Bradley Cooper

director_spielberg

Briefly: Well, this is a nice surprise. THR reports that Steven Spielberg has quietly lined up his next directorial outing, a real feat considering the heat the film already has on it. The outlet shares that Spielberg will next helm an adaptation of American Sniper,  the true life tale of U.S. Navy SEAL Chris Kyle that Bradley Cooper has long been developing as producer and star. While the film was already compelling enough when Cooper signed on back in May of last year, with Kyle’s career distinction of  recording more career sniper kills in United States military history than anyone else (160 confirmed kills out of 255 claimed kills), the story toook a decidely tragic turn when Kyle was shot and killed at a shooting range by a fellow veteran back in Februrary of this year.

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Bradley Cooper

After the swirling personnel changes hitting Lynne Ramsay’s Gavin O’Connor‘s Jane Got a Gun, it looks like the dust has settled enough to actually make the movie (two weeks into shooting). Jude Law left just as O’Connor was rushed into the director’s seat, and now according to Deadline Hollywood, Bradley Cooper has filled that villainous vacancy. It’s going to be fun imagining all the alternative universe versions of this film (even the ones that were never set up) but it’s difficult to parse a lineage like Michael Fassbender to Jude Law to Bradley Cooper. All three have their own skills, but it’s hard not to miss Fassbender — especially in a Western black hat situation — but Cooper is far better than a warm body, and that’s what the production very well could have expected. Now they have an Oscar nominee to contend with, and it’s great to see this promising flick back on track.

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PLACE BEYOND THE PINES

Note: Andrew Robinson’s review originally ran during TIFF 2012, but we’re re-running it now as the film opens in limited theatrical release. Derek Cianfrance‘s The Place Beyond the Pines is broken up into three chapters. We open with Luke (Ryan Gosling) coming back into town with the circus and finding out that he has a son. He decides to stick around, but since he’s unable to make a living to support his family, he begins robbing banks using his skills as a professional motor bike rider. The narrative is then handed over to Avery Cross (Bradley Cooper), a police officer heading into politics and struggling with family matters. The film takes its time in making sure that we get a good grasp on each character as there’s very little overlap in screen time between each. The reckless rise of Gosling’s bank robbing spree and the troubled rise of Cooper’s political/social standing in the world parallel one another beautifully. What the film truly discusses is what someone is willing to do selflessly for others. While, morally, Cooper and Gosling’s acts are complete opposites of each other, their motivations start out in the same place, the intention to provide for their family. Luke’s robbing banks was never about himself; he never wants to take credit for them, reflecting his clear shame. Cross’s actions are one of motivations head-butting his own desires, even at the expense of his son’s affection.

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The Place Beyond the Pines

This contest is now closed. Thanks for entering! Want to see Derek Cianfrance‘s The Place Beyond the Pines for free? While also wearing a shirt from the film? And jamming out to its soundtrack? And decorating your home with its (Ryan Gosling-heavy) poster? Have we got a present for you! One person will win our The Place Beyond the Pines prize pack, which includes a $25 Visa Gift card to see the film in theatres, a t-shirt, a poster, and a copy of the film’s original soundtrack (with score by Mike Patton). In addition to Mike Patton’s score, the album features tracks by Vladimir Ivanoff, Arvo Park, Bon Iver, Ennio Morricone, and more. The Place Beyond the Pines, written by Derek Cianfrance, Ben Coccio, Darius Marder; directed by Cianfrance; and starring Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper, Eva Mendes, Rose Byrne, Mahershala Ali, Dane DeHaan, Emory Cohen, Ben Mendelsohn, and Ray Liotta, will hit limited release on March 29, with a nationwide release to follow on April 12. Hit the break to read our very precise, meme-based, social media-fueled instructions on how to win your very own The Place Beyond the Pines prize pack (cool pictures of said prize pack included).

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The Hangover Part 3

It should come as no surprise that the first teaser trailer for this summer’s The Hangover Part III isn’t so heavy on the plot – after all, who cares about the plot when Todd Phillips’ final entry into his trilogy of idiocy just threatens to blow shit up, smother monkeys (not a euphemism), and get Ke$ha-style wasted? Let’s get stupid. Witness (some of) the mayhem after the break.

