Edward Norton

20th Century Fox

David Fincher‘s Fight Club wowed audiences with his typical technical brilliance and sharp use of CGI, but it remains an amazing piece of work fifteen years later for its narrative, social commentary and fantastic black humor. Misunderstood and under-appreciated by many upon its release, the film has gone on to earn legions of fans over the years, and listening to the commentary track featuring Fincher, Edward Norton, Brad Pitt and Helena Bonham Carter (one of four commentaries on the disc) opens up an even more detailed appreciation of the film. It’s actually one of the very first commentary tracks (or “auxiliary tracks” as Fincher calls them) I ever listened to many years ago, and the discovery that we had yet to cover it here made it well worth a second listen. Keep reading to see what I heard on the commentary for Fight Club.

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Fox Searchlight

Michael Keaton is no stranger to donning a superhero’s cape and tights and serving up justice. But the former Batman isn’t exactly joining the ranks of Marvel and DC’s long list of superhero features in the coming months and years with his new film, Birdman. (The poster includes a subtitle, or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance, but don’t expect to be seeing that in any other marketing.) Once a prominent actor who portrayed everyone’s favorite fictional hero, the man at the center of this fascinating little story (Keaton) must deal with his current status as a struggling, dull shell of the star he once was, as he attempts to take on a role in a Broadway play and maybe face reality. While he’ll always have his past life as Birdman, it’s been too long since he’s strapped on his wings and slipped on his mask, and the cracks are beginning to show in his persona. What about the public that still views him as Birdman, even when he’s clearly coming apart at the seams? Take a leap of faith with the first trailer for Birdman below.

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The Grand Budapest Hotel Review

As proven by all of his previous films, Wes Anderson understands comedy, drama, music, writing, and structure. He’s been lauded as having an original voice for comedy and drama, but one thing he doesn’t get enough credit for? His action chops. The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, The Fantastic Mr. Fox, and his newest film, The Grand Budapest Hotel, all have their share of action, and each one of their set pieces are wonderful. They came in small doses usually, but The Grand Budapest Hotel is a full on action thriller, completely done with Anderson’s sensibilities. And an action movie from Wes Anderson is as delightful, and as busy, as it sounds. The film jumps around a few different moments in time, but it’s mainly set in the fictional Republic of Zubrowka during the 1920s. Zubrowka is the home of The Grand Budapest Hotel, a lavish establishment visited by old ladies who come solely for Monsieur Gustave H.’s (Ralph Fiennes) companionship. Gustave is the smoothest hotel concierge in all of Europe, and it’s easy to see why: he’s charming, he treats his clientele with the utmost respect, and, at least in some cases, he genuinely loves his guests. One of his most beloved is Madame D., a woman in her 80s who’s at her liveliest when she’s with Gustave. Soon after her visit she’s murdered, and Gustave is the #1 suspect in the case. Chased by Madame D’s son Dmitri (Adrien Brody), his ruthless sidekick Jopling (Willem Dafoe), and fascists led by a typecast Edward Norton, Gustave is forced […]

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Fight Club

Quick! Think of a beloved, bold, classic, cult film with Oscar caliber performance and craft that you’d never want to see remade or reimagined. Now imagine the medium you’d never want to see that film remade or reimagined within. Was your answer Dirty Dancing as a web series? First of all, no, that’s the wrong answer and, second of all, that sounds delightfully terrible. No, the right answer was Fight Club and “graphic novel.” Too bad. In the crush of the weekend’s massive influx of Comic-Con news, an announcement from author Chuck Palahniuk got a bit lost in the fray, and it’s finally managed to get around days later. Palahniuk appeared at the convention for a number of reasons – to sign books for fans, to appear on a panel called “Ode to Nerds,” to clearly be very good to his admirers, and to slyly announce that he’s working on a sequel to his “Fight Club.” The author slipped the news in during his panel when asked what he was working on next, and while it’s heartening that it’s Palahniuk who is working on this so-called sequel, we’re finding it very hard indeed to get excited about the potential for any sort of follow-up to his original vision, particularly in graphic novel form. Collider passed along the news, straight from the author’s official site (called “The Cult”) about the process of the new novel and the bare bones of Palahniuk’s vision for it. If you’re not interested in getting clear-cut […]

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keat

We are on the eve of possibly one of the biggest superhero movies ever to be made. No, it’s not Man of Steel, but Birdman, of course! That’s right, you should be as or more excited for that superhero you don’t even know. Why? Because this movie has Michael freakin Keaton, universally beloved actor. If Keaton can make us forget Jack Frost, then who better to play a superhero? Well, at least a guy who played a superhero anyway.

