Disney’s big-budget adaptation of The Lone Ranger bit the big one at the box office last weekend, taking in less than $50 million and ensuring a healthy loss for movie that cost at least five times that. Plenty of theories for its tanking have been bandied about, here and elsewhere: Depp’s star is falling, young audiences are unfamiliar with the character, Westerns are always a hard sell. But here’s one more thought: maybe it’s because word got around that The Lone Ranger ran a befuddlingly inflated 149 minutes, and viewers couldn’t imagine sitting through a summer action movie that was that goddamn long. But it’s not like The Lone Ranger is the sole offender — especially in recent years, more and more filmmakers are pushing their luck with bloated running times that test viewers’ patience and indicate producers and editors falling down on the… Read More
Lynne Ramsay is a tremendously talented director, as anyone who has seen her films We Need to Talk About Kevin and Ratcatcher can tell you, which makes the latest ripple in her career quite a bummer: when production began Monday on her latest film, the Natalie Portman-fronted Western Jane Got a Gun, Ramsay was nowhere to be found. Deadline broke the story (so beware; that site is notoriously cozy with studio types who might have it in their interest to paint Ramsay as wildly — and litigiously — irresponsible), reporting trouble right up to the start date. Ramsay still hasn’t issued comment on the matter, but the film’s producers have already lined up a replacement in the form of Gavin O’Connor, director of Warrior and Tumbleweeds (and the pilot of The Americans). Deadline branded Ramsay’s departure a “SHOCKER,” but it’s not as rare as you’d think; despite the intense work of developing a picture and preparing it, filmmakers have frequently walked away from pictures before — or even during — production. We’ve got a few examples for you after the jump.
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Happy New Year’s Eve, everybody! Yes, it’s one of those wonderful days where we can get a little bit of comfort out of knowing we’re all doing many of the same things: picking out our best-looking outfit, grousing about how holiday snacking means we can no longer fit into our best-looking outfit, preparing to get out and have an amazing New Year’s Eve, preparing for the inevitable disappointment of another lame New Year’s Eve, and, of course, working up our New Year’s resolutions. But here’s what’s great about working at a pop culture blog: we can put off making our own resolutions by making them for others. It’s fun! Thus, after the jump, we’ve got some 2013 resolutions for a few of our favorite (and some of our least favorite) filmmakers. Check them out after the jump.
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In perusing this year’s biggest movie controversies, we found ourselves discussing matters a good deal less trivial than last year. Make no mistake, there are some tempest-in-teapot situations here: ratings woes, questions of reappropriation and hagiography, and (god help us all) frame rates. But we also grappled with issues of artistic responsibility and racial representation, and with the ongoing question of the very health of the form itself. Join us after the jump for a stroll through the year’s memorable movie controversies, won’t you?
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As you probably know — whether out of personal interest, interaction with your favorite geek, or a glance at any delivery device for mass marketing — the first of Peter Jackson’s three-part (!) Lord of the Rings prequel series, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, is out in theaters this Friday. What may be less clear, at least to the casual observer, is what all this chatter is about “frame rate” and “48 fps” and other blather that have been floating around since the films went into production. So here’s a quick breakdown, to help communicate with the LOTR geek in your life (we’re a service-oriented site, after all!): what is all this talk about “frame rate,” and what does it mean to you?
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We live in a movie universe where the Michael Bays and James Camerons of Hollywood are crafting their on-screen worlds with the help of incredible computer-aided technology. These filmmakers create works where anything seems possible, and while it’s often stunning to behold, many moviegoers are already tired of watching disaster porn and motion capture performances that aim to be real, but never truly feel like the tangible celluloid of yore. What many of those audiences don’t realize, however, is that several big-budget films have stuck to their practical effects-loving guns and have dodged the CGI monster at every… Read More
The Avengers hits DVD and Blu-ray today, fresh from a theatrical run that placed it in the top three highest-grossing films of all time. Not too shabby for a second-time director. Yes, there are many reasons to be cheered by the success of The Avengers: it’s a big, loud summer blockbuster with a brain and a heart; it serves as a triple-exception to our resistance to a) sequels, b) superhero movies, and c) 3D; and most importantly, it has given cult phenom Joss Whedon the kind of crossover success most filmmakers can only dream of. After the jump, a look at how the Browncoats’ fave became Tinseltown’s, and nine other tales of cult filmmakers and the plays they made for mainstream success.
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1. The first full trailer for Ang Lee’s film adaptation of Yann Martel’s Booker Prize-winning novel The Life of Pi has arrived online, and while it doesn’t reveal much about the plot, boy oh boy is it pretty.
1. Peter Jackson posted on Facebook that principal photography for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Hobbit: There and Back Again has wrapped. Now we just have to wait until December 14th for the first film to come out in theaters! [via ComingSoon]
2. Suck on this, Tyson: Jake LaMotta, the now… Read More