MAMA Blu-ray Review

by     Posted 1 year, 36 days ago

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Mama’s producer Guillermo del Toro understands the nature of fear as few others do. Its purity. Its simplicity. The way it cuts through all the bullshit and grabs you by the fundaments. He once said, “fear is simply the presence of something that shouldn’t be there or the absence of something that should be there.”  Everything else is details. Director Andres Muschietti takes that adage to heart with this, his feature film debut. He can’t quite find the brilliance of his producer, but he catches glimpses of it at times, and that propels Mama far past what we might otherwise expect.  Hit the jump for my review of the film on Blu-ray.

Chastain, Johansson, Witherspoon, and Seyfried Eyed to Play Young Hillary Clinton in RODHAM

by     Posted 1 year, 61 days ago

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Last month, we reported that The Spectacular Now director James Ponsoldt would helm Rodham.  Per the synopsis, “During the height of the Watergate scandal, rising star Hillary Rodham is the youngest lawyer chosen for the House Judiciary Committee to Impeach Nixon, but she soon finds herself forced to choose between a destined path to the White House and her unresolved feelings for Bill Clinton, her former boyfriend who now teaches law in Arkansas.”  Since playing a famous person in a drama is a prime recipe for netting an Oscar, it’s a role that’s ripe to net an A-list actress.

Today, The Independent reports that Jessica Chastain, Scarlett Johansson, Reese Witherspoon, and Amanda Seyfriend have emerged as “frontrunners” to play the title role.  I put “frontrunners” in quotations because these actresses are probably high on every list for most projects.  Ponsoldt commented, “They’re all wonderful actresses. We’re very fortunate that a lot of really great actors are interested in playing these roles. We’re in an enviable position.”  Of course, once the role of Rodham has been cast, we can rev up the speculation machine on who will play a young Bill Clinton.

Jessica Chastain Courted for Christopher Nolan’s INTERSTELLAR

by     Posted 1 year, 86 days ago

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Reports have Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty) in talks to star in Christopher Nolan’s next film, Interstellar.  This would make Chastain the third lead after Matthew McConaughey (Magic Mike) and Anne Hathaway (The Dark Knight Rises) took roles just last month.  The details of the sci-fi picture are, of course, being kept under wraps, but the story is based on Caltech physicist and relativity expert Kip S. Thorne’s scientific theory that wormholes exist and can be used for time travel.  Hit the jump for what else we know about Interstellar. 

Jessica Chastain is THE ZOOKEEPERS WIFE, Brad Pitt Out for THE GRAY MAN, Gael Garcia Bernal and Alice Braga Star in EL ARDOR

by     Posted 1 year, 88 days ago

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Here’s today’s casting news:

  • Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty) is set to star in The Zookeeper’s Wife, based on the Diana Ackerman novel about the true story of Warsaw zoo owners Jan and Antonina Zabinski’s rescue of hundreds of Jewish refugees during the Nazi invasion of World War II.
  • Brad Pitt was courted to play the world’s greatest assassin in The Gray Man a number of years ago, but it looks like the veteran has departed this particular picture.
  • Gael Garcia Bernal (No) and Alice Braga (I Am Legend) are set to star in El Ardor, pitched as a modern-day Western, a tale of survival and revenge set in in the Amazon jungle.

Hit the jump for more on each casting announcement.

Future of David Yates’ TARZAN Uncertain at Warner Bros; Potential Filming Pushed to 2014

by     Posted 1 year, 108 days ago

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Director David Yates—who helmed the final four Harry Potter films—is having a bit of trouble getting a post-Potter project off the ground.  He was initially attached to direct the small-scale drama Your Voice in My Head with Emma Watson and Stanley Tucci attached to star, but was subsequently forced to drop out of the director’s chair for personal reasons.  After briefly flirting with a large-scale adaptation of The Stand, Yates then moved on to a reimagining of Edgar Rice BurroughsTarzan as his next project.

The filmmaker has been developing Tarzan since last summer and recently set True Blood star Alexander Skarsgard as his lead.  We learned last month that Jessica Chastain was circling the Jane role, but now Warner Bros. is putting the brakes on the project due to budget concerns.  Hit the jump for much more.

