Sir Ian McKellen’s Women’s March sign is a top-notch friendship troll


While they are important showings of solidarity in retaliation to the threat of oppression, today’s Women’s Marches held in cities around the world have also been possibly the greatest display of sign-making skills and cheeky wit in recent memory. 

It should come as no surprise, then, that one of the world’s most treasured actors, Sir Ian McKellen, showed up to London’s event with an absolutely top-notch sign that both extolled the fed up message of the day and trolled his good friend, Sir Patrick Stewart.

McKellen was spotted by a fan, who snapped a pic of him and posted it to Twitter.  Read more…

More about Protest, Women S March On Washington, Sign, Ian Mckellen, and Sir Patrick Stewart

Watch: New Trailer for Greg McLean’s Thriller ‘The Belko Experiment’

The Belko Experiment Trailer

“We are not going to entertain the option of killing people.” BH Tilt + Orion have released a second trailer for the horror-thriller film The Belko Experiment, which premiered at TIFF last year. Here’s the concept: a corporate high-rise building is locked down and the workers are forced to play a game of “kill or be killed”. Directed by Greg McLean (of Wolf Creek), written by James Gunn (of Guardians of the Galaxy), starring John Gallagher Jr, Michael Rooker, Tony Goldwyn, Adria Arjona, John C. McGinley, Melonie Diaz, Owain Yeoman, Sean Gunn, Brent Sexton, and Josh Brener. This is much better than the first trailer, and I’m still looking forward to seeing it. Going to be dark and violent and totally wicked. Have fun. ›››

Continue reading Watch: New Trailer for Greg McLean’s Thriller ‘The Belko Experiment’

Another Trailer for Autobahn Action Film ‘Collide’ with Nicholas Hoult

Collide Movie Trailer

“We’ve all got our reasons to crazy, reckless things in life…” Open Road Films has debuted another new trailer for the action thriller Collide, starring superstar actors Nicholas Hoult and Felicity Jones. This film was supposed to be released last August (see the first trailer here), but after generating pretty much no buzz they delayed it until this February. I’m still not interested, and this still looks as generic and bland as it did before, even with a great cast. Besides Hoult and Jones, this also stars Anthony Hopkins (as a mob boss) and Ben Kingsley (looking wacko), plus Nadia Hilker and Clemens Schick. The story is about an American backpacker caught up in a drug smuggling ring while trying to pull off a heist, taking him “on the run from his employers across Munich’s high-speed Autobahn.” Of course it’s all about the action. Enjoy. ›››

Continue reading Another Trailer for Autobahn Action Film ‘Collide’ with Nicholas Hoult

Saturday Hot Links

Time for the 273rd installment of Saturday Hot Links, your week’s essential reading about movies, TV, streaming, Hollywood, and other things of writerly interest.

Sundance Hot List: 17 Movies That Will Sell.

Amazon Offers Sundance Film Selections Up to $ 100,000 Bonus for Exclusive Streaming Rights.

Amazon’s Film Chief on Sundance Buying Plans, Rival Netflix and Apple’s Possible Movie Play.

Having a Sundance Hit May Not Make You Rich Anymore.

For Years, No One in Hollywood Wanted to Make ‘La La Land’.

American Film Institute Reveals 25 Women Chosen for the Fox Filmmakers Lab.

Women Only Spoke 27% of the Dialogue in 2016’s Top Grossing Films.

‘Hidden Figures’ and The Hope for More Real Science Stories.

As Michael Lynton Exits, Will Sony Double Down on Hollywood or Sell?

Piracy Survey: 39% of U.S. Consumers Don’t Care That Studios Lose Money From Illegal Sharing.

Paramount Turned Down Pitch For ‘Transformers’/’G.I. Joe’ Crossover.

Seven Reasons To Be Optimistic About Cinema.

Hollywood’s 4 New Gender-Bending Reboots.

Horror’s Love Affair With Twist Endings: Why do we love being fooled so much?

29 books to read before they become movies in 2017

Russian Box Office Grows 9.5% to $ 727 Million in 2016.

China’s Wanda Reports 31 Percent Increase in Film Income in 2016.

How Thomas Tull’s Legendary Deal Ran Into a Great Wall.

Annapurna Pictures Launches Distribution Arm.

Los Angeles Location Production Gains 6.2% in 2016.

If Deadpool Is Nominated for Best Picture, Can We Still Enjoy Movies?

Never-Before-Seen Footage of Marilyn Monroe Uncovered.

