Kevin Macdonald

elvis

If you’ve been patiently waiting for an Elvis Presley biopic to come along that does justice to the life and times of the legendary rockstar, then your lucky day might be coming soon, because a perfect storm of musical biopic experience has just come together to create a film project called Last Train to Memphis that’s planned to dramatize the early period of Presley’s life—where he transformed from being a kid with a guitar into the ultimate pop culture icon—and is based off of Peter Guralnick’s 1995 Presley biography of the same name. According to a report from Variety, the project is being put together by Fox 2000, who already scored big with the 2005 Johnny Cash biopic, Walk the Line. It’s going to be produced by Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger, who is also currently involved in a James Brown biopic starring Chadwick Boseman. And it’s to be directed by Kevin Macdonald, who saw great success with his 2006 biopic of Idi Amin, The Last King of Scotland, and who also has experience helming documentaries about famous musicians, including last year’s Bob Marley documentary, Marley. Last Train to Memphis is a movie that brings quite an impressive pedigree to the table.

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How I Live Now

Daisy (Saoirse Ronan) is having a particularly rough summer for your average teenager. Sent to live with relatives in the UK, she’s having trouble fitting in to her strange surroundings until she falls for a neighborhood cutie who may also be her own cousin (George MacKay). But their young love is short-lived when an apocalyptic war breaks out in the once-peaceful nation, tearing their relationship, and their lives apart. Now, would you get any of that from this one-sheet for How I Live Now? The film, from Kevin MacDonald (The Last King of Scotland), is based on a highly popular YA novel by Meg Rosroff that is apparently all the rage with the tweens and their twerking and their emojis and One Direction and what have you. But besides showing a defiant Daisy dressed way too cool for school (and looking like someone who probably would have never talked to me in high school), the poster doesn’t reveal much. Unless, of course, that orange haze and lens flare is from a bomb casually dropping behind her. In which case, damn Daisy. That’s a bold move to be bored by warfare. Do you think that attitude is what got her sent to the UK in the first place?

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How I Live Now

It seems that this summer’s end-of-the-world movie trend (World War Z, This is the End, The World’s End, Pacific Rim…I’ll keep going) is getting extended into the fall with another film about a bleak future, this time starring a mad as hell Saoirse Ronan. Kevin MacDonald’s How I Live Now, based on the massively popular YA novel by Meg Rosoff, tells the story of American girl Daisy (seriously, guys, screw off if you call her Elizabeth – only her DAD calls her that, and he’s totally lame), who is sent to the English countryside to stay with relatives. Fortunately, Cute Boy Edmund (George MacKay) lives nearby, and they strike up the kind of love you only dream about. Their idyllic summer is cut short when WWIII begins and England becomes a violent military state; Daisy spends the rest of the film trying to escape her captors and find her lost love because that’s…how she lives now. The trailer’s hip pop-punk soundtrack played over shots of Daisy racing through the countryside and ducking under gunfire make this clear that it’s an action movie for the StephEnie Meyer generation, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It’s probably going to be cheesy, and for anyone over the age of 17, the couple’s vows of undying love will be a bit laughable.

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SXSW is just under two months away which means many of us and many of you are eagerly awaiting the announcements as to what films will be playing the festival. Well the wait is over! At least partially… Austin’s second coolest film festival has just revealed a few of the films that will be appearing this year, and while the bulk of the movies remain a delicious mystery today’s announcement does include the highly anticipated Opening Night feature. Cabin In the Woods, the Drew Goddard-directed and Joss Whedon-cowritten horror film that floored attendees at the last BNAT, will be opening SXSW on Friday, March 9th. The film is about a group of young adults who head to a remote cabin for some rest, relaxation and probable fornication. Their festivities are interrupted though when they start falling victim to an undisclosed evil. Or something. If the movie is even half as good as the script it’s guaranteed to be one of the favorites at this year’s festival. A few other titles were revealed as well including Jonas Åkerlund’s Small Apartments, Ciarán Foy’s Citadel, and Kevin Macdonald’s look at the life and times of Bob Marley. FSR will be on the ground and in the rafters covering these and as many other movies as we can cram into our eyeballs from March 9th through the 17th. Be sure to follow along as the lovely Kate Erbland, the somewhat less lovely Jack Giroux, the impeccably dressed Neil Miller, and yours truly review the […]

