Amanda Seyfried

Morgan Freeman Laughing

In casting news that really makes you think about the significance of life on this big blue rock hurtling through space we call our world, Morgan Freeman has signed on for a “juicy role” in Seth MacFarlane‘s much-anticipated sequel to Ted, according to Variety. The aptly named Ted 2 will again be scripted and directed by MacFarlane, who will also return to voice the pesky little teddy bear with the loudest mouth. The details of the plot are scarce for the time being, but Freeman was apparently sought for his role — which makes sense, because if you’re going to attempt to go big you might as well go all the way to the top and fight for someone like Freeman. MacFarlane has been searching for high-profile celebrities to nail down supporting roles and cameos (still uncasted) to join the film and step out of their comfort zone for some gross-out humor and casual conversation with a talking teddy bear. What’s clear at this point is that the actor will play an “iconic” civil rights lawyer who steps into the mix when Ted lands himself in some legal trouble that needs to be resolved. To accompany Freeman, several members of the original cast will return, including Mark Wahlberg and frequent MacFarlane collaborator Patrick Warburton. The former starred as Ted’s best friend and partner in crime, John, who wished for the toy to come to life when he was a child and had the wish fulfilled during a particularly generous falling star. 

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While We

Adulthood is not the answer. Director Noah Baumbach has long played with characters who exhibit little interest or ability to just plain grow up, from the arrested development of the college grads in Kicking and Screaming, to the unrestrained emotion of Roger Greenberg in his Greenberg, to the charming immaturity of Frances Ha, but that doesn’t mean that taking on the trappings of adulthood will suddenly solve the issues of Baumbach’s characters. Being a grown up is just as impossible as refusing to do so, there are just better apartments to act out your angst in. Josh (Ben Stiller) and Cornelia don’t really fit in with their friends anymore – even their best friends Marina (Maria Dizzia) and Fletcher (Adam Horowitz, yes, Ad-Rock) – because everyone around them has gone baby-mad and the pair remains childless. It’s not for lack of trying, however, and it soon becomes apparent that Josh and Cornelia attempted to expand their family before, and it didn’t work out (like, really didn’t work out). Distraught from that portion of their lives, and more than a bit flummoxed by the baby brains all their friends seem to exhibit, the couple decides babies aren’t for them. So where do they fit?

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Amanda Seyfried

Lovelace and Les Misérables actress Amanda Seyfried has been tapped to join Mark Wahlberg in Seth MacFarlane’s Ted 2. 2012’s Ted, which featured Wahlberg as best friends with an anthropomorphic, filthy-mouthed stuffed bear, voiced by MacFarlane, scored big with audiences, becoming the highest grossing R-rated film of the year, and also the highest-grossing R-rated comedy ever, nailing a final box office haul of 549.4 million dollars worldwide. Markedly absent from the conversation is MacFarlane collaborator Mila Kunis, voice of Meg Griffin on his Fox animated series Family Guy, and co-star of Wahlberg in the previous film as Mark’s love interest, Lori Collins. From what has been reported, there’s no conflict between the Black Swan actress and her network television boss, but rather, MacFarlane has simply decided to take the story in a new creative direction. There is still a chance she will appear in a limited role, but as the story is still being plotted, nothing can be definitively confirmed just yet.

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Can Seth MacFarlane carry a film to which he lends more than just his voice? Where his whole personage appears onscreen, rather than just his voice? We won’t find out for a few months, but this first trailer for his A Million Ways to Die in the West plays it very safe. Just in case MacFarlane’s charisma doesn’t extend beyond his voice, that damn talking bear still shows up for a few seconds. It’s just long enough to make a hand sex joke and then beat a hasty retreat. The millions upon millions of bros who saw Ted can rest easy. But unlike Ted, where MacFarlane more or less transplanted his Family Guy shtick into a bear-shaped package and called it a day, A Million Ways to Die calls upon the funnyman to venture outside his usual crass voice-acting turf. Here, he neither sounds nor acts like any of his staple cartoon character personas; instead, he’s Albert, a meek and unassuming sheep farmer in the old West. Albert shies away from a gunfight and loses his girlfriend  in the process. Yet when a new love (Charlize Theron) comes along, Albert sheds his cowardly exterior and begins learning the ways of the manly-man cowboy- that is, until her husband (Liam Neeson) rides into town, vowing revenge.

