Category: Columbia Pictures
Dave Skylark and his producer Aaron Rapoport run the popular celebrity tabloid TV show “Skylark Tonight.” When they discover that North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un is a fan of the show, they land an interview with him in an attempt to legitimize themselves as journalists. As Dave and Aaron prepare to travel to Pyongyang, their plans change when the CIA recruits them, perhaps the two least-qualified men imaginable, to assassinate Kim Jong-un.
The Interview is an American political satire comedy film directed by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg. It is their second directorial work, following This Is the End (2013). The screenplay is by Dan Sterling, based upon a story he co-authored with Rogen and Goldberg. The film stars Rogen and James Franco as journalists who set up an interview with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (Randall Park), and are recruited by the CIA to assassinate him.
Rogen and Goldberg developed the idea for The Interview in the late 2000s, with Kim Jong-il as the original assassination target. In 2011, after Jong-il’s death, Jong-un replaced him as the North Korean leader. Rogen and Goldberg re-developed the script with the focus on Jong-un’s character. The announcement for the film was made in March 2013, along with the beginning of pre-production. Principal photography took place in Vancouver from October to December 2013.
Directed by: Evan Goldberg, Seth Rogen
Starring: James Franco, Seth Rogen, Lizzy Caplan, Randall Park, Diana Bang, Dominique Lalonde, Anesha Bailey
Screenplay by: Dan Sterling
Production Design by: Jon Billington
Cinematography by: Brandon Trost
Film Editing by; Zene Baker, Evan Henke
Costume Design by: Carla Hetland
Set Decoration by: Johanne Hubert
Art Direction by: James Steuart
Music by: Henry Jackman
Studio: Sony Pictures Classics
Release Date: December 25, 2014
Taglines: War never ends quietly.
April, 1945. As the Allies make their final push in the European Theatre, a battle-hardened army sergeant named Wardaddy (Brad Pitt) commands a Sherman tank and her five-man crew on a deadly mission behind enemy lines. Outnumbered and outgunned, Wardaddy and his men face overwhelming odds in their heroic attempts to strike at the heart of Nazi Germany.April, 1945.
As the Allies make their final push in the European Theatre, a battle-hardened army sergeant named Wardaddy (Brad Pitt) commands a Sherman tank and her five-man crew on a deadly mission behind enemy lines. Outnumbered and outgunned, Wardaddy and his men face overwhelming odds in their heroic attempts to strike at the heart of Nazi Germany.
Fury is an American war film set during World War II written and directed by David Ayer. The film stars Brad Pitt, Shia LaBeouf, Logan Lerman, Jon Bernthal, Michael Peña, Jason Isaacs, and Scott Eastwood.
Rehearsing for the film began in early September 2013 in Hertfordshire, England, followed by principal photography began on September 30, 2013, in Oxfordshire. Continuing filming for a month and half at different locations including Oxford, shooting for the film concluded on November 15. The film was released on October 17, 2014.
About the Story
The film is set during the last month of the European Theater of war during World War II in April 1945. As the Allies make their final push into Nazi Germany, a battle-hardened U.S. Army sergeant in the 2nd Armored Division named Don “Wardaddy” Collier (Brad Pitt) commands an M4A3E8 Sherman tank called “Fury” and its five-man crew, consisting of Boyd “Bible” Swan (Shia LeBeouf), Grady “Coon-Ass” Travis (Jon Bernthal) and Trini “Gordo” Garcia (Michael Peña). After losing the assistant driver in battle, he gets a recently enlisted typist, Norman Ellison (Logan Lerman), as a replacement.
The crew, which has been together since the North African Campaign, initially despises Norman for his lack of experience and excessive compassion towards Germans (Norman refuses to shoot a captive German artilleryman, and cannot bring himself to shoot at Hitlerjugend teenagers because of their age), so Wardaddy makes Norman shoot a captive German soldier to break him of his innocence.
The bond between Norman and Wardaddy becomes stronger after capturing a small German town, where Wardaddy and Norman meet a German woman named Emma and her cousin. Norman (presumably) sleeps with Emma, then joins Wardaddy and Emma’s cousin for breakfast. However, the rest of the crew barge in and cause tensions while at the table. Shortly afterwards, a German bombardment hits the town, killing Emma and some of the American forces.
