Tag Archives: Cinematography

Oscar Contender ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’ Is Now Playing In Theaters

Writer/director Martin McDonagh’s latest dramatic dark-comedy, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri drew mass acclaim on the film festival circuit this season, winning awards at BIFA, and the Venice Film and Toronto International Film Festivals. McDonagh, along with lead cast members Frances McDormand (Fargo, Almost Famous) and Woody Harrelson (No Country For Old Men, Zombieland) are already expected to receive Oscar nominations for their telling of a mid-Western mother (Mildred Hayes) who abruptly calls out the local sheriffs department for failing to resolve their investigation into her daughter’s brutal murder. Supporting actor Sam Rockwell (The Green Mile, Moon) is also being praised for his role as second-in-command Officer Dixon, in a film Woody Harrelson describes in the Hollywood Reporter as, “Super Troopers meets Seven Psychopaths,” (the latter another of McDonagh’s feature films).

Three Billboards was a huge hit at the British Independent Film Awards, winning for Best Music and Best Editing and receiving nominations for Best Director, Best Actress (McDormand), Best Supporting Actor (Harrelson and Rockwell), Best Screenplay, and Best Cinematography. Additionally, Three Billboards won the Feature Film award at the Denver International Film Festival, as well as Best Screenplay (Venice Film Festival), Gala/Special Presentations for McDonagh (TIFF), Overall Winner (Leeds), and Supporting Actor of the Year for Rockwell (Hollywood Film Awards). The trailer is nothing short of mesmerizing, and all bets say this one will be one of the top contenders of the Holiday season, so be sure to see it on the big screen before all the theaters are teeming with Star Wars fanatics.

Memorable Movie Moments…

Today’s Memorable Movie Moment takes us back to 1978, for the excellent cinematography in a film called Days of Heaven. Written and directed by 3x Oscar nominee Terrence Malick (The Thin Red Line, The Tree of Life), Days of Heaven is an American epic that follows a young couple, Bill and Abby, during the Expansionist era in 1916. Moving from Chicago to Texas in search of work, the two become involved in a scheme to have Abby marry a wealthy farmer who is close to death in order to gain his fortune. This, of course doesn’t go according to plan and so a dramatic conflict of jealousy and deceit ensues, loosely based on a backstory that first appeared in Alexander DumasThe Three Musketeers.

Starring Richard Gere (An Officer and a Gentlemen, Pretty Woman), Brooke Adams (Invasion of the Body Snatchers, The Dead Zone), and Sam Shepard (Swordfish, Black Hawk Down), the film received Oscar nominations for Best Costume Design, Best Sound, and Best Music – Original Score. Although it failed to win any of these awards, Days of Heaven did receive the Oscar for Best Cinematography for Nestor Almendros. Continue reading

This Week In Movie History…

August 15th is a very significant date in the history of film…for two reasons. We’ll cover them here in order by date, but both are, no doubt, some of the most memorable advances in movies and storytelling.

On August 15, 1934, director Christy Cabanne (The Mummy’s Hand, Scared to Death) released the first audio-visual film adaptation of Charlotte Bronte‘s famous novel Jane Eyre. Excluding the popularity of the novel, the film was part of a series of classic-literary adaptations produced by Monogram Pictures between 1933-1934. Four classic 19th-century novels were all made into big-screen adaptations that featured sound, a new technology for the era. The novels were Oliver Twist, Black Beauty, Jane Eyre, and The Moonstone. Cabanne was well-known at the time as a silent film director, but was also beginning to indulge in sound-projects. For the movie, which only runs a total of 62 minutes, the studio recruited actors Colin Clive, best known for the role of Dr. Frankenstein in the original 1931 James Whales’ classic, and newcomer Virginia Bruce (Born to Dance, The Invisible Woman) to star as Jane Eyre. Oscar-nominated screenwriter Adele Comandini (Beyond Tomorrow, Three Smart Girls) to adapt Bronte’s novel for the film (which admittedly must have been a challenge considering Jane Eyre runs for a total of 38 chapters with 400+ pages in most publications).

