Billy Crudup

Guillaume Canet earned the goodwill of many with his immensely potent 2006 thriller Tell No One, before the misjudged – and like this film, much too long – Little White Lies came along and eroded plenty of that promise. However, Canet returns with his latest feature, and the busload-full of skilled actors he has brought with him damn near ensures a compelling sit, even if the film’s ponderous pacing and resulting length do detract somewhat from its finer qualities. A remake of 2008′s French film Rivals – which starred Canet himself – Blood Ties begins in 1974 New York as Chris (Clive Owen) is released from prison after a 12-year-stint for murder. While welcomed warmly by his father (James Caan), Chris is received less so by his brother, Frank (Billy Crudup), a respected policeman who is nevertheless called upon by his family to take him in. Adding to the drama is the litany of anguished lovers sitting on the periphery; Chris shacks up with a gorgeous young receptionist named Monica (Mila Kunis), much to the chagrin of his drug-addled hooker ex-wife Monica (Marion Cotillard), while Frank continues to pine for a former flame he broke it off with, Vanessa (Zoe Saldana), whose current relationship with the dangerous Scarfo (Matthias Schoenaerts) is on the rocks.

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Clive and Mila

If the Cannes Film Festival is good for anything, it’s letting a select few people see great movies that the rest of us are going to have to wait months to get our eyeballs on. In one respect it’s a tantalizing glimpse at our film future, and in the other it’s a torturous tease that only gives us whispers about unattainable pleasures. Every once in a while a film debuting at Cannes will at least release a trailer around the same time though, so those of us not at the festival can get a taste of what we’re missing, and this seems to be the case with Guillaume Canet’s first English-language film as a director, Blood Ties. You should be warned that there’s some naughty language in the clip that lies below, but if that isn’t the sort of thing that offends you, then you’re going to want to click through and watch, because Blood Ties is a 70s-set crime drama that stars Clive Owen, Mila Kunis, Billy Crudup, Marion Cotillard, Zoe Saldana, Matthias Schoenaerts, and James Caan, and if you’re not willing to admit that you have a crush on at least a handful of those people, then you’re just a liar. A stinking liar.

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William H. Macy

What is Casting Couch? It’s a voice of truth and honesty in a sea of April Fools’ pranks and lies. Only real casting news here, including what’s next for screen legend Peter Fonda. Our first two bits of news are about actors becoming directors and then giving jobs to other actors. It’s the circle of life, and it moves us all. First up is some news regarding William H. Macy’s directorial debut, a drama with music at its core called Rudderless. THR is reporting that this story about a father who stumbles across some of his dead son’s musical compositions and decides to start a band has just hired the high-powered quartet of Billy Crudup, Anton Yelchin, Selena Gomez, and Laurence Fishburne. They’ll be joining the already-cast Felicity Huffman, as well as Macy himself, as he plans on pulling acting and directing double duty. Do you think that means we could get to hear him sing too?

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Ben Foster

While we don’t typically celebrate when two talented actors leave a film, when it comes to Adam Rapp‘s Red Light Winter, the loss of Mark Ruffalo and Billy Crudup is actually a good thing. Variety reports that, while Crudup’s role still remains uncast, Ben Foster is now attached to star in the role that was previously Ruffalo’s, and his involvement with the film has given it a push to filming sooner rather than later. Ruffalo’s involvement with the film (which playwright and filmmaker Rapp will both write and direct) was first rumored way back in the spring of 2011, but it was always something that was on the horizon for him, not of immediate import. With Foster now set for one of three lead roles, the production is reportedly looking to start filming in December or January. Rapp’s play of the same name centers on a pair of college buddies (Matt and Davis) who hit their thirties and attempt to reconnect with each other by traveling together from New York City to Amsterdam to whoop it up in ways perhaps better suited for younger men. Along the way, the two get caught up in an unexpected love triangle with a “window prostitute” (set to be played by Kirsten Dunst), which unearths some of the fissures in their damaged relationship). It’s bleak, dark, soul-searching stuff.

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It can be difficult making friends once you’re past a certain age because the older people get the more set in their ways they become. Youth offers any number of bonding experiences that bring people together from grade school up through college, but once you enter the real world those opportunities start to dwindle. Husbands and wives, children, jobs, existing friends…these things tend to limit the time you have for meeting new people, becoming familiar with them and building new relationships. Past the age of thirty a catalyst of some kind is required to draw people together on short notice. Something big is good. Something of planetary importance is even better. Evan (Ben Stiller) is constantly on the lookout for friends and has formed more clubs than Tracy Flick ever dared to dream. He keeps busy with running club and Spanish for Senior Citizens, but when one of his Costco employees is viciously murdered Evan decides to form a Neighborhood Watch. Franklin (Jonah Hill) failed every test the police department threw at him, so the opportunity to join a “vigilante squad” appeals to him greatly. Bob (Vince Vaughn) is a recent transplant to town with his wife and teen daughter, and he jumps at the chance to hang out with the guys. And Jamarcus (Richard Ayoade) is simply a responsible newcomer to our American shores. Together they form a local neighborhood watch. Together they will decide Earth’s fate as they discover and attempt to stop an alien invasion. Together, if […]

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Neighborhood Watch has had a pretty dicey past, but under the eye of director Akiva Schaffer it seems to now be coming together nicely. The film has a new script penned by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg ready to go, and a bunch of casting maybes have become casting confirmations. Ben Stiller is set to star as a city guy who moves out to the suburbs and gets roped into joining a nutty neighborhood watch program. Big time comedic talents Vince Vaughn and Jonah Hill have signed on to fill out the watch. Rachel Getting Married actress Rosemarie DeWitt has been tapped to play the Stiller character’s wife. And now another big name is in negotiations to hop on boar as well. Almost Famous actor Billy Crudup is the latest addition, and according to Heat Vision, he’s negotiating to play the character of a creepy and weird neighbor who catches the watch’s attention. Seeing as past synopsis of the film’s plot have pointed to the fact that Stiller and his new buddies find themselves stumbling into an alien plot to overthrow the planet, I think it’s probably a good bet that we’ve just found ourselves our first alien. Seems like a good choice to me. Crudup is just too handsome. It’s… suspicious.

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Back in May, the illustrious Matt Patches put together a list so honest, so compelling, so original, that I had absolutely no choice but to copy it almost totally wholesale to craft my own version. Patches’s list was comprised of eight films his previous girlfriends had forced him to watch that made him who he is today (the list was, of course, titled “8 Movies My Past Girlfriends Forced Me to Watch That Made Me Who I Am Today” because we here at FSR are nothing if we are not succinct). The list, while interesting on a purely cinematic basis, also said something surprisingly deep about the nature of relationships themselves – mainly when it comes to the all-important element of compromise. Patches, a gentleman and a scholar, found some compelling honesty in his consistently sweet tales of cinematic (and romantic) discovery. My list starts off with a film that made me realize my first boyfriend was possibly also interested in other men. That’s just the sort of list this is. Here are seven movies that seven different suitors all “forced” me to watch at different points in my (admittedly still young) cinematic life. More than any individual lesson each film taught me, together the list forms one giant reminder of what I love best about going to the movies – endless possibility. Take a peek at my list after the break, and then feel free to pipe in with any films that someone made you watch that ultimately changed your […]

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In Eat Pray Love, Liz Gilbert (Julia Roberts) eats, prays and loves, while gliding through some of the world’s most beautiful settings. Populated with gorgeous people, vivid scenic vistas and picturesque multicultural happenings, the film would make an ideal promotional spot for its primary locations of Rome, India and Bali. Glee co-creator Ryan Murphy’s adaptation of Elizabeth Gilbert’s best selling, autobiographical self-help book (his directorial debut) gets the surface details right. Seen on a big enough screen, the pictures of Rome’s ornamental city streets, India’s sweat soaked ashrams and Bali’s lushly vegetated countryside provoke the sort of all-encompassing awe that in many respects defines the cinema. But when it comes to the narrative woven around the scenery, the movie starts flat, stays flat and never recovers. Cast wrong and structured lazily, Eat Pray Love lacks the strong dramatic pull needed to sustain a 133-minute production. Mired in a milquetoast aesthetic obsessed with trendy “healing” tropes (meditation, close-ups on delicious looking pasta, Javier Bardem etc.) the movie rarely deviates from the genre’s standard path.

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr takes a gander at the demographically delineated movie selection this weekend. The ladies have Julia Roberts finding herself in Eat Pray Love. The dudes have Sly and the action family Stallone with the much anticipated The Expendables. And the fanboys fresh from Comic-Con have the high-concept slug-fest Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. Sorry to all the teenage girls out there. You’ll just have to go see Eclipse at the dollar theater this weekend.

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Eat Pray Love

It’s been ten years since Julia Roberts starred in a bona fide hit, both commercially and critically. What has she been up to since Erin Brockovich? Lots of supporting roles, a few misguided star vehicles, and three kids… but now it looks like Roberts is ready to get back into the game 100% with a film featuring her front and center as the sole lead character.

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public-enemies

Michael Mann’s latest is a worthy inductee into the gangster genre, combining a familiar story and great performances with a refreshingly new stylistic approach.

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FSR

Kevin Carr looks at Watchmen.

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Fat Guys at the Movies

Kevin and Neil watch Watchmen and give their opinions about the most anticipated movie of 2009. Joining them in the Magical Virtual Studio in the Sky is Cole Abaius, FSR’s resident Watchmen aficionado.

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Watchmen Feature Header

Where there are Watchmen, there are Rejects, so it should be no surprise that when the actors sat down to talk to the media, we ignored the restraining order and snuck in through the service elevator.

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In a little while here, we will begin our epic journey toward the release of Watchmen. But before we get into that, there is some other business courtesy of the folks at NBC. They have released the first of six Watchmen character montages, the first of which features Dr. Manhattan.

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Watchmen Header

Intrepid FSR reader Jeff P. sent over a few cool new featurettes for Watchmen this afternoon. And since I’m feeling generous, I thought I might throw them up on the site for all to see.

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Watchmen

Warner Bros. has released their final round of photos for the upcoming costumed hero flick Watchmen, and instead of just picking out the 30 or so new images from the bunch we’ve decided to just give you everything — all 58 officially released photos in glorious high resolution.

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Watchmen Dr. Manhattan Header

It seems as if every day brings us some sort of obligatory Watchmen update. And why not, it is one of the most anticipate fanboy movies… ever. Today we bring you two new TV spots and news of a Portrait Book and a cameo by director Zack Snyder.

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Watchmen Header

You’ll probably want to get used to posts like this from now until March 6th when Watchmen hits theaters. The Warner Bros. marketing machine is working overtime to ensure that Zack Snyder’s love letter to fanboys will also appeal to guys that have girlfriends.

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Watchmen Header

We knew it was coming. We’ve been waiting all night. And it is finally here — the second full-length Watchmen trailer.

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