Dane DeHaan

Fantasia 2014

Beth (Aubrey Plaza) is dead, and her boyfriend Zach (Dane DeHaan) is all torn up about it. Sure they were having troubles and it looked like they might be heading for a split, but now that she’s gone — as in gone gone — he’s finding it difficult to think about anything else as he sinks into his pit of despair. Hoping for company with like-minded people he takes to spending time with Beth’s equally distraught parents, but just a few days later they shut him out of their lives. Distraught and driven for similarly bereft companionship he heads to their house only to glimpse something odd through a window. Beth is still alive. Kind of. She’s returned from the dead, and overcome with joyful confusion her parents are hiding her from the world. Beth’s memory isn’t all that great — she’s really stressed about a test she has tomorrow and has no idea that she’s dead — but Zach isn’t bout to turn his back on this second chance at a struggling relationship. Every couple hits some bumps in the road right? He soon discovers though that some love stories are better off dead.

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Electro - Amazing Spider-Man 2

The Amazing Spider-Man isn’t a good movie. It’s sloppy, has a half-baked villain, and, for a huge blockbuster picture, it lacks scope and style. In fact, a lot of Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man movies feel more modern and photo-realistic than what director Marc Webb has done so far. With every sequel you hope lessons will be learned from whatever past mistakes. Sometimes a series needs to go through a learning curve before getting to the goods. Sadly, that’s not the case with The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Webb has managed to make an even worse film. While this sequel is more polished, its script is disastrous in parts. It’s easily the most frustrating movie Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman (and co-writer Jeff Pinkner) have ever written. The wildly varying tone, the cheap character motivations and poor plotting all scream Joel Schumacher. It has some things going for it, most of which are overshadowed by all the glaring issues. Spoilers included, here are 10 things I didn’t like about The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and 5 things I did.

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The Amazing Spider-Man 2 - Electro

Talking to himself in delusional outbursts, an increasingly mad genius develops super powers that make him finally feel as if the world might take him seriously. Or at least notice him. The eternal dweeb, he sets out to get revenge on a personal hero who slighted him (an unforgivable sin to the bullied psyche) and to find the fame he deserves. That’s how Jim Carrey’s Riddler is born in Batman Forever, and it’s also how Jamie Foxx‘s Electro is born in The Amazing Spider-Man 2. They are both brilliant losers who worship at the feet of superheroes (Bruce Wayne for Ed Nygma and Spider-Man for Max Dillon). Both are transformed by injured anger, both are crushed under the heel of asshole middle management bosses and both boil over when they don’t receive the respect they feel entitled to. Early on in Spidey’s latest adventure — especially whenever Foxx is on screen —  it’s easy to pick up on the Batman Forever DNA. Luckily, Peter Parker is the only acrobatic orphan who shows up in The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Of course the movie also doesn’t share the look of Joel Schumacher’s Gothic cartoon cabaret, and with some interesting character choices, it acts as a redemptive mulligan for one of the worst superhero adventures in modern memory.

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Dehaan and Radcliffe

Because maybe you’re sick of seeing the same five John Wayne movies over and over again, pilgrim, the fates have aligned and given you something else you and your dad can watch together. Dane DeHaan and Daniel Radcliffe, those young sports who played a college-age Lucien Carr and Allen Ginsberg, respectively, in last year’s Kill Your Darlings, will play a timewarped Karl Rove and Lee Atwater in the buddy comedy of dear old dad’s dreams. College Republicans, which actually comes from the Kill Your Darlings team  (directed by Darlings‘ John Krokidas) is the “based on true events” story from 1973 of the time when Rove (DeHaan) ran a dirty campaign to become the national College Republicans Chairman under the guidance of his campaign manager, Lee Atwater (Radcliffe).  The gruesome twosome take a road trip together to find support for Rove’s candidacy. Zany.

