Movie News

Pacino in Scarface

One of these days, Universal will finally get around to their latest incarnation of Scarface. That officially planned remake of the 1932 Howard Hawks gangster flick, which was previously redone in 1983 by Brian De Palma, is currently set up with Chilean director Pablo Larrain (No; Tony Manero), screenwriter Paul Attanasio (Donnie Brasco) and a supposed plot involving a Mexican drug cartel and one man who rises in its ranks. In the meantime, another effort to reimagine the story is already moving forward and should be finished as early as this December. The wonderfully odd folks at The Borscht Corporation, who run Miami’s semi-annual Borscht Film Festival (see our write up on the 2012 event), are working on a project centered specifically on De Palma’s version of Scarface. The plan is to compile a scene-for-scene redo consisting of a collage of various styles. They’ve broken the movie up into 636 pieces, each one 15 seconds in length, and anyone can submit their own interpretation of one of these bits. Want to recreate the part where Tony (Al Pacino) yells “say hello to my little friend” but have the little friend be an actual little person? Well, that gag has already been done before, but if you have any other bright ideas, that particular scene is still available to claim. “For better or worse, Scarface had held Miami’s image in a vice grip since it came out,” states an email we received about the project, which is titled Scarface Redux. “As our mission is […]

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Sharp Objects

By the time 2014 closes out, fans of Gillian Flynn‘s uniquely thrilling (and, typically, totally dark) novels will be doubly treated to a pair of new films based on her works. For an author who has so far only penned three books, that’s pretty handy work, but for awhile there, Flynn was going to be three for three in the feature adaptation department. Last summer, all of Flynn’s novels were in various states of cinematic production, with David Fincher‘s Gone Girl enjoying the bulk of the hype (it’s certainly the most star-studded production of the trio), Gilles Paquet-Brenner‘s Dark Places secure in a very respectable second place position and Sharp Objects just sort of hanging out in vague pre-production land. Gone Girl will now hit theaters on October 3 (though the possibility that it will bow at TIFF in September seems like a safe enough bet), just a month after Dark Places releases (with a September 1 release date, it sure would be nice to see a trailer or something soon, cough cough), but what about that Sharp Objects movie? Turns out, there’s not going to be one — because it’s going to be a Sharp Objects television show. This is fantastic news.

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20th Century Fox

Ridley Scott is no stranger to period epics, but Gladiator aside, he hasn’t had the best of luck with them at the box office. 1492: Conquest of Paradise disappeared from theaters faster than the Native Americans did from Columbus’ conscience, and Robin Hood resulted in people wishing they were watching the Kevin Costner version. (Okay, maybe that was just me.) His 2005 religious-themed epic meanwhile, Kingdom of Heaven, failed to appeal to audiences and only banked less than $50 million domestic (on a $130m budget). But Scott’s nothing if not persistent — hence his penchant for director’s cuts — and he’s ready to try his hand at another biblical epic combining faith in a god with slow-motion death from horseback. And he found two perfect Middle Eastern actors to head up his cast. Exodus: Gods and Kings is the story of the tiff between Moses (Christian Bale) and Ramses (Joel Edgerton) that resulted in the former orchestrating a mass exit of god-fearing slaves out of Egypt and the latter being inundated with messy plagues. Check out the first trailer for Exodus: Gods and Kings below.

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Image Entertainment

Bible epics are so in right now as evident Noah and the upcoming Exodus: Gods and Kings, and thanks to the combined efforts of Godzilla and Guillermo del Toro, monster movies are also back in vogue. So, like pious peanut butter and unimaginable chocolate carnage these two great genre tastes have come together for a David and Goliath movie. Well, sort of. It’ll actually by a post-Goliath David and Goliath movie, but if we’re lucky, we’ll still get an awesome Goliath corpse “elephant graveyard” scene. First reported by Variety, the working title for the film is David, and it’ll be coming from the same team currently hard at work making the story of Moses into something more interesting than your average Sunday school class. Ridley Scott will be producing the film along with Chernin Entertainment (20th Century Fox will reign over all), while Jonathan Stokes will handle the screenplay.

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batman-v-superman-logo

Here’s something that is true: filmmaker Kevin Smith is a consummate comic book fan, one who almost got to see his own vision of Superman hit the big screen a couple of decades ago (the film that would have been titled Superman Lives, a failed feature that was so tweaked, rewritten, and run into the ground that it was eventually in the nineties), one who has also penned some special series about another favorite comic book superhero (that would be Batman) and someone who is clearly excited about what Zack Snyder‘s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice holds for DC Comics’ most beloved superheroes and the DC universe at large. Here’s something else that is true: Kevin Smith is not involved with Batman v Superman, and the proliferation of rumors that link the busy filmmaker to a film that he’s not even remotely attached to have become so bizarre and bloated that it’s incredible that anyone could discuss them with a straight face, no matter how desperate everyone seems to be for information on the much-hyped film. The latest Smith-centric rumor that recently hit the web held that Smith penned an entire fake script for the production, which was then purposely leaked it to the press to throw them off the trail of the film’s actual direction. This is, of course, not true. Smith himself took to the Internet today to straighten out a rumor that gained significant traction, well, on the Internet. Cinema Blend clued their readers in to a Smith announcement (Smith-nnouncement? Smod-ment?) earlier today that vowed to clear up the […]

