Romances

Warm Bodies Trailer

Zombies don’t exactly lend themselves to teen romance stories as well as vampires do, what with their flesh being all gross and decaying, like a jack o’ lantern in November, rather than pale and smooth, like a porcelain doll. But that’s not going to stop the creators of Warm Bodies from capitalizing on the current zombie crazy by making a teen zombie romance anyway. Ridiculous idea or not, one has to admit that the zombie apocalypse genre can get pretty homogenous and predictable, and could use some sprucing up. It feels kind of refreshing to see a zombie movie where the walking dead have thoughts and emotions, but have trouble acting on them due to their newly unresponsive bodies and overpowering craving to consume living flesh. Not only does the conceit seem to make for good comedy, but there are hints in this new Warm Bodies trailer that it could make for an effective character moment or two as well; which kind of makes sense, because this one is being brought to us by Jonathan Levine, the director of the funny, yet affecting cancer drama 50/50.

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Save the Date trailer

Will film audiences ever tire of watching indie romances about twenty-somethings struggling to find love set against the backdrop of their struggling to break into creative fields? Or is there something just so satisfying about wallowing in other people’s struggles and acknowledging that you’re not the only one who’s completely confused about life that we’ll continue to line up for these movies time and time again? Filmmaker Michael Mohan is clearly betting on the latter notion, because his latest project, Save the Date, looks like every romance about confused young people that you’ve ever seen. There are a few big reasons why his work could be a step above the last couple you’ve seen though, a few reasons that look a lot like Lizzy Caplan, Alison Brie, Martin Starr, Geoffrey Arend, and Mark Webber. Caplan has been putting in strong supporting performances for years now, so the chance to see her step up and take the lead should be a pleasant one. And Alison Brie, this girl is so beloved that an entire Internet subculture has sprung up around celebrating just how amazing she is. Strong casting there, indeed.

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Diane Kruger and Anton Yelchin

Ever since Diane Kruger stole everyone’s hearts in Quentin Tarantino’s Inglorious Basterds back in 2009, she’s just been doing far too many French films and not nearly enough English language work. It’s time they lent her back. They’ve been bogarting her. And Anton Yelchin, well he’s been spending far too much of his time starring in rehashes of properties from decades ago and providing voices for children’s movies. It’s high time he makes us all tear up in another relationship drama, like he did with Like Crazy. It’s good news for everyone, then, that THR is reporting the duo will soon be teaming up for a project called 5 to 7, which is both an indie romance as well as a movie that was written and will be directed by a guy who speaks English. The good news doesn’t stop there though, because that English-speaking guy isn’t just some jerk off the street. No, 5 to 7 is the latest work of Victor Levin, a creative type so talented that he’s been spending the last couple years serving as a writer and producer on TV’s Mad Men (you know, the Mad Men that was already the best show on television, but then just topped itself with its stellar season 5). Sure, he also wrote a romantic comedy called Win a Date With Tad Hamilton! back in 2004 that I don’t think anybody remembers much or liked all that well, but let’s focus on the positive: Mad Men!

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Jack and Diane Trailer

At first glance, Jack and Diane looks like a coming-of-age movie about two young girls exploring their sexuality and trying to find their identities – which would have been just fine on its own (there hasn’t been a good movie about a young girl’s erotic journey since Rochelle, Rochelle). But, towards the end of its new trailer, Jack and Diane provides a twist. You see, this isn’t just a story about two blossoming young girls who are experiencing changes in their bodies and minds because of out of whack hormone levels. Oh no. The changes these girls are going through are much too violent for that. After a brief period of new discovery, problems with parents, close calls on skateboards, and threats of moving to new schools (you know, kid stuff), the focus of this ad turns to blood-churning, skin-ripping, and hair-sprouting. Good heavens, this isn’t just a metaphor for becoming an adult, this little indie romance is actually a horror movie! And if that isn’t enough to get you on the hook, the film also promises music by super-mellow and super-great Icelandic music-makers Múm. Young love, body horror, chill tunes…what more could a film fan ask for?

