Fantastic Fest Review: ‘Bad Genius’ Is a Slick, Remarkable Caper About Exam Cheating

Bad Genius Review

A heist-style drama about genius high school students and their task to pull off the ultimate, cheating scam on behalf of dozens of wealthy peers doesn’t quite sound like the nail-biter Bad Genius ends up pulling off, but here we are. The Thai film we do get, which is directed by the very talented Nattawut Poonpiriya, not only brings with it a whip-smart screenplay, it’s an incredibly intense caper loaded with crackling dialogue and impressive performances that ranks up there with recent, instant classics like Moneyball and The Social Network. Poonpiriya keeps your attention from beginning to end and ends up delivering one of the tautest thrillers (without really being a thriller) to come along in some time. ›››

Continue reading Fantastic Fest Review: ‘Bad Genius’ Is a Slick, Remarkable Caper About Exam Cheating

Sony Pictures Sets ‘Spider-Man’ Spin-Off ‘Silver and Black’ for 2019, Pulls ‘Bad Boys 3’ from Calendar

Sony Pictures - Columbia Pictures - Silver and Black Release Date

Sony Pictures is setting and shuffling a handful of release dates for upcoming movies in 2018 and 2019.

Sony and their Columbia Pictures banner have set a release date for their second Spider-Man spin-off Silver and Black, as well as the sequel to the hit drug trafficking thriller Sicario. Meanwhile,the release dates for Barbie and Bad Boys 3 have been shuffled around along with a few more projects in the coming years. Get the Silver and Black release date and more information below.

First up, Sony Pictures seems to be going on all in this separate Spider-Man universe that will not be tied to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, nor involve the webslinger himself. After setting Venom starring Tom Hardy for an October 2018 debut, the studio has now staked out February 8, 2019 as the release date for Silver & Black.

For those who haven’t kept up with the title, Silver and Black will bring together two characters from Marvel Comics who frequently showed up in Spider-Man story arcs. There’s Silver Sable, a mercenary who hunts down war criminals, and Black Cat, a master thief not unlike Catwoman whose secret identity is Felicia Hardy, a character who became a love interest for Peter Parker in the comics. Beyond the Lights director Gina Prince-Bythewood is slated to direct, but we have no details on the story just yet.

Next, Sony Pictures also brought some bad news for Bad Boys fans eagerly awaiting a reunion of Will Smith and Martin Lawrence. Though the sequel titled Bad Boys for Life had been set for November 9, 2018, it has now been removed from the calendar entirely with no replacement date named yet. The movie has been pushed back several times now, and it’s starting to feel like a pipe dream rather than a project that will actually happen.

There will still be some action to behold from Sony in 2018 though as the Sicario sequel directed by Stefano Sollima has been slated to arrived on June 29, 2018. The film has been officially called Sicario 2: Soldado, and it brings back Benicio del Toro and Josh Brolin from the first movie, but Emily Blunt is sitting this one out.

Meanwhile, a few films have been delayed on Sony’s release calendar. The big screen Barbie movie has been pushed back to August 8, 2018 from a previous June 2018 date. Alethea Jones is still set to direct with Anne Hathaway playing the title doll from Mattel. Breaking Bad director Michelle MacLaren‘s feature film debut The Nightingale will arrive on January 25, 2019 instead of the previous August 2018 date, and the comedy Holmes and Watson with Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly as the detective duo (respectively) will now arrive on November 9, 2018 instead of the previously set August 2018 date.

Sony Pictures hasn’t had the best year in 2017, so hopefully their schedule for 2018 will offer up more positive results for them at the box office. Unfortunately, they won’t have an official new Spider-Man movie to help them, but maybe Venom will work out for them instead.

The post Sony Pictures Sets ‘Spider-Man’ Spin-Off ‘Silver and Black’ for 2019, Pulls ‘Bad Boys 3’ from Calendar appeared first on /Film.


Watch: ‘Breaking Bad’ Shows You How to Write the Perfect TV Pilot

Here’s proof that ‘Breaking Bad’ had the best pilot ever—and how you can emulate its success.

