Chad Stahelski and David Leitch Talk JOHN WICK, the Changing Color Palette of the Film, the Action Set Pieces, the Keanu Reeves-Led JOHN RAIN TV Series, and More

by     Posted 1 hour ago

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Now playing in theaters is John Wick.  As I’ve said again and again…I loved this movie.  In the film, Keanu Reeves stars as an ex-hitman who comes out of retirement to track down the gangsters that took everything from him.  Filmmakers Chad Stahelski and David Leitch have crafted a fantastic action movie that’s absolutely worth your time and money.  While you might not know their names, you’ve definitely seen their awesome work in films like Speed RacerThe Bourne LegacyThe Hunger Games: Catching Fire, and tons of others.  On some of what I just mentioned they did the stunts, and on some they directed second unit (which means they directed a lot of the action).  In addition to the films I just mentioned, they run 87eleven, which is the premiere action design team in Hollywood.  When an actor needs to be trained for an action role, they get sent to 87eleven.  While this is their first feature film as directors, I’m beyond confident it won’t be the last.  Trust me.  See John Wick this weekend.

At the recent New York City press day I landed an extended video interview with Chad Stahelski and David Leitch.  They talked about how the finished film compares to what they envisioned, the changing color palette, deleted scenes, the great supporting cast, the different action set pieces, the status of their John Rain TV show with Keanu Reeves and how they want to up the level of what you can do with action on TV, what they did on the Wachowskis Jupiter Ascending, and a lot more.  Hit the jump to watch

Ruben Östlund and Johannes Kuhnke Talk FORCE MAJEURE, Filming the Avalanche Scene, Doing 30 to 50 Takes and More

by     Posted 3 hours ago

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Force Majeure, Ruben Östlund’s wickedly funny and precisely observed psychodrama about a model Swedish family on a skiing holiday at a five-star resort in the French Alps, is Sweden’s official Oscar entry for this year’s Best Foreign Language Film.  When family patriarch Tomas (Johannes Kuhnke) makes a split second decision in the face of an unexpected crisis, his relationship with his wife (Lisa Loven Kongsli) and children (Clara & Vincent Wettergren) begins to unravel.  Opening in New York today and in Los Angeles on October 31st, the film also features Kristofer Hivju and Fanni Metelius.

At our roundtable interview, Östlund and Kuhnke talked about the influence of Stanley Kubrick and Luis Buñuel on the film’s visual style, filming the avalanche scene, Östlund’s directing style, shooting 30 to 50 takes of each scene to allow the actors to develop the feelings and emotions of the characters, wanting to tell a story that highlights expectations about gender, the sociological studies that inspired the film, the appeal of playing Tomas, the power of moving images to change human behavior, Östlund’s criticism of the Hollywood film industry and the way filmmakers like Quentin Tarantino are reproducing a certain kind of character, and his upcoming feature The Square.  Check out our interview after the jump.

Shailene Woodley and Gregg Araki Discuss the “Teenage Apocalypse” and the Adaptation Process of WHITE BIRD IN A BLIZZARD

by     Posted 11 hours ago

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Gregg Araki revisits the adolescent wasteland that defined his career in the mid 90s with his newest feature White Bird in a Blizzard. On the outset – the film feels at piece with Araki’s oeuvre (The Doom Generation, Nowhere, Totally F***ed Up) in that all focus on a dissatisfied youth (here played by Shailene Woodley) coming to terms with their place in a seemingly meaningless world. But there’s something darker and a bit more melancholy at play with Araki’s latest. The anarchic spirit of those earlier films has been replaced with a forlorn world-weary outlook. Woodley as Kat Connors isn’t the same unruly protagonist of Araki’s early work. Instead Kat’s a character desperately trying to regain any semblance of normalcy after her mother disappears one fateful morning. It’s a character intent on NOT rebelling, living in a self-imposed ignorance to the truth that is plainly in front of her.

In the following interview with Gregg Araki and Shailene Woodley, the duo discuss the process of adapting Laura Kasischke’s novel to the big-screen, working together to create many of White Bird in a Blizzard’s emotionally raw scenes and the movie’s place within Araki’s filmography. For the full interview, hit the jump.

Chris Henchy and Economic Advisor Adam Davidson Talk WE THE ECONOMY, Defining GDP, the Biggest Economic Lie We’ve Been Told, and More

by     Posted 12 hours ago

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We all know the economy crashed in 2008, but how many of us know why or how?  Odds are, if you pulled a random stranger off the street they would struggle to properly define a recession, let alone explain the complex series of events that led to the economic crash – I certainly can’t.  In a world where economic theories and practices have come to rule of our personal lives (looking at you, credit scores) and dominate the sphere of political discourse, it’s a bit unnerving when you realize just how little you actually know about what the economy is and how it works.  Enter Morgan Spurlock and his production company Cinelan, who have partnered with numerous creative talents and economy experts to present We The Economy: 20 Films You Can’t Afford to Miss, an ambitious short film series that explores complex issues like how human psychology causes recession, the struggle to define GDP, and the ins and outs of just what the hell the economy actually is.  Livened up through performances, animation, dance, and varied cinematic approaches, the filmmakers behind We The Economy have found a way to make these often dull and confusing subjects accessible and entertaining to a wide audience.

