Need for Speed

Need For Speed Movie

Need for Speed will not be remembered fondly. If that seems unnecessarily cruel towards Need for Speed (which it does), it’s because the truth can be cruel sometimes. And it is the truth. The film currently holds a 23% on Rotten Tomatoes, and although it was projected to win the box office with a mediocre $25M, it only managed a paltry third place with $17.8M. Two weeks from now, Need for Speed will be naught but faded memory. But there’s one place where Need for Speed will continue to thrive: in the great argument why “video game movies suck” (and if that seems unnecessarily cruel, which it does, take it up with all the many many many articles using that exact phrasing). It’s no secret. Films based off of video games have a garbage rep; the most critically acclaimed one, Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, scored a 44% on our foremost bulbous red fruit-based scale. Every other video game movie in history has scored in the thirties or below.

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imogen poots in need for speed

Imogen Poots‘s face is everywhere this year. She was recently seen in That Awkward Moment, has Need for Speed opening this weekend, Filth hits the states this summer, and maybe we’ll be lucky enough to see her in Terrence Malick’s Knight of Cups before 2015. Another movie Poots co-stars in this year is writer-director John Ridley‘s Jimi: All Is by My Side. She plays the incredibly suave Linda Keith, a supporter and close friend of Jimi Hendrix (André Benjamin) in the film. Speaking with Poots at SXSW this week, I learned she clearly admires Ridley’s strict focus on their relationship as well. She spoke fondly of Jimi: All Is by My Side and, of course, a terrific French bakery in Los Angeles. Our conversation touched on plenty of other relevant subjects, too. If you’re curious about how beautiful Charlestown, West Virginia, really is, for example, read what she has to say about it below.

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Need For Speed Movie

Need for Speed, I’ve seen all the Fast & Furious films. I know the Fast & Furious films. The Fast & Furious films are friends of mine. Need for Speed, you’re no Fast & Furious. The name may come from the popular video game franchise, but director Scott Waugh and his cohorts are unmistakably shooting for a piece of that F&F pie. Unfortunately, this movie doesn’t have a tenth of the brazenness, the chewy homoeroticism, or the un-self-conscious fun of even the least of its inspirations (no, it’s not even better than the fourth F&F). Aaron Paul plays Tobey Marshall, a mechanic and street racing savant who, through a series of unnecessarily complicated events, gets framed for vehicular manslaughter. As soon as he steps out of prison, he breaks parole and heads off to take revenge on the one who wronged him: former friend Dino Brewster (Dominic Cooper). Rather than taking a tire iron to Dino’s head or some similarly straightforward action, Tobey plots to earn his way into the DeLeon, a top-secret race held only for the studliest drivers with the most expensive cars. Dino, a previous winner, is competing again, and Tobey wants to beat him and earn the millions in prize money. Assisting him are a trio of friends (Scott Mescudi, Rami Malek, and Ramón Rodriguez) and a love interest named Julia (Imogen Poots).

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Need for Speed: On Set

When you think about Detroit in 2013, it’s hard not to think about a city tangled up in bankruptcy. A community on that downward motion toward the ground right before bouncing back up again. You also might, more traditionally, think about American muscle cars and machismo. On a humid day in late June of last year, the sound of screeching tires and the oiled up masculinity of Detroit surrounded me and a group of fellow journalists on the set of Need for Speed. Amidst the smell of burned rubber and what seemed like miles of cabling linking together the technology of modern action cinema, we got to know the storytellers chosen by DreamWorks to bring one of EA’s most successful video game franchises to life. From Act of Valor director Scott Waugh to Oscar nominated writer John Gatins and acclaimed Breaking Bad actor Aaron Paul, they all had something to share about the testosterone-fueled world. For your expedited enjoyment, we’ve arranged them into a list of things we learned that day in downtown Motor City.

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speed

When Need for Speed was announced, it was mildly confounding. It makes sense in a world where Fast and Furious has become a billion dollar franchise, but, from a storytelling perspective, not so much. If you’re not sure why that is, you likely never played the video game series, which doesn’t have an actual narrative. Unless building up toward better cars counts as plot. That’s actually one of the few ties the movie will have to the game. If it were called anything other than Need for Speed, it wouldn’t raise an eyebrow as a potential game rip-off. This may come as a surprise, but that’s a good thing, for a variety reasons. Disney recently held a press day for director Scott Waugh‘s (Act of Valor) video game adaptation, and while in attendance, screenwriter John Gatins (Flight), who cracked the story with his brother and the film’s writer George Gatins made a strong point differentiating Need for Speed from fellow video game adaptations.

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Need for Speed

Do you feel that? The need? The Need for Speed? The full trailer for the adaptation of everyone’s favorite  racing game (besides Mario Kart, obviously) has arrived, bringing Aaron Paul out of prison for a crime he didn’t commit, and back onto the streets for some good ole fashioned car revenge. Much like the first trailer, it remains unclear which crime Paul’s Tobey Marshall has been framed for, but by far, the most important information you’re going to glean from this entire movie is that the man who framed him is named Dino Brewster (Dominic Cooper). In order to stick it to his enemy, Tobey must make it cross country to an insane underground racing competition where they’ll do battle one more time. But clearly, he’s made the mistake of thinking that a guy named Dino is going to let this just happen, as it turns out that the Michael Keaton-narrated death road to the race is the true test of his skills; really, isn’t life all about the journey and not the destination?

