Interviews

stone

A lot of film fans had their eyes opened by the trippy blur of David Lynch, who showed them that movies need not be literal or especially concerned with losing audience members for one or two or all the moments. For me, such a cinematic shakeup didn’t come from Lynch, but Oliver Stone. Much like his underdog characters, he continually challenges the norms of his field. Throughout his career, Stone has been able to shift between yarns spun with either a calm eye or full-on bombast, whether he’s showing modern gladiators in Any Given Sunday, the fractured life of Richard Nixon, or hell’s dirty underbelly as depicted in U-Turn. It’s also obvious that Stone is a history nut, and, with The Untold History of The United States, he spent these past four years crafting a project he’s called his most “ambitious.” It’s a comprehensive, warts-and-all look at the behind-closed-doors shaping of America, all done in an approach we’ve come to expect from Stone. I was fortunate enough to sit down with Stone to talk about that approach, his greater body of film work and his antagonism toward perfection.

read more...

Kill Your Darlings

Watching a few young pretentious writers for 90 minutes should be as unpleasant as it sounds. For the first half of Kill Your Darlings these young rebels, including Allen Ginsberg (Daniel Radcliffe), ramble on and on about shaking up the system and starting a revolution. Imagine being stuck in a room with these young men and trying not to strangle somebody. Now try to calm your rage because Kill Your Darlings is far from a naval gazing experience. Part thriller, part romance, part coming-of-age tale, and part murder mystery, it’s a wild blend of many ideas and genres. At the center of it all is Radcliffe, playing the young, howling poet. I got to sit down with the actor who explained, amongst other things, the difficult choices that come with a stack of scripts and how he transformed into a young Allen Ginsberg (pretentiousness in tact).

read more...

cody

Going from screenwriting to directing isn’t an easy transition for most. Some writers have found great success behind the camera, while others have buckled under the pressure. It’s a different job with its own set of demands. With Paradise, Academy Award winner Diablo Cody takes her first crack at directing with the story of a young girl named Lamb (Julianne Hough), who visits Las Vegas after a serious plane crash leaves her with burn scars and a desire to explore places outside of her religious community. Whether we’ll see Cody direct again is a real question mark. Instead of proclaiming how amazing her experience was, Cody expressed to us her problems with the job and the way certain critics respond to her flawed female characters. Here’s what she had to say about those critics, writing women and, of course, her take on Gravity:

read more...

taylor

From a visual standpoint, Thor: The Dark World is an interesting sequel. It’s a serious departure from the world Kenneth Branagh set up with the first film, which was light and cartoony (in a pleasant way), but all those dutch angles and color-y rainbow bridges sure did make some snicker. For the sequel, there’s a grime to Asgard, and there’s a tangibility that director Alan Taylor was clearly hired to put on screen. The folks behind Terminator 5 are probably hoping he can bring that exact grit to the upcoming reboot. Now, Alan Taylor says his attachment to the semi-reboot remains a “rumor,” but while speaking with him this morning in support of his feature debut, he stated that in such a way that makes it seem far more than just another meritless rumor. When asked if Terminator 5 would keep more in touch with James Cameron’s films than the series overhaul we see in Thor: The Dark World, Taylor described his take on this “rumor”:

read more...

Kimberly Peirce Carrie

In a span of 14 years writer-director Kimberly Peirce has only made 3 films. She hit the scene in a big way with 1999′s Boy’s Don’t Cry, and she didn’t follow that picture up until 2008′s Stop-Loss. In that nine year gap Peirce struggled getting projects off the ground. Being a writer/director who focuses on personal stories is never going to make life easy. She’s now returned with her first adaptation, Carrie. Her remake of the 1976 film is notably different. Structurally it’s reminiscent, but Peirce’s interpretation has a warmth that wasn’t a part of Brian De Palma‘s project. There’s a more humanistic approach to Carrie’s relationship with her mother, which was a key ingredient to Peirce’s motivation to taking on the project. Here’s what Kimberly Peirce had to say about the film, telling personal stories in a commercial system and more.

read more...