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hr_The_Hangover_Part_III_3

Perhaps it was optimistic to think that the fair city of Las Vegas could possibly survive the third Hangover film, but the latest poster for The Hangover Part III promises that the entire joint will go up in flames, it will “all end” (a la Harry Potter), and either Zach Galifianakis or Ken Jeong won’t survive the outing. Don’t drink, kids, just…don’t. The Hangover Part III drunkenly stumbles into theaters on May 24th. [Warner Bros., via ComingSoon]

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Bradley Cooper

What is Casting Couch? It’s a compilation of casting news that has word of a new project for Zero Dark Thirty’s Jason Clarke as well as a look at Johnny Depp’s upcoming schedule. Read on. Bradley Cooper’s ego has gotten so big ever since he was nominated for an Oscar that he’s now decided he wants to take David Hasselhoff’s place as Germany’s favorite celebrity. According to Deadline, the Silver Linings Playbook actor has signed on to star in an English language adaptation of Kokowaah, which was Germany’s highest grossing film of 2011. The basic story here is that of a successful author and swinging bachelor who suddenly discovers he has an 8-year-old daughter from a brief fling he engaged in years ago. Cooper also has a producing credit on the film, and might even be stepping into the director’s chair to make this his directorial debut, but this is a casting report and not a feed Bradley Cooper’s ego report, so let’s move on.

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Best Actor

It’s an honor to just be nominated, right? You hear that politely said every year, even though you know it’s total hogwash for the four silver medallist of Oscar season. In reality, it’s not just an honor to be nominated; it’s quite easily a shot of go-go juice to an actor’s career. However, when the field of Best Actor nominees is populated almost entirely with people who have won before, it becomes an academic exercise. Best Actor is a category reserved (mostly) for seasoned actors who have been around the block a few times. There are occasional dark horses who come on strong, but the first-time nominees and those breaking out of genre roles usually show up in the Best Supporting Actor category. Yet every year, there seems to be one or two races in the Big Six that appear to be a lock. This year, we see that run in the Best Actor category, even though all of the nominees did fine work. It’s a popularity contest, to be sure, but it’s also an oft-accurate gauge of the best performance out there. (Because, let’s face it, if it were just a popularity category, where the hell is George Clooney this year?) Read on for the nominations and my predicted winner in red…

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Bradley Cooper

Once The Hangover hit it big at the box office, Bradley Cooper and the rest of that film’s gang of miscreants suddenly found themselves in the position of transitioning from being utility players in the showbiz landscape to being viewed as commodities that could anchor films of their own. But ever since Cooper showed people that he could do a whole lot more than just play the cocky, funny guy with his Oscar nominated performance in Silver Linings Playbook, it’s looked like the sky is the limit concerning how far he can go as an actor. Today, with the news that Cooper has two big, new projects in the works, we see that sense of possibility begin to bear fruit. First up, Deadline is reporting that Warner Bros. has acquired the rights to the James Renner novel “The Man From Primrose Lane,” a book they intend on developing into a starring vehicle for our new favorite actor. Black List-approved screenwriter Chad Feehan (Beyond the Pale) will be doing the adapting of the story, which the book’s Amazon page describes by saying: “In West Akron, Ohio, there lived a reclusive elderly man who always wore mittens, even in July. He had no friends and no family; all over town, he was known as the Man from Primrose Lane. And on a summer day, someone murdered him. Fast-forward four years. David Neff, the bestselling author of a true-crime book about an Ohio serial killer, is a broken man after his wife’s inexplicable […]

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The Place Beyond the Pines

Have you guys heard about this movie? The one where everyone’s darling, Ryan Gosling, has a facial tattoo and also rides a motorcycle and is also a bank robber and also Bradley Cooper and Eva Mendes are there? No? It’s called The Place Beyond the Pines? And it’s from the guy who did Blue Valentine? Still not ringing bells? Then this first poster for The Place Beyond the Pines is for you. Admittedly, its Instagram-y feeling sort of works for me, though I would like this poster much more if it just jettisoned the ol’ floaty faces and stuck to the image below, of a tattooed, motorcycle-riding Gosling gazing at his small town’s bank. That’s your imagery right there. That will stick. Besides, everyone just looks so damn sad up top. Pep up, kids, if you can’t be happy in a dramatic, multi-generational film about violence and families, when can you– oh, nevermind. You’re right. The Place Beyond the Pines opens on March 29th. [IMDb, via FirstShowing]

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Louis CK

What is Casting Couch? It’s the column that’s rounding up all the casting announcements the studios have released now that the buzz surrounding the Golden Globes has died down. They’ve been hoarding. Before his show on FX became such a well-respected thing, people thought of Louis CK mostly as being a stand-up comedian and not really as an actor, despite the fact that he’s shown up in a few small roles here and there. That might be about to change though, because not only does CK  star in Woody Allen’s upcoming movie, Blue Jasmine, but THR is reporting that he’s also in talks to join David O. Russell’s next project: that con-man movie starring Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Jeremy Renner, and Amy Adams that used to be called American Bullshit. If CK’s involvement becomes official, it will see him rubbing onscreen elbows with some of the biggest names in Hollywood, which is probably going to feel a little weird at first.

