James Franco

Rant Hardcover

It’s unfortunate that each new announcement of a Chuck Palahniuk book being optioned for production has become a ritual in heart-protecting restraint, but after several dozen attempts to bring all of his novels to the big screen, it’s hard to take anything without a salt block handy. Except when James Franco is involved. Which he is. Say what you will about his talent, the guy gets shit done. So there’s a kernel of hope for “Rant” to do what most others couldn’t do. According to Deadline, Franco is producing while Adderall Diaries director Pamela Romanowsky will write and direct. It’s highly likely that Franco will take the lead role of Buster “Rant” Casey — a figure living in a future dystopia where classism has divided the population by curfews. Casey is a “Nighttimer,” part of the oppressed class, who participates in an elaborate urban racing game where the goal is to slam your car into other cars for points (and for the transcendent feeling you get from the jarring motion). He’s also got a thing for spider bites.

read more...

Kink Movie

Out this weekend in New York City, Kink seeks to tell the behind-the-scenes story of Kink.com, a successful fetish website that trades in pornography where people let themselves go by being tied up. If the little hairs are starting to stand up, just wait until you get a load of a trailer filled with super sexy talking heads speaking with dry maturity about orgasmic necessities and liking what they do. Also, there’s going to be a lot of moaning. They really, really like what they do. The film comes from director Christina Voros, who has done a large amount of camera and cinematography work in only a little under a decade. She’s now a go-to DP for James Franco’s projects (As I Lay Dying, Child of God, Maladies), and he’s also a producer on her sexploratory project here. Check out the trailer for yourself, and make sure your office door is closed.

read more...

The-Interview-Skylark-Tonight-MTV-Special-Iggy-Azalea

Remember the movie Rubin and Ed? If not, maybe you at least remember when Crispin Glover appeared on Late Night with David Letterman in character as his role as Rubin. That was the time the actor nearly kicked the talk show host in the face. The problem there was partly that Letterman didn’t know what was going on. Also, neither Rubin and Ed nor Glover were familiar enough to warrant such a stunt or for that sort of promotion to work in their favor. Years later, Joaquin Phoenix drew comparisons to Glover when he appeared on Letterman’s Late Show acting strangely. It turned out he was also in character, albeit for a project then still in the works rather than as a promotional stunt. Well, actually it sort of worked as that, too, but either way it wasn’t helpful in wooing audiences to the movie involved, I’m Still Here. Both that and Rubin and Ed were box office failures. As was The Love Guru, which stars Mike Myers as a goofy spiritual guide. He tried to boost interest in the comedy by appearing on American Idol as the character, Maurice Pitka. Such a gimmick is also harmful to the integrity of the show that allows it — particularly if it’s a show that’s not interview or otherwise publicity based — but it can be especially damaging to the movie being promoted. Usually it’s a case of the stunt falling flat rather than the conception of the stunt itself, and the Pitka character was […]

read more...

Well Go USA Entertainment

Early on, Child of God signals to you how it’s going to go about its business. Main character Lester Ballard (Scott Haze) abruptly stops his foraging in the woods to pull down his drawers, squat, go to the bathroom and use a stick to wipe his rear. All in plain view of the camera. This movie is going to literally show you shit… and much worse. The story goes on to include sexual assault, murder, the mutilation of corpses, and necrophilia, none of which the audience is spared from witnessing. That right there is likely to tell you whether or not you’ll be at all interested in watching this film. I’ll understand if you lose all interest, though this graphic ugliness comes hand in hand with some truly great artistry. I know it’s a cliche for a critic to praise explicit, difficult work as “artistic.” I doubt that the debate over the value of smashing taboos will ever be settled. The best we can expect is that people become inured to what they previously never dared to look at or talk about, only for new unspeakables to come into vogue. Or maybe we’ll develop into a society without limits. I’d be interested to see what that looked like. But for now, there are certain things that we are conditioned from birth not to talk about or look at too much, and it can be incredibly uncomfortable when an artist forces us to do so (and I think that, the way cinema works, there is an […]

read more...

