by     Posted 1 year, 15 days ago


[This is a re-post of my review from the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival.  The Company You Keep opens tomorrow in limited release.]

Chase films probably shouldn’t feature septuagenarians. Robert Redford‘s The Company You Keep is two movies: one is a surprisingly entertaining investigative thriller, and the other is the most casual, least threatening chase flick I’ve ever seen. Redford has lined-up a tremendous cast, yet spreads them around in weak bit parts, leaving the majority of the picture to himself and Shia LaBeouf. Mixed between their characters’ two stories are confused messages about the value of the truth and rallying for your beliefs (provided it’s not too much of an inconvenience).

First Red-Band Trailer for RAPTURE-PALOOZA Starring Anna Kendrick, John Francis Daley, and Craig Robinson

by     Posted 1 year, 45 days ago


The first red-band trailer director Paul Middleditch’s post-apocalyptic comedy Rapture-Palooza has been released online.  The film stars Anna Kendrick (Pitch Perfect) and John Francis Daley (Freaks and Geeks, Bones) as a couple who must battle their way through the end of the world following The Rapture in order to defeat the Antichrist (Craig Robinson).  I was born and raised in the Bible Belt so the rapture comedy aspect of the film certainly hits home for me, and the cast looks to be having fun with the pic’s outlandish premise.

Hit the jump to watch the trailer.  The film also stars Rob Corddry, Thomas Lennon, Rob Heubel, John Michael HigginsAna Gasteyer, and Ken JeongRapture-Palooza will be available in theaters and on demand on June 7th.

END OF WATCH Blu-ray Review

by     Posted 1 year, 63 days ago


Writer/director David Ayer has more than a passing familiarity with the heroes and villains of law enforcement.  He’s been behind the pen of Training Day, S.W.A.T., Dark Blue and Harsh Times, while stepping behind the camera for the latter film, as well as Street Kings. His latest effort, End of Watch, has him pulling double duty, but giving up some camera control to his principal leads Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña.  In bringing some aspects of “found footage” into an action movie following two street cops on their daily grind, Ayer has managed to find another layer of realism that makes his films so enjoyable.  Hit the jump for our breakdown of End of Watch on Blu-ray, including the highlight of Ayer’s directorial commentary that makes the film easily worth a repeat viewing.

New Trailer for Robert Redford’s THE COMPANY YOU KEEP Starring Shia LaBeouf and Susan Sarandon

by     Posted 1 year, 65 days ago


A new trailer for director Robert Redford’s thriller The Company You Keep has been released online.  In addition to directing, Redford also stars in the film as a civil rights lawyer who must go on the run when he’s outed by a young reporter (Shia LaBeouf) as being a former 1970s Weather Underground militant.  The trailer teases an engrossing thriller with a stellar ensemble cast that includes Susan Sarandon, Anna Kendrick, Chris Cooper, Terrence Howard, and Brit Marling.  LaBeouf looks to be in fine form as well as the film’s lead, and I’m eager to see how Redford expands on the plot’s themes in the full feature.

Hit the jump to watch the trailer, and click here to read Matt’s review of the film from last year’s Toronto Film Festival.  The pic also stars Julie Christie, Sam Elliott, Brendan Gleeson, Richard Jenkins, Stanley Tucci, and Nick NolteThe Company You Keep opens on April 5th.

PITCH PERFECT Blu-ray Review

by     Posted 1 year, 99 days ago


Though formulaic to a fault, Pitch Perfect is the sort of film where you know pretty much everything that’s going to happen, but you enjoy the ride anyway.  Anna Kendrick leads a charming ensemble of girls who are in an a cappella singing group that competes in nationals.  Is it Bring it On meets Glee? Yes, but… it works.  Our review of Pitch Perfect on Blu-ray follows after the jump.

PARANORMAN ‘For Your Consideration’ Featurette Goes Behind-the-Scenes of the “Most Ambitious Stop-Motion Film Ever Made”

by     Posted 1 year, 119 days ago


The amount of behind-the-scenes work that went into creating ParaNorman should be worth an award by itself. New featurettes for the Chris Butler and Sam Fell film are reminding the academy voters that the animated feature is the “most ambitious stop-motion film ever made.” Using cutting-edge technology in the form of fully-articulated puppets and 3D printing, just to name a few, the creative army behind ParaNorman is still a devoted group of craftspeople at their core. Even for those of you who enjoyed the film, these featurettes reveal a lot of hidden details in certain scenes and will give you a whole new appreciation for the work that went into bringing ParaNorman to the screen.

