LOCKE Review

by     Posted 95 days ago

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[This is a re-post of my review from the 2014 Sundance Film Festival.  Locke opens today in limited release.]

When a film is executed under a series of conditions, it can feel like an exercise. It can come off like a director running a test rather than telling a story. But restrictions can also spur creativity and yield unexpected results. Steven Knight’s Locke sets its conditions: a story told in real time where the protagonist is stuck behind the wheel of a constantly moving car, he’s the only character on screen, and he only talks to other characters over the phone. Under these conditions, Knight and star Tom Hardy have created a surprisingly captivating picture where adultery and concrete maintenance carry the same dramatic weight.

Felicity Jones to Lead A MONSTER CALLS; Emily Browning in Talks for LEGENDS; Mark Strong Joins GRIMSBY

by     Posted 96 days ago

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We have a few casting stories for you this afternoon.  First up, Felicity Jones (Like Crazy) is set to star in A Monster Calls, the new film from director Juan Antonio Bayona (The Impossible).   The story, written by Patrick Ness from an original idea by the late Siobhan Dowd, “tells the tale of a young boy who attempts to deal with his mother’s illness and the bullying of classmates by escaping into a fantastical world of monsters and fairy tales that deal with courage, loss and faith.”  According to Deadline, Jones will play “Mum”, and Liam Neeson is being courted to play the Monster.  Jones will next be seen in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and is co-starring opposite Jonah Hill and James Franco in the drama True Story.

Hit the jump for casting news regarding Emily Browning (Pompeii) and Mark Strong (Low Winter Sun).

Tom Hardy to Star in BBC Miniseries, TABOO

by     Posted 117 days ago

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When he’s not putting on a mask and taking on the Batman, we don’t hear too much about Tom Hardy stateside.  That’s unfortunate, because he continues to churn out incredible work.  His latest feature film effort, Locke, which opens here on April 25th, was written and directed by Steven Knight.  Knight is also the creator of the early 20th century gangster series Peaky Blinders, which just added Hardy in a second season role.  See the pattern yet?  Well, Knight also provided the pen behind Taboo, an eight-episode drama series for the BBC that has Hardy attached to star.  Hit the jump for more on the Taboo miniseries.

Trailer for THE DROP Starring Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace, and James Gandolfini

by     Posted 119 days ago

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Fox Searchlight has released the trailer for the crime drama The DropTom Hardy plays Bob, a former criminal and current bartender working at a bar that serves as a money “drop” for local gangsters.  When the bar gets robbed, Bob and his cousin/employer Marv (James Gandolfini) find themselves in the crosshairs of an investigation and the criminal underworld.  Directed by Michaël R. Roskam (Bullhead) working from a script by Dennis Lehane (Gone Baby Gone), who adapted his own short story, I have high hopes for this one, not only because of the talent on board, but because it’s Gandolfini’s final film, and I want his filmography to go out on a high note.

Hit the jump to check out the trailer.  The film also stars Noomi Rapace, Matthias Schoenaerts, John Ortiz, Ann Dowd, and James FrechevilleThe Drop opens September 19th.

UP IN THE AIR Screenwriter Sheldon Turner to Reteam with Tom Hardy and Doug Liman for SPLINTER CELL

by     Posted 119 days ago

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Screenwriter Sheldon Turner had written a screenplay for a Mount Everest movie set to star Tom Hardy and be directed by Doug Liman (The Bourne Identity).  That film was going to center on George Mallory, who tried to scale the mountain, but disappeared during his ascent.  However, that movie has fallen apart because Baltasar Kormakur’s Everest is already filming (it’s about a present day group of climbers) and will reach theaters first.  Turner, Hardy, and Liman are now reuniting for another project: an adaptation of Ubisoft’s popular video game series, Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell.  According to Deadline, Turner will write a new draft of the script, and production is gearing up to shoot in August.  Turner will then go direct the “modern day Western”, Borderland.

For those unfamiliar with Splinter Cell, the games center on Sam Fisher, a black ops agent who uses stealth to carry out his missions.  I’ve personally never played any of the Splinter Cell games because I find stealth games tedious unless they’re from the Batman: Arkham series where Batman pretty much has all the power, and it’s hilarious to watch the bad guys freak out.  Hit the jump to check out a trailer for the most recent Splinter Cell game, Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Blacklist.

First Look at James Gandolfini in His Final Film THE DROP Alongside Tom Hardy

by     Posted 125 days ago

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The first images from director Michaël R. Roskam’s (Bullhead) crime drama The Drop (formerly titled Animal Rescue) have landed online, offering us a first look at what will sadly be James Gandolfini’s final film.  Tom Hardy leads the pic as a former criminal and current bartender working at a place that serves as a money “drop” for local gangsters.  Gandolfini plays his cousin, and the story kicks into gear when Hardy’s character rescues a pit bull puppy, only to become the target of the dog’s abusive and mentally unstable former owner.  Mystic River and Shutter Island author Dennis Lehane penned the screenplay, and the impressive cast also includes Noomi Rapace and Matthias Schoenaerts.

Hit the jump to check out the debut images.  The Drop opens in theaters on September 19th.

BOURNE IDENTITY Director Doug Liman to Helm SPLINTER CELL for Planned 2015 Release

by     Posted 132 days ago

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The long-in-development Splinter Cell movie now finally has a director.  Ubisoft has been working on a feature film adaptation of the video game series for some time, and last year things finally started progressing as screenwriter Eric Singer (The International) was tapped to pen the script and Tom Hardy became attached to star.  The property is ripe for a movie adaptation, as the video game series follows the adventures of a covert operative named Sam Fisher.  Now Ubisoft and New Regency have found their director to bring the idea to fruition in The Bourne Identity helmer Doug Liman.  Hit the jump for more.

New Trailer, Images, and Poster for LOCKE Starring Tom Hardy

by     Posted 145 days ago

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A24 Films has released the U.S. trailer for writer/director Steven Knight’s thriller Locke.  The film stars Tom Hardy as Ivan Locke, a man driving to London in the middle of the night to take responsibility for a mistake he made, and as a consequence, trying to handle the personal and professional reverberations of his decision. All of the action of the film takes place within the confines of the car during Locke’s drive, which is quite a tricky conceit to keep compelling for the length of a feature film.  By all accounts, though, Knight has succeeded, as Matt called the film “surprisingly captivating” in his review.  This trailer showcases the immense amount of pressure that Locke is under as well as Hardy’s intense performance, and it certainly looks to be engaging stuff.

Hit the jump to check out the new trailer, images, and poster.  Locke opens on April 25th.

New Trailer and Poster for Steven Knight’s LOCKE Starring Tom Hardy

by     Posted 162 days ago

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Lionsgate has released a new trailer and poster for Steven Knight‘s real-time drama Locke. The film stars Tom Hardy as Ivan Locke, a man driving to London in the middle of the night to take responsibility for a mistake he made, and as a consequence, trying to handle the personal and professional reverberations of his decision. He does all of this over the phone while he’s driving in his car. I really liked the film when I saw it at Sundance last month, and while this trailer makes the movie look more like a thriller, it’s more “nail-biting” in the sense of personal stakes rather than some paranoid fear of violence. However, I’m glad that this trailer doesn’t really give anything away.

Hit the jump to check out the trailer and poster. The film also features the voices of Ruth Wilson, Andrew Scott, Tom Holland, Ben Daniels, Bill Milner, and Olivia Colman. Locke opens in the U.K. on April 18th.

Johnny Depp Confirmed to Star as Whitey Bulger in BLACK MASS; Tom Hardy in Talks to Co-Star

by     Posted 172 days ago

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Last year, Johnny Depp was attached to star in Black Mass, a biopic about the notorious gangster Whitey Bulger.  However, Depp dropped out because he reportedly wouldn’t reduce his salary, and the project went into stasis although Barry Levinson remained in the director’s chair and Joel Edgerton was still on board to co-star as John Connolly, an FBI agent and childhood pal of Bulger.  That combination ultimately fell apart, but last month Out of the Furnace director Scott Cooper signed on, and Depp started circling the project again.  Today, Deadline confirms that Depp has returned to play Bulger, and now talks are underway with Tom Hardy to play Connolly.

