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5 Reasons The Fast And The Furious Franchise Is So Successful

Published August 5, 2014 by gossipzoo

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If you had told me 12 years ago that a film about illegal street racing, starring Paul Walker and Vin Diesel, would evolve into Universal’s biggest film franchise of all time, I would think you were nuts. Despite mixed reviews from critics (the film currently stands at 53% on Rotten Tomatoes), it made $207 million at the box office and received five sequels (with another currently in production). Vin Diesel has stated that another trilogy is in the works (which will comprise of Fast 7, 8, and 9) and Dwayne Johnson has hinted at the possibility of a spin-off film featuring his character.

The series is, without a doubt, nothing more than good ol’ fashioned popcorn movie fun, and is generally considered a guilty pleasure from audiences. However, unlike other seemingly shallow, action-oriented and over indulgent blockbusters, the Fast and Furious films don’t seem to generate negative responses and get more popular with each installment. I’ve compiled a list of 5 reasons why the franchise has stood the test of time, continually thrilling audiences and critics alike and drawing moviegoers to the multiplex year after year…

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10 Pop Culture Mayors Who Should Be The Next Mayor Of New York City

Published August 4, 2014 by gossipzoo

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New York City recently hosted primaries for the upcoming Mayoral election, the first step in determining who will be the next Mayor of the greatest city in the world (take that Spokane, Washington!).

Being the Mayor of the Five Boroughs is a pretty big deal. The job includes regulating soda pop consumption, occasionally appearing on Saturday Night live, wearing a sash, and fighting hurricanes with one’s bare hands. Sometimes the Mayor even has to speak Spanish.

It’s not a job for the feint of heart. Even though it’s a municipal job, the Mayor of New York City is a national, even global figure. There were a whole lot of names in the big mayoral top hat, ranging from City Councilmen, Comptrollers, The Chairman of the MTA, and the one, the only, the aptly named Anthony “Carlos Danger” Weiner.

Other than the guy with the famous penis, I wasn’t too familiar with a lot of the candidates. Now that Joe Lhota and Bill de Blasio have emerged as each party’s respective nominees, I’m a little flummoxed as to who I should be casting my ballot for, being a newly registered voter in Manhattan. In fact, other than that fake job description I made up above, I really have no idea what the Mayor does. I guess they’re like the president of town?

Like most things in the world, pretty much all of my knowledge is based off of things that I’ve seen in movies and on television. So for the November 5th election, I’ll be looking for the qualities found in pop culture’s greatest Mayors.

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8 Great Movies About Film Making All Directors Must See

Published July 20, 2014 by gossipzoo

Lost In La Mancha

The track record for movies about movies is not particularly fantastic, to be frank. The appeal is pretty obvious – if great art comes from passion, it makes sense that a cinematic artist would be inspired when making a movie about movies, right? – But all too often films about films tend to fall into one of two ludicrous extremes, either painting filmmaking as a soul crushing toil in the salt mines, or as a jolly frolic where there’s no pressure and no pain, and inspiration flows from a tap. (Cue laughter from anyone who’s ever tried to make a movie, ever.) No wonder the best movies about film making tend to be documentaries – it’s harder to BS an audience about the process of making films when you’re showing actual footage from a working film set.

All of which is a long winded way of saying that when a film comes out that really captures something about the dynamics of filmmaking, it’s a special thing indeed. Here’s eight films – some documentaries, some fiction, some romanticized, some anything but – that anybody looking to work in the art form should see:

8. The Snowball Effect

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OK, to be fair, citing a DVD making of documentary on this list is probably cheating – but honestly, if you’re looking for inspiration as a young filmmaker, what better source? In the past, knowledge about “how movies are made” only came from classic Hollywood films, which by and large offered a ludicrously sanitized fictionalization of the filmmaking process; now anyone with a DVD remote has direct access (sometimes perhaps a little too direct?) to the process by which films are made.

