[This is a re-post of my review from the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. Robot & Frank opens in limited release today.]
Not even ornery old men can resist the lure of a special robot friend. Robot & Frank‘s hook is in its title, but it goes beyond what could have been the premise for a weekly sitcom. Instead, the film puts together a strong juxtaposition between a man who’s started to forget everything and a robot who can remember anything. It’s a familiar story about memory being tied to personality, but Robot & Frank throws in the importance of teaching and passion as a way to keep remembering (if only for a little while longer). With the exception of a confused epilogue, director Jake Schreier and screenwriter and Christopher D. Ford have managed to build a warm, funny, and charming movie around a thoughtful premise.
Jesse Eisenberg (Zombieland) and Dakota Fanning (The Runaways) are in talks to complete the trio of eco-terrorists in writer/director Kelly Reichardt’s indie thriller, Night Moves. Eisenberg steps in to replace Paul Dano, who was previously expected to rejoin his Meek’s Cutoff director for the picture. Night Moves centers on three people who plan to blow up a dam, with Eisenberg as the ringleader, Fanning as the wealthy youth who funds their efforts and the previously reported Peter Sarsgaard as the technical man behind the bomb. Hit the jump for more on Night Moves.
The first trailer for the indie comedy Robot and Frank has been released. The buddy comedy stars Frank Langella as a retired jewel thief who seeks to resume his criminal ways with the help of a companion robot, voiced by Peter Sarsgaard. Steve and Matt caught the film at this year’s Sundance Film Festival and both of them thought it was great (you can read Matt’s review here). The trailer definitely seems sweet and warm-hearted, but I wonder if they’ve revealed too much of the plot. I sincerely hope that’s not the case, as the premise sounds neat and I’m eager to experience the film for myself.
Hit the jump to watch the trailer. You can read Steve’s interviews with director Jake Schreier and screenwriter Christopher D. Ford, as well as Langella himself. The film also stars Susan Sarandon, James Marsden, and Liv Tyler. Robot and Frank opens on August 24th.
Two new posters have arrived for a pair of September releases that I’m really looking forward to. First up is a new poster for The Words, a romantic drama from debut directors Brian Klugman and Lee Sternthal that stars Bradley Cooper, Zoe Saldana and Jeremy Irons. Cooper plays a young writer who passes off another author’s work as his own and deals with the consequences that inevitably arise. The Words opens September 7th.
A second poster comes to us today for director Jake Schreier’s Robot and Frank. The buddy comedy stars Frank Langella as a retired jewel thief who seeks to resume his criminal ways with the help of a companion robot, voiced by Peter Sarsgaard. Robot and Frank opens August 24th. Hit the jump to check out the new posters.
Woody Allen looks to have finalized the cast for his next film, and a few exciting additions have been announced. We already knew that Sally Hawkins and Cate Blanchett would be leading a cast that also includes Alec Baldwin, Michael Emerson and Bobby Cannavale, and now Variety reports that Louis C.K., Peter Sarsgaard and Andrew Dice Clay will round out the cast. Bradley Cooper was mentioned as a possible addition at one point, but he may have run into some scheduling issues. Max Casella and Alden Ehrenreich are also listed in the announced cast.
Though story details are under wraps, Louis C.K.’s casting is interesting for a number of reasons. First off, C.K. has great comedic timing as well as dramatic talent so he’s a welcomed addition, but he’s also been hailed as a bit of a successor to Allen with his New York-centric, critically hailed series Louie. I’m beyond eager to see how he fits into Allen’s next film, and the writer-director has assembled an unsurprisingly impressive ensemble for his next effort. The untitled film will shoot this summer in San Francisco and New York City.
We’ve got some shuffling of release dates for two Warner Bros. distributions and a new release date for one of our favorite films from this year’s Sundance. Here’s a glance:
- Warner Bros. pushes back The Seventh Son from February 15th, 2013 to October 18th, 2013.
- Another Warner Bros. film, Beautiful Creatures, has taken Seventh Son’s place by moving back two weeks to open on February 15th, 2013.
- Starring Frank Langella, James Marsden, Liv Tyler, Susan Sarandon and a robot (voiced by Peter Sarsgaard), Robot and Frank will open on August 24th of this year.
Hit the jump for more on each film.
It’s been a little while since we had a porn star update, so here’s a new poster featuring Linda Lovelace. Technically, it’s Amanda Seyfried portraying Linda Lovelace in this new poster for the indie biopic, Lovelace. Splitting hairs. It’s not as provocative as you might expect, but I’m reserving some hope that, as the movie gets closer to release (unexpected pun!), the material gets more and more risque. If that wasn’t the plan, it’s something the Lovelace marketing team might want to consider.
Then again, it’s not all about the sex appeal, since a good portion of Lovelace deals with the abusive relationship between the porn star and her husband, Chuck Traynor (Peter Sarsgaard). You can take a look at previously released images, set photos and posters here. Lovelace also stars Sharon Stone, Adam Brody, Chloe Sevigny, Juno Temple, Sarah Jessica Parker, Chris Noth, Robert Patrick, and James Franco. Hit the jump to see the new poster.
The indie biopic Lovelace is currently in production, but we’ve already seen a number of set photos and images from the Linda Lovelace pic. The film stars Amanda Seyfried as the titular porn star who rose to prominence following 1972’s Deep Throat. Lovelace would eventually go on to claim that her husband (played by Peter Sarsgaard) physically and verbally abused her and coerced her into the pornography business. Howl directors Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman are behind Lovelace, and the film was recently profiled in a piece in the New York Times. Included in the piece are a couple of new images, as well as a poster for Deep Throat featuring Seyfried. Hit the jump to check them out, as well as some comments regarding the tone and story of the film.