Screen Shot 2013-10-08 at 1.07.36 AM

Coming off the highly marketable Twilight movies, director Bill Condon decided to go a bit more mature but stick with a pasty pale figure that strikes fear into the heart of many: Julian Assange. It’s fitting Condon’s approach is radical in its own way. Assange himself has publicly taken issue with the film, and when you see the warts and all portrait, you’ll understand why. Thus far the movie has been as splitting as the man in question. Critics have been mixed, including our own Kate Erbland who reviewed the film at the Toronto International Film Festival, and it’s the reaction Condon expected. It’s probably not the response he wanted, but, as he says, it happens. Condon sat down with us to discuss those responses to the film, as well the battle between great characters and real life.

read more...

paulson

In Steve McQueen‘s 12 Years a Slave the main Louisiana plantation we see, run by Edwin Epps (Michael Fassbender), is an authentically cruel environment. McQueen makes you feel the heat, tears, and fear there. Among all that sweat is Marry Epps, an Ice Queen played by Sarah Paulson. She’s unfazed by the sweltering brutality, engaging in it in a way that’s as terrifying as her husband Edwin, if not more so. McQueen and Paulson turn her movements into moments of pure tension. She’s a villain seemingly without remorse, making her a character most actors might shy away from. Paulson, though, isn’t afraid of taking on the challenge. Speaking with her, it was obvious that under the right circumstances she’d be game for almost anything.

read more...

all-bright-640x426

We’ve seen Nicolas Cage lose his shit. Not just on the big screen, but with an infamous compilation of Cage’s finest moments of insanity. The only question is: why hasn’t Paul Giamatti gotten a video of his own? His performance in Ironclad alone would provide enough content. That’s just one example in a long line of Giamatti’s more bizarro choices — choices that Giamatti is proud to be able to make. As for his newest film, Phil Morrison’s All is Bright, Giamatti is fairly grounded as Dennis, an ex-con who heads to New York to sell Christmas trees with his old partner in crime Rene (Paul Rudd). All is Bright is a New Yorker dramedy with two Canadians at the center of it. We discussed the film, along with a wide range of topics, with Paul Giamatti at its press day:

read more...

Cloudy_Main

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 is one of those rare sequels that is just as good as, if not better, than the original. And when you’re talking about following up an animated film written and directed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller, that’s meant to be very high praise indeed. Cloudy 2 will certainly appeal to children, but this is one of those animated films that have tons of jokes thrown in for adults as well. Plus you have Neil Patrick Harris back as single-word blurting monkey Steve, with an expanded vocabulary. What’s not to love? Our own Kate Erbland is obsessed with the movie, and you can read her predictions for favorite Foodimals from the film right here. We sat down with co-directors Kris Pearn and Cody Cameron to talk about the film, and working in modern-day animation amidst computers that seem poised to take over the world. Once Skynet realizes it can just replace everyone in our lives with animated duplicates, we’re all doomed. Read on for the full interview!

read more...

ENTERTAINMENT-US-RUSH-WRITER

Director Ron Howard and screenwriter Peter Morgan have taken a real liking to each other over the years, and for good reason. With Frost/Nixon and Rush, the two have produced critical darlings that pit opposites against each other. While the 2008 drama was about fighting with words, Rush – which portrays the Formula 1 rivalry between James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) and Niki Lauda (Daniel Brühl) — the battles are done on a race track. Morgan wrote about their budding relationship out of pure, personal interest. This started off as a spec script which eventually led to a $50m British indie, not your standard Hollywood-produced Oscar contender. Of course it also helps when a storyteller has some distance from the story. Here, the Oscar-nominated screenwriter talks about time’s effect on biographical movies, his collaboration with Howard and what he modeled the structure for the Rush script after.

read more...

A Single Shot

“It’s kind of like a detective movie but it’s set in the Appalachians,” is the way Sam Rockwell encapsulates his latest film, A Single Shot. Rockwell plays John, a true anti-hero who gets in way over his head after a hunting accident and finding a good deal of cash. What follows that opening is a dirty film noir, where you rarely know who to trust, despite having a positive attitude to all the familiar faces Rockwell is surrounded by in the film: Jeffrey Wright, William H. Macy, Joe Anderson, and Jason Isaacs. It’s an impressive ensemble that Rockwell relished working with. This adaptation was another opportunity for the acclaimed actor to transform himself in subtle ways, which, as Rockwell puts it, is always a bonus. Here’s what else Sam Rockwell had to say about A Single Shot, performing adaptations, and having to take risks:

read more...