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Orange is the New Black Cast

Last week Noah Berlatsky at The Atlantic made a wholly misguided, and frankly puzzling argument about Orange Is the New Black. An argument that, in his own words, “may seem like a silly complaint.” To summarize the silliness, he felt the show does a great job in representing the diverse population of women in the prison system, creating complex and gratifying roles for varied women — black, Latina, elderly, lesbian, bisexual, trans — but leaves out a very, sorely underrepresented group. You bracing yourself? Because you probably already guessed which group of ladies Berlatsky thinks is getting the short end of the representation stick. It’s men. He’d like to see more men on OITNB, the show about a women’s prison, based on one women’s real-life experience during her stay in a women’s penitentiary surrounded by women.

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The Guardians of the Galaxy

What’s the best movie trailer you’ve seen so far this year? More specifically, of all the summer movies coming out in 2014, which of them has had the best trailer? Other than the first full length trailer for Luc Besson’s mind-bending actioner Lucy, I can’t think of any trailer more striking than whatever latest preview Marvel has released for Guardians of the Galaxy. And we all thought this one would be Marvel’s toughest sell to date, as it explores areas of the cosmos yet unexplored in the path in and out of The Avengers. How it all plays out with general audiences remains to be seen, but one thing remains abundantly true as this latest extended trailer hits the Internet: this movie is like nerd Fruity Pebbles. Colorful, delicious, sugar-filled, a little strange and when it’s over we’re going to need a nap.

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SLC Punk 2 Concert

There’s an open discussion about nostalgia happening now where participants either decry our reliance on it based on Buzzfeed Gif-sticles and co-opting major studios, or vaunt a highly personalized flavor of hazy memories by looking uncritically at the past. Then there’s Punk’s Dead: SLC Punk! 2, an attempt at opening the wounds of the 90s cult classic and rooting around inside. Like the mohawked engine that could, the production has taken a successful crowdfunding campaign (no doubt fueled in part by nostalgia) and converted money into moving images — some of which director James Merendino saw fit to share with us. The second coolest image is from the concert scene where now-older characters reconnect. Merendino used the IndieGoGo money to bring Screeching Weasel and anyone who donated at least $10 to the cause together for a show that scored over 1,200 participants. The coolest image, as you’ll see below, is the grave of a beloved friend.

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Juliette Binoche in Clouds of Sils Maria

Hollywood is a fickle business, and it’s no secret that it’s at its most treacherous when you’re attempting to navigate its murky waters as an aging actress, especially one who used to be a bright-eyed and bushy-tailed young starlet. Roles that were once piling at your feet faster than you could say “is it really necessary for my character to wear this crop top?” are — not suddenly, but gradually enough to not notice their slide — drifting away and being handed to the next new cute thing. Even if  you’re still respected and revered and praised, you’re not going to be called an ingénue anytime soon. The tides have changed. With the new international trailer for Clouds of Sils Maria, Juliette Binoche is figuring this out all too well for herself when Chloe Moretz storms into her life. Binoche is Maria Enders, an actress who found great fame as a young woman playing Sigird in a play called “MalojaSnake.” Twenty years later, when the playwright who gave her this starmaking role dies, she’s compelled, albeit hesitantly, to join a new production of the play — this time playing the role of the emotionally fragile older woman. Jo-Ann Ellis (Moretz), Hollywood’s heavy-partying It Girl takes on her former role and challenges her as an actress and apparently her sanity as well.

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Pip Andersen and Crystal Clarke for Star Wars 7

Misdirection. It’s the classic technique of going “HEY LOOK OVER THERE” while secretly preparing an elaborate magic trick and/or hiding the garbage bags containing your neighbor’s corpse. But misdirection isn’t just used by magician serial killers anymore. Now, even the folks at LucasFilm have employed this tried-and-true method in the latest casting development for Star Wars: Episode VII. Yesterday, the company put out a press release announcing to the world that the long process of holding open casting calls and scouring through millions of young actors mesmerized by the words “Star” and Wars” has paid off. Officially joining the cast are two unknowns: Crystal Clarke and Pip Andersen. Clarke, an American acting student, will make her feature debut in next year’s The Moon and the Sun, the I-desperately-hope-it’s-true story of King Louis XIV, and how his “quest for immortality leads him to capture and steal a mermaid’s life force.” Fingers crossed on that one. Andersen, on the other hand, was a competitor on MTV’s Ultimate Parkour Challenge. Less impressive, but for all we know Ultimate Parkour Challenge had an episode where the contestants had to reenact scenes from the original Star Wars films while also flipping between a series of really tall dumpsters. So Disney stood up and shouted, “Look! Look at these ridiculously good-looking young people! Watch as they do parkour!” (And yes, the press release did link to a Sony ad where Andersen wears a Spider-Man outfit under his clothes and does backflips in and out of various buildings.) And […]

