THIS IS IT
Director: Kenny Ortega
Stars: Michael Jackson
Studio: Sony Pictures Releasing
The Plot: A compilation of interviews, rehearsals and backstage footage of Michael Jackson as he prepared for his series of sold-out shows in London.
Director: Jared Hess
Stars: Michael Angarano, Jemaine Clement, Mike White
Studio: Fox Searchlight Pictures
The Plot: Soon after his latest work is published, science-fiction author Ronald Chevalier (Clement) faces charges of plagiarism from aspiring teenage writer Benjamin Purvis (Angarano).
THE BOONDOCK SAINTS 2: ALL SAINTS DAY
Director: Troy Duffy
Stars: Sean Patrick Flanery, Norman Reedus, Billy Connolly
The Plot: The MacManus brothers, who are living a quiet life on the family farm in Ireland, return to Boston to exact their unique form of revenge on the mob forces who have framed the brothers for the murder of a local priest.
THE HOUSE OF THE DEVIL
Director: Ti West
Stars: Jocelin Donahue, Tom Noonan, Mary Woronov
Studio: Magnet Releasing
The Plot: A broke college student (Donahue) is lured to a Victorian mansion deep in the woods for what she thinks is a lucrative babysitting job, though she soon realizes her creepy clients have nightmarish plans for her.
Few people know Hollywood better than Jeffrey Katzenberg, the onetime wunderkind who by the time he was in his thirties had already been an executive at Paramount Pictures and was running the motion picture studio at Walt Disney. After a much publicized falling out with then-Disney CEO Michael Eisner and a subsequent court settlement that made him a very wealthy man, Katzenberg started DreamWorks SKG with Steven Spielberg and David Geffen. DreamWorks Animation was spun off from its parent in a 2004 IPO, and Katzenberg became CEO. On Oct. 27, after DreamWorks Animation reported earnings—beating Street estimates for the fourteenth out of the past 15 quarters—I talked with the man who, from The Little Mermaid to Shrek, has been behind some of the most acclaimed children's movies in history.
I think a real seismic shift is occurring. Anytime you're in the center of these shifts, it's maybe not the wisest thing to try and be predictive of where it all is going.
Variety recently conducted an online poll among several hundred location managers, unit production managers, cinematographers, directors and assistant directors asking them to rate their favorite locations according to visual appeal, incentives, film-office support, production resources, and ability to substitute for another location.
The top five North American locations and the top five international locations, ranked here by overall excellence, are regions or cities that scored high on most or all of the criteria. Following these top 10 locations is a list of places cited by the polled pros for excelling in specific categories.
"This Is it," Michael Jackson told his fans in London, announcing his forthcoming concert tour. "This is the final curtain call." The curtain fell sooner than expected. What is left is this extraordinary documentary, nothing at all like what I was expecting to see. Here is not a sick and drugged man forcing himself through grueling rehearsals, but a spirit embodied by music. Michael Jackson was something else.
The film has been assembled from rehearsals from April through June 2009 for a concert tour scheduled for this summer. The footage was "captured by a few cameras," an opening screen tells us, but they were professional high-def cameras and the sound track is full-range stereo. The result is one of the most revealing music documentaries I've seen.
Jigsaw, step aside. “The Shining” featuring Jack Nicholson as an axe-wielding psycho has topped a list of the scariest horror movies of all time. With Halloween just days away, the writers at film website Totalscifionline.com compiled a list of the 100 greatest horror movies.
“Nearly 30 years after its initial release, The Shining remains an unparalled study in isolation, madness and paranoia,” said Matt McAllister, editor of Totalscifionline.com. “The expansive sets, surreal visuals, and an intense performance from Jack Nicholson add up to a film guaranteed to give viewers a sleepless night.”
The triumph of “Paranormal Activity” over “Saw VI” at the box office last weekend suggests audiences may crave subtle, low-key spookiness over blood-and-guts mayhem. This has given confidence to Ti West, the director of “The House of the Devil,” which opens on Friday in time for Halloween. The movie adopts an old-school ’80s horror approach in its depiction of a broke college student (Jocelin Donahue) answering a babysitting ad that turns out to be a satanic ruse. The slow-burn pace, as the main character gradually realizes the danger, is in contrast to the frenzied market standard for scary movies.
West has had a bit of an uneasy time in Hollywood. In 2006, he was hired to direct a sequel to “Cabin Fever” for Lionsgate. But after West disagreed with the studio’s cut, he left the project and requested to have his name removed from the credits. Lionsgate chose to keep his name on the film, and since West isn’t a member of the Directors Guild of America, he can’t protest. “Cabin Fever 2? is playing at film festivals, and West has heard rumors it will come out on DVD in February (he’s not sure what sort of profits he stands to make from the release).
Everyone in Hollywood is abuzz over "Paranormal Activity." And why not? When it comes to favorite movie biz story lines, nothing makes industryites happier than seeing an arrogant big shot fail or an unknown underdog succeed. And you couldn't cast an underdog movie better than "Paranormal Activity," an intensely scary thriller that just won the weekend box office derby, making roughly $22 million and easily trouncing Lionsgate's sixth entry in its enormously successful "Saw" horror franchise.
Maybe it's a 21st century anomaly, but for some reason, we can't stop sinking our teeth into vampires. Vampire shows, vampire films -- they're all around. The nation loves them and the love affair doesn't show any signs of fading. Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant, just opened, generating more buzz. But take note of 10 other things that keep our fascination with the big V very O-positive.
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