Few filmmakers are more honest and forthright on this score than Kevin Smith. Open and honest about his own failings as a director (“Throw a rock, you’ll hit a better director than me,” he once told a crowd of fans), Smith has also been quite open about the making of his films, with DVD and Blu-ray platters that sometimes seem awfully opulent for movies about a bunch of dudes standing around talking. The Snowball Effect, a documentary about the making of his debut film, Clerks, is probably the finest of these supplements, and honestly might be one of those rare beasts – a documentary about the making of a film that is better than the film itself.

Obviously there’s plenty of wit (vulgar, but still) in The Snowball Effect, plenty of ribbing and joshing and juicy behind the scenes tales; but for any filmmaker, The Snowball Effect is the most valuable form of filmmaking heroin imaginable. If you’ve ever needed the inspiration to get off your ass and just make a movie, then it’s required you see The Snowball Effect, which charts – in granular but fascinating detail – how Smith, a college drop out, pulled together a bunch of his friends, some untried community theater actors and a few buddies from his brief time in film school to make a movie. The film is refreshingly blunt, with most of the participants admitting that they had little or no idea what they were doing, and that the fact that the film turned out watchable was probably a miracle; it’s also inspiring, in that Smith and his rag tag operation seem to prove Quentin Tarantino’s assertion that if you love movies enough, regardless of time or budgetary constraints, you will probably make a good one.

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Jurassic Park World To Open June 12, 2015

Published July 19, 2014 by gossipzoo

Jurassic World

Jurassic Park 4 now has an awesome new title and a release date…

Universal Pictures will release Jurassic Park World on June 12, 2015, the distributors have revealed. The summer blockbuster will be shot in 3D and will be the first Jurassic Park film to be released since Jurassic Park 3 stunk up theatres in 2001.

The plot will revolve around a working theme park called Jurassic World which, once again, goes tits up in logistics but this time there’s a park full of tourists that are in danger.

Steven Spielberg will return to the franchise, but as a producer rather than director, a job which falls to Colin Trevorrow this time. Trevorrow was the director of last year’s Indie hit Safety Not Guaranteed but will be working with a significantly bigger budget this time out! Meanwhile, Frank Marshall and Pat Crowley join the team as fellow producers.

The cast is so far unconfirmed, however, earlier this year, Sam Neill revealed it is unlikely he will return to the series as Dr. Alan Grant.

However, original stars Richard Attenborough and Jeff Goldblum are rumoured to return to their parts as John Hammond and Dr Ian Malcolm, respectively.

So a clever title from Universal and due to how long it’s been since the last Jurassic Park movie a real sense that this one should be taken more seriously than the last entry. We still can’t be sure whether this will be seen as a franchise reboot (looking likely given the title) or how it’s going to shape up, but we like what we hearing so far.

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We’re The Millers: Interview With Director Rawson Marshall Thurber

Published June 24, 2014 by gossipzoo

Were The Millers

New Line Cinema’s latest comedy We’re the Millers is released in UK cinemas this week. Directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber – who also wrote and directed fan-favorite Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story – the film follows a faux-family who are attempting to smuggle drugs into America.

We got the chance to chat to Thurber recently about the improvisation on set, changes to the script, and whether or not any sequels are in the works.

The script for We’re The Millers has been hanging around for a bit, what attracted you to the project and what changes happened from the initial script?

“The original script was written by Bob Fisher and Steve Faber, and they were the writers of Wedding Crashers, and I think they sold it right after Wedding Crashers so I think it’s existed for almost a decade in Hollywood, which by Hollywood standards is very old.

“I didn’t get it until Sean Anders and John Morris sent me a draft and that was about two years ago, so that’s when I first started and I thought that script was really funny. I thought it was a clever take on an old idea, and I think I laughed out loud four times when I was reading it and that never happens, because most of the scripts you get are terrible or unfunny or both.

“I thought it had a great attitude and shocking hilarity so I liked it. New Line asked me if I wanted to direct it and I said “Yeah, I’d like to” and I re-wrote it.

“Most of the funny stuff was already in there, I worked on the plotting and structure a little bit, worked on the Kenny character and his romance, and then I added the striptease scene.”

Was there a lot of improvisation on set?

“There was plenty of improv. The best part about my job is I get to hire actors whom I admire to help me tell a story, and that’s what I got to do on this one.