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When Jeremy said he needed someone to fill in on Commentary Commentary so that he could focus his energies primarily on South by Southwesting, I simply replied, “As you wish.” But then I was left with a conundrum. What movie should I watch the commentary track for? After rifling through my DVD collection I ended up with a handful of possibilities, and I wound up choosing The Princess Bride for one reason: when else would I ever listen to the commentary tracks on this movie, if not now? The Princess Bride is so much fun, such a whimsical experience, that if you’re going to put the DVD on, you want to watch the movie. You don’t want to hear some old guy rambling over all of the classic lines. Consequently, this thing has been sitting on my shelf essentially since DVDs began, and I still haven’t listened to either the Rob Reiner or the William Goldman commentaries. So, here we go, I’ll take the hit and give them a listen, pick out all the interesting stuff, and you can go about your usual business of properly soaking in all the action, adventure, and romance the next time you need to get your Princess Bride fix.

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Ever since French actress Lea Seydoux dropped my jaw playing back-to-back roles in Midnight in Paris and Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, I’ve vowed to follow her career very closely. You see, it’s not stalking, because I write about movie news. The first news about Seydoux’s career that perked up my ears was word that she was going to be starring in a new telling of the Beauty and the Beast story opposite acting powerhouse Vincent Cassel which, to that point, I thought was about the best news ever. But now there’s a new development in the lovely young lady’s career that just might rival it. According to Variety, Seydoux is set to star in a film called Blue Is a Hot Color, from Tunisian director Abdellatif Kechiche. It’s set to be a relatively low budget adaptation of a graphic novel by Julie Maroh that tells the story of a girl who, quite unexpectedly, falls in love with another woman and then has to face the judgment of her friends and loved ones. This not only sounds like a story that’s ripe with both dramatic and comedic potential, but it also sounds like a movie that will be full of moments that I’ll have no problem shamelessly ogling. If any of my other favorite, young, French actresses get cast as the love interest, then I just might keel over from excitement.

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In Your Eyes

If you just go by the plot synopsis and cast list, In Your Eyes sounds like an indie sci-fi romance that might be good, might be bad, but will probably come and go without getting much fanfare. But when you look at the writing credits, suddenly it looks like a film that’s probably going to get a lot of attention. This one is coming from a script by Joss Whedon, a man who’s not only already a genre deity, but who is also poised to direct a film that’s likely to break a bunch of records and dominate the cultural milieu come this summer, The Avengers. Yeah, it’s only a matter of time before Whedon becomes a big damn deal, so chances are this movie will be getting a lot more attention than it would have otherwise. This info all comes from an article posted by Deadline Canton, who also have the scoop that Michael Stahl-David and Zoe Kazan have been cast as the romantic leads. Stahl-David will be playing Dylan, a guy who just finished serving time in jail in New Mexico because he took the fall for a robbery when he wouldn’t rat out the rest of his partners. Kazan will play Rebecca, the now-standard Whedon character of the attractive girl who’s also a little skinny and awkward. She’s married to an older doctor and living in Connecticut.

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Over Under - Large

Today is Valentine’s Day, and a big part of what that entails is time spent thinking about the one you adore. And, for me, it means thinking about romantic movies. So what has happened is I’ve found myself reflecting a lot on my current mancrush Ryan Gosling, what films he’s done that explore the concepts of love and romance, and how I feel about each of them. And surprise, surprise, a column idea sprung forth. Today I’ll be looking at The Notebook, a film that a lot of people respond to very strongly, a film that most every girl you know loves, and a film that’s an instant panty dropper when thrown into casual conversations with hormonal coeds. Also, I’ll be looking at Lars and the Real Girl, a movie that’s well regarded among the people that have seen it, but that was too strange for many moviegoers to take a chance on, or for any mainstream award shows to champion. And also, it’s a movie that can mean instant death if you try to explain it to a girl in a bar.

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Actors Scarlett Johansson and Mark Ruffalo are already set to tear apart city blocks together as members of The Avengers this summer, so why shouldn’t they be in a love story together as well? Sounds like the logical next step. To that end they’ve both joined Once writer/director John Carney’s next film, Can a Song Save Your Life? Why the ridiculous title? Well, because, like Once, this movie is also about musicians falling in love. This time the story is set in New York City, where Johansson will be playing a plucky young singer trying to start a career in the music business after getting dumped by her stupid boyfriend. While there she meets a charming though mumble-mouthed record producer (Ruffalo) who’s been down on his lucky lately (you know, because he’s a record producer), and the two start up a fling that manages to turn both of their lives around.

