Joe

discs ERNEST AND CELESTINE

Welcome back to This Week In Discs! If you see something you like, click on the title to buy it from Amazon. Ernest & Celestine Celestine is a young mouse still learning the ways of the world, and part of her ongoing education is learning that the bears who live on the surface above the subterranean city the mice call home are vicious, mean and constantly intent on eating any mouse they come across. She’s never met one, but she sees no reason why mice and bears can’t be friends. She finds her opinion challenged when one of her excursions up top brings her in contact with a bear named Ernest, and soon the two are on an adventure that goes against all the laws of both bear and mouse society. This French award-winner is a whimsical delight from beginning to end as it tells a sweet tale of friendship that doubles as a metaphor for inter-species relations. Maybe I read too much into that part, but it does work as a story about celebrating commonalities instead of fearing differences, and in that regard it’s a big success. The soft animation, complete with unfinished lines and watercolor stylings, creates an immersive and warm world, and scenes like the duo’s garbage can meet-cute and a wonderfully chaotic chase with police show a diversity that the style handles with equal strength. See it with the bear (or mouse) in your life. [Blu-ray/DVD extras: Making of, animatic, interview]

read more...

Drafthouse Films

The Weekend Watch is an open thread where you can share what you’ve recently watched, offer suggestions on movies and TV shows we should check out (or warnings about stuff to avoid) and discover queue-filling goodies from other FSR readers. The comments section awaits. I’ll get the ball rolling with the movies/TV my eyeballs took in this weekend.

read more...

Nic Cage in The Trouble in Louisiana Trilogy

Every few years, Nicolas Cage reminds us what a compelling screen performer he is and can be. While such reminders seem fewer and further between, the utter expendability of much of his recent filmography make strong performances like his brooding lead in David Gordon Green’s Joe all the more powerful – not because we forgot about Cage’s talents, but because we’re afraid that he might have. Joe has been deemed (by this site and others) to be a “return to form” for Cage. It’s easy to declare with a handful of titles what form Cage is returning to. In celebrated roles like Adaptation, Leaving Las Vegas, and Bringing Out the Dead Cage has displayed an uncanny ability to balance pathological self-destruction with varying undertones of dark comedy. He is the actor of choice for men who struggle outside the norms of society, yet wouldn’t feel comfortable anywhere else. But outside of The Wicker Man, mesmerizing mash-ups, and whatever he was doing in Face-Off, it’s perhaps harder to concisely define the form that Cage is returning from when making films like Joe, despite the fact that it’s Cage’s more forgettable (and sometimes more batshit) work that creates the rule which highlights welcome exceptions. A recent, unofficial trilogy of particularly Cagean works speaks volumes to the one-of-a-kind spot that Cage’s stardom finds itself in now. While these films do not share a producer, a studio, or any other factor that justifies their making beyond their existence as Nicolas Cage vehicles, Trespass, Stolen, and […]

read more...

Nicolas Cage in JOE

Editor’s note: Our review of Joe originally ran during last year’s TIFF, but we’re re-posting it now as the film opens theatrically. Our long national nightmare is finally over – director David Gordon Green has returned to making the types of films that put the indie filmmaker on the map in the early aughts with his Joe. Combined with this year’s earlier effort, the drily amusing Prince Avalanche, Green has successfully managed to put the memory of his broad comedy busts like The Sitter and Your Highness behind him, and fans of vintage Green should be quite satisfied with his latest Southern gothic. Starring Nicolas Cage as the eponymous Joe, an ex-con who makes his living by poisoning whole forests so that they can be deemed sick and subsequently be cleared for the replanting of heartier, more sellable trees. Joe employs a large crew of locals, all of whom seem to like him very much, and he’s a fair, reasonable boss. Off the clock, however, Joe struggles with restraining a powerful, almost insatiable anger, and he tries to keep it at bay through alcohol and simply staying home. The arrival of a young drifter who comes begging for a job up-ends Joe’s tenuous personal peace, and their sweetly parental relationship threatens to change things for both of them. Sounds sentimental? It’s not. Not even a little bit.

read more...

