Pilot Roundup: Alyson Hannigan Joins Matt Damon/Ben Affleck Comedy, Octavia Spencer Set for RED BAND SOCIETY, and Jason Isaacs Leads DIG

by     Posted 214 days ago

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It’s pilot season, folks, and with that all the networks are putting together shows that they hope will make this year’s fall schedule.  Briefly, here’s some of the latest casting news:

  • Alyson Hannigan (How I Met Your Mother) will stick around CBS, as the actress has joined the cast of the comedy pilot More Time with the Family, which boasts Matt Damon and Ben Affleck as executive producers.
  • With the Murder She Wrote reboot now defunct, Oscar winner Octavia Spencer will lead the potential Fox drama series Red Band Society.
  • Jason Isaacs will star in the six-episode event series Dig on USA from Heroes creator Tim Kring.

Hit the jump for more on the aforementioned projects.

Ben Affleck and Matt Damon Tease Each Other and Invite You to Hang Out for Charity

by     Posted 216 days ago

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Although they are very active as producing partners, it’s been quite a few years since Ben Affleck and Matt Damon starred in a movie together.  So it’s fun to see them banter and bicker for a charity video to help Eastern Congo Initiative and Water.org.  For $10, you can enter to win a trip to Hollywood to be Affleck and Damon’s “VIP guests to a private star-studded event.”  Affleck mocks Damon’s height, lack of Oscars, and shallow questions, but Damon has the ultimate trump card: Gigli.

Hit the jump to check out Ben and Matt (er, Matt and Ben) tease for a good cause and find out how to enter.

THE MONUMENTS MEN Review

by     Posted 223 days ago

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In his past films, George Clooney has shown himself to be surprisingly deft at working with genre and mood.  Confessions of a Dangerous Mind is a stunning directorial debut that melds comedy, paranoia, tragedy, and drama, and his following works all have a smart, sensible core (although I’ll admit his previous picture, The Ides of March is slightly shaky).  Unfortunately, his confident direction is nowhere to be found in his latest film, The Monuments Men.  The story is scattershot in structure, narrative, and tone.  The premise is fascinating, but Clooney can never seem to find the right angle, and it’s unclear if we’re watching a drama with comedic elements or a rousing World War II picture with moments of tragedy.  There’s almost a total lack of cohesion, and while Clooney is occasionally able to regain control of the picture, the best moments rely almost entirely on the performances.

George Clooney, Bill Murray, Cate Blanchett, Matt Damon, Bob Balaban, John Goodman and Producer Grant Heslov Talk THE MONUMENTS MEN

by     Posted 226 days ago

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Opening February 7th, George Clooney’s exciting action drama The Monuments Men features an impressive ensemble cast that brings to life the untold but true story of courageous people who risked everything to rescue the world’s artistic masterpieces from Nazi thieves.  Set during World War II, the movie is based on the book by Robert M. Edsel with Bret Witter and centers on one of the greatest treasure hunts in history.  It also shines a light and a perspective on very well-known historical facts.

At the film’s recent press day, we participated in a press conference with Clooney, Bill Murray, Cate Blanchett, Matt Damon, Bob Balaban, John Goodman and producer Grant Heslov.  They spoke about wanting to make an entertaining movie that also deals with a very serious subject matter, what they found inspiring about portraying their characters, their experience working in Berlin, Clooney’s evolution as a director, why he enjoys stepping behind the camera now more than acting, what Heslov and he look for in a project, how he pranked Damon by altering his wardrobe during production, the importance of protecting art and preserving our cultural legacy, the impact of this movie moving forward and how the Monuments Men are still at work today.  Check out the interview after the jump.

20 New Images from George Clooney’s THE MONUMENTS MEN Featuring Matt Damon, Bill Murray, John Goodman, and Cate Blanchett

by     Posted 232 days ago

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Sony Pictures has released a slew of new high-resolution images from George Clooney’s latest directorial effort, the WWII drama The Monuments Men.  Based on a true story, the film revolves around a group of museum directors, artists, architects, curators, and art historians tasked with rescuing the world’s artistic masterpieces before the Nazi army destroys them.  Clooney has repeatedly stated that this film is his effort at tackling less cynical material than his previous directorial projects, and he’s put together a fantastic ensemble to bring this story to life.

Hit the jump to check out the new images, and click here to watch five clips from the pic.  Clooney, Matt Damon, Bill Murray, John Goodman, Bob Balaban, Jean Dujardin, Hugh Bonneville, and Cate Blanchett star.  The Monuments Men opens February 7th.