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Need for Speed

You can take the Jesse Pinkman out of Breaking Bad, but you can’t take the Breaking Bad out of Jesse Pinkman. Aaron Paul is now starring in the adaptation (from director Scott Waugh) of those Need for Speed video games where you would just try to run your opponent off the road, as a (what else?) mechanic and badass streetracer who was framed for a crime he didn’t commit. Now released from prison after serving time for his false conviction, Paul is hellbent on finding the man who put him there and getting his sweet, sweet revenge. As expected, the trailer is a whole lot of engine revving and cross-country racing to find that sonofabitch who put Paul behind bars (what did he do?), as well as the obligatory exploding police cruiser or two. But it’s also surprisingly poignant? Paul delivers a gospel-like monologue over the trailer that is almost hypnotic. It’s borderline silly, yes, when you snap out of it and remember that this is the trailer for Need for Speed and not something Important. But who’s to say that this video game adaptation, with its orchestral score and grave warnings of revenge, isn’t some masterpiece? Or maybe they’re just in on the joke. Check out the trailer here:

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Need for Speed Movie

“What do you do with a problem like Walter White?” isn’t the only question that will be plaguing Aaron Paul this summer. He’s also got to deal with a world of car racing in the upcoming action film Need for Speed. Seeing as the 2014 release is based on a popular series of video games — ones with which I’ve been particularly fond in the past — it seems fitting that early promo footage was shown this week at the E3 gaming expo. It’s a featurette that shows director Scott Waugh, whose recent credits include Act of Valor, talking about wanting us to be right in the middle of the action. To his credit, he’s also put a strong cast in the middle of the car action. Working alongside Paul will be Dominic Cooper, Imogen Poots and Michael Keaton. But this featurette isn’t about the cast, it’s about the wars.

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Michael Keaton

What is Casting Couch? It’s the casting news round-up that’s been rich with reports all week thanks to deals coming out of Berlin. Also, today we find out what Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman are teaming up for next. There was a period in the ’80s where Michael Keaton may have been the most famous man on the planet, and everything just seemed to be in its right place. While he’s worked fairly steadily ever since, it just never seems like we get to see him in enough movies these days, so every new announcement ends up being exciting. The latest, from Heat Vision, is that Keaton has joined the cast of that video game-inspired car chase movie, Need For Speed. According to the trade, he’ll be playing the eccentric host of an underground race that attracts all the best drivers from around the world—sort of like the Kumite, but with wheels doing burnouts instead of feet kicking faces. Hopefully this affords Keaton plenty of opportunity to snort and chomp gum.

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Louis CK

What is Casting Couch? It’s the column that’s rounding up all the casting announcements the studios have released now that the buzz surrounding the Golden Globes has died down. They’ve been hoarding. Before his show on FX became such a well-respected thing, people thought of Louis CK mostly as being a stand-up comedian and not really as an actor, despite the fact that he’s shown up in a few small roles here and there. That might be about to change though, because not only does CK  star in Woody Allen’s upcoming movie, Blue Jasmine, but THR is reporting that he’s also in talks to join David O. Russell’s next project: that con-man movie starring Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Jeremy Renner, and Amy Adams that used to be called American Bullshit. If CK’s involvement becomes official, it will see him rubbing onscreen elbows with some of the biggest names in Hollywood, which is probably going to feel a little weird at first.

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Han Solo

What is Casting Couch? It’s a casting news column that’s been talking way more about a movie based on a racing video game than it imagined it would be. Read on for more information. It’s bound to get pretty annoying following every rumor that pops up about the new Star Wars movie between now and 2015. But, let’s face it, when comments start getting thrown around about Harrison Ford playing Han Solo again, even vague rumors start to get pretty interesting. So, when Inside Movies announced that they have sources claiming that Ford has reversed his famously grumpy position on Star Wars being lame, and that he, Mark Hamill, and Carrie Fisher are now all “upbeat” about more movies getting made, geeks everywhere instantly started salivating like Pavlov’s dogs. Let’s try to not let this Star Wars thing get out of hand—but Harrison Ford might play Han Solo again, y’all!

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Christoph Waltz

What is Casting Couch? It’s a daily roundup of all the casting news you care about, and maybe (probably) one or two items you don’t. Some info has finally leaked about James Bobin and Nicholas Stoller’s upcoming sequel to The Muppets. Turns out it’s going to be a caper movie, somewhat along the lines of The Great Muppet Caper, but with more of an international flair. How international? So international that THR is reporting they’re closing in on signing Christoph Waltz to play one of the main, non-Muppet roles—that of an Interpol inspector. Other important parts for humans are said to include a Russian femme fatale and a male lead with mysterious intentions. Actors looking to land the part should start sending in their shifty-eyed head shots now.

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Aaron Paul

Best known for his portrayal of the bitch-sayin’, science-behind-magnets-lovin’ Jesse Pinkman on TV’s Breaking Bad, Aaron Paul is an actor who will soon find himself standing at a career crossroads. When Breaking Bad began back in 2008, Paul entered the series as a relative unknown, having only random TV roles and bit parts in films playing characters with names like “stoner” or “wasted guy” under his belt. But, as the series comes to its end next year, Paul leaves it a highly-regarded, Emmy-winning, in-demand actor. So which direction is he planning on taking his career? Sometimes its hard for an actor who becomes famous in television to transition into a film career, no matter how high-profile their work on the boob tube was, and if Paul’s latest career choice is any indication, he might be having a tougher time getting good scripts in the mail than one might imagine. According to a report from Inside Movies, Paul has just signed on to star in the upcoming video game adaptation Need For Speed. That’s right, coming off a stint on what’s probably the best show on television, Aaron Paul is going to take on the risky proposition of making a video game movie.

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s the sun, the moon and the stars. Wait, I thought there’d be stars… We begin this evening with a blurry, somewhat comprehensible image of Spock (Zachary Quinto) falling in front of a green screen on the set of Star Trek 2. According to Screen Rant’s theory — and a spy report — this could very well be Spock falling into a Volcano on a “jungle planet” as part of a big CGI set piece. I’m for it.

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