26 September 2013

Review: Rush


Formula 1 racing may not seem like something that would be Ron Howard's forte, but Howard originally cut his teeth directing features under Roger Corman on flicks like Grand Theft Auto. It is only recently that Howard has transitioned into Oscar fare like Frost/Nixon, Cinderella Man, A Beautiful Mind, but to discount his excellent genre work in The Missing and Apollo 13 would be a mistake.

When Howard is on, he's on (Best Director winner in 2002) and Rush is the director at his prime.

Formula 1 racing features 25 drivers, two of which die each season. The true story doesn't need embellishing.

Chris Hemsworth trades in a cape and hammer for a racing helmet in Ron Howard's true story of the 1970s rivalry between rivals James Hunt and Niki Lauda (Daniel Bruhl). The story details the golden age of Formula 1 racing in the 1970s in which both James Hunt and Niki Lauda risked everything (including their lives) to become world champion in the world's most dangerous sport.

Hunt and Lauda couldn't be more different, Hunt starting in the lower ranks and building his way into the exalted F1 league whereas Lauda bought his way in. Rush highlights the dichotomous split of personality represented by the cold, rational Lauda and the devil-may-care Hunt, and the various definitions of success to them both on and off the track, during the astonishing 1976 season.

Hemsworth seems tailor-made for the excesses and debauchery of the decade that was the 1970s, channeling the same energy of a young Peter O'Toole with a devilish grin and wink. Thor may have made Hemsworth famous, but stretching his dramatic muscle in roles like these will only make his leading man star that much brighter. Bruhl takes a servicable part that would be ignored as a B-line in most features and relishes his opportunity to play a unusual protagonist. These two men may not mince words, but they respect each other even when glancing tires on the track.

What makes this film different from other sports flicks is that there is no mustache-twirling villainy taking place, both Hunt and Lauda are worth rooting for and both men's stories deserve to be told. From the glorious highs of victory to the somber lows of life-altering accidents, Howard doesn't cut away.

Rush doesn't just focus on only the drivers and their cars, but what put them in there to begin with: the constant and irrepressible drive to push life to its limits. Firefighters rush into burning buildings each and every day with the knowledge that any time could be their last, Formula 1 racing is similar, one wrong turn means death.

Academy Award winning cinematographer Anthony Dod Mantle puts the eye of the camera and the viewer right there in the driver's seat and inside the helmet. The hyper-paced cuts may be too frenetic for some, but it mimics the mindset of a man behind the wheel at 200 miles per hour.

Ron Howard's film never shorts on the sheer visceral thrill that is racing, but by elevating the material with technical prowess, and character depth matched with leads talented enough to provide it in Hemsworth and Bruhl, he builds a winner.

20 September 2013

Review: Prisoners


There is nothing more horrifying than having your child being taken from you. It's not just the loss of your child, but the destruction of family and the promise of the future. Few people come back whole from the experience and others wish it was them taken instead.

The recent events involving Ariel Castro sent a chill down the spines of parents everywhere and director Denis Villeneuve taps into this primal fear for his follow-up feature to 2011's Best Foreign feature nominee, Incendies. Few crimes motivate such rage and vigilante justice like child abduction and where Prisoners will tread, few may make the journey without finding darkness within themselves.

During a Thanksgiving get together between two families, a pleasant dinner shared between friends with music and football on in the background. This happy mood (the last of the film's 153 minute runtime) pocket is punctured when the unthinkable happens, both the Anna Dover and Joy Birch go missing. Keller Dover (Hugh Jackman) and Franklin Birch (Terrence Howard) ransack the neighborhood looking for their young daughters, finding only despair when neither child is found.

Detective Loki (Jake Gyllenhaal) has a perfect case record, every case that has hit his desk has been solved. He arrests a driver, Alex Jones (Paul Dano), based on the sole lead - he owns the beaten and brokedown R.V. parked on the street the girls were playing on, but a lack of evidence forces Loki to release the suspect. His bullshit radar is going through the roof, but there are no legal channels to keep him. As Loki races to find alternatives, panic takes over the Dover household as all of the police evidence evaporates into a series of dead ends.

