Brendan Gleeson

Liam Neeson Taken 2

The new act in Liam Neeson’s career that began with 2008′s Taken has made it hard to remember that he was in stuff like Kinsey just a couple years before that. It turns out, Liam Neeson killing lots of people is exactly what the movie-going public needs this time of year, after a long winter and irritating award-season political sniping. Now Kevin Costner is getting in on the act, with 3 Days To Kill, from EuropaCorp, the company behind Taken and such other notable titles as the Transporter series. It remains to be seen whether Costner’s effort will meet with Neeson-like glorious success or falter like EuropaCorp’s John Travolta (From Paris With Love) and Zoe Saldana (Colombiana) vehicles. Until then, let’s consider 11 actors we’d like to see go the Neeson route:

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The Smurfs 2

If I remember correctly, it was the Greek philosopher Socrates who said, “With great power comes great responsibility.” It may also have been Jesus, whose words were more like, “To whom much has been given, much will be expected.” Thematically, these are two quotes that may have inspired the narrative behind The Smurfs 2, the not-entirely highly anticipated sequel to the $500M behemoth released in 2011. In the follow-up, we get a new origin story for Smurfette, voiced again by Katy Perry. You see, she’s a got a dark past and it is revealed that within her Smurfness resides some pretty Smurfin’ great power. And she must choose whether to use her Smurf-powers for the purposes of good, as Papa Smurf has taught her, or fall under the dark spell of the evil wizard Gargamel. As it would in films like Spider-Man 2 or other superhero sequels full of escalating stakes, the fate of the world (of Smurfs) hangs in the balance. Then again, this is a movie populated by a bunch of weird little blue people, one of which is voiced by Shaq.

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macy

What is Casting Couch? It’s the casting news roundup that’s still being typed up with ten fingers, despite the fact that we’re coming off an extended Fourth of July weekend. Victory! Read on for news about acting legend Sophia Loren’s return to the big screen. Good news for fans of William H Macy (AKA everyone)—Deadline is reporting that he and Virginia Madsen are the latest names to join a new indie dramedy called Walter. This one is about a young man who’s trying to juggle his job at a movie theater with a crush he has on his co-worker, the fact that his mother is a real handful, and the fact that he believes that he’s the son of the One True God. Basically, the kid has got a full plate. Macy and Madsen join the already cast Neve Campbell, Leven Rambin, and Milo Ventimiglia. First-timer Anna Mastro is set to direct.

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Robert Redford in The Company You Keep

Just last week we reported that Robert Redford’s latest film, The Company You Keep, managed to score a distribution deal before it even played any festivals. Well, the film is gearing up to play Venice and Toronto regardless, so TIFF has released a trailer promoting it. Complete with typewriter sounds and vintage news footage, said trailer starts off by making The Company You Keep look like it’s going to be an authentic, journalistic look at the history of the radical anti-war group The Weather Underground, but then we’re suddenly dumped into present day, and it’s revealed that this is actually going to be a fun-looking chase movie about the last few members of the movement still being on the run from the law. The Company You Keep is full of grizzled old activists/bank robbers, plucky young reporters, plucky young F.B.I. agents, action, intrigue, murder, and a cast that features names like Redford, Susan Sarandon, Shia LaBeouf, Brendan Gleeson, Anna Kendrick, Terrence Howard, Nick Nolte, Sam Elliott, Richard Jenkins, Chris Cooper, Brit Marling, Julie Christie, Stephen Root, and Stanley Tucci.

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Robert Redford in The Company You Keep

The latest directorial effort from screen legend Robert Redford, The Company You Keep, was all set to make a big splash and impress distributors at the upcoming deal-making feeding grounds that are the Venice and Toronto International Film Festivals, but a new development is making it look like the film’s screenings at those fests are going to come off as something of an afterthought. If you’ve got a used car that you need to get rid of, or maybe some old exercise equipment lying around that you’ve been thinking of putting on eBay, then maybe you should think of having Redford write the ad copy for you, because it seems that he’s something of a salesman. THR is reporting that the director, along with his fellow producers Nicolas Chartier and Bill Holderman, have already struck a deal with Sony Pictures Classics to handle all U.S. distributions rights for the film. Based on a book by Neil Gordon, The Company You Keep stars Redford himself as a former Weather Underground militant, wanted for bank robbery and murder, who gets exposed decades after his crimes by a meddling young reporter (as played by Shia LaBeouf).