In anticipation of the film series’ release I recently joined a number of other journalists with Chris Henchy, director of GDP Smackdown, and his economic consultant Adam Davidson for a lengthy conversation that ranged from economic theory to wrestling lingo to animation technique.  Check out what they had to say after the jump and click here to watch the short.

Olivia Cooke Talks OUIJA, Re-Shooting Half the Film, BATES MOTEL: Season 3, and More

by     Posted 20 hours ago

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Ouija is a supernatural thriller about a group of friends who must confront their most terrifying fears, as they attempt to make contact with the other side and unleash an evil that that they may never be able to stop.  When Laine’s (Olivia Cooke) childhood best friend Debbie (Shelley Hennig) suddenly dies, she discovers an antique Ouija board that she thinks can be used to say goodbye to her friend, but instead it quickly turns into a dangerous game where they might all meet the same fate as their friend.

At the film’s press day, appropriately held at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery, actress Olivia Cooke spoke to Collider for this exclusive interview about why she wanted to be a part of this project, how she related to her character, just how much the story changed and evolved, re-shooting 50% of the film, who she’d want to contact with a Ouija board, the most challenging aspect of the shoot, having so much fun with this cast, and why she doesn’t think she’d return for a sequel.  She also talked about shooting Me & Earl & the Dying Girl for director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon, the experience of shaving her head for the role and how close they’re sticking to the book that it’s adapted from, as well as what fans can expect from Season 3 of her A&E TV series Bates Motel.  Hit the jump for the interview.

Ron Perlman Talks THE BOOK OF LIFE, His Creative Partnership with Guillermo del Toro, HAND OF GOD, PACIFIC RIM 2, and More

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Now in theaters from Producer Guillermo del Toro and director Jorge Gutierrez is The Book of Life.  Gutierrez’s charming and innovative take on the tradition of Dia de los Meurtos embraces the spirit of the holiday and imagines a stunning vision of the afterlife where the celebrated and beloved spend eternity in the vibrant Land of the Remembered, while those beyond recall languish in the desolate Land of the Forgotten.  As Xibalba, mischievous ruler of the Land of Forgotten, Ron Perlman lends his signature booming voice, and as usual, brings an undeniable presence and magnetism to the screen.

I recently sat down with Perlman for an exclusive interview in anticipation of the film’s release.  We talked about his creative partnership with Guillermo del Toro, why he loved the character of Xibalba, embracing the tradition of Dia de los Muertos, and more.  He also talked about his Amazon series Hand of God and whether or not we’ll see more of Hannibal Chau in Pacific Rim 2.  Check out what he had to say after the jump.

Michael Keaton Talks BIRDMAN, Working with Alejandro González Iñárritu and Emmanuel Lubezki, and More

by     Posted 2 days ago

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I love this time of year.  The weather starts to cool off.  Football games start to matter.  And Hollywood releases some incredible movies that will be in play during Award season.  Which brings me to Alejandro González Iñárritu’s incredible new film, Birdman.  Made to look like one long shot, Birdman stars Michael Keaton as an actor who once played an iconic superhero, and now faces troubles with his ego and family as he prepares to mount a Broadway play in a bid to reclaim past glory.  While some movies have incredible performances or a great script, Birdman is one of those rare films where everything across the board is memorable.  It’s absolutely one of my favorite films of 2014 and it should be seen as soon as possible.  Trust me, this is a special movie that you want to see.  The film also stars Edward NortonNaomi WattsEmma StoneZach GalifianakisAndrea Riseborough, and Amy Ryan.

Last week at the New York City press day I landed a video interview with Michael Keaton.  He talked about what it was like to work with Alejandro González Iñárritu and his amazing director of photography Emmanuel Lubezki, crafting his performance alongside the cinematography, how he immediately said yes to the project, and a lot more.  Hit the jump to watch.

Alfie Allen Talks JOHN WICK, GAME OF THRONES, Comic-Con, Favorite TV Shows, and More

by     Posted 2 days ago

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As I’ve said again and again, I absolutely loved John Wick.  Filmmakers Chad Stahelski and David Leitch have crafted a fantastic action thriller that’s absolutely worth your time and money.  When I recently hosted a screening in NYC, there were plenty of laughs, gasps, and tons of applause during the incredible action set pieces.  In the film, Keanu Reeves stars as an ex-hitman who comes out of retirement to track down the gangsters that took everything from him.  Trust me, if you like action movies, this is a must see film.  For more on John Wick, watch this trailer, see Evan shoot people in the face, and here’s all our previous coverage.

