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The Best Films of 2018

  • Variety
Variety chief film critics — and cinema omnivores — Owen Gleiberman and Peter Debruge spend the year devouring everything from superhero movies to subtitled festival gems, which leaves a wealth of exceptional films to savor at year’s end. While “A Star Is Born” scored high with both critics, and “Eighth Grade” and “The Rider” each make the cut (the latter topped Debruge’s 2017 list), their taste otherwise ran in different directions. Click through to read the reasoning behind each of the critics’ selections.

Peter Debruge’s Top 10 Films of 2018 | Read more

1. “Blindspotting”

2. “A Star Is Born

3. “Shoplifters

4. “The Hate U Give

5. “Eighth Grade

6. “Museo

7. “Life and Nothing More”

8. “Mission: Impossible – Fallout”

9. “Burning”

10. “In Syria”

Owen Gleiberman’s Top 10 Films of 2018 | Read more

1. “A Star Is Born

2. “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”

3. “The Rider

4. “Green Book

5. “Chappaquiddick

6. “Red Sparrow

7. “If Beale Street Could Talk”

8. “First Man

9. “Wild, Wild Country”

10. “Eighth Grade
See full article at Variety »

Owen Gleiberman’s 10 Best Films of 2018

  • Variety
Owen Gleiberman’s 10 Best Films of 2018
1. “A Star Is Born

The beauty of Bradley Cooper’s romantic drama is that it finds a way to re-imagine old-school Hollywood classicism as something contemporary yet timeless. The soap-opera beats are all in place, and they pay off with all the grandeur you hope for, but as directed by Cooper with a slow-burn voyeuristic spaciousness, “A Star Is Born” is like something from the ’70s — not just a melodramatic weeper but a journey. Lady Gaga, in her captivating movie-star debut, plays the beguiling songstress Ally — innocent, spirited, calculating, loving — as someone who echoes Gaga herself while remaining her own mystery creation. (Does Ally hold onto herself as an artist or become part of the machine? The answer is both.) And Cooper, in a performance of broken-down shaggy power, creates the most lived-in hellbent movie rock star in a generation. Their acting meshes so intimately that the entire movie feels like a dance.
See full article at Variety »

Jeremy Renner’s Animated Movie ‘Arctic Dogs’ Acquired by Entertainment Studios for 2019 Release

  • The Wrap
Jeremy Renner’s Animated Movie ‘Arctic Dogs’ Acquired by Entertainment Studios for 2019 Release
Byron Allen’s theatrical arm Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures acquired the U.S. rights to animated feature “Arctic Dogs,” the company announced Monday.

The film, previously titled “Arctic Justice,” was picked up by Entertainment Studios at the American Film Market and will be scheduled for wide theatrical release on over 3,500 screens in 2019.

“Arctic Dogs” was written by Cal Brunker and Bob Barlen. It was was produced by Monika Bacardi and Andrea Iervolino, and executive produced by Byron Allen, Jennifer Lucas, Carolyn Folks, A.K. Madhavan, Danielle Maloni, and Francesca Silvani. Giovanni Cova is co-executive producer.

Also Read: Mark Borde Exits as Movie President of Byron Allen's Entertainment Studios

“Arctic Dogs” tells the story of Swifty the Arctic fox (Jeremy Renner), who stumbles upon a dark scheme to melt the Arctic. Swifty decides he must team up with his ragtag group of friends to try and save the day. The film also
See full article at The Wrap »

Variety’s 10 Screenwriters to Watch Returns to Whistler Film Festival

The Whistler Film Festival (November 28 — December 2) is hosting the industry’s top screenwriters at highly anticipated 7th consecutive event in Whistler.

This year’s honoured screenwriters will share their personal stories and challenges related to succeeding in today’s film industry at an afternoon conversation on December 1 as part of Wff’s Signature Series as well as receive their coveted award at Wff’s Awards Celebration on December 2.

Hosted by Canadian broadcast veteran George Stroumboulopoulos, festival goers will join this prestigious class of film scribes as they discuss tips and tricks for navigating the film landscape in 2018. The group will also share a behind the scenes look at their current and future projects during this intimate conversation.

