Jeff Bridges

The Giver Movie 2014

Lois Lowry‘s landmark YA novel was a massive part of growing up in the era of Jurassic Park. It’s taken a long time to see The Giver in movie form, but it’s finally here with Jeff Bridges and Meryl Streep leading the charge into the perfect future. For those who haven’t read the book, it takes place in a pristine, peaceful society, but like in all too-goo-to-be-truetopias, they’ve traded something fundamental for what they consider happiness. Namely, they store emotions, memories of the past, and really any experiences that don’t land on the middle axis inside a single member of society called The Receiver (Bridges). When a young boy named Jonas (Brenton Thwaites) is chosen to take over the job, he learns the true nature of pain, pleasure and the high cost of a uniform society. Check out the trailer for yourself and be wooed by all the Oscar caliber acting:

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thegivers

It seems like director Phillip Noyce (Clear and Present Danger, Salt) is pretty close to filling out the ensemble cast for his upcoming YA adaptation The Giver. Though it was published in 1994, author Lois Lowry’s “The Giver” is one of those stories set in a future world that are aimed at young people and happen to be all the rage these days. Its world is one that’s free of poverty, disease, and most every kind of hardship, but it has a secret about how it got that way–a terrible secret–and always one person, called the Receiver of Memories, is chosen to hold what that secret is. Already Noyce has young Brenton Thwaites signed up to play the protagonist, Jonas, who is the new kid chosen to hold the memory, Jeff Bridges as the title character, who acts as the boy’s mentor, Meryl Streep as the villain of the piece, who also happens to be the leader of the society and the one who gives the children their roles, and Alexander Skarsgard as Jonas’ impossibly attractive father, and now there are new reports that he’s just signed a duo of actresses who are going to pretty up his ensemble even further.

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RIPD

Okay, Ryan Reynolds, you can stop now. Step away from the comic book properties. They’re not doing you any favors, and you have a very nice gig voicing animated properties that’s surely much easier than jumping around in front of a green screen all day and still looking like an idiot afterwards, even when all the effects are added. Really! Turbo may sound entirely stupid, but I laugh in a somewhat admiring manner every time I hear its plot explained (please tell me how your NASCAR-racing snail doesn’t get road rash), and I really did enjoy The Croods. Just focus on the good things in your professional life and stop making films like The Green Lantern and R.I.P.D. It’s just embarrassing now. For all of us. Based on the Dark Horse comic of the same name by Peter M. Lenkov, Robert Schwentke’s spin on R.I.P.D. appears to have taken most of the originality and cleverness straight out of its source material in favor of a crafting a cheap-looking Men in Black rip-off. The film centers on Boston detective Nick Walker (Reynolds), killed off within the film’s first ten minutes by his crooked partner Bobby Hayes (Kevin Bacon, whose talents are wasted as he attempts to layer over a Boston accent on an already sneering performance), and sent straight up to a purgatory known as the R.I.P.D. (the Rest in Peace Department, because why not). Turns out, Nick can’t get into heaven without putting in one hundred years of work for […]

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Seventh Son

The first trailer for Seventh Son has just hit the internet. Based on the first of “The Wardstone Chronicles” book series, Seventh Son sees Jeff Bridges as a Spook (in the book’s lore, a Spook is someone who fights against the forces of evil) who must train a new apprentice in order to combat Julianne Moore, who plays an evil witch who plans on unleashing a whole lot more evil into the world.

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Lewbowski Bridges Photo

When Jeff Bridges was making Starman in 1984, Karen Allen saw some of his photographs and suggested he combine them with unti photographer Sidney Baldwin’s work to create an album. He did, and continued to make those collections for different film sets, giving them away as gifts to the casts and crews along the way. Now, The International Center of Photography is celebrating Bridges’ talents behind the camera at their Infinity Awards. The New York Times spoke with Bridges for a fantastic article on his photography (and his “fickle mistress” of a camera), and one thing is clear: the guy has gotten really good at self-portraits. There’s a natural drama imbued in what he’s capturing because he has access to the deepest recesses of film sets, but even without the famous faces and iconography, he’s captured some stunningly high-contrast visuals. Here’s a sampling (from Iron Man, True Grit and Tron), but you can find far more on his personal website.

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ripd

What exactly is this new movie Ryan Reynolds and Jeff Bridges are starring in, called R.I.P.D.? In one respect it’s a comic book movie, seeing as it was adapted from a Peter M. Lenkov graphic novel. In another it’s your typical buddy cop movie, seeing as it teams the new guy on a police force up with the grizzled veteran and sends them out on a case. When you watch this new trailer for the film, you can make connections between it and Men in Black, Ghostbusters, or heck.. even Robocop, so any way you slice it, it sounds like a genre fan’s dream come true. That’s in concept though, in execution things tend not to be so cut and dry, so you’re probably going to have to hit the jump and check out the trailer for yourself.

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commentary-tron

Nowadays, it’s no big deal to see computer animation in films. In fact, the use of CGI in films can range from being mundane to being annoying. However, three decades ago, computer animation was in its infancy, and one of the biggest pioneers of its use in major motion pictures was Tron from Walt Disney Studios. Tron’s legacy led to the development and release of its sequel Tron: Legacy two years ago from Joseph Kosinski, and now the release of Kosinski’s latest film Oblivion. However, without the original Tron, we might not have the use of virtual environments that moviegoers are used to now. Dialing back the digital clock to 1982, let’s take a look at the original Tron through the eyes of its creators, whose ambitious little computer cartoon revolutionized an industry. Director Steven Lisberger, along with the producers and visual effects supervisors, recorded a commentary for the film for the 20th anniversary 2002 DVD, which is also available on the 2011 Blu-ray release.

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poster ripd

One of this summer’s less-heralded comic adaptations is Universal’s supernaturally-tinged buddy cop flick R.I.P.D. starring Jeff Bridges and Ryan Reynolds. The latter plays a cop who’s gunned down in the line of duty but comes back to life and joins a very special police unit. The Rest In Peace Department is staffed with undead law enforcement tasked with capturing evil souls, and with their help he sets out to find those responsible for his murder. If it sounds like a mash-up between Dead Heat and Men In Black it’s because it pretty much is a mash-up between Dead Heat and Men In Black. The film is based on the Dark Horse comic series by Peter M. Lenkov and hits theaters July 19th.

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The Giver

Big news for those of us who have been waiting for the YA adaptation trend to hit home with one of the best of our generation — author Lois Lowry has confirmed that “The Giver” is finally going to get the movie it deserves with Jeff Bridges playing the title role. It’s been a long time coming, but conversations about the possibility of a firm greenlight started this fall, and the author is claiming that everything is now in place to make the project a reality. The Newberry Award-winning book was a must-read back when I was the target of YA authors. It features a painless, peaceful community where everyone has a role to fulfill — one that’s assigned to them when they turn 12. One boy is picked from his class to become The Receiver, a unique position that’s meant to hold all the memories of the society and the world beyond. In the book, it’s a boy named Jonas who is selected to work with The Giver in order to learn the disturbing reality that’s kept from his friends and family in order to make their way of life work. Back when we were doing Print to Projector, I had a few casting ideas of my own for this children’s version of “Brave New World,” but Bridges is certainly inspired. Although the Studio 360 story is short on details beyond the greenlight and Bridges’ involvement, it’s most likely the case that Phillip Noyce (Salt, Clear and Present Danger) is still set […]

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Jeff Bridges in Seventh Son

As we all know, any seventh son born of a seventh son is given incredible powers at birth, and it’s that concept that novelist Joseph Delaney culled for his fantasy series “The Wardstone Chronicles.” Warners is turning the first book in that series — “The Spook’s Apprentice” — into a feature film (with hopes to launch a new young adult hit), and they’ve released new images from the October-bound movie. That’s Jeff Bridges playing a Spook named Master Gregory who is teaching Thomas (Ben Barnes) how to battle evil, which is pictured below in the form of Julianne Moore as Mother Malkin. You think they’d want to avoid propagating vicious stereotypes against gingers, but apparently they’re comfortable with it.