Last week in New York City I sat down with Alfie Allen for an extended interview.  In the film he’s the reason John Wick comes out of retirement.  Allen talked about how he got involved in the project, working with the other actors, his experiences at Comic-Con, Game of Thrones (he plays Theon Greyjoy), and more.  Hit the jump to watch and here’s my video interview with Keanu Reeves if you missed it.

Alex Ross Perry Talks LISTEN UP PHILIP, Working with a Bigger Budget, Making Movies on the East Coast, Why It’s Okay If You Can’t Relate to Philip and More

by     Posted 2 days ago

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You know what can happen when you take a film on the festival circuit?  You leave home for a bit and may fall out of touch with close friends.  That’s what happened to writer-director Alex Ross Perry and it made him wonder, what happens to those friends when he’s not around?  That’s a question he explores in his new film, Listen Up PhilipJason Schwartzman stars as the title character, a writer eagerly awaiting the release of his second novel who’s got the tendency to do what he wants and speak his mind at all times, even if it hurts others.

Some may describe Philip as an unlikable character, but Perry approaches it from a different perspective.  Whether or not you can relate to Philip, he hopes that the movie makes viewers wonder, where does that kind of behavior get you?  Hit the jump to hear about that, Perry’s thoughts on working with a bigger budget, whether or not he’d want to give a big budget studio film a go and loads more.  Listen Up Philip is currently playing in New York City and is due to expand on October 24th.

Kaitlyn Dever Talks LAGGIES, Working with Lynn Shelton, the Lesson She Learned from Keira Knightley, THE GREENS ARE GONE, and More

by     Posted 2 days ago

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Kaitlyn Dever is one of film and television’s fastest rising and most versatile young actresses and 2014 has been another busy year for her.  She stars in Lynn Shelton’s new comedy, Laggies, opening October 24th, in a supporting role with Keira Knightley and Chloë Grace Moretz playing a hard partying teenager with a sarcastic sense of humor who says whatever’s on her mind.  She also stars in Jason Reitman’s Men, Women & Children opposite Jennifer Garner which hit theaters last weekend.  Finally, she’s currently starring in the popular ABC sitcom, Last Man Standing, which followed her recurring role in the acclaimed FX drama Justified.

I recently landed an exclusive interview with Dever who talked about her reaction when she first read the script for Laggies, the appeal of the role, finding the right mindset to play Misty, the important lesson she learned from Knightley, what she enjoyed most about working with Shelton, her friends and family screening, playing a daughter in Men, Women & Children who’s trapped in the world of her mom’s strict rules, her thoughts on social media and college, her challenging role in The Greens Are Gone, her aspirations to write and possibly direct, her music, and the band she plans to start with her sister.  Hit the jump to read the rest of the interview.

John Carroll Lynch Talks AMERICAN HORROR STORY: FREAK SHOW, Creeping out the Cast and Crew, Scary Clowns, and More

by     Posted 2 days ago

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The FX series American Horror Story: Freak Show follows a troupe of the strange and unusual in 1952, who are looking to survive as performers amidst the dying world of the American carny experience.  Also in the quiet, sleepy hamlet of Jupiter, Florida is a dark being known as Twisty the Clown (John Carroll Lynch), who savagely threatens the lives of townsfolk and freaks alike, but who also has an innocence that makes it even more disturbing.  The show stars Jessica Lange, Sarah Paulson, Kathy Bates, Angela Bassett, Michael Chiklis, Evan Peters, Frances Conroy, Emma Roberts, Denis O’Hare and Finn Wittrock.

During this exclusive phone interview with Collider, actor John Carroll Lynch talked about how this role was pitched to him, being aware of the deep fear of clowns that many people have, how he creeps out some of the cast and crew when he’s in character, the evolution of Twisty’s look, expressing himself with no dialogue, how much the hair and make-up and costume help him, taking the actual clown side of the character seriously, the license he’s given to go to dark places because he’s in full make-up, that viewers will learn what happened to him and why he is the way he is, the bizarre dynamic between Twisty and Dandy (Wittrock), and how he’d love to work with these actors again.  Check out what he had to say after the jump.

John Hawkes Talks LOW DOWN, Working With Elle Fanning, Not Glorifying Heroin, and His Next Film THE DRIFTLESS AREA

by     Posted 2 days ago

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John Hawkes delivers a superb performance in Low Down as noted jazz pianist Joe Albany who played with musical greats Charlie Parker and Miles Davis but was torn between his musical ambition, his devotion to his teenage daughter (Elle Fanning), and a debilitating heroin addiction.  The bio-pic opening October 24th is directed by experimental filmmaker Jeff Preiss in his feature debut and based on the memoirs of Albany’s daughter Amy-Jo Albany who co-wrote the screenplay with Topper Lilien.  Set in the colorful, seedy world of struggling musicians and artists in 1970’s Hollywood, the film boasts a first-rate cast that also includes Glenn Close, Lena Heady, and Peter Dinklage.

