At last, Oscar is upon us. Back in November I shared a look at the early awards season race by way of our 2013 Oscar Preview articles, and now nearly two months later there’s still quite a bit up in the air. This truly is one of the more exciting awards races in recent years, as 2012 is so stacked with quality that there are a surprising number of uncertainties this close to the Academy Awards ceremony. Nevertheless, I am once again foolishly going to attempt to predict how the Oscar nominations will shake out when they’re announced tomorrow morning, January 10th. Hit the jump to check out my predictions.
New images have been released for the comedies The Incredible Burt Wonderstone and Last Vegas. Wonderstone stars Steve Carell as the eponymous magician whose relationship with his partner (Steve Buscemi) becomes strained after the arrival of a hipper illusionist (Jim Carrey). The script comes from Horrible Bosses screenwriters John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein so I’ve got high hopes. As for Last Vegas (a.k.a. “The Hangover with old guys”), the movie centers on four old friends (played by Michael Douglas, Robert De Niro, Kevin Kline, and Morgan Freeman) who decide to throw a Las Vegas bachelor party for the only one of them who has remained single.
Hit the jump to check out the images. The Incredible Burt Wonderstone opens March 15, 2013. Last Vegas opens December 20, 2013.
Oscar season is in full swing, folks. 2012 has been a fantastic year in film so far, and with merely weeks to go before 2013 begins there are still a couple of highly anticipated films that have yet to be seen. Just like last year, I’ll be running down a preview of the upcoming Oscar race during this fine Thanksgiving week, giving readers a look at what the state of the race looks like right now. To be clear, this isn’t a personal list but rather an objective look at how things look to be shaping up. I’ve divided each category into frontrunners, likely to be nominated, and other contenders in order to parse out where things stand at the moment. There are multiple strong contenders in nearly every category, so this is looking to be a rather heated run to the finish line.
We’ll be looking at a couple of different major categories each day over the next four days, and we’re kicking things off with the Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress categories. Hit the jump to read on.
[Note: This is a re-post of my review from the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival. Silver Linings Playbook opens today in limited release.]
We have acceptable levels of “crazy” in our society, and that in itself is kind of crazy. Some psychosis is cute and charming, while other acts of craziness demand hospitalization and medication. This distinction is obviously based on harm, both to others and to oneself. But there’s a “healthy” level of crazy, and the search for that level is what makes David O. Russell‘s Silver Linings Playbook sharply comic and surprisingly sweet. O. Russell has once again returned to study the dysfunctional family, and while Silver Linings Playbook is softer than Flirting with Disaster and even The Fighter, it still has enough of an edge to deliver some great jokes, and strong performances to make the emotions ring true.
The first image from the “The Hangover with old guys” comedy Last Vegas has been released on the heels of the official start of production. The story centers on four old friends who decide to throw a Las Vegas bachelor party for the only one of them who has remained single. Jon Turtletaub (National Treasure) directs the rather impressive cast that includes Michael Douglas, Robert De Niro, Kevin Kline, and Morgan Freeman. Filming has now begun in Las Vegas (though this first image is horribly photoshopped) and will continue in Atlanta. The cast will be doing location shooting in Vegas on the strip and at Aria Resort & Casino.
Hit the jump to check out the first image and to read the full press release. The film also stars Mary Steenburgen, Jerry Ferrara (Entourage), Romany Malco (The 40-Year-Old Virgin), and Roger Bart (Political Animals). Last Vegas opens on December 20th, 2013.
Some major veteran casting announcements to announce today:
Hit the jump for more on both pictures.
Along with a new batch of release dates comes a title change to a significant picture. Check out the details below:
- Jack the Giant Killer will be formally retitled to Jack the Giant Slayer (because it’s more family-friendly…) and will now open March 1st, 2013. Pic stars Nicholas Hoult, Stanley Tucci and Ewan McGregor.
- Malavita, Luc Besson’s comedic actioner, gets a new release date, opening almost a year to the day on October 18th, 2013. Relativity pic stars Robert De Niro, Michelle Pfeiffer and Dianna Agron.
- Also from Relativity, 21 and Over will move up two weeks to open opposite Jack the Giant
Killer Slayer on March 1st, 2013. The picture stars Justin Chon, Skyler Astin and Miles Teller.
Hit the jump for much more on each picture.
Ladies and gentlemen! In the blue corner we have the Italian Stallion, Mr. Expendable himself, Sylvester “Rocky” Stallone. And in the red corner, the Greatest of All Time, the Godfather, the Taxi Driver, the Raging Bull, Robert De Niro! Warner Bros. has officially greenlit the Peter Segal (Tommy Boy) picture, Grudge Match. The film follows two retired fighters who put on the gloves for one last bout. With the most recent draft turned in by Doug Ellin (Entourage), the studio has given this one the go-ahead. Hit the jump for more on Grudge Match.