Also on August 15th, but in 1979, Oscar-winning director Francis Ford Coppola (The Godfather, The Conversation) released his world-renowned masterpiece, Apocalypse Now. The film is famous not only for its cinematic brilliance, but also for its whirlwind of a production Continue reading

Season 3 Of ‘House Of Cards’ Now Playing On Netflix


Netflix subscribers and fans of House of Cards are already catching up on the third season of the hit original series. Starring Oscar-winner Kevin Spacey (LA Confidential, American Beauty) and Golden Globe winner Robin Wright (Forrest Gump, A Most Wanted Man) as political-power couple Francis and Claire Underwood, the series follows the two characters as they manipulate the US political system and its members in their quest to attain the Office of the US Presidency. Picking up 6-months into his term (having taken over for the former President at the conclusion of the previous season), Frank finds himself facing low approval ratings and tense foreign affairs with Russia as he attempts to push his solution to the American economic crisis through Congress, with opposition from both political parties. The series won both Wright and Spacey Golden Globe awards for their performances in 2014 and 2015 respectively, and the series has won Emmy’s for Outstanding Casting (Laray Mayfield, Julie Schubert), Outstanding Director (David Fincher), and Outstanding Cinematography (Eigil Bryld), plus nominations for Outstanding Series, Outstanding Writing, and Outstanding Art Direction for a Contemporary/Fantasy Series. Also starring in the series are actors Michael Kelly (Changeling, The Adjustment Bureau), Nathan Darrow (Ambrose Bierce:Civil War Stories, Rigged), Mahershala Ali (Benjamin Button, The Place Beyond the Pines), and Rachel Brosnahan (The Unborn, Beautiful Creatures). You can watch the series now on Netflix, and if you missed the first two seasons, be sure to check them out too!

Michelle Yeoh Returning With New Cast Members For ‘Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon’ Sequel

dragon

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon was released in 2000 and against all expectations became the highest grossing foreign-language film in American history, earning more than $200 million in worldwide box office sales. Filmed entirely in Mandarin, the movie was based on the fourth novel in a book series by author Wang Dulu called the Crane Iron Pentology. The film adaptation by director Ang Lee received critical acclaim in Hollywood, earning a total of four Academy Awards, including Best Cinematography and Best Foreign Language Film, and getting Lee an Oscar nomination for Best Director. Now a sequel is currently in the works that will feature original actress Michelle Yeoh and new faces Donnie Yen and Harry Shum, Jr. While this does sound sort of enticing, the plot, I’m afraid, sounds exactly like the original story with a new generation of actors in the main title roles. This could turn out to be a total flop, but maybe if the project receives the same artistic and skillful approach that Lee brought to the original, it might be worth seeing. That being said, you should definitely go out and rent the original; you’ll have to read a lot of subtitles but it is definitely worth watching!

Avatar Sequels Confirmed For 2016, ’17, and ’18

avatar

James Cameron took the movie world to new limits when he released Avatar to audiences back in 2009. The first movie to be filmed specifically for IMAX, Avatar’s special effects and cinematography won the respective awards at the Oscars back in 2010, and also won two Golden Globes for Best Director (James Cameron) and Best Picture. The film set a new standard for making special effects movies with modern technology, much in the same way as George Lucas did with Star Wars in 1977. Following the success of Avatar, Cameron started planning out a series of sequels for his cinematic adventure, which will now be hitting theaters Lord of the Rings-style starting in December of 2016.

man-candy-monday-sam-worthington

Actors Sam Worthington and Zoe Saldana recently confirmed they would be returning for the three sequels, which will be filmed back-to-back in New Zealand and are being written by screenwriters Josh Friedman, Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver, and Shane Salerno. As I understand it Friedman and Salerno will be writing the first and final sequel separately, and Jaffa and Silver will be collaborating on the middle installment, but as of now there are still no details or hints regarding the plot of any of the three movies. Not to worry, though; James Cameron never keeps fans waiting for a movie that isn’t worth seeing. The director is co-writing all three movies with his screenwriters, and is behind some of the most memorable and successful projects in Hollywood, including The Terminator, Titanic, Aliens, and The Abyss. With all that experience I think it’s safe to say that fans have nothing to worry about; they just have to play the waiting game, which is nothing new to fans of Cameron.

