Robert Redford

Three Days of the Condor

The glut of American superhero films that continue to dominate the US box office have proven time and again to provide a rich and repeated diagnoses of post-9/11 American power. Whether showing an empowered Spider-Man triumphantly swinging between NYC buildings, depicting Bruce Wayne going all Patriot Act to save Gotham from being subsumed in terror, witnessing Iron Man privatize the defense industry, or simply blowing up iconic buildings ad nauseum, these films have served – sometimes with surprising depth – as startling funhouse mirrors for 21st century values, sentiment, and fears as they bear upon the politics and iconography of armed defense and homeland security. But no other film in this endless cycle of cinematic behemoths has explored with such clarity and precision the larger paranoia-industrial complex as Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

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Chris Evans in CAPTAIN AMERICA THE WINTER SOLDIER

Captain America should be the most boring lead in the ongoing cinematic superhero cavalcade — he’s a goody two shoes who fights with a shield, wears an excessively patriotic costume, and by all accounts has never been laid — and yet, over the course of three films he’s quickly become the most entertaining, exciting to watch, and affecting of the bunch by a wide margin. (Your move Superman.) It takes nothing away from the writers and directors of those films to acknowledge that the biggest key to the character’s onscreen success can be found in the man behind the mask, Chris Evans. His charisma, appeal, and physical presence combined with the character’s personality and tragic circumstances make for a compelling and fun superhero whose humanity shines through far more often than heroes who spend half their screen-time as CGI creations. Captain America: The Winter Soldier sees Steve Rogers/Captain America (Evans) still trying to fit in to the modern world while working for SHIELD on a regular basis. His latest mission leads to yet another conflict with Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) over his and SHIELD’s priorities and methods in fighting the war on terror. Rogers thinks criminals should be punished after a crime has been committed, but Fury says they can’t afford to wait that long. The arrival on scene of a mysterious and legendary assassin, the Winter Soldier, shakes things up even further, and soon Captain America is fighting not only for the lives of millions but for his […]

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Cate Blanchett NY Times clip (Screengrab)

The experiment seems healthy enough. Take 10 incredible performers from 2013, get random lines of dialogue from 10 other creatives, snag some shoot time with Janusz Kaminski and deliver something poetic for the end of the year. Unfortunately (or fortunately) the results of The New York Times Magazine “Making a Scene” project are an eyebrow-stretching blend of unintentional hilariousness and forced high art importance. Make no mistake, Kaminski knows how to shoot. We’ve known that since (at least) Schindler’s List, and a reminder is always welcomed, but it’s disheartening to see so much talent utilized in the pursuit of whatever is going on here. In one scene Cate Blanchett sits down to a delicious fish in a pristine setting, utters a line provided by mumblecore maven Andrew Bujalski, then throws herself back against the bench with Norma Desmond-esque gusto. In another, Bradley Cooper rage dances in a puddle. Thanks to Greta Gerwig and Adele Exarchopoulos there are two (two!) shorts where women act manically before saying something idiosyncratic and losing control. Bonus points go to Gerwig for saying her dialogue to a taxidermied bear.

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Into Silence Header

Captivity/survivor narratives are hardly unfamiliar to our movie screens, and such films tend to come in bunches. Three years ago, for instance, both Buried and 127 Hours boasted solo or near-solo performances from two rising Hollywood stars who spent the duration of their films as the solitary face we see. But last month brought a prominent and concentrated group of such films, all met with overwhelmingly good reviews, promising major performances from their leading survivor types, and coasting on significant awards buzz. While each film explores near misses, false moments of possible redemption, the necessary instance of despair, and ultimately an incredible optimism in the possibility for human beings to survive a conflagration of elements that work overwhelmingly against them, each of these films go about this differently. Yet the major factor connecting J.C. Chandor’s All is Lost, Paul Greengrass’ Captain Phillips, and Alfonso Cuarón’s Gravity is that they all stage humans’ fraught relationship to nature through the problems and failures of human commerce and its attendant production of waste. Their respective fights with or on the landscape of nature, in other words, are inaugurated by the failure of humans to wield their own devices.