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The Amazing Spider-Man 2 - Jamie Foxx

The clearest thing about the Amazing Spider-Man 2 trailer (and its entire production history) is how thoroughly Marc Webb and company ignored complaints about having too many villains in a single movie. Not only have they dropped three into the mix here, they’ve also made the overwhelming nature of that reality part of the thematic challenge Peter Parker must face. That dramatic turn may help transform the juggling act of multiple baddies (with multiple origin stories) into a usable energy, but they’re going to have to do a far better job of balancing the story than they did with the messy first outing of the rebooted hero. On that front, it looks like the all-but-erased-by-the-studio “secret origin” is back in the mix as Peter delves deeper into what his father was working on at Oscorp. Again, that’s fertile ground, but it adds another layer to the dip. Check out the trailer for yourself:

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Kill Your Darlings

Watching a few young pretentious writers for 90 minutes should be as unpleasant as it sounds. For the first half of Kill Your Darlings these young rebels, including Allen Ginsberg (Daniel Radcliffe), ramble on and on about shaking up the system and starting a revolution. Imagine being stuck in a room with these young men and trying not to strangle somebody. Now try to calm your rage because Kill Your Darlings is far from a naval gazing experience. Part thriller, part romance, part coming-of-age tale, and part murder mystery, it’s a wild blend of many ideas and genres. At the center of it all is Radcliffe, playing the young, howling poet. I got to sit down with the actor who explained, amongst other things, the difficult choices that come with a stack of scripts and how he transformed into a young Allen Ginsberg (pretentiousness in tact).

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KillYourDarlings_still1

Editor’s note: Our review of Kill Your Darlings originally ran during this year’s Sundance Film Festival, but we’re re-posting it as the film opens today in theatrical release. In Kill Your Darlings, Allen Ginsberg (Daniel Radcliffe) is an aspiring writer but one that is trapped under the weight of his successful poet father (portrayed with a reserved performance from the usually comedic David Cross) and his mentally unstable mother (Jennifer Jason Leigh). When Allen gets into Columbia, his father encourages him to go and become the writer he has always longed to be. But in his first poetry class, Allen rubs his professor the wrong way when he questions why poems have to rhyme and follow a certain structure. In doing so, he also catches the eye of one of his fellow students, Lucien “Lu” Carr (Dane DeHaan). Allen makes his way down to his room one night and the two share a drink and begin talking about poetry and writing. It is the first time we see Allen truly light up inside, talking about something he is so passionate about with someone who understands him. Lu takes him downtown to a party at the house of his friend David Kammerer (Michael C. Hall), and as Allen enters he proclaims, “Allen in Wonderland.” And it is true, as we watch him suddenly enter a word full of people who think like him but also act on it, writing, drinking, and creating.

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Metallica Through the Never

There is no need to explain who Metallica is. They’ve been around long enough to transition from being the thundering rock musicians whose tracks your parents made you turn down to being parents themselves, and no doubt shouting at their kids to turn their music up. What Metallica hasn’t really done in quite some time is surprise us. The S&M album was a beautiful experiment, but Metallica had become the one thing a groundbreaking metal band with designs on immortality-like longevity could ill-afford to be: ubiquitous. Conventional wisdom would suggest that it would take more than a concert video to rejuvenate this group and return them boldly to the limelight. And conventional wisdom would be entirely correct, but thankfully Metallica Through the Never is indeed more than a concert video. Directed by Nimród Antal, Metallica Through The Never intertwines concert footage with a scripted genre narrative. The catalog of Metallica hits performed during the concert provides the appropriate underscore for the fictional portion of the film. In the narrative, a young roadie named Trip (Dane DeHaan) is sent across town during the Metallica show to retrieve a necessary item from a stranded truck. The particulars of the item in question, and the reason for the truck’s disablement, are safely filed away under MacGuffin. What is exceedingly more important than the details is the devil. In this case, a death-mongering hellrider harvesting victims among a rioting, increasingly more murderous horde; the apocalypse coming on so fast as to have seemingly been […]

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Kill Your Darlings

After a teensy tiny 30 second teaser trailer that quite literally ended mid-sentence, and a full-length trailer that existed online last week for about an hour before being pulled down by the studio, the beatniks of yesteryear have graced us with this satisfying little clip from John Krokidas‘ Kill Your Darlings.

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Kill Your Darlings

Call me a pessimist, but I doubt that Daniel Radcliffe will ever free himself from the shadow of Harry Potter. He’s yet to have a role bigger than that of the bespectacled teen wizard (and it’s doubtful that he’ll ever find one), but he’s also never had a role that proves his wizarding success was due to his acting ability and not just his resemblance to the kid on the “Harry Potter” book covers. Kill Your Darlings might be a revelation, but it might also be one more step in Radcliffe’s march from under the towering presence of so much whimsical witchcraft and wizardry. In the film’s debut poster (which you can see below), it’s clear we’re supposed to be seeing an older, wizened man, still wearing the same glasses (Radcliffe is playing the bespectacled Allen Ginsberg, so it’s not like he could just swap them out for contacts) but hardened by the passage of time.