Scary Flicks for Halloween

halloween

It’s that time of year again when the leaves turn gold, the air gets cold, and the candy companies flood every corner and grocery store across America. Halloween comes back around every Autumn, coinciding with the start of the NFL, NBA and NHL seasons, which makes it one of the best times of the year! To capture the true feeling of this fun and historical holiday (Halloween is based on an ancient festival known as Samhain, celebrating the end of summer and those who have passed from the Earth), be sure to check out some classic horror movies that have made Halloween so enjoyable throughout the years.

1. Halloween, Halloween II (1978, 1981)

John Carpenter and Debra Hill made horror movie history when their low-budget horror film, simply entitled Halloween, broke box office records and made newcomer Jamie Lee Curtis an instant star. Donald Pleasance (1919-1995) starred in the lead role as psychiatrist Sam Loomis (taking the name from the characgter Sam Loomis in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho, which also starred Jamie Lee Curtis’s mother Janet Leigh!), who pursues his escaped mental patient to his hometown in order to prevent a massive killing spree on Halloween night, only to find himself and the Haddonfield Police unable to cope with the evil that is Michael Myers. The film has gone on to have seven sequels and most recently a “revision” of the original films by director Rob Zombie, but none have ever been able to top the movie that’s become known as the first of the “slasher-movie genre.”

2. The Exorcist (1973)

Known as the scariest movie of all time, The Exorcist set a new standard for the horror movie genre when it won four Golden Globe Awards for Best Picture, Best Director (William Friedkin), Best Supporting Actress (Linda Blair), and Best Screenplay (William Peter Blatty). Based on the novel by William Blatty, who would return in 1990 to write and direct Exorcist 3 based on his novel Legion, The Exorcist frightened audiences with its revolutionary sound effects, makeup art, and cinematography. Sound editors Robert Knudson and Christopher Newman also won the Academy Award for Best Sound, and the film has gone down in history as the definitive horror film, praying on the audiences’ inner demons and fear of the unknown. A definite must see if you never have before!

3. Frankenstein (1931)

Whether you’re a fan of scary movies or not, chances are you’ve seen some variation of Frankenstein. Boris Karloff, however, has always maintained the definitive look that everyone associates with the creature created by a mad scientist for his own ambitions. Although the story has gone on to have countless sequels and remakes, director James Whales’ original set a horror standard for its time, and helped Boris Karloff become one of the most famous faces the horror genre ever saw. After you watch the classic, check out Mel Brooks’ hilarious spin on the story, Young Frankenstein (1974).

boris

4. The Amityville Horror (1979, 2005)

Based on the book The Amityville Horror: A True Story by author Jay Anson, The Amityville Horror is one of the iconic haunted house stories. Playing with both psychological thrill and jump-from-the-screen screams, Amityville has maintained a reputation as one of the most famous horror movies, partly in fact because it is based on actual events. Having more than four sequels, and a re-make staring Ryan Reynolds in 2005, Amityville definitely makes the list of classics!

5. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974, 2003)

Another movie that has been revamped for new generations, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is a great watch for the Halloween spirit. Based in part on the crimes of actual murderer Ed Gein, Chainsaw follows a group of friends as they travel through Texas and experience horrors beyond nightmares when they come across Leatherface and his family of cannibals and deep-country incest. The film has also had several sequels and a successful re-make in 2003 starring Jessica Biel. The story is pretty entertaining whether you watch the original or the new one, so knock yourself out.

texas

Other honorable mentions you should definitely check out include:
6. The Shining (1980)
7. Friday The 13th, Part I and II (1980, 1981)
8. Dracula (1931)
9. Sleepy Hollow (1999)
10. Psycho (1960)

Happy Halloween!!!

Loaded Boards – Dervish Sama

The video features three riders, all of which have completely different styles. This is by far my favorite video by the guys at loaded, I give the cinemetography an A+. Loaded Boards have been around for some time now. They are by far one of the best boards available on the market sitting at an average of $300 a board.

This ‘promotional’ video which was released not too long ago, features the new style of the Dervish board. The Dervish Sama, is the new and improved Dervish, which was one of the original boards they released.

If you are interested in the board or more from LOADED BOARDS.