Dan Stevens Talks A WALK AMONG THE TOMBSTONES, Evoking Sympathy for the Bad Guy, Love of 70s Thrillers, THE GUEST, and More

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It’s been two years since Dan Stevens departed Downton Abbey and he’s not lost any time actively pursuing some amazing new roles in theater, film and television.  In his latest movie, A Walk Among the Tombstones, he stars opposite Liam Neeson playing a heroin trafficker bent on revenge who hires a private investigator (Neeson) to hunt down the serial killers (David Harbour, Adam David Thompson) that brutally murdered his wife.  Opening September 19th, the crime drama also stars Boyd Holbrook, Brian “Astro” Bradley, Sebastian Roché, Mark Consuelos, and Ólafur Darri Ólafsson.

At the film’s recent press day, Stevens discussed why he finds it exciting to explore new and different roles, the challenge of transforming himself for each one, the appeal of playing a bad guy who’s a victim, his love of 70’s noirish thrillers like Klute, Dirty Harry, and The Conversation, his collaboration with director Scott Frank on the darkness of his character, how music helped him prepare for his role in The Guest, and what it’s been like working with his childhood heroes – Neeson, Ben Stiller, Adam Sandler and John Travolta — on Tombstones, Night at the Museum:  Secret of the Tomb, The Cobbler and Criminal Activities.  Hit the jump to read the rest of the interview:

THE IMITATION GAME Wins 2014 TIFF Audience Award; Makes Headway in Oscar Race

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The 2014 Toronto International Film Festival ends today, and TIFF has announced this year’s Audience Award winner.  Audience members vote by dropping their ticket into a ballot box after a screening if they like a film, and this year they really liked Morten Tyldum’s drama, The Imitation Game.  The film stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Alan Turing and focuses on his efforts to break the Germans’ code during World War II.  I saw the movie and quite enjoyed it, and while it wasn’t my favorite at the festival (that would be While We’re Young), I can understand why audiences went for it.  Click here for my review.

I’ll leave the official Oscar prognosticating to Adam and his Oscar Beat column, but I will say this: five of the last six TIFF Audience Award winners have gone on to be nominated for Best Picture; three of them won (Slumdog Millionaire, The King’s Speech, and 12 Years a Slave).  Hit the jump for the press release, which includes the runners up as well as the Audience Award winners for Midnight Madness and Documentary.

THE STRAIN Recap: “Loved Ones”

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In “The Disappeared,” I criticized The Strain when it came to emotional moments.  The show has excelled in badassery, but its character interactions can feel forced, particularly during supposedly tender moments.  After “Loved Ones,” though, I retract that statement in part.  The Strain went back to its early episode formula; that is, it showed a full transformation and the effects because of it, and for the most part, it worked really well.  What didn’t work was everything else.  But The Strain knows just how to insert enough of its entertainment worms into us that even when it’s not at its best, it still keeps us hooked. Part of “Loved Ones” was excellent, and part of it was ridiculous, but would it be The Strain if it were anything less?  Hit the jump to find out who put me in charge.

MASTERS OF SEX Recap: “Below the Belt”

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At the end of “Story of My Life,” Masters of Sex’s study turned personal in a new way for Bill and Ginny.  Bill, finally admitting his impotence problem (and not just trying to deal with it using Lester as a substitute), found a way to incorporate Ginny’s desire to have them study sexual dysfunction, while also treating his own.  Though their methods differ (Ginny initially wanted to consider psychology, while Bill is adamant about the physiology of a “cure”), they are united on a personal level.  But Bill’s pride, as always, creates problems.  Hit the jump for why despair is the greatest sin.

BOARDWALK EMPIRE Recap: “The Good Listener”

by     Posted 6 hours ago

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Was Boardwalk Empire‘s episode title referring to viewers this week?  It might as well have been.  “The Good Listener” was essentially a slate of conversations, mostly had by Nucky, that updated us on the current gangster alliances (which are always shifting).  It also was a reminder that if you don’t listen to every conversation, and catch every name, there’s a chance it won’t be repeated again and you’ll never catch up.  Even those with a photographic memory might have trouble telling apart all of these well-tailored white gangsters and politicians apart (and is there a difference?)  In this final season, it makes one wonder why kind of show Boardwalk Empire is aiming to be.  Hit the jump if you find it easier sometimes to despise someone rather than love them.

