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Showing posts from October, 2011

First Synopsis for 'The Place Beyond the Pines'

Ryan Gosling and Blue Valentine director Derek Cianfrance are reuniting for The Place Beyond the Pines. The film is in post-production and has no release date or distributor as of yet. The film stars Gosling, Bradley Cooper, Ray Liotta and Rose Byrne.
Luke (Gosling) is a professional motorcycle rider who turns to bank robberies to support his newborn son, but when he crosses paths with a rookie police officer (Cooper) their violent confrontation spirals into a tense generational fued. THE PLACE BEYOND THE PINES is a rich dramatic thriller that traces the intersecting lives of fathers and sons, cops and robbers, heroes and villain.

Review: Martha Marcy May Marlene

When we meet Martha (Elizabeth Olsen), she has just escaped a commune she had been living at for two years. She looks lost at this little shopping plaza and the phone call she makes to her sister sounds like it could be under duress. Martha has never gotten along with Lucy (Sarah Paulson), which makes asking to stay with her and her husband (Hugh Dancy) at their new vacation home all the more complicated.

Patrick (John Hawkes) invites these women to his farm where he preaches the benefits of communal living and getting back to basics. Patrick is knowledgeable  he plays the guitar and charming when he wants to be. He convinces her that she has infinitely more value on the farm. He convinces Elizabeth that instead of the wandering spirit she believed herself to be, she is a teacher and a leader.

Of course the payment comes later, it always does. The benefits of communal living are swiftly replaced with the total awareness fear brings to living. With that, Patrick's demeanor also sh…

New 'Dragon Tattoo' Poster

The muted tones of the latest posters are interesting, but could we get some color? Maybe even the trademark Fincher yellow?
(Courtesy: Imp Awards)

'Hugo' Poster Points to 'Safety Last'

Visual references to classics are not uncommon, but how often do you see a nod to Harold Lloyd's classic Safety Last? I love it.

Review: The Skin I Live In

There are a small subset of auteurs left in cinema, but without a doubt, Pedro Almodóvar is the most unique. Issues like incest, murder, adultery are all freely found in his filmography. He operates without any boundaries and, whether you always enjoy his films or not, it is always an experience.

Dr. Robert Ledgard (Antonio Banderas) is first introduced speaking to a group of his contemporaries. Intersplicing Robert's speech with shots of a woman who appears to be held captive. Dr. Ledgard is preaching the advances of a synthetic skin he has created, it is resistant to cuts, burns and scratches. He would like to advance to human testing, but the scientific community pulls back. Robert has gone too far, maybe he should consider returning to surgery.

Robert, feeling dejected, returns home and scampers up the stairs to his room. There, we see a glowing television screen featuring the same woman we saw before. Robert eyes her intently, but his intensity could be taken for love or mad…

No 'Shame' In NC-17

Fox Searchlight has decided to take down the stigma attached to the NC-17 rating. Presidents Steve Gilula and Nancy Utley are planning a full push for Best Actor, Picture, and Supporting Actress, Cinematography and Original Screenplay.

"I think NC-17 is a badge of honor, not a scarlet letter. We believe it is time for the rating to become usable in a serious manner," says Gilula. "The sheer talent of the actors and the vision of the filmmaker are extraordinary. It's not a film that everyone will take easily, but it certainly breaks through the clutter and is distinctive and original. It's a game changer."

A film with such strong word-of-mouth will definitely see some benefits during the awards season, but will they manage to keep older voters in the seats? Only time will tell.

(Courtesy: THR)

The Vault: Oldboy (2003)

Dae-su (Choi Min-sik) has been held prisoner for fifteen years. He knows nothing of why he is there, or for how much longer his imprisonment will continue. He marks his time with scratches on the walls. At the beginning of the film Dae-su makes a fool of himself. Soused to the gills with booze and absent from his daughter's birthday party. This is not the man we meet after his surprise release. His fists are hardened from punching walls every day. He has lost the pouch of fat his stomach grew accustomed to. He is hateful. His confinement has honed him into a killer.

Mido (Gang Hye-Jung) is a chef Dae-su recognizes from the television that was his life in prison. She watches him eat raw squid as if he had a vendetta against the poor creature. Mido senses a great pain in him and offers her residence as a place to care for him. They take comfort in each other and she aids him in his search for truth.

A shadowy third figure draws into the fold and tells Dae-su that he is merely a pawn …

'Anonymous' Now a Limited Release

What should come as a surprise to absolutely no one, Anonymous is being shifted by Sony from a wide release to just 250 theatres. Originally the film was due to be released in thousands of theatres next week, but poor surveying data gave Sony the jitters. I'm not quite sure what they expected, a thriller about the origins of Shakespeare's works just doesn't get that kind of release. Especially one directed by Roland Emmerich.

