Michael Fassbender, Ben Mendelsohn and Kodi Smit-McPhee Join Western SLOW WEST; Kristin Chenoweth Joins THE BOY NEXT DOOR

by     Posted 363 days ago


Here’s a look at today’s latest casting news:

Hit the jump for more on both pictures.

New Images, Clips, and Music Video for Ari Folman’s Life-Action/Animated Film THE CONGRESS Starring Robin Wright

by     Posted 1 year, 49 days ago


Even though reaction to the film was mixed at Cannes, I still can’t wait to see Ari Folman‘s The Congress. The movie is a fascinating blend of live action and animation that adapts Stanislaw Lem’s classic short story, “The Futurological Congress”, and follows an aging actress desperate for work (Robin Wright) who takes one last job to support her disabled son (Kodi-Smit McPhee). The work she finds has her scanned into an animated world where the company will own her image, but she’ll be forever young. The film now has an official website that’s brimming with the gorgeous animation and stills plus a music video and behind-the-scenes clips.

Hit the jump to check out the images and videos. The movie also stars Jon Hamm, Paul Gimatti, Danny Huston, and Harvey Keitel. Drafthouse Films will release The Congress in 2014.

New Trailer for ROMEO & JULIET Starring Hailee Steinfeld, Douglas Booth, and Paul Giamatti

by     Posted 1 year, 53 days ago


Relativity Media has released a new trailer for director Carlo Carlei’s Shakespeare adaptation Romeo & Juliet.  Adapted by Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes, this version doesn’t seem to be taking too many liberties with the source material, as the original setting, characters, and dialogue are all maintained and there are no drag queens to be found.  This trailer appears to be aimed squarely at young ‘uns who might be unfamiliar with the material, as the particulars of the story are laid out plainly and there’s even a trendy hashtag to go along with it (#forbiddenlove, of course). 

Hit the jump to watch the new trailer.  The film stars Hailee Steinfeld, Douglas Booth, Paul Giamatti, Ed Westwick, Damian Lewis, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Natascha McElhone, Christian Cooke, Lesley Manville, and Stellan SkarsgardRomeo & Juliet opens on October 11th.

Philip Seymour Hoffman Joins CHILD 44; Nick Robinson, Tye Sheridan, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Dylan Minnette and Brenton Thwaites Test for THE GIVER

by     Posted 1 year, 84 days ago


Philip Seymour Hoffman (The Master) is in negotiations to join Daniel Espinosa’s Child 44, an adaptation of Tom Rob Smith’s Stalin-era thriller set in the Soviet Union.  Hoffman would join Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace, Gary Oldman and Joel Kinnaman.  Hardy stars as a Soviet military policeman who investigates a string of gruesome child murders, but soon finds that his own government is stonewalling his attempts.  Deadline also reports that principal photography on the film is currently underway in Prague.  Hoffman will next be seen in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and A Most Wanted Man.

Hit the jump for more on the actors testing opposite Jeff Bridges for the lead in The Giver.

Drafthouse Films and Film We Like Pick up Ari Folman’s THE CONGRESS for Distribution

by     Posted 1 year, 102 days ago


The Congress, the highly-anticipated follow up to Ari Folman’s Waltz with Bashir, premiered last month at the Cannes Film Festival, and now Drafthouse Films alongside Films We Like plans to bring it stateside.  The movie is a fascinating blend of live action and animation that adapts Stanislaw Lem’s classic short story, “The Futurological Congress”, and follows an aging actress desperate for work (Robin Wright) who takes one last job to support her disabled son (Kodi-Smit McPhee).  Wright plays herself, and then is scanned into an animated world where the studio now owns her, but she will be forever young.  Judging by the trailer, the movie looks like an absolute trip, and one I’m excited to take.  Sadly, we’ll have to wait until 2014 for the movie’s theatrical/VOD release.

Hit the jump for the press release and a new image from The Congress.  The film also stars Jon Hamm, Danny Huston, Harvey Keitel, and Paul Giamatti.

Trailer for THE CONGRESS from WALTZ WITH BASHIR Director Ari Folman and Starring Robin Wright

by     Posted 1 year, 127 days ago


The last time we heard anything about The Congress, Ari Folman‘s follow-up to his remarkable 2008 film, Waltz with Bashir, was back in 2011.  The movie is a blend of live action and animation that adapts Stanislaw Lem’s classic short story, “The Futurological Congress”, and follows an aging actress desperate for work (Robin Wright) who takes one last job to support her disabled son (Kodi-Smit McPhee).  We hoped to see the film in 2012, but now it will finally debut at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.  The trailer has debuted online, and the movie looks beautiful and enchantingly strange.  Wright plays herself, and then is scanned into an animated world where the studio now owns her, but she will be forever young.  Even though there’s a bit of sci-fi in here, it’s not too far removed from reality where motion-capture has become a regular part of filmmaking.

