins to unravel.

It’s not uncommon for a filmmaker to extend their own shorts to feature length. Recent examples include the low-budget horror Lights Out and Damien Chazelle’s Oscar-winning breakout Whiplash, which both began life as shorts. The latest director to make this jump is Jim Cummings, who has turned his prize-winning short Thunder Road into the opening scene of a powerful and affecting feature of the same name.

That opening scene features police officer Jim Arnaud (Cummings) delivering a horrifically bloated and awkward eulogy at his mother’s funeral, culminating in a rendition of the Bruce Springsteen song that gives the film its title. Cummings
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

Making Netflix’s New Shocker The Perfection

Don Kaye May 24, 2019

Director Richard Shepard Tells Us How He Conceived, Cast and Shot One of the Year’s Most Insane Movies.

You might not see another movie this year like The Perfection. Making its debut last fall at Austin’s Fantastic Fest, the movie stunned audiences there with its no-holds-barred approach to a story that could probably best be categorized as psychological horror. But in a way it’s difficult to place The Perfection into one neat genre box: think of something along the lines of Whiplash crashing head-on into Audition and that might give you an idea what lies in store for you.

The Perfection stars Allison Williams (Get Out) and Logan Browning (Dear White People) as Charlotte and Elizabeth, two incredibly talented cellists who are both students at the same esteemed music conservatory run by Anton (Steven Weber) and his wife Paloma (Alaina Huffman). Charlotte was a
See full article at Den of Geek »

Nicolas Winding Refn On Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Advice & Says Cannes ‘Has Mutated Into The Future’

Cannes – The first takeaway from the press conference for “Too Old To Die Young” at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival is poor Miles Teller. Sure, the “Whiplash” star hasn’t necessarily always been friendly to the press (thank you “Fantastic Four”), but he’s clearly been through the ringer as the star of Nicolas Winding Refn’s new Prime Video series. And, no, we’re not exaggerating for sarcastic effect either.

Continue reading Nicolas Winding Refn On Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Advice & Says Cannes ‘Has Mutated Into The Future’ at The Playlist.
See full article at The Playlist »

Miles Teller: Nicolas Winding Refn ‘Lost His Mind’ Making TV Series ‘Too Old To Die Young’ — Cannes

Miles Teller: Nicolas Winding Refn ‘Lost His Mind’ Making TV Series ‘Too Old To Die Young’ — Cannes
One of the most anticipated new television series of the summer is “Too Old to Die Young,” a 10-episode detective thriller from film provocateur Nicolas Winding Refn. Two of the episodes are screening at the Cannes Film Festival, where star Miles Teller joined IndieWire’s chief critic Eric Kohn for a SAGindie talk at the American Pavilion. The Amazon-backed “Too Old to Die Young” marks Teller and Refn’s first major jump to television, but that’s not how things felt on set for the “Whiplash” actor.

“It felt like each episode was its own independent film,” Teller said during the discussion. “Nic said it would be seven months long, we’d be shooting in chronological order and that this is a 15-hour long movie that has an odyssey for my character. It’s so nice. I haven’t done anything chronological since theater. There’s something really special about doing that,
See full article at Indiewire »

Glenn Close & Mila Kunis To Star In Drama ‘Four Good Days’, Capstone Launches Sales — Cannes

  • Deadline
Glenn Close & Mila Kunis To Star In Drama ‘Four Good Days’, Capstone Launches Sales — Cannes
Exclusive: One of the later packages to be announced for the Cannes market is also one of the hottest dramas on offer. Glenn Close and Mila Kunis are set to star in Rodrigo Garcia’s (Albert Nobbs) hard-hitting substance abuse story Four Good Days, we can reveal.

Capstone is launching international sales on the Croisette. CAA Media Finance arranged financing and will co-rep domestic with Endeavor Content.

Seven-time Oscar nominee Close will play Deb, a mother helping her daughter Molly (Kunis) work through four crucial days on Molly’s road to recovery from substance abuse. Their time together after a long estrangement revives both the painful wounds they have inflicted on each other, but also offers the opportunity to rekindle their fundamental, complicated, love for one another.

