April 19, 2013 |
Amazon, the online retailing giant, is following Netflix and Hulu into the world of original online content. But unlike the other outlets, which have been selecting their programs the old-fashioned way (that is, executives putting their reps on the line to back a show), Amazon is going about things a little differently: It's asking viewers to vote on which shows will become full series. Call it the "American Idol"-ization of entertainment programming, but Amazon is letting the people be their own programming execs by putting 14 pilot episodes on its website and then letting the audience choose which should move forward.
August 12, 2011 |
Fast, cheap and out of control and set in glamorous Grand Rapids, Mich., director Ruben Fleischer's "30 Minutes or Less" doesn't even crack the 80-minute mark if you exclude the end credits. The same was true of Fleischer's feature film debut, the very funny "Zombieland," which contained more visual wit and kinetic energy than most action comedies we're seeing lately. Fleischer and his editor, Alan Baumgarten, have complementary senses of humor; they know how to cut for maximum punctuation as well as how to cut to the chase.
September 26, 2010 |
When Jesse Eisenberg arrived at his West Hollywood hotel last week, only an hour off a plane and with a bulky duffel bag slung over his shoulder, he seemed irritated. And he was, because the night before, he had accidentally caught the last 30 seconds of "The Social Network," in which he stars as Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, before a question-and-answer session about the movie in Chicago. He had been trying to avoid it because he does not like to watch his own performances. "I've been so furious this whole morning about what I did in that scene," he said almost immediately after sitting down at the Sunset Marquis' restaurant.
January 31, 2010 |
Zombieland Sony, $28.96; Blu-ray, $39.95 The raucous horror-comedy "Zombieland" sports enough action and black humor to win over those with walking-dead fatigue. Director Ruben Fleischer and screenwriters Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick send up post-apocalyptic movie clichés while also crafting an effective people-need-people plot, casting Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone and Abigail Breslin as a circle of survivors traveling cross-country to an amusement park. (The movie also features one of the most enjoyable surprise cameos in recent movie memory.
November 18, 2009 |
There was a chill in the Georgia night when "Zombieland" director Ruben Fleischer discussed the Seat Belt Rule -- one of the guidelines the lead character follows to survive his town's zombie infestation. Fleischer said, "I'd like to see an accident that's never been done before. Let's crash a suburban mom through a windshield and have her land a foot in front of the camera." As if that weren't challenging enough: "And we have to do it in one shot." Huh? George Aguilar, the second unit director and stunt coordinator, consulted with visual effects supervisor Paul Linden, and a plan was hatched.
October 15, 2009 |
By now, the secret's out: Bill Murray has a show-stopping cameo midway through director Ruben Fleischer's surprise hit "Zombieland." All apologies if that's a spoiler for anyone. But the back story to Murray's appearance is almost as interesting as the bit itself. According to Fleischer, it was originally scripted for Patrick Swayze to appear as a zombie. "We had hilarious jokes written referencing classic Swayze movies. At one point, Woody [Harrelson] holds him up in the Jennifer Grey pose from 'Dirty Dancing.