Movie News

In Your Eyes at Tribeca

Joss Whedon was a busy man with The Avengers. But in between the writing and the shooting and the wrangling of a real, live Hulk (I’m assuming that was the real Hulk, right?), he also shot Much Ado About Nothing on his days off. Apparently Much Ado wasn’t enough, because Whedon actually had a third project in the works at the same time. In the early months of 2012, Whedon’s screenplay for In Your Eyes was being shot in New Hampshire. Not by Whedon, mind you, but by Brin Hill – and before you say, “Who?” Hill is known mostly for writing the competitive b-boy flick Battle of the Year. Somehow, Whedon found a way to oversee the production anyway, even if it was just through a tenuous psychic connection. Which, conveniently enough, is the very same plot device at the center of In Your Eyes. Starring Zoe Kazan (Ruby Sparks) and Michael Stahl-David (the lead in Cloverfield), it’s a love story touched by a vague kind of movie mysticism. Kazan and Stahl-David fall in love despite the fact that they’ve never met and live on opposite sides of the country. Somehow, a metaphysical, psychic-ish connection is to blame. The film premieres this Sunday at the Tribeca Film Festival, and Entertainment Weekly has shared the first three minutes in case you won’t be in NYC but would still like to take a look. And why wouldn’t you?

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A24

As it turns out, you can take the vampire out of Twilight and find some pretty unexpected results. With The Rover, the new film from director and writer David Michôd (Animal Kingdom), Robert Pattinson sheds his sparkly teen vampire image yet again to take part in a dark and dreary drama devoid of all supernatural intervention. Pack all your girlish screams away somewhere, because this isn’t the time or place. “Anarchy is loosed upon the world,” and it’s up to Eric (Guy Pearce) to dig through that chaos as “things fall apart” in the Australian outback (things are really bleak out there). His quest: to hunt down a strange band of criminals who have taken hold of his last possession as he attempts to stay alive and keep his head above water in the process. In his journey, he meets Rey (Pattinson), one of the members of the gang who have messed with his life. Rey is injured and alone, no longer the menacing threat he used to pose to Eric when he and his gang stormed into his life long before. But now Eric recognizes that Rey can no longer hurt him, and scoops him up along for the ride. With Rey’s gang leaving him in the dust by himself at the beginning of the trailer, he doesn’t have much of a choice, now does he? Check out the trailer for The Rover below.

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The Immigrant

For some reason, James Gray‘s The Immigrant didn’t get released last fall as an awards contender. Like Snowpiercer, The Immigrant was far better than pretty much everything else Harvey Weinstein decided to release in 2013. Both movies sat on the shelf for a little bit, but thankfully for not too long. Snowpiercer and The Immigrant will have limited releases this summer, and it’s highly recommended to seek out the theaters that will show Gray and Bong Joon-ho‘s films. Both movies were made for the big screen. Bong Joon-ho’s exceptional control over tension makes for a true theatrical experience, while Gray’s new movie features gorgeous cinematography and another superb performance from Joaquin Phoenix that shouldn’t be first seen on your television set. Following up his best film, Two Lovers, Gray tells the story of an immigrant, played by Marion Cottillard, hoping to make it in America with her sister. It’s an often moving, refreshingly funny, and smartly structured drama.

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Orange Is The New Black Season 2

Ahhh, prison. Orange is the New Black makes it seem so appealing. You and a bunch of your buddies (divvied up exclusively by race, of course) hanging out, rewiring lamps and only occasionally fighting off a potential stabbing. The second season of Netflix’s simultaneously-upbeat-and-disturbing series debuts on June 6th. And to ring in the new, they’ve released a shiny new trailer, a full-length one that finally gives us all a clue to what we’ll be binge-watching a month and a half from now (beforehand, all we had were these particularly ominous seventeen seconds). This full-on, “Official” trailer actually has a little story to it. Looks like Season 2 will start with Piper (Taylor Schilling) released from solitary (probably something to do with that potential stabbing) and Lorraine Toussaint showing up as a new (and from the looks of it, extremely villainous) resident of Litchfield Correctional. Cue the montage of characters becoming alternately enraged and sassy.

