LOVELACE Review

by     Posted 354 days ago

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[This is a re-post of my review from the 2013 Sundance Film Festival.  Lovelace opens today in limited release.]

The world wanted to possess Linda Lovelace. Celebrity always involves an aspect of ownership (it’s why we feel justified in judging the lives of famous people even though they’re personally strangers to us), but Lovelace was treated as a possession by her family, her husband, and ultimately the world as she became famous not for any aspect of her personality, but because she had one particular talent. In Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman‘s biopic Lovelace, the filmmakers change the narrative of Lovelace from sex icon to victim of domestic abuse. The movie finds a tenuous connection between the public and private possession of Lovelace, but the narrative’s strength comes from stars Amanda Seyfried and Peter Sarsgaard taking a mature approach to domestic violence, which helps Lovelace rise above its melodrama and poor structure.

Trailer for LOVELACE Starring Amanda Seyfried and Peter Sarsgaard

by     Posted 1 year, 26 days ago

Radius-TWC and Millennium Entertainment have released the trailer for the biopic, Lovelace.  The film stars Amanda Seyfried as the titular porn star who rose to prominence following 1972’s Deep Throat, the first pornographic feature film to be a mainstream success.  Lovelace would eventually go on to claim that her husband Chuck Traynor (Peter Sarsgaard) physically and verbally abused her, and coerced her into the pornography business.  When I caught the film at Sundance, I thought the script and structure were somewhat weak, but Seyfried and Sarsgaard saved the picture with their memorable performances.  This trailer does what most indie trailers are doing these days: showing you the whole movie to the point where there are scenes from the very end.  It’s disheartening because not only is it a lazy way of making trailer, but it’s probably turning more people away from the movie rather than drawing them in.

If this approach doesn’t bother you, hit the jump to check out the trailer.  The film also stars Hank Azaria, Bobby Cannavale, Sharon Stone, Adam Brody, Chloe Sevigny, Juno Temple, Chris Noth, Robert Patrick, and James FrancoLovelace opens August 9th.

Amanda Seyfried Talks EPIC, Awkward Non-Dialogue Voice Work, Tricks for Working in a Sound Booth, Z FOR ZACHARIAH, and More

by     Posted 1 year, 67 days ago

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The moment you’re famous enough that your voice becomes recognizable, the animated movie offers must come pouring in, but even after years of being in the spotlight, Epic only marks Amanda Seyfried’s very first foray into the world of voice work. She plays Mary Katherine, the daughter of Professor Bomba (voiced by Jason Sudeikis) who’s essentially given up everything for an obsessive pursuit to prove that there are tiny warriors living in the forest. Like everyone else, MK isn’t buying it, but when Queen Tara (voiced by Beyonce Knowles) has no choice but to shrink MK down to Leaf Man size so she can help save the forest, MK realizes her father’s been right all along.

With Epic on its way to a May 24th release, Seyfried sat down in New York City to talk about making the film and more. We ran through what drew her to the project, her love of the forest, the challenge of tapping into her imagination while in a sound booth, the physicality involved in doing voice work, how voicing an animated character compares to singing live on set, and the awkwardness of non-dialogue voice work. Seyfried also offered an update on her upcoming projects including Lovelace and Z for Zachariah. Hit the jump to watch.

Amanda Seyfried Stars in WHILE WE’RE YOUNG; Gael Garcia Bernal to Lead Jon Stewart’s Directorial Debut, ROSEWATER; Paddy Considine Considers CHILD 44

by     Posted 1 year, 67 days ago

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Here’s today’s latest casting news:

Hit the jump for more on each casting announcement.

Joel Edgerton Takes BLACK MASS; Chris Pine, Amanda Seyfried and Chiwetel Ejiofor Join Z FOR ZACHARIA

by     Posted 1 year, 75 days ago

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Here’s your latest casting news out of the 2013 Cannes Film Festival:

Hit the jump for more on each casting announcement.