Jessica Chastain Joins Guillermo del Toro’s Gothic Ghost Story CRIMSON PEAK

by     Posted 1 year, 113 days ago

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After starring in the Guillermo del Toro-produced horror film Mama earlier this year, Jessica Chastain will reunite with the director for his new haunting picture, Crimson Peak.  The project has been steadily adding stellar talent to the cast, including Emma Stone (The Amazing Spider-Man), Charlie Hunnam (Sons of Anarchy) and most recently Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock).  The twice Oscar-nominated Chastain adds further star power and gravitas to a picture that del Toro calls a “very set-oriented, classical but at the same time modern take on the ghost story. It will allow me to play with the conventions of the genre I know and love, and at the same time subvert the old rules.”  Del Toro spoke more about the picture and more in a recent interview with Steve at WonderCon.  Hit the jump for more on Crimson Peak and Chastain’s casting announcement.

ZERO DARK THIRTY Blu-ray Review

by     Posted 1 year, 122 days ago

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The events of September 11, 2001 had a profound effect on the United States of America that forever changed us as a nation.  We live in a post-9/11 world, and it is impossible to go back to “the way things were before.”  Though it’s been a decade since the event, in the scope of things we’re still living in the immediate aftermath of the most devastating domestic terror attack in history.  Filmmaker Kathryn Bigelow has now dealt with these effects in two films, as she previously focused on the events of the Iraq War with her 2008 Best Picture winner The Hurt Locker, and her brilliant 2012 drama Zero Dark Thirty masterfully chronicles the decade-long hunt for the man responsible for the 9/11 attacks: Osama Bin Laden.  The result of the latter is a taut procedural thriller that not only entertains, but also provides a difficult and introspective look at America’s place in the post-9/11 world.  Hit the jump for my review of Zero Dark Thirty on Blu-ray.

Jessica Chastain in the Running to Play Jane in David Yates’ TARZAN?

by     Posted 1 year, 143 days ago

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It appears that Warner Bros. and director David Yates may have settled on who they want to play Jane in the upcoming Tarzan adaptation.  Word on the project has been fairly quiet since Yates committed to it as his next project after helming four Harry Potter films back-to-back.  Last November, it was reported that Alexander Skarsgard was the frontrunner to tackle the title role in the film, with Samuel L. Jackson being eyed for a supporting role as a an ex-mercenary who helps Tarzan save the Congo from a warlord.  Now word comes that recent Best Actress nominee Jessica Chastain is being eyed to tackle the role of Jane in the film.  Hit the jump for more.

First Images from THE DISAPPEARANCE OF ELEANOR RIGBY Starring Jessica Chastain and James McAvoy

by     Posted 1 year, 149 days ago

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The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby has an intriguing premise.  It is a double feature that explores “how a married couple in New York City deals with an emotional, life-altering experience, from two different perspectives.”  The perspective of the husband (James McAvoy), a restaurateur, is seen in The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Him, while the story of the wife (Jessica Chastain), who is going back to school, is told in The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Her.  The first images from the film have been released, and we can see one of the ways writer/director Ned Benson has chosen to approach the project.

Hit the jump for more.  The film also stars Viola Davis, Bill Hader, William Hurt, Isabelle Huppert, Ciarin Hinds, and Jess Weixler. [Update: We've taken down the images at the request of the production company.]

Epic 8-Minute Trailer for Jimmy Kimmel’s MOVIE: THE MOVIE 2V Starring Everyone in Hollywood

by     Posted 1 year, 152 days ago

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Every year, Jimmy Kimmel Live follows the Oscars with a star-studded sketch.  Last year, audiences were treated to a trailer for Movie: The Movie, which featured dozens of movie stars parodying every film genre and cliché.  Naturally, every hit needs a sequel, and JKL has delivered with Movie: The Movie 2V.  I’ll let you be the judge between which trailer is better, but I would say the sequel surpasses the original when it comes to the obligatory Matt Damon joke.

Hit the jump to check out the trailer.  Movie: The Movie 2V opens Arbor Day.

2013 Oscar Presenters Include Paul Rudd, Kristen Stewart, Ben Affleck, Liam Neeson, Jessica Chastain, and More

by     Posted 1 year, 156 days ago

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A new batch of presenters has been announced for the upcoming 85th Academy Awards ceremony, and we figured now would be a good time to round up all of the presenters announced thus far in one handy story.  It was announced today that Jane Fonda, Kristen Stewart, Jennifer Garner, and Kerry Washington have joined the rather long list of presenters for the ceremony, which will be hosted by Seth Macfarlane.