We’ve got quite a few set photos to share with you today, involving everything from Zach Galifianakis as a Southern politician in Chinese robes to Olivia Wilde in a luchador outfit. Briefly:
- Dog Fight – Galifianakis and Will Ferrell star as rival politicians running for a congressional seat in a small North Carolina district.
- Burt Wonderstone – Steve Carell and Jim Carrey star as rival Las Vegas magicians constantly trying to one-up each other.
- Lovelace – Amanda Seyfried and Peter Sarsgaard star as Linda Lovelace and her abusive husband Chuck Traynor in the biopic about the star at the center of the porn phenomenon Deep Throat.
- Low Life – Joaquin Phoenix, Marion Cotillard, and Jeremy Renner star in this story of a woman (Cotillard) who immigrates from Poland to the U.S. and is forced to become a prostitute once stateside.
Hit the jump to check out the photos. [Update: We've updated the article with the first images of James Franco as Hugh Hefner in Lovelace]
From Sundance 2012, Robot and Frank, was recently acquired by a partnership between Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions and Samuel Goldwyn Films. The festival (and Collider) favorite stars Frank Langella, James Marsden and Liv Tyler in a near-future buddy comedy about an elderly ex-jewel thief (Langella) and his companion robot (voiced by Peter Sarsgaard). Steve loved Robot and Frank and will soon be posting exclusive interviews with director Jake Schreier, writer Christopher D. Ford and Langella himself. Hit the jump to check out the press release.
The battle of the Linda Lovelace biopics marches on, as Amanda Seyfried and Peter Sarsgaard are now in talks to star in Lovelace. Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman (Howl) are onboard to direct the pic, based on Eric Danville’s book The Complete Linda Lovelace. Variety reports that Seyfried will play Lovelace, with Sarsgaard in talks for the role of her pornographer husband Chuck Traynor. Lovelace came to prominence after her starring turn in the 1972 porn film Deep Throat. She quit the business and divorced Traynor years later, claiming that her husband took advantage of her and coerced her into pornography and prostitution.
James Franco and Kate Hudson were previously attached to Lovelace, but both dropped out after Hudson became pregnant. A competing project titled Inferno (the Lindsay Lohan one) is being developed with Malin Ackerman as the star. Production on Lovelace is set to begin in January.
This summer we got a comic-book origin tale about a man with father issues accepting his role as guardian and protector of the universe fighting against his someone he thought was a brother, with the film featuring an unnecessary love interest and a supporting cast that should have had more to do, on top of sequences set in outer space. Actually, we got two of those.
Superficially, the resemblances between Paramount/Marvel’s Thor and Warner Brothers/DC’s Green Lantern are hard to ignore, but Thor was a modest hit (or at least not a belly flop), while Green Lantern was the weakest performer of the summer’s comic book films. Both aren’t that good, but both have similar things to recommend: the world, and their villains. Here Ryan Reynolds stars as Hal Jordan, the cocky pilot who takes on the mantle of galactic defender, and must fight Parallax and Hector Hammond (Peter Sarsgaard) to keep Earth safe. Our review of Green Lantern on Blu-ray follows after the jump.
Magic Mike (aka The Male Stripper Movie) has spent the summer casting beefcakes: Channing Tatum, Alex Pettyfer, Matt Bomer, Joe Manganiello Matthew McConaughey. Finally, one of the male parts will go to… how do I put this delicately… a very, very fat man. According to THR, comedian Gabriel Iglesias will play the DJ at the strip joint where a veteran dancer (Tatum) teaches the new guy (Pettyfer) everything he knows, including “the protocol of stage performance, the principles of money management, and rules for dating female fans.” Steven Soderbergh is directing the drama, based on Tatum’s experience in the business at the age of 19.
Hit the jump to read Peter Sarsgaard’s description of Night Moves and his potential involvement in the Kelly Reichardt-directed movie.
Director Martin Campbell’s Green Lantern exists in a time when rainbow bridges aren’t laughed at and secret agent mutants enhance the drama, which is why the newest entry in DC Comics’ long lineage of films feels like a regression. The talent amassed for this origin story can understandably excite onlookers, but the end result won’t make many want to come back for more. A disjointed plot that may alienate audience members instead of pull them in is a bad start to Warner Brothers franchise kick-starter hopeful. The real shame is that Ryan Reynolds is a natural choice for Hal Jordan, and the rest of the cast exude similar confidence, but the material they are working with hinders the film from ever lifting off the ground. Even Campbell seems to be unwilling to commit to the material. Short, choppy, and overpopulated with CG and not enough heart, this is one comic book film you might want to skip this summer. Hit the jump for my full review.
With Green Lantern hitting theaters this week, Ryan Reynolds is the latest actor taking on a superhero for the big screen. As the gifted and cocky test pilot Hal Jordan, Reynolds is charming, witty and likeable, taking audiences on an adventure, as the first human chosen for the Green Lantern Corps. Warriors sworn to keep intergalactic order, each Green Lantern wears a ring that grants him the ability to create anything his mind can imagine. Unfortunately for Hal, he doesn’t get much time to enjoy his recruitment before he learns that a terrible enemy called Parallax is threatening to destroy the balance of power in the Universe. With the fate of Earth in his hands, and encouragement from fellow pilot and childhood sweetheart Carol Ferris (Blake Lively), Hal must quickly master his new powers and find the courage to save all of mankind.
During a press conference at the film’s press day, co-stars Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively, Mark Strong (who plays Sinestro) and Peter Sarsgaard (who plays Hector Hammond) talked about bringing this story to life, having a strong leading lady, getting to portray the journey of Sinestro, the prosthetics required to create the look for Hector Hammond, and how they were all honored to be a part of such a special project. Check out what they had to say after the jump: