Guy Pearce

In Lawless, John Hillcoat has almost crafted the perfect modern Western, infusing more explicitly the gangster genre elements that always occur in the genre, but never quite so explicitly. The film follows the Bondurant brothers – Jack (Shia Labeouf), Forrest (Tom Hardy) and Howard (Jason Clarke) – rise as the most famous bootleggers in sun-dried Prohibition-era Virginia, and the government’s attempts to stop them. The government’s chief agent is Guy Pearce‘s Charlie Rakes, a flamboyant looking, but profoundly villainous Special Deputy, let off his leash when the Bondurants, lead by Hardy’s powerhouse Forrest refuse to pay a monthly toll on their illegal activities. While it may sound like an all guns-blazing, epic Prohibition-era Western, the story, adapted well from Matt Bondurant‘s historical novel by Nick Cave (who also once again offers a superlative score) focuses on human stories to add poignancy and depth to the more explosive sequences.

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The site’s most anticipated film of the summer, Prometheus, has long been kept under lock and key for sometime now. “Is it an Alien prequel or isn’t it?” Obviously, the film shares stylistic and world ties to Alien, but would we see the origin of the Xenomorph? That’s a question which remains a mystery, a big question mark that the film’s co-writer Jon Spaihts may or not have taken on with his work. The questions Spaihts, director Sir Ridley Scott, and Damon Lindelof are exploring are clear: searching for answers we should not have the answer for, what it means to be human, and the mystery of the Space Jockey. Answering some of those major questions can’t be easy, but, as Jon Spaihts put it, although Prometheus will shed light on some burning questions fandom has, it could possibly create new ones as well. Here is what screenwriter Jon Spaihts had to say about building a whole world, the thematic and visual importance of a female protagonist, and why Prometheus is more 28 Days Later than 28 Weeks Later:

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Director John Hillcoat’s (The Road) upcoming project tells the tale of a family of Depression-era bootleggers coming under the scrutiny of a crooked and cutthroat authority. It’s adapted from a Matt Bondurant novel called “The Wettest County in the World,” it was once being referred to as The Wettest County, and for some reason it’s now called Lawless – but a movie with this cast by any other name would be just as badass. The film’s first theatrical trailer has hit the net today, thanks to Yahoo! Movies, and for the first time we’re getting a glimpse of just how much fun it is to see all of these actors working together; which is a whole lot of fun indeed. First off, you’ve got Shia LaBeouf, Jason Clarke, and Tom Hardy playing the Bondurant Boys, the bootlegging trio of brothers who are, at least in some way, based off the author of the source material’s real family history. Then you’ve got Gary Oldman playing the big-time crook they’re working for, Guy Pearce playing the corrupt authority figure brought in to make sure they’re either getting shut down or giving the government their required cut of the profits, Jessica Chastain and Mia Wasikowska playing a couple of ladies they become romantically entangled with, and a whole host of grizzled-looking character actors filling out the rest of the cast of backwoods Virginia hillbillies.

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Now that The Avengers is wrapped and ready to premiere, work is moving full speed ahead on the next installment of the Marvel heroes’ saga, Iron Man 3. Though the first two Iron Man movies were made under the watch of Jon Favreau, this one is being put together by director Shane Black (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang), and if there was ever any doubt that he would be able to live up to what Favreau did with the property, the casting he’s been doing is starting to erase it. First off, Black needed a villain, so he went out and got one of the most experienced and acclaimed actors working today, Ben Kingsley, and signed him up. Now he’s in need of someone who looks good in a lab coat, so he’s gone out and gotten one of the most underrated and underutilized actors in Hollywood. According to Variety, Guy Pearce (L.A. Confidential, Memento) will be joining the likes of Kingsley, Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, and Don Cheadle in the Iron Man 3 cast, and he’ll be playing the role of geneticist Aldrich Killian.