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Criterion Files

Sometimes the greater cinematic spectacle ends up not being the film itself, but the ability to watch the film crash and burn. And Hollywood history has arguably seen no greater spectacle of failure than Michael Cimino’s epic anti-western, Heaven’s Gate. Credited as the film that destroyed United Artists, the bloated-for-its-time production has come to represent for some the last hurrah for a New Hollywood whose challenging artistic visionaries eventually stumbled over their own escalating egos. But decades after the hype, damage, and demonization of the film faded away, audiences can finally see Heaven’s Gate’s depiction of the Johnson County War for what it really is: a gorgeously realized, largely misunderstood, admittedly far from perfect but heavily underrated film. The Criterion Collection’s addition of Heaven’s Gate is a significant step in complicating the story of the film’s overwhelmingly bad reputation. But unfortunately Criterion’s DVD and Blu-ray packages make for a strange release that doesn’t go far enough in recontextualizing a movie whose tattered history always threatens any potential appreciation of it.

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It’s taken 33 Commentary Commentaries, 33 different movies we’ve heard all kinds of people from directors to actors to whatever was going on with Cannibal: The Musical, but we’ve finally gotten to AH-NOLD. That’s right. This week we’re looking into Total Recall, that mind-melting actioner from 1990 wherein Arnold Schwarzenegger uses a completely innocent bystander as a human shield, loses his memory, and saves just about every mutant living on Mars. He doesn’t save the girl with three breasts, though. That probably deserves a spoiler alert. But it’s time to hear what Schwarzenegger and director Paul Verhoeven have to say about the whole experience. With the remake headed our way this Summer, we felt it was time to find out everything we could about this modern classic. Maybe this time next year we’ll have a Total Recall 2012 commentary from Colin Farrell and Len Wiseman. Wiseman has already offered a commentary for his film’s trailer, but there’s no way in the world it’s going to be as entertaining as listening to Verhoeven and Schwarzenegger. No way. Let’s get our asses to Mars, shall we?

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Back when Universal was looking to get a script together for a Bad Santa sequel, one of the names they were looking at to write was John Phillips, who got on the studio’s radar by selling them a script for a comedy called Dirty Grandpa. It turns out this guy knows a lot about filth. While the Bad Santa sequel isn’t said to be filming until the fall, and there’s yet to be any word on whether Phillips’ version of the script is the one the studio chose, things are starting to gear up for Dirty Grandpa now. Vulture has a report that Universal has offered Jeff Bridges the starring role, which tells the story of an uptight college kid who gets conned into taking his perverted, recently widowed grandfather with him on a spring break trip to Florida. If Bridges accepts the offer, he’ll be bringing the method approach to stinkiness that he perfected in films like Crazy Heart and True Grit to a comedy, where he’ll theoretically get plenty of chances to rub his hairy, dirty body all over a bunch of buxom, young co-eds.

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In a genius casting move, R.I.P.D. has brought on Victoria’s Secret model Marisa Miller to act as a beautiful, empty vessel. That’s not a knock on Ms. Miller (who I don’t know personally and couldn’t judge), but a grand statement on the minor trend of hiring models to act. So far, the scientific results of the experiment have been a failure. Although, in a karmic way, I imagine it’s partial payback for so many movie stars being hired as voice actors. They push voice actors out of work, and now models are pushing them out of jobs. The only end to this circle is to see voice actors become models. Billy West in a bikini is our new future now. In the film, Ryan Reynolds and Jeff Bridges both play dead detectives who wrap up cases with dead souls who refuse to move on. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Miller will play the body that Bridges’s character chooses to manifest his ghostly self as when walking amongst the living. It sounds like a small role to be used solely as a gag (and hopefully with Bridges’s gruff tones coming out of Miller’s mouth). So, yes, in a play of stunning exactitude, a super model has been hired to walk around, look good and be inhabited by a better actor.