Options dwindle as each day ticks by and Keller becomes increasingly erratic in his desperate search for an answer. His faith in civil institutions has failed him and the brunt of finding Anna has more than taken its toll on Keller. If he's going to get answers, then Alex will have to provide them.

Villenueve balances the thriller aspect of the story with large helpings of character focus creating a feature that is both transfixing and more than a little unnerving. Obsession is rarely depicted authentically on film, but when it is done right (the film draws favorable comparisons to David Fincher's Zodiac and Seven) it is hard to watch the brutal lengths that will inevitaby follow. Aiding Villenueve in crafting the story is Roger Deakins, the master lenser behind such works as The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford and Skyfall. Deakins captures predator-like p.o.v.s whirling around the characters, but leaving just enough room in the half-veiled shots to let doubt linger.

The lines which we set as a civilized society disappear when we are hit in our homes; just exactly how far will a father go to protect his child? Hugh Jackman, no stranger to rage as evidenced by his six performances as Wolverine, boils over into territory rarely seen before. He very well may have just found the role of a lifetime. Rounding out the rest of the excellent ensemble are Maria Bello, Viola Davis and Terrence Howard as the parents and Paul Dano as the man who last saw their children.

Loki is just as hardened as Keller, but where Jackman's character is resolute in his convictions, Gyllenhaal has doubts in others and himself. Treading through a dark terrain, trying to save others, Gyllenhaal matches Jackman note for note in his performance as Detective Loki. Both characters could have been standard pieces from thrillers like Taken, but both parts are elevated by their respective leading men.

If the haunted portrayals don't keep you arrested in your seat, the story will.

17 September 2013

Nebraska Trailer


Alexander Payne's Nebraska has debuted to good worth of mouth across the festival circuit, and today marks the first trailer for all audiences.

"After receiving a sweepstakes letter in the mail, a cantankerous father (Bruce Dern) thinks he’s struck it rich, and wrangles his son (Will Forte) into taking a road trip to claim the fortune.  Shot in black and white across four states, Nebraska tells the stories of family life in the heartland of America."

13 September 2013

Ch Ch Ch Changes

Today marks a new day for me, I start as critics editor over at Movie Mezzanine and while this venture and my time at GotchaMovies may take some time away from NMPF, I assure everyone reading that it will be a move for the best.

Sam Fragoso and Tom Clift have been putting together a veritable who's who over at Movie Mezzanine, compiling not just great writers, but a buffet of film reviews, essays and festival coverage. It is a site worth reading (just ask the guys and gals over at The Dissolve) and if you haven't been, you can start by checking out my first post there.

It's quite safe to say that I feel a little overwhelmed by the majority of good writers there, but nothing worthwhile comes easy. Thank you all for reading and following me over the last five years.

Affleck's Batman "Tired and Weary"


Not much has been revealed about Ben Affleck's new interpretation for the upcoming Batman/Superman movie to be released in 2015, but Warner Brothers' CEO, Kevin Tsujihara, offered this tidbit to the media today.

Ben Affleck’s Batman will be “tired and weary and seasoned and been doing it for awhile,” according to Warner Bros. CEO Kevin Tsujihara.

Tsujihara added “We think it’s the perfect springboard for Batman and Superman. Ben is perfect for the vision Zack has for that character. The fact that you saw such a passionate response in the blogosphere is really kind of a testament to the love that people have for this character.”

Pairing off a world-weary, aged Batman against an up and coming Superman (Henry Cavill) could create an interesting dynamic, especially when it comes to combat. It sounds more and more that The Dark Knight Returns will be a key inspiration for how the Man of Steel sequel will go.