Breaking Bad is as cinematic as television gets. With innovative camerawork, epic editing, astounding performances, and, most of all, incisive and poignant writing, Vince Gilligan’s character-driven series shattered the precedents of peak TV.

In a new video essay from Lessons from the Screenplay, Michael Tucker breaks down just what makes Breaking Bad the perfect pilot. According to Tucker, a pilot has to “introduce the main characters, set up the world of the show, and tell enough of a satisfying story that an audience is entertained and wants to come back for more…in 57 pages.”

The pilot contains structural elements that help construct the world: a teaser and four acts. In any pilot, the teaser should be a “surprising and puzzling” opening scene into which high stakes are quickly introduced. In Breaking Bad, it’s watching a gas mask-wearing Walter White crash his RV into the desert and emerge from it in his underwear, bearing a gun.

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‘Breaking Bad’: A Los Pollos Hermanos Pop Up Is Headed to NYC

In celebration of Better Call Saul’s third season and the return of the notorious Gustavo Fring, AMC is hosting Los Pollos Hermanos Pop Ups around the country. The restaurants have already been spotted at SXSW and Los Angeles. Each chicken joint has the full menu on display, just like the one in the fictional restaurant made famous by Breaking Bad. Sadly, the pop ups aren’t actually serving the full menu though. So far, they’ve only featured curly fries and a variety of dipping sauces. During the Austin installation, Bob Odenkirk (Saul Goodman) and Giancarlo Esposito (Gus Fring) were on site to meet fans, too. The next pop up is scheduled to take place in NYC, on April 9 and April 10 (the same day Better Call Saul season 3 hits AMC) from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., at 243 Pearl St.

The post ‘Breaking Bad’: A Los Pollos Hermanos Pop Up Is Headed to NYC appeared first on On Location Vacations.

On Location Vacations

Tweetstorm: Daniel Kunka on dealing with ‘bad’ script notes

Last week screenwriter Daniel Kunka (@unikunka) posted a series of tweets about handling script notes a writer may feel are… well… shitty. Reprinted by permission:

I concur with this. In fact, you can read this Business of Screenwriting post in which I got fired off my own project Alaska because I refused to make a script change. To this day, I still think it was a shitty note and the movie suffered for it. But hey, I just got residual check for the movie in yesterday’s mail, so I got that going for me.

In addition to Daniel’s wise words, there are a few other possibilities when you receive what you think is a bad note:

  • They forget they gave you the note. You just kinda conveniently forget that note in the next pass and see if they remember it or not. Obviously if it’s a big note, that’s not going to happen. But if it’s one of a lot of notes and it’s not that significant, and you hate the idea, it’s worth a shot.
  • You may discover an alternate way that incorporates the spirit of what their note is that actually improves the script. You may have to do a bit of explaining your logic, but as long as (A) it does make the script better and (B) the legacy of their note is still present, that can be a a double bonus.
  • And then there’s this: What you thought was a shitty note could turn out to be a decent, even good one. This is why in a notes meeting, you never say ‘no’, you always give them something like, “Yeah, let’s see what I can do with that”. That way you’re not only acting like a team player, you’re also giving yourself time to see if the dumb idea might actually be a damn good one. Rare, but it does happen.

About Daniel Kunka: In 2011, Daniel Kunka sold the spec script “Agent Ox”, in 2013 he sold the spec script “Bermuda Triangle”, in 2014 he sold the spec script “Yellowstone Park”, and in 2015 he sold the spec script “Battle of New Orleans” both of which went on to make the Black List. He sold a script to NBC for a mini-series called “The Ark”. This year, Daniel sold yet another spec script: “Space Race”.

To read my June 2013 interview with Daniel, go here.

Twitter: @unikunka.

To read all of the screenwriting tweetstorms I’ve aggregated on GITS, go here.

Tweetstorm: Daniel Kunka on dealing with ‘bad’ script notes 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

EPA chief calls historic climate treaty a ‘bad deal’ because this is our life now


The Trump administration has made no secret of its plans to dismantle the climate policies of former President Barack Obama.

But what Trump officials bring in fervor, they sometimes lack in understanding.

