The Films of David Fincher: FIGHT CLUB

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[With the upcoming release of his new film Gone Girl, I’m taking a look back at the work of director David Fincher.  These articles contain spoilers.]

The first rule of Fight Club is to talk about Fight Club.  The movie underperformed at the box office, and found life on DVD where it became a cult classic.  Within the context of the film, Tyler Durden’s famous rule is a brilliant and ironic bit of marketing for a group of men trying to reject advertising and find human connection.  “Jack” (for clarity purposes, I’ll use this name to refer to the Narrator) may be our storyteller, but Tyler is our lens, and through that lens, the story of Fight Club has been greatly misinterpreted by any audience member who saw the movie and thought, “I should start a fight club!”  The movie isn’t preaching.  It isn’t an angry screed by David Fincher or worshiping at the Church of Tyler Durden.  It’s not even wholly about male bonding.  Fight Club is a romantic comedy as only David Fincher could tell it.

THE BOXTROLLS Review

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Animation studio Laika isn’t just on the cutting edge of stop-motion animation.  They’re also the only studio putting out offbeat stories that unabashedly focus and celebrate true outsiders.  They make movies that are cute without being cutesy, strange without being self-conscious, and funny without being pandering.  Their latest film, The Boxtrolls, is by far their best yet as they’ve created a rich, gorgeous world filled with adorable characters, remarkable detail, and a clever comment on propaganda, which is ambitious for a movie that’s ostensibly a family film.  Laika may have made a name for themselves with Coraline and ParaNorman, but The Boxtrolls feels like the first movie that represents the heart and soul of this oddball studio.

THE EQUALIZER Review

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Denzel Washington loves doing action movies.  I’m not exactly sure why.  He’s a high-caliber actor capable of a wide-range of diverse characters, but he seems to prefer starring in films like 2 Guns, Safe House, Unstoppable, The Book of Eli, and  The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3.  And there’s nothing wrong with his prerogative, although some of these movies have been better than others.  With his latest actioner, The Equalizer, Washington has found his best action vehicle yet as it blends hard-boiled, tense fisticuffs before the climax goes absolutely bonkers in the best way possible.

New JUPITER ASCENDING Trailer Sends Us into Space Politics and Space Explosions

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Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow have released a new trailer for the Wachowski SiblingsJupiter Ascending, and it finally goes in depth with the plot.  The basic story centers on Jupiter Jones (Mila Kunis), a recent Russian immigrant who scrubs toilets for a living, but then discovers she has the genetic signature that makes her next in line to be Queen of the Universe.  Channing Tatum plays an ex-military half-werewolf half-albino hunter tasked with tracking her down.  However, this trailer goes far beyond that description and introduces us to the space politics involved as well as plenty of new footage showcasing finished visual effects that are mighty impressive not so much for how they look (which is perfectly fine) but for how they function.  This looks like a big, crazy, space opera with the hint of unique madness only the Wachowskis can provide.  I’m still not sure if the movie will be any good, but I can’t wait to see it.

Hit the jump to check out the new Jupiter Ascending trailer.  The film also stars Eddie Redmayne, Sean Bean, Douglas Booth, Tuppence MiddletonJames D’ArcyTim Pigott-Smith, and Doona Bae.  Jupiter Ascending opens in 2D, 3D, and IMAX 3D on February 6, 2015.

New BIG HERO 6 Trailer Is Still All about the Big, Cuddly Baymax

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Disney has released a new Big Hero 6 trailer, and the focus continues to be on how Baymax (voiced by Scott Adsit) is adorable.  We do get a bit more of the plot in this trailer, which shows that Baymax was created by Hiro Hamada’s (Ryan Potter) deceased older brother, and we also briefly see the other members of the crime-fighting team, but Disney knows that their best shot at selling this movie is on Baymax.  He’s cute, he’s funny, and he’s huggable.  You could do far worse.

Hit the jump to check out the new Big Hero 6 trailer along with three new images.  The film also features the voices of Daniel Henney, T.J. Miller, Jamie Chung, Damon Wayans Jr., Genesis Rodriguez, James Cromwell, Alan Tudyk, and Maya RudolphBig Hero 6 opens in 3D on November 7th.  Click on the corresponding links for Christina’s interviews with directors Don Hall & Chris Williams, Head of Animation Zach Parrish, and 24 things to know about the film.

