Jennifer Garner

Men Women and Children

Does Jason Reitman hate texting? From the looks of the first trailer for his Men, Women & Children, that definitely seems to be the case. Reitman’s latest is all about the secrets we keep online and that threaten to leak into the real world — which makes it kind of weird that the film’s marketing is encouraging fans to use the Whisper app to share their secrets, because that sure seems like something that’s pushing precisely what the film is against — with everyone constantly staring at their phones and looking shocked. Not a fan of films that use cute graphics to share texts, emails and pix on the big screen? Oh, you’re going to hate this one. Reitman’s film centers on a loosely connected group of students and their families, though it appears that they are all linked by their mutual sadness and disconnection. Put down your phones. Start living your lives. The Internet is bad. You are watching this trailer on the Internet, which is weird, right? Hmm. Watch the first trailer for Men, Women & Children after the break. You can probably do it on your phone.

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Kevin Costner and Jennifer Garner in DRAFT DAY

It’s NFL draft time, and the Cleveland Browns’ general manager Sonny Weaver (Kevin Costner) is in a tight spot. The pressure is on from the public, the team’s owner (Frank Langella), the coach (Denis Leary) and the rest of the organization to build the best team possible. He manages the unthinkable early on and gets his team the first pick, but it was a panicked move that actually does more harm than good. Now he’s on the clock and running out of time — it’s the ninth inning, he’s in the end zone, and there’s blood on the ice —  oh, and his girlfriend (Jennifer Garner) just told him that she’s pregnant. This is the kind of crazy day that can only fully be captured with split screens. Lots and lots of split screens. Thankfully director Ivan Reitman is happy to oblige. It’s almost as if he just discovered the technology or is trying to win a contest. Draft Day is a poor man’s Moneyball in the sense that the screenwriters probably watched Moneyball at some point and thought to themselves “what if a rogue personality went against the grain to build their, wait for it, football team?” In addition to changing sports though they also swapped statistics and logic for gut instinct and contrivance, replaced character depth with daddy issues and removed any semblance of dramatic suspense by setting the story entirely on one day and off the field.

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sandler

When’s the last time we saw Adam Sandler buckle down and do some real acting? Do things like Spanglish and Reign Over Me count because they were more drama than comedy, even though they were still pretty cheesy and lame? How about Funny People? That was kind of a meaty part, even though Sandler was essentially playing himself in it. Is his role in Punch Drunk Love really the only thing that could unequivocally be considered an example of Sandler rolling up his sleeves and actually doing some work as an actor? At this point we’ve gotten so used to the guy wearing cargo shorts and t-shirts while sleepily trudging his way through scenes opposite his friends, that to see him actually engaged in his work would probably feel pretty alien. Director Jason Reitman (Juno, Up in the Air, Young Adult) seems to think that he can get a real performance out of him though, because a report from Deadline says that he’s in the process of signing Sandler to one of the featured roles in his next  movie—and Jason Reitman doesn’t make lazy Adam Sandler movies.

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Yesterday we brought you a whole slew of stills featuring Matthew McConaughey as AIDS patient and activist Ron Woodroof in Jean-Marc Vallée‘s Dallas Buyers Club, and just a day later, his character comes to life in the trailer. Woodroof is a red-blooded, all-American Texas man who drives fast cars, smokes and gambles, and suffers from HIV. And when his doctor (Jennifer Garner) tells him he only has 30 days to live after giving him his prognosis, he finds that unacceptable, and sets out to Mexico to find better treatments for his awful disease. When he finds medicine far beyond what the FDA is willing to give him and his fellow patients, he sets up his own little business back in the states getting the people what they deserve. Check out the trailer for yourself:

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Matthew McConaughey, in continuing his transition away from “alright alright alright” McConaughey, and into  “adult who wears clothes and makes adult choices” McConaughey,” is next starring in Jean-Marc Vallée‘s much talked-about Dallas Buyers Club. The film tells the true story of Ron Woodruff (McConaughey), an AIDS activist who suffered from the disease himself in the 1980s, a time when it was largely misunderstood and feared. Woodruff, after far outliving the 30-day life expectancy given to him by his doctor (Jennifer Garner), devotes his life to smuggling and selling treatments to HIV and AIDS patients who don’t have the time to wait for the government to help them. In the new stills released from the film, we get a good look at an extremely slimmed-down McConaughey as Woodruff, which has been talked about at great lengths in the press since the moment his casting was announced. As dangerous as starving himself was, McConaughey looks the part – it’s jarring. I sincerely hope he gorged himself on burritos while jamming on his bongos after shooting wrapped. In the various shots, as you can see, Woodruff negotiates with doctors, including a very concerned looking Garner, and appears to be making a few deals with potential buyers. The outfits are all on point for 1980’s Texas as well. Garner in the shot with McConaughey looks like the girl from a teen movie who would be beautiful at prom if only she would take off her glasses. Take a look:

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Christoph Waltz

What is Casting Couch? It’s a daily roundup of all the casting news you care about, and maybe (probably) one or two items you don’t. Some info has finally leaked about James Bobin and Nicholas Stoller’s upcoming sequel to The Muppets. Turns out it’s going to be a caper movie, somewhat along the lines of The Great Muppet Caper, but with more of an international flair. How international? So international that THR is reporting they’re closing in on signing Christoph Waltz to play one of the main, non-Muppet roles—that of an Interpol inspector. Other important parts for humans are said to include a Russian femme fatale and a male lead with mysterious intentions. Actors looking to land the part should start sending in their shifty-eyed head shots now.

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Rob Corddry in Butter

Jim Field Smith’s Butter has been sitting on the shelf for some time now. The film had a secret premiere at Telluride last year (over a year ago), where it was met with a fairly positive response. Now, as it’s finally coming out on VOD and in theaters, it’s being greeted with more of a decidedly mixed response. Whether you come out liking Butter or not, you will, at the very least, come away impressed by Rob Corddry. Here we see Corddry playing the straight man role, something we’re not all that used to from him. Along with Hugh Jackman, he steals the film. With the film’s theatrical release today, we’ve been given an exclusive character poster featuring Corddry himself. Check out Corddry’s innocent, childlike grin after the jump:

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Jennifer Garner in Butter

Editor’s note: With Butter finally hitting theaters tomorrow, here’s a re-run of our AFI FEST review, originally published on November 8, 2011, to spread all over your movie theater popcorn. Jim Field Smith’s Butter has been packaged and sold as its own consumable commodity – as some sort of smart, politically-minded satire. Butter is certainly funny in spats, but smart satire it is not, as there are no hard lessons taught or learned within the film. It may be too easy to say that Butter goes soft by its end – but the wording works here, both in terms of a mildly clever food pun and as an actual critique of how the film flip-flops with its tone and message before settling on an easy conclusion. The world of competitive butter-carving is hilarious and bizarre, a fine setting for a straight comedy that culminates with a character incredulously summing up its ridiculousness – “you put it on toast!” – but everything in Smith’s film is just too obvious to transcend basic laughs.

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Jennifer Garner in Butter

What exactly is Butter? Is it a mock-heroic portrayal of a small town woman’s overblown political aspirations? A domestic story about a man addicted to strip clubs? An inspirational tale about a hard-luck orphan discovering talent and motivation? From what can be discerned by watching its new trailer, Butter would appear to be all of these things. And it would also appear to be a semi-comedic look at the world of competitive butter carving (which is a real thing, and totally worth a Google). At first glance all of that seems likely to be, both figuratively and literally, pretty messy. Can one movie pull off packing in this many disparate plot threads without losing focus and collapsing under its own weight? And are we really expected to watch a comedy about people carving butter that isn’t being brought to the screen by Christopher Guest and his usual cast of players? No, under most circumstances Butter wouldn’t look like a movie worth giving a chance at all – but just look at that laundry list of great people involved.

