Daniel Bruhl

The Fifth Estate

Editor’s note: Our review of The Fifth Estate originally ran during this year’s TIFF, but we’re re-posting it as the film opens today in theatrical release. If nothing else, Bill Condon’s tone-deaf and inept The Fifth Estate will make plain the impact that the controversial Julian Assange and his WikiLeaks have had on modern journalism, the Internet, and whistle-blowing in general. Unfortunately, little of the depth and power of Assange’s work is conveyed via adept filmmaking, instead the facts have to speak for themselves, and it’s to their credit alone that they manage to emerge from the mess Condon’s film has made of a compelling story. Thank goodness Benedict Cumberbatch is there to make an otherwise shockingly uninspired biopic even remotely interesting.

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Coming off the highly marketable Twilight movies, director Bill Condon decided to go a bit more mature but stick with a pasty pale figure that strikes fear into the heart of many: Julian Assange. It’s fitting Condon’s approach is radical in its own way. Assange himself has publicly taken issue with the film, and when you see the warts and all portrait, you’ll understand why. Thus far the movie has been as splitting as the man in question. Critics have been mixed, including our own Kate Erbland who reviewed the film at the Toronto International Film Festival, and it’s the reaction Condon expected. It’s probably not the response he wanted, but, as he says, it happens. Condon sat down with us to discuss those responses to the film, as well the battle between great characters and real life.

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ENTERTAINMENT-US-RUSH-WRITER

Director Ron Howard and screenwriter Peter Morgan have taken a real liking to each other over the years, and for good reason. With Frost/Nixon and Rush, the two have produced critical darlings that pit opposites against each other. While the 2008 drama was about fighting with words, Rush – which portrays the Formula 1 rivalry between James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) and Niki Lauda (Daniel Brühl) — the battles are done on a race track. Morgan wrote about their budding relationship out of pure, personal interest. This started off as a spec script which eventually led to a $50m British indie, not your standard Hollywood-produced Oscar contender. Of course it also helps when a storyteller has some distance from the story. Here, the Oscar-nominated screenwriter talks about time’s effect on biographical movies, his collaboration with Howard and what he modeled the structure for the Rush script after.

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Rush

Ron Howard is kind of an everyman’s director. He isn’t above his audience, knows exactly what they want, and generally gives it to them without pandering. Sometimes the end product doesn’t workout — see The Dilemma or the Robert Langdon movies to learn that the hard way — but when it does, the final film can be quite special, especially if Howard really has something to say. With Rush, he definitely does. It’s easy to see why Howard was attracted to the characters at the center of Rush including competing Formula 1 drivers Niki Lauda (Daniel Brühl) and James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth). The film raises questions every filmmaker must grapple with: What is success? How do you overcome failure? And how can one bring personality and passion to a business? The balance of art and commerce is something Howard’s dramas – Cinderella Man, Apollo 13, Frost/Nixon, and A Beautiful Mind — have achieved in the past, and so does Rush.

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It’s been two years since WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange warned us about widespread survillance on our tech devices, and the world is still fascinated with the silver-haired whistleblower. While the real Assange is still camped out in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, Benedict Cumberbatch is stepping into his shoes and bleached hair for Bill Condon‘s The Fifth Estate, which focuses on Assange’s partnership with Daniel Domscheit-Berg (Daniel Brühl) and the rise of the mighty WikiLeaks. Though we already got a glimpse of the film and Cumberbatch’s excellent Aussie accent from the trailer (which our own Scott Beggs wrote about here), the film’s team has some released new stills and posters – unfortunately they’re not giving us much to work with. There’s Assange on camera during an interview, a group of concerned Suits in a situation room probably learning about a new leak and a truly terrifying close-up of Peter Capaldi looking into your soul as if you’ve done something personal to offend him. Check them out after the break, and head on over to The Playlist for some futuristic-looking posters.

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Rush

Today the third trailer for Ron Howard’s upcoming Formula-1 historical dramatization Rush hit, and much like the second one did after the first, this new look at the rivalry between legendary drivers James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) and Niki Lauda (Daniel Brühl) looks at the story from an entirely new angle and sets an entirely different tone. The first time around Rush got sold to us as a dramatic period piece about a legendary rivalry that took place in a dangerous world. The kind of thing that would be right at home during awards season. The second look at the film made it seem much more like a popcorn movie, as the focus was on flash, speed, sex appeal, and explosions. This time around the focus seems to be put much more firmly on Hemsworth. Not only do we get introduced to his character by having him painted as being a ladies man and a charismatic superstar (we even get to watch him seduce Game of Thrones actress Natalie Dormer), but then the trailer takes a turn and zeros in on the character arc that he goes through over the course of the film. Gone is the equal rivalry of the first trailer, and in its place is the question of whether Hunt—our apparent protagonist—can rise to the occasion of beating the untouchable racer that is Brühl. Whether that’s an accurate interpretation of the end product here or just a shrewd means of drawing in fans of Thor remains to be […]

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Rush

Call it the Fast and Furious effect, but this new trailer for Ron Howard‘s Rush certainly seems far sexier and speedier than the last look we got at the fact-based racing tale. Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Brühl face off in the film as Formula 1 drivers James Hunt and Niki Lauda, talented and celebrated drivers who became mired in one of sport’s greatest rivalries back in the seventies. While the first trailer made no bones about the drama of the film – Lauda was the victim of a horrific race crash that nearly claimed his life, burnt his body, and sent him into a coma, and he still came back to race Hunt – this new look is all fast cars, fast cuts, and even a glimpse of a couple of stars getting it on in the shower. The film also stars Olivia Wilde, Alexandra Maria Lara, Stephen Mangan, Christian McKay, Julian Rhind-Tutt, Jamie de Courcey, Pierfrancesco Favino, and Natalie Dormer so, like we said, sexy. After the break, check out the pulse-pounding new trailer for Rush.

