Josh Brolin

The Goonies

Whether you saw it in the theaters in the 80s, or watching it dozens of times while it played on HBO in the 90s, The Goonies has become an essential part of the childhood movie diet. That’s pretty impressive for a film that includes that many pre-teen curse words, sexual references and dangerous situations. Billed as a collaboration between producer Steven Spielberg and director Richard Donner, it was one of the few hits from the 80s that didn’t get an immediate sequel. Whether you’re still waiting around for that sequel – and whether you think that sequel is a good idea or not – you can still enjoy The Goonies in a variety of home video formats. Back when the DVD was released in the 2001, the cast reunited with Richard Donner to provide a commentary track that has been preserved on subsequent Blu-ray releases. Even though the commentary track is almost as old now as the movie was when the commentary was recorded, it still has some fun insight into the film, including the mysterious message that Sean Astin wanted to share with Cyndi Lauper.

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labordayfilm

This article contains spoilers for ‘Labor Day.’  Proceed with caution unless you have already taken in all of the nonsense it has to offer, or if you are for some other reason free of spoiler-fear. Seeing as I watched director Jason Reitman’s new film, Labor Day, after it was already a few days into its release, I figured that since I hadn’t heard much about it, chances were that it was just an ordinary movie. I mean, I’d heard some rumbling about how it was surprisingly bad, but given how much people have liked Reitman’s movies (Thank You For Smoking, Juno, Up In the Air, Young Adult) up until this point, it made sense that he was probably due to make something that would disappoint. And yeah, the trailer looked pretty hokey, but who can’t go in for a sappy love story every once in a while? It was pretty damned surprising to me then, just how contemptible Labor Day ended up being—and not in your usual bad movie way either. Sure, it was contrived. Sure, its characters often didn’t behave in any believably human way. And sure, it had some serious pacing problems. The real issues with this thing went so much further than problems with crafting though. At a very fundamental level, Labor Day tells a story that presupposes a woman can’t thrive in her life unless she’s permanently attached to a man, which is laughable. As soon as I got home I Googled the movie, expecting to […]

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Oldboy

Few people would ever accuse Park Chan-wook’s Oldboy of being subtle cinema, but Spike Lee’s remake of the 2003 feature smashes any lingering vestiges of the restrained right into the ground with a bloody, looming hammer. Strangely enough, the opening credits of Oldboy provide some insight into the feature itself – this is “a Spike Lee film,” not “a Spike Lee joint,” and it’s “based on the Korean film,” not “based on Park Chan-wook’s film” or “based on Garon Tsuchiya’s manga.” This is not a unique feature and even its own director isn’t interested in putting his signature touch on it. As with Chan-wook’s film, Oldboy centers on a seemingly regular man who is abducted, thrown into a prison-like hotel room for two decades, and framed for the heinous murder of his ex-wife. Josh Brolin is effective enough in the role, and he’s got the fiery anger and unswerving drive element of his character down pat. Emotions not fueled by rage and revenge aren’t quite his forte, at least here, but those don’t really come into play into further down the line. For the first act of the film, he’s just about perfect. Brolin’s Joe Doucett is a flabby, drunk loser who thinks that a smooth-talking attitude will help him succeed at work (it won’t) and just yelling about things to his beleaguered ex-wife will get her to shut up (it also won’t). He’s unsympathetic, but he certainly doesn’t deserve his punishment (or, well, does he?).

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news oldboy1

For many years now a potential remake of Park Chan-wook‘s Oldboy has been striking fear into the hearts of fans. No matter the level of talent involved, scoffs were heard loud and clear around the Internet. Why remake such a recent classic? Probably because, outside of cinephiles, it’s not exactly well known. But that’s beside the point. Even when Steven Spielberg flirted with the project, fan interest remained low, which is a shame because when Spielberg really likes to get cruel as a filmmaker, it’s pretty spectacular. Like Justin Lin and others, Spielberg eventually moved on, as did one-time potential star Will Smith. However, someone who stayed with the project through the years is screenwriter/co-producer Mark Protosevich. Protosevich, who scripted The Cell and chunks of I Am Legend, has always been a serious cheerleader for this remake. I say remake, because, despite what Spike Lee and others tell you, Oldboy is definitely a remake, not a reinterpretation. There’s nothing wrong with that, and Protosevich, he doesn’t treat “remake” as a dirty word either.

