Joel Edgerton

Though he’s primarily known for the recent acting work he’s done in movies like Warrior and Animal Kingdom, Joel Edgerton is a man who’s been on the scene for a while, and not just as an actor, but as a writer too. As a matter of fact, the next project he has on his plate is a film called Felony, that he both wrote the screenplay for and is set to star in. Not much is yet known about the film, except that it’s about a decorated police officer who runs a cyclist off the road while driving intoxicated and then lies about it, and it’s going to be directed by fellow Australian Matthew Saville. Given Edgerton’s ability to work both as a performer and as a creator, one has to wonder if he’s ever considered taking that extra step and trying to direct a film as well as write and star in it. Well, it turns out he has. While he was doing some press for his current job, The Odd Life of Timothy Green, Cinema Blend asked the actor if he ever wanted to try his hand at sitting in the director’s chair, and he had this to say, “Yeah, absolutely! I’ve got plans to do that. There’s something that I want to make, if I can, next year.”

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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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Forgive me if you disagree, but I can still see no earthly reason why Baz Luhrmann thinks that his take on F. Scott Fitzgerald‘s The Great Gatsby needs to be in 3D. And while the film’s first trailer should change that, should remove doubts about that pesky extra dimension, this one simply doesn’t. It’s classic Luhrmann in this new look – the energy, the colors, the splash, the spectacle, even the modern music over a classic story (cue Jay-Z and Kanye West) – and that should be enough to put the film in front of fresh eyes, but clearly the filmmaker doesn’t think so. Unfortunately, the effect of 3D made flat (and for computer viewing) means that all those big, clearly show-stopping shots come across with an air of fraudulence. It just doesn’t look real, even for Luhrmann and his trademark style. It’s also fairly obvious from this trailer alone the sort of shots Luhrmann will linger on to make the best use of his 3D – falling confetti, the swirl of a falling shirt, the curl of cigarette smoke, the swing of a polo mallet, and that’s all well and good, but it still feels remarkably pointless. Perhaps his cast, including Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan, Tobey Maguire, and Joel Edgerton, will breathe some life into the circus. Remember that real life is in 3D and love is blindness, and watch the first trailer for The Great Gatsby after the break.

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James McAvoy to Star in The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby

Last we heard, hot commodities Jessica Chastain and Joel Edgerton were set to star as a married couple in Ned Benson‘s very ambitious double feature, The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby, but despite that official announcement back in February, it appears that Edgerton is out and James McAvoy is now in. Another press release from Myriad Pictures announces that McAvoy will now play the male lead in Benson’s perspective-bending marital dramas, with Chastain still a go to play the female lead. Benson (In Defiance of Gravity) has written both scripts and will also direct both films. Eleanor Rigby is an extreme case of using two perspectives to tell one story, as Benson wasn’t satisfied with making just one movie split between narrators, he’s now crafted two entirely different films to be told by each character. The films will be officially titled The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Him and The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Her. The plot of the films centers on McAvoy and Chastain’s couple, a married pair in New York City, and how they deal “with an emotional, life-altering experience, from the two different perspectives of the husband, Conor, a restaurant owner, and of the wife, Eleanor, who goes back to college.” While there’s no indication of just what that life-altering experience is, the film is also billed specifically as a love story, so take from that what you will. Of course, the title could be totally goddamn literal and Chastain could be named after a Beatles song and she […]

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Aussie multi-hyphenate Joel Edgerton has a full plate (we will next see him in The Odd Life of Timothy Green, The Great Gatsby, and Zero Dark Thirty orwhateveritiswerecallingitnow), but that’s not stopping him from expanding his resume to continue to include writing and directing ventures. News from Cannes reveals that Edgerton will next star in Felony, a film to be directed by Matthew Saville from Edgerton’s own script. Edgerton previously co-wrote The Square, a nasty little film noir with a big bite, and he’s also penned a number of shorts for Blue-Tongue Films (the Aussie conglomerate that also includes his brother Nash Edgerton, Kieran Darcy-Smith, David Michod, Spencer Susser, and more). Felony will center on Edgerton’s character, a lauded police officer who makes the critical mistake of driving home after imbibing “a celebration drink with his team after the long waited bust of a major gang, [he] runs a young cyclist off the road. As he gives CPR to the child, fellow officers arrive to take his statement. In a split second decision he tells them a lie about the accident which will change all their lives in this edge of your seat thriller.” If you’re familiar with The Square, you’ll know just how adept Edgerton is at crafting thrillers that spin wildly (yet believably) out of control. Felony sounds like a perfect fit.

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Joel Edgerton and Jessica Chastain both had pretty big years in 2011. Edgerton broke onto the Hollywood scene with a big role in the high-profile The Thing remake and also turned a lot of heads with his powerful performance in the MMA drama Warrior. And Chastain, well she had a critically acclaimed supporting role in pretty much every art film that came out during the calendar year. So, to hear that these two budding superstars are teaming up on a movie should be pretty good news. But to hear that they’ve signed on to star together in two films with very unique premises, well that’s just downright intriguing. Deadline Liverpool has posted a press release from Myriad Pictures saying that the duo is set to star in both The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: His and The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Hers. The two films, both from writer/director Ned Benson, will tell the story of the same rocky marriage, but one from the perspective of the husband and the other from the perspective of the wife. Edgerton’s character is said to be a restaurant owner, and Chastain’s a woman who is going back to school. Doing two movies that tell the same story but from different viewpoints sounds like it could have the potential to be very interesting, but are they really going to be able to get people to pay to see the same story twice? Myriad CEO Kirk D’Amico seems to think so. He says of the project, “Ned […]

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Not only will Joel Edgerton be in at least four dozen movies this year, The Hollywood Reporter is reporting that he’s just sold a spec script to Regency called One Night Stand that has them on the hunt for a director. The concept, which seems light-years away from The Square, involves an honest look at what happens when a guy and girl shack up for a single night. Consequences ensue. That’s a sadly inexact description of the script (considering that it describes a ton of movies), but hopefully there’s some magic hidden in it that caught the eye of the studio. Edgerton of course wrote The Square which caught a lot of attention, but seemed more than a bit clunky as a thriller. This new project is outside that wheelhouse just a bit as it’s described as a “drama with comedic elements,” which means someone gorgeously recites the To Be Or Not To Be speech before slipping on a banana peel. Or, if his Square sensibilities in tact, the main character will sleep with a dude no-string-style and then dump an illicit bag of money on his bed before leaving. All of this adds up to continued dominance from the Australian actor/writer/producer who just keeps making his presence known. At any rate, he’s come a long way from playing Owen Lars in Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones, eh?

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Everyone is currently lining up to fictionally kill the mass-murdering asshole Osama Bin Laden (South Park) for Kathryn Bigelow. It’s obviously a wonderful opportunity for actors to work with the Oscar winner, especially considering how Jeremy Renner’s career blew up after defusing bombs for her. The good news is that all the names that are signing on the line happen to be worth their weight in statues. According to Deadline Destry, Jessica Chastain might continue her dominance with the now-untitled project alongside Mark Strong and Edgar Ramirez (Carlos). Meanwhile, Chris Pratt (Parks and Recreation) is now confirmed, and Joel Edgerton is double confirmed. Bringing on Chastain, Strong and Ramirez would be a strong move for the production. Bigelow is of course re-teaming with writer/producer Mark Boal for a project that will most likely be controversial due to the subject matter. They’re currently slated for a December release (a date conspicuously after the Presidential election). It’s possible that the date might be moved back due to a congressional investigation into whether the production was given information it wasn’t supposed to have, but December is what to watch for currently. And all of it sounds fantastic. The big question is how star-spangled this thing can get.

