• "12 Years a Slave" screened at TIFF 2013 after debuting at Telluride. (George Pimentel/WireImage)

    Although the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival is still more than a month away, the drama surrounding the marquee movie industry event is already heating up.

    With the first batch of TIFF 2014 titles announced earlier this week, industry experts have started weighing in on what the preliminary lineup says about the state of the world’s leading public film fest. Many in the film industry believe that TIFF’s new premiere policy is going to hurt the event this year.

    Read More »from TIFF’s aggressive movie premiere policy will hurt the festival, insiders say
  • Reese Witherspoon will come to TIFF 2014 for her films Wild and The Good Lie.Reese Witherspoon will come to TIFF 2014 for her films Wild and The Good Lie.

    The 2014 Toronto International Film Festival announced its first slate of movies on Tuesday morning, and based on the line-up so far, this year’s fest looks like it’s going to be great year for Canadian filmmakers working abroad -- and for actress Reese Witherspoon.

    Toronto’s own David Cronenberg will bring his star-studded new movie “Maps to the Stars” to TIFF 2014 for its North American Premiere. The film, which offers up a scathing take on the U.S. entertainment industry, stars Julianne Moore, Robert Pattinson, Mia Wasikowska, John Cusack, and Sarah Gadon.

    Montreal-native Jason Reitman’s dramedy "Men, Women & Children,” starring Adam Sandler and Jennifer Garner, will also debut during TIFF 2014.

    Quebecois directors Jean-Marc Vallée (“Dallas Buyers Club”) and Philippe Falardeau (“Monsieur Lazhar”) return to TIFF in September, bringing “Wild” and “The Good Lie” (Falardeau’s English-language debut), respectively.

    Both films star Oscar-winner Reese Witherspoon, whose performance in

    Read More »from 2014 Toronto International Film Festival: A big year for Canadian filmmakers and Reese Witherspoon
  • Columbia PicturesColumbia Pictures

    The promise of a big-screen “Sex Tape” featuring major Hollywood stars apparently wasn’t enough to entice moviegoers this past weekend, as people chosen to spend their money to see other offerings like “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” and “The Purge: Anarchy.”

    "Sex Tape," the risqué rom-com starring Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel, ended up in fourth place at the box office, pulling in just $15 million dollars – not even half of what “Apes” made in its second weekend of release.

    So why did “Sex Tape” flop? Well, it was probably the poor reviews, but studio Sony Pictures is blaming something else entirely: the film’s title.

    That’s right, the people responsible for naming the movie “Sex Tape” now think the raunchy title may have actually kept people from seeing it.

    "We made a sweet, funny romantic comedy with stars that we love, but the title is a little confusing to some folks,” Sony exec Rory Bruer told the Hollywood Reporter, adding that the studio hopes “Sex Tape” will perform well

    Read More »from Did 'Sex Tape' fail because of its title? It wouldn't be the first time
  • "Star Wars Episode VII" now features six women in speaking roles.

    As filming on "Star Wars Episode VII" continues, so too does the casting process. This week, the J.J. Abrams-directed sequel added British actress Christina Chong (“24: Live Another Day”), bringing number of women with speaking roles in the new film to a grand total of six. She joins Oscar winner Lupita Nygong'o, (“12 Years a Slave”), “Game of Thrones” star Gwendoline Christie, newcomer Daisy Ridley, Crystal Clarke -- and, of course, Carrie Fisher.

    Now, six actresses may not seem like a lot (especially when compared to the 13 men who’ve been officially cast in “Episode VII”), but it’s important to realize that the number of women with speaking roles in “Episode VII” is now more than the whole original trilogy combined.

    Go ahead: Try to name a female character from the original “Star Wars” trilogy other than Princess Leia. It’s pretty difficult, isn’t it?

    Read More »from ‘Star Wars Episode VII’ now has more female speaking roles than the entire original trilogy
  • Ben Affleck stars in "Gone Girl." (20th Century Fox)

    “Gone Girl," one of the most anticipated movies of 2014, was expected to be a major player on the festival circuit in advance of its Oct. 3 release date. The film, based on the Gillian Flynn novel of the same name, stars Academy Award-winner Ben Affleck as a man who becomes the prime suspect after the mysterious disappearance of his wife (Rosamund Pike). Many expected it to premiere at the Telluride, Venice, or Toronto film festivals in late August or early September -- but that now looks unlikely.

    According to Variety, “Gone Girl” will open the New York Film Festival (NYFF) on September 28, and a cushy berth essentially rules out any other fest appearances earlier in the month. Sorry, Toronto!