Variety’s class of 2018 screenwriters and notable credits include:

Joe Robert Cole, Black PantherBryan Woods and Scott Beck, A Quiet PlaceAshleigh Powell, The Nutcracker And The Four RealmsJay Longino, Uncle DrewElizabeth Chomko, What They HadSofia Alvarez,
See full article at SydneysBuzz »

Byron Allen Interested In Buying Tribune Media: Report

  • Deadline
Entertainment Studios boss Byron Allen is seriously interested in buying Tribune Media, The New York Post reports.

Allen shelled out $300 million for the Weather Channel in April, and he’ll be up against three other bidders for Tribune. It’s the company’s second go-round on the auction block.

The FCC blocked Tribune’s sale to Sinclair Broadcasting three months ago in what was to be a $3.9 billion deal. The market cap for Tribune, which includes New York-based Wpix-tv and Chicago’s Wgn, is at $3.4 billion.

Tom Hicks Jr., the head of private equity firm Hicks Equity Partners, and head of America First, a super Pac connected with President Trump, has submitted a joint bid for Tribune with Cerberus Capital. The Post reports that Allen’s rival bid has backing from Citigroup and Goldman Sachs.

Also vying for Tribune Media is Nexstar Media Group and Leon Black’s Apollo Global Management.
See full article at Deadline »

Producer-Manager Chris Cowles Joins Alldayeveryday

  • Deadline
Chris Cowles, formerly an executive at Dmg Entertainment whose producing credits include 2017’s Blockers and Chappaquiddick, has joined Alldayeveryday, the production company now expanding its auspices into scripted entertainment.

Cowles will be based in Los Angeles and become an Alldayeveryday partner alongside John Kaplan, Arrow Kruse, Michael Karbelnikoff, working with them and executive producer Peter Kline across the company’s entertainment slate. He brings with him a management roster of writer-directors clients including Patrick Aison, F. Scott Frazier, Chris Borrelli, Taylor Allen & Andrew Logan (Chappaquiddick), Justin Malen, and Ryan O’Nan.

Before Dmg, he worked in production for Judd Apatow and Scott Rudin among others.

“Over the years, Allday has been defined by passionate directors and creative collaborators who lead with a strong artistic point-of-view,” said Kaplan, Allday’s president.
See full article at Deadline »

Saban Films announces deal on thriller 'American Dreamer'

Xyz Films represented filmmakers in deal.

Saban Films announced at Afm on Monday (5) it has acquired North American rights to London Town and The Joneses director Derrick Borte’s thriller American Dreamer starring comedian and actor Jim Gaffigan from Chappaquiddick.

Gaffigan makes his debut as a leading man in the story about a down-on-his-luck ride share driver who makes cash on the side chauffeuring a low-level drug dealer around town. When he finds himself in financial dire straits, the driver kidnaps the dealer’s child.

American Dreamer premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival and also stars Robbie Jones, Isabel Arraiza,
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Mark Borde Exits as Movie President of Byron Allen’s Entertainment Studios

  • The Wrap
Mark Borde Exits as Movie President of Byron Allen’s Entertainment Studios
Mark Borde, president of the theatrical motion picture distribution unit at Byron Allen’s Entertainment Studios, is leaving the company after three years in the position, the company announced Monday.

In 2015, Borde sold his Freestyle Releasing to Allen, who then formed Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures. Borde was an executive producer behind Entertainment Studios’ “47 Meters Down,” Christian Bale’s “Hostiles” and the Ted Kennedy thriller “Chappaquiddick.”

Back in October, TheWrap reported that Entertainment Studios was “aggressively” pursuing mergers after launching an international sales and distribution division and raising $500 million in credit facilities. The company said the money raised would be used for general business purposes: productions, co-productions and acquisitions.

