Michael Caine

The Muppets Christmas Carol

Another wonderful moment from the archive to help you celebrate Christmas… Christmas is just around the corner, and you’re probably catching up on some old and new favorite films about the holidays. Among your viewings of A Christmas Story, Die Hard, and Gremlins, maybe you picked up a copy of The Muppet Christmas Carol, which has recently had a 20th anniversary Blu-ray release. This repackaging of the 1992 holiday classic includes a commentary track by Brian Henson as well as a new commentary by the Muppet characters themselves. One is more technical, and the other is more silly, but together they give a nice look at the making of one of the more faithful-yet-original adaptations of the Charles Dickens book. And on to the commentary…

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Puppeteer_Pirate

If you care about video games, then you’re probably not even reading this right now. Most likely, you’re deep inside of Grand Theft Auto V, living a life of excess and loving it. And now that GTA V’s online mode has finally overcome most of the bumps and is actually turning out to be pretty fun, all the more reason to stay inside its warm embrace. We’ll be talking about Rockstar’s triumphant return to the seedy underbelly of crime soon, but we wanted to highlight the amazing storytelling and whimsical design of Sony’s Puppeteer for the PlayStation 3. With the PlayStation 4 being introduced next month, this might represent one of the last great PS3 games. Despite the childlike art adorning the cover and the name, this is actually dark game: you play as Kutaro, a young boy who has been turned into a puppet and had his head torn off. While you can find other puppet heads to utilize, and gain special abilities from them, and you spend most of the game armed with a magical pair of scissors, this isn’t a cheerful story with your princess waiting in another castle. Puppeteer is dark, disturbing, and completely amazing, thanks in no small part to game director Gavin Moore. We spoke to Moore in Japan about all things Puppeteer, so read on for the full interview, and be sure to pick up a copy and give it a whirl for yourself.

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nowyouseeme-commentary1

Sandwiched between massive blockbusters (like Iron Man 3 and Man of Steel) and high-profile flops (like After Earth and The Lone Ranger), Louis Leterrier’s Now You See Me became the little movie that could over the summer of 2013. On a relatively modest summer budget of $75m, the film grossed $117m (and counting) on the domestic side and will finish its worldwide run with well more than $300m. This makes it the highest-grossing film from Summit/Lionsgate outside of the Twilight and The Hunger Games franchises. The new Blu-ray includes a commentary with director Leterrier and his producer Bobby Cohen on the theatrical cut of the film. Of course, because they’re revealing the secrets of the feature film magic trick, they discuss all the plot twists in the movie. If you haven’t seen the film yet and don’t want these points spoiled, you might want to rent it first before proceeding. Fair warning: spoiler alert! And now, on to the commentary.

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Mr. Morgan

Oh, God, there’s something in my eye. Not tearing up at all at the thought of Michael Caine being sad and lonely in his elderly years. Nope. Mr. Morgan’s Last Love centers on a sweet old widower living in Paris who finds a new lease on life when he meets a radiant younger woman (Clémence Poésy) who reminds him much of his wife. She teaches dance classes! She helps him lighten up! Oh, my God – Michael Caine has a manic pixie dream girl. But it looks like a sweet, heartwarming tale where we’ll surely discover that Poésy’s character is just as vulnerable and in need of a friend as Caine. Isn’t that how these always work? This almost looks like the happy version of Lost in Translation: older gentleman and younger woman strike up an unlikely friendship that doesn’t (appear to) end in mutual heartbreak and anguish. The film is written and directed by German filmmaker Sandra Nettelbeck (No Reservations, Mostly Martha), and co-stars Justin Kirk and Gillian Anderson (though she doesn’t make an appearance in the trailer). Check out the first trailer after the break.

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These 20, alongside hundreds of others, redefine what it means to be a movie veteran.

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Caine

What is Casting Couch? Today, it’s pondering the inevitability of all Christopher Nolan-related casting while readying some sweet margaritas for the weekend. Please contain your shock as we pass on news that Michael Caine will join Christopher Nolan for a sixth outing, as the veteran actor has now signed on for a role in the director’s upcoming and already tremendously anticipated Interstellar. It’s currently unknown what role Caine will play in the sci-fi feature, so there’s scarce little for us to write here beyond the usual “he will be great,” “it will be great,” “they will be great.” Great stuff. [Deadline, via ComingSoon] Fine, fine, we’ll also throw you another Interstellar bone to make up for our lack of knowledge. Deadline (via ComingSoon) also reports that Jessica Chastain is lining up to join the new feature as well. Chastain is in talks to play the “third lead” in the film, next to the already-cast Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway, which pretty much tells us just as much as that Caine casting does, so we’re at a bit of a loss here. Perhaps a love triangle? Pure speculation? Fine, we still don’t know much about the film. But isn’t that sort of nice?

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Over Under - Large

Cameron Crowe is one of those directors who people just love. He’s made some stinkers along with with his good movies though, so when people talk to you about how much they love Cameron Crowe, generally what they mean is that they loved Jerry Maguire and Almost Famous. Or maybe even Say Anything, if they’re old school. Generally speaking, however, Jerry Maguire is Crowe’s big hit. This Tom Cruise-starring tale of a sports agent who experiences a moral epiphany got great reviews, became part of the pop culture lexicon of the late ’90s, and made about five times as much as Crowe’s next best loved film…give or take a bunch of millions or so. To call it a success would be putting things lightly. Gore Verbinski is another director who’s amassed a pretty loyal following, despite having made a couple of stinkers. When people say that they like his movies, generally they mean that they’re into the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie or Rango, or maybe they might even mean Mouse Hunt, if they’re the hip sort who likes to go back to the deep cuts. Certainly they very rarely mean that they like his strange followup to his runaway Pirates success, 2005’s Nicolas Cage-starring The Weather Man. It got mixed-to-scathing reviews, didn’t make a blip on the pop culture radar, and brought in pretty much zero money. Which is weird because—oh, my God—it’s basically the best movie ever.

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Now You See Me

Seeing as it’s a Louis Leterrier movie, of course the first trailer for Now You See Me is high energy and loud. Jesse Eisenberg is yelling into a microphone, people are disappearing with flashes of electricity, Isla Fisher’s smile is blinding you, and the contents of a bank’s vault are raining down on a jacked up theater audience. And this is all before the action starts. Then you gets showdowns and chase scenes, Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine trading dialogue about grizzled old man doom and gloom, and Mark Ruffalo looking like he’s right in his wheelhouse playing a frazzled and out of sorts police inspector trying to keep up with a team of ultra-competent, bank robbing magicians. Sounds like this movie has something for everyone, no? Check it out after the break, and let us know what you think.

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Drinking Games

Now that Halloween is over, and Thanksgiving is just around the corner, it’s time to start getting into the Christmas cheer. You might think it’s a little too early for this, but Wal-Mart has had its Christmas decorations up for a month now, and movie studios are following suit. As they do every year, studios are dropping their Christmas films this week to get a jump on the holiday spending spree. Here at Film School Rejects, we have a special place in our hearts for the Muppets, and there’s also quite a bit of love for the 1992 film The Muppet Christmas Carol, which is getting a Blu-ray release for the first time this week. So forget the fact that Thanksgiving is more than two weeks away. Check out this holiday favorite early and avoid the Christmas rush.

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Aural Fixation - Large

With temperatures on the rise and Comic-Con officially over, there is one place comic book fans can still find solace in the middle of these hot summer months – your local movie theaters. Christopher Nolan is poised to complete his epic Batman trilogy with the highly anticipated The Dark Knight Rises, set to hit theaters this weekend. Not only will Christian Bale be returning as Gotham’s caped crusader, he will once again be joined by his trusty butler, Alfred (Michael Caine), his business manager/tech wizard, Lucius Fox (Morgan Freeman), and Batman champion, Commission Gordon (Gary Oldman) – to name a few. And in true Nolan fashion, some other faces familiar to the director’s work will help round out this final battle with Inception alums Tom Hardy taking on the villain role as Bane and Joseph Gordon-Levitt as hopeful police officer, John Blake. But Nolan’s affinity for working with those he has before does not stop at the cast. Batman Begins and The Dark Knight composer Hans Zimmer (whose score for Inception was one of the most memorable of 2010) returns to finish out the trilogy as well. While most of us will have to wait until this Friday (or for you late-nighters, Thursday at midnight) to see the conclusion of this heroic tale, Zimmer’s score (now available) takes us there now.

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Over Under - Large

Ever since names like Spielberg and Lucas brought us the first summer blockbusters back in the 70s, film fans have slowly morphed into film fanatics. And perhaps the pinnacle of this phenomenon is the cult of personality that has developed around Christopher Nolan since he gave us his wildly successful interpretation of the Batman universe, The Dark Knight. Whether it was because of Heath Ledger’s electric performance as the Joker, Nolan’s realist approach to the material, or the sheer scope of the action, something about this Batman movie captured the attention and adoration of hordes of fans in a way that no other adaptation of the character’s story has before; and Batman has been one of the most popular fictional characters in our shared culture for at least half a century now. But one thing about The Dark Knight that I don’t hear mentioned all that much anymore is that it wasn’t Nolan’s first go-around with the character. Everything that was paid off in that film was set up, three years earlier, in the director’s first attempt at tackling a superhero story, Batman Begins. Not only was this movie successful enough at the box office to spawn a very well funded sequel, but it’s the film that’s actually responsible for bringing us Nolan’s grounded and relatable vision of the character. This was the film that revitalized a property whose big screen potential had been tarnished, and it gets treated like it doesn’t even exist when fans gush over their love […]

