Liv Tyler

Justin Theroux in The Leftovers

Ah, the old “fake commercial that’s actually a trailer for something else” trick. A classic. First you lull ‘em into a false sense of security, then ka-blam! Zombies/aliens/vampires/dinosaur sharks/Muppets. Sure, The Leftovers loses a little bit of its fake-out oomph by airing on HBO, a network that doesn’t actually show commercials (at least, not for any non-HBO products), but the suspense is still mostly there. And for those poor, uninformed souls who don’t know the ins and outs of HBO’s commercial policies, there are still a few gotchas to be had. What starts out as an ad for some sciencey whatever — a smartphone or the environment or something — segues into something a little scarier when a great big chunk of the population disappears into thin air. What the trailer doesn’t mention, however is just what’s causing our nation’s babies to vaporize out of their car seats: the Rapture. Maybe not the Rapture, but a Rapture nonetheless. And the series, based off the similarly-titled book by Tom Peretta, will follow the non-raptured (hence the title) as they feud and fuss in post-apocalyptic suburbia.

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Bradley Cooper and American Sniper

What is Casting Couch? It’s a daily movie news column that that wants to make you a star, baby. Filmmaker Cameron Crowe hasn’t said much about his next project. We don’t yet have a title or a plot synopsis for it. But what we do know is that it’s said to be similar in tone to things like Almost Famous and Jerry Maguire, and it’s got Emma Stone playing a lead role (and it might just be a rewrite of his Deep Tiki script from years ago). So basically, expect something that lines up with Crowe’s best work and stars one of your favorite actresses. Sounds great. The new news regarding the project is that Crowe is reportedly close to finding his male lead. Deadline Hollywood says that he has his eye on Bradley Cooper, and he’s close to making a deal happen. Bradley Cooper and Emma Stone in a Cameron Crowe movie? Yeah, that should be enough to get the attention of every person of every gender and sexuality ever. Remember how we reported that Christopher Nolan’s regular DP, Wally Pfister, is going to be directing his first movie, it’s going to be called Transcendence, and it’s going to star Johnny Depp? Well, all of that stuff is still true, but the L.A. Times has dug up even more information. Turns out the film is actually going to have three leads, and Pfister is very game to get Christian Bale to sign on as number two of the three. Anyone out there want to see Johnny Depp […]

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Technology is meant to make our lives easier – from the brain-crushing minutiae of everyday work to world-changing scientific advancements, the possibilities of technology are endless. And, in Jake Schreier‘s Robot and Frank, those possibilities even include criminal activities. In the director’s first feature, Schreier imagines (thanks to Christopher D. Ford‘s original screenplay) a world where technology has advanced to the point that most homes now have their very own helper robot. The new robot tech is gradually taking over supposedly mindless jobs – inside and outside the home – including serving as nifty companions to the elderly. Salty old Frank (Frank Langella) isn’t too sold on the idea of robots (to put it mildly), so he’s quite put out when his kids (James Marsden and Liv Tyler) provide him with his own robo-helper. While Frank initially balks at the new addition to his home, the pair eventually form a bit of a friendship – which former jewel thief Frank then totally exploits in order to get back in the gem-heisting game. What a nice old man! Check out Langella robbing his neighbors with his robot pal in the first trailer for Robot and Frank after the break.

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Over Under - Large

When writer Diablo Cody and director Jason Reitman teamed up on the 2007 film, Juno, the responses were mixed. Some people liked it quite a bit, not just because it was clever and quippy, but also because it presented a realistic, affecting look at the inherent drama of teenage pregnancy. Other people thought that it was painfully self-conscious in its hipness and insufferably annoying in its quirk, so they raged against any praise that came its way. Their next team-up, Young Adult, was different though. Not only did this look at a washed-up YA author traveling back to her home town in order to break up her high school sweetheart’s marriage do well with Juno fans, it did quite well with those who couldn’t stand Cody’s writing up to that point, as well. Charlize Theron’s painfully honest protagonist and Patton Oswalt’s achingly tragic supporting character really hit home for most. On the other end of the spectrum, the 2005 film Lonesome Jim doesn’t get very many mentions in a very many circles. On a couple levels, that makes sense. It’s a micro-budget indie that doesn’t provide any spectacle and didn’t get much promotion, and it was only seen on a handful of screens during its theatrical release. On the other hand, there are several reasons why you’d think this movie would have gotten more play over time. It’s one of the few films directed by Steve Buscemi, who everybody seems to love, it’s got great lead performances by Casey Affleck […]

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31 Days of Horror - October 2011

We continue our journey through a month of frightening, bloody and violent films. For more, check out our 31 Days of Horror homepage. Synopsis: A proposal gone sour, a night at a remote family home and two people who can barely look each other in the eye? What else could go wrong? A lot. The romantic night James (Scott Speedman) had planned for himself and Kristen (Liv Tyler) had already gone south before they even got to the house, but things take an even more upsetting (and unsettling) turn when an unexpected knock on the door invites a whole host of horror onto the couple.