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The Odd Life of Timothy Green Review

A loving couple who are unable to bear their own children imagine all the wonderful traits their offspring would possess and, drunk on equal parts wine and heartbreak, write down those traits, tuck them in a box, and bury them in their garden. It’s their attempt to finally lay to rest their dreams of having a little one, and it’s meant to be the final word on their journey to parenthood. And then something apparently magical happens, and their box (coupled with some suspect rain) sprouts into, of all things, a child. Their child, who emerges from the ground, muddy and plucky and school-aged (and sprouting leaves), sneaks into their house (and bed), and changes every single element of their lives. If The Odd Life of Timothy Green was edited even a smidgen differently, it would be one heck of a horror film. However, Peter Hedges‘ Timothy Green comes to us from Walt Disney Pictures and, in the vein of their non-animated family features like Enchanted, The Princess Diaries, and The Parent Trap, it’s a sudsy outing that hammers home all manner of sterling bits of life advice and will (at the very least) serve to entertain the entire family. It’s also absolutely bizarre, insane to the point that the “story by Ahmet Zappa” credit starts making sense within the film’s first ten minutes.

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Aural Fixation - Large

It’s in the title – The Odd Life of Timothy Green is, well, odd. But it is those oddities and the unexpected twists and turns that make this story memorable. Timothy (CJ Adams) is not your average child so bringing this character and his world to life required composer Geoff Zanelli to think outside of the box. Organic materials like dirt, wood, and leaves (of course) play a big part in not just Timothy, but all the character’s lives (and their futures) so it is no surprise that Zanelli took a more stripped down and inventive approach when creating the music for this film. Zanelli’s score is both magical and jaunty, much like Timothy himself, and creates a unique texture that helps make some of the more “out there” moments of the film still feel grounded in real emotion. I spoke with Zanelli about how he approached creating this score, what inspired him throughout the process, and what went in to creating music that sounded both familiar and new.

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The Best Short Films

Why Watch? Impersonating a nun, finding impure uses for her body parts, seducing a man of the cloth – Jennifer Garner is filthy. And sweet. And in love. In Rodrigo Garcia‘s new short, she and Alfred Molina sap every ounce of humanity and drama from the wood of the confessional. It’s a film comprised almost solely of dialogue (with a pristine shot selection just for good measure). There’s a pulpy feel to it – a kind of polite insanity that still feels rooted even in its mythical (and undeniably romantic) setting. Both actors are in solid form here – proof that Garner can do more than what she’s been handed in the past, and although her sweetness is played upon, it never feels exploitative. What will it cost? Only 11 minutes. Skip Work. You’ve Got Time For More Short Films

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It’s a wild career Peter Berg has created for himself. The kid from Shocker and Aspen Extreme grew up to have an eclectic mix of directorial offerings. Everything from wicked, black comedies like Very Bad Things and damn solid action flicks like The Rundown. He’s even dabbled in the Summer blockbuster like Hancock and this Friday’s Battleship. I think that movie made Cole angry. Berg’s most important work of art came in the form of Friday Night Lights, arguably the best show in the past decade. You be the judge which side of that fence I fall on. Clear eyes. Full heart. Can’t Lose. But we can’t exactly run a Commentary Commentary on the full series run of that show. That would take too long, and there’s not enough Monster in the world to keep the writing juices flowing. So we’ll do one on The Kingdom, Berg’s 2007 film about an FBI investigation of a suicide bombing in Riyadh. That’s in Saudi Arabia, something you’d know if you’ve seen this film’s opening credits. Or watched The Daily Show more often. Enough about TV. On with the Commentary Commentary for The Kingdom.