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amanda-seyfried

Are you able to spot any similarities between Amanda Seyfried’s smooth, porcelain doll features and the worn and weathered face of longtime Hollywood tough guy Russell Crowe? Director Gabriele Muccino (The Pursuit of Happyness, Seven Pounds) seems to be able to, because Variety is reporting that he’s just cast her as Crowe’s adult daughter in his next film, appropriately titled Fathers and Daughters. Maybe it’s got something to do with the fact that they both have piercing blue eyes. Or maybe it’s just because they’re both famous actors. Fathers and Daughters comes from a Black List script that was penned by Brad Desch, and it tells two New York-set stories that take place 25 years apart. The first features Crowe as a famous novelist and widower who is struggling with mental illness and the task of trying to raise his five-year-old daughter on his own. The second story features Seyfried playing a 30-year-old lady trying to make her way in present day Manhattan, all while carrying around the crippling neuroses that come from being raised by a writer father who had mental issues. Or, for the sake of eliminating redundancy, let’s just call him a writer father. 

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Lovelace

Editor’s note: Kate’s review of Lovelace originally ran during this year’s Sundance Film Festival, but we’re re-posting it now as the film opens in limited theatrical release this weekend. For whatever reason, the story of adult film legend Linda Lovelace has proven to be particular enticing material as of late, with Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman’s Lovelace only the first of two Lovelace biopics to hit screens this year. Epstein and Freidman’s film is the one that stars Amanda Seyfried as Lovelace (or Boreman, or Marchiano, depending on the particular period of her life you are referring to) and Peter Sarsgaard as her bastard husband/Svengali, Chuck Traynor (because, really, who better to play the necessary bastard/Svengali role than Sarsgaard?). A generally straightforward and uninspired biopic (beyond a somewhat interesting storytelling conceit that pops up about midway through the film), Lovelace tracks Lovelace’s unlikely rise from regular girl to America’s most famous porn star, thanks to her starring role in 1972’s seminal hardcore pornographic film, Deep Throat. Like a lot of porn, Lovelace is often aimless, basically boring, and dead unsexy.

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Lovelace Amanda Seyfried

“We’re all gonna win Oscars.” Linda Lovelace’s life is ripe fruit for the biopic plucking, and with this first trailer for Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman’s Lovelace, it looks like Amanda Seyfried truly owns the role and the spotlight as the porn star turned icon turned anti-porn advocate. You see, Lovelace’s life is filled with some truly heinous stuff (including films called Peeverted and Dog Fucker), that could be brutal on screen given the context of her relationship with the abusive Chuck Traynor (played by Peter Sarsgaard). The problem is that if the cut is the same as it was at Sundance, it could still be a pretty bland affair. Seyfried looks kind of adorably stupid here, but there’s no doubt her Lovelace will wise up once the flash bulbs are all thrown away. The question is how well this particular take will portray a story so full of potential. Check out the trailer for yourself:

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reilly

What is Casting Couch? It’s just coming out of a holiday weekend, so it doesn’t have all that much casting news at the moment. But how about we put all of the actors we’re reporting on in stylish sunglasses to celebrate the kickoff of the summer season? It would be pretty hard to argue that Marvel Studios’ recent slate of interconnected superhero movies hasn’t been a huge success. Marvel movies have pleased longtime fans, cultivated a generation of new fans, and made gobs and gobs of money. Everyone knows that you’re not truly a success in the movie business until you’ve worked with John C. Reilly though, so Hitfix is reporting that the studio is currently trying to get the living legend on board one of their upcoming projects. Apparently an offer has gone out for him to play Rhomann Dey in Guardians of the Galaxy. Things are a bit more confusing than that though, because while Dey was an alien member of the intergalactic Nova Corps in the comic books, apparently in the movie world he’s going to be a human agent of SHIELD who works as the liaison between the organization and this new team of space heroes. Weird.

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seyfried

What is Casting Couch? It’s a tireless wanderer that scours the Internet in search for news of actors getting hired to appear in movies. Today it’s found more, including new roles for Rhys Ifans and Monica Bellucci. With his latest film, Frances Ha, just getting ready to expand beyond New York and LA this weekend, director Noah Baumbach now turns his attention to his next project, a story about an older couple striking up a friendship with a younger couple called While We’re Young. Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts have been on board to play the older couple, and Girls star Adam Driver is official for the younger male, but the search for the female half of the younger couple has been an ongoing process. It’s an ongoing process that’s likely to soon come to an end though, because The Wrap is reporting that Amanda Seyfried has emerged as the potential candidate to play the free-spirited young lass, and she’s even cleared some room in her schedule to make it happen. Sounds like it’s nearly a done deal.