(Courtesy: L.A. Times)

'Dark Knight Rises' Prologue with 'Mission Impossible'

Much like in 2007 when the opening scene of The Dark Knight was attached to I Am Legend Warner Bros. has decided to do so again. But without one of their releases in IMAX this year the prologue of 'Rises' will be attached to Brad Bird's upcoming Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol.

Mission: Impossible is opening exclusively in IMAX on December 16th. So get those tickets ready.

(Courtesy: /Film)

The Vault: The Thing (1982)

John Carpenter is best known for his cult-hit Halloween more than anything else. That's a shame considering his excellent work in Starman and the sci-fi classic The Thing.

At a remote outpost in Antarctica a dog is running through the snow. Chasing it is a helicopter with a Norwegian crew inside armed with rifles. MacReady (Kurt Russell) and the rest of the crew don't know what to make of it until one of the Nordics shoots one of the crew members. He gets put down and everyone wonders what the hell just happened.

Eventually it becomes clear that what got to the Norwegian camp has infiltrated the U.S. station. A parasite that is able to completely pass itself off as anyone and anything: dogs, horses, vultures and most frightening, humans. It is insatiable and we have no idea what it is.

No one is above reproach. Nothing is coincidental and everyone is suspect. As the crew begins to turn on one another the stakes are raised and suddenly it seems like no one will get out of this…

'Hugo' Previews Deemed a Success

Well it looks like you can add one more contender to the Best Picture race. Martin Scorsese's unfinished cut of Hugo debuted at the New York Film Festival last night and a majority of the reactions are positive. By the way can we just declare Martin Scorsese a national treasure? It seems about time.

Scorsese delivers cinephile's wet dream with costly 3-D  at . Lead kid + first half are stiff, but it shifts into gear by finale. - Anne Thompson: Martin Scorsese’s ‘Hugo’ Is An Enthralling Dose of Film History From Cinema’s Greatest Admirer - The Film Stage

Review: Ides of March

Stephen (Ryan Gosling) is a hot-shot; he can sweep a room like a man twice his age. He is second-in-command for the Presidential campaign of Governor Mike Morris (George Clooney). Morris is momentarily leading Senator Pullman in the Ohio primary - which would mean nothing for most people - but for politicians as Ohio goes so goes the country. The Republicans have no one that poses a serious threat; the driver's seat is his.
Steven isn't an idealist, he knows he has a winner in Morris, he just has to convince everyone else he is right. Tom Duffy (Paul Giamatti) is just as positive that he's right. Sure Morris is a good candidate, but the GOP is afraid of him. They will cross lines and vote against him in the primary to make sure he doesn't advance. Steven has a choice: face going back to a consulting firm, or jump ship and work for a president.
There is a particular scene during the film where Morris is reminding a crowd why he should be the man in charge of the country…

Review: 50/50

Adam (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) has it all... well almost. He has a girlfriend (Bryce Dallas Howard) who dabbles in the art world. He has a respected position at Seattle Public Radio. He also has a very tightly-wound mother (Anjelica Huston) and a father with Alzheimer's Disease.
Adam, to his dismay, also has cancer.
His mind races, "How could I have cancer? I don't drink... I recycle." You never see Adam so much as keep a library book overdue, so the concept of having a rare cancer at the age of 27 is completely mind-blowing.
Fortunately, he has laid-back pal, Kyle (Seth Rogen) who reminds him that 50/50 odds is better than any casino game. However, Kyle is no angel, he also uses Adam's situation to occasionally get a number from a hot girl.
50/50 is a straight-shooting comedy. It may not benefit from its marketing, but everything in the film rings true. Nothing is manipulative, nor out of place. When someone is diagnosed with cancer the first thing to do isn't …

'Shame' Poster

Very minimalist, yet it conveys everything it needs to say, just like the title. Keeping my fingers crossed this hits Reno before January.

(Courtesy: Fox Searchlight)

'J. Edgar' Poster Revels in Red, White & Blue

Maybe the most corrupt man in the world, but, let's not split hairs. I hope Eastwood's film doesn't try to glorify the man.

'Young Adult' Trailer

The first look at Jason Reitman's second collaboration with Diablo Cody. The trademark snark associated with Cody seems readily available; I hope audiences don't expect this to be anything like Juno.

Your Mission, Should You Choose to Accept

I have a hard time imagining doing this without dying.