Saoirse Ronan

Saoirse Ronan has been through a big couple of years, despite being such a young actress, the highlights of which have probably been her breakout performance in the period (time, not menstrual) thriller Atonement, and her starring role in Joe Wright’s slick assassin movie Hanna. Despite such lofty accomplishments, it’s starting to look like 2012 is going to be her biggest year yet. She’s currently filming a Neil Jordan movie called Byzantium, she co-stars in recent festival assassin flick called Violet & Daisy, and she’s also set to star in an adaptation of Stephenie Meyer’s non-Twilight young adult novel The Host. Sounds like the girl has a busy schedule, but somehow she’s managed to squeeze another project in. Variety is reporting that the budding young starlet has now signed to head the next film by Kevin Macdonald (the guy who made The Last King of Scotland, not the Kids in the Hall guy, that’s Kevin McDonald), How I Live Now. This one is also an adaptation of a novel about young people, but decidedly less creature filled and much more war torn than Meyer’s book. “How I Live Now” was written by Meg Rosoff, and Amazon describes its plot as such:

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What is Movie News After Dark? It is a nightly film industry news column dedicated to hacking away with the precision of a drunkenly wielded axe at the world of entertainment news. It has lopped off a few heads in its day, so keep your eye on it. We begin tonight with an image from the special Fright Night event held at the Alamo Drafthouse in Austin last night. In attendance were McLovin (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), Anton Yelchin and Dave Franco, who looks just a little bit less stoned than his brother James. They made people drink other people’s blood and whatnot. Photo by Jack Plunkett

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What is Movie News After Dark? First of all, POP POP! And now a few words about this column: it’s about movie news, but sometimes it serves as its author’s treasure trove of addictions. Such as his addiction to hanging on the words of Dan Harmon, or his need to regale you with his ability to find the best content on other websites. It’s a unique talent, he’s told. And now, something completely different… This week saw the season finale of Community. I will miss it until it comes back. For now, I would urge you to read this fantastic interview with creator Dan Harmon published by Vulture. There’s a reason the show is so delightfully nerdy, and it might just be the man in charge.

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Saoirse Ronan is an extremely talented actress which as is often the case means she’s also an extremely busy one. You can see her in theaters now as the title character in the teen assassin film Hanna, and later this year she’ll be book-ending that role alongside Carey Mulligan in the film Violet & Daisy, an independent drama about two teenage assassins who question their own morality when their latest target turns out to be a nice guy. Also in the mix is her rumored involvement in Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit and Joe Wright’s Anna Karenina. Many people wanted her to land a role in the Hunger Games adaption, but the news on that film’s casting has been incredibly sparse and any real hope has faded. But she appears to have her eyes on another popular book for young adults… Per Deadline Wackoville, Ronan has signed on to star in an adaptation of Stephenie Meyer’s only non-Twilight novel, The Host. The story is about a young girl named Melanie Stryder living in a world where alien invaders called Souls routinely take control of human hosts to erase their memories and turn them into worker bees. Wanderer, the Soul assigned to Melanie, attempts to wipe her mind but it discovers an inner strength that’s both impressive and intriguing. Wanderer’s newfound interest in this particular human leads to some surprising discoveries for them both. Interestingly, Ronan will apparently be playing the roles of Melanie and Wanderer. Andrew Niccol has completed a script […]

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On the surface, Hanna is just the latest action flick centered on a petite, butt-kicking young woman and the sinister world she inhabits. Yet, were that all it was, the new film from director Joe Wright (Atonement, The Soloist) would be a tired, forced enterprise, arriving in theaters a mere two weeks after Sucker Punch and just about one year following Kick-Ass. Fortunately, Wright is too sharp a director for that. His keen visual eye and knack for character-driven nuance turns the story of highly-trained teenage killing machine Hanna (Saoirse Ronan) into an engagingly twisted fairytale/coming of age drama. With a soundtrack fueled by electronica wizards The Chemical Brothers, tightly coiled supporting work from Cate Blanchett and Eric Bana and a schema that offers a world of out-sized colors, foreboding shapes and demented villains, the Focus Features release is an offbeat, engaging blend of David Lynchian and kinetic action tropes. We spoke with the acclaimed filmmaker about his latest directorial effort.

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Culture Warrior

This editorial features some spoilers for Hanna and Kick-Ass. Consider yourself warned. In preparation for this post I ran a quick Internet search on child assassins and found this video from New York Magazine. While I wasn’t promised a video exclusively on child assassins here, and instead got something that explores the notion of child killers at large, this video conflates two categories of child killers that I think deserve remarkably different types of consideration. The great majority of killings performed by children in this video are from horror movies. From Rosemary’s Baby to The Omen to The Brood to Firestarter to the other Omen and beyond, the child/killer is an exhaustively repeated horror trope to the point of cliche (and is often confused with the simple overlapping category of “scary children,” like in The Shining and The Sixth Sense). But every so often a child-killer horror film comes along that works in line with the formula (The Children, anyone? Bueller? Okay, how about Let Me In?), reminding us why child killers still have the capacity to be engrossing and entertaining even if they’ve lost the ability to be outright horrifying: because they play on our society’s veneration of childhood innocence, replacing the ignorant bliss of childhood with benevolent, malicious intent to do harm to the much taller individuals that surround them. But child assassins are quite different from the overall category of child killers. And while two recent films in two subsequent spring movie seasons that feature child assassins, […]

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr spends a long day in the multiplex, checking out a variety of films from alcoholic romantic comedies to nature documentaries with elephants and orangutans. He drinks himself silly and hits on Greta Gerwig in Arthur, narrowly escapes being killed by ass-kicking teen assassin Hanna, narrowly escapes getting his arm bitten off by a tiger shark in Soul Surfer and peeps in on Natalie Portman undressing for a swim in Your Highness. Too bad she’s pregnant now, ‘cause Kevin just ain’t into that scene.