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Saoirse Ronan has been through a big couple of years, despite being such a young actress, the highlights of which have probably been her breakout performance in the period (time, not menstrual) thriller Atonement, and her starring role in Joe Wright’s slick assassin movie Hanna. Despite such lofty accomplishments, it’s starting to look like 2012 is going to be her biggest year yet. She’s currently filming a Neil Jordan movie called Byzantium, she co-stars in recent festival assassin flick called Violet & Daisy, and she’s also set to star in an adaptation of Stephenie Meyer’s non-Twilight young adult novel The Host. Sounds like the girl has a busy schedule, but somehow she’s managed to squeeze another project in. Variety is reporting that the budding young starlet has now signed to head the next film by Kevin Macdonald (the guy who made The Last King of Scotland, not the Kids in the Hall guy, that’s Kevin McDonald), How I Live Now. This one is also an adaptation of a novel about young people, but decidedly less creature filled and much more war torn than Meyer’s book. “How I Live Now” was written by Meg Rosoff, and Amazon describes its plot as such:

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr spent the night in jail after trying to sneak in and see Justin Bieber: Never Say Never 3D. The cops didn’t believe him that he was trying to watch the latest remake of Thunderball. Sadly, they just saw a pervy looking fat guy squealing and crying with a group of thirteen year old girls. Fortunately, he had a chance to catch the other movies of the week, including Gnomeo and Juliet, Just Go With It and The Eagle. He also gives a little bit of love (what’s left of it anyway after spending the night in lock-up) to the Oscar-Nominated Shorts.

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Want to feel insignificant? Stop reading this review and take a second to contemplate 6.8 billion. It’s an extraordinarily vast, staggering sum, almost unfathomable. And yet, throughout the world, every day, 6.8 billion people laugh and cry, love and fight, experiencing the joys and heartbreaks that are fundamental to life, as their own stories are written. Last summer, YouTube put out a global call for user-generated submissions of home movies depicting life on July 24, 2010. Life in a Day, the resulting film (assembled by director Kevin MacDonald, with an assist from producer Ridley Scott), culled into an hour-and-a-half from 90,000 entrants, is an extended montage of select clips drawn from the submissions.

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Well over a billion opinion-owners have commented about the power and innovation of YouTube, but while watching videos of cats in sinks, it somehow feels like it’s not living up to its potential. Now it might be on the right track. Director Kevin MacDonald and Producer Ridley Scott will be showing their latest film Life in a Day on YouTube at the same time that it debuts at Sundance. The film especially belongs on Youtube, though. It’s a film created by exhaustively combing through over 4,500 submissions of daily life shot by people all over the world on July 24th, 2010. The crowd-sourcing technique was done a bit earlier with the Beastie Boys’ Awesome; I Fuckin’ Shot That (a title which screamed out its method), but the subject matter here lends itself completely to a deeper documentary film. From all the people that sent in tapes, 26 were chosen from a startling variety of countries, and the film will air for free on its official YouTube page; once on January 27th at 8pm EST and once again on January 28th at 7pm Local Time. Check out one the teaser clips for yourself:

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Once upon a time, there were sword and sandals movies. Now, Channing Tatum is doing one — and its all about the abs and the clean-cut American look.

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isaac-asimov_1955_the-end-of-eternity

Kevin Macdonald is all set to hop in a kettle, travel to the future, and tackle one of Isaac Asimov’s greatest novels. Sadly, no robots will be involved.

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State of Play

When veteran print reporter Cal McAffrey (Russell Crowe) begins investigating the murder of a young drug addict and notes connections to a story regarding the supposedly accidental death of one of Congressman Stephen Collins’s (Ben Affleck) aides, he teams up with the newspaper’s political blogger Della Frye (Rachel McAdams) and digs deep enough to find a major corporate conspiracy that threatens the democrat nature of our homeland security.

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