Summary of “How You See ‘Thunder Road’ Says a Lot About the Movie Business in 2018”

Cummings submitted Thunder Road, a tragicomic 12-and-a-half-minute short, to the Sundance Film Festival just past deadline.
“We were trying to make more of a movie than a film,” Cummings says.
Having missed the window for Sundance, in March the team took the movie to a safe space: the South by Southwest Film Festival.
“Then, there are the films that just get you so excited that it makes it worth it. Last year, Thunder Road came in. Jim was a known person, so we made sure to see it right away. I loved it. He’s so original, and what he’s doing is so hard. That line between comedy and drama, I’ve never seen a character like it. To be able to sustain what he’s done, that was the moment last year when I said, ‘We have a festival. We got it. This is just fantastic.'”.
After playing the public-friendly Deauville American Film Festival this summer, French distributor Paname encouraged the Thunder Road team to open the movie in 67 theaters in September.
“I’m like, ‘Jim, that’s not how it works.’ Then I sent it to the acquisitions guy at Netflix. I’m like, ‘I told Jim this is not how it works but this film is great. It won a prize. Is it on your radar. Do you want me to connect you? He was like, ‘Absolutely, I’m happy to connect to him.’ It didn’t work out, but what’s so funny about that story was Jim has been doing that every day. Who do I know who can review my movie? It makes me laugh because he’s doing it so much his own way. He’s just going out there and creating this different paradigm, but it’s working for him. It’s a beautiful thing.”
On the one hand, digital film projection and viral marketing make it feasible for virtually any movie to find its way into theaters and then capture an audience.
“Posting stuff on Reddit, engaging with other filmmakers who were struggling like we were for years and saying, ‘Hey, this is how it’s working for us.’ We’re so lucky to have as many champions as we do in film schools, because they were able to send the ladder back down,” Cummings says, “We were able to give people insight and help when nobody else does, and, really, using the websites like Reddit and Imgur to share content, it’s been very useful to get people to see our longform content.”

The orginal article.

Summary of “Steve Carell Talks Beautiful Boy, Rebooting The Office and Playing Donald Rumsfeld in Vice”

It’s what happened when I met Steve Carell this past summer.
In rapid succession you will have the opportunity to see Carell as a father struggling to understand and help his drug-addicted son in Beautiful Boy; as a brain-damaged trauma victim who copes with his emotional wounds by re-creating World War II battles with Barbie-like dolls in Robert Zemeckis’s Welcome to Marwen; and as former secretary of defense Donald Rumsfeld in Adam McKay’s Dick Cheney biopic, Vice.
According to the actress Maura Tierney-who plays David Sheff’s second wife and Nic’s stepmother-when Chalamet first showed up on set several weeks later, “I remember Steve going, ‘Oh my God, he’s losing weight!’ in a very dadlike way. Their relationship was really like that.” Carell told me that his unfeigned dismay at Chalamet’s appearance that day-“He just looked terrible with the added makeup, like really shockingly bad”-kickstarted one of the film’s most wrenching scenes.
So much talk of fathers and children made me curious: Are Carell’s kids Carell fans? Do they watch his movies and binge seasons of The Office? Or does he try to keep them away from all that? “They keep themselves away,” he said, laughing.
With Carell now something of a household name and the series finding its creative sea legs, The Office would double its ratings in season two and win the Emmy for outstanding comedy series, while its star would receive the first of six nominations-inexplicably, he never won-for lead actor in a comedy series.
In between seasons, Carell shot a number of broad movie comedies, including Evan Almighty, Get Smart, and Date Night, which all did okay at the box office but weren’t nearly as interesting as what he was doing on TV. He wasn’t slumming, but he wasn’t moving the needle on his career, either.
As in Beautiful Boy, Carell does some subtle but affecting physical work.
Carell showed me a picture on his phone of himself in makeup as Rumsfeld, and the transformation was astonishing: If he didn’t look exactly like the former secretary of defense, he looked like Rumsfeld in an odd, slightly unrepresentative photograph, or maybe Rummy on a day when the air conditioners have broken at Madame Tussauds.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Nicolas Cage: ‘If I don’t have a job to do, I can be very self-destructive'”

Nicolas Cage is the greatest American actor working today, full stop.
Only Cage superfans said such things; in the eyes of the rest of the world, well, sure, he could act – he did win the 1996 Oscar for Leaving Las Vegas, after all – but he was too eccentric, too laughably over the top, just too damn Cage-y to be taken seriously.
In a 2013 Reddit Ask Me Anything, Ethan Hawke confirmed that he, too, is a Cage superfan: “He’s the only actor since Marlon Brando that’s actually done anything new with the art of acting; he’s successfully taken us away from an obsession with naturalism into a kind of presentation style of acting that I imagine was popular with the old troubadors.”
These days Cage lives in “Well, the ROMANTIC way to put it would be the Mojave desert, but the CRUDE way of saying it is I live in Las Vegas”.
Cage is incredibly watchable as the devastated lumberjack, Red, who sets out to avenge the death of his girlfriend at the hands of a cult leader.
These are the very actors Cage always wanted to be like, having grown up watching them with his beloved father, Augustus Coppola, who made sure his son was grounded in the classics.
Cage’s various attempts to explain his acting style, using terms such as “German expressionist”, “Western kabuki” and, my personal favourite, “Nouveau shamanic”, haven’t done much to dispel the impression he is, at the very least, a little bananas.
Did Presley not find it strange that, before they married, Cage had dressed as her father onscreen twice, in Wild at Heart and Honeymoon in Vegas?