Scott Pruitt, head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), railed against the Paris Climate Agreement in an interview with ABC News on Sunday. He called the landmark climate change accord a “bad deal” that unfairly penalizes the United States, while giving a free pass to other major polluting countries.

More about Environmental Protection Agency, Epa, Scott Pruitt, Paris Agreement, and Paris Climate Agreement

Someone cut the whole ‘Breaking Bad’ series into a two-hour feature film


While there’s plenty of films that run for ages (looking at you, Lord of The Rings trilogy) it’s not easy to fit a television series into a movie-length format. Especially not one that’ll put you to sleep.

But by golly, someone has managed to do it with one of the finest TV series of the last decade, Breaking Bad

As many of the series’ best moments take place at the end of an episode, the “film” is missing those heavy-breathing, suspenseful moments before the credits flash “Executive Producer, Vince Gilligan.” However, it’s not at all bad.

In fact, at over two hours running time, it’s perfect for that one friend of yours who can’t be bothered watching the whole series. Read more…

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Spec Script Deal: “Bad Times At The El Royale”

20th Century Fox acquires thriller spec script “Bad Times at the El Royale” written by Drew Goddard. From Deadline:

Described as a thriller with either sci-fi or horror elements.

Goddard also producing and directing. He is repped by UTA.

By my count this is the 15th spec script deal of 2017.

There were 11 spec script deals year-to-date in 2016.

Spec Script Deal: “Bad Times At The El Royale” 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

Whatcha Gonna Do When ‘Bad Boys 3’ Loses Director Joe Carnahan

bad boys 3 director

We should have known something was up when director Joe Carnahan announced that he was working on an American remake of the Indonesian action classic The Raid. Wasn’t he supposed to be directing the third Bad Boys movie, otherwise known as Bad Boys For Life? Was he going to make them back-to-back? Well, now we know: Carnahan has officially dropped out of Bad Boys For Life and the exact reasons aren’t exactly clear.

The news comes our way from The Hollywood Reporter, with the trade citing different reasons for the departure supplied by different sources. Some say Carnahan left the project over scheduling issues, which could make sense since the project has been twirling its thumbs for years, waiting for the exact right moment when series star Will Smith would be available again. However, THR also says “creative differences” may be involved, which is the multi-faceted phrase that could mean everything from “a courteous and respectful parting of ways” to “someone pissed someone else off real bad.”

To be fair, Carnahan himself is about as busy as Smith. In addition to directing the new version of The Raid starring Frank Grillo, he wrote the latest draft of the Uncharted movie and was hired to pen the X-Force movie for Fox. In any case, Bad Boys For Life is now wide open at Sony, with a November 8, 2018 release date still set on the calendar. With the stars otherwise aligned, the studio simply needs to find someone to slot into the director’s seat.

But who?


Let’s Toss Out a Few Names

The biggest hurdle for hiring a new Bad Boys 3 director is that they need to find someone capable of living up to the gonzo insanity of Michael Bay’s original movies. Those two films, especially the 2003 sequel, represent pure, undistilled Bay – it’s not my cup of cocaine-infused tea, but I admire their audacity and world-demolishing spirit. I’m truly in awe of their vile, fascinating existence. Carnahan, no stranger to insane action and cinematic debauchery, was an inspired choice to take over.

So if we’re going to plan an imaginary hire, Sony should consider some potential poetic justice and hire Gareth Evans, the director of The Raid and The Raid 2. After all, this demented action genius is begging for a Hollywood budget and the Bad Boys movies are a crazy-enough canvas to accommodate whatever absurd, bone-crunching ideas he wants to bring to the table. Someone has to give the keys to a major blockbuster to Evans at some point, right?

If not Evans, I’d be absolutely ticked to see someone offer Ben Wheatley a movie like this, especially since the upcoming Free Fire showcases the Kill List director’s action chops. I can’t imagine him actually accepting this gig (or Sony offering it), but he’s demented and twisted enough to come up with something truly memorable. Giving Wheatley $ 150 million sounds downright irresponsible…and also amazing.

The post Whatcha Gonna Do When ‘Bad Boys 3’ Loses Director Joe Carnahan appeared first on /Film.


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