Also Read: Mel Gibson's 'Boss Level' Lands at Byron Allen's Entertainment Studios

Borde has been a part of the independent movie business as a distributor, a film producer, a theater owner, and is a voting member of the Academy.
See full article at The Wrap »

Now Stream This: ‘Chappaquiddick’, ‘Strangers: Prey at Night’, ‘Apostle’, ‘Rope’, ‘Rbg’, ‘Dead Man’ and More

(Welcome to Now Stream This, a column dedicated to the best movies streaming on Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and every other streaming service out there.) It’s that time again! I’ve gathered some not-so-obvious streaming options for you to enjoy this upcoming weekend, and beyond, because I’m just that kind of person. When I put together Now Stream […]

The post Now Stream This: ‘Chappaquiddick’, ‘Strangers: Prey at Night’, ‘Apostle’, ‘Rope’, ‘Rbg’, ‘Dead Man’ and More appeared first on /Film.
See full article at Slash Film »

Anya Taylor-Joy, Meghan Trainor, Adam Lambert & Daniel Radcliffe Among Voice Cast For ‘Playmobil: The Movie’

  • Deadline
Anya Taylor-Joy, Meghan Trainor, Adam Lambert & Daniel Radcliffe Among Voice Cast For ‘Playmobil: The Movie’
Exclusive: Anya Taylor-Joy (The Witch), Gabriel Bateman (Lights Out), Daniel Radcliffe, comic-turned-actor Jim Gaffigan (Chappaquiddick) and singers Meghan Trainor and Adam Lambert lead the voice cast for family pic Playmobil: The Movie.

Trainor and Lambert will also sing original songs for the film.

The animation-live action hybrid movie, based on the popular kids toy line, is due out next year. The film will follow the adventures of siblings Charlie (Bateman) and Marla (Taylor-Joy). When the former unexpectedly disappears into the animated universe of Playmobil, Marla must go on a quest to bring him home. During her adventures she teams up with some unlikely new friends, including smooth-talking food truck driver Del (Gaffigan), dashing and charismatic secret agent Rex Dasher (Radcliffe), a wholehearted misfit robot and an extravagant fairy-godmother (Trainor). Lambert will voice the character of villain Emperor Maximus.

Director and story creator is Disney veteran Lino Disalvo, who served as
See full article at Deadline »

Laff 2018 Review: American Dreamer

  • DailyDead
Whenever a comedian takes on a dramatic role, critics and audiences alike react one of two ways: they either reject the performance outright for being anything but what the comic is famous for being, or they celebrate it like they’ve just seen a bear doing a card trick. Bill Murray’s turn in The Razor’s Edge? Rejected. Jim Carrey’s performance in The Truman Show? Bear doing a card trick. Comedians are so boxed in to being funny that we either won’t let them out of the box or we fall all over ourselves when they demonstrate the ability to do more than one thing.

Comedian Jim Gaffigan has had dramatic roles before, as recently as Chappaquiddick earlier this year. But he’s never had a dramatic role as substantial or as unbelievably dark as in American Dreamer, the latest film from director Derrick Borte (The Joneses
See full article at DailyDead »

Bruce Dern Replaces Burt Reynolds in Tarantino’s ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’

  • Variety
Bruce Dern Replaces Burt Reynolds in Tarantino’s ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’
Quentin Tarantino has found a legendary replacement for the late Burt Reynolds in his Hollywood-centric new film.

Veteran screen star Bruce Dern will step in for Reynolds in “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” an impossibly starry ensemble tale about an actor and his stunt double navigating a changing Hollywood as the Manson family terrorizes Los Angeles. It’s set to hit theaters on July 26, 2019.

Reynolds was expected to play George Spahn, a canyon ranch owner who rented his land spread to Charles Manson and his followers. Many historical accounts said the ranch served as a headquarters of sorts, and was the site of Manson’s indoctrination for the wayward young people he convinced to do his bidding.

Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt play the actor and stunt man, respectively. The film marks Tarantino’s first ever major studio effort after a long relationship with disgraced mogul Harvey Weinstein.

The
See full article at Variety »

Bruce Dern Replaces His Friend Burt Reynolds In Quentin Tarantino’s ‘Once Upon A Time In Hollywood’

  • Deadline
Bruce Dern Replaces His Friend Burt Reynolds In Quentin Tarantino’s ‘Once Upon A Time In Hollywood’
Exclusive: Quentin Tarantino is setting Bruce Dern to play George Spahn in Once Upon a Time In Hollywood. That was the role that Dern’s longtime friend Burt Reynolds was going to play but was unable to shoot before he died on September 6.