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Though his older brother Chris Hemsworth jumped a bit ahead in terms of fame factor after starring as Thor in the Marvel Comics movie of the same name, it’s starting to look like younger brother Liam Hemsworth is poised for a comeback. He’s all set to play Gale Hawthorne in the sure to be ridiculously high profile The Hunger Games as well as join forces with a bunch of action movie legends as Bill ‘The Kid’ Timmons in The Expendables 2 coming up in 2012. And, you know what they say in Hollywood (not really), with great notoriety comes great castability, so Hemsworth is now seeing some offers for starring roles coming in as well. According to THR, the young up-and-comer is currently negotiating with Relativity Media to take the lead in their upcoming drama Timeless, which is about a man who is struggling to develop a scientific method of turning back time after the death of his wife. You know what that means fellas: all this one needs is some shots of Hemsworth’s handsome face looking sad, some swelling music, and a declaration of never letting love die in the trailer, and your girlfriend is going to absolutely force you into the theater to see this one.

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Director Lasse Hallström’s newest picture, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, is about an eccentric sheik who loves fishing so much he’s willing to pay obscene amounts of money to create a permanent river in the deserts of Yemen, stocked with salmon. It then becomes up to his legal council to find a fisheries expert who can make it happen. And here we have the set-up for a really boring movie. Except, watching the trailer, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen doesn’t seem boring at all. Most of that probably has to do with the fact that the legal council and the fisheries expert are played by Emily Blunt and Ewan McGregor, two actors with more charm in their fingernails than most people have in their whole bodies. I kind of have big crushes on both of them, so watching McGregor play nervous and proper, and Blunt playing blunt and driven, and seeing the two of them turn banter into romance…well, it all just seems to be too cute for words. Add in Kristin Scott Thomas as a sassy newspaper woman with shady motives, and this may be a movie with too much charm for its own good.

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A lot of people still fondly remember Before Sunrise, the romance Richard Linklater released in 1995 about a couple of young people (played by Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy) who meet on a train, spend a day together in Vienna, and then part ways, perhaps never to see each other again. It’s a quiet little movie about love and relationships, a character piece that focuses pretty solely on maintaining a dialogue and travelogue-esque location spotlighting. But it worked, and the ambiguity of the ending, where you never knew if these two kids with this immediate connection would ever really see each other again, was pretty sublime. So there was a lot of apprehension when it was announced that a sequel, Before Sunset, would be released in 2004, at least on my part. This one was about the same two characters reuniting nine years later, and this time spending a day together in Paris. Surely this sequel would ruin the perfection of the first film and all of that delicious ambiguity that it left you with, wouldn’t it? Turns out, not really. Before Sunset showed us how Hawke and Delpy’s characters had aged and matured in interesting, but authentic ways, it completely recaptured the magic of the first film, and it diminished the original in no way. That’s no small feat, but surely a third film would be the charm when it came to ruining what those first two offered up, wouldn’t it? Could Hawke and Delpy walking around a city […]

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Watching Like Crazy was a frustrating experience for me. The whole time I was watching the film, I felt as if I should have been enjoying it much more than I actually was. Visually, the film is both intimate and gorgeous, kind of like watching a home movie if your dad was a virtuoso filmmaker. The performances are all strong, from top to bottom. But despite all of the obvious talent on the screen, I just couldn’t find myself connecting to the story or the characters as they were crafted. Maybe I’m not much of a romantic, but I found the relationship woes of the main characters Jacob (Anton Yelchin) and Anna (Felicity Jones) to be less than compelling. In fact, they were pretty frustrating to get through. Who were these kids and why should I care that they treat their personal lives like the most important things in the world? We’re not so much introduced to Jacob and Anna as we watch as they’re introduced to each other. The film opens with their meeting in a college course in which Anna is a student and Jacob a teacher’s aid, followed by Anna’s bold decision to leave a note declaring her infatuation under Jacob’s windshield wiper, and the stilted conversation and stolen glances of their first date. The getting-to-know-you sequence is cute, but it doesn’t last long. Soon we’re informed through montage (we’re informed of a lot of things through montage in this film) that the two kids are now very […]

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Diane Lane and Richard Gere in Night in Rodanthe

Due to the way he was affected by his screening of Nights in Rodanthe, Cole Abaius has decided to forego the standard review format. Instead, he will review the film in the form of an open letter to the filmmakers.

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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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