Richard Jenkins

We continue our journey through a month of frightening, bloody and violent films. For more, check out our 31 Days of Horror homepage. Synopsis: Based on the novel “Let the Right One In” by John Ajvide Lindqvist the film Let Me In is relocated from Sweden to Los Alamos, New Mexico. Owen (Kodi Smit-McPhee) is a friendless boy, a victim of bullies at school. Not a day goes by when he isn’t pushed, shoved, harassed and threatened. With no one to turn to, not a friend, or teacher, not even his parents who are consumed by a bitter divorce, Owen retreats into  violent fantasies of revenge. One night a man (Richard Jenkins) and his daughter Abby (Chloe Moretz) move into the apartment complex and Owen becomes curious about the girl who only comes out at night, sits in the cold with no shoes or coat, but seems untouched by the frigid New Mexico winter. She looks ragged, she smells bad, her hair is lank and her are eyes dull. But even so, Owen is drawn to her. The next time he sees her she’s been transformed, no longer sickly looking, she looks like a pretty little girl. Owen will learn she’s without a doubt different from any girl he’s ever met.

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Christopher McQuarrie’s upcoming adaptation of the Lee Child novel “One Shot” continues to make curious casting decisions. First it cast Tom Cruise, the diminutive head of the militant wing of the Church of Scientology, as the hulking, brute of a protagonist Jack Reacher. And now it has cast a German man in the role of The Zec, a Russian ex-POW who acts as the story’s antagonist. And not just any German man, the most German man in the world: Werner Herzog. To the public at large, that name might not mean much, but for those of us reading a film site, it’s kind of a big deal. Herzog is one of the most respected directors of film on the planet, his narrative works include things like Fitzcarraldo and Aguirre: The Wrath of God and his documentary work includes titles like Grizzly Man and the upcoming Into the Abyss. We’re used to hearing his voice narrating his docs, and he’s even showed up in features with small roles before (my favorite being his turn as the creepy father in Julien Donkey-Boy), but this will be the first time he ever gets a meaty role in a mainstream Hollywood film. Is it now only a matter of time before the entire country falls in love with Herzog’s rich, comforting grandfather voice? Is it only a matter of time before we see bumper stickers and novelty Ts carrying catchphrases about trees being in misery and birds screaming in pain? Is this the beginning […]

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Culture Warrior

The cinematic doppelganger effect seems to happen on a cyclical basis. Every few years, a pair of movies are released whose concepts, narratives, or central conceits are so similar that it’s impossible to envision how both came out of such a complex and expensive system with even the fairest amount of awareness of the other. Deep Impact and Armageddon. Antz and A Bug’s Life. Capote and Infamous. Paul Blart: Mall Cop and Observe and Report. And now two R-rated studio-released romantic comedies about fuck buddies played by young, attractive superstars have graced the silver screen within only a few short months of each other. We typically experience doppelganger cinema with high-concept material, not genre fare. To see two back-to-back movies released about the secret life of anthropomorphic talking insects, a hyperbole-sized rock jettisoning towards Earth’s inevitable destruction, a Truman Capote biopic, or a movie about a mall cop seem rare or deliberately exceptional enough as a single concept to make the existence of two subsequent iterations rather extraordinary. Much has been made of the notion that Friends with Benefits is a doppelganger of No Strings Attached (the former has in more than one case been called the better version of the latter), but when talking about the romantic comedy genre – a category so well-tread and (sometimes for better, sometimes not) reliably formulaic that each film is arguably indebted to numerous predecessors – can we really say these films are doppelgangers in the same vein as the high-concept examples, or […]

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I think of all of the things I would consider myself (an underestimated athlete, occasionally decent word maker-upper, deceptively intriguing coffee maker…), a connoisseur of the modern romantic-comedy is probably not amongst them. I’ll admit to stopping upon a Matthew McConaughey flick from time to time on a basic cable channel while I fold my laundry, cut my nails, or other things that really make me not sound very masculine. In my defense, I only do those things whenever a rom-com is on and so I blame the estrogen emitting from my television.

The point is, I purposely don’t watch many romantic comedies and when I do I really don’t pay much attention. It isn’t because I inherently don’t like them, it’s because they unfortunately have a very, very strict formula that’s about as predictable as the average American Friday date night. “What do you wanna do? Dinner and a movie? Okay,” equates to “Hi. I like you but I don’t know it yet. I know it now. You made me cry and run away. You ran after me? I love you, kiss my face.”

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly movie news round-up written (at least this evening) by an exhausted, cranky bastard. He is in need of a vacation, which means one of two weeks: he either needs to convince Todd Phillips to let him join The Wolf Pack or he needs to find an appropriately film-themed resort somewhere in the Middle East. As it turns out… The image above image is a concept for a $1 billion dollar Star Trek resort in Jordan to be fashioned by Rubicon Group Holding and themed with the stylings of Gene Roddenberry’s 23rd century, as seen through the lens of J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek. I mention Abrams because the original story references it. It almost feels like developers are ignoring a few years of Star Trek lore there… Alas, it will be extravagant and if it’s got a Captain’s Chair in my suite, I’ll go there. When I can afford to travel to Jordan. I’ve got until 2014 to make it happen.

