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Showing posts from September, 2011

Oscar Senses Tingling, Part One

The Tree of Life
What it's likely to get nominated for: Supporting Actor (Pitt), Cinematography
What I'd like it to be nominated for: Best Picture
Many have viewed 'Tree' as divisive and very few can agree on what it means, but with the new Best Picture formula (must have 5% of first-place votes) and the die-hard devotees of Malick's latest I think it may sneak into the big dance.

What it's likely to get nominated for: Supporting Actor (Brooks)
What I'd like it to be nominated for: Best Picture, Supporting Actor (Brooks)

The violence will most likely turn off Academy members from voting for Drive into the Best Picture field, but the main purveyor of said violence stands the best chance of a nomination. Albert Brooks is beloved by nearly all of the Academy and his against-the-grain turn as a mobster could very well be the lead contender in the field.

What it's likely to get nominated for: Lead Actor (Pitt)
What I'd like it to be nominated for…

Follow Lee Unkrich

Toy Story 3 director Lee Unkrich tweeted that he will be sharing a photo a day while working on his next project for Pixar. "Today is day one on my next prject. Every day I'll post a new photo chronicling the journey.

Of course these photos won't always be thrilling, today's photo was of Mr. Unkrich's lunch. If you're generally curious please follow the Oscar winner at @LeeUnkrich

Early Concept Art for 'Woodfalls'

Looking for an artful depiction of the exploitation genre? Writer/director David Campion thinks he may have it in his upcoming film Woodfalls. Support the film on Kickstarter or hit the jump below to read the synopsis.
When a family of travelers come to a rural town, conflict ensues amongst the locals. Stigmatized as “gypsies” they are not welcome. Woodfalls revolves around the children of the family, Billy and his sister, Rebecca. Billy is trying to fit in after being misunderstood for his unconventional way of life, and Rebecca is discovering her sexuality in an effort to escape the conservative nature of a traveler’s religious culture.Billy makes friends whilst gaining a few enemies, putting his family in danger and stirring up conflict in the small town. As things heat up, Rebecca’s innocence is tainted, and the family breaks. Acceptance would be key but is inevitably absent in this exploitation thriller that questions the value of life and what’s worth putting up a fight for.

Hugh Jackman on His 'X-Men' Cameo

If you haven't seen X-Men: First Class I suggest you skip this post, but if you have give it a go. Hugh Jackman on his fun cameo for the X-Men reboot and why Matthew Vaughn should always do one extra take:

They pitched me the idea and I remember saying, 'Does anyone else swear in the movie?' They said, 'no,' and I said, 'I'm in.' [laughs] It sounded perfect to me. The actual line they used in the end, 'go f-ck yourself,' was a bit of an ad-lib. The line was originally 'f-ck off.' We did about eight takes and I said, 'Mathew, let me do just one more.'"
(Courtesy: Moviefone)

'The Descendants' Trailer

Twenty Years Ago Today

Twenty years ago to the day Nirvana's Nevermind was released. Now you may be wondering why this is being covered on a film blog, but you would only have to look at the blog's name to figure that out. I wasn't old enough to get into the grunge movement as it was going on (I was 5 when Cobain died), but I caught up during my teen years and Nirvana has been featured prominently in my life's soundtrack since.

Review: Moneyball

Baseball movies. Everybody loves them. I mean everybody. Even Summer Catch has its own fans. So take a well-read book by Michael Lewis of Blind Side fame, add the ageless Brad Pitt and the rest is easy. Thankfully, the adaptation by Bennett Miller isn't as by-the-numbers as that. There is no forced romantic subplot to mull over, no downtrodden veteran giving it one last go, no rookie on the ropes trying to get a grip in America's pastime.

For once we have a strictly baseball movie. Billy Beane (Brad Pitt) is the new manager of the Oakland A's. The A's are not the Yankees, hell, they aren't even the Cubs. After losing several star players to free agency Beane has a choice ahead of him, play the rooks and take a beating or sign some over-the-hill guys and kill time for the rest of the season. Fortunately, Beane has Peter Brand (Jonah Hill), a numbers cruncher who may have just found the way to even the score with the big boy teams.

Players like Scott Hatteberg (Chri…

'The Grey' Trailer

Looks like a return to form from Narc director Joe Carnahan. Rugged survival in one of the harshest places on Earth. Liam Neeson was a perfect choice.

'J. Edgar' Trailer

Two things come to mind about Leonardo DiCaprio in this trailer: 1) his accent seems to come-and-go (which could be intentional depending on which Hoover biography you read) and 2) that age makeup. Hopefully, both of these issues will not overshadow his performance.

Review: Drive

Ryan Gosling's Driver seems right out of a magazine pictorial that the current star frequents anymore. His stare is cold and indefinite. His trademark jacket is a little out of date, but it says who he is without words.

A nameless protagonist is not a regular occurrence in cinemas today, though it would fit right in with the westerns of years ago. In a lot of ways Drive is the new western, with a fresh decal. Stoic leading man, a lot of money at stake, and several bad men waiting to get their hands on it.

Drive has been oft-described as a genre film, and stylistically it is. Nicolas Winding Refn has the same flair for chases, fights, and the type of blood lust that would make one think Quentin Tarantino is being too safe in his older age. The violence is quite stylized though, if your stomach is strong enough to take it.

However, Drive is more character focused where other films like Collateral are about plot. A stuntman by day, getaway driver by night, Gosling's Driver doesn&…

Striking 'Dragon Tattoo' Promo Art

Full poster after the jump. Similar to last year's Social Network poster, but the story is in what you don't see. I don't know if this is ultimately all for a Best Picture push, though if it isn't then we still have this wonderful art.

(Courtesy: Mouth Taped Shut)

An 8 Minute Trailer?