Rise of the Planet of the Apes

A planet where apes evolved from men? Well, not exactly, if you follow the film versions of the Planet of the Apes series. Based somewhat on the fourth film in the series Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (1972), Rise of the Planet of the Apes tells the story of how tinkering with genetic make-up of a species might just lead to humanity’s demise. Rise of the Planet of the Apes re-rebooted the more-than 40-year-old franchise and sets the stage for the much buzzed about Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (we liked it a lot). It also gave an opportunity to show the nuance and artistry involved in performance capture, courtesy of Weta Digital and Andy Serkis For its initial Blu-ray and DVD release, director Rupert Wyatt sat down with his film and talked about the production in his stand-alone commentary. Along with some gushing over James Franco and an answer to the greatest meme of 2011 (“Why cookie rocket?”), Wyatt examines the technical side of the film as well as the performances for both human and non-human characters.

read more...

Columbia Pictures

What better way is there to usher in a nuclear holocaust than with Seth Rogen talking about poop? Because Rogen and James Franco have apparently decided that making a movie about a fictional apocalypse was kid stuff. With their newest film, The Interview, they’re basically goading America’s enemies into starting World War Three. A bad idea? Yeah, probably. Will it be funny? Yeah, probably. So hold your loved ones close and prepare for a fart, a chuckle and then the abrupt fiery destruction of all mankind. Franco plays Dave Skylark, an extremely popular and extremely shallow talk show host, with Rogen as his steadfast producer. They discover that Kim Jong-un is, for whatever reason, a fan of their show, and manage to secure an interview with the big man around Pyongyang. But right before they can head out for a little Dennis Rodman-style diplomacy, they get a few visitors from the CIA. Who say, in so many words, “Hey dudes, love the interview idea. Oh, while you’re there, could you be a sport and murder Kim for us? Thanks!” Take a look at the fallout with the first trailer of The Interview below.

read more...

The Disaster Artist

We’ve already determined that the cinematic marriage of James Franco and The Disaster Artist, actor Greg Sestero‘s account of whatever the hell happened during the making of Tommy Wiseau‘s infamously bad (and infamously beloved) The Room is a match made in weirdo heaven and, quite frankly, we didn’t expect that any other bit of news about the film would delight us more than that Franco teaming. Unless, of course, there was another Franco teaming involved. Yup, The Disaster Artist isn’t going to start just one Franco — it will now star two. 3News reports (via The Film Stage) that James Franco’s own baby brother (and current comedic rising star) Dave Franco will also star in the film, playing the Greg Sestero (and reportedly the true lead of the feature) to James’ Tommy Wiseau. Could this possibly get even more weirdly perfect?

read more...

James Franco in Interior Leather Bar

If there’s anyone who doesn’t need more exposure, it’s James Franco. But don’t tell that to Lisa Vangellow, an unknown director (and former MFA student of Franco’s when she was at UCLA) who The Wrap reports has been shooting a documentary on the prolific actor since last June. And to give it a little more professional cred, it’s being cut by Franco’s own editor for his upcoming movie Bukowski, Curtiss Clayton (also of Drugstore Cowboy, Buffalo ’66 and much more). For the film, which is simply titled Franco. A Documentary, Vangellow is said to have received access to Franco’s family and friends, including Seth Rogen. It could be revealing, but it could also be pretty standard and rather complimentary fare — even if it’s not always flattering, because anything unflattering would probably still be a conscious effort on Franco’s part, to make him seem more “real.” That’s why I thought it would be fun to look at how Franco could be influenced by other films in order to be something a little more interesting than this project sounds so far.

read more...

