This Week in Trailers: Daisy Ridley & John Boyega Return in ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi,’ Kathryn Bigelow Unveils ‘Detroit,’ Charlize Theron Stars in ‘Atomic Blonde’

Ansel Elgort and Elle Fanning star in upcoming films ‘Baby Driver’ and ‘3 Generations.’

Watch: The Cinematography of John Alcott, Kubrick’s Right-Hand Man and Master of Natural Light

Here’s a breakdown of cinematographer John Alcott’s techniques.

Make no bones about it: John Alcott is a legend. Stanley Kubrick’s cinematographer is responsible for some of the most stunning imagery in cinema history, including Barry Lyndon, which was meticulously shot using natural light and may as well have been a Romantic painting, and The Shining, which features ingenious camera movement.

Kubrick was a perfectionist and cinematographer in his own right; he demanded much of his DPs, both technically, physically, and emotionally. As a result, the turnover rate for lensing his films was high. Alcott, however, held his ground and was able to deliver on some of the director’s most challenging demands.

In a new video essay, YouTube channel Wolfcrow breaks down Alcott’s techniques.

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John Krasinski on Filming Jack Ryan for Amazon

John Krasinski talk about filming Jack Ryan for Amazon

John Krasinski talks about filming Jack Ryan for Amazon

It was announced back in 2015 that Amazon was doing a Jack Ryan series, based on the character created by Tom Clancy. In 2016, John Krasinski (The Office13 Hours) had taken the title role. While doing press for the upcoming Disneynature film Born in China (see photos below), which he narrates, we got a chance to chat with Krasinski about filming Jack Ryan. Krasinski told us about how this feels like a film, how we’re going to see the character before he becomes a hero, and doing his own stunts.

“It’s been awesome,” Krasinski said of shooting. “We’re shooting something that I think is really special. I certainly love what we’re doing. It’s one of those things where I’ve been a huge fan, too, so it’s great to hear that you’re a huge fan. I hope the huge fans are the most happy with what we’re doing. But I think at the end of the day, the idea of going back to the days where Jack Ryan was an analyst, where he’s sitting at a desk, crunching numbers. And then you get taken on the full ride. I think the movies always start with him as kind of this established hero figure. And in our show, he really starts as a guy who’s just crunching numbers. And one of the things he was researching was something real, and he’s the only one who can go. So it feels like, you know, you get taken on a ride from the beginning, so it feels really, really nice.”

He continued, “And the other thing is, we’re shooting it in this epic way, where all eight episodes are cross-boarded, so we’ll shoot one day, the end of episode three, and the second half of the day, you’re shooting episode 1, the opening shot of the show. It’s pretty wild. I’ve never had anything like that. It’s really exciting and it’s a lot of hard work, but we’re really pumped about where we’re headed.”

Krasinski talked about shooting in this style. “It feels way more like a movie than it does a TV show,” he said. “I think because the days are really long. There’s a lot of hard work that we’re doing, because there’s so much ground to cover. We’ll do a talky scene where we’re giving out all this information and then we’ll go right into a scene…a crazy hand-to-hand fight scene. It feel more more like a movie, than, certainly, The Office. I’ll put it that way. It just feels like we’re shooting one giant movie.”

We asked Krasinski about doing stunt work on Jack Ryan. “It’s been awesome,” he said. “I’m happy to say I’ve been doing all my stunts, and most of the fight stuff, I do first. We definitely have an incredible stunt team that will come in and do certain things, but they’ve been really cool to teach me to do a lot of my own stuff, so it’s been great.”

Are you guys excited for Jack Ryan and John Krasinski playing the lead? Are you going to see Born in China? If you see the film the first weekend, a portion of all proceeds go to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), with the funds earmarked for helping snow leopards and pandas. Let us know your thoughts in the comments or tweet us @ComingSoonnet.

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In Praise of John Carpenter’s Escape From L.A.


