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Genre, Indie and Blockbuster Directors Jostle for Awards Attention

Genre, Indie and Blockbuster Directors Jostle for Awards Attention
From Paul Thomas Anderson to Guillermo del Toro to Patty Jenkins, a wide variety of directors across genres are vying for attention this awards season.

Paul Thomas Anderson

“The Phantom Thread

Not a frame of Anderson’s latest has yet been seen by the public, nor is much known about it, but he’s the rare filmmaker whose name alone can stoke anticipation. The fact that this 1950s-set film about the fashion world also stars Daniel Day-Lewis, who plans to retire from acting, only piques interest further.

Darren Aronofsky

Mother!”

Easily the most divisive studio film of 2017, and presumably intentionally so, Aronofsky’s “Mother!” could curry favor among his fellow directors for the sheer boldness of his vision, as he and star Jennifer Lawrence ascend ever-escalating levels of madness.

Sean Baker

The Florida Project

An indie darling du jour thanks to his sleeper “Tangerine,” Baker returned with yet another warm, sly-humored study of
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Sliff 2017 Review – Surviving Home

Surviving Home screens Saturday, November 11th at 12:30pm st The Tivoli Theater (6350 Delmar) as part of this year’s St. Louis International Film Festival. C0-directors Jillian Moul and Matthew Moul will be in attendance. Ticket information can be found Here

In honor of Veterans Day, Sliff offers a free screening of Surviving Home, an intimate documentary that follows four veterans over an eight-year period as they rebuild their lives after war. Interwoven with their stories are veterans’ voices from across the United States. The film’s principal subjects had vastly different combat experiences and challenges, and they’ve taken equally diverse paths on their difficult journeys to recovery. A World War II vet is part of a generation that stoically resists talking about their experiences. A Vietnam vet becomes a Buddhist monk in an attempt to reconcile his guilt over the people he killed. A severely burned Persian Gulf and Iraq War vet,
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

Ridley Scott’s Decision to Replace Kevin Spacey Sends the Right Kind of Message (Opinion)

Ridley Scott’s Decision to Replace Kevin Spacey Sends the Right Kind of Message (Opinion)
On Wednesday, director Ridley Scott announced a plan that is virtually unprecedented in the history of Hollywood: With his new film “All the Money in the World” already in the can and less than two weeks from its planned world premiere, he will recast Kevin Spacey’s role (as deep-pocketed oil tycoon J. Paul Getty) and reshoot the publicly disgraced actor’s scenes with 87-year old Christopher Plummer, while still attempting to adhere to the film’s Dec. 22 release date.

It’s a bold move, and one that I predict, sight unseen, could earn Scott his first best director Oscar. Not that awards had anything to do with Scott’s dramatic switch. He wanted to save the picture, which might easily have imploded by association with Spacey, who was last week accused of making sexual advances on several young men.

Spacey is just the latest domino to fall in a brisk industry-wide house-cleaning triggered by last month
See full article at Variety - Film News »

AFI Fest 2017 Thinks Globally, Acts Locally as It Brings the Year in Cinema to an End

  • Indiewire
AFI Fest 2017 Thinks Globally, Acts Locally as It Brings the Year in Cinema to an End
What makes AFI Fest different from other high-profile festivals is also what makes it essential: Its programmers don’t care about premiere status. Each edition of the annual gathering tends to feature just a few, often on the first and last nights of the weeklong event, though there have been exceptions — 2014 saw back-to-back surprise debuts of both “American Sniper” and “Selma” on the same night.

