Amy Adams

In his vitriolic review of Film Socialisme (Jean-Luc Godard’s self-indulgent mess that screened at Cannes in 2010), renowned critic Mark Kermode said: “the movie is incredibly boring and incomprehensible, but so boring and incomprehensible that critics concluded it must be quite profound.” With that quote in mind, I carefully read every single glowing review I could find of Paul Thomas Anderson‘s new film The Master (including one already on this site) after watching it at the Toronto Film Festival. Before the love fest, I walked out of the theater feeling confident that everyone else in attendance hated it as much as I did. Instead, it seems as if everyone has found a safe place for their beloved director’s latest to hide by looking for praise anywhere they could. The film follows the life and tribulations of former sailor Freddie Quell (Joaquin Phoenix) whose rather random but instant bond with Lancaster Dodd (Philip Seymour Hoffman) turns into a lasting friendship that puzzles everyone around them. Quell is a deeply damaged soul who appears to be guided by his basic human needs of sex and violence but also hides greater emotional devotion to a long lost love – one he tries to retrieve years too late. Lancaster Dodd is an equally insane but significantly more eloquent oddball thanks to his natural ability to influence others around him. While his ego knows no bounds and his methods reveal no logic whatsoever, he displays such a sense of self-assurance and persuasion that he can […]

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Siri

We’ve been following along with the development of Spike Jonze’s next project for a while now, and with good reason. For one, it’s a new Spike Jonze movie, and that should be enough to get film geek blood pumping on its own. But when you factor in the cast that he’s compiled, which includes names like Joaquin Phoenix, Rooney Mara, Amy Adams, Samantha Morton, and Olivia Wilde, well, it doesn’t take long before the anticipation hits a boiling point. There is one cloud of uncertainty that’s been hanging over the project’s head ever since it got announced, however, and that’s the fact that it has been sold as being a story about a man who falls in love with Siri. Yeah, the iPhone thing.

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For a film that opens in less than two months, we’ve seen very little from Robert Lorenz‘s Clint Eastwood-starring feature debut, the father-daughter baseball dramedy Trouble With the Curve, so it’s about damn night Warner Bros. rolled out a trailer for the project. And yet, this first trailer doesn’t show us much beyond what audiences are likely expecting from the film – Eastwood is crotchety! Amy Adams is lovely and sweet! Justin Timberlake is snarky and vaguely sleazy! And also Matthew Lillard is there, being kind of a jerk. One thing’s for sure, however, Eastwood’s character, an aging baseball scout who is also losing his vision, was definitely not a fan of Moneyball (damn computers!). But perhaps we will be fans of this film, which looks to be an inoffensive and possibly even charming entry into more adult-skewed “family” films. Settle into the cheap seats and check out the first trailer after the break.

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The Master

Editor’s Note: On Friday night in Santa Monica’s Aero Theater, a group of movie fans gathered to enjoy a 70mm print of The Shining were treated to the first screening ever of Paul Thomas Anderson’s forthcoming The Master. We’ve asked film geek Victor Escobar, who was lucky enough to be there, to offer his thoughts on the film. It hits theaters September 21st. I thought that I was lucky just because I had won tickets to see The Shining on Friday,  but before it began, we were told that a special 70 mm print was being shown right afterward and that we were welcome to stay for the screening. During the movie, I kept thinking of films that were shot in 70 mm which would make a great follow-up to Kubrick’s hotel-set horror. The first and most logical film that came to mind was 2001: A Space Odyssey. So the film ends, the lights go up and we’re told that we will be the first people to see Paul Thomas Anderson’s latest film, The Master. The announcement was greeted by a unanimous roar from the audience. The Master is about Freddie (Joaquin Phoenix), a man without any self control or a sense of direction life, who is taken under the wing of Lancaster Dodd (Philip Seymour Hoffman). Both men find inspiration within each other but as Dodd’s religion grows, Freddie finds himself going against not just Dodd’s teachings, but Dodd himself.

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Zack Snyder

Superman doesn’t look all that happy in these first two (near identical) teasers for Zack Snyder‘s Man of Steel. If you thought Bryan Singer‘s Superman was an unbearable mope, wait until you get a peak at Snyder’s, who has apparently made one of our greatest heroes in the galaxy a bearded, lonely and sad fisherman. You can’t get more “gritty” and “real” than that shocking transformation. Check both teasers out below, one with Kevin Costner narrating and one featuring Russell Crowe’s melodic grumbling.