Dern, who played the most pissed-off man in the world as former Confederate general Sanford Smithers in Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight, will join a stellar cast that includes Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, Al Pacino, Kurt Russell, Dakota Fanning, James Mardsen, Michael Madsen, Tim Roth, Timothy Olyphant, Damian Lewis, Lena Dunham, Emile Hirsch, Luke Perry, Scoot McNairy and James Remar. The film is a Pulp Fiction-esque tapestry of stories in an around Los Angeles in the summer of 1969, when Charles Manson and his followers massacred Sharon Tate and others. The film will be released July 26 by Sony Pictures. David Heyman is producing with Shannon McIntosh and Tarantino.
See full article at Deadline »

‘American Dreamer’ L.A. Film Festival Clip: Don’t Make Jim Gaffigan Pull This Car Over

  • Deadline
‘American Dreamer’ L.A. Film Festival Clip: Don’t Make Jim Gaffigan Pull This Car Over
Exclusive: Here’s the first look at American Dreamer, the new thriller directed by London Town helmer Derrick Borte and starring Jim Gaffigan. The pic from Storyland Pictures is having its world premiere Thursday at the Los Angeles Film Festival.

Gaffigan, who made his bones as a stand-up comic, takes another jump into more dramatic fare. In this movie (and especially in this exclusive clip — don’t turn it up too loud at work) you almost can’t tell that’s Gaffigan playing Cam, a down-on-his-luck rideshare driver who makes extra cash chauffeuring a low-level drug dealer around town. He finds himself in a serious financial bind and, amid growing desperation, decides to kidnap the dealer’s child.

Robbie Jones, Tammy Blanchard, Alejenadro Hernandez, Eric Hill Jr and Isabel Arraiza co-star.

Borte
See full article at Deadline »

Bruce Dern on ‘White Boy Rick,’ the Secret of Acting and Trying Always to Be Fair

  • Variety
Bruce Dern on ‘White Boy Rick,’ the Secret of Acting and Trying Always to Be Fair
Bruce Dern is celebrating 60 years as an actor, having made his Broadway debut in the 1958 “Shadow of a Gunman” while studying with Lee Strasberg and Elia Kazan. This year, his film work includes playing two real-life characters: Joseph Kennedy in “Chappaquiddick” and Roman Wershe in Studio 8’s “White Boy Rick.” The latter film, about a 14-year-old who was arrested in 1980s Detroit, opens Sept. 14.

What drew you to “White Boy Rick”?

It’s real. I play the grandfather of the young boy, Rick Wershe Jr. He had to take a package across town and police busted him. He was just released this year after 29 years. He was 14 [when he was imprisoned], so to lighten his sentence, they made him an informer. Wershe was in the wrong place at the wrong time. The movie shows that “It ain’t fair.” My whole life is about trying to be fair. My aunt married Herbert F.
See full article at Variety »

Byron Allen’s Entertainment Studios Secures $500 Million Credit Facility

  • Variety
Byron Allen’s Entertainment Studios Secures $500 Million Credit Facility
Byron Allen’s Entertainment Studios has secured a $500 million credit facility.

The independent film and television studio said it will use the money to make shows and movies, and will also rely on it to potentially acquire other companies. Entertainment Studios has been active on the acquisitions front. In March, it bought the Weather Channel in a deal valued at $300 million. It has also nabbed the rights to several films at various markets and festivals, including “Replicas,” “Hostiles,” and “Chappaquiddick.” The company said it has 41 television shows on the air. They include a mixture of genres, from court shows such as “The Verdict with Judge Hatchett” to sitcoms such as “The First Family.”