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Labor Day Movie

In 1993, Clint Eastwood delivered Kevin Costner as a man on the lam in A Perfect World. It was a smart, dusty twist on coming-of-age featuring a kidnapped boy and ketchup sandwiches. It’s one of Eastwood’s best as a director, and watching the new trailer for Jason Reitman’s Labor Day, I couldn’t help but pick up an echo of it. Reitman looks like he’s doing what he always does (which also means casually going after a fifth Oscar nomination) with the story of an escaped convict (Josh Brolin) playing house with his collateral. Naturally, there’s more to his and the family’s stories. Our review is here. Check out the trailer for yourself and be prepared for a flash of James Van Der Beek as a lawman:

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Labor Day

There’s no funny or punny way to put this – Jason Reitman’s Labor Day is a film about human needs and desires and so how they so often (and so irrevocably) lead to human stupidity and error. A domestic drama about grief, tragedy, growth, and renewal, there’s not a hamburger phone to be found in the whole production, and even Reitman’s trademark banter is held at bay for nearly the film’s entire runtime (the filmmaker does let it fly for a truncated dinner sequence). A film about the human condition, Labor Day is both incredibly relatable and deeply frustrating – after all, those are the sort of emotions anyone would feel if they let an escaped convict into their house and promptly fell in love with him.

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news oldboy1

It’s been a mere two days since we last received new Oldboy pics, but images from Spike Lee‘s latest joint just keep pouring in. Collider‘s gotten their hands on four new ones, including a tease of one of the original film’s gooiest, grossest moments. A lot of this we’ve either seen before, like the hallway hammer fight (which was glimpsed in the trailer) or Josh Brolin‘s character holding a Chinese take-out carton (which presumably will take the place of the original’s dumplings). Brolin staring longingly into an octopus, however, is brand new stuff. Chan-wook Park’s original Oldboy infamously saw its lead actor consume a live octopus in a sushi bar. The octopus was both real and really alive (before being crammed unceremoniously down Min-sik Choi’s throat), and four octopi had to sacrifice their lives to nail the right take. There’s no word yet whether Brolin will committing his own act of mollusk genocide or if Lee has some plan to reinvent the now-notorious sequence. Perhaps this image is all we’ll get on the subject; with the Korean delicacy being offered but Brolin’s character tongue-in-cheekily turning it down. Keep reading to see three more pics.

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Oldboy

Spike Lee‘s remake of Oldboy, Chan-wook Park‘s 2003 story of a man imprisoned in a hotel room for 20 years for no rhyme or reason and then suddenly released for just the same, is shaping up to be one of the most anticipated films of the year. While the red-band trailer gave us all of the gore and revenge fantasy imagery our greasy little hearts could desire, these new stills released from the film, courtesy of Huffington Post, are offering us something a bit more subtle to work with, albeit still powerful. The first shot of Joe Doucett (Josh Brolin) emerging from his classy steamer trunk to fresh air and freedom for the first time in 20 years is incredibly powerful. He looks tiny, like a doll inside of a suitcase forgotten in that field. This image of Brolin bursting from the casket used on the poster, but it’s his more revenge-happy, confident persona leaping out, rather than crawling that they decided to depict. Two other images show Brolin’s character while he’s still being held captive in Hotel Hell, sporting some Castaway-level facial hair. The fourth still introuduces our heroine Elizabeth Olsen, who plays the young therapist who attempts to help Doucett cope with his situation post-captivity. She deserves that cigarette mightily. Check them out after the break.

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carano

What is Casting Couch? It’s the casting news roundup that hopes everyone had a great weekend thinking about Supermans and X-Mens, and are now ready to dig into some news about movies where nobody has lasers coming out of their eyes. Read on for news concerning Adrian Brody, Rose Byrne, Pacific Rim’s Charlie Hunnam, and Community’s Gillian Jacobs. Okay, so maybe let’s cover one extra bit of comic book movie news before we put that world to rest for a few days. It looks like Rob Liefeld’s old Image character Avengelyne is getting ready to come to the big screen. Heat Vision is reporting that the comic creator best known for his spot-on portrayal of human anatomy is teaming up with MMA fighter turned actress Gina Carano to make the deal happen. Liefeld will produce and Carano will star in this tale of a sword-wielding, thong-wearing fallen angel who comes to Earth in order to find and protect a new messiah. The timing seems to be right for this one, because that’s basically the same synopsis as every single genre movie the big studios have in production at the moment.