11 September 2013

Review: Blue Jasmine


Ruthless tycoons have been a fixture in recent years with men like Bernie Madoff building corporate conglomerates with other people's money. Less seen in news coverage are the wives left behind after the arrests are made. Jasmine French serves as a challenge for Woody Allen and Cate Blanchett in basing a film around a woman who would be (rightfully) scorned by others and trying to make audiences see things from her perspective, make her feel real.

Jasmine, formerly Jeanette, lives in the lap of luxury after falling in love with Hal (Alec Baldwin) at Martha's Vineyard. Their story is a romantic one scored to "Blue Moon", as she tells it anyway. Jasmine doesn't know much of Hal's business, but she doesn't question when he presents her with papers to sign and lavish gifts. She seems set for life... until Hal winds up in prison on charges of fraud.

Jasmine sinks low and quickly after the money dries up. Left with no alternative, she moves to San Francisco with her sister Ginger (Sally Hawkins). Jasmine is immediately out of her element in San Francisco, Ginger's over-active kids and ex-husband Augie (Andrew Dice Clay). Jasmine never really got along with Ginger before and her stressed relationship with her sister takes on new obstacles as Jasmine deems current beau, Chili (Bobby Cannavale recreating Kowalski down to the grungy sleeveless shirt), beneath Ginger.

Paralyzed with anxiety about her future, Jasmine takes a job at a local dentist's office, attending night school in the hopes of doing something substantial with her life post-divorce. Ignoring the past is harder than Jasmine thinks and staying with her sister leads to more discord than she anticipated.

Interspersed with Jasmine's new life in San Francisco are vignettes of Jasmine's former life of luxury in New York City with Hal. Both stories advance forward so each little piece revealed illuminates an aspect of Jasmine's life we weren't privy to earlier. As  the flashbacks fade away, Jasmine seems trapped within the memories, talking to no one and everyone around her. As Jasmine becomes more distant from the cushy life she once had, that the highlights in her hair fade and the number of vodka/Xanax cocktails increase. Cracks continually appear in the veneer as Jasmine confesses to her sister "there's only so many traumas a person can withstand until they take to the streets and start screaming."

It would have been all too easy for Blanchett to turn in a cardboard cut-out of the spoiled rich wife that we have seen in the media, but she grounds Jasmine in real struggle to find something, anything beside her trophy wife existence. There is absolutely no cap on how low Blanchett is willing to go and that fierce commitment to draw out the truth of her character makes Jasmine one of the truly spectacular parts of the last decade.

Whether Jasmine was implicit in her husband's dealings we're never quite sure and Allen isn't telling. The aging director takes no shortcuts with the circle of characters. The conflicts are honest, sometimes painfully so when family gets involved and the cast is game for it. The movie is not without its comedic moments, though, sometimes the biggest gut laughs of Blue Jasmine come from the most awkward moments.

Woody Allen is noted for her excellent ensembles and Blue Jasmine is completely stacked with talent. Alec Baldwin exudes smarminess effortlessly, Sally Hawkins proves an excellent backboard for Blanchett to bounce insults off of and, most surprisingly, Andrew Dice Clay brings a vulnerability to a man wounded by the after effects of Jasmine's reckless lifetstyle.

To Rome with Love was a misstep, but Blue Jasmine puts Allen right on par with Midnight in Paris for some of the best movies of this still early decade.

2013 Fall/Winter Preview


The summer season is over and along with the changing of the leaves comes films where the third act isn't resolved by characters punching each other or a city being demolished. Studios shift from superhero origins to character studies, or message pieces that hit the sweet spot between pure entertainment and awards-bait.

This winter's offerings may not blow out your speakers or induce epilepsy, but they are thrilling in their own right.

All of these films feature A-list casts, acclaimed directors and choice scripts ranging from astronauts lost in space, a lawyer in over his head in the drug game, a corrupt Wall Street broker, a FBI sting of a New Jersey mayor, a runaway slave, and a man who chose to combat the pharmaceutical system.