The orginal article.

Summary of “Jamie Lee Curtis Gets Her Revenge in the the New Halloween”

For Jamie Lee Curtis, the star of both films, talking about her character, Laurie Strode, means also addressing #MeToo and PTSD and ways of connecting the horror genre – which, despite its unprecedented box-office ascendance, she knows to be disreputable – with healing.
The new Halloween, the #MeToo hack-’em-up, is one of many in a line of horror films – past and doubtless future – in which traumatized women take their battle to the bogeymen.
Things are so bad that we’re turning for uplift to horror movies, which tell us how not crazy we are to be paranoid in a world of predators, some in high office.
Where classic horror films proceeded from the quaint assumption that the universe leans toward stability but that poisons do build up, producing monsters that must be put down, most contemporary horror films, like Get Out, The Purge, and A Quiet Place, see the presence of monsters as the baseline, the worst-case scenario as the rule, not the exception.
How could any movie treatment of Black Lives Matter connect with a mass audience as effectively as Jordan Peele’s Get Out? It said to black people who suspect that all white people are racist, “Hey, you’re right. Not only that, but Obama-voting liberals who’ll praise your sense of rhythm and happily let you date their daughters are actually out to snatch your bodies.” And yet, presented as a horror comedy, a mixture of Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner? and The Stepford Wives, it’s blissfully entertaining.
Eighteen years before Laurie was dodging the knife of the masked killer who’d just murdered her best friends, Curtis’s mom stepped into a shower onscreen and, in 78 camera setups and 52 cuts, the modern horror film was born.
“The irony is that in those movies I am smart, intellectual, brave, romantic, and chaste. But in order to become ‘legitimate,’ I’m a Playboy centerfold who’s murdered by her husband , or I’m topless in a big studio comedy.” She’s paraphrasing a horror nerd’s line from one of the Scream movies, which proves the genre can be much more sophisticated in its satire than, say, Trading Places.
That’s what Jamie Lee Curtis has learned from horror films: that fighting demons isn’t just about saving oneself; it’s also a magnificent design for living.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Toward a Unified Theory of Bradley Cooper”

Bradley Cooper! Scion of Philadelphia, soulful scamp, passionate bookworm, soon-to-be movie star, dreamer of dreams, leerer of leers, stonewalling bane of profile writers, charmer of innumerable babes.
Bad Bradley Cooper movies tend to announce his character’s sexy dangerousness outright: In 2015 alone came the wayward Cameron Crowe Hawaii romance Aloha and the kitchen-nightmare foodie drama Burnt.
“I think Bradley Cooper is weirder than Tom Cruise,” a trusted confidante of mine recently observed, “Because he has not found an ideology through which to channel his deep discomfort with himself.”
Which leads us to the central, timeless conundrum of Bradley Cooper, which is: Is he serious? Is he funny? Is he funny on purpose? Are his increasingly intense attempts to convey his seriousness funny? Will A Star Is Born betray even one iota of self-awareness? If it doesn’t, will that make the movie better or worse? Is he one of his generation’s truly great leading men? Or is he a more pedestrian movie star with delusions of grandeur? And can the delusions, themselves, constitute a sort of grandeur?
Cooper is still elevating his game in Limitless, reacting to his first dead body the way a better character in a much better movie might.
He’s playing a cocky FBI agent, and his early patter with Adams has a tone familiar from far lousier Bradley Cooper movies: “I break the rules. I like you.” Very long story short, he gets wrapped up with some black-diamond con artists and is soon in way over his head, with all the disco hedonism and eventual freakouts that implies.
Based on Kyle’s own 2013 memoir, Sniper is unceasingly reverent toward the man and unsparing in depicting the viciousness of the war, and Cooper clings valiantly to the character’s fundamental decency despite shooting a truly alarming number of men, women, and children, and throwing the word savages around with casual aplomb.
Of course Bradley Cooper wound up in a bunch of Marvel movies, and of course he did it in the weirdest way possible.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Introducing the Horror Oscars: The 40 Best Scary Movies Since ‘Halloween'”