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Pixar

What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly collection of links and things that will make you smile, make you think and perhaps aid you in getting to that restful state known as deep sleep. Either way, it’s always a pretty fun read. We begin tonight with a new image from Pixar’s Brave, a film I placed on my shortlist as one of the 5 most anticipated movies of the year on my triumphant return to Reject Radio this week. This one shows Princess Merida and her family. There’s so much red hair…

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Bane in The Dark Knight Rises

What is Movie News After Dark? It has been happening (just about) every weeknight since the beginning of the year. One would hope that you have an idea about what it is by now. For those who still haven’t caught on, it’s about movie news… and it happens after dark. We begin tonight with the story of the wee hours of yesterday, in which Empire’s latest issue began shipping with two covers from The Dark Knight Rises, including the limited edition Bane cover seen above. Some of the folks around the web with camera have sent pictures in to Coming Soon, but more importantly, they’ve included details from the set visit piece within Empire. Especially notable is the part about The Dark Knight Rises being set 8 years in the future.

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After successfully bulking up enough to trade blows and dialogue with Tom Hardy in the recent fight film Warrior, Australian actor Joel Edgerton has proven that he can pretty much do anything. And after starring in another recent, high profile Hollywood film, the remake of The Thing, he has shown that he’s an actor whose star power is on the rise. So it makes sense to me that Warner Bros. and director Noam Murro would be looking at him to fill Gerard Butler’s shoes as the star of a 300 movie. According to Vulture, Edgerton is in talks to join Murro’s 300 sequel/prequel Battle of Artemisia as the lead badass Themistocles. Themistocles was an Athenian general and politician who is mostly remembered for leading the Athenian Navy in a successful campaign to beat back a Persian invasion. After his military exploits, he stuck around Athens as a bigwig politician, but eventually rubbed a lot of people the wrong way because of his arrogance. Also, he rubbed the Spartans the wrong way because of his insistence that Athens be refortified. Once he was eventually ostracized from Athens, he had nowhere else to go in Greece – he had pissed pretty much everyone off. What choice did that leave him? It meant that, in a stunning bit of irony, he had to flee to Persia and work in service of their king.

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr gets ready to celebrate Halloween in style with some horror releases… and he’s not just thinking of Footloose. Unhappy with his life, he follows the bucket list path of Steve Martin, Owen Wilson and Jack Black, traveling to the bottom of the world where he finds himself in a small Antarctic town that has outlawed dancing. So Kevin takes it upon himself to help the people get their groove on only to discover they’ve been taken over an alien species that duplicate human form. Later, he takes a trip back to the heartland where he finds a feral woman chained in a cellar… pretty standard for some of the towns he’s been to. Finally, not being able to find a theater that is still playing Human Centipede 2 (Full Sequence), he checks it out On Demand and promptly throws up.

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The Thing is a prequel, not a remake. The trailers indicated Matthijs van Heijningen Jr.‘s film was going to be nothing but a series of retreads, but it’s far from it. The commercial director managed to make a film he can actually call his own. Slightly old school and slightly modern, The Thing is a surprisingly fun horror film. Although, to start with some bad news, it does take time to warm up to this prequel. One of its main problems is reminiscent of Predators – you’re watching characters wandering around spouting “What’s going on?”, when you already know exactly what’s going on. The build-up to the goods doesn’t take a great deal of time, but most of the set-up elicits that unexciting feeling of being 20 minutes ahead of your characters, especially for those who’ve seen Carpenter’s remake. Once the chaos commences in the second act, that’s when the film begins to firmly take hold. There’s an all-hell-breaks-loose moment, where more than a couple of characters are killed off, and it’s the scene where the film begins to work. This bloody and standout scene comes after the expected “let’s see which one of us is still human!” experiment, another bit the filmmakers managed to put their own unique spin on. After that “oh, crap” moment, it’s all running and screaming from thereon out.

