John Leguizamo

favreaudinner

Jon Favreau seems to be the type of guy who’s pretty into food. No, that wasn’t a fat joke—he who lives in glass houses and whatnot—it’s just an observation coming after he hosted a talk show called Dinner For Five that was based on a crew of interesting people gathering around a table full of food, and now he’s reportedly taking a break from making wildly profitable (when not involving cowboys *and* aliens) blockbuster tentpole pictures in order to put together a little independent project that will see him doing a lot of cooking. The project, according to a scoop that came out of Variety, will see Favreau writing, directing, and starring in a film called Chef, which is said to be a comedy about an emotional chef who runs a Los Angeles-based restaurant.

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The Fortress at Riverrun

What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly movie news column that won’t back down. We begin this evening with a first look at the fortress at Riverrun in Game of Thrones’ upcoming third season. It’s just some fish flags, but those who’ve read the book will get all nerdy over it. Seriously, it’s very cool. And plenty of things center upon this particular set piece this season, with it being the holdfast of House Tully, Catlin Stark’s family.

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Kevin Carr

This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr tapes some alcohol bottles to his knuckles and gets ready to brawl with wolves. Unfortunately, he first drinks all the booze in the bottles and ends up passing out in the snow. When he wakes up, he brushes himself off and heads downtown to climb on the ledge of a tall building. The police are called to try and save him, but Kevin ends up jumping when he learns that Katherine Heigl is brought in to talk him down. Fortunately, Kevin survives the fall and stumbles to the local multiplex to check out this week’s new movies.

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As the classic soul song “Ain’t No Love in the Heart of the City” plays over the opening credits of The Lincoln Lawyer, the perfect tone is set for the movie. At its core, it’s a classical lawyer procedural thriller, but is smoothly played by its star and large cast so much so that you can’t help but be entertained for two hours. It’s a movie where the title explains it all. Mickey Haller (Matthew McConaughey, looking little older, but still with some breezy cool swagger) is a high profiled LA defense lawyer who works out of his Lincoln Town Car. As he wheels and deals throughout the day with his driver Earl (Laurence Mason), we meet the various lawyers, bail bonds men, private investigators, celebrity drug addicts, and gang members that he works with. Some of them love him, but most have some sort of card to play with him.

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr starts a new regimen of drugs that comes in a clear little pill. The guy on the street corner told him that it would unlock the full potential of his mind, and he assured Kevin it was FDA approved. Why would this guy lie to him? While waiting for the drugs to kick in, Kevin decided to take a trip across the American southwest and search for skinny little aliens with fat man voices. He knows he’s safe, even if he’s picked up by the cops, because he’s retained a dead-sexy lawyer who runs his practice out of the back of his Lincoln Town Car.

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Drenched in atmospheric dread, Brad Anderson’s Vanishing on 7th Street is a slight yet haunting thriller that replaces easy answers with the pervasive sense of unknowable, evil forces at work. Propelled by an unexplained mystery – Detroit’s electrical grid fails and people start vaporizing in the darkness – the movie offers a crash course in economical filmmaking while espousing the fundamental truth that nothing scares quite like what we can’t see or understand. The set-up is simple: Days after the cataclysmic event, four strangers – possibly the only survivors left in the Motor City – wind up in a strong, generator-powered bar on 7th Street. They are TV reporter Luke (Hayden Christensen), movie theater projector Paul (John Leguizamo), nurse Rosemary (Thandie Newton) and adolescent James (Jacob Latimore). With no answers, no clear next step and sinister animated shadow portrait figures crawling along the walls as the power dims, the quartet tries to find its way to some form of permanent light.

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Damn fine director Brad Anderson is back, and once again he’s looking to thrill you. Last time we checked in with the director of Session 9 and The Machinist, he was giving us a fear of trains and Russian people who look like Ben Kingsley with his 2008 film Transsiberian. That film rounded out a trio of excellence in the last decade. To kick off this new 10-year frame, Anderson will debut Vanishing on 7th Street at the upcoming Toronto Film Festival. It’s a survival thriller that calls back to 28 Days Later (when you wake up, everybody’s gone) but also calls back to some of Anderson’s earlier work with Session 9. The trailer is up and down, but we do know this for sure: Anderson is at his best when he’s creating taut, atmospheric thrillers that ooze with tension. And there are few concepts more filled with tension than “don’t let the lights go out, or you will die.” Let the fun begin after the break, where I’ve conveniently assembled the trailer and the official synopsis. It’s also worth noting that you should not discount this movie based on the involvement of Hayden Christensen. A quality director can overcome his usual wooden effort.

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Junkfood Cinema: Super Mario Bros

Welcome back to Junkfood Cinema; the burning means it’s working. This is the weekly movie column that does its small part to battle piracy by highlighting several films no one in their right mind would ever want to download.

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decade-worstmovies

There were a lot of bad movies released during the past decade. That’s not anything that distinguishes the aughts from any other decade before it, but then most of these movies were bad in the usual, torturous ways.

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gamer-review1

Neveldine and Taylor, the brains behind the ‘Crank’ series, exchange Jason Statham for Gerard Butler in the future but they’ve made a slightly more intelligent version of the same movie.

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I don’t know how to make this story not sound at least a little dirty, despite the fact that it’s all about a damn kids movie.

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FSR

Kevin Carr looks at The Day the Earth Stood Still, Nothing Like the Holidays, Slumdog Millionaire and Wendy and Lucy, in theaters this week with the FSR Report Card.

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Columbus Rejects! Get a chance to see Nothing Like the Holidays two days before it opens… for free!

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Robert DeNiro and Al Pacino from Righteous Kill

Die-hard Pacino and De Niro fans will enjoy seeing their favorite actors on the screen, but my suggestion for this movie is to go in with as low of expectations as you can.

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The Happening

The Happening isn’t a success, nor is it a total failure. It’s not quite a return to form, but compared to Shyamalan’s last two efforts, it is certainly a step in the right direction.

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Al Pacino and Robert De Niro in Righteous Kill

The release of Righteous Kill, the long awaited Robert De Niro and Al Pacino team-up cop drama is almost upon us. Today, we get a second (and considerably more badass) trailer from Overture Films.

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Messing joins an already stellar cast in Alfredo de Villa’s next film.

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