“I got to get Thomas Lennon and Nick Offerman and Katheryn Hahn and Ken Marino and Ed Helms and Scott Adsit, not to mention everybody else.

“So I hired actors who have an improvisational background. There are two things, a lot of people say; ‘How much was written, how much was improv?’

“We had a lot of improv in the movie, I would say almost 10% which is a lot, but there’s a difference between improvisation and alternate lines. At the end of the movie we have some outtakes and we have what we call Lineoramas, so there’s a bunch of different lines, and those are written.

“You write out a bunch of different punch-lines for the same set-up because anybody who knows anything about comedy will tell you that he doesn’t know anything about comedy, that is to say that you can be pretty sure that what you think is funny is going to work but you don’t know until you put it up in front of a real audience of strangers.

“There’s no way to know. The worst thing that can happen is you get twelve takes of the same punch-line and you put it up in front of an audience and you get crickets, and you’re sunk because you don’t have something else.

“To me it never made sense to just have one punch-line when you could have five or six and pick the best one. There are alternate lines and jokes for sure, and those were mostly scripted, and then there is improvisation which some of the improvs are some of my favourite jokes in the movie.”

Did you adapt the characters once the cast came on-board?

“The script was in a constant state of being re-written. There’s an old saying that no work of art is ever finished, only abandoned. I’m not calling We’re The Millers a work of art but in the loosest definition, you never stop working on these things. So we were writing jokes in editorial that you put in loop-wise, and some of them are big laughs.

“The process never stops until they take it away from you, you just keep trying to make it better and better and better and better, faster, faster, funnier, funnier. Care more, care more. But in terms of the actual writing toward an actor or actress, not really.

“When Jen signed on she had some thoughts about what she liked about the character and what she thought was maybe undercooked a little bit. We worked towards making the character a lot more fuller and interesting, but it wasn’t anything crazy. It was all above board and all pretty standard.”

Usually Jason Sudeikis is the comic side-character, here he is taking the lead, with added drama. Did you know he could pull that side off or did you just want the funniest man in the world leading your film?

“I’ve been a fan of Jason’s work and I didn’t know him personally but I always thought that he was the funniest guy in any sketch or any movie he was in, and I thought he’d be perfect in this. I saw him in this movie, I don’t know if you’ve seen it, it’s called A Good Old-Fashioned Orgy by Pete Huyck and Alex Gregory.

“Unseen, almost, which I can’t believe, and he was so charming in that and I knew it, from that part, that he could be a leading man, and should be a leading man.

“I was really excited to give him the opportunity to do that in a big studio movie, so I wasn’t worried about him pulling off the role by any stretch, and you want somebody as funny and as talented as Jason but I didn’t know, honestly, how good he was.

“He is so funny but he is such a talented actor. He can do anything, some people say he’s going to be the next Will Ferrell, but he could be the next Tom Hanks if that’s what he wants to do, that’s how gifted he is. That was, I have to say, surprising, but pleasantly so.”

What made you feel that Jennifer would be good for the role, was her and Jason’s work together in Horrible Bosses a factor?

“No, I think it wasn’t a factor in ‘Let’s get Jen and Jason back together because people like Horrible Bosses,’ it wasn’t. I wish we were as calculated as that. If people knew how these things happen.

“We got Jason first and I was thrilled, and then I forget whose idea it was but someone said “What about Jen for the part?” and we all thought ‘S**t, that’s a good idea,’ but when you send your script to Jennifer Anniston you never really think she’s going to say yes.

“We sent it off to her, I actually thought ‘eh, it’s never going to happen’ and then the phone rings and they go ‘Hey, Jen read it, she really thinks it’s funny and wants to talk about it’ and we got lucky.”

Looking back at your career, you apprenticed under John August, those two years, how did they inform the rest of your career in understanding script and directing?

“I think it’s impossible to exaggerate how influential the two and a half years that I spent working for John August has been on my career. It’s the most luxurious and fantastic incubator you can imagine.

“He’s the nicest guy, he’s so talented, he paid me way more than I deserved for what I was doing, and I just got to learn. I read everything that he wrote, I learned what it meant to be a professional screenwriter in town, both on the page and in the room, and the guy that you hear on the podcast, on ScriptNotes, is actually who he is, he’s that nice.