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Captain America

From the looks of things, Captain America has definitely thawed out by now and is geared up to defend his beloved country on his own, post -The Avengers. The first images for Captain America: The Winter Soldier have arrived, via USA Today, showing Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) kicking ass and surveying his handiwork, and it also seems that he’s gone through a little makeover since the last time he appeared on screen. Gone is the red, white, and blue, stars and stripes bodysuit with matching head cap, it’s now replaced by a sleek black and silver incarnation. It’s more stealthy than overtly patriotic – but don’t worry; the shield is still intact. The overhead shot depicts the Captain in the moments after he takes on an elevator full of bad guys and obviously wins. What kind of superhero movie do you think this is?

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review all is lost

Editor’s note: Our review of All Is Lost originally ran during this year’s Cannes Film Festival, but we’re re-posting it as the film opens today in theatrical release. J.C. Chandor follows up his sturdy 2011 debut Margin Call with a staggeringly ambitious if niche project that will appeal most to fans of its star – and, in fact, its only actor – Robert Redford. If the actor is better known for his iconography than his acting prowess these days – though is highly respected as a director and founder of the Sundance Film Festival – he delivers what is easily one of his all-time best performances as a lone man lost at sea. Much hype has followed the film considering the claim from Redford that the drama unfolds free of dialogue, and aside from a brief opening narration, a desperate plea to a fuzzy radio signal, and an enraged expletive, this is true. Chandor’s minimalist effort begins with the man discovering a hole in his boat, and finishes with the very end of his predicament – whether that is death or rescue will be the prime question occupying viewers’ minds.

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Robert Redford Be Natural

If you don’t know who Alice Guy-Blache was, don’t worry. Not even most film studies graduates have heard of her. But they and you and everyone else should learn about this pioneering filmmaker, who is too often left out of the film history books, and fortunately now there’s a documentary in the works to help educate us. This feature film is titled Be Natural, and it already has some major support in the form of executive producer Robert Redford, narrator Jodie Foster and a whole ton of famous faces recruited to talk about what they know (and don’t know) about the first female motion picture director, including Redford, Diablo Cody, Catherine Hardwicke, Julie Taymor, Julie Delpy, Peter Billingsley, Jon Chu, Kevin Macdonald, Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Ben Kingsley. But the doc, which is being helmed by Pamela B. Green and Jarik Van Sluijs (title credits producers/designers for numerous movies, including three of Redford’s own — see their reel here), is in need of additional funding. So it’s up on Kickstarter with a goal of $200K. The money will go to many things, including further research around the world and the discovery and accumulation of old film clips, much of which requires preservation, plus special effects. Yes, special effects, to achieve this: “The film will boast 2D and 3D CGI recreations of the locations, technologies, objects, and settings of Alice’s story.” How awesome will it be for computer animations that put us back at the turn of the 20th century virtually watching […]

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photodazastills_1774.CR2

The success of last year’s Life of Pi and the continued prevalence of people making “Wilson” jokes any time a volley ball happens to be lying around proves that movie audiences have an affection for a good lost at sea story. With this in mind, director J.C. Chandor has decided to follow up his head-turning debut feature, Margin Call, with a sinking ship survival tale starring screen legend Robert Redford. The film is called All is Lost, it sounds like it’s a pretty harrowing tale of sharks, storms, and sun exposure, and it has now released a trailer so that we can all get a glimpse at what exactly Chandor made Redford go through while they were out there filming.

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Company

Shia LaBeouf has already quite effectively shrugged off his adolescent persona as a Disney kid (admittedly, though, he was always a bit of a weird one, he certainly wasn’t going to ever star in his own version of High School Musical) with a series of big blockbusters and big public bust-ups, but the actor still seems to be searching for an appropriate niche to serve his undeniable (though sometimes overshadowed) talents. Fortunately for everyone involved, LaBeouf hits his stride in Robert Redford’s The Company You Keep, a smart and serious slice of hard-boiled drama that’s long been absent from the local multiplex. LaBeouf stars as Ben Shepard, a go-getter cub reporter in upstate New York who stumbles upon the biggest story of his young career, one that unexpectedly pops up practically in his own backyard. When Sharon Solarz (Susan Sarandon) is captured by the FBI at a random gas station in New York state for a crime committed decades before, it kicks off a renewed interest in her case. A former member of the Weather Underground, Sharon and three other pals knocked over a bank back in their heyday, killing an innocent guard in the process. One of her cohorts was captured long ago, but two remain on the run, even decades later. If Sharon could hide out and live a seemingly normal life (nice husband, nice kids, nice house), who’s to say what happened to Nick Sloan and Mimi Lurie?

