Chronicle

Josh Trank filming Chronicle

The obvious initial reaction to hearing that Josh Trank will direct a standalone Star Wars movie: could it be shot as a found footage film? That’s because we so far only really know him for the found footage superhero film Chronicle. But the guy is now working on the Fantastic Four reboot for Fox, and there’s no way that’ll be in the same style. Neither will his Star Wars spin-off or one-shot or whatever you want to call these side installments. The only way a found footage Star Wars movie would make any sense is if it was released as a feature-length hologram. That said, Trank has actually already made a found footage Star Wars fan film (watch it down below), so maybe Disney and Lucasfilm want him to expand on that. Trank joins Gareth Edwards as the second filmmaker to be assigned one of these movies, and unlike Edwards he’s not been able to prove himself worthy with a major blockbuster-size budget yet. We still have a little over a year before The Fantastic Four comes out, though, and Trank’s entry isn’t due until 2018. Another thing that’s interesting about this announcement is that it looks like Disney is stealing Trank away from helming the Fantastic Four sequel. Claims that Disney and its Marvel subsidiary are plotting against Fox and its reboot of the Marvel comic franchise have been rebuked, but I bet this news will be taken the wrong way as part of that rumored battling between the studios. […]

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The Sacrament

While some horror fads like Asian remakes and torture porn burned out their popularity relatively quickly, one fad continues to dominate the genre: found footage. Part of the reason that it’s so widely used is because the movies are extremely cheap to make and can result in pretty large profits. However, with this sub-genre’s continued popularity, there are many people (like myself, for example) who don’t like it on the whole. Our biggest complaint is that, for using presumed realism to increase fear and anxiety, found footage movies are simply not realistic. But the concern got me thinking: how realistic are found footage movies?

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Chronicle

After the massive success of Josh Trank‘s Chronicle (a success so profound that the director has now been entrusted with the new Fantastic Four, a Venom film, and possibly The Red Star and Shadow of Colossus adaptations), it was only inevitable that a sequel to the found-footage teen-superheroes-gone-wild feature would shoot to the top of Fox’s wish list, but Chronicle 2 is still getting some big kinks ironed out. Speaking with IGN at the Middle East Comic-Con, screenwriter Max Landis was surprisingly candid on just what is going on with the script in general and the new film at large. Right out of the gate, Landis cleared up some on confusion regarding a few comments his dad John Landis made about the new film (sigh, parents), saying that “there was this whole announcement that they wanted to just do the same thing again because my father said that. My father is not involved in Chronicle 2. He doesn’t know the process. It was not his place to say that.” Ugh, stay out of my room, dad!

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“In a perfect world, ‘The Cabin in the Woods’ would be a lock for a Best Original Screenplay nomination.” – Joey Magidson, The Awards Circuit It must be frustrating to write for an awards blog (aka an Oscar blog, since the Academy Awards are always the main focus of these sites), and know that the best films of the year are not necessarily the ones that will be nominated. Magidson’s comment above, from his April review of The Cabin in the Woods, sort of sums that up. But at the same time I don’t know if the movie truly deserves the statement. Something to consider, semantically speaking, is that the Academy’s award is not for “Most Original Screenplay” but “Best Original Screenplay.” This isn’t to say that the script, by Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard, isn’t well-written, and you’re welcome to argue its case for a nomination. Is it the best-written original screenplay of the year, though? All my time as a movie lover and watcher of the Oscars, including the past few years of hate-watching, the original screenplay category is one I’ve constantly been excited about. It’s the place where you could find some of the more clever and creative efforts, including a number of films that might not get other nominations. You could find a good number of interesting foreign films outside of the foreign-language award ghetto (such as Bunuel‘s two nominations for writing), as well as an interesting showing of mainstream and blockbuster fare, especially in the […]

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Ever since Marvel Comics created its own movie studio and started making its own movies, much ado has been made about the other studios holding rights to some of their characters. How long does Sony have the rights to Spider-Man? Will Marvel ever get to make an X-Men movie, seeing as they’re already tied up elsewhere? While those properties seem to be staying in their current homes, at least for the foreseeable future, there’s one character out there who actually is close to making a jump back home to the House of Ideas: Daredevil. Recently, Fox was trying to get together a reboot of the character’s adventures on film under the watch of director David Slade, but a few weeks ago he dropped out of the project. That’s bad news for Fox, because if they don’t manage to find a new director and get a Daredevil movie in front of cameras before October 10, then film rights for the character will revert back to Marvel, and all of their efforts to reboot the property with a more gritty, Frank Miller-inspired take on the material will be in vain. In the same report that announced Slade’s departure from the new Daredevil film also came the news that Fox had lined up a director for another of its Marvel-born properties, The Fantastic Four. Chronicle helmer Josh Trank is now in control of rebooting that franchise. But a report that came out of Variety today could have consequences for both his upcoming Fantastic […]

