Filmmaker Jason Reitman is no stranger to Oscar attention. His second directorial feature, 2007’s Juno, landed nods for Best Picture, Best Actress, and Best Screenplay, with Reitman finding himself a surprise nominee for Best Director. His next feature, Up in the Air, once again landed a number of nominations including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Screenplay, but after a rigorous campaign the film went home empty handed. Following a more minor turn with 2011’s Young Adult, Reitman enters the fray this year with a wholly different kind of film: Labor Day.
I caught Labor Day earlier this afternoon at the Toronto International Film Festival and can attest that it is an excellent picture all around that just might be Reitman’s best to date. Hit the jump for my rundown of the film’s Oscar prospects in a special TIFF edition of Oscar Beat.
FilmDistrict has released four new images from Spike Lee‘s remake/re-adaptation of Oldboy. The story centers on a man (Josh Brolin) who is kidnapped for mysterious reasons, and is released twenty years later with no explanation. Once free, he goes on a mission to find his captor and take revenge. I’m really excited by the visual style Lee is bringing to the picture. It’s unlikely that he’ll be able to eclipse Park Chan-wook‘s 2003 film of the same name, but he might come out with something that’s on par.
Hit the jump to check out the images along with a video of Lee talking about reteaming with Samuel L. Jackson after twenty years and the importance of finding a unique look for the actor. The film also stars Elizabeth Olsen, Michael Imperioli, Lance Reddick, and Sharlto Copley. Oldboy opens November 27th.
There’s nothing quite like being reunited with old friends, even if that friend happens to be a bloody hammer. Joe Doucett (Josh Brolin) is happy to see anyone at all after emerging from 20 years of forced solitary confinement in Spike Lee’s Oldboy. This reinterpretation of Park Chan-wook’s 2003 film sees Doucett go in search of answers and revenge only to find that things are more complicated than he could have imagined. We have a collection of four exclusive images from the upcoming film that feature Brolin and co-star Elizabeth Olsen (Martha Marcy May Marlene), along with a familiar piece of hardware that should please fans of the original film.
Also starring Sharlto Copley, Samuel L. Jackson, Michael Imperioli, and Lance Reddick, Spike Lee’s Oldboy opens November 27th. Hit the jump to view the new images.
Some new images from director Spike Lee’s Oldboy have made their way online. Based on Park Chan-wook’s 2003 thriller of the same name, the story centers on a man (Josh Brolin) who is kidnapped for mysterious reasons, and is released twenty years later with no explanation. Once free, he goes on a mission to find his captor and take revenge. The first red-band trailer showed that Lee isn’t holding back when it comes to the brutality of the film, and he also looks to have crafted an interesting take of his own on the familiar story. These new images don’t give away much, but we do see Brolin’s character looking very Howard Hughes-esque while in captivity.
Hit the jump to get a look at the new images. The film also stars Elizabeth Olsen, Sharlto Copley, Lance Reddick, Michael Imperioli, and James Ransone. Oldboy opens in theaters on November 27th.
It may only be August, but studios are already starting to make moves with regards to their awards fare. Today, the first official image from Thank You for Smoking and Up in the Air writer/director Jason Reitman’s upcoming drama Labor Day has been released. Based on the Joyce Maynard novel of the same name, the film takes place over the course of a Labor Day weekend and tells the story of a 13-year-old boy who convinces his reclusive mother to take in a drifter, who turns out to be an escaped convict on the run. Kate Winslet plays the mother and Josh Brolin plays the convict, and Labor Day sees Reitman navigating decidedly different territory as he weaves the character drama with shades of a thriller. The film also involves flashback and flashforwards, with Tobey Maguire playing the grown-up version of the young boy. Given its pedigree, the pic is sure to be a contender in this year’s awards race.
Hit the jump to check out the image. The film also stars Gattlin Griffith, J.K. Simmons, Clark Gregg, and James Van Der Beek. Labor Day opens in limited release on December 25th before expanding wide on January 31st.