James Franco in Good People

James Franco has been having a rough go of it lately. After a few months that included flirting with a 17-year-old girl over Instagram, releasing some naked selfies on the internet and playing a soccer coach who has an affair with one of his students, now it seems that Franco’s latest role has him getting in a whole new type of trouble. Can’t a man catch a break? As the first trailer for Henrik Ruben Genz‘s Good People so generously explains, Franco and his wife, Kate Hudson, aren’t having such a nice time. While they’re deeply in love, money don’t pay the bills. Their move to London to renovate a family home sees them falling further and further into debt, as someone forgot to tell them that it’s actually at least number two on the hella expensive cities of the world list. Their cruise through bummertown (population: two) continues when the tenant blasting insanely loud music downstairs turns out to be dead (then who was blasting the music? Who was blasting the music???), and dead enough to be stinking up the place. Like dead, dead. It’s almost a silver lining when they dislodge a duffel bag full of hundreds of thousands of pounds from his ceiling, but they’ve also forgotten another important fact about homeownership in big cities and the logistics of mysteriously dead dudes: never steal a bag of money from a dead man, because the person he probably stole it from is going to come after you next. So naturally, who do you think is the […]

read more...

Spring Breakers sequel

Spranng breaaak. Spranng breaaak foreeeeva. The vacation isn’t over – and neither are the criminal activities, the mischief, the interpretative dances to Britney Spears, the shorts assortments or the just plain bad decisions. Screen Daily reports that the sort-of-hinted-at and possibly-anticipated sequel to Harmony Korine’s Spring Breakers is a go, but that doesn’t mean we can expect the gang to get back together for it. In fact, it’s safe to assume that Spring Breakers: The Second Coming is going to like a lot like, well, its own coming, and that’s a damn shame.

read more...

Palo Alto film

Hey, guess what? High school sucked. And even if your high school experience wasn’t as rotten and wicked as the ones experienced by the characters that populate Gia Coppola‘s Palo Alto, it seems highly likely that you’ll still find plenty to both relish and revolt from in the filmmaker’s debut feature. This isn’t everyone‘s high school experience, but it’s certainly someone’s. Coppola adapted some of the short story work of James Franco, who also co-stars in the film, for her first feature, and if nothing else, it sure makes Franco’s written work appear instantly compelling. It’s fairly obvious that the film has been cobbled together from assorted stories, as there is a lackadaisical nature to the connections between characters and plots that doesn’t seem exactly lazy, but is undoubtedly the product of some disconneted source material. At its heart, Palo Alto is about the almost-not-quite relationship between April (Emma Roberts, who is just excellent) and Teddy (Jack Kilmer), a pair of high school students who are prone to getting into spats of trouble, or at least hanging around people who don’t have their best interests at heart. There’s a lot of ill-advised hanging around in Palo Alto. 

read more...

Ashley-Benson-Rachel-Korine-Selena-Gomez-And-Vanessa-Hudgens2

Every year that goes by without a Special Achievement Academy Award given out at the Oscars is another year where it feels like cinema isn’t moving forward. Of course, cinema is moving forward. The last such award was received way back in 1996 by John Lasseter for making the first feature-length computer-animated film (Toy Story), yet things have changed and progressed in those 18 years in a multitude of ways, just maybe nothing so noticeably groundbreaking as that. Animation has instead improved gradually. So have computer-generated visual effects, and the truly important advances of the latter do tend to get recognized with the Scientific & Technical Academy Awards. Plus, unlike the early years of the Special Achievement Award, there’s actually a permanent visual effects category again. In fact, most of the areas that the award has honored in the past now have their own category. But the special Oscar doesn’t have to be just for visual effects, sound effects and sound editing, as it mostly has been. The purpose of the award is, according to the Academy, “for an outstanding contribution to a particular movie when there is no annual award category that applies to the contribution.” That can be any number of elements that go into moviemaking, from stunts to casting to catering. And the “outstanding contribution” doesn’t need to be anything game-changing. The three “unsung heroes” spotlighted this week by Variety — Lone Survivor stunt coordinator Kevin Scott, Inside Llewyn Davis animal trainer Dawn Barkan and Her video […]

read more...

Pompeii Movie

The best movie culture writing from around the internet-o-sphere. There will be a quiz later. Just leave a tab open for us, will ya?

read more...