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Super isn’t tied to the world of comics. Writer/director James Gunn didn’t make a satire or a spoof; instead Super is its own extremist beast. The Taxi Driver-inspired religious tale is a gritty, dirty, and dark comedy that just so happens to have the leads sporting superhero costumes. These aren’t your fluffy and perfect men-in-tights leads, but some seriously damaged individuals. There’s a jarring dichotomy to the film and its characters, which is something that split both critics and audiences back in April. Frank D’Arbo, a.k.a The Crimson Bolt, is a sympathetic and understandable protagonist, but you question his sanity. Libby, a.k.a. Boltie, gains great glee from slicing up goons in the bloodiest ways possible, and yet has an endearing charm to her psychopathic and wish-fulfillment ambitions. These are repellant characters on the outside, but understandably unstable in the inside. Here’s what James Gunn had to say about the fluctuating tone, writing a character driven film versus a set-piece driven film, and making possible psychotics sympathetic in Super:

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IFC Films has released the first trailer for The Ledge, a psycho-sexual religious infidelity forced-suicide thriller starring Sons of Anarchy‘s Charlie Hunnam, Liv Tyler and Patrick Wilson. The latter plays a man driven mad with jealous rage after his wife (Tyler) falls for her handsome, grungy new boss. What’s most interesting about the project is that it’s from director Matthew Chapman, who has not directed a film since the late 1980s, a decade in which he made several sexually-charged thrillers, including the 1980 Helen Mirren vehicle Hussy. In fact, Chapman hasn’t done anything of great significance since since 2003, when he penned the John Cusack courtroom thriller Runaway Jury. But here he is, with a quality cast and a movie that appears to deliver some tense moments. Good for him, I say.

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Everywhere you look there’s another superhero movie these days. Countless studio dollars, a stream of big stars and endless articles have been expended on the subject. Thor, Captain America and the Green Lantern headline an upcoming summer movie season that’s chock-full of various forms of masked avengers. Concurrently, there’s arisen a far less prolific counter-industry of satirically oriented films, such as Kick Ass, that attempt an indie-friendly examination of the questionable sanity and real world practicality of these figures. It’s these latter films that I’ve personally flocked to, having long-grown tired of the formulaic non-Christopher Nolan big-budget superhero aesthetic. Thus, James Gunn’s Super is – in the same vein as protagonist Frank’s heavenly calling to justice – a gift from above. In framing the birth of a real-life superhero as a disturbed man’s religious awakening, the Slither filmmaker gets to the heart of the grandiose self-absorption at the core of superherodom. To don a mask and tights, formulate a nickname and spend your nights prowling the streets, seeking out drug dealers and other unsavory elements, you’d have to be, well, more than a little bit crazy. Frank (Rainn Wilson), the luckless, depressed everyday schlub central figure here fits the bill, driven to unhinged rage when his wife Sarah (Liv Tyler) leaves him for scuzzy drug kingpin Jacques (Kevin Bacon).

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Movies We Love

“It’s the size of Texas, Mr. President.” Does it get any better than that? Of course it doesn’t. Armageddon is without doubt one of the finest motion pictures ever created by humans. If that snippet of dialogue made audible by Mr. Billy Bob Thornton himself didn’t convince you, maybe this will. “You think we’ll get hazard pay for this?” I’m going to pretend you’ve been living under a rock since 1998 and summarize one of the greatest summer blockbuster films ever made for you. So Billy Bob Thorton is sort of the head honcho of NASA and one day he’s supervising a standard in-space satellite repair when all of a sudden a meteor shower rips his crew to pieces. We then cut to New York City, which seems to always be the city that gets destroyed in big budget disaster movies, and sure enough the meteors tear through the city demolishing Grand Central Station, decapitating the Chrysler Building [insert Unstoppable joke here] and finally, in a moment fraught with unintended significance, the camera slowly zooms out to show the twin towers of the World Trade Center on fire. Then we’re treated to quickly cut scenes of people yelling and running through hallways and trying to figure out why Keith David keeps calling. Essentially, a giant asteroid is on a collision course with Earth and no matter where it hits, it will wipe out all life as we know it. Jason Isaacs convinces the President that the best plan is to […]

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A few bits of news have come down the pipe so close together that it is almost impossible they aren’t related. Ever since Michael Bay’s blockbuster hit Armageddon came out in 1998, film fans all over the planet have been clamoring for further adventures from Ben Affleck and company. Well, it’s now looking like things are coming together in a way that will allow everyone to get their wish. After a very public break, Aerosmith front man and current judge on TV’s American Idol Steven Tyler has confirmed via his Twitter account that the band is going to head back into the studio together. Tyler stated, “AEROFREAKSREJOICE, Joe & I sent smoke signals… shot the shit & chewed the fat for the last year… but just smoked the peace pipe for an hour today and are on our way to rock’in your fkin worlds this summer by locking our selves [sic] away somewhere w/ guitars and drums.” Aerosmith has had several hits going all the way back to the 60s, but they are, of course, best known for their contribution to the Armageddon soundtrack, “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing.” Almost concurrent to this announcement, Tyler’s daughter Liv talked to FOX about she and her father trying to make some music together. “We sing all the time together. We always talk about doing something together. Sometimes when he is in the studio he’ll say ‘come down and sing backup or sing with me on this song.’ But I’m usually […]

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There are certain expectations that come with any filmmaker’s work based off the movies that have come before. Their styles, attitudes, and overall creative skill-set are usually visible to some degree throughout their career. James Gunn is no different. His last feature, Slither, was an incredibly fun and gross monster movie that maintained a good balance between the laughs and the horror. That combined with his previous efforts should leave you unsurprised that his latest would include copious amounts of bodily fluids, a complete disregard for good taste, and a face made of fecal matter floating in a bowl. What you don’t expect to see are scenes of real beauty, wit, and sincerity floating in a sadly disjointed mess of a film.

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The film I’m by far the most excited to see at the upcoming SXSW is James Gunn‘s dark superhero tale, SUPER. Everything about it sounds like the perfect film for nerds that crave divisive dark humor. Rainn Wilson as a wrench-wielding, head-busting vigilante? Awesome. Ellen Page as his annoying and narcissistic sidekick? Even better. The best part, though? Kevin Bacon as a slimy looking drug dealer. It’s been quite sometime since Bacon has done some solid scenery chewing and played the bad guy, which he rarely often does. I mean, who would have thought that kid from Footloose would one day be playing a charming wife-stealing drug dealer? Check out the trailer below.

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One of the few minor highlights of Comic-Con this year was the charming and charmingly foul-mouthed Super from the totally well-adjusted mind of James Gunn. The film stars Rainn Wilson as a man who loses his wife to drugs and another man and straps on the spandex in order to get her back. Because, as we all know, every hot woman (including Liv Tyler) is helpless to resist even the schlubbiest of men if they’re skin tight in red tights and a cape. Brace yoursef. You, too, may not be able to resist sliding your tongue against the computer screen in an inappropriate manner when you see Dwight Schrute ready to fight for justice.

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The real-life superhero movie is becoming a genre unto itself. With Special, Defendor, Kick-Ass and now James Gunn’s Super – the premise of regular men and women putting on costumes and fighting crime seems to be steadily growing. There hasn’t been a lot of information about the film, and without that information, it’s seemed a little generic. However, with the footage shown at Comic-Con this morning, James Gunn took a monkey wrench to that idea’s forehead and then shoved its grandmother out of her wheelchair. After all, if you’re going to make a film, why not make an “F’d up, low rent Watchmen“?

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That Thing You Do

It’s 1964 in a Pennsylvania town. The Beatles and the rest of the British invasion have taken over the pop radio waves and encouraged a lot of small rock bands to dream big. One such band is the Oneders (pronounced Wonders, but commonly as O’Needers). When drummer Guy “Skitch” Patterson (Tom Everett Scott) joins the band with Jimmy (Jonathon Schaech), Lenny (Steve Zahn), the Bass Player (Ethan Embry) and Jimmy’s doting girlfriend Faye (Liv Tyler) they inadvertently turn one of Jimmy’s slow ballads into a fast-paced pop song, and before they know it are touring the country with a hit song.

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Writer/Director James Gunn has done many things. Most recently, he’s become a beloved Twitter celebrity and delivered the uber-popular web series PG Porn. But beyond that, he makes movies.

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thestrangers_wide

Making them more “The don’t really know them that well, but we did meet them once’s.”

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earlyedition-samjackson

It’s been a few days, sure, but you know that you can’t resist another wonderfully packed edition of the Early Edition…

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The Incredible Hulk Smash!

In the tradition of X-Men and Spider-Man, this version of The Incredible Hulk is a solid adaptation for the big screen that retains its comic book feel.

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The Reject Report

Aren’t you fed up yet with Marvel comic book heroes? Well, the folks in Hollywood and at Marvel Studios don’t seem to think so, as The Incredible Hulk rolls out Friday only weeks after the big success of that other Marvel hero, Iron Man.

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