Son of Frankenstein: Hitting the Horror Trifecta.

Info on the 2017 HBOAccess Writing Fellowship.

James Cameron is making a documentary series about the history of sci-fi.

Immersive film festival will celebrate the legacy of John Hughes.

The Media, They Are A Changin’: A Future Of Cinematic Television.

PBS Will Launch Family Night on New PBS Kids Channel.

Westworld and the Meaning of Life: Appraising the show’s philosophy.

Would Disney’s Rumored Acquisition of Netflix Make Sense?

It’s Official: Twitter Has Shut Down Vine.

The Black List Interview: Kathy Charles.

Doug Richardson: How to Fix Really Bad Dialogue.

Listen: Scriptnotes (Episode 284).

Watch: Why do movies and TV matter now.

Watch: SNL Movie Interview Spoof.

Watch: David Lynch Dance.

Watch: The Weight of Gravity: Exploring the Importance and Influence of Cuaron’s Intimate Epic.

Watch: The Most Beautiful Shots in The History of Disney.

Watch: Pixar Video Reveals Hidden Easter Eggs and How All of Their Movies Are Connected.

Screenwriting Master Class tip of the week

From elevator pitches to development meetings to conference calls with talent, a screenwriter’s ability to share stories in a variety of narrative forms is both a valuable and necessary skillset. In the upcoming 1-week Screenwriting Master Class online course Story Summaries: From Loglines to Beat Sheets [starts January 30], you will learn six different story summaries that are critical assets for any screenwriter.

A screenwriter not only needs to know how to write a script, we also have to be able to convey our stories in multiple other ways. Beyond that, every time we shape a story in a different way, we learn something about it. As such, summaries can be helpful tools in developing, understanding, and crafting our scripts.

This 1-week online course that I will be teaching covers multiple story summaries: Logline, Synopsis, Breakdown, Treatment, Scriptment, and Beat Sheet.

Learn the ins and outs of six different story summaries including using them to help you craft your stories.

Plus you will have the opportunity to craft a logline of your own story with an optional workshop exercise.

The course consists of:

Seven lectures written by Scott Myers

Daily forum Q&As

Optional workshop writing exercises with instructor and class feedback.

A live teleconference between instructor and class members.

In the past, the response from participants in this course has been extremely positive. Here are some testimonials:

The prepared lectures alone are worth the price of this class. But, the added bonus of discussing the lectures as well as being able to workshop my loglines with Scott and my classmates was a fantastic learning experience that really helped me develop my ability to whittle an idea down to one intriguing sentence. If your manager, agent, guru, mother, or favorite reader asks you for a synopsis, treatment, beat sheet, or logline and you have no idea what any of those are, then this class is for you. — Calvin Starnes

Just wanted to thank everyone in this class especially Scott for a most valuable week of learning. I found this type of interactive environment has been far more helpful for me than reading books has been. The group collaboration has been excellent and I have really enjoyed and valued everybody’s contributions. I’ve personally found this course has really helped me zone in on the crucial aspects of each respective type of story summary. This in turn has given me much more confidence in taking the next steps into creating the first draft and I would like to thank you all for that. — Steve Broughton

That’s the “secret sauce” in all the SMC classes you and Tom teach. It’s not a “here’s what to think” listing of so called “rules of writing.” Instead, the emphasis is always on HOW to think like a professional, about story, character and the business side of the craft. — John Arends

If you haven’t tried an online course before, this is a great and simple way to do it. You can download lectures any time and read them at your leisure. Peruse forum comments from your fellow classmates and respond whenever you want. The teleconference is on Skype and recorded so you can have access to it for transcription purposes. It’s amazing how convenient and effective online learning is.

So why don’t you join me for Story Summaries: From Loglines to Beat Sheets? You can find out more about this 1-week online screenwriting class here.

I hope you can join me starting next Monday for this important and informative class!

Check out the schedule for my other Craft classes in 2017 including two new ones!

January 30 — Craft: Story Summaries — From Loglines to Beat Sheets
Read More

February 13 — Craft: Handling Exposition
Read More

February 27 — Craft: Scene Description Spotlight — Express Your Voice
Read More

March 13 — Craft: Character Development Keys
Read More

March 27 — Craft: Create a Compelling Protagonist
Read More

April 10 — Craft: Write a Worthy Nemesis
Read More

April 24 — Craft: Scene-Writing Workshop
Details TBA

May 8 — Craft: Dialogue-Writing Workshop
Details TBA

May 22 — Craft: The Coen Brothers and the Craft of Storytelling
Read More

You can double down on your learning curve by enrolling in the Craft Package which gives you exclusive access to all of the content provided in each of the Craft classes. And in 2017, it’s an even better deal because I am including in the Package two new courses I will introduce in the spring: Scene-Writing Workshop and Dialogue-Writing Workshop.

