Doug Liman

Tom Cruise Dumbfounded in Edge of Tomorrow

Doug Liman‘s Edge of Tomorrow is easily one of the most beloved films of the year. It’s a hit with critics and has garnered passionate reactions from its fans. The only problem people seem to have is with its ending. Before we go any further: beware of spoilers if you haven’t seen Edge of Tomorrow yet. If you haven’t, shame on you.

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Edge of Tomorrow

Too many blockbusters mistake moroseness for seriousness, often forgetting the key ingredient for a great summer movie: actual fun. Until now, this summer has been no different with its self-serious tentpole releases. Fortunately, director Doug Liman hasn’t forgotten how to craft real escapist entertainment, despite his last popcorn film Jumper suggesting otherwise. His latest, Edge of Tomorrow, is maybe his most accomplished work to date, a massive blockbuster with scale, heart, plenty of humor, and no shortage of coolness. This, ladies and gentleman, is what we call a summer blockbuster. In the not too distant future, non-Earthlings invade Earth. After a series of devastating blows, new forms of weaponry like the mecha suits in the film are employed. The poster child for the war and the mecha suits is Rita Vrataski (Emily Blunt), a great soldier who has earned the title “full metal bitch.” While she’s out there fighting the war in Europe, the wimpy Major William Cage (Tom Cruise) is back home promoting it. Cage has never seen a day in combat, but that changes when a higher up played by Brendan Gleeson sees Cage for what he is. Gleeson’s character sends Cage to the front lines of an attack, which, of course, does not sit well with the Major. His first few minutes on the battlefield don’t go so well: he dies. But as he does, a rare alien’s blood gets in his system, causing him to keep waking up before the slaughter has even happened. He lives again, dies again, lives again, dies again, and so on in a way that would make Phil Connors happy. Cage also […]

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Edge of Tomorrow

There’s little sense arguing that the summer movie season isn’t already tremendously overstuffed (it’s so overstuffed, in fact, that even two years from now, the summer season of 2016, feels too crammed with highly hyped films to appropriately process the wannabe-blockbusters that lay in wait for us then, but I digress), but that doesn’t mean that there’s not room for a star-studded and action-heavy feature to emerge as an unexpected favorite. In fact, this is the season that basically demands it, because “star-studded” and “action-heavy” are sort of the only things that can make a great summer blockbuster popcorn flick, especially an unexpectedly solid one — like Edge of Tomorrow. The Doug Liman-directed feature is essentially Groundhog Day spliced with an alien invasion film, a war production, a feminist-friendly outing, and real Tom Cruise vehicle. Sound tired? It’s not. You’re going to love it. We promise.

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Edge of Tomorrow

It’s a real shame that no one has thought to craft a trailer for Doug Liman‘s Edge of Tomorrow set to the all-soaring, all-twirling charms of Steve Nicks’ “Edge of Seventeen.” Perhaps this latest trailer for the Tom Cruise-starring future-set actioner will provide the mash-up geeks out there with more material for such a dreamy scenario, but for now, we’re stuck with the clanging sounds and cool kid techno tones of one hell of a weird future. In the film — previously titled All You Need Is Kill, lest you get confused about why a film about deja vu sounds so weirdly familiar, though with the wrong title — Cruise stars as “not a soldier” Lt. Col. Bill Cage (not a soldier? weird about that military rank then), a man who gets trapped in time loop that keeps bringing him back to the same day. It’s like Groundhog Day, but with a world war, because the particular day that that Cage is trapped inside is the day he dies, over and over, and the day of a major military assault on an alien army. It’s a bad day, okay? 

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tom-cruise

Gather round, children, for the story of one international superstar attempting to guilt another into making a slapstick comedy for old time’s sake. It’s got intrigue, suspense and an open ending — everything you’d ever want in a Hollywood tale.  Back in 2010, Tom Cruise was attached to a comedy called El Presidente, directed by Jay Roach and potentially co-starring either Jack Nicholson or maybe even Robert Downey Jr. That clearly never panned out. Now in the beautiful light of 2013, Cruise and new director Doug Liman (who worked with Cruise on the upcoming Edge of Tomorrow) are attempting to make the presidential movie a reality once more — and they want Nicholson back on board. El Presidente centers on a straight-laced secret service agent (that would be Cruise) who is assigned to protect America’s least favorite former president, a gross, womanizing boozehound who only ever got the job because he got booted up from Veep when the actual president died. When bad guys threaten the politician’s life, the duo must escape together, setting up a buddy comedy/action thriller hopefully involving a lot of patriotic motifs.