Hit the jump for more.  The script is by Mark Mallouk, who adapted the 2001 Dick Lehr/Gerald O’Neill New York Times bestseller Black Mass: The True Story of an Unholy Alliance Between The FBI and The Irish Mob.  Production begins in May.

Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon Mock THE DARK KNIGHT RISES in New Clip from THE TRIP TO ITALY

by     Posted 186 days ago

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2010′s The Trip didn’t do much for me, although I love the scene where Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon try to find out who can do the better Michael Caine impression.  The sequel, The Trip to Italy, premiered at Sundance this past week, and IFC Films have released a clip where Coogan and Brydon have resumed impersonating the venerable Mr. Caine.  They also use this as an opportunity to poke fun at The Dark Knight Rises and expand their repertoire to impressions of Christian Bale and Tom Hardy.  It’s quite amusing.

Hit the jump to check out the clip.

Sundance 2014: LOCKE Review

by     Posted 192 days ago

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When a film is executed under a series of conditions, it can feel like an exercise.  It can come off like a director running a test rather than telling a story.  But we also know that restrictions can spur creativity and yield unexpected results.  Steven Knight’s Locke sets its conditions: a story told in real time where the protagonist is stuck behind the wheel of a constantly moving car, he’s the only character on screen, and he only talks to other characters over the phone.  Under these conditions, Knight and star Tom Hardy have created a surprisingly captivating picture where adultery and concrete maintenance carry the same dramatic weight.

First Images from DRAFT DAY, CHILD 44, and STEP UP ALL IN; Plus New Images from DIVERGENT and LEGEND OF HERCULES

by     Posted 221 days ago

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Summit Entertainment has released a collection of new and first-look images from its 2014 slate.  Briefly:

  • Draft Day – Director Ivan Reitman’s dramedy takes place over the course of one day, centering on a general manager (Kevin Costner) who juggles his options with a number one draft pick.  The film opens April 11, 2014.
  • Child 44 – Director Daniel Espinosa’s (Safe House) adaptation of the Tom Rob Smith novel stars Tom Hardy as a 1950s Soviet military policeman.  The film also stars Gary Oldman and Noomi Rapace and opens next fall.
  • Step Up: All In – The fifth entry in the dance franchise takes the series to Las Vegas.  The film opens July 25, 2014.
  • Divergent – The YA adaptation takes place in a dystopian future in which people are divided into distinct factions based on their personalities.  The film stars Shailene Woodley, Theo James, and Kate Winslet and opens March 21, 2014.
  • The Legend of Hercules – This new spin on the Hercules tale stars Kellan Lutz as the titular demigod and opens January 10, 2014.

Hit the jump to check out images from the aforementioned films.

Tom Hardy and Elton John Pose for ROCKETMAN; First Look at Salma Hayek in Joe Lynch’s EVERLY

by     Posted 266 days ago

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We’ve got a pair of images from the following films:

  • Tom Hardy (The Dark Knight Rises) poses alongside Elton John in promotion of the upcoming biopic on the legendary musician, Rocketman.  John will re-record some of his hits in order to parallel the film’s emotional beats.  Production looks to begin next fall.
  • Salma Hayek (Savages) in a first-look image for Joe Lynch’s action thriller Everly, which just wrapped principal photography in Belgrade, Serbia.

Hit the jump to check out the images. 

Tom Hardy Confirmed as Elton John in ROCKETMAN

by     Posted 279 days ago

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When last we reported on the the Elton John biopic, Rocketman, Tom Hardy (The Dark Knight Rises) was circling the lead.  We can now confirm Hardy will star as the musical legend in the Rocket Pictures and Focus Features film.  Rocketman is scheduled to shoot in 2014 and will feature new recordings from Elton John himself that will accompany the emotional dynamics of the story that follows John from child prodigy to superstar.  Written by Lee Hall (Billy Elliot), Rocketman will be directed by Michael Gracey.

Check out all the details after the jump.

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