Ed Norton

Birdman

Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Birdman has plenty of gimmicks to drive it – there’s Michael Keaton playing the eponymous cinematic superhero (Keaton played Batman, you know), an energetic shooting style meant to approximate a continuous shot and that whole play-within-a-play thing (for Birdman, it’s a play-within-a-movie, but you get the point) – but despite a bevy of clever tricks, Birdman succeeds simply because of it has the basics down pat. Everything else is just icing (feathers?). Keaton stars as Riggan Thomson, a faded and fallen movie star who never quite bounced back from the superhero franchise from which Iñárritu’s feature derives its name – the film’s full title is actually Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), which is a mouthful, but which makes perfect sense by the film’s end – and who is desperate to recapture some former (or, really, some fresh) glory. Riggan has launched an ambitious project to get back into the limelight, a Broadway adaptation of Raymond Carver’s “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love,” that he’s pulling triple duty on (adapting the script, directing and starring in the play). Mere days away from opening, things aren’t going so well, and they’re about to get worse, thanks to a heavy stage light that cracks a middling actor on the head, leaving Riggan and the production scrambling for a replacement, and Riggan believing that he caused the accident, just by force of will. Oh, yeah, that’s something the former movie star thinks he can do: move things with […]

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Moonrise Kingdom appears to be a delicate fancy of a film – an assessment you suspect might entertain Wes Anderson – offering no more ground-breaking a story than young love, with the director’s traditional preoccupation with whimsy, and creating such artfully created landscapes and characters that they flirt outrageously with magic realism, though without explicit realisation of that concept. But there are weightier issues at hand, of parental neglect, of revolution (not just sexual but also anti-establishment), and it seems completely appropriate that Anderson chose to set it in as provocatively important a time as 1965. The film follows two young lovers – Sam (Jared Gilman) and Suzy (Kara Hayward) – who escape their lives to run away together, and the ensuing chaos of their parents and the local authorities’ attempts to find them: no more than a gentle plot that suggests nothing of the drama and comedy that subsequently unfolds.

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With the constant conversation about spoilers and trailers giving away entire films, it’s fascinating to watch the original trailer for Fight Club. It’s a trailer that was largely ignored and didn’t do much to bolster the movie’s box office numbers, but since its release, the philosophically bloody film has become a cult phenomenon partially known for its twist. Yet, even though this trailer shows a lot, it doesn’t give everything away. Even in scenes we now know to be crucial moments, the lines come out as generic one-liners that any drama or action movie might have. That may have hurt the film’s marketing overall, but at least it didn’t tell everyone the spoils in a dumb attempt to get them into the theater. A better question (or at least one that’s more fun) is whether you’d go see this movie or not. Forget the dozens of times you’ve seen it. After watching this trailer, would you go see a strange-looking flick from the director of Seven called Fight Club?

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Pixel to Projector

Last week I tackled Portal; and the response was interesting. While I’d love to see Portal as a movie — that was really an intro-session into the Valve universe, and a step toward discussing my next Pixel to Projector nominee — Half-life. Almost anyone that is a fan of first person shooters has a soft Spot for Valve Software’s launch title — and with good reason. The ever silent Dr. Gordon Freeman is iconic in the gaming community, as are many of the characters that fill his world. From Vortigaunts, The Combine, Alyx Vance, the ever present Headcrabs, and of course — the mysterious G-Man — Half-life is rich with characters and situations ripe for transition to the big screen.

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Jon Favreau talks Iron Man

Jon Favreau sat down with EW.com to talk about the surprise critical and opening box office success of Iron Man, the risk of casting Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark, and what the future hold for Favs, Iron Man, and The Avengers.

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The Incredible Hulk

Recently I was at the movies in a packed house when they showed a trailer for the upcoming The Incredible Hulk. The resulting response from the audience was a collective “Huh?”

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Ed Norton talks about rebooting the Hulk so that we can all forget about that Ang Lee fiasco.

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published: 12.23.2014
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published: 12.22.2014
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published: 12.19.2014
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