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Shout! Factory

Werner Herzog is no stranger to film fans, but it’s possible that Fandor is. If like me you’re a fan of the former yet blindly unaware of the latter then this news may be very welcome indeed. Fandor is a streaming video service featuring feature films and shorts from all around the world, and while their catalog includes just about every genre the titles are far from the typical ones available on Netflix or at your local Redbox. The site’s tagline is “All for film,” and it’s clear immediately that they truly do love cinema thanks not only to the availability of obscure titles but also in the clean simplicity of the layout. The service costs $10/month or $90/year, but you can get a free two week trial to check things out and see if it’s for you. I’m neck-deep in the site now and will have a proper review of the service in the weeks to come. Fandor’s appreciation and love for quality, lesser known titles makes it a perfect fit for their recent acquisition of sixteen Herzog films. He’s been making movies since the early ’60s, but he’s become a bit more ubiquitous these days thanks to higher profile documentaries, more frequent media appearances and his villainous appearance in Jack Reacher. The films being released on Fandor dig deep into his filmography with a mix of narrative and documentary films both well known and far more obscure. Two of the titles (Aguirre, the Wrath of God and Fitzcarraldo) are already […]

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Jersey Boys 1

I can understand the appeal of a jukebox musical on Broadway. In a way, it’s just a concert, albeit for cover artists, with a little bit of story thrown in for fun — like skits on a rap record. On the big screen, though, they just can’t be as enjoyable. There’s no live performance and, unless you find just the right movie theater or wait a number of years for a Drafthouse sing-a-long screening, there’s none of the same audience vibe you get with the real deal. I’m sure the stage incarnation of Jersey Boys is a really good time. The movie version, on the other hand, looks like a real bore of a biopic with an imitation soundtrack. It seems so generic that they’ve probably even thrown in a token sibling death for Frankie Valli. This evening we got our best look yet at the adaptation, directed by none other than Clint Eastwood. And by the look of this new trailer, Jersey Boys looks like a cheap TV series knocking off the period-set popularity of Mad Men. That is especially disappointing, because Eastwood and cinematographer Tom Stern have made some great historical dramas together, including Letters From Iwo Jima and Changeling, for which Stern received an Oscar nomination. In fact, Eastwood’s usual visuals team is here — costume designer Deborah Hopper, art director Patrick M. Sullivan Jr., effects supervisor Steve Riley — so why doesn’t this look like it fits with the rest? Why does it look like something made for cable? At […]

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Mrs Featherbottom

No, I’m not thinking Doubtfire vs. Madea. Technically that would involve a man fighting a woman, as Mrs. Euphegenia Doubtfire is Robin Williams playing a male character who dresses as an old lady while Mabel “Madea” Simmons is just Tyler Perry playing an old lady. It doesn’t sound like a fair battle. Obviously Madea would kick the fake nanny’s ass. But the synopsis I have in mind is similar for this Mrs. Doubtfire sequel that Fox 2000 has just announced with original director Chris Columbus and Williams both on board. It has to be an Expendables type movie, which means it’s not just Doubtfire 2 but an ensemble piece in which Williams as Daniel Hillard as Doubtfire is joined by Dustin Hoffman as Michael Dorsey as Tootsie, Martin Lawrence as Malcolm Turner as “Big Momma,” David Cross as Tobias Funke as Mrs. Featherbottom, Miguel A. Nunez Jr. as Jamal Jeffries as Juwanna Mann, Harland Williams as Doofer as Roberta from Sorority Boys and Amanda Bynes as Viola Hastings as Sebastian from She’s the Man, and they’re on a mission to … whatever it doesn’t matter, just like an Expendables movie.  

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John C Reilly and Will Ferrell in Step Brothers

When Anchorman 2 was announced, the Adam McKay and Will Ferrell collaboration was a blessing for fans of the original film. Sure, another Anchorman movie meant that Ron Burgundy, Champ, Brian and the whole gang would be back for a new adventure after years of anticipation, but it also meant something truly terrible: a sequel to Step Brothers would never happen. The Ferrell and John C. Reilly film, in which two 40-something screw-ups are forced to move in together after their parents get married and then subsequently become best friends, is one of the finest comedies of our times — I’ve waxed poetic about its greatness before — and after the lackluster continuation of Ron Burgundy’s story, the fact that we wouldn’t be able to hear another refrain of “Boats ‘n Hoes” only hit harder. But today’s news is sweetening that bitterness just a little bit with word that Ferrell and Reilly are teaming up again for a different kind of story, and McKay is set to direct this one, too. According to Deadline, the duo will reunite for Border Guards, the tale of two All-American citizens who take it upon themselves to patrol our border with Mexico for illegal immigrants. Naturally, they’re both well-meaning idiots who can’t do their job properly, meaning they somehow wind up on the other side of the border without their passports or a way to get back home. It’s now up to them to figure out how to sneak back into the United States.

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If I Stay Movie

In If I Stay, Chloe Moretz plays a talented musician on the cusp of auditioning for The Juilliard School. She’s got all the happiness that being 17 can afford, but it’s all taken away by a severe car accident that leaves her in a coma. While she hangs on the edge of death, she has an out of body experience that allows her present life (with all the threat and promise of its future) to flash literally in front of her eyes. It shares a surface-level spiritual connection to the recent Heaven is For Real, but it more obviously resembles The Lovely Bones. Hopefully that won’t hold it back. Check out the trailer for yourself:

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X-Men: Days of Future Past

If the main creative issue with superhero movies is figuring out how to make them bigger and more bombastic, Bryan Singer and his mutant friends seem to have found solutions for X-Men: Days of Future Past. At the very least they’ve given sufficient ammo to the trailer editors, because the world they’re portraying is a massive one. Sentinel armies, time travelling jumps, Magneto’s famous hatred of baseball stadiums. Everything is offered a chance to be pumped full of BGH. Check it out for yourself:

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Korengal Mountains

Filmmaker Sebastian Junger launched a Kickstarter campaign earlier today for a follow-up to his Oscar-nominated documentary Restrepo. And it’s already about a third of the way funded. The new film, titled Korengal: This Is What War Feels Like, is basically a sequel to that 2010 effort, for which he and co-director Tim Hetherington were embedded with a U.S. platoon in Afghanistan for a look at a year on the front lines of the war. Hetherington later died covering another dangerous conflict, the Libyan civil war, and became the subject of Junger’s subsequent film, Which Way Is the Front Line From Here. Korengal takes us back with the duo to the titular valley for events that happened either following or alongside those in Restrepo. Junger says in his campaign statement that it had been an idea during the editing of the earlier film that they’d come back and make another doc out of the unused footage. That makes it sound almost like what they did with the Anchorman movies, but of course this is reality and also this second film is said to pick up where the other one left off, not be merely a collection of deleted scenes.

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Channing Tatum Magic Mike Flexing

It’s a good time to be Channing Tatum. One minute he’s taking a meeting with the X-Men people, the next minute MTV is bestowing their most prestigious golden popcorn bucket upon him. And amidst all that goodness is something else to be proud of: Warner Bros. considers him decent enough competition (or at least, a viable alternative) to the Terminator franchise. Because it’s just been announced that Tatum’s Magic Mike 2 (rumored to be called Magic Mike XXL) is slated for release on July 3, 2015, which is two days before Terminator Genesis‘s own release date in the Great Summer of All Blockbusters. Of course, the one thing 2015 doesn‘t already have is a sex movie about shirtless men (just kidding! — there’s also 50 Shades of Grey), so Tatum and his cohorts can step up to fill an important niche (har!). Magic Mike 2/XXL‘s release date is also the first news about the sequel that’s come down the official news pipeline, and like all officially sourced news, it contains both the phrase “get your banana hammocks ready” and “drops trau.” Everything else about the sequel — that Tatum would be penning the screenplay (along with Reid Carolin), that it might be called Magic Mike XXL and that its director will probably be Magic Mike‘s first AD, Greg Jacobs, have come from unconfirmed sources, little hints dropped by actors or Tatum’s Facebook page.