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Bradley Cooper

After The Hangover made unheard of gobs of money, some of the sharper minds in Hollywood started to wonder if its appeal was just a fluke, or if one if its featured performers, Bradley Cooper, might be ready to step out of comedy ensembles and anchor his own films as a star. He got his shot with Limitless, and was largely successful, so after that things seemed to be full-speed ahead for Bradley Cooper: movie star. Now that he’s gotten an Oscar nomination for his work in Silver Linings Playbook, he sees his career reaching yet another crossroads, however. If he’s able to keep the momentum of this newfound respect and recognition going over the course of his next few film choices, we could see him become one of the premiere names in Hollywood: a George Clooney, Brad Pitt, or a Tom Cruise. So, what’s the first post-nomination job that he’s accepted? According to Deadline, Warner Bros. has just closed what’s being described as a “high six figure deal” to obtain the rights to the Howard Blum book “Dark Invasion,” which they intend on developing as the next big starring vehicle for Cooper. “Dark Invasion” is a new book that hasn’t hit shelves yet, so probably you’re wondering what it’s all about. Is it a sweeping sci-fi epic involving star ships and invading alien hordes? No, not at all. Turns out it’s a non-fiction thriller set back in 1915.

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JENNIFER LAWRENCE and BRADLEY COOPER star in SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK

The 70th Golden Globe Awards will be held tomorrow night, and I invite you to join myself and FSR’s awards guru, Daniel Walber, for live-blog commentary during the ceremony. We’ll try to keep it smart, avoid too much snark and will likely be obeying the rules of the drinking game that co-hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler have devised. It will also hopefully be more conversational than remarks we could have just tweeted, in order that I can turn the discussion around as a more readable post-event recap of the night. In case you’re too busy paying attention to your TV to also read our words simultaneously. Anyway, you can’t head into a big awards telecast viewing without predictions for what you think will win. Daniel and I seem to agree on exactly half of the movie categories. So, maybe it won’t be such a predicable night. Check out our choices after the break and give us your own predictions in the comments. If you do better than either of us, we commend you in advance (and maybe at the end of our GG coverage too).

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The Place Beyond the Pines

Blue Valentine director Derek Cianfrance’s latest film isn’t a tense drama about a marriage falling apart. But it does have Ryan Gosling in all kinds of tattoo’d wonder. The Place Beyond the Pines also seems to have a fair amount of tension thanks to its story, which follows a biker (Gosling) who turns to a life of crime to fend for his young son, only to get locked in the crosshairs of a rising star cop, as played by 2012′s breakout dramatic man Bradley Cooper. The best description of the film, from reviews at this year’s Toronto Film Festival, comes from Monika Bartyzel, who calls it “[Blue] Valentine’s spiritual offspring, a movement out of the worlds of love’s attraction and demise, and into the world of fathers, sons and consequences.” To say the least, Derek Cianfrance is still deep. As is evident in this first trailer.

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The Best Damn Oscar Blog

Some of this year’s big movies are like a Thanksgiving dinner. They’re elaborate, colorful, and delicious. They also take time to digest, as most meals of such size and ambition do. Filling and complex, they remind us of the important things and inspire us to be thankful for art and the movies. In this category I’d put Anna Karenina, Life of Pi, and The Master. Black Friday films are different, though not necessarily opposite. They are marvelously entertaining, extremely well-executed Hollywood productions. They bring laughter and tears, suspense and comfortable resolution, all in familiar packaging. One could compare them to the thrilling, stressful and often rewarding experience of rushing to a 50%-off television, or go even further and point out similarities to the mass-produced and well-advertised objects themselves. This year’s best examples are Argo and Silver Linings Playbook.

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Silver Linings Playbook

Editor’s Note: Allison’s spot-on review originally ran way back at the beginning of the month, but the film is opening wide today so we’re sharing it once again. Sharing is good. Maybe we are all a bit crazy – whether we are lying to ourselves about the relationships we are in or why we believe holding a handkerchief or having the remote at a certain angle will determine the outcome of a game. But unlike most of us, Pat Solitano (Bradley Cooper), has been deemed mentally unstable by both the court and his doctors at the mental institution we find him in at the start of Silver Linings Playbook. Pat may seem fairly sane, albeit unflinchingly honest, but as we learn why he ended up in such a facility and watch him unravel at the sound of a certain song, it becomes clear that Pat is dealing with issues he may not be able to easily control with simple positive thinking. Pat is released to the care of his big-hearted mother, Dolores (Jacki Weaver), and his hot-headed father, Pat Sr. (Robert De Niro), and while their family dynamic is slightly dysfunctional, it is clear that they all truly care about one another.