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Earlier today, the international trailer for We Need to Talk About Kevin showed us that a child raised in a seemingly normal environment could still end up a horrifying, dead-eyed sociopath with a panache for porn. Lynne Ramsay’s Cannes film swiftly removed any hope that human spawn could be charming or cuddly – so let’s chuck ‘em all and turn to something a bit more organic. After all, there’s nothing more hip than locally grown produce, so why not some locally grown kids? You liked the Cabbage Patch Kids when you were younger, right? Enter Disney’s The Odd Life of Timothy Green. The film is billed as “an inspiring, magical story about a happily married couple who bury a box in their backyard, containing all of their wishes for an infant. Soon, their child is born, though Timothy Green is not all that he appears.” That’s right, in this film, Jennifer Garner and Joel Edgerton can’t have children, so they write down everything they’d want for the kid they can never have, toss those wishes into a box, bury it in their garden, and act like it’s totally normal when a mud-covered elementary schooler shows up in their house during a hefty rainstorm. I know we’re doing great things with soybeans right now, but this is too much – there’s a big difference between a tofu burger and a garden-grown kid. Cue some stuff that looks like Powder fell in with some slow food hippies, and boom! there’s The Odd […]

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Drinking Games

Even though the DVD and Blu-ray of Arthur came out at a weird time (last Friday, to be exact), we couldn’t let it go by without giving it a drinking game. After all, how many movies are released each year that portray alcoholism in such a charming and carefree fashion? (We were also really drunk last week, from all of the other drinking games on the site.) So whether you’re being forced to marry a beautiful woman like Jennifer Garner or if you live in the gutter like the rest of us, you might have some fun watching Arthur when you’re drinking as much as Arthur is.

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr spends a long day in the multiplex, checking out a variety of films from alcoholic romantic comedies to nature documentaries with elephants and orangutans. He drinks himself silly and hits on Greta Gerwig in Arthur, narrowly escapes being killed by ass-kicking teen assassin Hanna, narrowly escapes getting his arm bitten off by a tiger shark in Soul Surfer and peeps in on Natalie Portman undressing for a swim in Your Highness. Too bad she’s pregnant now, ‘cause Kevin just ain’t into that scene.

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Cliches like the headline shouldn’t be taken lightly. They should be avoided at all cost, except when they are so accurate that it would make your nose bleed. In the case of Russell Brand slurping hooch and pitching woo in the remake of Arthur, we may need to recheck the records to see if Dudley Moore died in the same hospital on the same day Brand was born. The strength of Arthur rests solely on its actors. The sequences are more than interwoven sketch comedy, but they aren’t much more, and without the humor and absurdity inherent in the all-too-popular new character of the man child, this thing would have been as flat as if a giant magnet bed fell on it. Russell Brand is Arthur. And what Arthur is, is hilarious and heartfelt.

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This is the poorly-worded question on my mind ever since reading that Jennifer Garner wants to produce and star in a movie that sees Agatha Christie’s famously elderly detective Miss Marple aged down by half. For most characters, that’s an interesting prospect (think Young Indiana Jones), but Miss Marple is a character defined mainly by her age. She’s old, feeble-looking, and people take for granted that the can solve a murder before sundown. Changing her age changes her most striking surface-level characteristic. So is it even Miss Marple anymore? Or is it just some young private investigator with a knack for success who’s wearing Miss Marple’s name tag?

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Winick, who was 49, passed away Sunday after a battle with brain cancer. He first became known in Hollywood for producing independent films through his production company InDigEnt, including his own 2002 picture Tadpole. He later became more widely famous for directing mainstream romantic comedies such as 13 Going on 30 and his last film Letters to Juliet, the stars of which talked to The Hollywood Reporter about their memories of the man. 13 Going on 30 star Jennifer Garner said of Winick, “I think everybody who was a friend of Gary’s considered him one of their best friends. He had a hundred best friends. He just was unafraid of being intimate. And that spilled over into his directing. His whole company, InDigEnt, was based on trying to find a way to fold everyone in, being 100 percent invested in the movie, because they were going to profit from it if the movie was successful.” Creating jobs in Hollywood and giving young filmmakers a means of expressing themselves is certainly a fine way to be remembered, but Garner had even more to say about the man and his career.

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Ashley Greene

From the vampire-ridden woods of Forks to a small town in the midwest, Twilight supporting star Ashley Greene is on the move. Here in the south at Reject HQ, we’re doing our best to avoid the “churning butter” jokes that came to mind when this story first broke. We’re trying out professionalism.

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