Interviews

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:

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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.

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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

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Pawn Shop Chronicles

The Movie Gods haven’t been gentle to Wayne Kramer the past few years. After his critical darling The Cooler and a recent cult favorite Running Scared, Kramer ran into some trouble. He went through hell trying to keep Crossing Overtogether after Harvey Weinstein stripped it down to the “important” soft picture Kramer didn’t intend to make. More recently Kramer went through a tumultuous development with Bullet to the Head before exiting the project over creative differences. But he’s come back with a movie that is very much in his wheelhouse. Pawn Shop Chronicles is a dirty, highly-stylized crime picture which would play nicely as double-bill with Running Scared. We spoke with Kramer about the film, sex in American cinema and how to get a project greenlit on the spot.

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bana

A few nights ago, because I’m a rather busy man, I spent three hours revisiting the 2004 Cannes Film Festival gem, Troy. That’s the Wolfgang Peterson movie where much of its buzz was based on Brad Pitt’s abs and, to my disappointment, only semi-nude scenes, not the fact that it featured Peter O’Toole, Brian Cox, Brendan Gleeson, and other seasoned pros. Also in that cast was Eric Bana – shortly after grabbing attention with Andrew Dominik’s Chopper and Ridley Scott’s Blackhawk Down. Troy wasn’t exactly up to snuff with those two films, but, in a big ‘ol cheese ball of a movie where even O’Toole hammed it up a little too much, Bana brought a much needed gravitas to Peterson’s light popcorn epic. He was stoic and imposing as Hector, and you’ll see him as the opposite in this week’s Closed Circuit, where he plays a jaded lawyer who probably wouldn’t even know how to fire a gun if you handed him one. We spoke with Eric Bana about Closed Circuit‘s old-school vibe and the longevity a few of his films have enjoyed over the years:

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Scenic Route

A few years ago, Josh Duhamel discussed his desire to broach darker material. He was promoting Life as We Know It at the time, and there’s a good chance he was referring to a movie like Scenic Route. Duhamel’s career has primarily been comprised of lighter works. There’s nothing wrong with that, but taking on a role like his in Scenic Route could be interpreted as his attempt to prove he’s more than just a romantic leading man. This is a movie devoid of any of the romance or gloss you’d expect from a movie featuring the actor. He’s playing a real guy with serious problems in a theatrical setting. His character, Mitchell, is stranded in Death Valley with his buddy Carther (Dan Fogler). This is a performance piece, and in addition to falling in love with the script, Duhamel  saw the movie as an opportunity to push himself further as an actor. Here’s what else he had to tell us about the dark dramedy:

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sxsw youre next

We’ve waited a long time to see You’re Next, an even longer time to see All The Boys Love Mandy Lane, and we’ll never get to see The Day the Clown Cried. While we tear-up about it, producer Keith Calder joins us to describe what it’s like to see something you made collect dust on a shelf even as people clamor for its release. He’ll explain one direction your luck can go in when your movie is being treated like a used mattress. Plus, Geoff and I daydream about movies that could have been amazing if they hadn’t burned in development hell and explore how to email a professional screenwriter looking for advice. You should follow Keith Calder (@keithcalder), the show (@brokenprojector), Geoff (@drgmlatulippe) and Scott (@scottmbeggs) on Twitter for more fun stuff on a daily basis. And, as always, please send us your feedback. Download Episode #30 Directly Or subscribe Through iTunes

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ST12-25

Brie Larson takes a sip of a seemingly diet-geared beverage while installed at a back table at an actually swanky midtown Manhattan workspace (like an office, except for people who don’t want to work in “an office”) – it’s a spicy lemonade, a prepackaged version of the very Los Angeles “master cleanse,” but Larson drinks it because she likes the taste. She likes it so much that she encourages me to take a sip straight from her own bottle, and it’s as delicious and refreshing as she promised it would be. Then she says that she thinks that cleanses are “really bad for you” and that, when it comes to those oft-buzzed-about toxins supposedly ruining our bodies, it’s just “an actual scam.” Brie Larson is the type of Hollywood “it girl” who drinks spicy lemonade because she likes the taste, not because pop culture tells her it’s good for her. This is the exact moment I stop trying to pigeonhole rising stars by what they do or do not drink, and instead focus on what they say and do not say – and Larson has a lot to say.

