Tag Archives | film

40 Years of Jaws

Jaws

I’ve been posting about the 35th anniversary of The Shining over the last several weeks, but I thought it might be better to wait until it was officially summertime to post about the 40th anniversary of Jaws. The summer movie as we know it today didn’t exist until Jaws devoured box offices all summer long in 1975. Along with Star Wars‘ release in 1977, the pair of films changed the entire calendar of film releasing, creating the template for the modern blockbuster and put an end to the New Hollywood movement that made both of the movies possible in the first place.

Besides the game-changing industry impact of Jaws, the story of the making of the film was nearly as treacherous, desperate and paranoia-inducing as the plot of the film. From shooting on the open ocean, to doubts about the inexperienced director, Steven Spielberg, to the malfunctioning mechanical monster, it’s a wonder the movie ever made it to the screen.… Read the rest

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Piracy on the High Sees: The Devaluation of Content

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Let me open with the fact that when it comes to content (audio, video, games, photographs), I am extremely ANTI-PIRACY. I’ll debate with anyone who wants to take up the argument that content should be free. And… if you think the title of this article has a typo, you are wrong. You see, I am in the film distribution business, and I am going to steer this rambling toward 1) film and 2) until you see my point. I want to ‘sees’ the moment. OK… OK… seize it. I’ll stop with the bad puns as I am sure you see my point.

“You should come over one night,” said the man in the nice blue (and somewhat expensive looking) sweatshirt. “I have about 300 films I’ve downloaded.”

He laughed and then told me he hadn’t paid for even one… that he has some back channel way of getting them from a site that grabs them off of cable VOD services.… Read the rest

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Joss Whedon, Lionsgate Targeted in $10 Million ‘Cabin in the Woods’ Lawsuit

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I think the authors and filmmakers of Battle Royale have more grounds to sue Suzanne Collins for The Hunger Games franchise than this guy has suing Joss Whedon and co.

Tim Kenneally via Yahoo News:

Joss Whedon and Lionsgate have been slapped with a $10 million lawsuit by a writer who claims that the 2012 film The Cabin in the Woods was ripped straight from the pages of his book.

Gallagher claims that he published The Little White Trip: A Night in the Pines in 2006 and registered the book with the Writers Guild of America the following year. According to the lawsuit, Gallagher published two runs of the book totaling 7,500 copies and hawked them in areas including Santa Monica, Calif., the Venice Beach boardwalk and the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

The similarities between Gallagher’s book and the film are myriad, the suit claims.

“Comparing the Book to the Film, the plots, stories, characters, sequence of events, themes, dialogue, and incidents portrayed in the two works are fictional and, in many respects, the elements in the two works are virtually identical,” the complaint claims.

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Sympathy for the Robot

Johnny 5 and CHAPPiE: Heralds of the End Times or cute widdle wobots?

Cute widdle wobots or heralds of human extinction?

[Editor’s Note: This article may contain spoilers.]

Most of the time, I couldn’t care less about a computer’s feelings. I distrust them, frequently cuss at them, and occasionally smash them to pieces. Pretty callous, right?

You’d think a colorful robot on the silver screen would tug at my heartstrings, but no, not really. They usually make me uneasy. I didn’t bat an eye when C-3PO got blasted apart in The Empire Strikes Back. As a kid I thought The Terminator was super-cool, but seriously, it wasn’t a big deal to see half of his face crunched off—he’s tough, he can take it, he’s just a machine!

Things were different with Neill Blomkamp’s CHAPPiE.

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Can a documentary move a social issue agenda forward?

As a member of the film distribution community, most notably relating to documentaries, I have watched more than my fair share of non-fiction films, and studied over years the release patterning of even more. One thing I have learned is that there are no shortage of topics to choose from when it comes to a filmmaker selecting a theme to focus on. From a tour that guides you through Hermitage Masterpieces to a biography of Aleister Crowley (In Search of the Great Beast), films are created and released on a broad spectrum of non-fiction subjects. That was the case in 1984 when I first entered the industry, and that is the case now… 31 years later.

One area that I have seen great expansion is that of films addressing a social or political issue with the agenda of raising awareness or causing viewer perspectives to sway in one direction or another.… Read the rest

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First and Final Frames


First and Final Frames from Jacob T. Swinney on Vimeo.

What can we learn by examining only the first and final shot of a film? This video plays the opening and closing shots of 55 films side-by-side. Some of the opening shots are strikingly similar to the final shots, while others are vastly different–both serving a purpose in communicating various themes. Some show progress, some show decline, and some are simply impactful images used to begin and end a film.

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