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Daniel Radcliffe as Ginsberg

It’s a brief glimpse, but here is your first look at Daniel Radcliffe as Allen Ginsberg in John Krokidas’ Kill Your Darlings. The film depicts the story of a murder at Columbia University in the 1940s that brings the poet together with William S. Burroughs and Jack Kerouac to form the Beatnik Justice League for the first time. I’m actually being told that the incident inspired the trio to write, and not to fight crime, but I kind of liked my version better. As is the nature with teasers, we’re not given much to work with in these thirty seconds. We’ve got Radcliffe in some punchy horn-rimmed glasses taking in his surroundings as a wide-eyed student at Columbia University as someone inspires chaos in the library, Dead Poets Society style. His American accent isn’t too shabby either, but in the main piece of dialogue where it gets put to use, he gets cut off mid-sentence by the end of the teaser. Booo! I suppose we’ll just have to wait for the full-length trailer to find out why Allen Ginsberg is a troublemaking young student-slash-gifted-poet who appears to be breaking all the rules at his straight-laced school.

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Harry Osborn and Peter Parker

What have we here? Dane DeHaan – Harry Osborn in the upcoming The Amazing Spider-Man 2 – tweeted a picture of himself and Andrew Garfield from the film, accompanied with the caption “Breakin’ it down #Osborn style… Yo” Sure, kid. DeHaan, who plays the character originated by James Franco in the previous Spider-Man series, will of course go on to become Spider-Man’s adversary, but you wouldn’t be able to tell from this photo of Peter and Harry. The pals look pretty chummy as they hang out in the Oscorp offices, although judging from that wistful expression on Garfield’s face as he looks off into the distance, there’s probably trouble afoot that only a teenager with spider-like abilities could possibly tackle.

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Through the Never

In Metallica Through the Never, the band is seen shredding through classics in front of thousands of people packed into a stadium, but there’s more to Nimrod Antal‘s movie than meets the ear. Interspersed in the trailer are scenes of a young roadie named Trip (Dane DeHaan) on a desperate errand for the band. His trusty van speeds him through some aggressive territory where a riot or a rebellion is in full swing. It’s an interesting return for Antal after Predators, but the intensity and experimental format could work well for him. It reminds me a bit of Mudvayne’s Live Dosage 50 where director Phil Tuckett combined footage of the band playing Peoria with verite-style scenes of them discussing and carting a mysterious suitcase around. Although, as you can see from this trailer, the scale is much, much bigger here:

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Venom Spider-Man 3

Like any comic property that has a million built-in fans, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is already getting swirled up in the rumor mill. Most recently is the thought that Marc Webb is planning on bringing Venom back to the big screen. The boys over at /Film do a good job collecting what meager evidence there is here. If you don’t feel like clicking over, it goes something like this: Webb tweeted a photo of a locker numbered #14 that looks exactly like a locker numbered #14 from the Ultimate Spider-Man comic books that contained the Venom symbiote. Additionally, Sony seems fairly intent on making a stand-alone Venom movie for some reason, despite never having gotten the character right to begin with. Their thinking is simple. If comic book fans have a soft spot for Venom, why not bring him to the big screen? Sounds great, Sony, but it’ll only work if you don’t ruin him.

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Dane DeHaan

Now this is a way of announcing big casting that we can get behind. The Amazing Spider-Man director Marc Webb has circumvented scoops, toldjas, exclusives, and the entire trade racket and gone ahead and announced the casting of the film’s sequel’s Harry Osborn via his Twitter. In a simple tweet from earlier today, Webb tells his loyal followers: “Meet Harry Osborn. @danedehaan. pic.twitter.com/oi4Ql6nQ,” directing us over to Chronicle‘s Dane DaHaan‘s own Twitter, along with that appropriately moody picture up top. DeHaan was one of three names mentioned as being a possible for the role back in November. Along with Brady Corbet and Alden Ehrenreich, DeHaan’s name popped up when THR reported that Webb and company were going for “dark and edgy,” though a few days later, the outlet then reported that the role could be going in a different direction, with a whole slew of other names trotted out as Osborn-maybes. So, dark and moody it is?