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What is Movie News After Dark? This week, it is like the idiotic parents’ suburban Pasadena home in Project X. The responsible party is taking some time off, so he has handed the keys to some of us on staff, and we are having the Movie News After Dark House Party of the century. We’re doing our best to remain somewhat respectable and deliver some entertainment news you may have missed this week, but at some point we all know we’ll put a dwarf in the oven. On with the show. The first story is one you’ve likely seen already this weekend, but it’s worth repeating for the sheer joy it brings. This weekend, Movies.com published the story of George Lucas doing something we can all get behind. After decades of trying to develop land in Marin County to make the biggest movie studio in the galaxy, and with his snooty neighbors blocking the $300m a year initiative for fear of causing problems, he has decided to develop low-income housing. Finally, people can pat him on the back and forget about Jar Jar, Han shooting first and a certain crystal skull.

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This Week in DVD

Welcome back to This Week In DVD! After a couple of sparse weeks we’re rewarded with a bevy of worthwhile DVD releases suitable for your viewing pleasure including a Criterion edition of Being John Malkovich, the teen super power adventure Chronicle, Haruki Murakami’s Norwegian Wood, Woody Harrelson playing bad cop/worse cop in Rampart, and Liam Neeson going head to head with wolves in The Grey. As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. Michael Michael works at an insurance firm, he hangs out with co-workers, he visits his mom and sister… and he has a ten year-old boy captive in his basement. The boy isn’t in chains, in fact he’s treated quite well aside from the captivity and occasional diddling. This calmly mesmerizing little Austrian drama about a few months in the life of a pedophile isn’t a thriller in the conventional sense, but goddamn are the final fifteen minutes suspenseful as hell. It’s a methodical and beautifully acted film that gets under your skin with its normality and subtle unpredictability.

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The Reject Report - Large

Four new movies are hitting theaters this weekend, all of them fixed with their own pros and cons. In one corner, we have Amanda Seyfried, Jennifer Aniston, and Tyler Perry. In the other corner, we have the Navy SEALs. It’s not a fair fight no matter how you look at it. All four spark with different demographics, as well, making for an interesting melting pot of genres, varying star power, and even a little bit of brand loyalty. This weekend comes down to which of these films had the best resonance with its marketing, and one of these films clearly has the edge over the others. Yes, guns and live ammunition help.

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Chronicle

It was a close race, one that could get switched around when the actual numbers hit on Monday, but, for now, the combination of teenage superheroes and the found footage technique has given Chronicle the edge over The Woman in Black. Chronicle‘s $22m ranks it high on the found footage subgenre, above movies like The Last Exorcism ($20.3m opening in 2010) and Quarantine ($14.2m opening in 2008). It’s a solid number regardless but all the more impressive considering Chronicle‘s reported $12m budget. Found footage movies weren’t looking to slow down any time soon anyway, but this debut clenches it. We’ll be certainly seeing more found footage movies covering a broader range of genre. Before we know it someone will be pitching an idea of holiday, family drama told from the point of view of home movies. That’s not even saying anything to the idea of Chronicle getting its own sequel. It definitely will.

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Kevin Carr

This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr heads out to the drab English countryside to settle a woman’s estate only to find the place haunted. Fortunately, Kevin had already crawled down a mysterious hole and gained super powers, so he’s able to fend off the evil spirits. For a fleeting moment, he considers using his new powers for good, like to save a family of gray whales trapped under the ice in Barrow, Alaska. However, his fear of the 30 Days of Night vampires keep him at home. He then decides to use his new powers to read the subtitles of The Hidden Face so he can enjoy the copious amounts of pretty Colombian breasts.

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The Reject Report - Large

That’s right. We’ve officially gone from grey to black. This means the evil side of the Reject Report is about to rear its ugly head and its taking names. First up, Daniel Radcliffe. He’ll have some stiff competition, though, in the form of teenage super heroes and whales. Those whales might have a miracle up their sleeves, and they’ll need precisely that to come out on top this weekend. It’s not looking to be a massive weekend for box office receipts, but there’s apparently some big football game this weekend that’s sure to take away even more of that dwindling box office. Go ahead and put on your favorite team’s colors. We’re still decked out in black.

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Found footage films are often called (by me at least) the new 3D for a few reasons. They’re clearly enjoying a surge similar to the one enjoyed by 3D films for the past couple years. They’re cropping up in a handful of different genres. They’re almost never an integral or relevant element of the film’s narrative. And most filmmakers who employ the technique have no goddamn clue how to make it work. Which brings us to the fun albeit cliched and otherwise entertaining Chronicle.

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