Although some found being trapped in a box with Ryan Reynolds for 90 minutes a bit much, Rodrigo Cortés‘ claustrophobic thriller Buried garnered critical acclaim following its premiere at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival. His follow-up film, the paranormal thriller Red Lights, shows much more promise for Cortés’ as a writer and director – even if it fumbles in the third act. Featuring a strong cast and fantastic visuals from cinematographer Xavi Giménez, Red Lights tackles a slew of weighty themes like perception, reason, and faith while remaining firmly grounded in reality. If only it could have stuck the landing. Hit the jump or my full review of Red Lights on Blu-ray.
New set photos from The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Lee Daniels‘ The Butler, and Luc Besson‘s Malavita have gone online. The photo from Catching Fire shows the construction of the justice building, but since it’s in a dystopian future, it’s really the injustice building. Oprah Winfrey instagram’d the photo of her and co-star Terrence Howard in their “goodbye love scene.” Finally, the official set photo from Malavita doesn’t give away much about the film, which is about a mafia family living in witness protection in France.
Hit the jump to check out the set photos. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire opens November 22, 2013. The Butler and Malavita will likely open in 2013.
We’ve got a few new release dates for you this evening. Check them out at a glance:
- Last Vegas, directed by Jon Turteltaub and starring Michael Douglas, Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman and Kevin Kline will open December 20th, 2013.
- Stand Up Guys, the Fisher Stevens comedy starring Al Pacino, Christopher Walken, Julianna Margulies and Alan Arkin, opens January 11th, 2013.
- Quartet, Dustin Hoffman’s directorial debut starring Maggie Smith, Billy Connolly, Pauline Collins, Tom Courtenay, and Michael Gambon opens domestically December 28th of this year and in the U.K. January 4th 2013.
Hit the jump for more on each film, including synopses.
The Weinstein Company has released new images from David O. Russell’s upcoming drama, The Silver Linings Playbook. Bradley Cooper plays a former teacher who, after spending four years in a mental institution, moves back in with his mother and tries to reconcile with his ex-wife. However, he strikes up a relationship with a neighbor (Jennifer Lawrence) who’s also mental problems. Although the trailer played a bit corny, I liked what I saw from the cast, which also includes Jackie Weaver, Chris Tucker, Julia Stiles, and Robert De Niro. The movie is definitely one of my must-see flicks at the Toronto International Film Festival.
Hit the jump to check out the images. The Silver Linings Playbook opens November 21st.
Principal photography has commenced on director Luc Besson’s (The Fifth Element) comedic actioner Malavita. The film stars Robert De Niro, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Tommy Lee Jones and centers on notorious mafia family who gets relocated to Normandy as part of the witness protection program. Though they’re seemingly out of harm’s way, the family finds it hard to let go of some of their more colorful old habits and soon find themselves “handling things the ‘family’ way.” The ensemble cast also includes Glee star Dianna Agron and Wanderlust’s John D’Leo.
Filming is underway in Normandy, with additionally shooting set to take place in New York. A firm release date has yet to be set, but Malavita is expected to bow sometime in 2013. Hit the jump to read the full press release.
The first trailer and poster for the ensemble romantic comedy The Big Wedding have been released. 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. Zaniness ensues. Though the involvement of Katherine Heigl puts this one immediately on iffy ground, the highlight of the trailer is the chemistry between De Niro and Keaton. If the film focuses mainly on their relationship, we might be in for a fairly amusing rom-com. That said, the clip definitely plays up the farcical tone and “wacky antics” that occur when everything goes awry, so I’m not exactly holding my breath.
Hit the jump to watch the trailer. Directed by Justin Zackham, the film also stars Amanda Seyfried, Susan Sarandon, Topher Grace, and Robin Williams. The Big Wedding opens on October 26th.
Emboldened by the success of Valentine’s Day, Garry Marshall took another crack at the holiday-based all-star anthology in 2011, with similarly repulsive results. This time, though, movie-goers commendably ignored him (and hopefully quashed plans for Columbus Day or whatever the hell was coming next). Of course, it’s never a good idea to interpret the commercial failure of a terrible movie as anything more than an aberration. But in this case, there was an encouraging sense that the world had finally revolted against a sub-genre populated by cynical, bald-faced cash-grabs.
And indeed, New Year’s Eve is the romantic comedy distilled to its basest form; a film that trots out a dizzying array of A-listers and expects applause, while abandoning time-consuming chores like character, story and dialogue. Hit the jump for the full review.