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Stop me if you’ve heard this one before – in a future America, an important member of the First Family gets trapped in an inventive super-max prison the likes of which we’ve never seen, and the only person who can save them is a sharp-tongued criminal. Sounds pretty familiar, right? Unfortunately, James Mather and Stephen St. Leger‘s Lockout is no Escape from New York, but dammit if Guy Pearce‘s performance doesn’t hit some gleeful Snake Plissken-inspired high notes in the midst of some serious cinematic mess. Mather and St. Leger’s take (which comes from an original idea from co-writer and producer Luc Besson) on the “one man against a mega-prison” moves the action away from not just New York, but Earth itself – setting the majority of Lockout in a super prison in the sky. MS One is the first of its kind, a space prison that uses the unique advantages of its location to isolate its prisoners twofold – not only are they trapped in space, they’re also sunk into a deep stasis that should guarantee that escape is not only impossible, but also unthinkable to their conked-out brains. Unfortunately, as we’re told repeatedly, “some minds just can’t take it,” and the philanthropically-minded Emilie Warnock (Maggie Grace) has just arrived on MS One to interview some recently awoken prisoners to gauge the effects of their stasis. Emilie also happens to be the President of the United States’ only daughter, a fact that the audience knows from the get-go, even […]

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Last month was eclectic. We got Disney‘s like-it-or-hate-it box-office bomb, a sweet and violent comedy following the goons of hockey, one ass-kicking and nonstop action picture, an 80s TV show adaptation that was better than it originally had any right to be, and a Tarsem kids’ film that defied most expectations based on that horror story of a trailer. A pretty strong March, and that’s not even counting The Hunger Games. Before we head into the unpredictable summer movie season, we got 30 days filled with a plenty of excellent and probably not-so-excellent releases coming out. Here are 8 1/2 movies worth seeing this month.

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Unfortunately for this year’s WonderCon, I was only able to spend one day at the convention. When busting your cherry, convention or otherwise, it is often best to go nice and slow. While I’d have loved to get a few more hours at the convention, which moved to Anaheim, California, this year, I did more than just get my toes wet. Because it was raining. I spent the better, longer part of Saturday sitting in the massive ballroom at the Anaheim Convention Center, just down the street from Disneyland, staring up at a gigantic screen projecting clear images of actors, actresses, writers, and directors which, to my naked eye, were tiny specks about a quarter of a mile away. The panels I managed to get into included Lockout, Battleship, The Amazing Spider-Man, and Resident Evil: Retribution, so let’s all take a look together at the joyous cinematic wonders they had to show!

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This has to be one of the more cooler and inventive pieces of viral marketing in quite sometime. With Prometheus less than four months away from hopefully blowing our feeble minds, we’re still slightly in the dark on Alien prequel. The teaser relied on atmospheric “Holy hell!” visuals, while this viral video actually gives insight into one of the film’s characters, Peter Weyland, of Weyland Industries. Guy Pearce‘s role has been one of the production’s best kept secrets since he joined the project, but now we know he’ll be one of the core links to the Alien franchise. If you recall, Weyland’s company plays a big part in the Alien mythology. Prometheus writer Damon Lindelof wrote this short and Ridley Scott served as a supervisor. Hopefully we’ll be getting more of these from Weyland Industries. Watch it after the break.

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Guy Pearce in Lock-Out

The teaser trailer for the upcoming Guy Pearce vehicle Lockout (formerly Lock-Out) gave us a glimpse at the rogue charm Pearce has mustered up in the lead role, but it didn’t let us in on much of what the movie is actually about. The new full-length trailer over at IGN gives us a bit more of that Pearce sass, but it also lays out pretty much the whole plot. Some of my favorite movies ever take multiple genres and blend them together. Sometimes blending genres creates a tonally weird mess (Cowboys & Aliens), but when you do it right you create something fresh and new out of used parts (Serenity), and it seems like Lockout has some potential to do the latter.

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It turns out there’s a Nicolas Cage movie out there that is ready to be watched, but has been sitting on the shelf waiting for distribution. Why there haven’t been alarm bells sounding, protests happening in the streets, and 24/7 coverage from media outlets the entire time this atrocity was occurring is beyond me, but apparently we can all stop (not) panicking. Deadline Lomita is reporting that Cage’s next film, Seeking Justice (once known as The Hungry Rabbit Jumps), has been acquired by Anchor Bay and is set for a U.S. release on March 16th of next year. Let’s all take a moment to silently thank Anchor Bay. (Thanks, Anchor Bay.) News of a new Nic Cage movie is usually reason for celebration enough, no matter what the particulars of the project are, but this time there’s another big reason why I’ve now got Seeking Justice’s release date circled on my calendar with a big red heart. In this Roger Donaldson-directed thriller, Cage plays a mild-mannered teacher whose life changes when his wife is brutally assaulted. While that sounds awfully bleak, the good news here is that January Jones is playing the wife. That’s right, the man who’s never met a chance to overact he didn’t like and the stone-faced creep who’s never experienced a human emotion will be playing a married couple on the big screen. The results should be like a car crash being interrupted by a train wreck all while a woman breast feeds in public: I […]