Neil Patrick Harris Joins Seth MacFarlane’s A MILLION WAYS TO DIE IN THE WEST; Film Set for May 30, 2014 Release

by     Posted 1 year, 80 days ago

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One more casting addition has been made to Seth MacFarlane’s second live-action directorial project, the Western comedy A Million Ways to Die in the West.  Universal Pictures and Media Rights Capital announced the film’s official release date today, and within the press release is the film’s release date and news that Neil Patrick Harris has joined the cast.  MacFarlane leads the ensemble, which also includes Charlize Theron, Liam Neeson, Amanda Seyfried, Sarah Silverman, and Giovanni Ribisi.  Here’s the official synopsis:

After a cowardly sheep farmer backs out of a gunfight, his fickle girlfriend leaves him for another man.  When a mysterious and beautiful woman rides into town, she helps him find his courage and they begin to fall in love.  But when her husband, a notorious outlaw, arrives seeking revenge, the farmer must put his newfound courage to the test.

MacFarlane co-wrote the script with his Ted scribes Alec Sulkin and Wellesley Wild, and in addition to starring he will also produce and direct.   A Million Ways to Die in the West opens on May 30, 2014, opposite Pixar’s The Good Dinosaur.

Reese Witherspoon to Reunite with WALK THE LINE Director James Mangold for THREE LITTLE WORDS

by     Posted 1 year, 84 days ago

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It appears that The Wolverine director James Mangold has settled on his next project, and it’s looking like it will mark a reunion of sorts for the helmer and his Oscar-winning Walk the Line star Reese WitherspoonTHR reports that Witherspoon will star in an adaptation of Ashley Rhodes-Courter’s memoir Three Little Words, which Mangold will produce and direct.  Rhodes-Courter entered the child welfare system in Florida at the age of four, and years later an unpaid volunteer discovered the girl and set out to convince her biological mother to surrender her parental rights so that the teen could begin a new life.

Witherspoon will play the volunteer and Amanda Seyfried is in talks to play the young girl’s biological mother.  The project, written by Lewis Colick (The Fighter) and Michael Petroni, marks a bit of a palate clenser for the versatile Mangold after The Wolverine, but he’s already proven adept at the Western (3:10 to Yuma), biopic (Walk the Line), and action-comedy (Knight and Day) genres so one presumes he’ll do a fine job with the drama-leaning Three Little Words.  Production is hoping to begin this September in Florida.  Hit the jump to read a synopsis for the memoir.

LES MISERABLES Blu-ray Review

by     Posted 1 year, 113 days ago

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I’m still surprised by how deeply Les Miserables touched me.  I’m not a huge fan of musical theater and while I’d been mildly impressed by the 10th anniversary concert, I never grasped what all the fuss was about.  I went into Tom Hooper’s 2012 movie adaptation with high hopes, but no expectations.  I left a blubbering wreck, reduced to tears a good half-dozen times in the course of its 150-minute running time.  Plenty of folks feel the same way… and plenty of other folks still see nothing but bombastic sentiment.  The new Blu-ray isn’t likely to change anyone’s minds.  Or is it?  Hit the jump for my full review.

New Trailer for THE BIG WEDDING Starring Robert De Niro, Diane Keaton, Susan Sarandon, and Katherine Heigl

by     Posted 1 year, 123 days ago

Lionsgate has released a new trailer for director Justin Zackham’s ensemble romantic comedy The Big Wedding.  The film centers on a divorced couple (Robert De Niro and Diane Keaton) who are forced to pretend like they’re still married when their adopted son’s (Ben Barnes) deeply religious biological mother comes to town for his wedding.  Though the cast boasts some actual talent, the way the movie is framed in this recent trailer almost plays like a parody, complete with cheesy voiceover, zany physical comedy, and The Romantics’ “What I Like About You.”  The pic was previously scheduled for release last October before Lionsgate decided to push it to this spring.

Hit the jump to take a look at the new trailer.  The film also stars Katherine Heigl, Amanda Seyfried, Susan Sarandon, Topher Grace, and Robin WilliamsThe Big Wedding opens on October 26th.

EPIC Behind-the-Scenes Preview with Director Chris Wedge Reveals a Battle Between Life and Decay in a Magical Hidden World Right Beneath Our Noses

by     Posted 1 year, 130 days ago

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With director Chris Wedge’s animated adventure comedy Epic set to debut at the end of May, we were recently granted a behind-the-scenes preview of the Blue Sky and 20th Century Fox production.  While the trailer gives a nice idea of the world the film exists in, the footage we were shown – some of it still a work in progress – was absolutely beautiful.  On a storytelling note, many have drawn comparisons between Epic and that of 1992′s FernGully: The Last Rainforest and 1989′s Honey, I Shrunk the Kids and those comments are certainly not unfounded.  Though Epic is aimed at audiences too young to have seen either of those films when they opened, there is much more to the story here than just a rehashing of familiar elements.

