PRISONERS Review

by     Posted 1 year, 92 days ago

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[This is a re-post of my review from the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival.  Prisoners opens tomorrow.]

There’s enough symbolism and religious themes to give Prisoners some weight. There’s enough curiosity to keep its mystery intriguing. Director Denis Villeneuve does slightly more than expected to keep us interested in its segregated storyline where one hand provides the mystery and the other hand provides some semblance. In between is a film that’s far longer than it needs to be but is supported by Roger Deakins’ striking cinematography and a great cast with a standout performance from Hugh Jackman.

TIFF 2013: PRISONERS Review

by     Posted 1 year, 104 days ago

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There’s enough symbolism and religious themes to give Prisoners some weight.  There’s enough curiosity to keep its mystery intriguing.  Director Denis Villeneuve does slightly more than expected to keep us interested in its segregated storyline where one hand provides the mystery and the other hand provides some semblance.  In between is a film that’s far longer than it needs to be but is supported by Roger Deakins’ striking cinematography and a great cast with a standout performance from Hugh Jackman.

42 Star Chadwick Boseman to Play James Brown in Biopic; Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, and Nelsan Ellis Eyed for Supporting Roles

by     Posted 1 year, 116 days ago

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Producer Brian Grazer has been trying to make a James Brown biopic for over a decade.  Tate Taylor (The Help) signed on to direct and produce late last year, and Mick Jagger came to produce and lend his music cred, but there was no obvious candidate to play the Godfather of Soul.  One black actor surfaced in the last year and proved he could carry a period biopic: Chadwick Boseman.  Boseman played Jackie Robinson in 42, which premiered in April to solid reviews and went on to gross nearly $100 million domestic.  Variety reports Boseman was identified as the top choice weeks ago, but Universal and Imagine Entertainment needed to sort out the budget before an offer could be made.  Now, Boseman is Brown.

Another report suggests Taylor is eying a few members from the Help cast—Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, Nelsan Ellis—for supporting roles.  More after the jump.

Final Trailer for ENDER’S GAME Starring Asa Butterfield, Harrison Ford, and Ben Kingsley

by     Posted 1 year, 136 days ago

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Summit Entertainment has released the final trailer for director Gavin Hood‘s adaptation of Ender’s Game.  The film tells the story of Andrew “Ender” Wiggin (Asa Butterfield), a young boy sent away to Battle School to hone his military skills in order to save the world from an impending alien invasion.  As someone who hasn’t read the book, I was pretty underwhelmed by the previous trailers.  However, this final look at the film does a nice job of selling the massive scope of Ender’s Game, and it finally gets across the stakes that Ender faces.  The visual effects are mighty impressive and the ensemble cast is more than proven, so here’s hoping Hood delivers a worthwhile adaptation.

Hit the jump to watch the final trailer.  The film also stars Hailee Steinfeld, Ben Kingsley, Viola Davis, Abigail Breslin, and Harrison Ford.  Ender’s Game opens November 1st.

Final Poster for ENDER’S GAME Starring Asa Butterfield, Hailee Steinfeld, and Harrison Ford

by     Posted 1 year, 140 days ago

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Summit Entertainment has released the final poster for Gavin Hood’s adaptation of Ender’s Game.  The film tells the story of Andrew “Ender” Wiggin (Asa Butterfield), a young boy sent away to Battle School to hone his military skills in order to save the world from an impending alien invasion.  This poster has a good chance at winning the year’s silliest tagline with “This Is Not A Game” and then immediately following it with a title that has the word “game” in the title.  Then you follow it up with face-boxes to let people know that this isn’t just a movie about an astronaut and his gigantic 8-sided dice.

Hit the jump to check out the poster.  The film also stars Hailee Steinfeld, Ben Kingsley, Viola Davis, Abigail Breslin, and Harrison FordEnder’s Game opens November 1st.

6 Character Posters for ENDER’S GAME Starring Asa Butterfield, Hailee Steinfeld, and Harrison Ford

by     Posted 1 year, 156 days ago

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Summit Entertainment has released six new character posters for Ender’s Game.  The film tells the story of Andrew “Ender” Wiggin (Asa Butterfield), a young boy sent away to Battle School to hone his military skills in order to save the world from an impending alien invasion.  Rather than give you the names of the actors, these new posters provide the character names, so these are more for the fans of the book since the name “Hyrum Graff” doesn’t really mean anything to the uninitiated other than “Harrison Ford is playing a guy named Hyrum Graff.  That’s an odd name.”  Fans will note that Major Anderson’s gender has been changed to female for the movie, which isn’t a big deal, especially when you have a talented actress like Viola Davis for the role.