Featuring the voices of Kodi Smit-McPhee, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Anna Kendrick, John Goodman, Leslie Mann and Tucker AlbrizziParaNorman is now available on DVD/Blu-ray. Hit the jump to check out the featurette.

Hugh Grant to Reteam with TWO WEEKS NOTICE Director for Romantic Comedy; Anna Kendrick to Lead Musical THE LAST FIVE YEARS

by     Posted 1 year, 178 days ago


We’ve got a couple casting stories for you in one handy article.  First up, Hugh Grant is set to reunite with director Mark Lawrence for a fourth time for yet an another romantic comedy. The untitled picture, written by Lawrence, has Grant playing a broke, washed-up Oscar-winning screenwriter who is forced to teach at a small East Coast college.  While he expects to win the favor of his attractive co-ed pupils, he ends up falling for a single mom who has gone back to school.  The lead here sounds awfully similar to Grant’s character in Music and Lyrics (also written and directed by Lawrence), but since I find that movie surprisingly charming, I hope that this untitled picture will be better than Grant/Lawrence’s other efforts, Two Weeks Notice and Did You Hear about the Morgans?

Grant will next be seen playing six roles in Cloud Atlas, which opens on Friday and you should totally go see.  Hit the jump for some Anna Kendrick casting news.

Anna Kendrick Talks PITCH PERFECT, Singing Live on Set, Interacting More on Twitter, Her Love of Reddit, and More

by     Posted 1 year, 195 days ago


Now playing in theaters is director Jason Moore’s great musical comedy Pitch Perfect.  Written by Kay Cannon (New Girl, 30 Rock), the film tells the story of Beca (Anna Kendrick), a goth-like rebellious teen that dreams of being a music producer, but instead finds herself in an all-female a cappella singing group at Barden University.  Led by great performances from the entire cast and fun takes on classic and new songs, Pitch Perfect is definitely worth your time this weekend.  The film also stars Rebel Wilson, Skylar Astin, Adam Devine, Anna Camp, Brittany Snow, John Michael Higgins and Elizabeth Banks.  For more on the film, here are seven clips and all our previous coverage.

At the recent Los Angeles press day I got to sit down with Anna Kendrick for an exclusive interview.  We talked about how she got involved, her reaction to the finished film, the great script, if she was nervous to sing and dance on camera, what it was like to sing live on set, how much changed during production, the rehearsals, The Breakfast Club, what it was like to film in Baton Rouge, End of Watch, TIFF, Twitter (follow Kendrick here), her love of Reddit, and a lot more.  Hit the jump for what she had to say.

Meryl Streep in Talks for Lead in Rob Marshall’s INTO THE WOODS; Anna Kendrick, Patrick Wilson, and More Read for Roles

by     Posted 1 year, 197 days ago


Following the success (commercially, that is) of Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, director Rob Marshall was mulling a couple of projects as his follow-up.  After his remake of The Thin Man with Johnny Depp was put on hold, the Chicago director set his sights on returning to the world of song and dance for his next film.  Marshall is prepping an adaptation of the fairy tale-themed musical Into the Woods for Disney, and he recently held a star-studded screenplay read that included the likes of Anna Kendrick, Patrick Wilson, Allison Janney, and many more.  Additionally, it sounds like he may have settled on Meryl Streep for the lead role of the Witch.

Hit the jump for more, including the full list of actors who were in attendance for the screenplay reading.

7 Clips from PITCH PERFECT Starring Anna Kendrick

by     Posted 1 year, 207 days ago


Anna Kendrick is becoming an actress I trust instinctively.  I love watching her on screen, so if I am not sure about a movie, her presence will nudge me to go see.  Pitch Perfect is a good test case.  It’s a snarky college movie, which can be good but often isn’t.  The Kendrick Factor makes me want to check it out though, and it helps that the movie has been getting great early buzz.  Even if you haven’t fallen for Kendrick as hard as I have, you can check out 7 clips from Pitch Perfect to get a sense of the movie after the jump.

Rebel Wilson, Brittany Snow, Anna Camp, Alexis Knapp, Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Adam Devine also star in the acapella comedy.  Directed by Jason Moore, Pitch Perfect opens October 5.