Tommy Wiseau

While it may not sound like something worth bragging about, here it is: I was an early adopter of Tommy Wiseau’s The Room. While the legendarily bad film is now, well, legendary in plenty of cinematic circles, for a long time, it was simply a strange footnote in local Los Angeles lore. Before Wiseau’s film started selling out midnight screenings at what was then the Laemmle Sunset 5 (and is now a swanky Sundance Cinemas), the multi-hyphenate promoted his ill-fated feature on a single billboard on Fountain Ave. in Hollywood. It was that billboard that a pair of my film school friends (not rejects, sadly) saw on a consistent basis, that billboard that intrigued them, and that billboard that inspired them to purchase the film on DVD sometime around 2003. The Room became an instant classic in our circle (turns out, you don’t need an entire theater of fans to make a so-bad-it’s-good screening work you just need Malibu rum and wise cracks), and when we found out that the film was playing on the big screen nearby, we simply had to go. Back then, The Room only pulled in enough of an audience to lock one theater a month, but Wiseau would show up at every screening to deliver an introduction and something vaguely approaching a Q&A (when one of my friends asked him where he was from, he snapped, “what do you mean? Where do you think? Maaahrrrs?” and another time he admirably told a blond pal he […]

read more...

Maladies

“You don’t need any help thinking abstractly, James.” Multi-hyphenate James Franco and his apparent quest to do everything has long bled over into the sense that the actor-turned-whatever is doing actual performance art in his own life – particularly when it comes to stuff like his soap opera stint on General Hospital and his weirdly compelling turn in Harmony Korine’s Spring Breakers. Franco may be ostensibly interested in reaching out beyond the norm, but he paradoxically seems to do that sort of thing while also still being so very James Franco. Franco’s latest project (and, when it comes to Franco, this stuff is always a “project” with a capital P) is a film called Maladies, an almost suffocatingly arty affair in which Franco appears to be playing a version of himself. In the film, Franco stars as a failed actor named James who abandons Hollywood for small town life, the kind that ultimately seems to be even stranger than any sort of existence he carved out for himself in good old La-La Land. James’ attempts to establish a new way of living are thwarted by a few things – namely, his latent mental illness. Is James Franco playing James Franco?

read more...

childofgod_01

If the news that crazy-ass James Franco was going to be adapting one of Cormac McCarthy’s most crazy-ass novels into a movie didn’t pique your interest as soon as it was announced, chances are the teaser trailer for Child of God was enough to grab even your elusive attention. It was basically just a minute of Scott Haze making crazy faces as the story’s murderous subject, the cave-dwelling necrophile Lester Ballard, but it was enough to prove that, even if the movie was a complete disaster, it was likely going to be a perversely enthralling disaster—kind of like how you wouldn’t be able to look away if you came upon a burning bus full of puppies or something. Now that there’s a full trailer out for the film though, it looks like Franco might have resisted the urge to go full-on abstract and impenetrable in his handling of this story about isolation from the order of man’s world. As a matter of fact, this trailer makes Child of God look like it could be a pretty standard thriller about a serial murderer, though one that’s likely elevated due to a clearly electric lead performance from Raze as well as the calming presence of a character acting veteran like Tim Blake Nelson. Click through to give it a watch, but be warned that the footage contains more blood and murder than most full-length films, and this is just a two minute ad. Don’t get squeamish, now.

read more...

Lovelace

As much as we all might mock James Franco for his seemingly never-ending work flow of wackiness – movies, television, dunder-headed adaptations of classic novels, soap operas, books, art installations, screaming about shit, and so on and so forth – the multi-hyphenate certainly seems to be interested in mixing things up in a big way. He also appears to have a hefty interest in classic Hollywood and offbeat stories from that era (this is, after all, a guy who directed a biopic on Sal Mineo), so why not give him a meaty role in an era-appropriate film that he can excel it, if only because he’s done it before? Variety reports that director David Dobkin (Wedding Crashers) is now on board to direct Warner Bros.’ long-gestating biopic about Hugh Hefner, Playboy founder, raconteur, and major man about town. While Dobkin seems like a bit of a strange fit – he also directed The Change-Up – the director has recently taken a turn into the dramatic with the upcoming The Judge, and the film will be bolstered by a screenplay by Peter Morgan, who has penned such historically-set films as Rush and Frost/Nixon. A mix of high and low? Comedy and drama? How could Franco not be at the top their list?

read more...

