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Archive for the ‘movies’ Category

Hollywood strike, Part II

Posted by gnn1 on Saturday, 22 November 2008

In a move that likely shocks few, the Screen Actors Guild has said today (Saturday) that it will ask its members to authorise a strike after talks with the AMPTP failed (surprise, surprise) despite federal mediation attempts.

Talks ended shortly before 1 am (no time zone desgination given) and no new talks are scheduled.

Talks started to fail after studios “sought the right to create productions for new media, such as the Internet, using nonunion actors and without paying residuals, said Doug Allen, SAG national executive director and chief negotiator.”

Residuals, payment made to actors every time a production airs (such as TV reruns or a feature film running on HBO) are the life bread for most actors, making up more than half their income, according to Allen.  Despite popular thought, the majority of actors earn nominal pay, and rely on those recurring payments to see them through lean times.

Not surprisingly, the AMPTP is criticising SAG’s call-to-strike.  “‘Now, SAG is bizarrely asking its members to bail out the failed negotiating strategy with a strike vote — at a time of historic economic crisis,’ a producers’ statement said. ‘The tone-deafness of SAG is stunning.'”  They claim that it is untenable that actors should seek a better deal than writers, directors, and others accepted, especially with the worsening economy.

I might counter that the tone-deafness of the producers at LEAST matches that of SAG, seeing as they were unwilling to yield to writers and now to actors. And perhaps if the actors now secure a better deal than writers and directors were able, when it comes time for those two to once again re-negotiate, they’ll finally get what they ought to’ve last time around.  Once again, this isn’t about greed (the producers have that nailed, honestly), it’s about fairness.

And, as I once supported the writers, so shall I now support actors should they have to throw down the gauntlet.  Hopefully the AMPTP will finally come to the realisation that they cannot keep lording over the people who make the films that support them.

SAG represents more than 120,000 actors in TV, film, and other media (including commercia advertisements).

Source: Yahoo.com News

Posted in it's war!, movies, TV | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

I’m feeling a little psychic…

Posted by gnn1 on Saturday, 8 November 2008

I predict that Twilight will be the number one film the weekend it opens…

According to Fandango, Twilight is accounting for two-thirds of all ticket sales and more than 100 premiere screenings have already sold out.

Okay, so maybe not so psychic… 😀

Posted in movies | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

Johnny Depp: Taking “Mad” Hatter to new levels

Posted by gnn1 on Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Well… normally when one says they’ll eat their hat… well, they WON’T.  But Johnny, playing the Mad Hatter in a Tim Burton production of Alice in Wonderland, actually chowed down on the not-edible object.  I suppose that’s one way to get your daily dose of, uh, *cough* fiber?

Posted in Celebs - Male, movies in pre-production or filming, wtf? | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Sorry guys, I’m with the studio on this one

Posted by gnn1 on Tuesday, 27 November 2007

From IMDb:

Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe’s hit new movie American Gangster is at the center of a new legal fight, after upsetting a retired Drug Enforcement agent in New York. The narcotics detectives are far from happy with the way they are depicted in the gritty new movie, which follows the fortunes of 1970s heroin kingpin Frank Lucas and the cops trying to bring him to justice. And one of the police officers, who worked the Lucas case, is now threatening to sue movie studio bosses at Universal for what he claims are “false and defamatory statements.” Gregory Korniloff’s attorney Dominic Amorosa has sent a cease and desist letter to the studio heads demanding a retraction of statements made in the film, according to Tmz.com. The letter alleges that several key facts in the movie are misleading. Korniloff was the case agent for the DEA and “personally participated in the search of Lucas’ house… and the arrest of Lucas.”

I suspect that the DEA will lose this suit because the movie isn’t presented as a documentary but rather based on/inspired by actual events.  That gives the writers/directors/producers quite a bit of leeway and poetic license to add/remove facts as they wish (or as I call it, to Hollywood-ise the story).

Posted in American Gangster, based on a true story, it's war!, lawsuits, movies | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

New Cloverfield trailer!

Posted by gnn1 on Monday, 19 November 2007

Woot!!  FINALLY a new Cloverfield trailer was released.  It’s officially called Cloverfield now.

Go to Empire to watch a good quality or watch the youtube, below.

