Danny Huston

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Back in 2009, Gavin Hood came off some smaller independent character pieces to direct the big-budgeted superhero film X-Men Origins: Wolverine. After a work print leaked online, resulting in a string of negative reviews, the film still did well in the early summer box office. It was a hit from a financial angle, but it left a lot of fans cold and led to a very different approach taken in its follow-up film The Wolverine. Now, looking back at the film, we can see how things played out behind the scenes as Hood talks over the movie in his commentary. Available on the original release DVD and Blu-ray, this commentary track highlights Hood’s love for Ryan Reynolds’ comedic timing and his views on how mutant powers manifest. But if you’re looking for an apology, it’s not here. Here’s what is:

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The Congress

Ari Folman‘s The Congress appears to play its hand quite quickly – the Cannes film’s first trailer opens with a shot of star Robin Wright being talked to by a faceless man as if she were, well, Robin Wright. Sure, this is a slightly skewed “Robin Wright” (it doesn’t seem as if this Robin starred in House of Cards, but damn if it doesn’t seem like she started her career with The Princess Bride), but it’s a version of “Robin Wright” nonetheless. And someone has a proposition for her. At first, it all seems relatively straightforward – a Hollywood studio (“Miramount,” which certainly looks like another studio that ends in “-mount”) wants to purchase the rights to Wright’s likeness and, thanks to technology, that essentially means they will scan every bit of her (not just physical, by any means) and use it to “star” in any film they see fit. It’s not a great deal, but it might be her last shot, so she takes. Obviously, it’s not all going to end well, but Folman’s film subverts our ideas of what would follow from such a deal, and it all goes totally wild, nuts, and (maybe even) amazing, as The Congress unfolds into vibrant animation and stirring score, with a possibly epic adventure thrown into the mix. It’s really one stunning trailer, and our hopes for the final film are now suitably high. Um, also? Wright might have animated sex with animated Jon Hamm (it certainly sounds like him). You’re sold now, right? Get a taste for The Congress after the break.

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As much as Hitchcock is a romantic bio film comedy, it’s also very much about the ups and downs of filmmaking. Hitchcock may act like a drama queen in the picture, but nearly anyone who’s picked up a camera or acted has gone through similar troubles. Speaking with actor Danny Huston, he confirmed that’s often the case. The Hitchcock co-star, playing the director’s romantic rival, has faced the worry of one of his films never reaching an audience. He’s certainly been a part of movies which didn’t takeoff upon their release, but have been remembered more fondly later on than whatever movie opened #1 that weekend. That’s how Huston sees it, who also discussed with us dealing with critics, seeing your work with an audience, and taking a shower with Helen Mirren and Anthony Hopkins:

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The Proposition

You see, Ray Winstone plays Captain Stanley – and delivers an amazing monologue – in The Proposition, but he’s also one of the dwarfs in this Friday’s Snow White and the Huntsman. Yes, that is a stretch, and it’s not the real reason we decided to cover The Proposition in this week’s Commentary Commentary. It’s the John Hillcoat connection. It’s the fact that the director’s latest, Lawless, played Cannes last week and guess who saw it. We can all torch Simon out of jealousy later. There’s a commentary to get to first. The Proposition, a Western set against the Australian backdrop and a very realistic depiction of life at that time, was Hillcoat’s first feature film collaboration with Nick Cave, singer, songwriter, screenwriter, rustic harbinger of death. Friends call him Nicky. The film is every bit as somber and depressing as you would expect from the head of the Bad Seeds. The Proposition is so melancholic, you half expect Lars Von Trier to throw a planet in its general direction. You also can’t wait to see what went on with the making of this movie. And that’s where we come in. So sit back, crack open a Foster’s – which no decent Australian would be caught dead drinking. – and have a gander at all the wonderfully tenebrous and fly-ridden items we learned from listening to Hillcoat and Cave talk about The Proposition.

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Everyone remembers where they were when they first heard that President Abraham Lincoln had been assassinated. I was in third grade, under the creepy Catholic tutelage of Sister Hermina (she refused to die!), and the lesson on Lincoln’s presidency had come to dramatic and shocking conclusion. Granted, those aren’t the words I would have used to describe it at the time, but I do recall feeling frustrated, confused, and angered at the tall, bearded man’s death. So why open a film review with a reference to a grade school history lesson? Because the film in question, Robert Redford’s The Conspirator, feels like a two-hour lecture on some of the very same material. Viewers learn about the coordinated assault against Lincoln and two members of his cabinet, the capture and conviction of those responsible, and their subsequent hangings for the crimes. While the material here is more detailed than the lesson taught by zombie nun it’s also presented dryly, without any real energy, emotion, or drama, and very much in the spirit of a made-for-television movie. It doesn’t help matters that Redford uses his directorial lectern to include some incredibly unsubtle and politicized comparisons to our own modern day battles between personal freedoms and national security.

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Robert Redford has directed a movie starring James McAvoy, Robin Wright Penn, Kevin Kline, Tom Wilkinson, Danny Huston, Stephen Root, Colm Meaney, Toby Kebbell, and Evan Rachel Wood. That should be enough to cause excitement. The Conspirator tells the story of the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln and the ensuing police action and trial of the conspirators – including Mary Surratt, who became despised by an entire country. She was guilty until proven innocent. Check out the intense trailer for yourself:

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Yes, that one shot does make The Warrior’s Way look like a remake of The Birds featuring ninjas, and the rest of it looks like an effects-driven martial arts movie. Sometimes that can be a bad thing, but it honestly feels like the natural evolution from the Wire Fu movies of the past, and here it looks like everything is carefully done. Plus, it’s cowboys vs ninjas. How can that go wrong? Cross your fingers for decent-looking CGI blood (or no blood at all). The film stars Geoffrey Rush, Kate Bosworth, Korean star Dong-gun Jang, and Danny Huston. What do you think?

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Kevin Carr sits his chubbiness down and sees if Edge of Darkness and When in Rome can make the grade.

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You don’t hear from Dr. Jack Kevorkian as much since he’s been paroled from prison in 2007. But with Al Pacino along for the ride, it’s likely that you’ll hear a bit more about him this year.

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Danny Huston is joining the cast of the upcoming Ridley Scott film Robin Hood, which is currently shooting in England.

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FSR

Kevin Carr reviews this week’s new movies: X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Ghosts of Girlfriends Past and Battle for Terra.

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wolverine-review1

As the summer movie season sets off from the port, we see this year’s first test of sea legs in Fox’s actioner X-Men Origins: Wolverine. And while it does bring us some big summer action, it also falls victim to some wild inconsistency.

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You may have heard this, but the Louis Leterrier (The Incredible Hulk) directed remake of Clash of the Titans began shooting this week. And with that start of production comes the final stage of casting…

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Earlier in the weekend we posted the bootlegged version of the X-Men Origins: Wolverine trailer and found that it didn’t last very long on the YouTubes. We can assure you though, that this one will last quite a while.

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Hugh Jackman in Wolverine

The trailer for X-Men Origins: Wolverine is online, as expected, in bootleg form. Feel free to watch it, but be sure to take your Dramamine first.

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Megan Fox in How to Lose Friends & Alienate People

There is something about Megan Fox that continues to keep her in our headlines — it appears as if she has become self aware, almost like SkyNet, only hotter.

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Mel Gibson

Danny Huston, Shawn Roberts, and Bojana Novakovic have joined the cast alongside Gibson, Robert De Niro, and Wayne Duvall.

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The upcoming Wolverine origin story adds Danny Huston and Lynn Collins to the mix.

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