William Goldman Dies; Oscar Winning Writer Of ‘All the President's Men,' ‘Butch Cassidy' and ‘Princess Bride' Was 87

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Academy Award-winning screenwriter William Goldman has passed on at the age of 87.
Goldman's apex moment will forever be his incisive and breathtaking script for 1976's “All the President’s Men.” The other Goldman masterwork is “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.” He was also a novelist, writing "Marathon Man," "The Princess Bride" for both the page and the screen. That, in essence, is the legend that Goldman has left behind. Towering.
Other works of his included “The Stepford Wives,” “Misery,” “Chaplin,” and “A Bridge Too Far,” among many more. He stopped writing in Hollywood around 2003 after back-to-back Stephen King adaptations "Hearts in Atlantis" and "Dreamcatcher."


Leonardo DiCaprio and Martin Scorsese’s Sixth Collaboration, ‘Killers of the Flower Moon,’ Starts Filming Summer 2019

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Variety has confirmed that Martin Scorsese and Leonardo Dicaprio's sixth collaboration together "Killers of the Flower Moon" will start production next summer. The film is written by Eric Roth, an Oscar winner for “Forrest Gump.”


Joel Coen: “Movies have a beginning, a middle & an end; TV shows have a beginning, a middle & then they’re beaten to death"

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In a fascinating new interview with the Los Angeles Times, Joel and Ethan Coen spoke about their total disinterest in creating a TV series. They are cinematic creatures and it will stay that way, it seems. Joel asserts that movies and TV cannot be compared due to the ambiguous nature of a TV series' ongoing evolution from season-to-season:



Eddie Redmayne admits that he gave ‘a pretty bad performance’ in ‘Jupiter Ascending'

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At the same time that Eddie Redmayne won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance as Stephen Hawking in "The Theory Of Everything," he had a new film out in theaters, "Jupiter Ascending," in which he gave what many consider to be an abominable performance



Tim Burton's Live-Action ‘Dumbo' [Trailer]

"Dumbo"

Tim Burton's 2010 adaptation of “Alice in Wonderland” earned over $1 billion at the global box office.  It also cemented his 21st-century reputation as the go-to-director for classic children's fantasy.  That's his thing now: "Alice," "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," "Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children" and now "Dumbo."



‘FilmStruck’: Paul Thomas Anderson, Christopher Nolan, Alfonso Cuaron, Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese and Many More Sign Petition to Save Streaming Service

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50,000 signatures have now been gathered to save FilmStruck. Directors such as Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, Paul Thomas Anderson, Christopher Nolan, Sofia Coppola, Alfonso Cuaron, Leonardo DiCaprio, Edgar Wright and many more have tried to appeal to Warner Bros Picture Group chairman Toby Emmerich to save FilmStruck, their argument, and it is right the one, is that it would be a vital loss for film culture.

In case you are unaware, WarnerMedia released a statement last week announcing they were shutting down FilmStruck on November 29th, the statement read, “While FilmStruck has a very loyal fanbase, it remains largely a niche service.” It doesn’t appear that WarnerMedia is changing its tune for now, but the more backlash the better the chance to reverse the hideous decision that they made.

UPDATE:

Deadline is reporting that WarnerMedia CEO John Stankey is very much aware of the backlash from filmmakers and film fans about the axing of streaming service FilmStruck. The report states that Stankey is interested in letting FilmStruck survive but he wants the site to be reformed completely. This "new form" he mentions is not expanded on in the report, but, suffice to say, the service might return under a new name and as part of the package of streaming services that WarnerMedia is putting together which is set to launch in late 2019. Sadly, we have no idea if the Criterion Channel will be part of that package deal. Sadly, this means that we won't have a FilmStruck-esque streaming service for at the very least the next 6-7 months. 


James Cameron Says ‘Avatar’ Sequels Have Wrapped Production; Rumored to Be in Glasses-Free 3D

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James Cameron has announced, via Twitter video message, that the "Avatar" sequels have completed all principal photography involving main cast members. "Avatar 2" and "Avatar 3" have been filming since September of 2017.



Academy Members Say Netflix Theatrical Released to Garner Best Picture Nom Is Nothing But A “Big Con” & “Fake”

This year Netflix decided to jump into the Oscar game head-on by selecting a few films for exclusive theatrical releases, before hitting the streaming service. I love the idea, most cinephiles will tell you it's the right thing to do but an exclusive THR exposee has members of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences thinking that Netflix is playing a big fat con game on us.
Alfonso Cuaron’s “Roma” seems to be the main reason for Netflix amping up their strategy, they know they have a major Best Picture contender in their hands, why wouldn't they campaign hard for it? These unidentified members of the Academy believe that this is just Netflix marketing itself to filmmakers.


Bradley Cooper wanted Jack White to play the lead in ‘A Star Is Born'


Bradley Cooper revealed in an interview with Variety that he didn't plan on playing the lead role in "A Star is Born" and that he was eyeing an actual musician: “I saw this other person that I wanted to do this, who is an actual musician,” he said before adding: “But [the studio] wouldn’t make the movie with him.



Hayao Miyazaki Goes from Retired to Un-Retired in Behind-The-Scenes Doc

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Hayao Miyazaki’s next animated film is officially titled “Boro the Caterpillar” and will be ready in 2 years


DP Matthew Libatique is safe for Oscar contention; he only clobbered a Polish medical worker and a couple of cops

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Reports are claiming that DP extraordinaire Matty Libatique had an altercation last night in Poland. The "Star is Born" cinematographer seems to have an alcohol problem, but I won't fault him for that, it's a fairly pronounced issue, not just in the industry but universally as well. There isn't really a way to step in and save a person that is an alcoholic, only they can change their own habits. I stopped drinking more than three years ago, I never had a 'problem' by any stretch of the imagination, but the worst moments came when I would have around 3 or so tall cans a night, that lasted for about 6-7 months. I got over it. As mentioned, I haven't had a drink in years, nor can I really remember the last time I felt 'tipsy' or 'drunk.' 