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kendrick

What is Casting Couch? It’s the news column that’s got its ear to the ground, listening for any juicy tidbits coming out of Cannes. Today people like Uma Thurman, Seann William Scott, Amanda Seyfried, and Bruce Willis all got new jobs. Zach Braff hasn’t yet had much of a career as a film director, but if there’s one thing he’s got more experience shooting than most people, it’s tiny girls wearing giant headphones. So chances are Pitch Perfect star Anna Kendrick will be a perfect fit for the cast of his new movie, Wish I Was Here. The Wrap is reporting that she’s just joined the film in the role of Janine, a chick who’s into cosplay and who the Josh Gad character becomes enamored with. However you feel about the controversy surrounding Braff’s Kickstarter funding of this film, you have to admit, added Anna Kendrick just made going to see it sound a whole lot more enticing.

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Nicolas Cage

What is Casting Couch? It’s your daily dose of casting news. Today we find out what Helena Bonham Carter is up to with McNulty. It’s that time of the month again. What time? When Nic Cage takes another job, of course. You’ve got to feed the monkey. This time around he’s agreed to star in an upcoming thriller from Spanish director Paco Cabezas called Tokarev. According to Deadline, it’s about a former criminal whose daughter gets kidnapped, which forces him to go looking for her kidnappers, and threatens to make him slip back into his devilish old ways. None of the particulars really matter as long as Cage is going to have some sort of ridiculous hairdo and act all weird and intense and stuff though. All we needed to know was new Nic Cage movie. High five!

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The End of Love Trailer

If tearing up at a trailer is cool, consider me Miles Davis. With the onslaught of Sundance 2013 upon us, it seems more than appropriate to highlight one of the hits of Sundance 2012 — an intimate drama from Mark Webber called The End of Love that hits close to home by shooting where Webber lives. Namely, he wrote, directed and starred in the film as a struggling actor alongside his real-life baby boy. Webber’s character (named Mark Webber) parties with actors like Michael Cera and Aubrey Plaza, but his career has stalled out. Reaching the end of his rope with a toddler in his arms, he meets a young woman (Shannyn Sossamon) who he starts a promising relationship with. Allison loved it, and now that the film is hitting theaters on March 1st, there’s a polished trailer available. Check it out for yourself:

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Screen Shot 2012-12-17 at 4.53.07 PM

There is a lot of buzz about the live singing on the set Les Misérables. All of the actors sang as the cameras rolled rather than recording in a studio first, and that’s a great accomplishment since many of the actors have wonderful singing voices and don’t exactly need autotuning. This live singing in combination with the film’s grand scope – finally, a film of the legendary Boublil/Schönberg musical! – is supposed to make this a great film. But, very sadly, it does not. While the film is filled with a lot of great talent and certainly is watchable, it buckles under the often mind-blowingly heavy-handed direction by Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech) and never becomes the epic piece of cinema that it so clearly set out to be. The story is fairly common knowledge (and quite involved), but Jean Valjean (Hugh Jackman) is finishing up his prison sentence for breaking into a house and stealing a loaf of bread. He thinks he is free, but because of being on a stringent parole at the hand of Inspector Javert (Russell Crowe) he cannot get employment after his sentence is over. Valjean vows to make another go of it and when we find him years later, he is living under an assumed identity as the mayor of a small town. Valjean pays his good fortune forward when he helps factory worker-come-prostitute Fantine (Anne Hathaway). After Fantine’s death, he bails her young daughter Cosette (Isabelle Allen) out of an abusive boarding house […]

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Les Miserables

Let it never be said that director Tom Hooper took the easy road with his follow-up feature to his Oscar-winning The King’s Speech. While Hooper’s decision to again tackle a period piece with a new film version of an already often-adapted piece of work might have seemed simple when it was first announced, Hooper’s inspired idea to make his Les Miserables as close to an actual stage production as possible is anything but safe or expected. With Hooper making the bold decision to use “live” singing from his cast (not going the more traditional route of lip-syncing and recording tracks in post-production), his version of Les Miserables places quite the premium on getting truly great musical performances out of its stars. Which is why it might be confusing to many a moviegoer that the cast of Hooper’s Les Mis is rounded out by big name movie stars that most people wouldn’t necessarily associate with the Great White Way. But Hooper knew exactly what he was doing when he cast such stars as Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathway, and Amanda Seyfried in his film, because while the cast of Les Miserables is rife with well-known acting talent, it’s also filled to the brim with exceptional (and, in most cases, exceptionally trained) songbirds. Not sold on the dulcet tones and vocal stylings of this new Les Mis cast? Let’s take a look at their singing backgrounds.

