Home' South Florida Times : SFT 043015 Contents SoFlo LIVE | SFLTIMES.COM | SOUTH FLORIDA TIMES | APRIL 30 — MAY 6, 2015 | 3C
By LINDSEY BAHR
AP Film Writer
LAS VEGAS — It matters where you watch a movie, the
head of the Motion Picture Association of America stressed
last week at the opening of an annual gathering of theater
owners in Las Vegas.
“Legitimately accessing content rewards the creators
that drive America's flourishing motion picture and TV
industry, a nationwide economic sector that exports six times
what it imports,” said Chris Dodd, MPAA chairman and CEO
in reference to the ongoing content piracy problem.
Dodd said piracy and illegal downloading remain top
concerns for the industry, especially with 2015 expected to
be a record-breaking year at the worldwide box office.
Dodd used the opportunity to promote the newly
launched website www.wheretowatch.com , a search
platform presented by the six member studios of the MPAA
to provides information on where films can be seen legally
online or in theaters.
But the major theme of the presentation was the
upcoming slate of movies.
National Association of Theater Owners President John
Fithian noted a number of reasons that 2015 will be a
banner year, including the fact that studios are finally
embracing the entire calendar year for releases.
“Clint Eastwood presented serious drama in January,
February is a great time for love,'' said Fithian, referencing
high-earners American Sniper and Fifty Shades of Grey.
In a year that includes blockbuster releases such as
Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Avengers: Age of Ultron, and
Jurassic World, Fithian said there will be “at least four, and
maybe six, billion-dollar global movies spread across the
Key, though, is the there are more films with women at
the center, and more films that appeal to all ages. Films such
as Cinderella, Insurgent and Fifty Shades of Grey had women
in leading roles and women make up 60 percent of the ticket-
“Personally I'm so pleased that my daughter can see
more women in leading roles than ever before,” he said.
By JOHN DEFORE
The Hollywood Reporter
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Taking aim at cyberbullies on
their home turf, Levan Gabriadze's Unfriended envisions
an I Know What You Did Last Summer-style vengeance
scenario conducted by a ghost entirely via social media.
Presented as if it were being witnessed on one of the
protagonists' laptops, the pic sticks with its gimmick
more honestly than Nacho Vigalondo's Open Windows, a
Fantasia entry with a similar visual conceit. Though it's
substantially less successful in dramatic than in technical
terms, the pic could draw some attention from genre die-
hards in niche bookings.
The setting is a group Skype chat in which five high-school
friends log on together for no reason other than to have com-
pany while wasting hours of their youths sitting alone in their
bedrooms. Around the time they realize this is the anniversary
of the suicide of Laura Burns, a classmate they hated, a mys-
terious sixth person enters the chat — an anonymous digital
intruder claiming to be Laura's spirit.
Assuming this to be a creepy hacker, they try — and fail
to hang up on “him.” But this hacker has skills. He's soon
taunting them (and a sixth friend) across an array of platforms,
controlling texts, video messages and the like. (The services
are all depicted with their real brands — YouTube, Facebook,
Skype, et cetera.) As they grow increasingly agitated, he
turns them against each other by revealing secrets he has
no way of knowing — betrayals, insults and worse — before
proceeding to grisly physical punishments that apparently
involve psychic control.
These kids are more loathsome than the average victims
of slasher-flick boogeymen, and the young actors have little
success (if they're trying) in making them interesting despite
their shallow nastiness; as the film begins knocking them off
in the usual ways, we can't even take pleasure in their deaths.
By the gory final moments, the picture finds ways to wrench
the annoyance level higher, with goofy onscreen animation
and an inexplicable plea for help to the nonplussed denizens
While much of the screen-hopping that precedes
this has a messy believability — with the lead bully flick-
ing ADHD style between monitoring BitTorrent, choosing
Pandora tunes, researching the paranormal on Wikipedia
and using four or five different technologies to communi-
cate with her frenemies — in the end, one would rather be
back at one's own computer, tending to the tedious details
of digital life, than watching this clique get pinged to death.
PHOTO COURTESY OF THEVERGE.COM
Scene from Unfriended
‘Unfriended’ has interesting plot
big box office year
PHOTO COURTESY OF BLOG.MPAA.ORG
MPAA Chairman and CEO Senator Chris Dodd
Links Archive SFT 050715 SFT 042315 Navigation Previous Page Next Page