Prisoners (Sept 20th)

When Keller Dover's (Hugh Jackman) daughter and her friend go missing, he takes matters into his own hands as the police pursue multiple leads and the pressure mounts. But just how far will a desperate father go to protect his family? Denis Villeneuve's follow-up to Incendies, Prisoners, is drawing comparisons to Zodiac and Seven for its harrowing take on obsession.

Rush (Sept 27th)

Chris Hemsworth trades in a cape and hammer for racing in Ron Howard's true story of the 1970s rivalry between Formula One rivals James Hunt and Niki Lauda (Daniel Bruhl). The story follows the distinct personalities styles of Hunt (Hemsworth), and his methodical, brilliant opponent, Lauda (Bruhl) on and off the track, their loves and the astonishing 1976 season in which both drivers were willing to risk everything to become world champion in a sport with no margin for error.

Gravity (Oct 4th)

Dr. Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock), a brilliant engineer on her first shuttle mission, with veteran astronaut Matt Kowalski (George Clooney).  But on a seemingly routine spacewalk, disaster strikes.  The shuttle is destroyed, leaving Stone and Kowalski completely alone—tethered to nothing but each other and spiraling out into the blackness. The deafening silence tells them they have lost any link to Earth…and any chance for rescue.  As fear turns to panic, every gulp of air eats away at what little oxygen is left.

12 Years a Slave (Limited release Oct 18th)

12 Years a Slave is based on an incredible true story of one man's fight for survival and freedom.  In the pre-Civil War United States, Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor), a free black man from upstate New York, is abducted and sold into slavery.  Facing cruelty (personified by a malevolent slave owner, portrayed by Michael Fassbender) as well as unexpected kindnesses, Solomon struggles not only to stay alive, but to retain his dignity.  In the twelfth year of his unforgettable odyssey, Solomon’s chance meeting with a Canadian abolitionist (Brad Pitt) forever alters his life.

All Is Lost (Oct 25th)

Academy Award-nominated writer/director J.C. Chandor (Margin Call) takes the helm for this tense adventure drama about a man (Robert Redford) who must fight for survival after being lost at sea.


The Counselor (Oct 25th)

Legendary filmmaker Ridley Scott and Pulitzer Prize winning author Cormac McCarthy (No Country for Old Men) have joined forces in the motion picture thriller THE COUNSELOR, starring Michael Fassbender, Javier Bardem, Brad Pitt, Penélope Cruz, and Cameron Diaz.  McCarthy, making his screenwriting debut and Scott interweave the author’s characteristic wit and dark humor with a nightmarish scenario, in which a respected lawyer’s dalliance with the drug business spirals out of control.

Dallas Buyer's Club (Nov 1st)

In the fact-based drama, Spirit Award winner Matthew McConaughey portrays real-life Texas electrician Ron Woodroof, an ordinary man who found himself in a life-or-death battle with the medical establishment and pharmaceutical companies. In 1986, Ron was blindsided by being diagnosed as HIV-positive and given 30 days to live. With the U.S. still internally divided over how to combat the virus and restricting medications, Ron grabbed hold of non-toxic alternative treatments from all over the world by means both legal and illegal. Seeking to avoid government sanctions against selling non-approved medicines and supplements, he established a “buyers club,” which fellow HIV-positive people could join for access to his supplies.

The Wolf of Wall Street (Nov 15th)

Distinguished filmmaker, Martin Scorsese, directs the true story of New York stockbroker, Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio).  Having started a morally conventional career in the late 80s, Belfort quickly rose from penny stocks and righteousness to IPOs and a life of corruption.  Excess success and affluence in his early twenties, as founder of the brokerage firm, Stratton Oakmont, warranted Belfort the title - The Wolf of Wall Street.

Inside Llewyn Davis (Limited December 6th)

Follow a week in the life of a young folk (Oscar Isaac) singer as he navigates the Greenwich Village folk scene of 1961. Guitar in tow, huddled against the unforgiving New York winter, he is struggling to make it as a musician against seemingly insurmountable obstacles -- some of them of his own making.