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Christian Bale in Exodus

There are few things that are certain in this world: death, taxes, the fact that there’s always an episode of Law and Order: SVU playing on at least one channel at any given time of day or night, and that the biblical epic will always find its way back into the mainstream of cinema. It may have been since the 1950s when the big budget, large scale production was en vogue, but with films like this year’s Noah getting audiences nostalgic for animals marching two-by-two and the big guy upstairs, now Ridley Scott‘s Exodus: Gods and Kings has its path paved to go full blown Charlton Heston with no regrets. The first images from the film, courtesy of Entertainment Weekly, show that happening right away.

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Jimi All Is By My Side

Another day, another biopic about a famous, troubled singer whose life was cut far too short, far too soon. This time around, the film is focusing on Jimi Hendrix, the psychedelic god of rock whose legendary guitar skills ignited the electric guitar scene and scared thousands of grumpy white dads with crew cuts and khaki pants whose daughters wanted to listen to that devil music. The gifted songwriter, unparalleled guitar player and smooth crooner at the helm of The Jimi Hendrix experience’s brief life was an extraordinary one, and never dull, but John Ridley‘s JIMI: All Is By My Side is choosing to take a different approach to telling the legend’s story. As the first trailer for the film shows, Ridley (who also crafted the screenplay for 12 Years a Slave) worked around a story of pre-fame Hendrix (André Benjamin, aka André 3000 from OutKast). This means a few things; while it’s still a film about a man with unfathomable talent and prowess with an axe and maybe the flyest wardrobe in the history of histories, we won’t get to see the meat of his full story. There won’t be that rise to the highest peaks of fame and success, when the songs that made him Hendrix crashed out of the Electric Lady and into a sea of mud and thrashing hippies at Woodstock. And there won’t be that tragic fall to the bottom either, when he asphyxiated on his own vomit after overdosing on sleeping pills in 1970 — joining that […]

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Batman v Superman

Comic-Con has begun to rear its ugly head. And with it, the fans patiently waiting for Comic-Con have quietly gone insane, and are now treating every baseless internet rumor like pure liquid truth dribbled from the mouth of a loving God. But fear not, you crazed rabble. Warner Bros and Zack Snyder have provided something real: the first photo of the Man of Steel (thanks to USA Today) in this Man of Steel sequel with a completely different title. Take it in below. (And please adjust your screen brightness accordingly. You’ve been warned.)

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Foxcatcher

“Hello, Oscar voters, Channing Tatum here. Yes, hello, it’s nice to speak to you, too. No, I will not be appearing in Step Up: All In. No, no cameo. I swear. I know I’ve done it before, but there was just no time for this one. I am sorry. That’s really nice that you love dance movies, but I am here to talk to you about something else. No, not Matthew McConaughey. Not his Oscar. ALRIGHT ALRIGHT ALRIGHT. Happy? Let’s get to it. My Oscar. No, no, I don’t want to wait until next March. I’d like it now. No, right now. I know Foxcatcher hasn’t even been released yet, but I think that I’ve got a little something for you that might sway your opinion. Here, take a look, then let’s talk about that little gold man.”

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Drafthouse Films

Drafthouse Films is still a relatively young label in the grand scheme of things — their first release, Four Lions, only hit theaters in late 2010 — but they’ve already established a clear and successful identity through their films. They’ve already seen two of their titles receive Academy Award nominations, and they’ve remained unpredictable in their choices thanks to a roster that includes dramas, comedies, documentaries and more as diverse as Pieta, Miami Connection and The Final Member. That proud tradition of finding and loving odd world cinema continues with what will be their thirtieth release, The Tribe. The Ukrainian film won multiple awards at this year’s Cannes Independent Critics’ Week, but the film stands out for more than its numerous accolades. Director Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy‘s feature debut is a tale of youthful drama and abandon at a boarding school for the deaf, and it’s told entirely in sign language. No subtitles. No voice-over. Just sign language. Check out the first (NSFW) teaser for the film below. (This was the sales teaser used at Cannes.)