Hit the jump to check out the posters.  The film also stars Hailee Steinfeld, Nonso Anozie, and Ben KingsleyEnder’s Game opens November 1st.

5 Character Posters for ENDER’S GAME Starring Asa Butterfield, Hailee Steinfeld, and Harrison Ford

by     Posted 1 year, 173 days ago

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Five character posters have been released for Gavin Hood‘s adaptation of Ender’s Game.  The film tells the story of Andrew “Ender” Wiggin (Asa Butterfield), a young boy sent away to Battle School to hone his military skills and, hopefully, save the world from an impending alien invasion.  We previously saw some propaganda-style posters, and we also found out that the movie would have a major presence at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con.  These five character posters are kind of bland unless you need a new poster of Harrison Ford glowering at you.  Nothing gets people in the seats like a good Ford glower.

Hit the jump to check out the posters.  The film also stars Hailee Steinfeld, Abigail Breslin, Viola Davis, Khylin Rhambo, Moises Arias, and Ben KingsleyEnder’s Game opens November 1st. [Update: we have removed the posters at the request of the studio.]

New Trailer for PRISONERS Starring Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal

by     Posted 1 year, 176 days ago

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Warner Bros. has released a new trailer for director Denis Villeneuve’s (Incendies) dramatic thriller Prisoners.  The film stars Hugh Jackman as a working-class father in Pennsylvania who sets out to track down the man he believes is responsible for kidnapping his daughter and her friend. Along the way, he runs up against the big city detective (Jake Gyllenhaal) assigned to the case.  While I was worried that the first trailer gave away the entire film, this new trailer hints that there’s much more to the pic than meets the eye.  The real grab for me, though, is the character-driven story and intense performances from Jackman and Gyllenhaal, not to mention cinematographer Roger Deakins’ gorgeous camera work.  Really, really looking forward to this one.

Hit the jump to watch the new trailer.  The film also stars Paul DanoMaria BelloTerrence Howard, and Viola Davis.  Prisoners opens September 20th.

Production Starts on Michael Mann’s Untitled Project Starring Chris Hemsworth and Viola Davis

by     Posted 1 year, 192 days ago

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Production on Michael Mann’s untitled thriller starring Chris Hemsworth (Thor) and Viola Davis (The Help) has officially begun.  Co-written by Mann and Morgan Davis Foehl, the picture will center on cyber-theft and cyber-attacks.  The Legendary Pictures production, also starring Lust, Caution’s Tang Wei and Wang Leehom, is slated for a 2014 release.  Hit the jump to read the full press release.

First Trailer and Poster for PRISONERS Starring Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal

by     Posted 1 year, 204 days ago

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The first trailer has been released for Denis Villeneuve’s (Incendies) dramatic thriller Prisoners.  The film stars Hugh Jackman as a working-class father in Pennsylvania who sets out to track down the man he believes is responsible for kidnapping his daughter and her friend. Along the way, he runs up against the big city detective (Jake Gyllenhaal) assigned to the case.  The film certainly appears to do justice to a dramatic telling of a parent’s worst nightmare, but it goes further than that, asking to what lengths a person would go to in order to return their children home safely.  Unfortunately, as is the case with many recent trailers, too much of the story is given away too soon.

Hit the jump to check out the trailer.  The film also stars Paul Dano, Maria Bello, Terrence Howard, and Viola DavisPrisoners opens September 20th.

First Trailer for ENDER’S GAME Starring Asa Butterfield, Hailee Steinfeld, and Harrison Ford

by     Posted 1 year, 227 days ago

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Lionsgate has released the first trailer for director Gavin Hood’s anticipated adaptation of the Orson Scott Card novel Ender’s Game.  The film tells the story of Andrew “Ender” Wiggin (Asa Butterfield), a young boy sent away to Battle School to hone his military skills and, hopefully, save the world from an impending alien invasion.  I plan to read the book before I see the movie, but was someone who is unfamiliar with the material, nothing in this trailer really leaps out at me.  It feels like they’re pushing a Hunger Games-vibe (putting a heavy burden on young adults) plus a lot of CG.  Also, Harrison Ford sounds really bored even though his narration is about trying to save humanity from annihilation.

Hit the jump to watch the trailer.  The film also stars Hailee Steinfeld, Abigail Breslin, Viola Davis, Khylin Rhambo, Moises Arias, and Ben Kingsley.  Ender’s Game opens on November 1st.

