Since the trailer debuted online, there have been high expectations regarding Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan. The film just debuted at the Venice Film Festival last night and has gotten some overwhelmingly positive reviews. To give you a sense of what the critics have been saying here’s an excerpt from a review from Variety’s Peter DeBurge:
“A wicked, sexy and ultimately devastating study of a young dancer’s all-consuming ambition, “Black Swan” serves as a fascinating complement to Darren Aronofsky’s “The Wrestler,” trading the grungy world of a broken-down fighter for the more upscale but no less brutal sphere of professional ballet”
For the most part the other reviews are pretty glowing as well. Aronofsky’s films have never been short of praise. From The Wrestler to Requiem for a Dream, he’s been making interesting films long enough to gain respect in Hollywood. For more exerts from the films early reviews, hit the jump.
Love him or hate him, Shaq certainly knows how to stay relevant. With a long career spanning many teams in the NBA, most recently with the Boston Celtics, it’s safe to say he’ll go down as one of the most notable players in history. Combine that with his four rap CD’s (one of which went platinum), his film career in movies like Kazaam and Steel (for which he got a Razzie nomination), and his TV show Shaq Vs., one could argue that he’s also one of the most bankable athletes ever. All this proves good for Adam Sandler’s new movie Jack and Jill. The Wrap is reporting that Shaq, alongside Al Pacino, will play himself in a brief cameo in the latest collaboration between Sandler and director Dennis Dugan.
Jack and Jill is the new upcoming Dugan-Sandler movie. The duo have previously worked together on such films as Happy Gilmore, Big Daddy, and most recently Grown Ups. The story is about Jill, a Bronx resident who flies home to L.A. to spend Thanksgiving with her brother Jack. However much to Jack’s dismay, Jill doesn’t leave and comedy ensues. Given that Pacino and Shaq have been confirmed for cameos, it wouldn’t shock me to hear that more celebrities get confirmed as being in the movie over the coming months.
Whether you thought they were the best football team or not, the New Orleans Saints certainly had one of the best stories in the NFL last year. Traditionally the NFL makes a documentary on the previous year’s Super Bowl winner’s path to victory, and this year is no different. The Associated Press is reporting that Brad Pitt will join a list of elite actors who have lent their voices to the documentary series, including Alec Baldwin, Morgan Freeman, Gene Hackman, Ed Harris, Martin Sheen, Bruce Willis and James Gandolfini. The NFL has said that Pitt was chosen to narrate this year’s film because of his humanitarian efforts in New Orleans after Katrina.
NFL Films’ documentary, America’s Game: 2009 New Orleans Saints, will be airing September 8th, the night before the Saints begin their NFL season against Brett Farve and the Minnesota Vikings on September 9th. The film will air on the NFL network at 9 p.m. EDT.
No one debates that the Fantastic Four movies need a reboot. Spider-Man may not, but Sue Storm and Mr. Fantastic did. With X-Men: First Class approaching its start date, Fox’s next Marvel film will be a new Fantastic Four movie. We’ve previously reported that The Thing is going to be entirely CGI. Now ScreenRant reports on a pair of interesting names being thrown around for the role of Mr. Fantastic: Oscar-winner Adrien Brody and Jonathan Rhys Meyers.
Both actors have recently taken part in more action-oriented roles — Brody with the recent release of Predators, and Meyers with the flop From Paris With Love. Both would be logical choices for the elastic genius Mr. Fantastic, and someone was going to offer one of them a superhero role eventually anyways. After the last efforts on this franchise, it’s good to see the movie taken in a more serious direction. With either of these actors, it’ll have to. In other news, the reboot of the new Fantastic Four movie was allegedly dubbed “Fantastic Four Reborn”; this title has reportedly been stricken from the record. Although any official title hasn’t been released, hopefully they go with one less tacky.
When forming a list of films to watch out for come Oscar season, it’d be hard to ignore putting David Fincher’s The Social Network on the list. Judging from the trailer, it looks like a highly well done and rather intense portrayal of the creation of Facebook. The first review for the film has now gone online Film critic Scott Foundas has posted a review of the film on the New York Film Festival’s website. Foundas gives the film a very positive review, saying:
Lest I seem to suggest otherwise, I hasten to add that The Social Network is splendid entertainment from a master storyteller, packed with energetic incident and surprising performances.
For more quotes from Foundas’s review, hit the jump. The Social Network will make its world premiere as the opening night film of the New York Film Festival on September 24th. It opens nationwide on October 1st.
When talking about the most anticipated movies coming up this fall, Red has to land on the shortlist. In a summer of relatively lackluster action films, anything involving comic book adaptations and Bruce Willis is going to receive a warm welcome. Heat Vision reports that director Robert Schwentke will head back down to Louisiana this weekend with stars Willis and John Malkovich to shoot some extra footage: a comedic tag for the end of the film. As Heat Vision points out, the movie is testing very highly among audiences, so it’s good to see that Summit is willing to add an extra scene or two to make it better, though there’s no guarantee the footage will end up in the final product. Red opens on October 15th.
Make sure to check out Collider’s on-set interviews with John Malkovich, Bruce Willis, Mary-Louise Parker and Karl Urban.
Weezer has been on a roll recently. Since 2008, the band has released two albums with one more coming out on September 14th. The title of the bands newest CD is Hurley and the recently released cover image is confirming what some people had claimed was a reference to the TV show Lost. Spinner is reporting that the CD’s cover does in fact have Jorge Garcia, the actor who plays the character Hurley on the hit show, with a grin only Garcia can produce As lead singer Rivers Cuomo said to Spinner,
“We struggled super hard trying to come up with an album title, trying to find some kind of phrase that summed up the whole aesthetic behind the album: ‘Heavy Mental,’ ‘Smaller Than Life’. I was coming up with all kinds of stuff, but ultimately, we just went with some random word that doesn’t really have anything to do with anything. I just loved this photo of Jorge Garcia — it just had this amazing vibe. We didn’t want to do a fourth self-titled record and we knew people would refer to it as ‘the Hurley record’ even if left it without that title, so we just called it ‘Hurley.’ No words are on the cover because all we wanted was his amazing face.”
For more on the new CD and to hear the bands newest single Memories, hit the jump.
When Martin Scorsese’s name becomes a part of a project you know heads are going to turn. When you add The Sopranos and Boardwalk Empire writer Terence Winter, people’s mouths begin to water. And then throw in rock-and-roll icon Mick Jagger: there would be mayhem in the streets. Deadline reports that all three of those names are in talks to produce a new show on HBO based on an idea of Jagger’s. The show — tentatively titled History of Music — would center on two friends over the course of forty years in the music industry, from early R&B to modern day hip hop.
Music has been bouncing around Hollywood for some time. Originally housed at Disney, Scorsese took it to Paramount where he was set to direct. Scorsese still has first dibs to direct the pilot now that it’s at HBO, if he so chooses. Scorsese and Winter teamed up before for the gangster series Boardwalk Empire, which debuts September 19th. Jagger has worked with Scorsese several times, most recently on the concert documentary Shine A Light.
If you had to pull two in film right now, low budget horror films and Philip Seymour Hoffman could be pretty accurate. That brings us to the trailers that just hit the web, Jack Goes Boating and The Last Exorcism. We’ll start with the latter. Obviously since the success of Paranormal Activity, studios are looking for the next great rural looking horror film, and in honesty I think The Last Exorcism (which was produced by Hostel director Eli Roth) could be it. The story has a priest agreeing to do an exorcism in the midst of a documentary crew, and everything (obviously) goes wrong. The trailer does bring some good horror and while it’s too early to tell, I think it’ll be a smash hit.
Jack Goes Boating on the other hand is Hoffman’s directorial debut which premiered earlier this year at the Sundance Film Festival. The movie stars Hoffman, Amy Ryan, John Ortiz and Lola Glaudini, and looks fantastic. The premise involves Hoffman and Ryan falling in love after a blind date, and the issues that surround the two couple. The trailer has the most amazing use of music, with White Winter Hymnal by Fleet Foxes kicking in near the end at just the right moments. It looks like a winning combination of great acting, good directing and the low key independent vibe that is trending in so many movies these days. The Last Exorcism comes out on August 27th, while Jack Goes Boating simply has a 2010 release date. Hit the jump to check out both trailers.
While on the circuit for his new movie The Kids Are All Right, Mark Ruffalo mentioned that he will star in an adaptation of the Larry Kramer play The Normal Heart as Ned Weeks. Glee creator Ryan Murphy is somehow involved in development, though it’s unknown at this point whether he’s a producer, director or something else entirely. Kramer is scripting the adaptation, which is set during the AIDS outbreak in New York. Hit the jump for a video of Ruffalo’s comments and a synopsis of the play.
Season 6 of The Office showed a lot of additions in casting. None, however, were as interesting as Gabe. Well, in one of the smartest moves made by the producers in a long time, he’s becoming a series regular. EW has confirmed that Zach Woods who plays Gabe, the Coordinating Director for Emerging Regions, will become a regular during the upcoming Season 7.
Why is this a great move? Some of the best episodes of The Office last year (and there were few) came from more Gabe central episodes. I’ll cite “Secretaries Day” as being one of the best from last year, as he suspends Jim and Pam without pay only to find out that he doesn’t have that kind of power. If more storylines where the spineless whiner that is Gabe gets picked on, consider Season 7 already better than the last 2 seasons. Here’s to hoping that The Office gets better.
After spending 2 months on the iPad, Apple announced this morning at the Worldwide Developers Conference that the ability to stream Netflix is finally coming to the next generation iPhone, the iPhone 4. According to Engadget, the application will cost absolutely nothing assuming you already are paying for Netflix. The device will use HTTP adaptive streaming to improve video quality, and similarly to other versions of the service, you can begin watching a video on your computer and pick up watching it from the same point on your iPhone.
The news isn’t as shocking as it may appear. Looking at the numbers, the Netflix app remains the number one entertainment download for the iPad still, with the transition to the iPhone being the natural next step. Other major announcements at this morning’s WWDC Apple Keynote included the news of a new, slimmer iPhone, which included motion controls and video conferencing. A release date regarding the Netflix application has yet to be announced, but we can assume it will be around June 24th when the new hardware hits stores.
Anyone who has been into movies for any length of time is aware of Pixar and how genius the animators are. One of the great moments of any Pixar movie isn’t the feature itself, but the short film that appears before it. In fact, Pixar has been awarded 3 Best Animated Short Film Oscars.
Anyway, a video on the making of their new short, Day & Night, which will be appearing before Toy Story 3 this summer, has been released. While the short is hard to describe (something Pixar is well aware of) it does look to maybe the best they’ve ever done, at least on a geeky, more technical level. While I shouldn’t have to sell the video to you because, hey, it’s Pixar, check it out anyways. It’s a nice little insight into how the brainstorming at Pixar works. To watch the making of feature, hit the jump.
In 2005, a relatively unknown horror film entitled The Descent hit U.S. shores. Of course that low key vibe that came with it might have been what made it so good, but never the less, The Descent was one of the horror films since 28 Days Later. It had an incredibly claustrophobic feel while maintaining a certain amount of shock factor that had (and still is) lacking in modern horror films. Enter 2009, where we get The Descent Part 2, a straight to DVD affair in the U.S. While at first look the lack of a theatrical release certainly would scare most viewers (and for good reason), but don’t judge it until you’ve tried it.
Hit the jump for my review of The Descent Part 2.
I’m not like most Family Guy fans. I don’t mind saying the series sucks when it sucks. So when the 150th episode just aired and I was devastated at how dreadful it was, it was hard to hear every one of my friends trying to defend it. But as much of a roller coaster as the past 2 seasons have been, Family Guy remains a TV show filled with wit and sometimes even charm.
When Blue Harvest, the first of the Star Wars parodies, aired in 2007 it impressed audiences, and even received an Emmy nomination. Now, we have Something, Something, Something, Dark Side, which aired May 23rd and is now out on DVD. Hit the jump for my review.