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.
This year’s Toronto International Film Festival has a killer line-up, and the festival has released new images and synopses for the movies playing at the fest. Among the films with new images and synopses are:
- At Any Price (Directed by Ramin Bahrani) Starring Dennis Quaid, Heather Graham, and Zac Efron.
- The Attack (Directed by Ziad Doueiri)
- Capital (Directed by Costa-Gavras) Starring Gabriel Byrne and Gad Elmaleh
- Caught in the Web (Directed by Chen Kaige) Starring Mark Chao, Gao Yuanyuan, and Chen Hong
Hit the jump to check out the images and synopses. The 2012 Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 6 – 16th.
A couple of new release dates have been announced. First up, Lee Daniels’ adaptation of The Paperboy will hit theaters on October 5th (per Deadline). The film stars Matthew McConaughey and Zac Efron as two brothers who team-up to investigate the potential wrongful conviction of a death-row inmate played by John Cusack. The film was met with a less-than-enthusiastic response at the Cannes Film Festival, but I’m still interested in seeing the pic based on the impressive cast. The drama faces considerable competition on that October release date, as Frankenweenie, Taken 2, the a capella comedy Pitch Perfect and the horror film Sinister all open on the same day.
Additionally, Studio Canal and Big Talk Pictures have set the salsa dancing revenge comedy (how’s that for a genre?) Cuban Fury for release on March 22nd in the UK and Ireland. Nick Frost plays a burgeoning salsa dancing star alongside Rashida Jones, Chris O’Dowd (Bridesmaids), Olivia Colman (Hot Fuzz) and Ian McShane. Production begins next week in London, and hopefully we’ll get a US release date announcement soon. Hit the jump to read the press release.
Director Adam Shankman large-scale movie musical Rock of Ages hits theaters next month, but he’s already lining up an impressive cast for his next project. Deadline reports that Jason Bateman, Zac Efron, Goldie Hawn, and Leslie Mann are in talks to star in Shankman’s adaptation of the Jonathan Tropper novel This Is Where I Leave You. The book tells the story of a dysfunctional family that is forced to reunite when their father requests they sit Shivah for seven days following his death. Harry Potter director David Yates was previously considering the Warner Bros. project as his post-Potter film, so this one’s a bit of a hot property for the studio. [Update: Malin Akerman and Jason Sudeikis are also in talks to join.] Hit the jump for more, including a synopsis of the book.
Coming off of his latest feature, The Five-Year Engagement, director Nicholas Stoller is lining up his next project. THR reports that Stoller is now in negotiations to helm the R-rated comedy Townies. Universal snatched the project up last summer and set Seth Rogen to star as a regular guy who lives near an alpha male fraternity house and has to contend with a raucous member of the fraternity (Zac Efron) who wreaks havoc on his life. The casting made the project interesting to begin with, and now the addition of Stoller—known for his strong infusion of heart and comedy—makes the project even more intriguing.
Five-Year Engagement wasn’t exactly a box office hit, but Universal must be happy with the pic as they’ve tapped the Forgetting Sarah Marshall director to helm Townies. The script was written by Andrew Cohen and Brendan O’Brien, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Stoller and/or Rogen take a pass. In addition to Five-Year Engagement, Stoller co-wrote last year’s The Muppets with Jason Segel and is currently scripting a sequel alongside Muppets director James Bobin.
This new clip from director Lee Daniels’ (Precious) upcoming movie, The Paperboy, highlights not only stars Zac Efron and Nicole Kidman, but Daniels’ editing style and a mighty fine musical choice. It features the same washed-out tones as the previous clip we posted and I have to say, I’m a fan of the look. However, the clip, titled “Jack’s Daydream,” is loaded with overlays, cuts and transitions that come across as a bit heavy handed. Luckily, the scene is saved by David Oyelowo snapping Jack and the audience back into reality. You’ll have to look twice to spot Matthew McConaughey who, in a bit of a departure, doesn’t steal the scene and barely registers on the radar.
The Paperboy, an adaptation of the Pete Dexter novel, features McConaughey and Efron playing a pair of brothers who team-up to investigate the potential wrongful conviction of a death-row inmate (John Cusack). Hit the jump to check out the clip.
Last week, we reported that Lee Daniels‘ adaptation of The Paperboy would be premiering at the Cannes Film Festival. The movie centers on a pair of brothers (Zac Efron and Matthew McConaughey) who team-up to investigate the potential wrongful conviction of a death-row inmate (John Cusack). Today, the first twenty-four images from the film have gone online, and the film looks sweaty, which makes sense since the story is set in Florida. The poster already gave us a look at Efron, Nicole Kidman, and McConaughey, but these new images also give us a look at Cusack, Scott Glenn, and David Oyelowo.
Hit the jump to check out the images. The 2012 Cannes Film Festival runs from May 16 – 25th.
Zac Efron takes on his most mature role yet in the adaptation of Nicholas Sparks‘ The Lucky One playing U.S. Marine Sergeant Logan Thibault who has defied the odds during three tours of duty in Iraq. When Thibault discovers a photograph of an unknown woman (Taylor Schilling) half-buried in the sand and pulls it out, it becomes his lucky charm that he credits with keeping him alive. After he returns stateside, the picture becomes the catalyst for an unusual and moving journey of discovery and healing.