Well that didn’t take long. Just yesterday a report surfaced that Warner Bros. was looking to cast an older actor as Batman in director Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel follow-up Batman vs. Superman, and now a shortlist of actors that the studio is reportedly eyeing to don the cowl has surfaced. For this new film, Warner Bros. is said to be looking to capture the tone of the Batman/Superman relationship from Frank Miller’s graphic novel The Dark Knight Returns, so that gives us a head start as to what kind of Batman the studio is trying to cast.
It’s decidedly early in the process since David S. Goyer has only just started working on the screenplay for the superhero pic, but there appears to be an eclectic list of names that the studio and Snyder are beginning to consider. Hit the jump to read on.
The visionary behind such visual spectacles as Hero, House of Flying Daggers and The Flowers of War, director Zhang Yimou is reportedly in early talks to helm Warner Bros.’ Quasimodo film. Josh Brolin is attached to star in the adaptation of the Victor Hugo novel that centers on a gypsy girl who is framed for murder. Her savior comes in the form of Quasimodo, a hunchbacked and deformed bell-ringer. The script was written by Kieran and Michele Mulroney (Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows). Variety reported on Yimou’s potential attachment to the long-developing adaptation.
Director Baltasar Kormakur (Contraband, The Deep) may have rounded up a group of doomed mountaineers. According to Deadline, Josh Brolin, John Hawkes, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Jason Clarke are in talks to star in Everest. The film is based on the disastrous 1996 expedition that left eight climbers dead, and was chronicled in Jon Krakauer’s excellent non-fiction novel, Into Thin Air. This adaptation will reportedly be “be sourced from various books and interviews with survivors.” One of the fascinating aspects of the climb is that it claimed both novice and experienced climbers, and I’m curious to find out if the actors are playing real people or amalgams.
Earlier this year, we reported that Christian Bale was going to play the lead role, but Deadline makes no mention of him, so presumably he’s out. The production is eyeing a November start date. It’s also worth noting that there’s another Everest movie in production (also titled “Everest”) with Doug Liman attached to direct, but we haven’t heard anything new on the project in almost a year. That movie is about George Mallory, and his three attempts in the early 1920s to become the first man to climb the world’s highest mountain.
FilmDistrict has released the first red-band trailer for director Spike Lee’s remake of Oldboy. For those unfamiliar with the story, it centers on a man (Josh Brolin) who is kidnapped for mysterious reasons, and is released twenty years later with no explanation. Once free, he goes on a mission to find his captor and take revenge. Lee’s fingerprints are all over this trailer, and the film looks to have a rather sinister tone despite its gorgeous cinematography courtesy of Sean Bobbitt. There are a couple of interesting deviations from Park Chan-wook‘s original film that are glimpsed, but there are also a few moments that are shot-for-shot recreations from the 2003 South Korean thriller. Samuel L. Jackson is a welcome presence towards the end of the trailer, and it’s clear that Lee has no intention of toning down any of the story’s violence. This is promising stuff indeed, and I’m really looking forward to checking out the full film in a couple of months.
Hit the jump to watch the red-band trailer. The film also stars Elizabeth Olsen, Sharlto Copley, Lance Reddick, Michael Imperioli, and James Ransone. Oldboy opens on October 25th.
Today, FilmDistrict has released the first official poster for Spike Lee‘s new adaptation of the manga, Oldboy. The comic was previously adapted by Park Chan-wook, and centers on a man who is inexplicably kidnapped and held prisoner for twenty years only to be released for no apparent reason. The man then sets out to get revenge on his mysterious captor. Park’s film is excellent, and so it’s difficult not to be wary of a new adaptation, but Lee has a unique style plus an excellent cast featuring Josh Brolin, Sharlto Copley, and Elizabeth Olsen. A couple fun facts about this poster: the title is in Brolin’s handwriting based on the letters he writes to his daughter while in captivity. More interesting is that this image is an actual shot from the movie, not a composite. So why is there a woman in the background with hash marks on her umbrella?