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This could have been the year that Taylor Kitsch became one of the biggest working actors on the planet. He already had a cult following for playing the dreamboat, bad boy role on TV’s Friday Night Lights coming into 2012, and that was before two of the biggest studios in Hollywood put him in the position to star in their big budget, tentpole summer releases. By starring in Battleship and John Carter, Kitsch experienced a few months of marketing blitz and media saturation that have only been matched by rare names like Will Smith and Tom Cruise. If his movies had become hits, he would be seen as one of the hottest faces in the movie industry today. But his movies weren’t hits. Kitsch got back-to-back shots at breaking into the world of blockbuster superstardom, and he experienced back-to-back failures. If anything, studios must be looking at the kid like he’s box office poison. So, what should the young actor do now that his career is visibly faltering? Taking a step back from the blockbusters and making something less hyped and less ambitious seems about right. How about an English language remake of a well-liked Québécois dramedy?

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Sometimes, it’s hard to avoid longing for the good old days, when movies about historic figures were about those historic figures and not the slapdash way they might be jammed into a straightforward genre piece. That’s clearly a passé way of thinking in the age of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, but sometimes old-school is the way to go. The life of Edgar Allan Poe was fascinating and mysterious enough to warrant a new movie about it, to be sure. You could call it The Raven and cast John Cusack as your lead. Amusingly enough, there is indeed a movie opening in theaters this weekend called The Raven and it does star Cusack as Poe. Unfortunately, it’s basically a waste of time, forgoing the opportunity to tell the poet’s extraordinary story for a mundane detective narrative that recasts him as Sherlock Holmes (the one Sir Arthur Conan Doyle created, not Guy Ritchie).

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Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures Animation have just announced that production has kicked off on their inevitable “live-action/computer animated hybrid 3Dfamily comedy” sequel to last year’s smash hit, The Smurfs. The Smurfs 2 brings back all of the cast from the first film, including Neil Patrick Harris as Patrick Winslow, Jayma Mays as Grace Winslow, Sofia Vergara as Odile, Hank Azaria as Gargamel, Katy Perry as Smurfette, Jonathan Winters as Papa Smurf, Alan Cumming as Gutsy, Fred Armisen as Brainy, George Lopez as Grouchy, and Anton Yelchin as Clumsy. Director Raja Gosnell is also back behind the camera. Screenwriters J. David Stem, David N. Weiss, Jay Scherick, and David Ronn are also returning, along with a newcomer to the Smurfs franchise, Karey Kirkpatrick (James and the Giant Peach, Chicken Run, Charlotte’s Web), proving that it takes five screenwriters to write something this unoriginal. The film will have some new faces, however, both on the human and the blue side. Brendan Gleeson joins the cast as Patrick ‘s stepfather, along with Christina Ricci and JB Smoove, who will voice “new Smurf-like naughty characters,” Vexy and Hackus. Uh oh, just “Smurf-like“?

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Kevin Carr

This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr dresses up in his Jedi robes and grabs his lightsaber, heading to the theater to see the 3D re-release of Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace. While there, he faces a sea of estrogen as ladies of all type swarm into the multiplex to see Channing Tatum’s abs multiflex. After using his lightsaber to break through the wall of pre-Valentine’s Day ladies, he faces more obstacles with twentysomething dudes heading out to see Safe House and obnoxious families to see Journey 2: The Mysterious Island. Fortunately for Kevin, he is able to dispatch everyone with his Rock-inspired “pec pop of love.” It was an early Valentine’s Day massacre.

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If Hollywood has taught us anything about the CIA it’s that those bastards really can’t be trusted. The exception to the rule is that the lower the character is on the agency’s totem pole the more honorable and good they’ll most likely be. They’re naive idealists who have yet to be molded by the big, bad world into heartless, morally bankrupt pricks motivated by warped patriotism and self interest. Which brings us to Matt Weston (Ryan Reynolds), a low level agent stationed at the same, boring post for the last twelve months. He’s a “housekeeper” at a safe house in Cape Town, South Africa, and every day he waits for a coded call alerting him to the imminent arrival of an incoming “guest.” The call finally comes when Tobin Frost (Denzel Washington) mysteriously turns himself into the local US embassy after a decade on the run as an ex-agent turned traitor and killer. He’s moved to the safe house and immediately interrogated via water-boarding and harsh language. But when the inaccurately named safe house is attacked by a gaggle of heavily armed men Weston finds himself tasked with his guest’s safety and on the run from killers both foreign and domestic. The result is a film that offers no surprises in its story or character arcs but still manages to thrill with some stellar action sequences and two talented and charismatic leads. (That’s right. Two.)