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The Master Trailer

So far, we’ve been treated to two very different (yet equally as engaging and wonderful) teaser trailers for Paul Thomas Anderson‘s upcoming film, The Master, but today gifts us with the film’s first full trailer. And it was worth the wait. Drawing from the film’s second teaser, this look at the Philip Seymour Hoffman- and Joaquin Phoenix-starring film dives deeper into the world of Hoffman’s mysterious, eponymous “master” and the outsider who at first embraces him, and then threatens the very fabric of his work and existence. The auteur’s apparent take on L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology is set in the 1950s and it centers on Hoffman’s character, “a charismatic intellectual known as ‘the Master’ whose faith-based organization begins to catch on in America” and Phoenix’s character, “a young drifter who becomes his right-hand man.” Check out the film’s first full trailer, complete with lots of looks at the inevitable rift between the leads, after the break.

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It was announced back in March that David O. Russell had been attached to direct a Black List script from writer Eric Singer called American Bullshit. Well, seeing as casting has now begun, it would seem like the project is officially a go, but it’s no longer going to be called American Bullshit. Already on board this now untitled drama – which tells the true story of a con artist helping the F.B.I. weed out political corruption – are Bradley Cooper and Jeremy Renner; and THR is reporting that a deal has just been signed to add an exciting young actress who’s previously worked with Russell into the mix. The Fighter’s Amy Adams is now on board to play Maxine Gardner, the mistress to Cooper’s character, con man Mel Weinberg. Renner, for his part, will be playing an F.B.I. agent. As is the case with many of the more interesting-sounding projects that are chock full of fan favorite actors and creators these days, Russell’s latest is being brought to us by Megan Ellison’s Annapurna Pictures.

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Joaquin Phoenix in The Master

Isn’t it nice to know that no matter the chaos of the universe, Paul Thomas Anderson is out there making movies? Amidst a an ebbing sea of hype and disappointment, he’s out there, takin’ ‘er easy for all us sinners. The second trailer for his forthcoming film, The Master, is an incredible example of cinematography and contemplative acting from Philip Seymour Hoffman and Joaquin Phoenix. Plus, Amy Adams round out the mix. The movie focuses on Hoffman’s religious icon known as “The Master” as he builds a relationship with Phoenix’s character Freddie – a drifter who becomes his assistant. Check out the trailer for yourself:

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Three-time Oscar nominee Amy Adams has taken on some varied roles over the course of her career and, despite some forays into darker material (Doubt, The Fighter, and most likely the upcoming The Master), Adams has always provided a ray of sunlight into her works (even really gritty sunlight, like in The Fighter). However, her next project will plunge Adams into a blackness we’ve yet to see from her – and I can’t wait for it. Variety reports that Adams is currently in negotiations to star in Gilles Paquet-Brenner‘s Dark Places, an adaptation of Gillian Flynn‘s novel of the same name. Adams would play Libby Day, a hardened character who witnessed the murder of most of her family when she was just seven. It was Libby’s testimony that put her fifteen-year-old brother behind bars for the crimes, but that’s given her little solace twenty-five years later. Nearly broke and an outcast from the rest of the world, Libby is approached by “the Kill Club,” a secret society who are bent on freeing Ben. And, well, that’s not a good thing for Libby.

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Spike Jonze’s upcoming follow-up to Where the Wild Things Are doesn’t yet have a title, but it has a cast in place. Or, at least, it did. A while back we reported that Jonze’s next film was going to be about a man who falls in love with a computer voice, a sort of forward looking commentary on the dangers of developing a Siri fetish. Joaquin Phoenix was already on board as the male lead, and Carey Mulligan, Amy Adams, and Samantha Morton were negotiating to come on in other capacities. The negotiations stuck, because all three ladies became official members of the cast. But now that’s changed. According to Variety, Mulligan has been forced to drop out of the film due to scheduling conflicts. All is not lost, however. Signing up Adams and Morton is still a pretty good haul in and of itself, and there’s word that Jonze is in final negotiations to recruit a more than acceptable replacement for Mulligan.

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Paul Thomas Anderson

Yesterday, I ragged all over the hiring of Kenneth Brangah to helm the long-gestating Jack Ryan prequel, mainly because I don’t believe that the film will ever happen and I’m not necessarily sure that I care if it does – but not every long-talked-about project is a bust, not every heavily touted production is destined to never come to fruition. Some do. And some of them are more than worth the wait. Paul Thomas Anderson‘s maybe it is/maybe it isn’t Scientology feature, The Master, has been buzzed about for awhile now – and it’s hit some hurdles on it way to the screen. But that doesn’t mean that this Philip Seymour Hoffman, Joaquin Phoenix, and Amy Adams-starring feature isn’t going to be great – in fact, I’ll be shocked if it’s not. With a resume like Anderson’s (including no less than Boogie Nights, Punch-Drunk Love, Magnolia, and There Will Be Blood ), a talented cast, and a compelling plot, it’s looking like a can’t-miss (which is why it landed on our most anticipated list for the year). But, when, oh when can we expect to see it?

