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.
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.
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?
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?