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Obvious Child trailer

One of the breakout hits from this year’s Sundance Film Festival was a film that has romance, yes, and is definitely a comedy, but perhaps not exactly a typical rom-com. At least, nothing you’ve probably seen starring Kate Hudson and a nondescript white bachelor suitor probably involves a plotline centered upon abortion. As it turns out, Obvious Child maybe just isn’t that obvious of a choice. The film, directed by Gillian Robespierre, focuses on a down on her luck comedian named Donna, played by real life comedian and former Saturday Night Live member Jenny Slate. After a particularly heinous breakup, Donna downspirals, losing her job and sending her already shaking existence as an unambitious twenty-something into overdrive. Even something good, like a silly one night stand with a new guy who seems to share her proclivities for farts and fun, leads to an unexpected and unwanted pregnancy.

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Magic Mike

Back in January, uber producer Lauren Schuler Donner said she wanted Channing Tatum for a movie about everyone’s favorite card-flinging Cajun X-Man. Now Tatum has confirmed (while blazing trails for MTV) that he’s taken a meeting about it and is definitely interested. Something we’ve all known since he auditioned for a part in X-Men: The Last Stand. So it goes. If a million things line up correctly, Channing Tatum playing Gambit might be our future. The thing is, of course, that if a movie is an adult who can vote, this is the movie news equivalent of hearing two people fucking through your hotel wall. But grains of salt aside, it offers us an interesting opportunity to look at what went wrong with the first live-action Gambit and how a solo film with the character might be a much-needed antidote for comic book movie fatigue.

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Maps to the Stars trailer

Although you won’t see her in the first promotional trailer for David Cronenberg’s Maps to the Stars, it appears (at least according to the film’s IMDb page) that Carrie Fisher is co-starring in the auteur’s latest film as herself (or, perhaps more accurately, as a version of herself). Whereas the rest of the star-studded cast is saddled with hilariously fake-sounding names (John Cusack is “Dr. Stafford Weiss,” with Julianne Moore set to play “Havana Segrand” and Robert Pattinson rounding things out as “Jerome Fontana”) that make everyone seem like they’ve been picked to play characters in a high-minded pornographic film, Fisher apparently gets to keep her own. It’s a fitting choice for Cronenberg to file in a “Fisher” amongst other roles that are stuck with names like “Azita Wachtel” and “Sterl Carruth,” because at the very least it adds a touch of actual veracity to his latest feature – which is about Hollywood itself. Even in a city steeped in stage names, there has to be at least one “Carrie” to normalize things a bit (and this Carrie is a real one!), though Maps to the Stars looks as if it’s gloriously unbound to the normal.

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Back to the Future Part II Documentary

Pretty soon, there’ll be a whole genre of documentaries just about or related to Back to the Future. Among the fandom-based projects that show up on crowdfunding sites, Robert Zemeckis’s time travel trilogy seems to be tied to the most. There are the successfully Kickstarter-funded DeLorean-focused films Back in Time and DeLorean: Living the Dream, and there are the less successful, such as the Indiegogo-hosted The Time Machinists. I’m sure I’ve spotted more out there, and yet we haven’t seen any show up as finished and released yet. Maybe they’re all waiting for 2015? The latest, titled Back to the Future Again,is also aiming for next year, specifically because it’s about the technology “promised” for 2015 by Back to the Future Part II. This one is on Kickstarter with a goal of £403,160 ($675,365.73), which is the highest amount for this lot. More than half of that budget, though, goes directly to licensing clips and music from the movie in order to properly illustrate their comparison of what 2015 is supposed to look like, based on the movie’s estimation, and what it actually looks like. The rest goes toward making the doc itself, which will explore how far off we are from BTTF2‘s technology. When will we have flying cars and and self-lacing sneakers and hoverboards and hydrators, etc.? Back to the Future Again will also tackle the culture of the movie’s 2015, too, by talking to fashion designers about not just the science behind Marty Jr.’s footwear and clothes but also […]

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Phillip Seymour Hoffman in A MOST WANTED MAN