Garcia will direct from his script, co-written by Eli Saslow, the Washington Post journalist and 2014 Pulitzer Prize winner. The story is based on Saslow’s WaPo article.
See full article at Deadline »

TrustNordisk/UTA Unveils First Still of ‘The Other Lamb’ (Exclusive)

  • Variety
TrustNordisk and UTA have unveiled the exclusive first still of the highly anticipated horror film “The Other Lamb,” the English-language debut of Małgorzata Szumowska who previously directed the Berlin Silver Bear winning film “Body” and “Mug” which won Berlin’s Grand Jury Prize.

The Other Lamb” stars Raffey Cassidy (“Vox Lux”), Michiel Huisman (“Game of Thrones”) and Denise Gough (“Colette”) and just wrapped shooting. Represented in North America by UTA, “The Other Lamb” was featured on the 2017 “Black List” and “Blood List.”

Written by the award-winning Australian screenwriter Catherine S. McMullen, “The Other Lamb” is a haunting and nightmarish tale that tells the story of Selah, a young girl born into a repressive cult known as the Flock. The members of the Flock – all women and female children– live in a rural compound, and are led by one man, known only as Shepherd. Selah, a daughter who is on the cusp of teenage-hood,
See full article at Variety »

Films Boutique, Ad Vitam Take Un Certain Regard’s ‘Adam,’ from Maryam Touzani (Exclusive)

  • Variety
Madrid — Berlin-based Films Boutique has acquired international sales rights to Maryam Touzani’s Cannes Un Certain Regard women’s drama “Adam,” the feature debut of the Moroccan screenwriter-director who co-wrote Nabil Ayouch’s 2017 hit “Razzia,” in which she also starred.

In early distribution deals on “Adam,” Ad Vitam has acquired French distribution rights and Cinéart those to Benelux.

A women’s tale of friendship, rebirth and oppression, “Adam,” which world premieres at the Cannes Festival. It turns on the chance but life changing and enhancing encounter in Casablanca’s Medina between Samia, a heavily pregnant, single young woman down from the countryside to have her soon-to-be-born child adopted, and Abla, a widow with a vivacious eight-year-old daughter who has set up a bakery in her home to make ends meet.

Abla takes Samia in; Samia introduces Abla to some secrets of traditional Moroccan pastries, taught to her by her grandmother,
See full article at Variety »

Concourse Media Cannes-bound with 'Edge Of Dawn', 'Find Your Groove'

Company launches tech division Concourse Xr Studios.

Matthew Shreder’s Concourse Media has boarded two new titles for Cannes and launches sales next week on the Jai Courtney crime thriller Edge Of Dawn and music documentary Find Your Groove.

Henry-Alex Rubin directs Edge Of Dawn (formerly Semper Fi) from a screenplay he co-wrote with Sean Mullin. Courtney and Nat Wolff star in the story of a police officer and his friends who must break out his younger brother from prison after a bar fight. The cast includes Finn Whitrock, Beau Knapp, and Arturo Castro.

Karina Miller (To The Bone) of
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Concourse Media Boards Jai Courtney Pic ‘Edge Of Dawn’ & Music Doc ‘Find Your Groove’ — Cannes

  • Deadline
Exclusive: Concourse Media is heading to Cannes with completed action-drama Edge Of Dawn (previously known as Semper Fi), starring Jai Courtney (Suicide Squad), and music documentary Find Your Groove.

Also starring in the former are Nat Wolff (Paper Towns), Leighton Meester (Gossip Girl), Finn Wittrock (American Horror Story), Beau Knapp (Seven Seconds) and Arturo Castro (Broad City). Directed by Henry-Alex Rubin (Murderball) and written by Rubin and Sean Mullin, the film is produced by Karina Miller (To The Bone) from Sparkhouse Media and David Lancaster (Whiplash) of Rumble Films.

The story follows Cal (Courtney), a by-the-book police officer who makes ends meet as a reservist in the Marine Corps along with his rowdy and inseparable group of childhood friends. When Cal’s younger, reckless half-brother Oyster (Wolff) accidentally kills a guy in a barfight and tries to flee, Cal is torn between his family and his job. The project was
See full article at Deadline »
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