“You wouldn’t want to meet anybody nicer, they’d be trying to sell you something. I stole so much craft and office supplies from John August, I wouldn’t be where I am without him, he’s a dear friend and mentor.

“I love ScriptNotes, it’s an invaluable resource not only for screenwriters in town but anybody who is interested in movies. Couldn’t be more important in my life.”

Working on a comedy like this, there must be a lot of outtakes, how much footage might be seen in the deleted scenes?

“I don’t know if we’ll have a different cut of the movie, I think the movie that we put in the theatres is the movie we intended to make and we’re proud of, I use the royal we of course, but there were a good handful of scenes that just didn’t make the film because of pacing.

“I think we have a lot of the alternate punch-lines and some of the improv that just couldn’t fit. There should be a healthy amount on the DVD for people to look forward to.”

There’s a balance of gross-out comedy and quite a tender aspect to the film, how difficult is it to strike that balance?

“I’m really happy to hear you say that, it was a big part of it. If you don’t have heart in your comedy then you just have a bunch of dick jokes strung together and who really cares? You can laugh yourself silly in the theatre but you won’t remember a lick of it by the time you get to your car.

“The movies that I loved, the comedies that I loved growing up, have heart to them. You just have to care a little bit, just enough, so for me that was the most important thing.

“Obviously number one is you want it to be funny, but a 1a is you have to make people care, and we tried really hard to do that. I think Will Poulter who plays Kenny, is the heart. He is the heart of the movie, and so at the end of the picture, spoiler alert, when he punches out the bad guy and kisses the girl and fireworks are going, if the audience doesn’t feel something there, we’re f*cked.

“Fortunately so far people do, there have been plenty of screenings where we get cheers at that point. As the filmmaker that’s what you want, at least that’s what I want.”

You’ve had two big hit comedies in the last decade now, and you’ve only made three films in that time. What’s going on? Why aren’t you the biggest thing around right now?

“Will you call my mother and please tell her that. Thank you, first of all, s**t. It’s just hard, let me back up.

“So there’s this big struggle that goes on behind the curtain, and it’s not easy to convince a studio to write a big mutli-milllion dollar cheque on a work of art, god that’s the second time, on a movie because it’s a gamble. There’s no formula for it, people try to make formulas but there just isn’t, so at some point someone’s got to pick up a pair of dice, blow on it and throw ’em, and it’s a hard thing to get.

“Even companies whose entire job it is to do that, it’s hard. No matter who you are. There’s a big struggle that goes on behind the curtain, I spent a year and a half working on something, re-writing something, casting it, getting close and then it goes away. And then you go over here “F*ck it, I’m going to do this one.” No.

“Finally you get all the pieces together, they say yes and then you step out from behind the curtain and everyone goes “Where the hell have you been?” I’m not sleeping, I’m working my ass off back here, sweating here in the shop. Even on this one, we started at the end of 2011 and now its 2013, so that’s another 2 years or so where I was actually making a movie.

“That’s a very long-winded answer but the short version is I hope to make more movies more frequently, and hopefully you’ll see my next one sooner than three years from now.”

How do you get all the action, the sex, the comedy in the movie, and how important was the Flashdance scene, or having Emma Roberts talking about anal sex, for the film?

“Gosh, that’s such a dangerous question to answer. I’m glad you called it the Flashdance stripper scene because we were aiming for a Carls Jr. commercial or Flashdance, it’s the sweet spot. I wrote that in because I thought, I wanted, each character, each Miller, to have a moment to save the family.

“Emma has hers when she covers for the weed baby, Jason has his at the end, Will has his at the end also, and it seemed like the character of Rose, that’s her superpower. It seemed like a fun way to get the Millers out of trouble.

“In terms of the foul-mouthed nature, that was in the screenplay, so I just shot what was written, I thought it was really funny, and Emma delivers that kind of stuff very well. She’s really funny.

“And then the action side was some of the most fun for me, and I hope to do more of it. The next thing I want to do is some kind of comedy with action to it, a little bit more scope in size.

“Beverly Hills Cop, Lethal Weapon 2 are good examples of that, but so is Ghostbusters and Galaxy Quest so it doesn’t necessarily have to be a buddy cop movie, and I’ve got a few things I’m looking at right now, hoping to Jedi mind trick somebody to let me do one.”

I read in previous interviews that regarding Dodgeball’s sequel you’ve said that you feel like you’ve said all that you need to say in that film, do you feel the same with We’re The Millers?

“Like a sequel? Gosh, I just hope the first one works. But I do think that whenever you have characters that people care about there’s always an opportunity to continue the story.

“I think the track record on comedy sequels is not very good, and I will burn that bridge when we come to it. Right now I just hope the first one works.”

The post We’re The Millers: Interview With Director Rawson Marshall Thurber appeared first on WhatCulture!.

Star Wars: Episode VII To Be Shot On 35mm Film

Published June 24, 2014 by gossipzoo

Jj

In the Digital Age, the word “Film” has somewhat lost its meaning. A lot of movies these days are films in name only, sort of the way an album of MP3s is referred to as a record. Perhaps because of it’s nostalgia, a lot of people now use the word film as a way of distinguishing a “good” movie. For example, I don’t think anybody has ever referred to The Smurfs 2 as a film. Just for kicks, let’s try it right now. “Tonight Beatrice and I will be enjoying an evening at the cinema. We shall be seeing a film called The Smurfs 2.” See? That didn’t feel right.

Well, it looks like J.J. Abrams new Star Wars movie is going to be a film not just in name only. Boba Fett Fan Club is reporting that according to Mr. Abrams frequent cinamatographer Dan Mindel, speaking at an event hosted by the American Society of Cinematographers, Episode VII will be shot on good old fashioned 35mm Kodak film.

Mindel

Though this sounds like an excellent decision, it isn’t a total shocker. Since Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm, the big whigs over at the House of Mouse have been going to great lengths to capture the same magic that made the original trilogy so special, like filming in exotic real-world locales, filming in UK studios like Elstree and Pinewood, and getting Empire Strikes Back/Return of the Jedi screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan to consult on the script. And of course the return of Luke, Han and Leia. For the eight people who haven’t seen Star Wars, they were the main characters in the original trilogy.

Regardless of where it’s shot or how it’s shot, we’re all just hoping that it’s a good movie. So hopefully with some great storytelling and attention to detail, Star Wars: Episode VII will be remembered as a great film, both literally and figuratively.

The down side: there’s probably going to be some lens flare.

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7 Reasons Why Monsters Was Actually A Terrible Film

Published June 21, 2014 by gossipzoo

435519 Monsters1 Super 1

Let me tell you a little story about a man called Gareth Edwards. He is a young director whose early works involve a couple of documentaries and a TV movie that no-one has heard about. However in 2010 he finally made it big when he unleashed to the world “Monsters,” a film that gained notoriety around the world for receiving really good reviews from critics around the world. The movie was even more impressive when you found out that Gareth made the special effects and editing for the movie himself using his own laptop.

The premise of the film is simple: A meteor fell on M xico which caused that half of the country became infested with hordes of bloodthirsty monsters, so now an annoying journalist must guide an annoying tourist to cross the infested area to arrive to the US. The film was so well received that (of course) the director started working on a sequel whose first trailer was released last week.

The premise now involves that (for some reason) monsters start invading more parts around the world and when a soldier goes rogue on an infested area a convoy of soldiers in which the brother of the soldier is in (because nothing wrong could come up from that) is sent to kill him. And (of course) the whole convoy is killed and only two soldiers survive in order to complete the mission. Guess who was one of those two soldiers.

As you can probably guess by now I really hated the first film. I’m completely astonished to find out that not only people loved the first film, but that even after hearing the ridiculously dumb plot of the sequel they’re still excited about it. However every time I mention this fact a lot of people seem unable to understand why this film is so terrible; so right now I’m going to take the time to explain why this film is a garbage so bad that it probably makes Transformers 2 look like Citizen Kane.

The post 7 Reasons Why Monsters Was Actually A Terrible Film appeared first on WhatCulture!.

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