Posted in 01/18/08, 1/18/08, Cloverfield, movie trailers, movies, Untitled JJ Abrams Project | Leave a Comment »

Danny Roane DVD Giveaway!

Posted by gnn1 on Wednesday, 14 November 2007

Thanks to the generous folks at Lionsgate and M80, I have (3) copies of Danny Roane: First Time Director to giveaway.

For my review, click here.

If you are interested, email contact.gnn1@gmail.com with your name and contact email (if different from the one you are contact me from).  I’ll assign a number, based on the order I receive the emails, and use a random number generator to pick the winners.

The contest closes Black Friday (day after Thanksgiving) unless I have less than 3 entries.   If I have exactly 3, those 3 will be the winners.

Sorry, but this contest is open only to residents of the US.

Posted in Danny Roane: First Time Director, movies | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Thoughts on the response to the WGA strike

Posted by gnn1 on Friday, 9 November 2007

Because of the magnitude and importance of this strike to the entertainment industry, a large portion of my blogging will be about the strike.
A lot of people seem to be under the impression that all the striking writers, showrunners, etc are rich or greedy.  The sad fact is that most of them are not.  They rely on residuals (the ones they are fighting to increase) to get them through the times between films, when their TV show is canceled, or they have to leave work due to serious illness or pregnancy.

This strike affects me in future-interests, as I am a (currently non-union) writer (I do write more than this blog and my PA blog).  I appreciate that there are people willing to stand up for what they deserve.

It’s not solely about needs.  It’s about fairness and getting what is deserved.

The 3 or 4 cents per DVD is based on an agreement that is 22 years old (1985).  I mean, it’s not like the cost of fuel, food, clothes, or anything else has increased in 22 years!

That agreement undercut the writers back THEN.  They agreed to less than they wanted because the HomeVid business was struggling.  At this time it’s flourishing.

They made a concession 22 years ago like they are willing to make now!  And are still being called greedy.

Instead of calling the writers greedy, take a look at the producers who aren’t willing to make concessions of  an extra buck-thirty on an online (download) sale.

One further thought.  Both directors and actors start negotiations soon.  Traditionally whatever contract is accepted first is accepted by the other 2.  So the writers are also, by proxy, working for a better deal for the DGA and SAG, who contractually cannot strike.

I will miss my TV shows that are to be affected.  But as a writer I will stand behind the WGA in this effort.

Posted in movies, strike, TV, WGA | 1 Comment »

If the strike hits, Late Night TV is the first to go

Posted by gnn1 on Saturday, 3 November 2007

So, the union members of Writers’ Guild of America are preparing to strike.  To the point that they were told to take home personal belongings from their offices.  If the strike hits, and odds are about good as seeing Britney Spears on Perez Hilton on any given day (pretty fuckin high in other words), late night shows like Leno will be the first to be impacted.

Because they rely on current events for the bulk of the day’s night’s storyline, they haven’t been able to stockpile scripts like TV shows and film studios have.  As a matter of fact it’s already been determined that if the strike starts at 1201 am PST Monday as planned, Leno will immediately revert to re-runs.

Next to feel the impact will be daily shows like soap operas and shows like The View, who only stockpile about a week’s worth of episodes.

Movies will largely be unaffected unless the strike drags for a VERRRRRRRRYY long time as studios have a large number of scripts stockpiled, not to mention films in progress.

Regular TV shows may or may not be affected.  It depends on the duration of the strike.  The last strike ushered in the age of Reality TV because they don’t typically require writers.  Currently, it’s estimated that most shows have enough scripts in progress or stockpiled to last until early next year (which, frighteningly, is only about 8 weeks away, although the reports didn’t say how far IN to next year).

The last strike lasted 22 weeks (2 weeks shy of a typical full TV season, just for comparison).

This strike is related to (primarily) DVD and internet sales residuals for writers.  The current arrangement was decided 22 years ago, in 1985.  Writers agreed to undercut themselves then, because home entertainment (then VHS or the very short-lived Beta-Max) was struggling in its early years.

Now they get the same amount $0.04 (that’s 4 cents) per disc sold as they did in 1985 (which I am assuming was per tape then).  They also want to increase their share in download licensing fees from 1.2% to 2.5% (just over a 100% increase).

