Matthew Goode

The Lookout

Scott Frank wrote some of the best films of the past 20 years. His work on Out of Sight, Get Shorty, and Minority Report is nothing short of fantastic. After plenty of experience as a screenwriter Frank finally got behind the camera in 2007 with The Lookout. His snowy neo-noir was a hit with critics, but didn’t perform quite as well at the box office. That’s a shame, because it’s an exceptional dramatic thriller, boasting outstanding performances from Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Isla Fisher, Matthew Goode, and Jeff Daniels. You also couldn’t ask for a more rewarding script: it takes its time for quiet moments, and yet moves at an exceedingly fast clip; everything set up has a satisfying payoff; and Frank’s original story plays with archetypes. The friendly cop could’ve been a bumbling moron with a gun, but when he’s in a shootout, he’s portrayed as a genuinely competent enforcer. Frank also subverts expectations with Lovlee (Isla Fisher), an empathetic, three-dimensional femme fatale. There’s so much to love about this movie, which is why it’s disappointing Frank hasn’t directed more the past few years. After a seven year gap we’re seeing his sophomore effort A Walk Among the Tombstones hit theaters in a few weeks. It’s a detective story perfectly suited to Frank’s talents. As for The Lookout, Frank begins the commentary welcoming us “to another episode of how the rookie director screwed up.” What he meant to say is, “Here’s another episode of how the rookie director got it right.”

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2013review_performances

Christian Bale, Sanda Bullock, Joaquin Phoenix, Oscar Isaac, Tom Hanks, Robert Redford, Michael Fassbender, and Meryl Steep, because she’s Meryl Streep, have all had heaps of praise thrown their way this year by both fans and critics. They’ll continue to see even more acclaim in 2014 and beyond, but with all those fantastic movie star performances, not all of 2013’s best have gotten the attention they deserve. That happens most every year, of course. Only so many performances can be nominated for statuettes. After all, even after listing these 13, another 13 could have easily followed (it was a good year). In that spirit, hopefully you’ll share your picks in the comments section, but for now, here are 13 performances from 2013 not to forget when someone else is being played off stage for making their acceptance speech too long.

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lopez

What is Casting Couch? It’s a safe place where you can read all the casting news you want without being afraid that anyone is going to judge you. Today we are happy to inform you that Hollywood has given new jobs to TV funnymen Donald Faison and Ryan Hansen. From judging reality shows on TV to recently co-starring with Jason Statham in Parker, it seems like Jennifer Lopez is slowly dipping her toes back into the world of celebrity. Probably it’s only a matter of time before we even have to start listening to “J-Lo” music on the radio again. Before you shudder at that notion though, let’s just focus on the movie world. THR is reporting that she’s just taken another role, this one in the dramatic retelling of the Chilean mining collapse of 2010, The 33. We already know that Antonio Banderas is starring in this one, and as an addendum to the news of Lopez’s casting also comes word that Martin Sheen and Rodrigo Santoro are on board as well. That’s only 29 to go.

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park

In his American film debut, Stoker, director Park Chan-wook‘s sensibility remains intact. Nothing about his sense of humor, eye for framing, or his stylish and brutal portrayal of violence has been softened or altered. The film plays in genre, which Park refers to as a “castle” he likes to regularly take twists and turns in. The critically-acclaimed director doesn’t see himself above genre, though. Park doesn’t subvert genre staples but fully embraces them with a slightly twisted view. We briefly spoke with Park about his genre work, how he’s made an R-rated version of Peter Pan, and more in our spoiler-y chat with him

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Stoker Movie

Editor’s note: This review originally ran as part of our Sundance 2013 coverage, but we’re re-running it to coincide with its arrival in limited theatrical release on 3/1. Park Chan-wook‘s films are held in deservedly high regard for various reasons. They’re often filled with desperate characters trapped in twisted, madcap situations, and while their worlds are violent and deadly places they’re never less than beautiful. He has an eye for framing and staging intensely attractive scenes of people laid bare emotionally and physically. His first English-language film, Stoker, opens in US theaters next month, and it’s already one of the year’s most visually appealing and strikingly stylish films. Unfortunately that’s pretty much all it is. India Stoker’s (Mia Wasikowska) father has died suddenly, but before she and her emotionally estranged mother (Nicole Kidman) can even begin to grieve, an uncle (Matthew Goode) she was previously unaware of arrives on their doorstep. Soon India’s already fractured world takes an ominous turn as people begin to disappear and Uncle Charlie’s interest in her moves in some inappropriate directions.

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Stoker poster

Three of the leading South Korean film directors are set to make their English language debuts next year, and while we’re incredibly excited to see all three succeed we’d be lying if we said we weren’t a little bit nervous too. First out of the gate will be Kim Jee-woon’s The Last Stand in January, and last to hit theaters will be Bong Joon-ho’s Snow Piercer late in the year. Nestled in between those two is the March release of Park Chan-wook‘s Stoker. But judging by the recent trailer debut and this newly released poster I don’t think we need to worry anymore that Hollywood has squashed Park’s creativity and talents. In a world where most poster “designs” are simply photoshop jobs appealing to the lowest common denominator Park and Fox Searchlight have opted instead to go with true art. Check out the full poster below.