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The Farrelly Brothers return to R-rated adult comedy in a sometimes naughty but mainly soft-hearted touch about marriage, suburban hell, and fidelity in Hall Pass. Owen Wilson and Jason Sudeikis exemplify their body of comedic work here as the slacker Rich and hyperactive Fred, two good-natured 40-plus year-old men living the middle class life in New England. They have the cars, the houses, the children, and wives of the American dream but feel the need to break out of this mundane existence. Luckily for them, their wives (played by Jenna Fischer and Christiana Applegate) allow them a week off of marriage in order to see what they do with a week of freedom.

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James Franco is talking this week about the casting of his upcoming adaptation of the William Faulkner novel As I Lay Dying. Paul Dano appears to be involved, and Franco mentions that he wants Michael Shannon, Joaquin Phoenix, and Richard Jenkins to sign on as well; but who is on officially and who isn’t doesn’t seem to be exactly clear. That would be a pretty solid cast if Franco gets his way, but would it be enough to get audiences to sit through Faulkner?

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr strikes out against… well, pretty much everyone reviewing movies by taking issue with The Social Network. Sue him if you don’t agree, or friend him at Facebook.com/FatGuysattheMovies. But while he cringes under the weight of Jesse Eisenberg’s smug Michael Cera impression, he also rejoices in October being officially here and all the horror movies the month of Halloween promises to bring. Up first, he cowers in a dark theater to the likes of Let Me In and Case 39.

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It’s cold, and there’s blood on the ground. There are empty streets to get lost in, but there’s a monster on the loose. Let Me In is nearly relentless in its tone of isolation and the chance of finding friendship in the eye of the puberty hurricane. There are few warm moments that emerge out of the kid’s eye view, and they’re as beautiful as the silence. In fact, the whole movie is an exercise in the careful crafting of something we can all relate to by using something none of us can. Owen (Kodi Smit-McPhee) is bullied at school, left alone by a mother more wrapped up in her own impending divorce, and concerned mostly with eating Now And Laters and acting tough with a kitchen knife in front of his mirror. Abby (Chloe Moretz) moves into the building, and Owen’s life changes. He has finally found a friend. And that friend needs blood to survive.

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Alfred Hitchcock’s name gets tossed around a lot when it comes to suspense, but the truth is that this clip from Let Me In is (at the very least) the spiritual tradition of the master handed down and set to a soundtrack featuring Blue Oyster Cult. The movie is pulling double duty – attempting to present itself to an audience oblivious of its existence while proving itself to the scores of Let The Right One In fans who bristle at the thought of such a great film being remade so quickly. I found myself in that category, but after seeing this clip at Comic-Con, I found myself energized – excited to see the film at Fantastic Fest. And, yes, that’s Richard Jenkins jumping out of the backseat to kill that poor young man. That is, if he can actually get the job done:

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr takes a gander at the demographically delineated movie selection this weekend. The ladies have Julia Roberts finding herself in Eat Pray Love. The dudes have Sly and the action family Stallone with the much anticipated The Expendables. And the fanboys fresh from Comic-Con have the high-concept slug-fest Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. Sorry to all the teenage girls out there. You’ll just have to go see Eclipse at the dollar theater this weekend.

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Filling up seconds with paragraphs of words, director Matt Reeves impressed a full Comic-Con crowd with his technical knowledge and his film fandom. Those who could keep up with him, at least. The man spoke in the knowing pace of a hundred miles a minute with an audience fortunate to catch words like Hitchcock, Kino, and Dutch Angle like pennies from Heaven amongst the strikingly long statements. It was his expertise and passion that held everyone captive, but it was also the names he dropped. Not in the form of famous talent he’s sat down to lunch with, but in the form of the films that truly inspired him while working on Let Me In. After some impressive footage, it seems like these films sunk in deep. Thus, by way of a mini-Masters class on the subject, here are the four films that Matt Reeves kept in the forefront of his mind while shaping his coming-of-age vampire film.

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Chloe Moretz in Let Me In

For Cloverfield director Matt Reeves, the road to remaking one of the most prized international thrillers of the past decade has been a bumpy one. Speculation, skepticism and the ability of fankind to hold tight to the original has caused unrest over the mere idea that they would remake Let The Right One In so soon. That, and how can you improve upon near-perfection? But with this first international trailer for the remake, titled Let Me In, he’s taking a big step in the right direction.

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Eat Pray Love

It’s been ten years since Julia Roberts starred in a bona fide hit, both commercially and critically. What has she been up to since Erin Brockovich? Lots of supporting roles, a few misguided star vehicles, and three kids… but now it looks like Roberts is ready to get back into the game 100% with a film featuring her front and center as the sole lead character.

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Dear John never strikes the right balance between a Nicholas Sparks movie and a Lasse Hallström movie.

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letmeincasting

We were all blown away by the original and now the U.S. will have a shot at it with Richard Jenkins, Chloe Moretz, and Kodi Smit-Mcphee. But are they headed in the right direction with this cast? You be the judge. That way we don’t have to form an opinion.

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earlyedition-header

It is time to get this whole thing started — and we do that with the Early Edition, our ironically named homage to the CBS TV show of the mid-90s in which we take the day’s biggest headlines and modify them slightly, making them interesting…

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depp-rum-diary

Johnny Depp looks slick in this first image from the set of “The Rum Diary,” his return to the wild and wonderful world of Hunter S. Thompson.

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Rum Diary Intoxicates Two More Actors

Amber Heard confirms she’ll be appearing nude in The Rum Diary, and less than a week later, Aaron Eckhart and Richard Jenkins sign up. Coincidence?

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published: 12.17.2014
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