A re-appraisal of John Carpenter’s often dismissed sequel Escape From L.A.

With news breaking over the weekend that genre movie innovator and digital deconstructionist Robert Rodriguez will be helming the remake of John Carpenter’s cult classic thriller Escape From New York, we thought it a good time to take a quick look back at Carpenter’s own sequel/sorta remake, 1996’s often dismissed or outright ignored Escape From L.A.

When Carpenter released the original Escape in 1981, the modestly budgeted pulp action flick was a huge hit, both domestically and, surprisingly, in Europe (especially Italy) where, along with 1979’s Mad Max and its 1982 sequel, every savvy producer tried their hand at ripping it off. That Carpenter chased it with his biggest movie – and at that point biggest failing – 1982’s The Thing says much about the filmmaker’s creative and commercial trajectory. When Carpenter taps into the zeitgeist (Halloween), he’s a tastemaker. When he fails to do that, he’s simply ahead of his time. I don’t think he’s ever made a legitimate bad film. And yes, I am one of the few that cite Ghosts of Mars (which was originally written as the third Escape movie) as one of his best and most undervalued works.

The latter category of being ahead of its time is exactly where Escape From L.A. falls into. The ’90s were a notoriously dismal time for genre movies, due primarily to a generational shift. The odd bright spots to really define their times were things like Rodriguez’s 1996 horror hybrid From Dusk Till Dawn and Wes Craven’s same-year slasher send-up Scream. Even if you didn’t dig those picture’s camp approach, they were unarguably fresh entertainments that locked onto what fans wanted and both – especially Scream – were huge hits, both catering to the kind of movies young people were interested in absorbing. Escape came out the same year as Scream, a sequel to a movie that, by 1996, was a bit played out, having long since cycled through its TV and video runs and a follow-up felt a bit late-out-of-the-gate. The original film cost $ 6 million to produce and despite its success, it pretty much remained a cult film. The character of Snake Plissken ( played by a young and hungry Kurt Russell) was not particularly ingrained into the mainstream pop culture subconscious and so when posters for Escape from L.A. were released, screaming “Snake is Back!”, many mainstream viewers were like, “Who the Hell is Snake?!”


The movie was released in the August via Paramount Pictures, a Summer movie that probably would have stood a better chance smashing into theaters in February, a dry season where a built-in cult title like this would have hooked its audience better. Instead the movie, which cost twice as much as the original earned (New York raked in 25 million whereas L.A. made the same but cost 50 million) and critics were lukewarm to it. Hardcore Escape From New York fans were generally divided, with many just happy to see Russell’s one-eyed outlaw back on screen and many other sneering at what they thought was a too-campy approach.

And sadly, the ensuing years haven’t found Escape From L.A. many more admirers, with people almost universally citing it as inferior to its predecessor. And I get that. The original was raw. Messy. Angry. It swelled with innovation and urgency, another one of Carpenter’s neo-Westerns, an inversion of Rio Bravo. Escape From L.A., with its sunnier locales and a narrative repeat of the original’s city-as-a-prison gimmick is, on the surface, a bit lazy, true. But 20 years later, L.A. not only holds up beautifully as a high-octane romp, it’s a bit of a marvel; a tough, shiny, comic book fantasy with broad performances, a to-die-for cult cast, outrageous set pieces and, most importantly, sharp social criticism that is infinitely more potent and prophetic today than it was in 1996.

The film stars Cliff Robertson as a President who, after being “elected for life” has deemed to Make America Great Again by shipping off every person he deems “undesirable” to L.A., which, due to a massive earthquake and flooding, has become an island. Stripped of their citizenship, this mixed bag of “morally unfit” Americans run wild, setting up micro-civilizations, most of them bewildered by a country that has forsaken them. Among their ranks is charismatic revolutionary Cuervo Jones, who has charmed the President’s comely daughter via the internet (or at least a holographic version of the internet) into stealing a classified weapon that has the power to effectively disable every electronic device on the planet. If triggered, earth would essentially revert back to an instant stone age.