Given how little writers make compared to the stars and bigwigs behind films and TV shows (even the crappy ones that no one see), it seems to be a pretty fair demand.  Now, I’m NOT a member, I DON’T know all the details or demands, and I don’t know the producers’ stories.  But regardless, it appears that either or both sides have forgotten that negotiation means compromise.  Is 4 cents or another $1.30 (based on average online movie pricing to be just under $10) or less REALLY too much to give up to the people who keep you producers in work???  Let’s not forget that no writers=no scripts=no new work.

Posted in movies, TV | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Danny Roane: First Time Director

Posted by gnn1 on Saturday, 3 November 2007

I have to be honest.  I’m not an Andy Dick fan.  Of his work or of him personally.  Everything I’ve ever read about him indicates he is as personable as a pissed off skunk.  But I tried to keep an open mind going into the film.

First the synopsis provided by Lionsgate and/or M80 marketing:

After his drunken antics ruin his acting career, Danny Roane (Dick) decides to stage a comeback by sobering up and directing his own movie. Everything goes as planned until Roane suddenly falls back to his partying lifestyle while trying to finish his film about drug and alcohol abuse. Off the wagon and under pressure, Roane spirals out of control while his movie – and his career – sinks to new and unexpected lows. Danny Roane: First Time Director originally aired on Comedy Central in August 2007.

The film is presented as a documentary, following Danny (Dick) through the process of making his first feature film, Dəd Drēm (pronounced Dead Dream).  We learn early on that Danny is sober 4 years and that he’s very tightly wound (a nearby clock’s ticking-not heard by the viewer-drives him crazy).  The documentary follows him securing a producer for the film, going through preproduction and, mainly, filming.  Scenes from Dəd Drēm are inter-woven with the documentary.

In order to appreciate this film, you have to understand it is a farce.  As in

A light dramatic work in which highly improbable plot situations, exaggerated characters, and often slapstick elements are used for humorous effect.  [thefreedictionary.com/farce]

It mocks life, film-making, and probably even specific people within the business.  Unfortunately, Americans don’t typically understand or appreciate farce, so this movie has gotten (and will get more) crappy reviews.

I have to say, there was one set of lines that caught my attention, over all the others.  I am (ironically, as the woman who asked me to review this didn’t know it) a substance abuse services major at school.

‘You don’t see it when you’re in the thick of it.  It’s like a hurricane of alcohol and drugs, and I’m in the eye of that hurricane.  Everything seems calm to me…’

Those words are probably the perfect example of how things are for an addict.  I think it’s clear that Dick, while NOT in control of his own personal issues, has an understanding of addiction (at least, if it’s true that he did indeed write this).

I suspect the movie is at least somewhat autobiographical for him.

So-overall, should you see this movie?  Yes.  IF you like this farcical humour.  If you like SNL, Will Ferrell, and Mad TV, chances are you’ll enjoy this movie.  If you typically end up staring blankly at any of the above, or shake your head in disgust… well, probably not the movie for you.

Posted in Danny Roane: First Time Director, movies | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Viggo hits The Road

Posted by gnn1 on Wednesday, 31 October 2007

He was last listed as in talks, but an open casting call listing in a Texas newspaper indicates that Viggo is apparently confirmed for the film adaptation of Pulitzer winning novel The Road.

The film stars Viggo Mortensen (“Lord of the Rings”) and will be directed by John Hillcoat (“The Proposition”). It’s an adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize winning novel, “The Road” by Cormac McCarthy.

Synopsis:


“The Road” is the story of a man and his son who experience the devastation of a post-apocalyptic world — sustained only by the love that exists between them.

Filming is said to be scheduled to start in February of 2008.

Weatherford Democrat (Texas)

Posted in movies, movies in pre-production or filming, The Road | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Follow up-Danny Roane First Time Director

Posted by gnn1 on Tuesday, 30 October 2007

I received the DVD today.  I have 2 midterms to take, so I probably won’t be able to watch til the weekend.  So, hopefully this weekend I’ll be able to tell you if Andy Dick’s movie is better than his personality appears to be.