Hit the jump to check out the poster. Oldboy opens October 25th.
Several years ago, Paul Thomas Anderson was struggling to get The Master made despite the success of his past pictures. But it looks like his latest feature, an adaptation of Thomas Pynchon‘s Inherent Vice, is a far more enticing project. The story takes place in 1969 Los Angeles, and centers on a pothead/private detective Larry “Doc Sportello” who is helping a former lover with an intriguing case that involves infidelity, mental institutions, and policemen called “Bigfoot.” Joaquin Phoenix is set to star, and in the past few weeks, the movie has lined-up an amazing cast that includes Benicio Del Toro, Owen Wilson, Reese Witherspoon, Jena Malone, Martin Short, Kevin J. O’Connor, and possibly Sean Penn. According to Deadline, now Josh Brolin has joined the project to play a “key role”. Unfortunately, I haven’t read the book yet (it’s in my reading stack), so I’ll refrain from speculating on what his role could be.
Filming on Inherent Vice is already underway, and will continue through the summer. Afterwards, Brolin will get on the promotion circuit as he does press for his upcoming films, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, Spike Lee‘s remake of Oldboy, and Jason Reitman‘s Labor Day.
Considering that the film was bumped around from September to January due to a national tragedy, it would be nice to feel a little sorry for Ruben Fleischer’s Gangster Squad. The period film, which casts Josh Brolin and Ryan Gosling as cops going against Mickey Cohen (Sean Penn) for control of Los Angeles, has a great cast and period setting. On top of that, The Untouchables is a great film and it wouldn’t be the worst thing to see more films like it. And yet, Gangster Squad is a total miss. My review of the Blu-ray follows after the jump.
Other than a tremendous amount of casting news, we haven’t seen too much out of the camp of Robert Rodriguez and Sin City: A Dame to Kill For. All that changed today when the sequel’s co-writer/co-director decided to tweet some behind-the-scenes images from the production. Rodriguez treated fans to some “before and after green screen” images featuring Josh Brolin.
Starring Mickey Rourke, Jessica Alba, Bruce Willis, Rosario Dawson, Jaime King, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Dennis Haysbert,Christopher Meloni, Jeremy Piven, Ray Liotta, Juno Temple, Stacy Keach, Eva Green and Julia Garner, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For opens on October 4th. Hit the jump to check out the new images.
What’s the best course of action should you ever find yourself a boring married person who’s hesitant to cash in “movie favors” due to the fear that your return favor will come in the form of the next four Katherine Heigl movies? Align yourself with like-minded boring married people and schedule yourself a significant-other-free triple feature. This advice comes directly from my own playbook and is the reason why this week’s Top 5 is arriving a little earlier than usual; so that I can make time to check out Gangster Squad, Zero Dark Thirty, and Django Unchained all in one glorious day. While you likely didn’t come here for relationship advice, as an added bonus to an already robust palette of content, I’m confident that you’re getting your time’s worth and then some.
All creative thinking pertaining to movies and how we can watch them while in a relationship aside, this week saw the announcement of the 2013 Oscar nominations, a little Evil Dead remake set visit coverage, Gangster Squad interviews with Ruben Fleischer and more, a healthy portion of posters and images from Harmony Korine‘s Spring Breakers, and developing news regarding Christopher Nolan potentially taking on Interstellar as his next directorial effort. All of the above resides in brief recap and link form after the jump.
It’s a bit disappointing that Ruben Fleischer‘s Gangster Squad can live in such a rich setting and still feel so light. As seen through a grand tradition of films dating back over 70 years, post-war Los Angeles was boozy, hedonistic, dangerous, and dark. Gangster Squad waters down this colorful world, and simply coasts on being an amusing, frivolous action film. There’s nothing wrong with that, and with a strong cast at his disposal, Fleischer finds a nice blend between the style he brought to Zombieland and the spirit of the time period. Unfortunately, a thin plot and even thinner characters make Gangster Squad as intense as a drive-by shooting and just as fleeting.