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Stoker Trailer

There’s nothing quite like a dead dad, a hot uncle, and a wicked mother to really mess a kid up. After all, that classic formula worked out totally okay (read: horribly) for young Hamlet and myriad others who were inspired by Shakespeare’s classic work, so why not just keep on keeping on with said formula? Sound a little played out? What if Park Chan-wookwas steering it? Oh, you’re interested now, are you? The Oldboy and Thirst director finally brings his talents to an English-language feature with the Wentworth Miller- and Erin Cressida Wilson-penned Stoker, starring Mia Wasikwoska, Matthew Goode, and a deliciously evil Nicole Kidman. The film’s first trailer makes its Hamlet bones clear early on, introducing us to India (Wasikowska), her nutball mother (Kidman), her recently departed dad (Dermot Mulroney), and the uncle she never knew she had (Goode), who comes to, ahem, attend to some things after ol’ Daddy Stoker’s death. And then, well, then things take a turn. Take a look:

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Park Chan-wook

According to Box Office Mojo, Chan-wook Park‘s first English-language film, Stoker, will hit theaters on March 1, 2013. The film stars Mia Wasikowska, Nicole Kidman, Matthew Goode, Jacki Weaver, Lucas Till and Dermot Mulroney in a story about a young girl who’s recently lost her father and has to deal with a strange uncle who arrives and embeds himself into her life. It’s exciting to see a definite release (this was on our list of Most Anticipated for 2012 as TBA), and it would be exciting to see any new Park work, but it’s especially interesting to see if he can avoid the pitfalls with making a movie within the studio system. He’s a bold visionary, and it’s unclear whether the potential of limitations might hamper his capabilities or whether he’ll use them to craft something incredible. We’ll see in March, the same weekend that Neill Blomkamp’s Elysium is schedule to screen. Not a bad double feature.

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It was only a matter of time after Jacki Weaver’s Oscar nominated turn as the grandmother from hell in the Australian thriller Animal Kingdom that she would start popping up in American films. First up will be a role in Nicholas Stoller’s Five Year Engagement due out next April, but a second US-based film has just been added to her schedule and it’s exciting news to say the least. Deadline Sydney is reporting that Weaver has joined the already strong cast of Park Chan-wook’s English language debut, Stoker. The film, written by Prison Break‘s Wentworth Miller, tells the story of a teenager (Mia Wasikowska) dealing with her father’s recent death and the arrival of her odd and eccentric uncle (Matthew Goode) whose return home coincides with a rash of disappearances around town. Nicole Kidman is set to play Mia’s mother, and it’s presumed that Weaver will take on the grandmother role again. Hopefully this doesn’t mean she’ll try to have poor little Mia killed.

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So that one guy from that one show is going to be playing The Man of Steel, and it’s big news. However, since we live in a beautiful age of information, we can also daydream about the movies that might have been if only that one other guy had been cast instead. In the case of the new Superman, Henry Cavill is taking on the tights, which happens to leave four other actors back out looking for work. Who are they, and would it have mattered who got the job?

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Matthew Goode is unhappy. He is downright disappointed. His movies are never good enough to contain his prodigious “talent”. The actor who was miscast in Watchmen, made a wanting adaptation of Brideshead Revisited worse, is very talented. At whining, complaining and presenting himself as a stereotype of the self involved, egotistical Actor with a capital A.

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Shockingly, Cole Abaius wasn’t a huge fan of Leap Year and can only exorcise his demons in open letter form.

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kevin-reportcard-header

Kevin Carr sits his chubbiness down and sees if Daybreakers, Leap Year and The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus can make the grade.

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Fat Guys at the Movies

Kevin and Neil ring in the new year after a band of gremlins attack the Magical Studio in the Sky and set fire to everything. After a brief rebuild, things get back in order and the Fat Guys take a moment to talk about the sure-to-be billion-dollar blockbusters coming out this fine, fine first week of January.

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The feature filmmaking debut of fashion designer Tom Ford, A Single Man often resembles a magazine photo spread sprung to life.

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leapyear-header

Universal Pictures has released the first trailer for the upcoming romantic comedy Leap Year, starring Amy Adams, Matthew Goode and Adam Scott.

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matthewgoode

Rejoice! Stephen Merchant and Ricky Gervais are working on a new project, and now they’ve got Ozymandias himself on board.

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FSR

Kevin Carr looks at Watchmen.

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Watchmen Header

Zack Snyder’s Watchmen film has been hotly debated since it was announced, and now that the film is upon us was it a hit or a miss? We found 10 Super qualities and 5 Impotent ones.

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We

We have watched Watchmen. Is the early negativity spot on? Is the counter-hype correct? Will fans come to praise Snyder or bury him? Find our thoughts within.

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