RAY DONOVAN Recap: “Volcheck”

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RAY DONOVAN Recap: "Volcheck"

So much of Ray Donovan this season has hinted at possible catharsis for Ray, and what the consequences are the longer he denies his past.  “Volcheck” was about that, but even more generally about fear.  Ray fears confronting his past, but is also a fearsome figure for many (like Ronald, and to a certain degree Mickey).  Abby fears retaliation on Bridget by Cooke Brown, while Terry fears he’ll lose Frances and his dreams of escape unless he throws his lot in with Mickey.  And Avi, who has been critical of Ray all season, seems concerned about his boss, and where Ray is taking them.  Hit the jump if you like to swim in the ocean naked.

Box Office: NO GOOD DEED Opens in First with $24.5 Million; GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY Hits $300 Million

by     Posted 16 hours ago

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It’s September, and that means modest movies doing modest box office business.  With that said, two of the weekend’s new films – No Good Deed and The Drop – look rather impressive, at least in terms  of the modest expectations most of us have for September releases.  In less equivocally impressive terms, Guardians of the Galaxy became the first release of 2014 to pass $300 million in domestic earnings.  The last film to hit that benchmark was Frozen back in January but, because the Disney hit was released in 2013, GotG stands alone as 2014’s one and only triple blockbuster.

 Title Weekend Total
1.  No Good Deed $24,500,000 $24.5
2.  Dolphin Tale 2 $16,550,000 $16.5
3.  Guardians of the Galaxy $8,041,000 $305.9
4.  Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles $4,800,000 $181
5.  Let’s Be Cops $4,300,000 $72.9
6.  The Drop $4,200,000 $4.2
7.  If I Stay $4,050,000 $44.9
8.  The November Man $2,750,000 $22.4
9.  The Giver $2,626,000 $41.3
10.  The Hundred-Foot Journey $2,461,000 $49.4

Full story after the jump.

THE TRIBE Review | TIFF 2014

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After an award-winning premiere at Cannes, The Tribe arrived at this year’s TIFF with a great deal of expectation.  Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy’s debut feature sports the attention-grabbing premise of being an entirely silent film (aside from ambient noise) played out exclusively by deaf and mute non-actors.  It’s unlike any film you’ve ever seen because it’s unlike any movie that’s ever been made.  Yet, Slaboshpytskiy wisely mixes in enough familiar elements to make his story easy to follow, while piling on genuinely disturbing images on the way to an unforgettably harsh climax.  The Tribe is a difficult film, there’s not denying that.  However, there’s also no denying that it’s a brilliant one as well.  Hit the jump for the details.

DVD/Blu-Ray Deals: Marilyn Monroe, Ken Burns Documentaries, Marvel, HBO Gift Sets, and More

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Amazon has a number of great DVD/Blu-ray deals and I’ve grabbed the highlights and linked them below.  As always, only limited quantities available so act fast.  Details below.

[Note: Collider earns a small referral fee when our readers purchase something on Amazon through one of our links. The money generated helps pay our staff and keep the site running. Thank you for reading and supporting Collider.]

ALL THAT JAZZ Criterion Blu-ray Review

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All That Jazz is a masterpiece.  The film transcends genre, as it’s a perfect blend of musical, dark comedy, biopic and fantasy.  It’s a self-portrait, really, of co-writer and director Bob Fosse, and it’s made all the more impressive by the fact that it marked the second to last feature film from the man who had already helmed films like Cabaret, Sweet Charity, and Damn Yankees—talk about going out with a bang.  It’s a seminal piece of cinema that is both wildly entertaining and introspective, ruminating on life and death in unique fashion, and the film has now been given the grand Criterion Collection treatment.  It’s an absolute must-own for any serious film fan.  Read my full All That Jazz Criterion Blu-ray review after the jump. 

Writer-Director Adam MacDonald Talks BACKCOUNTRY, the True Story, Shooting with Real Bears, Editing Gory Scenes and More at TIFF

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It’s tough enough to make a first feature, but writer-director Adam MacDonald chose to make his with real bears.  MacDonald’s been racking up acting credits for quite a while, having appeared on a number of shows including Being Erica and Rookie Blue, but now he’s at the Toronto International Film Festival with his feature directorial debut, Backcountry.  The film stars Jeff Roop and Missy Peregrym as Alex and Jenn, a couple that opts to ditch the big city and spend some quality time together camping in the woods for the weekend.  Alex insists he knows the way to the secluded Blackfoot trail, but after one too many wrong turns, they’re completely lost and in bear territory, too.