Allen is a comedian, producer, and mogul, who has made no secret of his ambitions to turn Entertainment Studios into a Hollywood powerhouse. The credit facilities he plans to use to accomplish those goals were organized by Deutsche Bank Securities,
See full article at Variety »

‘The Sisters Brothers,’ ‘Operation Finale,’ ‘Galveston’ to Play at Deauville Film Festival

  • Variety
‘The Sisters Brothers,’ ‘Operation Finale,’ ‘Galveston’ to Play at Deauville Film Festival
Jacques Audiard’s anticipated “The Sisters Brothers,” Melanie Laurent’s “Galveston” and Sahar Jessica Parker starrer “Blue Night” are among the 63 films set to play at the 44th edition of Deauville American Film Festival.

Running Aug.31 to Sept.9, the festival will wrap with Chris Weitz’s “Operation Finale” with Oscar Isaac an Sir Ben Kingsley who will both attend the screening.

Audiard, the Palme d’Or winning director of “Dheepan” and “A Prophet,” will attend the festival with “The Sisters Brothers” stars Joaquin Phoenix and John C. Reilly ahead of the film’s North American premiere at Toronto. Audiard will receive an honorary award which Deauville’s artistic director Bruno Barde said was created for the helmer.

Barde said “The Sisters Brothers” was an instant classic in the veins of Michael Cimino’s masterpiece “Heaven’s Gate.” The artistic director also pointed out Audiard was one of the four French
See full article at Variety »

Jacki Weaver Heads Cast of Stan Original Series ‘Bloom’

  • Variety
Jacki Weaver Heads Cast of Stan Original Series ‘Bloom’
Australia’s two-time Oscar-nominated actress Jacki Weaver heads the cast of sci-fi series “Bloom.” An original commission for Australian streaming platform Stan, the six-part series is produced by Sony Pictures Television’s Playmaker.

The story takes place a year after a devastating flood has killed five locals in an idyllic country town, and when a mysterious new plant appears. The plant’s phenomenal ability to restore youth is so formidable that attempting to harness it means re-evaluating values. It is a miracle some will kill to keep secret.

With finance from Stan and federal funding body Screen Australia, production is now under way in Victoria state. Sony Pictures Television will distribute outside Australia.

The series is created by Glen Dolman. Production is by Sue Seeary and shot by Aacta-winning cinematographer Geoff Hall. The series is directed by John Curran and Mat King.

The lead cast includes Bryan Brown, Phoebe Tonkin,
See full article at Variety »

‘47 Meters Down: The Next Chapter’ Teaser Trailer: More Sharks and Screams Are on the Way in 2019 — Watch

In no coincidence whatsoever, hours before Warner Bros. began screening “The Meg” nationwide, Entertainment Studios dropped the teaser trailer Thursday for its own shark film. “47 Meters Down: The Next Chapter” is the sequel to “47 Meters Down,” last year’s second-highest grossing indie ($44 million domestic). The follow-up, once again from British director Johannes Roberts, was greenlit in October, with the working title “48 Meters Down.”

47 Meters Down” starred Mandy Moore and was released three months before the premiere of her hit NBC series “This Is Us.” She and Claire Holt (“The Vampire Diaries”) played sisters vacationing in Mexico who encounter multiple sharks while scuba diving; only the former survived. “We’d never really seen a shark movie do poorly, so I felt good about it,” Entertainment Studios founder, owner, chairman, and CEO Byron Allen told IndieWire in 2017, when asked about the film that put him in the distribution business.
See full article at Indiewire »

11 Great Female Cinematographers Who Subvert the Male Gaze

This summer, New York is playing home to one of the biggest film events of the season: the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s packed 36-film retrospective featuring the work of 23 women cinematographers. Keying off Rachel Morrison’s first-ever Oscar nomination for a female cinematographer, the series serves the dual purposes of celebrating the incredible work of the pioneering artists who broke into the male-dominated field, as well of re-examining Laura Mulvey’s seminal essay about the male gaze by asking if there is such a thing as the “The Female Gaze?”

In the spirit of the series, IndieWire, with the help of some of our subjects’ closest collaborators and fiercest admirers, took a deeper look at 11 of the DPs featured in the series to discover what makes their work so great.

Maryse Alberti

Key Films: “The Golden Boat,” “Poison,” “Crumb,” “Happiness,” “Velvet Goldmine,” “The Wrestler,” “Creed,” “Chappaquiddick.”

When someone
See full article at Indiewire »
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