American Hustle (Dec 13th)

David O. Russell reunites cast members from Silver Linings Playbook and The Fighter to portray the Abscam FBI sting of the 1970s, which covered everyone from mobsters to politicians. Christian Bale stars as Irving Rosenfeld, a New York con man forced to aid in the operation by an “unhinged” FBI agent (Bradley Cooper) to bring down the mayor of Camden, NJ (Jeremy Renner). Amy Adams and Jennifer Lawrence plays Irving’s mistress/accomplice and Irving's wife, respectively.

Foxcatcher (Dec 20th)

Foxcatcher tells the gripping, true story of Olympic Wrestling Champion brothers Mark Schultz (Channing Tatum) and Dave Schultz (Mark Ruffalo) and their relationship with the eccentric John du Pont (Steve Carell), heir to the du Pont Chemical fortune that led to murder.

Labor Day (Dec 25th)

Labor Day centers on 13-year-old Henry Wheeler, who struggles to be the man of his house and care for his reclusive mother Adele (Kate Winslet) while confronting all the pangs of adolescence.  On a back-to-school shopping trip, Henry and his mother encounter Frank Chambers (Josh Brolin), a man both intimidating and clearly in need of help, who convinces them to take him into their home and later is revealed to be an escaped convict.  The events of this long Labor Day weekend will shape them for the rest of their lives.

Best Movie Apps


There are about a hundred million apps available for your iPhone and other smartphones, but there are only about five that are truly deserving of your attention. For your consideration, the top five movie apps available on your phone.

Fandango
Fandango is one of the best movie ticketing apps on App store that allows you to buy a tickets to any movie you want to see. Other useful features available by installing this app on your iPhone include movie trailers, clips, stills and exclusive interviews.

Movies by Flixster
Flixster users can create their own lists of "must-see" movies coming soon to theaters. Watch full length trailers, catch movie showtimes, and read reviews. With reviews gathered from Rotten Tomatoes, you can pick the best movie to watch with your family or friends. 

Netflix
Netflix iOS app lets you watch your favorite movies and TV shows on your iPhone or iPad. With Netflix, you can watch unlimited movies and TV shows at very low monthly subscription fee, browse your interested movies and TV shows by titles all on your iPhone or iPad.

IMDb
With IMDb you can scan through actors, actresses , directors, recaps of your favorite TV shows, the latest entertainment and find movie showtimes theater near you. IMDb Movies & TV comes with many useful features and large collection of movies, TV shows and celebrities info. Best of all? The IMDb app is free of cost.

CineMode
If you're like most movie fanatics, texting during a showing would drive you nuts, but why let that stop you from taking advantage of CineMode, which rewards you for not texting.  An easy way to earn rewards exclusive to Cinemark theatres all while being courteous during the show.

So get downloading with the help of services like BT total broadband, movies are waiting for you...

Hitmen Movies to Kill For


Films about assassins can sometimes be trite, but every once in a while a gem comes out. The best flicks that capture these professionals don't just feature killing machines, but fully-fleshed with motivations they keep all to themselves. These characters are fascinating with their natural charisma and yet merciless nature when dealing with others. Characters like Vincent (Tom Cruise) and Anton Chiguhr (Javier Bardem) are oddities in cinema, but their unique behavior makes for compelling viewing.

Below are ten of the best hitmen movies on Netflix and DVD.

Pulp Fiction

Jules and Vincent (Samuel L. Jackson and John Travolta) are the most memorable characters from Quentin Tarantino's touchstone Pulp Fiction, and it comes with good cause. The two enforcers keep it all interesting while they chew the fat on such philosophical topics as French names for American fast food and t.v. pilots in between laying down the law. The dialogue pops, nods to old classics are weaved throughout every scene, and Jackson gives an iconic performance.