Using a strict interpretation of the genre, only three of those movies are true horror films.
So as we approach another awards season with virtually no chance of a horror winner, I thought it’d be fun to chart a little revisionist history: Let’s determine the winner of the Horror Oscars every year since Halloween.
The Shining isn’t just one of the best horror movies ever made-it’s one of the best, period.
Pet Sematary was a hit, and also, notably: still one of the biggest horror movies ever directed by a woman, Mary Lambert, who was until then best known for a string of iconic music videos for Madonna, Janet Jackson, and the Go-Go’s.
Simply put, Misery is the best King horror movie since The Shining and the last great one we’d get, arguably, ever.
John Carpenter hadn’t made a true-blue horror since 1987’s Prince of Darkness when he took on future Oscars producer and longtime Hollywood executive Michael De Luca’s script about the people who become overtaken by the haunted novels of a cultish author named Sutter Cane who resembles both Lovecraft and Stephen King from different angles.
Shot in 2009, scheduled and shelved in 2010, and mercifully released in 2012, Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard’s maximalist meta-commentary on the horror genre isn’t just one of the most fun and clever movies on this list, it’s one of the most persuasive, aggressively making the case that horror needed a reboot from slasher flicks, virginal heroines, foggy cinematography, and stoner humor.
The virgin has been a sacrosanct concept in horror movies ever since Jamie Lee Curtis’s Laurie Strode stayed celibate throughout Halloween-and survived.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Movie Assassin – Popula”

When I met people, they’d say, “Wait! Aren’t you the movie girl?” Sometimes they would say, “Do you like anything?” A guy in a bar told me once that he and his friends called me “The movie assassin.”
“Me no understand movie joke,” the Julie puppet said.
Fuck those people! I felt the day, my $125, and my chance to hold forth on the most anticipated movie of the fall, slipping out from under me.
“I am not saying I’m positive that the movie is going to be bad. I mean, I give everything a chance.” I was sure I’d given her my bullshit speech about how I just wanted movies to be good.
“It’s just-very well written I guess I thought-I-well, I mean, I guess when I said the movie was going to be bad what I mean is that-What I was trying to say is that it’s probably not going to be as good as the book. That’s really what I meant. Because I really loved the book.”
The movie seemed very clearly bad. Binoche tittered with rueful appreciation as her patients sexually harassed her, peeled a plum with her sexy teeth, and-because what’s hotter than an irrepressible spirit during war-tickled out Bach on a bomb-damaged grand piano.
From my very first Thursday as a movie reviewer, I’d had the same routine.
I thought a lot about my lying review of that racist, boring, laughable, pseudo-intellectual movie.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Realistic Magic of Hal Ashby, the Greatest Director of the 1970s”

More so because Ashby had a way of making his movies about weighty ideals and real-seeming people, neither of which have aged much in the past 40 or so years.
Of Ashby, Jack Nicholson once said that when friends referred to him, it’s “Like we’re writing a recommendation for a college scholarship.” When Ashby won the Oscar for Best Editing, he delivered one of the shortest and most precise speeches in the ceremony’s history: “To repeat the words of a very dear friend of mine last year when he picked up his Oscar, I only hope that we can use all of our talents and creativity toward peace and love. Thank you.” He walked off the stage without another word.
I realized through more research that the mythology about Hal Ashby being this burnout hippie wastoid that couldn’t do anything was just not accurate.
The director Norman Jewison adopted Hal Ashby as a kind of mentee and became a father figure to the hardworking but nomadic Southwestern refugee.
The Ashby we talk about now was a late-blooming creative talent who spent the first 34 years of his life slowly nosing his way into the upper echelon of the movies.
No matter the genre-lace-curtain thriller or Cold War satire, social-issues drama or sleek caper-Jewison and Ashby pushed the style and structure of movies, toying with jump cuts, pans, close-ups, insert shots, and particularly multiframe formats that would subtly reinvent the visual language of Hollywood movies.
Shampoo is the second Ashby film made from a Robert Towne script, after The Last Detail, and you can feel the director locking into the deep, idiosyncratic material.
Ashby was the original director chosen for Tootsie, getting so far as to shoot screen tests with Dustin Hoffman in character and costume.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Movie madness: Why Chinese cinemas are empty but full”

Chinese film critic and industry observer Raymond Zhou has been digging into the darker side of film financing in his country.
If these publicly available figures appear to show that a film is doing well, people will buy shares in the companies which paid for the movie.
So a film might be on in the cinema and one of the companies which paid for it might buy out entire late night screenings.
You might wonder, if box office manipulation has been a broad problem within the Chinese film industry, if it’s still worthwhile financially.
“They can manipulate the number of screenings in their own cinemas. Often times the third party ticketing apps also have their hands in the promotion of the films so they can push a film that they have an interest in; that they have invested in themselves.”
In effect, a company – or connected companies – can distribute the film, have ownership of the theatres and then maybe also involve those selling the tickets.
Some films are also suspected of being used as a method of getting around China’s laws designed to restrict capital flight.
There still seems to be no move to break up the vested interests in Chinese movie making, which many analysts believe will continue to pump out poor quality fare as long as there is money to be made – irrespective of how many actually people go to see the film.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How Dare You Represent Your People That Way: The Oral History of ‘Better Luck Tomorrow'”

Nearly two decades ago, Justin Lin had a bold idea: What if he made a movie about Asian-Americans?
“I didn’t want to make an Asian-American film. I wanted to make a movie about Asian-American characters.”
“I grew up wanting to be Robert De Niro, not some good Asian boy next door.”
“Asian-Americans, in the hierarchy of race, never quite made it to the top. We always get pushed over for some reason.”
“In some ways, it’s harder to make a film that matters than it is to make a good film. Better Luck Tomorrow mattered.”

The orginal article.