Olga Kurylenko

bluntdance

What is Casting Couch? It’s tying a nice bow on this work week with casting news concerning lovely ladies like Michelle Yeoh, Olga Kurylenko, and Chloe Moretz. Oh yeah, and there’s some stuff about some dudes in there too. The upcoming adaptation of the Steven Sondheim musical Into the Woods that Rob Marshall has been putting together for Disney hasn’t been too secretive about its casting process. James Corden is rumored to be on board as the film’s lead, the Baker, we know for sure that mega-stars Johnny Depp and Meryl Streep are signed for sizzle roles as the wolf and the witch, and we even recently learned that Chris Pine and Jake Gyllenhaal are close to landing the roles of a couple of bumbling princes. But the one key ingredient that’s always been missing is who’s going to play the female lead, the Baker’s wife. Until now. Variety is reporting that Emily Blunt is finalizing a deal to take the role, and —oh man—does that super-talented angel coming on board instantly make this movie that much more appealing or what? The Wrap has a report that the delightful Christine Baranski may soon be getting an offer to join as well, but let’s take these things one step at a time.

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costnerdrunk

What is Casting Couch? It’s a gathering together of casting news from all across the Internet. Today we finally, finally know who Disney has cast as the lead of their new version of Cinderella. It seems like just yesterday Kevin Costner was playing sleazy baseball players and checking little girls for tattoos of the map to dry land, but now he’s going to be a grandfather. Deadline is reporting that the veteran actor is all set to re-team with his Upside of Anger director, Mike Binder, to star in a new film called Black and White. The story will see Costner’s character taking care of his bi-racial granddaughter after both his daughter and his wife die due to tragic accidents. If all of that isn’t already bad enough, more trouble comes along when the baby’s paternal grandmother comes along and wants to take the kid away from him. Sounds like he’s going to have to lay on some of that patented Costner charm to get through this one.

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kosinski

With only two films under his belt, director Joseph Kosinski‘s architectural background rings loud and clear. From his approach to framing to the elaborate sets, everything feels deliberate. For Kosinski, that purposefulness doesn’t purely derive from painting a shiny picture, but from building character. For his second feature film, Oblivion, the director follows his dissatisfied protagonist, Jack Harper (Tom Cruise), through isolating and contrasting settings highlighting his dillema. Jack’s conflict is what drove Joseph Kosinski to spend the past few years of his life developing the project based on an idea of his own. The TRON: Legacy director wanted to make a character-driven science-fiction film, not a set-piece one. Kosinski’s film isn’t one packed with set pieces, making the movie rest on Jack and Cruise’s shoulders. Kosinski, despite his busy schedule, made the time to speak with us this week after the film’s successful release. Here’s what he had to say about the heart of the film, his favorite set, and how video games differ heavily from movies.

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wonder

To The Wonder has proven itself as Terrence Malick‘s most critically disliked film to date. Malick’s sprawling epic, The Tree of Life, was met with scoffs, but Wonder has been met with snickers and laughs. The hype and conversations spurred by The Tree of Life were exciting, which hasn’t been the case for Malick’s newest movie, and it’s easy to see why. For both good and bad, his sixth film symbolizes everything we expect from the filmmaker. The good, at least for non-Malick fans, is that To The Wonder is a simple, mostly linear story. The two leads, Neil (Ben Affleck) and Marina (Olga Kurylenko), are madly in love. Neil, from Oklahoma, strikes up a passionate relationship with Marina while traveling Europe with the graceful Ukrainian woman. Of course Neil can’t live overseas with her forever, so he decides to bring Marina and her 10-year-old daughter back to Oklahoma with him. For a while, it goes smoothly. Then it doesn’t. Then it does. And it continues on like that for sometime.

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Oblivion

Oblivion is the kind of science fiction movie that plays with a lot of other movies’ toys and forgets to clean them up afterward. Then we all step on a HAL 9000 doll in the middle of the night when we’re going for that last piece of fried chicken in the fridge, and the bruise reminds us to yell rhetorically at the Tom Cruise-starring movie the next morning. How many times have we told it to pick up its things? The movie’s created some mixed responses, but it’s also left behind some huge questions. Plot holes, really, if we’re being honest. It’s messy for how hard it tries to be smart. Some of those questions are inconsequential, some slightly annoying and some vital to what could have been sci-fi success. On their own, they could have amounted to nitpicks, but the sheer number of them (and the severity of a few) made for a truly confused experience. Spoilers for Oblivion abound so beware, but if you’ve already seen or just plain don’t care, let’s dive in to the bizarre question marks looming high in the sky over Joseph Kosinski‘s latest film.