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The End of Love Trailer

While indie filmmaking is often thought of as one of the big frontiers of artistic experimentation, the uncomfortable truth is that formula has crept into the world of the indie drama over the last decade or so. If you’re going to see an indie film, expect for it to be about a creative twenty-something and their struggle to face an uncertain future all the while stumbling into what may be their life’s greatest love, and expect it to be quirky. At first glance, Mark Webber’s new film, The End of Love, looks like it fits neatly into this little box. A film about a single father trying to juggle the responsibilities of raising a son with his dream of becoming an actor and the glamour of hanging out at Hollywood parties seems like just the sort of thing that would sell a lot of tickets at that local arthouse theater in the hip neighborhood. It doesn’t take long for The End of Love’s trailer to sell you on the idea that it’s something different, however. Not only does this story turn the typical tropes on their heads by taking place after the loss of that great love instead of during the opening phases of it, it also injects far more open wound vulnerability into its proceedings than we’re used to seeing on the screen. Indie actors are often quirky, sometimes bumbling. Zooey Deschanel would even have us believe that she’s “adorkable.” But the sort of pained, lonely yearning that Webber […]

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Hugh Jackman in Les Miserables

A decent amount of talk has been dedicated to director Tom Hooper‘s decision to have the cast of Les Miserables sing live during takes instead of using the more traditional method of overdubbing. Rightfully so. Though it’s not the first movie to eschew dubbing, it’s the largest scale project to do so completely, and that creates a bit of danger in the form of raw voices. On the other hand, as cast members Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried, Russell Crowe, Samantha Barks and Eddie Redmayne explain, there’s a freedom that comes with it which allows for them to truly emote through their songs. After a stunning teaser, this look into the method behind the madness proves once again that there’s a lot to hope for with this flick. It looks to be an epic given the proper epic treatment, and the on-set singing aspect, especially, gives it a fascinating edge that will most likely be something far beyond a simple gimmick. If nothing else, this featurette shows plainly the filmmakers’ investment in and dedication to the process. Check it out for yourself:

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What exactly is Epic, the next animated feature from the makers of Ice Age and Rio? If its new trailer is any indication, it’s going to be a mishmash of two well-established storytelling tropes, that of the mystical, tropical wonderland (think Fern Gully or Avatar) and that of the secret world where tiny people live right under our noses (a sort of Honey, I Shrunk The Kids meets The Secret World of Arrietty). It also seems like a movie that’s going to combine big adventure (forest warriors!) with silly humor (talking slugs?). Official word on the story says that Epic tells the tale of a teenage girl who gets transported to a deep forest setting where a battle between good and evil is taking place. There she teams up with a rag-tag group of characters to join a fight that’s going to have huge consequences for both their world and ours. That doesn’t give away much, but at least it indicates that this is going to be a story with real stakes.

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Today’s major casting press release might be the first I’ve heard of Twentieth Century Fox Animation and Blue Sky Studios’ upcoming 3D CG “action-adventure comedy,” Epic, but it’s just about all I need to get certifiably pumped over whatever the heck is going to get tossed at the screen with this one. Why? Let’s just take a look at the cast, shall we? Epic will star Beyonce Knowles, Colin Farrell, Josh Hutcherson, Amanda Seyfried, Johnny Knoxville, Aziz Ansari, Pitbull, Jason Sudeikis, Steven Tyler, Blake Anderson (who?), and Judah Friedlander. Because why the heck not, right? The only thing that is disappointing about this cast is that Epic is not live-action, so there’ s no guarantee that any of these giant, hilariously-cast talents will ever be in the same room together. Pity. I suppose you want to know what Epic is actually about, right? Apparently, the film comes to use from the creators of Ice Age and Rio, and it “tells the story of an ongoing battle deep in the forest between the forces of good and the forces of evil.  When a teen age girl finds herself magically transported into this secret universe, she must band together with a rag-tag team of fun and whimsical characters in order to save their world…and ours.” So, it’s FernGully?

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Les Miserables Anne Hathaway Shaved

Most trailers are anywhere from 2 to 4 minutes, but very few pack as much grandiose power as the new teaser for Les Miserables manages in just a minute and a half. To be fair, director Tom Hooper is utilizing time-honored music that swells and soars, but there’s also a power in the shots, the set design, and in Anne Hathaway‘s voice as she laments the death of a dream. With a shaved head. The scale looks nasty, brutish and epic. Check it out for yourself:

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s your nightly dose of what’s hip and happening in the world of entertainment. It’s also the friend who brings top shelf beer to the party, rather than a six pack of Pabst Blue Ribbon. It’s not that hip. In anticipation of a new trailer for The Amazing Spider-Man to be released this Thursday, iTunes has put up a few new images that show the hoodlum known as Peter Parker in action. He’s in a lab. He’s getting arrested. The kid is always in some sort of trouble. He probably could go more subtle with the outfit.

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published: 11.21.2014
D
published: 11.21.2014
B+
published: 11.19.2014
C+
published: 11.19.2014
B-, C


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