Emily Blunt

Denis Villeneuve

Filmmaker Denis Villeneuve is a busy guy – after all, the frequently lauded director is steadily lining up compelling new projects after the one-two punch of his last two projects (that would be last year’s Prisoners and this season’s Enemy, both of which bowed back in September at TIFF, making it clear that the Incendies director had arrived in a big way) – but the new heat on his career doesn’t mean he’s cutting corners. He’s not getting sloppy. He’s not picking up films about monster trucks or winged aliens or whatever it is that Hollywood is throwing at emerging filmmakers. Villeneuve is making his own way. But is that going to include finding a female muse to match the relationship he’s cultivated with Jake Gyllenhaal, who quite memorably starred in both of Villeneuve’s latest projects, in very different roles? 

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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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Edge of Tomorrow

#LiveDieRepeat is the hashtag that adorns the end of the first Edge of Tomorrow trailer. Like so many trailers these days, the social media marketing phase has already begun, only this time we get a hashtag that also simply and perfectly breaks down the somewhat high-concept sci-fi action extravaganza with three simple words. Tom Cruise plays a neophyte soldier in a futuristic war who dies in battle only to wake up right back at the beginning of his final day. As the trailer unfolds, it shows off plenty of big action to go along with its cyclical story: it’s like an epic version of Groundhog Day with badass mech suits.

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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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All You Need is Kill Suits

If you’re going to battle aliens, you need an awesome suit. If you’re going to relive the same day of battling aliens over and over, you need whatever Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt are wearing in this new, clear look at All You Need is Kill. It’s kind of an awesome weapons system even if it looks impossible to carry around. In the future, you have to do a ton of cardio and snatches to be a supersoldier. The movie from director Doug Liman hits theaters next summer, and with Comic-Con around the corner, we’ll probably see more soon.

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bluntdance

What is Casting Couch? It’s tying a nice bow on this work week with casting news concerning lovely ladies like Michelle Yeoh, Olga Kurylenko, and Chloe Moretz. Oh yeah, and there’s some stuff about some dudes in there too. The upcoming adaptation of the Steven Sondheim musical Into the Woods that Rob Marshall has been putting together for Disney hasn’t been too secretive about its casting process. James Corden is rumored to be on board as the film’s lead, the Baker, we know for sure that mega-stars Johnny Depp and Meryl Streep are signed for sizzle roles as the wolf and the witch, and we even recently learned that Chris Pine and Jake Gyllenhaal are close to landing the roles of a couple of bumbling princes. But the one key ingredient that’s always been missing is who’s going to play the female lead, the Baker’s wife. Until now. Variety is reporting that Emily Blunt is finalizing a deal to take the role, and —oh man—does that super-talented angel coming on board instantly make this movie that much more appealing or what? The Wrap has a report that the delightful Christine Baranski may soon be getting an offer to join as well, but let’s take these things one step at a time.

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arthurnewman_02

While we can’t be certain that no one was crying out for a film starring an American-accented Colin Firth as a sadsack having a midlife crisis, it’s certainly possible that someone was asking for such a film. Somewhere. Maybe. Yet, here it is - Arthur Newman (good luck remembering that name in two years) stars Firth as a down-on-his-luck loser who can’t quite get anything in his life right, so he decides to chuck it, assume a new identity, go on the road, and ultimately take up with a lovely lady (Emily Blunt, also playing weirdly American here) who is also into petty crimes and such. The pair start breaking into other peoples’ houses, playing around with their stuff, and moving on to the next one (at least Arthur Newman can pick up some sort of award for Year’s Best Far and Away Cosplay), purely for funsies. Will they fall in love? Will they bicker? Will secrets be revealed? Come on now. Watch Artie get his groove back with the first Arthur Newman trailer, after the break.

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Rian Johnson

Writer/director Rian Johnson‘s Looper is an intricately told film. Nearly every scene in the movie is packed full of new information, from character development to world building. As Johnson explains finding that structure, it was like creating stepping stones across a pond for the audience, so they don’t fall into the pond of mind-numbing exposition. That wasn’t an easy path to make, either. Johnson spent many years developing the story from a two-page treatment to a feature length film, and much of that process was dedicated to handling all of the film’s information. After Looper‘s box office and critical success, it’s fair to say he managed with flying colors. With the movie out on Blu-ray, Johnson took some time to speak with us about the story’s mother/son dynamic, why the best science fiction has something we care deeply about at its core, and his desire to write more economically:

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commentary-looper

Rian Johnson‘s Looper is a rare film for many reasons. The only thing rarer than Hollywood committing to a mid-budget sci-fi film is one featuring an original idea not based on an existing property. Even better though, the film is unafraid to go to some very dark places with some wholly unexpected events, and the result is a rewarding experience for film goers. Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis star as young and old versions of the same character who come face to face in a fight for their separate but clearly connected lives. It’s smart, exciting and challenging in the way no big budget blockbuster could ever hope to be. Three of its key players sat down to record a commentary track for next week’s Blu-ray/DVD release, and we gave it a listen. Come along won’t you, and read what we heard…

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Garrett Hedlund

What is Casting Couch? It’s the casting news roundup that was compiled today with the help of Daft Punk musical accompaniment. You may not remember much about TRON: Legacy’s story, because other than its glowing lights and its pumping soundtrack, that 2010 sequel to Disney’s cult classic TRON was pretty dull. So, let’s refresh your memory. The movie starred Garrett Hedlund as the son of Jeff Bridges’ character from the first film. He went into the computer world, found his dad, and then there was a big battle. Remember all this? Good, because Next Movie just confirmed that Hedlund will be back for whatever TRON 3 ends up being called. Disney apparently started getting a script together for a third film just last week. This, of course, means that we’ll all now be keeping our eyes open for the real news regarding this new sequel: whether or not Daft Punk is coming back to do another soundtrack.

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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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The first look we got at Rian Johnson’s upcoming time travel action yarn, Looper, did a solid job of setting up the story and teasing the action. A curiously lantern-jawed Joseph Gordon-Levitt is playing our hero (or, at least, the closest thing we get to one), a hitman for the mob who gets paid handsomely to wait in a field that exists many years in the past, shoot the people the wise guys send back in time as soon as they wink into existence, and then dispose of the body where no future authorities can find them. The wrinkle comes when his latest clean-up job gets sent back in time and a quick locking of the eyes reveals that he’s an equally lantern-jawed version of himself from the future (Bruce Willis). What to do? The new international trailer for the film gives us a bit more of an idea of what is going to be done. Future Gordon-Levitt has come to the past with a plan. And, as you might expect out of a hitman, his plan involves killing someone. Will he be able to set everything right and fix his future, or will his past self – who’s going to be in deep trouble if he doesn’t take his future self out – stop him before he can put his plan in motion? Lots of interesting questions about destiny and how much we can control our future seem to get asked. But, more importantly, everyone involved is shooting guns […]

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Editor’s note: With Your Sister’s Sister beginning its limited roll-out this week, we thought it best to re-run Robert Levin’s sterling Sundance review of the film, already a Reject favorite. This review was originally published on January 28, 2012. Your Sister’s Sister is perhaps the most high-concept movie I saw at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, but it’s also one of the funniest and most heartfelt. Sometimes, a precise, discernible pitch really does have potential. And after this film and Humpday (in which two straight male friends decide to make an amateur porn film together), writer-director Lynn Shelton is fast establishing herself as one of the independent film world’s masters of such fare. Her new picture parallels pensive shots of the pristine, misty splendor of the Pacific Northwest with the story of three lonely, likable locals who are searching for happiness. Mark Duplass stars as the directionless Jack, struggling to cope with the recent death of his brother. Emily Blunt plays Jack’s best friend Iris, who is also his brother’s former girlfriend. To clear his head, she offers him the run of her family’s vacation home on a picturesque island off the Washington coast. Iris’s half-sister Hannah (Rosemarie DeWitt) is already there, though, looking to escape a trauma of her own: the end of a seven-year relationship. A drunken night with Jack leads to hilariously awkward sex and, eventually, serious consequences when Iris unexpectedly shows up the next day.

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Culture Warrior

Imagine what some of our most beloved romantic films would look like if they were made in the 21st century. Laura and Alec of David Lean’s Brief Encounter could have managed their secret meetups over text. Harry and Sally could have checked each others’ okcupid accounts before explaining every aspect of what they seek in a partner over a cross-country road trip. And Ilsa would never have had to get on that plane because, y’know, the war’s over. This is a fruitless endeavor, I know, but it brings one thing into light which poses both problems and opportunities for the contemporary romance film, specifically the romantic comedy: politics, economic conditions, shifting gender roles, and technological evolution means different kinds of relationships and, thus, different kinds of romantic movies. How can the 21st century romance film expect the wedding-bell-chiming happy ending to work in a society full of emerging adults who feel less and less of a need to get married? How can new romantic comedies account for the fact that today’s working professional must move constantly – putting all their human relationships at risk – in order to find a job that suits them without only making films about the uber-privileged? Will there ever be a mainstream romantic comedy featuring a non-monogomous or non-heteronormative protagonist? Several recent screen romances have attempted to tackle the changing nature of relationships – or, at least, the type of relationship typically depicted in the Hollywood romance.

