Director Thomas Carter Discusses WHEN THE GAME STANDS TALL, Studio Interference, Deleted Scenes and Choreography

by     Posted 20 hours ago

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Filmmaker Thomas Carter has a penchant for sports-related entertainment. As an actor, early in his career, he starred on the basketball-centric TV show The White Shadow. He segued from actor to director on the show for its final season – and since then he has directed a number of television programs from Hill Street Blues to Miami Vice. He returned to the high school basketball film-genre with the Samuel L Jackson headlining Coach Carter – and this Friday, he shifts sports to high-school football with the release of When The Game Stands Tall. In talking with Carter though, he is quick to point out that it isn’t necessarily sports that drew him to these films, but the choreography inherent in such activities (Carter also directed the dance-centric films Swing Kids and Save the Last Dance).

In the following interview with Carter, the candid filmmaker discusses his love for choreography, the differences in shooting a basketball vs. a football game and the deleted moment(s) from When The Game Stands Tall he wished hadn’t been cut. For the full interview, hit the jump.

Jim Caviezel & Michael Chiklis Talk WHEN THE GAME STANDS TALL, Their Sports Backgrounds and the Insanity of AMERICAN HORROR STORY: FREAK SHOW

by     Posted 3 days ago

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Jim Caviezel & Michael Chiklis – an odd couple if ever there was one.  Caviezel has made a name for himself as a somber and understated actor, his work in The Thin Red Line and The Passion of the Christ compelling in that he never forces anything or goes for that “big” moment. Chiklis, a bundle of volatility, never holds anything back, perfectly encapsulated in his performance as Vic Mackey – one of the great antiheroes of the modern television landscape.  In When the Game Stands Tall, both actors are cast true to form: Caviezel as the quiet and introspective Coach Bob Ladouceur, Chiklis as his loudmouth Assistant Coach Terry Eidson. Together they form a compelling yin and yang, bouncing off each other naturally, many of the best moments in the film coming from their natural repartee.

In the following interview with both actors, they discuss their sports backgrounds, playing to type as the hothead & the introvert, and developing a thirty-one year friendship for the big-screen. In addition, Michael Chiklis touched upon his role and reaction to American Horror Story: Freak Show.  For the full interview, hit the jump.  When the Game Stands Tall opens this weekend.

Director Phillip Noyce and Author Lois Lowry Discuss THE GIVER, the Adaptation Process and Unused Screenplays

by     Posted 3 days ago

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We live in an age of constant YA Film Adaptations. Chances are if there’s a book series aimed at the tweens, then there’s a corresponding film either made or being made. There’s a strange irony to the fact that The Giver (one of the first dystopian YA book series) struggled for over eighteen-years to make it to the big screen, its film adaptation only coming to fruition after a number of its imitators found huge financial dividends in theaters. This Friday, Lois Lowry’s award winning book finally hits the big-screen. Some of the details may be different – a couple characters have been aged up & a number of roles expanded upon – but tonally it feels of one with Lowry’s introspective and rather downbeat sci-fi tale.

In the following interview with Lowry and director Phillip Noyce, the duo discuss the feature’s fidelity to the source material, the adaptation process and the different screenplays that never came to be. Hit the jump, for the full interview.

Brenton Thwaites & Odeya Rush Talk THE GIVER, THE SIGNAL & Ambiguous Endings

by     Posted 6 days ago

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Set in an undisclosed-future, a utopian society has found peace and stability through a systematic removal of everything that makes them individuals. The Giver, based on Lois Lowry’s Newbery Medal winning book, details what the costs of such a ‘Hegelian’ vision of the future entails – sure there’s no war or violence or despair; but also no love or joy or emotion of any kind.  Like most YA novels/films, there’s, of course, a number of teens who rise up against their totalitarian elders, daring to challenge the status quo; but it’s a testament to Brenton Thwaites and Odeya Rush that they’re able to imbue these prototypical characters with surprising depth, an undercurrent of futile despair hanging off their every line.

In the following interview with Rush and Thwaites, the two young actors discuss the ‘daunting’ task of playing characters from such a beloved series, the differences in the film from their book counter-parts and using the script vs. the novel as a reference. In addition — Brenton Thwaites talked about the ambiguous ending of The Signal and the potential for a sequel. Hit the jump, for the full interview.

