Amazon Studios’ Hand of God, which stars Ron Perlman as a corrupt, born-again judge who becomes a vigilante, is the latest example of original production by an online streaming entity. Making his television directorial debut, the pilot was directed by Marc Forster (World War Z, The Kite Runner, Finding Neverland) and photographed in a film-noir style by Matthias Koenigswieser. Viewers of the premiere episode were asked to give opinions on Hand of God before the decision to proceed with the series was made, and soon season one, consisting of nine episodes, was moving forward.
The story takes place in a small town in California where an economic bust makes the populace desperate. Joining the production team for the episodes was Rasmus Heise, a member of the Danish Society of Cinematographers whose work has garnered an impressive array of accolades. Helium, his live-action short with director Anders Walter, won an OSCAR® in 2014.
Christmas, Again is the first feature film from writer-director Charles Poekel. It follows a heartbroken man, played by Kentucker Audley, in the month leading up to Christmas as he sells trees on the street in Brooklyn, New York. The intimate story was shot by Sean Price Williams, whose previous credits include the indie gem Listen Up Philip.
Christmas, Again premiered earlier this year at the Sundance Film Festival in the low-budget NEXT category.
Tom Cruise is back as Ethan Hunt, facing his most blisteringly impossible mission yet, in Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, the fifth installment in the constantly accelerating action-thriller series. The film is directed by Christopher McQuarrie (Edge of Tomorrow, Jack Reacher, The Usual Suspects), with Oscar®-winning cinematographer Robert Elswit, ASC behind the camera (There Will Be Blood, Inherent Vice) and story by McQuarrie and Drew Pearce. Cruise and J.J. Abrams also worked on the film as producers.
The story kicks off with Hunt uncovering the unwelcome reality that a rogue nation called The Syndicate is not only real, but a ticking time bomb about to detonate worldwide if he doesn’t act. The CIA doesn’t buy it, and Hunt’s own team is under threat. Every quality that has made him indispensable is tested as he faces the ultimate nemesis: his ability to move deliberately in heart-stopping circumstances, his finesse travelling glamorous global locales, and his desire to see evil punished and good prevail.
Entourage, the HBO series about a crew of young, working class New Yorkers and their adventures in Hollywood, finished its strong eight-year run in 2011 with a total of 26 Emmy® nominations and numerous wins. Rumors of a feature film began swirling even before the series finale, and by early 2014, with the support of executive producer Mark Wahlberg, cameras rolled. The feature film depicts Vincent Chase (Adrian Grenier) as he makes his feature directorial debut, and includes the principal cast members reprising their roles, as well as a star-studded list of celebrities making cameo appearances.
The project reunites director/creator Doug Ellin and cinematographer Steven Fierberg, ASC. Fierberg (The Affair, Secretary, Love and Other Drugs) shot the first 25 episodes of the show, setting a distinctive look that was built around the ensemble nature of most scenes, subtly underscoring a blend of comedy and drama that audiences loved.
Trainwreck is the latest Judd Apatow-directed comedy to hit the big screen. As a director, Apatow’s smashing success in the comedy realm includes The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up, Funny People and This is 40. In the producer role, he has had a hand in a long string of other hit comedies including Bridesmaids, Superbad, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Pineapple Express, and he is known as a pioneer in the “bromantic comedy” genre.
This time around, Apatow has built a film around a female lead. In Trainwreck, Amy Schumer, who also wrote the script, plays a semi-autobiographical character who is extremely commitment-phobic, tending to sabotage any budding relationship. When she meets a good man, she must face her fears. The cast also includes Tilda Swinton, Bill Hader, Brie Larson, Colin Quinn, Marisa Tomei, and LeBron James. The shoot was mounted in New York City over the course about 53 days.
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