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Worlds End

The World’s End closes out The Cornetto Trilogy with a bang. With Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and this apocalyptic bar crawl comedy, director Edgar Wright and co-writer Simon Pegg have finished a trio of films about the ups and downs of growing up and moving forward. As an ender, The World’s End isn’t all that upbeat. Wright hasn’t made a 180-turn putting out a self-serious downer, but this story of a few friends attempting to symbolically go back in time and finish an epic bar crawl ends the series on a bittersweet note. It’s fitting for the tonal shifts the other Cornetto films made, but audiences will leave The World’s End wondering what to make of the ending. For Wright, he wanted that ending to be a definitive (and happy) statement. As it turns out, in order to threaten the world with destruction, you have to fight it out in the schoolyard.

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Aint Them Bodies Saints

Ain’t Them Bodies Saints isn’t a Terrence Malick knockoff. Whenever a movie has beautiful landscape shots or characters talking with a musical quality, Malick’s name is the first one to appear in comparison, but writer/director David Lowery‘s Sundance darling bares little similarity to Malick’s work. This isn’t a story of criminals wildly in love, but of a man, Bob (Casey Affleck), trying to return to his lover and former partner in crime, Ruth (Rooney Mara). With the exception of the film’s opening, Lowery doesn’t show any of the big scenes you expect from that plot synopsis: Bob escaping from jail; getting into a car chase with the coppers; or finding himself in a shootout. The film starts with a bang, but as Lowery puts it, he wanted to focus on what came after that bang.

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Film Title: Kick-Ass 2

“So, tell me, Jeff, what’s it like to work with Jim Carrey?” I might as well just have started off with that question when interviewing Kick-Ass 2 ‘s writer and director, Jeff Wadlow. After seeing the film, how do you not ask about Carrey’s performance? He’s made fans with his more kid-driven pictures, which is fine, but in the past nine years, his only genuinely great performance to speak of is I Love You Phillip Morris. Now with Kick-Ass 2, Carrey has another new performance that can stand amongst his finest work. So discussing Wadlow’s collaboration with Carrey as Colonel Stars and Stripes is a given. He’s not the Big Daddy of the sequel; it’s a whole different burst of energy. The whole film feels that way. Wadlow kept in touch with the first film’s sensibility, but he takes certain elements to new extremes. Keep reading to see what else Wadlow had to say about the Kick-Ass 2:

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Standing Up

Awkward as a nerdy kid at summer camp, we’ve built an episode focused on young people who are much, much stronger than they appear (and only some of them wear spandex). First up, an Interrogation Reviewification treatment of Kick-Ass 2 with Neil Miller. He’s seen it and lived to the wipe bodily fluids off his shirt in the theater parking lot. Then we’ve got a candid interview with D.J. Caruso, whose family-friendly film Standing Up sees two young kids finding friendship in the midst of intensely cruel, mosquito-covered bullying. From Hit-Girl crushing skulls to coming-of-age on the lam, it’s bound to be an adolescent-minded show. You should follow Neil (@rejects), the show (@brokenprojector), Geoff (@drgmlatulippe) and Scott (@scottmbeggs) on Twitter for more fun stuff on a daily basis. And, as always, please send us your feedback. Download Episode #29 Directly Or subscribe Through iTunes

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Kick-Ass 2

There have only been three adaptations of Mark Millar’s comic books thus far, but it’s impressive how faithful they’ve all been. Wanted drifts from the page a bit, but it still captures Millar’s often mean-spirited characters and worlds with reverence. Kick-Ass and Kick-Ass 2, while having their share of deviations as well, also hew closely to Millar’s intentions of showing a geeky teenager thrust into a violent world while wearing a goofy set of pajamas. There are violent consequences to Dave Lizewski (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) taking a crack at the life of a crime fighter, something few caped men face in modern superhero films even as whole city blocks are leveled. Both of the Kick-Ass films confront certain superhero tropes, but for Millar, it’s not done as satire. It springs from a far more genuine place. It’s also a bloody place, so when we spoke with the comic book creator, we got to talk about expanding expectations for a second outing and the danger of glorifying all the hits.

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In a World Movie

For some reason, there haven’t been many films chronicling the world of voiceover acting. It appears to be something of a dying art for movie trailers nowadays, opting for bombastic scores or character narration. There’s nothing wrong with that, but Lake Bell‘s feature directorial debut In a World… makes one nostalgic for the days where epic trailers were accompanied by epic voices. In a World… isn’t some history lesson, but if you’ve ever been curious about the inner-workings of the voiceover world or why it’s so male driven, Bell has that covered along with a father-daughter relationship and an underdog story. That’s a lot for a movie about repeating movie synopses into microphones. Fortunately, we got a chance to talk with Bell, and we brought our own recording device.