ELYSIUM Blu-ray Review

by     Posted 233 days ago

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Popular wisdom considers Elysium a sophomore slump: not bad, but not quite up to director Neil Blomkamp‘s extraordinary feature debut, District 9.  This new film is too preachy, they say.  Too obvious.  It wears its heart too loudly on its sleeve and, for what is apparently Jodie Foster‘s swan song, the celebrated actress really phones it in.  All of these things are true.  And yet they resolutely fail to diminish the film’s impact, both as a comment on our times and as straight-up entertainment in its own right.  When it arrived in theaters last summer, we were in desperate need of a film to shake us out of the doldrums.  Now that it’s out on Blu-ray, its sterling qualities stand out all the more.  Hit the jump for my full review.

First Trailer for Terry Gilliam’s THE ZERO THEOREM Starring Christoph Waltz

by     Posted 233 days ago

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The first trailer for director Terry Gilliam’s upcoming film The Zero Theorem has been released online.  The pic stars Christoph Waltz as Qohen Leth, a computer hacker who searches for the meaning of life while being distracted by Management, a shadowy figure from an Orwellian corporation.  The film certainly looks to be a trip, as it feels like it’s wholly from the mind of Terry Gilliam.  Waltz appears to be going all out in his lead role, and he’s surrounded by a very colorful cast of characters sporting various wigs, accents, and futuristic clothes.  I’m very interested to see how this nutty story progresses.

Hit the jump to watch the trailer.  The film also stars Melanie Thierry, Lucas HedgesBen Whishaw, Tilda SwintonDavid Thewlis, and Matt Damon.  The Zero Theorem is currently awaiting a U.S. release date.

Watch 5 Clips from THE MONUMENTS MEN Starring George Clooney, Matt Damon, and Cate Blanchett

by     Posted 244 days ago

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Five clips have been released for George Clooney’s The Monuments Men.  For those who are unfamiliar with the film, it’s based on a true story about soldiers and historians who have to go to Germany during World War II to rescue artistic masterpieces before the Nazis destroy them.  We previously reported that Clooney was trying to find the right tone for the film between the comedic and dramatic aspects, and so perhaps these clips will give people a slightly better idea of what to expect.

Hit the jump to check out the clips.  The film stars Clooney, Matt Damon, Cate BlanchettJean DujardinHugh Bonneville, John Goodman, Bob Balaban, and Bill MurrayThe Monuments Men opens February 7th.

New Trailer for THE MONUMENTS MEN Plays as a World War II Newsreel and Leads to Real Tip Line about Stolen Art

by     Posted 268 days ago

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20th Century Fox and Sony Pictures have released a fun spin on the trailer for The Monuments Men by doing it in the style of a World War II newsreel.  For those who are unfamiliar with the film, it’s based on a true story about soldiers and historians who have to go to Germany during World War II to rescue artistic masterpieces before they’re destroyed by the Nazis.  What’s really surprising about this trailer is that it provides a phone number at the end that actually works.  I was expecting to get a recorded message plugging the movie, but if you call 1-866-WWII-ART you can get a real person on the line.  When I called the number, I expressed my surprise to the person I spoke to, and she explained that the number is for people who believe they might have a lead on art that was stolen by the Nazis or lost during the war.  There’s also a website, supportthemonumentsmen.com, that has more useful information.  I’m surprised and delighted that the studios put something of substance into their marketing.

Hit the jump to watch the trailer.  The film stars George Clooney, Matt Damon, Cate BlanchettJean DujardinHugh Bonneville, John Goodman, Bob Balaban, and Bill MurrayThe Monuments Men opens February 7, 2014.

Dear God, No: The Weinstein Company Planning Sequels to SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE and ROUNDERS and TV Series Based on Other Miramax Titles

by     Posted 275 days ago

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Miramax is dead, but founders Bob and Harvey Weinstein are planning to play with its corpse.  According to Deadline, The Weinstein Company has struck a deal that will allow them to raid Miramax’s library and develop sequels and series based on old hits.  The standouts of their plan include sequels to Shakespeare in Love and Rounders and TV series based on Good Will Hunting and Flirting with Disaster.  There will also be a few in-development stories that TWC is transferring to their own development slate.  Notably, they’ll be handling The Alibi, a comedy written by Stephen Colbert that’s about creating alibis for cheating spouses.  There’s also The Ninth Life of Louis Drax, “a script that was being developed by the late Anthony Minghella and Sydney Pollack,” based on the novel of the same name by Liz Jensen.

Hit the jump for more on what the Weinsteins have planned for their older titles.  Prepare to shudder.