Cameron Monaghan Talks THE GIVER and the Upcoming AMITYVILLE Sequel/Reboot

by     Posted One week ago

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Cameron Monaghan is slowly becoming the go-to utility player for YA film adaptations. Just earlier this year, he co-starred in Vampire Academy as the poor put-upon best friend of the two leads and this Friday in The Giver, he once again co-stars as… the poor put-upon best friend of the two leads. As Ash, he’s the wildcard to the more straight-laced Jonas (Brenton Thwaites) & Fiona (Odeya Rush). As his two friends grow to distrust their surrounding utopian community, Ash finds himself brought into the fold. It’s not long before he is pitted against his former ‘besties’, forced to decide between his personal relationship to them and the will of the community. It’s a difficult role – in that most screen-time is given to Thwaites and Rush, leaving Monaghan’s transformation largely off screen; yet somehow the actor is able still to convey the shift in Ash’s demeanor from rebel to follower in a few relatively brief moments.

In the following interview with Monaghan, he discusses expanding on the book for his character, the tragedy of Ash’s transformation and shooting the upcoming Amityville sequel/reboot. For the full interview, hit the jump.

Jeff Bridges Talks THE GIVER, Its Long Road Into Theaters and the Legacy of THE BIG LEBOWSKI

by     Posted 8 days ago

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There’s a deep well of sadness at the center of The Giver, loss and regret circling from within. Most YA adaptations (e.g. The Hunger Games & Divergent) have the veneer of grittiness, but underneath their dystopian features lies a fairly upbeat ‘rah-rah’ tale of the little men rising up against their fascist over-bearers. The Giver may seem like another notch on this belt (despite predating the lot of these books); but underneath there’s a far more subversive agenda at work: what if overthrowing the fascists wasn’t all it was made up to be?  What if the only way to preserve humanity was to curb its very self?  Anchoring such dispiriting notions is the welcome sternly presence of Jeff Bridges, his shrunken eyes and ragged face instantly conveying the deep emotional turmoil of such a compromising vision.  He’s the beating, withering heart of the picture, adding an immediate sense of gravitas without even having to utter a line.

In the following interview with the actor, he discusses why it took eighteen-years to bring The Giver to the big screen, his penchant for playing melancholic characters and the enduring popularity of ‘The Dude’ from The Big Lebowski.  For the full interview, hit the jump.

Comic-Con: Quentin Tarantino Talks DJANGO MEETS ZORRO Comic, KILL BILL: THE WHOLE BLOODY AFFAIR and a Potential Future Science-Fiction Feature

by     Posted 24 days ago

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In 2005, Dynamite Entertainment was founded with the intent of publishing adaptations of pre-existing properties into comic-book form. Under the label, they’ve printed an eclectic number of adaptations from Terminator to Dracula to Xena: Warrior Princess.

In honor of the company’s ten-year anniversary, CEO Nick Barrucci premiered their newest comic — the first ever sequel to a Quentin Tarantino film: Django Meets Zorro. Eisner Award winning writer Matt Wagner and filmmaker Quentin Tarantino himself were on hand to discuss how this collaboration came about, what the storyline of the sequel will be and what previously thought-dead character will return for the comic. In addition, Tarantino discussed his favorite scene(s) from his entire film oeuvre, the status of Kill Bill: The Whole Bloody Affair and his idea for a science fiction film. Also gleaned from the panel, we previously reported on Tarantino’s announcement that The Hateful Eight will be his next picture. Hit the jump, for the panel highlights.

Quentin Tarantino Confirms He’ll Be Directing THE HATEFUL EIGHT

by     Posted 25 days ago

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At a panel at San Diego Comic-Con 2014 for the first sequel ever to a Quentin Tarantino film, the comic book Django Meets Zorro, Tarantino tackled the question on everybody’s mind: The Hateful Eight. As you’re aware, Tarantino was planning to shoot the Western as his next film until the script leaked online and he put everything on hold. During the Comic-Con panel, one of the audience members point blank asked Tarantino if he’ll be making the script as his next feature, following recent word that it could be heating back up again. Tarantino hemmed and hawed for a bit – before finally committing: “Yeah – We’re going to be doing The Hateful Eight.” So there you have it: The Hateful Eight will be the next Quentin Tarantino feature.

