Ewan McGregor

Don Cheadle for Miles Davis biopic

More than two years ago, we thought Don Cheadle‘s passion project, a Miles Davis biopic titled Miles Ahead, would be coming soon. Well, it’s finally about to begin shooting, and the aim is for a 2015 release. It’s not surprising that it’s taking so long. As Cheadle said when we quoted him in that old post, “This is the kind of movie the business 10 years ago may have leapt at. But now, you don’t really see movies like this.” Apparently there’s still not a lot of leaping going on, so the project has gone to the people for help. This week, the production launched a flexible crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo with a goal of $325k, which is only the part of the budget that Cheadle isn’t putting in himself. And in only two days, they’ve made a quarter of that. Cheadle, who will be starring as the legendary musician and making his directorial debut with the film, appears in two videos so far on the campaign’s page. In the first, a normal intro and call for help, he talks about his passion for the project and why it actually makes sense that a movie about Davis should have this sort of social element. You can also see him practice a bit on the trumpet after talking about the musical involvement of Herbie Hancock and Robert Glasper and a soundtrack comprised of modern artists such as (possibly) Jay-Z, Skrillex, Kendrick Lamar, Dr. Dre and Nas. In the second video, posted today as […]

read more...

Danny Boyle and Leonardo DiCaprio For The Beach

The last time we saw Leonardo DiCaprio in a Danny Boyle movie, he was in an internet cafe checking his email. That wouldn’t be such a striking image in most movies, but it is in The Beach, a feature released in 2000 in which the actor spends most of the running time in a secret, self-sustaining Southeast Asia island utopia. And now it’s an interesting place for the actor and director to have left off because, according to The Hollywood Reporter, their next collaboration is probably going to involve a lot computers, and there will likely also be a very significant piece of the movie set in 2000, which is when Apple began work on a little something called iTunes. Yeah, that’s right, this reunion will be for the Steve Jobs biopic written by Aaron Sorkin that David Fincher recently departed. Cue the photoshops of Leo in a black turtleneck. Wait, never mind, there’s the one taken by Terry Richardson for GQ right over here.

read more...

jeditruth-1

One of my favorite movie series of all time is the Star Wars films. Yes, even the prequels. I’m sure whatever happens with the upcoming sequels, they will make the list, too. I’m an shameless fanboy when it comes to this series, and I can forgive a lot – from Greedo shooting first to Jar Jar Binks. Since I was a child, seeing the original Star Wars at the tender age of five, I have loved the series. My youthful mind always wished I could be a Jedi Knight myself. Now, I know that’s impossible because I certainly don’t have nearly enough midi-chlorians in my blood for that. In fact, it was a relief for me to learn this plot patch when I saw The Phantom Menace because by watching the original trilogy as a child, it seemed so easy to train to be a Jedi Knight. Going back and watching that original trilogy again, it got me thinking: Just how long does it take to complete Jedi Knight training?

read more...

Ewan McGregor

If nothing else, the making of Jane Got a Gun just might make one hell of a documentary one day. The latest news on the plagued Western is that Ewan McGregor is now negotiating to play the essential villain role in the film. Yes, that’s the role that has, at one point or another, been occupied by Joel Edgerton (who is now playing the good guy of the film), Jude Law, and Bradley Cooper, in (very) short order. Hopefully this McGregor casting will stick and the production can get a move on and actually turn into a feature film we can all watch one day, instead of just chronicling it as a cautionary tale in the fickle world of Hollywood. The film is still set to be directed by Gavin O’Connor, with producer Natalie Portman sticking to her guns as the eponymous Jane, a tough farm wife who must defend her home against a band of (hopefully) McGregor-led outlaws intent on killing her criminal husband (Noah Emmerich) who eventually enlists the help of a former lover (Edgerton) to protect her life and livelihood. Yeehaw and such. [Deadline Hollywood]

read more...

commentary-theimpossible

Some films labeled as Oscar bait actually go on to win Oscars, but others simply get shunned for their supposed efforts to manipulate audiences. Sadly, Juan Antonia Bayona‘s The Impossible fell into the latter category. The film follows a vacationing family caught up in the 2004 tsunami that devastated coastal areas in Thailand, Indonesia and elsewhere, killing over 230,000 people in the process. The family’s experience is brought to immediate life through powerful performances and Bayona’s dedication to crafting terrifyingly realistic sequences. The film attracted criticism for casting Ewan McGregor and Naomi Watts as part of a “whitewashing” of the true story, but that’s just people being willfully ignorant and missing the point of the film altogether. Instead the takeaway should simply be that this is a story of love, loss, hope and the realization that there is no guarantee of a tomorrow. Keep reading to see what I learned from the commentary track for The Impossible.

read more...

