by Jason Barr Posted: November 10th, 2012 at 1:05 pm
Last night I uncovered a gem from 2011 for the first time and my only regret is that I didn’t take the time to seek it out sooner. Writer/director Thomas McCarthy‘s dramedy Win Win is not only consistently funny but also chock full of both heartwarming and heartbreaking moments. The performances are terrific all-around, the script is strong albeit somewhat easy to telegraph, and the wrestling scenes are even surprisingly intense at times (I mean, it was nominated for a prestigious ESPY for “Best Sports Film” after all). Matt gave the film his full endorsement when he reviewed it at Sundance 2011 and I’m doing the same here today.
Movie recommendations aside, in what was yet another busy week around these parts, the five standouts include our Skyfall interviews with Daniel Craig, Javier Bardem, director Sam Mendes and more, a Beautiful Creatures set visit recap, the first trailer for Brad Pitt‘s World War Z, even more set visit goodness from Arnold Schwarzenegger‘s The Last Stand, and ongoing development news for the next Star Wars trilogy. Keep reading for brief recaps and links to all of the above.
Bond is back with a bang in Skyfall, a smart, sexy, exciting action thriller that’s one of the best 007 films ever, ranking right up there with From Russia with Love, Goldfinger, and On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. It’s certainly the best of the Daniel Craig Bond films with its thrilling chase and fight sequences and the visceral way it reveals the vulnerable man behind the myth who relies on primal instincts and physical prowess to combat 21st century techno-terrorism.
At the Los Angeles press day for the film, Daniel Craig, director Sam Mendes, and producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson discussed how Skyfall presented an opportunity to continue to regenerate the franchise and introduce new characters, how they wrote the role of the Bond villain specifically for Javier Bardem, why Mendes was drawn to directing the film, what inspired his decision to cast Bérénice Marlohe, how DP Roger Deakins contributed to the extraordinary look of the movie, and why after five decades Bond is still such a potent franchise. Craig also talked about what he’s learned from doing an action movie and working with Dame Judi Dench whom he considers an extraordinary woman and actress. Hit the jump for what they had to say.
Due to MGM’s financial meltdown, there was a four year wait since the last James Bond movie, Quantum of Solace. The franchise’s producers aren’t going to let that happen again, especially since the new entry, Skyfall, is garnering ridiculously positive buzz. It also looks like they’re sticking to one of that film’s successful contributors. According to the Daily Mail, Oscar-nominated screenwriter John Logan (Gladiator) will return to write the next movie. The key difference is that Logan will write the script solo. The past five movies—Skyfall, Quantum of Solace, Casino Royale, Die Another Day, The World Is Not Enough—were partially written by Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, but Logan was called in to re-write Skyfall. If Logan has helped to deliver what some are calling one of the series’ best films, then I’m glad to see that he’ll be back to write the next movie.
As for when we’ll see that movie, producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli are hoping to shoot at Pinewood Studios (and I’m sure at various exotic locales) next year for a fall 2014 release, which confirms a report from earlier this year. Considering that the every Bond film since The World Is Not Enough has opened in November, I would expect to see Bond 24 land in November 2014. Hit the jump for more on Logan’s suspected two-part Bond treatment.
The buzz on the upcoming James Bond film, Skyfall, has been ecstatic, so of course it’s time to rush past the present and look to the future. And the future could hold a black James Bond. If that seems like a highly unlikely possibility, then it should come as a surprise that Bond producer Barbara Broccoli met with Idris Elba (Prometheus) for the role according to Skyfall actress Naomie Harris. “I didn’t realize that there was this talk and then I did a film with Idris,” said Harris, “and he said that he met Barbara Broccoli and that it does seem like there is a possibility in the future that there could very well be a black James Bond.”
Hit the jump for more.
by Jason Barr Posted: October 6th, 2012 at 11:38 am
If you’ve followed the Top 5 for any amount of time you’ve probably already deduced that I like to use the opening paragraph in an anecdotal fashion. Whether I’m spinning a recap of my latest pop-culture excursions or using the latest wedding I’m attending as a gateway for complaining about the pop-culture excursions I’d rather be partaking of, I try and keep this space at least loosely based around entertainment. That said, this week is no different as I finally had the chance to sit down with writer/director David Ayer‘s End of Watch last night. I won’t do the film the disservice of reviewing it in two sentences, but I will say that I found Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña‘s chemistry to be excellent and the action to be consistently suspenseful/captivating. Is the script’s attempt to tie nearly every encounter the partner’s undertake into an interconnected climax a little bit of a stretch? I think so. Nevertheless, End of Watch is still a cop drama that pushes almost all of the right buttons.
But enough of my reviews in 100 words or less, in this week’s trek down memory lane is the first official image and trailer for A Good Day to Die Hard, Taken 2 interviews with Liam Neeson, Famke Janssen and more, a recap of all our James Bond / Skyfall coverage from the past week, Frankenweenie interviews with Tim Burton, Winona Ryder and more, and finally a look at some classic video games that we feel deserve an HD remake.
The EPIX exclusive documentary Everything or Nothing: The Untold Story of 007, from director Stevan Riley, celebrates 50 years of James Bond, just in time for the highly anticipated release of the latest Bond film, Skyfall, due out on November 9th. The fascinating story focuses on three men – Bond producer Albert “Cubby” Broccoli, Harry Saltzman and author Ian Fleming – and the inspiring story behind the creation and survival of one of the longest running film franchises in cinema history.