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Michael Caine The Dark Knight Rises

Speaking specifically about the success that Christopher Nolan‘s Batman movies have earned, and the secret behind why The Dark Knight Rises works, Michael Caine recently pointed to the real stunt work, practical effects, and minimal computer manipulation that went into the production. “For me, it was incredible because the great thing about it was – and the secret of the success of this picture as opposed to those massive blockbusters out there – is the stunts and special effects are real. There is very, very little computer generated imaging in it. All these other ones you see a million people marching towards you, you know they’ve photographed ten and just kept doubling it up and up and up. In ours, when the stuntman falls off the roof, it’s a real man falling off the roof and hitting the bottom.And I think that is very important. It’s very human and I suppose the class of acting is a little better… For a start both Batman and the butler are Oscar-winners! (laughs). Gary Oldman, who’s the chief of police, nearly became one himself, do you see what I mean? So it’s a very high standard of acting, and a very high standard of reality. That’s the secret of that series, for me.” Funny. It all sort of boils down to having a huge human factor involved in a massive movie. I wonder if any studios are paying attention, because Caine just nailed it. [Empire]  

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Christopher Nolan‘s third and final Batman film hits theaters this summer, and it promises to be huge in pretty much every way. It’s all but guaranteed to be one of the year’s highest grossers, and fans are equally assured to eat it up like Trader Joe’s Speculoos Cookie Butter. The film opens eight years after Batman (Christian Bale) took the fall for Harvey Dent’s crimes at the end of The Dark Knight and sees a new master criminal in the form of the terrorist Bane (Tom Hardy). He’s forced back into the spotlight to protect the city, but by the looks of things he may not fare that well in his first face-off with the muscular, muffled Bane. Early teasers have underwhelmed some viewers, but WB has just released their final full-length trailer, and it’s loaded with new scenes of action, scale and a real sense of finality. There are some genuine chill-inducing moments here that not even the appearance of Anne Hathaway as Catwoman can ruin. (I still don’t see how her presence here turns out okay. And by ‘her’ I mean both the actress and the character.) Check out the new trailer below.

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Two TV spots, new pictures, and banners from The Dark Knight Rises? What else could you ask for in about a day’s time? To make that month and a half wait we have left until the film finally opens a little more tolerable, there’s plenty to chew on and savor here. In usual Christopher Nolan cult fan fashion, it’ll be interesting to see how the fandom dissects the meaning of Joseph Gordon-Levitt “kneeling,” what secret Bruce Wayne and Miranda Tate are “talking” about, or what Selina Kyle is really looking at. These new pictures and posters (courtesy of Empire) don’t give us the answers we need, but some message boards out there will most likely come up with countless theories over the matter. First up, here’s a slew of gritty pics, all featuring nothing but gumdrop smiles and a much needed reminder of Nolan’s undying love for “happy” characters:

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Culture Warrior

Tomorrow, the Sacha Baron Cohen-starring, Larry Charles-directed The Dictator opens. Unlike the previous two docu-prank collaborations between Charles and Cohen, the humor of the fully staged Dictator doesn’t so much rely on the reactions of ‘real people’ to an idiosyncratic foreigner as it uses its fish-out-of-water arc to chronicle the pseudo-enlightened changes that its eponymous character experiences (this is all based on the film’s advertising – I have yet to see it). With its riches-to-rags narrative, The Dictator seems to be the newest iteration of a long tradition in Hollywood comedy: the story of the redeemable asshole. It’s rather appropriate that the teaser trailer for Anchorman 2 will be premiering in front of The Dictator.  Will Ferrell has made the redeemable asshole into something of an art form in his collaborations with Adam McKay. Ferrell’s often narcissistic, privileged, ignorant, and empathy-challenged creations should, by any measure of any other genre (audiences are far less tolerant of asshole protags in, say, dramedys) be reviled by audiences. But we ultimately find something redeemable, even lovable, in Ferrell’s jerks, even if this surface-level redemption overshadows the fact that they never quite achieve the level of self-awareness that would actually redeem one from assholedom. These are characters we would likely avoid in nearly any real-life circumstance, but yet we go see movies about them learning life lessons which add up to little more than common knowledge for the rest of us. The redeemable asshole is often a white male who is conniving, manipulative, entitled, […]

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Apocalypse Soon: Children of Men

