Matt Dillon

Matt Dillon and Terrence Howard in Wayward Pines

A government agent who appears without warning in a small, sleepy woodsy town in the middle of nowhere that’s hiding much more than it seems? A town that’s full of weirdos — both the harmless and the probably insane? And all of the action seems to take place around him hanging out in the local diner getting his next batch of information? It sounds familiar because it’s Twin Peaks. But Wayward Pines, a new show from executive producer M. Night Shyamalan, is certainly trying its damndest to convince us that it’s something completely different. Adapted from “Pines,” the novel by Blake Crouch, the series will arrive on Fox in 2015 to hopefully cleanse the taste of After Earth. And The Last Airbender. And The Happening. And Lady in the Water. And from our mouths as Shyamalan’s assurance that he can still produce something legitimately creepy and bizarre. Is this a comeback? Maybe, and rest assured that he knows that the premise of the series, which follows a Secret Service agent (Matt Dillon) waking up on the outskirts of a town in Idaho with no recollection of getting there  — just a head injury taking care of deleting those memories — and finding himself dealing with a host of strange characters like a wacky nurse played by Queen of the crazies Melissa Leo, a spaced-out diner waitress (Juliette Lewis), a cop that doesn’t really care (Terrence Howard) and a missing woman (Carla Gugino), mirrors David Lynch’s beloved series greatly. “It struck me as having a Twin Peaks-y vibe,” Shyamalan said, according to Indiewire. […]

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Jay Baruchel and Kurt Russell in THE ART OF THE STEAL

If there’s a more infectiously affable and charismatic actor than Kurt Russell then I don’t know of him or her. Sure there are performers with more dramatic range, others that are more consistently hilarious, and still others who look better in women’s clothing, but for my money none of them set me as instantly at ease as Russell. It’s what makes his near six-year absence from movie screens (2011’s little-seen Touchback aside) that much more frustrating. And it’s what makes the new heist comedy, The Art of the Steal, that much more enjoyable. Crunch Calhoun (Russell) is one of the best wheelmen in the business, but when his latest score goes bad he winds up serving hard time in a Polish jail. It’s not that he got caught, it’s that his brother Nicky (Matt Dillon) sold him out to save his own butt. A few years later Crunch is a free man, breaking bones and bruising his body as an Evil Knievel knock-off taking dives for $800 a crash. His old team reassembles for a new heist, and while he’s no believer in the idea of “one last big score” he signs on hoping to make enough to retire.

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Rumble Fish Scenes

Francis Ford Coppola‘s Rumble Fish is turning 30 years old this Monday. While its theatrical release was October 21, 1983, the film made its debut at the New York Film Festival earlier in the month, on the 7th. Since then, it has taken on more of a cult status rather than joining the classic ranks of The Godfather and Apocalypse Now. That’s a pity, because it’s arguably as good as Coppola’s most well-respected hits. The teen angst picture stars Matt Dillon as a kid trying to live up to the reputation of his brother, “The Motorcycle Boy” (Mickey Rourke). And it has always been a favorite of mine. In fact, the sole poster framed in my apartment is a one-sheet from the film. It’s just that great. At the time, it was Coppola’s most experimental movie. It’s a bizarre trip into this hellish place where everything is soaked in dread and smoke. The only place a man can find some calm is a diner run by Tom Waits. When you have to find refuge with Tom Waits, then you know you’re in trouble. It’s a rough picture, especially compared to Coppola’s other, more sentimental (and in color, more accessible) S.E. Hinton adaptation about troubled kids from the same year: The Outsiders. Out of the two, the slightly earlier film is the one that garnered more accolades, but in my book Rumble Fish is the superior movie. Narrowing the film down to six scenes was tough, because every scene in the film is enjoyable in its own right. Diane Lane, Chris Penn, Nicolas Cage, Dennis Hopper, […]

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sunlight-jr

With Diana premiering to less-than stellar reviews in the UK, it’s perhaps kindest for us to focus on another Naomi Watts project hitting theaters just two weeks after its release in the United States – smooth move, Watts. In the Laurie Collyer (Sherrybaby) drama Sunlight Jr., Watts plays a convenience store clerk working tirelessly to support herself and her disabled partner (Matt Dillon). When she becomes pregnant, their joy is clouded by the realization that they barely have enough money to take care of themselves. Add the sudden appearance of her stalker ex-boyfriend (Norman Reedus), and everything has gone to hell. The difference between this trailer and Diana (that makes all the difference) is that you get taken in by Watts’ problems and emotional breakdown. Her story seems all too real and miserable. However, our own Caitlin Hughes reviewed the film at Tribeca and wasn’t too convinced, saying that the depiction of the lower class was bordering on “stereotypical.” Check out the trailer here:

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Steal

It’s likely that all you need to know to be sold on writer/director Jonathan Sobol’s new film, The Art of the Steal, is that it stars Kurt Russell as a low-rent, karate-chopping motorcycle daredevil who sometimes uses his motorcycle skills to be the wheelman during high stakes heists. So, sort of like Ryan Gosling in The Place Beyond the Pines, only hopefully we’ll get to watch the ridiculous motorcycle stuff for the whole movie this time. See? Everyone is sold already, and Russell isn’t even the only thing this movie has going for it. As much fun as he is to watch when he’s playing ridiculous characters like this, The Art of the Steal also gives you other fun stuff to look forward to, like Goon and This is the End star Jay Baruchel playing his awkward son, Matt Dillon playing his sleazy brother, Terence Stamp being all piercing and Terence Stampy, and a whole lot of jokes, fights, and heist film silliness to boot. Click through the link to check it all out.

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wiig-girl-most-likely

Kristen Wiig is one of those one in a million comic talents. She doesn’t have to do anything funny, she just is funny. Even if you were to stare at her just sitting still and not really doing anything, it’s unlikely you’d be able to last for more than a few seconds without cracking a smile. We’ll call it the Chris Farley effect, and it’s the sort of thing that allows her to effortlessly elevate the material she’s delivering to heights it likely wouldn’t reach if handled by anyone else. But can even a talent on the level of a Kristen Wiig help make the material that this trailer for her new film, Girl Most Likely, is serving up go down any smoother?

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Screen Shot 2013-04-24 at 10.16.45 AM

Most women who become pregnant with the man they’re deeply in love with would see it as a joyous experience. In Laurie Collyer’s (Sherrybaby) Sunlight Jr., Melissa (Naomi Watts) certainly is deeply in love with her boyfriend Richie (Matt Dillon) when she discovers that she is expecting a baby, and is initially excited about the entire prospect of being a mother. Though when the reality sets in that she and Richie barely make enough money to get by living in a dank motel room, in addition to a bevy of other problems, a dark cloud rolls in over the otherwise happy news of pregnancy. Collyer’s film features great performances from Watts and Dillon, and the film’s cinematography is a standout, though it suffers somewhat from perhaps an overly literal depiction of the lower class.

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The Flamingo Kid

At a certain point in the Hollywood remake game, you just have to throw up your hands and say, “sure, why not, let’s just remake anything!” And that seems to be what might have transpired in Brett Ratner‘s mind, because the filmmaker is now set to produce a remake of Garry Marshall’s The Flamingo Kid. See? Sure! Why not? Okay! Deadline Hollywood reports (via The Playlist) that Ratner will produce the film (through his Rat Pictures) alongside Walt Disney Pictures. And, while a remake like this certainly feels strange, this new film will also have a familiar face on board – veteran producer Michael Phillips, who also produced the original, Matt Dillon-starring production. Hey, look at that! Maybe this idea isn’t insane! Additionally, music video director (and For Colored Girls scribe) Nzingha Stewart will pen the script.

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Over Under - Large

Though Frank Oz hasn’t meant much as a director in recent years, once upon a time he was a pretty successful go to guy. And his 1991 comedy, What About Bob?, is considered by many to be a modern comedy classic. His tale of an obsessive compulsive, overly dependent nut job and his doormat therapist going on vacation together is the sort of movie that friends constantly quote amongst one another, that fans revisit year after year. Is it really that great a comedy though, or is it more the case of a solid film getting propped up to mythic status due to the cult of Bill Murray deifying anything the sad-faced actor touches? On the flip side, You, Me and Dupree came and went in 2006 without much notice from the public, but not without earning some pretty damning reviews from critics and a decent amount of derision from Internet pundits. This comedy about a newlywed getting stuck with the task of taking in his wayward, eccentric best friend got called words like “lazy,” “tired,” and “obvious” in the film press. Whether it was due to the overexposure of Seth Rogen and Owen Wilson, who were each putting out about ten movies a year at this point, or the inclusion of Kate Hudson, whose name slotted in as the female lead is usually poison for comedies, people really responded to this one negatively. But is it really that bad, or was its release just a case of wrong movie, […]

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Charles Matthau’s upcoming adaptation of the Elmore Leonard novel Freaky Deaky was all set to be a star studded, A-list affair. First, it scooped up William H, Macy in a starring role. Solid, sturdy, that’s a good choice. Then it began filling out the ranks of its cast with big names put in supporting roles. Matt Dillon, Brendan Fraser, Craig Robinson, they were all on board, and it was looking like this could end up being a big hit like one of Leonard’s other page to screen adaptations, Get Shorty. But then, suddenly, the entire cast dropped out of the pic and were recast with names that are more, uh… B-list. Uh-oh, that can’t be a good sign.