Posted in movies, updates | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Love Conquers Paul

Posted by gnn1 on Tuesday, 16 October 2007

So I’m posting now about the movie I’ve been interning on.  It’s called Love Conquers Paul (didn’t see that one coming didja?) and will release next year though not likely to be a major release.

But since I like the script and the acting I have had the chance to see, I’m chatting it up :-p

Paul is socially inept.  He just can’t deal with women.  So he researches them, looking for an ‘in’–a shared interest, just SOMETHING that will make him comfortable enough to initiate a ‘chance’ encounter.  (Yes, he plans chance encounters).

He meets one girl by accident and winds up falling in love.  But Ms Perfect has a secret.  (And no, I’m not sharing; (a) I don’t do spoilers and (b) I can’t).

Cast includes Cooper Harris, Brendan Bradley, Rus Garofalo, Elizabeth Wood, and Peter Riegert.  The movie IMDb page is Love Conquers Paul (2008)

Keep an eye on my other page: 3 Weeks in the Life of a Production Assistant for more info and updates.

Posted in independent films, Love Conquers Paul, movies, movies in pre-production or filming | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Film: Danny Roane: First Time Director

Posted by gnn1 on Thursday, 11 October 2007

Rec’d an email to pass along regarding Andy Dick’s new film.

The Lionsgate film is “a mockumentary about a washed up television star trying to stage a comeback by sobering up and directing his own feature film.”

Principal cast is given as:

  • Andy Dick (writer, director, star)
  • Anthony Rapp (Mark from Rent)
  • James Van Der Beek
  • “Tons of surprise cameos by Hollywood A-Listers. We can’t give you their names for legal reasons…”

Synopsis: After his drunken antics ruin his acting career, Danny Roane (Dick) decides to stage a comeback by sobering up and directing his own movie. Everything goes as planned until Roane suddenly falls back to his partying lifestyle while trying to finish his film about drug and alcohol abuse. Off the wagon and under pressure, Roane spirals out of control while his movie – and his career – sinks to new and unexpected lows. Danny Roane: First Time Director originally aired on Comedy Central in August 2007.

It wasn’t included in the email, but here is the film’s IMDb page: Danny Roane: First Time Director

Posted in movies | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Woot! Eastern Promises takes fan favourite award at Toronto Festival!!

Posted by gnn1 on Sunday, 16 September 2007

The film I have been waiting months for–Eastern Promises–is the fans’ favourite film from the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF)!!  The film, which opens nationwide on the 21st of this month, centers around the Vory-the Russian mob, in London, and stars Viggo Mortensen, my favourite actor and the lovely new mum, Naomi Watts.

Synopsis: Naomi Watts plays a midwife whose patient, a teenager, dies in childbirth.  She decides to try to find the girl’s family, and in doing so comes into dangerous contact with the Vory, one of the most ruthless criminal organisations.  I won’t say more so that I don’t give away spoilers, but remember that this is Cronenberg and things are not always as they seem 😉

Source: ContactMusic

Posted in awards and accolades, Eastern Promises | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Jon Bon Jovi to step behind the scenes

Posted by gnn1 on Monday, 3 September 2007

Jon Bon Jovi is teaming up with music managers Jack Rovner and Ken Levitan to produce an adaptation.

The book, ‘Almost Home’ (Disney’s Hyperion Books for Children) is

 about a “group of homeless teens in Los Angeles struggling to find themselves.”

The author, Jessica Blank, and her husband Erik Jensen are co-authoring the adaptation.

The book will be out 23 October 2007.  The movie is projected to release in 2009.

Source:  Movie Blog

Posted in movies, movies in pre-production or filming | Tagged: | 2 Comments »

Alfred Hitchcock #1 director of all time

Posted by gnn1 on Sunday, 2 September 2007

British magazine ‘Total Film’ has named Alfred Hitchcock, director of psychological thrillers like Psycho and The Birds, the best director of all time (good call!).