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Guy Pearce is one of those actors you keep hoping will become a big star. The man’s been in some fantastic films (Memento, LA Confidential, The Proposition) and almost always gives a stellar performance no matter the size of the role or quality of the movie. But for some reason he’s never quite taken off the way he deserves. Not that he’s been hard up for work… he appeared in HBO’s much-lauded miniseries Mildred Pierce earlier this year and per IMDB has twelve upcoming projects in various stages of development including Ridley Scott’s highly anticipated Prometheus. But before he stars in the alien movie that has absolutely nothing to do with Alien, he’s heading to a far lower profile region of space. Lock-Out is about a convicted criminal (Pearce) who’s given a singular chance at freedom if he can rescue the President’s daughter from the middle of a space station prison riot. The film is the feature directorial debut of James Mather and Stephen St. Leger who also co-wrote the script with the busiest man in France, Luc Besson, so you know if nothing else there’s going to be some fun, logic-free action. The short description makes it sound like the sequel to Escape From New York we should have gotten instead of the abysmal one we did. Check out the teaser trailer below.

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Typically, release date information isn’t the most important of news, but when it comes to John Hillcoat’s latest project, a star-packed adaptation of a book ripe for a cinematic telling, all bets are off. Hillcoat lensed The Wettest County in the World, from Matt Bondurant’s fact-based tale of his very own grandfather and two of his granduncles and their moonshine-running exploits in Prohibition-era Virginia, earlier this spring, and rumors once held that we’d see it this December, but that’s just not the case. The Weinstein Company picked the film up back during this year’s Cannes Film Festival, but they won’t have the time or inclination to get it into theaters until April 20, 2012. The film is crammed with a murderer’s row of talent, from the firmly established (Gary Oldman, Guy Pearce) to the up-and-coming (Jason Clarke, Jessica Chastain, Dane DeHaan, Mia Wasikowska) to the hot properties looking to expand their resumes (Shia LaBeouf , Tom Hardy). Hardy, Clarke, and LaBeouf star as the three bootlegging Bondurant brothers, who attempt to hold their family business together through threats that include the law, other bootleggers, and love. While the book itself is a bit dry, the tale of the Bondurants is inherently cinematic, and under Hillcoat’s watch (and with a script from his The Proposition scribe, the ever-talented Nick Cave), Wettest County should prove to be an accomplished and thrilling slice of Americana. [BoxOfficeMojo, The Playlist]

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Editor’s Note: This article will be updated in real time as the winners come in during the Primetime Emmys broadcast. Winners will be highlighted in bold and you can check out the winners that were already announced at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards. The very first Emmy Award was given to a ventriloquist named Shirley Dinsdale who worked with a puppet called Judy Splinters. Is that significant? Of course it is. That fact coupled with the design of the award itself – a woman holding an atom – represent the true heart of television’s most significant celebration: artistic inspiration, scientific technology, and wooden humanoids that only talk with a hand shoved up their back. Ponder that while you bask in the glory of the victorious. Here are the winners of the 2011 Primetime Emmy Awards.

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr moved into an old, creepy house with the wife of an uber-famous movie star. But then she started hearing voices in the walls, so he bailed on that noise and found a new main squeeze. She turned out to be a full-blown psychotic assassin bent on revenge and blood. The plus side is that she was the spitting image of Zoe Saldana, so Kevin thought it might be worth the risk. This, of course, did not end well, but he considered himself lucky because he didn’t have to sit through Our Idiot Brother. Oh, and apparently Transformers: The Dark of the Moon is returning to IMAX screens… but does anyone care about that at all?

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It’s been hyped up, hotly anticipated and pushed hard by the big name behind it, but at the end of the day Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark is just not that scary. Sure, Troy Nixey’s haunted house movie — co-produced and co-scripted by Guillermo Del Toro — has the high end bonafides, revealed in the sumptuous wood-paneled mansion setting and the patient, operatic camera movements. It’s got the eerie historical aura, the tortured child and the expressionistic rendition of shadowy figures creeping through the darkness. But when this remake of a popular made-for-TV movie from 1973 finally shows all its cards, you wonder what you’ve missed. There’s a serious disconnect between the highfalutin atmospherics and the nitty- gritty sloppiness of the premise, a sort of People Under the Stairs for rich white New Englanders. Reliant on the timeless “boo” effect and the hint of something deeper and sinister, the film basically offers one long, drawn out exercise in scaring the pants off a pre-teen.