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hammer-publick

The Venture Bros. has been on Adult Swim for over 10 years now. Despite that considerable amount of airtime, there’s only been five seasons with a total of 63 episodes. The amount of detail put into the show by its creators, Doc Hammer and Jackson Publick, is partially why fans had to wait so long for a fifth season. Hammer and Publick aren’t ones to write an episode and have it completed in a week’s time, a la South Park, so a full season of The Venture Bros. takes 13-14 months to complete. Season five went through a transition with new behind-the-scenes workings and with the duo at a new studio, but the show and its miserable characters remained the same. The Venture brothers & Co. have been through some transitions over the years as well, and speaking with Hammer and Publick, they wanted to make sure it was an emotional one, embracing their more sentimental side. If you want to hear what else they had to say about the show and its recently concluded fifth season, continue onward:

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blom

Neill Blomkamp became kind of a big deal after District 9. That film was the surprise hit of 2009, and it showed why Blomkamp was initially tapped to helm Halo. After a debut film makes that much coin, a director is fielding offers left and right, and Blomkamp was no different except that instead of jumping into bed with a big studio franchise-starter he took another risk with Elysium: an original 98 million dollar R-rated action movie. The movie plays with a relevant allegory, but for writer/director Blomkamp that’s just the sprinkles on top of his sci-fi actioner. The movie doesn’t dwell too much on its allegory or exposition, and for Blomkamp, it was important to give the audience just enough information to throw them into the deep end. Blomkamp had to plenty more to say in a roundtable interview about his specific approach to Elysium.

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Bret Easton Ellis

Bret Easton Ellis‘s novels have had an interesting path to the big screen: the only novel that fully captured his writing is The Rules of Attraction, a movie that divided audiences; American Psycho is a cult favorite that Ellis isn’t entirely pleased with; Less Than Zero, although featuring a great performance from Robert Downey Jr., is a terrible adaptation; and the less said about The Informers, well, the better. However, The Canyons is a film Ellis had a very different relationship with. The LA noir is one of many original scripts he’s written, but it’s the only one that has made it to the screen with the help of Kickstarter, producer Braxton Pope, and director Paul Schrader. The movie is as much a statement about filmmaking as it is anything else, and Ellis had his own statements to make about modern cinema culture and adapting the unadaptable.

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david-gordon-green-the-sitter-movie-image

It’s been a rough few years for David Gordon Green. The once revered indie darling began to explore new territory as a filmmaker, making studio comedies with mixed results. Pineapple Express was met with a lot of love, but his two followups Your Highness and The Sitter were either dismissed or outright loathed. For those that shook their heads at his recent output, Prince Avalanche will be a welcome return to form for the director, and not only because it’s free of the studio system and a large budget. For Green, it’s a logical extension to the more under-the-radar work he’s been doing lately. The movie (which stars Emile Hirsch and Paul Rudd as two sparring highway road workers) didn’t get a major press release when it began filming, it’s presented a low profile marketing-wise, and according to Green, there’s a reason for that.

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hank az

Gerard Damiano was a fascinating guy. The director of Deep Throat and other FSR favorites – Naked Goddess, Splendor in the Ass, and The Devil in Miss Jones – warrants a bio film of his own. Damiano, who directed under the name Jerry Damiano, joined the Navy at the age of 17, worked as a hairdresser, and then turned to making pornography. Needless to say, he had a diverse body of work. We only see a little of the character in the Linda Lovelace bio film Lovelace, but actor Hank Azaria assures that we see an accurate portrayal of the purveyor of porn. Azaria and his scenes with Bobby Cannavale almost make for a movie of its own, bringing levity to some tough material. Naturally it makes for a great double feature with The Smurfs 2 — the other movie currently in theaters that features Azaria. We spoke with him about the similarities between his turn as porno king and mole-bearing wizard Gargamel.

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james

The protagonist of director James Pondsoldt‘s new film is an alcoholic.  The other characters in The Spectacular Now may not point that out, but why would they? Nobody in high school thinks of any teenaged partier as an alcoholic, and Pondsoldt sets the film directly from that perspective. More so than with his previous film, Smashed, with The Spectacular Now Pondsoldt deals with a destructive main character. The protagonist in Smashed (played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead) wasn’t actually hurting anyone besides herself. We see the opposite in The Spectacular Now. This isn’t a coming-of-age movie where the nerdy kid comes out of his shell because some hip girl takes an interest in him. It’s one where he maybe breaks out of that shell a little too late while hurting others in the process. Keep reading to see what director James Pondsoldt had to say about crafting an authentic high school experience for Sutter Keely (Miles Teller) and his audience.

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