That means you get not 8, but 10 Craft classes at a savings of nearly 60% off the regular rate.

How to put learning the craft into overdrive in 2017? Consider the Craft curriculum at Screenwriting Master Class.

And consider taking advantage of the Craft Package special offer: Immediate access to all of the Craft class content. Automatic enrollment in all ten Craft classes. All at a nearly 60% discount.

As always, I look forward to the opportunity to work with you.


To learn more about Screenwriting Master Class, go here.

UPDATE: I’m offering — for the first time — the opportunity to mix and match any of my Craft classes for a special sale price. Pick any two or more of them and only pay $ 60 per course. Just email me with whatever of my Craft classes you want to take and we’ll take care of it for you!

Saturday Hot Links was originally published in Go Into The Story on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Go Into The Story – Medium

Adam Sandler as a Talent Manager in Teaser Trailer for ‘Sandy Wexler’

Sandy Wexler Trailer

Netflix has released a very short teaser trailer for a new comedy from Adam Sandler called Sandy Wexler, made by the director of Little Nicky. Adam Sandler plays a talent manager working in Los Angeles in the 1990s, representing a group of eccentric clients on the fringes of show business. He ends up falling in love with a new client, a singer, who he discovers an amusement park. Jennifer Hudson plays the singer, and the cast includes Kevin James, Terry Crews, Lamorne Morris, Nick Swardson, Rob Schneider, Jane Seymour, Carl Weathers & Arsenio Hall. This is a very short teaser, and it’s probably more than enough, because Sandler’s Netflix comedies are really terribel and should be avoided. This seems the same. ›››

Continue reading Adam Sandler as a Talent Manager in Teaser Trailer for ‘Sandy Wexler’

New UK Trailer for James Gray’s Adventure Thriller ‘The Lost City of Z’

The Lost City of Z Trailer

A new UK trailer for James Gray’s latest film, an adaptation of David Grann’s book, titled The Lost City of Z, has debuted. The film tells a thrilling adventure story of explorers who travel into the Amazon to find a mysterious lost civilization. Starring Charlie Hunnam as legendary British explorer Col. Percy Fawcett, along with Tom Holland as Jack Fawcett and Sienna Miller as Nina Fawcett. The cast includes Robert Pattinson, Angus Macfadyen, Daniel Huttlestone, Edward Ashley and Johann Myers. This trailer is timed with the announcement that The Lost City of Z will also be playing at the Berlin Film Festival in February, after first premiering at the New York Film Festival last fall. The cinematography in this looks gorgeous, and the film had some great buzz coming out of NYFF. I’m really looking forward to seeing this. ›››

Continue reading New UK Trailer for James Gray’s Adventure Thriller ‘The Lost City of Z’

New King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Poster Debuts

New King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Poster Debuts

New King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Poster Debuts

Warner Bros. Pictures has released a brand new King Arthur: Legend of the Sword poster and announced a partnership with Snapchat for the film featuring an interactive puzzle on the app that  will reveal a special King Arthur filter beginning Sunday, January 22. While you wait though, check out the new poster in the gallery below!

RELATED: Charlie Hunnam Wields Excalibur in the King Arthur Trailer

Fantasy Action Adventure. Acclaimed filmmaker Guy Ritchie brings his dynamic style to the epic fantasy action adventure King Arthur: Legend of the Sword. Starring Charlie Hunnam in the title role, the film is an iconoclastic take on the classic Excalibur myth, tracing Arthur’s journey from the streets to the throne. When the child Arthur’s father is murdered, Vortigern (Jude Law), Arthur’s uncle, seizes the crown. Robbed of his birthright and with no idea who he truly is, Arthur comes up the hard way in the back alleys of the city. But once he pulls the sword from the stone, his life is turned upside down and he is forced to acknowledge his true legacy…whether he likes it or not.

Also starring Astrid Berges-Frisbey (Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides), Eric Bana (Star Trek, Lone Survivor), and Djimon Honsou (The Legend of Tarzan, Guardians of the Galaxy), the new King Arthur was written by Joby Harold, who is producing with Akiva Goldsman, Tory Tunnell and Ritchie himself. Cate Adams and Niija Kuykendall are overseeing for Warner Bros. Pictures and Village Roadshow.