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The Company You Keep

Robert Redford’s Jim Grant speaks a poignant line in his latest film, The Company You Keep, stating, “Secrets are dangerous things. We all think we want to know them, but if you’ve ever kept one yourself then you understand to do so is not just knowing something about someone else, it’s discovering something about yourself.” As the film’s ominous title suggests, The Company You Keep is about uncovering secrets and what doing so can mean for the people keeping them and those desperate to reveal them. Driven by dynamic performances from an all-star cast, The Company You Keep is as much about what is said as what is not said, all underscored by a restrained, but moving score from Cliff Martinez. Martinez’s rock band roots have made him no stranger to electrifying his scores and pushing the boundaries of standard orchestration. Unlike the thriller pulse Martinez created for last year’s Arbitrage (another story about a man who is not everything he first seems), he takes a different approach to The Company You Keep relying heavily on the use of one of his go-to instruments, the baschet cristal, to create music that hovers in the background like an unwanted thought, dissonant while still being memorable.

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15-Robert-Redford

What is Casting Couch? It’s a roundup of all the day’s most important casting news. Today we have a bunch of legit reports, and one of those dreaded short-lists. It’s a short-list concerning that much talked about Natalie Portman movie, Jane Got a Gun though, so it’s kind of a pressing matter. It looks like Captain America may be trading in his sidekick Bucky in order to team up with The Sundance Kid. Deadline is reporting that Robert Redford, the patron saint of independent cinema, is making a surprise move and negotiating to join the cast of Marvel’s very commercial superhero sequel, Captain America: The Winter Soldier. If he officially signs, he’ll reportedly be playing a high-ranking member of SHIELD, that government agency run by Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury in all of the Marvel movies. I wonder if he gets his own flying aircraft carrier? If he does, that could be the thing that seals the deal.

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The Company You Keep

The sheer amount of acting prowess in The Company You Keep is staggering. It’s a veritable Expendables of adult drama, complete with the sure hand of Robert Redford on the director’s wheel (which may or may not be a thing I just made up). The story focuses on a young journalist (Shia LaBeouf) who exposes a former Weather Underground member (Redford) who has to go on the run from the law again. Beyond the director and Lem Dobbs (Dark City, The Limey) pulling screenwriting duty, the lineup includes: Sam Elliot, Julie Christie, Susan Sarandon, Brendan Gleeson, Brit Marling, Terrence Howard, Anna Kendrick, Nick Nolte, Stanley Tucci and Chris Cooper among others. Obviously they financed the film by melting down the award statues of the cast. Plus, the promise of the project seems fulfilled by a compelling trailer. Check it out for yourself:

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Robert Redford in The Company You Keep

Just last week we reported that Robert Redford’s latest film, The Company You Keep, managed to score a distribution deal before it even played any festivals. Well, the film is gearing up to play Venice and Toronto regardless, so TIFF has released a trailer promoting it. Complete with typewriter sounds and vintage news footage, said trailer starts off by making The Company You Keep look like it’s going to be an authentic, journalistic look at the history of the radical anti-war group The Weather Underground, but then we’re suddenly dumped into present day, and it’s revealed that this is actually going to be a fun-looking chase movie about the last few members of the movement still being on the run from the law. The Company You Keep is full of grizzled old activists/bank robbers, plucky young reporters, plucky young F.B.I. agents, action, intrigue, murder, and a cast that features names like Redford, Susan Sarandon, Shia LaBeouf, Brendan Gleeson, Anna Kendrick, Terrence Howard, Nick Nolte, Sam Elliott, Richard Jenkins, Chris Cooper, Brit Marling, Julie Christie, Stephen Root, and Stanley Tucci.

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Robert Redford in The Company You Keep

The latest directorial effort from screen legend Robert Redford, The Company You Keep, was all set to make a big splash and impress distributors at the upcoming deal-making feeding grounds that are the Venice and Toronto International Film Festivals, but a new development is making it look like the film’s screenings at those fests are going to come off as something of an afterthought. If you’ve got a used car that you need to get rid of, or maybe some old exercise equipment lying around that you’ve been thinking of putting on eBay, then maybe you should think of having Redford write the ad copy for you, because it seems that he’s something of a salesman. THR is reporting that the director, along with his fellow producers Nicolas Chartier and Bill Holderman, have already struck a deal with Sony Pictures Classics to handle all U.S. distributions rights for the film. Based on a book by Neil Gordon, The Company You Keep stars Redford himself as a former Weather Underground militant, wanted for bank robbery and murder, who gets exposed decades after his crimes by a meddling young reporter (as played by Shia LaBeouf).