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Keri Russell

What is Casting Couch? Casting news, all in a list. Yesterday we asked the question of who would be playing the egotistical front man in Alejandro González Iñárritu’s next film, Birdman. Today we already have our answer, and it happens to be a familiar face. The casting for Matt Reeves’ Dawn of the Planet of the Apes seems to be coming along nicely. Not only does he have Andy Serkis coming back from the first film to play the ape leader, Caesar, but he’s also been picking up some talented folk to round out the human side of the equation as well. Recently he’s signed Jason Clarke, Kodi Smit-McPhee, and Gary Oldman, and now Variety is reporting that you can also add Dark Skies star Keri Russell to the list. Reeves and Russell have worked together before, as he was the co-creator of J.J. Abrams television drama Felicity, which was her first big break. Their’s is a pairing that’s worked well in the past, so long as Russell has kept a healthy head of springy locks, so let’s hope that Apes doesn’t call for Caesar to take any of the human characters prisoner and give them haircuts. One shaved head could ruin the momentum of the whole franchise.

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Maggie Gyllenhaal

What is Casting Couch? It’s the casting news roundup that’s been out of work since casting agents seem to be treating the week between Christmas and New Years as one prolonged food coma. If there’s one thing that Jurassic Park taught us, it’s that nature finds a way. Well, casting finds a way too. In a week where there isn’t any news getting leaked to the trades, leave it to Albuquerque Business First to break a new scoop. The eagle eyes over at The Film Stage noticed that, in an article about how that Michael Fassbender-starring rock and roll comedy called Frank is coming to town to shoot, the local source managed to break the news that Maggie Gyllenhaal is coming to town with it. Her involvement in the film sees her joining a cast that includes not just Fassbender, but two of the young MVPs of 2012, Domhnall Gleeson and Scoot McNairy, as well. Which, you know, makes her one of the luckiest ladies in the world.

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From the aesthetic to its own protagonist, Tony Gilroy did some work to distance The Bourne Legacy from the previous, Jason Bourne-led trilogy. Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner) isn’t Bourne, and The Bourne Legacy isn’t a carbon copy of the voices Doug Liman and Paul Greengrass helped shaped this series with. His mythology-expanding feature focuses on one man with one simple goal – which doesn’t involve his identity, finding forgiveness, or getting revenge for his girlfriend’s death. As Tony Gilroy told us at the start of the summer, the Michael Clayton director didn’t want to “lose the balls.” With an edgy anti-hero in the lead – one who’s capable of using either a wolf or a fire extinguisher to save his own skin – Gilroy kept the balls of this series intact while also exploring new thematic corners of the Bourne universe. If Gilroy is correct, we’ll soon see more episodic and expansive mega-blockbusters told in the vein of The Bourne Legacy, and it’s a prediction the Academy Award nominee seemed excited by.

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Johnny Depp to Start in The Grand Budapest Hotel

Notoriously meticulous director Wes Anderson seems to be speeding up his usual development process – which generally produces a new film every three years – and putting together the pieces for his next project. Hot on the heels of his successful, pubescent kids dancing in their underwear movie, Moonrise Kingdom, comes The Grand Budapest Hotel, an Anderson-penned script that is said to feature an ensemble cast, but is a mystery as far as character breakdowns or synopsis are concerned. News of the new Anderson project broke a little over a week ago, when Twitch reported they’d heard the director had begun casting on a new film, and that he was in various stages of negotiations with Johnny Depp, Owen Wilson, Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Jude Law, Jeff Goldblum, Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe, and Angela Lansbury. A list of names that talented and notable may sound like wishful thinking, but a report from Deadline Clute now confirms that at least some of it is true. Not only did they get their hands on the title of the film, but they’re also reporting that Depp has been wrapped up and is officially set to star.