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr pulls out his screening schedule, which looks like a gambling addict’s racing form. He bounces from huge, mainstream releases to minor indie award contenders. Facing motion-capture CGI, tattooed bisexual investigators, cross-dressing waiters, silent film actors, and a lead star who is literally hung like a horse, Kevin tries to make sense of the seemingly countless releases this holiday week. Exhaustion from this process makes it impossible to buy a zoo or face the 3D end of the world, but his movie stocking is full, nonetheless.

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“I will send you to hell!” You know, I’m not quite sure The Raven is going to be an accurate bio pic of Edgar Allan Poe. The Se7en-esque murder mystery aside, why isn’t Poe acting like a big alcoholic in this portrait of his final days? Where’s the binge drinking? Where’s a mean drunk? Sadly, an intoxicated John Cusack is nowhere to be found.

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“Clever” is the best way to describe John Michael McDonagh‘s directorial debut, The Guard. In dialog, structure, the characters, and so forth, it all has a sense of cleverness. The playwright has made a dark comedic western built around (mostly) ignorant characters set in the mysterious and strange land of Ireland. Ever heard of it? Me neither. Many will be pointing out the similarities between John Michael McDonagh’s The Guard and his brother, Martin McDonagh‘s beloved film In Bruges, but there are distinct differences, and that’s clearly an important fact to John Michael. Outside of a specific similarity I mentioned to McDongah, The Guard is its own dark comedy with a could-be-iconic lead, Sergeant Gerry Boyle (played by Brendan Gleeson). Here’s what writer/director John Michael McDonagh had to say about his writing process, the button pushing ways of Sergeant Gerry Boyle, and twisting conventions:

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The upcoming Daniel Espinosa-directed thriller Safe House continues to fill out its cast. The film is said to be about a CIA safe house where criminals are detained, a young agent who acts as house sitter to the institution, and his attempts at moving a high profile criminal to another location once the house is under attack by a villainous organization. Denzel Washington was the first on board, playing the criminal who needs to get moved, and Ryan Reynolds signed up soon afterwards to play the young CIA agent. Now the rest of the cast is starting to come together as a start date looms. According to Deadline Kurpinova, Vera Farmiga has joined the cast, playing the CIA operative who supervises Reynolds’s character.  This choice was probably a no-brainer for the film’s casting agents as Farmiga has become something of a go-to whenever you need a slightly older, yet still attractive woman to play some sort of authority figure. Whether it be a doctor, or a successful businesswoman, or what have you, throw Farmiga in some business clothes and you’re good to go. Most recently she was seen in Source Code playing, you guessed it, a government agent. Say what you will about type casting, but Farmiga is a solid actress and playing these sorts of character roles is a great way to build a robust filmography and work with a lot of other great people. Plus, you have to appreciate the lady, because every time she gets cast in […]

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For 36 days straight, we’ll be exploring the famous 36 Dramatic Situations by presenting a film that exemplifies each one. From family killing family to prisoners in need of asylum, we brush off the 19th century list in order to remember that it’s still incredibly relevant today. Whether you’re seeking a degree in Literature, love movies, or just love seeing things explode, our feature should have something for everyone. If it doesn’t, please don’t buy us a one-way ticket to Bruges, Belgium. Part 6 of the 36-part series takes a look at “Remorse” with In Bruges.

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A post-apocalyptic future where the rantings of a divorced cab driver have become the basis for a major religion. Who wouldn’t want to see that on the big screen?

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kevin-reportcard-header

Kevin Carr sits his chubbiness down weighs in on Green Zone, Remember Me and She’s Out of My League.

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Understanding the struggle of youth is a difficult one – especially for filmmakers, who are mostly adults and, as such, have lost sight on what it’s like to be a child. Still, despite the natural progression of forgetting that struggle, the filmmakers behind The Secret of Kells managed to create the story of a 12-year old boy living in 9th century Europe so universally that everyone can find themselves in him. And they did it by hand.

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When the 82nd Annual Academy Award nominations were announced earlier this year, the average fan of animated film was forced into a double-take. What is The Secret of Kells, and how did it get nominated for Best Animated Film? We have a big gallery of photos, a trailer and four new clips to show you why.

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What would happen if Jason Bourne went to Iraq to look for weapons of mass destruction and had to go rogue in order to do so? You’d get Paul Greengrass’ upcoming actioner Green Zone

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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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