TOP 5: THE HOBBIT Celebrates Tolkien Week, First Looks at New ROBOCOP Suit, END OF WATCH, KICK-ASS 2, Fantastic Fest

by     Posted 1 year, 208 days ago


Last night, I managed to squeeze in a double feature of Dredd 3D and The Master. While I wasn’t thrilled with the prospect of not having a 2D showing available to choose from, I have to admit that director Pete Travis‘ film provided me with my first 3D screening since 2010′s Piranha 3D that actually felt worth the extra dimension and additional ticket price. As for The Master, it’s probably unfair to judge something so heavy after a single viewing. That said, my initial reaction is that I can’t remember watching a film where its individual parts so far exceed the sum the first time around. From top to bottom the pic’s technicality is superb. And yet, I don’t see myself in any hurry to revisit Paul Thomas Anderson‘s latest world.

Moving forward to the reason we’re all here, in this week’s episode of the Top 5, The Hobbit celebrates Tolkien Week in a big way with a new trailer and images, we get our first looks at a new suit from director Jose Padilha‘s Robocop reboot, Steve sits down to talk End of Watch with Jake Gyllenhaal, Anna Kendrick, and more, Kick-Ass 2 set images continue to roll out while Aaron Johnson talks about the film at TIFF, and Fantastic Fest 2012 kicks off. Continue reading for a brief recap and link to each.

Anna Kendrick and Natalie Martinez Talk END OF WATCH, the Unique Camerawork, and More at TIFF

by     Posted 1 year, 209 days ago


Opening this weekend is director David Ayer’s (Harsh Times) police thriller End of Watch.  The film stars Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña as two Los Angeles beat cops who find themselves marked for death after a routine traffic stop turns into an epic drug bust that interferes with a notorious cartel.  Unlike Ayer’s previous films which focused on corrupt police officers, Gyllenhaal and Peña play honest cops trying to make a difference.  In addition, most of the movie was filmed with handheld cameras, and Ayer’s POV shots put the audience right in the middle of the action.  Trust me, End of Watch is definitely worth your time and the chemistry between Gyllenhaal and Peña is a lot of fun. For more on the film, here’s Matt’s review, my video interviews with Ayer and Gyllenhaal, twenty things to know from my set visit, and all our previous coverage.  nd of Watch also stars Anna Kendrick, Natalie Martinez, America Ferrera, Cody Horn and Frank Grillo.

Last week at the Toronto Film Festival I was able to speak with Kendrick and Martinez.  During our fun exchange we talked about premiering at TIFF, their reaction to the finished film, the unique camerawork, was it advantageous to have such a short shooting schedule, and more.  Hit the jump to watch.

TIFF 2012: END OF WATCH Review

by     Posted 1 year, 220 days ago


David Ayer‘s cop action flick End of Watch is consumed by found-footage gimmick it doesn’t need.  The device feels forced upon the story, and is applied in such a haphazard fashion that its presence only become more of a distraction.  Audiences don’t need a reason for certain camera angles; they need good characters, and End of Watch has them with great performances from lead actors Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña.  The movie is driven by character, and while the camera-tricks vie for our attention, it’s the relationship between two beat cops that holds our interest.


by     Posted 1 year, 221 days ago


Chase films probably shouldn’t feature septuagenarians.  Robert Redford‘s The Company You Keep is two movies: one is a surprisingly entertaining investigative thriller, and the other is the most casual, least threatening chase flick I’ve ever seen.  Redford has lined-up a tremendous cast, yet spreads them around in weak bit parts, leaving the majority of the picture to himself and Shia LaBeouf.  Mixed between their characters’ two stories are confused messages about the value of the truth and rallying for your beliefs provided it’s not too much of an inconvenience.

New Release Dates for THE TOMB with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone, NOW YOU SEE ME, THE BIG WEDDING and PITCH PERFECT

by     Posted 1 year, 223 days ago


Let’s take a look at the latest release date shuffles:

  • The Tombstarring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone gets a new release date of September 27th, 2013.
  • Now You See Me, starring Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo, Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman, moves back again from March 15th to June 7th, 2013.
  • The Big Weddingfeaturing Robert De Niro, Diane Keaton, Katherine Heigl and Robin Williams, gets a six month push from October 26 of this year to April 26th, 2013.
  • Pitch Perfectwith Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Brittany Snow  and Christopher Mintz-Plasse opens a week earlier than scheduled, now on September 28th of this year.

Hit the jump for images and synopses for each of these films. 

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