    It’s not the first time that director David Fincher has picked NYFF for his film debuts over other fests on the fall calendar. He and the fest have history! In 2010, many expected “The Social Network” to be also be a major presence on the festival circuit, but the Academy Award-winning film

    Read More »from Sorry, Toronto: 'Gone Girl' probably won't screen at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival
  • Lucasfilm

    We’ve all been suckered into seeing a bad movie by a good trailer at some point in our life. Whether a film is award-worthy or awful, savvy movie editors and marketers will do their best to sell audiences on a movie in the two-and-a-half minutes they are given. If that means crafting a slightly misleading trailer that makes a “Wild Hogs” look like "Casablanca" then so be it. Movies are big business and marketing is a huge part of it.

    Of course, it's hard not to feel disappointed when the actual film doesn't live up to the hype its trailer generated. Here are five movies that had amazing trailers but ended up being not so great.

    Read More »from When great trailers happen to bad movies
  • Carey Lowell and Timothy Dalton in "License to Kill." (MGM)

    In the annals of James Bond’s storied big screen history, the Timothy Dalton years are often looked back on with scorn.

    Of Dalton’s two outings as 007 (1987’s “The Living Daylights” and 1989’s “License to Kill”), only "The Living Daylights" received any notable critical praise -- but neither film was a major hit. With ticket prices adjusted for inflation, the two films are among the worst-performing Bond movies of all time. It’s no surprise, then, that the Welsh actor’s tenure as Bond was brief. In 1994, Pierce Brosnan officially replaced Dalton as 007, debuting the following year in “GoldenEye.”

    But was Dalton really so bad as Bond?

    As “License to Kill” turns 25 this week, we look at how bad timing and poor decision-making conspired against Dalton, resulting in the 007 actor getting the short end of the martini stir stick.

    Third choice

    Sam Neill and Pierce Brosnan were both contenders for Bond over Dalton. (Getty Images)Sam Neill and Pierce Brosnan were both contenders for Bond over Dalton. (Getty Images)

    Dalton’s troubled time as James Bond began before he’d even been cast in the role. After the failure of 1985’s “View to a Kill,” then-Bond portrayer

    Read More »from 'License to Kill' turns 25: Why Timothy Dalton wasn’t the worst James Bond ever
  • 20th Century Fox

    “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” was No. 1 at the box office, with an estimated $73 million haul -- making it the first sequel to a remake of 2014 to earn both serious critical praise and major financial success. The post-apocalyptic action film, starring Gary Oldman, Keri Russell, Jason Clarke, and Andy Serkis, certainly isn’t the first sequel to a remake to ever find audience, nor will it be the last, if the Hollywood trend of rebooting every franchise in sight continues.

    Sequels to remakes aren’t a new phenomenon by any means. As long as Hollywood has been remaking movies, they’ve also been following up those remakes with sequels.

    One of the first high profile remake sequels was 1989’s “The Fly II” (or, as it should have been titled, "How to Ruin a Perfectly Good Jeff Goldblum Movie by Adding Eric Stoltz"), an inferior and much-maligned follow-up to director David Cronenberg’s critically-acclaimed 1986 remake of the 1958 horror classic.

    In the late 1990s and early 2000s, sequels to

    Read More »from Which rebooted movie franchises have lasted the longest?
  • For most of Hollywood's history, movie aliens and other creatures who arrived on Earth in flying saucers were always something to be feared. Films like "The Thing From Another World," "Invasion of the Body Snatchers," and "Alien" centred on dangerous extraterrestrials with little love for humanity.

    Steven Spielberg was one of the first filmmakers to try to change that perception -- first, with 1977's "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" and its benevolent, music-loving beings from outer space, and then again in 1982 with the sci-fi family adventure "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial," starring the most lovable squashy guy from another solar system ever to grace the silver screen.

    But what if Spielberg had followed the Hollywood rule that all aliens are bad? What if "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial" were actually a horror movie? Well, it might look something like the fake trailer above.

    Read More »from VIDEO: What if ‘E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial’ were a horror movie?
  • The original cast of "Alien" appear as video game characters in "Alien: Isolation." (Sega)

    It’s been more than 35 years since Ridley Scott’s sci-fi horror classic “Alien” first hit theatres -- and in that time, the film's cast has aged accordingly. But you wouldn’t know that by looking at the new trailer for the upcoming video game “Alien: Isolation.”

    The survival horror game will include a "Nostromo" add-on, due out this fall, and the original "Alien" cast have all returned for the ride. In the trailer for the game, stars Sigourney Weaver, Tom Skerritt, Harry Dean Stanton, Yaphet Kotto, and Veronica Cartwright look just as they appeared when the film first terrorized audiences in May 1979.

    All five actors are lending their voices and likenesses to an “Alien: Isolation” bonus mission, which allows players to experience the events of the film from the perspective of Ellen Ripley and her crew mates. No word on whether actor Ian Holm (who played the villainous android Ash) will be providing his voice as well.

    “Alien: Isolation” acts as a direct sequel to “Alien,” and the added

    Read More »from The original cast of ‘Alien’ reunites for the video game ‘Alien: Isolation’


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