The platoon of tanks, led by Wardaddy, gets a mission to hold a vital crossing (protecting a clear way to supply trains), but after encountering a German Tiger I, only “Fury” remains. The vehicle is immobilized after hitting a landmine; shortly afterwards, a German column of three hundred Waffen-SS infantry approaches. Wardaddy refuses to leave, and the rest of the crew, initially reluctant, decides to stay and plan an ambush.
Directed by: David Ayer
Starring: Brad Pitt, Shia LaBeouf, Logan Lerman, Michael Pena, Jon Bernthal, Jason Isaacs, Scott Eastwood, Alicia von Rittberg
Screenplay by: David Ayer
Production Design by: Andrew Menzies
Cinematography by: Roman Vasyanov
Film Editing by: Jay Cassidy, Dody Dorn
Costume Design by: Anna B. Sheppard, Owen Thornton
Set Decoration by: Lee Gordon, Malcolm Stone
Music by: Steven Price
MPAA Rating: R for strong sequences of war violence, some grisly images, and language throughout.
Studio: Columbia Pictures
Release Date: October 17, 2014
Taglines: They’re not 21 anymore.
After making their way through high school (twice), big changes are in store for officers Schmidt (Jonah Hill) and Jenko (Channing Tatum) when they go deep undercover at a local college. But when Jenko meets a kindred spirit on the football team, and Schmidt infiltrates the bohemian art major scene, they begin to question their partnership. Now they don’t have to just crack the case – they have to figure out if they can have a mature relationship. If these two overgrown adolescents can grow from freshmen into real men, college might be the best thing that ever happened to them.
22 Jump Street is an American action comedy film directed by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, produced by and starring Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum, and written by Michael Bacall, Oren Uziel, and Rodney Rothman. It is the sequel to the 2012 film 21 Jump Street, based on the television series of the same name. The film was released on June 13, 2014, by Columbia Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. The film received generally positive reviews and earned over $331 million at the box office. 23 Jump Street is in development, with Lord and Miller acting as producers.
About the Story
Following their success in the 21 Jump Street program, Schmidt (Jonah Hill) and Jenko (Channing Tatum) are back on the streets chasing narcotics. However, after failing in the pursuit of a group of drug dealers led by Ghost (Peter Stormare), Deputy Chief Hardy (Nick Offerman) puts the duo back on the program to work for Captain Dickson (Ice Cube) – now located across the street at 22 Jump Street. Their assignment is to go undercover as college students and locate the supplier of a drug known as “WHYPHY” (Work Hard Yes Play Hard Yes) that killed a student photographed buying it on campus.
At college, Jenko quickly makes friends with a pair of jocks named Zook (Wyatt Russell) and Rooster (Jimmy Tatro), the latter being a prime suspect of the investigation. Jenko starts attending parties with the jocks who do not take as kindly to Schmidt. Meanwhile, Schmidt gets the attention of an art student, Maya (Amber Stevens), by feigning an interest in slam poetry. The two sleep together, to the disapproval of Maya’s roommate Mercedes (Jillian Bell), and it is revealed that Maya is the daughter of the vehemently disapproving Captain Dickson. Despite sleeping together, Maya tells Schmidt not to take it seriously, and he starts to feel left out as Jenko bonds more and more with Zook who encourages him to join the football team.
When Schmidt and Jenko feel as if they have no clue to who the dealer is because they have no leads, they decide to pay a visit to Mr. Walters (Rob Riggle) and Eric (Dave Franco) in jail for advice on how to look for the WHYPHY supplier. Walters tells the two to look more closely as he notices a unique tattoo on the arm of the dealer in the photograph showing it is a guy shooting a bazooka with the big boldest part of the tattoo that reads “BOOM!”. He insists that if they find the tattoo, they will have found their man.
Whilst hanging out with Zook and Rooster, Jenko notices that Rooster does not have the tattoo but sees it on Zook’s arm. Schmidt and Jenko are invited to join the fraternity led by the jocks but Schmidt refuses, furthering the tension between the two. At a counselling session, they realise that maybe Zook isn’t the dealer but was buying the drugs rather than selling them, and soon afterwards they find Ghost and his men on campus. A chase ensues and Ghost again evades the pair. Jenko reveals to Schmidt that he’s been offered a football scholarship with Zook and is unsure whether or not he wants to continue to be a police officer. Schmidt decides for him by telling officers on the scene that Jenko had nothing to do with the melee caused by the chase. Immediately afterwards, Schmidt moves out of the dorm and Maya finds out who he really is.