During this recent exclusive phone interview with Collider, Barbara Broccoli – who has continued her family’s legacy as Bond producer, along with her half-brother Michael Wilson – talked about how this documentary came to be, what it was like to see her father achieve the American dream, how Bond has always been a huge and extraordinary part of her life, and what it’s like to be a part of something that has not only become a film legacy, but is also her family’s legacy as well. She also talked about why Daniel Craig was the right Bond for the 21st century, that the first cut of Skyfall was only about 8 to 10 minutes longer than its current 2 hours and 21 minutes, and how she’s made sure to sign the actor on for more films. Check out what she had to say after the jump.
With this weekend’s domestic release of some little flick called The Avengers, the summer movie season is officially off and running. Although it’s easy for the comic book fan in me to rank The Avengers, The Amazing-Spider Man, and The Dark Knight Rises as my top three most anticipated summer pics, I thought it might be a nice exercise to quickly list what else the Summer of 2012 is offering that will likely tickle my moviegoing fancy. That said, because absolutely no one asked my opinion, here are five of my other most anticipated summer films (listed in chronological order by release date): Ridley Scott‘s Prometheus, Steven Soderbergh‘s Magic Mike, Seth MacFarlane‘s feature debut Ted, Fernando Meirelles‘ 360, and John Hillcoat‘s Lawless. As always, I’d love to hear from you, the reader, about what you’re looking forward to seeing on the big screen in the coming months. By all means, use the comments section liberally.
In this week’s Top 5 you’ll find a ton of interviews, Matt’s review, and other ancillary bits for the aforementioned The Avengers, Steve’s coverage from his visit to the Istanbul set of Skyfall, the third trailer for The Dark Knight Rises, a new trailer, images, and posters for The Amazing Spider-Man, and the first full-length trailer for The Expendables 2. A quick recap and link to each ensues after the jump.
There is something about being in the presence of James Bond. Maybe it’s because we all grew up watching the character. Or maybe it’s because we wish we could be him—bedding beautiful women and killing bad guys with ease and style. And although we all know Daniel Craig is not really James Bond, when he walks into a room filled with reporters from around the world to answer questions about Skyfall, the atmosphere changes. It’s like everyone just had a few cups of coffee and they’re wide awake and ready to ask a lot of questions. Trust me: not every actor gets that kind of response from entertainment journalists.
On Sunday afternoon, in Istanbul, Turkey, I got to participate in a roundtable interview with Daniel Craig and producer Barbara Broccoli. Since Craig had to get back to set to film part of an action sequence on Skyfall, we had limited time. However, even though Craig and Broccoli were guarded about giving away any of the twists and turns, they still talked about the strength of the script, the humor, how the upcoming teaser trailer only scratches the surface of what Skyfall is about, the stunts, invoking the wit of Ian Fleming, Easter eggs, if Bond 24 is really coming in 2014, and a lot more. Hit the jump to listen or read the interview.
Sony Pictures held a press conference today to announce details on the 23rd James Bond film. First up, Sony confirmed the title would be Skyfall, which sounds a bit sci-fi, but is a billion times better than “Quantum of Solace“. As for the title’s meaning, producer Barbara Broccoli says, “It has emotional context which will be revealed in the film.” The press conference was also attended by director Sam Mendes, co-producer Michael G. Wilson, and cast members Daniel Craig, Javier Bardem, Judi Dench, Bérénice Marlohe, and Naomie Harris.
The official James Bond twitter, @007, tweeted the logline: “Bond’s loyalty to M is tested as her past comes back to haunt her. As MI6 comes under attack, 007 must track down and destroy the threat, no matter how personal the cost.” Hit the jump for more juicy details on 007′s next adventure. The film also stars Ralph Fiennes, Albert Finney, and Ben Whishaw. Skyfall is due out November 9, 2012. [We've updated the story with the press release, as well as photos and video from the press conference, all of which you can check out after the jump.]
With the future of MGM still uncertain, James Bond producers Michael G Wilson and Barbara Broccoli have suspended development on the next James Bond film previously scheduled for release 2011/2012.
“Due to the continuing uncertainty surrounding the future of MGM and the failure to close a sale of the studio, we have suspended development on BOND 23 indefinitely. We do not know when development will resume and do not have a date for the release of BOND 23,” stated Michael G Wilson and Barbara Broccoli jointly.
More after the jump:
Producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli have announced that Peter Morgan (“Frost/Nixon”, “The Queen”), Neal Purvis and Robert Wade (“Quantum of Solace”, “Casino Royale”) will be the screenwriters of the next James Bond movie. Daniel Craig will reprise his role as 007 and they haven’t determined a start date for production.
“Peter, Neal and Robert are extraordinarily talented and we’re looking forward to working with the three of them,” commented Wilson and Broccoli.
Peter Morgan is the award-winning writer of such films as “The Last King of Scotland”, “The Queen” and “Frost/Nixon”, which was based on his play. He has also scripted the upcoming “The Special Relationship” for HBO and Hereafter for DreamWorks. He will turn his attention to Bond 23 on completion of these duties.
For fans of Bond, this is great news, as we’re now one step closer to the next installment and we’re getting a fantastic writer on the project. If I had to guess, I’d expect the next Bond in 2011.