The Mayans, the wise race of ancients who created hot cocoa, set December 21st, 2012 as the end date of their Calendar, which the intelligent and logical amongst us know signifies the day the world will end, presumably at 12:21:12am, Mountain Time. From now until zero date, we will explore the 50 films you need to watch before the entire world perishes. We don’t have much time, so be content, be prepared, be entertained. The Film: Children of Men (2006) The Plot: In the near future global civilization is on the brink of total collapse as the human race approaches extinction via a long dry spell of human infertility. There hasn’t been a human child born in almost two decades and the answer for our sudden inability to bear children has been an elusive scientific mystery in all those years. In this world of societal discourse and upheaval Theo Faron (Clive Owen) is an everyman with ties to an underground group of revolutionaries through a past relationship with the group’s leader Julian (Julianne Moore). Kidnapped off the streets by the group Theo is asked by Julian to help attain transit papers for a young woman and help see that she crosses the British border to safety. Asking no questions of what the significance of that particular girl’s safety is Theo agrees and along the way to the first stop on their journey their vehicle gets ambushed. Following that event Theo’s initially loose involvement in the situation becomes more important when he takes […]

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Kevin Carr

This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr dresses up in his Jedi robes and grabs his lightsaber, heading to the theater to see the 3D re-release of Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace. While there, he faces a sea of estrogen as ladies of all type swarm into the multiplex to see Channing Tatum’s abs multiflex. After using his lightsaber to break through the wall of pre-Valentine’s Day ladies, he faces more obstacles with twentysomething dudes heading out to see Safe House and obnoxious families to see Journey 2: The Mysterious Island. Fortunately for Kevin, he is able to dispatch everyone with his Rock-inspired “pec pop of love.” It was an early Valentine’s Day massacre.

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It seems there’s a pervading opinion that children’s entertainment doesn’t have to be good. Any criticism of a work of art intended for the younger members of our society is almost immediately met with cries of “oh come on, it’s just for kids.” It’s a strange form of hypocrisy given that most parents almost always want the best for their kids, except, apparently, when it comes to films. Films seem to get a pass no matter how shitty they may be. But if your kid’s sick and needs a doctor, you want the best possible doctor to treat them. It’s an unfathomable double standard. There should be no shame in demanding better films for youngsters, and, unfortunately, Journey 2: The Mysterious Island is not one of those better films. The film centers on Journey to the Center of the Earth lead Sean Anderson (Josh Hutcherson), who receives a coded message that he randomly decides must be from his long lost grandfather. Despite his hatred for his mother’s new guy, The Rock, the two team up to break the code, which says that Jules Verne’s writing about a place called The Mysterious Island was fact and not fiction. The island exists and so Sean and The Rock take off for the island of Palau to find the so-called mysterious island. They team up with helicopter pilot for hire Luiz Guzman and his pretty daughter (Vanessa Hudgens), who just happens to be about Sean’s age, crash land on the island and find Sean’s grandfather (Michael Caine), […]

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Heist movies are usually about that one big score. That one massive job that’s too risky to take on, but too enticing to pass up. In order to motivate heist movie characters to step out of their comfort zones and take big risks, whatever they’re breaking into has to have a pretty big booty. But with each passing announcement, it becomes clearer and clearer that in Louis Leterrier’s upcoming heist film Now You See Me, the most valuable thing on screen won’t be the stockpiles of cash the illusionist characters steal from the world’s banks, but the amazing cast that he has assembled to bring these characters to life. It seems like almost on a bi-weekly basis some new casting announcement is made about this film that tops the last, and the latest comes from Movie Hole, who reports that Michael Caine has become the latest actor to join an already bursting at the seams ensemble. This puts him in a group of actors including Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo, Morgan Freeman, Melanie Laurent, Isla Fisher, Dave Franco, and Woody Harrelson. Admittedly, Movie Hole’s accuracy rate at breaking news stories has been a little bit dubious, but The Playlist, a publication with a better batting record, has confirmed the story as well, so there must be some legitimacy to what Movie Hole’s secret source is saying. And if Movie Hole’s source knows what it’s talking about, then it raises another question about the film. Their source mentions the fact that Woody […]

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr is inspired by Larry the Cable Guy and his character of Mater in the Cars movies. After all, if a buck-toothed rusty redneck pick-up truck can travel the world, why can’t a bald-yet-hairy fat guy from Ohio can do so as well. Kevin lurked in the streets of Tokyo, hoping to stumble onto some classy British spies and uncover a plot to undermine green energy sources. Then he brushed off his teaching degree and got a job at a middle school where he drank profusely, slept through the day and threw dodge balls at the kids. When he tried to explain to the cops that he was just following in the way of Cameron Diaz’s character from Bad Teacher, they just laughed at him and hauled him away.

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published: 04.18.2014
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published: 04.18.2014
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published: 04.17.2014
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