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Hanna opens on the blinding white tundra of Finland like a blank page before the beginning of a fairy tale, and that’s fitting for what the film ultimately delivers. It’s a coming of age story about a young heroine forced to grow up amidst the harsh outside world, and while it’s missing a bag of breadcrumbs it does feature several other elements of the genre including a literal entrance into the maw of a big, bad wolf and even an evil step-mother of sorts. It’s the Brothers Grimm set to the beats of The Chemical Brothers and is as sublime an entertainment as you’d hope to find in a pre-summer action movie. Young Hanna (Saoirse Ronan) has lived in rural seclusion with a father Erik (Eric Bana) who’s been her sole source of knowledge. He’s trained her to be self sufficient, aware, and deadly with everything from guns to her bony white hands, and now that she’s turned sixteen the time has come for her to enter the real world. She’s not venturing out aimlessly though as her father has prepared her for a very specific mission. That quest will put her life in danger as well as those she meets along the way, but completing it is her only way to freedom. If only good old dad had thought to show his daughter a picture of her target…

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Late yesterday evening I received a text from my loving girlfriend. Just walking out of an advance screening of Joe Wright’s Hanna, she was ecstatic. Great action, emotional depth, and a killer score from The Chemical Brothers were the order of the night. I was instantly resentful of the experience she’d had, as I too wanted to see Hanna badly. But I adore my girlfriend, so the feelings faded quickly. Later on, I vowed not to miss my opportunity to see this movie. And I shall do so next Thursday night in Austin. Would you like to come along, as well? Here’s your chance.

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Because of his luck, Rob Hunter has already seen Hanna, and he had some positive things to say which he’ll expand on in review form as soon as the embargo on reviews gets lifted. It’s no surprise though. The film is about a teenage girl who is trained from childhood to be a killer, and to kill one specific person. The talent here is tremendous from Saoirse Ronan to Cate Blanchett to Eric Bana to director Joe Wright. Now, this featurette digs deeper into what Blanchett called “the most terrifying script [she’d] ever read in her life” by looking briefly at the action, the actors, and the motivations behind a young killer.

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As the only literate Reject, it’s my duty to find the latest, the greatest and the untouched classics that would make great source material for film adaptations. I read so you don’t have to. There is a noticeable lack of the kind of imaginative children’s movies that echo the tone and style of Labyrinth, The NeverEnding Story or even The Adventures of Baron Munchausen. There are great family films out there these days, but many that set sail for the boundaries of imagination to meet fantastical characters along the way to a lesson. The Narnia movies come to mind, but they really fell flat. It’s time that we all went on another adventure together. I’m proposing that someone readies the Basset to set a course for somewhere we’ve never been before.

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It’s just been announced that Saoirse Ronan will work with Peter Jackson again. This time, of course, it’s for The Hobbit. She’s played a dead rape victim, a young girl trained to kill, and now she’ll play some sort of fantasy creature from Middle Earth. According to an interview with the Irish Film and Television Network (that Coming Soon was nice enough to find), casting director Ros Hubbard confirmed Ronan’s involvement as well as the hiring of Aidan Turner (Being Human) to play Kili (a dwarf) and James Nesbitt to play Bofur (another dwarf). So who will Ronan play? Good question, and I’ve got a good guess. Or two.

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Damn. It’s been a tough world for movie marketers lately. Stars aren’t selling as strongly, companies are forced to crib from other designs if a movie is ultra popular, and there just aren’t that many pre-pubescent assassins out there to brag about. Hanna, the story of a young girl (Saoirse Ronan) trained to kill by her CIA father (Eric Bana), looks incredible. Now it’s got an incredible poster. Check it out for yourself:

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It’s best to go into this trailer with no expectations which explains the absence of an introduction. Also, I didn’t write one. But back to the trailer…

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Back in 2006, book critic Barbara Scott claimed that “‘The Long Walk’ is so cinematic that you have to wonder why it has never been made into a movie.” That statement proved to be prescient because now that novel about a handful of prisoners crossing over the planet’s harshest terrain in order to see freedom has been turned into a film by the phenomenal Peter Weir. The director of masterful human stories like Master and Commander, Dead Poets Society, and Witness now has a trailer out there in the world for his latest – The Way Back. It looks treacherous and raw. It appears to be Man vs Nature in all its glory. See for yourself:

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Kevin Carr sits his chubbiness down and sees if The Book of Eli, The Spy Next Door and The Lovely Bones can make the grade.

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Watch out Chloe Mertz… you may have some competition when it comes to roles involving young girls, guns, and murder.

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Kevin Carr sits his chubbiness down and sees if The Princess and the Frog, Invictus and The Lovely Bones can make the grade.

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Paramount Pictures has debuted the first official poster for Peter Jackson’s upcoming film The Lovely Bones, which is an adaptation of the heartbreaking but hopeful book by Alice Sebold.

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The fall movie preview season is upon us, and with it has come some beautiful new photos from the upcoming drama The Lovely Bones, from director Peter Jackson.

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published: 12.23.2014
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published: 12.22.2014
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published: 12.19.2014
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