A24

We’re not even halfway into 2014 and already this is proving to be a terrific year for movies. In March alone we had a slew of quality films: Enemy, The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Raid 2, and Bad Words. This month is even better. What’s nice about this March and April is that they’ve given us some quality blockbusters that we’d expect from the summer without having to wait for the heat. While Noah had its flaws — a lot of them, to be exact — it was a grand and ambitious drama with the scope of a summer movie. A more consistent summer film is opening this week, and if you pay any attention to the world, you know which. A hint: it’s the one about a super soldier who was frozen for over 60 years and is now fighting a man with a metal arm that’ll make a gazillion dollars. The movie, not the guy with the metal arm. Not sure what his day rate is. The Marvel juggernaut isn’t the only movie you need to see this month, though. There are two movies in particular that will surely stand the test of time: Under the Skin and Only Lovers Left Alive. Those are experiences, not just movies. Before the busy summer movie season begins, make sure to make the time for them, in addition to these other eight Must See Movies:

read more...

Joe

David Gordon Green is one of those writers/director/producers who are just all over the place thematically, and not in a bad way. He’s gone from dramas like 2003’s All the Real Girls and 2000’s George Washington, last year’s indie comedy Prince Avalanche, to straight up silliness like Pineapple Express and Your Highness. It takes a unique mind to work between Emile Hirsch and Paul Rudd learning life lessons on the side of rural highways to Danny McBride wearing a Minotaur dick around his neck. Green is returning to darker stomping grounds with his latest project however, with Joe, a Toronto International Film Festival standout from last year that was snatched up by Roadside Attractions. Based on the novel by Larry Brown, Joe tells the story of ex-con Joe Ransom (Nicolas Cage), and his unlikely mentorship of an abused and abandoned fifteen year-old named Gary (Tye Sheridan) in rural Mississippi. You can check out the international trailer below.

read more...

david-gordon-green-the-sitter-movie-image

Consider it a bit of a Goldilocks problem (too hot, too cold, too serious, too funny nothing just right). Filmmaker David Gordon Green first made waves with serious, sensitive fare – from George Washington and All the Real Girls to even the tensely wrought thriller Undertow – before veering off into studio comedy territory with Pineapple Express, Your Highness, and The Sitter. The returns on such properties were literally diminishing: while Pineapple Express made over $100m at the box office, Your Highness didn’t crack $25m and The Sitter just missed out on $35m. Yet money wasn’t the problem with Green’s funnier stuff, it was that it just didn’t seem nearly as good as his dramatic projects, laughs aside. Green married his apparently warring aesthetics with last year’s little-seen Prince Avalanche, a funny and clever film that’s also very much about fraught interpersonal relationships, but his interest in full-out comedy has seemingly dipped to an all-time low. Is David Gordon Green done with big studio comedies? And is that actually – gasp! – a mistake?

read more...

trollhunter

Taking stock is perfectly natural this time of year. A fresh start always offers the best microscope through which to observe the goals we achieved or left incomplete (like the goal of making a list of goals (I’ll get to it soon, stop bugging me)), and one of the most fascinating ways I know to take stock is to look at what movie projects never made it to the finish line. I’ve looked at 16 recent abandoned movies so far, all of which remain unmade (including the Arrested Development movie whose inclusion in the first list commenters bitched about so vehemently), and there are plenty more where they came from. On the deeper level, it’s a reminder of the fragility of the seventh art, but as pure trivia, it’s an excellent exercise in What If. Great ideas unrealized and bad bullets dodged, here are 8 more non-movies to add to the collection:

read more...

uak2BzrtC6pEs17XynslGDcxQm8

A funny thing happens when you Google David Gordon Green. Buried down under the first page of hits for “David Gordon Green director” is a related search for “what happened to David Gordon Green” which, once clicked, spits out a litany of links to articles with titles like “Whatever Happened To David Gordon Green?” and “What the Fuck Happened to David Gordon Green?” As a fan of Green’s earlier works, I understand the sentiment – it’s hard to conceive that the filmmaker who made dramatic, nuanced works like George Washington and Undertow also made The Sitter and Your Highness. What the fuck indeed. But even the existence of something like Your Highness (a film I keep hoping to like, or at least to forgive) and The Sitter (a misfire in every way) shouldn’t stop a cinephile’s admiration and appreciation of David Gordon Green, because you can still always watch his hands-down, no-contest, modern classic gem of a movie, All the Real Girls.

read more...