trailer prisoners

Despite screenwriter Aaron Guzikowski‘s script earning raves all around Hollywood, Prisoners wasn’t exactly fast tracked. If you recall the project’s development, a series of talent were on and off the film, from directors Bryan Singer and Antoine Fuqua to stars Christian Bale and Leonardo DiCaprio. Even Mark Wahlberg was attached at one point, who, from the start, served as a key cheerleader for the project. According to Guzikowski, Wahlberg was one of the script’s biggest and most important fans. “Mark Wahlberg was the first person to champion it.” After that stamp of approval “everything got more and more attention.” Guzikowski wrote Prisoners as a spec script, and without Wahlberg, Prisoners and Guzikowski’s career would not have blossomed the way that it has. “He was totally pivotal in getting the film made. That endorsement helped it get around.” He went to write the modest hit Contraband for Wahlberg. While both features are drastically different, they feature a race against the clock tension. To keep that tempo on high, Guzikowski says, “You have to keep the visual of it all in mind. It has to have a musical sort of pacing. I think the best thrillers have a real rhythm to them.” As for where that rhythm comes from, it’s all about the drama. “That pace is informed by however the characters are feeling. I think that’s they key to making that ticking clock.”

read more...

king

Any filmmaker who gets their film into Sundance probably has their hopes considerably elevated for their future. By all means, that’s understandable. You get into the festival that help launched some terrific filmmakers, so it’s only natural to dream of the career Steven Soderbergh built for himself. Nobody can fault a dreamer, but speaking with the writer/director behind one of this year’s Sundance favorites, Newlyweeds, it’s clear that Shaka King doesn’t expect millions to start flowing into his bank account at the drop of a festival hit. King discussed that indie filmmaker reality with us for the theatrical release of his dramedy, which follows two potheads and their rocky relationship. It’s definitely a must-see this month, and King is a talent to keep close tabs on. Here’s what the young filmmaker had to say about his debut.

read more...

mar

Globally, World War Z made over $535M dollars this summer. For a movie that cost in the neighborhood of $200M, that’s not a bad haul, especially when you take into account the bad buzz leading up to the film’s release. General moviegoers probably couldn’t have cared less about the third act of a film being reshot, but for most movie nerds, it’s a knee-jerk warning sign. A movie that requires reshoots always draws negative attention despite presenting an opportunity to get some pickup shots, a scene to add some clarity, or in the case of World War Z, a whole new act. Even in the age of special features, we’ll probably never get to see the original ending that the reshoots made irrelevant. At the end of the day, the bad-buzz-creating gamble paid off with this well-liked zombie hit. Speaking with the film’s director Marc Forster it was obvious how happy he was to see World War Z not get chewed up at the box office like some foresaw.

read more...

blum

Jason Blum must be feeling pretty good about himself right now. This year he has been behind two major box-office hits with The Purge and Insidious: Chapter II (and a minor one with Dark Skies). All three films were made for nickels compared to their grosses. In a time where people are worried about the future prospects of summer blockbusters, Blum has been producing blockbuster results without a 200 million price tag attached. To make Insidious: Chapter II a hit, Blum brought back the original creative team and characters along to expand on the mythology created by the first movie. Josh Lambert (Patrick Wilson) returns as a man dealing with some side effects from the first film, while director James Wan is back for more as well. Blum believes Wan and screenwriter Leigh Whannell are key ingredients to the series, and the results speak for themselves. In addition to discussing their involvement in the film, we spoke with Jason Blum about his lucrative business model and how to properly make a sequel:

read more...