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword arrives in theaters on May 12.


The post New King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Poster Debuts appeared first on

xXx: Return of Xander Cage Review

xXx: Return of Xander Cage ReviewRating:

4 out of 10


Vin Diesel as Xander Cage / xXx
Donnie Yen as Xiang
Deepika Padukone as Serena Unger
Kris Wu as Harvard “Nicks” Zhou
Ruby Rose as Adele Wolff
Tony Jaa as Talon
Nina Dobrev as Rebecca “Becky” Clearidge
Samuel L. Jackson as NSA Agent Augustus Eugene Gibbons
Toni Collette as Jane Marke
Nicky Jam as Lazarus
Rory McCann as Tennyson “The Torch”
Al Sapienza as CIA Director
Michael Bisping as Hawk
Ariadna Gutiérrez as Gina Roff
Hermione Corfield as Ainsley
Tony Gonzalez as Paul Donovan
Ice Cube as Darius Stone

Directed by D.J. Caruso

xXx: Return of Xander Cage Review:

There is nothing wrong with ridiculous, over-the-top action films which pile impossibility atop impossibility and all with a wink and a smile. It’s a milieu which includes some of the most gloriously silly, and thoroughly entertaining films of all time. Jason Statham’s career is basically built on the idea, minus all of the winking and smiling. The ubiquity of them, and the way their goofiness is not only accepted but frequently the reason they are loved, can make it seem easy to make one – just put a bunch of macho people on screen trying to out macho one another and stand back. It is not that easy, however, as xXx: Return of Xander Cage amply demonstrates every moment it is on screen. xXx: Return of Xander Cage is boring and silly, or silly and boring, but never, ever entertaining no matter how hard it tries and it tries very, very hard.

Picking up a decade or so after the last film, the XXX extreme spy group masterminded by NSA honcho Gibbons (Jackson) is reactivated when a vaguely dangerous black box, which causes satellites to fall out of orbit and crash into cities, gets used to do what it was made for. Original XXX Xander Cage (Diesel) is brought back from retirement after faking his death (in a DVD-only special feature so you may be forgiven for missing that detail) to find said box and puts together a team of new XXXers [XXX-ites?] to rob the robbers. When their adversaries, led by cocky martial arts master Xiang (Yen) turn out to also be XXX with an agenda of their own, Cage and his cohorts must decide who they can really trust.

It’s hard to believe that a film with Vin Diesel, Donnie Yen and Tony Jaa beating people up while Nina Dobrev talks about her sex swing could be as boring as xXx: Return of Xander Cage is. No matter how many girls in bikinis or explosions are thrown up on screen, every moment is tainted with the smell of desperation. The rule of cool rules all, but the rule of cool requires you to actually care about what people are getting up to on screen and we’re never given a reason to. All of the characters are basically the same 13-year-old boy, even the girls. Director D.J. Caruso (Eagle Eye) has always had a decent eye for tension and action scenes but has had terrible luck with material and xXx: Return of Xander Cage is unfortunately no exception.

The screenplay by F. Scott Frazier, like many of its type, wants to be for young people and ends up being the middle-age man’s idea of what young people want from an action hero. It’s a problem which is even more notable when it is placed on the shoulders of a pair of (about) 50-year-old men who must act half their age. The fact that those men are Vin Diesel and Donnie Yen helps, giving the film a tremendous amount of screen charisma to play off of, but it doesn’t quite disguise how long in the tooth they are getting for this kind of idea. If xXx: Return of Xander Cage does nothing more than get Yen a headline role in a big studio film, it will have been a success. The sequences focusing on Yen in particular give glimmers of hope that a better movie is right around the corner, especially once he and Diesel begin chasing one another on foot above and then among and even beneath moving car traffic is when it actually does reach the level of over-the-top ridiculousness it’s aiming for. The rest of the time it hits a different level, one filled with ridiculous macho pronouncements and Toni Collette’s unending death glare.

Above anything else there seems to be an unending desire to transform xXx: Return of Xander Cage into a Fast & Furious type franchise, which come to think of it was what it always has been. Old characters from previous versions are brought back, new characters are introduced and future adventures are potentially in the offing. Blaming action films for commercialism is ridiculous, that is their point after all, but they have to be successful at it or they’re just wastes of time. And xXx: Return of Xander Cage is giant, explody waste of time.

The post xXx: Return of Xander Cage Review appeared first on

1 479 480 481 482 483 552