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Have you been following the development of this baseball drama Trouble With the Curve? It started out as just a glimmer, a hope. It was maybe the project that would bring Clint Eastwood out of acting retirement. A story about an aging baseball scout who is losing his vision and who is embarking on one last recruitment trip in the company of his adult daughter sounded perfect for an old grizzly bear like Eastwood, and since those first days of maybes the project has developed quite nicely. First it became official, and got a release date of September 28, 2012. Then it started filling out its supporting cast with exciting names. Amy Adams came on to play the role of Eastwood’s daughter, and Justin Timberlake got picked up to play her love interest. This thing was looking like an all-star lineup already. But with news that they’re bringing one of the most underutilized players in Hollywood on board, I think this one might go all the way. According to Variety, John Goodman has just signed on to play a baseball scout and longtime friend of the Eastwood character’s named Pete Klein. That’s right, The Babe himself is returning to the world of onscreen baseball.

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Steve Martin‘s talents extend far beyond just stand-up comedy, acting, sombrero-wearing, and banjo-playing, as the multi-hyphenate has also dabbled in the writing world, including a swim with fiction with three novels (fine, “Shopgirl” was a novella). That first novel(la) was turned into a film back in 2005, and now Martin’s latest work of grown-up fiction will join it on the big screen. An Object of Beauty will be based on Martin’s 2010 novel of the same name, and the project is now getting outfitted with not only three producers, but an Oscar-nominated star. Amy Adams will lead the film as central character Lacey Yeager, as well as producing it alongside Maven Pictures producers Trudie Styler and Celine Rattray. There’s no word yet on the rest of the film’s cast and crew, including whether or not Martin will adapt his own book for the big screen (as he did with Shopgirl). Adams’ producer duties prove that she’s got more than just a passing interest in the role – which is of particular note, as the complicated character of Lacey is quite distant from the sunny, smiling image that Adams has cultivated over the past few years (The Fighter notwithstanding). Martin’s book focuses squarely on Lacey, a go-getter in the New York art world who starts off as a plucky intern at Sotheby’s, before some questionable choices (both in terms of career advancement and actual legality) force her to reinvent herself as a gallery owner. Told through the narrative voice of a male […]

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We’ve been in need of a new Spike Jonze feature since 2009′s Where the Wild Things Are, and it looks as if the filmmaker is planning an interesting new film with a stellar cast. The untitled feature (written and to be directed by Jonze) will center on a man “who falls in love with the voice of a computer, similar to the Siri feature on the new iPhone.” With Joaquin Phoenix already on board, we can only guess that he’ll play that love-struck techno-wonk, but just who of the reported three new female cast members would play the tantalizing voice? Deadline Cupertino reports that Carey Mulligan, Amy Adams, and Samantha Morton are all in talks to star in the film alongside Phoenix. My bet for the voice? Adams, because who else has the same pep and charm? Also adding to my complete speculation – the fact that Morton and Mulligan bare a striking resemblance to each other that I cannot help but think would work quite well in the “real world” confines of the film. This project is not to be confused with another Jonze film  that will star Phoenix and Mulligan – that’s the one that is being penned by Charlie Kaufman. That film is reportedly “a satire about how world leaders gather to figure out all the seismic events that will take place in the worlds, from oil prices to wars that will be waged,” which sounds particularly wonderful.

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Now that Warner Bros. has given an official release date to the Clint Eastwood- and Amy Adams-starring father-daughter-baseball-scouting-oops-think-someone-is-going-blind film, Trouble With The Curve, for September 28, it’s time they get to filling out the rest of the roster. Next up at bat? Justin Timberlake! Deadline Memphis reports that Timberlake will co-star in the film as ” a rival scout who is sweet on the elder scout’s daughter.” Both Eastwood and Timberlake’s characters will presumably be going head to head to land a hot new prospect. Other hot things will likely also go down between Timberlake and Adams, if you get what I’m saying here. Timberlake’s focus has switched to acting in recent years, and he’s been rounding his resume out with stuff that has been, at the very least, interesting. He’s hit just about every genre (comedy, romantic comedy, drama, sci-fi, animation), and he’s worked with some great directors (well, mainly David Fincher). Next up for him? The Coen brothers’ Inside Lleywn Davis, which should be another huge cinematic step for the actor. A sports drama co-starring Eastwood? I can see it.