Read More:afi Fest Adds 13 Foreign Language Oscar Contenders, Including ‘Foxtrot,’ ‘Thelma,’ and ‘A Fantastic Woman’

Barring any last-minute additions, this year leans in the opposite direction. The only world premiere scheduled was Ridley Scott’s “All the Money in the World,” which initially received pride of place as the closing-night gala; because the film starred Kevin Spacey before he was replaced with Christopher Plummer at the last minute, it’s since been pulled from the schedule. Opening night, meanwhile, begins with a movie that premiered
See full article at Indiewire »

AFI Fest ‘Curates’ the Year in Film

AFI Fest ‘Curates’ the Year in Film
Over the past decade, the AFI Film Festival has grown into something of an x-factor in the thick of award season. Similar to the earlier New York Film Festival, the Hollywood event has hosted late-breaking world premieres of films that have gone on to awards berths or major box office success, from “Selma” to “The Big Short,” “American Sniper,” “Moana,” “The Fighter” and “Lincoln.” This year the festival, which runs from Nov. 9-16 at the Tcl Chinese Theatre, initially planned to close with a first screening of Ridley Scott’s “All the Money in the World.”

After a flood of sexual assault allegations surfaced involving Kevin Spacey — who portrayed J. Paul Getty in the film — Scott and Sony Pictures pulled the film, and now plan to reshoot it with Christopher Plummer in Spacey’s place. Yet even before this shocking sequence of events, AFI was already embracing a different approach.

“By not really focusing on premieres,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Military-Themed Projects Aim to Raise Empathy for American Vets

Military-Themed Projects Aim to Raise Empathy for American Vets
Even before “Wings” won the first Academy Award for best picture in 1929, stories about soldiers and the military were already a staple of the big screen. Nearly ninety years later, the circumstances of their service have changed, but the nobility of their sacrifice endures, inspiring film and television storytellers alike to continue to pay them tribute with complex, rousing tales of heroism on and off the battlefield.

Spurred by patriotism and the promise of a window into the daily lives of soldiers, audiences have readily embraced military-themed films and shows, from “Band of Brothers” to “American Sniper” to last year’s “Hacksaw Ridge.” But an upcoming wave of projects offers filmmakers the opportunity — and responsibility — to explore the lives of United States veterans more authentically than ever before, drawing upon firsthand accounts from real-life heroes to both do justice and lend credulity to stories both fictional and fact-based without succumbing to jingoistic clichés.

Making his directorial
See full article at Variety - Film News »

As Warner Bros. Cuts Ties With Brett Ratner, Here’s What’s at Stake for RatPac

  • Indiewire
As Warner Bros. Cuts Ties With Brett Ratner, Here’s What’s at Stake for RatPac
Monday’s Brett Ratner investigation in the The Los Angeles Times, with testimonials from a half-dozen women accusing him of sexual harassment, continued what’s become a familiar pattern. First-hand accounts. Apologies and/or denials. And now, the career blowback begins.

Depending on who you ask, Warner Bros. cut ties with Ratner late this afternoon — or to hear Ratner tell it, he made the decision. Ratner said in a statement, “In light of the allegations being made, I am choosing to personally step away from all Warner Bros.-related activities. I don’t want to have any possible negative impact to the studio until these personal issues are resolved.”

The news came after Ratner lost his biopic on former Playboy publisher Hugh Hefner. “We are putting all further development of our projects with RatPac Entertainment on hold until we are able to review the situation further,” a Playboy Enterprises spokesman told The Wrap today.
See full article at Indiewire »

The Emotional True Story of the Solider Miles Teller Portrays in Thank You For Your Service

  • PEOPLE.com
The Emotional True Story of the Solider Miles Teller Portrays in Thank You For Your Service
When Army Staff Sgt. Adam Schumann returned home to Kansas from his deployment to Iraq in 2007, the psychological damage sustained from his experiences in war soon led him to have trouble not only reintegrating into public life, but into his own family.

Schumann’s struggles with Ptsd—a mental health problem that occurs after someone has experienced or witnessed a traumatic event—is the focus of the film, Thank You For Your Service, starring Miles Teller and directed by American Sniper screenwriter Jason Hall.

“There were days I didn’t think I was going to see tomorrow, where it was just so terrible,
See full article at PEOPLE.com »

Box Office Plays Dead: Is Audience Distracted by Netflix and Baseball?