In an exclusive interview, the Oscar nominated actor spoke about how he first heard about the project after meeting with producers Albert Berger and Ron Yerxa, the appeal of the character, his preparation, not wanting to glorify heroin, working with Fanning and Close, his collaboration with Preiss, what he looks for in the roles he chooses, his experiences growing up in a small rural town, when he first knew he wanted to be an actor, his wild ride with a guy who had just robbed a convenience store, and his upcoming projects including the Off Broadway play Lost Lake and film roles in The Driftless Area, Too Late, and Everest.  Check out our interview with John Hawkes after the jump. 

Keanu Reeves Talks JOHN WICK, the Action Sequences, if He’ll Direct Again, the JOHN RAIN TV Series, Eli Roth’s KNOCK KNOCK, and More

by     Posted 3 days ago

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As I’ve said again and again on Twitter and on the site, I absolutely loved John Wick.  Filmmakers Chad Stahelski and David Leitch have crafted a fantastic action thriller that’s absolutely worth your time and money.  When I recently hosted a screening in NYC, there were plenty of laughs, gasps, and tons of applause during the incredible action set pieces.  In the film, Keanu Reeves stars as an ex-hitman who comes out of retirement to track down the gangsters that took everything from him.  Trust me, if you like action movies, this is a must see film.  For more on John Wick, watch this trailer, see Evan shoot people in the face, and here’s all our previous coverage.

Last week in New York City I sat down with Keanu Reeves for an extended interview.  He talked about how he got involved in the film, script changes, the challenge of shooting the various action sequences, the universal appeal of John Wick and the character motivation, if he’ll direct again, if he’d be willing to star in Marvel’s Doctor Strange, his hopes for the John Rain limited TV series that he’s also doing with Chad Stahelski and David Leitch, future projects including the courtroom drama The Whole Truth and the Eli Roth horror movie Knock Knockand more.  Hit the jump to watch.

Lynn Shelton Talks LAGGIES, How She Became Involved With the Film, Working With Keira Knightley and Chloë Grace Moritz, and Her Next Film I’M DOWN

by     Posted 3 days ago

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Remaining true to her indie roots while taking a step closer to the mainstream, Lynn Shelton brings her unique directorial voice to Laggies, one of her best films to date about a 28-year-old slacker (Keira Knightley) in the throes of a quarter-life crisis.  This is the first time Shelton has directed from a script written by someone else, but Andrea Seigel’s well written screenplay is a nice fit with the rest of Shelton’s body of work.  Laggies is also the largest scale film production of Shelton’s career and was shot in and around her hometown of Seattle.  Opening October 24th, the romantic comedy also stars Sam Rockwell and Chloë Grace Moretz.

In an exclusive interview, Shelton talked about how the project first emerged, what appealed to her about the story and characters, her fantastic collaboration with Seigel, letting others worry about the film’s financing while she focused on directing, creating an emotionally safe environment for her cast to take risks, what the actors brought to their roles, how her experience in television has made her a better director, directing the pilot for the Fresh Off the Boat TV series, her comedy feature in development entitled I’m Down, and aspirations to eventually develop her own show. Hit the jump to check out our interview with Lynn Shelton.

Composer Steven Price Talks Using WWII Weaponry for His FURY Score, Working with David Ayer, His Career and Process, Leaving ANT-MAN, and More

by     Posted 3 days ago

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Following his Oscar-winning score last year for Gravity, acclaimed British film and television composer Steven Price scores Fury, director David Ayer’s gritty WWII epic starring Brad Pitt as a battle-hardened sergeant who commands a Sherman tank and its five-man crew on a perilous mission behind enemy lines.  Ayer’s dedication to the accuracy of the film’s portrayal of war as the Allies make their final push into the European Theater inspired Price to give the film’s score a raw, guttural feel using mechanized rhythms within emotional moments to convey the intense action and character themes.

In an exclusive interview, Price talked about his collaboration with Ayer, his used of cellos and choirs to portray the war-torn solders and actual WW II weaponry to create percussion sounds that echo the bombast of tank warfare, how he layered the sounds of a huge orchestra with those of intimate instrumental groups to convey the weight and exhaustion of the characters, his roots as an artist, his experience on The Lord of the Rings and Batman Begins, what he learned from composers Hans Zimmer, Howard Shore and James Newton Howard, and why he decided not to do Marvel’s Ant-Man once Edgar Wright left the project.  Check out the interview after the jump.

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