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Oldboy 2013

Ever since it went into development , the question of, “Why remake Oldboy?” has floated around like dumbfounded wildfire. Even when Steven Spielberg became involved, fans remained unconvinced in the need or desire for a new take on Chan-wook Park‘s revenge film. Spike Lee‘s name won over some fans, and why wouldn’t it? Lee is a director whose work is inherently American. If anyone can bend that material enough to breathe in some seedy American streets, it’s going to be the filmmaker behind 25th Hour and Do the Right Thing. Whether the film will feature some sort of commentary is up in the air, but one thing is for sure based on the first red band trailer for the film, this looks like Lee’s most focused film in years:

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Oldboy Poster 2013

  Brimming with impenetrability, the first poster for Spike Lee‘s take on Oldboy features Josh Brolin dressed as Neo, making his escape from a steamer trunk in the middle of a field while Elizabeth Olsen (or Sharlto Copley with shaved legs) stands poignantly facing the other way. Its premiere is a preamble to a trailer release which will most likely happen this week (*cough*Wednesday*cough*) — so we’ll finally get to see how Lee  and screenwriter Mark Protosevich plan to tell the story (and how much hammer-wielding takes place). While you wait, stare at this until the yellow umbrella dissolves into symbolism or you go cross-eyed.

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brolinworkout

What is Casting Couch? It’s a daily casting column that’s currently shocked and appalled that a mainstream actor has signed on to help legitimize Tom Six’s miserable Human Centipede series of body horror films. Read on to find out who has lowered themselves to delivering poop jokes. Paul Thomas Anderson’s next project, Inherent Vice, is an ensemble crime piece that’s going to see him working with a huge cast of talented actors. Already the film is looking to feature names like Joaquin Phoenix, Sean Penn, Owen Wilson, Reese Witherspoon, Jena Malone, Benicio Del Toro, Martin Short, and the list goes on. The latest news is that he’s looking to add Josh Brolin to the list, who, due to his recent acting comeback that got kickstarted by his starring in the Coen brothers’ No Country For Old Men, is no stranger to working with top tier directors. Brolin is said to be taking a feature role, so this should be a pairing that will produce exciting results.

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poster oldboy spike lee

Director Spike Lee‘s upcoming Oldboy is viewed as a remake of Park Chan-wook’s brilliant 2003 film, but in reality it’s a new adaptation of the original source material, a graphic novel by Nobuaki Minegishi. The story remains the same, though. A man (Josh Brolin) is kidnapped and imprisoned for twenty years with no clue as to his captor’s motive or identity. He’s inexplicably released one day and given a limited amount of time to discover the answers to all of his questions, but he may not like what he finds. In fact, he most definitely won’t like what he finds. Oldboy co-stars Sharlto Copley and Elizabeth Olsen and hits theaters on October 11th. [Press Release]

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gangster 1

This weekend’s Gangster Squad may invoke classical conventions of the mobster genre, but director Ruben Fleischer never set out to make an old school throwback. His dramatic action movie is a part of a new breed of period pieces, ones made with a very modern sensibility. They move at a bullet’s pace, are shot with feverish popcorn energy, and avoid any preconceived notions of being stuffy. Fleischer didn’t set out to make an epic like The Godfather, and after 30 Minutes or Less and Zombieland we wouldn’t expect that from him, but that doesn’t mean he settles into expectations either. Generally if you work in a genre more than once, you become distinctly known as, in Fleischer’s case, “the comedy” guy. While Gangster Squad has its laughs, it shows Fleischer working on a whole new level as a visual storyteller in a different genre . Speaking with Fleischer, he was obviously happy to escape the pigeonhole with his third feature film. Here’s what he had to say about seeing his movie 400 times, the hilarity of Sean Penn and why he’ll continue to shoot digitally:

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Jack Reynor

What is Casting Couch? It’s a casting roundup that’s knee deep in nostalgia as it reports on movies based on comic books and toys from its childhood. Due to a little bit of inspiration from the Internet, Michael Bay gave Mark Wahlberg a pretty big part in his upcoming fourth Transformers movie. It’s always been understood that Wahlberg was playing a placeholder character though, who would pass the franchise off to a couple of young kids who would be pushed into the forefront as it went forward. Well, today Bay announced that he’s found the male half of this new duo. Apparently little known Irish actor Jack Reynor is his guy. Bay says that he saw Reynor in an Irish movie called What Richard Did, which a quick Googling tells me has nothing to do with acting opposite giant robots, so let’s all hope he knows what he’s talking about.