Quicksilver Runs to Social Media for the X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST Blu-ray

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I think many of us can agree that Quicksilver (Evan Peters) was one of the best and surprising aspects of X-Men: Days of Future Past.  20th Century Fox is now seizing on the character’s popularity by sending him on to social media.  Please don’t ask me why a character from the 1970s is on Instagram and Vine.  They don’t show his face in this “post” so I guess you could say it’s an adult Peter Maximoff making sure to Instagram and Vine his movements?  I will say Vine is probably the best medium for someone who does a lot with not much time.  Look for more updates from Evan Peters over the next week.

Hit the jump to check out the video.  X-Men: Days of Future Past will be available on 3D Blu-ray, Blu-ray and DVD on October 14th.  Click here to pre-order.  The film is currently available to own on Digital HD.

New BLACKHAT Trailer and Images Have Chris Hemsworth Going around the Globe to Stop Cybercrime in Michael Mann’s New Thriller

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Legendary and Universal have released the first trailer for Michael Mann‘s new film, BlackhatChris Hemsworth plays “a furloughed convict and his American and Chinese partners as they hunt a high-level cybercrime network,” and that brief logline is really all I can tell you after watching this trailer, which seems startling schizophrenic.  There are crime aspects, but there’s also globe-trotting action spectacle along with “serious” commentary on our digitally interconnected world.  I like how it’s trying to be scary about how “vulnerable” we all are even though that’s just life.  I’m really hoping this movie is more than sensationalism, and Mann has delivered something that’s on par with the thoughtful crime films we’ve seen from him in the past.

Hit the jump to check out the Blackhat trailer along with 10 new images.  The film opens January 16, 2015, and also stars Viola Davis, Tang Wei, and Wang Leehom.

Listen to Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross’ Full Score for David Fincher’s GONE GIRL

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David Fincher‘s Gone Girl is only a little over a week away, and the movie will mark his third collaboration with musicians Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross.  The duo previously handled the score The Social Network (for which they won an Oscar) and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and their electronic music perfectly suits Fincher’s slightly off-kilter, cold, mocking style.  The full Gone Girl score has gone online, and while it’s not necessarily music you’ll kick back and relax to, it does have a strong blend of uneasy peace and angry noise that should perfectly suit the picture.

Click over to NPR to listen to the full score.  The film opens October 3rd and stars Ben AffleckRosamund PikeTyler PerryCarrie CoonKim DickensPatrick FugitScoot McNairyMissi PyleCasey WilsonEmily Ratajkowski, and Neil Patrick Harris.  And speaking of David Fincher, click here to check out my ongoing career retrospective.

Check out Six More INTERSTELLAR Images; Film Will Be Christopher Nolan’s Longest Yet

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Yesterday, we saw six new Interstellar images, and today we have six more.  The movie stars Matthew McConaughey and involves a team of explorers who come across a wormhole to “surpass the limitations on human space travel and conquer the vast distances involved in an interstellar voyage.”  These images come from Empire’s iPad edition, and remind us that McConaughey and Anne Hathaway‘s characters aren’t the only astronauts in the movie.

Hit the jump to check out the Interstellar images and learn about the movie’s runtime.  The film opens in 2D and IMAX on November 7th, and also stars Jessica ChastainCasey AffleckMichael Caine, David OyelowoWes BentleyJohn LithgowEllen BurstynTopher GraceDavid GyasiMackenzie FoyBill IrwinTimothée Chalamet and Matt Damon.

The Films of David Fincher: THE GAME

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[With the upcoming release of his new film Gone Girl, I’m taking a look back at the work of director David Fincher.  These articles contain spoilers.]

Se7en is a dark, brooding film focusing on the nature of sin.  It’s atmospheric, beautifully shot, and thoughtfully constructed.  Unfortunately, The Game was a painfully disappointing follow-up where Fincher’s cynicism provided too much of a gap.  The movie has the veneer of something cathartic and exciting, but whereas the darkness of Se7en had an nasty, beating pulse, The Game was a limp mish-mash of ideas that still managed to culminate into something thoughtful, but the thought was unrewarding when compared to the other movies Fincher would make in most of his other movies.  Se7en was a huge step forward, but The Game was an awkward retreat into the basics of filmmaking rather than a glimpse into the soul of its shallow protagonist.