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review oblivion

Oblivion is many things. [pause for laughter from readers who've seen the film] It’s a thrilling mix of science fiction, action and discovery. It’s visually stunning and filled with beauties both CGI and natural. It’s a major step up from director Joseph Kosinski‘s debut film (Tron: Legacy). It’s a thinly-veiled commentary on drone warfare. It’s scored with occasional energy and life by M83. It’s a rare example of a film that almost demands to be seen on an IMAX screen. It’s the near epitome of style over substance. And it’s the most derivative sci-fi film since Avatar. Jack (Tom Cruise) is a repairman whose sole duty is keep defensive drones functioning. He and his teammate, Victoria (Andrea Riseborough), are the last remaining humans on Earth after a devastating alien attack sent our species scrambling for new digs on Saturn’s moon, Titan. A handful of humans including Jack and Victoria’s commander sit aboard a space station orbiting above them, but when Jack’s curiosity regarding alien actions on the planet’s nuclear pock-marked surface causes friction he’s thrown into an unexpected adventure with far-reaching implications.

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Oblivion Movie

Joseph Kosinski‘s Oblivion is a lot like a fireworks display on a Tuesday. It has no real reason to exist, and while the visuals are exciting, they only impress for fifteen minutes before things get faulty and repetitive. In other words, leave it to Kosinski to make fireworks boring. In the film itself, those fifteen minutes are scattered unevenly through a wasteland that feels much longer than its runtime. Around the third hour of the two-hour-long movie, Morgan Freeman‘s gruff survivalist character describes an outside threat as without a soul, without humanity, merely a beautiful machine. He might as well have been talking about this movie. Jack (Tom Cruise) is a handyman soldier stationed at a beautiful house that stands above the wreckage that used to be the planet. His job is to repair drones that have malfunctioned or been brought down violently by Scavengers — the enemy that destroyed the Moon, that doomed mankind to head for an interstellar refuge and that still lives in small numbers despite the utter devastation caused by earthquakes and floods. That war was sixty years ago, but Jack and his romantic colleague Victoria (Andrea Riseborough) are doing a tour of earthbound duty  to ensure that a few giant, floating rigs are able to suck up the remaining sea water in order to harvest energy. However, Jack is plagued by dreams of a woman (Olga Kurylenko) standing atop the pre-war Empire State Building and can’t shake the feeling that he knows her. Eventually, that […]

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To the Wonder

Being abstruse is usually Terrence Malick‘s bag, so it’s somewhat refreshing that the first poster for his upcoming To the Wonder is surprisingly straightforward. The dreamy and vintage-feeling one-sheet features stars Ben Affleck and Olga Kurylenko standing in front of (well, sort of, there’s clearly some hefty Photoshopping going on here) France’s Mont Saint-Michel, an island with the nickname “The Wonder of the Western World” or, “Rocky Little Island That Inspired The Name of a Malick Movie.” What could possibly go wrong for a pair of lovers at such a lovely location? To the Wonder will open in limited release on April 12th. [EW]

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To The Wonder

The theme of the first trailer for Terrence Malick‘s To the Wonder might be the inevitability and unpredictability of love. This sweeping emotion that takes hold of us even when we’re not looking for it, even as we fight against it. Back at Toronto, Andrew said the film — which stars Ben Affleck and Rachel McAdams — was a more focused movie from the auteur, which should give some skeptics a bit of hope even as the faithful are won over wholly by this first look. Check it out for yourself:

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Years ago, commercial director Joseph Kosinski was one of the hottest up-and-comers, with a bright, bright future. Then we actually saw that his feature debut, Tron: Legacy, didn’t play as much more than a technically impressive showcase for the filmmaker. He took $150 million and had Jeff Bridges saying stuff like, “Bio-digital jazz, man.” Money not put to good use, I say. Kosinski was then written off as a director with nothing more than a nice eye, no true knack for storytelling. But after seeing the first full-length trailer for his new sci-fi epic, Oblivion, I think maybe some of us spoke too soon. This original science-fiction pic, starring Tom Cruise roaming a desolated Earth, seems like a fairly routine hero’s journey, albeit told on a far more ambitious canvas than what we saw on display in Tron: Legacy. This trailer does a fine job of setting up film’s the world and Cruise’s character, Jack Harper (not to be confused with Jack Reacher). Take a first-look at Oblivion for yourself after the break (or on Apple.com).

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Empires of the Deep trailer

Who’s been waiting all their lives to see a mash up of The Little Mermaid and Flash Gordon? All of us right? Or at least that’s what the makers of Empires of the Deep seem to be banking on with their undersea epic three years in the making. Per Twitch, this story of waterlogged lovers caught between feuding factions in an underwater kingdom has been in various stages of production since 2009 when Chinese real estate mogul and multi-millionaire Jon Jiang wrote the script and went looking for talent. He found it in star Monica Bellucci, but she quickly bailed. He found it in producer Irvin Kershner, but he came to his senses. He dropped the talent requirement and found director Pitof, but even he passed. It’s really time to sit down and rethink things when the director of Catwoman says “no thanks” to your script. But Jiang persevered and somehow nabbed a single recognizable name to anchor his cast and crew of otherwise unknowns. Olga Kurylenko joined director Michael French and the CGI charlatans wizards at E-Imagine Studio, and we now have our first real glimpse of the result. Check out the epic-ish trailer for Empires of the Deep below and see what $130m can buy when you have no goddamn clue what you’re doing.

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Seven Psychopaths

Marty (Colin Farrell) is a screenwriter with a serious case of writer’s block. “Seven Psychopaths” is his latest script, but there’s one big problem with it. The title is all he’s written so far. He needs some inspiration to make his characters and his story come alive, but where is an Irishman with a drinking problem and relationship issues going to find that spark of originality? As with most of life’s questions, the answer here is Sam Rockwell. More precisely, it’s with his good friend Billy (Rockwell). Where Billy goes trouble follows, and that trouble is currently in the form of a pissed-off gangster named Charlie (Woody Harrelson) who’s violently distraught over the loss of his pooch Bonny (Bonny the ShihTzu). It seems Billy’s primary source of income is a scam he runs with his friend Hans (Christopher Walken) involving the dog-napping and subsequent return for reward of wealthy peoples’ pups. Snatching Bonny has opened up a can of murderous worms as Charlie hunts down those responsible and Marty finds himself caught in the blood-spattered middle of it all. On the bright side he’s getting inspiration for all seven of his fictional psychopaths, but none of that will matter if he doesn’t live to finish the screenplay. Seven Psychopaths is exactly the film we should expect from the man who created the wickedly great In Bruges. It’s whip-smart funny, deliriously violent and deceptively heartfelt. And good god does it have the most aggressively awesome ensemble cast of all time.

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If you’ve watched a movie about love, marriage, the environment and religion all wrapped up together with only enough dialogue to fill a few minutes of a Tarantino screenplay, it was probably a Terrence Malick film. His latest, To The Wonder, uses the same voyeuristic style that the director has been working on from Days of Heaven and refuses to discard. The film uses emotion and voice over as a narrative compass which pushes the film forward in a way that almost feels documentary-like. We’re cutting into this couple’s life at distinct points to find out how they truly feel about one another and how that progresses. It’s easy to casually view Malick’s latest efforts and label it with a word like “pretentious.” The film is very demanding and requires great attention as well as an ability to consider rounded viewpoints on the topics at hand. This is where Malick’s style comes to an advantage. The film makes the core themes become points of discussion as opposed to cannons bursting with the filmmaker’s own position.

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Martin McDonagh‘s In Bruges remains one of the finest black comedies in recent years thanks to his sharp writing/directing and a couple of fantastic performances by Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson. Both actors displayed great comedic chops alongside a surprising pathos, and the result is a film that’s eminently quotable and highly re-watchable. And it was four years ago. McDonagh is finally following that film up, and the first trailer has arrived. Seven Psychopaths stars Colin Farrell as a struggling screenwriter whose friends get him mixed up in dog-napping, violence, and murder. Those mischievous friends are played by Sam Rockwell and Christopher Walken, and they’re joined by Woody Harrelson, Abbie Cornish, Olga Kurylenko, and Tom Waits. Check out the trailer below.