In an effort to keep myself from gushing over the film and turning this into a mile long introduction, I’ll just direct you to my enthusiastic review of Backcountry right here.  But that being said, it should come as no surprise that I was absolutely thrilled to hop on the phone with MacDonald shortly after the film’s Toronto International Film Festival world premiere.   We got to discuss the process of getting his first feature off the ground, the true story the film is based on, what is was like working with real bears and more.  Hit the jump to check it all out.

Harry Connick Jr. Talks DOLPHIN TALE 2, Balancing His Music and Movie Career, AMERICAN IDOL and His New Album

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There’s something conducive about musicians becoming actors. Perhaps it’s attributable to the performance-based nature of their work – going out on a stage, entertaining millions of folks, putting on a show… The number of musicians who have transitioned to acting and done so successfully is a surprisingly large pool. David Bowie, Justin Timberlake, Will Smith, Elvis Pressley, Frank Sinatra… The list goes on. Harry Connick Jr is not often mentioned alongside such flashier personalities, but the singer/songwriter has quietly built up a steady resume of eclectic performances be it as a serial killer in Copycat or as the romantic lead in Hope Floats.

In this week’s Dolphin Tale 2, Connick Jr reprises his role as Dr. Clay Haskett, the lead marine biologist of the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. Much of Connick Jr’s scenes are centered on the imbalance of at once running an aquarium while at the same time treating the animals in the most humane fashion possible. It’s one of many more adult storylines in the darker sequel. In the following round-table interview with Connick Jr, he discusses balancing his musical & theatrical career, working alongside Winter [the dolphin] and his newest job — judging on American Idol. For the full interview, hit the jump.

First DRACULA UNTOLD Clip: Luke Evans Insists the World Needs a Monster

by     Posted 2 days ago

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With Dracula Untold just a little less than a month away from its big debut, Universal has unleashed the very first clip from the film.  I’m not sure I’m buying the whole “men do not fear swords, they fear monsters” argument, but apparently Caligula (Charles Dance) does because ultimately he does turn Vlad (Luke Evans) into a vampire so that he can keep the peace in Transylvania and stop Mehmet (Dominic Cooper) from taking 1,000 boys for his army, including Vlad’s own son.

Hit the jump to check out the very first Dracula Untold clip.  The movie also stars Sarah Gadon, Art Parkinson and Noah Huntley, and is due to hit theaters on October 10th.

New BATMAN V SUPERMAN Batmobile Image Charges a Stormtrooper with Grand Theft Auto

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Filmmaker Zack Snyder continues to make excellent use of social media when it comes to teasing fans, with the latest being a new Batman v Superman Batmobile image with yet another Star Wars tie-in.  This is the third such Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Star Wars mash-up, as Snyder previously tweeted a photo of Henry Cavill dressed as a Jedi and another photo of Batman hanging out with R2-D2.  This new image offers another look at Ben Affleck’s formidable-looking Batmobile, as a Stormtrooper is seen being arrested by GCPD for the theft of said vehicle.  It’s clearly a joke, but Snyder seems to be laying on the Star Wars love pretty thick.  Is he simply a big fan, or could those long-ago rumors of a Snyder-helmed Star Wars spinoff have some truth to them?  Whatever the case, the filmmaker’s tied up in the DC universe for the next few years as he’s poised to shoot Justice League directly after BvS.

Take a look at the new Batman v Superman Batmobile image after the jump.  Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice storms into theaters on March 25, 2016.

Friday Box Office: NO GOOD DEED Rewarded with First Place; DOLPHIN TALE 2 in Second

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After a deadly-slow start to September, the box office is showing signs of life this weekend.  To start, a new title will claim the top spot for the first time since Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles debuted five weeks ago.  Actually, three new releases are expected to have decent showings this weekend.  Honors go to thriller No Good Deed, which earned an estimated $8.8 million on its first day in theatres.  Through Sunday, the Sony/Screen Gems release could earn as much as $24 million, or well above its high-end projection of $20 million.  Dolphin Tale 2 took second place yesterday with an estimated $4.2 million.  With a Saturday bump from family audiences, the sequel should earn close to $16 million through Sunday.

Full story and Friday’s top five films after the jump.

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