Trainspotting

Seeing as Irvine Welsh, the author of the “Trainspotting” novel, wrote a sequel to his well-regarded story about Scottish heroin addicts called “Porno” back in 2002, it’s always seemed like something of a possibility that Danny Boyle, the guy who directed the Trainspotting film, could get his crew of actors back together and shoot it as a sequel. There have always been concerns that have kept that from happening though; namely the fact that Boyle had a pretty public falling out with his Trainspotting star, Ewan McGregor, and the worry that “Porno” the novel isn’t really as good as “Trainspotting,” (so it might not be worth making into a movie). While talking to The Playlist, Boyle has revealed that he’s always wanted to make a Trainspotting sequel anyway, so he’s going to try to shoot for getting one into theaters in 2016, which would make it in time to celebrate the 20 year anniversary of the first film’s 1996 release. But what about all of those pesky concerns about “Porno” not really having what it takes to make for a good movie, and McGregor not really being so fond of Boyle anymore? Don’t worry, the director has them addressed.

read more...

Ewan McGregor Family Style

Short Starts presents a weekly short film from the start of a filmmaker or actor’s career.  Twenty years ago, a young Ewan McGregor began his acting career with a short film made for Channel 4 called Family Style. The 11-minute, black and white effort was also the directorial debut of Justin Chadwick, whose latest, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, was just acquired for distribution by The Weinstein Co. Back in 1993, McGregor still had long hair, a look you’ll find familiar if you’ve seen Shallow Grave, and was far from being a great actor. His crying scene in Family Style is pretty awful. But look at what two decades does for a guy, going from a breakthrough role in Trainspotting to portraying a young Obi-Wan Kenobi and working with Woody Allen, Baz Luhrman, Peter Greenaway, Todd Haynes, Tim Burton, Ridley Scott, Ron Howard, Steven Soderbergh and Roman Polanski, earning two Golden Globe nominations… And now co-starring in a big budget, live-action adaptation of Jack and the Beanstalk (Jack the Giant Slayer). 

read more...

Ray Liotta

What is Casting Couch? It’s the casting column that lives on because Kate Erbland was goodly enough to step in and keep it going for a couple days. Let’s all thank Kate. Thanks, Kate. Usually when movies are already filmed it means that their casting process has been completed. Not so for a Robert Rodriguez film, though. This guy does pretty much every job on his sets and relies on studio assistance for very little, which allows him to play by his own rules and march to the beat of his own drummer. Sometimes that opportunity for flexibility can result in movies that feel like they’ve been slapped together by a madman, but sometimes it leads to a movie being able to make amazing last minute additions, like how his in-production Sin City sequel just added Ray Liotta, Juno Temple, and Jeremy Piven to its already-stacked cast. Indiewire isn’t sure which characters they’re going to be playing, but probably that doesn’t matter much. Liotta and Piven always just play themselves, and Temple, well…she can do anything she wants.

read more...

Screen Shot 2012-12-19 at 10.19.58 PM

J.A. Bayona’s film The Impossible is based on the true story of a Spanish family who survived the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami as they were taking a Christmas vacation at a Thailand resort. We know from real life and from the film’s trailer that the whole family survives, and while separated by the disaster, eventually find their way back to each other – so giving that piece of information away in this review isn’t a spoiler, per se. And the film doesn’t hinge on that piece of information, it’s more concerned with the power of each family members’ individual wills to find each other and survive until they do. The film features some great acting performances, though its direction is sometimes a mixed bag of manipulative melodrama and suspenseful moments of dread. Changed from a Spanish to an English family in the film, the Bennetts are a well-off family living in Japan. Henry (Ewan McGregor) is a businessman whose job is perhaps in jeopardy and his wife Maria (Naomi Watts) is a doctor who has taken some time off to raise their three sons, Lucas (Tom Holland), Thomas (Samuel Joslin), and Simon (Oaklee Pendergast). They try to set all family tensions aside as they take a family vacation to an exclusive resort in Thailand for Christmas. When spending some time poolside one afternoon, the tsunami suddenly strikes, leaving a severely injured Maria with Lucas, and Henry with the youngest two children. The film nearly occurs in two sections: the first […]

read more...

Aural Fixation - Large

It is devastating whenever something tragic and unexpected happens, but when tragedy hits during the holidays, normally a time of celebration and good cheer, the impact seems even greater. As a nation, we know this feeling all too well due to the recent events in Connecticut, but this was sadly not the first time an unthinkable event occurred during a time when people are usually focusing on giving thanks and looking back over the year. In 2004, a deadly tsunami hit the coast of South East Asia, demolishing buildings, land, and people caught in its path. While this kind of natural event is much different than the harm caused by a person, the emotions related to suddenly losing, or being separated from, loved ones become the universal tenants of these awful situations. The images and stories that came out in the wake of this tsunami spoke for themselves, but The Impossible adds a personal touch by taking audiences inside the experience through the real life story of a family who was vacationing over the holidays in Thailand when the unthinkable struck and their lives were forever changed. The idea of a family being physically separated by powers beyond their control is enough to bring out one’s emotions and get your pulse racing which makes the task of a composer, in this case Fernando Velázquez, all the more daunting because music is not necessary to conjure up the emotions being felt and displayed on screen.

read more...