I'm a big fan of viral marketing, always have been. So when reports came out that David Fincher was releasing an additional trailer attached to a screening of Straw Dogs it seemed like a great idea. Then it came out the trailer was eight minutes long. Which given that 'Dragon Tattoo' isn't that heavy on plot may be a bad idea.

Here are /Film's Peter Scirreta's thoughts on the footage he saw:

The trailer is awesome. While some two minute trailers completely ruin an entire movie, this 8-minute piece gives you enough to understand the story but not so much that you feel like you’ve seen it all. Somehow it feels like just an enticing appetizer — a teaser trailer. So if you’re afraid of watching this if it is ever released more publicly, don’t be.

The look and tone is very sterile yet moody — a feel I would compare to Se7en, but shot on an updated version of the RED cameras that Fincher used to shoot The Social Network.

Now before you go buying a ticket to Straw Dogs t…

'Shame' Picked Up by Fox Searchlight

Shame was purchased today by Fox Searchlight. Whether the film would be bought or not was in question because Steve McQueen refuses to cut the film in any way. According to producer Iain Canning the film will not be edited in any fashion and a NC-17 release is likely:

I would hope that pushing the boundaries and pushing the level of performance as an actor would be recognized. Everybody that’s talking to us now about U.S. distribution understands that this film is in its final form.

(Courtesy: Deadline)

'Martha Marcy May Marlene' Trailer

Review: Contagion

Steven Soderbergh is not a cuddly director, as exhibited in Che,he likes to bring you into the grit. This is a global scare and not one of us is safe. Not one. The horror of the film is that it is not like The Andromeda Strain or Outbreak, this is entirely conceivable.
We first meet Beth Emhoff (Gwyneth Paltrow) on an overseas trip and upon returning to her home she randomly becomes sick. Her husband Mitch (Matt Damon) has no idea of what is happening and no inclination of what to tell his kids. The infected start spreading and soon the population is eating itself whole. Bloggers and talking heads, some with good-intentions and some not, are all part of media in this century prioritized to be panic-centric.
Jude Law plays a journalist whose name hits the stratosphere when he uploads a video of a man dying on a bus. There is no context to the death, but that doesn't matter. By inciting a panic he can become the new Kingmaker of nightly news. Law embodies the sentiment, “Blogging is n…

'Shame' Seeks Distribution

Steve McQueen's (no, not that one) latest smash from the Venice Film Festival has been receiving critical applause as of late. With no distributor as of yet, a relatively unknown lead actor (though Michael Fassbender apparently gives a haunting turn), no rating and strong subject matter you would think the bidding would be low. Not the case:
This year’s festival hasn’t started and already there are fireworks. Deadline broke news yesterday that Harvey Weinstein would start a VOD business, making the acquisitions market for fringe films more competitive; and last night, I heard that a bidding battle had already broken out for the Steve McQueen-directed Shame, which should be sold by the time it screens Sunday. Fox Searchlight is the favorite, Sony Pictures Classics is in the mix and I’ve heard that The Weinstein Company is hovering.
(Courtesy: THR)

'Killer Joe' Poster Reveals Darker McConaughey

McConaughey seems to be enjoying a career renaissance of late with this in the books and Steven Soderbergh's 'Magic Mike' up next. Anyone who is familiar with the stage play knows that he will not be a jolly guy this go-around.

(Courtesy: Coming Soon)

'Martha Marcy May Marlene' Blends Dream with Reality

Fox Searchlight looks like it has another winner on its hands. The buzz for this have been spectacular and I am willing to love any film that gives John Hawkes an opportunity to shine.

(Courtesy: Fox Searchlight)

Telluride Film Festival Announces Lineup

Telluride starts tomorrow and for many of us the lineup would be a mystery until today. With the list of films released I think it's safe to say that this is a solid group. Notably, A Dangerous Method, The Artist, and Albert Nobbs. More announcements are expected in the days to come. After the jump check out the official feature films listed.
38th Telluride Film Festival is proud to present the following new feature films to play in its main program, the ‘SHOW’:

ALBERT NOBBS (d. Rodrigo Garcia, U.S., 2011)
THE ARTIST (d. Michel Hazanavicius, France, 2011)
BECOMING BERT STERN (d. Shannah Laumeister, U.S., 2011)
BITTER SEEDS (d. Micha X. Peled, U.S., 2011)
BONSÁI (d. Cristián Jiménez, Chile, 2011)
A DANGEROUS METHOD (d. David Cronenberg, U.K.-Switzerland-U.S.-Canada, 2011)
THE DESCENDANTS (d. Alexander Payne, U.S., 2011)
DIANA VREELAND: THE EYE HAS TO TRAVEL (d. Lisa Immordino-Vreeland, U.S., 2011)
FOOTNOTE (d. Joseph Cedar, Israel, 2011)

2011 Fall/Winter's Most Anticipated

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy Taut thrillers have been left by the wayside in recent years - action films and rom-coms are more sure investments - but here, a prize one, has been placed right into our laps. George Smiley (Gary Oldman) has been tasked with finding a mole in his agency. When men start dying the stakes cannot be higher. But who can you trust?
Drive Stuntman by day, criminal by night. Everything comes easy to (Gosling), whether it be flipping a car at exactly the right moment, or escaping hordes of police cars, nothing really frightens him. So when a score goes horribly awry, the adrenaline kicks in and the man paid to run goes on the prowl.
The Ides of March The cast alone should convince you to purchase a matinee ticket. Clooney, Gosling, Hoffman, Giamatti. Running for President is treacherous. The only thing more treacherous is ambition. When idealistic aide (Gosling) is convinced he can become a Kingmaker to charismatic (Clooney) a sure thing quickly unravels and everyon…