James Franco as a ‘Southern-fried Meth Kingpin’ up against Jason Statham in HOMEFRONT, written by Sylvester Stallone

James White says “it was only a matter of time before James Franco turned Heisenberg…Sylvester Stallone wrote the script, in which Statham plays Phil Broker, a family man who moves off the grid with his daughter (Izabela Vidovic), to a quiet bayou backwater to escape his troubled past. However, Broker’s world soon becomes anything but quiet once he discovers that an underbelly of drugs and violence riddles the small town. Soon, a sociopathic methamphetamine kingpin, Gator Bodine (Franco), puts Broker and his daughter in harm’s way, forcing Broker back into action to save his family and the town.”

Read more at Empire.

GRUDGE MATCH: De Niro vs. Stallone

The new trailer for GRUDGE MATCH has dropped. A comic title bout between two film heavyweights… Jake La Motta vs. Rocky Balboa!

Alan Arkin looks to be hilarious, as usual.

James White at Empire reports:

“Grudge Match follows what happens when two old school boxers, whose careers peaked in the 1980s, are brought back together for one final, grand slam fit of fisticuffs.

It’s all the idea of boxing promoter Dante (Kevin Hart), who spots an opportunity to reunite bitter old rivals Billy “The Kid” McDonnen (De Niro) and Henry “Razor” Sharp (Stallone), who traded blows and championship belts before Razor announced his retirement before a big deciding match.

Before they get back in the ring, though, the pair meet while filming motion capture scenes for a new boxing game, and the old conflict comes bubbling back to the surface. Soon, the HBO bout is a hot ticket, but can the two old timers make it through training?

While the trailer shows the film is frontloading the laughs, it does appear there’s a fair chunk of emotion running through this one too as the veteran fighters consider their lives and confront old demons, including Billy’s discovery that he has a son (The Walking Dead’s Jon Bernthal).”



Why do VFX companies underbid? — Scott Squires answers the question

greenscreenOver at Effects Corner, Scott Squires examines the questionable business practices of the Visual Effects industry. He writes:

“One of the most problematic issues in the VFX industry, besides subsidies, is underbidding.

This is where a company knowingly underbids what the company  estimates it will actually cost to do the proposed work.  It’s also known as ‘buying a project’.

This isn’t done by just up and coming companies. Large, well established companies even in subsidized areas underbid frequently.

It doesn’t take a financial wizard to see intentionally losing money on a project is not a good long term plan. In fact it’s not even a good short term plan.”

The reasons, he continues, are Subsidies, Competition and Poor Management.

The impacts are the death of companies, the loss of wages and benefits by workers, the erosion of competing companies, and trouble in completion of films in production when vendors shut down.

His conclusions:

“Place a value on what you do. Do not underbid. Consider the long term consequences. If both companies and individuals are only focused on being the cheapest above everything else, then the quality and the creativity will fail along with the business.”

“Very intimate form of 3D” — Four films from National Film Board of Canada at Toronto Film Festival

TIFF-2013Cassandra Szklarski writes in The Canadian Press:

“The National Film Board of Canada is exploring another dimension at the Toronto International Film Festival this year.

The NFB is touting four 3D animated shorts at the movie marathon, including an 11-minute film from Oscar winner Chris Landreth.

NFB producer Michael Fukushima says they’re all intimate projects designed to pull in an audience, rather than push them back with eye-popping visuals.

Landreth’s “Subconscious Password” imagines what goes on inside the mind when it goes searching for information.

Then there’s Bruce Alcock’s food-themed “Impromptu,” Theodore Ushev’s war critique “Gloria Victoria,” and Claire Blanchet’s hand-drawn tale “The End of Pinky,” adapted from a short story by author Heather O’Neill.

The Toronto International Film Festival kicks off Sept. 5 with the WikiLeaks story, “The Fifth Estate.”

“It’s quite remarkable to have this many of our stereoscopic 3D films in a single festival,” says Fukushima, who produced “The End of Pinky” and “Impromptu.”

“I think we were lucky this year. The timing was great because we had four (shorts) and they were all pretty strong. TIFF decide to take them all and the fact that there are four makes it much easier for the programmers to say, ‘OK. We’re going to compel audiences to pop the glasses on at a certain point for 15 or 20 minutes as opposed to asking an audience to pop the glasses on for five minutes in the course of a short program.”

He says NFB filmmakers are experimenting with a very intimate form of 3D in a bid for “one-on-one interaction with their audience.”

“They’ve decided that they’re going to get that by drawing the audience in rather than overwhelming them with ‘gosh, golly’ stuff that pops out of the screen.”

Landreth, who won an Oscar for his 2004 film “Ryan,” says 3D was a good way to really immerse the audience in his imaginary big-screen brain.

“I use it kind of gradually,” Landreth says of the technology.

“At the beginning of the film it’s relatively flat, there really isn’t that much 3D in it. And then as the film goes on, the 3D becomes more and more deep and more and more envelopes the audience. Hopefully in a good way.”

The article can be found at the Winnipeg Free Press.