Jack the Giant Killer

How many people out there in the world have Jack the Giant Slayer as their most anticipated movie of 2013? With the exception of maybe Bryan Singer‘s mother — and that’s a big maybe — probably not many. That’s most likely due to the film’s nonexistent buzz. The first trailer landed with a major thud, so major I still recall the awkward dead silence and indifference towards it at a screening. Shortly after that trailer dropped, the movie lost its summer 2012 release date. Months later the movie received even more disheartening news. After Digital Domain hit hard times, word started to spread the project was in such bad shape employees were calling it “Jack The Company Killer.” Hopefully in the time since all this news broke, some serious measures have been taken. Sadly, this new trailer would lead us to believe otherwise. Apple premiered it, since Warner Bros. wanted to show off how wonderful these CG giants appear in high-definition:

read more...

The Impossible

The ocean is a beautiful and terrifying body of nature that can both entice and trap. Anyone who has been caught in a riptide or had an unexpected wave suddenly crash over their heads knows the power of the ocean, and the fear it can cause if it overtakes you. When the tsunami hit Southeast Asia in 2004, we all saw the devastation that disaster caused to the area and heard about the lives lost and families torn apart because of it. Based on a true story, The Impossible goes a step further and actually takes us into the experience through the eyes of a family on an idyllic vacation that suddenly gets turned on its head. Maria (Naomi Watts) and Henry (Ewan McGregor) have traveled to Thailand with their three sons Lucas (Tom Holland), Simon (Oaklee Pendergast), and Thomas (Samuel Joslin) to spend the Christmas holiday at a luxurious resort making their biggest question whether they want to swim in the resort’s pool or the nearby ocean. The day after Christmas the entire family is out by the pool, playing and relaxing, when the tsunami hits, proving to be as unexpected as it is relentless.

read more...

McGregor and Hudson

Okay, so maybe claiming that Kate Hudson has an anti-charm is a bit unfair. But, generally, if you hear that a movie is going to star Ewan McGregor, even if it sounds a little stupid, your general reaction is going to be, “well, at least Ewan McGregor is in it.” And when you hear that a movie is going to star Kate Hudson, even if it looks promising, your general reaction is going to be, “well, Kate Hudson picked the script, so clearly it’s got to be awful.” What then to expect from this new romantic comedy, Born to Be King, now that McGregor is attached to star and Hudson is negotiating to be his co-star? Seeing as the film was written and is to be directed by Peter Capaldi, an actor-turned-director who hasn’t had much experience making features (he made Strictly Sinatra is 2001), it’s hard to make a prediction on which actor’s track record will take precedence based on the filmmaker’s past work. It appears we have to move on to plot synopsis to try and make a judgment. According to the Variety article that broke the news of McGregor and Hudson’s casting, Born to Be King is about an extra on a film set (McGregor) who looks uncannily like a big star stumbling into a romance with a starlet (Hudson) who is said to be at war with her co-star.

read more...

Culture Warrior

When the trailer for Juan Antonio Bayona’s The Impossible debuted on the web – an upcoming holiday release starring Ewan McGregor and Naomi Watts as the parents of a living-comfy British family vacationing in southeast Asia in 2004 when the Indian Ocean Tsunami hit – it caused quite a stir. Nathan Adams referred to the trailer as “melodramatic,” and our comments section was abuzz with seasoned FSR writers and readers alike assessing the merits of a film about a real-life natural disaster that devastated the lives of countless people in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and India which focuses instead on a white, ostensibly wealthy British family on holiday. David Haglund of Slate called the trailer “deeply troubling” and “horribly misjudged,” going so far as to say that, out of the hundreds of thousands of lives adversely affected by the tragedy, …The Impossible is, so far as one can tell from this trailer, about the uplifting story of five, well-off white people. Which is not to say that the lives of well-off white people don’t matter. But movies like this one create the unmistakable and morally repugnant impression that their lives matter more. The whitewashing of the silver screen has been proven to be an issue that is neither small nor unfamiliar when it comes to the enterprise of Hollywood representation. As Cole Abaius pointed out in a recent editorial, one of the more ironic repercussions of a globalized Hollywood economy dependent upon foreign sales is that Hollywood studios are still hesitant to […]

read more...