James Franco

It’s been no secret that A24, the distributor behind Harmony Korine’s bonkers blast of pure adrenaline (and, like, a lot of drugs), Spring Breakers, has been stumping for some awards acknowledgement for co-star James Franco for quite some time now (he’s wisely been touted for a Best Supporting Actor role). What started as a bit of a laugh and a lark has now blossomed into what appears to be an actual campaign, albeit one that stays true to the grilled-up idiocy of Franco’s Alien, a low-tier gangster who demands that we “consider his shit.” The distributor has now released a For Your Consideration video (fine, a Consider This Shit video) touting some of the major praise heaped on Franco in the role alongside some of his greatest hits in the film. It’s a relatively straightforward FYC vid, much like the type we’ve seen for other, more traditional work from this year’s finest actors, but because it’s so serious and, yes, straightforward and traditional, it’s also something else entirely – it’s totally brilliant. After one minute of this video, you’ll be sold on nominating Franco for any and all awards for his work as Alien or, at the very least, you’ll be sold on the idea that this is work worth considering for the most prestigious awards in Hollywood, despite how low-brow this all looks (at least on the surface). Give it a look and get ready to consider some shit:

read more...

review homefront

Jason Statham made his big screen debut in 1998’s Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels, and just four years later he got his first starring role as The Transporter. He’s been punching and kicking ever since, averaging between two to four films per year over the last decade, with 2013 coming in at the high end with lead roles in both Parker and Redemption and an end-credits cameo in a major action franchise. There are of course exceptions, but we can probably all agree that Statham’s more of a quantity over quality kind of guy. His newest action romp, Homefront, offers some bang for your buck, but it probably won’t be changing that assessment. Phil Broker (Statham) is working undercover as a member of a motorcycle gang that dabbles in the manufacture and distribution of meth. The big bust goes sideways, and when the gang leader’s son gets swiss-cheesed in front of his eyes, he swears vengeance against Broker before being carted off to jail. Two years later Broker and his young daughter, Maddy (Izabela Vidovic), are settling down to a new life in a small Louisiana town. The sins of the past soon come calling though when a local meth dealer (James Franco) discovers Broker’s past and invites some old friends to town for payback.

read more...

Kill Your Darlings

Perhaps the most misleading aspect of the new crop of Beat movies that have surfaced during the past few years is that they obscure the fact that there was once an older crop of Beat movies. If your only exposure is Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman’s Howl, Walter Salles’ On the Road, John Krokidas’ Kill Your Darlings, and Michael Polish’s Big Sur, you might assume that the Beats participated in an artistic movement reserved exclusively for the written word. Yet Allen Ginsberg was front-and-center of experimental film projects like 1959’s Pull My Daisy (narrated by Kerouac) and 1966’s Chappaqua, while William S. Burroughs spent most of his career after the 1970s in independent films (alongside producing spoken word albums). Even Jack Kerouac, the most novelistic of the best-known Beats, showed his media literacy by recording improvisatory experiments in audio technology before he published “On the Road.” The literary Beats not only inspired later independent filmmakers, musicians, and artists, but they participated in multimedia productions themselves, seeking to realize a revolutionary new aesthetic across a variety of platforms of expression, often concurrently with their most famous published work. There is nothing inherently wrong with focusing only on these authors’ best-known works in adapting them to screen, but the resulting films do reinforce a rather common image of the Beats as forever-young literary outsiders, when they were in fact heavily involved in the social and artistic movements their work cultivated and helped inspire throughout their lives. But this raises a question: Do […]

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.
Fantastic Fest 2014
6 Filmmaking Tips: James Gunn
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