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Director Wes Anderon’s period dramedy, Moonrise Kingdom, is a unique departure from his previous collaboration with co-writer Roman Coppola. The Darjeeling Limited was about three characters who, at first, could not care less about one another, and often went about showing it in hilariously cruel ways. None of that meanness is present in Anderson and Coppola’s Moonrise Kingdom, a story about the innocence of young love. For certain characters, not all is as fun and sweet as the young leads’ love. Considering this is a Wes Anderson film there’s a sense of tragedy underlining the playful style and witty jokes. Moonrise Kingdom explores themes of disappointment and lost love, something all the older characters are facing, and something the two kids may one day face as well. However, these themes and ideas to Anderson and Coppola’s work are not as deliberate as some suspect. As Roman Coppola puts it, it all comes from a place of intuition.

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The announcement that the Bourne franchise would continue without Matt Damon was met with skepticism by many, including myself, for several reasons. The most relevant? Matt Damon played Jason Bourne. How could the franchise continue without him and his character but still call itself a Bourne film? Would another actor step into his shoes a la James Bond, or would it simply be another case of an agent with amnesia going rogue? The answer turned out to be neither, and instead, rather ingeniously, The Bourne Legacy is a parallel story that begins during the third act chaos of The Bourne Ultimatum. Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner) is a top agent who finds himself caught up in the Bourne fallout when the agency attempts to cover their tracks by terminating his co-workers. He’s forced to go on the run alongside an agency scientist (Rachel Weisz) while trying to out maneuver new a executive-level baddie played by Edward Norton. Some familiar faces from the first three films crop up along the way to flesh out the connective tissues between films, but this is really an introduction to a brand new character… and possibly a brand new trilogy of films. Check out the trailer below, and tell me your not at least a little excited to see this.

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Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward in Moonrise Kingdom

It’s the summer of 1965, and a storm is heading towards New Penzance Island. The small dot of land is home to a few permanent residences, but it’s also a seasonal destination for a troop of Khaki Scouts who camp amidst the lush green forests and golden fields. Scout Master Ward (Edward Norton) awakes one morning to discover the troop’s least liked member, Sam (Jared Gilman), has gone missing. Elsewhere on the island the Bishop family realizes their daughter Suzy (Kara Hayward) has also disappeared. The two pre-teens fell for each other the year prior during a brief, chance meeting, and have now taken off on an adventure as young lovers are prone to do (in movies at least). Sam and Suzy soon have half the island searching for them, but being such a small, sparsely populated place that search party consists almost entirely of the Scout Master, the local constable, Captain Sharp (Bruce Willis) and Suzy’s parents, Walt and Laura (Bill Murray, Frances McDormand). Wes Anderson‘s latest film splits its time between the kids on the run and their mostly adult pursuers, and in doing so it tells two sides of a story that offer equal amounts of humor, whimsy and heartbreak. It’s a return to form for the director and his first to follow-up on the promise of Rushmore and The Royal Tenenbaums as it highlights the wide-eyed possibilities of youth and the harsh reality of adulthood.

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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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The Bourne Legacy is not only one of the most highly-anticipated films of the summer, it’s a unique chance to revisit the blockbuster franchise with a different star at the helm. Meanwhile, co-writer/director Tony Gilroy, one of the key creative voices behind the original trilogy, is preserving the series’ lore while giving its events a broader and more epic context. As the film’s trailer observes, “Jason Bourne was just the tip of the iceberg,” and Gilroy’s insights about the direction he took the franchise in, for the first time as both writer and director, suggest that this expansive view of the world of Bourne was part of his plan all along. But as if embodying the director’s perspective, Jeremy Renner’s character Aaron Cross isn’t an unknown entering a larger world, but an experienced agent who knows exactly who he is and what he’s meant to do. Speaking to the Academy Award nominated filmmaker recently, Gilroy talked about reviving the franchise via The Bourne Legacy, revealing how he paid tribute to longtime fans even as he looked to a broader horizon, and the organic approach he and cinematographer Robert Elswit approached the picture with.