Enter our man Plissken, played here with even beefier swagger by Russell, who in 1981 was a young actor emerging from a life as a teen star (thanks in no small part to Carpenter who directed him in the amazing 1978 Elvis TV movie) and by this time was a bona fide Hollywood movie star. Plissken version 2.O. feels angrier, rougher and closer to Clint Eastwood/John Wayne hybrid he was conceived to be in the original (Russell actually co-wrote the script with Debra Hill and Carpenter). Sentenced to life imprisonment in LA, the President offers the grizzled outlaw a full pardon if he can get into LA and retrieve the weapon. To ensure his compliance, Plissken is injected with a deadly virus that will kill him in 10 hours if isn’t successful in his mission. Soon, Plissken is outfitted with weapons and gadgets and shot into the prison city, where he meets all manner of eccentrics (including Steve Buscemi as a lovable grifter tour guide, Bruce Campbell as a psychotic plastic surgeon and Pam Grier as a transgendered assassin) before facing off against the righteously vengeful but megalomaniacal Jones.


No matter your take on Escape From LA‘s social themes or success as an action picture, only the coldest, deadest heart would deny that the movie is anything but a tsunami of pure escapist fun. I mean, Russell future-surfs with Peter Fonda for crying out loud! Carpenter himself has cited that the movie is a better film in every way to the original and he’s right in that this a much bigger and ambitious picture. But fans of the original loved seeing actors like Donald Pleasence, Issac Hayes, Harry Dean Stanton, Ernest Boirgnine, Adrienne Barbeau and Lee van Cleef flail around in what was a really, really grimy movie. L.A. is not the urban sleaze-fest that was New York. The actors here are clean, the trappings garish and circus-like. And of course, the sets are considerably pricier. But taken on its own terms, it all makes sense. Viewed as a jacked-up, sun-baked remake of the original, it works perfectly.

And the satire is on point. Carpenter sticks it to L.A. but good, showing a city whose shallowness and ego has mutated to lethal levels when left unchecked. And the very idea of a weapon designed to destroy technology is even more potent today, where we are so addicted and reliant on electronics that if we ever lost our power over it, our collapse would be just as swift as it would be via Nukes or gas or disease. And have we mentioned the music? Carpenter’s iconic synth-based Escape From New York theme is wonderfully rocked-out with the aid of the late, great Shirley Walker and both that theme and the entire score are fantastic.

If you’re one of the fans who have filed Escape From L.A. way back in your Carpenter Rolodex, we urge you to dig it up and give it another look. It’s one his strongest non-horror films…

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The best, most savage punchlines from Nick Kroll & John Mulaney Indie Spirit Awards hosting gig


Nick Kroll and John Mulaney, hosts of the Independent Spirit Awards, went full-savage on Hollywood, President Donald Trump, and everything else under the California sun on Saturday. In doing so, they achieving new levels of «they did not just say that» at the one awards show that seems to re-define the limits of awards-show-season jokes every year.

The sun is shining 🌞 and the people are drinking 🍾🥂. A perfect

— Film Independent (@filmindependent) February 25, 2017 Read more…

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Cool Stuff: The Ultimate Collection of John Williams Music from Steven Spielberg’s Films

Steven Spielberg and John Williams score collection

You’d be hard pressed to find such an iconic pairing of director and composer as Steven Spielberg and John Williams. The two enormous talents have been working together for 42 years now, starting all the way back with The Sugarland Express in 1974 and stretching up through The BFG last year. The only two Spielberg movies that don’t have a score by John Williams are The Color Purple and Bridge of Spies. And now a new collection will assemble some of the greatest music from their long history of collaboration.

Find out about this new ultimate Steven Spielberg and John Williams score collection below.