FSLC2011_FilmCommentSlcts 633_godlis

There’s a legitimate reason why the Insidious sequel is called Insidious: Chapter 2. It’s a continuation of the first movie, not a departure. That was important for director James Wan and co-writer/co-star Leigh Whannell, who both hit the jackpot with 2004′s Saw. The first Insidious was their biggest hit since their breakout film, after Wan took a shot at action with Death Sentence and the duo’s rocky time on Dead Silence. So it goes without saying that the Insidious franchise is important to them. I spoke with James Wan and Leigh Whannell the week before Wan scored an even bigger hit with The Conjuring. That movie showed more of who Wan is as a filmmaker, and with him now taking on a Fast & Furious sequel, he’s firmly establishing himself as a go-to storyteller. A decade after breaking out, the scary pair is just getting started.

read more...

tim blake

The first three weeks of October 2002 was a tense time for anyone living around the Nation’s Capital. Living in Maryland I vividly recall the amount of fear the Beltway Snipers created, leading to special precautions at schools and people avoiding crowded areas. The movie that tells the story of those two snipers, Blue Caprice, captures that uneasiness with slow-building, methodical filmmaking. There’s a few familiar faces in Alexander Moors‘ film, including Tim Blake Nelson, playing Ray, an “unwitting accomplice” to one of the snipers. While he’s most famous for playing one of the many lovable morons in O Brother, Where Art Thou?, Nelson has been working successfully as a writer, director, and, for the past year and a half, a member of James Franco‘s camp. Nelson has now acted in two of Franco’s films, As I Lay Dying and Child of God, making for a collaboration that has put a pep in Mr. Nelson’s step. We discussed that artistic partnership with Nelson, as well as Blue Caprice, humanizing transformations, and why an actor always needs to have their antennae out:

read more...

twohy

Riddick is clearly a passion project for writer/director David Twohy. The third entry in the series took its sweet time arriving to theaters, following 2004′s underwhelming The Chronicles of Riddick, but while that sequel has its fan, it didn’t stay in touch with what arguably made the first movie (Pitch Black) so appealing. Riddick isn’t a blockbuster character but an antihero monster slayer. We see the character return to those simple animalistic traits in the new film where he faces off against a batch of mercenaries and monsters on an unknown planet. But it wasn’t easy getting there. Twohy more than likely could have made a bigger sequel with a PG-13 slapped on, but he set his sights on a dirty R-rated Riddick film. And we’re all the better for it. Here’s our chat with Riddick director David Twohy:

read more...

coddry

With In A World…, Pain & Gain, Warm Bodies, Children’s Hospital, The Way Way Back, and now Hell Baby, Rob Corddry has rounded out a nicely eclectic year. That’s five movies along with a show he works both in front of and behind the camera on. If it’s not obvious yet, Rob Corddry is a busy man. In the cases of Pain & Gain and Hell Baby, Corddry plays the straight man in films plotted around ridiculous characters and situations. With one he was getting his ass kicked by Michael Bay, and now he gets to tangle with Leslie Bibb, haunted houses and a demonic fetus. Obviously subject matter has little to do with how he chooses projects. His career focus instead? Don’t work with dicks.

read more...

Ferris Bueller

It’s the time of year when children head back to campus, but even if you’ve already graduated, it’s still easy to get into the trapper keeper mindset with movies. Beloved culture commentator Matt Patches joins us to celebrate and dissect the greatest movies about school (and escaping it) as we attempt to pinpoint the film that best encapsulates all the feelings we had waiting to be saved by the bell. Plus, Lords of Salem director Rob Zombie joins us to explain making bad career choices as a viable career choice (including his forthcoming hockey movie), we deliver the news in only 3 words, and then we leave the kind words at home for the giant kind of shouting debate that Ben Affleck’s Batman casting deserves. You should follow Rob Zombie (@robzombie), Matt Patches (@misterpatches), the show (@brokenprojector), Geoff (@drgmlatulippe) and Scott (@scottmbeggs) on Twitter for more fun stuff on a daily basis. And, as always, if you like the show (or hate it with seething fervor), please help us out with a review. Download Episode #31 Directly Or subscribe Through iTunes

read more...
  PREVIOUS PAGE
NEXT PAGE  
Some movie websites serve the consumer. Some serve the industry. At Film School Rejects, we serve at the pleasure of the connoisseur. We provide the best reviews, interviews and features to millions of dedicated movie fans who know what they love and love what they know. Because we, like you, simply love the art of the moving picture.
SXSW 2014
Game of Thrones reviews
Got a Tip? Send it here:
editors@filmschoolrejects.com
Publisher:
Neil Miller
Managing Editor:
Scott Beggs
Associate Editors:
Rob Hunter
Kate Erbland
Christopher Campbell
All Rights Reserved © 2006-2014 Reject Media, LLC | Privacy Policy | Design & Development by Face3