Sean Penn

What is Casting Couch? It’s a daily casting column that isn’t stalking Maria Bello. It swears. Sean Penn has been one of Hollywood’s top actors for decades now, but he’s never really been the sort of performer who stars in big budget blockbusters. Doesn’t he deserve to have his own action franchise already? Well, if his latest project takes off at the box office, he might get it. THR reports that Penn has signed on to star in an adaptation of one of French crime novelist Jean-Patrick Manchette’s books, “The Prone Gunman,” where he will play a badass spy type who gets betrayed by his organization and ends up getting chased all across Europe in a deadly game of cat and mouse. Think of it as being like Steven Soderbergh’s Haywire, only starring an actor.

read more...

File this one under “things we never knew wanted to happen, but thank God they are,” as THR reports that David Gordon Green will direct Nicolas Cage in Gary Hawkins‘ adaptation of Larry Brown‘s novel, Joe. Cage will star as the eponymous Joe, “an ex-con who becomes the unlikeliest of role models to 15-year-old Gary Jones, the oldest child of a homeless family ruled by a drunk, worthless father. Together they try to find a path to redemption and the hope for a better life in the rugged, dirty world of small town Mississippi.” The “gritty” Southern tale sounds like a return to form for the director, who started his career with such similiarly gritty films like George Washington and Undertow before making the move to more mainstream comedic fare like Pineapple Express, Your Highness, and The Sitter. If this signals a sea change or a happy medium for the filmmaker, we’ll gladly take it (we couldn’t take another Sitter, to be honest).

read more...

If anyone out there wants to see Will Smith’s house knocked down, his body covered in boils, and his sanity loosening from his grip as he scrapes at his raw skin with broken bits of pottery, the opportunity might be on the horizon. The Oscar-nominated screenwriter team of Paul Tamasy and Eric Johnson (The Fighter) wrote the script for Joe – a modern retelling of the Job story that you may have learned about in Sunday school while wondering why the teacher was telling you all those horrible, terrible, disgusting things. Tamasy went on Eric Snider and Jeff Bayer’s Movie B.S. Podcast and spoke a bit about the movie. In his own words, “It’s about a man [living] the American dream. He’s got the nice house, white picket fence, great kids, great wife, nice cars. God and the Devil get together every thousand years to bet on a man’s life, and the fate of the world is at stake. What all of us get hit with in a lifetime, this man gets hit with in a week, and it’s about whether or not he can still pick himself up from that and survive it. It’s a dramedy. At its heart, it’s a comedy, but it’s got, obviously, a real dramatic core to it.” Sony will be developing this, but Will Smith is attached to a lot of flicks right now, and no single attachment really means anything anymore. This would be an insane return to acting for the Fourth of […]

read more...

Culture Warrior

There has been a heated debate happening in the world of art cinema criticism, from the printed words of Sight and Sound to the blogspots of grad students, about the status and function of a continually dominating aesthetic known as slow cinema. The discussion basically goes like this: on one hand, slow cinema is a rare, unique and truly challenging methodological approach to film that exists to push the boundaries and expectations of plot and pacing to an extreme antithetical to expectations conditioned by mainstream filmmaking, disrupting the norm by presenting a cinema that focuses on details and mood – in a way that only cinema can – rather than narrative; on the other hand, slow cinema has become such an established and familiar formal approach witnessed in art houses and (especially) film festivals (like Cannes, where such films are repeatedly lauded and rewarded) that they have devolved into a paint-by-numbers approach to get an “in” into such venues rather than a sincere exploration of the potentialities of cinematic expression, and furthermore the repeated celebration of slow cinema devalues the medium’s equal potential to manipulate time by condensing it or speeding it up (‘fast’ cinema).

read more...
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