Spring Break arrives and Schmidt prepares to go after Ghost alone. Jenko asks to help so that the two can have one final mission together, and the pair head to the beach where Ghost is likely to be dealing WHYPHY. Inside a bar, they find Mercedes, revealed to be Ghost’s daughter, giving instructions to other dealers. The pair, backed up by Dickson, ambush the meeting and give chase as they flee. Mercedes is able to handcuff Dickson and take him hostage, pursued by Schmidt. Meanwhile, Jenko goes after Ghost. After a fist fight with Mercedes, Schmidt is held at gunpoint by her but Maya sneaks up and knocks her out. Schmidt goes to help Jenko who is now on the roof of the college in pursuit of Ghost, who shoots Jenko in the shoulder. Ghost attempts to escape in a helicopter and Jenko jumps across to it but struggles to hold on with his injured arm. Schmidt makes the same jump and the two fall into the sea, but not before Jenko is able to throw a grenade into the helicopter, killing Ghost.
22 Jump Street
Directed by: Phil Lord, Christopher Miller
Starring: Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill, Ice Cube, Dave Franco, Peter Stormare, Amber Stevens, Libby Blanton
Screenplay by: Michael Bacall, Oren Uziel
Production Design by: Steve Saklad
Cinematography by: Barry Peterson
Film Editing by: Keith Brachmann, David Rennie
Costume Design by: Leesa Evans
Set Decoration by: Tracey A. Doyle
Music byB Mark Mothersbaugh
MPAA Rating: R for language throughout, sexual content, drug material, brief nudity and some violence.
Studio: Sony Pictures, Columbia Pictures
Release Date: June 13, 2014
Taglines: Crime has a new enemy.
The year is 2028 and multinational conglomerate OmniCorp is at the center of robot technology. Their drones are winning American wars around the globe and now they want to bring this technology to the home front. Alex Murphy (Joel Kinnaman) is a loving husband, father and good cop doing his best to stem the tide of crime and corruption in Detroit. After he is critically injured in the line of duty, OmniCorp utilizes their remarkable science of robotics to save Alex’s life. He returns to the streets of his beloved city with amazing new abilities, but with issues a regular man has never had to face before.
RoboCop is an American cyberpunk action film directed by José Padilha. It is a remake of the 1987 film of the same name and reboot of the RoboCop franchise. The film stars Joel Kinnaman in the title role, with Gary Oldman, Michael Keaton, Samuel L. Jackson, Abbie Cornish and Jackie Earle Haley in supporting roles.
In March 2008 RoboCop was mentioned in an MGM press release regarding franchises it would be developing in the future. An MGM poster displayed at the Licensing International Expo of June 2008 read, “RoboCop coming 2010.” The studio met with Darren Aronofsky to discuss the possibility of him directing the film. At the San Diego Comic-Con International 2008, Aronofsky was confirmed to direct the “2010 RoboCop” film, with David Self writing the script. The release date was postponed to 2011.
About the Story
In 2028, multinational conglomerate OmniCorp revolutionizes warfare with the introduction of robotic peacekeepers capable of maintaining law and order in hot spots such as Iran. Led by CEO Raymond Sellars, the company moves to market its tech to domestic law enforcement, but the passage of the Dreyfus Act, forbidding deployment of drones on U.S. soil, prevents this.
Aware that most Americans oppose the use of military systems in their communities, Sellars asks Dr. Dennett Norton and his research team to create an alternative. The result is a proposal for a cyborg police officer. However, Norton informs Sellars that only someone who is stable enough to handle being a cyborg can be turned into one, and some candidates are rejected.
A Detroit police detective, Alex Murphy, is chosen after he is critically injured in a car bomb explosion arranged by crime boss Antoine Vallon in revenge for Murphy’s investigation into his activities. Norton persuades Murphy’s wife Clara to sign off on the procedure. Upon waking up and realizing the extent of his transformation, Murphy flies into a rage and escapes the lab, but Norton is able to convince him to return.
As Norton reveals to Murphy that the only remnants of his human body are most of his head (excluding parts of the brain), his respiratory organs and a hand, Murphy is disgusted, and asks for euthanasia. Norton reminds Murphy about his wife’s and son’s patience, and convinces him to live on. During combat training with trainer Rick Mattox, Murphy proves unable to compete with the standard OmniCorp drones in efficiency. Norton alters his programming to make him more efficient, but also less empathetic.