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Perhaps one of the biggest surprises of this year’s awards circuit is just how many awards and nominations filmmaker J.C. Chandor has picked for his debut film, Margin Call. Chandor’s star-packed film debuted at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, and while that festival also featured a notable debut from Sean Durkin with his Martha Marcy May Marlene, one that seemed much more poised to rack up the awards, it has been Chandor and his tale of the Wall St. financial crisis that has earned some big accolades. Chandor has already picked up Best Debut Director from the National Board of Review, Best First Film from the New York Film Critics Circle, and Best Original Screenplay from the San Francisco Film Critics Circle, along with nominations from the Boston Society of Film Critics and the Film Independent Spirit Awards, and that’s likely only the beginning for Chandor and his Margin Call. So with so much promise and so much praise, it’s high time that Chandor unveiled his next project, one that apparently owes its own type of debt to Sundance. Chandor’s next is titled All Is Lost, and the filmmaker is looking to cast Robert Redford as its lead. Let’s hope that works out, as Chandor reportedly Chandor met Sundance founder Redford “at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, and was so taken by him that he wrote the movie around him.”

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly movie news column that brings together all the most interesting stories and articles from around the web. It’s also fully immersed in Comic-Con week. Thus, another night of leading with an image of cosplay brilliance and advice from Comic-Con veterans. In our continued effort to get you ready to attack Comic-Con this week right alongside our own hit squad, here is another guide full of useful tips. Movies.com has put together a list of 10 Things Everyone Should Do at Least Once During Comic-Con, including one of my personal favorite things, “buy something new in Artist Alley.” Just remember that Twilight isn’t the only thing happening at SDCC, support those artists.

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So what do you do when the law gets close to arresting you for bank robbery? You grab your bicycle and head to Bolivia. The pairing of Paul Newman and Robert Redford here in George Roy Hill’s classic is a potent one, and Katharine Ross rounds out the ensemble with a way about her that won over both men (and audiences). Like most films, it went through its share of casting changes. Jack Lemmon almost played Sundance. So did Marlon Brando. In fact, the film was going to be called The Sundance Kid and Butch Cassidy when Steve McQueen was set to star, but he dropped out, and Paul Newman’s character took over top billing. There’s something sweet about a movie that features Burt Bacharach singing about raindrops falling on his head and a body count of 30. Plus, you can see a great tribute to The Treasure of the Sierra Madre involving a brand and an ass near the end of the film.

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Everyone remembers where they were when they first heard that President Abraham Lincoln had been assassinated. I was in third grade, under the creepy Catholic tutelage of Sister Hermina (she refused to die!), and the lesson on Lincoln’s presidency had come to dramatic and shocking conclusion. Granted, those aren’t the words I would have used to describe it at the time, but I do recall feeling frustrated, confused, and angered at the tall, bearded man’s death. So why open a film review with a reference to a grade school history lesson? Because the film in question, Robert Redford’s The Conspirator, feels like a two-hour lecture on some of the very same material. Viewers learn about the coordinated assault against Lincoln and two members of his cabinet, the capture and conviction of those responsible, and their subsequent hangings for the crimes. While the material here is more detailed than the lesson taught by zombie nun it’s also presented dryly, without any real energy, emotion, or drama, and very much in the spirit of a made-for-television movie. It doesn’t help matters that Redford uses his directorial lectern to include some incredibly unsubtle and politicized comparisons to our own modern day battles between personal freedoms and national security.

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Robert Redford has directed a movie starring James McAvoy, Robin Wright Penn, Kevin Kline, Tom Wilkinson, Danny Huston, Stephen Root, Colm Meaney, Toby Kebbell, and Evan Rachel Wood. That should be enough to cause excitement. The Conspirator tells the story of the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln and the ensuing police action and trial of the conspirators – including Mary Surratt, who became despised by an entire country. She was guilty until proven innocent. Check out the intense trailer for yourself:

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Tom Cruise

Whether you love him, hate him, love to hate him, or hate that you love him there’s no denying that Tom Cruise’s career decisions in terms of what directors he will work for have been second-to-none. Or, maybe they have been. You decide.

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published: 11.26.2014
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published: 11.26.2014
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published: 11.21.2014
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published: 11.21.2014
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