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pivenbald

If the title Edge of Tomorrow doesn’t ring a bell, that’s because it’s what we’re now calling a project that started its development under the name All You Need is Kill, then went through a period where it was experimenting with other titles, and eventually settled on this. It’s that upcoming Doug Liman movie where Tom Cruise puts on a crazy looking robotic exoskeleton to battle aliens, dies, and then has to relive the same battle over and over again, Groundhog Day-style. Oh, and also it has Emily Blunt. One should never fail to bring up Emily Blunt when appropriate. But anyway, on to the point. What the film hasn’t ever had, up until now, was a supporting role played by Jeremy Piven. That didn’t seem like so much of a problem at first—a lot of movies don’t feature supporting roles played by Jeremy Piven, after all—but Deadline is reporting that, despite the fact that principal photography on the film is over, Liman is going to get some resources together to shoot some more scenes which will involve the newly cast Entourage actor playing a character named Colonel Walter Marx.

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Edge of Tomorrow

Earlier today, Warner Bros. previewed some footage for its upcoming sci-fi adaptation Edge of Tomorrow, starring Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt. The story revolves around an untested military officier (Cruise) who is dropped into combat and subsequently is killed by a large alien. His problems don’t end there, as his contact with the alien throws him into a time loop. When he wakes up, he must relive the day of his death over and over again. Think Groundhog Day meets District 9 or Starship Troopers. But with more wicked technology. The latter of which is on full display in two new Comic-Con exclusive posters and photos from the Convention Center show floor. 

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Tom Hardy

Tom Hardy is swiftly becoming a solid bet when it comes to physically demanding roles; the actor has already pumped himself up for parts in Bronson, Warrior, and The Dark Knight Rises, but he may be taking his dedication to a different level (or at least a different elevation). Deadline Hollywood reports that the actor is “in early talks” for the role of George Mallory in Doug Liman‘s fact-based Everest. While this is an early report, Hardy certainly seems like a very good fit for the part, so hopefully this scoop will pan out for all involved. Liman, who is apparently both “an avid climber and fan of the Mallory story” will helm the film from a Sheldon Turner script adapted from Jeffrey Archer‘s book, “Paths of Glory.” The story centers on the British Mallory who, so determined to be the first man to ever scale Everest, he tried it three times in the 1920′s. It’s still a topic of hot debate as to whether Mallory and his climbing partner, Sandy Irvine, ever did make it to the top of the mountain – they were last seen on Mallory’s third attempt in 1924 as they attempted the final leg of the climb. Their bodies were discovered in 1999, and that discovery and the subsequent investigation as to whether the pair made it was the subject of Anthony Geffen’s documentary, The Wildest Dream. It really is wild stuff.

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Bill Paxton

Bill Paxton has had a career for the ages. He’s taken multiple beatings at the hands of Arnold Schwarzenegger, he’s played cowboy with Kurt Russell, played astronaut with Tom Hanks, and even fought off aliens with Sigourney Weaver. One thing he’s never gotten a chance to do is share scenes with fellow superstar Tom Cruise, though, so the actor has decided to go back to his alien killing ways in order to make that happen. Variety is reporting that Paxton is in negotiations to become the latest name to join director Doug Liman’s (The Bourne Identity) upcoming, Japanese graphic novel adapted feature, All You Need is Kill. The basic story here is a kind of mix between Starship Troopers and Source Code, in that Cruise is playing a soldier in a war against aliens who keeps reliving the day he’s killed over and over again. As time keeps looping, and as Cruise keeps re-experiencing his death, he slowly learns from his mistakes and becomes a better soldier. It’s like if you gave Bill Murray’s character from Groundhog Day a big gun and told him to focus on fending off an alien invasion instead of buying Michael Shannon tickets to Wrestlemania.