We already learned that Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Samuel L. Jackson, Jeremy Renner, and Mark Ruffalo from The Avengers will be presenting together, and Macfarlane has put together a tribute to movie musicals from the past decade that includes DreamgirlsJennifer Hudson, Chicago’s Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Les MiserablesHugh Jackman, Amanda Seyfried, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, Eddie Redmayne, Aaron Tveit, Helena Bonham Carter, and Samantha Barks.  Hit the jump to take a gander at the entire list of presenters, and click here to catch up on all of our recent Road to Oscar series.  The Oscars will be held this Sunday, February 24th, at 7pm EST on ABC. 

The Road to Oscar: Best Actress

by     Posted 1 year, 156 days ago

Continuing on with our “Road to Oscar” feature, today we’re going to take a look at how the race for Best Actress played out over the past 12 months.  With the 85th Academy Awards taking place this coming Sunday, we figured this week would be a nice opportunity to reflect on how a number of Oscar categories got to where they are today.  Join us after the jump as we break down the race for Best Actress.

Zach Galifianakis’ BETWEEN TWO FERNS – Oscar Edition: Part 2 Featuring Jessica Chastain, Sally Field, and Bradley Cooper

by     Posted 1 year, 165 days ago

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Yesterday, we showed you Part 1 of Zach GalifianakisBetween Two Ferns – Oscar Edition.  Today, Part 2 has gone online and features his interviews with Jessica Cheststain (0 Dark 30), Sally Field (Linkin Park), and Brad Lee Cooper (Silver Lining Cookbook).  Between the two parts, I enjoyed this one more because Galifianakis gets a little more time to play off his guest, especially his Hangover co-star Cooper. There’s also a special surprise by a certain Lewis.

Hit the jump to check out the latest episode of Between Two Ferns.

Jessica Chastain and Colin Farrell to Star in Liv Ullmann’s MISS JULIE

by     Posted 1 year, 178 days ago

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Though Jessica Chastain may or may not find herself an Oscar winner by month’s end, she’s certainly going to continue taking on interesting and challenging roles.  Variety reports that Chastain and Colin Farrell have been set to star in writer/director Liv Ullmann’s adaptation of the August Strindberg stage play Miss Julie.  The story takes place in 1874 and concerns a young woman “attempting to escape an existence cramped by social mores,” who strikes up a relationship with a senior servant.  The play explores issues of power through social class, gender, and family, and I’m interested to see how the dialogue-heavy source material is adapted to the screen.

Chastain will be taking on the lead, and one assumes Farrell will be playing the servant character but his role is not specified.  Samantha Morton is also set to co-star.  Chastain is currently starring in the Broadway play The Heiress and Farrell recently wrapped up roles in the fantasy Winter’s Tale and the Walt Disney/Mary Poppins film Saving Mr. Banks. This marks Chastain’s first commitment to a project since she landed a Best Actress nomination, and she’s said to be weighing and vetting several offers carefully to plot out her 2013 schedule.  As well she should.

Weekend Box Office: MAMA Leads MLK Weekend with $28.1 Million; Rough Start for THE LAST STAND

by     Posted 1 year, 188 days ago

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Here’s something you don’t hear very often: “It was a good week for strong women at the box office.” Up against two new, male-driven action movies, actress Jessica Chastain claimed first and second place with Mama and Zero Dark Thirty. Chastain’s fellow Golden Globe winner, Jennifer Lawrence, took third with Silver Linings Playbook – ahead of Gangster Squad and the big name boys that launched debuts on Friday. Both Broken City (with Mark Wahlberg) and The Last Stand (with Arnold Schwarzenegger) were disappointments – though, fittingly, Arnold’s was on a much more epic scale.

 Title Weekend Total
1.  Mama $28,122,000 $28.1
2.  Zero Dark Thirty $17,600,000 $55.9
3.  Silver Linings Playbook $11,351,000 $55.3
4.  Gangster Squad $9,110,000 $32.2
5.  Broken City $9,000,000 $9
6.  A Haunted House $8,330,000 $29.9
7.  Django Unchained $8,243,000 $138.3
8.  Les Miserables $7,800,000 $130.3
9.  The Hobbit $6,405,000 $287.3
10.  The Last Stand $6,300,000 $6.3

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