Here is the complete list:

1. Alfred Hitchcock (Lifeboat, North By Northwest)
2. Martin Scorsese (The Departed, Goodfellas)
3. Steven Spielberg (Saving Private Ryan, Schindler’s List)
4. Howard Hawks (Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Rio Bravo)
5. Francis Ford Coppola (The Godfather 1-3, John Grisham’s The Rainmaker)
6. Orson Welles (Don Quixote, Moby Dick)
7. Ingmar Bergman (Swedish films, including Saraband)
8. Stanley Kubrick (2001: A Space Odyssey, Full Metal Jacket)
9. Peter Jackson (Lord of the Rings trilogy, King Kong)
10. David Fincher (Se7en, Fight Club, Zodiac)

Glad to see PJ (Peter Jackson) made the cut! His work on Lord of the Rings alone should earn him that honour! Martin Scorsese’s The Departed was a huge hit and earned a number of awards. David Fincher has directed a number of Bad Pitt’s films, including the recent The Curious Case of Benjamin Buttons (Se7en and Fight Club are also Pitt films). This is a good mix of older and newer directors and there are some blockbuster films here. For once, I agree with critics’ selections.

Bit of Hitchcock trivia: he made a cameo in every film he made. In Lifeboat, the film took place almost entirely in a small…well…lifeboat, so he appeared in a newspaper as the before photo in a diet advert.

Source: Starpulse

Posted in awards and accolades, movies, posts with trivia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

GI Joe has a writer

Posted by gnn1 on Saturday, 1 September 2007

Stuart Beattie, who has a number of credits, including on the Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy, has been confimed to write GI Joe!

Two scripts (one penned by the team of Paul Lovett & David Elliot and the other by Skip Woods) have previously been submitted, as early as 2005, but apparently neither was satisfactory.

IESB reports that studio hopes to have a script in 6-8 weeks, pre-production starting this year, and production starting in early ’08.  Looks like we can be shouting Go Joe in 2009!

Source: IESB.net

Posted in GI Joe, movies, movies in pre-production or filming | Leave a Comment »

JLA Movie casting rumours!

Posted by gnn1 on Saturday, 1 September 2007

Got some casting rumours today from StarPulse. They are sourced to IESB.net, and I checked out IESB. These are only rumours!!

As any movie fan knows, rumours start flying at a project’s announcement, and don’t conclude til its premiere. So here is a batch for JLA:

  • Martian Manhunter will be part of JLA. Sources indicate Laurence Fishburne is an early favourite.
  • Mel Gibson and Bruce Willis are being looked at for Max Lord and Lex Luthor, respectively (I could easily see Bruce playing Lex…).
  • Ryan Reynolds is listed as playing Flash (this rumour is pretty consistent).
  • Tom Welling’s name was tossed around for the role of Superman but one source says he is a no-go.  Rumour has it Brandon Routh who has been playing Superman will not be in the film.
  • Other names being mentioned include Leonardo DiCaprio, Jake Gyllenhaal, Scarlett Johansson, and either Jessica Alba or Jessica Biel (I’ve seen both names).
  • George Miller is on as director (confirmed from what I’ve seen).

Someone sent IESB a plot summary (very spoiler-heavy from their warning). They claim to have a friend working on the film. Here is the link, in case you want it. I haven’t read it, in case it IS legit (I HATE spoilers!).

Sources:
StarPulse
IESB

Posted in Justice League of America, Lex Luthor, Martian Manhunter, Max Lord, movies, movies in pre-production or filming, posts with a correction | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Surprise smash may get sequel

Posted by gnn1 on Sunday, 26 August 2007

Night at the Museum, which did way better than I’d expected, may be getting a sequel.  It won’t be set in NYC, and it doesn’t appear that it will star Ben Stiller.  Reportedly Robin Williams has signed on, although his IMDb page doesn’t list it, and shows no ‘in-development’ projects’.

Other than this, the only information available is that the screenwriters have said it would be funnier than the first (don’t they always think that) and that it will have

“big new characters”.

Source: Cinematical.com

Posted in movies in pre-production or filming, Night at the Museum, sequel | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Yo Joe!

Posted by gnn1 on Sunday, 26 August 2007

You’ve got a director!  Stephen Sommers has been confirmed as director for the GI Joe live-action movie.  This is the guy behind The Mummy, The Mummy Returns, and Van Helsing.

The movie still hasn’t been cast, but the last rumour I heard had Mark Wahlberg involved.  He has confirmed that he is interested in the project. [This paragraph is unsourced because my memory sucks]

Source:  Media Hollywood

Posted in GI Joe, movies in pre-production or filming | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »