Provocative concept propels superb ‘FlashForward’

From its unsettling opening image to its startling final shot, FlashForward could be the best network movie you'll see this year. Now let's hope it's an equally good series.

Created by David Goyer (Batman Begins) and Brannon Braga (TV's Star Trek revival),FlashForward has the season's most intriguing high concept: The entire world blacks out at the same time and gets a glimpse of their lives six months into the future. And it sells that concept from the very first scene, as FBI agent Mark Benford (Joseph Fiennes, staking a strong claim in TV's wounded romantic-hero territory) crawls out of an upside-down car, with scenes of destruction all around — which is what happens when people in moving vehicles pass out behind the controls.

READ ARTICLE AT USA TODAY

How Felicia Day Recruited Millions for Her Web Series ‘The Guild’

Felicia Day’s stardom wasn’t handed down to her from on high by Hollywood. She’s guest-starred onBuffy the Vampire Slayer and House, but most of her legions of fans still know her because of a show she wrote and produced herself that doesn’t air on any network.

Now in its third season, The Guild — Day’s microbudget comedic web series about a group of online gamers — enjoys financing from Microsoft as well as cushy placement on the Xbox 360 dashboard. But fans are still discovering Day and her nerdy ways online.

After landing a plum role in Joss Whedon’s Emmy-winning web series Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog last year, Day’s got a bona fide viral hit on her hands this year, thanks to a funny promo video for Season 3 ofThe Guild.

READ ARTICLE AT WIRED

mSpot streaming Hollywood movies to mobile phones

 

US mobile entertainment company mSpot on Tuesday began offering full-length movies for streaming to mobile phones.

The Palo Alto, California-based mSpot said it has agreements with Paramount, Universal and Weinstein Co. studios to bring movies to the tiny screen.

The company said more than 300 movies are currently available at m.mSpot.com including new releases such as "The Reader," "The Soloist" and "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" and it expects to have thousands by year's end.

MSpot said Mobile Movies, which is currently only available in the United States, works with four US carriers and with more than 30 different mobile phones including the Apple iPhone, the Blackberry and Android devices.

Movies from mSpot are streamed directly to the viewer's device on demand and begin playing immediately. They can be stopped and started on command.

Apple's iTunes also offers movies for the iPhone or iPod Touch but they need to be downloaded to a computer first and then synched with the mobile device.

A single full-length movie from mSpot costs 4.99 dollars and can be purchased with a credit card. The company also offers a Movie Club membership.

MSpot recommends that Mobile Movie users have an unlimited data plan with their phone carrier.

The five-year-old mSpot also delivers music and other entertainment to mobile customers.

INTERVIEW: Actor John Krasinki on directing ‘Brief Interviews with Hideous Man’

Writer, director and actor John Krasinski isn't knocking himself out trying to be cool about the debut of his film Brief Interviews with Hideous Men (which Scott Weinbergreviewed here) in the Dramatic Competition at Sundance: " Being at Sundance, I think, is the greatest honor I could ever have for this movie, truly. Sundance has always been -- before I got the show (The Office), before I came to Sundance -- it's always been to me, that place where film making is done for film lovers. There's a feeling here that people appreciate taking chances and doing bold things, and I think my cast and crew took big chances. ..." Krasinski spoke with Cinematical in Park City about adapting a seemingly unadaptable book, his respect for the late David Foster Wallace, casting Julianne Nicholson (Flannel Pyjamas) as the woman facing an army of Hideous Men, and much more. 

LISTEN TO THE INTERVIEW

Robert Redford recalls the Sundance Kid

In hindsight, the match is perfect: The Western outlaw role that made Robert Redford a star becoming the name of the group Redford founded to foster maverick voices in the arts.

In reality, the seemingly predestined path from "The Sundance Kid" to everything that now bears the Sundance name -- the ski resort, the institute, the film festival, the cable channel and the catalog store -- was a combination of luck, timing and happenstance.

The premiere of "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" was 40 years ago this week, on Sept. 23, 1969 (the movie hit theaters nationwide a month later). But, as Redford said this week in an interview with The Salt Lake Tribune , his career-defining role nearly didn't happen at all.

READ ARTICLE AT SALT LAKE TRIBUNE

‘Chinatown’ writer inspired by memories of L.A.

A couple of powerful flashbacks to the Los Angeles of his childhood persuaded Robert Towne to write "Chinatown."

One flashback came during a walk along the ocean in the early 1970s, when the quality of the light, the sea air and the smell of eucalyptus sent him into a reverie. "I remember thinking, 'I'm 11 years old again,' " Towne says, on the phone from his Los Angeles home to talk about the 35th anniversary of "Chinatown."

The other transporting moment was prompted by a newspaper article that focused on the 1930s and '40s Los Angeles of crime novelist Raymond Chandler and included photos of a period convertible at historic buildings.

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/09/24/MVCU19RDM6.DTL#ixzz0SS6T3DSE

The life and times of movie director Roman Polanski

With the recent death of Susan Atkins, one of the Manson family murderers responsible for the brutal death of Roman Polanski's wife Sharon Tate, the movie director's name has once again cropped up in the media.

Roman Polanski has lived through a striking collection of bizarre, triumphant and tragic events, his calamity rivaling some of the darkest horrors he has depicted on screen.

Here's a look at the highlights of the filmmaker's history of accomplishment and affliction.

READ ARTICLE AT YAHOO

INTERVIEW: The writers of ‘Zombieland’ starring Woody Harrelson

The writers and exec producers of 'Zombieland', the new tongue in cheek zombie flick, sat down to chronicle the movie's progress from idea to completion of how this zombie apocalypse found its genesis.

READ THE INTERVIEW

Guerrilla filmmaking, Dominican style (with machetes)

It isn't easy making a movie in the Dominican Republic. When Michael Mann tried shooting part of "Miami Vice" there in 2005, a gunfight broke out near the film set, prompting costar Jamie Foxx to leave the country and forcing the film to relocate to Miami.

The filmmakers who made "La Soga," which recently earned several standing ovations at the Toronto International Film Festival, managed to finish their movie without anyone being killed, though they do have colorful stories, which include hiring a machete fighter to handle security. As "La Soga" director Josh Crook puts it: "Our motto when we wrapped each day was, 'We didn't die!' "

READ ARTICLE AT LA TIMES

New Movies in Theaters – Sept 25, 2009

SURROGATES

Director: Jonathan Mostow 
Stars: Bruce Willis, Radha Mitchell, Ving Rhames 
Studio: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

The Plot: Set in a futuristic world where humans live in isolation and interact through surrogate robots, a cop (Willis) is forced to leave his home for the first time in years in order to investigate cases of surrogate murder.

FAME

Director: Kevin Tancharoen 
Stars: Kelsey Grammer, Bebe Neuwirth, Megan Mullally 
Studio: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)

The Plot: A remake of the 1980s musical centered on the teachers and students at the prestigious New York City High School of Performing Arts.

PANDORUM

Director: Christian Alvart 
Stars: Dennis Quaid, Ben Foster, Cam Gigandet 
Studio: Overture Films

The Plot: A pair of crew members aboard a spaceship wake up with no knowledge of their mission or their identities.

COCO BEFORE CHANEL

Director: Anne Fontaine 
Stars: Audrey Tautou, Benoît Poelvoorde, Alessandro Nivola 
Studio: Sony Pictures Classics

The Plot: The story of Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel (Tautou) and her rise from obscure beginnings to the heights of the fashion world.

BRIEF INTERVIEWS WITH HIDEOUS MAN

Director: John Krasinski 
Stars: Julianne Nicholson 
Studio: IFC Films

The Plot: Grad student Sara Quinn (Nicholson) holds as series of conversations with an array of men, motivated by her desire to understand the male psyche and apply her new-found knowledge to a recent break-up.

ASTRO BOY

Director: David Bowers 
Stars: Freddie Highmore, Nicolas Cage, Kristen Bell 
Studio: Summit Entertainment

The Plot: Set in futuristic Metro City, Astro Boy (voiced by Highmore) is about a young robot with incredible powers created by a brilliant scientist (voiced by Cage) in the image of the son he has lost. Unable to fulfill the grieving man's expectations, our hero embarks on a journey in search of acceptance, experiencing betrayal and a netherworld of robot gladiators, before he returns to save Metro City and reconcile with the father who had rejected him.


Powered by WP Robot