Director Steve McQueen Says Some Positive “Widows" Reviews Are Sexist and Racist; He's Right.

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Steve McQueen's “Widows” begins with the wondrously set-up image of Viola Davis and Liam Neeson in bed together and passionately kissing. Some of the audience I saw the film with actually gasped at the scene. Was it because Davis is an African-American woman and Liam Neeson is pure Irish white? Quite possibly. The reaction was telling; it showcased how some people are still in total denial that an interracial couple can have a passionate on-screen romance. 
McQueen spoke to BuzzFeed about the scene, stating that he tried to amplify a mixed-race couple kissing in a way that their tongues onscreen is the first image. If you saw it in the street you wouldn’t think twice of it but somehow on the big screen it sort of amplifies and magnetizes what that is.


Simon Pegg says “The Last Jedi" made him “miss" George Lucas

Simon Pegg is a movie geek. There's no about about it. Which is why he's never shy giving his own two cents on what he likes and doesn't like on-screen. So it shouldn't be a surprise whenever he decides to praise or criticize at his own risk. And so, in a new interview on the Adam Buxton Podcast, he spoke about a controversial topic in Hollywood these days: the state of Kathleen Kennedy's  "Star Wars" enterprise.


Best Picture: It's ‘Star is Born' vs ‘Green Book'










With the AFI screening of Mimi Leder's underwhelming RBG biopic "On the Basis of Sex" upon us, we don't have that many players left to screen as far as this year's Oscar race goes. All that's left is the Dick Cheney biopic "Vice," Clint Eastwood's "The Mule," and Josie Rourke's "Mary Queen of Scots" starring Saoirse Ronan, the latter of which is said to be a non-starter.

So with all that in mind, and unless the three aforementioned movies turn out to exceed expectations, it seems like we have two major movies that will contend for the big prize this year: Bradley Cooper's "A Star is Born" and Peter Farelly's "Green Book."

Cooper's film has become a box-office bonanza in both the movie and music charts. "A Star Is Born" has made close to $178M at the domestic box-office and it will easily surpass the $200M mark in the next few days. With Oscar noms coming up, and the film likely headed towards at least a dozen nominations, I can see Cooper's film hitting the $300M mark when all is said and done by next year. The film is by all accounts the token definition of not just a Best Picture nominee, but a Best Picture winner. Not to mention that it is directed by a well-respected actor, something that helped such esteemed actors-turned-directors like Kevin Costner, Clint Eastwood, Mel Gibson, Ron Howard, Ben Affleck, and Robert Redford. 

Cooper's film is reaping the benefits of having been released in October, whereas "Green Book" has not yet hit theaters. I've been insistent on my enthusiasm for the film, predicting that it will be a huge hit with audiences. Critics who have seen it, including myself, have noticed how incredibly enthusiastic audiences have been towards the film. The crowd I saw it with at TIFF ate it all up, the saccharine moments as well. This is very much a movie that you want to watch with a large audience at the multiplex. It's the kind of well-made, safe entertainment that even grouchy critics can admit they had a good time watching. What Farelly's film has going for it, that 'Star' doesn't, are socio-political themes. It's a simply-delivered indictment on racism in America, which is the kind of topic the Academy seems always hungry to reward, especially ever since the #OscarsSoWhite movement's inception more than 4 years ago now. 

"A Star is Born" has no political relevance to it. It's the third remake of the same story about a white privileged musician's rise and fall, his self-destructive behavior, and how that affects the closest people to him. It's about a selfish man who, the film tries to tell us, was still good to his core and didn't mean to hurt the people around him, even though he did.

I could be very wrong when it comes to the "Star is Born" and "Green Book," after all the latter hasn't been released yet. Then there's this past week's controversy where star Viggo Mortensen dared to utter the 'n-word' at a post-screening Q&A. This not only opened up debate online about the word itself, and how it should and shouldn't be used, if at all, but to many Oscar pundits it signified a possible handicap for "Green Book" in terms of Oscar contention. Regardless of that, I believe that Green Book's chances don't lie in Op-Ed think-pieces about the Viggo controversy, but rather in how audiences will greet it this weekend and beyond, especially when word of mouth hits that it's really good. It is set for wide release this coming Friday, and huge box-office numbers would all but seal the deal for its chances as a Best Picture juggernaut.


The Beautiful, Delicately Rendered Frames of Alfonso Cuaron's ‘Roma'



Playboy Admits Ennio Morricone Interview Was Fabricated, Apologizes to Composer

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Playboy Germany is finally admitting that some of the quotes from that controversial interview with Ennio Morricone — in which the Italian composer had allegedly described Quentin Tarantino as a “cretin” — have been “reproduced incorrectly.” There was a back and forth between whether the statements were accurate or not, but the journalist has been caught as a sham. Bad news for him, especially since the magazine had initially stood by the article. Gulp.
Germany Playboy are now blaming the writer, Marcel Anders, and apologizing to Morricone:
“Up to now, we have considered the freelancer who conducted the Ennio Morricone interview on our behalf to be a renowned print and radio journalist,” German Playboy editor-in-chief Florian Boitin said in a statement. “In the past, we have had no reason to doubt his journalistic integrity and skills. Based on the information now at our disposal, we must unfortunately assume that the words spoken in the interview have, in part, been reproduced incorrectly."