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Compared to Nicholas Stoller‘s two previous films, The Five-Year Engagement has a lot going on. While his prior efforts only covered a few days, Engagement‘s timeline, if you couldn’t guess, goes well over… five years. Fitting all that time in one movie mustn’t be easy, as well as all the drama and comedy that takes place in that same period. As Stoller described the long writing process, it wasn’t easy, but life saves such as When Harry Met Sally helped him get through it, along with the help of co-writer Jason Segel.  With their dramatic comedy, the frequent collaborators took on an idea not discussed enough in love stories: that no one is ever going to be 100% perfect for you. As you’d expect from Stoller and Segel, said idea is milked for every comedic turn possible. Here’s what co-writer/director Nicholas Stoller had to say about the long writing process, why he never screams, and how the world almost got the Eminem animated show it deserved:

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The idea of beginning a romantic comedy at the moment where most others end is a potentially intriguing and promising one. What happens after the meet-cute, the courtship, the third-act conflict and ultimate reunion that leaves our happy couple smiling and in love? If The Five Year Engagement is any indication, what happens next is a slow slog peppered with rom-com conventions, supporting characters who often outshine the leads, and enough laughs to sustain a far shorter movie. When we first meet Tom (Jason Segel) and Violet (Emily Blunt) they themselves have already met, fallen in love and decided to spend the rest of their lives together. He has a great job as a chef in San Francisco, she’s awaiting an offer from UC Berkeley, and their future together looks bright. Until it doesn’t. Berkeley passes, but a school in Michigan offers her a two-year position so Tom gives up his job and the loving couple move east where she blossoms and he begins to fall apart. The wedding day gets pushed back again and again as Tom and Violet struggle to rediscover what brought them together in the first place. Hilarity ensues?

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Dynamic duo Nicholas Stoller and Jason Segel continue their tangled professional careers together in The Five-Year Engagement, unlike the last film in which the pair split writing, with Stoller directing and Segel starring, Get Him to the Greek, their new film tackles some tough stuff in name of the comedy – marriage. The film centers on Segel’s Tom and Emily Blunt‘s Violet and their stumble to the altar. From the film’s first scenes, it’s obvious that Tom and Violet are very much in love, but a series of big life events that have nothing to do with their nuptials steadily pile up until it looks as if their five-year engagement will be just that, an engagement, with no wedding at the end. In the style of Stoller and Segel’s previous works, the film is both funny and true, and the addition of Judd Apatow as producer and a cast that includes Chris Pratt, Alison Brie, Mindy Kaling, Rhys Ifans, Kevin Hart, Chris Parnell, and Brian Posehn only pumps up the film’s improv-influenced laughs. The press junket for The Five-Year Engagement was a laidback affair, and one that drove home the point that the film was a collaborative effort between people who actually like each other. Comprised of four roundtables of paired talent, your faithful Reject and a group of other online journalist spent time talking to Segel and Blunt, Nicholas Stoller and Judd Apatow, Brie and Kaling, and Parnell and Posehn. Revelations from the junket were not just confined to […]

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There are a good number of reasons to get excited for Your Sister’s Sister, not the least of which is that our own Robert Levin saw it at Sundance and ended up enjoying it quite a bit. The biggest reason to get excited today, however, is the release of the film’s trailer. Taking place in the gorgeous scenery of the Pacific Northwest, Your Sister’s Sister tells the tale of a depressed gent (Mark Duplass) who gets sent away by his best friend (Emily Blunt) to her family’s island cabin. Hijinx ensue when Blunt’s equally depressed sister (Rosemarie DeWitt) is unexpectedly already at said cabin, and some drunken sexy time commences. Drama ensues when Blunt shows up the next day, also unexpectedly, and everyone has to work through a tangled web of complex interpersonal relationships and suppressed feelings.

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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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published: 04.19.2014
A-
published: 04.19.2014
B+
published: 04.18.2014
C-
published: 04.18.2014
C

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