Featuring the voices of Amanda SeyfriedJosh HutchersonChristoph WaltzBeyonce KnowlesPitbullJason SudeikisSteven TylerAziz AnsariBlake Anderson, and Judah Friedlander,  Epic opens in 3D on May 24, 2013.  Hit the jump for more on our behind-the-scenes preview and here’s the new trailer

New Trailer for EPIC Featuring the Voices of Amanda Seyfried, Josh Hutcherson, and Colin Farrell

by     Posted 1 year, 130 days ago

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A new trailer has been released for the animated film, Epic.  The story tells of a hidden land deep in the forest where the battle between the forces of good and evil continues under our very noses.  A teenage girl is magically transported into their secret universe by shrinking down to their size, where she must combine forces with an assortment of colorful characters in order to save both worlds.  This trailer doesn’t give me much hope for the movie.  The main focus is “Look at all the celebrities we gathered to do voice work!”  Instead, that voice work comes off particularly distracting at points since I’m not seeing characters but seeing Aziz Ansari and Christoph Waltz in a recording booth.

Hit the jump to check out the trailer.  The film also features the voices of Amanda Seyfried, Josh Hutcherson, Colin Farrell, Pitbull, Jason Sudeikis, Steven Tyler, Blake Anderson, Judah Friedlander, and Beyoncé KnowlesEpic opens in 3D on May 24th.

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

by     Posted 1 year, 154 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.

Amanda Seyfried in Talks to Join Seth MacFarlane’s Comedy A MILLION WAYS TO DIE IN THE WEST

by     Posted 1 year, 168 days ago

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Amanda Seyfried (Lovelace) is in talks to join the growing cast of A Million Ways to Die in the West, the new comedy directed by and starring Seth MacFarlane (Ted).  The Western comedy centers on a cowardly farmer who backs out of a gunfight and subsequently loses his girlfriend.  When he later meets the wife of a notorious outlaw who teaches him how to shoot, he gets an opportunity to win his pride back, but must choose between reclaiming an old love or kindling a new one.  The plot thickens when the outlaw returns to claim his woman.  Hit the jump for more on A Million Ways to Die in the West.

Amanda Seyfried Talks LOVELACE, Her Lack of Hesitation in Taking the Role, Why LES MIS Felt Like Her “Winning Ticket,” and More at Sundance

by     Posted 1 year, 178 days ago

One of the many films to premiere at this year’s Sundance Film Festival was directors Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman’s Linda Lovelace pic Lovelace.  The film stars Amanda Seyfried as the titular porn star who rose to prominence following 1972’s Deep Throat (the first pornographic feature film to be a mainstream success).  Lovelace would eventually go on to claim that her husband (played by Peter Sarsgaard) physically and verbally abused her and coerced her into the pornography business.   The film also stars Juno Temple, Wes Bently, Sharon Stone, Hank Azaria, Adam Brody, and James Franco as Hugh Hefner.

The day after the premiere, I sat down with Amanda Seyfried for an exclusive interview.  We talked about how she got involved in the project, how the film shows both sides of the story, whether or not she was nervous to play Lovelace, her Sundance experience, the incredible supporting cast, the success of Les Miserables, future projects, and a lot more.  Hit the jump what she had to say.

Sundance 2013: LOVELACE Review

by     Posted 1 year, 186 days ago

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The world wanted to possess Linda Lovelace.  Celebrity always involves an aspect of ownership (it’s why we feel justified in judging the lives of famous people even though they’re personally strangers to us), but Lovelace was treated as a possession by her family, her husband, and ultimately the world as she became famous not for any aspect of her personality, but because she had one particular talent.  In Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman‘s biopic Lovelace, the filmmakers change the narrative of Lovelace from sex icon to victim of domestic abuse.  The movie finds a tenuous connection between the public and private possession of Lovelace, but the narrative’s strength comes from stars Amanda Seyfried and Peter Sarsgaard taking a mature approach to domestic violence, which helps Lovelace rise above its melodrama and poor structure.

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