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Charles Matthau’s big screen adaptation of the Elmore Leonard novel Freaky Deaky has been hiring actors right and left to fill out some of its bigger roles. Being a Leonard novel, I’m sure you can imagine the complexity of the plot, and the amount of roles that need to be filled, so it’s encouraging that Matthau and his casting crew seems to be off to a good start. We already knew that everybody’s favorite actor William H. Macy has signed on to play a drunken, irresponsible movie mogul, and that saucy young dish Camilla Belle is attached to do something as well, but today there’s a trio of casting announcements that really put what this project is going to end up looking like in better perspective. The film’s plot involves two former political activists and bomb experts who intend to use their pyrotechnic expertise to intimidate and trick Macy’s character out of millions of dollars. One of the activists, Skip Gibbs, we now know will be played by Brendan Fraser. Matt Dillon has signed on to play Chris Mankowski, a bomb squad officer who stumbles on Fraser and company’s plot and therefore gets sucked into the whirlwind of nonsense that is an Elmore Leonard story. And lastly, Craig Robinson has been hired to play Donnell Lewis, a former Black Panther who has become the assistant to Macy’s character due to a newfound love of capitalism. All of these actors have their strengths, and it sounds to me like the roles […]

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You know Mike Figgis. He’s that guy who directed Leaving Las Vegas and then, uh… some other stuff. I’m 90% certain Time Code was his next one, but then I must have stopped paying attention to him after that. Probably he did something important that’s slipping my mind and I’m really going to hear it in the comments. Regardless, he’s got a new movie on tap and he’s taking advantage of the Mad Men hiatus to have Christina Hendricks star in it. Whether she’s been running a 60s era ad agency in a parade of period costumes or grifting Captain Mal Reynolds and the crew of Serenity, I’ve absolutely loved everything that I’ve seen Christina Hendricks in, and I’m thrilled to see her get a big role in a feature. Whenever somebody writes a piece on Hendricks, it’s usually got something to do with her boom-booms and what she’s doing for the perception of women or whatever, but blah blah blah, who cares? This girl can act, why don’t we talk about that instead?

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr puts on his preachin’ suit and heads out to the multiplex to exorcise the demons of bad movies. Sadly, this won’t be the last exorcism of this kind because January and February are just around the corner. In the wake of the money grab re-release of Avatar: The Big Blue Sex Scene Edition, Kevin takes aim at Takers and The Last Exorcism.

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Takers assembles a motley crew of handsome men, decks them out in stylish suits and top hats, adds a dollop of crime, and shoots for the moon – literally (yes, a character points his fingers at the moon and fires). Director John Luessenhop wants to craft an eloquent, pseudo-vintage crime drama out of mundane clichés. With just enough of an aesthete’s vision, a robust collection of photogenic actors (including the ridiculously beautiful Zoe Saldana), an R&B infused soundtrack, and some exciting, upper class heist action, he mostly fulfills that ambition. There’s not much more to be expected from a late summer picture likely to be all but forgotten come the start of the fall movie season next week. With expectations naturally diminished, it’s possible to sit through Takers, enjoy the scenery and have a good time, even if Luessenhop’s thriller often adopts the “too cool for school” affectations of a meticulously blocked advertisement.

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Rumble Fish

Supposedly, Francis Ford Coppola made his final masterwork with Apocalypse Now. Then how do you explain this little slice of thug heaven?

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Fat Guys at the Movies

In spite of the fact almost nothing was screened for them this week, Kevin and Neil meet in the Magical Studio in the Sky to not talk about movies. Instead, they discuss Kevin being a near body double for Taylor Lautner, Neil’s homoerotic fantasies about Neil Patrick Harris and how to tweet in Klingon. tIv cha’!

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armored-header

Apple has debuted the second full-length trailer for Armored, the upcoming action film from director Nimrod Antal. It’s okay…

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published: 12.17.2014
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published: 12.15.2014
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published: 12.05.2014
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