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!Commentary Commentary weekly your to back Welcome See what I did there? This week, we’re hitting up one of the finest pieces of cinema in the last 15 years and hearing from the uber-intelligent man behind it. The film? Memento. The director? Christopher Nolan. In this commentary, you’ll uncover mysteries, technique, and styles the filmmaker put into one of his several masterworks. What you won’t be getting is any information on Dark Knight Rises. Sorry, but me just including that title here ensured 54 more hits. It’s a proven fact. So, without further ado, here is what I learned from listening to Christopher Nolan’s commentary track on Memento. In addition, I also learned a thing or two about my own short-term memory problems. Yeah, I have some trouble remembering things. Like that time I took a picture of Joe Pantoliano’s corpse. See what I did there? This week, we’re hitting up one of the finest pieces of…Oh, never mind!

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It was pretty clear from the Prometheus Comic-Con footage that there are more ties to Alien than the film makers are letting on. Whether or not it deals with the Xenomorphs is still up in the air, but the look of the film clearly fits into that universe. Bleak, beautiful, and epic were all adjectives that came to mind while watching the brief footage. This is a pure sci-fi horror film. While it may be PG-13, and I’m betting it will be, that may not matter all that much. As writer Damon Lindelof says below, this is a film that relies heavily on atmosphere. The story also deals with the obvious: playing God. The title alone gives you a big hint as to what the film is about. The tale of Prometheus tells the story of man stealing fire from the Gods. Here, it’s about man searching for answers to questions they probably should not be looking for. Here’s what writer Damon Lindelof had to say about fusing his own sensibilities with Ridley’s, making a hopeful horror movie, and writing distinct women:

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Guy Pearce is really good at playing assholes. He can do the nice guy thing or the conflicted hero as well, but I love me some Pearce in a-hole mode. Earlier this year in the fantastic Mildred Pierce, he got to play one of the most charming emasculated men in recent screen history. In The King’s Speech, he was a snotty old brother all about having a good ‘ol time. So what does the smooth talker from Mildred Pierce and the jerk brother from The King’s Speech have in common? Humility. Pearce is not one to let a human character be a monster for no understandable reason. He’s also not interested in having pure distaste for the character’s skin he’s inhabiting. In the (finally) upcoming Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, he’s filling the shoes of the neglectful father. While Pearce doesn’t view him as an asshole, that’s the word that kept popping up in my head when the personable actor was describing him. Here’s what the actor had to say about playing un-nice guys, the Memento Effect, his banter with Nicolas Winding Refn, trusting directors, and working with hard-boiled dialog:

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This summer seems light on one thing: horror movies. While there is the surprisingly awesome looking Fright Night remake coming out, that looks to be far more interested in being fun and cool, rather than moody and intense. Where are the creepy horror films this season? There seems to be none this summer… except one that’s been flying under the radar for far too long: Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark. The Troy Nixey directed, Guillermo del Toro produced family vs. monsters film has taken its sweet time getting to the big screen, but come August, we’ll finally get a true horror film for the summer.

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No, not Jay Sherman’s genius but misunderstood short film from that episode of The Critic. I’m talking about the let’s-just-start-calling-it-an-Alien-prequel that’s currently in production under director Ridley Scott. The rumor that Pearce may have a role in the project was originally broke by CHUD who received an email that looked something like this: “Evening Nick, my mate is working on Prometheus as OMITTED and met Guy Pierce on set today. She’s previously worked on OMITTED, OMITTED and OMITTED and I’ve no reason to believe she’s lying. I’ve not read anywhere about Guy being cast so thought it might interest you.“ That was a wonderful rumor, but not quite something that looked like a concrete story. But, following up on the story, The Playlist has managed to confirm with Pearce’s reps that he is indeed working on this new look-it’s-got-something-to-do-with-Alien-alright project. What this means is that Pearce will be joining a cast that is already full of buzzworthy and super talented names like Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, Charlize Theron, Idris Elba, Sean Harris, Kate Dickie, Rafe Spall and Logan Marshall-Green. Despite the fact that this is in at least some ways one of those dreaded prequels, could we be looking at the most relevant and potentially good thing that Scott has made in a long time? I’m going to go ahead and say “yes.” Opinion to be confirmed at a later date.

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