  • Indiewire
Box Office Plays Dead: Is Audience Distracted by Netflix and Baseball?
Once again the weekend box office fell short of even the most dire predictions. This pre-Halloween weekend looks to be the second worst of the year. Initial tallies total $72 million. That’s down about 20 per cent from last year, which was the worst weekend of 2016.

Read More:The Dead Zone: Why Halloween Is One of the Worst Box-Office Weekends Three New Flops

This isn’t due to a lack of new product. Three studios released wide films this weekend: “Jigsaw,” Lionsgate’s eighth time around for the “Saw” franchise; George Clooney’s badly-reviewed “Suburbicon” from Paramount; and Middle- America-targeted “Thank You for Your Service” from Universal.

Only “Jigsaw” showed a pulse, though at $16,250,000 it’s the lowest (ticket price adjusted) opening in the series. The earlier annual Halloween efforts (from 2004-2010) ranged from slightly better to $44 million. The most recent, “Saw 3D” debuted at $25 million.

The other two newbies
See full article at Indiewire »

'Thank You For Your Service' Director on Telling the Other Side of a Veteran's Story

'Thank You For Your Service' Director on Telling the Other Side of a Veteran's Story
Jason Hall is telling a side of the military experience that doesn't get as much attention.

With Thank You For Your Service, the writer-director is focusing on what happens when veterans come home, with Miles Teller playing real-life vet Adam Schumann.

Hall earned an adapted screenplay Oscar nomination for Clint Eastwood's American Sniper, which told the story of Navy Seal sniper Chris Kyle. During the process, he got to know Kyle as well as Steven Spielberg, who initially was going direct the film. As Hall worked on the Sniper script, Spielberg introduced him to Thank You For Your Service, David...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

'Thank You for Your Service' Review: Ptsd Drama Is 'Too Timid by Half'

'Thank You for Your Service' Review: Ptsd Drama Is 'Too Timid by Half'
You can't watch a frame of Jason Hall's Thank You for Your Service, about Iraq war veterans suffering from Pstd, without believing the film's intentions are honorable. Points for that, for sure. Yet as filmmaking – this is Hall's feature directing debut – Thank You for Service seems too timid by half, crucially lacking in the outrage that should be its core value. Hall's screenplay – he also wrote the far more effective American Sniper for director Clint Eastwood – is based on David Finkel's 2013 nonfiction book. But the film has a
See full article at Rolling Stone »

Review: ‘Thank You For Your Service’ is a Well-Meaning, Blunt Ptsd Drama

For every The Best Years of Our Lives, there are dozens of Act of Valors. Despite fairly few war films concerning the aftermath and coming home, Ptsd has inflicted millions of soldiers and, most recently, cases pertaining to veterans of Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq have made headlines and become more topical, stripping away taboos.

Jason Hall’s Thank You for Your Service, which depicts the emotional trauma of several Iraq War veterans upon returning home, means well and its message — we need to better take care of our own — is felt loud and clear. Based on the popular and acclaimed book by David Finkel, which featured soldiers struggling to readjust to family and civilian life, it doesn’t flinch when it comes time to depict a soldier at their lowest state post-war. The deep psychological black hole some of these heroes must endure upon return has given way to a
See full article at The Film Stage »

Thank You For Your Service – Review

(L to R) Adam Schumann (Miles Teller), Solo Aeiti (Beulah Koale) and Will Waller (Joe Cole) in DreamWorks Pictures’ “Thank You for Your Service.” The drama follows a group of U.S. soldiers returning from Iraq who struggle to integrate back into family and civilian life, while living with the memory of a war that threatens to destroy them long after they’ve left the battlefield. Photo Credit: Francois Duhamel/DreamWorks Pictures. Copyright © Storyteller Distribution Co., LLC

Not all wounds suffered in war are obvious. The fog of war is replaced by the fog of the Va for a band of soldiers returned from Iraq in Thank You For Your Service. While several films have depicted the experience of soldiers in the Iraq War, few have told the story of their experience after they return home. Thank You For Your Service focuses on gritty reality rather than comforting patriotism as
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