The story follows a group of passengers on a stagecoach that get caught and trapped in a blizzard, where they’re forced to confront the ratcheting tension that develops.  Tarantino previously staged a reading of the script that included Bruce Dern, Kurt Russell, Amber Tamblyn, Michael MadsenJames RemarWalton GogginsZoe Bell, and Samuel L. Jackson, so most or all of those actors could appear in the finished film. As previously reported, filming might begin as soon as this November. Hit the jump to read the official synopsis and sound off in the comments with your thoughts.

Comic Con: Executive Producer/Writer Andrew Kreisberg Talks about the Debut of The CW’s New Superhero Series THE FLASH and Season 3 of ARROW

by     Posted 25 days ago

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When you’re at Comic Con, it’s all about the superheroes. Even when waiting on line at a nearby Starbucks, there via a flat-screen above, Batman plays on a continuous loop. They are omnipresent. And while everyone here ponders DC’s planned film-verse and how they can possibly fit Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman into one film, DC has quietly proven these queries moot albeit via a completely different medium. On television, DC has crammed a plethora of Justice League characters – The Green Arrow, Black Canary, The Flash – all onto its flagship show: Arrow.  This year, DC attempts to further its monopolization of the CW Network by spinning off The Flash as its own series.

At a group roundtable for Arrow and The Flash, I spoke with Executive Producer/Writer Andrew Kreisberg about what to expect on the third season of Arrow, the series game plan for The Flash and how Buffy the Vampire Slayer influenced crossovers between the two. For the full interview, hit the jump.

Comic-Con: Stephen Amell Talks ARROW Season 3, When His Character Will Become ‘The Green Arrow,’ and Being Tired of Talking about ‘Justice League’

by     Posted 25 days ago

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The consummate under-dog, CW’s Arrow quietly staked a claim in the periphery of the DC-verse at the outset of the 2012 TV season. I don’t think anyone expected much from the show – and early episodes struggled to balance its comic-book aspirations under a TV-friendly budget. But over the course of its first season and especially in its second year, Arrow slowly came into its own, deftly balancing sci-fi heavy tropes within a surprisingly grounded moral quagmire. It became clear that Arrow himself wasn’t the prototypical hero he or the audience initially believed. As the dark nuances of the titular character were explored, the show grew by result. Much of the credit to the show’s qualitative success can, of course, be laid at the feet of star Stephen Amell. Amell has since become the poster-child for the DC Television verse – and with his dapper looks and sharp stare it’s not hard to see why.

In the following round table interview with star Stephen Amell, he discusses just when the character will finally become ‘The Green Arrow’, his relationship status on the show, and why he’s sick to death of talking about The Justice League. For the full interview, hit the jump.

ARROW Comic-Con Panel Recap: Stephen Amell Reveals Ra’s Al Ghul to Be ARROW’S Season Three ‘Big Bad’ Plus Another New Addition

by     Posted 25 days ago

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Last Night Hall H held its first ever late-night panel: a three-hour preview of Warner Brothers/DC’s current slate of television programs – Gotham, The Flash, Constantine, and Arrow. The pilots of The Flash, Gotham and Constantine screened (reviews of all three will be posted later) – but the big news out of the panel concerned Arrow.

The Green Arrow himself (Stephen Amell) moderated the panel – and he revealed just who the secret ‘Big Bad’ of the upcoming third season will be (drumroll): Ra’s al Ghul. Hit the jump for more highlights (including one other additional character being added to the Arrow-verse).