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Rush

Okay, Ron Howard, this will do just fine. For his first post-The Dilemma directorial outing, Howard has returned to his dramatic roots with another true life story that should fit in quite nicely alongside Apollo 13 and Frost/Nixon. Howard’s Rush centers on one of sport’s greatest rivalries and one of the most wrenching comebacks in the history of athletics. The fact-based film stars Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Brühl as Formula 1 drivers James Hunt and Niki Lauda, respectively. Hunt and Lauda were long-standing rivals on the F1 circuit, a rivalry that was both shaken and reinforced by Lauda’s 1976 crash that left him with extensive facial burns, damage to his lungs and blood, and in a weeks-long coma. Despite the heavy Hemsworth presence in this trailer, Rush is ostensibly focused primarily on Lauda’s life and his amazing comeback, with that action framed up against his rivalry with Hunt. Only six weeks after his horrific accident, Lauda returned to racing with an intent to beat Hunt and win the F1 title (one determined by a point system). The first trailer for Rush looks absolutely stunning, and if the final film lives up to this new bit of marketing, we’re in for one hell of a treat. Not sold yet? Did we mention that Olivia Wilde co-stars? Buckle up and check out the first trailer for Rush after the break.

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What is Casting Couch? It’s starting to wonder how many times Hugh Jackman can play Wolverine before his sideburns start to stick that way. Hot on the heels of the announcement that the original Professor X and Magneto, Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen, would be joining Bryan Singer’s X-Men: First Class sequel, X-Men: Days of Future Past, comes word that yet another actor from the original X-Men trilogy, Hugh Jackman, is also negotiating. This makes sense, of course, because Jackman’s brief cameo in First Class was the first indication we got that Matthew Vaughn’s reboot and Singer’s original films might actually exist in the same universe. Now that Singer has Stewart, McKellen, and Jackman on board, the only other actors he needs to poach from those first X-Men movies is…well, no one. It’s kind of amazing how well those movies cast these three guys and how poorly they cast every single other character. Hopefully this is the end of the colliding of worlds. [THR]

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Either the mulitple-impling title of Juan Carlos Fresnadillo‘s Intruders is not entirely apt, or marketing for the film is playing some serious tricks on us. Titles aside, the 28 Weeks Later helmer is back with a new horror flick that might just scare your face right off – or, if not yours, perhaps some of the film’s stars. The film sees Clive Owen as a dad whose creative 13-year-old daughter (Ella Purnell) tells her class a story about a scary, faceless creature that visits kids during the night. And then the creature (“Hollow Face”) just goes ahead and shows right up – at least, that’s how it looks in this new trailer. The film’s official synopsis explains the situation as such: “Though no one can see him, Hollow Face lurks in the corners, desperately desiring love but only knowing how to spread fear and hate…The line between the real and the imaginary blurs as fissures start to open within the family unit.” And while that’s terrifying enough, perhaps the film’s title is spot-on, because that same synopsis also tells us that this “is the chilling story of two children living in different countries, each visited nightly by a faceless being who wants to take possession of them.” So why are we only meeting Owen and Purnell? I wonder… Keep your eyes open and your mouth wide, and check out the new trailer for Intruders after the break.

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It’s not a feature film about Ayrton Senna, but it will do. Ron Howard has been slowly putting the pieces of his true-life Formula 1 film Rush together, with scarce word about casting beyond the principal roles of Niki Lauda and James Hunt, but with the film recently starting production, that’s changing quickly. Olivia Wilde is reportedly joining the film, and she may not be alone, as Howard is apparently hoping to add Russell Crowe in a somewhat amusing and pretty spot-on role. Wilde’s role is a plum one – she’ll play 1970s supermodel Suzy Miller, who Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) married in 1974. Though the two were in love, Hunt was a bit of a womanizer (okay, fine, he reportedly slept with thirty-three British Airways flight attendants during a two-week period alone). Needless to say, Hunt and Miller’s marriage was short-lived, and not just because of Hunt’s catting around, but because Miller subsequently fell in love with Richard Burton (the role that Howard would like to see Crowe take on). As if the romantic entanglements of the three didn’t sound complicated enough, Burton was still married to Elizabeth Taylor when he fell in love with Miller in 1975, and the actor was no less than twice the former model’s age. Yet, in a weird twist of fate, Hunt was reportedly already trying to get rid of Miller, so when she fell so quickly in love with Burton, they all agreed to get divorces, and Burton agreed to pay Miller the […]

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly column about entertainment news and points of view that, for the time being, is keeping it brief. It’s author has not yet seen the season four premiere of Breaking Bad and he’s worried that continued exposure to the internet will lead to spoilers. He’s a big, bearded pansy like that. We begin tonight with a first look at Karl Urban as Judge Dredd in the simply titled Dredd, the redoing of the character created by John Wagner, Carlos Ezquerra and Pat Mills in the late 1970s. It comes courtesy of Bleeding Cool and for all intents and purposes, looks pretty slick. Though Urban is a considerably smaller man in that helmet than Sly Stallone, his actual acting ability could prove to his advantage. But we’ll see.

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ff-krabat

Magic, ravens, forbidden love, an evil flour mill, and a retarded Baldwin brother! (There aren’t actually any Baldwins in this film).

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published: 04.16.2014
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published: 04.16.2014
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published: 04.16.2014
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published: 04.14.2014
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