No Country for Old Men

Javier Bardem is excellence itself as the mop-topped contract killer, Anton Chiguhr, whose wandering eye strikes fear into every man he meets. Some interpretations of the film make him out to be an angel of death who is cleansing the world of injustice, others see him as the personification of death. The Coens strive to keep Chiguhr as free from association as possible. If Chiguhr is human you would never know it from his Jaws-like ability to come and go leaving havoc in his wake.

In Bruges

Ray and Ken (Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson) are hiding out in Bruges after a job goes horribly wrong and they need to stay out of sight for a while. As a retreat in one of the world's oldest cities turns to a shoot-out after their boss comes to personally take care of Ray, it all becomes clear, hit-men really do make the world's worst tourists.

Munich

A team of five men come to grips with their identity and the violent acts they commit in hunting down and killing those involved in the Black September assassinations of Jewish athletes at the Munich Olympics of 1972. These men aren't assassins, but expendable assets of the Mossad has tasked with rectifying one of history's most infamous acts of terror. One of Steven Spielberg's uncharacteristically dark films, but also one of his best.

The Matador

Few men are as brash as Pierce Brosnan's contract killer Julian. He wanders through hotel lobbies in nothing but cowboys boots and briefs, engages in conversations with fellow travelers in the area, and in one case, reveals to that fellow traveler Danny (Greg Kinnear) that he is an assassin. Julian offers him a position to help him, but Danny declines. Several months later and Julian is on Danny's door step, it turns out that Julian hasn't been the same since Mexico City and his handlers have taken out a contract on him. Left with no alternative, Danny must help Julian stage one last job because both their lives depend on it.

Road to Perdition

Michael Sullivan is a loving father and husband, he is also a hitman for Chicago patriarch John Rooney (Paul Newman). When Michael's oldest son hides in his car to see what he does at night, Jr. accidentally witnesses his father and Connor Rooney (Daniel Craig) murder a man. To save his own ass, Connor has Michael's wife and youngest son killed. Enraged, Michael sets about seeking those responsible and protecting his child from cruelties that this world can't always explain.

Grosse Pointe Blank

Martin Blank (John Cusack) is at an impasse, he is looking to get out of the business that has made him very wealthy and also very paranoid. He receives an assignment that, by chance, places Martin back in his hometown during a ten year high-school reunion. Deciding to give it a shot, Martin runs into his high-school girlfriend still living in town, who understandably holds a grudge against him for standing her up on prom night. Trying to tie up all his loose ends, Martin discovers that if his job doesn't kill him, staying in Grosse Pointe may.

Looper

Loopers are not forward-thinking people, Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) explains to us at the beginning of the film. They are contracted to kill people who don't yet exist in this time and collect the precious metals that come with the body. They are rewarded quite handsomely for this task, but it comes with strings: eventually they have to kill themselves. Killing your future self usually goes off without a hitch, so blunderbuss in hand, Joe waits until a masked figure appears in front of him. What happens next is unexpected and could radically change the outcome of both worlds.

Confessions of a Dangerous Mind

Back in 2002, before George Clooney was an established presence as a director, he took the director's seat for the first time. His first feature chronicled a gameshow host who moonlights as a CIA assassin featuring a livewire Sam Rockwell as Chuck Barris. The concept of such a big-time figure spending his vacation killing targets as a covert operative sounds too crazy to be true, but stranger things have happended and the saying "truth is stranger than fiction" exists for a reason.

Collateral

Tom Cruise is the quintessential good guy: Top Gun, Mission: Impossible, The Last Samurai, A Few Good Men, I could go on but I'm sure you get the point. That is what made the transformation he undertook in Collateral all the more intriguing. Tom Cruise is a hell of a villain. Cruise doesn't look radically altered in this film, but he might as well be an entirely different human being. Vincent's eyes say a lot more about the man than the film ever mentions. He is calm, collected and chilling.

Watch these movies and more with BT Vision Packages

09 September 2013

In An Alternate Universe...

Casting is really an underrated art in filmmaking. A movie can have everything going for it; an ace director, wonderful cinematography, and a perfect script, but the wrong actor/actress for a part can wreck havoc on the film.

