Ryan Gosling

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Nicolas Winding Refn had his biggest hit with Drive. The film may have angered some viewers enough to file a lawsuit, but it also inspired a generation of young hipsters to empower themselves by donning The Driver’s scorpion-spangled jacket. Whether that’s a good thing is up for debate, but to make someone feel inspired enough to wear the jacket of a violent criminal is no small feat. After audiences see Refn’s followup film Only God Forgives no one is going to want mimic these characters. The poppy soundtrack, stoic lead, and fairy tale romance from his previous Gosling-starring flick is nowhere to be found in this Bangkok-set crime picture. The Bronson director could have gone on to make a spiritual sequel to Drive, in terms of trying to recapture that success, but instead he has made a movie that appeals to an almost entirely different sensibility. Refn never even considered exploring the same territory. “I was going to make this movie before Drive, so there wasn’t any thought of doing that,” he explains. Basically, there was no time for thought, either. Refn is one fast worker, and according to him, it shows onscreen. “I did Bronson and Valhalla Rising back-to-back, and I did the same with Drive and Only God Forgives. I’m sure they have effects on the extremes of both movies.”

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Only God Forgives

Editor’s Note: This review appeared as part of our Cannes 2013 coverage. Seeing as Only God Forgives is making its way into theaters in the U.S. this week, we are republishing it for your reading pleasure. Arguably the most anticipated film of this year’s Cannes Film Festival is one that on the face of it, though In Competition, has little chance of scooping the Palme D’Or by virtue of subject matter alone. Only God Forgives, the latest film from Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn, follows the filmmaker’s hugely popular 2011 Cannes In Competition entry Drive (which scooped Refn the Best Director award), yet is a baffling follow-up that evoked strongly divided responses at this morning’s jam-packed press screening.

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ogf

Anyone who has seen the trailer for Only God Forgives knows that director Nicolas Winding Refn’s latest promises to take viewers on a wild, intense ride through the back alleys of Thailand. Refn once again teams up with Ryan Gosling, who plays soft-spoken drug runner Julian, and composer Cliff Martinez to create a stylized and violent world that is nothing short of a living nightmare. Martinez creates a layered score that incorporates kinetic electronic elements with bold organs and Asian instrumentation that work perfectly with the sound design and sparse dialogue (a Refn favorite, these days anyway.) I spoke with Martinez about constructing such a commanding score, working with Refn again, unavoidable Drive influences, and the challenge of creating music that actually helps tell the story rather than just accent it.

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Alison-Brie-strange

What is Casting Couch? A rundown of the day’s most notable casting news, concerning actors as new to the film world as young Iain De Caestecker or as seasoned as the spicy Kim Basinger. No discrimination here. Mad Men and Community beauty Alison Brie has once again found time in her schedule to do some work up on the big screen. Variety is reporting that she’ll be joining Justin Chatwin and Colin Hanks in the cast of a new indie called No Stranger Than Love. The story here is a weird one, as apparently Brie will be playing a small town art teacher who intends on starting an affair with the married football coach at her school, but whose plans get interrupted when he’s sucked into an inter-dimensional hole that appears on her living room floor. See? Weird.

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seduced and abandoned 01

James Toback and Alec Baldwin‘s fascinating documentary Seduced and Abandoned opens with a quote from Orson Welles, which attests that 95% of the time and energy expended making a film is actually devoted to securing funds rather than, you know, actually making the film. Toback and Baldwin aim to put this to the test here in a film detailing their visit to last year’s Cannes Film Festival to try and sell a Last Tango in Paris-esque jaunt starring Baldwin (ostensibly, in the Brando role) and Neve Campbell. Toback and Baldwin both attest that what we’re watching is neither a full-out documentary or narrative feature, but rather a crude amalgam of the two. What is certain, however, is that it’s a downright hilarious subversion of the act of filmmaking itself. Toback was smart to choose Baldwin as his brother in arms, because the 30 Rock star consistently steals the show here, trading witticisms and razor-sharp, self-deprecating jibes with the acclaimed director.