At the press day for The Lucky One, we sat down at a roundtable interview with Efron and Schilling to talk about what drew them to the Nicholas Sparks universe and the story’s interconnecting ideas of luck, love and destiny. They told us how the friendship they developed on set helped when it came time to film some of the movie’s more romantic scenes, how it was working with Academy Award-nominated writer/director Scott Hicks, and what they have coming up next including Efron’s The Paperboy and Schilling’s Argo. Zac also talked about his progression toward more serious roles, how he transformed himself physically for the role, and why it was important to him to give the most accurate portrayal possible after getting to know the Marines at Camp Pendleton.
We’ve got seven clips from the Nicholas Sparks adaptation The Lucky One to share today. The film stars Zac Efron as a marine in the Iraq war who finds a photograph of a woman that brings him good luck while in combat. He proceeds to seek her out once stateside and strikes up a romance with the woman. It’s a fairly stalkerish story, but for fans of Sparks’ other adaptations I’m assuming this one’s right up their alley.
Hit the jump to watch the clips. The film also stars Taylor Schilling, Jay R. Ferguson, Riley Thomas Stewart, Adam Lefevre and Blythe Danner. The Lucky One opens on April 20th.
With the 84th Annual Academy Awards nearly one week into our past, I’d be interested in hearing from our readers what the one genuine surprise of the night was for them. For me, it was Meryl Streep’s Best Actress win. Now, don’t get me wrong, Streep is obviously an incredible actress who requires zero justification from a movie blogger. It’s just that, of all the award categories in question, I genuinely expected Viola Davis to win Best Actress. So, if you feel so inclined, sound off in the comments section below about your biggest surprise win/loss of the night. Sarcasm, including “your mom” responses, is encouraged.
In the bag of goodies that is this week’s “Top 5″ you’ll find the new trailer and a ton of new images from The Avengers, a new television spot for G.I. Joe: Retaliation, a Prometheus viral video that reassures my suspicions that Guy Pearce could indeed take over the planet if he wanted to, interviews for The Lorax with Danny Devito, Ed Helms, and more, and all of our coverage from the set of Jason Segel and Emily Blunt‘s The Five-Year Engagement. A brief recap and link to each follows after the jump.
Dr. Seuss wasn’t afraid to provide serious messages in his books. Not everything he wrote was Green Eggs and Ham (which, in all fairness, stresses the importance of trying new things). Oh, the Places You’ll Go! is a moving story that could be read to anyone at any age and still be meaningful. The Lorax didn’t have the joy and humor of his other books but instead left its readers with a poignant message and dire warning. Illumination Entertainment’s big 3D CGI-animated adaptation could care less about either. The Lorax gives a begrudging nod towards environmentalism, a halfhearted tip of the hat to Dr. Seuss, and then pours all of its energy into being hip and funny but succeeded at neither.
From the creators of Despicable Me comes the animated feature film adaptation of Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax, a beloved cautionary tale of environmental conservation wrapped up in a colorful children’s story. The 3D-CG animated adaptation is an adventure that follows the journey of idealistic 12-year-old Ted (voiced by Zac Efron) while he searches for a real Truffula Tree for Audrey (voiced by Taylor Swift), in order to win the affection of the girl of his dreams. To find one, he must learn the story of the Lorax (voiced by Danny DeVito) from the enigmatic and bitter old hermit, known as the Once-ler (voiced by Ed Helms), who let the temptation of greed and success get the better of him. For more on the film, here’s some images, trailers, 8 clips from the movie, and the Super Bowl spot.
At the recent Los Angeles press day, I was able to speak with Zac Efron for our partners at Omelete. During the interview, Efron talked about how he got involved in The Lorax, how his character changed during the recording process, karaoke, his favorite movie, actor and director, and who he plays in director Josh Radnor‘s Liberal Arts. Finally, fans of Joss Whedon might know that Efron’s first acting job was a role on the sci-fi series Firefly. Do you remember who he played? Hit the jump to find out.
From the creators of Despicable Me comes the animated feature film adaptation of Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax, a beloved cautionary tale of environmental conservation wrapped up in a colorful children’s story. We’ve previously brought you images, trailers and even a Super Bowl ad spot for Chris Renaud and Kyle Balda’s The Lorax, which stars Zac Efron, Taylor Swift, Ed Helms, Betty White and Danny DeVito. Now we have eight clips from the movie, which will mark Universal’s third Dr. Seuss feature after How the Grinch Stole Christmas and The Cat in the Hat. On what would have been the author’s 108th birthday, The Lorax will land in theaters on March 2nd. Hit the jump to check out the clips.
Universal has released new images from the 3D CGI adaptation of Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax. Some of the images show the actors doing their voice recordings. If you couldn’t imagine what Zac Efron would look like if he were in a sound booth and speaking into a microphone, your mind is about to be blown. There’s also an image of the Lorax (voiced by Danny DeVito) playing cards with woodland creatures instead of giving dire environmental warnings. There’s no time for games when the environment is on the line, Lorax.
Hit the jump to check out the images. The film also features the voices of Ed Helms, Taylor Swift, Rob Riggle, and Betty White. Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax opens March 2nd in 3D.
The first poster for Lee Daniels‘ adaptation of The Paperboy has gone online along with a new poster for the action-comedy The Baytown Disco starring Billy Bob Thornton and Eva Mendes. I like the simplicity of the Paperboy poster as well as the throwback font. It doesn’t tell you much about the movie, but it does let us know that Zac Efron has really been working on his biceps.
The previous poster for The Baytown Disco was great but this new one is an overcrowded mess. Also, both posters use the term “whip-ass”, which I’ve never heard before. It seems like someone said the tagline should include the word “whoop-ass”, but spell-check wouldn’t accept it, so they had to go with “whip-ass”. Hit the jump to check out the posters. Both movies are due out in 2012.