When he passed away this past February, Phillip Seymour Hoffman left a lot of work behind. Specifically, there are four films — God’s Pocket, A Most Wanted Man and the last two Hunger Gameses — plus the pilot for a Showtime series called Happyish. This is good news (as good as good could be under the circumstances, anyway) if you’re a fan of Hoffman’s work, because 2014  is overstuffed with remembrances of the actor and his abilities. Now, the trailers for Hoffman’s many posthumous performances are rolling out online. Newest among the bunch is God’s Pocket, a crime drama directed by Mad Men‘s John Slattery from a novel by Pete Dexter. Here, Hoffman is Mickey Scarpato, a working-class dude from the working-class Philadelphia neighborhood of God’s Pocket. His stepson is found dead under questionable circumstances, so naturally the rough-edged bastard with a heart of gold must crack the case, please the grieving dame (Christina Hendricks) and witness the beatings of various mooks. The whole thing seems more than a little film noirish. This being Slattery’s feature debut, he’s used every ounce of his “remember me from Mad Men?” pull to attract the ideal indie cast. Along with Hoffman and Hendricks, this trailer shows off John Turturro, Richard Jenkins and Eddie Marsan. Keep a careful eye peeled and you’ll also spot Domenick Lombardozzi (Herc from The Wire) and Glenn Fleshler (True Detective‘s hulking lawnmower gentleman). Looks like True Detective might keep Fleshler in the impossibly huge man-mountain business for a long time. Also, […]

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Ben Affleck in GONE GIRL

You can have your Paul Thomas Andersons and Terrence Malicks, your Richard Linklaters and Friedberg/Seltzers. For my money the most consistently fantastic and exciting director working today is David Fincher. Even perceived “bottom tier” Fincher thrillers (Panic Room, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) are better than a large percentage of other suspense films out there, and it’s his work that I most look forward to every couple years. His latest is once again an adaptation of an immensely popular novel, but unlike Stieg Larsson’s Nordic thriller Gillian Flynn‘s book lacks a distinct visual style that plays so well into Fincher’s wheelhouse. The film, scripted by Flynn herself, is a mystery set in suburban America that follows a man’s (Ben Affleck) attempt to find his missing wife (Rosamund Pike) and convince the world that he’s not somehow responsible. Check out the first trailer for Gone Girl below.

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The Fault In Our Stars

Late last night, as you were attempting to watch Mad Men or Game of Thrones, or file your taxes at the last minute, you might have heard an eerie howling carried in the wind through your open window, making you pause for a minute and consider the possibility of something terrible afoot. Nope, it was just the sound of thousands of teens simultaneously freaking out while watching the MTV Movie Awards — the first clip from The Fault In Our Stars was released during the broadcast, and it was positively swoon-worthy. Stars is the highly anticipated adapatation of the YA novel by John Green that has a near cult-like following at this point by teens and younger readers. The story follows Hazel Grace Lancaster (Shailene Woodley), a sixteen-year-old girl suffering from cancer whose parents make her attend a support group meeting for young patients. There she meets Augustus Waters (Ansel Elgort), an ex-basketball player whose beaten bout with osteosarcoma cost him his leg in the process. The two strike up a friendship over their unfortunate bond, as well as their passion for books, and as these things happen, they begin to fall for each other as well.

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Michael Pitt and Britt Marling in I Origins

[Rob's note: Fair warning, this trailer and post contain 2nd/3rd act spoilers that Fox Searchlight should have known better than to include in their marketing.] There’s a point that we get to in movie trailers where fantastical and awe-inspiring story becomes maybe a little too hokey and we’re left with the cheesy pieces. It’s hard to say if there’s one singular problem causing this phenomenon to happen or if attempting to cram every crazy event that happens in the film into a little over two minutes just makes it seem extra ridiculous. Such is the case with the trailer for I Origins, a film that will probably be perfectly enjoyable once it hits theaters. But packed in pint-sized form, things seem to be getting out of hand for this team of scientists and their host of crazed ideas. The story follows Michael Pitt as a biologist who spends his time studying the function and mapping of the human eye. In his time outside the lab, he’s falling deeply in love with Sofi (Astrid Bergès-Frisbey), a girl with beautiful, mesmerizing eyes — “the eyes that changed this world.” After some sort of tragedy befalls the couple, Sofi is out of the picture, but her eyes are still the focus of his strange life, especially when his pretty lab assistant (Brit Marling) points out that a child in India has the exact same eye mapping as his beloved. What that means is beyond me (and hopefully you; I don’t like feeling dumb), but it’s […]

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published: 04.18.2014
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published: 04.18.2014
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published: 04.18.2014
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published: 04.18.2014
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