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Isla Fisher

What is Casting Couch? Today it’s a casting column that’s relying on the dreaded “short list” for content. You can’t really say that The Switch is a Jackie Brown prequel. Its story doesn’t really connect with the goings-on of Jackie Brown in any way, and Quentin Tarantino isn’t involved or anything. But it is an adaptation of an Elmore Leonard novel that features many of the same characters Jackie Brown did. Case in point: Variety reports that fiery redhead Isla Fisher is in negotiations to play Melanie, the same stoner surfer girl that Bridget Fonda played in Tarantino’s film. The Switch also features Mos Def and John Hawkes in the roles Samuel L. Jackson and Robert De Niro originally played, and Jennifer Aniston as a kidnapped housewife. Fisher’s character is said to be the manipulator of the story, and isn’t that always the case with these pretty girls?

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In which we return to our well-worn beat of covering casting news on Atom Egoyan‘s Devil’s Knot, which will chronicle the real life tragedy and drama of the West Memphis 3. The film has already cast Reese Witherspoon as the mother of one of the murdered boys, Alessandro Nivola as her husband (and a possible suspect), Colin Firth as private investigator Ron Lax, and Mireille Enos as a major witness. Casting on the film has now ramped up so considerably that we’ll just tease you with some names and provide a full rundown of their involvement and possible roles after the break. Amy Ryan. Collette Wolfe. Dane DeHaan. Read on!

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In Lawless, John Hillcoat has almost crafted the perfect modern Western, infusing more explicitly the gangster genre elements that always occur in the genre, but never quite so explicitly. The film follows the Bondurant brothers – Jack (Shia Labeouf), Forrest (Tom Hardy) and Howard (Jason Clarke) – rise as the most famous bootleggers in sun-dried Prohibition-era Virginia, and the government’s attempts to stop them. The government’s chief agent is Guy Pearce‘s Charlie Rakes, a flamboyant looking, but profoundly villainous Special Deputy, let off his leash when the Bondurants, lead by Hardy’s powerhouse Forrest refuse to pay a monthly toll on their illegal activities. While it may sound like an all guns-blazing, epic Prohibition-era Western, the story, adapted well from Matt Bondurant‘s historical novel by Nick Cave (who also once again offers a superlative score) focuses on human stories to add poignancy and depth to the more explosive sequences.

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Kevin Carr

This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr heads out to the drab English countryside to settle a woman’s estate only to find the place haunted. Fortunately, Kevin had already crawled down a mysterious hole and gained super powers, so he’s able to fend off the evil spirits. For a fleeting moment, he considers using his new powers for good, like to save a family of gray whales trapped under the ice in Barrow, Alaska. However, his fear of the 30 Days of Night vampires keep him at home. He then decides to use his new powers to read the subtitles of The Hidden Face so he can enjoy the copious amounts of pretty Colombian breasts.

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The upcoming movie Kill Your Darlings will look at the relationship between beat authors Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac, and the man who introduced them, Lucien Carr. It was a relationship that reportedly began with murder, as soon after the three became friends Carr was implicated in the killing of another man named David Kammerer, and the famous authors found themselves caught in the middle of all the drama. Sounds like a saucy little story, especially with the “based on true events” factor that it has working for it. But perhaps even more exciting than the murder aspects of this story is the cast that it is now being assembled to bring it to life. The first casting announcement was that Daniel Radcliffe would be shrugging off his wizarding robe and branching out in another direction to portray Ginsberg. The idea of watching Radcliffe do something so different could have been enough to sell people on this movie alone, but some new casting details have surfaced that add to the anticipation. According to a report from Variety, not only has the Kerouac role been filled by Boardwalk Empire’s Jack Huston, and the Carr role filled by In Treatment’s Dane DeHaan, but Martha Marcy May Marlene’s breakout star Elizabeth Olsen has signed on as well. She’ll be playing Edie Parker, who was an art student and a girlfriend of Kerouac’s.

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published: 12.19.2014
A-
published: 12.18.2014
C-
published: 12.17.2014
B+


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