One of the most reliable ways we’ve devised of making sure a movie will be affecting, engaging, and able to jerk tears out of its audience members is to base its story off of a real life tragedy. And, in the 2004 Indonesian tsunami, direct Juan Antonio Bayona (The Orphanage) has picked himself a doozy of a tragedy to set his latest film, The Impossible, during. The tsunami, which was generated by a massive earthquake off the coast of Sumatra on December 26 of that year, caused massive damage in 11 countries, killing 150,000 people and leaving millions more homeless in the blink of an eye. The Impossible takes a look at how one family (made up of Ewan McGregor, Naomi Watts, and three young boys) gets unexpectedly swept up into the destruction, find themselves separated, and have to try desperately to find their way back to one another.

read more...

As Hollywood continues its recovery from the hellfire that was Comic-Con, we’re getting inundated with news that falls under the “clean up” category – news like release dates and 84 new pictures from The Dark Knight Rises. Not content to let DreamWorks and Fox Searchlight steal all of today’s incredible exciting release date-setting thunder, Lionsgate has finally given a date to J.A. Bayona‘s The Impossible. The Naomi Watts- and Ewan McGregor-starring drama about a family surviving the 2004 tsunami will hit New York and Los Angeles on December 21st. The film was made back in 2010 and, since then, fans of Bayona (The Orphanage) have been eagerly anticipating his take on the tragedy. However, this December release date will pit the film against such big openers as Jack Reacher, This Is 40, and Kathryn Bigelow’s next. It will also have to contend with openers from the week before, like The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and Les Miserables. What a cheery holiday! After the break, take a look at a stunning, stirring Spanish teaser for the film.

read more...

Kevin Carr

This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr dresses up in his Jedi robes and grabs his lightsaber, heading to the theater to see the 3D re-release of Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace. While there, he faces a sea of estrogen as ladies of all type swarm into the multiplex to see Channing Tatum’s abs multiflex. After using his lightsaber to break through the wall of pre-Valentine’s Day ladies, he faces more obstacles with twentysomething dudes heading out to see Safe House and obnoxious families to see Journey 2: The Mysterious Island. Fortunately for Kevin, he is able to dispatch everyone with his Rock-inspired “pec pop of love.” It was an early Valentine’s Day massacre.

read more...

Perfect Sense is a bad, misleading, and laughable title. With the premise and that eye-rolling title, you’d expect it to be a shoddy romantic comedy, one about people coming to love each other when all else goes to hell. “When everyone’s losing their senses, we’re doing something that makes…Perfect Sense! Get it?” Yes, all around cringe-worthy, but, thankfully, the actual film is not. Set in the magical and wet land of Glasgow, director David Mackenzie‘s chronicles both the multiple destructions and reconstructions of the world and a relationship. Michael (Ewan McGregor) is a charming and scruffy cook who’s lucky enough to have someone who looks like Susan, played by Eva Green, live right next door to his workplace. Both being the two good-looking people that they are, the obvious consequences come about: they fall in love, just as an epidemic begins to eat away at the world.

read more...

Reel Sex

As we approach Valentine’s Day (yes, it’s just a few weeks away) I think it’s only fitting that the topic of romance come into play in anticipation of the day meant to celebrate all things feelings. I’m not sure about you, but I have actually never celebrated Valentine’s Day with a loved one not related to me. Instead I spend the day (or week) loading up on conversational hearts, Reese’s Peanut Butter cups, and a collection of melodramas so depressing I become skeptical that love can actually end in anything but death. Regardless of my tendency to eat my feelings while crying over the tragic love found in Douglas Sirk films, I do enjoy happy love stories and tend to pair the sadder movies with some of my must-have romances. In honor of the big V-Day, I’d like to share my favorite 14 romantic scenes and also open it up the floor to hear your suggestions. Today is my bottom seven romantic scenes, and next week we’ll post the remainder. I like to keep you all on tenterhooks.

read more...

Both last month and this month are shaping up to prove that this time of the year doesn’t only serve as a dumping ground for Mark Wahlberg action movies and another indistinguishable Katherine Heigl horror movie. So far we’re off to a great start for 2012, and I sure hope it continues that way. With another Heigl rom-com nowhere in sight, I believe we’re all clear for now. Honorable Mentions: Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (got terrible buzz out of Butt-numb-a-thon, but it’s still got Ciarán Hinds, one of the best actors around, playing the devil) and Chronicle (apparently it’s better than it looks).

read more...
NEXT PAGE  
Some movie websites serve the consumer. Some serve the industry. At Film School Rejects, we serve at the pleasure of the connoisseur. We provide the best reviews, interviews and features to millions of dedicated movie fans who know what they love and love what they know. Because we, like you, simply love the art of the moving picture.
Comic-Con 2014
Summer Box Office Prediction Challenge
Got a Tip? Send it here:
editors@filmschoolrejects.com
Publisher:
Neil Miller
Managing Editor:
Scott Beggs
Associate Editors:
Rob Hunter
Kate Erbland
Christopher Campbell
All Rights Reserved © 2006-2014 Reject Media, LLC | Privacy Policy | Design & Development by Face3