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Idina Menzel and James Marsden in Enchanted

Seven years after Disney brought Amy Adams into our lives as the real life princess that we’d always dreamed could exist, they’re attempting to make magic happen again with a sequel to their 2007 hit Enchanted, according to Deadline. In that first movie, doe-eyed, full of wonder and dressed like an adorable cupcake Giselle (Adams) peeled herself away from the animated kingdom of Andalasia when a wicked queen (Susan Sarandon) banished her to plain old regular Earth for fear that she would marry her princely stepson (James Marsden) and unseat her from her throne. With Enchanted 2 now a reality, maybe that means Giselle and her true love from New York City (Patrick Dempsey) didn’t wind up happily ever after as it so tidily seemed at the end of the first film. Or Prince Edward and his equally earthly girlfriend (Idina Menzel) weren’t exactly a match either. Having a partner who sings constantly, no matter how dreamy they might be, probably gets a little grating. No cast members have signed on yet for the sequel, which is being written by David Stem and David N. Weiss (The Smurfs; Are We There Yet?) and directed by Anne Fletcher (The Proposal; The Guilt Trip), meaning the doors are open for some healthy speculation about plot and premise.

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Studio Ghibli When Marnie Was There

Hayao Miyazaki may have retired from the animation world, but that doesn’t mean Studio Ghibli is about to plummet from the sky like a giant flying Totoro whose umbrella has been riddled with machine gun fire. No, the studio soldiers on, and while their latest release, The Tale of Princess Kaguya, hasn’t yet arrived here in the Western world, their latest latest release is gearing up to premiere in Japan (we’re so behind). That movie would be When Marnie Was There, an adaptation of Joan G. Robinson‘s novel of the same title. It’s the story of a young girl named Anna who’s depressed and alone, brimming with all the angst a lonely teenager can muster. But then she meets Marnie, and the pair soon form a quick bond. Real, palpable details about the movie are scarce, but according to the book’s synopsis, Marnie “isn’t all she seems…” But then, the very next sentence describes the book as “an atmospheric ghost story,” so Marnie is exactly what she seems, so long as you’ve read the back of the book. A new trailer doesn’t provide much expository help, ether.

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Horrible Bosses

The great thing about this Horrible Bosses 2 teaser is that it doesn’t tell you anything about the movie at all. It exists only to raise questions, show off some impressive physical comedy and to put dirty words in Jennifer Aniston‘s mouth. Familiar faces are flashed, and we learn that Charlie Day, Jason Sudeikis and Jason Bateman are back to perpetrate a kidnapping. But why? They wanted to murder their bosses in the first film because they were awful. Now, their criminal path isn’t so clear. Yet, Aniston’s character’s proclivities are back in full force. See for yourself:

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St. Vincent

This is what dark comedy does — it takes sad situations (impoverishment, alcoholism, horse racing, Naomi Watts doing a really bad accent while also sporting an obviously fake baby bump), and plays them up until they make us laugh, not cry. Ted Melfi‘s St. Vincent looks to be aiming a little to the left of the dramedy mark (in directional comedy speak, that means he’s going a bit too funny with this one) with his debut film, St. Vincent, but at least he’s somewhat in range. The film stars Bill Murray as a character clearly pitched as “what if Clint Eastwood from Gran Torino was actually kinda kicky?” who finds his life turned upside down with the arrival of a new neighbors — sad Melissa McCarthy (is it horrible to comment on how it’s nice to see McCarthy going for just a little bit of pathos for once?) and her very cute son Oliver (newbie Jaeden Lieberher, who looks to be quite charming) into the house next door. Their first introduction isn’t too fun, though, there’s some blood and a big tree limb and lots of confusion, but things change when Murray’s Vincent and Oliver start hanging out together. The twist is, of course, that Vincent doesn’t mix up his all-drinking, all-hemming and hawing, all-horse racing routine once he starts hanging out with the tween. Oopsie. Take a look at the film’s first trailer, which is both very sweet and very clearly trying to be quirky. It’s like Royal Tenenbaum went to California and never looked back.

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Saul and Walt in Breaking Bad

Saul Goodman’s solo spinoff series just added a new and increasingly complicated wrinkle. According to executive producer Peter Gould, via the Daily News, Better Call Saul will feature a “floating timeline.” As in, the series will take place before Breaking Bad. And during Breaking Bad. And after Breaking Bad. Whenever Gould wants it to be in any given episode. Considering the show was originally supposed to be set in the early ’80s, that means we’re getting at least four decades’ worth of Goodman’s rise to sleazy, inflatable power. Upon reading this, the brain’s first response should be “Cool, I guess.” This gives Better Call Saul an easy way to reunite the old Breaking Bad gang in scenes where they’re clearly older than the characters they’re supposed to be portraying (although the occasional Breaking Bad flashback already gave us that gift). More Bryan Cranston, more Dean Norris (maybe?), more Aaron Paul (nope, not so long as Aaron Paul is to be believed). And we’ll finally see Saul manage that Cinnabon in Omaha, which is worth the cost of the whole damn show.

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