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IntroBioPic

Biopics are always praised for their lead actor or actress’ realistic or unique portrayal of the subject, but what of the supporting cast? Sure, we do recognize their efforts, they might even receive an Academy Award, but rarely are they honored with something as prestigious as an online comedy list. It’s time to rectify that. Here are some of the more talented, memorable, or uncanny portrayals of people who were important enough to be featured in a movie, but not important enough for that movie to be about them.

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31 Days of Horror - October 2011

They said it couldn’t be done. A fifth year of 31 Days of Horror? 31 more terror, gore and shower scene-filled movies worth highlighting? But Rejects always say die and never back away from a challenge, so we’ve rounded up the horror fans among us and put together another month’s worth of genre fun. Enjoy! Synopsis In Robert Rodriguez’s instant zombie classic, a small Texas town becomes ground zero for a gruesome epidemic when the Army’s “Project Terror” – a biochemical doomsday weapon – mutates a platoon of soldiers (and eventually most of the townspeople) into raving, pustulent cannibals. Leading the charge against the zombies are a hard-assed sheriff (Michael Biehn), a lone wolf with a checkered past (Freddy Rodriguez (no relation to Robert)) and Cherry Darling – a one-legged go-go dancer (Rose McGowan). Of course, she’s not one-legged at the start of the film. That would make no sense. How she loses the leg and winds up with a machine gun prosthetic is a tale for the annals of horror legend.

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Acting is like anything in that success doesn’t come quickly. It’s why we can go back and watch old clips of Brad Pitt whoring for Pringles or Tina Fey talking about the interest rate at Mutual Savings Bank. You have to start somewhere, right? Same goes for motion pictures – for most actors, your first role is going to be some mediocre piece like Return To Horror High or Revenge Of The Creature – but every once in a while an actor or actress starts off at a high point. Here are such high points, awesome first films that you’d be proud to be a part of even if you never did another film ever again.

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Sean Penn and Josh Brolin

Sean Penn is no stranger to sending young men out into nature to do battle with the elements. After all, his most recent directorial effort, Into the Wild, saw Emile Hirsch playing a real-life character who did just that. And it doesn’t seem like Penn has gotten those man vs. nature themes out of his head just yet, because Variety is reporting that his next project will be sticking to very similar subject matter. The film is called Crazy for the Storm, and it tells the true story of Norman Ollestad, an 11-year-old boy who survived a plane crash only to find himself stranded and alone in a mountain wilderness. Given that Will Fetters adapted the screenplay for this project from Ollestad’s memoirs, it’s no real spoiler to say that the boy survived the experience, and that’s said to be largely thanks to survival skills he was taught by his father, a former F.B.I. agent who apparently had his kid doing way crazy stuff at an early age (best dad ever).

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Gangster Squad Theater Scene

Whether they needed to or not, Warner Bros. went into something of a panic after last month’s tragic theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado and made plans to scrap a key scene from their upcoming release Gangster Squad. You see, their crime film’s climax also concerned a shooting taking place in a movie theater, and the studio figured that creating a fantasy tragedy that so closely resembled a recent, real-life tragedy would have been in bad taste. After a bit of deliberation, the plan was to completely rewrite and reshoot the sequence, a process which would push the film’s release from September 7 to sometime in 2013 (now confirmed as January 11). Of course, given that reshoots necessarily pushed back the release date of the film, further discussion was created around the issue of whether or not a movie coming out in 2013 would need to change its content because of a shooting that happened in 2012. It’s an interesting line the studio is straddling between acting in good taste and censoring art. But, no matter where your opinion on the issue lies, what’s been decided has been decided, and director Ruben Fleischer and crew are going forward with the reshoots.

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