Production Begins on Denis Villeneuve’s Thriller PRISONERS, Starring Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal

by     Posted 1 year, 303 days ago

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Alcon Entertainment and Warner Bros. have announced the start of production of director Denis Villeneuve’s (Incedies) dramatic thriller Prisoners.  The film stars Hugh Jackman as a working-class Boston father who sets out to track down the man he believes is responsible for kidnapping his daughter and her friend. Along the way, he runs up against the big city detective (Jake Gyllenhaal) assigned to the case.  Filming is underway in Georgia, with an impressive supporting cast that includes Paul Dano, Maria Bello, Terrence Howard, and Viola Davis.

The screenplay was written by Aaron Guzikowski (Contraband), and Mark Wahlberg is onboard as one of the film’s executive producers.  Moreover, genius cinematographer Roger Deakins (Skyfall, No Country for Old Men) is handling the camera work.  Hit the jump to read the full press release.  Prisoners opens on September 20th of this year.

TOP 5: A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD, THE MORTAL INSTRUMENTS: CITY OF BONES Set Visit, VES Awards Interviews, BEAUTIFUL CREATURES, Toy Fair 2013

by     Posted 1 year, 307 days ago

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Before I dive headfirst into what could be considered overselling to the “nth degree”, I have a disclaimer: I’m a total sucker for nostalgia-inducing, high school-centric, coming of age films. With that out of the way, I cannot recommend enough that you watch author/writer/director Stephen Chboksy‘s adaptation of his own novel, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, as soon as possible. The pic hit Blu-ray/DVD this past week and over the course of 24 hours I rented it, watched it, loved it, returned it (yes, somehow late fees are still a thing…), and purchased it for my own collection. I could go on and on about the emotional note the movie hit for me at every turn but I’ll spare you the fanboy torment. Suffice to say that I’ll be looking back fondly on this one for quite a while.

My “Blu-ray/DVD pick of the week” aside, this week’s installment features a week of Die Hard that includes Matt revisiting the entire franchise and A Good Day to Die Hard interviews with Bruce Willis and more, coverage from Steve’s visit to the set of The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, a slew of video interviews from this year’s VES Awards including talks with Ang Lee and Wally Pfister just to name a few, Beautiful Creatures interviews with Emmy Rossum and more, and a healthy amount of images from the floor of Toy Fair 2013. Yep, you guessed it, a brief recap and link to each of the above can be found on the other side.

Viola Davis Talks BEAUTIFUL CREATURES, What She Discovered During Her Research, PRISONERS, ENDER’S GAME, and More

by     Posted 1 year, 312 days ago

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The romantic drama Beautiful Creatures tells the story of 17-year-old Ethan Wate (Alden Ehrenreich), whose world is shaken up with the arrival of Lena Duchannes (Alice Englert), the niece of Macon Ravenwood (Jeremy Irons), the reclusive owner of gothic Ravenwood Manor.  Immediately drawn to each other, it becomes apparent that Lena is a Caster with powers beyond her control, and the two are faced with a curse that will claim her for either the Light or the Dark on her 16th birthday.

At the film’s press day, actress Viola Davis – who plays Amma, a Seer with her own reservations about a union between Ethan and Lena – talked about why she wanted to be in this film, how she personally feels about past lives, how being from the South herself helped inform her character, what she discovered about her own family from the research she did for the role, working with her young co-stars, and filming scenes with Jeremy Irons.  She also talked about her roles in Prisoners, which she’s filming now with Hugh Jackman and Maria Bello, and Ender’s Game, which she recently did with Harrison Ford.  Check out what she had to say after the jump.

Atlanta Readers: Win Passes to an Early Screening of BEAUTIFUL CREATURES

by     Posted 1 year, 326 days ago

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I’m not embarrassed to say I’m intrigued by Beautiful Creatures.  I know I’m not the target audience, but that doesn’t mean I’m excluded from enjoying the film.  For those unfamiliar with the movie, it’s supernatural love story centering on Lena Duchannes (Alice Englert) a “caster” (a.k.a. a witch), her relationship with Ethan Wate (Alden Ehrenreich), and her dread at being chosen for good or evil.

I’m pleased to announce that we’re giving away 20 passes to the Atlanta screening of Beautiful Creatures.  Hit the jump to find out how you can check out the film early and for free.  The film also stars Jeremy Irons, Viola Davis, Emmy Rossum, and Emma ThompsonBeautiful Creatures opens February 14th.

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