Rosario Dawson

Top Five

If we were to list some of the most horrific cultural tragedies of the 20th and 21st century, the paucity of films that have effectively captured the comic genius that is Chris Rock would have to … not make that list. It wouldn’t even make the honorable mentions. But still, it’s astounding that after three decades of work in cinema, Rock’s sensibility has failed to be transplanted successfully from stage to screen. Alas, Top Five is probably as close as we’ll ever get to a proper Chris Rock joint. Vulgar, obscene and insightful, Rock’s third directorial effort proves to be his strongest and most similar to his rollicking standup routines. At once autobiographical and satirical, the film picks up with Andre (Rock), a celebrated comedian no longer interested in being the funny man. After four years of sobriety, Andre believes he’s incapable of making people laugh without being intoxicated. So instead of comedy, he does drama – cast as the leader of a Haitian slave rebellion in a self-serious film entitled Uprize! And yes, the fictitious film looks as abhorrent as it sounds, and Andre knows it. To dive into Andre’s past and present states of mind we have New York Times reporter Chelsea Brown (Rosario Dawson), who spends a day with him walking around the city for a profile she’s penning. This conceit allows for Andre’s past to be explored organically. She pushes as the resolute reporter and he pulls away as the guarded celebrity. Rock and Dawson create […]

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Rosario Dawson in Sin City

If it seemed like the Netflix Daredevil series had been missing something that you couldn’t quite put your finger on up until now, it should all make sense when you hear that, according to Variety, Rosario Dawson is joining the show in a “critical” female role. That’s it, everything is good, proceed with production now. Dawson will join the already-announced Charlie Cox (Daredevil) and Vincent D’Onofrio (Kingpin) in the series, which is hitting the streaming site in 2015. Though her role hasn’t been exactly spelled out yet, she’ll be playing, according to Marvel, a young woman who crosses paths with Matt Murdock/Daredevil in her valiant attempts to help the citizens of Hell’s Kitchen and heal the broken cracks of her fair city. Her presence in Daredevil’s life “forever alters” the way in which he tackles the injustices of the city, as well. “Rosario Dawson is one the most charismatic, talented and powerful actresses in Hollywood, so she was always at the top of our list for ‘Marvel’s Daredevil,’” said Jeph Loeb, the head of Marvel TV to Variety. “Her role in the series is absolutely critical to Matt Murdock’s journey to become the hero we know as Daredevil.”

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stoneshocked

What is Casting Couch? It’s a list of recent casting news. Recent as in, like, the last 24 hours recent. How’s that for service? Today we have news on what’s next for young actors like Craig Roberts and Chloe Moretz. If you were to make a list of dream directors who pretty much every young actor hopes they’re some day going to get to work with, Woody Allen would definitely be near the top of most of them. And if you made a list of all the young actresses who Woody Allen would like to have in his upcoming movies, chances are Emma Stone is somewhere near the top of that one. It’s probably time these crazy kids finally get together then, so Deadline is reporting that Stone is negotiating to star in Allen’s next movie, which is reportedly going to shoot in the south of France. Stone’s charisma and comic timing, Allen’s wit—it sounds like a match made in heaven, doesn’t it?

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trance 1

In less qualified hands, Trance wouldn’t be this entertaining. The script for Danny Boyle‘s newest quasi-thriller asks a lot from its audience. Suspending disbelief is one thing, but demolishing logic is another matter. In the end, the illogical dramatic ambitions hold back Boyle’s film from becoming another major addition to his body of work. Before logic is diminished, however,  Trance is a gorgeous dream of a film that has the Slumdog Millionaire filmmaker unleashing every visual magic trick he has. This nonlinear story calls for that bombastic Boyle approach. The central idea, which is a unique one for the genre, poses the question: what if you forgot what you stole? For the first two acts we see Simon (James McAvoy) dealing with that dilemma. Simon, a charming dweeb who has himself a wee bit of a gambling problem, went to both the right and wrong guy to help him out, Franck (Vince Cassel). After Franck pays off his debt, Simon must use his position at an auction house to assist him in stealing a painting. The robbery goes smoothly until Franck discovers he didn’t actually grab the painting and, due to memory loss, Simon doesn’t know why that is. This where they enlist the help from Elizabeth (Rosario Dawson), a hypnotherapist. Elizabeth wants to give Franck and Simon what they both want…or at least that’s how her relationship with the two men starts. Elizabeth is the femme fatale of this mystery, pulling some strings the audience doesn’t see.

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Danny Boyle

One event that was a must-attend at this year’s SXSW was Danny Boyle‘s panel, which happened this morning. Besides the fact Boyle is behind some of the most acclaimed films of the past 20 years – Slumdog Millionare, Millions, 28 Days Later, Sunshine – his personality is as invigorating as his movies. Boyle, as one can hopefully tell from our conversation with him, is drenched in enthusiasm when it comes to film. He’s one of the few filmmakers out there who mainly discusses the joys of filmmaking, not the pitfalls. Whether he is talking about his own movies or someone else’s, he usually has a big smile on his face. If you missed his panel at the Vimeo theater or are unfortunately not in Austin right now, make sure to catch it when it inevitably appears on youtube. When it comes to Boyle’s latest film, Trance, he’s made what has been described as “a trippy, noirish thriller.” Boyle is back to full-on genre, where he can twist expectations, give us a monstrous James McAvoy, and, as he tells us, the power of a good Scottish accent.

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Trance Red Band Trailer

Holy brain-splattering hell. Danny Boyle. Yes. The director is back with Trance, a film that looked interesting and now — because of this red band trailer — looks un-missable. The movie stars James McAvoy as an art auctioneer who loses his memory after hiding a painting that a bunch of thieves are willing to kill for, so they force him to undergo hypnosis to find what they want. Featuring a percussive punch that gives immediacy to the idea of time running out as McAvoy’s character hovers in a mental limbo, this new trailer is aggressive and, no matter how much this phrase has become overused, jaw-dropping. Just watch it. Just watch:

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Jim Carrey

What is Casting Couch? Today it’s the casting roundup with news about a talking raccoon, a frog puppet, a famous dog, a beautiful woman, and David Hasselhoff’s shorts. So far Marvel’s next big thing, The Guardians of the Galaxy, has been a great source of casting rumors, but not yet a generator of any casting confirmations. We’ve heard about a bevy of actors who might play Star-Lord, a handful who might be Drax the Destroyer, and now the Latino Review is reporting that director James Gunn and company are reaching out to both Jim Carrey and Adam Sandler to inquire about their availability for the film. What roles might they play? Perhaps they could provide the voices for either the big tree guy, Groot, or the little raccoon guy, Rocket Raccoon. I mean, it would just be too weird if either of them actually showed up playing a live action role, wouldn’t it? Definitely. Even hearing Sandler’s one goofy voice he uses coming out of a CG character’s mouth would just be too weird already. Let’s hope that rumor is completely off base.

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Trance Movie

Danny Boyle is back in March with Trance, a movie that sees James McAvoy forgetting where he put a stolen painting, the Vincent Cassel- led gangsters that want it and Rosario Dawson attempting to use hypnotherapy to bring that memory back. The first trailer is the best kind of bait and switch. It opens like an airy, empty art house attempt before bashing McAvoy’s head in and revealing the twisty, violent Boyle goodness buried within. Check it out for yourself:

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Trance

With the release of his Best Picture winner, Slumdog Millionaire, in 2008 and his critically acclaimed follow-up to that film, 127 Hours, in 2010, Danny Boyle appeared to be a director whose career had finally broken through to the next level. He had always made cult films that were popular among certain niche segments of the filmgoing audience, but now he was a mainstream brand, the sort of director whose name and credits could sell future products. The only problem is, we’re creeping up on 2013 and we still haven’t seen any new projects from him. That isn’t for lack of effort on Boyle’s part, though. He’s actually had another movie filmed since back in 2011. And not just any other film, a really cool-sounding throwback to his gritty crime origins called Trance that features work from actors as talented as James McAvoy, Vincent Cassell, and Rosario Dawson. The reason we’ve yet to see this film is because Boyle spent so much time directing that big, dumb Olympics opening ceremony, then did some work on the stage, that it’s only been recently that he’s been able to go back and cut together all of the footage he shot for Trance.

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10 Years Review

The high school reunion film genre has been so flooded with entries that it’s reached the point of being nothing short of played out, so any new entry needs to justify its existence by offering some kind of unique spin on the usual, or at least by featuring characters that transcend the normal archetypes. Writer-director Jamie Linden fails on both counts in his 10 Years and seems to think that the film’s all-star cast compensates for those deficiencies. It doesn’t. No matter how much you love Channing Tatum, Aubrey Plaza, Anthony Mackie, Chris Pratt, Ari Graynor, or any of the other notables who turn up here, there’s no getting around the simple, basic fact that Linden’s movie doesn’t tell a story. It merely brings to life the world’s least interesting reunion, featuring a swath of staggering dullards played by talented people.

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10 Years Trailer

The high school reunion comedy is a sub-genre that’s ripe with drama and conflict. You’ve got the lost loves, the old rivalries, the people who have improved their stations in life butting up against those who have been taken down a peg, the people who have refused to grow up interacting with those that have gotten completely lame, and probably a handful of other familiar tropes that always seem to pop up. But that means that the high school reunion comedy is also a sub-genre that’s ripe with cliché, because, let’s face it, every single movie that falls into it always covers these exact same things. What’s the secret of making a good one then, if there isn’t much room for being unique? Probably making sure that the familiar material is at least infused with wit, and getting a talented cast to deliver it. Just from the trailer for 10 Years, it’s clear that this movie has the latter part of that equation taken care of. Just look at the names in this cast: Channing Tatum, Rosario Dawson, Chris Pratt, Aubrey Plaza, Oscar Isaac, Justin Long, Ron Livingston, Kate Mara, Ari Graynor, etc… Whether this movie feels a little familiar or not, with a cast like that there’s guaranteed to be something in there worth watching.

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Not to be hyperbolic, but this is the kind of role that earns Oscar nominations. Iconic public figure? Check. Oscar nominated screenwriter? Check. An actor capable of pulling off a rounded, difficult role? Triple check. Variety is reporting that Diego Luna has hired Michael Peña to star as Cesar Chavez for Chavez – the story of the celebrated labor rights advocate and the guy that 489 streets in the southwest are named after. The man is an idol, and Peña may be the perfect choice to play him. The actor has been all over the map, proving to be versatile and powerful no matter the genre or the role. Plus, the Academy apparently loves it when people play real people – regardless of whether they’re minority figures or old white leaders. But the awards talk is way too early, and it’s secondary because this project sounds like a fantastic movie no matter the gold potential. Keir Pearson (Hotel Rwanda) has written the script, Luna is a strong creative force, Gael Garcia Bernal is producing, as is John Malkovich (unless it’s John Cusack simply pretending to be John Malkovich), and Rosario Dawson and American Ferrara are co-starring in prominent roles. The puzzle pieces are all there to create something phenomenal. Not to mention, award worthy.

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What if there were a shirt that would drive women around you into an uncontrollable sexual stupor? That’s the central conceit behind Chick Magnet, and of course the second big question is how to explain to her why you want to keep your shirt on during sex. The trailer for the low budget sex comedy definitely shows its limitations, but there’s at least a little bit to chuckle at here and a heart that will inevitably be involved (since one of the characters wants to use the shirt to get his crappy ex-wife back). Plus, somehow the production tricked Tracy Morgan, Kristen Bell and Rosario Dawson into making appearances as themselves. For those keeping score, an unknown writer/director and writer/producer (named Ryan R. Williams and Jeff Venables) created a movie where every woman wants to sex them up, and they somehow convinced Bell and Dawson to be two of those women. So, yeah, check it out:

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Sylvester Stallone voices a lion, teaches Kevin James how to woo the likes of Leslie Bibb. Somehow, some way, Zookeeper is going to be a smash hit just like Paul Blart: Mall Cop. And by smash, I’m of course referring to the collective heads of smart people everywhere and their relationships to nearby walls. But remember, Columbia Pictures wouldn’t be making movies like this if movies like Grown Ups didn’t gross $268 million worldwide. It’s our own damn fault. As penance, lets all watch the trailer together.

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The antidote for your boring day (at least your boring day today) is this new trailer for Girl Walks Into a Bar which might seem like another sequel in the sequence of Sebastian Gutierrez’s Vagina Dialogues (aka Women in Trouble and Elektra Luxx), but even though a lot of the actors are the same, this one seems to take place in a new universe altogether. This trailer is a hell of a lot of fun, which is why I love Gutierrez’s movies. They’re smart, wacky, ridiculous and heartfelt. Plus, there are multitudes of remarkably beautiful women in various states of undress showing off their acting chops like there’s no tomorrow. Write a strongly worded letter to Congress, because there just isn’t anything wrong with that. Check out the trailer for yourself:

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr is like a runaway train filled with toxic chemicals. He could derail and explode at any moment. And it’s a good thing Tony Scott isn’t making a movie of his life because there aren’t enough whip pans and helicopter shots to capture his awesomeness. While he raps Scott’s knuckles with a railroad tie, he also gets giddy over the beautiful Rachel McAdams and gives some props to the Brothers Strause for the effects in Skyline. And then he explodes, and all the toxic chemicals threaten to wipe out a small town in Pennsylvania.

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cher-stallone-zookeeper

Kevin James turns to captive animals for relationship advice. Expect dates filled with poo flinging, leg humping, and awkward sex. (Robert Fure will most likely identify.)

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rosario-dawson-1

We make it sound like it could be some kind of twisted, psycho-sexual, torture porn thriller don’t we? But no. It’s a romantic comedy.

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shelved-killshot

Shelved! will be a very infrequent feature here at FSR where we briefly examine possible reasons as to why the film was buried then review the movie to see if it was shelved with good cause or if it deserves a space on your shelf. This week… Killshot starring Mickey Rourke!

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worstmovieeverbanner

Every week, we find a new Worst Film Ever and deliver it to you as a public service. These films should be avoided at all costs, but if you absolutely have to see them, strap on your rosary beads and prepare to lose your faith in film!

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published: 11.21.2014
D
published: 11.21.2014
B+
published: 11.19.2014
C+
published: 11.19.2014
B-, C


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