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Hooray! On May 25th, Wes Anderson‘s latest movie Moonrise Kingdom will enjoy the warm glow of the silver screen. The movie stars Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton, Jason Schwartzman and Bob Balaban, and it tells the story of young love that leaves town and causes a search party to form. No doubt, Balaban is looking stately here. Like a young Santa Claus. Ahead of the release, Focus Features has released a team photo of the whole crew, and if you didn’t know it was from Wes Anderson before, this photo definitely isn’t hiding it. Check it out for yourself and click it to make it even bigger:

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It’s easy to stick some cool tats on a character and enhance their presence – and we all love cool looking tattoos. It gets better when there is thought put into the tattoos, such as Mickey Rourke’s surprisingly well-researched prison tattoos in Iron Man 2. What’s even better than that is when a tattoo is not only well thought out, but also speaks worlds about that character and the story surrounding them. It’s not always possible in the context of the film – but when it is, it’s nice to see. Here are some of the tattoos I’m talking about.

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The Film: Fight Club (1999) The Plot: Our nameless Narrator (Edward Norton) works for a major auto manufacturer, investigating fatal crashes caused by product defects and running cost-benefit analyses to decide whether it’d be more expensive to recall the deadly cars or to pony up settlements in future class-action lawsuits. Sound like an amoral, soul-murdering job to you? Our Narrator agrees and embarks on a fumbling quest for peace. He gets a hearty shove down the path toward enlightenment when a) his apartment full of “versatile solutions for modern living” mysteriously explodes, b) he strikes up a love/hate relationship with the morbid nihilist Marla (Helena Bonham Carter), and c) he joins forces with soap entrepenuer and terrorist mastermind Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt) to found the Fight Club movement.

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So I was watching the film The Descendants, and I couldn’t help but to laugh my ass off when the grandfather points to Nick Krause’s dumb-ass character and says “I’m going to hit you.” – Then, without any room for discussion he proves to be a man of his word. It got me thinking about some of the other great comedic punches out there, and soon enough I was assigning my wonder into list form. Violence and comedy together at last!

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“There was never just one.” Well, that’s a nifty way to explain why Matt Damon isn’t in the latest installment of the Jason Bourne franchise, The Bourne Legacy. Damon’s out, and Jeremy Renner is in as another victim and/or participant in shady Project Treadstone. This first stylized trailer (complete with Inception-esque “brannngsss” and “brrahhhhmmms”) introduces us to Renner’s character – a bruiser from Reno who is on the run after showing some impressive stuff to all those government heavies who’ve gone through this already with Jason Bourne. Don’t you think Joan Allen‘s Pam Landy is just exhausted by now? Join the program and check out the trailer for The Bourne Legacy after the break.

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I don’t know where you stand on the issue, but the release of a new Wes Anderson movie is pretty much cause for a gigantic celebration around my house. I know that he’s kind of a love him or hate him director, but personally, his dry humor, fairy tale tone, and satirical yet sentimental look at neurotic intellectuals hits my funny bone in a way few other things do. And his meticulous attention to production design detail make his movies a joy to pick through and study over the course of multiple re-watches. These are films that grow in my esteem over time, and his newest work, Moonrise Kingdom, looks like it’s going to fit, perhaps quite predictably, right in that oeuvre. Anderson’s movies always feel like they’re taking place in a world slightly more magical than our own, but his last film, The Fantastic Mr. Fox, went a step further by being an animated film starring talking animals. Though Moonrise Kingdom sees the director stepping back into the world of live action, it looks like he’s bringing more of that animated absurdity back with him. This trailer has impossible tree forts, Ed Norton in a Cub Scout uniform saying things like “Jiminy Cricket, he flew the coop,” lightning strikes, and little kids brandishing homemade weapons. Make no mistake, Wes Anderon’s latest movie looks absolutely bat-poop crazy, and I’m super stoked to see how far he’s willing to take things. The final scene, where Bill Murray interacts with some children […]

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