Hit the jump to check out the trailer.  The film also stars Danny Huston, Harvey Keitel, and Paul Giamatti.  The 2013 Cannes Film Festival runs from May 15 – 26th.

First Trailer for ROMEO & JULIET Starring Hailee Steinfeld, Douglas Booth, and Damian Lewis

by     Posted 1 year, 158 days ago


The first trailer for director Carlo Carlei’s adaptation of Romeo & Juliet has landed online.  Written by Julian Fellowes (Downton Abbey, Gosford Park), the film stars Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit) as Juliet and Douglas Booth (The Pillars of the Earth) as Romeo, with a rather impressive supporting cast that includes Paul Giamatti, Stellan Skarsgard, and Homeland’s Damian Lewis.  Carlei maintains the original setting of Shakespeare’s play and looks to be taking a rather classical approach to the storytelling.  Following a rather awkward opening with “movie trailer guy” reciting Shakespeare, the clip sufficiently teases the romantic and intense aspects of Shakespeare’s source material.  However, with a story that’s been told countless times, it’s tough to be excited by a new adaptation unless its told in an original or interesting fashion.

Hit the jump to watch the trailer.  The film also stars Ed WestwickKodi Smit-McPhee (Let Me In) and Natascha McElhoneRomeo & Juliet is set for release in the U.K on July 26th, but a US distribution deal has yet to be made.


by     Posted 1 year, 207 days ago


Kodi Smit-McPhee (Let Me In) has been cast as a lead in Matt Reeves’ Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.  When the sequel added Jason Clarke (Zero Dark Thirty) just a few days ago, we learned that the plot would be set 15 years after Rise of the Planet of the Apes and involve  “the group of human scientists who are struggling to survive alone in San Francisco.”  We still don’t know exactly how Clarke and Smit-McPhee fit into the story, but they’re both solid additions.  Also featuring the return of Andy Serkis in his phenomenal role of Caesar, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is due out May 23, 2014.  Hit the jump for more.

Nicholas Hoult, Michael Shannon, Elle Fanning and Kodi Smit-McPhee to Star in YOUNG ONES

by     Posted 1 year, 222 days ago


Quite the impressive ensemble is being assembled for director Jake Paltrow’s (The Good Night) upcoming futuristic thriller Young OnesVariety reports that Nicholas Hoult, Michael Shannon, Elle Fanning, and Kodi Smit-McPhee (Let Me In) have signed on to star.  The story centers on a 14-year-old boy forced to use his wits to survive and “is set in a violent near-future where water has become the most precious—and fastest-dwindling—resource on the planet.”  Paltrow wrote the script and will direct, with production already underway in South Africa’s Northern Cape desert.

This isn’t Hoult’s first go at apocalyptic landscapes, as he recently wrapped director George Miller’s sequel Mad Max: Fury Road.  He recently scored a hit in his first leading turn with Warm Bodies, and also plays the title character in next month’s Jack the Giant Slayer.  After Young Ones, he’ll report to the set for the sequel X-Men: Days of Future Past.  Since the lead in the film is a 14-year-old, though, one assumes Smit-McPhee is playing the main character.

PARANORMAN ‘For Your Consideration’ Featurette Goes Behind-the-Scenes of the “Most Ambitious Stop-Motion Film Ever Made”

by     Posted 1 year, 270 days ago


The amount of behind-the-scenes work that went into creating ParaNorman should be worth an award by itself. New featurettes for the Chris Butler and Sam Fell film are reminding the academy voters that the animated feature is the “most ambitious stop-motion film ever made.” Using cutting-edge technology in the form of fully-articulated puppets and 3D printing, just to name a few, the creative army behind ParaNorman is still a devoted group of craftspeople at their core. Even for those of you who enjoyed the film, these featurettes reveal a lot of hidden details in certain scenes and will give you a whole new appreciation for the work that went into bringing ParaNorman to the screen.