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ryan gosling vampire

Our first full week into the summer movie season, and there’s a lot to talk about. The first really big blockbuster of the year (and likely still the biggest by year’s end), Iron Man 3, has inspired a number of discussions about itself and about other superhero and summer tentpoles in the future. Meanwhile, we continue to get first looks at major event films coming out later in 2013, including anticipated sci-fi flicks The World’s End, Ender’s Game and Gravity. And as usual, we’ve thrown some speculative fun into our content mixer, such as imagining Ryan Gosling playing the villain in a comic book adaptation. Rob continued his coverage of a new film festival for horror fans, we said goodbye to one of the most important effects artists in film history and as for review we were quite underwhelmed by The Great Gatsby. I’ve selected the ten best, biggest and most popular movie news and feature stories of the week, none of which was mined from outside the FSR gates this time. So, start your weekend right after the jump.

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Only God Forgives

The worst thing about the Only God Forgives trailer is the “Coming Soon” tag at the end. This thing needs a US release date quick or Nicolas Winding Refn and Ryan Gosling‘s fans are going to riot in the street. I’ll be at the front of the pack participating in some anarchy with whatever I can grab. In the movie, Gosling plays a gangster feuding with a man of the law (Vithaya Pansringarm) in the mean streets of Bangkok. To settle the score, the two men agree to take the fight into the ring. The trailer itself is aggressively sensual. Entire scenes bathed in red. A dreamy music-box-based song to go along with all the violence being shown. It also looks like it might have the best Kristin Scott Thomas performance since Tell No One.  Check it out for yourself:

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PLACE BEYOND THE PINES

Note: Andrew Robinson’s review originally ran during TIFF 2012, but we’re re-running it now as the film opens in limited theatrical release. Derek Cianfrance‘s The Place Beyond the Pines is broken up into three chapters. We open with Luke (Ryan Gosling) coming back into town with the circus and finding out that he has a son. He decides to stick around, but since he’s unable to make a living to support his family, he begins robbing banks using his skills as a professional motor bike rider. The narrative is then handed over to Avery Cross (Bradley Cooper), a police officer heading into politics and struggling with family matters. The film takes its time in making sure that we get a good grasp on each character as there’s very little overlap in screen time between each. The reckless rise of Gosling’s bank robbing spree and the troubled rise of Cooper’s political/social standing in the world parallel one another beautifully. What the film truly discusses is what someone is willing to do selflessly for others. While, morally, Cooper and Gosling’s acts are complete opposites of each other, their motivations start out in the same place, the intention to provide for their family. Luke’s robbing banks was never about himself; he never wants to take credit for them, reflecting his clear shame. Cross’s actions are one of motivations head-butting his own desires, even at the expense of his son’s affection.

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Ryan Gosling - Place Beyond the Pines

Facial tattoos and boredom-induced improvisation! Jack brings us an interview with Place Beyond the Pines star Ryan Gosling who discusses the consequences and magic of making mistakes. Plus, Screen Rant‘s Ben Kendrick joins us to discuss a few favorite movie pranks, we explore a personalized horror short story prank from author Jason Arnopp, and then celebrate the pure majesty of the too-often-maligned dumb action genre. Body massage machine go! For more from us on a daily basis, follow Ben (@benkendrick), Jason (@jasonarnopp), Jack (@jackgi), the show (@brokenprojector), Geoff (@drgmlatulippe) and Scott (@scottmbeggs) on the Twitter. And, as always, we welcome your feedback. Download Episode #12 Directly Or subscribe Through iTunes

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The Place Beyond the Pines

Ryan Gosling seems to have a perfect love triangle going on. With Nicolas Winding Refn (Drive) and Derek Cianfrance (Blue Valentine), he couldn’t ask for better collaborators. Refn and Gosling made The Driver an instant icon of a character while Cianfrance and Gosling delivered on one of the most critically acclaimed films in the past few years with Blue Valentine. Obviously those filmmakers are people one would to surrounded themselves with after such positive experiences, which is exactly what Gosling has done. With Derek Cianfrance’s followup to Blue Valentine, The Place Beyond the Pines, Gosling continues to work in an environment that allows for big gambles. Those gambles include ridiculous facial tattoos and other foolish decisions that Cianfrance made Gosling live with. Here’s what the actor had to say about his directorial partnerships, being open to mistakes, and his upcoming directorial debut, How to Catch a Monster.

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The Place Beyond the Pines

This contest is now closed. Thanks for entering! Want to see Derek Cianfrance‘s The Place Beyond the Pines for free? While also wearing a shirt from the film? And jamming out to its soundtrack? And decorating your home with its (Ryan Gosling-heavy) poster? Have we got a present for you! One person will win our The Place Beyond the Pines prize pack, which includes a $25 Visa Gift card to see the film in theatres, a t-shirt, a poster, and a copy of the film’s original soundtrack (with score by Mike Patton). In addition to Mike Patton’s score, the album features tracks by Vladimir Ivanoff, Arvo Park, Bon Iver, Ennio Morricone, and more. The Place Beyond the Pines, written by Derek Cianfrance, Ben Coccio, Darius Marder; directed by Cianfrance; and starring Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper, Eva Mendes, Rose Byrne, Mahershala Ali, Dane DeHaan, Emory Cohen, Ben Mendelsohn, and Ray Liotta, will hit limited release on March 29, with a nationwide release to follow on April 12. Hit the break to read our very precise, meme-based, social media-fueled instructions on how to win your very own The Place Beyond the Pines prize pack (cool pictures of said prize pack included).

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Tom Hardy

What is Casting Couch? It’s the casting news round-up that continues its jam-packed week with stories involving Jesse Eisenberg, Emile Hirsche, Matt Smith, Kristen Stewart, Pierce Brosnan, and even more. We’re bursting at the seams here, people. Hearing that übermensch Tom Hardy is going to get a chance to beef up and kick some ass on screen is never a bad thing, so rejoice in the news that he’s just been cast as the lead of an action film called Locke. Anthem announced today [via ComingSoon] that they’ll be financing the film, which comes from a script by and will be directed by Eastern Promises writer Steven Knight. Locke is said to be about a man named Ivan Locke who receives a fateful phone call one day that forces him to put his entire life on the line in a “tension-fueled ninety minute race against time.” Title is the main character’s last name, plot has a real-time element…yeah, this definitely sounds like it was supposed to be a Jason Statham movie. Looks like somebody’s got some competition.

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The Place Beyond the Pines

Have you guys heard about this movie? The one where everyone’s darling, Ryan Gosling, has a facial tattoo and also rides a motorcycle and is also a bank robber and also Bradley Cooper and Eva Mendes are there? No? It’s called The Place Beyond the Pines? And it’s from the guy who did Blue Valentine? Still not ringing bells? Then this first poster for The Place Beyond the Pines is for you. Admittedly, its Instagram-y feeling sort of works for me, though I would like this poster much more if it just jettisoned the ol’ floaty faces and stuck to the image below, of a tattooed, motorcycle-riding Gosling gazing at his small town’s bank. That’s your imagery right there. That will stick. Besides, everyone just looks so damn sad up top. Pep up, kids, if you can’t be happy in a dramatic, multi-generational film about violence and families, when can you– oh, nevermind. You’re right. The Place Beyond the Pines opens on March 29th. [IMDb, via FirstShowing]

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gangster 1

This weekend’s Gangster Squad may invoke classical conventions of the mobster genre, but director Ruben Fleischer never set out to make an old school throwback. His dramatic action movie is a part of a new breed of period pieces, ones made with a very modern sensibility. They move at a bullet’s pace, are shot with feverish popcorn energy, and avoid any preconceived notions of being stuffy. Fleischer didn’t set out to make an epic like The Godfather, and after 30 Minutes or Less and Zombieland we wouldn’t expect that from him, but that doesn’t mean he settles into expectations either. Generally if you work in a genre more than once, you become distinctly known as, in Fleischer’s case, “the comedy” guy. While Gangster Squad has its laughs, it shows Fleischer working on a whole new level as a visual storyteller in a different genre . Speaking with Fleischer, he was obviously happy to escape the pigeonhole with his third feature film. Here’s what he had to say about seeing his movie 400 times, the hilarity of Sean Penn and why he’ll continue to shoot digitally:

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Only God Forgives Header

It’s in French, and it’s only 20 seconds, but we take what we can get when it comes to anything Nicolas Winding Refn has to show. Plus, we have several translation programs, so we fear no French. Refn’s latest — as you probably know — shows him shoving Ryan Gosling into a violent world again, only this time he’s playing a gangster who seeks to settle a score with Bangkok policeman inside a Thai boxing ring. So far, all the marketing has featured black eyes and bruises, and it doesn’t appear as if the swelling will go down anytime soon. Check out this brief tease for yourself:

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The Place Beyond the Pines

Blue Valentine director Derek Cianfrance’s latest film isn’t a tense drama about a marriage falling apart. But it does have Ryan Gosling in all kinds of tattoo’d wonder. The Place Beyond the Pines also seems to have a fair amount of tension thanks to its story, which follows a biker (Gosling) who turns to a life of crime to fend for his young son, only to get locked in the crosshairs of a rising star cop, as played by 2012’s breakout dramatic man Bradley Cooper. The best description of the film, from reviews at this year’s Toronto Film Festival, comes from Monika Bartyzel, who calls it “[Blue] Valentine’s spiritual offspring, a movement out of the worlds of love’s attraction and demise, and into the world of fathers, sons and consequences.” To say the least, Derek Cianfrance is still deep. As is evident in this first trailer.

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What is Casting Couch? Despite the fact that the movie business seems to be slow to get back to work after the long weekend, it’s a column that’s managed to dig up a couple exciting casting coups. Bryan Singer out-scooped everybody in the news breaking business today when he suddenly started tweeting big updates on how the cast for his upcoming X-Men: First Class sequel, X-Men: Days of Future Past, was developing. He started off small by first confirming that a few members of the First Class crew would be returning. He tweeted, “I’d like to officially welcome back James McAvoy, Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Fassbender, & Nicholas Hoult to #XMEN for #DaysOfFuturePast.” But then he got a little crazy and started confirming rumors that actors from his original X-Men movies will be joining the film as well by tweeting, “Thrilled to announce @ianmckellen118 (Ian McKellan) & @SirPatStew (Patrick Stewart) are joining the cast of #XMEN #DaysOfFuturePast #magneto #professorX More to come…” Do you think we could get scenes where old Professor X and Magneto meet young Professor X and Magneto? The head spins with awesome possibilities.

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Only God Forgives promo

This one pretty much speaks for itself. Over at The Film Stage, a reader sent over a fresh look at Ryan Gosling in Nicolas Winding Refn‘s Only God Forgives and damn if it doesn’t sting. Much like their previous effort together, Drive, Refn doesn’t seem afraid to muss up his pretty boy star, and Gosling seems just fine rolling with the punches. Details on the project are scarce, but we know it centers on a Bangkok police lieutenant and a gangster who decide to “settle their differences” the safe way – with a Thai boxing match. The film is expected to arrive in 2013.

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Ryan Gosling with Nicolas Winding Refn

According to Variety’s Justin Kroll, Ryan Gosling won’t be involved in Nicolas Winding Refn‘s remake of Logan’s Run after all. It was set to be the third collaboration between the pair following Drive and the forthcoming Only God Forgives, but now the project – which is set up over at Warners – is in need of a lead. There’s not much information here, so trying to come up with a reason would be pure speculation, although Gosling is planning on directing for the first time with How to Catch a Monster in just a few months, so it could be a simple scheduling issue. The original, based off the novel by William F. Nolan and George Clayton Johnson, told the story of a future that’s (surprise) Dystopian in nature. Michael York played Logan 5, an enforcer charged with killing people who have hit their 30th birthday but have refused a ceremony called “Carrousel” which might be a chance at reincarnation or a front for pure population control. When they run, he chases them down. While the original film is a lot of depressing fun, a remake wouldn’t be such a bad prospect, especially with an insane person like Refn at the wheel. With Gosling gone, though, it seems all but certain that someone like Colin Farrell will fill the position. Did it just get more generic, or could a new actor bring an even better angle to the project?

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