John Williams & Steven Spielberg: The Ultimate Collection is an updated sampling of critically acclaimed, award-winning, chart-topping compositions that come from some of the most iconic films ever made. A collection like this has been made available before, but now it has a third disc made up of new recordings of tracks from films such as Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Amistad, The BFG, Lincoln, The Adventures of Tintin, Minority Report, Catch Me If You Can, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Saving Private Ryan, War Horse, The Terminal, Munich and even Spielberg’s 1999 documentary The Unfinished Journey.

In addition, the collection will include a DVD with a new documentary by filmmaker and film historian Laurent Bouzereau, who has been documenting Spielberg’s work for more than twenty years. Three discs of music and a special documentary will cost you $ 30, and it’s available on Amazon for pre-order right now.

Steven Spielberg and John Williams score collection

Here’s the full tracklist from the whole set:

1 Raiders of the Lost Ark from “Raiders of the Lost Ark”
2 Theme from “Always”
3 Adventures on Earth from “E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial”
4 Theme from “Sugarland Express”
5 Title Theme from “Jaws”
6 Out to Sea / The Shark Cage Fugue from “Jaws”
Out to Sea
The Shark Cage Fugue from Jaws
7 Exsultate Justi from “Empire of the Sun”
8 Parade of the Slave Children from “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom”
9 Over the Moon from “E.T. The Extra Terrestrial”
10 March from “1941”
11 Cadillac of the Skies from “Empire of the Sun”
12 Scherzo for Motorcycle and Orchestra from “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade”
13 Close Encounters of the Third Kind/When You Wish Upon a Star Medley
14 Close Encounters of the Third Kind (Excerpts)
15 When You Wish Upon A Star (interpolated)
1 Flying from “E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial”
2 Theme From “Jurassic Park”
3 Remembrances from “Schindler’s List”
4 Flight to Neverland from “Hook”
5 The Battle Of Hollywood From “1941” (includes the Irish folksong “The Rakes of Mallow”)
6 Smee’s Plan From “Hook”
7 The Barrel Chase From “Jaws”
8 My Friend,The Brachiosaurus from “Jurassic Park”
9 Jim’s New Life From “Empire Of The Sun”
10 The Dialogue From “Close Encounters Of The Third Kind”
11 The Lost Boys Ballet From “Hook”
12 Theme from “Schindler’s List”
13 The Basket Chase from “Raiders Of The Lost Ark”
14 The Face Of Pan from “Hook”
15 The Banquet Scene from “Hook” 
1 The Adventures of Mutt from “Indiana Jones and The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull”
2 Dry Your Tears, Afrika from “Amistad”
3 The BFG from “The BFG”
4 With Malice Toward None from “Lincoln”
5 The Duel from “The Adventures of Tintin”
6 A New Beginning from “Minority Report”
Escapades for Alto Saxophone and Orchestra from “Catch Me If You Can”
7 Movement 1: Closing In
8 Movement 2: Reflections
9 Movement 3: Joy Ride
10 Marion’s Theme from “Raiders of the Lost Ark”
11 Hymn to the Fallen from “Saving Private Ryan”
12 Dartmoor, 1912 from “War Horse”
13 Viktor’s Tale from “The Terminal”
14 Prayer for Peace from “Munich”
15 Immigration and Building from “The Unfinished Journey”
16 With Malice Toward None from “Lincoln” (Alternate Version)


John Williams & Steven Spielberg: The Ultimate Collection will be available on March 17.

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Ashton Kutcher blew a kiss at John McCain and lol what is happening?


What the world needs now is love, sweet love — and if we need to rely on John McCain and Ashton Kutcher to help us achieve that, then so be it.

On Wednesday morning, Kutcher, dreamy actor and chairman of Thorn, a tech company that builds software to fight human trafficking and the sexual exploitation of children, attended a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing in D.C. to speak about how to end modern slavery.

After Kutcher’s speech concluded, however, the world was given a quick glimpse at an, um, unexpected moment between him and Sen. John McCain.

It started with sass and ended with a kiss … Read more…

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