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Talk about cinematic whiplash. Tron: Legacy director Joseph Kosinksi‘s next project has already gone through myriad incarnations, and the project doesn’t even have an official name yet. Count that as one of the incarnations, I guess, because it’s already had two names and is currently title-less, despite the fact that it’s an adaptation of a graphic novel that Kosinski himself has supposedly written that, you guessed it, has a title. Kosinksi conceived of and wrote the graphic novel, known as “Oblivion,” with Arvid Nelson for Radical Publishing, and the book was the primed for a film adaptation before it even hit the page. The story is set in a future where the Earth has been irradiated to the point that humanity can no longer inhabit it, and follows a man who lives “above the clouds, safe from the brutal alien Scavengers that stalk the ruins. But when surface drone repairman Jak discovers a mysterious woman in a crash-landed pod, it sets off an unstoppable chain of events that will force him to question everything he knows.” Tom Cruise has long been attached to play Jak, but the film’s two female roles (Jak’s wife back at home and the lady he finds) have been the subject of speculation for months. Jessica Chastain was attached to the wife role back in September, but had to leave the project, thanks to her now-crammed schedule. Other ladies that tested for the role, including Olga Kurylenko, Brit Marling, Noomi Rapace, and Olivia Wilde, might have been called back, because […]

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr grabs his codpiece and cape, then gets hammered in the cineplex with Thor. He also suffers from wedding overload with two new movies, Something Borrowed and Jumping the Broom. Though he probably should have put his shirt back on before seeing all the chick flicks. Finally, he takes a more esoteric and educational look at the Spanish Civil War drama There Be Dragons. Spoiler alert: There are no dragons in the movie.

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What is Movie News After Dark? Someone said something nice about it the other day, so it’s feeling sort of full of itself. Luckily this means that there will be more news, more snark and even a few surprises in tonight’s entry! There really is nothing like a self-aware movie news column with a sense of purpose. In addition to the surprisingly dark first trailer, Fox has released some HD concept art for the ineptly titled Rise of the Planet of the Apes. The art is also quite stunning, showing off some large scale scenes. Most interesting is the fact that it hints at a movie that focuses much of its time on the actual ape uprising, rather than the build-up. I’m ready to see humanity swallowed by simian rage. Aren’t you?

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Terrence Malik shoots with Olga Kurylenko

Even though Fox Searchlight probably won’t begin releasing trailers (let alone the entire film) until next summer for his more than complete flick Tree of Life, director Terrence Malik has moved on to his next project. According to a report from Rockville Magazine, the above photo is Malik shooting with Quantum of Solace star Olga Kurylenko in Oklahoma. The project, which will be shrouded in secrecy for the moment, sees not just the return of Malik, but of cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki and production designer Jack Fisk. The loaded cast for this “powerful love story” (as we’re hearing) will also include Ben Affleck, Rachel McAdams, Javier Bardem and Rachel Weisz. Now, if only he can get it done and into the hands of a studio that won’t sit on it for a year… [Rockville Magazine via Ain't It Cool]

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Director Neil Marshall has had somewhat a hit or miss career so far even if he has only made four movies. Dog Soldiers made a mild splash with genre fans back in 2002, but his follow-up, The Descent, quickly became a horror classic thanks to some truly frightening and claustrophobic scares. Then came 2008′s festering pile of rehashed feces, Doomsday. So… good, great, abysmally bad. Where will his latest land? It’s 117 AD and the Roman Empire is spreading across the globe like the bird flu. Families, villages, and nations are left quivering in their wake… everywhere except Northern Britain. There they face a fierce resistance from the Picts who fight using unfamiliar guerrilla tactics to hold the Romans at bay for two decades. Rome sends General Titus Virilus (Dominic West) on a mission to attack and wipe out the Picts with the mighty Ninth Legion under his command, but the plan falls apart when they’re quickly decimated in a well orchestrated ambush. Now a handful of survivors, including Quintus Dias (Michael Fassbender), find themselves trapped behind enemy lines and in a desperate struggle to return home.

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So you haven’t heard of Centurion yet. That may be because you weren’t at Fantastic Fest last year, or it may be because of your unfair hatred of all things Roman. Well dust off that ancient racism and get ready to get some blood in your eyes. We’ve got an exclusive clip of the gritty mess of dirt, tears, and abduction that all find the spotlight when a small band of Roman soldiers has to head behind enemy lines in what will surely be come to known as the 2nd century version of Black Hawk Down. Check it out for yourself:

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