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Silver Linings Playbook

UPDATED: The Playlist now reports that the cities getting an early release include NY, LA, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Boston, DC, Miami, San Diego, and Austin. David O. Russell‘s Silver Linings Playbook swiftly (and not entirely unexpectedly) became the film to see after its strong Toronto International Film Festival showing, so it’s no surprise that the film’s distributor, The Weinstein Company, is trying to put this thing in front of audiences on the quick side. Deadline Hollywood report that, though the Bradley Cooper- and Jennifer Lawrence-starring production will still open wide on November 21, the film will premiere in ten markets on November 16. Of course, we still don’t know which ten markets that will be (though, Los Angeles and New York, you’re probably safe on this one), and a quick check of both MovieTickets and Fandango don’t shed too much light on the situation, and even the Weinstein site and the film’s official site contain no new information on this limited early release, but we suspect we’ll find out soon enough. Perhaps staying on top of the film’s Twitter is wise? Until then, let’s all look back at Allison’s solid review of the film from AFI FEST. Ah, loonies in love.

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Life of Pi AFI FEST

October offered up plenty of films to give this awards season a proper start. Ben Affleck once again showed he’s got one of the best eyes for tension working today; John Hawkes gave another year’s best performance in Fox Searchlight’s The Sessions; Martin McDonagh made another wicked, original dark comedy with real bite; and, who could forget, The Wachowskis and Tom Tykwer made a huge box office smash which received unabashed praise up the wazoo, especially for the seamless makeup work. While I wish Cloud Atlas did fit that description, at least for a few more years the trio’s daring and moving film will go down as a box office bomb which may or may have not been ahead of its time. No matter how Cloud Atlas stands up in a few years, it was the type of ambition which served as another reminder of how important going to the movie theater is and to truly have experiences while you are there, be they good or bad. With November 2012, there are plenty of movies to have a similar experience with, from Ang Lee‘s Life of Pi to a triumphant new Bond movie. Keep reading to find out what other eight movies you must see this month.

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Bradley Cooper and American Sniper

What is Casting Couch? It’s a daily movie news column that that wants to make you a star, baby. Filmmaker Cameron Crowe hasn’t said much about his next project. We don’t yet have a title or a plot synopsis for it. But what we do know is that it’s said to be similar in tone to things like Almost Famous and Jerry Maguire, and it’s got Emma Stone playing a lead role (and it might just be a rewrite of his Deep Tiki script from years ago). So basically, expect something that lines up with Crowe’s best work and stars one of your favorite actresses. Sounds great. The new news regarding the project is that Crowe is reportedly close to finding his male lead. Deadline Hollywood says that he has his eye on Bradley Cooper, and he’s close to making a deal happen. Bradley Cooper and Emma Stone in a Cameron Crowe movie? Yeah, that should be enough to get the attention of every person of every gender and sexuality ever. Remember how we reported that Christopher Nolan’s regular DP, Wally Pfister, is going to be directing his first movie, it’s going to be called Transcendence, and it’s going to star Johnny Depp? Well, all of that stuff is still true, but the L.A. Times has dug up even more information. Turns out the film is actually going to have three leads, and Pfister is very game to get Christian Bale to sign on as number two of the three. Anyone out there want to see Johnny Depp […]

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David O. Russell and Bradley Cooper

In a nice bit of Friday confirmation clean-up, Atlas Entertainment and Annapurna Pictures have just circulated a press release that firms up a spat of casting buzz we’ve long been reporting on. The release confirms that David O. Russell‘s formerly-titled American Bullshit (which is currently looking for a perhaps more marketing-friendly title) will star Bradley Cooper, Jeremy Renner, and Amy Adams, along with a somewhat unexpected Christian Bale. Russell is writing the film’s screenplay with scribe Eric Warren Singer, who first wrote his own original script for the project (a script that appeared on the 2012 Black List with the title American Bullshit). The press release also provides our first official synopsis of the film, which we’ve long known would revolve around the true story of an F.B.I.-launched sting attack aimed at rooting out corruption on Congress, one that was notably conceived of by “the world’s greatest con man.”

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