Naomi Watts

One of the most reliable ways we’ve devised of making sure a movie will be affecting, engaging, and able to jerk tears out of its audience members is to base its story off of a real life tragedy. And, in the 2004 Indonesian tsunami, direct Juan Antonio Bayona (The Orphanage) has picked himself a doozy of a tragedy to set his latest film, The Impossible, during. The tsunami, which was generated by a massive earthquake off the coast of Sumatra on December 26 of that year, caused massive damage in 11 countries, killing 150,000 people and leaving millions more homeless in the blink of an eye. The Impossible takes a look at how one family (made up of Ewan McGregor, Naomi Watts, and three young boys) gets unexpectedly swept up into the destruction, find themselves separated, and have to try desperately to find their way back to one another.

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As Hollywood continues its recovery from the hellfire that was Comic-Con, we’re getting inundated with news that falls under the “clean up” category – news like release dates and 84 new pictures from The Dark Knight Rises. Not content to let DreamWorks and Fox Searchlight steal all of today’s incredible exciting release date-setting thunder, Lionsgate has finally given a date to J.A. Bayona‘s The Impossible. The Naomi Watts- and Ewan McGregor-starring drama about a family surviving the 2004 tsunami will hit New York and Los Angeles on December 21st. The film was made back in 2010 and, since then, fans of Bayona (The Orphanage) have been eagerly anticipating his take on the tragedy. However, this December release date will pit the film against such big openers as Jack Reacher, This Is 40, and Kathryn Bigelow’s next. It will also have to contend with openers from the week before, like The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and Les Miserables. What a cheery holiday! After the break, take a look at a stunning, stirring Spanish teaser for the film.

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a vicious sonofabitch, back from a weekend of debauchery (and candle-lit research) to bring you news and notes from around the film blogosphere. The best links end up here. If they don’t, you should email them in so that we can include them tomorrow. No seriously, do it. We begin this evening with a first look at Naomi Watts as Princess Diana in Caught in Flight, a film from Downfall director Oliver Hirschbiegel. The film will see Di’s relationship with Dr. Hasnat Khan, who will be played by Naveen Andrews. Because all those blonde-haired dames love a little Sayeed. Also because it really happened, in real life.

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What is Movie News After Dark? If you don’t know already, then it might not be for you. Wait.. wait… wait… Don’t leave. Trust us, it’s for you. We begin tonight with a shot of Mark Wahlberg in Michael Bay’s Pain and Gain, the small movie that Bayhem will direct in between the last and the next Transformers movies. It’s being called a sort of “Pulp Fiction meets Fargo” story about a bodybuilder turned kidnapper. Wahlberg is beefy. There’s a 712% forecast of explosions, despite the promised sense of reality. Say hello to your mother for me, and carry on for more news…

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It looks like Naomi Watts is slowly turning into the go-to girl to play tragic female figures with sunshiny locks. Watts has long been attached to play Marilyn Monroe in Andrew Dominik’s adaptation of author Joyce Carol Oates’ fictional take on the star in Blonde, though that project has been chattered about for so long with no firm details on shooting or production that it’s not shocking that Watts has now padded her schedule with another biopic. This one is titled Caught in Flight, and it will chronicle the last two years of Princess Diana’s life. Jessica Chastain was first attached to play the role of Diana, during that mad rush to sign the up-and-comer to just about every film that would have her, but she’s now out (possibly due to, shock of all shocks, a too-full schedule), and Watts is in.

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr goes to war. He strips down to his muscular awesomeness and shimmies into a codpiece. After applying a solid gold breastplate, he’s too exhausted to actually go to war, so he heads to the local movie cinema to catch Immortals, wondering if Isabel Lucas has ever eaten a carbohydrate in her life. Then he slips into a housedress and sneaks into an early screening of J. Edgar. After a quick nap, he tries to escape the horror that is Jack and Jill, but alas, that did not happen. You can send him care packages now, courtesy of his local mental institution.

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In Clint Eastwood’s J. Edgar, the director once again returns to his cinematic bread and butter with a large-scale historical epic, this time focusing on an American institution and an American icon. As J. Edgar Hoover, Leonardo DiCaprio attempts to navigate the personal and professional life of America’s first Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, a man bent on uncovering the secrets and deceits of others, even as he too viciously guarded his own perceived defections. Hoover was a man obsessed with big ideas and even bigger ideals – especially the concepts legacies, notoriety, heroism, and adoration (particularly of the public variety), but J. Edgar is at its best when it sticks to the smaller moments of the man’s big life. Despite predictably fine and focused details like historically accurate (and gorgeous) sets, costumes, and props, J. Edgar skimps on the big framework, unable and unwilling to scale back on its story, leaving most of the film feeling somehow both bloated and empty.

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr is all giddy because apparently Joseph Gordon-Levitt has decided to copy his signature hairstyle. Undeterred by folks telling him Gordon-Levitt shaved his head to play the role in 50/50, Kevin tries to lobby other Hollywood actors to copy his image. Unfortunately, What’s Your Number? star Chris Evans refuses to grow a huge belly and Dream House star Daniel Craig just won’t latch onto Kevin’s charming American accent.

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People always jest about Clint Eastwood being a papa’s boy of the Academy, and even after a string of movies ranging from just good to flat-out tedious, that belief hasn’t changed much. When films like Changeling and Gran Torino — one being forgettable and the other being plain laughable — garner nominations, it’s a clear sign that the once-great director doesn’t have to do a whole lot to get a few nods thrown his way. Come this awards season, that may remain the case. A trailer for J. Edgar has finally arrived, and it looks like the type of Oscar bait film that Kirk Lazarus would star in. From DiCaprio’s inconsistent-sounding accent to his questionable old man make-up, all signs point to a tedious bio film; events being told, rather than a story. The production design is clearly topnotch, but it’s impossible not to cringe during this “Give me that Oscar!” trailer.

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Why Watch? Because. There’s probably only one man on the planet that knows what’s going on in this short which stars (although you wouldn’t know it) Naomi Watts, Laura Elena Harring, Scott Coffey, and Rebekah Del Rio as humanoids with rabbit heads going about a very quiet evening at home. It’s interspersed with a laugh track, a few lines of enigmatic dialogue, and it’s absolutely not for those with short attention spans. Rabbits blends the strange with the pedestrian in a way Lynch fans might find familiar and a way non-fans might find infuriating. Is it brilliant or just bizarre? What does it cost? Just 9 minutes of your time. Check out Rabbits for yourself:

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The last time I reported on Noah Baumbach’s next project, While We’re Young, it was with the unfortunate news that James Franco and Cate Blanchett had been forced to drop out of the film. At the time I held out hopes that Baumbach might be able to easily replace the actors with Jesse Eisenberg and Greta Gerwig, and it’s looking like at least half of my hopes and dreams are probably going to come true. While We’re Young is about a couple in their forties who are feeling alienated by their normal set of friends because they haven’t had any children, so they befriend a younger couple who kind of teaches them to rekindle their youth. Now that I know more about the plot of the film, having Gerwig replace Blanchett’s character wouldn’t make much sense age wise, but they seem to have found a different, equally awesome choice to fill her role that does work.

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Extremely German filmmaker and all around badass Werner Herzog has written a new biopic called Queen of the Desert. The film is about the life of Gertrude Bell, an Englishwoman whose travels and writings put her in a position to be an influential policy maker for the British Empire in Syria, Mesopotamia, Asia Minor, and Arabia. She helped establish the Hashemite dynasties in what has become modern day Jordan and Iraq, and was said to be held in high regard not just by British officials, but by the Arab leaders she worked with as well. Herzog is in negotiations with acclaimed actress and beloved hottie Naomi Watts about taking on the role of Bell. I can imagine news of a film about the politics and international policy of the early 1900s being met with a big yawn if it were coming from another source, but when it comes from Herzog I have visions of Lawrence of Arabia dancing through my head. Could any sort of film shoot that gets Herzog out in the desert with a cast and crew end up as being anything less than completely interesting? Will people starve to death out there trying to get this thing shot to his specifications? Will someone go mad from exposure? Adding the good-in-everything-she-does Watts onto the project is just the cherry on top of this sandy sundae; and her attachment to something that sounds so epic and Oscar-baity almost assures that it will get made. Put me down for a […]