On the Set of FX’s New Dark TV Comedy MARRIED

by     Posted 35 days ago

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It’s really fucking windy.  One gust snaps a branch off a large tree.  The branch crashes to the ground about two or so feet away from a crewmember near ‘video village’ (set jargon: for where the crew can watch the scene-at-hand being filmed).  Needless-to-say, soon thereafter, a couple crewmembers move the monitors and director’s chairs far away out of tree line.  This actually doesn’t help much – as the wind is a capricious dick determined to inflict physical damage onto some poor shmuck.  That moment comes later on when one of the publicists for my set-visit (also coincidentally named Tom) is hit in the head by a wayward branch.  The man is fine (thankfully) and shrugs the whole ordeal off like it was no big deal – but this does little to alleviate my naturally worried state.  When the question is posed whether or not I would like to continue watching the shoot or go inside a small portable home to conduct interviews, there really isn’t much deliberation: I go inside.  Hit the jump, to continue reading.

Nat Faxon Talks Surfing, Marriage, and Fighting Dinosaurs on the Set of FX’s New Dark Comedy MARRIED

by     Posted 36 days ago

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“The first couple table reads, I was barely getting any laughs”, Nat Faxon chuckles to himself, “I was totally in my head, [thinking] ‘I suck. I’m going to get fired…’”  Faxon is in between takes of shooting the series finale of Married’s first season when he offers this particular bit of self-deprecation.  Obviously his fears were unfounded – and rightly so.  Faxon has proven himself to be one of the funniest and most eccentric leading comedy actors on television.  With his big toothy grin and aw-shucks demeanor, it’s impossible not to instantly root for the guy (as apparent on Faxon’s unfortunately short-lived sitcom Ben & Kate).  On FX’s new dark-comedy Married, Faxon plays against type, using his naturally likable demeanor in the service of a character who’s a bit of a shit.  Faxon stars as Russ, an unhappily married man, whose lackluster sex-life leads him to seek alternative means of ‘satisfaction’. There’s something sickly funny about watching seemingly the nicest person on earth reveal himself to be as base and amoral as all the rest of us.  So rest assured, Nat Faxon, you are still very funny.

In the following on-set interview with Faxon, he discusses how the married life of his character compares to his own, the differences between Network & Cable TV and his involvement in the character’s season long arc.  For the full interview, hit the jump.

Brett Gelman Talks the “Darkness of Life”, Drawing from Personal Experiences, and Breaking Away from the Rigidity of “Jokes” on the Set of FX’s MARRIED

by     Posted 37 days ago

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They shoot really quickly on the set of Married.  The use of practical locations and natural lights naturally lends itself to a super quick turn around.  As such when the actors aren’t filming a scene, they’re usually rehearsing for whatever brief amount of time they have until the next set-up is ready.  On the day of my set visit for the upcoming series, co-star Brett Gelman (Go On) was especially busy in the midst of shooting his climactic moments on the show.  Gelman co-stars as AJ, a recently divorced lawyer, whose life slowly starts to unravel in a whirlwind of drugs and alcohol.  Have I mentioned yet that Married is a comedy?

Gelman was too busy during filming to speak with me on location; but a week later, the gregarious character-actor was more than kind to hop on the phone and chat with myself and a couple other journalists about his time on Married, breaking away from the rigidity of jokes and finding the comedy in the darkest of moments.  For the full interview, hit the jump.

Jenny Slate Talks Being Typecast as the Bitch, the Restrictions of Network TV, and Her Own Marriage on the Set of FX’s New Series MARRIED

by     Posted 38 days ago

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Jenny Slate is having a hell of a year.  The perennial guest star – stints on Bored to Death, Parks and Recreation & House of Lies – has finally found her own lead role on TV. “It’s really nice to have an actual home” Slate confides, “I like my other [shows] a lot but I like having a real place where everyone knows me. I’m a family gal.”  I’m on the set of the new FX relationship comedy Married in mid May about two or so months before the show is set to premiere this week and a month before Slate’s own indie feature Obvious Child will become a surprise critical and commercial success.

On the day of my visit, Slate seems infectiously eager to chat in-between takes about her character Jess, best friend to protagonist Russ (Nat Faxon).  Married follows a trio of friends (Faxon, Slate & Brett Gelman) as they experience the highs and lows of (you probably already guessed it) married life.  The personal subject matter of the show naturally lends itself to more intimate questions with the talent, Slate (herself recently married) confiding what she drew from her own personal life for the character.  In addition, Slate discussed her confusion with always being typecast as ‘the bitch’ and the restrictions she felt on Network TV.  For the full interview, hit the jump.

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