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Editor’s Note: If you don’t want some of the finer points of The Muppets spoiled for you (uh, including the ending), maybe sit this one out (on a boat somewhere, possibly? with an attractive lady pig and a nearby rainbow?). However, if you’re more concerned with spoilers regarding the film’s copious cameos, you’ve got the frog-green light to read this one. I am a cynic. That’s not so much a startling admission as it is recognition of the ugly little monster that sits on my shoulder every time I go into any given screening these days. This monster whispers in my ear the titles of all the Hollywood films over the last few years that have displayed a lack of originality, poor acting, and a general lack of heart. It tempts me to predispose myself toward negativity and force the movie to win me over. That same monster was sitting on my shoulder even as I sat down to see The Muppets, a film to which I had very much been looking forward. That monster was there despite how much I loved The Muppet Show when I saw it in rerun as a kid and despite my having worn out my VHS copy of The Muppet Movie many years ago. Ultimately, this film not only silenced that little monster, but it clobbered it with one of Miss Piggy’s left hooks and replaced it with a familiar singing frog whom I had forgotten how much I truly missed. As it turns […]

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr gets his grading done early because school is off for the rest of the week. With three family movies opening in theaters for the Thanksgiving weekend, Kevin tries to keep things respectable. Reliving his childhood, he sings and dances his way into the theater for the revival of The Muppets, then takes a serious look at 3D and avant-garde filmmaking with Martin Scorsese’s latest film Hugo. Finally, he bundles up and heads to the North Pole on a search for Santa and his family, knowing it has to be exactly like it is depicted in Arthur Christmas. Movies don’t lie, after all, do they?

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Walter the Muppet

When penning their very own Muppet movie, The Muppets, writers Jason Segel (who co-stars in the film) and Nicholas Stoller had one essential code to crack – how exactly were they going to break into the fractured Muppet gang to get them back together for one more show? It turns out, it wasn’t how, it was who. The Muppets centers on Walter the Muppet (played by Walter the Muppet), the world’s biggest Muppet fan. Though Walter has taken great joy in the Muppets (particularly Kermit the Frog, his personal hero) as he’s grown up in Smalltown, USA, his favorite characters are treated as a relics by everyone else in town (save his brother, Segel as Gary). When Gary and his girlfriend Mary (Amy Adams) set out on a trip to Los Angeles, home of Muppet Studios, Walter comes along for the ride and to meet his idolts. What he finds at the Studios is unexpected – but the journey it ultimately leads him (and Kermit, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Gonzo, and the whole rest of the crew) on is far more unexpected (and wonderful). Walter is voiced and operated (muppeted?) by veteran puppeteer Peter Linz, whose extensive resume includes stints on The Puzzle Place, Bear in the Big Blue House, and Lomax: Hound of Music (where he voiced Lomax himself), Linz also has a long relationship with the Muppets. The puppeteer spent fourteen years on Sesame Street, and he’s contributed work to a number of smaller Muppet productions, while also […]

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The Muppets Parody Trailers

There’s always been something inherently brilliant about the world of The Muppets. In their world, one in which felt-skinned frogs live in real life swamps and sing songs and a bear’s natural habitat is a Studebaker, there’s no limit to what can be accomplished if you follow your dreams. It’s a world very much like our own, only a lot more optimistic. There’s also always been something to the way the world of The Muppets seamlessly works alongside reality. They don’t feel like fictional characters, but characters we could very well meet on the street someday. Or so we should hope. It’s this no-wall approach that allows the folks behind The Muppets to make them nonfiction and fiction all at the same time. It allows them to deliver both a new movie and some silly marketing fun that comments on other movies all at the same time. And as we’ve come to expect, these parodies of Twilight and Green Lantern and the like aren’t made with cynicism. They’re made with the unbridled optimism and fun-loving spirit that has been a part of The Muppets all along. To celebrate this lovely campaign of marketing mastery, we’ve assembled all the parody trailers into one place (right here) and posted them below for your viewing enjoyment. It’s just another part of our joyous week of celebration through our Guide to The Muppets. 

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The Muppets

As we begin our celebration of The Muppets, you’ll notice that we’ve got plenty to cover. Not only are we looking back at the history of Kermit and friends, we’re also celebrating their return in the Disney film, directed by James Bobin, that we’ve already said is a fun return to form for these beloved characters. So it’s only right that we begin with a look at the colorful imagery released by Disney in anticipation of the film. From bus shelter posters to character one-sheets to shots from within and behind the scenes of the film, we’ve assembled all the available shots from in and around this exciting new movie in a feature we call The Ultimate ‘Muppets’ Photo Gallery. To see all the photos, simply head over to The Ultimate Muppets Photo Gallery by clicking here or click on the image above. For more of our week-long celebration, be sure to bookmark our Muppets Guide homepage.

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