Shortly before he is to be publicly unveiled, Murphy has an emotional breakdown, forcing Norton to remove his emotions. During the ceremony, RoboCop identifies and apprehends a criminal in the crowd. He goes on to reduce crime in Detroit dramatically, wrecking public support for the Dreyfus Act. Aware that Clara has begun to ask questions, Sellars orders Norton to keep her away from her husband.
Clara nevertheless manages to confront RoboCop, telling him of their son David’s nightmares. The experience leads Murphy to override his programming and access the previously sealed files on his attempted murder. From them, he learns his son witnessed the explosion and was left traumatized. Murphy pursues Vallon’s gang for revenge. He takes heavy damage from their armor-piercing weapons, but manages to kill the boss and his men. Murphy returns to the station and joins with his old partner, Jack Lewis, to confront the two corrupt cops who betrayed him to Vallon, shooting one and tazing the other. Learning that the Chief of Police was also involved, Murphy moves to arrest her, but is remotely shut down by Mattox.
Directed by: José Padilha
Starring: Joel Kinnaman, Gary Oldman, Michael Keaton, Abbie Cornish, Jackie Earle Haley, Jennifer Ehle, Jay Baruchel
Screenplay by: Nick Schenk, Joshua Zetumer, James Vanderbilt
Production Design by: Martin Whist
Cinematography by: Lula Carvalho
Film Editing by: Peter McNulty, Daniel Rezende
Costume Design by: April Ferry
Set Decoration by: Carolyn ‘Cal’ Loucks
Music by: Pedro Bromfman
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for intense sequences of action including frenetic gun violence throughout, brief strong language, sensuality and some drug material.
Studio: Sony ScreenGems, Columbia Pictures, Metro Goldwyn-Mayer
Release Date: February 7, 2014
An unlikely World War II platoon is tasked by FDR with going into Germany to rescue artistic masterpieces from Nazi thieves and returning them to their rightful owners. It would be an impossible mission: with the art trapped behind enemy lines, and with the German army under orders to destroy everything as the Reich fell, how could these guys – seven museum directors, curators, and art historians, all more familiar with Michelangelo than the M-1 — possibly hope to succeed? But as the Monuments Men, as they were called, found themselves in a race against time to avoid the destruction of 1000 years of culture, they would risk their lives to protect and defend mankind’s greatest achievements.
About the Film
“The story of the Monuments Men is one that really very few people know,” says George Clooney, who returns to the director’s chair for the story of a small group of artists, art historians, architects, and museum curators who would lead the rescue of 1000 years of civilization during World War II in his new film, The Monuments Men. “Artists, art dealers, architects – these were men that were far beyond the age that they were going to be drafted into a war or volunteer. But they took on this adventure, because they had this belief that culture can be destroyed. If they’d failed, it could have meant the loss of six million pieces of art. They weren’t going to let that happen – and the truth of the matter is, they pulled it off.”
The chance to make a World War II movie was extremely attractive to Clooney and his writing and producing partner, Grant Heslov. “There’s a certain romance around these movies – The Great Escape, The Dirty Dozen, The Guns of Navarone, The Bridge on the River Kwai,” says Clooney. “In those movies, you fell in love with the characters and the actors as much as the story. And we thought The Monuments Men was a great chance to cast interesting contemporary actors together for our version of that kind of movie – it’s a fun and entertaining way to do it.”
Part of the drama of the film is that all of the Monuments Men are so unsuited to serving as soldiers in wartime. “Wars are fought by 18-year-olds,” says Clooney. “Once you get to the John Goodmans and the Bob Balabans and the George Clooneys, you know – these guys are not getting drafted.” Heslov adds: “They did it because it was clear that they were the only people who could do it.”
“Actually, we never really fully thought of this as a war film – it was a heist film,” says Clooney. “And then, the first day, we got to the set, and everybody put on their uniforms and helmets.”
Clooney was inspired to tackle The Monuments Men as a feature film not only because of its exciting and dramatic subject matter, but because it marked a sharp, decisive break from his most recent film, The Ides of March. “We were very proud of that film, but it was contemporary, and very small – and also cynical,” says Heslov.
“We’ve made some cynical films, but in general, we really aren’t cynical people,” Clooney continues. “We wanted to do a movie that wasn’t cynical, a movie that was straightforward, old-fashioned, and had a positive forward movement to it.”