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What is Movie News After Dark? This is a question that I am almost never asked, but I will answer it for you anyway. Movie News After Dark is FSR’s newest late-night secretion, a column dedicated to all of the news stories that slip past our daytime editorial staff and make it into my curiously chubby RSS ‘flagged’ box. It will (but is not guaranteed to) include relevant movie news, links to insightful commentary and other film-related shenanigans. I may also throw in a link to something TV-related here or there. It will also serve as my place of record for being both charming and sharp-witted, but most likely I will be neither of the two. I write this stuff late at night, what do you expect?

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr puts on a wizard’s robe, wears a colorful scarf and dances around in the woods with his magic wand yelling, “Stupify!” And that’s just to celebrate the release of Fair Game in his home town. He also takes a look at this little independent film that few people have even heard of, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I. Sadly, a bizarre mishap with his wizarding skills causes a boulder to fall on his hand and pin him for 93 minutes, which was actually quite fortunate because it gave him just enough time to watch 127 Hours.

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When the calendar page turns to October, we Rejects have only one thought: horror. To celebrate this grandest and darkest of months, we’ll cover one excellent horror film a day for the entirety of the month. That’s 31 Days of Horror and 31 Films perfect for viewing on a dark, chilly, October night. If you, like us, love horror and Halloween, give us a Hell Yeah and keep coming every day this month for a new dose of adrenaline. Synopsis: Beware unmarked video tapes. Rachel Keller (Naomi Watts) discovers this when her niece, Katie (Amber Tamblyn) is found dead in her bedroom, her face horribly distorted like something out of an Edvard Munch painting. Keller’s a journalist and her reporter’s curiosity sends her on a journey to find the cause of her niece’s death. She discovers a legend about a video tape. When viewed it leads to the death of the viewer in seven days. Her investigation becomes an increasingly bizarre search for the truth about a girl named Samara. Her journey becomes more urgent after she watches the video, and even worse when her son does.

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There’s been talk for quite sometime now of Andrew Dominik’s planned “warts and all” Marilyn Monroe pic starring Naomi Watts titled, Blonde. The film initially had a January start date, but now that seems unlikely. In a recent piece in The New York Times it was revealed that Casey Affleck may be re-teaming with Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford director, and now according to Affleck, it’s true. While out promoting I’m Still Here, Affleck revealed in an interview with The Kevin and Josh Movie Show on 106.7 HD2 (CBS RADIO – Washington D.C.) that he’s about to reunite with Dominik on a novel adaption, which he says starts in January. But how will this affect Blonde?

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As the only literate Reject, it’s my duty to find the latest, the greatest and the untouched classics that would make great source material for film adaptations. I read so you don’t have to. This week, Print to Projector presents the story of a young man enamored by a beautiful city who discovers that amidst its perfection lies a man who lures victims to a violent death by drowning.

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Summit Entertainment is gearing up for yet another awards season run, hot off their win of Best Picture last year with The Hurt Locker. In their corner this year is Doug Liman’s latest, Fair Game, the story of real-life CIA undercover operative Valerie Plame (Naomi Watts) and her husband Joe Wilson (Sean Penn), who made headlines not long ago when Plame was outed by the press, unspooling a massive government operation and putting her face on the otherwise sticky situation of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq just before the most recent war began. The film played to lukewarm reviews at the Cannes Film Festival earlier in the year and is decidedly stacked with talent. Should be worth keeping an eye on between now and its November 5 release date. Trailer and synopsis are available after the jump.

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Naomi Watts as Marylin Monroe

In today’s entry of The B-Roll, I mentioned that the Cannes Marketplace has been flooded with dueling projects about the life and times of Marylin Monroe. Now we have our first look at Naomi Watts in the role for her movie, Blonde.

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hitchcock_birds

Once upon a time Daphne Du Maurier wrote a neat little short story about birds run amok called The Birds. Oh, how far we’ve fallen since then.

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published: 04.18.2014
C-
published: 04.18.2014
C
published: 04.18.2014
B+
published: 04.18.2014
A

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