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Drinking Games

What would you do if someone broke into your house, peed on your rug and demanded that you pay a pornographer a boat-load of money that you really don’t owe him? Would you track down a millionaire with your name and demand a new rug? Would you get involved in a kidnapping scheme? Or would you just abide? Now that the Coen Brothers’ masterpiece The Big Lebowski is available on Blu-ray, you can contemplate these questions in high definition. And you might want to do so while drinking a white Russian.

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Criterion Files

To this point in our subjection of the films of BBS Productions we’ve been privy to a handful of boundary-pushing films that we now recognize today as landmark pictures in the furthering progress of New Hollywood from the late 1960′s onward. They were films dealing with contemporary cultural changes and a youthful revolutionary attitude to not necessarily show things as we dream them to be, but more as they are. Life isn’t like the movies, so maybe make some movies that are a reflection of life. Life is imperfect, rough around the edges and occasionally a little disorienting. Thus far, the films in the BBS library discussed these past four weeks have shown us just how the mindset of the transitioning American lifestyle and interest was during that time period with timely and current stories.

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Good news for people who like backlashing against things that get popular; Fox Searchlight has signed Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris to make their first film since their breakthrough indie Little Miss Sunshine made a bunch of money and helped launch Steve Carell and Paul Dano’s film careers back in 2006. This new project, called He Loves Me, is being written by and will star Zoe Kazan. Her real life beau, Dano, will re-team with the Sunshine directors to star as the male lead. Also, there have been some rumblings that Jeff Bridges is being looked at to play another role. There’s yet to be any word on what this one will be about, but it has to be seen as a get for Fox Searchlight regardless. It’s been five years since Dayton and Faris made Little Miss Sunshine, and they haven’t been able to successfully get another project together since. The last time Searchlight took a chance on this duo there was money to be made, press to be generated, and Oscar nominations to be had. With that amount of big expectations behind it, He Loves Me is bound to be a project worth keeping our peepers on going forward. [Deadline Placitas]

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly movie news column. But would you say that El Column has a plethora of news items? Yes, yes, I know it has a lot of news items. But does it have a plethora? Empire recently brought Martin Short, Chevy Chase and Steve Martin back together to recreate some of the Three Amigos magic that delivered one of the most underrated comedies of the last 25 years. Even director John Landis was on-hand for the photo shoot, celebrating the quarter decade anniversary of the film. It’s a personal favorite of mine, and part of my “cinematic friend litmus test.” If you don’t like this movie, we simply won’t ever be close friends. Them’s the rules.

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Drinking Games

Greetings, Programs! There was a time when Tron was as cool as it could get. Then, in a world of liquid metal and computer-generated dinosaurs, it suddenly wasn’t… and it disappeared off the grid. But like anything buried for years in the sand, it has become cool again. Some may argue that the original 1982 classic is cooler than the long-awaited sequel Tron Legacy. Now that both are available – and on stunning Blu-ray, no less – you can be the final judge. This game works for either flick, so you might just end up like the geriatric Kevin Flynn by the end, but you’ll have fun going for the ride and knocking on the sky.

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The young adult series “The Last Apprentice”, or “The Wardstone Chronicles” as it was originally published in the UK, is going to go forward toward a big screen adaptation with actress Julianne Moore in a key role. Originally this film was to be called The Spook’s Apprentice and it had Alex Pettyfer, Jennifer Lawrence, and Jeff Bridges signed on. Things have changed. Pettyfer and Lawrence have both dropped out of the project, Lawrence for Hunger Games reasons and Pettyfer perhaps for the same. The film is now tentatively titled The Seventh Son and while Jeff Bridges is still attached, it’s going to have to find new young actors to fill out the cast. Moore has been cast as the character of Mother Malkin, who is apparently a great and powerful witch. Bridge’s character is known as The Spook, and he is an expert in exorcism. Seeing as the film was originally title The Spook’s Apprentice, I would imagine that Bridge’s would have a mentoring role in the story. The Amazon summary for the first book in the series, also called “The Spook’s Apprentice”, reads as follows:

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