In their search for material, Heslov mentioned that he had recently read the book The Monuments Men by Robert M. Edsel with Bret Witter, and brought the subject matter to Clooney. Here was a chance to tell an optimistic story on an epic scale – a true story with huge stakes.
“I was living in Florence, walking across the Pontevecchio Bridge – the only bridge that wasn’t destroyed by the Nazis as they fled in 1944 – and I wondered, this was the greatest conflict in history…how were all of these cultural treasures saved, and who saved them?” Edsel asks. “I wanted to find out the answer.”
The answer was the Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives group, which would go to the front lines and, for the first time, try to save the treasures that could be saved. “Culture was at risk,” says Clooney. “You see it time and time again. You saw it in Iraq – the museums weren’t protected, and you saw how much of their culture was lost because of that.”
“Even today, people are still trying to get back the art that was looted from their families by the Nazis,” Heslov says, noting that just recently, a treasure trove of looted art was discovered in a Munich apartment – 1,500 works worth $1.5 billion, paintings by Matisse, Picasso, Dix, and other artists that had been thought to be lost.
“I think what that goes to show is that this is not a story that ended in 1945 – the search for missing art goes on today,” Heslov continues. “There are still thousands of works that are still lost. There are paintings that are hanging in people’s homes or hidden in plain sight on the walls of museums. Can you imagine if all of that had just been destroyed? It would have been a catastrophe.”
“This story opens up the Second World War in a way that gives you a different perspective on it,” says Cate Blanchett, who plays a key role as Claire Simone, a woman who holds the key to the secret location of thousands of priceless pieces of stolen art.” “These men were spurred on by a higher ideal.” So many of the works that we take for granted in the great museums of the world were returned by this band of men – it was a near impossible task. “Absurd, in a way: non military men going to the front lines and asking generals to stop bombing a certain church or area to save a window, or a sculpture or mural – you wonder how “they were able to save anything at all.” It’s an extraordinary, selfless thing that they did, done to preserve history.”
Though the Monuments Men had the support of FDR and General Eisenhower, they did face a challenge in embedding themselves in the field. “Eisenhower was very keen on the idea – he wanted to make sure that there was something left when the war was over – and the war was going to be over very soon,” says Clooney. “It was something he came to, after Allied bombing destroyed an ancient abbey that really didn’t need to be destroyed. So it was important not just to protect the art from the Nazis, but from the Allies’ own exploits as they pushed toward the end of the war. The Allies were blowing everything up, so they had this realization that culture can be destroyed – not just by the Germans, but by us.”
Edsel says that many museum directors in the US had concerns about the art and cultural treasures that could be lost in the war, but that they were working at cross purposes – each director with his own plan – rather than in concert. “George Stout – who would later become the unofficial leader of the Monuments Men – made some efforts, but he gave up on it – he figured no one was going to approve the idea of a bunch of middle aged art historians, architects, and artists running around with combat soldiers.” But then Roosevelt approved the idea – and not a moment too soon. “In August 1943, the Allies nearly destroyed The Last Supper inadvertently,” Edsel continues. “I think that set off the alarm bells and accelerated getting the monuments officers into the field.”
Edsel says that one might expect that soldiers fighting a war would not be receptive to being told what they could and could not blow up – but it’s just the opposite. “Much to their surprise – and we found this in their letters home, over and over again – there was only mild resistance at the beginning, and that quickly gave way to soldiers asking, ‘How are we doing? Have we saved any churches? Have we found any paintings?’ The military started getting pretty engaged.”
The Monuments Men were also working against a ticking clock. As the Allies closed in on Berlin, Hitler was unwilling to accept unconditional surrender – and if he couldn’t have Germany, no one else would either. “It became known as the ‘Nero Decree,’ Clooney explains. “Hitler said, ‘If I die, destroy everything’ – bridges, railroad tracks, communications equipment – and that was taken to mean the art, too. Everything.”
The Monuments Men
Directed by: George Clooney
Starring: George Clooney, Daniel Craig, Bill Murray, Cate Blanchett, Jean Dujardin, Matt Damon, John Goodman
Screenplay by: George Clooney, Grant Heslov, Robert M. Edsel
Production Design by: James D. Bissell
Cinematography by: Phedon Papamichael
Film Editing by: Stephen Mirrione
Costume Design by: Louise Frogley
Set Decoration by: Bernhard Henrich
Music by: Alexandre Desplat
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for some images of war violence and historical smoking.
Studio: Sony Pictures, 20th Century Fox
Release Date: February 7, 2014