The Preview Reel: Jigsaw, Suburbicon, and Thank You for Your Service

  • CinemaNerdz
Welcome to this week’s “Preview Reel” column, where we look at the week’s upcoming wide-release movies. Last weekend saw four films not make a whole a lot of noise at the box office, with the minor exception of Tyler Perry’s Boo 2! A Madea Halloween, which nabbed the top spot with $21.2 million. This weekend looks like more of the same as we have a trio of new wide releases including the return of a Halloween staple Jigsaw, the black comedy Suburbicon, and the military drama Thank You for Your Service. Let’s see if any of these films can make a dent in the box office before Thor: Ragnarok comes thundering down next weekend.

Jigsaw

What we are excited about: While maybe not as iconic as the Friday the 13th, A Nightmare on Elm Street, or Halloween series, the Saw films were the hit horror franchise in the mid-2000s.
See full article at CinemaNerdz »

‘Thank You for Your Service’ Review: No Thanks for This Flat Take on Veterans

  • The Wrap
‘Thank You for Your Service’ Review: No Thanks for This Flat Take on Veterans
Given that “Thank You For Your Service” hits theaters amid a week of controversy over the U.S. president’s treatment of the widow of a fallen soldier, its message about the country’s ill treatment of veterans feels particularly timely. But, despite its good intentions, the film feels more like a sequel to “American Sniper” — even shooting from what looks like the same Iraqi rooftop — than an examination of Ptsd-stricken soldiers and the government’s inability to fully meet their needs. The association between the two films is not surprising, since “Thank You For Your Service” director Jason Hall wrote the.
See full article at The Wrap »

Clint Eastwood's 15:17 to Paris gets early 2018 release

  • JoBlo
Clint Eastwood is a regular at the Oscars, with movies like Mystic River and American Sniper snagging Best Picture nominations, with Unforgiven and Million Dollar Baby going on to win (and him Best Director with them). This is why folks had hoped his new movie, 15:17 To Paris, would be a key player this year the race. However, the movie has officially been given a release date of February 9, 2018, putting it far... Read More...
See full article at JoBlo »

Box Office: ‘Jigsaw’ to Piece Together $20 Million Opening

Box Office: ‘Jigsaw’ to Piece Together $20 Million Opening
For the second weekend in a row, a Lionsgate horror title is providing a bright spot to an otherwise downbeat weekend at the North American box office.

Jigsaw,” the eighth installment in the “Saw” franchise, is expected to take in about $18 million to $22 million at about 2,800 locations. Lionsgate’s second weekend of the comedy “Boo 2! A Madea Halloween” is probably going to finish in second place at about $10 million, following its $21.2 million launch last weekend.

That’s likely to be well ahead of two other new titles — Paramount’s dark comedy “Suburbicon” and DreamWorks’ PTSD drama “Thank You for Your Service.” “Suburbicon,” directed by George Clooney and starring Matt Damon, is heading for $5 million to $7 million at 2,046 venues. Forecasts place Universal’s “Thank You for Your Service,” starring Miles Teller, in a similar range at 2,054 sites.

It will be the final weekend of what’s been a depressing month for moviegoing, with October
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Interview, Audio: Miles Teller on ‘Thank You for Your Service’

Chicago – When Johnny comes marching home again, as the old song goes, we’ll give him a hearty welcome then. Most Americans truncate that to the phrase, “Thank You for Your Service,” which is the title of a new film featuring Miles Teller, who portrays Iraq War veteran Adam Schumann, and is the directorial debut of Jason Hall.

The film is about the lingering effects of being on a battlefield, and the lack of care given to the soldiers who have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (Ptsd). Adam Schumann (Teller) comes home from the Iraq War to his wife and kids, along with a couple other buddies from his unit, Will and Solo (Joe Cole and Beulah Koale). As they try to assimilate back to normalcy, Will takes his own life. This triggers buried war traumas in Adam and Solo, and they lash out in different ways against the battle fatigue and families.
See full article at HollywoodChicago.com »
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