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Director Matthijs van Heijningen Jr. had a lot going against him when he took on The Thing. Fanboy outrage notwithstanding, the filmmaker had to take the same concept — characters discovering an alien running amuck, guessing who’s not human, that sense of paranoia — and still make his own film, and not simply a series of retreads. The obvious reliance on CGI over practical effects isn’t the greatest difference from John Carpenter‘s film; it’s all the spins and deviations Heijningen crafted — the unique alien designs that differ vastly from the original’s transformations, the lack of any bad-ass heroes, the twist on the blood test scene, and plenty more — which make this prequel stand apart. Here’s what director Matthijs van Heijningen Jr. had to say about revamping concepts, why you’ll be seeing more CG versions of the alien over practical versions, and why we shouldn’t expect an unrated cut:

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Boiling Point

John Carpenter’s The Thing may be among the greatest remakes of all time. It shares little with its predecessor, and actually calling it a remake may be unnecessary, as they’re both born from the novella Who Goes There? Anyway, let’s call it a remake – let’s not mince words, because if I did that now, the rest of my argument wouldn’t make much sense, because I’m calling out 2011’s The Thing for not copping to what it is. The thing is, it’s exactly what it seems like, unlike the alien in the movie, but the filmmakers just won’t admit their film is a remake. I mean, they sort of aren’t against calling it a re-something. Kind of. See, to them it’s a prequel. It tells the stories of the Norwegians, so it’s part of the canon. It can’t be a remake if it actually takes place in the storyline. It just becomes an installment of the franchise. Normally, that’s fine. Who cares? A prequel isn’t as good as a sequel, generally, but we regard it as a step up from a remake. But here’s the problem: watch the trailer for The Thing. This movie is a God damned remake and there ain’t no two ways about it.

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In the wrong hands, Warrior could have been a disaster. If a few beats in Gavin O’Connor‘s family drama missed the mark even in the slightest, the final result could have been a sports parody. Despite playing in familiar territory, the Miracle and Pride and Glory director didn’t make that parody. Instead, the filmmaker strived to be as honest as possible with the material at hand. In doing so, he’s made an underdog of a film that’s, ironically, about underdogs. Like his previous works, O’Connor explores the meaning of brotherhood, family, and overcoming insurmountable odds. The trick for O’Connor was to make those well-known — drama, not sports — tropes believable. Here’s what co-writer and director Gavin O’Connor had to say about striving for realism, telling personal stories in mass appeal films, and love stories among men:

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr heads into the MMA ring to battle Bane from The Dark Knight Rises, after being trained by a strung-out Nick Nolte who looks like he’s ready to have an aneurysm at any moment. Then he is sent into a bird flu panic when someone coughs on him at the airport. Not wanting to suffer the same fate as Gwenyth Paltrow, he takes a road trip down to the Louisiana bayou where he runs into a hillbilly redneck alligator mutant. But at least he didn’t have to see Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star.

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Critics love to bemoan the high concept Hollywood production, those movies with an easily comprehended hook that seems ready-made for the pitch meeting. Their disgust is often justifiable. After all, these are usually safe, creatively bankrupt cliché fests, the scourge of the corporately-run studios. At first glance, Warrior — one-part Cain and Abel, one part Rocky and one part a blatant cash-in on the Mixed Martial Arts phenomenon — appears to be just such a flick. But when it comes to a picture’s most basic purpose — entertaining its audience — an easily definable premise doesn’t necessarily spell doom. When the commonplace is done well, with real feeling and strong characterizations, it can still seem fresh. Director Gavin O’Connor, who achieved that effect with his 1980 Winter Olympics hockey drama Miracle, does it again here. The premise is familiar — estranged blue collar brothers (Tom Hardy and Joel Edgerton) hash out their differences against the backdrop of an athletic competition (MMA tournament). The passion imbued in the storytelling and the performances, however, is not.

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I’m not usually interested in writing stories about photos. Most of the time, especially when you’re not dealing with a superhero film, there’s not much room for speculation or any sort of interesting commentary. With these behind the scenes pics for Warrior, not much can be said about them. However, I’ll take any chance I can get to discuss Gavin O’Connor‘s family drama, because it’s just that good. To make an easy comparison, it’s this year’s The Fighter. They are different films, but one big fact they both have in common? They’re genuine crowd-pleasers. Warrior never panders to please. It, mostly, features well-earned drama that wins you over. If you need to feel secure about yourself, make sure to checkout how flabby and out of shape Tom Hardy and Joel Edgerton look here. God, I feel bad for these guys.

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published: 12.19.2014
A-
published: 12.18.2014
C-
published: 12.17.2014
B+
published: 12.15.2014
B


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