With all of the uproar surrounding the casting of leads in the upcoming Batman vs. Superman and Fifty Shades of Grey, let's consider what other fan favorties could have looked like with a few tweaks.

To think, in a different world...

Bill Murray dons the cowl and cape for Tim Burton's Batman.
Silver Linings Playbook stars Vince Vaughn and Zooey Deschanel.
Tom Selleck is the famed Dr. Indiana Jones.
Val Kilmer is the one Dirty Dancing.
Sean Penn contemplates "What Would Tyler Durden Do" in Fight Club.
Ellen Page trades in a hamburger phone for a Dragon Tattoo.
Will Smith takes the red pill in The Matrix.
O.J. Simpson is The Terminator.
Michelle Pfeiffer chases down Buffalo Bill in Silence of the Lambs.
Daniel Day-Lewis takes the floor with Uma Thurman in Pulp Fiction.
Tom Hanks builds it in Field of Dreams.
Johnny Depp plays hooky in Ferris Bueller's Day Off.
Jon Hamm is John Carter.
Mel Gibson battles tigers in Gladiator.
Sarah Michelle Gellar dumbs it down for Clueless.
Tom Cruise dons the suit in Iron Man.

'True Detective' Trailer


Cary Fukunaga, director of Sin NombreJane Eyre, has put something special together for HBO in 2014 and this looks like it could make the loss of Breaking Bad go a little bit easier.

True Detetctive stars Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey and looks like it could rival David Fincher's Zodiac for a tale of the long, cold road some officers have to walk before they can find peace. The look on Matthew McConaughey's face toward the end of the trailer suggests that some men may never find it at all.

True Detective hits HBO in January 2014.

04 September 2013

New Stills from 'Foxcatcher'


Prior to Foxcatcher's debut at AFI Fest on November 8th, Sony Pictures Classics released two new photos from the upcoming Bennett Miller film starring Steve Carell, Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo.

Foxcatcher depicts the insane, true story about the relationship between millionaire John duPont (Carell) and Olympic Wrestling Champion brothers, Mark and Dave Schultz. Mark (Tatum) sees a way out from the shadow of his more celebrated wrestling brother Dave (Ruffalo) and a life of poverty when he is summoned by eccentric multi-millionaire John du Pont (Carell) to move onto his estate and train for the 1988 Seoul Olympics.



The film also stars Sienna Miller, Vanessa Redgrave, and Anthony Michael Hall.

Foxcatcher hits theaters on December 20th.

02 September 2013

For Your Consideration: James Franco



It is tradition in Hollywood to take out glossy, half-page ads in Variety and other trade papers to garner awards buzz. Actors and actresses are asked to be gracious and humble during that process, James Franco has other ideas.

To promote Franco's performances as Alien in Harmony Korine's Spring Breakers, A24 has put out a banner emblazoned with "CONSIDER THIS SH*T" in bold neon pink as Mr. Franco holds Oscar statues in eachhand. An A24 spokesperson said of the ad, "James Franco has created a character so indelible it deserves recognition. We are excited to be able to support it with a campaign and know the impact of Allen will last far past this awards season."

When prompted about the colorful language, the spokesperson responded, "We plan to create an awards campaign that is thematically consistent with the film itself."

Bold move, Franco. We'll see how the awards blogosphere responds.

01 September 2013

Hayao Miyazaki to Retire from Directing


Not so great news comes our way from Venice today, reports are circulating that Hayao Miyazaki will be retiring from feature directing. The news was announced at the Venice Film Festival, where his latest film The Wind Rises is in competition. The statement regarding Miyazaki's retirement came from Studio Ghibli president Hoshino Koji instead of Miyazaki himself.

Seeing a legend of cinema go before he has to is always sad, but keep in mind that Miyazaki has said he would be retiring from directing once before, so this could prove to be premature. Couple that with the announcement specifically wording that he was retiring from directing and creating other works or producing features could still be in the cards.

The Wind Rises hits theatres September 28th.