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Actress Emily Blunt has reportedly nabbed the female lead role in one of Tom Cruise‘s next projects, a sci-fi actioner not be confused with his Oblivion/Horizons that went through a long cycle of “short list” casting choices before settling on its two female leads. Fortunately, Doug Liman‘s All You Need is Kill has not subjected the movie news-consuming public to another drawn-out casting process and has just gone ahead and picked a dazzling lead. Variety reports that Blunt and Warner Bros. have ended a “long flirtation” for the part, with the Brit currently in talks for the role. The film is being adapted from a “light novel” of the same name by Hiroshi Sakurazaka, that centers on a new soldier (named Keiji Kiriya) who dies in his first battle – which happens to be against evil aliens who are taking over the Earth. Oddly enough, Keiji’s death is not the end of his life, as he wakes up every morning and relives the battle (and his death) over and over. It’s like a war-set sci-fi Groundhog Day. Blunt will reportedly play “another solider who fights alongside Cruise.” While I have not yet read the film’s highly lauded source material, a brief trip to the book’s Wikipedia page reveals a possible character for Blunt – “Rita Vrataski: A U.S. special forces soldier. Highly decorated and peerless in battle, she is seen as a hero by the entire world. In reality, she was caught in a time loop just like Keiji.” That […]

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The Bourne Identity

Before he bought a zoo, Matt Damon had a penchant for throwing elbows and knees. Also driving a tiny little car through narrow European streets trying to get away from bad guys like Clive Owen. I’m talking, of course, of The Bourne Identity, the first of a trilogy that brought about a new era of action film, one that used the shaky-cam like familiar handgun in the director’s pant pocket. The director of the first Bourne film was Doug Liman, not Paul Greengrass, as so many viewers mistakenly believe. Greengrass took duties on Supremacy and Ultimatum, but this first go-around was all Doug Liman, the director who also brought us the very cool style of films like Swingers, Go, and Jumper. Okay, you can bypass Jumper. Liman takes solo duties on the commentary track for The Bourne Identity, so let’s delve into what exactly he had to say about this film in 3…2…

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A story has been making the rounds today that Tom Cruise is more than likely set to star in director Doug Liman’s next venture, a sci-fi film called All You Need is Kill. Variety says that the star has been courted for the role for a while and seems to be poised to take it, while Inside Movies claims that the deed has already been done and the papers are all signed up, so no matter who you believe, it’s looking like this will be a project coming, at least eventually, to a theater near you. All You Need is Kill is set to be adapted from a graphic novel of the same name by Hiroshi Sakurazaka, and the story sees Cruise’s character caught in a Groundhog Day-type time loop where he lives the same day over and over again, but with a slight twist. Okay, maybe not so slight, the twist is that the day he’s living over and over again is one where he’s battling space aliens for the very survival of the planet. Every day he goes to battle, every day he dies, and every morning he wakes up anew. Until the 158th time he gives it a go, and he meets a character called (at least in the comic) The Bitch of War, who changes everything. Sounds crazy.

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Since we all have a million dollars, our minds are almost always tuned to the day dream of what kind of movie we’d make with all that loose cash just lying around (since banks do nothing but lose things). Would it be a romantic horror film? Would it be a silent action film? Would we blow of all of it on lighting and forget the other elements of production design? Probably. Fortunately, we’ve all had a few filmmakers tread before us in using their million bucks with efficiency and artistry. In a world where Michael Bay needs 200 suitcases full of $1m, these directors made it happen with only one of those suitcases (or no suitcases at all), and they created a lasting legacy despite their lack of foldin’ money. If they can do it, why not us? Here are 8 great films made for under a million dollars that we can all learn from. (And if you enter our contest sponsored by Doritos, you might actually win that $1m you need for all those lights.)