Featuring the voices of Kodi Smit-McPhee, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Anna Kendrick, John Goodman, Leslie Mann and Tucker AlbrizziParaNorman is now available on DVD/Blu-ray. Hit the jump to check out the featurette.


by     Posted 1 year, 288 days ago


Here’s the thing about ParaNorman: it’s not the family romp it claims to be. The ads push the child hero, and the kid-friendly animation, peppered with the expected amount of grown-up in-jokes. They’re not lying, but at the same time, they miss film’s overall tone: dark, creepy, and often quite sad. That’s actually a good thing – it helps make ParaNorman one of the more original animated features in recent years – but it might catch newcomers by surprise. Hit the jump for my full review of the Blu-ray.

Chloe Moretz May Reteam with Kodi Smit-McPhee for THE WILDERNESS OF JAMES

by     Posted 2 years, 24 days ago


A Let Me In reunion may be in the works.  Deadline reports that Chloe Moretz is currently in negotiations to star in the indie The Wilderness of James, where she would star opposite her Let Me In screen partner Kodi Smit-McPhee.  The coming of age story takes place in Portland and centers on a young boy who is dealing with the absence of his father.  Michael Johnson, who wrote the script, is making his directorial debut on the project.

There are a few scheduling issues to work out before Moretz can sign on.  Production on The Wilderness of James is set to begin next month, but Moretz is currently filming Kimberley Peirce’s Carrie remake and will move directly into filming Jeff Wadlow’s sequel Kick-Ass 2 once she wraps.  No word on where James might be shooting, but as the immensely talented Moretz steps into more high-profile roles it’s nice to see that she’s still attracted to small, dramatic indies.

TOP 5: THE EXPENDABLES 2, PARANORMAN, THE LAST STAND, David Cronenberg Doesn’t Like Superhero Movies, BULLET TO THE HEAD

by     Posted 2 years, 29 days ago


This weekend’s release of ParaNorman will afford me the rare opportunity to share an afternoon in the theater with two of my nephews, ages 8 and 10. Granted, they’re a little disappointed that we’re not checking it out in 3D, but I just can’t bring myself to foster any sort of affinity for the technology in their young and impressionable minds. The last movie we watched in theaters together was 2009′s Up and it was an experience that I’ll never forget as its brilliant opening sequence brought tears to both of their eyes at the ripe ages of 5 and 7. It was a glowing example of the cinema’s ability to touch young and old alike and while ParaNorman will likely be unable to touch that moment, I’m looking forward to it a ton nonetheless.

My weekend plans aside, in a three-fifths ode to our action heroes of yesteryear, this week’s Top 5 includes video interviews with the cast of The Expendables 2, video interviews with the cast and directors of ParaNorman, the first poster and trailer for Arnold Schwarzenegger‘s The Last Stand, David Cronenberg vs. the superhero genre, and the first trailer for Sly Stallone and director Walter Hill‘s revenge tale, Bullet to the Head. As always, a brief recap and link to each greets you after the jump.


by     Posted 2 years, 30 days ago


LAIKA’s awesome 3D stop-motion feature, ParaNorman opens this Friday.  Directed by Chris Butler and Sam Fell, the film centers on a young boy who can see the dead and must use this gift to lift a curse that threatens his small town.  ParaNorman features the voices of Kodi-Smit McPhee, Anna Kendrick, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, John Goodman, Casey Affleck, Leslie Mann, Jodelle Ferland and more.  For more on the film, here’s six clips, a very cool featurette called Time Lapse, and all our previous coverage.

At the recent Los Angeles press day I spoke to Kodi-Smit McPhee.  We talked about making ParaNorman, his reaction to the finished film, how the script change along the way, what surprised him about the recording process, and upcoming projects like The Congress, Romeo and Juliet and A Birder’s Guide to Everything.  Hit the jump to watch.


by     Posted 2 years, 31 days ago


I’ve always been slightly bewildered by the zombie genre.  Occasionally, it will be a social satire (the original Dawn of the Dead) or a spoof/homage (Shaun of the Dead), but I’m not sure what to do with games like Left 4 Dead or Zombieland.  They’re certainly entertaining, but they seem based on the desire to kill humans without having to deal with the nasty morality of that decision.  Zombies aren’t people too, but they were humans once, and it’s odd to take such glee in destroying them.  It’s a license to kill with the knowledge that zombies are out to hurt you first.  But what if the zombies weren’t malevolent?  What happens when we shoot first, and don’t bother asking questions later?  ParaNorman is a sharp, witty comedy with a ton of heart that puts a thoughtful twist on the zombie genre, and how a righteous cause can be anything but right.

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