First Trailer for Christopher Nolan’s INTERSTELLAR

by     Posted 277 days ago

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Warner Bros. has released the first trailer for director Christopher Nolan’s new film Interstellar.  The sci-fi pic stars Matthew McConaughey and revolves around a group of explorers who make use of a newly discovered wormhole “to surpass the limitations on human space travel and conquer the vast distances involved in an interstellar voyage.”  Though this teaser trailer features very, very little footage from the still in-production film, it’s a surprisingly moving piece that draws on the human spirit’s drive to keep moving forward.  I’ll say no more and let you experience the teaser for yourself, but the prospect of seeing Nolan further explore these themes in the full film is definitely exciting.

Hit the jump to watch the teaser Interstellar trailer.  The film also stars Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Casey Affleck, Michael Caine, David Oyelowo, Wes Bentley, John Lithgow, Ellen Burstyn, Topher Grace, David Gyasi, Mackenzie Foy, Bill Irwin, Timothée Chalamet, and Matt DamonInterstellar opens November 7, 2014.

International Trailer for THE MONUMENTS MEN Starring George Clooney, Matt Damon, and Cate Blanchett

by     Posted 288 days ago

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Georgle Clooney‘s Monuments Men looked like it could be a player in this year’s awards race, but it had to be pushed back to February in order to work on the special effects and find the tone of the story.  For those who are unfamiliar with the film, it’s based on a true story about soldiers and historians who have to go to Germany during World War II to rescue artistic masterpieces before they’re destroyed by the Nazis.  The first trailer made the film look confused and mediocre, but now an international trailer has gone online, and the movie looks like it’s in much better shape.  The humor is sharper, the story is better laid out, and the stakes are more clearly defined.  There’s even a little grin about the premise having a bit of an Ocean’s Eleven vibe when Matt Damon‘s character asks Clooney, “Aren’t you a little old for this?”  I have high hopes for the film, and this new trailer finally makes me excited for what Clooney has put together.

Hit the jump to check out the trailer.  The film also stars Cate BlanchettJean DujardinHugh Bonneville, John Goodman, Bob Balaban, and Bill MurrayThe Monuments Men opens February 7, 2014.

Ben Affleck and Matt Damon to Produce Warner Bros. SLEEPER Adaptation, Written by Shawn Ryan and David Wiener

by     Posted 300 days ago

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Ben Affleck and Matt Damon are on board to produce Sleeper for Warner Bros.  The adaptation of the Ed Brubaker comic book series will be penned by the writing team of Shawn Ryan and David Wiener.  Set in noir universe where certain characters develop superpowers at random, the story centers on Holden Carver, a man who has the ability to absorb pain and pass it on to others.  Sleeper follows Carver “as he infiltrates a criminal organization on behalf of a law enforcement agency. His allegiances come into question, especially when he falls for the alluring killer, Miss Misery.”  Hit the jump for more.

Trailer for James Cameron’s Climate Change Docu-Series YEARS OF LIVING DANGEROUSLY

by     Posted 320 days ago

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The trailer for Showtime’s 2014 event series Years of Living Dangerously has been released online.  The docu-series comes from executive producers James Cameron and Jerry Weintraub and examines the effects of climate change on a global scale with a particular focus on the human impact.  Cameron introduces the trailer himself, but I was encouraged to see that the documentary doesn’t just jump right into the effects of climate change, it takes the time to lay out the facts and the “debate” at hand as well.  Misinformation leads to ignorance, and it’s important that the audience is aware of the overwhelming facts and science pointing to the effects of climate change before diving into the actual, you know, evidence.

The docu-series will unfold over “six to eight” hourlong episodes, with a number of celebrity correspondents visiting areas all over the world that have been effected by climat change.  Notable appearances include Matt Damon, Mark Bittman, Thomas Friedman, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Olivia Munn, Don Cheadle, Chris Hayes, Michael C. Hall, and Harrison Ford.  Watch the trailer after the jump.  Years of Living Dangerously will air on Showtime starting April 2014.

MORE TIME WITH FAMILY Comedy from Executive Producers Ben Affleck and Matt Damon Lands at CBS with Put-Pilot Commitment

by     Posted 342 days ago

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Ben Affleck and Matt Damon are executive producers on More Time with Family, a new comedy that just landed at CBS with a put-pilot commitment.  Starring comedian Tom Papa and written by co-writers Cathy Yuspa and Josh Goldsmith (King of Queens, ‘Til Death), More Time with Family is based on Papa’s stand-up and Damon’s own experiences.  As Deadline reports, the story centers on “a guy (Papa) who changes his career and gives up a life on the road to spend more time at home with his family — but when he gets there, he realizes no one asked him to do that.”  Affleck’s production company, Pearl Street Films, is venturing further into television territory, with More Time with Family following on the heels of Fox’s crime drama, The Middle Man, the pilot of which Affleck will direct.

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