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The Hollywood Reporter has an interesting piece on Tom Cruise, attempting to prove that he’s once again viable as a ground-moving A-list star. It’s an interesting opinion editorial that leaves out the larger points that 1) even when Cruise bombs, the movie usually makes over $200m and 2) it’s the entire idea of commercially block busting actors that’s diminishing. However, one thing that’s for sure is that Cruise himself isn’t. He’s got a few projects in the hopper, and at least one is a return to the world of science fiction. According to THR, there may be a second – the Doug Liman project We Mortals Are (which used to be called All You Need Is Kill and is still missing a predicate). The story focuses on a space soldier who, through science-y fiction, keeps living to fight on the day before he dies. After 158 wonderful deaths, he sees something different – a female entity known as The Bitch of War. It’s based off of the Hiroshi Sakurazaka manga, and, as it turns out, there’s something appropriate about placing Cruise in a movie about death and rebirth.

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If you’re interested in seeing veteran actor Brian Cox slit a few throats and chop off a few heads, then Ironclad is definitely the film for you. It’s got fantastically gory kills, Paul Giamatti looking angry in every frame and chewing apart every inch of scenery with each glare, and blood hitting every inch of the screen imaginable. Sound promising? Director Jonathan English has captured a tone that revels in both gore and laughs. Brian Cox, thankfully, gets to partake in English’s bloodbath. I knew within the first few seconds of speaking with Cox that I was going to enjoy the chat. Cox got a hearty laugh from the site’s name right from the start and had a few questions about its origin, a part I desperately wish I recorded. It was a nice icebreaker, to say the least. Calm and thoughtful, the actor made for a quick and pleasant interview. We discussed the fun tone of Ironclad and, mainly, the different directors he’s collaborated with, including the likes of Bryan Singer, Doug Liman, and Rupert Wyatt.

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Variety has gotten its hands on the director shortlist for The Wolverine, and it, mostly, consists of fairly safe and obvious choices. But, like many of these lists, a great and head scratching question is posed: Does Hugh Jackman and company actually know what type of movie they want to make? When a list of favored directors features the likes of Mark Romanek and the director of Tokyo Drift, it boggles the mind. Here’s the apparent list of favored options that, per usual, you should take with a slight grain of salt:

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr puts on a wizard’s robe, wears a colorful scarf and dances around in the woods with his magic wand yelling, “Stupify!” And that’s just to celebrate the release of Fair Game in his home town. He also takes a look at this little independent film that few people have even heard of, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I. Sadly, a bizarre mishap with his wizarding skills causes a boulder to fall on his hand and pin him for 93 minutes, which was actually quite fortunate because it gave him just enough time to watch 127 Hours.

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It’s been a while since we’ve seen director Doug Liman in the world of dialog-driven filmmaking. With Go and Swingers, you got the feeling Liman knew how to make dialogue pop as action, but then he transitioned to actual popcorn action. After spending time on major tentpole releases, the director has returned to his roots. Fair Game is somewhat of a marriage drama, similar to Mr. & Mrs. Smith, but without the gunplay. It’s definitely not the “high-octane” thriller it may, and most likely, will be sold as. Doug Liman had plentyto say when I sat down with him. His answers were thoughtful speeches when it came how he initially dreamed of only making dumb action movies, his visual style, and what exactly happened on Jumper.

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USA Networks is no slouch when it comes to the summer fun. And the networks newest series, the Doug Liman produced Covert Affairs, has officially been green-lit for a second season. This comes after six straight weeks of increasing ratings with the latest episode pulling in 5.36 million viewers. By comparison, the show’s lead in, White Collar, now in its second season, pulled in a smaller but still respectable 4.48 million viewers on its most recent episode. Covert Affairs follows the life of CIA rookie agent Annie Walker played by Piper Perabo. Think ALIAS the beginning, minus the sci-fi elements. Every week is an hour of pure escapist entertainment with some heart. If you haven’t seen the show yet, they you have no idea what you’re missing.

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Summit Entertainment is gearing up for yet another awards season run, hot off their win of Best Picture last year with The Hurt Locker. In their corner this year is Doug Liman’s latest, Fair Game, the story of real-life CIA undercover operative Valerie Plame (Naomi Watts) and her husband Joe Wilson (Sean Penn), who made headlines not long ago when Plame was outed by the press, unspooling a massive government operation and putting her face on the otherwise sticky situation of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq just before the most recent war began. The film played to lukewarm reviews at the Cannes Film Festival earlier in the year and is decidedly stacked with talent. Should be worth keeping an eye on between now and its November 5 release date. Trailer and synopsis are available after the jump.

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