Hey There, Creepy Dollface: 25 New ANNABELLE Images Released

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Warner Bros. has released 25 new Annabelle images. I am not the target audience for this movie.  The Conjuring spinoff holds no interest for me because I struggle to understand why its central figure—a cursed doll—is scary.  The story behind the doll is that anyone who touches it eventually dies horribly, so I guess this is an origin story for a doll.  I know people like The Conjuring, but I don’t know how many left thinking, “Damn.  That movie was spooky, but I need more of that doll!”  But creepy dolls have been around in cinema for a while, so there are clearly people who are sacred of them.  I’m just not particularly terrified of something I can kick across the room.

Hit the jump to check out the Annabelle images.  The movie opens October 3rd.

Phil Lord & Christopher Miller Circling Adaptation of THE ROSIE PROJECT from (500) DAYS OF SUMMER Screenwriters

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Phil Lord & Christopher Miller are among my favorite directors working today.  I will be excited for and watch any movie they make.  I just re-watched The LEGO Movie the other night for the fourth or fifth time and it just gets better (“I think I heard a whoosh.”).  According to Deadline, the duo are circling an adaptation of the novel The Rosie Project with (500) Days of Summer screenwriters Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber handling the script.  At this point, Miller and Lord are only developing the project, but they have an eye on directing.  However, they won’t commit unless they’re satisfied with the script.

Hit the jump to learn more about The Rosie Project.

THE INTERVIEW Green-Band Trailer: Seth Rogen and James Franco Are Ruining America and Must Take out Kim Jong-un

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A few days ago, we got the red-band trailer for The Interview, and it was painfully funny.  All the jokes were landing, and it helps that they’ve got a great premise: James Franco plays Dave Skylark, a vapid talk show host who, along with his producer Aaron Rapoport (Seth Rogen), land an interview with Kim Jong-un (Randall Park).  But their attempt at hard news gets upended when the CIA asks the duo to assassinate the North Korean leader.  If you’re worried that the movie can’t work without R-rated jokes, this green-band trailer should put your mind at ease.  This could easily be one of the funniest films of the year.

Hit the jump to watch the new trailer for The Interview.  The film opens December 25th, and also stars Lizzy Caplan

Vince Vaughn Confirmed to Star alongside Colin Farrell in TRUE DETECTIVE Season 2; Official Logline Released

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We’ve been digging for every piece of True Detective Season 2 news we can find, and now we finally have some official news.  In addition to yesterday’s confirmation that Colin Farrell would play one of the leads, HBO has announced that he’ll co-star with Vince Vaughn.  The description of Farrell’s character has been true since it was first reported: “Ray Velcoro, who has been damaged by years of turmoil in both his personal and professional lives.”  The official description, in addition to confirming the character’s name, adds that he’s “a compromised detective whose allegiances are torn between his masters in a corrupt police department and the mobster who owes him.”

As for Vaughn, we previously reported that his character was “Frank Semyon, a former thug turned businessman who’s working with a local Mayor and his political cohorts to spearhead the construction of a high-speed railway system,” so again, The Wrap was right.  HBO adds that Frank is “a career criminal in danger of losing his empire when his move into legitimate enterprise is upended by the murder of a business partner.”  Hit the jump for more including the official logline.

WHIPLASH Director Damien Chazelle to Helm Neil Armstrong Biopic; THE FIFTH ESTATE Writer Josh Singer to Pen Script

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Arguably the biggest success story to come out of this year’s Sundance Film Festival was the breakthrough for director Damien Chazelle for his debut feature Whiplash.  The intense drama has received plenty of critical acclaim and earned both the Audience Award and the Grand Jury Prize.  It remains to be seen if this movie will be able to power through to awards season (Sony Pictures Classics should at least push J.K. Simmons for Best Supporting Actor), but it’s definitely put Chazelle on the map.  Although his next feature will be the musical La La Land with Miles Teller and Emma Watson, he’s going to be taking a giant leap with his follow-up: First Man, a biopic about Neil Armstrong.

Hit the jump for more.

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